The offer to Yaren was less an offer and more of a ‘we’re going to go check out some funny stuff in Clearwater and could use the help. Do you want to come?’
The trip to Clearwater had been mostly accomplished by teleportation spell. Which is odd considering there is regular and reliable transportation to the town and teleporting long distances has its risks but Hunter had clearly not wanted to be seen. The spell had dropped them out a few miles outside of town and they’d covered the distance walking. Once in sight of the town Hunter had led them not to the main gate but to a section of the wall that overlooked an old inflow tunnel at which some locals were waiting.
Fifteen minutes later the trio are in the ‘Old City’. The part of the town that consists of mostly intact buildings from before the collapse. This probably would have been ‘downtown’ once. The only place where buildings durable enough to last that long would have been built. The Wolfen is moving carefully amid the narrower side streets, clearly looking for something.
“Keep an eye out for a lizard man with an eyepatch. He said he’d meet us somewhere around here.”
Here is… well it’s close. It’s crowded. There’s trash piled up in several places, the place is shadowed and littered with intersections of streets and alleys and there’s a million places to hide. Keeping an eye out might be challenging.
It’s hard for Ardul not to stand out and that has to be a concern for the group. There are rumoured to be Iyesgarthians in the area that are loyal to Horatio – if they knew she was here, it would mean trouble.
Pacing beside the Wolfen, keeping an eye on Yaren, there’s not a lot that the blonde really misses. The problem is those shadows, nooks and crannies are easy to hide in and it’s got her on edge.
It feels like it’s been a long time since he’s last seen his friends, his first friends of this world. Needless to say, the invitation had been accepted without hesitation nor question.
While clothed in his usual preference of a cloak, coat, pants and boots, topped off with a hat, these aren’t the usual travel-worn, faded belongings that Yaren tended to make use of. They’re newer, respectable shades of dull blues and deep grays. Iinya has at least not changed her favored spot pretending to be a pauldron over his right shoulder.
As much as he wished to ask questions, see how the two had been, the violet-eyed traveler does not barrage his friends with questions, and the fact that they wish to be discreet about their journey is not lost upon him. Once in town, he keeps a fair distance from them, not far away enough to be apart from them, but not too close that he would immediately be pegged as a part of their company. He keeps his senses open, Iinya watching as well once Hunter has told them who to look for.
The wolfen continues to walk slowly. There are people here though thankfully not too many. It’s just the nooks and crannies that have him worried. As they pass an intersection the lizard man steps out behind him and reaches out to touch Ardul’s wing.
“You mussssst be the one Hunter spoke of. You look like your fellowsssss. It’s well that you came in ssssssecret. You might not be entirely welcome otherwisssssse.”
Touching Ardul in this situation is possibly not a good idea, particularly her wing. The blonde turns sharply, not drawing her energy blade, but it’s a close thing.
“Be careful who you touch…” she says lowly. “But I might be and don’t suppose I will be welcome. Or perhaps I might be too welcome. How are you called?”
She knows Yaren is close and assumes Hunter isn’t too far her.
Perhaps about two people apart from Ardul’s current position, Yaren slows to a stop again, hat tilting slightly as he angles a glance towards her. His gloved hands curl slightly into fists, but he knows the winged woman to be very capable if she were in any danger, not that he relaxes his position any.
He turns a little, catching then a better glimpse of the reason she had stopped, the reptilian figure noted as he moves just a bit closer. It seems he’s definitely learned something by way of discretion since they’d last been together, not nearly as awkward as when he’d been asked to spy around that mining town.
“I am Strasss…” The lizard man hisses. Indeed as hunter had described he has an eye patch but it’s the strangest kind of eye patch. Cloth. Very elaborate with what look like fine, needle like cystals woven into it to form some kind of a concentric design.
“Straz, for those of us without forked tongues.” Hunter says quietly.
“Hunter ssssaid you came sssseeeking more like you. I know where they are. But getting there will not be eassssssy. You’d need to be able to passss like smoke to get there”
“Straz then. I’m Ardul…” The blondes voice is pitched low but should carry to Yaren. The eyepatch certainly is interesting but Ardul doesn’t stare, she does assume there’s some kind of magic associated with it.
“Passing like smoke, might not be a problem. What will it take for you to get us there?” No, Hunter and she probably won’t be able to go and if it’s safe, Yaren might want to join them.
“And how many like me are there?”
“Like smoke?” Yaren chuckles quietly as he steps around the others, closer to the edge of the intersection so he won’t be in anyone’s way. Now that he’s nearer to their lizard friend, he studies him out of the corner of his eye. The eyepatch is indeed striking, and if there’s anything magic to it or Straz in general, then it’d certainly draw his attention.
He waits to see what Straz says about getting to wherever it is they need to go. Looking for more of Ardul’s kind, are they?
“It’s hard to sssssssay. Three at least. Perhaps as many as a dozen. Mostly they keep to their tower. It’sssssss a ssssealed portion of a building that partly crumbled long ago. Only way up there issssss to fly. No one hasssss tried in some time and the council hassss forbidden it.”
Hunter grunts. So the council is aware of activity taking place here. He wonders if they’ve tried to act.
“As she asked, what would we need to get there.”
“A way through their ssssssseals or filtersssss. They’ve ussssssed some manner of advanced technology to prevent anyone from sssssseeeing or getting in. The locals tried to gassss them out. That’sssss when they put up the filterssss and atmosssspheric protections.”
Ardul ponders that and looks to Hunter and Yaren. “What did they do to invite such violence?” She doesn’t seem phased about trying to get in. “And why has the council forbidden it?”
Two questions, she knows she’s pushing for information but they need all the intel they can get.
Her grey gaze falls on Yaren. “What do you think, do you think we can get through the seals and filters?” We, not him. She won’t give up their advantage, just yet.
Yaren brings up spindly fingers, poising them thoughtfully by where one’s chin would be. He too is curious as to what these other Iyesgarthians have done. “It seems that they are at least beyond secrecy now, although whether that is for good or for ill….”
His hat tilts thoughtfully as he tries to picture what the lizard man describes. “There may be a way. …no. There must definitely be a way. There are possibilities, at least, but I must have more information, and see this place for myself before I can say for certain.”
“I shall show you. Come with me. And keep your heads low. We do not want news of your arrival to get to our unwelcome guests…”
Straz turns and begins to lead the trio through a winding path intended to avoid wide open thoroughfares and large concentrations of people.
Eventually they arrive at a small circular building two stories high. The second story has a ring wall on the roof with awnings draped off the inside edge, providing an open space where air and shade make the environment cooler than most other places. In the distance can be seen the skeleton of what was surely once a quite tall building. It’s snapped off at some point but even in a ruin it’s easily two or three hundred feet tall. The top levels have intact flooring in a triangle shaped area anchored on the western corner and covering perhaps a third of the space they once did. Onto the framework sturdy Iyesgarthian armor plating has been hung and other things Ardul may not recognize to seal up gaps.
“Quite the nest.” Hunter murmurs. “Why hasn’t anyone tried to blow them up yet if they’re that unwelcome.”
“Every time someone does the town descends into anarchy. They have… sleepers among the populace. No one knows who or how many but it has paralyzed the council.”
Hunter grunts and he looks at Ardul. “What do you think? And Yaren, how big a hole do you need to get in?”
Ardul is quiet and furls her wings close. She’s silent as they traverse the city. Keep her head down. She’ll … try.
When they arrive at the tower her grey eyes scan it and looks to Yaren to see what he has to say about getting in. “I’m not sure they’ve countermeasures past what we see here. I don’t see any technology I recognise and I’ve sense of magic. I doubt my bethren would use it – Horatio and Hyfil will be arrogant, I think.”
“Anarchy you say? I would think they’ve people invested with nanites. We should see if there’s a way we can do a mass innoculation and bring that back when we come. For now, I’ve a few canisters of the countermeasures with us, but that won’t be more than a handful.”
“If there is magic, then I will know,” Yaren says confidently as he lifts his gaze to the broken but yet stubbornly standing building in question. “But I will have to get closer than this to really know.”
And then? Well, he’s not sure. What he can determine hinges upon whether or not there’s a magical presence involved, but he doesn’t need that to get inside. That’s an entirely separate matter for him.
“As to Hunter’s question, it need not be big at all. I can slip through cracks if that’s all that keeps anything out. I can scout ahead and seek out a way for you to enter, or if there is something withholding entry, try to disable it for you.”
“I can probably punch a hole in it with a sniper rifle if it’s sufficiently high powered. I didn’t think to bring one though.” Hunter eyes the structure. He’s a good shot. A very good shot. Maybe his pistol would do if he could get one of the joints between the plates.
“The trouble is I’d need a lot of time to line up the shot and the way the building is laid out I don’t think there’s any place I can really do that from cover. I’d need someone to hold their attention while I did it or we’d just be sending Yaren into a very, very angry hornet’s nest.”
And maybe the hornets couldn’t sting him but knowing that he’s there would surely be inconvenient. Hunter tends to agree that they won’t use magic to secure the building. Iyesgarthians seem to have a cultural aversion to it, but that doesn’t mean they won’t have made some efforts to secure the building against magic.
“Yessssss, Ardul. Anarchy. People attacking others, or destroying property for no reasssson. When caught and quesssstioned they cannot account for their actionsssssss.”
“Hold their attention how?” Ardul asks, glancing at Yaren, then the building, then back to Hunter. “I can provide it but it will mean that I’m out of action for whatever you two do next. Because once they see me, they’ll chase me. You know that. But it will leave the Tower empty and I trained most of these …”
There’s a small, confident smile on her lips. Part of the Valkyr relishes the call of action. Even if it might be dangerous for her.
“Is that so…” she says again to Straz. “Then I strongly suspect they have nanites embedded and I would very much like to get a sample of them. They sound like they’ve evolved … again.” Just like a moment, she’s … quietly confident she can do this.
Yaren turns to face the others as they give their input, their suggestions and concerns.
“I do not know what it is you wish to accomplish by gaining access to the building. If we are deciding to split up our efforts, then I must know what it is you need me to do once I gain access.”
Hunter’s words do draw his interest, violet eyes narrowing, although not so much in distaste, but rather giving him almost a sly sort of expression. “…or we could actually -send- an angry hornet’s nest inside. Or any number of things. But as with what I said earlier, it would still help to know your intentions in this. Do you wish to get into that stronghold? Or do you just wish to clear it out? Or do you want those within it?”
“We want to know who is in there and what they’re doing and most importantly we want to know what other strongholds they have on Rifts earth. Information on what their movements might be. Information in general is what we’re after.”
Hunter looks at Ardul and chuckles. “You think I’m going to fit in through a crack? The moment I make the shot it’s all on Yaren. So whatever trouble you’re in, I’ll be in it too.”
“And perhaps even more importantly, we don’t want you to get caught.” Ardul answers quietly, gazing up at the wall and then back to Hunter.
“Well no, I thought you would stay and be backup in case Yaren got into trouble but if you want to get into trouble with me, you’ll have no refusals.”
She stretches up to place a kiss on Hunters cheek and winks. “I can’t think of someone else I’d rather do that with …”
“If we’re ready?” Waiting for Hunter and Yaren to get into position, the blonde finally lets her wings flare wide …
And launches herself upwards.
“…I see,” Yaren says thoughtfully, nodding. “Very well. I shall extract this information for you as I can.” What does that mean?
Seeming to smile at Ardul, he tips his hat towards her before looking to Hunter. “Give me a moment to get into position.” As the Iyesgarthian takes off, he steps over to the window and prompts his little winged serpent, Iinya slithering around his long arm in a practiced maneuver as he swings it out towards the window to send her gliding sharply into the sky. He will need eyes outside to keep track of the others.
Yaren moves back within the room, and without a word, sheds the form he’d held beneath the layers of clothing, hat falling last onto the pile as the violet mist rises from it. As if carried by a breeze, he drifts outside and low along the rooftops and snaking through the dust and streets as he makes way for the towering structure in the distance.
He had not been kidding about his suggestion of insects, and given the recent ‘experience’ he’s received, he thinks nothing of trying to acquire a few scores of vermin to swarm and seek entrance. At least if there is a hitch trying to enter as he is, he can have back-up. Does the tower protect against fleas?
“Let me get to that building over there. I’ll signal you when I’m ready.” Hunter starts to move. It will take him a few minutes but before anyone can worry his voice comes over the radio to Ardul.
“Alright. Whenever you’re ready. When you draw their eye I’m going to step out and put a hole in the joint between the armor plates at the bottom right corner over there. It’s not going to be a very big hole, but it’ll be big enough for air to get through. It’ll take me a minute to get the aim. Then Ardul and I run like hell, I suspect…”
There’s a short pause. If Yaren wants insects he has time to get them.
“Be careful…” Ardul tells both of them as she banks, making a display of herself in the air. She … can’t be missed. The way the light catches her armour and the big grey wings – feathers the same colour as Hunters fur.
Circling around the building, she soars past the windows. Dipping and turning with practiced ease. This is where it gets tricky, she has to make sure she’s seen and can get away.
Who knows what tricks these Avian D-Bee’s have learned and she’d rather not be turned into thrall again, anytime soon.
The insects are back-up, and certainly easier to ensnare than, say, a mischief of rats. Yaren doesn’t spend too much time in finding ideal creatures, and if he ends up not needing them, then things will just be much simpler for him. He’ll have to see how things work once Hunter provides an opening for him.
Despite the danger, he finds himself oddly…eager to do his part. Violet wisps curl their way up along the tower, a small cloud of wasps drifting up towards the armor plates.
An Iyesgarthian materializes in thin air along with two… robots. They look almost skeletal, like the bones of an winged man with articulated thrusters where the wings would normally be. They just appear in a burst of energy. Short range teleporter of some kind? Wouldn’t be much of a secure base if they had to open a door to go chase someone, probably.
“Knight Commander! Surrender immediately on orders of Princep Horatio!” Its one of her old friends. She can’t see his face, his in a full helmet, but he’s likely compromised.
As that challenge is going on Hunter steps out, takes aim very carefully and fires. The hole that results is smaller than his little finger… but it IS a hole.
One of the bots turns and dives at him as he spins back into cover.
“Good job. Get out of there Ardul. Yaren, you’re up.”
Now both Hunter and Ardul have to evade not only these three but any agents already out in the city.
Ardul turns on the tip of her wing and stares at the Iyesgarthian, taking the robots in with a grimace “Are you seeing this, Hunter?” Oh, yes he is, clearly! “I don’t recognise a Princep Horation, Lieutenant Valen. All I recognise is a treasonous wretch by that name and his toadie, Hyfil.”
She turns again, still in the air, and with a powerful down beat of her wings speeds away, heading to the narrower, taller parts of the city. “I’m moving, Hunter…”
He watches what unfolds, waits, sees. It might have been mistaken as a missed shot by the Iyesgarthian, but Yaren has been given his opening.
He takes it, slipping towards the tiny hole, into it with ease as a gaseous form can. The winged insects follow, in case he needs a distraction, but Yaren takes care as he makes his way through. After all, if his friends had concerns, he knows that they’re not without reason, and so it’s best to err on the side of caution.
“I am also moving!” Hunter is. Ardul can see him hit the streets and bolt away with the bot in hot pursuit. She doesn’t get to worry about that for too long though because Valen and the remaining bot chase her and as they do ports open on the thing’s back and what looks like a swarm of large black flies comes out.
It’s not insects though. Ardul knows exactly what those are.
“Don’t let her get away! Horatio wants to see to her personally!” Valen shouts, igniting his energy blade as he climbs after Ardul.
Yaren ‘wisps’ into the base. It’s large for what it is but that doesn’t mean it’s really all that big and there’s no space to waste. What he’s come into is apparently the command center. Several winged people are watching holo tables displaying the action outside while a pair of skeletal bots work what looks like a communications system…
“Agents ready for activation.” One bot says.
There are computers everywhere. The question is what table or computer has the information his friends want…
“Don’t get caught. I’ve been accustomed to having you beside me…” The blonde quips to the Wolfen, tracking his movement for the precious few moments she can. She’s agile on the wing, slipping easily through the streets, climbing to the highest towers, leading Valen and the bots away from the people and others of her kind.
“I thought you called him Princep …” she taunts the other Iyesgarthian. “But then, you were never good with discipline …” She knows these soldiers, she trained most of them and she knows exactly what buttons to press to get Valen off balance.
The swarm of nanites have her grimacing though and she ducks down a side street, taking a sharp turn to the right. Hoping to cause the bots, at least, to miss the turn and go ‘splat’ against a building.
Yaren studies his new surroundings. Had he a nose he’d wrinkle it for the technology that abounded. Coaxing his little wasp horde to keep out of sight, he moves along the floor, observing those present.
There’s nothing he can do about the metal men, but there are at least a few people present of flesh and blood.
It’s unfortunate that he’s unfamiliar with anything that they’re doing, much less with any possible discerning ranks. If one is more important than any of the others then perhaps they are marked so, and would therefore have more access to information- so he reasons. Now, is there anyone that might fit that bill?
If not, he’ll just have to pick one. Once he settles upon a target, he relinquishes his hold on the wasps, letting them fly free around the room. He needs a distraction if he’s going to try possessing one of these winged folk.
Bzzzt! “Hey! How’d bugs get in here! We have a breach!”
That sends the room into a frenzy of activity. Two people get out instruments clearly designed to detect the breach – and it’ll be a problem if they seal it back up – another starts locking down the information terminals. That one will be the one Yaren wants. If he can lock them, he can probably unlock them.
“Activate the agents. Two percent.”
Ardul does lose some of the swarm as she makes the tight turn but only because it was unexpected. The swarm can turn tighter than she. The good news is they’re not gaining. The bad news is she isn’t either.
“Ardul! Just land. It won’t hurt and I don’t want to have to hurt you to make this happen…” She can hear the strain in Valen’s voice. Either she really stung him with that bit about his discipline or he really doesn’t want to hurt her. Maybe both.
“You can return home! Be the soldier you were always meant to be. Re-enter society. Be accepted.” Be bargained off, likely. Another chip for others to use.
“Ow! Hey!” Ardul can hear hit something or someone. “Got a problem here. Random people are… starting to try to block me. I think they’re activating-”
There’s a scream of engines to Ardul’s immediate left as someone tries to ram a skybike into her from a blind corner in this relatively narrow flight space.
“Accepted like you? I have higher standards. I always did. It’s why I made Knight Commander and you’re just Lieutenant…” Ardul quips, wings straining as she tries to keep ahead of them. She knows she’s drawn them off enough that Yaren will be safe-ish but now this is a flight for her life.
But yes, she’s taunting her fellow Iyesgarthian. Valen had been one of the best. He was Lieutenant because of his age and experience and nothing more. Her … heart breaks just a little, using his ambition and dedication against him.
The scream of the skybike, has the blonde pivoting on the tip of her wing, which lets Valen and the other bot close on her a little more. The bike … ahem … wings her and she grunts in pain. “Hold on Hunter. I’m bringing friends to buzz the crowd. Be ready.”
Folding her wings back, Ardul dives towards Hunter and the crowd that’s forming around the Wolfen. With any luck, the skybike, Valen and the bot will follow.
The moment Yaren has the one singled out, he’s upon them. He shuts out any concern for what the others in the room are doing, his focus upon the Iyesgarthian still at the terminals. A pair of vibrantly glowing magenta eyes is all that the winged man will see before the specter surges into him to try overtaking his mind.
There is no hesitation. One would argue that it’s due to circumstance, knowing that his friends are outside, risking their safety for him to get the information they seek. It’s true enough. But there’s another part of him that relishes being able to overcome this one’s will.
Ardul’s pursuers get a bit closer yes as she turns onto a new vector. The big problem is going to be that bike. It is legitimately faster than she is but it’s turning circle is awful compared to hers. It actually has to get out of this flight lane and try to cut her off.
She can see Hunter up ahead. A woman jumps over her fruit cart for seemingly no reason to grab his arm. The wolfen shoves her off, turns on his robot as it closes with him and brings his weapon up. She’s coming in nearly behind the Robot… as are the people chasing her… “I don’t see how those are friends.”
The Iyesgarthian that Yaren attacks doesn’t know what hit him and in moments he’s overcome. It likely won’t be long before someone notices but… “OW!”
Someone got stung. The wasps are doing their thing.
Now… he knows the codes. If he can just get what he needs without-
A very angry wasp buzzes Yaren’s meat suit.
With her wings held back, Arduls dive takes her low over the crowd. So low, they could touch her if they tried. This is risky and the only thing she has going for her is the element of surprise – hopefully that airbike doesn’t find a vector to attack her from, because right now, she’d be vulnerable.
Leveling her flight out, she swoops over the heads of the crowd, wings flaring wide and causing the air to beat down swirl around them. That should confusing enough but she’s added a little more to it. She left that leveling out to the very last second – the others behind are more than likely going to collide with the crowd.
An Iyesgarthian game of chicken.
“I used the term loosely…” she says, as she careens towards towards the wolfen, wings beating down to lift her higher. She could grab him and tow him clear-ish, if he hasn’t broken and run yet.
The Iyesgarthian might be smirking just a little, but Yaren doesn’t allow himself to get too distracted. He looks at the terminal before him, sifting through information and memory, protocol–
Brow twitches, and briefly he wonders if perhaps he should have held onto those wasps’ minds, just a little bit. He forces himself to ignore it, this unusual pain- not his, he reminds himself. He could try to detach himself from such sensations, but he needed a close connection if he wanted to make any sense of these screens.
Pushing through, he brings his hands to enter the codes. Quickly…
Hunter fires and strikes the bot chasing him. His las bolt goes right under Ardul’s wing and her wolfen companion holds a hand up. Yes he would like to get out of here now.
There’s screaming and a ‘crash’ as one or more things impact the ground. It’s not clear how many of them and it might possibly get worse if they stick around. Well, no, it will get worse. It’s really time to not be here now.
Yaren has the information. All he as to do is download it onto this… stubby device called a stick. Why it’s called a stick is not clear. It’s not made of wood and it’s not very large. More like a twig. Whatever. The information twig is right here and all he has to-
That’s when he gets stabbed in the back of the neck.
Okay not stabbed. Well, kind of stabbed. Stabbed in a very small way. By a wasp. With its butt.
It really hurts.
There’s a feral look on Arduls face as she soars over the crowd. Hunter hasn’t seen that look before. It might remind him … of himself at times.
When his hand raises, the blonde takes hold of him and she lifts them up. She can’t carry him far, but far enough to be safe. Far enough that they might rendevouz with Yaren and get the hell out of here. Speaking of which.
“I hope you have an exit plan for all this…” The words come out on a growl.
People have the strangest names for things. Or tend to reuse said names for different things. It is quite confusing. But if it works, then Yaren isn’t going to worry too much about it. He can always ask Hunter or Ardul about it later. Right now–
His exclamation nearly surprises himself more than the sudden pain that seems to explode at the back of his neck. For such a small thing, it packs an amazing amount of hurt! Yaren smacks at where he’d felt the thing with his free hand, very much with the intent to -crush it-.
The jerk when Ardul grabs Hunter is incredible. He is not light no matter how strong she is and physics is a thing. She should be able to get him to a rooftop but after that…
“A bit of a plan yes but we have to get away from crowds and out of sight first. There’s an old sporting arena that abuts the edge of the city walls. It’s absolutely cavernous. We can hide out there while we wait for word from Yaren so long as we don’t bring half the city with us.”
Ardul feels something on her wrist. A nanite has crawled out of Hunter’s fur and onto her skin. Did he get caught and infected… or did one just catch up to him before she did?
There’s something wet on Yaren’s hand now. Wet and goopy and the back of his neck still hurts.
“Are you okay Balta- wait… what are you doing?” A weapon is drawn in his direction. How, again, was Yaren planning on leaving?
Ardul definitely strains as she lifts Hunter. Her wings flex and pull and by the time they make the rooftop, she’s exhausted. “Then we find Yaren and we move …” She looks down at the nanite, swearing roundly when she sees it, almost swatting it to kill it … dead.
Catching herself, she pulls a vial from her belt and puts it in there, before staring carefully at Hunter for a very long while.
“How are you feeling, my Lord?” The wording … is deliberate as she reaches for one of the cannisters of countermeasure that she always carries now.
Yaren-Balta stares down at his hand and the mess of what used to be a wasp with a pang of regret. “I’m sorry…” he murmurs, but it’s then that he realizes he’s being addressed, the name gathering a reaction from his host.
He looks at the terminal to see if things have been completed with the stick, and then very slowly turns his head, just slightly enough to see behind him as he considers his options.
So long as things are already progressing, it should be fine, right? He can take what he needs- was the hole already sealed? Inwardly he curses, borrowing from whatever vocabulary rolled around in Balta’s mind. Well then. He’ll just have to find out for himself. But first, he needs another distraction.
Drawing in a slow breath, Yaren readies himself. He’s never dispersed directly from a host, but he’s gone through people before, so he assumes the resulting will be the same. Besides, he has the element of surprise on his side. There’s no exhalation, only the sudden ‘burst’ of mist and mind, of magic and power. He lets himself expand outwards, forcefully, not quite to overpower minds so much as stun them.
“Well I won’t lie my arm hurts a bit…” It’s his meat arm, not his metal arm. Hunter looks up at Ardul, frowning. He looks okay. But is he? Has he been… compromised by them? She’ll have to make a call.
Yaren’s sudden evacuation from his host causes a great deal of alarm along with the stunned… mental states of the people he affects. That hole is still there but it isn’t big enough for the stick. That teleporter in the corner is though. And it’s already switched on, waiting for more subjects to send out.
“I’m sorry …” Ardul murmurs, on the rooftop where they are. The countermeasure … shouldn’t hurt and she can’t be sure. And a compromised Hunter is … dangerous. “That was a nanite.” She sprays the Wolfen straight in the face without further ado.
She’s no idea if the countermeasure will work against this new strain or if Hunters just be made into a sleeper agent. Either way, this is the best she can do with the resources they have and she’ll head straight to the Restorium with him, when they get back.
Slowly the violet mist gathers, still cloudlike in form although part of it shapes into something of a hand, given slightly more tangibility as it grasps the stick. Yaren sweeps through the room, checking the hole he had used to slip in, eyes narrowing as he finds it inadequate to escape with what he needs.
He turns about, recalling what he can from Balta as he nears the…teleporter? Like a rift maker of sorts. But where will it go?
A quick glance cast towards the stunned Iyesgarthians and Yaren moves, compacting around the stick as he makes his decision, moving to the device in the corner.
There’s a flash and then Yaren finds himself outside the building. He’d better move, the city is buzzing like an angry wasps nest – appropriately enough – and he’s sure to be chased. He knows where to go find them, yes?
Hunter stares at Ardul as she sprays him… and then sneezes. “Yuck. That stuff tastes terrible…”
He wants to chide her but won’t. Its a reasonable precaution. He hadn’t noticed the nanite. Why didn’t it do anything to him? Had it been waiting for her? Or is something else going on here…
The wolfen’s ears perk at the noise below them. “We need to get out of here. Come on. We can talk later.”
“I know it does, love …” Ardul murmurs, frowning a little as she puts the canister away. Her slip in calling him that a result of that concern. “We’re going to the Restorium when we get back to Vesper. I’m … worried. And when we settle tonight, I want you to check me over. Make sure there’s nothing on me.” She can’t be sure that nothing caught her but … it doesn’t feel like it…
Nodding she starts to move with him across the rooftops. “Yaren will be alright, I know he will be.” For now though, they need to get out of here.
That…is a very discombobulating experience. It takes Yaren a moment to gather his bearings once he’s outside. He checks to make sure he is still in possession of the stick before he moves. The further away from the Iyesgarthian’s base, the better. He drifts, going by Iinya’s direction as she continues to glide above. Where were they to meet? Back at the other building? Well, he has to go and reclaim his things there anyway.
Funny how masquerading as a figure of flesh would be more preferable to something so intangible.
They’re all going to have some things to… examine about themselves when this is over. For now though they have the data and getting out of this place is mostly a matter of patience. Soon they’ll be away leaving Hunter and Ardul to wonder if they’ve been compromised for most of the trip back.
… and Yaren to wonder how wasps pack so much pain into such a tiny butt.
The renegade Iyesgarthians have things locked down pretty tightly, but they have information Hunter and Ardul want, and Yaren means to get it for them.
September 16, 2411