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Posted: Jun 27 2008, 11:08 AM
Member No.: 99
Joined: 31-December 04
Time: 6 months after the conclusion of the triad war
Location: Fube Sands
Theme: Boss Battle - SoA
Even for the Dead Desert, it was an unfortunately still night. Neither scorpid, Antlion, nor Panther stirred from their nests in the tar-black Fube Sands. Fube LeCruset wondered at this as she and her human pilot flew low over the dunes, sent yet again to recover some damned artifact or another from the obsidian ruins of Spire. Just now they were passing over Monument, a now-abandoned VCAD base. After the war, that clan had not faired well, despite the return of Locke to the captain's chair. Locke's depression at the return of his wife to her own realm had saddened him and the troops in equal measure.
Now, only rare missions where the STRIKER team were sent in existed for that clan. Fube had turned down a position of authority in the College of Judges after the war, becoming the only VCAD officer offered a post to do so. So it was that her team was green recruits.
So it was that Fube LeCruset's hand was constantly forced.
"Major, we're approaching the spire ruins now. They should be just over this ridge."
Fube glanced out the windshield. As they passed, she ordered the pilot to ease down the nose, giving her a clear view of... nothing.
"God dammit, Lars!" she shouted, taking the co-pilot's seat (and shoving the unfortunate co-pilot into the cabin, "Can you even read a map?!"
"With all due respect major, it's possible the ruins are now underground. The dunes might have shifted."
All at once, there was a great rumbling, and the airship went silent, listing slightly to port as it went into a spiral dive. Fube smirked slightly, "Great. What the hell else could go wrong?"
The resultant crash killed the pilot before he could answer, and before Fube had regained consciousness, her and the rest of the team were consumed in a great explosion. But this blast was more than flame.
For some inexplicable reason, the very mana of those aboard had combusted.
The rumbling noise grew, and the clouds above the sands parted. High in the sky, above the clouds but below the stars, something was falling. Something large, wreathed in orange flame, was falling very, very fast. The object collided with the ground almost exactly where Spire had once stood, the heat and force turning the sand for miles around it to glass. Now only the frame of the airship remained, a glob of half-melted mythril twisted and bent out of shape. Not even the swords the soldiers had carried testified to their previous positions.
As the sky cooled and the moonlight once again took dominance, the object could be made out as a huge monolith of red crystal. For a moment, it seemed very still, until portals in it's faces seemed to open. A liquid oozed out of these portals, coating the monolith in a perfect film, which became green and metallic as it hardened. Then, living crystal grew through the glassed sands, at first red, but later green by the same mechanism. Soon, several smaller towers joined the first. The portals became true holes in the crystal.
A dark figure could be seen standing by one of these portals, before jumping out. Apparently winged, he flew off to the north, toward Midgar and it's Clocktower.
Posted: Jul 3 2008, 07:00 AM
Member No.: 99
Joined: 31-December 04
~Three Days Later~
Theme: Silence - FM3
With a final sigh of fatigue, the winged being from before turned slightly sideways, landing a few meters down a hallway before continuing on foot. For a moment, he simply stood there, leaning slightly against the wall and watching sparks play in the core of the crystal, the red layer just below the green coating. After he'd regained his breath, he sighed again, and started down the hallway. In the center of this particular spire was a deep shaft, down which he dropped, simply spreading his wings and giving the odd flap every now and then to slow his fall until he reached the bottom.
This area was now deep underground, and had been the first to make impact with it, resulting in some hairline cracking of the walls and destruction of some of the more delicate decorative carving. He pulled the book out from under his arm, flipping it at once open, and laying it on the ground before him.
"Pasokon." he said, to the building itself, "Moshiageru."
There was a ring from somewhere, and part of the floor opened. A new crystal joined the room, hovering above the ground as the floor closed behind it. Unlike all the others, this one was clear like diamond, making it possible to see the strange figure trapped inside.
He lifted the book up again. It was time to unleash the mistress.
Recon Team Three, as it happened, was a three man team in light strike aircraft, who had been sent to follow up on STRIKER. This team was under the leadership of one of the best combat pilots VCAD had ever trained, Lance Corporal Benjamin Powell. Ben, much like Locke, under whom he had trained directly, could pilot anything from the small fighter he was in now all the way up to a capital warship without so much as a refresher. Controlling machines was second-nature to him.
"Okay guys, we're approaching the last known position... what the hell is that?" Ben spotted the crystal palace, "... ****, uh, okay, bank left and follow me. Hold this distance from the structure."
The group curved in the air in response, taking a circular path around the complex structure of crystals.
"Lance, what is this?"
"... I'm not really sure, Larry." Ben answered, tilting himself so he could see out the canopy at the buildings, "... I can see wreckage on the ground. Looks like the frame of a troop transport, only...."
"... It's trapped in the crystal." With a sigh, he leveled out, and continued to fly straight, "All right, I've seen enough. Let's head back and make our-"
He heard a scream, and the floating image of the head of the pilot which was flying to his left vanished from it's spot over the dash.
"****, we're under attack. Pattern alpha, go!"
They curved to fly directly away from the tower they had just passed, and in that moment, his other wingman was struck down, too. Then came a jolt, and suddenly he was in a nose-dive himself.
"... Not here, and not today." he gripped the crystal around his neck, just as he impacted the ground.
Hundreds if not thousands of miles away, in a barracks at The Workshop, a yellow crystal embedded into a scroll suddenly lit up. Two days later, when Locke finally conceded that RT3 was dead, this scroll would be later found by him.
VCAD had, through the forethought of a single soldier, obtained their first MURAP "pilot" soul.