Roland had been quietly sitting on the seat, focusing on staying calm and not really paying attention to what was going on around him but the numerous mentionings of ancient magical archives caught is attention. It seemed like the lich knew where one such archive might be found.
Roland sighed and flew over to the trio of lich, ascended, and mage. "These...archives. There wouldn't be anything about shape-shifting or breaking curses in them, would there?"
"As I was saying, is there anything that you can do about my arm?"
Pegs looked puzzled. Hadn't the Ascended taken care of that? Then it struck the Fey a bundle of raw magic might not be the best medic in the world. She touched the arm, hoping that the agent wouldn't mind. Something was beneath the skin and muscle, and that something had to be extracted before any healing dust got on it. She turned back to John with a glum look. She didn't want to be the bearer of bad news, but it was unavoidable. This was beyond what the dust could do, and due to airport regulations, she didn't have a sharp object to slice the arm up. Sure, there could be same airline whiskey for John to down to dull the pain. Nevertheless, this was stuff doctors dealt with, and that was that.
"I'm sorry. Whatever's under there needs to be extracted. Best leave to the medical experts unless you have a scapel on ya."
John, without a word, pulled out three different scapels, a normal one, one made out of aluminum (if the one needing preforming surgery is bothered by steel or the other metals in normal scapulas), and one made out plastic with an onix blade (for those who cannot touch any metal) and held them out to Pegs.
John looked back to the Lich.
"Didn't you hear my original deal? I said today would be forgotten and you would be allowed to go on your merry way. The way you phrased that made it sound like you wanted to have free pass to do anything you wanted for all time."
"Most likely what you did meant," John thought, expecting the Lich to think he had cleverly out manuvered him. John never said the Lich wouldn't be watched closely from now on.
"However," John continued, "I am not going to agree to even telling you where that Lich is. We are not letting that madman escape. Even before we... incarcirated him, Publius mind had slipped from grief, confusion at the rapidly changing times, and boredom. While I cannot tell you why we threw him into the... his prison, I will say it was a very significant threat to the entire world, and we are not risking anyone, you, me, or the Queen of England giving him any information at all that would allow him to escape."
"I am not saying anything more on the matter," John said as his mind went back into fortress mode, partly to prevent the Lich from reading his mind for further information (although John had actually told him the limits of his knowledge on the Publius case, pretending he knew more was John's ultimate bargaining chip) and partly to prepare himself for the pain of fairy surgery.
Theon soon smiled back and returned the hug, which made Seras feel better. "Of course I understand my love. If I had family on the plane, then I would want to see them land safely too. And besides if we want to we can just do it later. I mean after this horrible trip with the plane, we can do whatever we want. And really as long as I am with you, I don't care in what form I am." Theon then released his hug and kissed Seras on the cheek, then smiled again, which made Seras feel less guilty about declining his offer.
"Your very sweet in saying that Theon, and thank you for being understanding. Your right, this has been a bit of a horrible plane journey; I mean the murder of Edward Crim, which whilst I disliked the man, I wouldn't of wished him harm, and this subsequent challenge to keep the plane afloat after being attacked by another Lich. I'll be glad when we are on more solid ground, and free to explore." Seras remarked with a hint of optimism as she began to think about what they were going to do whilst in London, which resulted in a relaxed sigh.
Pegs was surprised to see John hand over not one, not two, but three scalpels. She picked the one with the plastic handle tentatively. She was having trouble taking it all in...
He was trusting her with his life. One slip and there would be blood everywhere, and one more body to add the mix. With her free hand, she wiped her face, and tried to remember some pointers from the first aid course. It didn't deal with surgery, but it was a start. Pegs scanned the arm. One cut and bleeding would occur. Bleeding... Of course! Wasn't stopping the flow of blood one of the things you did with an injury? The dark onyx blade caught the light and glinted, almost waiting for the moment when it and the flesh met. Pegs gulped. She would need help for this.
"Umm... I'm gonna need somebody to restrict the blood flow in this guy's arm?" She shouted, half-unsure whether it would work and the other unsure about if somebody was going to help or not.
Peg's nervousness was not John making John feel very secure with his decision, but with all that was going on he needed to be in combat ready condition as soon as possible, and he trusted her over every single other creature on this plane for helping him without question (and Lucia has yet to return).
John grabbed a length of rubber, and tightened it around his arm to constrict blood flow, and stuffed a piece of leather in his mouth to bite on. Field surgery isn't just something a PIA agent was trained to preform, it was something they regularly received as part of their training. The agency could get away with a lot when they had access to healers specializing in regrowing limbs.
"Your very sweet in saying that Theon, and thank you for being understanding. Your right, this has been a bit of a horrible plane journey; I mean the murder of Edward Crim, which whilst I disliked the man, I wouldn't of wished him harm, and this subsequent challenge to keep the plane afloat after being attacked by another Lich. I'll be glad when we are on more solid ground, and free to explore," Seras said and seemed to feel less guilty. Theon smiled and nodded. "This trip didn't have a good start, I agree with you on that. But I am sure you and me will be able to turn it around soon enough." Theon was just about to relax when he heard someone shouting for help.
"Umm... I'm gonna need somebody to restrict the blood flow in this guy's arm?" Theon looked up, and then looked back at Seras. "Excuse me my darling, but I think I can be of use to her. So if you don't mind I am going to help." Theon stood up, and threw his jacket back into his seat. He then walked over to the seemingly panicked Fey and John, who seemed to be in a lot of pain. Theon raised his hand which seemed to change into something which looked like a rope. "You needed help?" Theon asked showing his hand. He looked at John who seemed to be improvising. "I can restrict your blood flow even better then that."
Roland watched the "surgery" with polite interest.
"Try and keep a steady pressure on the scalpel when you make the cut," he suggested, "And you might want to have some clean cloth on hand. Oh and something to remove the plastic pieces with, like tweezers."
People started to crowd around Pegs. Well, it was a small crowd, which was a small mercy. Some sort of shapeshifter offered to help and there was a... talking woodpecker? At least he was giving some good hints. Using the scalpel, she cut some of the cloth public transport companies insisted on putting on the top of the chairs. Then there was the matter of the tweezers. A bird's beak would be perfect for that job, if the woodpecker would be so kind. Pegs wasn't sure if the cloth was completely clean, but there wasn't a washing machine or anything like that here.
She turned to the shapeshifter and the woodpecker, "Okay... But restrict the blood flow. Don't cut it off completely. Oh, and Mr. Woodpecker, I'm sure you won't mind pecking out those plastic bits for me?"
Lucius rolled his eyes - almost subtly - at the chaos surrounding the ensuing medical crisis. The fairy - christ, there really was everything on this flight - suggested that birdman peck out the splinters.
"I'm no expert on human surgery, but I wouldn't want that woodpecker's beak in anything alive, if what happened to Arzhela's pet is anything to go by..." Lucius paused, before realising there wasn't anything to say on the subject.
Turning back to John, he figured now wasn't the best time to talk. As a gesture of good faith, he used one of his less-used spells. "Inanis Dolor", he muttered - essentially administering a powerful magical anaesthetic to the subject (or was victim a better word?), before thinking again about his advice about the woodpecker. After barely a thought, he muttered again, "Vocofabrilia", causing a pair of tweezers to materialise in his hand, which he offered to the Fairy.
"I hope you don't need them past an hour", he said optimistically, as they would only last about that long. hopefully, "And birdman - Sorry, do you have a name? I don't know about her archives, but mine in Wales have a whole section on curses, and at least a few tomes on shape-shifting"
"Oh, and Mr. Woodpecker, I'm sure you won't mind pecking out those plastic bits for me?"
"I wouldn't mind , honest," Roland said, "But trust me when I say that my beak is one of the last things you want anywhere near an open wound." Unless you wanted to kill them that is, but there were less unpleasant ways to do that.
Roland thought for a moment, trying to come up with an alternative. Luckily enough the lich was able to conjure up a pair.
"And birdman - Sorry, do you have a name? I don't know about her archives, but mine in Wales have a whole section on curses, and at least a few tomes on shape-shifting"
"The name's Roland," the woodpecker said and held out his wing for a handshake but then seemed to realize how awkward it would be to shake hands with a bird and quickly pulled it pack. "Would it be ok with you if I took a look at the curse section at some point?"
Lucia took a closer look inside the plane and saw they where all focused on John for reasons she couldn't see or gather from her vantage point, so she gave up. Not that she needed to wait much longer to get back on the ground anyway.
"Would it be ok with you if I took a look at the curse section at some point?"
And now another person wanted access to Lucius' archives. Wonderful. What could this bird possibly offer to him? Ah. of course.
"I'm sure I could allow you access to the Archives, yeah, though you'd have to negotiate with John to look at Arzhela's I think", Lucius paused to decide the best way to phrase his request, "Would I be able to get a sample of that poison of yours, it looks to have potential!"
The fey seemed to be glad that they offered to help. "Okay... But restrict the blood flow. Don't cut it off completely. Oh, and Mr. Woodpecker, I'm sure you won't mind pecking out those plastic bits for me?" Theon nodded, his rope hand wrapped itself around Johns arm. It began restricting the blood flow, letting just enough through not to kill the arm. "I wouldn't mind , honest, but trust me when I say that my beak is one of the last things you want anywhere near an open wound."
Theon looked at the fey, he could shape shift his other hand if he wanted. But the lich already seemed to have conjured up a pair of tweezers. Theon made sure that his hand was restricting the blood flow of the arm correctly, he then looked back at the fey. He shape shifted his other hand into a retractor and offered it to the fey. "I thought you might need one of these too. If you cut his arm open I will keep the wound open, so you can remove whatever it is that's inside." Theon didn't know what was inside, but it did look like something that didn't belong to be there.
"Would I be able to get a sample of that poison of yours, it looks to have potential!"
Roland considered this for a while. "I guess I could give you a few drops of my blood.But first I'd like to know what you plan on doing with it."
Suddenly a idea hit him. A rather unpleasant one. "Your archive, what language are the books written in?" Roland asked. If they were in a language he didn't know (and he didn't really know all that many) then the books would be mostly useless to him.
"Your archive, what language are the books written in?"
Well, the bird was a little sharper than Zaheer, anyways. That was a good question, though not all that easy to answer. Lucius thought for a second before replying.
"They're in all sorts of languages: Mostly Latin, Greek, English, Welsh, or Celtic. It won't make that much difference though - translation charms are simple enough"
"They're in all sorts of languages: Mostly Latin, Greek, English, Welsh, or Celtic. It won't make that much difference though - translation charms are simple enough"
"That's good to hear," the woodpecker said happily. Hopefully the charms would work better than things like Google translate. Funny how people were unable to come up with a simple way to translate things that didn't involve magic or the translated text sounding no better than a drunken tourist who barely knew the language.
"Still, I'd like to know what you plan on doing with the poison. You know, in case you decide to use it to kill off half the population or something like that. I might be held remotely responsible since I was the one who gave it to you and I don't relish the idea of being hunted down."
John didn't want to say a word, not with Pegs holding a knife so close to his arm, and he was biting on a piece of leather a the moment, but he didn't like that Lich manipulating that bird. John wanted to get his hands on the poison.
Still, the pain is duller if one doesn't not concentrate on the surgery, so John looked out the window to keep his mind distracted.
Lucia's giant eye looking through the window startled John, causing him to move and spending even more pain through his arm as the plastic continued to crave the inside of his arm.
Still, after a few seconds, John started to point furiously out the window, not even thinking to just take out the leather piece to talk.
Lucius smiled - Roland wasn't letting questions be dodged that easily. Ah well, No harm in answering, he though.
"I wouldn't panic, I actually want to develop a way to cure it, and have it as a contingency", Lucius smiled. He wasn't *technically* lying.
Pegs simply nodded at the shapeshifter and the lich. She then took the tweezers, knowing that the shapeshifter would know when to assist with his retractor hand. John looked away as she began to feel for the bits of plastic within the arm. She sliced down with a steady hand. The skin was pierced so easily, and only a trickle of blood bled out. This piece of plastic was no too deep down. It was simply a case of cut and extract, hell, even the whole operation was. But there would be compilations with the other pieces that were deeper down. She would have to cut through fat and muscle to get to them and Pegs wasn't looking forward to that. A quick flicking of her right wing generated some pixie dust of the healing variety. It landed on the new wound, and sealed it.
Now for the rest...
"I wouldn't panic, I actually want to develop a way to cure it, and have it as a contingency."
Roland didn't really trust the lich. Actually, he didn't trust him at all. Why would he care about finding a cure if the poison had no effect on him? Lucius didn't really seem like the kind who would go out of his way to make the world a better place. Still, if it meant finding a way to get rid of this damn curse...And what's the worse that could happen? It was only a few drops.
"All right, poison for entry into the archive," Roland nodded. "But," he looked the lich in the eyes and repressed a shudder, "Not a drop until I'm actually inside the archives. Otherwise what would stop you from taking the poison and just disappearing?"
While the surgery was painful, John had dealt with worse (John almost always was selected as the "living surgery subject" for new recruits, he was pretty sure his department head just hated his guts and loved to see them cut out). John cautiously flecked his arm, feeling no plastic or pain.
"Thank you," John said to the dozing fairy, wondering why he let such a tired creature cut into his arm.
"Roland, we will be happy to let you look through this other Lich's library of ill-repute. All I ask is that we will be allowed to have samples of the poison you have, and some non-intrusive magical/medical exams to figure out how your immune to such a deadly toxin," John did not want Roland to be swayed by the Lich, and was hoping the mention of the medical exams would convince the bird his agency wouldn't weaponize it, or at least to the scale the Lich's current smile was suggesting, "I will even personally help you with any spells or rituals that would restore your humanity."
"Also, can ANYONE help Lucia get back onto the plane?" John pointed out the window to the dragon.
"Also, can ANYONE help Lucia get back onto the plane?" John called out, pointing through the window at the dragon. Terra had been busy siphoning Richard's pain off to help keep the plane airborne and had therefore missed much of the conversation up until the yell. Dragged from her forced focus, she winced at the suddenly noticeable pain, but recovered quickly.
Standing up, she stretched her wings and walked toward the door, saying "I'll get her, just keep that door open!" in a tone that, in retrospect, seemed unduly harsh. It wasn't that any of them had done anything, just the pain of lifting the plane was somewhat distracting and irritating. As she opened the door, she felt the pressure difference begin to pull her out side. While she would never be able to catch up with the plane after she left it without aid, this would not be a problem. Grabbing one of the parachutes, she made something roughly similar to a rope and tied it to herself and the nearest chair: she might not be able to keep up with the plane, but she was sure the plane could.
with that, she dove from the plane toward the dragon; ready to grab her as she transformed to pull them back inside.
Lucia was flying along side the plane, kinda spacing off a bit when she saw something moving out of the corner of her eye, which turned out to be a door opening. It took Lucia a few seconds to figure out what she was doing 'That's a little unorthodox' she thought as she moved closer and changed back to her human form in time to grab the winged lady that came out to get her.
"Ya know, maybe one of these years I should actually get good with teleporting" Lucia said over the rushing air after making sure she was secured to her 'rescuer' "Thanks for coming out and getting me."
"I'll get her, just keep that door open!"
"Thank yo- wait, NO! STOP!" John turned back, watching Terra pull open the far back door ("How did she do that? In flight there is about 300 pounds of pressure against that door!") and tied a the strings of a parachute ("Since when did airliners have parashoots? At this altitude and speed, jumping out of the plane is suicide!") to a chair.
John simply cut his seat belt with his knife and ran the back of the plane, grabbing the chairs as air was flew around. As he got back to the plane grabbing an unused plastic oxygen supplier for a few quick breaths. As John expected, the strings of a parachute was not holding the weight of a person being blown by 500 mph winds. With one arm desperately wrapped around a handlebar, John grabbed the string and transformed it into Titanium. He did not have the power to transform the entire line into that metal, and with how magically exhasted John was he didn't think he could maintain that trasnformation for more than five minutes. Also, due to the lack of oxygen, John was becoming very dizzy.
"Not a drop until I'm actually inside the archives. Otherwise what would stop you from taking the poison and just disappearing?"
Haha. What indeed, he thought to himself. Still, this bird was wierdly good at covering his ass - most mortals fell down way before now! Ah well, no sense losing out on such a high-potential... investment.
"Sure, Roland, thats a pretty fair point to make", Lucius started calculating more and more ways to get some advantage out of this, "You wanna go straight there from London?"
Roland wondered why so many people were suddenly interested in the poison. For all he knew, he might very well be the only one who had it so searching for an antidote seemed a bit like a waste of resources. Still, John's offer was good, better than the lich's, even though the thought of being poked and prodded by scientists wasn't too appealing. But before Roland could agree, John ran off somewhere, yelling something.
"Sure, Roland, thats a pretty fair point to make. You wanna go straight there from London?"
So the lich didn't deny that he would just run off given the chance. Disconcerting but not unexpected. "Sure...but didn't you have an old nemesis or something to deal with?"
Lucia reached around the person that hand come out to get her and grabbed on to the line tied to her. Lucia then proceeded to climb up said line and back into the plane, she took a quick look to make sure the damage to the plane wasn't going to snap the line before she hauled her 'savior' in.
After the two of them where back in she Lucia shut and latched the door, before heading back to her seat only to find most the occupants gathered "Having a party with out me? That's rather rude"
John watched Lucia pull Terra and herself as pressure returned, taking in much needed breaths.
John turned to Terra.
"What were you THINKING?" John angrily said to her, "You cannot just rip open a door in a middle of a flight!"
"We have people that could of just safely teleported you back on to the plane," John said, pointing to Zaheer, "But instead of waiting for him to safely you just had to rely on a few lines from a parachute to hold you from hanging out of a @#%^ING PASSENGER JET! Your skin should of been ripped from your bones."
"You would have DIED if you I didn't risk my own @$$ and reinforced your anchering point," John said pointing to the line, transforming from Titanium back to normal string, "Your very, VERY lucky I was able to muster that magic after all the power I had to use to make sure this plane was destroyed in the Lich explosion. We could of ALL died, we are VERY lucky that door stayed on it's 'hinges,' instead of ripping off and taking out one of the back wings. Think before you just do things!"
John turned around and walked back forward to his seat. The Lich might of given Roland all kinds of empty promises to get that poison. John could NOT let that Lich have that poison.
Lucia turned toward John, his rant catching her attention "Not really" leaning against a chair "We're not moving as fast as we where, not only that, we're not as high now ether, and even if the lines snapped, I'd have been back in dragon for well before we hit the water. Sides, that Ascend mage is holding the plane up and moving us along, i doubt he'd have let her belly flop from as high up as we aren't"
Suddenly the plane resumed a horizontal, more reasonable flight position as the runway lights became visible in the distance, the befuddled pilots caught on and put down the landing gear. Richard, started trying to slow down the plane without letting it go and getting cut in half by the tail wings. As he approached, the landing gear touched down and took the shock surprisingly well, in fact, the plane didn't need his assistance anymore. Which was good, because as soon as the plane touched down Richard's power ran out, and the momentum of his downward force made him bounce off the roof of the plane, his power exploding him to the side where he crashed through a warehouse, and cratered into the concrete floor. Long before this however, the man was rendered unconcious, in a heap within a five foot crater of twisted metal and blasted concrete. His last thought, was asking Terra if she's okay
John looked at Lucia after, wondering what to say. He then felt the plane jerk, and heard the Steward yell somehting that vaguely sounded like they were landing, so he quickly went back to his seat.
John saw the Lich, Zaheer, and Roland all together. He needed to keep that bird close at hand.
"Roland!" John yelled holding out his arm in a perch while putting on his seat belt, "We are landing NOW!"
"Roland! We are landing NOW!"
"Finally!" Roland said, sounding more relieved than he had intended, and flew over to John. "Wait, can this thing even land?" he asked, relief turning into panic, "Oh gods, what if we crash and the fuel catches fire and we all DIE!? There's no way out of here. We're trapped. Trapped!"
He started to look around for an exit. Any exit. Maybe the windows? They were made of glass after all, right? How strong could glass be?
"Wait, can this thing even land? Oh gods, what if we crash and the fuel catches fire and we all DIE!? There's no way out of here. We're trapped. Trapped!"
"We won't die!" John said, to both the bird and himself, wrapping himself around the bird and moving into a brace position, "Brace for impact!"
John felt the plane land harder on the front wheels than it was designed to, but by some miracle they didn't break. The plane decelerated, thankfully the plane had a manual breaking system. The landing was bumpy, but they were alive.
John looked out the window, and saw all kinds of police and military vehicles following the plane.
John grabbed his temples, "My supervisor is going to have my balls for this."
The power came back on.
"Thank you for flying Delta airlines. We hope you enjoyed your flight, and have a great stay in London, or where ever your final destination is. Fly with us again."
Roland held his breath and focused on not accidentally pecking John. The plane bumped and rattled as it landed but there was no sound of anything exploding or other such sound you never want to hear during a landing. The bumping ceased and the plane seemed to be slowing. They had landed.
"We're alive?" Roland asked, looking up. "HA! We're alive!" he said happily and flew a few small circles before landing near John again, "Well, most of us anyway."
"My supervisor is going to have my balls for this."
"Considering your two little "incidents" during the flight, one might presume he already did," Roland joked when the lights turned on again.
"Thank you for flying Delta airlines. We hope you enjoy your stay in London, or where ever your final destination is, and fly with us again."
"Not in this lifetime!" the woodpecker said angrily. Next time he'd just hitch a ride on a boat. At least he'd be able to fly away if the boat sunk.