Two of the men moved behind the group, giving them a friendly "nudge" as the elader exited the inn with the group in tow, before too long they reached an old warehouse that they were promptly shoved inside of, the door closing behind them. an intercom buzzed on the wall "Where is Kronos?" Queried a disembodied voice
"Come again?" Em said, wondering if she'd heard them right.
Damn, I thought we'd faked his death pretty well.
On the way to the warehouse, it occurred to Savannah that he still had that egg. Producing it slowly so as not to alert their captors, he handed it to Hammond.
"I believe this is hers."
"Where. is. Kronos." He repeated, a growl was heard from somewhere in the back of the wherehouse "I suggest you hurry up and answer. my pet is rather hungry."
Em looked at the others, wondering if she should push her luck.
Sure, I'd get a cheap laugh out of it, but then we might get eaten. No joke is worth that.
The scraping of a metal grate opening was heard "Tick tock" said the voice
"The Kenroll Inn," Hammond lied, "You brought us all the way here just to find out he was exactly where you just left." He hoped he had been convincing enough. He doubted it though...
The scraping was heard once more "Do you honestly believe we didn't scope the place before we retrieved you? had Kronos been there that Inn would have been nothing but ash and broken glass"
Wait... He quickly pieced it together in his mind, the explosion, the voice, the threats... "So you were the ones behind his attempted assassination... You want to make sure he's dead this time?" He chuckled.
"Makes enough sense. It's a pity that we don't know. He ran away while we were otherwise preoccupied, haven't seen him since." He felt this lie was more solidly put together since it was all technically true. None of them knew whether he had stayed with Magnis at the original inn or whether he had run during the fight with the psionic.
A sigh was heard over the intercom "And I had hoped I wouldn't have to do th-- what the hell?" "MONKIES" yelled a new voice, and a man promptly came flying through the ceiling, then a couple more through the wall. a man with a shaved head and a wild gleam in his eye came in and looked around, cackled, then ran off, leaving one of the masked men standing alone, with five very angry people
Em smiled happily, unsheathing both her daggers.
"Who wants to go first?" She asked the others politely.
There was a loud metallic crunch from the back of the warehouse, followed by a roar, the man quickly offered "Right, i'll come along silently, can we leave please?"
Savannah was of the opinion that the persistence of the people he was with, everyone in the town, and indeed the Universe itself in wasting his time had just now driven him insane. Putting this concern to one side for the moment, he drew out his pistol, and made it clear to the masked man that he wasn't afraid to use it.
"WHY ARE YOU AIMING AT ME!?" The man screamed "Whatever the boss keeps stored in here has just gotten loose and you're freaking aiming at ME!?"
Hammond raised his hand, gesturing to Savannah to lower his gun. "We can leave... You can't. If this thing is as dangerous as you think it is, we'll need bait." He grinned. "And guess who just drew the short straw?"
"Come on. We have places to be that don't look like this one." He picked up Ari again, slightly annoyed that she had still not had the confidence to walk by herself yet, and set off for the exit.
"But...But...I can take you to our leader! C'mon guys! I didn't wanna' do this to you but he he had a sniper trained on me!" the man exclaimed
"Sav, kneecap him." Alo spat, "I think we should leave,"
He turned to follow after Hammond, putting Ari's other arm over his sholder.
"He'll be coming after you next! any of your friends or families are as good as dead!" the man screamed, there was a loud scream and a sickening crunch, followed by a roar very, very close behind the group
"Well... boohoo? I guess that puts them in the overlapping region in a Venn diagram of 'Wrong place', 'Wrong time' and 'Heroes who don't give two shits', doesn't it?"
They left quite quickly, hoping that whatever had roared had also been preoccupied with it's new toothpick.
"Us? Heroes? Pfft.." Em laughed at Hammonds words. She looked behind them with unease.
"Although maybe we should at least slow it down? Otherwise there will be no one left to scam." She said thoughtfully.
Savannah was already making his way out. Perhaps, just perhaps, this was his chance to escape the lunacy about him.
Aloran looked over his sholder, something moved in the darkness, claws and scales.
"Guys, I know a fair bit about monsters." He said worried, "We should be running."
"Good point Alo... But it's only one monster. How hard could it be to run from?" He looked back, as did Aloran, though they shared very different opinions of the situation. Hammond was in no doubt that this monster was nothing to be afraid of. Alo was more cautious.
Hammond ordered Ari to climb onto his back instead, to leave his hands free in case they had to fight and to let him run more freely, and she obeyed. She wrapped her arms around him to hold on as tightly as possible.
"I'll get Ari's stuff from the hospital. The rest of you... Check on Kronos. Make sure these guys haven't gotten to him." He nodded to Alo as the roars began to get louder, and with that he quickly shot off towards the hospital, hoping that he had gone fast enough to exclude himself from the monster's menu.
Luckily it seemed that as Hammond and Ari went their own way the monster went after Alo, Savannah and Em. Why? He had no idea, but he was thankful for it.
They came to a canter, Hammond breathing deeply to make up for all of his lost breath during the escape. Ari slid off his back, letting him breath entire lungfulls of air again. Yeh, start walking now. That really helps...
As Savannah ran from the monster, he threw a look back at it and then opened his briefcase and brought out the pistol. He considered possible strategies. He didn't know how intelligent the creature was.
"I am considering us splitting up, to confuse the creature. However, there may be more of our captors out there. Your thoughts?" He asked in a remarkably calm voice.
"Fine with me." Em said, as they ran through a door to the streets outside. She darted to the right, unsheathing both her daggers in case she ran into anyone.
Clutching her egg tightly with one arm, Ari lead Hammond with the other as he gulped down the surrounding air. She was sure the others could stall the beast long enough for them to get her chips so they stood a better chance at defeating it. If they could get close enough of course.
"'Are you okay, Hammond?' 'I'm sorry that you had to carry me all the way here.' Are you thinking of saying either of those things at any point today?" Hammond asked aloud, hoping it would cause Ari to say words again. It had been hours since he had heard her, so something was still wrong. He guessed a lack of confidence was the issue.
He stopped, his breathing was back to normal now and he felt a bit better. "Fine, fine. Don't talk. Just give me a nod or something to answer. Are you okay?"
"Oh great. At least that's one of us." He chuckled and turned his attention back to the direction they were going. It seemed that they had reached the hospital far earlier than they expected, apparently he must have run a lot further than he thought.
They entered the hospital's lobby again, stepping into the weird scent of hospital food and supplies that, much to Hammond's annoyance, never seemed to go away. Either way, their trip here would hopefully be a brief one. They stepped up to the counter, a much sunnier individual there than the previous one.
"Hello, yes, my friend here has grown better from her condition and now needs her weapons and equipment returned to her. Her name is Aricla Neree."
"And the items, Miss Neree?" said the receptionist.
Hammond interrupted, "Beam rifle, beam sword, pistol and a bag of microchips. All should be fairly easy to find." He turned to Ari, as the receptionist slinked away to find the items in question. "And you thought I didn't pay attention?"
Ari smiled politely at Hammond not wanting to correct him and ruin his moment. Instead, she waited patiently for the receptionist to return with her things, her egg snug in her arms.
When the receptionist returned Ari handed Hammond the egg and took the equipment that was being held out gingerly towards her. She avoided his gaze as she checked the chamber of her rifle for any bullets left inside, trying not to annoy him as best as she could.
With her equipment strapped in place and her egg back in her arms, they set off again to find out the fate of their friends.
"Apparently this monster likes blondes!" Em panted to herself, running through the streets. She could hear its thundering steps far behind her, and as she rounded another corner she heard a few screams from civilians.
"Maybe I should be holding a sign... Saying "If I'm running, you should be too!"" She mused to herself.
She stopped for a quick rest, she had managed to run all the way to the docks.
"Blurgh... Fish.." She panted, wrinkling her nose at the smell.
The creature burst through the crowd and leapt till it was directly in front of Em, then it sat. and stared.
"Eep.." Em froze, staring right back at the creature.
Niiiice weird wolf-like thing... You don't wanna hurt me, I taste like the inside of shoes. Em thought to herself, hoping her thoughts would show on her face.
It just sat there, head canted to the side in a very feline fashion