Fate of Io
25. The Battle of Antares
Last updated at 2005/11/20 11:39:38 PST by Dev
  • -room for development- (entire world map is accessable)

  • Aequus brings everyone to Tarikun as quickly as possible to try and intercept Kydran. When they arrive, however, they find only the refugee camp making preparations; no Epsilon.

    • Brooke checks in with her father to see how soon the Proteans can mobilize.

    • Dell, Cade, and Aequus take to the sky briefly to see if they can spot Epsilon somewhere in the area. Aequus spots it on the horizon to the north, still heading west.

  • Brooke's father wastes no time in getting his army ready; he announces that Kydran must be going to Antares first for reinforcements or something. They must strike as soon as possible, for they will not get any stronger, and Kydran will only gain numbers if they wait.

    • Syne tends to make sense out of that; he's felt Kydran's enormous remorse for the death of all those people. He's probably going to Antares to apologize by resurrecting the dead Antareans there.

    • Our heroes fly north on Aequus, while the Protean army morphs into beasts of land and speeds toward the homeland of their ancient enemy.

  • As they approach the boundaries of Antares, the Proteans slow, and we see Pylos Epsilon hovering in on the great spires and peaks of Kydran's old home. The floating station flashes with energy, but--to most everyone's dismay--out comes not the blue glow of resurrection, but rather a pale red beam of destruction. It completely takes out one of the spires and causes what sounds like an avalanche on the other side of the mountain.

    • Seeing this, Aequus lands for everyone to deliberate. Rush thinks they should go forward to help, now that the Antareans have the tide turned against them. Brooke's father, leader of the Proteans, doesn't see why they should just wait while Kydran takes out the Antareans for them. Rush is very angry; he argues that if they succeed today, there is no reason for Proteans and Antareans to go on fighting each other.

    • Dell nods, and he suddenly sees what's going on. He thinks Kydran hates Antareans. For a moment, everyone thinks Dell's gone crazy; Kydran is an Antarean. But when Dell explains it, it makes sense. Kydran is so righteous that he's lumped all his horrible deeds with his entire race to take some of the specific burden off of him, thus he believes that his own people are evil and don't deserve to live.

    • Brooke pleads with her father, knowing what they must do. The attack from Epsilon suddenly ceases, and much shouting is heard from Antares. Her father finally decides that they should send Dell and a few others first to see if the Antareans will even accept help from the Proteans (even as he speaks it, Brooke's father can't believe the concept).

  • Rheya, Syne, and Rush accompany Dell up the steep incline toward the kingdom of Antares. They finally find a way through the outer walls, and stumble into an open square where row after row of armed Antareans are standing. Rush mutters something about being subtle.

    • An Antarean leader was in the middle of addressing this group of Antareans, saying something about them possibly being the only organized battalion in the Kingdom. He sees the intruders, and everyone turns.

    • Dell scrambles to his feet, oogling at all the Antareans around him. They're all staring at him with awe. The lead Antarean comes down to greet them, and seems to know Dell, thinking he is some sort of superior, and is greatly concerned about what happened to his wings.

      • Rush puts two and two together and is able to explain to the small leader before him that his former master was not actually an Antarean. He guesses that a Protean named Tyrus had possession of a hatchling Antarean once, and used it to learn how to morph into an Antarean. Rush presents Dell, the hatchling whom Kydran stole from Tyrus long ago and took with him into exile. The Antarean leader is a bit disillusioned, and introduces himself quietly as Grontaebaran.

      • Dell asks Grontaebaran if they will allow the Protean army, who is waiting without the gates, to enter Antares to assist in stopping Kydran from killing everyone. He explains Kydran's very strange mental state.

      • Grontaebaran is vey hush hush suddenly, and asks Dell if he would continue to pose as their leader. That may be the only way the other Antareans will accept fighting alongside the Proteans, who have been their enemy for so long. Dell is hesitant, but agrees.

    • Dell, posing as Tyrus' alter-ego, makes a speech to the Antareans beneath him about what Kydran is trying to do. They must allow the Proteans to assist. He also includes the idea that lives are lives, no matter what side they're on. That draws a grin from Syne.

  • Back outside the walls, Brooke sees the gates open before them. She takes this as a sign to enter and join the fight. She orders the army to go in un-morphed as a sign of trust, and leads them in. Her father stammers a bit, but finally smirks, commenting that his daughter will make an excellent council leader.

    • The Proteans meet up with their Antarean counterparts, and head into the main Antarean city, where Epsilon appears to be lowering to land.

    • Epsilon's enormous doors open, and out pours a hideous horde of soulless magic automatons summoned by Kydran only to fight. A pair of each main character (Syne/Enna, Cade/Dell, Rheya/Ko, Brooke/Rush) leads a contingent of mixed Protean-Antarean fighters against Kydran's minions. (I imagine this as kind of a cross between the Fort Condor minigame and FoI's normal combat.)

    • All our heroes make it to Epsilon in time, just as its doors begin to close. The eight of them sneak inside.

  • Kydran greets them in a very condescending manner, saying that they have no reason to try to stop him. He's working magic here that will only wipe evil away from the face of the world. But no matter, he can continue with his plan and get rid of them at the same time.

    • Ko yells at Kydran; the Antarean is no better than Tyrus. He's just taking power that he doesn't deserve and using it for his own ends.

    • Rheya steps up next to Ko. She tells Kydran his "plans" have had too many side-effects to be worth it. Rush continues off that, saying the "big picture" is not general, but is just as detailed as it is dynamic. (Cade mutters, "You killed my father. Prepare to die.")

    • Enna readies her bow. She tells Kydran that he doesn't even value the lives he's trying to bring back. There is more to life than just living it; there is caring about others and enjoying the time you have.

    • Syne steps in front of all of them. He gives Kydran one last chance to back down, warning that he won't hesitate to make the same decision he did on that cold mountain. He explains that Kydran is allowing his righteous pride to blind him, and his overwhelming regrets have driven him almost to the point of insanity.

    • Kydran points and laughs, and the final fight begins. Dell: "'Almost'?"

  • Kydran cannot be killed, and the clock is ticking. Syne, Enna, Rush, and Cade occupy Kydran while Ko leads the mages to the ore storage chamber. The three of them must concatenate enough ore to cast expel, while Ko goes to the control room above to try to help coach the three below around the hazards Kydran has set up to keep them from doing just this. (Major puzzle and battle at the same time; ever play the pogo games in Crash Bash for PSX? Dell, Rheya, and Brooke have to do something kinda like that.)

  • The three finally concatenate all the ore under one spell, and at least one of the four fighting Kydran is still on his/her feet. Expel is cast, and that causes several things to happen all at once.

    • Kydran takes a few physical blows, and his resurrection device won't help him to recover. He is subdued.

    • The Battle of Antares, way back across the Ruin Continent, abruptly ceases.

    • Pylos Epsilon, having no magic to protect it, begins falling from the sky.

  • Dell leads everyone to the escape hatch. Luckily, Aequus is flapping alongside the falling giant, ready to catch the heroes as the leap from Epsilon. Kydran suddenly catches up with them, wounded but still determined. Syne tangles with him, buying time for the others to get out. Five have jumped to Aequus when Syne finally knocks Kydran across the floor in what is the last punch thrown in the entire conflict.

    • Rush and Enna remain, holding the hatch open for Syne. Both look at him expectantly, but for different reasons. Syne catches his breath, then quietly announces that he's staying aboard to see Epsilon to its death.

      • Enna is in hysterics. He can't stay; he'll die. Syne holds her for a moment, and asks her to let go. He tells her that he's already dead. Weeping, she understands, then runs by Rush and out to Aequus.

      • Syne nods to Rush one last time, but Rush stops Syne from walking just yet. There's something important he has to tell him. Syne tries to listen over the increasing roar of the falling Epsilon.

      • Rush takes a breath ... and explains that he fought alongside Syne's father in the Battle of Tarikun; he knew their family, before they perished. Rush tells Syne that his father would be very proud of his final decision to stay, to do what's right. Syne is momentarily awestruck, then takes Rush's hand and gives him a brief embrace of thanks. Rush nods, and hops out to the waiting dragon. Syne closes the hatch. (Rush, of course, was lying. But this is the closure he wanted for both of them.)

    • Syne looks around, hearing familiar klaxons, and realizes that Epsilon's auto-destruct has been set. He looks back, and sees Kydran's clawed hand coming down from a control panel. The Antarean grows a mysterious smile.

      • Kydran doesn't really agree with Syne, but he figures they might as well both go out with a bang. Syne explains that they both should be dead anyway.

      • Kydran thinks for a moment, then asks about Io. What about them? Should they all be killed as well? Syne frowns, thinking back to the town in chaos and without a care for their lives. He finally shakes his head. They were innocent, and didn't want to be killed. Syne pulled the pin himself. He understands that the fate of Io is inconsistent with his own actions just now, but they deserve the chance to choose for themselves. He must also value the lives of others, even when there is disagreement, and they deserve the chance to care for that value as well.

    • Rush holds a distraught Enna on the back of Aequus as the dragon flies away from Epsilon. Both of them watch as the once-great mining facility approaches the far horizon. It becomes one with the sun, which sinks below the ocean a split second before the soundless and mighty explosion bursts from where it set. Laces of blue flame glimmer in front of the wisps of clouds, glowing orange.

      • Enna nods to herself, finding peace in her mourning. She has an inner monologue, making an oath to the memory of Syne and what he stood for. She now must move on, returning to an uncertain world, where there are many new dangers and a hazy future. She grips the hammer-pick firmly in her hand, growing confidence in their actions and in the choices she's made. A tear streaks down her face, and she leans back against Rush. Slowly she finds sleep while a subtle smile dances on her lips. The sky darkens, and the dragon flies on.

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