Gaiea stopped and looked back. "Quake spells are too noticeable. Not to mention that if Firaga won't work, the fence might have something to say about any magic...even in a certain vicinity of it. Do we really want to risk finding out and drawing attention to ourselves?" And letting the other group get to the Emerald first...provided nothing happens to them.
/Bitter, aren't we/
She blinked slowly, an old habit. "The Estharian soldiers have to be coming out of the fence somewhere, and chances are, it's NOT that 'hidden elevator', because then it wouldn't be hidden. Why don't we just skirt the fence until we find it, lie in wait, and ambush some soldiers? Well enough away from the fence and any cameras, of course."
Then she smiled wryly. "I'm sure we're all in the mood for a fight anyway."
Blaze wiped Rika's water spell off on her pants and stared into the distance as the heat of her firaga spell faded away. Something was over there, she could feel it.
"If magic and physical force don't work on this thing, then we really have no choice but to sneak into an opening now do we?" She replied to Gaiea's suggestion.
Gaiea smiled,"I'm sure we're all in the mood for a fight anyway."
"Ambush soldiers eh? How bout that guy?" Blaze asked, pointing to something moving in the distance. A small ball of green began to radiate from Blaze's hand as she started to conjure an ultima spell. "Should we attack him now or later?" She asked eagerly.
"Wait!" Zacke ordered Blaze. "Let's not get all brash and do something stupid, Blaze. We don't even know who that guy is. Or if it's even a guy."
"As for ambushing soldiers, yeah, it's an idea. It could work. But before we go cracking skulls, I'd like to point out that any Estharian soldiers coming out of Esthar would most likely be in an airship. Especially this far out. Do you realize how far it is from the city to that fence? And they'd have to cross the desert, too."
He turned and gestured to the figure Blaze seemed so eager to attack. "That person--whoever it is--has a good reason for being out here alone. And if we can see him, he can damn well see us."
"Wait!" Zacke ordered. Blaze was caught by surprise and her green ball of Ultima faded away. "Let's not get all brash and do something stupid, Blaze. We don't even know who that guy is. Or if it's even a guy"
Blaze narrowed her jade eyes and the ball of magic in her hand grew again. "Well, Zacke, I'd say that judging from my years of practice with perception that it is indeed a human, though I cannot figure out whether it is male or female." All of the team was staring at that strange object as it stumbled around in the dirt. "What the hell IS that thing?" Blaze asked after a moment's silence, her Ultima spell almost as large as her fist.
"That person--whoever it is--has a good reason for being out here alone. And if we can see him, he can damn well see us." Zacke said seriously.
"I doubt it." Blaze goggled. "It looks too drunk to be able to stand upright, how can it see us? well..... I'm going to attack it, my ultima spell won't be able to do much more damage than a rock from this distance." She chucked the glowing spell at the figure and it whacked him right in the head. A loud 'thunk' sound was heard as if the head were hollow but the figure was still left standing although it seemed to barely stand up. Blaze frowned.
"Well the spell was bound not to do much, he's too far away." Blaze reasoned, for she was sure she'd caused damage. Two balls of green were in her fists now, and she threw one basketball shaped one after another, each hitting the dark figure in the head. Still, the figure did not fall. Blaze's breathing began to get heavier. When she attacked people, they fell. There was no exception.
"DIE!!!" She yelled, infuriated.Holding the palms of her hands far apart, she started conjuring a full firaga spell since small doses of Ultima were not working. Then, without warning, she began to run towards the drunken figure to injure him as best as she could.
"Well the spell was bound not to do much, he's too far away." Blaze commented, two balls of glowing energy on each fist. Zacke's eyes wavered from the Ultima spells to the figure. "Blaze, I don't think you should--"
"DIE!!!" She screamed furiously, causing him to wince. She set off at a run for the figure, a Firaga spell gathering at her outstretched palms.
"Fvcking hell Blaze!!!" Zacke yelled, trailing after her. "Couldn't resist violence, could you?!?!?"
She was a fast runner. By the time he caught up with her they were only maybe twenty yards from the figure. It was obviously a man.
Zacke--without thinking--flung his arm out and grabbed Blaze by the arm in a wild attempt to slow her. Searing pain shot through his hand as he stumbled forward, determined to keep ahold of her.
"LET GO!!" she roared, ripping her arm from his grasp.
"ARGH!!" Zacke yelled in frustration, regaining his footing and running after her. He watched as Blaze raised her arms to bring the spell down on the man, who was staggering around so badly his hair hung in his face and his arms fell limp at his sides.
"BLAZE YOU DON'T KNOW WHO---" Zacke roared, just as the Firaga enveloped the man, his clothes bursting into flame. The man screeched in pain, his staggered walk becoming sloppy and panicked. His arms flew up above his head just before he stumbled to the thin slushy snow below.
Zacke slowed to a halt, taking a few steps back as the flaming man fell to the ground. He glanced at Blaze, panicked, then back to the man. Finally Zacke caught a glimpse of the man's face. He almost couldn't believe what he saw. "HOLY FVCK BLAZE THAT'S TERRY!!!" Zacke stifled a laugh, his hand over his mouth as more of the group came up to the scene.
Zacke grabbed Blaze by the shoulders and shoved her forward, toward the simmering mute. "Put it out you psycho!!! Roll him in the snow!!" the grin never left his face.
Blaze's eyes blurred red as she ran towards the idiot who would not die. Fire was enveloping from her palms and she was running so fast that she almost caught her own hair on fire.
"Fvcking hell Blaze!!!" Someone yelled and she was yanked backwards. "Couldn't resist violence, could you?!?!?" Zacke's face shoved into hers, flushed from running.
"LET GO!!" Blaze roared and yanked herself away from Zacke's grasp. White hot wisps of flame were dangerously close to encasing them both with burns.
"ARGH!!" Zacke winced as Blaze twisted away and started running as fast as before until she was standing only a few inches from the figure who was now identified as a man.
"BLAZE YOU DON'T KNOW WHO---"
"SHUT UP!!!" Blaze screamed and lit the man on fire. His body went up in flames faster than Blaze had expected and he withered and screamed in pain. She winced, not out of pity, but at the sound of his voice. It sounded oddly familiar. But who--
"HOLY FVCK BLAZE THAT'S TERRY!!!" Zacke gasped and held his hand over his mouth. Blaze's mouth gaped open at what she had just did to who.
"WHA--!" She started to say. Then Zacke started to smile, his grin a lot larger than it normally was.
"Put it out you psycho!!! Roll him in the snow!!" He insisted and shoved her foward as Blaze tried her best not to howl with laughter at the poor man's pitious condition. he was suffering 3rd degree burns at least and but Blaze's eyes were tearing from laughter too much to notice.
"I have water... hold sti--.. hold still Terry! Just ho-" She said and began to cast water when Terry bumped into her. She acidentally casted pain instead of water. "OH CRUD!!" She stopped short as Terry beame blinded, posioned and silenced all at once. She began to panick.
"Oh crap.. i think I'm gonna kill him. someone cast esuna or something.. or water!! i can't get at him!" She pointed to the ball of flame with numerous status effects weakening him.
Zacke let out a laugh as the Pain spell caused various status ailments on the Terry bonfire.
"Oh crap.. I think I'm gonna kill him. someone cast esuna or something.. or water!! I can't get at him!" Blaze screamed, pointing at Terry.
Zacke ran forward and planted a black combat boot into Terry's back, sending him rolling over three or four times. "Don't worry Terry!! You'll be alright!!!" he yelled, grinning. He swung his leg back and kicked again, this time straight into Terry groin.
/Zacke don't make it worse for him!!/
His eyes widened as he realized where he'd hit. Terry's hands flew down to his crotch and his mouth opened in silent pain as he rolled over twice. "Dude I SO didn't mean to kick you there!! I just want to get this fire out!!"
/Zacke! How can you be so cruel?! This man is dying!/ Iris roared in his mind.
He deserves it Iris! He doesn't do sh!t for this team!! If he isn't willing to help us, how can he expect sympathy?!
/No man deserves this, Zacke./
By now the fire was mostly dead. Terry's clothes were ripped and burned in so many places you couldn't call them clothes anymore. His hair was singed down so it was at least three or four inches shorter than before. His face was disgustingly black with splotches of blood. He let out a silent cough.
No, Iris. Terry stayed on the ship when he should have gone with his team. He deserves every bit.
Zacke turned to Blaze. "So, Ms. Perception Training, are you pleased with yourself?" he stated, using all the willpower he had not to crack a smile.
Rika gasped loudly and sprinted after Zacke and Blaze. Her fire spell had gone out, and the wind whipped at her. She flinched at every blow Terry took from them, and when she was able to reach him, he was badly burned, and parts of him were still on fire.
Rika felt a tugging at the back of her mind; her Guardian was silently communicating with her. "I can't just leave him here to die," she whispered. But Tempest tacitly reminded her of why Blaze and Zacke beat him, then faded back into her subconscious.
After a moment of deliberation, Rika began spellcasting. "Esuna... Water... Curaga... Regen..." She wasn't sure if she would be able to keep him from dying, but there was no way that she would sit back and not do anything.
"Hyne-damned monsters..." Rika muttered under her breath. She then sighed and continued to cast Cure on the seriously injured areas of Terry's body.
Rika then addressed Blaze and Zacke. "Guys, I know he doesn't exactly deserve this healing... but beating the living sh.it out of him is pretty bad compared to what he did to us. I suggest we leave him here now to his own devices, and just keep moving; let's not waste any more time here... But then again, what do I know? Evidently, your actions determine this group's course of action. So, what next?" She couldn't help but start to lose respect for the two of them; they took the matter into their own hands and beat Terry like a pair of savages.
Maybe I'm the only one that feels this way... I'm sure Blaze will have some sort of snappy comeback for me, but I can't just sit here like a dummy. We're all equal in this mission, and there's no saying whose word overrules whose. I'll be damned if my actions and opinions don't count for something.
"Yes, that is the question isn't it, Rika. What has he done for us? Half the time nobody even knows where he is. At one point, he'll be standing there, then the next he's faded into the shadows only to pop up a few hours later and start to cry. He can jump 25 feet up into the air for Hyne's sake! What normal human being can do that? Sometimes I do wonder whether he is human or not." She said icily as Terry whimpered in the snow from Zacke's brutal attacks.
"And he may have been the reason why Aly is dead but I have no knowledge of how that happened, since I was with Tomoe at the time." Blaze said to Colum, ignoring Terry's condition. "He didn't even choose a side to travel with. He just stayed in the ship like a coward-." She stopped short as a sudden realization of Terry staying in the ship hit her.
"He... he stayed in the ship... Then how.. why... how the hell did he get out here so fast? He was back at the ship where we left him! Why is he out here?" She bent down and lowered her face to Terry's. "Why are you out here? There's no way you could have walked here that fast. How did you get into the condition you were in before we found you? What.... what have you done with the Lady Luck?" She started to panick. Flying the ship was the only way he could have gotten out here so fast, but where was the ship? It was nowhere in sight. She looked to Terry for answers but he had fallen unconcious.
"Why are you out here? There's no way you could have walked here that fast. How did you get into the condition you were in before we found you? What.... what have you done with the Lady Luck?" Blaze's voice began to rise with her panic and she stared at Wildwish, but the man had fallen unconscious--or at least, he looked like he was unconscious. He was beaten and battered, and something inside Tomoe faltered at the sight of him, just a little.
"Can't you see he's unconscious?! For Hyne's sake, Sanaku, you're always like this! Beat them halfway to death first, ask questions later. Great place it's gotten you, hasn't it?!" Tomoe started at the sound of her own voice. It was sharp, biting and angry. She was even more surprised when she continued, "And maybe the only reason the man didn't take sides was because he was sick and tired of all the godd*mned fighting some people were doing before we all split up!! Come to think of it, so was I!"
Omigod! What am I doing?!
"Hey! Settle down!" Wolfe stepped into the fray, almost uneasily, grabbing Tomoe's shoulder. "Can we not start this again?! Hello? Remember the mission, people!! Resume the bickering after we get the Emerald and get our asses out of this danger zone! Enemy territory!"
Tomoe pushed Wolfe's hand from her shoulder and turned away, hands clenched. ".....Fine. I'm sorry for my outburst," she said quietly.
But I'm not sorry for saying how I feel about how undone this entire thing has become.
Zacke frowned, watching Wolfe calm Tomoe down. Is the entire team warped?! Why are we all of the sudden criminals?!
".....Fine. I'm sorry for my outburst," Tomoe said quietly.
Zacke, in total disregard for Wolfe's previous words, fired up the arguement again. "Hey, I wasn't beating him okay people?! If you hadn't noticed, he. was. on. fire." he stated, angry with the way everyone was harping on him and Blaze. "Forgive me for not wanting to kneel down and roll him gently with my hands while his body was engulfed in flames."
/Zacke just stop, this isn't getting us anywhere./ Iris begged.
"And Blaze," he gestured to Blaze, ignoring his GF. "Yeah, Blaze was brash, Blaze DID purposely hurt him, before she knew who he WAS." he said. "And she tried to put out the fire too!! She just got her spells mixed up, she was meaning to cast Water on him." he let his hand drop.
He addressed them all, but his next words--in truth--were meant for Tomoe. "Terry is in SeeD. Terry is a big boy now. If a little bickering amongst us is going to make him hide in the ship, I don't think he needs to be on this mission."
"Terry is in SeeD. Terry is a big boy now. If a little bickering amongst us is going to make him hide in the ship, I don't think he needs to be on this mission."
Tomoe forced down resentment--what good would it do, anyway?--and said nothing more. She nodded slightly, backing out of the argument, and headed after the other team member who had just left, Colum O'Donahue. .....Alright....if you say so, Zacke.....
She glanced back over her shoulder, at Wildwish's limp form. I'm never gonna get a chance to thank you now.....
It was taking Wolfe immense self-control not to go insane. Truly. The fighting was just unbelievable, and they wouldn't even stop. Like a bunch of prepubescent kids or something!!! They couldn't just leave it at that, could they?
/Well, apparently not,/ Athena answered.
I'm gonna go nuts. If they don't stop this soon, I'm heading straight into Esthar and beg them to throw me in jail. Anything but this. Wolfe grit his teeth and spoke, trying not to let the atmosphere get to him.
"Alright, now that we've got that settled, can we pretty please just get on with this? It's friggin' cold out here and we're not doing anything. The other team must be miles ahead--hell, they could be in Esthar as we speak!" He glanced around at the remaining groupd members. "So shall be getting on?"
Zacke cast a brief glance at the form of Tomoe, following after Colum, looking none too pleased. A strange emotion overcame him, hitting him hard. He was not regretful of his words, he meant everyone one of them. He was not regretful of saying them aloud, in his opinion they needed to be heard. His gaze wandered to the ground.
/Couldn't just keep your mouth shut. No, that would have been too decent, too mature for the almighty King Zacke Mercutio./ Iris sneered.
Zacke clenched his jaw. There's nothing wrong with sharing your opinion.
/There's also nothing wrong with swallowing your anger and doing whats best for the team you belong to./ Iris scolded.
Zacke's gaze traveled to Terry's limp form. He was still breathing. Shallow, quick breaths, but breathing nonetheless.
He would not feel sorry for the man. He couldn't. Terry had never gone the extra mile for the team. It had never seemed like he was even interested in just completing the mission. All he ever concerned himself with was everyone's feelings, always wanting to make friends and be happy. Isn't what SeeD is about.
/You're acting like a little boy. Did you even think about the words before saying them, and what they could mean to people you claim to care about?!/
I do care, Iris. But I will not apologize when I did nothing wrong! he thought, furiously. He unjunctioned his GF.
He avoided looking the direction Tomoe left. "He isn't dead." Zacke said, quietly and in monotone, approaching the mute. "Someone will need to carry him." he took a deep breath and knelt down to Terry.
"Alright," he started, gaze still steady on Terry. "We take him as far as the city. We can leave him in a hospital and finish our mission. Garden should pay for all hospitalization." he straightened and turned.
"Since me and Blaze are the criminals, I'm assuming it's our responsibility to carry him, hmm?" he glanced around. His gaze moved to Blaze, waiting for her reaction.
"Since me and Blaze are the criminals, I'm assuming it's our responsibility to carry him, hmm?" Zacke asked, directing his attention towards Blaze.
"I'm not carrying him unless he does something useful for this team. As much as I hate to admit it, you're right. Terry is a seeD, and seeDs should contribute to their mission. We're all willing to die for the safety of the emerald, it's what we signed up for." She paused.
"So he's our responsibility, eh? Well, if Zacke and I have to carry him- then Zacke and I get to decide what to do with him when certain circumstances occur. Like meeting a few friendly Estharian soliders. Nothing would make better bait than a beat up hobo to distract them." Blaze smirked.
Gaiea watched the madness unfold, silently. At least we're closer to the fence... Her gaze moved to the laughing Colum and Sym, and she rolled her eyes. "I hate to be serious about the mission, but if you two could stop snogging in the snow like a couple of fifteen year olds, maybe we could get on with the mission?"
She sidled up to Rika and gave her a sidelong glance, before hunching her shoulders against the cold and continuing forward.
Kyou watched Rika do her best to heal Terry's wounds, before wrapping his arm around her and starting after Gaiea.
"I'm starting to wonder why I ever became SeeD," he murmured to Rika in a low voice.