As weird things went, this had probably turned into one of the weirdest of Thomas' days so far. That it was magic, he had no doubt. But wherever the Taron had taken them had opened up an opportunity, hopefully, to kill the man and save Scept. Assuming he didn't die first . . .
"You'll find I don't die easily, just ask my wife." Thomas hissed, raising his rifle and firing off a shot aimed for the Taron's head mere milliseconds later.
The act was almost desperate, and most marksmen couldn't have even had a chance, especially when suddenly teleported into another realm. Fortunately Thomas' mechanical eye served him in good stead, helping to line up the shot and hopefully compensating for his frayed nerves and the adrenaline coursing through his body. Hopefully good enough to kill the Taron and save Scept.
The Taron's expression faltered as Scept spoke, surprised that the boy would even try anything after all this. With the effort it took to hold Amoria up alongside blocking Scept, though, the man had no hope of reacting in time to stop Thomas' bullet. The second the bullet struck the Taron, though, the world practically exploded around them as all hell broke loose in a blink of an eye.
With the death of the Taron, so ended all of his spells too. Amoria ended, the gunshot cracked in the real world, the Stamarians pulled their triggers at Scept in reaction, and Scept's magic was unblocked. In anticipation, though, he had been pushing the barrier for some seconds before Thomas even pulled the trigger; he knew he would have only a breath to save his own life from the Stamarian weapons.
Both time and electricity erupted from Scept, the harshest slowing field he could construct being put in the tiny area around his kneeling body. Dropping to the floor as the projectiles slowed to a crawl, lightning magic exploded from his body, blanketing the entire room and shattering all the dull, opaque windows. As the power surged through the armor of the Stamarians, stunning them, Scept fell to the floor exhausted. The Outcasts could take care of the rest.
Thomas sagged down as his body shook with the destruction of the magical . . . whatever it had been. Such a vicious and sudden end to the construct must have meant his bullet had struck home. He blearily realized that Aya and another Outcast had just rushed into the room and fired their weapons, there were a few coughs and uncertain glances, none of the other Outcasts really understood what had just happened.
As he leaned back against the wall, catching his breath, Aya rushed forward and slid to a kneeling halt next to Scept, her rifle already slung across her back. "Scept?" She questioned sharply, "Are you hurt?"
Scept tried to snort at Aya's question, though his broken nose wouldn't allow it. Instead he resorted to responding sarcastically, "Oh no, he just hurt my feelings, that's all." Physically speaking, Scept wasn't in terrible condition. He was tired, but most of the interrogation with the Taron had been a mental and magical experience. He almost laughed at the thought; magical indeed.
Post by Steinerman on May 10, 2012 13:09:14 GMT -5
"Good to know they didn't damage his ability for sarcasm." Thomas muttered, slowly standing back up.
Aya growled and pulled Scept to his feet. "Lean on me if you need to, we need to get moving."
The rest of the Outcast Predators quickly jogged off to secure an exit path, leaving Thomas, Aya and Scept in the room. "Well," Thomas remarked, giving Scept a wry half-grin. "Want a ride out of this lovely little base?"
Scept wiped a large trail of blood away from his nose with his sleeve and tried to stand on his own. Weakness filled his legs, though, and he stumbled almost at once. With a sigh, he tried again to struggle to his feet, proving to be shakily successful though still looking far from stable. With the mercs all around him, he couldn't bring himself to distrust them anymore, but that didn't make anymore sense. Trying to look like he had more strength than he did, he straightened up and questioned Thomas, "Why'd you come back for me?" The question was going to drive him insane, though he doubted Thomas would offer a very adequate answer.
Post by Steinerman on May 10, 2012 14:20:06 GMT -5
Thomas eyed Scept curiously for a moment, and then spoke softly, almost as though quoting something. "Never shall we leave a man or woman to reside within the enemy's camp a prisoner, without hope."
Aya spoke second, "Nay, we shall bring down hell itself against the captors, until our brother or sister is free."
"Or we are dead in the attempt." Thomas finished solemnly. He cracked another grin, "It might sound like some dusty old tome, but by such codes we fight and die." With that, he stepped forward and supported Scept's other side, "Besides." He added on. "That Taron insulted us as a profession. Couldn't let that stand."
Scept rolled his eyes, though he willingly accepted the support of Thomas in walking, "Yeah, that's nice. All I heard was now we're going to have Stamarians zeroing in on us every time we enter Zailleon. Hope you've got a good cleanup crew." He sighed, glancing around and wondering how long it was going to take for Vesper to lose herself over his nose when she finally saw him. The thing did hurt like you wouldn't believe, though, and it made breathing a labor-intensive process to say the least.
Thomas hadn't really answered Scept's question, so far as the boy was concerned, but he was beginning to get exhausted from the mistrust. The Taron had done an excellent job making him feel truly abandoned, and now that he realized it was all a lie, the doubts seemed to fall away a bit too. Maybe he was just too tired for it though, right now, and he'd find it later in the morning. Right now, though, a few minutes of not feeling like he was an inch from death would be great.
Post by Steinerman on May 10, 2012 17:38:32 GMT -5
Thomas shrugged carefully, trying not to strain Scept as they half-walked, half-limped out of the building. "The Outcasts in Zailleon used one of our emergency clauses to break contract and pull out. We'll not be back to this country for some time, I imagine. Nor the Hell Legion."
"Not that the Hell Legion normally comes up here." Aya muttered.
Thomas nodded, "True." He agreed. By now the sounds of battle had died down, what remained of the Stamarian fighting force had gotten wise to the fact that the gunships would continue prowling and pouncing on any sign of resistance, and had bunkered down inside their buildings, waiting for the mercenaries to simply leave.
"Ah well," Thomas declared with a sigh, "It was going to happen eventually. That mage even saw how things were going. 'No Mercenary is ever truly welcome on Stamarian soil', he said. The Empire will soon enough tire of the mercs and either kill us off or conscript us."
"Neither option sounds very promising." Aya added with a laugh. They had almost reached the entrance and their waiting vehicles. From the looks of it, the Hell Legion had sent one of its trucks forward, presumably with Vesper, to care for any wounded that came out of the building.
"No point in going to war with Stamaria," Scept grunted, "they'll win." Scept paused to consider the words he'd spoken a moment earlier, though. Zero in on us? What, was he a merc now or something? Resisting the urge to groan, he instead merely rolled his eyes once. He just hoped their journey to the Lightning Temple wasn't going to be completely interrupted by this whole ordeal.
Pausing to look ahead, he could see to the outside well enough now, and the promise of medical attention might come with it. Even with the lack of complaining he made about his nose, though, the thing still hurt outrageously, and it was getting to be down-right annoying. The sun looked like it was long since gone outside, so hopefully there wouldn't be a Stamarian army already halfway here.
Post by Steinerman on May 13, 2012 23:33:53 GMT -5
And here both Thomas and Aya shared a curious glance. "Don't be so sure on that count." Aya said quietly. "There are ways of beating the giant, if you plan long enough and hard enough. And if you make a deal with the devil." Her eyes locked angrily with Thomas' as she spoke the final words.
"Aya . . ." Thomas replied with a sigh, exiting the building and entering an almost flood-light glow from one of the mercenary trucks. "She's not the devil. She's just a soldier."
"She wants to see the world burn, Thomas. Not just Stamaria. All of it. And with that look in her eyes? I think she might just do it. And Robert made a pact with her."
"You'll be glad of it in a few months," Thomas shot back. "And even sooner, Robert is leaving one of them to safeguard the ship we're exiting on."
And here another voice broke in, annoyance clear in the newcomer's tone. "Goodness gracious, what are you two babbling about when Scept is clearly injured?" Vesper asked with shock, already breaking into a jog to reach them. "Scept," She greeted warmly. "I'm so glad you're alive. What else is hurting, besides the nose?"
At Vesper's words Scept started trying to pay attention again, though it wasn't the easiest thing in the world. Most of the banter between Aya and Thomas was fairly welcome now as an excuse to shut his mind off and stop trying for a bit. He responded as dryly as ever to the medic, though, "Is that so? Well so am I. Funny how that works. Just the nose, unless you feel like pulling out the couch for a therapist session." He smirked a bit, though it didn't hold any amount of joy.
He smelled of blood, sweat, and urine, some of the techniques the Taron had used coming back to him very quickly. He'd held his tongue for most of the assault, but that hadn't kept him from pissing himself halfway through. The man had been brutal and thorough, and Scept didn't doubt that his mind would've been completely broken if the Taron had had another day to go at it.
Right now, though, he didn't want to think about that. All he wanted was someone to fix his nose, some new clothes, and maybe a shower and a bed if he was lucky.
Post by Steinerman on May 14, 2012 12:59:54 GMT -5
"Sorry, not that kind of doctor." Vesper replied with yet another warm smile. Moments later they'd led Scept to one of the jeeps and sat him down so the doctor could work.
There was a small flash of magic and Vesper's hand glowed with soft white light as she reached out very gently and touched Scept's nose, her face a mask of concentration. "If you feel any more pain, just say. Normally this works pretty well at killing the pain and resetting the bones." She shrugged and for a moment, the goofy girl could be seen through the doctor's mask. "But then again, magic is a fickle beast, eh?"
A few steps away, Thomas and Centurion Wilburs were conversing quietly. "We can stay if you need us, 'Gov." The Centurion stated earnestly.
Thomas shook his head, "Nah, no need. Stamarians won't mobilize that fast. We've got a few days before they decide any Outcasts in their territory need to die. Just a stop at the Lightning Temple, and then we're out of the country and somewhere a little easier to hide."
Wilburs nodded grudgingly. "Alright, 'gov. If you say so." He turned and waved his men back to their vehicles.
Last Edit: May 14, 2012 13:00:48 GMT -5 by Steinerman
Forcing himself to keep breathing even at the magical touch, Scept closed his eyes to Vesper's healing. Right now magic affecting his body felt a lot like gunshots flying over the head of a man just come back from war. A moment later, though, the feeling had passed, and his nose felt whole once more. Maybe it would be sore or somewhat crooked for a bit, but the bulk of the pain was gone, and he did his best to wipe up the rest of the blood onto his wrist.
As he overhead Thomas talking to the other merc, Scept cringed on impulse at the mention of their mission to more people, but he tried his best to repress that. He'd have to learn to trust these people, for the time being; if what they'd just done wasn't enough to earn that, then he was no more than a paranoid fool. That didn't make him like it, though.
Post by Steinerman on May 14, 2012 16:25:33 GMT -5
As if by magic, though more a product of Vesper's quick thinking, a clean towel appeared in her hands and was tenderly handed to Scept. "We've got to get moving, soon." She said apologetically. She nodded upwards at one of the passing gunships. "Our aircover needs to leave in a few minutes if they want to have enough fuel to get out of the country and to safe ground. And I know Thomas still wants to get you to the Lightning Temple, if you're up for it."
Even as she spoke, the Hell Legion trucks roared to life and turned to head out. "See you in Acera!" One of the Legionaries shouted as the machines drove off. This was followed by a roar of excitement from his comrades, shouts of "Bloody." And then "HELL LEGION!" Could be heard as the two vehicles rumbled off into the night.
After waving farewell to their allies, Thomas and Aya moved closer to where Vesper stood fussing over Scept. "Still want to go to the Lightning Temple?" Thomas asked seriously.