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Mission: Mugwort
(2014-03-02 - 2014-03-02)
Beneath the shifting dunes of the Bare Desert south of Fluorgis, down where the sand thickens into stone, tortuous tunnels snake, their dark stillness a refuge for strange life forms. Upon these crumbling cylindrical walls, bioluminescent mosses grow, ekeing out survival from the scarce nutrients in this arid earth. Sandworm larvae feed off these mosses, and in turn are fed upon by man-sized sand crabs, near invisible as they lurk in the sand and shadows. But most dangerous of all are those sandworms which endure til their carapaces harden to diamond strength and they grow to preposterous size, going on to create more tunnels such as these and heedlessly collapse those in which they were born. Those mosses and parasites and precious stones which cling to the backs of these full-grown sandworms are carried with them, to eventually begin the cycle anew. But more creatures are symbiotic on the life of the sandworm than just these. Within one of these capricious tunnels our heroes now wander, seeking one such creature in particular: the omnivorous Mugwort.
Ivo Galvan Mission Mugwort has commenced.

Beneath the shifting dunes of the Bare Desert south of Fluorgis, down where the sand thickens into stone, tortuous tunnels snake, their dark stillness a refuge for strange life forms. Upon these crumbling cylindrical walls, bioluminescent mosses grow, ekeing out survival from the scarce nutrients in this arid earth. Sandworm larvae feed off these mosses, and in turn are fed upon by man-sized sand crabs, near invisible as they lurk in the sand and shadows. But most dangerous of all are those sandworms which endure til their carapaces harden to diamond strength and they grow to preposterous size, going on to create more tunnels such as these and heedlessly collapse those in which they were born. Those mosses and parasites and precious stones which cling to the backs of these full-grown sandworms are carried with them, to eventually begin the cycle anew. But more creatures are symbiotic on the life of the sandworm than just these.

Within one of these capricious tunnels our heroes now wander, seeking one such creature in particular: the omnivorous Mugwort.

Ivo steps forward cautiously, sensitive to the occasional trembling of the tunnel walls, indication of sandworms passing far in the distance. The Shard Seeker Device dangles before him, illuminated by the glow of the moss around, pointing resolutely forward. This consistency is novel. The Device remains malfunctioning, unable to properly detect World Shards, though Ivo tends not to widely share this fact. Instead, it has a tendency to point toward concentrations of magical potential, such as caches of treasure or dangerous monsters. Unfortunately, it remains impossible to tell the /difference/ between monsters and treasure.

But in this case, it doesn't matter.

"Remember," Ivo murmurs, "the Mugwort spreads its vines far long the ceilings of tunnels and caverns, so its light-sensitive tendrils extend far beyond the main body, and carry back whatever parasites and minerals it can grab from the backs of sandworms." The other hand holds Hauteclare, its blade rubbed black with particulate matter. "As long as we can make it to the main plant, we can acquire the seed pod we need. But we have to be careful of those special tendrils, and of the sand crabs that sometimes hide amongst them."

The 'monster' in this case is something of a hoarder.

"Don't let the Mugwort mug you, friends."
Faruja Senra "Follow the glowing plant life, try not to get thrust into compromising or lethal positions by harmful plant life, and attempt to not be devoured by sand crabs before acquiring a plant's seed." Summarizes Faruja rather swiftly. Frown. Shrug.

"...Never in my life would I hath thought I would be upon such an errand. Ahh, well, if naught else ye keep me from death by boredom, Ser Galvan. Onwards and forwards, dear friends, no godless plant nor carnivorous crab shalt stop us from our, hmm. Bah, we art an adventuring company. TO GLORY!" Faruja shakes his spear forward, and follows the glowing vines onwards, tail flicking behind him, voice echoing nicely beneath the sand. Hopefully Ivo wasn't counting on stealth.
Mir Clarence "Ergh..." Came the grossed out grumble of a certain fairy girl accompanying the group. That girl would be Mir Clarence, their employer. Now, it probably would have been a better idea for her to wait in Fluorgis, but...well, her business was ground to a halt without this special ingredient. There was literally no point sitting around and doing nothing when she wouldn't be making money anyway.

And so here she was, plodding through the caverns with the other Shard Seekers...and company.

But these dank caverns left plenty to be desired. "...Why couldn't it have grown somewhere less gross?" Mir asked aloud, though to no one in particular, edging away from a wall seemingly slathered with some sort of slimy, moss substance. She sure as hell didn't want to touch any of that. Not if she had a choice!

She wore a sturdier outfit for this trip. A dress and vest of deep blue, mired with zippers. Surely they must have served some purpose. Her shoes were similarly colored, and her arms were protected by a pair of long gloves. A simple white underskirt peeked out below to complete the outfit. Must have been her travel clothing.

She held no weapon.

Probably a dumb idea, but she wasn't a fighter anyway, so bleh!

Mir's eyes fell upon the two who spoke previously, eyes settling first on the Burmecian. ...Well, they weren't a huge surprise to her. But it was rare to see one decked out in...Ivalician armor? She couldn't be sure. In any case, the way the knight carried himself caused the girl to shy away a bit, now just a few steps behind Ivo and his still less than spectacular cape. His joke about Mugwort mugging people drew an exasperated sigh from her.

"Why don't we let it mug you and take that dusty rug off your back? You could use a new one."
Emi Dennou Emi Dennou has come on her lonesome today in order to muck around with SHard Seekers and possibly get a chance at the Mugwort's stash. Sure, the Mugwort might mug her, but she's poor. The Mugwort's probably rich! Maybe she can feed her annoyingly sized family. Or buy them more clothing options. For some reason costumes are more expensive than super weapons of doom sometimes.

She has her rifle with her, but is otherwise unarmed. She is quiet for the moment, too.

Because she's staring in awe at the fairy.
Jean Faraven Jean Faraven says, "That about matches our intelligence on them as well." Jean's gruff, gravelly voice came on the heels of Ivo's debriefing on Mugwort with conditional approval. "You've got more problems than a few lifted items if the vines manage to get a hold of you though." The lit end of the Hound's cigar provided vague, swaying cue to the mercenary's position in the party's rear vanguard, ensconced amidsts the darkness, "They're tenacious. A surface root once got a hold of one our APCs as it drove overhead-must've gone more than 15 yalms before noticed we'd been ripping up everything behind us. Had to scrap that whole axle." A puff of smoke wafted down the tunnel at the end of story, and Jean kept his eye trained on Ivo's back up ahead.

The infamous SeeD instructor had join for reasons largely opaque-seeming, though his desire to help out the Shardseekers seemed genuine enough. His steps were careful and perfectly in tune with Garden's rules of engagement for subterranean warfare, eye and ears alike peeled for even most minute disturbance. The rest of the part's banter washes over him without comment-he's got to be ready for trouble.

Anubis was drawn and ready at the seasoned fighter's side-it's darksteel burnished less poised to provoking any unwanted response from their quarry. Still, a liberal layer of dust has been applied to it just in case."
Ivo Galvan "You summarize well, Ser Senra," Ivo remarks, unable to suppress the upturning of the corners of his lips. "Your exposition is outmatched only by your gallantry." Even as Faruja's zealous outburst invalidates the need for stealth, Ivo just grins, as ever preferring amusement at the expense of strategy. But within his lively eyes is, as ever, real affection. He's grateful for Faruja's company on this strange venture. "I live to divert you, of course." In more ways than one. "But this venture serves to restore our sailing vessel, and facilitate more righteous pursuits."

Could be righteous, anyway. In theory. Why not?

"Mocking my cloak... how nostalgic. Never fear, Ms. Clarence," the erstwhile knight assures, privately all the more amused that Mir veers away from Faruja and toward him. Appearances can deceive, my dear. "This dusty rug of mine will be the first to be sacrificed, should any stray tendrils snake your way. Though I would be honored if, should that occur, you'd offer me a substitute. Do your nimble fingers weave as well as bake? For some reason, costumes are more expensive than super weapons of doom sometimes." She seems nervous, as well she should be, so Ivo tries to keep her talking. It's the nice thing to do.

Besides, teasing her is inherently enjoyable.

"All well over there... Emi?" Ivo tries to pass off the brief pause with a little stretching of his neck, to demonstrate that he didn't at all hesitate over which sister was with them this time. Look, sure Emi's the one who usually kicks it with them, but it's been a while. "How fares the Network? Any, uh, electro-magnetic vibrations in the vicinity? Or just vibrations? Say, caused by passing sandworms?" If she's got any sensitivity to the proximity of the beasts, that'd be quite helpful. If not, she's still got that friggin' rifle.

And even if he can't get any intel from the Legion, the grizzled master is here. Information is always best dispensed in the form of a 'back in my day during the war' narrative. Ivo listens intently, still a little awed by Jean's presence. "I'll keep that in mind." 'Good thing I didn't bring my APCs!' he decides not to say. But there's one thought he can't quite repress. "Er, Sir Faraven, are... are you smoking? In an underground tunnel?" Within moments, however, it ceases to matter.

The tunnel begins to broaden, until it opens entirely into a vast cavern and a spectacular sight. The walls are patterned with glowing moss, looking like the playful art of some child god, revealing that the ceiling above is festooned with vines. Most are green and simple and dangle down, some reaching the floor. But other vines are striped with red and twitch menacingly, occasionally lashing out automatically at the glowing moss on the walls, producing a sharp whip-crack sound. The floor below--


--is one vast sinkhole, sand slowly pouring into what appears an endless void, preventing passage to the continuation of the tunnel on the opposite side of the cavern. Simply walking across is not an option. But the light-sensitive 'hunter vines' above pose their own problem. And with the occasional faint rustle, some may espy a sand-colored pincer or two poking out from behind patches of those vines, revealing the sand crabs clinging to the ceiling.

"We've got to get all of us across," Ivo murmurs. Eyes narrowed, he reaches out to speculatively tug one of the normal green vines that hang low; it stays fast. "If we use the safe vines and the walls, and don't show the hunter vines any light, we should be able to climb or swing across. But if there are crabs hiding up there too, and they catch us while we're climbing..." He glances around his allies. "We'll have to pick them off in advance as we cross. Hey, Reize! Job for a hunter!" He turns toward the darkness from whence they came. "Reize? How'd the rear guard go? Didn't get lost, did you? Ha ha! Ha."


"As anticipated," he mutters under his breath, "more or less."
Faruja Senra Faruja Senra has never seen a fairy before, and he can't help but catch the occasional curious glance to the tiny woman. This is probably a bad idea when he's more or less acting as the damage-soaking member of the party.

There's smiles involved, though. Smile! Friendly Templar-armored rat! Guaranteed not to burn you for Heresy! Really!

"Worry naugh, M'Lady, this is nothing! Why, one time, Ser Seatlan's...erm.../imaginative and unique/ map-reading skills led us deep into the sewers of Fluorgis. Whereupon part of its maintenance tunnels collapsed. With my armor, well..." Do the math. Faruja had to have that particular set melted down and reforged to get rid of the stench.

"In short, it could hardly get worse than a bit slime, hmm?" Someone had to say it.

There's also a Dennou, and a rather competent sounding man adding on to Ivo's words. Faruja gives several nods in appropriate, polite places. Wince. "...let us pray then, that 'tis not we whom need scrapping" Sigh.

"Never boring indeed." A glance back, and a Dennou has a rifle. Already, the rat's looking a little more confident with cover fire at the ready.

"Now, now, Ser Galvan, ye art fit to see me blush! These sorts of things /do/ appeal to our young squires, ye know. Why, one time..." Ivo's words deftly interrupt another story from the Burmecian. "...Truly?" His voice is hopeful, if suspicious. He /knows/ you, Ivo Galvan. The smile he wears all but promises he'll be there.

Sinkholes. Hungry vines. And an utter inability to just leap across. The dragoon just looks /irritated/ at this point. "Hath I ever told ye lot that I /hate/ caves. No rain, no proper sky to just leap into." Mutter mutter. Then, he's turning back to try to spy Reize.

"If he appears on the other side ahead of us, I /SWEAR/ I shalt swat him senseless." Faruja starts trying to spy a decently safe path across, peering up at little crab-pincers above.
Emi Dennou Emi Dennou is still staring at fairy. Sure, she's grumbling. Sure, she's complaining. But by god, she's still a fairy and that's all that matters in Emi's eyes. Through that blank, passive stare, the heart stirs--aye! She is subsumed by adoration and love for a creature she had never seen before, but always longed to. Not enough to actually listen to what she's saying, of course, just knowing that there are tiny people with wings is enough for her.

She sighs, happily, and says, "Yes." to Ivo. And ugh he has more questions. "Well." and then. "Sure."

Very helpful there Emi. She is not so inattentive that she ends up walking into a giant sinkhole, but she does stop, and look towards the vines, and then frowns. She supposes it's her duty to let Faruja be the guinea pig.
Mir Clarence The mention of 'stray tendrils snaking her way' caused Mir to clam up and shudder. She most definitely was just assaulted by a horrible mention image. "S-Shut up! Don't jinx it!" Pouting angrily, Mir averted her eyes. "That's the last thing I need today!" Taking a deep breath after, Mir crossed her arms and tried to settle down. "...Weave?" She asked, tilting her head a little. "...Mmn..." Thinking for a bit, the fairy gazed upwards, soon realizing that was a mistake at the sight above.


Grimacing, Mir looked on ahead and finally answered. "Y-Yes, I can sew..." She seemed rather hesitant about it, but made no further mention of it. "Not that it's any of your business anyway!" Whoops, the attitude came back.

At that moment, she could swear something was boring holes into her back. Feeling a shiver run up her spine, Mir slowly turned her head a bit to look, finding some girl staring at her. Oh, it was her. They were only briefly introduced. Deciding to ignore it, the girl looked on ahead and kept on walking.

"......" Until the feeling became too much. Looking directly at Emi now, she frowned suspiciously and spoke. "W-What are you staring so hard for!? Can I help you?" But then that same 'stared at' feeling came from another direction. Hearing Faruja speak, Mir turned to look, assuming she was being addressed. ".....I guess." She mumbled in response to his story about Reize's genius escapades in Fluorgis' sewers. Boy, she was glad she wasn't there. "...That doesn't mean it's not still gross though." She wasn't going to concede on that point.

Jean, of course, still intimidated the girl. Which of course made her steer clear a couple steps away. She was trusting of his skills, but how to even talk to the man? Thinking back on their first meeting at the Shard Seeker's HQ just caused her to get embarrassed all over again. Oh god, was she blushing? No! Get away! Go home blush, you're not needed today!

What the others would see was a rather amusing sight of the small girl frantically rubbing her face to try and get rid of her embarrassment.

...That's not how it works.

Finally arriving at the sinkhole, Mir paused and stared down into it, ".....Seriously?" Now she was glad she wasn't an adventurer. "Um...I can fly, but...that doesn't really help you guys, does it?" She mentioned casually, her wings fluttering as if to make a point. A curious green dust fell from them with each movement.
Reize Seatlan Where has the leader of the Shard Seekers been? Ideally, he should had been taking the rear with Ivo, making sure that the creatures were not following them. That earlier idea had been for the young hunter to keep watch and possibly strike them first. Unfortunately, Reize had ventured on because he had the idea of mapping the place for the group. Of course, he was also hungry.

Nearly an hour later....

The group can see that the boy is ahead of them, alright. However, the boy is approaching their way. Fast.

...Wait. Fast?


...Leave it to Reize to try to eat one of them.


Clamp. Clamp. There are about a dozen of angry, massive sandcrabs right behind Reize. Dust is kicking off as they are sprinting out after the boy pretty fast. Their claws make that clanking noise as they charge ahead.
Jean Faraven Jean did not do terribly much to dissuage Mir's gruff impression of him. He was, after all, a professional soldier-a bit of a roughneck at that-and that was bound to result in some significant disconnects with civilians once in a while. Didn't matter much from his perspective so long as they could all look together.

And from the looks of it, the odds of the seemed reasonable so far. Faruja looked like he could do his job competently, though perhaps with more spirit and verve than the Hound employed himself. Paladins tended to be that way.

Emi hadn't said much, but Ivo's recommendation carried enough weight with Jean that it would be good enough unless actions proved otherwise. The aforementioned knight himself has already been witnessed in battle by the SeeD's appraising eye.

As for Reize....where was he?

"Huh..." Jean looked over his shoulder with a raised brow, rubbing out the cigar just as Izo had mentioned it (He'd been savoring the flavor), "Strange, could have sworn he..." Sneaking off like that, he ought to put him in the recon division!!

It's not long before the mystery solved itself though, just as they'd come upon a sensitive scenario, naturaly. A low, guttural curse of some sort menaces from Jean's throat as he adopted a forward stance in anticipation of the enemy's arrival. "No explosive spells!" He barks out on aftertrhough, "These tunnels aren't secure, you could collapse them on us!"
Ivo Galvan Despite their predicament, Ivo offers Faruja a smile to match. He hopes you will be there, Faru; he hopes you will. But first they have to make it through here. "It does look like a dangerous jump, doesn't it? Hard to know where it's safe to land," Ivo ponders, regarding the chasm. In fact, upon further analysis, it looks as though Faruja /could/ make it across with his abilities; it would just not necessarily be of help getting everyone /else/ across. "Do you think you could make it up to the ceiling, though, Ser Senra? If you were able to spear some of these nasty crabs before we're ambushed by them in the midst of our clambering... but pray do not risk the sinkhole." Ivo can't know Faruja's limits so well as Faruja himself.

Fortunately, there is some superb intel from Emi on the way. "Okay." Pause. "Uh huh." Pause. "I see." No, he does not. He does not see at all. But he assumes none of them are in any immediate danger. Furrowing his brow briefly, he sidles over to Mir, who is rubbing her face to some unknown but decidedly endearing end. "Ms. Clarence," he murmurs, "do you think /you/ could ask if she can sense any sandworms in the vicinity? She seems to be paying more attention to you at the moment." His own gaze diverts with interest to the fairy dust falling from the girl's wings before quickly return to meet Mir's gaze, lest staring prove brash. "So long as we remain aware of the location of our foes, I shall look forward to making it through unscathed, and receiving a new cloak from your lovely hands." He'd never dream of being /unintentionally/ brash. "Use your wings to preserve yourself," he adds, turning as he hears faint sounds beginning to emerge from the tunnel on the far side. "So long as you stay out of reach of the red-striped vines, we'll take care of the fighting--"

He finishes turning.

"--a little sooner than expected."

Hauteclare's blackened blade emerges from its hilt with a click. "Reize!" Ivo shouts. "I'll cover you! Climb up a vine, but watch out for more crabs!" The floating sword reflects no light as it pierces forward across the chasm, controlled by flicks of Ivo's wrist, as he aims for a more damaging lower angle, the luminescent moss his guide. "I assume, with your quantity of love interests, you're well versed in crab evasion!" Ivo, there are ladies present. "Guys, we have to get across as soon as we can and help him!" He nods at Jean's advice. "Unless your ranged attacks are pinpoint, close in!"

Speaking of Jean's advice, obscuring the metallic gleam of his sword was a great choice. Unfortunately, Ivo, acting in haste to protect Reize, forgot one important detail: when he engages Hauteclare's gravitational power for distance fencing, an orb of energy pulses at its hilt. Satisfied as one crab harassing Reize is skewered by his dancing sword, Ivo glances down at his hand, blanches, and looks up.

"Oh, n--"

Two red-striped vines lash down, ensnaring his sword arm.


Whereupon Hauteclare's dangerous blade promptly starts flying everywhere, still controlled by Ivo's flailing.

"W-watch out!!"
Emi Dennou Emi says, after some deep thought, "I heard pixie dust can help you fly." She reaches out and catches some of that curious green dust and thinks of the most wonderful things. Like wishes, princesses, and kings. Except she can't actually think of any of those so instead she ends up thinking about cylinderic test tubes, shadow monsters, and Empties.

Emi fails to spontaneously learn how to fly. But she says, "Perhaps another time."

She is squinting along a bit more than normal which suggests she might sense /something/, but she has at this point stopped gaping at fairy.

"No, I don't think there are any sandworms present, Ivo."

She seems assured of this but makes a small ammendum.

"Unless of course sandworms here can spew enough voltage that I can sense it from this distance. Then I suppose there likely are sandworms around."

But that'd be ridiculous. She reaches for a vine, only for a blade to start spinning around. She tries to repel it away from her electromagnetically but if that doesn't work she'll probably get comically bonked by the hilt instead.
Faruja Senra Faruja is already moving to interpose himself between Emi, and the onrushing horde of sand crabs. His spear is at the ready, glowing white, as the Paladin gets ready to do his duty. What's his tail doing? Rubbing down his face in exasperation.

"...That is not Reize at the other side of this bloody place, being followed by a horde of skittering insectile death. 'Tis not. 'Tis a welcoming committee of Viera and werewolves. Really." Faruja looks. It's Reize. Deep breath.


"Up, and over, methinks." With a nod to his compatriots, he's already leaping into the air. Light flares around his spear, and Faruja drops into a mid-leap roll. Using it much like some light-infused halberd, he tries to strike a few of the ceiling-wards sand-crabs. But now? Most of his attention is on that horde threatening Reize.

"Split Punch!" Thrust! White swords of pure magical energy erupt from the ground to strike at some of the little critters. Rather than risking ending up in that sinkhole, Faruja smartly wraps himself in white light, Warping back closer to the ceiling as he alternates between assaulting ground and ceiling based sand crabs in a magical, acrobatic dance of death.
Mir Clarence Ivo's question gave Mir a moment of pause. "Eh?" Turning her head a bit, she glanced at Emi. And then back to Ivo. "...Fine." That was easy enough to do. Even if that girl creeped her the hell out. Seriously, what was with all the staring? ...She hoped that Emi wasn't one of those creeps who wanted fairy dust. She's lost count of the amount of times she's had to kick someone where the sun doesn't shine over nonsense like that.

Wait, she felt a hand by her wings. "....That doesn't work if you take it without permission." Mir spoke through gritted teeth, looking incredibly annoyed right now.

It didn't end there though. The shard seeker strategist began talking again, which turned her attention back to him. Something about a new cloak and lovely hands. "Huh!?" Exclaiming incredulously, Mir's face lit up like a christmas light. "W-What are you saying!? I never said that I--!" Looking positively scandalized, the fairy angrily shoved Ivo to turn him around and and back on target. "Stop talking about stupid things and do your job, idiot!"

Grumbling, Mir's wings began to flutter rapidly as the girl's feet left the ground. Her body moved into the air and she remained aloft, watching as...

...Wait, was that Reize? "You have /got/ to be kidding me." She growled, resisting the urge to facepalm. Oh no, she wasn't about to deal with all that. Floating higher, Mir's wings kept her in flight. "Uh! ...Well, I can at least help with some magic?"

Hands aglow with a red aura of energy, the fairy spread her arms, releasing a shower of empowering magic. All those present would find their strength curiously boosted by some arcane force. "Now kill those things! I don't need to--wha!" She jerked downwards as a vine wrapped around her leg. "What the--Hey! Let go! This isn't funny!" Mir cried, tugging at the vine wrapping around her lag and traveling upwards frantically. "
Reize Seatlan The pincers are snapping rapidly.


...Close enough, right Faruja?

"Crap, crap, crap, crap!" The boy looks back to see one of the crabs chasing after him. As it launches a claw at his head, the boy yelps and ducks his head low. "ACK!" His antenna hair is shivering in fear, curling up to a ball.

The boy looks over at Ivo in the midst of the run. He is told to get a hand over one of the vines, "Got it!" As the boy runs towards the ledge, he looks over the vines that do not look too threatening.

He latches onto one of the vines.

"Got it!"

Pause. Crab evasion? The boy turns his head at Ivo, "But the Momma Crab ended up beating me up back at the des-" *SNAP* "OWOWOWOWOWW!" Annd lo behold, one of the pincers grab the boy by his antenna hair.

The boy takes a boomerang from his side to start thwacking at the pincer. "Get away from my hair!" The boy snaps, grumbling as he now uses the moment to climb to the other side while trying to avoid getting pinched.
Deelel So many lost souls had found their way home, it had been quite busy at the seeker's base since Reize, Ivo and others had returned from their wanderings across the world of ruin and beyond. So Deelel was lagging a bit behind, and putting her light staff to use, she's also got a strange cloak on over the rest of her clothing where the embroidering if you could call it that glows a faint blue. Deelel is one of those people who never really is lacking for a light source of some sort.

"Faruja? We just end up in the most delightful places, don't we?"

She keeps an eye on Reize, Mir, Ivo, Jean, Faruja and Emi as she moves to avoid any pit falls. She Bounces about along as Reize now falls prey to a monster as she tries to catch up.

"This is the worst possible time for a haircut!"

She follows Faruja's idea and her disc comes of her back, humms to life, and is shortly flying through the air into the horde.

"Shouldn't crabs be the ones on the dinner plate, Faruja?"
Jean Faraven Jean wasted no time in claiming a vine for himself and settling in a for a tense, hurried crossing of that pernicious sinkhole. He kept one hand on the vine and the other on his gunblade, nigh sure he'd need to be using somewhere in the midst of this messy affair.

The opportunity doesn't quite come from the angle he expects.

The Hound's keen eye spots the gallant knight's error before he does, his voice raised in alarm just as Ivo admires his own handiwork, "Ivo, your hilt!!!!" But it's too late-the mugwort has sensed prey. A hissed curse passed between Jean's teeth as Hauteclaire's ingenous mechanics were turned upon the whims of fate, narrowly and superbly twisting his body (All thanks to those daily core exercises at Balamb!) between the two of those deadly gravitational distortion.

Unfortunately, even the storied Jean Faraven couldn't do all that /and/ keep on of the blades from severing his vine. There's a quick titch of the lips, and the SeeD falls into the darkness. Is this the end of Jean Faraven?!

/Not quite/. A powerful BANG coincides with a flash somewhere in the dark as Jean rockets back into sight, the smoking casing ejected from Anubis's revolver telling enough. One more pull of the triggers results in another burst of wild momentum that Jean manages to use to his advantage, launching himself at the side of the the tunnel and righting himself so that his feet hit square on a flat (If somewhat vertical) surface.

His kneesinstinctively bend-inherent junctioned power augmented by Mir's empowering spell-and push, precipitating a powerful kick-off that launched Jean across the chasm in a high-speed maneuever, grabbing and errant vine along the way as he streaked towards his target: Ivo Galvan.

"BE READY!" The Hound Commanded, tossing the vine Ivo's way and-in the same instant-thrusting Anubis out in attempt the cleanly cut right through the vines entangling the knight and his weapon.
Ivo Galvan Moments before he is ensnared, Ivo is graced with Emi's more straightforward response. "Mm, that's good to hear," he murmurs, nodding with satisfaction. Pause. "Wait, wh--"

Then with the orb of energy and grabbing vines.

"Superb, Ser Senra!" Even in his predicament, with his floating blade endangering his comrades, Ivo can't help but be impressed at Faruja's prowess, efficiently dispatching the foes harrying Reize while keeping himself safe through mid-air teleportation. The nezumi must be quite fun to play in the Final Kingdom fighting game.

"Oh ho!" But the flying fairy comes to Ivo's aid, after he is forced to endure a shove he quite rightly deserves. Empowering magic descends upon him, and with his physical strength redoubled, he is able to tear free from one of the red-striped vines that ensnare him, regaining functional control of his blade moments after Emi's magnetic pulse deflects it from harming her. "Much obliged, Ms. Clarence! Now, as for that job of mine--" And with Hauteclare restored to him, a flick of his wrist is sufficient to slice through the vine that has assailed her. "How's my performance?" As long as the pulse of energy his ability requires doesn't attract too many of the vines, he's actually well suited for this task.

Of course, while he can just manage to control Hauteclare, he's still struggling with the remaining vine-- which is when Jean, explosively leaping, comes to his rescue. "Yes, sir!" Ivo blurts out instinctively at the Hound's shout, and the moment Anubis cuts through the remaining vine, just as it threatens to drag Ivo into the abyss before him, he leaps toward the vine Jean tosses him, soon swinging free. And free to banter again.

"Reize, use your Ahoge Beam! Oh, wait, sorry. Ahoge, use your Ahoge Beam! It can hear, right? It's definitely heard me before," Ivo asides into the darkness. But it looks like Reize is going to be safe for now. The knight-very-errant bravely swings toward a plain green vine dangling over the chasm, then begins to swing to the next, switching from vine to vine to avoid the crabs clinging to the ceiling above. As he turns, he glances back to check on their allies, and sees Deelel emerging from the tunnel following them-- clad in a glowing cloak.

"Deelel, no!" he shouts, eyes widening. "Extinguish your light sources! The Mugwort's vines are light-sensiti--" Numerous red-striped vines immediately stop what they are doing and lunge toward Deelel, threatening to ensnare her and carry her off into the darkness of the other tunnel. Is she doomed to a fate too hot for TV?

Either way, Ivo's impromptu jungle swings carry him across and at last into the midst of the fray, where, opting for close-range to avoid attention, he fences with the remaining crabs, darting and dancing across the sands. "Let's finish these off and push forward!"
Faruja Senra Ear-perk. It's Deel! Suddenly, these crabs are looking tasty. A tasty, Reize-witch pinching mob. The rat's stomach grumbles. "This, my dear, is either a gift of scrumptious sand-crab delights, or punishment for our crustaceon devouring ways! I shalt leave it to ye to decide upon that one. Charbroiled crab for everyone!" Warp! Fall! Spear-thrust!

"Crush Punch!" Cue flaming swords leaping at sand crabs.

"Faster, Reize! Come now, use that speed ye showed at the Games!" He's more encouraging this time, and definitely worried for the boy. Hopefully he'll get up that vine!

Ivo gets a grin, but Faruja is too busy air-comboing and making like Testament in the air. At this rate, he should be able to cut a decent path across the area, following the good vines primarily, trying to destroy the sand crabs above those vines in particular. When Deel is about to get snatched? The rat tries to Crush Punch the vines, likely setting them on fire if it hits. "Deel!"
Emi Dennou "It fell off on its own." Emi tells Mir.

She is about to make a grab for a vine, but stops for a moment and tilts her head curiously as she stares at the sky. She looks around towards that floating blade and ducks again.
"Mm...." Shegrabs a vine, swinging over to Ivo and throwing herself off to land by him. She leans in and elects to murmur him.

"Ivo, about that electrical disturbance. It appears to be getting closer. Are there electricity breathing sandworms after all?" She frowns and doesn't seem to quite believe it even as she's asking it.

Because it really is ridiculous.
Reize Seatlan As the pincers keep coming at his hair, his antenna hair cracks like a whip at the claw, sending it coiling back in fear. The antenna hair *hisses* in warning. Reize, meanwhile, is busy trying to get away from the claws, Reize is looking over to see the one person who could ruin things faster than he could.

Deelel glowing with the bright light. In an area that is filled with a light sensitive creature.

"...Ahh..." Reize doesn't quite convey his thoughts because 1) Ivo has already conveyed it, 2) the tentacle is preparing for a different avenue of things.

A boomerang is tossed towards the offending tentacle.

The boy is hurrying in his climbing, looking to get to the other side.

...Suddenly, crabs appear before Reize on the vines.

Crab Battle!

"...Uhhh..." Reize has a look of horror on his face, "ACK!" He makes a dive outward, all of the crabs latch onto him, but Reize swings along that last vine and he rolls on the ground for a 'stop, drop, roll' maneuver to shake the crabs off of him.
Deelel This was Deelel's first time meeting Jean, but he seems ti know Ivo well enough form the sounds of things and he's holding his own quite well, not to mention pulling up quite a stunt to boot as he rockets back in.

"Not bad Faruja. Not bad at all!"

She's keeping Jean's warning in mind and Mir seems to got Ivo well in hand too.

"Wait what?!"

Putting out the light sources could be a bit problem for her some of them are always active she banishes her cloak that helps but there's still some and turning on her disc to use as a weapon well that's going to make more light which will attract more. Deelel is grabbed by some of them and she's struggling to not be pulled off into the other tunnel because it would be way too hot for TV and she doens't seem very keen on it.

"Of all the glitched up..."

She's reduced her light out put a good deal, still shes' held and tyring to get free as they attempt to constrict her as she desperately tries to grab on to a point on the cave floor!
Mir Clarence Released from her unbidden bonds, Mir let out a shaky sigh and glared at Ivo. "Performance? I'd give it a C." Whatever that meant. She wasn't going to explain. Good thing too, as things seemed to be reaching a crescendo of ridiculousness.

"...Whoa." Actually awed by Faruja and Jean's display of abilities, Mir found herself struck speechless. "...I guess these guys can pull their weight after all."

A wriggling tendril nodded it's 'head' right by her, as if watching the epic scene itself.

"Yeah, no kiddi--wait."

Freezing, Mir slowly turned her head to make sure she wasn't seeing things. "........" The tentacle waved at the girl. Maybe she was just seeing things in her mind, but she could swear this damn thing was making fun of it. "........NOT AGAIN." And like that, Mir flew off, in a desperate race to avoid getting snared again.

"Not funny, not funny, not funny, not funny!"
Jean Faraven Jean is moving too fast to confirm whether or not Ivo manages to get hold of the vine, though it's well within his capabilities. The human, grimacing bullet continues on his wily way, landing against the other end of the tunnel in much the same way as he'd done before. This time he gets a good look at some idiot shining a light at the chasm's edge, which would've been enought to make him spit his cigar out if he still had it with him.

"Who the /hell/ is that?!" The Hound snarled incredulously, already bounding off as the mugwort vines advanced on the hapless agitator. His angle wasn't right to be able to offer any assistance, so he delegates to Ivo and Reize, "Handle it!!!"

The SeeD had his sights set on biggest fish to fry.

Or well, crustaceans in this case.

Cerberus keens through Jean's weathered head, three pairs of eyes glowering somewhere far away and dark as formless power was junctioned unto Anubis's dark blade. The specialist twists his abs, putting just enough spin into his motion to turn him into a deadl whirl of blades and pinpoint muzzle flares as careened across the opposite end of the sinkhole, pulling gunblade's trigger three times in succession at add a lunatic fringe to his already dizzying manuever.

At least a dozen crabs went flying in a straight tear across their ranks, some in various pieces and all of them quite fried in the electrice sizzle left in Jean's wake. The Hound himself stands the end of his handwork: A clear, albeit temporary path forwards, having taken Ivo's directive to heart.

"Quickly!" He gestures.
Ivo Galvan Ivo stabs clean through another crab as it lunges at him, rearing back to kick it off his blade as Faruja clears the way above. "As soon as you make it to the other side, head toward the tunnel!" he shouts, brushing his hair back from his serious countenance with a gloved hand. C for /Cool/, Mir. "There's no need to fight this battle as long as we make it through! The main Mugwort plant can't be far!"

It's then that Emi is beside him, and whispering in his ear. "Wait, you sense one? Then-- wait." Ivo is starting to piece this together. So, she can't sense vibrations in general any better than the rest of them, but she /can/ sense electricity. But sandworms aren't any more electric than anything else. But she's sensing an oncoming source of electricity. So-- "Whatever it is," he swiftly concludes, "we've got to complete this mission as fast as we can. Can you provide us covering fire while we move into the tunnel here?" Most of the crabs around them are dismantled thanks to their efforts, but some are still swarming down from the walls, chasing Reize's offending hair. And Mir is-- "Ms. Clarence, fly this way!" He can unleash Hauteclare again, but if he does, the light source is sure to attract the vines all over again, and won't end up being much help to the fairy girl after all. Only if it gets desperate will he do so.

And the only one desperate here is Deelel. "See, the problem with missing the exposition at the /beginning/ of the dungeon crawl is that--" No one cares, Ivo. Anyway, one of Reize's boomerangs is soaring toward the tenta-- vine-ensnared program in any case. Will it be enough!?

It may have to be, because they've got to keep moving. There may be a big monster coming, and the Mugwort is close. "Deelel, can you shut down your lights completely?" Ivo calls as he heads toward the tunnel mouth. "If not, you may have to play decoy against the big guy! Can you handle that?" This may not be a question if she can't free herself right now. But they've got to go while the going is good. Crabs are coming down from the walls and-- then Jean careens in and blows almost all of them to smithereens. Ivo spends only a moment in speechless admiration. He can only spare a moment, but it deserves at least one.

"Come on, everyone!"

And now the moment has passed, and it's time to get out of here!
Deelel Deelel is struggling with the tentacles they are pulling her away, to likely a very bad fate. She has th means to cut herself free, but that would draw more of the things upon her. She's about to risk it when Faruja seems to be coming to her aid, and soon Deelel's going to owe the Templar her bitmap once more. It seems they have got into the habit of swapping saving each other behind.

The vines catch on fire, ironically causing more light it also enough for Deelel to break free as they are withering in pain. She starts running, running as fast as she can. It would have been worse had Ivo not warned her, oh so much worse. She's much like Mir, she wants to get out of range of these things. Hopefully the burning ones will distract the others giving them all a chance to flee properly.

"Keep clear of this!"

she pulls what seem to be a hockey puck like thing off her hip and then fiddles with it as she flees. Most of Deels's lights are gone, her disc is about the only thing giving off a faint bit of light, but it's very fant. Her cloak is gone, and then Deelel gets an idea she takes hee disc and shoves it down her shirt with a bit of effort, but it's enough to smother the light for the most part. It may not be comfortable but it will do!

"I got all I could and I do have a distraction, and if they like light? I have a distraction for them. I could make use of a light grenade, that should distract them!"
Reize Seatlan As Reize continues to stamp out the last bits of the crabs on him, the boy is shaking himself off. He kicks against the face of one of the crabs to send it sprawling out into the chasm.

Reize exhales a sigh of relief, looking over towards Jean and Ivo, especially when Jean tells him to handle the mess. However, it looks like Deelel has things handled. The boy suddenly gets an idea.

As the vine was chasing after Mir, the boy takes the idea of getting a torch from his pouch and he lights it up. Light sensitive... let's get a torch that lights up as bright as can be.

"Hey! Over here!"

As if trying to get the attention of the creatures, Reize tosses the torch down the chasm to get vines to chase after it.

"Let's move!" The boy is ready to move off.
Mir Clarence "I'm trying!" Mir yelled, weaving and swerving around to avoid being grabbed. ...And mugged. That too. Not that she had anything worth mugging. Unless the plants were fond of clothes. Wait, all those zippers were metallic. "...Craaaaap!"

Redoubling her efforts, the girl's speed increased and while she was fast approaching Ivo's position, she spun in mid-air and thrust her hands forward, unleashing a sudden strong gust of wind. It wasn't cutting, so there wasn't much actual harm to be done, but it should at least be enough to throw those damnable, intrusive things off course.

"Do your job! If I end up getting stripped, then you're not getting paid!" Mir was regretting wearing what she was right about this moment. She was going to have a stern talk with the designer who made these clothes after this was over!

Reize's torch gambit seemed to work for the moment as several of them 'spied' the thrown torch, verring off to chase after it instead. "Phew...Thanks."

That out of the way though, the fairy turned back around and resumed proper flight, moving forward. "Are we there yet!?"
Jean Faraven One by one, everyone manages to get with the program and push forward. Jean grunted before doing the same, the fire of battle dancing eagerly in his blood. "Oh, there'll be more for everyone before this is done." He'll insist to Mir's complaints, giving voice to his sneaking supicions. They might be getting closer to their goal, but something else was getting closer to them.

The sound of footsteps beat on in the encroaching expands of the tunnel, and in the brief lull of silence that follows Jean can hear the familiar sound of his own heartbeat hammering away in his chest.%R
"Be prepare." The SeeD's wrist snapped, a flick his thumb knocking the revolver of his gunblade up so he could quickly fill five new bullets in the chamber before snapping it shut with another flick in on fluid, stylish motion, "When it happens, you'll only see it for a second."
Ivo Galvan "Nice work, team!" Ivo calls out, following the path that Jean has cleared and that Emi is keeping open with her covering fire. Deelel has extinguished most of her lights and mentions quite a useful ability. "Alright, sounds good! Redeem yourself when the time comes, okay?" Despite his words, Ivo is grinning, winking at the program as he runs. And Reize has pulled a torch out of his bag of tricks, causing the light-sensitive vines to surge toward the inky blackness of the sinkhole, only to singe themselves on the fire they're hunting. Such is the fate of non-sentient beings.

"You being stripped would be payment enough," Ivo demurs, barely stifling his grin as Mir flies past him. "But perhaps another time." Amongst this crew, it's not that unlikely, even with Faruja as steadfast protector of ladies' honor. Eventually Reize'll trip and get his ahoge stuck in a zipper, and before you know it Chris Hansen will be knocking on the door to Shard Seeker Headquarters.

For now, however, Ivo follows Jean into the other tunnel, pausing to catch his breath in the darkness and then nodding. "Right," he murmurs as they approach an abrupt turn in the passage, fishing out the Shard Seeker Device to avoid some branching paths, one of which display suspiciously Reize-sized footprints. Speaking of which. "Hold my hand," Ivo insists, grabbing onto Reize's arm. "So that--" Maybe now isn't the time to insult Reize's direction sense. The boy is sensitive, and they need to stay calm. "--I don't get scared."


"Alright, everyone--"

The final bend. In fact, the Device is no longer necessary, the swordsman belatedly realizes; the vines along the top of the tunnel travel thickest to their source. The Mugwort is a heartbeat away.

"Let's end this!"

The next cavern is much smaller than the last, made to seem all the smaller by the vast plant which fills it. Reigning over it is a giant pitcher which bubbles and gurgles, within which all manner of matter is melted down and consumed, and beneath it dangle their prize: rich green seedpods, able to be ground into an aromatic powder. But beneath that still glitters gold, various baubles and trinkets, the most conspicuous of which appears to be an odd silver-lensed pair of sunglasses. Occasionally stray red-striped vines slap at the gold pointlessly, acting on instinct. But those vines pause now, hovering like hungry serpents.

"Now! Deelel, the grenade! Let's get what we need and get out of here!" Flipping the Device back inside his sleeve, Ivo launches Hauteclare's blade from its hilt, pulse of energy firing up, and sends his sword whirling into a multitude of vines as the Mugwort immediately becomes a flurry of activity. There are too many vines to count. "We've got to--" That's bad enough.


But the oncoming tremors may soon become something even worse.

"--do you all feel that--?"
Reize Seatlan After everything is cleared, Reize blinks over at Ivo, then he exhales a sigh at his comment towards Mir. Shaking his head, adventurer lifts his shoulders with a shrug and then he looks back at the group, "Everyone alright?"

Once the group are collected, Reize follows into the tunnel. Once Ivo pulls the Shard Seeker Device, the boy looks at Ivo, "Huh?" Hold Ivo's hand? "...Oh. Okay."

It is the instant that Reize's hand touches Ivo's that the area shows a faux light in the background, filled with pink sparkles and a shine. A shimmer sound echos from the hand's holding. Reize offers a beaming smile, "Don't worry Ivo, I'll protect you!" The light shining with the pink background is accented by the cherry blossoms.


As they continue to explore the next cavern, the area is filled with lots of plants. Reize has one important question to ask Ivo. It kind of hit him.

"What does the love interest thing have to do with crab evasion?"

However, they see the prize. The rich green seapots, the odd silver-lensed pair of sunglasses and those red vines. ...Uh oh. Reize releases Ivo's hands and he draws both boomerangs.

"Here we go---"

And the tremor.

Deelel So far, so good. They hadn't lost anyone and Reize is right, it's very much time to move,. She's not slowing down, and she sees Mir is all right, she nods once to Ivo. She's got the grenades ready she'll just have to throw them and she pauses for a moment as she looks at Ivo, whom is flirting again she sees. Well no harm with words and it's Mir's call anyway!

She keeps with the group and then now the call goes out, she arms it and takes the puck like weapon. Which soon is sailing through the air heading where Ivo suggested the thing is emitting some light now that it's armed and as the timer tick down it will explode with a good deal of force, likely taking out things near it and making a very powerful flash of light as it does so. They have their distraction hopefully, right? But then the ground shakes.

Mir Clarence "Don't make me hit you! You idiotic--"


"...What the hell?" Mir spoke aloud, staring incredulously at the source of all their troubles. "I'd heard stories, but...ugh. It looks even more gross in person!" She shuddered, deciding to ignore the decidedly bromantic moment happening beside her. "Get a room, morons. You're not getting paid for that!"

Rolling her eyes, she stepped forward, peering down at the green pods. "...Oh! There they are! Finally!" Smiling happily, Mir clapped her hands together, about to float down and start collecting, but then--


Another pause as the fairy halted her advance. "...What was that?"

She hoped that it was going to be something good. Like a flock of chocobo stampeding on by underground! Chocobos were cute! ...But no. She was more than certain that it was going to be something terrible.

"....You guys have fun with whatever that is." A step back. "I'll over here. Yeah." Another stepp back.

She raised a hand and casually cast another spell, this time emanating an earthy, yellow aura as some sort of power mixed itself with those present, boosting their defenses a bit.
Jean Faraven Jean's eye squinted when Izo ask Reize to hold his hand, and even more so when he said.

oO(Oh, is /that/ how it is?)Oo He thinks, deciding it's definiately none of his business in general and doubly so when on a mission. "Just focus on the task at hand." He offers, keeping his guard up as they press into the inner sanctum of their chosen quarry...!

And not a moment sooner as that powerful vibration comes up behind them. It was like the approach of a, maybe even worse than that. "Only one thing that good be.." Jean tossed a narrowed eye back at their passage, his mood unmoved yet, though a bit more urgency creeps into his tone when he jerks his head at the buds on display, "Grab them! We're going to have to find another way here!" With Anubis in both hands, Jean looked back and forth between a devil the knew and a devil they didn't, weighing each option succintly.

In the end, his gaze lifted upwards.
Emi Dennou Emi, distracted as she shoots electricity around, says, "Reize being stripped?" She doesn't sound surprised.

She eventually tops, more to save juice than anything, and makes her way back towards the others. She hears the tremors but frankly she's more concerned by the heavy electricity pushing towards their direction. It makes her feel uneas--

--she rethinks the matter. No, actually, she's way more concerned about those tremors. She would rather not be crushed to death or slowly starve to death either or anything of that sort.

"It may not be so easy to depart, This One supposes." Emi adds unhelpfully.
Ivo Galvan Even as Hauteclare dances amongst the red-striped vines, warding them away from the retreating Mir, Ivo gazes into Reize's eyes, an aura of cherry-blossom pink suffusing the two. "Reize..." Softly, he smiles back at his younger friend, stepping closer, hands still intertwined. "I..." The angelic light of yaoi emanates from them both.

And light, of course, attracts the Mugwort.

"...don't have time to explain right now!" Ivo exclaims, leaping apart from Reize as the vines, as though punishing them for their near-transgression, hammer down on the sand where they once stood. "You'll understand when you're older!" Maybe. "For now, let's ensure we live to see that day!" Another vine lashes at his hilt, but with the assistance of Mir's defense spell, Ivo just turns and takes the lashing tendril on his buckler, mostly unscathed. "Much obliged, Ms. Clarence!"

Promptly shielding his eyes from Deelel's grenade, Ivo breathes a sigh of relief at the respite it grants, the vines all piling up on each other to instinctively attack nothing at all in the corner of the room where the explosive landed. "Nice work!" he calls to the program, before, heeding Jean's words, sending Hauteclare whirling down to slash at one of the seedpods and cut it free. "You all heard Jean! Someone grab that, and whatever else you can!" Emi's right. Getting out of here may be the real hard part. "We've got to secure an escape route before--"


Smashing through the wall and ceiling with a deafening crash, sending shards of rock and torrents of sand everywhere, a roaring monstrosity emerges, its face half the size of the room itself. The Mugwort, already bewildered (as much as a non-senient being can be) by various distractions, lashes what remaining tendrils it possesses at the various minerals encrusted in the sandworm's carapace. Ignoring this quasi-assault, the sandworm opens its circular maw yet wider, and with an unearthly howl--


The sandworm fires a lightning bolt out of its mouth.

As the roof caves in from the impact, sand pouring in from the dunes above and half-obscuring all in grit and chaos, and sunlight illuminating the surroundings as a crevice to the surface appears above, one voice can be heard cry above the din.

"What the hell did that thing eat!?"
Reize Seatlan There were two things that interrupted the moment. One was Mir snapping them into attention. The other moment was the vines snapping their way to swat them out of the 'moment' between Ivo and himself.

Noticing it at the last second, Reize releases a yelp and he springs back into a back handspring. After he gets away from the creature, Reize looks over towards the vines. Once Mir's defense spell activates around him, Reize beams at the fairy, "Thanks!"

The boy launches out towards the treasure to procure those sunglasses. It looks like it is one of their treasures.

"Got it!"

And not a moment too soon. The Mogworth makes its presence known. And it is not too happy.

"...Uh oh."

Even worse, the creature releases a bolt of lightning from its breath. The stench of its odor invades the air, forcing the boy to cough as he ducks into cover.

The boy looks over towards the opening at the crevice. The opening gives Reize an idea, "Okay! I can do this!" Reize puts the boomerangs back to his side to procure his most valued equipment in his inventory.

The Hookshot.

Mighty Hookshot, do not fail him now! Reize swings his arm out and the hookshot shoots upward towards the opening to latch onto it.
Mir Clarence "Actually, where ARE we going to get out of here fro-"


A cavern wall was blown open as a giant sandworm tunneled it's way into the chamber and then...fired a blast of lightning from it's mouth. "What the hell!? In what world do Sandworms fire lightning from their mouths!?" Panicking, she scrambled into flight, making a beeline for the treasure trove of pods below. She wasn't going to leave here empty handed! The fighting could be left to the people she hired anyway!

And so, weaving through a few stray tentacles, Mir began grabbing as many pods as her arms could handle. Knowing that the Mugwort was just above her, able to drool on her and melt her bones or something. ...What an unpleasant thought.

Amid the rushing sand, stone debris, and all the chaos, it would seem the plant was distracted enough with the sandworm invasion to bother going after her. Thankfully. The last thing she needed now was to get stripp-wait.

Something tapped her on the shoulder rather politely. "Huh?" Pausing in her collection efforts, the girl turned her head to look. ...And came face to face with an idle tentacle. It waved almost cutely, as much as a plant could anyway, and then-- "Wha--HEY! Let me go, you stupid--" --It grabbed onto her, tugging at her clothes in particular.

It really wanted those zippers. Shiny, useless array of zippers.

"Damn it! This isn't funny! I need that! Hey! Not there! Ahahahaha! That tickles!"

Deelel Deelel notices Jean is very concerned about what's happening. She does not have enough data to know what it is, clearly if Ivo and Jean know? It's the smart choice to listen there's no argument as she turns to flee with them, it's very much time to go.

"Understood, let's get out of here then!"

She will totally ask later. She then becomes aware of it, it's a sand-worm, oh that's bad, very bad. Wait, did it just?.

"I do not know."

she goes for her baton, leading it shutdown for the moment as she darts through the plants trying to make good her escape, and the Mir gets into some more trouble. Oh this could be bad...she could arm her disc but that would just make things worse! She however recalls something that's resting int he back of her discmount she pulls a seemingly normal looking charkram and throws it hopefully severing the vine, or vines that are holding on to Mir's zippers!
Jean Faraven Jean's foot slipped slightly when that sandworm made it's destructive entrance into the fray. Fortunately the hounds instincts are just a hair sharper than his judgment so he's not still standing there a heartbeat later when the scorch of lightning cracks like a whip across his former location.

A few idle tendrils of electricity writhe along the SeeD's boot heels as he land and glowers at the subterrane behemoth's presence, "Adaptive biology!" He shouts out to Mir's rhetorical question, "It gets that big, it generates tremendous static electrcity as it burrows within earth. Must've developed some way and release it." A tremendous opportuntiy of research for Balamb Garden's Biology club, but not so pertinent to the task at hand. The kaiju-esque struggle that seems about to take place between the sandworm and the mugwort is cut short by the rumbling overtures of the cavern over their heads, and in a half-blind blaze Jean rushes to grab a fistful of seed pods as all comes tumbling down.

Darkness, darkness and motion. The Hound always felt closest to his chosen Guardian Force in moments like this, and he could not deny the presence of the fiery hellhound's will deep withing the bottom of his stomach, a burning urge to drove him to kick, inch forward, to survive.

A lone fist suddenly erupted from the desert's sloping surface, still clutching furiously at it's green prize as the rest of Jean summarily follow, hacking sand and curses alike out into the air as he dragged the rest of his lower torso out of the near-burial mound.

"A little bit rough, but i've hard worse assignments." He was going to have to clean his uniform at least three times to get the sand out, though, "Everyone accounted for?"
Emi Dennou Emi gets clobbered by some shattering rock. It doesn't knock her out, but it does send her sprawling to the ground. Dennous are not especially known for durability. Generally they prefer to not get clobbered by debris and avoid the all problem. She groans in pain and stumbles as she crawls back before she slowly stumbles to her feet, dizzily. Ugh. This isn't that great.

Normally she might be a bit more suspicious of Jean's explanation but now that she has a head wound, it makes perfect sense to her. Bludgeoning to the head: The best way to obtain teamwork cohesino!

She draws on the Sandworm's own electricity, using it to help propel her up and towards the exit as well.
Ivo Galvan Amidst the chaos, Ivo catches glimpses of his allies in action. Reize snags the silver glasses. Mir and Jean, it appears, have managed to grab quite a number of the precious seed pods. Deelel is freeing Mir from her current--

"Well, then."

Summoning Hauteclare back to its hilt with a click and sheathing it, Ivo scoops gold coins and baubles into his cloak while watching Mir struggle out of the corner of his eye. "You can do it, Ms. Clarence! I believe in you!" It's almost as good as support magic. /Almost./ Whoa, just one more zipper and--

"Adaptive biology, huh?" Ivo nods. That sounds convincing. Let's go with that. More importantly, with the agitated sandworm audibly charging up for another shot and the Mugwort lashing every which way, time is swiftly running out. "It's now or never, Seekers! Let's get out of here!" Spinning on his heel, abandoning half the treasure where it lies, Ivo turns to Reize and grins, eyes bright with the rush of the madness about them.

"Mind a passenger?"

And as the sand pours down about them, propelled by the Mighty Hookshot 2.0, Ivo soars to the surface, one arm about Reize and the other clasping the hookshot's handle with him, where the two of them explode through the sand.

"Here!" he calls in reply to Jean, spitting out sand. "Mission, uh..." Seedpods, check. Some cash, check. Silver Glasses, check. "Mission complete?"
Mir Clarence Just one more zipper and...


Deelel's chakram severed the vine that would have been the gateway to her eternal shame and embarrassment. "Th-Thanks...!" And without a second further's thought, Mir took flight, escaping upwards with the pods in her arm and her undone clothes being held together. "I swear to god, I hope you choke!" She yelled down at the Mugwort plant before burting through the sand with a gasp.

Landing in thee sand some ways away from the new formed sand pit, Mir just settled down into the sandy ground, grumbling to herself and redoing the zippers of her clothes. "...I guess we made it."

Letting out a huge sigh once she was done, the girl glanced at the others and managed a smile. "...It was a little rough around the edges for some of you." Ivo and Reize are given pointed stares at this. "...But otherwise, that wasn't bad."

he glanced down at the pods in her lap. "Yep, I think we've got plenty! I should be able to make something good with this!"
Reize Seatlan As the hookshot manages to get a grasp at the opening, Reize is prepared to pull upward. However, Reize is not alone. He has a passenger with him.

"Ooii! Ivo!" The boy has a beaming smile before they shoot up into the sky. Or at least, out of the underground path.

They arrive out within the desert! The surface!

"Hee!" The boy beams, holding up the sunglasses. "And we have another prize to boot!"

0> Reize Seatlan obtains [Silver Glasses]
0> The item prevents [Blindness] and allows for low-light vision to see what's lurking in the shadows.

The boy beams, "Mission accomplished, everyone!"
Deelel Deelel catches her weapon on the return pass commenting.

"Don't worry about it let's get going and I agree that thing needs to ie in fire."

Deelel keeps moving with her companions. It's time to go and she will not tempt fate further.

"I'm all right, everyone else?"

She looks to Reize for a moment. amd the basic has a big old grin on her face.

"Good going and I never thought I'd be so happy to see so much sand..."

This scene contained 46 poses. The players who were present were: Ivo Galvan, Reize Seatlan, Faruja Senra, Jean Faraven, Deelel, Emi Dennou, Mir Clarence