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No title.
(2013-04-20 - 2013-04-26)
No description.
Artemis Eurus First watch, Artemis is on duty. She couldn't bloody sleep anyway. The heretic camp's fire still burns with a low and steady flame so they coals will be good and hot in the morning.

Artemis is not by the fire though, she is a bit away from it, beside Ramza's tent, who had better be sleeping. She's not within the light of the fire, not wanting to be blinded by its light to the darkness of night around her. Easy for someone to sneak up on you that way.

The samurai sits on her heels, her sword in hand, eyes staring off into the distance. She's very still, meditative it would seem, but her senses are attuned to the night. She'd remained alive, hunted and alone for two years in the wilderness. Her senses for survival are well honed.

The camp is asleep for the moment, the only sounds the occasional snore and the crackling of the fire. Yet Artemis is on edge. Something simply...feels wrong.
Margaux Fleury Marguerite should be asleep. But restlessness had gotten the better of the redheaded dancer. She soon decides that perhaps an evening stroll would soothe her spirit and grant her some needed rest. The Death Corps member was still having trouble adjusting to the hospitality of the Heretics.

The wandering dancer was dressed in her coat of plates, striped trousers, and knee length boots this evening. It seemed that she very much felt it necessary to wear her armor even within the limits of the camp. The armored Margaux had no destination in particular in mind, but she winds up walking towards the fire near Ramza's tent. Artemis, hidden from the illuminating light of the fire, is not noticed by Margaux who walks up to the other woman's fire directly. She figures that she might as well sit by -this- fire as it -seems- to be unoccupied and Margaux's own skill at lighting fires was less than proficient to put things mildly.
Agrias Oaks Scrape. Scrape. Scrape. Agrias is in her tent, sitting crosslegged atop her bedroll with sword in hand, drawing the blade along a whetstone. It's late, but she'd had trouble sleeping, various things plaguing her mind. Most notably that of considering the whereabouts of her princess. Rising from her position, the blonde knight moves to slip out of the tent, scabbarded sword held idly in one hand. She'd not bothered to put her belt back on, but she'd either never taken her armor off, or had put it back on when she woke up. Agrias is all too familiar with the knowledge that many of their enemies have no honor, so better safe than sorry. She wanders through the camp idly, heading to find a barrel of water to refill her waterskin. Hearing a bit of milling about, she looks towards the fire, but makes no move to join the woman, stopping nearby and focusing on aforementioned barrel.
Ramza Beoulve And Ramza had in fact taken his evening reverie early.

Their sojourn in the forest had been longer than he'd liked, and it was time to move on this next morning. He'd spent much of his time making his guests feel welcome, but his hospitality could only go so far, and he knew that. He realized that Margaux was still coming to terms with where her life's decisions had led her, whereas Zack.. Zack was used to a more modern world, their humble lifestyle could wear on him at times. He was likely already up, running around the forest, knowing him. Sometimes he wondered if the man slept at all.

While they were cross-country, Ramza had a tendency to sleep in his armor. It often made for uncomfortable nights, but for a man who was used to being ambushed constantly, he sacrificed comfort for readiness. Even with Artemis around, the only concession he'd made was keeping his breastplate straps loose.

Artemis was the only one to know that while he preferred to get /more/ sleep, he functioned almost as well on four to five hours. It was only as the days dragged on that it would wear on him enough to get a full night's sleep. Lately he was finding he was taking a longer repose more frequently, in part due to her influence! Sparring with her at times was almost as wearing as an actual battle, physically. Not mentally perhaps since he only had to consider tactics on a personal level, rather than for the entire company.

And so he slept, it was one of the few times he didn't have a care in the world.
Zack Fair Zack snores.

This isn't really news for the members of the New Zodiac Braves; Zack had snored when he first appeared to them, injured near the point of death. He snores like a chainsaw - loud, frequently, and without pause.

Ophelia Even during the day the dense tree cover of the British Forest blocks out much of the sunlight with its tall leafy canopy of interwoven branches. What little does get through is filtered through the thin membranes of the foliage and the spartan gaps that allow the occasional beam to pierce through to the grassy floor below like spears of holy light.

At night the darkness swallows all hope for illumination from the heavens above and the normally peaceful forest takes on an eerie and haunted pall. Nocturnal predators scamper about in the underbrush or screech in the trees as they seek out their meals, the shrill calls of the hunter and the prey ecchoing throughout the forest. For people who must remain alert for signs of danger, sorting out the common sounds from the threats is a daunting task made all the more difficult by the lack of visual cues beyond the flickering touch of the fire's illumination.

Not far off, unknown to any within the camp, a pair of eyes watches the small band as they toss and stir in the darkness. Ophelia has little insight into the troubles that ail these men and women that have come to bear the brand of Heretic. She knows nothing of the horrible truth behind the Church of Glabados that has been revealed to Ramza, though recent events have already planted suspicions in her mind. She knows nothing of the stalwart Agrias' search for her missing princess. Nor does she know anything of the suffering of those who have come to take on the mantle of Death Corps, her own home within Ordallia remaining beyond the reach of the horrible war.

But more to the point, she doesn't care. These people and their struggles mean absolutely nothing to her beyond the fact that taking them out will promote a more favorable view of herself within the Church. The more power she could wield from within the organization the easier it would be to ferret out all of its dirty little secrets - and she could tell that there was far more than a few skeletons in the Chruch's closet.

Her crimson eyes scan the camp for signs of their primary target but after nearly an hour of watching she's come to the conclusion that Ramza himself is either not present or already retired for the evening. The congregation of women around the fire and the nearby tent makes her smirk in amusement. "Quite the charmer, this heretic, to have so many devoted...companions."

Lifting her hand into the air, the Inquisitor gives a quick gesture that causes a flurry of movement behind her. Half a dozen of the Church's best trackers and huntsmen fan out into the trees, their steps silent and careful as weapons are readied.

She nods at one of the men and he in turn nods back. A hand is lifted to his mouth and he gives a trilling call that near perfectly mocks that of a hunting bird, though not one that can be found in this land - something those who have been paying close attention to the sounds of the forest might notice.
Faruja Senra If there are two things Faruja has come to hate with a passion, it's stealth and Ramza Beoulve. The man, Heretic or not, comes across as likeable and even reasonable when one tones back their more zealous feelings. More than a small inkling of doubt has been planted in the rat's mind, but that's one seed that hasn't yet sprouted. More to the point, Ramza has already condemned one person (if through no fault of his own) that the rat rather liked, and threatens to do another. In short, it's become personal for the Templar. Otherwise he'd likely have come up with some excuse to further plot the demise of Alexandria.

Then there's stealth. A person in plate mail, riding a wyvern isn't stealthy. Faruja tries not to move too much as the trackers do their thing even as he pulls out his own weapon. Why couldn't they just kick down the proverbial doors? It's how the rat would do things. Subtlety has never been his forte.
Artemis Eurus The masked warrioress cants her head slightly to the side, turning her ear toward the sound of someone moving toward the fire. It only takes her a few moments to recognize the light and graceful steps of Margaux. A glance over her shoulder confirms her suspicion.

Another sounds reaches her ears from the direction of Agrias' tent. Sword on whetstone. A familiar sound, soothing to a fighter such as herself. Artemis listens as it stops and Agrias moves out of her tent, also moving toward the fire.

Art shakes her head gently. Seems she wasn't the only one walking a knife's edge tonight. What was it? What about the night was wrong?

If she concentrated, she could hear Ramza's breathing, slow and steady in the rhythm of deep sleep. All well there. Margaux and Agrias seem to not even have acknowledged each other, content to remain in their own separate bubbles of troubled thought. It is too early in the season for crickets. The animals of the forest--

There. A call. A hunting bird. Not native. A sense of movement. As her eyes are attuned to the darkness by staying out of the fire's light, the stars above are light enough for Artemis to spot shadows through the trees.

Artemis reaches up toward her ear to alert the camp through linkpearl, then moves closer to Ramza's tent in the darkness, waiting for him just outside the flap.
Margaux Fleury Margaux looks a little startled when Artemis stirs from her spot and into action. She had not seen the blonde samurai there at all. For as graceful as she was when it came to her movements, the dancer was not always the most observant. "Madame Mask, what a..." Artemis passes right by her and heads towards Ramza's tent. "...surprise."

The Death Corps Knight now frowns slightly at what could have perturbed Artemis so. This question is soon answered through the voices in her linkpearl. An ambush?! She had obviously not realized that the bird call was anything but simply that.

The Dancer pulls her rapier free of its sheath and moves towards the front of Ramza's tent to join the others hopefully. While a skilled dancer, she was less confident in her martial skills and there was always safety in numbers. Her blade in hand, Margaux soon joins Artemis. "I shall follow your lead, no? This is one dance that I feel that you may be more skilled in."
Zack Fair Zack rolls over in his sleeping roll. It's almost been thirty minutes since his nap began; the linkpearl rattles something off near his ear.

He rolls over again, face against the pillow.

Helena Celba Souji Murasame has a...standing agreement with the Church. Not so much a...solid agreement, but a agreement. Things are still being worked out, and to that effect ties are still being made. To this, he has sent his personal assisstant to aid the Church in a supposed raid on the leader of the heretical group. She is...nothing like one might suspect.

She is bouncy, happy, and generally...perky, despite her appearance. She, however, understands the value of stealth, and while she didn't take direct orders she does not want to make a bad impression, so she is fairly...quiet when the Templars come to ready. She stands behind the others, filing her nails and generally looking bored. She doesn't whine at least, but right now she does not look ready for battle...

Of Course, if Faruja did not witness her prowless first hand...

She looks up, sighing, and then back to her nails. She holds a hand up, examining something on them after a moment.
Agrias Oaks Agrias is a dutiful knight, and she will fight to the death, but she wasn't really trained to do things like spot ambushes in the middle of the night in a forest. Sipping from her waterskin after filling it, the thing is dropped to the ground as she hears Artemis' voice over the linkpearl, and then there's the ringing sound of her sword being drawn from its sheath. She refrains from shouting, so as to give the camp another moment to rise before the ambushers charge in, but the blonde knight strides towards the southern side of the camp, sword in one hand, sheath in the other.
Ramza Beoulve Thankfully he was a light sleeper. It came from him literally being ambushed so many times that he could have created his own science based on it.

Ambushology had a nice ring to it.

It took only a few seconds to tighten the buckles on his armor, before he walked outside of the tent and calmly assessed the situation to the South. The camp was already rife with activity, but there was no panic. They'd all done this before. They'd all range close enough to the center of the camp that they could hear his orders without him having to shout them. He didn't use the linkpearl though, yet. He didn't trust that the Church didn't have their frequency.

"Marlowe. Lookout, get us some eyes above. Theodore, rear guard to the North. Lavian, Alicia take the flanks, I don't want a repeat of Golgrand. Adela, get the Chocobos unhitched and range close to Theodore, we need a route of egress if this goes poorly. Sheryl, Gerad. Stay near the camp, medic evac and fire support. Helena, keep them covered."

And then he unsheathed his Cinqueda. "Everyone else with me. Stay spread out, stay flexible. We don't want to form ranks in case they try a cavalry charge."

Helena the heretic, not the crazy Necromancer would literally cause a gust of wind to pick up, and blow Zack's tent over, stakes being no obstacle for a woman that could pull them right out of the Earth with a gesture.

They hadn't been at the camp long enough to form extensive traps, but they had laid a few simple hunting snares at least that might serve to at least hinder them.

Raising a hand, he would allow magic to thrum through his arms as he ranged close to Artemis. "Precious light, be our armor and protect us. Silent light, shield us from all iniquity."

Crystalline multi-faceted barriers would spring to life in front of Artemis and Ramza, purple in hue. Then they would fade to barely visible translucent lines in front of them. They would only flare to life when struck.

He didn't have them charge, he just continued to assess where they were coming from, hoping to adapt to whatever their strategem might be.
Zack Fair Zack rolls over and snores some more as his tent is blown apart in the furious gust of wind from the confusingly-named Helena the Heretic, who is not the other Helena.
Ophelia Even as her own soldiers move to take up their positions, Ophelia takes note of the near immediate response. Apparently someone in the camp was familiar enough with the local wildlife to recognize their signal as out of place.

"Hmph. It would seem the game is afoot. No matter," she whispers to herself with a predatory smirk. "It should provide a measure of entertainment for the night regardless."

Despite their careful ambush having been discovered, Ophelia keeps her soldiers in check once they have taken up positions around the camp. Bows are nocked and deadly arrows aimed downrange at targets, their metal tips dipped in pitch to prevent them from reflecting any light which might give them away - the trademarks of an assassin. They do not employ poison, however, for reasons that the Inquisitor has withheld.

Once her forces are in place, Ophelia casually rises from her hiding place and strides forward into the camp with a confident gait. Despite it being in the dead of night the young vampire withholds her powers as there are others present here who are not privy to the knowledge of what she truly is. Still, she's not above adding a little flair to an entrance.

The young woman seems to melt out of the shadows at the edge of the fightlight. Her eyes burn a dull crimson from within but the eldritch light fades away almost immediately as they turn to look her way to leave them wondering if it was just their imaginations. Her ornate armor reflects the light brightly in the darkness as does the array of katana protruding from her shoulders, atleast a half dozen strapped to her back in a fan-shaped pattern to allow easy access to each of them.

"Good evening to you all. I hope I have not disturbed your rest?" Her voice is cheerful and upbeat but retains its traces of noble haughtiness. Ophelia gives the lot of them an overly dramatic European bow. "Allow me to introduce myself. I am Ophelia Rosai Lovett, Inquisitor of the Church of Glabados. I shall be your host for this evening's... entertainment."
Helena Celba "Oh my, how dramatic!" Helena giggles, and puts the file away. "Oh, we are this huh? Hm..." she says, and shakes her head. "Truly, to be so easily discovered by using such signals.." she sighs. "Oh, brave new world, with such people in it.." she lets loose a dramatic sigh, and walks beside the Inquisitor and Faruja. Her fingers move, pressing into the back's of each one...chi is redirected, mixed in with her own strange aura, aiming to strengthen their bodies. These did not seem to be those who weilded magics, so she decided to withhold her own special techniques to increase their magical aptitude for now...

The move is not painful, nor is it pleasent...except to Ophelia, who may find it greatly pleasent.

Helena finally comes to a stop when the Heretics are addressed. "Hiiii! Nothing personal, but my boss has asked me to work with them...if you could please surrender? Or not..." she says, a slightly wicked grin comes to her lips. She murmers to herself, "Mmm...and even a few good looking ones...maybe I can convince them to let them go...I am sure I can convince Souji to hire them...and I get some eyecandy.."
Faruja Senra While her odd mannerism didn't endear her to the Templar, Faruja /does/ happen to respect Helena Celba. She went along to rescue a fellow Burmecian trapped in the capital of his worst enemies. That takes bravery, guts, and more than a little bit of violence. In short, a woman he's happy to fight beside. Despite her leisurely actions, he lets the odd woman do as she pleases. No need to babysit an ally.

Finally. Go time. The plan is obvious on Faruja's side of things, and it nearly makes him sick for all that it makes sense. Keep your archers in the shadows, draw their attention elsewhere, and attack. Walking out beside the Inquisitor, briefly glancing to Helena even as he tries to look less /green/ from the nearest source of noble hautiness.

"Ahem! I do suppose most of you are aware of whom I am, so I shall keep introductions short. Temple Knight Faruja Senra, at your service. Now, as the Lady said, do us all the courtesy of throwing down thy blades and surrend..."

Faruja is not used to oriental methods of healing and empowerment. Having his Chi messed with is an odd experience. The rest of his words are lost to a rather embarrassing squeak. Seems the rat is ticklish.
Artemis Eurus Artemis looks to Marguax, nodding her head to her. "Another sword is always welcome. Look after yourself," she replies quietly.

Ramza appears beside her and Artemis nods to him as well, taking a deep breath to prepare herself for the battle ahead. This is the first night ambush she's seen since she's been with them. She is pleased with how the company reacts.

"Thank you Ramza," she says softly to the heretic leader in response to the magic barrier he erects around them both.

Artemis lays her hand upon the sheath of her blade, waiting. "Let us see what the night brings this time," she whispers, sliding one foot back slightly, preparing for a fight.

Artemis turns back as Ophelia melts from the shadows in the ring of golden firelight, introducing herself. Well, when a name is given... "Artemis Eurus," she replies, bowing her head slightly at the introduction before her hand returns to the sheath of her sword.

The warrior's keen gaze scans Ophelia, making note of the numerous katana on her back. Now, that just seems excessive. The presence of Helena is noted with a look, then a longer glance for Faruja. Blood and ashes. She wished he had more sense in that furry, wool-stuffed head. "We will not surrender. Let us not waste anymore time," she says, then pulls her sword from the sheath, with it a wave of force slams outward toward the three who face them.
Margaux Fleury Alright Margaux, it was finally time. The stage was set and the actors and actresses have all assembled. A small nod is aimed towards Artemis to show that she too was ready. The fencer now awaits for the opening note from the orchestra. The loud snoring from Zach causes the dancer to look towards where his tent was blown away. That....was....not the opening cords that she was looking for, but the show must go on.

Three prominent enemy combatants soon make their way to the forefront. And what an interesting trio they are! Margaux keeps a straight face as she takes in the eccentricies of her new foes, but then she realizes that she recognizes one of them. "Messire Zealot! How wonderful to see you again!" She says in a cheerful voice that mirrors Ophelia's in a way. "Please, join me in this first dance?" The blade-dancer offers as she outstretches a hand towards the Faruja and company.

With a fox-like smirk on her face, Margaux does not wait for an answer. She instead sheathes her rapier and begins a lethargic dance that accompanies the cacophany of Zack's snoring. Her movements then break out of rhythm as she transitions into a second dance which is a much quicker one. Margaux de Fleury is a very talented dancer and her movements may be a bit odd and distracting should one pay too much attention to them.
Ramza Beoulve "A low ranking one, to be certain. The Church didn't even allow Ordallians to /join/ in my time." /Their/ Helena would take up a stance near her respective White Mage, or Black Mage charges as she spoke. "Even if you did manage to defeat us, its unlikely you'd even receive a promotion."

The young heretic leader would pause to assess the extent of the ambush. Helena and Faruja both demanded their surrender, and a thin smile would touch his expression. "So that we might face the tender mercies of the office of the Inquisition? I think not, Ser Senra." The other woman he didn't know the name of but she was already creeping him out.

It seems like dancing partners were already chosen, as Margaux and Artemis proved, so he turned to Helena. "You're working /with/ them M'lady? Mayhaps you should know whom you're treating with. The Church is not as it seems..."

And again, he'd cause barriers to flare into life, over Agrias and Margaux this time. "Precious light be our armor and protect us. Silent Light, shield us from all iniquity!"
Agrias Oaks Agrias continues her stride through the camp. She's not running, she's walking with a purpose. And as she nears the edge of the camp and sees the people coming out of the shadows, the platemail-clad knight calls out loudly, "Begone, honorless dogs! Striking in the middle of the night does aught but display how misplaced and rotten both you and your church are." As she speaks, the blonde's longsword, while a simple thing, begins to gleam with a brilliant light, "Leave! Or be banished back into the shadows by righteous light!" She glares in Helena's direction in particular, recognizing the girl.

And then Artemis decides to get things started, it seems. Her expression stony, the blonde holy knight flows into motion. She edges towards Margaux, not entirely certain the dancer can look after herself or looking to position herself between the assailants and Margaux, and then her sword comes up with a swift motion, slicing through the air and gowing brighter in the darkness, "Light! Cleanse these foul souls of their darkness! Begone, brigands!" As her sword swings through the air, a large, ethereal blade of glimmering light manifests near Faruja and begins to swipe, swipe, swipe at the Bermucian.
Ophelia Ophelia doesn't break her stride at the young necromancer's fingers grace the unprotected skin of her back. She is quite familiar with the idea of pressure points thanks to her father's heritage as well as Alexander's training in the far east. Though never quite spending the time to learn them herself, the sensation of flowing chi is nothing new to her. A faint smile is spared for Helena before she turns to address the small crowd, however, acknowledging her efforts.

Finding another warrior wielding the blades and traditions of the East is somewhat surprising but Ophelia doesn't let that show on her face. Instead she answers Artemis' aggressive action with a flash of her own steel. The blade at her right hip leaves the sheathe in the span of a heartbeat and slices through the wave of force as if parting silk. The Inquisitor moves with unnatural speed of her own and in moments finds her sword crossed against that of her opponent in a clash of sparking metal.

Ophelia leans in, applying pressure to the blade in her hands in order to keep them locked together long enough for her to look Artemis in the eyes and give her a smug smirk. "Oho... it would seem atleast one person here is educated in true arts of battle. I shall enjoy breaking your spirit, I think."

Her offhand reaches up and snatches one of the other katana there free, bringing it down upon the heretical samurai with a snap of her wrist. She flows smoothly into the next strike, spinning about and bringing her blade up to deflect any potential counter strikes even as she calls out to the spirit within the blade.

"Yagumo rising, all who know god! Ame-no-murakumo!" Waves of blue mist interspersed with glowing light flow from the katana as its resident spirit pours its power out into the woman. The mist clings to her and attempts to seep into her armor, binding her ability to move freely and thus making her an easier target.
Faruja Senra "Lady Fleury! My, my, my 'tis always a pleasure to see thy lovely..." Pause. A brief look of confusion settles over his gaze before realization sets in. His gaze slowly shifts over to Ramza. Squint. GLARE!

"THIS ONE AS WELL, BEOULVE!?!" Faruja doesn't hold back on the volume, or the erupting anger. For a tiny rat, his voice carries. He doesn't counter the bit about the Inquisition. By now, he's fairly certain his new Inquisitor isn't one to go easy on others like Ramza.

Then, dancing. The rat's weapon is out, yet he still finds himself hesitant to attack the woman. Indeed, he likes and /respects/ the revolutionary. It's enough that he gets caught up in her dance. Particularly when she keeps shifting! His tail lashes in growing irritation.

"/Dance/? 'Tis...'tis utterly out of tempo! By the Lord, whom switches mid-step? 'Tis enough to have every dance instructor roll over in their gra..."

Artemis draws him back into focus through a wall of force from her blade, the ratling neatly lashing out with his spear. Glowing white, slams down upon the pure strike of physical power, directing it away from him. A large tree now has a hole in the center, thanks to the combined efforts of Churchrat and samurai.

"...Well then, formalities over."

If there's a way to anger Faruja, it's to question his honor. "'Tis an utterly legitimate tactic! We have even given /introductions/! Now have at thee, I shan't have my honor besmirched by such as thyself!" Argues the Templar, even as he's assaulted by glittering blades, made all the more painful by the distraction the nearby dancer provides. Eye on the prize rat! Golden bits of armor are flecked blood, his chest's armor sporting several gashes. Thrusting his spear, the Burmecian incants, his own Split Punch erupting from the ground before him to assist in warding off his fellow Holy Knight's.

Leaping back, he gives the two women against him a bit of room. Once again thrusting his blade, he peers at the two. "Armor shan't help the heart stay sharp! Shellburst stab!"

From above the dancer and Agrias both, purple crescents of energy would fall, attempting to shear through their armor!
Helena Celba Helena grins like a chesshire cat when Faruja reveals his...weakness. She titters, and turns towards Artemis, ", it is more like Cheese and fluff!" she counters, with another giggle, and places another hand, experimentally, on the Rat, trying to unlock more of the chi powers, before she spins off. It seems things were getting heated, and Agrias' look is not ignored, " is the lady knight I met on the forest. Oh...don't be so upset! We can still be friends...or something more <3." She teases the knight, and dances off, towards Ophelia again, placing another quick series of touches on her. THESE ones are more than to see if Faruja is ticklish, though that bare back...mmm...

Oh right, on the clock!

The dancing swordslady gets her attention, and Helena cuts in, aiming to twirl her around, but not to interfear in the fight, oh no, it is too much enjoyable to get a nice ballroom dance out here, before she stands...and dark energy courses through her body.

"Ah...a warm up! Thank you for the dance, M'lady." She says, and turns towards Ramza, "Hmm..." She says, pointing a finger under her chin... "Well...unfortinately, I am already here on behest of my boss...I rightfully do not really care about what this dispute is loyalties are to my boss, and not to the Church...I do not know his goals, but only follow his orders...of course, I do like to have fun." She winks at him.

There's a blur of motion from where Zack was a moment ago. The bedroll flies open, without pause, delay, or grogginess; the huge hunk of metal sitting on the ground vanishes in an instant, snagged up into Zack's hands as he runs. His bootsteps pat-pat-pat against the ground as he runs for the battle, no hesitation. He is a trained SOLDIER; he knows what it means to be in the middle of battle. Reflexes he hasn't used in the better part of a month, honed over years of hard work and guts, immediately take over; he acts on instinct at the sound of the blades. There is no pause to survey the battle, no attempts to make sense of the chaos thrust upon him. In the real world, such pauses lead to death. A SOLDIER must be able to act without such.

Those brilliant mako eyes flare as muscle memory merges with instinct. The sword is slung backwards into its sheathes as he runs for Ophelia, leaping over Artemis and the burst of mist and landing on the other side in a single (and thoroughly impossible) jump. His fingers wrap around the hilt of that massive blade as light pours out of his sword...and then he quick-draws it, fire in his eyes, the sword suddenly casting a brilliant blue glow across the battefield as it's drawn.


But that's not the end. Rather than invert the draw, Zack simply spins with it; the huge blade swings him around once, slashing for Ophelia's back, trailing a beautiful line of cherry blossoms as Zack uses his pure momentum to carry himself into the attack.


At the arc of the blade, Zack suddenly leaps backwards, still utilizing his sword's momentum. His fingers snap, and he points upwards at the sky, his mako eyes flaring up with magical light as he does so. He rolls to the ground just as the sound of something chopping at the air breaks over the battlefield, and a mako-blue spotlight points down at Ophelia. is a helicopter.

It fires, unleashing a barrage of bullets down on the Church soldier; the bullets burn with magical power as the helicopter fires, moving for a solid hold on her...and aiming to keep that suppressing fire on for as long as the helicopter exists.


"It's that moment you've all been waiting for! Reinforcements /have/ arrived, ladies and gentlemen!"
Ramza Beoulve "And who are you to deny anyone, Ser Senra? Can she do aught else, but to follow her heart?" He calmly states the words, though there is a biting tone to it that attests to his annoyance.. Faruja had not learned his lesson apparently from their confrontation over Katyna.

And then Helena /tickles/ Ser Senra. And Ramza starts to wonder what exactly she's doing to them. "Ah. A sellsword. I recommend you depart M'lady, no ill-begotten coin is worth your soul!"

And then moving through the battlefield, he'd place briefly touch both Agrias and Margaux. As he did, he opened the Chakra gate closest to their hearts, causing the blood to quicken, and their body's healing capacity to increase to its ultimate extent. "While blood matters naught, my father taught me one important lesson. Tolerate no injustice, stray not from the true path. I can do naught else! I will not compromise my ideals. I will not yield to any of you!"

And then a real SOLDIER First Class arrives.. with a magical helicopter. And Ramza can only gawk, before grinning. "Alright, /now/ I'm impressed Ser Fair!"
Margaux Fleury Margaux finds herself an unexpected dancing partner in Helena Celba. She may even prove to be a useful ally if she continues to distract Faruja with her...minstrations. But in the now and present, she allows herself to be twirled by the necromancer who has thus far not shown any outright hostility towards her. In fact, this impromptu twirl allows her to somehow find an opening in Faruja's energy attack which allows the dancer to escape unscathed for now. "A most fortunate time to choose to cut in," remarks the blade-dancer as she unsheathes her rapier once more.

Margaux turns to Faruja now and salutes the Zealot with her weapon. "Messire Zealot, I wish not to harm you. But, if you keep so focused on my own dancing, I cannot guarantee that you will remain as such." She smiles demurely at Faruja as she prepares her next move.

But suddenly, Zack makes his appearance. Margaux has to admit that it was an impressive entrance. The red-headed dancer did have a preference for theatrics afterall. Ramza, too, gets a look from the Death Corps soldier. "Or something like that." She admits before charging towards Faruja. Her rapier leads the day as she charges forwards towards the Templar. After her thrust, she attempts to work her rapier around Faruja's guard in a flurry of aimed blows. Finally, she will break her own tempo once more and twirls before Faruja. This actions sends a booted kick at Faruja with her rapier playing duet to her own attack in one swift motion.
Artemis Eurus Artemis remains expressionless as the wave of force is avoided by both Ophelia and Faruja. She hand't really thought it would take them off guard. The first few rounds of a battle with a new enemy are always about testing and taking each other's measure.

Soon enough they lock blades, strength against strength. Artemis is savagely strong. As soon as Ophelia goes to reach for another blade to bring against her Artemis thrusts herself forward to test her strength against the other, bringing her leg upward hard to try to catch her in belly before she dancing back, deflecting the follow-up strike simply with the flashing steel of her blade.

The cloying blue mist that surrounds her then gives Artemis pause. Interesting...what is this? A spirit in the blade? She can feel it trying to weaken her armor. The masked samurai lets out a breath, and from her another wave of force flows, pushing the mist back from her.

Artemis regards Ophelia, tilting her head slightly. "Then let us give a good show," she replies.

The sound of muted thunder is drown out by the sound of a helicopter, a sound Artemis cannot even pause to think too hard about. Bullets rain, but their target is Ophelia. Where there would have been a muted clap of thunder, the sound of slicing through reality, Artemis disappears.

Only to reappear midswing to Ophelia's left side, striking with the swiftness of a mantis and the power of a tiger. First, a high vertical strike downward, followed by a strong horizontal cut, flowing immediately into an upward slice--a faint, moving seamlessly into a quick but brutal attempt for a slice across the other samurai's throat.

Artemis falls onto her guard, prepared for swift counters and more of that 'magic' from the swords. She glances toward Zack then, nodding respectfully to him. Well, she had wanted to see him in action.
Agrias Oaks Agrias Oaks says, "Do not speak to me of your honor! You are either blind or a blatant liar!" Agrias shouts in response to Faruja, even as she twists to just barely avoid the falling bits of energy, her armor sparking a bit as flakes are sheared off. The blonde knight roars over the sounds of the others fighting nearby, "You are a disgrace unfit to wield these holy techniques of the light!"

She gets distracted a moment when a..what in the blazes. She hisses something in her linkpearl, and the distraction is enough for Ramza to sneak up and touch her. The knight flicks a grateful glance to her companion.

And then her attention returns to the fight at hand, eyes settling on Faruja once more, she flicks her sword and calls, "Life is short... Bury! Steady Sword!" And shards of ice erupt from the ground around the Templar, seeking to encase him. Not waiting, she howls, "Absorb power in the sky and strike! Lightning Stab!" Flicking her sword in a series of motions, each gesture summons a golden blade from the ground, herding the Bermucian as Margaux engages him directly. The blades serve as lightning rods of sorts, crackling lightning flashing in the sky to strike them and hopefully the Templar, if he makes the mistake of not getting away quickly enough."
Helena Celba Helena is having a good is so rare (lie) that she gets to have /this/ much fun (lie).

She frowns, however, the knight was being all serious, and of course, violent now. Knights are want to do that, their honor and stuff...really, they should just relax...Helena could make her relax...given enough time and patience. The thought is a distracting one, as suddenly HELECOPTER! She looks at the odd machine, different than anything from her world. She looks interested, putting a finger to her chin to give it a once over. Interesting...

However, her allies are not fairing so well, she frowns at this. Swords cut down on them, breaking their skin and maiming their flesh. Helena gets goosebumps by just watching, but she controls herself today, again...buisness before pleasure. Helena dances, avoiding blows and combat, before she pokes Faruja.

The wounds start to close, injuries reverse themselves...but the flesh that takes it's place is...corpse like, it is discolored and just plain dead looking. It is unseemly, and it is probably a little disconcerning...but it just seems to be a visual effect...Faruja doesn't feel iller...just...odd.

Ophilia gets a similar poke, though the effects on her skin will be different, given her status. This turns to be a surprise to Helena, but she doesn't say anything.

"Now now! Not so quickly! Back on your feet! The fight is far from over!"
Ophelia Zack's flashy entrance is difficult to miss and the sly Inquisitor is not one to underestimate the threats that her opponents might pose. Belittle, perhaps, but never underestimate.

Ophelia steps back as the boot impacts with her knee instead of her gut, her vampiric reflexes intercepting the attempt to gain the upperhand of their short clash. She turns to face this new threat as he sails overhead and the blue fire that comes crashing down at her in a steel brutish wedge is met by the sleek and elegant curve of her katana. In a match of pure power the Eastern blade has no hope of winning but the masterful craft of the one who wields it allows for ways to deal with such shortcomings.

Ophelia angles her sword to deflect the strike by pushing it to the side just barely enough to miss her agile form and she rolls with the momentum of the strike just as Zack does, flipping into the air and over the windmilling edge of the massive sword. She is caught in midair by the hail of bullets, impossibly defying physics in a way that the SOLDIER might find eerily similar to his own powers. Her twin blades create an impenetrable wall of flashing steel that even the overwhelming rate of fire of the twin gatling guns cannot seem to penetrate.

Unfortunately for the young woman this distraction is enough to absorb the majority of her attention, pressing the weak measure of supernatural skill that she has allowed to flow through her body to its limits. Artemis is almost unopposed when she blinks into position beside the falling Inquisitor and her blade carves deeply into the light armor that adorns her frame. The first slash decimates one of the pauldrons, shattering it in twain and sending a burst of blood up where the blade bites into her flesh below.

Grimacing openly, Ophelia swings about to counter the next strike with a hard clatter of rattling blades and the next... only to find that it is a feint. She leans back at the last moment and Artemis' powerful slash leans a thin trail of red across her pale neck that immeidately begins to bead with tiny red dots.

Ophelia staggers backwards and sheathes her swords, allowing her fingers to go to the painful wound at her neck. Blood drips from her fingers as she holds it up to see but instead of getting angry she merely laughs outloud. "Ahahaha! Well done! First blood... goes to you." She casually licks the sticky red ichor from her fingertips even as Helena's dark touch causes the managled flesh of her arm to stitch itself back together.

"My thanks," she offers over her shoulder. "Hmm, your talents are... intriguing. Perhaps we should have a more.. private discussion in the future."

Business first, as they say. Ophelia circles about, putting both Zack and Artemis at her fore and giving them both another bow. "Now then, shall we continue?" Her hands both reach for a different blade and in a flash two more of the katana are whipped out of their sheathes. The samurai rushes directly at Zack first, unleashing a blinding flurry of slashes that seem to leave little room to dodge or escape. Then she turns, knowing that Artemis is likely to attempt to strike at her exposed backside and both swords carve a V-shaped arc into the air, slicing down and then up to push her blade away and then strike on the rebound.
Faruja Senra Faruja's teeth grit. Damnit. Why must the Beolve be /right/ once more? He swiftly goes silent, anger dissipating somewhat, before muttering. "No, I suppose not. Curse this world that sees fit to place duty against those better made allies."

Faruja's concentration is then utterly destroyed by hands upon his back. Laughing and wiggling, he very nearly falls to his knees from the chi-enhancing tickle attack.

"M...M'Lady, cease! 'Tis hardly the time for..." Pause. Squint. At the antics of their sellsword, he simply sighs.

"...Oh, Katey, I miss the others." Mutters the rat. It was so much simpler back in Burmecia.

Claws clench his blade even as shards of ice gather, entombing him before a rather familiar sword of lightning bisects his icey tomb. Shaking bloody ice, and most of the right side of his armor off along with it, he manages a glare in Agrias' direction.

Cough! "/Disgrace/!? Knave! My kind knew honor well before humanity ever did! 'Tis for that very honor that I /joined/ the Church! Duty, strength, and loyalty to one's country, M'Lady!" He continues, the woman seemingly having hit a raw nerve.

"...Mayhap I have much to learn of it. However, to throw such stones is to insult the Order of Shrine Knights, as well as my people! And /that/ I shan't abide by!"

A helicopter rains down fire, neatly shattering the rat's rant. All in perfect timing, as Agrias' efforts allow the dancer to get in close!

He's a little too preoccupied to return the salute, however, Faruja does nod towards Margaux...then her blade cuts in, worsening the wounds given him by Agrias. She might notice him slowing, blood loss weakening him, even as he tries to deflect her attacks. It does little, and he's soon sent back by her kick.

"...Nor I. Is this truly the path that you desire? I..." Faruja had hoped the two could work together. Indeed, the Templar looks pained to find himself fighting the woman.

Faruja's flesh knits together. Yet...something feels odd. Frowning, the rat can only spare it a glance, before leaping into the air towards Agrias.

Faruja's body glows, gathering holy power as he floats near the treetops. Aiming downwards, he falls in that controlled way Dragoons often are capable of, spearpoint aimed for her chest. Hit or miss, when he lands, all of that holy power ignites and explodes around the ratling; gouging earth if not fellow Holy Knight.

"Now down with ye!"
Ramza Beoulve Thinking on his feet, he decided that whatever Helena was doing to them, was empowering them, healing them. He still didn't know what to make of the lady, but he decided it was time to test her capabilities.

Glancing over his shoulder, he'd nod to /his/ Helena. He'd then raise a hand, "Strike the Ground with Glittering Blades." Power would gather in it, and a bolt of lightning would arc down from conjured dark clouds, striking through her body, causing her to stun and spasm.

Ramza would then strike his fist against the ground, using a simple trick to force his Chi into the soil, while using a Geomancer's trick to force the soil upwards. The resulting combination would cause a shockwave to careen towards her in a line, pummeling and pounding her rocks, clods of soil, and plant matter, destroying her footing.

And then /his/ Helena at the same time would use her far more skilled Geomancer's tricks to use the now broken up soil to create a quicksand like trap, sinking /their/ Helena into the ground, up to her waist. They perhaps were hoping to take her out of the fight by trapping her in the ground.

He'd call out to the others with him. "/Noone/ dies today. Take them alive!"

He realizes that they would not be likely to offer them the same mercy, but nevertheless, it is his way.
Margaux Fleury Many things are happening at once and Margaux de Fleury is struggling to keep up with it all. Energy orbs explode one way while swords clash elsewhere. Magics are used to help and heal while maybe allies fight against perhaps enemies. The dancer can't help but be awed by the escalation of this ambush and the power of those fighting.

But not all seems to be well for their side when Zack gets dealt a rather harsh counter-attack in response to his flash entrance. He might need some help, but what could the blade dancer do?

Oh. Right. She could always dance.

Faruja gets a look now as he focuses on the swordswoman who fights alongside her. "Messire, I did not intend for our first dance together to be under such circumstances. Fate can be cruel, no?" The armored redhead sheathes her rapier and raises her hands above her head once more. She dances again, but this dance is for her allies and not her enemies. Hopefully, her graceful moves will inspire Zack and Agrias to move in a similar manner. That way they too could avoid with a little touch of a dancer's grace.
Zack Fair She's not an amateur swordsman. She's not a SOLDIER, but she's not an amateur. Zack doesn't bother trying to escape - he knows better than that. He's a much more skilled swordsman than his attitude would suggest; as the blades slash across him, his arms go flying up to block. One of the blades clangs off his armor; the rest dig into his flesh, drawing his mako-charged blood.

"You Church guys talk too much."

Zack skids back. But the man is nothing but energy and drive, nothing but kinetic force exploding in all directions. Even as the trail of blood follows him, his motions don't stop, can't stop, never stop. He's bleeding badly, but he's bled worse.

Margaux's magical dance doesn't help the man's bundle of explosive force. Quite the contrary; he's sped up, moving even faster than he was before. Any attempt to keep him in front of Ophelia is going to end in tragedy. Zack leaps and bounds like a spring-heeled Zack, spinning and flipping over her head constantly despite the immense weight of his blade.

His feet brush across the ground for an instant, and he's off, shooting across the ground directly at Ophelia. His eyes flash for a brief instant as his sword glows with magical light, swinging up along his side.

There's a pause.

Then Zack is on the other side of her, spinning his sword once back into its sheath. The itself...behind him seems to crack, and Zack tilts his head back over his shoulder.

Agrias Oaks "Knave! KNAVE!?" Agrias shouts in fury as Faruja addresses her and in response to his points she yells, "Honor, faith and devotion! I care little for your titles! Your order of knights! I have seen the truth! A title does not make a person a knight! It does not mean you actually follow the code of a knight!"

As the Bermucian leaps into the air, Agrias looks up warily, her sword gleaming brightly in the darkness, seemingly growing brighter and brighter. Looking up at him, she thunders over the sounds around her, "You have let your honor be discarded by those you serve! Your faith has been tainted by the shadows that have taken over the church! You are devoted to darkness!"

Flicking her sword, a flaming blade appears where she is standing, serving as a distraction of sorts and she lunges to the side in a roll, narrowly avoiding the impact of Faruja's blow and the small crater resulting. Coming up on her knees, her hand swings her sword out to the side and she calls, "Divine light! Show this poor creature the error of his ways!" Brilliant rays of white energy erupt, piercing the area near where Faruja had landed.
Artemis Eurus He sure does wield that giant blade effectively, doesn't he? Artemis could laugh to see the absurd and uncanny way that weapon is put to battle, not to mention the sudden HELICOPTER.

While she is glad to see him fight, a duel would have suited her nicely. Ah well. Another time perhaps.

Artemis regards this strange woman, and as she laughs and looks to the blood on her fingers Artemis' lips part in a smile of her own. This woman is insane.
Pot and kettle.

She notes then how some of the injuries she just inflicted are patched up by Ophelia's companion--but it is not white magic. Artemis' smiles fades.

Ophelia is back in action, going for Zack first--when Ophelia turns to attack Artemis, who she presumes to find at her flank, there is no one there. Artemis took this small moment to check on her charge. To her relief and pleasure, Ramza is doing just fine. Keeping Ophelia is perhaps the best strategy for the time being.

The green gaze of the masked woman turns back to watch Zack and Ophelia clash. He's been hurt, but she is quite sure it will not slow him. Indeed it does not. He flies around like a ping-pong ball, bringing a smile to her face. Artemis prefers to keep her feet on the ground or at least near it, she supposes.

Once there is an opening to the front of Ophelia, Artemis charges in again, feinting with a low horizontal strike to her knees only to adjust her grip quickly and bring the pommel of her blade brutally upward to try to catch Ophelia beneath the chin. The samurai then bends like a tree in the wind, flexible and strong, bringing her leg up and around into a spinning inside crescent kick to the head.

Back on her feet, slaps one hand against the flat of her blade and the katana bursts into flame before she slashes forward in a wide downward arc that blazes with a blinding light.
Faruja Senra "All the moreso with every passing dawn, M'Lady. 'Tis enough to make men and nezumi alike fear to be swallowed by the morning's light and what it would bring." Responds the rat, perhaps a little sadly.

First Ramza, then Agrias. Some small thought catches in the back of Faruja's head, much like the time with Katyna and Ramza. The beams of heavenly light that seek to sear his flesh hardly register at first as the gears in his head twirl. What would cause such an obviously devoted woman such conviction against the Church? As well as Ramza? Are they both merely insane? Was the Beolve's tongue truly so silver? Even for the devoted knight, something isn't adding up.

Any response the rat has is eaten by a scream as pain registers, and the all too familiar power of Holy Explosion tears through the Templar. Yet it's the fires of her blazing holy sword that has the rat clutching at himself, ripping off burning bandages to save his already burnt and pained arm. Screaming and self-preservation take hold, the ratling eventually getting the flames out as he tries to not let old fears and memories assault him.

Nor does he forget his allies. Glancing to Ophelia as she falls, he directs a healing wave of spells towards her, in the hopes of sending her back to her feet!
Ophelia Ophelia turns to face the SOLDIER upon finding that her other opponent has failed to take the obvious opening, though from the direction of Artemis' gaze it seems that her actions are the product of pointless worry for her allies rather that keen tactical planning. The Inquisitor makes a face and clucks her tongue, bringing both sword about to continue striking at the spikey-haired man with the gaint sword but even as she turns he sails overhead which forces her to spin in a circle that throws her offbalance just to try and keep him within view.

In her current state, the vampire is unable to keep up with his magically assisted movements, the majority of her powers sealed away to avoid accidentally revealing her nature. She didn't expect to face such foes here or she would have come alone so that she could unleash her full unholy might upon these heretics.

Zack bounces freely about overhead several times until the moment is right. His feet touch the ground and the SOLDIER zips past her, pausing dramatically as the powerful technique rips through the air and into her body. Ophelia doubles over in subdued pain as a massive gash shatters the ornate plates across her chest. The lamellar armor dangles in two halves from its bindings at her shoulders and sides, clearly not designed to withstand such powerful blows.

Ophelia lets out a muffled grunt of agony and falls to one knee. But she's not entirely defeated yet. Her primary blade lashes out to counter Artemis as she comes in for the kill but the reverse-handed pommel smash catches her square in the jaw and sends her reeling. With no leverage to use she is powerless to stop the deadly kick that comes swinging into her head like a hammer.

The vampire's sight bursts into a swirl of flashing lights when she hits the ground and rolls for several feet, giving only a final defiant glare up at the other woman before the blade slashes into her chest and she collapses into an unconscious heap.

Faruja's holy magic covers the fallen warrior woman in bright light but rather than knitting her flesh and rousing her to consciousness once more the pale skin seems to degrade even further. The areas around her wounds look particularly awful, shriveling up and atrophying at an accelerated rate is if decaying before their very eyes but the strange blight doesn't seem to spread beyond that. Ophelia herself does not respond to the healing, remaining passively slumped over in the dirt.
Helena Celba Helena is a bit surprised when the ground itself opens up!

Slammed by the very earth itself, she lets out a surprised squeek, and a bit of an agonized cry when it crushes her. She is held by earth, but she breathes calmly...relaxing her body...and then with a bit of effort, the woman litterally PULLS herself out of the ground, as it seals on her, and is back on her feet with a bit of a annoyed look. However, Ophelia is cut down, and she winces slightly.

Faruja heals her, and she winces even more... did he not know? How did he not...she thinks about this, interesting...very interesting.

Slowly, she turns towards Faruja, noting that they are...basicly alone against a large force. There was nothing for her on the line here, and while she is basicly ready to cut loose...there was no reason to.

"Well then, I think we're done here. I'm going to tend to the ladies wounds, I am guessing you'll want to be bounding her up," she says, and waves a hand as she moves to Ophi's side...trying to stablize her form.

She whispers, "Oh no release for you yet, you are far too useful to me." She says, with a giggle.
Ramza Beoulve And so, Ophelia falls. Ramza did not witness the failed attempt at healing by Faruja to follow, having been focused on Helena.

And then she announces her intent to quit the field.

Well she was a sellsword after all, what else should he expect? She had no stake in this other than whatever wages her /boss/ was paying her. "Then be away. Tell your employer that we're not preyed upon so easily."

Well, that just left Faruja. And he knew that despite Agrias' accusations of dishonor against him, that he would never leave a fallen foe, in fact, he might fight to the death.

And so he advances on Faruja from the front, with his sword sheathed. "I've said it before, Ser Senra, I don't want to harm you..."

And then he'd aim a haymaker punch right at his jaw. " I ask that you forgive me for this..." He'd duck low, under any impending counterswings, before he began to repeatedly attempt to pummel the Burmecian with his fists, as they barrage came faster, and faster, pouncing his face, and mid-section. While he was armored, Ramza's fists were mailed, and with chi enhancements to each blow, he would feel it even through his platemail. "...but believe it or not, this is for your own good. I won't have you dying here!"
Margaux Fleury Margaux's inspirational dance finishes with a spin that leaves the dancer's arms spread out to her sides. At the same time, she takes a leisurely step backwards in order to finish her theatric stage bow. Hostilities had seemingly ceased and the dancer makes no move to wield her rapier any further. The weapon is left in its sheath and the Death Corps Dancer stands up properly so that she can get a better look of the battlefield.

Faruja gets a slight frown. That sure looked as if that would have hurt. Margaux wishes no further hostilities on the Templar and so she does not make any move to chase after him. Hopefully, he will manage to escape. She rather liked Messire Zealot afterall.

And then Ramza attacks Faruja.

The redhead taps a finger against her chin. Margaux was ready to let Faruja simply withdraw, but that was indeed a course of action to take as well. She can only shrug her shoulders before taking a deep breath now that the curtain has set on her part in this performance.
Agrias Oaks Agrias sheathes her sword slowly after a glance at Faruja. After being cleansed by the righteous fury of the heavens, he doesn't appear to have much left in him at the moment, and she's not going to kill him. Though it looks like Ramza might! But, no, really, the blonde knight understands. And she approves, somewhat. If they can afford to keep a prisoner in the camp, they likely should. She looks towards Helena and Ophelia, then back to Ramza, "Orders?"
Ramza Beoulve And after one final haymaker to Faruja's jaws, before he waves out his hand, massaging his bruised knuckles. "Take them both alive. Its time for Ser Senra to know the truth."
Artemis Eurus Artemis twirls her blade, droplets of blood dashed from the blade. She watches the other samurai fall. The masked blonde is quite sure they will meet again. Frowning, she steps back to let Helena stabilize the wounds of Ophelia, but...something is quite wrong. What is happening to the flesh there is /not/ natural.

Artemis looks up then to find Ramza apologizing to Faruja--then slugging him mercilessly. Or, as Ramza would see it, mercifully. As Artemis hears his orders, she nods, though she's unsure about this plan. She will not voice her misgivings just now. "I'll leave her to you," she says to Zack, then moves over to assist Ramza with Faruja, close enough now to speak with him quietly. "There is something off about the samurai. The way her wounds react....are you sure about this?"
Faruja Senra Woefully ignorant of his superior's 'condition', he's in little condition himself to peer at her wounds. All he knows is that Ramza's blows, particularly given that a majority of his armor's been reduced to little more than sharp pointy bits on the ground thanks to Agrias' holy explosion, really hurt. Struck in the face, jaw, and chest, he falls down with a heavy thud. The smell of burnt fur wafts off of him.

Going silent for a moment, Ramza would then be greeted with a squeaking snarl. If there's one thing that's defined the rat, it's pure stubborn will. A foot comes up, aimed neatly at Ramza's face. Dragoons kick hard, particularly Burmecian ones.

"...Do check...*cough*...if thy opponent is unconscious." Still, he's now without a weapon thanks to Agrias' heavenly wrath...and looking barely awake as it is. One little tap could do it!

"M'Lady, take the Inquisitor and run!"
Helena Celba Helena looks up...

Well, then...

She stands up, and walks towards Faruja, the Heretics are rocking him, but if this keeps up he is likely to kill himself, and she just doesn't have the patience to sew his body back together. This is...really annoying, they need to get to the part where she can mercilessly hit on these people, so she can at least enjoy herself until Souji gets to have their meeting with them. She takes a breath...

And then dashes right towards Faruja, "You are already tickled."

Lets slow this down...

Helena pikes Faruja multiple times, before stopping...


Faruja will get the experienced of being tickled for twenty minutes straight. At once.
Zack Fair Zack moves in between the New Zodiac Braves, Ophelia, and Faruja. He holds up his hand, his sword sheathed.

"You guys. Let 'em go."

Zack puts his hands on his hips and tilts his head to the side. As Faruja snaps out to kick Ramza, Zack turns around, reaching to grab the foot with his own hands; the dragoon's foot is mighty, and Zack goes skidding backwards against Ramza. He doubles over a bit, a groan on his lips. "Ow...nice kick, man."

He straightens, rubbing his stomach. Then he presses his hands together and grins, the wind kicking up around him. "Listen. Don't worry, okay? We're not gonna hurt you. We're gonna let you guys go. Lemme give you a little help to get you back on your feet, and then you guys can get outta here."

The wind suddenly becomes a gentle, calming breeze. White magic fills the field, unusual white magic of the sort that those who have never met Aerith Gainsborough couldn' possibly know. It's a peaceful breeze, supplementing Zack's peaceful smile.
Artemis Eurus After a conversation over Linkpearl, Artemis stands beside Ramza, ready to take the kick that Zack takes first. Well, alright.

It seems they have talked Ramza out of capture. She feels that it is best, and she hopes she and Zack are correct.

"Leave, Ser Senra, with your life and your honor. We'll meet again," she says, watching as Zack casts a cure spell. Tch, she wished she had that ability.

Artemis looks around then. "Are all well?"
Agrias Oaks Agrias Oaks frowns, her expression dour. She still holds her scabbard in one hand, and her other hand rests upon the hilt of her sword. She remains silent now, watching the movements of their fatigued assailants and letting Ramza and the rest decide what to do.
Ophelia As before the healing winds have the opposite effect on the vampire's necrotic flesh than what Zack might have hoped. Her veins become dark and pronounced as the flesh begins to grow glossy and pale. Her skin peels away in a few places, creating broken ravines of visible raw muscle.

Ophelia gasps in her 'sleep' and coughs a burst of dark ichor flows through her lips, trickling down the side of her chin. The flesh around her wounds grows even worse, bits and pieces dropping away in wet clumps like a mass of leperous disease. Obviously whatever is going on here, healing magic isn't helping.
Ramza Beoulve Ramza Beoulve sucks in a deep breath as a radio conversation occurs, but then his shoulders sag.

He looks Faruja right in his eye.. and the Burmecian lashes out with a vicious kick before he can explain that they've decided to let them go. Zack would interpose himself and take it for them. "Thank you, Ser Fair."

And then he'd continue speaking to Faruja. "Ser Fair is correct. We're letting all of you go. I.. wanted to show you why I fight, but you would not believe me, even if I did, wouldn't you?"

He'd walk over to the fallen vampire, lifting her ragged form up, before carrying her over to Faruja, who is now on the ground in a giggle fit from all the tickling.

He'd lay down Ophelia gently, beside him. "So preserve your honor, and leave, Ser Senra. Though I ask that you do not speak of this to Shrine Knight LeBlue. Report to whomever else may have ordered this."
Margaux Fleury With all the talk over the linkshell and in person, Margaux thought that she might have to intervene herself. But, thanks to Zack and cooler minds, things work out the way she wanted them to. The Dancer wanted Faruja to escape as that is why she did pursue after him. Margaux only waves towards the Templar. "Farewell Messire! Perhaps our next dance will not be so deadly." She calls out cheerfully with a smirk coming late onto her face.
Zack Fair Zack points at Ophelia awkwardly. "That wasn't what I thought was gonna happen. ...s-sorry."
Helena Celba Helena sighs...

Freeking seriously?!

"Okay, like, seriously? Is paying attention to hard?" she asks Zack. She rolls her eyes, it is like...nobody is paying attention. She walks over, AGAIN, to Ophelia, and kneels near her, placing a hand on her and reconstructing her. AGAIN.

Enough to stablize, but not to get her back on her feet because she doesn't have the amount of mana to spare.
Artemis Eurus There is always one name that can bring a shiver to her spine. Artemis closes her eyes and takes a deep breath, shoving down the urge to follow Faruja back to Louis.

The samurai sheaths her blade and opens her eyes to look at the palms of her hands, twin scars greeting her.

Faruja Senra "...An excellent block." Returns the Templar, before the man speaks of letting them go. "Mayhap you are unfamiliar with the Order of Temple Knights, then? We are not in the habit of surrendering. 'Twould be my duty to fight so long as I am able." Artemis, too, asks him to flee.

Struggling to his feet even with the healing, he walks over to Ophelia. Only once Helena is done, does he speak.

"...However, to defend one's allies is a higher duty even than that. Until we meet again." Pause. Faruja finds himself peering at the odd wounds of his superior, before incantations spill from his muzzle.

White light encircles himself and the Inquisitor, Faruja's warp spell whisking them away where Arista picks them up.
Helena Celba Helena makes a look...

She reaches down the front of her outfit, and procures a small bottle, "Feed this to her once you get to safety. It will restore her, given time." She says, and places the thing into Faruja's hand.

She thens tands up, bouncing towards the others, "Alright, well, I guess I have switched sides. Oh well~"

This scene contained 58 poses. The players who were present were: Faruja Senra, Margaux Fleury, Ramza Beoulve, Ophelia, Artemis Eurus, Zack Fair, Helena Celba, Agrias Oaks