Time for a Race?

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Re: Time for a Race?

Post by Sade »

Etienne lay on the ground thrashing at the invisible nightmares assaulting his waking dreams as the dragoness and their mutual opponent fought their titanic struggle of wills. The canine did not hang on to sanity so much as he mauled it with tooth and claw so it could not escape him. Beneath fear boiled his particular brand of spiteful hate. They’d been so close! The prize had been in their arms! And now it floated just feet away, jerking to and fro on the invisible ropes of a psychic tug of war. What would happen if they pulled too hard? In all these years had the device remained inactive, in its deactivated state? What was all this magic going to do to it?

It wasn’t fair. It just wasn’t fair, dammit! They’d worked so hard to reach this point! He seethed, he fumed within himself, his brain broiled in his skull. How often had he felt powerless in the last few days!? How tired of it he’d become! This was his world! It belonged to people like Osborne and himself, not these shadows, these leeches and their masters who would so callously steal benefit from the hard work of others!

He was so inconsequential to the current struggle that his bonds broke- melting away as the assailant turned its attention fully to Freya. The canine was immediately in motion. His machine pistol was empty and lost out in all that darkness, and it had proved impotent as a weapon against those who inherited their powers from the distant past. Wild, desperate glancing brought a new weapon into his sights- floating back and forth, tugged to and fro. Yesssss. He lurched towards it, tripped over Freya’s struggling form, stumbled ungainly across and uneven floor, and threw himself bodily into the ancient device, using his weight to force it to the floor.

One might forgive Freya and her opponent for failing to notice the actions and read the intentions of a fur who amounted to a nonparticipant in their current fight, at least at first. He’d accomplished little but to push the artifact to the ground, after all. Now, though, he slowly rose to his feet… with easily fifty pounds of stone held overhead by trembling arms. The canine’s sudden scream would have been hard to miss, and it would have come with the sight of that great stone being driven with all the force he could bring to bare down towards the magicapacitor.

The stone crashed down into the artifact, too quick, too sudden for either of the other furs to react. Etienne squeezed moist eyes shut as it did so, still screaming like the damned soul he feared he might shortly become.
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Re: Time for a Race?

Post by Asyriel »

Freya was a little disconcerted by what she found during her attack, the missing piece of self in her opponent did not bode well. She was out of practice, which offered her little solace as she fell for her opponent's feint. Luckily, Freya's isolation of the part of her mind that was holding the artifact slowed her opponent down. By the time Freya's tether had been switched to a rock, Etienne was already leaping on the artifact. As Etienne bore the artifact to the ground, the catalyst rod was pushed into the solution and the device immediately began absorbing the large amounts of magic being used around it. The artifact quickly began to glow as Etienne raised a large stone above his head. Freya realized what the canine was doing too late. "Etienne...no!" She called out as the stone came down on the artifact.

The artifact as a whole had weathered the ages well, and was as durable as ever, but the solution inside did not. It absorbed magic more quickly, and had become volatile, almost akin to nitro-glycerin. As the stone struck, the device discharged a blast of arcane energy. Luckily for all in the room, the magicapacitor hadn't had the time fill anywhere near to capacity. The discharge wasn't enough to kill anyone, but was bright, and strong enough to throw Etienne a good fifteen feet or so across the room, and rattle anyone else in the room in addition to Etienne's rock into the air, and launching other debris around the room like shrapnel.
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Re: Time for a Race?

Post by Rackenhammer »

So... this dragon was unpracticed. That would make this fight all the easier. The shadow had physical eyes as well, and could see the slight shift as the device's tether was switched to the rock. Hah, from there it would be all too easy-

And then the unexpected happened. The Commander had warned her, but there was always something paradoxically impossible about expecting the unexpected. Whether Etienne had been trying to destroy the device or what, Major Jinx could not tell, but the effect of it was to turn the entire cave into a bullet chamber. She was already behind cover, not that the ricochet's cared. One shard caught her arm, the other her leg. She tried to cover it with her shadow magic, but the scent of blood released would give her position away in a few more seconds.

There was little time to pursue things further if she was to make a retreat in good order. Taking Etienne's rock in a last tendril of shadow, she slammed it into the device with even more force. There was no energy in it, and hopefully there would be significant enough damage to it. With that, she opened the shadow portal she'd come in, trying not to pass you from the loss of energy and blood. *Not badly played; but if you get anything out of that, you'll half-deserve it.* And with that backhanded compliment, the Major departed, and the debris in the room settled down.

The game, such as it was, was up; the race, in so far as it was one, was finished.
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Re: Time for a Race?

Post by Sade »

Osborne braced himself against the helicopter’s doorframe and leaned rather farther out into the airstream than a safety instructor would have thought prudent, safety-harnessed or not. They also flew rather closer to the mountainside than a flight instructor would have thought advisable, even for what amounted to a rescue mission. He wasn’t alone in the sky, either. His white corporate helicopter was accompanied by two dozen unmarked black ones. The search would have felt completely hopeless if he had only himself and the pilot and copilot, but just this once his old rival Hester had come through for him.

His thoughts briefly drifted back to their conversation by satellite phone, after he’d flown to Martya’s archeological dig and found only an empty helicopter. “I can’t get either of them on their sat-phones, Hester. They could be hurt or… I need help finding them.”

“Is that so?”

“Yes, it is. I don’t know if you’ve looked out your window recently, but these mountains aren’t exactly small now are they?

“What is this really about, Osborne? These mountains contain things dwarfing the importance and value of one administrative assistant and one draconic professor. I’m not about to help you stick your nose where it doesn’t belong-“

“Damnit Hester I’m not after your secrets! I’m trying to find my friend!” Later he would regret the singular use of the word. He was concerned for Freya’s wellbeing as well, but his fear for Etienne was far more acute. The hairless canine was more a surrogate son than a mere friend. “You had friends once, Hester! Friends and loved ones! You must remember what it was like! Now I’m asking you- please, help me find him!

The rat-jird had been married once, but he’d drifted away from the things he’d once held so dear as his obsession slowly consumed him, as it had for so many of his ancestors. Maybe he’d remembered for a brief moment what it meant to love and to fear love’s loss. Osborne wanted to believe that, but the tiny pessimistic part of him nibbled at the frays of that thought. The strange man could have any number of motivations, half of which probably wouldn’t even make sense to a sane fur.

He pushed all that aside and focused his attention back on the mountainside sweeping by so close below, looking for signs of a camp sight or a dig sight or… or bodies…

————

Etienne awoke to the blinding light of the tunnel shaft filtering past the silhouette of Freya. She held the crumpled remains of the magicapacitor under one arm- the other arm she held limply at her side. His last minute of memory came flooding back- the shadowy attack, his foolish discharge of a firearm in an enclosed space and the resulting injury to Freya’s arm, their ensuing struggle against their unseen assailant, and his final stupid act of spiteful fury. He’d lost consciousness after the artifact detonated- he had to assume its current damage was his doing.

And so: she’d brought him along, carried him through the sky, saved him from death on multiple occasions, and how had he repaid her? He’d triggered traps, indirectly shot her in the arm, and destroyed the very impetus for this race- for all this effort and all the money his mentor spent- and with it, the future of which Osborne so often spoke. “I’m sorry,” he murmured to Freya and the absent thought of his mentor. He buried his face in an arm and just shook it back and forth slowly for a time.

The hairless canine carefully rolled forward onto his elbows. He felt battered and bruised, but nothing felt broken other than his spirit. Far above he heard an oddly familiar sound coming and going. “Helicopters,” he snapped, hoisting himself to his feet. “Can you still fly? Wait, your arm…” he wondered whether she could still carry him with an injured arm. He wondered whether she should even if she could- carrying the weight of another person could exasperate the injury. “You should go. Tell then where I am. They can lower a rope for me.”
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Re: Time for a Race?

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Luckily, Freya had reflexively put up a shield when she had realized what Etienne was planning to do; it saved her from being peppered by the shrapnel the discharge kicked up. She sent her opponent the mental equivalent of thumbing her nose as she retreated, it was childish, but at this point Freya didn't care. As the debris in the room settled, Freya quickly made her way over to Etienne to check on him. The canine was unconscious, but still alive, and relatively unharmed. She breathed a sigh of relief, and headed over to check the artifact. The artifact had fared much worse than she and Etienne had, the second impact form the rock had broken the glass that contained the solution that stored it's energy. She was disappointed that it had broken, but not near as much as Etienne and Osborne would be. She picked up the artifact, and even managed to salvage some of the solution it had contained. She carried it carefully back to Etienne. She knelt beside the the canine, watching him, and waiting for him to wake up. She didn't want to move him for fear that he may have injuries she couldn't see.

Her relief was easily visible on her face as Etienne woke. Her smile was a mixture of concern and relief as she replied. "nothing to be sorry for." She said in soft and reassuring tones. "we still have the artifact, even if it is a little worse for wear, and we're both alive. At this point, the blood that had been oozing down her arm to the tips of her fingers had slowed to a trickle. "I even managed to salvage enough of the most important parts that it may still be usable for research purposes.

She thought about putting a hand on his shoulder, but he rolled to his shoulders before she could act on the thoughts. Freya nodded as Etienne mentioned helicopters. "I can still fly, luckily my wings weren't hurt, it'll just be a bit of work. She had to admit, at least to herself that she was tired, bordering on exhausted, but she levered herself to her feet before she spoke again, a wry smile spreading across her muzzle as she did. "who needs a rope?" She asked as she gently wrapped a telekinetic tether around Etienne. He would have felt a slight pressure around his body before he was lifted into the air toward the hole above them. Once Etienne was a good distance up in the air, Freya squatted down and launched herself airborne behind him. They traversed the couple hundred feet or so to the hole fairly quickly. The pair came out onto a decent sized ledge partway up the mountain in the next valley over from where they had entered.

"I suppose we should signal them now." Freya commented as she set Etienne on the ledge, and landed near him. She inhaled a long deep breath, something could be seen shifting in her throat, and she tilted her head skyward before she exhaled. When she exhaled, it was not just air that left her maw, but a long plume of bright flames. The burst of flame lasted for a good half a minute, and when it was done, she turned her attention back to Etienne. "If they didn't catch that, we may be in for a bit of a rough flight." She commented with a hint of a wry smile.
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Re: Time for a Race?

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Etienne recoiled from that wry smile, having learned to be wary of such things from this magical dragon. The tingling all over he first mistook for a side-effect of a concussion, but it was too… regular, too controlled for that to be. The canine shouted an incoherent “GAH!” as he was lifted into the air, suspended by nothing he could see. If not for Freya’s expression he would have thought their assailant had returned!

This was worse.

He was flying through the air above the dragon, with no visible restraints, nothing he could hold onto. He flailed a while before settling into a fetal position. He had a headache- and maybe he did have that concussion- and he was flying to the roof of a cave suspended above a dragon he’d shot just before, by gossamer filaments of a force and power he’d only learned of two days ago. It was terrifying and marvelous at the same time! When they reached the surface he found the courage to unravel enough to land on his own two feet when Freya placed him back on the ground.

The sunlight and cool mountain air were refreshing. He breathed it in, trying to clear his mind, but his disappointment and general feeling of regret and shame would not budge. He did not really think it should either. Etienne Glaisyer did not shirk responsibility for his actions- ever. “Even a tiny fragment of the device would be useful for research purposes, but it would all be so much easier with a fully functional example of the technology,” he said, thinking back to what she’d told him before this most recent and unusual flight. He shook his head again, brow furrowing, “I don’t know what I was thinking. Now that it’s over… I can claim that I knew that then, that I was smashing it to prevent us from losing all of it to whatever that thing was, to ensure that we had at least a tiny piece left to us… but that isn’t true.”

“What that creature was trying to do was wrong on a level I can’t even begin to put to words…” he paused, his eyes turned to the horizon. Osborne had a certain look that would come over him in the face of such vistas as this. You could almost see his dreams for the future reflected in his eyes. Etienne looked more troubled than anything else, “I wanted to kill it- her- whatever, I wanted it dead… I wanted to kill another fur… and I tried to do so…”

He backed away and momentarily forgot his trouble when Freya proved that yes, she was, in fact, a fire-breathing dragon. It was a revelation which rolled off his shoulders, though he did wonder at the anatomy allowing such a thing. The mucous membranes of her throat and trachea- or whichever tubes connect between the throat and the source of the flames- must be incredibly resilient.

That wry smile came again. Freya had a sharp and all-together wonderful sense of humor, even if the things she found humorous were likely to be a source of discomfort for Etienne. He’d come to be fond it despite everything else. This time, though, he doubted a flight would be safe for either of them. They needed rest. On the other hand, if they stayed on this mountain for too long the mountain air would turn from refreshingly cool to dangerously cold. “Wait,” he pulled out his phone and flipped it open. It had fared no better than the magicapacitor apparently. He must have landed on it when he was thrown.

This, however, was technology he understood on a fundamental level. “We don’t need to make a call,” he explained as he tore the cover off of the device to expose the electronics within, “we only have to make noise, so to speak.” The logic board was cracked down the middle, but the transceiver was still intact. It was but a few short minutes of work to short the battery to the transceiver, bypassing the rest of the digital circuitry. There was no outward indication, but he knew the phone was now putting out a constant radio signal.

In only a few moments the first distant specks rose above the next mountain ridge- from where they’d started their journey into the depths of Feila. However the first helicopter actually roared up from behind them- very suddenly, flying very close to them and to the ground. It was very black, had the very dangerous and aggressive shape of an attack helicopter, but in contrast with those used by Ivan it looked very, very modern. Experimental, even. There were no markings to indicate its origin. The machine turned to face them, drifting in a slow circle as it did so as if to observe from every direction.

Soon they were joined by others, some of them the same as the first, the rest similar in style and general newness but of a tilt-rotor design.



“We found them.” Osborne had scarcely heard the words when he leaned in and tapped the back of his pilot’s helmet and said, “Go.” His own helicopter heeled over and accelerated towards the source of the radio signal, behind those sent by Hester. He wouldn’t beat them there, which was unfortunate and just a little worrisome. If the rat-jird was going to make a move, it would be now.

The line of mountains passed beneath his helicopter and he could now see all the black specks hovering over a ledge on the opposite side of the valley. As he got closer he could see that they hadn’t landed anybody on the ledge, which could be either good or bad. As his helicopter reached the congregation, Hester’s black machines gave way and one by one began to depart. Only now did he relax his guard. It seemed the strange rodent might still have a heart after all- or at least enough of one to keep his word just this once.

Osborne’s relief was palpable to him but hidden to others beneath sheer joy at seeing his friends. He dropped from the helicopter almost before it’d touched down and jogged over to the two of them. Osborne Thatcher was an observant and thorough man. Of course he saw the magicapacitor in Freya’s arms with its obvious damage. Of course he saw Etienne following his gaze and lowering his head in shame. And of course, he hardly cared. The moment the tabby reached the canine he pulled him into a sudden tight bear-hug and embraced him as a father might embrace his son. Breaking away, he moved to Freya and put a hand on her shoulder and beamed up at her. What was there to say? All there were were the feelings evident in his expression- the relief that they were both alive, the pride in what they’d done, the pleasure of meeting returning friends.

Eventually words did come. “MY GOD am I happy to see you two!” Now he put his free hand on Etienne’s shoulder and just appraised the two of them for a moment, before stepping back. He once again took in the generally battered condition of his friends and the artifact, and peered over the edge of the nearby hole in the ground, before motioning both of them to come to the helicopter, “we shouldn’t hang around here for too long, and I think you two could use a soft bed and a bowl of hot soup!”

Once they were airborne and settled in for the flight back to the airport he joined them in the helicopter’s small rear compartment. “So, what happened down there? I see you brought back the device, or some of it anyway,” he turned to his sulking protege and insisted with a grin, “plenty for us to work from,” before returning his attention back to Freya.
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Re: Time for a Race?

Post by Asyriel »

Freya put an arm around Etienne, without giving any thought to the action beyond the offer of comfort, as he spoke about his actions in the cave below, also without realizing that it was her injured and bloodied arm. "stress, adrenaline, and emotions will do that to the best of us." she replied, her voice heavy with sympathy.

She watched in silent wonder as Etienne took apart his phone and went about turning it into a beacon that could be used to find them. He may have been out of his element when they were in the mountain, but he was shining now. Freya could comprehend what the canine had done, but the how would have left her scratching her head. "that will probably make a much more effective signal." She commented with a chuckle, and a light slap on the canine's shoulder as he finished.

The helicopters that showed up did not look like rescue or passenger aircraft; they looked more like cutting edge attack aircraft. Freya instinctively went into a defensive crouch as the helicopters circled. "I hope we didn't just signal the wrong crowd." She commented to Etienne as she began to prepare herself for the worst. As the helicopter Osborne rode in showed up, and the others departed, she felt a mixture of relief and dread. it was only when Osborne stepped out onto the ledge that she relaxed. Her relief was visible as the old feline approached. "we got what we wanted....more or less" She commented in lighthearted tones as she returned Osborne's smile.

When words finally came, Freya's initial reply was a delighted laugh. "I'm quite happy to see you too. It wasn't going to be a pleasant flight out of here if you hadn't made it." Freya didn't offer any complaint as Osborne ushered them onto the helicopter, and while she was still uncomfortable flying under power not her own, she was relieved that she wouldn't have to make the flight back. "we've got the most important parts....the catalyst and some of the solution." She said before she recounted the events that had transpired since they had separated from Osborne. She glossed over the events that Etienne would have perceived as his screw ups, and didn't even mention the bullet lodged in her arm. She did, however, give Etienne credit for figuring out the riddle, as well as causing their unseen assailant to retreat. She also cleared up what had actually destroyed the magicapacitor. She made it quite obvious that throughout their ordeal, Etienne had impressed her. "I did promise Martya that I would tell her about the magicapacitor, and the site it was stored in once it was secure." She commented after the tale was told.
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Re: Time for a Race?

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Having the events recounted by one whose brain hadn’t been quite so rattled really helped to put all the events back together end-to-end in Etienne’s mind. Hearing that it was their assailant who’d done the actual damage to the artifact cheered him up somewhat. His expression lifted and almost settled back into the faux facade of solemn nobility, but instead he grimaced and looked out the window. That particular affectation- that charade- seemed empty and pointless now. He felt liberated from it, but at the same time he missed the comforting illusion of total control it had given him before. In fewer days than fingers on one hand, his life seemed to have changed in ways he couldn’t have imagined before.

Still, he thought Freya was being too generous. So he hadn’t been the one to destroy the magicapacitor. All that meant was that he hadn’t been strong enough. The intent had been there all the same and he’d been saved by dumb luck instead of careful forethought.

Osborne smiled at the two of them as he listened. He shook his head ruefully and murmured “she will not hesitate indeed,” before glancing up at them and elaborating, “I met with Zed and tried to bring him over, but that man is the most stubborn creature I’ve ever had to deal with! I won’t bore you with all the details just yet, but suffice it to say I’m pretty sure the thing that attacked you in the cave was one of Mia’s cohorts.”

He tensed a little when Freya mentioned her promise to Martya. Etienne was the first to speak, however. The canine had a seat against the foreword bulkhead of the passenger compartment which gave him the best view out the back of the helicopter through its side porthole windows, “It may be too late for that.” He nodded towards the window. Hester’s black helicopters had returned in escort of a much, much bigger one. It was an enormous machine like two or three sky-cranes welded together, lofted by six rotors, with a large cargo space or, more likely, a lab module connected underneath. The whole thing was settling carefully down onto the ledge they’d just left. “I guess it’s safe to say that Hester knows about the site now, and probably the existence of the artifact, if not its function.”

Osborne did not take promises lightly. He stood and took a few steps to lean into the cockpit. He spoke a few muffled words to the pilot and returned to his seat as the helicopter heeled onto a new course. “Hester probably thinks that’s the only entrance, and you did say you triggered a trap blocking the way through the caves. We’ll drop by Martya’s and let her know what’s going on.” He glanced between the two of them, “I promised you warm beds and soup… well, I’m sure she’ll have soup!”



It was but a few minutes of flight before they came up on the wolfess’s dig site, along with a new addition. It seems the acerbic woman had grown tired of helicopters landing on tents and scaffolds and generally destroying the camp. They’d cleared an area away from the camp and put reflective cones down demarcating a rough landing pad. To this Osborne’s helicopter flew and settled down.

Osborne dropped easily from the deck of the helicopter to the compacted dirt of the pad. The 71-year-old man was the least battered and most rested of the three at this point, a minor detail he found amusing and just a little unfortunate: he missed taking part in such adventurous exploits as theirs himself. When Etienne and Freya joined him they made there way up to the camp.
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Re: Time for a Race?

Post by Rackenhammer »

Even landing at the pad rather than on top of her camp would be insufficient to completely placate Martya, mostly stemming from the fact that clearing that pad had cost her more work-hours from her limited permit. Still, it was a lesser loss that clearing up the site a second time would be, so when the wolfess came down to meet Osbourne's party, her face bore no more than the usual amount of stoic grimness.

"I saw the fleet of choppers pass overhead." By this point, normal greetings were considered by her a luxury ill-afforded. "I suppose you are Herr Osbourne." She nodded at the old cat, who looked the least damaged of the trio. "From your expression I take it that the expedition was successful?"
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Re: Time for a Race?

Post by Asyriel »

Freya frowned as Osborne confirmed the suspicions she had harbored that the attack in the caverns had Mia's involvement. She watched as Hester's helicopters deposited their cargo on the ledge they had left behind. "he's not going to find much in that entrance." She commented with a bit of a chuckle. "not unless he plans on drilling through tons of stone." She grinned as though they had just played a delightful joke on Hester. "I'm sure you'll deliver on that promise too...a detour won't hurt"

Freya stepped wearily out of the helicopter. Though she was battered and exhausted, she smiled as Martya approached. "It is a bit of a bittersweet success." She commented. "the artifact has been secured, but it was badly damaged in an altercation with an unseen assailant within the caverns." She didn't mention that she was sure Mia had been behind the root cause of the altercation. "I did promise that I would tell you about it, and show you where to get into the site. I can do that now if you like." She offered
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Re: Time for a Race?

Post by Rackenhammer »

It didn't take long for Martya to evaluate the needs of her guests. "I shall make some tea in my tent. Hope you don't mind MRE's; my daughter gets them for me wholesale."

The wolfess' own 'quarters' were simple enough. The tent was little more than a stretched canvas pavilion, with room enough for a sleeping bag and work desk. There were several benches outside, cleared for her guests. The rainy season was still a month away, so the outdoors were dry enough in the evening, and the altitude prevented the temperatures from becoming too miserably hot.

Water boiled faster, too, and in no time at all, Martya was pouring Rooibos tea for Etienne, Freya, and Osbourne. "So, let us start with this artifact, or what is left of it."
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Re: Time for a Race?

Post by Sade »

(OOC: I feel like this thread has mostly run its course. I think we should finish up soon and break ahead of a new one.)

The tabby cat was of a different mind than Martya about greetings. “Osborne Thatcher, at your service,” he replied, returning her nod with a one of his own, and a pleasant if businesslike smile. He considered greetings important, but he also considered the needs of others too. “This expedition has been a resounding success, indeed! But I think Freya’s in a better spot to give you the details.”

A short while later they found themselves outside Martya’s tent. Osborne had been right about the lack of beds but wrong about the availability of soup. He enjoyed the MRE, reminded by it of his many exploits as a younger man and the rough living they entailed, but he also resolved to send Etienne and Freya somewhere nice sometime in the future. A resort maybe, with hot soup and warm beds. He might even join them if his scheduled allowed! Of course, this was assuming Freya's own schedule hadn't been mangled too badly by their recent exploits!

He ate quietly, allowing Freya to do the talking. She was the expert here, after all.

Etienne meanwhile was fussing over the dragon’s arm. He’d asked for medical tools and then, when the precise instruments he’d wanted proved unavailable, for other implements he could use in similar fashion. He’d planned to remove the bullet from her arm. The canine was quite able to do so- he was not technically a surgeon, but his knowledge of the feilan body was quite thorough. In the end, though, he’d decided against it. The bullet itself shouldn’t cause any more problems aside from mild discomfort. Removing it was best left to surgeons in a hospital setting. Instead he dressed the still-oozing wound and proceeded to continue to fuss over it while his MRE sat cooling on the table.
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Re: Time for a Race?

Post by Asyriel »

((OOC: I agree, I think one or two more rounds of posts should be able to wrap it up nicely. Of course we'll have to decide where to go with things next.))

Freya took the offered tea gratefully. The MRE received less enthusiasm, but she accepted it none the less, she knew she needed the calories and nutrients. She was a little surprised as Etienne fussed at her wound, the complete turn around in his attitude toward her. Of course her views of him had changed as well, she was much more impressed with him than she had been when they first met, and actually enjoyed his presence. "I'll be ok." She gently assured the canine as he dressed her wound, one bullet in her arm was far from the worst wound she had endured in her life.

"Well, I suppose we should start with what the artifact was." She began answering Martya's inquiry. "it's come to be called the magicapacitor, and it is for all intents and purposes exactly what it sound like. It's an alchemical device that draws and stores arcane energy to power other devices....originally intended to power an airship. Of course it had an unforeseen flaw; when it reached capacity it discharged all of it's stored energy in one violent blast....somewhere in the magnitude of early nuclear weapons. It contained a solution that, when a catalyst was added, absorbed magic from the ether and stored it."

She sighed. "Of course the device's flaw was discovered the hard way." She said sadly before she recounted the story of the magicapacitor's creation, it's disappearance, the explosion that let it be found again, and the decision to hide it away.

"that was all well and good until somebody who knew a little too much went looking for it." She said with a shrug as she began to tell the story that led them to the point of reaching Martya's camp.

"Of course, the ones who hid it away out here were mages, and intended only mages to ever be able to get to it again." She commented as she pulled a battered notebook from a pocket and jotted down some numbers. she then recounted the events that happened inside the mountains. "If you would like to check the site out for yourself, you are more than welcome to check it out...just be careful, someone else is at the exit, but there are several multi-ton blocks of stone between him and the larger part of the site accessible from the entrance Etienne and I used." As Freya finished, she handed the paper to Martya, the coordinates for the entrance to the cave complex written upon it.

with that she stood up, and smiled. "Thank you for the food, and tea. I hope your work here goes smoothly for the rest of your time, and I am sorry we disrupted it. If you don't have any questions, I think I'm ready to go home." She finished with a wry smile.
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Rackenhammer
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Re: Time for a Race?

Post by Rackenhammer »

((Right-o. We'll probably have to make another OOC thread.))

Martya ate in such a manner that suggested that she didn't actually taste her food. While on a job site, she tended to take that sort of attitude; if she could have comfortably nourished herself with a portable IV, she probably would have in order to more efficiently work through meals. In this case, however, it was more because she was engrossed in listening to and watching her guests. The way they talked and acted carried so much information about them, that the subject of their speech was almost secondary.

Not that the wolfess ignored it, by any means. Her eyes rested first upon Freya's injury, and then upon the artifact remains. "So... it turned out to be true, eh?" For a second, Martya stared into the middle distance, lost in a strange thought, before shaking clear of it vigorously. "Well, thank you for giving me the site details; I will see if I can salvage anything from the wreck. I wonder, though, how much it really matters in the end, what you did."

She looked at Osbourne. She was younger than him, by about 10 years, but 60 was little to sneeze at in terms of Feilan experience, and it shown in her eyes. "No fur ever had what they planned for, but a few have got what they wanted. You, I suppose, want an energy solution. I cannot help but think that you would have gotten something just as useful, without all this bloodshed and disturbing my dig site, if you had just put all the resources you spent into R&D. But I suppose you're too much of a boy to take the dull and certain route." She took a bite out of the heated pack, before adding as an aside. "Mia may be my daughter, but she is in some ways also a boy in that respect. She doesn't always take the direct approach, even when it's safer."
Be Humble in Yourself, but Adamant in the Truth.

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Re: Time for a Race?

Post by Sade »

“Slow and steady wins the race?” Osborne smiled, but he was also shaking his head. “You can pour as much into R&D as you want, it will not give you that spark of invention, that sudden breakthrough that defines an age. The safe route will give you incremental improvements. My eggheads back home might manage to squeeze a couple percent greater energy density from lithium polymers, but there are limits, and what I can’t do is funnel ever greater funds into them and demand a true breakthrough. Few engineers are visionaries, and many visionaries are not and never were engineers! The best I can do is find the smartest people I can and keep them on my payroll, and give them the freedom to dream.”

His smile became more of a grin, “meeting you and Freya, making these connections, will eventually pay off in ways a paltry couple million’s worth of R&D could never hope to match. The magicapacitor? I’m glad to have it! It will greatly further our cause! But it is only a thing. People, Martya!” He tapped the side of his nose, “people!”

“All things worth doing are risky things. We all take risks. Speaking of which…” The elder man’s face turned somber. He leant forward in his seat, “be careful in those caves, Miss Rackenhammer. Hester likes to think of these mountains as his private property. If you run into his men underground, things could turn ugly- he’s not above causing ‘accidents’- and he has rather more at his disposal than Ivan did,” he twirled a finger at the sky, “as you saw overhead.”

Etienne, meanwhile, grimaced at the mention of Mia. That she had probably saved her mother and himself when Ivan attacked hadn’t changed, but there was something about the way she operated that bothered him. “She doesn’t take the safe route, and when she doesn’t get her way she tries to cheat and steal to get what she wants.” He could have gone on. He could have insinuated that poor parenting was to blame. But that would have been pointless and destructive, and really, he didn’t know these people, he didn’t know why she did what she did or what made her tick.

The canine remembered his earlier thoughts about magic. He’d worried that people secretly using magic could interfere with his mentor’s business, and his own. It had been a theory, a nightmare scenario, but Mia’s goon in the cave had put the theory to practice. Etienne’s resolve only hardened. He would apply himself to this new problem as he had all others, and like them he would conquer it. He would make sure that he was never so helpless in the face of arcane trickery again. And Freya was the key.

He peered up at her with icy blue eyes, and when her eyes met his he glanced away, overtaken by sudden shyness, and he blushed. And then he blushed harder with the embarrassment of being seen to blush. Things had been so much easier when he could think of most people as beneath his station! Now the people and his feelings for them were so much more… real.

Osborne stood with the others as they prepared to leave, but he paused a moment. The tabby cat observed the wolfess with an intensity which had always been there, hidden beneath his easy demeanor and genuine friendliness, but only now showed through. He reached a decision with his usual alacrity. “I think you’re doing important work here. I want to help. I can finance your future expeditions, payroll, provide transportation and state-of-the-art equipment, and help you with paperwork and the like,” paperwork being a euphemism for diplomatic squabbling, pettiness, and contrived bureaucratic hurdles. “The money comes with strings attached,” he stated simply and honestly, “I would want to be privy to any discoveries you make out here before anybody else, and I would need control over publication of your findings- when, where, how, if." He took a business card from his wallet.

Etienne took the card with a glance to his mentor and wrote his own contact information on the back, “whatever you two decide, I will arrange for my family to prepare our archival material for examination as agreed. This is new to them, you will want to give them time.” He handed the amended business card to the wolfess, “give me a week, at least, to get everything organized on our end.” Of course he didn't expect her to call back in exactly one week, what with being a field team up in the Black Mountains, but he imagined she would find it far worse if one of her people showed up only to have to sit around waiting for the administrivia to be finished.
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