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The Ringed Land

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The Ringed Land

Post  Cranberry on Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:32 pm

The Ringed Land
A PSO Fan-Fiction written by Cranberry



Prologue
People aboard Pioneer 2 had become excited as a new announcement had been made. Pioneer 2 would at last be landing on Ragol. At last the people could begin to settle on their new home. Excitement filled the hearts of soldiers, hunters, and civilians alike. Details of the landing remained classified, and the announcement said that final preparations for the decent were well underway. But despite all of this good news, uneasiness and tension still ran through the souls of many…

Chapter 1 – Brewing Trouble?


It was early morning on Pioneer 2, the clock had just struck 6AM. A young FOnewearl sleeps peacefully in her bed. Her name is Cranberry, her long black hair held a large red bow that rested atop her head. Her light blue nightgown flowed down to her knees. She has a pale white complexion, which contrasts well with her gown and darker blue sheets. The calm of the early morning quiet was soon broken by a buzzing sound emanating from the communications terminal in her room. She groaned groggily as she slowly sat up and rubbed her eyes.

“What time is it?” Cranberry mumbled as she reached over to press the button on a remote sitting on her nightstand.

Responding to her remote, the communications terminal activated, as the screen light up it revealed a man that appeared to be in his early 20’s. He had strawberry blonde hair, a pale complexion and wore a brown wizards robe. A pair of glasses rested on his face, granting him a more professional appearance than your standard FOmar.

“Cranberry, did I wake you?” the man on the monitor asked.

Cranberry glanced over at the clock. “Actually, yes. What do you want Sage? It’s 6AM.”

“Sorry to wake you Cran, but we have a bit of an urgent situation that-” Sage began before a loud hissing sound interrupted him. Perking up from the pillow beside Cranberry, a red Sato floated up and glared at Sage, snarling and snapping its jaws.

“Sato? What are you, HEY!” Before Cranberry could finish, the Sato took off and flew out her window, bolting down the hallway. “Crazy MAG. You were saying?”

Sage cleared his throat and continued. “I’m concerned. I’m sure that by now you are aware that Pioneer 2 will soon be landing on Ragol. I am very uneasy about this.”

“Please don’t tell me you woke me up at 6 in the morning because you are scared we’ll encounter turbulence.” Cranberry murmured groggily.

“That’s not it at all. Doesn’t it strike you odd that we are landing while monsters are still running rampant on Ragol? The government has been very secretive about landing details. Many of the hunters are getting suspicious. I’ve done some research, and I’ve discovered something. A landing area has already been established, and there is a gigantic construction project going on down there.” Sage replied.

“That doesn’t sound so bad.” Cranberry replied.

“I didn’t think so either, at least not at first.” Sage quickly answered. “But here is the thing. The announcement declared the landing to be near the central dome. But this project is nowhere near the Central Dome. In fact it’s not even on the same continent. In fact, the official maps of Ragol do not even show the area this is being done in. A friend of yours accidentally found this place when an infrared scanner malfunctioned. I searched the Pioneer 2 database, and 1 restricted file resulted. The file was encrypted, I wasn’t able to get any information. And shortly afterwards, my account suddenly lost all access to database files. The lab says it’s a programming error, but I don’t buy it. Someone is hiding something.”

“That’s interesting, but why are you contacting me about it, and so early in the morning?” Cranberry asked as she adjusted her nightgown.

Sage adjusted his glasses and continues. “I need your help. Remember I mentioned that someone you know noticed this location when the infrared scanners malfunctioned? It was Dark Force that found it. She mentioned it in passing to me a few days ago. I snuck down to the hangar bay and used the sensor system on one of the personnel ships there. It was no infrared glitch, there is a huge project going down there, a large but very remote island. I was able to access a file on that ships database, and its not residential habitats at all that they are building. It looks to be some type of facility, with some of the heaviest armor I’ve ever seen. As you know the last few weeks Dark Force has been working in the lab on the landing project, I mentioned what I had found to her, and she was stunned. They had not said 1 word about this to her.”

Cranberry looked more closely at the screen. “They haven’t told her anything about this? But she’s one of the key figures in planning out this landing. The information they gave her said we’d be landing outside the Central Dome.”

“Exactly. Now you see why I’ve got some real concerns about this. Dark Force took it upon herself to resolve this. As you know on her Information Board she says that she is taking some time off for personal leave. But in reality she has gone down to investigate this project. I helped her get there by secretly changing the teleporters coordinates.” Sage answered.

“So that’s what happened to you. I heard you were caught tampering with the teleporter and restricted to quarters. I wondered what you were doing.” Cranberry answered, rubbing a little more sleep out of her eyes.

“Yes, they caught me as I set the teleporter back to normal. Fortunately they don’t know what I was doing. Ok Cranberry listen. This is why I woke you up. About 10 minutes before I called you, I got an emergency call from Dark Force. The message was jammed almost immediately; all I was able to make out was that she was under heavy attack.” Answered Sage. “My clearance to leave Pioneer 2 has been revoked for 3 weeks. I am being watched like a hawk anytime I leave my room.”

Cranberry jumped out of bed. “Dark Force is in trouble?! Now I understand why you woke me up. You are under such tight watch that you can’t go help her, but I’m under no such restrictions.”

Sage nodded. “Exactly, I’ve sent the coordinates to you through the BEE system. I know how important she is to you. I wanted to make sure..” Before Sage could finish, a loud crash and the sound of breaking glass sounded.

“What happened?” Cranberry asked, staring at the monitor as Sage gets a very nervous look on his face.

“Somebody set up us the bomb! Arrrgghh!! The fangs the fangs!!” Sage yelled as Cranberry’s red Sato suddenly leapt into view and sank its teeth into Sage’s head.

“Oh no!! Watch out!! I just had Sato’s teeth cleaned! Don’t ruin the shine!” Cranberry pleaded as she watched Sage dash back and forth through the screen. “….. thanks for the information Sage. I’ll leave right away. If I hurry I can sneak out during the soldiers shift change.”

“Wait you gotta help m” Sage began, but was cut off as Cranberry shut off the monitor.

Cranberry quickly changed clothes and dressed herself in her usual uniform. An orange midriff shirt and half-skirt that sat around her red shorts. (See picture above) She opened up her drawer and looked over her weapons and defensive gear on hand. She grabbed her Windmill, Purple Ring, and Sacred Cloth. Opening her bottom drawer revealed her slot items. She thought for a moment before grabbing her God/HP, God/Ability, God/Mind, and Cure/Shock. She was now ready to go.

End of Chapter 1

Chapter 2 teaser:
That’s it for the boring stuff! Now that the intro is taken care of, we can get right into the action. Cranberry’s first task is to make it off Pioneer 2 and find her way to the location of this mysterious construction project. What exactly is happening down on Ragol and what has become of Cranberry’s best friend Dark Force? Chapter 2 coming soon!
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Re: The Ringed Land

Post  Cranberry on Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:53 am

Chapter 2 – Undisclosed Land


It was 6:45 in the morning when Cranberry’s door opened. The young FOnewearl looked to be in her early teens. Despite her young age, Cranberry is an experienced and well-trained Force. Dark Force and she had traveled to Ragol together many times to hunt for rarities. If Dark Force was in danger, she had to help. Cranberry casually walked down the halls of Pioneer 2, doing her best not to draw any attention to herself. As she turned down the Altair wing her mind began to race. The teleporter to Ragol was surely under heavy guard after Sage had tampered with it. She’d never have enough time to reconfigure the teleporters destination, nor did she know enough about the transporters mechanics to do so. She’d have to find another way to get down to Ragol.

Cranberry increased her pace as she made a realization. 7AM is the time of day when the Pioneer 2 soldiers shifts change. The night crew would be replaced by the morning crew. After the initial chaos following the explosion of the Central Dome, activity on Pioneer 2 slowed way down and the army hadn’t had any real jobs for a long time. The soldiers had become a bit more careless, especially during shift changes, areas were often left unattended for at least a few minutes. It wasn’t much time, but it could be just enough time to nab a ship and make it to Ragol.

It was 6:57AM when Cranberry made it to the entrance to the hangar. Peering through the window she spotted 3 Soldiers on routine patrol. Inside the hangar were the space capable ships of Pioneer 2. Most of them were used to perform maintenance during the long voyage from Coral.

“These ships carry similar teleportation systems to those we use to get to Ragol.” Cranberry said to herself. “If I can deactivate the sensor grid, I can make it out of her without tripping any alarms. But I’ll need a diversion… hey, welcome back!”

Cranberry smiled as she looked above her. Her Sato, having finished its mauling of Sage had followed Cranberry to the hangar. “Hey buddy, we have a job to do. See that ship over there in the far corner? I need to borrow that to get to Ragol. The soldiers are going to rotate shifts any minute, but I’ll need more time to deactivate the sensor grid. Can you help me out?

The Sato bared its fangs in a type of evil smile and spun around in a circle excitedly. Receiving a nod from Cranberry, the Sato took off and flew behind a pile of crates. As 7AM hit, a green overhead light pulsed and a tone played, signaling that the time for a shift change was at hand. Cranberry cautiously crept around the corner, not wanting to be seen by the guards as they came into the lobby for the shift change. As the soldiers came into the lobby, the night and morning crews began to chat amongst themselves. Suddenly, Sato flew out from behind the crates and latched onto the arm of the nearest guard. The shocked soldier waved around frantically as his comrades gasped, and then burst out laughing. Sato pulled and began dragging the soldier down the hallway. At last his comrades stifled their chuckles and began trying to pry the Sato off of the man’s arm.

Taking advantage of Sato’s distraction, Cranberry dashed into the hangar and looked for the main terminal. Spotting it in the corner, she ran to the terminal and viewed the screen. “Perfect, just as I anticipated. He didn’t bother to log expecting the next shift to take over.” Cranberry spoke as she looked through the options on the screen. “Sensors… sensors.. where are they? Come on!” Cranberry continued trying to navigate the screens on the terminal. There was no telling how long Sato would be able to keep the soldiers at bay.

“There! This is it!” Cranberry jumped as she spoke. “Sensoring system. Shutdown and reboot. Perfect, that should give me enough time to get out.” Setting the system to reboot in 1 minute, Cranberry dashed across the hangar until she reached the closest craft to the main door. “I hope Sato makes it back here in time, I don’t want to leave without her.”

Cranberry quickly opened the door to the maintenance craft and climbed inside. Fortunately, during the long voyage to Ragol, she had received flight training and had even run a few maintenance runs, she knew all the access codes and controls of these types of ships. The overhead lights of the hanger dimmed as the system reboot took effect. She had successfully taken the sensors down, but not for long, the system reboot only took a couple minutes, and she had to leave and be outside of their sensor range before the system came up again.

“I can’t wait any longer, I’m sorry Sato I have to-“ but before Cranberry could finish her sentence, Sato flew past the ship, spotting Cranberry inside it looped and darted into the access hatch. “You made it! Just in time too! Alright, lets blow this joint! Craft doors closing, engines active. I’m punching in the code to open the hanger door. Hang on we’re outta here!

Pushing the control stick forward, the craft comes to life and lifts off the floor of the bay. Responding to Cranberry’s emergency-override code, the hangar door slides open, revealing stars of space. Activating the thrusters, the ship flies out of the hanger, the door closing shortly behind her.

“Hang on. This is going to be a little rough!” Cranberry shouts as she pushes the control stick forward, sending her craft into a downward dive straight toward Ragol. “That sensor system will re-activate any moment. We have to get down to Ragol before it detect us! Gaaaah!”

Red flames surround the craft as it plummets into Ragol’s atmosphere. The heat shielding begins to get overwhelmed and the temperature inside the cockpit rises to a scorching 120 degrees, and climbing. “Hang in there… come on.. you can do it..” Cranberry whimpers, feeling a little light headed at the sudden change of temperature. “Almost there… so.. hot…. Almost… NOW! PULL!!”

With all the strength she can manage, she pulls back on the stick. The metal of the craft creaks and groans as the strain is put on it. “Come on… hold together… just a little more…” The ground is quickly approaching, and the ship is still in a near nose dive. A crash at this speed and angle will result in certain destruction of the ship. Pulling a little harder on the stick, the ship gradually begins to pull out of the dive. “Almost.. a little more.. do it! Do it!” The ship screeches and howls, cracks begin to form in some of the instrument panels. Finally, a mere mile above the ground, the ship levels out, ending the rough decent. The metal has become deformed in places, and the ship shows some signs of compression the lower regions.

“That was a close one, for a moment I didn’t think she could pull it off. But I knew these old birds were built tough. Now lets find this land Dark Force went to.” Cranberry said as she typed the coordinates Sage gave her into the navigational computer. Her screen displayed a map, and the coordinates appeared be in the middle of the ocean. “Even the spacecraft don’t have this place on record. Well, I’ll just have to see for myself. Course set, here we go. I just hope Dark Force is alright.”

The trip took about an hour, but at last she approached the coordinates that Sage had given her. Just as she suspected, it was not empty sea that she saw below. It was a rather large landmass, this landmass was nowhere near the Central Dome. In fact according to her map, it was on the other side of the planet, but not only that, it was the polar opposite of the Central Dome.

“What could they be doing so far away from the residential areas?” Cranberry asked herself. “I better take her in low. I don’t want to get spotted. I better land some distance away, this ship will stick out way too much.”

Cranberry guides the ship into a very low flight as she approaches the land. Finding a clearing several miles away from the construction zone, she brings the ship into a slow decent and touches down. “Well, I’m here. Now I just have to find Dark Force. I hope she’s alright. I should head for the construction area first. Lets go Sato.”

Grabbing her gear, Cranberry exits the craft, hoisting her Windmill, Sato hovering over her left shoulder. She lightly presses a button on the gauntlet worn on her left arm and activates her area map. Although it can’t scan ahead, it does record data about areas she has been in, which can help prevent her from getting lost. The clearing was surrounded by some very rocky and hilly terrain, she seemed to have landed within the ravine of a canyon. A great place to hide a ship, but it was going to be a chore to climb her way out. With a sigh she began walking toward the direction of the construction sight. The canyon walls were riddled with tunnels and caves, the place looked like a huge block of Swiss cheese.

“What happened here? This couldn’t have been natural. Was this part of the construction? In any case, with a little luck, one of these tunnels will go straight through. It’ll take hours to try and climb over the walls, and I don’t have that kind of time. Approaching the nearest passage, she kneeled and peered inside. It seemed large enough for her to fit into, and much to her surprise, she could see light inside. Crawling on her hands and knees, she squeezes through the narrow passageway and down the tunnel. The tunnel began to slope downward, she had to carefully dig her fingers into the rock to prevent from slipping. As she crept further down the tunnel, she could feel what felt like air blowing through her hair. “A breeze, all the way down here? What is this place?” She came to the end of the tunnel and crawled into large, open dome like area. The rock was unnaturally smooth as if it had been perfectly cut. Sitting in the middle of the dome was a bright glowing orange stone. Cranberry could feel heat being generated from the object as well as the light. She looked above and saw countless tunnels all around the dome, including many on the ceiling.

“What is all this? Where in the world am I? What is this thing?” Cranberry asked as she stepped toward the strange glowing stone. “Its, its beautiful. I’ve never seen anything like it.” She reaches her hand out, and just as she is about to touch the stone a loud deafening scream echoes throughout the cavern. “What!?” Cranberry spins around, gripping her Windmill tightly. “Who’s there! Show yourself!” A cold wind runs through the cavern, nearly blowing the bow out of Cranberry’s hair. As she looks up, she spots 4 ghostly white creatures emerging from the tunnels. They seem to have no set shape as they pulse and swirl like leaves in the wind.

“What are these?” Cranberry inquires as she gazes up at the strange apparitions before her. The strange creatures descend and dive toward her. Quickly diving to her left, she rolls and jumps back to her feet. The creatures smash into the rock floor, puncturing a hole into it. Floating back into the air, they move to surround Cranberry, hissing as they float above her. Holding her ground, Cranberry stares up at them. “You want to fight? Fine, here I am.”

Accepting the challenge, the first of the creatures pulses and charges toward her. Jumping to the side, she swings her Windmill at the creature. The creature passes right through her attack, causing the Windmill to spin faster than Cranberry has seen before, as if she were holding it in a hurricane. Pressing her attack she swings her Windmill at the other apparitions, firing its blade at each of them in turn. But to no avail, her attack travels right through each one, striking the walls of the cavern.

“Not afraid of photons huh? Well how about some fire!” Cranberry snaps. Diving out of the way of another downward charge from her foe, she counters with a Foie blast. “Chew on this!”

Hit by the ball of Foie, the creature illuminates into a cloud of flames. Thinking she has the advantage, Cranberry raises her Windmill to fire another burst, but before she can act, 2 of the creatures plow into her, one from each side, crushing her between them. Knocked to her knees, she’s unable to stand. Her legs feel numb. As she looks up the creature engulfed in flames rockets down toward her. Howling a scream the creature slams into her, seemingly penetrating her body as it passes through her, engulfing her in fire before it takes off back into the air, back in its normal ghostly form.

“Noo… I… I can’t..” Cranberry cried as her strength gave out and she fell from her knees to the ground. She could still feel herself burning, but her body had become completely paralyzed. “Its…. No…” She could feel herself beginning to black out, her mission had barely begun and already she had failed. A tear welled up in her eye, she was going to die here, she had failed, failed Sage and failed Dark Force.

The ghostly creatures gathered above, and peered down at their fallen foe. They began their decent, to deliver the finial blow. Cranberry was helpless, and had no way to dodge. The creatures launched into their dive attack. One more hit, and their target was finished. Suddenly, just before they reached their target, a wave of ice ripped out from a tunnel into the creatures. Screeching in agony, the creatures broke off and returned to a high flight near the ceiling.

“Cranberry! Are you alright? You look like you could use some help!” a voice called from a tunnel.

“That voice…. Is it..?” Cranberry stammered as she painfully tilted her head, barely having any strength left to speak.

From the tunnel emerged another FOnewearl. She wore a purple outfit, and a half skirt similar to Cranberry’s that set around her black shorts.



“DF… its you.. you’re alright..” Cranberry muttered weakly.

“Yes, but you’re not. Don’t worry Cran, you’ll be alright.” Dark Force said as she kneeled beside Cranberry. Closing her eyes for a moment she cast her Resta spell.

Filled with the healing effect of the Resta spell, Cranberry immediately felt her strength return to her, her numbness was gone and the scorching burning sensation of her skin was gone. She slowly pulled herself to her feet. “DF, I-“

“The hello’s will have to wait Cran. Its not over yet.” Dark Force interrupted as she looked up at the creatures above. The creatures began swirling angrily around the room, glaring down at the 2 below. “Get ready Cran, this isn’t going to be a walk in the park.”

End of Chapter 2

Chapter 3 teaser: Dark Force’s last minute entry has saved Cranberry from certain destruction. Though the 2 friends have been re-united, there is no time to celebrate. What are these new monsters that so easily toppled Cranberry? Will the 2 FOnewearls be able to stop such powerful creatures? The battle begins in Chapter 3.
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Re: The Ringed Land

Post  Cranberry on Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:35 pm

Chapter 3 – Danger Zone

The 2 young Forces look toward the ceiling. The 4 creatures swirl around the ceiling, pulsing and warping their shape. Cranberry takes took a step backwards, clutching her Windmill tightly; a look of nervousness on her face. She’d already seen how powerful these things are, and wasn’t sure how they were going to defeat them. Dark Force stood beside her, peering up at the monsters as well, with a much more confidant expression than Cranberry. Although physically smaller than Cranberry, Dark Force was a very powerful and experienced FOnewearl. She griped her Magical Piece as she stared at the monsters above. Around her left wrist she wore a Purple Ring, matching the purple Sato that floated above her shoulder. Her armor was a DF Field and fitted into her armor were several slot items. A God/Technique, a God/Ability, a God/Mind, and an Angle/Mind. She also carried a Windmill inside her item pouch, a gift she received from Cranberry.

“Cran, listen, these are monsters of wind.” Dark Force began, not taking her eyes off the ceiling. “They’re made up of liquid and wind, and can bend themselves into any shape. In order to damage them you must force them into a solid form. Ice can solidify the liquid aspect of them and force them into a solid state. I’ll cast Gibarta, than you move in and attack with your Windmill. Be fast, they won’t stay solid for long.”

Cranberry nodded. As she stood next to Dark Force, she could feel their Purple Rings activate in reaction to each other, increasing the defense of them both. The first monster made its move, launching into a downward dive straight toward Cranberry. Cranberry gasped, bracing herself, as the creature descended, Dark Force thrust forward her Magical Piece, sending an arctic blast of Gibarta at the monster. As the ice struck the creature, it howled in agony and broke off its attack and flew back toward the ceiling.

“Get it Cran!” Dark Force shouted as the monster climbed in altitude. Cranberry tracked the monster with her eyes. It had change color, from a ghostly white to an icy blue, and it seemed to stay aloft with great difficulty. It was too high up for her to strike directly, but her eyes light up as she realized what Dark Force meant. Her Windmill still retained a great deal of speed from when a monster passed through it earlier. Dashing forward she thrust her Windmill toward the bluish monster above, sending the photonic blade flying into the air. The blade struck the monster above, prompting the creature to howl out in pain. Cranberry continued swinging her weapon as fast as she could, sending blade after blade into the monster. After a small barrage of hits, the creature falls from the air and crashes into the rock floor, shattering into fragments of ice upon impact.

“It worked!” Cranberry exclaimed in delight. “DF! Look out!”

Not taking kindly to the destruction of their comrade, 2 more of the monsters dove down, this time targeting Dark Force. Not having a chance to dodge, she held her Magical Piece in front of her and braced for the impact. The 2 monsters crashed into the FOnewearl, the sound of the impact echoed throughout the chamber. The collision knocked Dark Force off her feet, sending her to the ground hard, slightly dazed lying on her back. It was now the 3rd monsters turn, with the target down it launched into a high-speed dive of its own, going in for the kill. Looking up she could see the monster descending toward her. A look of panic formed on her face as she shouted “Cran!”

“Not Today!” Cranberry answered as she jumped to her friends aid, raising her Windmill. A beam of ice launched from her Windmill as she cast Barta on the monster. The wave of ice intercepted the creature, knocking it out of its attack and redirecting it into the wall. The frozen creature exploded against the wall, causing fragments of ice to rain into the corner.

“Thank you.” Dark Force replied as Cranberry helped her up. The 2 remaining monsters glared down at the 2 Forces. Their eyes changed from a pale blue to a deep red. The monsters began pulsing red and blue, evidence that they had cast Shifta and Deband on themselves.

After a quick Resta, Dark Force was again ready to go. She quickly prepared the duo for battle by casting Shift and Deband herself, powering up the offense and defense of both Cranberry and herself. “Looks like they are getting serious now CB. Keep your guard up.”

The remaining monsters howled in rage and dove at the 2, only this time they moved about twice as fast as their previous dives. Cranberry and Dark Force both dove to the floor, narrowly evading the monsters as they crashed to the cavern floor. Several large rocks fell from the ceiling as the cavern shock from the impact. Cranberry looked up and spotted a large piece of rock break from the dome directly above her. Rolling onto her back, she thrust her Windmill up, bracing herself. A deafening screech sounded as the rock collided with her Windmill, the blades scraping against the stone. Cranberry lay on the ground, using all her strength to hold up the rock, stopping it from crushing her flatter than a pancake.

“Arrghh…. Ahhh…. Uggh…” Cranberry grunted as she struggled to hold up the rock. Dark Force’s Shifta spell had increased her physical strength, giving her just enough power to catch the falling rubble, but she wasn’t able to push it off of her.

Dark Force quickly picked herself up; fortunately the falling chunks of rock had missed her. “Hang on Cran! I’m coming!” she called as she ran to help her friend. Before she could get far, the wind monsters rose back up, whirling quickly around Dark Force in a tight circle. Small fragments of rock lifted off the ground, getting caught in the tornado the monsters were creating. “They’re creating a tornado of rock! If I try and pass through these fragments will rip me apart. Cran! Are you alright?”

“DF, I can’t hold this much longer!” Cranberry answered, her arms trembling under the weight of the rock.

Dark Force knew what this was about, the monsters were keeping her pinned to one spot until Cranberry could not hold the rubble up any longer, once Shifta wore off, she’d be crushed. Holding up her Magical Piece, she cast Gibarta at the swirling monsters. The monsters pulsed and changed the course of their flight, weaving around the blast of ice. The intensity of the wind increased, and more fragments of nearby shattered stone began swirling around Dark Force. “If I don’t come up with something soon, Cranberry’s finished.” She thought. “Wait! That’s it!” Dark Force took a small step backwards and grinned at the monsters as they orbited her. “Nice try, but not good enough!” She thrusts her Magical Piece forward and cast Rabarta. An aura of ice launched from Dark Force’s body and engulfed the monsters. They screamed as their bodies froze. Immediately the tornado around Dark Force subsided, the 2 monsters landed on the ground, partially frozen.

“Cran!” Dark Force shouted as she dashed across the room to her friend. Putting her Magical Piece away, she plucked her Windmill from her pack. “Get ready Cran!” She took up a stance beside Cranberry and readier her Windmill. “On the count of 3. 1, 2, 3!”

Dark Force swung her Windmill, striking the rock, at the same time, Cranberry pushed to one side, the force of the impact knocked the stone to one side, giving Cranberry just enough time to roll out from under it.

“Are you alright?” Dark Force asked.

“My arms feel like Jello” Cranberry answered as Dark Force helped her to here feet. “Enough of their tricks, lets finish them off!”

“Agreed.” Answered Dark Force.

The 2 remaining monsters had broken free of their ice and rose up off the floor, staring at the 2 in obvious anger that both are still alive and on their feet. Cranberry and Dark Force stood ready, Windmills in hand, awaiting the monsters next attack.



The monsters quickly delivered, and charged toward the 2. Cranberry and Dark Force tapped their Windmills together and each unleashed an Ice attack. Dark Force struck high with Gibarta, Cranberry struck low with Barta. With nowhere to evade to, the monsters crashed into the waves of ice, returning to a partially frozen state, again crashing to the floor. Cranberry and Dark Force charged forward and delivered the final crushing blows, shattering the partially frozen monsters with their Windmills. The monsters released their final cries, and then all was quiet.

“We did it. That was a bit close, but we did it.” Cranberry said, rubbing her now very sore arms.

“Yes, are you alright?” Dark Force replied.

“My arms feel like Jello, but I’m alright. Thank you DF, I owe you my life.” Cranberry answered as she turned to look at Dark Force.

“Its no problem, you’ve helped me many times before as well Cran.” Dark Force responded, looking over at her friend.

“DF, what is going on? Sage contacted me early this morning. He told me about the construction project, and you coming here to investigate. You had sent out an emergency call, but it got jammed.” Cranberry asked. “As soon as Sage told me, I snuck off Pioneer 2 and came here.”

“Cranberry, thank you for coming, I know you have a lot of questions. But we need to go before more of those monsters come.” Dark Force answered. “Do you see that glowing thing there? That is no stone, its an egg.”

“An egg?” Cranberry asked, looking a bit skeptically at the glowing object. “A glowing heat producing egg?”

Dark Force nodded. “Its not natural, its been artificially modified, but the monsters don’t realize this. From what I can tell, these monsters are similar to bees. There are workers, soldiers, and a Queen. Cran this is the queens nest.”

“So that’s why they attacked me, they were trying to defend their nest. Yes, lets go before-“ A hideous roar interrupts Cranberry, echoing throughout the entire chamber of the dome.

“Before the Queen returns..” Dark Force stammers, taking a step backwards. A large, ghostly claw like appendage emerges from a tunnel, stretching into the dome. This claw alone is about 3 times the size of Cranberry. 2 bright red eyes emanate from the tunnel, staring directly at the 2 FOnewearls.

“This… isn’t going to be easy.” Cranberry gasped as she backed away from the tunnel.

End of Chapter 3

Chapter 4 teaser: There is no relief for the weary. Cranberry and Dark Force struggled mightily against the 4 wind monsters. Now they must face the Queen herself, and lets just say she isn’t happy. The cavern battle continues in Chapter 4, now against the queen of the wind monsters.

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Re: The Ringed Land

Post  Cranberry on Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:41 am

Chapter 4 – Secret Plan

The creature emerged from the tunnel. Before the 2 FOnewearls stood the queen. She was made of the same composition as the monsters from earlier only she was much larger, and had scythe-like arms. The queen stood at about 30 feet in height. The glowing red eyes stared down at the 2, an ear shattering hiss released from the monsters gaping jaws. She hovered a few inches off the ground.

Cranberry re-cast Shifta and Deband as she looked up at the queen. “We can do it, I know we can.”

“Those claws look sharp. Cranberry, you distract it, I’ll hit it with Jellen. Ice worked before, maybe it will again.” Dark Force said, putting away her Windmill and re-equipping her Magical Piece.

Cranberry nodded, and steadied her feet, crouching her body to a stance where she can more easily dash in any direction. The queen glared at the 2 forces, each in turn. Her sharp scythe dug into the ground, piercing it like Sato’s teeth in Sage’s skull. Cranberry inched toward the queen. Sensing the movement, the monster lugged at Cranberry, lashing at her with a giant scythe. Anticipating such a strike, Cranberry lunged out of the way and countered with a Gibarta strike, sending a wave of icy particles into the queen’s eyes. As the queen lurched backwards, howling and rubbing her eyes with her scythe, Dark Force dashed in from her other side. She raised her Magical Piece and cast Jellen, weakening the offensive attack capabilities of the monster.

The monster retreated backwards 4 steps, coming to a stop near the glowing egg. Crouching low, the queen bared 4 sharp fangs; a low whistling sound began to play.

“What’s it doing?” Cranberry asked, keeping her eyes on the monster. But before Dark Force could answer, a blast of swirling air fired from the queen’s mouth. The vortex of wind lifted Dark Force off the ground and spun her in a violent circle as it lifted her toward the ceiling.

“Ahhh!! Waaa!! Help me!!” Dark Force screamed as the wind whirled her around the room, inching closer to shards of rock on the walls.

“DF! Stop that! Put her down!” Cranberry hollered as she rushed the monster, unleashing a wave of Barta. The beam of ice struck its target, the queen became more solid, but the wind vortex continued. The creature barely flinched at Cranberry’s attack.

“Aahhh! No! Gaaaaahh!!!” Dark Force cried as the wind pushed her into the side of the cavern and began grinding her against the rock as it whirled her around the dome.

“No! Dark Force!! This ends now!!” Cranberry challenged as she ran and jumped at the creature, but instead of landing atop the creature as she expected, she passed right through it. “What!?” Cranberry looked up, Dark Force was taking a beating, she wasn’t going to last much longer. If she didn’t think of something now, Dark Force was finished. Casting the first technique that came to mind, Cranberry waved her Windmill and cast Grants on the monsters jaw. Countless arrows of light formed and struck the beast, slamming its head to the ground, knocking a tooth out of its mouth. The vortex of wind quickly died, and Dark Force immediately began to plummet toward the ground.

“I got you!” Cranberry yelled as she sprinted toward Dark Force. Dashing forward, Cranberry leapt and caught Dark Force in mid air, breaking her fall. “Are you alright?”

Dark Force groaned painfully, having difficulty standing from dizziness. Blood ran from the left side of her face and arm. “Thanks Cran.” She spoke, holding her arm.

Before Cranberry could respond, the monster was upon them again, having recovered from the Grants strike. Moving at surprising speed, the queen struck Cranberry in the back, tearing a large gash into her as the FOnewearl cried out in pain. Both of the Forces fell to the floor, the Queen quickly looming over them, with only a moments hesitation, the monster swung its razor sharp appendage at Dark Force, moving in to finish her off for good.

Still holding her Magical Piece, Dark Force held it in front of her, intercepting the incoming scythe. Her hands trembled as she forced herself to hold the Magical Piece against the scythe, saving herself from being sliced in half. The queen hissed as it put more weight on the scythe, slowly inching it downward. “I can’t hold it very long… arm hurts so much.” Dark Force warned, her injured arm weakening.

“Hang on Dark Force!” Cranberry cried, pulling herself up despite the painful gash in her back. Charging straight for the monster, the queen lifted her other Scythe and swung it at the attacking Force. Prepared for the strike, Cranberry countered with her Windmill, thrusting it forward and catching the scythe within the spinning blades. A horrid grinding sound emanated from the collision, followed by a loud snap. The queen monster roared in pain as the blades of Cranberry’s Windmill sawed through the scythe, snapping it off the body. Not wasting a second, Cranberry whipped her Windmill forward and slammed it into the scythe that was pinning Dark Force. A loud clang sounded as the Windmill connected with the scythe; pulling her arms Cranberry looped her weapon around for a second strike. Her Windmill again struck the scythe, this time lurching it skyward. The queen reared up, trying to regain her lost balance. Taking advantage of the vulnerability, Cranberry held her Windmill forward and cast Gibarta. The freezing particles of ice blew into the queens face, solidifying the rest of her body and knocking her onto her back.

Cranberry quickly kneeled down to help her friend. Her arm didn’t look good, nor did half her face “Are you alright DF? Here, let me help.” Cranberry closed her eyes and cast Resta, as the healing effect of the spell took effect, both Cranberry herself and Dark Force felt the effect. Dark Force's strength returned, and she was able to get back on her feet, and the wound on Cranberry’s back greatly healed.

“Thanks Cran. Lets hit this thing while we have the chance!” Dark Force spoke. “Lets give it a double dose of ice!”

Cranberry and Dark Force readied their weapons and moved to approach the queen, whom was still partially frozen and struggling to roll off her back. With both Cranberry and Dark Force back on their feet and close to one another, their purple rings re-activated, boosting the defensive power of them both. With Deband and Jellen still active, it would be difficult for the queen to do any serious damage to them. Dark Force quickly crouched into her battle stance, as Cranberry stood ready beside her.



Dark Force moved first, thrusting her Magical Piece forward as she cast Gibarta. Cranberry immediately followed with a Barta spell. The queen was sandwiched by the ice techniques. Her body into a block of solid ice, her thrashing arms stiffed into pointed rods.

“Now’s our chance! Rip it apart!” Cranberry cried out. Both Forces charged forward and unleashed the furry of their weapons. Cranberry swung her Windmill into the queen’s remaining scythe; the blades sliced through the frozen limb, snapping it off much like the first scythe. Dark Force focused on the queen’s head, slashing her Magical Piece into the monsters jaw.

The 2 pressed their assault, not giving the monster a chance to recover. They aggressively swung their weapons, sending small chips of ice flying in every direction as they hacked on the queen, literally ripping her apart bit by bit. The queen screeched and bellowed as one by one her limbs were knocked off.

“Lets finish it Cran!” Dark Force encouraged, point her weapon at the queen’s head.

Cranberry nodded and both teamed up to deliver the final blow. The Windmill and Magical Piece simultaneously struck the queen’s head, shattering it like a glass ball. The queen’s cries of pain ceased, and her body lay motionless on the ground.

“It’s done. Lets get out here before more come.” Cranberry said, turning to her friend.

Dark Force nodded, and motioned for Cranberry to follow her as she moved toward one of the tunnels. “This way.”

The 2 raced through the tunnel, quickly moving away from the dome. After crawling through a series of passages, the 2 emerged outside on the far side of the canyon on the edge of a forest. The sound of running water could be heard a short distance away.

“I am so glad to be outside again. For a while there I didn’t think I was ever going to see the outdoors again.” Cranberry sighed, doing a few stretches to loosen up after crawling through such tight places.

“Me too,” Dark Force answered, rubbing her arm lightly. “It wasn’t easy, but I knew we could do it with you there.

“How’s your arm doing?” Cranberry asked.

“It’s a lot better after Resta, but still a little sore.” Dark Force responded. “Cran, it’s starting to get dark, and I know you have a lot of questions. Lets set up camp for the night, and I’ll tell you what I know while we rest. It’s still a ways to the construction area, and we won’t last long if we are all worn out when we arrive.”

Cranberry nodded. “Alright.”

The 2 walked into the forest and followed the sound of the running water. The sturdy trees stood all around them, and there was no obvious paths or trails through the brush. After traveling 2 miles into the woods, they came across a small river of clear clean looking water running through the forest.

“This looks like a good place to set up camp.” Cranberry said, looking at the flowing water and realizing how dry her throat was.

“Yeah, lets set up here.” Dark Force agreed, setting down her pack. “I don’t have a lot, but I have a few supplies with me.”

Cranberry blushed in embarrassment, realizing that in her rush to get off Pioneer 2, she had forgotten to bring gear for a long journey; all she had was her fighting equipment and supplies. But she breathed a small sigh of relief as she saw Dark Force pull a small kettle from her pack. Now they could boil water for drinking.

Night was fast approaching, the 2 worked quickly to gather wood and start a fire. They filled Dark Force’s kettle with water from the river and set it by the fire to boil. Cranberry looked up to the sky, the stars were beginning to shine, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It was comforting to see such beauty after such a chaotic day. She smiled softly, and glanced over at Dark Force.

“How are you feeling?” Cranberry asked as she walked over to Dark Force and sat down beside her.

“I’m alright.” Dark Force answered, looking over at Cranberry. “You?”

Cranberry nodded. “I feel a bit exhausted, but I’ll be alright. I’m just glad that I found you.”

“Me too.” Dark Force smiled. “Cran, I haven’t forgotten your questions. Before I begin, I just want to thank you again for coming. That really means a lot to me.”

“You’re my best friend. I’ll always be there when you need me.” Cranberry answered.

“Thanks Cran.” Dark Force answered, she then took a deep breath and began her story. “As you know Pioneer 2 is supposed to be landing on Ragol. I was one of those working on the landing project. But then Sage tipped me off to this construction project here. All of it seemed very suspicious. Why build a settlement so far from the Central Dome? And why didn’t they tell me, or anyone else about it? Not realizing what I was getting myself into, I packed my bag and used the teleporter to come here.”

The kettle began to steam as the water boiled. Cranberry poured some water into 2 bowels that Dark Force had brought, while Dark Force herself continued her story.

“When I got here, I immediately felt uneasy.” Dark Force continued. “There were these strange people I had never seen before. I don’t think they are from Pioneer 2. I did my best to stay out of sight, and I snuck into the construction area without being seen. They are not building a landing site at all here Cranberry. They are building a type of bomb.”

“A bomb?” Cranberry asked, taking a sip of water.

“Yes, a bomb.” Dark Force answered. “Cran this isn’t a project about landing Pioneer 2, it’s about the pre-meditated murder of everyone onboard. The entire landing pad is actually a giant bomb waiting to detonate as soon as Pioneer 2 touches down!”

“Why on earth would they want to destroy Pioneer 2?” Cranberry gasped.

“I’m not sure yet.” Dark Force responded. “I attempted to use one of their computer systems and find out more information, but I was spotted. The person in charge there, I know him only as the Purple Ring General. He unleashed monsters the likes I haven ever seen on me. I quickly became over whelmed. That is when I sent out that emergency call. I was almost destroyed, but I escaped when one of my techniques destroyed a power generator and shut off the lights within the room. I escaped outside of the complex and fled. I kept going until I reached the canyon, where I found you.”

“I’m glad you’re alright. Were you followed?” Cranberry inquired, taken back a bit by Dark Force’s tale.

“I don’t think so.” Dark Force answered. “I haven’t seen any indication I was. I wasn’t able to get a lot of information, but from what I could dig up, this whole thing is about the colored rings. And that’s all I know.”

“This isn’t something we can ignore.” Cranberry replied. “We have to check it out. First thing in the morning, lets head to the construction area.”

“I almost got killed the first time, I’m sure they’ve stepped up their security. But with you there, I’m sure we can make it inside this time.” Dark Force answered.

“Together, we can do anything DF.” Cranberry replied.

The two nodded at each other, and looked back into the fire. They had a big day ahead of them tomorrow, and they both knew that tonight’s sleep would be the calm before the storm.

End of Chapter 4

Chapter 5 teaser: In chapter 5 Cranberry and Dark Force will storm the construction area in an attempt to learn more about the trap being set for Pioneer 2. Who are these strange people that Dark Force does not believe to be from Pioneer 2, and who is this Purple Ring General? Look for the answers in Chapter 5 coming soon.
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Re: The Ringed Land

Post  Cranberry on Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:46 am

Chapter 5 – Construction Zone

Cranberry stirred and slowly opened her eyes. The early morning sun shown through the trees, lighting up the campsite. She felt a lot better after a good nights sleep, even though the hard ground was not the most comfortable of beds. She glanced and saw that the fire appeared to have fresh wood on it, and both the water kettle and a skillet within the pit. 2 small fish were cooking within the skillet. As she looked over, she spotted Dark Force kneeling by the fire.

“Good morning.” Dark Force spoke, seeing that Cranberry had woken up.

“Same to you. What time is it?” Cranberry asked. “How long have you been up?”

“I’m not certain, but it’s probably about 7AM. I’ve been awake for about an hour.” Dark Force answered. “I’m sure you must be hungry. A caught a couple fish for our breakfast.”

“Oh, I’m sorry DF I didn’t mean to make you do all the work this morning.” Cranberry replied, feeling guilty about sleeping in.

Dark Force shook her head. “Don’t apologize Cran. You looked like you were really exhausted. I didn’t want to wake you. Here, have something to eat.”

Dark Force carefully tugged the skillet out of the fire, revealing 2 sizzling golden brown fish. She next pulled the water kettle out of the fire and carried both over to Cranberry, sitting down beside her. “Here, have some breakfast.”

The 2 silently ate, although neither brought it up, both knew what the other was thinking. They were about to put their lives on the line; this could very easily be the last meal they would ever have. One mistake, and they might never see Pioneer 2 again. Each could see the nervousness in the eyes of the other as they finished their breakfast and cleaned up their campsite.

“You ready?” Cranberry asked as they finished packing up their gear. “How is your arm doing?”

Dark Force nodded slowly nodded as she extended her arm. “Very good, it’s not sore at all anymore. It seems to be back to normal.” Cranberry smiled and the two began their trek through the forest toward the construction area as Dark Force continued. “It’s a few hours away on foot. But if we hurry we can make it before noon.”

The two walked through the forest, cutting their way through the brush, staying close to the river as they traveled. Both of them kept a keen eye on their surroundings, looking for any monsters that may emerge. The last thing any hunter wanted was for a sneaky monster to take them by surprise. Much to their great relief, the forest stayed quiet. Nothing unusual or hostile presented itself to them as they walked. The two continued on for several hours in relative silence. Each one was attempting to mentally prepare herself for the task ahead of her. Their feelings of tension built as the forest began to thin out and they spotted the silhouette of the construction area ahead of them. Dark Force’s breathing became heavier as they approached.

“That’s it up ahead.” Dark Force said softly as she crouched behind a bush, looking out at the large area before them.

“You alright?” Cranberry asked, crouching down beside her.

“Yeah, just sort of nervous. Last time I was here, I got hurt pretty bad, I almost didn’t make it out.” Dark Force answered.

Cranberry put her hand on her friends shoulder. “You’re not alone this time, we’ll do it together.”

Dark Force looked up at Cranberry. “Yes, together I don’t think there is anything we can’t do. I’m ready, lets get this operation started.”

Before the two was a wide-open area. The forest had been cut away here, and a large raised platform was in the later stages of construction. The platform was the largest that Cranberry had ever seen, it seemed to stretch for miles. Surely this was to serve as the landing platform for Pioneer 2, it certainly was large enough to be. Several smaller structures surrounded the main platform. All of these buildings were similar in size and shape. They were all short 1 story rectangular buildings with dark tinted windows. Countless people were atop the platform, many of them armed. Dark Force wasn’t kidding about the stepped up security. It appeared more like a military base than an airport.

“The command area is on the far end of this lot. All these side buildings are housings for the workers. Take a look for yourself Cranberry; I don’t recognize any of these people from Pioneer 2. Do you?” Dark Force began.

“You’re right.” Cranberry replied as she peered at the various people around the immediate area. “I’ve never seen any of them before.”

“Lets move out, but be careful not to be seen.” Dark Force continued as she slowly stood up.

“So the Command Area is where we are headed, right?” Cranberry asked as the 2 began to creep away from their hiding place from the woods and enter the open confines of the construction site.

“Exactly.” Dark Force answered as she dashed over to a pile of steel beams, crouching low behind them.

Cranberry quickly followed, crouching besides Dark Force. Piles of building material were strewn about, waiting to be lifted by cranes up to the main platform. They slowly made their way forward, dashing between piles of construction material as they made their way toward the main platform. As they moved deeper into the area, the number of workers and guards increased in number and frequency.

“This isn’t going to work.” Cranberry whispered. “We are going to get caught for sure if we continue like this.”

“You’re right, we’ll never make it this way.” Dark Force agreed. “What do we do?”

“We need a good old-fashioned diversion.” Cranberry answered. “Follow me.”

Cranberry lead Dark Force watched the movement of the nearby personal, slowly moving toward one of the small 1-story structures. As soon as the coast was clear, they sprinted toward the structure, and Cranberry lead Dark Force to the rear of the building where they were out of sight any nearby workers.

“What are you doing Cranberry? Why did you bring us over here?” Dark Force asked.

“I’m going to start a little diversion; a little situation to keep them occupied for a while.” Cranberry replied. “DF, may I borrow your Magical Piece for a moment?”

Dark Force looked at her Magical Piece, and handed it to Cranberry. “What are you going to do?”

“They don’t call me the Fire Mage for nothing.” Cranberry grinned as she accepted the Magical Piece. “Get ready to run DF.”

Cranberry gripped the Magical Piece tightly. One of the special characteristics of Dark Force’s weapon is its affect on magic. By channeling their power through this weapon, the power of Gi level techniques would increase by 30%. And that 30% increase is just what Cranberry desired. Pressing the Magical Piece forward, Cranberry cast her favorite technique, Gifoie. A ring of fire emerged from Cranberry, its flames intensified through the power of Dark Force’s weapon. The circle of fire engulfed the structure, charring its outer walls. Cranberry was not yet satisfied, and cast her technique 2 more times, sending 2 more waves of flame into the building.

“Quick, over here!” Cranberry ordered as she raced toward another building, Dark Force close behind her. “If this doesn’t get their attention, nothing will!”

The flames quickly engulfed the building, and a black cloud of smoke began rising into the air. Shouts could be heard from the landing platform as people began to run toward the fire. An alarm quickly sounded as red lights began to flash around the landing platform.

“That’ll keep them busy for a while.” Cranberry grinned, handing the Magical Piece back to Dark Force. “Lets go before they find us.”

“Sage was right Cranberry, you really are a pyro.” Dark Force laughed

Most of the guards that had not come down from the landing platform ran to the side to see what had caused the alarm. Most of those down below had run toward the flaming building. Cranberry and Dark Force tucked their heads and sprinted toward the landing platform. Underneath the platform were hundreds upon hundreds of support beams. They would have plenty of places to duck out of view if they could make it underneath the platform. With the fiery diversion did its job well, and the guards didn’t notice Cranberry and Dark Force loop around and run past them. Upon reaching the underside of the landing pad, they ducked behind a support beam and took a moment to catch their breath.

“C-cran. L-look.” Dark Force wheezed as she pointed above them.

“My god!” Cranberry gasped as she looked up at the ceiling above them. “It-its.. It’s huge!”

Above them fastened to the ceiling was a very large cylinder-like shape. It seemed to encompass the entire landing pad, and stretched down farther than they could see. The casing was a silver metallic color, but several stripes added color to the casing. A Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Black, Purple and White stripe ran side by side down the shaft.

“Is, is… is that the bomb!?” Cranberry asked, her eyes widening at the sheer size of what lay above.

“I-I don’t know Cran. I never actually saw it before. But given where its positioned, it seems likely that’s it.” Dark Force answered.

“That’s it, it has to be! Are they completely insane?” Cranberry cried. “Something this big could make a 1000 foot crater in Ragol! If Pioneer 2 lands here and sets that thing off, it’ll be the end of everyone! The entire ship will be destroyed! This isn’t just an act of sabotage, this is going to be genocide!”

“Lets reach the command area and take this project offline, permanently!” Dark Force answered, glaring up at the huge explosive. Her earlier nervousness was now replaced with burning determination.

“Agreed! We won’t let this happen!” Cranberry answered, sharing Dark Force’s passion to reach the command center.

The 2 weaved their way below the landing platform, ducking behind support beams and sometimes making long detours to avoid guards they encountered. They had come too far to be stopped now; they couldn’t afford to be seen.

“Cran, there. I can see it. That’s it over there!” Dark Force said as she pointed to their left. “That’s the command building!”

“It looks pretty heavily guarded; a lot of men in front of it. Any idea how to get in?” Cranberry asked as she peered toward the building.

“I’m tired of sneaking around. Lets take them out.” Dark Force answered, glaring at the command center.

Cranberry looked at Dark Force in surprise, she was not usually this aggressive. Dark Force was very passionate about this. Cranberry could see that in her eyes. No matter what happened, it was rare for anything to truly make Dark Force angry. But this seemed to have done it.

“You want to fight them directly? All right, but lets not just rush in blindly. We don’t want them to call for help. Lets get in close and surprise them with a double Gizonde strike. That may short out any communications gear they have.” Cranberry spoke.

“All right, lets do this Cran.” Dark Force answered, a grin forming on her face.

“We’ll loop around it and approach from the side. Looks like 5 men are standing outside, take them out as quickly as possible. We don’t want them to be able to call for help.” Cranberry replied, pulling her Windmill into a ready position.

Moving farther down the lancing area, the two wait for an opening before sprinting toward a side building about 2 lots down from the command area. Now at a better angle to approach, they made their way back toward the command building.

“Okay now, there it is just ahead. Are you ready?” Cranberry whispered.

“One last thing” Dark Force answered as she cast Shifta and Deband on Cranberry and herself. “Now we’re ready. Lets do it!”

Cranberry and Dark Force made their move, dashing around the corner they raised their weapons and cast Gizonde on the unsuspecting guards. Bolts of electricity shot and ripped through the guards, striking each on in turn. Sparks shot up from several guards as their mechanical equipment shorted out and exploded.

“What! Get them!” One of the guards shouted, spotting Cranberry and Dark Force. The group drew their guns and took aim.

Dark Force and Cranberry stayed close to each other, their purple rings glowed, signaling that their rings had activated, boosting the defensive power of each. Cranberry crossed her arms over her face and chest as the guards opened fire. The photon bullets whizzed through the air as they sought their target. Cranberry gritted her teeth as she felt the impact, but to her great surprise, it felt like little more than a bee sting. Her purple ring had absorbed virtually the entire hit. Glancing at her arm, all she saw was the tiniest of scratches. Cranberry glanced at Dark Force; she was equally surprised, and had also taken little more than a scratch from the shots. The 5 guards took a step back in amazement equally shocked that their shots had virtually no effect on the intruders.

Cranberry and Dark Force grinned at each other, and bolted into a dead sprint straight for the guards. Retaking their formation, the guards resumed firing on the two. Their guns looked to be Custom Rays. The shots did not even faze the 2 FOnewearls. Their Purple Rings virtually absorbed every shot. In no time they closed had closed the gap and reached the guards. Pulling up her Windmill, Cranberry cast Gifoie, engulfing the 5 men inside her ring of fire. Dark Force raised her Magical Piece over her head and smashed it down into the chest of one of the guards, cutting a gash into his uniform. A couple guards threw down their guns and grabbed their hand-to-hand combat weapons; DB Sabers. One such guard lunged at Cranberry and swung his saber across her chest. Much like the Custom Ray’s before, her Purple Ring again all but deflected the strike.

Cranberry swung her Windmill and counter attacked the guard, sending the whirling blades of her Windmill into his face. Pressing the advantage Cranberry struck 2 more times, pounding her Windmill into the guard until she had knocked him off his feet. “I don’t know why our rings our working so well DF, but I like it!”

Dark Force raised her Magical Piece and cast a Gifoie spell of her own, boosting its power through her weapon, the flames ripped through the guards. “It is very convenient.”

“Alright DF! Time to finish this off!” Cranberry announced. Cranberry swung her Windmill in a circle and cast Razonde. Lightning emanated from her body, striking each guard around her. At the same time Dark Force cast Rabarta, releasing an aura of Ice from her body. The 5 men were overwhelmed by the might of the techniques, and collapsed at the feet of the 2 Forces.

“Good work Dark Force.” Cranberry complimented.

“You too. That was easier than I thought. Lets go in.” Dark Force replied.

The 2 stormed the front door and pushed their way inside. They found themselves inside a large open room, 2 sets of double doors lay before them.

“No one is in the lobby. But I don’t think we are going to keep our presence here a secret much longer.” Cranberry said, looking over at her friend.

“He already knows we’re here Cran, brace yourself.” Dark Force answered, grasping her Magical Piece tightly.

“He? What do you me- HEY! The door!” Cranberry shouted, as the main door to the building slammed shut behind them.

“So, the puny little worm has squirmed her way out of the ground once again.” A strange voice spoke as it echoed through the room. “And this time it brought a friend.”

“Who is it?” Cranberry challenged, holding her Windmill in a battle ready pose.



A strange man stepped forward. He had long brown hair and wore a purple military uniform, much like that worn by the soldiers on Pioneer 2, except for the purple color. He had a large Zanba sword strapped to his back, and wore a Purple Ring on his left arm. But unlike the rings worn by Cranberry and Dark Force, this one seemed to be much larger.

“Well, this really is a surprise.” The man said as his eyes shifted between Cranberry and Dark Force, before focusing on Dark Force. “You got very lucky last time you were here, if not for your little light trick, you never would have left here alive. I never thought you would be foolish enough to return here. Do you think your little friend there is going to be able to help you?”

“Who are you?” Cranberry demanded.

“I am from the Alorsta world. You can call me the Purple Ring General.”

“Alorsta world?” Cranberry inquired.

“Knowledge of such things matters not to those whom are about to die.” Answered the General. “Well puny one, since you had so much fun with the before, how about a second serving? Arise my friends, come and take care of these intruders.”

“No, not again.” Dark Force said, stepping closer to Cranberry.

7 green balls sprung from the ground and formed into a more humanoid shape. The creatures appeared to be some type of plant. They had thick vine-like bodies, and leaf like appendages. Their feet bared a striking resemblance to roots, and their eyes almost looked like tulip bulbs.

“What in the world are those?” Cranberry asked.

“Careful Cran! These things are what ripped me apart last time! Their arms may look like leaves, but they are deadly!” Dark Force answered.

“Have fun ladies.” The General mocked, as he stepped back to watch his monsters attack.

The creatures began to move forward, their arms stretching like vines as they closed in on their targets. Dark Force took a few more steps back, gripping her Magical Piece shakily.

“We can do it DF. We can. But I need your help.” Cranberry encouraged, she pointed her Windmill at the nearest monster.

“Alright, I’m ready.” Dark Force answered, taking a more confident battle stance.

“No matter what, we aren’t going to lose!” Cranberry shouted as the monsters moved in.

Cranberry lunged forward to swing her Windmill at the monster, but before she could connect, she felt herself being pulled back from behind.

“NO!” Dark Force yelled as she grabbed Cranberry by her shirt and jerked her back.

“What’s wrong? Ahhh!” Cranberry screamed as the plant monster reacted to her anticipated attack with a whirling whip of its vine like appendages. The vine whizzed just out of reach of Cranberry’s head, cutting a small lock of hair off her.

“Don’t get close! Their arms are sharper than a razor blade. That’s what nearly ripped me in half before!” Dark Force cried, pulling Cranberry farther back from the blades.

“Thanks DF. It looks like we won’t be meleeing this.” Cranberry said.

The monsters increased their speed and began to charge at the 2 Forces. Realizing they were about to be ripped apart in record time, they turned and ran. The door was shut, but they could still run around the perimeter of the lobby.

“Yes ladies! Run, run like the scared little mice you are!” The General mocked as he watched the 2 Forces flee from his chasing monsters.

“DF, I have an idea!” Cranberry spoke.

“I’m all ears CB.” Dark Force answered.

“If they are made out of plant, than they must be vulnerable to extreme elements. DF, I’m going to get their attention, once I have them off your tail, hit them with a Foie technique!” Cranberry answered.

“But Cran! That’s dangerous!” Dark Force objected.

“We can’t run forever, we got to do something.” Cranberry answered.

Dark Force signed, she knew what Cranberry was proposing was risky. “All right Cran.”

Cranberry gritted her teeth and turned to face the monsters. Taking a deep breath, she charged straight toward the monsters.

“CRAN! What are you doing? NO!” Dark Force shouted.

Surrounded by the monsters, Cranberry thrust her Windmill upward and cast Rabarta, blasting the monsters around her with an aura of ice. The monsters reeled back for a moment, but quickly regained themselves and swarmed Cranberry, slashing her with their appendages.

“Dark Force! Do it now! I can’t-“ Cranberry was cut off as the monsters overwhelmed her, slashing her entire body with their arms.

“A foolish choice my dear!” The General laughed from his perch.

“CRAN!!!” Dark Force screamed in horror as she saw her friend swarmed by the monsters. “Leave her alone!” Cranberry’s plan had worked, the monsters all focused on her, and Dark Force now had an opportunity to attack. Grasping her Magical Piece, Dark Force ran forward and casts Rafoie. A fiery explosion engulfs the plants, setting them ablaze. The plants reeled and groaned.

“Get away from her!” Dark Force demanded again, casting another Rafoie on the already reeling plants, forcing them away from Cranberry. They cried in pain as their bodies burned.

“Cran! Cran speak to me!” Dark Force shouted as she ran to her fallen friend. “Cran are you alright?”

Cranberry had deep gashes all over her body, blood was running from her torn clothes. Her breathing labored.

Dark Force kneeled beside Cranberry. “Hang on Cran!” she demanded as she cast Resta on her friend. “You’re finished! All of you!” Dark Force charged straight for the plants, casting another Rafoie wave.

The monsters were ready this time, they charged through the fire and closed in on Dark Force. Before she could react, one of them had wrapped its vine like arm around her Magical Piece. Unable to pull her weapon away, they surrounded Dark Force and lashed out with their arms. Dark Force gasped as she felt one of their appendages rip into her back. Within seconds her arms were wrapped in the vines and she was unable to move.

“Arrrgh! I’m sorry Cran!” Dark Force cried as the monsters pulled her down.

Just as the monsters prepared to deliver a final crushing blow to Dark Force, an arctic blast ripped through the plants, their already charred bodies encased an ice like statues. Their burned and now frozen bodies gave into the extreme elements as they crumbled into small piles of black ice. Dark Force stood up and looked behind her. Cranberry was on her feet, holding her Windmill in front of her. Her face was still covered with blood, she looked very weak, and her breathing was labored, but Dark Force’s Resta had given her the strength to stand and cast Gibarta, saving the life of her friend.

“Very well done ladies. Most impressive indeed.” The General said, stepping forward. “You’ve defeated my monsters. But look at you two, you’re all torn up. Unfortunately for you, I’m still here. Though you have put up a brave effort, it ends here. Prepare yourselves ladies, you will not leave here alive.”

End of Chapter 5.

Chapter 6 teaser:
They’ve come a long way, and overcome some very formidable obstacles. But now they face their most formidable foe yet. The Purple Ring General. Do Dark Force and the badly injured Cranberry even stand a chance?
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Re: The Ringed Land

Post  Cranberry on Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:28 am

Looking for the rest of the story? The Ringed Land in it's entirety can be read here:

http://psoplayerspotlight.weebly.com/the-ringed-land.html
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Re: The Ringed Land

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