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Crimson Visitor
(2014-03-21 - Now)
No description.
Zero-One The Goug slums are unchanging, and seemingly unchangable. Even when things go terribly wrong, life in the slums just picks up and moves on. You can't fight City Hall, especially when they also have an army and the power company.

Life is tough in the slums, and sometimes, people just have it rough. Tonight's unfortunate is a man, streaked with wounds and ragged as he runs for his life from that which follows him. If he were only so lucky for it to be mere thugs... But much worse. The Darkness has come, in the familiar form of Heartless. Clearly the man suffers from prolonged battle fatigue. How long can he keep ahead of the creatures. As he runs through the streets, leaping between walls and hurtling across rooftops, he is pursued.

No one moves to save him. They, perhaps sensibly, fear for their own lives. They lack the power to fight the Darkness.

But perhaps others do not.
Zack Fair 'Clear The Heartless, Today, One Hour, Goug.' The message had flashed across Zack Fair's PHS in the middle of his lunch. He had lept out of his chair, grabbed the Materia Blade, and headed out of Cloud Nine for the nearest portal.

Goug, huh. Goug wasn't a place he liked to be. Goug was where ShinRa hung out - and he was, after all, supposed to be dead to them. ShinRa knew *nothing* of his existence, and if Zack had it his way, that'd stay the case.

Except, Zack doesn't have it his way, because the mysterious PHS Puppeteer is still pulling the strings...and the Munny he's been pulling in has been more than worth it. So far, he hadn't objected to any objectives, but what happened when he did? Zack wasn't sure he wanted to find out.

Killing Heartless was always a good idea, though.

Zack runs along the rooftops of Goug, Materia Blade tight in hand. He spots the horde of shadows quickly - they aren't exactly being subtle, huh? - and his face splits into a wide grin. Killing Heartless was *never* an objectionable objective, especially in a crowded city like this.

Zack springboards off the roof, two fingers going to his lips. His free hand goes upwards as he blows his whistle.

A ShinRa attack chopper manifests around his hand. Zack dangles off it, drawing the Materia Blade, as the helicopter begins to fire on the Heartless. The Ex-SOLDIER lets out a loud, excited whoop. Heck yeah!

Still, part of him wondered - what the heck was ShinSec doing? Where was *SOLDIER*? Shouldn't they be doing something about this...?
Reize Seatlan Original plan: Go to the Colosseum to enter into the fighting tournament. Unfortunately, Reize had a map at hand to make his way to Traverse Town.

"I have arrived to Traverse Town...!"

Reize raises a hand triumphantly, beaming happily as he steps into the city. Further along the city, Reize is staring ahead to realize, "Uhhh...." He looks over at the sign.


Reize has a frown on his face a moment later, his antenna hair drooping dejectedly. "...I'm lost." He exhales a sigh. However, something disrupts that moment of dejection. He sees a man running. There is a darkness behind him. The boy quickly moves in pursuit of the situation, "Buh?!" The speedy explorer runs his way into the alley, leaping over to a trashcan and off unto the rooftops.

After the boy springs off, he can see the darkness come forth and he draws both boomerangs. "HEY!" The boy swings a boomerang out. "Get away from him!"
Maira Maira came to the slums to feel nostalgic. After the dream she'd had, and all those memories, she'd wanted to come here and just wander, letting the memories surface as they willed. Sometimes, you just need to remember who you were. She sat and watched a shopkeep for a long time, selling potions as her mom had once done, a half eaten hot dog in her hand, eyes distant.

Her brow draws together slightly as something prickles at her senses. A darkness...heartless...

She rises as she hears footsteps running, eyes widening as the wounded man dashes out from behind a corner, chased by The Darkness. Maira of course, stuffs the remainder of the hot dog in her mouth before she runs to place herself between the man and the creature that stalks him, lighting up like a torch and holding her hand out in a "you shall not pass!" sort of posture. "MMPHHMUHNUH!" she shouts.

Swallows hot dog, continue. "Over here! Deal with ME--er..." Maira looks over. SUDDENLY Reize and a SOLDIER guy. "ER, US!"
Ramza Beoulve They were not so unchanging to Ramza. Goug looked so very different to Ramza's memory. The once great Machine city, one of Ivalice's rougher jewels had been a paradise for the Machinists who sought to unlock some of the greatest mysteries of Ivalice's history. Now.. the landscape made it look more like Midgar, the Midgar he'd seen in Zack's mind, with giant reactors choking the sky with viridian light.

It may be in the hands of Shinra now, but in some ways that made him more wary, after all, he'd interfered with the efforts of some regenerating debatedly mad-woman who wanted to conduct experiments on Angantyr's blood. Booted feet squishing upon dank muddy streets, his white cloak and cloak had it's hem stained and weighed down by the same mud upon his boots.

As an old soldier, Ramza had this imperceptible itch when something wasn't quite right. Just a sense which had his hand playing near the hilt of his cinqueda, not in a brash, but a wary manner. Which is when he starts hearing the heavy breathing of a man in desperate straits. Raising a hand, he invoked the power of White Magic, which thrummed through his fingertips, "Precious light be our armor and protect us! Silent Light, shield us from all iniquity!" ..really the incantations weren't so important, in a way they were kind of campy, but they helped to focus the magic like a swordsman might make a Kiai shout to focus their strikes. A translucent, purple crystalline shield, multi-layered formed around him, as he presses a hand to his chest, forcing a chakra point open.

His opposite hand drew the cinqueda smoothly, and then he advanced upon the Shadow Orchestra. At the very least it would give the heartless another target! In the middle of his advance, he saluted Zack casually. It came as no surprise that the man was here. "Ser Fair." He spoke up cheerfully. "Words can't express how glad I am to have you here."
Avira Sometime earlier...

"Huh, a cache of blocks in Goug? That's the first time I've ever gotten an offer from there." Avira notes with some reservations. It's not that she didn't like coming to the slums nor it was the first time she's been here, having visited with Maira in the past. Instead, it is a distaste for this area because here is where that Black Beast was born.

Something about the area put Avira on edge and it was that incident that she blamed.

Half on her way to the meeting spot, having just left Maira to procure a hotdog, she quickly picks up on the nearby commotion. Right away, she turns towards the sound of running and glimpses a harried man leaping across the building gap overhead. Heartless jump after him. Without hesitation, Avira slides the Spine from the sheath at the small of her back and takes up pursuit, running alongside the nearby building in the adjacent alley.

This draws her into a dead end, though that does not stop her. She leaps at the wall at full speed and uses her momentum to wall jump her way to the building's roof. Hitting the roof running, she quickly falls in pursuit of the Heartless.
Montag The Shinra Military has not entirely forsaken this place, some officers and troopers still did do patrols for the worst of things. Oddly they'd been pretty zealous about heartless hunting in the slums. When word was caught by Montag he was quick to deploy on the job. So here Montag was as he was rapidly moving into range he saw some random passers by were helping. Wait no he looked through his scope, that was totally Avira and likely more of her friends.

"Should have guessed they'd be here."

Montag lines up a shot with one of the heartless and gets ready to fire.
Zero-One It seems like the man is doomed to be run down like a dog for a moment.

And then the counterattack comes. The rattling blasts of te Shinra attack helicopter strike into the Heartless mass, causing them to break apart, gaining more definition as many of them begin to be torn apart by the assault, returning to the Darkness whence they came. The hunted man dives low, a flash of crimson trailing him as he dives out of sight.

Said Heartless are not picky when it comes to their prey. As soon as Maira calls out, the Heartless turn as one to stare.

Directly at her. Uh oh.

This specific Heartless swarm appears to consist of a large swarm of magician undead. A riot of color flashes through the air as they scatter, Maira blasting several of them with consuming flames. This scattering, however, works against Reize as his boomerang whiffs both coming and going. One of the Rhapsodies ding-a-lings at him mockingly. Poor Reize.

Others begin to gather as well. The Heartless do not care. All they know is hunger, to devour the Light within those Hearts. And there is much Light here.

Ice streaks through the air, the hailstones beating down those around as the Rhapsodies call out. Next. crackling lightning surges, yellow Operas slinging blasts, moments before a wave of jazzy water strikes from silvery Heartless. This is getting messy already... But where did the man go?
Maira Yes, Maira knows how this goes. Drawing attention to herself would buy that poor guy some time. Now, she's not alone either! Ramza she recognizes, and waves to gleefully. "Oh! Sir Ramza! Hello!" she greets, then looks over to Zack and his /helicopter/ "Ooou..." she mouthes, but there's not time to really ooglie the shiny. The man looks like he knows what he's doing! Of course she knows Reize, lost but capable, and then Avira! Her best friend is always a welcome sight. They know how to fight as a team.

The Heartless turn toward her, yellow eyes filled with hunger. Maira titters nervously. "Well, here we go!" she says, then begins casting some protective magics, moving toward Avira to let her cover her if need be, then Maira will be ready to heal.
Ramza Beoulve Ramza seems to be bantering over the radio at the moment. "An airdrop?" It sounds crazy, but he's seen Zack do far crazier. Ramza before he raises a hand. "Strike the ground with glittering blades!" From the aether overhead, lightning forms and surges downward, in an attempt to arc through the Heartless.

He then moves to extract a small globe from inside his robe, tossing it towards the orchestra. Concentrating, he directs the wind to abruptly change direction, changing a breeze, into cuttingly sharp gale force winds, which also dissect the orb in mid-flight. When it bursts, it covers the area with chill rime and hoarfrost.

Obligingly, he looks Maira's way, "Lady Maira, so good to see you again! How is Ser Vespar?"
Avira After a few steps, Avira forces herself to slow as the helicopter crests overhead. She...knew that helicopter, actually. She's pretty sure she's seen it before. Given the locale, she wants to say ShinSec but her gut told her it wasn't the case. More importantly, she takes care to not put herself in the line of fire.

"Maira! I think you got their attention!" Avira calls out, losing sight of the man that had been fleeing. Invigorated by her best friend's magic, she draws the Spine back before slashing it upwards in several rapid swipes. Each blow sends a wave of force extending beyond the blade, half from will and half from air magic.

The razor-sharp 'blades' cleave through the main flock of waltzes, rhapsodies, jazzes and other magic-type floating Heartless. No sooner than Avira fires, she's on the move, running to position herself between Maira and the rest of the Heartless swarm.
Zack Fair Oh, hey. There's ShinSec, Zack observes from his helicopter. Ramza, too! Zack waves at Ramza from on high, though he cannot actually hear what Ramza said, in large part because THWAK THWAK THWAK THWAK helicopter noises are filling his ears. He does, however, offer Ramza a thumb-up.

Ramza can take that thumbs-up as he will.

The Shinra Military Transport Helicopter swings around, still firing its machine gun payload. Missiles will come soon, once it has an opening. The important part is that it is not letting up on the Heartless *at all*.

Which is great, because Zack has no intention of letting the Heartless get whoever that guy was. Or anybody else down here.

One of the Heartless swings a lightning blast at the chopper. Zack, thinking quickly, rams his sword against the chopper's side, acting as a lightning rod...for a bolt of lightning. Zack gets a nasty jolt racing through his body, and the chopper responds with the missiles.

The missiles miss. Zack mutters something about ShinRa technology. It is unflattering, but fortunately, nobody can hear it except Zack and the nonexistant pilot.

Zack decides that doing things in any way that isn't /awesome/ is just unbefitting a SOLDIER First-Class, even an ex-SOLDIER. As the helicopter swings around to get him into position over the swarm, Maira fires beams of light at him! or fire. Or something! Zack's not sure. But he feels better. As the helicopter moves into position, Zack gives Maira a thumbs-up and a flashy, roguish grin. Then he looks down.

Zack releases his hand from the helicopter. Amidst the hailstorm of magical bullets, he falls, bringing his hand up to the hilt of his Materia Blade. Zack falls without a parachute, or any kind of stopping power. He's a SOLDIER First Class - parachutes only slow him down. His hand flashes along the sword.


The massive Materia Blade slashes upwards just before Zack hits the ground. His feet hit the blade as it stabs down, and the blade bends backwards under the force of the impossible maneuver. He holds himself there for an instant as he gathers power in the palm of his hand...and then springs off it, launching himself at another Heartless.


The energy ball explodes on contact. Zack rides the shockwave, landing back near the Materia Blade. He rips it out of the ground and spins it over his head, magic gathering around the tip of the sword.

Sakura blossoms begin to fall from it. Where they fall, they slice through Heartless - and then Zack actually delivers the strike, sending blossoms flying.


Zack swings the Materia Blade back over his shoulder and enters a fighting stance. He is grinning like an idiot.

Oh yeah. He missed this.
Reize Seatlan There are allies!

"Ooooii! Maira! Avira!" He then looks over towards the arrival of a few strange things. One in particular is an attack chopper and a man coming out of it. "Buh?" As he watches the arrival of re-enforcements, Reize brightens a smile, "Yay! We got some re-inforcements!"

...And when the rhapsody avoids the boomerang and mocks him.


Reize puffs his cheeks angrily. The antenna hair shakes a 'hair' at it angrily.

Suddenly, magic and pain his way. "ACK!" As the spells are blasting his way, Reize is stumbling and bouncing over to a safe spot. "Gah!" However, a lightning current grazes his back. "Ow!" Reize growls, "That's it!" He twists the grip of his boomerangs and twists around invertedly and he turns around to start.

He twists his hips to kick at the rhapsody, then he spins around to give it another kick. Last but not least, Reize twists around for a double-spinning kick to strike it in a juggle.

Montag Where is Shinsec? Right here Montag's just the first responder today she's now had time to line up several shots as he starts attempting to pick off heartless from his current perch on a rundown building which seemed to suit his needs. he watches as he spys a ghost through his scope. He stares again seieng who it is.

"The hell? Zack? How the hell...?"

there are heartless to worry about ad the rest of the Shinsec contigance is still haveing to make their way through the patchwork of streets to teach the fight. Monty contiunes to ID more people he knows and it's just becoming a big old party now ain't it?
Aerith "I come home for restocking my supplies, and I find all this."

Aerith sighed as she whirled her staff to attack position, atop the roof of the Seventh Heaven. "Tifa is gonna kill me if these things make a mess while she's gone." She scanned the battlefield that the slums had become, taking note of those who came to defend the area. It wasn't long before she picked out everyone on the defensive, and made her decision.

Avira and Maira would suddenly be awash with defensive spells as her materia flashed to life beneath the sleeves of her denim jacket.
Zero-One Chaos spreads through the slums of Goug as the Heartless pile in. It seems like the horde of tiny, cute, deadly mages are endless. But then, that's how Heartless work. These Heartless, too, seem to use dangerous magical abilities, stopping Ramza's assault cold. Literally, as they freeze it solid, ruining the combination strike and sending it flying away. Avira's assault of wing blades carve through the Heartless, clipping several, but they seem to be annoyingly evasive, preventing Avira from getting a solid hit. However, her bracketing attacks strike, setting things up for Zack to drive in, unleashing a terrific assault. The blade cleaves into the mass, destroying the Heartless by the dozens as the fragile mages get locked down and exploded. Reize leaps in right behind them with the forbidden power of Kicking! The mocking Rhapsody gets punted straight into the middle of the he mass, exploding. dramatically.

But there's always more. Always more. Green Serenades sing out and create spiralling light that saps the vitality from those who are caught by it. This isn't the problem.

The problem is the deadly dark shadows that creep up, a terrible black aria ringing out to follow up. The Darkness strikes... And then the darkness is shattered as a meteor roars downwards, smashing past the helicopter and hitting the ground, sending a shockwave crushing through everything nearby... Though it's still small and somehow cute for being a tiny doomball.

Through all this, Zack feels something shift on the helicopter. He sees a shadow on the opposite side of the helicopter, an arm reaching into the craft and pulling out something.

A first aid kit?
Ramza Beoulve "Tck." Ramza Beoulve looks a little disgusted as the Shadow Orchestra repels his efforts, but he isn't that powerful of a mage. As a jack of all trades, he dabbled in all things. Ivalice was a good place for that. Unless you were a Sword Saint, then you just specialized and destroyed everything on the battlefield like his Father and Count Orlandeau once did when they took the field.

But at the moment, Zack was in trouble. And Ramza's skills at White Magic had a place here. His hand is once again raised, "Life's refreshing breeze, blow with energy!"

A healing wind begins to blow, energy from the lifestream washing away some of his wounds.
Maira Maira sticks close by Avira, giving her a little shrug at her comment. "As long as it gets them off the guy who was running! He didn't look like he could take much more!" she replies, lifting her long skirt to run.

Maira looks back to Ramza, the mention of Angantyr summoning a rather large and goofy smile. "He's great! I'll tell him you say hello!"

Then Zack is joining the melee. Cherry blossoms drift from nowhere and Maira just boggles. Between Zack and Reize, there sure are a lot of attack names being shouted! Should she do that? Was that how it was suppose to go? She didn't really have names for the things her fire did, Holy was obvious but she felt pretty silly yelling it...Hmm...

Contemplate that later.

An unsurprising face, considering their location, soon Aerith is joining the fight. Maira feels her protective magic washing over her, adding another layer to her own magical protection. She flashes Aerith a smile and a wave. "Hey Aerith! Lets get these things OUT of of our hometown, yeah!?" she says, moving around to get a clear line of sight to the heartless, her Light flaring as she prepares to go nova.

Before she can strike, the haunting aria grabs her attention. "Oh, no..." she says, only to then find herself being blasted backward from the shockwave as something falls from the sky and crashes nearby. Understandably, this is worrying. Is it /another/ creature like the darkness? The one that hunts Rhiannon? That had fallen from the sky too...

Maira manages to use a puff of air magic to cushion herself, merely scraping her elbow on the brick of a building as she flies backward. Before much damage can be done, she's back on her feet. "Oh are /not/ taking any more hearts today!"

And just because shouting attack names seems to be the thing to do...


Searing light explodes from her, tendrils of deadly brilliance crashing toward the darkness, burning through like the summer sun through a morning fog.
Zack Fair Zack Fair is straight crazy. Ramza ought to know that by now. The only reason he's alive is that he appears to be good enough to keep saving his own skin. Still, a good mercenary is worth the money, and Zack is well worth the low, low price of 'free'.

Montag's puzzlement is unheard and unregistered. ShinSec is probably monitoring the situation by now, which means that they know he's alive. Boy oh boy. The price of freedom-

No, the price of /other peoples' freedom/ is steep, Zack decides. The price of his own freedom...well, that meant sacrificing innocents. It meant ignoring this kind of situation. These sorts of problems. And Zack Fair just wasn't the kind of guy to pay that cost. That was a price that was unpayable.

The helicopter shakes. Zack's attention is split, as a shadowy hand pulls a first aid kit out of the conjured craft. That split costs him dearly, as he's blasted by a series of Heartless - one by one, the Rhapsodies and Serenades pile onto him, magic exploding throughout his body. When the assault dies down, Zack is covered in burns, his SOLDIER clothes torn and seared, his hair still smoldering. Zack swings the Materia Blade up, drawing on his limitless reserves of good cheer and willpower instead of his limited reserves of physical energy, which are already thoroughly exhausted. He's feeling it, that's for sure.

"I /like/ this shirt!" Zack shouts at the Heartless, faking outrage. It's hard to sound outraged when you're grinning from ear to ear, though. Really hard.

Zack begins to spin his blade around. The sky starts to darken as he raises the blade into the air, and the clouds shake and part. From above, a meteor comes swinging down, in time with the arc of his blade - it joins with the fire of the helicopter, pumping damage into the Heartless swarm as Zack roars out its name.


Then the ground explodes in a pentagram. As Ramza's healing skill takes hold and swirls around Zack, mending his wounds (and putting out the lingering fires), the pentagram widens, spinning around Zack. His eyes blaze with Mako energy as he stabs the sword down into the center of the spinning magic circle.


Lightning storms down across the field. Windows shatter, telephone lines rupture, but no living things are harmed - no living things, except that which Zack dictates should be harmed. Which is specifically the Heartless. The lightning crashes down from the sky, splitting through Heartless, then arcs along the ground into Zack's blade, carrying magical power with it. Zack drinks in the magic, his grin widening.
Avira Avira scowls in frustration as even these little Heartless seem to be evading her. Not her week, maybe? Despite the support? She pauses as the black-haired man (turns out she's never really met the guy) comes in to strike much more effectively and in a much more fancy manner. "...maybe shouting attack names is the key..." she mutters with some resignation. Shouting in fights was exhausting. ...more exhausting. Fighting was exhausting, dangit.

Jabbing the Spine into the roof at her feet, she instead opts to take up position as if holding an invisible bow and arrow. In a few seconds, a spire of ice appears where an arrow might be held. Carefully, she aims her shot at one of the red-robed Heartless. A crimson jazz maybe? It's red therefore it must be one of the Heartless that uses fire magic. Obviously you need to use ice or water against it. Basic magic match theory.

"I lost track of the running man." Avira calls out to Maira.
Reize Seatlan There is a bit of a twisted satisfaction in punting the mocking rhapsody and seeing it explode dramatically. It is human nature, even if a tad uncharacteristic. Granted, that may be because of the vengeful nature of being mocked tends to take over.

As more serenades sing and create the dark magic, Reize is drawing his boomerangs back as he takes a fighting stance. The boy furrows his eyebrows, "Gah---"

However, the boy cannot help but look around, "Where did the guy who fled go?"

All through the time, Reize misses out on the fact of the Heartless getting taken care of as well.
Montag Montag lowers his rifle as things seem to be ending as she activate his grapples to get closer to the combatants what the heck was going on there? ZIP! ZIP is the sound his grapples make as he's launching across the city streets like spider man. It should be easy to see him as he closes on the group and comes in for a landing.

"What the frag is going on here?!"
Aerith Aerith hopped down from the rooftop and jogged toward the others as the heartless dissipate. "I seem to have gotten here late," she called out to Avira and Maira as she approached, "but still in time to watch the fireworks." She stopped short of the two princesses. "Glad you guys could be here, though. I came as soon as I could."
Zack Fair "I dunno," Zack tells Aerith, "You do healing magic, right? The guy who was running from those things looked injured, and somebody grabbed a first aid kit out of my helicopter. You might be right on time, actually."

Zack also offers a two-fingered, informal salute at Reize and Avira and the others he doesn't know. Montag comes in, and Zack just turns his face around, like his hair *isn't* the most distinctive thing in the world.
Zero-One The Heartless are numerous, but in the end there is only so much something can do when people are willing to focus and apply themselves. The power of one's Will and Heart are the key to defeating the Heartless, and those present are willing to do so. The spears of holpower streak from Maira as she shears through the swarms of Heartless, piercing them and shattering though the Darkness, dissolving them. Zack's own power hammers into the Heartless, searing as he unleashes meteors of his own. The power of the Digital Mind Wave is made manifest as Zack unleashes his own tiny hell on earth upon the Heartless, though a far kinder and gentler one than they intended for those present. Avira contributes with a quick icy arrow of her own to spear one before the catacysmic blast washes out, removing the Heartless threat.

Everything goes silent for a moment... And Reize asks an important question.

That question is answered.
Genesis Rhapsodos "I am right here." says the man, swinging past Zack and moving with grace and speed, his red and black coat flaring in the wind dramatically as he drops to the ground. He lands lightly, turning towards his rescuers. Many of his wounds appear to have been bandaged somewhere along the line. Where from? IT IS A MYSTERY... Except perhaps to Zack, if he was paying attention. "It would be ill befitting of me to not offer you my thanks for your assistance." The man gives a bow, smiling as he straightens. "From the depths of my heart, I thank you. After all, if it were not for your timely intervention perhaps I may not have had it much longer..." He gestures, brushing aside his deep red hair. "I am Genesis Rhapsodos, ex-SOLDIER First-Class."

He chuckles faintly, his eyes turning up towards Zack. "Some of you may have heard of me."
Aerith If nothing else, Aerith knew that term. Especially the ex part. So this was another one who Shinra had abandoned in their pursuit for power. She glanced at him for a brief moment, wondering what exactly to do with him besides heal him. The bandages were already there, so he seemed to have taken care of it himself.

Regardless, she brought her full focus on him after a bit. "So then, Genesis..." She gave him her best smile. "Since I haven't heard of you before today, my name's Aerith. You okay there?"
Reize Seatlan It is then that Reize turns around to see the presence of a man swinging down mysteriously and facing them. The boy blinks when he looks over at the man who is gracious for his rescue. The boy brightens a smile. "Ooi! Pleased to meet you!"

The boy grins, "I'm Reize Seatlan, just an explorer!"

Admittedly, Reize had not heard of him, but... the boy keeps smiling. At least the Heartless is gone. He frowns, "How did you run into the Heartless?"
Maira Explosion complete for the time being, Maira shouts back to Avira. "I'll look for him!"

Maira turns to go look for the man who was running, /of course/ managing to run right into him as she's /suddenly there/.

Maira rebounds off, flailing slightly. "Oh! Sorry! Oh good you're alright! Here let me--" she stops talking and just casts a couple of cure spells as she keeps talking.

At which point, she chokes. "Genesis!? Oh my gosh!" yeah, Maira grew up in Midgar. She bloody knows who Genesis Rhapsodos is! She'd probably recognize Zack's name if she knew it, too! Maira grins now, jumping up and down excitedly as the girl inside her that'd listened to stories of SOLDIER squees. "How cool! Its so nice to meet you! I'm Maira. Wait, aren't you suppose to be dead or something? Oh wait maybe you are," she says, then looks around to see if others can see him of if she's doing that 'talk to the dead and look craaazzyyy' thing again. Nope, they see him. Yay!

Someone should...maybe catch her up on /things that happened/ at some point.
Zack Fair Genesis Rhapsodos. Genesis Rhapsodos.

Yeah, Zack knew. Zack remembered. Zack remembered the fight, the violent battle against the traitor-SOLDIER in the depths of Banora. He remembers nothing else - not how he attempted to carry on Genesis's dream, not how he spoke with the man, not their final duel. He only remembered the monster.

Zack backs off. He tenses up, like a coiled spring about to release itself. The reactions of Aerith and Reize are...completely unlike his own.

In Zack's mind's eye, he still remembers the monstrous winged Genesis Avatar. In Zack's mind's eye, that is what Genesis is *right now*.

Zack moves into a fighting stance. His hands come up, ready to punch. He won't be caught off-guard. Not again.
Ramza Beoulve Pleasantries are exchanged, and Maira receives a cheerful reply, "Thank you for that, I wouldn't mind employing his services again in the near future." Ramza definitely was not too proud to employ Dark Knights, after seeing what Gafgarion could do, hiring Angantyr was a very logical step. But as the Heartless are destroyed, and the din of battle settles down.. Reize asks an important question, which was answered in short order.

Ramza's evaluation of him is simple. Melodramatic, slightly flamboyant... and very dangerous. Obviously Zack knew him, and it was unlikely that they were on the best of terms. He didn't tend to underestimate people who carried themselves like that. Ex-SOLDIER's first class even less so. His hand flexes around his Cinqueda.

The truth is, he didn't know much of Zack's past at all, beyond the glimpses he had seen within the hellish landscape within his mind. When he'd found Zack in the first place, he was riddled with more wounds than it should be possible to survive. But even in that ignorance, he was loyal to those who served with him. "Beoulve. Ramza Beoulve." He states tersely, before murmuring something over the radio.
Avira The Heartless are disposed of in short order. In one well-practiced motion, Avira pulls her weapon free, spins it over her hand, and slides it back into the sheath upon her back. With little warning, the man that had been fleeing reappears, bandaged and looking fairly dramatic.

Avira frowns slightly for a few seconds before he offers a sincere thanks for their help. "You're welcome. We couldn't just stand by and watch someone get chased by Heartless."

Following his verbose introduction, there is no hint of recognition in Avira, save for the mention of SOLDIER. She knows what those are, at least, but she doesn't know anything about the famous ones. Or /former/ ones. With an easygoing smile, Avira shakes her head. "This is the first time I've heard your name. I am-"

Maira's excited reaction gets her attention. It makes sense since she did grow up on these streets so if this man was famous then, of course Maira would know. "...Avira." she finishes, holding back a laugh at her friend's excitement.
Genesis Rhapsodos Genesis doesn't stumble, swiftly reaching out to ensure Maira doesn't fall. He seems gentlemanly enough. "There are a good number of people who might wish such a thing." He says, his gaze trailing with a significant look towards Zack. "However, it seems destiny calls yet. It is a pleasure to meet you, Maira."

He nods to Ramza as well. "Ramza." And then Reize speaks up. "It is funny that you ask that, Mr. Seatlan. I was told to do so." It's at this point that Genesis looks over at the palm of his hand, frowning for a moment, and then pulling out a stylish cellphone and flipping it open, pressing a few buttons with a beep. "Hmm. Well then. It seems your assistance saved me in more than one way." He then bows to Avira as well. "A pleasure to meet you as well, Avira." And then Aerith. He smiles. "Thank you for your concern. I will be fine. Miss Aerith."
Montag Speaking of teh dead he stares in shock at Genesis.

"Oh dear Christ..."

He stares with a look of horror on his face and he then acts, he pens his comm.

<<Montag to command Heartless terminated we have a new problem. I'm staring at what lookz like SOLIDER First Class Zack Fair and SOLIDER First Class Genesis Rhapsodos. I say again I'm staring at two dead men who seem very much alive and well.>>

Montag is not lowering his weapon he's keeping it ready and his helemted head is looking right at Genesis and Zack. This coul get bad, this could get very bad. He's not going to demand the surrender of these two, not without more firepower here hopefully he can get the Heli Gunners deployed in time.

"...What in the Goddesses name! Your both dead!"
Zack Fair "Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated," Zack snarks, his eyes still locked on Genesis. Genesis checks his hand. Something clicks in his mind, and Zack rolls up his own sleeve, looking at his arm. Gone. He flips up his PHS, clicking through the messages...the Mission was cleared in time.



Zack moves through the crowd with that ludicrous SOLDIER grace. He pushes people aside as he moves forward.

His hand goes for Genesis's red-leather collar. Then so does his other hand. He appears to be moving to literally lift Genesis into the air - and given how strong Zack is, that's probably likely.

"But not rumors of yours!" Zack snaps, "I killed you! I *remember* killing you! You betrayed everything SOLDIER stood turned into that...that /thing/...and I killed you!"

"And your arm! Was that a timer!? Do you have a timer, too?! Were you ordered here by your PHS?!"

Zack digs into his pocket. He grabs a small, black pin with a series of white markings on it and thrusts it into Genesis's face.

"Do you have one of these, too?! Are you responsible for this!? Is it a ShinRa plot?!"

Aerith Aerith blinked for a moment. Okay... someone needs to fill her in. "Zack... put him down and relax. I doubt he knows any more than you do." She didn't know why she bothered. Zack couldn't remember her, and thus she had no pull with him. Still, she had to try. "Maybe you should explain, Genesis..."
Reize Seatlan "Wait, what?" Reize looks rather confused. "Told to do so?" Reize is now flat out confused. Who would tell him to run into the Heartless and why? Between Maira's excitement and the tenseness of the atmosphere, Reize is just in the state of confusion by his statement.

And then...

Montag breaks out the big news: Both him and someone else is dead.

"... What?"

And then, Zack pushes through to get to Genesis, "Whoa!" Reize steps back and turns to Zack and Genesis's interaction. "PHS?" Reize looks right at the black pin with white markings.



Reize is staring. The pin looks different than a certain someone's, but the boy looks very serious.

"...You're a Player, aren't you?"
Maira Maira is reaching into her bag to try to look for something to have signed. She wants an autograph! Pen in hand, she looks up then to find Zack very much on high alert, and Montag with him. Zack goes to Genesis and grabs him, yelling things she completely doesn't understand.

Maira blinks. "I am...missing something here, aren't I...?" she asks quietly, pen still in hand.
Ramza Beoulve Zack's behavior may seem erratic to most, including Ramza, but by the way he sounded over the radio, it was for a good reason. When Zack Fair sounded like that, it was not the time to doubt him, above all else, Ramza was loyal to his people. "Everyone. Fain forgive me, but I'm going to need to ask all of you to step away from the Ser Rhapsodes. He isn't what he appears to be. Trust Ser Fair in this, please. And if this turns hostile.. then leave the battle to him."

And slowly he creeps towards Montag, not in a threatening pose, in fact it seems quite casual. However, he was speaking on the radio. And Ramza knew from experience that all it might take is one radio conversation to defeat them.
Aerith Aerith glanced toward Maira. "You're not the only one who needs something explained. I'm trying to get one..." She glared at Zack. "But some people seem intent on shooting first and asking questions later."
Avira " and me both." Avira says slowly, watching the tense confrontation between Zack and Genesis, complete with proclamation that Zack /killed/ the other guy. "Though I do remember what a Player is. It's been a while since I've seen Shiki around. Or that Sho has pestered everyone....fortunately."

Dropping her voice, she leans over and murmurs something to Maira just so she can hear.
Genesis Rhapsodos Genesis looks over towards Montag. "Ah, Shinsec, the erstwhile enforcement arm of Shinra. Are you going to try to kill me?"

But then Zack descends upon him like some kind of Justice Truck. Genesis didn't bother resisting as Zack lifts him up. All Zack can see is that insufferable smile of his. Even now he refuses to crack in front of Zack or anyone else. As he hangs there in the air, he casually takes the pen from Maira and produces a small paper. He writes upon it and offers it back. "A token for you, Ms. Maira." It reads in perfect, flowing script, 'To dearest Maira, who saved my heart. Genesis Rhapsodos.'

His response to Zack consits of reaching into his jacket and producing a Player Pin of his own... as well as a number of other Pins, each tucked between a finger and showing unusual designs. "What is going on? It's as Mr. Seatlan says. I am a Player, in a Game."

And his eyes narrow slightly. "As are you, it seems, Mr. Fair. Your fate must not have been much better than mine. That saddens me. Release me, Zack. This is not the proper manner to give exposition."
Ramza Beoulve Ramza seems unmoved, but after speaking to Zack on the radio, places his Cinqueda back into it's sheath, "Fain forgive me for my mistrust, but on my world the proper manner by which one gives exposition is to speak with a flitting forked tongue, before whistling for an ambush. The alternative, transforming into a demon of legend is becoming increasingly popular as of late."
Zack Fair Reize says something about Players. Zack looks at him, confused - and then Zack swings his eyes back at Genesis. He growls. "Don't you use my name so casually, Genesis Rhapsodos! I remember what you did! What you tried to do! I remember how you tried to kill me! I remember what happened when you-"

Aerith sells herself short. Her words get through, and Zack hesitates. Maira points out exactly what Zack is feeling right now - lost, confused. And Genesis has the answers. Genesis freaking Rhapsodos!

Zack goes, "tch", and drops Genesis back on the ground. He doesn't shove him. He just drops the man back on the ground.

"I'll bet you're just real torn-up that you weren't the one to kill me, huh? Took a whole platoon to bring me down, and then Ramza over here pulled me back from the brink of death." Zack flashes a grin and sticks the pin back in his pocket.

Then he looks from Avira to Reize to Aerith. "So...what's a Player? What's this Game he's talking about?"
Reize Seatlan This is where Reize is tensing. Perhaps it is because that Reize spent a lot of time with Shiki, learning a lot about her. The young adventurer's smile continues to wane before it becomes a frown. It is more sudued, looking at all of those Pins procured from Genesis. And then, the boy looks over at Zack, who has no idea what the Reaper's Game is.

This is where Reize steps in.

"I've learned quite a lot during my interactions..." A faint smile grows, but it is a sad one. "You have died. Those that have died are Players. They are participants in the Reaper's Game. It is a series where you are to complete an objective before you are ..." The boy lowers his head, "...gone for good."


He frowns, "There are Reapers that will hunt down the Players to make sure that they are erased." The fist tightens as he states this, remembering about one of the Reapers, Uzuki.

Pause, "...However, if you complete the Game, you can be brought back to life."
Avira "Um." Avira says awkwardly, "I'd kind of hope that you'd know more about it than we would..." She nods towards where Zack had put away his player pin. "Being a participant and all. The basic gist is that Reapers play games with dead people and challenge them to complete various tasks, all for another chance at life. If the person fails at the game, the Reaper will...well..."

Reize chimes in. Erased. Avira nods grimly in concurrance.

After that, Avira adds, "I'm a little surprised, don't they tell the participants these things? That's pretty unfair if they don't." Avira really couldn't comment on how well Reapers followed the rules though. Sho seemed like enough of a jerk to change them on the fly. Uzuki...well she was mean but Avira didn't know her well enough.
Genesis Rhapsodos Genesis is about to speak, spreading his arms to make a grand speech, before he pauses, arching an eyebrow. "Well, looks like the rest of you are quite familiar with it. You won't have to worry about my exposition it seems, Mr. Beoulve."

Zack's objections simply cause him to shake his head. "So you did. So you did. But I died, and you lived. You went on to be the hero, and died a hero's death at the hands of the very organization that created you, it seems. But you did not escape death, no more than I did."

He smiles, then. "And it seems we are both playing the same Game. Does this mean we are enemies... or allies?" He flicks his hair, his expression showing he's not sure which he'd prefer at the moment.

"Nevertheless, we will not have long to remain if we are to avoid Shinra's wrath. Our friend there has already called in a report."
Zack Fair Zack stumbles. He's...dead? So he and Genesis *are* dead? For the first time *ever*, Zack's confidence is rocked. Hard. He looks...he looks like he's about to faint. He fumbles again, staring wordlessly at Avira and Reize and Genesis.

Then he grabs Aerith by the arm.

"Hey...hey, you've got white magic materia, right? You do White Mage stuff? Can't you...I-I dunno, can't you bring us back to life? Can't you...can you do anything? Can you..."

Zack drops her arm and shakes his head. Ramza on the radio brings a bit of a smile to his face, but nobody else can hear that. Still...

"...yeah. I know," Zack tells Genesis, looking over at Montag. "This place is gonna be crawling with ShinSec in minutes. I've..."

"I've got a helicopter. We can...leave. And talk about this later."
Montag Montag has got real damn quiet at this point and he's looking at both SOLIDERS. It's clear he's on edge but more information is coming in. Player? The Game? Montag squints a bit behind his goggles. What the blue blazes is going on here?

He does look at Rhapasodos and give him an answer.

"Killing either of you are not my orders."

He's clearly been in contact with his commanders from the sounds of it. The Shinra knows, they damn well know ow both are moving about. Also Yes the first thing hojo asked was can they breed.


Ya this isn't a good place to fight.

"Reno seems damn happy bout you Zack, odd."

Montag isn't making a hostile act, he knows he can't win but he can keep an eye on things here for yes there are forces coming.
Reize Seatlan "It is surprising that you weren't told." He looks at Zack, "When did you find out about that Pin?" That also comes to mind.


Reize lifts a finger, "That is something else that I remember. A Player should always have a Partner. Noise will show up to erase a Player. They are like Heartless, in a way. To effectively defeat at Noise, you have to have a Partner to fight with."

Realizing the tension between the two, Reize lifts a finger, "Will you two end up being Partners?"
Zack Fair Zack looks at Reize. He stares at him for a long, long moment. "Did you, like, miss the part where I *killed him*?" He demands.
Avira Avira puts her hand on her face. "Reize...I don't think..." Unless they were assigned as partners? Avira wasn't too clear on how the whole partners thing worked in Reaper games.
Ramza Beoulve "Good." Ramza states cheerfully at Montag. "I hate having to battle someone who is 'just following orders'. It always leave a sour taste in my mouth."

Jutting a finger Zack's way, Ramza just states mildly, "Sheryl and I will try when we get back to camp. I don't know if it will work. Most people who we try it on are very recently dead."

Ramza just stares at Reize for a long time, "If it's required he have a partner, then I'll put my life on the line, but I don't think it will be necessary.." HIs smile is quite confident, "I have a feeling this Reaper's game has never had a Player like Ser Fair before."

Turning, his white cloak not so much fluttering in the wind but dragging upon the mud-stained ground, he walks towards Zack. "Shall we be off?"
Aerith Aerith sighed. "Okay then..." She willed her staff away. Clearly this was something she was not any part of. "First of all, apparently you are both alive, so be thankful. Second, since both of you have your memories intact, but with considerable holes, then I advise you stick together for the time being until you can figure this out. And third..." She rubbed her temples. "...Someone had better explain all this to me in the next few days, because I have enough problems to deal with without being confused like this."
Genesis Rhapsodos "Restraint from Shinsec? You really have changed since I was alive and well." Genesis chuckles. When Reize suggests they team up, Genesis shakes his head. "It appears that detail has already been handled." Genesis turns away and looks over his shoulder. "I will not be going with you, Zack. I think... We have to see how this plays out." Aerith offers her voice of reason, and Genesis shakes his head. "No. I don't think so. I remember being killed quite clearly, as well as the terms of the Game. There is, however, a great deal to consider. Perhaps we will meet again."

At this point, Genesis negins striding off, seemingly without convern.
Reize Seatlan A frown is given towards Zack, "No, I didn't."

The boy also adds, "Those who end up Partners end up being so for different reasons. I think sometimes, different methods." He thinks over, "I don't know how the Partner thing is handled, but..." The boy notes to Zack, "It is very possible."

He gives a thoughtful look, "I don't think Shiki told me how she ended up with her Partner..." The boy thinks back to his encounter with Neku. ...Reize remembers wanting to punch the jerk in the face really hard. He was going to as well until he realized how it was making Shiki feel. But, those thoughts pass by.

And a glance is given towards Ramza, "In order to be his official Partner in the Reaper's Game, you would have to be a Player as well." Aka. You'd have to die as well. He rubs the back of his head.

"However, I do remember that Shiki told me that things had changed for some time." He gives a sheepish smile.
When Genesis gives a vague explanation of details, Reize looks confused. "..Uhh..." He frowns, "I don't get this."
Zack Fair "Yeah," Zack agrees with Ramza quietly. He whistles, and the helicopter's blades begin to spin as it forms out of literally thin air. He swings himself, gesturing to Ramza.

He looks over at Aerith. Well...*she* says they're both alive...but like three different people seem to think they're dead. Zack sure doesn't feel dead. He feels just fine.

But then Genesis speaks. And Genesis...Genesis knows more than Zack does right now. And so does Reize. Zack clenches his fist and points at Genesis. "Yeah. I bet we will."

Then he enters the helicopter.

"Sorry, Aerith...but I think there's more going on here than I understand. And I don't want to be within five feet of that guy. Not around people I like and care about."

"I'm not sure I wouldn't /stab him/."
Montag Montag looks at Rhapsodos as he looks at Genesis real hard.

"I learned some lessons from the last time you were up and about. I haven't lasted since the days of the AVALANCHE by being foolish."

He's clearly waiting for backup but he knows everyone's going to scatter at this point. He thankfully has live capture orders which makes things better and worse at the same time. Better as less anger from possible friends, worse as they have to /catch/ them alive. Both Zack and Genesis ya this is going to be a long and bad day.

This scene contained 58 poses. The players who were present were: Reize Seatlan, Avira, Maira, Aerith, Montag, Ramza Beoulve, Zack Fair, Zero-One, Genesis Rhapsodos