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Rifts Adventure IC

Dice System
Palladium
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Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
@Dannigan while at Brazamal's mansion, do you stay for a while, or do you head out into the city and do some exploring?


@Silanon shall we say you flew back with Gradicus to Brazamal's mansion?


@Psychie @sirlabe @Vaneheart Heading out at the top speed of Terra's Automations of 40 mph, you start out heading north for the territories controlled by Free Quebec. Hagan heads off to the south in his mecha to refill his spent missile supply from his hidden cache, with the promise that he will be there for the fight against the Mechanoids. So now with Bobo and Sir Dru riding inside the Badger with Eric driving, and Terra controlling her Automations, you make your way north.

Several hours of uneventful travel go by before Eric calls out, "Heads up! We have three airborne targets coming our way. Look like hover cycles, flying at 80mph at an altitude of 100 feet. Looks like they've spotted us, and are on their way on an intercept course. ETA three minutes."
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Gradicus was keeping himself busy getting to know his Atlantean crystal items when Olsen gave him the news of Elder Brazamal's council. Gradicus took the offered cup of hot chocolate and was openly impressed from the dragon stated that he was going to personally intervene on this matter.

"My swords and my speed are at your disposal, Elder Brazamal. If you have need of me, you have but to ask." Gradicus realized then that the wise, good dragon was the closest thing he had to a lord in the Japanese sense. Though he did not have the soul of a samurai, it still tickled his imagination to think these thoughts.

After bowing meaningfully and saying his farewells, Gradicus eagerly took the GM-provided bait traveled to the city intending to use the short trip to see what he could do about transforming his dragonhide chunks and fangs into a useful set of matching boots and enchanted daggers. With his trusty camera, he took what shots he could while trying to get a taste of the city.

And why not? You only lived once!
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
@Dannigan

From your time in the city before your rescue mission to Atlantis, you are aware of various parts of the city to find certain things; where to go for the best parties, the mercenaries Hiring Hall, the rough parts of the city where the less scrupulous things can be bought for the right price, the Arena where games of Murderball are played, and Craftsman Row where you can find any and all kinds of weapons, armor and gear, and if it is not there it can probably be made for you if you have the credits. There is also a small chaperhouse of the Cyber Knights, and several mage Guildhouses that teach different schools of magic.

What is on Gradicus' mind to pass the time?
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
...intending to use the short trip to see what he could do about transforming his dragonhide chunks and fangs into a useful set of matching boots and enchanted daggers.
(ellipsis mine)

While Gradicus was quite interested in a number of these places, Craftsman's Row was his first stop.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Just wanted to make sure you knew some other options that were available to you.

It is mid-day when you get to the busy Craftsman Row, and the streets all around the area are bustling with merchants hawking their wares and customers looking for a good deal. You first come to a tanner's stall, run by a family of elves. At the counter is a older man with long dark hair and a regal bearing and a warm smile, standing behind several samples of different kinds of leather. He sees your interest the materials, and wanders over to you.

With a measured glance, he says with surprise, "Oh my! Do my eyes deceive me, or do I have the good fortune to have a Atlantean standing before me? Hmmm, an Undead Slayer! I have seen the good work of one of your number before, many years ago, when a band of vampires were rampaging around the hamlet I once lived in. We feared for our lives. But then, one day, a group of heroes arrived, a Cyber Knight, a Ley Line Walker, and a True Atlantean Undead Slayer that were on the trail of the bloodsuckers. The trio stayed long enough to track the monsters to their lair, then destroyed them all. I hazard a guess that if they had not come along, we would have all been fed upon."

His story has caught the attention of several of the patrons around the area, along with a few of the other elves in the tanners stall with him, and they are all looking at you in awe, obviously taken with you and the general reputation of the True Atlantean and the Undead Slayers.

The elf catches himself, then bows. "Please, forgive my lack of manners. I am Alphonse. How may I be of service to you, noble warrior?"
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Gradicus waved away Alphonse's apology with a friendly and humble grin. "There is no lack of manners when one is simply grateful for his life, his family's, and to those who chose to eradicate the deadly menace against them. To appreciate is to increase one's love."

Gradicus displayed the dragon chunks and fangs to Alphonse. "But menaces come in many sizes. I would have these transformed into something that might do good. Elven work is as timeless as it is beautiful. What might become of these in your hands?"
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Gradicus waved away Alphonse's apology with a friendly and humble grin. "There is no lack of manners when one is simply grateful for his life, his family's, and to those who chose to eradicate the deadly menace against them. To appreciate is to increase one's love."
"Your kind words do you justice, my good man, and thank you for your understanding. It was my sudden excitement upon seeing you that caused me to speak out of turn. I am not normally so forward."
Gradicus displayed the dragon chunks and fangs to Alphonse. "But menaces come in many sizes. I would have these transformed into something that might do good. Elven work is as timeless as it is beautiful. What might become of these in your hands?"
Alphonse's eyes light up as he carefully examines the folds of dragon hide. "This is exquisite. Fire Drake hide, if I am not mistaken. A goodly sized piece. Not quite enough to make a full suit of armor for a man of your stature, but I can make a fine long coat that can then be enhanced with magics to make it more durable. To help survive the rigors of combat, of course. The hide itself will be fairly tough as it is, though, so if you just want it as a accent piece, I can make it look quite fashionable for you. Please, step around here."

He grabs a string and motions to a second elf to come over and join you, then comes around to stand behind you. "Raise your arms, please." Taking the string, he wraps it around your chest, shoulders and length of your arms, then calls out the numbers to his assistant to jot down your measurements. Muttering softly under his breath, he finally turns you around. "Yes, I can make you a fine coat with this. So! All that we need to do now is to discuss exactly what you would like done. That will go along way to determine what kind of price we are looking at. Are you wanting a purely functional coat, or something more stylish? Obviously, the more designs I work into the leather will increase the cost."

He is obviously interested in doing business with you, and you have a feeling that you will be getting a good price from him as opposed to having to negotiate from a bad position starting out.
Basically, this is going to be a MDC trenchcoat of dragon hide. If you want it to have any additional magic worked into it, that will take extra time and money, but can be done. What are you looking to have done?
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Heading out at the top speed of Terra's Automations of 40 mph, you start out heading north for the territories controlled by Free Quebec. Hagan heads off to the south in his mecha to refill his spent missile supply from his hidden cache, with the promise that he will be there for the fight against the Mechanoids. So now with Bobo and Sir Dru riding inside the Badger with Eric driving, and Terra controlling her Automations, you make your way north.

Several hours of uneventful travel go by before Eric calls out, "Heads up! We have three airborne targets coming our way. Look like hover cycles, flying at 80mph at an altitude of 100 feet. Looks like they've spotted us, and are on their way on an intercept course. ETA three minutes."
With word that they have company, Terra calls for a halt. "Looks like there is little need to try and hide, especially since we are out here trying to meet people and make some friends. Lets just hope that these guys are just curious and not looking for a fight. Remember everyone, hold your fire unless we are shot at first." She walks Baby and Junior to either side of the Badger and waits for the three hover cycles to come to them.
 

Silanon

Three Thousand Club
Once more she is back where it all began - surrounded by the familar walls of the dragon's manor, more of a home to her than any rented apartment has ever been. Gradicus brought her with him, again, taking the chance to come here while there's time; between a well-defended fortress and the upcoming great war, there are questions to be answered. The technowizard drops her backpack near the entrance, on the floor - the sound of its metallic contents allows for a guess on how heavy it might be. Shaona hunches her shoulders several times to ease the pain within. Only then does she stroll through the corridors, towards the one place she'll always visit first, if possible.

She'd never call herself melancholic - but the library gets her, every single time, as a place where a billion memories wait to be remembered. Most of them written down on uncountable pages, in at least a dozen different tongues; some only present in her very own mind, ready to return whenever she enters. The first time she arrived, surrounded by men who had been both good company and not her parents. The time she met the dragon, and Olsen. A quiet moment with a bearded man and a book, a man who is no longer.

Shaona slowly makes her way deeper into the room, her left hand caressing the books' backs as she walks by as if she'd greet old friends. Her eyes pick up a few of the titles at random - 'Polymorphing a shape shifter', 'Melting Magical Moss' - these are unfamiliar to her, not her expertise. How many are there, though, still lying in wait, to hold her in place for hours? Perhaps Brazamal could tell; but the dragon, she figures, is supposed to be busy, for these are busy times. She reaches the next shelf, well-known titles there; where others pack the Bible, she'd take three of these, and then another one for good measure. 'Technowizardry: The basic basics' is amongst them, and so is 'The gift of magic: Beginning thoughts'. Again, the bearded man comes to mind, smiling a second father's smile. Did they manage to visit his grave this year? Should be in the coalition's territory by now, nothing worth fighting for anywhere remotely close. Unnecessary, silly death, that one; and heart-breaking.

She continues her stroll before more thoughts can creep up on her. Roaring enginges, gunfire, explosives - not this time. Instead, the highly advanced section, where he spent most of his time. Highly specific magic, spells that he never used on the road - how much can one possibly achieve while one travels the world, trying to do the right thing? He certainly never stopped dreaming, at least, of all those small things that would make life less of a challenge. But Shaona herself has learnt by now that you get very few things done while killing dragons and blowing up harbors. Maybe one day, Olar.

Not yet, though. There are foes from beyond the stars, and the coalition he fought for decades, whenever necessary. Maybe one day, those will only be memories, preserved on a thousand pages. Sooner rather than later - she'll try to do her part. A sigh as the technowizard puts 'Agricultural advancements' back to its proper place; third shelf from the bottom, on the far right. Then, she turns to leave. Grabs her backpack on the way out, and enters the streets to do what she came for. Of course, Shaona still remembers the well-used frequencies; and as she calls, it does not take long to get a proper response. As expected - they've spread out often enough to be harder to find, but always gather when the times are dire. Like a phoenix rising from its ashes, sometimes dead, sometimes alive. There's a reason why it's depicted on her armor, after all. The voice is unmistakeably Ivan's - that's good. Not because she'd ever been close to him, his magic gives her the creeps; but because he's usually the last one to arrive, and because Estevan is always with him. And Estevan, without a doubt, is a master when it comes to AI's and modern technology in general; which pretty much sums up the content of her backpack. Pieces of the slaughered robots, as many different things of interest as she could find. Perhaps he'll be able to make something out of it, give that little bit of insight that they lack thus far. Ivan gives her an address, close enough to get there on foot; far enough to make another call.

"Hey Grad, you there? I'll be gone for a while, shouldn't take too long, though. Hopefully. You never know with those bastards. Anyway, you're out there, shopping, right? Think you could fetch me a candle while you're at it? Color doesn't matter, just something that burns slowly."
 

Vaneheart

Friend or Enemy?
Sir Drutarak

Previously:

The minotaur cyberknight was mostly quiet during the exchange with the mysterious Hagan. He was deeply troubled by the man's words. Tens of trillions of these things? Definitely a swarm. Coming through a rift with the goal of trying to destroy all of metahumanity? And they are already here, trying to fashion a way to get back to their homeworld...dimension...to get even more reinforcements. And the sheer size of that mobile base... He tried to imagine just how much a trillion of something would be and found that he couldn't. He agreed with Hagan, and said "These are dark times indeed. They must be stopped." He wished there was a way to contact more cyberknights, but out here in the wastelands of the ruined eastern coast, there were no chapter houses of cyberknights that he was aware of. Despite this, some other thoughts came to mind.

He stated "I agree with Gradicus in that we should avoid interacting with the likes of the Coalition if we can. Quebec would be a better choice, but even so, we must be cautious. They are not that far removed from the Coalition." He paused in thought, before continuing. "I don't know of any other cyberknights this far east at the moment, nor of any chapter houses. Even so, It would be worth sending word to them somehow, even to Lord Coake if we could. Otherwise the only forces out here that might be willing to work with us are the Simvan monster riders, the Shemarrians, and maybe the Iroquois League. I have heard rumors of...well, that somewhere near Madhaven, the White Knights of the Rose may have a chapter house, but like I said, it is only a rumor. Might not be worth trying to brave the dangers of Madhaven for. Other than that, various bandit confederacies, petty monarchs and warlords, mercenary companies, all of those forces would despise this alien Mechanoid presence in their lands, and could be convinced if we are able."


Now:

His hovercycle stowed in storage, he dozed in the Badger, snoring loudly from time to time. When the call of imminent contact came out, he snorted awake and yawned, wiping the sleep from his eyes. So much for a quick nap. He put his complex helmet on, fastening the various straps and horn casings, slung his rifle, and stepped out to stand with the others and meet these newcomers.
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
"Hey Grad, you there? I'll be gone for a while, shouldn't take too long, though. Hopefully. You never know with those bastards. Anyway, you're out there, shopping, right? Think you could fetch me a candle while you're at it? Color doesn't matter, just something that burns slowly."
Gradicus replied with heart. "If I am able, I will find one to match your hair, my human friend!"
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
With most of his goods in-hand, Gradicus left Alphonse and his workshop in Craftsman's Row with a pleased smile upon his face. "Namárië!"* he called to the elves in their own language. "See you in a week's time!" It was then the 3 pairs of boots and set of anklets would be done! Wouldn't the team be pleased?

Tolkien-Elvish for "Be well!" used as a farewell.

With his shopping seemingly done, Gradicus ventured forth to the Cyber-knights chapelhouse. How did they live? he wondered. The young gladiator had never visited one of their holdings before. He decided he would treat it as holy ground unless otherwise directed. With a spring in his step, Gradicus continued through Dweomer!
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
@Vaneheart @Psychie @sirlabe

The three cycles slow as they approach, dropping down some as they come into view from behind some trees. They are Bobcat Hover Cycles, used frequently by the armed forces of Free Quebec, and they are obviously checking you out. After a moment, one of them calls out on an open radio channel. "Attention Badger and Automation pilot. This is Sgt. Cruz of the Free Quebec RPA Forces. Please state your business."


@Dannigan

After a bit of haggling over the prices of the items that Grad is requesting, you and Alphonse come to an agreement and payment exchanges hands. There is a good chuckle at the 'I'm with Stupid' t-shirts, with the promise that those can be ready later on that day. The rest of the items will be ready for pickup in about a week.

Moving through the city, it is easy enough to find the Chapterhouse of the Cyber Knights. At first glance, it looks like a castle in the middle of the city, very archaic and almost out of place in the middle of the more modern construction. But a closer look shows that yes, this building is most definitely a hard structure, made of MDC materials and quite formidable and ready to be used for defense.

There is a large open front gate, and as you walk in, you see a large courtyard where you can hear the sounds of steel clashing on steel. Looking about, there is at least a dozen people of various species, both men and women wearing armor and carrying swords, paired off and involved in what you believe is sword practice. As the pairs of fighters dance back and forth, your keen eye can tell that these are no experts, but are novices in the art of swordplay, but if they continue to apply themselves, they might just show some promise.

Walking around the six pairs of fighters are two instructors; one is a very large ogre with a sour look on his face, while the second is a human woman probably in her 40's with short cropped black hair. As they walk, they occasionally stop a pair in the midst of their duel and offer up some critique on their style before having them start up the training once more.

Once the instructors see you, the ogre slowly walks around the trainees in the field to approach you. "Welcome, stranger. What brings you to the Chapterhouse?"


@Silanon

While at Brazamal's mansion, you are able to reflect on the design of the robots a bit, along with some of the mechanics of the Brains and the Tank you were able to examine. It is able to confirm some of what Hagan is telling you about these things. It is clear that these things are all mass produced, and the parts are interchangeable with one another, not just custom made. This is the result of a high tech society.
 

Vaneheart

Friend or Enemy?
Sir Drutarak

The minotaur cyberknight fiddled with his radio controls until he was on the right frequency. He stated in a deep voice "Greetings Sergeant Cruz. I am Sir Drutarak the Strong, a cyberknight. My companions and I bring word of a grave and dire threat that is marshaling not far to the south. A newly emerged technological force from the Rifts that threatens not only Quebec, but all of the Americas and perhaps even the entire world of Earth itself. An endless tide of horrors without end, with powerful technology the likes of which I have never seen before. They are called The Mechanoids. We are seeking allies to help us stop them before they gain a foothold here, because by then it will be too late. Being the closest major power to this threat, we have come to respectfully request the aid of Free Quebec in stopping this terrible menace while there is still time. Before they destroy us all."
 

Silanon

Three Thousand Club
"Thanks, Grad - don't waste too much time on it. See you later, I'll probably be in the library or the workshop, or something. If I'm back early, I mean."

Turns out that she is, in the end; and that the library is once more the place to be if one wants to find her. A quiet corner in the back, with a table large enough to host half a dozen people's poetry discussions; there's noone else but her just yet, though, and certainly no poetry tomes. Instead, the table is covered with pieces of scrap metal and robots, her findings from the latest fight. The emptied backpack was carelessly tossed to the floor, by now surrounded by a dozen newer, opened books, some of them barely a hundred pages, two certainly crossing the four-digit benchmark.

Quite a messy display indeed, perhaps as chaotic as her thoughts - the technowizard's eyes rest neither on metal, nor on paper, but pierce through the thin air around her instead. Mass-produced, in a quality that rivals most of what she's seen; most of what the others have seen as well, which means quite a lot from those who've seen much. And yet, as threatening as that might sound, it's not what's on her mind right now. Instead, the short conversations, discussions with those she hasn't met in a while - not all of them there, a new face instead, but more than enough to get her thinking.

Thinking about war, preparations and obligations; about how the former changes people, even before the slaughter begins. And about a bearded man, once more, asking his most iconic question: What are we fighting for? The answers, for now, seem rather blurry, or maybe that's just her; the clear path forward, at least, is less clear the more explicit the options become. In this case: An offer, an invitation to rejoin those who've brought her this far; a few months ago, there would not have been any hesitation. Now, however, there are robots from space gunning down defenseless civilians, and that makes things much more complicated.

Usually, she'd spit out at this point, but this is the dragon's treasure room; or one of them, at least. Thus, she only shakes her head - green hair, freed from the headband, enjoys a short-lasting moment of freedom before her hands put the cloth back in place; it's grown too long over the last few weeks to not block her vision when left unchecked. A yawn, even though it's not that late at all; speed-reading and thoughts can tire the mind. A sip from her glass, the ice-cooled water has reached room temperature by now. Oh well, you can't have it all; drink it earlier, and there's nothing left now. In the end, all choices have consequences; changing nothing might taste awful in the end, making the wrong call means that, perhaps, nothing remains at all.

Fricking hell. Some thoughts clearly show that you have brooded for too long.
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Looking up at the waiting hover cycles, Terra adds her voice to that of Sir Dru's. "He speaks the truth of the matter, Sgt. Cruz. I am Terra Alvana of Dweomer, but I am not here on any official capacity from the city, but I am looking to put a stop to the evil mechanical menace that is the Mechanoids. They have attacked many towns in the area already, and will continue to do so unless they are stopped. We are looking for allies in our upcoming fight with them, and have come to Free Quebec in hopes of finding some much needed support."
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Dweomer...

Once the instructors see you, the ogre slowly walks around the trainees in the field to approach you. "Welcome, stranger. What brings you to the Chapterhouse?"
Gradicus found his gaze wandering toward the novices. They were living examples the quality of training to be found within these walls.

Gradicus had lived with a sword by his side for most of his life. First as an eager Tattooed Undead Slayer, then as a blood-drenched gladiator, then as an appreciative student of the Japanese ways of swordsmanship, and now as a simple man just trying to put some good into the megaverse.

He could not help but be drawn to the sword-students and their stances and movements. How did they hold their swords? During their technique, when did they breathe? When they cut, where were their eyes focused? Did they cut like people who could kill without hesitation? Repeatedly?

In learning the answers to questions such as these, Gradicus felt he knew a bit about the instructors before he had spoken a single word to them. This put him at ease.

"I thank you for your welcome. I am Gradicus the 'Red Edge,' True Atlantean, gladiator, and undead slayer." He bowed politely to his fellow swordsman. "I am adventurer with a Cyber-knight in our team. I have never before seen one of your homesteads and I am curious as to how you live. I am also here to deliver a warning that your Cyber-knight has taken seriously. There is a dire wickedness that threatens us all and I would bring news of it to all it threatens, especially your people. Will you hear my warning?"

* * *​

Elder Brazamal's mansion.

Gradicus eagerly delivered the promised candle to his friend and fellow adventure, Shaona. But not before handing two fine bottles of elvish wine to Olsen the Ley Line Walker.

Gradicus grinned. "Olsen! Here, good wizard! One for you and one for your wonderful master! You have given us so much, the least I can do is thank you in this way for it!"

If this is not possible through Alphonse and his people on the way over, let me know and I'll change the post. Otherwise, let me know how many credits I should subtract?

After sharing some friendly words with the man, Gradicus parted ways and visited Shaona. He handed her the candle in a manner of a man who felt grateful to be able to deliver such gifts into the worthy hands of his friends.

"Shaona!" he exclaimed. "What have you been studying with that wizardly mind of yours?"
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
"I thank you for your welcome. I am Gradicus the 'Red Edge,' True Atlantean, gladiator, and undead slayer." He bowed politely to his fellow swordsman. "I am adventurer with a Cyber-knight in our team. I have never before seen one of your homesteads and I am curious as to how you live. I am also here to deliver a warning that your Cyber-knight has taken seriously. There is a dire wickedness that threatens us all and I would bring news of it to all it threatens, especially your people. Will you hear my warning?"
The ogre raises his eyebrow at the word of you being a True Atlantean and Undead Slayer, and he returns the bow. "I have met some of your kinfolk before over the years, and have fought along side your people to good will. I am Sir Phillip, and I welcome you to our Chaperhouse. You have come to give us a warning that one of our brother Knights considers to be something to worry about?" He looks pensive, then looks over at the trainees and bellows out, "RECRUITS! Take a break! Get some water and catch your breath. Mel? You may want to hear this."

At this point, the woman instructor comes walking over. She offers her hand to you. "I am Melissa Dulaney, Knight of the Order. Did I hear that your name was Gradicus?" She sees Phillip nod. "Greetings, good sir. Please tell us of your warning, and the nature of the danger."


@Vaneheart and @Psychie

Sgt. Cruz takes a moment to think about his response before answering. "One of the reasons we are patrolling out here is the fact that there have been reports of towns being attacked by some unknown force. If you have any information on what is doing it, you are welcome to pass on to the city and meet with the authorities there and share what you know. I make no promises about the possibility of getting aid, since we have our own territory to protect from not only this threat but the Coalition. Move along."
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Terra responds with, "Understood, Sgt Cruz. Moving out now." Cutting the radio, she looks over at Sir Dru. "Well, the first hurdle has been overcome. Now, we just need to go and convince the authorities to send along some firepower with us to put some hurt on these Mechanoids. Lets go."
 

Silanon

Three Thousand Club
The door and his steps announce the slayer's return; and thus give Shaona at least a short moment to take a deep breath, clear some of her thoughts before he closes the distance. Perhaps even find the time to ponder a question that seems less complicated than it is: To ask, or not to ask, a question. Not that it's ever a bad idea to get some advice, or at least another one's thoughts; heck, only fools never do that, she knows it. But Gradicus is a special case. Never stuck between two different choices, or so she'd imagine from what she's seen - he'd be the worst person to ask, most likely. Or the best, perhaps, for the very same reason - not being stuck means doing something right. Maybe?

Before a conclusion can be found, he's already there, with his newest purchase. Green, just like he said; not the kind of color that can be found everywhere, or at least the the last time she spent time on the market. Maybe things changed, and white and red candles are rare these days, it's been a while - why assume something worse when you can imagine an undead slayer running from stall to stall instead, though? The thought, combined with the gift in itself, makes her smile. Not quite the enthusiastic, blissful smile that sometimes reaches her lips, too many thoughts are there to hold her back; but not a forced smile, either, just a genuine one, that is emphasized by how she accepts the unusual order from his hands. Overly careful, as if the candle could fall apart at any moment; her eyes are fixated for a few quiet breaths before she decides to answer his question first.

"This and that - the mechanoids, mostly. Spoke to a few different people, looked at some books I knew." Her spare hand points out the literature, spread across the floor. "Not much in there, though. Rather: Nothing at all. Friends couldn't say much, either; things are new here, that's certain. But whoever faces them could be in for a few nasty surprises." Could've just said we could be in for a few surprises instead. But who knows about that 'we' - right now, she doesn't. Better an awkward sentence than a lie. A shrug follows - disappointing results, one might say, little to be thrilled about. There's more to that lack of enthusiasm though, unspoken words that linger around for a moment before she almost spills them out. Almost.

Instead, she raises the candle to change the subject. Easier - perhaps the better way to get there as well. That's what she tells herself, at least - could be the best way to avoid it as well. Could ask Brazamal or Olsen, later. Or Estevan. Y'know, someone else than the one in sight. "Thanks for the candle, Grad - appreciate it. Thought about someone after we arrived, figured I'd light a candle or something. That's what people do, right? What we did at home, anyway. He'd probably laugh at me, but hey - sometimes, you gotta do stupid stuff that feels right." A pause in remembrance, and to figure out what else to say. He brought the canlde, she might as well say a little more.

"Could've made more sense out of these scraps." True, there's no doubt about that - and yet, those words certainly don't do him justice, and it shows in her somewhat pained expression as she struggles for something better. After all, he wasn't just a technowizard, not just a second Estevan. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. "Taught me how to live on the road. Showed me what magic and wizardry are. Bloody dreamer, and more childish than the child he schooled." Once more, she cracks a smile, between pleasant memories and sadness.

And then, somewhere in the back of her mind, almost forgotten behind candles and memories, her mind comes to a conclusion. She carefully makes room on the table to put the candle down; a shoulder plate comes to rest between internal wires, but nothing could be less important than that right now. Instead, she stares at the green wax, thinking about the right words to use. "Got a question for you, Grad. Bit of a weird one." Might as well ask here, and now. "How do you know what's the right thing to do?" That's probably the most philosophic way to put it. The least precise one as well.

"I mean, not the usual 'that beast kills people, let's stab it'." Not much clearer, is it? The self-ironic smirk does not hide that something important is on her mind. "Fricking hell: Imagine your clan would ask you to do one thing; if they do something like that, ever, I mean... I dunno, maybe they don't, ya tell me. Anyway, it's important, and the right thing to do, you know that. But there's also that other, important thing that someone needs to take care of, and it's just as important, and feels just as right; but you might only be able to take care of one of 'em." Enough rambling for now, Shaona turns around, tries to meet Gradicus' gaze. Okay, maybe just a little more rambling. "Doesn't make much sense, that question, does it?" There's concern in her eyes, and a restlessness that isn't just the usual urge to see and learn more. No smile or smirk this time, either. Just the silence after she speaks the last word.
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Elder Brazamal's mansion...

Gradicus listened to Shaona's every word, for her every word was important to her, and thus important to him. When he replied, he replied softly in song.

"The Universe divided
As the Heart and Mind collided
With the people left unguided
For so many troubled years
In a cloud of doubts and fears
Their world was torn asunder into hollow hemispheres

"Some fought themselves, some fought each other
Most just followed one another
Lost and aimless like their brothers
For their hearts were so unclear
And the truth could not appear
Their spirits were divided into blinded hemispheres"

"Hemispheres" by Rush. One epic song and tale!

He grinned at her, happy with himself that the talent and wisdom of gifted, hard-working minds was not lost on him, and also hoping she understood the message of the song as it related to her situation. Then he moved to make his point.

"Between two important decisions, I feel it comes down to which one I would regret more if left undone. I would study both problems very carefully, examining all avenues of attack if you will. I would do this on a full stomach and with my mind free from distraction.

"After all of this, with all that is within me, I would act as my soul required of me." He patted his Smoochie tattoo. "And if my mind and heart were so divided that I could not see a clear way, I would do as you are doing, and ask outside of myself until one path won over the other."

Gradicus looked down to Shaona and patiently awaited her response.

* * *

Gradicus nodded in appreciation of the Cyber-knights's time and interest. Then, in his typical straightforward fashion, he went on to tell of his experience with Sir Dru, Mellar, the visions, and the Mechanoids. This he accompanied with the pictures and video he had taken.

Finally, Gradicus spoke of Elder Brazamal and how seriously he had taken the news. "I will visit his mansion once more before I return to my team who await me in the North."
 

Vaneheart

Friend or Enemy?
Sir Drutarak

In response to Terra's comments, he replied "I can only hope that Free Quebec listens to reason and responds to the threat. From what I have heard, they aren't all that fond of D-Bees and monsters like myself, cyber-knight or not."
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
At the Cyber Knights' Chapterhouse, both Phillip (odd name for an ogre, isn't it?) and Melissa ask probing questions about the tactics and capabilities of the robots, Brains and that Tank you fought, and how many more of the Mechanoids there were spotted outside the fortress. With the mention that Lord Brazamal is taking this seriously, and is assembling a force of soldiers to go after this menace with him, the two Knights trade a look.

Phillip says, "We only have a half dozen full members of our number here at the Chapterhouse; these recruits are not ready for the rigors of combat, and frankly, some may never be. The studies must be continued with at least one full member of the Order supervising their education else they may hurt themselves with their own ignorance." He stops to think for a moment, then lets out a sigh. "Mel, I am getting old, perhaps too old for the field, but my knowledge is still useful for the next generation of Knights. If you talk to the others about this, there is a good chance that most will follow you."

She looks sympathetic. "You are willing to stay and work with these youngsters? That is almost more dangerous than facing off against hostile fire! For both you and them!" She chuckles to show that she's kidding - mostly. "My friend, it will not be the same, being in the field without your sword arm at my side, but I will respect your decision. You do possess a small bit of knowledge that can be passed on to these impressionable trainees. Just don't go too easy on them in my absence. Slack on their training now, and it could cost them their lives later on when it really counts." Turning to face Grad, Melissa says, "Sir Atlantean, you will find me at Lord Brazamal's mansion in the morning to join your force to face off against these Mechanoids. I cannot promise any more than that, but I will twist as many arms as I can to get my fellow Knights to join me."
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Elsewhere, Terra, Bobo and Sir Dru are advancing toward the city of New Haven in Free Quebec. It is a walled city, with a massive gate set in the wall standing open waiting for you. At the gate, you can see that there are four large mecha standing guard, two inside and two outside the gate, with several suits of various types of powered armor, including several variants of the famous Glitter Boy armor.

As you approach, you are stopped by a pair of the powered armor suits. "You cannot enter the city with such military vehicles. We have a vehicle lot where you can park them during your stay at New Haven where they will be under guard. If you do not agree to this, you will not be allowed into the city. Will you comply?"
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Terra nods, "So long as we can have access to our things on the vehicles, and that they will not be tampered with while we are here, that is acceptable. We wish no trouble while we are here, especially since we bring a warning of a hostile force on your southern border, and we wish to deliver this warning to your city leaders. Please, direct us to the storage location where we can keep our mecha and the Badger, and allow us inside."
 

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