Buy The Bye has certainly seen it’s share of customers lately. With the Senate mobilising an army, that’s probably a given. What’s a little unusual is that the Techno Wizard has been asked to make a delivery to Slaine McClennan. Not at Grans though. At a warehouse, right on the outskirts of Vesper, towards Richmond.
The only thing he’s been told is what to bring, where to meet and when. Given it’s Slaine, that’s probably not unexpected. The note he received was a mix of pictograms (normal for the illiterate Mystic) and child-like handwriting.
When he gets there, Slaine is waiting. Pacing in front of the warehouse, looking slightly irritated.
Muttering to himself, “Drags ME away from my projects in the middle of the day, probably missing my appointment with Teddy, but NOOOoooOO.” Sterling does seem to be a bit grumpy today although the fact he’s covered in soot means something exploded . . . again, and well soot clashes wiuth all fashion statements.
“Alright Slaine, what’s so important that it couldn’t wait until-oh, Leo you’re here too.” Sterling looks around for a moment. “Where is the half-pint?”
Leo’s chosen form of transportation around town is usually his feet, but when that’s not an option, namely when making deliveries, he takes the cart. The cart is somewhat famous around town for it’s oddness, modeled after a horse drawn cart of old it’s been clearly crafted from the remains of some sort of armored vehicle or tank. It’s sides are plated steel, the axel is a thick peice metal, nearly as thick as a healthy tree, and the tires are the large sort that despite having long since been worn past the tred to a polished smoothness, are just as obviously never going to pop as they are olden times military issue solid rubber. Oh. Yeah. And there’s the odd bit about there not being any horses to pull it despite all the usual rigging sticking out in front of the cart like a jousting lance set for a team of four.
The horseless horse-drawn cart makes it’s way down the street in shocking quiet, the tires softly crunching gravel. Engineless transport always seems odd because of the lack of noise… Leo likes odd things. It’s why he put the horse power /in/ the cart. Literally. He pulls up to a stop, tugging on actual reigns that lead to nothing, just seeming to dangle off the front of the cart, and mutters a soft “Whoooooa girls, whoa…” when the cart comes to a stop and he turns to see the pair waiting for him he reaches up to tip his bowler hat, “Slaine.” he says warmly, “Sterling.” he says a touch cooly. Rivalry is good for business they say, but Leo’s not sold on the concept.
Both men might recognise the area as not far from a ‘Lovers Lookout’. Well. What passes for such in these days. It’s well secluded and somewhat protected and for years, couples have been … well, you know.
Slaine walks round the corner as both men appear, muttering half to self “Where’s Kaji when I need him. Gran said we needed to look a couple to spring this trap.”
Leo and Sterling will hear that last bit. Couple? Trap? What maggot is eating Slaines brain now?
“Ye got my note then. I need both of ye help….” she bends a look on the shorter of the two Techno Wizards cooler greeting “We’re goin’ to bait a trap and I need ye’re expertise to do it….”
Sterling cocks a smile at Slaine, “Mein liebchen if I’d known you needed a partner for a lover’s trap all you needed to do was ask.” As he smiles Sterling walks around the area almost as if casing it. As he paces the soot begins to fall off his clothes in wisps and small clouds in a Pig-Pen-like fashion.
When he is satisfied with the relative security, Sterling brings out a small brass orb the size of his palm and charges it with magic. The magic reveals well-hidden crystalline relays embedded along the surface of the brass as they emit a soft flow of arcane energy.
“Orb of Silence. Useful little trinket when you want to have a private conversation.”
‘Now, in all seriousness what is it you need?”
Leo leans forward and props an elbow on his knee and a fist under his chin, “What’s in it for me?” he asks flatly, “Because so far you already owe me for the load,” he jerks his thumb at the back of the cart, “and delivery fee. Minus the ‘person I don’t hate’ discount that’s still a few pennies in a jar.” And it’s a well known FACT about town that Leo is sexless. Every whore and 2 bit gold digger has tried his or her hand at snagging Leo as a romantic conquest. None have gotten into the batter’s box, much less seen the shadow of a base. So he knows he’s not here for that… at least he hopes not.
“Yeah. I agree. Fuck him.” he points at Sterling with a gloved finger and pales a little at even the hint that that’s what she was looking for. EWWW! Slaine’s a GIRL! They clearly have cooties. Or whatever.
Slaine just blinks at Leo and shakes her head “Ye know I’m good for it, so quit ye’re complainin’. What’s in it for ye is more pay. And I’m doin’ this cause the Harvesters are comin’ for Kaji, an’ we’re goin’ to trick them.” beat “We’ve just got to make people think we’re a thin’ for a short while.” Because really, Slaine kind of likes Gingers. And rugged. And older.
Remember Kaji, Leo? Your diet minion? Not that Slaine knows that. Yet.
“What she needs is some serious defensive works…” A tall, bearded, olive skinned with muscles says, just after Sterling activates that Orb.
He hadn’t been there a moment ago, had he? Sterling had checked. But here he is. And he’s … smiling.
At his hip is a hammer, a big one. And judging by those muscles, he could swing it all day.
“Scheisse!” Sterling reacts as the lumberjacks idea of a lumberjack appears from flipping nowhere. About halfway through drawing his TW pistol Sterling realizes that the man is unarmed which probably wouldnt have made a difference, but more importantly he doesn’t appear to be threatening.
Eyes shifting back and forth between the man and Slain, “So. Defensive work?”
Leo sighs and waves a hand surrendering his acknowledgement that he agrees, Slaine is good for it… one way or another. Worst case senerio she’d owe him, and that’s a place he likes everyone to be given the chance. Wait. Kaji? He sits up a little bit more and frowns, “Oh that’s not playing nice, love.” he quips as he fidgets for a moment, “Fine. I’m in.”
When Big, Muscely, and Hammer…y, appears in the circle Leo rolls backward off of the cart seat and falls into the cart’s storage area, dropping instantly from sight behind armor plated edges. There’s a soft mechanical whirring sound from back there, “Do I murder him??” he asks, his voice tinny from the metal echo in the back of the cart. Defensive work is /really/ not Leo’s thing. Not that he can’t, he’s quite skilled at it, but it’s more Sterling’s gig. Leo’s the guy that makes the murder happen. Speacialities are a thing.
Slaine just smiles beatifically at Leo. She knows what she did, even if she doesn’t realise just how important Kaji is to the shorter the Techno Wizard. It’s entirely possible that the Mystic has been dealing with Dragons a bit and isn’t afraid to pull strings when she needs to.
As the man appears, she starts and peers at him. “Who are ye?”
“”Ho ho ho…” The man draws closer, dragging a leg beside him, it seems he’s crippled. “Ye’re welcome to try.” He seems rather amused by Leo’s question. “But then how would you learn to do this ….” With a mutter and a pass of his hand, a sparking rod of lightning appears in his hand “And … defensive work and a kill zone …”
Sterling looks mightily unimpressed. “So you can control magic” he says waving sarcastic jazz hands “welcome to Vesper.”
Easing off the trigger of his pistol, “Not one of yours Slaine? You SURE you don’t want Leo to plug him; I mean he did just appear from thin air and seems to know something of what you are already planning.” Sterling’s hand remains firmly on his pistol’s handle. “Could be with the Harvester’s for all we know.”
From the back of the cart Leo rises up with what looks like a Tesla coil the size of him, swung about on an articulated arm, clearly mounted to the inside of the storage area of the cart somehow. It’s arm’s action is smooth, not fixed, meaning Leo can adjust to angles of fire from high or low, and there’s no limit to the arc save point it right at his own feet. It /also/ appears to be humming softly and has small arching of electricity snapping along the concentric copper rings at it’s end.
The business end of the weapon ends up pointed at the stranger. Leo grins at him, “I brought my own.” he says almost cheerily. Slaine’s seen a similar version of this turret weapon before, on their first outing with Aliana and Aiden and the others that went out on Council business awhile back. He carried it on his back, it was smaller, but potent, and far less agile. Leo’s made some improvements and apparently sacrificed portability for firepower. “So….” he asks, one of his thumbs flicking along a dial on the back, causing the end of the weapon to spit more aggitated looking arcs, “do I murder him or what?” see how professional he’s being? He asked before shooting the stranger. Leo is clearly growing as a human being. “What the armorer said.”
“Do ye two ever stop to think …” Slaine mutters. At least Leo hasn’t just opened fire and is being fairly professional. So’s Sterling for that matter. But still. “Ye’re here with the others aren’t ye?” beat “Are ye observin’, seein’ what Persephone is doin’ or do ye have a purpose in bein’ here?”
Persephone? Both Sterling and Leo should know that name.
“I’m //fairly// certain he’s no’ with the Harvesters’. One his … compatriots … has tasked us with stoppin’ them. It seems to have bought a number of them out to spectate.” For the moment, she’ll let them draw their own conclusion. “How do we call ye then?”
As Leo aims the tesla coil thing at him, the dark skinned man laughs again. He’s not pretty, by any stretch of the imagination. “You can try to stop me, you two, if you like. Or you can help the lady out …” Looking to Slaine, his smile more like a grimace “You can call me Wayland.”
Sterling feigns offense at Slaine’s words, “Of course we think. And right now I think it very strange for a gods — small ‘g’ mind you — to be involved.”
Eyeing ‘Wayland’ up and down Sterling mutters to Leo, “You know shooting him might be a kindness, and I’m not saying that just because I want to see what would happen. Ok. Maybe just a little curious.”
“So you’ve said a lot about traps and harvesters but what is you two are scheming?”
Leo tilts his head to the side slightly and makes a face like he tasted something he didn’t like very much, “Sooooo…. that’s a no to the murder?” he asks, sounding hopeful. One presumes hopeful that he’s wrong. Leo’s not a known pacifist after all. After Slaine starts talking to the man he makes a different face and deflates slightly. “That’s a no.” he says, his tone forlorn. He thumbs the charge on the turret back down to a soft hum and hrmphs! his way back up into the drivers seat of the cart, “No one ever lets me murder anyone anymore.”
He seems to think for a moment, then nods his head firmly, and a set of lenses drop down from somewhere inside his bowler and settle over his eyes. He turns to look at the stranger, “I don’t know why you’re humo-ARGHLE!” Leo’s hands snap to his face as the lenses over his eyes suddenly flare with a bright light and shatter, his fingers clawing the entire contraption out from inside his hat with a sudden very firm pull, “FUCK! GAH! FUCKITY FUCKFUCK!” the smokeing ruin of the lenses land on the ground next to the cart as Leo covers his eyes and stomps his foot repeatedly. His language becomes… colorful. It may have something to do with someone’s mother enjoying an unhealthy sexual obsession with various farm animals.
‘Wayland’ tsks as Leo’s lenses shatter. “You didn’t listen to the lady did you?” He turns his broken visage to Sterling and raises an eyebrow “After seeing that, do you want to try?”
“Actually, I just came to see what the fuss was about. “If that degenerate, Ultor has taken an interest…” he sneers and his tone turns cold “… then I want to see what I can do.” That might leave them wondering whether this is a good thing or not. “But from what I can see, you need all the help you can get, if the lady is to survive. Would you like it…?”
“I ain’ no lady.” Slaine grumbles and for the moment, she’s quiet.
As Slaine and the stranger talk Sterling begins casually tossing the brass orb up and down. Booooooring. Hey, that ‘Wayland’ said something about Persephone. He’s not also a-Sterling’s orb lets off a glimmer of silver light has he attempts to peer at the true nature of ‘Wayland’.
*Thud*. The orb lies there on dirt with Sterling’s hand still held out to catch it. With eyes wide and mouth slightly ajar Sterling stares at the stranger with disbelief. The silver light fades as Sterling stares at a being of immeasurable primal power; fire burning everlasting, hotter than the sun’s core, and brighter than a thousand stars.
Sterling’s hand eases away from his pistol altogether. Killing a being like this is out of the question he looks at Leo as he reacts to the blinding fire. It appears they both are having similar realizations. A much more somber, respectful Sterling speaks, “Apologies. I had assumed you were some two-bit magic-hack prying into other people’s business.” Sterling pauses for a moment. “Sooooo. Slaine. What am I supposed to make this time?”
Leo blinks rapidly as he looks up, one of his eyes is red throughout the whites, as if it suffered a burst vessel, and there’s some charring of the skin around the other, “Ooooo.” he says, blinking the red eye at the stranger, “Asking a question like that of me shows a /serious/ lack of research on your part.” when he smiles this time it’s more about bareing his teeth then grinning. He reaches up and plucks a sliver of glass from his eyebrow without expression and flicks it away into the dirt. A moment later a drop of blood runs along the inside of his nose.
He turns his expression over to Slaine then, still blkinging a bit, “Im fine. Just… lots of pretty colored dots in my vision. It’ll fade.” he wipes the blood from his eyebrow with the back of a gloved hand, “What do you need me to make?” That last bit is said almost in unison with Sterling.
“Suit yourselves then … I don’t offer my gifts lightly.” Wayland answers. “… I shall enjoy the show, none the less.” For the moment he leans against the warehouse wall, watching the little group.
Slaine eyes the smith and shakes her head “I accepted Lyceus’ ‘gift’ of assistance. I’m no’ sure I’d recommend anyone accepts anythin’ else.” The two TW’s questions has her perking up a little. “Well. That sort of depends on what ye’d recommend.” She gestures to the where ‘lovers lane’ is. “The plan is for Kaji and I to ‘slip away’ for some … *cough* … quiet time. Letting the Harvesters find alone. But we won’ be now, will we? Sterlin’ I need somethin’ that will keep Kaji safe and secure anythin’ they migh’ bring with them. Leo, I’ll need ye to make this into a killin’ field. We don’ know how many they’re sendin’ after him…”
“I’ve a thousand ideas but the more specifics the better. Hard to protect someone against, well, everything.” Sterling paces back and forth as he brainstorms. “However, conventional wisdom has taught me to best dodge attack” he says in a slightly offensive accent “no be there.”
“Additionally it would be easier for Leo to operate if he didn’t have to worry about designing around crossfire. Perhaps an amulet that teleports the wearer a short distance away at the last possible second of receiving a blow. Throw in an illusion matrix to make it look like you got hit and are unconscious on the floor” Sterling’s foot kicks his orbs a short distance and he makes a frame with his fingers as if imagining something. “That should bait them into getting close to the fake bodies. Once clumped together Leo’s contraption should be able to easily hit them all just as they realize they’ve been duped.”
Leo tilts his head to the side and he grins again, this time, the smile touches his eyes. There is something unsetteling about a small man in a bowler hat, scalded skin around one eye, scarlet splotches showing up in the other, while a trickle of blood runs down the center of his face… smiling. Happily. “A killing field…” his tongue flicks over his teeth, “What… kind of budget do you have?” he asks curiously.
Without looking Leo extends a gloved hand, pointing at the god, “And you stay right there. I wanna have a talk with you mister.” A god, actual god, is offering help to Leo, sorta, Leo isn’t the sort to just let that opportunity slip on by.
He taps his chin with a fingertip and gets the far away look in his head that says he’s contemplating something that is /definately/ going to kill something. Maybe even the thing he means for it to kill. “I can do a mine field with crossing automated turret fire,” he looks up at the lover’s lane, “have to get the lay of the land though, never been there. Ooooo.” he perks up a bit, “What about a concussive rolling firewave? I’ve had this theory about mixing a wind charm with a large scale firewall spell, I could place one at either end of the lane thingie, capture everyone in the middle and then roast everything!!” he’s standing up in the cart now, “Oo! Oo! Chain lightning mines! Always wanted to do that…. You think there will be a lot of guys you need me to murder, or just like one big one? Cause I have this mortar see, and it’s filled with razors that’s I’ve linked to a bee hive mind…”
Slaine just smiles at the two TW’s. “This is why I bought ye both out here. I don’ know what will work best, but what I do know is I wan’ to trigger it. Not have it triggered on its own. Of course, when this is all over, we’ll have to tear it all out. Don’ wan’ innocents caught up in this.”
“Budget? How’s a thousand silver cash?” Thaaaaaat’s an awful lot of money. “And I think we’ll be dealin’ with a few Harvesters. Not one. But dozens either – they wan’ Kaji alive.” She thinks on that for a bit. “At least for the moment.”
“Teleporting works, Sterlin’. I don’ have that ability. But I’ll need the two of ye too work together, with me, on this an’ we don’ have much time either. They’re already on the move.”
Wayland laughs as Leo points to him and gets excited about Chain lightning mines and the like. “If you want to talk, I’ll be right here. As to lightning mines …” he gestures again and lightning ripples over the ground at his feet. “Interested yet?”
Whatever else happens, it’s going to take a while for the group to set the area out.
Sterling wispers when the budget is mentioned. “I’m in.”
Leo perks up, “A thousand you say.” he blinks, eyes Sterling, then Slaine, then Wayland, then his cart, “Oh Slaine,” he says, hopping off of the drivers seat and walking around to the back of the cart, there he grips the tarp that’s still half covering the contents, and tugs it free. He rolls it up around his arm and stuffs it in the back beforing stepping away so that Sterling and Wayland can both see what the cart holds… It’s a portable lab.
Clearly it’s not everything one would need to do heavy work, but it’s got a forge, a foundry, raw material supplies in labled shelves, some basic hand tools, scribbing tools, dozens of crystals, settings, premade explosives in carefully labled containers, chemicals and agents and reagents and dozens of prepped weapons already for just their finishing touches laying in wait. Leo claps his hands together and rubs them furiously, “Wayland, Sterling… who wants to make some beautiful music with me?” he asks, pulling out a heavy leather apron and tossing it over his head so that it rolls down his front. “I’m thinking something with a really good beat,” he pulls out a jar that seems to contain roiling fire, “and heavy percussion….”
Slaine reaches out to two of the best Techno Wizards she knows for help in setting up the trap for The Harvesters coming for Kaji
June 16, 2410