"A puppet act? I can try..." Cecilia sighed seeing no real idea otherwise, "How do we intend to move the cage itself? Or fix it? Magic? Stonefuse?" Cecilia picked the guard up, and propped him next to the cage.
Sitting down back inside of it, she crossed her legs and stretched her arms, "I can't make him move naturally without ghosting completely out of body, but I can at least make him move in front of it."
Ghosting limbs with her back to the guard on the cage, she made him stand and look attentive, the number of hand s being used varied from joint to joint.
Aleister listened to the plan that the group was thinking of to get their weapons back from the Fristic Empire. It seems that Faunra would dress up in the knocked out guards clothing, whilst Cecilia would use her ghost limbs to make the other one move as well. Despite this, another problem soon arose.
"How do we intend to move the cage itself? Or fix it? Magic? Stonefuse?" Cecilia asked the group, hoping someone had an idea.
"You know, with my magic restored, I can repair the cage, and might even be able to get it mobile."
Hearing no further suggestions, Faunra took the uniform from Atticus and found a quiet corner to change. A few minutes later she returned dressed in a just slightly too big uniform, her normal clothing tucked under her arm. "Can someone hold on to these for me?" she said, holding up said normal clothing.
Thereafter, she took her position in front of the group, ready to play her role when the time came. She just hoped the others could find a way to repair the cage and get it moble; a task she had no hope of helping accomplish.
Prail had stayed back from proceedings for a while. After all she couldn't really interrogate someone that doesn't speak her language. She knew very little about magic she was lucky their frost magic was useless if not actually beneficial to her. The mind stuff however, scared her to be honest, recently vague memories were surfacing. She couldn't make sense of them but felt something screwing with her.
She resisted the urge to swing her tail a fit slowing it down so it wasn't going to be dangerous.
Only just free and they suggested they go back into the cage.
She followed the instructions. Trying not to get in the way where she lacked skill.
Caedis nodded to the plan, seeing nothing to contribute except for stepping forward and holding Faunra's clothing while she would lead the way. She got back in cage and made sure her icicle wasn't melted and luckily it still retained it sharp shape. In case things would go awry in between their transit to the armory or getting into the armory, she would have something to fall back to besides her fists.
"If the plan were to go south, shouldn't we leave a part of the cage open so we can scramble out instead of being trapped here?" Caedis asked.
"Eh, I'm sure we'll think of something." Atticus said, walking back to the cage. He looked around, they'd brought the cage to what looked like an old school of sorts. Guess they didn't want them around the main castle. Smart. Leaving only two slightly inept guards? Not so much. The main street was out a pair of doors, and from there they'd have to rely on their smarts and luck. The two guards they'd taken out had been caught off guard. Fighting a set of these guyswho new what they were doing could be signing your death warrant.
"If we're set an no one has any objections, we'll get moving." Atticus said, eager to get his tools back.
"I have objections and obvious hesitations, but we've got no better idea to say the least..." Cecilia spoke clearly, and simply.
"In any case we can easily break out of the cage with any number of our skills and number amongst us." Noting Caedis and her comment. Taking a few deep breaths and trying to find her center so to speak, she awaited for a solution to arise for the moving of the cage really.
Memories of her days back at the Guild surfaced, thinking hard on the ordeal with her limbs on their own. She remembered how they had once picked pockets, stolen fruit, or any number of small crimes, all at a little whim. Then again she was much younger and control wasn't always hers to hold. She never got bullied, not physically in the least, and the few times that it was tried ended with broken fingers, or broken spirit.
"Eh, I'm sure we'll think of something." Atticus said in response to Caedis's comment about a Plan B in case things went south; he spoke whilst looking around the area. Judging from the architecture, it looked like some sort of school, a fair distance from a main road or any other important building.
"Yes Atticus, I'm sure something, or someone will come along to assist us; in case we have to fight our way towards the portal, and with each passing second that looks ever the more likely." Aleister remarked, not giving away that help would be on the way, but also that the chances of a quiet exit were slowly decreasing. He then began to charge up some ice magic to repair the cage; but making parts weak for a quick escape.
"If we're set an no one has any objections, we'll get moving." Atticus then said.
"I have no objections, now then, whoever needs to be inside the cage, get in, and we'll get this show on the road." Aleister remarked, eager to regain his weapons and to get out of here; but then he remembered something else that was important.
"What do we do about Conney? We obviously can't leave her here."
"We'll have to rescue her I guess, though I doubt she'll come to any harm so far." Her voice was frankly quite cold. Cecilia still in the cage simply recounted the layout of the place and the maps in her mind, harder to erase, and even more difficult to fool. She hoped nothing the enemy had done had messed with her sense of direction.
Faunra took a deep breath, resolving her self to prepare for the role of "evil-snow-elf guard". Straightening her hat once just to be safe. she sighed and approached the door outside. When everyone was in position, opened the door to their jail and stepped out into the unknown; pretending to guide the cage toward their first goal: their weapons and gear.
Atticus mulled over Aleister's question. Getting their weapons would be a handful within itself, staying any longer than they needed to would be pointless. But If he'd heard correctly, their medical center wasn't too far off from their lab, so he'd drop by and pick up his tools and more valuable equipment. Hopefully she wasn't still crazy and hotblooded...well, at least not spider poison crazy and hotblooded. He walked back into the cage and sat himself down.
"Stonefuse, Damien, try not to move around too much...unless we need to get out quickly. He said, motioning for the others to gettin while Cecilia prepared her puppet trick and Faunra slightly adjusted the uniform. "We'll pick her up after we get our weapons. No reason to attempt a rescue mission with nothing but our cold fingers. Besides, I'm sure she can handle herself for the time being. What's the worse that could be happening."
Kleis sat in a room, rubbing his forehead. What the heck was wrong with that guy. The Commander has been the Commander for a few decades now. Perhaps the stress was finally seeping out. The storms, the climbers, and the confusion over where the hell the enemy actually was...if anything, Kleis was slightly surprised it hadn't happened sooner. But even then, something felt off. Kleis quickly stood up, deciding to worry about other things. Like what exactly to do with the climbers? Send them back through the portal in the mountains?
"Uh, sorry if I'm intruding on anything but there's something concerning the Pick girl-" A voice in Kleis's head said. He started walking out of the room making his rounds.
"Yes, she took on a large quantity of spider venom and lost an even larger quantity of blood. You've obviously dealt the poison by now, correct?"
"But of course, however there was a minor issue of replacing her lost blood, I mean we replaced it but..."
"Yes, I was just about to ask. How did you get the appropriate blood for Miss Pick?" Kleis asked, genuinely perplexed. When would they have had the time to appear in a town, find a citizen with her blood, and do a transfusion. Perhaps they got blood from the climbers, but they would have to report to him, the Commander, or any other higher authority before doing that. So how... "What's misses Pick's blood type?"
Kleis could hear whispers along the lines of, crap, crap, crap, in his head before continuing.
"Um ours. You have to understand, she was fading in and out and she had a blood type matching ours! Or at least, close enou-"
"And you just went ahead and did that without any authorization? Would it have killed you to simply give me or anyone else a heads up before going through with this? Ugh, you know what forget it. Just tell me how she's coming along."
"Well, she's still strapped in but made a quick recovery, the obvious side affects are kicking in with a few unexpected ones, and she's currently forcing me to contact you."
The Commander slowly opened his eyes, a splitting headache pulling him from sleep. Where was he, what was he doing? He'd been having more and more of these black outs, gaps of his memory missing, with his men giving him information on things he approved of without remembering ever doing them. He was constantly being forced to adapt to situation he never planned on getting into, only getting snips of faint memories to assist him. Perhaps he should ask the doc if stress was getting to him?
"Maybe I should go see the doctor, check on my men. I can only guess what I've done today alone." The Commander muttered angrily to himself.
"Why? Surely Kleis can handle it, besides all you need is rest. A nice deep sleep. Just do a quick check first." The Commander heard in his head before a couple of images flashed by. The climbers being escorted off the level at some random portal, towns being rebuilt, and things running smoothly. The Commander relaxed. Maybe he could rest for a bit. The Commander didn't question anything, simply lying back on the floor and falling into the equivalent of a comma.
Edwin, opened his eyes and grinned, their army advancing through the caves while a few guarded the gate. Their lead officer was neutralized and they were disjointed. By now Miss Pick was very aware of her surroundings and the climbers were making their move. Volitare was excited, real action! He hoped Edwin's plan was actually worth something, perhaps cutting down their own body country and allowing this to be over with quickly. He could finally see Calgradni and never have to see snow again. The Leader or the armored beast saw his people at their peak. The Fristics would pay for their insolence and the Reaper would be taught a lesson.
The army of beast carried a large block of ice with a being it, the ice's cracks growing every second.
The climbers exited the school, Prail, Nathan, and Caedis ready for any sudden sings of aggression. Faunra asked a guard for directions, Aleister keeping his hands hidden yet ready for any signs of aggression. She got a funny look but the guard pointed her towards the larger structure and few smaller ones around it. They were making progress and were blending in. Cecilia's puppet trick was working pretty well. Damien and Stonefuse held still, trying not to attract any attention, since they were the largest of the group. Atticus simply laid back, trying not to get anxious.
Meanwhile, the guard Cecilia's ghost arms had killed slowly got to his feet, snapping his neck back in place. A change was going on within its body, something that only happens to a soul on this world for too long. Aleister's back up saw this coming and their fears about the Fristic and their enemies were confirmed within in those few minutes.
The stress of making sure all the movements looked fluid and natural for the guard as the cage moved was making Cecilia feel tense. Trying to not think of the plan and how stupid this army was in every sense of the words "Dung Heap". Instead not wanting to feel any frission from her nerves. She began to list off Guild regulations and guard changes. Stepping patterns and hand signals, guard rotation and group orientation. It helped when everyone was like one big family, it prevented people from coming in disguised as groups of people knew one another closely.
Chain of commands among other fall backs helped keep things running smoothly within the central headquarters, it had taken them ages and they were finer then any military Cecilia had seen before. She missed the unity, the solidarity, and most of all the comfort of the familiar.
It was spoken of and often methods to cope were explained, but Cecilia really began to feel it so far away from where she began, and the situation they were in. Tears welled in her eyes as she sat still focusing on the act, and a few fell before she blinked it away.
Prail was following her friend around keeping alert.
Then she thought something.
She spoke shortly and slowly.
Before noticing her friend crying.
The next time she spoke sounded different some how.
"So good so far..." Caedis whispered. She gripped the icicle tightly behind her armored body, making sure no one would see the weapon. Caedis looked on as the cart moved, seeing the ice structures and cold catacombs that the elves had built. She made a note later on to talk to Faunra but even Caedis didn't know how exactly to dance around the subject of her own race trying to kill them. Still, it would be a good thing to talk about to pass the time.
Faunra moved toward the indicated buildings. She didn't fully trust the elf... enemy's directions, but she had little other choice. To move in a different direction was suicidal, and it wasn't like they had any better guesses. All Faunra could do was trust her disguise to see them through.
Faunra approached the small buildings and, when the cage had settled, she knocked on the heavy ice-encrusted (or perhaps constructed) doors, calling out "I have a prison transfer to the Armory - open up!"
Hopefully these... people are like what I read about and not ones for protocol - otherwise were dead. Faunra thought grimly, awaiting an answer.
Aleister sat calmly within the ice cage as it made its wat towards the armoury, keeping his hands covered but ready in case they needed to use magic to fight their way out. He was then interuptted by a communication from Aeon, it sounded urgent.
"Aleister, be careful about these Fristics." Aeon said in a rushed tone.
"What do you mean Aeon?" Aleister asked, sounding concerned as to the nature of the news.
"Well, lets just say they are in-between worlds, neither living or dead."
"I see, guess that means that if we kill them, they'll be coming back as something... different." Aleister said, remembering some information he mentioned to the group earlier, when explaining his duties as a Reaper.
"Quite. I have good news, it appears that our support has arrived, and are waiting for the moment to strike." Aeon said in a more happier tone, relieved that the help was coming.
"Oh good, we may need them to fight our way to the portal; but I don't think it'll just be the Fristics we'll be fighting here." Aleister remarked, equally relieved, but also sensing something coming.
"Of course, I'll keep the support team posted, and tell them to keep an eye out for anything suspicious ." Aeon's voice soon disappeared, off doing what he said.
Atticus winced a bit as he heard Faunra address the guard. Those words in the same sentence just didn't sound right at all. "Prison Transfer to the armory..." Atticus thought, letting it drift around in his head. There was no way the guard would accept that as a viable answer-
"Go right ahead. Probably better to have immediate access to weapons. Not like these guys could use them anyway. He said, turning back to his main position. Atticus relaxed, trying to think happy thoughts. The guard then stopped them again, straing at the unconscious one .
"What's wrong with him." He asked reaching out to give him a minor tap. Cecilia quickly had her puppet side step and lean against the bars. Faunra stood in front of him.
"He's resting. Poor guy's barely gotten any sleep, plus he's busy keeping those two restrained." She replied, pointing at Damien holding still and Stonefuse in his usually stoic position. The guard rubbed his chin and nodded a bit.
"Yeah, exhaustion. I know the feeling, the Commander called everyone here and pretty much has everyone doing busy work. I swear, he's losing it. Man thinks he's a Fate or something..."The gaurd grumbled before letting Faunra pass.
A number of hand to hand weapons filled the front rows, mostly untouched and replaced by the muskets further back. Atticus looked around, wondering where their weapons would've gone. Perhaps even further back, hidden away. Faunra moved the cage forward and Cecilia manipulated her puppet. things were going smoothly. As she walked in, the guard caught her attention.
"Oh, I almost forgot. The guard said, tapping his forehead. He quickly sent Faunra a message but it sounded mumbled. He grinned at her.
"Sorry, I didn't quite catch that." She replied, wondering how a thought could be mumbled. His frown disappeared and he started reaching for his weapon.
"You weren't supposed to."
"You weren't supposed to."
The elf had begun reaching his weapon, and Damien slammed through the ice cage with ease on instinct, and tightened his grip over the man's hand and weapon in one hand, trapping the other against the wall with his own body. The noble's other hand held the elf's mouth closed. His scratched helmet, and therefore his face, was square with the guard's.
"Do. Not. Yell. Or reach out with your mind. I do not wish to harm you. We are simply travellers, wanting to pass through and leave your kind alone. There are countless ways I know to kill, but only if you force my hand."
He removed his hand from his captor's mouth.
"Now please tell us where our weapons are, friend. And we will leave you to your feud with the others."
Now Prail hadn't actually brought weapons to this fight but she noticed something she didn't recognise. A long metal tube with a handle and what looked like a trigger like mechanism.
She held it up trying to figure out how to get it operational.
Looking back towards their prisoner showing him the gun as if she expected him to explain.
"Nothing, just a bit home sick." Cecilia replied to Prail quickly as they approached, waving her hand as if to say everything was alright.
As they entered the armory, and were quickly caught, Cecilia tossed aside the unconscious guard. Watching Damien take care of the guard, Cecilia decided to chip in.
"Unless we are faster then his thoughts can reach, I suggest we search for similar cuffs or shackles to use against him."
Looking around and briefly touching things wither her ghosted limbs, she used a pair to search the guard. As she saw Prail pick up one of their guns and direct it towards the prisoner, she spoke quickly and calmly.
"Prail, don't pull the little metal trigger with that tube pointed at any of us, if they bothered to keep it loaded it will fire a metal pellet at harmful speeds."
Now that she had to see
Prail drew the weapon and pointed it at a wall pulling the trigger.
There was a loud bang and the pellet did indeed fly imbedding deep into the wall.
She blew loudly weather by surprise or excitement was impossible to say.
She ran over to inspect the wall with the embedded pellet.
"We've heard of it but don't really use them, you have to add some powder and another pellet to fire it again though." Cecilia said this absentmindedly as she continued her search for their equipment and shackles.
In a pinch, Caedis was out of the cave while Damien restrained the guard. She began walking, desperate to find her spear among many other ones. This spear was important and it worth more to her than her weight in gold. Caedis did not want to raise her voice but she found it hard too with a place so large as the armory. A single step could heard on the opposite side of the room and a mishap could cause an extremely loud clutter of arms. Still, Caedis looked feverishly for her spear. She didn't even care for her short sword as much. All in her mind, as she walks the long corridors of spears, swords, and maces, is finding her spear.
Faunra joined Caedis in her desperate search, hoping to find her daggers among the armories clutter. Like Caedis, her daggers were irreplaceable - remnants of her former life and her obligation to it. She paused for a moment, wondering why she hadn't thought of her purpose in so long. She knew the reason - a certain death-empowered swordsman - but it was no excuse, and it left her feeling somewhat off put. Shaking her head clear, she returned to the search with renewed vigor
"I need to find those daggers!"
Prail was thinking when it occurred to her.
She turned to Cecilia and began talking fast sounding worried.
She spoke for a while inspecting the weapon as she went. She was trying to get it figured out loaded and armed.
Damien walked into the armory with their prisoner, and towards the nearest stand of archery equipment, with one hand still holding onto the elf's arms, he grabbed up a bow and smashed it on the ground, freeing the bowstring to do with as he pleased. He did this with two more of them before tying his prisoner up with said strings. One went around his wrists, binding them together, he was none too gentle with them either, making sure they were good and tight. Another he tied around the ankles, again, not caring for his comfort, only that he stayed alive. The final string he used to first bind his elbows together before setting said appendages against his back, as he tied it to his body, severely restricting all of his movements. Damien then threw him to a wall and left to find his weapon and shield, they were the most important things to him. They were his protectors just as he was their keeper, nothing else would do.
Noticing Prail with a firearm, he shook his head, sighed, and said only one word, "primitives." He then continued his search for his arms.
"Ah, forgot about those." Cecilia's tone shifted to a worried reply as she listened to Prail.
"Your candles are probably in the lab along with Atticus's things as well. I'm sure none of the soldiers would dare to use them without permission." Her tone was confident, but tinged with concern. While her own possessions and tools were faint for use and aid, she realized something.
Searching her body, she wondered where her pen was! Everyone here by no doubt had their own treasures, and that was hers. It was sharp and strong enough to be used as a good shank, and panic coursed through her as she frantically and carefully searched.
It was her one true link to the Guild and her days from the past, it had saved her at times, drawn the way to truth and lies, and most importantly was something she took pride in just as her own memory as well.
Aleister, like many of the others, began searching tirelessly for their lost arms and equipment. Each item that the Fristic Empire had taken from them held some sort of memory, or was very dear to their hearts. His were the three swords that he wielded in combat; his own twin katanas, and Krios' own sword, Edge of Soul.
"Now then, Edge should be easier to find due to its somewhat unique design; but my own weapons can be as common as any other sword of their type. *sigh* This may take a while, and we may not have the time to do it." Aleister thought to himself in a fit of desperation, searching furiously through the various weapon racks that filled the armoury to find what was lost.
He heard the footsteps of others as they weaved their own paths through the halls. There was the occasional murmured voice, but no clear signs on whether or not anyone found what they were looking for.
"Hmm, if I was a somewhat dickish empire who had recently taken custody over the weaponry of prisoners; where would I stash them. Smart move would be either be not in plain sight, or not where the regular weapons are held." He asked himself.
Atticus inspected the peculiar musket as Prail set it down. It didn't exactly resemble the muskets they'd used back in the forest, and though they still packed a punch they were nowhere near as powerful as what they'd witnessed. Perhaps they use their magic to weaponize them, similar to how Aleister used his daggers. Atticus set it back down, more concerned with finding their own weapons.
"Give us a break already! Someone's gonna realize we're gone at some point and we'll have even more to deal with." He groaned, slightly wishing Damien hadn't knocked the guard when he refused to comply.
The guard Damien had thrown into the wall feigned unconsciousness, trying to reach out to anyone who could help. The guard called out to lab but for no thoughts. He then reached out to the medical ward, picking up at least one mind in the room.
"We have intruders in the armory! Send reinforcements and-gah!" The guard felt his being torn apart, ravaging the very layers of his psyche before coming to an abrupt stop before latching on and taking control.
"Retrieve!" A females voice screeched, rattling around in his skull. Thin rings of ice encircled the guard and he cut through Damien's bindings. The guard quickly jumped to his feet, dodging Damien, flipping over Aleister and grabbing the musket Atticus had just put down. Prail recoiled, slightly surprised, but immediately lashed out with her tail. The guard faded away in a shower of snowflakes before reappearing behind Prail and firing the musket point black. Prail was sent flying into a cluster of sword by a burst of freezing air. It might have felt euphoric if it wasn't for the immediate stinging sensation that came shortly after. Everyone stood in place, ready for anything.
The guard stood in place, jittering like a mad man. "Wha-what is this-RETRIVE THE SNIPER RIFLE!" He said before taking off down a corridor. Atticus stood there, not sure how to react, taken aback by the sudden attack. But then it hit him. "Wait, did he say sniper rifle?" Atticus stared at Prail for a moment and started chasing after him.
"Guys, I don't know what the heck is going with him, but I think it'll lead us to our weapons!"
Damien sprinted after the elf with the rifle almost immediately as he shot Prail in the back and ran off. He continued down the corridor, careful going around corners and trusting his armor to protect him and his will to power through the pain to reach his weapons. They would not die here if he had any say in it.
He cursed himself that he had taken the elf so lightly, they had proven themselves more than simply frightened prison holders. These people meant to delay their party as long as possible, allowing each of them to fall closer and closer to failing in each of their own quests. The portal was close, that much was known, but it would be impossible to reach it without their weapons.
Cecilia cursed yet again her lack in taking care of her enemies. She was making mistakes, being foolish, and being frustrated over the loss of a little pen. Her Pen a voice echoed angrily in her head as she let her mind wander. Going full tilt with ghosted legs pounding the floor, she doubt the man could out run her.
A second thought then stabbed her and she turned around, heading towards Prail to lend her a hand. A brief ghosted image separated from her and ran, then faded like mist after a few steps.
"Prail are you okay?" She ask, her voice tinged with worry, and guilt that she forgot to help her briefly.