wordcount: 2664 (+4) (-4)
Midna: level 6 EXP: /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (11/60)
Location: Sandswept Sky - Al Mamoon Northeast - Rocket Inc.
It took a little while, and seemingly some cheating by jumping over the spin platforms (too which Minda’s gut response a brief pang of disappointed in them before her own cheating re-registered with herself) but eventually the team all filed out of the maze and join the royals at Midna’s improvised fortification, which she proceeded to dismantle and send back to the Twilight realm along with the un-flung potted plant.
The vending machine was added to the collection after it was examined and dismissed by those who seemed to know what it was. It might not have the snacks it was apparently supposed to have, but it certainly had a metallic heft to it that might come in handy.
Once back together they pushed forwards once more, only to be met almost instantly by an obstacle that did not seem surmountable for most, a field of energy beams. It also looked like it led to a dead end anyway, leaving it quickly dismissed by the Thieves at least. That said, if you wanted to keep people out for good then this was a much better attempt than the mere stumbling block that was the spin maze, so Minda still considered it worth checking out just in case. The fact that it looked like there would need to be two trips down in the ‘elevator’ to get to the ‘base’ only solidified her resolve to investigate.
She shook her head at Mao’s wordless offer to ride his shadow again and said, ”I can get across that trapped room no problem, so I’ll go with the second group after giving it a look. I think you’ve proven yourself to be onside at this point anyway, so you don't need me watching you” she added, referring to her status as his sudo-parole officer. He’d fought earnestly against one of the tougher threats in the previous room, and he could easily have let Laharl die in the confrontation if he was doing some kind of subtle double cross, so she had no reason to doubt him. Not that she had much in the first place, but all that was confirmation enough for her to not even consider worrying about leaving his side.
With that she drifted round too and up the stairs to the laser room, plonked down a chair, hid in its shadow and then teleported across the room to a shadow in the store room to check the place out.
When Midna reappeared she found herself in a storeroom piled high with assorted miscellany. There were loot boxes, supply barrels, and even classic chests. Popping one open would reveal not treasure but a bunch of random stuff that differed wildly in value. Various unused odds and ends with the tags still attached, a wealth of personal items, excess spin and stop pads, construction materials, food and ingredients, and more. In short, she found the sum total of this arm of the Resistance’s stolen goods. Since very little of the stuff seemed to be precious in any way, except perhaps on a personal level, it stood to reason that the rebels couldn’t even get much for selling it all, even if they found somewhere willing to pawn it off. All these things, carelessly taken and then discarded here, suggested that the ‘heroic’ Resistance had been stealing not because they needed to, but just because they could.
There were, however, some items that stood out among the rest.
The boots had a touch of magic to them and had some nice steel toe-caps to boot. A new bit of her instantly saw the advantage of that, and in short order they were her feet and being used for a practice aerial kick, dragon claws slicing through the air backed by an iron hammerblow.
They went exactly stylistic, the heavy boots worn with her light attire did not really match, that she was sure Sectonia would agree on, but if they gave her an edge she was fine with it.
The yellow slime filled jar was one of the few things that she'd found in the new world that was instantly recognizable, both for the goo itself and the style of the bottle it was held in, both of which were sourced from Hyrule. As she sorted the flammable substance Link had used as lantern fuel away for safekeeping, she noticed a few more bottles of the same style, all sitting in a strangely familiar picnic basket. When closer examination revealed them to be filled with bugs, the source of that familiarity resolved itself into one for ”Agitha?”
Finding out that the self-proclaimed princess of bugs was around (or at least that was what her basket being here in the rebel’s possession implied) was both surprising and, in a way, not at all so. She’d played a rather vital role in the time war for some inexplicable reason after all, so the princess made a note to herself to track her down after this and to return her bugs to her. Seeing a familiar face would be welcome, she thought, even if that face belonged to someone who was a touch… off kilter. Plus the princess had been loaded, so getting her help might be well worth the effort.
The familiarity didn't end there either, as the search also turned up an armor piece she remembered being worn by Impa during that same time war. Whether that meant she was here was less clear, as it could theoretically belong to someone of the same culture, whatever that was, but she would certainly endeavor to find out.
She turned the small armor plate over once more, silently wondering how on earth they’d managed to steal it had belonged to the secretive guardian if it was hers, and then gave the metal a rap with her knuckles, new instincts approving of the quality of the steelwork.
”I’m sure she won't mind,” Minda said to herself, before donning the metal plate, adding a bit more armor to her right side. If it saved her from a bullet it would be well worth it, though she was probably approaching a limit on how much metal she could clad herself in without starting to encumber herself.
The rest of the store contained little else of interest, mostly useless personal items like Agitha’s bug hamper along with various construction materials and even food, all haphazardly tucked away here with little rhyme or reason to its organization.
”Weird. What was even the point of taking most of this?” She asked herself while rummaging around. General ongoing disruption was basically the only tactical value she could see in this, but it still seemed somewhat aimless. The more obvious and worse reason was that it had all been taken for fun, for the thrill of the act, rather than because they needed whatever it was they stole, which was one massive black mark against them if it was the case. However, considering there was some kind of mind altering at play due to the number two, how much that reflected on the resistance’s recruits’ actual personalities was difficult to say. It certainly did not reflect well on the organization as a whole that was for certain.
”Well, it’ll be gone before the sun sets anyway so what does it really matter. As for all this stuff...” none of the rest of it was going to be immediately useful in and of itself, unless he wanted to try and get really clever with her own spine tiles somehow, and unlike the rebel’s office furniture she didn't really want to be throwing the belongings of their victims around if she had to.
Still, she collected it all anyway, re-sealing the chests and boxes and then sending the entire contents of the store room to her own storage space in the Twilight realm, with a vague idea that she’d be able to set up some kind of lost (or rather stolen) and found once they were done with this. Getting bystanders their stuff back was the right thing to do after all, but the good will it would generate with them and the city officials wouldn't hurt either.
With that sorted out she headed back to rejoin the others, blinking back to her chair and then retrieving it before floating down the steps to the elevator entrance, finding that, apparently, everyone had managed to get in the first time round. That left her at a bit of an impasse, because she wasn't familiar with the machinery they had used to go down.
True, there was only one button to interact with, but despite that Midna decided she’d take things into her own hands rather than rely on whatever this device was. Or hand rather. Summoning her shadow hand she reached out and stabbed two dragon claws between the elevator doors and then used the two fingers to pry them open, forming a gap big enough to slip through and then promptly doing so.
She drifted in over the elevator shaft as the doors snapped shut behind her and, taking a look down, saw the others, who seemed to have arrived at their final destination and were exiting the elevator deep, deep down at the bottom of the shaft.
Incredibly deep in-fact. Absurdly so, in Midna’s opinion. She’d probably only been that far below the ground when she and Link had challenged the Cave of Ordeals, she mused as she found a shadow up at her end of the shaft and then blinked down into one down at the bottom of it. Things got even more absurd when her ride moved into the chamber propper, and revealed its depths to go even deeper than their entryway. The vast chamber was absurdly large and contained within its center a large hanging structure that to Midna’s eyes also screamed boss arena.
Minda marveled at the scale of it like the others and even her antiquated eyes could see that this was far more advanced than the building they had just been in, inspiring the question as to who had put this here and why? Well, the answer to why was probably Galeem, because she doubted that if the rebels had the ability to build something this massive in the amount of time that the world had existed. If they could have done so then they really should not have had any trouble taking the town.
When Joker started making plans she was reminded that she hadn’t reintroduced herself, and so mentioned ”I’m back, by the way” from her transport’s shadow, and then pulling herself out of it and landing beside them.
”Beam room had all the rebel’s stolen goods in it. Which I’ve collected and sent home for storage till we get out of here,” she informed them, while dance-stepping away, charging up dragon power in preparation for the battle they were likely about to face. Unfortunately Ciella’s haste wouldn't even leave time for that to get fully pumped, as the dark paladin rushed ahead, leaving them to follow in her wake.
It was a reminder of the problems she was going to cause, her blinding by Galeem almost secondary to her (possibly deserved) arrogance and twisted personality. Planning that had been running passively in the back of her mind shoved itself to the forefront as the final act of this battle rapidly approached and she’d need to do everything she could to avoid the curtains closing on any of the lives that were at stake here, something made very difficult by her only having two other people she knew would be following her script rather than the one that ended in death.
But maybe she could pump that number up by one at this late hour.
”Braum, could you wait up for just a moment?” she said, catching the bare chested brawler just before he followed the problem members of the crew across the jump pad. Having his attention, she pulled out a friend-heart and held it out towards him ”and could you hold this for me? I think it’d be good if you can see the whole picture before we go into this.”
Although the mustached Freljordian couldn’t fathom what the little lady meant by ‘whole picture’, he accepted the friend-heart from Midna without question. The mote of power took root immediately, since while Braum had received some ambient healing from from Sectonia, the wounds sustained by bullets and sorcery in the initial fight still took a toll on him. But like the seed of Galeem’s influence his wounds disappeared once the heart made contact, and as it disappeared his eyes widened. “Whoa…” he murmured, awed by the sudden change. Big, sea-green eyes full of kindness regarded his surroundings anew. Everything seemed so clear--especially what he needed to do. “I don’t understand all that’s happened, but I am ready to fight to bring these villains to justice!” He pounded his fist against his meaty chest to show just how ready he was.
Minda had not been expecting that to work in and of itself. The man bore his wounds well it seemed, or the threshold was lower than she expected ”Justice being the key point: let's take them alive if we can, because there’s a mind control situation going on here that these hearts can cure,” she explained as she moved towards the jump platform ”Mao was one of them once, and if he can be a friend, then so can the rest” she said, and then slowed, paused, and then nodded to herself.
She had a plan.
Stepping onto the platform, the princess soared through the air, spring and twisting another dance as she flew, landing with an explosion of power when she arrived. When she did she found barbs were being traded between their group’s bigger personalities and the tiny woman apparently responsible for the mind control afflicting the rebels.
Midna saved her words, she was going to need those later. Instead she followed her landing into a fourth dragon dance, pumping herself to 300% speed and power and, while in the midst of doing so summoned a host of office plants in their plant pots, scooped them up at the start of a twirl using her shadow hand, and then using the rotation of her dance move to pendulum the handful of porcelain projectiles around and then hurling them in an indiscriminate opening salvo at the assembled rebels.
With the final step of her dance she stabbed dragon clawed toes into the metal ground and then hurled herself into Sectonia’s shadow to avoid whatever retaliation might be coming their way.
”Focus them, free them, turn them to our side” she commanded from the dark to whoever would listen, delivering her plan of how to make saving lives into a winning strategy (by increasing their numbers) rather than a thing that held them back as quickly as she could to those she expected to be onboard, before blinking away into the delightfully shadow filled depths of the arena, ready to pop out almost anywhere in reaction to the other’s opening moves, to exploit weakness in the mind controlled rebels’ ranks or reinforce anyone who immediately got in trouble by leaping to their defense, Braum style.
It really all depended on what went down in the opening few heartbeats of battle. Either way, the main focus of her strategy was to intervene and rapidly turn a fight in their favor so she could land her own blows and then a heart their foe to add them to their ranks.