Nybeth nodded to Loki. "Understood."
Jessica held up her right arm in response to Ness' question. "My arm was designed for this mission to give me several options to defend myself with. Haven't been terribly eager to use them, but it looks like I might have to now." She let her arm drop back down as she was tired of holding it up. "For specifics, I can use it to disintegrate small chunks of matter, generate bursts of force, stun people, and it has limited kinetic shielding designed to cancel out small arms fire."
Ba'ul moved little during the time Rita held him, only occasionally using a hind leg to scratch an itch, or move his tail around.
"You can summon your thralls at will, correct? Or would you need to return to the ruins to collect them?" Loki asked as he began walking towards the palace.
Ness nodded a bit toward Jess. "I see... I just wanted to make sure." She idly looked down toward her belt. "I'll give my all when we have to fight him too. Specialty ammo and all."
Rita released Ba'ul, not wanting to press her luck with a dragon, even though they were friends by now. At least she hoped they were.
"I would first need to return to the ruins. They have yet to all be placed in the zone from which I can summon them from." Nybeth replied.
Jessica nodded to Ness. She didn't have much else to say, so she sighed and laid back on the bed, rubbing her temples a bit more.
Not having much to say herself, Ness simply laid down next to Jess and stared toward the ceiling for a moment or two before noticing Jess rubbing her head. "Does something still hurt, Jess?"
"If you would go there now and collect them then. I wish to move as soon as the bombs have been delivered." Loki remarked, stopping at the gates of the palace. "Will you fly there yourself, or do you prefer you are brought there by an airship?"
Once Rita released Ba'ul, he looked up towards her with expecting eyes, expecting a treat.
Rita sighed "I don't have a treat."
Jessica stopped rubbing her temples and sighed, letting her hands fall to her sides. "Kinda...I'm mostly just anxious though. I've never actually fought anyone before. I've always just ran away and never had to go through with it. It's taking a lot of effort for me to not want to just do that right now."
"I shall make my own way there. Those flying crafts unsettle me. Contact me when we are ready to move once again. I feel there is still work that can be done." Nybeth replied to Loki. Having never been shy about it before, he cast his Black Plume spell and assumed crow-form, after which he flew off towards the temple.
Ness looked over toward Jess and nodded a bit. "I can understand the feeling. Part of me wants to just run too. But if we run... who will stop Loki from doing all those horrible things to other people... in other dimensions?" She sighed for a moment as she clenched her right hand into a fist. "I'd feel a lot worse knowing that if I ran now."
"Very well then." Loki said to Nybeth before he left. When he did, Loki entered the palace, his forced contacts making it so that by now, he could do so without anyone so much as batting an eyelash. Now to deal with that thorn in my side. Contacting Estella, Loki asked if there was a way to locate a person by tracking the telepathic jewelery. He was told this was posible, but only if those that would be traced were contacted with a special kind of telepathic, and that the process of tracking down someone would take some time. Going to pick up such an item, Loki headed back to the naval compound.
Not quite understanding Rita, Ba'ul kept hopefully looking at her, his tail swaying back and forth slightly.
Rita gave a stern "No." and shook her head.
Jessica sat back up. She looked back and down at Ness for a moment to say, "You're absolutely right." Leaning forward, she rested her forehead in the palm of one of her hands, propped up by resting her elbow on her knee. "I just wish I weren't such a damn coward. Then this would be easy."
Ness looked over toward Jess with an eyebrow raised. "Just the fact you haven't run off by now shows that you're not a coward... and honestly, fear isn't that bad a thing to have."
Loki reached the naval compound and was given a tracker pendant. Putting it on, Loki touched it and focused on contacting Jessica and Ness. I am greatly displeased. he telepathically said. The pendant did its work and began tracking the duo.
Ba'ul looked rather disappointed, recognising Rita's tone and body language. He flapped his wings and began pestering his brother, pouncing on him.
Rita leaned back and watched the dragonlings play.
Jessia sighed as she looked back up and over at Ness where she laid. "Well what's so good about feat? All I can feel is almost paralyzed by it."
Ness sat up and shrugged a bit. "Two things: That you're not a robot and that it will help keep you on your toes when you're in danger. Being paralyzed by it is bad, I won't deny that... but losing it completely is a problem on its own. And don't worry... I'll be right next to you, whenever we have to do what needs to be done." She said reassuringly as she placed a hand on Jess' shoulder.
Hearing Loki in her head, her eyes widened before she bit her lip. "Jess... Loki's found us somehow... We need to ditch these pendants here and now." She told Jess before taking her choker off and placing it on the bed.
The two dragonlings began chasing one another through the cave, often, one would tackle the other, where upon the would roll on the ground for a while until one of them got up and ran off. From time to time, they made use of their wings to flutter around.
They had not switched comunicators? That is foolish. Loki though as Ness removed her choker, where upon contact with her was lost. "Did it manage to find them?" he asked one of the staff, letting go of the pendant.
"No sir. Not even close."
As trying would be pointless, Loki took off the tracker pendant and put his old one back on again, then left the compound. That was a waste of time. Hmm... If I were them, where would I go to hide? They cannot be in Xiphatia still, otherwise they would have been captured by now...
Jessica looked over at Ness as she felt her hand on her shoulder. "Thanks. I'll try and control myself. And try not to let you down as well." She said with a smile. Hearing Ness' other statement, she shrieked and quickly grabbed hold of her necklace. Tearing it off from her neck, she flung it across the room in a panic. Then she started rubbing the back of her neck with her hand. "Ow...that's not as easy as it looks..."
Ness let out a small giggle before taking her choker and placing it by the necklace on the other side of the room. "It never is as easy as they make it look... Hey, do you think you might be able to teleport these someplace far away... like the ocean by Shantaio maybe?"
Rita sighed and tried to forget about the events of the past few days, but the more she tried to forget the more it all ate at her.
"Sure. That's easy." Jessica replied to Ness. While still rubbing the back of her neck, she pulled out a piece of chalk and drew a circle on a table in the hotel room roughly the size of a basketball. Holding out her free hand, she focused and activated the portal. She motioned for Ness to just toss the choker and necklace into it.
With little else to do but wait until the bombs were ready to be flown out, Loki returned to the palace, going to the guest room where he ordered a large meal.
The two dragonlings eventually tired themselves out and went to sleep, Rizomata laying flat out, and Ba'ul curling up against him.
Ness casually tossed both pieces of jewelry into the portal. She sighed a bit afterward before smiling sheepishly. "And here I was hoping I'd be able to take a fancy souvenir back home with me."
The necklace and choker tossed through the portal would appear in a bright blue flash right over the section of ocean shore nearest the gates into the city of Shantaio. They would then immediately plummet into the sea.
Jessica sighed a little as she remembered having gotten the necklace from Savranth. "Tell you what, once this is over, I'll buy you something to take home with you. Sound fair?"
Ness blinked a bit in surprise at what Jess had said. "Huh...? That was just a joke. But if you want to... we can each buy each other something... once this is over? I'd feel bad if I didn't get you something too."
"Alright. I was offering because, well, you're supposed to be on vacation. And you bring souvenirs back from vacation. I'd feel bad if you didn't." Jessica replied to Ness, at first smiling, then adopting a tone of sincerity. "I only really meant for you to get one, but if you're offering, it'd be rude to say no." She added, her smile returning.
Ness smiled back to Jess, nodding. "Oh right... I'm supposed to be on vacation. It's been so long I think I forgot." She said jokingly, before getting up and hugging Jess. "But thank you, Jess. I really appreciate it. I hope I'll be able to buy you something worthwhile too." Letting out a small yawn, Ness eventually stopped hugging Jess before giving her a kiss. "I'll try and get some sleep, you should too. We'll probably have to move tomorrow. Good night, Jess."
She calmly crawled into bed and drifted off to sleep with a small smile on her face.
Jessica sighed happily to herself after Ness kissed her, then went to bed. Not seeing much else she could do, she got into bed shortly behind her and cuddled up to her. ...Well fantastic, now there's one more thing I've ended up having to make myself worry about... She eventually managed to fall asleep as well, though she ended up laying in bed for a while first.
Rita was awake. She headed to her old training spot and began to train with all of the mythril that she had, and found that she no longer needed a cast time or incantation to use her spells, and simply had to think about it.
With the bombs ready and loaded onto an airship, Loki headed towards the airship docks. As he went, he touched his pendant to contact Nybeth. Nybeth. We are ready to make the next move. Collect the thralls, and return to the capital. I await in the northen part of the city, at the gates of the airship docks.
The Rookie stripped all non-essential stuff from his rucksack, then placed Tophat inside and wore it. He holstered his pistol and SMG, then sat down to load the newly bought shotgun currently lying across his lap.
(To the Rookie: You do realise this is most likely a suicide mission, don't you?)
He glanced over his shoulder and grunted, then primed the shotgun.
(To the Rookie: Right, I forgot. Sorry.)
Ness slowly rose up out of bed and stretched before calmly shifting herself out of bed to avoid disturbing Jessica. She calmly went through her each of her guns and began to switch out sets of SD cards in each of them.
"Yes sir." Came Nybeth's mental reply to Loki. It would take Nybeth quite a bit of time to return to Loki's position, most of that time having to be spent migrating across the entire continent in the form of a crow.
Jessica started to toss and turn in bed after Ness had climbed out. Eventually she woke up, groaning and stretching as she sat up in bed, not looking terribly well rested.