The plan, in so far as it goes, is relatively simple. Jack is going to be waiting for Hunter to show up at the old mill. It’s very likely that the hostage – Susana – will be in the mill itself somewhere, that there will be a sniper on the second floor of it and 3-5 other gunmen scattered about. The Wolfen is going to walk up as if he intends to go through with the duel. It’ll keep their eyeline on him. He’s going to depend on Yaren and Ardul to rescue the hostage and take out some of the gunmen quietly before any of the shooting starts. If they don’t get to the hostage she’ll almost certianly be killed in a firefight. If they don’t get some of the gunmen Hunter will be shot in the back.
“So it’s just up head. I need to appear to be alone. Are there any questions on what to do?”
Ardul had spent the previous evening making some adjustments to her armour to allow her to be a little more stealthy. “If Yaren can get into the hostage and take out the hostage, I can cover most of the others scattered around.” She says as her eyes scan the area. “I’ll come in from above and get the drop on them.”
She can move fast and she’s skilled. It’s unlikely she’ll be fast enough to get all five gunmen, but it will give Hunter time to take out Jack.
“No questions. Don’t get yourself hurt, ok? Either of you.”
It’s simple in form, but only if things go smoothly. Yaren knows that they’ve narrowed down what to expect, so hopefully anything unpredicted might still fall within the abilities for which they’d be able to act. He nods at Hunter to acknowledge the first, and then shakes his head to the second.
“This one hopes the same of you, Ardul,” he says before looking from the winged woman to the wolfen, both his friends. “Be most careful. This one will do his best.” Iinya tightens against his arm, perhaps sensing the anxious situation, ready to go.Hunter nods. “I will be. Good luck.” And then he takes off at a walk down the road.
The road bends around a hill and climbs up to a flattned, graded area where the mill stands. A stream crosses the property and the mill itself consists of a main house and a tower jutting up from it. It’s sheltered on the north and west ends by additional hills and on the east the property becomes thickly wooded rather quickly. Jack is standing out there waiting. Susana is visible bound and gagged through the doorway and it’s almost certain that there will be someone in there with her.
Once Ardul gets airborn she’ll be able to spot the sniper in the tower pretty easily. There’s another rifleman concealed behind a tree on the hill to the north waiting for some kind of signal. Yaren, likely via Iinya, will be able to pick out another pair in the woods to the east. That’s four. It’s probable that there’s one or two more but that’s what they have for now.
“May the wind support you.” Ardul nods to her two companions as her wings beat down powerfully. Dirt and debris eddies at their feet as the blonde lifts into the air and she circles, taking note of what she can see.
It’s what she can’t see that worries her most.
Waiting, watching, as Hunter takes that walk, she angles herself ready to hit the Sniper. Too early, she’ll tip the rest of the gunmen off. Too late, they’ll loose the girl and Hunter will at least be injured.
As she hears Hunter engage Jack, the winged woman ignites her energy sword and swoops like an avenging angel – coming out of the light right at the sniper, blade flashing. She’s aiming to disable but she’s not going to shed many tears if this one dies.
Yaren is as silent as the wind, moving smoothly off in opposite direction of the others. Iinya glides from high above, and through a connection so forged from the years they’ve spent in each other’s company, Yaren can see as she does while maneuvering as carefully as he can along the ground.
Two they see, then two they shall take. The strike will be conducted simultaneously, Iinya circling around before taking to a dive to disable if not disarm one, Yaren releasing the focus of holding the image of a body in order to speed his immaterial self through the other to incapacitate them.“Hello Jack.” Hunter says as he steps up and squares off against the man at a distance of twenty feet or so.
“Hunter.” Jack spits into the ground. “Glad ya came. The girl’ll be glad too.”
“Kinda low to kidnap to get my attention…” Hunter twitches his duster back and his hand hovers over his hip.
Hunter glances sideways, toward the door. The hired gun with the hostage is standing out of sight but he can see just the tip of a gun barrel of to the left of the girl.
So. This’ll be interesting.
“Let’s get this over with, Jack.” Hunter half growls.
“Oh don’t worry, wolfie. It’ll be over soon enough.” Hunter’s hand blurs downward. Jack’s does the same.
Gunshots ring out. The wolfen actually puts his first shot through the left side of the doorway of the mill, dropping the man with the hostage, then turns his weapon on Jack. The outlaw’s pistol is up and firing. He wings Hunter, scorching his coat on the right side as the wolfen sends a bolt into his shoulder, burning the armored coat away to reveal a juicer’s biocomp.
Ardul crashes into the top floor and cuts away the rock right in front of the sniper’s face. He stumbles backward, gets caught in the leg and then stomped on with a booted foot. One down. Yaren stuns another but Iinya gets spotted on the way in. One shot goes up toward the metal snake and then three gunmen begin firing on Hunter. The two left that Ardul and Yaren are aware of plus a third that had been hiding in the mill’s basement and now emerges with what looks like an automatic ion rifle. Hunter’s in the open. He hasn’t been hit yet but it’s only a matter of time if the number of guns on him doesn’t come sharply down.
With the sniper down, Ardul doesn’t stop, she spins and launches herself towards the treebound gunman in the North. She’s quick, but is she quick enough?
She doesn’t move in a horizontal line though. Her wings beat down powerfully again, lifting her skyward and once she’s made the height she needs, she dives at that tree, putting her speed and weight behind it. She’d prefer to hit the gunman, but the branch or tree will do as well.
Iinya twists, sparks trailing in the wake of the shot that shaves past her, still intent on her mark, but only Yaren is aware of the creature’s chagrin for being spotted. He feeds her frustration, although mostly for the alarm of the other shots that sound. With no eyes in the air, he’s uncertain as to which shots belong to the Wolfen and which are of whatever other number of gunmen Jack may have around, but there’s undoubtedly more gunfire than he’d like.
Yaren leaves Iinya to deal with her target, his unbound form shooting a straight line for the next nearest shots, only marked by a wispy violet trail.Ardul does hit the tree. Kind of. She hits the tree sword first about fifteen feet above her target and neatly slices out a chunk of trunk that drops onto the gunman below and KO’s him. Yaren swiftly comes to Iinya’s aid in the mean time and sends his next target off into the realm of the sandman. That one’s going to be out for while. Like… possibly a couple of days.
Hunter in the mean time ignores the now reduced fire coming toward him and instead circles to his right to put the building between him and the last remaining gunman who isn’t Jack.
Speaking of Jack, Hunter lines up his next shot as Jack tracks him. The man is much quicker now, but then he is a juicer now.
But he’s not quick enough as it turns out. Hunter fires. The blast hits Jack square in the chest, fries his biocomp and several other vital things behind his ribcage.
It’s over. Well it’s not quite over there’s one gunman to deal with. Hunter glances behind him and reloads. That last shot? It sounded like one shot. But it was four.
That smarts. Cutting into tree on your way down, energy blade or not, hurts. Still, the winged warrior hits the gunman and takes him to the ground with her. She wasn’t stopping.
As the last shot rings out, it was just one right?, and silence falls, the blonde picks herself up and peers around. “Stay here…” she instructs the unconscious gunman – she’s being cute – and she moves at speed again, round to where she thinks Hunter is, blade held at the ready.
“Hunter, Yaren. Report.” She’s fallen back into her soldiering ways as she sees the mess that once was Jack.
With other concerns on his mind, Yaren hardly has a second thought towards the gunman he’s just dropped. Iinya rejoins him, the two taking to the skies as they make way towards the mill.
Unfortunately since he’s left his clothing back in the woods, he doesn’t hear Ardul’s inquiry. But nor does Yaren hear any other shots, and that can be either good or bad. He does know and believe in Hunter’s skill with a gun, having seen it himself back at Saren’s Rest, but until he sees the Wolfen, he can’t help but worry.
Were there any more gunmen lurking in the woods? Iinya sees no movement below, and neither of them hear anything further, not past the resounding shot just moments ago. The winged serpent chimes as she spies Ardul also making her way back to Hunter’s point, and the mill itself is well within view, along with the fallen figure and the Wolfen himself. But it seems there’s yet one more threat…
“-Hunter!” Yaren shouts, and Iinya tucks into an arrow-like dive.Hunter turns to face the new threat as it comes around the corner but Yaren beats him to the punch. A ball of glowing energy engulfs the gunman and he collapses like a sack of potatos.
And the only sound that’s left in that moment is the terrified sobbing of the woman in the mill.
“I’m fine.” Hunter says, dusting himself off. His coat is gonna need some repairs but he’s uninjured. “Everyone else okay? And… is that you Yaren?” He’s never gotten a look at him quite like that.
With Yaren taking care of the latest threat Ardul makes her way to the mill, extinguishing her sword well before she gets there and clipping the cylinder back onto her hip. “I’m well Hunter. A few splinters that might need removing later.” she says dryly, the glowing, violet, will’o’wisp getting a second take from the winged warrior.
Crouching beside the traumatised woman, she keeps her voice pitched low and wings furled tightly on her back “Susana. You’re safe now. Let me untie you. Are you hurt?”
The wispy form pulls up almost wearily from the fallen gunman, hanging there in the air at Hunter’s eye level. It emits a sigh as the Wolfen claims that he’s all right, and Iinya, chirp-chiming, circles in for a landing on the Wolfen’s head.
“…yes, it’s me. This one thought haste would be best…” Yaren replies, sounding relieved now that they were all in the same place and the fight over. The swirling trails of energy flick slightly as though in some sort of gesture. “…this one is sorry things didn’t go as smoothly as we had hoped, but it is good to see that you and Ardul are all right.” The winged woman would receive something of a ‘wave’ with a vapory trail.“N-no…” Susana says. She clearly is hurt. Cut. Dirty. Her wrists have ligature marks. But she’s possibly not seriously hurt. It’d be a good idea to have her checked over. “Are they gone?”
Hunter’s eyes track up as he develops a serpent hat. “Hey there.” Hello little razor winged snake. Be careful up there.
“Don’t worry about it too much Yaren. No one’s seriously hurt that didn’t deserve to be and we got the girl. This one’s done and dusted… though we’ll need to go talk to the Justicars.”
“Hunter, your coat please?” Ardul makes request as she checks Susana over. It doesn’t look like Jack touched her but the winged warrior will ensure the medics see to her. “They are gone.” She can’t keep the cold tone from her voice or her eyes at that, and forces herself to take a deep breath. “You are safe…” That’s better, much more reassuring.
Helping the girl up and out to the others, the blonde won’t let her out of her sight. “You did well, Yaren. As I tell all my soldiers, no plan survives engagement. But we did and so did Susana.” If Hunter hands over his duster, she’ll wrap it around the girls shoulder – yes, she’ll swim in it and it will drag on the ground, but Ardul isn’t planning on making the woman walk.
“We should go. Take Susan back to town and report this. Do you need anything from here before we go, Hunter?”
Yaren bobs in the air, a rough approximation of a nod. “This is true,” he says, regarding the former hostage that Ardul administers to, even though he for the most part remains hovering where he is, unchanged. Iinya flicks her tongue at Hunter’s ear, tucking her wings closely so its edges won’t do any damage.
“Perhaps this one should go and retrieve his things,” the wisp suggests, moving enough to turn in the direction of the woods. “Will it be all right to leave those men where they are?” Aside from the one here, there were several out amongst the trees, after all.“I’d tie them up but it’s possible something might wander by and eat them…” Hunter says as he holsters his weapon and strips off his coat. There’s a hole on the left side. He’ll need to get that seen to. It’ll still do for Susana though.
“As it is I think we can make sure the Justicars get back before they wake up. Let’s go. We can take the ATV at the shack back to Vesper. And… thanks for your help.”