Title: Soul Sister
Characters/Pairing: Lightning, Serah, eventual OCs, hint of future Farroncest
Warnings: Angst, mention of death, shifting POV, language and violence later on
Notes: Bit of a time skip here. I love showing things out-of-order. Here is where the fic earns its M rating. Also I'm horrible at making up names. It's a bit shorter than other chapters but really, the whole scene is like 10000 words, and very difficult to put a nice clean cut to it.
// Prologue\\//Chapter 1\\//Chapter 2\\
Lightning Farron, severely- needed- to- be- promoted-soon Sergeant of the Guardian Corps, Bodhum Security Regiment was restless. It was because of Serah. She expected that as Serah grew older, of course she wanted extra space, sort of like leaving the nest, especially if she was to go back to Eden yet again for college. However, she didn’t realize that the distance between them was a lot larger than she was comfortable with. Even worse was that she didn’t know how to talk to Serah about it without sounding childish or needy. After all she was a soldier, and she took a lot more disappointment without making a sound of protest. From her superiors, her peers, and even the arrogant shits that called themselves Privates back at PSICOM. When it came to Serah… she had no clue how to broach the subject, so she did what she did best for the time being: ignoring the problem. Maybe this will boil over and Serah will be fine.
Strapping Blazefire Saber’s holster to her waist, she straightened out her cape, adjusted her combat gloves, and read the emergency brief for this morning. She had to come into work earlier because a group of Bloodbaths were just beyond the city’s borders. And her job was to go and exterminate the threat. Bloodbaths were usually easy pickings, but Sergeant Major Amodar warned her to be cautious, because they were deadly in large groups. He then gave her an aside, stating that amateur bunch of ragtags calling themselves NORA would jump at the chance to fight the creatures, so she had to be there pronto. Well, she was itching to fully utilize her gunblade and skills. Sure beat her routine morning practice of going into combat training and whipping the young recruits into shape.
Lightning let out a sigh. Serah would have to wait once she was done from work. It seemed as if she would always have to wait until she had less pressing matters to attend to. She cursed the stupid fish monsters; otherwise she would have personally escorted her own sister to school today. Grabbing her communications device, she muttered out “Sergeant Farron reporting for brief X16-09, over.”
“Roger, Sergeant. As stated in the brief, this is a priority three threat. There should be no civilians around. Meeting point at Tiger 34, Crane 75. Oh, and Farron, I’ll be there soon.”
“Roger that,” she said, and cut off the link. This was going to be a long day. Checking to see if her Grav-Con Unit was fully charged, she took a Corps airbike to her destination. Might as well ride than run all the way over there. She mused that it shouldn’t be too difficult; she already had fifteen Corps Privates on station, and Amodar himself was meeting them later, after checking up on headquarters. Revving the bike, she took a shortcut, cutting across most of the shopping district, before the stores were even open, and within ten minutes, landed at the destination point of Tiger 34, Crane 75, also known as one of the edges of Bodhum’s waters.
“Sargeant!” The soldiers yelled, textbook Guardian Corps greeting and all. She definitely could get used to having obedient subordinates-- that was for sure. She replied with her own, hand folded parallel to her body, knees locked together, the firm posture indicating she had been doing it so much it was a sixth sense for her.
“Yes, ma’am!” was shouted in unison. Hmm, nothing like the sound of orderly military conduct in the early hours of day. Now she was itching to go back home and catch up on her sleep.
“Everyone ready?” Lightning questioned, and she was met with affirmative nods. Good then, it made her job easier. Unsheathing her weapon into gun mode, she propped it against her arm, nozzle facing the sky. The sergeant then led her team down the sandy path, past the patches of vegetation to where the targets were. All twenty of them bouncing, leaping onto each other, disturbing the shallow waters on shore. It was a sort of confluence, which eventually joined with the salty ocean water near one of Bodhum’s biggest beaches. Judging by the direction the creatures were leaning towards, they were bound to eventually reach the tourist attraction. And with tourist attractions, there were establishments that can potentially be damaged by the overgrown flying fish squad.
Hence the priority three warning.
“I want position Delta as default. Aim for the underbelly or headshots. Halbert, Ceviche, you’re seconds in command. There are three main groups to target. Don’t let them get away. Is that understood?”
The soldiers then dispersed into their assigned groups, headed by Farron, Halbert, or Ceviche. Leading the head of the triangular attack, the groups led by Privates First Class Halbert and Ceviche branched off in opposite directions, surrounding all groups at once in flank position, engaging in battle. Lightning and her group went straight for the fish group that had the most number of different colored Bloodbaths than the rest. She had no doubt that these were the ones to call for backup, and it was textbook procedure to cut off help before extermination.
One problem though: the damn fish looked as if they were expecting visitors. And to her knowledge, Halbert was a stickler by the rules, while Ceviche had a tendency to go renegade and bomb the whole group if frustrated. Great soldier skills otherwise. And Ceviche WAS getting out a tiny flashbomb—
“Ceviche! USE YOUR HEAD INSTEAD! AIM AT TEN SHARP!” He did, bullet ricocheting off a large rock point black into the underbelly of a Bloodbath, instanteously killing the creature. The corpse landed with a bloody squick onto another Bloodbath ready to jump. Landing back due to the unexpected weight, Lightning surged sharply to her left, flicked Blazefire into sword mode and cleaved the creatures in an upwards diagonal cut.
A scream to the right had Lightning turn in that direction to see one of her soldiers in a crouch, the left ankle looking worse for wear. He fired his gun just above his head into another target. A Bloodbath was heading directly for his front, leaping with its powerful hind legs aiming for his head.
“Fuck—“ Lightning began, but quick thinking from the soldier saved himself. Adjusting his grip on the gun, one hand on the back instead of the trigger and shifting the other near the nozzle, he timed a vicious sideswipe, bracing the left elbow for impact and resistance. Now he was on his back, rolled and pushed himself upwards again. He would be fighting with a limp if she didn’t help him towards the edge of the fray. Pivoting on her heels towards the man, the gunblade was back in gun mode, as she clicked her fingers together and flipped upwards to dodge two attacks by the Bloodbaths, before counterattacking and killing them as well. Tch, too easy.
“Can you move?” She asked the soldier once she landed back on her feet. He nodded, confirming the question, but added a “not too much pressure though”. Lightning’s mouth was in a thin line; nevertheless she crouched down and lifted his right arm over her shoulders.
“Fine. Halbert! Cover us!”
“Yes, Sergeant!” can be heard, followed by a splat as Private Halbert leapt over the corpse over towards the two. Using two fingers in a rightward direction towards his unit as the signal to fortify their right flank, Halbert focused on the Bloodbaths near them, reloading a fresh cartridge as fast as he could. The injured soldier, in the meanwhile, did his best to straighten up, leaning much of his weight on Lightning, and hobbled away from battle.
Lightning placed him sitting down atop a large boulder beyond the sand dunes that bordered the beach front from the rest of the town inland.
“You have potions?”
“Ahh..” He was rubbing the area close to the wound—“Yes, Sergeant.”
“Good. Be quick about it. I will take care of any monster.”Getting in her stance, she looked about for any sign of Bloodbaths. So far, there were none in sight. And Halbert can be seen if she squinted hard enough. The man was holding his own ground just fine, dodging another attack to his left, while going behind and pulling the trigger. Blazefire was still in gun mode as she tried to pick off any Bloodbath she can. Minutes, it seemed, past, before a “I’m done, Ma’am” was heard over her shoulders. Now she can finally stop babysitting and get some real fighting done. Flicking her communication device, she barked, “Ceviche! Halbert! Status!”
A crackle could be heard as her earpiece produced a squelching sound, followed by an ooph that might have been Ceviche receiving a sideswipe. “Sarge, Ceviche here! Target has…shit!—sent for backup. I repeat, the Target called for backup. There’s…about thirty in total.”
Another crackle in her earpiece heralded Halbert in. “Confirming! More Bloodbaths are arriving presumably from the shore. We can’t get rid of the callers in time. They’re still doing—another BANG!—a squeal was heard—they’re too many summoners! Each one is summoning two more! What should we do?”
“Permission to use mini gravity bombs, Sergeant?” It would be just like Ceviche to recommend that. And here came her migraine.
“How are they positioned?” She asked instead. Fuck, she didn’t expect fast reinforcement. The brief never mentioned the summoning flying fish monsters would be able to call on other summoning fish.
“Not three groups anymore. Each summoner is surrounded by—ARGH! Ran out of ammo. Urgh *click*… Ha! As I was saying, each summoner--thing is surrounded by regular Bloodbath. Somehow I think they’re faster now…” Halbert trailed off.
“How many are there?” Lightning questioned again, as she nodded to the soldier behind her to get moving. First, she was going toward Halbert, who was the closest. Dammit, if they didn’t rein in control of the situation fast, there will be chaos. And the responsibility would be on her, the commander of this mission.
Wait. That was it. A plan was forming into her head. And all she needed was Ceviche and Halbert to launch a pincer attack…
“Uhh... summoners, Sarge? There’s…seven of them!”
“Aim for the summoners! And yes, you can use the gravity bombs, Ceviche. But don’t go too crazy with them. I want you land them point-blank at the summoners, then finish them off ASAP.” Lightning panted as she sped towards Halbert, the soldier behind her in a full sprint to catch up, limping slightly in pain as the medicine kept continuing to work on newly-repaired bones and tendons.
After a few strides, they were back into battle. Blazefire only had about half a cartridge of ammo left, but Lightning decided she didn’t need to reload. Switching to the sword form, she hacked through two more regular Bloodbaths, concentrating on the summoner Bloodbath in direct sight.
I’ve got you now, bastard.
The summoner Bloodbath kept on calling and two Bloodbaths were in between Lightning and her target. While running, she quickly gripped on the pads of her feet, veering to the right and attacking diagonally the nearest Bloodbath, before slicing the summoner. Sensing an attack from the other, she jumped back, brought Blazefire close to her body as she dodged again, to the left this time, and sliced the offending monster, blood oozing from the open wound. She cut deeper when it managed a feeble attempt at attacking her, finally withering into a slump.
Well, let’s see how you attack now.
A sudden BANG was heard, the aftershocks creeping into Lightning’s personal space. Ceviche over there acted like he was a one man army. The other soldiers were running towards her, moving the battle further inland. Wait, she could work with this. She would have to find a way to position most of the Bloodbaths back towards shore though.
“Ceviche! Stop, I have a plan.” Her voice boomed in Ceviche’s earpiece. His hand gripped yet another bomb but his arm tensed at soon as the voice reached his ear.
“Sergeant Farron?” He questioned, moving back and forth, left to right, and back again in an effort to dodge attacks and confuse the enemy. Landing near one, he automatically ran towards it and booted the Bloodbath as hard as he can.
“I want you and Halbert to position the soldiers to chase all the Bloodbaths back down to the shore. I’ll be waiting for them. At the shore,” the voice paused as another loud squelch was picked up by the communications device, “I don’t want anyone beside me as they chase toward me. You all will be on the offensive if Bloodbaths even think of going upstream.”
Ceviche was at a loss. Did Sarge just imply she would be fish bait? Taking another look at his surroundings, blood was everywhere. That was never a good sign; it meant either the soldiers were untrained or losing control. So that’s why Sergeant wanted to go at it alone. She seemed to have no problem killing small groups with one swing of her weapon. Well, an order was an order.
C’mon Ceviche, Halbert. Leave it up to your commanding officer.