Thankfully there’s no great obstacles for an airborne ship, and the lands spanning between the Dinosaur Swamp and Vesper are rather flat. The weather’s been fair, and save for an errant gust or two, it’s been smooth sailing.
Varos isn’t sure how much time has past. He’s managed to keep them on a steady course, using the coast as a guideline after checking their position between those who can see and aren’t in some way incapacitated. With the worst of whatever they’d barely escaped behind them (hopefully), he locks the wheel to keep the ship from drifting off course, takes a step back, or tries to, and promptly finds himself on the floor.
Standing tense at the wheel had left him stiff, his arms aching from one thing, legs from another. He might also be slightly dizzy, although that’s difficult to tell when you don’t have eyes to gauge it, but his head’s feeling off. And then there’s the twinge in his neck, which he’s reminded of the injury as a hand drifts towards the well-soaked handkerchief he’d fastened there. Had it stopped leaking all over the place yet? He can’t tell.
Sitting on the floor, he pushes himself to the nearest wall to lean against, stiff and shaking fingers picking at the knot of the makeshift bandage.
The ship still needs steering and Ghost has stepped up for the moment. Slaine had spent some time checking on Aiden and making sure Lindsey is secured. She’ll deal with the blonde … later, when Aiden is ready to deal with it. Right now, the grey eyed psychic needs rest and she’s going to make sure he gets it.
There’s a thud of boots on the deck next to Varos, he probably knew she was coming, and the Mystic peers down at the tailor. “Let me look at tha’. I’m no’ medic bu’ I’m not unfamiliar with injuries … ” she has a Robotic Medical Kit (RMK) in her hands.
She’s going to let the tailor talk as he will but from his perceptions he’ll know she’s not happy about what went down.
“Sorry for the trouble,” Varos replies, still somehow managing to flash her a rueful grin. “Ah, it’s bit of a mess. Not sure how bad it is. Forgot about it for a while, and between everything else, hadn’t had a chance to check on it.” After a moment he gives up on trying to undo the knot. He’ll let Slaine handle it. Truthfully it makes him a bit uneasy seeing himself through her eyes. Yeah, that handkerchief is definitely a lost cause. He’s not even sure what color it was supposed to be. His jacket’s a little stained too, but oh well.
“Everything stabilized for now? How’s Vargr? And our…passengers.” He’s not sure what had happened, much less where Lindsey might be now, but what had transpired still bothers him.
Slaine crouches down and holds the kit out to Varos to hold as she inspects the handkerchief and snorts. “Sorry for wha’?” she asks as she decides the piece of cloth is a loss and takes the sgian dbuh out of the top of her boot.
Varos will feel the cold tip of the dagger as it touches his skin and she slices the cloth free.
“Stablilized for now, yes. Lindsey is secured and the saurian… I hope Ghost is keepin’ her busy.” Slaine really doesn’t want to deal with ‘divinity’ at the moment. She’s feeling anything less than divine.
“This … probably looks worse than it is, let’s get the RMK working and then I’ll see about cleaning it up. Ye might want to go to the Restorium when we’re home. I suppose Raksha and Anyn are goin’ to have word with ye…”
The gem in the crown is dull for the moment. No winking or blinking as the the Mystic takes the RMK back and sets it to work. It … won’t be comfortable for Varos.
His hands curl around the kit as Slaine settles closer to get to work. He barely suppresses a shudder when her dagger brushes his neck to cut the cloth loose, briefly recalling the close-call from Lindsey’s strike with Aiden’s own weapon. It’s only once she’s done that Varos allows himself to breathe again.
“Good, good,” he says, remaining still as the mystic inspects his wound. He smirks. “Even if it only looks worse, I’m sure it’ll hurt all the same.” Mention of Raksha and Anyn actually has him grimacing. No, he doesn’t look forward to that at all, but it’s to be expected. “Well, at least I’ll be present for scolding than otherwise. If I hadn’t moved I don’t think I’d be talking very well right now.” Or at all, really.
Sagging against the wall, he ‘watches’ as Slaine sets up the RMK, hissing once it begins its work. He forces his fingers to relax as he rests his hands across his lap. “…you all right?”
“Sorry ….” Slaine murmurs as she feels Varos tense. She knew it was going to be difficult for him, but cutting the kerchief away was much easier than worrying at the knot.
Slaine remembers what Varos said about there something connected to Lindsey but she doesn’t ask about that yet. Aiden will likely want to hear about that and she doesn’t want the tailor having to repeat himself. But she frowns as she thinks on the blonde. “She’s troubled, I think. An’ by more than just her pyschic power. Somethin’ happened in that city when it fell that affected her. I’m sorry I didn’ stop her quickly enough. Neither ye or Aiden would be hurt if I had …”
Is she blaming herself?
The RMK works, initially cleaning the wound and then slowly ‘stitching’ it back together. It will take some time to do, so Slaine settles back on her knees, pushing lank red hair back from her face. At some point her ponytail has come loose and her hair is spilling down her back.
“As righ’ as I’m goin’ to be …” she answers quietly and through her perceptions, Varos sense that feeling ‘other’ as distant. Like it’s watching.
Varos snorts, trying to remain as still and relaxed as can be while some thing fixes up his next. It’s disturbing and having Slaine watching him doesn’t help very much.
“For what? It’s not your fault. You had to fix the engine. No one else was able to. If you hadn’t, we’d all be buried. What happened was unfortunate, but not your fault.” He frowns a little, sighing. “…I should’ve been more vigilant. Out of sorts or not, something was wrong. I’m sorry I couldn’t keep Aiden from getting hurt.” It should have been easy. Another psi-shield, or if he’d moved to incapacitate Lindsey when he’d had the chance. He wouldn’t have thought twice about it, normally.
“…this is going to sound weird but could you please look elsewhere? It’s…. kind of unnerving watching this thing patch me up.”
Slaine sighs again brushing at an annoying piece of hair that just keeps falling in her face. “I know but I am sorry ye both got hurt. I didn’ think she’d be danger to anyone. I should know better than to trust…” That should say a lot to Varos about what she’s thinking.
“Ye were distracted too. Don’ be hard on yerself either. We were all doin’ wha’ we could.”
He can see the look that Slaine bends in his direction. “Look … elsewhere? I don’ think we’ve ever spoken abou’ yer power.”
She does look elsewhere though, looking out over the landscape as she does.
“To be fair, I don’t think it’s necessarily Lindsey who was the problem,” the visored clothier points out. “There was something going on out there. I’m wondering if what that Saurian was saying had anything to do with it. Unfortunately I didn’t catch too much of it. Something was interfering with my Sight.”
Varos seems to relax once she does avert her gaze. He smiles crookedly. “Thanks. And…I’ve never mentioned, really. I think Aiden picked up on it, but then I haven’t been making too much of a point to hide it as I would normally. But what can I say. I like you guys.
Sighing, he manages to look like he’s relaxing a bit more at least, and even if he can still feel the RMK minister to his neck injury, at least he doesn’t have to see it.
“I suppose I’d qualify as psychic. Not particularly in the way of Aiden or maybe even Lindsey. It’s…sort of a necessity. On all the time. It’s how I see things, by referring off of the minds of those who can see around me.”
Slaine listens as Varos speaks, her face twisting a bit in an expression of distaste.”I don’ like it. When Aiden wakes up we can question her, the Suarian, I guess and Lindsey. Somethin’ isn’ right and it’s related to what Kailastia told us, I’m sure.”
“I try no’ to pry into people’s business. If they wan’ to talk about their powers, they will. Ye’ve been seein’ with my eyes though, of that …” she smiles as he explains a little more “Ye don’ see? Is that what yer sayin’?”
“Oh, agreed. There’s something very wrong, and it’s really quite troubling what happened. Whatever was impairing my psyvision, whoever or whatever it was that I saw there…” Varos shakes his head. They need answers but they won’t get any with just the two of them.
“Physically blind,” he replies to Slaine’s question, raising a hand to tap at his visor. “I was born without eyes.” His smile is faint, almost embarrassed. “But yes, I have. At best I can pull back my focus or try to push it out, but that’s about it. No way to block it off on my own.”
Slaine settles back on her heels as she kneels by Varos, who is sitting with his back against the side of the ship. The RMK continues it work on his neck and the bloodied handkerchief lays on the ground beside her. Lindsey is secure somewhere on the ship, the Saurian is probably annoying Ghost who’s piloting the ship.
Slaine had left Aiden sleeping, recovering from his ordeal.
“I … well, I wasn’t tryin’ to use that part of my power so it’s not surprisin’ I couldn’ sense anythin’. But then again, my psychic senses are fairly specific…” the redhead says quietly, still thinking.
“What’s it like? Seein’ through others eyes, I mean? I was goin’ to say the perspective mus’ be difficult but I guess ye grew up like that so … ” that stops her as she realises she made an assumption and she looks at the tailor to correct her if need be.
How will he answer about seeing through her perspective?
Varos chuckles a little. “Oh no, you’d be right. It’s difficult- it can be, depending on the situation, but it took a lot to learn how to make the best use of it without going crazy.
“Seeing through the eyes of other people, it can be disorienting, especially when they’re nowhere close to where you are. You have to mentally place yourself in the space or area that shows up, piece together the bigger picture through the various points you see. But since it’s more of a psychic thing than being wired right into their eyesight, you’re not just picking up what they perceive, but how.”
The door to the cabin opens and Aiden steps on out, holding himself stiffly. He’s got a plastic square taped over the laceration which is preventing his lung from collapsing again but being stabbed hurts no two ways about it.
“Varos. Half Pint.” He says, well, groans really. “What’d you two do with our passengers?”
“How they perceive things?” Slaine murmurs, thinking about that as they talk. “Does that mean that sometimes ye can be seein’ the same thing from different people an’ it looks different, dependin’ on whose eyes ye are borrowin’?” She’s intrigued but her head rises as Aiden appears and she scrambles to her feet quickly.
“Aiden …” She’ll call him that here. “… ye should be restin’ but to answer to yer question, Lindsey is tied up an’ secure near Ghost. Do ye want to see her? I think the lizard lady is buggin’ him too… She’s no’ come near me since we took off.”
It might have something to do with Slaine growling at her as she tried to see to the psychic.
“Come. Sit down. I was just patching Varos up.” She won’t jump in about Lindsey straight away, the grey eyed psychic looks terrible. “I think that’s about done there, Varos. Let me check it and we’ll see what it looks like.”
The RMK has certainly gone quiet and is resting on Varos’ shoulder. Slaine moves it as she looks again.
“Exactly,” the visored one says, nodding- and then pausing before he realizes that the thing’s been done, although the movement still makes his neck twinge slightly. He must look a sight- no, scratch that. He knows what he’d looked like since Slaine had seen to him. A bath would be lovely. But for now, at least he’s not bleeding all over the place.
“Ah, you’re alive!” He jokes, but he’s still relieved. “Sorry I wasn’t able to stop her in time, Aiden.” Yeah, he still takes fault for that one, as he’d told Slaine earlier.
As the mystic invites the other psychic to join them, Varos just manages to keep from nodding again as Slaine answers the questions. “The Saurian isn’t so bad. And she was quite helpful at least, while we made our getaway. I hadn’t gotten to ask if she was upset at being absconded with. But on the other hand, she did seem to have some interesting information to impart. More concerned about Lindsey though…” He frowns, then waits as Slaine checks on the RMK. “How’s it look?”
Aiden waves Varos apology off. One cannot prevent all harm. Sadly.
“If I sit down I won’t get back up.” Aiden grunts. Instead he walks over to the gunwale and places one hand on it to take a bit of weight.
“It was just a deflated lung. I’ve had worse. I’ll need to get checked out when we get back to Vesper.” The psychic takes a shallow, careful breath. It’s a bit chilly this high up, which is a welcome change from the oppressive heat below.
“Want to see her? No not especially. I don’t WANT to do anything but drink myself insensate and then let a healer close up all the holes that I didn’t come with standard. But if you’ve gone and tied her up we probably can go talk to her. I doubt she was the real issue there.”
Slaine frowns as Aiden winces but busies herself with tending to Varos. “It looks better, but like Aiden ye should see a healer when we get back. Though I’m sure Anyn and Raksha will be tender with ye …” There’s the slightest amount of teasing to her tone.
Packing the RMK away, the Mystic straightens and offers a hand to Varos to help him up. “I tied her up as well as I could. So it should be safe and Varos doesn’ think she was the problem, so there’s that.” Still, Slaine isn’t trusting the blonde at all.
It’s not a big ship and it doesn’t take long to make their way to where the woman is sitting, behind the ships wheel and bound rather securely. As the trio approaches, the blondes blue eyes watches them. She looks uncomfortable – whether that’s because of the bindings, the psychic pressure or what happened, it’s not clear.
Ghost is most certainly at the wheel just in front of them.
“There was definitely something else in effect,” Varos agrees. “It might have been localized. There was a pressure that let up as soon as we got far enough from the ground.”
Slaine is given a grateful look and a twist of a smirk. “So then, Restorium it is.” He takes her hand and gets back on his feet with only a brief sway. Nodding once he’s certain all’s in order, he turns his head to the two, allowing them to take the lead to their guest now captive.
They certainly look a grim sight as he takes in things from Lindsey’s eyes, but he starts to step around Aiden and Slaine, offering a wry smile. “Can we let her go?” he asks, turning his head towards Slaine and Aiden. Either way he starts towards her to stoop on front of her.
“How are you feeling? Are you aware of what happened?”
Lindsey, or rather ‘General Sawyer’ is quite securely tied and definitely not going anywhere on her own. True to her word, the lizard woman is still staring at her. Watching her, as it were.
“Barely… I understand I hurt you, Mr…”
“Frost. Aiden Frost.”
“Frost? Whose woods these are I think I know?”
Aiden smiles faintly. “Not that Frost.”
He glances at Slaine first and then Varos and shrugs. “We can untie her so long as no one gives her anything sharp. Not like she’s going to escape a thousand feet down.
The Saurian is keeping her eyes reverently away from Slaine which might irk slightly. Ghost, meanwhile, appears to have appropriated Aiden’s hat.
Yo ho me hearties. The crimson haired lass be brewing up a tempest methinks. A storm o’ questions…
“You’re way too into that.” Aiden mutters.
Slaine folds her arms and looks at Lindsey, drawing in a deep breath as Varos asks if they can untie her. “I don’ know. Ye hurt both my friends, General Sawyer, I’m no’ inclined to trust anyone who does that. Particularly those who can’ remember.” When the blonde recites those words, the redhead frowns and looks at Aiden.
Slaine knows just how uneducated she is.
“That be a handsome hat ye be wearin’, Ghost. Ye look verra dashin’. I don’ know abou’ a tempest, but I certainly be havin’ questions.” She’ll play along as best she can, it’s a nice respite from everything right now.
“If I have yer word, General Sawyer, I’ll untie ye.” The Mystic bends to undo the bonds holding the blonde. “Why don’ we start with wha’ happened and who is Asmodae…”
“You sounded like whatever you were going through before you charged me with a dagger was something you’ve gone through before,” Varos says, visored face tilted towards the Lieutenant General. While Slaine comes over to untie the other woman, Varos settles himself into a cross-legged position there on the floor by them. “Before everything happened, I was picking up a sort of…psychic disturbance of a sort. I saw something or someone, standing next to you. It looked like something was flowing between the both of you,” he tells Lindsey.
Ghost gets a smirk. “That’s a good look for you, Ghost. At least someone appreciates the hat.”
Asmodae. The Saurian had been the one to mention that. Since Varos hadn’t a chance to say so earlier, he turns his head towards the Saurian. “Thanks for keeping an eye on things. Ah…I don’t think we caught your name, actually.”
Avast, the clever tailor be speakin’. One gets the feeling that Ghost would very much be leaning off the side of the ship from the ropes if he had hands.
“How old are you?” Aiden rolls his eyes. “It’s a poet, Slaine. An old poet.”
“I promise, Miss. I never intended you or your friends any harm. If you wouldn’t mind?”
It’s a leap of faith sure but there are four of them here not counting the Saurian.
“Their Divine Majesties will proceed in whatever way they deem ost just. All hail their sacred felicitations and many blessings on their multitudinous conjugations.”
“They’re people. Not a sentence.” Aiden snorts though he knows what was meant by ‘conjugation.’
Lindsey casts the Saurian a look and turns back to Slaine and Varos. “I… had felt something similar. Shortly before my powers went berserk.”
“The Asmodae. Our shaman say that it was a traveler amid cold stars, cast out from its kind. Where it came from the stories do not say.” The Saurian intones. “It feeds on emotion, it amplifies it so that it can absorb it. Those who wield inner secrets it likes most of all. They are delicacies in its eyes.”
Maybe that’s why it wanted to disable Aiden. To keep him there and feed on him.
“Nothin’ wrong with bein’ a bit light hearted…” Slaine murmurs as she straightens, giving the Saurian a sideways glance as she does. “My name is Slaine, not Majesty and their won’ be any conjugations with Varos an’ me…” beat “No offense, Varos.” She mutters when realises how that might sound.
Slaine frowns and rubs her temples as Lindsey and the Saurian speak. “Amid the cold stars… They came from another world ye mean?” She’s the barest grasp that some of the D-Bee’s came here by starships oh so long ago. She looks at Varos then “Was it feedin’ on her? Somethin’ else?” Back to Lindsey “How did it feel?”
This is difficult, she doesn’t want to coach the woman and give up information that only the blonde should know. “I don’ wan’ to know about yer powers goin’ berserk. I wan’ to know how ye felt …”
Aiden gets a look as he mentions the poet. The Mystic is truly … a rustic, it seems.
“Clothier, really. I’m not allowed to sew,” Varos corrects with a grin. “I’m sure the girls would be tickled if you wanted a snappy coat made for you though.”
At least there’s nothing hindering his psyvision, and up here he can leave a loose grasp on his feedback radius without being overwhelmed. More importantly, he has eyes in multiple angles on Lindsey should anything happen again.
“Um. That still doesn’t explain what your name is,” he points out, head tilting at the Saurian. He turns a glance at Slaine, smiling crookedly. “I mean, there could be,” he says, but he doesn’t tease any further as he waves a hand at the Saurian. “But Slaine is right. No divinities here. I sure don’t feel it right now.” He brings up a hand, fingering his neck with its smear of dried blood and the line left from the RMK’s administrations.
His expression flattens as he listens to Lindsey and the Saurian’s further explanations. “Inner secrets…?” He shakes his head. This all sounded like a lot more than they’d thought to find out there. “Think this is all related to the Subjugators…?”
Ghost just grins at Varos. Tell them to feel free.
“But… the prophesies say that your holy issue shall-”
“Thaaaaaats enough of that.” Aiden intervenes. “Their divine majesties asked you your name after all.”
“Er… Niva…” She says and it’s possible she’s blushing. Then again it’s possible she’s just cold. She’s turning slightly blue.
“The stories say it came from the void between the stars. Outer darkness. That it had been cast there because it’s hungers would not be restrained and that even its own kind shunned it.”
The void between stars might be poetic but if it isn’t it’s starting to sound a lot like what the locals call an ‘alien intelligence.’
“It had fed on her enough that it could… wear her. Use her to get more prey.”
Lindsey grimaces, now starting to answer Slaine’s question. “It felt like my head was full. Not physically but that my mind was full to bursting, full of something it wasn’t made to contain. I thought I might die from it.”
Slaine … hisses. Whether at Niva’s continued insistence about issue and the like or at the way Lindsey describes how she felt.
“I’m sorry for that, General Sawyer …” she says quietly, a lot of her annoyance dissipating. “… It’s no’ nice when it happens.”
Varos’ comments get a blush from the Mystic. “I … uh… never mind.” she manages to mutter before focussing again. “Somethin’ from the void that feeds on people? Somethin’ that filled General Sawyers mind enough to send her crazy? Are ye both thinkin’ what I’m thinkin’?”
Is it related to the Subjugators? Or is this something entirely else.
The more Varos hears, the less he likes of it, and it shows on his face as a frown forms, deepens.
“When did you first experience it, Lieutenent General? Where were you, and what was going on at the time?” He strokes his chin, propping an elbow over a knee. “…this thing. Asmodae? Has been sitting quiet for centuries, but now it’s active again. Why? And how was it shut up the first time? Or did it just decide to take a nap for that long?”
“The stories say that the Ghost-Machine sent it’s iron legions to cleanse the city of life. Souless, metal beings battled demons for weeks without pause. At the end, the Asmodae had nothing left to feed on and fell into slumber.” Niva answers with some prompting.
Aiden frowns. “Metal soldiers. Robots?” He can’t think though of what the ‘Ghost Machine’ might be.
“We got the first reports of something like that after those four… big things started stalking people out by the lakes. Evidence suggested they’d come from somewhere around here. That’s what brought us in.” Lindsey offers. “I first felt it… after we got here. Well, there. We’d been there six or seven hours it felt like.”
“Why do ye call it a Ghost-Machine, Niva?” Slaine finally addresses the Saurian directly. Was it because of some form of marking, a mispronunciation or something else? Slaine knows that locals like Niva ‘interpret’ things. If not robots, drones or mechs. That sounds about right, given what she knows of the history – patchy though it is.
“Four big things, General Sawyer?” That hadn’t been mentioned yet, Slaine doesn’t think but then … she’d been busy working with Ghost so she might have missed it. “I’m thinkin’ that something felt ye, yer power even if ye didn’ and decided ye’d make a lovely snack.”
“Hmm…” Varos frowns again as he nods. Sounded like those mech things to him. It’s starting to match up more with the things that Kailastia had mentioned. The mention of four big things has him turn his head to Slaine and Aiden. That sure sounds like the Subjugators all right. His attention returns to Lindsey.
“Were you the only one to feel it? What happened to the big things?”
“My power isn’t all that… great. I can flip a lightswitch across a room. Or call my pistol to my hand. That’s about it.” Aiden’s by far a more potent psychic than this woman. Hell, Slaine probably is. But she’s is not wrong. The Asmodae probably decided she’d be both tasty and useful.
“Yes, four. Giants. Some kind of… demonic royalty, maybe. They made a mess out near Chicago. Near as we could tell they’d carved a path of carnage starting here and headed outward, following the trail of refugees possibly.”
“The Ghost Machine is… that is what the Shaman called it. I do not know exactly why. I think it is because it is a machine that thinks like a person. It has a ghost within. A soul. Something Machines don’t normally have.
Still doesn’t ring a bell for Adien so he lets it go. Whatever it was, it drove the Asmodae into a slumber.
“Is the Asmodae connected to the four monsters?” He asks both Niva and Lindsey.
“It followed them like a vulture follows a hunting cat. Feasting on what they left behind. The shamans tell stories of the four giants as well. They’re…” Niva shudders. “… not good stories.”
“Four?” Slaine says, looking at Varos and Aiden carefully. She can’t quite recall if Kailastia said how many there were, but it sounds like they’re on the right path. “General Sawyer, we believe that we are facing something similar in nature to what you were fighting. We also believe that yer people left behind things that could help us. We came here, to Dinosaur Swamp … ” Slaine looks to Aiden “… what was it called?” Back to Lindsey “To find it or find a trail to it. Can can ye help us?”
Asmodae sounds like a problem, but not the biggest one. “A machine that thinks like a person? Do ye mean a mech?” They had people inside but they could have been misconstrued, particularly in the time of war. More than likely though, the Saurian is talking about some form of AI – AI that hasn’t been seen on Rifts Earth for a long, long time.
“Atlanta,” Varos provides. “Kailastia said those big demons are classed world slayers. Subjugators. And they always appear in fours. One was encountered out in the Appalachians recently.”
Had Kailastia known about the Asmodae though? He doesn’t recall any mention about anything more than what the armsmen and agents had run into, but it didn’t sound like anything to ignore. From what Niva had said, it sounds like you take care of four and the other will follow. Although it didn’t sound like this problem was taken care of permanently. Did that mean that all they could do was try knocking them down again for another several century nap?
“So if I’m understanding this right, the best way to take care of these things is to be nowhere near it and send things they can’t feed on to handle the job instead.”
He looks morbidly curious about what sorts of tales Niva’s shamans have told, but he refrains from asking.
“The Subjugator is only one of the four…” Niva says, looking down. “The names of the others are memorized by the Shamans. Desecrator. Desolator. Strife.”
Names… names are kind of useful actually. There might be something recorded of them at the Academy.
“I… I can try to help you. NEMA had abandoned this area by that time, that’s why we had to fly in. But we followed them. I can try to point out some areas. If you’re willing to travel. If… my people held Chicago they might have records.”
Aiden looks to Slaine and then shakes his head.
“Chicago was held but it isn’t an option.”
“The Asmodae can be starved, yes…” Niva says after a long, somewhat awkward pause. “The Four Giants… can only be hidden from. But… maybe with their divine majesties here…”
“We think there’s something in this area, General Sawyer…” Slaine murmurs, a lot more gentler with the blonde than she had been when they started. “… Perhaps ye can help us with the scoutin’. I … think it’s changed a lot since yer time but anythin’ ye can give us will help. As Aiden said, Chicago isn’ an option for the likes of us.”
Lindsey might want to question them on that. But later.
“Enough of tha’, Niva. We ain’ divine and we ain’t royalty.” Still they have some names and this Saurian seems to have soaked up the lore. Maybe Varos and her can do research at the Academy.
“Oh. What a lovely bunch that sounds like,” Varos murmurs, grinning mirthlessly. Yeah, the more they hear, the less he likes of the whole matter. Sadly, he’s not thinking of research, much less with the Academy. It’s not like he can read anything on his own, and in that case they’d still end up with one person’s amount of work.
He coughs a little at mention of Chicago, recalling what that’s now known as, and he has to nod along as Aiden informs Lindsey that they’re not going up that way any time soon, if ever.
“Yeeeaaah, that’s not happening, Niva.” He and Slaine had already stated their lack of divinity and royalty, and he didn’t care to repeat it, as much as he doubted that they’d be able to drill that into the Saurian’s head short of getting himself killed to prove a point. And he’s not all that up for getting eaten, killed or what have you. If they had to go up against something, he preferred them to be able to bleed in turn.
“Well…” Lindsey looks at Aiden who she knows is injured. “If… you’re not in a hurry to get to a hospital I might be able to help. After I was put into… that tube, my people were supposed to locate the city’s NEMA command center and see if it’s automated systems had logged any activity that was of use to us. It was outside the city proper but I don’t know if it’s under the influence of that… thing.”
Aiden grunts, considering. “Where…”
Lindsey gets up and walks over to the gunwale to see what she can see. “The landscape has changed…” She mutters.
“Back that way. It’ll be north of the city center a ways.”
That area is a near featureless see of tall grass and marshy ground when it’s not rolling hills. Finding a hardened command center would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Unless…
“Kailastia mentioned artifact hunters…” He says finally. “What are the odds we can find some that will talk to us instead of shoot at us?”
Slaine gives Aiden a flat look. He needs to be in the Restorium and soon. Lungs … you need them to breath again but she does wonder about those lines he has and the eyelarch. She’s seen it do some interesting things but maybe … it’s faded.
Turning to look out over the grassy plain, the Mystic shakes her head “Don’ ask me to try an’ find it. There’s a lot of metal here and I’ll just dig up the place in my search.” But Aiden’s right. Artifact hunters … they might know.
Varos remains where he sits, not particularly feeling like getting up again, nor craning his tender neck around that far to keep up the pretense of having to look over like normal people. He can see quite clearly anyway as Lindsey looks out at the landscape that stretches before them.
“That’s too broad an area to search, definitely. I think it’d be best if we returned to Vesper, get ourselves checked out and cleaned up. And then I can check on my inquiries for artifact hunters,” he adds, smiling innocently.
That would mollify Slaine too, if Aiden got seen to. And he doesn’t really want to stay out here if it can be helped so Aiden won’t push the issue.
“That’s… probably a good plan.” He admits.
“You’ll need me… the security systems will require high level access if they’re still active.” Lindsey says. And she’s right. Aiden makes a face, they’ll have to bring her with them.
“I’ll set up a shrine wherever we go and offer sacrifices to increase your power.”
Niva is… well… helping?
Ghost has been sitting there quietly this whole time. Aiden knows damn well he’s internally laughing every time the lizard girl speaks.
It will mollify Slaine and she nods slowly. The time it will take to do this is not … ideal, but it’s what they’ve got for now. “Ye need help with your powers, General.” she says quietly. “I know ye’ll have to come back with us, but we’re goin’ to have see what we can do to protect ye.” There’s lots of practice involved in harnessing those types of powers.
Rolling her eyes at Niva’s words, Slaine looks over to the hat wearing Dragoncat and scowls. Oh yes, she knows he’s laughing and both he and Aiden probably need to watch out.
“Take us home, Capt’n…” she says instead.
Varos sloowly turns his head towards Niva. Then he shrugs. “Well, I suppose it couldn’t hurt.” He nods as the others are more or less in agreement with the return to Vesper and have their own tasks to see to. Good enough. Maybe he can avoid having to check in with Saphra.
…maybe he should ask Niva to pray for his soul instead.
Oh well. Home still sounds good. And at least someone else is doing the flying. Having Raksha and Anyn make a captain’s coat for the dragon cat is still at the top of his list of things to do once they get back into Vesper.
Ghost grins. Avast ye landlubbers! Unfurl the canvas an’ catch the wind! Bring me that horizon.
Aiden waves his good hand in disguest and turns to head back down to midships and possibly from there back to the cabin and lie down. As he does Ghost steps up next to the wheel and puts an enormous paw on it.
Na na na na na… and really bad eggs… There’s a long, pregnant pause. Drink up me hearties yo ho!
Aiden's crew hopes for fair winds as they head back towards Vesper, taking the time to rest as they question Lindsey and their new Saurian acquaintance about Asmodae and the demons.
August 07, 2411
Skies above the Dinosaur Swamps