Facil felt himself flow through the grains of the underground as if it were water. His wristcom already at work masking his face for air circulation. Despite his protected vision, He was still blinded by the grains brushing against his visor, unable to see past the specks. He felt himself wrapped around a scaly back. The hedgehog could only think of one reptile who would risk life and limb to pluck him from harms way.
"Baso?" Facil spoke, though quickly figured his savior couldn't hear him beyond his mask. His words would have to wait until they resurfaced. Until then, Facil enjoyed the leisure of what it was like to be an antlion. His cares slipped away into the soft caress of the ground parting ways before them.
Resurfacing, both Facil and company had launched straight into the air, Facil had ended up detaching, his limbs flailing about as he flew. Eventually his rescuer blew past him in a puff of sand, reforming at the ground meters out, ready to receive the falling hedgehog. "Ooof!" The hedgehog grunted as he landed haphazardly into safety's arms.
"...Looks like I was a little too late," Baso's true voice uttered in regret, pulling the hedgehog's attention on him. The crocodile's words had Facil's thoughts falling back down last, hitting him hard than his landing.
"Yeah..." Facil was at a loss of words as the crocodile released him back onto his feet. Facil turned around, finding himself at the outskirts of the city, the sand tornado still continued to rage without falter. The winds howling was heard in the distance, sending a cold chill down the hedgehog's spine. "...What about the others?" His concern drew to those who were still alive.
"Your guess is as good as mine..." Baso admitted with a sorry sigh, placing a hand on the hedgehog's shoulder, taking part in the hedgehog's silent grieving. Facil shrugged him off, unsatisfied with his answer.
"We have to go back!" The hedgehog marched off towards the storm, only to get pulled back in by the arm. There was no way he would be able to get back in by himself. He would need the crocodile's help if he were to get anywhere.
"...I have to go back." Baso walked on, facing towards the hedgehog as he traced his steps backwards. "You stay here, where you're safe," he gestured open palms at Facil, motioning him to stay put.
"No! I'm not gonna stand around and do nothing anymore!" Facil stomped after the crocodile, his stubbornness even getting on Baso's nerves. The crocodile forcefully pushed Facil back.
"This isn't your fight! The Burrow isn't something for fools to mess around with!" Baso argued back, getting frustrated. "Your commander signed a death wish the moment she left Vera to die in the sand!" The crocodile's reply hit the hedgehog the wrong way, only fueling the fire more.
"So this is Myra's fault now? Might I remind you who fucked with who first, hm?" Facil got into Baso's face, standing toe to toe with him, rising himself higher to send the point home. "Or are you really still loyal to those sandy assholes?" Baso was taken aback by the aggressiveness the hedgehog was giving off towards.
"What? This isn't about loyalty! If you knew the Burrow as well as I did, you would stay the hell away! Just the act of harming a hair on their head will get your head served on a silver platter!" The crocodile tried his best to convey the dire consequences of intervening in the matters of the Burrow.
"Why didn't you help finish the job back when we were rescued? You're just as responsible for Myra's death then!" Facil continued to lay on the verbal lashing, hoping to get the crocodile to stand down. Baso hesitated for awhile, he was well aware that he knew completely and refused to lift a finger. "...Your loyalty is showing," the hedgehog shoved the crocodile aside, continuing his march. Baso watched in silence as his friend abandoned him.
"...You're really going to let him get away with saying that to you?" Another voice sullied the air. An all too familiar one. It reached both Facil and Baso's ears, pulling their attention back. Both of their faces fell agape, it was none other than the maned wolf, standing all alone this time around.
"Vera!" Baso was at a loss for words. He was sure he lost her trail. But now the jig was up. Here he was, not only conversing with the enemy, but her prey as well. "I..."
"You!" Facil drew back to the crocodile's side, "You have a lot of nerve coming after us!" the hedgehog conjured two blades from each com, ready to confront her... With or without the crocodile's help.
"Facil! Let me handle this!" Baso attempted to pull the hedgehog back, only to have his hand shed with a cold shoulder.
"He has the heart of a warrior, you really have an eye for them, prince," the wolf shined a sinister grin at the duo.
"Shut up!" Facil barked over the wolf, taking a readied stance. "Just shut up!" the hedgehog gripped his blades tighter. He knew his chances were slim, but the lost of his friend and betrayal of another, he wouldn't be able to live with himself otherwise. Myra deserved a fighting chance, this was all he could give.
"Make me," Vera egged the hedgehog on, hoping to see his mettle and toy around with him in the process. Facil didn't waste another second of thought, he struck the infuriating harpy where she stood... Or so he thought. Like Myra, he too fell for the antlion's trickery. The sour stunt only made the hedgehog angrier, putting fury into his motions and swings.
"I swear to god!" Facil declared with a swing and a miss. "I'll make you pay!" His blades cutting nothing but air. "If it's the last thing I do!" The hedgehog began to lose breath, wasting his energy fighting an elusive target that was impossible to hit. It didn't take long for Facil to end up heaving on all fours.
"What's the matter? Is the bundle of quills fagged?" She laughed at her own play on words, hoping to inspire a second wind out of the hedgehog through his anger. As much as her words got under his skin, he could't push himself to charge at her. Gasping for air, he turned to the idle crocodile.
"What are you doing?" Facil wheezed, wondering what Baso's issues was. "Pick a side!" He rasped trying to form a growl. "Or I'll pick one for you!" He threw a threat at the crocodile, willing to slay him for the sin of standing by.
"I..." Baso was in a deadlock. He desperately longed to help his friend who might being breathing his last breaths in this very moment... But he didn't want to smack the hornet's nest that was the Burrow. The crocodile found himself between a rock and a thorny place. Before Baso could do come up with a definitive answer, Facil charged for him with swords outstretched, ready to run his blades through him.
Feeling he deserved the hedgehog's wrath, the crocodile braced himself for Facil's onslaught. Closing his eyes and barring his face with his arms, he waited for the pain to begin... But it wasn't delivered. Peeking back out from his guard, Baso found Facil skewered upon the maned wolf's pike arm, raised in the air as he slowly slid down her arm.
"Facil!" Baso cried out, unable to act against the tragedy that took place. Facil's eyes struggled to hold onto life, He bled onto her as his life force slowly faded away.
"Oh? You have feelings for the little twerp?" She glanced back at the devastated crocodile. Her menacing smile sucking the last bit of innocence from his scarred mind. "How touching..." She glanced back to the dying hedgehog, brushing his hair from his eyes with her free hand. "Might as well say your goodbyes while you're at it, prince," Vera dispersed into the wind from head to toe, leaving gravity to watch after Facil.
Speechless, the crocodile rushed to the hedgehog's side, catching him before he could collapse onto the ground. "Fa-Facil... It'll be okay. Just hang on... I can fix this! I just need some time! Hang in there!" Baso clutched onto the bleeding hedgehog. He glanced around, it would be a challenge to lug his friend's battered body anywhere.
Though his attention was stolen by a raised, feeble hand, guided by the hedgehog. "The stars... Are falling," He managed to work out before the blood started to bubble up through his mouth. His arm fell, down to his side, as Baso glanced up to where Facil directed him. Seeing streaks of light going in and out of the storm.
"What the..." Baso hadn't seen anything like it before. He tried to focus on the specks, but could make out what exactly the blinding lights were. He couldn't stay glued to it too long, Facil's fate was in his hands, he had to drag him to safety. Underground travel was out of the question with the lethal wounds the hedgehog sustained.
Facil rasped has blood flooded his lung, he was already fading, going completely limp in the crocodile's hands. "NO! STAY WITH ME!" Baso shook the hedgehog lightly, hoping to spark a little bit of life back. Honestly, there was nothing the crocodile could do for him. Anything that could benefit the dying hedgehog was miles upon miles away. "FACIL!" WIthout thinking, Baso sent the essence of his power into his hand, there was only one option left... Sacrifice.
Facil's com arm began to sound off with a repetitive beep, holding of Baso's irrationality for the time being. "Executing... Lunar Dragoon Protocol," The com arm spoke as it began to run the program. Baso stood down, recalling his power as Facil's com arm began to glow instead. Eventually the glow over took the hedgehog's entire body, fitting him in an armor of pure white radiance as it slowly took shape. The crocodile laid the hedgehog out as he scooted back, giving the hedgehog space.
"...Facil?" The crocodile was trying extremely hard not to freak out, unable to process what was he was witnessing. The bleeding had ceased, Baso could only wonder if his wounds were being treated as well. He stuck by the hedgehog's side through out the entire fitting. "Facil?" Baso tried again once the beeping stopped. There couldn't be anyway for the com arm to go through the entire process of decking out a dying body for it to just remain dead. "...Are you... Okay?" Felt like a redundant question, but he asked it anyways.
Without a word, the hedgehog pulled his head up, then his torso. The ease and flow of his moment had no signs of being held back by injury. His sight met instantly with the crocodile's. "You're okay!" Baso's tears began to flow, his swirl of emotions unable to hold them back anymore.
The silence faded back in for a moment, only for the hedgehog to lash out at the crocodile once again, scraping him just above the eye with a sword emitting the same radiance. Baso fell back and scrambled to his feet, the emotions only building up more. He didn't doubt he deserved the abuse for what had happened. But it didn't relent.
Facil sprang to his feet faster than he ever could, already taking battle stance as he studied the crocodile's shape and form. "...What are you doing?!" Baso shouted at him as the crocodile stayed on his toes. A gust of wind blew up to Baso's side, take the shape of maned wolf as she solidified next to him.
"What did you say to him to make him angry?" He snicked, taking great pleasure in the chaos that was developing between them. She placed her hands on the crocodile's shoulders, leaning over to whisper into his ear, "I'm sure you can handle this one though," she left as swiftly as she returned.
Baso swallowed hard as he felt Vera's grip dissipating from his frame. He would have to face the hedgehog down alone. He had to get through to Facil, beg and plead if need be. "Facil! Pull yourself together!"
Facil's armor and blade grew brighter, nearly blinding the crocodile as he sped at the crocodile in his light speed attack. There was no time for Baso to react, Facil's newfound skills had him outmatched in every aspect. All the crocodile could was brace himself for the result. It took awhile for the effect to kick in. Baso's upper half ended up sliding off his hips, toppling onto the hard ground below.
Baso quickly came too, watching his lower half follow suit. This was going to take some buffing out, but it wasn't even close to be life threatening. Facil took his time walking back to the crocodile. Retreating into the ground would have been a great idea... If Baso had his legs to help swim. Instead, his scooted backwards, flailing about to put the distance between him and the gaining hedgehog.
The chase didn't last long, ending with two blades of light stabbed into the ground just above his shoulders. "Get a hold of yourself Facil!" Baso tried to get through to the silent soldier. "I didn't mean for this to happen! None of this is my fault! I wanted Myra alive just as much as you!" The hedgehog had let the crocodile speak, knowing these words would likely be his last. "My only mistake was that I was too late to reach you!" Facil pulled one of his bladed out, raising it above the crocodile's chest. "Don't do this!" Baso began to panic as he watched everything he worked for crumble before his eyes.
Vera had intervened once more before the execution could take place, grappling onto the hedgehog to take the heat off of the crocodile. "I can't have you offing the prince now!" She wrestled with him, attempt to reenact their hostage situation though aiming for more thorough results. Facil's neck refused to budge, the armor already taking the precaution to such measures. "Rrrr, he's still the Burrow's best agent!" Baso reeled at her words, knowing she was lying to fuel the hedgehog vehement rage.
There was no use speaking up for himself, the crocodile's credibility was shattered in the eyes of the Facil. Baso took the opportunity to flee into the ground, he wouldn't be able to get far, but he would be able to hide away and bide his time as he recovered. Facil's armor flared up, emitting pure light radiation. Vera screamed out in pain only for a moment as her cries were silenced instantly.
As the light dimmed, all that was left of her was an icy glass shell, frozen in a hellish moment for the rest of eternity. With the wolf nuisance solved and Baso well far away, Facil had wasted no time regrouping with the other Lunar Dragoons defending the city. The hedgehog lost himself to the fight, any little fiber connected to his nature had died, leaving him a cold blooded warrior.
Ever body, soul and mind against him and Empyrean were cut down mercilessly with his light and blade. The slaughter had dragged on for minutes, the minutes slipping into hours until the antlion assault ceased. Facil was already mentally asleep inside his armor as the com prepared to end the execution.
The com directed him to the top of a dilapidated skyscraper, bowed at an angle from the mayhem of the storm. Perched in a nest of twisted and torn steel, wiring and plaster, Facil was laid to rest as his armor dissolved, leaving him in only his swim trunks. Only the moonlight was there to watch over him as the dust settled and the clouds parted. Below, Empyrean soldiers immediately went to work with rescue operations. Save those still alive and recovering bodies left behind in the wreckage.
Facil was spared the trauma and stress for the time being, his body recuperating the energy spent in a sleep-like stasis. His dreams were filled with soothing memories of the past, played on repeat. The world moved on as he clung to the past. Empyrean busy recovering their losses, Baso making himself scarce for the time being... And the rest of his friends, who could say where they were admit the dying pandemonium.
The hedgehog hadn't thought of their well being in the slightest since witnessing the death of his best friend, her tragedy plagued his waking existence. What was he to do now? The thought hadn't crossed his mind, but it wouldn't take long for it to rear its ugly head into his. Now with no one left from his past life to cling onto, what was the point of going on?
He would have to wrestle with himself. A war of depression against preservation would be waged within. It would be the strongest it's ever been. All the strength in the world would be required for the hedgehog to hold on. If only he could stay in his dream world a little while longer. Forever even. The real world had become too much for the sheltered hedgehog to handle.
Who could he relate to? Who could he confide in? No one had a deep connection with him as Myra had. Yuki, Cid, nor Baso could break that icy barrier and after today, that barrier would only grow. Plus being alone in a rough tough, nitty gritty world like this, did he even stand a chance anymore?
Just a little longer. Facil could feel the dreams slowly slip away. In desperation, he clung onto anything he could. There was no way in the world he would wake up to face the cold new world before him. He didn't want to be reminded that his best friend was gone for good. He denied the fact that the last of his old life was dead and gone, but wishing wouldn't do a single thing. From now on, there would be no going back.