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The Red Wings: Take Flight

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((Hi, this is your Captain speaking.... The point of this one is to be a repository of info ranging from logs to actual forum RP for our current storyline going on in the FC called with love "Takes Flight". The Red Wings have been sent orders, very strange orders. If they refuse to obey Flame command, if they follow through they may surely die. What will everyone's favorite spy team do? If you are involed in the event, a member of the Red Wings, or just want to tag in, feel free to post here. I'll kick it off.))


Having dismissed his people, Erik sat quietly in the War Room, the echo of the machinery around him filling his ears as he read over the orders again, for the hundredth time it felt like. The hum of tech was suddenly disturbed as he roared in rage, throwing the pages of the orders across the room. He stood and walked the end of the room. His only consolation was that his people were everyone wise enough to see the trap before them. What bothered him was the insult of it, the blatant trap, the orders, the set up before them. He knew there was no choice. The orders were blank-signed, but valid. A lot of gil must have passed hands to allow these papers through the chain of command without anyone questioning them. This lead to two possibilities, redaction, by far the worse of the two, or someone with a grudge had wormed their way into the Flames and set this up, the more likely of the two. Either way he did not like the smell of it.

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After the meeting, Titor and Mikh'a had returned to medbay/lab.  Titor sat down at his desk and began to try to mathematically and logically calculate his way through what had just occurred, hopefully trying to be able to come up with anything that might help point them in the direction to go.


Dealing with the matters and intensions of mankind had always been something Titor was not that good at. Numbers, math, formulas, geometries, he excelled at that. Psychology, social engineering, cognitive science? Nope. 


This was not something that he was going to have to rely on his Captain to make the decision for. He would follow whatever orders he were given, even unto death.


He would sacrifice his life for his unit and his country should the time come.


He sighed, and sat back in his chair a bit, looking over his notes upon which he had reached no conclusion, before turning to Mikh'a.


"What do you think of all this?" he asked, placing the papers down on the table and rubbing his head. "A part of me thinks this will just be no big deal, just another mission. Everyone seemed so on-edge about it though. It is just delivering a few goods, right? It is not like events like this /never/ happen. It is unusual, yes, and potentially dangerous if things go wrong and these items get in the wrong hands. But I am sure they have been riskier tasks given to this unit, or even the Flames in general..."

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The caravan had been as they had all thought, a set up. They all stood in the rain over the bridge. Erik and Kahn'a stood at the front of the bridge and spoke as the others knitted their wounds and investigated all that had happened. Erik did not look at his Lieutenant as he spoke in low tones, "The crates are all empty, filled with sawdust and stones. And our VIP's body is gone from where he fell." Erik was quiet as he allowed Kahn'a to take it in. "We knew it was a set up from the start, but I made a grave error. I thought this was some greedy soldier filing paperwork to put us in harm's way, or some enemy with money enough to bribe people to our demise. But I was wrong on the scope. This is no simple plot, this is a Redaction." He looked back at Clio on the ground but steeled himself to the task at hand. "Return the Wings to the Drydocks and secure a quiet dry place to rest and debrief. I will be close behind."

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He took up the black oil pastel again and carefully etched a hatch pattern onto one of the marble towers to represent the shadow cast by the fading daylight. His little notepad of doodles would never amount to anything, but Osric took pleasure in the simpler pastimes of life, even when there was no practical application to be found in them. He was horridly shite when it came to faces, but landscapes and structures... aye, those lines he could manage just fine.


The midlander sighed as he looked back up at the glimmering vista of ocean and the city of Limsa Lominsa what rode those waters. Lymlaen was working up a pleasant breeze this evening, one which merited compliments, but his mind was elsewhere.


"So y'came back. Why?"


"Tried a moon in the Shroud. Hated it. Made me uneasy." The young Hyur lad sitting beside him shrugged as he leaned forward to pluck a small smooth stone from the grass at his feet. "I'm not like you. You might find the sands comforting, but the trees were suffocating me. So once I made sure Ma and them were all settled-like, I snuck aboard some sod's timbers."


There was a moment of silence as the boy juggled the pebble. He turned a smirk on Osric. 


"Besides, you still need someone here. Someone you can trust."


"Not badly enough t'risk you," Osric scoffed as he shifted on the boulder to face his little brother. "Never badly enough t'risk you. Go home, Tom."


Thomys Melkire rolled his eyes as he leaned to one side and pitched his stone out over the cliff and into the ocean. "I am home. Grew up in those gutters. Born in them. Not like you, 'gutterborn'. Never had what you had, and I've Da to thank for that. So let it go, Ossy. I'm happiest here."


The elder son reluctantly returned to his doodling for some time. The cries of seagulls drifted to them from the rocks below. At last, he ceased his agitated scratching, dropping his pastel on his lap and throwing his hands up into the air.


"Fine, fine! Stay. Like I'm givin' a rat's arse whether y'do or don't. The twins are out, and so's Ma. You're old enough t'risk your own hide, so... fair enough."


His brother smiled. "Fair enough."


Osric sighed again as he reached up and rubbed at his temples. "That out o' the way... better y'tell me now who you're runnin' with, Tom, so I don't wet m'breeches later. The Colibri? The Ziz? Please tell me y'ain't runnin' with the Skites...."


Thomys all but giggled. "Hardly. I'm with Jacke."


The former problemsolver's face fell, utter disbelief painted across his features. "Jacke? As in Jacke o' the Dutiful Sisters o' the Edelweiss? That scrag?"


"Cove," muttered Thomys absentmindedly as he lifted a stick and starting drawing in the dirt, smile still on his face.


"Oh, Matron's teats, it's the Rogues' Cant for Tiny Tom. After all that talk o' hatin' Thieves' Cant--"


"--grammatically and syntactically moronic--"


"--as if I know what y'mean by that, and why in the seven hells didn't you sign on with the Jackals?"


"What, the crew you ran with? Done in by the jacks four cycles ago."




They went back to the relative silence of scratches for a time, as one drew on paper and the other drew on earth. There came the tolling of the bells from Limsa, and the dull crack of distant musket fire. The wind died down for an instant, then picked up again, the sea breeze carrying the scent of fresh fish.  


"So," murmured the lad as he plucked a green linkpearl from his ear and held it up, "what did you call me for?"


Osric huffed a breath. "Information. I need t'have words with every fence 'n' runner I can get m'hands on, and I needed t'have those words three suns ago."


Thomys shook his head. "Impossible, you are. What happened to that Keeper you were keen on?  The way you went on about her, folks would've figured you were fawning over some pet that had done you proud."


"Kink and I had a... falling out. Besides, in your last letter y'said she'd disappeared. That still the case?"


"Right off the edge of the map, aye." He tossed the stick aside, clapped his hands and rubbed his palms together. "Alright, fences and streetrunners it is. Might take me longer than usual, most folks have clammed up on me since I joined the guild."


"Piss, I wonder why," Osric said wryly.


"Sod off. You're running out of light."


"I know, I know."


The once-thief-turned-soldier returned to his drawing.

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Mikh'a shook his head as he followed Titor back in to the room.“We can't use our ship.” he said as his ears pinned to his head. “We're being sent on a mission by a piece of paper that has no face, no name, they've robbed us of our important assets, and we're moving technology that's banned in to a city state that doesn't much like what we're moving. Plus the guy smelled...” he frowned. “Off. I don't know. I don't like the way he smelled, it was just...”


He bristled and then paced away from Titor so that he could perchon a chair, elbows on his knees and tail twitching behind him. “I don't know. I can't explain it, it's off.” It helped that the smell of lavender had been forever traumatized in his mind, but even then it was just weird for him. “But orders are orders and like Erik said... we're soldiers. We go where we're told without question.”


...which was why he was a terrible soldier. ( And in someone'sopinion a terrible scientist. ) All he ever did was ask questions.



“It's not suspicious at all to you?”

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Shortly after the fiasco of a mission on the bridge, Cliodhna sat on a rather large create; leaning against Erik as he planned their next course of action, letting him support her weight for the moment. Her gaze slowly drifting over all the members, thankfully no one aside from herself had been injured from the looks of it. Cursing under her breath she glanced down at the dirty floor. That damned wound...it had been plaguing her since she arrived in Ul'dah but had never reacted this badly. Then again, she hadn't been exposed to such a massive outpouring of aether since officially joining the Red Wings. Sure a bit here and there to use her skills when needed, but that level it was more annoyance than pain. This....Cliodhna cringed, this was unacceptable.


After the plans had been made, she watched mildly as Siha and Mikh'a whispered about something she knew that the idea of taking Sieghard with them bothered Siha slightly, but it was necessary if Cliodhna didn't get herself sorted soon. Also there was the added concern that she wasn't ready to share yet. There was something about the Elezen that bothered Cliodhna and if there was a further possibility of treachery; she wanted to weed it out herself before anyone was hurt.


Tucking a lock of blonde hair behind her ear, she glanced in Erik's direction. This slip up on her part could have cost her more than a botched mission and she'd be dammed if she let it cause further trouble.

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All things considered, the mission had gone as well as one could have hoped.  An obvious setup.  There was no way around it.  They weren't going to get through that one with perfect marks.  The mission was a failure, for all that meant, being it was a shakedown.  At least no one died.


Now it was time to make their move, rather than just wait to react once again.  Sieghart was content to listen to the captains assessment of the situation, and their new orders.  They were splitting up.  Clio and Siha would be his comerades from this point on.  Once the debriefing was finished, and they had their orders, Sieg stepped out to await Siha and Clio.  He'd have to wait awhile to share another drink with his old friend Raimy.

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They had promised that man. That was all she could think about while they made their walk back to the Drydocks. They had promised him and they had failed him.


Her brow had stayed furrowed the whole time and she'd fought Mikh'a for the spot of back of the pack, eventually ending the stalemate by taking his hand instead and turning watchful eyes on the back of her family. None of them had died as the poor Elezen man had, and none had been injured save Clio, even then her injury seemed to be preexisting and...complicated. Mouth set in a line the whole explanation had set her on edge and she'd cried out a few times in protest of what was being said, redaction? How could they dare redact the Red Wings after everything they'd done and given up for that city?! Her outrage was for the others and less herself, she was not a Flame and they owed her no allegiance but Erik, Kahn'a, Osric? They had given so much for that city, protected her from threats that would have been devastating. Quivering anger settled in her stomach and a little fear.


They were splitting up, it was smart but she hated it if only because she wanted to watch them all, protect them all. The hug she'd given Mikh'a had been tight when they'd parted and after whispered instructions she'd left him along with Clio and the others to step outside into the rain that had plagued them since the attack. Her ears were flattened to avoid the drops sliding into them and she peered up at the sky, normally she enjoyed the rain but now...somehow it just seemed ominous and her brow furrowed before she was wrapping her arms around her quickly dampening form. Sliding to sit on a bench near the door she directed her gaze finally to her teammate, Sieghart. She didn't know much about the man except that he'd seemed to enjoy the fight and had been able to make light after, a man had -died- but perhaps that was something he was used to. Regardless it made her uneasy and she swallowed, unease or not he was hers to watch over now and he was a Red Wing, that was enough to warrant her attempts at getting to know him.


A few moments on the bench were all she could handle before her nerves brought her to her feet and she drifted over the large Highlander's side. She didn't lift her eyes at first, clearing her throat to let him know she was there if he didn't already, "What...what did you make of all that?" she asked quietly, lifting her gaze finally to settle a purple gaze that was full of mixed emotions onto his face. She looked strained to say the least and her hands rubbed lightly at her arms to coax some warmth into them, but her cold had nothing to do with the rain, it would not be chased away so easily.

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Erik, Kahn'a, Mikh'a, and Raimy snuck aboard the small freighter bound for the Silver Bazaar like wisps in the night. Once the boat stopped, there was no harm but to the port watchman done as they left the ship, Erik using a sleeper hold on the man to quiet any alarm. In less then an hour after they stood at the gates of Ul'dah, never had they seemed so unfriendly.


The Captain huddled them together before they entered, "We all have tasks, things that must be seen to before we slip away. Gather what we need from the Hall, load the Falcon and fly it to the Highlands, Thanalan and the Alliance has no pull there. If this becomes serious, we will need all we can grab, the airship included." Erik froze silent and looked in the direction of two guards 50 fulms away. As they carried on he continued, "I am going to the Flame Hall, do not follow or wait for me, I will meet you all in Ishgard." He stood and moved toward the clearing, stopping before leaving the group, "You know what you must do.... Make it so."


The city was hard to disappear in, he had been here far to long. But that could be a good thing too. He moved quietly, hope in his heart the shadows and moonless night would help him. To the alley to the west enterance of the Quicksand he moved. In the west wall of the building Erik moved his hand allong the wall feeling for..... there. A brick, loose to the touch. He pulled it out abd reach into the cavity behind it. He drew out a fresh sword, shield, a few more bricks falling away. A black hooded robe, an axe. He equipped this gear, hanging on a coin purse, full of gil and papers, a new identity. Erik had holes like this all over the city, never be to careful. He took what he had now and moved to the Flame Hall, to find Montblanc, and to find some answers.

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Erik hadn't said much to Cliodhna aside from a whispered "be careful" with a quick squeeze of her hand as he slipped out the door, but that was expected. They both had been in this business too long to wish for tearful good-byes and romantic embraces before each parting. Sighing gently, she raked a hand though her sodden, blonde hair. The pain in her side had subsided a bit since things had died down some but Siha's attempts at healing it still hurt. Wincing slightly, Cliodhna stood and headed for the door to find her traveling companions.


Approaching the two she glanced over to the smaller Miqo'te, brows knitted together over her green eyes. Though obviously wary of the bigger man; at least she was trying to make conversation from the looks of it. Walking up to them, Cliodhna looked them both in the eye before speaking. "Are you two prepared to follow orders?" She asked, her voice slightly husky from the weather, pausing a moment to clear her throat. "I for one, have an issue when some orders are clearly not in our best interest." Motioning for them to lean in closer, Cliodhna lowered her voice. "We'll get to the Shroud and hide as planned, but not before we clear some things up first. I won't let my handicap get in the way again but we need to have another crack at that damned Lalafell before doing so. He knows something and I don't plan to just run out of here because a few people want me dead. You two are free to follow Captain's orders but I'll be delaying mine a bit." Cliodhna looked both in the eye again, gaze drifting From Sieghart to Siha. "Now, can I trust you or do I need to find others to achieve this endeavor?"

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Cautious and inherently worried about others she was, but a coward she was not. The Miqo'te set her jaw just as soon as Clio was done speaking, "You're not going alone, La- Cliodhna, you can count me in." She wasn't one to go tracking down such wily enemies so quickly but Clio had a point, they needed to know what their attacker had known and he'd said it was a job, that meant there was more to it and someone had hired him. "I'd rather be doing something than hiding, especially if that means the others can come home faster..." she glanced to the side and fixed her eyes on the Highlander curiously. From what she'd seen of the man she doubted he'd refuse Clio either but then again he had said he was a soldier and this was technically disobeying orders by not fleeing immediately.

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Mikh'a wanted to protest - the Flame hall?! It was pointless, Erik was going to do what he needed to do and it wasn't any more than tired fears. Their captain was fully capable of his task, the ginger kitty was just the type to fret.


Left to their own devices, Mikh'a had given Raimy a simple task after their return to the Goblet: Secure Titor's notes then meet in the basement. It wasn't something that could be easily screwed up given the encrypted methods Titor used as it was to keep his notes secret and safe. It was only busy work, Raimy's sheer lack in self confidence made it difficult to task him with things. Mikh'a himself had made necessary preparations in certain people's rooms to confiscate any incriminating evidence of well... anything... before near cleaning out any mobile medical supplies they'd need. He'd discarded his Flames uniform for something more practical for the colder weather they were diving in to. ( It helped he needed to conceal his identity, wanted for murder based on visuals alone. ) 


Slinging the pack of medical supplies over his shoulder the tiny kitty's ears pinned to his head as he stepped back out again in to the foyer of the hall and gave a look around. The plan was to regroup inside the house and head to the ship through the basement entrance but he couldn't shake the feeling that this was going to go so much more wrong, so quickly. Erik's dream was so telling thus far it was hard not to succumb to the creeping fear and the boy did everything in his power to hold it together while moving to lock the front door. No reason not to take extra precaution, there was no way the Flames weren't going to come beating down their door to find them soon enough and those members of the Red Wings not present would do well to stay away until things had been fixed.

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Raimy isn't sure why they brought him with them back to Ul'dah. By the sounds of it there are important things to see to and be done, but he hasn't been with them long enough to know what those things might be. His mind wanders to Seighart and he can't help but wonder if his friend is going to fill his flask before heading to The Shroud. Raimy could hide in The Shroud. Or on his own. Erik tells them to see to the important things so Raimy decides to just follow orders as best he can for now. 


He knows the kid doesn't like him because he'd made a few threats against the kid when they first met. He didn't meant them.. mostly. For now he sticks with Mikh'a anyway. He knows he'll creep Mikh'a out enough that the kid will snap at him and give him something to do, and it works. All of Raimy's extra clothes are at Titor's house, so all he has is his Flames coat. He grabs all the notes he can find and stuffs his coat with as much as he can carry, or readies it to go on the ship with them by putting what he can in a box. He figures if he leaves any behind someone else will tear the place apart later and find them. Safes can be cracked, hiding holes can be found. These notes won't be taken until Raimy is dead.

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((Sorry about my late reply.  Seems I no longer get automatic updates when a topic gets new posts.))



Sieghart had been standing in the same spot.  His left arm crossed straight over his torso, his right elbow propped upon the left hand that rested at his ribs, and his right arm straight up as his index finger tapped at the side of his mouth.  He waited until Siha spoke, rather than making some attempt at "getting to know you" chat.


What...what did you make of all that?


He replied, turning his head to look down to her.


What I make of it is...we're in a bad spot.  Captain's right.  Splitting up is the way to go.  We all know this was a setup from the word go, but we had to play along.  A man's dead thanks to this farce.  Occupational hazard is one thing, but when people die because we're being sent into a fake mission, it's a problem, orders or no.  But at least this way, we can't all get killed if things go that bad.  In situations like this, we have to put survival first.  You understand that.  Right?


The insinuation was heavy, if not obvious.  Mission botched from the go.  A man dead.  The company splitting up and possibly wanted men and women by now...  If it came down to it, he meant to see to their well-being first, and their orders second.  He was never an actual soldier.  Just a mercenary.  He didn't follow orders blindly, and he wanted to know where his current unit stood on it.




When Clio came over and spoke to them, he had no issues with what she said.

I'm not planning on reporting you, if that's what you're worried about.  I'd like to get to the Shroud ASAP, but right now, we all need to trust one another.  What exactly have you got in mind?

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Lurking near the door, A'laric listened to the others react to the disaster of a  mission with half his attention. The other half was diligently occupied with replaying the scenario on the bridge, trying to pick the pieces apart. The attack had been far too quick and clean. Planned to the last minute detail. The work of a professional. As a fellow professional, he could certainly appreciate it.


He could also track down the one responsible for planning it and personally guarantee that the whoreson died screaming. Of course, that plan was contingent upon actually finding the one responsible. An ear flicked thoughtfully as he glanced at Erik in response to hearing his name spoken. Accepting his orders placidly, he spared only a brief glance and a smirk for Osric before slinking out the door and into the rain.


Tilting his face up to the cold droplets, he smiled to himself. All signs pointed to the Lalafel as his best chance at finding out the who and why of this little mess. And of.. tidying it up. A predatory little chuckle escaped his lips as he began to walk toward the gates.

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[[no worries, next time we can just shoot you a quick message after I or siha post if that's easier? ]]


After receiving both of their answers, Cliodhna smirked. "We're going to set him up for another job and catch him like a wharf rat when he shows up to discuss business details. Simple, but effective and after what recently transpired; no doubt they're too busy turning their gil to drink for the possibility of a quick retaliation to even cross their mind." She paused, biting her bottom lip; a habit since childhood that stubbornly refused to leave.


"We need more than the three of us to pull it off though. Clearly they were able to take all of us on before but they used tricks in the way of smoke bombs and the like. We'll have to move fast and grab them before there's even a chance of them setting any off. We also need a safe way into the Shroud after this; Siha-" She turned her attention back to the blonde Keeper. "Erik eluded that you knew of a contact we can use in the Shroud, yes? Do you think there's a way we can get them to meet us here and then help escort us back for hiding once it's over?"


Tilting her head to the side; Cliodhna thought a moment. They'd need a place to hide while here. Frowning, she wondered; was it safe to trust him? He did say if she was ever in Limsa and needed help, he'd be there but.....She sighed, there wasn't much choice but she'd contact him later. "We'll need Osric and the ones that are to hide her with him as well. No doubt they'll jump at the chance to help also, but we can't rely on them to hide us while here...That would just complicate things if we stay in too big of a group. I'll see if we can find a safe haven for now but the members of our team and that possible contact needs to be made aware of our situation; or at least know we require assistance."

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I just did this so you'd know. .___. It's effective I think? xD



The blonde woman was much more at ease after Sieghart answered her question and she unwound her arms from herself for the moment. So he wasn't a mindless soldier, and that meant that he could be trusted...well she assumed so for now. He seemed alright and she tried to put any fears aside long enough to flash him a relieved smile, her brows furrowing again as Clio smirked and continued with her train of though. Her frown had nothing to do with disapproval, no, she was thinking.


Her eyes widened quickly when Cliodhna turned her gaze onto her and she flipped her ears back briefly before setting her jaw with a curt nod. "Y-Yes, Miss Kiht and I know each other through a mutual friend and she's been nothing but welcoming. I don't have a direct line but a message could be sent to her discreetly via the Moogles I'm sure..." she suggested before falling silent. It was the best she could offer but she can be discreet, offering to visit as Kiht had invited so long ago. It wouldn't alarm the Keeper but she could try to convey some discreet urgency, the woman had been versed enough in subtlety when she'd met her with Roen and it make her confident.


"O-Osric would be easy enough to get hold of...ah...maybe not without Erik knowing but we do have our pearl" she reached to touch her ear. Thank the gods they still had those in their possession, if one group went down at least the others would be able to be told. She hoped against hope that wasn't necessary and that they'd all remain safe but it didn't stop it from settling at the back of her mind.

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Every foot fall and sound of passing fabric on the wall screamed like explosions in his ears. His time behind the desk was making him soft.... or age... something. As he moved to the roof of the Hall he was at least able to keep his footing, he had not lost all his skills. Through the tower window he slipped into the instillation. Down he made his way, pass rooms and offices that brought to mind old memories, good times and bad times. He shook the thoughts from his mind and carried on, tuning his ears to the quiet hallways.


A few minutes into his descent, he heard his Mammet. He came to a small clerical office, inside Montblanc was carrying out his daily work. Erik slipped in, "Montblanc, time to go." The little automaton nodded and followed without question, climbing into the the small sack Erik held. Slinging the the bag under his robe he moved out..... "Shit." He exited the room and was seen by two guards. The Flames were lower rank, he could tell by their markings. He was not suppose to be here, he was not even suppose to be in Thanalan. If he was identified their head start would be ruined. It all came back to him, the old soldier gave way to the young soldier as he moved like a trained miqo'te through the halls. As the two gave chase they called for backup, ironically their call echoing in Erik's own pearl. Into the main hall he found five more incoming. He looked around as the Flames converged. He thought aloud to himself, "Alright old man.... what now?"

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((C-c-c-c-c-combo breaker! Hi guys! Just making my intro post so you all know I'm now watching the thread, and ready to participate when it is my turn.))



It was a quiet night in Eastern Thanalan. A gentle breeze blew, and like any night in an arid climate, it was a comfortable cool temperature. A lone Aldgoat had sleepily wandered too far from its group, and was having a midnight graze. It was a large Billy. Usually there was little to threaten him that time of night.


An arrow suddenly flew into its neck at the base of its skull. The Aldgoat barely had enough time to let out a moo of protest before it fell to the ground in a heap. Everything remained silent for a few moments before a figure came creeping through the brush towards the kill.


Kiht Jakkya surveyed her handiwork. Her skill with the short bow had much improved, and hunting in Thanalan almost required it. Things were so much more open, and moving silently took a whole different method. However, after three weeks in Thanalan with her new group, the 'Shroudwolf Clan', Kiht was getting accustomed to hunting in, and dealing with the climate she was not fond of.


While Kiht knew of many places a group could hide in the Black Shroud, she and her kin needed long-term livelihoods. Her one benevolent business contact was Verad Bellveil, and he lived in the Goblet. They had been supporting his business, and reaping benefits from it. Kiht craved so much to be back in her homeland, but until her group could afford a home for themselves in the Twelveswood, Verad's estate would be their base.


Kiht's thoughts began to wander about the people she knew in Thanalan, and how she suddenly lived much closer to them. The recent leve she had done on Verad's behalf had a surprise helper. Osric Melkire from the Red Wings. It was odd, he seemed preoccupied at the end of the leve. Despite the implications of the discovery made during the leve, Osric gave little reaction like he had something else on his mind. It made Kiht wonder how the Red Wings were doing...

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Mikh'a was getting impatient. It didn't take that long to pick up the notes and hide them, they were at no risk of being read or decrypted in any case. The tiny ginger cat shifted his weight as he paced away from the now locked front door and glanced back toward the tail end of the headquarters that led to the rest of the building. "Come on." he complained. 


Raimy wasn't his favorite person in the world, and he wasn't making a better case for himself by taking his sweet time on this.


Finally, and with a frustrated sigh, Mikh'a paced back through the end door and down to the long term lab, pushing the door open. "Let's move it, Raimy! We've wasted enough time!" He didn't bother to go in, there was no point, their time at the house was up and they needed to leave.

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Erik peered over the outcrop of stones, his father capped his son's head with his wide hands and lowered the boy's head a bit, "Down son. To high and it'll catch sight of you and that's all there will be to it." The boy was no more then ten, his eyes wide with both excitement and fear. Before the both of them was a lone Hungry Direwolf. Ulrich, a soldier of Ala Mhigo, had been dispatched to the south of the capitol on reports that this creature and others of its kind had been seen, far to north of their natural range. Erik watched the wolf and froze a bit as it looked to the sounds it caught of him, even though it looked away.


"Tell me boy, how will you go about slaying this dog?" Erik's head snapped to his father's face, a dread whisper from him, "Me father?!?" Ulrich smiled, "You think I made your mother angry wit' me and dragged you out here on a sanctioned mission just for the fun of it. You wade through those books your mother gives you all to much. Time for you to get dirty boy." Easy for him to say, a Knight in form, armored in his thick black armor, the greatsword held to the ground. Erik swallowed and looked to the wolf, "How?" Ulrich looked at him, "You brought your sword and shield as I asked, so go and kill it." Erik panicked more, looking at the items named on the ground, "But how!?"


Ulrich sighed, more at his own parenting then his son, "You have to be bold and rush him, he will not expect such madness, a boy as small as you. The real problem will be if his friend's are about." Erik looked out and took a deep breath as his father pushed him, "Good luck boy." The boy tumbled over the rocks, falling straight into the direwolf's sight. The beast growled as Erik scooted back in fear. Ulrich had moved to the top of the rocks, smiling and waving his had, "Best get up boy. He looks pissed." Erik began to run from here to there, the wolf hot on his heels. He would stop and swing blindly, only to miss and continue running. As the painful sight continued Ulrich pick up a small rock and threw it behind the wolf as his son and the beast ran past. The wolf froze and turned to the noise. Seeing the chance Erik swung as the beast looked away and took it down.


He stood there panting, proud and terrified, panting. Ulrich hopped from the rocks and placed his hand on the boy's head, "Good, very good." Erik was in shock, looking to his father as he spoke, "Bu... But I was going to die I thought. The wolf was.... I was no match for him!" Ulrich placed his hands on his son's shoulders and spoke, "No... you lived, unlike that poor beast. Now you can stand here and tremble or you can take pride in what you did, and learn it's lessons. Do you know the lessons?" Erik shook his head, his trembling slowing. Ulrich put an arm around his son's shoulder and lead him to start walking, "One, you can overcome any opponent. And two, that sometimes if a challenge is greater then your body can beat, your cunning can and will make up the difference. Diversions can be most helpful in times where you find yourself overpowered. Your cunning is as important as your sword."





Erik stood in the connecting square of the Hall of Flames. He heard the men approaching from all sides, the sounds over the pearl...... the pearl. Erik's eyes widened as he remembered his father's advice. He lifted his finger to his pearl and barked into it, changing his voice as much as he could, "All Flame units.... intruder located in the sub-basement, Hall of Armaments." As the footfalls of a dozen soldiers stopped and then began to move away, he smiled, "You always were wise I thought, despite what mother said." He allowed himself a quick chuckle then made haste to the roof, and into the night.

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((Yes that worked, Siha.  Thanks.))


Sieg had to admit it to himself.  He didn't like it.  This group seemed like a good way to get a foothold because he knew someone already in it, but now, barely a week after joining, this situation popped up, and he had to trust people he didn't know at all.  It's a hell of a first mission.


So you want to lure him out and trap him, eh?  It's a sound strategy, but making a move this quick does have a high risk factor.  If it's like you think, and they won't expect retaliation this soon, we should be good.  But we just don't know for sure.


Sieg sighed a bit, though not from any particular frustration.  More of an idle thing he did while thinking.


But...it could pay off.


He had addressed them both.  He wouldn't be abl eto do anything more than be muscle.  He didn't know them, and he couldn't risk exposing his contacts with things in this state.  He was on his own, and at their mercy.

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A slower progression then he had wanted, the rooftops felt further apart then they use to be. The wiggling mammet in his sack was not helping things. His balance was good, but it had been better. Since he had returned from the "grave" and been reinstated as leader of the Red Wings. A year since the Royal Ball, the bomb plot, so much had happened. The unit had been so small, but in the last year, with the threats from within, as well as the changing world without, he had been encouraged by Flame Command to expand his team. That expansion came with an administering role for him. He had been sitting behind the desk and it was showing.... "When was the last time I jogged?"


He reached the Goblet with little trouble, the voices in his pearl told him where not to go. He approached Sable Hall, no sign of trouble. Making his way to the stables he lead all the chocobo straight into the Hall, the floors would need cleaning after this for sure. Down into the hanger he spotted Mikh'a and waved, loading the birds into the Falcon as Mikh'a finished moving the papers and materials. The Falcon was strong, but maybe not enough, a lot of weight. Hope was all he could do. Once all was loaded, Montblanc already out of the bag and in the Wheelhouse, doing his flight check as best he could with three of the chocobo in the room with him, spillover from the chocobo compartment. Erik shot a look to Mikh'a, "I need to grab some things. Be ready to launch."


Running to his chamber he grabbed somethings, a few of his treasured books, his priestly robes, a few mementos, and a few things of Clio's he knew she would miss if they were lost. He ran back to the hanger, climbed aboard the launching Falcon, he was focused on the task at hand but mindful of what had happened today. Most likely this run would get him in shape, but regardless, when this was over, he would have to reevaluate himself. It was time to begin the training, no more leadership from the desk.

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"We don't have much choice..." Cliodhna trailed off, brushing her soggy hair from her face to see Seig more clearly. "I'll understand if you don't wish to throw yourself into this but regardless; I'm going." She then turned her attention to Siha. "Get a letter off to your contact quickly and I'll find us a hiding place until then." Stepping away and down a narrow alley; Cliodhna tapped the pearl in her ear, summing a contact she hadn't spoken to in quite some time.



The hustle of the Bismark rarely slowed, regardless of season, but being as popular of a location; that was to be expected. The patio was delicately lit with small lights as the murmurs of conversations blended over the clinking of dishes. Inside the kitchen it was hot and brightly lit; the air steaming from the various dishes as Lyngsath barked orders to his fleet of apprentices, his eye on each dish they prepared to ensure the high standard his patrons were accustomed to.  Against the wall was a massive sink next to a towering pile of dirty dishes with a lone Miqo'te tirelessly scrubbing at the them. Though stooped over; it was easy to see the Keeper stood at an near even six flums, sighing he used his tan (and amazingly dry) upper forearm to wipe the sweat from his brow and burgundy hair from his garnet eyes. 


He had been working on a particular stubborn splotch of some sort on a bowl when suddenly another stack of dishes clattered next to him; causing the keeper to jump, his tail frizzed. "Here ya go, Youkio!" The busboy - a dark haired midlander - grinned. 


"Godsdamnit Ivan! ya ain't gotta scare me like that!" Youkio hissed, flashing his teeth.


"Oh you're fine! Keeps you young, besides since you started here, I don't have to do that job anymore so I can't help but being in a good mood around you." Ivan grinned, brushing off Youkio's frustration, laughing and dodging the wet rag that was flung at him.


"Oh get out afore I drown ya in the damn sink!" Youkio called after angrily before returning to his job muttering under his breath. "Damn job ain't payin' me enough for this sort of shite....WHAT?" He growled, answering the excessive pearl ringing in his ear. It wasn't encouraged to answer while working but for the most part; no one paid the lower rung workers any attention anyway. Most likely it was Cree again sobbing about their breakup.


"Cree, I told ya I ain't interested! I don't know how many times I have to go over this with ya, we AIN'T GETTING MARRIED!"


"Youkio...." Cliodhna voice ringing though the pearl.


"DO NOT give me the same sob story about tellin your mother again-"


"Youkio...." She interrupted again, a bit more annoyed.


"NO, I'VE SAID IT AFORE AND I'LL KEEP SAYIN IT TILL YOU GET IT THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULL" Youkio yelled, more frustrated at the day and yelling to vent more than actually listening to the voice. "You were great okay? WE were great but our kinda great ain't great enough outside of the bedroom an' I ain't family material, we both know you'll get bored later an' I'll be damned if I'ma let you try an' then blame me later for ruinin your life when we BOTH know you're the one pushin for this! I AIN'T GONNA DO IT!"


"PIPER, would you kindly SHUT THE HELL UP AND LISTEN? I got bigger issues than whatever you got going on with your recent wench and I need help!" Cliodhna spat forcefully raising her voice to make herself heard over his rambling.


".......T-tempest? Is that you?" Youkio asked, slight shake in his voice. He hadn't spoken to her since their time in the Maelstorm. Ducking out the back when no one was looking, Youkio quickly rounded a corner and whispered. "What is it Tempest?"


"I'm not wanting to get you too involved Piper but I ain't got much choice, I gotta get myself and two others in hiding till some shit blows over and we get out of here in one piece. We're in Lower La Noscea right now." Cliodhna replied, her tone returning to normal but her rougher for of speaking still present.


"Sure, anythin'. I ain't got much right now but you know you an' any friends are welcome. I got a small place ya'll can hide in till we get ya to safer seas. Get yourselves out to Eastern' an' I'll hop cross the ferry to find ya and get ya set up." Youkio breathed, anxiously scanning to door to ensure no one was overhearing him.


"Thanks, Piper, you know if I make it out alive, I owe ya one." Cliodhna murmured, slight relief in her voice.


"Nah, just returnin' an old favor is all." Youkio replied offhandedly before ending the link and rushing back inside before it was noticed he deserted his post.

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(Spoke with Erik and was permitted to introduce this character for the short period I am on leave. If anyone wants to encounter him via forum rp, pm me :))


The desert sun shone down hot as the dry wind blew the long strings of sands from the cliff tops. Eagels circled overhead as silence hung like a blanket over the land.


A crack like lightening split the silence and a whizzing tore through the air. A wooden target's knee exploded into splinters and the prone miqo'te smiled as a voice buzzed through the linkpearl in his ear.


"Excellent shot, sir. Right in the knee." 


The miqo'te pulled his right eye away from the scope of his massive rifle and blinked the blue optic. His left eye opened and it shone a blood red as he reached for another tall bullet encased in brass. His nimble fingers spun the round through them as he used his thumb to open the feed cover and then slipped the bullet back in. He then pulled the fireing pin back with a click and returned his face to the stock of his rifle.


The miqo'te was prone on the edge of the cliff. His target was down below him at a range of half a mile. Two instuments buzzed beside him, spinning as they calculated wind speed and magnetic feilds.  Flame Leuitenant A'trus "Loft" M. had always excelled at hunting prey. Even back when he was part of his tribe, he had been one of the best hunters. Now, after ten years in the service of Ul'dah, at age twenty-nine, he was considered one of the best trackers and rifleman in the service. An officer who never questioned orders and whose unit always returned with their targets, even if it took longer than expected.


A'trus slowed his breathing as he aimed at the target below. He had earned the nickname "Loft" from his habit of always having the high ground. A character trait some claimed made him to predictable. But with his rifle, it didn't matter. A'trus got his prey, alive. 


The brown haired seeker fired.  His bullet spun thanks to the double rifling cut into the barrel's core. The large pay load then peirced the air and raced across the distance. Several seconds later the wooden traget's other knee exploded and the officer grined again, flashing white teeth as he opened his mis-matched eyes and rose to his feet.


Several pairs of hands were clapping and he turned and blushed at three of his soldiers.


"Don't you all have work to be doing?" A'trus said as he brushed the sand from his shirt and paints before hefting the rifle up into his arms.


"Sir, we don't. Gear is all packed and we are ready to roll soon as orders get here." replied Sergeant Rungee, a dark skined hyur with a talent for traps. 


"Looks like we won't be waiting long." A'trus remarked as a distant form drew closer.


Twenty minutes later, a Flame messenger rode up and handed A'trus a wrapped letter. The officer nodded and saluted before he took it. The Seeker's eyes read over it, then paused. He frowned and read the orders again and then looked at the messenger. 


"This isn't an excercise?" A'trus said carefully. The messenger nodded, clearly uncomfortable in his uniform in the sweltering heat. A'trus blinked and then read the letter one last time.


"Well piss on my grave." A'trus said at last as he licked his lips. "Team. You have one bell to have all of our gear loaded and you in your uniforms. Rungee, I want you getting in contact with our scouts. They have new targets and they will be moving hard and fast.  We are to bring them in alive, standard procedure."


A'trus' soldiers began moving swiftly as they began loading weapons and boxes into wagons. Rungee came over to his officer and lowered his voice.


"Who's the target?"


A'trus looked at his sergeant carefully.


"Some birds who need their wings clipped. Red Wings to be exact."


"Thal's Balls." Rungee scowled at that. "The whole organization? Who ordered this?"


"Doesn't matter." A'trus said as he walked over to a coat hung from a wagon. The officer swung his uniform coat onto his shoulders and fastened the clamps. " We have a job to do. Moment you get a bite on one of these Red Wings, you let me know. Till then Im going to get their files and figure out what sort if rounds I need."


"Standard we hunt, you shoot?" Rungee chuckled as he saluted. A'trus saluted back and grinned.


"The standard."

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