By the hands of the Gods, you have been plucked from your time and from your world, dropped into the box.
Only the box is a world of its own.
We are a mass crossover based on the concept of Pandora's Box. Characters from nearly any fandom can be played here. Because of the endless character possibilities, we are canon only here at Pandora. Take a peek at our rules and plot information before starting your new life in Pandora.
The process of slowing down hadn't been sudden. It started with sloppier form, and the feeling that his sword was starting to grow heavy in his grasp. Nothing that had never happened before, and Zack ignored it stubbornly. He ignored the burn of his muscles until it was really, really hard to ignore anymore. He forced himself to keep on swinging, and dodging, and moving, and keeping their attention as far from Cloud's hiding place as possible.
There was a point when Zack actually thought he'd be able to do it. He saw just how many he had cut through, and he wasn't feeling that bad. A bit bloody, with a few new scars, but not that bad. He could do it. He was gonna do it.
It was a bullet that really slowed things down and shifted his thinking, because it hurt and it dragged his reflexes down to shit. Suddenly, it was hard to grasp his sword at all, and it was hard to be aware of anything but the way blood was pouring out of his body. It felt weird and hot and cold all at once. He still dragged himself forward, but he wasn't really thinking about anything anymore. Just next step, next step, next step.
He was definitely going to die. That was okay. He was still okay with it, but it kind of sucked.
Sagging forward, he took a breath and squeezed his eyes shut, summoning another burst of strength and forcing his fingers to curl even tighter around the hilt of his sword. He didn't know what he believed in anymore, but he'd appreciate anyone giving him a bit of strength, just to finish what he started.
Zack opened his eyes, took a step forward, and fell into a writhing pile of black vines. He lost his grip on the sword at last as the world went black, and when he emerged back into the light, he saw an unfamiliar city on the horizon. Blood was still pouring from too many wounds to count, and he staggered at last, caught off guard and slammed with shock. He tried to lean on Buster Sword, but it was gone and Zack hit the ground like a dead weight.
He laughed abruptly, because that was actually a pretty good joke.
"Come on. C'mon, get up. Up up up. Come on." He whispered, fighting through the shock and pain and blood, trying to find his feet. "Gotta get Cloud. Shit, where are we? What the hell happened?"
If Yuna was going to find her staff again, find the person who had stole it from her, she had to go back to Pandopolis City. Even if she didn't particularly want to retread her steps through the city, she needed Nirvana back. Her last reminder of home, of her guardians, of Tidus. It was hard, too, to Summon without her staff, and she hadn't yet even tried a Sending. In her pocket, the Dark Stone rested, the dragon within silent, asleep. She wasn't within the city, yet. Yuna stepped through the grass of a field softly, the wind blowing her hair into her face.
It was peaceful, here. Outside of the hustle-and-bustle of the city. More like the Calm Lands than any type of civilization, but without the gouges in the land that spoke of a battle against Sin. Walking through the grass, eyes set on the city in the distance, Yuna found herself smiling.
And then there was a thump, and laughter that seemed...brittle. Yuna turned to see a heap on the ground, black hair that seemed unnaturally pointed visible, peeking out of tattered clothing and too many wounds. She ran. She had slept, recently, and even if she was now conserving mana for her own sake, he was going to die if she was too slow. In the back of her mind, a voice pointed out that every time she healed a stranger it had led to disaster of one kind or another, but she pushed it aside.
She would not let someone die in front of her, too afraid to help. And, unlike the last person she had healed, he was clearly unarmed.
There were muttered words from the man, but Yuna was too far away to understand them. Stopping in a hurry, she landed on her knees next to him, gathering the mana required for what she was going to do next. Laying a hand on the man's shoulder, hoping that he wouldn't be startled or scared, Yuna breathed. White light started to spread around the wound as she cast the spell. "Curaga," she said quietly, pouring the mana required into the wounds. She didn't know if it would heal everything, but it was a start.
It was probably a good thing that Zack wasn't the type to startle easily, or to immediately assume everything was a threat. He knew SOLDIERs like that - good people, really, but dangerously reactive if something caught them off guard. They were guys you didn't touch from behind unless you were sure they knew you were there, and even then, Zack didn't like approaching them at all unless it was head-on.
Those SOLDIERs would have done their level best to break this girl's arm in at least four places, and even at this point, Zack probably had the strength to do it, but he wasn't like that. He was placid, and he was easygoing, and even if he didn't understand where the hell he was or how he had gotten here, he wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth. So, he breathed in deeply and felt the healing wave sweep through him, patching the worst of his injuries.
Weird that he hadn't seen any materia, but maybe she used a bracer. She was obviously adept at healing at the very least, because he felt better almost immediately. Still tired and sore and stiff, but better. Good enough for confusion to start seeping in, and Zack rolled onto his back and hoisted himself into a sitting position, waving his hand. "That's good enough - seriously! That was some intense healing... you've got a real talent." He smiled, but concern peeked through his expression, and soon took control.
"Hey, listen... where are we? I mean... in relation to Midgar? I'm not sure how I got here. Maybe some kind of crazy materia meltdown...?" He patted his pockets uncertainly, but Zack had never heard of materia causing this kind of thing. It would be too convenient. It was already too convenient to sit well with him.
He squinted at the stranger. "Look, I have a friend. He's kinda short. He's got blonde hair - really pointy, sorta like a chocobo - and he probably... he's sick. He really needs my help. Have you seen him around? His name's Cloud, but he might not answer you. He's-- I really need him to be around here. I really, really need him to be around here."