[Main Chapter] Breakout!

Resistance Plot: Prison Break. Serro won't leave a good man behind...

The capital city of Anaxas and the seat of the government.
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Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:40 pm

5th Dentis, 2718
VIENDA GAOL | ONE HOUSE PAST MIDNIGHT
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Alioe, it was a crisp clear night over the great city of Vienda. The Goddess’ light shone down from a moon only a night from full, bathing the streets and buildings in a pale glow as the occupants slept the houses away. From the east, a gentle breeze blew cool air through the sleepy city.

The cold season was well on its way.

Serro rubbed his hands absentmindedly as he watched the thin wind whip around the trees in the forgotten field not so far from the city itself. It was already cold for autumn; the days had been colder each year, it seemed. When he had been a boy, it was possible to stay warm from Intas through half of Dentis; now, he was cold year-round. Maybe it was his time in the AAF. Maybe it was the strain on his heart as the galdori took more and more from him.

Maybe he was just old.

He glanced behind him to where a coal-black aeroship lurked in the half-darkness, ready to embark on her first clandestine flight, and possibly her last. The Crow, she was called, a favor from the fiery red haired golly that sat behind the controls waiting for the rest of the crew. Jon didn’t trust them, not the golly Resistance members, not completely…but they had their uses.

His fingers sought out the flask at his hip, taking a deep sip and coughing as the wind picked up. Would they come? The faces of Ian, of Merinda, of Huna—his friends and his companions—swinging in the early morning of Dentis only days before haunted his every moment. Their purple bulging faces and blank eyes burned into the back of his eyelids. Merinda’s desperate struggles as she slowly asphyxiated. Before they hung, they’d looked for him, and he couldn’t bring himself to let them see him.

They trusted him, they trusted the Resistance, and they’d failed.

“Fucking Azmus.” He muttered to himself, taking another swig and putting the flask away, sniffing and huddling himself closer under his cloak, looking around for the others. Ginny was coming, he knew that, and she’d supposedly collected Artful and a new fellow along the way. A mugrobi lad that she’d said could probably drag his own wagon if his kenser keeled over and died. He wasn’t sure of anyone else, but all hands were welcome this night.

They needed to get Stu.


Ginny stormed her way along the tunnel under the city, her small face a hard mask of anger.

“Hurry up ye lot. It’s this way.” She snapped, hands shoved deep in a coat that clearly was too big for her, Stu’s coat. The young witch had collected the folks from the Stag and led them through the catacombs towards the outskirts of Vienda, towards where Serro had told her to meet them. The big mug, she’d nabbed him earlier, impressed by his brick-wall build. They needed muscle, and he was muscle. What she hadn’t done perhaps, is told him the full story as to what they were doing or where they were going.

Not that it mattered. They had Stu. The clockstopping, kenser licking, chroveshit erseholes had Stu. And by the Gods, they were going to get him out. Fire and flames would not stop her, nothing would. They were getting Stu, tonight.

“Ent sure what the Boss has in plan, but keep y’guns handy Arty.” Her green eyes turned back to him with a scowl.

“Y’can shoot them as well as make ‘em oes?”
word count: 645

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Gale
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Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:35 am

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VIENDA GAOL | ONE HOUSE PAST MIDNIGHT
5 DENTIS 2718
It was beneath a hood that Artful hid, coat was brought up around their form, any immediate sign and features hidden from view. They became an almost ghoulish creature, silent as it stalked its way beneath the sewers. Somewhere they had heard the word, been given the signal to muster. Artful was no exception, a sobering thought that dragged them out of their locked in mental state. Now the mind was keen, sharpening around the plans that had been formulated. They were silent for the most part, the only occasional slosh of noise as feet caught in the puddles of the under city.

They were not sure they were able to do this, a small niggling pressure that firmly dug into the back of their mind. The palms were already sweating, gloved hands collecting the uncomfortable moisture within. It would pass, it had to if they were to live up to the expectations. As such they made themselves armed, prepared for all occurrences and whatever came their way. Liberator was the prime candidate and already loaded, around the wrist however sat a broad strip of leather with tiny slots holding a half dozen tiny brass containers in place. It was located towards the front, behind the front panel of their coat – within easy range to draw and fire.

Experimental cartridges that they had sat on since the previous month – time was no on their side when it came to the idea of improving them. Demands drew them in all directions, and the riots did not help. Beneath, a few tools hung from the belt, hammer, knife, chisel and screwdriver being the most prominent on display. They did not what else was needed, not with so little information.

Finally, there was the piece to top it all off – the cold iron mask of Gunner ready to be donned when the fun began. There was security behind being an anonymous face, and strength came from pretending to be someone else. In this instance, and unnerving monsters

“I can shoot, not a trick shot mind,” the gunsmith eyeballed the back of Ginny, “And knowin’ the Boss, could be anythin’.” There was a low snort, eyes peering at the others from beneath the safety of the shadow, “Mind you, you’re gonna be able to keep up and on target aye? Got to keep the level in this 'and. You don’t stick to what get’s decided then all’s blown. No time for heroics, 'cause then I got ta drag my own arse into the fire. Ye chen?”

But can you shoot? Are you too scared? Do you have the balls or are you aa pitiful coward – WEAK!

They were fond of both Ginny and Stu; but it did not stop the cold, hard edge in Artful’s voice. Almost hollow as it stripped through the emotions and became the desired steel. So what if it was an emotional stab of a knife, it needed to be said before everything went to shit. Now was not the time to worry about what could happen. Focus on the now, deal with the then when it comes. The orbs slid to the others; Francis was a surprise, and no doubt it would be the same if he looked closer. It was an unknown with a customer stepping into the world of the Freedom Fighters. A small snort, they would deal with it later.

“S’good night for a fight. Still rather it be quick and sneaky like though.”
word count: 593
When the last of us will disappear
Like shadows into the night
The broken ones, the fighting sons
Of ignorance

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Francis Pusher
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Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:45 am

05 DENTIS 2718
To say Francis knew what was going on this night would be an utter lie, an utter and complete lie that the most delusional of people would point out that was being delusional if he were to pretend otherwise and there was nothing he could do to dissuade them because dissuading delusional people was an exercise of futility.


He was just spending his time at the Stag having a drink, a much needed drink in fact. After all these trying times it wasn’t much to simply ask for a nice drink being consumed via a poorly made cup that you’ve no choice to drink from because the ‘new’ cups were even worse and could in fact stab you by accident.


Francis was of the personal opinion to tell the owner that he may need a new hobby that didn’t involve pottery. But no, instead came this dame with a look of urgency on her face, collected a lot of people who seemed to know more than he did and somehow nabbed himself along and dragged him through some underground pathways that led somewhere.


Now he was in the midst of people, armed people, in fact other than a crowbar he’d filched from work Francis was perhaps the least armed and now he was sweating beads. This was the sort of trouble that was plaguing the common’s folk mind…. And part of his mind screamed that he was stuck in the midst of it. This… Arty fella? This Arty fella only served to confirm his fears as he let out an audible gulp.


“I ain’t knowin’ whats goin’ on” He let out, eying Ginny and Arty as his hand reflexively opened and closed out of nerves “I mean, me guts tellin’ me it ain’t good but…uh….miss, this is lookin’ all lookin’ Loony” He stated simply, the dark skinned Mugrobi’s nerve being on edge was difficult to hide.
word count: 329
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Sednai
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Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:18 pm

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05 Dentis 2718....She was not a drinker.

No, despite spending nearly every night since her arrival in Vienda a month ago in the Stag, Sednai had asked Ted to fill her cup up with water every night. Every night he rolled his eyes, and every night she was guilted by her own conscience into slipping him a coin or two across the counter- perhaps just to clean the metal cup he gave her. She, of course, didn't come for a glass of water or to be scoffed at by the young bartender who was much more willing to serve the women with deeper curves and, of course, the gruff men who intimidated him.

Cutter had mentioned this place before she had left, mentioned that this old bar filled with soot-covered, weary faces was likely to see the worried, shifting eyes of Resistance members. Tonight was any other night- a night of waiting for more worthwhile activity than the same bar fight that Ted had to break up or the same off-key drinking song that a chorus cheered on with voices slurred with the oil of cheap alcohol. The clock had been creeping past midnight, creeping towards the time to return to the apartment one of Teuila's galdor friends had allowed them to stay in while the owners were vacationing through the cold weather. There were only a few more nights of this absent-minded waiting for this Resistance that seemed it would never show. Only a few more nights, and tonight did not seem to be the night. Sednai had tiredly brought her cup back to a weary Ted Burns, pulled her coat over her shoulders, and secured the twin daggers on her sides as she prepared to step into the night.

The clock crept past midnight, and this uneventful night became the night. Sednai's boots let soft echoes bounce down the tunnels as she kept pace with the Resistance members who had pulled their beards out of their beer as they were called into action by- Ginny, had it been? She was not all-too-familiar with these Viendan Resistance members. Aldwin's death had cut her off, hadn't it? To think, all those years...

There was little explained to her or, so it seemed, the others as they moved to their next location. The lack of information left Sednai thirsting for more. Where? Why? Who? There was a tense static in the air, like the static the hung in the air before a lightning storm.

"Ya nervous, chappy?" she whispered as one of her peers spoke up, his hands tightening and relaxing around a metal crowbar. He was perhaps a few years her junior, a Mugrobi wick whose strength was evidence in only a glance. "You's a brave one runnin' along with an empty head an' a prybar t'keep ya safe. Knees and heads best beware- a prybar's their worst enemy," she joked, though her face showed little more than a vague grin. She knew, though, that he was doing his best to be armed- there was little to arm oneself with when they weren't prepared. Sednai, however, was the type to be constantly prepared- constantly armed. The man looked nervous. Surely, this was one of his first runs. The veteran smiled.

"Whatcha oughtta get ya is a good set of daggers," she claimed. Reaching under her coat, she retrieved the metal blades, the spiralled cuts of the daggers cold in her bare palms. "Say, if ya can knock 'em down with that fancy bar, I'll knock 'em dead- well, whoever they are," she paused her own speech, tilting her head to get a better reading of what was being said by Artful and Ginny- the two most knowledgable of the group who still seemed to be questioning the situation themselves. That was always a great sign.
word count: 672

BURNED, NOT BURIED.
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Tue Nov 20, 2018 4:40 am

5th Dentis, 2718
VIENDA GAOL | ONE HOUSE PAST MIDNIGHT
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Ginny sucked on her teeth, turning her eyes back to the path ahead and nodding with a grunt.

“Who knows, ye chen? Serro’s ne happy ‘bout those nice guys we lost in that hangin’. Ne happy about th’ riot. Ne happy about th’ Bull bein’ taken an’ all. I ent sure on th’ plan kov, but one thing for sure, I ent goin’ home tonight without my Stu.” Picking her way along the old, damp, mouldy cobblestones of the underground tunnel, the short red head stopped short and turned fully to look at the gunsmith.

“Heroic’s is what got Stu into this trouble in th’ first place. Mung lugger can’t help but be that balach. Gotta save everyone else, but ne’er things of Stu. Never thinks of what he does t’ me.” Tears stung her wild green eyes for a moment, before she looked at Francis with a slow smile.

“Epaemo mug, I wasn’t particularly clear. Thing’s moved so fast an’ y’looked like a good solid type. Plus y’were in the Stag an’…” She shrugged, before gesturing to the crowbar.

“’Sides, ye look like y’could be some use. We’re rescuing a friend, ye chen? He was nabbed durin’ that mung riot business, by the Seventen oes? The real bad uncles, they hurt peoples with ne proof or trial. They hung three of us just days ago, an’ the Boss is damn sure they’ll do th’ same to Stu. Ent no doubt in my mind they’re already torturing him or worse.” Glancing at Sednai, she snorted and her smile turned into a full grin.

“See now, ye get it. I ent much for gun’s n’ blades ’n such, but explosives, hah. Ent nothin’ prettier than a burst of fire and smoke.” Looking back at Francis, she shrugged.

“If ye’re not up to it, stay here an’ we’ll get ye on the way back. Otherwise, welcome to th’ Resistance. That’s Artful. I’m The Ginger. She’s Cypress. Ye gotta have a code name see, ent safe t’use y’own….I ent even sure what that is but don’t tell me. Y’can be…Hammer. The Hammer. Oes.” With a curt nod, she turned away from the team to continue leading them up and out of the catacombs, exiting into the chill autumn night air. As they moved through the darkness, through the trees and onto the open field, Ginny swore under her breath.

“By Alioe he got a fuckin’ aeroship.”




Underneath his weathered, blank exterior, Serro looked relieved to see that everyone had arrived safely to the meeting point. He saluted to each one of them.

"We need to move quickly." He said, without greeting or ceremony, one dark eye looking briefly at Francis with a questioning stare before turning and pointing to the vessel beside them.

"The aeroship makes a lot of noise. We greased her down as well as we could, but once we start it will be quite obvious. The plan is to take a detour around the city and fly high as she'll go. With luck, they won't notice we're flying over the Law District until we're halfway through." He looked each of them in the eye then, sizing up their readiness for the mission.

"We only have a small window of opportunity. Whilst the guards change hands for the evening shift, it’ll provide us a brief moment to move." He said solemnly. Looking back at the aeroship, he pointed to the exterior, where a dark bundle of sticks and rope was rolled around a winch.

"There is a ladder a hundred feet in length. When we approach the prison yard, we cut it loose and swing in low. As we descend, Gunner, you'll need to take out the guards if they sight us. Ginger, you and Cypress, you’ll need to move quick to locate the Bull. I’ve got an inside man who says he’s in block one, cell three, window to the outside yard. Me an’ Red,” He waved at the aeroship, where the crimson haired galdori woman raised a hand briefly in greeting. “,we’ll watch your backs and take out any uncles or aunties that try to interfere as quiet as we can. Once you get to the Bull, Ginger, you’ll have to blow the wall out. There’s dynamite in the ship, decent stuff. As soon as it goes off, we’re made, you get me? Move, fast to get back to the ladder. Once everyone is on the ladder, I'll ascend, but we'll need to retract the ladder as quickly as we can. That's where you come in..." He faced the strong man, an eyebrow raised, to which Ginny answered quickly.

“Hammer.” Serro nodded, before continuing with his plan.

"The winch will be difficult to operate from inside the ship, but there's a hatch that opens on top, and rungs leading down to it. Red will protect you from their spells, because by Alioe they’ll start casting the minute they see us." Glancing at crew, he shoved his hands in his pockets.

"Once everyone is inside the hold of the ship, we’ll need to fix any injuries and such during the trip," He took a breath, before continuing on.

“We’ll be making for Old Rose. Doubtless they will pursue us, but I’ve made arrangements. Hawke is aware of our plans, and whilst begrudgingly and at some cost, he has vowed to send his birds into the air around the border to the harbor. They will not challenge the pursuers, but we shall be able to hide well among their ranks and land in the dark of the jungle that surrounds the Rose. After all is said and done, Red'll bring us home." Serro finally stopped then, looking up at everyone to see that they understood and allow questions. Beside them, the aeroship loomed in the dark, black on black, like some great beast awaiting it’s meal.

word count: 1061
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Gale
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Tue Nov 20, 2018 6:15 am

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VIENDA GAOL | ONE HOUSE PAST MIDNIGHT
5 DENTIS 2718
The gunsmith stared back, the shadow of the hood peering down to the witch. The expression hardened, orbs resting on the point in the middle of her forehead – but otherwise remained largely silent. It was not that the smith lacked sympathy, but more the cold hard logic that this form of mentality was going to end up getting them all killed if they were not careful. Exhaling, they made their own mental note-

Drag Ginny kicking and screaming if necessary.

- and continued on their way.

The addition of the woman was an interesting one. Another human, they recognised them briefly from somewhere but could not place where. It was not important however; right now they had all the same agenda. Francis seemed to be complaining, he too proving to be a liability. More so as he was effectively the new member of this motley crew – Hammer was the name he was granted. There was only a small curt nod to the pair of them, before the open air of the night greeted them.

Plebe and a tall walker. Great.

The Artful Gunner peered upon the ship that loomed in the darkness. They had seen aeroships on occasion, they were not alien concepts to them – but never quiet this close. The hands shifted, moving to the mask as they turned it over in their hands. Fingers felt the various bumps and ridges, on its surface, the cool iron a comfort. Even as the name Gunner was used, the gunsmith made no quick move as they listened to Serro’s words.

When did he get so old?

The thought floated within their mind. Was this to be their fate as well? A child who lived and breathed the resistance their entire life, to grow old doing the same thing? It was a repeat of their father, to bring a weapon of destruction to the forefront. A small nod, the subject of dynamite was an interesting one that set off the little Gunner did know about explosives to question, “Detonation rate and radius of explosion? Quarry stone breaker grade?”

They at least wanted to know how far back to stand to keep out of harms way.

A curious eyebrow did raise however at the mentioning of Hawke, “Hawke, huh? Hard bite that one. Like to know which limb he’s taken to be compliant. Or how much he’s willin’ to stick to his vow.”

But that was not the pressing thought. Information was what they were thinking, “The informant, not a dobby are they? Certain they aren’t doing this for a stitch up? And your pilot up there?” Gunner shrugged, “Prison yard be much like fish in a barrel. Guess that’s the pessimist in me. Second though,” the mask was turned over, the back exposed, “How many numbers we looking, which way in do they inspect the yard or go through it? They expectin' us?”

“I’ll guess the rest. Keep sharp. Eliminate quiet like if needed. You don’t happen to be packing extra arms do you, Boss? Loadin’s a bitch after all,” The mask was pushed into place, features hidden behind the cold steel. As they spoke, voice muffled by the grill, their hands moved in unison sign, “I’m ready either way.” The masked face looked to the others, the features distinct in the darkness. The hands continued to move while the voice slowly began to fall into a monotone state, “Let’s pick up Stu from his holiday. Then drinks on you, boss.”
word count: 597
When the last of us will disappear
Like shadows into the night
The broken ones, the fighting sons
Of ignorance

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Francis Pusher
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Wed Nov 21, 2018 4:14 am

05 Dentis 2718
Francis's mind was all a whirl in all honesty, mainly because with each word spoken it was like reality was hammering the truth of the situation into his head. So not only had he entered into the situation underestimating the situation… but in fact the situation was a lot more dangerous than he even realized.


This...this is the Resistance’ it was the smallest but most pivotal push of realization. The group where humans with heads in the cloud would think them gallant heroes abainst tyranny, where the bitter would join to seek revenge or justice from the oppressors, and where hapless fools sometimes get caught along for the ride.


There were no bets which category Francis currently fell into. It was funny, he always entertained the thought of being Resistance, it was right up their with learning as part of his desires. Now suddenly he was amongst them without realizing.


Oh, and he got Hammer as a nickname…. He would've picked Crowbar but he'd roll with it, could have been worse really… someone might've chose Beefcake instead.


And as Ginger lead them on, he was as surprised as her when he saw the Aeroship. It was his first time seeing one so close… and suddenly the fellow had this pit in his stomach.


Quickly they approached a agent who was clearly in charge of this operation, since he was the one laying out a lot more words than Giner has said earlier and Francis, or Hammer as he was known currently, listened trying to not to look to loss and out of place, easier said than done especially in these circumstances but the bravado calmed his nerves.

While Arty was askin’ all these questions that frankly ‘Hammer’ understood little of, he himself was content with the knowledge that all he had to was handle the winch.

The man ran a hand through his hair, taking in a big breath “Well, always wanted to be part of this. Oughtn't poke the gears in a new clock, should I?” He nodded his affirmative, hand resting anxiously on the head of his crowbar as he looked to the rest.


word count: 365
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Sednai
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Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:09 pm

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05 Dentis 2718....The gentle moonlight dripped over the edges of the aeroship, projecting it's dark twin onto the canvas of the field below like the shape of some looming beast just beneath the surface of a sea. Cypress had never left the ground for more than a jump, fall, or climb, and she had never been close enough to such a monstrous beast to appreciate the architecture of it- so unavian-like, yet kin to the slow-moving and unimpedible cumulus, the tall and harrowing cumulonimbus, and the dirt-bellied stratus themselves. She craned her neck as they approached the ship and Serro dwarfed below it, the top of the balloon caged by the tiny rings of chainmail so remarkably high even as the body of the ship readied for the hasty boarding of hushed Resistance members.

Tired. Serro looked tired to Cypress as they came upon him. Of course, the night was waning away and they were still awake, of course he had probably lost some sleep over this mission and a hundred more, but it wasn’t the fatigue of prolonged wakefulness that deepened and darkened the circles around his eyes and permanently creased his skin, that angled the vertebrae of his spine and wore calluses into his palms. It was the ghost of the fatigue of life, a fatigue that needed the satisfying epilogue of sleep. She dared not speak it- though nearly every thought that passed through her mind idly floated between her lips, there was no time now to speak unneeded observations. She so desperately hoped it was only the moonlight that paled him a shade and cast shadows across his familiarly serious face, only the hour that deepened the wrinkles and saturated the veins.

She listened. Action- she’d been itching for some, sure, but tonight? Maybe this was a bit more than she had wanted. She had been little more than a courier, a spy, before- maybe a few small jobs here and there but now, well, she was breaking into a prison. She was- gods, she was going to climb down that ladder and break a man out of his cell in a prison full of the uncles and aunties who had hung three of her allies and killed Gopher and put his wife on the streets and into her hands and- gods she was doing this, wasn’t she? It was what she had wanted to do since childhood. It was what Gopher and Wikus had wanted, and what she wanted for Cecelia and Galiya.

“Say, chief, we come across a few aunties an’ uncles, whaddya want the plan t’be? We here to kill, maim, or evade?” She asked, pointing one of her daggers idly while the other hung loosely in the hand at her hip. It was, at least in Cypress’ mind, an important question. The answer to the question would change the tone of the break-in to their enemies and the public. To evade would create an annoyance to the Seventen, but paint the Resistance as peaceful and just to any wavering sympathizers. To maim would create a more threatening image to the Seventen, one to be dealt with less idly. To kill- gods, she hoped she wouldn’t have to kill unless it would be trading one life for another- to kill would make them so easily villains to both more naïve sympathizers and the Seventen.
Last edited by Sednai on Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:49 pm, edited 2 times in total. word count: 594

BURNED, NOT BURIED.
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Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:23 am

5th Dentis, 2718
VIENDA GAOL | ONE HOUSE PAST MIDNIGHT
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Serro glanced at Gale, gauging Gunners boy for a good moment, before nodding as though satisfying some internal conversation.

“Get the fuck out of the way and cover your ears grade, that’s what.” Ginny grinned almost manically, rubbing her hands together and saluting the one eyed man.

“That’s m’fave kind o’explosive Boss.” Rushing to get into the aeroship, the little witch missed the rest of the conversation between the two freedom fighters. Jon rubbed a hand over his face, before shoving his hands in his pocket and tilting his head at Gale.

“Leave Hawke’s demands to me Artful, ain’t for you lot to worry about. Our informant is a good man, a trustworthy fellow. I’d put my life out front for him, like I’d put it out for you soldier.” There was a slight tone then, the hint of a shadow of doubt. Jon looked the young blonde over slowly.

“It ain’t a merry stroll through the Zoological Gardens if that’s what you’re wanting to hear son. It’s Vienda gaol. They’ll be expecting nothing, and I want to keep it that way till the moment we blast Stu free. Numbers, you’ll be looking at the very least five to ten guards in the block, but they’ll come thick and fast. Place is crawling with Seventen, and they’ll be casting as fast as they can. Area spells, gases and sucking the air right out of our lungs. Melted burning rock or shards of ice. If we move fast, we can get up out of their reach before that happens.” Nodding to the ship, he smiled.

“Check under the tarpaulin near the entrance, you should find some firepower there that’ll help. Take whatever you need and set up to get some clear fast shots. Come on then, up we go.” He waved at the Hammer to get on board, knowing to well the face of the man before him, moving closer to lay a hand on his shoulder.

"Trial by fire, my new friend. Trial by fire."

As they loaded into the aeroship, Serro sat down in the co-pilot's seat and looked at the red haired pilot with a nod. The woman nodded back, starting to move around the controls and gathering her field. The door would close behind the crew as they entered, the aeroship groaning and protesting as the team boarded. As Cypress spoke Jon stared out at the night beyond the glass windshield.

“Whatever it takes to silence them. If it comes to it, kill.” He said darkly, not a hint of hesitation in his voice.

Once they had settled into their positions, the engine was rumbling loudly, too loud for them to hear each other if there was any small talk. The darkness pressed in all around them in the field as the Crow began to take off.

It was dark inside the cabin except for a tiny phosphor lamp in the far back. Red was piloting using her instincts alone, wanting to obscure the aeroship as much as possible; nothing gave away a flying ship like a bright golden cockpit.

"We're off," she yelled over the roar. "If you don't have a strap, hold on tightly to one of the leather hooks on the walls!"

They lifted with a shudder and a loud protest of heavy steel and canvas, hovering over the black field, shedding no light on their surroundings, though they could see the wind from the propellers whipping the tall grass beneath them. The ship was rising rapidly. Suddenly, Red lunged forward and shifted a lever, and they felt the tremor of her Push spell as the machinery clicked into place.

The aeroship lurched forward; not so much soaring gracefully and evenly, but most definitely still airborne. The crew was bumped around quite a bit, but they all escaped without any injuries, for now. The Crow was finally on the move.

The night sky was hardly clear; on the horizon the dull black of gathering clouds blended with the black of the night, blotting out the stars, but there was moonlight enough to cast a wispy shadow on the ground below as they passed by. A gentle wind buffeted the side of the ship, causing the tinkling of instruments and glass, a telltale sign of a Dentis storm brewing, far away. The cabin was silent as the aeroship glided gently over the fields and farms on the outskirts of the city. A few low-lying clouds were all that obscured their path; but the view was lost on the old veteran, his mouth was set in a thin line, and his eye was focused and sharp on the city lights. They were not the only ship in the sky that night, and he doubted anyone would take heed of the black spectre slipping over the reaches of the Dives, passing factories and townhouses and taverns, making little noise over the general din of the capital city. Other, more glamorous aeroships were hovering around the city, waiting to drop off passengers or pick them up on long slender runways attached to platforms and the tops of buildings. Serro could see their glittering bronze bodies like beetles, spread out everywhere.

They would have no trouble passing by unnoticed, but what would happen when the rescue began? Did any of these aeroships belong to the military? To the Seventen?

Red swung the aeroship around a passing zeppelin, casual as might be. It didn't even notice them. They were merely a fly against the vast iridescent hull, shadowed against the taut skin of the world-class balloon.

The lights of the city were more obvious now, and the galdor pulled a lever to direct the rudder fan. They swooped back up into the clouds. It would not do to be spotted over the housing districts of Uptown.

Suddenly the brightness of the night was very real, and the cabin was illuminated in the moon's cold, benevolent light. It shone like a spotlight on the weathered face of their leader.

"Are you all ready?" he asked, glancing backwards at the crew as they grazed the top of the cloud with their rudder, leaving a smoky trail behind them in the air.

word count: 1086
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Gale
Posts: 179
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:07 am
Topics: 26
Race: Human
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
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Plot Notes: Plot Notes
Writer: Crosspatch
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Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:33 am

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VIENDA GAOL | ONE HOUSE PAST MIDNIGHT
5 DENTIS 2718
“As you say,” It was that small blip, that momentary crease in his features that made him pause. It did not pass the attention of the smith, their own eyes pinching in reflex and slimming into narrows. They wanted to believe his words, but even they knew it was a line spoken by many a leader – a promise that would be far from fulfilled. Gunner weighed him up, a roll of the shoulders as they contemplated their stance before giving him a single, slow nod. From behind the mask Gale viewed the world; they allowed the Boss to address the others. Time was precious, so the smith quietly prepared the firearms available. Four in total, flintlock design, single shot – a powder flask and a handful of shot would have to do.

They took their position at the back, sitting themselves down firmly, their back resting against the wall of the vessel. No moves were made to load just yet, the shaking juddering form of the aeroship jerking back and forth. The hand grasped tightly onto the strap, a drag in of air as the sensation passed through them.

Calm. Calm. Breathe in and out.

It was a metal can of death really, one that could kill them all very quickly if something went wrong. While Gale held no ill against this Red, they were still intrinsically aware that this was all powered by magic and nothing remotely scientific. The smith, therefore, resigned themselves to being a passenger in the dark interior of this flying doom machine. As the rattling stilled, the grip eased, a long drawn out exhale escaping as they surveyed the low light of the pit.

They were all, somehow, still alive.

And so in the darkness of the vessel did the form of Gunner get to work. The methodical, focused process of preparing the firearms, the barrels were checked and cleared, flints inspected. It would be workable, though Gale had no idea on the exact range. One at a time, powder was poured down the barrel in sensible measures, packed and then had the single shot wedged down after it. There was no need to rush, rushing would lead to mistakes – this was an exercise of patience. Their throat hummed as they did, a low melodic tune that would be recognised as the Anaxas national anthem. Gunner always had a sense of sick irony, more so as the darker, alternative lyrics moaned out from behind the mask:

“O dark Anaxas, tremble we before thee. Ruled now by tyrants cold and grey.”

The thumb tested the hammer of the flintlock, letting it click with satisfaction. They eased it off and back after that, there was no need to have it fire prematurely.

“O dear Anaxas deliver us from nightfall. Out from the shadows to the day.”

The third was placed down, eyes lifting the forth to peer down the length of the barrel. It too was loaded and put aside.

“Lead us through valleys, mist and mountains mighty. Over the Tors and forest deep.”

The orbs swivelled then briefly from behind the mask, focusing on to Serro as he leaned back. The pistols were moved now, arranged onto their person; the remains shot and powder left hanging in the centre back to one of the leather hooks. Out of the way yet not out of reach.

“Though there be demons growling at our doorstep. Lend us your light, our spirits keep.”

He really does look old. It is not my imagination.

The hand of Gunner moved, shoulders rolling as they got into position. They needed a wide viewing angle, to be unhindered as they got themselves ready to work. The fingers considered liberator for a moment, itching to be used. Now was not the time. Soon, perhaps. They glanced down, eyes blinking as the floor bled, their head turning sideways as the slick substance pooled across it-

Shaking their head, it sight vanished and normality - in a broad sense of the word – returned. They took the first of the flintlocks up, “Ready when you are.”
word count: 686
When the last of us will disappear
Like shadows into the night
The broken ones, the fighting sons
Of ignorance

Saunders' Forge | Bear's Journal
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