To the West of Vesper and Dogwood are the D-Shifting Mountains, the Appalachians, and from here many threats arise. Mainly because the area is rife with Rift activity and the things that come through are usually bad. But not always. Bands of psi-stalkers roam the area – it’s a good place for hunting.
Of course, it’s also an area rip for picking where the Harvest is concerned. Remote communities that they harvest at leisure and build the army of soulless for the ‘Cold and the Darkness’.
A group of uniformed armsmen and a small redheaded woman in travelling leathers and a cloak are just approaching what appears to be an abandoned encampment, several miles to the West of Old Richmond, in the foothills of the Appalachians. Abandoned – in that there are no people not that there’s nothing there. The encampment seems to be in good working order, well maintained mining equipment situated in places ready to work, buildings for accommodation and such in good repair.
It’s quiet though. Not a sound from a creature at all. Which might seem strange. The only sound that can be heard is the patrol as it approaches slowly. “What do you think, Slaine?” comes the rumbling voice of a Centaur in a uniform.
“I can’ tell and I don’ want to take the risk to scry jus’ yet.” The small redheaded woman replies.
Raine also saw the abandoned camp herself, and was heading towards it. Her clothes are a bit the worse for wear, looking like she’s been walking mostly straight through the undergrowth, rather than making her way through the easiest pathway. Tanned and travelworn, it appears she’s been travelling some time.
She seems to have noticed Slaine and her group when there was a few words to hear. She freezes in place, and looks a bit uncertain as to what to do. She wriggles her fingers to get her circulation going, and rests a hand on her knife. She waits to see whether the newcomers are violent or not.
Raine would have found that there’s no real easy path through the mountains even if the cities had spread far in the Golden Ages. With the Rifts appearing and the Dark Age descending, Earth had become a terrible place. Cities fell to ruin and roadways were slowly reclaimed by nature. What’s left of the roadways now, is not much.
It’s strange though, as she draws closer. There doesn’t seem to have been a struggle. Everything is so … orderly. It’s like the inhabitants simply upped and walked away.
“Who goes there?” One of the Guardsmen turns in Raine’s direction, causing the group to halt and look over as well. They’re certainly not violent or aggressive, but very cautious, well trained and well armed.
Raine looks over at the Guardsman who’s speaking. She stays where she is, and says “It’s just me,” she replies, not stepping forward, not sure what degree she’s concealed. “I can just leave, if this is your place.”
She’s speaking with a Coalition accent, pretty clear.
There’s been no good news coming from out in Old Richmond, and even less from the surrounding mountains. The trip out there’s been long overdue, but as often things go, there’s been all sorts of happenings that crop up and need to be dealt with. Baldur’s not complained, as things happening meant things to do, and he likes to be kept busy.
At least he’s not so antsy about leaving the Taniguchi Estate, and priorities have shuffled around, especially given the growing threats and the encounters with Vesper. Such is why the old cyborg finds himself out here, roaming the rocky and at most times uneven landscape. He’d whistle, except he supposes that would be counter productive to anything if he hoped to find something out, out here.
With his short cloak tossed over his shoulders and the brim of his dark leather at pulled snug over the bright orange accents of his metal cranium, he doesn’t exactly hide very easily, and there’s not much cover out here. Which works out for a campsite if they wanted to keep an eye out on the surrounding territory, although in turn it makes it easy to pick out. …along with the small troupe of people that’s apparently gathered there. Oh. Well, this is awkward.
The Coalition accent has the guardsmen tensing and looking over the woman in the well worn clothes. “Don’t see many from the Coalition out here.” The Centaur responds. There’s still no weapons pointed in her direction though. “But there’s nothing to stop you exploring, just as long as you don’t create trouble. What’s your interest here?”
The little redhead speaks up, then, a small amused twist to her lips “He doesn’ mean to be so brusque.” Her own accent is pure Vesper, marking her as born and bred there – though if people haven’t traveled to the city, they might not know that. “What’s ye’re name? I’m Slaine and it looks like ye could do with a feed. I have some rations in my pack if ye care for them.”
Baldur’s approach can’t be missed. A clothed Cyborg in a hat out here in the mountains. Slaine’s eyes slide to him as he approaches. “I know ye, ye were in Richmond investigatin’ that problem the other week….” What was his name again, she can’t remember.
Raine shakes her head, and stands carefully, and it has to be admitted, somewhat awkwardly. She nods to the Centaur, and tries a smile. “I was interested in a roof that didn’t leak, and maybe a stove that could hold a fire. And maybe some supplies, it has been a while” she continues to look at the Centaur, warily. “And I’m not out to cause trouble today” she avers.
She turns and looks over at Slaine. “This might sound odd, but it’s true. my name is Raine.” she sighs and brushes herself off. “I certainly would love to get something to eat. I’m not a great huntress. I’m more of a City girl, I will admit it. Any cities around here?” she grins finally, and it reaches her eyes.
She turns to the Robot, and nods. “Officer. Did I violate some law?”
The cyborg had stopped as though hoping that somehow he might just go unnoticed. Fat chance of that, as they look right towards him. Straightening up, he emits a sound much like the clearing of one’s throat, the gestures to go with it despite his obvious metal…ness.
“Oh, um. Hey there!” he says in a tone that’s had a bit too much cheer added into it. He seems to realize it too as he looks about awkwardly again before starting up towards the rest of them. Holding up his hands with his metal fingers splayed, he wants to make it clear he’s not here to start trouble, wary as he is of the bunch. Slaine gets a look, his orange optics flickering almost shrewdly before he snaps his fingers (or tries to), pointing. “Yeah! At the busted up bar thing, with the weird lady and her dogs.” It looks like he’s having trouble placing her name too. Had she even given it then? Eesh, mush brains in a metal shell is just rife grounds for memory problems. “Name’s Baldur,” he reminds, before sweeping a look across the rest of the tourists and the site. He pauses, looking at the other redhead.
And then he glances over his shoulder before looking back at Raine, pointing to himself. “…you talking to me?”
“Run away?” The Centaur certainly isn’t big on words and Slaine nudges him a little when he asks that question. Still, it’s not a bad question though.
“Why don’ ye go ahead and investigate the encampment, Lieutenant.” The redhead says quietly, shrugging her pack off and opening it. Seems she might have learned something from Aiden. Taking out what look to be trail rations – Raine’s host, at least, might recognise these, even if they aren’t coalition issue.
“I can spare these. We’re no’ expectin’ to be out overnigh’.” holding the package out to the woman, the smile is returned. “Two cities nearby, depends what ye’re lookin’ for. Magic or Tech, really. Tha’s ye’re choices…”
“Slaine.” she says to both Baldur and Raine. “An’ yeah, Baldur. The woman and her hounds. I’m no’ sure we go’ to introduce ourselves, then. It was kind of crazy. What brings the two of ye out here…”
Almost as an afterthought, she looks at the Cyborg again. “I no’ sure if ye eat or what. Ye’re welcome to share what I have though.”
Raine looks at the Centaur. “Not in the way you seem to mean it” she says, shaking her head. she looks over at the encampment, and raises an eyebrow. “That’s not yours?” she asks, pointing at the abandoned mine site. “I thought it was your base. Looks comfy, are there often nice comfortable sites like this sitting untenanted?”
She turns to Slaine. “Not planning to be out overnight? Then at least one of the cities you speak of are within reasonable walking range. ” she considers the information magic or not. “I’m not great with Magic, it…confuses me. So I’d have to say “not magic?”. But a city is better than not a city, even if it’s one controlled by Warlocks”
She turns to the Cyborg. “You’re not the Sheriff around here?”
“Sheriff? Hah! Oh wait, you’re serious.” The cyborg’s optics flicker in and out in a blink. “I’m no sheriff. More of a mercenary and sometimes bodyguard… Anyway, I don’t know who’d be crazy enough to try enforcing law out here. Ol’ Richmond kind of handles things its own way. So it’s probably best you be careful,” he suggests, although he doesn’t look all that happy about the thought of a city controlled by warlocks.
Baldur nods back at Slaine. He’ll try to remember that. “Heh, kind of? That was just plain weird. Wasn’t much fun making a report of it either.” He looks back at the armsmen who disperse to carry out as per Slaine’s suggestion. Perhaps he seems a little wary, but then he is in the company of a bunch of V-towners, and old sentiments are still tough to kick. But hey, at least he’s not pulling his guns.
“Same as you, I guess. Checking things out, keeping an eye out for trouble. Ready to shoot something in the head if it comes down to it.” His reply’s pretty off-handed, the last bearing no real edge nor hint that he might mean anyone in present company. He might have reworded it if he’d thought it might be taken the wrong way but he’s just not really thinking about it. “Soooo what happened here? Thought this was your place but it don’t look like it now that I’ve seen it. Where’s everyone? … Or is that a bad question to ask?”
He waves a hand at the offer of something to snack on. “No thanks, I don’t have the stomach for it.” Beat. “-that was a joke, by the way.” Baldur, shut up.
“No’ really one of ours, no.” Slaine answers as she looks over to the encampment “An’ it ain’ so usual for them to be vacant like that, though more so these days. It’s a mining outpost. The people who live here, mine for D-Stone. It’s popular. But tha’s why we’re here to find out wha’ happened.”
“Both are, if ye walk quick enough. There’s Vesper, City of Mysteries and where I live. It’s frequented by magic users and D-Bee’s. Dogwood…” Baldur gets a look from the redhead now “… is less tolerant about magic users and D-Bee’s and tends to be more technologically oriented. It’s no’ that the mystically inclined can’ go there but more they are treated with suspicion. They remember how Vesper settled the war.” No, she’s not trying to tweak Baldur but he might be forgiven if he thinks that.
Shaking her head in Baldur’s direction, Half Pint bites her lip as she looks out to the encampment “We don’ know. From what I can see, they just seemed to leave. The equipment seems to be in good order and there’s no obvious sign of struggle. Maybe the Harvest has been here, that’s the obvious answer.”
Harvest? That’s a strange word to use.
Raine looks over, and seems to concentrate, trying to, it would seem, understand what exactly is being described. She munches on the rations, enjoying the taste, it would appear. Amazing! “Is it still dangerous? Will this Harvest be back? Cause it would seem a good opportunity to get in out of the weather. But, I guess not if a dangerous force is coming. ” She nods when she listens to the description. “Well, either seem acceptable, who runs things and how? Is it elective, autocratic? I’m more comfortable with technological, but if what you say is true, perhaps sticking with Vapor would be a best bet for someone coming in cold”
She turns to the Robot. “No Sheriff? Warrior, or Knight? Your modifications seem rather extensive. if that’s not too personal.” She turns back to look at the encampment.
She seems to open her eyes rather wide, and sniff the air. “I don’t see anything there. No EM, IR, or anything like that”
“Ah….” Baldur nods slowly as he gives another look at the abandoned mining camp behind Slaine. His eyes seem to produce the effect of a glower as the mystic mentions the Harvest. That’s what they’ve been calling those guys doing the soul stealing, right?
“What? Oh. Well…. yeah. A little extensive,” he admits, perhaps a bit dryly as he gives something of a shrug at Raine.
“Much too often, these days,” he murmurs as Slaine touches upon the tense relationship that Vesper and Dogwood have. He gestures loosely around them. “I’mma have a look around, if that’s fine with you.” He’s already starting towards an area that’s not already occupied by armsmen.
“No, he ain’ the Sheriff.” Slaine answers one of Raine’s earlier questions as she shifts to take both of them in. “The Lieutenant over there is part of the Vesper armsmen. I’m … a contractor, I s’pose. No’ sure where Baldur fits in the Dogwood Heirachy.”
As to the Harvest “Don’ know if it was The Harvest for sure. Jus’ the most likely culprits at the moment. If it was, they got the souls and the bodies they were lookin’ for and likely won’ be back. They’re still recruitin’ and migh’ hit other encampments aroun’ here. They have been for months.”
“Ye do that, Baldur. Don’ get eaten by grue…” the little redhead is actually teasing the Cyborg. Which leaves her with Raine and the rest of the questions. “You wan’ to know how the cities are governed? Vesper is a republic, really. There’s elections for The Senate every two years, but there’s also The Thirty, a group of Arcane Counselors who have influence as well. Dogwood is a Monarchy and I can’ speak to much on that. But the Nobles and some of the Corporate class hold some rights. I do know the Noble Houses are responsible for their lands and the people on them.”
“Who’s Vapor?” She’s confused by that “Is it travelling companion?”
Raine says, “Sorry, Vesper, then not Vapor. Your accent is giving me a little trouble, it’s not what I’m used to. Is it really a Republic, or is it a Republic that has elections and all the same people get elected. I don’t like the autocratic systems, I’ve had enough of that. ” She turns, and waves to Baldur. “Night, Sheriff,” seems she got that he’s not one, but it…seems like teasing?
“Shall we investigate then, to see if your theory is right?””
“Well, ye look like ye’d do alright in Dogwood. If ye are D-Bee, ye ain’ too exotic.” Slaine answers. “But there’s techno wizards aplenty in Vesper if that’s ye’re thing. Depends on what ye’re lookin’ for. I try to steer clear of it, so I don’ cause trouble.”
The questions about elections gets a small frown as Half Pint starts walking towards the encampment “The seats on the Senate change from time to time, but there are those who’ve been there a while. I’m no’ sure I can really give ye an answer. I’ve no’ traveled further than our borders, really.” Which isn’t so unusual. What is unusual is for beings to travel far, because its hard and very, very dangerous.
As they walk they pass the equipment, just left where it was at the time. The squad of armsmen are up ahead, checking out buildings.
Raine might notice some scuff marks in the dirt next to one of the machines, it’s person sized – like someone fell and then stood up again.
Raine continues to keep alert and aware of her surroundings, and is carefully notes the strange marks in the dirt. “Looks like someone fell and got up over here” she says, pointing at the machine with the suspicious marks. “Well, I may give it a shot. Can you visit between the cities? You said something about a war. And Richmound? Pre-Rift stuff, I assume?” she grins and runs a finger along the equipment surface, feeling for slime and stuff. Well, it was an idea!
“Are you a member of the ruling council, or are you just a Ranger for the city?”
It’s not a bad idea to look at the equipment but it doesn’t really reveal much. The equipment is old but well maintained, so slightly oily and dusty but nothing more than expected given the environment.
“Oh yeah. Ye can. The war was seventy somethin’ years ago. There was one big confrontation and Kailastia, the Dragon who started Vesper, massed all the wizards and techo-mages on the Dogwood borders. Rather than risk losin’, the King of Dogwood sued for peace, but Dogwood has never forgotten and doesn’ trust us. Uh, us, mages and such. Can’ say I blame ’em. It must have been scary seein’ the force we could bring to bear.”
Slaine lets out a long slow breath and looks where Raine indicates “They jus’ people like me real close and if we step out of line, the penalties can be harsh, so I prefer no’ go there if I can avoid it.”
“It does. And over there too.” There’s at least three more places where the dirt has been disturbed. “Harvesters steal a beings soul and then reanimate the bodies… so it migh’ be that. Ranger? No. I’m a contractor. I work for the city on special projects and was investigatin’ this before we knew how big it was.”
“Slaine! We’ve got something.” That’s the Centaur. He’s at a building not too far up. By the time the two women get there, there’s three children, about nine or ten, huddled in the corner holding onto each other. They look scared.
Raine immediately perks up when she hears the war is over. She listens closely to the statements about travel and the Dogwood bodies watching magi closely. “Sounds like tense, but not bad” she says as she then turns her head to look over at the Centaur when he calls out. “Oh, Children” she says, sounding a bit excited. “Did you get anything from them about what went on, Sir?” she asks the Centaur.
She moves quietly over to the children, and kneels down in the dust, a few feet from them. Her eyes may glow slightly, or is it a trick of the light? “Tell me what you remember” she whispers, a static feeling possibly flitting through the air.
Slaine gives Rain a sidelong look just before they enter the building. “An’ ye’self? Ye’re Coalition, right? They ain’ real popular in these parts. What are ye here for?” She knows she’s being blunt, but it’s Slaine. “An’ it depen’s on what ye call bad. Execution ’cause ye cast somethin’ is bad, I think.” she sighs a bit and relents though “Dogwood is tough but they try to be fair. But they will execute mages they think have overstepped their bounds.”
“Oh.” she says, stopping next to the guardsman. The others have, quite sensibly, retired outside. “They were here?”
He nods slowly and speaks as softly as his rumbling voice will allow “They were. In that corner over there. They’re terrified.”
As Raine kneels down in front of them the children look up at her with wide eyes. A golden haired moppet, the youngest of the group, sighs and relaxes just a little as that static teases the air about them. “We were playing in the hill behind here and it was getting dark… I told Michael we needed to get home, Mommy would be cross if we were late….” she stutters and starts to cry.
The oldest boy puts his arm around her shoulder and looks between the adults in the room “When we went to leave, we heard footsteps, lots of them, so we hid. We saw the headman and his wife. The nightshift supervisor, even old Nan. It was the whole village, walking in a group….”
Raine nods, keeping her attention directly on the children,being non threatening and calm. “Go on, those are a lot of important people! What happened then?” she asked with concern. She listens attentively, and keeps her eyes and ears open.
If Baldur had caught any of the conversation between the two women, he doesn’t give any obvious sign of it. Having actually been in the war that Slaine had spoken of to Raine, he’s not too keen on speaking about it, and as much as he’s still not quite trusting of people from Vesper because of it, the cyborg knows another war isn’t what this place needs. A reluctant soldier, that he is.
The structures looked pretty sound and fairly recent of use. They couldn’t have been set up for very long, so the fact that the place was completely empty is a bit creepy. …or maybe not completely abandoned, anyway.
Hearing one of the armsmen call out to Slaine, Baldur looks across the grounds where they’ve gone, starting on over to where the children have been found.
Baldur’s search had proven slightly more fruitful. On the corner of one of the buildings he had found a scrap of black, or very dark, fabric. The part of a robe that had been caught on a nail and torn free as the wearer had moved.
By the time the Cyborg joins them, the little girl is sobbing, burying her head in her brothers neck.
“It was everyone, not just the important one.” The older boy, probably Michael, says to Raine, getting upset himself. “You don’t understand, it was the whole village. We thought they might have been going to a meeting or something so followed carefully. We were hiding in a bush when Daddy went past and his eyes…” his voice fails.
The third child, another girl, picks up the story “… his eyes were dead. It was like there was no one there. Mommy was the same and the others I could see…” she’s sobbing now.
“There was someone in robes, following the group… ” the little girl says in a very scared voice.
Raine nods quietly, listening to the story they’re telling her. “It would seem that you were good in paying such good attention” she says to the children, refraining from touching or otherwise making fearful moves. “Did you see where they went after you saw your Daddy?”
Arms folded, Baldur looks over the children as they cry and explain what they’d seen. His optics dim slightly, both upset at hearing what they’d had to witness and disturbed at what had taken place. He doesn’t know any details in how these Harvesters work, but if they’ve been collecting people without people finding out, this is sure one way to do it, and the fact that it could have gone unnoticed is chilling, more so that there’s already been numerous soulless reported, a veritable army.
“…think this might be important? Look familiar?” he speaks up, stepping forward a bit as he holds up the scrap of fabric he’d found.
“Nnno.” The boy stutters, he’s not crying but his voice breaks. “When we saw the robes we went and hid more then crept back to see if there was anyone left. There wasn’t.”
“When was this?” The Centaur asks.
“Two nights ago…”
Slaine sighs and looks at the scrap that Baldur holds out. “Maybe. The Harvesters I’ve seen wear black robes. That migh’ be one them.” She doesn’t take the scrap just nods to the Centaur who reaches out for it. It’s clear she doesn’t want to touch it, and they both might be asking why. “It sounds like them though. They have a device that they point at an area and take all the souls they can. This village can’ have been very big, no’ many people, so it migh’ only take one of them to secure and guide the newly made soulless. They’ll be goin’ to Richmond, if I’m not wrong.”
“That’s the direction they were heading…” the boy pipes up “… Daddy took me to Vesper via Richmond not too long ago. We went that way.”
Raine nods. “Is there any use in following them, if this soul stealing is so effective? Are they not going to be rescuable? As it might be good if we can return the folk from this village.”
He lets them take the scrap, not really having much use for it otherwise. “A device…? I thought it was by…magic.” Technomagic device? The cyborg supposes it could be possible, although if they managed to do something like that to remove souls… Shaking his head, he looks out in the direction that the boy indicates.
“…Slaine would know better than I could answer,” he suggests, his attention swiveling back towards the mystic. “I’m not really sure how well that works.”
The Centaur coughs at the question and looks pointedly to the door. Slaine nods and gestures for the other two to follow. The guardsman will take care of the children – return to the Vesper and hopefully find a family they can stay with.
Once outside, Slaine shakes her head “They’re dead. They jus’ don’ know it.” She doesn’t sound happy about it but she resigned to the fact. “There is no way to return their souls to them. Besides that following them is folly. There’s an army of tens of thousand at the Coliseum in Richmond. That’s where they’ll be. An’ I don’ know abou’ ye, but I ain’ got the juice to figh’ that many and I’d rather keep my soul, such that it is.”
“An’ yeah, Baldur. A device. I don’ know much more abou’ it than it’s a techno wizard device.” She’d almost forgotten how she stumbled across this problem, she’s been working on it for so long.
“All we can do is head back to town. Even makin’ a report is goin’ to be tough because the Harvesters have infiltrated all levels of government and law enforcement.” That’s something that Baldur’s heard, for sure. “Baldur, ye need to get someone on ye’re side of the river to believe how serious this is. Ye’ve seen this. Ye heard the children. Vesper doesn’ wan’ war with Dogwood. We jus’ wan’ this threat gone.”
But just what are the Harvesters doing with all those souls?
Raine nods, and sighs gently. “And you’ve let the thousands of unsouled to stack up, without a strike or an attempt to destroy the army? I would think that it might be a thing that they’re about to attack someone. At least is there a way to shield against the device?
Baldur is quiet at that, his eyes glowing at a low burn. “So they’ve already slaughtered several armies worth, and they’re trying to start a real one to decimate even more…” He hadn’t quite known whether or not soulless would be restorable, but it’s still a sickening thought that they’d potentially be having to face nothing but puppets made of flesh and blood. Then again, perhaps it’s not that far off from sending someone formerly of, and now metal to do the same.
“I’m a good shot but I don’t have enough firepower to take on that many,” he says, trying to ease off some of the tension of the situation. He nods at Slaine. “I’ll do that. Already fought in one war. I don’t wanna have to do so again, believe it or not.” Slaine should figure which war he means as he looks at her, his optics once again brightening to the usual levels. “Someone out there was already trying to spark us against each other again with our patrols. Magic involved, illusions of some kind, I think. We managed to figure it out before we started exchanging fire. …though I hear there’ve already been other conflicts ‘tween V-town’s and our’s. Involving casualties.”
The cyborg rolls his neck and shoulders, giving off something like a sigh himself. “If there were a way to shield against it, someone might’a figured it out by now. Or have they not thought about it?” He looks from Raine to Slaine. …egads, it’s like twins even with the names. “Where do all those souls go anyway? I’m not exactly an expert in this stuff, but you’ve got an army of undead that we’re able to see. What about the other half?”
Slaine shakes her head and looks at the new comer. “We didn’ let them stack up. This was done over time, usin’ remote locations like this and slavers. By the time we discovered the plot, they’d massed that many and we’ve been workin’ to bring them down.”
Looking over to Baldur and back to the Coalition soldier?, Half Pint shakes her head “Richmond is no mans land. If Vesper were to send an army in there, Dogwood would attack. And vice versa. There’s negotiations to be had to make sure that the region ain’ thrown into a war that neither can afford. It ain’ easy and even less so, when ye don’ know who ye can trus’. A Baldur jus’ said, there’s already been skirmishes and it won’ take much to ignite it.” Yes, she does look at Baldur as he mentions the war, but it’s not like she doesn’t know people who did fight in it. Mages and D-Bee’s are strange people – most are long lived.
“As to attack someone. Maybe. But the Harvest serve an Old One. Most of the Old Ones were locked away centuries again, but a few minor ones managed to remain free. This, we call it the Cold and the Darkness, is plannin’ somethin’ for them souls. We jus’ ain’ sure what. So we’re workin’ as hard as we can, to stop the Harvest and put an end to the threat that is its army.”
The guardsman finish their rounds and gather the children. The trip back is going to take a little longer. “When you’re ready, Slaine. We should be moving.” the Centaur rumbles and the Mystic nods.
“Ye’re welcome to travel with us, Raine. I’d like to hear what someone from the Coalition is doin’ here. Baldur, if ye need to get word to me or need my help, ye can find me by way of Grans in Vesper. An’ the problem with protectin’ agains’ the weapon, is knowin’ when it’s about – that Harvester only needed to be in the vicinity to take all of it out with one blow.”
Raine nods. “Perhaps I can tell my story, if I get in a nice dry and warm place. If that’s in your city then let’s be about it. Just let us say I left Coalition lands to avoid lead poisoning.”
He’d like to know what the Coalition’s doing here as well, but they’ve got other, more pressing worries for now, and Raine’s questions and general uncertainty about the local cities and such do raise some questions. She really from that end or are they not all that up to date with how things work on this side of the mountains?
“I’ll try to remember that, Slaine.” Doesn’t mean that Baldur will be making any trips to Vesper any time soon- if he can help it. He’s never been there, obviously, and he hasn’t any inclinations to go, but if he has to… Well, he won’t think too hard about it. There are plenty of better qualified people to go, and he’s got… Things. To do. Yes.
“Guess I’ll be heading back. Needa rendezvous with the rest of my patrol. Think they wandered off without me.” Actually Baldur, it’s probably the other way around.
Turning, the cyborg starts back along the way he’d come, waving a hand as he picks his way back down the terrain. More awful findings, more terrible news. It’s become quite the trend of late.
Slaine's little group from Vesper isn't the only one drawn to an abandoned mining encampment. Not only does a representative from Dogwood appear, but...someone from the Coalition?
July 13, 2410
Appalachians, Old Richmond