Scept exhaled deeply as he released the field around him, not even bothering to evaluate the situation for himself but instead taking Thomas' word for it. He made a mental note not to let it happen again, but for now he was appreciative of the break. Sustaining a time-sphere was easier than starting one, but a minute or two of rest was completely welcome to the boy. Glancing around allowed the carnage he had just participated in to come into full light. It was grizzly to say the least, but there had been perhaps worse abominations at the hands of the Taron Magi that even he had seen. There simply was nothing to be done about it. Turning to Thomas, he did his best to remain ready despite the exhaustion setting in, "No time to waste, right?"
Post by Steinerman on Oct 22, 2011 16:16:41 GMT -5
Thomas grunted in approval, the kid was keeping his wits about him, even though his magic must have exhausted him.
He glanced around, realizing just how fast they'd been moving as he did so. "Blast but that's a useful ability." He muttered grudgingly, hearing the sounds of combat come from the pleasure yacht a few hundred yards away.
He raised a radio to his ear, but before he could open his mouth to speak into it, a scratchy voice preempted him from the radio.
"Omega, this is Aya. Yacht secured, hostages safe and sound except for a few minor injuries. We're all alive, how're things on your end?"
Thomas smiled grimly, "Barge secured, I'll be vacating it shortly for our sloop, expect to hear a big bang. Outcasts adapt and survive!" He ended with a challenge.
Three voices echoed over the radio in answer, "Outcasts adapt and survive!" They roared back.
"Back on the motorboat, Scept. I don't feel like clearing this barge for enemies, we'll ignite its ammo and get back to the sloop." Thomas said clearly, kicking open a few nearby munitions lockers that held the ammo for the barge's larger guns. A few well-placed grenades set on a timer ensured a hefty explosion would come within the next few moments. Thomas turned quickly and headed back for the motorboat and safety, once again aware of how proud he was of his troops, who had not only survived an enemy ambush, but turned the tables and shown the pirates why the Outcasts were feared in the mercenary world. It had been a good day.
Climbing back into the boat, the boy could feel even the weight of his body threatening to overcome his legs. Part of him wondered if he should be thinking about what he had just participated in, but the rest of his body told him that there wasn't enough energy left in him for there to be any point. What was done was done, and the dead had provoked their own demise. What was more important now was the potential of food and perhaps more sleep, or at the very least a relaxing journey the rest of the way without anymore pirates or exploding ships. Turning to Thomas, he questioned with renewed sarcasm now that he was out of mortal danger, "Will that be all? Or are there going to be another handful of distractions before we sail for twelve hours."
Post by Steinerman on Oct 27, 2011 23:06:59 GMT -5
Thomas grinned, "Relax, kid. You did good. That's about all we have to do right now, this was a special-case contract we had to take because the client is a longstanding friend of the boss."
He gunned the motorboat away from the pirate ship, heading for the Outcast Sloop. In the background, there was a "whump" as the ammo on the pirate ship ignited, exploding the vessel and sending fiery debris fluttering into the air.
"Though there's something we need to do, back on the sloop. You look fair well exhausted, so I promise it won't take long. But it's something we do 'need' to see to before you can get any rest."
Scept let out a snort, having enough confidence now to fully defy Thomas' hold over him; his use of magic in the fight had proved invaluable, after all. He still had enough energy left in him to carry on, though he felt like it was leaving him in a draining fashion very quickly. Speaking to Thomas, he tried not to sound too interested, "I don't see what this has to do with me, but let's get it over with." He spoke in an offhand fashion, disregarding the quality of the matter at hand but not necessarily resisting it.
Thomas snorted with amusement. "You'll see what it has to do with you in a minute." He said, chuckling grimly as he eased the motorboat up to the sloop. A moment later he'd locked it into position for the small crane to lift it up and then clambered nimbly up the ladder to the top deck.
As he did so, Vesper popped her head over the sloop gunwale, her face smudged with smoke and gunpowder. "Scept, any wounds you need to report?"
Thomas snorted again, "Kid's fine, Vesper. Just have some business to conclude."
Vesper looked to Thomas for a moment, her eyes glinting with merriment. "Heh, you'll like this, Scept." She said, glancing back at the boy.
Rolling his eyes and offering Vesper a criticizing look, Scept spoke with impatience now, "In a moment, eh? I have a feeling like even if I speed up time you'll still manage to drag this out as long as possible." He was beginning to become both irritated and slightly intrigued now, though. This whole mission had been thrown together in a matter of hours, and he certainly hadn't been in the picture long enough for it to have cleverly included him in it. He doubted their words, but he was still impatient for his doubt to be proven correct.
There was a shout from one of the other Outcast soldiers. Aya, the lone commando-style Outcast, came up from belowdecks carrying a small satchel. She tossed it lightly to Thomas, who caught it mid-air. "Aya, you beautiful woman, you can read my mind. Is it all here?"
The woman flashed a small grin, "Standard contractor pay, plus hazard pay, plus a bonus for magical benefits added to the mission. All there, Omega."
Thomas nodded his head gratefully, then turned and tossed the satchel to Sceptus. "Here you go, kid. Payment for successful mission completion."
Inside the satchel, Sceptus would find a small fortune worth of coin and bills.
Thomas shrugged, "Since you're not officially apart of the Outcasts yet, you get extra contractor pay." He glanced pointedly at Scept, a grim smile upon his lips. "The Outcasts pay their debts, Sceptus. We keep our word and our honor, that's who we are. Just needed to show you that."
Vesper grinned widely, "Congrats, Scept. First combat mission as a mercenary contractor and you're still standing. You did good."
Scept frowned as he realized that there would be a payment for his services. Already they were welcoming him with warm smiles and congratulatory statements, and now they were trying to reward him. His mind reached a division once more, and dealing with it was problematic to say the least. Quickly pushing the thoughts aside of accepting this warm, familial invitation, he focused on his alternatives.
Declining the money was his first inclination, as he figured: he did not really need it for one, and a further part in him wished to not have the debts fully repaid. It was a position of modest leverage to carry the reputation for being there only out of necessity, and that he was not a mercenary like them. What was more, it also might breed a slightly charitable aura, which could never hurt.
On the contrary, though, refusing the money might suggest that being compensated was not important to him, and that he could potentially be taken advantage of; that was a dangerous place to be. On top of that, denying the money would infer a calculation in his mind - a depth to his personality he didn't feel like sharing with them.
No, best to take the money and be done with it. Reaching forward, his arm tensed slightly at the added weight of the currency in the bag; it certainly did seem more than one might normally be paid for this sort of business. Refusing to acknowledge the praise they offered externally, and internally squashing out the part of him that enjoyed it, Scept simply nodded at Thomas, "For the delay then. This isn't what I'm here for, though - don't forget that."
Thomas kept his grin, though his eye darkened slightly at Scept's reply. "You weren't expected to help, and yet you did. the Outcasts don't take charity, kid. I haven't forgotten what you've been promised, we'll help you with whatever you need when we reach Zailleon." With that, he turned sharply and headed for the raised bridge of the ship, his pace hurried.
Vesper, seemingly eternally cheerful, just laughed at Scept's words and then shrugged. "Well, whatever your reasons for helping, we thank you. Now that this mission is out the way, we can pick up speed for Zailleon. Thomas will probably max out our speed to get us there faster, so I imagine it'll shave a day or two off our timeframe."
As if to reinforce her words, the sloop's engines increased from a dull chug to a stead roar as the ship suddenly picked up speed.
"See? These little ships have some good speed to them. If we keep up top speed we'll probably get there in about two days, maybe two-and-a-half."
She glanced around as though she were looking for something. "And sorry, but we're a pretty boring ship, when it comes right down to it. I imagine you'll probably want time to yourself, but if you want to talk, I'm pretty easy to find. My cabin's three doors down from yours." She winked suddenly, "And we generally have a nightly poker game in the mess, if you feel like socializing."
With that, she backed up a few steps and headed down into the ship. Wishing to give Sceptus time to himself, if he wished. Much as she wanted to try and cheer the boy up, or get him to come out of his shell a little, she realized that he wouldn't respond well to that. Better to give him time to himself, and allow him to make the next move.
Scept offered her a noncommittal nod at the offer, and he turned away as soon as she began to depart. The day, though it had just started in reality, had felt like it had lasted an eternity. The amount of work he had put in, though, even without taking into account that his body had just been chronomanced, had put a damper on his energy to say the least. The Taron Magi had always told him that, while he had a tremendous amount of resources to exude magic with, he had not the patience to practice efficiency in the art. Maybe Zailleon would offer some of the answers he was looking for. Maybe.