There are Vibrations in the Earth. Kthzyx can feel them. The outskirts of Richmond is prone to them. ‘Explosions’ she may have heard them called though it’s probably not clear to her what they are. These are different though. A steady thud-thud-thud of something moving. Something large. The only thing quite this large that Kth would be familiar with would be the heavy tread of an elemental lord. And hopefully none of those have followed her here. They died down a bit ago, but they were quite close.
Hunter is not in his bot. He’s standing in the middle of the street eyeing several bandits. For the most part the greater powers of the mid atlantic seaboard ignore Richmond. Occasionally someone does something that can’t be ignored. In this case, a merchant caravan headed north has been raided and several captives have been taken possibly as food, possibly as slaves, possibly as insurance. All Hunter knows is that he was contracted to recover them and right now the men responsible are standing about fifty feet in front of him.
A tall, winged woman stands just behind Hunter and slightly to the left, hand on a cylinder that hangs at her hip. The grey wings are huge, peeking over her head and hanging nearly to the ground, contrasting with the gleaming silver armour that she wears.
Her positioning is clear, she’s watching his back … waiting for someone to do something or something to happen. “Perhaps they’ll come quietly, Hunter.” she murmurs to the Wolfen. Regardless of her words, there’s a sense of anticipation about her – she’s expecting a fight.When the vibrations started, Kthzyx did what the non-fighters of her people usually do in times of conflict. She found a stable structure (aka, a tree), hunkered down into barrel configuration, and waited for it to stop. Which it finally did.
Back in quadruped form, Zyx meanders along trying to find where she’d separated from Fathom. And she wanders straight onto a stretch of not-naturally occurring surface where several individuals are standing. And Kthzyx’s crystalline surface scintillates through green to blue in her surprise.“Doubt it.” Hunter flexes his cybernetic hand. He can see the hostages in a building behind the men confronting he and Ardul. “Get ready to move…” He murmurs to the winged woman.
“Came after the wrong people, D-Bee.” The largest of the bandits says.
“No. You did.” Hunter retorts. And then draws. It’s not clear if Kthzyx has seen a weapon before but a piece of metal flashes into the wolfen’s hand almost too quick to track and several //crack// noises follow. Of the five bandits visible, three fall dead in the center of the street with laser burns on their chests. The other two stand stunned for a moment. A moment too long most likely.
A moment too long would be a correct assumption. At Hunters words, Ardul straightens, wings flexing a little as she does. “I’m ready … ”
As the three that have been shot fall to the ground, the other two soon find themself face to face with the blonde, who’s wielding a blade made of blue energy. There’s a hum and then another and the last two bodies slowly crumple to the ground – as their heads fall with a wet thud.
“I think you chose to stand against the wrong people, human.” She hisses softly, the blade still held at the ready.
“All clear, Hunter.” she says, starting to move again, towards the building where the hostages are held.Weapons of the wet plane are NOT anything Kthzyx has seen before. But, she IS familiar with coherent light, and its many many purposes. Making people fall down is one of the more commonly recognizes purposes, and one she’s never been all that fond of.
Still learning to travel efficiently, quad-Zyx moves toward the source of the coherent light (Hunter) at a run that is even more awkward than that of a newborn baby elephant. She doesn’t get more than ten steps or so, though, before Ardul is wielding still more coherent light.
Amongst her people, she’s about as far from a combat type as possible, and people kill other people — even wet plane people — is about as disturbing as she’s ever encountered. The only way she can react is by stumbling to a stop and sort of crumpling to the street in confused distress, voicing this with increasingly dissonant harmonic chimes.The sudden appearance of a quadrapedal crystal creature in an uncontrolled area known for unmonitored rift activity has Hunter turning his weapon on Kthzyx. He doesn’t fire. Not yet. But he’s clearly more than a little concerned by his stance.
“Ardul! Behind you!” More of that barking in that 10-20 khz frequency. The words may or may not mean anything to her quite yet. She did eat the translator stones after all. In either case Kthzyx is now between the wolfen gunfighter and his winged companion.
Ardul notices the quadraped crystalline creature and turns just as Hunter calls to her. Spinning, blade held flashing as she does, she takes a ready stance. “What … is that, Hunter?” Her words will sound in the same frequency range, but a light on her helmet starts to flash.
“It is … communicating …” she cants her head, as if listening to something before snapping her attention back to Zyx “Name yourself, creature.”Zyx doesn’t get up again to try and flee, but does flinch slightly away from Hunter’s voice at the same time as growing spikier in his direction in a defensive manner. And then Ardul speaks up and … is addressing her directly? That’s the impression she’s getting, though she doesn’t know why. The crystalling chimes lose most of their dissonance and seem to be replying to Ardul. “It’s communicating…” Hunter seems fairly convinced of that. He lightly steps in a slow circle, giving Zyx a wide berth. “Can’t tell what it’s saying though.”
Slowly that weapon lowers. Things out of the rifts try to talk sometimes. It’s even odds if, after that, they immediately try to smash, kill or eat.
That light on Arduls helmet flashes each time the crystalline entity chimes. The blonde looks to Hunter as he starts to circle, keeping her own weapon at the ready. “My armour has a rudimentary translator and it’s tapping the known languages of my people… ” she makes a small face in Hunters direction. “… Hurt others… unpleasant… That’s all that it can make out.”
Hopefully eating the translation crystals that Howakhan tried to use will allow Zyx to be able to interpret what the other two are saying.
“I’m not sure it’s dangerous, Hunter. It’s not attacked, yet at least. Are you going to shoot it?” Back to Zyx “Can you understand me, crystalline one?”Reassured by the two individuals not attacking her the way they did the others, Kthzyx moves to sit up, still a bit on the ungainly side as she makes it to all four feet and then further to straighten up to bipedal form.
The chimes — clearly attempts to communicate — reply to Ardul again and she tries some of the gestures she’s seen Howahkan and others use, though she has no way to know what the gestures themselves actually mean. She brings one hand to her upper torso, then after a moment lolls a tongue in mimicry of what the Fathom did. Maybe it’ll mean something to Hunter. He seems… smiliar in form.It’s an odd gesture to see on such a clearly in-wolfen creature and he does wonder where this crystaline being learned it. And also why it has a tongue. It hasn’t seemed to need it before. Hunter holsters and edges around Kthzyx. “Keep talking to it Ardul. No I’m not going to shoot it. I’m going to see to the captives. Find out what it’s doing here and what it wants. If you can.”
“At least the chimes are pleasant.” Ardul looks to Hunter as he holsters his gun before looking back to Zyx with a shake of her head. “I need components …” she mutters and looks around, eyes lighting on one of the bandits vehicles and the cargo they’ve stolen. “Huh… I wonder where it learned that.” she murmurs in response to the lolling tongue, but the gestures don’t mean much at all. “When you’ve seen to the hostages, can you see if there’s a transceiver in there? I might be able to jury rig up something to aid communications.”
Each time Zyx talks, the light on Ardul’s helmet flashes and soon, a speaker on her chest starts to chime back to Zyx. It’s rudimentary at best. “I’m Ardul.” the woman says touching her chest. The chimes simply say //Ardul//.
//What do you here?//Kthzyx watches the pair, honestly a bit amazed when the one with extra limbs actually starts to make quasi-coherent soudns back. And she returns one of the gestures with a word. Identifier word? Maybe!
Repeating the chest-touching gesture, Zyx emits a series of chimes that are both in and outside of nomral hearing range, and then proceeds to ecplain something else.It may be a bit of surprise too when the wolfen one shepherds several disheveled looking people out of the building he went into. All of them look both distraught and relieved at the same time. Violent hostage situations do that. He’s got to call for pickup for them. Shouldn’t be too long though.
“Ardul did you get anything from it?”
“A bit…” The winged woman glances to the Wolfen and then the hostages. “It’s … searching for someone of importance, a leader of sorts. My translation program is struggling with this one. My people have met elementals before and their language is similar, but each one is different enough. And I’m working off whatever is programmed into my armour.”
“How are the hostages, Hunter? Were there any … fatalities?”
Back to Zyx. //You. Travelled long way. What do you want?//Kthzyx watches Hunter return with still more individuals, though she has no way of truly understand what happened here. And then Ardul is addressing her again so she considers the strange choces of phrasing and cadence. Her crystalline structure scintillates in the green range of color as she replies, again something about a person of importance. And home. “No. Transport will be here in ten. I’m getting back into the gunwolf to watch the perimeter. Tell that thing if it behaves and wants to come it can.” Otherwise they’ll leave Kthzyx here. What else can they do?
“It needs to find this person and … return home, I believe.” Ardul frowns at that. There’s so many questions. She, herself, can’t return to her home – she’s exiled here. Maybe this entity has a way to get back, though. Back, at least, to its plane.
//Must go. You can come if show discipline.//
That’s a tough translation but it will suffice.
Either way, the winged woman salutes the crystalline entity and starts to follow the Wolfen.