Leap of FateNSFW

(Never-finished story) While trying out the new Leap of Faith attraction, a young Au Ra adventurer becomes a pebble in the shoe of something greater.

Author's note: This was a joke idea that became bigger than planned, featuring Pockette's Lani. Unfortunately, it never got finished because motivation is hard.

"You... have got to be kidding me."

The Au Ra adventurer stares up at the gigantic sculpture of the statuesque Miqo'te in front of her, her enormous head hundreds of fulms up. The towering woman's "skin" has the sandy, earthy complexion of the desert mountain cliffs she can see in the distance. Even with the sleeveless vest and chest-hugging, midriff-baring top she wears, the amount of cloth in just her poofy capris alone must have been enough for the sails of a hundred ships... "This is a- a GATE? You're joking. What is it, carved out of a freaking mountain or something? How did you even get this set up without anyone noticing..."

"To the contrary, my dear girl," the GATE attendant says cheerfully. "This is a living, breathing, flesh-and-blood titaness. And climbing up her is your goal! It's Leap of Faith!"

The young Au Ra's expression turns skeptical, then her mouth falls open again. She can see it now - the giant woman's chest rising and falling with her carefully restrained breaths, the way her eyes dart back and forth as she watches the parade of tiny adventurers climbing up her clothing. Gods, she can nearly see the pulsing of her heartbeat. "Isn't this dangerous? If- If she moves...! If one of us falls! I'm desperate for MGP, but I'm not risking my life desperate!"

"Heavens, no! Impact resistance magic takes care of all of that, and our model is very cautious!" The GATE attendant urges her forward. "All you have to do is make it up onto her shoulder. Climbing her clothing should be no trouble at all! We've placed hand- and footholds in strategic places throughout her gear. All you have to do is make good use of them! You are an adventurer, are you not?"

Looking back at the attendant, the Au Ra sucks in a breath. "I mean I'm a Black Mage, not a gymnast! I get winded getting out of bed in the morning! We Black Mages developed an entire subfield of magic - the study of ley lines - just to excuse our desire not to move! Why do you think I'd be able to do this? I want a different one. Give me the one with the plane or whatever, please."

"Ah ah, this is the GATE that's on now, so this is the one you're doing!" The GATE attendant blocks her path - not that there's really much of a path to block. The platform they're on is over an open area of Thanalan desert, and there's a sheer drop on all sides.

Sweat begins to bead on her forehead, and she licks her lips nervously. "Okay, but... what happens if I don't make it to the top in time?"

"If you don't make it, you'll be returned to the Gold Saucer safe and sound!" The attendant's shooing motions are getting insistent now. "Go on! Get to it! You only have a limited time, and you've already paid the admission fee!"

The Au Ra steps up to where the platform meets the cloth tied around the Miqo'te's calves, craning her neck to look up at her goal. Even without the influence of the blinding Thanalan sun, it's so far away that she can't see it from down here. And yet judging by the lines of adventurers jumping and climbing up there, it must be possible to reach it somehow...

"Gods be good," she mutters under her breath. A quick act of aetherial manipulation gets her past the first obstacle - climbing up that cloth and onto the capris - by bringing her right up beside a struggling Hyur white mage.

"Oh! You startled me!" the white mage says, trembling and clutching her cane. "I know I should start climbing her leg now, but... we're already so high up..." She looks down at the diamond-shaped stretch of bare skin below them, tucked down into the binding cloth. "I'm a little nervous about what will happen if she moves again and I fall onto the starting platform."

The Au Ra rolls her eyes. "Isn't that what the Impact Resistance magic is for?"

"You trust it?" the white mage asks, looking pained.

"... you don't?" That revelation makes the Au Ra significantly less gung-ho about the path she's about to undertake. But she can't wait around here all day - she needs that MGP. And surely even the Mandervilles wouldn't be so foolish as to have an attraction that just kills people... "Tell you what. Let's swap linkpearls, and if anything happens to either of us, the other will come looking for them. Okay?"

The white mage looks relieved. "Oh, thank you... I'm a little worried, I feel stuck up here... I know they said I'd be taken back to the Gold Saucer, but...!"

Once the exchange is complete, the Au Ra extends her staff, hooking it around the decoration embroidered on the Miqo'te's pant leg. She pulls hard on the staff, combining the motion with a surge of fire-aspected aether to bring heat and strength into her muscles. She pulls herself up easily, tumbling across the smooth and shiny silvery fabric of the design. Then she does it again, and again - absorbing more fire-aspected aether as she crosses over the sun-heated metal decoration that joins with the embroidery, taking clanking steps to run along it and reach the next part of the embroidery, using her staff and her fire-infused strength to launch herself up even further. One way or another, in what feels like both eternity and no time at all, she's up a seated atop the U-shaped indent at the highest part of the metal decoration. There's shade here, as the edge of that huge vest shields her from the sun, so the metal isn't too hot, either.

She uses a carefully targeted Blizzard magic to seal herself to the place where she is, preventing her from falling and giving her overheated body a chance to cool off. From here, she can see that the Miqo'te is actually seated on another of the desert cliffs. She's so big, these enormous cliffs are just stools for her to sit on? ... No. She can't freak out. She's been in far worse, far more dangerous situations. Usually for real money, but still... Far down below, still back where she started, are the White Mage and another adventurer who has joined her. She's come so far, and the White Mage looks so far away. Well, at least she'll have company. But the Au Ra must move on. She looks up, letting the ice holding her to her rest spot melt. What's next?

TODO: Connect Me

And down she goes.

And down. And down.
And down.

It feels like she's fallen forever. The massive Miqo'te's body shoots up and away from her - TODO: reversed description, and down into darkness...

The impact feels like it should hurt. Her whole body is rattled. But... it doesn't. She's okay.

I guess that impact resistance magic really works, she mumbles to herself. But where is she now?

There's a warm, musky smell filling the air. It's dark, although there's light up above. And there's an enormous pillar of flesh beside her.

She's in the Miqo'te's enormous boot. The pillar of flesh is her heel...

She sucks in a breath. Okay. This is a bit tougher, but she can get out. She first tries climbing up the wall of the boot - but to little avail. The well-worn leather is too smooth, and she just slides down.

But... the Miqo'te's pose bunches up the skin on her heel. If she can climb up onto her heel, shimmy around and get to the front of her foot, climb up her leg that way... She can do this. She can make it back!

Her gaze travels over the leather beside her. Can she pierce it somehow? Blow a hole in it? She tries it out. An experiment. Fire aether builds and builds in her staff, and she flings it forward, bursting into an explosion of flame.
... nothing.

Well, not nothing. The world around her suddenly lurches forward, and she finds herself flung down - which now points toward the Miqo'te's massive heel. She tumbles around it and down past it, rolling along in the space beside the Miqo'te's sole until she reaches the end of the line. The toe of the boot.

And speaking of toes, here are five of them now. Five massive, rounded toes - each, even the smallest of them, far longer than she is tall.

She is a speck of dust. Why did she think she had any chance of blowing her way out of this situation? All she can do now, even as the boot straightens back out and she rolls into the space under those enormous toes, is wait. Wait to be rescued by the end of the event.

She leans her head back, closing her eyes. Just. Be patient. Just relax...

Five minutes pass. Then fifteen minutes. The boot begins moving again, but this time it doesn't stop. A massive, thundering BOOM shakes the insole of the boot. An earthquake? Another one comes, tossing her around and getting her stuck in between two of the Miqo'te's massive toes. She tries to pry herself free, but the second she does she's tossed around again. And this time, she ends up under one of the toes. There's a brief second where the little Au Ra is nearly certain she's going to pop.

But she doesn't. The impact resistance magic... Still, this isn't exactly the most comfortable situation. She has to do something. And stay out of the way of the massive ball of the Miqo'te's foot. Falling under there... she may never get out.

Her linkpearl buzzes. It's the White Mage! Relief floods the Au Ra's body. Clinging on to one of the smaller toes (she's not sure which one, as it's dark in here, and she doesn't exactly have a good angle from where she is...) she lifts it to her ear. "I'm here! I'm in her boot!"

"Huh?" The White Mage's voice is distorted heavily by interference. "I didn't get any of that! Goodness, what is that loud sound?!"

"Boot! I'm in her boot!!" the Black Mage shouts, raising her voice as loud as she can.

"Okay, it sounds like I can hear your voice, so that's good, it means you're still alive," the White Mage says with some relief. "If you can hear me... I'm looking into it, okay?" The thunderous footsteps of her accidental captor and the intense interference that causes the White Mage's voice to cut out now and again are working together to make it very hard to hear anything, but this is all she's got - she's keeping this pearl practically glued to her ear.

"The event is over now. But you never came out. The model checked her pockets and her clothes, but she didn't find you. They did a search of the area of desert where the event took place, but they didn't find you either. Right now they're thinking you've shrunk down when she returned to normal size."

What?! Shrunk down?! How long will that last? "Boot! B-O-O-T! Get me out!" the Au Ra all but screams into her linkpearl.

But the White Mage is seemingly unable to hear anything but the massive footsteps. "I'm sorry, but whatever's happening to you, it's too loud... I don't know where that means you are. It must mean you're with the model, right? But she's off doing an important couriering job, so you just... Hang tight, and as soon as the job is over, she'll be able to look for you and get you to safety!"

That's NOT encouraging! How long is this job going to take?!

The linkpearl connection is cut off.

In frustration, she readies another Fire spell. She seemed to notice this before, right? Well, try this on for size!

It works... too well. Way too well. The model yelps overhead as the searing aether singes her toes, and her toes curl - trapping the Black Mage entirely inside their tight grip. She can barely breathe, let alone move!

"What is going on with my foot today?" the model's titanic, earth-shaking voice wonders aloud. "I must have something caught in there... An insect, maybe. If it bites me again, I'll try to get it out."

Yes! This is my chance! The Au Ra charges her staff with more searing-hot fire-aspected aether.

"Then I can squish it," the model adds, and the Au Ra lets the charge in her staff dissipate harmlessly.

Probably, the impact resistance magic will prevent her from being actually squished.

Probably, the Miqo'te's eyes are good enough that she'll be able to see that this is, in fact, a person and not an insect.

... But is that a risk she wants to take? And in the best case, if she survives being squished, if the Miqo'te sees that she's a person and not an insect, she'll be free - but free under the Miqo'te's power. What if the Miqo'te's affection is worse than her cluelessness? What if she's a sadist who enjoys getting "accidentally" shrunken girls like herself and torturing them? Heck, what if the Miqo'te just leaves her by the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, forced to just find her own way back?

No. The boot you know is better than the Miqo'te you don't. She renews her grip on the toe she's clinging to. Guess she'd better settle in...


She doesn't know how much time has passed when she wakes up. Only that she'd found a comfortable place under the Miqo'te's toes, and had gotten used to the rhythmic earthquakes of her new home's movements. Now she's waking up to the sound of conversation. Big conversation, far above her.

"You're the one meant to deliver the vial, aye? Lani, wasn't it?"

The model's voice responds. She must be named Lani. "That's right. One vibration-sensitive, aether-sensitive antivenom vial. Am I in time?"

"Aye. The lad's still breathing for now. Our healer's been doing everything she can - but she'll be glad to hear you're relieving her."

"Ha! Relieving her. I'm no healer - I'm just a runner."

Of that, the Au Ra can be absolutely certain.

"But I can give it to her, and trust that she'll know what to do with it."

"She'll know, I expect. Now go, lass, the lad's time is running out with every flap of your gums."

The Au Ra braces herself. Ah... This respite has been so good...

But the next steps she's subjected to are slower. A jog, not a run. And the jog is blissfully short.

She overhears Lani and the healer conversing. The healer's voice is deep - a Roegadyn, the Au Ra suspects. It's the moment of truth, and the vial is being opened...

Somehow, the Au Ra finds herself holding her breath. I'm invested... She's run so far. Does this count as running a malm in someone's shoes? I hope it works, I hope all her effort in bringing this here pays off...

"His pupils are dilating again- quick, get me some of the sleeping draught, he's in danger of overtaxing himself," the healer barks.

A few rumbling steps later, the boy has been dosed with the sleeping draught, and he's settled down. The antivenom has been a success. He'll need some time to recover, but he's alive, and he's safe.

"Thank you," the healer says. "If you hadn't gotten here when you did..."

"Good thing I did get here when I did, hm?" This Lani is still keeping her voice lighthearted even though she's just run like hell to save a life and gotten there just in the nick of time. She's... used to this. I don't know that I could do any part of this, the Au Ra reflects to herself. Maybe I still have a long way to go.

It's not until Lani has left the clinic and received a call on her linkpearl that she becomes aware of - and reminds her passenger of - the dire situation currently happening in her boot.

"That you, little bug? Are you the stowaway who didn't report back to the Gold Saucer?" Lani asks, and the Au Ra is dragged nearly entirely out of the boot by the movement of Lani's enormous foot. Lani tilts the boot up further, forcing the Au Ra to slide out the entrance... only to land in Lani's palm.

She lifts the Au Ra up to her face, getting a good look at her. "You must have had quite the ride, hmm?"

The Au Ra staggers to her feet, dropping back onto her hands and knees when Lani moves her hand. "I'm glad you succeeded."

Lani laughs. "All in a day's work. I hear the Gold Saucer is looking for you. Assuming you're done enjoying keeping my feet company. I could always put you in the other boot and run back with you..."

"Th-That won't be necessary!" the tiny Black Mage shouts. "Just carry me the regular way!"

Lani's cheeky grin suggests this was the response she was baiting out. "Okay."