The Doom

Chapter 4: The Miracle of Love


 

Still dripping wet, Mist approached the Chamber of Passage. An Immortal stood in front of the door, blocking the path. The purple haired Mithra and her Taru companion sat on the steps in front of him. She had her elbows on her knees and head in her hands.

"I toldy-woldy you..." The Silver haired Taru adjusted his glasses and sat down next to her.

A blond, spiky haired Elvaan male paced feverishly outside the steps in front of the door's guard. "You've got to be kidding me. I'm only late because I was fighting those gross snake people!" The Immortal didn't blink, nor even acknowledge his presence.

"Helloooo!" The Elvaan was right in his face at this point, though the guard wouldn't move. The Elvaan moved his face even closer, until his nose was a hair away from the Immortal's veil. The Elvaan made a kissing sound, backed up an inch and stuck his tongue out. The guard remained statuesque. Disappointed, the blond Elvaan staggered back and shrugged his shoulders. "I give up..."

The Galka crossed his arms and sighed. "We did disobey the orders."

"We were fighting the Swarm! It's not like we were playing around out there!" The female Hume from earlier walked from behind Mist. She also let out a sigh, then turned south toward the dock. The Immortal stepped forward as the doors opened. A second Immortal stepped out and cleared his throat.

"You failed to arrive on time, you all have disobeyed your orders and aren’t fit to join our organization." He spun around and re-entered the chamber of Passage, the guard following close behind. The Mithra and Taru looked at each other, then back at the still open door. The Galka smirked and began to walk forward toward the chamber. The Elvaan dashed in front of him, jumping over the Taru to enter. The Mithra chuckled and climbed to her feet.

"C'mon shorty." The Taru stood and pouted, but quickly entered through the double doors. Mist remained still for a moment, watching the others before he felt a push from the back.

"Come on, we're late enough." The red haired girl pushed him forward through the great doors. The Guard sealed the chamber after the woman and Mist had entered. The others gathered around the second Immortal, awaiting instructions.

"We have been keeping watch of you six. You are some of our earlier candidates for our Western recruitment program. I see you have made good on...fulfilling your obligations." Mist clutched his fist and ground his teeth behind his calm stare.

The Immortal turned away from them and began pacing forward. "We have received reports of an monster in Halvung that is...somewhat out of place, a Flan. Your job is to go, and eliminate it." The Elvaan looked over toward the large Galka with a questioned look on his face.

"Where do Flan come from normally?" The Immortal spun around quickly and shot a cold glance toward the Elvaan.

"That's none of your concern, you have your orders, now take the Halvung Runic Portal and go. This should be a fitting test for you six..." The Elvaan was now standing behind the Galka, looking over his shoulder. He leaned over and whispered something to his shield.

"I don't like this. Man, something's not right." The Immortal cocked his eye and silently scolded the cowering Elf.

"If you don't like it leave, and don't bother returning to Al Zahbi. We need not cowards in our ranks." The Galka stepped forward toward the Runic Portal, The Mithra and Taru, walking side by side, followed the large Galka as he passed the Immortal. Hesitating, the Elvaan eventually began towards the Runic Portal as well, closely following the female Hume. A Flash of light engulfed the Galka as he stepped into the portal, when it cleared he was gone. The Mithra, Taru, woman and Elvaan all followed suit, leaving Mist and the two Immortals alone. The Mage stepped forward and the Immortal muttered something to him as he passed.

"Don't die too quickly."

"Don't jinx yourself." The Immortal let out a low dry laugh as Mist entered the portal, and vanished.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~**~*~

 

The strong odor of Sulfur filled the crater riddled caverns. The air around him was heavy and hot, as was the ground beneath his feet. Mist could hear a slight rumbling, they were on Mount Zhayolm now. Exiting the Staging point he could clearly see clusters of bombs in the distance, similar to the ones he has learned his haste spell from. The Taru adjusted his glasses nervously while he walked right behind the Mithra.

"Dyne, you rrreally need to toughen up. We can take these things easy." The Taru cleared his throat and responded.

"Don't forget what some of us have bones that breaky-waky easily..." The Taru then casted Ice Spikes on himself, and held onto the Mithra's Curisses as she walked. The Galka scratched his head and cleared his throat.

"That was rather rude of me, I haven’t properly introduced myself. They call me Raging Wind, but since that can get somewhat tedious, Rage is normally used for short. The Elvaan is Alphonse,"

"Alphonse the Great." Rage rolled his eyes and continued.

"And the Hume is Marin." The female Hume gave a smile and a wave. The Mithra turned and puffed out her chest.

"Well, I'm Kaylee the Greater." She shot a playful look toward Alphonse who crossed his arms and pouted.

"And my leg accessory here is Dyne. He casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down." The Taru crossed his arms with a slight sign of frustration and spoke up.

"She means I'm-a Black Mage." Kaylee turned to Mist, being the only unannounced member of the group.

"Well?" The Mithra rested her hands on her hips and glared at Mist. He let out a low sigh and spoke.

"Maybe we shouldn't get buddy-buddy until we have something to celebrate about." The Hume woman poked his chest and looked him in the eye. Each time she poked, she said a single word.

"Stop, being, a, sour, puss." Mist held back a growl, obviously frustrated by the group's high spirits.

"Fox, Mist Fox. Now let's..." The Galka cut him off, rubbing his chin in curiosity.

"Wait...how did a Hume come upon getting a Galka's name? You must have been raised in Bastok?" His eyes wandered to the sky as he pondered this query. Mist rested his hand on his right blade and cut him off.

"We can chat when we get back, assuming we make it back."

"Craaawlinng iiinnn my skiiin...." Mist quickly unsheathed his blade and held it to the Elva’s throat.

"If you are simply going to waste your breath, I can make sure you don't draw another." The Elvaan took a step back and shrugged.

"Touuuchy." Mist lowered the blade and snarled at the group.

"I don't think any of you even know what you're getting into. This isn't some type of Side-Quest in a game, this is going to determine your existence" Mist let out another growl and walked away, pulling a sketchy paper map out of his Gobbie Bag. The Hume female extended her arm, and shouted toward Mist.

"Wait! We need to stick together!" Mist turned back around and called back.

"Then you had better move your feet." Marin looked back toward Rage, and motioned to move with her hand.

"He sorta does have a point."

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"You are KIDDING ME! All of those things can see through Prism Powder?!" Alphonse's silhouette threw his hands up into the air in frustration

Several Large white moths fluttered in front of the entrance to the tunnel connected to the Execution Chamber. Marin's shadow ran it's hand through it's hair, then held up two fingers. "We really have two choices, run and hope for the best, or try and get around them. How fast do you think they are?"

"Probably fast enough to pick off each of us before we made it to the Chamber. Not to mention the Bombs that would see us without our powder." The Mithra let out a long sigh after her statement.

"I don't think we can sneak around them...there are way to many-wany."

"We won't need to. Follow me as close as you can, Marin, stay behind me and keep the cures coming." Rage casted Metallic Body on himself, then put his fist to the hot, rocky ground, like a runner about to start a sprint.

"You realize these guys are going to be a lot tougher to run through than the Skeletons back in town." Mist crossed his arms as he made his skeptical statement The Galka took a deep breath and slowly counted down from five.

"Five...Four...Three...Two...One." Clearing this throat, the Galka let out a deafening roar as he bolted from his starting position. The first Wamoura he engaged took the shot in the back. As Rage rushed forward it basically became his shield. Several of the monstrous moths bounced off of it, or dropped on contact and were crushed under foot.

Kaylee grabbed Dyne under her arm and sprinted after them. The Taru faced behind them, seeing the other Wamoura begin to catch up. Thinking quickly, he began hurling ice spells toward the pursuers. Once of them clipped the closest moth on it's left wing, dropping it to the ground under it's unbalanced weight.

"We should be at the Bombs any..." Upon the Galka's cue, the first explosion was heard. The unwilling shield managed to prevent most of the damage from coming through to Rage, but Marin was still kept busy with the Cure spells to prevent the heat from the self destructs alone from dropping the Galka.

"We're gonna make it! We're totally gonna make it! Watch your step Big Guy!" The Elvaan let out a giggle of excitement as he could feel the heat under their feet increase. He had seen pictures from near the chamber, magma normally covered a large amount of the ground around it.

As the explosions continued, their shield quickly eroded, dropping pieces of baked bug shell into their path. Kaylee tripped, but managed to to catch herself.

"Careful-wareful!" Dyne shouted as she almost dropped the Taru upon her stumble.

"OMF!" Mist turned back to see Marin drop to the ground, cursing he stopped and slid for a moment, putting his hand out to prevent him from falling as well. Giving himself Metallic Body, he jumped between her and the incoming Bomb. Upon impact with Mist, the bomb self-destructed, tearing through his protective shell. Marin looked back at Mist as he staggered. She put his arm around him and assisted the Mage just as Rage had reached the Brass Door. He tore it open and Alphonse bolted inside, followed by Kaylee holding Dyne.

"C'mon you two, they're catching up!" Looking back, Mist could see the halls light up with the glow of several more bombs. When he was in arm's reach, the Galka grasped Mist by his burned Brigade armor, and tossed him through the door like a sack of potatoes, with Marin following. He and the Elvaan slammed the doors shut and leaned against them as the bombs met them. The walls rattled as they slammed one after another into the door, which somehow managed to hold together through their fiery bursts. After a moment of silence, Alphonse slipped down the door, his crying pats becoming hysterical laughter. Rage rubbed the sweat from his face and sat next to him against the metal doors. Kaylee dropped Dyne and sat against the wall perpendicular to the Galka and Elvaan, Dyne again at her side. Marin was now at Mist's side, one hand on his forehead and the other on his chest, healing his burns. They weren’t severe, but if she hadn't know white magic as well as she did, it still could have been a lengthy, recovery.

"Thanks..." Mist panted from the vanishing pain and the run they had just completed as Marin continued the healing process.

"No...thank you." She looked away from Mist and blushed slightly. It was odd that a stranger would just jump to her rescue like that. It was something she would have expected from Rage or Alphonse...well, maybe not Alphonse. But they had known each other since they first left Bastok, this man had met her earlier that day. Mist shifted and rose to his knees. He caught the healer's eyes for a moment, but quickly looked away.

"Alright, we're here..." Rage climbed to his feet at stepped forward. "The creature should be here...somewhere..." The chamber was actually rather large. Alphonse quickly got up and followed him.

"So..whatever a Flan is...it's got to be here..." The Elvaan wiped his nose and pulled his sword out of its sheath. Stepping out into the large arena, the Galka examined his surroundings. Kaylee and Dyne rose to their feet as did Mist and Marin. Noticing a shimmer, the Mithra kneeled down and touched the dark, thick substance on the floor. She rubbed it between her fingers, it had a heavy, gooey feel. Similar to the slimes in the west, but thicker, and not quite as greasy.

"Kay! Watch out!" At the Taru's shout, Kaylee rolled backwards as a large drop of clear, thick goo dropped where she had been kneeling. It quivered for a moment, but quickly formed two yellow eyes and a mouth full of teeth.

"It's the Flan! It's the Flan!" The Taru continued to shout as he took several steps back. Mist rushed toward it and attempted to dice it with his swords to no avail. The blades did penetrate and pass through, but they did seemingly no damage. The flan moved his lips and a thunder bolt shot from the monster, striking Mist and sending him rolling back near the Taru.

"OK...stabbing it doesn't work." Mist propped himself up with one of his blades as he staggered to his feet. Marin touched his shoulder as a small white light healed the minor burns he had gained from the attack. He looked over his shoulder to see her smiling back at him. Mist blushed slightly and quickly turned away. Rage cleared his throat and rubbed his hands together.

"Alright....if we can't destroy this thing by physical means, that leaves Magic. The creature is in a gelatinous form, so perhaps if we manage to solidify it, we can attack it in that form." Alphonse stood frozen for a moment, piercing the Galka's words together.

"Freeze it and smash it?"

The Galka sighed and responded. "In lam en’s terms, yes."

"Dyne, get to it!" Before the Taru could respond, the Mithra had leapt over him and was now attempting to distract the creature. It's eyes followed her as she leapt into it, struck, then retreated to repeat her pattern. Closing his eyes and chanting under his breath, the Taru prepared a Freeze spell. It would take a moment to charge up, but would hopefully be enough to at least encase the monster in a block of ice. Kaylee continued to dart around the Flan's spells. Fragments of the ground crumbled under her feet as it's accuracy and fire spells came closer and closer to their marks. Mist cracked his neck and re-entered the fray, slashing the air with two fingers as his image blurred. Three utsumi copies appeared by his side. There was no way he could meet the Mithra’s agility, so he would have to cheat.

Upon turning the Flan immediately noticed the four figures quickly approaching The leftmost one exploded into a puff of smoke as the fire spell launched by the creature connected to the non-existent target. The remaining three split up and circled the monster. Another Thunder spell connected with one, causing it to disappear All this time the Mithra had continued her pattern of attacking and retreating, keeping the blob busy with it's three attackers. The final shadow vanished as another thunder spell made contact with it, leaving the two true targets left.

"Get down!" Dyne's spell was ready. He thrusted his hands into the air, then toward the Flan. Several crystals of ice erupted from the ground, encasing the creature in a transparent tomb.

"Awesome job little guy!" Alphonse did a quick victory dance as the Taru sat down from the stress of that single spell. Marin stuttered and pointed to the trapped flan while backing away.

"W-w-wait! the ice is melting!" Water dripped down quickly from the towers or ice. The heat from the lava surrounding the arena was quickly melting away their chance of victory. Rage charged toward the Monster, who was less than a minute away from being free, and grasped the ice prison with both of his massive arms. Letting out a loud grunt he lifted the frozen mass over his head and threw it forward with all the strength he could muster. The clear prison met the Lava with a heavy sizzle as the ice quickly steamed away with the frozen remains of the flan. With a thump he fell to the ground, breathing hard and heavy.


 



 

 

Continue to Chapter 5...