Protectors of the Crystals, a Final Fantasy RP (Dead)

UnusualStranger

Keep a hat handy
Jan 23, 2010
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Roderic couldn't help at the overall usefulness of Dagon. Making tons of noise, doing tons of damage, and making an absolute show in the process made it so that he could do what he did best...find where it could be hurt the most. He might not be heavily equipped, but that was because he didn't need that. A knife to the head was still a knife to the head, whatever you were....or in this case, a knife to the hoses. Those didn't look quite as sturdy as the rest of this large thing. Roderic grinned, rolling out from his cover to start sprinting to the other side, pulling out knives as he did so.

I bet generally these wouldn't be too big of a problem when you can just face one direction with all that metal up front and fire. Not so much when someone gets behind you with a bit of range, some good aim, and some sharp objects.

Roderic began his flurry, drawing out one knife after another and flinging them towards any hose that he could see. While some didn't strike much more than the metal, uselessly clattering against the steel frame, others found the more juicy target of the hoses themselves. Some landed in with a clear cut, while others simply sliced past the hose. Roderic couldn't help but notice some wires and hoses connecting to particular parts on the arms, and made a few throws at those as well.

By the time Roderic had jumped back into cover on the other side, he had thrown a majority of the knives he had been collecting before from the fallen, but many of them peppered the vital connections in the back.

"HEY! If you need a damn target, I have them pretty well marked in the back!" Roderic shouted, hoping the message got across to the others.
 

Doc Gnosis

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The Black Mage could hear the creaking and cracking of the ice against the construct?s metallic feet, against the heartbeat the tower pulsated. There was shouting from all sides and obvious clanging of metal against metal; the Yuke sounded especially active amongst his allies. He peered his head out of the cover and saw the status of the mech. His eyes saw its plating being superficially damaged, but now he noticed a hole from his cover; on the left side on the torso, small but clear. A glint showed in his eye beneath the mask.

"There's a hole in its torso!" The Fat Bird shouted. "Look for it on its left!"

In the meantime he took Roderic's advice and crawled as close as he could behind the construct as cover would allow.He noticed no clear target but saw small puddles of some fluid on the floor behind it, and what looked like vapor trails from its back. Useful to know but the Black Mage was unsure of where it came from. In spite of keeping itself covered, it emerged from cover to get a closer look. He could see Roderic's presumed handiwork and what that mystery gas and fluid may be.

The fluid may be a type of lubricant that's keeping its joints from creaking and doing damage to itself; useful to know and should the enemy exert itself it could perhaps damage itself in its attempts to target the party. But the gases caught the Black Mage's interest more than the liquid. The vapors - he posited - may be a residue of the mana powering the construct; either that or the power source itself drawing loose with its enclosure ruptured. That presented an idea: if the vapor was indeed mana or even flammable, a spell could cause a chain reaction inside the mech from the free vapors to where they hissed from. Best case scenario would be that the fire exhausts its full mana supply for the time being. Assuming of course that it was flammable. Only one way to find out.

The Black Mage with rod pointed in the back shot a spell of Fire. The plume of fire burst from the construct?s rear. He immediately ran back into cover, moving to a further table in case the mechanical enemy saw him.
 

SkyeNeko

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Dec 30, 2010
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Being one of the last ones up ensured Lilianna didn't have time to do more than receive orders before it was go time part two. Dagon was useful in his purpose as a distraction, making her job easier.

She tried to come up with something better than "hit it till it goes down", looking for any obvious weak points. Her mace would do a good job of poking holes in it's armor to make weak points for her less offensive teammates, she supposed, and that would count for something.

As the machine followed Dagon around one side, get frozen to the ground, she was given a good opening. Lilianna also noticed the growing number of holes the Elezen was making in the things back. Hope he doesn't mind losing those, she thought. At the next opening Lilianna aimed at one of the knives, using her mace like a hammer. She drove the knifes deeper, expanding 2 inch punctures to large gaps punched through it's armor.

Just as she had started getting the hang of it, there was a burst of fire awfully close to where she was. Lilianna quickly dropped rip the floor, using her wings to cover her flammable clothing.
 

Redlin5_v1legacy

Better Red than Dead
Aug 5, 2009
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With all the tables being flipped up at Mira's order, Gerhard decided to slide in beside their Ranger. No sooner had he caught his breath than he heard the giant smashing of stone crumbling as the Overseer made its way through.

"Resistance is pointless. Die. For the Empire."

That gun arm has got to be slowed down... Hopefully the others can bring it down.

Gerhard brought the full fury of the Blizzard spell and channeled it out of his hands directly at the feed mechanism of the giant guns. He couldn't keep it completely frozen however and occasionally the guns would slam another burst of shells out of the barrels before it would seize up again. It was if it was warming up to combat his tactic.

"Someone has got to knock that arm off entirely, I can't keep this up forever and it seems to be heating up the guns!" he shouted out to anyone within earshot.

It wasn't horrible yet but the side effect of constant Blizzard casting began to spread across his entire body, almost making him feel like a statue. The sensation would eventually break his concentration and he would feel numb for hours. Still, he had plenty of mana left ready to use and this thing was far from beaten.

Just keep that gun under control Gerhard... Come on...

They were all throwing themselves at it now. Someone had to find the weakness or they were all going to die here.
 

PrinceOfShapeir

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The Overseer shuddered as it was bonbarded from all sides, bullets and blades, flames and ice smashing against it, tearing the plates asunder. "Tactical situation untenable. Initiate withdrawal. Error. Initiate reinforce. Error. Initiate self destruct. Error. Initiate mana overload."

The overseer went very still and the light died. Mira yanked her spear free of a notch in the armor. "Mages, that sounds really bad."

The subtle heartbeat of the tower stopped, then began anew, rapidly gaining speed and volume until it was a deafening xonstant pounding, growing more erratic. "Damn the analysis! Run like Hell!" She pointed up the shaft. "Run to the roof! Mages, as soon as you get up there begin firing sequential fireballs and lightning bolts, that's the signal. Go! Run!"

Mira stayed at the back of the group, waiting for all eight to go before following.
 

Mr. Omega

ANTI-LIFE JUSTIFIES MY HATE!
Jul 1, 2010
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The bombardment had finally proven too much for the machine, and Dagon jumped back as it started malfunctioning.

"Tactical situation untenable. Initiate withdrawal. Error. Initiate reinforce. Error."

"HAHA! Such is the fate of all who dare defy DIVINE FURY!" Dagon said, striking a triumphant pose.

"Initiate self destruct. Error. Initiate mana overload."

"[sub][sub]Well that's not good...[/sub][/sub]" He whispered, turning around once Mira gave his orders, going back to his more boisterous manner. "Of course! I shall get the mages to the top! Or at least one!" he grabbed the closest mage to him, Gerhard, and started sprinting up the tower as fast as he could. "You are skilled enough and seem lighter than the large avian mage! Pardon the grasp, but you are needed! AWAY!" Dagon shouted as he got up the stairs.
 

Lambi

Yuki-Onna
Oct 20, 2009
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Well, the giant machine was now destroyed. But not without new problems, this time testing her leg muscles. "Oh dear..." was all she could say before Mira gave her orders. She didn't need to say it twice to Yuria who has already sheathed her sword and started running as fast as she could, taking Vaila's hand and running up the stairs with her in tow.
 

UnusualStranger

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Jan 23, 2010
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As the machine shuddered and groaned, Roderic had stepped back out of cover once again to grab some of the knives he had been throwing which had been less than accurate. As he started his quick collection and the thing began to fall apart, Roderic couldn't help but hear the next words which were...less than grand.

"Tactical situation untenable. Initiate withdrawal. Error. Initiate reinforce. Error. Initiate self destruct. Error. Initiate mana overload."

"Hmph. Damned thing. I'll be taking a souvenir though, you damned piece of junk." Roderic muttered, and grabbed a few knives, as well as a few odd bits of the machine which had apparently fallen off. Some were etched with some odd symbols and designs, but tossing them into a quick bag, Roderic was happy with his prize and started running.

"Damned things don't know how to die quietly any more!" Roderic said as he started running after the few mages. He knew he couldn't do like Dagon was doing and carry someone, but he knew that he wouldn't have to worry about falling behind, figuring as he packed the lightest of them all. Catching up rather quickly at a dead sprint, he met up with Dagon, carrying one of the mages in a less than graceful fashion.

"Hey Dagon, whenever we go somewhere you seem to carry some mages! It some kind of bad habit or something?" Roderic said with a laugh as he made his way up to the ladder that had gotten them down there in the first place. Tossing the trap door open, Roderic jumped out with a quick glance. Seems they were clear for the moment...
 

SkyeNeko

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Dec 30, 2010
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Lilianna scrambled to her feet as the machine's inner workings ground to a stop. Mira's orders snapped her back to attention, as well as everyone else it seemed. The knight scoffed at the Elezen, who had started to collect his knives again, as well as some trash, but he was gone in a blink. Lilianna nodded to her sister before booking it herself.

The stairs seemed so much longer on the way up, but in no time at all she was up the ladder, climbing out into the night. Hopefully, whatever monsters there were earlier had dispersed, and the ship was intact and in position to pick them up. Otherwise, well, Lilianna could maybe get to the ground with one.
 

wilcoblackflame

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Mar 15, 2012
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It all seemed a blur. The opposing forces, revealed to be enslaved. The bizarre suicide of white mage. The mention of an Empire. The unstable feedback of the tower causing havoc to those who cast. The caretaker, this...Cristof. The revelation of an army. The metal titan..

Vaila hadn't done much as this all had gone on, aside from distributing bits and pieces of white magic when (relatively) safe to do so. But those moments had past now.

Now, she was ascending back up the tower hand in hand with Yuria, as fast as they could go. She was certain that her fellow mages would be forming similar conclusions about the impending "Mana Overload" of the failing overseer. They had to get out of here and back on the airship as soon as possible. Best case scenario if they didn't? They'd be killed instantly. This much mana would go off violently and if they were still here the most they could reasonably hope for was to be vaporised. Worst case scenario? The mana charge would cause a cascading reaction through the myriad of runes and turn the entire area into a volitile storm of effectively wild magic, which could leave them wishing they were dead.

She didn't say any of this aloud. She didn't need to. Any mage would no doubt have similar thoughts and it was regardless breath she could not afford to waste right now.
 

Doc Gnosis

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The combined efforts proved successful and the large construct was battered beyond repair. The Black Mage felt comfortable enough to emerge from his cover to get a closer look at the wreckage their foe left. But whatever plan he had - or their mission for that matter - were shafted as the machine inputted its last commands. Another infernal hum reached his ears and his body was shaking from the rapid pulsations the tower was giving.

If what the Black Mage posited was true, then the entire structure would be dense with mana like the stairwell from before - possibly more saturated if the construct had control of this facility. The group had already witnessed the instability of magic in this environment, and the magic users would note the increase in mana soon and make the connection. It would be like the lightning discharge the white mage triggered, but at a much larger scale. The construct in this case was providing the trigger, whatever that may be.

At best the following discharge could demolish the entire structure, taking the stockpile and as many foes with it; at worst it would only increase the vigil of the foes that remain. Either way it was time to make as much distance between him and the resulting explosion as possible. He holstered his rod and made haste.

A second hum pierced his ears as he made his progress; behind his mask the Black Mage?s facial muscles twitched and he clenched his teeth at the noise. A short, primal bleat escaped his mouth from the pain. The Black Mage hoped that the resulting damage would end this infernal noise.
 

NeoAC

Zombie Nation #LetsRise
Jun 9, 2008
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It seemed everything was going fine. The robot was staggering, then dropping. Everyone seemed to be competently taking their own pot shots at the machine and it was going well. Rowen was actually feeling confident in the capabilities of the people around him. Then the robot had to go and muck it all up.

"Tactical situation untenable. Initiate withdrawal. Error. Initiate reinforce. Error. Initiate self destruct."

Oh fuck.

"Error."

Whew!

"Initiate mana overload..."

"Aw hell!" Content that cover would no longer be needed, Rowen got up to see the other people making a run for it out the door. He moved to try and keep pace but he was not built for on the move combat. Hell, his coat was almost his own worst enemy, getting temporarily snagged on on of the splintered tables before coming loose with a tug. Fucking hell! What kind of place is this where everyone and everything is so eager to kill itself! There was no time to think about it as he pressed on, the ache in his head starting to return as the party progressed higher in the tower.
 

Redlin5_v1legacy

Better Red than Dead
Aug 5, 2009
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"Tactical situation untenable. Initiate withdrawal."

Finally! This stupid hunk of junk is feeling it!

"Error. Initiate reinforce. Error. Initiate self destruct. Error. Initiate mana overload."

.......................shit

"Damn the analysis! Run like Hell!" said Mira, bounding to the other side of the room away from the hunk of metal.

This overseer construct had done something to the tower and a quick glance at the faces of the other mage's expressions was enough to confirm how Gerhard felt. The magic bottled up here was about to erupt and they would not survive even the slightest exposure to something so raw and concentrated. Within himself Gerhard felt his heart tremor with the magical pulses.

"Mages, as soon as you get up there begin firing sequential fireballs and lightning bolts, that's the signal. Go! Run!"

"NO ARGUMENTS HERE!" shouted Gerhard, making his way to the stairs.

Let's hope that airship of her's is just circling around for us an- WHAT THE HELL?

Before he had even made it out of the room he had been hauled up and over by Dagon for a second time.

"For the love of the crystals, don't hold me like that you pious carouser! I'll set you ablaze if you do this to me again!!!"

It was infuriating to admit it but a small part of Gerhard was glad for this humiliating mode of transportation. They were among the front runners in climbing the tower and he was too afraid of this tower to let his dignity be his downfall.

The worst part is, he's going to expect some sort of praise for this if we survive.
 

PrinceOfShapeir

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Mar 27, 2011
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The roof was charged with energy, the air thick with static and incresibly humid, water forming and running down their weapons and armor. Powerful winds whipped at them and the tower continued trembling.

The Alexander flew at them like a bat out of Hell, still pursued by legions of flying monsters. As soon as the last person was up the ladder Mira bounced out of the hole, her hair standing stiff from under her helmet, charged by the static. "Get ready to jump! They'll come in low, and it will hurt!"

The wind began to howl, a sharp keening wail as though the very world were twisting and writhing in agony.

The Alexander came in low, perhaps a dozen feet below the edge of the tower, and slowed. "Lilianna, help the white mage!" She grabbed Yuria and leapt off early, landing on the deck with a thump. The Alexander reached the side of the tower and scraped against it, wood flying off under the force.

"Quickly!"
 

SkyeNeko

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It seemed like all the elements were going haywire. The complex latching on her helmet was the only thing preventing her from tearing it off: she couldn't distinguish between her sweat and the humidity anymore. Lilianna flapped her wings, testing the winds. They were really strong, but she could probably maneuver herself to the ship when it passed. Flying in storms weren't her thing, but she had to do it more than once. This wouldn't be any different as long as she didn't get hit by lightning...
"Lilianna, help the white mage!"
"What!?" Why!?
There was no time to argue, as Mira grabbed the cat mage and jumped.

Flying with the weight of another person was different, and she would be doing more falling than flying. And it wasn't like there was time to assess the wind either. Still, all the monsters, and the Alexander itself, looked like they were having few troubles with this wind.

The Alexander clipped the tower, taking most of them off balance, and she decided that was time to jump. Lilianna grabbed Vaila and jerked her off the tower. It was like flying with a tornado: there was a lot of debris in the wind, and they bumped into something else with wings, but the gria successfully maneuvered her package to the deck. The extra weight actually helped stabilize them, she found out, because as soon as she safely let the white mage go a change in the current flung her to the deck a few feet away in a less than graceful manner.
 

NeoAC

Zombie Nation #LetsRise
Jun 9, 2008
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As they emerged on top of the tower, everything was going haywire faster then a mark on a twenty hand losing streak, and Rowen was more than eager to get the hell out of there. It was tough to keep the facade going as his head was pounding, the mana doing it's work.

"Get ready to jump! They'll come in low, and it will hurt!"

"What the-" That's when Rowen saw the rickety airship from before, making a beeline for their position. "Aw come on..." he muttered. Of course there wasn't much choice. At least the ship would take him away from this forsaken place.

Rowen steeled whatever true courage he could muster and began to make a run for the ship, following the same line that Captain Highbritches had taken with her little pet. He kept one hand on his head, both to hold his hat in place and to try and keep his brain from going off, although being on top of the tower made things a bit more managable. As his coat was flapping in the stiff wind, he took the leap of faith...and came crashing down near the splintered remains of the side of the ship. He scrambled as best he could up the deck, away from the demolished railing, while grabbing onto a rope for leverage. Once he was secured by the rope, his hand went back onto his hat as he looked forward to getting the fuck out of the place.
 

UnusualStranger

Keep a hat handy
Jan 23, 2010
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Roderic had a small smile form as the airship began to make its approach, only for it to quickly change to a grimace as he noted the many creatures from before were still all behind it. Damned persistent things. What the hell will it take to get them off us? We won't escape at this rate!

"Get ready to jump! They'll come in low, and it will hurt!"

As a few of the others made the jump, Roderic did a quick glance around himself. There wasn't anything he was going to be able to do to help them so, he guessed he might as well take the leap. A good thing he had grabbed the damned knives and loot from the tower while he had the chance, for he was certain no one else had gotten a damn thing from anyone on that damned suicide mission. With a quick sprint, Roderic dove from the tower, the wind almost seeming to push him as he went through the air and landed with a grunt as he tumbled across the deck. He went back into the familiar motion, almost like when they entered the tower, except this time he had to do a few rolls to slow himself down reasonably.

Shaking his head to clear the small amount of dizziness that the rolling had brought upon him, Roderic cursed their bad luck. They didn't have time to be relaxing now, as they all could do lots of that when they made it back to the city, and away from all of these damned monsters. Scrambling upward so he could have some form to defend himself from the monsters, he began to wish that he packed some of those guns to begin firing into the mob. Better yet, he wished he could just be out of here at this point.

"Next time, I'll invest in a warp gem." Roderic muttered as he drew out a pair of knives. What a lovely night to be ruined by a ton of damned monsters and what was going to be a very big explosion.
 

Mr. Omega

ANTI-LIFE JUSTIFIES MY HATE!
Jul 1, 2010
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"Get ready to jump! They'll come in low, and it will hurt!"

Dagon didn't even respond to this, just jumping down with the mage in tow as soon as the ship was in range. "Hang on!" He shouted as he jumped off. He made the fall, but the added weight threw him off balance, and he fell to the floor, dropping Gerhard as well. "Well, he's safe..." Whatever pain he was feeling in his legs was outweighed by the panic he was feeling. He turned around to see who else had still not made it off the tower. "Come on!"
 

Doc Gnosis

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The climb had been tiring but manageable; no enemy had given chase to them, nor were there any hidden foes that waited until the party dropped their guard. The Black Mage logged that information in his head as he continued his pace. The two infernal hums still pained his ears, deepening the crack that he was sure forming inside his head. The ground below his feet shook and grew oddly warm at his touch, and his vision spun and grew hazy. He could see where he was going but trying to look beyond his nose left him feeling a sharp pain in his stomach and eyes. The stairwell reeked with mana and a scent oddly familiar to the Black Mage, though he could not quite identify it. Time felt timeless again to him as he continued; he was unsure how much had passed or if the discharge had already happened. He felt his body moving on its own with his conscious mind logging only what was in front of him or wherever it meandered without external force.

It was at the top where his vision became clear, the skies were still dark from the Wroth?s prior storms, but now he felt the subtle drops of rain. His mind froze as Mira?s order rang out. To say that the Black Mage thought this foolish would be an understatement, but those thoughts were brutally smashed as he saw the rest of his party make the jump. He looked back at the entrance and took a few steps back before running to make the leap onto the airship below.

The landing was not pleasant; his body tossed and tumbled after hitting the wooden deck. Nothing was broken, but his vision was washed out with the color of red in the corners. He could see half of his mask staring back at him through those hollow eyeholes, and the blackened, cracked and deformed facade that was a far cry from the festive image it presented.A steady stream of cold water trickled on his empty head, sending a chill across his spine. A barely gloved hand reached out for the mask but was too far out of reach; the rest of his body could not respond.

By fortune the airship's shaking moved the mask into his fingers, and they instinctively wrapped around an eyehole. Then the rest of his arm tried to bend to put the mask back on his face, but only saw it to be a few inches away from his face...
 

PrinceOfShapeir

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Mira made a quick headcount, then bellowed. "All speed! Give us everything! Brace yourselves!"

The tower glowed a vibrant white for a moment, and then faded. Mira looked at it and coughed. "That was less dramatic than I was expecting. Helm, set a course to Halvor."

She glanced up and wondered when the sky had turned red. Or when her words began coming out backwards. Or when the wood of the ship began to sprout twigs and leaves.

".tihs hO"

The tower pulsed again, this time parts of it coming off and beginning to float into the air. The wind began to scream, razor blades that tore the skin to shreds and healed it with a loving kiss in the same moment. Light became as tangible as steel, raining down on them like implacable blades while they became little more than vapor. The ground far below split open and silver waters gouted up in a great fountain that caressed the ship even as they tore it apart, healed her and mended and tore and ripped Alexander apart in the same moment.

For a moment Mira saw them, six lizard-men clad in bronze armor, chanting in a great circle in a strange tongue, staring at her, and then she was back on the ship, her mouth tasting like tin. As she rose to her feet she saw herself, standing on that same deck, bellowing orders.

"If we don't escape this storm we're all dead!"

She found herself stepping forward and screaming the same words in the same voice, and then continuing to follow herself, as though her mind and memory were a few seconds behind the action itself.Mira made a quick headcount, then bellowed. "All speed! Give us everything! Brace yourselves!"

The tower glowed a vibrant white for a moment, and then faded. Mira looked at it and coughed. "That was less dramatic than I was expecting. Helm, set a course to Halvor."

She glanced up and wondered when the sky had turned red. Or when her words began coming out backwards. Or when the wood of the ship began to sprout twigs and leaves.

".tihs hO"

The tower pulsed again, this time parts of it coming off and beginning to float into the air. The wind began to scream, razor blades that tore the skin to shreds and healed it with a loving kiss in the same moment. Light became as tangible as steel, raining down on them like implacable blades while they became little more than vapor. The ground far below split open and silver waters gouted up in a great fountain that caressed the ship even as they tore it apart, healed her and mended and tore and ripped Alexander apart in the same moment.

For a moment Mira saw them, six lizard-men clad in bronze armor, chanting in a great circle in a strange tongue, staring at her, and then she was back on the ship, her mouth tasting like tin. As she rose to her feet she saw herself, standing on that same deck, bellowing orders.

"If we don't escape this storm we're all dead!"

She found herself stepping forward and screaming the same words in the same voice, and then continuing to follow herself, as though her mind and memory were a few seconds behind the action itself.Mira made a quick headcount, then bellowed. "All speed! Give us everything! Brace yourselves!"

The tower glowed a vibrant white for a moment, and then faded. Mira looked at it and coughed. "That was less dramatic than I was expecting. Helm, set a course to Halvor."

She glanced up and wondered when the sky had turned red. Or when her words began coming out backwards. Or when the wood of the ship began to sprout twigs and leaves.

".tihs hO"

The tower pulsed again, this time parts of it coming off and beginning to float into the air. The wind began to scream, razor blades that tore the skin to shreds and healed it with a loving kiss in the same moment. Light became as tangible as steel, raining down on them like implacable blades while they became little more than vapor. The ground far below split open and silver waters gouted up in a great fountain that caressed the ship even as they tore it apart, healed her and mended and tore and ripped Alexander apart in the same moment.

For a moment Mira saw them, six lizard-men clad in bronze armor, chanting in a great circle in a strange tongue, staring at her, and then she was back on the ship, her mouth tasting like tin. As she rose to her feet she saw herself, standing on that same deck, bellowing orders.

"If we don't escape this storm we're all dead!"

She found herself stepping forward and screaming the same words in the same voice, and then continuing to follow herself, as though her mind and memory were a few seconds behind the action itself.Mira made a quick headcount, then bellowed. "All speed! Give us everything! Brace yourselves!"

The tower glowed a vibrant white for a moment, and then faded. Mira looked at it and coughed. "That was less dramatic than I was expecting. Helm, set a course to Halvor."

She glanced up and wondered when the sky had turned red. Or when her words began coming out backwards. Or when the wood of the ship began to sprout twigs and leaves.

".tihs hO"

The tower pulsed again, this time parts of it coming off and beginning to float into the air. The wind began to scream, razor blades that tore the skin to shreds and healed it with a loving kiss in the same moment. Light became as tangible as steel, raining down on them like implacable blades while they became little more than vapor. The ground far below split open and silver waters gouted up in a great fountain that caressed the ship even as they tore it apart, healed her and mended and tore and ripped Alexander apart in the same moment.

For a moment Mira saw them, six lizard-men clad in bronze armor, chanting in a great circle in a strange tongue, staring at her, and then she was back on the ship, her mouth tasting like tin. As she rose to her feet she saw herself, standing on that same deck, bellowing orders.

"If we don't escape this storm we're all dead!"

She found herself stepping forward and screaming the same words in the same voice, and then continuing to follow herself, as though her mind and memory were a few seconds behind the action itself.Mira made a quick headcount, then bellowed. "All speed! Give us everything! Brace yourselves!"

The tower glowed a vibrant white for a moment, and then faded. Mira looked at it and coughed. "That was less dramatic than I was expecting. Helm, set a course to Halvor."

She glanced up and wondered when the sky had turned red. Or when her words began coming out backwards. Or when the wood of the ship began to sprout twigs and leaves.

".tihs hO"

The tower pulsed again, this time parts of it coming off and beginning to float into the air. The wind began to scream, razor blades that tore the skin to shreds and healed it with a loving kiss in the same moment. Light became as tangible as steel, raining down on them like implacable blades while they became little more than vapor. The ground far below split open and silver waters gouted up in a great fountain that caressed the ship even as they tore it apart, healed her and mended and tore and ripped Alexander apart in the same moment.

For a moment Mira saw them, six lizard-men clad in bronze armor, chanting in a great circle in a strange tongue, staring at her, and then she was back on the ship, her mouth tasting like tin. As she rose to her feet she saw herself, standing on that same deck, bellowing orders.

"If we don't escape this storm we're all dead!"

She found herself stepping forward and screaming the same words in the same voice, and then continuing to follow herself, as though her mind and memory were a few seconds behind the action itself.Mira made a quick headcount, then bellowed. "All speed! Give us everything! Brace yourselves!"

The tower glowed a vibrant white for a moment, and then faded. Mira looked at it and coughed. "That was less dramatic than I was expecting. Helm, set a course to Halvor."

She glanced up and wondered when the sky had turned red. Or when her words began coming out backwards. Or when the wood of the ship began to sprout twigs and leaves.

".tihs hO"

The tower pulsed again, this time parts of it coming off and beginning to float into the air. The wind began to scream, razor blades that tore the skin to shreds and healed it with a loving kiss in the same moment. Light became as tangible as steel, raining down on them like implacable blades while they became little more than vapor. The ground far below split open and silver waters gouted up in a great fountain that caressed the ship even as they tore it apart, healed her and mended and tore and ripped Alexander apart in the same moment.

For a moment Mira saw them, six lizard-men clad in bronze armor, chanting in a great circle in a strange tongue, staring at her, and then she was back on the ship, her mouth tasting like tin. As she rose to her feet she saw herself, standing on that same deck, bellowing orders.

"If we don't escape this storm we're all dead!"

She found herself stepping forward and screaming the same words in the same voice, and then continuing to follow herself, as though her mind and memory were a few seconds behind the action itself. Again and again she found herself following the same sequence, screaming in her mind and unable to escape the inevitable snapback.