7096/BCoB: Eternal Flame, Twisted Truth

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BCoB: Eternal Flame, Twisted Truth
Date of Scene: 27 February 2020
Location: Eorzea
Synopsis: The heroes of Eorzea delve again into the depths of Allagan madness in order to prevent the return of a calamitous entity. Fate twists beyond reckoning.
Cast of Characters: Lezard Valeth, William Pauwel, N'raha Tia, 6802, Tomoe, Athela Valemore, 7180, 7160, 7157, Seifer Almasy, Inga, Alruna Greengate

Lezard Valeth has posed:
    The North Shroud.

    A mostly peaceful land bordering the lands of Coerthas, it nevertheless did not escape the predations of Dalamud during the Calamity. The western part of the region was pierced by a large section of Dalamud, lending itself to the rise of animated golems thrumming with power from the ancient moon, as well as attracting the attentions of various neverdowells and cultists.

    However, once you know what to look for, the truth of the matter proves to be somewhat more prosaid. A displacement of holographic imagery reveals that there is a yawning cave that delves into the depths of the Dalamud fragment that had landed here, confounding even scavenging adventurers and the Wood Wailers that patrol the area regularly.

    But the secret is out.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdDLhxLlonc

                           THE SHADOW OF DALAMUD                            

    Shattered ground hangs in the air, the devastated land yawning below in an unknowably deep chasm. The moon's power twists the laws of the world itself around them, creating islands that float, pierced through by fragments of Dalamud and corrupted aether both. Mutated flora is prevalent, as are golems, these formed of not pumice, but that same strange shifting matter that had infested the life in the previous delve. They are potent, but not so much that you lot cannot cut them down with a modicum of effort.

    A somewhat more dire situation arises as what looks like nothing so terrible as a mutated rafflesia the size of a Gobbue appears, however. The massive tendrils lash out as it begins vmoting globs of acidic honey, spreading brambles all about in an attempt to overwhelm and crush the lot of you.

William Pauwel has posed:
In other words, perfect terrain for EXTREME MOTORBIKING.

Not really, actually, but William Pauwel has never let something as small and as silly as 'awful, no-good floating islands with no actual land bridging them' stop him from riding his sci-fi motorbike straight into the heart of danger.

It helps considerably that his motorcycle is equipped with actual non-aether-based rocket thrusters. Who needs to attune to aether currents to fly? Not this guy!!

The direct effect is, of course, looking EXTREMELY COOL as he leapfrogs from floating landmass to floating landmass, bypassing most of the local hostile flora and fauna in the process. But not the thing at the end.

Oh no. Definitely not.

He's not about to let his catbuddy deal with a horrible plant-monster on his own! And what more, Will has the PERFECT TOOL for the job.

It's a gun.

'Gun' is always the perfect tool for the job, no matter (read: depending heavily on) what job needs doing. In this case, Will's gun is blasting through acid splashes and bramble blasts with what amounts to a handheld PLASMA NAPALM LAUNCHER. Plants, no matter how mutated, surely dislike being set on fire, right...?

The reason for his haste is simple. The last time they decided to tackle a Fragment of Dalamud, a certain Midgardian wizard beat them to the heart of the dungeon. This time... This time Will is a little more eager to get to the bottom of things, if not just out of the petty desire to beat Lezard Valeth to important and vital lore.

N'raha Tia has posed:
    The Shroud is not a place you want to be messing around in. The Twelveswood is a fickle thing and the Elementals are not the forgiving sort and N'raha is very grumpy about this being out here. That's neither here nor there though, because there is naught he can do about 'a hunk of Dalamud landed here and activated itself'.

    He does not have the speed or fervor or gusto that others have tonight, though. No, he's... trying to be careful about this. Oddly careful. I mean, he's still doing the Tank Thing because that's his swiving job, but his hackles are raised and his tail is bristly and everything about this screams 'this is another trap'.

    The Raffelsia, however, is just another monster, and his job is to put down monsters and so that ax is out and it's flashing and crashing and smashing and... He's on edge.

    He's got a bad feeling about this.

Jeanne Alter (6802) has posed:
For all intents and purposes, Jeanne shouldn't even be here. She has nothing to gain from coming out to this twisted forest hellhole. She's made no attempts to hide her disdain for... Well, anyone, but especially not for the people here. Even the people she does barely consider acquaintances have no true connections to this place.

And yet, she's here. She and five wyverns, even, riding atop one of them while the other four flank her chosen steed in formation as she proceeds through the cave.

Naturally, the Dragon Witch takes this opportunity to show off the might of her creatures as she lets them do the dirty work. They claw, they bite, they spit flames, and they screech occasionally when splashback from those globs hitting nearby things gets on their black scales.

"Put your backs into it. We don't have time to waste on the small fry!" She shouts in a demanding tone despite not diving into the fray herself just yet.

Tomoe has posed:
There was a feeling in the back of Tomoe's mind that she was glad all the elder civilizations on her world had never reached the sort of development where things like the coils would be there to cause trouble ages later. She also tries to not think about the idea, that it might be the civilization of her own time. Which could end up being her world's version of the elder civ that leaves problems behind? So here she was again an Alagan ruin. Tomoe knows they need to be moving fast so she'll be making use of her Naginata to hack and slash at the huge creature that's in the way. She will dart in and hack at its' tendrils then flip over it driving her weapon into it. A second later Tomoe will pull the weapon free following it up with several fire spells as s she comes in for a landing.

"Don't worry I will Jeanne."

Athela Valemore has posed:
Being quick on her feet and good and specialized jumps leaves it little surprise that Athela has little difficulty navigating the chunks of terrain suspended by corrupt ancient magics. Between using jets of water to propel herself upward, and sliding across surfaces to maintain her momentum between leaps, the young knight is making reasonable progress.

Not as fast as crazy people on motorized wheels, but her pace is consistant.

As she lunges off the edge of one formation, she glances down to see several of those golems tromping about another lower platform. Meaning they might be in the way of those people that can not get as high as herself or as fast as William's bike. We won't be having any of that, not when time is of limited resource.

Midair Athela twists around, bringing her relic weapon to bear, and using the motion to reorientate herself downward. Elemental force gleams around her as what starts as a fall turns into a rocketing dive that drills Resolute Blade through the center mass of one of the golems from gravity assisted momentum.

The other golems turn in response to the new presence, only to see the energies release from the the strike and waves of jagged ice radiating out from the point of impact. The frozen blast is less damaging, but more backwards pushing force in an effort to send several more of the monsters toppling off the ends of the platform.

There is only long enough for a brief dramatic flutter of cloak as Athela pulls her weapon free, and then she's hopping down and sprinting off to build her speed back up and leap off towards the next formation.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     Amelris didn't particularly want to return to the Shroud so soon after the Eiggkon's fight. He's done his part in cleaning stuff up afterwards, the Scion's job is never done on that respect but understandingly, the Elements are probably still a little pissed about it. It's good that not everything erupted in that manner.

     This time, this seems to have attracted a far larger crowd to investigate the remains of Dalamund. Words got out, maybe? Whatever the case might be, the Red mage is riding along on his Chocobo, a chocolate-feathered bird.

     He leaps off his bird to go in, shaking his head and drawing his blade. "Well! Is everyone ready to look at ANOTHER ROUND of crazy things the Allagan left us beneath?"

     The Red Mage charges for the plant, unleashing a fireball and plowing through it. "I SURE AM!"

Mauve Gauntlet (7160) has posed:
Mauve is here, punching her way through the corrupted fauna and hookshotting around like a pink Spider-lady. She wasn't here the last few times, but she's heard...things. MANY things. Many....exciting things. Now that she actually has time to join in, maybe she can help out with...whatever the plan is. There should be a plan right?

Well, she'd find out eventually, right? Anyway, there's a freaky plant monster hanging around, and everyone's fighting it. Mauve joins in by trying to tear out one of its tendrils.

Danzo Katou (7157) has posed:
    How a shinobi gets to a place is irrelevant; rather, how a shinobi gets somewhere is the second most crucial part of being one, but it is never anyone else's to know. The saying holds true about ninjas and simply appearing out of nowhere.

    With no need for a disguise though, it's a wonder that Danzo had gotten anywhere without being seen, wearing so much bright red, black and gold, with even her eyes glowing faintly in the dim, off-colour illumination of the surroundings. But it isn't until the first boss encounter that she is anywhere to be seen. She appears amidst a scattered handful of glowing petals, first as a streak of glinting metal, crisscrossing back and forth several times over the monster's tentacles in an instant, hacking them into so many pieces, and then as a streamer of roaring fire that blasts back and forth across its body, waved like a hose.

    She flips back to hit the floor, and then sparks shower from her heels as she weaves back and forth through the incoming and outgoing fire, without moving her feet. Improbably long folding blades snap back into her slender arms --bared black metal up past the elbow-- and black smoke issues from her wrist wrist, until she flicks it away with a loud click.

    "I cannot obtain any reliable readings about this place. The local mana density is off the scale. Furthermore, the biological signatures of these creatures don't match any model I am familiar with. It is as if the place we are in simply doesn't make sense." Thus is the scouting report: about as unhelpful as one would expect here. She also really needs to learn to speak up; her voice is too soft to be heard properly in battle.

Lezard Valeth has posed:
    The massive mutated plant shrieks as the attacks omce in. The plasma napalm launcher is a good choice for this, as William unleashes on the thing. Plasma napalm (how does that even work) scorches the creature even as N'raha maintains his equilibrium, taking to the task of felling the massive creature with his massive axe. Fire and axe, excellent choices for this kind of work. He chops and chops and smashes, cleaving into the thing and sending chunks and unpleasant plant ichor flying.

    Jeanne, not one to be shown up by people riding dragons, brings her wyverns along. They lash out and burn enemies, getting absurdly high numbers of critical hits for no apparent reason as they dive and mob the enemies just as they mob back. Tomoe charges in, using her naginata to keep range on her foes as she hacks and slashes. The fellow tank seems to be focusing on remaining mobile, using her flame to good use as she joins the fray against the massive plant.

    Amelris, the long-suffering Crimson Duelist, finds himself once more in the fray. He strikes and stabs through his targets, scything past golems and plants with alacrity and style. Once he encounters the greater plant, fire and blade once more proves to be an excellent option. Fireproofing doesn't seem to be amongst the mutations that the creature has acquired. Athela, however seems to be the odd one out, using water instead of fire to purge the place. She sends herself launching around constantly, using her maneuverability alongside the others to strike and avoid being struck in return, her dramatic assault with her relic weapon cleaving through a golem, ice shattering out and blasting through others around them. Thankfully, ice works just as well on the massive mutant plant as fire.

    Mauve Gauntlet also shows she has plenty of options. The floating scenery allows for lots of hooking points for Mauve's use, giving her optimal range and radius to attack with. She scythes through the enemies, smashing into them and knocking them around before she finds herself trying to rodeo a massive hungry plant. She grabs onto a tendril and begins tearing at it, taking some work but eventually it comes apart in her grip, the thing shrieking in a horrible sound as ichor sprays everywhere.

    Danzo joins the battle where her support is most needed, which is 'not the trash mobs'. As the petals fly, the Rafflessia is artfully cloven into, gleaming metal striking back and forth with ninja precision, lopping away parts of tentacles as a massive fire blast roars over the creature.

Lezard Valeth has posed:
    With so much incoming damage there is really only one result. The massive plant erupts in flames from the gathered efforts and being critically weakened, and it wavers there for several moments, crisping black. In the aftermath of the conflagaration, the horrible thing falls, revealing that there is another deep gash in the wall of another Allagan craft. As one might expect, the thing has been breached in the devastating crash landing, and a path of yellow crystal spans the way to allow one to enter.

                RAGNAROK INTERNMENT HULK IC-06 - OUTER COIL                

Within, one can feel the pulse of the craft. It is very much active, very much alive, sizzling with latent power that pule through glowing ampoule and power line set into the ultradense alloy plating. The walkway does not meet the walls, the bulkheads appearing to be heavily isolated from the rest of the craft. Below, sizzling arcs of energy dance amidst pulsing and churning machinery. Once again, the Allagan seem to have never heard of OSHA standards. Humming spheres float through the air high above, moving on some unspoken task or another. Unlike the previous machine, this one seems to be much more... intact.

    The purpose of this area seems to be much more direct, however. Capsules line the walls, inset in rows down the isolated walls. Within each of them, a mutated, chimerical creature seems to rest within. Lamia, chimera, strange sludge, mutated bioweapons of all shapes and sizes.

    As the group proceeds down the only apparent path before them, several of the canisters suddenly flush, dragging their contents out and launching them down onto the walkway from above. Dripping with fluids, the enraged chimera strike, breathing ice and lightning while the globs simply attempt to hurl themselves at a target and dissolve them. They move with hunger and rage, driven onward by instinct if nothing else.

    Once chopping through the (un)natural defensive systems, the group eventually finds themselves facing a large round area. There is nothing keeping them from looking out into the gap beyond, showing countless more of those capsules. Shards of metal hang in the air, being slowly drawn through space towards damage and gaps in the area, drones working endlessly to help reconstruct the hulk. Given time, it will fully reassemble itself and continue whatever purpose it has. On the other side of the platform however, is a console that looks like some form of elevator control.

    Unfortunately, it locks out as the group approaches, security systems continuing to activate. Above, there is a singularly large lamia curled within a ceiling-mounted containment pod... And its eyes open, staring down at the group below. Unlike the others, it slithers, swimming through the fluid and vanishing...

    And with another scream, she launches onto the platform, landing before the group. Unlike the others, she bears ornate armor, humming weapons of Allagan make in its hands that glow with aetheric power. Snakes weave back and forth behind her hooded form... And she attacks. Given her appearance, one would expect a petrification gaze. You get one, but not how one might think. Immediately, she begins singing with an unearthly power, causing various members of the group to be seized by a strange force, causing petrifying waves of energy to erupt from other members of the party, forcing them to coordinate where they are looking lest they interrupt each other.

N'raha Tia has posed:
    More alchemical nonsense. Though not clones this time. Not in the sense that there we clones at The Tower. Though... this place was still a breeding ground for nonsense and awful things.

    N'raha's ax is in fine form tonight, even if he's running on muscle memory at times. His thoughts and attention drift as he tries to take in things here, his usual laser focus on Killin' Stuff broken tonight. It's going to get him killed.

    Or at least, Petrified. N'raha yelps as they're put into a boss arena, and tries to get his brain back in the game. "Gods you're a big one, aren't you?" The Warrior of Light slams his helmet down over his face, sniffs, plants his feet to charge in, and.... and can't. He can't move. He's stuck. Panic seeps into his face and now he's hearing voices and there's.... ah crap. This isn't good at all.

William Pauwel has posed:
The Allagans had their fingers in a lot of pies. But something about the myriad chimeras and other assorted monsters seems to have Will take up an unusually thoughtful expression. The drones rebuilding the place, too. If he shoots them down, will the place just build more? The only way to stop it is to get to the very bottom and hit the off switch, but to do that...

Chimeras in jars.

So many chimeras in jars.

"You know-" *BLAM* "-I've been thinking. This place was a moon, right? So-" *BLAM-BLAM* "What the heck were the Allagans doing, filling it with monsters in jars? Did they use it as a lab, too? Or is it some kind of security system? But you'd think robots would be better at guarding the place-" *BLAM-BLAM-BLAM* "-Right?"

Soon, the party is faced with a stunningly statuesque snake-woman with a propensity for statuary. Will clicks his tongue as he begins radiating a tingly, petrifying aura... And decides to resolve the problem by grappling himself up onto the ceiling. His energy waves probably won't be able to reach anyone from up here. As for the singing...

Blasts of stunning electricity straight to the vocal chords might just be the ticket to dealing with /that/ problem.

Jeanne Alter (6802) has posed:
"Heh. At least one of you know how to work." Jeanne smirks briefly at Tomoe, but only for thatmoment before she gets right back to commanding her wyverns. Even from her high-ish spot, she still can't slack off completly. The minions don't get Jeanne off her mount, though, and neither does the Rafflessia. Even the OSHA violations especially don't get her off her mount, although she does watch the gathered Elites with mild amusement on the off chance one of them goes plummeting.

Alas, she probably isn't so lucky. She does get a good look at more of that strange Allagan technology, though, chuckling for a moment when the holding capsules open for more of the creatures within to harass the group. Stranger still, she draws her blade when that strange voice speaks, glancing arund for just a moment before directing her wyverns once again.

This time, however, they stay in the air and circle above as the Dragon Witch dives towards the crowd of chimera to start lashing out at them personally. She darts about rapidly with each slash, taking more care to evade the lightning while charging through the ice with flame walls of her own.

"This doesn't sound like any of you. Perhaps it's the creator of this place. Or the captain." Jeanne muses, scoffing when the lamia starts singing instead of firing petrifying eye-beams all over the place. "But this one... This one's just another distraction, so kill it quickly and let's move on!

She's not going to do a very good job coordinating at first, of course. She's kind of an asshole like that. It'll take a bit before Jeanne actually realizes what's going on and actually coordinates via looking straight at the floor whilst stabbing and slashing wildly.

Tomoe has posed:
The party makes good progress, Tomoe and N'Raha keep the horror busy hacking slashing and otherwise ripping into it. William opens fire with his gun and brings the force of plasma against it Mauve is cutting through more of the lesser threat keeping them from piling on to them. Jean joins things up close, and Danazo also gets up and closes with Rafflessia. Amelris and Athela purge thing with fire and ice helping to bring the enemy down be it Rafflessia or the other creatures that assault them and they keep going.

There are other things here. Stasis pods and many of them still contain living things. They are full of all sorts of mutated bioweapons of all sorts. It seems this some sort of armoury for weaponized lifeforms? It looks like that's the case and Tomoe keeps going as more of the beasts are let out of their age-old slumber. Tomoe switches up using lighting blast and her spear as she keeps going, hacking slashing n shocking her way through. In all this chaos she notices the hulk is slowly repairing itself still. This stuff was older than Rome, and parts of Egypt if she recalled her history right. Then dropped from orbit and it was still trying to fix itself. She's not sure to be awed at the skill of the Allgan Engineers or horrified that such a thing is still working after so long.

There's a lift nearby and something else is waiting for them at the lift or near too It seems to be some kind of Medusa-like creature.

"Oh hell!"

The effect forces Tomoe to call out her actions when she moves, when she strikes and tries to time it to not look at the others who are effected by it.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:

     This IS certainly a bunch of Allagan bullshit.

     "Twelves." Amelris Belthrone comments as they move through things, his blade already soaked with blood with some of the unfortunate creations of the Allag Empire. This stuff... well, damn, he want to come back later to get a better look at things, when they aren't in a hurry to find what the HELLS is Lezard Valeth doing this time.

     The voice comes through. It's not familiar, to be certain.

     The Medusa is leaped at, Amelris keeping his cape up to protect himself and keeping quick on his feet. Fireballs, Lightning Bolts are launched as he keep his distance and more importantly, his own gaze away form the strange forces.

Athela Valemore has posed:
Well this is already a workout isn't it. But persistance pays off and wins the group ... another path to follow. It's almost too convenient.

This one leads them into the depths of the combination of machinery and magic that is trademark of the Allagan handiwork. As is the hideous creatures held within. Are these captures, or more blaphemous creations? Athela is going to lean towards the latter, but it becomes a moot point when several activate and release chimeric abominations unleashing ice and lightning attacks.

Two can play at this game, as Athela bids on trying to conserve her own strength and release one of her own creatures into the fray. A large muscular bearded sealion-like creature, clad in more classical knightly armor. Lancer immeadiately lives up to his name, charging to impale the side of one of the chimera with the bladed crest of his helmet, then pummel it with heavy blows from his armored limbs and tail. It's probably lost in the masse of more extravegant attacks, but it gets the job done of putting an end to the threat.

After congratulating and retrieving him Athela follows the rest of the group into the next chamber, only to be confronted by an armored snake woman of snake hair dropping from above. "Must everything in this Xerneas forsaken place counfound our progre--" Athela stops dead mid-complaint as her divine intuition screams internally at her as the augmented lamia attacks without visibly attacking. The danger sense picks up on the threat she doesn't see, the threat she may present to others from the energies rolling about her position from the creature's unnatural technique.

Athela quickly backs to the fartherest edge of the chamber, away from the rest of the group that could be afflicted by that paralyzing aura. One may suspect that would put her out of doing much in the way of harm to their foe. Maybe to some degree. She's hearing the other voice but not responding, focusing on more immeadiately dangerous threats.

Her immeadiate ability to strike may be hindered, but it's not removed entirely. Not when she can generate dozens of frozen spikes, as sharp as daggers, and with a sweep of her weapon send the Ice Shards hurtling towards the snake-woman.

Danzo Katou (7157) has posed:
    "If it's true, that this facility was built to generate energy from the mana of a divine beast, then it makes sense that it would also be a work facility as well. Leaving something so important by itself seems ill-advised." For a change, Danzo is made to actually join up with the group, too-light footfalls echoing faintly off the walkways as she continues, her voice growing sober. "Machines, no matter how well-built, break down. No matter how they might work, they ages wear down at them until they break."

    "It only makes sense that humans would be necessary to monitor and maintain the state of a facility as complex as this." she says, stopping to lean over one of the capsules. Her pupils and iris contract and expand separately, making soft clicking sounds. "With so much space, utilizing it as a scientific facility, for research that would be too dangerous to conduct close to civilization, also follows."

    When the chimera burst free of their pods, Danzo is up and off the walkway in a heartbeat, improbably running up and around the airgapped walls and dropping on squads of them with silvery decapitating strikes, zigzagging back and forth across the railings and pod coverings at incredible speed, but barely so much as causing anything she steps on to quiver. Sprays of shuriken without visible gestures cut into other monsters, wounding them only shallowly, until paralytic poisons kick in. She flicks blood from her blades as she goes, examining where stray drops of acid have stippled her upper arm.

    And yet, even at the appearance of the hideous gorgon thing crashing from above, Danzo only looks up over the edge of her scarf sadly. It only takes the readouts of its artificial powered weapons popping into the corners of her view to tell her everything she needs to know. "If these creatures are already here, under normal circumstances, they'd have nowhere to go. Trapping in the sky. Experiments or guards; there is little choice. In defending this facility, there is at least freedom to move around. And freedom to seek death in battle."

    Such is her misplaced pity for the snake creature that Danzo is instantly blasted with a wave of petrifying force. Staring in open-mouthed alarm at her fingertips turning to stone, the dire magic runs all the way up her arms, through her legs, and then in mere moments, makes a statue of her completely.

    Or rather, a statue of a chimera corpse?

    Danzo is thirty feet up in the air already. arm blades out, behind her, one leg extended, gleaming heel daggers protruding from each foot. There is a rocket flash at the small of her back, and she spins forward at such speed that a solid ring of reflected light burns around her. She descends on the second boss like a buzzsaw, hitting its neck, then churning down inside its shoulder, under its arm, armound its belly, once around the waist, and then a continuing ribbon along the length of its tail, only stopping once she hits the floor at a three point stance, sliding to the edge of the arena and dripping blood.

Lezard Valeth has posed:
    The shrieks of chimerical creations echo through the air as N'raha sets to work cleaving them apart. No need to wonder and worry, that's the job of other people today. He strikes through the lesser creatures, only to find himself caught out and petrified by the unusual strikes of the monster. Perhaps, at least, someone could give him a hand. Or maybe just keep the beast from shattering him into pieces.

    William preventsd himself from becoming a liabaility to the group by grapping onto the ceiling. Thankfully, this puts any conical petrification effects out of the line of the rest of the group and removes him from others, allowing him free reign to taze the Melusine with repeated blasts of electricity. The shocking strikes help garble her voice, reducing the frequency of her disruptive, accursed voice even as it weakens her.

    Jeanne's personal strikes against the chimera prove to be intense. The Avenger's own blows are clearly more deadly than those of her minions, and quickly she purges several chimerae from the area. Jeanne might end up petrifying N'raha a couple times before she gets the hang of the creature's special technique, but soon she's cleaving into the Melusine, duelling with the lamia and smashing past her guard with her Servant-level power to draw inhuman blood over and over again.

    Tomoe, being from a place that does this to people regularly (the sadistic bastards), quickly coordinates with others to minimize her own contribution to the disruptions, allowing her to get some good shots in when she can. Athela observes that the path is convenient. Almost /too/ convenient. But lacking other options, is there really any other choice? Allagans don't seem to really provide a lot of fast travel options when it works in your favor. Athela, nevertheless, keeps things well in hand by releasing her own battle creatures to deal with the Allagan mutants. They are shoved and pierced out of the way, leaving her able to proceed. Her icy powers also allow for her to deal with the Melusine at a distance, cleaving into her with showers of icy spikes. The lamia has no answer for that, not when dealing with so much else at once.

    Amelris is having a bad day already. It's probably not going to get any better either, as he cleaves his way through the biological shop of horrors that the Allagan seemed to conveniently keep on hand. As he battles, he rains down fire and lightning upon the Melusine, adding to the mounting damage. How much more can she take?

    Danzo offers pointed commentary, helping to display some of the true immensity of the Allagan work. It seems that they never did believe in doing things halfway, and Danzo is pointing that out. However, their biological horrors still have heads, and the ninja can still decapitate them quickly enough. They fall quickly, the ninja cleaving through them, stunning and paralyzing others. She moves like a one-woman army, giving the others a smooth path forward to their presumed goal.

    She shows pity for the Melusine. Maybe it is appropriate, maybe not. But without the context to know why the being is there, it's impossible to tell. The stone attack tries to take her, but the petrification wave hits nothing but a skillfully concealed decoy. The rocket-powered ninja strikes with a deadly counterassault, cleaving straight through the Melusine and slashing past in a dramatic fashion.

Lezard Valeth has posed:
As potent as the lamia is, there is only so much one of her caliber can do against such concentrated murderous power from Elites. She is cloven apart, falling back and moving no more once the fatal strike lands... And with her death, the console unlocks, the security lock seeming to have released with her death. It only takes the touch of a hand to make the Allagan lift detatch and move down, down, ever downwards...


    The lift comes to a halt in a mazelike mass of passageways. The environment is much more claustrophobic compared to the massive majesty of the rest of the hulk, the passages narrower and hexagonal in nature. The thing that immediately stands out is that the halls are being patrolled by those mysterious drones, conical scanning beams sweeping the areas. Well, this is a much more... direct security system. All one has to do to avoid being caught is to walk behind. They never seem to turn directly around. Others might have more pertinent powers to deal with this issue.

    Other problems seem to involve the mazelike area being partially broken still. Several large gashes shred through the craft, blocking some paths while the damage drops some of the hexagonal plates down, allowing other routes that were clearly not intended by the creators. Also, the launching plates from the other craft appear here as well, allowing one to launch themselves up and down the several levels. The confusing paths is what makes it possible that one might be caught by the patrols, as it makes it simple that one might end up in a dead end or to turn a corner to find one. If triggered, the security system warps in several drones, all of which swarm the targets with beam weapons and electrical discharges.


    Eventually, the group will navigate the maze towards the core of the decks, where a massive power core system seems to be present. The center of the room seems to be dominated by a blocky, multi-armed robot that spins around, regularly absorbing power and distributing it to colored pylons around it. Whenever anyone moves to attack it, the machine turns and begins to unleash a barrage of lasers and missiles. Every so often it pulses electricity to the towers, causing them to create a growing series of charges...

N'raha Tia has posed:
    HE CAN MOVE THANK THE TWELVE. N'raha growls, steps out of his petrification and charges forward and down that elevator... only to find himself in a damned maze. And a Death Maze at that. Not that any maze of the Allagans was going to be anything other than a death maze.

    That said, as he twists and turns and dips and dodges and dives and works through the maze... Only to end up to to eo with another bloody great magitek creation. At least this one isn't trying to lock him in place over and over again. The Catman charges in, bouyed with energy of... getting past this bloody thing to whoever it is talking at them. Whoever it is that Knows Him. He will gladly stand in a few lazer beams and missles to tank away damage for the more squishy members of the crew...

    But he's casting more and more anxious glances over at Amelris, as the Spirit keeps talking to them. This is wrong. Even more so than the fact that they're all in here fighting inside apparently Eternal Unending Dragon Prison and Bahamut is... is not being put together by Allagans but other dragons and there's a fidgeting burning urge inside of him that what they needed was to just burn this whole place to the ground and be done with it, but that clearly isn't going to work, now is it?

Jeanne Alter (6802) has posed:
Jeanne's conversation continues with the mysterious voice, and she looks troubled at first. Not so troubled that it distracts her from her task of killing the everoving crap out of anything that moves against her, but it's not a normal look for her.

A few minutes later, she starts chuckling and getting more into the burning and slashing. That's much more like herself. She does't apologize to N'raha, of course, because it's /her/ and not a different her. The Dragon Witch does have enough sense to have her wyvern quintet hang back as the passages narrow, though, signaling for them to shift gears into keeping themselves out of harm's way for the time being.

She still has a lot of energy to burn, and there's a lot of machines to dismantle. Depending on if William's still looking to inspect those machines, she might even leave a few of them not-immolated! Once they get to the larger machine surrounded by those strange charging towers, though...

It's Jeanne. What other option is there but to apply fire and sharp objects to the problem? Both fire and spears get hurled against it, the spears aimed high to intercept some of those missiles while the flames surge ahead of the Avenger. She isn't laughing madly like she usually does, though, but instead seems driven. Her gaze is intense as those flames, and even getting a laser swept across her chest head-on doesn't stop her from charging ahead.

Tomoe has posed:
The questions asked by the mysterious voice over the comm has Tomoe thinking even as she fights and pushes on as the Laima falls to the party's onslaught. The lift is soon brought online with the fallen Alagan bioweapon behind them. It's likely she and any of the other beings who are coming at them who can think? Ever actually chose this. There's not much she can do about it save keep pushing on ahead against whatever lays ahead.

Tomoe will just attempt to creep by the dorns only fighting where she has to, as the party keeps moving. Tomoe soon finds parts of the maze ahead are broken however the gashes see to not bother her much he will find some way. Broken parts of the hull are used by Tomoe almost like roads as she bounces and moves wall running several times as she goes to get past. She is not a ninja but it's clear this something she's worked at a good bit. She will finally make is through the maze and ends up at the strange machine which starts attacking them and she'll switch out to her normal sword and board.

She will then charge at the relic of a war machine to get up close and start letting slip a number of rapid use sword arts. Lighting fast blade strikes come, and she doe snot let up each time calling out names like Beat Crack, Snake Bite and Wild Fang as she keeps it up. She'll even throw in some shield slams as she goes.

The voice gives her more to think about, more supposedly about the place and origin of this construct. The pure horror of it all. The sheer horror of what was done here, and is still happening here? They can't leave this bit as she now gets an idea of how grim things will have to be to set this all to rest.

Athela Valemore has posed:
That abomination was actually a pretty dangerous, with that paralyzing effect. The Allagans don't shit around when it comes to biological warfare.

Athela watchs the monsters collapse from the assaults, and mentally is thankfully that Team Golem has only succeeded in creating pokemon-like automatons and not ... these things. This unnatural horrible things, bastard children of magic and science.

Let's just move forward. Figuatively speaking, as it turns out to be a maze, so forward isn't the most direct means. The drones don't turn around, so they can be followed. But a blind spot isn't exactly a safe spot, and as soon as Athela comes across one of the toppled hex-pillars she takes advantage of it to get to a different set of turns and halls, and more or less repeat the process. Follow a drone until another path or collapse provides an alternate route to pass and move on. It's slow, especially when she has no natural markers to navigate by, but this is one of those times that patience is better than risking needless dangers in haste of finding an exit. Doesn't help that the only thing they have to listen to is the spirit voice trying to convince them that genocide of living races would be 'peace'. Sounds like something the Regi would say.

Thankfully, they don't talk nearly as much.

Speaking of constructs, that seems to be what they find at the eventual end of the maddening maze. Though at least these seem to only respond to being attacked rather than turn on them in immeadiate hostility.

After a moment of consideration Athela decides this another problem better solved by a pokemon. She reachs back to prod the hood of her cloak, and after some shuffling around a pink and lavander slug crawls out onto her hand. Athela kneels down to set the Goomy on the deck, then points at one of the multi-armed constructs and whispers. "Infestation." The slug-dragon bobs as if nodding, billows out what would be cheeks, and spews a large glob of slime near the feet of one of the constructs.

It is a 'strike from below' tactic of sorts, as the slime splashs upwards around the construct, extremely sticky in trying to stick to it's sides and entangle some of those limbs so it can't effectively aim or activate the pylons. It's an attempt to hinder it's movements long enough for one of the heavier hitters in the group to take it down.

William Pauwel has posed:
It's a maze. An amazing maze. Fortunately, Will has been (largely) unscathed by this juncture, and so this place presents him with an interesting and utterly self-serving opportunity.

There are /robots/ here.

And Will... Will is going to hack them. Will is going to hack them, and charge through this place with an army of---

Oh wait nevermind, jeanne 'kill all robots' alter is here to ruin everything. Harrumph!

At least there's something that he /might/ be able to have at least a little bit of fun with. That is, the Avatar. That burly, bulbous construct that looks so much more durable than everything else they've come across so far. He might have to hide behind the resident tanks, dodge around lasers, and accidentally trip into one of those towers...

But if this thing is hackable, even if all it does is make it stagger long enough for the rest of the party to take down, then Will's going to dedicate the sum total of his favorite weapon's processing power to do so. It might mean he's not going to be joining in the blasting party, but given present company, he somehow thinks his offensive capabilities won't be missed /too/ much.

Danzo Katou (7157) has posed:
    Drone patrol routes are necessarily a cakewalk for a trained shinobi, never mind one of the few whose names history had forgotten to forget. Danzo keeps the security drones' vision cones constantly updated in her HUD, moving soundlessly between them, clinging to ceilings, soundlessly dropping through steep holes, leaping multiple breached floors at a single jump, crawling on the reverse side of catwalks. She doesn't chance an illusory distraction; in her mind it's equally likely to trigger a station-wide alarm for having seen one. These are robots, and simple ones, not human guards.

    All the while, the constant chatter keeps up with the mystery voice that speaks to her --to all of them, but to her most specifically. A tool of Bahamut. A discourse between a tool and a tool. An AI and an AI, perhaps, though she hasn't even heard the word. Though it unnerves her, that more than anything is what engages her attention; what sharpens her will to continue forward.

    The power station, by contrast, is mostly incomprehensible to her. Holding some vague hope, she approaches the machine, stopping at a respectable distance, and attempts to communicate with it, hoping for the same. "Greetings. What is your purpose here? What function does this station serve?"

    But it seems it's not to be. Rather than joining in the assault on the boss, Danzo follows her instincts as a saboteur, staying on the outside edge of the deck, leaving behind half a dozen illusory duplicates to draw fire. She and her afterimages apply explosives to the pylons as she goes, attempting to blast them down with mana-charged gunpowder. If it causes some terrible cascade failure, well, so much a shorter mission.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     Amelris IS having something of a bad day, today. It could be worse but he fears that might come to pass. The Red Mage plows through the Maze, keeping an ear open to the voice that is talking up. The voice is unfortunately unfamilair to him, yet... there is something that DO ring ... eerily familiar. The tones. The way it speaks, in ways he's been hearing it from some other people.

     This conversation is rather hitting him. It is driving into his own made creed as a Crimson Duelist. War is a messy buisness, it's messier when the result of said wars were made thousands of years before your nation was even born. It is true what it said about the Primals, being born as the hope and desperations of a people... but there is more to it than that. There is more to what a Primal do to a people.

     Amelris grits his teeth, his tail's fur going up on end as he resolves himself up ahead. The remains of a people lies here, as a battery to the hero of their people. To the dream of reclaiming their home... for peace. To reclaim a star.

     The Mercydians likely didn't deserves what the Allag did to them. At this point, who even the hell can say? Nobody knows beyond THEM... and people suffering, dreaming of high winds.

     The Red Mage moves through the mazes, keeping eerily quiet, dashing and crashing himself against the machine, leaping right off it to delivers strands of crystaline swords in the air, then unleashing barrages of spells at it.

Mauve Gauntlet (7160) has posed:
Mauve Got frozen by the medusa lady, and was basically useless that whole fright. Whoops. Still, she continues onward, joining in on the fight against the machine. The mystery voice goes on and on about something that happened in the past, and the suffering of those that were trapped here. The others could call themselves hereos or fighting for justince, or whatever, but she wasn't here for that, really. Still, Suffering sucked, but even she could see that just taking it out on the Eorzeans was just going to make things worse. But...she wasn't really equipped for this kinda thing. Mauve swings a fist at the machine, throwing all her focus into fighting it. The others could handle this, right?

Lezard Valeth has posed:
    N'raha gets to enjoy the small things in life once again. Like movement. And not being broken into a hundred pieces of inert stone. He charges forward, working his way through the maze with the others, chopping at the massive thing and taking the intense blows for others. He does his job well.

    Jeanne, of course, has no need for stealth, and decides the 'murder everything in her path' method of stealth is the better option. She cleaves through the multitude of bots, ther only seeming to be more and more as they progress. Are they actually endless? It is impossible to tell at this point. However, they reach the massive machine and cleaves into it, applying spears and flame as she is wont to do. The laser slashes through her but she is undaunted, the pain only seeming to drive her on moreso. Her retaliations punch deep through armor, causing it to jerk and shudder under the onrush of calamitous damage.

    Tomoe has her own methods of dealing with the problem. She is talented at moving when she needs to be it seems, rushing ahead through the maze with her techniques. The massive machine ends up getting cleaved into over and over again, the aggressive tank ripping plating apart with each strike and sending out waves of sizzling explosions and released power from ruptured lines.

    Athela might be relieved that Team Golem has only succeeded in making automatons, but how long might that remain. It might be a /really terrible thing/ should someone hand them some kind of examples to work off of and accelerate their development... Still, that's Future Athela's problem. Instead, she uses her water skills from before to quickly push herself through the maze, unleashing a Goomy on the massive machine. The glop jams its movement, making it much slower and interfering with the pulses of electricity, opening up plenty of offensive options for the others to take advantage of.

    Perhaps it's a good thing that people are in a hurry, or you might lose William for the next... six months or so. Still, maybe William might pick up a happy drone or two to hack and help him out. He might get farther with Jeanne if he begs the Avenger, though. Or gets her some fried chicken or something. William unleashes his hacking skills on the Avatar, though, and finds himself dealing with a ridiculous high-tech Active Time Event involving all kinds of spinning rings and complicated keystrings and pattern matching, working his way through the thing's technological defenses... And finally, he managed to bust through, the massive machine sizzling and jerking to a complete halt for a short time as it self-reboots, trying to clear the interference... And leaving itself wide open. Mauve gets to take advantage of the moment to plow her fist right into the side of it, caving in a deep, crushing impact into the side and knocking it over for a moment.

Lezard Valeth has posed:
    The maze is effectively a non-issue for Danzo. This is so elementary she could (and probably has done similar in the past) blindfolded. The ninjabot blurs through the area quickly and silently. She has absolutely no problems navigating the place. As far as this area is concerned, she doesn't exist. This changes when she attempts to greet the Avatar. The machine doesn't seem to recognize her as an authroized user, as it simply attacks her as well. Thankfully, she is capable of dealing plenty of damage in her own way. While the machine is disabled, Danzo blows up the power pylons.

    It... Causes some problems. The pylons rupture, surging and causing a massive backflood of power that threatens to scorch anyone still standing on the platform. Thankfully, the Crimson Duelist is backflipping at that moment, allowing him a space to drive his crystalline blades into the Avatar one after the other. The blades pick up the aetheric lightning, surging like Jacob's Ladders and surging to conduct the power directly back into the thing.

    The battle is manic. Every time one of the pylons charge up, something terrible happens. Blasts of aetheric power rushes over the field and scorch the fighters. Proximity mines appear that charge up, doing more damage the longer people avoid them. More of those hulking dreadnoughts appear. Sometimes, the machine itself seems to be supercharged, getting more powerful. The pylons are easy to tamper with, however, messing with the speed of their charges to keep them from overwhelming the group while the machine strikes over and over again.

Lezard Valeth has posed:
    But the machine, too, meets its match. There is nothing that could have prepared it for the Elite assault and inventive attacks that crush into it, decimating it in ways that only the Allagan themselves might have been able to produce when originally designed. It falls over, the machine detonating into pieces and scattering hunks of technology across the platform. The lights dim, the ship seeming to transfer to an alternate power mode as yet another lift activates. Again, the group goes downwards...


    The platform descends and passes through a glowing wash of light. All at once, the platform... is gone. And a haunting, terrible vista opens up before the investigators. They hang in the sky, all at once high above Eorzea instead of deep below. A shattered road stretches through the air, wending back and forth, hovering under a familiar power. The group lands upon a large, open plaza that remains intact, an endless sky of crimson twilight stretching before them all...

    And in the air, angry and terrible, the massive crimson moon of Dalamud hangs there, sizzling as it seems to be all but preparing to drop upon the world below once more. One need but look below to see the plains of Cartenau. Is there a battle proceeding below? It's impossible to tell through the cloud cover...

    But they are not alone in the plaza.

Seifer Almasy has posed:
     "At last."

     The voice is unmistakably the one upon the radio.

     He is dark of skin and white of hair. Though he is balding, he is in the dignified, early stages; his sideburns meld with his beard and his hair seamlessly to frame his elven face in a halo. A white tattoo sits upon his forehead, adding to the sense of ancient wisdom. The wrinkles upon his face are not the wrinkles of decrepicty but of a life well-lived and well-spent in the pursuit of a higher purpose. His long, pointed ears jut outwards from his head. A staff sits upon his back, behind white-and-black leather armor with puffy sleeves more common in the Swiss Guard than in a far-away fantasy land.

     Oh yes. He's also floating freely. Great wings of fire hang behind him, massive bird wings that stretch across the dark blue sky. The burning Red Moon is framed by those wings. It casts a menacing pallor across that white hair. His eyes are ringed in a bonfire. His hands trail fire. His feet trail fire. He is like unto a great Phoenix, looking down upon the party from on high.

     "I have been waiting for you quite some time. Our conversation has proven intriguing, I must admit. It is certainly more interesting than sitting here amongst the living dead, the suffering dead, hearing their endless screams echo in my soul."

     "Greetings, wanderers from a distant star. I am Louisoix Leveilleur."

     "I am Phoenix."

     The man's burning wings flap gently in against the dark sky. "Once, I sacrificed myself that the people of Eorzea might live in peace. I believed, fiercely, from the moment I saw the Red Moon's rise to the moment of its fall, that peace could be attained."

     "I called down twelve gods to answer Meracydia's one."

     In the distance there is a chorus. It is in no language that any here understands, but it is unmistakable in nature. Its slow and steady beat. Its thrum. Universal. Hope. It is a hymnal, a prayer for salvation. It is being piped in through invisible speakers. It is the singing of a caged and tortured people.

     A prayer to Bahamut.

     His name rings out through the image of Carteneau. "And in doing so I struck Bahamut down, as he struck me down."

     Louisoix's wings widen. "The power of the Twelve flowed through me. The gods granted me their wisdom, that I might see the truth."

     His arms spread wide. "I have tried to enlighten you, Chosen, wanderers, to that wisdom of the Twelve. To that knowledge beyond humankind. To Bahamut's wisdom, and the sins of both past and present."

     "But if you would stand before Bahamut's release, then I have no choice."

     His hands spread in flame. "For I am a tool in the hands of my gods. For I am one who believes in true peace, in freedom from suffering for all upon this star."

     "Come. Test yourselves. Be broken against me, and find wisdom in this place of pain."

N'raha Tia has posed:
    What can someone possibly do or say when presented with the man who literally saved your world, now serving the very being he sought to contain? The Savior of Carteaneau, now robed in the garb of a Primal? Of a guardian of a dead god. A resurrecting god. Clad in the grief and agony of thousands of thousands of thousands years of torture?

    Nothing. N'raha can say nothing to this. He has neither the words nor the capacity to properly respond to this man. This incarnation of Louisiox.

    Break yourself. The words are an invitation and an order and N'raha Tia, Warrior of Light, is not about to disappoint this man.

    The Miqo'te's body, clad in red armor, glows with fell red energy, and he steps forward across the plat form, takes up his ax... and starts the fight.

Danzo Katou (7157) has posed:
    Danzo had heard it over the radio. It had mainly been her doing. She was the one who had pushed into the subject so far, feeling some semblance of connection in it. A shinobi made to be a tool, doubly so for being built as a wooden puppet to serve the Fuuma, across from someone who had become a tool of Bahamut in body and spirit, to serve Meracydia. She thought to find some connection there. Some common ground. Something only the two of them could speak of, to bring some kind of meaning to this vast and complicated affair through which The Mission winds.

    She had, and deep in her core, she wished she hadn't.

    The kunoichi who is a mechanical doll enters the Archives dinged, dented, and burnt, but operating at what she deems an acceptable capacity. When Louisoix --when Phoenix-- descends, she doesn't turn her face up to look at him. She pulls her long red scarf up over her mouth and nose, her black bangs shading her eyes above. The song of hope reverberates around the chamber, carrying the desperate prayers of hundreds of thousands. Victims. Innocents. The true people of Eorzea. Her face is completely frozen. Her voice hard and robotic.

    "Activating audio filters."

    Her left arm flicks upwards, and her wrist beyond that, bending past a natural angle to impart a vicious force and spin on a fistful of dense metal darts, streaking into the man that hovers before them. They're fast enough to be invisible, and aimed for major nerve groups to be as painful as possible, but their size prevents them from being lethal in of themselves. In the moment he has to defend himself, or flinches from pain, well, that's when ninjas do their work.

Athela Valemore has posed:
Just the thought of what Team Golem would do if they found some lost technology to bastardize in the same way... Mayhaps would be one of the few thoughts that could actually make the young knight shiver in her sleep in fear. But as we noted, that is Future Athela's problem to consider.

Right now we have a much more prominent matter to deal with, lore infodump and all.

But finally a face to put to the voice that has been haunting them. And what a visage it is, for the measure of man it can still be called. A man cast... or mayhaps, forced upon godhood. The presence is enough to send her Goomy cowering back in the hood of her cloak. Though it's hard to tell if it's the godlike essence, or just seeing all the fire that could dry it out to a crisp in an instant.
Athela glances to the Warriors of Light, and gets a confirmation of her suspicion that this entity is A Big Deal here. A Savoir of Men and World... Now imprisoned by the nightmares and cries of the forgotten hopes of the past, knowing things and grasping power no one Man was meant to.

"Savoir of the World... But at what costs beyond the grasp of mortals.." she muttered under her breath, shaking some bangs out of her face and gritting her determination as she regripped her weapon. "Be blessed or cursed, there is only one course for us to walk upon..."

Ice may not be as useful against a divine damned birdman of flame, but it has it's other uses. Frost glistens beneath her feet and in the wake behind her as Athela uses it in a method almost akin to skating to build up momentum faster in a shorter distance, making a swift and sure lunging drive at the entity with her relic weapon thrust forward like a sword-topped-polearm.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     Amelris Belthrone is in somewhat of a similar state. There has been much that have been talked at this moment. But coming to a head at this own very truth, that the man that saved them all eight years ago stands before them. Firey wings. His words still resonating in his mind.

     There is a moment where the Red Mage falters. Where the Miqo'te's eyes widens, unfocuses as he holds his head with one hand, almost stumbling onward and almost to a knee. A small grunt of pain escapes his lips as he stares up with glazed eyes, staring at the Phoenix.

     He sees light. He sees power. He sees Cartenau, the devastation brought by Bahamut. He sees the old man, broken, staff destroyed, instilled by strength, power flowing from him. The Twelve empowers him, flowing into his body as he lifts in the air. Bahamut stands in the way. It does not matter. The power flows rise and slams into Dalamund. Destroys it. Saving Eorzea.

     "You..." Amelris gasps out, his voice dry, staggering back to his feet with his eyes refocusing, narrowed with some renewed vigor and resolve. "This is what happened to you. This is what happened in Cartenau! the Twelves brough you strength and you plowed through Dalamund! AND NOW THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU!?"

     Amelris draws his rapier, legs shaking from the vision as he spins his weapon, conducting his gem against the hilt to cast, thrusting a palm in the direction of Phoenix. "I STAND BY WHAT I'VE SAID! I WILL NOT BACK DOWN FROM THIS, EVEN IF IT IS YOU!"

     Fire and Stone comes screaming from his hand, soaring at the Phoenix.

Inga has posed:
Inga, (who has totally been here the whole time) stands with her friends, the warriors of light and others, her staff in hand and defience set in her brow. 'For I am a tool in the hands of the gods'. It sounds like something Lezard said to her once, mocking her. He never understood, and never would. She shakes her head. If this were Louisoix, he had been corrupted somehow.

Inga takes her lead from Raha, and prepares to fight, drawing her small knife to cut into her arm to start delivering protective wards.

Tomoe has posed:
The battle is no joke it's quite crazy when all things are said. The party keeps going, the team keeps pushing even as they speak with whomever the strange voice is over the comms. Still, she doesn't get off scot-free. Tomoe's a bit roughed up, though she's still in fighting shape and she doesn't want to think about just how deep into this world she's gone. Tomoe keeps going and soon the machine finally gives out and goes down, it blows up and Tomoe doesn't look back.

She's soon on the lift and they keep going deeper, Tomoe would arrive with the others as they reach the strange plaza and then something kicks in. Is it holograms? Magic? It doesn't matter it tells a story which leaves Tomoe g a bit opened mouthed at Dalamud for a moment. She also beholds the plains of Cartenaue from above.

She then will find they are not alone there's a man here with dark skin and white hair. There is no doubt who he is the moment he speaks as she hears the voice from over the radio.

"So you are Louisoix Leveilleur?"

Then they drop the name Phoenix Tomoe pauses and looks at him for a moment.

In a flash of digital particles Tomoe's current blade vanishes as the Dawnbreaker is returned to storge she summons for Caliburn a pale shadow of its namesake but it still has a power of its own and she intends to not hold back in a situation like this.

"I am Tomoe the Iron Lily."

There's not much else to be said she takes this seriously very seriously, this. The words of Louisoix Leveilleur, strike a cord the anger and pain she sees with her friend native to this world? It is much like a pain she felt once as a man she thought was a saviour turned out to be the devil.

She moves in getting ready for the fight that is to come.

"All I can do is use my sword to find my path to the future and I will stand with them against you."

With that she'll give Alruna a look for half a second then she charges in at the man who claims he is Phoenix, blade ready which now burns with a white flame, the attacks are quick she's clearly probing an unknown foe of great power here.

William Pauwel has posed:
There's a quicktime event here. It's absolutely terrifying and mind-boggling, but what is a quicktime event but a less interactive quickdraw contest? (It's not anything like that, Will just happens to have the benefit of being assisted by a VERY helpful hacking tool). One way or another though, Will manages to emerge from the engagement a few Allagan drones richer.

It's too bad that he cares too much about them to have them help out just yet, because what they find waiting for them beyond the Avatar is not going to be a pleasant experience.

To be completely fair, 'wizened old man looking vaguely like some kind of incarnate god, wreathed in fire and wearing a halo of white hair' is approximately exactly the kind of person that Will expected the voice on the radio to belong to. It was either this, or a wizard in glasses. One of the two.

The context of the situation-- the importance of the man they're fighting-- these things are missed. Will is not overly familiar with contemporary Eorzean history aside from in the broadest sense. It's impossible to miss the sheer power radiating from the old man standing before them, though.

No. Not standing before them, standing between them and the off switch for the regeneration machine responsible for rebuilding Bahamut. The chorus of voices thrumming through the air reverberates in the Chaser's bones, each voice demanding justice, demanding recompense for their centuries of suffering.

He feels for them. Truly, he does. If there is a solution that doesn't involve the incineration of Eorzea's people, Will will put himself on the line to achieve it. But to even know whether or not such a thing is possible... This obstacle must needs be overcome.

Bursts of starlight flash out from the barrel of Will's handcannon, arcing over Raha's shoulder and blasting into the thing claiming the name and the face of a hero of this world. If doing what feels right means being the villain here today, then that's just what he's going to have to do.

Jeanne Alter (6802) has posed:
Showing few signs of fatigue beyond light breathing and those horrid scorch marks, Jeanne continues onwards. She leaves little time for continued barbs, even, instead opting to hear what the 'Chosen' have to say. The people from another 'Star', as the mysterious voice calls them. It's all rather interesting, as much as she'd hate to admit it, but it solidfies her course of action as she waits for theplatform to descend, the plaza to come into view, the red moon to welcome this haphazard band of invaders...

The man calling himself Phoenix. He explains his reasoning, his purpose here, and his goal. The Dragon Witch taps her flag against the ground firmly, and a smile crosses her face.

It's not a weird or crazy smile, for once. "If you want to see Bahamut freed, then test your resolve against theirs." She raises her flag, signaling to her wyverns as they swoop down to let her jump onto one of the flying creatures before moving off to the side and giving the battlefield a wide berth.

"Eorzea or Meracydia... Let's see how this all goes, then. Don't disappoint me!"

Alruna Greengate has posed:
Alruna screams through both her radio and aloud, "Louisoix you whoreson, you LIED TO ME!" and then it's on like Donkey Kong as she charges through the crowd of heroes to the forefront with thumping, heavy strides, her gold-trimmed black shield beginning to shimmer with energy as she launches herself alongside N'raha.

Bravura is a massive slab of metal hammered and carved into an example of mastery of the blacksmith's art. Alruna's sword falls short of such lofty heights, but no metal is worth aught without a will to wield it, and she won't be found wanting.

Blue aether hisses along the edge of her sword as she channels her strength into it, slashing at the Elezen from his right, at one of his flaming wings.

Mauve Gauntlet (7160) has posed:
So uh...Hrm. The Voice was someone the others knew. Whatever happened, he had decided this was the way to fix things. And, well...It was time to fight, she figures. Whoever was right, she didn't want to die! So she hooks her way around the space, before launching herself at Phoenix to punch him in the face!

Seifer Almasy has posed:
     N'raha finds the way difficult. The rocks get in his way. The sky itself seems to hinder him. The field of Cartenau on which he stands seems to be in his way as he charges forward, swinging his axe. A solid blow from the axe hits Louisoix in the chest, gashing it open as William fires upon him, bursts of starlight crashing against shoulders.

     Louisoix reaches forward and pokes N'Raha in the head. The full force of a god threatens to send him flying backwards with a single blow. It's an opening for Danzo to exploit as she launches her darts, the invisible strikes punching into his neck. There's a brief moment of stutter - wait, that shouldn't be possible.

     Primals don't have nerves. How is he stuttering?

     Nonetheless he recovers swiftly. The darts are plucked from his body and flicked back at Danzo wreathed in fire. They look like feathers, swirling through the air, leaving contrails of fire in their wake.

     Athela slides through the feather-darts and drives her polearm forward into the gash made by N'Raha. It digs deep, straight through the heart. Louisoix does not bleed. But he does juke like he's been stabbed, twitching backwards in agonizing pain. Amelris takes advantage. Stone and fire go lashing outwards, crashing into the side of Phoenix's face. It sends Louisoix tilting into Tomoe's white-flame blade, which catches against his arm and brings white fire invading his orange. As he starts to stand Alruna comes in from the right, hammering into the flaming wing with all force, and Mauve comes in with a fierce and ferocious punch. He goes flying back, skidding in the air like an ice skater, bent over backwards at a horrible angle. His skull is crushed inwards from the boulders. His arm is shattered from the hammer. He is limp and unpleasant and goopy.

     The world stops.

     Louisoix's corpse disintegrates.

     The air becomes oppressively hot. The Red Moon of Dalamud, in the distance, burns bright.

     A column of fire comes down straight in the middle of the group.

     The wings spread once more.

     Louisoix stands as if he is unstruck.

     Louisoix holds up a hand.

     The fires of Dalamud suddenly come shooting down. They are falling stars - meteors from afar, crashing down into the ground around the party. Some of them remain where they are. Most of them disintegrate on impact.

     All of them are trying to kill everybody.

     "Show me your determination. Prove that you, and not Meracydia, deserve to live, from the depths of your heart. Show me the resolve that I have so far found so wanting," Louisoix says over the pounding beat of the falling stars.

N'raha Tia has posed:
    N'raha takes that POKE in the forehead with all the force he can, his helmet CLANGING with the impact, his body jittering backwards and his feet skidding across the surface of their arena. But still he stands, and does not fall over.

     And Alruna is right here with him as the Death and Rebirth of Phoenix happens. Raha is forced to lift his arm to block the light... before he's CLANKED in the side with exploding shrapnel from rocks. He staggers, throws up a magical barrier, and approaches the front again.

    The Warrior of Light is still getting orders from Loiusoix Leveilleur. He is still being urged. Implored. Goaded. Asked. Entreated.
    He Will Answer. Bravura comes around again, aether slaking off the blade and the haft, as a sweeping, spark laden strike slashes at their savior's form.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     Oh that must be handy to be a Phoenix, regenerating like that. REAL handy. No downsides, whatsoever!

     Amelris Belthrone answers to the meteors by trying to get the hell away. It partially works, only being blown further by the breath of the explosion upon impact. He rolls, kicking back to his feets as he leaps up into the air, spreading both his arms to land on a railing. Crystaline swords forms in the air as they scream forward. This is beyond just some fight. This is not just 'a primal'. This is more than that. A part of this still makes him wonder...

     Where Lezard fits in all this?

     For now, Amelris keeps on the run, swinging and throwing his crystaline blades down at the Phoenix, each exploding and shattering upon impact.

Tomoe has posed:
Why is Phoenix stuttering? She doesn't know and there's no time to think about it, there is no time at all to think about it. She catches him in the arm just as Alruna makes her own attacks. The assault keeps up for a bit as Mauve joins in the attack and it seems to be the end of Louisoix? No that was way too easy Tomoe thinks. Then things become hotter and hotter. Tomoe can feel the heat, a second before something comes down in the middle of the party she braves the fire but it leaves it' tole upon her as things fall down. She's showing some angry red wireframe lines from the force of the firey attacks she's just taken.

She looks at Louisoix as he stands there seemingly unharmed and she moves in at him, bots gripping the ground as she goes, the shield is raised and she throws it at Louisoix, it's more of a diversion than anything she'll catch it on the flyback as she leaps into the air and tries to bring down her sword upon Louisoix.

"I will hold nothing back."

She keeps up with the assault after laying her sword strikes in at the primal, striking low, then high then for the middle she keeps up. If she can keep his attention on her? That should keep some of his attention off her comrades.

Inga has posed:
He's gone, but she knows it can't end so easily. He's back again, reborn in flame. Will he do that over and over? Can the break the cycle?

Inga frowns deeply at his words. Prove their right to live? Anger rises in her, molten hot. "Shut up. I am tired of this 'prove you have the right to live' bullshit. We will fight you, because we must, but I have /nothing/ to prove to you and neither do they. You have crossed that line. Perhaps you have become a god..."

"But if so, you're shitty one."

"Ending suffering by ending an entire people is not being a savior. It's cowardice. It's the /lazy/ way out."

Inga takes the fire of her anger and channels it into actual flame, blue-hot burning, casts form her finger in a beam of incredibly hot flame empowered with the anima that surges through her.

Athela Valemore has posed:
Athela Valemore skids to a stop after her skateby impaling, a small wake kicking up from her feet into a shower of glitter frost... for about three seconds before it evaporates in the intense heat. She watchs as the man regarded as a hero of legend and reborn a being of power is pummeled from all sides and disintigrates.

Only to reform and resume the encounter.
Right then. Phoenix in more than just name. This is going to be bloody bugger.

She starts to dash back towards the fight, only for one of the flaming star-like projectiles to slam into the arena. It's just shy of hitting her head-on, but it's little comfort as the fiery eruption blasts her reeling across the arena floor. Athela rolls to a stop with a groan and thoroughtly scorched, her weapon skidding a bit farther on the ground before stopping.

A heaving breath escapes her, one gauntlet pressed to the ground to lift herself up and shake red locks from her face, the other reaching over to grab the haft of her weapon, lifting it enough to put butt to the ground and help herself stand. She doesn't bother trying to clear any of the blistering debris from her armor. It's unimportant.

"If it is Determination you wish to see, then so be it." Athela moves again, this time with the force of her own attunement behind her. Water alone won't douse these flames, but the strength of the seas was still with her, launching herself into the air, and bringing her weapon down in an overhead strike with the same driving force of a crashing wave.

Mauve Gauntlet (7160) has posed:
Oh, he can revive, duh. Well, that sucks. Mauve gets mot capital M meteored, one landing close enough to her to send her flying. She flips over, landing on both feet and skidding backwards. Mauve then anchors herself to the ground, firing both her hands at Phoenix to grab him and hold him in place!

William Pauwel has posed:
They're fighting a thing that seems as though it can regenerate infinitely. That poses a problem. What's worse is the fact that he seems capable of pulling the very stars from their orbit. Or rather, drawing on the same calamitous impact that Louisoix was said to have averted. Will, for all the terrible power in his favorite weapon, is nothing more than an ordinary human being. The flames of Dalamud wash over him, and it's only by virtue of the thermally-resistant plating hidden within his adventuring attire, and a healthy measure of grit and gumption, that he isn't immediately floored by the meteoric impact.

"Well, shit, this ain't exactly what I meant by deeds and actions--" Will grouses, darting behind one of those leftover comets as if to use it for cover. He peers up and over the rock, catching sight of the meteors still raining down from on high. "--But I guess a fight's still more straightforward than wastin' the day yapping with a chatterbox."

The meteors... Provide an opportunity.

Terminal Judgment shines like a beacon. Pure, white light lances out of the handcannon, smashing into meteor after meteor. Each impact shatters a falling star... but also causes his beam to ricochet, raining down on the Phoenix from a half-dozen angles simultaneously!

Alruna Greengate has posed:
Alruna's sabatons screech across the surface of the plaza, sparking literally underfoot as she's forced backwards. She crouches, raising her shield to fend off the blazing heat and smacking aside the meteor that tries to strike her down on the spot. Rubble scatters around her as she straightens up, smoke wisping slightly from her gauntlets.

Her face is a mix of emotions. She knows the face in front of her. And for all that she just called him a whoreson, his actions were responsible for Eorzea's survival, much less her own.

"Aye, our sins may be no lesser than Meracydia's, but we will do what needs must." she says, readying her sword. "We will cleanse the slate of all these sins, past and present!"

She spins, reversing her grip to plunge her sword into Lousoix's side, a purple-limned cloud of aether flowing around the wound she inflicts.

Danzo Katou (7157) has posed:
    Regardless of whether it makes sense or not, it's the reaction that Danzo expects for a target struck with shuriken in the right places. Whether Primals have nerves is none of her concern, and in fact not contained within her memory banks. She starts running to the side, the instant he flinches, yet the darts are wrenched from his neck and hurled back with twice the force, streaking fire like miniature comments. They strike the kunoichi dead on --and pass through her, dissipating into reddish smoke. The moment Loiusoix had stuttered, she had, of course, sent her illusion the opposite way, and gone . . .

    Straight up. High enough to scan the battlefield from an aerial position, and see Phoenix bring itself, its avatar, back. Hitting the hanging apex of a leap high enough to take her out of Phoenix's vision, Danzo extends one arm forward, claps her opposite hand to the elbow to stabilize it. "Commencing battle mode." she says, and a great flare of fire erupts around the base of her forearm.

    The exquisitely sculpted black metal limb shoots straight off, riding on the the roaring flame of rocket propulsion, curving a supersonic punch into her target with the sound of a cannon shot. Connected to the rest of her arm by wire, as soon as it hits and streaks off again, she brings it flying back by retracting the cable, the reel hissing out sparks in the brief instant it takes to reattach.

    Though the air isn't the best place to be when he calls down meteors. Avoiding panic, Danzo works with what she has, twisting her body in mid-air so one flaming coming scrapes just past her, burning off the edge of her scarf and leaving a black mark down her shoulder. Another one clips her on the side, flinging bits of wood and metal out, and sending her tumbling into the path of another. She corrects, orients herself against it, and kicks off, leaving her metals boots cherry red. She hits the ground hard, just breaking her fall with a roll into a kneeling position.

    "I see. That name. Like the immortal firebird itself." she says. Her voice still betrays no greater hint of emotion than before. All of its softness is gone, as if turned off. "You who know more about these divine beasts. Is it possible to eliminate him?"

Seifer Almasy has posed:
     N'Raha cuts Louisoix in half.

     The axe is a clean, certain cut. Again, Louisoix's body disintegrates. Again, there is that pillar of flame, that overwhelming heat, as he surges back into existence. Amelris's blades catch him in the back as he forms, lodging into his shoulders for Tomoe to take advantage of. She turns his attention on him with quick and rapid-fire strikes, leaving him open for Inga's flame to strike straight through him, which leaves him again open for Athela to cleave straight through his form as Alruna pierces through his side with purple aether. The strike splits him in four pieces; they tumble to the ground, horrifying. Once more, the body disintegrates, reforming in another blast of white-hot fire.

     He can do it over, and over, and over, and over, and over. He's powered by Dalamud.

     He's powered by the Meracydians.

     Mauve grabs at him, and manages to latch on. It's like holding onto pure fire, onto pure *power*. It proves to be about as effective - like trying to grasp flame. Louisoix slips out of her grasp and into the air, rising on burning wings.

     Those same wings swat aside Will's beam with a single blow, sending it spiralling into the air to peter out. They blow aside Danzo's rocket punch, sending it whirling off-course with a burst of hot air. The wings glow with an awe-inspiring majesty.

     Louisoix shakes his head as he rises. His hands clasp behind his back, beneath the blazing orange wings.

     They change color. They turn blue.

     Phoenix's burning eyes gaze down at the party. Above, the Red Moon begins to move. The distant moon starts moving closer. Indeed those meteors were just a prelude.

     It is not yet time for Dalamud.

     Instead, Phoenix falls, straight towards Inga. He bursts into flames, all of him, the wings turning a bright and terrible blue as he *hits* the ground and waves of fire erupt outwards. The landed meteors strain under the blast. Fire roars outwards, fire and death.

     Louisoix rises once again. "Have you learned nothing? All battles are battles to prove that you must live. All battles are battles for what you believe is right. This is no different. I am not some villain, child, here to slaughter the human race for my own pleasure. I pass no judgment upon the people of Eorzea as a god but as a man. I know what they are. I have seen what they are. I have seen that there is a greater need and just as I was willing to sacrifice Garlemald for Eorzea so too am I willing to sacrifice Eorzea for that greater need."

     "Innocents are innocents. Justice is justice. Suffering is suffering. These are the words of you who stand before me."

     "These are the words I repeat. Not in defiance. But in agreement."

Inga has posed:
Fire comes for her. Louisoux comes to smite her down.

She thinks to herself; "Oh, I pissed him off."

Then she is nearly obliterated. She falls. Still breathing, slowly healing, but there's nothing more she can do here.

Should have left it to the heroes, she guesses.

Mauve Gauntlet (7160) has posed:
So yeah, she just gripped onto living fire, basically. She pulls her hands back with a yelp, shaking them out with a clank. Anyway, there's still meteors coming down, and she gets knocked back into the air by a nearby inpact once more. That moon in the sky looks VERY ominous....and is coming closer. So yeah, that's bad. VERY bad. She hooks onto that meteor that blew her up and drags herself behind it. From her cover, she aims a fist at Phoenix, firing it off at him.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe is in a bad place now she can only watch in horror as Inga is caught in the line of fire and there's nothing she can do for her friend. There's a sicking sense of failure in her gut at this as the flames rain down some of the landed meteors are still sanding something pops into her head. She also looks up at the sort of attacks that are coming there way and something clicks in her head as Amelris notes the replication of Dalamund is indeed getting closer. She calls out a warning over the comm.

"Get behind cover! Use the Meteors or anything else you can find! Don't get caught in the open!"

It is true justice is justice, innocents are innocents. Still, she has to fight to not fight is to lay down and die, not only would this continent burn? The rest of this world might and who knows if it spills beyond. The people of today are not the Allagans. She will break off firing several lighting spells as she goes, dashing for cover behind one of the remaining Meteors as she goes, she sidesteps back out for a brief moment. She chants and casts more spells rays of light, holy blast and forceful gusts of wins. Small spells alone but in numbers, they may do more damage she finally gets the heck behind the meteor as the moon looms ever closer. She pops several defence abilities to just be on the safe side, this is going to hurt she suspects.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     Fire. Fire everywhere.

     Amelris leaps off the rail he was standing on to roll straight into the cover of one of the meteors. They buckle beneath the strain but in this way, he avoids the worse of the inferno.

     "YOU KNOW!" Amelris shouts up, tapping the side of his cane as he slides off from behind the comforts of the fallen rock, a lightning bolt already gathering into his hand. "There's one thing I've noticed in my time as an adventurer, a thing that a LOT of people are missing when talking about things like this!"

     The Red Mage launches the lightning bolt a the old man Primal, sliding back into cover and popping out from the other side, already in a mid-spin with his sword-cane brandished, blowing off a clean blast of sharp air to blast away against the flames.

     "Context is lost on a lot of people. Circumstances! What led people to take actions!"

     Amelris slides back behind the cover, fully damn knowing what's going to be falling down on their noggins in just a few.

William Pauwel has posed:
The situation is rapidly deteriorating. More flame blasts across the battlefield. Even hidden behind a comet, Will suffers the conflagration dearly. Will's protective coat is utterly obliterated by the heat and flame billowing out from Dalamud's inevitable descent. His flesh is scorched, his body burnt. Only by huddling up, drawing into a little protective ball, is he able to avoid being charred into uselessness.

The moon is falling and this guy, this /Louisoix/ is still ranting like he has to make up for all the consonants that his people's language has murdered over the centuries. He's powered by Dalamud, he says. Powered by Dalamud.

By... Dalamud.

Will has a look in his eye. It's a dangerous, awful, no-good look. The kind of look that suggests that he has an awful, fundamentally self-destructive plan in mind. Dalamud is falling. Fine, that's probably not something anyone can prevent.

But that doesn't mean he's not going to try.

"This is going to suck," Will mutters as he unfurls, exposing himself to the unceasing onslaught of heat and fire. "But--" He takes aim, his gun shining with a brilliance rivalled only by the baleful light of Dalamud in the heavens. "--It ain't like to speak on possibility and impossibility without /makin' the attempt!/ Louisoix Leveilleur, I've heard yer judgment!!"

"Now," Will growls as he pulls the trigger, "Get a load of /mine!/"

Terminal judgment fires. Will grits his teeth as his weapon becomes a star in miniature. A cataclysm of starlight erupts from the little handcannon, blasting...

...Into Dalamud.

"Even if only by a yard," Will snarls as his beam arcs, splits and rebounds, pouring back down onto the battlefield in a storm of light, "Even if only by an inch. If you draw power from Dalamud, then I'll push back against it with everything I've got!"

N'raha Tia has posed:
    Phoenix rises, Phoenix falls, and N'raha is scrabling for cover, only to realize who it is that Louisoix is falling on. He bites out a swear as he nearly peels himself out from behind a rock to go and cover Inga...

    But not in time.

    Something ugly rises in N'raha, something vile and awful and horrid, the Beast clawing its way up and out of its holding cell. It's literally a struggle for N'raha to take a step forward, square up with the boulder in front of him and SLAM his shoulder into it to physically and metaphysically slam the door shut again.

    Right, two things. He shuffles over, and screams to Aluna on the way. "SWIVING GET IN THERE, I GOT INGA." And he indeed rushes over to Inga, ironically sprinkles his last tuft of Phoenix Down on her to make sure she's not dead, pulls her to the far corner of the room. "...I'll be back for you. Promise."

    And then he lets the door open. He throws it wide, unbars the gates, and lets the Beast take him. A lion's roar of vengance, and the Warrior shoulder charges across the field, leaps off a boulder and spin chops down at Phoenix with a attention getting strike. "FIGHT ME."

Alruna Greengate has posed:
More tiny stars fall, smalling down on Alruna and around her, knocking her to one knee and stunning her for long enough Louisoix divebombs into Inga, far from where the paladin can reach her to protect the witch by the time she recovers. She's stopped short by N'raha bellowing at her before she can rush to Inga's side.

One flat-footed moment later, she nods sharply and turns her attention back to Louisoix. And she can see what the old Elezen is building up to. "To cover!" she shouts, wishing now that she'd joined the Archers' Guild after all, in spite of certain personal differences she had with some of them.

At least she might have something worth a damn to throw at Louisoix from where she stands. Breathing through her nose, she sheathes her sword and grasps the rim of her shield. "Fury, guide my hand." she mutters, as the shield becomes a blaze of glimmering aether that she casts in a curving arc towards Louisoix, while she runs for one of the remaining hunks of rock left in the wake of his last round of falling stars.

Athela Valemore has posed:
How do you fight someone that can regenerate over and over again? Normally there is a limit, or a certain threshold of energy. But they're dealing with a god-like power here, so likely those limits do not apply, or are going to be so high it's almost impossible to reach. It is difficult to strategize a fight when you don't even know the outcome you want to pursue. It makes it a harrowing, daunting task.

But if you think that is going to stop the heoric of spirit from trying, you are not as wise as one might think.

There's advise to take cover. Fearing others might not have a means of shielding themselves, Athela leaves the fallen meteors to them. Instead she slams the blade of her weapon into the ground at her feet, discharging aquatic elemental energy from it. It swirls around her feet and twists upward, wrapping her within the vortex. But not even supernatural water can withstand the wrath of Phoenix entirely, starting to sizzle and steam from the onslaught and intense heat. And while it may help shield her body from some of the blistering intensity for a precious short time, it is eating away at her reserves in doing so, with the amount of focus and effort it takes.

Eventually it practically boils away, few lingering droplets dribbling the ground around her feet and evaporating. Both hands are wrapped around her weapon, drawing resolution from it as she pulls it free of the ground. "In this moment I shall not run, it is my place to stand."
Both hands tighten their grip on the ancient weapon as she raises back to her side, ready to strike. "We few shall carry hope within our bloodied hands."

With that Athela goes back on the offensive but not with such a direct approach. Instead she channels the energy into her weapon and swings, creating much larger spikes of elemental ice than before, and sending them hurtling towards the primal-empowered Liousoix. Possible elemental conflicts be damned, she is using what she is best with.

Danzo Katou (7157) has posed:
    Louisoix annihilates Inga. Danzo barely glances over. Robotic. Emotionless. Every bit the tool she'd claimed to be, ever since 'Commencing Combat Mode'. Obviously a function of her design --the ability to flick a switch and dial down emotional output to nothing, focusing on battle, would be an obvious inclusion.

    It couldn't be, though. There's a trace of a wince in her eyes. A tension in the sliver of her visible face. All that there is to spare for a fallen comrade.

    She uses the remaining time to check her damaged arm, flexing fingers, rolling her shoulder. Operational at eighty two percent. She taps the toe of one boot against the ground, the leather under the steel crackled and burnt. Ninety three percent. Rocket fuel at seventy five. Sixty shuriken remaining. All other stores intact. Elemental core output still rising stably. Nobody has an answer for her, so she'll improvise.

    Her speed barely lessened for her damage, Danzo takes off towards the scattered heaps of meteoric debris, vaulting over one, sizzling against her hand, as the wave of fire hits, sheltering behind it, then sending illusions of herself running out to the next two. And then the next two. Then just one illusion, where she herself runs in place of one. Crouching behind the meteoric rock, she draws her elbow back, clenches her fist, locks all of the joints of her fingers and wrist into place, and issues a gout of steam from her elbow and shoulder. There's a loud, percussive click, and then she punches forward with another cannon shot sound, opening her palm at the last split second, and sending the boulder flying on a concussive shockwave. With her other hand, she fires an automatic volley of razor-bladed shuriken stars, riding the slipstream behind it, invisible until it's broken apart.

Seifer Almasy has posed:
     Mauve's fist hits Louisoix right in the face. It seems like such a simple thing in front of the spectacle and the fire and the falling moon and the divinity. It's such a small act. But it's a defiance nonetheless. It's planting her feet and taking a stand.

     It's a distraction to stop him from countering Amelris's lightning bolt. It hits him plain in the face, blinding him to N'Raha's strike. N'Raha hits the Phoenix square in the face, cleaving a huge scar down Louisoix's face. Alruna joins in with a shield smash to the face from afar, as Athela brings the energy into her weapon and *swings* with full force, and again, Louisoix splinters and reforms in a wave of burning heat.

     His wings are blue now.

     Danzo launches into the blue-winged Louisoix. She vaults over the debris, sending out illusions. Louisoix blasts aside the first two, blows apart the second two, moves to grab the third, and grabs the wrong one - Danzo smashes the rock in the opening and fires the razor-blade stars. The rock hits him full on, taking his torso off the top half of him, riddled with stars as it falls. Again, he bursts into blue flame - wait, it's *blue* now.

     The heat ripples through the battlefield. It's a blue pillar that falls, a blue majesty that comes forth, blue bird-wings and blue burning eyes. The heat is getting worse as Dalamud falls further.

     William pours all his power into the falling Moon. Terminal Judgment burns bright, a lance in the night, struggling against the falling Dalamud. The power roils off it, splintering. For a moment it seems like he might actually manage to stop it. For a brief, shining instant, Will gives everyone enough time to get to cover.

     And then Dalamud falls.

     The impact is enormous. Intense. It is a full, massive moon, crashing down in the middle of the cover, a blasting, burning, intense and hellish heat coupled with a wave of debris and a fierce and destructive power. It falls onto the center - onto N'Raha, onto Athela, and onto Will, directly atop Louisoix. Louisoix seems unconcerned.

     No one else should be.

Inga has posed:
She's been dragged to the edge, out of the way of the battle that continues to rage. Raha gives her something that pulls her back to consciousness. There's something hovering there, a strange and distant music that hovers just beyond awareness in the space a Seer walks.

She doesn't need to understand the lyrics to know the purpose of the song. Music is like a heartbeat, and this one is meant to make the blood run hot. It's a call to battle. A cry for vengeance.

Inga stands with great effort, using her walking stick to help pull herself to her feet. Scorched and broken she can still speak. Somehow, she finds her dusty voice to shout. "Do you not hear the song!? He's being driven to wrath by it! Louisoix is a man of peace, as you know him to be! It's...like the Odin rage, he's being played by the tune, though he may not even know it!" she cries, hoping someone will hear her.

N'raha Tia has posed:
    You would think that N'raha Tia, Warrior of Light, would be moving for these sorts of things. That he would have some sort of priority of 'save yourself' or 'dammit get out of the AOE' or 'lol tankbuster'.

    No, no, not at this moment. He is consumed, his energy slaking off of him in wide swathes of fell energy. Dalamud falls. Dalamud impacts the platform. Dalamud lays waste to everything in its path. This was a story N'raha knew by heart. Watched the aftermath. He ran the last time.

    He is not running now.

    There is a terrible flare of energy in front of N'raha as the energy wave slams into him and it just all... slakes around him as his Light Shines Brightly, limits breaking for the warrior. Scorch marks score the platform, neatly avoiding the iron clad Miqo'te.

    And then he's right there, right in front of Louisoix, in front of Phoenix. Bravura curves up and around and over his body. "...I am here to break myself."

    The Ax Falls.

Jeanne Alter (6802) has posed:
The fight is rather intense, and Jeanne has been content to watch it closely. Observing the techniques of those fighting for Eorzea has been quite eye-opening, but the words of Louisoix still resonate within her. Something else resonates as well. She looks around slowly, trying to sort out just where it's coming form that continues to gnaw at the back of her mind.

Louisoix brings the moon down onto those fighting against him and Bahamut's freedom. The Avenger closes her eyes for a moment as she listens again, her banner raising slowly besides her. She can hear that song, and she grits her teeth at what she hears. "... Let's go. Keep up." Jeanne commands her beasts, pointing further ahead and away from the fighting. After another moment, she and her wyverns start heading away from this battlefield.

They move for the song.

Mauve Gauntlet (7160) has posed:
Mauve ducks behind her cover, hands over her (nonexistent) ears as Dalamud impacts the earth. Everything's shaking and holy shit ok is it over yet? She peers out from her rock...and then punches it. The top half splits off, and she picks it up, hoisting it over her head. With a cry of effort she launches the whole thing at Phoenix!

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     It is a spectacle. If it was not meant to annhiliate them all, it would be just as pretty, as dramatic and as /traumatizing/ as the fall of the real Dalamund, years ago. When he was but a younger man. The sight of it, ingrained in the mind of many Eorzeans. Ultimately, what spurred Amelris to go out and adventure. To discover himself.

     And now he's hiding behind a rock to live from it.

     The Red Mage gives a quick glance around holding on to his head tight to weather the assault. Fire flash past both side of the meteor as it frays under the bulk of the moon's fall, ultimately breaking up apart. Amelris relives that time. Again... unlike last time, he's a grown ass man. He's an adventurer. This shit falls on him and his fellows here.

     The balance of mana within him sits. Black and White Magic, in balance, the reason for Red Magic to exist. An example that things CAN be learned after a terrible tragedy, after a calamity. He like to think that they learned similarly after Dalamund. That they learned to make peace and life better for the Beast Tribes, so that they are not fallen off into the pits of despair, to enchain themselves into their broken hopes.

     Amelris straightens, adjusting his feathered hat as he takes a step through the burning rock, his clothes singed. His Rodrapier is held in one hand, his will sharpened at his inner balance. It's time to let it out.

     "PHOENIX!" Amelris screams out, making his weapon dance in his weapon, a step forward and facing his side to the old man. "HERE IS MY ANSWER! I cannot accept peace that only lies dust and ash for everyone! The only peace I will accept is when more will be able to stand up for themselves -- and not pray for a damn saviour to save them all!"

     The Red Mage thrusts his weapon up. Around the area, two circles appears, with a third engulfing both of them around both. Amelris throws his weapon up, energy billowing out of his body. Black and White, condensing into one thick wisp of energy, then exploding outward into a barrage of rapid, exploding purple blasts, covering the area full of destructive light. It coats the circles on the ground in bright red.

     Amelris, holding on to his staff, takes a step forward then snaps his fingers.

     "Vermillion Scourge!"

     The circles explodes upward, as twin terrible pillars of crimson fires upward, lightning up the area any further than it could before. Two gigantic beams of energy.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe has avoided being taken out by the massive magical attack, Will doesn't seem to be so lucky. Tomoe also can't make out what's happened to N'Raha or Athela.

"Hit him with everything you have left!"

She intends to follow what she just said. She only has limited flight time, but she can fly for just a few seconds, and she's going to use it she leaps up on the Meteor and red wings form from her back. The red wings' own light is drowned out as Tomoe takes flight heading up into the air and dropping like a meteor herself, upon Louisoix.

She's chanting some sort of spell and she impacts there's a massive force of holy magic she lets loose with her blade which she attempts to drive into the man who is now a Primal.


Tomoe will continue her assault afterwar with sword and shield just trying to keep Phoenix off balance.

William Pauwel has posed:
For a brief, shining moment, it looks like he might do it. It looks as though the might of the Ancients would be overturned by the ingenuity of an entirely different bygone race. But Will is a smart lad, he knows that Dalamud's slow, grinding approach means that he hasn't stopped the moon, merely forestalled the inevitable impact. He's in the danger zone, standing before Dalamud's full glory. Even if this is an illusory Dalamud, Will knows what bearing the full brunt of its descent means.

But, this was never about him.

The others were able to run for cover. Most of them, anyway. That much is enough. That much is all he needs. Will takes in a breath and releases the trigger, as if preparing to welcome the fall of the red moon.

And then, quick as lightning, the gunslinger turns and fires at a different target entirely.

Louisoix Leveilleur.

Terminal Judgment roars with a sound like a thunderclap. What surges out of the barrel is not a sphere of plasma, nor a crackle of electricity. It is, instead, a beam of light with so much raw, inexplicable *weight* to it that its very appearance is highlighted by a sonic boom. The kinetic force is so great that Will is hurled /back/ just as Dalamud completes its descent. It throws him from point zero of impact, sending him tumbling into the veritable weeds just as the blastwave washes over him. When it passes, Will lies still and silent and scorched at the very periphery of the battlefield.

He's probably not going to be getting up again any time soon.

Athela Valemore has posed:
Dalamund was coming. There was no way to stop it. There was a way to seek some potention protection from the mounting doom.

But Athela doesn't roll that way. Not when there's others in the group to take advantage of that protection.

Others can utilize the shielding. The young knight will face the impending face-on and brave, instead taking the time to throw another elemental attack at Loiusoix. The Swords of Justice would not back down, would not shirk away, and neither will she.

This was not her World, but Athela had vowed to protect it all the same. Resolute and defiant of the destruction being cast upon them.

Dalamund hits. It doesn't matter if this is some manner of magic replication or not, the result is intense. A fiery explosion washes across the battlefield, battering the fallen stones others took shelter behind. Everyone and everything else is engulfed in the inferno of doom brought forth by the pained dreams of those imprisoned within the Coils through Phoenix.

Within the blinding, blistering assault the shiloutted form can be seen as Athela simply holds her weapon in front of herself. The surging wrath collides with the blade... and parts at it's divine indestructability. It's not a perfect defense as the howling forces still batter her from all sides, but Athela stands through it without relent behind the guard of her blessed blade.

Burned to tatters, there is barely a cloak left to flutter behind her save the shoulders and hood. Her armor has been blistered and burned, entire pieces blasted away. But Athela still stands.

"IS THIS THE DETERMINATION YOU WISHED TO WITNESS?" She shouts, raising her voice for the first time in the fight, at Liousoix as she pointed her weapon towards him. "We fight for what we believe in, and will not back down from those who oppose, be it conquerors or gods. There is truth ringing in your words..."

Injury and pain are pushed aside. Resolute Blade is raised and heels hammer the ground as Athela charges back into the fight, expression gritted in determination. Pounding stride, weapon aglow with it's own divine force, as she launches herself into the air once more and hoists the ancient weapon high.

"But it will not sway the resolute from protecting what they hold dear!"

The mighty glowing blade is brought bearing down with all the determined spirit and will of justice Athela can put into it.

Alruna Greengate has posed:
Alruna catches her shield just in time to slam it into the meteor she stands behind as the... illusion? Simulacrum? The image of Dalamud comes slamming down and its effects are anything but illusory. Alruna grits her teeth, feet slipping back as she braces the meteor with her shield and gauntleted hands. A few tears leak from her eyes, but she's cried out most of them, or so she thinks, over the ruin Dalamud's fall wreaked upon Eorzea. Now she can but endure the lingering memories and echoes of its passing.

Once it passes and the meteor begins to roll back under the force of her pushing, Alruna runs after it, scrabbling up atop the rock as it settles back in place. She marks Inga's words, looking back to the fire-wreathed scholar. "If there is aught left we can do for him, then, it is to free him from this waking nightmare."

Alruna shimmers with light, gathering her aether for a momentous strike as she leaps off the smouldering meteor, soaring through the air with a turning arc as her sword blazes. The crackling aether gathered around it forms into a much larger blade as she brings it down atop Louisoix with a thunderous explosion of force.

Danzo Katou (7157) has posed:
    Danzo remains sheltered behind her new cover for several, deafening, blinding, desperate moments. Her eyes are closed, hands clapped over her ears, back against the searing exterior of the immediately superheated rock. Making herself as small of a profile as possible, she waits in the meteor's shadow, as the fire of the crashing moon rages like a tsunami tide all around. Her clothes smoulder. Her steel components singe the magically reinforced wood. Her gears expand incrementally in the heat and grind together.

    "The enemy's magical energy levels are rising dramatically." That's her takeaway when the rock breaks and melts to slag, and she leaps away in the same moment. "We don't have much time left. My battle data is inconclusive, but I believe he is obviously drawing on the mana provided by the facility to reconstitute his body, like any other divine beast of this world. Destroying him right before the final activation is complete may deplete its energy."

    "If it doesn't, I was happy to be here with you and try regardless. I only think it would be an end too dramatic for a shinobi --better suited to a heroic samurai or daimyo."

                        "Activating Kashin Mystic Code:"                        

    With the ambient aether so high, and her mystic core revved to full capacity, it takes barely a second for Danzo to ready herself. She takes a back-leaning, recoil-absorbing stance, crossing both wrists and clasping both arms together. The plating around her wrists splits, swivels, and clacks together, her hands recessing into the joint brace, grasping at the air. They begin to spin around one another, slowly only for a moment, before the blur into a powerful, thrumming vortex.

    Motes of pale light condense out of the air like raindrops, drawn into the whirlwind coalescing between Danzo's palms. Light is sucked into her hands on converging currents of air. Steam vents loudly through her joints to bleed off the mana-deprived, superheated atmosphere. The light becomes the wind, the wind becomes the light, and the two intermingle into a howling critical mass.

                           "Kararuki Genpou: Dongyu!"                          

    The containment around the compressed, supercharged, elemental air shatters. The wind rushes forward, projected into a surging, shrieking column of twisting air blades circling a crushing vacuum. A typhoon of invisible swords impacts head on, then swirls around the target, then implodes, crunching inward with the force necessary to make someone completely disappear, as if vanished.

Seifer Almasy has posed:
     The axe comes down as Dalamud falls. It crashes into the old man's head, splitting it open. It forces another regeneration, in the midst of dying Dalamud, another burst of blue-hot light. Will gives him no quarter, another blast of power punching straight through his chest. Reborn. Mauve's rock takes off his head in a single, massive blow. Reborn. Tomoe's holy cross drives through his heart, blasting power out the other side in a glorious blaze. Reborn. Athela stabs straight down through him hard enough to shake the ground. Reborn. The wings grow whiter each time. A frenetic, frenzied, frantic burst of flame accompanies every rebirth, slowly growing more and more white, hotter and hotter and hotter. Alruna's aether strike carves straight through him, a daughter's parting blow. Reborn. Danzo's typhoon grabs the man and crushes him into a small ball, cutting, smashing, crashing, crinkling, wrinkling, tearing him apart.

     Flames that burn full bright soon fall dark.

     The wings turn black. They crumble.

     Louisoix falls. The sheer force of the onslaught is enough to give Phoenix trouble. Louisoix is restored in another burst of fire, but the wings smoke, black and ashen and painful-looking. It does, indeed, have a limit - it is not Bahamut. It does not have the power of all Meracydia to draw upon. It does not have countless lives believing in it, filling it with suffering and belief. It is a god's power but it is still myth - living myth.

     The body is restored but the wings are stuttered. Just for an instant. Just for an instant.

     Ash falls off him. Louisoix grabs at his chest. The blaze in his eyes dies, and his face flickers, a sudden glimpse of the man.


     He's *bleeding*.



     Don't bleed.

     He looks up at the party. He smiles. "Truly..."

     "I am full glad that it was you who came for me."

     He stumbles, falling to his knees, and drawing a shaky breath. "You, Chosen of the Light. You, tool from another world. You, wanderers from distant stars."

     "I cannot..." He stumbles forward. The black wings of Phoenix are starting to regrow, but slowly, slowly. "I cannot hold my will for long. 'tis true. I looked upon the face of...of the world, and saw the suffering of these people."

     "I wanted to help them."

     "To help everyone." His eyes, that look up, are earnest and bright. He stares at the party with a smile. "Everyone deserves that peace. There is..."

     "None but innocence..."

     "In war."

     He falls to his knees again, panting. There's blood on his lips.

Lezard Valeth has posed:
    After Louisoix falls, the heartfelt words being exchanged between those present, the holograms sizzle and crackle thanks to the powers unleashed during the battle. Finally, the system overloads completely, the illusion falling to reveal the truth.

    The entire time, they fought within a spherical projection system. To one side, there is a console with controls that are currently sparking and sizzling. Beyond is an opening to the bridge of the internment hulk, which looks precisely the same as the previous. Bahamut is even seen in the distance, still hanging there surrounded by rings of power that work to restrain it while the Allagan hulks try to reconstruct its prison.

    Also something that might be apparent is that now that the hologram is gone, is a glowing, translucent form. Lezard Valeth.... But insubstantial? His hand is outstretched, a sizzling magical array burning with dire force. For some, it might look familiar.

    "How quaint. I am afraid that I will have to interrupt for a moment."

BGM: https://youtu.be/ZMUM-sXcYVk

    There is a burst of energy, and all those present might feel a pressure upon them as a wave grips at their spirit, an intangible force rolling over their souls with an oppressive weight before it passes, allowing them to breathe easier...

    But they were not the target. The burning spirit hanging over Louisoix, the seething Primal of rebirth, is. The energy clamps down around it, gripping at the Primal and ripping it out and away from Louisoix's body. The process is not kind, nor it is clean, done with all the finesse of cleaving away a gangrenous limb.

    "I had wondered when the being I sensed would make himself known. To think that it would be an old hero, a /man of learning/... who allowed himself to become possessed by a god. I am afraid that I cannot have that. So here we have it, the aether and essence of a being of life and rebirth. Whatever would the best use for this be, one wonders..."

    He smiles. "Ah, I have an idea."

    Turning, he raises his hand. "Eorzea, a land veritably /riddled/ with gods. How weak... But so be it. BEHOLD! SUFFER YOURSELVES A GOD ONCE MORE, THEN!"

    And at that, Lezard crushes the essence of Phoenix into a burning lance... And hurls it directly into the aether-consuming heart of Bahamut.

Seifer Almasy has posed:
     The tattered remains of Phoenix fly through the air, propelled by wicked wizardry towards the central core. Down scatters across the countless imprisoned dragons below, rousing them from their slumber, only for the Coil to force them back to sleep moments later. The light of the disintegrating Primal fills the ancient device. It is a beautiful and iridescent fire, flickering with colors across all the spectrum. The Primal is already dead. Its will is broken. It is falling apart.

     But it is alive enough for Lezard Valeth's dark purpose.

     The dying Primal is a lance that pierces into the center of the Coil. The field was never meant to hold two Primals. The sudden surge of radiance collapses the electrical prison. The remains of Phoenix pass through.

     Towards the slumbering form of great Bahamut.

     The vast, almighty Elder Dragon Primal is not yet whole. Though its wings could drown the world in shadow, though its maw could consume an army, though its body is near as vast as the red moon that once hung above the plains of Cartenau, it is still not hale and healthy. Vast chunks of its body are missing - parts of its arms, its entire lower torso, gouges in its chest. Its flesh was torn asunder by the very man who kneels exhausted at the feet of the party - Louisoix Leveilleur.

     Phoenix's last remaining fragments collide with Bahamut.

     The light is blinding. It is a physical force, a force of nature that shakes the world. It is being in front of a star going nova. It is standing before Vishnu as Project Trinity splits the atom. It is the unshakable light of a god being born once more. And with it comes the roar, the terrible roar, the roar that cracks the world in twain. The roar that shakes the stars from their moorings. It is a roar that brings planets to their knees. It is a roar that ensnares the souls of men seeking power and drags them into the maw of an insanity from which there can be no escape. It is not eldritch madness but obsession that draws men into that roar, the obsession with something so much greater than themselves that they know naught but to worship it, the urge to fall to their knees and beg to be lost in its radiance.

Seifer Almasy has posed:
     The light dies.

     The wings that drown the world in shadow blaze with immortal flames. Feathers drip from them like candle-wax, burning into nothing on the way down. Its maw has grown longer and more fierce, hooked as if the maw itself could now tear through the flesh of countless soldiers. Talons grow from the back of its massive hands like shredder-claws that could carve through mecha. Its back is a terrible bonfire that stretches from its head to the spectral, burning tail that joins the fire of its missing lower half.

     Its eyes open. They are filled with bright orange hate. A white-hot corona spills forth from what should be irises.

     Bahamut Phoenix is born.

     And yet it is still missing vast, massive chunks of flesh. Yet it is still missing one of its mighty claws. Yet still are its vast leathery wings, now coated with the fire of the Phoenix, torn. It is still but half a god, supported upon wings and legs of purest flame. It is not yet whole. Therein may be salvation.

     But it is whole enough to leave.

     Its roar again shakes the Allagan systems. Powers meant to contain the Elder Dragon Primal fail under the assault of its new and hateful shape. Machines overload. Lightning runs through the Coils. Sparks fly from every angle as aetheric energy burns hot and bright. Magic contorts. Aether twists.

     It rises. The calamitous Elder Dragon Primal rises into the air. It surveys the world around it. The god opens that wicked hooked maw. Power gathers in its mouth. And then, it stops. The power disperses.

     The god-monster's head tilts upwards.

     A mighty flap of its wings and another roar, and the half-broken Elder Dragon Primal punches through the ceiling of the little Allagan world, breaking through its containment and scattering the land above it. It pauses only briefly in the shadow of the moon before it shoots away, leaving the party in the middle of the cracked and dying Coil that once held it tight in its grasp.

     Bahamut flies free.

     And it flies with purpose divine.

Athela Valemore has posed:
There is a lot of cursing that could be done. A lot of yelling at Lezard for hijacking the moment of victory to use one Primal's force to awaken another.

But none of that would accomplish anything of important. So Athela is pointedly ignoring the sorcerer.

Instead she crouchs down, ignoring her own injuries to offer an arm to the weakened but amazingly alive Liousoix. "There is nothing else to be accomplished here. Let us depart this hell to prepare for the challenges to come."

Then glances over her shoulder. "Someone be sure to get Will!" She didn't forget Inga, she just figures N'Raha will take care of his 'lady friend'.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe is battered breath and looking around for more, what else could be waiting for them? It's got to be over, right? Then Lezardthere's a feeling of dread that washes away any jubilation Tomoe felt in surviving the recent fight. She doesn't even have time to react time to go for any of her downed allies she can only watch in horror. Lezard strips the primal power of Phoenix's and uses them to do something to the Primal. She looks away to not go blind but she feels a sense of fear deep down.

The roar drive it home a primal fear inside is hit, a thing that was a creature only myth when she was a child before she unified is not real in all its unholy glory. The god-monster is now free once more.

"We need to gather up and get the heck out of here."

She will help anyone who needs it but they need to get out of here.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     This is a lot of things to happen. A calamity is set loose. An old man get a second chance.

     "No!" Amelris shouts out, stepping out and ignoring the exhaustion of pushing away all his mana, staring up at the cataclysm wrecking through the Coils. "Gods damnit, Valeth!"

     There's nothing much else to do. Staring at the Dragon God leave, fury in it's veins, flying away in a wash of light. Terror will spread again.

     Amelris lowers his arms, rubbing the bridge of his nose and his eyes... At least, there is some silver lining. An old man is still alive.

     The Red Mage walks to Leveilleux, kneeling down to lend a hand down.

     "Sir, I know two twins that'll be both confused and overjoyed to see you."

Danzo Katou (7157) has posed:
    For the long spectacle, Danzo can do little but stand rigid, shielding her eyes and trying to somehow take any measurement she possibly can of the catastrophe unfolding before her. Her sensors turn up nothing. The values are maxed out. The spectrums are haywire. She struggles to peer into it to even the slightest degree, trying to catch some inkling of what has just been wrought, but as it leaves, what she does is drop to her knees, lean back, and catch her breath, pressurized gusts of steam hissing from her joints in the long, effortful process of cooling her down.

    Is it that everything that transpires is well beyond the scope of what Danzo is capable of doing anything about? Too deep into ancient lore for her to really understand? Is it that these aren't her people? That the mission is complete, and thus the rest is not her concern?

    Whatever the case, her priority is nothing but Louisoix himself. Secret ointments, balms, pastes, uncapped from bottles and bamboo tubs, readied with a canteen of water, soft cloth, and acupuncture pins. Whatever she's saying too herself, it's too quiet to be heard, all thought of Primals driven from her head, focused instead entirely on the after-battle actions of caring for the wounded man.