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About Phoenix

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  • Birthday 12/31/88

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  1. Stories A good story? That definitely sounded like Greta's territory. "I'll ..." Shadrak frowned, backing down a little, "let Greta handle that, then. As long as they know there's a respectable man at the top, they probably won't care who's actually selling them things." That really should have been enough, Shadrak mused. More Stories Hoshi was being awfully vague, but that was actually just fine. Amon knew what she was on about; Weyland, more specifically Weyland Enterprises, had a branch in this port. That was just what they needed, and about as close to a safe haven as they were likely to get for the time being. Amon smiled, managing something genuine despite his mood. "Great. We'll head there once everyone's ready, then." Amon was glad he waited to bow until Daichi had. Something felt awkward about everything that happened up to that point, so seeing Daichi initiate it was reassuring, and Amon mimicked the maneuver as closely as he could. Daichi's full title was surprisingly informative. Amon didn't know what a 'hikibain' was, but a soldier in his thirtieth year was no joke, and quite impressive. "Just Amon's fine," Amon noted, "at least for me, it is." With the introductions out of the way, Daichi went on to explain why he was here, and thank goodness it had nothing to do with an assignment, only natural curiosity. Since Eva had already given the man a seemingly vague outline of what had happened, Amon probably wouldn't have to do much more than confirm it, give some thoughts on why things wound up this way, and then hopefully move on to less turbulent waters. "Yeah, there was a battle," Amon began, not hiding his disappointment with that whole group of affairs, "We didn't actually come here as a group ... with the Ursians and Neviskotians, I mean. We just left at the same time they did. As far as I can tell, the Ursians are chasing back the 'skotians. We did get mixed up in that battle and had to defend ourselves," the sancturan admitted with a grimace, figuring that wasn't something he should hide knowing he could easily find out about it from the other two factions. Shaking his head and sighing, Amon continued. "We're trying to give them their space, and they've mostly done the same, but I don't know what they're up to, now. We're not here to make any trouble, though." No, far from it, Amon reminded himself. They were here to put a stop to a threat of unfathomable scale.
  2. Standing Around "I guess I could mention that if it might help, somehow," Shadrak shrugged. "If we're lucky, Greta won't have to worry about any of this and people will just be interested in whatever she's trying to sell." That was the druid's hope, anyway. Pretending to be someone's relative without knowing much about them felt risky. Heading Down Here was hoping the customs people weren't startled when Joanna and Liam showed up. "The sooner they know about us the better, I suppose. Let's go," Joanna said, starting off for the lower decks. She imagined they hadn't finished looking through the hold just yet. Since a lot of what was being kept down there had been given to Greta to sell, the group would be tethered to the ship a while longer, at least until there was an extra wagon to handle everything. Into Town Amon winced at Eva's question. Was now really the best time to be running off? The Ursians and Neviskotians were probably both looking for the group, right now. They probably weren't going to pick a fight right in the street, but it had been seven days since Urquium. That was a lot of time to come up with ways to entrap the group, and some their own clearly weren't going to be on the lookout for those kinds of tactics. "Don't go anywhere. We just got here and the last thing we need to do is split up before we even know where we're going or how long we'll be staying in town."
  3. Greetings "I am Amon," the sancturan admitted, "but ..." No, one second thought, it probably wasn't a good idea to highlight the group's fragmented nature unnecessarily. "Well, I guess I'm more or less in charge, but it's more nuanced than that. I'll spare you the details ..." That was about as smooth a recovery as he could make on such short notice. "Who are you, exactly? Are you with the army?"
  4. Anxiety "Once we decide where to go," Amon answered Thales as Pete caught up, "we'll leave the docks. We're probably not leaving town yet--" That was all he could manage before Eva called out to him from the docks. There people to talk to, though? That could be either very good or very bad depending on the circumstances. The fact that it was Eva calling him didn't help clarify things for Amon one way or the other. "I should see what's going on ..." He nodded at Pete's suggestion not to split up before heading over to see who wanted to speak with him. They definitely looked like soldiers, alright, that or well armed militiamen. Given the situation, they were probably soldiers. "Hello," Amon waved cautiously. He didn't have the focus or energy to pretend he was in a good mood, not when Ra was watching from somewhere. It felt like waiting for a bomb to go off just after a lit fuse reached the casing.
  5. Dealing With It "Maybe," Shadrak shrugged. It was generally easier to just be himself. On the bright side, he was familiar enough with the way things worked in Kigen to get by and help others do the same, even Greta. He supposed that was why he was being asked to play the businessman. "Just don't get your expectations too high. I'm a little too young for a role like this, and people are going to notice that." He also supposed that was his problem to work around. Vetting "Only if it's an emergency," Joanna stressed all of a sudden, "Until then we should stay right here and see if the ship isn't safety enough." "Why's that?" Amon asked. Almost immediately he regretted doing so. He knew full well what happened the last time they split up like this and tried an 'along the shore' approach just to evade their enemies. Everything had fallen apart so quickly and so irrevocably, Amon was still trying to wrap his head around it. "Never mind. Just stay here. No matter what happens, at least the ship is something we can defend. It's not a fortress, but it's close enough." "I don't think they'll fight us," Joanna shook her head, "I'm only concerned that Liam and I moving around like that will upset the locals. It's not easy to tell an avian from the fallen unless you're up close, and I'm sure that won't convince everyone." ... right, Amon mentally cursed. What in Sardius were they going to do about that? Neither Joanna nor Liam had tails, but judging by Steinn, those weren't terribly difficult to hide or disguise. The Kigenese must have been a lot more vigilant and diligent with regard to the featherfolk. He hadn't experienced any of that during either of his two prior visits, but said visits were quite short, and no avians were with them at the time. They really should have figured this out sooner, Amon realized. "I don't think they'll overreact as long as we act normally and cooperate," Joanna noted, seeming calm despite the potential danger. Amon supposed if their natural tendency was to overreact, Kigen wouldn't have any avians around, whatsoever. Granted ... he hadn't seen any, yet. "While we wait here," Joanna continued, still calm and collected, "maybe you should tell someone about us and let them know in advance. Better still, I'll go and find Lexi. She was with the customs people. I could speak with them." She glanced toward the middle of the main deck, where the two staircases leading into the ship were located. "I don't think they noticed us among all the crew when they went down there." Or maybe they were just that reserved. "If they want to check and make sure we're not fallen, we'll just have to let them," Joanna said, grimacing at the thought, "Better to do that on the ship than in the city, I think ..." Amon could see where Joanna was coming from, but it would have been nice if they could go about their business without having to deal with that kind of suspicion. "Talk to them if you want, but be careful. If they decide you've altered yourselves and you're actually demons, then it's just going to be another fight, and I'm not sure how we're going to get out of that one." With that mostly settled, it was time to head down and make sure no one ran off at random. They were a bit disorganized at the moment, and that made them vulnerable. ((OoC: Sorry if that was a bit stretched interaction-wise.)) Disembarking There was no telling how things would go inside the ship, but Joanna seemed confident enough that she was making the right decision. Just to make sure there weren't any surprises on land, Amon made a mental note to let anyone important looking know that their group had two avians with them when the opportunity presented itself. How to do so without making matters tense, he had no idea, but hopefully being straight forward would get them past that danger and let them focus on the bigger issue of the Ursians and Neviskotians that were doubtless on the lookout for them right this moment. As he made his way down the pier toward land, Amon looked around for foreign faces, anyone that obviously wasn't a Kigenese local. Business "Huh?" Greta got the first part of what Jamilla had said, but the part about Pete threw her for a loop and her self assessment made the merchant laugh. "Hah, I guess ya would, but it's more about makin' sure I can do business here and be taken serious. I need one'a the guys to 'help' out with that," she explained, keeping her voice down as a precaution.
  6. There were three enemies, all intent on slicing the Regalia to pieces, and Firmia could only hold her ground as they came down on her. With no cover to speak of, she was forced to try to sidestep the attacks as they came. The first one was actually quite easy, the pilot telegraphing his move on every level imaginable, and leaving himself open for a swift and decisive counterattack. The Regalia's hyper beam rifle generated a bright, stable beam just before Firmia drove the weapon into the Cressida's cockpit. The anger and fear Firmia felt from the Cressida vanished with the suit's outer armor as the plating was set aglow and quickly melted. The enemy's beam saber fizzled out, and the mobile suit toppled over. <"You deserved a lot worse,"> Firmia bit out, bringing the hyper beam rifle in close, again. That was the first time, to her knowledge, that she'd killed someone. There was no time to process what she'd just done. Firmia had only enough time to dodge the remaining Cressida's attack and take a single swing at it, but her attempt to incinerate the pilot fell short this time, leaving a damaged but fully functional machine. That left Firmia feeling worse than the last one did. The enemy leader came down on her next, ready to try the same thing, and he was much faster, with a much stronger saber. Unable to safely avoid the attack, Firmia used the hyper beam rifle's blade, and the shield to bat aside the strike, and protect the rest of the suit. She immediately swung back at the Deimos, but the hyper beam rifle's blade was dispersed along an invisible barrier before it could reach the target. <"Not a field ..."> Firmia gritted her teeth. She'd have to use the missiles against him, that or overcharge the the rifle a few times. <"At least we know he has one,"> Sasha chimed in, <"Watch yourself, but try to find an opening to take out that last grunt in your sector. Then we'll see about taking off this rookie's training wheels."> <"Got it ..."> ... training wheels? Firmia supposed that was one way to look at an I-field. She preferred 'extreme irritant,' herself.
  7. As much as Sasha would have preferred to let Firmia handle things her own way, the Apotheosis lieutenant seemed set on attacking her even if it meant presenting his back to the Mantle and MK.III. There was no way Sasha could take out the lead machine in one hit, but there was another he could try for with much better odds. <"Got you,"> Sasha smirked once he had a lock. It was a rare chance, a clear line of sight on a Cressida, with no obstacles in the way; he just had to take it. The Mantle's beam smart gun lit up like the sun and the fierce beam enveloped one of the Cressidas that had been closing in on Firmia. <"Defense,"> Sasha called over the radio to the cornered TK. Easier said than done, but Firmia hadn't been planning on being overly aggressive. Instead, she let the Regalia's funnels take shots at the approaching enemies. One of them launched missiles at her, but with the funnels floating so close to their parent suit, they were able to shoot down the missiles before they could close in. While not nearly as precise as Brant's interceptions, Firmia managed to down each of them by focusing all six funnels on one at a time and quickly overwhelming them. <"They're coming into the base ..."> Firmia groaned, wishing she could keep them at range indefinitely. <"Switch to the beam saber,"> Sasha called back, <"We'll back you up."> It was time to make good on his threat now, but he'd need some help, but the MK.III would make Firmia even more vulnerable to attack if it moved in too close. The enemy probably didn't know anything about that, but it was starting to feel like they did. Hopefully the radio hadn't given that information away, earlier ...
  8. How Do Shadrak stopped in his tracks when Nadya spoke to him, reminding the druid about his agreement to play the role of Greta's relative and merchant. The former still felt like an unnecessary precaution, but maybe some good would come of it. "Pete probably would have been a better choice for a cousin or whatever, but it's fine. I'll figure out a way to be a convincing merchant." What Do Joanna was certain the Ursians, Neviskotians, or both, could be plenty helpful without having much knowledge about the group, so long as they could control themselves. If they couldn't at least do that, there wasn't much hope for gaining their cooperation long term, anyway. Supposing it would be better to finish the discussion in a more secure location before making a decision, Joanna shelved that point of disagreement for the moment. "Once we leave, where are we going to go, exactly? We shouldn't just wait by the docks, and we also shouldn't try to meet either of our pursuers until we've agreed on how to approach them." "If we can help it," Amon noted with a grimace, "If they come to us first, I don't think sending them away until we're ready to talk will be easy." At least in Amon's mind, they'd be expecting some trickery: 'Meet us in this neutral location,' would sound to them like, 'Give us some time to quietly slip away, again.' "If that's true," Joanna sighed, "maybe Liam and I should wait here a while. At least until there's somewhere for us to lay low. I wouldn't want one wrathite to turn everything upside down just because we were there."
  9. Sasha poses for the post-kill close up! Firmia attacks Cressida #6 with Funnels! (again, fluff after final results)
  10. Sasha activates Strike (20) and attacks Cressida #8 with Beam Smart Gun! Firmia activates Invincible (Dreams: 20) and attacks Cressida #8 with Hyper Beam Rifle! (Fluff will come after results)
  11. And tagged. Brant's Accensus sped on by the target, but the funnels veered off toward it. At this range, the funnels were even better options than missiles, so Brant sent two hot beams straight through the enemy plane and then waited as the two remote weapons raced back to him. Brant moves to 19,21 and attacks Hunter #2 with Funnels!
  12. Making Due "He's gonna need some work, all the same," Greta groaned. Sighing, and glancing at her wagon that most certainly needed moving, she said, "Well, I'm gonna get my wagon and merch off the ship. If ya catch Shadrak before I do, let'em know he's my cousin. I guess let the others know, too." Was she going to have to shelf her accent to sell that one? No, probably not. It was fine even if people were a little suspicious, so long as they weren't inclined to do anything about it. Greta would definitely make this work. Strength "Trust me, Liam," Joanna insisted, shaking her head, "It won't be necessary." Looking to Pete next, she said, "I suppose what I'm trying to say is that we're not nearly as vulnerable as we might seem." Maybe coming away from that incredible battle in Urquium had left them in an even worse state than she imagined. Perhaps it was more than that. Maybe the constant threat of attack, fleeing from the wrathites, and nearly always being on the defensive, had left the group with primarily defensive preferences. Or ... perhaps Joanna herself was beginning to see things much differently. She was getting hints of that same divinely inspired positivity from Ra, which to her was welcome, despite his oppressively neutral handling of most people. Fearing that she was the one looking at things differently, she quickly revised. "Just ... remember, our mindset and morale are important. These aren't tactics that are going to help us for very long. We have to face the fallen, directly. Nothing the Ursians or Neviskotians could possibly have in mind even compares to what the fallen might have in store for anyone approaching the siege gate." Amon winced, somewhat beginning to see where Joanna was coming from. It sounded like she wasn't happy being overly cautious with a comparatively microscopic group while a massive, much more dangerous one was preparing to strike, especially when they had to confront that group directly and--fate willing, defeat them before an endless army appeared to reinforce them. Looking at it that way, he could vaguely see where she was coming from, though it did surprise Amon that Joanna seemed so willing to risk a small skirmish over a subtle lie. Or perhaps she was picturing the withholding of information from these people differently than he was. Joanna had mentioned the group's mindset and morale, as well, but Amon was having a bit of trouble with that one. No doubt Ra had perfect clarity there, somehow ... Smuggling Nong sighed, having finished yet another farewell. Four of his men were carrying the chest containing Canaan and his camouflage across the deck and toward the boarding ramp. There was a good chance he'd never see his friend, again. He'd been prepared for that eventuality ... but to think he'd be seeing the demon off in Kigen of all places. Of all the places in Sardius to be letting him go. It didn't feel right, but Nena assured him she would look after Canaan. Thus far, she'd proven competent, managing to convince the inspectors that what they saw on the surface of the chest, was all their was. That cleared them to move the chest onto land for loading into the wagon. Despite how well things had gone, anything could still happen, and Nong was just as worried about Nena since the consequences of aiding a demon were so gruesome. There were some places where she might be burned up right along with him, dead or alive. He didn't want that for her, or anyone, really. Nena, not having any things of her own to carry--she'd have to convince Greta to give her an advance so she could remedy her wardrobe situation--followed after the chest bearers as they carried Canaan's dark, clanky sanctuary down from the Emi Maru and onto the pier. The small group of locals there were decently armed, probably officers. Nena decided to stop Nong's men a little before they ran into that group. There was no point in having them carry the chest any further until the wagon was off the Darklighter Idolus anyway. "We'll just wait here. Take five, guys," she waved teasingly. While they took a moment to rest, Nena began to casually walk around the pier, using any instant she was facing the group of officers to look them over without risking eye contact. It wasn't her most convincing routine, but given some of the exaggerated steps and turns, it likely wasn't meant to be especially convincing. As long as she looked extremely bored and not suspicious, that would do. She made sure to keep her eyes off the chest for the most part, treating it like the uninteresting box of junk it was meant to be. Coming Through Greta had to steer, herself, but the wagon came down from the boarding ramps of the Darklighter Idolus safely. The pier was narrow enough to have her worried going into this, but after the initial turn, she drove it up onto real ground, stopping only after she'd cleared the path along the pier completely. "Alright, I can just leave'er parked here for a bit while Lexi and I figure out the rest of that stuff." With that, Greta hopped down from the wagon and headed up to the horses to make sure they were okay. Shadrak made it down the loading ramp with a scowl on his face. Why did he need to be Greta's cousin, exactly? The kigenese loved their family ties, yes, but there was nothing wrong with a man having an assistant that wasn't a relative. Did they look related? He sure didn't think so. There had to be a better way to go about this. On his way toward Arugai proper, Shadrak noticed a strange sight coming into view. Not the small group of men on the docks, but rather some of the sailors from the Emi Maru, and ... Nena. She was strolling around in random circles like she was waiting for someone to come scoop her up. It was kind of cute, but a little confusing. What was almost as confusing was the chest the sailors had brought off the ship. It was considerably larger than any he'd seen. The druid couldn't help but wonder what was inside it. Since he'd had his attention on the scene for this long, already, he decided to head over and investigate ...
  13. The incoming fire had been intense, but thanks to the Regalia's shield, Firmia managed to get off with just a thoroughly worn in paint job, and some mostly superficial damage around the upper arms. It was obvious they were aiming for her cockpit, just as she was aiming for what she could only hope were theirs. It would have been so much easier with the Regalia's funnels, but with that jamming field so close by, Firmia risked losing control or track of them at the worst time. Why the ANF would send a mobile suit that would only decrease an ally's combat capability, and then lead them into this obvious trap, was beyond her. Maybe if she'd gotten her bearings sooner, Firmia mused, she could have done something to prevent this, but it was too late, now. "I'm fine," Sasha assured Kim when she radioed in, "Makes sense that they rely so much on ambushes, now. I could use a smoke break, honestly. Firmia? You still with us?" "The three in the east are moving in," Firmia warned, calm but obviously stressed, "I'll deal with them. You two stay over there and fight the heavier ones." Sasha glanced toward the southeastern corner of the base, wondering if Firmia was feeling confident or was just furious. That was when the MK.III shot down one of the overhyped Apotheosis mobile suits Firmia suggested. "Hah, I was wondering how much those could take. Nice shooting, Lieutenant." As for the jamming, they might as well just keep shooting until the signal cleared up. Sasha figured either a stronger unit or one well out of the way of the fighting was behind it, so they likely had a fifty percent chance of even being capable of dealing with the problem, themselves. With that in mind, the only advice he could give was to keep shooting, working their way down, of course. They were already working on that, though ... ... and holy crap, the jamming finally cleared up. Unfortunately, Megumi noted with an audible sigh, yet another Apotheosis lieutenant or some such was running their mouth prematurely. There was only one way this could end: Humble pie. The doctor focused on trying to pull up the MK.III's data while she still had the opportunity, since only a fool wouldn't resume their jamming tactic after getting their taunt off. Either that or they had an overwhelming advantage and were moving in for the kill, reducing the need for it. Based on Jessica's reaction and orders, that could just as easily be the case. At first, Sasha was near horrified when the Apotheosis leader came in over the comms after his light show and announced his intent to take out Firmia, but then ... as it so reliably did, opportunity called, and reminded Sasha that this was an incredibly inefficient move on the enemy's part. Still, if he wanted to get himself surrounded, Sasha was only inclined to stop him for Firmia's sake. Failing this ... "Her? Oh come on, you rank amateur. I know you're new to this whole fighting business, but be a man and finish what you started, otherwise ten meters of smart gun is going right up your ass." Failing that, he had a threat to make good on. Everything I have left is right here, Firmia reflected on the situation, My home, everything else I owned ... it's all gone. All I managed to take with me was some luggage, dad's data drive, and my flight seat ... my new throne. Everything I have is right here. It's like they're trying to wipe out every trace of my existence. All because of ... these mobile suit prototypes. Firmia couldn't let the Regalia be destroyed. She was tied to it as much as Brant. Even more so, really. Even if she survived the suit's destruction, she would have a family of mostly criminals to return to and nothing else. No, she couldn't be shot down by some arrogant terrorist on a power trip. She wouldn't give Rex, or this idiot that satisfaction. Sasha's graphic threat had been a little encouraging, but Firmia knew she was cornered. She could survive the cressidas at this distance, but once they were inside the base, she would have a hell of a time keeping them off of her. Sasha and Seung Min would have a harder time bringing the Apotheosis leader down too, if he came into the base, proper. More importantly, he was aiming for her specifically, probably assuming she would be an easy kill. Firmia might have been a few minutes ago, but she was focused, now. The Regalia was no tank, but unlike the model it was based on, its crucial systems were extremely difficult to target, even more so to hit. The young Alkaev had also picked up a useful trick from Brant that would work at the ranges she was currently confined to. All six of the Regalia's funnels fell from its wings and began a tight orbit around the suit. Until the situation improved and she could go on the offensive, Firmia planned to keep the funnels extremely close, treating them as point defense weapons. Even shields, if necessary. Better to lose a few of them than a limb or the whole suit. "You're insane," Firmia said over the comms, as she leveled the Regalia's rifle in Miguel's direction, "but I guess that's why you're with Apotheosis." She thought back to her training, and as many of Brant's survival tips as she could readily recall, hoping something would come to her before this power mad pilot came after her. Was that Firmia's voice? Oh no, she was that bastard's target, wasn't she? Why, though? Brant supposed the Regalia would look vulnerable standing around on the ground. Since the captain had ordered them to double time it, Brant was pushing forward with the others, but the Accensus was far from ideal in this situation. He could get there ahead of the others, but would just get himself surrounded. He wouldn't be able to provide much in the way of actual assistance that way, even if he could buy them some time. It also didn't help that the AMS series as a whole were 'cavalry' suits. They had absolutely no business being stationary, even less so on the ground. If they weren't already surrounded, the best course of action would have been to fly right back out of there and meet the team halfway. "Firmia, are you alright?" Brant asked, linking straight to the Regalia's comms in the window he now had. "What's the damage?" "I'm fine and the Regalia's fine. Just get over here and kill everyone that's not blue," Firmia's voice came back, fast paced and authoritative as always. Brant was actually too surprised to even return an acknowledgement. He'd been so worried she would simply break under the pressure of real combat, but that wasn't what was happening, now. Brant wondered if it was because Firmia hadn't been given any choice. In training, their lives were always in danger, but neither Dima, nor his goons, had any intention of actually killing them. Apotheosis on the other hand, seemed dead set on that outcome, and they had her cornered. "Time to shoot anyone in our way," he muttered, arming a full quarter of the Accensus' remaining payload. Switching back to the team's main channel, he said, "I'll set our pace, but tag anyone you want me to shoot along the way." Brant casts Focus!
  14. A Golden Opportunity Helpers "I guess we don't look close enough to be siblin's," Greta admitted, "Still, ya think they'll respect him? He speaks the language, but that's about it. He ain't our most imposin' guy, neither." Granted, that was seldom needed in the trading world, but with so few other merits to fall back on, Greta placed more importance on it. She was starting to miss Haythem even more, now. Even though he was a rexian, he had a lot of merits: height, muscles, an endearing smile, friendly demeanor ... and a positively huge wyvern. That couldn't be helped now, though. Altan Girl Joanna shook her head at Liam's suggestion, "If we reach a point where we have to start lying, we're probably too involved with them. Even if they ask us directly, we don't have to answer them." She thought back to the conversation with Ra, and how he'd framed the situation with the emblem. It had been hidden away in a box, but was now displayed prominently on her neck. She had been worried that having it out like this might lead to a fight, but she'd been willing to accept that due to her dual role as its guardian and the Avatar of Mercy. Despite the increased risks, she couldn't let herself--or Liam, do anything that violated altan principles. Needless to say, it was much easier to stick to altan principles in Aria. "You could always just go back to hiding the emblem in the box," Amon noted, "you don't have to listen to Ra and wear it like that." Joanna shook her head, again. "Even if I wasn't already using it for something else, I wouldn't. We need to start making them deal with us on our own terms."
  15. Bachelorette "I ain't pretendin' Shadrak's my husband," Greta scowled. He apparently didn't meet some prerequisite of hers. "...though I gotta admit, husband or no husband, we gotta be able to talk to these folks, so if he wants to help translate from time to time, that's fine by me." Emblem Accessory "Yeah," Amon nodded, "the situation is bad enough without them thinking we have two things they could use." Joanna smiled nervously, glancing downward as her discussion with Amon and Ra came to mind. Even now, she still wore the emblem on her neck and didn't keep it hidden away in the old box. On the bright side, it easily passed for jewelry, and most depictions of the Fire Emblem were relatively large, flat medallions, not oddly fitting chokers. The locals certainly didn't need to know everything about it, either, but what would they tell anyone, the locals or their pursuers, if it came up? As far as the Ursians and Neviskotians were concerned, the magic that brought the Basilisk over to their side was simply unknown, possibly divine, but not necessarily the work of the emblem. Maybe they didn't even know the group had a piece of the emblem. Joanna supposed that was only going to be an information advantage until some wrathite found out about her and put the pieces together. "As much as I hate to say this, if you do have a meeting with the Ursians, I'll have to be somewhere else. Like Pete said, it will only take one informed wrathite to ruin our talks with them." Amon sighed, realizing he was likely going to have to be a spokesman at this rate. "Agreed," he said, wishing he could swap places with Ra for a while. Let that overconfident tyrant talk down the Ursians and Neviskotians while he gathered his own thoughts alone in whatever realm Ra normally occupied. Goodbyes "I see," Nong said, his smile diminishing only slightly. It wasn't a sad occasion, only an inevitable outcome of ferrying such agreeable people around on such short notice. The trio he'd been speaking with before subtly eased off to the side before Nong had to do or say anything to excuse himself. "Well then," the captain of the Emi Maru extended his hand for Norbert, "It has been a pleasure having you and your companions aboard. A little rough on some days, but a pleasure." Best Laid Junk It was dark, but Canaan was used to it. It wasn't as if he couldn't see, though. In a space as cramped as this chest, nothing his vivid blue eyes illuminated was of particular interest. The only thing that truly bothered Canaan was that Nena insisted on disguising him even more thoroughly than usual. While the demon himself was effectively at the 'bottom' of the chest, resting on top of him was a thin dark cloth and enough junk to pin and suffocate a normal person. Not just any junk would do for cover, though. Nena insisted on items that were mostly metal, to imply enough weight to make such a heavy chest seem normal. Disguising Canaan's weight this way wasn't easy, but it was a fine sight better than wheeling him around out in the open. Between his incredibly long legs, extra arms, enormous tail, and inhuman muscles, he likely weighed in well over four hundred pounds. A few metal clinks. Canaan could hear them coming from above, muffled by the cloth that was both covering, and keeping everything 'on top' of him. "Mm, that'll have to do," he heard Nena say. "Are you doing alright in there, Cay?" "I am ... alive." "Sheesh, I should hope so," Nena said, trying not to laugh, "It's a disguise, not a coffin." If they got caught, Canaan mused, that distinction would be moot.