Reign Of Fire Part Two

Jumping out of the helicopter.

Rising from her seat, Kassandra grabs her backpack and reaches for Aladriel as well. She's not dressed in battle armour, but rather blue and black clothing, her longcoat stowed till she hits the ground. She secures the duty cap on her head and makes sure all her various goods and bags are attached, checking with the mage, "Ready?"

The rotors provide enough counter-wash that while it's rockey and choppy, you've got a moment of just being spun around, not up or down. Johny stays aboard the helicopter, waiting for the others to disembark. "Watch the first step!"

Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "You're tellin' me! Okay. In position… heading downward. You /are/ comin' back for us, right?""

Aladriel decided to go with her combat armor, just because she likes the excuse to wear it and she can hide herself very well if need be. She nods to Kassandra. "Let's do it!"

Slinger takes his first opportunity to look around, first in the physical, then the astral, while he fights to maintain position and continue heading downward. Of course, looking down is a good thing — figuring out where he is going to go. With a grin, the youth remembers when he first started using the spell — disconcerting to look down and be supported by… nothing. But now, it is second nature to him.

Nodding to Ally, Kass moves to leap out of a perfectly good aircraft. She takes a breath and then dives out into the sky, spreading her arms wide open.

A moment later Aladriel is out after Kassandra, where she can keep an eye on her love, but also be clear to not smash into her. Unlike Slinger, Ally does not perceive, fearful of becoming dual-natured and picking up a gust of that mana cloud.
The ground comes up fast, perhaps too fast, a little faster than expected. The High mana of the area may be interfering, but the still comes up awfully quick. Johny, being the heaviest of the group, despite leaving the chopper last, will probably hit at the same time as everyone else.

Commlink-(Geist): Wha? Ahhh Oh Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!

«OOC» Johny says, "Athletics checks, TN 4 to land without twistin an ankle."
«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Athletics vs TN 4:
2 2 3 5 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Athletics vs TN 4:
1 1 4 5 8 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Johny (#799) rolls Athletics vs TN 4:
4 4 5 5 5 8 = 6 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Athletics vs TN 4:
4 = 1 Success

Too damned fast by far! Slinger's eyes widen in panic, and a small cry escapes his lips as the ground comes up at him, and the heavy armor isn't helping. It's only by sheer luck that he lands on his feet, and not on other, more delicate, and more embarassing parts of his anatomy. He actually cancels the spell, breathing harder from the exertion. "This is definitely not normal," he grunts.

Laughing all the way down, Kass talks to herself and seems to slow down, no longer falling at terminal velocity. She spreads out to slow herself a bit, watching the ground come up rather quickly. With a little giggle she hits the ground and rolls neatly to her feet, bleeding off the excess kinetic energy and dusts herself off, looking quite pleased with herself.

Johny falls through the air, taken off guard but recovering like a cat. He flips over, landing in a spider-man crouch with a heavy thump, legs taking the brunt of the force, one hand down and touching the ground. In his combat armor, he's just plain heavier than anyone but the damn Helicopter and it shows the way his feet sink nearly an inch in to the top soil. "Well." He comms. "Wasn't that interesting."

Aladriel catches herself with a quick lift from a friendly spell, that allows her to nimbly tuck and roll without breaking her ankles or spraining her knees. She comes up smoothly and brushes herself off, chuckling at Slinger's rougher landing. "Trouble?" she asks.

«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Intelligence for "Astral perception":
2 2 4 5 5 14
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Intelligence for "Magic Sight":
1 2 2 2 3 5 5 5 11

«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Athletics vs TN 5:
4 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Athletics vs TN 5 for "KP 1/24":
4 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Athletics vs TN 5:
1 1 1 4 5 = 1 Success

Slingers vision shifts astral and its like looking in to a hurricane with a full cat-5… his hair whistles back and he looks, for a moment like something out of a stereo speaker commercial from 80 years ago. His feet dig in but on the soft grass, you can see him leaving skidmarks as he is pushed back. After a moment he will fall on his ass, but take no damage.

Kassandra will experience exactly the same thing, but she will only be forced to her knees, rather than fall on her ass.

Pulling off the glasses and closing them quickly, Kassandra says, "Whoa!" With a glance to Aladriel, she rises to her feet and shakes her head. "Not good here, astral, Ally. It must be like what Dorothy saw right before the house got lifted." The elven girl tucks the glasses away in their protective case and starts pulling out her jacket and getting things situated.

Slinger barely gets his vision back to normal, as he falls on his rump. Which is a disconcerting feeling indeed. "This sucks like a tornado," the youth agrees, as he gets up and dusts his armor off, doing his best to salvage some shred of dignity. "So let's get down there, find out what's wrong, and if there's any hope of fixing it before it goes from suck to blow. As in 'kaboom'!" He gestures with his hands to emphasize the word.

Aladriel gasps as both Slinger and Kassandra react very strangely, and rather abruptly. She rushes to Kassandra to help pick her up, checking her over very quickly. "*That's* why I didn't perceive. Glad I didn't," she laughs a little bit, though there's little humor to be found. It's very troubling.

Johny offers a hand down to Slinger to assist him up. "And I thought shifting from vis-light to thermo-spec was problematic on a hot day." He says with a chuckle. He unlimbers his Mossberg Pump-Action Combat Shotgun, laying it across one shoulder. "So. Falls. They are about… a half mile to the west."

Switching her duty cap for a backwards ball cap, Kassandra nods and pull on a pair of smartglasses, rigging the line to one of her pistols. "Alrighty!" She nods to Ally, "I'm ok, I'm ok."

Slinger nods. "Yeah. Good news is, we got no need to worry about anything astral. Somebody has to have noticed this, though!" He reaches out to take Johny's arm, grabbing the wrist as he got taught early on. He's heavier in this new armor of his. And a little ungainly. "All right. So I figure we hoof it. Startin' to wish I brought along something… lighter."

Aladriel mimics Kassandra in preparing her Smart-glasses, having no fear in doing that now that the astral plane is not a place she wants to see. Of course she can shut them off for spellcasting. The small wire fits nicely into a grove on her armor. "It'll be good exercise for you!"

Johny lifts Slinger to his feet then, giving him a pat to the shoulder. "Okay. So. Astral's good. How's spell casting? What happened to my foci on the ride down?"

Slinger smirks. "To answer the second question, I'd have to look astral, and I ain't gonna do that right now," the youth drawls. He reaches for his cigarettes, cups his hand around one to light it up, and takes a deep drag. Flipping up his visor, of course. "Spellcasting — I got no idea right now. And not real inclined to try."

"Wait, Kassie's glasses worked, so foci should be okay," Ally suggests, nibbling her lower lip while thinking of how to test spellcasting.

"Well, I am good for something then! I get to play mine detector." Kassandra chuckles and shrugs, "Maybe there is just so much magic going on that it overloaded the spells and foci on the way down?"

Slinger purses his lips. "Well… wait. Am I still invisible?" he asks, holding his hand up in front of his face. He can see it, of course, but that doesn't mean anything. He can /always/ see himself while invisible.

Johny comments… "I can see you on ultrasound, but not on vis-light spectrums." He admits, then turns to the others. "Lets get our asses moving, people. Daylight wastes."

Overhead, Mustang Alpha wobbles, then heads away at a rapid clip, clawing its way back in to the sky.

"So something's still working," the youth comments. He grins. "I got lowlight," the elf says. "An' it's natural. I bet you got it, too. So." The youth drags hard on his cigarette, and stretches out, glancing around him at the natural beauty of this place. Before he sets off after Johny, trudging along. If this doesn't toughen him up, nothing will.

Aladriel murmurs something to Silk about bringing up the rear, then drops a mischievous giggle and starts hightailing it up after the boys, mischief in her eyes. Her helmet is not polarized at the moment so her face is on full display to see all that magely mischief.

Laughing, Kass trudges along with Aladriel. No heavy armour or gear, so she can move pretty freely and at full speed. She keeps an eye out on things, hands free of weapons for the time being.

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Intelligence:
2 2 3 3 3 4 5 5 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Intelligence for "Karma reroll":
1 1 2 2 3 4 5 8 19
«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Intelligence:
1 1 3 3 3 3 5 5 5 5 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Intelligence:
2 2 2 4 4 8
«Auto-Judge[]» Johny (#799) rolls Intelligence:
1 1 2 3 3 4 4 5 5

Johny moves out at the point, a small trail near by leading down in to the canyon the falls cut, angling for their base. He moves with a slight crouch, his armor blending in to the background, all predator effect. He moves forward, gun at the ready. He's scanning the horizon, looking so hard for a forest that he misses the trees; A set of clear combat boot prints in the softer soil off to the side that Slinger spots; but that Kassandra recognizes as Nico Brand; a brand of combat boots favored by Japanese Special Forces.

Quietly, Kass says over the comms, «STOP». She crouches by the combat boot print and looks around soberly, motioning everyone over to her.

Johny does exactly as ordered, his gun snapping to full combat position.

Aladriel keeps an eye on their backsides while not neglecting the front at all. But when Kassandra calls for a stop, Ally ceases all movement immediately, except that a hand drops to her holstered, smartlinked pistol, ready to draw it on a moment's notice.

Commlink-«Silk» "Boot print. Visitors." Silk doesn't say much more, motioning the others closer to see what she has found.

Slinger stays low as well, watching carefully for any threats. Even invisible, there are things that might spot him. Say, ubersammies with ultrasound. He's got one of those nearby. He reaches out to give Sam's shoulder a quick squeeze, grinning. This is kind of fun, actually — or would be, if the circumstances weren't so dire. But then, he hears the command from Kassandra and freezes. He moves carefully over toward her, then looks up. Tracking bootprints isn't his strong suit. "How long ago were the bad guys here?"

Aladriel doesn't move closer because she was told to freeze. But then Kassandra motions them inwards so she creeps carefully closer, furrowing her brows at the footprint. "At least one other person then?"

Rooting around the area in an orderly fashion, will show Kassandra there are several boot prints, mostly overlaying each other; perhaps 3, maybe 5 men, walking in a line. They step heel-toe, their tracks mimicing the one next to them; Johny's. Crouching and moving with care. Also, they are about.. maybe… an hour old?"

Kass shifts around, showing the tracks to everyone and moving with slow and steady pace, eyes searching the treeline, nearby bushes and ground. Her gloved fingers move just above the tracks as she takes the measure of the tracks, remarking in a hushed voice. "Small group, maybe a squad or fire team. They are moving in each other's tracks, using the land to disguise their numbers. You can see this smudge of mud on the rock where they stepped here, moved there."

She squats a moment, sucking on her teeth. "Maybe an hour. Maybe less. Not long, but they definately have a head start." She looks to Johny.

Johny nods to Kassandra. "Call the ball. Want me close for point defense, or want me to range out and locate?" he asks coming to stand next to her, but not to close, Gaze never stopping its movements.

Slinger hardly even dares to move, for fear of erasing some of the tracks. "What brand of boots?" the youth asks, with a lopsided grin. Smartass. But even so, it might give us a clue. Or maybe not — everyone wears Japanese boots. He lights up a fresh cigarette, creating a trail of smoke on the air, and grunts. "Whatever it is, we need to hurry. Maybe it'll take 'em a while and we can catch 'em in the act and reverse it."

"Fire team?" Ally repeats softl, brows furrowing a little. "If they're all magi, we're in trouble. Otherwise maybe one of them is magi capable of starting this. Looks like our answer is ahead." Ally shakes her head, because that isn't good news at all. She draws out a pistol with her right hand, and with her left takes out a slim knife and holds it in an underhanded grip. That's how she'll proceed.

"Nico Brand. They are used by a lot of people, but mostly Japanese Special Forces, occationally a few Yakuza offshoots that want to play merc instead of Ninja. The Osage have a tribe that uses them as well, they say that they make less noise than a spider's foot on a web."

Looking over the tracks, the elf remarks, "At least two of them are pretty rigged out with gear, so they are probably not all mages, or else are combat mages." A look to Johny, "Circle high on the left flank and try to get some elevation on them to see if you can spot them. They are being sneaky, so .. don't be so far off that you can't get to us."

Commlink-(Geist): On it.

Slinger considers for a moment. "If they've got mages… damned good odds they're invisible," the youth comments quietly. He glances around, then takes a deep breath and braces himself — and checks the astral environment. "I'm gonna do my best to see /something/ in the astral," he murmurs, switching his vision, preparing for the maelstrom.

«Auto-Judge[]» Johny (#799) rolls Stealth (Sneaking):
2 4 5 5 5 7 10 14

Johny fades back in to the brush then, one step back and then… just… gone. Johny now does what he does best; being a hunter-killer. Not a sound, not a moving branch, not a foot print marks his passage.

Aladriel is waiting for her position when she ahhhhs for a moment, remembering something. "Let me see if I can get any clue on where to find them," she murmurs, remembering once more that she has a spell that is supposed to find enemies!

«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Intelligence:
2 2 3 3 3 3
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Intelligence for "KP 2/24.":
2 2 4 5 5 9
«OOC» Slinger says, "Hopefully good enough :)"

Shifting perception to the astral plane, Slinger braces himself! But the wind is gone. In its place is an errie calm. An astral quiescence. None of the usual astral background activity. No animals. No mobile biomass. No bird calls, no spirits. Just… quiet. Like a ship stilled at sea or the eye of a hurricane.

"Okay. This is weird. This is not good. It's… we're in the eye of the storm," the youth says, his voice strangely muted. Quiet. From a distance. "I'm goin' up." He casts his Levitate spell into his focus, slowly moving upward — and taking advantage of whatever cover he can.

«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls 6 vs TN 4 for "Filtering, KP 3/24.":
2 4 4 4 4 11 = 5 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Magic + 6 (Power Foci booya!) vs TN 4 for "Filtering away BG count":
1 1 1 1 3 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 7 7 9 9 10 11 13 = 11 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 5 vs TN 6 for "Trying out Detect Enemies for non-visible enemies. Why not!":
1 2 2 2 2 3 4 4 4 5 5 5 10 = 1 Success

Extending her senses, Ally will come to understand… that down the slope of the valley, there is a place, a curious place, where in there are men who wish her harm. not her, per say, but more, anyone in the area. Very malicious people.

«OOC» Johny says, "Gimmie a stealth check, and how many successes did you get on your spellcasting for invisibility?"
«OOC» Slinger never rolled it. Will roll now if you like :)
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 6 + 7 (power focus) vs TN 4 for "Improved Invis, F6, into focus (from earlier).":
1 1 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 5 5 5 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls 15 vs TN 4 for "KP 4/24.":
1 1 1 1 2 2 2 4 4 4 5 5 8 9 10 = 8 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Willpower + Sorcery Pool: 2 vs TN 4 for "F6, +1M, 4M.":
2 2 2 3 4 4 4 5 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Stealth:
1 4 7

Johny moves through the forest now, relying not on magic to do his job, but on skill; stealth and skill. Staying up wind, in the soft soil, proceeding with each foot fall like it was his last. Scanning, looking for the enemy, the contact.

Nodding quietly, Kassandra swings her cloak around and secures it, testing the charge. She looks cautiously to the armoured Aladriel and waits for her to finish her spell before asking, "Ready to move out?" She makes sure everything is set and ready to go, keeping a watch for errant flashes of light and sounds.

Ally's eyes unfocus for a few moments while she casts out a net with her spell. She pulls it back just as quickly and sighs. She comms to her team, nodding her readiness to the elf.

Commlink-«Phoenix»> Aladriel says, "Definite hostiles. No vis."

Commlink-(Geist): 50 meters to the north north west; no contact, moving in to the valley as stated.

The trail here slopes downward, along the ridge line heading in to the gully. The roar of the falls can be heard now, a crashing, steady thing that is at once cacophonous and yet, also, orderly. The very essence of natures chaos having a system and structure. A few more boot prints here and there; the others are good, and they have discipline, but they also are perhaps overconfident; they have surprise, the worst they are expecting may be park rangers.

«OOC» Slinger needs people to stop interrupting him! ;)
«OOC» Johny says, "Do what ya gotta man. :)"
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Intelligence for "Perception.":
1 2 3 4 5 5

«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Intelligence for "Perception. KP 5/24.":
2 4 4 4 5 7
«Auto-Judge[]» Johny (#799) rolls 8 for "Mystery":
1 2 2 3 4 4 4 10
In preparation of moving, Aladriel slips on her own Ruthenium cloak and feels all sneaky! It's not as trong as pure magic hiding you, but she's leary of using more magic than she needs to at the moment. She follows Kassandra by a couple of meters, all of her senses on alert, pointing out footprints in case anyone else should miss them!

Slinger comes over the lines of the treetop, able now to see over the canopy. In the distance, down in the valley, he spots the trail as it deadends next to the pool scoured out at the bottom of the falls. A man is crouched there, and he seems to be looking at slinger.

Matter of fact; he is. Were Slinger able to detect it, he would note himself being pinged by an ultrasonic sight…

Kassandra moves along quietly, aware of where her teammates are by virtue of the BattleTac. She moves slowly, stepping with exquisite care from rock to next to a tree to next to a bush. She breaths in, out, letting her eyes adjust to the trees, the fall of the shadows over the land.

«OOC» Slinger says, "Range doesn't affect spells, but…"
«OOC» Johny says, "Well, we can init it if you like, but this is for him, shooting -you-."

«OOC» Slinger says, "All right. I did pose activating my bracelet, but didn't roll for it to avoid spam."
«OOC» Slinger can roll now.
«OOC» Slinger says, "What BG count would the thing have had, up in the chopper before I jumped?"
«OOC» Johny imagines you will filter it, so neg.
«OOC» Slinger says, "Anchoring foci don't get the benefit of anchoring."
«OOC» Slinger says, "Er, Filtering."
«OOC» Johny says, "Ahh."
«OOC» Kassandra put in her hair bow on the chopper.
«OOC» Johny says, "Anyway; He's taking a shot at you. He's got 12+4D6 init. Whats your init?"
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls 13 for "Armor activating. TN is 6 base. Need 1 success to activate dark armor.":
1 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 4 8 9 9 11
«OOC» Kassandra says, "wow"
«OOC» Slinger says, "5+3D6."
«OOC» Slinger says, "So it activated."
«OOC» Johny says, "He's a die faster than Johny."
«Auto-Judge[]» Johny (#799) rolls 4 for "+12":
3 5 5 5
«OOC» Johny says, "30. 4 actions."
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 for "+5":
2 3 4
«OOC» Slinger says, "14. 2 actions."
«OOC» Slinger says, "30 is only 3 actions :)"
«OOC» Slinger says, "I think. 31 would be 4?"
«OOC» Johny says, "Right, my bad."

«OOC» Slinger says, "Anyway :) His shot? :)"
«OOC» Johny says, "He will move first, hes' firing a Japanese Walther MA12 so probably somethign that sounds like you sneezed."
«OOC» Slinger says, "Okay. Lemme know when I get an action. :)"
«OOC» Johny nods. It will be in a moment.
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) takes off his "Form-Fitting Armor FullSuit"<=Form-Fitting Body Armor (#2991, Item 1).
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) puts on his "Light Hardened Military Armor"<=Military Grade Armor (#6104, Item 1).
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) puts on his "Hardened Military Helmet"<=Military Grade Armor (#6104, Item 2).
«OOC» Johny says, "Range is medium you have partial cover (+2), light is not a factor, movement is not a factor, he's aiming for a simple, so -1, so a total of +1 to a TN of 4. 5. -2 for Sl II."
«OOC» Johny says, "TN of 3."
«OOC» Johny says, "Objections or points?"
«OOC» Slinger says, "Target is visible only to ultrasound: +4"
«OOC» Slinger says, "M&M p18"
«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) takes off her "Form-Fitting Armor FullSuit"<=Sorceress Armor (#4998, Item 1).
«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) takes off her "Secure Ultra-Vest"<=Sorceress Armor (#4998, Item 4).
«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) takes off her "Secure Jacket"<=Sorceress Armor (#4998, Item 6).
«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) puts on her "Heavy Security Armor"<=AC Super Armor (#683, Item 1).
«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) puts on her "Security Helmet"<=AC Super Armor (#683, Item 6).
«OOC» Johny nods.
«Auto-Judge[]» Johny (#799) rolls 8 + Combat Pool: 6 vs TN 7 for "TN 3+4":
1 1 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 4 5 7 9 13 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Johny (#799) rolls 8 + Combat Pool: 6 - 3 vs TN 7 for "TN 3+4 KP 1/5":
1 1 2 2 3 4 4 4 5 5 22 = 1 Success
«OOC» Johny says, "Stand on 4."

«OOC» Kassandra says, "whoa"
«OOC» Johny says, "Heh. He'll be able to CP dodge it."
«OOC» Johny says, "And hes' got armor like a friggen tank."
«OOC» Slinger says, "4 succs, huh? Dodge TN is 4?"
«OOC» Johny nods.
«Game» Backup to offline storage commencing. Game may freeze for a bit…
«OOC» Slinger says, "What's the damage of the round?"
«OOC» Johny says, "14 S"

«OOC» Slinger can't actually dodge it. So will take the round.
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Body + Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 2 for "15 armor.":
1 2 2 2 2 3 4 4 4 4 4 5 15 = 12 Successes
«OOC» Slinger says, "Soaked."
«OOC» Johny says, "see? :)"
«OOC» Kassandra says, "and here I was worried about sneaking and not looking like a threat. damnit."

The man down below narrows his eyes as the scanner picks up a new contact. He peers down the sight, seeing the humanoid blob, that its someone in the tree. He grunts, calling across the communit as he adjusts his sites on Slinger. One round reports, echoing off the canyon walls.

Slinger yelps and curses into the comm, as the round hits him, though his armor absorbs nearly all of it. He ducks further behind the tree, using it more for cover, as he sights in on the source of that particular round — and launches his own spell in retaliation…

Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "Motherfragger! Contact at seven O'clock. Just shot me!"

«OOC» Slinger says, "It'll be a Stunbolt, F6."
«OOC» Slinger says, "Target's willpower is 6, I presume? What other modifiers?"
«OOC» Johny says, "Will is 6, that is correct."
«OOC» Johny says, "cover mods work both ways, so +2 for cover."
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Centering vs TN 2 for "Centering against penalties, TN is 8 base - initgrade = 2.":
1 2 2 2 2 3 = 5 Successes
«OOC» Johny nods. Cover centered away.
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 6 + 7 (power focus) vs TN 6 for "Stunbolt, F6, Targetting at D damage.":
1 1 1 2 2 3 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 7 9 10 11 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 6 + 7 (power focus) - 4 (succs) vs TN 6 for "Stunbolt, F6, Targetting at D damage. KP 6/24.":
1 1 2 3 3 4 5 5 5 7 9 10 11 16 22 = 6 Successes
Pulse pages: hey, blindside still active?
«OOC» Aladriel says, "Nice!"
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 6 + 7 (power focus) - 10 (succs) vs TN 6 for "Stunbolt, F6, Targetting at D damage. KP 8/24.":
1 1 1 2 3 4 4 5 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Willpower + Sorcery Pool: 2 vs TN 2 for "F6, -1(DL), 2D.":
1 1 1 1 3 4 4 5 = 4 Successes
Pulse pages: i may have some work for him!
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 vs TN 2 for "KP 9/24.":
2 3 3 4 = 4 Successes

Slinger grits his teeth, and sends out a powerful jolt of energy toward his target with an audible grunt of effort. The invisible wave of energy shoots toward his target through the trees, picking him off as cleanly and effectively as a sniper shot. "Got him! But he had a comm!"

Down below, the sniper keels over, thudding to the ground.

Kass stays next to a tree as the shot rings out, adding over to the ruthenium shielding. She checks her BattleTac for placement, considering for a moment. A murmur into the comm, «They are early.» She waits a moment, watching Ally's red dot to see where she is.

Slinger comes down a bit, using the treetops for more cover, and moves away from his current position, trying hard to be stealthy. "Mother fraggin' snipin' son of a drekkin'…" Slinger mutters. "This is brand new armor!"

Commlink-(Geist): Report; shooter down? I'm at the edge of the canyon, I don't see any but one man, and he looks down.

At hearing that Slinger just came under fire, Aladriel grabs the nearest cover she can, and if that means the ground, then so be it! She quickly checks her firing angles, not so much for her own shot, but to see where someone would be int he best position to fire down on her from. Nothing that she can see.

Commlink-«Phoenix»> Aladriel says, "Better hurry along so they can't set up if he got a message off?"

Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "Shooter is down. Havin' a nap."

Commlink-«Silk» "Push forward. Watch for booby traps."

Commlink-(Geist): Confirmed. Moving down the hillside, checken for traps. You want I should bend bars, lift a gate?

Me and my shadow. Kassandra slips away from the tree, continuing forward with the pistol against her side, using the cover she can and the shadows, the bushes and trees. She remarks, «"You picked the fighter."»

A few moments after Kassandra starts moving, Aladriel follows, mindful that there is space between them, just like practiced. No sense in letting one lucky burst fire, or a lucky grenade, or a lucky trap catch them *both*. But Kassie shouldn't be in front. She'll have to double-time up to get in front of the elf.

And then, there you are. Down at the bottom of the ravine, at the foot of Upper Falls. The water is almost a fine mist, the entire volume of a river turned to spray before it drifts down in to the water-scoured lagoon at the bottom. The sniper, dressed in light combat armor, is keeled over around his rifle, a pair of clips on the ground in front of him. He's still in his riflemans crouch, one knee up, overt the other leg for stability.

A clue! And it's still warm! Kassandra drifts towards the sniper, eyes traveling over the area as she closes the distance, murmuring "No, no, I'm in front!" She and Ally jockey for placement.

Slinger floats along above the treetops, or within them, moving swiftly but silently, and doing his best to stay /damned/ well hidden. But moving forward nonetheless. "Where the hell are they?" he asks. He's tense, ready to get shot at again — but not greatly relishing the concept at the moment. "That the waterfall we're going behind?"

Johny morphs out of the surrounding air, his suit rippling to give a faint outline of him next to the others… "GPS says yes." he admits. "But I'm getting… visual errors."

«OOC» Kassandra says, "Mr. GM, I will search the body."
«OOC» Johny laughs. Okay.
«OOC» Johny says, "gimmie a perception check."

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Intelligence for "Gimme da cash!":
1 1 3 3 4 4 5 5 9
«OOC» Johny says, "THats a nice hat. You like it? *DANCE!*"

Ally grrrrs at Kassandra trying to stay in front of her! "Me tougher!" she tells the elf with a quick shake of her head, not wanting to put her less-armored beauty before her. She hrms as she surveys the bottom of the ravine, not minding the water in the slightest. She tilts her head as Johny is hear and reports. "What kind of error?"

Searching the body will reveal a communit, still broadcasting, though its getting a lot of static. The rifle, smartlinked, a few clips, pistol in a holster and a small datapad with a nav-unit attached. All documentation found is in english, but the man himself is Japanese ethnicitiy and his gear is clearly japanese.

Johny is silent for a moment. "Ghosting in my visuals. Distortion of audio inputs. It's minor, but concerning."

Kass moves with the efficency of someone who has stripped bodies on the battlefield before. She materializes, saving the battery power on the cloak and starts rifling through the man's belongings. "Catch." The Nav-DAT/Datapad sails towards Johny as she moves to pocket clips, checking the pistol and rifle for biometrics and moving to secure the man so when his brain stops swelling he isn't a threat.

Slinger glances over at the communit, and grins. "Anybody else speak Japanese?" he asks, his voice low. "If not, I do. Can translate." He is watching from above, and frowns. "Whatcha mean visuals? Just… ultrasound? Or everything?" He keeps his voice low, staring at the waterfall — and he switches his vision to astral as well. Just checking.

Ally frowns as Johny reports that troubling bit of news. "If the ambient mana is getting so strong as to affect technology too….things are getting a lot worse. It's *not* a good sign."

Slinger shifts to the Astral plane… and its dead silent. Dead. Theres a current of mana heading in to the waterfall, and you realize, looking at the mist as it settles, that the river itself is a manaline, flowing through the park.

The guard tied and secured, Kass rises with new gear including the rifle and offers it to Johny. "Should you stay out here? If the distortions become too much, you could find yourself with too much disturbance to make a clear shot in there?"

Johny catches the Nav dat, a moments hesitation in his form as he snatches it. "Visuals. Meaning there was a 1/32nd of a second delay between visual and ultrasonic data, despite ultrasonic processing a full step behind visual due to the reletive speed of light and soubnd."

"Huh," Slinger says quietly. "That's weird. The river's the manaline, by the way. I can see it from here. We gotta go in, one of us. And let's home it affects their ultrasound the same way." The youth starts toward the waterfall, moving slowly, stealthily, and using the rock well as best he can for cover. He closes his visor, sealing his armor — and goes in.

"I think more than one of us," Ally tells Slinger quickly. "His friends are unaccounted for," she reminds. She moves right off after him towards the waterfall, adopting her new combat stance for this little jaunt, pistol in one hand, knife in the other.

Blinking, Kassandra hears Slinger head off, sees his dot move on the BattleTac. She pauses for just a moment, speechless, and then moves to follow the pair with a murmur over the comm, "Folks? Might want to actually have a plan and make sure you have back up before you just run off." She keeps her voice low, perfectly monotone.

Johny takes the rifle, one hand reaching out to snag Slinger by the arm. "Listen to the Mercenary Elf, finger-wiggler. Armors good, backups better."

Ally holds back, a thoughtful look on her face. "Do we have any idea what it looks like inside? I…" Ally sighs and shakes her head a little bit. "We could be walking into a trap or on the middle of them with their hands busy. I sure hope for the last."

Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "Every second we wait, is one more second they have to do bad stuff."

The falls empty in to a large lagoon of warm, steam-bearing water that is a little too acidic here for much in the way of life. It's not dead, it's just not holding much complex life. Behind the water fall is a pile, a jumble of rocks, and nestled within is a cave mouth that leads deeper under ground.

Johny shakes his head. "I don't know, Silk, if it gets worse, my capability will degrade, but I will keep you appraised. Right now I'm at 98 percent effectiveness. A minor amount, but significant." A pause.
"I will enter with you."

Nodding once to Johny, Silk turns to follow Aladriel and Slinger. Over the comm she remarks, "Haste won't get us any further, and might just get us killed. Lead on."

"Careful does it," Ally murmurs in echo to Kassandra, now that they're set to go in together, as a team. She'll not fight Slinger for point, but she will be right on his heels in approaching the water fall to skirt behind it towards the cave mouth.

In that case, Slinger moves back over the lagoon, moving around the cave mouth and eyeing it carefully, scouting it out. While he may move behind the water, he does not actually enter the cave, not yet. Instead, he's watching, with his spells ready, and his Narcoject drawn.

"Point or Rear Guard." Asks Johny as he approaches the cave mouth with the others, shifting from the shotgun to a pistol, his off hand drawing a blade from its scabbard.

"Rear Guard, Geist. You're the best shot, you can cover all over from the back." Silk stays on Ally's back, her right hand just barely touching the armoured form as she carries her pistol with the left.

Johny drops back then, waiting at the cave mouth for the others to enter. The mouth is about 7 feet tall, enough that no one has to stoop. The walls are, where you can see in the light from outside, smooth, like they were melted from the rock. The bottom of the tunnel is slick, smooth rock covered in constantly replenishing mosture.

Slinger hesitates, then slowly moves forward, waiting for the others to stay close. But he is arguably the best armored and the most stealthy, so he's heading in a little head of the others, spells at the ready, all his vision strained forward to see what lies ahead. Listening carefully. "Who has the radio?" he asks, in the subvocal mic.

Lighting in the cave mouth is good, sunlight dappling in through the mist.. The path in the rock seems to slowly wind its way downward, a sort of slow angling spiral away from the surface, heading low. There is only enough room for single file operations, about 3 feet across but with a circular construction making much of the lateral space unwalkable.

Not wanting there to be a bottleneck, Ally holds back a few seconds, guessing that Slinger's moving forward before she heads down herself, careful, careful footsteps, pistol in a two-handed grip before her, ready to encounter anything unpleasant before the rest of the mage's body.

"I have it," comes the murmured sub-vocal reply from Kassandra, still moving right behind Aladriel. The elven girl's form vanishes from sight, her hand still lightly on the armoured back of the female mage.

From behind the light blocks off as you move further in to the tunnel, as light does not do very good 'bending' around corners. Not usually or under normal gravatonic conditions. The GM Will take a perception check from Slinger however.

«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Intelligence:
2 2 3 4 4 9

From down the passage, rebounding off who knows how many walls, disembodied, the sounds of conflict. The shudder of impact, the grunt of human bodies as they are struck. No gun fire, it should be noted, but conflict all the same.

Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "Fighting up ahead. C'mon!"

Slinger presses on ahead, encouraged by the sounds of conflict. Where there is conflict, that means one side might be our side. Or if not, then both sides will be weakened and distracted by the confrontation, making our task easier…
Murmuring, "Oh good. Maybe they will all slay each other." Kass breaths the words to Ally, tapping her once on the back, using the mage as a shield. "Let's go."

Encouraged by what Slinger just said, Ally will indeed put a little pepper in her pace and try to hurry up without sacrificing too much for speed.

Commlink-(Geist): Signal is XxxxCCCrading. 83 percent capacsiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiity.

Commlink-«Phoenix»> Aladriel says, "Easy does it!"

Commlink-«Silk» "Geist?"

Commlink-(Geist): I'm He-e-e-e-er. Direct-t-t-Neuralinterfaceis deeeeeeeeeegrading. (Imagine this with that max-headroom digital effect. It's cooler that waY)

Thinking, Kass shakes her head and detaches the smartlink from the glasses, the cable autospooling. She slides that weapon away, drawing another with a conventional laser sight, muttering, "Lesser tech will probably work better." Over the comm, she remarks, "Pull back if you drop below seventy percent."

Commlink-(Geist): Confirrrmmed.

Slinger proceeds on forward, staying low, using his elfin vision to hopefully see what lies ahead — and relying on his ears to provide the rest. His narcoject is out in front of him, his feet not touching the floor, and working hard to avoid touching the walls and scraping them with his armor. He wants to be utterly silent, regardless of the commotion ahead, and yet still get there fast enough to make a difference…

Moving down the way, you come to a leveling out of the tunnel, a broadening of it. Beyond a slight ledge, and that ledge is VERY slight, there's a steep, steep drop off. The light here is entirely from a luminescent blue that seems to seep from veins of a beautiful blue marbling that seems to scroll through the entire cavern, providing a soft blue light…

Down at the bottom of the cavern, is a statue. Perhaps 30 feet tall, it's in an odd style, looking vaguely draco in its features, but with no wings or reversed limbs. As though an egyptian dragon headed god, ala anubis. It's currently standing atop the bodies of what look to be two men, blood staining the floor some 100 feet below.

Slinger moves out of the way of the tunnel, anxious to avoid blocking its exit, and letting the others through as he floats out over the ledge, gazing at the scene below carefully. The sight of those men down below, that gets his attention. "Two targets," he subvocalizes. "Down below. Unconscious or dead, not sure which. No sign of what attacked them." The elf waits for the others to get into position, before he begins to move downward at all, cautiously…

As he gets a slightly better look, he hesitates. "I got this feeling that that statue… killed them," the youth says quietly. "Maybe… maybe they didn't bring a rock for a gift." Astral sight is the next thing he will check, focussing his attention upon that statue…

Because she is next in line, Aladriel is the next one to see the sights. She almost gasps at the sight of the statue atop the two bodies. She wows a little bit before looking for a safe way down.

Commlink-«Phoenix»> Aladriel says, "Definitely approach this with caution."

Following, Kass slides her gun away and considers the scene before them. She nods to herself, feeling for the pouch with the all important gifts for the Guardian, if this is who it is. Maybe there is more. She doesn't comment, swinging wide with Ally and casting a look around for more screaming or downed people.

Commlink-(Geist): sixciiiiiiiiicy… 9999999. Cannotnotnotnot proce-eee-d.

«OOC» Kassandra says, "he would stop on 69. cheeky monkey"

Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "Guard our backs, mano."

Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "Stay safe."

Grash - Anubis of another age

The path proceeds to curve down the inside of the cavern, switching back three times before reaching the bottom.
Kass returns to the visible spectrum, turning off the cloak once again. She moves with confidence, keeping a hand touching Aladriel's armoured form, her other hand grasping the tokens they brought with them. "We move forward, with confidence, like worthy travelers and not theives in the night," she remarks over the comm.

Ally looks back towards Johny, definitely going to give him a once over before just leaving him behind. Then she starts carefully down the path, debating floating down to speed things along. It is a cautious approach, for she's not at all convinced that they are alone. "*Cautious*, confident travelers?" she asks.

When the ladies and the singular male get to about the mid of the second switchback, the statue's eyes glow white, like stars set in to stone. The head orients with a growl of shifting rock, to look directly at the travelers, confident or no.

Slinger stays just over the edge of the cliff, mirroring the movements of the travellers, but staying far enough outside to provide a bit of cover, just in case. He is starting to crave a smoke from the stress, but doesn't dare have one right now. Not long enough since his last one to impact his mage. Not /yet/, anyway…

Kass gives a last smile to her armoured wife and looks over as the statue turns its gaze to them. "Peace, Grash, we come in peace with an offering from afar to benefit one so magnificent as you." The elven girl has been practicing with the elementals at home when Ally has them over, and while they haven't answered, they also haven't tried to kill her, so she feels she may be on the right track.

Her right hand offers forth the tokens, showing the multitude of rocks taken from the gardens and grounds of Thistlewood, all carried around by Aladriel, by Kassandra, even by Maya on occation.

It is everything in Ally to not drag up her pistol and target the statue. It helps that she *kinda* thought it might do that. STILL, even with that knowledge, her pulse raises and she starts thinking about spells she can throw at the thing in case it decides to be aggressive towards Kassandra.

The creature shifts then, seeming to almost grind, purposefully, the bodies beneath his feet as he does so. "You come with gifts. YOu come with name." Like a landslide, its voice fills the room. A cross of an earthquake and the rumble of a large truck on the road. "You come in honor. These men did not. I will catch the others when they leave."

AStrally, the being appears to be a materialized great form spirit, of a force that is perhaps, easily a 12 on the normal hume scale, even that would be perhaps an understatement. And the walls. The -walls-, slinger… they pulse and move with Mana, the way the other place did, only… perhaps.. less refined. The other place was more refined, more artistic; peopel spent time there.. this… this is more primative.

Slinger listens patiently. So nice not to have to do the talking for once, and Silk is undeniably better at it than he is. He waits patiently, not too far from the others. "How many others?" Slinger asks, into the comm, just suggesting things Silk has probably already thought of. "And which way did they go?" He keeps his voice quiet, but gazes for a few moments at the spirit, recognizing it for what it is… and it's impossible to miss the air of deep respect that shows in even this punk-ass kid's aura.

An important clue there: others are here and got past, perhaps leaving these two to their fate. Kassandra continues moving slowly closer to the statue, keeping the offered stones before her. "It is only right to treat you with respect to your purpose, Grash." She looks past and/or around the being, trying to get an idea of where they need to go. "We would continue, and perhaps help you to remove their presence from this place."

Slinger's eyes slide over the room, and he can feel the power in this place. Feel the ebb and flow of the mana contained within. "What is wrong with this place?" he whispers. "With the surroundings?" He's speaking almost to himself, in a tone of awe that comes quietly over the comm.

With her curiosity finally getting the better of her, Aladriel opens herself up to the astral just so she can take a look at Grash. Slinger beats her to the comm, for her question would have been that exactly. But Ally recognizes happily that Kassandra is the better speaker here, so she trusts that elf's judgement in dropping that question or not. Besides, she gets a little busy being awed by the place they are in.

Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "It's… it's like the other place. But more… more primal. More feral. More wild. The other place was refined. Like elf versus troll. The first delicate, precise, controlled — this is pure, raw energy…"

"Namegivers… should flee." Says the spirit, bending at the waist to look -down- at the group, its eyes sweeping over them. "Soon, the sea of Dis will reopen… and you will not survive that. These…" A grind of the foot. "Serve Dis… Grash does not."

Always with the Namegivers crack. Kassandra sifts through the data and formulates a thought, remarking, "We were sent by Mountainshadow to stop the Sea from opening. It was his hope that we could stop these servants from bringing this forth."

Another reason why Ally loves Kassandra. Because she can name-drop and sweet-talk ANYTHING! Something catches her attention though. Dis? Who is Dis. She inquires quietly into the comm.

Slinger's attention is upon the spirit, but also on its surroundings. "I doubt that the spirit has pronunciation problems and talks like a cheap hoodlum. So it must be somebody's name. Maybe… old name for Japan? Or… for the volcano beneath us?"

The comms are unreliable now, static for more than half the transmissions…

"Mountainshadow. I mourn his passing to the higher places. Of the Dragonkind, he was the least easy to understand. You come at his behest. You come with name. You come with honor. I will believe your words. Give me your tokens… and you may pass."

Slinger drifts over toward the others, gazing at the spirit. "Grath," he murmurs, his voice quiet, awed. Just that one word. The young mage is completely impressed, and he exhales a slow breath. He will not defile this chamber by smoking in it, though he is definitely craving one. He inclines his head in gratitude, supporting Silk's words and deeds with his presence.

Not answering the words on the comm so as not to give the being a reason to be unhappy, Kassandra moves forward at his behest to give forth the tokens, motioning for the others to follow her. She remarks, "We happily give forth the tokens and will do our best to honour Mountainshadow's wishes and words. Thank you Grash." She brings the rocks to where the being indicates, her other hand firmly on Aladriel's arm.

One massive clawed hand comes down, palm up, the size of one of the women itself. The talons, easy to see now, are of cast iron, dark and stained with blood and sinue of lord knows how many people… "Two tokens.." He says then, orienting on Slinger. "Three namegivers."

"Thank you," Aladriel adds in quietly, not wanting to distract Grash anymore, though she hrms as his attention turns to Slinger. Aroo? Her eyebrows raise.

The boy swallows once. "I… uh…" Having the spirit staring at him is more than a bit uncomfortable. "Grath, the place where I live has no stones of its own. I have this," he murmurs, and reaches into the small wooden box he carries with him. And from it, he plucks a small polished sphere of malachite. "This was created for me," he says quietly. "It has stayed with me for some time, and I would be happy to give it to you as a token, a gift." He holds out the thing in his fingers — its enchantment clearly visible upon the astral.

Uhoh. Kass eyes the extra tokens in her hand, the beings words and attention on Slinger indicating that the extra rocks from her house aren't going to cut it. She has only seconds to figure out something, her brain working on overdrive. Speaking with a purpose, Kassandra remarks, "Not quite true." She steps slightly away from Aladriel and motions to Slinger, "Lift your foot." She points to the treads on his armoured feet, the gravel and asphalt and Gods know what there from where Slinger lives. "He brings his token, he simply forgets to put it in his pocket. The rocks from his home, as Mountainshadow spoke."

«OOC» Johny says, "Hrm."
«OOC» Johny says, "Thats a biiiiiit of a stretch. It takes a lot to put a rock in tread good enough to have it stick that long…"
«OOC» Kassandra says, "he's been floating."
«OOC» Johny says, "… huh…"
«OOC» Kassandra says, "and, um, he was jumping around at home?"
«Auto-Judge[]» Johny (#799) rolls 4 for "Mystery":
1 3 3 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Johny (#799) rolls 4 for "Mystery":
1 4 4 5
«OOC» Johny says, "Well, there ya go. There is infact, a small rock in the tread of slingers boots."

Ally's eyes shift a little bit and she gives a bit of a nervous fidget as she stops looking around at the incredibly astral sights here, and considers the interaction with Grash and Slinger. "Careful," she murmurs…

The creature does not seem impressed by the shining bit of magical flotsam. Such primitive magics… When Kassandra speaks, it's features reorient on her… then back to Slinger. The massive claw moves closer to him, glinting in the dark light. "Your magics are not a token as I seek… Mountain Shadow would have sent you knowing of my ways…" The eyes take on a slightly reddish cast.

Oh dear. Kassandra takes a step back, letting Grash and Slinger hash this one out. No sense getting blood on her clothing, and she's done as much as she can.

Slinger swallows once, glances over to Kassandra with a faint look of panic in his eyes, visible to astral sight. He's racking his brains; a rock isn't something that he carries around with him frequently, and he reaches into his pockets, desperately digging around for anything that might appease the spirit. "We were given word of your ways, yes," the youth says swiftly. This was a fierce miscalculation. Something. Anything. He curses himself for not having thought to swing by his own home and grab a stone from the rock garden there.

But Kassandra's words draw the young mage's attention. "Wait… wait just a second." He turns and begins squirming in midair, pulling his duffel bag from where it's strapped to his back, rooting through it… and comes up with his usual sneakers, slightly ratty. He examines the tread of the first… and then the second… and there it is. A small stone, but one nonetheless. "A stone, Grash, from my home. One that forms the very ground that supports and sustains me," he says, trying hard to sound confident and not as desperate as he is, deep down.

Slinger plucks the stone from the tread, carefully, holding it like the most precious, high-powered focus that he has ever held, using sharpened fingernails to carefully pry it from its resting place. And then he holds it out, almost invisible… as an offer. A pathetic shield.

Jeez! Ally was just about to start pulling Kass away from Slinger lest they be in the midst of a huge battle! But then it seems like the young elf has found a stone in his spare shoes! She breathes a slow, deep sigh of relief.

The eyes slowly shift back to the white… Two claws come out to take the stone with surprising dexterity. It takes all three tokens in to its two hands, then rubs them together. "Ahhhhhhhh…" He says then… "Children of Zebulon… tragic what has happened to him, meddlesome namegivers…" He looks back to the three. "You may pass."

Kassandra stays quiet, staying next to Aladriel. At the beings blessing she nods and steps forward, stepping around or past Grash and further into the mystical magical place.

The youth exhales a slow sigh of relief. And he floats along, taking up the rear — and trying not to hurry too much. And once past the creature, the boy fishes out his cigarettes and desperately lights one up. After that, he needs it!"

"But… be warned, servants of MountainShadow, children of Zebulon, opposers of Dis…" A pause. "The locus has been… damaged by the other name givers…."

"Hope the others up ahead don't have really good senses of smell," Ally grumbles at Slinger, not having much pity for his desperate habit. She is slowed by the warning of Grash. "The locus?" she wonders, looking between the other two. Oy. Things do not get easier.

Of course it has. Kass looks back to Grash, concentrating on the wordsounds and giving them meaning. She nods slowly, "We heed your warning, Grash, and shall do our best to hold back the Sea and repair what we can, correct what must be corrected." In for a penny, the elf thinks, bowing to Grash before turning to head in.

Down the Rabbit Hole.

Commlink-«Silk» "Geist. Heading past guardian, still have multiple bogies."

The elf drags hard on his cancer stick, and chuckles. "Yeah, well, nobody's perfect," the youth remarks. He can feel his magic, which was teetering on the edge, starting to come back fully, and he sucks the thing down in record time, before he extinguishes it and pockets the butt, not wanting to litter. "Should I take the lead again?" he asks, keeping his voice low.

Grash turns back to the entrance, watching it studiously, one foot grinding again on the bodies that are a fine paste under its feet.

This passage is far more… constructed than the path inside. It leads down approximately 100 feet, then turns at a right angle. The wall is bathed in brilliant light, the sort of thing that comes from a search light, but it variegates in its color, scintillating almost, light thrown from down that hall.

"Sure." The elven Kass motions ahead, murmuring, "Dis was mentioned in several places, from Dante to Viking culture, Greek, etc. And that is assuming it isn't something from the Other World." She shrugs and stays visible, absently waving at the air.

"What was it?" Slinger asks, his voice low as he floats upward, near to the top of the passageway, as he moves again into the lead. "Any… consistency?" He also tests the comms, aware of how well voices can echo against rock. Trying hard to speak at just below a whisper while he moves, elfin eyes working to penetrate the brightness of the passageawy, from up ahead. He slows as he approaches, knowing that relative to what lies beyond, this will make our corridor appears shadowed and dark.

Commlink-(Geist): *No response*

Skulking along with her favorite form of protection, five and a half feet of gorgeous mage, Kassandra murmurs quietly, "Pretty much Hell. Given that some of the 4th World stuff bled over into our common language, I somehow have a feeling that it'll follow suit and be pretty nasty."

At this point in their travels, Aladriel is feeling a bit more confident that the instigators of this trouble are not going to go 'BOO!' from around the corner, so she saves her arms and relaxes her grip a little bit on her weapons, letting the barrel of the pistol point down and the blade away to the side.

The sounds of boot falls, then turning the corner, a weasly looking man, not Japanese as one may expect. Hermetic by the look of his coat with the sigles drawn in to it and the feel of scientist that pervades him. Caucasian, with long dark hair, he almost runs in to the far wall. "It's gone! It's goneeeeeee Oh god its GONE!"

Slinger has his narcoject pistol out again, and is the floaty invisimage yet again, being as stealthy as he can manage as he approaches that bend and peers around it, half-expecting to get shot at. A glow like this, though, cannot be natural. As the guy runs right past him, though, the youth's eyes widen, and he both prepares a spell and lifts his gun toward the guy — but he'll let Ally and Kass deal with him. Slinger, meanwhile, will do his best to peer around that corner, watching for other intruders.

Oh, a new friend. Kassandra reaches out and grabs the scientist mage guy and gives him a shake. "What's gone? Talk to me!" She shakes the man again, moving him aside so Aladriel can cover her while she 'talks' to this guy.

Someone does come around the corner, but it's not a terrible bad guy! Aladriel furrows her brows as the strange man comes upon them and Kassandra grabs him. Immediately Ally moves to an angle where she may be able to get a shot in where she *wouldn't* hit Kass too, and her grip tightens on her knife.

The man slides to a stop in front of Kassandra. "My gift! My magic! It's gone! This isnt' what I signed on for! We placed the crystal, and.. I was still inside the chamber! I felt it ripped from me! OH god, just SHOOT ME!"
«Game» Backup to offline storage commencing. Game may freeze for a bit…

Kassandra processes that for several long seconds, holding the man against the wall. She looks to where Ally is, where Slinger may be, and remarks, "Move back." She looks back at the now mundane scientific mage and pushes him off towards Grash. "Run." Her words are calm, quiet, devoid of anything resembling compassion.

Keeping an eye on the man she'll reach up to pull the hair pin out of her hair starts pulling off her right hand glove.

Slinger is still watching around the corner, and he growls low in his throat. Placed. The. Crystal. "Drek," the elfin youth mutters, low in his throat. He still glances over his shoulder. "Maybe if you take it back out, you'll get your magic back," he suggests — momentarily forgetting he's supposed to be stealthy.

Aladriel's blood runs cold as she hears that. It is about one of the worst things that she's ever heard or would hope to hear. His magic is gone? "What chamber?" she murmurs, fearful for a moment that they've already gone inside of it. In fact she looks a tiny bit panicked.

The man's not waiting. He nods to Kassandra, then starts running. Running like the goddamn wind.


But Kassanadra has already pushed the guy, and so his words fall on deaf ears, muttered only for the benefit of those nearby. Wait a second… Grash is back… well. Apparently, the guy got his wish. Ew.
Her right hand ring is removed and handed to Aladriel, the hair pin as well. She'll come up with the sunglasses case and what appears to be a hilt of a sword, all of which are handed off to Aladriel. Kass looks at her for a long few seconds and then says, "You two might want to pull back some, because if the effects spread .."

Leaving that off she'll start to step forward, commenting, "Get Johny out of here. I TOLD him Cyberware was bad for him, and now, see, I was right."

The light seems to be slowly, almost a mote at a time, growing brighter, then dimming.. growing brighter, then dimming… each time it grows brighter, its a little higher… and each time it grows darker.. its just a little darker.

Slinger shakes his head. "I'm not inclined to leave you here, and I know /damned/ sure Ally won't do that," he says firmly. "We gotta be close enough to pull you out if we have to!" The youth is stubborn, even as he, too, moves forward. "Somebody's gotta guard her ass," he mutters, hesitating, looking over at Aladriel..

Moves forward, then stops, hesitating… he wants to be heroic, but… the loss of his magic is a powerful, powerful threat…

Ally frowns as Kassandra starts giving her magical items. Important magical items. Gifts and whatnot! She takes them without really thinking about it, putting them in secure pouches on her person. But she shakes her head firmly. "No." She tells Kass. "We….we don't know where the other two are. You can't just go right inside there not knowing…I'm going further than this. I am."

"Your job is to do what I say, when I say it. We'll need mages further down the line, and if I don't … if something goes wrong, you two are the best chance to head this off down the road." Kassandra fixes the area where Slinger is talking from with a glare, then Ally. "You are neither one allowed to risk your magical gifts on this. I'm the most qualified and the most expendable. And it'll take both of you to get Johny out. Now back up and stay out of the spell effect!"

Drawing the venerable Manhunter, Kass switches clips to a faint pink-tinged clip, looking to Aladriel. She kisses her fingertips and turns to go.

Brighter… dimmmer…. brighter… dimmmer…

Slinger hesitates a few seconds more. He's /not/ in the habit of abandoning teammates. /Especially/ teammates who get him nifty toys for cheap. But that's just a fringe benefit. He /likes/ Kass, actually, even if he seems to just try her patience. But he takes his cue from Aladriel. He knows their relationship. But the young elf does hide himself against the wall of the cavern, which provides at least a little bit of shielding from the effect…
He hopes.
Taking a deep breath, Aladriel watches Kassandra turn to go. And she lets her go. Though she looks scared, nervous, upset, a terrible combination, she lets Kassandra proceed onward, not able to bring herself to wave just then.
Kassandra fades out of sight as the cloak rezzes on, leaving behind a faint trace of perfume and then nothing as the elf turns the corner and heads in, the pistol held against her left left beneath the cloak. She stays alert, moving with a purpose and stretching the bounds of the cloaks masking ability versus the speed she needs to move at. She quietly counts the pulses, the brightening and dimming.

Seeing that hesitation, Slinger reaches out to grasp Aladriel's shoulder. "She'll be fine," the youth says, with a confidence that he doesn't necessarily feel. But the logic is impeccable. Kassandra has no magic to lose. He turns, then, and starts back down the corridor, warily. Checking the comm. "Silk? You there? Nacht, you read?"

Comms are offline, and the ruthenium of Silks cloak starts to fuzz as she makes her way down the hallway. The light SHOULD cast a shadow, she should be silouetted against the wall, but she's not. She should be blinded; she should be unable to see, but she's not. It's hard, but she can see… about 50 feet down the hall, the hall opens in to circular chamber. A perceptable, glowing barrier surrounds the room, slicing through the hallway.

Aladriel waits until Kassandra has turned the corner and turns sharply at Slinger's hand on her shoulder. She shakes her head firmly at him. "He said chamber. I don't know if this is a chamber and I'm not just going to let her…get jumped. I'll be right back," she tells him.

Sliding her knife into the sheath on her hip, Ally grabs double-grips her pistol and starts after the way the elf went. She wasn't going to argue with Kass, but she wasn't going to leave her either. She'll at least need to find this chamber. And see what she is called for, then.

Fuzz? Screw that. Silk kills the cloak's power, letting herself come back to normal. She got by just fine for 20 years without, she can bloody well do it for another few minutes. She glances at the pistol and considers, flexing her wrists to make sure that the other, non-technical weapons are ready to roll.

Mentally, she considers. Here bad guys. Please be laying on the floor crying and bleeding, I have things to do.

Kassandra, being closer down the hall…

Just inside the barrier… Imagine Johny. Imagine how much ware he has. Imagine all the metal and steel and plastic inside his body. Now imagine all of it ripping itself out of his body all at once. The pain, the agony that may create. Bones. Skin. Ears and eyes. Now imagine it didn't kill him, but left him just alive enough to continue feeling the pain.

That is the man just inside the barrier, trying desperately to claw his way out.
Ally: There's Kassandra, stopping at the scentilating barrier as described.

SEE! See! Cyberware is BAAAAAAAAAAAD. Everyone knows this. Kassandra ews at the man, considering the barrier of light for a long moment. This is the way to go, of course, because it is scary and glowing. It's *always* scary and glowing. She takes a breath and lets out a happy thought, to the universe, to Ally, to Astendar.

And then she steps forward.

Aladriel is much further down the hall. She doesn't experience the full horror of what is on display before her. She just sees the focal point of her existence (or one-half of it!) standing at the edge of it. She can't speak, cannot distract, can't prevent, nor can she go. Aladriel can only stand there and watch as Kassandra steps up to this horror…and through it.

And then Kassandra is through the barrier. It doesnt' seem to have physical form; it doesnt' seem to 'feel' like anything. Maybe it's nothing. Maybe it's not. Who knows.. she lacks the proper talents required to analyze further. Inside the room, there's one man left, standing over a crystal. A geode, it looks like, it's positioned in the center of the chamber; all along the top of this circular chamber, there are circular openings, some lit, some dark. Those which are lit seem to be pouring light in to the crystal, and then the light seeps down in to the rock. Another opening lights, causing the light to get brighter.. then they all stutter.. and the lights get darker… then they pulse back brighter…
From afar, Slinger grins. Cool.

A tingle in his own newly implanted ware, though, makes Slinger think of Johny. The youth hesitates, then turns and heads back, determined. If Johny is experiencing any of this, any at all, he'll need help. And Slinger has a duty not just to the female members of his team, but also to his boss. He moves back the way he came, greeting Grash with a nervous but friendly incline of his head. "The other two Namegivers, they are working to stop Dem," the youth says, possibly mispronouncing the creature's name… but trying not to.

Standing over the Geode, almost seeming to be curious as to whats happening, is Lu Tokinawa. He's about 6 feet tall, which makes him tall for his ethnicity, with dark black hair pulled in to a thin pony tail. A goatee (a sure sign of being evil) graces his features, high brows arced back from his eyes. His hands are clasped behind his back, he dressed in jeans and a button up white shirt, sleeves rolled up to the Elbows.

Grash looks down to Slinger, but does not comment otherwise. He has already suggested the namegivers flee.
And through the barrier, Kass steps past the man that is falling apart, looking to Mr. Evil Goatee. In a friendly voice, she remarks, "Excuse me, could you NOT do that?" She brings the pistol up into an almost casual two handed grip, the barrel pointed at his torso.

Mr. Evil Goatee turns slowly to look at Kassandra. "You're too late, if you want to stop this.. the only thing you could do would be to kill us both… and you don't strike me as suicidal. Come now. Simply walk out.. you should have time to escape if you leave now."

Brighter… Dimmer…

Kassandra tilts her head at Mr. Evil Goatee. She smiles brightly, "Ok. You first." She pulls the trigger.

Slinger continues on back, looking for Samuel. Wanting so much to linger in the room where Grash is… to stay with the spirit. "I'll be back," the youth says. "And maybe someday I can come back with more than a pebble." And with that, he hurries back out, searching for Samuel. It's out of his hands, now… and he finds himself wishing, fiercely, that he were there, able to be in the thick of things…

«OOC» Johny coughs. Okay. So. gimme a combat roll for posterity.
«OOC» Johny says, "Init."
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Initiative with a result of 19.
«Auto-Judge[]» Johny (#799) rolls 2 for "+7":
2 5
«OOC» Johny says, "14"
«OOC» Johny says, "You got the drop on him. Sling, I'll get back to Rp with you in a moment."
«OOC» Johny says, "Go ahead and roll."
«OOC» Kassandra says, "Range: Short. No Light modifiers. Aimed at least one action, probably more. Laser sight (if it works). TN 2

Standing outside of the chamber, down at the end of the hall, away from the place that might just tear apart the most precious things to her, Aladriel cannot get herself further down the hall. She has to stand there and wait. And watch. Though she can't really see anything. Her heart pounds and she is completely unsure of what she can do.

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Pistols + Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 2 for "Excuse me. I dont like your facial hair. Base damage 9M, AV ammo (1/2 ballistic)":
1 1 2 3 3 4 8 10 15 = 7 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Pistols + Combat Pool: 4 - 7 vs TN 2 for "Excuse me. I dont like your facial hair. Base damage 9M, AV ammo (1/2 ballistic), karma 2/19":
5 5 = 2 Successes
«OOC» Kassandra says, "stand on 9"
«Auto-Judge[]» Johny (#799) rolls 6 vs TN 4 for "Dodge":
1 2 3 4 4 10 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Johny (#799) rolls 6 vs TN 4 for "Dodge KP 1/5":
2 4 4 4 5 15 = 5 Successes
«OOC» Kassandra says, "Oh. and I am most certainly aiming to NOT shoot the control pannel thingy"
«Auto-Judge[]» Johny (#799) rolls 6 - 3 vs TN 4 for "Dodge KP 1/5":
2 2 2 = 0 Successes
«OOC» Johny ndos.
«Auto-Judge[]» Johny (#799) rolls 6 - 3 vs TN 4 for "Dodge KP 3/5":
1 3 9 = 1 Success
«OOC» Johny says, "Okay. Your down to 5"
«OOC» Kassandra says, "9D 1/2 ball, tshirt boy"
«OOC» Johny says, "His armor is a 3, so 2 against your gun. 7M, +2 stages is D"
«Auto-Judge[]» Johny (#799) rolls 5 + 3 (CP) vs TN 7 for "TRhis could be really painful, actually now that I think about it.":
1 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Johny (#799) rolls 5 + 3 (CP) vs TN 7 for "TRhis could be really painful, actually now that I think about it. KP 4/5":
1 2 4 5 5 5 5 8 = 1 Success

«OOC» Johny says, "Pose it. he will take a D. He's not dead, but he's pretty damn out of it."

Kassandra doesn't hesitate. Johny often talks about the needs of the many versus the needs of the few, and right now this man is a clear and present danger to her wife, her child, her friends, and the words of a dead dragon. The Manhunter kicks in her hands, spitting out death in the form of an armour cutting round. It punches through the body armor like the proverbial hot knife, catching the man just under the arm and blowing a dinner plate sized hole out the other side, taking with it a good sized chunk of lung, nicking some arteries, and probably doing damage to other life-sustaining organs.

A gunshot sounds from inside the barrier that she cannot pass and Aladriel gasps, her whole body jerking from the sound, icy fear filling her as she listens, straining to see anything at all.

Lu stumbles back, one hand coming up to his chest, covered now with blood as he stumbles back.. ".. that.. wasn't.. quite.." He slumps down to his knees, blood bubbling up from his lips… "Quite what I had in mind.."

Kassandra moves forward, casting another look at the control pannel. Oh. Great. This is like some sort of fantasy version of some sort of sci-fi (or SyFy *shudder*) movie, and she doesn't have a manual.

She glances back to Lu, eyes narrowing, "You should be more clear," she murmurs, keeping the gun trained on the man as she tries to work out a plan to stop an Earth Shattering Kaboom.

Johny is about 30 feet outside the main chamber. He's leaned against the wall, One pistol drawn, a blade in his hands. "YOu smell like cigarette smoke." he says, his voice coming from his lips, his faceplate up.

The Control panel? Hah. Don't be ridiculous. There's a large geode supported on three columns of orichalcum, inscribed with hermetic emblems and sigils, but dominated by eastern heremticsim as opposed to European hermeticism. The crystal is situated over a shaft of smooth rock that disappears down, lit breifly when the light pulses…

"Usually," Slinger agrees. He glances back over his shoulder. "I started to go in. But there's something in there that eats magic and cyberware. And I've got /both/," the youth admits, his voice a little roughened from strain. "How're you holding up?" the kid asks, a moment later. "Kass went on ahead. And Ally is… I hope not getting too close. Kass sent me back to check on you. But… she's right. She's the only one with neither magic nor 'ware. And the only one with any hope of pulling this off. If she fails, we're gonna be at ground zero for one nice big fourth of july celebration, a couple weeks late."

Light comes in from the apertures at the top of the room, join together over the geode then focus down in to the Geode and in to the hole, just to be clear.

Johny chuckles darkly. "Welcome to the Watchers." he says with a grim tone. "Got a light?"

"Usually," the elfin youth says again, pulling out his pack of Mountain Lions. He sticks one into his lips, then flicks his lighter, sharing the flame with his boss. And then leans hard against the wall. "Is this what it feels like to be a soldier? Having to bloody well wait just to find out if you're gonna live or die?" he mutters.

Looking to the man she shot, "This is the part where, with your dying words, you can tell me how to save the world." Kass says the words off-hand, as if she doesn't really expect an answer, eyes already looking through the symbols and trying to work with the sequences, whispering possible meanings at the speed of though as she thinks hard.

"For the most part. There's a lot of waiting, then a bunch of run run run…" Says Johny, taking the light and puffing his own cigarette to life. "And then theres this. Sitting in the foxhole, knowing there's arty incoming, but not knowing if your holes dialed in or the guy next to you. Yeah. It kind of sucks."

Down in the CHamber of Lights..

He slumps back against the wall now trying to staunch the flow of blood. "Is it? You shot me." he says between coughs, pressing one hand to his chest. "Your negotiation needs work…"

"I can always shoot you again. Or I can save your life, it's really up to you." Silk looks at the symbols, looks for the crystal that the guy she handed over to Grash was speaking about. She hmms, "If I was going to build some sort of machine, what would I do? Well, I'm smart, I'd put in a 'turn the heck off' switch."

"Unless.." he coughs again… "You never intended it to turn off. The Great Red had no intention of turning it off…" He looks over to the Geode now… "The only way to interupt… would.. destroy you anyway."

Holstering the pistol, Kassandra nods. "Well, there is always that chance I suppose. But I can't let this go forward." The elven girl looks over the symbols again, considering the geode with care, looking closely at its placement relative to how much she'd have to move it. A thought occurs to her, "Did the guy that ran off put this on for you?"

"Yes." Admits the other man. "It was required to initiate the reaction."

Silk nods slowly. He put it on and it ate his gift, she thinks, sucked him dry to .. what? Power the machine? Magical items require a sacrifice, at least in all the myths and legends. She sighs and mutters to herself, "I need a better job." There's really no sense putting it off, none of the symbols make sense and there may be a point of no return. Wrapping herself in a thought of Aladriel, Kassandra reaches for the geode.

The Geode. It's about a foot across, polished across the surface to a fine glow. You can see the crystals inside on the up pulse, lingering on the down pulse. Touching it is like… touching a star. In a blink, it is easy to see, to know, why it sucked the other magi's essence out; it sucks in all the mana around it, from all those mana lines from all the spells around it, disrupting magic and technology around it.. your fingers burn and you can see the finger tips blacken as the flesh dies, the essence of magic pulled out of the very fiber of the being.

Lifting it from its holder, then out of the stream of magic, Kassandra's hands no longer hurt, a sign of something far, far worse than simple tissue damage. The cloth along her arms peels up, blistering…

And then the flow of mana reverses. The battery inverts. Every scrap of mana that has been gathered rushes back outward, through the only conduit outlet it has available:


Hot, too hot. Kass grits her teeth, closing her eyes from the glare of the geode, from the light, from the pain. She tries to lift, tries to move the rock away from the holder, away from the machine. There has to be a way to shut this down, to stop the process.

The power reverses, the smell of burning cloth and skin reaching her nostrils, bringing forth a whimper and then a cry and finally a scream as she tries to complete this one last task, one last thing she can do before ..

The last moment as the surge reverses and slams back through her, she has time to think a single word: Aladriel.

The Geode shatters, the light released in a single blinding flash. The barrier falls, Kassandra thrown back from the place she was standing, impacting the wall and slumping down; disoriented, but not hurt. Light returns at a steady pace as 2 manalines that normally feed in to the shaft resume operation.. but no others.

WALL! She doesn't have time to relax or roll with it, slamming full tilt into the wall. Kassandra sits there a moment and works on trying to catch her breath, to shake off the stars that are spinning around her head, eyes still fuzzy from all the light. Once her senses return more she'll immediately look to her hands, or what she suspects is left of them.

Aladriel feels something, she's not sure what it is, but even outside of the barrier she knows that something has happened. There is that flash of light and she screams because there is nothing else that she can do. She covers her eyes to shield them, and when she removes her hands the barrier is down. Without a further thought for herself Aladriel sprints in as fast as she can.

"Kass? Kassie!?" she asks, panicky as she looks around rapidly.

Her hands? They look fine. Better than fine. The nails are long now, perhaps a good 2 months of nail growth in the last few moments. Hair is longer, healthy. If she had scars along her body, they may even be faded or entirely gone…

Blink. Blink. Kassandra shakes her head and works to rise, the little stars and birds fluttering off as she gets her bearings. She looks again at her hands as she rises and then hears a name, her name, looking towards the sound. "Ally?"

Four corners check proves nothing else is standing inside the chamber. Just Kassie. Throwing her helmet off, Aladriel dives to the elf's side and wraps her arms tightly around the elf, hugging her as tightly as she possibly can. "I'm right here, sweetie, you're okay!"
«OOC» Johny says, "Kassandra: In short; your bioware aside, the mana surge reset your body to what it 'should' be. So old aches, pains, scars or blemishes are gone at your descression."
«OOC» Kassandra nodnod.

"Ally? You aren't supposted to be in here!" She holds onto the mage, sparing a look for the man she shot and Mr. Ohdamnmycyberoozedout.
The man has expired, and Mr. Cyber-Oozed-out has likewise left the mortal coil.
"Nono, it's okay, the…the whatever it was, stopped," Ally tells Kass quickly. "It's gone. I was outside the whole time…I saw but couldn't see, and heard and then the flash and…it doesn't matter now! Come *on* let's get out of here," Ally speaks super-quickly, not even wanting to spend one more second here than necessary.
Slinger takes a drag from his cigarette, glances to Johny next to him. "No boom yet," he observes, lifting a foot to rest it on the wall behind him, leaning against it heavily. He has to help support it. Everybody knows that places like this collapse at the end of something big…
As if on Que… the entire complex shudders… a groan going through the rock, a sort of shifting, settling.
Nodding, Kass rises with assistance from Ally, releasing her and shaking her head. "I feel fine, I'm OK.. we need to see if Johny and Slinger made it out." A last look to the chamber and then she moves with the mage. "Time to go!"
Commlink-(Geist): Commcheck.
Commlink-«Silk» "Five by Five, good to hear your voice!"
Commlink-(Geist): Systems normal… I seem to be online… anyone dead?
Slinger glances over at Samuel. "I have /got/ to stop doing that," the kid mutters. "Drek… wait…"
Commlink-(Geist): Good to be heard. What the hell happened down there?
Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "You two okay? What the hell happened?"
Commlink-Slinger> Echo… echo… echo…

Commlink-«Silk» "You wouldn't believe me if I told you. Call Apollo for immediate dustoff, this place is coming down!"
Commlink-(Geist): 10-4. Come on Slinger, lets make tracks.
Aladriel keeps her arm around Kassie and starts shooing her out as quickly as possible. The moment there is a shudder of the complex, Aladriel goes 'the hell with it' and grabs tighter hold of Kass. A moment later they are airborn, taking to the sky under Ally's magic.
Johny turns, without waiting, and starts to jog up the sloping, curving track of the decent path.
Commlink-«Phoenix»> Aladriel says, "We're on our way up, express!"
Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "Say 'hi' to Grash for me. We're securing the way out…"
Holding on tight to Aladriel, Kassandra buries her head against the mage and hangs on for dear life.

And Slinger isn't far behind, heading out toward the exit from the place, his cigarette still burning between his lips as he draws on it, hard. Leaving a trail toward the outside, like bread crumbs.

In short order, the team will find itself back at the top of the shaft, at the bottom of the water fall. The water continues to stream past, uncaring of what may or may not have just happened down below. Magic seems to have returned to normal, at least in the broad strokes..

The youth glances behind him, lighting up another smoke… breathing harder. Looking over Kassandra, over Aladriel, checking them for any sign of injury, both in the astral and the physical. Slinger's eyes blink as he looks over Kassandra, and he tilts his head — then shakes his head to clear it, grinning. "Well… no boom, so far. What about the maelstrom? Is Marcus having a better time with the chopper?"

It doesn't begin as the fastest flight ever, but thats because Ally doesn't want them banging into the hard, hard rock. But once they are clear, she'll speed up and get herself and Kassandra the hell out of dodge. She phews in relief as they reach the surface, and she absolutely doesn't let go of Kass, keeping firm hold of her even once on firm ground.

"Ok. I am NOT getting paid enough to get blown up by magical doohickies!" Silk doesn't seem inclined to let go of Aladriel once they are topside. "The flow seemed to be working down there, but I think the cavern is closing off. Maybe its purpose is done?"
Johny holds one hand to the side of his head. "Apollos on his way down. The winds died down… and he says we have a few minutes before civilian choppers are in the area, so everyone get the hell to an extraction altitude.":

Digging in the pouch she saw her ring go into, Kass slips it on without much problem and then goes back to holding on, murmuring something soft in Elvish. She starts to rise up, carrying the mage at her side with her. "Up and away!"

"Roger that," Slinger says with a grin. "Anybody need a lift?" he asks, waiting for an answer before he takes off, shooting upward into the air, carrying someone with him if need be. Magic seems back to normal, and that leaves the young elf feeling slightly giddy. Not to mention the whole 'surviving' thing.

Kassandra says in Sperethiel, "Kass murmurs,"I believe in fairies.""

Johny shakes his head, flicking his tongue overt the orichalcum laced back molar, and rising up in to the air with the others.
Ally laughs happily as Kassandra takes them up into the air, where soon Marcus will pick them up. Free from having to do her own flying, Ally just holds tight to the elf, her dearest love, determined not to let her go for the next week or so.

Grinning, Kassandra asks, "Were you really that worried about me?" She laughs, holding on tight as they spiral up in the air to wait on Marcus, floating on air currents and laughter, suspended above the Earth in the hand of magic.
Mustang Alpha slides over the ridge line, the side door opening to allow the team access. "Come on come on!" Says Marcus. "Sioux choppers are on the horizon and I don't want to stick around!"

Slinger darts through the open hatch, making room for others behind him. The youth grins as he drops down into the seat and belts himself in, though he does glance down at the waterfall. "Damn. Why is I never get a chance to stick around and study a place like that?" he wants to know, of the world at large.

"Of course I was!" Ally tells Kassandra with a laugh as they get into the security of the helicopter, Ally making sure the elf is in nice and safe before she even worries about securing herself. "Maybe some day. Some day," she winks at Slinger to his worldly quesiton.

Laughing a little as Ally makes sure she is secured, the elf leans back in the seat and smiles at Slinger, at Aladriel. "We are SO not getting paid enough to this!" She snickers and says, "Maybe one day we can send you to Antarctica, you could be busy there for years!"

Slinger chuckles and puts his feet up on the seat in front of him, lights up a cigarette and takes a heavy draw. "Sounds cold. But worth it. Maybe." He mutters, stretching his legs out. "I… at least this time, I think I'm gonna remember it. Might help me when I look at the drawings, the images of those runes in the other place."

Johny slides in to the chopper then, closing the hatch. "Get us out of here, Apollo. Low and fast."

"Aye aye!" Says the younger man as he angles the chopper forward to get purchase in the air.

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