2017-08-27: Jailbreak at Camp Kislev

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=============================<* Kislev-Aveh Front *>=============================

The frontlines of the Kislev-Aveh War have shifted many times in the last few hundred years, but they have left their scars on the land. One can, of course, find fighting between their infantry and Gears here. Such places are dangerous, and most Drifters know to steer away from them. However, sometimes there is no choice; even the rail lines thought to be away from the front can get caught unawares by a patrol, and skirmishes have resulted in delays and death for those trying to get to the Badlands.

The areas not currently being fought in are also dangerous. Deserters and monsters alike can wander them, and the dry, dusty land leaves little succor for those in need. To make matters worse, abandoned fortifications and trenches make an excellent hiding place for the bandits seeking to profit here. Drifters are sometimes drawn here, though, to either fight for one side or to excavate abandoned ARMs and Gears left behind in a battle. This sort of salvage work is risky, but the rewards can be great.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxynM-xwLUs
DG: A party led by Jacqueline Barber is now entering Kislev Military Base.
==========================<* Kislev Military Base *>==========================
====================<* CHALLENGE - Khaos at Kamp Kislev *>====================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The Kislevi military camp has been established out here in the Badlands as a  
 staging area for those soldiers present at the battle for the Guardian        
 Temple - and the place they took most of the prisoners they captured during   
 that conflict. While many of the troops here have gone home and many more     
 are recovering from injuries, the remaining presence is still forbidding,     
 with several prefabricated buildings and a number of Gears visible in the     
 distance. There's no perimeter fence - just a partial trench - but Kislevi    
 foot patrols circle the area, watching for wrongdoers who might try to sneak  
 onto the base. If you time it just right, you might be able to sneak by the   
 soldiers and into the camp.                                                   
=Dungeon Conditions: Hesitate, Tire===========================================
<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

It's been a few days since the Caravin Kinship was split up at the battle at the Guardian Temple. Since then, most of the group is back together, save Catenna. Fortunately, the tipoffs the group got from escaped prisoners reveal that she's not gone far; the Army of Kislev has taken some time to lick its wounds.

Not far from the temple, the Kislevi military has set up a large temporary staging area. The haste of its construction is demonstrated by the fact that there's no real perimeter defense or line of guard bunkers - just patrols circling a collection of prefabricated Quonset-style buildings, a few hasty tarmacs mostly consisting of tamped-down sand, some cargo staging areas and a couple of watchtowers. It doesn't appear, at this point, to be at its full manpower; bit by bit, Kislevi soldiers recovering from the incursion at the Temple have filtered home over the past few days.

But the prisoners are still here, along with their jailers, and enough soldiers to make breaking the Kinship's missing member out of the joint a challenge.

The sun hangs low in the sky; evening is creeping on. The Caravan Kinship arrives with much of the Kislev soldiery on the scene ready to turn in, leaving things to the night watch. But even as the ruddy light of the sunset creeps over the desert and the temperature begins to drop, patrols of soldiers on foot continue to circle the unfenced perimeter with rifles and small searchlights, ensuring no inquisitive Aveh soldiers or Drifters can sneak in.

But there aren't that many of them. Most of them have gone home. The Kinship faces the task of slipping through a perimeter manned by a skeleton crew - but a crew nevertheless.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Unfortunately, Lunata was not able to make it here on account of personal exhaustion and injuries -- as much as the Gobs treated her right, she didn't exactly escape the Temple and the Warfront without lasting pains of her own, and it was on the Yggdrasil's recommendation that she stay behind and not further aggravate her condition. Besides, it leaves her with some time to spend with her mom, who's still hanging around the sandcruiser at this point in time.

The first task would be made easier not by the Kinship, but by the presence of the Ebony Wings--

The screeching of dragons echoes in the background, and a particularly colourful dragon wreathed in flame makes itself known over the horizon. "W-what is that?!" shouts one soldier. "Dragon! It's one of those Metal Dragons!"

"H-hurry! We can't let them get to the prisoners!"

Salamandra coasts around on a particularly wide berth as she sweeps up towards one of the higher dunes, and several of the patrols are distracted as they so rightfully chase an (admittedly small) dragon as it blasts distracting gouts of flame in its wake.

...

And on the other side, Riesenlied moves quickly and quietly as she slips through the cover of night and strikes one of the soldiers down with the pommel of her sword, moving low. "We only have so much time -- hurry!"

DG: Riesenlied has used her Tool Dragon Wings toward her party's challenge, Khaos at Kamp Kislev.
<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin has been recovering herself, though she's pushed herself to help the CaraKin by taking up cooking duty in the absence of the other cooks. She's looking determined here and now, though, and ready for anything. Spirit, as usual, is by her side, and is being a Good Dog and not drawing attention.

"Soon, Miss Catenna," Kourin whispers as she follows Riesenlied on the path she is leading them down.

DG: Kourin has used her Tool Trick Rope toward her party's challenge, Khaos at Kamp Kislev.
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

This...was actually happening. Jacqueline was actually leading a group of friends to infiltrate a Kislevi military camp. She never could have expected her life would bring her to a point like this.

What would her parents think?

The time leading up to the actual operation had been filled with panic, but now that she was actually there, she's calm. A hand reaches into her bags, gripping the stone tablet bearing the mark of Earth.

It reminded her both of the way she needed to be...and one of the friends she was here to rescue. She lets go of it and reaches for something else - a familiar bottle full of pale green liquid. She takes a deep breath, down the lot, then looks to her friends and allies.

"Alright everyone, let's move. Stick together, we don't want to get separated here." She warns then begins to move, aiming to take advantage of the gaps afforded by the tired skeleton crew as well as the distracted by the Ebony Wings.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has used her Tool Invigoration Elixir toward her party's challenge, Khaos at Kamp Kislev.
<Pose Tracker> Asteroid the Kid has posed.

Asteroid the Kid doesn't have her pistols. She does, however, have two mediums and a knowledge of camp layout. She has cut out two holes in a trashbin and put it on her head. Asteroid points towards a building in the camp that still has a large man-shaped hole in it. "That's...hn...where I was being held," She tells Jay. She is staying close to Jay, somehow having earned some faith in Carakin over her various interactions with them.

She stays close to Jay, knowing that without her pistols, she isn't going to be of much use going out or rushing out on her own.

"We should c.c.crruussh them." She whispers to herself. "Under the weight of the small rock worlds...henh hennh..."

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Well, this PROBABLY isn't the most reckless thing Cyre's ever done in his life. It's probably the most illegal thing, but hey, HE'S not Kislevi. It's not against the law if you're not a citizen, right? Right.

That's totally how that works.

'Stick together' Jacqueline says.

Unfortunately, by that point, Cyre is already flying in on his favorite parachute. The chaos incited by that... Decidedly un-Baskar dragon over there has cut a sizable hole in the patrol's attention. They might be worried about people walking into the base, but likely not by anyone flying into it.

Fortunately, he IS coming in along the same vector as the rest of the team, just... From further up. High enough up that he can provide early warning if they need it.

They need to make this work. Catenna and all the rest are waiting for them.

DG: Asteroid the Kid has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Khaos at Kamp Kislev.
DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has used his Tool Reverse Parachute toward his party's challenge, Khaos at Kamp Kislev.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

Ethius takes a good look at all those who come together. If this situation happened months ago, odds are, he would have broken in here with a smaller, more discreet group and simply not told Jay or her friends as to what he's up to. (In fairness, the latter-most bit is something he still seems keen to do, every so often.)

Nonetheless, Catenna is of the utmost importance. Circumstances have come together so far that the rest are back in contact. He is hesitant to say that her rescue will be a done deal, but there is no alternative other than to infiltrate an active (if, at present, not quite as manned) military installation with a number of people who have never done such a thing.

...How often has he done such a thing before the beginning of his memories, he may stop to wonder. Enough that he doesn't question doing it now.

He silently nods to Jacqueline, silently signaling to the rest based on his own observations about where to move and when not. So far, every piece of information seems to line up. Their window of opportunity is narrow.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Khaos at Kamp Kislev.
<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

For her part, Shalune is of two minds about this. Part of her would rather just latch onto Lunata and call it a day, right now, and do as Riesenlied asks - but part of her promised that she'd help, and doesn't feel it quite right to just leave it entirely up to the Tainted, especially given the heat that could come down on Wayside should Kislevi forces make any identifications.

She's already fond of Wayside, after all, and it's that dissatisfaction that's brought her here.

The call of 'Dragon' goes up in the camp - but that's only the start of their woes, because the troops that do go out to meet the distraction suddenly find themselves facing an incoming, twisting plume of air, generating a sudden and unexpected sandstorm that leaves them disoriented and lost in a sea of yellow air - with a rhythmic thundering joining the cry of the dragon.

It's actually Big Shal, moving through the dunes in slow and determined steps and carrying a ten-foot fan that Shalune has hastily cobbled together out of spare parts from Wayside, but it's not like the soldiers know that, blind as they now are.

She may not be a warrior, but if Shalune is anything it's spry - she's remarkably quick, diving between bits of cover and moving from tent to tent as if she's used to cover shooters from her time dodging turrets in Elru. "No crushing, okay? We'll get into super trouble if we do that," she warns Asteroid at a whisper, but with a light smile. "We just wanna sneak in and out and then there's no fuss."

DG: Shalune Amira has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Khaos at Kamp Kislev.
==========================<* Kislev Military Base *>==========================
====================<* CHALLENGE - Khaos at Kamp Kislev *>====================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The Kislevi military camp has been established out here in the Badlands as a  
 staging area for those soldiers present at the battle for the Guardian        
 Temple - and the place they took most of the prisoners they captured during   
 that conflict. While many of the troops here have gone home and many more     
 are recovering from injuries, the remaining presence is still forbidding,     
 with several prefabricated buildings and a number of Gears visible in the     
 distance. There's no perimeter fence - just a partial trench - but Kislevi    
 foot patrols circle the area, watching for wrongdoers who might try to sneak  
 onto the base. If you time it just right, you might be able to sneak by the   
 soldiers and into the camp.                                                   
=Dungeon Conditions: Hesitate, Tire===========================================
=====================<* Kislev Military Base - Round 1 *>=====================
======================< Results - Khaos at Kamp Kislev >======================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   0 --(6)--> 6                   Pass
Invigoration Elixir                 2   Agility Effects: Stalwart             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          0 --(6)--> 6                   Pass
Dragon Wings                        3   Agility Effects: Fanfare              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       0 --(6)--> 6                   Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kourin                              0 --(6)--> 6                   Pass
Trick Rope                          2   Agility Effects: Quicken              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shalune Amira                       0 --(4)--> 4                   Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyre H. Lorentz                     0 --(4)--> 4                   Pass
Reverse Parachute                   1   Agility Effects: Rally and Quicken    
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Asteroid the Kid                    0 --(7)--> 7                   Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Jacqueline Barber           0 --(20)--> 20                 Pass
Conditions: Hesitate(2)|Tire(2)
Effects: Quicken(1)|Stalwart(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Jacqueline Barber has passed this challenge! The party gained 20 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

"It's one of those metal dragons! Hurry!" shouts someone from inside the base.

Sluggishly, the Kislevi soldiers begin to mobilize. With the combat at the Temple over for a few days now, none of them were expecting a fight - certainly not from a Metal Dragon. A floodlight kicks on atop one of the pair of hastily-erected towers at either corner of the base, tracking after Riesenlied's draconic companion.

Skilfully, the members of the Kinship - and their Tainted and Asteroidal allies - weave their way through the patrol line. It helps that the patrolmen are dashing off to try and get a bead on the vast shape of the Metal Dragon. It's safe to say that Salamandra has everyone's attention. From somewhere within the base, there's the sound of a machine gun, and a few bullets arc upwards, but don't even come close to hitting anything.

The cover is exactly what the team needs. Before long, they've slipped past those patrols and into the base itself, the steel shapes of the Quonset huts crammed in reasonably close together, crates sitting out on many of the tarmacs. A few Gears can be seen parked here and there, but none immediately at hand.

The good news is, they're in the base now, and the prison building can't be too far.

The bad news is, soldiers are beginning to wake up.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has drawn a new Challenge.
===============================================<* Kislev Military Base *>===============================================
========================================<* CHALLENGE - Red Exclamation Point *>=========================================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 Uh-oh - you step into one of the prefabricated buildings, only to find that   
 it's full of crates and boxes. It's just cargo storage. On the plus side,     
 some of the boxes may contain useful items, like Heal Berries or spare        
 ammunition for your arms.                                                     
                                                                               
 On the minus side, someone bangs on the door not too long after you go        
 inside. "Hey! Who's in there? I saw you go in!" a rough, clipped voice        
 shouts. A soldier, no doubt - and the door handle begins to turn.             
                                                                               
 You don't have much time to get out of this predicament!                      
=Dungeon Conditions: Stupify, Treasure========================================
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

Ethius sticks his arm out after a certain point. He can hear the machine gun warming up before it even starts spitting out fire. Intristically, a part of him knows that if the stationed machinegun he's hearing so much as swings too far to the left, it's going to gun a few of them down. They have no choice but to take cover until he's certain it's being pointed somewhere else.

In some vague fashion, he signals to everyone inside one of the prefabricated buildings - a storage area, according to intel, and makes sure everyone on foot gets in ASAP before shutting the door tight.

Ethius keeps an ear to the door as everyone else is free to see for themselves. Medical supplies (Heal Berries, also blueberries and blackberries which is kind of weird), spare ammunition... a decent haul of things to pick and take with them, but therein lies one other complication.

The door bangs loudly.

"Hey! Who's in there? I saw you go in!" The rough, clipped voice shouts. The door knob is turning.

Ethius gets out the little lens and sparks it to life through his Symbology, wondering if something here might be connected to something outside that could serve as a distraction. This plan may require more time to enact than they actually have.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has used his Tool Spectral Lens toward his party's challenge, Red Exclamation Point.
<Pose Tracker> Asteroid the Kid has posed.

"Carakin, Carakin~" Asteroid sings. "With Shal's scraps to carve your flesh. Carakin~ Carakin~, with Jay's potions to keep us fresh. Carakin~, Carakin~, with Cat's medium to crush you squish! Carakin~ Carakin~, don't forget Cyre... Carakin~ Carakin~, Ethius will set you on fire...."

She seems to be content to rely on the Riesenlied team as distraction but she sees Ethius up to something so she drops down by him, ducking fully into the trash can as she does so. There. Now you have cover.

"Carakin~ Carakin~, Kourin's super cute, Carakin~ Carakin~, Matilda's a cool brute...and also Riesenlied...!"

It's luckily muffled by trash can.

DG: Asteroid the Kid has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Red Exclamation Point.
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Cyre rushes in after Ethius, but stops just as the door shuts behind him. His ears twitch slghtly from... Footsteps? It looks like someone knows they're here.

Cyre's lips tighten into a fine line. He looks to the others and presses his finger to his lips in the universal sign for 'shhhhhhh.' He doesn't actually go 'shhhhhhh.' That might just screw them over properly. Instead he carefully moves closer to the door and kicks a crate down just so that seems like SOMETHING could have easily toppled it over by casually rubbing into it in just the right way.

Cyre then hurries back to rejoin the others pilfering the storage shed and whispers a quiet prayer to the Guardians. When the door bangs, he glances over his shoulder and makes good use out of Fengalon's boon... of ventriloquism.

Which is when the officer on the other end of the door would hear a distinct, keening 'mrooowwww' from inside the storage shed.

...Surely it's just a cat, not a gaggle of jailbreakers...!

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Red Exclamation Point.
<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin is...unsure what to make of Asteroid. Then she's called cute. This does not help her manage to come up with a solution to the impending problem of the guard, sadly. Good thing Cyre's got it covered.

DG: Kourin has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Red Exclamation Point.
<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied's eyes widen for a moment as she filters into the prefabbed building by Ethius' side, but hears the guard's inquiry. Darn, they were spotted, were they?

She looks down towards Cyre with wide eyes and-- hesitates for a moment, before... she joins in on the effort, suckling in a breath.

The next noise coming out of her lips would be a panicked 'c-cuccoo! cuc-cuc-cuccoooo!' as if a cucco just got spotted by a cat and is madly running away.

... who knew Riesenlied could mimic a cucco exactly?

DG: Riesenlied has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Red Exclamation Point.
<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Spirit barks. There's a whole menagerie in here!

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline pauses at the door and counts the heads as the go in to ensure that everyone made it in safely. While the others work on a distraction and Ethius works on a plan, Jacqueline keeps an ear to the outside.

She's hesitant to try and break into the crates. They weren't here to steal anything, after all - they were here to rescue captured friends.

While keeping an ear out whether or not the soldier at the door continued trying to come in or if he left, she reaches into her bag and carefully draws out the maps they had received from the escaped prisoners and the notes Lily had given her after their conversation the other day.

She decided to take this time to go over them and determine where they ought to go from here, as well as which places they should avoid.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Red Exclamation Point.
<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

Shalune's first instinct is to dive behind a number of the crates, and she even tenses as if to do so - but recognizes all too quickly that would be a losing proposition, what with so many of them in such an enclosed space - it's inevitable that someone would be found, even before you allow for the fact that she'd probably accidentally stick her staff up above the line of a box.

Instead, a flash of inspiration seems to come to her, and her hand has slunk to her pocket as she suddenly darts forwards towards the door before it can open. What she does isn't exactly lock the door - instead, she's snuck a tiny, slim dowel of metal out of her pocket, tossing it almost haphazardly into the lock's tumblers through the keyhole. Immediately, the handle seems to stick, the pin locking the movement of the outer tumblers as it gets jammed inside them.

It might not be the most reliable of solutions, but at least it offers a chance to dissuade their guard from checking further, especially when considered with the rest of the noises coming from inside.

DG: Shalune Amira has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Red Exclamation Point.
===============================================<* Kislev Military Base *>===============================================
========================================<* CHALLENGE - Red Exclamation Point *>=========================================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 Uh-oh - you step into one of the prefabricated buildings, only to find that   
 it's full of crates and boxes. It's just cargo storage. On the plus side,     
 some of the boxes may contain useful items, like Heal Berries or spare        
 ammunition for your arms.                                                     
                                                                               
 On the minus side, someone bangs on the door not too long after you go        
 inside. "Hey! Who's in there? I saw you go in!" a rough, clipped voice        
 shouts. A soldier, no doubt - and the door handle begins to turn.             
                                                                               
 You don't have much time to get out of this predicament!                      
=Dungeon Conditions: Stupify, Treasure========================================
==========================================<* Kislev Military Base - Round 2 *>==========================================
==========================================< Results - Red Exclamation Point >===========================================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   6 --(4)--> 10                  Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          6 --(6)--> 12                  Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       6 --(6)--> 12                  Pass
Spectral Lens                       2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kourin                              6 --(6)--> 12                  Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shalune Amira                       4 --(6)--> 10                  Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyre H. Lorentz                     4 --(5)--> 9                   Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DG: The party led by Jacqueline Barber has passed this challenge! The party gained 25 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.


<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

Shalune's quick thinking sees to it that the door is (at present) unable to open. The banging ceases after a few more attempts at the door handle.

"Oh no, the cuccos are loose again?!" ...Do they keep cuccoos here? That's... not good. "It's in there with a stray cat and a dog, I--"

One could hear the color draining out of their face. They stop interacting with the door. They run away, very, very, very far away. Just the idea of there being a cucco and anything that can set it off means that the contents of this fabricated building are probably forfeit, as are someone's pets. If someone brought pets here.

"Excellent thinking," Ethius compliments, as he takes a moment to coordinate with Jay over the maps as he points out a few things he thinks he might have seen, versus what he's heard just keeping an ear out in the chaos.

It's time to move again.


DG: Asteroid the Kid has drawn a new Challenge.
==========================<* Kislev Military Base *>==========================
==========================================<* Kislev Military Base - Round 2 *>==========================================
===============<* CHALLENGE - There Is No Escaping the Door *>================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Inexplicably, as you navigate through the military base and come to a narrow  
 passageway between two buildings, you find the way blocked by a large stone   
 door. The door doesn't have any handles or locks on it, nor is there a lever  
 or switch immediately in sight. The door doesn't even look like it belongs    
 in the same time period as a Kislevi military base. But here it is, in your   
 way.                                                                          
=Dungeon Conditions: Overzealous==============================================


<Pose Tracker> Asteroid the Kid has posed.

Asteroid stands herself back up and continues to wobble away. She pokes her trashbin arms right back out of the trashbin, this time with a baseball bat. She slams the bat against her trashbin sharply and shouts, "We're not going to take it! Bad vibes! Bad vibes! Cuccoos out of of the coop, each of us a distant star! Gas and fire but also more!" BANG BANG BANG!

Eventually the team comes to a ruin door but here at least, Asteroid may prove to be useful. They raise their bat into the air and chant a spell!

"Bases are loaded! Two outs, three strikes! Pinch Hitter Asteroid the Kid is squaring up the opposition..! But then, suddenly, from above....AN ASTEROID BASEBALL!"

She summons one before her, swinging her bat back.

"STAR...DRIVE!" She calls out, SMAAAAAASHing the ball with her bat and sending it flying into the door for crit damage!

DG: Asteroid the Kid has used her Tool Asteroid Ball toward her party's challenge, There Is No Escaping the Door.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

Ethius comes before another door. Time and time again, in places of antiquity, this decidedly curious fellow chooses one action, and one action alone.

So long as there is an obstruction in the way, it can be guaranteed that man of mystery, Ethius Hesiod, is going to do something to it which involves a lot of sorcery-powered heat at a scale and effectiveness that is kind of worrisome and also dangerous to stand anywhere near.

He closes his eyes, puts a hand up against it - this must mean to the rest that he's preparing to judge whether it is safe to do so. He should probably hurry if he's going to, the distractions won't last too lon-

He puts a foot up against the stone slab and just exerts pressure on it, trying to push it over with a kick in tandem with the explosive asteroid baseball that he seems to be far too chill to be in the presence of.

...

That melts expectations then and there, doesn't it.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward his party's challenge, There Is No Escaping the Door.


<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin is glad that her friends seem to have this infiltration thing down, because she's feeling rather useless and helpless so far. Bit of a fifth wheel. At least she isn't holding back the rescue of Catenna, right?

And now there's a door in the way. Kourin doesn't have the hatred for doors that many Drifters share. Kourin just...frosts it up a bit, to make it that much more brittle. It's a careful operation, an application of magic that must be applied a certain way. Kourin wouldn't have been confident enough to try it, a few months ago.

Now she doesnt' even hesitate.

DG: Kourin has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, There Is No Escaping the Door.
<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied cups her mouth as she watches Asteroid splash out of the trashbin and stares as she charges onward with her song and her 'tude and her bat. Oh dear...

"A-ah, should we not keep on the pace? I do not believe Miss Catenna would be behind a Ruin door such as this one...?" Riesenlied tries to point out, except it doesn't appear to phase Asteroid, who's got Ethius joining in with a kick.

She has a quiet look towards Jay and Shalune in turn, before drawing back and unveiling the Fereshte bow from underneath her cloak. She's getting a lot of mileage out of that recently. Rather than drawing a physical arrow, however, she pinches her fingers together -- and draws back a line of light from the point of the grip, nocking it upon the bowstring...

...and then letting loose where both the baseball and kick have flown to.

DG: Riesenlied has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, There Is No Escaping the Door.


<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"Did they...build this camp on top of ruin or something...?" Jacqueline mutters, confused. The presence of a door of that kind in the middle of nowhere where it shouldn't be was...baffling.

Then again, it had happened in Adlehyde, too...perhaps there really was a Guardian of Doors out there, making things difficult for everyone...?

Well, whatever the case, they'd have to deal with this somehow. She decides that simply slamming an earth pillar would make simply way too much noise, so she settles for creating one behind them, to block off the path from anyone that might potentially be following them.

"Unfortunately, this is the best possible path..." Jacqueline explains to Riesenlied. "We could go around, but according to Lily's notes, that path would lead us through several possible patrol routes..."

DG: Jacqueline Barber has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, There Is No Escaping the Door.


<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Cyre can worry about his pride later. For now he just kind of... Stares long at Riesenlied's distressingly accurate imitation of your average cuccoo. "..." He narrows his eyes just a little bit. "...I thought you were some kind of dragon demon. Not a... Cuccoo. Demon."

...

Onwards! The party proceeds much more noisily than they probably really should be. It's frankly unreasonable how much of a racket they're rousing. Cyre sighs and scratches at his nape. "Guys... Shouldn't we try to be a little quieter, I mean--"

Ruin door

...Ruin door?

The hell is a ruin door doing here?!

Cyre looks to Asteroid in muted terror as she straight up calls her attack like she was some kind of super robot. Then he looks to Ethius as he breaks with all previous tradition and just goes up to start kicking at it. Cyre looks to the sky for help.

Solais Emsu says nothing.

And so he sighs and tugs his censer from his stash and sets it alight. Hopefully the profuse smokescreen will keep anyone from seeing what they're doing...!

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has used his Tool Invigorating Vapors toward his party's challenge, There Is No Escaping the Door.
<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied is also pointedly not saying anything to Cyre because like him, she's pointedly trying to preserve her pride and dignity. Nope nope nope.


=======================[ Kislev-Aveh Front ]========================

Name Idle Pose  %HP Exhaustion


Riesenlied 3m 3m 10.937512

Cyre H. Lorentz 3m 4m 100 9

Jacqueline Barber 9s 5m 68.4 10

Kourin 6m 8m 100 12

Ethius Hesiod 5m 10m 100 12

Asteroid the Kid 4m 12m 100 11

Shalune Amira 26s 33m 100 10

Catenna 0s 58m 100 130

Matilda Whitehead 21m None 100 0

====================[ Sun Aug 27 21:30:27 2017 ]====================
<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

"O-oh, man, however we deal with this it's gonna be loud, isn't it? Either we blow it up, or we push it over and it goes 'crump', or we carve through it and that's gonna be such a squealing horrible noise--..." she trails off from her whisper, glancing across to meet Riesenlied's gaze and share it with Jacqueline as she bites at her lip.

Still, it's not like they can really go back, either.

"O-okay, well-- I mean, I picked up some stuff in Wayside that might help, maybe? Devet said it was kinda experimental, but we might as well give it a go," she adds as she reaches for her pack, never mind how distressing that first sentence might have been. The little sphere she tucks out - looks a lot like a certain Metal Demon spy's, a tiny white ball with markings on it - and without even a thought, she impulsively rolls it towards the slab of rock.

It hangs there for a moment, beeping softly, and then hatches outwards in a couple of hinging motions to--

--WHU--

The explosion that Shalune was obviously expecting, hands over her ears, happens - but only halfway, as an abrupt silence settles over the alleyway due to some odd dampening effect. It's not total silence, but it might be good enough to prevent the alarm being raised when an enormous slab of stone breaks apart.

DG: Shalune Amira has used her Tool Soup of the Day -Shalune Ver.- toward her party's challenge, There Is No Escaping the Door.
==========================<* Kislev Military Base *>==========================
==========================================<* Kislev Military Base - Round 2 *>==========================================
===============<* CHALLENGE - There Is No Escaping the Door *>================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Inexplicably, as you navigate through the military base and come to a narrow  
 passageway between two buildings, you find the way blocked by a large stone   
 door. The door doesn't have any handles or locks on it, nor is there a lever  
 or switch immediately in sight. The door doesn't even look like it belongs    
 in the same time period as a Kislevi military base. But here it is, in your   
 way.                                                                          
=Dungeon Conditions: Overzealous==============================================
=====================<* Kislev Military Base - Round 3 *>=====================
==========================================<* Kislev Military Base - Round 2 *>==========================================
=================< Results - There Is No Escaping the Door >==================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   10 --(5)--> 15                 Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          12 --(6)--> 18                 Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       12 --(5)--> 17                 Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kourin                              12 --(5)--> 17                 Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shalune Amira                       10 --(4)--> 14                 Pass
Soup of the Day -Shalune Ver.-      3   Brute   Effects: Fanfare              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyre H. Lorentz                     9 --(6)--> 15                  Fail
Invigorating Vapors                 1   Brute   Effects: Cleanse              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Asteroid the Kid                    11 --(5)--> 16                 Pass
Asteroid Ball                       2   Brute   Effects: Rally                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Jacqueline Barber           45 --(20)--> 65                Pass
Conditions: Overzealous(2)|Stupify(1)
Effects: Cleanse
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Jacqueline Barber has passed this challenge! The party gained 20 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Asteroid the Kid has posed.

Asteroid is just kindof interested in rescuing Kaguya. Kaguya isn't stationed here anymore but Asteroid doesn't know that!

Through a combination of sports, kicks, ice, a robot bomb??? Wait hold up a robot bomb???

Asteroid kind of gapes at it. Nevertheless, according to Jay's notes this seems to be the way to go.

Which is why it's good that the door falls over from all that abuse.

"WE ARE NOT PROFESSIONALS!" Asteroid screams as she charges inward, waving the bat around.

Riesenlied

The attractive woman before you stands at average height, draped mostly in a multi-layered cloak speaking to Ellurian origins, with tribal patterns. The cloak ends about her shoulders, revealing a fine high-necked shirt with a fanciful ribbon centred with a brooch. Her long ashen-blonde hair is gently tossed in the winds of the wasteland, remarkably fine and untangled for how torturous the weather can be. A flash of armour can be seen under the cloak, black and ornate with filigreed trims, along with a sheath that contains a thin sword with a wire guard. She expresses a calm and serene demeanor, and her posture suggests confidence.

The most distinguishing feature about her are a large set of horns on her head, chitinous and dark. A light circlet adjoins them, lightly woven in with her hair... is it natural, or a fancy headgear of sorts? Or should we ask?

Often seen beside Riesenlied is a foot-tall ... creature, visibly looking like a super-deformed dragon -- big head, rotund body, mostly composed of chitinous scales with black and red coloration. Her eyes are big and terribly animated, and her tail swishes to-and-fro, typically exhibiting her excitement. She's also probably singing a power ballad.

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

Ethius turns to the rest. "I will melt the remainders to cover our escape, should we ever need to double back."

Oh, that's why he didn't do it then.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has drawn a new Challenge.
==========================<* Kislev Military Base *>==========================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Perilous Pillbox *>======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 As you cross an open stretch of tamped-down sand, a burst of bullets          
 suddenly tears through the space you were just standing, hitting the turf in  
 a series of puffs of sand. The sound of rapid-fire weapons thunders through   
 the air as a pair of soldiers fire from the narrow windows of a defensive     
 bunker. The huge concrete structure is far too dense and well-defended for    
 even strong magic to put a dent in it, and the machine guns the two soldiers  
 are firing make even approaching a deadly prospect. You'll just have to try   
 and dodge the suppressing fire as you sprint across the sand towards cover!   
=Dungeon Conditions: Tire=====================================================
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Asteroid gets a disapproving glance from Jacqueline. That...really wasn't what they needed right now.

The party stops in front of a structure. Up ahead of them was a long stretch of sand, with no cover whatsoever.

"Alright, this part up ahead is going to be dangerous..." Jacqueline whispers, looking the stretch up and down.

"There's really no way around it, and there's a defensive structure keeping an eye on this area. They're probably going to be on high alert..." To test this theory, Jacqueline reaches into her bags and pulled out a rolled-up blanket. She tosses it forward, and it's met with a devastating hail of gunfire.

"Right...here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to create a series of earth pillars as cover. I don't know how much they'll be able to handle, so we're going to need to hurry." She explains. With that said, she reaches into her bag and pulls out another dose of Elixir. Once she drinks this she begins invoking the Crest.

"Go!" She shouts, and breaks into a run.

If the structure was closer to them she could hurl some Haywire Draught in there, but that didn't seem like a possibility.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has used her Tool Invigoration Elixir toward her party's challenge, Perilous Pillbox.
<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin is, thankfully, quite quick. Spirit, too, is fleet of foot. The pair of them are not used to dodging gunfire, but in theory it's not that different from dodging magical firepower, and that they've trained in. Kourin's trick rope snakes behind her, wrapping around Asteroid--by now firmly established in Kourin's mind as "possibly troublesome"--and tugs the other woman along briskly, before she gets some idea like trying to knock the bullets back at the soldiers with her baseball bat or something equally ill-advised.

Not that Kourin thinks Asteroid would try that. But just in case.

Juuuuuuust in case.

DG: Kourin has used her Tool Trick Rope toward her party's challenge, Perilous Pillbox.
<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

There's a faint look of surprise from Riesenlied as Jacqueline tears forward -- but she can't deny that they don't have the time for a particularly elaborate plan either, by the time they emerge onto the other side. Instead of going low, however, she elects to go high instead-- and focus on that power of hers once more as she nocks not one, but two arrows of light that aim to fly true and curve across the dusk skies of the Aveh Desert to try to peg the machinegunners clean and concuss them.

She lands ontop of one of Jacqueline's earthen pillars as she then dips forward and attempts to glide past the machine fire, wincing as she feels a bullet rend against one of her feathers.

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

Ethius nods along with Jacqueline's plan. He silently draws up a back-up plan in case their cover proves inadequate as they run.

Ethius sweeps an arm inward as he calls an incantation's three, maybe four syllables together. As far as Symbological spells go, that's brief! One flash of the requisite light later... nothing happens?

Nothing happens unless any of the cover fire manages to tag Ethius proper, at which point electrical sparks flare at the point of impact against his body to send the projectiles in question flying away from him.

That same alarming ELECTRIC FIELD that freaked out Cyre earlier at one trip to Gob's Hideout.

The same sort of thing that would've been handy for him to do when the Caravan Kinship all scattered while being at gunpoint, as opposed to suffering the amount of gunshot wounds he did. Did he just magically figure out a way to not get shot?

This doesn't specifically help Ethius get anywhere faster, but it does reduce to cost of failure to 'feel like I've been sharply jabbed by someone's finger maybe a dozen times' and not 'become cooling pile of swiss cheese smothered in copper-flavored jam.'

It should also probably raise a few more questions, for another time.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Perilous Pillbox.
<Pose Tracker> Asteroid the Kid has posed.

Asteroid is somewhat feral. She's more feral when dealing with forces at a prison that physically beat her. Not that she has strictly advertised her fact.

Luckily Kourin's rope snakes around her before she can get too wild. She tosses her trash can lid on the ground and 'trash skis' using Kourin's rope as the line she is pulled along side.

"WHERE'S KAGUYA??" She demands.

DG: Asteroid the Kid has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Perilous Pillbox.
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

It was probably a bit too much to ask for them to stay undetected for the duration of this little incursion, wasn't it?

Cyre hisses a curse as the gunfire begins-- but he's not entirely without cover, and not entirely without his own ideas. As Kourin, Asteroid, Ethius and Riesenlied all make their runs, Cyre focuses on the heavy warmth radiating from the Gale Claw. The wind answers his call again, stirring the vast field of sand into a raging dust cloud. "Here we go--" Cyre growls, darting forward into his makeshift smokescreen. He ducks behind Jacqueline's heavy earthen pillars, wincing once when a bullet whistles just overhead.

Gotta keep moving. Gotta go fast.

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Perilous Pillbox.
DG: Riesenlied has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Perilous Pillbox.
<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

Shalune's yelp at the first gunshot is audible; she was nearly out of cover and ready to race across the empty space before the burst of fire made her temporarily lose her nerve, shrinking back behind the box with a worried frown.

Somehow, the fact it's gunfire makes it worse; she could deal with the Golem Sado as it flung ships away, she could deal with Berserk as he hammered and blasted Big Shal's bodywork across Rujm el-Hiri's entrance, she could deal with turrets in Elru spitting light at her - but there's something more visceral about the rat-a-tat of a gun and the way she understands why that noise is being made.

Two puffed breaths are enough to pick her back up off the floor again, though, and she reaches for a folded contraption on her back to press a button on the side of it, waiting until--

--the moment in which she blasts out of cover on the back of the Little Dipper. Immediately, the two soldiers have to arc their fire far upwards, because the angle at which Shalune's started to fly is a high and sharp one; a couple of stray bullets ricochet off the base of the craft, but whatever she's built it from is sturdy and resistant enough to deflect them, helped by the rounded curves of the platform she's on.

Halfway, she does an almost lazy backwards flip - and then guns the craft downwards towards the entrance of the building, soaring downwards in what would be a crash landing if it weren't for the way she hops off near the end into a dead skid, carrying the weight of the scooter with a remarkable strength. The impromptu sand-surf is hopefully enough to get her past the angle of the building's rooftop.

DG: Shalune Amira has used her Tool Little Dipper toward her party's challenge, Perilous Pillbox.
==========================<* Kislev Military Base *>==========================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Perilous Pillbox *>======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 As you cross an open stretch of tamped-down sand, a burst of bullets          
 suddenly tears through the space you were just standing, hitting the turf in  
 a series of puffs of sand. The sound of rapid-fire weapons thunders through   
 the air as a pair of soldiers fire from the narrow windows of a defensive     
 bunker. The huge concrete structure is far too dense and well-defended for    
 even strong magic to put a dent in it, and the machine guns the two soldiers  
 are firing make even approaching a deadly prospect. You'll just have to try   
 and dodge the suppressing fire as you sprint across the sand towards cover!   
=Dungeon Conditions: Tire=====================================================
=====================<* Kislev Military Base - Round 4 *>=====================
========================< Results - Perilous Pillbox >========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   15 --(4)--> 19                 Pass
Invigoration Elixir                 2   Agility Effects: Stalwart             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          18 --(6)--> 24                 Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       17 --(4)--> 21                 Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kourin                              17 --(4)--> 21                 Pass
Trick Rope                          2   Agility Effects: Quicken              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shalune Amira                       14 --(6)--> 20                 Pass
Little Dipper                       2   Agility Effects: Quicken              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyre H. Lorentz                     15 --(6)--> 21                 Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Asteroid the Kid                    16 --(6)--> 22                 Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Jacqueline Barber           65 --(20)--> 85                Pass
Conditions: Overzealous(1)|Tire(2)
Effects: Quicken(1)|Stalwart(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Jacqueline Barber has passed this challenge! The party gained 20 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
DG: Asteroid the Kid has drawn a new Challenge.
==========================<* Kislev Military Base *>==========================
===================<* CHALLENGE - Little Bird in a Cage *>====================
|Type: Climax      |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 You've made your way into the camp's rough, dark jail, really a               
 prefabricated building with cells lining either side of a corridor. With all  
 the guards outside and distracted by your earlier antics, it's easy enough    
 to find the prisoner you're seeking, and to raid the equipment locker where   
 the prisoners' belongings have been stashed - but the cell door itself is     
 locked, and you don't have a key. Surely it won't be long until the guards    
 return. There must be some way to open the cell without having a key on       
 hand.                                                                         
=Dungeon Conditions: Save Point===============================================
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

It might be a harrowing experience for the Kinship, but beyond any close calls none of the gunners manage to land a solid shot. This is partially aided by the fact that, partway through their dash, Riesenlied's arrows fly true. For the latter half of the run the party gets to continue unassailed, though that isn't license to lower their guard just yet.

"Is everyone alright? I've got potions here, for anyone who needs them." Jacqueline says, keeping up the pace.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

It doesn't take a lot of searching from here - beyond the pillbox, the prison complex waits, a short hop across a length of actual tarmac. A few Gears can be seen nearby but so far most of the base seems to have missed the Kinship and Friends. They know someone's here, but there's confusion as to whether it's Metal Demons or Aveh soldiers, and where they are. Confusion enough to let Jacqueline and her band slip into the jail.

The jail complex forms one of the larger prefab buildings on the site. Large and wrapped in concrete and steel, the prison is dark and dingy, with a long corridor running down a row of cells, a few smaller corridors branching off from the main one. At the moment, it's empty save for a handful of prisoners, many of them clearly bandits - the bandits who ambushed the Kinship during the escape from the Temple are here, or at least, those who made it out alive. There's also a small storage locker, where equipment can be found, including a certain pair of Mediums.

It takes a bit of exploring to find the right cell, just off the main corridor.

It would seem the occupant has been busy. The lone prison guard is sprawled near the cell door with his head against the bars. His face is gruesomely blackened and swollen, a deep rut encircling his throat, into which a makeshift garrote line has been dug.

On the other side, Catenna's kneeling against the bars and scowling, tense with thought, though the sound of movement through the prison has her looking up, suppressing her surprise as she realizes that who's coming is, in fact, not one of the guards.

The Kislevi jailers were nice enough to leave her with her armour. However, there's a large, angry bruise across her left cheek, about the right size for a fist, and a couple smaller ones visible on her stomach.

A quick search of the guard would reveal what happened here: Catenna choked out the guard, but he turned out to not be carrying the key to the cell.

In fact, he doesn't have any keys on him at all.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied has shifted to a more standard file as she proceeds into the prison, rather certain that the captors have known that this must be their ultimate objective. She spends time darting across the corners of hallways and sweeping them to ensure that it's clean-- but once they've arrived at their destination, it's rather clear that they aren't going to find a simple key by which they can release Catenna.

She stops in front of the Zortroan as she places her hand to her bar. "Miss Catenna, we're here to get you out," she expresses. She might not be the one she expects to find, but she's busy examining the lock as she looks down towards the guard. Perhaps she can already tell what happened to him.

"Miss Kourin, your ice -- and with Mister Ethius' fire..." she gestures to the lock, as she concentrates on keeping an eye on the prison systems and to ensure that no one's going to particularly alarm them to their jailbreak.

DG: Riesenlied has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Little Bird in a Cage.
<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin rushes forward. "Miss Catenna!" she says, urgently. "Thank...thank Celesdue you are all right!" She's not sure that's the right way to offer thanks to a Guardian, or whether Catenna would have been offended if she'd followed her first instinct and thanked Althena, but she thought better safe than sorry.

She nods to Riesenlied and sets about freezing the lock in a small but very cold ball of ice. It actually cools the room, cold radiating from it--she's serious about rescuing her friend.

DG: Kourin has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Little Bird in a Cage.
<Pose Tracker> Asteroid the Kid has posed.

Asteroid the Kid rides into Mordor.

She doesn't rush to the bars. "Kaguya isn't here..." She says. "Nghhaaahhh....Where is Kaguya??? Where is sheeeee?" Shestomps around and looks about but doesn't find Kaguya for obvious reasons. What she does find is a small storage area. Her eyes widen as she finds a box and some assorted bandit swag. She whistles faintly and opens up the box.

CATENNA'S GEAR FOUND

She comes dragging back all that stuff back. Sure, she could just steal Catenna's mediums, but that's cheating! And she doesn't use Rigdobrite so who cares???

"Hannh... no Kaguya. We have to find her."

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

Ethius is one of the last to go in there proper - he joins Riesenlied in the sweep. He seems to display a keen awareness of when an ARM's barrel may be pointed towards them, if any. Once he's in, and certain parties confirm the presence of someone most precious (thanks to Kourin's call, mostly)...

Out comes the lens again. One zap later and a view with it following, Ethius can confirm whether or not Catenna's cell door coincides with any mechanism, check for any complex traps that might have an activation outside of view (and where!), and otherwise stand around and look silly with a magical glowing light in his eye.

Every little bit of information doesn't hurt. Anything suspicious, he'll convey. As things trend towards Miss Riesenlied's ideas...

"I believe Miss Riese has the right of it," Ethius says as he stands by Kourin's and Spirit's sides. He turns over his shoulder towards Asteroid's lament. He... he has his priorities. Catenna needs to be removed, post-haste. He does not stop to consider the grisly sight of the fallen Kislevi guard.

He focuses, chanting forth the syllables and gesturing a hand as such to call forth the appropriate yield of heat, around the appropriate area, in which to work with Kourin to weaken the bars - rapid heating into rapid cooling will turn it brittle.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has used his Tool Spectral Lens toward his party's challenge, Little Bird in a Cage.
<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied bites her lip by the time she rounds back onto the other hallway and finds Asteroid lamenting -- and holds onto her shoulder as she reassures, "Matilda and I found Kaguya out in the desert yesterday. She's back at Wayside, safe... we'll take you to see her right after this, okay?"

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

The first thing Cyre notices is the guard passed out on the floor and Catenna behind him.

The second thing he notices are the bruises on her face and belly.

"Oh those bastards," the Baskar spits, "If I didn't think it'd just make things worse, I'd--"

Well. Probably best not mention what he'd do. Not with... One of THEM around.

No need to pass intel to the Metal Demons they don't need to hear right now, after all.

"You guys focus on the lock," Cyre says, pressing his hands together. "Catenna, we'll... We'll talk in a little bit, okay? I need to make sure that nobody hears us. Hold on..."

The priest whispers a prayer. A soft, rolling wave of air radiates from between his palms. As it passes, noise seem to grow muffled, as if something was somehow holding the air still, strangling the very sound out of it.

Hopefully that'll give them the cover they need to carve through this lock...

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Little Bird in a Cage.
<Pose Tracker> Asteroid the Kid has posed.

"......................................................................................What." Asteroid says.

ASTEROID PSYCHO 125

Asteroid breathes in a grainy breathe. "Its ok. Heh. Catenna needed saving too."

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

So...no sign of Kaguya, then. Jacqueline frowns slightly as she makes her way through the prison complex. No sign of Kaguya, and Catenna was...

...Just up ahead, apparently. She had been worried that they wouldn't find her, but relief floods into her as she finally catches sight of her friend.

She joins the others in the rush up to the bars.

"Oh, Catenna, what have they done to you...?" She murmurs. There's a flare of anger within her. How could they possibly treat an innocent person this way...?

Kislev...were they really this monstrous?

Kourin and Ethius are working on weaking the door, so while Jacqueline waits she passes as much as Catenna's equipment that will fit through the bars as she can - including her sword - as well as a healing potion - one of her more powerful ones.

"Still...I'm really glad to see you again...I was so worried..." Jacqueline's a little teary-eyed at this point, but she shakes it off and focuses on the situation at hand.

Unless Shalune decides to give it a bit of the Ol' Shalune Special, Jacqueline will be ready to smash it with an earth pillar once it's weakened enough.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Little Bird in a Cage.
<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

Shalune, on the other hand, is leaving the lock up to other people - instead, her attention has been captured by a little device stuck up in the corner of the ceiling, slowly rotating back and forth - and before it can sweep over the group and identify them, she's flung one of her scarves up to hang over and cover it.

"--um, you should watch for stuff like this," she calls, indicating the little box as it continues to bob back and forth. Sadly, she hasn't yet learnt from Devet how to l33t ha><or, so for the moment all she can do is ensure that it can't identify them for later. "They're like better versions of photographic cameras? They kinda keep watch, y'know, and spot anyone who shouldn't be there."

... but it is tempting to scavenge, as much as it might set off the alarm...

DG: Shalune Amira has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Little Bird in a Cage.
DG: Asteroid the Kid has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Little Bird in a Cage.
==========================<* Kislev Military Base *>==========================
===================<* CHALLENGE - Little Bird in a Cage *>====================
|Type: Climax      |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 You've made your way into the camp's rough, dark jail, really a               
 prefabricated building with cells lining either side of a corridor. With all  
 the guards outside and distracted by your earlier antics, it's easy enough    
 to find the prisoner you're seeking, and to raid the equipment locker where   
 the prisoners' belongings have been stashed - but the cell door itself is     
 locked, and you don't have a key. Surely it won't be long until the guards    
 return. There must be some way to open the cell without having a key on       
 hand.                                                                         
=Dungeon Conditions: Save Point===============================================
=====================<* Kislev Military Base - Round 5 *>=====================
=====================< Results - Little Bird in a Cage >======================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   19 --(4)--> 23                 Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          24 --(4)--> 28                 Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       21 --(5)--> 26                 Pass
Spectral Lens                       2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kourin                              21 --(6)--> 27                 Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shalune Amira                       20 --(6)--> 26                 Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyre H. Lorentz                     21 --(6)--> 27                 Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Asteroid the Kid                    22 --(4)--> 26                 Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Jacqueline Barber           85 --(5)--> 90                 Pass
Conditions: Save Point(1)|Tire(1)
Effects: Enlighten(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Jacqueline Barber has passed this challenge! The party gained 5 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

"Riesenlied?" Catenna says with a startled blink as she realizes who it is. The Metal Demon was the last person she expected to see after what happened at the Temple. "How did you--"

She quiets as she realizes that Riesenlied isn't alone. A touch of colour rises to her cheeks - well, the one that isn't hurt. Pushing to her feet, she rests her hands on the bars, giving them a little shake. Immediately her eyes flick towards Cyre; she nods, biting lightly to the inside of her cheek. "I tried to force the door but they took my Mediums when they first brought me here," she says with a shake of her head, gaze darting from face to face to --

To Rigdobrite-head. "...No," she says in quieter voice. "No, we were separated... I do not know where--" Riesenlied reveals where Kaguya is, and the moon priestess trails off.

Part of Catenna can't help but feel terribly small for her inability to escape on her own when Asteroid and Kaguya both did. Is she really that helpless without her Mediums?

Fortunately Astie's nice enough to rearm her. She takes the bundle of Mediums and supplies, buckling her belt back on and checking to make sure both Mediums are still there. They are. The sword's next; she clips it to her belt, turning her face away to conceal the fact that she's tearing up just a little.

The combination of spells proves potent. The cell door is no match for it; it crumples away from its hinges and slams against the floor. Catenna smiles faintly, holding her head low as she steps a bit unsteadily through the open cell.

"...Thank you," she says, and though it's simple, her heart is in it.

"We must hurry... they will find out what has happened soon."

DG: Jacqueline Barber has drawn a new Challenge.
==========================<* Kislev Military Base *>==========================
==================<* CHALLENGE - Actually Not a Barrelion *>==================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 As you escape the jail cells and burst out onto the tarmac just outside, a    
 sudden rumble of engine thrust fills the area. A massive Gear looms over      
 you, thick and squat, with a broad body, massive legs and a huge artillery    
 cannon - which is currently swiveling towards you! The Harquebus Mk. 10 may   
 be a mass-produced Gear, but it's a lot bigger than you are and carries a     
 lot of armour, and that massive gun doesn't look all that friendly - but      
 it's accompanied by a repair crew of men on foot riding outside the armour.   
 They seem to be the ones actually keeping the ponderous thing up and          
 running. Now if only all those artillery shells weren't coming your way....   
=Dungeon Conditions: Injure, Overwhelm========================================
<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Quickly, the team - now eight members strong, with Catenna reaching into her newly-returned belongings to pop a much-needed Heal Berry - backtracks through the cell and slips out into the open again.

"There they are! They've got one of the prisoners!" a mechanically-amplified voice shouts, echoing across the tarmac outside.

With a rumble of engine thrust, a hulking Gear slams down onto the paved area; there's enough sand strewn across it to kick up a billowing particle cloud. It's a Harquebus Mark 10, a heavy artillery Gear really consisting of a pair of huge stumpy legs, a torso, and a 680-millimetre smoothbore swinging aggressively atop that platform-like body. It also has a team of uniformed mechanics clinging to its sides, hastily managing repair kits as they try to clamber into position. Evidently the pilot just launched.

The Gear's weapon tracks towards the group, and it fires straightaway with a thunderous boom and a blinding muzzle flash. The sound of the shell alone is deafening, kicking up a blastwave - and then the shell arcs just overhead and slams into the turf behind the Kinship and Friends. Fire and pressure bloom from the explosion, another wave of sound buffeting the group.

With a gasp, Catenna's hurled to the ground, rolling away from the explosion. Her ears ring. Coming up to her knees, she looks towards the others with alarm.

The Harquebus pilot adjusts his aim again to track after Riesenlied. "So, the Metal Demons are attacking us in league with human traitors!" the pilot shouts angrily. "I'll make the rest of you a deal! Surrender the prisoners and the metal scum and I might let you live!"

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin doesn't bother to call an answer back to the pilot. She never banters, never insults, never allows such distractions while she's engaging in a life or death struggle. She is grim and determined. She focuses her magical energy, placing one hand on the ground and up forms a spire of ice...jagged and creaking, it grows into the form of a giant, glacial golem, lumbering forward to do battle with the Gear on an equal footing.

Kourin's pissed at what these people did to her friend.

DG: Kourin has used her Tool Rimebomb toward her party's challenge, Actually Not a Barrelion.
<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

At the last moment, just as she yanks her scarf down - the alarm blares, and the loudspeaker on the Gear outside calls for their capture. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, Shalune unlatches her telescoping slash and heaves her all into the blow - knocking the entire body of the camera down from its perch in the corner and catching it, wrapped up in her scarf.

Well, no sense letting a good bit of technology go to waste when she could research it instead.

The other hand automatically tugs her hat down far enough to mostly cover her face, as if that would somehow made her harder to identify - never mind that Jacqueline and Ethius are in full view, and never mind that they only have so many associates with waist-length pink hair and a backpack half her weight again.

"--who's the traitor?! You're the ones who attacked us out of the blue just for bein' near the Temple!" she blurts back from around the doorway, leaning out just enough to catch sight of the Gear and its pilot - and grinning at something else back there, as well. "Better watch out, though!"

Suddenly, one of the Gear's ankles buckles, nearly threatening to bring the craft to the ground; it isn't so much an attack as a collision, the shoulder of Big Shal driving into the Gear's left leg in a raucous blow. Parts of golem are flung away from the impact, and it's clear that Big Shal isn't much of a match - were it not for the way that the dislodged pieces immediately catch in the air, rotating around the golem in a whirlwind before re-setting themselves.

DG: Shalune Amira has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Actually Not a Barrelion.
<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

"I am sorry, but you will not take any of my friends here tonight," Riesenlied intones.

Riesenlied does not hesitate when she sees the assembled response -- and that silvered brooch that Ethius has seen when he nicked it from Old Petra is out at her hand, having been recently fitted with what appears to be a shimmering, multi-faceted gem of anomalous hue with the colours of the rainbow. In particular, it's flashing a mixture of red and purple, ranging from anxiety from one's well-being at this assault to a deep hatred for those that have escaped.

She holds the Dragon's Tear up, letting its shine shimmer with a gentle flow throughout the battlefield. An empathic field deploys as her wings unfurl, photonic motes shimmering and held aloft within the ambient air... and the thoughts and feelings of one another begin to carry gently -- letting them sense each other's needs, allowing them to coordinate their tactics quicker and more efficiently with one another, and to sense danger through the periphery of someone else's emotions.

It's like that one time with Ryudo and Elena, Cyre can note, except... well, hopefully without a lot more conflicting religious messages and clashing overtones. The CaraKin are a cohesive unit, singular and whole, after all.

Her voice echoes clearly, not spoken through lips, but emanated from within the mind:

Do not be afraid of the Gear. It is still operated by a human pilot. His attention can only be on so many things at once.

Shalune, you've the most concentrated firepower to bring a Gear to its knees -- let the others cover you while you do that.

Mister Cyre, Mister Ethius, your magics can cover a wide field -- please divert the Gear while the rest of us concentrate on the footsoldiers.

Let's focus and work together -- we can do this.

Let us bring Miss Catenna home.

DG: Riesenlied has used her Tool Dragon's Tear toward her party's challenge, Actually Not a Barrelion.
<Pose Tracker> Asteroid the Kid has posed.

Asteroid the Kid isn't a member of Carakin but even if she was, she'd be the wildcard! BECAUSE SHE CUT THE BRAKES.

As such Asteroid holds her Rigdobrite medium into the air. "Rigdobrite, Guardian of the Stars, grant me the power....to EXTEND!"

She glows brightly as a portal appears from above and sends a slew of meteors flying for the repair crew. This isn't particularly all she is aiming to do, however.

She rushes out after her assault, fully intent to leap onto the stand where the crew was (hopefully formerly) hanging off of and start hurriedly fucking with the internal mechanisms to try and sieze control of one of the legs through some hacked together looking device here. "You killed my cart!" She screams. "You killed my cart!!!"

DG: Asteroid the Kid has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Actually Not a Barrelion.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

Ethius stands there before the emerging Gear.

His heartrate doesn't elevate before the deafening blasts or the displaced air that should do more than just rustle his poncho and hair - thoroughly unintimidated, in spite of being outgunned. He is just an ordinary human being, woefully under-equipped compared to even the average Drifter. No ARM to speak of. Just a quarterstaff, some satchels of powder that explode when set, a strange lens that lets him see connections between devices, maybe a shiny rock or something, and not a whole lot else of note.

He stares at it, and the two mechanics there. Internally, thought processes deeply ingrained in his psyche work out the natures and limitations of its onboard weapon systems above and beyond the intimidating demonstration of just how much trouble they're all in.

"Let none of them live." Ethius says. At this juncture, even those who have shown softness and reticence towards taking a life must know the risks of having come here in the first place. Now, this is the reality they face. ...How can he still speak so calmly? Even the little electrical field can't possibly protect him from direct hits of any of this, can it?

He slams the butt of the quarterstaff into the ground, to snap everyone who has yet to act into focus. He's already chanting the incantation necessary to set the satchel he grabs with the other hand on the ready, wiggling his fingers appropriately, before throwing the whole thing into its... face.

Not only does the dust obscure, it has another function - it makes it absurdly difficult for any electrical aiming equipment, if any, to pierce the dust particles that float freely through the air. (The reverse is also true!)

"To allow them to walk free now, ensures your lives will be ensnared by their very will to wage war." Ethius continues after the fact. Riesenlied's tactical advice is met with a 'hm.' He seems keenly aware of where his specialties lie, as he chants anew.

His brow furrows - a rarity - giving way from stoicism to sheer aggression on intent, tossing off the restraints of composure as he slurs the respective syllables together. A face that Riesenlied may remember seeing through intel footage, from Operation Gungnir - the face that he put forth before he called sorcery on a grand scale upon Diablo.

His next spell is but a shot of pure, concentrated fury - channeling a mid-range heat spell upon mechanisms that have yet to fully cool down from their warning shots, enhancing its scale as to better cover a greater amount of area upon the machine in question.

A furious shot of overheating threatens to disable at least one of its weapons right then and there, possibly transferring its heat into violent explosions and cook-offs that could render the life of its pilot - or the stand-by mechanics - forfeit.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has used his Tool Powder Grenade toward his party's challenge, Actually Not a Barrelion.
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Cyre's ears are incredibly sensitive. This has upsides and downsides. On the plus side, he can hear guards, monsters, and annoying door-to-door missionaries coming long before they ever show up. On the minus, it hurts like a super bitch when anything resembling a flashbang goes off nearby. Or, you know, an artillery shell.

Cyre is launched into a painful tumble by the shockwave. His world briefly spins as he reorients himself. The only reason he isn't deaf right now is that a majority of the sonic pulse was soaked up by his personal silencing field.

But... Taking a gear to put down a prison break...?

Wow, that's kind of overkill, isn't it...?

But then a shimmering field washes over him. Something resounds in his head. Something familiar.

It makes the hair on the back of his neck stand up.

I really don't need visitors setting up shop in my brain.

I'd really suggest stepping back before something bad happens.

Cyre makes his way towards Catenna, trying to steady her with a light grasp around her shoulder. Amidst the silence, he lifts his Gale Claw-- Fengalon's Medium-- as if to say 'you know what I'm thinking, right?'

He glares up at the Gear, a gloved hand reaching out as if to crush it in his grasp. Suddenly the pressure around the Harquebus doubles, quadruples, octuples. Oxygen builds in vast quantities. The air grows increasingly volatile, increasingly heavy. Heavier and heavier it presses down from each and every direction all at once.

If Catenna joins in with her own magic, the crushing force would be devastating.

And combined with Ethius' fire magic... Well. Oxygen burns really nicely, doesn't it?

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Actually Not a Barrelion.
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

The shockwave nearly knocks Jacqueline off her feet. She looks up, temporarily horrified at the sight of the humongous machine looming before them.

How were they going to deal with something like this...? Her panic lasts only a moment.

They needed to deal with this. They needed to deal with this if they wanted to bring everyone home safely.

"You're the human traitors!" Jacqueline calls out, pointing dramatically. It was too late for stealth or trying to hide her identity, anyway.

"Imprisoning and firing on innocents for no crime greater than being at the wrong place at the wrong time, including a sick, dying girl, harming Catenna even though she was already imprisoned...your behavior up to this point has been reprehensible! I turn it back on you - surrender now, show us that there is still a scrap of humanity left within you!"

But then she hears Ethius speak and whirls on him with a glare.

"What!? No! I refuse!" She shouts. "I'm not lowering myself to their level! If they don't have to die, then leave them alive!"

He was using that on a piloted vehicle? It was true that was probably their best bet...but...

She should've known he might do something like this...but it was too late to stop it.

She rushes in, brandishing a Crest. She hurls a bottle of repellant toward the mechanics - and if that's not enough to drive them, she invokes pillars of earth in an attempt to send them flying.

It'd hurt, but significantly less than being caught in Ethius's spell.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has used her Tool Reliable Repellant toward her party's challenge, Actually Not a Barrelion.
==========================<* Kislev Military Base *>==========================
==================<* CHALLENGE - Actually Not a Barrelion *>==================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 As you escape the jail cells and burst out onto the tarmac just outside, a    
 sudden rumble of engine thrust fills the area. A massive Gear looms over      
 you, thick and squat, with a broad body, massive legs and a huge artillery    
 cannon - which is currently swiveling towards you! The Harquebus Mk. 10 may   
 be a mass-produced Gear, but it's a lot bigger than you are and carries a     
 lot of armour, and that massive gun doesn't look all that friendly - but      
 it's accompanied by a repair crew of men on foot riding outside the armour.   
 They seem to be the ones actually keeping the ponderous thing up and          
 running. Now if only all those artillery shells weren't coming your way....   
=Dungeon Conditions: Injure, Overwhelm========================================
=====================<* Kislev Military Base - Round 6 *>=====================
====================< Results - Actually Not a Barrelion >====================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   23 --(11)--> 34                Pass
Reliable Repellant                  2   Combat  Effects: Embolden             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          28 --(8)--> 36                 Pass
Dragon's Tear                       3   Combat  Effects: Fanfare              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       26 --(8)--> 34                 Pass
Powder Grenade                      3   Combat  Effects: Fanfare              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kourin                              27 --(11)--> 38                Pass
Rimebomb                            3   Combat  Effects: Rally                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shalune Amira                       26 --(16)--> 42                Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyre H. Lorentz                     27 --(11)--> 38                Pass
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Asteroid the Kid                    26 --(14)--> 40                Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Jacqueline Barber           90 --(30)--> 120               Pass
Conditions: Injure(2)|Overwhelm
Effects: Embolden(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Jacqueline Barber has successfully explored Kislev Military Base!
==========================<* Kislev Military Base *>==========================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Intact Gears *>========================
|Type: Discovery   |Dungeon Ability: Conclusion|Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 As the Harquebus Mk. 10 falls to the tarmac, an alarm klaxon goes off         
 somewhere else in the base. Kislev knows something's going on, now, and the   
 base begins to mobilize to confront you. Fortunately, the Harquebus seems to  
 still have some juice in it; you could reboot it and get it running again     
 with a little bit of effort. And a few more unoccupied Gears sit in the       
 shadow of a neighbouring hangar, hatches open and engines running as though   
 waiting for someone to jump in. It might be a few minutes before Kislevi      
 troops get into their cockpits.                                               
                                                                               
 Now is a golden opportunity to jump in the Gears and get out before Kislev    
 catches up to you!                                                            
                                                                               
 OOC: Congratulations! You may each file a +request to repair these Gears and  
 get them ready for a fight, if you wish.                                      
=Dungeon Conditions: Treasure=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Riesenlied's voice whispers in the group's mind. They know what needs to be done, and with the aid of the Ebony Wings' commander, the Kinship and their friends execute.

The Harquebus pilot wasn't expecting to have to tangle with something its own size. "The hell's that?!" he shouts, lunging back and blasting at it with the Gear's massive cannon - but even that leap is suddenly encumbered.

Down on one knee, Catenna bows her head over her Medium, murmuring in her own language as she lets Celesdue's gravity go to work for the first time in days. The Gear creaks with extra weight as it struggles to move normally, only for the ice golem and Big Shal to slam violently into it. With a shout, the pilot attempts to correct, cannon swinging skyward and firing reflexively.

The repair team scrambles across the Harquebus, struggling to keep up with the hull damage. Their efforts mostly come to naught, though - mainly because Ethius delivers a fiery blast that simply burns them off the hull. Repairmen fall to the ground and stagger away, most of them screaming and in various states of on fire. A few more escape the fire, but they're lobbed into the air by Jacqueline's pillars of earth and driven off by the splatter of the repellent.

Catenna tightens her own magical grip just as Cyre takes ahold of her and brings his magic into play - and the three spells coalesce together. Air itself ignites into a billowing, contracting implosion - and part of the Harquebus's hull crumples inward. Something at the back of the cannon's loader explodes, spraying chunks of metal out the back of the machine to dance across the tarmac.

Big Shal delivers the coup de grace. The huge mechanoid slams its big metal fist into the Harquebus's torso - and it hits in just the right place--

> EJECT PUNCH

"HOW IS THIS A THING," shrieks the pilot as he's violently ejected from the Harquebus. He sails through the air and crashes headlong into the roof of the jail.

Catenna looks on, unconsciously curling into Cyre's protective arm and winding her own around his waist. Her eyes close for a moment as she catches her breath. "...Unpleasant business," she murmurs.

An alarm klaxon has kicked in by now. Fortunately, the Harquebus is still running despite the smoke billowing from its hull and from its cannon loader - and a few more Gears of more conventional configuration sit nearby, just waiting to be taken.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied's eyes widen as she feels that sweltering sensation -- she stares towards Ethius for a moment... no, she doesn't exactly have to stare at him, she just... senses that unbridled sensation of rage and intent, when he cast his fury down upon Diablo. One has to wonder what drives such a man towards such fervent aggression, even in the wake of missing memories -- it must be a deeply rooted belief, to have survived such beyond cognisant thought and become ingrained in memory.

She wonders if she'll ever be able to reach the Shamans. Perhaps in time... perhaps with more discussion and dialogue. But not right now.

She grimaces as she lets the Shamans do their work, and holds onto her throat-mic:

"Jedan, Sedam, Formation 7S -- harrangue their backup troops with a bullet curtain.

Devet, I can use your assistance with a Gear down here."

True to form, a pink-haired girl sweeps down on an even less impressive Dragon as she starts typing away madly at a keyboard and cackling just for a moment -- and leaps onto one of the open Gear's cockpits as she exclaims, "I have control, ma'am! Let's go!"

She glances to the others. "Take the other Gears! We'll have much of a better chance making it through the desert on Gear than on foot!"

For her own part, she takes up residence on her own Dragon -- the rotund onion that goes 'Muniiii' -- as it flies by and sweeps her off her feet and onto its round back.

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

Ethius takes off running, walking past Big Shal and a fiery, damaged Harquebus that could collapse on him at any time. Riesenlied may remember seeing this of Ethius, too, during Adlehyde - a certain fearlessness, or some comfort, in walking and weaving through huge stompy metal constructs that could flatten him to paste with an errant twitch, or burn him to a crisp just getting too close to jet exhaust.

Too far. Too far away for his conventional spellcasting, he sees one escaping technician.

He picks up the handgun ARM dropped by the pilot whose cranium hit the ceiling in a swift, slick motion in his left hand. Ethius has never been seen to hold a gun before by anyone... but there he is, right now, holding it with a comfort he should not.

He points it outward, grip straight, as his eyes narrow. He controls his breathing, eyes narrowing. The lick of flame and floating dust will not distract him, even as the flitting haze of heat distorts it.

If Jay wants to stop Ethius from taking a life here and now - or anyone else for that matter - they must act now before he takes the shot.

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin climbs into one of the gears, with Spirit somehow keeping up with her and leaping into the cockpit shortly behind her.

We don't ask how he does it.

"H-how do I operate this...device?"

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline's eyes flash, and she reaches into her bags for a bottle of bright orange liquid. She doesn't consider whether or not she's seen him using an ARM - she doesn't have time to. Right now, she just sees what he has planned, and aims to stop it.

That earth pillar Crest is invoked, putting a wall of stone between the technician and Ethius.

"ETHIUS!" She yells, hurling the bottle at the arm carrying the...well, ARM. If he doesn't move in time the bottle will break upon impact with it, splattering him and his weapon. It'll soak into the ARM and gum up the works, at least until the liquid's effects wear off.

"We'll talk about this later, but we need to leave! Now!" She shouts, pointing in the direction of the Gears.

She won't budge until he does, even though the area is starting to get somewhat dangerous.

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Maybe someday, Riesenlied. Maybe... Someday. Not now, though. There's too much baggage there-- too many stories. The wounds of history, the scars of fear and loathing, these things run deep.

But right now, they don't need to worry about that.

Right now, they need to get the hell out.

Cyre lifts once he's sure Catenna's found a strong grip, helping her back up to her feet. He... then goes one step further, lifting her up into a definitively bridal-style carry. "Hold on tight," he says as he breaks into a run towards the hangar full of gears just as the klaxon begins to scream. "Hey Catenna," he says, making his way over to a pair of machines, "Important question. Really important."

There's a pregnant pause.

"...Do you know how to pilot one of these things...?"

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

Ethius pulls the trigger. For not understanding how much recoil the gun itself ought to have, he holds it steady for having a one-hand grip - barely flinching from it, as gunsmoke fills the air to a tell-tale bang.

His eyes widen.

A spark of light marks where the pillar rises in the nick of time to block the shot, ricocheting the bullet upwards and away from any harm as the orange liquid splashes about his hand and the gun in question. It drops to the ground in a clatter as he turns around swiftly to face the merchant who seems insistent on maintaining a lack of body count. His expression is... unreadable.

He follows Jacqueline's pointing following her pointed gaze, jogging off to an unoccupied Gear. As he passes by, he looks on up to see that Kourin is already in the cockpit, which he stands and looks upon for longer than he ought to.

Someone has grounds for him to shout at him to get moving again after two seconds of this, and he does so - nimbly helping himself inside a cockpit, where he quietly seems uncertain about how specifically to operate it.

"I am uninitiated in its operation," Ethius says, which is the closest thing anyone will ever hear of him whining (BUT IT SO COUNTS AS THAT NO MATTER HOW SEEMINGLY DEADPAN THE DELIVERY, HOLD HIM TO THIS). Looking from the outside in, he could figure out the way its weapons work, but this same skill... doesn't seem to translate the other way around.

Intuition can only bring him so far, in this case, but eventually he'll get it moving and call to the rest how.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Blinking up towards Riese, Catenna nods simply, offering a quiet "Thank you" to the woman - whatever Riese may have done, it hasn't reduced the warmth Catenna holds towards her. She's a friend, and she came to help. "Please be safe, Riesenlied."

But what's happening with Ethius quickly grabs her attention - the man seemingly about to take a life. Tightening her hand, she makes ready a spell if she needs it - as odd as it would be to do so to one of her rescuers. But Jacqueline seems to have him well in hand. "There is no need for this," she urges with a shake of her head. "We must go. We cannot stay and take more lives... there is no justification for--"

Suddenly, Cyre acts.

Catenna gasps as Cyre sweeps her off her feet and carries her along. Wide-eyed, she looks up at him, instinctively looping her arms around his shoulders because that's what you do in this kind of a carry. "C-Cyre...?" she asks, and there's no missing the brilliant blush scorching across her cheeks as the wind shaman hustles the two of them over to the waiting Gears.

"No, I... I have no idea how to fly one," she admits. "I do not know what I would even do with one.

"...Perhaps the two of us can... figure it out together...?"

<Pose Tracker> Asteroid the Kid has posed.

Asteroid the Kid laughs heartily as she manages to subert the controls. She crawls up tthe structure with her hands and feet, spraying a small container of foam at the fire and periodically stomping at them with her feet. This takes her some time and doesn't care enough about these people to try and stop Ethius. She may not be ready for Carakin duty...but who knows? She at least is the type to take care of her own.

She prefers a damaged gear. She can fix it. She can make it better. She can make it cute. She digs into the pilot controls and fucks with the wiring before kicking the panel shut with her foot.

"Ne he heh..." Asteroid chuckles and flips on the speakers. "TESTING TESTING ONE TWO THREE." Asteroid's eyes glow widely as she adds. "Carakin...! I won't forget this, hehhehh...you helped save my friends, both of them it seems! I owe you one..."

She will then start stomping away in the gear. "I'll see you in Wayside soon neehee, it's the perfect place for me, hee!"

She has some stops first. The gear lumbers in the way, occasionally firing the remains of its ammo reserves as it departs the field.

ELSEWHERE, BUT NEARBY

A very large man of 8 feet tall sits in his desert rover, looking at what looks like might be a Lunie-Detector but it isn't a Lunie-Detector. The faint blips indicating location refers to someone else entirely.

<"Hmph... Not bad, kid, but I can tell you're gonna be one difficult test subject."> He pushes the glasses up his nose, speaking a strange language unknown to most surface dwellers.

His glasses flash faintly. "Dr. ??????? may want you free for now..." He murmurs to himself. "But what he put inside you can't be allowed to fall in the hands of any army."

He rides off, but remains not too far away.

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

"...Yeah," Cyre nods at the priestess in his arms, "Let's take it slow. We'll... Figure it out as we go, right?"

Fade to black

...

......

FIVE MINUTES LATER

"This isn't too hard," Cyre says as he takes another step. "I think I might be a natu--"

The gear's foot catches on a gear.

...And promptly pitches forward into a terrible roll. Oh noooo

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

The whole time, Jacqueline keeps her eyes on Ethius. Ethius's expression may be unreadable, but hers was not - anger and disapproval is clear on her face. She doesn't say anything further, instead, once she's certain that Ethius won't just turn around and try and finish off the escaping technician with Sorcery.

Once that's done she hurries to the Gears along with the others, climbing into one of them as well. She hasn't been in the interior of a Gear before, but this...it felt almost like being in the seat of the Carakin once again. She shuts her eyes and grips the controls.

"...Alright, everyone, we've done what we came here to do. Let's get out of here." She transmits, and begins to move the Gear forward.

"Let's go home, together."

'Home' at this point was Wayside. They'll likely move on it from it before too long...but it had done much for them since they first found their way there.

She wouldn't forget it.