"Atticus, I think you should just try to remain calm. I know that the situation is very stressful, but being stressed, will only make your injuries worsen. How about you just relax, and let me help you. Follow me."
Atticus slightly resisted Aleister's suggestion, but Aleister forced him down slight.
"Now then, what seems to be the problem? Judging by the nature of the bruise, your stomach got hit by one of those shards. It's possible that you have suffered some bleeding from the impact. Do you have any other injuries I should know about?" Aleister asked
"Uh, I think that's all I got. Damien's heater I built makes a pretty decent shield!" Atticus chuckled only to couch over in pain. "Damn, how fast was that shard moving?" Atticus said, discreetly trying to do the math in his head.
Faunra walked over Conrad and then Etrius who then swiped out with a talon, sparks temporarily lighting the room. He seemed embarrassed, and then Caedis walked over, putting her hand on her shoulder. To Atticus, it slightly looked out of character, but oddly enough felt right. Aleister was applying something to null the pain of Atticus's bruise, when suddenly a loud roar shook the town, the very frame of the house shaking at it's force. Prail? And if Prail was still alive... Atticus quickly hauled himself.
"Conrad, is there anyway to get lighting in here."
Conrad, his breathing now regular, searched across the dark wall. "I could've sworn there was a gas switch right-" Conrad was cutoff as a small fwume noise was heard, a number of Bunsen burners lit. The cellar looked more like a lab than basement, a number of unfinished projects, test tubes, gears, and other material lying around. Conney stood against a wall, silently brooding next to a gas switch, drowning out the rest of the group's conversation with the sound of the storm. On the wall was the picture of the mining woman he'd seen in pictures in the workshop and the once safe living room upstairs. She was currently standing next to a small bluish-greenish fluff ball and a little girl. In the corner, Atticus noticed what looked like a small garden, a number of watering and fertilizing mechanisms around it. Atticus would've normally taken a moment to admire this, but the gears in his head were currently spinning on something else. Atticus spoke, trying to keep his voice calm.
"Alright, listen. That storm is deadly. Anyone who wants to pin a badge on me and call me Captain Obvious can kindly go ahead. But-" Another scream rang out, and Atticus snapped.
"I can't fucking sit back and let this happen! This is one of the very reasons I'm climbing the tower. To control shit like this." Atticus said, the sound of crashing and screaming coming from outside. Atticus winsed and walked over to Etrius, still slightly shaken. "Listen, I know of your people's struggle and I can see how much this pains you. So you must help me put a stop this." Atticus plead, reaching into his belt. He pulled out a small brass device, a number of gauges, dials, and other strange do-dads that were unrecognizable.
"Faunra, I think you already know what this is." Atticus said laying the Elemental Predominanting Tool on the table. "That thing right there was designed to create storms, volcanic eruptions, and other weather anomalies. I've reverse engineered it, stop them...or, at least that's the idea. Never got a chance to test it..." Atticus said, looking over to a pile of metal sheets on the wall.
"It needs to be triggered slightly above the clouds near the center of the storm, to take effect. I'll need to be out there to calculate the best possible point to activate it and Etrius, you're the only one capable of getting it up there, precisely where it should be. I can armor us up a bit and Aleister, perhaps you can help us out somehow. I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but we have to do something. I've been watching clouds move and the progression of the storm. It won't be stopping anytime soon, at least on its own. Will you help me?" Atticus plead to the group.
Etrius broke his contact with Caedis and took a deep breath. He stood and looked Atticus right in the eye.
"I will stop this storm. You can rely on me." He said, his voice positively booming with determination.
He would not let a storm, a harpy, a dragon, or anything else stop him. He would not fail again, not with lives in the balance. He felt a new fire inside him, spreading from his chest to the rest of his body. His confidence could be felt by the others in the room, and despite their feelings, they knew Etrius would see this through.
The startling noise from Prail caused Cecilia to stumble falling forward, and still running. It looked downright insane as if she was surfing along the waves upon a board. Ghostly phantom legs put imprints in to the snow beneath her.
Cecila was both shocked and glad with the fact she was still running and no one could see her face filled with surprise. Quickly righting herself she resumed following the others and looked back and at the ice falling.
Throughout the entirety of the conversation, Aleister had been applying a cold salve to the bruise on Atticus's stomach; hoping that it would make the pain of the injury, alot more to bear with for the time being. It was then that Atticus snapped, causing Aleister to step back a bit in a slight shock.
"I can't fucking sit back and let this happen! This is one of the very reasons I'm climbing the tower. To control shit like this." He then pulled out a small brass instrument, it possessed various strange gauges, dials, and other mechanical paraphernalia. He then went on to explain what the device was.
"That thing right there was designed to create storms, volcanic eruptions, and other weather anomalies. I've reverse engineered it, stop them...or, at least that's the idea. Never got a chance to test it..." Atticus then explained his plan.
"It needs to be triggered slightly above the clouds near the center of the storm, to take effect. I'll need to be out there to calculate the best possible point to activate it..., and Aleister, perhaps you can help us out somehow. I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but we have to do something. I've been watching clouds move and the progression of the storm. It won't be stopping anytime soon, at least on its own. Will you help me?" Aleister then stood up, and gave his opinion on the matter.
"Yes, your right Atticus. Activating it at the exact centre of the storm, should alter the weather current. And also, right on, Captain Obvious." Aleister remarked, agreeing with the engineer for one moment. then changing to a slight sarcastic tone, finishing off with a mock salute, and a cheeky smile.
"You do know that this could be a suicide mission?" As for what I could do to help, I suppose, with enough wind magic, I could create a shield, that should protect us from the ice storm. It could also be used, to give Etrius a boost in terms of flight speed." He then turned to Faunra, a pained expression on his face, he spoke to her in private.
"Look, Faunra, I want you to stay here, and look after the others whilst I'm out. Its just, I don't want to see you come to harm in all this. I'm sorry."
Prail was still running before something caught her attention. It was a mix of a burning smell, resonances of so many metals and the slight sense of luck you hadn't exploded yet.
I SENSE SCIENCE!!!
Guess she really could recognise a lab anywhere in the universe.
The house she'd entered wasn't one she recognised but a burst of birds soon had the place scouted out.
Arriving in the lab was aghast, she had no idea anyone outside of her civilisation was this advanced.
She hadn't been a proper engineer for too long. She didn't even notice the room was occupied. As far as she was concerned she was alone with the equipment.
She flitted quickly (well for a creature that didn't get much faster than not very fast most of the time) from thing to thing already mentally making notes for improvements trying to figure out what everything was.
Aleister pulled Faunra aside, an expression of conflict on his face. "Look, Faunra, I want you to stay here, and look after the others whilst I'm out." He said. She tried to protest immediately, defiance on her face, but he held up has hand and continued. "Its just, I don't want to see you come to harm in all this... I'm sorry." he finished, a look of calm control replacing his look of anguish.
"No." Faunra replied, unwilling to budge on the issue. Aleister seemed ready to continue his arguments, but Faunra cut him off. She spoke louder than was truly necessary. "I may not have wind magic or weather machines or angelic wings, but I'm not going to just let any of you risk yourselves while I just sit here and hide. I lost my first family, I'm not losing a second." she said, her piercing green eyes displaying her resolve. "I know your worried about me, but I can handle myself. Besides, I'm not about to let you just leave me." she whispered into his ear. "You want me to stay behind: look me in they eye and say you would be safer without me." She finished, aloud.
Her argument complete, she spun on her feet and started to look around for something to use as a shield.
Caedis grinned after hearing Faunra's reply to whatever Aleister said and from what she could gather it seemed that he wanted her to stay in the safety of the basement. It was good hearing that her resolve far outweighed her desire for safety and Caedis showed her approval by ripping off one of the round, metal top off of a boiler. It was a good size and it seemed like it could take a fair share of punishment.
"Faunra!" Caedis called out. She handed her the metal top after securing it with a leather belt so it would be easier to hold. "You might need this."
"I'm coming as well. We're all in this together after all." Caedis announced.
"No." Faunra replied with in loud protest, not wanting to flinch on the problem. He tried to continue his argument, but he was cut off at the last second, as Faunra continued her 'argument' with him.
"I may not have wind magic or weather machines or angelic wings, but I'm not going to just let any of you risk yourselves while I just sit here and hide. I lost my first family, I'm not losing a second. She said, those beautiful, deep green eyes showing off both her willingness to help, and her overall courage and determination. Aleister felt visibly touched by the whole 'family' comment. It was then, that Faunra whispered something into his ear.
"You want me to stay behind: look me in they eye and say you would be safer without me." She ended her argument aloud, attracting the tension of the others. It was then that she pivoted on her feet, and started looking for anything to use as a suitable shield. Aleister wasn't stunned at all by her argument, as a matter of fact, he was expecting it. He then chuckled to himself briefly, then made a mental comment to himself.
"Now, that, is what I found so interesting about you Miss Scarlet. Your rock hard determination, warms my heart greatly. Besides, I don't think I could actually accomplish what I am going to do, without you by my side."
Aleister then gave a cocky little smile, and folded his arms. He then spoke to Faunra, catching her slightly off guard.
"Okay Faunra, you can come. Just uh, stay by me okay? After all, wouldn't want you to get hurt." He then gave a sly wink towards her direction, as she caught a makeshift shield from Caedis. He then walked towards her, stopping behind her, and spoke to her quietly.
"You know Faunra, I was going to ask you to come anyway. After all, I need some encouragement." Aleister then gave her a playful pat on the back, and a rather charming smile; both of which may, or may not have her blush slightly for a moment.
Atticus grinned at the group.
"Well, glad to see we're all in agreement here. Not that I'm that surprised." Atticus said, still grinning at the group of badasses in front of him. "Okay, Etrius. Though I'm more than sure that Aleister's spell will protect you, I'll whip up some light armor for you, easy as that. Better safe than sorry."
"Here's the game plan. I get out there and adjust the EPD accordingly, you guys will have to keep my covered for the most part. This device is extremely sensitive and advanced and will take a bit of time to calibrate. I hand it off to Etrius, who muscles through the storm, and then we all hold hands and simply hope the damn thing works." Atticus said, picking up the device and walking over to the window, shards still raining down outside. They seemed to be getting faster.
"I've learned that creating a storm from mostly scratch is quite easy. Stopping a fully raging one, on the other hand, is a more difficult matter."
Veritas held up the small snow canopy he'd created, Damien in the rear slashing at ice shards. Cecilia flicked away shards with her ghost limbs, and Zavier slashed with his sword. They were all too busy, trying stay alive, that they didn't notice Prail break away from the group. Zavier finally took a quick glance back and saw that the lallow was gone.
"Wait, where's Prail?" Veritas asked, alarm in his voice. Damien quickly looked back at the rest of the party. "We can't worry about her now, I feel the storm intensifying. Damien yelled, swiping away more shards. The joints of his suit were gradually freezing, but Damien muscled through, mostly oblivious to the change. He was getting slower as well.
Cecilia took a look at Damien, and noticed the ice spreading across his armor.
Meanwhile, a man with pointy ears, spiky hair, and a strange vest walked through a long hallway, full of others who wore the same vest. They all saluted the man spiky haired was following, quickly chanting"Long live the Empire!" Spiky haired was following a larger pointy eared, imposing man in armor, who listened to all he had to say.
"We're still trying to save as many people as we can, but the enemy forces are bringing on the hurt at full force. They're planning something big, the change in their movements have hinted that for years now, but I believe they're finally making their move."
The armored man looked straight ahead, and spoke with a thick voice.
"We've had our suspicions for some time now, their sudden change in movements and attack patterns being the most prevalent hints. But we cannot worry about that too severely; right now we have to worry about the town. Focus all troops to streets, but remember to avoid direct contact. Earlier tonight, we had a pretty significant leak, one of the lead miners and his wife were attacked, but we managed to stop any serious casualties. However, we failed to alter his memory effectively, he still remembers seeing the enemy and more importantly, our scouts. Two other civilians, travelers I believe, were nearly assaulted because of this leak, a number of others injured by these two trying to protect themselves, thus emphasizing why we must not reveal ourselves. The people are not ready. Our reveal would only lead to madness, even if we are trying to protect them."
"Understood sir, orders are already being relayed tot the scouts."
The two walked into the lab.
"Excellent. Now, what was this new weapon you wanted to sho-" The armored man stopped, and spiky haired stared at the horned creature in the room, with slight horror. Prail was too enthralled in the technology to notice them.
"We-we have a breach! I repeat, we have breach! Oh-man, oh man, oh man, this place was cloaked! How could they have gotten in? How did they find this place?! That means they can see through our stealth now-" Instantly, every scout in the area knew one of their strongholds had been infiltrated, but continued on with their missions, waiting for an order.
"To all scouts, we have the situation handled. Continue you with your assignments." The armored man said, running up to lallow and slamming it against a wall. He stared at the lallow for some time.
"You don't appear to be one of those accursed snow monkeys...Intelligence now! What am I looking at?" The armored man barked, waiting for a response from spiky haired. Spiky haired stood there, as if he were focusing a far away thought. He then relaxed a bit, but was still appeared slightly horrified.
"I believe its name is 'Prail.'"
Looking at Damien's armor, Cecilia shouted both mystified at how this was possible "sweat+cold=?" came up in her mind but she shouted anyways.
"Your armor is freezing up! We need to get out of here!" Looking around to see where Prail went her head seemed to split briefly as she closed one eye, and she truly for a moment had an eye at the back of her head, attached to another head. Despite the ice fall, she managed to see a trail of Prail's foot prints leading to..?
"Your armor is freezing up! We need to get out of here!"
"If it comes to it, leave me here. I can survive, for a while at least.This simple storm will not stop me if I don't allow it."
They continued to run, what else was there to do with ice falling from the sky, bursting through buildings, impaling people only for them to turn to ice as well. He himself was almost hit by one of the flying icicles, but was able to deflect it with his shield, unfortunately it instead hit his helmet, opening up the wound from his sword again. A thin stream of blood began falling down his armor, freezing as it went, but continuing on simply because of the constant stream.
He was slowing, not that he would admit it, but he needed to find shelter. For both himself and his group. There was nothing that he was going to let slow him down. He was once the smaller of the two Mountains of Dakesh, but he was still a Mountain, this storm was little more than a light hail, it could not harm him.
"Okay Faunra, you can come. Just uh, stay by me okay? After all, wouldn't want you to get hurt." Aleister said, a sly look in his eye. She sighed a little: she appreciated his worry, but she could handle herself.
"Faunra! You might need this."
The sound of her name caught Faunra's attention. She spun to find Caedis tossing her a metal and leather slab. Faunra caught the makeshift shield Caedis had crafted, giving her a quick nod in thanks.
Aleister then moved in closer. "You know Faunra, I was going to ask you to come anyway. After all, I need some encouragement." he whispered in her ear, trying to be playful. A pat on her back soon followed. "That's it" she thought.
Faunra turned on her heels, bringing the metal slab to the ready, and under his chin. With her other hand, she drew her dagger and placed the pommel of her dagger lightly into his stomach. She leaned in closer to the swordsman and responded. "I like you and I understand your worry, but I don't need your "permission". What more, don't patronize me; I'll be doing far more than "encouragement"." she finished, her annoyance clear. She withdrew her dagger back into her sheath and lowered the shield. She moved her hand to Aleisters back and squeezed.
"And that was for the pat." she finally whispered in his ear, her trademarked smirk on her face.
Gritting her teeth, and snapping her head back forgetting about Prail, "Armored sir, how good is your armor, and can you protect your exposed bits?"
Her voice was as cold as the air around her, but a crazy idea formed in her head. She didn't exactly know the people around her and Cecilia briefly wondered why she was going to be sticking out a limb, if not several for the armored man here.
Aleister could suddenly feel a cold piece of metal underneath his chin, and the pommel of Faunra's dagger pressed lightly into his stomach. She then leaned in closer and responded, a faint look of anger in her eyes.
"I like you and I understand your worry, but I don't need your 'permission'. What more, don't patronize me; I'll be doing far more than 'encouragement." He could then feel a slight tense sensation in his posterior. All he could do was cough slightly. Faunra removed the shield from under his chin, and returned the dagger to its sheath. She concluded with her trademark smirk, before whispering something in his ear.
"And that was for the pat." Aleister chuckled to himself slightly, before remarking about what just happened.
"You certainly are a bit of a minx aren't you Faunra. And that's what I like about you. Your cunning and devious nature, makes you all the more irresistible. Come with me, I wish to apologise in private, away from these prying eyes." He then lead Faunra to a out of the way place in the cellar, out of sight from the others.
"Look Faunra, I apologise about what I said earlier. I didn't mean to be patronizing, its just I care too much about you, to see yourself get hurt. You mean quite a lot to me." Aleister said in a sympathetic voice. He then carried on, putting an arm around her shoulders.
"And your right, you don't need wind magic, or an all powerful weather machine, or angelic wings to survive this endeavour. You already possess the strength, skill, and determination to stave off anything that life throws against you. And your right, I wouldn't be any safer without you, in fact, I would more likely die. So what do you say, how about we go out there, and show that ice storm, what we can do together." Aleister spoke in a complimentary tone, and then gave Faunra, a loving hug.
"...how about we go out there, and show that ice storm, what we can do together." Aleister finished, before pulling her into an embrace. Faunra responded in kind.
"Good." She said, holding him close. "And for the record, I don't want to lose you either. I... can't lose you." she finished, a tear breaking her composure. She held the embrace longer, finding comfort in it. Faunra wished she could stay in this moment forever, but she knew such a desire was unreasonable. "We need to get moving. every second we wait, someone else loses someone they care for." Despite her words, she selfishly held the embrace a few more seconds before reluctantly breaking it.
Their embrace complete, the two made to return to the rest of the group. Faunra found herself wishing she could say and do more, but the situation demanded greater haste than such actions afforded. She silently prayed to the gods she spent so much time cursing that there would be time later.
As they rounded the corner back into the main room, Faunra had regained her composure. "Right. So what are we waiting for?" she asked of the group as a whole. "Lets end this storm, save the town, and be big goddamn heroes."
Prail counted the ways she could have turned this around. Now there was impalement, she had claws if she was being kind and a thagomizer if she wasn't. Of course that was if she fancied the direct approach. Otherwise she has over twenty venoms on tap to choose from.
Then of course there was a sonic attack, reckoned in these enclosed space she could put out a few hundred decibels no way was her opponent standing up to that.
And that wasn't even counting everything around the room she could make explode or would otherwise be dangerous.
But no points this person was apparently in charge and might even have some information.
Now to prove her intelligence.
With her free hand she began to tap out a pattern.
2 taps then 3 followed by 5 and 7 before finishing with 11.
Hopefully they'd recognise the sequence.
Running through the ice barrage, Stonefuse made his way to the library, only to run into the group midway. Most people being either dead or under some shelter, the group was the only one to still be moving around on the city streets. In front, Damien was both hacking and slashing at the icicles and blocking them with his shield. In the back, Zavier, Veritas and an unknown female were taking shelter beneath an awning that Veritas seemingly created.
So as not to confuse him for an ice shard or statue that was in the way, Stonefuse yelled to Damien. "Damien! Over here!"
Reaching the group, Stonefuse immediately molded the heating unit to Damiens armor. "Your armor seems to be freezing. Seems Atticus didn't make this thing for nothing."
Without further explanation, raising his arms over Damien, he continued. "We must hurry. Everyone gathered back at Conrads house. It's damaged, but it has a cellar that is relatively safe."
With nothing more to add, Stonefuse started following the path back to Conrad's place, turning around every so often to check if everyone was behind him.
Stonefuse attached some kind of unit onto Damien's back. At first he was slightly miffed that the golem had simply put it on him without his permission. The extra weight was almost too much of a burden, simply because of the unbalancing effect it had on his stances and movement, even with his armor not slowly freezing now, it was almost not worth the extra weight on his back. He would need to talk to Atticus about this, and make Stonefuse remove it as soon as it was no longer needed.
The unit almost caused his wounding, and worse, his companion's deaths, half a dozen times, but was able to make it back to the place he had started, Conrad's house. Or at least what little was left of it above ground, the roof have caved, the windows were all empty, and the floors were covered in ice and snow. This day was not going to get better.
While he surveyed the destruction caused by the blizzard, he was unable to move himself fast enough, as the unit connected to his armor overbalanced him and caused him to stumble. Right into the path of an icicle the size of himself. There was little he could do besides setting himself as best he could and awaiting the blow. He could not slice at it from his position, and even if he could, the others were right behind him and the broken shards could easily hit them. No, there was less chance of everyone being harmed this way.
The icicle struck with a resounding crash and shattered on Lariss, the shield showing not even a dent from the impact, though his arm went numb from it and he knew just as it hit that his shoulder had been knocked out of it's place. Unable to lift his shield arm any longer, he stood from his knees and began ushering the others in out of the storm, forced to grab Zsavier by the collar and toss him into the cellar. His arm hung limply at his side and the sword had been returned to it's sheath. The group entered the basement of the house and headed straight for Aleister and Faunra, who were curiously in some kind of embrace. Strange but of no consequence at this moment.
He began stripping the armor off his shield arm and sat with his back against the wall of the room, ice still beating a steady rhythm on the house.
"I ask that one or both of you please put this arm back in it's place. And that Atticus and Stonefuse refrain from creating anything for this armor without some kind of warning." He readied himself for the pain to come, but knew that he would be back to normal in a few hours. The arm would need to be rested though, something that he doubted would happen, judging from the mercilessness of the Tower.
The armored man heard Prail's tapping and instantly recognized the message.
"Alright, alright. You're not a threat but you must heed what I'm about to say. Listen up and listen good...if you even have ears. You will be touching none of this equipment. You will not speak of this, if you have a mouth, to your companions-" The armored man stopped mid-sentence, as if a sudden through burst into his mind.
"Who are apparently on the move. Great, just what we need...you know what? You handle this." The armored man said, pressing his fingers between his nose. The spiky-haired fellow in the vest looked up at Prail.
"Eh, don't worry about him. We have a lot on our plate, a few too many sightings, and not to mention that Stone guy seems to be getting a bit too suspicious...hopefully that Pick fellow sorted things out. Therapists, you know what I'm saying?" Anyway, 'How about we get you back to your friends?'"
Prail felt her mind slipping. Mind control! She tried to resist, lashed out furiously, but it didn't feel intrusive. It felt welcoming, lulling, tirin-
"Prail, how'd you get there?" Prail heard Veritas asking from a distance. She looked up to see she was under a makeshift metal sheild, taking a beating from the storm. A few feet away was the small group from the library, now with Stonefuse running alongside them. Prail dodged a few shards and returned to Veritas's little snow canopy. "How'd you get out there?" Veritas asked again. Prail simply raised her hands to her sides, shrugging. She honestly didn't know.
Atticus watched Aleister and Faunra's supposed discreet discussion. They were in a corner of the cellar but Atticus could make out a few words and noticed how they'd been acting since they got there. Atticus didn't hint his ease dropping, he was silently finishing and attaching Etrius's armor. He wasn't exactly sure what to think of this little exchange, but as he listened it began to click. So these two were sweethearts, eh. He quickly thought about the time Atticus and Faunra had spent together before meeting up with the rest. Atticus frowned for a bit, but then started chuckling. "It would've never worked out anyway. Besides, Faunra seems more like a sister than a significant other...though, as a brother, if Aleister does her wrong in anyway, I will not hesitate to kick his magical ass." Atticus thought to himself, finishing Etrius's armor. Faunra and Aleister finished their discussion and Faunra raise her voice.
"Right. So what are we waiting for?" she asked of the group as a whole. "Lets end this storm, save the town, and be big goddamn heroes."
"Damn straight, sister." Atticus said under his breath. Suddenly, the rest of the group burst through the once sealed basement door, Damien leading the way. "Ah, right on time." Atticus said, playing off his surprise of them all suddenly appearing. He didn't notice Cecilia who was a bit near the rear.
"Well, glad to see you guys are alive. You want to help stop the storm?" Atticus said, holding up the Elemental Predominanting Device, slightly joking. He then noticed Damien's arm.
"I ask that one or both of you please put this arm back in it's place. And that Atticus and Stonefuse refrain from creating anything for this armor without some kind of warning."
Caedis saw Damien enter with the others from the storm and much like Atticus, she noticed his arm. It certainly looked out of its socket even without him saying anything by the way he dealt with it.
"I ask that one or both of you please put this arm back in it's place. And that Atticus and Stonefuse refrain from creating anything for this armor without some kind of warning."
She walked up to Damien and pushed it back, trying to put the arm back in its place. It was a hard push but eventually the arm was put back. His arm was large enough as it is even without the armor but with that, Caedis got a better idea of how strong Damien is and how human he still was.
"Is that better, Damien?" Caedis asked as she backed away making sure the arm was correctly in place.
Ignore: Caedis took care of it.
"Is that better, Damien?"
Damien grabbed his shield and armor for his arm off the ground next to him and put it back on. The arm was still a bit tender, but it would work against some stuff still. The shoulder had a bit of a throb to it still, but it was nothing new, though it had been a few years since anyone had hit him hard enough to do more than bruise him. He stood after a few more minutes on the ground, and took note of the multiple bruises he'd taken out there in the storm. The cut on his face had stopped bleeding, however, it had dried over his eye.
He took off his helmet and wiped the dried blood off of his face, clearing his vision. As he picked off the blood, it struck him that she reminded him of his chosen successor, though he hadn't known it before the battle at the Gates.
"Thank you, Caedis. I'll be fine in a while."
He put the helmet back on, and readied himself for the trek back through the ice. The weight on his back would slow him a bit, but he felt he could hold against most of what was out there. The rest of the group appeared to be getting ready for something, though he suspected Atticus had something to do with it simply because of the device in his hands.
"What are we planning for?"
"What are we planning for?"
"Please enlighten all of us, I'd love to lend a hand to end this." Cecilia looked at everyone from the back as best she could. Briefly wondering if she could make a run for it in the snow and ice, she was sure her ghosting limbs could easily block the ice... at least she thought so.
"What are we planning for?" Damien asked noticing the EPD in Atticus's hand.
"Please enlighten all of us, I'd love to lend a hand to end this." Another voice said.
"Oh, it's like I said when you guys first got here: 'You want to help stop the storm?'" Atticus asked holding up the Elemental Predominanting Device. "This thing in my hands was originally built to create storms, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, etc." As Atticus spoke, he began walking among the group.
"I've reversed engineered it to stop them...or at least I'm hoping I have. Never tested it. Ever. But right now, it's probably the only thing capable of stopping the storm. I've been watching it for sometime now and just when I think it's worn itself, out another system comes rolling in and the storm picks up again, stronger than the last. It's kinda annoying to watch...And then you've got the screaming, the blood of the innocent being spread through the street by events and conditions totally out of their control. But not out of mine." He made his way to Cecilia.
"This is what I've spent the last few years of my life for, control of the weather. Letting this happen while having the possible means to end it would be an atrocity. So, any questions?"
Atticus finally noticed Cecilia and tilted his head a bit. "Okay, I'll start, who the heck are you?"
"Amanda." She shrugged and was playing it cool as the ice raining outside with her expression, if any of the people had connections with the Guild...
"I got dragged along with the rest of this lot, and if you have good intentions to stop the storm then by all means I'm willing to help."
Ghosting her limbs she sprouted 4 other arms on each side, faded but quite visible in color and shape.
"Like I said I can be handy."
"Amanda." The woman said shrugging, a cool expression on her face. "I got dragged along with the rest of this lot, and if you have good intentions to stop the storm then by all means I'm willing to help." She said as four slightly translucent arms appeared on both her sides.
"Like I said I can be handy." Atticus simply stared at the woman, then to Etrius, and finally the rest of the group.
"...yep, handy indeed. You'll fit in just fine. Anway, the handsome inventor standing before you is me, Atticus. You've already met the walking tank known as Damien, our local book worm Zavier, water boy Veritas, and Prail the...Prail." Atticus said, pausing for a bit. He motioned to another half of the room.
"Birdboy over there is Etrius, woman in the armor is Caedis, guy in the armor is Nathan, Mr.Magic standing over there is Aleister, and the woman next to him with the ears is Faunra. Next to them is Conrad, the fair man currently letting us use his house as a means of shelter, and his ever loving compassion totally-not-an-over-aggressive-psycho daughter, Conney." Conney looked up, glaring at Atticus.
"Sorry if the introductions are a bit quick, but I want to end this storm before the body count rises even more. Damien, I'll see what I can do about your armor weight. I don't know why it'd be heavy, I accounted for your armor's peculiar lack of weight and made the unit out of the lightest materials I could find..." Atticus said, tampering with the heating unit. The pressure gauge's needle tapping the left. He then noticed the almost inaudible hissing noises coming from parts of his armor.
"Oh...well then...Damien, that's not weight you're feeling. That would be pressure. I figured that your armor would have enough airways and would've been able to easily disperse the steam from the unit...looks like I was wrong. Nothing a few release valves and minor piping shouldn't fix." Atticus remarked, noticing a few discarded sink and furnace parts.
Cecilia merely blinked in reply her face carefully blank with a small smirk, "Nice to meet you all, and yes lets. toss me some shields and I'll keep anyone covered." Her tone was upbeat and ready to help.
Prail's memory was fading; she was sure she'd been somewhere else. Maybe she'd just been thinking about more important things. The thoughts faded one final time into oblivion.
They were again together and that was what mattered.
Prail had already begun double checking the device; even if the reading weren't in a format she was used to she could still recognise a pattern or two.
Prail was a little offended (visibly so) and the way she'd been introduced, surly he could have thought of at least a few adjectives, scientist maybe, hell even lizard would have been better.
But regardless she noticed the plans. Judging by how much she loved the weather was right now it probably wasn't healthy for the others. It was a shame considering how beautiful the storm was.
Anyway Prail raised her hand to volunteer herself. After all she wasn't freezing anytime soon and if any of the tech went wrong probably best to have an engineer on call.
Prail looked towards who she'd assumed was the inventor in all this. Any notes they could offer would improve understanding.
Aleister remained as quiet as Atticus introduced the new arrival, known as Amanda, to the rest of the group. A brief smirk appeared on his face when Atticus nicknamed him 'Mr. Magic'. He looked at the ghostly versions of her arms, whilst slightly creeped out by it; Aleister then remembered that he has the ability to turn into a Reaper, which made him chuckle under his breath. He decided to interrupt the conversation.
"Now then, since I presume we have all introductions out of the way, shall I proceed with generating the wind shield, and we can get this show on the road? Otherwise, well, this town is going to get a whole lot quieter." He asked to the group as a whole in a rather cold manner, but mainly focused towards Atticus.
"Now then, since I presume we have all introductions out of the way, shall I proceed with generating the wind shield, and we can get this show on the road? Otherwise, well, this town is going to get a whole lot quieter. Aleister said to the group, mostly speaking to Atticus.
"But of course." Atticus said quickly, noticing Prail raising her hand. "Ah, Prail! Perfect. I could use some help calibrating the EPD according to conditions outside. I'll tell you what each thing does and you can adjust the settings with me, while we run. Conrad, where would you say the center of town is?"
"Most likely the castle ruins. The town was built around them..." Conrad said quickly, adjusting his glasses. Conney got up and loaded her rifle. The bullets looked like they were filled with what Atticus assumed was water. He figured that when fired, were somehow frozen quickly and formed smooth ice shards that piece through bone, not too different from the shards currently falling around them. Atticus pondered at this before Conney stood up.
"I'm coming with you guys. This is my town and I'm not just gonna sit back and let a bunch of travelers save it on their own." She said determined, putting on her goggles, scarf and cap. Conrad thought about objecting but knew there wasn't really anything he could say to to stop here.
"Glad to know you're helping us from the goodness of your heart." Atticus said with a hint of sarcasm. "We're ending this now. I'd suggest getting to those ruins and getting to the highest point we can find. I've found that this thing tends to have strange...side effects when near the ground, even when it's not active." Atticus warned, remembering a few strange moments that had occurred while he worked on it. Atticus walked over to the cellar doors.
"Aliester, if you would be so kind!" Aleister readied his spell so the effects would spread across the group. Atticus swung the cape-like cloak over his back and yelled while kicking the doors open. "If we can't stop this storm, then the gods should just strike me down right here-" He was cutoff as a barrage of shards collided with his plating and sent him flying back towards the wall, layering there motionless. The group simply looked at him, trying to process what had just happened. A few moments later, chuckling came from the lying Atticus who quickly jumped to his feet.
"Ha! Bring your A-game next time you bastards!" He yelled as the spell finally began to take effect.
"Aleister, if you would be so kind!" Aleister bowed slightly in response to Atticus. He then began charging the wind shield, that would act as protection for the group, along their journey to the town center. His eyes seemed to glow white briefly, to acknowledge the use of air magic. He could feel the glyph on his shoulder melt away, it soon appearing on the ground in front of him. Atticus then kicked the doors open, and gave of a rather heroic pose, not before giving what was supposedly a morale boosting speech.
"If we can't stop this storm, then the gods should just strike me down right here-" Atticus was cut off just before he could finish, being sent flying into a nearby wall, as a number of shards collided with him and the armour plate he wore. For a few moments, there was silence, as the man lay motionless. Aleister gave off a slight chuckle at what just happened.
"Well, that was rather ironic don't you think ladies, gentlemen, golems, and lizard people?" It was before a response could be made to Aleister question, that Atticus sprung up onto his feet, and yelled out.
"Ha! Bring your A-game next time you bastards!"
Aleister then saw that the spell was fully charged, and cast the spell out in a shock wave, generating a domed shield that encompassed the whole group; the glyph also growing to accompany the increased size.
"Now then, before anyone else goes down, lets just get moving; can't guarantee that this shield will hold for long, but I'll certainly try." Aleister remarked before talking to himself.
"I could simply become a Reaper, that way, my magic would be boosted to create a strong enough shield. But, I don't want to change just yet, you could say that, the wind is not blowing in the right direction, for such a course of action." He then turned to the others.
"Come on then, lets get moving!" Aleister then proceeded to walk forward, and could already see, shards of ice stopping in mid-flight.
"If we can't stop this storm, then the gods should just strike me down right here-" Atticus said, before being cut off by a gust of wind and the shards it carried, throwing him into a nearby wall.
Faunra started to run toward him, to ensure he was alright. With Aleister detained by the wind shield, and her own inability to fight a storm directly, she had taken up the position as medic, trying to care for the rest of the group as they reached the center of the city. That, and Atticus was her oldest living friend - it wouldn't do for him to be killed by bad weather, terribly ironic and fitting thought it would be.
She had barely made it three steps before Atticus was on his feet, and calling out to the heavens. "Ha! Bring your A-game next time you bastards!" he screamed, as if to mock the storm, his fists raised in defiance, spread apart and waving back and forth. Faunra could only cock an eyebrow at the motion. "Atticus, what's this all about? Are you trying to tell the storm you caught a fish that big? If so, I don't think it will be all that impressed."
She didn't get an answer before she heard Aleister call out over the storm "Come on then, lets get moving!" and start marching into the storm. Seeing Atticus seemed to be in perfect health, she stowed her medical kit and made for the center of the group; in part to be central to the group should a medical condition arise, in part to protect herself better from the weather, and in part to be near the maker of the magical umbrella. She turned to Conney. "Conney, care to lead the way? you know this city better than any of us."
"Conney, care to lead the way? You know this city better than any of us."
Conney grinned a bit, glad to see she had some control over the situation and more importantly the travelers. She motioned down the main street. " You guys will slow me down a bit but as long as we stick to the main road, we should be there in no time." Conney said before taking off, Aleister warning to stay within range of the spell. Atticus began checking the air speed, barometric pressure, temperature, and other factors that could affect the device. Stonefuse came around from the front of the house, joining the group in there charge towards the castle. Aleister kept the spell maintained while the others kept watch in case any shards decided they were immune to magical shields.
After a few adjustments, Atticus had managed to relieve some pressure. Pipes were located around the joints of the armor, gauges and nobs relieved it and also gave Damien some control over it, but he didn't see why he'd need it. Even with these adjustments, the heating unit still weighed more than Damien appreciated. As soon as it's usefulness was spent, he never wanted to see the thing again.
As they ran, Veritas noticed something down a side street for a split second. It looked like a man in a strange vest just standing there. Simply standing and watching the group run by. Veritas thought this was weird but didn't have to time to really think about it.
The armored man sat at a long table, a number of other men and women with pointy ears and odd vest sitting alongside them. They all looked relatively tired and stressed out. They were all talking in turn, arguing for a bit, agreeing on things, and mostly trying to decided what to do about the town. The armored man sat there, not saying anything for the longest time. Finally, when the noise in the room had reached a crescendo and they were all discussing how to save the town, he spoke up.
"It's time to face hard reality: This storm isn't going to stop anytime soon. We tried destroying the forces that started it but the storm is fueling itself now, and there is nothing we do to stop it. This town is lost. We're losing too many men simply trying to fight those damn snow monkeys. Evacuating the town is out of the question. With our current numbers in this region, we cannot move that many people. And even if we could, most of the town people are either scared shit or hiding farther than we could reach. I'm sorry to say, but we must simply pullout and move on to-"
Suddenly, Spiky haired came running into the room, panting.
"They're...planning...to...stop the storm!" Everyone at the table stood up, staring at the spiky haired man.
"What do you mean 'they're planning to stope the storm?'" A woman at the table said.
"The travelers we've been keeping track off! One of them, the man with the slingshot, has some sort of weather-device-mcguffin. He plans to have that winged man fly into it! Can you believe that?! How should we react?" Spiky haired asked out of breath.
"...we do nothing." Everyone in the room simply stared at him confused. "We let them have their fun. Too many of that group's members have had contact or at least some form of interaction with us. That Stonefuse character, that lizard lady, and then there was that minor conflict in medical center...no, we pull out, but slowly. Let them have their fun." The armored man walked out of the room, simply leaving the rest to mull over his words.
Five mining suits were missing and currently running atop the rooftops, ignoring the storm. They looked baggy and unfitting, the same way a dog might look if he got into a pair of discarded pants, trying to see how his owner summoned treats from there. Despite that cute image, the beast in these suits were far from cute and ready for a fight.
"They believe they can interfere with the plan? These lowly tower climbers think they can stop the oncoming assualt?! They're wrong, oh so very wrong!
"Crackling day is upon us!"
Meanwhile on a level somewhere, Deveroce and Spiriah sat across from each other, each holding a deck of cards in his hand while watching the events in Abzerosa unfold. Spiriah sat there giddy with anticipation. Deveroce wanted to die right there.
"Aren't they all so adorable? Their planning and scheming, running around like they actually matter? It's simply cute! Your turn, Devy." The wrinkly being chuckled out. Deveroce picked a card and glared at the wrinkled up abomination. He responded with blatant resentment in his voice.
"Yes, 'cute'...you know what cards I have picked and I know yours. Why do we play this game with eachother?" Deveroce asked, trying to ignored the urge to throttle the Spiriah.
"Because you're an equal match. Just because we can see each other's cards in their hands, doesn't mean they're the cards they'll play." Spiriah said, playing a card. Deveroce bloated for a bit, a dull thump coming from withing, before smoke sipped through the slits of his belts and goggles.
"Ow." Deveroce said with boredom in his voice.
"Oh, how I love this game! Usually I'd love to see your suffering, but the fact I can't see your honest reaction makes it slightly more comically! Under reactions always amuse me to no end! So what are you looking forward to? Personally I want to see that girl Atticus get her butt frozen. Or how the Grand Master of the whatever will react to seeing his scaly relative again!" Spiriah laughed. Deveroce simply stared at Spiriah, unamused by his antics. However, he decided for this one time to give Spiriah a straight answer.
"I want to fight Caedis. I know you and the master personally have this plan with her, but I shall be the one to confront her once again. I need to show her the mistake she's made and spare her the suffering that is to come...but then again I could be wrong. Anyway, Spiriah how does your arm feel?"
Spiriah's arm popped clear off, still holding the cards he'd been ready to play. The wrinkly creature simply laughed at the sight.
"Haha, I just got it working the way I liked it again too! So you do have a sense of humor, you walking fashion accessory?"
Prail had been walking with them to be honest she felt fairly redundant for the time and she was doing what she usually did when she had not much to do which was producing birds as rapidly as she could. The Lallow equivalent of wandering eyes was considerably more dramatic than the human version (or do be fair any mono corpora).
Her flyers swarmed out around the town trying to find the optimal path for everyone not to mention trying to find something interesting. She had to wonder why she always ended up to the back of all these things. Then again to be fair anyone walking behind her would have to contend with a causally swinging thagomizer.
She had to wonder why none of her people had come here before; she was always considered an outsider which made sense to her before she'd discovered her people last level. Part of her hoped that they'd spread more, she not seen any on this level and it was essentially adjacent. Then again after freeing them from the false Serragish maybe they'd advance. Spread even, they'd love this level for sure.
Aleister followed the directions given out by Conney, and continued to move forward, every so often, warning those who lagged behind, to keep up, otherwise, they would be outside the protection of the shield. Despite his stamina, he started to feel a little drained, a side effect of maintaining a wide ranging shield for a period of time that he wasn't normally used to doing. He kept thinking, that if he became his other self, this would be a whole lot simpler; but the potential negative repercussions, kept him doing so; but he also remained focused and alert.
Without turning his head, he spoke to Faunra.
"Thank you-" *cough* "-just the thought of you standing by my side, gives me the strength to carry on."