The soft light of the sun, out here, just at the exit of the cavern, you can take a moment to appreciate it. The tree above you is immense, to such a degree that the shade it casts down here couldn't be matched by most buildings back home
The limp body of the unconscious man conbined with his machine, Sonas, is certain to be nearby somewhere. Or maybe the party decided to use the truck they took on the way in to head back out to the little town to get their car back. Either way, their mission here is accomplished… Now to figure out where to leave the spoils, and how to proceed to the next one
Serenity‘ figures Hughbert probably has a list of Proper Authorities, somewhere.
Anton: "I must say though, that went rather splendid! Great work everyone!"
Hughbert probably does and would know where the nearest such authority would be (?)!
Anton: "My heart is aflutter just thinking of what we’re capable of now."
Hughbert: "I must admit that the plan went smoother than I anticipated."
Amal smiles mysteriously. They'll let everyone -else- brag about breaking fate, for once.
Hughbert: "Now, where was the next mission at? We must proceed quickly before that Movement has time to reinforce itself. Anton, could you prepare some rations in celebration of our victory?"
Anton scratches his head before smiling sheepishly. "Sorry Hugh, we already splurged last time. We're pretty much out of the good stuff!"
Anton: "It's okay though. We can pick up more on the way!" He gives a thumbs up.
Harriet: "Well, the grove's all fixed up."
Serenity: "Uhh… I think the other one was… something about Harriet's…. friend?"
JayM: The grove's certainly working properly now, yes
Hughbert: "Very well. Consider it an escalated priority for the next opportunity. We have one more Sacred Grove to visit, it would seem…"
Harriet: "Matheus, yeah. And I wouldn't mind visiting another Sacred Grove. There's some really interesting tech going on here."
Hughbert looks up from the letter to Harriet. "Matheus, wasn't it?"
Harriet nods to Hughbert.
Serenity: "What was his deal again anyway? Blackmail too, or?"
Harriet: "Honestly, shit just all happened really quickly. He came up, told me about those Raperias, asked me to help him with it… he was afraid of something, that's for sure. And, I mean, with everything exploding I don't blame him."
Serenity: "Mm. How you want us to deal with him?"
Harriet: "The way he was talking, I think he was trying to help out the tech side here. That's what their whole thing is, apparently? It's worth chasing him up and hearing him out without explosions in the background, anyway."
Harriet: "Besides, I owe it all that much. Apparently I'm involved in this shit too."
Serenity: "Ask questions, then shoot. Alright."
Harriet: "Yeah, like… maybe ease off the trigger finger. This is the one guy who didn't abandon me in lunch hall!"
Harriet: "Apparently I talk too much," Harriet grumbles in an aside.
Serenity: "S'why I asked, yeah."
Harriet: "Thanks. So, we need to do anything else here?"
Amal: "So he has good taste in friends. Got it." They grin.
Serenity: "Don't think so. We sent the bandits running, mad scientist lady's gone, ghost in the machine is unhooked, and Yggy'd feeling fine."
JayM: The destination, Shindara City in the Central Circle. The travel will be long, that much I can tell you. If you have a map you can see it's going to take about three days to get nearby. If the letter speaks true, you might have contact before you get close
Amal is used to long travels at this point. "Eventually we should get Masharas to invent a flying car that runs on ragnite…"
Anton: "Not much point unless it goes faster, though?"
Harriet: "I mean, the principles are all there - you've got force gears like Anton's, it's just a matter of re-iterating and scaling up…"
Hughbert: "We should exchange this truck for our own vehicle before we make the journey, though."
Amal: "Oh it'd go WAY faster. Because it was flying!"
Amal: "That's… that's how that kind of thing works, gosh."
Serenity: "Yeah I can't imagine a flying car would work… well…? Maybe some kind of powered glider, though…"
Harriet: "A glider could certainly work, you'd just have to - I mean, yeah, we can't leave the car behind!"
Serenity: "Though yeah definitely might want to consider some uh… comfort features added into this hunk of junk when we get some time."
The trip to reacquire the car isn't difficult, the town isn't much more busy at this point but you see that the warehouse you took the truck from is empty now. The man that directed you there greets you nearby as he notices you return, giving you something! In fact it's a good deal of cured meat, plus an ice box with a fair bit of game "After you moved those hooligans out one of my hunters decided he wanted to work again, thank the goddess, so here you can have his first catch"
Anton: "Gotta admit though, these long car rides aren't what I had in mind when we found out we'd be going on an adventure."
The car is still where it once was, it isn't too much trouble to reattach the chaingun, it was made for that after all.
Harriet: "We could always play a game, like 'let's name the coefficient particles'!"
Amal: "What kind of adventure DOESN'T involve a road trip with your friends?"
And once that is done, you're free to ride off again!
Serenity‘ makes sure to thank the guy for the free food - especially since they were running out of lunch meat.
Hughbert accept the extra supplies along the way and thanks the man, storing them safely in the car. "I believe this should make a fantastic meal for when we stop for the night. I look forward to it."
And the trip is long, as expected, but you notice something interesting as you take the main road towards the Central Circle. The closer you get to that district the more often you see those strange stones along the edges of the world, they’re sort of small and carved with designs you've never seen before, they look ancient as rocks can be and so do the carvings
Harriet: "Oh, hey, now we're really roughing it, cool." (But Harriet is sure to thank him properly once someone glares at her, probably.)
Amal: "Huh. Hey, what're those symbols?"
Serenity: "Fuck if I know, I was gunna ask you."
Anton: "Don't look at me, man. I see world threads I don't dive into ancient runes."
Harriet scratches at her singed hair. "Well, like… so far as I know, the meaning's actually forgotten, but they're really important to the old druids. My dad had a wooden amulet with one of the symbols on 'em."
Amal: "Oooh. Figured as much."
Harriet: "They were used in rituals, gifts were adorned with them, that sort of thing."
Harriet: "It's my general policy not to fuck with them, just in case I accidentally get cursed or something."
Serenity: "Fair enough."
Amal: "Probably wise. I don't go around flipping switches on your BFG."
Harriet: "Precisely! I don't know what those things mean, I don't want to accidentally insult someone!"
After a while you notice that as you come closer the wilds turn into a dense jungle, yet it's still cool as you travel. You pass by a group of people with a very familiar outfit, the surivalist's cloak in earthen tones, carrying both a sword and a shotgun. They seem to be patrolling.
Serenity‘ long pauses to stare at Harriet out of the corner of her eye before returning focus to the road.
Hughbert: "I haven’t studied the particular symbols, but I have read about them. There are many modern Terchuani traditions that still involve those symbols, old as they might be."
Anton: "Probably should slow down and say something to these guys before they see us speed past them with a gatling gun."
Harriet pays attention to their swords as they pass by. You know. Just in case.
JayM: Just normal longswords
Serenity: "I'm pretty sure Harriet put it away."
JayM: One of them notices you paying attention to them, he waves jovially
Serenity: "You did put the scary gun in the hideaway right?"
Serenity‘ gives a small wave and just keeps going if they aren’t making any motions to stop.
Further ahead you pass through further sightings, there's a large truck with large container apparently full of dirt, and there's workers busy spreading that dirt around between the trees
JayM: They definitely aren't
Harriet: "I - I'm pretty sure I did." Harriet twists around in her seat to look out the back window. She waves to the guy waving at her, somehow making it way more awkward.
Serenity: "Huh. You'd think they'd be more focused on farm lands than road side jungles…"
Further down the road you go the more of them you see, however, even some people carrying those large cylindrical force gears, you see camps with people looking worried and at a point you're going to see a barricade in the road coupled with what seems like a makeshift toll gate, from here you can't proceed
Amal: "Could they be taking advantage of inherent properties of roads… or are the roads just a convenient network…"
Serenity: "Maybe. … Goddess, another check point?"
Harriet: "Uh, Hughbert, you can take point on this one."
[OOC] Hughbert: I'm guessing this is where we drop off the captive
Hughbert: "Leave it to me."
JayM: As good a point as any, you've probably passed a town where you could have done the same before
Clearly you have to stop, one of the armed people come by closer "Good morning" they look you over, raising an eyebrow "I'm going to guess it's yes but just to make sure, you're aware of where you're going, right?"
Anton glances at Serenity. "Well, do you?" He smiles cheekily.
Hughbert salutes. "That is correct." He introduces himself, name and rank.
Serenity: "Yes. We're on a job from the Eldars, baby face back there should still have the letter if you need to check it."
They nod "Ah, alright, makes sense given the armament i'm seeing" mostly aimed at the ECC that comment was "Alright, fair warning, there's no more guards past this point and the rebels are quite violent. I suggest caution"
Anton scrunches up his face. "Only the recipient is supposed to open it."
Harriet pats her cannon. "Don't worry, we can handle it!"
Guard: "Shames to admit but since you're more or less here doing our job… Might as well offer to help, if there's any information you need?"
Amal: "What information have you got for us?" They smile.
Hughbert: "We'll need to leave this one in your care, then." He unloads Sonas from the back and points out his identity. "As for information, let me think. What route do you recommend to enter the city?"
Guard: "Hrm… I can tell you the roads are the most dangerous place to be, they don't take kindly to unknown traffic and often attack in ambushes."
Guard: "If they don't identify you as part of the army at sight they're more likely to surround you and try to take you to questioning, though. But they do seem to treat anyone that's a relative to someone from the city as a guest"
Harriet: "A guest, huh? Good to know."
Guard: "Hrm… If you're really going to make your way into Shindara I can't suggest any direct route, thankfully the city is wide open and in hilly terrain, i'd suggest the west side to approach unseen as there's a natural tunnel under a hill that comes up near the city. They don't patrol there for some reason"
Serenity: "I guess we could try telling them Harriet's dating Matheus if we don't feel like sneaking around."
Harriet: "I mean, I have the sword. I'm pretty sure that means my family comes from the city?"
The guard blinks, looks at Harriet "Oh, my. You're from one of the displaced families?"
Guard: "Hrm… My apologies, we didn't really help your situation now, did we?"
Julian: Ahem
Hughbert: "Fortunate, in any case. We have a backup plan if we're detected, and a hidden route to aim for."
The guard blinks, looks at Harriet "Oh, my. You're from one of the displaced families?"
Guard: "Hrm… My apologies, we didn't really help your situation now, did we?"
The guard looks at Serenity "Those swords are ancient relics of the families of Shindara, passed down from the old Land Knights"
Harriet scratches at the back of her head. "Honestly, I don't know that much about it. But yeah, apparently." She shifts in her seat so she can lift up the rapier.
Serenity: "…Land Knights?"
Guard: "This city used to be a city-state before it became part of the country, ruled by the families of the old order of the Land Knights. They had this name due to calling themselves the guardians of the land"
Harriet: "They're kind of like rangers, I guess?"
Serenity: "Oh."
Serenity: "How long have they been set up in the Grove?"
Guard: "Well, taking over the CRI's project lands was the first thing they did once they got whatever source of gear they have now, that's been almost ten months"
Serenity: "Aha. So, pretty well set up at this point."
Harriet: "So they're at the heart of this right now?"
Guard: "The Recovery Movement has been a very big problem, yes. This entire area is under their control"
Harriet: "Geez, what is he thinking…?"
The guard makes a motion to another and the gate is lifted "Anyway, feel free to go on"
Guard: "And take care"
Serenity‘ nods, then starts to drive off again.
Serenity: "So… everyone gets bored to tear and then we fail to sneak in because none of us understands subtly, or do we wanna let Harriet take point?"
Harriet: "I mean, if I’ve got a bullshit legacy, I might as well use it."
You start driving again, and you realize the jungle around you is not quite as lush, and now you notice the silence, there's a deep lack of noise that you can't identify at first… Until you realize that until now the wildlife had been quite noisy the entire trip to the point it faded into background noise, not so much here
Amal: "I vote for the plan where Harriet yells at people a lot, yeah."
Hughbert: "…So just promote plan B to plan A, is it? We would be losing a bit of advantage, but I don't believe it's a risky plan."
JayM: You can't really do subtlety in this party
It isn't long until you reach an Obvious Trap, I mean, a fallen log blocking the road. The log is quite damaged even
Serenity: "I can't imagine they don't spot us on the way to the grove, so might as well let them think we have a reason to be here."
Serenity: "Case in point."
JayM: It might be super obvious but it's still effective at any rate
Serenity: "Oh no! What ever shall we do! This is quite a pickle we have found ourselves in! That log looks rather heavy and bothersom to move!" Serenity shouts in monotone while stopping.
Harriet: "I mean, I could always just blow it up." Beat. "I mean, uh, yeah. It's such a problem."
Anton: "If only twenty-four people would come out and help us move this log!"
Serenity: "That WOULD be a rather fortitous turn of events!"
Out from the nearby foliage emerge about twelve armed people, that's not light armament either one of them is carrying a large rotary cannon that is an easy match to the ECC in size and two of them are carrying those large tube-type contraptions on their back. There's a loud grinding sound as something that looks like a moving wall comes from out of concealment in the trees- Or rather there's a camouflage net covering it. These people are armed with assault rifles a lot like Serenity's and large sniper rifles
Anton: "Man. That's only half of you, though. Don't be shy! I see you back there!"
Hughbert gives Harriet a tap on the shoulder. "You're up."
Serenity: "It's a real big tree, after all."
One of the people, a woman- no a girl perhaps barely reaching adulthood or just barely before it, steps up as she keeps her gun trained at you "I get it, I get it, you saw us coming"
Harriet pops the door, steps on out, raises her sword up. "Hey guys, I heard you liked Rapieras? I am absolutely that thing."
The girl looks at Harriet "Wait, where'd you get that?" she's lost her composure quite deeply "I mean, hold on, you're coming back to us?"
Girl: "Oh, man, that's great we knew even those far away could hear the call of their home!"
Serenity‘ leans forward, arms drapped over the steering wheel and buring her face in them. Probably best she doesn’t react to anything happening.
Harriet: "My mother gave it to me? Ada Babbage - uh, I think her maiden name was Byron. And uh… actually, I'm just here to see Matheus."
She waves to the others who lower their weapons "Guys, guys, we've a sister and her friends incoming" she smiles at Harriet "Oh, wait Harriet? Matheus' friend? Aha, sounds he did it, huhn?"
Girl: "Don't worry, there's no need to pretend, it's fine!" she smiles "Just keep following the road and take the second left, it'll take straight to Shindara"
You notice a fw people moving the log
Harriet: "Uh… okay, thanks." Harriet hops back in the car. "We'll do that."
Serenity‘ holds out an arm, makes a thumbs.
JayM: Driving off!
JayM: That seems to have worked
Hughbert waves them off.
Harriet stage-whispers once they’re on the road again: "Guys that was really weird."
Amal: "Gosh you didn't tell us you were famous."
Serenity: "I mean… over zealos fanatics." Serenity shrugs in Harriet's direction as they drive along.
Hughbert: "They had extraordinarily advanced weaponry. I doubt we've faced anything quite like that before. Perhaps it was best to not risk provoking them."
Harriet: "I mean, to be fair, I didn't know I was famous. At least, not like this. I should totally be famous for my own accomplishments already."
Amal: "They're working with the Silvarant Knights."
Amal: "WHich, of -course- those idiots have a finger in the pie over here."
Anton: "Clearly you're famous from the future." He grins. Probably joking? It's hard to tell.
You drive towards the city, and it's perhaps the largest city you have seen in Terchuan up to now and reminds you quite a bit of Masharas, how the buildings are packed closer and taller. And yet the structures and streets seem quite divergent from the Terchuan style that tends to incorporate plant life and natural vegetation in it, the style here doesn't have that and is quite austere, often using sharp angles and straight surfaces. Even the newer buildings seem quite medieval in style
JayM: The familiar large square chimneys in the distance of factories, air intake for ragnite processing
Serenity: "I've totally seen - oh you mean fought against. Yeah I think only Alcor really counts, but that was mostly natural skill and not, like, weapons tech. Maybe the nut job I neadly killed a few days ago, but that didn't really turn into a fight…"
Harriet: "Well, he did say that there was an ironic turnaround and now this is where they build automated shit."
Amal: "I wonder if they even know how to use that gear, haha."
Unlike every other city in Terchuan you know exactly where the 'outside' ends and the 'inside' begins, and crossing it maybe even feels a little bit weird. There's people milling about, all surprisingly young. Only few stores are manned, and people don't bother to hide the weapons they carry. There's a disturbing similarity in the people around here, you have never before seen so many people looking this similar
Serenity: "Guah."
Harriet: "Okay that's pretty uncanny."
Serenity: "I read this horror novel before."
Serenity: "Anton you're on ghost sweeping duty."
Amal: "…yeesh. What's -with-…"
Anton scratches at his cheek deep in thought. "Ghosts, huh?"
JayM: It's uncanny, is it not?
Serenity: "Ghosts or demons. One of the two, for sure."
Hughbert: "Are you certain it isn't… Body snatchers? Or doppelgangers…?"
Serenity: "Was kind of looking forward to seeing a proper city for once before we rolled in, but, shit. Closer to a ghost town as is, and then all the fuckers still here have a distinct sort of souless quality to 'em."
JayM: (Harriet isn't too similar, only sort-of similar)
Serenity: "Oh! Body snatchers. Yeah. Forgot about those."
Serenity: "That would fit the bill."
JayM: Well, how would you start your investigation here
Harriet: "Human experiments, maybe..?"
Amal: "That, uh…"
Amal: "That's what I was thinking…"
Serenity: "God, do we even want to stop here, or just head straight to the Grove?"
Anton: "For what it's worth, these people have a lot denser threads than the average townsperson. Most are almost eerily happy at the moment but a few are nervous."
Serenity: "Fear the outsiders."
Harriet: "I mean, we are pretty weird. And we have guns."
Anton: "No ghosts, though. Or body snatchers." He smiles.
Serenity: "Speaking of spooks,"
Serenity: "They all seem to be droning on in sync? Which is actually WAY CREEPIER than the soulless huskes of humans wandering around, for what it's worth."
Hughbert: "The quicker we move, the better, I think."
Harriet: "How would they even do that? Harmonising something ninety-eight percent of people can't even hear seems excessive, unless it's not even the point. If it was a byproduct, that might make sense."
Serenity: "Well it's like…"
Serenity: "If you use a gear for long enough, especially one you're frequently in contact with that can perform more than a single automated function,"
Serenity: "They do this thing where they kind of… start to sound like their owner? Like I could tell the difference between your and Anton's gears with a single, uh, word."
You pass by what seems like a specialist shop where they sell family heraldry, and you notice something similar in all of them. The phrase "The blood in our blades" is the motto for all of them
Serenity: "And they all sound exactly the same, and are droning on and on in the same way, at the same time and… yeah, it's creepy as fuck."
Harriet: "Weird… ugh, let's go find Matheus. I'm sure he'll be able to shed some light on all this."
Serenity: "Like even the automated ones are kind of doing it."
Anton chews at his lip. "Those that are nervous aren't nervous about us, actually. I'm getting the impression they've been feeling that way for a while."
Hughbert: "So, something has imprinted onto them, you think?"
Serenity: "Back home, in the aquaducts, the sound of the water pump is kinda overwhelming you know? But here? Nothing like that."
Serenity: "…I wonder if this is like…"
Serenity: "Some kind of weird byproduct of someone fucking with the Grove? That's the only thing that immediately seems likely."
Serenity: "I'd mark the odds of them having their own Mad Scientists as fair high, I think."
Anton: "We'll find out soon enough at any rate."
Harriet: "I mean, they have Matheus. I wouldn't be surprised if there were others, too."
Harriet: "I wonder if he ever rebuilt his magnetic blade..?"
Serenity: "…OH MY GOD."
Serenity: "Wow did anyone else notice that?"
Harriet: "Huh?"
Serenity: "The fucking, writing in the window of that store we just passed by."
Hughbert: "What is important about it?"
Amal shudders. Repeatedly.
Harriet looks back, but of course they've already passed it. "What'd it say?"
Serenity: "'The blood in our blades'. Yeah this is quickly approaching toospooky levels, after just fucking dealing with a machine grafted into a person and using his blood as substitue ragnite."
Amal: "That's not horrifying at all~."
Harriet: "Huh." Harriet looks down at her sword. "Is that, like, metaphorical, or..?"
Anton: "I didn't notice that, no. Bit distracted." A smile.
Amal: "I bet it's not."
Serenity: "I guess we'll find out soon, since, yeah fuck stopping in town."
Despite all those odd small details, the city looks normal. Yet you're willing to go ahead and cross straight to the Sacred Grove
The city still feels unnerving as you go, people too young, people too similar. There is only one time you see an elder, an old woman that still looks too similar looks carefully around her before heading into a back alley and disappearing there.
Serenity: "I wonder how far out this goes, the guards on the road didn't seem this… weird, did they?"
Harriet: "I mean, I wasn't really paying attention, but… I don't think so?"
JayM: They definitely didn't. Okay admittedly there was one guard with similar features but he wasn't this similar to the people here
Yet still, it isn't much longer before you reach the other end of the town, to head towards the Sacred Grove. It should be about fifty kilometers from the city to the Sacred Grove, at the very least that's what the sign says. But just ten kilometers out of town you are stopped by the appearance of something… Strange
Before you the road is gone, there is a wide, wide field of absolutely nothing but barren terrain. It's perfectly circular and you judge it at least a thirty kilometer radius. There's markings in the ground- Lines pointing to the center. Signs written "danger" are nearby
Serenity‘ blinks, slows to a stop right in front of where the circle is.
Anton: "Full speed ahead~"
Harriet: "Uh…"
Serenity: "You sure, Anton?"
Harriet: "There’s, like, a danger sign right there."
JayM: Barren land, no signs of anything in the circle
Anton: "Nah, I haven't actually looked into anything." He scratches his head.
Harriet: "I'm all for ignoring posted warnings in the name of science, but do we really want to?"
Amal sounds like they're quoting something:
Anton: "Still, wonder what that's referring to?"
Serenity: "Sounds like you volunteered to test what happens when you step over the line, Anton."
Hughbert: "I fail to see the harm in going around this circle. It's… Unnerving."
Anton nods before getting out of the car. "Sure thing! Be right back."
Amal: "This is not a place of honour. No highly esteemed deed is commemorated here."
Harriet: "Hang on, I've seen that symbol before."
Harriet: "It's, uh…"
Serenity: "I duno it kinda seems like what would happen it you suddenly had a barrier pop up over something and…"
Serenity: "Yeah now that you mention it that DOES look familiar."
Serenity‘ squints her eyes at it, thinking.
Anton makes his way over to the line and… summons an [After Image] past it.
Harriet: "Shit, what was it for? Something in the academy. Like, uh, it’s a source indicator… uh…" Harriet snaps her fingers. "Spatial distortion!"
JayM: Nothing happens, Anton
Serenity: "Wait what?"
Harriet: "You know, like with warping force gears."
[OOC] Anton: As in the image is there or
Hughbert: "Does your old friend have one of those?"
Serenity‘ folds her arms over her chest, looking at Anton.
JayM: The image’s there
JayM: Nothing unexpected happens
Serenity: "Toss a rock, Anton."
Anton: "Seems safe enough!"
Serenity: "Don't trust your trick's tangability."
Harriet: "The sign's telling us that there's a source of spacial distortion out there. And… no, not that I know of, but all the distortion stuff was really hush-hush. I only came across it a couple of times."
Anton rummages about before tossing a lollipop across the line.
Harriet: "I wouldn't be surprised if he grabbed something he wasn't technically supposed to be working on. I mean, everyone does it occasionally, right? Hell, we should have been on those projects in the first place."
Serenity: "A lot of my uh… magic kind of works on that too, so if that kind of stuff is being put towards more… destructive things instead of transportation, it can be kinda scary."
Harriet: "Frankly, it's a crime I wasn't consulted!"
Anton: "Okay. I can say with utmost certainty that the terrain is not dangerous nor will it hurt the car, Serenity!"
Serenity‘ gives Harriet a half grin. "They usually want to use that to move people, not kill people."
Serenity: "Well okay but if we get ripped apart from unseen directions into a million peices before we can react, I’m blaming you."
Harriet: "Rubbish. There's so much potential! All you'd need to do is selectively displace an area, and… yeah, that, basically."
Anton: "That said, for some reason there's an asshole that's going to attack us if we go down this path. I have no idea WHY he's literally waiting around with danger signs but we could die, they could die or he could just watch us pass by."
Anton: "He's definitely there though."
Serenity: "Wow Anton."
Amal: "People sure are weird!"
Serenity: "What a great Oracle. Way to really narrow down the possabilities."
Anton: "The future isn't set in stone, Serenity!"
Serenity‘ rolls her eyes before starting the truck back up and driving down the path.
Anton: "But due to the present events up to this point him being at the location is set in stone."
Serenity: "Well sure but I mean you mentioned literally all possible outcomes."
Anton: "Yup. But I found out he was there!"
Anton: "It’s still useful."
Serenity: "Gold star."
The car continues ahead. The road is bumpy and uneven
Anton: "Telling the future is kind of useless sometimes depending on what you're looking for. Like, I couldn't tell Hughbert when his subordinates are going to fail, that's always a possibility! But if we're stumped and we don't see any way to succeed at something I can see a future where we came up with a really cool solution?"
Anton: "Or I can tell you about that guy we saw last week!"
Serenity: "Well,"
Serenity: "I guess that's fair. I know my power isn't as useful as I'd like all the time,"
Serenity: "That said."
Serenity: "You see all those GIANT ASS CRATERS we're driving through?"
Serenity: "That's what my magic looks like, if I could make it about fifty times more potent."
Anton: "Yeah. He has an armor force gear and a huge long sword. Probably overcompensating for something!"
Amal: "Remind me not to get on your bad side." …they frown. "So, weapons testing."
Serenity: "I knew I had a bad feeling, yeah."
Hughbert sighs. "If we have to fight someone out in the open, then you may leave creating a plan for THAT up to me."
Serenity: "Wait, a SWORD?"
Anton: "Yup!"
Serenity: "That's a fucking horrible weapon form for that kind of magic."
Serenity: "What kind of idiot would make a melee devise that created enormous implosions? You're in danger of getting sucked in yourself."
Harriet: "Maybe it's, like… some kind of sword-gun."
Serenity‘ makes a face.
Harriet: "If mom wouldn’t disapprove thoroughly I totally would have done that to mine already."
Hughbert: "Study his technique, then, Serenity. Either he's drastically inferior, as you think, and thus will pose no threat… Or you could learn something about your own power."
As you proceed onwards you see there really is nowhere to hide here. Ahead of you in the distance- At the very center of the circle- is who Anton saw. Not too tall nor too short, the build of an engineer and scholar he looks somewhat frail and weak. That said he wears some kind of armor colored a dark blue, an oversized longsword, also same color, is on the ground beside him
Serenity: "Hughbert just pretend I'm giving you an angry teenager dirty look, alright? Don't wanna look away from the road."
Anton: "Oh, right. This is Matheus by the way. The guy mentioned in the letter. Probably should have mentioned that first…?"
Serenity: "…Sound we stop?" Glance back at Harriet.
Harriet: "Wait, hold up, that's Matheus? Yes, of course we should!"
As you approach Harriet can definitely identify him, that is Matheus. He looks sad.
Anton: "Well, I mean if you try to drive by his speciality is magnetic force. He'd just draw us into killing range."
Serenity‘ makes a very long, very gradual slow to a stop, so as to not spook the guy.
Anton: "The car just kind of flies towards him and… yeah."
Serenity: "Also a good reason."
Anton makes a slicing motion before nodding.
Harriet opens the door once the car’s stopped and piles out, sounding kind of alarmed. "Hey, Matheus!"
He waits in silence until you stop, and Harriet steps out. He looks at her with a kind of saddened smile "Harriet! You came!"
Amal follows closeish behind Harriet, worriedly.
Matheus: "Just not how I was hoping, but that's fine too"
Anton gets out of the car too. Nope too many futures of him wrecking that shit with them inside. Maybe he'll leave the car alone if he isn't in it.
Matheus: "After I heard about what you were doing here in Terchuan I figured you'd wind up here at some point, I was hoping we could talk before, well, the inevitable"
Harriet: "Goddess' sake, what's going on? Everything looks like it's gone to shit, especially you."
Matheus: "Ahaha, what can I say? I've grown fond of something dangerous"
Serenity‘ winces.
Harriet: "Okay I’m gonna need you to walk it back for me and explain from the beginning. You know, now we're not in danger of getting fucking shelled."
Matheus: "To be honest I kind of envy you, Harriet… You're a true child of Masharas, I said before you had a legacy… But I was wrong, you don't really, and i'm envious of that because you don't need it either"
Amal looks kinda appreciative, actually. "You're trying to develop a weapon to hit something normal people couldn't even touch, going up against some -very- specific defenses… one the Silvarants want access to, which is why they're investing in your people with gear. What's your game?"
Matheus: "I suppose being vague isn't good with you though, right?"
Matheus looks at Amal "Oh, this?" he pats his sword "Oh I was mostly just… Taking the chance I can actually work on this out here in the open"
Harriet: "Of course it isn't! Shit, man, do I need to get you a mirror or something?" Harriet sounds Concerned.
Serenity‘ gives Amal an odd look.
Matheus: "I admit I got the initial design of this from a guarded vault in the academy… Supposedly it was meant to be used as a key to get in the tower in the Bloodworks, but research was outlawed since it couldn’t be tested safely in MAsharas"
Amal: "Ooh."
Serenity‘ glances over at the sword and her eyes go a little wide as something clicks.
Matheus looks at Harriet "You see, I always felt… Like something was missing, like there was something important missing"
Matheus: "Tell me, can you name me any folklore from Masharas? Can you tell me any local food? Traditions?"
Hughbert mumbles to himself, "I suspected before that he couldn’t be trusted with that. That assumption seems correct."
Serenity: "I'm pretty sure we invented hamburgers."
Harriet: "I - what? Why would I care about stuff like that?"
Serenity‘ gives Hughbert an strange look too.
Matheus: "You can’t. You can't because Masharas, for everything it is, has no identity. Even the old religion is forgotten, no… I took to researching history… It was erased from history"
Anton jots something down before passing a note to Harriet.
MAtheus: "And see… That's why, Harriet, you're a true child of Masharas. You don't care, but… But I do!"
Matheus: "Where do I come from? Who are the people i'm a part of, who am I?"
Serenity: "Woah, woah, lets not say things we can't take back guy. We definitely got an identity."
Matheus: "That is important to me, I wish it wasn't but it is"
Harriet frowns to Anton, and shrugs off her ECC, handing it over to him. (It's very heavy.) Then she starts talking towards Matheus.
Matheus: "I want a history"
[OOC] Harriet: *walking, even
Serenity: "We're the smart people that aren't trying to fucking hasten the end of the world. It's a pretty good identity to have nowadays."
Amal: "…you don't need super complicated culture and traditions to be from a place. Make up some of your own, if you want?"
Matheus: "I want to be part of something… And I found it here"
Harriet: "My guy, you are catastrophicising and I need you to fucking stop."
Matheus: "I found a place where I could tell who my family was, where I had… Something"
Anton definitely fumbles with the ECC before just balancing it upright.
Serenity: "But uh to be fair,"
Matheus chuckles "I know… Ahaha, I didn't think you'd understand and I'd rather you didn't"
Serenity: "The Goddess kind of asked them to make the religion disappear."
Matheus: "Hah… Turns out I kind of walked into a trap of my own devising here, though"
Serenity: "Just… throwing that out there."
Harriet is going to reach out and shake him by the shoulders once she gets to him. Just. Shake-shake-shake.
He blinks as he's shaken "W-w-w-w-wha-"
Matheus: "Whoa, whoa, hold on there, ow ow ow"
Harriet: "You remember that thing with the electromagnetic pulse we were working on? And how it kept chaining and you were so convinced that it was going to end in disaster no matter what we did? And how we actually figured out, oh, no, it turns out we were using the wrong gauge of power entirely and nothing was actually ruined forever?"
Harriet: "You're doing the thing, man."
Matheus: "Y-yeah"
He takes a deep breath "Yes, yes I am…
Matheus: "I didn't get to the end though… I did realize what I was doing here, alright?"
Matheus: "I mean, things happened here, i've been helping those people for a long time now. And i've come to realize a few things"
Harriet: "What'd you realise?"
Matheus: "One of them is that they too got no idea what this whole 'legacy' thing is, they don't even remember their history right. The other is that… It's that I really feel I can… Fix them, somehow"
Matheus: "And that I can't just up and leave after what i've helped them do"
Matheus: "I'm sure I can change them, but that sort of thing takes time!"
Harriet: "Listen, I don't care what you did, you're my friend. And as your friend I'm contractually obligated to tell you you're not actually pinned in by any of this shit."
Matheus sighs "Yeah, i'm not obligated to do any of this… I know that"
Matheus: "But I still feel compelled to help out"
Matheus: "Redica is… She's very convincing. But there's people here who look up to me instead! And i've been telling them that there's better ways than this whole… Recovery Movement thing"
Amal: "What's… their deal, anyway? The samey-samey?"
Serenity‘ raises her hand from the drivers seat. "For the record, kinda wanna shoot your buddy here. Not gunna, but."
Harriet: "No shooting!"
Matheus: "We’ve even been taking care of the Sacred Grove while i've been here"
Matheus looks at Amal "They're all descendants of the old Land Knights"
Serenity: "Also for the record, pretty sure you MASSIVELY fucked up the Sacred Grove."
Matheus: "Kinda weird how they look alike so much, isn't it? It's… I don't know, they look like their grandparents…"
Serenity: "There is some seriously spooky horror novel cultist shit going on back in that city there."
Matheus: "I never saw that kind of thing happen"
Serenity: "Oh."
Serenity: "OH."
Matheus: "And i'm trying to convince people to stop that!"
Serenity: "Anton!"
Amal: "It's like the connection between them and the land is pulling all of them towards some kind of attractor state…"
Serenity: "Anton I think I was right!"
Amal: "Hm?"
Matheus: "Also no, I made sure to follow the design specs from Santeria"
Serenity: "I fucking bet you anything they figured out a way to use the Grove to perform some weird ass druid ritual to communicate with the dead, and then the ghost started body jacking their grandkids!"
Hughbert: "If that's what you'd like, to put a stop to the misuse of the Grove, then by all means, you should join us."
Anton slides across the terrain on his air boots before reaching a hand through the opened car window and patting Serenity on the head. "Good job~."
Serenity: "Not sure if you're being smarmy or if you actually looked."
Harriet: "I believe you, man, but I can help with that. And I have, like, an entire team now."
Anton: "Guess you'll find out!" He winks.
Matheus crosses his arms "But I can't… What I want is to change those people, I gotta keep teaching them
Matheus: "I don't… Actually I don't really know what to do"
Serenity‘ shoves Anton away.
Harriet: "Okay, so let’s brainstorm this shit."
Harriet: "Come on, is there ever a problem we haven't eventually defeated with the power of flow charts and caffeine?"
Hughbert: "Trust in your good friend Harriet. And by that, I also mean her friends. Some of them are good at making plans." He adjusts his glasses.
Matheus chuckles "I guess"
Matheus: "At this stage I don't even know how I feel anymore…"
Harriet stage whispers to Matheus: "Actually, only Hughbert's good at making plans, but he's good enough to make up for the rest."
Anton brushes his bangs to the side before shaking his head. "Spoilers, though? They only had one aura. I can sense Paws when Amal does things."
Serenity: "I resent that, my plans are always amazing. They just tend to only consist of two, three step brute force solutions."
Matheus was looking like he was going to shout in distress but HArriet's stage whisper just, just causes him to break down into laugher, he keeps laughing until he falls over. He sits down "Oh dear…"
Matheus: "Ahaha… Ah… What am I even doing… Okay…"
Matheus: "So a plan, huhn? Do you have one?"
Serenity‘ tilts her head back towards Anton.
Hughbert: "First, I need to know some things. Tell me about who you’re trying to convince."
Serenity: "What does Amal have to do with anything?"
Anton: "If possession was involved there'd obviously be two auras, is what I'm saying."
Serenity: "Oh."
Harriet sits down next to Matheus, and claps a hand on his shoulder. "Oh yeah, totally. It's just a work in progress."
Matheus: "Well… Among the Recovery Movement a lot of people just… Just want to find people that they fit in with, you know? Somebody they have things in common with, that they can call 'their people'. This common heritage is that thing in common. Those, I got most of them to join my engineering team… I've been trying to convince those that you don't… Don't really need this kind of… Divisive, extremist 'we're better than everyone' approach to have things in common with eachother"
Matheus: "There's also the more common kind in the Movement… They honestly believe the Land Knights were great lords, that they had a flourishing, advanced land that was taken over by the terchuan traditionalists, and they want to bring that back"
Matheus: "Of course they don't… Know the full history. Only what Redica has been feeding them"
Harriet: "So what's the full history she's been keeping back?"
Matheus crosses his legs "Well… The Land Knights were… Well, they were important to the unification of Terchuan, but they were important as foes
Hughbert: "Hmm… So Redica is one obstacle, and the other is a stubborn superiority complex…" Hughbert listens for a bit.
Matheus: "They were dangerous conquerors, yes life in the capital was great, if and only if you were a 'pure' Land Knight. They kept slaves for their labor, they pillaged other lands for resources"
Anton pulls out a lollipop and bites down on it.
Matheus: "They became so powerful that the other city-states started forming alliances, even their high druids got together to bring spiritual aid to the combined force"
Serenity‘ slips out of the car, moving around Harriet and Matheus, before kneeling down next to the sword and inspecting it.
Harriet scratches at the back of her head. "They sound like real winners. But Redica’s leaving all that out, huh?"
Matheus: "Yep"
Harriet: "So isn't the solution just… to tell them what she's been omitting? Like, is there some weird social tidbit I'm missing here?"
Matheus: "Eventually this united group struck and took down the Land Knights. They captured the leaders of each and every family and… Using the very sword which they carried in the field, decapited them in public, showing that the Land Knights were over"
Matheus: "And the still-bloodied blades were given to the families as a reminder of what had happened…"
Matheus: "That's why you'll see the heraldry with the words 'The blood in our blades' everywhere, history has been… Warped over time"
Harriet: "Huh. So, 'the blood is in our blades?'"
Harriet: "Right. Damn."
Serenity: "Morbid."
Matheus: "They read it as 'the blood of our enemies' but the full phrase is 'remember the blood in our blades', to remember what led to the downfall of their people"
Matheus sighs and looks up at the sky "Most of them would rather trust what Redica says than reality
Matheus: "How can they do that?!"
Matheus: "They think whatever she says is true, you can show them history books and they'll say it's fake"
Matheus: "You tell them the truth and they say you're making up lies"
Harriet: "So she's got, like… a cult of personality going?"
Matheus: "I can't… I haven't figured a way to deal with them"
Matheus: "Pretty much"
Amal: "I mean… it sounds like they don't know their own history. How did -you- find this all out, anyway?"
Matheus sighs "Listening to actual elders, reading actual books in the old libraries"
Anton: "Old people are the best. You'd be amazed what you even hear about Masharas doing church jobs for them!"
Matheus: "Doing what those really interested in history do, looking where it's recorded, rather than listening to what some charismatic thing tells me"
Harriet: "Hey, come to think of it, where are all the old people in town?"
Serenity: "I imagine history class is the first thing you stop attending when the world starts falling apart and going to war and your fields turn to poison and etc etc."
Matheus: "Most left when we started"
Matheus: "Quite a few were indignant, left their own families behind. A few remained around but you won't see anyone grumpier than them, they don't like what their children have become"
Hughbert: "Redica is a toxic element. I think you have a low chance of success of returning your allies to their senses until that element has been treated."
Amal: "We saw one lady duck into her house on the way here… she seemed scared."
Harriet: "Hey, Hughbert, how do we destroy someone without martyring them?"
Hughbert: "A fair trial with proper representation."
Serenity: "Make 'em look like a jackass in public, right?" Serenity lift the sword into the air with a grunt
Harriet: "Okay, but how would we - oh, hey, Matheus, there wouldn't happen to be any like, old Land Knight judiciary systems we could exploit which she hasn't completely trashed, would there?"
Matheus puts a hand on his chin "Hrm… Yes, there's some books of law that are still around"
Hughbert: "Using her own honor code against her… That is a good strategy."
Matheus: "… Goddess… Actually, there are but she has actually gathered all of them in her possession"
Matheus: "I… Hrm… I could liberate them, though"
Harriet: "So, like, steal the books? I'm hearing steal the books."
Harriet: "Anything we can do to help?"
Anton glances at Serenity before chuckling to himself.
Hughbert: "I'll gladly help you sort through them to find her breaches of conduct. Those sorts of books are among my favorites." Hughbert smiles a little.
Matheus: "Not… Not on that front"
Matheus: "That part i'll have to do on my own, unless you're really good at stealing things unseen which… If the principal had anything to say about it, you're not"
Matheus: "But she trusts me, I can use that to get those books"
Amal giggles.
Serenity‘ wanders back to the truck, pulls out a small peice of scrap metal from the trunk and tosses it a fair distance away. Then flips a couple of switches and nobs on the sword, before taking a swing at the metal.
Harriet: "Hey, in my defense, I did eventually get us out of that! But… yeah, you’re right."
Harriet: "I'll leave it up to you."
Matheus: "Whoa- wait-"
Harriet: "- huh?" Harriet turns around to notice Serenity, finally.
At this point Serenity notices there's a very short tube connecting the blade to the armor Matheus is wearing, and the movement jerks him about as you pull him. The tube's only as long as his arm is
Hughbert: "Serenity. What are you doing."
JayM: The blade attracts the crap piece, though, and it comes flying with enough force to be split in two by the blade
Serenity: "Uh. Science?"
Matheus: "Don't… Don't do that! I'm wearing half of this force gear!"
Serenity‘ switches it back off, rubs at the back of her head.
Hughbert turns to Matheus. "Can she-" Hughbert turns back to Serenity. "He says you can’t do that science, Serenity. Please calm down."
Matheus: "Goddess you're worse than Harriet, at least she makes sure it isn't connected to someone else"
Harriet: "Oh, hey, yeah. This is Serenity! She's like us, but she works in a way different area."
Serenity: "It was hard to tell it it made implosions first or what exactly the magnet bit was for!" Pause. "Now I know."
[OOC] Serenity: tell if it^
Matheus: "You could have asked"
Serenity: "You were in the middle of something." She waves dismissively.
Amal gives the guy a 'what can you do' kinda shrug.
Harriet: "Aw, come on, it's not like we've never hijacked force gears for science."
Harriet: "But yeah, just ask next time."
Matheus: "I mean, there's two different force gears here, actually. There's my Magnetic Link Blade that I developed, it uses a magnetic marker and my Fang Slashers to force targets to move to me isntead of me moving to them, it's like a homing sword in a way except I move my target. The Fang Slashers alone can be used too they cut pretty deep and can't miss what's tagged with the marker"
Amal: "That's… really cool, honestly."
Matheus: "Then there's this other system I was testing, it… It makes a very big implosion, big enough I know why they didn't test it in Masharas. I figured out by accident my blade's magnetic fields can kind of control it, though"
Matheus: "And I have been trying to get accurate control of it"
Harriet: "Sounds like you've done a lot more work on this stuff."
Harriet: "That's pretty cool, actually," Harriet grins.
Matheus grins "It's amazing, actually"
Serenity: "Yeah I kind of figured out the second part but thought it worked in a uh, slightly more horrifying way."
Serenity‘ sets the sword down.
Matheus: "Oh? What’d you think it did?"
Serenity: "Uhh so, you know a viboblade, right? Cuts faster and better utilizing vibrations?"
Matheus nods "Yeah"
Serenity: "Something kind of like that, but if it was instead a chain saw, and the teeth were implosions instead of blades, and the magnets were mostly to keep it from ripping itself apart."
Amal: "…"
Amal: "…woah."
Amal: "Can you… can you build that just so I can see it in actio-" -they pause, collect themself, cough nervously.
Serenity: "Theoretically…? That's probably one of those things which shoul- HARRIET NO!"
Matheus looks kind of taken aback "T-that sounds a little bit-" he looks at Harriet, then back at Amal "Now you did it"
Harriet: "Harriet yes!"
Matheus: "You're taking responsibility for this"
Serenity: "No."
He stands up, picking his sword "Also i'm taking this with me before Harriet kills herself"
Amal giggles.
Anton scratches his head. "If you can somehow convince the higher ups at Masharas to give the okay, go for it."
Serenity: "Develop armor that couldn't stand up to that sort of bullshit first and then maybe, but."
Hughbert looks at Harriet, then shrugs at Serenity. "You might be getting a birthday present now…"
Matheus: "I can't in good conscience let her do this without my supervision and a thorough safety briefing!" "
[OOC] Serenity: that COULD^, lol
Harriet grins. "Oh, come on, I wouldn't dare kill someone so important to the world! But fine, fine, if you feel so strongly about it."
Harriet: "Besides, I have bigger plans."
Hughbert: "I have tried to tell her that explosions are off-limits before. I was not successful. Best of luck to you."
Serenity: "…Bigger?"
Anton: "Do I want to spoil the surprise, Harriet?" He scrunches up his face. "I admit I'm curious."
Matheus: "Harriet… What are you planning?"
Harriet: "Yeah, I've been thinking, right? Like, working on the grove back there… I wonder if some of those principles couldn't be applied in other ways. You know, recovery gears like that, they might make a lot of things possible. I'm still figuring out how all the pieces line up, because, like, this isn't a weapons thing, but it seems to me like if I could exploit that to average out someone's
Harriet: health, I'd be able to augment them pretty heavily. "
Serenity: "…Oh."
Matheus blinks "Huhn… That's interesting… Branching I see, you never stop surprising me"
Serenity: "Actually I'm okay with that, it sounds like it won't accidently get us all killed somehow. Go for it."
Matheus: "Sounds like an interesting concept"
Hughbert: "What is the risk of someone transforming into an explosion in the process?"
Harriet: "Necessity is the mother of invention, right? And, like, we've got a bunch of people here who experience the world differently, and I'm really sick of being left out of the conversation. And I won't know that until I get to the development stage!" Harriet adds, cheerfully.
Harriet: "Probably pretty high, though."
Matheus: "Ah… Now that's… Quite a big deal actually"
Matheus: "You know what, I wanna help you out with that when you're working on it"
Harriet grins. "'Course. I mean, it'll probably make Hughbert feel better if there's someone helping anyway."
Amal surreptitious gives Harriet a thumbs-up. And by 'surreptitiously', I mean 'frantically waving their arm around'.
Harriet thumbs-up right back to them.
Hughbert nods. "Yes. Matheus has given me no reason to believe he will let you get away with unnecessary explosions."
Matheus grins and shakes his head "Damn good I decided to talk to you here"
Harriet: "Spoilsports, the lot of you. But, you know, it's really exciting! Before I'd gotten elbows-deep in that thing I'd just sort of dismissed the entire idea as being entirely too taxing on the human body. Now it might only be severely taxing!"
Matheus: "Hrm… Redica expected me to deal with you and get back, or just poke at you and retreat quickly" he looks back "If I take much longer now they might send someone to 'rescue' me and I don't want that, so I better go now"
Serenity: "Good luck working out the kinks in the whole, gotta be physically attached in the most permanent sort of way to it, thing Harriet.
Amal: "Don't worry, Harriet, that's why I have healing sparkles!"
Harriet: "Huh? Oh, yeah, subterfuge. Totally not my wheelhouse, so I'll leave all that stuff up to you."
Serenity: "Ugh. Wait."
He looks at Harriet "Alright, archive the research for a little later Harriet, time for a little action. On the way back i'll see if I can get the front guards distracted so you have an easier way in"
Serenity: "This means we have to sleep in horror village doesn't it?"
Serenity: "Shit, should of went with Terror Town."
Serenity: "Whatever."
Matheus looks at Serenity "Hrm… If you want to rest it'll have to be, sadly, but granny Ceres could have you, it's not as weird there"
Harriet: "Yeah, we'll be fine. I mean, I don't really read horror stories, but I'm pretty sure nothing bad happens in the first night."
Serenity: "Well, I mean, my plans mostly just involve shooting people with a wide variety of projectiles and magic, and ocassionally doing bullshit with unseen forces and machines. Sounded like we were going for a more, uh, social sort of solution though…? Which'll requiring you getting stuff and then leaving the base again, so… figure we got time to kill."
Anton: "To be honest, I'd rather sleep in the car…"
He chuckles, with a lot of trouble pulls out something from a pocket under the armor, a white handkerchief "Show her this and she'll know you're a friend, she lives in an alley in the central street between an office and a toy store"
Serenity: "With all five of us in it, Anton? We need WAY better chairs for that."
Matheus looks at Serenity "We still gotta arrest Redica, though. That'll be the tough part."
Matheus: "Either way, I better get going, good luck you all"
Harriet: "I mean, Hughbert's pretty comfortable to nap on, buut…"
Serenity‘ makes quiet sort of whining noises.
Harriet: "Yeah, take care of yourself."
He takes a couple of steps back and raises his sword. As he smiles you realize his armor has a warp-type system on it as well as he vanishes
Serenity: "Man."
Serenity: "Has your boyfriend ALWAYS been that much of a mess, Harriet?"
Anton: "Good job talking him down, by the way."
Harriet: "He’s not my boyfriend! But… yeah, kinda." Harriet goes back over to Anton to collect her ECC. "I was afraid he was gonna do something dumb for a minute there, but he pulled through."
Serenity: "Aha."
Harriet: "Good job on that note, by the way," Harriet asides to Anton as she shrugs on her cannon.
Anton winks before grinning. "No problem. I didn't like that future anyways."
Harriet: "Yeah, that future fucking sucked."
Amal: "I don't even want to know~."
Anton: "Amal, darling. That is the most passive aggressive way to say I want context I've seen all night!"
Amal: "Either I remain blissfully ignorant or I get to mess with your head! Either way I win."
Amal grins.
Anton points two fingers at Amal before winking. "Touche."
Serenity‘ shakes her head before getting back into the car and starting up the engine.
JayM: Ready to go back, huhn?
Serenity: "Anyway you’re in charge of making friendly noises with old people when we get back Anton."
JayM: Time to return, then. Going to meet up with Ceres as he mentioned or doing something else? Ah, with her, alright
Harriet: "Oh, basically the future looked like it was going towards violence, because Matheus is dumb sometimes and catastrophicises a lot and felt like he had no other choice. But it's cool, I handled it, I'm amazing." Harriet piles back into the car!
Serenity: "Unless Hugh had a better idea."
Anton: "No problem! I love old people. I'm near-sighted so listening to their stories is a much better way to learn about the past than looking myself."
Amal: "You ARE pretty amazing it's true."
And then back again towards the city. And right where he said you find the alley, a tight little thing, and at the end of it the entrance of a house
Hughbert: "Unless you trust the faces on the street more than Matheus' recommendation… I believe we should visit this old lady."
Harriet: "Yeah, let's go with that Ceres woman."
Knocking on the door who comes up is an old lady, though she wears what can only be described as old people clothes it's still visible she has various scars in her body. She doesn't seems to tall but if you realize how hunched she is you notice she must have been quite the titan before time forced her to bow, she has a piercing and impassive stare "And who might you be"
Anton: "Anton, the next Divine Oracle!"
Harriet: "Harriet Babbage, genius inventor! A friend told us you'd be able to give us shelter. You know, Matheus..?"
Serenity‘ opens her mouth, closes her mouth.
Ceres: "Friends of Matheus? Seeking shelter?"
Hughbert nudges Harriet. "The hankerchief?"
Ceres: "How can I be sure you’re not pulling my leg?"
Harriet: "Oh, right." Harriet pulls out the hankerchief and hands it over. "He said you'd understand this."
Anton glances at Serenity before quietly whining. "(How come nobody takes me seriously when I say I'm the Divine Oracle and even pull out how they're feeling or other things. The second you do anything they scream witch and are terrified of you.)"
She looks at it "Ah, so you are" she steps aside "Please come in"
Serenity‘ stands on her tip toes, pets Anton’s head.
Serenity: "It's because you're a doofus and I'm hot."
She leads you inside "I've been taking care of the kids that don't want anything to do with this whole mess… Don't mind the lack of space, dears"
Anton: "Is it the hair? Do I need to comb it?"
Serenity: "Yes, definitely."
Harriet: "Hey, no problem, my workshop gets crowded as hell sometimes. Uh, I mean, with machines, not people, but crowded is crowded, right?"
Indeed the house is not very large, and the living room has quite a few makeshift beds, the kitchen is is certainly stocked enough to feed about twenty at a time. There's a second floor too "It can get a little messy" she says, taking you upstairs. There's a three bedrooms, there's around five people in each, they all look young like everyone else around here and they are also quite alike eachother, but they look kind of terrified in general even if a few are laughing
She finally takes you to a fourth small room, it's a study actually "Given what you're carrying I take it you're not seeking to stay here long, do you mind sleeping in the study? I don't have much space left"
Harriet: "Hey, wouldn't be the first time," Harriet grins.
Hughbert nods. "That's fine."
Serenity: "Can't… complain too much, all things considered."
Amal: "That won't be a problem at all!" Heck, it beats the car.
She smiles "Make yourselves at home, then" she says, before going away. She's actually fetching a few cots for the party. Given how old and frail she looks she's quite agile and strong
JayM: The stay is a good one, honestly
JayM: She cooks well
JayM: At some point she conscripts Anton for groceries, giving him a chance to [Ressuply] for the party
JayM: Still, the next day
Anton takes his sweet time out there, but he gets the job done!
Serenity‘ looks a bit out of sorts during their stay, but is quiet for the most part.
JayM: You’ve barely awakened and are having breakfast when there's a knock on the door. Ceres goes there, is silent for a moment "I warned you… Now come in, quickly"
JayM: Now isn't that something?
JayM: Today has been an exhausting day but you learned a few important things
JayM: Enough for [+5 XP]
JayM: It was fun!

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