Dashed Expectations

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:07 am 
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Lina moved her hand to the back of her neck. She moved to a chest and grabbed a bundle of rope, tossing it to Hope's side.

She took out her dagger and moved it close to the neck of the snake beast, cutting off the cloak to better see the neckline and examine whether a collar was present.

"So I'll ask you a third time..." Forth. "A member of the blackguard would not attack a guild merchant," Lina stated plainly as she moved to try and pilfer the pockets of this person. "So I'm asking again...who do you work for?" She asked this while staring the beast right in the eyes.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:24 am 
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To this, Ghosty raised an eyebrow. "Ghost cannibal? What would that even entail? That I eat other ghosts?... Or that I eat people? Can I even eat, like... anything?" he asked, giving everyone deja vu for days as he pondered to himself, eventually bringing up his hand, deciding to answer this in the only logical way: biting down on his own finger. After a bit of a shout of pain as he recoiled, Ghosty looked away in embarrassment, trying to shake the pain away in his hand.

Eventually, he spoke up again, "... Yeah, I think it's safe to say I'm not one of those."


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:40 am 
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The beast wore no collar, and had no markings on its body, as the discarded cloak pretty much revealed the rest of his body. Of course, his clothes were torn to shreds when he transformed earlier, so that made WHAM

Hope slammed the man's head down into a bit of table on the ground, bringing his head back up. He looked disoriented for a second, and then opened his mouth, trying to say anything. Of course, the stoppers on his teeth prevented him from saying anything intelligible, and he just ended up drooling a bit and saying what sounded like some curse words.

Hope finished tying the man's hands down, and then started working on his legs. "You might want to take out the stopper. Don't get too close though, he can still bite if he lunges. I'll tie him down somewhere, and we'll milk this snake for all the information its worth." Hope finished tying the man's legs, and started working on tying him to a slightly rusted rung on the floor of the boat. "He can't transform again today, I've given him a bit of a whack in that part of his brain."

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:53 am 
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John watched the ghost for a moment, smirking. "Yeah, I guess you're fine. You can feel pain, though? That's odd."

---

Lina nodded a little as she helped Hope, then while the creature was dazed to a slow reaction time, she reached into the snake's mouth and found a single pill lodged into the crown of a tooth. "Here we are." With a careful pull, she took it out like an expert dentist. "Cyanide. Don't want the creature getting overanxious."

She examined the rest to make sure they were all gone and placed the pill in a vial near John's table. "Drag him outside, please. I need to check something."

She walked over into Hope's room and saw the box slightly smashed. "...." She walked over to the side and found the dagger she was able to disarm the rogue with. She picked it up and examined it.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:51 am 
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As Lina examined the dagger, she noticed some very obvious things she hadn't been able to see in the heat of the moment. For one, the entire length of the blade was pitch black, and heavily covered in runes. The base of the handle was odd, and there seemed to be a crystal in some sort of holder. The tip of the blade, when Lina brought it close to her hand, started glowing bright red, and the dagger started vibrating. When she pulled it away from her hand, it stopped.

An odd dagger, Lina would have never seen it before. The material, the writings, even the gem was foreign to her.

Over the edge of the box, Lina could see the tear stained letter she had left for Hope, a little bit crumpled as if someone had a bit of a fit while holding it and then cried themselves to sleep. But that totally didn't happen those stains are just coffee rings shut up!

-

Hope managed to drag the snake beast outside of the ship just far enough, and then he sprung to life again, tackling her off the edge of the ship. They both went over the railing, and there was a bit of a struggle underwater before Hope emerged again, carrying the unconscious assassin. She threw him on the ground, and then tied him to a tree. Hope took a few steps back, and then pawed at her ruined dress, looking really sad.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:00 am 
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Lina kept her eye on the dagger, frowning. "Great...some sort of magical dagger. Well, at least I know what to do with it." She kept it in her hand as she walked slowly away.

For a moment, though, she stopped and looked over to the bed, seeing the letter crumbled up as if in a fit. She only assumed it meant Hope was still angry at her and didn't want to accept the gift.

She sighed quite heavily and walked out of the room.

---

John was immediately startled by the commotion from the boat, watching as Hope dragged a reptile beast of some sort out of the boat. "Wh-....Hope?" As he said her name, the beast sprung to life and brought the girl into the water.

"A-ah...Hope!" He was close to taking off his coat and jumping in, but he soon saw Hope dragging the beast out of the water and towards a nearby tree. "A....ah..." He adjusted his coat and walked over to the tree.

He looked at Hope, tying up the beast. "What...were you doing in there?"

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:04 am 
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"Huh, I do feel pain, don't I..." Ghosty mused to himself, pondering the connotations of that fact, "Probably only self-inflicted... or just, ghostly things doing it, ethereal, that's the word... and... hmm..." As he trailed off, he'd quickly find himself dragged along in John's ear up to Hope and her new friend. For a moment, Ghosty just stared at this assassin with just, the most bewildered look. "Okay, I know I joked about you being popular and bringing all kinds of crazy people along after you, but this is just getting ridiculous." he said, throwing his arms into the air.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:26 am 
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Hope paused for a moment, looking at John. "Uh. Well, I was asleep when Mistress Lina started getting attacked by the giant snake, and the sounds of her grunts and struggling with it woke me up. I rushed out to help her wrestle it down, but it was no good, and we were almost overwhelmed. Right until Lina managed to stop his juice, and I beat him down to a manageable size. I'm all wet now, but we tied him up, and now I'm waiting for Mistress so we can finish him off."

Pretty straightforward then.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:30 am 
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"...wh.."

John tilted his head.

"Wh...wha?"

"You forgot about how he almost used his pill, but we got it out of him." Lina said as she walked back.

"WHAT EVEN JUST HAPPENED?"

"Calm down, John," Lina said with a sigh. "We still have to deal with this snake. Wake him up, Hope." Lina knelt down and took out the stopper from the snakeman's mouth. "Let's see if he'll talk."

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:42 am 
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Hope's tail was wagging when she saw Lina, but she was all business right now, and with good reason. Hope bent down to slap the assassin awake, but he was already awake and tried to lunge at her when she got close. Expertly, Hope dodged out of the way, and then took a step back, watching him struggle against the ropes.

A fruitless struggle, of course, as Hope was an expert at tying rope.

Eventually, the man just sat down, snorting as he stared up at Lina. he swore at her in beast, a very dirty word, and Hope returned the favor by kicking him directly in his gentleman's area.

A few seconds later, he stirred again, a little more willing to talk. Just a little.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:55 am 
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It had taken Steg a moment to recover, popping his neck as he moved away from the crystal of fatigue. He was probably trying to come up with a joke to lighten his own sullen mood, bit that sure wasn't happening at the moment. Gene meanwhile had taken the crystal shard from Sarah and had taken to examining it. Turning it over his worried expression grew more intense. "This looks...faintly familiar," he said vaguely, his expression making it clear that he couldn't quite recall some old memory.

Strange, that. He never had trouble remembering that before. Sometimes the brain can't pull the information we need most. At least he had two others to sort through the files if he wishes them to.

When they reached the armory door at last Caitlin gave a small smirk, jabbing her thumb at the door. "Seems like a simple solution to me," she grinned, stepping back to give Gene room. He stepped beside the door and punched through the wall beside it, reaching around the hole as he forced the door open with his hand. The crystal that kept the door firm against the wall snapped away; the entrance to the armory was clear. No wait turrets wasting their ammo on Steg. NOW it was clear. What wondrous gizmos and doodads awaited?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:57 am 
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Lina moved forward, moving the dagger into the beast's eyesight. "A rather interesting dagger you have."

John watched the dagger for a moment and noticed the details. "Lina, I think-"

Lina ignored him, stepping close enough to the beast to not be snapped at and began to speak in the bestial tongue. "Most trained assassins attempt to utilize basic weapons for their killing. After all, if an assassin somehow requires a weapon to be...disappeared...it's easy to get rid of a weapon with no value to it. Makes me wonder why you would try to kill with a weapon that has a clear...property to it."

To the side of the group, near the beach, there was a small crab scurrying along the beach sands. It was nearly 50 feet away. Hope would clearly hear its slight clicking noise, but John would not.

In an effortless move that seemed to be quite a practiced trick, Lina throws the black dagger through the air and lands a hit squarely on the crab. Even if the dagger doesn't actually do anything, she doesn't care. Her point was made: if you run, you die.

She brings out her own dagger, her voice low as she moved it around her hand as if it was nothing. "Of course, I think we have an unanswered question to get to before this lovely interrogation continues. So please...Who are you working for?"

Her calm demeanor was somewhat unsettling, even if John had no idea what she was saying clearly.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:32 am 
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Just a bunch of old rubbish, innit?

Nah, loads of cool, ancient tech stuff. Laser rifles, power armors, plasma galore....enough for about two people. Remember now, they had been fighting a war right before the entire world went to !#%$. So, the armory was very bare. It had a few things Gene could bring back to Sota to reverse-engineer, but other than that, it seemed pretty empty.

Well, except for-"Oh! My scythe~" Sarah reached over, picking up the deadly sharp weapon. Said to be wielded by Death herself, the scythe could cut through any material or being, and had a host of magical properties. Mortal hands couldn't hold it though, and any attempts to control the scythe's awesome power brought insanity, and then death. Which raised the question of how Sarah had gotten it in the first place.

Sarah snapped her fingers, watching the scythe vanish in a burst of hellish black void. "Wonderful. Did you get your booger blast fuel Gene sweetie?" Lovely.

-----

The dagger flashed bright red, and everyone could clearly see a blue wisp exit the body of the crab and enter the crystal at the base of the knife. The crystal flashed, and then the dagger reappeared in Lina's hand. The crystal ejected itself into her pocket, and another crystal materialized out of nowhere.

Ah. It created Soul Gems. How mortifying. And it returns when thrown, neat. Also mortifying. But neat!

The assassin glared at Lina, and then looked at Hope. "I was hired to do a job. You wouldn't give up your employer's name, especially if you know from how high up this comes. Course, they were probably going to use that dagger on me next, knowing them. But, that's neither here nor there." The man looked back at Lina, his forked tongue flicking out slightly. "She was my only target. I failed. Either kill me, or let me go so I can report my failure and be killed."

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:47 am 
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Lina looked at the weapon in her hand, frowning. "How distasteful..."

It was immediately out of her hand. "E-eh?"

John was closely examining the weapon now. "Ooo...interesting!"

"J-John?" Lina was staring at him, her mouth somewhat agape. How the hell did he...?

"This may be exactly what I need," John stated, looking at the dagger closely. "Examining this may help me figure out a solution to Ken's-"

Lina grabbed the dagger from his hand, a look of pure anger on her face. "Don't just act like everything's a discovery! You could seriously harm yourself if you handle a weapon like this without care, you idiot!"

"I don't know anyone else who can manipulate souls, and from Ken's description, it could be our best bet." John said with a shrug.

"You are close to dating someone who handles souls for a living," Lina said, moving her hand over her hair. "Though I wonder if she knows anything about fixing souls, though..."

"I'm a fan of keeping things in the family circle," John said. "If Caitlin hears the plea and still doesn't want to kill me, maybe we'll go your way."

"The correct way." Lina said as she began to walk back.

"Fine, fine." John sighed.

Lina looked back to the snake, putting the dagger down on the sand a ways away from them. "So you don't work for them exclusively? Just a mercenary? Any idea why she was targeted?"

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:05 am 
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The man's eyes flitted down to the dagger for just a second before going back up to Lina. "Don't speak to me in your broken beast tongue, human. It's disgraceful. And it's probably because she's a mutant. A strong mix, at that. The pureblood lines are afraid of her, or something else maybe? I honestly don't give a !#%$ about Church politics or Wolf laws, I just follow the gold." Hm, that was a rather large hint at who wanted her dead. The man made a sudden lunge for the knife, only to have Hope put her foot on his chest and shove him into the ground, just far back enough to avoid his fangs.

Hope looked down at the man, and then at Lina. "I don't understand, they sold me already, why are they trying to kill me now? This doesn't make sense..."

Hm!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:16 am 
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Lina moved over to the man and frowned. "We don't like hearing such harsh words about our Hope." She had the dagger in her hand. "Tell me, why do you work as a mercenary when you could work for the Blackguard? Easy living, very easy pay. Much less likely to kill you, too."

John was standing back, his arms folded as he contemplated the things said so far. He would not bring himself to comment more, as Lina seemed to have a handle of this so far.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:27 am 
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The man spit on the ground, glaring up at Lina. "Don't be ridiculous. The church prevents any of us animals from working proper jobs with humans. We have to scrounge our lifestyles, live dangerous and die young...." The man suddenly looked around, frowning. "Why do you care? Just kill me already. I'm a killing machine, only meant for death."

Hope looked over at Lina, frowning. "More like him will show up, won't they? I just know it. I can feel it in my guts."

The man laughed sadly, looking at Hope. "More skilled than I, most likely. Your life will be short after this."

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:43 am 
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"That won't happen."

It was John who said it this time. "If they want to hurt Hope, they're going to have to get through me."

Badass. Of course, once he actually does get in a fight, he's gonna be fuuuuuuucked.

Lina sighed. "First it'd be me, but yes." She took the opportunity to slap the snake once across the face. "If you think you're going to die young, then you are more than welcome to. I'm offering a chance with the Blackguard, and the guild is already full of seedy types. You could shadow them. You could even-"

.........

Lina turned her head and looked over at John, smiling.

John looked at her, tilting his head. "What? I don't like that look you're giving me when you have that dagger in your hand."

"Why not have him work for you here?"

This brought John back somewhat. "Oh, come on, Lina, I can't pay that much right now."

"Well, hey, look at it like this. You're going to need someone to handle the bar when you're away."

"But-"

"Plus, if you get the Mark of the Serpent, which isn't too far away as I've noticed, you should be able to actually pay crew members. You'd be able to pay Hope, myself, and this man!"

"Lina, th-"

"It's probably easy enough to handle payment at 20% extra. Plus, the guild may even be able to handle tax incentives for t-"

"LINA!" John shouted slightly loud there.

"....yes?"

"...we don't even know the guy's name and you want me to hire him?"

"...I...I suppose that is a lapse of judgement on my part. I..."

She was interrupted when John moved forward, staring at the beast in front of him. "What's your name?"

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:14 am 
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Gene held up one of the two black containers he had managed to find, giving it a playfully angry shake at Sarah's comment. The green plasma within was visible through little slits in the cases, and the other four cases strewn about one of the tables in the room made it clear that this was all Gene had left of the stuff. Caitlin had hefted up a rifle with a long barrel, holding it out towards her father with both hands. "Last one it looks like," she observed, spotting a lone pistol on a rack in the corner. "That as well, I suppose. How the !#%$ are we going to use these things if the ammunition for them is non-existent though?"
"Language," Gene quickly scolded, wagging a finger at her. "You know Sota will just adjust to what she has until she can get the jump on everyone else. Steg, you there's a locker behind you. Should have another suit in there. Just stuff it into one of your portals for now."

As instructed Steg had opened the locker, pulling out parts of another suit. "There's just...spare pieces it looks like. Didn't you have a helmet, too? There isn't one in here. Should pad...right arm guard. Chest piece and a leg."
"It will have to do," Gene sighed, tapping his chin thoughtfully while Steg tossed every lord only knows where. Walking over to another locker Gene reached a hand up as he blindly searched the top of it, pulling down a large blue scroll after a moment. "Sota should enjoy this as well. Some blueprints for a few of the gadgets around here. The glasses, armor...part of the robots we made as well." He said that last part with such distaste that one had to wonder why he would even consider making a robot in the first place if he hated them so. "Incomplete prints. Gives her room to add to her hearts desire."
"Eventually."
"Right. To the generator, then?"

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:36 am 
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Sarah reached over and pocketed a vial full of some silvery liquid before turning back to Gene. "Right, the generator." Sarah started walking out of the room before pausing, and snapping her fingers, expertly disconnecting the turrets above them and handing them to Steg. "Every last piece we find could be useful."

Rounding the corner and looking down the hall, the generator room was pretty plainly visible now. Across from it was an open door, one could assume that was the portal room. Inside, the group could hear quiet chanting, and a flash every now and then. "Sounds like...transmutation?" Sarah shrugged, and lead the group around the corner towards the generators.

-----

The man just stared at John, his mouth slightly agape, before he was addressed again. "Uh. I don't really have one...everyone just called me Snake. Because...you know." He tilted his head, and then looked incredulously at Lina. "Are you always so...cordial with people who just tried to kill you?"

Hope, also, looked somewhat confused. But, she stayed silent on the subject, just watching everyone talk to each other. Honestly, she just wanted to punch this guy some more.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:31 am 
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John moved his hand to Hope's shoulder, realizing this is probably a bit unorthodox for a prisoner, and most likely something Hope has no idea how to handle. It was just a gentle gesture to keep her at ease for now.

Lina looked to the snake. "We've surprisingly made friends with a lot of people who attempt to kill our crew." She sighed. "It's honestly somewhat odd."

"There's no end to the oddities you take with me." John smirked. He stared down the snake for a moment. "Obviously, we'd have to get the blackguard to thoroughly check you. Maybe make sure everything's safe and secure beforehand."

Lina knew what was about to be asked. "The Blackguard wouldn't admit to the church that there was a check. As per the guard's method of organization, admitting a single beast to the church would be rather...contradictory, I suppose." She knew the Inspector's ears are always listening, so she had to be...indirect. "None of this, either." She pointed to her neck, trying to say without words that there'd be no collaring.

"So a day or two of the brig and questioning at the Seline branch and I bet an assassin like you will be able to use their skills for the guard instead." John continued. "And a guild member can request a specific guard to work for them."

He pointed over to the tavern with the trolls working tirelessly. "After all, I'd be gone a long time repeatedly. It'd be nice if a guard would keep my property safe. That property." He looked back to the snake. "Good lodging and, in moderation, access to a guild stock of alcohol once we get things set up. Plus the freedom to smack around anyone who creates trouble. Something we seem to get a lot of these days." He pointed at the snake for emphasis. "I think my option is pretty good, don't you?"

Lina continued. "To be honest, friend, it seems better than the suicide you were going to attempt if you failed. Longer life and access to alcohol." She smiled. "Doesn't seem too bad at all."

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:52 am 
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Steg was the first to the door, the turrets clicking away at him as he slowly moved his heads away from his cowering head. "They're out of bullets?" he asked in a surprised, gleeful way.
"Maintenance never got around to this room before we had to call them away. They were SUPPOSED to get back to it the day before the battle, but..." Gene gave a half hearted shrug as he brushed past Steg, glancing up at the turrets above his head as he took hold of the door handle. "Must have given that woman quite a surprise when they finally did start shooting bullets," he added as he turned the handle, stepping inside. The hallway exploded with the overpowering whir of the generator's, the sound previously unnoticeable behind the soundproof walls. The group hurried inside as Gene closed the door behind them, hoping the woman somehow failed to hear them.

There were six generators in all; large and cylindrical with computer panels at their fronts pointed at the door. The front-most middle and left generators were clearly the offline ones if their blank-screened monitors were anything to go by. To the group's immediate left were a row of headphones hanging neatly from little metal hooks along the wall. Gene grabbed one and placed it firmly over his ears before getting to work on the middle generator, Caitlin and Steg grabbing headphones as well.

Getting the computer to turn on was as easy as pressing a button...normally. With a frown Gene pressed the button a second and even a third time as if the results would be different eventually. Scowling he walked around to the back of the generator, and to his surprise his suspicions were correct. The woman had flat out unplugged both generators. He had suspected the woman had simply gone blind over time - her eyes eventually failing her. Though, everyone from the old world didn't seem to have that problem, so it was a silly thought to begin with he supposed. Hefting up the large cable from the tangle mess on the floor he plugged the first generator's wire back in, walking over to the other and doing the same. Dusting off his hands Gene returned to the front and back into everyone's view, noting the panel's displayed a single word: 'rebooting.' Within a minute the generators were back online and the group was back out the door.

"Now to deal with skin and bones over there," Caitlin mumbled as they reentered the hallway. "Any ideas?"

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:00 am 
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Lights flicked on down the hall, and the entire building seemed to hum back to life. A few seconds after that, red lights started flashing, indicating a major disaster had just taken place. Of course, the disaster had happened a few thousand years ago, but points for trying. The group felt the building shift slightly, and they could hear all the doors open, their emergency locks disengaging to free all the people that might be trapped inside. This was followed by all the turrets disabling, withdrawing into the wall.

The group wandered into the portal room, where the woman was sitting in the center of the room. She was eating on some food, cookies that she had seemingly created out of the vanilla, the empty bottle discarded on top of a pile of loose bottles near the corner. She sat there, quietly eating on the cookie, and every now and then she would make a gagging sound, turning her head away from the snack.

Sarah took a step forward, looking somewhat unsure of the girl. "Excus-" Before she could even finish the first word, the girl on the ground was up, holding her hand out. Sarah found herself pinned to the wall, shards of crystal through her arms and a band of it around her neck. She gasped, unable to move her arms, writhing against the wall.

The girl looked wildly around the room, focusing on the rest of the group. She pointed a them, and started yelling words in a completely foreign tongue, completely alien. After a second passed and she got no response that she would understand, she brought her hands above her head and slapped them together, a ball of heat forming above her head. With great effort, she brought the ball down on the ground, and tidal wave of fire rushed out of the center of the room towards Caitlin, Gene, and Steg.

-----

The beast looked up at Lina, and then at John, frowning. "B-but..." The man sighed in defeat, looking out over the ocean. "I suppose I...yes. I worked for them because they had my family. But, they killed my family working them in the mines. The only reason I stayed was for my freedom at that point, and for the meager pennies they gave me...and I knew it would only be a matter of time before they did away with me, for how much I knew..."

He looked back over at Hope, and then at Lina, moving his hand over his neck. "If you can guarantee my safety from...that. And from my past crimes...then...fine. I've been looking to retire for some time now anyway." The man suddenly leaned forward, spitting some poison on the ground. "Augh, sorry. You all got me riled up before, my glands are irritated."

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:12 am 
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John smiled, breathing out a sigh of relief. "Good. I'm glad that we were able to come to a cooler head."

Lina looked over to the ship with the current captain. Surely they had a blackguard hoping to help. She brought out a small mirror from her pocket and attempted a signal. Somehow, despite the darkness, it worked. Most likely due to other lights. They'd be there shortly.

"Before we part ways for now, Mr. Snake," John looked over to Hope for a moment, frowning. "I'm sure you will rather wait until the Blackguard are given the questions beforehand, but..." He looked back to the beast, his face sollum.

But before he could ask, Lina moved over, untied the beast fully, and handed him a piece of paper with a quill. On it was rushed writing.

[Who paid you to kill the girl?]

Lina knew anything beyond this point was incriminating with Hope there. If the voice was heard beyond this point, there would be a problem.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:30 am 
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Location: :33 < MY SHIPS ARE PURRFECT, PAWLESS, WITHOUT P33R
The beast looked at the sheet, and then looked at Lina, confused and embarrassed emotions flashing across his face. "I...uh. I'm...I can't." He turned the paper upside down, and then looked back at Lina. "I never...learned this stuff. But, uh. I'll...give it my best..." The man leaned over the paper, scribbling down an answer to Lina's question. He nervously looked at the paper, and then handed it back to her.

It read...

Well, not much of anything, really. You think you might be able to make out an F? There's definitely a W in there somewhere. A lot of the letter Q for some reason. Maybe he really liked that letter? Who could say. Maybe those Ws are just a load of Vs? This answer is complete gibberish, you can't make heads or tails of it. What a waste of precious time!

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