Fa'Diel - Forest Dead-End
This clearing in the woods is brightly lit not only due to the overhead
moon's influence, but also from a visible charge in the air; motes of
charged energy crackle and pop throughout the air, bursting in occasional
noisy expulsions of power. The stench of magic is overwhelming here, even
to those who aren't generally influenced by its presence.
Gforte growls, mostly due to fustration concerning the portal. "Fine, let's go ask the sleepy bitch what's wrong, I need to set the Lobstrocity straight anyways." He turns around impaiently and begins heading back to his damaged mech.
Jillian watches Gforte leave, silent for a moment before opting to follow. She casts a glance back at the woods briefly, seemingly uncertain about something. Her spade-ended tail twitches to match her concern, letting it do the talking for her, apparently.
Sunflash saunters along with a casual hum, almost but not quite with a smirk on his face. Jacen, for his part, manages to prove being the cautious one and brings up the back of the line while peering about the woods with a frown.
Gforte nods as he notes his mech in the same place he had left it, curled into a ball. "Let's see if those ankle bolts can handle this." He presses the 'lock' button on the box he keeps in his pocket, and the Lobstrocity slowly uncurls enough to allow entrance into the cockpit. Nodding, Gforte begins opening up the hatch to let the trapped soldier out.
Jillian steps in close to Gforte, seemingly looking over the mech and surveying the damage. She walks a few paces around it, bending around in awkward, and perhaps subconsciously intentional, positions to look at a very specific locations, before coming back around to Gforte's other side. "Is there anything you'd prefer help with?" Her statement is simply, but doesn't lack sincerity.
"Acid bath trashed the replacemant bolts I had, and the damn things are hard enough to find that I don't have more on me right now. Never mind the fact that I don't want to take it into battle anyways with the engine showing, especially against guys with rocket launchers." Gforte grabs the sleeping girl, not very gently, and pulls her out of the cockpit before dragging her a short distance away and letting her down. He then turns back to his mech and closes it.
Jillian watches these events without a word, before turning back to look at the machine. "While I don't admit to being keen on machinery, I do believe that we will be able to 'prop it up', at least until we are able to get back to a town or city where it may be properly repaired. Are you averse to this idea?"
Jillian pauses, looking over her shoulder at Gforte and the girl. "Unless this was not part of your plan."
Sunflash Sunflash, having calmly stood by whilst the investigation was ongoing, gave a cheery nod. "Or more to the point, what IS the plan? Both in general and with the hostage here?" JACEN STANDS AROUND LIKE A LUMP ON A LOG.
Gforte sighs, and then turns back to the rest of the group, scratching the back of his head as he thinks. "The plan. Well. If what I planted in the kid's head there works, she should stop trying to be a soldier for those assholes. Though, they probably hit her with more than her share of brainwashing. Want me to wake her up so you can grill her?"
Jillian seems to realize that Gforte has disregarded her query in regards to getting the Lobstrocity up and running again, at least for right now. Even so, she stands near it, glancing between it and Gforte, and beyond him, the others. "I personally wouldn't mind a word with her, at the very least."
Sunflash gives a shrug. "Doubt she could tell me more of what I wanna know, but if she's gonna get woken up anyway..." Sir Log-a-lump has directed most of his attention to the surrounding area whilst half-listening to the conversation.
Gforte steps over to Avaline after closing up his mech, and sets his palm on her forehead. A deep breath later, he focuses, and speaks in one calm, clear tone. "Wake up goddamnit."
Avaline Avaline blinks slowly, waking back up. She looks around slowly before remembering where she is. She stares down at the ground in a sullen state.
Gforte nods at the soldier and stands again, stepping back to allow other people to talk to her. "All yours. Just don't try to break anything, eh?" Gforte then turns his attention to standing watch, just incase there are still any soldiers around.
Jillian steps out in front of Gforte as he retreats, turning to sidle up next to the soldier and look down at her, leaning forward and putting her hands on her knees as he speak, as if speaking to a child who didn't know it had just done something wrong. "Dear, we need to ask you a couple of things. And you need to be honest with us. Right now, you have no other choice. Do you understand?"
You say 'First off, who are you and your organization? And specifically, why are you abducting people?'
Sunflash plops down in the grass a few feet away, seemingly bored but obviously listening carefully.
Jacen snaps back to what is going on, almost as if he has been absent for the last few minutes. Being relatively new to the events going on he decides to let those who know more details question the soldier. Taking a seat, he cleans his sword while he waits for what he hopes will be a good story.
Avaline frowns a bit, looking up at you. Taking a deep breathe she breaks into talking. "Phase one... It was decided there were too many "gifted" individuals around the Cleft. SoulLinked Soldiers and Forgotten wouldn't cut it. I'm just a grunt, I don't know the specifics about how it's done or anything like that but the basic idea is, If you can't recruit better soldiers then build some instead. The master needs living people for the process. Corpses can be used as well as souls gathered from
Avaline says ' Harvester crystals but living subjects work best. I'm not sure what happens after processing, my memory of what happened to me after processing is hazy".'
Avaline frowns and looks back at the ground, " Does that anwser your question"?
Gforte listens to Avaline's report while looking for enemies, and shrugs. "Makes sense. Can't raise enough soldiers, use bodies. The soul bit of everything is beyond the line." Gforte spares a quick glance back to Jillian to see how she reacts to the information before returning to scanning the scene.
Jillian considers this for a moment, but her face doesn't change. She seems to be trying to come off as non-aggressive, even friendly. "So you are doing all this because you think there are too many of a specific kind of people in the world? And more to the point, where did this mindset come from? People don't just wake up one day and decide they need to cut down on a certain species."
You say 'Do you remember anything about what happened before... whatever happened to you? Were you abducted, too?'
Avaline blinks rapidly, looking up at you confused. "I think that came out wrong, The goal is not to destroy any one particular race. The master just doesn't really have much trust for living people. Hell, Avaline sits up a bit " I'm dead.. I think, and I know she doesn't trust my type enough to tell us anything that happens after phase one ends. I'm fairly sure I become obsolete by that point." Avaline shudders a bit. "I don't think it has anything to do with one particular race thou
Avaline says ' We weren't told to discriminate between who we were loading into the wagons. Just to load people up."'
Sunflash peers intently about the area, looking for thieves no doubt.
Gforte wanders over to where Sunflash and Jacen are, and speaks to the former in a low tone. "If our dear corpse over there turns out to be able to mutate into one of those huge freaks, what do you take our chances for on beating her?"
Jillian looks up at Gforte for a moment, temporarily taking her attention away from the soldier. "Huge freaks? I'm assuming you witnessed something I did not. But nevertheless, our chances of survival are very good against such an attack." She seems to specifically neglect to say -why-, though, before going back to the girl. "And I'm going to assume you don't know what this 'purpose' of yours is, then?"
You say 'And for the record, you're not obsolete. Any information we gain is more than we had before.'
Sunflash shrugs at Haut, overridden as he was by Jillian. "Think she has the right of it. Between myself and whatever she's got hidden down her shirt, we should be okay with the brutes. Jacen here is more than a match for just about anything mudane as well." He turns his attention back to Jill's conversation. "Don't worry about it."
Jacen coughs and points his sword in Sunflash's direction. "Mundane, huh? Guess I'll just sit back and let you take care of the big baddies then!" With that he turns his attention back to his cleaning. "However, I do agree with you both, I think we can handle whatever this thing might do."
Avaline frowns a bit at the "thing" comment and with more confidence to Jillian "Sorry mam, I'm just a soldier not the best soldier but my general job entails "Go here shoot that don't shoot that and grab that" I'm not told most of the big picture stuff, Frankly I don't want to know.
Gforte shrugs. If the rest of the people were confident in their ability to kill the girl if she attepted to harm them, then that was fine. He runs an eye over Jacen though, and pulls one of the grenades from his backpack before tossing it to him. "There. That'll help even your playing field. Know how to use it, right?"
Jacen says 'Yeah, Pull the pin and toss it to Sunny right?'
Jillian frowns somewhat, but not harshly. "But I saw what your kind did, out there. You have no idea how displeasing it was. If your mission was to abduct others, why would you kill each other? Does being on the same side mean nothing to you? Adding the fact that, I'm going to guess, you felt no remorse..." Jillian trails off, looking a little sullen. This was apparently bothering her a lot, as she dwelled on it.
You say 'But if you're dead... you can't really feel things like remorse, anymore. Can you?'
Sunflash smirks at Jacen. "What's it called, hot potatoe? That could be amusing."
Jacen stands, sheaths his sword, and carefully places the new toy on his belt, saving it for a rainy day. After popping his back, he turns to the others, "Not sure about leveling the field, but it'll definitely go towards getting rid of something!"
Avaline Looks up at Jillian Puzzled, "I'm not sure what yo---- something clicks in her head"Oh,... OH! you thought we were. Of course you did... What else would it look like, You're talking about "Immortality Protocal" right. err no, you don't know what that means... Uh You're talking about when my commander presumably started shooting everyone right?
Avaline is starting to babble again. Not in a teary or scared way, a sort of overdosed on sugar type of babble.
Gforte raises an eyebrow, and steps forwards to the girl. He squats, raising an eyebrow at her. "No, go back. Immortality protocal. What's that all about? Your boss trying to collect up a bunch of souls to keep him from dying?"
Jillian takes a step back, letting Gforte interrupt on the interrogation process. She apparently needed a moment to compose herself anyway, as her tail has gone somewhat limp to display an outward expression of how she actually feels about her earlier statement. This is a stark departure for the typically calm, collected nature she generally exhibits.
Avaline says ' .. "No No No, The master is fine... Well physically. Immortality protocal is the part where we shoot ourselves to avoid capture.... Actually that kind of sounds counter productive but I swear it makes sense! Only Soulinked follow Immortality protocal.. I'm not a necromancer I don't know the specifics... We get to respawn as long as our gem is still in tact back at whatever outpost we are stationed at. Just need some raw flesh and the body reforms..... or something, Seriously I'm not a necromancer '
Avaline says ' it's probably more complicated then that." Avaline takes a deep breathe and continues " It started as an experiment or something for a bigger project the Master is planning, we've mostly just been put on grunt work assignments since the experiment ended.... What you probably saw was just those who probably couldn't escape extracting the only way they could.. All that got lost were a few corpses... and guns.. We seem to go through a lot of guns in the Soulinked batallion... Another reason we'll probably be "obsolete" soon.'
Gforte seems extremely uninterested as soon as Avaline divulges that, and scoffs before standing back up and moving away from her. "Damn shitty immortality if you ask me. More like limited reincarnation."
"So in this whole endeavour, your story is that you were only following orders. Is it safe to assume that the rest of them got away through some method other than walking?" Jillian walks back up to Gforte and the soldier, looking a little better. "We found traces of a translocative field, but no device with which to active it."
Sunflash nudges Avaline.
Avaline says ' The portals work on a very crude network...'
Sunflash says ' Well of course its 'crude'. Reality doesn't like having gaping holes ripped through it just because you're too lazy to take the long way. Details, lass, details!'
Avaline says ' I couldn't tell you how to use it... but it's normally only used in special cases, the mechanisim is a living body any living body... Again not a necromancer... No idea how it works and it's also something I really don't want to know.'
Avaline says ' We didn't have a big force with us..'
Avaline says ' The commander of the expidition panicked.'
Avaline says ' We don't normally get tailed on missions like this..'
Avaline says ' Oddly enough this is the first time anyone has left the show in time to chase us.'
Avaline says ' Normally that works out better.'
Jillian shakes her head at this, the thought of what she'd seen still apparently bothering her somewhat. "Haut, what do you want to do from here? The way I see it is as follows: They don't give away their plans to the grunts, which she claims to be. She's surrounded by us, so I don't expect her to be lying to us, especially after seeing that mind-influencing trick you assumedly-used."
You say 'We don't have any leads, or any further knowledge on the situation. The best I see us being able to do is poke around for the possibility of finding a lead, but the chances of that are... slim. Most likely.'
Gforte sighs slowly, and then pinches the bridge of his nose. After spending a few moments longer thinking, he shrugs. "Right." He points at Sunflash and Jacen. "You two. Take the girl and go find that outpost she talked about. Kill them, take any info they have." He reaches into his backpack, pulls out a cell phone, and tosses it to Sunflash. "My number's on there, just don't use it too much, it's on a pay for minutes plan." He points to Jillian. "You and me are going back to Viorar. Good with that?"
Sunflash peers at you quizzically.
Sunflash catches the phone and slips it inside a belt-pouch. "Don't see a problem with that, sure. What, roughly, are you planning; so I know where to find you if yer phone doesn't work?" He obviously assumes Jacen is just going to go along with this madcap scheme anyway.
Sunflash assumes correctly. As Jacen adjusts his belt, he steps over next to Sunflash and waves around. "We could always just follow the line of exploded and burning trees. Next best thing to bread crumbs."
Avaline doesn't say anything, as she really doesn't have anything more to say at this point.
Jillian looks conflicted, briefly. She looks between Sunflash/Jacen, the female soldier, and Gforte, at least a couple of times. She finally nods, turning to Sunflash and Jacen. "Do whatever you have to do to find out what is going on, and possibly stop or prevent further problems. But don't hurt her. She did her part, and everything we asked. Okay?"
Gforte waves off Jillian. "Please, upstanding citizens as such? The girl will be fine. As for my plan, I need to get parts to fix up my mech, and if I can find one of those old bunkers of mine I could probably get some more tools too. No set place for us though, so hold on to that cell."
Sunflash nods at Jill. "Since you asked so nicely, I'll even put her safety at the top of the list." With his little jab insertedThe hell was the point of that you idiot, Sunny peers at Avaline. "Two things: You said yer outpost was way out in the Veldt, right? And do you think you'll pose a problem, or do I hafta put you to sleep for your safety?"
Avaline says ' I'm not entirely sure what exactly I could even do to you... Unless you plan on handing me a gun or something.'
Avaline says ' Oooh maybe a grenade, I'm good with those.'
Sunflash says ' You skipped the first bit, lass.'
Jacen waves off Sunflash. "I think we'll be fine" After checking his gear one last time he looks at the others. "Okay, ready to go, Sword at hand, and..." peering at Avaline "Grenade secure."
Jillian leans forward in a subtle bow to Jacen and Sunflash, specifically regarding the latter's promise, turning to the soldier for a moment, and looks like she was going to say something, but abstains following the small discourse on grenades and firearms. She instead emits a sigh, and turns to follow Gforte back to the mech, looking rather uncertain about things, but doing her best to stave it off.
Avaline looking at Sunflash, "To The Veldt"?
Gforte pulls the box from his pocker, and presses the button on it again to roll the mech into a ball. This time however, he also twists a dial, and the lobster ball begins rolling off, apparentally under it's own mind as to where to go. "Right. Come on Jill, let's get back to town."