Zandara regained her breath, sucking down one last gulp of air as Laramie was blindfolded. Still, unable to use her magic in any way, she could only watch as they locked the girl into a cell opposite her and Joe. She listened to the banter between the two of them and heard the gate close sharply, a harsh sound of metal on metal meeting her ears next and then the silence as Calhoun and the two others walked away. Unable to bear the sound of nothingness any longer she turned her eyes upward, "Joe, would you be so kind as to help me sit up properly? He didn't heal me completely, just enough to get by." She sighed, then coughed, then turned her face back to him, "We can't do much for now, it seems."
Joe frowned at the closed and barred door, but nodded his head and went to help Zandara. Pondering what had just happened with Laramie. The Task force had suspected that she was the child of a powerful mage, and that as she matured she would become one as well. But from what he'd seen it appeared as though it was driving her mad.
He knelt quickly to help bandage the wound, ripping a relatively clean part of his vest to do so. A moment later he nodded, satisfied with his work. "so, glad you came along?" He asked with a hint of levity.
Zandara's eyes tightened and she glared over at Joe and then Laramie. She answered with hostility in her voice, "We wouldn't have been caught in this situation if she hadn't shot at me." Wincing as she bent her leg, she said in a softer voice, "But as things are, yes I am glad I came." Leaning her head against the stone wall again she looked around the cell, not finding anything interesting besides a few loose rocks at the top of the iron bars. They wouldn't provide a space big enough to allow escape, so she ignored it, wondering only when the bandits would be back. If the leader wanted something with her, he wouldn't waste time letting them speak strategy.
Post by The Rising Dragon on Jun 23, 2010 20:02:26 GMT -5
Fifteen minutes passed before Dara and Joe heard the iron door unlock and swing open on its old hinges. Two bandits entered, this time ones that they didn't recognize. Both of them had large broadswords strapped to their hips, and both of them looked as cold as ice with their stony expressions.
"Get up," one of them said bitingly to the two of them as his companion unlocked the barred door, allowing the two prisoners to exit. The one who was speaking had two pairs of shackled bracers in his hands, one pair for each of them.
Joe stood slowly, reaching down an arm to help Zandara to her feet. He nodded at the two men, "What about my niece? The other girl. What have you done with her?" He questioned softly, extremely worried about his young friend.
Part of him wanted to rush the two and attempt to over-power them, then go find Wish and get out of this three-blasted mine. The saner, survival-oriented part of him quickly shut that idea down though. Two men...he might be able to handle, he was a reasonably capable hand-to-hand expert, and could make a good showing of himself even with the wounded shoulder. But two men wouldn't be all he had to fight, and they'd have guns and mages. Not a fair fight in the slightest. For now, he had to wait, and pray a rescue unit had been sent by the General.
Zandara had nearly begun to slip into sleep, her eyes closed peacefully against the dankness of where they were. She shivered, not from the cold but the situation itself. An iron door clanged open and footsteps sounded nearby alongside the sound of chains, but she could not be bothered to open her eyes. A gruff voice met her ears. Get up, he said. She sighed and looked up, taking Joe's arm in her hand and pulling herself up onto her feet, gingerly pressing weight down on her leg only to find that the pain was substantially less.
She stepped forward before Joe, standing close against the cell door, "What would you have with us now?"
Post by The Rising Dragon on Jun 27, 2010 14:27:22 GMT -5
"The boss sent for you," one bandit said in a rough manner, gesturing with his hands as his partner placed the shackles on each prisoner's wrists. "Now quit talking and get moving!"
"I'd be more worried about yourself, and your pretty friend here, if I were you," the other warned Joe as he fit the shackles on his wrist. "He's been in a bad mood since she hit him with that spell of her's. Now get moving. We haven't got all day."
The two guards both drew their swords and took position ahead and behind the two of them as they began escorting them out of the prison block.
Post by Steinerman on Jun 27, 2010 15:48:59 GMT -5
Joe followed along behind the guards, head bowed low in seeming prayer. For added effect he even moved his lips back and forth to simulate mouthing words of supplication to whatever god he was supposedly praying too.
In truth he was working on his cover story. He and Laramie already had a solid cover in place, with identification to prove it as well. The identity cards in his pack would lead others to believe that he was Joe Nim, and she Laramie Nim, his niece.
Though he had tried to hide it as best he could, they most likely would recognize a soldier's bearing in him, and that could easily be explained by a short stint in the Stamarian military, from which he was supposedly on leave.
The main problem was...Zandara didn't know about that particular cover story, and she might blow it if she let slip the fact that he was in truth a Valtheran soldier. Though she had no definitive proof, combined with their other odd actions it wouldn't lead to a very pleasant outcome.
He kept his head bowed and continued walking, patiently waiting to see what would happen.
Post by The Rising Dragon on Jul 2, 2010 18:44:37 GMT -5
It wasn't long before they were taken to a certain room in the reconstructed facility--shelves and cabinets lined the walls, and the center of the room was a large table with several wooden chairs and one revolving, cushioned chair set around it. It looked to be a meeting room back when the mine was in operation, but now...
The bandit leader was seated in the cushioned chair, his booted feet propped up on the edge of the table. He had Joe's book in his hand, and he looked to be reading it in a nonchalant manner. "Sit down, the two of you," he said curtly when they had entered. He didn't look up from the page he was on. "We've got a lot to discuss."
He himself had his blade rifle propped up on the cabinet behind him, and the two other bandits stood on either side of the door, arms crossed as they leaned against the wall.
Joe sat, his eyes taking in everything he could about the bandit leader. A bearded, angular face, surrounded by shaggy hair. He held the book in his hand with a somewhat contemplative manner. And he didn't seem the stupid type, most likely how he'd survived being killed by Stamarian patrols in the recent years.
And yet...There wasn't really anything incriminating about Joe or his companions. They were several hours away from Minervum, and there magically inclined beings weren't exactly scarce. The fact that Joe was traveling with two mages wasn't anything surprising really. His pistol, again, wasn't anything special. Valtheran in make, yes. But it was also a fairly common weapon, as the factory that produced the handgun shipped to other nations and to mercenary groups.
His ID card was in order, as was Laramie's. And he was almost sure any identification Zandara had was perfectly legitimate as well. So...time to play the worried uncle.
"Discuss? I'm not discussing anything until you tell me what you've done with my niece." He retorted angrily.
Post by The Rising Dragon on Jul 8, 2010 2:23:59 GMT -5
"I don't like moles, boy," the bandit leader replied sternly, looking up at him from the book. "Not in the operation I'm running here. And it so turns out that your niece is being monitored through some sort of psionic connection. So she's elsewhere, with my mage keeping an eye on her."
He removed his feet from the table and sat up, leaning his arms against the edge of it, book still in one hand. "Now if the two of you decide talking to someone like me is beneath you, I will simply tell Calhoun to execute her," he said coldly. "I can use a mole to my advantage, but its far less risky to just have her head on a pike."
It was quite clear that the man was not here to play games.
Niece? Zandara's eyes flickered toward Joe. Face toward the ground, hair falling over her features, no one would have seen it. It must have been a cover. She knew there was no way the two were related. Not the way Laramie looked at this man. It was not possible. A heavy sigh left her lips as the bandit leader continued to speak, "Oh, enough of this you slimy little flea. What is it that you want?" Her face never lifted up toward him, though her eyes were fixed on his feet, just enough of him in her sights for her magic to be of use if it was needed.
"If all you're going to do is threaten my sister, then I suggest you let us go back to where we're being kept, because I haven't the time or the patience for this." It was odd that her usual smile was still in place, because the ferocious look in her hidden eyes gave every impression that she was ready to use her magic on the man until he could writhe in pain no more.
Post by The Rising Dragon on Jul 26, 2010 23:55:05 GMT -5
The leader closed his eyes for a brief moment as the previously-injured woman finally decided to bite back--when he opened them again, they were cold and feral in appearance, looking completely unforgiving. "Drop the act," he snarled in a low tone. "I'm done playing your games. She's not your sister and he's not your uncle."
He swept his gaze around until it centered on Joe. "My men heard what your little friend said in that call. And I'm not stupid. Any regular person in that situation wouldn't be saying they'd be late for dinner or some crap like that."
The two men behind them shifted about, as if growing restless.
"You're from Aube. Its in your face and your stance," the bandit continued. "So's the other girl--she may look like she's from around here, but she sure as hell doesn't act like it. But her 'sister' here is clearly a Stamarian. So I don't buy it."
He threw the book he had been reading--the same book Joe and Dara had taken from the Library--into the middle of the table. "Having this on your person sure as hell doesn't help you situation either."
Joe rolled his eyes. "Oh please, having a book on the Taron Magi's genealogy is hardly damning. And yes, Laramie, the girl that you have hurt and frightened beyond reason, is my niece."
He began to raise a finger, and then appeared to think better of it. "The difference in our appearance is quite simple. We're both from Allondell, but my parents are from Valtheran, with roots in Aube. Laramie and Zandara are my sister's children. My older sister, in case you didn't figure that out."
He shrugged, "And in case you didn't notice, Laramie isn't exactly...right. In her mind, I mean. She's very fond of my brother, her uncle. We were to meet him in Minervum for dinner tonight."
Finally he closed his eyes, sighing and taking on an expression of dejection. "Listen, we don't have much money, nor does our family. Laramie takes up most of it with her medical treatments. Our family might be able to pull together a little bit of cash to ransom us, but I doubt it will be much."
Post by The Rising Dragon on Jul 27, 2010 1:40:58 GMT -5
"While I do not believe your story, you are correct: you pretty much are useless to me," the bandit leader said. "However, one thing you have said is very much a lie: it is, in fact, illegal to own such a book."
The man picked it up and stood up, slowly walking around the table as he read a few more pages. "This book contains not only the lineage of every indoctrinated Taron Magi in the present day," he explained. "But it also lists their residences and colleges. As such, this is a book that can never leave the Grand Library--and it amazes me that such children like yourselves were capable of stealing it from the library."
He stopped somewhere behind Joe and Dara. "What this means is that you have handed me something extremely valuable. I can name any price from the Korin, and be able to live in comfort for the rest of my life. And if the Stamarian Military manages to track you down first, well, I have the perfect bargaining chip to allow my men and myself to go free without any problems whatsoever. No, boy, this book is treasure of the highest value, and I have no one else but the three of you to thank for it."