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 Helping the Deserters

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PostSubject: Helping the Deserters   Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:25 am


A few days had passed since Adel’s death. A few days since Lorenzo had absorbed the power of a Sorceress into himself. So far, it would seem the only change in him was that he constantly felt tired, and weak. As though he hadn’t quite yet recovered from the thrashing the power of Adel gave him when it was first introduced to his body. It would probably be months before he was at full strength again, too.

And for what? So far, he hadn’t gotten any super power, or started hearing the voice of Hyne or whatever. What good did absorbing the power honestly do him? After all, a good portion of the power escaped and found its way into some other girl anyway, so his goal of uniting Hyne again had failed no matter how you looked at it. Or, rather, it was pushed back a bit, and would take ages to get on track again; he wasn’t about to give up on his life ambition and the very core of his faith. No matter how much time it took. But, ultimately, taking on Adel was useless to him. It was more of a hindrance than anything else.

At least, that’s what he would say, if it weren’t for one simple fact. His Eyes of Hyne allow him to see sources of magical power, and ever since he obtained the ability, he had had trouble sleeping, because whenever he closed his eyes, he was met with a faint blue haze. He, himself, was a source of powerful magic, and as such, his own eyelids were affected by his magic detecting sight. And, wouldn’t you know it, ever since Lorenzo had taken on the power of Adel, whenever he closed his eyes, the light of his own eyelids, of his own hands, his own body, had become significantly more brilliant. The power within him may not have manifested itself yet, and it may be weeks, months, or years before it did. But there was absolutely no question; it WAS there. He WAS a Sorceress. Or whatever the male equivalent may have been. Messiah, maybe? Either way, he was a descendant of Hyne. A true model for his religion; a group he had named The Children of Hyne, a name that was much more fitting now than it was before.

Lorenzo sat now, on a dock in South Figaro, letting the sun and the ocean air wash over him, resting, as he had been more or less nonstop since he absorbed Sorceress Adel’s power. At that time he was part of a rag tag group of people who were hired to blow up a meteor that had landed in the area. But, once here in Vector, the team got separated, and Lorenzo learned of a great threat to humanity, and the whole world, Sorceress Adel. Despite his efforts, he was unable to stop the rest of the team from blowing up the meteor, and Adel was killed in the process, her power spreading like dust in the wind, over the entire continent. There could be tens of thousands of new Sorceresses by now. Or, perhaps only one. It was impossible to say how much of Adel’s power was in the rock of the meteor and how much was left within her physical body. But Lorenzo himself had inherited some of it, no matter where the rest of it might have gone to.

During the explosion of the meteor, Lorenzo’s clothes were blown off of him, and he had replaced them with some clothing from some of the dead Empire troops that were guarding the meteor. Or, their trousers at least. It was enough, though, that when the villagers came to investigate the explosion they did not question that he must have been a soldier who had survived the incident. Being more or less covered from head to toe in ash helped out the story a bit. Of course, by this time, K138Y and her guardians had left on Rena’s airship, and Asher had also gone on his own way, by use of his teleportation technique, leaving Lorenzo alone. It worked out for the best, however. He might have slipped into town acting like a wounded soldier, but he seriously doubted the rest of them could.

So, he had lived the last few days in South Figaro, recovering. Lorenzo had before shown a great deal of urgency, at the thought of Adel rising to power once more. Before, her tyranny threatened to destroy the world. She was the former ruler of Esthar, and though the country resisted her rule throughout, she had enough power to force a considerable portion of Esthar’s military to follow her commands, not to mention the Lunatic Pandora, a super weapon that she developed that allowed her to blow entire continents to pieces with the press of a button. So, with the world’s best technology, the world’s best military force, the world’s best magical power, and the world’s best doomsday device, she was well on her way to global domination at the time of her downfall. If she had survived the explosion, she could easily do it all over again. It’d probably even be easier the second time around, given how split this country already was.

So, Lorenzo had originally planned on leaving immediately, despite his injuries, and finding the Lunatic Pandora, to keep the super weapon out of Adel’s hands, and, if need be, use it himself to stop her. Now, though, it was not necessary. He may still seek out the weapon someday, but with Adel dead, that day could wait. He could instead focus on his original plan, building up enough funds to establish his church, and use that church as a base of operations to hunt down the remaining Sorceresses. It was a bit more important now than ever, now that he no longer had any leads as to who or where any Sorceresses could be, except perhaps the photo he had taken from the Orphanage ha had appeared in when he first arrived on this version of Gaia. But, still, he had time that he didn’t necessarily have before.

And as such, he had the time to relax, and fully prepare for departure. Plan out his next course of action. And, most importantly, recuperate from his new power and the beating it gave him. Of course, even if he wanted to leave, it wasn’t as easy as all that. Vector still had its borders closed, and with the meteor’s explosion taking out a large chunk of the Empire’s troops, there was panic among the people. Many in the empire feared that the rebel faction known as The Returners would see this explosion and assume the empire had become weak, they might strike, and as such, the Empire was on high alert, acting rather defensively, trying to rebuild. But, at the same time, they likely were under the impression that The Returners were the one’s responsible, and could also well be on the offensive, seeking out the group for revenge. And, when you are both offensive and defensive at the same time, you get panic. Right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, and all of that nonsense.

On the other hand, unbeknownst to the Empire, one of the chief members of the Returners was in the blast. They needed to recuperate a bit themselves. It also seemed that the King of Figaro, a small kingdom within the overall empire, had vanished, leaving the country without a leader or really any proper government. Lorenzo knew that the two events were not unrelated. But the general public did not. Even if they did, Lorenzo doubted it would ease the panic currently grasping the nation. It was chaos.

It had only been a few days, and it was unclear what exactly would happen to the country; who would become king of Figaro? Would the Returners make a move against the Empire? Would the Empire manage to wipe out the Returners? Lorenzo didn’t rightly care, the only question he had about Vector is what would happen to the meteorites that fell. With Adel gone, what would happen to them? Lorenzo’s theory was that they would create Sorceresses, where ever they would land. Adel wouldn’t pass on her powers to one Sorceress, but to dozens, maybe hundreds, or more… Of course, only certain people can become Sorceresses. The exact traits required are unknown, even to someone as well learned on Sorceresses as Lorenzo, but it wasn’t all that relevant at the moment anyway. To the people who were not Sorceress potential, the stones would likely be nothing more than gems. Maybe work a bit like magicite, if they worked at all.

And that was Lorenzo’s main goal; set up a headquarters, and begin hunting these stones, and/or the Sorceresses they create. Plus any other Sorceresses that may have existed prior to Adel’s death; he hadn’t forgotten the picture of the woman from the Orphanage. As he sat, sitting on the dock, whispered citizens gathered nearby, he watched the waves lap against the wooden pillars that held up the pier beneath him. It was something to do, he supposed, as he thought of how exactly he’d be getting out of here with the borders closed. But, as he sat, staring idly at the lapping water, resting in the sunlight, a bottle floated up into view, bobbing around in the slight current. Curiously, Lorenzo jumped down into the water, grabbing the bottle. Perhaps a bit unnecessary, to dive straight in like that, but there was no reason to fear the water, and the pier was too high for him to have reached the bottle otherwise.

He pulled himself ashore, with a few dirty looks form the citizens gathered around going about their business, and pulled a note from within the bottle. Of course. What else would you expect to find inside a bottle floating around in the middle of the ocean? Rum? The message itself was a rather simple one. Four words; Help. Underground river. Stranded. And then, a crudely drawn map, showing a small island in, exactly as one would expect, an underground river.

An underground river. The underground river. It was how he and the rest of the rag tag team had gotten to the meteor crash to begin with. And, like all rivers, it would eventually have to feed into the ocean, right? And, if this river had taken him, undetected, past Imperial guard once before, then surely it could do it again. Lorenzo didn’t care too much about those who were stranded, but he supposed he may as well save the poor sods, as way of thanks for giving him the solution to his dilemma. Besides, cast aways were usually generous, and he was certainly in need of some gil, as heartless as it may seem.

Although, with a security increase due to the explosion a few days back, getting inside the secret Returner’s Hideout, and from there to the tunnels, might prove to be a bit harder a task than it had been last time around. Or so he had thought. In actuality it only took a silver tongue. With the entire city, the entire country, in an uppity panic, as they were, it only took a few well-placed sentences to get the citizenry riled up. It was made especially easy given the rift between the people of the town. Half were of the mind that the Empire, being as oppressive and all-consuming as they are, had over stepped their bounds for the last time, in closing the borders and placing the country under martial law. The other half, however, were of the reverse mindset, that the empire were the only ones keeping them safe after the meteor explosion had been passed off as a terrorist attack by the rebel group. With such a major divide between the people, starting fights in the streets was not exactly difficult. And, from there, all he had to do was inform the guards in the bar of a fight outside, and slip right on in.

A bigger concern was the fact that the rafts that he and his mercenary friends had used, when hired by the Returners to blow up the meteor, were gone. The Returners, without their leader, had apparently packed up shop and moved out. Rightly so, considering how quickly the empire and moved in. Not that it mattered. It was a bit of an inconvenience, though. But, Lorenzo already had an idea of how he could get down the river. Ice magic, to freeze the water, and ride on a frozen slab, like a raft. It was as uncomfortable as anyone could possibly imagine; an icy seat in a murky river. And he’d have to keep an eye on the slab, to make sure it maintained a constant thickness, and didn’t melt right beneath his feet. But, it served its purpose. Lorenzo was soon floating along down the underground river, grateful that magical ice was stronger than the regular variety.

Where would he go, though? This ice raft of his might take him out eventually, but what then? Would he just keep drifting? The freezing temperature of salt water was quite a bit lower than that of fresh water, and it was highly unlikely he’d be able to keep up the boat out in the tropics. Though, in truth, Vector and Midgar were a bit closer together than a lot of people realized. Perhaps if he were lucky, it wouldn’t matter. Assuming of course, that the river let out on the west side of the continent. If it came out on the east side… well, that would require sailing a much further distance, east, across the international date line, and to Spira. Or perhaps Cetra, though considering the mountains of that region, it’d be difficult for Lorenzo to find a safe place to bring the ice raft ashore. Odd that he was even considering sailing to Spira like this; there was absolutely no way on Gaia he’d ever be able to maintain the ice that long. Hell, it was pushing it to think he could survive all the way to Midgar. Of course, he couldn’t really waste time thinking about it now, he still had to find a way to the ocean to begin with.

Yes, that was another issue with these underwater channels. A series of rivers, or perhaps it was all one river, just branching off in different directions, it was like a labyrinth. How could Lorenzo find the way out? True, he had been here before, but that didn’t mean he knew where the hell he was going. The tunnels wound around in several directions, and it would seem that his only real guide was this crudely drawn map. Of course, the map wasn’t leading him out. It was leading him in, to the little island where the cast aways were hidden. Still, it was something, a place in these tunnels he had not been before. It’s as good a place as any to start a search for a way out. And so it was that Lorenzo found himself relying on the old scrap of paper, to guide him through the tunnels.

It didn’t take nearly as long as Lorenzo was expecting. It was odd, really, finding the island so soon. What was more odd was that he could smell the ocean from the tunnels. But, he supposed, as he thought about it, that it honestly wasn’t all that surprising. South Figaro was a port town, and the underground tunnels led off from there, so it would make sense it’d come out to the ocean relatively close by. So why had these men not been able to manage their own way out? Especially if they had managed to get themselves stuck on the island to begin with? As Lorenzo stepped ashore the small block of land, his answer came to him.

These two were complete fucking morons. At the sight of him, the immediately began rambling to each other. “He’s the one who was with the ghost!” “But the explosion, no way he survived” “He’s a ghost too! He has to be!” “Ghost! Aaaaaah!” Lorenzo, not caring to explain himself at this time, just knocked them out, and dragged their bodies onto the ice slab. A few hours later they would wake up, but hopefully by then they’d be in Midgar, or at the very least far enough out to sea that the two wouldn’t think to cause trouble. One could never be too sure with morons, though. Worst case scenario he could just knock them out again, though Lorenzo was somewhat concerned that continued blows to the head might have a negative impact on their already questionable brains.

It was… a long and boring journey, but an easy enough one. He did have to keep casting his blizzard spell again and again, to keep them afloat, and at one point he even had to use his inner power to keep up the spell. But once he did, he had more than enough magical power to keep the ice solid and sturdy the entire trip. What was more difficult than actually getting there, was staying awake for the trip. Lorenzo had to struggle to keep on his feet as he stumbled onto the Midgar shores, lugging the two morons onto the land. He wasn’t quite sure where he was in Midgar, but it doesn’t rightly matter, as Midgar’s borders weren’t closed down. Plus, with their technology, getting from Midgar city or Junon, to pretty much anywhere else, would be an easy matter. He sighed, exhausted, but he couldn’t rest just yet. What if these two buffoons woke up and decided to go ghost busters on his ass, he’d be too tired to fight back. So, looting what little gil they had on them, Lorenzo instead began a long march inland, to put some distance between him and those he had saved, before stopping to rest.


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PostSubject: Re: Helping the Deserters   Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:14 am

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