Scene Listing || Scene Schedule || Scene Schedule RSS
No title.
(2013-02-17 - Now)
No description.
Shiki Misaki Well, gentlemen, there's an old saying down on the bayou, where-
*dives into the water, gradually gets away*

Welcome to New Orleans! More specifically, welcome to the part of Nawlins that is rather less festive than the City of Festivity. More correctly, it's a marshy tangle of vegetation and critters.

That said, it is not... unpleasant, by any stretch of the imagination. Rather than being a fetid morass or a brackish, gloomy location of fear, the Bayou is a brilliant, jewel-like vista, albeit one in constant shadow.

Sadly, everyone knows what lurks in the shadows.

Shiki Misaki is here on business! There's an alligator here to deal with, apparently. It's the secret ingredient in Happiness Gumbo! This is supposedly a magical meal that causes everyone who tries some to feel immense joy and stuff. Or maybe it's a convenient excuse to get a bunch of adventurers to go after a big horrible monster. Maybe we'll all die!

Shiki Misaki certainly hopes not. She's stood on a small steamer with her intrepid adventuring crew, and Mr. Mew, who is wearing a big floppy hat.

"OK, everybody! I hope you're all familiar with the idea of going after big monsters so we can eat them! I have limited experience, mostly I beat up monsters who drop pins which I then trade for ingredients, but it's the same principle! Are you ready to ROCK SOUND OFF?!"
Avira Perched triumphantly at the bow of the steamer is AVIRA of RABANSTRE/TRAVERSE TOWN/BROOKLYN, hunter extraordinare! Knowing full well the dangerous of hunting ravenous beasts, she's come fully prepared, clothed in thick rubber boots, heavy canvas overalls, and a set of rubber gloves that go up to her elbows. It is probably the least attractive outfit she has ever worn, which contrasts hilariously with yesterday's maid antics.

Her special "weapon" is still strapped to its belt around her waist. Her brown hair has been pulled into a thick ponytail behind her, swept out of her way nicely.

"I am /so/ ready!" Avira makes a fist, the rubber of her gloves squeaking as she does so. "Though I gotta admit, I didn't know that eating alligator was even a thing! I's a predator. Those are usually the ones doing the eating, right?"
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart has taken up the request for alligator hunting. Hey, she never ate any either. She walks up near Avira "Maybe I can try serving some at the bar after this, I'm curious too."

What is she wearing? A set of rubber pants/boots, you know the one that goes all the way up to the waist? Yeah, she heard its a swamp, and she certainly didn't want to get sticky all over. She's wearing her white tanktop otherwise, although she's applying some mosquitto-reppeling cream right now ~_~ She already has quite a few bites too. "This place is better looking than I expected though, I thought a swamp would be alot more... I dunno, dark and ominous or something."
Ping Ping is getting used to this whole visitting other worlds and the convenient, rotating wardrobe that comes with it. To fit in with the locals, he wears an expertly tailored burgandy suit that fits well on his slight frame. The jacket is particularly long, longer than more modern styles, giving a flair to his hips when the jacket is buttoned closed with a single button at the waist. Brilliantly shined snake-skin boots tap-tap-tap on the deck as he walks, silver wing-tips adorning the toes. There is a slender, polka-dot crevat with a silver dragon pin in the center. On his head he wears a crooked fedora with a pheasant feather sticking out. His sword has been replaced with a cane-sword that looks like a typical walking cane but with a big, silver dragon head with ruby eyes for a handle.

He walks up to the prow to stand with Shiki and sounds off just like the Mouseketeers, "Hi, I'm Ping!" He gives a spinning flourish of his cane and taps it smartly on the deck.
Raine Arland When Raine had heard about the prospect of hunting some monster for the sake of adding to a magical meal that would make people happy, sheer curiosity compelled him to come out to New Orleans and check the situation out for himself. The moment he arrived however, something seemed off. But he just couldn't tell /what/.

Standing on the deck of the steamer, leaning back against a railing with his arms crossed, it soon became apparent to all those present just what exactly was wrong.

Instead of his normal black outfit, Raine was decked out in an all white suit. Black dress shirt and a red tie to accompany it. And on his head was a matching white fedora with a black feather sticking out the band. ...The best part? He totally didn't notice this change at all. Whatsoever. He looked more like he got lost partying than someone about to hunt a vicious croc!

Hearing Shiki, Raine nodded slightly, opening his eyes to survey the others. "Yeah, I'm ready. I just want to see just what we're gonna be up against really. Only reason I came out." After saying that, a voice in his mind chortled slightly, almost bursting out into laughter, but managing to hold it. '...Pfffbt--'

"...What are you laughing at?" He mumbled to himself, to which the voice responded. 'Nothing. Nothing at all. ...Heh-'
Percival A costume inside a costume. That's what one of the passengers called his 'mardi gras costume'. If only they knew. Upon his face was a horned mardi gras demon mask with eye slits. Upon his head was a fashionable top hat. His wings were folded up inside of an oversized, bulging tuxedo, with a full half the span dipping below the waistline, past the tail of it. And he was wearing pants, not too well mind you. The angle of his legs made them bulge as well. He didn't know how humans of this era managed to wear these clothes at all without tripping all over themselves. He'd exchanged his sword for one more of the style of a 19th century veteran for this venture, and that hung at his side. The costume itself had cost him a small fortune. He was quite broke, once again. And all to look like a comical version of 'Old Scratch' prior to a gator hunt. Well....he'd started early at least, to sample the sights and sounds of the roaring 20's New Orleans. The ability to fit in had been worth it. Even if his 'costume' was going to be instantly ruined.

Why would he subject himself to this? The gumbo of course! Oh and the Jazz. He was a great lover of Jazz. In fact he thought he spied his favorite songbird already. "My my, Madame Avira, Lady Tifa. Such a pleasure to see you both again." He bows, taking off the top hat briefly, before putting it back onto his head. They could almost swear they heard the ripping of the fabric of his tuxedo shirt already. "And it is a great pleasure to meet you as well, Ping."
Grant Majors Bayous. Grant Majors really didn't care for bayous. They were all alike, every time; they were wet, they were dark, they were full of creatures that didn't like humans, and they stank. They really stank. For some reason, heretics had loved hiding in swamps, too - probably because they were dark and unwelcoming for decent human beings - and so that mental association was still there, too, and that just made things less pleasant.

Still. It was decent money, and since Hades was still pissed to wasn't like he could make any money in the Coliseum right now. He might be a magic spartan hero but he certainly wasn't immune to starvation.

So Grant Majors is here today, standing on board the steamer, a frown etched across his face. His gigantic magic spear is nowhere to be seen; his magic cloak has apparently transformed itself into a heavy red poncho. A cowboy hat sits on his head, covering very little of his mass of untamed, shaggy white hair, and a set of flashy cowboy pants have settled in in place of his usual armored combat skirt and shorts.

It was ridiculous. But oh well.

Grant nods at Tifa - the only one of the group he sort of knew - and then turns back to the task at hand. So they were hunting a mindless beast in order to...what, to eat it? Oh well. It wasn't like Grant had some sort of objection to eating meat or something, he wasn't exactly a pacifist.

So now he waits on the deck of the steamer, taking in the bayou around him and, more importantly, the people around him quietly.
Shiki Misaki Shiki herself is wearing a hat, more so she doesn't get dripped on than to keep the sun off her face, plus breeches and boots. It's the mid-20s sort of style, and it's practical too. Embarrassingly though, it looks like her and Avira showed up to the party wearing the same thing, almost. "Apparently you can make it into sausage?" she replies. "It tastes like chicken, seriously. I'm not even saying that to be cliche."

Some people are more well dressed for this than others, like Raine and Ping. Shiki cautions, "Running into the Heartless is, y'know, almost gonna be a given, so I hope you guys aren't wearing anything you don't wanna get dirty." Tifa's rubber suit provides resistance to lightning damage and magic, which might come in handy given that caution.

"It's pretty nice, though, y'know, for a swamp. I've never visited one either. I hope the trees and stuff don't get in the way of the boat. It'd be difficult to go after this big lizard thing or whatever with too many things like that around."

Feel free to imagine Mr. Mew performing the standard Steamboat Willie snippet as the steamer takes off, by the way.

Shiki takes some photos with her camera phone, which, like Valencia's birdy thing, is the sort of thing you can only really whip out and make use of when you're around a bunch of other offworlders.

Somewhere out there, there's enough alligator to feed quite a bit of Fluorgis. Perhaps it's hiding under a fallen tree, or near one of those rough greenery-covered islets.
Grant Majors Grant takes a moment to look around. Then he sighs.

He had done this kind of thing before - hunting things through bayous, as previously mentioned, was a thing Templars did unfortuately frequently. So he knew that there was only one real way to deal with this stuff - one real, honest way to flush out whatever it was he was hunting, whether it was human, crocodile, or Other.

"Excuse me," Grant says after a moment, moving away from the crowd towards the center of the steamboat. He takes a moment, considering all the factors, and then takes off running straight for the edge. Grant's poncho flows around him, and his hand snaps up to his hat (revealing that he is indeed not wearing a shirt underneath his poncho, as usual) to hold onto it as he passes by the group, plants his foot on the rail, and leaps straight into the water, bandages streaming in his wake.

Time to take the hunt to the predator.
Ping Ping doesn't expect to get hit by lightning or magic, these aren't dangers he's learned to expect just yet. Still, he looks to Tifa a little jealously, seeing her gear is likely to keep her warm and dry in the boggy bayou.

He shrugs his shoulders, "Wouldn't be the first dress." He lets out a yelp and swats something on his rear that has quickly flown away, "Err, I mean, it wouldn't be the first suit I've ruined getting dirty."

He bows to Percival as he greets Avira, Tifa, and himself. "It's very nice to meet you... That's a nice... ahh... suit you've got there. Hard to find a tailor for your, ahh, size, is it?" He smiles brightly and gives the winged compatriot a light bop on the shoulder with his fist.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart looks at herself "I'm wearing this because I don't want to get dirty, of course." She nods to Grants with a smile "Nice to see you again of course, at least not on the end of your spear this time." She shakes her head at that. That was a tough fight after all.

She nods to Ping, looking toward the others. Most of them she met here and there before after all. Although, the dress code is, to say the least, odd in this region, but at least they aren't transformed into animals. Silver linings.
Avira "I woooonder if they'll let us sample some of this gumbo that they're making. Come to think of it, I've never eaten gumbo before." Same outfit? Tch, Avira's not embarassed. It's just some reaffirmation that they've chosen something practical on this adventure.

Unlike the guys here. She looks from Raine to Ping then to Percival. "...we are going hunting, right? Not to a party?" she mutters, confused before giving Percival a nod, "Ser Percival! It's good to see you. Interesting choice of attire there." Someone else catches her attention. Grant. She hasn't really met him officially but she did know him by 'reputation' now. One...very important bit of reputation.

"Say.." she gestures at Grant, "Aren't you the guy who tried to kill Hercules?"

Then he's off, leaping into the water. Avira grunts and hops up onto the railing, teetering slightly due to the added weight of her outfit. She pushes forward and hops onto a decaying log floating in the water, immediately sinking it down a foot with her weight.

"Gator gator, where you at~" Avira hums, sloshing through the water before crawling onto an old mangrove stump.
Raine Arland "Sausage, huh...?" Raine mused, looking up in thought as the boat sailed on though the bayou. "Sounds good enough for me." He then added after several moments of silent thought. Thankfully the voice in his head kept quiet this time, and he just watched as Grant decided that he was tired of living and jumped into the water.

"...Well, not the first thing I would have done, but hey-" Or maybe he wasn't looking to die. Perhaps he was going to be a big darned hunter and take the battle to the predator! Well, whatever floats your boat really. Raine just shook his head and walked over to where Grant had leapt off, leaning against the rail to watch the water.

"Hey, that's not gonna be a problem now, is it?" He asked, looking at Shiki, who was apparently the leader of this little expedition, and the others while jerking a thumb in the general direction of the water. And then Avira went over next, which provided enough of an answer in and of itself! 'Why don't you man up and get down there too?' The voice in his head finally asked.

"...No thanks."

Percival "You mistake me, Lady Avira."

Percival grins despite himself through his mask. "It is more akin to me 'leaving' the party for the thrill of the hunt. I do believe that I'm in love with New Orleans. The fact that they throw parties which allow me to fit in is perhaps the best perk of all. I'll have to take you out to one of the Jazz clubs, or the cabarets before we leave. Perhaps to give you motivation for future performances." He briefly doffs the tophat to her again, chuckling all the while before he looks at Ping.

"Well you are certainly the expert then. I'll admit to this being the first suit I've ever worn, much less gotten dirty. I suspect it'll be shredded quite thoroughly before the night is through."

He steals a glance towards Grant at Avira's comment, his expression briefly hardening, but he doesn't say anything in response to his presence.
Avira Avira splashes around in the water as she stumbles over the unsteady muck in the bayou.

"Nope." she says to Valencia, "No idea."
Shiki Misaki We have a perfectly good boat, guys! Sheesh!

Shiki gapes as Grant and Avira just go right off into the water to go looking for their meal ticket. They'd better be careful- the water's not as shallow at you'd expect, hip-deep on average, and there's no real solid ground either- more a mess of mud and roots which are far too easy to get a foot tangled in.

"You two got in a fight?" Shiki asks curiously, looking at Tifa lopsidedly. She's not heard anything of the Hades Cup so far. Heck, she doesn't even know Hades exists.

She feels a slight edge of concern, and although some people are making normal small talk, she feels the need to make sure nothing awkward brews. "Can some of you guys keep an eye out for Heartless? Yellow eyes, you know," she says, loudly to the general group. While she's got attention, she holds up her player pin for Tifa so they can Pact.

"It... might be," she says nervously to Raine, concerned that this might get the attention of more than just an alligator. There's no sign of it just yet, though, for the intrepid people searching around in the silt. There are some big green fish swimming nearby, but no sign of alligators. And maybe some birds? Something's making a honking noise.
Grant Majors Why yes, Avira, he is. The look on his face at the question - one of thorough annoyance and distaste - says basically all there is to say about that. Either he's very disappointed Hercules lived, or he hates being reminded of having to do that task. But it's a fleeting look, and it vanishes as he crashes into the water.

So now he' the water. He adjusts rapidly, his unnaturally bright blue eyes darting around underneath as his poncho wraps itself around his mouth and nose to stop leeches from getting in. Not that they'd be able to stick onto him anyway - even the slightest bite through his ridiculously tough skin would cause them to sizzle and die in an instant, just as even the slightest slash caused his wounds to cauterize. Poisonous snakes and bugs would get the same treatment; one bite, one sting, and his internal temperature would fry them alive. That was his life; Grant Majors was a man on fire all the time.

He didn't regret it in the slightest.

Grant's magic cloak-slash-poncho begins to move underwater. Those still above the swamp would notice the motion, and probably see it not unlike a massive red jellyfish; the poncho spreads out, then contracts, spreads out, then contracts, propelling Grant through the water without any motion from his legs or arms. It slices through roots, pushes off the mud; Grant's cloak is a powerful weapon, but it's far more powerful as a utility device. It leaves him completely free to punch a crocodile with the strength of a Greek demigod, and he was pretty sure the crocodile wasn't going to be as strong as Hercules. The big problem is stealth; he wasn't familiar with crocodiles as creatures, beyond fighting them in the Coliseum, and that was an entirely different beast to fighting it on its own territory. If he were a more careful man, he would've lured it out...but he's not. He's a fighter.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart nods to Shiki "Hades cup, he was teaming up with Makenshi and Negaduck. He fought really tough too, we almost lost." She shakes her head, putting a hand on Shiki's pin for the synching. She's done it before, she knows Shiki's power depends castly on her partner.

Though she has to wonder about Mr Mew at times.

"Think there's going to be any noise around today? Heartless I'm fine with, but Noises not so much." Pacting up helps alot with it, but Shiki can't make a pact with everyone, can she?
Percival Percival doesn't seem so eager to jump into the water. Expensive tuxedo at all, and the thought of being the bait. Not that he's a coward, he just preferred to see them coming rather than be ambushed. He inches instead towards Shiki, interjecting into their conversation.

"Indeed, they did. And by the treachery of a false god, he was shamed. Thankfully he was honorable enough to break off from battle with Hercules once he realized what had happened."

While his tone is harsh, and its obvious he's not altogether fond of Grant, there is at least grudging respect in his tone as he watches the man slosh off.
Ping Standing near to Tifa and Shiki, he watches the strange ritual of the pacting, but notices the kind of pin that Shiki is holding. He smiles brightly and lifts up his arm, showing his sleeve and the few pins that are affixed there.

"You play Tin Pin Slammer, too? I'm trying to collect the whole Dragon Couture set." The pin on his sleeve is a 'One Grain, Infinite Promise.'

Before he can explain more about his fascination with the Tin Pins, he hears a movement in the water, nearby. For some reason, Ping also has a pair of opera glasses and he lifts these up to peer through and into the darkness, keeping watch for Heartless and Noise just as asked. His always companion, his lucky cricket, bounds out of his breast pocket and finds a cozy place on his hat to watch from. The cricket's not keeping an eye out for Heartless, though. He's completely dedicated to preserving Tifa's safety. The little bug looks at the boxing barmaid with wistful eyes.
Raine Arland "Figures." Raine grumbled to himself at Shiki's answer. Which just confirmed to him that Grant and Avira were for now going to be branded as hot blooded idiots. ...For now anyway. And hey! They could serve as gator bait! Win, win situation right there! With a chuckle he nodded and began to keep more of an open eye out, looking left, right, up, and down into the water.

"Heartless, huh...? Pesky things don't know when to give up. Guess we're gonna be expecting them no matter what." He sighed at that shaking his head, but not actually preparing himself for combat just yet. SOMEONE had to keep an eye out anyway. Until such a moment when enemies were present, he'd be that guy. Jumping into murky waterl the predator's territory wasn't exactly his idea of a good time anyway!

'No, you're just a wuss.' The voice chimed in again, interrupting his thoughts.

"Do me a favor. Shut. Up. Already." The boy grumbled again, closing his eyes and rubbing the side of his head to stave off a headache.
Avira What a look from Grant! The scarred woman actually looks taken aback for a few seconds.

"Well they do have some good music down here." she admits with a hint of unease. She hears him, clearly interested in luring her to sing again. "How sneaky of you, Percival. Though I certainly wouldn't mind visiting a jazz club."

For a brief moment she entertains the thought of her lying atop a piano, singing something. What? No, that would never happen.

Grumbling, she struggles through the water as the mud makes it pretty hard to move her feet. Each step seems to sink her deeper and deeper into the mud until she can make it to another one of those islands of green. After a bit of a struggle, she pulls herself up onto the island and sits there, breathing hard and sweating. "Ugh." as she catches her breath, she witnesses Grant swim by so unusually and sighs, her cheeks burning with jealousy. This didn't seem to be working! Instead, she relaxes and closes her eyes, listening. Honking? Well alligators don't honk It could be the reaction of a prey animal to danger. Opening her eyes, she looks over her shoulder. "I'm gonna investigate that noise." she warns before hopping off, leaping between logs and tree trunks, now avoiding the water as much as possible. It just slowed her down, after all.
Percival "My dear Lady, it was my duty to try. I imagine Mercade would enjoy it as thoroughly as I would. Perhaps, for different reasons though." Percival winks through the demonic mask. Mayhaps there was something to him wearing it after all.

The honking noise gave him pause, his ears perking up beneath his top hat as he stares in that direction, but he did not quite leave the boat yet. "Tin Pin Slammer? I'm unfamiliar with the game." He murmurs in a distracted fashion as his gaze continues to scan the bayou, perhaps searching for threats which might come after the adventurous individuals sloshing through the bayou waters. His tail actually busts out of the 'butt' of the pants seams, and begins to lash around in an anxious fashion.
Shiki Misaki Mr. Mew is not Shiki's partner! He's her accessory slot occupant.

"You know, I really hope there won't be Noise, because I think the most likely ones to show up would be Sharks, and, y'know... no. Just no," Shiki says, shaking her head.

Suddenly, Tin Pin Slammer rears up from the depths, like a hideous, mottled feature of the landscape come to life. Shiki is taken by surprise for a second! Then she remembers what TPS actually is. "Oh, huh. I didn't know it had gotten popular again. I used to play with Thrift, y'know, the one with a ladybird on it? I don't know if I still have it around..."

"It's this game that some of the survivors from Shibuya took out with them," she explains, leaning on the edge of the boat. "It's a game where you have to knock your opponent's pins off a board, and there's special weighted pins and launchers and stuff for it..."

She's also going to assume Raine is telling the honking things to shut up. Speaking of which, Avira is going to make her way through the muck, ever so slowly and strenuously, to investigate what's making that noise. It seems to be in a rather overgrown tree nest, which you'll need to brush the branches away from to see...

And then everything gets rather excited all at once.

Avira will find herself staring face-to-face with not just one, but more like a dozen Bubble Beats, grey-blue Heartless like squeeze horns which suddenly swarm out of the trees and begin blowing bubbles at things! Grant's billowing, jellyfish-like coat may be a good defence against insects and leeches, but he might be in trouble when one of those big green fish rises up, revealing it to be one of a very large number of Screwdrivers, who have harpoons to stab his coat and dogpile him!

And worst of all...

Something enormous and albino rears up from the depths, like a hideous, mottled feature of the landscape come to life. With a mottled lavender-blush skin, thick scales like blades, and a body... almost as big... as the steamer, that hillock that wasn't a hillock at all makes it identity obvious as a colossal crocodile!

Raine Arland "Heh..." Raine grinned, watching as HOLY CRAP, GIANT CROC-- rose up from the depths. That thing was almost as big as the ship they were were on! How is that even right!? Nevertheless, he didn't seem to be all that broken up about it now. In fact, he even looked intrigued. "No this is what I'm talking about!"

Holding both hands in front of himself, palms out, red magic energy began to form as he then spread his arms. The movement caused a black blade to form, pulsing red lines flowing throughout the handle and hilt. Once his weapon was formed, Raine grabbed hold and shouldered the blade, grinning rather excitedly as he then stepped up onto the railing and unceremoniously leapt off the side, landing onto a log and then leaping from debris to debris, intent to make his way to their quarry and engage in combat.

"Let's get this over with I say!"
Ping Ping rolls his eyes even as he looks through his opera glasses and responds to Shiki, "I know what Tin Pin Slammer is! It's my favorite game! I'm kind of crazy about collecting all the..." And that's when something giant rises up out of the water and reveals itself to be a mountainous monster. His eyes widen and he looks up and over the top of his opera glasses to stare up at the giant creature.

"Ahh, hello! Dragon!"

Ping is a heroic type and his lucky cricket has found that things can get hairy very quickly when riding on Ping as he does heroic things. The bug bounces off of his hat and across the deck to bound up onto Tifa's rubber boot.
Percival Oh its just a dozen small heartless what's the worst that could happ....OH DEAR GOD WHAT IS THAT?

That had to be the most massive crocodile he'd ever seen. He almost wish he hadn't left his current blade behind, the antique one he was carrying seemed suddenly inadequate. Figuring Grant could take care of himself, Percival takes off his Tuxedo coat, and casts it aside on the boat, with his wings suddenly tearing through the white fabric of the shirt. Him 'hulking out' and being left with only a bowtie and the tattered remnants of a white shirt would seem rather comical on any other day, but he had no time to consider that.

Climbing onto the edge of the boat, leaping forward with wings outstretched. While he wasn't up very high, he could at the very least clear a good distance with a short glide. Landing near Avira, he brandishes the antique officer's sword before trying to skewer one of the bubble beats trying to flank her. It truly was MAYHEM!

"Once more into the fray Madame. Though at least this time there are no frogs, or toads. Or if there are, they aren't 'us'."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart is sure Grant will be DELIGHTED by the size of the crocodile... but for the more diminutive barmaid, this thing is, uhm... dangerous looking. She goes wide-eyed, watching the huge crocodile sliding out of the water like that "... Are you sure you didn't prefer your sharks, Shiki?" She asks outloud, not that she knows what the noise sharks are, but she wants a measure of comparison here.

"Don't think thats a dragon, but its about as big as they are, right?"

She doesn't pay attention to the cricket disapearing down her rubber leggings. Well, hope Tifa won't get dunked under water! ".. So anyone got a plan?"
Avira "Uh..well...I hope he would." Avira looks flustered and pauses for a moment, touching a gloved finger to her chin. "He hasn't really..." she trails off before clearing her throat. "Anyway! We can discuss song later, we have a quest to complete!" One that isn't really getting anywhere at the moment due to lack of alligators.

Heading for the honking brings her to a very lumpy tree filled with sticks and branches all piled together. Clearly a nest, right? She pushes the branches back before suddenly a small tide of Heartless swarm out at her. "GAH!" she flails, falling backwards into the water.

This proves to be a momentary setback as she's quick to get back up and draw her weapon. As she cleaves into a Bubble Beat, she quickly realizes that, damn, these clothes are not all that great for fighting in. Mobility issues ahoy!
Grant Majors Heartless are a problem, but a minor one. Grant doesn't bother to stick around as they show up; as they swing at him, his poncho immediately inverts itself, flapping backwards to propel him like a torpedo away from the Heartless. He surfaces, drawing in a breath as he cuts a wake through the muck; his eyes remain fixated on the Heartless. He's got some clever ideas, but most of them are 'hit it with something bigger', and that's not easy in the water.

Then again...he's a magic Spartan hero in a poncho and cowboy hat. Impossible was second nature to him.

Grant grabs a log. Any log, whatever log, it didn't matter. He tosses it upwards, sending it spiralling off into the sky above him as his poncho keeps him soaring backwards. Between the inertia of his throw and the speed the Heartless are following him at, that log is going to come down hard on them - which would give him the moment's breather to look around and see the crocodile.

And, indeed, just as Tifa suspected, he is quite pleased by the size of the thing. That might actually be something challenging to wrestle, if it was as cunning and tough as it was big. If he could just keep the Heartless off him...
Valencia Drawing her rapier, Valencia's eyes widen as she holds it up to her face vertically, then swishes it off to the side. She then says, "Well, I would use more traditional fencing but unfortunately the footwork is rather inapplicable here." she then flies over towards the heartless assaulting Avira as she dips her rapier into the water and makes a sharp turn, splashing the water up into the air before following up the covering spray with a few deft stabs. Looking back at Avira she says, "Are you alright? Seems like you were a bit surprised there."
Shiki Misaki "/Nothing/ is worse than those Sharks!" Shiki shouts back, gripping onto the side of the boat.

You won't need to worry about closing the distance with the huge alligator, it's coming to you! In fact, it looks like it's going to ram the steamer, and unless someone has something really special up their sleeve it'll crash into it. This thing doesn't even have a whiff of the power of darkness about it: it's seemingly this enormous because of entirely unrelated reasons.

The power of darkness is however responsible for the creeping Heartless, and there's more than enough of THOSE to go round. Gargoyles will need to be careful, as not only are there lots of low branches to be careful of, there are also Switch Launchers lingering in the trees and roots eager to take potshots. Get hit by one of their cannonballs and they'll trade places with you, and you'll be a sitting duck tangled up like that.

And of course, no adventure down on the bayou would be complete without a Shaman Heartless peeling out of the shadows with its frightening will-o-wisps. It seems to want to take the alligator for a ride! That thing's not a Heartless, but if you don't watch out it might be turned into one!

The water churns because of all the sudden activity, which won't do well at all for people in the drink. Grant even causes a bigger splash, but it might be just as much of a problem for those Screwdrivers. With harpoons and bubbles flying, huge monsters, a rocking boat and cannonballs in the air, is it any surprise that Shiki can't do much but cling on for dear life?
Percival While pressed, he did seem to enjoy himself while fighting the small fry. Perhaps to show off, perhaps just because he was having fun, he tosses the cutlass into the air, and catches it with a reverse grip before slashing it across another of the Bubble Beats as if it were a a simple knife, not a sword. Percival chuckles at Avira's comment. "Perhaps you just need to tell him how you feel...but yes, we can discuss music later. The crocodile isn't going to kill itself is it?" Though how you kill a crocodile the size of a hill was beyond him. Its sheer size, including the thickness of its scales made it seem like an armored monstrosity akin to a dragon of legends.

He hoped it didn't breathe fire.

And then he got hit by a switch launcher's cannonball, and found himself tangled up in high in the trees, then crashing through tree limbs, then hitting a cypress root hard before rolling into the bog water with a giant GALOOSH! Yeah that's Karma for you. He shouldn't have tried to show off.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart isn't going to let the boat sink though. Even in this rubber suit, she can move well enough, and she jumps off the ship, using rocks, logs, trees, anything she can find to bounce, parkour style, toward the Screwdrivers. Midflight, she even catches one of the spears (she caught a feather duster like this too!), and throws it back right at one of the fish-monsters.

Landing next to them on a large rock, she starts dealing out the pain. Part of this agility is thanks to the pact with Shiki, which she is thankful for. She even grabs one of the heartless and hurls it toward the giant alligator, incomming projectile, or midafternoon snack, take your pick.
Raine Arland "Holy--" Raine cursed, watching as the massive alligator seemed to be coming straight for /them/. "I hope you guys up there are holding onto something! This thing's coming in fast!" And then he crouched low, winding up before leaping upwards into the air, sailing over the creature's head before descending down onto it's back, sword aimed down.

"Let's see just how tough this thing's skin is..." He mumbled to himself as he landed, aiming to drive his sword into the alligator's back. Considering how utterly huge it was, Raine wasn't going to get his hops up, but he was going to try anyway!
Avira "I'm fine!" she says hastily to Valencia.

"I could do without being turned into a frog again." Avira grunts between swings. Now that she is fighting, she keeps her words brief since she needed that precious, precious air to continue her struggle. She's not near the dangerous gigantic alligator at the moment...and part of her feels glad that she's not.

But another part of her envies people like Tifa and Grant, who could use their strength to just grab and wrestle the beast. Heck, she's even expecting Tifa to manage to suplex it at one point. For a brief moment, there's a bitter look upon her face before she stabs through another Bubble Beat. The Heartless deflates with a pathetic whine before disappearing into motes of darkness.

Hearing Percy, her face pales. "No, I can't. It doesn't work like that. Not for a woman." she mumbles, knocking another bubble beat away with the handguard of the Spine.

Avira takes notice of the Shaman heartless moving between the trees. It isn't attacking, she realizes. It seems to be heading right for the alligator. Avira's eyes widen and with a sudden surge of energy, she takes a few steps towards the will-o-whisp assisted Heartless, pointing a palm in its direction. "BLIZZARD!"

Magic spreads outwards, an icy gale of pain that freezes whatever it touches.
Ping Ping scrambles to act quickly, running down the deck and quickly climbing into the ship to man the tiller. He bumbs whatever captain is manning the wheel and takes over. He quickly gets the hang of the controls, finding full reverse and a quick spin of the tiller in an attempt to dodge the aligator's charge or minimize the damage. He's quick to use the steel prow of the vessel offensively, as well. Juicing the throttle to flank speed, he turns the ship toward the alligator to ram it himself. Any combatants on the bow of the ship will also find themselves quickly in close quarters with the beast.

A cricket bounds out of Tifa's boot and up onto her shoulder. As she rockets through the air, it holds on for dear life with it's tiny little mits. Looking over its shoulder, the little bug realizes that it's picked the wrong ride, this time. Ping's in the warm captain's cabin and Tifa's diving directly into the fray.
Grant Majors Grant is going straight for the gator. Now that the Heartless are slowed down, he turns all his attentions to the thing; he rolls around to face the thing, streamlining himself to move faster through the water. As he moves, he begins surfacing move and more. In moments, he's fully above the water, flying through the air as effortlessly (and as jellyfish-esque) as he did through the bayou's swampy parts. He lands, horizontally attached to a tree, his eyes on the gator. There were two ways to do this - one of them, the stabbing way, which would injure the creature immediately and turn it into a wild, rampaging thing. That might endanger the boat. The other way was to try and wrestle it; he wasn't certain how strong it was, but it looked to be a normal creature, so he was willing to bet he could in fact bring it down into the water.

And then Raine makes a choice to try and stab it anyway. Grant shakes his head, flinging himself off the tree-trunk and moving to tackle the alligator.

Given that he regularly swings a tree-sized hunk of stone around, the alligator is probably not going to be too much of a problem to subdue. He's just worried that the stab will enrage it into thrashing around, which...well, he didn't want to put the boat at risk.
Shiki Misaki Eventually, Shiki gets the whole 'how do we kill it' question through her rattled brain. "Uh."

Mr. Mew holds up her Blizzard Cool pin. "Oh! Let's try and freeze it! Oh, or maybe we could..."

Flashback to being eaten by a sand worm. And a Zuu. "I've got it! Stab it in the mouth! That- will work provided you don't get eaten too much!"

Too much?! Shiki has a skewed view of these things!

Nonetheless she's going to do her best, or rather Mr. Mew is, as he makes use of his small size to weave through the branches and up a tree to slash at one of the witch Launchers with his psychokinetic claws. Unfortunately, not before it lands a hit on Percival. Shiki just has to hold on as the gator rams into the boat, sliding across the deck but not losing her hat.

Raine, perhaps to Grant's chagrin, leaps right on and tries to give the gator a tentative tap, and fortunately for him he doesn't have to deal with the Shaman. Unfortunately, HE JUST STABBED A GIANT GATOR IN THE BACK, and now he's going to deal with the colossal thrashing thing. Avira, meanwhile, will have to deal with the Shaman and its spooky fireballs. Beware of ignited swamp gas! Thankfully, although it isn't taken out in one hit, the blizzard does slow it down- and freezes the water, too.

That gives Shiki an idea, and she starts indisciminately creating Piercing Pillars in the water, hopefully creating ice pillars and floes that will slow the enemies down- and give her allies more terrain to bounce around on. When they're not pratfalling, of course. Grant might be able to take advantage of this, as the sudden drop in temperature could put the gator into shock if he could drive it properly.

Ping does an excellent job of keeping the boat under control, although the downside is that it's not going to be moving forward too well with all that ice in the way. Can he throw it into reverse, perhaps?

The Screwdrivers and Bubble Beats, although diminished in number, will try and stop that from happening.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart finds the new footolds that Shiki made to be useful! She can go teach a lesson to the rest of the heartless thanks to them. She picks up some of their spears as she defeats them, sending them out in a black mist, jumping from one ice pillar to another dextly, using two spears to strike the heartless on each side at every hop. The giant alligator is a problem, but if she can stop the projectile, we might still have a boat to be able to face it.

She didn't realize she had a stowaway, but it seems she'd managed to avoid the murky waters at least.
Percival Bubbles. More bubbles, then an irate Gargoyle bursts from the swamp water. And he's lost his mask, top hat, and less importantly, his sword. Great. Hand to hand it was. Climbing the cypress tree he just fell out of, he gets to the level of a switch launcher. Reaching out with one arm, he taps it lightly upon its back with a talon. When it turns around he punches the living daylights out of it and watches it fall into the bayou water. Now he felt much better.
Raine Arland Well.

That didn't exactly go as planned!

Once the giant alligator began thrashing about, Raine pulled his sword out and immediately hightailed it out of there, leaping to one of Shiki's newly created ice pillars,and then to another, and another. "Huh. Well, at least we know it's not impervious to weapons." He mused casually, relaxing a bit as he spoke. In the meantime, he reached up and adjusted his fedora...

...Wait, fedora? When the heck did he put on a fedora? "Huh? What the heck? What in the nine hells am I wearing?" Raine asked no one in particular, looking down at himself warily. Now this was weird. But hey! No time to wonder about that now! Because here came a thrashing alligator tail! Time to move!

'Do me a favor and START PAYING ATTENTION. I'm not fond of the idea of having to find another host!' His sword glowed harshly as a deep voice boomed outwards allowing all to hear rather than just Raine himself this time. "Guh! I know, I know. Stop talking, you're not helping!"

Leaping away and landing on another ice pillar, he sighed and looked at the others. "Okay, any bright ideas here?" Asking that, the boy shouldered his sword, not about to jump into the fray again just yet. For now he was going to keep his eyes on that shaman heartless, which Avira seemed to be on top of...
Avira The Shaman Heartless is indeed rather spooky to Avira-she's never seen this type before and having it turn on her so suddenly is nonetheless pretty intimidating. She seems pleased with the effects of the ice on the swamp water, wondering why she hadn't gone ahead and done that even sooner.

Leaning upwards, Avira suddenly grips the pelvis bone handguard of the Spine in her mouth, allowing her to position her arms outwards as if she were drawing a bow. Sure enough, where an arrow should be, a shaft made of ice appears. Rapidly, she fires this at the Shaman, further freezing the water around it and leaving him afloat.

That finished, she scrambles onto a bit of dry land, then hops onto one of the floating bits of ice left behind by Shiki. Using this she's able to cross the swamp a lot faster, bringing her into melee range rather quickly.

"HAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!" she roars, leaping from high down onto the shaman, bringing the Spine down in one mighty and definitive cleave.

Yes, literally on top of, Raine.
Grant Majors Well, at least he's got a hold of it. That's something. The gator's thrashing means it's harder for Grant to pin, but not substantially so - the main problem was the tail. The tail is thrashing about fiercely, ferociously swinging from side to side and giving the body additional swing and leverage. That's a problem, because centrifugal force and leverage give it additional strength, strength it didn't originally have, and again - while that's not TOO much of a problem for him, it's still A problem, because he can't wrap his arms around the thing.

"Yes," Grant grunts at Raine from his place atop the alligator. "Gators are cold-blooded. Freeze it. Fast. Freeze me, too. Freeze this whole area."

"I'll survive. It will go into hibernation. Then I can subdue it."

Ping "Icebergs!" Ping calls out with a shout of surprise. He leans out of the door of the cabin to look out across the water and the floe of ice that's captured the prow of the boat. He leaps back onto the controls, straightening out the rudder and pulling the throttle to full reverse. The steamship churns at the water, tossing up a frothing foam of sea-water with its paddles. A billowing plume of smoke rising high overhead and contributing to the darkness. Still the boat won't budge.

"She givin' ya all she can, Cap'n! You'll shake her apart! She cannae burn any hotter!" is a call from below decks.

"Don't worry, Ping, I got this one. When you need things hot, you need me!" says a small red lizard next to Ping's foot. It shoots out of the control room and down some stairs into the engine compartment. Moments later there is a KABOOM! and a jet of fire shoots out of the smokestack, lighting up the sky. With a groan, the boat breaks free of the ice and slides free into the open water.

The cricket can only cling onto Tifa's shoulder, lest he be flung free and into the murky water. It's eyes bulge as it sees the water is teeming with frogs and snakes and overhead are birds circling, just waiting for the tasty bug to be thrown free.
Grant Majors "/Freeze it/," Grant stresses angrily as he presses down against the Gator's neck with enough strength to stop a freight train.
Shiki Misaki When mayhem ensues, the best response to it is to be as stylish and swank as possible. We don't even need reaction commands.

For her next trick, Tifa will grab lasers out of the air, twist them up and throw them back at the robot that shot them. Stabbing the gator with harpoons doesn't seem to be a great plan, but they go through Heartless just fine, spearing them like ... well, fish.

For Percy's next trick he will punch a living cannon in the face. You don't even need to add anything to that. Fist, cannon, face. Beautiful in its simplicity.

The Shaman doesn't even get a chance to get close enough to try and usurp Raine in 'take gator for a ride' territory. Avira turns on the badass, and what better way to accentuate that with a sword in your teeth? Just one grunt Heartless can't handle awesome of that magnitude. If this were a particularly cunning monster, it could have solved its 'frozen legs' problem by turning its entire body into floating flame, surrounding that huge mask. But it's not, and it doesn't, and instead it just gets broken by a spine, crunching in a burst of darkness.

Shiki's ice plan worked to a degree, and it sort of failed to a degree. She never watched Titanic, and she's not all that familiar with the idea that icebergs and boats are an awful combination. Thankfully, Ping and Mushu do an excellent job of covering her back- metaphorically speaking, as she's still got to pop some Bubble Beats with her Lance Lunge- and using some excellent teamwork to keep the boat rolling.

Meanwhile, Grant's wrestling a giant alligator. And he's doing a pretty good job of it, too! His suggestion goes unheard by the girl in the hat, but the others might have something to say about it. They'll have to decide quickly- the gator's really thrashing and it's going to start bulldozing the ice pillars, and even the nearby trees, soon. And if it catches anyone in those teeth, goodbye!
Raine Arland "Whoa! Hey! What the Fffffuuuuuuu--!" Raine panicked as Avira came sailing right for him, swinging that silly looking sword down! And then he was scrambling to try and get out of the way! And then he was failing! Oh he was failing!


Annnnnnd then he was collapsing. "You're...supposed to hit...the heartless...! You idiot...!" Ding ding ding! K.O.!

Avira: 1, Raine: 0.
Avira Wait, how'd that jerk in the nice suit get in her way?! HE JUST CAME OUT OF NOWHERE! Avira plows through Heartless and Raine alike, turning the former into more fleeting darkness and the second into "unconscious."

"Son of a-" Avira grips her sword in her teeth again, something she clearly picked up from her time in the Pridelands, and at least has the decency to haul Raine out of the water so he doesn't drown miserably.

Once she's pulled that off, she turns towards Grant and the gator and spreads her hands apart while, slamming her wrists together. Her fingers fan out and blue light collects in her open palms. A look of intense concentration overcomes her as she skillfully manipulates the Mist that she knows is there and that forms the basis of all the magic she's learned how to use in Ivalice. Every last bit of magical energy is summoned forth.

She knows it doesn't match the sheer power she once held as a mutate, but she tries anyway, unleashing a far bigger blizzard spell than before, centering it upon the gator. Grant is no doubt caught up in it as well, but he seemed to have accepted this outcome in order to demand ice magic so harshly moments earlier.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart sees that she managed to get most of the heartless, so she bounds back toward the boat before it speeds away. Although the alligator is still chasing the boat, there's not much she can do about it. Its too big, and her spears probably won't be enough...


She jumps toward the front of the alligator, standing on top of the icy pillars "Hey, big guy, over here!" She tries to get its attention, holding two spears in her hands. She's trying Shiki's idea, hitting it from the mouth.

Of course, this sounds like madness, but if the alligator does bite, she sticking both spears so that they get stuck inside of the giant mouth, hopefully giving her enough time and space to jump out of the closing maw before she's trapped inside. That should at least hurt it... if not leaving its mouth open for spells.
Percival And down he came from the tree. Actively aiming to land on the giant Crocodile's back. But his plan initially gets thwarted by an by an ice pillar. Landing upon that, he tries his best to keep his balance, before hopping towards the Crocodile's back.

Upon landing upon it, he attempts to back up Grant by grasping the Gator right around the jaw and hefting upwards. Hey, what's good enough for the goose... Though Grant was a very big goose. Did that make him the gander? He hoped not.
Ping A cricket sits petrified on Tifa's shoulder. How did life come to this, staring down a dinosauric, rampaging crocodile? It has no place to run, as all around are hungry toads staring up at him, licking their thin lips with giant tongues. It just holds its hands together and prays that the cricket ancestors are watching and that this crazy lady can get him out of this.

Ping has picked up piloting the boat rather quickly and soon he has the thing hovering just outside of the croc's reach, but keeping Shiki and any other riders within striking distance of the mad monster. It doesn't turn on a dime, but Ping's got the waterwheels wheeling, zigging and zagging.
Grant Majors Sorry, Percy. You're not really Grant's type; you're not a good gander to his goose. What you are, though, is someone helping him wrestle the thing down. He nods at Percy, then looks up, towards Avira's castings. At this rate, the Gargoyle's well-meaning motion of jumping in the way would turn him into a frozen hunk of stone.

The spears lance towards the crocodile; as they do so, Grant's already reaching around with his free hand to tear off his poncho. This was going to be a lot more risky and a lot more painful than the alternative, but...

Well, he didn't have a choice. He couldn't just let the gargoyle freeze to death. Grant flings the cloak at Percy as hard as he can, which turns out to be pretty hard; the magical poncho-cloak moves as if of its own free will, to wrap around Percy and secure him before the chilling frost hit.

Grant grits his teeth. This was going to be unpleasant. Cold, and unpleasant.
Shiki Misaki Shiki's not sure how that happened exactly either. Raine now owes Avira his life! Will this result in a wacky episode where he agrees to wait on her hand, foot and finger until he saves her life and they agree they're even? God, I hope so.

Nobody knows how it came to this. In fact, it's all kind of weird, isn't it? So many Heartless, an absolutely enormous giant gator... it seems like there could almost be something more to it all.

Speaking of that giant gator, things aren't looking so hot for it all of a sudden. Percy and Tifa work together to help the team effort, giving it some serious stabbing pains, but it could all go very badly at the last second there-- if it wasn't for Grant's quick thinking. We're not sure what's going to do worse to the crocodile- the spears in its mouth or the sudden arctic burst of blizzard magic from Avira, fit to freeze it to death. Hope this doesn't ruin the meat, you know?

Shiki pukes over the side of the boat. Those crazy turns, man. Too much for her. Don't even talk to her about gumbo right now.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart doesn't have any crazy ice powers like the others, but apparently she managed to make an opening for the others to hit it inside the mouth, which is good with her. And she lives to tell the tale.

She jumps back, using the ice pillars along the way to return to the boat, now without any weapons. She moves over to check on Shiki "Are you alright? I think we got it." She looks back over her shoulder...

Looks like the cricket is back safe.
Ping For the cricket, the boat is as good as terra firma and with Ping's skillful pilotting it is rather steady. The little bug leaps off of Tifa's shoulder at the first opportunity and alights with a dizzy spin. He turns like a top and tips over, passing out on the deck.
Avira Raine DOES owe Avira his life! Maybe if he wasn't an idiot and got in her way, they would not be BOUND BY FATE as they now are. Frankly, Raine has only himself to blame.

Frozen gator meat shouldn't be so bad, right? Just let it thaw, it'll taste fine.

"I take it you won't have any trouble hauling that thing up, right?" she asks Grant, finally sheathing the Spine.
Grant Majors Grant releases the crocodile as the frost begins to form. He kicks off it, getting back onto the boat; he just plows right through the ice, landing on the deck with a thud and probably causing it to rock quite a bit. He's covered in frost...but wait, no, he isn't, because steam is already rising off is body. He's...not even wet. He's just already steam-dried. The internal temperature of his body must be insane! And yet he's cool to the touch...

Grant shakes his head. "No," he replies. "My cloak should be more than enough to bring it up. Or a rope. Do you have a rope on you?"
Percival Frozen Gargcicle! Or not, given the actions of his loving giant goose companion. The poncho he instinctively uses to cover himself before diving off the Crocodile. Rising from the bayou waters, he brushes off the poncho then tosses it to Grant with a grunt of respect
Percival Of his previous costume, the only thing left is a sodden, loose bowtie. After ridding himself of the poncho that was slithering to cover him up, he approaches Avira slowly, before clasping a hand upon her shoulder. "In my clan Madame, it was just as common for the dames to approach the gentlemen, as it was for the reverse. Perhaps you can think on that 'after' we take him to the finest Jazz club in New Orleans." The hand slips off her shoulder, as he turns around, grinning his fool head off. Yes there was definitely an ulterior motive to him wearing that demon mask originally.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart phews, and helps Shiki up, and over to rest somewhere, there should be a bench in the cabin or something, right? Poor Shiki. "I'll leave it to you guys to drag that crocodile back, looks like you have an idea how to do it.
Ping Ping is piloting the boat from the helm and gets it into a position for easily hoisting and hauling. He's got the window open so he can communicate with the rest of the folks out on deck.
Grant Majors "As long as there's a rope," Grant repeats calmly as his poncho wraps itself about his neck of its own accord (his hands don't move at all!), "I can get it on board."
Avira Someone get this man a rope, clearly.

Percy puts a hand on her shoulder and grins at him through that demonic mask. A wistful look falls upon her face and she tenses. "Y..yeah well..I...let's talk about it later, alright?"

This scene contained 64 poses. The players who were present were: Tifa Lockhart, Shiki Misaki, Avira, Valencia, Percival, Grant Majors, Ping, Raine Arland