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Pillaging the Dwarf Woodlands
(2013-01-03 - 2013-01-04)
With Manhattan devoured by darkness and Xanatos Enterprises thwarted for now, Baigan plots to once again make his move in the name of Baron, aiming to restore the kingdom's glory and secure its territory after his setbacks on the Dias Plains and at Balamb Garden. In dire need of resources and in hatred toward all adorable forest critters, Baigan has set his sights upon an unsuspecting target: the Dwarf's Woodlands in Phantasia, with its plentiful lumber and precious metals and stones. All that's required is to secure the location for long enough to loot it and scurry away through a Portal with their ill-gotten gains, and then to use it to further enhance Baron's navy and air force... and adapt the technology stolen from Xanatos. Will Baron's vile plot succeed with its ranks blostered by new allies, or can our scattered heroes intervene in time to save the woodlands from total devastation!?
Baigan A mere day before, the Dwarf Woodlands were the very image of serenity, this pristine forest of the Old Kingdom filled with the hum of insects and the merry song of the birds, its few inhabitants hard at work with a toil that would not disturb the delightful harmony of nature. The skies above were an endless blue, broken only by the occasional fluffy cloud, and the land willingly gave of its bounty, from the fruits of the soil to the glittering gems beneath the rock.

Yet greed has sundered the earth and terror has split the sky, and today the noise which drowns all else out is of the savage sawing of trees and the roar of the airships above. A great inky-black Portal, its borders amorphous as it seems to suck the light from the sun above, is suspended high above the ground, and from it airships emerge and depart, bearing loads of timber and minerals rapidly cleared by Baron's advanced technology and relentless discipline. Its workers have harvested at a rapid pace, and its military descended upon the innocenet forest with an absurd excess of force, without warning or mercy.

But even so--

"What do you mean we still have not seized the mine!?"

Baigan, his unblinking eyes widened, seems to be fraying again, as he so often does on the offense, or whenever the irresistability of Baron's might seems in any way compromised. His guardsman cowers before him, eyeing the way the Captain's gloved hands spasm forbodingly.

"F-Forgive me, milord," the guard manages, "but the Dwarves have holed themselves up in its depths, and we're unable to penetrate deep enough into its recesses to seize the greatest valuables. They've designed the most devious traps, Sir. And one of them is exceedingly grumpy!" he adds, looking shaken at the memory.

"Absurd," Baigan sputters. "We have a contingent of Dragoons, of Dark Knights, of Black Mages and of White. Our airships are upgraded with the newest technology the worlds have to offer." Indeed, the Red Wings do seem to have undergone some-- modifications, some of which appear rather dubious. "Our plan is foolproof. And you mean to tell me we are to be foiled by seven measly dwarves?"

"It's only a matter of time," the guardsman desperately reassures him. "Only, some of my men have stubbed their toe-- erm, been quite greviously injured. If perhaps we could be healed before we sally forth again..."

Baigan sighs. "Very well. Ask the Lady Alaz--" Suddenly he pauses, trailing off. A long awkward silence follows, as Baigan stares off into the distance blankly. The guardsman shuffles his feet and clears his throat. "Um," Baigan begins again weakly, averting his eyes, "regardless, be healed and strike again. Take Neviril with you, if necessary."

"Yes, sir. But why not take more? Why use so many troops to secure the perimeter? It's not as though the Dwarves have allies, if you don't mind me saying, sir. Are we truly going to face resistance?"

Baigan's hint of a flush fades as he grows more serious, a hint of the old Vanguard showing itself again. His gaze sweeps out toward the thick forest, where his troops stand in bunches, amidst the many hills and slopes, offering all manner of thickets and burrows for men and beasts to lurk unseen. The animals have fled the forest, taking with them warning of the impending invasion to all those who can understand. Baigan knows nothing of this, but nevertheless, his eyes narrow slowly, betraying no sign of madness.

"I have learned," he murmurs, "to assume nothing anymore."
Glayffe Glayffe, the new head engineer of Baron, has hitched a ride on one of the airships attacking the Dwarf Woodlands. He wanted to see how well his handiwork has turned out while all but intimidating the actual captain of the ship in question because he is a named character. (Sucks for said captain, but they drew the short straw on which ship gets to suffer Glayffe's presence.) All the Dragoons that were on board have long since jumped off at a record speed.
"Huahuahua!" The coughing-like laughter of the gas masked 'engineer' of Baron echoes like a dreadful thing through the entire ship as the Red Wings on board try to make good with Glayffe's newest 'genius additions' to the airships.
The most notable are laser artillery batteries. They are sloppily put together with uneven shapes and lengths from materials simply cobbled together to try and mimic the original tech as best as Baron currently can. Most of them don't even seem to fire, and some just end up functioning as little more than flickering red flashlights due to poor calibration. The few lasers in a battery that actually seem to work fire down into the Dwarf Woodlands. Cute woodland creatures flee. Not one of them ever really seem to be hit by the laser fire. Sometimes a small fire is left behind that never seems to spread.
"Look at them run! They know this is Baron's land now!" Glayffe seems entirely too proud of what little actual carnage his laser batteries are causing, as he peers over the edge of one side with a knowing smirk. The ship is about to pass a particularly large hill, so it's easy for almost anyone to try to jump on board.
Melody Ellsmere
Melody Ellsmere has kitted herself out in full armor and even has a helmet on instead of her usual floppy white-mage hat, albeit a helmet with a distinctly hat-like air. She has been doing very little useful other than leaning scenically against a laser battery and occasionally scratching her nose or making a surreptious adjustment to the armor.

"Fire! Fire! Kyahahahahahahaaaaaa!" she starts squealing in delight when the lasers start firing. "Oh this is like when I used father's spectacles to roast ants!" She calls back towards Glayffe, "Tell me if they break or whatever!!"


She looks back downwards. "Rabbits! Get 'em all!!"
Morrighan Alazne Morrighan was not in the greatest of moods.

This whole campaign struck her as a stupid idea from the very start. Flexing their so-called 'military might' like a bunch of bumbling buffoons on a grand scale...Absolutely unbearable! They should be hanging back and working more discreetly! This is NOT discreet! Lasers flying everywhere, explosions to be heard near and far, and innocent woodland creatures being mercilessly assailed by heavy artillery...

"This can only end in failure."

How did she figure that? Because Baron was stupid, that's why. Baigan was stupid, Golbez was stupid, those fiends were stupid, every last dark knight, dragoon, black mage, and white mage in their employ was stupid. They were ALL stupid!

And with a grumble, Morrighan continued to do her job of healing any knights and soldiers that came her way for treatment. No, she was not going to fight, or even get anywhere near the front lines. Hanging back with the rest of the white mages was nice and safe. No one could bother her here!

...At least she hoped.
Neviril The Dark Knight Neviril is on the ground amongst a bunch of soldiers, giving out orders and overseeing the pruning of the forest for the resources that this area can offer up. Not particulary enjoying it but it has to be done and well why not, destruction of a forest, killing small furry animals all the fun that anyone could ever have, "Move faster! You are not moving fast enough for my like, I want this area cleared NOW!" she whips out her tentacle, 'accidently' smacking a soldier upside the head with it, sending him tumbling foward as others look up on and start moving their butts to get working faster
Rubicante Rubicante, the Autarch of Flame, has not taken the field since his clash with the Princess of Tycoon underneath Baron. Contrary to what she might expect, this is not because he sustained some mortal wound; rather, it is because since his absorption - and summary loss - of the power of a crystal shard, he has been having...

... difficulties.

The enormous red man stands in a clearing amidst the dwarven woodlands, making what amounts to small talk with Scarmiglione. He knows, on some level, that he probably ought to oppose the goings-on... but this wood is not of Planet, and so he cannot muster the drive to care for its well-being.

Besides, the trees are the Blighted Despot's demesne. If anything, Rubicante muses, he ought to see these woods consumed in flame... but he tamped down such base urges long ago. He will not be ruled by his nature; is to do so not the same folly as Men?

That doesn't stop him from taking a small bit of pride when the fires start in the distance, though.

As a line of trees collapse beneath the lasers of Super Hitler, Rubicante spots Baigan through the haze, his gaze unfettered by such trifles as smoke, flame, or distance. It calls to mind an earlier discussion with Scarmiglione, about the uplifted man's... proclivities.

Which brings us to the difficulties.

o/` I am agog; I am aghast; o/`
o/` Cornelius in love at last? o/`
o/` I've never heard him ooh and aah... o/`
o/` He speaks of battles to be won; o/`
o/` But thinks of being Don Ju-an; o/`
o/` 'tis better than an o-pe-ra... o/`

In the wake of the verse - which springs from his mouth, unbidden and beginning in the middle of one of Scarmiglione's sentences - Rubicante lifts his hand to his mouth to cover it, briefly, before declaring, "Pardon me," as casually as if he had belched.
Avira A few hours prior...

"Oh so BARON is attacking the Dwarf Woodlands, eh?" Avira muses with a predatory grin at her little messenger.

Shaking, the cottontail stares up at the terrifying wolven mutate and nods his head rapidly. As those lips stretch to reveal Avira's teeth, the rabbit struggles not to soil himself.

Avira straightens and whirls around within the guild house, spreading her arms wide, "COME, VALKYRI! TODAY WE RIDE INTO BA-" the rest of the house is empty, "-ttle...hmm." Grabbing for her Ma Belle, she quickly dials the illustrious TDA hotline. "Soooo..."


The ground troops might not notice it, but it's possible that those piloting the airship will. From a distance, it clearly looks like a bird. Even still looks like a bird-a very big bird, but also a very wise bird that doesn't shout or scream or even fly out to the front of the airship where the majority of the questionable-looking lasers are pointed.

Avira looks like she's straining to stay aloft, which is understandable since she IS carrying Will in her arms. "I'm going to be looking for a certain /someone/ and I think the airship will be a good place to start looking. I bet they'd keep her up here because they think she'd be -safe- there."

Avira cackles quietly and swoops in low to the airship.
Rinoa Heartilly Right now, Rinoa would rather be anywhere but here..So why'd she come here, admist an army full of Baronites? Oh right, love, peace, saving the world, etc. Not to mention the familiarity of this and Timber's own forests. No, they cant let Baron destroy this beautiful forest!

Still, she is no soldier. Is this the best they can do against an army? Rinoa swallows, glancing over at Aerith and Tifa. "Well, hopefully there will be reinforcements. Let's do this..." As Rinoa adjusts her blaster edge, Angelo barks as she rushes to Rinoa's side, determined to help too.
Faervel Tathren
A young elf was fiddling with some wood that he was carving with a knife out of boredom, as he rested up against his dark blue dragon that was snoozing contently. However the trees rustled and sounds came from far carried with the end, which caused the Dragon to raise up his head. Those purple eyes peering out into the distance.

Then a deep male voice spoke to the elf; but only in the youth's head could the voice be heard...

oO"Sir, something comes to this land. The forest is at unrest."Oo

The elf paused his whittling, before he glanced up in the direction the dragon was looking with his own gray-blue eyes. His silvery hair moving slightly in the wind that passes by. Before his eyes then quickly watch the birds fleeing from that direction and soon a few other creatures that passed by. At this point the elf rose to his feet. "I am starting to agree with you, Uthar."

It was about then, that the gem stones on the bracers the youth wore flickered with mystic purple light, which caused the elf to look at them and raise up his right arm to stare at the gem. "..and I think we need to get a better look!"

oO"As you command."Oo

The Dragon then rose up, shaking his body, as the elf jumped up onto the backside of the dragon. Before the beast flapped his wings and took off into the skies. Though as they started to move into the skies, Uthar narrowed his draconic eyes and growled lowly.

Soon the young elf also spotted what his dragon saw, "So much for a peaceful evening in the forest.. and what is that they are firing out?"

oO"I-- am not sure. Though we should be careful, can you summon forth the armor?"Oo

"Maybe when we get in closer," The elf replied looking at the bracer, which flickered again a few more times with mystic purple light. "..or soon enough. Uthar! Go up high!"

oO"As you command!"Oo

The dragon roared before flying straight up into the clouds. There was soon hidden behind the veil of the clouds a flash of light and a flicker purple lightning that strikes across the sky. However whatever took place soon fades, but the winds almost attempt to shift shortly after, before returning to there normal behavior.

For a moment there was then followed by silence, before a mighty roar engulfs the skies. Then swooping out of the clouds comes that very dragon, but now with dark steel armor over his body. The elf that was on his back now covered from head to toe in his own dark blue armor that was something kin to what the very Dragoon wore, but with parts in the armor that glow of a mystical purple. The helm like that of the dragon's head and the upper part of the face protected by a dark mask. In his hand a black lance, with two purple ribbons that flow out from near the base of the spear and the butt-end with a point to it as well.

It does not seem Baron is alone in the skies....
Will Sherman Last night..

Will gets Riku's package. Also a postcard, picturing the Dwarf Woodlands, with a 'wish you were here' message. Odd... After some invesigating...


Will laughs as he soars towards the Baron ship. "THIS IS COMPLETELY STUPID!" he says, with a cackle as they fly close to it, and he suddenly twists out of her arms, dropping like a rock, and rolling onto his feet on the Baron airship. He turns to a roll.. And stands up. There were...lots of...important (and completely <GOOSEHONK>y) machines everywhere. The hobo is back on his feet, rolling forward and grins.

Will whistles, deciding to see what happens when he INVERTS the luck around him, keeping but a good barrier of the stuff around himself. Tell me Glayffe, what happens when suddenly a aura of bad luck, that isn't yourself, happens to land on your ship.

Scarmiglione Indeed, Scarmiglione gazes upon the widespread resource exploitation of Baron with naked disgust. His comparatively small form is dwarfed by Rubicante's, which is not to say that he's going to start singing merry mining songs it just means that he looks small ok he is not the eighth dwarf, his name is not Stinky, and so help him he will eviscerate the next soldier who asks Baigan if 'the diseased, traitorous dwarf is trustworthy or contagious'.

Thankfully, Scarm also has things to do to keep his mind off it, or he really might be going nuts without caring about little things like 'what country the humans belong to'. Such as his masterful plan, of which Rubicante has already begun to...sing?

Without actually seeming to notice what's he's doing, Scarmiglione responds in kind.

o/~ I say it true; word's come around; o/~
o/~ The Commander's soulmate has been found! o/~
o/~ This is the keystone of my plan; o/~
o/~ To deal with this annoying man! o/~
o/~ I feel certain we shall have it made; o/~
o/~ If I can but get Baigan laid! o/~

Scarm pauses, and looks around for a moment, as though he has forgotten something of dire importance, but shrugs as he cannot seem to recall at all what it is.
Aerith Aerith shook her head. "Not yet..." She stood with her staff in her right hand, her gaze casting out into the forest. The noises of the forest being systematically harvested rang in her ears, and she closed her eyes as she attempted to locate their exact positions, then after a few moments, she nodded. "They're a ways out... they won't be expecting an attack just yet." She glanced toward Rinoa. "How far can you cast a spell?"
Deidra Deidra had missed the chaos in Goug, she'd been doing whatever it is she does when she's not hanging about the TDA in some fashion but tonight? She'd caught up with Will and he'd given her a heads up about the post card. She's flying right with the hobo king and comes in for a landinf right beside her friend.

"Hello humans and other assorted butchers. Don't think we're going to not get in the way here. So listen to my friend here, give it up."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart crosses her arms, standing next to Aerith "The forest isn't quiet, even I can feel it. They are probably very close by." Hidden under the line of trees, she can't see the airships though, but she can guess the presence. Actually there's alot of flying allies out there it seems. Too bad she's stuck on the ground herself. There needs to be some people down there to slow them down after all.

"Baron, Shinra, all as bad one than the other when it coems to this." She grumbles a bit to herself.
Portobello Portobello had been traveling to this location for a distinct purpose. He was out to check every well known, cave, mine and grotto for what he's been looking for. He had it set in his head the Shard of Earth Merlin spoke of would have manifested in a significant place with a strong tie to the power of earth. Currently he had pulled some favors with some relatives in the Cartographer's Guild to check key locations in the World of Ruin. He himself decided to check places beyond there. When he heard the sound of Airships overhead he wondered if perhaps somebody had beat him to this place as he hurried off towards the location of the Dwarven Mine which was supposedly in this region.
Kaze It has been weeks since the catastrophe that was the battle between the Ironclad Nightmare and the Black Wind in the heart of Mullonde. People have been rebuilding ever since, and the few who have not lent their hands to that task have been hunting for the source of the devastation.

But the wind ever blows. Kaze hasn't set foot in that part of the world since. He began walking the paths of darkness, injured and aimless but with purpose all the same. He passed through ports and fortresses, listening and watching and never really resting. His injuries, extensive though they were, have not slowed him down appreciably. Every time he appeared again, he was less bloodied, less burned, and more the picture of silent determination that those few who have earned his name know.

Then he heard it. A man in white, a swordsman of immense skill who brings with him a soul-chilling mist. The rumors pointed at one place this man had passed in recent memory: Baron. Kaze knew his next destination.

Now, though, he's here, wandering the wilderness once more. The sight of a lone wanderer on the trails through the dwarven woodlands is not altogether unheard of, though it is certainly rare. He knew of a path nearby to take him to Baron, though it is a roundabout way to be sure. He steps out of the dense woods, the open sky above him and the sound of airships coming to his senses.

The red-haired man stops, looking towards the flying forms with only passing interest. A dark-clothed figure stands out in a wood as vibrant and alive as this, clearly visible from above and all around. It is as if the trees themselves shy away from him, and from the golden thing affixed to his arm.
Makenshi Behind every world, every peaceful meadow and serene forest, there an insidious and ancient force of darkness that lurks. It is pervasive and all encompassing, a primal part of the universe that can never be truly destroyed or banished, merely delayed from its inexorable conquest of all life. It feeds on dischord and pain, anger and suffering, fear and jealousy, growing ever stronger in the shadows as creation partakes of its eternal cycle of death and destruction.

This force is know as Chaos.

It was one aspect of this eternal entity of anarchy that had brought ruin to countless worlds, each one pulled into the terrible amalgamation known as Wonderland (no not that one), and systematically destroyed; their peoples consumed, their terror like gasoline on a raging bonfire of infinite proprotions. Very few people had survived after bearing witness to this devastation.

The actions of Baron were, at present, playing directly into the hands of Chaos, manipulated by invisible strings to promote death and despair throughout the lands. As trees are felled by ruthless machinery, animals flee from the destruction of their homes only to be assailed by laser fire that actually doesn't seem particularly effective. But it is enough to further fill their skiddish little hearts with terror and that's all that is required.

Overhead, a Crux zips through the air with easy grace, her tiny frame unhindered by wind or gravity. The gossamer golden wings protruding from her armor carry the fairy easily across the tops of the trees, though they do not beat as a bird's might, their mere presence enough to give her the gift of flight. She stays to the edges of the Baronite's mining expedition, lurking silently among the cover of the upper branches. Her wide emotionless eyes scan the scene of merciless harvest with little more than detached indifference, though the sight of the frightened forest creatures causes her face to scrunch up in a tiny display of pity.

But that isn't why she is here. Since picking up the trail of Soil and following it to the strange creature near the ocean, Crux had discovered new leads on the whereabouts of the man that most interested her adopted master. As her gaze drifts through the flames and broken soil, they come to rest on the very object of her hunt.


Found him. Swiftly, the doll spins about and whooshes off into the sky to make her report.
Legion Legion was actually here to lend Will Sherman a hand?! That's right. What sort of hand? well, actually, it had nothing to do anything involving Baron here as far as she could tell. She just assumes Will is here to get his fix for the seal and perhaps--Baron is in the way of that? And apparently hunting dwarves? And that's not nice. Dwarves have enough of a hard time in life just being dwarves. Hi hoing all over the place. Being dwarves. And the fact that they're after a MINE helps her think back to Merlin's vision. Surely, it could not be that HERE is where the magical item that will help bring Manhattan back is. That would just be too much of a coinkydink!

Two Legions have come along. Perhaps it should have been three because this means they're theoretically outnumbered by Baigan, though they are unaware of this. One Legion hangs back, climbing up a tree that has yet to be uprooted. She cannot even see Baigan from this position but, really, she doesn't have to. She can see through the OTHER'S eyes as should be neccessary and that one is a lot more up close and personal in terms of personality.

And indeed, a Legion is climbing up that hill, a big ol' smile on her face as she pushes up the hill at an easy pace. "Hello there!" She says to Baigan. "You're Comamnder Baigan right?" She looks at a hastily drawn crayon drawing of Baigan that happens to be in her hand, then up again at Baigan, then back at the drawing, then back to Baigan. "Yes yes, it seems to be a match, though your teeth don't seem to be as sharp..." She nods a few times and then pockets the drawing.

"Nice to meet you. Also--" She swings a punch for Baigan's mug. "Sorry for the trouble, The Network says as she acknowledges your strong chin."
Rubicante Rubicante lowers his hand as Scarmiglione begins to sing in kind; after a moment, the barest hint of a frown touches his features. "Be silent," he commands, behind Scarmiglione's song, in something that almost sort of achieves counterpoint. "Even if you mean no offense, you should be wary of exacerbating my--"

That's as far as he gets before Scarmiglione finishes, and Rubicante finds himself vomiting lyrics again. Ah, hell.

o/` Baigan is not your concern; o/`
o/` This plan of yours is good and well; o/`
o/` But now there is a higher call... o/`
o/` Who cares about his lonely soul? o/`
o/` We strive towards a larger goal o/`
o/` His love life doesn't count at all. o/`
Legion Legion is briefly distracted by discussion of Baigan's love life.
Oriane Guado Rabble, rabble, rabble. They are heretics! Rabble, rabble. They use Machina for nefarious schemes! Rabble, rabble, burn them all! Blah blah blah. The 'debate' raged within the leadership of the Church of Yevon over whether or not they should offer official assistance to the Baron military in their latest attempted conquest. Oriane, on the other hand, was not paying attention. She could care less what silly little dwarves do to content their dwarven hearts. It was their storied constitution that interested her. They just might make them ideal subjects for her latest round of experiments.

And so, Oriane most graciously volunteered to become a emissary of the Church during this Baron military mission. Dressed head to toe in the holy vestments of her church, the priestess walks out onto the top deck of one of Baron's mighty airships. Warrior-monks of Yevon flock around their priestess and they have wisely chosen to leave their flamethrowers behind while aboard the ship. Instead they all carry heretical Machina rifles while Oriane herself is weaponless. The Priestess of Yevon looks vaguely amused at how everything is playing out. Perhaps Baron was indeed worthy of Yevon's assistance.

Afterall, there was nothing like a good old-fashioned crusade against heretics.
Rinoa Heartilly Rinoa shrugs at Aerith, peering into the distance as the fighting begins. Ugh..She really hates fighting, but at least she's not alone. "I'm not really sure how far I can cast a spell, but maybe I can increase the distance with my Blaster Edge...Here goes.." She aims at one of the destructive machines that starts cutting down trees, casting some thunder magic around her blaster edge before shooting it out at the intended target. With any luck she'll be able to destroy or at least damage the thing..If a Baron soldier doesn't spot her and interfere.
Aerith And this is where Aerith comes in, because she is prepared to cover Rinoa, just in case something interesting happens. What she does first however is slam one end of her staff into the ground... and a moment later, a wellspring of spirit energy slams through herself, Tifa, and Rinoa. Yup, time to get serious.
Melody Ellsmere
"Oi! Alazne!" Melody shouts downwards. She waves one hand, sempahoring vigorously. "Buck up! I don't want your pouty puss bringing down this operation! Remember the words of our king -" And she bursts into sudden liquidly beautiful song.

"Happiness is how you feel,
"When everything is hunky dory,
"But here in Baron, don't forget:
"That happiness is mandatory!"

A ripple of inner delight at making expressions of joy and positive emotion false, mechanical things runs through the ~darqueness~ which sheathes Melody's soul. She tosses her loose flowing hair in the slipstream, and then


>> coptalk

She turns her head around, looking at Will Sherman with incredulous eyes for a long moment as he issues his statement. Her arms fold with a clank and she glances past him, towards an empty crate strapped on deck. The other direction, where a couple of barrells helpfully labelled 'NAILS' sit. Then back to Will. She raises one gloved hand, rubbing her chin in thought, and then asiding to the nearby engineer-head, "You know, I can /smell/ the poor on him."

She snaps her fingers several times and points at Will. "Boy! Stop being poor this /instant/, you are on military /property/ and you are also riding a giant bird which is probably going to make poopoos onto /the king's property/." She makes a little disdainful shoo'ing gesture, the other hand coming up to pinch her nostrils shut.

She then glances to the side, before saying in disgust, "Are you bringing a DRAGON along as well? Do you know what dragon poopoos do to /paint/, boy!?"
Glayffe "Captain," one Red Wing calls to someone who looks important as he takes note off the odd flying... bird? Along with the dragon that roars to the skies, "we have incoming from behind!"
"Then turn the new cannons at them!"
"We can't, Captain!" Another Red Wing shouts. "These things don't rotate that far back!"
The Captain suddenly has to give the head 'engineer' a very pointed look. "Glayffe. Glayffe! You... didn't think anyone would sneak up behind us in the air when you made this?"
"Who would dare challenge Baron's mighty air superiority?!" Glayffe shouts back at this very pointed question, annoyed that he has to turn away from looking at his amazing handiwork as he dismisses them with a wave of his hand. "No matter! No element of surprise can top Baron's might! Look at those things on the ground scatter! Huahuahua! You know, Melody, I oughtta brought Nemo's glasses on board. I bet I could roast whole houses with 'em from up here! I'd like to see that nambly pambly priest lady tell me I couldn't! Huahuahua!"
"Sir, we're being boarded!" One Red Wing calls as Will pops onto the scene with his bad luck aura. Needless to say, those troops that instantly rush to try and remove Will are met with various misfortunes. Boards in the ship suddenly get loose. Many trip. Some misfire weapons. It's instantly chaos.
Glayffe doesn't really pay much mind to it until the Captain ends up faceplanted by his feet after he was knocked unconscious by a flying sheathed sword from one tripping Red Wing.
"Eh? Taking a nap, captain? At Baron's greatest moment?! Why I--" He stands up and turns to see the assorted forces having already boarded. A young lad, some flying lady, some... other flying dog thing? Also, a dragon with a guy on board who is hovering very close by. Glayffe shakes his fists angrily.
"Ooooh, you DARE step in the way of Baron?! Well, you do! You're here! But not for long!" He draws his oversized hammer with a clumsy flourish, accidentally clonking one of the artillery batteries to suddenly jerk towards the ship deck proper. Only bad things can come from this from here. "I, Glayffe... Somethingoranother, head engineer of Baron...!"

"Who builds it,
With greatest wit,
Shinier than spit,
The future lit!"

He stops posing angrily for a second and scratches the side of his head... then he just mentally shrugs and pretends nothing happened with that moment of quick sing-song.
"Who cares about that?! I'd tie 'em to the hull as trophies when we're done, Melody! Huahuahua!"
Neviril tNeviril is doing what she does, when apperntly one of the happy nice wonderfull death machines explodes in a shower of sparks and agony. The Dark knight turns around to see the angle of the explosion and spots three small spots, ok not that small but small ladies in the distance. Oh, this was just gonna be great. She heads off towards their direction, while shouting at the workers, "Don't stop! Keep working, or I will kill everyone last one of you myself. I want this place striped by the time I'm back here." and keeps heading for the trio, not the least bit happy they destroyed one of her cutter mcdoodles.
Morrighan Alazne Unfortunately for Avira, Morrighan was not anywhere to be found on Glayffe's airship. Rather, she was on the hill with Baigan and the rest of those fiends, along with a small legion of lesser white mages who are busy tending to the wounded ground forces. Speaking of fiends howevers...

...Their bouts of song were not going unheard by the dark elf. And it caused her eyebrow to twitch repeatedly. Sure, they were not explicitly mentioning /her/, but to be suddenly singing about /Baigan's/ love life only meant one thing...

Guh, she didn't even want to try and recall the incident. Unconsciously, she wound up raising an arm to her lips to wipe away some feeling of disgust coming back to the surface. "Would you overgrown buffons STOP SINGING NONSENSE and actually make yourselves useful!?" She yelled afterwards, turning to glare at Scarmiglione and Rubicante with a fair bit of irritation.

And no.

She was not going to spare Baigan even a single glance. Even as some weirdo appeared to attack him directly.

Wait a second, that was a problem! They've gotten HERE already!? Oh great...

And vaguely, Morrighan swear she could hear someone calling for her from above. ...Were they singing? She couldn't completely make it out, but somehow, she was getting angry all over again anyway!

This was a terrible day!
Aerith Aerith nodded. "Direct hit. Get ready for the next one-"

For a brief moment, her sentence stopped dead as the Voice whispered in her ears. Well then, that got their attention. "Rinoa, keep shooting at them, disable as many as you can." Aerith glanced toward Tifa. "Get ready, we have company. And we can't let her distract our artillery fire." With that, she turned her eyes directly toward the direction from which their guest approached.
Baigan Baigan's serious, decidedly not-insane-enough gaze turns somehow gloomy and wistful as it roves the distance. As Rubicante and Scarmiglione begin to sing in the distance, the camera pans in on Baigan's dour features, his unblinking eyes softened somehow, searching for he knows not what.


But there, he spies her, amidst the White Mages, Morrighan's distinctive haughty expression, which once struck terror into his heart, now sending a strange and very different chill up his spine. As the lyrics continue, the camera returns to see Baigan falter, grow hopeful, and then look away, confused and distressed, even frustrated with himself.


With a heavy sigh, the pompous nobleman places a hand upon his breast, his crimson cloak rippling in the faint breeze, leaves tumbling from a nearby tree atop the hillock, his short blond hair ruffling--


"What!?" Baigan snaps, as the tree that was shedding leaves collpses loudly in front of him, because someone was actually in the process of cutting it down. He glares at the desperate guardsman, but he is far too distracted by staring fearfully up at the sky.

"Dr... dragon!!"

All at once, a shadow falls over Baigan, a shadow distinctly not airship-shaped, and his eyes widen, thoughts of Morrighan Alazne momentarily displaced. "Assemble the airships in a defensive formation!" he shouts. 'It's too late, sir!' one guardsman with binoculars calls back. 'The ship's been boarded by some flying creatures!' "Already!?" Baigan wishes he were more surprised. His brow knits, and he grits his teeth, raising a trembling gloved hand to his temple.

o/~ "The time has come to go to war,
o/~ for kingdom's glory evermore

o/~ I must be stalwart, my heart not rove

o/~ This is no time to think of looooov--hm?"

Whereupon Legion punches him in the face.

"Captain!!" the dismayed guardsman shouts, who up to that point had barely noticed the innocent-looking Legion's arrival, too caught up in staring slack-jawed at the singing Vanguard. Baigan staggers back in a daze, eyes rolling for a moment before refocusing on the network-girl, but before anyone can say anything Rinoa's lightning rains down on one of the harvesting machines, causing to explode in a shower of sparks as the Girl Power Trio make their appearance. Baigan has to make a decision, and fast.

"Leave this to me," he snarls. "Seize that mine, and protect the airships! Don't allow that dragon or the invaders to seize our resources! We'll drive off the mauraders and take what we can! Go, now! Summon the fiends to stop those women and the rest of the pests on the ground!" And with that, the guardsman is off, leaving Baigan alone in the campsite atop the hill, the rest rushing to the mine at his order. He fades down Legion with a glower.

"You shall find--"

His features begin to warp.

"--my teeth are even ssssharper than you imagined--!"

And Baigan transforms, growing to tower over her, his snake arms snapping out. "Hey, Boss," the Snakesuation remarks, "where's the babe--" Before either he or his monocle-wearing companion can continue, Baigan almost desperately lashes them out at Legion, intending to seize her and suspend her in the air, chomping down with mighty fangs.

Anything not to think of it!
Avira Avira relinquishes her grip on Will, not attempting to catch him as he willingly squirms free and drops onto the airship. Avira sails overhead, circling once, then landing to perch atop the highest spire of this fine piece of Baronian engineering. Her wings flex outwards triumphantly.

Then a shiver travels down her spine. For a second there, it felt as if someone had walked over her grave.

"BRING ME THE DARK ELF KNOWN AS MORRIGHAN ALAZNE!" Avira roars, choosing to willingly play up the fact that she looks like some terrible wolf monster right now, "OR FACE MY TERRIBLE WRAAAAAATH! RAWRRRRRR!!" Her TERRIFYING POSTURING, which she has never been able to achieve as a five-foot-one tall human, is quite a sight to behold. Only her challenges are answered with...singing? "Oho, Baron's -head engineer-, eh? So if I take you down, then I will COMPLETELY OBLITERATE Baron's engineering might?!"

Well, if Avira took out Glayffe she might VASTLY IMPROVE Baron's engineering might. But she doesn't know THAT.

Reaching behind her, Avira withdraws a wicked-looking serrated sword so lovingly named The Spine. "Then I shall-wait!!" she looks to Melody, who calls out to Alazne. Morrighan! "She's here! I knew it!"

Avira hops down onto the deck, grinning with glee. "Where is she? We have some /unfinished business/!"
Rinoa Heartilly Rinoa feels a mysterious, powerful magic wash over her, making her feel quite a bit stronger. "Wow, Aerith, where did that come from?" She smiles and nods at her as her blaster edge returns to her. "Guess I was lucky!" The Razor Wing returns to Rinoa's weapon, and she aims at another forest destroying machine, frowning softly when she sees a Dark Knight heading their way.

"You got my back I trust, Aerith?" Again, she shoots out her blaster edge at another machine, unleashing another blast of lightning upon contact. "This is almost too easy.."
Scarmiglione "No, really, I don't know what--" And there Scarm goes again.

o/~ 'Tis a question of efficiency! o/~
o/~ To cope with his buffoonery! o/~
o/~ So that we are disturbed no more... o/~
I shall make him the perfect paramour! o/~
o/~ Romance must be a task quite light; o/~
o/~ If Man can somehow bungle through; a Fiend can do it right! o/~

The hunchback turns to stare at Morrighan as she heckles. "I hate it even more than you, shut up!"
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart tightens her gloves over her hands, nodding to Aerith "I'm ready. Might they attack from any angle." She slides herself into her fighting stance, ready to take on anything around her. "She's not alone Rinoa. We're all together on this." She can feel the fighting as started up there. There's some noise... singing too. Is that the radio? It sounded very distorted from down here. It couldn't be elemental fiends thinking they are in the musichall, surely.
Kaze Kaze's gaze shifts downward. He looks ahead, across the idyllic clearing, only to find that all that lies on the other side is destruction.

Footsteps silenced by soft earth and green grass carry him closer. He stands on the precipice of the wounded land, firelight gleaming on his lens and his eye. He sees the stragglers of the remaining tiny forest creatures fleeing the strip mining and the soldiers, but he doesn't pay them any heed. He looks left and right, around the cloven ground and the path that drops into a hole filled with smoke and ruin. No way forward. His path is blocked.

"...hnh." He turns, beginning to stride along the edge. He passes across the outermost line of Baronian patrols, slipping past the picket of ground forces by apparent coincidence. The airships shadow the ground up ahead, and the forces of Baron are thick as thieves on a moonless night.

They'll do, though.

The red-haired man starts forward again. Everyone here is low-ranked, identical, scurrying about to do whatever it is they're doing. Kaze needs to find someone who was there. The hill may be the best source of information. None of them will be able to stop him from getting there, but these people aren't enough. None of them are --

Suddenly, he stops. The man looks to the sky again, scanning the horizon with his visible eye. His left hand has vanished beneath the cloak-like garment hanging on him. He's being watched. He can't tell by who, but he knows it. He feels it in his bones.

"Above," he murmurs to no one.
Portobello Portobello had decided to head towards the sound of the deforestation that was currently happening in the woods. Thankfully there was still much brush and trees for a small Moogle to take cover in. This would allow him to perform some guerrilla warfare upon the ones harvesting the trees for wood. He readies his multitool apparatus as a pair of mechanical arms extend from his backpack and reach out towards one of Baron's forces who was busy logging.

The soldier was quickly dragged off into the shrubbery as the sound of a half dozen power tools going off all at once are heard. The Baron Soldier runs out of the foliage, screaming as his equiped is drilled, singed, sliced, set flame and sandblasted in various spots. The sound of this catches the attention of two more soldiers who go into the dense cover of bushes to investigate, only to have them suffer the same fate as their protective gear winds up completely mangled and mutilated.
Morrighan Alazne "....Ergh."

Morrighan shuddered, feeling a chill run up her spine for some odd reason. Was someone talking about her? "....Why do I...suddenly have a bad feeling...?" She murmured to herself. She raised her hands in the meanwhile, beginning to cast empowering magic on herself. Why? Just to be safe! ...Or paranoid. Either works.

Scarmiglione's response was met with a huff as the healer looked away. "A likely story!" But still, seeing Baigan transform into that hideous form to take on Legion was enough of an indicator for her to rally the rest of the white mages to get moving. "All of you! Help the wounded to a safe location! This area has been compromised!"

It was time to relocate. After all, it was not like there was going to be an Avira zeroing in on her at any possible moment.

Of course not!
Faervel Tathren
The dragon has been taken notice, and the dragoon on the back of the beast not so well noticed. Then again, how long as it been since anyone has seen a Dragoon take to the skies of a lizard; perhaps once in Baron's history!

The dragon swoops around, as then the dragoon leaps off the back of his mighty 'steed' and lands down on the airship itself in a crouch position with one hand on the wooden deck and the other holding the lance outward. The armored figure stands up looking directly at the soldiers here, those who came to defend the dwarves, and what looks to be a priestess aboard the ship on the side with the attackers.

The dragon above swoops around, but dances around the cannons, keeping himself not an easy target to be shot at thanks to his small stature compare to some his size and now with out partner; far faster in the skies.

The dragoon however turns his gaze to the Priestess. The gems on the forehand flicker with purple mystic light as he looks at her. "I do not know what act be played out here, but such aggressions will not be tolerated." He moves himself into a defensive stance. "Leave here at once or I will do everything in my power to see that you leave here in fire!"

Uthar, the dragoon's dragon rolls his eyes as he hears the words. oO"Next time, less heroic talk. More action. You are embarrassing at times, sir. Besides who breaths the fire here? I do. Not you. Not last I checked at least."Oo

The camera pans to a structure of utterly immense proportions. Like a giant mountain turned on its side, the floating castle of Gaudium hovers in a sea of endless grey sky, its razor-edged spires protruding outwards into a thick haze of fluffy white clouds. Four demonic bulges of flesh float before it in a rectangular grid pattern, their grotesque red bodies filled with a single giant eye surrounded by several lesser eyes. A transluscent field of blue energy connects them all, shielding the fortress from invaders while the watchful sentinels sit prepared to rain deadly energy upon any foolish enough to approach who do not belong.

Crux passes under the gaze of these fell guardians, their bulbous eyes swivelling to stare at her until she slips through the barrier and beyond their sight. She passes into the belly of the structure through a wide hangar bay, though no craft are visible that might use such an opening, glides swiftly towards the throne room.

As usual, Makenshi sits stoically upon a great golden statue above the Earl's throne, his body reclining in the curved horns of some demonic effigy, apparently sleeping or lost in thought. The arrival of the fairy, however, draws his attention and he tilts his head towards her, eyes sliding open to regard Crux with a gentle look.


"I see. So you've found him. My thanks."


With no warning whatsoever, the entire battlefield begins to chur as thick white Mist begins to fill the air from seemingly nothing at all, merely billowing into existance to engulf almost the entire forest and everything above it. Breathing becomes difficult as the air grows heavy with the magical clouds. Vision is obscured beyond a dozen feet and allies are cut off from each other as the world is plunged into shades of grey.

An explosion rips through the sudden onset of dreary apprehension moments after Kaze speaks. One of Baron's mighty airships erupts from some unknown impact, splitting completely in half as its mighy engine detonates in a ball of fire that streaks the clouds crimson for several moments. Flaming debris rains down on the battlefield, picking neither friend nor foe in its devastating hailstorm.

In the wake of the violent assault, the silhouette a man can be seen, floating lazily down through the guttering flames. His cloak flutters dramatically behind him as he settles down on the stump of a ruined tree, arms crossed over his chest with a look of cold disdain for everything around him. He has eyes for only one person here - that man.

"Black Wind..."
Will Sherman Avira demands Morrighan.

Will nods, that seems fair, However, Melody is rude as hell to him, but he shrugs this off.

Things start becoming HILARIOUS around him, and he just sits there and grins as he looks up at her. "I am not just some ORDINARY poor person, I am Will Sherman. King of the Hobos..." he says with a wide grin. "And here to repay Baron for their part in destroying my home." he sys, and reaches up. And pauses at Glayffe. "...Are you...serious?" he asks, looking at him like he was...special. "Huh. You are...I kinda feel guilty. ...Not!" he says, and grabs SOMETHING in the air. Strings. Strings of fate and fortune, these strings connecting to Melody. Whatever he does...they shrivel under his touch, before he dives right for her.

"OOOOOOH! LOOK AT ME! LET ME RUB SOME MORE POOR ON YOU!" he says, delivering a few strikes from his fists, before...then RUBBING against her.

Legion Lightning in the area, that's useful for the Network. The up front Legionite gapes as Baigan TRANSFORMS HIS ANCIENT AND DECAYED FORM AND BECAME SNAKERA THE EVERLIVING. She gapes at this. And she says, "My, what big teeth you have." The picture was even more accurate than she thought!!! She's not very heavy and is easily hefted up and chomped down on. "Ahhhh!! The Network requests some help here!" She writhes in agony as poison fills her systems in a sudden panic. Nobody told him he was Snakera.

Nevertheless, the far off Legion can tell Baigan's position and after drawing on the electricity already surging about in the area, she breathes out and holds out her hand from her position--sending a burst of electricity crashing down for Baigan's body! She does not sing.

However the one that's getting poisoned does sing, "Danger, Danger---High Voltage, when we touch, when we ki---is this really okay??"
Neviril Neviril gets closer to the targets, and then a smile spreads beneath her helmet as she recognizes them. Oh, this should be most fun! She will enjoy seeing how these bar dwellers handle themselves in a battle. She looks towards rinoa, and levels her sword towards her, "I would suggest you not do that again, and perhaps even vacate the area. I so do not wish to harm you, and I would really not wish to bloody my blade with the blood of a human if it can be avoided. I mean, afterall, you are in no way good enough to defeat me, mere children." she continues walking and flashes her sword sending forth a wave of dark energy flying in her direction. Flaunting an ego, and trying to humilate your enemy, why throwing magical powers at them, sure that's how you win a battle!
Avira "Thanks!!!" Avira says to Melody oh so cheerfully before hopping off the edge of the airship, leaving them all to the tender, smelly hobo mercies of Will and Gargoyle fury of Deidra. As she dives, another chill moves through her, though she cannot exactly place why. That isn't until a familiar white mist starts rolling over the area. Swearing, Avira slows herself down significantly until she can see the branches of a tree. Ever so carefully, she lands in it, and then starts looking around. Dear Faram, did the White Cloud come back to finish her off? Here?!

She tilts her head upwards and closes her eyes, letting her currently superior olfactory sense tell her the answer. Just then, one of the airships overhead explodes and mixed within the flames, she can smell him.

Shuddering, she hops out of the tree and lands on the ground, quickly trying to calm herself. There is chaos around her as soldiers run this way and that, their visibility hampered by the mist as well. Vaguely she thinks she can hear Baigan. Then, most certainly, she knows she hears Morrighan.

Her eyes narrow and she stalks through the mist, tossing a soldier aside as he runs into her with a surprised expression on his face. The Dark Elf will hardly get much of a warning as the mutate pounces out of the mist and tackles the white mage. "Hello Morrighan. Did you miss me? I've missed you at VALKYRI -so much-."

No she hasn't. Avira sounds a little angry!
Rinoa Heartilly Rinoa continues to blast at the next machine, until a rather familiar looking dark knight comes into view. "Uh oh, we've got company. I'm sure I've seen that Dark knight somewhere before.." She nods to Tifa and Aerith. "Alright, let's deal with her first." But first thing's first. She calls Angelo to her side and with a murmur of spelles, she and her dog combine to shower her friends in a protective shield...Seconds later, Neviril attacks with her dark wave, but Rinoa manages to dart out of the way.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart nods as she receives the spells from her friends. Might as well reciprocate, getting ready for the main dish coming up. "Let's do it then." She moves a step forward, and charges up her materia, that was socketed into her gloves, a shimmer of green around her that spreads to Rinoa and Aerith with her.
Melody Ellsmere
"Do you think we can use directed laser light energy ray beam magic," Melody asks Glayffe with wide eyes - and a lack of clarity on just what, exactly, those things do - "to burn off the /poor/?"

She also frowns when she sees machinery being broken up in the distance. She can fix it - obviously - but she doesn't like the prospect of having to trundle around to do it. Fog is rising anyway. The fog, she wonders, of war -

Before she feels a tug and looks towards Will as he lunges forwards. She is bowled over underneath his fragrant force, squealing in dismay as she slams against the railing and starts thrashing immediately. "YOU HORRIBLE BRUTE! I won't let you steal my marrigeability on this ship! Glayffe, heeeeeelp!" She twitches and kicks off again, sliding on the smooth back of her breastplate towards one of those previously foreshadowed barrels of nails.

She catches herself on it with one hand - and then tells Will, cheerfully, "So you're the King of the Hoboes? Well then, your majest/poor/," and the barrel suddenly breaks, covering him in iron nails?! That is... peculiar, if pointy.

She then sends a sudden burst of DARK FORCE (possibly dark falz) through one palm at his wasted boyish tummy, a moment before the barrel suddenly reforms itself - all the spilled nails snapping back up, and perhaps taking Will's clothing, flesh, and other personal parts with him against it. "Why don't you just stay here? Maybe you can go for a TRIP, somewhere nicer til the FALL!"
Ward Zabac Ward was late for the battle and saw as a airship went down. He had been absent for awhile and then heard about Baron's latest attempt of villany, he dropped his search and came to the area to fight. Ward noticed a few new faces and saw some friends. He picked up his Harpoon when he saw the fiends, it was time to get even with Rubicante. If Ward had been able to shout it's name he would have, Instead he let out a roar charged into the mist and started hunting.
Aerith Wow, were all dark knights like this? Arrogant to a fault, aggressive, and spiteful? They really should make something for that... regardless, she'd fought with one before. The darkness wave did not surprise her, and she just stood there until the last moment... before jumping clean over it. At that point, it was only a matter of making a series of quick thrusts in an attempt to penetrate her defenses.

She didn't say anything. No battle cry, no sharp comebacks. No, save words until it was done.
Deidra Deidra is on the deck now and isn't a happy creature of the night. She knows what baron helped to do to Manhattan how many people they wiped out she suspected was more than the entire population of baron or prehaps it's world. Vengence doesn't drive her her to day she just wants to see them stopped. She stares the knight down as she close in. "I would after what you did to my home. I'm not about to let you run over them." Wait he's an engnieer what? She just stares for a moment before she pulls her spell book out and chain fires a barrage of ice lances at the knight.
Portobello Portobello had already driven off several ground workers before he set his sights on the machinery that was the main source of activity in the forest. He climbs up into the trees and begins moving from tree to tree. The thick branches in the canopies providing easy travel between them. He jumps down into a nearby bush and is readying his equipment to begin dismantling one of the machines.

And then the weather starts getting foggy. Not that it made things *too* difficult for him, he could always follow the sound of the buzzsaws. He activates the console controls on his belt and several tool equiped arms spring to life out of his backpack and begin taking part the machines piece by piece.
Morrighan Alazne Suddenly, a white mist fills the entirety of the forest. Almost coming out of nowhere. "...What manner of...?" Morrighan mumbled, frowning in confusion as she slowed down her walk, along with the other white mages and wounded. "Hey! No stopping! Continue onwards, but be mindful of your surroundings! Now go!" The healer ordered to the others, who took off without question.

Morrighan herself lingered behind, finding this mist to be quite curious still...

...And the one of their airships spontaneously blew up! "What in the-!?" Now THAT was not normal! There was no anti-aircraft weaponry used, so how? Unfortunately, the dark elf would be afforded no more time to ponder about the matter. As she was turning around to survey the mist some more, here came Avira pouncing right onto her. Being the little weakling she was, there was no resistance whatsoever as she was taken to the ground.


Letting out a cry of surprise and pain, the white mage opened her eyes after a moment, having heard a familiar voice speaking above her. "...Oh. It's /you/." Morrighan grumbled, beginning to make an effort to struggle free. "What do YOU want? Why are you even here?"

Her eyes narrowed then at the mention of VALKRI. "Oh please. You and I both know that arrangement would not last!" But she would not give Avira time to answer as a sword of light began to form from her palm, immediately firing forward to try and get the mutate to get off of her.
Baigan Baigan glowers up at Legion in his mighty snake-armed grasp, feeling the darkness flood his veins, held back for so long by Garland's magic some time ago. Yet perhaps it is the remnants of that enchantment -- or perhaps something more -- but Baigan does not feel his sanity and pompous self-cultivation fracturing as rapidly as usual. Indeed, that he feels the process at all suggests something has changed. He hesitates even as his fangs sink into one of Legion's bodies, and his unblinking serpentine gaze shifts, as though looking for someone else--

"My good Captain!" Sir Snaggletooth exclaims, voice slightly muffled, "take heed!" Baigan stirs, and then growls and curls in on himself as lightning lances down, deflecting off his armored scaly skin, shaking himself off and rising unharmed. The Snakesuation, golden tooth gleaming, swivels his googly eyes back toward his master. "Yo, Boss!" he exclaims, voice rippling through Legion's form, "what's the trouble?"

The mist has spread through the forest, and Baigan, restored to his senses, narrows his eyes. Now that there's no chance of catching sight of Morrighan in any case, he's thinking clearly again, even as rage and resentment pulse through him, the boon of Cagnazzo's curse. "What is this?" he mutters, "Ssssome trick of our foesss? They ssshall damage at our equipment at this rate... we mussst retrieve it!" But there is no one in earshot currently, and then just then an airship erupts high above, causing the stunned Baigan to look upward. "Damn!! I have no time for this nonssssenssse! Hrraahhhh!"

And at last spurred to action, he aims to finish this quickly, applying crushing pressure to the girl suspended in his terrible grip.
Neviril Neviril comes closer to the trio, continuing to walk even as the attacks fly towards her, and deciding at the last minute eh why not and steps out of the way of them, a rasounding laugh coming from the helmet as she continues on her way. She gets closer well within striking range and goes to attack Rinoa as she's the one who insists on shooting at all their nice baron machines without so much as a can we please or a thank or nothing. She brings her sword up on one side and her tentacle on the other and then slams both towards Rinoa in vicious assualt to try and stop all the aggrivating explosions.
Oriane Guado Panic seems to be spreading onboard the airship as a dragon of all things swoops around in the air above. With a mysterious fog settling in as well, the panic worsens as crew members shout where they think where the dragon may appear next. The Yevon Warrior-Monks seems less distressed and a few of them even start taking potshots at both Dragon and Dragoon. Oriane herself watches the dance of the dragon placidly. The arrival of such a creature could complicate things exponentially.

The lanky Dragoon's impressive entrance causes Oriane lips to upturn into a grin. Things are finally getting interesting even if this mysterious warrior speaks in a bravado that she is all to used to hearing from heroic types. A hand is wave dismissively at her Warrior-monks guards when they rise their machina rifles towards this intruder. "Now, now. Is there not a viscious dragon that you should be concerning yourselves with? I shall take it upon myself to entertain our newest guest." And with that the warrior-monks concern themselves with other fights then what is going on between Elf and Guado.

The green-haired and equally green-eyed Guado flourishes an elaborate curtsey towards Faervel. "Mister Hero, welcome. I care little of the outcome of this battle as I shall reap the benefits from this confrontation either way." Win or lose, there will be bodies on both sides to scavenge. "And so, I beseech you to kindly just take your own life so that I do not have to dirty my own hands." Oriane outstretches a hand towards the Elf, a black orb of energy forming in the center of her palm. "However, I know you 'heroic' types all too well. I am merely wasting my own breath in hoping that you will listen to my wish. " The orb begins to cackle now in a display of perhaps instability. "Shall we dance then and get this tiresome charade over with?" The Church priestess then brings the hand carrying orb up to her face and blows gently on it. In a burst of sudden speeds, the dark orb rockets off the palm of her hand and heads straight for the opposing Dragoon.
Rubicante Rubicante has just given up, at this point; he opens his mouth to sing again... and then pauses as Mist begins seeping out of the ground, turning to survey it.

A few instants later, Ward Zabac comes charging out of the woods towards him, screaming. Rubicante turns, casually, and lifts one hand from under his cloak; brilliant white light coalesces out of the Mist and seeps into Ward's body, filling him with vigor and vim.

And, of course, he keeps singing.

o/` Red! o/`
o/` The blood of dying men! o/`
Kaze The airship above Kaze splits into two perhaps a second after he speaks. The engine detonates, and the fiery halves of the vessel drift towards the earth, sending the people below running in a frenzy. Kaze stands like a rock in a storm, the mist billowing in all around him and settling like a blanket across the woodlands. It is disturbed a moment later when the airship touches down, shaking the ground and throwing dirt and debris in every direction. Kaze's poncho-cloak billows outwards behind him, his long hair caught in the gust and blown back from his face.

And then he sees him. The man in white; the swordsman that rumor traced to Baron, now standing before him. Firelight illuminates the mist-shrouded expanse between them, and shadows play off the trees all around as the once-magnificent vessel is turned into so much fuel for the fire. Kaze's visible eye narrows, focused entirely on the man upon the stump.

Kaze's gun appears in his left hand as if by magic. The red firearm, an odd mix of pistol and shotgun, is held extended straight out from his body. It barks four times before he even blinks, the distinct report of the gunshots filtering through the mist and echoing across the forest. The chosen weapon of the Black Wind is a little unusual; it is hard to forget it once you've heard it.

The man hasn't moved from his spot since he pulled the trigger. He keeps the gun levelled at the swordsman, gunsmoke mingling with mist.

"I've been looking for you... White Cloud."
Glayffe "Guilty?!" Glayffe huffs at Will's snark. "Pah! I should almost feel bad about striking a child!" There's no reading what's behind that gas mask, but there's probably a creepy grin. If there even is a face behind the gas mask with the goggles that don't quite align properly. There may be another gas mask behind the gas mask.
"These beauties will burn more than just the poor, Melody, why, they'll burn--" Another ship explodes not far from here. Mist starts to fill the ground, slowly moving up towards the sky. He can't see what's going on down there. "What?! What is this? ...No matter! It doesn't concern me at all, with the might of Baron under my feet in the skies!" Never mind that another airship nearby just totally blew up seemingly spontaneously.
One of the still-conscious engineers is fearing for his life from behind one of the laser artillery batteries, whom has already formed his own theories as to what exactly just happened.
"You think you can do something about it?! Try me--" Glayffe has trouble seeing the glint of the ice lances that all strike into his chest. Ice crystals form around his armor as he comically staggers right towards the very side of the airship. His arms flail about wildly as he nearly tips over.
"Aiiieeee! You flying rat woman thing you!" Glayffe curses as he rights himself forth, hefting his hammer horizontally with the head pointing towards her. "Do you not know the strength of darkness?" He feels the sting in his chest as he brings the indignations he's suffered to bear, a blackish-blue glow to the head of the hammer before waves upon waves of darkness flutter about towards the very air that the gargoyle woman resides. The heat of a nearbly laser artillery battery that is overheating starts to turn the frost on his armor into moisture - all the better to freeze it up again.
But for the moment, generic waves of darkness.
Will Sherman NAILS?!

Nails, are somehow intercepted by a board on the ship being snapped by a piece machinery going haywire, a ball bearing flying out and smashing into the deck and breaking such piece flying in the way of the nails. Will moves, narrowly spinning right as the dark force races passed him, and the nail covered board falls off ship. He turns to her, grinning at her and laughs. "Oh ho ho! YOU LIKE PUNS DO YOU!" he says and grins mischeviously.

He moves, aiming to drop to the ground and get under her, before aiming to sweep a single leg under her, and remove her footing. He turns, aiming to flip back to his feet before aiming to follow it up with an elbow.

"YOU ARE GROUNDED!" he says, before aiming to drive a hand into the back of hers, aiming to drive her face into the ship's surface.

"You are also BOARD-ing!"
Rinoa Heartilly "I know you..You were at the bar the other day!" Rinoa calls out to the approaching dark knight, "I should have known you were bad news..All Dark knights are!" So far she's managed to deflect all of Aerith's attacks. But how will she fare against magic? Only one way to find out!

She sweeps a hand in front of her, pointing her palm towards the dark knight as she summons a powerful wind to blast into Neviril, complete with feather shaped blades of holy energy. This is accompanied by bolts of Lightning.

Angelo also joins into the foray, leaping at Neviril with Teeth and claws.

Rinoa darts back again as Neviril comes at her with her poison attack and whip, twisting to the side and barely getting grazed on the cheek. "Ow!" She flinches at the light tap, feeling the effects of a mild poison working slowly in her system. "Careful, she's tricky. And tough."
Avira As Morrighan has previously experienced at the Crossroads, Avira as a mutate is also a great deal heavier. Of course this opens the way to FAT JOKES should Morrighan DARE such! But would she, with this ferocious creature pinning her to the ground. There looks like there's a glimmer of malice in her eyes but not the same desire to kill the dark elf saw reflected previously. Something had changed during the span of time since they met.

Oh yes! That sense of darkness Morrighan may have previously picked up from the mutate? It seems to be gone now!

Morrighan's nonplussed reaction to her presence draws a frown to her face. "Yes it's me. I take issue with Baron's wanton destruction and conquest! Just as I took issue with their role in certain /other/ things you are aware of! I saw the note left behind by you-"

Morrighan succeeds in freeing herself by flinging one of her swords of light at the mutate. Avira quickly leaps backwards several feet, landing crouched on the ground. A foot in front of her, that blade of light sticks into the earth. Out comes the Spine once more. "Do we? Do we /really/? Maybe it would have." For a few seconds, there's disappointment on her furry face. "I left the door wide open for you. But you ran off with the Shadow Lords instead. And as I said before, VALKYRI opposes the Shadow lords. And by proxy. You."

Standing, Avira rolls her weapon over in her hand by the hilt, inverting her grip. "I know things are quite...personal between us, but understand-" she darts forward with an upward slash, followed by a downward one as she switches hands for her weapon in mid-air. The combination of strikes is finished with a full body strike that launches the dark elf upwards. "-this is also business."

The dire seriousness starts to drain away. "Also I want to get you back for that dreadful -thing- in that -castle-." Sure, Avira had written that off as a dream. Or wanted to-but she knew better.
Faervel Tathren
Faervel narrows his eyes, though from the outside word, those eyes are hidden not only by the top of the helm that is tilted down slightly, but by the fact the 'lens' over the eyes are glowing violet in color. There is a frown over on his face. "The dragon you speak of is Uthar. He is loyal to I and I alone. The only ones who have to fear him, are those who bring me harm or those I turn his might toward."

He then watches the orb form in her hands, his words does cause him a bit of a snarl as well. "I do not like to strike a lady," then the orb flies toward him as he goes to leap out of the way, its dark magic skimming by him. The stones that glow purple on his armor, become even brighter by the passing of the dark magic. "But times like these, I'll have to make an exception."

The agile dragoon then leaps into the air, high into the very sky before he comes down from high above, attempting to bring his lance down upon her, then spinning it around to slash the point across her body.

Uthar mean-time is still playing avoid any trouble, though the fog that is starting to cover the area is becoming a worrisome thing to the beast. A concern that Faervel takes note of, but does not let it train his focus off of his target.

"May I ask as we duel, just what is your name m'lady and where do you hail from?" The dragoon asks. At least he is staying pleasant as he tries to strike her.
Melody Ellsmere
Machinery breaks down around her as Will whales on her, her body relatively slim underneath his faster moves. She clangs like a kicked-around stove oven, letting out several squeals which are hopefully at least faintly dismaying to him. Then again, hoboes may like beating up CUTE YOUNG WOMEN.

That's right.

Hit in the small of her back, there's a loud POP! and she flops over, face-slammed into the decking even as the engineer struggles. Is this the end of her?

She mumbles something.

She turns her head, spitting out some blood. "'less," she mumbles further. She takes a deep breath... And rolls to her side, even as saturated green light starts to undulate around her. First a ripple of something blue-tinted. Then some green as she pulls herself up on the side of a crate. Then, finally, a reddish hue, which seems to restore perk and vigor to her motions.

"/Useless/," she concludes, spitting blood right at Will's cheek.

She folds her arms then. "Do you think ANY of you are going to ACCOMPLISH anything? Every single thing you do, I can un-do, and more besides. What is this malarky about arresting things? DO YOU THINK ANY PRISON COULD HOLD ME?! KAHAHAHAHA!!!"

She then coughs. "Excuse me."
Scarmiglione "LIKE MY--" Scarm stops dead mid-sentence, freezing in place. A few long moments pass, and he slowly looks around. "Is it...something in the air? Barbariccia...?" And presently there is, indeed, something in the air. Mist, thick and billowing, neatly obstructing his vision. He doesn't care in the slightest, because he's still the elemental Archfiend of Earth, the Blighted Despot, and if something is on the ground he knows about it and if it's not who cares about it anyway.

And then a screaming madman comes out of nowhere and assaults Rubicante, who in turn demonstrates basic color knowledge. Only then does it really, /really/ register that a battle is being waged. Despite his reluctance to engage on any level with humanity, Scarmiglione has little choice in the matter; he's here for a reason, after all, and surprisingly it's not to sing.

Which he does anyway.

o/~ Black! o/~
o/~ The darkness that descends! o/~

And with a wave of his hand, he summons a surge of vile magic to aid that (sickeningly) brave lone dark night battling the Teen Girl Squad, oozing green bubbles squeezing out of the earth below. Shortly, each pops, filling that small area with sickeningly noxious fumes.
Deidra Deidra says "I can human and I have defied it before I'll do it again. I am not a rat how insulting!" She chirps backa thte knight beore starting to cast something ome sort of barrier? No it's a haste spell it seems like and she dives out of the way leaving after images in her wake. She focuse again starts chanting in latin as the dark knight recovers. She can't beat someone like this in a slugging match, she can wear him down however. That's when she twists the power of her spell to hinder the knight, sap his power, weaken him and otherwise cause him problems but she's never had very good control over this who knows what might happen from the curse.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart nods to Rinoa "I remember her too. But doesn't matter what color of armor they are wearing, if you punch them enough they still go down the same." What amazing wisdom, right? She moves to intercept Neviril, not happy that she's taking it out on Rinoa "Hey, no picking on Rinoa." And that's when Neviril meets with Tifa's fist-to-the-face technique. Otherwise known as a punch, of course.
Ward Zabac Ward was healed by Rubicante, He didn't realize it at first and he paused for a minute. Well at least he was a man of honor. Ward then charged and hurled his harpoon and Rubicante and ran up picking up the harpoon and swining onto at him.
Legion WOAAAAAAAAAAH. THE SNAKES TALK. The Legion in Baigan's grip seems pretty impressed by this and tries to strike up conversation. However, she's still filled with venom so it sort of just comes out as a 'wghggwgghhghhh'. But she still seems pretty impressed all the time, especially with Sir Snaggletooth. Unfortunately, she does manage to catch a small 'tap' on Baigan--that doesn't seem to do much of anything--before she manages to pull free, writhing her body in place to break the grip and tumble to the ground in a crouch. "Oof." She says. "The Network is impressed. Three people in one, even if two are snakes, perhaps you destined rival?, The Network inquires hopefully?!"

Meanwhile, the Legion hiding around in the trees, sends another electric blast coming down for Baigan of notable strength! Of course, she can't maintain a constant set of voltage at this distance...however! Umi, the close up Legion, totally can.

As the lightning comes down for Baigan, Umi recovers enough to dart forward--throwing her palm for BAigan and using herself as an electrical conduit--intending to maintain the voltage of the lightning strike throughout their bodies--but she won't be hurt by it. Baigan, on the other hand (thouhg she worries about those poor snakes).

"Is there a girl you like? The Network inquires after the sordid details!"
Will Sherman Will grins at her, smiling...

"Aww, already hurt?" he smiles at her healing herself. "There is nothing you can do that /I/ can undo right back." he says, taking a step forward. Jumping back and forth in his stance...

"But if you want to play that game, my friend.." he says, and raises a hand. Once more, the strings of fate appear in his hands, as he this time turns them on himself and Deidra. The strings solidify, tightening, and strengthening, as he focuses on them...becoming stronger and filled with the fate juice that Will seems to exhude.

Then, he lowers his hands, grinning ear to ear back at the Dark-White mage. "Anything you can do, I can do better...I can do /anything/ better than youuuuu!" he sing songs.
Makenshi Without even so much as batting an eyelash at the sudden hail of bullets, the beautiful sword at Makenshi's side clatters against its fastening, taking to the air as if possessed of its own mind. In the span of a heartbeat the majestic weapon whips into motion, dancing about the slender man's frame so fast that it becomes naught but a dizzying collection of white blurs.

Kaze's bullets are each deflected with a single stroke from the living weapon, battered away carelessly into the surroundings to impact with cacophanous explosions amid Baron's forces. The last, however, is returned to the sender.

Makenshi - or is it White Cloud? - closes his eyes slowly, giving an exasperated sigh in response to the rude welcome. This man never changes. If he has any concern for the damage his arrival has wrought, it is not present on his face. These people are incidental to his purpose here.

"Why have you awakened?"

The metallic tint to his voice vanishes as the mask over his face opens, splitting vertically along the line of his nose as it retracts up his cheeks and vanishes completely. Makenshi looks up at the man, his cape fluttering in the powerful winds still swirling through the battlefield as a result of the explosive force unleashed by the wayward bullets. His expression is placid and calm but the look in his eyes is intense.

Slowly, he opens his mouth, head tilting back as thick streams of Mist flow from within his body. The air grows heavier as it is charged with mystical energy and further volume is added to the obscuring fog, turning everyone within to shadows and silhouettes as the prelude to this dramatic confrontation swells.
Glayffe "You come down here and say that to my face!" Glayffe bellows. "No one speaks down to me like that and walks out without a fight!" So indignant, Glayffe leaps up to the air where Deidra casts. The air around him grows thinner to himself, somehow. Ticklish feelings. An odd sort of friction. Suddenly, it also feels like the mist grows ever thicker, but it may just be that he really can't see well through the lens of his gas mask underneath goggles that aren't really doing favors to his vision. Who knows?
What one should know, however, is that Glayffe is heavier, and he's still flying vaguely into Deidra's general direction.
"I'll smash your face into the ground!" He tosses his hammer out of his hand either carelessly or with full intention to actually strike her with it, trying to hammer her right into the deck as he follows after it, looking to land directly on top of her and plant the handle of his (hopefully) retrieved hammer up against her face. "I could use your teeth as nails too! Huahuahua!"
Rubicante o/` Red! o/`
o/` The flames to be your grave! o/`

Ward impacts the (much larger) Rubicante with enough force to send him flying into the air, and hurls the harpoon; the Autarch of Flame casually slaps it away with the hand emerging from underneath his cloak, sending the weapon spinning through the mist to crash point-first into the soil.

By the time Ward's recovered his weapon, Rubicante has dropped back to the ground and withdrawn his arm back into his cloak. He just... stares at Ward, eyes hard, as he recovers his harpoon...

... and then, abruptly, the temperature in the air around the man skyrockets, until wisps of smoke begin to rise from his flesh as his /everything/ starts to catch on fire.
Oriane Guado Oriane's conjured dark wisp only seemed to have barely kissed Faervel before being turned aside by his armor. The Guado watches the Hero in the shiny, glowing armor curiously as he speaks of his dragon-friend and his reluctance to strike a lady. Perhaps chivalry is not entirely dead afterall. Her head soon cranes skyward when he leaps up, up, and away. Or perhaps it is. The Priestess makes no effort to dodge this strike from the jumping Dragoon. She merely conjure a barrier to act as her shield against her foe. The attack still batters against Oriane's defenses. Her barrier holds for now even if its use seemingly weakens her.

The Dragoon asking for her name draws a demure smile from Oriane. "I am Lady Oriane Guado, Emissary of the Church of Yevon." She announces simply with her left hand being used to gesture towards herself. "Please, Mister Hero, do not die too quickly. I would loathe to find you a disappointment."

The hand in which the Priestess used to motion to herself is now held out and up, her fingers stretching out. Malevolent energy forms a shadowy claw over her hand that seems equally parts black and a ghastly green at times. Oriane then takes a lesiurely step forward before swiping the unholy claw towards Faervel.
Melody Ellsmere
Melody's eyes narrow.

"Leaping onto our airship - acting like you have any authority here - do you, Mr. Hobo King, truly think that you can slam with the best?" Her hand goes on her hip... But not just for a saucy pose. She draws out a short sword, glittering and gleaming a faint blue (for the weapons of Baron always gleam blue in the presence of Poor).

"I suspect, instead... you will jam with the rest. Armor won't help the heart stay sharp!" And then she flourishes the blade upwards, an invisible /something/ of whatever dark falz she uses to crush objects presaging the dark wave of force of the possibly familiar rune knight technique. The first aims to smash against Will and his nearby crate, and thence towards his armor.

Then the airship starts to creak.

For a moment, it lurches asunder, providing Will with just enough of a hole to topple backwards into, sliding down a trough of splintered wood before it all seems to pour and flow back together in the aftermath. The ship lurches as this happens, and Melody calls back, "Sor-ry~" towards Glayffe, perhaps assuming she has just crushed her enemy eternally.
Morrighan Alazne The blade of light soon dissipated without a continued source of power and Morrighan stood back up, brushing herself off. "Ah, you saw that note, did you? I suppose you also saw what LEXUS did to your metal contraption, yes?" She smirked upon asking that and crossed her arms, giving Avira a rather impatient look.

"......." No response regarding whether or not it actually would have lasted. Instead, Morrighan looked away and laughed. "...Please. Shadow Lords this, Baron that! You are beginning to sound like a broken record!" And then here Avira came, swinging that weapon like a barbarian! "Ungh! Agh!" Unfortunately, Morrighan was not built for combat, yet it seemed to keep finding her regardless!

Darn physical fighters and their...physicalness!

Forced into the air, the dark elf soon felt the pull of gravity before plopping back to the ground rather unceremoniously. "...This is utterly abhorrent..." She grumbled, sitting up and then standing with much effort. "I am beginning to grow weary of this idiocy! Get out of my sight, you mutt!"

Yep. Now she was angry.

With both hands outstretched, Morrighan began to work up an array of holy and time magicks, crafting a sphere of searing holy energy and roman numerals around Avira. The display lingered for a second...and then abruptly contracted, aiming to crush her as the runes then exploded rather forcefully.
Ward Zabac Ward moved and grabbed his Harpoon, he noticed Rubicante glaring at him and things started to heat up. He took off the top of his armor down to his tank top and mopped his face with his bandana before setting it back on. Ward then grunted, swung his harpoon around skillfully and casted protect on himself.
Will Sherman Will's eyes widen...

He moves to evade, but something...does not quite work right. As he moves to avoid, fate turns badly for him and he trips over a board. This time, however, he rolls...

But he doesn't /have/ armor. The clothing is torn, but fate is on his side today as it manages to keep himself from weakening under her assault. The blade cuts, slicing a line into his chest which causes a line of red to form, and he goes through the crate.

Will looks hurt, looking at himself, for a moment, and flips back to his feet.

"Baby, you have no idea. This is the fist of the school of hobo!" he says, grinning, his hands starting to once more grab the strings of fate...

And runs right towards her. Once more, flipping into the air and swing rapidly towards her. Twice into her chest, and once...

Into her gut. "WAM BAM THANK YOU MA'AM!" he laughs, aiming to try and launch her into something important looking.
Baigan Baigan doesn't know anything about destined rivals. He's behaving with unusual efficiency in this battle scenario, taking very little time to gloat and guffaw atop the mist-shrouded hill. Above the airships are assuming a defensive formation, save the lead one, where a melee appears to be taking place, that dragon darting in and out of view. It looks as though, despite Baigan's incapacity to give orders at this juncture, the more sensible commanders of the Red Wings are acting with discipline enough: those already heavily loaded are departing through the Portal, and those that are not are waiting for the battle for the mine to conclude, hopefully with soldiers emerging bearing gems and precious minerals. Thus the main head, that is Baigan himself, ignores Legion's hopeful query.

"Madam," Sir Snaggletooth says politely once she tears free, "that you would esteem us with personhood humbles me. I am the Captain's humble servant, Sir Snaggletooth, Esquire." His gallant tone is undermined somewhat by the cartoonish flapping of his jaw, though his monocle is quite fetching.

"Hey, Boss, there's another chick in the tree!" the Snakesuation exclaims. "Look, there's girls for all of us! Get your mind off the--"

His minion's unintentional taunt arises at the same time as Umi, charged with electrical energy, lunges in, inquiring after the state of his love affair, and Baigan physically lurches from his strategic reverie, his eyes widening as he desperately slaps her with the Snakesuation, shutting him up even as he stumbles back, reaching up with Sir Snaggletooth to hide his face-- shyly!?

"Th-there'ssss nothing!" he stammers, scaly skin flushing as he flinches away from the girl he towers over. "There'sss no girl! No detailssss! Why doesss everyone keep-- urgggh, GOSSSSH!" he hisses, as magical power builds around him.

"Leave me aloooooooone!"

B... Baigan.
Aerith Aerith doesn't even blink as she misses, her thrusts being only a distraction. Tifa on the other hand does brilliantly, and Aerith doesn't hesitate in following up. She makes a swing at Nev from behind, trying to ram her staff right into the side of her head... and then tries to knock her upward.
Faervel Tathren

Faervel nods his head slowly. Attacking a Priestess, great. That will go down in the records against him no doubt. Probably no allies to be find there for his quest. "I do not plan to die here. I still have a people to save and my name is Faervel Tathren of Elfheim."

The dark claw extends out and slams into him as he tries to avoid. There was a mystic purple energy that lashes out against the darkness. However the magical effects take a hold and he stumbles back a bit, coughing gently.

Uthar flinches a little in the air. Those violet draconic eyes oO"If you fall, so do I. If I fall, so do you, sir. Don't forget that. Sometimes retreating is part of valor and we /are/ a long way up."Oo The dragon knows no response will come, but he rather remind Faervel just encase his master gets to /far/ over his head.

Faervel almost wants to retort, 'You are starting to sound like my mentor!', however Uthar is right; he can't really reply back right now. Instead he cringes before he twirls his lance around. The gems on his forehead glow softly, before he hops back and sweeps his lance around almost elegantly. White energy flows around him, before he slashes the lance across the ground toward where the Guado with the tip impacting the white glow under his feet.

Soon the energy travels outward like an aerial slash, before attempting to fling back around in several orbs that try to heal the dark energy that was tearing away at his health.
Melody Ellsmere
CLING CLANG BOOM, and Melody is sent flying through a crate. It smashes behind her as she lands, letting out a loud huff as she lays in the wreckage for a moment, before she says, with irritation, "I don't get why you're so GIGGLY. Don't your like usually have some horrible atrocity to complain about, something to vent your spleen about? Or are you too hopped up on home-brewed jamba juice to manage such things?"

The crate then slams back together with sudden loud force. Around Melody. Who may need a breather. The smashing clank of metal nails and good sturdy wood is loud.

Petulantly Melody adds, "And punching a lady in her bathing suit area is /hardly royal behavior./"
Deidra Deidra is very thankful for the support from Will she feels a godo deal more protected now. She's however fast and just keeps moving taking fight for a moment to keep out of harms way from the Dark Knight. At least she thinks he is one? He said he was an engineer She's not sure but she's avoided harm for the moment "I will glady say it to your face." She actually gets in close. "You are a savage!" She gets en close again and just eenough to unleahs point blakc blizzard upon the Dark Engineer. High winds, ice, snow and a lot of ice spikes ar ebeing sent his way.
Neviril The Dark Knight successfully lands her attacks partially on Rinoa, then as the girl returns the attacks deflects them without to much effort, "You should have stayed in the bar little girl, this place is not meant for the likes of you." If this is how they where going to be, she would have them on the ground before she broke a sweat in this battle. She gears up for another attack, hopefully this one will end this annoyance and she can move on to the rest and insist they stop interfering in her plans.

Only to have Tifa interfere with some punches, and she stands there to take them, full on. Ouch, that stung, but then more wonders if Tifa just didn't up and break her fist smashing it against her dark armor like that, oh well, no time to wonder or care about those things now. After the face smashing she looks at Tifa, "Then perhaps tell your friend, to stop interfering in my plans, and destroying my lumber equipment and I won't have to show her, her place!"

Then just as she's about to make a return attack from blocking tifa, she's smacked by that annoying other one with a staff, a staff can you believe that? Attacking a fully armored Dark Knight with a staff of all things! Well, she's not able to dodge that and cracks her, though more annoying then anything and she's flunk from the ground.. weeee! And thunks back down a few feeet from what she was. Oh that was it, she glares at the staff girl. Then attacks the staff girl, tentacle and sword both twirling towards her!
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart shakes her head, stomping down at Neviril's words "Sorry, no can do. I'm siding with her, your machines are not wanted here."

Maybe Neviril doesn't mind punches that much with the armor she's wearing, but how about supplexes?

A sweep kick opens up the attack, hoping to move the 'ground' from under Neviril with the impact. And while she's out of balance, Tifa's arms move around the dark knight, and demonstrating more strength than you'd think looking at her, she lifts the armored opponent up, and crashes backward, slamming Nevi head first down into the ground.
Will Sherman "Oh." He says, with a sudden...turn of his mood. Will moves...and the crate seems to miss him...for a brief moment a line of red appears on his cheek, a small line of blood runs down it as he turns towards Melody. The tone turns cold, as he looks at her, "Yes. I do. You see, I try and be happy...but if you really want me to be...less giggly." he says, with a...not so kind smirk. And he starts walking. The aura of his luck field magnifies for a brief period.

"You people, destroyed my home, or rather helped with it. That is my problem with you, and you seek to do it with others. You then steal things from my world, and slap them on to your own.." he waves towards the machines on the ships, "And use them to wage war. You /kill people/ and you think it's a game." he says,

"Lets see what happens when you face a /real/ threat." he scowls for a moment...digging deep...digging so deep it hurts.

And his right hand vibrates in a strange way, glowing red, as he runs right for her. The fist swings, and if it is like litterally feeling yourself VANISH for brief periods of time. The fist, swings, again and again, aiming to litterally TEAR at the strings that keeps a person together...that keeps them within the perview of the is almost like feeling as if you're being removed from the world...

And then he stops...His right hand shaking with power and aims a shotgun right for the woman's face.

"And this is where I stop playing." BAM.
Avira "Yes I saw what he did to my-" Avira fumes, which only grows into pue frustration as the dark elf is downright dismissive of her words. It quickly becomes clear to Avira that Morrighan just didn't really care! So Avira takes out her frustration with dreaded PHYSICAL ATTACKS.

"Yes, /idiocy/." Avira sneers angrily, advancing on the recently landed white mage. "I'm starting to wonder if you actually enjoy surrounding yourself with idiocy. Maybe to make yourself look good in comparison?"

She pauses as she nears, seeing the magic encircling her, and immediately strikes out at it with the Spine. The mythril-coated weapon simply falls through the motes of light as if they were air, doing little to prevent the magic from constricting and...well it didn't feel like she was physically harmed but she certainly felt mentally drained by that particular spell.

Grumbling, Avira takes a few steps backwards to catch her breath. "Harpy." she huffs, suddenly lashing out with an almost mocking sort of jab with her weapon.
Rinoa Heartilly "She keeps deflecting everything!" It seems that the Dark Knight is pretty tough until Aerith blasts her into the air with yet another unfamiliar attack. Rinoa smiles and winks at her. "Good one! But we have incoming!" she half glances towards Scarm as he attacks with more poison magic.

Darting and rolling out of the way, Rinoa is still grazed on the shoulder, and she flinches from the weakenning effects of the poison as she rolls to her feet again. "Ugh..Another poison user?" But this guy looks different from the others..Is he even human?

"Aerith, I trust you can handle the Dark Knight. Tifa, I might need your help with this guy.." Rinoa cautiously tries to keep her distance from the earth fiend,choosing to attack from afar with more wind and thunder spells.
Kaze The bullets detonate in the air and the earth. Two clip the cloven airship, blooming into huge points of yellow light; a third strikes the ground behind and to Makenshi's side, the flash turning into a sudden churning of dirt accompanied by a huge spray of soil. The last comes back to Kaze, slamming into the spot between his feet and shattering the ground and his footing. He jumps lightly back, propelled by the last blast and peppered with pebbles. He hardly even blinks.

Kaze doesn't even see it. His visible eye is open wide, pupil shrunken to bare visibility amidst the white. The world is a swirl of mist, but that isn't what has taken his sight.

The vision in his mind's eye is overwhelming. A hazy battlefield, rocky and desolate. The air is filled with a thick white mist, rising upwards all around him. His clothes are covered in dust and dirt, his ears ring, and his nostrils are clogged with the cloying scent of death. He sees the ground shatter as if struck by a great force, chunks of rock torn free and hurtled into the sky as another pillar of mist erupts from the landscape before him.

For just a moment, it is worse still. He sees the image of a woman, though shadowed. Her skin appears grey and pallid in the all-encompassing mist. Her hair, long and bundled up atop and to the sides of her head, is tangled among her earrings and conceals her eyes. A single tear runs down her cheek, her expression forlorn. It leaves a silvery trail in its wake, the only real point of brightness in the memory.

And then everything goes brilliantly orange, the color of fire; and white again, the blinding color of mist.

Kaze snaps back to the present. His sight refocuses, and he dimly hears himself fire at the ground at Makenshi's feet before he really regains control of his senses. His expression contorts into one of barely-restrained fury for just a moment, and his grip tightens on the gun in his left hand. His right arm, wrapped within that golden cylinder, trembles barely visibly.

The Black Wind exhales. The mist whips into a storm as he fills the air with fire, his shotgun screaming in savage fury, for he will not. Bullets pour outward, fired as fast as he can pull the trigger, while his legs pull him with an almost drunken stagger slowly but inexorably closer to the man called White Cloud. The sheer amount of fire inevitably goes wild, tearing into the hull of the airship sundered and scattered, throwing shards of metal and wood in every direction like the shrapnel from clusters of grenades.

The Black Wind doesn't respond to Makenshi's question. He isn't sure he could trust himself to speak in anything but screams.
Portobello Portobello was cutting a devistating path through the forest in order to keep Baron's logging machines from doing the same to the trees. The Moogle had turned the mist towards his advantage as he was able to launch surprise attack after surprise attack. All that ambushing through the enemy ranks had led Portobello right to a forested hill.

When he got there he caught sight of somebody fighting against a rather monterous looking foe. Must be some sort of beast Baron's forces were keeping on hand in case things got dicey. He carefully creeps over and once he's in range he manipulates one of the mechanical arms ( the one holding the plasma cutter ) to give Baigan a hot foot.
Aerith Aerith... simply repeated what Neveril did to her attacks earlier.

She moved out of the way, flowing through each swing and swipe like water. Tifa had taught her well. The lessons from everyone she'd been training with were well and truly hers now, and she used them to full advantage. Cue a brief smile just moments before her reply, a stab right to the chestplate.

Her staff flashed with a pale green light momentarily, just before impact... and said attack would potentially send Nev flying backwards for a few feet.
Scarmiglione As Rubicante's battle starts to....heat up, Scarmiglione decides that probably he shouldn't be here anymore because as much as he hates being alive, he hates being dead even more. With a burst of dark magic, he disintegrates, a horrible display of rapid decomposition that leaves nothing but dust in its wake, blowing away in the wind.

He rises from the earth, no worse for the wear, a short distance away, that much closer to the girlfight going down nearby. In his bizarre tenor, he bursts out musically once again.

o/~ Black! o/~
o/~ A night that never eeeeeends! o/~

Raising a clawed hand, he makes true on his melody. The air begins to shimmer, like a heat haze tinted black. "Hm," he muses, "You presume to stand against me?" A lee formed of rock bursts out of the ground,neatly shielding the fiend from the windy assault and sending rock shards flying behind him. Another quick gesture, and a rotting hand bursts out of the ground, grasping at Rinoa's ankle to hold her in place. "So be it."

And then a sphere, black as night, appears and coalesces around the daring heroine.
Rubicante Rubicante is impressed by Ward's... fortitude, let's say, if nothing else. But he's not about to play softball with a foe. Not like /that/, at least.

So as Ward starts weaving protection around himself, Rubicante snakes his arm out from underneath his cloak again and gives a simple wave of his hand.
he air around Ward starts heating up again, embers spontaneously appearing in the air around him... and then, suddenly, a god damn meteor of flame comes streaking out of the sky at him. It strikes the ground - whether he's there or not - and explodes, erupting into an opaque dome of fire.

He doesn't sing anything, at least. Which could be a good thing. Or... or a really bad thing.
Glayffe A timely evasion by Deidra sees Glayffe clumsily landing after the evaded hammer into a messy tumble that causes a board on the deck to flip up under Glayffe's less-than-stellar landing. It should be an amusingly sad sight for Deidra in comparison to her more graceful landing.
"Ooogh." He gets to hear Melody's sincere(?) apology for the damages to the ship. "Bah! No matter. These ships are infused with my masterful touch! They'll survive a beating or two and deliver twenty more!"
This should not instill anyone with confidence. Especially now that one of the laser batteries have caught fire for some reason. One of the engineers is looking for that release/detach mechanism that one of Glayffe's engineer lackies had the wisdom to install ahead of time while he wasn't looking.
Deidra makes good on her threat to step up and say it to Glayffe's face as he pulls himself up. For her efforts, she is met with a roar of Dark Knight-worthy anger and the sudden, explosive strength of a hammer swing that shatters much of the ice, wind, and snow being slung at him into much smaller, still-dangerous pieces of icy shrapnel that freeze up upon his armor anew. His breath becomes especially heavy as his hammer head doesn't find purchase in Deidra, but instead makes a brand new hole in the deck to a shower of now-ruined splintered wood, flying screws, and ruptured metal beams.
One hopes he's right about the airship being able to take such abuse.
"So you said it to me face!" Glayffe snarls. "I almost like you for being some kind of talking winged rat thing! But you stand against Baron, so I will crush you!" He will probably be saying 'I will crush you' a lot in the next five minutes.
Hindered by the growing frost, he clumsily swings at the air with his hammer once, twice, and then thrice as he advances upon Deidra with a disappointingly generic set of strikes for one so increasingly livid.
Oriane Guado The white energy of Faevrel once again collides with the dark energy of Oriane's barrier. The barrier absorbs the brunt of the blow again, but the attack causes the Priestess to look rather pained from raising this defense again.

The pointy eared Guado smiles mischieviously towards her foe. "Very few actually plan their deaths. But, I am in a generous mood should you wish to plan your own sometime." The green-haired Guado raises a hand towards her Fae foe. A aura of swirling black, purples, and greens energy begins to encircle the priestess, The energy around get gains speed at an increasingly rate as she continues to smile sweetly.

"Prepare yourself, dear Hero. This may cause some discomfort." And then a slender beam of dark energy is shot towards the Dragoon before widening considerably as it nears its target. And for good measure, a fireball is conjured with Oriane's other hand which she sends in a spiral that chases after the beam of dark energy.
Neviril The Dark Knight misses her attack with an annoyance, and yet nimbly escapes the attack from Tifa, but perhaps in her egotism she forgot about Aerith and is hit by her again, oh that is annoying. She stumbles forward a bit before catching herself. She turns to look at them both, and if not for her helmet would be smiling at them.

My, my ladies. You certainly are doing very well aren't you. Holding off against one as great as myself, to bad it won't last long and you will surely either run in terror, or beg me for your lives. It matters not to me, simply hurry up and choose, I grow bored and tired of this nonsense already." She does not attack, simply stands there, taunting them
Morrighan Alazne How sad, Morrighan couldn't even work up the reflexes to dodge a simple jab. "Ow! Hey! What in the world was that?" She complained, stumbling back a bit and immediately beginning to apply healing magic to her wounds. "And for your information; if you think I actually ENJOY being surrounded by these fools, then you are horribly mistaken!"

Oh yes, if she could, the white mage would have turned tail and happily walked off a while ago, but... " a complicated situation! That is really all I can say!" But for all of her words, Morrighan did look rather exasperated. Not with the fight, but with the mention of /those idiots/. Alas, Avira was not going to just stop attacking her now.

"Now do me a favor and find someone else to bother, you furry peasant!"
Melody Ellsmere
Melody doesn't know what that feeling is, but she grits her teeth when it begins. The crate is weaker than she is, and she has to call perhaps upon whatever dark recesses exist within her for the strength to resist dissolution. It is followed up with a shotgun, aimed right at her face.

She tilts her head forwards.

It smashes most of her helmet asunder. When she lifts her head up, tossing the helmet off with a contemptuous motion of the head, blood is running down her face in several freshests, but she seems awake. Definitely lively for someone who just got shot in the head.

She is coming back together. It may be unsettling. Even Melody does not know what she is applying her talent to, but it takes her several long moments to do it. She decides to fill the air by speaking.

"So!" she says then, with glassy brightness. She taps her head. "What number am I thinking of?"

"What's my brother's name?" she continues. She steps forwards, more /stalks/ forwards.

"What's my favorite thing to drink? How old was I when I first got on a chocobo? Impress me, MISTER MIND READER!" She claps her hands twice, eyes widening. "As for your pathetic little story, I have no /idea/ where you lived. I'm certain that with this attitude of yours, you'd destroy /my/ home and give yourself a self-awarded Double Golden Cross with Oak Leaves and Thumbs Ups, if you could. If you want to complain about your home being destroyed?'

She tosses her hair. "Fine! But if you're going to complain that we have the /temerity/ to be /strong/ in this chaotic universe, if you're THREATENED by that, if you're so terrified by the prospect that SOMEONE might master the darkness instead of huddling and complaining, then perhaps you are the one who should consider facing a real threat!"

The bleeding has stopped. She then glances at the shotgun, and then snaps her fingers twice and points at her face. "Care to try again?"
Aerith Still arrogant. Okay then. She wouldn't even have to move for this next one if this woman was just going to stand there.

Aerith lifted her left hand, the smile gone again as she opened fire on the Dark Knight, bolts of spirit energy flying in her direction. "Tifa, go."
Rinoa Heartilly At first glance, Scarm looks like some old man in a ragged cloak - a bit on the tall and bony side but not too scary..Right? That is, until he draws nearer to her on the battlefield, lifting a bony hand to summon a dark holy spell that carreens towards her with unrelenting fury..

Rinoa's eyes widen as she rolls to the side, attempting to dodge the attack moments after he merely deflects her own like it was nothing. She lets out a scream as the dark attack blasts her, sending her slamming into the ground.

Angelo barks, rushing to her side in concern and tosses a hipotion at her. "Ugh..Angelo.." She murmurs, struggling to her feet. "Help me.." Combining her magic with the dog's howl, Rinoa surrounds the pair of them in protective magics.
Legion A conversation happens between Umi and the Legion in the tree.
Umi: awwww!! he's shy! Do we HAVE to fight him?
Legion: Yes.
Umi: But I'll feel bad, the snakes are so polite too. One has a monocle! That means the snake is a gentleman.
Legion: ...Umi.
Umi: Yes?
LEgion: He's charging up dangerous magical energies around himself. He might explode himself if we don't do something.
Umi: You're not just making that up are you?
Legion: Of course not.
Umi: Are you sure?
LEgion: Yes.
Umi: Are you sure?
Legion: Yes.
Umi: Are you sure?
Legion: No.
Umi: What?
Legion: I said yes.
Umi: Oh okay.

"Well, of course. You're talking aren't you? Mmhmm mmhmm," Omi bobs her head, almost as if she's oblivious to the huge super shields and whatnot are powering around Baigan. "Besides, you're our destined rivals, The Network informs, and apologizes if we have embarrassed you. We will fight you normally, if you'd prefer. We promise, The Network only sort of promises." She bobs her head a few more times. Monocle.

After taking a breather, she throws out a palm, intending to try and disrupt some of that magic rippling around Baigan! Her sister said it was dangerous after all. Of course she didn't say who it was dangerous for and she also didn't mention that Baigan explodes himself all the time normally so it's not really anything special.

She gets out of the tree though since apparently they know she's there, that's not good! Better move positions.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart isn't too pleased about being evaded so easily. She's strong, really! But her attacks justhits air, making her grr. "You're not great, all you're doing is stomping around to get rid of what is in your way, regardless that they are against you or not. No better than Shinra if you ask me." She tries a different approach, sending a strong kick upward, kicking Neviril in the air and then aiming to grab and toss her back to the ground, coming down crashing, and then landing down on her feet first, stomping her into the small crater. If she doesn't miss of course.
Will Sherman Will flips the shotgun back to where it was hidden, narrowing his eyes at the woman. "Actually, no we would not. Unlike you, we actually enjoyed letting live and let live." he takes a step forward, "We don't subject ourselves to your imperialism. We wanted nothing of it, but to defend others and make sure that they got to live like we did...without fear. For that desire, you came and took it from me. So..." he says, gritting his teeth.

"And as you wanted this to be serious." he ignores her questions, "Which by the way I don't care about your family. Or what you do. You can leave, run back to your home...and never bother these peaceful places again." he continues to speak, evenly.

Will winces at her...fear the darkness, he growls... he doesn't fear it...

/He doesn't fear it/! Which is why he is suddenly screaming and rushing her, aiming to drive those fists right into her again, repeatedly aiming to punch, kick and jab once more.
Ward Zabac Ward Was hit by the fire and scorched him a little. he was frustrated already. Ward didn't like dealing with magic users, it wasn't his style. Ward grabbed at Rubicante and smashed into him, then slammed his harpoon against the side of Rubicante. He then attemped to throw Rubicante back to the ground and land on him.
Faervel Tathren
Faervel quickly attempts to move out of the way of the attack, mostly by leaping over it. However wrong timing is costly and the young dragoon still had a /great/ deal to learn. It also seem fate was not on his side here.

The dark energy slammed into him, before the fireball ensnared him. There was a yell in pain, as it suddenly blasted him across the ship and into the railing, if not almost clean off the ship. About this same moment, Uthar who was flying suddenly roared out in pain, and his flapping became irregular, before the dragon started to descend.

Uthar though was quick to recover in the skies, where Faervel was falling. The dragon let out a roar, before swooping over to catching the dragoon in a hold in his claws. Though about this time the young elf opened his eyes and cringed a little. "..take me back up.."

oO"And you get us both killed?! Faervel, sir, I trust you.. but this is not wise.."Oo

"If you trust me.. then you will do it, Uthar." The dragoon says back and with a growl of protest, the dragon does as the dragoon requests.

Soon the dragon soars back up into the skies, before the dragoon drops down once more. The mystic energy of the armor looking weak and the Dragoon drained. Yet here he stands once more. He then places up his lance into the air, before he spins it around and then slams the butt of it into the ground as he chants some mystic words. Soon the ground under him starts to glow, before the very light covers around him.

The holy energy swirls around him, the damage done to his armor starting to mend and the purple mystical energy starting to brighten up some. He looks directly at Oriane. "..Good show." He says calmly.
Avira "Just me sticking you like the pig you are~" Avira taunted, starting to circle around Morrighan. A small smirk is on her face as she complains. "How sad, is there anything enjoyable about your life?"

Suddenly, a conflagaration distracts Avira completely, ringed with the familiar screaming of a man that had nearly killed her at one point. Avira's eyes widen with fear. Not only was the White Cloud here, but so was THAT MAN. The man that he was allegedly seeking. If they met together- "Hey-wait-" Avira blindly paws at Morrighan's face, trying to cover her mouth as she goes on about complicated situations. "Shh! Everyone here might be in grave danger! danger!" Yes, Avira is sorely overestimating the destructive capabilities of Kaze and Makenshi. While incredible and's not likely they were /planet/ destroying.

But then Morrighan goes and whips out the P-word and Avira turns on her, eyes blazing. "Don't call me peasant!!!" Avira shrieks, losing her cool. Ice magic immediately coats the Spine and with a massive wave of the weapon, Avira releases several jagged blasts of ice at Morrighan.
Makenshi The look of utter hatred and fury leveled at him does no better job of phasing Makenshi's aura of placid calm as he stares back upon the man who so desperately wanted him dead. There was nothing in his eyes but pity and disdain.

An explosion further rocks the battlefield as another shot from the devastating red gun of the Black Wind tears across the Mists to crash into the ground at his feet. Makenshi moves as naturally as breathing, leaping away as he is likewise assaulted by flying shards of debris. A few of the earthen slivers tear into his legs but no blood comes forth from the razor-thin slashes that now marr his form-fitting pants and he shows no signs of distress.

The fresh onslaught of shots are met by a single powerful swipe from the albino warrior's blade. Explosions detonate, yellow bursts of destructive force blossoming against a wall of invisible air that stops the deadly projectiles several feet infront of Makenshi's body. The blasts send waves of aftershock through the area, rippling the long white cape out behind him and fluttering his wild hair.

"Impressive as ever... Black Wind."

Makenshi bursts into motion, flying at Kaze with fluid grace as his sword is brought up over one shoulder with both hands, clenched firmly in his own grip now. The look of quiet disdain is ever present on the youth's face as he tears into the other man, his blade carving white streaks through the roiling Mists with geometric perfection.
Neviril Neviril is hit by Aeriths attack, oh that kinda hurt a little and yet tickled all at the same time, she grins and this was just to much fun. She brought her sword up to her chest pointing straight up,. Then just before she does anything, she nimble moves out of the way of Tifas attacks, why does she continue Neviril wonders, she is doing nothing. Her gaze still upon Aerith, "Now.. now my little girl, you shall feel absolute power against you. You shall FEAR ME! You shall understand the POWER of BARON! Feel the pain of the Cent Coups De Fouet!" And with that, her sword shoots straight and in a massive barrage of slices seeming to be composed of 1 attack yet a hundred blades all moving at once she shoves towards Aerith.
Scarmiglione Well that went pretty well, Scarm thinks to himself. It's always nice to stop a do-gooder short with pure, magical malice. But then he realizes--oh no, it's worse than he thought. So bad he can't help but break into song.

o/~ Girl! I'll bury you six feet down! o/~
o/~ This day is one you'll rue! o/~
o/~ In darkness you will drown; o/~
o/~ And your little dog too! o/~

Moving as he sings, Scarmiglione shuffles forward, hunched over, hand outstretched. Green fluid drips off his shriveled claw, as he reaches forward to simply touch it to Rinoa. And then, in synch with the last line, he points a finger on his other hand at Angelo and shoots lightning because he can shut up it comes from the ground so it's fair game.
Aerith Aerith... smiled.

She began to execute something that Tifa would find familiar, if she could even watch right now... one of Tifa's patterns. Only this time it was used in real time, and with great effect. Anything that came within two inches of her was deftly sidestepped, ducked, leaped over, and spun past. When the flurry was finished, the ground behind her was cut to ribbons, trees slashed into, branches falling from the sky... and Aerith was in a fighting pose with the staff behind her back.

"Impressive." She whirled her staff and charged, executing a fierce combination on the Dark Knight!
Tifa Lockhart Why she's trying? She's helping her friends, there's no better reason for it. Even if it seems she's whiffing alot, she's not giving up. Some hits will eventually go through that egotistical tin can. She's not one to give up easily anyway. She aims a kick straight up into the dark knight's helmet. Half to shut her up, half because it seems like an exposed spot, might as well hit it.
Rinoa Heartilly "Err...." Rinoa sweatdrops as the creepy old guy starts...To..Sing!? The heck? Definitely more than just some old guy! Rinoa darts back as he shuffles towards her, pointing a bony hand at her dog.

"Angelo! Look out!" But it's too late. The dog gets zapped with lightning, although it's not too severe.

"Ugh, that's it!" She glares back at Scarm, pointing skywards as she summons colorful fireworks to rain down upon Scarm like hundreds of glittering shooting stars, followed by Angelo's own vicious (hopefully) dog attacks.
Deidra Deidra seems to have done quite well forciing the dark knight, but she's taken a lot out of her self with those spells she needs time to recover. Time she very well may not get here as well? The Dark Knight is just hammering into her as she is sadly crushed a good bit but his latest attack it hurts she's reeling and is going to take a bit to recover before he can strike at her. What the heck was in the water of Baron seriously? The entire nation seemed to run on six levels of crazy.
Morrighan Alazne "Hmmphff?" Morrighan mumbled, her voice muffled by Avira's...paw hand thing. Whatever! Utterly repulsed by the contact, she had shoved Avira's arm away, discarding her warnings momentarily as she uttered the p-word. ...And was met with a wave of ice.


Needless to say, she was caught off guard and knocked back into the air, and then to the ground all over again.


Yes, this was becoming just a fair bit tiresome now. The dark elf could feel her temper flaring more and more. Yet there was little she could do about it. How utterly irritating. "....I am quickly growing weary of this..."

Sitting back up with a fair bit more trouble than last time, Morrighan briefly pondered just attempting to blast Avira again. But no...not yet. "You were saying something about all of us being in danger now? What nonsense are you babbling about?"

A quick glance about at the mist before she added. "...Does it have something to do with this bothersome mist?"
Melody Ellsmere
Melody crosses her arms over her face by reflex. The blows rain onto her. Her armor, while certainly heavy for a healer, is not the thickest; blows are buffered but not stopped. The pain hurts; a rib cracks - she giggles, almost, coughing, before she says, "And why don't you stop telling me what to DO, Mr. Hobo King?"

She then hops away, her back ending up against the railing for a moment. Exhaling, she says, with a little sardonic flip of her hair, "Why do you even think we are here? Do you think we're some kind of organized conspiracy united to destroy all that is good just for the sake of fun?!"

She glances off to her left for a moment. It might look to Will as if she's blinking. Actually, she's winking.

Then back towards him. "Here, let me help you nail down what we do."

And she snaps her fingers, releasing another wave of refined darqueness towards him, hopefully enough to smash him back into one of those barrels of nails once more. Which erupts again. But this time the nails themselves seem to be forming a curiously iron-scented mist...

Melody's eyes have a strange gleam in them when she points two fingers /down/, and the barrel and its nails return to their proper form. As does Will, a fraction of a second after this - though, of course, /some other/ parts of things may have gone awry.
Rubicante Ward goes in for the grapple, tossing Rubicante through the air; he's still good, though, just a little airborne. He lands upright effortlessly, enormous feet dragging furrows into the soft, rich soil, tendrils of grass bursting into flame around his feet.

The harpoon slams against the Fiend's side with enough force to shatter ribs, and... nothing. Just... just nothing.

Rubicante just glares down at him... and there goes the air again, heating up rapidly. This time, it's followed by an eruption of flame from the ground, swelling out of the earth to engulf Ward.
Neviril The Dark Knight just stands there.. staring out behind the staff girl, staring at the damage.. No one defends against Cent Coups De Fouet.. no one, let alone dodge it. Her mind shatters at the mere concept of the thought, and she doesn't even attempt to move as the staff girl moves into attack and nailing her hard again. What was the point of it anymore?

Again, she stands there and takes Tifa's full attack not understanding how it could possibly happen.. Her sword flops down, and she slowly slides it back into its sheath, as if the world where suddenly in slow motion and nothing but she existed. She turns as if nothing else mattered, and began walking away from the battle, the siege, the burning, the two opponents now at her back and seeming to be of no importance to her.

She just walks away, no words spoken, no actions simply walking and walking, her mental status completely shattered and pointless... Abandoning the battle, and not caring the fate of her foes, or her allies.
Oriane Guado Oriane Guado takes a few moments to calm her breathing after unleashing such terrible magics upon her foe. When the attacks knocks the Dragoon clean off the airship, the robed priestess heads closer towards the edge to see what became of her Elven opponent.

The Priestess is not left in suspense for too long as Faervel uses his dragon ally to help him leap -back- onto the airship. The composed Priestess is caught quite off-guard that the Dragoon was not only still alive, but still wished to fight her. This look is fleeting as Oriane quickly adopts a smirking grin to pepper her foe with.

"Stupendous." Oriane begins as she slowly claps her hands together as she approaches the healing elf. "I had asked you to entertain me, and entertain me you have." The Guado's words are light and airy, but the aura around her is not. It cackles with gathering energy as the necromancer draws ever nearer. "Perhaps I should keep you around, such tenacity and willingness to cling to life are admireable traits I desire in one of my test subjects." A wicked looking dagger is now removed from the folds of her holy robes.

"And so, I beseech you Mister Hero. Embrace this inevitability, allow my magic to lull you off into a pleasant slumber." The dagger in her hands is now pointed towards Faervel. "Kneel before me and I shall make this quick." Oriane says sweetly before lashing out towards with her gathered energies. The aura explodes out from her as tendrils of dark energy reach out towards her foe, seeking to ensnare him. Should this be successful, the priestess will then stab with her dagger and then follow this attack with brutal swipe from a conjured claw like the Dragoon had seen her use earlier in the fight.
Avira Ah, she should have expected that sort of reaction when laying her hands on Morrighan! Ah well, the damage is done and Avira is still considerably on edge. Only after she has launched the attack does Avira really realize her mistake-magic. Magic was pretty useless against Morrighan since she was such a skilled mage. Avira's experience is measured in months.

This time it seems to have caught the elf off guard. Avira seems like she wants to continue advancing, but she's also considerably more on edge. "Yes, yes it does have to do with the mist." Well thank GOODNESS Morrighan was being reasonable and hearing her out on this. "And likely why one of your airships just spontaneously exploded." Those dwarve might be alright, holed up in their mountain, Avira figures. People out in the forest like they are would be in trouble.
Baigan After smacking Umi away, the newly shy Baigan seemed to fall into a kind of daze, even though the felled airship burns beneath the trees amidst the mist only a little ways away, even though somewhere close back Baron's troops desperately attempt to force themselves past the dwarves' forbidding defenses and deeper into the mind, even though much is at stake in this battle for Baron's supremacy. His mind cannot help but drift. Perhaps that itself is why the darkness cannot take the great serpentine beast. Both Sir Snaggletooth and the Snakesuation seem ready to pursue the girl that struck their master -- though in the most polite and most sketchy way possible, respectively -- but the two snake arms pause when it becomes clear Baigan has again spaced out, and concerned, they pull back to the great sloping head that now broods, staring off into the distance.

"You won't be able to see her through the mist, Captain," Sir Snaggletooth says gently, causing Baigan to stir, looking startled, and his unblinking eyes flash in protest, only to subside as he averts his eyes, unable to lie to his own hand.

"Come on, Boss, cheer up," the Snakesuation's nasal voice offers. "Just look at all the mayhem! Burning! Little animals suffering! All in the name of Baron! Pretty great, huh?"

"I don't know, you guyssss," Baigan mumbles. "My heart'ssss jussst not in it today. Ever ssssince the other night, I can't ssstop thinking about... ohh," he groans, "what have I done? It wasss a missstake, yet..."

He trails off, and the two hands look at each other.

SIR SNAGGLETOOTH: o/~ "The ways of the heart are mysterious,
o/~ no matter how dark that heart.
o/~ Your manner has become most curious,
o/~ Captain, you've suffered love's dart!"

THE SNAKESUATION: o/~ "Boss, you know I respect you,
I've got your big scaly back,
But this gloomy mood is unlike you,
When now is the time to attack!"

Baigan steps forward on his big tree-truck thick legs, looking up at the airships above, only a couple of which are on fire. The shadow of one passing overhead moves, and the sun shines down over him.

BAIGAN: o/~ "I wish that I could deny it, my friends,
That I could put it aside for the greater good,
But I fear that instead I must make amends,
For it needles away, like a Moogle attacking my fooooot--"

Then he screams and rears back, kicking Portobello away, the plasma cutter leaving a glowing singe around his leg. "There's a Moogle attacking my foot!" he howls. Sir Snaggletooth seems to get the message, and, monocle gleaming, rounds on the new foe, but the Snakesuation is getting into it.

THE SNAKESUATION: o/~ "Boss, girls like those are a dime a do--"


"Sssshut up!" Baigan shouts, denotating The Snakesuation against whichever Legion is closest. "Ssstop! Sssstop sssinging! Now is not the time!" Baring his fangs, he concentrates, and slowly, the snake arm he just destroyed begins to regenerate, eventually reappearing dazed and disoriented. "Foolssss," he snarls, his scales gleaming, the damage that Portobello has done already beginning to disappear. "All of you will be devoured in the name of Baron!"

And stilling his own trembling heart, Baigan ends his snake arms lashing in all directions, aiming to land devastating fang-sharp blows upon his foes.
Will Sherman Will moves as the darkness comes down at him. Instead of waiting for it...

Will moves to roll under it, and at the same time the planks on the ship splinter...


Will hits the reaction command properly, being launched into the air as the wood provides the proper ramp for him... he soars, kicking the side of the larger building as the mist moves to catch him...


Will, flips, as a propeller that is just sitting there blowing uselessly, helps blow the mist away as he spins on the pole, flipping himself off and aiming to fall towards Melody...


He hits it again, aiming this time to try and launch her into the ground, before punching down on her, his feet aiming to try and kick her across the stomach, and once more aims to grip at her strings...

Trying to shatter them! Will he complete the reaction combo?!
Ward Zabac Ward was very unhappy about the attempt to burst him into flames. Ward Spun around swinging his harpoon again at Rubicante, clearly this was not working out will but it was the only thing he can do. He swung again at Rubicante, He swore if he could talk he would deliver one liners at him. Ward then jumped back and charged into Rubicante.
Aerith Aerith sighed and turned toward the direction of the... other nuisance. "Such is the price of arrogance... easily shattered." She gestured toward Tifa, motioning toward Rinoa's opponent. "Time to teach someone else some manners! Let's go!"
Glayffe "Huahuahua! Not so lippy now, are we?!" Glayffe has himself a good laugh as he steps across the battered deck, watching her silently flinch and back away. "Now you're ready to witness my latest and greatest development!"
The hammer goes on his back. From nowhere at all comes out a strange, misshapen metallic tube... thing? There's lots of nozzle-like shapes pointing out in countless directions at one end, with extensions and protrusions that don't really seem to serve any real purpose. "This Xanatos guy made a whole pile of garbage! But I took what little good there is about it and put it on these ships, see? Like those big guns all over you!"
Notice the laser artillery batteries. One has already burst into flames. Some flicker harmlessly, decorating the deck in flashing red lights every so often. One is making really bad clicking sounds. One is pointed /at the deck/.
"But good ol' Glayffe put his workmanship and genius to the test, my little flying rat thing!" He menacingly takes measured steps towards her as he rests a hand at one end of this weird tube. "Why, I decided there was a better way to make this thing go than whatever Xanatos put inside of 'em..."
"DARK POWER!" He calls out all hammishly, his hand glowing a dark bluish-purplish color as his body shudders under the channeling of such hatred and negative emotion. "And now, the last thing you see is just the first take on what the entire Baron army will use to conqu--"
Suddenly the mass of nozzles explodes, threatening to throw Deidra skyward. "HWAAAAA--" Chaotically, the gun fires and sputters shots of darkness wildly into the air where Deidra may or may not be as the recoil just sends Glayffe skipping and bouncing all over the ship's deck. "---RRAAAAIIIIIGH!!!"
He's not enjoying himself. Deidra probably won't enjoy it any more than he is.
Scarmiglione "It's a sickness, it has to be. Could it be the world itself?" Scarmiglione doesn't really pay attention to Rinoa as he ponders the important questions in life, much to his detriment. As it turns out, a single bolt of lightning isn't nearly enough to kill a heroic dog. Angelo savages his arm, raised in defense, until some amount of struggling and cursing is enough to throw the canine companion away.

Turning his malevolent gaze back toward Rinoa, Scarm's mouth opens again. It closes. He visibly struggles, quivering in place, until at last his defenses collapse.

o/~ I must say of all the pets I've found o/~
o/~ Yours is the one I'd like to ground... o/~

He pauses, a long moment of silence stretching out. "...Into /hamburger/." Then right back to song.

o/~ I will teach him how to sit and stay; o/~
o/~ By transforming him to a filet; o/~
o/~ For my own pets; they are quite famished; o/~
o/~ For them I'll make your poor pooch vanish! o/~

Sure enough, a zombie bursts out of the ground to attempt to wrestle Angelo down, while Scarmiglione himself focuses on his master. Whipping his arms around, he sends a flurry of dark energy bolts flying toward her.
Morrighan Alazne "You realize that is not very telling now, do you not?" She huffed, standing back up and crossing her arms. "So this mist means that something bad is about. Something that will harm everyone present." And glance upwards, which isn't much due to said mist. "...And why one of our ships just blew up earlier."

She frowned then, continuing to be work contrary to the rest of her peers and use her brain to try and gather what little information she had. "But WHAT exactly is this thing that is apparently endangering us? Who or what is attacking us? Some sort of monster?"
Faervel Tathren
The Dragoon goes to evade, but as the Priestess lashes out he wont be able to in time. Something Uthar is very aware of and the dragon already swoops down to not only push Faervel away from the attack, but the dagger and dark claw strikes the very armor and scales of the beast.

The dragon stares right at the Priestess at this point. Those violet eyes, not like that of a beast or even a monster, but a sentient, intelligent creature peering right into her dark soul. The dark energy though is seeping into the dragon's wound, before he growls lowly at the priestess. Though one could swear there was a 'smile' on the muzzle of the dark blue flying lizard.

Soon the dragon sweeps upward, snatching Faervel before he crashes back down to the airship below and ignoring the elf's hushes, sneered words. Mostly that it wasn't Uthar's fight to get involved in, or something like that.

Soon though Faervel leaped down from his dragon, moving to lunge his lance into the woman, then gathering magic elements into his lance, before lashing outward with it. "We will not be your experiment to be trifled with! Now feel the dragon's embrace!"

Faervel then backflipped away, before he rose up his hand into the air.

Soon Uthar rose high into the skies, before sweeping around with a roar. The dragon's maw opened wide and then spewed out flames onto the very deck of the ship and right for the priestess herself.

As for Faervel, which Uthar knew. This could be there last moment, as the young elf was already on the move to 'exit' the airship while his dragon distracted the priestess and perhaps any crews with the dragon fire. He didn't like to try to escape from a battle and there was no measure that he would be able too, but he could at least attempt to use Uthar as a distraction...


Yeah, this could end badly.
Portobello Portobello had been staring confusedly at Baigan's singing, which had gone on for a while before he finally noticed he was scorching his foot. His momentary lapse in being able to react had cost him dearly when he was kicked aside, tumbling harshly onto the ground as he tried to pull himself back up. Unfortunately the moment he got to his feet one of those snake arms sunk into his midsection.

He was left struggling to get free of Baigan's venomous grasp, not one to fool around and waste time he quickly began manipulating the mechanical arms of his multitool apparatus to sever the jaw off this appendage before it bit him in half. The drill arm and buzzsaw arm quickly went into action.
Rinoa Heartilly Rinoa stares back at Scarm in utter confusion. "...What ARE you rambling on about?" but she has little time to ponder such things as he blasts her with more dark energy, assaulting her dog with zombies.

"No! Ugh!" She stumbles back again, bleeding and bruised from his next vicious attack. "Aerith...Tifa! I need you..." Dammit, why cant she beat this fiend?

Angelo snarls, tearing the zombie apart, struggling to free herself before rushing at Scarm, intent on avenging and healing her mistress.
Melody Ellsmere
The kick in the stomach sends Melody tumbling back, almost over the railing. But...


The string-grasp makes something under her breastplate 'twang!' loudly, and she winces, but not before grasping the railing and dangling perilously for a moment. Then she grits her teeth and throws herself back over it, gasping for breath.

"That /thing/ you're doing, what is that THING you're doing? You have a destructive power like that, why are you living like THAT? Even if you're - hngh - going to be all elf sweetness and sparkle pixie sunbeams," Melody says, rising up to her feet with a grimace, "you could be a mercenary. Do you ENJOY being poor? Or do you just get sozzled off the smell of your own fumes?!"

Her own invisible special-magic lashes out - this time just a chaotic frenzy of lashing out to try and break all sorts of crap on Will, especially his DUMB SHOTGUN.

"Glayffe!! Are we winning or what?!" she shouts at the engineer as he whishes past.
Glayffe "YYEEEEEESSSS BARROOON NEVER LOOOOSESSSS--" Glayffe says as he flies by just above Will's head in his chaotic bouncing. "---HWAAAAAARGH"
Deidra Deidra says "humm lippy?" She bears her fangs for a moment actually amused by what he's saying, however she's also watching him what the heck is he doing he's seriously up to something but just waht? "Conqure all I seen Baron do is comit mass murder for what? ... Oh god you got one of the lasers but how did...." This is like a child with a loaded gun. It really is as he fires the blast is fired but she's just not there he gets an illusion of the Gargyole mage and she's now just a bit to the right of him. Almost like a certain bunny. She's even munching on a carrot, "hummm nice shot doc but I don't think you got her."

She pulls back one fist and just flat out goes to punch the Knight before dopping to try and knock him over with her tail.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart runs over to support Rinoa now... since the dark knight just ups and leaves. She's not sure she understand what happens there. She looks at Aerith "... What was that about?" She doesn't get it. Maybe her resolve wasn't that strong? Maybe she doesn't really want to fight? Or she just did what she needed to do.

The good news is, she had time to charge up on Neviril... The bad news is, at least for Scarm, is the glowing fist that zooms toward him, releasing an explosive energy on impact. She's not giving even time to discuss what's going on, Rinoa was being attacked.

Maybe one wouldn't be so bad, but her left fist also comes in crashing, releasing a double dose of boom. That might hurt.
Rubicante This, at least, finally does something. The harpoon spin slashes a thin gash through Rubicante's cloak and into his flesh, spraying a cloud of embers into the air and driving the fiend a step backwards.

When Ward rushes to press the advantage, though, Rubicante throws his cloak open to reveal his naked (and oh-so-beautiful) body, along with a painful wave of...

... cold air and ice??

Well, /that's/ unexpected.

The ice washes across Ward's flesh, forming into thick chunks on his limbs, and an instant later Rubicante follows it up with two quick forward motions, one with each arm. The first produces an enormous ball of flame, and the second - a sharp downwards motion - produces another meteor of flame that streaks down out of the sky into Ward.
Will Sherman Will's magic isn't special...he's obviously grabbing strings, which just happen to so appear when he does. They all connect to you, as if they were there the entire time...which they might be!

Will moves to try and avoid the magic...but this time he isn't so quick, the magic invisible lash beating into him and causing some of his clothing to be torn...they were just hobo clothes, but the hat...oddly, every time isn't touched. He moves, if he can't avoid the blows, he does however, protect that hat. The shotgun takes a hit, but is only damaged.

The Shotgun of Leadership is not so easily destroyed.

He moves, once more reaching into the air and grabbing strings...aiming to try and solidify his own strings and that of Deidra.

"When you get to be my age...perhaps you'll understand. Things are not important...they come and go, people...people are important. The most important thing, but you...apparently do not understand this lesson."
Melody Ellsmere
Melody squints at Will.

"You," she says, "Are like sixteen or something. /I am five years older than you/."

Spitefully, she does several flourishes. As Will attempts to fortify himself, she in turn attempts to /defortify/ him, or perhaps more accurately, return his state to 'zero'. "I'm still waiting on those mind-reading answers!!"
Rinoa Heartilly Rinoa blinks, stepping back, shaking her head. "I cant do this..I cant fight alone.." She murmurs as she sees the horrific undead zombies and dark magic assaulting her.

Angelo rushes to her side and combines with her magic to shield her once more..Then suddenly Aerith and Tifa rush to her aid! Finally!

She smiles weakly, "thanks guys.."
Aerith Tifa's raging attack was accompanied by a rain of staff strikes, as if Aerith were trying to punch another hole straight through the fiend that struck out at Rinoa. Her face was a resolute mask of determination, and she made nary a sound save for the measured breathing upon each attack. The message was clear though... leave her alone.
Ward Zabac Ward was frozen in place, he panicked for a second and took a hit from the flames of Rubicante before being unfrozen and rolling away. Ward launched his harpoon up into the air and then jumped after it. he was going to land hard on to Rubicante, Ward hopped off his anchor for a breather and then slammed Rubicante again.
Will Sherman Will looks at Melody.

"Am I?" he grins at her...Will just levels his stare at her, "What if I told you I was married. Hilariously...TO a Melody." he says, in a way that is not at all joking. He was serious, and...well, he's not very good at blantent lying. He does it, he's just bad at it.

His hand raises again, grabbing onto his strings and once more solidifying them with the strange magic he possesses.

"Anyway, are you telling me, a kid of sixteen, to become a mercinary? I mean, seriously? What kinda people does Baron hire anyway?" he looks at Glayffe.
Melody Ellsmere
"It's good enough for Balamb," Melody says.

She snaps her fingers two times, continuing a shower of sparkles onto Will, to once more 'return to zero'. She does at least mix it up, as the last one takes the form of a wrecked piece of decking suddenly bursting back to its "proper" shape and hopefully knocking him on his ass.

"And wait - How do you know my n- Right, he keeps shouting it," Melody muses.
Glayffe Glayffe's bouncing comes to a stop within the very gap an earlier hammer strike caused, just in time to get a heads up from Deidra.
"Hrrgh... did I? What, did you see her? She has been blown to bits I'm sure!!" He turns his head at her to confirm her identity just in time to get socked in the face and then lifted out of his hole with the tail sweep to send him bowling across the deck. The strange tube thing suddenly breaks apart into a bunch of useless, smoking pieces in his wake. "Hoooogh."
He shakes his head and stands back up, taking out his hammer again. "You're making this hard on yourself," he staggers across the rapidly deteriorating deck between the great powers at play between those three who boarded the airship and those three whom stand to defend it. Taking in one deep breath, he charges across the deck with all the reckless abandon of someone who knows little better about running across unsure footholds, leaping up into the air after Deidra once more...
And try to grab her by the tail with one hand. "I've had enough of you!" He snarls. "When I get my hands on you I'm going to use your little rat wings to wipe all these beautiful light-shooting things clean!"
One of the laser batteries just plain falls off of the airship at this point.
Kaze The shots continue to go wild. A wall of unseen wind intercepts the first barrage, but the next are flung away on the blast wave. The tops of trees suddenly erupt in yellow-orange light, branches flung far and wide. Ancient trunks shatter, split in twain by a single errant round slamming into them. The nearest edge of the forest is torn ragged, the ever-expanding devastation brought by the Black Wind even touching this remote, idyllic place.

Near the still-aloft airship, the woods begin to burn.

That isn't important, though, not to him. Kaze can't stand his ground against someone like Makenshi forever. The Demon Swordsman proves nearly impossible to strike, his swordsmanship flawless and, indeed, supernatural. Kaze's aim may be equally amazing, but what happens when you put an unstoppable force up against an immovable object?

Suddenly, Makenshi /moves/. The space between them dwindles to 'zero,' with a brilliant white streak rushing at him. He raises his right arm, interposing the golden shape on his arm between the two of them. Makenshi's precise sword-strokes simply go around it, striking Kaze with a dizzying flurry and leaving the front of his body torn and bloody. The ground beneath him shifts and bows from the approach alone, and fissures open in every direction, shattering the hillside from the mere strokes of that sword of his. Kaze finds himself airborne, hurtled backwards by the power brought to bear, spinning into the treeline.

As if on cue, a familiar (to one, anyway) dark shape flies past Avira and Morrighan. Kaze's flight path dips into a tumble across the soft earth, and he flips end over end, managing to bring his gun around and blast a fallen log into splinters before he hits the spot it once rested. He skids to a halt, and without pause, throws himself to his feet.

The red-haired man with the bright red gun is a mess. He's covered in bloody slashes, most new, but some from recent wounds reopened. His left arm hangs funny, twisted wrong, but the gun in his hand is clutched in a death grip. His complexion is pale, white as a sheet, and his eyes are almost unfocused from what is obviously a head wound. He lifts his right arm instead of his twisted left, brandishing the golden thing on his arm like a talisman... or a weapon. He doesn't pay any mind to his wounds, or to the two others nearby; he just stares straight back at where he /knows/ Makenshi is.

"0Soil!" Kaze declares. His voice rings with determination and surety and My strength!!"

There is a strange, almost tugging sensation. The lingering magic nearby seems to surge and flow, pulling towards that thing on the man's arm. A gemstone or orb, almost akin to Materia, is inset into a spot near his elbow, under his forearm. It begins to glow, a faint glimmer and a noise like a turbine coming to life gradually winding up and filling the air.

And then... it stops.

The sound gutters out. The luminescence of the stone flickers and dies, the light fleeing from it. The tugging vanishes, and a sort of silence reigns. Kaze looks down at the strange device, staring at the object with an expression of mild confusion. In truth, it looks closer to one of a man who has just seen the face of betrayal.

The blood, though... it's stopped flowing. He isn't bleeding anymore. Color has already returned to his face. His left arm wrenches suddenly, and he exhales a short breath that might be a grunt. His fingers on that hand untense, very slightly. There is no evidence of magical or alchemical interference; it's like his body just up and decided he should stop being so messed up.

He hasn't taken his eyes off the thing on his arm. The fury and frustration rolling off of him is almost palpable.
Scarmiglione Thankfully for Scarmiglione, zombies are tireless and uncomplaining and they don't really care how much a dog, no matter how awesome, chews on them. The pet skulnant manages to hold Angelo off, leaving Scarm free to continue casting--oh wait no suddenly it's a girlsplosion all over his him. Aerith's annoying little pokes are one thing, but Tifa has got to have robot arms or something because she just blasts the fiend backward, sending him skidding across the ground on his feet.

Groaning and clutching at his chest where the twin impacts impacted, Scarm looks between the three women, and does something completely unexpected.

o/~ What's this? You call this fighting fair? o/~
o/~ The three of you; the one of me; denied time to prepare! o/~
o/~ Is this truly how heroes act? o/~
o/~ Is this your so-called honor? o/~
o/~ I find this to be a sorry fact; o/~
o/~ For surely I'm a goner! o/~

And then he...stands there. Seething. Hating. Staring angrily at the three women who've teamed up against him.
Will Sherman Will turns, as the magic and sparkles runs right towards him. So does the ship, or rather a piece of it. Will's hand pops out, shattering the board... and then hits the magic. Which shatters too, shattering like hitting...a more solid surface of magic. Does she dare use some sort of magical sight on him? If so, this will get /hilarious/.

"HA!" he says, towards her, "That was pretty funny." he turns...and then runs right for her. Once more...

His hands glow that color red, that color that tears through the strings...the same attack that felt like he was tearing her from the world...

And instead, he turns it up to /eleven/. The punches come, but they aren't what hurts. He swings, repeatedly, tearing not only at /her/ but at the very things that keep people tied to the world. Again and again, he cut and withers, strikes and devours at her fate...

And then aims the shot gun of leadership towards her. "IT'S JUST BEEN REVOKED!"
Oriane Guado Oriane's smile verges on something maniacal as she closes in for the final stroke. The dagger would not have killed Faervel. No, that would have been quite counter-productive for her to do so. It would have merely inflicted him with some paralyzing poison that would make the elf's capture via her henchmen warrior-monks all that much easier.

Unfortunately, a rather large and scaly object prevents Mister Hero from suffering this fate. Oh baldurdash! The poison would do little against something that large even if any of it would seep past the protective scales of the dragon. As the dragon quasi-smiles back at her after saving his comrade in arms, Oriane offers a begrudging nod of deference. "A clever manuever." She declares simply as Faervel is wisked off and airborne once more.

Despite those floor-length robes of hers, Oriane is surprisingly mobile. This is one of the virtues of the Guado race. The lance is barely turned aside and the attack of dragonfire causes Oriane to dodge once more. The agile priestess luckily avoids the worst of the fire while a few of her warrior-monk entourage are not so lucky. Oriane is now cursing her exquisite sense of smell thanks to the impromptu barbeque.

Hmm. It seems that is two smart tactics in a row as the wounded Dragoon uses the dragon to help cover his escape off the airship. The priestess leisurely gives chase and comes to halt after trying to close some of the distance. She gingerly lifts her left hand to only a little below her lips in a move that Fae might remember from the start of their battle. A conjured orb of energy appears on command and she appears to be lining herself up with the fleeing foe. "You have been quite amusing, but playtime is over." The necromancer is poised to launch one last strike.

The orb in the palm of her hand cackles readily in anticipation of its flight and yet it disappears in a poof of smoke. Oriane's hand is now quite empty. "We shall meet again, Mister Hero. Try not to disappoint me and die in the meantime." The green-haired conjurer of dark magics now presses her lips against the palm of her hand and blows a kiss towards Faervel in a perhaps purposeful mockery of her opening wisp attack. The Dark Priestess now smiles to herself as she goes to see if any of her guards survived the flambe.
Aerith Aerith grimaced. "That's funny," she said in a calm, even tone. "I don't see any honor in what you're doing here." A quick glance toward Rinoa. "You okay?" She pulled out a vial of blue liquid from the folds of her jacket and took a swig before pounding her staff on the ground again. Another shunt of spirit energy slams through the three of them... and they're ready to go.
Legion Umi didn't really think they were going to explode and yet--shockingly--they do! The snakes explode all over her! Umi is in shock and is flung back, in slow motion. A choir of angels sing, singing of falling Mr. Snaggletooth. Or was it Snaggleroot? Or was it the other one? Actually, both snakes kind of look the same to her except one had a monocle but she couldn't see which one had the monocle when it exploded because she wasn't really expecting them to explode and, as such, wasn't paying much attention. She assumes--however--that it was her favorite snake, the one who ws super nice to her as opposed to the one that was just nice to her even though they were both kind of trying to kill her? Well, truth be told, Legion rarely holds that sort of thing against anybody. What they DO hold against someone is when someone explodes their friends!! They were friends right? Despite the murder attempts? Umi resolves to not worry about that too much.


Legion over by the tree kinda :| faces. The other snake, or maybe both--did it regenerate? DOESN'T MATTER IT DOESN'T BRING BACK THE MONOCLE (unless it does) IT DOESN'T BRING BACK HER FRIEND. EACH SNAKE IS ITS OWN UNIQUE SNAKE, ITS OWN UNIQUE IDENTITY! THAT IS WHAT THE TDA TAUGHT HER!

"I'm going to ZAP YOU!" She shouts and unleashes the rest of her electrical might for Baigan but gets smashed back by a writhing snake arm, sending her aim off.

Or more accurately right past above Baigan's head. "...huh?" She asks, blinking several times.


"Captain." An imp says. "How fares the battle!"
"Stupendous! I can't believe Glayffe's ships work, he's like the shittiest engineer." Captain BOMB says. "Though to be honest, I'm not sure why they put an explosive in charge of an airship...Maybe that was also Chief Engineer Glayffe's idea? Anyway, it's working surprisingly well, ho ho ho!"

Suddenly a massive electrical blast slams into the ship, sending it rocking.

"Ah? What happened?" The captain asked.
"An electrical blast slammed into our ship!" The imp said. "Luckily there doesn't seem to be any lasting damage. Though damn, it's hard to see in this mist."
The Captain nods a few moments and adds, "Thank Golbez that we didn't strip the insulation from our controls to reinforce our cannons."
The imp is quiet for a few moments and then adds, "er, sir, actually Chief Engineer--"

A lonely airship crashes into the mountain and promptly explodes.

Umi blinks a few times from her position and says. "Um." She says. "............LOOK BEHIND YOU...!" She says. "YOUR /GIRLFRIEND/!" She points behind Baigan.

And then without waiting to see if he looks, she runs the hell away.
Melody Ellsmere
"Glayffe STOP BREAKING THE SHIP!" Melody shouts at him, as if he were low-born scum. Well, that's what the 'Slaughter Countess' gets to do. "I am NOT MADE OUT OF MAGIC!"

Then she looks at Will. "What?! What's been revoked - oh."

She tries to leap out of the way. The shotgun blast hits her in the fetchingly lightly armored part of her leg, which reveals to the world why it is stupid as hell to not actually put armor even if you're trying to trawl for a husband among the upper nobility. Melody shrieks, if melodically (get it) as bits of blood and stuff go flying momentarily. EXTREME.

Landing on the deck, she rolls onto her side, clutching the injured limb up close to her body and giving Will an ashen look.

"Go do your stupid thing somewhere else you HORRIBLE POOR PERSON! Haaaahhhh--" Her eyes widen, as she stares at nothing in particular. The ground rumbles beneath Will.

Several large planks tremble. They start to flow back together, to twist, to rise upwards, rearing up like a leafless and not-quite-complete tree. A dead tree? Yes. A rather misshapen tree? Certainly. A tree which is rearing upright from the deck out of nowhere and hopefully tossing Will over the side? Yes.
Glayffe To be fair Glayffe probably is or was, in fact, low-born scum who raised himself to his dream through /effort/ and /valor/ and also maybe because Cagnazzo thought it was completely hilarious.
"IT'LL BE FINE!" He calls as he's still reaching for Deidra's tail. "Baron never fails!!"
Will Sherman Will narrows his eyes as he starts approaching Melo-..

"Is that a tr-" TREED.

Will flies upwards, litterally launching him into the air and off the side of the ship.


He screams all the way down until he manages to hit...

"Man...I really hate these powers I got." A random Baron mutant complains, "I mean...what Can I do? I'm made of ruber!"

Will uncerimoniously SMASHES into him, before he launches him into the air, leaving the poor soldier on the ground like a tarp...

And he starts flying away, caught in a stiff breeze.

Will launches back onto the ship, soaring over it and for once above Melody and Glayffe...

Before he spins mid air, flying down towards Melody and aiming to land RIGHT ontop of her, to break his fall back onto the ship.
Faervel Tathren
Faervel glances over his shoulder to see the wisp, or what he thinks is. Only to see that she blows him a mockery of a kiss. He narrows his eyes slightly, before he takes a step back. "M'lady." he says loud enough for her to hear, before he does a respectful bow. Then steps right back and /right/ off the airship with his dragon right under him.

oO"She tried to /kill/ us and you bow to her? I-- do not understand your customs sometimes, sir."Oo

Faervel holds onto the reigns of the armor as he lowers his head. "One should always respect their enemies, Uthar. That is what my mentor taught me. Sometimes... respect.. can change the tide of battle far more than a lance."

The dragon gets a dead-oO"If you say so, sir."Oo then there was a low growl, as light flickered around them and the armor faded away from them both as the started to move away from the battlefield itself. The armor turning into light wisoO"Next time though, I get to fight the Priestess and /you/ can fly around."Oo

Faervel raises a brow as his silvery hair moves in the wind, before he glances behind him at the battle they leave. A small frown forming on his face. "...I just hope.. they can win the battle."

oO"Time will tell, sir. Time will tell."Oo
Baigan Baigan, flushed with-- let's call it anger-- sneers at the Moogle in his grasp. "Gwaaaa ha ha ha ha ha!" he guffaws, trying to get into the spirit of things as he hefts the little engineer up into the air. "Sssso you are the one who has been fiddling with our inssstruments. To think a pesssky runt sssuch as yourssself would dare to block Baron's way! You have come to the wrong foressst, little Pom, and for that, you sssshall d--"

Whereupon Legion shoots a lightning bolt over his shoulder, causing Baigan to freeze in place, staring vacantly in Portobello's general direction. The sound of explosion rocks the battlefield, then the creaking of a careening airship, and then the sound of another, much larger explosion. And then the sound of the ensuing avalanche, as boulders tumble down the mountain the airship crashed into, until at last the cacophony momentarily stills. Baigan's eyes refocus on Portobello--


-then snap over to Legion, then snap into the distance, then snap back, aaaaand she's gone. "Gwooooooohhhh!" Is he mad Legion got away, or that Morrighan wasn't where he hoped, or that he was actually looking for Morrighan in the first place who let's face it is almost as terrible as Baigan, or that the Moogle in his snake's jaw isn't dead yet? Well, he can at least do something about the last thing-- "Gaaahh!" --except that Portobello is drilling away, forcing Baigan to fling him aside. "Cursssesss!"

"Captain? Captain!?" A haggard trooper at last stumbles through the thick mist, gasping for breath. "Captain, there you are!" Even being giant and standing on top of a hill isn't enough to get him easily seen on this ridiculous battlefield. "Captain, the avalanche has blocked off most of the entrance of the cave! The dwarves have advanced, and they're blocking our advance in the only thin corridor that's left!"

"Preposssterousss!" Baigan roars. "Where is our machinery!? Use the cannonsss to ssstrike!"

The guardsman shakes his head rapidly. "Most of the airships have retreated with the loads they bear, and the most heavily armed airship still has a melee raging on its decks. Some sort of moogle sabotaged a lot of our-- oh." His gaze at last rests on Portobello, somewhat awkwardly, as though espying a frenemy at a dinner party. Scowling, Baigan rounds on the moogle engineer in a fury.

"You will not ssssurvive!!"

Whereupon he does his utmost to stomp Portobello into the dirt, rebound the poor little moogle into the air, and smack him with both snake arms, digging in venomous fangs and crushing from both sides.
Deidra Deidra can't help but grin like a shark at the knight's reaction her stunt it actually worked. She shocked but it worked and she will have to remeber that one for late.r For now she's trying to not get. "Hard on myself? I saw what your people did in Manhattan." She's keeping to the air for the moment trying to keep the other odd guard a little bit. "Man your a savage I'm not even sure your human!" She wonders if this guy even bleeds. She lunges at him she's not out to kill him, but kick his ass? Totally as she uses her talons to try to open up his armor and pull the guy out of it. It might not work but it should do some damage.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart steps back out of the explosion she created. Now that's more like it, after the weirdly evasive dark knight, landing punches feel good. She doesn't want that fiend to get too comfortable though, so she moves in for more attacks "Thanks Aerith!" That should add a bit more pain to the kick that comes toward Scarm's midsection. She's not sure she really wants to touch that face directly :/
Avira Well thank Faram for reasonable people!

Though honestly at this point, Avira was just on the cusp of being reasonable. If the situation got any worse, she might straight up panic. Taking a deep breath, Avira steps backwards so she can keep one good eye on Morrighan. "Well it's-"

At that very moment, something large goes speeding past, half through the air, half through the ground. A tiny trench is dug between the mutate and dark elf, created by none other than Kaze himself. Judging by the look on Avira's face, "HIM!" and her accusingly pointing finger, Avira recognizes this red-haired man.

Looking terrified, she takes a step backwards, staring at Kaze. "Him and the guy he's fighting!" She tries to explain to Morrighan, "If they keep fighting-"

'Soil! My strength!!'

Though her own powers with magic were somewhat limited-paltry, compared to Morrighan, she could feel whatever it was that just happened there. She's staring at Kaze for several long, horrifed moments before she manages to find her words again. There was some solace that Kaze would not recognize her as she was right now.

"We should run." Avira tells Morrighan in a grave tone. "The guy he's fighting should be here any second. We should run."
Melody Ellsmere
"What?! This is absurd!" Melody squeals as she rolls onto her back and sees Will coming towards her. She raises one arm upwards, a sudden and final burst of DARK smashing upwards, and knocking him up into the air once more.

Melody slumps then. A little exertion of her talent stops the bleeding. She closes her eyes. Just for a moment, she tells herself.

She sent Will straight /up/.

And so, a few seconds later, he smashes down on her other leg. Melody shrieks fit to wake the dead.
Makenshi Earth and Mist rise into the air, mingling together in a blinding storm of unfettered fury with every stroke of the gleaming white sword. The ground sunders itself apart as if quailing at the sheer power being unleashed upon its fragile surface. A final powerful smash sends Kaze flying and a brilliant explosion of blue-white light engulfs the space where the two once stood.

It takes several seconds for the Mist to clear, chunks of dirt and stone raining down across the entire battlefield as a testament to the incredible force of that blast. Makenshi, however, stands unharmed at the epicenter of the terrible carnage wrought upon the land, his feet pressed together to keep him balanced atop a slender spire of rock that remains standing in the crater, his cape billowing softly in the wind.

The look of aloof disregard is still present on his face as he walks casually forwards along the line that his opponent had been sent flying. The magical blade leaves his hands, spinning like a pinwheel as it loops lazily to settle back on his belt once more, its owner clearly unworried about further danger at this point - if he even was to begin with.

Makenshi's hand rests lightly on his hip as he draws within speaking distance of the wounded man, his eyes closing as he waits for him to recover himself. Those injuries were nothing to a man like Kaze. But instead, his old foe brings forth the ultimate weapon and the albino's eyes snap open once more, fixing him with a deadly stare.

Power surges, Mist begins to flow... and then nothing. Makenshi lowers his head, making a bemused noise.

A hand goes to his waist, resting on the bandolier of empty glass bottles wrapped about him like a belt. One of the containers is drawn forth, held lightly between finger and thumb. He lifts it up slowly, bringing the transluscent glass up before his face as words of ancient magic are spoken aloud.

"Embraced by the magical tune played by the Mist..."

The bottle is tossed skywards, spinning wildly end-over-end in the air above Makenshi for mere moment before his hand goes to the blade at his side.

"Now sleep!"

The sword comes up, neatly bisecting the bottle straight down the middle, somehow cutting it perfectly in half despite the tumultuous rotation. A brilliant blue star bursts to life within the gap between the two halves before it can even split apart. The light intensifies, growing in size and power until it shines like a beacon across the entire battlefield, clearly visible through the mists.

0"Silver Etude!"

The light blossoms in a blinding explosion as a tunnel through reality is torn in the sky. Multihued streamers of color streak wildly through the air as a creature both ancient and terrible is brought forth at his call. The Blade Dragon bellows its call of rage and power into the air, rippling the Mist as it dashes forward. A blade of pure silver made from its insectoid carapace extends from the nose of the beast, twin red eyes glaring from behind its natural weapon. A segmented body much like a locust ripplies with motion as dozens of slender wings expand across its long back.

The summon rushes forward, becoming a streak of shimmering blue as it crashes down upon Kaze, a force of untold destruction compacted into a glowing lance meant for one man.
Morrighan Alazne Whoosh!

Kaze came hurtling right past the both of them and Morrighan abruptly turned to look in the direction that the man had landed. "What manner of devilry!?" He looked horribly out of sorts. Despite being who she was, Morrighan's white mage instincts were urging her to do something about his wounds.

Slowly, she raised a hand, healing magic beginning to emanate around the red haired man, slowly beginning to sooth his injuries to a degree. Why the hell was she even doing something like this?

She couldn't say, really. At least she figured he wasn't an enemy. Considering that he wasn't focused on them. Think of it as a small and random act of kindness.

And then Avira spoke. "...Huh? What now?" She asked, glancing at Avira. "And why do you look so scared? He's fighting who now?"

But she didn't budge.


.....That GIGANTIC summon towering over the battlefield. "....Er-"
Portobello Portobello was thrown aside quickly, though this time he was not going to lay prone while Baigen proceeded to snuff him out like a used cigarette. He got to the controls of the apparatus quick enough as two mechanical clamps grabbed Baigan by his foot as another arm set into motion, this one having a large hammer at the end of it which swung towards him, intent on knocking the brute for a loop while the clamps were attempting to slam him onto the ground immediately after.
Scarmiglione Ooooh, look at the sassy little flower girl, mouthing off to DEATH INCARNATE, Scarmiglione thinks to himself. She thinks she's all that, but she's just another pathetic little human fighting against a fate she cannot possibly overco-wait. Scarm's mouth opens again, he pauses, and then shuts it. And then is kicked in the gut, clenching his teeth tightly as as pained gasp escapes him because Tifa just won't let up. And then he opens his mouth again, obviously for singing this time.

o/~ What a surprise I see before me! o/~
o/~ Such an error I'm ashamed to have made; o/~
o/~ I see you now; oh so clearly; o/~
o/~ My eyes liberated from the shade; o/~
o/~ For now you shall see me depart; o/~
o/~ But do not think you've won; o/~
o/~ One day we'll see the color of your heart; o/~
o/~ Once the lines of battle have been drawn! o/~

And then, /obviously/, it's time for sinister laughter. A low, wheezing chuckle, that slowly builds, until it is cut mercifully short by a brief fit of coughing. "Ugh. Can't stand this anymore, it's just not worth it." He looks up at the sudden DRAGON towering over everything, shakes his head slowly. And then he basically disintegrates, dust falling to the forest's floor.
Aerith Aerith chuckled and shook her head. "Buncha crybabies..." She moved toward Rinoa and helped her up. "Let's get outta here, that thing looks like it's ready to rip this place apart!" They did several good things here though... Baron was essentially torn to shreds here. That Dark Knight didn't look so hot after she'd evaded that last attack... but never mind. They'd even withstood what she was now sure was one of those Elemental Fiends that Synestria told her about.

"Let's get moving, Tifa..." Aerith glanced toward the sounds of utter destruction. "...I think this fight isn't ours anymore."
Oriane Guado When the departing aerial debonair Faervel offers a bow in farewell, Oriane's smile gets just a little bigger. What an amusing diversion! That Elven Dragoon would make such an entertaining servant. She merely needs to break his will and kill that dragon friend of his to further damage his spirit. But then again, the idea of having an undead dragon at her command was very tantalizing also. Perhaps she will attempt to capture that flying lizard instead.

The dragon and rider depart which forces Oriane Guado to find some new entertainment. The lightshow that is occuring in the center of the battlefield easily commands her attention. She soon snaps her fingers at the nearest warrior-monk. "-You- nameless guard, find me a chair so that I may watch this delightful show from it." Her freshly faught battle really took it out of her. The Warrior-monk knows better than to question Oriane and quickly retrieves a chair for her. A little rest will do the necromancer good as she settles into her newly brought chair.
Glayffe Nasty things happen in the great final collision between Will and Melody. Fires burn underneath the airship. A great beast appears in the air.
All this is ignored by Glayffe under the ignorant assumption of Baron superiority and the fact that he is being torn apart by Deidra as she scrapes at indigo armor, revealing darker purplish under-armor underneath that may be darker from the supposedly missing bloodstains, or in fact because he is just a Dark Engineer who happens to like wearing multiple layers of dark clothing. (Also, Disney, minimal blood.)
"Hwrrrrgh!" Glayffe snarls as he ineffectually wrestles with Deidra before one of her wild clawing strikes just sees him down against the deck. He lays face-down and still, momentarily, before a soft whirring fills his ears.
He looks up. The odd laser artillery thing that's pointed at the deck. A bad idea crosses him (when doesn't it?). "Huahuahua... you haven't won yet... you never will, in fact, for Glayffe, the brilliant Chief Engineer of Baron... has an idea!"
He goes from being stuck to the ground to climbing the side of the battery, putting his body weight on it to the point it starts tilting slightly upward towards Deidra's position. "I made this! I designed this! One of Baron's finest weapons yet!"
Never mind that most of the laser artillery battery things have all but stopped working in various degrees of mechanical failure and outright danger to the ship and crew, but this one, /this one/, Glayffe lets idiocy and adrenaline guide him as dark energy glows in his hand, placing it onto the laser battery thing.
"Now, drown in a sea of dark fire!" With this generic boast, there is but a singular geometric shape of a very bright and distinctive color that begs to be addressed.

ansi(hg, /\)
Will Sherman Will blinks...

"HEY YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE NARRITIVELY AWAAAAAAAAE!" he flies upwards, taken out by teh dark wave...

He's hurt, burised...

BUT IN HIS LAST BREATH HE SPITES MELODY, by falling RIGHT On her leg, and rolls across the deck. He looks up, litterally at the sky with a dazed expression on his face.
Avira A degree of incredulousness is added to the look on Avira's face when Morrighan actually HEALS Kaze. "Why did you just-" Well, honestly, given who he was fighting had Avira been gifted in the healing arts, she may have done the same. The pain of fighting the White Cloud was still fresh on her mind. Why just yesterday that man had summoned-

If Avira were not covered in fur right now, she'd be going pale. "/That/!" Avira says, pointing up at the looming sword dragon. She knew it's form. That gigantic summon had struck her yesterday and the pain was incredible. She knows exactly what happens next.

"GET DOWN!" she yells and lunges, not at Kaze, but at Morrighan to push both her and herself away from the inevitable blast radius of the Sword Dragon. What is Avira even doing now?! Had she lost all rationality!?
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart phews as she stands up after her attacks, and Scarm disapearing. She nods over to Aerith "We did it at least. Protected the forest, got their machines... A job well done?"
Rinoa Heartilly Rinoa isnt faring too well against Scarmiglione. Just when it seems that it's hopeless, Aerith and Tifa step in to save her bacon..Then somewhere a giant dragon is summoned. "What...? A Guardian Force..?" Except it looks a little different, no? Even so, Rinoa is glad for the distraction and it seems to have deterred Scarm as well. "Yes!" She nods enthusiastically, coughing a bit, clutching her wounded side. "Let's get out of here.."
Rubicante Ward... jumps. Despite his familiarity with Dragoons, Rubicante can't help but find them ridiculous, and he isn't sure how to react to it... which is why Ward smashes heavily into his chest, driving him down onto one knee.

As Ward recovers, and winds up for the next strike, Rubicante tilts his head. "The Blighted Despot has quit the field," he says aloud, tiltin his head. What he doesn't say - ut is still the case - is that this means he is no longer bound by pride to remain upon this Mist-choked battleield.

Which means that as Ward charges in again, Rubicante vanishes into tornado of flame that erupts from beneath him, and when it clears, he is gone.
Aerith Aerith nodded as she helped Rinoa to her feet. "Yeah Tifa, job well done... very well done, I think." Still, it probably wasn't over. Not by a long shot. They still had to get Manhattan back... and that would take some extra doing.
Ward Zabac Ward stres off and wonders, if he could he would shout as loud as he could. he wanted to get a little revenge against rubicante. he stared up seeing a dragon. he felt like it was time to leave. he gathered up his armor and proceeded to flee into the rest of the forest, he would find his way back to Traverse Town.
Morrighan Alazne HOLY CRAP.

Morrighan did not even complain as Avira pushed her out of the range of Blade Dragon's attack. "WHAT IS EVEN GOING ON ANYMORE!?" She cried, just barely avoiding getting skewered along with Kaze. But the following aftershock carried the delicate healer away several feet, crashing into a tree rather roughly. "Augh!"

Gravity took over and Morrighan slid down to the ground, panting weakly with her head hung low. "......Who ARE these people...?" The dark elf asked after a moment of rest, glancing over to see how Kaze handled the attack. Whoever summoned that dragon and whoever that man in the cloak was...they were clearly dangerous people. Incredibly dangerous people.

She could even say that...for the first time in a long while, she was genuinely feeling fear seeping into her very being.

"...I did not sign up for THIS!"
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart smiles and looks over to Rinoa as well now "I guess we can go back home for now... It doesn't seem like they will be back right away at least.
Aerith Aerith shook her head as they headed away. "They won't be back... but we can't deny the fact that we stopped them." The key word here being stopped, not finished. "We came in late... they have what they wanted. They just don't have all of what they wanted." Perhaps those strategy lessons from Xanatos were coming in handy. "We're still going to have to deal with them later..." And with that, she led the hasty retreat!
Baigan And then Baigan has a boxing match with a moogle.


And loses.

Putting up his snake arms as Portobello escapes being squashed, he steps back to avoid the clamps which attempt to pin his foot to the ground but ends up clobbered by the moogle's giant mechanical hammer, big sloping jaw snapping back as his wild counterpunch swings and misses. "Lower, Captain!" Sir Snaggletooth supplies. "He's lower! No, sirrah, that's the ground!"

Just as Baigan staggers, glowering down at his pesky new adversary, that poor overworked trooper emerges from the mist again, coughing and hacking. "It's no good, Captain," he calls out to the giant snake-monster. "We can't get any further into the mine!"

"Blassst it," Baigan hisses. "Call upon the fiendsss!"

"Umm, Lord Golbez's allies have quit the field, milord," the guard says awkwardly, shuffling. "I think they... um, I think they got bored. They were singing a great deal, sir."

"Sssinging!?" Baigan roars. "Who would ssssing on a battlefield?"

There follows an awkward silence.

And then a giant steely dragon plunges from the sky, and dirt and rocks rain everywhere from the resultant explosion. "WHO IS DOING THAT!?" Baigan shouts, wheeling toward nothing in particular. "Ggghhghh-- Enough! Before any more of our ssshipsss are damaged," he snaps, "call the retreat! Load up what machinery has not been damaged beyond repair in the remaining airships and move through the Portal! I ssshall follow ssshortly!"

As the guard bustles off, Baigan rounds on the moogle who tears oppose him, towering all the more over this particular foe. "Fool," he sneers, as magical energy begins to pulse about him. Despite how nutso this battlefield is getting, it doesn't look like Baigan's ready to run just yet, waiting as smaller support ships desperately descend to retrieve injured troops while trying to avoid being obliterated by Kaze and Makenshi's collateral damage. "Don't you know--"

He raises his snake arms high.

"Only foolsss would oppossse the almighty will of Baron!!"
Deidra Deidra says "I was from a world of science but magic isn't quite dead there ler mt tell you this Dark Knight. I will not give up to mad man like you!" She's round he does bleed a little bit. So maybe he is human, still the man is quite savage. He's also dangerous ash hell as he arming the laser artillery battery. She's got an idea even as she throws a spell at him to keep him off balance.

"There's a problem with super charging things, Sir Knight."

She starts to chant in latin again a huge surge of energy seems to come fromt eh sky into the laser artillery battery she's clearly intet to over charge it and make it cook off.

"A system like that can only take so much power before it OVERLOADS!"
Kaze Kaze doesn't recognize Avira, it's true. When he finally looks up, he doesn't spare her a second glance; Morrighan, though, does something totally unexpected. The slowly-recovering injuries on the red-haired man suddenly begin to up and vanish, the worst of the cuts and bruises disappearing almost instantly. The difference is staggering. Kaze looks surprised, but pleasantly so -- or, well, so his very minimalistic expression reads.

With a slight twitch of his head, Kaze's one visible eye, the other still concealed beneath the single lens in his sunglasses, fixes on Morrighan. It is perhaps the sudden intervention that makes him even bother, but something inside him beneath the all-consuming fury rises to the surface. His teeth grind together, and his trigger finger itches, but he forces out one word, a single word that cannot sound more pleading and furious all at once.


His ears twitch, suddenly. He hears it. 'Embraces by the magical tune played by the Mist...'

The words seem distantly familiar to the man. His eyes flick back to Makenshi, and his entire body tenses like a coiled spring. He expects... something. He doesn't know what the 'something' is, but the hairs on the back of his neck tell him that it won't be anything like what's happened already. He raises his gun, fully intending to shoot Makenshi dead before he can finish the summoning ritual -- or maybe to destroy the bottle.

The bottle breaks, but it doesn't happen quite the way he wants.

Kaze is hurtled backwards by a lance of blue light that is the summoned creature. It hammers into him like the fist of an angry God, hurtling him backwards a second time. His body bends at the waist, his feet are lifted from the ground, and the area immediately around him erupts into a blast of silver-white light. The ground shudders in protest, shattering where he stood and blasting into the air in every direction. It's as if the soil and rock and trees all wish to get away from this creature of Mist as much as Kaze does.

The blinding light fades a moment later. A gash of woodland is cleared of Mist -- along with trees, underbrush, rocks, and anything else in the way. At the far end rests Kaze, pinned against a tree as smoke (Mist?) rolls off of him. His poncho falls to cover him, and he staggers forward, landing on his feet and gradually straightening. His entire right side is a mess of blood and tissue. He's almost certain every rib on that side of his body is broken. He can't feel his arm, except in intermittent bursts of agony.

But he doesn't show it. He looks like he just got run down by Faram's own steed and walked it off.

The Black Wind lifts the red gun, sighting it downrange. He stares at the white-clad form of Makenshi, his expression relaxing into one of almost sedate calm. He doesn't fire, not yet. He takes a deep, quietly rattling breath, steadying his aim and stepping forward. He can feel it calling to him, whispering in his ear like a long-forgotten lover. The Mist tried to hide it, but it couldn't do it forever.

The wind is calling. Kaze can almost see it, the ebb and flow guiding the Mist and shielding Makenshi from his onslaught. It won't take the kind of firepower he keeps calling to kill this man, not now; it requires precision and grace. He has to beat his immense skill, not force his way past with a fusillade of fire.

Kaze's gun barks once. He throws himself to the left. Twice, three times. The bullets sail with a curious sort of grace and precision, riding the wind and passing through the remaining foliage on their way to their target. They flicker past Morrighan and Avira, buzzing by like angry killer bees. He doesn't try to overcome Makenshi's swordsmanship with overwhelming force, but looks to slip his guard instead.

Baronian airships begin to descend to rescue stragglers. Some part of Kaze notes it, but he doesn't remark or react. He keeps moving, and keeps fighting.
Glayffe Glayffe endures the dangerous torrent of energy that envelopes him with that coughing laughter. "Do you think that'll defeat meeeeee?!" Foolishly and arrogantly, he stands through the waves of energy pounding through himself and the artillery, perhaps running on a high simply for what she is channeling into it. "Soon, you--"
He slips and loses his balance, though his charging hand still grips the top of the artillery battery. Now he dangles, face-first, into the load of laser cannons that are glowing and primed up to fire as his body sizzles. He goes limp as he realizes what he is looking at, face-first.
"Oh. You flying rat." He says this in an underwhelming, silent tone of voice before the whole thing explodes in a cacophony of dark power, fiery light, and the faintest hint of a peppermint scent as his form spirals through the air in a corkscrew across the sky. He is, very briefly, a brighter, more interesting sight than the terrible strength of summoned creatures, a bright fireball piercing the veil of the mist from those who are watching from the ground. It disappears into the very horizon, further into the forests of the Dwarf Woodlands.
The airship is now missing a huge chunk of one side of itself following that artillery battery explosion. It may not be safe to try and ride it for much longer.
Portobello Portobello backed away a bit, trying to get some room between him and this snake kinda person. He was not sure if he had enough power in the apparatus to overcome whatever defenses Baigan managed to muster up just now. He pauses for a moment, using his Engineer's perception to find a weak point he can strike at in order to drive this bellowing brute off.

Meanwhile one of the support ships overhead are trying to get into position to load up whatever is left of their forces. Its engines sputter for a moment as a open crate marked '3rd Gears' rattles a bit as one of the said parts falls out of the container and falls down towards the ground.

Portobello takes a deep breath, readying himself to charge in towards his left leg when he feels something drop down into the top of his backpack where the apparatus lies and clicks into place among its inner workings. Suddenly all of the tool attachments on it flare to life, faster than ever, as Portobello has a puzzled look on his face before turning his attention back towards Baigan.

"Kupo with startegy, I'm going all in...." As he charges foward, bringing every instrument, accesory and tool to bear upon the serpentine foe.
Makenshi Well, this was unexpected. Makenshi stares with something that might be appreciation as the broken form of his foe stands up in the wake of being run through by the Sword Dragon. He had not intended to kill this man but he certainly did not expect him to walk such a blow off so quickly.

His gaze is drawn to the two women lying scattered to the ege of the forest, settling first on Avira, whom he recognized from their encounter the previous day. That she was here now, in the presence of Kaze, seemed a little too convenient. Perhaps he had been too gentle in his questioning.

However, at the moment he was more interested in the elf who had interfered in their battle. His green eyes narrow slightly on her prone form, considering.

Before he can act, the blast of gunpowder fills the air, and he snaps his gaze back to Kaze with a wide-eyed look. Unbelieveable? He can still fight?!

Maken is brought up to ward off the first shot, swatting it aside in a streak of golden tracer fire. The powerful shot careens into the woods, taking out yet another tree with its singular force, showering the two women with splinters and leaves.

Something is different, this time. As he brings his blade about to parry the subsequent shots he finds that the stroke is off, this Mist swirling away in the presence of Kaze's focused skill. A blossom of scarlet explodes from his side as the massive shell rips into his ribs, followed immediately after by another in his shoulder. The impact spins him about, sending the slender Misterian spiraling into the dirt where he crashes flat on his face in disgrace for the first time in years.

Unlike the wielder of the Magun, Makenshi clearly shows the pain of his injuries, wincing visibly as he pushes back to his feet after a few moments. The damage is temporary, the wounds already beginning the steady process of knitting together, but it will slow him down and he cannot afford that - not against this man.

An annoyed stare is leveled at Kaze as he takes a deep breath, exhaling more Mist to replace that dispersed and consumed by their battle thus far. The sword in his hands shifts, its narrow length fanning out to become broader and deadlier.

"Impressive... as ever." He repeats.
Avira To Avira, Morrighan further proves that she is a reasonable person amongst the sea of fools that was Baron. It's not the healing but moreso the healthy fear she can be seen brewing in her eyes as she sees Kaze and the subsequent summon he draws the attention of.

Thankfully, Avira is able to push them both out of the way. She loses contact of Morrighan shortly after she does shove her. Using her momentum, she tries to carry her own body as far away as possible before hitting the ground and covering her head. She can feel the aftershock blowing over her shortly after and doesn't suffer the same tree-smashing fate as the dark elf.

Fear is plain on her face as Kaze starts firing upon his opponent right there. He might be accurate but Avira's no fan of having his bullet's so close to him. Brown eyes settle on Morrighan. "Go, go back with the Baron forces and get out of here." She slots the Spine behind her and looks skyward to the airship she'd dropped Will off on. "Before these two crazy people obliterate the area!"

With those seemingly parting words, Avira takes to the sky, heading for that airship, eager to search it and pick up Will.
Baigan Only fools, and moogles with tools.

"Gwaaaa ha ha ha ha," Baigan cackles, at last having forgotten his lovelorn thoughts. Now that he is surrounded by debris, alone with his foe -- an enemy of Baron! -- and his snake arms, the Captain of the Guard can give into the comfort of madness, dark curse flooding his cold veins, pulsing with a menacing force. "Gwaaaaa ha ha haarghghrgh--"

Maximum Portobello goes hyper combo on Baigan's snakely butt, tearing through magical shields of protection as Sir Snaggletooth and the Snakesuation wail in dismay, serpentine scales ripping loose and scattering, glinting and lost amidst the mist and detritus. Such destruction is nothing compared to the havoc being wreaked all around, but upon this lone hillock, for now -- until, like, another dragon shows up -- this duel is what matters most.

So much simpler this way, really.

Baigan stumbles backward and sinks to one giant knee, grunting loudly, his lidless eyes flashing with contempt. "Pitiful little creature," he snarls, "why do you dare face the greatnessss of Baron? Do you know of whom you defy? What do you care for this missserable foressst? What precedence does it take over civilisssation?" He lurches back to his broad feet, lumbering body weaving. "To impossse order on thisss motley amalgam of worldsss, I ssshall crusssh whatever foolsss ssstand before me--"

The snake arms launch forward.

"No matter how furry and cute!!"

They interweave in a confounding, almost hypnotic dance, before rushing in from two sides in a terrible pincer attack, stretching out as Baigan begins to laugh again. If caught in their terrible juncture, Portobello's little body will be rent from both sides!
Morrighan Alazne "....Right." Morrighan nodded, shuffling back up to her feet and shielding herself with an arm to protect herself from the debris and wind. There was nothing more for her to do or see here. These two men were outright dangerous. A single glance upwards at Makenshi and the healer was able to recognize him as the stranger from the bar the other day.

"...So this is what he is capable of..." She mumbled before turning and stumbling off, holding her shoulder with one arm and slightly limping as she made her way off. Her magic was depleted at the moment and would need time to replenish before she could heal again, thus she would have to make do.

Soon enough, she disappeared into the mist, leaving the two titans to clash undisturbed.
Portobello Portobello had pretty much dulled his weapons on trying to break through Baigan's defenses, having been too focused on the assualt he had left all his defenses open to attack. The arms moved a bit too quickly for him and he didn't have himself in a advantagous position when the finally grasped ahold of his tiny body and began to play tug of war with him.

The Moogle was letting out a series of pained *squeaks* and *kupos* as he spasmed and gritted his teeth in preparation for the pain that was to be brought upon him.



His joints and verebrate started to dislocate in several places and muscles tear due to the brute strength of the beast as he exerted all his will into forcing him apart.
Deidra Deidra says "Oh I know it will. Looks like Team Baron's blasting off again." She notes for a moment before she takes up to teh sky again to get the heck off the airship before something else comes after her to ruin her day, seriously it's time to go and she's not about to press her luck.
Kaze He makes him bleed. Kaze's blood suddenly boils.

'If he can bleed,' he thinks, 'then I can kill him.'

Through the flurry of splinters and the gradually-gathering Mist, Kaze continues to approach. He won't lose him in this. He /won't/. He follows the voice and silhouette, always keeping him in sight. He struggles to maintain his composure, but he's fighting a losing battle. Makenshi's attitude of annoyance and disdain bothers Kaze. It grates on him in a way that little else, it seems, can.

"Shut up," he snarls. He fires again. His gun tears down another tree near Makenshi, felling it so precisely from that distance it falls right for the White Swordsman. He uses it as a distraction, another gunshot tearing through the Mist and aimed to blast the ground away beneath him. "I'm not here to /impress/ you."

Footsteps across the broken Earth. Kaze keeps walking. He lets the two women flee unmolested. They aren't part of this fight, and they didn't get between him and his target. Good. Sensible. The Black Wind fires again, twice more, two more of those streaking rounds aimed at the swordsman's legs.

"I'm here to /kill/ you," he says, voice venomous, "for everything you've done. It stops /here/."

Somewhere, the universe is laughing. Hasn't someone else said the same to him, not so long ago?

A man crawls across the forest floor. His indigo armor, singed to a near-black without color, leaves trails behind his crawling wake. Each movement of an arm to pull his body weight is a torturous affair, a struggle where every flex of the muscle is by sheer force of will. Ash-laden white hair stands on end as he pulls himself towards an open area where light shines down upon the forest floor.
He lifts his head up as he comes to the center. Off-center goggles adorn the cracked lens of a gas mask, as he stares up towards the warm sunlight.
"Hrrrngh." Glayffe growls. "Curse that flying rat woman. But soon... soo, I--"
A few rabbits bounce into the picture. Some birds stand on nearby tree branches and peer downwards, twittering about with one another. Young deer frolick all around. Unbearably cute critters of every size, shape, and form all gather around the clearing.
"...You think I'm done?" Glayffe weakly snorts through his damaged gask mask. "Just you wait! I'll burn you all to the ground in the name of Baron..."
A rabbit comes up to his face. It nuzzles him.
"Wh-what're you doing?" There is a sudden sense of urgency as Glayffe pushes himself up to a seated position. A deer licks the back of his head. "No! Stay away. Stay away!"
He starts to back into the trunk of a tree. Squirrels run down the length of the trunk, happily jumping into his hair. Birds fly in front of his face, tweeting and otherwise looking him over as another rabbit has now jumped into his lap to rub their head against one of his outstretched hands.
"N-Nooo!" It is too late for Glayffe. The forest creatures have decided his fate. "You wouldn't dare...!"
A blood-curdling scream of terror echoes through the woods, to be quickly forgotten as the voice fades in the wind.
Baigan "Gwoooooooohhhh!"

With a triumphant howl, Baigan hurls poor Portobello away after a suitable savaging, leaving the damaged and dazed moogle to tumble into the brush. He looks around, nostrils flaring, but no foes remain -- and no allies either. With the mine blocked off and the majority of their airships retreating, it appears that Baron has had no choice but to withdraw, but at least managed to do so with most of their resources intact. He'll have to reward those who defended the airships for driving off that dangerous dragon. No doubt it was all due to Glayffe's brilliance.


Snarling, with explosions still echoing in the distance -- though little does Baigan know it is all from Kaze and Makenshi's duel -- and eyes up on the surviving support ships, retrieving some of the equipment that Portobello and Rinoa mangled, he begins to trudge through the mist, his heavy footsteps making deep indents in the soil. Stumbling through the still-thick mist, he sees a figure passing through and stops, his fangs baring along with those of his snake arms.

"Wait, Boss!" the Snakesuation quickly exclaims.

"Captain," Sir Snaggletooth murmurs, "it's--"

"Lady Alazne...?"

A moment of silence, as Baigan looms wide-eyed over the chief of his White Mage squad, encountered in the midst of the mist. And then, with a queasy contortion of his form, he abruptly reverts to his human form, crimson mantle fluttering, though somehow it's as damaged as his hide was. He himself is pale and bloodied. He's never transformed back on the battlefield before; typically, he must wait until the darkness leaves him.

"Ar... are you unhurt?"

He's not making eye contact.

Oh, brother.
Portobello Portobello did not not so much managle the machinery that he systematically dismantled them in a very short amount of time. It would probably have been better if they managled it as they could have hauled it away mostly in one or two big pieces. Now the clean up crews had the task of trying to sweep the whole mess onto carts or crates and haul it back to the airships.

Portabello meanwhile was tossed off into a nearby Bush as he landed painfully amongst the branches. A few local Woodland creatures managed to drag him off to a safer location, too bad none of them have any experience in first-aid or bone setting.
Makenshi "You don't remember anything, do you?"

Makenshi closes his eyes and releases the sword, allowing it to spiral about him freely once more. It seems to vanish for a moment, moving so fast as to be invisible and a line of blue light appears on the falling tree, slicing it completely up the middle. The massive log splinters apart explosively, the two halves blasting in oppposite directions that cause them to fall with a resounding crash on either side of the white knight.

A wash of Mist and dirt ruffles his cloak and he rides the updraft into the air, the Maken swirling defensively about his body yet again to ward off the further indignity of being struck by that weapon a second time.

Floating in the air, he stares down at Kaze yet again, eyes snapping open with renewed intensity. He means to kill him? Was his mind still stuck on that moment? Had he not been forgiven despite their circumstances? I didn't matter.

"How pitiful!"

With a sudden burst of motion, Makenshi drops to the ground, his blade once more in hand. It strikes downwards with a sharp vertical slash, sending a rippling wave of blue Mist energy across the ground in a thin line at Kaze. A second slash follows, this one at the air in a sideways sweep that belts out another flat line of deadly blue Mist.

The two powerful attacks crash down upon the Black Wind, intersecting with each other mere moments before impact and combining into deafening explosion of raw power. Smoke and fire billows into the sky, a shockwave of immense proportions shooting out in all directions from the point of impact.
Morrighan Alazne This was a huge pain.

Figuratively AND literally this time.

At least the rest of the white mage squad managed to get away in all the chaos. Morrighan meanwhile trudged her way through the battlefield, grumbling to herself in irritation. "Troublesome...nothing but trouble the entire way through. Why do I continue to bother with this nonsense?"

It was then that Baigan came upon her. The currently reverted commander was given a tired glare from the white mage as she remained silence, not answering his inquiry initially. "...If you would actually take the time to look then I would not have to answer that question for you now."

Definitely not in a good mood. Nope.
Baigan "S-s-some injuries cannot be seen by the eye," Baigan stammers in response. Well, at least he's not hissing anymore. But he's still not looking at her, so even if her injuries /were/ visible-- "Th-there are-- wounds to one's dignity," he croaks, throat suddenly dry, neck craning as though attempting to look in precisely the opposite direction from Morrighan while his body still faces her. "Wounds to... wounds to the heart."


"Y... you..."

Far outside the throne room, and very far indeed outside his comfort zone, the occasionally articulate courtier flails for words, any words, to come to his thin and frown-set lips.

"You are a great credit to Baron, Lady Alazne!"

It's the only sort of compliment he knows.

"I would s-surely never intend to offend you or--" Now he's losing it again, his gaze flickering to her and back away again. "--umm-- and I don't actually think you're fa--"

Suddenly, Makenshi's shockwave.

"Gaahh--" Baigan stumbles and flails.
Morrighan Alazne Frown.

"What are you even talking about?" Morrighan spoke rather curtly, not at all amused with the sight of Baigan at the moment. "Wounds to the heart? Did someone hit you in the head too hard earlier?" Nope, the dark elf wasn't playing along. Or rather, Baigan's seemingly aimless drabble simply was confusing her.

But there wasn't much more time to bother about before--Whoops! Shockwave!

"Wh-Whuh!" The force of wind caused the healer and lose her footing, stumbling forward, and probably to the ground very soon.

One must reiterate that this was a terrible day.
Kaze "..."

He doesn't remember. What doesn't he remember? What could possibly be more important than what he's seen? White Cloud did what everyone says he did: destroyed his home, world and all. The implication that there's something else is... infuriating.

"Hmph!" Kaze adjusts his aim minutely. Makenshi attacks again, faster than he can. The air in front of him fills with blue light, and the sudden shockwave from the two impacts sends him careening away. From above, the detonation is truly magnificent, a brilliant lightshow of surprising deadliness. Airships rock unsteadily nearby, and the forest suffers ever still.

More gunshots come from Makenshi's left. A flurry of shells stitch the ground leading up to him, concealing the source with dust and debris. Kaze moves still, attacking quickly and from a distance. He's harrying him, trying to force him into a position that is more advantageous to the Black Wind.

Still his words hound him. What is it? What does he mean? From beyond a copse of trees opposite his previous position, Kaze shakes his head, as if trying to dismiss the thought out of hand. He scowls, readying his weapon --
Makenshi Makenshi stands up straight as the explosion washes over his body. The only visible effect the raging shockwave seems to have on him is the fluttering of his clothing and hair, whatever deadly debris might have been thrown up in the blast somehow seeming to fly around him on all sides without touching him. He stares quietly into the smoke, waiting.


His head inclines slightly towards the source of the gunfire, sparing a derisive glance for the angry man. He seemed to think using the same tactics over and over would have different results. How foolish.

The onslaught is meet by a broad circular sweep of Makenshi's sword, a wave of explosive force washing out from him after a short dramatic pause. The bullets are detonated before they ever touch his body, filling the air with yet more pinpoints of destruction as this newest shockwave erupts into shattered remains of the forest.

The albino warrior exhales again, filling the air with a thick concentration of Mist. To any normal person this mystical substance is overwhelming, pressing down upon them with great force as if the air itself were holding them in place. To Kaze, this will likely be a mere annoyance, but if it slows him down even a little it will bring an advantage.

The thick grey haze also once again conceals him from sight, allowing him to manuever to a more advantageous position before he launches into another assault, the shining white blade dancing in his hands as he drives Kaze back in turn.
Baigan Baigan begins to look increasingly desperate as his efforts to apologize to and/or compliment the dark elf appear ineffective, the Baron officer's Adam's apple bobbing as he swallows, stretching out hands clad in tattered gloves. "I am referring, Lady Alazne," he manages weakly, "to the... indignity I unintentionally subjected you to the other night." Waging war is one thing, but this takes more courage than Baigan ever knew he had.

Seriously, you have no idea. This woman is /terrifying/.

"I wish to clarify that I would never-- whaah--"

The aftereffects of the shockwave cause Baigan to stumble again, and just as he regains his footing, he catches a glimpse of Morrighan staggering and on the verge of collapse. Violet eyes widen. "Lady Alazne!" Even as he slips on the dirt, Baigan reaches out--


--and catches her so that he carries her bodily, one arm braced beneath her head, the other around the curve of her back, her legs dangling from the cradle. The Vanguard of Baron stares blankly down at his subordinate, even as explosions echo in the distance.

o/~ "Sha la la la, sha la la la~"

Baigan jerks back into awareness, only to see that his hands have transformed just enough for Sir Snaggletooth and the Snakesuations's jaws to replace his fingers, while leaving the arms that are bearing up Morrighan human and intact, and are singing in unison. Instinctively, Baigan narrows his eyes and grits his teeth-- and then realizes that self-destructing them would cause them to explode right under the elf.

o/~ "Ooooh sha la la laaaa--"

"Yes, well," Baigan manages, glancing down at the woman in his arms, clearing his throat.

He's not putting her down, though.
Kaze In a fight like this, one that lasts far longer than any other anywhere near, any advantage can be colossal. When the Mist thickens, Kaze notices immediately. He feels a tightness, a sort of clinging sensation like the air itself was trying to hold him still. He shrugs, trying to literally shrug it off -- but it doesn't go anywhere. He's moving through a thick morass, and though he isn't appreciably slowed by it, it is still a very slight hindrance he would rather be done with.

Suddenly, Makenshi is upon him again. He instinctively brings up the cylinder that is the Magun, turning aside the swordsman's first sweep with an almost elegant deflection that had to have been luck. The backswing gets him, leaving a shallow cut amidst the recently-healed wounds. He throws himself backwards into a short roll, coming back up with gun in-hand.

This is not the ideal position for him to be fighting White Cloud, some rational part of Kaze's brain screams. He should be picking him off from a distance. He should have cover between himself and the other. He should --

-- see him when he kills him, the snarling, murderous part responds.

Kaze changes tactics abruptly. Rather than keeping Makenshi in the middle distance, he stays right in his face. He opens up with the shotgun as soon as he's up from the roll, pumping shells into the narrow space between them. Even if he detonates them mid-flight, he reasons, he'll feel it. He just needs to take away his footing. He keeps firing, disintegrating the area between and around them and testing Makenshi's ability to deflect his attacks with even less warning or time than usual.

Suddenly, he fires downwards, and then upwards. Kaze blasts the Earth away from Makenshi, and then fires a ricocheting shot off the bottom of an airship. It scores the hull but doesn't detonate until it comes back down, precisely aimed to flash-blind him so he can keep the fusillade up.

Precision worked, the reasonable part of him says. Do it again.

This is more cathartic, the furious Kaze replies.
Morrighan Alazne "......."

Morrighan had closed her eyes, preparing to feel the impact of hitting the ground for the millionth time.

But it never came.

"...Eh?" She opened her eyes then, curious as to what was holding her up. A cursory glance upwards revealed that Baigan had caught her. ...Baigan was touching her.



Nevermind the singing idiot snake arms. Baigan had his HANDS on her! "...G-Get off of me!" The elf cried finally, stumbling to her feet and shoving the commander back. "I-I certainly do not require your assistance! I would have been...j-just fine on my own!" Sayng that she began to shuffle off again, intent to proceed onwards alone.

She was still mad at Baigan. A little rescue wasn't going to change that fact. Especially after this horrible disaster of an operation. "Now do something about those stupid arms or yours and get moving!"

Right now, she just wanted to rest and avoid any further idiocy. Was that too much to ask?

Baigan "Captain," Sir Snaggletooth remarks as Morrighan shuffles away in a huff, Baigan staring quietly after her, watching one of the last support ships descend over them, having espied them amidst the parting mists, "I believe such behavior is referred to as 'tsundere'."

"You've got her in the bag, Boss!" the Snakesuation crows. "And by /bag/ I mean--"


Baigan, both arms now stumps, continues to gaze off into the distance, posture unchanging, at the figure of the dark elf moving away, a sight that once filled him with the most overwhelming aversion.

And he heaves a long, lingering sigh.
Makenshi The swordsman's technique was flawless as he brought the wide blade up to meet this sudden change of tactics. The sound of explosions bellows through the Mist-filled battlefield, projectiles impacting on metal with thunderous force. Every motion is measured, every deflection efficient as Makenshi once again displays his skill.

All around them the ground begins to buckle and rupture from the terrible clash, bullets and Mist ripping apart the very earth in ragged chunks. Though it did not register on his face, the effort of responding to such a swift assault had tested him thoroughly. A new healthy respect for this man filled him. He needed to end this before Kaze's rage consumed him.

Regaining his balance, Makenshi leaps away as the place where he was standing turns to dust, yet another blast turning it into a pock mark in the ground that sends the Mist billowing up around him. The ricocheted round zips down at him with an unnatural accuracy but the Misterian warrior merely swats it further down, knocking the flash-bang into the second wave of bullets with a bit of extra magical oomph behind it, resulting in a brilliant flash of white that consumes Kaze's wrath.

As the light fades, it is replaced with the face of the prideful swordsman, his body plummeting down to crash into his relentless foe. His blade is swings about, a single powerful stroke aiming to knock Kaze away before the blade comes down in a silver streak, sending another raging shockwave of light to chase him before it detonates violently.
Kaze Kaze's senses are bombarded with light and sound. He fights blindly and deafly, firing whenever he has a sense of it and nearly hitting his mark each time. Makenshi's immense skill is all that keeps him safe. Any single blunder and he'll be in a position like he was a moment ago: struck, bleeding, and intensely vulnerable.

His eyes clear, and there's the swordsman, plummeting at him again. Kaze is taken off his feet yet again, tossed about like a rag-doll and skipped across the ruined landscape. The shockwave that follows consumes him, surrounding the Man of the Magun completely and hurtling his briefly-visible silhouette into the dug-up mines that Baron was plundering not so long ago. He briefly has a view of the ridge that stopped him before.

The smoke and fire and blinding, killing light clears seconds later. There is a burned outline of a man in a broken rock face some distance away, though the right arm terminates in some kind of stub instead of a hand. The Black Wind is nowhere to be found. The sounds of the forest aflame and the sights of the ruinous battleground -- almost entirely due to the two titans facing off -- is all that Makenshi is left with.

Elsewhere, Kaze awakens from a brief, momentary lapse in consciousness. It could only have been a second, maybe two; he can still move and still fight, even if evey muscle and every bone in his body screams in protest. The sands around him make it difficult to rise, but --

Wait. Sand?

Kaze examines his surroundings. He is no longer in the forests they were battling in. He does not recognize the locale, nor does he know where the pathway is he took to get here, even unconsciously. He turns all the way around. The only thing worth noting is some sort of structure in the distance -- a castle, maybe.

The Black Wind crosses the desert, his thirst for vengeance left unslaked. Kaze begins to walk once more.
Makenshi Makenshi floats easily down upon a ragged chunk of rock just barely wide enough to rest his feet upon, gazing into the clearing Mist with quickly dulling interest. He already knows his foe is gone before the sight of the impact crater comes into view.

"Hmph." With a sharp hiss, the metallic mask reassembles itself around the swordsman's face, tiny squares of grey metal building up like legos in the blink of an eye. His eyes slide shut as he considers this strange development, memories of that fateful day floating up to the surface unbidden.

Aura. She was a good person, kind and strong. She wouldn't want them fighting like this. But what could he do? Kaze's rage was misplaced, perhaps a side-effect of their battle those ten years ago.

His musing are interrupted by a soft voice at his shoulder. "Kukuruyu?" Crux hovers into view, swooping in from the clouds where she had watched their battle in safety. Her eyes are filled with concern as she sees the ragged tears in his white outfit.

"I'm fine. Don't worry," he tells her, an unusual edge of kindness to his normally aloof tone. Turning about, Makenshi walks into the Mists and disappears. The unnatural fog is already beginning to recede as the battle concludes, bringing forth a glimpse of the full measure of devastation that has come to this once majestic forest.

Trees lie shattered and fallen in a huge circular patch of empty blasted dirt, the wreckless lumber harvesting combined with the unrestrained power unleashes by the two titans of battle leaving little to salvage. The still burning wreckage of the fallen airship lies in scattered pieces all throughout the forest, though the two main sections of the hulk sit half-buried on each side of the clearing, belching smoke and pollution into the sky.

It will take the touch of a great geomancer or the effort of many years to repair these wounds upon the planet. As always, where the Black Wind blows, devastation is sure to follow.

This scene contained 199 poses. The players who were present were: Deidra, Will Sherman, Tifa Lockhart, Kaze, Ward Zabac, Avira, Baigan, Scarmiglione, Rubicante, Rinoa Heartilly, Aerith, Morrighan Alazne, Oriane Guado, Melody Ellsmere, Portobello, Neviril, Legion, Glayffe, Faervel Tathren, Makenshi