It had been a long afternoon after tracking the kidnap victims to the old lighthouse shack. Ardul has asked Yaren to help with Susan and John, get them settled inside while Hunter //has a word// to one of the kidnappers.
She’s standing watch and the shadows are creeping over the ground as the sun starts to set. Not that she thinks they’ll be disturbed by Jack here – he’s left enough of a trail for them to follow. Because that’s what he wants. Or at least. He wants Hunter.
Steely grey eyes, scan the area as she listens to Hunter “talk”. He’s been at it a little while now and she won’t go in unless asked. Sometimes interrogation are best done … one on one. This is something she is intimately familiar with.Hunter comes out and grabs a handkerchief he’d left by the door to wipe red off the knuckles of his cybernetic hand. The talk had been long. And intense. But perhaps productive. The wolfen glances over at the winged woman.
“Well that was interesting. How much of that did you hear?”
“It sounded like it.” Ardul answers, turning to watch the Wolfen as he cleans his hand. Reaching for a flask that she snagged from the cabin, she takes a drink and hands it to him. “Thought you might need this…”
It’s rough, whatever it is. Rough enough to bring tears to her eyes as she swallows.
“I didn’t hear a lot, his voice was fairly muffled. But sounds like Jack has a shooting ground all pegged out for you.” She’s still in her armour, the only part she’s removed in the helmet which is sitting on the railing next to her. Her hair, quite long really, falls down in her back in a blonde sheet. “I’m not sure we can refuse the invitation, Hunter. Not when he’s got a hostage.”The wolfen takes the flask and takes a drink. It is rough. Possibly relatively newly made too. “That’s pretty strong hooch. Yes, he has a killing field all ready for me and it sounds like he has hired help too. Here. I’ll show you.”
The wolfen steps away a little ways to find some sand, then kneels down. “Okay. The mill is here. There’s a track that comes around the hill here and an open area that used to be used to load carts here. Jack plans have the hostage somewhere visible but inaccessable, probably in the mill. He’ll confront me on the open ground here with a sharp shooter on the second floor of the mill, a hired gun with the hostage and two to four more spread out in positions of advantage. I can’t tell whether or not he plans to go through with the duel, but he doesn’t mean for me to walk away from it one way or the other.”
“It is. Puts hairs on your chest, or so we say back in Iyesgarth.” Arduls mildly amused by that given her audience. “Not that you need them.” The moment of levity passes though at the mention of hired help.
“Mans a poor looser.” That’s been said before. “And he has no honour. I know ….” she sighs “… no honour in dying…”
She knows that but still. She’s a Knight.
“That’s … ” she pauses as she counts in her head “… five to seven helpers. Good thing you decided to not play fair as well.” she says, taking another drink as she looks over the ‘map’ that he’s drawn. “With Yarens ability, we can surveil the area before we even get near. He and Iinya have proven useful in that regard. That, at least, will tell us how many and where.”
Raising her eyes to look at the Wolfen, she shakes her head “I think he means to go through with the duel. Men like that. They need to prove themselves. He won’t be able to resist. And we can use that to our advantage.”
Of course, Jack still think Arduls just Hunters piece of fluff … and they could use that to their advantage as well.“If that’s true it means he has a reason to think he’s gotten a lot faster since the last time I saw him.” Which he might have but from Hunter’s tone their last meeting wasn’t exactly a challenge for him. Then again Ardul has seen him draw and shoot. It would take some serious augmentations to take the wolfen in a quickdraw contest.
“And even if that’s the case it’ll be fairly difficult for me to sight and shoot that many attackers at once. I won’t even have enough bullets in the gun. So I’ll need some of them to be removed – preferably before we go in but that may not be an option. Thoughts?”
Hunter has some thoughts. They start with an armored, sword wielding woman.
“Augmentation and adjustments don’t seem to be all that uncommon here and if what I understand about Dogwood is correct, he could well have had his enhanced.” From what Ardul could see, Jack was human and if he had enough wealth to spread around, getting his augments upgraded wouldn’t be hard.
Hell. It didn’t even have to be Dogwood. Hunters travelled far. Who knows what’s between there and here.
“But if he hasn’t, the backup makes a lot more sense.” she adds, glancing back down at the map. “Patience, Hunter. I was getting there. Once Yaren relays the layout to us, I can … drop … in. Take a few out from behind. I’m fast enough to get a couple by surprise and strong enough to stand against a few more. Yaren can cover Susan and her ‘sitter’.”
There’s a possibility that she’ll be wounded during the fight. But she heals fast thanks to her Iysesgarthian physiology.“Well getting shot once does things to a man’s confidence I imagine. Leave Jack to me though. There’s between five and seven people to neutralize. Even if we can locate them all, any sign that something is wrong and they’ll probably kill the hostage. That’s the point of having one.”
Hunter rises and muses over his little map.
“How many do you think you can take at once? And/or do you have a way in that magical tech armor of yours to be super sneaky?”
“I agree. I think once Yaren has done his surveillence, we get him place with the hostage first. He should be able to take that gunman out once you and I begin.”
“I can move quickly and I’m tough.” Hunters seen that. “If they’re close together, I could feasibly take out four or five. With Yaren taking the hostage one, that leaves one or two to deal with a little slower.”
His question has her thinking and she turns a chilly grey look in his direction “I’ve … never needed to but it’s possible. I would need to rework some of the fields. Invert the energy to obfuscate my approach.”“They won’t be close. They’ll be spread out. One on the hill, probably one in the trees over here.” Hunter shakes his head. “They’re going to want to cut off any escape route. They may be expecting trouble but I don’t think they’ll be expecting counter ambush. They may expect magic or psychics. They’re used to dealing with weird things. They might not be expecting something from the air though…”
Hunter shakes his head once more. “I can deal with what’s left. That’s as good a plan as we’re going to get for now. Are you going to need anything?”
“Neither do I. And we’ll only ever get one chance at this. If Jack gets away, he’ll know our tactics.” She looks at the map again, chewing her bottom lip as she thinks. “If I’m quick and stealthy, I can still get four. I’m sure. I’ll just have to make sure I drop them before they sound the alarm.”
His question gets a small smile “You to come out the other side unscathed. And Yaren. Tonight, I’ll ned to work on my armour and we both need sleep. Are we keeping watch?”“Unscathed I don’t know about. Alive, that I intend to do.” Hunter glances down at his arm and then at his gun.
“We’ll sleep by watches tonight. If we had the time I’d retrieve some gadgets that’d be helpful but there just… well I’d have to make the walk back to Vesper and then back out here. I could do it but it’d take half the night. I don’t think we want to spend that time. We’re just going to have to work with what we have.”
There’s a pause. “There’s some fusion power cells in the ATV if you need to recharge your armor. How is your power supply holding?”
Ardul glances at Hunters arm and then gun as he does, nodding slowly. She’d offer to fly back to Vesper, but she needs to make these mods and she needs sleep.
They’ll make do.
“The cells are still recharging in their down time and I didn’t use much of it’s abilities today.” Taking another swig from the flask, she hands the flask back on over. “Reversing the fields … might well tax it. I’ll need the cells when we’re done, I think. And then …”
Then she’s going to have to go shopping.
“If you’re happy with me tinkering whilst I sit watch, I’ll take first watch.” she says quietly, looking out over the ‘yard’. If not, she’ll take second watch with a bit less sleep.“That should be fine. I doubt our friend there is going anywhere. I was pretty thorough with him.” Hunter doesn’t say whether or not he’s ever going anywhere again but it’s entirely possible that he’ll need to be transported out of here by the Justicars.
Too bad they won’t be here in time.
“I’ll get some sleep then. Wake me if you need anything.”
She won’t wake him unless it’s a matter of life and death. Arduls done enough watches to know that. “Sleep well, Hunter.” she murmurs as he wanders off
Glancing back to where their unlucky friend is housed, Ardul lets out a soft snort. He made his choice and now he’s got to pay the piper. It would be nice, though, if the Justicars were here before they had to take off.
Taking out her tools, the winged warrior settles in and starts to work. It’s going to be a long night as she does this. Hopefully she’ll get it done and get some sleep before they head out.