The sun hadn’t risen when Slaine had shivvied people awake and insisted they strike out for the Washington Shrine. Much earlier than the agreed meeting time with the people they’d found but she wanted to get a feel for the area without anyone around. She’s not sure why she’s on edge, but it’s something she’s learned not to ignore.
Many times it comes to nothing but on the few times that feeling has come to something -it’s invariably bad.
At least with winter passing and summer being ushered in, it’s not too cold but there is a slight mist in the air. The area, when they find it is overgrown as expected with a long canal leading up to the tall obelisk. An obelisk that’s seen better days that’s for certain – but it’s still standing and there’s clearly been some care taken to try and keep it that way.
It’s Slaine, Ghost and Aiden who approach the area, the small redheaded Mystic looking around. The gem in the Crown of Command winks dully as the light chases the gloom of the dawn away.
Despite her concern, they’d not found anything untowards – at least, not yet.
“If they’re comin’ they’ll be here soon.” She murmurs to the other two. “Vargr, they’ll not be expectin’ ye but ye were a soldier, so ye might … relate to them better.” She’s sure she’s just worried them, hanging out with a D-Bee and walking into their base like they did.
Aiden doesn’t have the spear visibly with him which is to say he thinks he left it back at Ruth’s camp but the damn thing does have the propensity to show up whenever it damn well pleases.
The psychic and the dragon cat are watching the Washington Monument… though Shrine does seem to be more apt. There’s clear evidence that people have been leaving tokens of some manner.
Aiden doesn’t comment on it. From the far end of the large open green – it’s called a ‘Mall’ apparently for no real clear reason – a trio of people in uniform approach. And by uniform we mean… one of them is in a glitter boy.
“Talk about breaking out the welcome wagon…” Aiden mutters. The one in the center is a tall ish man, clean shaven with short cut blonde hair. He has an aura of authority about him despite the fact that he doesn’t look much older than Aiden.
“A Glitter Boy …” Slaine states the obvious as the trio appears and moves towards them. “Don’ get to see many of them aroun’. Wonder where they got it from given they don’ seem to know much about outside of here…”
The small redheaded Mystic moves to meet the group, nodding to the man who seems to be in charge. Aiden should probably address them first but … “Hello. I’m Slaine … thank ye for comin’ to meet with us.”
She can be nice when she wants to be.
“Glitterboys are very, very old.” Aiden murmurs as the trio approaches. Ghost steps off slightly to the side as does the Glitterboy. It’s quiet which is probably for the best. Hard to have a conversation with a man holding a over the shoulder rail cannon to you.
“Slaine.” The tall blonde man says. “I am Colonel Gibbs. I am told you caused an incident in one of our enclaves yesterday and requested a meeting. I’ll be blunt, I’m not sure I like that. What is it you want?”
“Yep. He’s a soldier.” Aiden mutters.
“Might be, but this lot don’ seem to know much abou’ what’s happening … anywhere…” Slaine mutters to Aiden and watches as the Glitterboy steps to the side.
“I cause incidences anywhere I go. Jus’ ask Vargr over there.” the small redheaded Mystic wants to roll her eyes a little. It would be better is Aiden did the talking, really – Slaines likely to just insubordinant. “The Coalition States are here, lookin’ for somethin’. You’re fightin’ them. We’re fightin’ them back in Vesper. We thought maybe we could work together and stop them findin’ what they want and maybe stoppin’ them puttin’ Mystics, Pyschics and D-Bee’s down …”
He might be blunt. Slaine can be too. It remains to be seen if he understands what she’s saying though.
Aiden glances to Slaine but doesn’t say anything. Vesper is not, in fact, fighting the Coalition States openly at this moment as that would mean a declaration of war and the Thirty hasn’t seen fit to do that. Still, they’re not friends so she’s not wrong on that front.
“That’s very convenient. That you should show up and offer help a week after they do. To be blunt, what makes you think we need your help?”
Aiden sighs. “Alright, maybe we need yours.”
“Well in that case, wait, sorry. What?” That was… unexpected.
Slaine can feel Aidens look and a blush rises up her neck slightly. She’s certain that if the CS move on Vesper or near it, Kailastia will respond. They can’t afford not to and stopping it before it gets that far, is important.
“Didn’ say ye needed our help …” she starts but stops as Aiden interjects. She had said //work together// which, in her books, is slightly different. “As Vargr says. We need to know what they’re lookin’ for and why they’re here. We don’ know this area and ye clearly do. Colonel.” She tacks the last on belatedly.
“We know they’re in the Pentagon and that they clearly mean to stay. We’re not sure where they’ve come from or what they want but they’re quite serious about it.” It’s not clear if the Colonel is being straight forward.
Aiden sighs. “They’ve been flying aircraft. Where are those coming from?”
“Dulles. Air field off that way a bit. There’s another few hundred there.”
Aiden does some math on his fingers. “Two… three… four. Four batallions… That’s a lot. What are they doing?”
“From what we can tell? Searching the city and the mountains for something. My turn to ask questions. What is it you want? From us, that is?”
“They didn’ know ye were here, did they? When they came …” Slaine asks. It’s a spurious question but she ofter asks what comes to mind. “From wha’ we here, somethin’ has them worried. We think they migh’ be lookin’ for weapons or the like. Know anythin’ abou’ that, Colonel?”
Dulles. She glances to Aiden and then to Ghost. The name means nothing and neither does ‘air field’ really but she gets the gist of it. “It’s lot, given the losses they suffered in the last war, right Vargr?” Four batallions. How many people is that really?
“Honestly? I don’ know what we wan’ for ye. We came here to find out wha’ they are doin’. See if we could find out ourselves so we can make plans. Then we find that the area is inhabited, with people who are fightin’ them. So we thought we’d make contact, introduce ourselves and ask wha’ ye knew.”
It’s simple for the Mystic. It really is.
“Ye’re people yesterday said we had to speak to someone in charge, so here we are…” She doesn’t mention how long they’d been in Astral form for but it’s possible that Colonel Gibbs has an idea from his own troops. “Wha’ we want from ye is information.”
“We’re not in the habit of trusting outsiders.” Gibbs says and it’s almost automatic. “It’s how we’ve made it this long. I won’t like, allies against these… skeleton soldiers… would be welcome. But you’ve come in wielding powers from the Beyond and offering convenient alliances and… I’m suspicious. And not inclined to put my people at risk. I will tell you about our enemies but that’s as far as I am willing to go at present.”
“Very well.” Aiden folds his arms. “What about them?”
“They’ve raided a number of old military sites. They clearly have some records or knowledge of this city. It hasn’t done them any good. We moved or destroyed many of those sites long ago. However they are sitting on top of our command and control matrix. We think they’re attempting to use it to coordinate their search efforts.”
“In the city or…”
“No, in the mountains.”
Aiden sighs and looks at Slaine. “That means our best chance of looking at what they’re searching for is IN the Pentagon.”
Slaine does roll her eyes now as she looks at the Colonel. It’s Aiden though, to whom she directs her next comment. “Are ye sure ye two ain’ brothers or related in some way?”
“An’ ye’re people don’ wield powers like we do …” she cocks an eyebrow at Gibbs but she doesn’t push. She’d be suspicious too. “Wha’ was in the sites they raided?” That’s the first of the questions that she asks. “An’ what is it in the mountains that they’re lookin’ for, do ye think?”
“Vargr, do ye think we could move them from their current location?” And leave it intact she means. With her power, that last might be difficult but disrupting their searches might be useful.
“They ain’ goin’ let us look …” she raises a chin towards the uniformed trio. But she agrees. They need to search the buildings over there and preferably not have to fight to do it.
“Move the Coalition? From the Pentagon? Twelve hundred of them plus powered armor?” Aiden shakes his head. “We’ll have to slip in there but we’re not going to be able to move them out no.”
“Twelve hundred of them? You’re sure of that?” Gibbs says.
Aiden shrugs. “Thereabouts. There’ll be a couple thousand of them between their two stations. It’s a lot, yes.”
It really is, especially for a professional military force.
“Not all of them…” Slaine mutters but her eyes go wide at the numbers. She had no idea how many four battalions were. She’ll speak to Aiden later about his thoughts on such a number.
It’s Gibbs that gets her attention though “Ye heard, Vargr. We’re goin’ to slip in there and look around. See if we can find out what they’re lookin’ for or what they’re doin’. We would like to do that withou’ any trouble from ye, if we could.” That they //can// slip in – or that the small redhead seems confident that they can – might cause some eyebrows to rise.
“We could do with someone to guide us, in fact. Someone who knows the area and the best places to look…”
“I can… provide you with an intel agent. She’ll meet you near the pentagon tomorrow.” Gibbs seems reluctant but he also doesn’t want to miss out on intel. So… they’ll work together.
“Is there anything more?”
Aiden shakes his head. Ghost hasn’t said a thing on purpose. He doesn’t want to spook these people any more than they’re already spooked.
“Good. Then it’s all decided…” Slaine smiles brightly, like this is just as it should be and Gibbs isn’t looking sour or anything. “Thank ye, Colonel. Tomorrow then…” That means another night here. She hopes they have enough supplies. They truly hadn’t thought this would be more than a day trip.
“An’ nothin’ more. Not anythin’ that I’d think ye’d be willin’ to tell us…” The small redhead looks up at the soldier as she speaks. “Thank ye for the time, again.”
She’s not going to move until this group leave – she doesn’t want them following them back to Ruths camp, after all.
The group watches Slaine, Aiden and Ghost for a moment and then turns to leave. It’s a long walk off the ‘Mall’. Aiden folds his arms and watches them until they’re almost out of sight.
“Paranoid.” He observes. “Looks like they’re pretty isolationist. We’ll have to be careful of their agent.”
“What do ye think, Ghost?” Slaine asks quietly as the others trail away. She’s not moving yet but will soon. Although, she might not mind looking around here for a bit.
“Paranoid like someone else I know …” she smiles faintly in Aidens direction. She doesn’t like them, doesn’t like this place – something is off and she’s not sure what. “Ye think they’re agent might try to harm us? Or somethin’ else?”
“I’m not paranoid like that.” Aiden mutters.
//Yes you are.// Ghost smirks.
Aiden shoots the cat a look and shakes his head. “Not directly but I can promise they’ll be more concerned with helping their own out than us. And they may have… secret orders. Spies are usually not to be trusted. Period.” He has Opinions on that.
“Maybe more so …” Slaine chimes in, nudging Aiden with her shoulder a bit. “But you’re paranoid for us, so it’s different.”
Then Aiden goes and makes the case for her with his next statement. “Be that as it may, that’s what we have to work with. All we can do is watch her. Do ye think she has abilities from the Beyond?” The emphasis on the last two words is somewhat sarcastic but the question is genuine enough.
“Also, do ye two wan’ to head back righ’ now or can we poke aroun’ here a bit more?”
“Who knows. Maybe.” She has abilities, that is. “I think it’s best we get back to Ruth and take another look at the Pentagon. Be ready for tomorrow. We might want to explore a bit but… after we deal with the magic hating imperial detachment, shall we?”
The soldier starts to walk. Ghost pauses to let Slaine climb up onto him if she wants.