Glassdoor, JDizzle383, Moccasin, Nay, Palacia, Rick, The_Legion_Ex
Red impatiently honked the horn three times as Palacia slowly rose from the snow and dusted himself off. After the third honk the soul-mancer looked right at Red and manifested a large birdie, then crunched through the thick slush of snow that had been left over from the group’s far too intense snowball fight. Palacia took the front passenger seat, getting in with a long sigh, popping in another large bud of Grenwurm. The battle had been somewhat taxing, though that wasn’t surprising considering the heavy hitters that had come along on the trip. Poor Palacia couldn’t even get a moment to rest; as soon as he had taken a seat Kiri and Benjie climbed on top of him and made themselves comfortable. After a moment, Palf unconsciously began petting the two. He’d grown quite fond of the little creatures. A small smile grew on his tired face.
“Alright, that’s enough fucking around, everyone in?” Red turned to look behind him; MOQ, Nay, and Lester were all seated in the back passenger seats while Jaervis was comfortably seated in the seat he had formed out of ice that was… ’stuck’ to the back of the car. Omega L, was seated near the underling.
“Let’s rock n’ roll, cavepeeps,” Red hit the gas and the wheels rolled with loud fury before the car took off at top speeds out of the Cardiff Central Market parking and unto the main roads.
“Rick....um….Rick?” A meek voice came from behind Red.
“Um, Rick?” the meek voice asked again.
“What? I can hear you.”
“Oh for fuck’s sake, WHAT?” Red turned around and looked right at Lester before Nay raised her hand sheepishly and pointed with her thumb behind her.
“You’re going the wrong way; the mine is that direction”
“Oh shit, she’s right man, dawg you want me to drive? I don’t think the Grenwurm has kicked in just yet,” Palf mumbled, his eyes glazing in and out.
Red looked over at Palf briefly and flipped him off. His answer quite clear. In response Palf laughed, a deep hearty laugh.
After twenty minutes of driving the right direction, Red and crew arrived at the mine. The whole place was deserted and eerily silent. There was no wind, no cars, no nothing. Just silence.
“Oh for fuck’s sake!”
“What was that?” Red asked as he poked his head out of the car window. “I heard something.”
Red opened his car door, stepped out, and digitized both his hand cannons. He looked at Benjie and Kiri and motioned for them to follow him. Palf followed suit, his mind elsewhere.
“Kiri, go into stealth and scout out the entrance, me and Benjie will provide cover,” Red pointed toward the entrance as Benjie digitized his own plasma rifle.
“No,” Was all Kiri offered.
“No? what the hell do you mean no? Why did I spend so much money on that fucking stealth suit then?”
“First, you didn’t spend any money on it, we stole it, second, the entrance is twenty feet away, let’s just see what it is,” Kiri then casually made her way to the entrance with a very enthused Benjie following behind.
“That’s very true, we totally stole that, and it wasn’t a subtle theft either. Probably never going to be able to go back to that planet.” The memories flooding back to Palf, the Grenwurm high heighting the remembrance.
“That’s besides the point, Palf, but thanks for the reminder,” Red popped a small bit of grenwurm too in an attempt to calm his nerves.
“It’s just some guy yelling for help, should I shoot him?” Benjie yelled back.
“No, let me see what it is first.” Red turned back towards the car. “It’s safe, get your asses out of the car, we got a dungeon and a dragon to check out.”
Listening to Red’s commands, Omega L jumped out of the seat literally and landed a foot away from the ice-chair-thing embedded into the car by the subordinate cryomancer who is still waiting for another command. MOQ followed shortly, her eyes fixated on the flat laces of her boots. Nay was the last to exit the car. Something about the lack of activity was bothering her and she followed a few feet behind the rest of the group.
Lester carefully walked out of the car, staring at the mine with a worried expression. “This place seems… cold. Er… Not as in physically cold, just… cold.” His flying book shuddered in agreement.
“Is that a… dog? Great, an anthro too huh?” Oliver muttered. “Didn’t know that was a real thing… Wait… DON’T SHOOT ME!!!!” he cried out.
A small squeal came from under his hat as he knew Lisa LOVED animals, but to keep herself unnoticed it sounded like a mouse, which given their location, wouldn’t be hard to misdirect the attention of the animal… Thing… person? “Aaaaand there’s a cat too. What the hell’s going on?” Oliver said louder. Then he remembered the situation he was in. “Crap… HEY YOU! I can’t get this thing off me! But be careful, there are traps all over this place!” he cried out before noticing Red. “Who are you guys anyway? You their master or is this some weird fetishy science experiment?” Oliver smirked. He was never one to let an opportunity for a joke to slip by.
“Us? Uhm...mn We’re the exterminators. It’s official, I think I’ve had too much Grenwurm today, everything is starting to go neon. Ma….nnnn oh shit I can see your souls, hahaha. Here,” Palf started walking over to the trapped figure, grabbed one end of the support beam and lifted it. A large sapphire hued crystalline structure formed supporting the beam and freeing the figure.
“Name’s Palf, whatcha doin’ around these parts?”
“Don’t give him your name, Palacia! And fuck you, man, I ain’t no furry creep,” Red pointed one of the hand cannons right at Oliver’s head, cocking the hammer of the gun back.
“Right, don’t give him my name… I’ll make sure to remember that next time.”
“What the hell are you doing here and-” Red was saying before benjie cut him off.
“Yeah! what are you doing here and what do you know about the dragon and the people being mind controlled back in town?” Benjie poked Oliver with the tip of his plasma rifle with every word. MOQ glared at him suspiciously, her leather glove wrapped tightly around her fist.
“Benjie, keep your trap shut, can you people please not give away critical information for a second?” Red turned back to look at Oliver, “Well, answer his question.”
“So THAT’s what was wrong with the townsfolk!” Oliver said, standing and dusting off his white suit coat. “Name’s Oliver Twist by the way. And to answer your question, there is supposedly a bunch of treasure here, and I want it.” He put a hand on the tip of Red’s gun and lowered it. “Yeah no, you ain’t gonna shoot me.” He smirked, snapping his fingers. Red suddenly found himself holding a handful of daisies instead of a gun. “That being said… you don’t look like you are from here, and I owe you my life. So who do I thank for my rescue?” he asked. At this MOQ narrowed her eyes, observing his movements like a viper in wait.
“My gun...my fucking gun! That gun had a lot of sentimental value, Twist, I better get it back,” Red poked Oliver on the shoulder firmly.
Another roar sounded from deep within the mine. “Okay, so we know the monster is awake. Now the question is… What are we dealing with?” Oliver asked absentmindedly thinking out loud.
Meanwhile, Palacia, the attention on him having shifted away, slinked up. He wasn’t quite sure why precisely, but he was feeling a strong compulsion to explore the large cave. He clicked his tongue a few times in thought, attempting to wrestle the strange temptations welling up within his mind. Several of the voices within his mind all shouted out the obvious, it was clearly some form of telepathic manipulation, but strangely Palf wasn’t buying what his predecessors believed.
Kiri of course had also followed Palf, curious of his intentions. “Hey Pal, the groups back there still, you good?” her unusually concerned voice caught Palf’s attention.
“Yeah…” his mind clearly elsewhere, “ I”ll meet you back there, just lemme look at this.” As he spoke, he was being drawn to this large shining gemstone. Or... as he neared it the source of the shininess took form and he identified it. A large grotesque eyeball stared at him.
“ What the fu…” He shouted, before an intense flash overtook the cave in blinding light. A moment passed at the light faded with Palf nowhere to be seen.
Kiri meowed. Blinked her eyes and ran on all fours back to Red. “RIIIIICK!!! Palf’s gone. What are we to do!” She shouted as she ran. Nay’s attention immediately flicked from the conversation between Oliver and the rest of the group, a look of worry crossing her features. She wasn’t sure exactly how Palf could just disappear and hoped he’d just wandered off and gotten himself lost. The panic in Kiri’s voice wasn’t very reassuring though.
Meanwhile, Omega L and Jaervis are prompted to move a bit forward towards the cave, right after they saw the unnaturally bright flash of light and the shouts. He looked back towards whoever is still there behind the car and signaled anyone who seems to lack any combat potential to stay a bit before signaling an invitation those who seemed to emit the slightest aura of intimidation to try check things out (But neither signal may be understood due to them being only used with his highly trained subordinates). He then waited for the next events before taking his next move.
“Though I know not of Rick’s plan at the moment, friends…” sounded the muffled voice of the person clad in a very heavy-looking plate armour, appearing without any notice in the middle of the group in the mine. “I suggest charging forth, to slay the foul creature that no doubt snatched our soulmancing companion!” The armor’s visor was lifted, revealing Lester’s eyes, currently gleaming with excitement. ”Sorry, couldn’t resist. Beautiful, isn’t it? It’s been gathering dust in the Library for as long as I could remember. I started cleaning it up ever since I heard about the dragon. Completely fireproof, acid proof and frost proof, according to the ancient descriptions. Not sure about the blunt damage, though…” He hit the breastplate with his gauntlet a few times with a frown. ”Oh, well, there’s always Hornwell’s Iron Skin…”
“Enough with the fashion talk! We have to save Palf!” MOQ’s wings fluttered violently, her eyes filled with panic as the colors grew harsher. “Everyone ready their weapons!” Her eyes darted towards Oliver. “You, the gentleman with the squeaking hat! Give me one reason not to believe you weren’t involved in this.” Her hands were in fists, her dual light swords growing brighter.
Oliver smiled innocently and said, “Why would I be stuck in a trap, and looking for the beast’s treasure, which I have only just now learned is a Freaking DRAGON if I wanted to kill you? If you hadn’t come here, this “Palf” character you speak of would have been me. Then you would have walked in here, and all shared my fate, which up until now would have been death. Considering I owe you and your group a life debt…” He stopped and materialized a deck of tarot cards. Shuffling them expertly between his hands, he continued, “I’d be honor bound to assist you get your friend back. Under one condition.” His grin widened despite the sword in his face. “I’m coming with you after Palf’s safe.”
“Come with us? What? Everyone shut up for a second let me think-” Red was once again cut off.
“Your time Jaervis… Your time” Omega L reacted to the vocal signal to allow Jaervis to create a sword mimicking the model from MOQ out of ice, the minion’s frost-forming breath slowly seeping through the bandana wrapped around his mouth. Afterall, Omega L can just stand back a bit and begin analyzing the situation when the fight begins so that he can assist every ally, especially Red, MOQ and Jaervis, in a manner that he believes will take the opponent by surprise.
As it became clear that Palf had been taken, and wasn’t just lost, Nay’s worry grew. She had heard a lot about dragon’s growing up, but had never heard of one taking another living being for anything other than food. “We have to find him quickly.” She said, looking around at the others and feeling a bit useless due to her lack of weapons, she didn’t even have full control over her powers. “If the dragon really does have him, we don’t have long.”
“ALL RIGHT! One second please, for crying out loud,” Red used his remaining hand cannon to scratch his temple with the tip, trying to fully understand the scope of the shit situation they were in,” Alright, alright, okay...we lost Palf, Lester is in full armor now, and this Oliver kid isn’t your run of the mill Cardiff citizen,” Red holstered his gun and made his way to the front of the group.
“Listen, everyone, I know we were just supposed to come to Wales and have a slow, boring time, but it appears that isn’t going to happen. We lost one of our own, and most importantly, we lost my friend, I don’t know where he is or if he’s even still alive, but you can bet your fat ass I’m not going to leave this place without him, alive or dead.”
Red took a few steps deeper into the mine, a low rumbling sound could be heard coming from far into the tunnel. Whatever was down there wasn’t too far off, but the way the walls of the tunnel were un-naturally black made Red wonder if it was a good idea to take everyone down to face the dragon; something supernatural was going on here. Palf was powerful, Red knew this, what kind of magic could just pluck him from where he stood?
“This...this might be dangerous, but I know each and every one of you are capable fighters, now, who is ready to go down there and kick some dragon ass and get our friend back?!” Red ignited his power core as he finished his little speech, causing him to turn into pure, molten, jade colored energy.
“Let’s go!” As Red turned to head into the mine, black oily tendrils began to gush out of the ground, grabbing Red and consuming him.
“Woah, what the fuck? Hey...I can’t move, these things have my legs, holy shit it’s all over me, Benjie, Benjie!” Red yelled out to his trusted pup before the tendrils had covered his mouth and quickly pulled him underground.
Benjie ran towards the spot where Red was pulled down but there was no hole, not even a crack, just solid rock.
“Oh no, oh no no no no, what do we do now? What the hell do we do now guys?!” Benjie asked the group, fear covered his small, fluffy face.