Hunter almost didn’t wait for anyone. He powered up his Gunwolf in record time and stomped off remarkably quickly in the direction of the ‘scared place’, leaving Ardul and Felipe to catch up. Fortunately they have a hover vehicle and hey by the time they do catch up maybe Felipe will be human again.
Or, you know, maybe not.
The power up sequence for the hover vehicle isn’t as long as for a multi-ton assault bot so they shouldn’t have any problem catching up to him, though by the time they do he’s at ‘cruising’ speed weaving through a dark forest by LIDAR and sheer chuztpah. LIDAR is, unfortunately, one of those things the hover car does //not// have. Hopefully whomever is driving it is good…
Or just crazy.
It has to Felipe driving. Arduls riding shotgun. If they meet any trouble, the blonde needs to be able to respond and respond quickly. She’s not going to mention her driving ability, either.
Hunter isn’t far from them and the Winged Warrior is frowning at her companion. “I thought you could drive these things…” she mutters “… and I paid to hire this. I’ve lost my down payment I suppose.”
There’s something stuck in the bumper. It might be a small tree for the amount of foliage they see.
“Hunter.” she says in a slightly more calm tone over the comms “How do you want to do this.” Loosing her cool with the Wolfen isn’t going to help anyone.
It would have been less of a hassle if Felipe wasn’t majorly handicapped. Suddenly being a Saurian came at an inopportune time once everything was set into motion. There was no break to learn the ropes of a body that was a few sizes too big. The extra tail appendage was of no help, either
The good repitilian doctor growls in response to Ardul’s comment, readjusting his grip on the steering apparatus. “You try driving when your senses decide to amplify a few thousand times– ”
Trees. Trees and low branches. Everything’s getting scratched and dinged. And he’s trying to ignore the foliage stuck in the back with a determined snort.
“–Point is, I’m doing the best I can with this,” he adds gruffly. Although his voice has roughened around the edges, he maintains his cool and focus on tailing after the bot while practically cramped in the driver’s side, leaving Ardul to talk to Hunter.
At least when they catch up to Hunter they can just follow him. Trouble is that Bot is a lot more agile than it looks so Felipe’s going to have his hands full keeping up with the Gunwolf especially when it makes sudden turns and swerves, like the one it made right //now//. A sharp 45 degree turn to the right followed by an equally sharp sixty degree correction to the left.
In addition to adjusting to his/her new size, Felipe may or may not have to deal with other less obvious changes. Hopefully his suddenly very altered body chemistry won’t do anything unfortunate or inopportune.
“I need to get inside and shut that beacon off as soon as possible. Hopefully everything will be fine and that’ll be the end of it but if not I’ll need cover while I d- what the hell?!”
Something wizzes by, flying through the trees even faster than Hunter’s bot is moving and from a very brief glance… it had a large male Saurian on it? It was headed toward the ruins which are only a minute or two away now.
Ardul tries not to smirk as Felipe gruffs at her. “I would say I was sorry for volunteering you, but the connection I have to Hunter might have … affected the results. Hopefully the changes won’t last long and just think, Doctor! You’ll have a unique perspective for your Saurian patients.”
As the wolf-bot negotiates the next turn, the blondes actually grasps the dash of the hovercraft, expecting to be at least jostled if not worse. “I’ll come in with you, Hunter.” Of course, it can’t be that simple. “What on Iyesgarth was that. Surely the Saurians aren’t going to try and stop us….”
But … of course they are. Or do something equally as stupid.
“Bright side to everything,” he mutters, not really feeling the optimistic perspective. He just wants to be himself again, that’s all! Fortunately for them, his reaction time hasn’t been messed up; he jerks, turning the apparatus sharply seconds after the Wolfen bot makes its next moves. The hovercraft misses one tree, scraping against the another one on the rebound.
Felipe curses under his breath. “I’ll pay for the damages,” he says after a beat, keeping his eyes forward.
Too bad that doesn’t last too long. Judging by the reactions of the other two and the large shadow flying past them, it can’t be a good sign. “I wouldn’t be surprised if some are going to try,” he briefly sighs. “Kovach didn’t take the answer well, remember?”
It’s another hectic minute full of dodging trees and keeping the bot in font of them but eventually they do break into the clearing with the long ridge that is the ruins of the battleship in front of them. There’s a large stone that has been pushed away from a big hole in the side of the hull, serving as some kind of entrance. Sitting next to it is some kind of petrodactyl.
As Hunter dismounts another petrodactyl swoops in and lands with a distraught looking female saurian on it’s back. She looks at the open ‘door’ and then back at Hunter as he approaches, weapon drawn. “He’s… he’s gone. He said he wouldn’t let you…” She seems on the verge of tears.
“I really couldn’t forget, now, could I?” Ardul answers Felipe. Her tone dry. She’s jostled and bumped as they make progress and Felipe won’t be able to mistake the tension coming from her.
The hover craft hasn’t come to a halt when she pops the canopy and jumps out, hurrying to join Hunter and the petrodactyl. “Gone?” Ardul asks as she peers into the hull “We’ll do what we can to find him and keep him safe.” Her grey eyes go to Hunter. They will. Won’t they? “Are you with us Doctor? We might be glad of your shape change for the moment.”
Even without looking, the Saurian’s been around the winged woman long enough to know how to take her reply. The line of his mouth curls wordlessly into a smirk before falling back into a row of prominent teeth. The show is more toward the current status of the bot and the ruins ahead of them than it is for Ardul, especially when he has to punch the brakes to keep from running into anything within range.
It takes some effort to get out of the vehicle after Ardul has long vacated it through the canopy, but Felipe manages, half-stumbles out to follow. Fortunately for him, his steps are large enough to cover more ground this way, allowing him to catch up on the scene.
Concern maps his brow as he studies the gaping hole in the vessel, shaking his head slowly the longer he looks at it. “…Idiot. He heard the warning, why couldn’t he just /listen/?” His jaw almost locks on the emphasis of the word, letting his gaze fall onto the distraught Saurian before looking at Ardul. “I’m afraid I don’t have much of a choice, but I agree with you on the matter,” he replies with a low rumble. “Let’s get this over with before it gets any worse.”
“Please! He isn’t initiated into the mysteries. The dangers. I… he… please, find him! Find my Kovak…”
Ah, that would be Kovak’s wife. Mate. Girlfriend. Whatever the appropriate word is. And yes Kovak is gone and has a head start. Hunter sighs. “We’ll find him. Let’s go.”
The wolfen plunges into the dark, twisted corridors of the crashed battle cruiser. There are, interestingly, lit torches in here. That appear to be fresh. Seems the Saurians regularly go into some parts of this place.
The interior of this place is mazelike. Hunter seems familiar enough with the layout but the other two may have trouble keeping up. There’s some kind of harmonic hum up ahead in the distance.
“We’re headed toward the old engineering section near as I can tell.” Hunter says. “Look alive. This place is so old it may-”
Up ahead bright white electricity arcs from an exposed conduit into a metal wall panel.
“We will try.” Ardul grunts, taking that cylinder from her hip and igniting it. If she sounds umimpressed by the Saurian’s antic, she is.
“Go ahead, Doctor. I’ll bring up the rear. Just in case.” The blonde waits for the Saurian to enter before her. “I’m surprised they seem to be in here regularly.” she says as they move. “That’s … interesting. The power source must be amazing.”
She looks, trying to see how they might pass or disable it.
A thoughtful frown forms on Felipe’s scaly muzzle, nostrils flaring slightly as the Saurian breaks down. “Don’t fret. We mean what we say. Hopefully this doesn’t take too long.” There isn’t much he can do in the way of comforting, but as far as he can tell, they all seem to be in agreement about getting Kovak back out in one piece.
Going on ahead of the winged woman, the doctor wanders the winding paths as carefully as he can. He feels a smaller body has an advantage of not hitting every corner he meets, but he does get the hang of manuevering himself through half of the distance, stopping to catch the arcs of electricity jumping about ahead of them.
“That’s good and all, but maybe we can revisit that later,” he says somewhat dryly, also wondering how to go about their obstacle. “Is there another way around? Because how can anyone get through here without getting fried?”
Hunter unfortunately doesn’t have any magical knowledge or gadgets that will prevent him from geting frickaseed by an improvised arc welder. So instead he pauses to watch. “There’s a pattern to it I think. One… two… one… yeah, there’s a pattern. Okay. Here goes…”
The wolfen waits for a particular moment and then drops into a sprint. He //just// makes the clear zone in time to not get fried though if Ardul and Felipe smell burnt leather it is because his duster got pretty badly singed. He’s gonna need that fixed later.
“Come on you two.”
“I see it …” Arduls grey eyes fix on the electricity and her head bobs in time with the pattern. Wings furl tightly against her back.
Wrinkling her nose slightly at the smell that wafts over them when Hunter makes his moves, an unnatural calm settles over her … then she’s off and through. No singeing, though it’s a close thing.
On the other side, she turns to watch the Saurian. This should be interesting.
“Pattern. Got it.” Snorting away the singed leather smell, Felipe watches the lines of electricity closely, squinting as it flickers and snaps in the air. He draws in a sharp breath, squaring his broad shoulders as he braces himself. “Here’s goes nothing…!”
The moment the next snap occurs, he tries powering through it full-tilt. Of course, given how awkward he is in this form, the rise of static and the inevitable shock shoots off from his tail, causing him to stagger and stifle a bellow of pain. That in itself is covered by the string of swearing Ardul and Hunter can clearly make out as he gets back onto his feet.
“There are reasons why that’s considered a safety hazard,” he quietly gripes, checking himself before motioning for them to go on.
Hunter is about to ask if Felipe is okay but anyone who can swear that much is probably fine. This view is vindicated when Felipe picks himself up to crawl away from the arcing conduit before it arcs again. The wolfen bites his tongue and tries not to laugh. Again.
The corridors twist and turn some more and abruptly they arrive in a much larger room. It’s hard to say with part of it collapsed but it must have once been two or three levels all arranged around a large spherical core which is pulsing steadily with blueish light. In front of it is what appears to be a rift or portal save that the usual crackling magic isn’t there and it’s entirely white. Not far from that is Kovak working furiously at a console.
“Stay back dog demon! I abjure you!” He shakes charm at Hunter which rather predictably does nothing.
“That’s got to hurt.” Ardul murmurs, taking a half step to help the Saurian out, but stopping when the string of invective is heard. “I guess he’s alright, though.” She bites her lip trying not to smirk. That’s a lot of inventing going there.
Waiting for Felipe to take his place in their convoy, Ardul follows again, keeping her blade drawn ready for … she hopes … anything, though the core does get her attention. That’s a lot of power.
“Hunter, what has he done..” she asks, looking at the portal and then back to Kovak. “Stand down, Kovak. I will not hesitate to harm you, this time and take you back to your woman to be nursed.”
“/Really/?!” Felipe snaps, glaring at the conduit after its current arc. “Now’s not the time for this, you faulty piece of– oh, forget it.” Yelling at an inanimate object and an electrical current won’t do anything for him. They have a job to do and he’s not sharing any of the held-back laughter at his expense. It’s just not happening right now.
It doesn’t take too long for him to get back into gear, and luckily for all three, they find out they’re just in time to find Kovak doing…something. Whatever it is the Saurian’s doing, it feels like it doesn’t bode well.
“Look,” he says right after Ardul speaks, “If I were you, I’d /listen/ to her.” He keeps his tone even, but he still sounds a trifle miffed. “What are you even trying to do anyway, Kovak? You know this place is dangerous.”
“I have no idea what he’s done until I get closer.” Hunter says as he edges toward the console weapon drawn.
“Stay back Dog Demon!” Kovak slams his hand down on the console. Lights and sirens go off everywhere.
And then a pair of turrets appear in the center of the roof near the core and shoot Kovak repeatedly. He falls like a sack of potatoes.
“Wings and Eyries.” Ardul had been edging in the opposite direction to Hunter, ready to flank the recalcitrant Saurian. As the turrets appear and Kovac falls dead, the blonde freezes.
“I take it, he didn’t know what he was doing and that’s an automated defense of some sort. I’m not going anywhere near there, Hunter, till you tell me it’s safe to move.”
That doesn’t address the damn portal thing, either and there’s still the issue of Xiticiks. Who may or may not be drawn to whatever this is.
It happens all too quickly. Felipe forces himself into a crouch, steeling himself in order to refrain from rushing over to the fallen Saurian. “We better work fast because this is already going south!”
“Yes, and a malfunctioning one at that. It shouldn’t be firing off like that in this room.” Hunter grits.
“I need to get to the controls, those things need to be taken down and I suppose you’re going to want to save Kovak, doctor?” He glances. “I’ll need some cover. So will Felipe. So it looks like it’s up to you Doctor…”
The turrets are sweeping the room. They can tell where Ardul, Felipe and hunter are all crouching. And they’re not wasting their shots on-
“I’ll give you what cover I can.” Ardul murmurs, the faceplate of her helmet appearing as she activates her armour. “I’m not sure how much of that my armour can absorb, but it will be some and …” with a shake of her left arm, a shield forms . An honest to god, old fashioned shield. Well. Except that it’s made from the same material as her armour.
“Let’s go then. Move when I do. Hopefully they’ll track on me.”
After almost getting shot at, a brisk nod is all the Saurian-shaped doctor can muster at the moment. Although Kovak’s been giving them a hard time about it, he can’t just leave the Saurian there under malfunctioning turret hailfire.
“Ready when you are,” Felipe grunts, rocking himself foward in preparation to make a run for it.
“Now.” The moment Ardul starts to move so does Hunter. As luck would have it they’re both going in roughly the same direction. Hunter ignores the bleeding Kovak except to kick him in the face when the Saurian reaches out to grab his foot as he starts to work the console.
“Stop that.” The wolfen says distractedly. The fact that they are moving in the same direction means that shielding them is easier for Ardul but her armor won’t stand up to this forever, so she’ll have to get proactive.
As Hunter kicks Kovaks, Arduls booted foot comes down on the Saurians hand. “Do not test me, Kovaks. I’m sworn Companion to the Wolfen. Harm him and you’ll have me to contend with.” The words come out tense, as the blonde grunts each time her shield and armour is hit “Find cover, Hunter. I’m going up…”
On his word, the Valkyrs wings unfurl – carefully – and beat down powerfully, raising her up towards one of the turrets. She doesn’t have long to do this.
That blazing sword sweeps through the air as she draws near, intent on destroying the device.
At the signal, Felipe pushes off, staying close behind them before darting off to the side. Taking a breath, he gets to see Hunter kick Kovak while Ardul steps on a hand. “That’s enough!” He never expected them to be fair with their treatment of the Saurian, but there’s only so much he can take of the adversity between them. He’s a doctor, not a warrior type.
A clawed hand grabs Kovak by the shoulder once Ardul goes upward, dragging him away from Hunter so that the latter can work on the system. He’s stronger now. Of course he can do that. “Even when you’re bleeding out like this, you’re still so /stubborn/,” he hisses, looking him over before getting to work on the wounds inflicted. “Work with me here, please…”
“Be glad I didn’t just shoot him doctor. If you want to save him, save him. I’m working on saving the ones here who actually matter.” Hunter mutters as he works at the console.
“It’s gone into security lockdown mode. I’ll have to work the hardware.” The grey wolfen kneels down and opens a panel as Kovak makes a weak noise of protest. “Keep his hands off me or I //will// shoot him.”
The first turret just breaks when Ardul’s energy sword hits it. They can’t dodge and they are after all a couple hundred years old. This does put her much closer to the second one and it opens up on her again on full auto. If nothing else she can feel the heat wash from the shots.
The turrent breaks in a shower of sparks and the blonde winged warrior turns on the next one. Under her helmet, she’s sweating and her face is rictus of determination. What condition her armour, and its power supply, will be in when this is done, she doesn’t think on.
There are three men below, relying on her.
Another powerful beat of her wings, the edges of the feathers starting to tatter. Bringing her sword around in sweeping arc, it connect with the turret … which explodes. Right in the winged woman face.
She’s knocked back, against the bulkhead, stunned.
“You don’t have to tell me twice,” Felipe snorts as he continues tending to Kovak. “And while you didn’t really specify you’d bring him back alive, I recommend having two small victories under our belts would be good at this rate.”
And then Ardul does something that involves exploding another turret. Which sounds promising. And pretty bad. “Three if you count us being alive as well!” he adds with feigned cheerfulness, immediately looking up to see the winged woman hitting the bulkhead.
Well, that isn’t good.
He groans, scrambling to his lizard feet. ” –Keep working, I got this!” he calls back toward the Wolfen. Large arms are held out to catch Ardul so she wouldn’t gain any other injuries on her person, knocking the wind out of him at the same time.
The turrets aren’t shooting after that but there’s still plenty of danger here. Hunter needs to at the very least disable the beacon that he is almost certain is drawing the Xiticix. And it would be nice if no other security measures activated while they’re in here, which is a distinct possibility.
Fortunately for Felipe and Ardul there is at least a momentary respite. Long enough for the one to go check on the other at any rate.
Ardul slides down the wall, as Hunter works. Dazed, her wings a crushed mess. Right into Saurian arms. “Nggggh.” she groans behind her face plate. The armour is, amazingly, still in tact – scuffed and scorched.
“That’s one way to stop them, at least.” she finally says, looking around at Hunter “Ho, Hunter. Do you need help…” She struggles a little to right herself “Thank you, Doctor. For catching me…”
Kovaks gets barely a glance. She’ll just assume he’s going to behave.
“You’re welcome,” grunts Felipe, staying still enough for her to get her bearings. He then rolls a shoulder, glancing up at the broken turrets to make sure they won’t go off again.
He glances over at the two again as he walks back over to where Kovak lay, shifting through his pack for a few more things. “…I may need to check you next, Ardul. That didn’t look good.”
There’s an audible //chunk// and the sound of something rather large powering down. Hunter comes out from being half inside a computer console with a fist sized component. “Alright. Security disabled, and I have the beacon. And I even left the core on against my better judgement. We should probably get out of here and make sure the village is okay.” Which may necessitate sticking around a bit…
Maybe that’ll give everyone a chance to recover. Well, not Ardul she’ll be fine and Kovak will be down for a while. So mostly maybe it’ll give //Felipe// a chance to recover.
“Alright then.” Ardul stretches gingerly and a wing hangs a little askance. It takes an effort to furl them again and she’s thankful for the faceplate on her helmet. “When we return to the village, Doctor. You can examine me then.”
“Well done, Hunter. Let’s go.” Kovak gets a //look// from the Valkyr. “Are you able to carry him, Doctor? His woman will be waiting at the entrance. I’m sure.”
“Thank goodness,” the doctor breathes a small sigh of relief. Disabled security and a missing beacon makes for less of a chance of village destruction, but it’s not clear yet if they’re completely out of the woods. Still, it’s a glimmer of hope. They should hang onto that.
Felipe nods at Ardul’s reply, chuckling as he lifts Kovak up. “Oh, I got him, all right.” With his Saurian strength, he puts some care into the carry, making sure the Saurian’s wounds are still covered. “If he’s not grateful after this, there’s not much else I can do for that.”
At least someone else will be happy to see the guy again. But they really do deserve another chance to take a break. Felipe looks forward to being himself again and soon.