Vandelay Campus - Signal TowerLocation:
Midgar Sector 06, the City of Glass
, Roxas’ @Double
, Sakura’s @Zoey Boey
, SandalphonWord Count:
4,142 - +5 EXP
Though a high-speed ride on the Flight Units through Vandelay’s skies could really get one’s heart rate up, it sure did get the Seekers from A to B. In no time they closed in on their destination, and they found it about as Sandalphon described. A mechanical bridge connected the rear of the towering Vandelay Building to what looked like a relatively new facility, judging by all the construction work that left much of its lower front a jumbled, slapdash mess. On top of that the bridge had been retracted, leaving nothing but a series of cranes, scaffolds, and rails between the two structures. That didn’t seem to be stopping a certain someone, though. Leaping and ninja running through the tangle of platforms and walls was a cyborg
in pale green armor with just one mechanical arm, a katana at his hip in a high-tech scabbard, his dark hair done up in a ponytail, and his stubbly face plastered with a casual grin. He navigated the construction site as if it was child’s play, then with a final leap landed on the square walled-in arena on the retracted bridge’s far side.
“No use running,” he called breezily, crossing his arms. “How about we get this over with, Kale?”
On the other side of the arena, a tall businessman
stopped onto a circular elevator surrounded by red glass. Then he turned, his lip curled in annoyance. Clad in a dapper black suit plus coat with red highlights, accessorized with gold, and boasting a marvelous head full of platinum-blonde hair, he looked every inch the high-profile corporate CEO. “I don’t have time for this,” he snapped.
The elevator doors closed, and as he began to rise three elite Vandelay robots dropped down in front of the elevator. Storm Owl
, Overdrive Ostrich
, and Burn Rooster
ran forward and slid to a stop as a quartet of ES units flashed in, ready to brawl. At the same time, 9S and 2B swooped down to hover at the front of the arena so their passengers could get off. Then both switched their Flight Units to combat mode, their fearsome ink-black mechs looming over the battlefield like harbingers of death.
Sakura dropped down, happy to be back on solid ground. She stood up from her three point landing and pumped her fists, eyeing everyone on the field and ready for a fight.
Roxas followed suit immediately after. ”...”
The hooded Keybearer glanced in Raz’s direction and his gloved hand tapped a finger on the side of his head to tell them both to listen to his thoughts. Try reading their minds. Something tells me they aren’t going to be very talkative.
Sam looked over his shoulder, stroking his goatee. He didn’t seem all that bothered. “Well. Looks like the cavalry’s here..”
Raz looked from Sam to Roxas real quick, giving the teen a nod. He’d do his best, at least, no telling how easy he could manage when the heat started. For now, Raz focused his telepathic waves towards Sam, able to concentrate during the calm before the storm.
Sandalphon quickly contacted the Seekers. “Whatever you do, don’t engage him here. Help him against these robots. You’ll have to ride up to reach Kale, and that’ll be your best chance to figure out where he stands.” Then she altered her broadcast, her voice ringing out across the arena as she addressed the swordsman directly.. “Jetstream Sam. We’re here to assist you with the takedown of Kale Vandelay.”
“No faith in me, eh?” He shrugged. “Suit yourself.”
Roxas flourished his Keyblades in a flash of black and white respectively. So far his thunder magic seemed pretty effective against all the robotic enemies, so he was ready to cast more of those if needed, ”Just think of us as… insurance.”
Sakura’s gung-ho energy skidded to a stop. They all looked super tough. She thought they were just going to throw down! Now she stood there, eyes wide, wondering if Jetstream Sam really bought that these three were his reinforcements. ”Think of us like a snowplow,”
he said as he hurried past Sam to face Kale’s defense force, totally copping Roxas’s line. ”We’ll clear the way while you… uh, stretch your sword arm.”
The Keybearer didn’t wait around any longer. He sprinted forward, wanting to get himself in the midst of the enemy robots so that he could soften them up a bit with a good Thundaga spell. He needed to have as many of them around him as he could in order to catch as many as possible within the spell’s radius. ”Thundaga!”
Roxas managed to speed into the thick of things to call down a deluge of lightning bolts that struck all three Reploids and their ES entourage. His electric bombardment interrupted the sword-wielders as they went to attack and actually staggered Overdrive Ostrich in a burst of static, revealing some sort of weakness, but the two elites didn’t share that shortcoming. Stopping to cast in melee range put Roxas point-blank as Burn Rooster assaulted him with two heavy kicks wreathed in flame, the Reploid’s fiery crest burning with excitement. At the same time, Storm Owl hopped backward and into the air, taking aim with his arm cannon. Three yellow targeting lasers appeared in a spread pattern, and after a moment three feather projectiles shot out like giant crossbow bolts.
The Nobody couldn’t exactly say he was surprised by this turn of events. He did rush forward in order to get off an encompassing spell, and now he was going to have to deal with the consequences of that action. The heavy nature of Burn Rooster’s kick made them a bit telegraphed and simple enough for Roxas to avoid with a couple of quick dodge rolls. Then came the small volley of feather shots from Storm Owl at nearly the exact same time - delayed ever so slightly by the act of taking aim. Those were quicker but came in the form of a trio of straight shots going in three separate directions. Dodging was a little risker so instead Roxas stayed put and used his Keyblades to deflect the feather that fired directly at him, leaving the other two to miss due to the intended target remaining in one spot.
Once the initial shock wore off the four ES units charged forward to engage the enemy. With a lot more power, durability, and reach than the average SBR, they would punish the Seekers for focusing too much on the Reploids or give said Reploids the chance to attack if their enemies turned their attention on the ES units. One of them, however, made the mistake of going after Sam. The Wind of Destruction had jumped back out of the fray when Roxas fired off his miniature lightning storm so he wouldn’t get hit, but when the ES unit chased him down, Sam avoided its slash with ease. He dodged to the left, then ducked, then to the right as the robot kept swinging, only grinning as his attacker grew more frustrated. After a moment the ES went for a mighty two-handed slam, but that overextension proved to be its last mistake. Sam put his hand on his sword and fired some sort of mechanism in the scabbard, launching the blade into action like a bullet from a rifle in a draw attack that made the typical iaijutsu slash look like a knife through molasses. The halves of the ES parted ways in an instant, including its black box, and the robot practically exploded into ashes the next instant. Sam casually returned his weapon to its sheathe and turned his attention to the newcomers as they fought.
Roxas was quick to retaliate against the two Reploids he was pitted against. He aimed his Keyblade and shot a Blizzaga spell at the flying Storm Owl right as he saw Burn Rooster coming down on him with a drop kick while wrapped in flames. Roxas crossed his weapons and used them to block the brunt of the blow and spun himself into a circular Dual Counter slash. But this meant that Roxas didn’t see Storm Owl swooping down on him. Evidently he had dodged the Blizzaga spell and now the Reploid had grabbed Roxas by the shoulders with his robotic talons and rose up with the intention of slamming the Keybearer back down onto the ground and hard.
Sakura had seen that Roxas was going two on one and had given the ES-Units on her the shake by throwing him into a nearby wall and with an acrobatic flip. Now she quite literally leapt into action, looking to stop Roxas from taking a hit. She jumped high into the air to challenge Storm Owl with a strong punch to the chassis. Performing an air combo, she brought her leg around with a spin kick. ”Shunpukyaku!”
“Agh!” Storm Owl took a tumble, though to his credit he managed to keep a hold on Roxas until both of them hit the ground. The impact forced him to release the boy, and a second later the Reploid flapped to his feet, his hand on his dented shoulder. “Hoo dares!?””Me!”
Sakura shouted, getting into her fighting stance. ”Always!”
She kicked at Storm Owl to force him away from Roxas.
“Roadkill!” Overdrive Ostrich roared. Recovered from his nasty shock, he shot a wave of sonic cutters across the arena to threaten all three Seekers at once, then charged at Sakura like a linebacker. By that time Burn Rooster was back in action too, and he wanted a piece of Roxas badly. As he charged in to deliver a flurry of kicks, Storm Owl prepared to join in the fight against Sakura but settled on Raz instead. He fired out four vacuum vortexes like miniature cyclones from his arm cannon. They hung in the air for a moment before hurtling toward his target.
This was child’s play. Storm Owl chose one of the worst targets he could’ve. The whirlwinds, while fast, had enough of a delay for Raz to dive out of their way before they reached him, and he was able to counter with ranged attacks of his own, powerful Blasts bursting on its large frame. ”Hey Bird Brain! Time to get grounded!”
In what was becoming a common tactic for him, Raz closed the distance between them with Mental Connection, pulling himself up to where Storm Owl hovered, and delivering a quick three-strike combo that finished with a psychic palm thrust downwards, tossing the robot to the floor.
Sakura got a taste of her own medicine as the sonic cutter struck her in the back. ”Itai!”
She cried out, barely glancing over her shoulder with wide eyes to see Overdrive about to crash into her.
Burn Rooster’s heavy kicks were telegraphed enough to dodge at first, but had a tendency to pick up speed the more he used them consecutively. He also started wrapping his kicks in fire after the first few, making them more dangerous to block in addition to being harder to dodge. But nearby, Roxas heard Sakura’s cry and caught a glimpse of the trouble she was in. He wanted to help but the Keybearer would have to get away from Burn Rooster first. That’s when it struck him and he got an idea.”Waterga!”
he cried, hurling a dense mass of water at the fiery Reploid. Surely that would douse the flames and give Roxas a chance to put some distance between them. He took the risk and made a break for Sakura’s position as fast as his legs would carry him. He skidded to a stop next to Sakura and cast another spell, ”Thunder!”
he cried, calling down another miniature lightning storm around himself and Sakura. Roxas had managed to notice earlier that lightning was particularly effective against the Ostrich and so he was banking on the Reploid running right into his Thundaga before he had time to stop himself.
Sakura had uncrossed her arms, the big hit she was anticipating hadn’t come. ”Nice!”
She said to Roxas, the Ostrich blown away by the Thunder. She turned and blasted a Hadoken at the Burn Rooster, meeting blue fire with red and putting herself back to back with the Keybearer. ”It’s basically three on three- no problem!”
Sakura said confidently. She ran towards Burn Rooster and began exchanging blows. The Reploid was fast, strong, and powerful, but in Sakura’s opinion, predictable. Before it could get started on its blazing offense she powered through with an inky black Focus Attack, crumpling it with a flying knee. After that she began a series of her own spinning kicks that never seemed to stop, and when they did, it was only to provoke a reaction that would lead to me. ”Shunpukyaku! Shunpukyaku! Shunpukyaku!”
She yelled as the combos went on.
Overdrive Ostrich, meanwhile, was proving to be a nuisance. When he was stunned by the initial Thundaga, Roxas was able to get at him with a flurry of Keyblade slashes. But once the Reploid was back on his feet he took off in a dead sprint, too fast for Roxas to keep up with him. He’d gotten smart, too, deliberately using his superior running speed to keep himself outside of the Keybearer’s Thundaga range to avoid another mishap. And on top of that, he was throwing occasional cutting spinners at Roxas from his range. Those were fairly easy to see coming and either dodge or reflect. But then the Ostrich changed up his tactics and made a leap into the air and clear over Roxas’s head. While in midair he dropped a group of cutting spinners directly down onto his opponent from above.
Roxas had to dive to the side to avoid the brunt of the attack. But he wasn’t able to avoid it completely. One of those cutting spinners got him across the leg mid dive. It hurt, but it wasn’t a lot of damage. Seemed like Overdrive Ostrich was designed for raw speed over power. So a single spinner wouldn’t deal a lot of damage on his own. But if this kept up he could certainly inflict death by a thousand cuts.
Having been tenderized by Raz, Storm Owl pulled out all the stops. He surrounded himself in a vacuum of wind blades as he flew toward the Psychonaut, then began to belt out barrages of cyclonic vortexes in four directions. After a brief moment, the streams began to rotate as well, forcing the boy to dodge like his life depended on it. He would learn the hard way, however, that Storm Owl wasn’t vulnerable during this attack. The vacuum deflected his projectiles, and when he tried to strike the currents sent him spinning. “My trump card!” Coming to a stop, the Reploid thrust out his hand. Three vortexes span up beneath Raz before erupting into a trio of tornadoes. “You’ll pay for making enemies out of us!”
Sam smirked as he watched this unfold, running his hand along his stubble-lined jaw. “I thought you three were here to help me?” Shaking his head in mock disappointment, he put a hand on his blade’s hilt. “Well, allow me to show you how it’s done.”
His scabbard’s trigger mechanism went off with a bang, and he shot forward through the gale in a dark red blur. Storm Owl scarcely got the chance to process what happened before his cannon arm split in half. “What the-!” Beak clenched, he tightened his fist and threw a weighty hook punch right at Sam’s big, shit-eating grin. The swordsman just slipped backward out of the way, his katana flashing upward as he did, and the next moment Storm Owl’s other forearm hit the floor. With his blade poised above his head, Sam took just a second to grip the hilt with both hands and adjust his aim. His weapon vibrated at a fever pitch, practically singing as it gained a bright orange glow. Then it came down, and the Reploid’s left and right halves fell apart, his dying groans fizzled out into static.”Whoaaa,”
Raz said, having already adopted a kicking-ass pose. ”That was super cool!””Oh, how nice of you to finally get off your butt and do something!”
Roxas shouted at Sam in a snappy tone. He wasn’t blind to the fact that the guy had spent most of the fight standing there and watching them. But it was better to direct that frustration at his current opponent - who was once again making another leap over Roxas’s head, ”Oh no you don’t!”
the Keybearer shouted as he jumped straight up
and put himself directly in the Ostrich’s jumping arc, ”Gotcha!
he taunted as he called another Thundaga. Ostrich was already midair and it was far too late to avoid it. Sparks and static spewed from the Reploid’s body as he crashed back down onto the ground.”You’re done!”
shouted Roxas, even before he himself could land he changed into an orb of light that streaked down and homed in on the stunned Reploid. As soon as he collided with him, Roxas hit the Ostrich with a powerful Cross Slash technique. And then followed that up with another flurry of Keyblade slashes and slices. Roxas turned out to be speaking the truth; after so much lightning and a healthy serving of blunt-force trauma to boot, Overdrive Ostrich went down, having never really gotten the chance to strut his stuff in the first place.
Sakura shook off a kick to the noggin, the Reploid zooming past her as she dodged his follow up kick. She was less eager to talk poorly to Sam after seeing him decimate the Reploid so easily. In fact, it was a pretty intimidating sight. Oh, man.
Sakura thought to Raz. Let’s hope this Sam guy listens to reason. I don’t think the three of us could beat him on our own if he turns that sword on us.Nah, we’d totally wreck him,
Raz replied while doing his own super cool fight stuff, trust me.
Ducking another kick, she interrupted the follow up combo with an EX-Shouoken, blasting the Reploid backwards with a double launching uppercut. “GYAH!” Burn Rooter screeched as he sailed away, though he managed to right himself in the air in order to launch another attack. He shot his crest down at Sakura to whir like a flaming sawblade, then landed against the surface of the red-glass elevator. He kicked off, leaping through the air, and the moment after his crest returned to him he came down with his Overdrive Attack. When his axe kick struck the ground, it let rip an enormous tornado of flame. Then he dashed through the flame, charging toward Sakura and Roxas in a bid to kick them into his raging inferno, one at a time.
Sakura recovered from her uppercut, and unused to opponents who could shake off the strike like that, dashed forward only to catch a flaming crest to her chest. ”Oof!”
She landed on the ground with a thud and backflipped to her feet in a second flat, watching Rooster perform his tornado move.
As Burn Rooster charged, Sakura moved forward quickly, meeting his charge with footwork. Her eyes narrows as he went in for a spinning kick. Sakura jumped backwards over the kick, the heat searing beneath her. Flipping over she brought her intertwined fists on the Reploid’s head like an anvil. Landing on her feet she kept her fists intertwined and like a pendulum swing them into the lower part of his head. ”Shouoken!”
She exploded upwards with another launching uppercut. This time however, she launched him towards Roxas! That way he wouldn’t be able to recover in time to do a special move mid-air.
Not wanting to consume anymore magic, Roxas responded in the only other way he could. He launched himself forward toward the incoming Burn Rooster. He held both Keyblades inward and sliced them outward while his trajectory was crossing paths with Burn Rooster’s. With all that momentum, it was hard not to slice straight through the Reploid’s body. Though they looked primarily like blunt weapons, they were in fact called Keyblades
for a reason.
Sakura flinched, covering her eyes and peeking through her fingers. Her coordinated attack with Roxas had done the trick, and with the Keyblade wielder’s climactic finishing move, Burn Rooster’d fiery rampage came to an abrupt end. Flaming fragments and ash rained down across the battlefield -Roxas had evidently destroyed the Reploid’s black box with that final blow- and his spirit drifted down soon after.
With the last of the robotic enemies dispatched, Sam gave an amused nod. “Not bad, not bad.” He then sauntered toward the elevator. “I appreciate you polishing off the appetizers for me–I had to save room for the main course.” Once on board, he turned around to smirk at the Seekers, beckoning for them to join him. “You haven’t had your fill yet, have you? The best is yet to come.””We were sent to help you, weren’t we?”
Roxas answered as he knelt down to pick up the spirit left behind by Burn Rooster. Then he jogged over and entered the elevator, ”That means we aren’t done until you are.”
He fidgeted with the Spirit a little as he said this. It was the first one he had ever actually picked up himself. He still didn’t fully understand how they worked, even though he knew how to make them fuse with him and other things. But he shuddered a bit. He was iffy about fusing with Spirits, and besides, that was illegal here in Midgar so he obviously couldn’t do that in front of Sam.
He had no idea what the law was regarding Strikers though, so maybe he could do that? Once everyone was inside, Roxas decided to use the last of his magic to cast a quick Curaga on everyone in case it was needed. He figured the elevator ride would give his magic enough time to recharge so that he wouldn’t have to wait for it to do so in the middle of battle.
Sakura let out a breath and ran her hand through her brown hair. ”We won…”
She said, relieved. But it was a little too early for a full celebration. Sakura saw Roxas pick up the Burn Rooster’s spirit, and she cast an eye over to Overdrive Ostrich’s little orb. She wasn’t interested in becoming part robot, let alone part ostrich. But maybe he could be convinced to join her as a Striker? Walking over, she scooped up the spirit and considered it. It was time for an awkward elevator ride with a scary face guy. Sakura went on into the elevator and grabbed her elbow behind her back. ”I know fusing is against the law,”
She said. ”But what about Strikers? Like getting them to fight on your team and stuff? Is that against the law?”
“Strikers?” Assuming the question was meant for her, Sandalphon ran a quick query against her mind’s ‘database’. “If you’re referring to the spirit phenomenon known as ‘Assists’, the same rule applies to them, I believe. Forbidden.” Sandalphon paused for a moment, perhaps connecting and saying something to another team. “Of course, it’s much more difficult to detect compared to fusion. Add in the fact that there are plenty of people out there with summoning abilities naturally, and the line is even more blurred. Rendering the law against Assists essentially toothless due to the abundance of false positives.””R-right, okay. Thank you, Halo. San.”
Sakura said, hiding the spirit behind her back.
With Vandelay’s line of defense thoroughly trashed Raz looked up at the elevator he used to run away. ”Y’think we’re talking into some kinda trap?”
Before anyone could answer he waved it away. ”Psht, nothin’ we can’t handle. Let’s go!”