“I’m already too much of a symbol to these people.”
-Darien, upon seeing the Alexander-inspired Striestadt Separatists symbol.
Kogel and Kalil accompanied Darien to Striestadt to check on the Highwind’s status and for Darien to publicly thank Governor Martine for his help in their largely-private battle against Hades and the mysterious castle. Kogel received a call from Rato with a bit of information — houses in Donnerich being sold for gil on the gillion, and three shell companies all reporting back to one core company under a man from Kogel’s past — Forsk, with Gold Saucer Entertainment last time Kogel checked in.
The news that caught Darien’s ear, though, was Martine privately telling him that he planned to retire at the end of the month. Martine felt that he was no longer the leader that Striestadt needed. Martine’s skills were in economy above all else, and he felt that Striestadt needed a true politician first and foremost. Darien told Martine he wasn’t interested in the position. Kogel and Kalil took part in a brief philosophical battle, but put it on hold to investigate the explosion outside the city a few days before.
Explosions In The Sky
“Will said their findings were very inconclusive, unfortunately, due to a high presence of Striestadt officials and Donnerich officials at the site trying to battle over who got to inspect it first. They weren’t able to do a thorough investigation as a result, but they gathered what intel they could.”
“Why would Donnerich officials be present?”
“Politics. Fear that it was testing some kind of weapon. There’s a lot of frustration on all sides right now. The explosion took place roughly at 11:30 PM, according to reports from people living in the general area, mostly farmers and a few people traveling to Night’s Run who heard the sound on the road. One person claims to have witnessed a blinding light like the flash of a thunderbolt right before they heard the sound. No one was harmed; the area hit by the explosion was wilderness. Trees splintered, rocks pulverized, ground torn up, but no bodies recovered.”
-Darien and Kogel
The group fanned out to investigate upon arriving at the detonation site. Kalil confirmed that the explosion didn’t match the shape of any charges he knew. Kogel took the previous investigation’s report of mysterious feelings (Will saying one section made him “all tingly”) and translated that into a Regen-like effect for materia. The explosion was from a moving detonation source, not just planted. The explosion was not Time-based, as their stopwatch test came back negative. The explosion happened in midair, due to the pattern of vegetation. There was a distinct lack of debris, however, which puzzled them. Kogel’s perimeter inspection confirmed that nothing was summoned out of the blast. Using Kalil’s Elemental-linked armor, the party shifted materia to try and determine what materia removed the “tingly” feeling.
It turned out to be Holy.
The party ran through the list of people they knew who had the capability of using Holy-based energy, and their whereabouts during the time of the explosion.
Alexander (absent along with Darien)
Trias (in Paradise at the Cathedral of Alexander)
Madain (Tomogara Ascendant, and with Kalil during the time of the explosion)
Yuna (captured by Hades)
General Leo (absent along with Darien)
Brotherhood (with Kogel in pocket world)
Religious iconography was also found etched into the explosion itself — Darien spotted it by following lines through rocks that matched when looked at from a certain perspective. The script was known by Kogel, having seen it inside the hastily-erected churches of Alexander on Quel’Malar. Naoko translated it (via text message) as “something about sinning and the word for glory. She says the grammar is multiple subjects, hostile and meant to condemn.”
Darien found the same phrase on a picture Kalil sent him from the Striestadt Separatists location, a picture of Darien fighting Ultima Weapon in Striestadt and the following quotes: “For all have sinned and shall be born in the glory, and He shall shine his Divine Judgment upon thee,” at the top of the image, and a quote from Darien at the bottom: “I feel that Striestadt’s technological ingenuity is among the best gifts it can give the rest of Damocles.”
Darien theorized that the Striestadt Separatists were building their own Alexander; perhaps not an Aeon, but a mobile battlestation with Holy energy acquired from somewhere. The blast came from the northeast, pointing to the small mining town of Irvan or the Boryokudan-controlled city of Murond. A flyover confirmed that Irvan was the location of the explosion, and the party left after that confirmation, no one feeling very good about what they discovered.
Kalil and Kogel both earned 3 LP.
Naoko earned a bonus LP for assisting via text message.