Thanks to Juvi, the group easily found a way into the sewers. It was getting late and they had to move fast, so with flashlights at the ready, they began their journey down the damp, fetid tunnels. Despite there being little light coming from above, the group were able to keep a decent pace, which would usually mean they’d make it to Sector 5 within a reasonable amount time, but that would be too easy. They stop dead in their tracks when they heard chittering coming from the passage beyond and it was getting closer by the second. Soon enough, they were bombarded by swarms of a type of beetle known as a Ceasar. Juvi had heard of them before and what she heard wasn’t good. Individually they weren’t a problem—one good stomp and goodnight—but a swarm, that was a different story. Their pincer-like jaws could bite through metal, nevermind flesh.
So far, the group seemed to luck out. As hundreds of Ceasar crawled and flew past them, they didn’t seem to care about sinking their teeth in, but that luck soon ran out. The Ceaser seemed to be getting bigger, until they were faced with several human sized specimens. These decided not to ignore the fine meal in front of them. They were blocking the tunnel and the group had no choice but to cut through them. Easier said than done. Ichi made the first move, raining down a hail of bullets. Each one hit their mark, but there was a problem—the Ceasar’s hard elytra protected it from the gun fire. The bullets bounced around the tunnel like an old pinball machine and there was no high score. That ruled out one option.
Rag followed with a powerful cut to the front line. As he sliced through the beetle, he managed to chip off a piece, but it wasn’t enough to penetrate through its tough carapace. It was going to take a few more slices before they’d go down, which Rag was perfectly fine with. Aki, with her naivete of actual combat, ran right into the fray and was immediately set upon by the swarm. With fewer and fewer options, this was going to be a major problem, and the group had to think fast. At that moment, Juvi remembered that insects are cold-blooded and she had just the thing. She activated her ice materia, which worked like a charm, turning the Ceasar into popsicles. They didn’t know what hit them. It took some time, but in the end they were able to crush the opposition under foot—quite literally. They were only halfway to their destination and had to keep moving, after some healing from Aki of course.
Another couple of hours later, they could see the large pipe that would finally lead them to the exit. The pipe wasn’t too high off the ground, but was spewing run off from above which, collected into a large basin. Fortunately, it wasn’t much water so walking to the pipe wasn’t going to be a problem. Unfortunately, the team could see humanoid shadows move around near the end and that was definitely a problem. At first, they were afraid that ShinRa had gotten ahead of them and was waiting for an ambush, but Ichi knew better. The shadows didn’t move like ShinRa, so he was sure that an ambush was unlikely. The group was sure they weren’t noticed, but they could see them either, so Juvi quietly went to scout ahead.
As she hugged the wall, Juvi slowly proceeded forward and discovered one of the creatures waiting in the pipe as a lookout. She had never seen anything like them before in the sewers. They were, essentially, humanoid fish complete with gills and wielding menacing looking spears. When she returned, both Rag and Mal had an idea of what they were—the Sahuagin. They had never dealt with them personally, but the fish-men had a reputation for being ruthless raiders of nearby fishing villages. They’d never heard accounts of them going into Midgar or any other large city, however, and that didn’t bode well, putting everyone on edge.
They didn’t have the time nor the strength to take them out, so they came up with a plan to stealthily take down the one in the pipe, since that’s where they needed to go anyway. Juvi tried her best, but just as she neared the pipe, she slipped into the water, altering the lookout—and he alerted the others. They were coming in fast, but the group was faster and were able to knockout the lookout, making a break for the exit. Finally, the less stagnant air of the slums washed over their faces again. Over a little more walking, they could see the Sector 5 church ahead and waiting for them was the person Juvi was talking to on the phone.
It was a little past 1 am and it was cold. The woman had her back turned to the group and they could see her rubbing her arms and checking her watch. Perfect timing. Juvi thought it would be assuming to give her a little scare, but her scent gave away her position. The woman turned around and upon seeing Juvi, embraced her, giving her a passionate kiss. It was short-lived, however, as the smell overtook her senses. They all needed a shower and a shower they would get. The woman, introducing herself as Faye Gunn (but they could her “Chain”), was tall and athletic, had wild hair, and was covered in tattoos and piercings. She lead them to her apartment building, which was closer to the Sector 5 & 6 border.
After climbing several flights stair, and passing by a wino, they arrived at their temporary safe-house. The place was relatively neat and organized, but Aki couldn’t imagine people living like this and Ichi had only seen places like this during raids. Rag and Mal had a slightly different perspective—this was one of the nicest places they had ever seen in the slums and well furnished too. There was a stained couch, beat-up recliner, and even a television. Chain gave them the grand tour—kitchen, living area, bathroom—everything they needed. A cursory look in her refrigerator would reveal nothing but a six-pack and a prayer.
Chain retrieved a bottle of whisky from a kitchen cabinet and encouraged everyone to start talking, as she poured herself glass. Aki politely gave an account of what happened, as much as she was willing to reveal. Chain wasn’t impressed. She told them to hit the showers and get some sleep for tomorrow’s events. Ichi took the couch, which had an excellent view of the door, rifle at his side. That left Aki with the recliner and the boys with the floor. They were used to it, so no biggie. Juvi stayed with Chain in the bedroom. What a surprise. As everyone drifted to sleep, they all had the feeling it was going to get a lot worse before it got any better.
- 50 AP
- 10 Gil