For miles around the twin thundering sounds of breaching of the sound barrier echo and rumble. Boom. Boom. These grand cracks of sound signal an arrival, an object in the sky far above. A brilliant fireball with a trailing tail of flame and plasma behind it. The object decends in rapid fashion before impacting the landscape just south of the City of Vesper. The impact it self can be felt, and heard, for miles. A brilliant and blinding flash followed by the delayed thunder of a large and earth sahttering explosion radiates outward. The grizzled old Cyber-Knight, Ser Ted Mercier, finds himself exploring a different function for his raptor-mount. The eerily-lifelike robotic beast stalks in from the shore, pulling a chunk of a wrecked ship behind it up onto the sandy bank.
“Some’in has got ta be done ’bout these Rifts-damned, multi-eyed Horune pirates, Meg…” he mutters over his shoulder, his voice coming through his glowing visor with a metallic sound. “Meg? Meg, where’n hell are y — ?”
That is as far as he gets when the object falls from the sky, spraying the area with debris. Somehow, the knight keeps his seat in the saddle… “God help us…”
Megana was on Pony, laying slumped over her mount in a position that seems gravity defying as the thing leaps forward to catch up to her Guardian. Gravity defying cause the Shifter is asleep and hanging half out of the sattle but isn’t actually falling. Pony pulls up beside Ted, it’s vaguely horse-shaped face turned towards the sky.
“Wha?? “S’too early in the mornin’ for murderin’ Teddy..” His ward moans. Slowly her eyes open and she blinks around in confusion. “Wait. What am I saying? It’s never too early for murdering…” She looks around to see what their target might be and notices the direction of Pony’s gaze. “huuhhhhnh. Don’t see that every day. Well. Not here anyway.”There are certain advantages to being a preternaturally fast and unobtrusive sort-of-fiend of the gloaming. Sure, it was only the previous evening that Catriona was miles away in another kingdom receiving the commission to investigate Greywall… but what’s the little matter of intervening leagues and a political border when one can turn imperceptible and run over to Gran’s in Vesper to check for messages and to grab a few supplies for Valeska? Once again cloaked in her psychic defences, the scout had been running out of Vesper back towards the mountains when the sky overhead split… and she opted to hit full speed and move to try to reach the crash site before too many looters or predators might get there.
Whatever that was, now sits engulfed in flame in the deep forest. The trees themselves not instantly destroyed or crushed, now stand ablaze. Towering clouds of black smoke now loom over the site. The sounds of distant thunder, small /pops/ echo outwards signaling what old earther would call /secondaries/. Small flashes of light no doubt giving away the same knowledge of small explosions. At the sight of the wreck, Mercier guns the engines of his cyber-mount, and the beast launches itself into the air. Draconic glider-wings fan out as it settles down not far from the burning crash-site, and the Cyber-Knight vaults off its back.
He does two things: a gauntleted hand raised, he sets his pyrokinetic mind to snuffing out the flames wherever possible… a little difficult to do while also scanning the site for survivors. What he senses makes his shouldes slump.
One survivor — for now.
He does not sense Wraith. Closing his eyes, Ted projects to Megana: //There’s someone inside that thing! Best be gettin’ ‘er outta there. Ah’ll handle the flames — God knows what else is goin’ on though!”
Pony dances through the trees and brush, a golden light streaked shadow in a horse shape. The little lights in the creature turn to match the flames once it’s caught up and can view the disaster. Megana sighs and murmurs the words to bring up the fireproof version of her mage armor as she dismounts.
“We’re supposed to be shopping! Getting ready for a little vaction that we deserve but noooo of course we get waylaid. Of course some flaming ball of crap falls out of the sky right at our feet. I swear to the night Teddy if whatever is int here tries to bite me I’m gonna…” Whatever she’s gonna do remains her own plan as the Shifter attempts to tug on what may or may not be a door. This is not the kinda thing she’s an expert in. ‘Maybe it’ll be someone cool. I mean, not every time I open a door to a ship does something try to eat my face off.. just you know, thee quarters of the time.’Catriona blurs to a halt at the edge of the devastation. Remaining cloaked, she uses her rudimentary mental scouting abilities to probe the area for noteworthy minds while simultaneously surveying the scene with her more mundane senses. For once, *food* is not predominating in the scents she detects, prompting a momentary bitter twist of her lips at the fact that a damned *spaceship crash* counts as a bit of relief for her…
Then she shakes her head to clear it of extraneous thoughts. A flicker of presence from Pony; none from the raptor, but that’s to be expected, given her limited detection abilities. Megana and Teddy both register as strong minds… and there’s another within the ship.
A sight sigh, a shake of the head, then Catriona’s form breaks apart into that of Wraith. Still all but imperceptible to any remotely mundane senses, the now shadow-formed entity blurs forward… and straight through the hull, making a beeline for the remaining mind within as she springs from bulk-head to wall to floor, not slowing for minor obstacles such as solid metal.
Upon entering, the sights and sounds of the ship would be overwhelming to most, perhaps not to those that have just entered. The soft sound of some sort of alarm echoes through out the ships internals. Red lights flash, barely ligthing up the dark and shadowed passageways. As wraith and Megana scour the ship, it becomes obvious that the ships crew, seven in total, are dead. Several bodies lie throughout the ship in mangled and bloody messes, including the one that is still breathing, but unconcious.
The one still alive? A tall, athletic, and tan skinned woman. Midnight black hair falls past her face, and her all but shreded clothing reveals numerous tattoos about what parts of her skin can be seen. //Life-signs in there…// Mercier projects to Megana. //An’ someone else — cain’t tell much, but… looks like you got yo’self some help…ah think. Ah’ma have me a look around…//
Leaving Wraith and Megana to get the survivor out, Mercier takes a different route into the ship, snuffing out and absorbing any flames or dangerous-seeming heat. The knights come from a world of advanced tech, but… not exactly like this ship. Ted makes his way toward the bridge (much like Meg and Cat are), but he’s in no hurry. Anything could go wrong in a vessel this big, and he can feel the survivor’s life-signs…
//Ah’ll be… this thing is huge…//
Megana pouts. ‘Suuure. Leave me to explore this hunk of scrap all alone.’ The Shifter sends back sarcastically in an effort to cover her worry. She’s barely (okay not at all) let the poor man out of her sight since being released from the Dogwood Dungeon. Even attempting to follow him into the bathroom. She’s still terrified of losing her Guardian.
Now isn’t the time to think about anyof that though and Megana pushes the unwanted memories aside and looks around, carefullly moving through the interior but much more slowly than one might normally except the rather reckless Shifter. Her only comment upong seeing the dead is.. “I’m hungry..” They aren’t the one..ones? She’s looking for however and so Megana continues looking around. “Hey people..peoples?? Yo. You speak any of this language? Or at least hear me?”Unhindered by such petty concerns as physical barriers or most limits of the ship’s internal geography, Wraith reaches the bridge with sufficient time to lose a few moments to suppressing the urge to feed upon all that lovely fresh blood and flesh… before frowning, resolidifying, and moving to crouch beside the survivor. Torn clothing is delicately inched aside by gloved fingers, allowing for a tattoo to be more closely examined… then the pallid, Gothically-armoured predator leans closer, resting both hands upon the fallen woman as she extends her mental awareness – this time, pushing her sense of how a body should order itself out of her own limits and into Elysia’s, attempting to force the Atlantean’s innate healing into overdrive.
Of course, this *might* not instantly be evident to any new arrivals.. or to the woman herself.
“Poios eisai?! Pou eimai?! Ti mou kaneis?!” she blurts out rapidly. The language, ancient greek, for any that might know it. The sudden flare in both the survivor’s mind and magic cause Ted’s head to come up, staring through bulkheads (although not actually //seeing// through) a handful of decks away. The Cyber-Knight breaks into a dead run in the direction of the survivor’s mind (and therefore the bridge of the ship), hoping he’ll actually get there.
//Be calm,// he projects to the newcomer, more out of reflex than any thought of ‘will she even understand me?’ //Ain’ no one gon’ be hurtin’ ya here…Easy, Visitor, be easy…// Then he switches ‘targets’.
//Meg, watch yo’self. The survivor’s awake… an’ cranky. Ah think the other one’s in danger. Remember: Nice-Meg — jus’ like we practiced. Ah’m almost th — .//
He stops projecting when he runs into a corridor blocked off by wreckage. //Saren’s Salty Ballsack!// Ted exclaims — not realising he has just projected it to Meg, Cat AND Elysia simultaneously.
“Gotta find me a way around…” and off he goes, still running.
Megana’s expression is one of great amusement as she finally turns the corner and finds the other two, it quickly changes to expaseration at her Guardian’s mental exclamation. “Jesus, Teddy. New visitor to the world and that’s your greeting to them? An you tell me to be nice?!” The Shifter sighs and rolls her eyes.
Holding her palms outward she murmurs softly in another language casting a spell on herself so that she can understand the woman with the sword. She’d heard the language before entering but hadn’t recognized it. Fortunately there’s magic for that. At least in Megana’s case. “So. Hiya. How ya doing? Probably not so great huh since you just kinda.. crashed. Sorry about that. But look, me and my Guardian and this..” The Shifter eyes Wraith.. “Uh, this nice lady” Meg’s got no idea if Wraith is actually there to help or rob the place of everything not still nailed down but hey, she looks cool.. and the Shifter is willing to take that and roll with it. “Are here to help. So let’s please not try to skewer us hm?”Catriona rocks back onto her heels – the scarred redhead’s eyes widening a little as she takes in that sword. *That* actually looks as if it might hurt – even if she goes insubstantial. Still, given her ability to simply drop through the deck to get out of reach, the honest-I’m-not-a-vampire isn’t so evidently perturbed as the Undead Slayer might perhaps expect. Then she’s blinking again, as Teddy’s oath crunches through her mental defences. A slight shake of the head precedes an apologetic look… then Meg arrives, and starts talking in the same lingo. Highly-educated as she is, it sounds Greek to her… but that’s the limit of her understanding of it. Forcing herself to remain crouched down, rather than moving to a combat-ready stance, she glances to and fro between the other women – gently spreading her hands to show that her gloved palms are empty.
Elysia’s left hand comes up to her head, having her mind invaded like that, not something she seems to enjoy as her eyes close, her hand presses in to her forehead and she stumbles backward. “Out of my head!” she snaps, now understood by Megana no doubt. She shakes it off, and stumbles back upright, she looks like hell overall. Utterly and completely exausted, almost running on auto pilot. She turns vivid icy blue eyes to Megana first, “Who…” a pause as she stumbles around more, “Where..where am I..” she asks, “where is..” she tries to continue to get a question out but can’t seem to concentrate. Though, Catriona /not/ sensing like a vampire, not being hostile, and having her hands up causes Elysia to dismiss her blade.
She starts to look about the bridge, and when she sees the other woman laying dead on the floor, she screams out as her hands come up to her face. For now, the others, are ignored as she rushes to the other woman, falling to her knees beside her.
“No, no, no no no..” Megana can hear as Elysia leans in slowly, and starts to caress the other young womans hair with her right hand. Only a few moments longer does she do this before she burries her head against her fallen friend and begins to sob, loudly. The emotional backlash from that scream gives //Teddy// a headache… two decks away. Grief. Profound, gut-wrenching grief. Aye, he knows that emotion well. //It’ll be awlright,// he projects as soothingly as he can, still forced to circumvent ruined corridors, twisted bulkhead and inactive turbolifts. He ends up ducking inside a turbolift through an open door, and climbs swiftly to the same deck as the bridge.
An amber blade — pure psi energy, curved like a katana — appears thrust through the sealed door and cuts a hole. //’Sawlright,// says he from one mind to another. //Yo’ gon’ be jus’ fine… ah’m comin’ through — no harmful intentions…// A pity he has to vivisect the door.
At the very least, Ser Mercier makes it through, and instantly banishes the psi-sword, showing Elysia his hands. “You two okay?” he asks of Meg and Cat as his helmet retracts, revealing his salt-and-pepper bearded features.
Aw geeze. Megana is pretty sure this woman is the only one alive of the ship’s crew? or whatever they’d been called. That’s got to be sad and disturbing right? The Shifter just stands kinda awkwardly. She can do nice, or at least a good feigning of it but.. offfering this kind of comfort.. not really her thing. “Yeah..Sorry. We got here as fast as we could but..” Meg scratches her nose. Those people were probably already dead. Strangely the woman does seem to have a grasp of english so the Shifter lets her spell go and glances at Wraith as if to say “now what do I do?” At least the sword went away.
Her gaze turns to utter relief as soon as she hears Teddy approaching but sends in his direction ‘Stop that you goof! Some people don’t like havin’ someone else in their mind. I think you were freakin her out on top of all this.’ “I’m fine… they’re uhm..” Meg trails off then changes tracks. “Look don’t mind him. He’s like.. a baby telepath. Still getting the hang of it.” She does not want that sword to come back out. Two swords are two too many swords. Especially before breakfast.And the last ‘powerful mind’ arrives, preceded by that distinctive blade. Catriona doesn’t look *entirely* reassured by the cyberknight’s presence – paladinic types don’t always warm to her – but she forces herself not to seem more threatening than she innately does, even remaining crouched down and trying not to respond badly to the renewed voice in her head.
Though she keeps an eye on Elysia, Catriona allows the grieving Atlantean a few moments in which to mourn. “She could be in danger,” she offers to the new arrivals, her voice a slightly husky alto, tinged with an accent that *definitely* doesn’t come from around here. “I’ve met one of her people before: they have enemies. I had no idea they had anything like *this*, however.” A slight spreading of her hands and flick of her gaze encompasses the bridge, and perhaps the entire ship. “Myself, I’m only sensing those of us in this room… but it’s not my speciality. An actual telepath can probably scan better than I can.”
“Ah’m so sorry…” Peering at the woman, his brow etched with worry, Mercier takes a breath, and murmurs a prayer for the fallen — something soft, simple… and in Latin. “D’ya have a name?” he asks of the grieving woman, trusting Meg to interpret if language is still a problem. “‘Cause… we cain’t stay here long. This is wild territory, an’ the Psi-Stalkers will come huntin’… them ‘n worse.”
Megana is starting to look a bit rattled. Normally other’s loss doesn’t much affect her. Something that comes of having most of your humanity stripped away as a child. She’s starting to become more able to empathzise in certain situations lately though and having just almost had Teddy taken from her… now is one of those times.
The Shifter slowly moves forward and kneels. “I’m sorry.” Megana says sincerely. “He’s right though. We’ll help you if we can. If you’ll let us.” Wraith gets a curious look from the Shifter. She wants to know more about her too but now isn’t the time. At least this thing didn’t crash in the middle of the city.. though, in Vesper they’dve probably stopped it before it hit. Dogwood.. ‘Ooooh man. I’m such an evil little shit.’ Megana decides its a good idea to quit thinking before Teddy picks up on her daydream of Dogwood exploding in flames, a giant ship sized crater in the town’s center.“I could carry her. Maybe fetch *all* the bodies,” Catriona offers gently, nodding slightly towards the corpse Elysia is cradling. “But there’s a limit to how long we can safely stay here.” Though perhaps Teddy might pick up that she thinks the limit is rather more on ‘we’ than ‘I’. “If there’s anything you really *need* to bring with you, or to make sure others can’t get hold of… I’m afraid that now’s probably the time you need to say.”
Elysia manages to somehow gather her composure. She leans up slowly, and looks at Ted, “Elysia Faylinn of Clan Archerean.” The clan name prononced, r-share-e-an, might help to reenforce to Cat that yes, this one’s an Atlantean, if everything else hadn’t already. “I’m not leaving them..” she says to Ted. She means it to, and blood shot eyes, red cheeks, and the tears streaming down her face all help to punctuate the statement. She turns to look at Megana and nods, “I, have no one now. So, there’s not much of a chance I’ll make it alone, wherever this is…” she adds. She turns to Catriona again, and parrots her previous statement, “I am, NOT, leaving them.” As to th question of anything she wanted? She clutches a necklace slash medallion around her neck and leans down to place a kiss on the lips of the lost love. She leans back up and sighs, “I’ll need some of my things. Clothing mostly.” She stands up slowly, “If people are coming, to take this ship? I will not let them have it.” She turns about to the main bridge console, “Damocles, status.”
A voice responds in the bridge, for all to hear and in english. “Weapons systems, Offline. Shields, Offline. Main power, offline. Secondary power, operational. Life support, failing. Significant damange to outer hull.”
Elysia sighs, “Contragravity drive? Can we lift off?”
“Negataive Elysia, main propuslion is offline. Contra gravity drive charging, FTL in emergency shut down.”
“GOD DAMN’T!” Elysia snaps out, slamming her hand in to the console. “Alright, fine. Can you at least help me get them off the ship?” Ted listens solemnly, and then with equal deference slowly nods his head to Elysia. “Mah name is Ser Theodore Mercier, Cyber-Knight. That there — ,” and he motions toward Meg with his chin. ” — is Megana Shadowcleft, mah ward. Ah’m… a stranger to the other one…” And he looks over at Cat.
Back to Elysia once more, the knight rises to his feet and remarks: “We’ll see yo’ comrades properly honoured according to yo’ customs — as best we can. This world is Earth, an’ yo’ stuck between two major powers: Dogwood and Vesper. Vesper is probably safer…” He trails off and moves away from the Atlantean, to pause nearer one of the bodies in the Bridge.
“After this… ah’ll help ya do whatever ya need to with yo’ ship. Come dawn… the scavengers’ll have it.” He is sad having to admit it… but it’s true. To Meg, he projects: //Awlright, Meg. You already done good; Whaddya reckon — Shift the bodies outta here? Would be quicker.”
“More like.. things that eat ya are coming, ya know? Though probably thieves too. Once they get over the fright. But Vesper is nearer and they might send someone out to guard this til they know what’s what. At least, I think they will. I don’t really speak for any of that lot.”
The Shifter eyes the dead woman. She could just.. animate them all long enough to get them outside. People sorta tend to frown on that, flee in the other direction or immediately attempt to murder her though so… perhaps Teddy and the other woman can carry them off? Megana isn’t that strong. Also this probably requires some consideration, and tact, and all that stuff that she’s lacking in.
“Oooh. Yeah okay. I can do that.” She gives her Guardian a relieved look. Of course he’d think of the simpler, better way of doing things. It’s one of the many reasons he’s in charge. And one of the many reasons that Megana usually doesn’t mind this. “Just to outside. I’ll open a bit of a “door” and you can carry them out.”“Catriona,” the scarred redhead provides, finally straightening up – keeping her movements slow, even by the standards of *normal* people. “More specifically… you’re on the Western shores of the Northern Atlantic,” she adds, figuring that the name might catch Elysia’s attention. And perhaps serve as a warning. “And Vesper’s certainly the best local bet, as well as by far the closer. They’re likely to identify her as a Mystic, at a guess. Which they’ll have no problem with at all.”
The other two rescuers receive nods of acknowledgement… and Meg gets a rather impressed look at confirmation of her ability to open a ‘door’. A strong mind indeed. “I can carry one or two at a time with ease,” Catriona offers. “Will your steeds attack if strangers approach?”
“She turns at leats to Catriona, “Earth..” she says in a soft, hushed voice. “I’m on Earth..” she adds, stunned and shocked by the sounds of it. Then it dawns on her, “Wait? Northern Atlantic??” she asks, before raising a hand and shaking it, “wait, nevermind. More important things..” she adds. “Fine, to Vesper we’ll go.”
“Damocles, confirm sensors operational and life signs lock on the four signals present on the bridge.”
“Confirm Ladar systems operational.”
“Damocles, recognize Elysia, Code One, Seven One, Zero. Set auto destruct sequence code two, thirty minutes silent countdown, from my mark. Mark is given upon detection of current life signs outside dangerzone.”
“Recognized. Auto Destruct Sequence is online. Countdown to begin upon mark. There will be no further audio warnings.”
“There, let’s get moving, I’m going to my room to get my things.” Ted is notably reverent when picking up one of the bodies in order to transport it through Megana’s Rift, when she is ready. “Take us first just outside,” he tells her. “Pony ‘n Striker’ll be there — then to Vesper. Catriona — pleasure. Awlright, let’s do this job properly… ah’m sorry fo’ yo’ loss, Elysia.”
Hell of a way to meet someone, but the Cyber-Knight will see the job done properly — and it’s one less worry, knowing that the ship’s technology will //not// be made available to the scavengers and thieves in this neck of the woods.
Still, hell of a way to meet someone.
//God rest their souls…// Ted thinks.
Megana blinks a bit. Well, at least the woman knows what she can do. “Uhm. It kinda depends. If you want to go back to the past, I can’t really help you. I can only go back to way way way in the past before earth lost magic and humans were a thing. Otherwise, if it exists in the here and now somewhere then I can probably help. We’ll see.” And the Shifter does so, opening a Rift to just outside and then a second to just off the road to Vesper, the city would be be visable up ahead if not the road itself. Somewhere they can bury or build a pyre for the dead. Teddy can really help with the second one.
Megana has never really understood the need others have for this kind of thing but she’s learned to keep those thoughts to herself. She also wants to be well enough away from the ship when it does its “Self dedstruct” business. That doesn’t sound like any kind of noise they want anything to do with. Megana kinda approves though, and spares another second to wish it had landed in Dogwood. Aw well, if wishes were horses.. wtf would she do with that many horses anyway?? Poor Teddy. It’s probably not a lot of fun for him, being able to read her thoughts now. Well, at least she’s not picturing him naked again. Or as a pirate.. or.. The Shifter grins, then flushes, glances around and refocuses her attention on holding the Rifts open.Catriona looks quite openly impressed when the rifts open… then moves to assist with the corpse-moving: though she’s the second-shortest present, she’s clearly preternaturally strong, handling dead weight without a hint of difficulty… and a good deal of care, to boot. Aided by her nose, she quickly tracks down each body in turn, relaying it through the ‘door’ to the outside world. And then to the hereafter.
A hell of a way to meet someone indeed. Elysia is soon back with a backpack full of her things, and is following them off the bridge of her ship, which she gives a sentimental pat down on the console. “Thank you, for keeping us this long.” It’s to a machine, but this ship was her home. “Alright, let’s go.” As they all reach the safe soon, and then thirty minutes there after, the ship detonates in a blinding flash and ball of fire. The scavengers will not have this ship, or it’s secrets.
A starship crashes on the coast just South of Vesper; Ted, Meg and Cat rush to investigate and try to save any survivors...
February 05, 2410
On the Coast, South of Vesper