Aiden, Slaine and Varos have managed to A) get back to the ship without being ambushed and B) recover enough metal to probably fix it. Without a proper set of tools to make small, precision bits, Ghost is trying to telepathically coach the earth mage to shape the pieces they need out of whole bits of metal. They’d be rather stuck if they didn’t have her. Aiden might need to get a proper crew, even if it’s just a small one.
Idly, the Psychic is wondering if Raksha and Anyn do moonlighting work. That’s probably a bad thing to wonder. He still has a hat and shirt he’s going to have to try on at some point. But yes, a small crew wouldn’t go amiss.
“So tell me, Lindsey, what exactly happened on the mission you were on. From the way you describe it, you were a pretty small time psychic. Those types don’t usually suddenly power up out of control…”
With nothing really for him to do, Varos has taken on the task of surveillance while the others are working on things. He idly roams the main deck of the ship in a casual circuit, and figures that so long as the most of what he sees is from his fellow crewmates, all is well.
…except that it isn’t quite. His steps slow mid-route of his second round, head lifting as he nears where the others are again. Frowning he pulls in his focus, but in that, it still feels like what he sees isn’t quite in focus itself. Which is strange, and really makes no sense to him given that he’s seeing the same things he knows he should be.
Wincing, Varos steps over to the railing, bringing a hand to his visored face. “Strange…” he murmurs as he tries to shift his focus between those present, like tuning into radio stations to see if he can pinpoint the problem or if it’s something else entirely. Which…would be more troubling.
Such magical workings are tiring for Slaine – well, the sheer amount of it is. She only has so much juice in the tank. So it’s surprising that the coaching seems to be going well, even if she’s had to start over a couple of times.
“Sorry, Ghost. I’m trying … ” she murmurs as she finishes the next part that they need. This one had only taken two goes. “I … can we take a break for moment? Let me catch my breath and then start up again?”
She’s not really hearing anything else going on around her. This type of work, takes focus.
Of course Slaine. We’re making progress. I think we’re nearly there… Ghost says. It’s easier to do it with him because he can show her hte pictures of what to make in her head which is where it needs to be for her to duplicate the shapes they require.
“I’m not certain. There was… something. Something that drove the creatures in the area berserk. Atlanta was one of the first cities to fall but the demons – that’s what we called them I don’t know if they were – just savaged it. Even after the people were long gone they tore the city apart brick by brick.”
Clearly they eventually stopped. There are still bricks left.
Varos can focus on the individuals present with… minimal blurring. There is still some and it’s never been there before. But there are no other beings nearby. At least… not in the conventional sense…
“They called it ‘Asmodae’.” A soft, high pitched voice says not too far away. Aiden spins to see a saurian head peeking up from the gunwale. “You!”
The resulting only makes his frown deepen. This isn’t normal, and he’s starting to feel a bit concerned. How to word it though? Shaking his head, Varos sighs, easing his focus from the four, only to jump when another perspective slips into his widened range.
“Er. Sorry,” he apologizes, grimacing as he admits, “Was a bit distracted.” A terrible thing to be for someone playing sentry, to be sure, but was he the only one picking up this weirdness? He still looks a bit bothered even as he turns his attention to the Saurian that Aiden faces.
It certainly is easier when Slaine can see what’s needed and she smiles faintly when Ghost agrees they can rest. “I won’ need long…”
She frowns as she see’s Varos’ posture, it looks like he’s worried about something but Lindsey’s words finally catch her. “You’re saying that whatever drove people berserk made your psychic powers go out of control?” She’s made that connection, she thinks. Spinning as Aiden does, the gem in the Crown winking angrily, Slaine frowns at the Saurian “We told you to stay … but what did they call Asmodae?”
Given the Mystic had been working a similar spell to the one she used earlier, she should have been aware of that spear. “How … did you get near us, anyway?”
“I… don’t know.” Lindsey says. “I don’t even know what was doing that. It made the demons violent. After a really nasty encounter a few of my people got killed and I got… emotional. That’s when it started happening.”
“The Asmodae fed on the people here, and the demons. It fed on their passions until the iron soldiers of the Ghost-Machine cleansed the area. It was taboo among my people for a long time but the ‘umangi’ have returned.”
Umangi, the way she gestures at Aiden, might mean ‘human’.
It’s… really starting to get difficult for Varos to focus properly. It’s like his vision wants to split like a bad 3d holofilm…
There’s something very wrong here, and as he thinks about it while the Saurian doesn’t seem the least bit put off about her interruption and trespassing, Varos realizes what it is. Even with his focus pulled in as it had been, that had been but a short while, and there’s no way the Saurian could have possibly slipped past his notice in that span of time.
The conversation nevertheless is intriguing, although unfortunately he finds it harder to really concentrate enough to ask any questions he might have himself as his psyvision starts to go even more weird on him. He staggers back against the railing again, gripping the wood as he tries to keep grounded by the more solid things around him and under his feet.
“Something’s….really screwing things up…. Like looking through too many drunks’ eyes…”
Slaine glances at Aiden and Ghost as Varos speaks before looking back to the Saurian who’s speaking. “Ye didn’ tell me how ye got so close to us…” she says quietly, the gem in the Crown flaring brightly. It’s possible the gem responds to her … emotions.
“Varos?” she says quietly, moving to the tailors side so he can lean on her if he needs to. “Vargr, can ye do yer thin’?” The one that blocks everything. At least that will tell them if whatever is affecting Varos is psychic or not.
“How do ye know all this, anyway?” that’s to the Saurian. Lindsey … just gets a look from the Mystic. Aiden’s seen that before – she’s suspicious but she’s letting things pan out before doing anything.
“The Saurians have told these stories for a very long time, oh goddess,” the Saurian replies, averting her eyes and staring at the floor so as not to look directly at Slaine’s divine beauty.
Aiden, who suspects exactly what’s going on, is having a difficult time not laughing.
Goddess? Ghost asks.
“Goddess?” General Sawyer asks at exactly the same time.
Right at that moment Varos realizes something. When he lets his vision unfocus in just the right way… it’s like there’s another person standing between them all. Well ‘presence’, not person. A humanoid form that can only be seen when Varos lets his vision go in just the right way.
Varos loosens his focus slightly only when he feels and hears Slaine step over beside him. He tries to straighten a little, but freezes in the middle of the motion.
It’s probably a good thing that he’s a bit preoccupied. Slaine and Aiden don’t know his fondness for playing up things, but the mystic is saved his version of an explanation only because he thinks he’s seen something. Or someone. His frown flickers slightly as he loses it again, and he tries to toy with the range of his senses again to try catching glimpses.
“…there’s someone else here…”
His not quite whispered observation has nothing to do with the current conversation, obviously.
Slaine siiiiiighs. “I am no’ a goddess. I’m a Mystic.” In fact, Slaine might be more than that in some respects but she’s stubbornly sticking to the ‘just a Mystic’… “An’ don’t ye be laughin’, Vargr …” she grumbles at the man.
Lindsey and Ghost get a long suffering look. “Because I pulled the metal from the earth itself, she thinks it means somethin’.”
“I’m no’ seein’ anyone, Varos…” she says carefully, not dismissing his words. She frowns as she focuses a little, using her psychic senses to see what she might sense.
“I don’t see anyone either…” Aiden mutters.
Lindsey hasn’t heard. Ghost did though and he glances around.
Nor do I…
Now that Varos knows what to look for he can get a decent look at the figure. It isn’t moving. And it’s rather fixated on Lindsey. And in fact there’s some kind of… band of energy connecting the two. Energy that seems to be flowing from Lindsey to the thing.
“She’s just dazzled by Slaine’s obvious divinity.” Aiden smirks. The lizard-person moves off slightly to one side, still not looking directly either at Slaine or Varos.
“The tribes believe that the Asmodae is awakening with the presence of food once more. That it will-”
The shaking starts again. The same as in the room, only now the whole building skeleton that surrounds the ley clipper is shaking.
“Uh… we need to get out of here. Slaine, how fast can you finish those pa-”
Lindsey grabs her head suddenly and cries out in pain. “Not again…”
It takes some doing and no small amount of enduring with an increasing headache as Varos wonders if this is how one feels when cross-eyed. He rests a hand on Slaine’s shoulder, more as an anchor than using her to lean on as he renews his efforts to stand straight.
“There,” he says, bringing his other hand up as he points at the space beside Lindsey. “Something’s…attached? No, linked?”
And then the tremors begin, and once again Varos is reaching for the railing with his free hand as he braces himself. Bad enough he’s seeing double and unknown figures, now he’s gotta juggle this.
“Wait, what was that about Asmodae and food?” He’ll have to be forgiven for not having been able to pay close attention to that conversation but he’s made it out to be something bad, and with things quaking besides…
When Lindsey doubles over he snaps his attention towards her and her ghostly companion (?) again. What’s happening with her? Is that thing reacting too?
“Shut up, Vargr …” Slaine snaps at the psychic and the gem flares brightly. He’ll feel it, the psychic pressure to keep quiet – he might be able to resist it but it’s certainly strong.
“Food? Asmodae eats … people?” Slaine hasn’t realised how strong that pressure was she put on Aiden and the saurian has her attention. Well, at least, she had it until the area starts shaking. “Ghost. I need that last bit we need…” she says urgently, blue energy wending its way up her arms. “No’ long, Vargr. Get the ship ready …” She’ll work as quickly as she can and leave Aiden and Varos to deal with Lindsey.
“You shut up.” Aiden shoots back. The pressure hasn’t worked. Maybe she didn’t apply enough. Hopefully she doesn’t apply more, this would be a bad time for him to not be able to talk.
Ghost closes his eyes to concentrate and send Slaine the image but it comes through fuzzy. She’s going to need to do some guesswork and then Ghost is going to have to install it.
Aiden throws a dome up above the ship to protect it and none too soon as bits of corroded I beam start to fall. That means his attention is fully occupied when Lindsey suddenly grabs a knife off Aiden’s belt and lunges for Varos’ throat.
He’d tell both of them to shut up as it’s not making it any easier to see straight, and while he can get the impression of Slaine’s intent, he’s thankful that it doesn’t seem that it’s worked. Just as well, given they’ve got more important things to be dealing with.
Varos tries his best to filter out the minds of those he doesn’t need to include, especially with Slaine and Ghost working back on the engine. It still takes some doing, it’s a bit dangerous limiting his Sight too much with what’s going on around them- case in point, things starting to fall towards the ship, only worsened for the doubly imposed images as Varos takes it in through Aiden’s eyes. And with no one quite watching Lindsey, what happens next is a complete shock.
None of what happens next connects in any way that he might have anticipated it, and his reaction is purely improvised and sloppy. Despite feeling the bite of the blade grazing the side of his neck, his teeth grate together in a pained grin. “Rggh…” He’d jerked to the side as well as one could when right beside the edge of the deck, a hand brought up with the forming of a small psi-shield in an effort to knock the knife off its mark but not harm Lindsey. Sloppy.
The psychic push from Slaine hadn’t been deliberate. She’s not even really aware that she’s done it. Aiden gets a sour look for his retort but she doesn’t have time for much else as Ghost images form in her head. That’s all they’ll get from the small redhead as she fashions the part, not even cursing as she messes up and has to start again.
“Try that, Ghost …” the Mystic says, turning as Lindsey cries out and lunges.
She doesn’t think, the words for another spell drip from her lips and the air around the human woman thickens and draws in, trying to slow and arrest her movements.
Ghost takes the part and bolts for the engine in lower area of the ship. Varos manages to knock Lindsey’s hand away from the follow up strike and she turns in Slaine’s direction and cocks her hand back as the red haired mage chants out her spell. She lets fly as the air thickens around her, and the dagger sails…
Right into Aiden’s back.
The psychic pitches forward and down a knee and his telekinetic dome crumbles, while the building does the same around them.
The engine’s working! Get us in the air! Ghost think’s Aiden is still up. But he isn’t. Someone else needs to get them moving before they’re buried.
Varos gasps, shoving away from the side of the ship. He throws himself at Lindsey, too late to keep her from harming anyone else but if he swings the side of his hand around to the back of her neck to try and knock her out. “Vargr!” he shouts. He’ll be left with little to go by if everyone’s down or preoccupied with other duties. He shields going down definitely isn’t a good thing, and he knows he can’t form one the sheer size that Aiden can manage, not for a whole ship. Wait, where is that Saurian–
“You!” he snaps, twisting around in the direction she’d last been. Or wherever she is. If she’s there he can tell where so long as he’s still got eyes some place. Hopefully. He’s not sure what that other thing was leeching onto Lindsey but he can’t check to see if it’s still around just yet. “If you can operate a ship, we need you in there. And if not, then I still need your help watching these two!”
Because how bad can letting a blind man fly a ship be? But that seems to be what he intends to do. He’s accustomed himself to the ship’s layout, he knows how to find the wheelhouse, he’s observed Aiden operate the thing, with hands or by psychic ability. At the very least he can try to get them airborne, and doing nothing definitely isn’t an option!
“No!” Slaine sprints across the deck to Aiden, trying to catch him before he hits the deck. Ghost. Vargr’s down. We need help up here … “Varos, get us in the air…”
Varos can certainly use Slaines eye’s, even if she doesn’t know he needs to. The wheelhouse and the chaos unfolding around is all to real. There’s still the sense of other watching as well and if Varos isn’t mistaken, it’s … smirking.
“Steady, Vargr.” she murmurs, leaving the knife where it is for the moment. She won’t pull it out till she’s sure she can do safely.
As for Lindsey, the Mystic ties the air around her so tightly she can’t move. She’ll deal with the woman … later.
Aiden is heavy. Slaine knows this. He’s quite solid and she’ll get to experience that first hand. He’s got a punctured lung from the way he’s breathing. It’s not life threatening – well, not yet. But he’s not going to be moving around for a bit… and he might pass out when they gain some altitude and the air gets thin.
“Um! I can watch her!” The Saurian woman moves toward Lindsey and then backs off when the blonde just… freezes in place. Maybe she can watch from over here.
Ghost emerges from below decks in a hurry as the ship starts to rise.
Damn it to hell. Varos steer us out of here. I’ll handle the rest. And handle he does. Telekinieses starts to do a dozen things at once. Ghost is apparently even better than Aiden at this.
Slaine is he okay?
Varos should just about have them clear in a moment. Aiden shudders and wheezes. “Ow… Half Pint… get that knife out…” Can’t reinflate his lung until it’s gone.
His neck is throbbing but oddly he can’t feel the sting although he can feel the warmth oozing down to soak his collar. The wonders of adrenaline. He’ll…have to do something about that later if he remembers. Right now, Varos is a bit worked up with trying to steer a ship. He almost laughs at the absurdity, if, well, not for the fact that they might all die horribly if it didn’t work.
With Ghost assisting, Varos lets out a breath he hadn’t been aware he’d been holding as he hauls the wheel about to steer them clear of the collapsing building. He’s not even really sure how the whole thing works, only that there’s these things to push and this thing to pull and that thing to turn, and he sure hopes he’s doing it right.
It’s only when he feels the wind tug at the sails to pull them higher that he sighs, but his grip is still tight on the wheel, mostly additional support for the time being. He’s not sure when his adrenaline kick will putter out, nor how deep that slash with the knife had actually been, and he’s no looking forward to finding out either.
“Yer goin’ on a diet …” Slaine grunts as she takes Aiden’s weight. She’s concerned about the psychic and trying not to show it. When she realises that Varos has been hurt, there’s likely going to be hell to pay. No’ good, Ghost. His breathin’ is funny and I think it’s got his lung … We can’ go to high, not with him like this …
Clearly she’s had some experience with these types of injuries.
Aiden’s words get a green eyed look and she nods slowly. “I will … ” she murmurs, shrugging out of her jacket and stripping her shirt off. She’ll use that to staunch the flow of blood if she can. “Ready, on three… One, Two, Three…”
Yank. The knife comes out and she presses her shirt to the wound, sending up a silent prayer to the universe to help her here.
There isn’t… too much blood. There is some but not much. Aiden lets out a grunt even as Lindsey seems to go limp. If not for the air holding her up she’d probably collapse. Varos gets them skyward and clear of the city and the psychic pressure, and the weird double vision, starts to fade.
“Okay… now let me tell you how to reinflate a lung…” Aiden wheezes.
After this, he’s going to the cabin and making use of that bed. Varos, Ghost and Slaine can stear them home, right?
It’s probably a good thing that he doesn’t have a ‘brig’ or it’d likely have a guest.
“…heh. How we holdin’ up…?” Varos calls out, wincing a little. Oop, there it is. He definitely feels the difference once they’re clear of the city ruins, and although what he can now take in without the extra headache doesn’t look very good, it’s better than what could have been.
Looks like he’s playing captain for the time being. He wedges a psi-shield in place on the wheel long enough for him to tie a handkerchief about his neck that’ll probably be ruined, but for now it’s better than nothing.
“If our Saurian friend isn’t busy there, could use some eyes outside.” With Slaine tending to Aiden, Ghost handling the rest of the ship and Lindsey tied up, it’s a fortuitous thing that they’ve come by an extra passenger. Or is this considered kidnapping? Varos is too tired to think about it.
“Right. Let’s see if we can get this thing home.”
And hopefully someone will know how to land the thing.
Ship repairs are going swimmingly, Varos is seeing double and Lindsey goes berserk..! Wait, what?
August 06, 2411
Ruins of Atlanta, GA