"I see..." Nybeth muttered to himself as he heard Estella's explanation. "Now that this device has been readied, how shall we go about testing it in a manner to ensure the results are satisfactory?"
OoC: I'm the morning Hatcheh. :3
"It will be lowered into the water, then carried along by a boat until it's a safe distance away. It will then be remotely detonated." As Estella said this, a boat was being lowered into the water, while the bomb was resealed, and then enchanted, making a relatively large runic symbol appear on its side. Once the boat was lowered into the water, the contraption with which it was was refitted so that the plontoon on which the bomb was fixed could be attached and lowered. Once this had been done, the boat began towing it away from the battle ship, sailing to a point where it was a dot in the distance. Once the plontoon was unhooked, and the boat halfway returned to the ship, the sign was given to detonate it, which once again was done by the person operating the weapons of the ship by tracing his hand over a rune covered board.
Although not hearable from the ship, the bomb exploded with a loud whoosh as the gas was released. From the ship, nothing was visible at first, but after a few second, the gas cloud could be seen rising, this time, it reached a radius of 85 meters.
Nybeth watched the boat sail out of sight with less zeal than before, having been disappointed by the previous showing. "Ho ho! A vastly noticeable improvement!" He enthusiastically hooted as he watched the massive cloud burst outward from the point of the explosion. "How far out was that, exactly? I must know in order to properly estimate how truly effective an amplification that was."
Rita would not notice Jess or Ness. Her eyes were closed.
Ness calmly took out her contacts, put them into her pocket and deactivated her voice modulator before continuing onward toward Rita. Once they were somewhat close, she'd simply say "Hey."
"Standard procedure for testing explosives this large is twelve kilometers away. But I'll check to make sure." Estella answered Nybeth, then reached for her pendant to contact the crew on the boat. After a few moments, she nodded towards Nybeth. "It was indeed twelve kilometers."
Jessica said nothing as she closely followed behind Ness.
Nybeth hummed to himself as he adopted a look of contemplation on his face. "A rough estimate would state that at the very least, that display shows a seventeen-fold increase in the spreading of the spell's effect."
The "hey" was enough to break Rita out of her trance, and with a start she scrambled to her feet. "I said to LEAVE ME ALONE!" Much to Rita's surprise, her outburst was enough to cause a purple pentagram-like symbol to appear on the ground beneath Ness and Jess, the result of Rita having so much mythril and not having a chance to test anything yet. From the portal a horrible wailing would sound as dark energy shot up from it into the sky. The energy would cause Ness and Jess to feel a great amount of pain, enough to cause them to fall unconscious.
OoC: @Dot, @Drak, you guys should have left her alone >_>
Ness, not expecting Rita to freak out like she did, got hit with the full brunt of spell, crying out in pain before falling onto the ground, unconscious.
"That sounds to be an acceptable improvement. Even if it isn't nearly large enough to do the damage I had hoped." Loki chimed in, then turned to Estella. "How many of those devices are there?"
"Fifty to sixty."
Loki hmmd as he produced the map of Fourside he had bought at one point, looking for the best locations to set off the bombs. "This tells me all I need to know about this. Return to the capital."
"Yes sir." Estella answered, reaching for her pendant to contact the captain of the ship.
Jessica was also not expecting outright violent retaliation from Rita just from showing her face, so she was also hit full force by Rita's spell. She collapsed in a heap of agony and fear, briefly whimpering for a few moments before falling completely unconscious.
Nybeth had nothing more to say, so he simply remained quiet. He watched the massive cloud of poison off in the horizon slowly blow outward, eventually being harmlessly dispersed by the wind.
"W-what? ...No..." said Rita, tears welling up in her eyes before she turned and fled, thinking that she had killed Ness and Jess. She headed into the mountains, and after some time she threw away her communication pendant, hoping that it would at least stop Tophat from contacting her. After running some more she would collapse, relatively close to the dragon den, where she curled up into a ball for a while.
After a long while of being knocked out, Ness slowly regained consciousness and struggled to get back up on her feet as everything still ached. ...Well... we've lost her now, haven't we?
The Rookie came down and helped Ness up, then tried to wake up Jessica.
(To Ness, Jess & the Rookie: I think she believes you dead. Unintentionally so. Best be cautious if we ever approach her again. She ran up in the mountains, do you think I should contact her?)
Once the boat that had dragged the bomb out returned to the ship, it began sailing back towards Shaintaio.
Loki stored the map back into his unseen inventory and turned to Nybeth. "While the initial thought of hundreds of thousands of casualties will not be feasible, tens of thousands certainly will be. As the city will become a great battlefield, I doubt it would be posible to retrieve any of the bodies, however. Unless you have a suggestion for that."
Smelling a familiar smell, Ba'ul left the cave and approached Rita.
Jessica curled herself up as she laid on the ground, shuddering, groaning, and clenching her eyes shut tightly. "If she wants to be left alone...just leave her alone...contacting her isn't gonna do anything besides piss her off again...bitch can rot in hell for all I care now anyway..."
Nybeth shook his head at Loki. "Unless we slay enough that the city can be properly taken, than retrieval of the bodies would be far to difficult to be feasible."
Ness barely managed to stand, wobbling a bit and clutching her head. "...Just tell her we're not dead. Leave it at that. ...We crossed the line it seems... No point in trying again." "Damn it... this hurts..."
Tophat temporarily numbed Jessica's and Ness's sense of pain, to ease the effects of the spell.
(To Jessica, Ness & the Rookie: She appeared to be on some sort of powerboost... And she cracked open some stones earlier. I wonder, was there some kind of magic enhancment in those rocks? Do you know anything related to that? And very well, I'll tell her. Let's leave the nano-sheet here for her, in case she wants it.)
(To Rita: Hello. Last time you'll hear from me, and please don't strike me down with some horrible pain spell. Just wanted to let you know that Jessica and Ness are both quite alright, though the spell certainly got the 'leave you alone' message through. We'll leave a nano-sheet you can use to protect against future mind-control here, and be on our way. Good bye.)
Once Rita saw Ba'ul approaching she went up and hugged him before heading into the dragon den, presumably with him. Responding to Tophat she said Don't lie to me! You did all of this to me didn't you? You got into my head! I was fine until you "saved" me!
(To Rita: All I did was knock you out, which broke the mind-control. I am sorry for what has happened to you, and wish you the best of luck. I hope you find someone you can trust someday.)
(To Jessica, Ness & the Rookie: I suggest we lay low until we find a good opportunity to deal with Loki. Also, Rita is paranoid. She is accusing me of doing something to her.)
"I had expected as much. And, no. Complete annihilation would not be possible without making use of even more powerful bombs. This is not an option, as those would be far too large for me to conceal, this making any attempts to bring them into the city unnoticed impossible. Making use of them while our troops engage the enemy would create an uprising, which is something I cannot afford." Loki remarked, looking out at sea. "Either way, it is not a great loss, as the majority of the casualties would be civilians." Once the ship arived in Shaintaio, Loki walked over to Estella. "Have three of the bombs used in testing loaded onto a ship and brought to the mainland, accompanied by someone who knows how to detonate them. The bombs are to be loaded into a rig with wheels or other such thing so that they can be moved without effort."
"Getting all this ready will take time, but I'll see to it it happens."
Ba'ul was rather surprised by Rita hugging him, seeking comfort via physical contact being unheard of amongst reptiles. Confused, it tilted his head to the sides repeatedly as she did. Once Rita let go, Ba'ul followed her into the den. Inside, Rizomata slept.
GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!! screamed Rita mentally to Tophat before falling back against a wall in the cave to rest.
Ness shrugged a bit and shuddered before noting her pain had been numbed slightly. She sighed in relief before walking over toward everyone and opening a portal back to the room in Fourside. "Then... let's get to laying low, shall we?"
Seeing her pained expression and recognising it as such, Ba'ul wondered what was wrong with Rita. He lightly nuzzled her side.
The Rookie nodded and followed Ness through the portal, then took off his rucksack.
Tophat sighed (mentally), and stayed silent.
Rita hugged Ba'ul again, petting him as she sighed an emotionally drained sigh.
Understanding that now wouldn't be the best time to ask for a treat, Ba'ul laid down on his stomach and rested his head on Rita's lap, it being fairly heavy, even if he was still young.
Rita let out an "oof" when Ba'ul laid his head down on her lap, but she didn't try to move him, and instead hugged him closer and rested her head on his.
After letting Jess walk through the portal, Ness followed in and closed it behind her.
(To Jess, Ness & the Rookie: Let's make sure we're all armed with some good weapons when we face him. Are there any stores where we might buy additional weaponry?)
As Rita patted him, Ba'ul occasionally looked up towards her by moving his eyes, but otherwise remained still.
Jessica continued to groan as she sat up and rubbed her temples. She sighed and simply muttered, "Dammit..." to herself. After a few moments she stood up and dusted her self off, still feeling terrible, but now it was at a manageable level. She gloomily trotted through the portal after Rookie had gone through with Tophat. Hearing Tophat, she reached into her bag and pulled out most of her credit cards, then shoved them into the Rookie's hands. "Don't really know if there's anyplace to buy weapons here...but if you can, that all should get you the biggest damn gun or whatever they sell...Maybe even two."
"If I may ask, what exactly is our course of action from here on out?" Nybeth asked Loki.
"When ready, I will have the bombs dropped off near Rockbyrd." Loki began as he manifested the map of Fourside again and held it so that Nybeth could see. "Then, under the cover of my shroud, your zombies are to enter the city with the bombs. This is best done at night, as the least amount of people will be in the street then. The zombies are to leave the bombs here in the north-west, here in the north-east, and here in the south." He continued, pointing towards the place where the bombs sould be left when he came to that, each of these locations were squares with storage garages which could be reached via alleyways. "It is imposible for me to shroud such large objects plus several people at once, so the bombs must be brought into the city one by one. When all three are in place, whoever is designated to detonate them does so, then we take our leave."
Rita just continued to hold Ba'ul.
Looking over toward Jess, Ness scratched the back of her head for a moment. "Hmm... I just realized... What are you going to do to defend yourself when we fight Loki?"