|Be Careful What You Wish For|
|Participants||Orianne, Diego, Alexandra, Micaela, Moody, Christian|
|Summary||The team runs into some classic fantasy adventures.|
Our valiant adventurers are out of the woods. Out of the woods literally, that is. Metaphorically, they're still deep in the thicket. After a night spent near the edges of the woods, they awake, facing the new challenge--that of hunting down a moving castle and slaying an evil wizard. BUt how can you overthrow the big bad if you don't know where they are?
In any case, after some discussion, the party breaks into small teams to scout some nearby areas to look for any signs, to return to their meeting point tonight. Your party ventures forth, not into the mountains, but into a dry expanse of parched grass and sagebrush. Watch out for rock trolls.
It's perhaps no surprise that Orianne's little dragon puppet is airborne once again, circling high overhead to get a nice aerial view. Whether a pigeon or a dragon, it's rapidly becoming second nature to Anne to provide aerial surveillance. Since she has a drake's-eye view of the area, she's a little more relaxed as she plays scout. "Do you think any other plants have spirits in them, like the trees did?" She glances curiously at a sagebrush nearby, as if waiting for little a sagebrush dryad to pop out.
Sagebrush and parched grass are not particularly known for their romantic charms, but Diego seems determined to try to find them as they sally across the field. He is careful not to run too fast for fear of fire by friction, although his red cape looks like a line of flame as wind catches it and causes it to billow out over his shoulder. Particularly as he comes to a dramatic stop on his return. "This would not be my first choice for a rambling castle," he admits charitably.
"You know what," Lexie says, glowering at the (poor, innocent) sagebrush. "I miss the subway. This would be a ridiculous place to hide a floating castle, because we'd already be able to /see/ it." She tromps a little grouchily across the grass, like /maybe/ she's tired of this whole adventure camping excursion.
Micaela has done some of her scouting from the air, which possibly makes for a less typical sight around here than a small dragon flying around does, but at the moment she's on the ground again. It is with some visible frustration on her sharp features that she walks through the sage and dry grass, no more heat emanating off her lithe figure than what is within human range. But setting fire to the area your coworkers are in is generally frowned upon, so here we are. "The view leaves a lot to be desired," she agrees with a mild grumble, though she also winks at Diego. She doesn't mean you.
Moody has the scarf of her fancy space armor set up over her head to keep the sun off as they work their way through the sagebrush; every so often, she blips ahead a bit, but stays within line of sight of the rest of the group. At the moment, she's trudging along like a pleb with the rest of them, and nods firmly in agreement with Lexie's statement, pointing her thumb downward and thppppting.
The open air is more comforting to Christian than the forest and the city ever could be. He's accustomed to being able to see the horizon. "Yes," he answers Orianne after some thought. Armed with quiver and bow, he keeps towards the rear of the party but does not ever make it too far from the pretty puppeteer. Weird. Hm. "Stay alert," he warns casually, "The eyes can play tricks on you. ...when everything looks the same for miles and miles."
The land is rolling rather than merely flat; it dips and rises. Both Orianne and Micaela can see, through their scouting, something that looks like a village up ahead. Or was once a village. It looks more akin to ruins now.
"She means you," Lexie makes sure to tell Diego, because it seems impossible not to make that joke.
At the wink, Diego flashes Micaela a broad smile and slows his pace to match hers as they stroll. "Si. And they just may, little one," he says to Orianne. "This is a world of many wonders." At Lexie's joke, his brows lift in mild surprise. "Ah. My heart it is wounded," he says mournfully, placing a hand against his heart. His brow furrows plaintively andhe looks up at the sky. WHY CRUEL WORLD.
To Orianne, the environment they trek through feels right at home. Maybe a little drier than her coastal home city, certainly, but not all that far off from some parts of northern Cote d'Ivoire. So she seems almost upbeat as the party makes their way deeper in. Turning back to Christian -- but speaking loud enough for the rest of the party -- she notes, "There's an abandoned village up ahead. Or something similar."
"Meh," Micaela says to Christian, basically ignoring good advice because of course she is. She kicks a toe at a bit of dead grass speculatively as she walks. It would suck to be a plant spirit here. "Oh, poor baby," she says with a highly unsympathetic laugh as Diego declares himself /wounded/. She sticks her bottom lip out at him in a pout. "I do like the cape, though." So you can hold onto that? "Yeah, but it's abandoned. Like, long abandoned," she says of the village in a tone that implies 'so why is that interesting?'
Prompted by Orianne's alert, Christian draws his bow from over his shoulder. Aiming it off to the side and to the ground in order to accomodate walking, he nocks an arrow. White hair gleaming in the sun, the archer raising his chin and nose towards the sky in an attempt to get a feel for the wind.
The wind carries with it the scent of ashes and char, charred wood and charred bodies.
Glancing down at Micaela through his dark lashes, Diego sighs dramatically and casts a suspect look towards Lexie. See what you've done. /Laughing./ A slight smile tugs at his mouth as she declares she likes the cape. The playful edge to his expression fades thoughtfully at the news. "Could you see a reason for it to be abandoned?"
Moody lifts her binoculars up and peers through them in the direction indicated by the scouts, looking for herself -- mostly for curiosity's sake, but also because ruins are a good ambush spot. And they aren't grass, which gives it a leg up on the rest of the scenery.
Through the binoculars, the ruins look fresher than they may have first appeared. They also look burnt, scorched by some great fire.
"See? Not really. But it /smells/ like someone set the village on fire. With all the villagers still there," Orianne observes as if in answer to Diego. She might possibly edge a little closer to the (better-armed) Christian as she says this. After a moment she adds with a glance in Diego's direction, "That sounds a little like it might be the work of an evil sorcerer, right?"
Lexie is actually snorting a laugh when her expression shifts quickly at the wisp of charred flesh in the air. That sure sobers a person up quickly. "You don't exactly need to be a sorcerer to burn down a village," she says quietly.
"It's dry. Anything could start a fire," Moody whispers, lowering her binoculars. "It's fresh. This happened recently."
Micaela leans over and presses a quick kiss to Diego's cheek. She gestures at Orianne as she mentions fire with a wiggle of her fingers but no actual flames. "It's pretty easy to burn something down, yeah." A beat. "I mean--for other people too."
For all the state of the village, there is no sign of burnt grass around it. Whatever happened was confined to the village.
That brief kiss is met by a hook of a smile, the quick caress of a hand felt along her jaw like a breath of wind. There and gone, unseen but not unfelt. "We should check for survivors," Diego determines, waiting only for the words to reach the others before he is off to the burned village.
"I can put out fires," Christian offers in a dumb, dreamy voice as they continue their approach. His eyes slide over to Orianne, whom he offers a helpful and hopeful look.
Alexandra exhales slow through her nose, stilling for a moment on the parched grass. And then, shoulders setting, she starts off again -- albeit with a certain hint of dread -- towards the burnt village. Diego is right, after all.
As they approach the village, it appears it is not entirely devoid of life. A few chickens and stray dogs wander the blackened ruins. In what was once the village green a horse is tethered--a grey mare, mane and tail singed. And, somewhere, someone is singing. A man's voice, singing something appropriately medieval-ish.'
Nudging a chicken aside with his foot, Diego slows enough for the others to reach the village as he searches out the sound of the man's voice. His dark brow is narrowed as he does, visibly itching with the urge to move. Training stills him, even after all of these years, those days in X-Force reminding him not to go in alone.
"Di-" Micaela cuts off with a sigh because there is no point in finishing that sentence. Her expression is resigned as she walks briskly in the direction of the village. Her brows pull together in a frown when they get closer. "Okay, that is more life than I expected," she admits. She eyes a chicken with particular interest, though it probably isn't that interesting other than it is a chicken in a world without the convenience of KFC.
Christian's remark about putting out any remaining fires earns a bright smile from Orianne. But before she can make any reply, she hears someone /singing/. This is something some people might take as a sign that there are survivors to aid. Orianne is apparently not one of those people; her posture instead goes alert, and she takes another step closer to Christian. Most sane people, after all, would not be singing when everyone in their village is burned. Unless it were a funeral dirge or lament.
Overhead, her dragon dives down towards the village to try and glimpse the source of the sound.
At the sound of the singing, Moody frowns and blips over to the shelter of what remains of a wall, crouching until she can figure out where it's coming from, roughly. Anyone who's singing in the charred ruins of a village is somewhat suspect, really -- though she does smile at the dogs that have survived and watch them, too, distracted by canines.
Christian brings his bow up as they begin entering the village, aiming at everything he looks at now. "We should bring these chickens and dogs back to camp. They will feed many people," he says in a quiet rumble before stiffening up at the stranger's voice raised in song.
The chicken flutters her wings, and runs away, squawking. The houses around are burnt by a fire that was so hot metal fittings have melted and reshaped themselves into strange shapes. Don't look too close--those twisted pieces of charcoal within might be something harmless--or a body.
At the sound of voices, the singing stops. A moment later, a man appears, from the other side of a tumbledown wall; he is clad in the singed and tattered ruins of what once might have been livery. He eyes the newcomers, but he is, to all appearances, unarmed.
"Yeah, that's not -- creepy at all," Lexie mutters under her breath at the sound of that voice haunting the air. Her steps still as the man appears, and for a moment she just blinks at him. Then she looks to whoever in the group has one of those fancy amulets. Glancing back to the man, she holds up her hand in what she hopes is a universal gesture of peace -- look, no weapons! -- and says, "Yo."
"Did you just say the /dogs/ would feed people?" Priorities, Micaela. There is a burnt village and a singing man and stuff. Still, what the fuck. "Yo!" She hails the man with a hand in the air in as he stops singing and puts in an appearance. That is a way more casual greeting than she actually feels. Her body tenses ready to move at any sign of aggression.
Moody gives Christian a look of reproach and sidles protectively in front of one of the dogs.
"Most people back home don't like it when you eat dogs," Orianne informs Christian quietly.
It is difficult not to look at the twisted shapes of the houses, twisted in the agony of their last moments. It is impossible not to imagine the bodies inside. Diego's lip curls at the sight of the village, folding his hands formally behind his back, posture straight, as the man approaches. It makes the sword at his hip less visibly a threat.
"They are animals, like anything else," Christian doesn't even bat a lash at the dog-talk, taking aim on the stranger. He's the only one around. That's suspicious. He does not say, 'Yo.' "And we aren't back home, anymore."
The man watches them. He raises his hands, showing he is unarmed, but his eyes are wary. He opens his mouth--and then, before he can speak, another man's voice, quavery with age, cuts in. For those who have amulets, he says, "Who is that? Are they dragon hunters?"
To those without amulets, it mostly sounds like gibberish.
"Oh my God, are there dragons to hunt?" Lexie asks, because she definitely has an amulet now that I know that she can have an amulet.
With a soft pop of air, Moody appears right next to the man, just outside of arm's reach, and answers, "Yes. We hunt dragons."
Somewhere overhead, Orianne's dragon puppet vanishes.
"No, they are /dogs/, you weirdo," Micaela protests to Christian, then more quietly tells Orianne, "Keep him away from the animal shelters." Because he is apparently your responsibility now, congratulations. She re-focuses (really) on the man in the village and arches an eyebrow. "...is that what's responsible for the..." She looks around the village. Uhm. "...problems?" Well she tried to have tact.
A second man appears beside the first. He is old, with long silvery hair and a longer beard, his eyes a gentle, unseeing blue. His hands shake as he rests them on the tumbledown wall, leaning against it. His clothing was rich, fur and velvet, but has been covered in ash.
"Perhaps they can help, master," suggests the first man.
"The dragon!" says the second man. "It came in the night, and burnt the village! And took my wife!"
"Only your wife?" Diego questions softly, an amulet at his throat as well. "They have comes before?"
"Why do dragons even /steal/ people?" Lexie says, like this has possibly been bothering her her whole life. "What do they even get out of that?"
Christian doesn't know who he wants to aim at more, so he chooses the one called 'master.' He seems to be talking the loudest, anyway.
Moody covers the amulet with her hand and asides toward Lexie, "Take-out?" -- that doesn't work, Moo.
"You should rest," the first man--probably the servant--tells the second gently. "Don't overexcite yourself." The second disappears behind the wall, and the first continues, quietly, "The dragon has been rampaging in this area for about a fortnight. It started stealing sheep and then it...burnt the village." He glances back to the wall and then adds, in a low voice, "The master is not quite...all there anymore. His wife was the first, we think, the first of the dragon's victims. She went for a ride and only her horse escaped. He persists in believing she was kidnapped."
"...was she much younger?" And presumably hotter. Because that's how that works, right, dragons steal beautiful maidens or something? Micaela falls briefly silent (enjoy it while it lasts) while the other guy explains. She nods slowly and purses her lips. Ohhhh. "That escalated quickly." From theft to kidnapping to arson.
"I'm not sure what we can do," Orianne points out, perhaps more to Christian than anyone else. "We could hunt the dragon, but it won't bring these people back. And it will just sideline us from what we're /actually/ trying to do." She pauses, considering. "Unless the dragon is connected to that." Because it /does/ seem like the sort of pet an evil sorcerer might keep.
"Have you happened to see a flying castle around?" Lexie asks, because she's a very sensitive person.
A shriek cuts through the air, high but chilling, the scream of a predator.
"Did you provoke the-" Christian was only just lowering is bow and aiming it towards the ground when the new sound prompts him to raise it up towards the sky. "Stay close," he tells Orianne, stepping closer as if to shield her.
Moody jerks and looks upward at the shriek, scanning the sky for any sign of a dragon about to come and kill them all.
Diego looks up at the sky, his hand at his sword in a quicksilver fast motion.
"Dragon!" is the servant's only answer, and he dives behind the wall, all the better to protect his master.
And a large body briefly blocks out the sun.
Micaela startles at the sound that cuts through the air, crouching just slightly with her hands hovering over her weapons as she looks towards the sky...as everything grows shadowed where the sun in blocked. "...holy shit," she says with a short laugh and a bit of sharp smile.
"Holy fucking shit," Lexie says. She's not laughing or smiling as she stares up at the dragon.
"That one's not mine!" Orianne shouts, just in case anyone was wondering. She reaches for her stinger, taking aim overhead. (This is not going to work well against a dragon, Anne.) She doesn't /actually/ hide behind Christian, but neither does she make any effort to /not/ let him stand right next to her.
The dragon lands before them, with a heavy thump. There is only a slight quavering behind the wall as presumably master and servant find a hiding place. The dragon rears up, regarding them with narrowed eyes that glisten yellow, hotter than sun overhead. It's beautiful, this dragon, all sinewy grace and glistening red scales. It is also dangerous, with menace glittering in every scale and every tooth and every claw.
It holds its breath, watching them--and then it breathes out, exhaling flame.
The earth kicks up as the dragon lands, its gilded eyes scanning over them. Diego's brow lowers for a moment as he meets it, then sudden, viciously, he smiles and draws his sword with a flourish. His cape billows over his shoulder. Ole.
"HOLY SHIT." Lexie fucking /scrambles/, because that is a /dragon/ and it is /breathing fire/. Fortunately her own weapon -- the one she was born with -- is ranged, so it means she can dive out of the way and then try to shoot off some sizable bolts in the big beast's direction. (And it makes kind of an easy target.)
HOLY SHIT -- Moody doesn't say it, though, because her breath explodes in a gust of terrified surprise. That lasts a heartbeat -- ba-dump -- before adrenalin flushes through her veins and she draws her knives. She doesn't have range, not like the others, and for a beat she looks between the dragon and the fire breath and her friends -- before teleporting onto the dragon's back and stabbing down with her knives. Hi. This is the dumbest thing she's done since Tuesday.
Orianne has spent a fair amount of time as a dragon lately. That did not prepare her for /this/, because she scrambles away as it lands. She could put a puppet on its back, but that seems dangerous and "ADELLE MOODY WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?" Shouting this at the top of her lungs, Orianne unshoulders her own bow. She may not want to get in a fight with a dragon, but if the alternative is that it eats her friend and roommate, she's going to have to at least /try/.
Dipping his head, Christian lets loose an arrow into the air towards the dragon as soon as enough upturned dust clears.
Proving that Diego isn't the only one who launches themselves at things without much warning, Micaela takes off towards the dragon before it can even properly land. She takes a few steps forward like she's going to start running towards the dragon then blasts off into the air with a burst of /her/ fire beneath her feet. Dissipating smoke is left in her wake as she flies up and over the dragon, slowing in flight briefly to take a few shots at the dragon. And hopefully not at Moody, who teleported herself into the cross-hairs there. "Fuck!"
<COMBAT> Diego attacks Dragon with Blade - ARMOR on Left Leg stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Dragon attacks Micaela with Dragon Fire - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Christian attacks Dragon with Bow - ARMOR on Right Arm stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Orianne attacks Dragon with Bow and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Moody attacks Dragon with Blade - ARMOR on Neck stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Micaela attacks Dragon with Pistol - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Alexandra attacks Dragon with Lexie's Electro - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
Blazing forward in a burst of speed, Diego moves to cut the Dragon off at the leg. Only to have his blade ineffectually 'ping' off it's armored hide. Glancing up a breath of fire engulfs his wife briefly, he curses in florid spanish, moving quickly to run up the beast's tail to stab something more satisfying. Like it's head.
"Fuck fuck fuck--" Lexie darts around as her electricity hisses against the dragon's armored scales. Fucking armor. Fucking scales. "Fuck you!" she yells at it, tossing another lightning bolt its way.
"Try to identify weak points," Christian's suggests to Orianne in a steady tone of voice. He pulls out another arrow, nocks it, aims, and shoots towards the beast's chest.
"The eyes are usually a weak spot!" Orianne replies to Christian in a somewhat-less-steady tone of voice. (Because, hello, DRAGON.) She takes aim at the head, in what will likely be a laughable attempt to hit such a small target as an eye. Perhaps she should just try to hit the dragon /at all/ first.
Moody does what she can to stay on the creature's back as the others rain attacks down on it, trying to work her knives beneath the creature's scales without losing an eye or getting bucked off -- it doesn't go so well at first, but she keeps at it!
The dragon shrieks again, a clarion call to the skies, and then bows its head, with a graceful motion, to snap at the people trying to climb it.
The dragon opens its maw and fire spews forth, swallowing Micaela for a moment. It's a sight which may cause anyone watching to have a knee-jerk reaction. But unlike the villagers below, it isn't enough to kill her. It isn't even enough to /stop/ her. Wreathed in her own fire, she is knocked back away a bit by the attack, but emerges from the dragon fire with smoking and burnt bits of clothing and otherwise unharmed. Flying over the dragon she just laughs, the sound quieter than the creature's shrieking, but still distinct as more gunshots ring out.
<COMBAT> Moody attacks Dragon with Blade and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Micaela attacks Dragon with Pistol and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Diego attacks Dragon with Blade - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Christian attacks Dragon with Bow - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Alexandra attacks Dragon with Lexie's Electro - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Orianne attacks Dragon with Bow but MISSES!
Moody's blade skitters off the scales and she clings hard to avoid being thrown off, her attack swinging wild -- but she keeps at it!
As it turns out, running up a dragon comes with some difficulties. And teeth. Dodging out of the way of snapping teeth, blade pointed towards the dragon, Diego scores a light blow to its chest. "Mierda," he curses.
<COMBAT> Dragon attacks Diego with Tooth And Claw but Diego DODGES!
<FS3> Diego rolls Body+Reaction: Good Success. (8 5 4 7 7 3 4)
<FS3> Moody rolls Body+reaction: Success. (2 3 6 4 7)
Where as her first bullets found their marks, piercing dragon scales and into flesh, Micaela's next rounds go wild, missing the creature completely. It's not something she's deterred by, looking as predatory as the dragon for a moment with the arch of her brows and fire that spills from her figure in the sky. There is another flash of flame as she launches herself right towards the dragon's head with a yell that sounds more like excitement than fear, getting close before she attacks again.
"Hah!" Lexie looks distinctly satisfied for her next attack to pierce armor and singe flesh beneath. She stays light on her feet, clearly concerned with earning the dragon's attention, and attacks from a safe(?) distance.
The dragon thrashes and flails, trying to rid itself of the parasites clinging to its scales. Moody is almost tossed free--almost. It moves with grace, but limps a little with the left hind. It snaps its teeth at those irritants.
Orianne misses her bow-shot -- again -- and curses under her breath in French. Kate Bishop, she isn't. "One last try, and then I change tactics," she mutters to herself. Because if the bow and arrow won't work, there's got to be another avenue out there.
"Arrows just aren't working-" Swinging his bow over his arm, Christian throws a concerned glance over his shoulder to Orianne. Peeling them away to look back towards the fight, he digs the balls off his feet into the soil. Following Micaela's attack with a flourish of his hands, he peels open a rippling blue-green disc in the air. Focused in the area of the dragon's neck as it arches to attack, Christian releases a great water cannon blast in the hopes of interfereing with its movement.
"!!" Moody makes a sharp gargling noise of alarm as she's nearly bucked off, and that hurts more than the dragon beneath her, and in annoyance and pain she digs her knife in with all that she's got. It probably doesn't do anything this time, either.
<COMBAT> Micaela attacks Dragon with Pistol - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Dragon attacks Moody with Tooth And Claw - Moderate wound to Left Hand.
<COMBAT> Christian attacks Dragon with Christian's Water and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Orianne attacks Dragon with Bow - ARMOR on Left Hand stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Moody attacks Dragon with Blade - ARMOR on Neck stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Diego attacks Dragon with Blade - ARMOR on Right Arm stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Alexandra attacks Dragon with Lexie's Electro - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
Still thrashing and flailing, its wings spread wide (watch your head), the dragon turns its head and, with a great snap, its teeth close over Moody's hand. That has to hurt.
Dodging under teeth and claws, Diego's blade slides uselessly off its arm with a curse from the Spaniard. His gaze flits upward, briefly at the flare of wings, checking the position of his wife.
<FS3> Diego rolls Body+Reaction: Success. (4 6 1 6 7 6 1)
Moody instinctively flinches by teleporting away, blipping off the back of the dragon and far away from it, clutching her bleeding hand and breathing hard -- and missing a knife, which she dropped in the dragon's mouth. THAT HURT. She takes a moment, breathing hard, to try and wrap it up enough to keep it from bleeding out.
"Oh /come on/." Lexie actually takes a moment to stop and /glare/ at the dragon, before -- ohshit no she /did/ get its attention. Ohshitohshitohshit. She forgets attacking it for the moment in lieu of running and trying not to die
The dragon swings its neck around and bullets aimed for it's head impact harmlessly off heavily armored scales on the dragon's chest instead. Micaela is up in the air, well positioned to see the dragon's teeth clamp down on Moody's hand. Inwardly, she winces while the other woman suddenly vanishes. Less than a second is spared as she glances around to check the position of everyone. "Fuck you!" Recklessly, she flies at the dragon's head again, even going to far as to grab at horn or scale so she can fire point blank at it.
The water pressure from Christian's portal dies down as he snaps it closed moments after the miss. Sucking in a breath through gritted teeth, he makes a second attempt --this time aiming for the dragon's parting lips.
Orianne actually lands a hit with her next shot; to judge from her startled half-cheer, this is quite a surprise to her. The hit doesn't actually /do/ anything, but the mere fact that she /did/ land a hit gives her just enough hope to try once more.
<FS3> Micaela rolls Reaction+flight: Great Success. (3 6 5 8 8 6 4 7 2 4 7 4 6)
<COMBAT> Dragon attacks Alexandra with Dragon Fire - Light wound to Right Arm.
<COMBAT> Orianne attacks Dragon with Bow and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Micaela attacks Dragon with Pistol - Light wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Christian attacks Dragon with Christian's Water and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Diego attacks Dragon with Blade - Light wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Dragon has been **KO'd**!
Moody looks up from bandaging her hand to see -- ha! She jumps in the air and shoves her (non-damaged) hand into the air in victory! YEAH!
At this point, Lexie is too absorbed with escape -- and terrified -- to keep cursing at the dragon. She dives, trying to avoid the burst of flame, and cries out when the fire sears the skin of her arm. She stumbles, holding her injured arm close, and looks back over -- to see the dragon falling.
A wall of water appears between Lexie and the flames only fractionally too late to aid her, dissipating moments later when Christian's portal is closed. At its other end, he lets his hands fall to his sides as he watches the rest of the dragon's demise with a touch of boyish wonder.
When the dragon falls, Orianne lets out a whoop of victory. Caught up in the moment, she flings her arms around Christian and kisses him on the cheek. YAY, the dragon is down! And we aren't dead!
Fire swirls in the air and dissipates into smoke behind Micaela as she flies with seeming abandon at the dragon's head while the creature writhes and opens it's mouth to spew out another blast of dragonfire. She adjusts her trajectory with as it moves, dodging flame and tooth, to grab onto the head. Laughing with a mad sort of energy, she unloads her weapon right up against the dragon's skull. She's still laughing and firing as the head begins to fall, the creature too wounded by all their efforts to go on. So for a moment she falls with the head until it gets too close to the ground and she leaps off, flying for a second before she drops at Diego, apparently expecting him to be ready to catch her without warning.
Feet skimming along the dragon's scales at impossible speeds, Diego manages to hold his ground along the rolling, toothy, fearsome landscape. He leaps at one point to dodge the path of a wing, landing with a grunt and a roll. Dark eyes watch with slight horror as his wife grabs at the dragon's head and it whips toward Lexie, flame curling in its teeth. In a burst of speed he tears up its neck to aim for those oh-so vulnerable eyes, so previously mentioned. Then, at perfect counterpoint, he drives his blade deep into one. He doesn't laugh like his wife, but the broad turn of his smile is sharp and victorious. As the dragon's inert body slumps thunderously into the earth, he cleans and sheaths his blade in a smooth motion. Then laughs as Micaela drops into his arms, only a half second delayed as he draws her to his chest and plants a kiss on her lips.
"Ow ow ow--" Lexie hisses as she carefully pulls back the leather of her jacket sleeve from her arm. Fortunately the burn isn't /too/ bad, but that doesn't mean it doesn't /hurt/. It's enough to distract her from celebrations, at least.
The dragon rears up, its body briefly blotting out the sun, its wings outstretched. It pushes feebly with its hind legs, trying to push off, to take to the skies one last time and soar away--
This time, it is not to be. One flutter of its wings, and it collapses, crashing to earth, neck straight, tail limp, a heap of blood and scarlet scales, chest heaving with a few last futile breaths...
There is a shimmer of crimson light, painful to look at--and there is no dragon. There is only a woman, bloodied and broken, with long red hair, her fingernails curving into talons.
It took my wife, the old man said.
Caught off guard, Christian lets out a small cry as Orianne jumps him. Teetering from foot to foot as if he might fall over, he snakes his own arm around her for balance. Blushing furiously with his eyes wide, he flashes a small smile at first. Attempting to remain serious in the serious situation, he fights that smile back. Even as the dragon becomes... well-- a woman, Christian can't keep it down so long and it returned in full force as a great, lopsided grin.
Moody blips over to Lexie at the hissing, giving her a concerned look and pointing to her arm with her bloodied hand -- both eyebrows up, questioning, and mouths, 'You okay?' As the dragon becomes a woman, though, she blinks twice, muttering, "Well, fuck."It's a good thing Diego has incredible reaction speeds, because Micaela would have found herself on her ass more than a few times while trying to drop herself in his arms over the years. She doesn't even notice he's actually /slow/ this time. Wrapping an arm around Diego's neck, she pulls him fiercly towards her as he leans in to kiss her. When she breaks away she pumps her other fist in the air at the others and yells, "Whoo!" It's maybe a bit premature. She looks over at the shimmer of light, then looks away again cringing and seeing spots. When those clear there is only a woman. She doesn't put two and two together, but she does frown. "Is everything secretly a woman here?"