The Sorceress War Part I, Chapter VI
"Wolf Pack is like a family. We always watch each other's backs
during tough times, and steal each other's stuff when the rest aren't
-Master Sergeant Edea van Neil of SE-12 'Wolf Pack.'
Raine was in her adopted home, no more than age 13. Her uncle had
died a few years earlier and she had to be sent to this family, the
Canons. For Raine, it was hell on Terra. No matter how hard she
tried, she couldn't ever live up to their standards. It seemed as
though their wealth had taken away what was left of their humanity.
Though they were as rich as Trance had been, they were no where near as nice as
her uncle was before he died. Raine had just been walked home from
school by Edea and Julia, who lived on either side of the Canon house.
Using the excuse that she was going to spend the night with one of them, she
could usually escape the harsh reality of her current family life. It
consisted of just her adoptive parents, they had no children, which is probably
why they adopted Raine in the first place. Now, she wasn't quite sure if
they should be trusted with children.
She had been out an hour later than usual with Edea and Julia, and had
forgotten to do her massive list of chores. It wouldn't have been that
bad of a problem, had this not been the sixth time this week. Dismissing
the responsibilities, she went up to her room. She would have done the
chores if she had known what would happen next.
Her father stormed into her room with her mother and began to yell at her,
"What the hell's the matter with you?! How many times have you
disobeyed us now?! You're such a spoiled, useless brat! You're
gonna get what you've been deserving, you pathetic bitch!!"
Before she knew what was happening, a strong closed fist punched her across the
face. She tried to scream, but was cut off when a blow to her jaw
silenced her, and flung her off her bed and onto the floor. Then,
she tried to get up again, but was stopped when a painful kick to her stomach
brought her back down. She had felt a rib crack during the
kick. Then... it stopped.
Before her parents had a chance to continue the onslaught, she got up and ran
out of her room and flew down the stairs at top speed, still clutching her side
at the pain of the broken rib. Her father started to chase her, but
stopped as soon as she bolted out of the front door to their small
mansion. She fled through their front yard, which was covered in
snow due to it being January. The snow was dyed red as the blood began to
seep out of her soon to be swollen nose, which had been hit on the first
She saw Julia and her mother cleaning dishes in their kitchen, and Julia's
father watching TV in the living room not far away. Without knocking, she
burst through their kitchen door. Julia gasped as she saw Raine, and her
mother without a word grabbed a first aid kit from within a cabinet.....
Raine woke up with a faint scream. She brought her
knees up to her chest and placed her head in her hands as she began to weep
softly. Though she had told herself time and time again to be strong when
dealing with this subject, it always seemed to bring her to angered tears.
She sighed heavily and forced herself to stop. After wiping the tears
from her eyes, she stretched back out against her bed. That beating
was just one of many. Luckily it was also one of the last they gave her
before the Heartillys called the cops and had them arrested. She
remembered the time, after that beating in the dream, that she had come
home. Her father, in anger, had taken a bat to her and broke both of her
femurs. She was immobile for a month. That was when they were
arrested. To old for another adoption, she simply moved in with Julia
until the three joined the army.
There was a soft knock at her door, and then it slowly opened, revealing the
still tired face of Julia. Raine situated herself even more and waved her
in. She was already up, dressed in light blue jeans with red flames drawn
on the side up to her knees (the knees had been worn off however, since the
pair was fairly old), a white tank top and her traditional leather
jacket. She approached Raine cautiously and closed the door
"You alright? I thought I heard you crying," she asked, sitting
down at the foot of Raine's bed. She notice Rained nod slightly, and she
knew something must be terribly wrong, since Raine never cried. Then
realization hit her, "Oh! You were thinking about... them?"
Raine nodded again. Julia got up and went over to Raine, giving the
sad-faced girl a tight hug around the shoulders. Raine buried her face
into Julia's arm and cried softly into the leather. Julia tried to soothe
her, "Shh... it's okay Raine. You've just gotta stop thinking about
'em. It's gonna eat you alive if you keep acting like this..."
Raine pulled away and wiped her fresh tears away again, "Yeah, I
know. It's just.... so hard to forget. Arg... I can't believe I'm
whining like this, it's so degrading! I've become the kind of girl I
Julia chuckled softly, "Anyways... you alright now?" When she
nodded, she continued, "Good. What I first came to tell you
was, Celeste's got all her little gizmos running in her room. Most
of us are in there now, she says she may have a plan of attack."
"Okay... that's great!" Raine said with a smile, "Just give me a
minute to get dressed and I'll be right there."
Julia nodded, gave another brief hug to Raine for good measure, and then exited
the room. Once gone, Raine pulled off the shirt and pair of shorts
she had worn to bed. She went down to her bag and pulled out a pair of
leather pants, a white tanktop, and a navy blue trench coat. She put them
on, along with her combat boots, and exited the room as well.
She walked down to Celeste's room, which was three doors down, by Edea's
room. Though Celeste was usually the stern one of the group at times, (but
not as stern as Raine) she somehow was also the sloppiest. And that was
saying a lot, since Julia had her floor in her Wolf Pack dorm covered with
musical equipment, magazines, and whatnot. Celeste was probably twice as
worse. Even here in the hotel she had made a mess (though Celeste calls
it an organized mess). Being a hacker, she had to take with
her numerous technological things, that always seemed to take up room. In
the hotel room, wires and CD cases were littered up all over the place, and Celeste
sat in the center with her laptop, typing away quickly. The team was
scattered throughout the room, sitting on the desk or on her bed, or simply
standing against the walls, trying to avoid touching anything to do with a
Celeste smiled as Raine came in, "Raine! You're finally up, you slept in
Julia smirked, "Yeah, you're getting lazier than me."
"So come on Cel', what's this plan you've got to show us? You
interrupted my beauty sleep!" Corin said, stretching out his arms as he
tried to stay awake.
Raine and Edea both plopped down on the couch as she began to talk, "Okay!
I've found a way into the palace. It's tricky, but we don't have much of an
option. You can forget about going through the front, there are too many
guards and we'd never get passed the lift station there. The back on the
other hand, has only a few garrisons there, and the security camera room!
If one of us can make a distraction, I can slip in and set the cameras on loops
so that they won't detect us. Then we can sneak in through the vent
shafts nearby, and get into the main palace. Sound good?"
Julia turned to Edea with a smirk, "What did she just say?"
"Oh Hyne.. don't let her repeat it."
Celeste crossed her arms, "I don't see you coming up with a plan! Besides,
we can't just wing it, like you want Julia. I don't favor the idea
running through the Estharian palace with the entire army on our tail for you
blowing up everything in site!"
"Hey, that sounds like a good plan to me!" Julia said defensively.
Raine sighed and smacked Julia across the backside of her neck, "Celeste's
right. Okay guys, this is what we're gonna do. We'll sneak out of
the window in my room at about midnight. We'll jump across the building
roofs until we get back behind the palace. Then Celeste and Lancer can
make a distraction. While Lancer keeps them occupied, Celeste can go do
whatever she needs to do to the cameras. After that, we'll form into
three groups. Probably the best way to gather information is to hit the
three main parts to the Presidential Palace. Group one will be:
Epsilon, Andraia, and its leader will be Edea. Since Edea is a sorceress,
I want you three to head to Adel's chambers; maybe you can find something
useful there. Group two will be Lancer, Celeste, Zion, and is going
to be lead by Julia. You guys are going to use Celeste's hacking skills
to get into the main archives and find info on just… anything the guys back
home would be interested in. Like, what are Esthar's plans and info on
Adel. Stuff like that. Lastly, I will lead the third group with
Corin and Lily. We're going to try and eavesdrop on some of the meetings
that will be held over the conference room. That should tell us what
Galbadia's going to be up against. Any questions?"
Andraia raised her hand, "Yeah! Are we going to use the vents?"
"Of course we will! I want no contact with Estharian guards.
Julia, this means absolutely no blowing up any of them!"
Raine commanded, pointing an accusing finger towards the brunette, who was
admiring one of the guns Raine had brought with her in her backpack.
"Aw, come on Raine!"
"No chance in hell."
She further protested her cause, "But even if my grenade launcher is loud,
there's nothing those Bug Soldiers can do about it! I'll blow them up
before they knew what hit 'em!"
Raine shook her head and continued her briefing, "Well we've got a plan,
finally. Alright, you guys meet me in my room at exactly midnight.
Most of the guards should be asleep by then, and the graveyard shifts are
usually pretty small, just like Galbadia's. We'll jump over buildings to
get over there, and then execute the plan. Remember, no contact with
guards at all!!"
"So, I take it we're going to be using our SOCOM pistols and silenced
guns, since we want it quiet right?" Zion asked, "Even the melee
"Yeah," Raine began, "But melees are okay. As long
as Celeste doesn't crack her whip. That thing is awful loud."
"Sorry! I'll just use it to strangle things… how's that?"
Celeste responded, looking back up from her computer laptop.
Raine nodded towards the blonde and turned to leave the room, "Okay, my
room at midnight. Don't forget. Until then, you can wander the
hotel, but I don't want you going outside much. If you have to, just go
shopping nearby, and in groups of two or more. I'm going to go back to my
room so I can sleep some more... I suggest you do the same. We need our
strength, and we also need to recover from the last few days."
"I am going to take a nice long hot bath!" Andraia
exclaimed. Epsilon scrunched up his nose in disgust,
"Yeah! You really need one! Smelly girl!"
baby!" Epsilon jeered, laughing lowly and smirking at her. Andraia simply
put her hands on her hips and began to walk away, shoving Epsilon into the wall
on the way out, then laughed triumphantly as she exited the room.
Lilliana just shook her head as she watched the team, "I just hope
we don't kill each other before we get to kill the Estharians."
Hotel-- 23:50 hours
Raine finished changing into the Wolf Pack commander's black
trenchcoat while keeping her leather pants and tanktop on. She attached
her gun holster and ammunitions belt onto her regular belt, and holstered a
silenced pistol to her waist. She slung her scabbard across her left leg
and attached the lower portion to her knee so it wouldn't fly around during
combat. After that was secured, she slid her silver katana into the
scabbard. For safety, just in case the team got into big trouble, she attached
four frag grenades to the side of her ammo belt, which hung diagonally across
her thigh. She put two silenced machine guns, MP-5s, out on the bed, she
knew for a fact Zion and Epsilon would probably be too stubborn to bring their
own silenced gun to trade in for their loud gun arm and shotgun.
A knock came at her door, and Edea's voice came from behind it, "Raine,
it's me! Let me in, I'm ready to go!"
Raine opened the oak door and let the sorceress enter the room. Edea had dressed
in her usual combat gear: black combat pants, a black turtleneck t-shirt,
and a gray Wolf Pack jacket. Her chain gun was replaced with a silenced
machine gun, which hung from the impressive ammunitions belt that hung across
her waist. Her hair was still tied in a braid to keep in out of her
face. She entered the room and sat down in the chair by the bed.
"Anyone else ready, Ed'?" Raine asked, fingering the hilt of her
katana at her waist.
Edea stretched back in the chair, holding her arms over her head, "Yeah,
Celeste, Julia and Zion were right behind be. But they all probably got
side tracked by something shiny.. or ... something..."
However, the three other soldiers came through the door and gathered around
Raine for their orders. Zion had donned a Wolf Pack combat vest, a pair
of gray combat pants, and immediately grabbed a MP-5 from the bed and attached
it to his ammo belt. Celeste was wearing a pair of black jeans and had a
black shirt on. Her whip was tied to her ammo belt, and looped around a
piece of material around her knee. Julia had remained in her flamed jeans
and leather jacket, but her staff was attached to her back. She also had
grenades and a backpack, just like Raine had.
Edea looked impressed, "Wow! Julia, no grenade launcher?"
"Uh... yeah... it's back in the room..."
Raine didn't sound too convinced with that excuse, since most everyone had
taken everything they had with them. They knew they would probably get in
trouble in the palace and would have to run straight out from their to the
outskirts with no interruptions if they wanted to survive. Before Raine
had a chance to question Julia, the rest of the team came in, dressed as they
usually were, with the exception of their ammo belts and item pouches.
Most everyone had a backpack slung over their shoulders as well. Epsilon
grabbed the last MP-5 and hooked it to his belt.
"All right guys, you know the plan. Come along, we're still going to
use the roof tops for a route of travel," Raine ordered, opening the
window that was on the other side of the room and stepping onto the
balcony. The drop below wasn't very far to the neighboring roof, but it
was still far enough to make someone cringe.
"Oh lord, I hate heights!" Celeste said as she winced when she
looked over the side.
"It's not that far, you'll be okay Cel'!" Andraia said, trying to
cheer her up. Celeste always had a fear of heights... ever since she was
With that, Raine swung her legs over the guard rail, and dropped down to the
roof below. As she came down, she hurt her knees a bit, but that pain
would wear off soon. She had learned from experience. One by one,
the Pack leapt over the side of the building and onto the path to the palace
underneath them. And after much persuasion, they got Celeste to jump down
without repelling down the building using her whip as a rope.
Once the team gathered below, Raine motioned with her hand and the team took
off running towards the rear of the palace complex. As Raine began the
run, she didn't realize just how long the path in front of her would be...
Wolf Pack crouched along the top of a commercial building
just outside the palace complex. They could see the guards and smaller
buildings nearby in the night sky, illuminated by power from the palace's
generators. They could also see two blonde Wolf Pack soldiers making
their way towards the three guards that were on duty that night.
Celeste and Lancer both approached the guards as they were alerted to their
presence. Before they had a chance to stop them, Lancer rushed up with a
frightened look on his face. Not knowing what else to do, Celeste copied
him and placed a startled look on her face just the same.
"Sir, sir! Please you have to help us!" Lancer practically screamed,
waving his hands in the air, "Some of our friends are being attacked by a
pack of Toramas! You have to go help them! They're trapped a ways down
the Right Side Highway!"
Without thought the three Estharian guards nodded and drew out their Boomerang
Swords. All three of them turned and started to run off toward the
presumed 'attack site'. Once they were out of site, Celeste began to run
towards the Security room which was just outside the main entrance.
Lancer waved down the Wolf Pack, telling them to hurry up and get into the
vents before the soldiers returned.
Celeste sprinted towards the Security room and opened the door. She was
face-to-face with and Estharian officer. Before he could react, however,
Celeste swung her whip out and captured the officer's neck within it. She
held him there with as strong a grip as she could use, causing the leather of
the whip to dig its way into the officer's skin, turning a part of his neck red
with his own blood. She felt him gasp for air for a minute, then he
collapsed into her. She dropped him to the floor and re-holstered her
whip. She took out one of her compact disks and fed it into the main
terminal. She then began to type quickly to loop the security cameras.
Lancer waved at her to hurry up. The Pack was already filing into the
ventilation shafts and he could already spot the guards starting to return, a
pissed look on their faces. She set the cameras on loop with a few more
keystrokes, and grabbed her disk as she ran out of the office. Following
Lancer's lead, she dove into the shaft, closing it behind her. They
crawled a great distance into the dark pathway before they could feel that they
were safe. Celeste checked back to make sure the guards hadn't followed
her. Once they were clear, Raine began to give quiet orders...
"Okay, get into your groups and go to your locations. Celeste should
have given you a map, so you should know where it is you need to travel
by. We are going to be split up for a long time, and if you are in
distress, use your commlink. You'll be traced, but even so, Wolf Pack
will come running. Got it? Let's go then!"