RP [Phoenix Team] - Sounds in the Night

Discussion in 'Phoenix Team' started by Luca, Apr 30, 2019.

  1. Luca

    Luca Administrator Staff Member

    ♫ Vibrazioni Productions - Suoni Nella Notte (Sounds in the Night) ♫

    Sargasso, Featherwell, Galacta Candy
    Luca's invitation to the candy factory was processed, vetted, and approved by the MBF staffing the front gates, so he went in without much trouble. The air was thick with sweet and sour scents, the factory at full bore as Luca passed through to get to Seiren's office. Once he reached it, all that he saw was a note on the desk to push the big red button on it to activate the lift. Seiren must have been down there already.

    Walking around the desk and spotting the candy-red, glowing button, he put his palm down against it, careful not to pull any muscles in the process. He was still aching from the Harumi kidnapping incident, and had been taking it easy over the last few days to afford his body some rest - and fix his gear.

    The lift descended quickly enough and soon Luca saw the inventor sleeping at one of the workbenches seated at a tall stool in front of a half-assembled... tacklebox?

    Seeing the inventor asleep at his tools and a communicator that was buzzing to signal Luca's arrival, Luca looked at his Grapple Stunner, and put his index fingers and thumb together. With a little friction and a push, he snapped his fingers, making an electric popping noise by Seiren's ear. "Rise and shine, candyman!" He chuckled, grinning.

    Seiren bolted upright tossing a pair of pliers up in the air and then juggling the tool as it tumbled between his hands, eventually catching it with a sigh of a relief. He looked at Luca with a confused stare for a moment. Then, Seiren glanced at his nearby communicator - thirty minutes overdue to start getting ready for Luca.

    "Oh. Huh." Seiren mumbled, rubbing sleep out of his eyes. "Hi Luca. Um. Gimme a sec. Brain. Braining."

    He thumped the table with his forefingers twice, causing Cosmo to pop his head up from under one of the other benches. The galactic MBF tossed a candy Seiren's way, which he caught in his mouth and began sucking on. He sagely nodded and said, "Right, uh... weapon stuffs. Got something that needs your input."

    Seiren hopped off the stool and walked a little ways down to pull off what seemed like a lunchbox from the counter and set it on the ground in front of Luca, symbol for bullets facing towards himself. "Kick it. Not hard."

    Luca squatted down to examine the box for a moment, puzzled as he tilted his head left and right. "A box?" He asked himself before straightening his posture and giving it firm tap with the toe of his boot. A toy pistol made for shooting foam darts shot up in the air in front of him. A second after, a magazine for the darts shot up to follow. He caught the toy pistol with one hand, and the dart magazine with the other out of reflex. Turning the two objects over in his hands, he made a puzzled grunt.

    Casually, Seiren pulled his communicator over and pressed a button - a soundboard chimed 'Power up!' before, without much energy, Seiren said "Ta-dahhh... Better than having a dog-arsenal. No offense, Cosmo."

    The MBF in question whined.

    Luca looked back down at the box he had kicked, opened in two halves like a toolchest. He could spot spring-loads, and a foam mould in the shape of the toy pistol and the ammunition. "It throws guns at you?" He asked.

    "Yes and no. It is a capability it has - but not the only way to open the box. Call it the emergency button for that type. I'm also working on one for ammunition only and a blueprint's up for a medical one as well. All-in-one packages of ready-to-shoot weaponry. Granted, the biggest one I'm working on is a short-shotgun holder because I need to source more powerful springlocks for the heavier weapons," Seiren yawned, gesturing at the half-assembled one he was sleeping on earlier.

    Putting the toys down on Seiren's bench, Luca knelt down to pick the box up and place it down in the middle of the workbench to get a closer look. He reached into the box and pushed the spring system back down until it went click. "So, how does it work if we're not making this box juggle guns?" he asked as he placed the toy and dart magazine back into their places, then closed the lids.

    Seiren gestured to a part next to where a built-in handle was hinged - on one of the top edges of the box. He tilted it onto its side and pressed the indentation, forcing the front plate of the box to pop open like a car's trunk. "Still should be pretty accessible. Working on the packing to space ratio so things are still grabbable while not risking the weapon's integrity in case the box is dropped. Might go with some memory foam hybrid or something."

    Rubbing his chin, Luca considered options for the inventor. He knew a guy who could hook Seiren up with whatever he was after. "You hit up Johnny Longhands for anything that's eluding you, you hear? I'm sure he's got a whole bunch of springs and foam somewhere." He was making a broad guess, but Longhands had come through for Luca on all sorts of odd or dangerous things, "and if it isn't on hand, he can get it imported, no fuss."

    "That sounds good. I'm still new to weapons manufacture on a larger scale so field use is something I'm experimenting. Theoretically though, this'll make getting a new bit of kit ready much faster, though." Seiren nodded. "Also you need like... I dunno, something for that stun grappler of yours? It looks a bit beat up."

    Luca blinked, raising his right arm and looking at the grappling device. He clicked his tongue in annoyance at seeing all the scuffs and broken plates on the gauntlet and vambrace contraption. "Yeah - I've been meaning to get around to that," he lied. The last couple of days had been spent incognito and without much physical activity.

    He reached under his arm to undo the clips keeping it in place. Seiren could see that beneath the sleeve of his jacket were clasps and ropes connected to an under-armour which distributed the weight of whatever he was reeling towards around his body - so as not to rip his arm out of his socket. Slipping the forearm-length glove off and laying it beside the spring-loaded box, he sighed. "I got blueprints for all the replaceable parts at home, but Driver tried to pop me like a grape - this thing's pretty beat up. And then I got rocks thrown at me by a lizard."

    "Yeah... no shit," Seiren said, looking at it aghast. "This looks like a beat up old Greaseheart truck. Like, anachronistically old. Wait, a liz-" the inventor backspaced before realising it wasn't their rock-hurling lizard. "Nevermind."

    The inventor immediately began turning it over a few times too many over before snapping his fingers. "Mind if I pop this in my reader for a minute?"

    "It'll ask for some biometric credentials from me, but go ahead." Luca replied.

    "Oh, not that kind of reader," Seiren said. He lifted the array and walked to the far end of the room, where something that looked like a 3D printer sat, and slid it onto the plate. He punched a button on the console next to it, and immediately scanner lights projected over all the surfaces and nooks and crannies of the kit.

    "Don't need blueprints for the mechanical bits when I can just read and approximate what you need to pretty high accuracy levels. I'd test it with any parts built after but it's been damn close for those boxes - the prototype was built out of an old tin box!"

    A few minutes later, the scanner dinged and spat out a printout featuring images of the mechanical portions of the Grapple Stunner. Seiren pressed another button, sending the data to another machine in the room - but apparently, the few circuitboards and the intricacies thereof were still beyond the machine. Rubbing his chin, Luca nodded at what he could see from the approximation. He'd worked with his own gear long enough to recognise what mechanical bits were there. He pointed towards the broken reeling assemblies and cable spool, as well as the launching mechanism - a mini-railgun driven monster also responsible for the mighty punches.

    He also noticed that the cable was absent from the diagram, and filled in a blank: "The cable's custom made - spidersilk and a few other things so it can carry a current and support my weight plus gear, and g-forces I subject myself to."

    "I'm surprised, you know. There's not nearly as much carbon fibre in this as I was expecting," Seiren mumbled, looking over the chemical makeup of some of the pieces. "You could definitely cut down on the weight by at least a quarter if the pulley mechanisms were carbon-based. Be sturdier too. Or maybe carbon tubing. Jury's out on that one."

    "Carbon fibre and tubing's a bit brittle - found out the hard way early on." He shrugged with his arms folded. Plus, the weight made his punches feel weighty. The metal composite he'd chosen also absorbed shock very effectively.

    "Hardness versus malleability, then?" Seiren asked. Luca nodded. "Well, I'll come back with something new in a week. I'm seeing possibilities now that I got to see this up close. But in the meantime..."

    After being around Luca for a while, Seiren had noticed that he was snacking on a candy bar he'd swiped. "Also - the medical nanites they pumped into me are making me really hungry." He said.

    "You know I have like, a bunch of real food in that fridge over there," Seiren gestured as he walked to a corner of the room opposite the fridge. He eyed a timer at the wrong time, and was startled by a dinging noise. Seiren said, "Job done."

    Luca had gone the opposite direction, raiding the fridge and walking back around with a peeled banana in his hands. "Huh? What's done?" He quizzed, stepping over with a mouthful of banana.

    "Your replacement parts," Seiren said, opening a door on the machine to reveal a bunch of small bits and pieces on a tray in front of a chute. "I had the fabricator working as soon as the readout was printed."

    Luca lifted an intact piton-and-hook assembly, flexing the hook limbs into the piton, and watching them spring back out. It was just as though he'd made it at home. "Crikey, you're good at this," he complemented before grabbing an elbow pad, turning it over in his hands.

    "My superpower is money," Seiren joked. "Very useful superpower. But again, give everything a few good tests before you field-use them. Manufacturing defects and all that." Luca nodded knowingly.

    "Of course," He replied, finishing off the banana and tossing the skin towards a rubbish bin - which moved a foot to the right to catch the peel. "I ain't a skimp - mostly because it would probably cost my life if I do." He picked up the Grapple Stunner and placed it back onto his right arm, reaching underneath to clasp it back into place and rolling his shoulder. The new spares that Seiren made were put into a cloth shopping bag.

    "Thanks for the parts, Kid," he smiled, offering his fist forward for a bump. Seiren met the bump graciously.

    "Yeah, anytime. In the meantime, I've got more prototypes to cook up for those assholes next time we have to take them on. Don't even get me started on my overhaul of that mech!" Seiren said with a wink.

    Luca blinked. "Shit, that reminds me!" He blurted out, looking for the scraps of Driver's mecha. "What'd you do with that thing?" Seiren recalled having to hand the computer cores and memory to the Units and Police for forensic scanning, but most of the mechanical parts were his for the taking.

    "After making sure there weren't any surprises in the hardware and software? So much. I'm surprised I'm already getting use out of my secret garage to be honest," Seiren said, walking over to another side of the room with a flat stretch of wall that he simply pushed open, revealing a spacious room housing the big robotic suit as the walls slid down into the floor and the ceiling.

    Luca stood aghast at how much garage space Seiren had, awestruck by how many surprises. "So - money. A superpower." Luca nodded stiffly as his eyes looked further around the ever-expanding office space. "I believe it."

    "And all officially documented as 'Concreted former basement.' This isn't on a single record - just like my personal lab. Still haven't really tried the exit though besides getting this stupid thing in here." Seiren said, rubbing his chin. "Still working on the integrating a new weapons system since the units had to confiscate the old one because you know, military grade hardware and all that. But I got big plans, BIG plans for this thing."

    As Luca took in the sight of the Mecha, hung up in wires and supports as Seiren's equipment was draped about the thing to make the most of it, the idea of big plans made his gut lurch and his throat freeze up - and he couldn't explain why as memories came flooding back.

    Seiren had waited for a reply or a snappy comeback, but didn't get any from Luca. Looking up, Luca appeared to have spaced out, recalling what'd happened at Hellion Overlook - or his mind had retreated to a point in history Seiren hadn't seen. He hadn't blinked or breathed - staring through the Mecha and whatever else was lurking in Seiren's workshop.

    Seiren looked at Luca strangely for a moment before punching in a command on his commlink. Cosmo tossed him a water pistol from the other room, which he caught and then spritzed at Luca's face. "Earth to Luca! Your genius companion needs a witty one-liner!"

    The man in red gasped as his brain snapped back to reality, the whiplash almost threatening to concuss him. Taking deep breaths as he felt his vitals return to a baseline state, he appeared to recognise what he was seeing. All that was missing was Driver - sitting in the cockpit and making jovial talk about 'big plans' for the future.

    "...I-I should go." He finally spoke up, shaking his head and placing a hand against his face, wiping a layer of cold sweat away.

    "Uh, okay? Just uh. . . hide the button under the desk once you're upstairs," Seiren said, his face twisted in confusion as Cosmo examined the veteran's face and signals. Luca made his exit without fanfare, and once the man was out of earshot and on the elevator up, Cosmo scampered towards a computer, typing something in.

    It read: 'luca was flash back. post traumatic stress.' Seiren had recalled seeing Luca's UDD records in addition to the others he'd handed around a couple of months back. Cosmo had gotten his paws on it as well, highlighting the mental traits the Units had observed in him to Seiren.

    In small print, graciously highlighted after the psychological profile but before operations history was a note: "Known Associates/Close Friends Among UDD Personnel: Rider (Jirou Harridan), Driver (Dean Bodala), ..." Was that the same Jirou Harridan as the one who ran Shinka Studios?


    ♫ Alien March - The Enigma ♫

    On his way back up, Luca tried reaching for his right hand instinctively to call up the communicator interface. Forgetting that it the interface in his wrist-computer stuffed beyond recognition, he grunted and pulled the communicator out of his pocket, opening it up and punching a number in.

    The dial tone didn't take long until someone on the other side picked up. "Hello, Shinka Studios, home of Galaxy Rider Hands-"

    Luca didn't let the clerk finish. "I need to speak to Jirou Harridan."

    "May I ask who's calling?"

    "Phoenix is."

    There was a pause on the other side of the line. "Understood... putting you through." The line cut to a tinny rendition of the theme to Galaxy Rider Handsome. Luca tapped his foot along to the beat as the elevator reached the top floor.

    "Pavone, to what do I owe the pleasure? I was expecting a call sooner, you know," the Rider's cool voice finally picked up.

    Luca was disgusted at himself for agreeing with Driver at the time as the rest of his spiel rolled off his tongue. "Signal Stranglehold Omega." He recited, "Driver's enacting Stranglehold Omega, man-" He said, shaking his head as the elevator reached Seiren's office. "His entire fucking flock, dead and alive-" he put the button back underneath Seiren's desk before storming towards his bike "-is coming back to roost soon."

    Silence rested on the other end for thirty seconds. And then one, hoarse word was uttered in reply. "Fuck." The opressive silence continued. And then hastily, breathily, Jirou said, "Then we're running out of time. I need to get my pieces in place now."

    "No shit - I'm already behind the eight ball here too and putting myself back together after last week." He replied, mounting his bike and roaring back towards home, cutting someone off as he merged onto the highway. "I had a flashback - he told me he was going to use it once. Never got the chance to as EAD broke up. I think he's still serious about it if his back is to the wall."

    "Just... remember, when we first met again? I warned you something like this would happen."

    Even though Luca's voice was being chopped and screwed by how fast he was going, Jirou could hear him chuckling low and dark. "The worst part is - I love it - I can't get enough of it."

    "I'm activating my contingencies. I can't let this happen again, Luca." Jirou said, the noise on his end dropping as he closed a door behind him.

    "What about the Units? Think they've accounted for this?" Luca asked, knowing full well they didn't.

    "None of my sources suggest that they account for this in a way they'd take action. Fuck, I should have known after your news came up during my interview I should have had things ready to go."

    Luca shook his head - the Units always seemed to react, not act. "You were being interviewed?" He quizzed, raising an eyebrow as he followed the highway onto the bridge to Barrier Island on his motorcycle.

    "On Cloverpaw. A while ago. Ironically, it was about this very possibility."


    Even beyond Luca and Jirou navigating their respective pieces through the tangle of the Emergency Assault Division's past and present, other forces were at work, both good and bad. Something had pinged Galacta Candy's front desk asking for rooftop landing permissions, make and model of craft unknown. The ping was accepted by the MBF staffing the desk, a curious choice in staffing but understandable as the regular receptionist was out with a cold.

    The dog looked up and over the flightplan desk, looking for a craft of some description - what they saw was a metal humanoid. Focussing further as the being landed on the roof, it was a powered armour - military spec and of custom build. It sent up a pair of MBFs up to the roof to see who had come to visit.

    The dogs recognised a member of Cloverpaw's staff when the armour took their helmet off, a woman with dark hair, lightly tanned skin, and brown eyes by the name of April Zanetti. Or, was that 'Toymaker'? "Codename Toymaker, here to help." She introduced herself, clearing her throat as she strode towards the stairs.

    The MBFs pinged Seiren immediately so he'd be waiting for her once she'd come in. The pair led her down to the main office where Seiren, still not entirely awake, sat in his chair.

    "To what do I owe the pleasure of one of my corporate partner's employees?" He said, glancing over a projected file on the public information available to him.

    Zanetti's file stated that she was formerly with the UDD and EAD. During the scandal, she had kept her nose relatively clean, being elsewhere when the fighting went down, "I'm not here on behalf of Cloverpaw, strictly speaking." she said.

    "This isn't going to be some B-movie style assassination attempt or anything, is it?" Seiren joked, cocking his head.

    "This is serious." She said flatly, noting that the inventor wasn't entirely awake. "Time's running out, and The Driver needs to be stopped before he can put Stranglehold Omega into action."

    She watched Seiren draw a blank at the phrase, she turned her head off to one side, still looking at him. "Luca didn't tell you, then?"

    "Tell me... what exactly?" Seiren asked, idly searching the term. Nothing came up publicly.

    "He musn't have considered it. I'll share with you what you can, and what you can do about it."


    Meanwhile, in the penthouse restaurant of Hawthorne's Bar, Mayor Rex Tannerman had a pair of unexpected guests who'd invited themselves. Ilsa Mout-Battenberg had saw fit to make a stop on the way back home from the Handmoot, and with her, she'd brought hell.

    "...you don't understand, Mayor Tannerman," Ilsa said, fencing towards him with a fork as she calmly ate a salad. Behind the mayor, the silhouette of the Driver loomed over him, overshadowing the mayor and his steak dinner as the writhing bodies of Rex's security staff lay behind him broken, twisted and mangled. "I'm not asking you to do as I say. I'm ordering you to do as I say."

    Driver clapped his large, meaty hands down on Rex's shoulders - driving the point home that he was in control.

    "I'm not handing it - hell, I wouldn't even hand this city - to the likes of you!" Rex stated as calmly as he could, voice exhibiting a slight tremolo as he felt Driver's fingers dig into his neck. His whole career platform had involved stopping Tanhauss and the likes of Noir from digging their fingers into Sargasso and ripping its heart out, in his mind.

    But no amount of campaigning stopped Driver's digits from threatening to decapitate Rex. Ilsa sat calmly, munching on a forkful of leaves and tomato. When she was done, she patted her mouth down with a napkin. "It wasn't difficult to buy off Proctor - even if she didn't know where the Pylons were, but does securing bipartisanship have to be so..." Ilsa spun her fork around in a couple of circles lazily, looking for a word, "difficult?"

    When Rex didn't dignify her with a response after several tense moments, she frowned and snapped her fingers. Driver took a step back, his hands still on Rex's shoulders. The mayor tried to look behind him, but his head was fixed in place by Driver's forearms. A moment later, his whole world spun, pulled backwards and into the ground, the Driver's hands now around his neck as his chair broke beneath him.

    Standing up and walking around, Ilsa knelt down as Driver kept Rex pinned to the floor, applying pressure to the mayor's windpipe with his forearms and hands. "You're not getting another opportunity here, Rex. With or without your life, we will take it." Ilsa spelled out. "Sargasso couldn't bear such a significant loss in this awful string of conflicts, yes?"

    Worse still, if Rex was to expire here, his party would crumble without his connections keeping everything together. He thought of himself before his pride in Sargasso. "They're ... the Pylons ... they're in ..."

    Ilsa leant in, tapping Driver on the arm to give Rex enough breath to sell himself out.

    "They're in the university on Barrier Island - in - in the Weirds Department."

    She smiled wide, almost wide enough that her shadow could be seen smiling too. "Thank you. I'll reimburse you with some campaign contributions for the next election." She said, standing up and tapping Driver on the shoulder. "Let him go." It took a moment for the instructions to register, but the hulking half-cyborg let go, standing over Rex Tannerman, and stepping on him as he and Ilsa made their way towards the elevator.

    When the elevator car came up and the doors opened, they stepped in. "Now ... these Pylons, this Stranglehold Omega you're plying at," Ilsa asked, looking up to her top enforcer, "what do you intend to do with this plan, Driver?"

    The man with a skull face beneath a helmet chuckled deeply as the elevator doors begun to close. "I'm going to raise Hell and take Traveller to it."

    Finally realising that he hadn't expired and gone to an ironic hell, Mayor Rex Tannerman looked up at the ceiling, counting the perforations and gasping for air. He dared not to twist his neck, lest the Driver had broken it during the commotion and the mayor was on borrowed time.

    Lifting an arm feebly before realising that his neck hadn't been snapped, he climbed up to his dining table by dragging on the tablecloth, reaching for his phone. "Maker save me - he's gonna hate me for this," Rex sighed as the receiver was patching through to Luca.

    The man in red picked up as they were pulling into 55 Midway Beach. "What's up, fucko? One of your race horses die mysteriously again?" They presumed it was another house call or photo-op with the politician.

    "No, this is much worse and far above than anything involving my pecuniary interests..." Rex relayed, before explaining everything which had been thrust upon him, "...and they're headed for the University. Pylons and the Weirds wing."

    "Thanks, I'll take it from here and call the experts. Bye." The line went click.

    With that, Rex looked around him, realising he'd failed his constituents, and done only the smallest of gestures to set things right. At least the right crew for the job had been engaged. "Here's hoping that crazy son of a bitch does right," he concluded before calling an ambulance and the police to clean up the mess Driver had caused, and relaying what he could to them too.

    ♫ Metal Slug 6 - Speeder ♫

    Luca was already calling the group towards the University on Barrier Island as hurriedly as he could, there would be no time to explain - things were already moving as the man in red was finally over the bridge to Barrier Island. Police forces were notified of what had gone down in Hawthorne's, and were quick to follow the mayor's account and mobilise the RACCA Strike Force and UDD - and keep an eye on the men who'd be in the epicentre of the coming storm.

    FR: Luca
    TO: PT-GroupChat
    MSG: Sargasso Magic University, Barrier Island - Tip off from Mayor Tannerman
     that the Driver's going to do something big, and bad, potentially involving
     opening a portal to The Weald for ... something. Can't let that happen.
    Cops and UDD may be on standby for us. Play nice if you see 'em.
    (Big events are authorised to go down - Many great forces are at work here!)
  2. Moogle

    Moogle Administrator Staff Member

    FR: Seiren
    To: PT-Groupchat
    MSG: En-route now. Bringing new model collapsible shields & extras 
    Seiren booked it from his office, opting to take his personal secret exit off property - a launching tunnel connected to an inocuous "shed" at the edge of the factory walled property that led onto the outside streets. He could only barely comprehend what the Toymaker had explained to him only minutes prior, so he'd taken a special candy he'd been experimenting with - a balanced energy-candy to try and wake himself up. It certainly woke him up, but he'd have to take notes on how it would affect him later.

    Out burst a slick-seeming Skimmer, compact but a surprising amount of storage as the bottom of the frame wrapped around the sides where the legs would normally rest, unprotected. He'd neglected to show Luca the new model since the man abruptly stormed out, but that would have to come later. In the meantime, he tasked his MBF team to pull from their posts temporarily and assist Cosmo and Zanetti with two-tasks; finishing the basic weapons system of the mech, and producing a new piece of tech under Zanetti's help and using acquired data from previous incidents. He'd only hoped they'd be ready in time for whatever would come from Signal Stranglehold Omega.
  3. Ashlinn

    Ashlinn Member

    Flatiron's Hill, 55 Midway Beach, Phoenix Team Hideaway
    Breyja's equipment was scattered across a workbench as she popped the last of her railguns retaining pins back into place and watched the indicator lights wink on throughout her ballistic glasses inbuilt HUD, "Well That the last piece of gear checked." She'd been spending more time putting together the pieces of her armor and getting the whole kit checked over as well as sinking the lions share of her payouts from Luca into upgrades to the suit. Actuated joints on the suit finally took the strain off carrying most of her gear so she could focus more on her other areas of expertise. She was strapping her chest piece into place and letting the suit run through handshakes when she got Luca's message, followed swiftly by Seirens. Her larger medical kitbag was snagged if it was this urgent there could be casualties and she may need it, along with the railgun and it's spare shortbarrel barrel and squash rounds incase she had to use it indoors.

    FR: Breyja
    To: PT-Groupchat
    MSG: Bringing the large medbag and the small on my bike in case of wounded. Enroute.
    She barely let the doors open before her bike shot through the alleyway, scattering a group of tourists at the end of the alleyway by the time the doors had closed again she was weaving through traffic at a startling rate of speed.
  4. Sham

    Sham Member

    Ravnir was sitting on the beach near the hideout, watching waves lap along the shore when a soft buzzing in his pocket drew his attention. He pulled out his messenger, reading the group chat before letting out a drawn out sigh. "Mmm, No Car Driver opening a portal? I wonder if it is to find a vehicle to drive. Probably not," He mused aloud before rising to his feet and stretching his arms, scales clinking together. "Should stop him before he does something foolish."

    FR: Ravnir
    TO: PT-GroupChat
    MSG: I am on my way. I will play nice with the play-warrior squishies if I see them.
    Ravnir sent the message and tucked his small tablet back into his robes before jogging towards the Academy, ground shaking with his heavy footsteps and dragging tail.
  5. Jimmy

    Jimmy Member

    Snuffles was woken from a nap in the hideout to the groupchat going lit. Rubbing their eyes as Sparrow stirred from the back of a chair and shook himself to max floofiness. Reading it with a sniff, Snuffles crawled out of their bunk and blinked slowly at the message. With a sigh they started gathering their their and tapping in a reply.

     I'm leaving the lair right now. Should I call the family? 
    Snuffles started up the crawler, cricked their neck as Sparrow tucked himself into a saddlebag, and took off to go save the day again.
  6. Luca

    Luca Administrator Staff Member

    Sargasso, Middleton, Sargasso Magic University
    As the afternoon in Sargasso had passed its zenith and the sun begun its retreat towards the horizon, the University was bathed in the evening light of Aleph Null, as refracted through a manicured atmosphere which painted the cirrus and altocumulus clouds in orange and purple strokes. Umbrellas on the beach were drawn shut, surfboards up to rest as neon lights in storefronts and signage begun blinking to life against the twilight, filling the shadows of the buildings and trees as the incoming night would belong to the ramblers and loiterers on footpaths, lawns and sand licked by a dark ocean.

    Middleton was further inland of Saragasso's Barrier Island, and its terminus: public space-port buzzing with activity nearby, the seat of Barrier Island's council, and the university. A nexus of power unseen wrought through the successive works of academic institution since the university's inception as Sargasso became alive sixty years back with a skeleton crew of academic and etheric staff scraped from the shifting regolith of Orbital Object: Null.

    Despite its relative youth compared to cousins in established colleges like York's, the supple landscape granted by the Units and talented generations of Maidenhand botanists offered a wellspring of natural power to draw from, the spark of brilliance and madness the Orbital Object: Null alumni brought never faded, and a laid back vibe which pervaded Sargasso imbued the boffins with a lazy inventiveness, ultimately looking for shortcuts and succeeding in ingenious ways. From there, it was a matter of working the kinks out and iterating, rather than a sequential, rote process of experiment.

    Physically speaking, the space of Sargasso's premier magic university was a lozenge from above, four wings forming the shape. This arrangement allowed it a huge central plaza where a controlled forest environment was seeded by the local Maidenhand botanists, and currently receiving its daily routine of care and watering. They couldn't channel 'the magic' let alone know its scent, but they could definitely see it on the faculty and students - mostly men and women over their young adult years with varied commitments, saddled with realities and practicalities as they viewed what they saw as a cynical world through a rosy lens.

    A man in shorts and a highly visible vest, a pair of iridescent sunglasses was pouring water down a pipe which fed the roots of the tree, and the kayfabe which pervaded the university simply didn't click with them as they laboured. "...what do you reckon it smells like?" He asked his friend, who replied with a blank look as they were raking leaves. The tradesman rolled their eyes, withdrawing hose and moving to the next plant. "Magic. Things unseen, the weird things. We see it but don't feel it, you know?"

    Co-'worker' stopped raking toward a pile to think on an answer. "Does magic have a smell? Cheese, then?" he concluded, weight upon the bow of the rake before getting back to raking. "You can always tell if its good or bad by smell."

    Looking up from their plant, tradesman shook his head. "That's smells-alike." They wondered where that made his initial line of reasoning go. "Even bad smelling cheese can be tasty."

    "Maybe smell's not the right word. It's a different sense altogether from, like... a gland in the brain or something?"

    As the two men were proposing their theories upon the sensation of magic, a woman sat in a dark suit on a bench - white highlights, in her gloved hands a book bound of furred skin and papyrus, thick with ink, annotations and material inlays. "Huh, that's their theory." She said, turning another page and scanning a paragraph before clapping it shut.

    Contemplating as it looking through the trees, took in the sight as the sound of a water feature in the middle of this park, blinking and grinning beneath their visage. "Whatever lets them sleep soundly at night, I guess~" The Forgotten Gift ruminated, as their guise of a woman stretched and waited, tapping their foot impatiently. Now, where is Driver when you need him...?

    Despite their guise, something was still leaking out - that fundamental wrongness and otherness which drove the meek away. Indeed, the two tradesmen subconsciously avoided the bench by the grove where The Forgotten Gift was waiting. Stalling. Bothered by the pace of the material, unwarped world. While the aesthetics of here and now could be appreciated, she was waiting on her brute to show up and cause this promised havoc. She had her own plans with such a powder-keg of arcane force the Driver was juggling around.

    Sargasso, Flatiron's Hill, 55 Midway Beach
    One neighbourhood over and tucked in the back-roads of a commercialised beach-front was the nerve centre for the Phoenix Team, where Luca was stepping out armed for bear - Service Rifle, Shotgun, Mark Eight. Keeping his body balanced with all of the weapons and ammunition was tickling the upper limits of the weight his Grapple Stunner and hardlight parachute could carry.

    Shadowing him was the oily giant, who was star struck by the prospect of Driver trying to upend Sargasso, bouncing upon her heels in just how much it'd escalated. "Tanhauss is really sponsoring all this mayhem Driver wants to cause?" she asked, eyelash fluttering as she pieced together why it was a bad thing. "But I like living here! It's sunny, and wars aren't being fought in the open!"

    "Then be glad you left Noir, Blue!" Luca tried to ride the stakes off with a joke. To him, Tanhauss being involved was peppery seasoning atop an EAD-driven disaster in the making he had the misfortune of being connected to. "The reckless devaluation of property on behalf of corporate property speculators by invoking the dark powers is a violation of some legal code, somewhere. In any case, I'm not gonna let them make Sargasso as miserable as Noir."

    In his mind, the corporation Luca had couched his lance against (and vice versa) was already suspected of misdeeds - what, tapping local talent to shake down store owners and devalue property, but the scale of what was going to go down wasn't going to roll a single building or vandalise them for a handful of thousands, or even shaking owners down directly to seize their assets beyond the store. The indirect scale of what Luca knew Driver was trying to conjure up was disastrous at best, and so very impersonally deadly.

    The blue giant stood out on the back-street as the roller doors closed behind her, and Luca mounting his bike. "I wonder what inside a pylon looks like, Lulu?" Yttrium asked as he was tapping a message to the group:
    FR: Luca
    TO: PT-GroupChat
    MSG: Blue and I are ready. On our way to University now.
    Snuffles, yes to Family.
    Breyja. Thanks for medical. Railgun greatly appreciated.
    Ravnir. Good. I'll throw in some rubies later if you keep property damage to a minimum.
    Seiren. Looking forward to it.
    After hitting send, Luca looked up. "Crystals, jewellery, synthesised diamonds the size of your torso mined from asteroids and debris belts." He recalled, drawing on personal experience. "Those seem to be popular 'batteries'. Something about their structure just clicks."

    Twinkling and stretching her hydraulics and compressed air pistons with squeezes and draws, limber and flowing well as the oily giant prepared to bunny hop after her glom. "So the shinier they are, the more magical they must be!" Yttrium concluded as Luca's motorcycle revved up. "Do they explode if you shoot them?" She queried, after seeing them explode in the movies she and Lulu binge-watched on off-nights.

    "Is slime gooey? Just follow me - we got a Sargasso to save."

    Sargasso, Featherwell, Galacta Candy Bunker
    April Zanetti was relaying her knowledge of Stranglehold Omega to Seiren. Just as well, there was a preface on the archive she'd sent over which summarised what Stranglehold Omega's ins-and-outs were, and its intended purpose. Its intended purpose: To weaponise the dead against any occupying invaders in the advent of a total glassing from an invading force which didn't care for the rules of engagement or pre-battle contact, or a mass-scale die-back event, such as an Elder Weird materialising suddenly and driving everybody .

    A salting of the earth to be invoked when all had been lost, with the aid of a psionic signal to hijack and control the nervous systems of the dead, hence Omega. "...Since it concerns the etheric and Weird, the Units could only viewed and demonstrated this on a small scale before showing off how it worked to us EADs." Zanetti relayed as she led a spool of cable from her forearm, tapping into Seiren's network. "It wasn't my wheelhouse or within any of our controls, but we had to be aware of what our masters had at beck and call should we have failed completely."

    Thinking back, Zanetti was glad she left for a role in animatronics and industrial light and magic at Cloverpaw before things boiled over. "A few weeks before everything belly up at the EAD and behaviour around the others was appaling in general. Everyone making little plans, accumulating resources and securing peace of mind. I saw Driver, gesticulating impassionedly towards Phoenix from atop his Mecha, a routine they'd do a couple of times a week. That day, Driver was talking about grand plans to rule Sargasso with an iron fist, via Signal Stranglehold Omega. His had the conviction which stood out among the power-trippers and mouth-breathers' who were merely settling for rorting the system after discharge.

    "Everyone was making their own little plans to divide the world they'd inherited to control or as the marketing put it, to protect justly." Dismissive of the original phrasing of the EAD, Zanetti sighed. "From that day on I never saw them in the same room, and other divides between the EADs who didn't want anything to do with the rot, and those who were gaming the system for themselves. Eventually, things boiled over, and you can read the rest in the funny papers."

    FR: Toymaker
    TO: PT-GroupChat
    MSG: I'm in your area!
    FR: Luca
    MSG: :O
    FR: Toymaker
    MSG: Just kidding. Hi - and please, codenames when you're on the job, Phoenix.
    FR: Luca
    MSG: Nah. Phoenix is the Team now.
    FR: Yttrium
    MSG: Ooooooooooooooooo!
  7. Moogle

    Moogle Administrator Staff Member

    FR: Seiren
    TO: PT-Groupchat
    MSG: Here's a primer on what I've got. Don't ask where I got the time, budget, or animators.
    FR: Seiren
    TO: PT-Groupchat
    MSG: oh god i am so sorry i didn't know they had that level of creative control
  8. Sham

    Sham Member

    Ravnir was busy thudding along the street, paying little heed to other pedestrians when his small data pad dinged, notifying him of a handful of messages left on the group chat for the team. At least, he knew it was, since it never dinged otherwise. He stepped off to the side of the sidewalk, pulling the sturdy thing out of his pockets after fishing around for it. With a quick swipe, he squinted to read the messages. He still had trouble reading Common, even if his speech was passable.

    When the promotional video provided by Seiren started playing, he arched a brow. He had seen 'cartoons' before on his travels, but the odd coloring, off proportions, and over-the-top flair still threw him off. It wasn't something he'd ever find on Ranil'inas. While cartoon Cosmo explained Seiren's various gadgets, he simply nodded along. He had little need for electro-shields, needle handguns, nor an small explosive launcher, leaving him somewhat perplexed, beginning to wonder if he had any need to continue watching. Surely such trifling gadgets would come in handy for the squishy members of Phoenix Team, but for Ravnir, what his fist could not solve, his magic probably could. If magic could not? He supposed he had a hand cannon of his own, its size befitting his own.

    Then, the video called him out by name, or at least, cartoon Cosmo did. He returned his attention to his tablet and watched as a sort of eyeglass was shown. Glasses were uncommon on Ranil'inas, given the combative nature of his people, but he had seen some here and there. Of course, this 'eyeglass' gadget had nothing to do with his normal eyesight. Rather, it appeared as if Seiren had designed something to assist him in breaking things. When the video closed, Ravnir hummed to himself. "I suppose breaking things with greater efficiency is good. Though, Luca did say to keep breaking to minimum. Should I break things or not? Hmmm, quite the conundrum..." Ravnir walked on like this, debating on whether he should or shouldn't collapse buildings.
  9. Ashlinn

    Ashlinn Member

    Breyja moved the whole video and groupchat down to the corner of her vision so that she wasn't actively watching it fully and obstructing her view as she hit the top end of the acceptable speed limits and just hovered on that thin line while she dipped through traffic.

    FR: Breyja
    To: PT-Groupchat
    MSG: Goodest Boy Deserves a Raise. Possibly a spot in marketing. Do you think the shield can support my Railcannon?
    There was a loud honk behind her before she shifted lanes and she decided to perhaps getting there faster was more important as tires squealed and left angry black marks on the roadway behind her.
  10. Jimmy

    Jimmy Member

    Sargasso Streets, On the way to the University.

    As Ravnir made his plodding jog through the streets of Sargasso, the slow wheezing noise of a dying carburettor huffed and puffed past him with a trail of smoke and the smell of burned crackers from fried oil as a large once-white, now scratched and well-loved semitrailer hauled past him. It did not get far before the brake lights snapped on and a rather excessive amount of tyre squeal for such a slow moving vehicle came to a stop, before a chelti stuck their head out of the window up to their waist to peer around the cargo box.

    The figure stared at Ravnir, then ducked back inside for a few seconds, before re-emerging as the reversing lights came on the truck backed up with a loud, poorly cared for beeper as the figure sticking out the side screamed directions to the cab. Coming to a stop alongside Ravnir with a protesting squeak of suspension. The back gate of the truck flew up and open with a loud rattle, and then a cylindrical object rolled out the back and hit the road with a threatening thud as Ravnir recognized it to look a lot like a larger version of the things the soft-skins put in their guns. As the object rolled away a chelti hurriedly leapt out the back and chased after it.

    Another chelti peeked out the back of the dark truck, scented smoke fuming out gently from the back. "You are the Snuffles Rock Eating Friend, yes? We give you lift!" They said loudly, waving a hand to the back of the dark truck.

    Ravnir's musing was interrupted by the rather unkempt arrival of a rather unkempt 'truck' if it could be called that given its state. He stopped in his tracks, watching a Chelti chase after some strange cylinder that bounced out of the back of the vehicle. At the question, he arched a brow, looking over their ramshackle transport before nodding to it. "Mmm, that doesn't appear to be going far. It looks... broken."

    "Ah, yes, is what we want others to think. No good, no steal!" The chelti replied, tapping their forehead. "We pick you last time, but you sleep then." A questioning shout came from the interior of the cargo box and the chelti turned and quelled it with a yap of their own language.

    Ravnir hummed a bit before offering a heavy shrug. "Well, I stand after one trip. I suppose I'll stand after two," He replied before thumping on over.

    The suspension complained bitterly as Ravnir stepped aboard, but held up as he stepped into the dark cargo box where several of the cah-zins inside made a space for him on the various boxes that were stacked around the cab. After Ravnir, the cah-zin who had been chasing the rolling cylinder jumped up behind him and put it back in a box before slamming the rear door shut, and with a small bump the truck began to move again.

    As Ravnirs eyes adjusted to the scene he noticed one of the chelti felt somewhat larger than the others, staring at him through his one remaining eye. Most of its face a formless patchwork of lumpy, crudely applied skin grafts that had clearly been done under less than idea circumstances a long time ago. Worn body army with orange and white stripes hugged its slender body, and a cigar filled with bright orange plant matter smouldered in its jaws as it looked at Ravnir, before a hand reached up took the cigar and offered it to Ravnir.

    "Hi, I am Finch, I'm an actor. I believe the humans call me an Unca, and these are my nieces and nephews." Compared to the typical crude way of speaking most chelti possessed in the human tongue, this chelti spoke almost with culture. The rattling of the truck and sound of straining engine not phasing it.

    Ravnir settled down in the darkened interior with the gaggle of Chelti already packed in. He didn't particularly like being in such a crowded space, but he supposed it was faster if only barely. While his eyes adjusted, color fading away from the world as his vision shifted to an odd grayscale of sorts, he took notice of a particularly strange Chelti sitting across from him. He squinted at the offered cigar before taking it between his thick digits. "Large clan for a small place, Finch," He replied before carefully drawing from the cigar, flinching at the burning in his lungs. "Ravnir. Clan, kin, and outsiders call me this."
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  11. Luca

    Luca Administrator Staff Member

    Sargasso, Overhead View from the University
    Through a sky of painted orange - the light of Aleph Null's star had started disappearing behind mountains which cradled Southern Palms and Central View at its feet. Its rays dabbled and shone upon the back of Ravnir, jogging over empty yellow sand and turbulent waves on the beach as storm clouds were gathering up in the north-east, blotting out the and bringing night storms through Barrier Island. Along the way, the Raiken came across the Hero's Armaments pub, and all of its weatherproofing measures were in place - an empty car-park framed the tin-roofed, brick, weatherboard and verandah-clad building, its flags, poles and the external antennae which got the good entertainment channels were down; shutters drawn and sandbags surrounded the foundations. Lights inside and visible fluctuations showed that occupants were bunkering down for what would be a long night.

    After being picked up and ferried by the cadre of Chelti lead by the 'cousin' Finch, Ravnir was watching strange poles in the middle of the side-walk rise as he crossed the street towards one of the magic university's buildings - they were not present prior to the stormy weather rolling in, but as far as the Units had made people aware, these grated poles were part of a flood-water vacuum system, drawing floodwater away from the streets and pumping it ... somewhere out of sight, but accounted for by the Units. If those light-show tin-cans were the almighty gardeners, was this their sprinkler system's clean-up mechanism? Perhaps thinking that way laid conspiracy without acknowledging the convenience it afforded - and there were more pressing matters at hand.

    On the north-west corner of the university, Snuffles and their half-track monster machine had pulled up at a major intersection, close to the Spaceport. The chelti was amid students who were preparing to wind down for the day and procrastinate on their next assignments together. Escaping the encroaching poor weather was a mere side-benefit of this motion, as the students could've just as easily gotten on with putting off tasks on a balmy night in the park. Snuffles, however, could feel something through the boughs and clusters of leaves as they moved against what felt like a current of people - avoiding something perhaps.

    Pulling back and looking towards the bay on the west of Barrier Island, a fading cyan line raced over the gyring sea leaving wakes through sea-foam caught in the wind and eddies. Angling up as the skimmer was approaching land, Seiren piloted their craft over an empty industrial lot. Their stock had been transferred from the open space and put under warehouse conditions to shield from the weather - scratched and damaged paint-jobs were bad for business. Slowing down to avoid the wind-shaken foliage in a park separated by two major roadways, Seiren found himself at the western entrance to the University's grounds.

    Breyja had ended up taking the eastern Barrier Island highway north. Along the way, she saw the weather-battened Hero's Armaments, and the Chelti truck along the road. Her tactical analysis visor was connecting the dots together on what a man like Driver was capable of doing - and how to counter it based on previous engagements. The railgun she had lugging made her an especially dangerous target towards vehicles like Driver's mecha, and a surprise attack could mitigate the damage a rampaging mecha could cause. She ended up heading a little further up the road and rounding a corner, facing west into the campus grounds via the extensive park grounds before dismounting.

    At the south-west corner of the university, Luca and Yttrium were pulling up. "There's something in the air, Lulu..." The blue giant said, quivering with anticipation as she weathered the stormy conditions in the 'buff'. "I can smell slimes. I think they're doing a migration..." She said, looking down at the growing puddles on the road as rain started to drop all around. As Luca dismounted his motorbike and reached for his shotgun of choice, a newspaper caught by a gale pasted onto his face. The blue gynoid chuckled, "or maybe they're having a big, goopy orgy! Perfect weather for an orgy, huh?" she said, coy.

    Peeling the funny papers away, Luca scowled, cricking his neck as he looked up at a lamp post that was still in the winds and perpendicular to the university building. "Perfect for an orgy of nonsensical mayhem caused by disgruntled mecha pilots. I'm breaking off," he raised his right hand, aiming where his grappling hook's piton would land "I'm getting a better look. Blue, head around the corner. Radio us if you see Driver or his mecha or anything outta the ordinary." Blue nodded and started bunny-hopping east down the street with a task in mind and a pilot light on her right finger.

    Firing, latching, and sling-shotting himself up and away, Luca fought against the prevailing side-winds to glide towards the building, preparing for a rolling landing. At the peak of his jump, he scouted an empty spot on the roof and lined up - landing and rolling with a tumble onto his feet with the momentum intact. Running to the edge of the roof and sliding against the edge he started scanning the grounds. "Radio check, I'm up on the south-west roof of the university..." Luca whispered into the comms as he checked that his weapons were loaded. "No sign of Driver yet, but this weather's not doing us any favours."


    KEY (Counterclockwise from '12)
    Purple S = Snuffles
    Blue S = Seiren
    Red L = Luca
    Purple Y = Yttrium
    Green R = Ravnir
    Pink B = Breyja
  12. Moogle

    Moogle Administrator Staff Member

    Seiren dismounted his bike and retrieved the the pieces of his ensemble and adding to his total of "things brought". One shield for himself as well as a SucroSpike, his Grav-gauntlet and accompanying Grav-bat already secured on his person. His helmet and boots, suitably upgraded for some weather resistance. Finally, he triggered a program on his skimmer, sending it out in autonomous mode.

    "Test, test, If anybody wants anything from the collection of things I just procured, just ping my bike and it'll drive by. Except Ravnir. It's just gonna come to you to drop off that scanner, regardless of ping." Seiren said on comms, sending the data packets necessary to ping his bike. "Otherwise, I'm cutting through the woods."

    The inventor began his careful slingshotting through the woods; first reeling himself towards a tree using the gauntlet, then "landing" on the tree with his boots to nullify the shock and harness the kinetic force for later.
  13. Ashlinn

    Ashlinn Member

    Breyja's visor gave her a stark, clear image of her surroundings. She had been spending the whole drive here interfacing with the local net and updating everything she knew or had on the grounds, local tourist images were formed and compounded into collage of images that gave her a nearly seemless 3D image of the area. It's amazing what public information you can find when random tourists in an area just snap pictures and post them on their blogs about traveling. It also gave her a good idea of where to park her bike and begin putting together the railgun despite the rain the pieces snapped together under her poncho as her eyes and ears darted around at every sound and she took the time to breath, relax and acclimate herself to the area of operations.

    She was focusing on the things that were natural, the things that should be and of course looking about for the out of the ordinary at the same time. Tire marks on the grass that shouldn't be there and the likes. The Arrival of the new riot shield actually brought a smile to her face. She'd have to thank Seiren later, she was rapidly starting to like the way they had something for everyone more often than not. Hopefully this one lasted longer and didn't have to stand up to another grenade. The last part of the railgun clicked quietly into place as she lifted the long barreled anti-material weapon from under the tarp, snagged the last of her kit. the large aid-bag was left on the bike, the smaller trauma kit went to her lower back, riot shield snugly strapped over it and into the shadows the woman melted.

    FR: Breyja
    MSG: My Bikes location is [Location] - if anyone gets injured, but can move. Head there Lift rain poncho up and use syringe marked 'Emergency use' it'll keep you stable until I arrive.. 
    Carrying Trauma kit, if needed. Moving to best vantage position. 
  14. Jimmy

    Jimmy Member

    Magicians Academy
    Snuffles brought the mountaincrawler to a stop and raise their visor, looking out across the plaza. Something definitely didn't feel right, they took a look up at the storm clouds brewing above the island. Something didn't feel right about those, either. Taking off the helmet and putting it in a saddle bag to keep it dry, Snuffles touch their radiopiece.

    "Ez Snuffles. Ez on North West corner. These people, they move very strange. Many hole." Snuffles said, not quite able to articulate what they meant, perhaps from above it was more visible.

    The Back of the Cahzin Truck

    Finch tipped his head at the comment. Clearly trying to communicate a look of confusion. It seemed acting classes paid off compared to the usual chelti stonewall expression and dry wit. The box tray was defnitely cozy. Crates lining one wall, with several chelti sitting on top of them to give Ravnir room to sit, while two others were sitting behind him towards the door. Finch himself being an elder only had a blanket to sit on.

    "There aren't so many of us here. Most are still at work." He said with a shrug. "Snuffles only called in the closer parts of the family."

    The trip was speckled with the creaking of boxes as corners were taken, the chelti resting upon them gripping to hold on precariously. The squeal of brakes and a loud horn answered by the rather tinny beep beep of the trucks own device, before finally with a last rattle and lean the truck came to a final stop and there was a double thud against the wall from the cab. The rear gate slammed up again, this time no loose objects fell out, and the chelti aboard began piling out. Some of them picking up boxes as they went.

    "Here, cahzin, you take hammer." One of them said to another.

    "Hey cahzin, help me here!"

    "Cahzin, if you cannot lift your own box, you auntie will be sad."

    "Forgive them." Said Finch, standing up with a groan. "It is rude to speak the chants in front of less fortunate species."
  15. Sham

    Sham Member

    Chelti Truck

    Ravnir gestured around the truck with a hand. "This is only a few? Large clan indeed," He remarked before leaning back, relaxing as best he could while the automobile bumped and chugged along. It certainly wasn't comfortable given how crowded it was, especially with all the Chelti scrambling about to hold on to whatever was closest.

    When the truck finally came to a halt and the rear gate fell, sunlight piercing the darkened interior, Ravnir was forced to blink several times as color flowed back into things. He waited for the tide of Chelti to mostly empty out before rising himself. "I have weathered far worse," He said with a bow of his head before nodding towards the assorted boxes they were unpacking. "Did Snuffles request all this?"
  16. Luca

    Luca Administrator Staff Member

    Sargasso, The Grounds of SMU
    Seiren traipsed through the woods and swung past the posts which marked the university's grounds. To his left, he could see a pair of gardeners dashing towards the cover and illumination of the university's north-western block to wait the storm out, with a trolley of their equipment in tow towards the custodial closet. Other university personnel and students were also taking cover. Seiren's agile movement had generated a light reserve of kinetic force to tap from so far. From the rooftop just south, Luca's heads-up was showing Seiren advancing, and he gave him cover through the battle rifle he'd lugged along. "I'll take a grenade launcher, ask Driver what he thinks." Luca radioed to Seiren, intent on doing so one explosion at a time.

    On the eastern side of the grounds, Breyja made her way in, spotting the last of people taking shelter from fat drops - striking leaves, walls, roof, grass, and people in wind-whipped sprinkles. It didn't take long for her to spot an access ladder on the side of the south-east lecture building, otherwise she could rappel her way up - the roof was the right shape to catch a grapnel and rope nine times out of ten. At the southern parts of the ground, Yttrium flailed a little in the wind before finding her footing under cover, and looking through the night-time grounds. At a glance, one would think Yttrium's seeing organ was the expressive eye in her face - the visible maesus however was her brain, and it was that flowing mane of fibre-optic, cyan and magenta gradiented hair.

    Outside of visible light provided by the university's lighting against the evening storm, Yttrium's glassy hair could make out things on the cusp of the infrared, peering a little closer and looking for signs of life. Her vision was a false-colour smear of blacks and purples - only her nearest surroundings coming up orange as the wind and rain painted the storm in midnight cuts. All dark, gloomy as she was keeping her eye out for something. Breyja upon rampart was looking through specialised optics, working thermally as she scanned. Everyone was looking for something which didn't want to be found. "Huh... I don't see Driver on the grounds..." Yttrium transmitted to the team. "Do you think he's inside already?"

    Temhebu - still on park bench in gale-force winds for her heavy - started to notice people going against the grain of the weather. Those confronting the storm piqued her interest - she'd already seen everyone of little import fleeing towards their buildings. Ah! The trouble solvers are here ahead of Driver finishing. She concluded as she looked a little harder - peering with senses unseen through the veil. The first thing that caught her attention was over her left shoulder and four hundred metres away, she saw the man in red on the roof - and that smouldering, latent aura surrounding them - Temhebu now realised why Driver couldn't quit them! And the best part was, reports indicated that whenever he was there, he wasn't alone. So! Where are your lovelies, then?

    The next thing her clairvoyance honed in on was a skimmer making its way around the southern perimeter of the university - identifying it by the sound of the engine watching its path. While she kept her eye on it, she caught sight of the Yttrium trying to see within the limits of her form. Try as she might, her bulky frame and glamorous finish made stealth counter-intuitive. Huh? That's not a Sourcian. Temhebu had heard about this offshoot of the gooey, and delicious things which were bountiful down here. Oh, but there's probably lots here. Meanwhile, she could feel focussed rays striking her illusory surface. Thermal optics? Hm, cute. Temhebu projected a non-image thermally - but visually, all that could be seen in the dark was a woman waiting with a dainty umbrella.

    Continuing to follow the motorbike's path, turning left and heading north, she spotted a most peculiar alien specimen, with a gaggle of chelti. Hm, waking dreamers. Stringy, unpalatable, things, but what is that...? Temhebu made a note to give Cináed a call when all this blew over, and ask if such a creature had ever crossed her cleavers, and if so, the taste. The being in question: Ravnir spotted Seiren's skimmer driving up towards him, stopping beside him with the structural scanning earpiece. As the raiken took care to retrieve the piece, the sound of crates being pried open and objects retrieved could be made out against the storm. The cousins were building furiously, seeing and sensing something which had them spooked.

    Snuffles and Finch could feel that something had desired not to be seen, that the drifting colours and lights which made their waking dream collapsed and spaghettified into a scrawling jumble somewhere in the middle of the park, utterly distorting and bending their visible space. This ... presence, this force of being which was a blight upon visible space was much worse than a mere mortal man missiling mayhemic mecha in a murderous maelstrom. It was this fundamental wrongness of being Temhebu exuded that Luca could suddenly feel weighing on him after looking unwittingly in their direction.

    Out of reflex, he peered over his shoulder. Nothing was there, but he felt like he was being watched. Ordinarily, Luca could pull a hat low to cover his face, shake a tail by ducking into a crowd and drift along, or hiding behind a low wall - much like he was now. Except, what was looking at him cared not for physical visual limitations. If there was a way to hide from this, Luca really needed it about now. His gut was unsettled, sinus parched in an instant as a hum coalesced in his head. Psionics - he knew of the sensation immediately, and his thoughts rushed to alert as he looked into his right palm, teeth clenched.
    FR: Luca
    TO: PT-Groupchat, Toymaker
    MSG: Driver is not alone. Repeat, Driver is not alone.
    -Something else- is here. Possibly psionic entity.
    FR: Toymaker
    TO: PT-Groupchat
    MSG: Solid copy. Phoenix, did you get an amp put in after all?
    FR: Luca
    TO: PT-Groupchat, Toymaker
    MSG: Negative but I know bad juju and I'm feeling it right now.
    The feeling suddenly passed, as if it backed off, leaving the sudden sensations of the rainstorm around him to flood back in, and bring him into the present. A dull pain was left, but Luca knew he'd been watched, and he scooted south-east to the other edge of the building he was standing on, just above and not far from Yttrium. With this new angle in the mix, Luca fretted that a grenade launcher may not be the right tool against a very potent psionic threat.
    FR: Luca
    TO: PT-Groupchat, Toymaker
    MSG: I do -not- like whoever Driver's shacking up with now.
    ((OOC: Updated map TBD!))
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
  17. Jimmy

    Jimmy Member

    All the chelti stopped to stare, something had caught their attention, and their eyes wandered, knowing it was out there but not quite sure what it was. So engrossed were they that none of them stopped to answer Ravnir. Finch was the first to move, sniffing and wiping what was left of his snout in annoyance before kicking off the lid of one of the crates, grabbing one of the big cylinders within, much like the one that had rolled off the truck when Ravnir had boarded, and walked back up to Ravnir.

    "The Snuffles tells many story." Finch finally replied, winding up for a throw, before hurling the shell forwards straight at where the sense of wrongness was strongest.


    Snuffles made the rest of the way on foot, letting Sparrow flap up and try to hunker down on a roof for a birds eye view of the action
  18. Moogle

    Moogle Administrator Staff Member

    Seiren reached the edge of the forest and parked himself sideways on a tree to fiddle with his Grav-kid helmet. Multiple sensor sweeps were swept, going through infrared and thermals among others. He bit his tongue at the results.

    FR: Seiren
    TO: PT-Groupchat
    MSG: Something's wrong here. I'm my scans are getting me *nothing*. It's only barely registering the people that are running by me - and the storm's not the one causing any interference. Whatever's out there goes beyond regular signal jamming. Keep your eyes on. 
    Seiren disembarked from his tree- perch and and activated both his shield and Sucro-Spike, moving carefully forward into the open.
  19. Sham

    Sham Member

    Ravnir hummed as he observed the chelti unloading the truck, hauling out some odd cylinders while he gazed upwards, watching the sky darken for an oncoming storm. A frown adorned his rocky lips as he shifted his eyes back to the academy or where it was, beyond all the trees. "Mmm, something isn't right here. What could it be?" He murmured to himself before Seiren's skimmer bounced against his leg, presumably offering the eyepiece that 'cartoon' had shown off. The Raiken took it as carefully as he could manage, inspecting it with a few 'hmmms' and 'mmmms' before seating it over his right eye. "I suppose I should use gifts."

    Bidding the chelti farewell with a nod and a brief wave, Ravnir set about plodding through the trees, making his way towards the academy, still pondering what exactly was so off about the place. He made a mental note to ask some other species about their magic.
  20. Ashlinn

    Ashlinn Member

    Breyja's ears flattened slightly against the incoming rain, she'd found a nice spot that gave her a very commanding view with minimal interference from buildings or other obstructions. She wasn't too concerned with buildings being in the way, provided she had enough angel to fire through without hitting a support or firing through too many walls. In the back of her mind she was busy in the same way one with a neural implant could be as they went about the careful wetwork of tapping into the local video footage while something else gnawed at the raised hairs on the back of her neck.

    You never could breed out the instincts completely and sometimes throwbacks happened. Breyja wasn't one of those throwbacks. So whatever had the rest of the team spooked was setting off the warning bells and rousing dormant isntincts best left alone as her eyes began to pan around looking for an overlooked target or something profoundly out of place.

    Everything leaves a footprint... unless it's obfuscating itself with magic... Her lips curled watching snuffles cousin hurl a canister in the direction of something.

    FR: Breyja
    TO: PT-Groupchat
    MSG: Snuffles' cousin just hurled what I think is an explosive in the direction of something shifting angles to see what they flush out. 
    She had to slowly crawl forwards enough to angle the gun down as she lifted her visor in the rain to try and see whatever the electronics couldn't.
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