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That One NPC

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  1. That One NPC

    Final Fantasy (Tribute Series)

    Introduction Part 1 Reflections From The Future "My name is Hans Venechenko. You don't know me, but you know our story. You know her legacy. It's a story of love, hate, friendship, betrayal, courage, and sacrifice. All the hallmarks of a good story. It's about rebellion, men and women taking a stand to defend their land and people before there was nothing left to fight for. It's the journey of how one girl from the slums of Zenobia inspired the world to form a revolution. To take our freedom by force, although at a grave, and unforgettable cost. This is her story, but it's my story, too. And I'd like to share it with you..." Introduction Part 2 Desert Rose Ana Maria Grace rolled over in her comfy bed of soft, warm, purple sheets in her cozy room. She was sound asleep, dreaming of some better time and place. A land of innocence, love, and peace. Angelo slept comfortably beside her. He was her large, furry brown dog. Her beautiful blonde hair rested over her forehead, covering her left eye. Her sparkling emerald gems were shut as she slept the morning away against her fluffy purple pillow. The buzzer inside of her old mechanical clock clang its usual dull, metallic, insistent racket. New clocks had something called a chip that was made from data or something. Here in the slums of Zenobia, there was no fancy, fussy technology. Bikes that ride themselves, you just sit and stare at people passing by. Neat little boxes that show moving pictures. Nothing so sophisticated. The inner city was like something from a comic book or fiction novel. Some futuristic metropolis turning time like the inside of a clock. Late at night you can look out your bedroom window, peer north into the night sky, and see it's lights glowing, flashing and blinking like stars hung just above and below the horizon. She opened her bright green eyes quickly, smiling wide. She smacked the plated spring on the clock, silencing it for another twenty-four hours, and leapt from her bed, startling Angelo as she did so. He slowly got up off the bed, jumping to the hardwood floor with a surge of energy that would last for the next 12 hours. "Can't come today, Angelo. I'm goin' to the inner districts," Ana said, leaning over in the doorway. She shut the door on him, and he tilted his head with a whimper. She jogged down the stairs of her tiny home, running into the kitchen where her mother was sitting, reading the Zenobian Times over a cup of tea. It was a shabby little home nestled into a nook of Zenobia's slums, but it was cozy, warm, neat and welcoming. "I made breakfast," her mother said lovingly, eyes fixed on the article still, no doubt retaining the words as she spoke to her daughter. "Not hungry, Mom," Ana replied, kissing her on the cheek, heading for the door. Ana's mother looked over her shoulder at her oldest daughter as she grabbed her coat from the rack. "Stay away from those left-wing, hooligan friends of yours!" her mother yelled out to her as she dashed out the door. The streets of Zenobia were bustling that particular morning. Buildings, trees, structures and rooftops towered over power lines and into the sky. Bikes, strangely built cars and trucks filled the busy streets. Some were paved or stone, others were run down dirt roads, usually in a series of gritty backstreets networking the outermost corners and reaches of the slums. Far beyond the cluttered, towering groupings of buildings, the massive structures and sky scrappers of the inner core of Zenobia loomed on the horizon like pillars of the heavens, watching over the poverty, despair and corruption that ensued every day amidst the outer slums... That One NPC Presents... Inspired by Squaresoft's Body of Work From 1987-1999 Created by M.J. Saulnier(That One NPC) Dedicated to Hironobu Sakaguchi, and Final Fantasy fans everywhere
  2. That One NPC

    Final Fantasy (Tribute Series)

    Stryker sat in the sand, tossing pieces of twigs and cactus husk onto a small fire. A ZSF (Zenobian Special Forces) issue machine gun was across his lap and one of their radios along with a pair of long range binoculars sat in the sand beside him. He watched Ana sleep, the memory of that night playing through his mind like a film reel. He placed his hands behind his head, laying back in the sand. "You old fool," he whispered, almost regretting having let her in that night. "Always gotta be the hero." As he lay there, drawing upon his memories, a voice came over the radio. No ordinary voice, but a voice he knew without question. The smooth, slithering voice of Victor Chimera. Rumored to have been killed in action ten years ago. That soft, calculating, articulate tone couldn't be forgotten or mistaken for another. "Leo! Answer your goddamn radio! Do not engage him, Leo. Do you understand me? Do not engage. Follow him to Odessa and wait for Lyra. I warned you about this cowboy shit. We need him alive, not hacked to pieces, clinging to life by a thread!" Stryker picked up the binoculars, scanning around their position. He couldn't see much of anything out there, and figured it had to be Edge. He was keeping his word to Ana, and they would meet up in Odessa, where Stryker would find out who he really was and why he was carrying around the name of a dead man.
  3. That One NPC

    Final Fantasy (Tribute Series)

    Those times were strange, dark and foreboding. Those who remember them, will never forget what transpired. And history, word of mouth will never let them forget the suffering, the bloodshed, betrayal and deceit. But also the courage, sacrifice and bravery. You see we couldn't forget. The memories were etched in our minds and hearts. Long after the fact, people still tell the stories, and remember the sacrifice of so many lives so that they could be free... "Do you know what this is, Seto?" Henato asked with a smile. He leaned forward, holding a sapphire pendant which hung around his neck from a silver chain. It was a deep blue diamond cut perfectly with six sides. Within the core of the gem, an azure light seemed to glow and twinkle when held in shadow. It seemed to hold Seto spellbound as he gazed upon its beauty. He was a young boy with scruffy, light brown hair and piercing hazel eyes that radiated with youth and innocence. He wore a simple grey, short sleeved shirt with a thick blue tunic held in place by a length of brown cloth tied at the waist. His baggy pants were made of the same grey cloth his shirt was tailored from and tucked just below the knee into tightly bound leather boots. He shook his head slowly, eyes fixed upon the sapphire charm. Henato pinched his right cheek gently. "This is a very special stone, Seto. It has been in our family for many, many centuries. It is something our ancestors gave their lives to protect. Nothing is more sacred and valuable to the people of our tribe, Seto. Nothing," he said intently, removing the silver chain from around his neck slowly, with care and discipline. He held it out before young Seto, it's core shimmering as it dangled before him. "My father bestowed this precious pendant around my neck when I was just your age, and now I am bestowing it around yours." Seto lowered his head as Henato gently placed the necklace around his neck. It was long for him, hanging around his abdomen, and yet it felt weightless! It could have been all in his childish imagination, but he felt as though a sense of empowerment fell over him. A sense of comfort and security. Henato kneeled down before him, placing both hands on his shoulders. "You must never lose it, Seto. Protect it with your life, and never let anyone take it from you," Henato said gravely. Seto nodded several times, paying close attention to his father's words and cupped the mysterious sapphire gem in the palm of his hand... ***** Edge blazed across the desert as the sun set beyond the horizon. It was getting dark now, and the air was cooling off. But heat still emanated off of the sand which had been heated by the sun's rays all day long. His hover bike, which had been driven flat out for more than a day now was beginning to overheat and die on him. The energy source was dwindling fast and wouldn't last more than a few minutes, then he would be on foot for the rest of the way. But he had made an unscheduled stop, visiting friends at a Bedouin encampment to the south. He was headed for Odessa once again, but the detour had greatly slowed him down. He would now have to shoulder most of the journey on foot, if he couldn't 'procure' another means of travel along the way. Meeting the girl had changed the plan entirely. It was supposed to be a smooth, in and out operation. Things fell apart fast when Sarovoc Ducrinus fought back, with a sword no less, and got the better of him. Edge had no choice but to retreat before being captured by security, tortured and executed. Running into that girl and her friend in the lower levels of Zenobia Prime was just a wild twist of fate. Another wrench thrown into an already botched operation. Now he was wanted for the attempted assassinated of the Emperor's brother, and that poor girl just got caught up in it all. Wrong place, wrong time. And what were the odds those kids would bomb Zenobia Prime on the same day, at the same time he planned Sarovoc's assassination? The engine choked, sputtered and ground to a halt, crashing into the sand on a leftward angle. Edge was tossed into the sand, rolling to his knees. He shook the sand off and got to his feet, giving the failed bike a swift kick. It didn't even budge, and Edge plopped in the sand, leaning against it. He had miles to go, and nothing but his feet to take him. He reached under his faded red Bedouin scarf and beneath the collar of his black, short sleeved shirt and pulled a silver chain out from under the strap of his sword's sheath. It was a dazzling blue pendant. He studied every familiar trait and memorized detail of the fine, exotic gem as he sat in the sand. He tucked the necklace back under his shirt and stood up, trekking through the harsh desert toward Odessa.
  4. I hate the fact that my FF was edited before, about 4 years ago, but that site no longer exists now. :( Ugh. I can recall bits of edits here and there, but I know I will never be able to recreate most of those edits, be cause there were so many, every post, varying in size and significance. OH well. Guess I'll just have to make it even better this time. I need to edit the entire story one it's transferred.

  5. That One NPC

    Final Fantasy (Tribute Series)

    Ana sat in the sand with Stryker's duster covering her bare legs and the zipper of her jacket done up to the chin. She shivered as the sun set. She firmly regretted choosing a skirt again the morning before. She could never have anticipated spending an entire night in the desert. Truth was, she was uncomfortable, home sick and terrified. Still devastated and in shock from the night before. But she blocked it out, keeping the thought of her friends as far from her mind as possible. But the memories would flood back in flashes when she let her focus slip, weighing heavy on her emotions like a vice around her heart, tightening every so often. It didn't help that Stryker had left her alone to gather materials for the fire and perhaps procure some food or a source of nutrition for the journey tomorrow morning. The sun was going down, the air was cooling off and she didn't feel safe anymore. But the large rock formation behind her, and the high dune in front of her would provide decent cover from the elements and any Zenobian troops that may pass by. As she leaned forward into the warm radius of a small fire, hugging her legs, shaking gently, a tall figure emerged in the corner of her eye to the left. She examined it, assumed it was Stryker, and stood up, intending to help him with whatever he had gathered. Upon a closer look, the shape was very tall, dark, and wide. Stryker was a lean man, tall, but not that tall. Even from a distance, the mysterious form looked very large. As she examined the approaching figure, she heard a mechanical beep and the scratching sound of radio static followed by a muffled, grainy voice. "Target confirmed. Take her down!" As she turned around, praying it wasn't so, six Elite Troopers in black, bullet-proof body armor emerged from behind the rock formation with automatic weapons at shoulder level. Ana froze with terror. This couldn't be happening, it just couldn't. She hadn't even been out of Zenobia for 24 hours and they had captured her. She should have known better, it all seemed so silly now. They screamed at her viciously, all at the same time, adding to her fear and sadness. "Don't fuckin' move!" "Get down, now!" "Hands in the air!" "Face in the sand!" "Down, now!" "Ana Grace! On your knees. Keep your hands where I can see 'em!" So many different instructions, it was confusing, but she had no choice but to comply as best she could. They would hurt her, shoot her, or worse. She thought for a moment that she would have been safer in Zenobia, as opposed to the damn desert. She was a needle in hay stack within the city, but she stuck out like a sore thumb in the desert. She had made their job so much easier. Ana dropped to her knees, hands at her sides avoiding eye contact. She was terrified, and kept thinking they were going to hit her and beat her up. She was worried they would kick her, or strike her face with the butts of their guns. She just didn't want them to hurt her. The leader of the group whispered instructions to two of the other men while the remaining three held their guns on her chest. The red dots dancing across her breasts scared her to death. She was in tears, sobbing uncontrollably as the leader approached her with a pair of handcuffs. He was rough with her as he slapped them on, pulling on her arms carelessly, locking them so tight they bit into her skin. When he was done, he stood up, placing the heel of his boot on the back of her head and pushed her face first into the sand. As she tried to roll over, one of the troopers yelled at her again. "Stay still! Face down!" She pulled her knees up to her chest, weeping into the sand. It was over. Stryker would come back, they'd kill him in a fire fight, and bring her back to Zenobia. She'd be executed, or spend the rest of her life in a Zenobian prison, raped and beaten until she was old and grey, or dead. All she wanted was to go home. Spend one more night in her bed, kiss her mother one more time, and tell her sister she loved her once more. Why did she have to be the hero? Why did she have to take matters into her own hands? None of it mattered now, it was done, and she had to face the music. A feeling of calm began to wash over her. She was still alive, still here to tell their story, and fight another day. Jin, Kato and Willow had paid the ultimate and highest price. She had been spared through it all, despite how bad things seemed. That's when she felt it. A wave of heat washed over her body, stinging the exposed flesh of her hands and legs. A bloodcurdling scream shot across the desert as bright orange embers danced around Ana, fluttering to the ground as they faded and died. She quickly rolled over to inspect the bizarre commotion. One of the men was engulfed in flames, rolling around in the sand, kicking and screaming in agony as flame melted fabric to flesh and superheated his body. The other men shouted to one another and scrambled to locate and assess the threat. Before anyone could make sense of the situation, a bolt of lightning flashed before Ana's eyes, striking one of the men in the chest. The tail of electric energy was gone as soon as it had arrived and a roll of thunder cracked the sky in it's wake as the trooper dropped lifelessly to the sand. By now the stench of burning flesh and fabric had invaded the air, making Ana gag. She was startled by the sound of rapid gunfire as the four soldiers opened up on something. She followed their aim and to her amazement, she saw a tall, wide man hooded and cloaked in baggy black clothing advancing on the soldiers. The bullets seemed to reflect off of his form, leaving no visible effect on him. The soldiers stepped back as he came closer, and Ana was so terrified she began to pull herself away from them all, crawling and scooting up the dune in a panicked state. The hooded man began to move faster, gaining quarter on the first soldier. He took two massive strides toward him, his tattered black cloak waving behind him as he grabbed the soldier's assault rifle by the barrel, yanking it from his hands as he landed a swift and powerful push kick to the solar plexus in the same motion. He tossed the gun in the sand as his victim hit the sand hard, grasping his chest. He continued toward the men at a growing pace, almost jogging now. One of them began to flee, running in the opposite direction as he quickly realized that his weapon was useless against this man, and that horrified him. The remaining two stood their ground, falling back on their combat training, instead of their firearms. But they were no match for this man. He lunged forward throwing a vicious, linear open palm strike to the abdomen using his left hand, following up with a flaming right palm to the second soldier's face, igniting his skull in fames. As he held his face, screaming in pain and collapsed to the sand, the hooded man threw a left wing chun backhand strike to the jaw of the first soldier, dropping him instantly. He stilled himself, and in the distance, another bolt of lightning struck the last soldier down as he sprinted through the desert, yet another clap of thunder peeling across the sky. Ana gazed at the tall, menacing man, frozen with fear and amazement. He looked to his left, locking eyes with Ana. Beneath the hood she could see no face, no flesh, only shadow, and two bright white eyes glaring back at her. Stryker appeared at the top of the dune, twin pistols drawn and set their marks on the hooded man. As he focused his aim for the top of the skull, he could have sworn he saw a glint of light flash over the cloaked man's figure. It distracted his aim and startled him. "Ana?" Stryker called out to her with concern. She didn't reply, and he quickly glanced at her to see if she was okay. That's when he spoke. With a hoarse, deep voice he spoke only three words to them. "Leave this place." Stryker's gun sights followed him for what seemed like forever as he calmly walked away, back on the path he had been taking before those fine gentlemen had interrupted his travels. Stryker's heart was pounding, and he slowly lowered his weapons as the cloaked stranger got far enough away that he felt the threat was over. He dashed down the side of the dune toward Ana. "Are you okay?" he asked her intently, cupping her chin in the palms of his hands. She nodded, tears streaming down her cheeks. "Get me out of these," she pleaded, pulling her arms around the right side of her body. Stryker nodded, getting to his feet and approached the wounded men with his pistols locked and loaded.
  6. That One NPC

    Final Fantasy (Tribute Series)

    Sarovoc's cold, blank stare was fixed intently on Victor as he spun a small computer monitor around. Victor sat at Savoroc's desk with him, legs crossed, arms folded. He quickly glanced at the screen, then at Sarovoc and back at the screen, examining the images of Edge and Ana side by side. His gaze lingered on Ana, and a breath of emotion escaped his steel soul. He knew what Sarovoc would do to her if she was captured, and he decided then and there that she would die during her capture in an unfortunate, and uncontrollable series of events. He'd face the music and dance to the tune of Sarovoc's wrath to spare this girl a much worse, prolonged and despicable fate. For despite his being a cold, ruthless, calculating shell of a man, Victor was capable of compassion, sympathy, and even mercy. "The boy has escaped the city, and whilst we can't say for certain, it's safe to assume she has escaped as well," Sarovoc explained, leaning back in his throne-like office chair. It screamed narcissism, speaking to his deeply seeded aspirations of becoming Emperor, and his delusions of grandeur. "I want them alive, Victor, no screw ups." Victor nodded, blinking slowly. "With the boy, it's personal. The girl, not so much, but she'll make a lovely pet, wouldn't you agree?" "She's a beautiful girl," Victor said with a grin, examining her flawless facial structure and gorgeous blonde hair. "Yes, she'll look even better chained to my bedside," Sarovoc said bluntly, standing up from his chair, walking over to a large window that overlooked the city from the 125th floor of Zenobia Prime. "The boy I want most of all, so make him your priority. We have something to finish. Call it a warrior's vendetta," he continued, gazing out over the city lights and into the horizon. "There is a certain obligation to end a man's life after he tries to take your own." "I wouldn't know," Victor said, glancing to his left at Sarovoc, taking full advantage of his opportunity to rub it in deep. Sarovoc took a deep breath, resisting his violent impulses. "Every team and unit in the army has these photographs, but I can no more rely on them to succeed than I can rely on you to fail," he turned to face Victor, "Correct?" Victor brushed his pant leg off and nodded, matching Sarovoc's gaze. "My team and I will locate these kids, and return them in one piece. But we'll expect payment." Sarovoc's eyes narrowed and a grin masked his anger. He knew what Victor was driving at, because he knew every card in the man's deck. They were cut directly from the same cloth. "We work for the Empire, not Zenobia Prime." "Things can change, old friend, and they can change fast," Sarovoc said blankly, turning back to the window, hands cupped behind his back. Victor's brow tightened and he took a moment of deep thought before shaking the sinister notion for the task at hand. He stood up from his seat. "The kid known as Edge, Leo is already on his trail. He's headed for Odessa. Lyra's flying there to intercept him as we speak. Tank and I will focus on this girl. Ana, you said her name was?" "Beautiful, isn't it?" Victor headed for the door. "We'll be in touch."
  7. That One NPC

    Final Fantasy (Tribute Series)

    Ana followed Stryker through the hot, dusty backstreets of the outer slums. The sun pounded down on the desert city with an unforgiving malice. It was almost high noon, and her leather jacket was becoming more of a burden with each step she took. Stryker was armed to the teeth under his long brown duster. He wore black, fingerless gloves and a pair of round sunglasses. He was so obvious, she wondered how he managed to elude the Zenobian Empire for so long. Then again, she was fairly obvious in that red and black jacket. Everyone around the slums knew Ana. Kids, shop keepers, students and teachers, mailmen, everyone from the south western districts knew her by name, or by her long blonde hair, angelic face, and that trademark leather jacket. Red was a symbol of resistance. It represented the blood of the Zenobian people who died in the last civil war. 134 years ago, the people of the slums rose up against the Emperor, Tyranus Ducrinus, Lucious' great grandfather. They waged war on the core and were slaughtered by the thousands. The war only lasted a few months before the people surrendered, but they have been fighting that war in their hearts ever since. He led her down a series of unfamiliar streets. Even after 21 years of walking these streets, she found areas of the city she had never been before. You see, Zenobia was simply massive. From above, she imagined it looked endless, stretching into the horizon and beyond. there were millions upon millions of residents in Zenobia, only about a million of them registered citizens with rights and privileges like healthcare, the right to vote, speak freely in public, and practice any kind of religious or spiritual beliefs. Those people lived in the core. Residents of the slums were treated as less than human. There were no police here, no firefighters, or government establishments or services of any kind. People had to provide services like hospitals, fire prevention, and other vital functions themselves. But these services are illegal to provide without a license or permit, and only citizens were eligible for them. The only right to service the people of the slums were afforded was the right to trade goods for gil, or other goods. And the government still stuck their nose in, making it as hard as possible for shop owners to make a living and keep their doors open. Murder wasn't even against the law in the slums, unless a citizen was killed by a resident of the slums, or by another citizen. It was a lawless wasteland where people had to band together to protect each other and survive. Some districts were worse than others. Ana was from District 93 which was generally safe and civilized. But others like 98, or 81 were total chaos. The painkillers were working. She felt a little strange, but the pain had lessened to a reasonable degree, and as she worked through the burn, it became easier to walk. Stryker took her by the hand to her surprise and led her down a dark, narrow alleyway between two shanty, poorly constructed buildings. She gazed around the environment with anxiety as she saw old, used condoms, and dirty needles on the ground around her feet. Broken glass and cigarette butts littered the filthy nook of Zenobia's underbelly. The alley gave way into an opening surrounded by abandoned buildings. Stryker brushed his duster aside and let his right hand rest on his six shooter as bums, dregs and junkies watched them wearily as they passed by. The smell alone made Ana sick, but the very appearance of the vagrants startled her senses. She had never been this deep into the filth of Zenobia, although she knew it was there. They passed through a door into a dark, musty and moldy building. He led her down a long corridor. The floor was wet from water dripping from the ceiling. At the end of the corridor, there was a massive hole in the wall that led straight out into the desert. Stryker stopped, letting her hand go. "This is an old passage smugglers and rebels have been using for almost fifty years," he said with a low tone of voice. He led the way slowly, peeking his head out and looking around cautiously. "Zenobian troops might be patrolling the desert, so we have to move fast." Ana swallowed her anxiety like a lump in her throat and followed Stryker out into the light. The desert was sweltering. She could feel the heat radiating off of the sand in waves. The sun's rays glistened off of every grain, straining her eyes. She had never been outside of Zenobia before, and the anxiety she had swallowed forced its way out of her stomach and into her chest, gripping her poor heart with fear. It was real now. She was leaving her home. Her mother. Her little sister. Everything she had come to know and love.
  8. So happy to have my Legacy folder back, I have to hammer out some of the conceptual aspects and get a start on it.

  9. That One NPC

    Final Fantasy (Tribute Series)

    Ana awoke in Stryker's bed. The white sheets were musty and cold. She shivered as she became aware of her surroundings. There were machines, mechanical equipment, and large bundles and lengths of random wiring scattered all over the room. The walls were rusted and showed signs of water leaking from the edges of the ceiling, staining the metallic surface in waves. Bright, translucent rays of sunlight peeked through a tiny circular window on a downward angle. Sitting on a small night table to her left was an old, black and white photo of a young man and woman. They were smiling, cheek to cheek. She sat up in the bed, letting her legs hang over the edge of the mattress. She picked up the picture, and upon closer examination, she was able to determine that the man was Stryker. She placed the picture back on the table as it was, noticing a glass of water sitting idly, and took a drink, soothing her dry mouth and throat. She stretched, allowing a big yawn that helped shake off the sleepiness. As she loosened her muscles, she felt sharp pains all over her upper body from neck to ribcage. She cringed, clutching her ribs and shoulder. She slowly, painfully lifted her shirt, exposing the pale flesh of her tiny body. She was bruised and scraped badly, and it made the pain seem so much worse. That's when she took notice of three small white pills laying next to the glass of water. She hadn't remembered coming in the room, or going to sleep. She must have passed out on Stryker, and he carried her in here, and left the medication for her, anticipating her morning after agony. For a moment, she pondered whether or not he checked her body for wounds, but quickly realized her legs were badly scraped and bruised as well. She reached for the pills, exchanging hands, and then the glass, as not to overextend her hurting body. She downed the pills with trouble, having to lean back and spare her neck the strain, but her ribs and lower back hurt nevertheless. She chugged the entire glass of water and lowered her head, holding the cup in her lap. She almost wanted to cry, but she remembered Edge, his instruction. "Odessa Inn!" She had to get moving. Find a way out of the city. Maybe it was early enough that she could slip out past Stryker. He had already done enough, risked so much for a stranger. They had only briefly met on several occasions through Jin. It wasn't like he knew her. And yet he risked life and limb to harbor and care for her. She strained to hug herself, rubbing her arms as she shivered in the cool morning air. Zenobia was hot during the day, and blistering cold during the night. Every morning was bitterly cold. It sunk into flesh and bone, chilling to the core. Wood stoves and coal furnaces were required to maintain heat during the night through crude ventilation systems. She missed her home, her warm cozy bed and soft purple sheets. She missed her mother's cooking and warm smile. She missed her sister, her dog, and her friends. She pulled herself together, pushing herself off the firm, springy mattress and onto her feet. Her perfectly toned legs didn't approve, but it wasn't open for debate. She had to get going. She had to find Edge, he'd know what to do, where to go. She felt so alone. Her mind kept wondering toward Stryker, he was all she had in that moment, but she knew she had to leave. She couldn't burden the man anymore than she already had. So she pressed on, clinging to the walls for support as she tried to work the kinks and irks out of her legs. She passed through a doorway, slipping through the slightly open door as quietly as possible. As she passed through the doorway, she could smell the aroma of eggs and bacon. She could hear the sizzling and light clanging of utensils. Stryker was already awake and preparing breakfast. Just her luck... Stryker stood in his small, sorry excuse for a kitchen. There was a tiny fridge, a beat up old stove which he hovered over, and a small sink with hardly any counter space. He wore the same militant cloths he had on the night before with a white towel tossed over his right shoulder. He turned as he sensed a presence enter the room behind him. Ana stood just beyond the hallway, holding her left arm. He could see the pain all over her face, and it broke his heart. "Sit down," he said protectively, walking over to her. He wrapped his arms around her shoulders and tummy, walking with her over to the sofa. There was an old pillow and blanket sprawled across the cushions where Stryker had slept the night before. Just by the naked eye, she could tell he had been cramped and uncomfortable. A wave of guilt washed over her already exhausted emotional state. She felt as though she was imposing, putting the man out somehow. He helped her sit down as she cringed yet again, having to bend her knees and stress her back muscles as she sat down. "I have to go, Stryker," she pleaded desperately, glancing up at him with tears forming in her gorgeous green eyes. He stared back at her with compassion and sympathy. "We're gonna go to Odessa, Ana. But not before you get something in your belly." He gently ran his fingers along the soft skin of her right cheek, brushing her hair behind her ear and returned to the stove to tend to the eggs and bacon. "I can't ask you to come with me, you've done too much," Ana tried to explain to him, but he cut her off, turning around. "You're not asking. I'm telling you. You'll never make it to Odessa alone in the shape you're in. I'm not letting you die out there, Ana. If you think for a second I'm gonna let you go out into the desert alone and wounded, you've got me all wrong." He went back to cooking as Ana lowered her head, accepting defeat with open arms. She knew she'd never make it alone. She didn't even know where Odessa was. Stryker prepared her a heaping plate of food, and presented it before her. "Eat up, kiddo. Then we get you to Odessa," he said with a charming smile. She painfully reached for the fork, lifted the plate over her lap and stuffed her bruised belly.
  10. That One NPC

    FAE: Volume I

    (This was created for television format, and does not translate to game format. This is just my latest story project. I've been working on it since 2016, and started writing it last year.) VOLUME I Created by M.J. Saulnier Mystery/Drama/Science Fiction/Horror Some Mature/Disturbing Scenes “Spanning the breadth of your entire existence, you’ve asked the question, ‘What am I?’ Well, my precious child, I’ve been waiting a lifetime to welcome you home.” —Woman In White FAE follows the lives of several families living in the quiet, rustic little town of White River Valley. An eerie, rural community nestled deep into the valley forest. Nothing in this place is quite as it seems on the surface, and seven teenagers are about to find out exactly why. The mystery runs deep, but the connection between them all runs even deeper. One of those teens is a new girl in town, about to discover the truth about this place, and her own connection to it. Danger lurks beyond every shadow, and secrets remain locked behind every door. FAE is a modern fantasy epic that promises to keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. VOLUME I
  11. That One NPC

    FAE: Volume I

    Country Road, Outside White River Valley Phillip and June Ross had followed the storm most of the way into White River Valley. Traveling northbound, they came upon the tail and remained behind it on a northwestern heading all the way into White River County. Their navy station wagon followed an old, remote country road winding through the valley forest, entombed by a dense, towering treeline. The vibrant canopy of lush leaves was stippled with droplets of cool morning rain. They set out the day before and had been on the road all night. It was nearing dawn, and they had been rotating shifts at the wheel for over twelve hours now. Phillip sat behind the wheel, his right hand resting casually at twelve o'clock. He was visibly lethargic, but alert nevertheless. He had brown hair and a very short beard that masked his youthful aesthetic. Blinking slowly and with a heavy burden, he raised an over-the-counter coffee cup to his dry lips. It was a satisfying gulp, even if it had gone cold an hour ago. Phillip kind of liked cold coffee if there was just enough sugar in it. He gave a quick glance of his right shoulder toward his wife, who was leaning against the door handle with her chin cupped in her right palm, full head of silky black hair turned away from him. Her light green eyes gazed longingly out the passenger window as the scenery crawled by. Phillip returned his languid sapphire gaze to the road rather quickly, keeping her firmly on his mind. "It's not too late to turn around, babe," he proposed softly, so as not to awaken their daughter, Melanie, who had been sound asleep in the back seat the entire time. June looked him over with a warm, pursed smile. He was such a selfless man, and she loved him deeply for it, but her decision had been made. There was no turning back now. ***** White River Valley Melanie's blue green eyes slowly fluttered open as she lay in the back seat. Her long black hair was gathered in a bun at the crown of her head. She lay on her right side, against the rear passenger side door. She wore a black hoodie that peeked out from under the purple blanket she was wrapped in. She allowed all of her senses to focus as she noted that it was now after dawn and daylight had already broken. She had slept for most of the night and her body felt tight, cramped, discombobulated and she was a little peckish. Rising from beneath her purple blanket to peek out the windows, Mel set her gaze upon the streets of White River Valley for the very first time. It was thoroughly underwhelming to her urban senses. A light fog lingered along the surface of the ground, lending a lonely, ghostly nuance to the already eldritch landscape. Long, narrow stretches of twin lane back road, only shoulder and ditch between pavement and treeline. The power lines and telephone poles seemed so much more distinguished in towns like these. It wasn't her first small town, but she had hoped it would be her last, and was fairly certain that her stay wouldn't be a long one. As the back road gave way to the downtown core, her disappointment only snowballed. The pit of her stomach sank a few inches as she saw the narrowly structured streets lined with old, short buildings cluttered with scrappy signage and personal bric-a-brac. Open lots and stretches of grass and trees dotted all around in every direction. It was like something from a movie, where people go to buy haunted houses. "So... This is it, huh?" Mel asked with a despondent sort of tone which was rather typical of a teenage girl placed out of her element. June immediately spun around in her seat, facing her daughter. "I know it’s small, hun, but I promise, it will grow on you," she said compassionately, trying to console Mel. The hardest part of all of this was having to put her daughter through yet another move. "There’s even a small beach if you know where to find it," she added, going the extra step to put her mind at ease. June knew that in time, this place would become Melanie's home. In time, everything would become clear. "That should at least keep you happyish for the summer," Phillip said, glancing at Mel through the rear-view mirror with his big, bright, signature Phillip Ross smile. Mel grinned as she locked eyes with him, attempting to return her gaze to the window inconspicuously. "You know me, Dad," she said, stilling her expression and returning her train of thought to a more glum setting. "Leaf on the wind."
  12. That One NPC

    FAE: Volume I

    EPISODE 1 What Am I? Mayor's Office, White River Valley Miles Feltman had roots in White River Valley. The sort of roots that find their fare deep, reaching back toward the soil in which they had been sown. His family had placed stakes here centuries ago and hadn't spent so much as a day beyond the rolling sea of dense, primordial forest that surrounded the town like a blanket of fog offering both bounty and retribution alike. It was a quiet place. Where no animals frolicked or foraged. No wind dashed through the tree canopy, rustling fallen leaves as they pirouette along the forest floor. This was a ghostly holt where locals say the leaves will whisper to you should you walk among them by your lonesome. Miles Feltman grew up on those sorts of folk tales. He knew every intimate discomfiture of this town as well as every contentment. He knew every side street, back alley, and dirt trail. He loved White River Valley, because he was its Mayor. For thirty-seven-years, Miles faithfully served the office of Mayor. He knew every resident by name, and had stories to tell about their grandparents. In fact, in most homes in this town, Miles was like an extended grandfather. He shopped in the same supermarkets, bought gas at the same pumps and attended Sunday mass at the same church as the majority of families in town. Despite being the Mayor, his title wasn't a big deal, because he was a fixture in the community. Everyone knew Mr. Feltman by name. He was an approachable, ordinary guy who always took the time to converse and catch up with his constitutes. He was a good husband, good neighbor and a good Mayor, forgiving his propensity to eat most of Ellen Harper's oatmeal macarons at town hall meetings. Miles stood in his office, squinting and pursing his lips as he ran his left index finger along a row of standing records neatly packed into a shelf. When he had made his selection, he smiled with a fond nostalgia as he traced his finger tips across the colorful yet faded cover art. This particular record reminded him of his wife, Norma, and 1964, the year they first met. Although they were only teenagers, there was something so innocent and simple about that time. Back before children had grown into adults. Before this town had been forever changed on a crisp autumn evening. Before decisions had been made that could never be undone. He nudged a pair of thick prescription lenses up the bridge of his weathered, slightly crooked nose as he carefully removed the vinyl from its sleeve. The clock on the wall over his shoulder read three minutes after midnight. A low rumble of thunder approached on the horizon, nearing the Valley with each passing moment, a dull azure flash flickering against the window panes. The needle dropped and Miles gently closed the lid over the record player. Heading straight for the mini-bar, he fixed himself a straight brandy, helping himself to a generous gulp. He gazed around the rustic, quaint little office which he had spent the last thirty-seven-years upholding. This was his second home; His castle. White River Valley? His kingdom. A swell of emotion—maybe even dread—consumed him momentarily before a crack of thunder accompanied by a bright flash startled him and drew his attention to the window. There, he quietly observed the coming storm. Behind him, the door handle began to squeak and rattle as it slowly turned open. Miles' hands began to shake, his palms becoming clammy as he held his brandy tightly, wedding band worn faithfully around his wrinkled right ring finger. He turned around, giving a nervous glance of his shoulder as he did so. The door creaked open with agonizing leisure, only adding to the mounting anticipation. A tall figure stood beyond the threshold cloaked in shadow. Miles was hesitant; Fearful. But this fear was not for himself. This fear was for the people of his town. "So... You’ve finally returned?" Miles asked nervously. "It’s time, Miles," the man said with an eerily calm authority and a clean, modern American accent. Miles placed his brandy on the windowsill behind him. "I’ve been waiting for this, well, a long time now," he explained, adjusting his posture and composure to meet his adversary with courage and dignity. "I made my peace. So, you go ahead. Do your worst." "My worst, Miles?" the man asked rhetorically, stepping forward into the light more. He had long, perfectly kempt black hair parted down the center, framing off a long, bony, pale face. He was altogether unsettling and yet ghoulishly handsome in the same breath. He had eyes that could strip paint off the wall, and a smile fit for the devil himself. "Believe me," he said with a sinister lack of expression. "The worst is yet to come," he finished, face illuminated by azure light as another crack of thunder rolled across the valley sky.
  13. So a few months back my project folders all got lost somehow. I'm still not sure exactly how it happened. I believe it was a hiccup that occurred when I backed up the files on a usb that ended up being unreliable. It was a 2TB stick but it was chinese, and Chinese gear apparently hates encrypted files. So whilst trying to transfer my pirated movie collection to the usb, John Wick 2 (probably random, but) killed the stick, So I reformatted it. I recall this clearly. Problem is, I think I deleted my main project collection folder, thinking it was backed up. Anyway, this was a soul crushing moment of defeat for me. But I found a version of Legacy Frontier (SaGa-like/Tribute) I had uploaded to my Google Drive to show a buddy what I had been doing with the world map vehicle.


    This is huge because it gave me a backup of that project. I may have lost everything I had done on Overworld, but at least I got LF back. I like this concept so much, and I was thinking about making the scale galactic, rather than planetary.



    1. PhoenixSoul


      It's not that it's Chinese, but that the circuitry was made cheaply.

    2. Rikifive


      2TB in a stick? Actually it may be because it was Chinese. High capacities in cheap products can be fake. They reprogram card parameters to cheat the system to make it think it has that much of storage, so that at first you indeed see it has 2TB making you unable to detect issues at first glance (otherwise scam would be too obvious to spot making the seller ded really fast). The card reports it has 2TB, but in reality it actually can have much, much, much less than that (something reasonable at the price range ~ 32GB or something) and since the device parameters are fake, the system will not notice issues at first and continue saving things into space it thinks it exists, but the files may get corrupted in the end when attempting to cross the real storage limit.


      Unless you threw looooots of money ('coz sticks with that capacity are pricey), chances are you got bamboozled by Chinese scammers.


      I'm not sure if that's the case or not, but given you mentioned transferring movie collection, it sounds likely for it to be.

  14. That One NPC

    Final Fantasy (Tribute Series)

    "Let me see if I understand this correctly," Lucious said with arrogance. "Some savage outsider tried to kill you, then escaped. Mean-while four kids from the slums tried to blow up Zenobia Prime?" Sarovoc stood before his brother, looking around with irritation. He was defensive and annoyed. He nodded. Locking eyes with Lucious. Lucious was an older man with grey hair and an aged, wrinkling face. He wore a fine suit with a long black coat. His gaze was scrutinizing, and his brow stern. "Deal with this yourself, brother. I have greater concerns than four dead kids in your basement," Lucious said as he got up from his seat, walking passed Sarovoc. Sarovoc sighed, lowering his head. "All four aren't dead," he said with a sense of shame and failure. Lucious stopped, closing his eyes, lifting his head with annoyed frustration. "What happened, Sarovoc?" "The mercenary helped one of them escape." Lucious spun around swiftly, scolding Sarovoc with his cold eyes. The same eyes their father used to scold them with. Hector was a vile man. A real violent, judgement bastard. He didn't let up until the day he died, clawing his way into the afterlife over a three day period struggling on life support. And even today the scars he left on their mind and body still haunted them, judging and picking apart their every move from the shallow grave he lay in. No one mourned the loss of Hector Ducrinus, because he had stricken anyone he had met with resent and hatred. "I'm in the process of locating them now," Sarovoc explained, holding Edge's escape from the city close to his chest. He wasn't game for the condescending bullshit he'd inevitably face from his brother. Truth was, deep down inside he hated Lucious, and resented his being made Emperor based on age alone when he believed he was better suited to lead Zenobia. Lucious was so disgusted he didn't even speak, only gave him a fatal look that was both immanent and threatening as he turned from him and walked away. Sarovoc gritted his teeth, feeling a wave of rage in Lucious' wake. He dialed a number and waited for an answer. "Lyra, here." "Find the boy!" he yelled with hatred. "He dies, you die with him. I want him alive so I can watch him die myself!" He hung up in Agent Lyra's ear, throwing his hand-held device against a large window that overlooked Zenobia from thousands of feet in the air.
  15. That One NPC

    Final Fantasy (Tribute Series)

    "I once knew a girl who used to say, "Anything truly great comes from a humble beginning." She was right. Back then I didn't believe in anything, didn't even believe in myself. Somewhere in my adventurous youth I had lost sight of who I was, where I had come from, and who I was destined to be. She changed all of that. Without even trying, without even knowing it, she inspired us all to create a better version of ourselves. To create a better world." Edge charged down a dark, narrow ally. His breathing was heavy and his heart threatened to blow as it pounded in his chest. In the distance, the sound of sirens pitched across the sky as soldiers flooded the streets, searching high and low for the escaped terrorists. They blocked all exits into and out of Zenobia, setting up check points to monitor and regulate all traffic leaving both the core, and the slums. Soldiers operating large armored vehicles and mobile missile deployment trucks lingered at the check points and stalked the streets while homes and businesses were raided and searched. The streets were still relatively busy. It was late evening yet, and light traffic and crowds still roamed the streets of the outer slums. Edge had reached one of the main streets in Zenobia, stretching from the southern most point of the city, spanning north for miles into the core's high class downtown districts. He lurked in the shadows, sizing up the street. There were citizens on the opposite side walking north, and a group of three teenagers heading south on his side of the road. Beyond them he set his gaze on a lone Zenobian soldier riding a hover bike designed for desert travel. The soldier was approaching slowly, intimidating the people with the slow, menacing crawl of his iron horse as he patrolled the streets of the slums. The kids were approaching too fast, and they would end up between him and the soldier by the time Edge had the chance to make his move. He spread his back against the wall, taking full cover of the shadows and waited the situation out. As they grew closer, he could make out the conversation they were having. "I say they're just muscling us so they can build their reactors," a young man said to the others, hands buried in his pockets as he strolled down the street. "Wouldn't surprise me one bit," another boy said cynically, smoking a cigarette. A young girl walked between them. She seemed to have more energy than the boys, more spunk in her spirit. "Whatever," she said, snatching the cigarette from the cynic's lips, flicking it into the street. "Hey, Shestah!" At that moment the trooper called out to the kids and turned his bike toward them, pulling closer to the sidewalk. The three teens turned around, and when they matched eyes with a Zenobian soldier, the cynical smoker attempted to bolt south down the street. As he turned to make an honest break for home, Edge emerged from the shadows with haste and force, pushing the poor kid aside. He bumped into Shestah as Edge rushed the unprepared trooper, smacking him across the face with the blunt side of his sword, swinging with all his might. The trooper hit the pavement, unconscious and Edge mounted the bike, pushing its small engine to the limit. Shestah and her companions stood in awe as he raced down the street, cutting an intersection fiercely before disappearing out of sight. "Holy shit," Shestah said plainly, a twinkle of admiration shining in her big brown eyes. "We should go," the cynical smoker said with both fear and excitement, looking down at the KO'd Zenobian trooper. "Yeah," the other boy replied quickly, and three ran away into the night leaving the trooper there in the street. ***** "Negative, I'm on foot. Guy stole my unit. Son of a bitch broke my nose. I need a medic." "Copy that, trooper. He just jumped our check-point. Smooth move, asshole." Sarovoc stood beside a large brown horse preparing to mount it. He wore an ear piece with a small microphone listening to the conversation. He froze, closing his eyes and let a sigh pass from his lips. "Stand down." "Copy that, Sir." Sarovoc walked away from the horse, leaving the stable. He dialed a number into a hand-held device and awaited an answer. "Hello?" "Victor." "Sarovoc..." "We have a situation."
  16. This is a very skimpy, poorly written and organized summary of the plot to the first set of stories. Part of the challenge was figuring out how to fit all of this into game format without breaking it up into a few titles (YUCK! -.-'). I'm dropping it here because no one looks at my blog, and I'm overly nervous and antsy about getting content off of that older site and over here for safe keeping. I don't even trust my own google docs to not lose data anymore. It's all about redundancy. I will edit these soon, and try not to let it spoil anything for you if you find it interesting. You don't have to read all the way to end yet. Note: Final Fantasy I Zenobia is a massive, technologically advanced desert metropolis. An empire seeking to conquer and erase the old world. Using their far superior technology they sweep the vast continent committing genocide, establishing new Zenobian cities atop the ruins and corpses. The desert city is divided in two. The core of the city is awe inspiring. Buildings that tower into the sky. Wealth and luxury for every man and woman. Highly advanced technology engrained into daily life. Outside the core, beyond the walls and defenses, the people of the slums suffer in poverty and oppression, living in crudely built structures under horrible conditions. Anastasia Maria Grace is a resident of the slums. She is an everyday twenty-three year old girl who believes so strongly in the ideals of equality, freedom, and world peace that she is willing to stand against an entity so powerful that any hope of a world free of it has been lost. She and three of her friends (Jin, Willow, Kato) plan an attack on Zenobia Prime HQ, a technology corporation owned by Prince Sarovoc Ducrinus and the sole provider of energy to the entire city. The plan fails and Ana's friends are killed by the faulty explosive timers. She is rescued by a mysterious outsider who calls himself Edge. He parts ways to protect her (as he is being hunted by Zenobian troops), instructing her to meet him at Odessa Inn. With her best friends dead she goes to the only place she can think of. Stryker is ex-Zenobian Special Forces, the owner/operator of*"Rebel Radio", and mentor to Jin. He volunteers to escort her to Odessa. Leaving Zenobia for the very first time, Ana accidentally embarks on an epic journey that takes her across the world to crusade against the Zenobian Empire. She meets Juakeem Mohinder, a bedouin warrior and chocobo breeder, and his war bird Shae'elle. He gives her a young, unremarkable chocobo named Boko who is determined to become a worthy war bird. The group meets Edge and Commander Bastian Fairheart at Odessa Inn. The Inn is a front for a rebel base located beneath the ground. The base is compromised by Zenobian forces and Bastian leads the group out of the desert and into the wilderness. Along their journey they meet Casius Magnus, a nomadic Black Mage who saved Ana from capture back on the road to Odessa. They also meet Lillian Nobunaga, a Swordstress, traveling warrior and the last of her ancient race. When they reach the coast, they meet Cideon Armstrong, Captain of the Free Airship Valiant and his nephews Biggs and Wedge. Cid reluctantly grants them sanctuary aboard his ship. Ana inspires Cid to stop hiding underwater instead of living and fighting While helping rebel forces defend a city from Zenobian assault, the group has an encounter with Marrick Cross, a White Mage and exiled Paladin of Whiteguard. They also square off with the Agents of the Chimera Initiative. Victor Chimera, ex-Zenobian Special Forces, ex-Imperial Operative, and war hero. Leo and Lyra Stratta, lethal killing machines trained by the legendary brute Hogo Marks. Tallis "Tank" Cortez, heavy weapons and demolition expert. Callixta "Raven" Ravana, deadly sniper and ace pilot. Marrick attempts to commandeer the Valiant, but is thwarted by the crew. The Zenobian attack fails. Bastian (through his belief in Ana's ability to inspire otherwise defeated men) suggests that she be taken to Tessafe's Mirror of Fate. A standing mirror with decorative silver framework said to have belonged to Queen Tessafe of Whiteguard. This mystical, enchanted mirror shows any who gaze into it an image of importance. What it shows you varies, and it's not always easy to understand. One by one the group enters the temple to behold the mirror's message. (In order, identifying what they saw, and whether it was shown or later revealed) Biggs (shown): A man in a white mask (Leo Stratta and the man who kills him. He did not encounter Leo at the previous battle, so he does not recognize him) Wedge (revealed): A knight clad in black armour holding a bloody sword (Kierkess Aventola, and the man who kills him in VIII) Seto (shown): A Dragon's eye opening (the awakening of Bahamut) Lilly (revealed): A flaming bird (Phoenix) Bastian (revealed): A soaring white dove (symbolizing Ana, freedom, and hope) Stryker (revealed): Ana Casius (revealed): Ana Ana (revealed): It shows her key fragments of future events taking place within the stories. Final Fantasy II Prince Sarovoc Ducrinus assassinates his own brother in order to take the throne as Emperor of Zenobia. Ana emerges from the temple after hours of the group waiting. The journey continues as Ana drags Cid across the globe, spreading her message and ideals. The Valiant visits the eastern plains of Turra where Zenobia is burning villages and temples to the ground as they expand into the territory. They meet Banion Warbear, a warrior Monk and hero of Turra. Together they drive Zenobia from the lands of Turra. Banion agrees to travel with Ana in order to learn more about his enemy. Stryker confronts Edge about using the name Edge Widowmaker telling him he knew the man and he was older than Stryker is. Edge reveals his true identity to be Seto Bobaloo Sobral. He assumed the name and persona after witnessing the ex-Zeno soldier die in a gunfight in the slums of Zenobia. Marrick across springs himself from the Valiant's holding cells, determined to commandeer the ship and kill it's charming Captain. When he is clearly outgunned and outnumbered, he surrenders. As he is being escorted to cells, he levels with Cid about why he wants his ship so much. He has a tip about a Zenobian plan to take the city of Kiratoma, one of the largest rebel holds in the world. He is trying to reach the city before it falls. Cid locks him up and heads for Kiratoma. When this plan is confirmed, Marrick is released under a close watch. The men of Kiratoma are defeated, tired, scared and pissed off. They see no point in fighting an impossible battle. Command struggles to keep morale at a reasonable level. The majority of the soldiers are pushing for a surrender. Stryker dresses Ana in full combat gear, as if she were actually going to fight. He marches a terrified Ana past hundreds of soldiers. The point is a strong one: If you cowards won't fight, the women and children will, because someone has to defend this city. His plan works, and only a few hundred of thousands refuse to fight. With the help of the heroes, Kiratoma is barely defended for the moment and Marrick has become an ally of the group. Zenobian forces muster again as reinforcements arrive on both sides. The second battle is brutal and rebel forces have no choice but to retreat or die. But not before Stryker shoots Leo in the shoulder with a pistol, dropping him instantly. The group escapes to The Valiant, but Casius has chosen to stay behind and fight the pursuing troops. Ana and Seto strongly protest leaving him but Cid makes a tough call, assuring them he can handle himself. Using his native martial art combined with fire and ice magic, he begins to fend off the soldiers, casting reflect to neutralize their bullets. But more and more soldiers pile into the clearing... Final Fantasy III The group has taken on refugees from the Kiratoma Army and must take them to Andora, the Rebel Capitol. Cid and Stryker confront Marrick about his White Mage heritage, the reason he wanted to defend Kiratoma being that it's dense, harsh territory was the last defense between Zenobian lines and Whiteguard territory. Marrick is honest about his being born a Paladin of Whiteguard, devoting his life to the crown and being exiled by the Arch Mage for falling in love with his granddaughter. Stryker confesses to Cid and Marrick that he used to be Special Forces, army before that. Devoted his life to helping slaughter the people he's trying to help now. Cid accepts them both as them men they are today. Andora brings a new hope. Several outlying pro-Andora Nations have mustered their armies and are preparing to attack a Zenobian fortress alongside Andorans. They capture the fortress. During the battle a mysterious man (Havyian Solaris) saves Seto's life, disappearing afterward. Casius arrives during the battle (he was told to go to Andora as the group was leaving). But Sarovoc Ducrinus approaches from above with Callixta in a helicopter. He takes careful aim with Raven's long range rifle. Seto sees the chopper and moves to reach Ana, yelling her name. A mysterious man (Simeon Ortega) grapples his torso, holding him back. Sarovoc pulls the trigger and a high powered round rips through Ana's chest killing her instantly. The rebel heroine and domestic terrorist is dead... The group looks on helplessly and in horror. Seto rushes to her side. As this intense, profound emotional maelstrom ignites within Seto, a void of energy forms high above him. A massive sapphire dragon emerges head-first, rotating as it comes forth before extending his wings. Bahamut! Callixta and Sarovoc hightail it out of there, narrowly dodging Tri Flare attacks from the forgotten Deity. He looms in the sky, circling around and around as Seto holds Ana's body in his arms. The group captures the mysterious man. By now Ana has travelled across the world, meeting and inspiring hundreds of thousands of lives. She taught people that strength isn't determined by one's skill with a blade, but by the quality of their character. She also started a world-wide feminine movement, inspiring millions of women and girls to be what they want to be, not what's expected of them. Final Fantasy IV A moving funeral is held for Ana at the Mana Tree (a place the group visited together, and where Ana made everyone promise to keep fighting, always, no matter what happens) where she wanted to be buried when she died. Hundreds of rebel vessels and thousands of pilgrims attend the emotional ceremony. Distant, emotionally void and still covered in Ana's blood, Seto heads home. The group reluctantly follows him deep into the wilderness (after bringing him aboard The Valiant when he collapsed in the wilderness). When they arrive, they are met by Henato Junior, eldest brother of Seto. His father (Henato Senior) tells him that the essence of Bahamut resides in the sapphire pendant around his neck. When he ran away at fifteen, he missed out of his right of passage as a Dragoon prince when he would have been told this and taught how to command him. Henato Senior tells the group that there are other forces in the world similar to Bahamut. Seto makes it clear to his family that his guests are no longer welcome and the group is forced to leave. Meanwhile, the arrival of Bahamut has Sarovoc researching this phenomena, and Leo is healed up from his wound. Without Ana, the group falls apart. Casius returns to his travels. Banion returns to his people, Bastian has long since left, Juakeem and Shae'elle have returned to the Zenobian desert. Having nowhere to go, Marrick and Lilly remain with Cid, Stryker, Biggs, and Wedge. There is a lot of personal struggle and grieving. Characters swapping memories and stories. *Simeon Ortega**is interrogated extensively but he reveals nothing. Only that the other mystery man is the real bad guy, despite what it all may look like. They decide to gut up and get back to fighting the Empire. They plan an attack on a Zenobian outpost with some rebel forces. The plan fails and as a sniper, Stryker reluctantly escapes after watching the team captured through the crosshairs of his empty rifle. Marrick unloads both pistols three times before throwing them down and surrendering. The Valiant is ceased and it's crew jailed along with the group. Final Fantasy V Lyra Stratta and a company of Special Forces soldiers close in on a frosty stone altar. Lyra closes her eyes, touching the cold surface slowly. She comes out of the remote temple eager to test her new prize. She summons Shiva, the beautiful Goddess of ice, and in a fit of rage and grief, she kills everyone but Lyra using Diamond Dust. (This stems back to the Great War when the Gods were still free) Cid, Biggs, Wedge, Lilly, and Marrick are in a Zenobian prison. Stryker travels far and wide searching for Casius. He gets him up to speed, and they head directly for Sobral territory. They manage to be taken prisoner and Seto speaks to them. Stryker tells him the gang is locked up and Seto begins preparing for the journey. He talks to his father, and brothers Henato and Sedato. He tells them everything. That an entity so evil that they would destroy everything to rebuild in their own image threatens the lives of every free man the world over, and he must leave again to fight it. His father is moved to tears, telling Seto he is proud of him. Seto is the runt, he always lived in the shadow of Henato, a hero of the tribe, and Sedato, now a hero to. Henato Sr. loves all of his sons, but he recognized that Seto is special from birth, that's why he has Bahamut. Even though Neo and ZERO are more powerful, Bahamut is the father of all Gods, the one true God. It's been the duty and destiny of his kin to protect the world and long have they neglected it. They free their friends (and a lot of rebel soldiers and Andoran civilians) with the help of Jaukeem, his men, and local rebel factions. Casius goes 0 to 100 particularly quick and with considerable force. He leaves a trail of victims through the prison. He finds Boko, who has been chained and beaten but he is freed after Casius kills his tormentors. The Valiant is located and taken back. The Time Mage Elder Kirin visits Seto aboard The Valiant. He tells him he must release Ortega immediately, speaks to him about the Gods, and tips him off about the location of Ifrit. The gang arrives at the cave and Leo has been perched like a predator staking for prey. He squares off with Wedge (two spear enthusiasts). Casius has hung back to make sure Wedge is alright, and he can see that Leo is toying with him like a cat with a mouse pinned to the floor. He interferes, disarming Leo, breaking his nose, left wrist, and right arm at the elbow before throwing him over a cliff into water below. The group retrieves Ifrit and Phoenix successfully. Meanwhile Members of the Chimera Initiative recover Siren and Leviathan. While searching for the resting place of Titan, the group encounters a behemoth and together they kill the beast in an intense battle. Everyone survives but Casius is worn out and beat up. (Titan and Golem are retrieved) Seto heads for Gallik Baal'a, a small continent to the far north (a place Ana made him promise not to go before she died). To search a legendary cursed shrine. Stryker has Cid head for Juakeem and Shae'elle, and Banion afterward. Stryker brings the rest of the group together again. Final Fantasy VI Seto searches an ancient ruin with a torch, coming upon an ebony skull in a pool of water. He recovers Diablos and Doomtrain. The gang encounter the Chimera Initiative in an ancient temple compound and fight there way out with Sylph and Typhoon. The gang reunites with Seto. Elder Kirin summons him by teleporting him to Mount Ramuh in front of the members of his high council. The oldest and most powerful of Time Mages; thousands of years old. His back is to them with Kirin before him. He cannot see or hear them, but he can feel their eyes on him, their presence and judgement. It brings him to tears, dropping to his knees. Kirin tells him the recently acquired deities are dangerous and must be returned to Gallik Baal'a immediately. He takes him to a secluded area of the wilderness, comforting him, but telling him that the Time Stream was broken by a curious young Time Mage after reading a book from the library of world culture and history. He stole a very specific ring and used it to travel back in time in an attempt to change the course of events. He saved Seto's life, hoping he would save Ana's. A man was sent to capture him and return him to his own place the Time Stream. During the process, he stopped Seto from potentially altering the natural course of events. He gives him eight enchanted rings that cast protect on their wearer. He asks him what he thinks the Mirror showed Ana. Why she changed from that moment forward. Seto begins to put all the little clues together. Kirin says simply, "Keep fighting," and tells him to find The Tomb of Alexander. Seto is returned to the group and he emotionally reveals to the group that the Mirror showed Ana the future, even after her death. They gather to deal with the summons; who will be charged with what deities. Leo has uncovered Cerberus and unleashes it on a village of fisherman. Tybin and Sabin Marks are hired by Sarovoc to deal with Cid and his band of misfit strays. Sabin Marks shoots The Valiant out of the sky. Leo unleashes Cerberus and engages himself. His hellhound devours crew members as they evacuate the grounded vessel and Biggs engages Leo having Titan occupy Cerberus. Leo kills Biggs, mutilating and disgracing his corpse, kicking it around. Using wind magic from Sylph and Typhoon and his Qiang training, Wedge clashes with Leo in a heated duel. The heroes gain control and drive off the Initiative and the Marks brothers. Reinforcements arrive and the ship is fixed up. Biggs is buried next to Ana at the Mana Tree. The group heads for The Tomb of Alexander. But Seto rushes ahead of the party while they take twenty to prepare. While entering the musty stairwell he is ambushed by Sarovoc and shot three times in the torso. Priestess Talla has had a vision of Sarovoc obtaining Alexander & Crusader, and through it, Seto's death. She rushes by chocobo to his aid, reviving him before it's too late. Zenobia invades Whiteguard with force. Sarovoc marches into the High Temple and cuts Talla's throat when she tells him that Seto will come for him. Marrick betrays the gang, snatching Seto's pendant and Bahamut along with it. He's cut a deal with Sarovoc to spare his people. Final Fantasy VII Marrick serves Sarovoc in attempting to use Bahamut to create a weapon capable of protecting Zenobia from the Gods by killing them. The pendant remains useless to them and Sarovoc grows angry with Marrick. Kirin once again visits Seto aboard the Valiant. He tells him of one who may be able to defeat Alexander. Odin and Gilgamesh become the group's next move. He also gives him Shoat, an odd Lesser Diety giving him access to low level Time Magic. At High Rock Plateau, the group retrieves Odin & Gilgamesh and Lilly squares off with Leo, telling Cid to go and meet her at a nearby rebel base. She kills Leo in a fierce, intense battle. As he lays bleeding out, she hesitantly removes his mask revealing a baby faced young man. A single tear rolls down his cheek and she realizes they were not so different. The last of their kind, victims of Zenobia. Seto forces Cid to go back for Lilly. When Lyra finds out Leo was killed, she goes on a war path. She hunts the heroes down at a rebel base, and Zenobians hit it hard. Lyra faces off with Lilly in a blind rage, shooting her in the stomach before using her scimitar to have fun with her. Lilly digs deep and kills Lyra, freeing her from her torment, and putting an end to the Shinjan race. Sarovoc uses Alexander to influence the people of Whiteguard, claiming to be a child of the Gods and their chosen ruler. He aims to ensure the easy allegiance of Whiteguard to Zenobia and the Ducrinus name forever. Marrick discovers this and tries to kill Sarovoc. He fails and Sarovoc kills him. A movement begins to muster forces from around the world to attack the city of Zenobia. Banion gathers warrior monks by the hundreds. Juakeem summons his brethren and their war birds. Bastian and the resistance amass the largest rebel force ever assembled. Men and women from all corners of the world answer the call. Casius Magnus returns to The Veldt and does his best to sway the council, but they send him away, refusing to involve themselves. Word spreads and a group of several hundred follow Casius, becoming exiles to fight the Empire. The forces muster around Zenobia. Casius leads a preemptive strike with a savage blitz. He summons Doomtrain, which runs through Zenobia repeatedly, leaving devastation and rusted railroad tracks in its wake. He summons a flurry of meteors that ravage the core of the metropolis. Ifrit scorches hundreds of men, cooking them alive as Casius and his warriors unleash upon the masses. Casius casts himself dry, his reflect spell falling as hundreds of bullets rip through him... The organized forces stand in anticipation, watching the show from afar. Sarovoc is enraged by the devastation and unleashes his summons upon the opposing masses. The heroes respond and the rebel forces charge the Zenobian lines. A titanic duel of Gods is unfolding in the sand around, sky above, and in the streets of Zenobia as an epic, bloody conflict plays out in the sands outside the city. Seto rides Boko into the battle alongside Juakeem and Shae'elle. Sarovoc releases Alexander upon the rebel soldiers. He obliterates masses of men before Seto sends Gilgamesh to keep him busy. An epic fight ensues between the two. Seto finds Sarovoc and squares off with him. He kills him, ending the fight between Alexander and Gilgamesh before either would claim victory. Far away in the wilderness of the Sobral territory, Henato Jr seeks advice from his father. He tells him that he holds a terrible responsibility. Fighting back tears, he tells him he will never know how sorry he is that it had to be him, but only he can summon Bahamut ZERO. Henato Jr is torn. He understands that Zenobia must be defeated, but he also understands the weight of what it will mean. As Sarovoc lays dying, the cloudy sky rips open as a massive onyx dragon penetrates the atmosphere. It hits the core of Zenobia with a Tetra Flare roughly equivalent to a 50 megaton nuclear warhead.Zenobia is levelled, only portions of the outermost slums left intact. Seto pulls his pendant from around Sarovoc's neck in the foggy aftermath. Zenobians lay down their arms as word of the unholy event spreads and soldiers return to behold the ruins of their Capitol. Advanced weapons of any kind are outlawed and destroyed all over Zenobia's reach and rebel holds and cultures. Universal peace is an ideal adopted by the major nations and enforced harshly. New Zenobia is established out of the ruins, and a new government and ideology based on Ana's beliefs is adopted. Stryker is pivotal in the rebuilding of Zenobia, and afterward travels the world spreading Ana's messages as he writes a book titled The Epic of Anastasia chronicling her journey and the resulting revolution and defeat of the Empire. He becomes an ambassador of peace, equality, and New Zenobia. Casius and Marrick are buried with Ana and Biggs at the Mana Tree...
  17. That One NPC

    Final Fantasy (Tribute Series)

    Ana sat on Stryker's old, musty orange sofa. It matched the rusted, oxidized iron walls of his humble little abode. A hoarse brown blanket was thrown across her shoulders, and she held a cup of hot cocoa in her hands. She was distraught, distant, and weeping softly. Stryker sat across from her on the edge of a desk, arms crossed. He gazed upon her with heartbreaking compassion. She was just a girl, no older than twenty-two. She was sweet, innocent, and so beautiful. She deserved so much better from life, from herself. She was the most unlikely resistance fighter he could picture in his mind. She should have gone to university, met a nice boy from the core who could give her a nice life. She was Zenobia's very own long lost Princess. How she ended up at his door that night, he could only imagine. "What happened, Ana?" he asked softly, his rough exterior brushing the surface of his tone. She wept harder. "We tried to hit Zenobia Prime, and," she tried to explain, but he cut her off, raising his voice. "Wait. That was you? Ana, what happened?" He asked her sternly. How could Jin have gotten himself into such a mess? That dumb kid was too smart for something like this. Stryker's mind struggled to accept that a kid he had mentored and looked out for would go so far as to attack a building within the core. And what was worse? He dragged the girl into it. "She could be the future of the rebellion," Stryker recalled Jin saying. He had a faith in the girl that was unshakable. Unbreakable. And what Stryker found odd was that it never seemed to be a romantic thing. The girl was beautiful, and when he had met Ana, he dismissed that faith as young lust. But he really had taken their fight to the enemy. He had died for it, and she had been left in his wake. She looked up at him, shaking and replied. "Something went wrong. They're all dead. Jin, Kato... Willow." She burst into tears, lowering her head. "And I wanted to stay - I wanted to, but he wouldn't let me!" "Who wouldn't let you?" "Edge!" she yelled back, looking up at him. He stood up as she did so. "Edge Widowmaker?!" Ana lowered her head again, and Stryker began to pace back and forth in front of her. "Oh god, Ana. This guy is dangerous! He's not to be trusted. You're lucky he didn't..." Ana looked up at him again. "No, Stryker it's not like that. He saved my life!" "Edge Widowmaker only 'saves' lives when he has something to gain. Thought that son of a bitch was dead by now. In fact I was sure of it," he grumbled almost beneath his breath. He was enthralled in thought as Ana stood up behind him, placing the cocoa on the small coffee table. "I have to go, I have to get to Odessa," she said frantically. Stryker squinted his gaze and approached her. "What?! No, Ana!" "Yes, he'll know where Willow is, right? He probably saved her too. I have to go." She headed for the door, but Stryker grabbed her right arm, pulling her close to him, and wrapped his right arm around her gently. "You're not going anywhere, kid. Not tonight." She turned into his chest and let all of her pain, sorrow, and guilt flow freely. He felt awkward, being almost twice her age. Still he held her. Still he comforted her and stroked her silky blonde hair as she dumped the weight of her shattered heart onto his chest.
  18. That One NPC

    discussion How do you design your game?

    I also suffer from tinkeritis. As a neurotic with so many ideas for games that I can't compose a tile set for any given project without popping a muse bubble when I see a certain tile sheet that would make a certain type of map for this idea I had been working on whilst mopping the kitchen last week... You get the idea. It's hard to nail my muse down when it's just me working on whatever. You have the authority and freedom of obligations to say F it, I'll work on this today instead. Having said all of that, I do have ADHD. Make of that, what you will. I can give you the game plan I am using to go into my next game. Gameplay Concept: I don't know what you're using, but given that most RM engines usually have their limitation ceilings, and I am using Ace personally (lol. Love her, but she has a ceiling), I start by figuring out what it is I want to make, and along with that, a rough plan for the major features. Then I tackle the editor, and research script options for the features and gameplay styles simply to gauge what I call do-ability. How viable it is, and given any hiccups, what compromises can be made. When I'm confident that the concept can be executed without massive barriers at any stage of development down the road, I start working on world, plot, characters. World | Plot | Characters: Spend a very good portion of time on this. The urge to pick away at RM's neatness and ultra-user friendly ease of access is like a gypsy curse hanging over this part of the process, but you need to spend time developing a very good setting and plot. During this stage, you may develop the need for new features and functions that take you back to the editor to eventing and script research. A good example of things that may pop up here are ammo scripts, custom vehicles, custom stats, day/night scripts, weather, etc. Resources: Figure out what you need for any new features you've worked in, then consider resources. Look for what you can legally procure, based on what you now know you'll need. If you find that you will probably have to spend money on resources to get what you need done, you may want to wait. Now I'm not one to tell anyone what to do with their money. Ever. But you may want to further develop a real game to spend money on graphics for. When worrying about mapping, use the available stuff you have to make mock-up drafts of locations you later either do yourself with better resources, or maybe even have someone map for you, because again, you never know what will happen mid-stage development. But again, when it comes to spending your money, that's up to you. Database | Scripts: Now I'll tackle my Database and Scripts. Start working on the actual game now that I know I'm not working blindly with massive barriers awaiting my unwitting backside. I'm not one for surprises. I like planning, foresight, preparation, etc. But this is also where I am newbish. I'm a story teller, a world and character creator. I only ever tinkered with RM. Starting with your script configs is a great idea. Then doing core sections like system and statuses is common sense and gets some of those key things established. Characters and Classes gets those key elements drafted. Then you can do your skills for each class and character, the weapons and armour for them as well. Get your basic items done, now you can do animations for everything from skills to items and weapons. Assign a ton of animations, which sucks but at least you knew what you needed because you had the drafts. Now you can do your monsters and parties with almost everything else in place and ready from skills to drop table selections. From here it's Map and Event: I've never made it passed all that other stuff, so this is sketchy territory. It could depend heavily on the specific game being made, or if you end up having help for it. You may end up creating quest/new items along the way. I am hoping to do something like this when I sit down to work on my next project. We'll see how it goes for me, I'll be blogging it all.
  19. That One NPC

    Final Fantasy (Tribute Series)

    "It's about choice, my friends. The choice to live free of oppression and corruption. To be afforded the same protection, securities, luxuries and privileges as those who live in the core. We must rise above our oppressors and fight for our freedom. Storm the gates, spill the blood of our brothers who have forgotten and abandoned us. Locked us out, and cast us aside. They've written us off my brothers and sisters! They've turned their backs on us, and built their walls and towers high. But this I say to you, my friends, my comrades: take for yourselves what is fair and right. Always we will fight. Light of day or dark of night. Always freedom in our sight... Never back down, there are fellow freedom fighters all around you, hidden in plain sight. Seek and you will find. Keep the faith, have hope and courage. Stay smart, and you will be fighting the fight all the same. Our enemy is clever, and strong... But so are we, in our own right. In fact, we are even stronger! This is Stryker, coming to you from your one and only, Rebel Radio..." All across the slums, millions of radios were tuned in to Stryker's transmission. He was the faceless leader of a desperate, broken city. A symbol of hope and freedom. A voice of truth. He was their hero. ***** Ana's head was spinning, her heart was pounding, and her stomach was squirming as he lead her through a series of dark, unfamiliar backstreets in the slums. He held her hand tightly, aggressively, and belted her mind with a lengthy speech giving her information and instructions. "Listen to me carefully, Ana. They'll come for you, and they'll never be too far behind you. Zenobia isn't safe anymore. They'll find out who you are, kill your friends and family, everyone you know and love until they find you, or leave you so broken and far from Zenobia you might as well be dead... Head east, through the desert. It's a long haul, but help and water will accompany the road east until you reach Odessa. I'll meet you there at the inn." He stopped and turned to face her. "They know who I am and they are already looking for me, so I can't be near you until we reach Odessa. You have a chance to escape. Find an old friend, someone you don't see often. Lay low until morning and then get out of Zenobia. Do you understand?" he asked her intently. She didn't respond, still in pain, shock, and mourning. And so he shook her gently. "Zenobia isn't safe anymore!" he yelled as he walked backwards away from her. "Odessa Inn!" "What's your name?!" she asked him before he was out of sight in the dark, gritty backstreets. He stopped, turning around, "... Edge," he replied, disappearing down an alleyway. ***** Stryker was finished shutting his equipment down to go silent for the night, and stop his transmission to prevent the Ducrinus Administration from locating the source. His transmissions were short, to stop Lucious from getting a trace on his location. The operation had remained hidden for years, spanning nearly a decade, and reaching tens of millionss of Zenobians, desperate for the truth, desperate for hope, for a leader to follow. Someone to inspire them, bring their dreams of freedom and a better life a little closer to reality. A knock fell upon the heavy iron door of his secluded, hidden home. He turned his head quickly, letting his right hand rest on the handle of a pistol he wore around his thigh. He was a tall, lean man with Long black hair that hung over a red bandana in spikes and locks. At the back of his head, his hair was tied in a bushy ponytail. He approached the door slowly. No one should have been at his door at all, let alone at this hour, just after a broadcast. You couldn't run from Agents, but he was prepared to fight his way into an escape, or die a martyr Either was fine with him. He'd fought for Hector Ducrinus, witnessed and committed horrors that still haunted him. But he realized the error of his ways, and devoted the rest of his life to making a difference. To resisting the Ducrinus Administration, and bringing the truth to the Zenobian people. He could die knowing he did what he could, but of course, that was plan B. He slid the cover away from the tiny peephole and saw what looked like a tiny blonde angel shivering in the nippy evening air. He unlocked the door in three different places and opened it quickly. A beautiful young woman stood before him, shaking gently, with tears streaming down her perfect cheeks. "Ana," he said with surprised confusion and concern for the state she was in, or even that she'd shown up at his door. She swallowed so she could speak, but the words were strangled by the grief in her voice. "Jin's dead."
  20. That One NPC

    Story Concept Brainstorming

    How do you avoid that list, though? It's virtually everywhere. It's impossible to do anything in the super powered genre without drawing inspiration from them. They defined that genre in terms of what works, what people are expecting when you boil it down to concepts. So I think DC, and Marvel by proxy are the exception there, as Marvel has been taking ques from DC for decades.
  21. That One NPC

    Final Fantasy (Tribute Series)

    Author Note Ana took a deep breath of the night air, exhaling slowly. She stood with Jin, Kato, and Willow outside of the Zenobia Prime Building, all wearing heavy backpacks around their shoulders. It's outer frame reached high into the sky. It was designed and constructed using state of the art architecture. It's steely, enormous curves and features were menacing and gloomy. It represented everything that was wrong with Zenobia. All of the greed, deceit, violence, corruption, and injustice. "You all know what to do," Jin said sternly. Kato nodded, and the four parted ways, with Kato and Willow quickly disappearing down a manhole, and Jin dashing across the parking lot toward the side of the building. Ana took one more brief moment to gaze upon the object of her resentment and hatred before she darted for the other side of the building. Her role was parallel to Jin's. Use the map to locate the second generator room, plant the explosives and get out of there. Jin was to cover the first generator, and Kato and Willow were supposed to handle the third. Jin insisted that Ana stay with him, and that they delay the explosives to give them time to cover the second generator, but Ana put her foot down, insisting the explosives be synchronized and the generators covered simultaneously. That was the plan... ***** Thinking back to that night, I don't remember much. The details become blurry when the moment has passed. It all happened so fast, I didn't have time to think, or even react. I remember them, the time we spent together that night. I remember fear, and adrenaline. Dark hallways and strange passages. I remember being confused by the map. It's a different experience when you're studying blueprints from the comfort of your bed. I remember smoke and fire, the cool, fresh night air. But mostly, I remember him. His hand taking mine before I could pull it away. I remember Jin calling my name as I was dragged away. He looked kind of silly in that clothing with that sword strapped around his back, but he felt threatening and dangerous too. I remember him holding me in his arms as I struggled to break free... I remember wishing I had died that night, instead of them... ***** Jin fumbled with the explosives, his adrenaline raging out of control, and his nerves resting on the edge of insanity. They were about to kill a lot of people, regular employees, not just the corrupt masterminds. The lighting was dim, the air was hot and heavy, and the generator produced a loud, mechanical hum that only added to the pressure of the situation. He placed the bundled dynamite with a timed device strapped to it in one of the grooves of the massive, noisy machine. He hit detonate, and was startled to see a ten second timer begin to count down. His mind raced. His black market contact assured him they were set up for a ten minute timer. Jin had stressed the importance of that more than once, and he had clearly been screwed. He began to panic. As he stood up, he heard Ana shout his name to his horror and dismay. He looked over at her, thinking to himself that it couldn't have been any worse. Ana stood helplessly, confused and concerned by the look of horror on Jin's face. She had read the map all wrong. She got scared and got ahead of herself, ended up at the first generator room instead of the second. She blew it. Botched everything. She felt a hand firmly grab her own, yanking her backwards. Jin screamed her name as she resisted and turned to face her captor. He was a young man with long blonde hair, and striking blue eyes. He wore a long decorative sword across his back with black slacks, and a navy tunic under red heavy armor that covered his left breast, arm, and hand. His attire was barbaric and primitive to her, although she could find exotic beauty in the craftsmanship. It had a single, sapphire blue strip of decorative cloth that hung from the rear shoulder of the plate armor, which was extended in the back to further protect the wearer's vitals, and facilitate his sword's sheath. He was an outsider. No way he worked for Zenobia Prime. She struggled, protesting her being dragged away and parted from Jin when she knew something was wrong. "No!" No sooner did the word escape her lips and the thought crossed her mind, an explosion jarred her body and senses, thrusting Ana and her captor into the solid steel wall. Rubble pelted her body as smoke and dust filled the dark corridors. She nearly lost consciousness, and felt him hoist her over his shoulder, carrying her the rest of the way. As she came around she began to sob, calling Jin's name, realizing he was dead, and she had left him behind. He struggled up a sewer ladder, and let her down as they reached the cool night air. She scrambled to her feet and tried to run back toward the smoking manhole, but he wrapped his arms around her, and held her tight. They both fell to their knees as she wept in his arms, resisting him. "He's gone," he said softly, "he's gone..."
  22. That One NPC

    Final Fantasy (Tribute Series)

    "Lucious... You're telling the Zenobian people that we are in fact not at war with other nations at present?" "No." "And that Zenobia's Armed Forces are not currently engaged in military action against other nations?" "Absolutely not! Our affairs with other nations are better than they've ever been..." ***** In the peaceful, quiet town of Pelgrin, the night was setting in slowly, and the hustle and bustle of the day was winding down to a halt. In the quiet, somber streets, the sound of a large explosion shook the tiny community to the core. Smoke, dust, rubble, and screams of pain, confusion and terror filled the air. More bombs exploded, causing mass chaos and confusion as residents spilled into the streets from their crudely built, stone and wooden houses. Zenobian soldiers flooded the crowded, chaotic streets in organized tactical units, firing weapons, throwing grenades, killing, beating and destroying everything in sight. They moved with precision, and calculation, to exterminate the tiny, peaceful village. Men with swords, axes and bows fought fiercely in the exchange to defend their home, but their efforts fell short and in vane as the bullets commissioned by Zenobian soldiers cut through them like hot knives slicing through butter. The scene was morbid and horrific as the Zenobian troops worked tirelessly to kill every last man woman and child, and torch every last structure that stood in the once quiet, somber town.
  23. That One NPC

    The Lore

    Much of this has been boiled down and summarized to spare you the agony of long, winded explanations. THE LORE The first era (an era is 1000 years) of mortals was harmonious and productive. Civilizations were built and flourished. Cultures interacted, traded and learned from one another, coexisting peacefully through a time when this world was an idyllic paradise. Near the end of this era, infighting between Odinspawn nations began to erupt, resulting in a three-hundred year period of bloodshed and conflict that had been hardwired into their physical makeup by Odin himself. When the dust had settled and the bones had sank into the earth, only one mighty empire of Odinkin remained. But the centuries of expansion and bloodshed had left them with a taste for power and war. They set their sights on Whiteguard. The White War The White War was a long and brutal one. Whiteguard had superior warriors, leadership, equipment and tactics. Odinkin had the sheer force of numbers. Legions of warriors who believed that the worth of an individual could be decided only on the battlefield. War had become the focal point of their culture and spirituality. Despite never making much ground in the grand scheme of the war, Odinspawn would not yield, nor relent in their pursuit of victory. It wasn't long before the Bahamir came to the aid of Whiteguard, creating an alliance to crush the Odinkin foe, putting them back in their place. Feeling left out, Hades decided to directly interfere. In a shocking twist, Black Mages joined the battle, not as allies of Odinspawn, but enemies of Whiteguard and their Bahamir allies. This resulted in the equivalent of a World War, and mass destruction of the civilizations and relationships they built. Hades had interacted with mortals, commanding his Black Mage tribes to destroy Whiteguard, the Bahamir Dynasty, and then the world of Odinkin. This was the first transgression of the Pantheon, and Bahamut's heart was breaking as he watched his beloved creations fall into chaos. The war came to a climax with one crucial battle at the Plains of Turra. Each of the races amassed their forces for what would be the largest battle in the history of the White War. Aroused by the prospect of the destruction about to unfold, Hades joins the battle alongside his Black Mages. As the fight begins, Hades is raining down an unholy brand of death upon the battlefield. Feeling the loss of every White Mage, Alexander joins the fight, going head to head with Hades. Feeling as if it were only fair at this point, Odin, Sleipnir and Gilgamesh begin to do what they do best; make violence seem like an art form. It takes hold like a domino effect, and one by one deities join the battle (the Bahamuts, Ramuh, Shoat and Doomtrain not withstanding). When Bahamut has had enough, he steps in. And his wrath is absolute, however just. The cloudy sky rips open and Bahamut ZERO penetrates the atmosphere, hitting the battlefield with a Tetra Flare, killing the armies of all involved parties. Only the soldiers present. Only the soldiers carrying the torch of that war. Only those actively committing the bloodshed. Every deity, including the Bahamuts, were sealed in a state it's hard to really explain, but I call it an 'Essence.' They exist, but are frozen in time so that they cannot think, act or use magic until a mortal possessing their Essence 'summons' them. At which point, said mortal individual can command their will. The deity knows what you want it to do, you don't even have to speak. An Essence must exist in either an object crafted by a mortal, or a humanoid mortal being. It is impossible to destroy the essence of a deity. Bahamut placed the deities in objects in the possession of the Bahamir Dynasty. The Fall of The Bahamir Dynasty In the era following the White War, chaos would once again take hold on mortals. Struggling to understand what had happened, and mourning their fallen, there was a brief time of peace for contemplation. When Bahamir diplomats traveled abroad to inform world leaders of the artifacts they now possessed, war over the prospect of obtaining such power was inevitable. Another world war ensued, and the Bahamir Dynasty was picked apart by the rest of the divine races. One by one artifacts fell as regions were defeated and failed to evacuate the artifacts in time. The Great War In the centuries to follow, the races one again met of the battlefield, with another world war ensuing. Without Bahamut to step in, the scale of destruction surpasses the White War. During the chaos and bloodshed of the battle, Phoenix strikes Icen down, killing him (this was important because in the written story Shiva was the first deity uncovered by a female antagonist named Lyra Stratta. When she 'summoned' her, she was unfrozen from that moment when she was about to Diamond Dust the entire battlefield to avenge her son. Instead she ended up killing a small element of Zenobian special forces that were accompanying Lyra, thousands of years later. It was how the entire process and purpose of the 'summons' as actually introduced and demonstrated, and a great symbolic moment for Lyra). That climactic battle saw an end to the war when several Time Mages interfered. The summons were gathered by force, placed in artifacts, and hidden away. The Bahamir retreated into the wilderness. They formed several large tribes, one containing the Imperial family. They remained on the move in dense, unsettled northern and eastern lands. Their sole purpose to protect the Bahamuts. The Empire of the Odinspawn claimed the larger victory over Whiteguard in the war, and enslaved many of them during the long exchanges of the conflict. Whiteguard worked out borders and were permitted to keep their capitol. Black Mages denounced Hades, Essences and Magic. They retreated to the savage wilderness of the Veldt, generally considered uninhabitable due to the harsh ecosystems. They remained tribal for all five mortal eras, developing an extremely advanced martial art oriented around mastering the senses enough to defeat armed foes using nothing but mind, body and spirit. Each Essence was hidden away in a secret location, with only the three Bahamuts remaining on the run. Over the next two mortal eras, the wars are forgotten. The Essences are forgotten.
  24. That One NPC

    Final Fantasy (Tribute Series)

    Ana sat at the top of the large, dome-shaped roof of a metallic structure. She hugged her knees tightly, gently shivering in the cool, evening air. Her skirt left the bare, flawless skin of her pale legs exposed to the nippy, chilling breeze. Next to her, leaning back with his legs crossed, was Jin. Kato to his right, followed by Willow Kensington on the far end. The Zenobian Resistance. Four free spirited kids looking to change the world with the strength of their hearts, and the will of their ambition. Lead by Jin, co-founded by Ana, they spent their days day dreaming, studying, seeking knowledge and truth. Working menial jobs, plotting the demise of Zenobia Prime and the Ducrinus Administration, and hanging out here, just outside the core of the city. They wasted days and nights away, dreaming of a better world, a better time and place, when people their age didn't have to crusade against their own people, and stand alone against the powers that be. Four kids... Just doing what they can to ensure a safer, better Zenobia for all. Not just those locked away in the grand towers of the core, enjoying the greedy, corrupt lap of luxury, ignorant to the horror that dwells just beyond the cold steel walls of their paradise. Ana's eyes were fixed intently upon a large, outdoor television screen mounted above a large intersection just inside the walls and defenses of the inner core. The sound it produced glided through the moist evening air toward them, reaching their ears at a level barely audible. It was evening yet, and the city was still booming with an array of sound that distorted and interrupted its playful waves as they danced through the sky. "Welcome to Zenobia. We hope you enjoy..." Kato stood up, casting his gaze to the sky. He was a young man, only nineteen. He was short, and filthy, wearing baggy shorts, high cut black boots, and a dirty, baggy red shirt that hung in agony around his skinny frame. His raggedy, ripped and stained jacket was tied around his waist, and over his bushy, messy blonde hair, he wore a red cap backwards. Willow, the youngest of them all glanced up at him, and back at the television. She was only seventeen. An orphan like Kato, and practically his sister. She had long, beautiful red hair that surrounded her pale, freckled face. She wore her jacket zipped up to the neck, and a comfy pair of black sweat pants with white shoes. "Tomorrow is the big day, Kato. I understand if you're not ready," Jin said compassionately. "Hey, I'll be there," Kato snapped defensively. Out of them all, Kato was probably the most passionate about their cause, in-that he harbored the most hatred and resentment toward the government, and Zenobia Prime. "Alright," Jin said, eyes fixed on the television set. "Tomorrow, we blow Zenobia Prime off the map."
  25. That One NPC

    Final Fantasy (Tribute Series)

    Chapter 1 Sands of Zenobia Ana dashed through the crowded, busy streets. Posters, banners, post-it adds and flyers were pasted, hung and tacked all over the city. In windows, on walls, utility poles, news stands, hanging from wires and cables strung from building to building, and on billboards laid out everywhere. People in fancy, new world cloths walked or drove vehicles about the tight streets, shopping and going about their business. The inner slums were booming on that sunny Saturday morning. She stopped as she passed a television set in the window of an upscale home electronics shop, just outside the core of the city. She leaned against the glass, listening to the sound of the picture machine. It was a simple recording of a woman conducting an interview on a news program. News feeds were the only thing you could get in the slums, and the news was filtered propaganda. "Efforts continue today in the signing of energy contracts that will allow Zenobia Prime to construct reactors and generators, virtually over the houses of land owners in the slums. Dozens of city blocks have had to make way for the massive project, forcing thousands of residents out of their homes if these contracts are signed. Why should people give up their homes for these new reactors, Mr. Ducrinus?" "Excellent question. One year from now if those very same people didn't have power to cook, or listen to their radios, they would be crying, asking why we didn't build enough reactors to meet the energy demand in the slums." Sarovoc Ducrinus, brother of Lucious Durcinus, acting Emperor of Zenobia. Sarovoc was the President of Zenobia Prime, an umbrella corporation inside the framework of the Zenobian Government housing MiraTech, the corporation that controls all of Zenobia's energy supply. They are a big time technology powerhouse that is responsible for everything technologically advanced in Zenobia, and the majority of the continent. "Shouldn't believe what you hear on the news." Ana turned around, smiling. "Jin!" Jin was her best friend, and ally in the resistance. He stood 5'9, a few inches taller than her. He had a lean build, brown eyes, and scruffy black hair coming down to his brow. He wore a black and red leather coat, just like hers over a simple white shirt and jeans with scruffy white shoes. They both wore buttons and patches clipped onto and sown into the thick leather fabric. They were a variety of rebellious and anti-government slogans, resistance logos, and a few Rebel Radio patches. On the back and shoulders, was a homemade crest hand woven into the fabric. This was their resistance patch. Their symbol of freedom and justice. A depiction of Zenobia's core, as seen from the reaches of the slums, and a white dove flying free in the skies around it. "The others are waiting," he said. "Let's not keep them." She nodded, walking with him under the far peeks of Zenobia's core.
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