The Guardians of London: Third Echelon CHAPTER THREE [6 Slots Open]

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Lord_Ascendant:

willofbob:

Daft Sikes:

Lord_Ascendant:

willofbob:

Lord_Ascendant:

Daft Sikes:

Lord_Ascendant:

Alright forget spoilering for now, we're all Out of Character.

*hits tobi with the newspaper*
Bad puppy! Just kidding.

We're going on to Chapter Two and everyone whose given me a character sheet and is in is approved for Chapter Two. There IS a bloody group but no one will join it search for Guardians of London it should come up and send your requests to join.

AS OF NOW CHAPTER ONE IS OVER, WE'VE GOT ENOUGH PLOT INFORMATION TO PUSH ON INTO CHAPTER TWO. THIS IS WHERE THE REAL ACTION BEGINS!

*By the way, prepare for at least one musical interlude*

EDIT: SEARCH "Guardians of London: Third Echelon" UNDER GROUPS AND REQUEST TO JOIN.

Lord_Ascendant:

*By the way, prepare for at least one musical interlude*

Not sure if serious...

@Mortis; Or being strange...

Mortis Nuncius:

Lord_Ascendant:

*By the way, prepare for at least one musical interlude*

Not sure if serious...

Oh, I'm serious.

This my serious face.

:|

Lord_Ascendant:

Mortis Nuncius:

Lord_Ascendant:

*By the way, prepare for at least one musical interlude*

Not sure if serious...

Oh, I'm serious.

This my serious face.

:|

Oh my...that face does look serious...

REDACTED

Lord_Ascendant:

Hey guys, sorry I was gone, things got crazy for a bit. But Im back now, promise

EVERYONE HEAD OVER TO THE GROUP!

Chapter Two is up there for preview. Get yourself ready and when you see CHAPTER TWO in the tagline, post away!

It was a cold morning, and the protesters outside were already at a clamor. Waking early, tied and unable to sleep, Bastian stepped up to the fountain and splashed it's exceedingly cold water to wake himself. On the ground floor he walked towards the dining hall, where Guardians were already awake and eating. The cooks looked tired, bags under their eyes, and Bastian only asked for "A little porridge with brown sugar and maple syrup if there's any left. Sorry to bother."

The chants were muffled within and over a warm bowl of sloppy porridge, Bastian looked at the London Daily Times.

PROTESTS CONTINUE INTO THIRD DAY

Three days of rioting and protesting the civil rights of Magic-Users and Monsters, the Metropolitan Police are unable to stem the tide of protesters and their push o Parliament. The ever-faithful Guardians have remained penned up and have refused to make any statements. They come before Parliament today to speak on this issue, sending renowned Guardian and voice of the common man Sebastian Wyre to speak before a join session of Parliament. A large force of black feather wearing, black flag carrying protesters overturned a police van today and were sprayed with pepper spray and arrested. (Page 3, Protest)

Bastian opened the paper past the political cartoons and the editorials to the Sports page and calmly read about last night's football game between Manchester and Liverpool. High Master Pharisee walked in and looked down his jackal face at Bastian. "A poor man's breakfast?" he asked, picking up a plate of carefully seasoned and prepared meat and broth, his usual meal in the morning.
"Yes, High Master. I see you were unable to sway your brothers and sisters to send someone else."
Pharisee nodded and said "Sadly, Arcturus and Skald sided against me and Miss Esmeralda was unconvinced of my speech."
Bastian nodded and kept eating, listening to Pharisee through slurping bites of mutton haunch.
"You see...you are the best...person to speak for us...and the other...High Masters...would rather you...over someone less qualified." taking one last crunch of the bone before slurping out the marrow and picking up the bowl and draining it's contents into his gullet, spilling some in the process. He once was a man, but an experiment gone awry transformed him into a half-jackal half-man. He regains his intelligence and mastery of the arcane though he is frightening. He wiped his muzzle with a handkerchief and said "You'll do fine, Bastian. Everyone believes in you."
Bastian made a wry face and said "I hope their belief is not misplaced."


~~~

The marching colum of Honor Guard that followed Bastian, all Masters and wearing the golden and emerald encrusted armor, their faceless masks etched with the symbol of the guard's patron Great Guardians. Two Libras, a Pisces, a Taurus, and two Capricorns followed Bastian all the way up to the chambers, past the insult hurling and jeering crowds of protesters carrying signs, waving plain black flags and throwing dead flowers. Bastian kept silent as he walked, the halberds of his Guard parting the sea of people as he walked up the hill to the new Parliament building. The first being demolished to expand the Guardian's Sanctuary.

The chambers of Parliament were no different, muttering abounded and a hush came over as Bastian spoke his prepared speech.
"Gentleman and ladies of Parliament. I come before you speak on behalf of my Order, the Guardians of Light. I speak with the voice of my Order."
Bastian cleared his throat and began.
"On the topic of civil rights for those who are monstrous or who are able to wield powers arcane, the Guardians of Light stand with those wearers of the black feather."
There were gasps and shouting, but the Prime Minister banged his gavel and there was silence.
"You see...Parliament has for too long looked down on those people we guard and too long have we allowed our Order to be used to punish and inflict pain on our own. You think we are ignorant savages, and you've been so many places I guess it must be so. But still I cannot see if the savage one is me, how can there be so much that you don't know? You don't know..." Here, Bastian began to sing...quietly at first but he began to swell as magic swirled and painted images before him in living color. "You think you own what ever land you land on, the earth is just a dead thing you can claim. But I know every rock and tree and creature has a life, has a spirit, has a name. You think the only people who are people are the people who look and think like you. But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger you'll learn things you never knew you never knew. Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon or asked the grinning bobcat why he grinned? Can you sing with all the voices of the mountain? Can you paint with all the colors of the wind? Can you paint with all the colors of the wind? Come run the hidden pine-trails of the forests, come taste the sun-sweet berries of the earth. Come roll in all the riches all around you and for once never wonder what they're worth. The rainstorm and the river are my brothers, the heron and the otter are my friends and we are all connected to each other in a circle, in a hoop that never ends. How high does the sycamore grow? If you cut it down, then you'll never know and you'll never hear the wolf cry to the blue cor moon or whether we are mortal or arcane. We need to sing with all the voices of the mountain, need to paint with all the colors of the wind. You can own the earth and still all you'll own is earth until you can paint...with all the colors of the wind..."
The people of Parliament were silent before one shouted out "That was stirring, but why do you stand with these ingrates who clutter our doorstep?"
"Because, for too long have you simply owned the Guardians and owned the people of your United Kingdom. It is time you learned to respect your people, walk in their footsteps, feel their suffering, or be torn down as tyrants. The Guardians of Light stand united with the Black Flags, and we demand that this Parliament change. The Conclave has been summoned and will meet at midnight tonight. If no agreement is made, then on the next day the Conclave will declare a state of noncompliance and we will walk out from service. We will protest with those in the streets all over the world. We will Occupy these chamber and not back down until we are heard. Shout it from the clifftops, the Conclave has spoken! WE DRAW THE LINE HERE, THIS FAR AND NO FURTHER! THE CONCLAVE DEMANDS JUSTICE, AND JUSTICE WILL BE SERVED WHETHER BY THE PEN OR BY THE SWORD! Now, I will leave you all to debate which one is preferable." Bastian then turned as the Parliament erupted into a fierce clamor, his work was done and he Honor Guard closed aroudn him. The police first rose up to stop them but the halberd's points forced them to back down. Bastian waved some orange fate spindles around as he walked by. Outside, there was a hush as Bastian raised his hands and proclaimed "THE GUARDIANS, AND THE CONCLAVE, STAND WITH THE BLACK FLAGS!" there was such a cheer that none has ever heard before and Bastian returned to the Sanctuary in triumph, elation stealing into his step.

The crowd was jubilant as Bastian passed through the golden gates and into the safety of the Sanctuary. He steered towards the dungeons immediately, knowing exactly what to do next.

She was sitting on the cold iron bed, staring at the wall. "You're awful quiet today." said Bastian. The woman did not answer, she simply kept staring. Her horns were nicely curled back and gleaming, their fuzzy covering having sloughed off. "We made our statement today..."
"Sold us to the dogs, did you?" she said, unfeeling.
"No."
She looked at Bastian said, in a questioning voice, "No?"
Bastian shook his head.
"Then..." she started, trailing.
"We've sided with those feathers and flags out there."
"But...why?"
"It's time for everyone to have rights. The blacks got them, the women got them...why not a werewolf...or a spellcaster?"
She was silent and after a short silence she said "Now what?"
"I let you free, on the promise you help us finish this campaign."
"You...you need my help?"
"WE need your help."

Bastian unlocked the cage and she stepped out daintily. "There is a meeting soon, the Conclave is coming together. We'd like you to be there."
The woman nodded and said "I...I'll go...I just need..."
Bastian nodded, "Go and get what you need. I'll have guards escort you. The crowds are rather...animated today."

~~~

Bastian tapped his communicator twice, signaling the people he had selected to accompany him to the Monolith. "If all members of the departing party would go to the Aerie and start boarding I will be along shortly" he said before turning to the man in his room. "I'll miss you, Fred." he tussled his hair and said "Don't be a dope."
He smiled and said "For you, I'll try to stay out of trouble," and he winked. They hugged and Bastian stepped out of his room and walked towards the large ornate door covered in a relief of soaring eagles. It was a massive elevator that led all the way up, above the clouds, to the Aerie. Where the huge zeppelins docked. There in it's massive splendor was the Wind and Sail IV She was a beauty with her brass undercarraide and oak and pine paneling and floors. She was luxury afloat on the winds, and the Guardians could afford such a floating home. After saying goodbye to the oldest of his brothers, he had one more person to say goodbye to. There he was, a kind of shining splendour that would put you to your knees. A handsome man in a long coat and fedora, blustering in the wind. "Little wind up here?" shouted Bastian over the wind.
"Aye! Look at you, you'll blow away like a kite."
They embraced and kissed, "You thought I'd let you go without a goodbye" said the man, a Scotsman by the name of Charlie.
"I couldn't forget you, what kind of person would I be? Come on, I got to get going." said Bastian, looking at the gangway.
He turned Bastian's face towards his and said "You come back in one piece, no heroics and defined no shenanigans!
He smiled and they hugged again "Goodbye, Charlie. I'll see you soon."

It wasn't much of a secret within the Guardians of Bastian's sexual preferences, but the outside world knew nothing of it. It was needed to cloud Bastian's real life from his work in order to keep the respect of his people. Bastian already knew the kind of hatred and cruelty humans were capable of.

[HERE THE CHAPTER BEGINS. MAKE OF IT WHAT YOU WILL, FOR WE PREPARE TO WEIGH ANCHOR AND SAIL THE SKIES FOR SWITZERLAND.]

Hadrian walked out of his room, luggage in one hand thrown over his shoulder, and a bottle of whiskey in another. He was wearing a grey three-piece suit, with the jacket unbuttoned and one end of the undershirt sticking out, and a pair of black bluchers.

Hadrian took one last swig of his whiskey before throwing it over his shoulder. Glass shattered and a yelp sounded from behind him. Hadrian payed it no mind and promptly entered the elevator, with the doors closing as quickly as he entered. He heard someone run into the door behind him, shouting and hitting the glass. Without looking back, he made a little wave, and the elevator shot up.

The elevator came to an abrupt stop and the doors opened. He stepped out and proceeded to the zeppelin that he and his companions would be travelling in. Once he reached the dock, Hadrian found Bastian hugging someone, probably a friend of his. Hadrian decided to make his presence known.
"Sebastian Wyre," he stepped beside him. "Saying your goodbyes?"

"Yes..." said Bastian, turning around..."Begins with and H dosen't it? Your name I mean...Hadrian, like the wall. Am I right?" he asked.

He walked onto the airship as the whistle sounded once. "Half hour until launch..." Bastian remarked. "We had better settle ourselves..."

The airship was one massive single balloon with a brass and steel carriage. It was fancy on the interior; persian carpets, hardwood floors of oak and pine, fine glass and pearl doorhandles, and other niceties. Within the bridge was the massive glowing blue and purple orb that commanded it. The machine was not controlled so much as reigned like a horse. There is a massive air elemental inside, raging and swirling. The orb, about the size of a man's skull, was perfectly round and smooth. The glass held an extremely powerful enchantment, it controlled the elemental and willed it to fly the airship. The elemental was tamed by others, members of the Crimson Order, a far reaching Eastern order of monks and sorcerers dedicated to preserving the ancient magics and creatures of the Far East. This air elemental was bought from an Indian merchant who had come from Mongolia with this rapacious dust devil known as Ssusumruss the Storm's Rapine. Bastian had parted with Hadrian and was looking out the massive forward window, awaiting his team and for cast-off. In lowered glass bubbles near the front were 2 50 caliber machine guns, added during the war, as well as huge enchanted cannons that could be charged with any spell, amplifying it a thousandfold.

It was a beautiful ship.

Hadrian moved to texamining the orb that contained the elemental. "Interesting..." Hadrian whispered. He tapped the glass and observed as Ssusumruss danced around in the orb. He began to chuckle, before catching himself and standing up straight.

He went and joined Bastian at the front window, who was currently staring at the city below.
"The answer to you earlier question would be Hadrian Selene by the way," he drawled. "When should we arrive at our destination?"

"We'll probably be arriving....two days? Minimum at least, she's a fast ship. The fastest." he replied. They were on the promenade, heading to the private chambers. The first door that he saw, Bastian spun the wheel and opened. Following the hall to the rooms, Bastian picked one at random and looked inside. Fairly nice, it was.

There was a bellowing from the brass air tube, an aeromancer's enchantment had turned it into a PA system. "Something is irritating the elemental. Somebody feed it, please?"
"Want to see how you feed an Air Elemental, Hadrian?"

Hadrian nodded. "But let's be quick about it. I want to settle in as soon as possible."
He didn't sound very interested, but in reality, he was excited. He has never encountered an Air Elemental up close before, let alone see one feeding.

There was a large area with a steel ladder leading up it, a place connecting to the massive gasbag where the Air Elemental made it's home. It was a large circular area, surrounded by metal and glass. Outside the glass and above them, the Air Elemental raged.

It was like a tempest given form. It had a vaguely human shape, tapering into a violent whirlwind spiraling outwards. When it saw them, it made a crackle of electricity within it's massive mouth and placed it's swirling hand upon the glass. They could head the wind howl.

"Come to feed me again so soon?" said the creature, it's voice coming and going like the wind.
"Yes, we must be off soon. We are relying on you." said Bastian. Making the creature seem important and special made it easier to handle. It saw the vessel as a means to adventure, telling it the truth would simply confuse and agitate it. The last time the creature was agitated, they had been caught in a doldrum for weeks because it refused to move until it was allowed more food, more often. It was insatiably hungry for it's food, and that food was arcane energy.

An Elemental is a natural spirit, part of the earth. They feast upon the natural energies of the earth and when the World Tree was poisoned, they suffered famine. Now once again pacified by the return of plentiful food, they were complacent enough to be captured and bent to the will of humans. This one was stubborn and still mostly free.

The ley energy pylon was in the center, with a simple elver controlling the amount of energy flowing through it.
"Give it some juice, Hadrian. But not too much."

Hadrian pulled on the lever, locking it into "moderate,"and watched as a green light flowed into the Elementals orb.
He made an exaggerated bow to the elemental.
"Enjoy your meal sir," he said with just a hint of snobbishness.

Jeffery had turned around the corner. It was the current year, Jeffery couldn't be bothered to remember it. His gasmask on tight to his face and heavy trenchcoat swathed his body. He dragged his shotgun behind him. He knew he wasn't supposed to but he did it anyways. More of a thing for comfort than anything. He marched with an awkward combination of a menacing stagger and military precision. Making him look thoroughly drunk.
He caught up with Bastion and tapped him on the shoulder. As Bastion turned he waved.

Hadrian noticed the newcomer from the corner of his eye and swerved on his heel to face him.
"Ah, another member of the team?" he looked at his clothing with a raised eyebrow. "Interesting choice of attire. Might I ask for your name?"

Jeffery turned and waved and with a quick movement snapped off the buckle on the back of the gas mask. He shook out his mangy grey hair. "Jeffery. And the attire is not terrible interesting. It is standard german military attire." His eyes looked like they were both unfocused. Jeffery himself seemed to be staring through Hadrian. "Hadrian, right? Or am I looking at the wrong time?"

The orb flashed static, like a plasma orb, and it swirled around it, green energy arcing through it's body. It made a contented whirring sound, the winds quieting, but only slightly.

Bastian was so off-guard, he didn't notice the ticking noise coming from his pocket. Bastian puleld out multiple objects; the ley detector, the mirror shard he used to check for invisible or demonic creatures and everything else before he looked at the chronometer. It was ticking at a +2, meaning some residual energy was changing time's flow, making it faster.

"Turn it off." said Bastian, looking at the devise. Waving it around, he didn't notice the shadow dart for him and grab his arm, whipping him with such force he slammed into the glass and caused it to spiderweb. Bastian looked around, to see the Golden Skull draw his hidden blades and engage Hadrian.

Bastian did not waited, he drew his gun and fired once but missed, hitting the glass on the far side. He threw the gun down, it would be no use here. He drew his sword instead and rushed forward, hoping to aid Hadrian in time. The Golden Skull had somehow gotten into the ship and Bastian would not let him sabotage them.

"That's right, a pleasure to meet you." Hadrian looked into his eyes, raising his brows again. "Are you alright? Do you need to sit down or..."
Hadrian saw Bastian brandishing his blade and running at him and Jeffrey aiming his shotgun. Hadrian, in turn, turned around and kicked his would-be assailant in the stomach, while simultaneously pulling out the throwing knives concealed in his coat and placed several in the intruder's head.

"Sincerely doubt thank I one, you need." His wording was bizarre and seemed very out of place. As if he was preoccupied with something. Suddenly Jeffery turned as he raised his shotgun in one hand and aimed at the assailant thing. He had a feeling that he'd seen it before. Or will. Wait. Of course he will. He sees it now. He fired the shotgun twice, each time the recoil nearly bashing him in the head.

The bullets from the shotgun hit the glass, but the glass was reinforced and did not break. The elemental outside was roaring and watching, confused. Bastian swung his blade at the Golden Skull, slashing him from behind and scraping it against metal armor. Whatever it was, it was strong enough to shrug off steel blows. The Golden Skull elbowed him in the face but was sent reeling by a kick to the stomach. Bastian whirled and leapt, both hands on the blade and jammed it deep into the Golden Skull's left side. It scraped against the armor but cut through it, punching a deep gash in his side. The Golden Skull yowled in pain and retracted his blades, throwing a smoke bomb at Bastian's face. The puff blinded him and smoke filled the area.

Hadrian gazed hatefully into the smoke-filled area.
His hands were twitching uncontrollably, before he clenched them into a fist. He ran to the middle of the room, and retrieved his case. He quickly pulled out his katara and locked them onto his arms. Feeling a presence behind him, he turned and lunged, but stopped himself. It was only Jeffery.

Jeffery pointed his shotgun at the golden skully guy thing. He focused his eyes. The Skull man. His left pupil which had been subtly rotating backwards began to rapidly spin forwards. "3 second preview. Go." He watched the skull man move through the smoke. Following the possibilites of actions taken and decided on the best one he reattached his gasmask, took three steps forward and grabbed into his coat, pulling out a shovel which he brought smashing down into his armor.

The Golden Skull was on the floor. Hadrian took this chance to leap forward onto his back and jam his blades into both of his arms, pinning him to the floor. He twisted his feet, grinding the Golden Skulls armor into his skin, letting out a pained shout.
Hadrian smiled viciously. "Hurts, doesn't it?"
He ground his foot harder, and harder until he got thrown off. The Golden Skull turned to face him. Hadrian just laughed and beckoned him forward. The Golden Skull dashed forward, with Hadrian dodging to the left and slashing Soul down his back. However, he recieved a gash along his leg from a hidden blade.

Benjamin O'Leary, also known as Lurker in the Light, took this moment to see the gasbag. He had been on board for a matter of hours and had grown bored of his quaters.
The first thing he noticed was that a cloaked figure in a bizzare mask was fighting a man in multiple trenchcoats, a scots-irish lad and . He shrugged and drew his gun, pointing it at the Skull.

"Why is it everyone feels it necessary to come find me when I'm about to get killed?" asked Bastian, swiping at the Golden Skull. He dodged neatly and shoved Bastian back.
Enough of this nonsense he thought and called up his magic. The unwinding threads of orange energy lashed out and turned into huge vines, curling around the arms of the Golden Skull. The Golden Skull released his hidden blades, causing the spell to wither. But Bastian simply walked up to the Golden Skull and pistol whipped him to the ground and began to beat the living daylights out of him with his feet and fists.

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