It was nightfall and the center of the village had the bonfire ablaze. "We'll have to leave through the back," Lindsey said as she secured the cloak over the man, "It's a long way to the docks... I think you've had enough rest to make it that far at least." Josh nodded quietly. "I'm sorry I haven't explained exactly what's going on yet.. but you and I--" And Demi of course, "..We're the same." She turned to grab her blades, sheathing them. "What do you mean we're 'the same'?" he asked quietly. "I'll explain later... let's go. The boat won't wait long. When we get there, I'll tell you everything," Lindsey said as she cut through the back of the hut and lead Josh into the forest, going around all the huts and the village gates to the outside path.
Demi watched the priests and guards as they waited at the ferry. So, she was right, just not about the time. She hid in the bushes, unable to get past them. No one was allowed past them till the stranger had come. As much as she wanted to let Lindsey run into this little snag that SHE had said would happen, she wasn't a totally ass. Letting her dark cloak flop down around herself, she pulled up the hood and pulled out her knives. What she was going to do, Demi didn't know, but it was probably going to get her in trouble. Again.
"I suggest that you all move on," she barked in a commanding voice, or one she at least hoped was commanding.
"Little one, I suggest that it is you that move on," a guard barked back in a much deeper and louder voice.
"Ok, so it's gotta be another way," she sighed sheathing her knives. "Here goes nothing." Taking off at a fast run, she engaged in battle with six bigger, tougher, and probably meaner men.
Lindsey and Josh approached the scuffle between Demi and the guards. She had to think of something and she looked up at Josh, hoping he had the sense to play along. "Egh--Stop this madness! Can't you see she's a guardian?" The guards stopped and looked up. It worked? It worked! "Y-Yes! Would you deny a guardian her right of passage with her summoner?" She grabbed Josh's arm and he looked up, not knowing what to say or do.
Demi huffed and snarled at the guard holding her. She'd gotten her licks in two of the six guards knocked out, but they'd gotten theirs in too, her bloody nose and split lip, not to mention a few coming up bruises to show off. The priest looked at them hard in the darkness, the light of the flickering torches barely making his face reasonable.
"How do we know he is truely a summoner? How do we know he is not sent to test us? To see how ready and willing we are to accept this stranger?" He said in a grave tone. "Seize him and take him to the temple. As for the women, take them back to the village and guard them."
"Oh for the love of Noodles," Demi groaned giving a guard a swift kick in the head as he passed her. "Linds! Get his happy opera butt on the boat! I'll take care of these goobers!"
"He IS a summoner," She looked up at Josh hopefully, "...Show them!"
Josh bit his lip and he lowered the hood of his cloak. He looked at Lindsey, not knowing what to do. She looked at him, her expression just as desperate, "...Just pray... It will come..."
With a silent nod, Josh stepped forward and closed his eyes, praying as hard as he could. He didn't know to what or who... but he begged for something--anything to come. Then, something clicked and his mind and instantly, he knew. He rose his arms and motioned one of them to the sky as the blanket of stars brightened with light, clouds breaking as the massive flying beast came into view, its large fanned wings beating against the still air around them. The priests gasped and took a step back as the old girl landed gently in front of Josh, her eyes staring at his as she studied him. Her long, red-haired neck rumbled with her growling breath as she pressed her beak against his face--a sign of approval.
Josh closed his eyes, unable to believe them as this massive bird-like creature touched him with gentle nudges. He rose his hands and stroked the long fur of her neck and silently he asked her, '..Can I count on you?' She answered with a loud growl in her small chest, a growl that said to him, 'Yes, you can count on me.'
Lindsey stood back and watched, amazed and a little frightened, seeing a real live aeon right in front of her. It was truly... magnificent.
Demi grunted as she hit the ground, sore and pissed again. She looked up at the aeon, a smile twitching at her lips. The guards stood back, frightened more than amazed. The priest looked over at Josh eyeing him. "So Yevon has sent you on your pilgrimage. So be it." He huffed, making the sign and lead the other priests and still conscious guards back to the village. Groaning as she stood up, Demi held her sore side, spitting blood onto the ground before boarding the ferry.
Josh looked down from the aeon's face and she leapt up into the sky and flew away with a roar. Lindsey walked ahead of him, whispering, "Good job," as she passed and headed towards the dock. Raising a bony hand to his head, Josh put his fingers against his forehead and closed his eyes. He felt weak again, but he could rest on the ferry. He followed after her, holding the cloak tightly around him.
Demi flopped down on the deck, waiting for it to take it's nightly round. Spitting over the side of the ship, she made a face at the metallic taste in her mouth. Looking up when Lindsey and Josh came on she gave them a nodded to them as she fixed herself up with a potion. Wounds healing almost instantly after she drank the mixture, she sighed and leaned back to rest against the side of the ferry, playing with her necklaces.
Lindsey stopped and looked at Demi for a moment before giving a small nod and showing Josh down below deck. There were only a few rooms that had actual beds in them... and they were luckily reserved for summoners and the captain. "You can rest in here," she said, leading him to a room. It was small and the bed was almost booth-like, a thin cot stemming out from the wall. "It's not much, but you can at least sit down here..."
Josh sat down gingerly on the cot, not used to feeling so helpless, "...Who was that?" Lindsey stared at him, "..who? Oh--that girl...?" Josh nodded. "...Demi. She's a friend of mine.. she... and I are kinda together, but not in that way. You see... this... this world isn't our own... as you've probably noticed..." Josh nodded, looking up at her, "..All three of us, you, me and Demi... we're not of this world.. We're from... like... Missouri... Indiana... California... You know? But we all managed to get stuck here. I'm not sure how or why... but we gotta stick together if we want go to back home."
Josh looked down at the floor in thought for a moment, "...You seem to know a little something about this world... and you said you'd tell me everything once we're on the ferry. ..Well, we're on the ferry, now please... tell me what's going on."
Demi laid her head on the against the hard wood watching as the waves lapped at the side of the boat. She was tired, but her head wouldn't let her rest. Everything was just jumbled up and a mess in there, so it kept her awake. The boat rocked and swayed with the waves as it took off towards where ever the hell they were going. Lindsey had decided and told her, though she didn't pay attention.
"This world we're in... it's called Spira... like our world is called Earth.. this place is Spira," Lindsey started as she sat on the ground and took off her sune-ate, "It's like our own... only not. The races are different... the places are different... but it still follows the same basic make-up... Land, sea, desert, tundra, marsh... etcetera. The island we're departing from is called Besaid... It is the most basic area of this world... it's tropical and warm and the fiends--the monsters that we passed on the way--aren't too dangerous."
Josh nodded, sitting more on the bed as he listened, his back resting against the wall.
"...We're on a ferry right now, obviously... and we're headed to another piece of the tropics... it's more jungle-like than Besaid... Like... Besaid for example would be like Hawaii... But the island we're headed to now, called Kilika, would be more like... um... The Amazon? But with a village... I guess..." Lindsey scratched the back of her head.
"So... we were at ..Be..say..d.. And now we're going to... Kill..ika?" Josh said dumbly. Lindsey nodded with a smile, "That's right."
Laying back against her pack for a pillow, Demi looked up at the stars, trying to figure out if any of them reminded her of home. Yeah she liked being able to do all the things she could here and not home, but. . . She was getting home sick. She missed her mannequin, her cat, her penguins, hell she even missed stealing from Wal-Mart. Her moral compass was always a bit off, but her heart was always in the right place despite her outer conveyance of stupidity.
Josh sat now cross-legged, one elbow resting against a knee with his chin against the palm of his hand, "...What you said back on the beach... You.. called me a summoner... What is.. a summoner exactly?"
Lindsey looked down at the floor, "..A summoner... is a practitioner... a highly respected being that can call forth mighty beings... like the beast you called earlier... called 'aeons'. They summon them.. so to speak."
Josh nodded, "Uh huh. And what about guardians?"
"Just as their title states. They guard summoners and protect them from harm."
Looking back out at the water, Demi frowned as she watched the waves get out of rhythm. Sitting up she pulled back her hood, staring at them. Wait. . . Are those. . . "Fiends!" She cried as they jumped aboard. "Linds! A little help!" She yelled as she pulled out her knives and started to battle. They were a bit stronger than the ones in Besaid.
Hearing Demi's cry, Lindsey shot up to her feet, forgetting her shoes as she grabbed her blades and left Josh with a, "Stay here!" Running up on deck, Lindsey looked around, seeing small, dark winged bug-like creatures snapping at Demi, their useless wings flickering in the dark. "Sinspawn? Here?" She ran forward, cutting one down just as another appeared out of the water.
"This is retarded!" Demi cried as she kept cutting down the spawn, as they just kept coming. "Where the hell's the overdrive bars when you need them!?" Vaulting behind the spaw, she took out two and third that jumped at her from behind. "I didn't think it was even around here!" Finally able to get a break she drew out her arrows and bow, shooting as fast as possible.
Lindsey shivered as she continued to cut through the small spawnlings, "...Sin must be close... Gotta watch it..." Crew on board were scrambling, some drawing their own swords, others crying out as a massive fin rose above the water's surface, bumping into the boat, "Sin!"
"Oh God," Demi breathed. "Lindsey! Get your buddy up here! We need his help!" She cried running out of arrows. "Shit!" Drawing her blades again, she started hacking away. "I! HATE! THIS! GAME!" Seeing a spawn come at her from the side too late, she was over board. Grabbing the netting holding onto the side of the boat, she struggled to hold on as the spawn came over the side after her.
Being overrun by sinspawn herself, Lindsey hollered over in Demi's direction, "Hang on Demi!!" In the adrenaline, Lindsey threw her blades up into the air, grabbing the hilts in her hands with the blades pointing outward instead of the usual inward. With a warring yell, she jumped into the air and flipped, spinning back towards the ground and pummelling the deck with her blades, sending sinspawn flying over the boat's edge. Breathing deeply, and now that she actually had room to move, Lindsey ran towards the ferry's edge and reached down her hand to Demi, "Grab my hand!"
Demi reached up, but stopped when she saw a Sin spawn tentacle come shooting at them. "Move!" Demi said pushing Lindsey out of the way and diving into the water. Seeing the giant mass from underneath, she watched as it started to move on into deeper water. Loosing the boat as it sailed over her, she quickly started to swim as hard as she could. Reaching out and grabbing the trailing rope she held on as the boat dragged her under the water for a bit. Practicing with the blitzball team for the three months they were on Besaid, Demi was able to hold her breath for nearly 3 minutes. That time was quickly running out though.
"Ugh!" Lindsey grunted as she lost her balance and hit the ground. The sinspawn let out a growling groan as it planted into the deck of the boat. Josh, startled by the commotion, came up aboard deck, "What's happening!?"
"Demi!?" Lindsey called as she got back up. She looked over the side of the deck, ignoring the massive spawn for the moment as she looked for her friend in the water. Seeing the mass of black skin, sleek and glistening as water covered it in a film. "Argh," Lindsey looked over at Josh as he froze in his position, staring wide eyed with mouth agape at the towering sinspawn. "Josh! Call her!"
His trance broke and he stared at her incredulously, "What!?"
Lindsey, face creased with urgency, thrust her arm to the side, "Call her! Summon her! We need her help!"
Demi's lungs were burning as she tried to steer herself and pull as best she could to get to the surface. Finally managing to break through, she gasped for air, letting her aching lungs drink up the oxygen before trying to get close to the boat. Grunting and mentally cursing her gym coach for not teaching them how to climb rope, she slowly made progress reaching the side of the boat. Too tired to go on though, she just hung there trying to catch her breath. "This is freaking stupid!" She huffed.
"Demi! Where are you!?" She turned away from Josh, cutting at smaller sinspawn creatures as they dropped from the larger thing's stationary body. She jerked her head back in Josh's direction, "JOSH! Please, you have to call her! Just like back in Besaid! Please!"
Josh stared at her, not knowing what to do. The memories of that massive beast coming back slowly and he nodded then in understanding. He put his hands together, praying as hard as he could, begging the winged beast to return to him and to assist in their struggle. The dark sky began to glow from an unspecific epicenter, clouds parting as the aeon flew at the and landed next to Josh on the boat. She saw the sinspawn and flared her wings protectively, crowning her beak in a threatening roar.
Pulling out one of her Jambiyas, she dug it into the side of the ferry as hard as she could, getting a good grip. Letting go of the rope, she pulled out her second one and did that same. "Ok, step one complete, step two get to the top of the boat, and step three watch Mission Impossible for more tricks," she grunted as she started to slowly climbing up the ferry's stern. Hearing the great boom of a roar, Demi's eyes bugged out. "Please let that be on our side, please let that be on our side."
Josh was at a loss of what to do as Lindsey cut through smaller spawn and the she-beast leaped up into the air to fight with the bigger body. He felt useless, unable to do anything but stand there and watch. He looked around for some sort of weapon, finding a long, sturdy piece of wood broken off from the boat's interior. He grabbed it and wrenched it from its main body and ripped stray threads of wood sticking off the edge. It wasn't much of a weapon... but it was something.
He ran up beside Lindsey as she fought and held it with both hands. "Need some help?" he said, voice hard with determination, despite his awkward self-consciousness about not really knowing how to fight with a pole. Lindsey looked over at him in surprise, "If you think you can do some damage, please do."
Demi struggled to reach the edge of the boat, reaching out, her fingers brushing the grain of the wood before slipping and holding onto the embedded knife for dear life. Letting out a yelp, she dangled from one knife as she strained to reach the other one. "Just a bit further," she stretched as far as she could before just barley grazing it. "Damn it!" Now trying to swing on the current knife, she finally got a hand on the other. Jiggling the other out, she pulled herself up further and dug it into the wet wood. She was sure the fight would be over by the time she'd get there anyhow.
Lindsey continued to cut through the smaller creatures as Josh stumbled about, inexperienced, though giving a good smack or two and knocking some over the boat's edge into the water below. Sin was headed for Kilika, its massive body giving note despite being hundreds of meters under the surface of the water. Thankfully, the smaller sinspawn were in limited numbers, and once they were out, they were gone for good. All that left was the massive tentacle cluster embedded on the deck of the ferry. It gave them a short time to relax, its only move being a gravity spell, which wasn't threatening at all. That, and Josh's aeon was distracting it. She was running out of energy, and could use a dismissal so that Lindsey and Demi could finish it off.
Lindsey looked around once the smaller sinspawn were gone. "Demi!" she shouted. She ran to the edge of the boat and looked over, seeing her friend cling for dear life against the side of the boat. "Demi!!" she looked over to Josh and motioned him over. He came quickly, exhausted from fighting so many bugs at one time. Seeing the other girl over the edge of the boat, he dipped down his makeshift weapon, "Grab on!"
Grunting as she sheathed a knife, Demi held onto the other as she reached and grabbed onto Josh's pole. Gripping it, she snagged her last knife back and held onto the rod as she was lifted up from her tough spot. "I hate boats. I really truly hate boats," she gasped as she crawled over the side and fell to the desk splashing water everywhere. Wrestling her cloak from her, she swung her glare to the tentacle. "Lindsey, I'm allowed to kill that yes?" She huffed, shirking her extra water logged armour. Standing in just her vest shorts and boots now.
"Yes," Lindsey said in a confirming voice, taking Demi's hand and helping her to her feet. "I think the aeon is getting tired." She looked back at the beast lowering itself to the deck and looking weak and tired. "Josh! Recall her!" Lindsey called among the crashing waves of Sin's departure. Josh gave a nod and ran up to the exhausted aeon, sending her a mental message for her to depart. He touched her narrow torso and her neck craned towards him, glowing white eyes looking at him as if to say, 'Are you sure?' He smiled lightly at her, his hair blowing about his head in the chaos of the night and he nodded. In response to the nod, she turned her head back towards the also weakened spawn. She lifted up into the air with a powerful flap of her wings and departed with a roar.
"Ok, I'm wet, I'm pissed, and I want to do harm," Demi growled as she pulled out her knives again, giving them a threatening twirl. "Come on Linds, it's ASS WHOOPING TIME!" She cried charging it, adrenaline pumping as she slammed her knives together creating a boomerang type of device and launched it at the waving tentacle. Running up and jumping to where her knives where, she pulled hard and up, splitting the spawn as she flipped away. "Go Linds! It's almost done!"
Seeing the massive spawn hanging on by a thread, Lindsey rushed forward and sliced it with her swords, dealing a critical hit and causing it to spasm in the slipping of its life. Its body evaporated as it went limp, its soul's pyreflies flowing as it disappeared into the night sky. Josh watched with astonishment. Going up to Lindsey and Demi, he stared at them, shocked and pale, "What was that?"
"Sinspawn... they're fiends... monsters... they fall from Sin's body... the creature that bumped our boat... and are left behind in its wake," Lindsey explained as she rubbed at a shoulder gently.
"I hate boats," Demi grumbled putting her weapons up and going back to her wet clothes. Shaking them out, she found her pack, still intact near some debris. "Hmmm," she thought as she took some of the smaller poles and fashioned them into a stand to dry her clothes off. "Wet leather. . . Ugh." Peeling off her vest, she hung it on the stand with the rest of her clothes. Picking up her discarded weapons as well she pulled off her boots as well. "Hell I might as well be naked." Giving her contraption a once over with approval, she walked over to Lindsey and Josh with three hi-potions in hand. "Here you go my fine fellows. To victory over a pissed off whale/squid thing a-like."
Lindsey took the healing items as they were offered. "...Where did you get these?" she mused aloud before shrugging and putting it away for safe-keeping. She turned around and looked at the tore-up vessel. "Wow... I hope we make it to Kilika..." she said quietly. She then flinched before turning to Demi, "...I think Sin was headed towards Kilika... I have a feeling Josh will have to learn how to perform the Sending..."
"Oh no where," Demi said innocently as she adjusted her bikini strap. "Damn," Demi frowned before making a cross over herself. Her family was Catholic, but she wandered from church after she turn 17. Though she still did cross herself every now and then when something bad was possibly going to happen or did. "No offence, but this is gonna suck for you dude," she turned to Josh patting him on the shoulder.
Josh stared at them, alarmed, "What's a Sending?"
Lindsey was quiet for a while, eyes on the watered deck of the ferry. "..It's when you... send the souls of the dead to a place called the Farplane... the Farplane is kind of like Heaven... but you need to send them as a summoner. If they aren't sent... they become fiends."
Demi was quiet, stretching a bit. Her lean frame quickly going into positions that seemed almost painful for anyone else. She was never good around death, never had been. The way she dealt with it was to ignore it and move on as quickly as possible like it didn't exist.
Josh was silent too, gaze slowly drifting down to his worn out shoes.
Lindsey looked both at Demi and Josh before grabbing their arms, "Come on... let's get below deck... we'll reach Kilika by morning... We need our rest for the temple." She looked up at Josh, "I'll explain the rest tomorrow."
"K," Demi said tossing a small device next to her stuff, a neat little trap in case someone wanted to try and steal her belongings. Tomorrow was going to be interesting to say the least.