Chapter 23c: Operation Novum

Narration: Following the defeat of Garuda, the Heroes of Eorzea made their way back to the City-State of Gridania where a meeting of grave importance was being held. Leaders of Eorzea’s three Grand Companies the Maelstrom, The Immortal Flames, and The Order of the Twin Adder gathered at the Lotus Strand following the report that Evogolist Lunaire had returned with, via his trip to Mor Dhona. The report revealed that the Garleans had completed construction of their base in Mor Dhona and in the center of that very base was a transmitter pulling Dalamud closer and closer to the land.

Believing the Garleans to be a threat to all of Eorzea, the three Grand Company leaders thought it best to reinstate the Eorzean Alliance. Thus, on the Twentieth day of the Sixth Astral Sun, soldiers of the grand companies launched their attack on Castrum Novum.

Maelstrom Private: These guys are a straight up push over!

Twin Adder Private: Yeah, it’s hard to believe that we’ve been afraid of these guys the entire time.

Immortal Flame Sergeant: Foolish girl, you Gridanians who speak to imaginary spirits, it’s a wonder you haven’t been conquered by them yet. We Ul’dahns fear nothing, not even our own death.

Maelstrom Sergeant: Tough talk coming from a former Ala Mhigan.

Immortal Flame Sergeant: Grr…

Narration: Too caught up in their bickering, the group of soldiers are unaware of the ambush of Garlean soldiers waiting for them. And then without warning, the group was surrounded. The tried to fight their way out, but more soldiers, wolves, and Magitek appeared before them. The group was soon to surrender, that is until a barrage of arrows came raining down on the Garleans. When the group opened their eyes and looked leaping over them was Ruki Trevek.

Ruki Trevek: A fine time to a have e-peen contest.

Narration: Occupied with assisting the ambushed group, Ruki was unaware of the one Garlean attempting to sneak attack him. Unfortunately for that soldier, Ruki wasn’t alone.

Pos: HA!
And that’s how you sneak attack someone!

Now, who has a problem with Gridanians?

Narration: Pos stood there basking in all his glory. The Immortal Flame that had made the comment was surprisingly speechless after witnessing the two adventurers in action. Elsewhere, aside from Ruki and Pos, Zeriah, Nuvea, and Neya assisted the remaining other groups of adventurers. Zeriah as per usual, was against the younglings coming along, but they needed all the help they could muster. Besides, it wasn’t the first time Nuvea had faced a threat like this and until the Garleans were defeated, it most likely would not be her last.

Meanwhile, Evo and his party made their way through the back route that had been laid out for them. Arriving at serious of gates, they snuch their way into the base, taking out any who stood in their way. When they arrived at the final gate, Evo took a minute to ensure that everyone was prepared.

Evogolist: Okay guys, this is it.
Once we enter, there is no turning back.
Through that door lies the end to all of this madness.
But also, Van Darnus may be there as well.

Milyah: There’s no need to ask.
I’m sure we all made up our minds the other day.

Caireann: Evo hun, we knew what we were signing up for.

Onias: You wouldn’t be having second thoughts now would you son?

Evogolist: Not in a million years.

Silvermane: Than what are we waiting for!?
It’s not like death’s gonna come any quicker.

Wedge: We are so gonna die Biggs.

Biggs: Yeah, tell me about it.

Narration: And thus, Evo opened the final gate, making his way into the Garlean Base. Before the group stood the transmitter, emitting it signal to Dalamud and back. Zeph looked around and noticed that other than a Magitek Vanguard, there was little to no security.

Zephon: Is it just me or does the lack of security in this place creep you guys out?

Narration: Asked Zeph in a whispering tone. Silver, in her overconfidence, shrugs it off as nothing and makes her way towards the transmitter. A mistake she would come to regret.

Silvermane: Aw, stop being such a scaredy cat.
We’re here, so let’s just smash the damn thing and go home.

Onias: Kitten no! Wait!!

Narration: Suddenly the alarm goes off and the lone Magitek Vanguard awakens, targeting Evo and crew.

Evo: Silver, you just had to didn’t you?

Silvermane: Geez, give me a break.
It’s not like the rest of you were going to do anything other than stare at the damn thing.

Onias: KITTEN!!

Silvermane: Rawr!!!

Narration: Marching towards them, the Vanguard begins targeting the group of adventurers. Zeph is quick to grab the Vanguard’s attention, buying everyone time to destroy the generators and transmitter. Evo in the meantime, devises a plan of attack.

Evogolist: Okay quickly, while Zeph is holding that thing Dad, Caire, SIlver, and Biggs destroy the generators powering the shield around that thing. We can’t get close to the transmitter with that thing still up. Meanwhile Star and Wedge you keep Zeph healed as much as possible. Milyah, you and I will be on lookout.

Wedge: How come the Scrag gets the easy job?

Biggs: Yeah! No fair!

Onias: Just do it or the two of you are going to be swabbing the deck floor for the rest of the year.

Narration: Thus, Operation Novum took place.

While Zeph held the Vanguard’s attention, Onias, Caire, Silver, and Biggs smashed and crushed the generators around the room. As the first the generator went down, the Vanguard turned it’s attention from Zeph to Biggs, who was frightened out of his wits as the Vanguard headed towards him.

Zephon: Uh…guys, it’s no longer attacking me!

Biggs: YES!!
I got one!

Silvermane: Biggs you stupid idiot, pay attention!!

Biggs: Huh?
W-Whoa!!!

Get it off!! Get it off of me!!

Silvermane: Just run you stupid bucket head!!

Evogolist: Heads up guys, we got incoming company!
Milyah, you ready for this?

Milyah: Don’t worry about me, let’s just get rid of these bastards.

Narration: Biggs ran around the room screaming and yelling as the Magitek Vanguard continued to chase him. Meanwhile, Zeph joined Evo and Milyah in taking down the Garlean soldiers that had showed up. Soon another generator was down and the Vanguard then turned it’s attention to Silver.

Onias: Kitten, it’s on you!

Silvermane: I can see that!
It’s go time!

Biggs: Whew…whew….I thought…that thing…would never stop…chasing me.

Wedge: There there Biggs, it’s all over now.

Narration: Said Wedge as he comforted Biggs and healed him up. Meanwhile Silver tried her best to hold the Vanguard, completely opposite of what she had advised Biggs to do early on i the fight.

Silvermane: Hey you! Healer girl, how about a heal or two!?

Starsabre: Right! I’m on it!

Narration: The battle continued on until the final generator fell. With all three generators now destroyed, the shield surrounding the transmitter was now down, allowing the party to destroy the transmitter once and for all. Caire and Onias then turned their attention to the transmitter, smashing it, swinging, and stabbing it, destroying it the best way they knew how. Garlean steel was strong and the transmitter was taking longer than it should have. And so, as the last group of Garlean soldiers went down Evo and Milyah joined Onias and Caire, with Zeph teaming up with Silver to hold off the Vanguard.

Finally, after long-while, the transmitter was destroyed and the signal was no longer being sent to Dalamud. Even the Magitek Vanguard ceased to operate after the transmitter was destroyed. Evo and group jumped for joy as the transmitter sizzled and popped, and soon finally exploding.

Outside the base, everyone involved with the operation cheered and jumped for joy as they saw the signal from the base fade to nothingness.

Nuvea: They did it Auntie Zee!!
They Did it!!

Zeriah: Evo…

Ruki: Well I’ll be…
They pulled it off.

Pos: I think we did pretty damn good ourselves.

Syn: Aw, are you two gonna kiss and make up now?

Pos: Don’t push it Syn.

Ruki: I think I’m gonna be sick again.

Narration: The party inside the base continued to celebrate themselves.

Starsabre: We did it…
I can’t believe we actually beat the Garleans.

Evogolist: It’s a start Star.
Small as it may be, it’s a start.

Silvermane: Take that! And that! And that!!
Rawwwrrrr!!!

Narration: Shouted Silver as she continued to smash the Vanguard to bits. The Heroes of Eorzea were prepared to head home, but fate would have it, darkness and death lingered in the air and it was soon to find them.

Onias: Huh?
Son!! Watch out!!

Evogolist: Dad!!

Narration: Shouted Onias as he leaped in front of Evo, taking a blast meant for him. When everyone looked entering the base was a highly displeased and upset Nael Van Darnus.

Starsabre: No…
it’s him….
Nael Van Darnus….

Narration: Star tripped over her gown as she tried to back away from Van Darnus. Silver grips her axe, wanting payback for their encounter with Van Darnus following their victory over Ifrit, but for some reason her legs wouldn’t move.

Nael Van Darnus: That the thrashing of mere beasts could interrupt Dalamud’s descent…
By your hand, the lunar transmitter lies shattered, and Dalamud floats aloft, bereft of guidance. It would seem that I have sorely underestimated you… Bah, animals were ever at their most dangerous when cornered.

Caireann: Why!? Why are you doing this!?

Nael Van Darnus: The realm has seen six cycles of death and rebirth, yet man refuses to learn from his mistakes. Ever does he find a way to defile the sanctity of creation, and so the cycle must persist.

But no more, for I shall halt the turning of this wheel of darkness! He has willed that it be so, and so must it be! Dalamud’s coming shall cleanse the realm of its foul taint! Only the wicked would refuse His gift of purity! Only the wicked would seek to prevent His return!

Your sins shall not go unpunished! A thousand deaths take you and yours!

Narration: With an emitting bluish aura, Van Darnus raises his weapon to sky, beckoning for Dalamud’s power. His aura then turns red and as he lowers his lance, he aims it at the damaged transmitter as well as Evo and company.

Wegde: Well, it was a pleasure knowing you…Gibbs.

Biggs/Gibbs: Yeah, you too Dewege, you too.

Zephon: Grrrr….

Narration: Zeph quickly runs over, trying his best to shield everyone with his shield, but he struggles to hold off Van Darnus’ power.

Caireann: ZEPH!!!

Starsabre: NOOO!!!

Narration: Shouts Star as she leaps up and jumps in front of everyone. And from deep down, she casts a powerful barrier spell, much like the one Y’shtola cast when Evo first arrived in Eorzea. The barrier is powerful enough to hold off Van Darnus’ attack, but Star drops to her knees as the spell has drained her. The room surrounding them however, is lit with blue fire and as Van Darnus walks away drunken with power, praises that of Dalamud whilst taunting Evo and company.

Nael Van Darnus: Now do I make mine ascent to the realm on high, there to meet with Dalamud! In the name of House Darnus, I shall bring the wisdom of ancient Allag to bear and make ready a feast in honor of the divine!

Bear witness as the curtains rise upon new creation! Ahahahaha!

And you, foolish adventurer… You will die.

Narration: Van Darnus vanishes within the raging fire, having the last laugh and stealing the joy and celebration of their victory. Meanwhile, Evo holds Onias, whose life essence has begun to fade.

Evogolist: Dad!! Dad!!
Dad, answer me, please!?

Narration: As Evo holds Onias, Onias, bloodied and mortally wounded, opens his eyes.

Onias: S-Son, you’re…okay.

Evogolist: Dad, please, don’t talk.

Onias: Here, take my sword.

Evogolist: W-Why?

Onias: I…I am…not long for this world.

Evogolist: Dad, no, Dad listen to me, Star is going to fix you up.
Star’s gonna fix you up and make you better. Right Star?

Star!?

Narration: Star rushes and tries her best to heal Onias, but the damage was too severe and there was little to naught she could do.

Evogolist: Star!! Hurry up and heal him!!

Starsabre: I’m trying!! I’m trying!!

Evogolist: Star…please?
Dad, please don’t leave me? Please don’t leave me?

Onias: Remember…my words…they are…they are…your family now…teach them…lead them…

Narration: Evo nods, and then finally Onias takes his last breath. His hand drops to the floor and the last of his essence exits his body. Evo holds him close crying as loud and as hard as he could. Milyah wraps her arms around Evo to comfort him, all the while crying herself. Caire and Zeph in turn, wrap their arms around Evo and Mily. Even Silver begins to cry.

Silvermane: S-Stupid old man…who…who’s gonna…yell at me now.

Narration: After a bit, Evo finds the will to carry his father out of the Garlean base. Caire tries to stop him and asks to let them help, but he doesn’t listen.

Evogolist: I-I have to get him out of here.

Caireann: Evo hun, let us help you.

Evogolist: I-I have to get him out of here.

Zephon: Evo…

Milyah: No, just leave him.
I’ll help him.

Narration: As the group exits the base, everyone stands waiting for the Heroes of the Day to emerge, but instead of a moment of cheers and celebration, they’re met with sadness and tears.

Nuvea: Here they come!!

Pos: Huh?

Ruki: Wait?
Something isn’t right.

Zeriah: Father…No!!

Narration: Zeriah looks and notices Evo carrying their father. She drops down crying knowing all too well what it means. Nuvea looks closer and takes off running towards Evo.

Nuvea: Grandpa!! Grandpa!!!

Grandpa wake up! Grandpa!! Wake up!!

Narration: Cries Nuvea as she throws herself over Onias’ body. Members of the three grand companies bow and lower their heads, each saddened by not only the death of Onias, but also, the deaths of their comrades in arms.

Star steps out from the base wiping tears from eyes. She then looks around the battlefield only to see the ground of Mor Dhona littered with the bodies of those who have fallen. She drops down to her knees, weeping for all of those who have fallen at the hands of Garlemald. She then wonders to herself if the terrors and nightmares will ever end.

Over the course of the next few days, Onias is laid to rest. Two funerals were held. One in Limsa Lominsa, were he was honored as Commodore Onias alongside that of Milyah’s brother Captain Kilyah Crystari. As each member of the Thalassocracy saluted a shot rang out from the cannons of every Lominsan Ship docked. Even the citizens of the City-State weeped as they said goodbye to one of their most beloved heroes.

The second funeral took place back Gridania, where Evo, Zeriah, Nuvea, and Milyah mourned the loss of a father, the loss of a brother and honored the deaths of Chydie, Cera, and Evo and Zeriah’s mother Survia Lunaire. Kan-E-Senna led the procession personally, honoring the fallen heroes.

Deep in the Twelveswood, Evo trained alone. Pain and anger filled his heart as flashbacks of his those of whom he’s lost flashed before his very eyes. Swinging his father’s sword, Evo swung at the wind as fast and as hard as he could.

For a moment he stops.

He drops Onias’ sword feeling defeated. Despite all of which he’d done, he couldn’t protect those who mattered most. Not Chyldie, not Cera, not Nuvea, nor that of Kilyah. And now of people, his father. Though the had made up the day before that fateful day, Evo regretted arguing with Onias. He’d said something he knew was wrong. He wished that he could take it back, but it was too late. For the second time in his life, he’d lost his father.

Suddenly he hears a voice.

“Pick it up!” shouted the voice.

Evo looked around, he recognized that voice. It was his father’s voice. From beyond the grave, Onias was guiding Evo, demanding him not to give up.

Evo picked up Onias’ Flametounge and as he held up the sword and closed his eyes, he remembered Onias’ words.

Onias: Those are some mighty good friends you got there.

Take care of them.
Lead them, protect them, for they’re not just your friends, they’re your family.
The coming battle will be tough, but I’m sure you can handle it, because I believe in you.

You’re MY hero and you will always be.

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