The Sorceress War Part I, Chapter XX
AN: Never mind about the Valhalla
looking like the Blackjack. It's more or less a weird hybrid between the
Blackjack and the Highwind from FF7. Darn it I wish I had a scanner that
worked so I could upload my own artwork! Oh well.
ETA to preliminary
attack: 20 minutes
was finally in view of the Helian-Estharian strike force. The shores of
the Northern Galbadian coast were coming ever closer, and the tall buildings of
the Deling City skyline were visible despite the heavy amount of haze that
night. It was approaching midnight in Galbadian time, and to Virados, it
was the perfect time to strike. With most of the population asleep and
unaware of their presence, the attack would be a hopefully phenomenal
success. True, they would show up on radar soon, but by that time it
would be far too late for the Galbadians to counter attack. With any
luck, they would be able to take out the majority of the Deling forces, then
get out before they could mobilize. Then, if he had his way, an invasion
force of over 20,000 ground infantry would move in and secure the city a few
"How long until we
reach the shores?" A female voice asked from behind his place on the
deck over looking the land before him, his hair whipping in the wind.
Satori. You'll be there before you know it." He informed her,
not looking back. "We have about twenty minutes until we can
attack. Have you readied the ground soldiers?"
"They were ready
from the moment we left Helios." Satori replied, crossing her arms
and walking towards him for a few paces. "Answer me this question,
will you? Why did you decide on this sudden attack? You only gave
us about three days worth of warning. Needless to say, it took much
effort to mobilize a force this size in that amount of time, not to mention the
time to plan the attack itself."
'Sorceress War' as these Galbadians call it, hasn't made much progress.
Though there have been several battles as Adel tried to invade, it's basically
been a cold war. Neither Galbadia nor Esthar have made any serious
campaigns in the opposing region, so I am giving them a bit of help.
Besides, the Helios country has always been a player in major wars, and even
though they may deny it, the people wish to go to war."
Satori shook her head
in slight disbelief. "Are you sure it's wise to get into a hot
war? Both Galbadia and Esthar have missile bases now, and if they get
into a nuclear war it could be devastating."
"Still, it would
be better than the petty little naval battles that are going on
now. Besides, I have other reasons... ones you can't know of yet and
are not really any of your concern." Virados replied, scanning the shores
below with his more sensitive Mysidians eyes that had well adapted to the night
that you don't trust me." She said with sarcasm on her tongue.
At this, Virados
finally turned around to face her. There was a slight emotion in her
eyes, one that he identified as hurt, but she made sure that she kept her usual
poker face on to mask any major feeling she was having. Virados had been
in Helios for about a year, and ever since his arrival Satori had been his most
loyal of soldiers. Due to his Mysidian upbringing, however, he had been
taught to be wary of Centrans since he was just a young boy. He had
first met her in Esthar, and had reluctantly taken her on as a pupil of
his. Lately, to his surprise, she had been trying to advance on him
romantically, though he had been avoiding the subject at all costs.
Mysidians and Centrans never, under any circumstances, were allowed to
be involved with one another. Or at least, that is what he had been
"It's not that I
don't trust you." He replied. "It's just that my plans are meant to
be reserved for the high ranking personnel of New Mysidia. You have to
understand, we are all still cautious of Centrans thanks to the Centran
Wars. But then if your empire was destroyed, you would be wary of us,
"Let's not talk
Before Satori could
finish what she was saying, a Helian messenger stormed onto the deck from
the main bridge that was only a few hundred feet away from the two
warriors. From the panicky and nervous look on his face, it didn't appear
that he had any good news to deliver. He spoke as soon as he and
Virados exchanged salutes.
"Sir, I have
terrible news!" He nearly shouted. "Somehow, Galbadia
became aware of the strike force, and they have massed together their
defenses. Also, there is a platoon moving in from the Timber border and
several large convoys heading in from Dollet, which will both arrive in exactly
forty minutes. And, to make matters even worse, there is an
airship traveling behind us, but it is not broadcasting a friendly
signature. It is definitely the Valhalla, but the Airship docks
have just reported that they fell under attack and that one of their airships
had been hijacked."
is just what I needed." Virados grumbled, and threw a look over the
side of the airship. Indeed, if he looked close enough, he could see vast
movement along the Galbadian coast. Looking behind them, he could make
out a slight dot in the distance, which was more than likely the Valhalla in
close pursuit. Turning to the messenger, he gave his orders.
"Tell all airships to ready their air-to-ground
missiles, and prepare to take out as much of the artillery defenses as
possible. Get the troops ready to move out at a second's notice.
Order the fighter airship, Pulsar, to go back and take care of the Valhalla.
Get the naval ships to fire their weaponry to any ground targets as soon as
they are within range. Get the Estharians to do the same."
With that, the
messenger sped away to the bridge as fast as his legs would carry him.
Virados looked over the side of the ship again, trying to see the size of the
Galbadian forces below. Satori crossed her arms with hint of frustration
on her face.
"What do you need
me to do?"
"You go get ready
with the troops, I'll need you on the battlefield." He
replied. "You know what to do in means of your primary objective,
Yes, I have no problems with doing that. Just so long as she doesn't get
all fired up like she did last time. And no, I will not try to hurt her
slowly returned herself into consciousness, but in turn she also exposed
herself to the pain and sores that had been generated from her beating about an
hour or so ago. Hesitantly opening her eyes, she found herself lost in
her new surroundings. No longer was she in the Helian military base with
the rest of Wolf Pack around her, but instead rested against a steel wall of
what appeared to be some sort of vehicle. The low hum of a fairly large
engine could be heard and felt where she was, though she was alone inside the
hall. It looked as if she was inside of some navy ship, or so she
assumed, but for some reason it felt as if she was higher up in the
A door opened behind
her and whomever it was let out a startled gasp. Feeling better than she
had in previous times, she spun around to face the intruder. To her
surprise, it was Lancer who entered. He quickly rushed over to her and
knelt down to Celeste's level.
awake!" He said with a smile on his face. He helped her sit up
more, and continued on when he saw her confused expression. "It's
kind of a long story. We're inside a Helian airship called the Valhalla.
I don't know if you heard it earlier, since you were drifting in and out of
consciousness, but Helios and Esthar are attacking Deling City. We're
about twenty minutes away, but we won't be able to stop the strike force."
Celeste only looked at
him for a moment in complete astonishment. She then groaned in
frustration. "Oh, man. I'm out of action for just a little bit
and this is what happens?! I swear that I should probably never
"Well, Raine and
some of the others are trying to figure out what to do up on the
bridge." He replied, nodding back in the direction of where she
assumed the bridge was. "Do you want me to take you up there?"
She stood up on her
own, but grabbed onto his shoulder for support. "That's okay, I'm
not so bad anymore. I can make it on my own. But, ah, you don't
happen to have a potion on you, do you?"
"Not me. I
think Raine has a few more left, and she'll be more than willing to give you
one." He replied, and led her towards the bridge.
Leading up her up a
ramp and pushing a button on a control panel, he slid open a pair of steel
doors that led to their destination. To Celeste it revealed a fairly
large room with a window stretching all along the forward wall. At closer
inspection, she realized it was an electronic screen, an image transferred from
cameras on the outer hull. A HUD and other information was
scattered about the screen. Deling City was in the distance, it's lights
twinkling in the night sky. Along the lower portion of the sky and on the
sea littered more lights, more than likely the Estharian-Helian strike
force. There were several seats in the room itself, but two with a large
control panel in front of them looked like the pilot/co-pilot area. It
was here that Julia and Lilliana sat, quietly arguing over what to push on the
The morale of the Wolf
Pack was not especially good at the present time. While some were absent,
the group known as the 'strategic Wolves', or the group that planned most of
the missions, was currently present trying to think of a plan of attack as soon
as they encountered action. This group included originally Raine,
Edea and Celeste. Now, Zion was also present, trying to help the other
women think of something. From the looks of it, they weren't getting very
far, either. Raine had her head in her hands, and was using her fingers
to massage her temples. That was something she only did if she was
Edea greeted happily, reaching over from where she stood and slinging a
welcoming hug around the blonde's shoulders. "I am glad to see that
you are all right! Do you think you are up for helping us come up with a
"Yeah, I think
so." She groggily said with a groan. Looking over to her
commander, she couldn't help but ask. "Raine? Do happen to
have a potion I could use? My stamina has all but died on me."
Raine nodded and went
over to her backpack. Unzipping it, she frowned. "We only have
three left. I think I should save them for the battle. Lilliana,
why don't you just cast a Curaga on her, instead?"
"I think I can
manage that." The martial artist responded. She twisted her
body around to face the injured woman, and letting go of the controls she
muttered something in the Centran tongue. Suddenly, Celeste felt a surge
of energy hit her, and her stamina and wounds healed themselves
completely. She thanked Lilliana and turned back to the other girls.
"Now, what can I do to help?"
preliminary attack: 10 minutes
crap," Julia muttered as she heard a beep coming from the HUD.
Lilliana looked up as well, and her jaw dropped.
Raine tilted her head
away from the brief strategy meeting that the other soldiers had been having to
see what the commotion was about. The only thing she noticed different
was that there was another targeting signal on the screen, but having no idea
how to read it she couldn't decipher what it meant. "Julia when you
sound like that, it's rarely a good thing. What's the problem?"
Julia ignored Raine for
a moment and grabbed a hold of the airship's intercom. "Attention
everyone, it's time for the mid-flight entertainment! We've got an enemy
fighter craft inbound, and closing fast. Anyone with knowledge on how to
use firearms report to the gun turrets, ASAP!"
"What?!" Celeste responded, her eyebrows furrowing into
Julia pointed to the
screen, "That's a Helian Air Force fighter plane! It's closing fast,
and it's gonna tear us to shreds if we don't do something! Lilliana, fly
this thing while I go gun with the others. Zion, Edea, let's go!"
"Why don't you
just fire a missile at it?!" Raine asked angrily, with frustration
in her voice.
Julia and Lilliana
looked at each other for a moment or two, then Julia looked back to
Raine. "I... uh.... well, the thing is... Never mind,
Lilliana will tell you, I've gotta go!"
The staff user then
sped out of the room after re-opening the double doors of the bridge with Zion
and Edea, leaving the others standing there with dumbfounded expressions etched
on their faces. The most of which belonged to Lilliana, who was left sitting in
the pilot's seat looking desperately at the point at which Julia once
stood. She did not have any ideas on what to do to fly the
airship, and would only have to rely on what she saw Julia do moments
earlier. Raine on the other hand, had an angry look on her
face. She, having no prior experience in aerial combat, was not the
leader. When she was out of command she felt very out of place, and
therefore irritated. But still, she couldn't help but wonder why Julia
simply didn't fire the missiles at the incoming airship.
To find the answer, though
inwardly she probably already knew it, she turned to Lilliana. "I
think I know the reason why you and Julia just don't fire missiles. That
rumbling I heard earlier? When we were taking off? You and
Julia used them to blow something up didn't you?"
"It was all her,
Meanwhile, on the lower
decks, Julia was rallying together the gunner team. While the Valhalla
itself had many gun placements, the amount of Wolves that could used them
were limited. Only Edea, Epsilon, Lancer, Zion, and herself stood
within the hall. She was a little surprised to see Lancer of all people
down there with them, but with her little knowledge of his fighting she simply
assumed that he had been instructed in the ways of gunning before and just never
liked to use it. She had to now separate them into two groups.
She began, thrusting a fist into the air in excitement. "Edea and
Epsilon are going to gun from the aft portions of the ship, and the rest of us
will stay in the foredecks. Zion and Lancer, you guys use the guns on the
side of the ship, and I'll gun from the upper turret that's on the top.
Everyone be sure to communicate with each other to get a 20 on the enemy! Okay,
With that, they broke off
into their appointed sections. Edea and Epsilon disappeared behind a
corner as they hurried down to the aft turrets, while Lancer and Zion separated
and ran off to opposite sides. Julia turned back around and ascended a
ladder that wasn't far off from the bridge. Each soldier climbed into
their respective turrets, and having not been turned off from their previous
use, were ready immediately. Luckily, Edea, Epsilon and Zion already had
used the turrets and knew how they worked. Tapping a few commands into
their consoles, they activated the targeting system, and locked onto the enemy
fighter craft. To their surprise, it was closer than they had
The ship rocketed past the
underside of the Valhalla at a speed which barely registered by the
human eye. Edea and Epsilon were barely able to spin their turrets around
in time to try and shoot the enemy before it circled around again. Lining
up their targeting sights, they let off as much fire as they could. To
their dismay, the enemy ship quickly pitched high into the air and looped back
towards the much slower Valhalla. Now, it was elevated and exposed to
the other turrets. Julia had turned herself around and was now letting
out a round of fire as well. She missed, but it didn't. Spraying
out a stream of bullets from its main gun, it punctured several spots on the
outer hull, luckily nowhere near the other Wolves.
However, it made a fatal
mistake. Unbeknownst to the craft, Zion was in the turret below Julia
along the side of the Valhalla. The enemy, not knowing this,
banked down to the side of the larger craft to escape Julia's fire. Zion
then pulled the trigger of his own gun, sending liquid hot steel crashing into
the engine compartment of the enemy ship. A small explosion was seen, and
smoke began to pour out from the rear of the craft. It banked down again,
in a final attempt to save itself from plunging to Terra in a fiery ball of
burning steel. In the process, it pulled up a bit too far than it first
intended. Lancer took this time to push his turret down as far as it
would go, and sent a final stream of fire into the craft. This time, the
entire fighter craft exploded into several flaming pieces, each falling down
out of sight in the night sky.
"Nice shot, guys!"
Julia congratulated through her communications device inside the turret.
"Now come on, we have to get back to the bridge, Raine probably has a plan
for the ground combat. Whoa, it's getting close too, only about six
minutes left until we hit land. Let's go, people!"
"Oh, yeah, no kidding
!" Zion replied, slowly stepping out of the turret and down to the
hall floor. "I just hope Jesse was able to get all of the defenses
in place as early as possible. Otherwise, we are completely screwed
Edea had all ready jogged
back to that area from the aft regions of the ship. "If he did most
of the defense prep. should have been left up to the Sentinels and the other
defense Special Forces units. If they're in charge, we should have tons
"Well, then I guess
we're about to see just what Galbadia has to offer." Lancer
said, beginning his walk back to the bridge from his turret placement.
"The final countdown is on, I just pray that we don't backfire in our
defense. All of Deling depends on it."
AN: All right, a BIG battle chapter
is up next. Happy readings in advance for all of you gore and battle
junkies out there. Don't be fooled, this is not the end, I've estimated
we have about ten more chapters to go! Thank the gods, this is starting
to take it's toll on me!