Being in exile is something different for Ardul. There’s no castles or Princep Elect, no guardsmen to command. Then again, there’s also no prison or torture and certainly the death sentence she’s under seems a long way.
Because it is. It’s in an entirely different dimension.
Mercifully, the winged warrior isn’t too picky about the work she will do and today finds her conducting patrol out near Old Richmond, where Rifts are known to open periodically and some of the lesser palatable types like to prey on the convoys that make their through the area.
“Clear in the southwest quandrant, Hunter.” Ardul speaks through the comms “moving further westward. It seems to be quiet today.”
Hunter isn’t in his bot today. While his bot is a big draw for potential employers, the damn thing is twenty six feet tall and about as subtle as a cat in a pidgeon roost. No, today he’s on foot, clad in light armor that’s most decidedly not of earth make. He’s only got a sidearm, which is odd for this kind of patrol but it is a fairly impressive looking long barreled ‘revolver’ style thing.
//Copy that, Ardul. I’m about four hundred yards to your west and moving up toward checkpoint Victor.// Four hundred yards is a fair distance. Though… he can move damn quick if he has a mind to.
Xaz is moving relatively quickly at the moment, mostly because she is flying. She is mostly just out having fun. Her wings stroke through the air as she flies over, occasionally doing loops and twists in the air, before she spies something on the ground. She folds her wings back and dives, pulling up at the last moment to alight in a small clearing. She picks up the remains of a piece of metal, it had looked shiny from the air and so it brought her down to investigate, her dive would have been hard to miss for anyone in the area.
As she examines the piece of metal her wings fold up and rest against her back cloak-like, while her tail swishes back and forth behind her, “Not quite what expected, I am curious as to what it was.” she mutters to herself.
“Acknowledged…” Comes the reply from the blonde. “We’ve got incoming… eleven o’clock.” She notes as Xaz makes her appearance. “Moving to investigate.” With a powerful downward beat of her wings, she launches herself in the air to intercept the newcomer, landing on the edge of the clearing, wings still splayed behind her, arming gleaming as the rays of the sun hit it and a small metal cylinder held in her right hand.
For the moment she doesn’t say anything, just watches as Xaz settles.
In the distance, Hunter might make out two more incoming figures … from the sky… honing into the clearing where the two women have landed.Hunter breaks into a run. //Copy. You may have other company. Investigating.// Flying figures is potentially worrying but the number of things that fly in Rifts Earth is actually quite high so the fact that there are figures descending from the sky doesn’t necessarily mean anything.
Still, in a place like this? Best not to take chances.
Xaz cocks her head to the side, she has very good hearing. She turns the piece of metal dropped and discarded. Her tail swishes to the side as she turns. She glances towards the other woman and blinks for a moment, her eyes focused on the wings. Only after a moment, does she notice the metal cylinder. She has shiny things….Stop that….She thinks to herself. She purses her lips for a moment, “I give to thee greetings, and warn you should you wish to do me harm.”
Ardul is bedecked in shiny. Her armour literally gleams. It’s clear that she spends a lot of time looking after it. She doesn’t realise that it’s an attraction for the other woman though and she shifts her stance slightly, letting her wings fold to a resting position on her back. “No harm providing you mean none in return… ” The cylinder is still just a cylinder … even if the blonde is holding it like a weapon.
“Other company, Hunter?” Xaz will hear that and she’ll hear the beating of mechanical wings as the figures fall from the sky, intent on Ardul, the cylinders they hold in their hands (a lot like the one the blonde holds) igniting into energy blades.Hunter moves damn fast but even he can’t cover that distance instantly. It’s times like these he wishes he had his bot on him. He’s not even going to be in sight for the next minute or so.
Xaz blinks again, mechanical wings, and more cylinders, except these turn into blades. She shakes her head, “Do they mean you harm? Are you in need of assistance?” she asks, after all they could be on the other winged warrior’s side, she doesn’t know and she really doesn’t want to get into trouble for attacking something she shouldn’t have.
Ardul turns slightly at the sound, shaking her head to Xaz “They’re not friendly.” she’s not sure if the other woman is either, so doesn’t turn her back entirely. Her own blade ignites.
Hunters approach has one of the pair turning towards him, blade outstretched … “Subversive Element Two identified. Carrying out primary directive. Termination to be carried out immediately.” It’s tone is tinny as it speaks.
In the clearing, the second winged Cyborg – Xaz can make that out now – swings low over the woman “Subversive Element One identified. Carrying out execution.” It swings it blade at Ardul as it lands.Hunter emerges onto the street behind Xaz. This was a pretty wide street. It used to host six lanes of traffic. Now it’s empty but for abandoned vehicles and tubled down buildings. There’s a distance of about fifty feet between he and the cyborg and poor Xax in between them as he brings his weapon up and extends his arm, sighting down the barrel.
“Stand down on the authority of the Arcane Republic of Vesper.” He’s a merc but hey, he’s under contract right now. Hopefully Xaz doesn’t get caught in the crossfire. Or… takes decisive action. The wolfen will take either one.
“We operate under Sanction of the Kingdom Iyesgarth and we don’t recognise any other authority.” The flying cyborg responds “You have been identified as an enemy of the crown and you will be terminated.” It’s a bit one track, really and the words are delivered without emotion. It descends on Hunter, moving quickly, even though he’s lining it up
Ardul moves, faster than one might expect, trying to move Xaz out of the way as her own blade ignites and she twists to engage the second Cyborg. She doesn’t tell it to stand down … doesn’t waste her breathe, just parries the Cyborgs energy blade away. There’s a hum as the two blades engage.
Xaz shakes her head a bit, “It isn’t nice to attack people who are in the middle of first contact.” she says towards the cyborg that is attacking Ardul after being told that they are not friendly. Her eyes start to flare brighter as she speaks in the language of the elementals, calling forth the presence of Water and Fire to grant her thier power. She forms almost a bit of a dance, her hands circling each other and making ritualistic looking motions. Power is obviously being gathered as one hand starts to carry a small sphere of blue in its palm, while the other gets a similar sphere of red. As she continues to draw the power, her hands come to rest over one another and the two spheres start to stretch and flow together.
Xax raises her arms, her hands cupped together, a sphere of glowing energy, swirling red and blue. The sphere streaks from her hands, elongating into a bolt, leaving smoke and frost in its wake as it flies straight towards the Cyborg. The bolt hits and explodes leaving a rather messy impact site. The dragonkin’s tail swishes back and forth, as the cyborg falls.Hunter wants to shake his head but that would throw off his aim. Instead he fires a single shot, one that lances out of his weapon, through the Cyborg’s eye and out the back of it’s skull.
“Terminate that, you Coyle loving dayhowler.” The wolfen mutters as he lowers the weapon and opens it’s cylender to replace the spent energy catridge in the top slot.
Xaz’s blast leaves a mass of molten metal and flesh where it hits, causing the body to crumple to the ground. The energy sword extinguishing at the same time. Hunters drops to the ground.
“I’m fine, Hunter.” The blonde answers, staring at Xaz as she does, the faintest indication of discomfit on her face. She’ll ask the Wolfen later, what a Coyle is. There’s some things she hasn’t picked up yet. “Kill it’s processor unit, in the chest cavity. Like we did before.” She calls out, moving to check the one in front of her out. “This ones done … ”
“Who do I owe thanks to?” the blonde inclines her head to the dragonkin as she works, slowly stripping bits from the cyborg chassis.
Xaz steps over towards the cyborg that she blasted, looking at Ardul and then back to Hunter before returning her gaze, “I am called Xazara, but I go by Xaz sometimes too, easier for some people.” she nods. She does glance towards Hunter, “I am uninjured.” she says and then looks back to Ardul and looks at the cylinder that the cyborg dropped, “So the stick is some kind of magic weapon?” she asks.Hunter casually walks over to the downed Cyborg that he shot. And shots it again. Several times. In the chest. That should take care of that.
“Energy blade. Tech weapon.” He says simply. It could be magic, it’d be easy to make that mistake but he’s seen these before. You can, in fact, buy things like that on Rifts Earth… if you have a lot of money. And know who to go to for it.
“Ardul. And that’s Hunter…” the blonde gestures to the Wolfen and blinks as the woman asks about magic. There it is again, that slight look of discomfit… she really doesn’t like magic. “As he says, it’s a energy weapon. The Iyesgarth are technologically advanced culture.”
Straightening “Well thank you, Xaz.” With a look to Hunter “We’ve a patrol to finish and this to clean up.” She’s not keen to leave the chassis there but she might need to.
“You clear to go, Hunter?”
Xaz notices the look and has gotten a little used to it, its why she doesn’t go to Dogwood that much, “You are welcome, I am glad that you were not hurt, Healing takes alot out of me.” she says and then dips her head, “May the elements be in your favor.” she says and then does head back over to the piece of metal that brought her here in the first place. She picks it up and then turn giving a bit of a bow to the pair of them, tail swishing before she extends her leathery wings. They unfold from her back and stretch out. She crouches a little and then with a powerful stroke of her wings she leaps up and throws herself into the sky, starting to wing off, deeper into the wilderness.“I’m good. Thank you Xaz.” For her help that is. The Grey Wolfen looks her over. “Do you live here? This place isn’t safe.”
It’s not a deathtrap, per se. It’s safe enough when you avoid the other people but the other people here are… pretty nasty. Gangs, raiders, anarchists and such. If she needs an escort back to Vesper, well, they’re about to be headed that way.
“My thanks again, Xaz.” Ardul answers and watches as the woman starts to rise “We can offer escort back to Vesper, should you need it. Our patrol is just about done and we’r heading back.”
Either way, the blonde starts to move … cleaning up the clearing as best she can. It won’t be long before they’re gone.