Tara had asked Dawn to fly over the temple before sitting down at the Kilika Docks. As the ship passed over they could see the fiends coming out of the temple in waves. What surprised them when Dawn sat the ship down at the docks- was Kilika village was calm with no fiends. Glancing around the girls ran to the only person that would tell them what was going on.
"What brings you here?" Cordelia asked when the girls ran inside her hut.
"The fiends! Where the hell are they?" Faith asked looking back at the calm village.
Cordelia sighed as she, too, looked at the village "The gate. The Youth League is keeping it closed, and not letting anyone in or out."
"We have to get in there! We saw the temple overrun with fiends." Tara said urgently
"Tell you what. I'll distract one of the guards, and when the other one opens the gate, you rush through, okay? We can't have those vermin reaching the village...besides I don't want to see that sulky face."
"Sulky face... Angel?" Buffy asked as they followed Cordelia out the door.
"Of course. Now wait here for the gate to open." Cordelia said as she walked up to the gate, and pulled a guard away.
"I knew she was worried about him." Tara giggled.
"It's working!" Willow said watching the guard completely forget about the gate.
"That just leaves one." Faith said and grinned as he opened the gate.
"Now! Let's go!" Buffy said as the girls made a run for it.
The guards didn't see the four girls shoot by and into the woods laughing all the way. When the girls got into the jungle they saw men and women running from several large fiends. Casting a Blizzaga spell Willow froze four Bombs, leaving them for Tara to shatter.
Side flipping Faith brought her spear down on a canine fiend, and immediately back flipped over an Ice Flan. Buffy threw a Heat Blaster mix killing the flan and ducked under a poisonous Ochu vine.
Tara turned and fired four Flare infused rounds into the Ochu's mid-section, and dodged a bird fiend. Faith stabbed a lizard fiend in the head and jumped back as a Spirit fiend appeared.
Buffy hurriedly mixed of a Soul Stealer, and threw it at the Spirit; the fiend was pulled into the Farplane along with a newly arrived Behemoth fiend.
Willow had just cast a Flare spell on the Ochu when Faith flew past her, and crashed into a large tree. Buffy cried out as she, too, was thrown into a tree thirty-foot away. Willow saw Tara back flip four times and stop in front of her, turning she saw a new fiend half as big as the airship.
The fiend itself was dull gray, with silver armor completely covering its body. Two green glowing eyes stared from under the half faceplate, a mouth full of razor-sharp pointed teeth showed when it growled.
Tara fired two rounds and watched as they shattered, the rounds seemed to make the fiends angry as it raised one large arm in the air. Both Willow and Tara flew back into the bushes as the arm connected with the ground. Standing Willow hurriedly cast a Scan spell on the fiend as Tara rose from the ground, with Faith and Buffy joining them.
"Well?" Faith asked and saw the worried look on Willow's face.
"It's immune to all Status Effects! Elemental Magic will hardly touch it, we have to attack it physically!" Willow said glancing between the girls and the fiend.
"But Tara only has her pistols!" Faith said worriedly having seen the rounds shatter on the fiend.
"Here!" Buffy shouted tossing Tara her sword and pulling her knives.
Willow drew her own sword and sprinted toward the fiend, swinging the sword around she made a small slice in the armor. But wasn't quick enough as she was hit and thrown back into a tree. Faith had landed four good hits before she joined Willow against a tree.
Buffy ducked under the arm as it swung around, jumping she cut through the armor. With a piece of armor off Tara thrust her sword into the fiends' stomach, and bent back as its arm swung at her head.
"The neck!" Buffy shouted and jumped on to the fiends back. With a hard thrust she lodged her knives into its neck, before she was thrown off. Tara tossed the sword back to Buffy and jumped up grabbing the knives, with her body swinging around; Tara swung herself into a handstand and twisted her body around. Turning in a complete circle she used the fiends' back and kicked off flipping over in the air, and landed on her feet in a crouching position.
The fiend exploded throwing everyone back on to the ground as it disappeared. Rushing over Willow helped Tara to stand, and immediately began running her hands over her body looking for wounds. Not finding anything but a couple of scratches and a few bruises she sighed in relief, and tenderly kissed Tara.
"You're one to talk about losing me!" Willow teased as she broke the kiss and grinned.
"Sorry." Tara smiled at looked over at Buffy and Faith, who were at that moment sharing a kiss. "And they talk about us."
Willow giggled shaking her head, "Come on!" she shouted and jumped over a blockade with the others following. When they reached the temple the New Yevon guards was shooting more Spirit fiends as the came out of the temple.
The once red flames that burned around the temple were now a bright blue and burned higher in the air. Rushing past the guards and into the temple, Willow cut down a Spirit fiend before leading the girls into the Cloister of Trials.
Near the fire room Angel was fighting a seven-foot tall black and red man like fiend with wings. Angel thrust his sword into the fiends' chest, and was knocked back by a Firaga spell as the fiend disappeared. Buffy and Tara kneeled down beside him as he rolled over on his back and looked at the ceiling.
"Angel?" Buffy asked worriedly.
"Don't worry about me, I'll be fine."
"The fiends?" Willow asked as she and Faith stayed on guard.
"Somehow we're holding them off. They're coming from inside the chamber... one after another. If the fiends break through and into town, they'll reach Cordelia!"
"No they won't." Tara said standing.
"Cause we won't let them!" Willow said looking into the fire room.
"Thanks." Angel said and sat up. "I'll take care of any fiends that get by you... now please, hurry."
"You got it!" Faith said and ran into the fire room with the others right behind her.
Quickly but carefully they stepped into the Fayth's chamber and saw Ifrit standing in front of a hole where his statue once was. A teardrop hit the floor as Tara sadly looked down.
"Tara..." Buffy said sadly
"I know. I'm ready." Tara said raising her head to look at the Aeon.
As if knowing what was going on, Ifrit roared and threw a fireball at the girls. Ifrit was knocked back as a Blizzaga spell, and a Winter Storm mix hit him. Tara fired ice infused rounds at the Aeon, as Faith swung her spear around leaving a deep gash into Ifrit's arm. Ifrit began to glow reddish black and ripped the floor out from under Willow's feet.
Throwing the floor with Willow on it into the air, the glow got brighter as flames surrounded his body. With a mighty roar Ifrit threw the flames at the floor, Tara screamed as the flames exploded and Willow hit the floor on fire.
Buffy threw a low level Waterfall mix at Willow killing the flames. Buffy and Faith took several steps back, as Tara's body glowed orange, and her eyes went completely red. Picking up Willow's sword she raced at Ifrit swinging the weapon. Knowing not to get in her way, Buffy and Faith ran over to Willow and pulled her to the door. Finding a pulse Buffy pulled her hand back and laughed, looking up Faith glared at her before she looked at Willow and laughed.
Tara was connecting hits left and right giving Ifrit no time to retaliate. One of his horns hit the floor followed the second. He swung his giant paw around leaving four deep wounds on Tara's bicep, not feeling the pain she swung the sword around, and through his neck. Ifrit's head fell to the floor and disappeared along with his body.
"You know, baby, I was worried."
Tara whirled around and saw Willow standing up smirking, covered with soot, and not a burn on her body. The orange glow disappeared as Tara ran to Willow picking her up in a hug.
"What? How?" Tara asked sitting Willow down and looking her body over.
"Something you taught me, remember? Protect, and Shell? I cast those just before the flames hit and exploded." Willow cast a low level healing spell on Tara's arm closing the wounds, and not leaving a scar.
"Damn! First Will goes Berserk, now you! We've really gotta teach you both not to do that!" Buffy teased as she looked down the hole.
"I wonder where they lead?" Faith asked as she, too, looked into the hole and saw pyreflies rise up.
"Right now I don't care. This shit is getting creepier!" Buffy said and backed up.
When the girls returned back to the temple yard the blue flames had gone back to burning red. The New Yevon members thanked the girls, and paid them for their trouble before they left. The airship hovered near the temple with the cargo door down, waiting.
Returning to the bridge the girls sat down knowing they'd be sore in the morning. Dawn had moved the ship to a safe uninhabited island, as they rested. Buffy was the first to get up and began to pace around the room.
"I just don't get it!"
"What?" Willow asked snuggling up to Tara before a funny look crossed her face.
"Will?" Faith asked when Willow looked at Tara strangely
"Baby, you need a bath!" Willow laughed and bolted from the seat to avoid getting hit.
"Like you don't!" Tara shouted trying to grab Willow.
"You all need bath!" Dawn shouted from her seat and giggled "Smell you over here!"
"Oh shut up!" Tara said crossing her arms.
Buffy hit Mizu on the back of her head when she laughed. "Hey! I don't see any of you fighting those fiends!"
"We not professionals like you!"
"Shut up mini-fiend!" Buffy said glaring at her sister as Shinra walked over.
"Fortunately, I know everything." He said looking at Buffy. "What don't you get?"
"Why are the fiends are coming out of the temples?"
"The fiends didn't come from the temple. They came from the Chambers of the Fayth."
"Right, exactly. But why?"
Shinra paused for a moment before shrugging his shoulders. "I'm just a kid." He said and jumped back to avoid Buffy's foot.
"Some know-it-all you are!"
"Okay, we know the holes are new. Simple fact is-that's where the Fayth's statues were." Willow said as Tara pulled her into her lap.
"And you said there was one in Bevelle, right?" Faith said grabbing Buffy to stop her pacing.
"But that one... was made by Vegnagun, wasn't it?" Buffy said as she sat down in Faith's lap.
"That's true... but they're connected, somehow." Tara remembered seeing the pyreflies rising out of each hole.
"How?" Dawn asked turning in her seat.
"That I don't know... but I have a feeling there are deeper connections."
"It's time for the meeting. You wanna head to Bevelle?" Mizu asked looking over her shoulder.
"Yeah, let's go." Tara said leaning back and flinched as the chair hit a sore spot.