Star Ocean (All Series) Fan Fiction ❯ Phantom Of Time ❯ Escape From Airyglyph ( Chapter 4 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Phantom Of Time
Chapter Four: Escape From Airyglyph
By: Demon Priestess Saturn
Albel blinked several times at the young aquarian woman. His attention drifted behind her as he spotted the tall blonde in the black leather jumpsuit. Next to him was Mirage. Cliff looked straight at him and his mouth opened slightly. Mirage blinked and then looked out the door and up the flight of stairs to the right to make sure no one was coming.
“What are you staring at maggots?” Albel glared and turned his head away. He wasn't about to admit how embarrassed he was to be found in this condition.
“Oh stop it.” Nel said calmly and walked over to him. He looked up at her sad green but relieved eyes.
“Looks like we made it in time.” Cliff said as he also walked over. Nel was busy picking the locks on Albel's shackles. “Long time no see huh?”
“What are you doing here fool.” Albel snapped in his usual tone.
“So glad you haven't changed one bit.” Cliff sighed.
“I asked him to come here and help us with the war.” Nel said as she pulled the shackle holding his left arm. She stared at his arm a moment and then took it in her hand. She had no idea Albel could take that claw off. And for the first time she noticed the massive scars that covered his arm. “Did Vox do this to you.” She looked him in the eyes. Albel stared at her for a long time then glared.
“No and what do you mean us? I don't need his help.” Albel closed his eyes and looked away.
“Didn't need help? Then what are you doing down here half dead?” Nel put her hand on her hip.
“I was just pretending so I could get information. It's called spying you should try it sometime. I would have gotten myself out when I was done.”
“Sure.” Cliff narrowed his eyes.
“We better hurry I am hearing something from upstairs.” Mirage said quietly as she continued watching for guards.
“Fine. I needed help.” Nel glared and started to work on the other shackle. Cliff shook his head and smiled. He kind of missed the nasty comments from the Nox boy. Cliff kneeled down and examined the shackles on Albel's ankles.
“I wonder…” He said to himself.
“What?” Nel looked at him. Cliff raised the hand with the ring and placed it on the shackle.
“Are you trying to hurt me?” Albel glared but the shackle suddenly dissolved.
“Hey it worked.” Cliff said as he quickly dissolved the other one. Nel popped open the last one and quickly grabbed Albel. She had been right he couldn't hold up his own weight very well. Not to mention as she put her arms around him she realized how dangerously thin he was.
“We need to get him out of this city fast.” Nel said calmly. “It wont take them long to figure out he's gone. That and he stick's out like a sore thumb.”
“Yeah.” Cliff nodded. “Lets go.”
Cliff picked Albel up and ran down the hall. Mirage followed behind him. As Cliff ran back through the hole in the wall he heard a shot. Mirage ducked behind the wall on the left side of the hall while Cliff moved to the right with Albel.
“Shit what was that?” Cliff yelled.
“Phase guns.” Mirage said as they heard more firing.
“Where's Nel?” Cliff yelled.
“I'm here.” She shouted. Cliff peaked out of the hole to see her up against the wall on the right side on the way to the dungeon where him and Fayt were kept the last time they were here. “Shit.” Cliff leaned back against the wall and Mirage stared at him.
“What do we do?” Mirage asked.
“Surrender now and none of you shall be hurt.” Vox smiled from the staircase. He signaled for two of the guards in front of him to move forward.
“You are such a lair!” Albel yelled.
“We can't leave without Nel and if I try to go over to you Mirage were going to get shot.” Cliff said quietly.
“Cliff…” Mirage said calmly. Cliff pulled out his gun.
“I'm going to shoot at them and Albel I want you to go over to Mirage. Mirage you get him out of here.” Cliff said as he stood up and leaned against the wall.
“No fool. We are all leaving together or were going to die trying.” Albel snapped.
“You're too injured.” Cliff argued.
“Don't hand me that crap!” Albel snapped and pulled a device off the side of Cliff's pants.
“What are you doing?” Cliff said.
“I'm saving ours asses.” Albel glared. He took the little device and leaned against the wall. He opened it up and fettled with it. “Fayt taught me an interesting little trick.” He closed it back up and set the timer for ten seconds. “Come on!” He grabbed Cliff and threw him next to Mirage and ran a crossed himself. He threw the device as he passed the hole in the wall and it slid on the floor down the hall.
“Move!” Vox yelled and ducked into the torture room. The device exploded killing two of the guards and lighting anything flammable on fire. The smoke in the hall shielded them from view.
“Nel come on!” Albel shouted at her as she came running in.
“Albel how did you learn to do that?” Nel asked.
“Fayt taught me.” Albel said.
“Cliff lets go.” Nel looked at him. Cliff looked at her strangely and then looked at Albel.
“She said let's go.” Mirage said calmly.
“Oh.” Cliff nodded.
“What?” Nel said.
“He doesn't understand you Nel. Albel used his translator to blow up the guards.” Mirage explained.
“Hey at least it worked.” Albel leaned against the wall.
“Albel are you okay.” Nel put her hand on his shoulder.
“I'm fine let's go before they clear that mess out there.” Albel pushed himself up and ran down the hall. Nel followed behind him along with Mirage and a confused Cliff.
“You would think I would have learned something of this language given I was here for a while.” Cliff said.
“Here” Mirage handed him her translator.
“But what about you?” Cliff asked.
“I'll be fine.” Mirage said as they entered the aqueducts.
“What if they're waiting for us at the entrance to this place?” Cliff said.
“Then we are going to have to fight them.” Albel said as he continued running.
“But you're unarmed.” Cliff said.
“Like hell I am. I know how to fight without my sword.” Albel sneered.
“Look we'll worry about that when it happens. Hopefully it doesn't because I am worried about you.” Nel said to Albel.
“You should worry about yourself.” Albel said coldly.
“Yeah but you don't look like theirs much keeping you alive except for you stubborn attitude.” Nel retorted.
“I've been through worse. Believe me.” Albel said as they entered the last room with the cave entrance. The four walked carefully a crossed the ice and reached the other side.
“Wait.” Mirage said.
“What?” Albel looked at her.
“You can still understand her?” Cliff looked shocked.
“One of us should see if the coast is clear.” Mirage said calmly.
“I'll go. I'm good at sneaking around.” Nel said calmly.
“But how?” Cliff looked at them.
“I learned they're language.” Mirage said.
“Oh that's not fair Mirage.” Cliff said and folded his arms. Nel came back in a few minutes later.
“Theirs nobody out there but there is quite a ruckus in the town.” Nel replied.
“Alright.” Mirage said and pulled out her cloak. She put it on Albel.
“What are you doing?” Albel asked.
“I am going to get some disguises. I'm the only one of the three of us he doesn't know. Plus I can get some information. You guys wait in the room over there. I'll be back.” Mirage said as she pulled her long blonde hair out of the braid. “Don't worry I'll be fine.”
“Mirage.” Cliff said calmly as she ran out of the cave entrance.
“Fool.” Albel leaned against the wall and sat down. Mirage ran down the stone steps leading up to the cave entrance and headed straight for the outfitters. She calmly entered and looked around. Many of the people seemed shaken and were talking about what was going on. Mirage walked up to the clerk and began to explain what she needed.
“Did you hear? Vox ordered to have the city closed off. He said there was a madman who escaped from the dungeon he wants to catch.” A man said calmly.
“I heard they're was three others involved in his escape.” A woman replied.
“I heard it was Lord Albel who escaped.” Another man replied.
“Vox said he was keeping strict guard and they're checking all the people that are leaving.” The woman replied.
“That's not good.” Mirage whispered as the clerk handed her the stuff. “Thank you.” She paid for the things and then left. As she headed back to the aqueducts she bumped into Vox.
“My dear. Where are you going in such a hurry?” He helped her up.
“I'm sorry please forgive me.” Mirage bowed. My friends child is sick and I was taking some medicine back to her.” Mirage lied.
“I don't believe I have seen you here before. I thought I met all the women in this town.” Vox said with a smile.
“I am visiting. My group and I are here visiting for a few days. You see were traveling merchants. So we will be leaving soon.” Mirage smiled back.
“I see. Well you better get back. I suppose I will see you at the gate when you leave.” Vox moved aside.
“Thank you sir.” Mirage ran off.
“Oh wait. I didn't catch your name.” Vox said calmly.
“Mirage… Mirage Koas.” Mirage answered.
“A beautiful name it is. Well it was nice talking to such a pretty lady.” Vox said as he walked off.
“That was too close. Can't believe I gave him my real name.” Mirage said and ran up the stairs. Mirage entered the aqueducts and headed to the room off to the side. “I'm back.”
“Mirage.” Cliff looked out the door and sighed. “Oh thank god.”
“I told you not to worry.” Mirage smiled. “How Albel?”
“He's asleep.” Nel said as she sat next to him. “He looks terrible.”
“I brought some food too.” Mirage said.
“Thanks Mirage.” Nel smiled sadly.
“We also have a problem. We better disguise ourselves good because he has closed off the town. Which means in order to get out we have to pass and inspection.” Mirage said calmly.
“Great.” Cliff said.
“Well we have enough time to think of something. Besides I want to make sure Albel is a little better before we leave. He's really not well.” Nel said calmly.
“Do you think they will find us if we stay here?” Mirage asked.
“I think we'll be okay for right now.” Nel said as she brushed Albel's bangs out of his face. “He's tired.”
“I would be too after all that.” Cliff sat down.
“Cliff….co…” A broken up voice came over his communicator.
“Huh?” He picked it up.
“Yo this is Cliff… Your breaking up.” Cliff said into it.
“Cliff…….its……..Fayt…..” ; Suddenly it was just static.
“Shit.” Cliff grumbled. “Must be the mountains.”
“Was that Maria?” Nel asked.
“I think.” Cliff said.
“I hope everything's okay.” Mirage looked worried.
“Yeah… I hope she wasn't trying to tell me something urgent about Fayt.” Cliff frowned.
“What about Fayt?” Albel pushed himself up and looked at him.
“You're awake.” Nel looked at him.
“That's the thing I don't know.” Cliff sighed. “We were having trouble getting to Fayt.”
“What?” Albel said calmly.
“We couldn't contact him and every time I tried to go see if he was okay my ship would shut down whenever I got to close to the planet. Maria stayed behind until she could reach him.” Cliff said.
“That doesn't sound good.” Albel looked deep in thought.
“I know. I now I find out Greeton is taking over the planet and has Vendeen phase guns. Something is wrong here. That and what the hell is Vox doing alive?” Cliff pointed out the rest of the problems.
“Fayt… I hope he's alright…” Albel said with a hint of worry.
“Yeah but first things first we have to get out of Airyglyph.” Cliff said. “Then I can contact Maria once were out of the mountains.”
“And to do that we are really going to have to doll ourselves up.” Mirage said as she put a velvet cloak around Cliff.
“What the?” Cliff looked.
“Just wear this.” Mirage said as she put a brown straw hat on his head. She walked over to Nel and handed her a beautiful red dress with a forest green cloak. Nel walked out of the room and Mirage pulled out a red cloak and put it around Albel. She also put a red hat with a feather on his head. “No…” She took the hat off and took his hair out of the ponytails. She messed with him a few more minutes before she seemed happy. When she was done she had all of the black in Albel's hair under the hat so that he looked like a blonde. She pulled some of his hair over his shoulders and smiled.
“Wow. He looks different.” Cliff was shocked.
“That's the point here.” Mirage pulled his hat off and put a black wig on his head. “Much better.” She put the hat back on his head. “One good thing about Albel is he has long hair and it's not hard to hide the black so he didn't need a wig.”
“Yeah.” Cliff smiled. Nel walked back in and Cliff almost fell over. “Oh my god.”
“What?” Nel looked at herself.
“You look gorgeous.” Cliff smiled.
“Thank you.” Nel blushed. Albel was also staring at her.
“You should dress like that more often Zelpher. It makes you nice instead of ugly.” Albel smirked.
“You ass! Can't you say anything nice?” She slapped him.
“That was nice.” Albel retorted. And Nel grumbled. Mirage walked over and fitted a brown wig on Nel's head. Mirage then pulled out a dark blue cloak and a black dress. She left the room and came back a few minutes later.
“Are we all ready?” Mirage asked.
“I think.” Nel said.
“You look nice Mirage.” Cliff said. Nel glared and him and then walked out of the room.
“Nel wait.” Cliff followed her. Albel slowly got up and cringed.
“Are you sure you can do this? It can wait a few days.” Mirage asked.
“No I want out of this damn city.” Albel snapped.
“Then wait a second.” Mirage pulled out a claw and a samurai sword. “It was the best ones I could get but I'm sure the sword isn't as good as your dad's sword.”
“Damn Vox. He still has my sword. I'll have to get it later. Let's go.” Albel sneered and walked out the door. Mirage followed close behind. The four exited the cave and headed down the stairs. Mirage got their horses.
“We only have three horses.” Mirage said calmly.
“It's okay I will ride with Cliff.” Nel said calmly. Cliff smiled brightly and Albel huffed.
“Idiots.” Albel muttered under his breath.
“At least it looks like were carrying a lot of stuff.” Mirage said as she messed with the large bags on Cliff's horse.
“Why does that matter?” Cliff asked her.
“Cos I told Vox when I bumped into him that we were traveling merchants.” Mirage said.
“You ran into Vox?” Cliff inquired.
“Yeah. See why I went.” Mirage replied and jumped on one of the horses. Albel climbed on another horse and looked at Cliff and Nel. “Just let me do the talking.”
“Whatever you say.” Cliff said calmly. They all rode towards the large gates leading out of Airyglyph. When they reached the guard they looked over all of them.
“Departing early?” Vox looked over at Mirage.
“Yes something came up.” Mirage smiled. Albel glared daggers at him but said nothing.
“I see. Pity. Hopefully I will see you again sometime.” Vox smiled.
“Perhaps.” Mirage nodded. “Can we pass?”
“Certainly.” Vox gestured. They three rode passed him. Vox looked at Albel as he went by and Albel met his stare. Vox narrowed his black eyes as they met Albel's crimson's. Albel let the hate slip into his eyes and Vox looked curiously at him. Albel looked away and Vox followed him with his eyes. Vox then glanced at Cliff and Nel. Cliff was trying not to look at him and Nel glanced at him.
“Might I inquire your name?” Vox said. Mirage turned her horse and realized he was looking at Albel. Albel stopped the horse and looked back at him.
“It's Leingod.” Fayt's name was the first that popped into Albel's head.
“Leingod.” Vox said calmly. “Interesting.” Vox turned away from them. Albel looked at Mirage who continued forward. Cliff and Nel came up beside him and Cliff looked over at him.
“So why did you pick Fayt's last name?” Cliff asked.
“Cause I had to answer quickly so he wouldn't think I was lying. I figured he would remember Fayt but I know he doesn't know Fayt's last name.” Albel said quietly.
“That was a good idea.” Nel smiled.
“Yes it worked.” Mirage smiled. As they reached the end of the bridge they heard someone say something.
“Is that Leingod? As in Fayt Leingod?” Albel's eyes went wide he glanced over his shoulder to see Vox standing there with some men. “The hatred in your eyes gives you away Albel.”
“Damn it! Run!” Albel yelled as he kicked his horse. Mirage kicked hers along with Cliff.
“Shoot!” Vox commanded and the archers started firing.
“Ah!” Albel was reared off his horse as it was hit with one of the arrows. Albel flew backwards off the horse and landed on his side. Albel screamed out and his hat fell off letting the black part of his hair show.
“Albel!” Nel screamed out. Vox started to walk towards him.
“Albel did you think I wouldn't recognize you? It's those same eyes I am fond of. Not to mention I have all the features of your face memorized.” Vox smiled.
“Bastard…” Albel cringed.
“Damn.” Nel pulled off her wig and threw off her cloak. She jumped off the horse.
“Nel!” Cliff shouted.
“Cliff you and Mirage get out of here!” Nel yelled.
“But…” Cliff started to argue.
“Just do it!” Nel ran over to Albel and got in front of him. She pulled her twin daggers and glared harshly at Vox. “Stay away from him.”
“Nel Zelpher. I thought that was you.” Vox sneered.
“Nel get out of here.” Albel said his voice shaky.
“No I came here to save you and I am leaving with you.” Nel snapped.
“Then you are a fool.” Vox frowned.
“Mirage we got to do something.” Cliff said as they rounded the bend. Mirage stopped the horse and got off it. She pulled her gun and aimed it at Vox.
“I know.” Mirage said as she pulled the trigger. The blast fired but it hit a shield. “What…” Mirage couldn't believe her eyes. Vox looked over at her and smirked.
“How did he do that?” Cliff glared.
“Unless he…” Mirage frowned. “The Vendeen are helping these people.”
“How do you know?” Cliff asked.
“They're the only ones with that kind of technology.” Mirage answered.
“Your friend failed now you both are going to die.” Vox said. “Get them.”
“That's what you think.” Albel grabbed Nel and jumped off the side of the cliff. Nel screamed out and Vox ran to the side of the cliff.
“Foolish idiot.” Vox said as he watched them fall.
End Chapter Four
Done finally! Yeah I take way too long. So how did everyone like this one? I sure like writing it. So let me know what you think.