5 (47 -> 53/50) LEVEL UP!
---> 6 (3 -> 6 -> 2/60)Location:
Sandswept Sky - Al MamoonWord Count:
1639 (+3 EXP)(Level up pending…)
Fox held the now cleansed Sombra suspended on her heels, peering at her sharply while she came to her senses. The spared second of direct eye contact betrayed the expected mix of feelings--namely confusion and frustration in this case. The situation would not allow for a lengthy, in-depth analysis, however, as they were still all in the midst of a heated team battle. Fox was swiftly reminded of that when narrowly ducking a horizontal ring blade slash from behind. He went to the ground with his evasive motion, pulling Sombra to as he deposited her safely to the floor and rolling away to create space between, in case she should resume hostilities, but also to spare her the proximal danger of his ongoing clash with the schizophrenic swordswoman while she regained herself. Sombra shot him one more parting look before disappearing out of sight and away from the conflict once again.
Dangerously short on ways to get past Tira’s wildly swinging ring blade, and with little else in the way of getting around it, Fox quickly found himself backing up until he ran out of ground to give. The flat of her greave to his chest bounced him off the wall and into the swiping blade as it ran quickly across his front on the rebound, opening thread and hide alike. Luckily, the cut was made cleanly by the smooth edge rather than going against the ornate serrations, subtly highlighting her sadistic nature by the underlying cruelty of her method. She followed up on the cornered Fox with an unconventional multi-attack string that involved slipping the ring around her form and travelling it in circles up the length of her torso by gyrating her hips and body; a dedicated technique taking advantage of the weapon’s design.
Fox couldn’t immediately retaliate against the bizarre, pressuring maneuver, as he was more focused on flattening himself against the wall to avoid it as the ring lashed at him, its edge missing his neck and chin by an uncomfortable margin. Thankfully, the reduced range on her attack gave him just enough breathing room to realize the low opening in her guard, parry the ring with an armored boot tip to the blade’s cheek, punctuated by contact sparks and a ringing metallic report, and capitalize with a sweeping kick/tail swipe to the ankle. As she came off her feet she dropped to the floor to spin on her ring like a coin and deliver a double-leg sweep of her own to counter. Fox recovered by catching himself back on balance with a fluid handstand, complimented by a staggering scorpion kick flat toTira’s face upon rising, and followed through into backflip/bicycle kick.
While his signature/finishing move didn’t quite fully connect, it did manage to break her guard momentarily, but she managed to deftly reorient herself to catch Fox’s gun arm with the inner rim of her ring and redirect a point blank blaster shot to graze her cheek. A tandem pirouette resulted from the entwining struggle that followed, bringing them face-to-face in a tight deadlock in the space between Tira’s weapon. It was then that a verbal and visual signal of Klee’s all-out bombardment caught Fox’s attention, whereupon he bounded away from Tira with a tucking drop kick to separate them. However, he was still close enough to the blast to be affected by the concussive force of it, as he was thrown face-first into the wall and momentarily incapacitated by the impact, which was slightly more than he could say for his opponent.
Seconds passed in the silent aftermath, and Fox, bleary-eyed, made it slowly to his feet and tried to regain his bearings. Although worse off, it seemed everyone on both sides had survived, including Tira, with his help putting her out of the way of a direct impact. Moreover, he considered that he and some of the others may have gotten just a little bit lucky with the conclusive case of mass friendly fire saving them, though he would never admit or even acknowledge it.
Putting a hand to his wounded chest and pulling it away as if to draw out a Heart, he stopped for a moment to look upon the bloody print it left on the surface of his palm. Suddenly, he received an incoming call from Necronomicon informing him that the Thieves were inbound for what, to them, was simply the sight of an unknown conflict (though a safe guess on their part likely painted a good enough picture for them).“Not a moment too soon,”
Fox remarked tiredly to himself before responding. “That’s us. We’ll fill you in as soon as you get here.”
Through the garage opening he could make out other figures on a slower approach, whom he soon recognized to be among the Grimleal that he had met earlier that day. “You might want to hurry,”
he added in closing before taking his first steps forward to convene with his team and theirs, subtly, gingerly dropping a Friend Heart onto the unconscious blade dancer from his blood-covered hand as he passed.
Midna beat him to speaking up in persuasive deterrence of Kan-Ra’s plans to execute the rebels by outright revealing the nature of Hearts and their effects on the Gleaming, demonstrating as much along with Tora and Poppi. This seemed to pique his interest enough to refrain from killing the captives for the time being, even if it sounded like he was looking for a way to talk himself back into it. Where lied the need to “interrogate” them, after all, if they already knew everything they needed to? Unless, of course, they didn’t, and there was somehow still more to this civil war. That would have to wait, for Kan made it clear just how little time they had to make their next move, whatever that may entail. He went as far as to volunteer a conscripted rebel, apparently eager to betray upon waking and learning, to direct them accordingly.“And what about the other one?”
he inquired simply following the divulgence of one location. “Where can we find Robin?”
he added more softly to his line of inquiry, narrowing don’t his focus and intent for the mission. Whether they split the group--and thus their collective strength--to go after them in unison for urgency’s sake, or took the chance on tackling them one after the other, they needed to know where both
bases were before they set out. With all of their wounds freshly healed and vitality restored (to which Fox made a mental note about the Grimleal’s level of preparedness), they were all but ready to. They just needed a clear direction.
With the arrival of the Phantom Thieves they made ready to move out, but just before the last of them could get going, Fox hung back and halted Kan-Ra, isolating them so he could make his singular, critical address to him. “Just so we’re clear,”
he started, before turning to face the sorcerer, making (for him, naturally) sharp eye contact. “We’re doing ALL of them this way--OUR way--no casualties!”
Gesturing back to Klee and Baz with his gun arm (which he had still been holding the whole time, ready to draw a bead on any one of them if the occasion arose), he further emphasized his point, without breaking eye contact. “You won’t be doing yourselves any favors by making orphans… Believe me.”
On that, Fox spoke from experience. Whether Kan took that much away was incidental. Fox still didn’t trust them, but he didn’t have to for them to know how he felt about their original plan, or to consider the consequences should they unilaterally see it through. “Make sure you and the rest of yours understand that.”
With the implicit punctuation to close out his interlude address to the Grimleal lieutenant, he didn’t wait for a response before turning away to head out and catch up with the rest of the group, leaving Kan-Ra with his thoughts for the brief moment he could spare for them.
Fox, being among the more fleet of foot among Yellow Team, had little trouble at all rejoining them on the move. As they made their way, Midna fast tracked their tentative new recruit through on the makeup of the World he had just been woken up in, and their simple plan for dealing with it. With the big picture now in mind, the ex-rebel reconciled an excuse for revenge against his now former boss, assuring them of his intent to cooperate with a non-lethal approach.“Good, because we’re not interested in your vendetta. Get revenge on your own time,”
he told him before belaboring, “If we wanted anyone dead, you wouldn’t be here right now.”
It wasn’t long before they came to a sudden stop on account of his personality problems in conflict with that of another--one they had already met, in fact. Apparently familiar with each other by proxy, having originated from the same world/universe, the two couldn’t help themselves engaging in a verbal dick measuring contest of comical, borderline cartoonishly villainous ego stroking, at which Fox sighed before interjecting.“Are you two finished?”
he cut in sternly, perceptibly annoyed by the delaying obtrusion. “We don’t have time for this...”
At the same time, however, he noticed that the delay gave the rest of the team a chance to collaborate about the upcoming split, as well as better equip themselves. They were at a crossroads, so to speak, and they would have no better time to decide who would go where. As for how they would go about it when they got there, for one side, the other, or neither, was a matter probably best played by ear. Still, he took the time afforded to him to consider his options; to think ahead for once in his career...