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Author Topic: Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes [Nix, Nephebro!]  (Read 857 times)

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Offline nephero

Re: Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes [Nix, Nephebro!]
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2017, 11:31:07 PM »
"The entirety of the circulatory system, if laid out end to end, equates to roughly sixty-thousand miles of veins, capillaries and artieries per average adult human," Chance spoke as if reciting from a textbook, even as he continued to stack metal, finalizing his little barricade as best as he could given time and materials, "carrying at any given time roughly five liters of blood, of which the average human can only survive losing four pints. If they make it through the minefield and get in here, I can guarantee they are going to have the single worst day of their lives."

Chance turned to level a stare at the kid, though considering his helmet the effect was rather lost, just presenting the little wasteland scrap collector with a blank glassy surface and the unshakable feeling that whatever expression he was wearing beneath it was an altogether unpleasant one.

"But hey, if they don't, then they don't. What do I know, I only detonated one with a fucking canteen of water. I'm sure they're not nearly so clever, though there is quite a good deal more of them than mines."

Chance settled down to wait, then, just to the side of the main opening that separated the living space from the main "shop", and not for the first nor for the last time, really, really, really missed having his rifle. At least he wasn't blind in all this-- Anhur was whispering little updates as they came along, and making all manner of snide commentary as he did, to which Chance couldn't help but snicker quietly over.

Dragon fuckers. That was a new one.

Offline Lion

Re: Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes [Nix, Nephebro!]
« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2017, 07:34:13 PM »
"RUCKUS! THE FUCK YOU DOING HERE?" Rampage called out as he rode his bike across the outer edges of that mine field. He and his raiders kept their distance but stayed close enough to each other to watch their backs. They eyed their rivals from across the landscape with sneers and scowls. "You don't think I'd let you have all the fun, did you!?"

He too had gotten the signal that there were Pilots in the area. Pilots! and although their dragons hadn't readily been seen, no doubt they were nearby. Pilots never went anywhere without the say so from their Dragon puppeteers. Everyone was a slave of some form or another.

He approached Ruckus close enough, and ignored the locked weapons and the growls of her own rallied troops as he rolled in beside her. He scowled at her, but eyes flashing and looking her over, and taking in the beads of sweat the formed in what sections of skin were exposed. Rampage made a noise and looked over to that huge crater at the center of the minefield.

He thought about it for a second. He could bicker with her, which was what they usually did. Other that beat the ever love shit out of each other and vie for what territory there was to be had out here. "We can't go in guns blazing," Although he would have easily offered her first crack at that. So the Pilots inside could rip her to shreds.  Not to mention that word left a foul residue on his tongue. We. Just, ugh.

Rampage spit off into the dirt and he revved his bike. "Goggles didn't hit that panic button for nothing. But Pilots don't fucking mess around. So if you're willing to make a truce for today, I'll be happy to not throw your men on those fucking mines out there," he offered. Well not the smart ones. And not Sheila. She had a nice ass.
___

Those raiders wasted no time in showing up. As much of a rat-like move that had been Banning was really starting to think this guy just was a glutton for punishment. He had considerably less to worry about from Banning and company than these fuckers. "Friends, my ass," Banning had muttered somewhere between the upper level and the lower level.

This wasn't the Pilot Royal's first tango with raiders. They were scum and he could scrape them off his boots. Not to mention the dragons were still hiding out there. So the real question was just how much of a blood bath did Not-Biscuits want this to turn into?

"Banning, they are gathering here in remarkable numbers. But they don't look like they're here together. What's taking so long? Shall we make short work of them?" Hyperion pressed into Banning's head. The Pilot Royal uttered a soft growl, one that might sound menacing to Not-Biscuits.

"Not yet! Kiers is at the door. You keep us updated. And if worse comes to worse, turn them into burgers." Ugh, there were the food references again.

Banning crouched down to look at the revealed wiring and then his lavender eyes fell on the core of the system. He listened briefly to Not-Biscuits explanation. And in that central nervous system was an orange, glowing tetrahedron that was pulsing rapidly much like a heartbeat. "Chance, I found it! I...I don't know what the fuck it is. Some kind of weird pulsing crystal. It looks like one of those chips. Zoritos. You know the cheesy kind."

Back to the present situation. "Nevermind where you got this. Or how you figured out how to work it! But you know I have to take it with me. And you know as well as I do you're better off with us than with those Raiders, Mr. Can't-Make-Up-My-Mind-On-What-My-Name-Is." Banning reached forward to touch the crystal and flinched when smoke puffed up from the thing with the contact of his gloved hand. The thing was hot, and practically boiling. Scanning it with his abilities, and he could see the energy inside it was vibrating like crazy. Whatever it was made of, it was giving off a lot of power. Steady, seamless power, and the orange light of it throbbed like a heartbeat.

"Okay, dude, on a scale of 1-We blow the fuck up, how bad would it be if I ripped this thing right out this jerryrigged central system?" he asked, and looked back up at Goggles through his glossed visor.
___
And just then there was another explosion, as Rampage took one of his own men, as a show of good faith, and hiked him up over his shoulder, and threw him over the boulder he an Ruckus had been perched on. The man screamed briefly as the remaining turrets tore him to shreds and his body made impact on another mine, sending up a cloud of red mush and dirt everywhere.

Offline Nix

Re: Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes [Nix, Nephebro!]
« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2017, 02:26:23 PM »
Ruckus grinned at her pathetic brother, always chasing her tail lights. "Let me? Baby you could never stop me." She chuckled with a vicious smile as he made his way to her side. "Late as always aintcha Rampage?" Rampage... more like Rollsintwodayslater throwingahissyfit.

He thought he could tell her what to do? Or that she needed his advice? "No reeeally? We can't? Huh. I supposed that wasn't the most obvious shit in teh Wastes if ya felt the need to voice it." Ruckus looked her brother over. He was stupid but he wasn't stupid. Her eyes fell back to the hovel they let Goggles think he was safe in- well ok his defense system wasn't too shitty either. "Ya got a plan or just drop in ta state the obvious?" A truce huh?

Well she sure as shit didn't like the idea of some Pilots killin' Goggles when he was handy as fuck to keep around, even as a 'neutral'. Besides. She always planned on gettin' him back eventually. When his little play at being independent stopped being amusing. "Sure. I suppose we can work together fer once. It'll probably kill you first anyway." She said shrugging though the look in her eyes was still fierce as ever.
________

"I never said they were my friends..." He shot back at the Pilot Royal, trying not to let Ruckus' words affect him. He definitely didn't want those siblings getting in here. "And my name is-!" He paused wincing. What was he going to say...? There was something on the tip of his tongue but the thought of it hurt. "My name is Goggles." He muttered as he went back to work messing with his system. He needed to think his way out of this but- well at this rate ans with their sheer numbers the raiders were getting in here. There were the tunnels... but the last time he checked them was a while ago, there could have been collapses since then and he didn't have much of the way of supplies in them either. Just the panel at the entrance to them so he could block it off in case of pursuit. There were many good reasons he didn't just take that option when the Pilot's were baring down on him but maybe with their help the tunnels would be navigable.

And then what?

Either way if they pulled the power source he couldn't stay here and wait for Ruckus and Rampage to barge in with their gangs. He looked over at the Pilot who was trying to touch the power source and got burned. "Yeah, don't touch that. It doesn't like you." There was a good reason no one else had picked it up before Goggles. Namely, they couldn't pick it up. Whatever the thing was it's original casing had been removed or destroyed but it was definitely tech at it's core because he could interface with him. And whatever sort of protective measures the thing was ensuing by getting hot like that... well Goggles could tell it not to burn him.

Deep inside he had a feeling he knew what it was but.. how that would end up in the Wastes.. it made no sense. If he had allowed himself to really believe in it he never would have used it in his system, because he would have known this would happen.

There wasn't much time to weigh pros and cons here. Goggles pressed a button and the metal box the Pilots had placed their weapons in, which had previously lowered down to the cellar, opened."Alright. I'm going to power down my surveillance equipment and that should lessen the power load enough so that I can remove it without shutting everything off first... but once it's out we have no defense. Tell your subordinate to get down here because we need to make for the tunnels."

Shots and then an explosion. Fuck. Rampage just blew another mine with... was that Steve? Shit. Shit shit! He turned off the surveillance equipment. "We are doing this now."
______

Ruckus laughed as Steve's body was torn asunder by bullets and then fell to the ground with a thud that was deafened by the mine. Pieces of Steve where everywhere, even on her bike and blood splattered across her face in a fine mist. "Good choice." She smirked at Rampage before doing the same with Sheila. She never liked the bitch. And her ass was too fucking nice.

Offline Lion

Re: Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes [Nix, Nephebro!]
« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2017, 12:51:25 AM »
Ugh. For once, couldn't Ruckus quit it with her stupid little nicknames and just deal with the matter at hand. Rampage wasn't in the mood to bicker when there was an asset at stake. Fucking Pilots were probably ransacking the place as they spoke, taking anything and everything of value. Except the only real thing worth a damn was Goggles. And he'd be his.

That was that.

Wait, what the fuck!? "Sheila!  What are you doing?" And just then Ruckus threw her ass over the boulders and onto another mine. In the explosion, her legs were ripped apart, yet the remaining half-intact ass cheek flew up toward their perch.  And struck him against his face, cheek-to-cheek. Rampage growled and wiped the bloody stain it left behind, kicking the piece of meat to the side.  He was about ready to grab her and throw her ass over the ledge as well.

But instead he pulled the assault rifle from his back and shot toward the front door, bullets piercing parts of the reinforced entrance and some deflecting off. A stray shot ended up in the leg of one of Ruckus' gang, but he seemed to cool off momentarily from his bouts of rage. "Warthog! Man the fucking guns! Give meat to those turrets! Ruckus! You slutbag, we're going in dry."
_______

"Okay Goggles, whatever it is that you did to get that thing in there, you'll need to work your magic to get it out. That's precisely what we came here for and I'll be damned if I'm leaving without it," Banning said, pulling back and letting the little techie take that opportunity to mess with the crystal.

As much as the energy inside it was vibrating, and it's current thrumming made it tempting, Banning would rather not try to focus all his energy in trying to calm the crystal down. The tetrahedron was better handled with someone else who seemed more acclimated to this kind of thing.

"Okay Kiers, we're moving out. Come down to the cellar," Banning telegraphed to him and as he moved toward the box of weapons he took his pistols out and slid them into their holsters and armed his rifle. The soft hum of the weapon in ready was music to his ears, and gave the Pilot Royal an intense sense of calm.  He'd tossed Chance his weapon as soon as his came down the stairs and the sounds of gunfire rang out outside.  "We're ready to follow you, Goggles. Let's move out!"

And the sound of the door being slammed open now that the craters and raider bodies had made a bridge of sanctuary across that minefield, and the turrets were blazing nonstop. The barrier at least would give them a few seconds longer that could make the difference between life and death.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2017, 01:22:07 AM by Lion »

Offline nephero

Re: Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes [Nix, Nephebro!]
« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2017, 01:34:42 AM »
There went another mine. Chance grimaced beneath his helmet as Anhur mentally confirmed his suspicions. He had been joking, earlier, when he had told the kid that there were more raiders than landmines. But this was not what he had actually expected them to do. It was right about then that Banning called for him to follow suit, something Chance was more than happy to oblige.

"Copy that."

Chance turned to the left out of some useless instinct, catching the telegraph just in time for a stray bullet to tear into the shack, missing his head by mere inches. Sunlight, red and venomous, filtered through the hole, and Chance swallowed hard against the image of what the sunlight might've looked like through his skull. Yeah, it was absolutely time to fucking go. He moved, low and quick, across the floor to the opening down into the cellar, and slid down the sides of the ladder.

"Don't do that, he said, there's no point, he said, if they get in we're dead already, he said," Chance grumbled, turning just in time to catch his rifle as Banning tossed it to him. He flicked the safety, grunting a bit in delight as he readied it, helmeted head turned upwards at the sounds of lead rain hitting the shack above their heads. He turned to face the ladder that had led down into the little shelter.

Cussing wildly under his breath, Chance fired a few short warning bursts up towards the opening in the ceiling, not really expecting to hit anything but rather giving them something to think about before officially pursuing. When no one immediately poked their heads down through the hole, he backed up after the other two, covering their retreat.

"Go, go, go!"

Chance darted back, then, rushing for the waiting tunnel entrance. He moved just past Banning, then, the Pilot Royal and the kid close to the tunnel door, with Chance staring out into the cloying darkness of a subterranean tunnel. It took his helmet a moment to catch up, autolights kicking in and flickering to life in a small beam of white light. Even still, he could hear the absolute mayhem up above; good god, what were they doing, shooting up the furniture?

Fucking raider savages.

It was enough that bits of dirt and dust sprinkled down from the tunnel ceiling, but otherwise it seemed like the passage would remain intact. Assuming they could block it off fast enough to keep their "friends" from joining them down here.

The Pilot Echo stepped forward, cautiously, rifle at the ready as he moved deeper into the tunnels. After all, there was no reason to believe that the kid hadn't set more traps down here, and like hell was he going to bite it to a tripwire or something equally bitchy.

Offline Nix

Re: Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes [Nix, Nephebro!]
« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2017, 05:08:59 AM »
Ruckus grinned widely at Rampage's reaction, laughing hardily as the ass cheek smacked him on the cheek. It was too great! He looked so fucking STUPID!

And then he started ACTING fucking stupid? "Hey asshole! Just cause I killed yer secret whore doezn give you an excuse fer bein' brain dead!" She shouted at him, not really caring that Breakneck's leg got torn into. "You could hit Goggles!" And what did bullets fuckin grow on trees now? Also where the fuck were the trees?

She still fully intended to take the kid back with her. Still she wasn't going to back down. She rode her bike through the field and jumped the crater left from a mine and pulled out her gun, whistling for her people to follow her. "WE'RE TAKIN GOGGLES ALIVE! 200 POINTS FER A DEAD PILOT!" She called out.
_____________

Goggles pressed a button opening the tunnel hatch before quickly moving to his power source. He was nervous and scared- he had never held it when scared, hopefully he could still do this. He carefully pulled it out and the whole system went down. No defenses now. It wasn't burning him at least. He looked at the two Pilots and then headed into the tunnels.

As soon as they were in the tunnels Goggles placed his hand on the panel and tried to interface with it. Shit. The power was out though...

He held the power source tight in his other hand and the trap started up. "Move! Move!" He said running into the tunnel further as the tunnel entrance collapsed. Ok. Ok that was taken care of now. He looked at the Pilots and put on his goggles. "There are bio luminescent plants as we get further in..." He muttered to them, shoving the power source into one pocket and- oh. The EMP bomb was still in his other pocket... No. No he couldn't use it. He would be screwed too.

"I have supplies up ahead." He said heading toward the small cavern just around the curve of the tunnel. Not much but some food, a light source, a gun he didn't really know how to shoot, water... and a few other basics. He wished he had finished his portable scanner... then he would know the best way to get through these tunnels. He had still needed parts for it.

Offline Lion

Re: Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes [Nix, Nephebro!]
« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2017, 06:18:40 PM »
Banning held his rifle forward, the butt of it pressed firmly against his shoulder as he followed after Chance into the tunnels. The darkness engulfed the trio and for a few seconds the only light came up from the red pulsation of the tetrahedron being so delicately handled by Goggles. The thrumming was gradually subsiding, waning as it's output was no longer required and Banning removed his focus from staring at it overlong.

At the instruction to move, Banning ran in deeper, and the small light shining forward in his helmet and lighting the way for the small group. With the tunnel collasped behind them, their backs were covered, and now he only had to think about what was going to happen to their fronts. These tunnels were dark and the abyss that stared back at them were no doubt unoccupied. Even as an escape route, nothing was fool proof.

"Banning!" Hyperion forced into his mind. "Are you all right?" From outside of the hovel, the rush of Raiders forcing their way inside had set off his alarm bells, and with no word from his Pilot, the old dragon strained in any hesitation to interfere.He clawed out from part way in the shadows, and growled to Anhur to act if necessary.

"We're underground! Biscuits had a tunnel underneath that hovel that will lead us out of here. But we're going in blind. Or as blind as our guide is. Forget the raiders. They're stupid anyway. Follow our link if you can, and trace the landscape."

"No meat for me, you mean?" Hyperion chuckled, and then projected the same thought back to Anhur. "Let's fly!"

Banning kept his gun up just in case and stood side-by-side with Chance. "You okay, Nayden?" Banning glanced at him through the visor, lavender eyes meeting grays momentarily, followed by a nod. Over all he still seemed in one piece, that was always a good sign. He smirked at the other Pilot as they followed Goggles, and once they were around the bend and arrived at his cache, Banning paused and saw the outlets before them.

Five different ones to be exact. "Well, fuck. I hope you know how to get us out of here," he hissed. A low slow breath, and he listened felt outward with his ability. And the echolocation of the images in his head sent a pulsing screech in his inner ear. Banning braced himself,  his temples throbbing something fucking fierce.  Of the five, one of tthem led lower, and as he stepped closer he could see from his hud there was a faint wind direction coming through it.

"This way. I think," he said. Yeah that tunnel to the farthest left seemed their best bet. Because in the one of the others he sense a heated sentient form. And it was fucking big.  "We've got to move. We're not alone in these tunnels.  Anything else you want to tell us, Goggles? Got any more critters coming out to get you? Now us."

Offline nephero

Re: Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes [Nix, Nephebro!]
« Reply #27 on: May 29, 2017, 11:55:10 PM »
Chance felt Anhur press in, trying to keep a hold of their location even as the black drake took off after Hyperion. Chance pushed right back, their mental connection ebbing and flowing against one another in a mutual assurance that they both were still there.

Chance turned his head just enough to catch Banning's gaze, his own eyes narrowed into silver slits at the usage of his proper given name. Still, two could play at that game, and he tongued one canine before slashing a grin right back in Banning's direction.

"Thinking of how much I love the decor, Bacon Bits, sir," he telegraphed back, "I hear pitch black is so hot right now."

That was about as much as Chance had time for, however, his mood fouling almost immediately at the sight of all those tunnels. Shit. This was exactly what they needed, to get lost in some dank cave system and die horribly either from starvation or lack of oxygen or something even worse. Banning and he had breathing apparati for high altitudes, of course, but even that would run out eventually, and Chance was not really in the mood to test the theory of how long it would take.

Especially since Banning said there was something else already living here. Chance shifted, taking up his position of rear-guard, scanning the dimness for potential movement. Chance's grip on his rifle tightened as he scanned each abyssal opening, his helmet reading nothing but his gut feeling far otherwise. He'd feel much better the further they got from here.

It was slow going, between the poor lighting and the rocky terrain, the tunnel system littered with fallen rocks and pitted with crevices that were just wide enough to get your foot stuck in. Eventually, as Goggles had promised, the light quality grew far better as they passed more and more patches of bioluminescent fungus, sparkling spores taking to the air as they trampled pods, and drifting slightly in the breeze they were steadily following. For a moment, those spores were all that Chance's helmet locked in on, and for a moment Chance allowed himself a soft breath of relief. He flexed his fingers, adjusting his grip as the tunnel widened, broken outwards by some terrestrial shift and scarred with deep crags all along the walls and ceiling.

His helmet flickered, just a moment, the readings picking up more of those spores as they spiralled upwards, wafted along by a breeze that seemed to suck upwards, and Chance watched as a particularly luminescent cloud coiled up and into the deeper shadows of the ceiling crevice. His helmet focused, targeting the cloud, before jumping to the right by several inches, the icon blaring danger-red. At first Chance thought it a malfunction, a false reading from the spore clouds, at least until the spores reached higher up into the crevice and illuminated a wide, drooling maw.

"MOTHERFUCKER!" was all Chance had time to say, before the thing dropped down on him, shrieking high and furious as bursts of gunfire shot upwards, catching it in one hulking shoulder before it could bring the full weight of a clawed swipe down on him. Chance took a gulping breath, urging his bloodflow all the faster, adrenaline and oxygen bullet-training through his system as he brought up his rifle again--

He was too focused on the Thing's arms, all fucking four of them. He didn't even see the tail, not in the dim light, not with sparking spores clouding his vision as he kicked through more pods. All he caught was movement, and he pushed outwards, trying to catch at this thing's circulatory system and push it back before it had a chance to land a blow.

Which was probably lucky. It was also probably lucky that he still had his helmet on. Between the two, they were enough to stop the thick bladed end of the Thing's tail from taking the upper half of his skull clean off. But not nearly enough to keep it from punching right through the glass of his visor, cracking the screen and sinking deep to partially embed in bone.

It seemed to be as startling for the Thing as it was for Chance himself, because instead of just carrying on trying to tear the Pilot Echo limb from limb it thrashed wildly, trying to shake its prey from its tail and slamming him down into the tunnel floor. Over. And. Over.

Offline Nix

Re: Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes [Nix, Nephebro!]
« Reply #28 on: May 30, 2017, 01:04:45 AM »
Goggles gathered some things, throwing it all in one of the packs he had stashed for emergencies. He really wish he knew the tunnel systems better but this had always been a worst case scenario for him. He looked at his gun and then to the Pilots. Should he take it? No. They might take it as a threat and he barely had any aim anyway. He missed his equipment already. He wasn't cut out for traversing the tunnels. He was far from Teinari and the under ground passage ways confused him, but he did know some of the terrain. He sighed a bit as the Pilot Royal made another snide comments. "They aren't 'after me' they are after me because you were after me. Get it?" He didn't need to admit to being an asset out in these parts, or what hells that had brought upon him.

He finished grabbing stuff and slung the pack onto his back, putting on a mask but letting it just hang on his neck for now as the air down here was breathable thanks to the plant life. Some glowing vines and a lot of glowing floating algae that actually purified the air quality but did nothing for the dank. He held his flashlight low, the light from it green like the bio luminescent plants so as to not attract what might be lurking. He followed what the Pilot Royal seemed to think was the best path.

"There are beasts in the subterrain but they sure as shit aint mine." He said softly, keeping his light and his eyes on the path as he walked carefully. "I don't got any friends." It was pretty true. There were other neutral parties out in the Wastes that he considered allies at one point or another but 'friends' were something ill afforded to anyone out here.

He placed one hand on the tetrahedron in his pocket. It had calmed itself to the point of being 'off' but he had seen it switch itself back on as if it were a sentient thing. Though to be fair as far as he was concerned all tech was. They had pulses and spoke to him. His system... his gadgets... they were his real friends. And now they all laid in waste back in the shack. The raiders would tear up anything they thought useful for parts- though history told him they had no idea what was useful or how to utilize anything to its full potential. It's why they kept him alive.

He had been lost in thought and following the Pilot Royal through the spores, fairly unfazed since he had seen them before, when he heard it.

Everything was happening so fast. The Pilot Echo was being attacked by a beast. He had never seen one of these ones himself but he knew about it from stories, knew they were real. Seen what they could do. Goggles backed against one of the tunnel walls and shined his light on the beast, trying to keep it lit so the Pilots could see what to aim for-

The tail slashed right through the Pilot Echo's helmet. Oh fuck! It was swinging him around, flailing and slamming the Pilot into the ground trying to shave free. "Shoot it! And don't touch the tail!" Goggles shouted to the Pilot Royal.

Offline Lion

Re: Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes [Nix, Nephebro!]
« Reply #29 on: May 30, 2017, 03:05:59 PM »
That vague draft of air was all Banning had to go on. These caverns were so deep underground, and could likely go on for miles, spreading through the Wastes like the entire vasculatory system that Chance had so eloquently explained in above ground hovel. The pressure in his head made the mapping a taxing effort, but he pressed on. It wasn't anything he couldn't handle. The darkness parted intermittently with the flora, illuminating gaps in their pathing.

Banning had been so focused on what was in front of him that he hadn't even realized something was above them until it was almost too late and the damn thing was on Kiers. Banning whirled around amidst those screams and as Chance tried to wrangle with the thing, he held his rifle up and fired an array of bullets that shredded across its arm just bounced off the ridges along its back.

"Get back!" he called out to Goggles and shifted around the smaller man to shove him against the wall with his back. Banning released another flurry of bullets, hitting the damn thing in the knee and crippling it. The skin tore open with a pop and it screamed as it buckled, all the while still flailing its tail around with Kiers at the end of it. The bullets behind it ricocheted all through out the tunnel. The hud on his helmet couldn't get a straight lock from a spore cloud that puffed just in front of his vision.

The thing's back was riddled with armored plates, and as it twisted around, trying to reposition Kiers to better tear into him. With its shredded knee no longer able to support it, it screeched, the noise making the tunnel quake as it was emitted from its conical head, the rows and rows of teeth made apparent in Goggle's feeble light.  Bones protruded up in ridges along its spine.

Avoid the tail, right. He could do that. Especially if the fucking thing was currently penetrating Chance's face!

He didn't waste any more time and darted ahead, reaching out with vibration and seeing the Thing with a red outline and mad as all hell. Banning jumped up onto its back and fired down against the section of plates that opened up as it curled its back and there the bullets penetrated flesh. The bullets shredded and severed the tendon and skin until the tail loosened and all that was left was a half-attached appendage. He moved upward and clung to the spinal ridges as he emptied out what remained in his clip against the damn thing's head.

The upper arms flailed upward, scrambling for a hold of Banning that the Pilot Royal was determined not to give. Banning fired and in the blazing light that came from the end of his rifle, he refocused the heat central to its head and forced the vibration that passed through it to increase a hundred fold. His nose leaked and blood pooled on the inside of his helmet, staining the glass red. He screamed as he clasped his hands on either sides of the head and only then did he feel the digging claws momentarily breaching his armored flightsuit, along his shoulder.

The heat and pressure intensified inside the Thing's skull until there was no other escape but out. Finally the head burst in a shower of ooze that splattered the entire side-wall of the cavern. Banning panted hard, skull throbbing as if it were on the verge of exploding itself.   Forcing himself, Banning rolled off its back and scambled toward Chance, kneeling beside him, dust kicking up and panic setting in.

"Chance! CHANCE!" Banning fumbled and carefully grasped the unbarbed end of the tail and wriggled it out of the helmet, blood and bits of broken glass clinging to the end of it.  "Chance, talk to me, buddy! Kiers that's an order!" And Banning pulled his head into the crook of his arm.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2017, 03:18:31 PM by Lion »

Offline nephero

Re: Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes [Nix, Nephebro!]
« Reply #30 on: May 30, 2017, 06:02:55 PM »
Adrenaline was one hell of a drug. It was enough to keep Chance conscious and clinging to the tail rather than simply being rag-dolled this way and that. Which was probably the only reason his neck hadn't been snapped for how hard the thing thrashed him around.

He hit the ground once more, yelling in renewed agony as he apparently hit a stray rock or something, the nerve endings in his left knee sending white hot signals to a brain already overloaded with enough stimulus thank you very much. He tried to keep that leg steady, but it wasn't responding nearly as well as it should have, his boot sliding against the tail and failing to grip-- if Chance had had any kind of ability to think in any logical terms whatsoever, he might have noted that this was an absolute terrible fucking time to dislocate something.

But, he had far greater problems on his plate. Like the fact that he couldn't see, the fact that his helmet was a hell-storm of spattered blood and spider-webbing cracks, the hud staticing and flickering in an epileptic's worst nightmare. His entire face felt like it was on fire, and he took deep breaths only to spit out the puddles of blood that gushed down into his mouth from where the tail was in him.

Distantly, he registered gunfire, and distantly he realized it couldn't have been his own. His rifle was... somewhere, knocked out of his hands. Banning-- that was Banning-- fuck--

With another roar, he hiked his non-dislocated leg upwards, giving himself a better grip while he reached down for his sidearm-- only for the whole tail to give a rapid shudder and drop him right to the floor again. All the air in his lungs left in a great woosh as he hit the tunnel floor again, though thankfully this time it seemed permanent, the tail going limp against him. There was more shrieking, more yelling, and then a sudden, hot spray of wet gore--

Oh, God, oh God, he couldn't see, he couldn't see, please don't let that have been Lockhart oh fuck-- but there was no more shrieking and--

It was getting hard to focus. His face felt like he'd been skinned alive, and distantly he noted that there was something, something else, something that sank into his meat and slithered its way to his throat, to the juicy arteries and far fresher blood. He choked in protest, trying to keep whatever foreign contaminant was in him from going any further while also trying to keep as much of his own blood inside him where it belonged. All with the knowledge that he was beginning to fail on both fronts.

He didn't even hear Banning yelling his name until the word "order" punched through his consciousness. The bit of tail was gone but the burning remained, and Chance spat out bits of glass and blood with a red-stained grimace, scrabbling to grip onto the Pilot Royal as he was partially lifted and panting wildly for the effort.

"Worst... rodeo... ever... sir."

Offline Nix

Re: Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes [Nix, Nephebro!]
« Reply #31 on: May 30, 2017, 07:00:52 PM »
Goggles had stayed back against the wall as the carnage took place before his eyes. It was not the first time he had stood to the side in a fight, cowering on the ground just trying to survive. He thought about running away, but if he did Captain Capillaries would die- regardless of whether or not the Pilot Royal killed the venomous blade tail. Which he did, in a glorious spray that smacked him right in the face. He wiped the gore off his goggles. At least all the venom was contained in the tail and coated the blade.

Antivenin! He put it in his pack when he was grabbing supplies from his cache right? Shit. He knew he had gotten some in a trade. Some antivenon, salves, and medicines raided from a Teinari outpost. Where was it?? Shit. He managed to find the small case that held his medical supplies and put together the antivenin shot as the Pilot Royal removed the tail carefully.

He left his pack against the wall and headed over to the Pilots with the med case and shot in hand. Ok. He could do this. He could do this. Fuck where did the shot even go??? The thigh right? That seemed right. "Hold him still." Goggles instructed as he drove the needle into the thickness of the Pilot's thigh through one of the rips in his flight suit. Shit Veins looked like hell. He injected all of the antivenin into him, praying he was doing this right. Praying he remembered the basics Nathaniel had told him.

Now that that was done then next step was tending to the wound. Goggles turned on the light attached to his own eye wear, a brighter white light- clearly artificial compared to the one he had been using. The helmet's displays were all fucked to hell and Goggles carefully interfaced with it, powering it down before gently removing it so as to not hurt the Pilot further. It looked bad. There was already considerable swelling and bulging marks from the venom but that would hopefully dissipate, or at least not spread further. He took out a cleansing wipe and worked on the whole of the other's face, making sure to gently clear away any bits of glass from the guy's helmet. This Pilot needed serious medical attention- and they couldn't find that out here in the Wastes. He needed to get to Havina. Goggles took out the salve and spread it on the large gash through the Pilot's eye in thick globs before taping some gauze over it. Shit.

He pulled off his goggles and gas mask, gently putting them on the Pilot. He was going to need those when they got outside. Hopefully it wasn't too far to a way out. He was pretty sure this was the shortest tunnel. Goggles looked down at the leg that was hanging at an unnatural angle. "..I don't know how to fix that." He said looking up at the Pilot Royal.

Offline Lion

Re: Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes [Nix, Nephebro!]
« Reply #32 on: May 30, 2017, 11:08:43 PM »
Banning's free hand reached up and fiddled with the switches inside his own helmet, the heat and pressure too stifling to keep it on much longer. The blood that smothered his face was nothing in comparison to Chance's, and the hole in his face needed to be tended to right away. The helmet depressurized with a hiss and after he unbuckled a few straps around it, he managed to slip it off his head and gasped the clear fresh air amidst those bioluminescent fungi.

The spores had settled down along side them and with his head free of that helmet, he was able to snort out the blood, and settled his helmet down beside them. He kept hold of Chance as Goggles instructed him to do so. Now wasn't the time to argue over who had a better idea of how to keep him from bleeding out.

He saw the needle and when it sunk deep into the meat of Chance's leg, he wrapped an arm around his chest and held him firm until it was out and then the kid tended to his eye. Fuck did it look bad, but the man was still alive. That was what was most important. "What did you pump into him?" he asked, a brief question, eyes flicking to the needle and seeing the wound.

Once the eye was patched up, Banning carefully shifted around to Kiers' leg.  The knee clearly was dislocated. Every Pilot was required to take basic field training, and that required learning how to dress basic wounds and broken bones. The joint clearly needed to be pushed back in, and if the ligament was still attached, but shredded then that improved Chance's recovery considerably.

"I'll see what I can do," Banning mumbled, although he didn't seem confident in his ability to do so. Still, it was worth a shot. "Sorry, Chance. No painkillers."  And he didn't even warn him further before popping the fibula back into place with a loud crack, and keeping pressure on the knee to keep it straightened.

"Banning! There's a hole in the cliff side a mile north of where I sense your location," Hyperion echoed in his head.

Banning replied affirmatively and gazed back up to Goggles. "A true Gadgetman never goes anywhere without any duct tape. Please, for the love of all gods, tell me you have some," Banning sighed. A few strips of it later and he secured patches over the holes in Kiers' flightsuit, and instructed Goggles to apply a piece to the ripped hole in his back right shoulder. The sting of the wound was ignored for now. Kiers was what was important.

Banning wasn't going to leave anything behind, and after the helmet was jerryrigged into a repair and the remaining glass carefully wiped down, he cleaned his own and slipped it back onto his head. Banning's rifle was slung back over his shoulder but Chance's was wrapped around his leg in a makeshift splint, wrapped around with duct tape, and he shoved the helmet toward Goggles. "I hope you're not afraid of heights."

Chance was promptly hoisted up into his arms, one leg awkwardly straightened via the splint, Banning panting already and they were on the move once again, faster this time knowing that the exit wasn't that far up ahead. "You just rest, Chance. We're almost out of here," he breathed.

Offline nephero

Re: Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes [Nix, Nephebro!]
« Reply #33 on: May 30, 2017, 11:52:43 PM »
At least with his helmet removed, Chance had a better time breathing. More to the point, though, was that finally, thankfully, the madness-inducing feedback from his helmet's hud was gone. Any more of that and Chance was pretty sure his growing nausea would turn into something far, far worse. Everything already hurt so bad, he didn't need flashing lights and scattered readouts blaring into the one eye he had left.

His head seared, the lancing waves of pain reaching all the way to the back of his scalp. Even his hair hurt, however the fuck that was possible. So overwhelming was... well... everything, that the PIlot Echo could only moan softly in protest at being stabbed and having his eye messed with. But even that rise in pain was nothing compared to when Banning moved to his leg, and he took in a panicked, hissing breath in preparation--

"MOTHERFUCKING BITCH ASS FUCK GODDAMN YOU--" he only got about halfway through his tirade before his throat gave out in protest, Chance coughing harsh and loud and wracked with even more pain for every spasm. Whatever the kid-- Biscuits, Goggles, High Priestess Cherries Jubilee for all he fucking cared right now-- had given him seemed to be helping mitigate the creeping malevolence in his veins, but only just. With every passing moment he felt more chilled, his breathing came with more effort, and he couldn't even tell his leg had been splinted until he was lifted and found he couldn't bend it at all.

"Anhur," he said, both silently and not, the name coming out rasping as he held onto the Pilot Royal as best he could, "how far... out..."

His breath fogged against the patchwork glass, wet and hot against the clamminess of his own skin. It really didn't matter what the answer was; Chance wasn't going to understand any of it, his uninjured eye unfocused, the Pilot Echo miles and miles away. Whether by shock or by whatever nastiness still remained in his system, it was clear he was deteriorating quickly, a fact that was well known to his dragon, who was trying to keep in contact but having absolutely zero success in that regard.

This wasn't at all how it had been meant to go. None of this was how it was meant to go. Just where had his life taken such a bad turn? Not for the first time, Chance wondered just what ancestor of his did so much wrong that it found him all these years later. And then Chance wondered absolutely nothing, vision swimming and fading into a darkness to rival the tunnels themselves.

Offline Nix

Re: Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes [Nix, Nephebro!]
« Reply #34 on: May 31, 2017, 02:17:28 AM »
"It was antivenin." He said simply answering the question. He wasn't going to harm the Pilot more. He wouldn't do that.

Goggles had been sort of functioning, if the dazed state he ended up in could be called that, on autopilot. His doubts of whether or not he had succeeded in helping Artery Artillery were consuming him. Tech was easy. People. People were hard to fix. Most times you couldn't. This was the first time he actually had the opportunity to. Maybe that's why he didn't run. He had to watch people die out here in the Wastes, forbidden from even trying to help. He did wince though as the other's leg was put back in place.

The things the Pilot Royal asked him he did automatically without thought or comment, knee jerk reactions to situations like this. He had done similar as a raider. Duct tape was ripped for the other when needed. Applied where needed.

Being handed the helmet dragged him from his thoughts though. He clutched the helmet but took a few steps back. "Heights?" Shit. No. What? "I can't... I'm not going with you." He said panicking but he looked up at the now unconscious Pilot Echo. He was going to die if they didn't hurry. He started following the other two. He couldn't go back to Aedolis. What would they do to him? What would happen if he stayed here? He wondered if Rampage and Ruckus had figured out how to continue the pursuit. Following the dragons would be obvious, and going around would take much longer but they had their bikes.

Waiting for them... he couldn't do that. He couldn't go back to being passed between gangs till they stopped finding him useful. Fuck.

They found the exit to the cavern just ahead. Shit... shit... He just didn't want to hurt anymore. He put the helmet on. It was a mess but he closed his eyes and clutched the tetrahedron in his pocket, the half of the hud that wasn't shattered, came back to life with displays that he was sorting through with his mind. That's when he realized he had the EMP bomb in his other pocket.

He could see the Dragons outside. Dragons. Actual Dragons. Magnificent creatures and machines. The pinnacle of scientific achievement- and proof that some things should have been sacred. Was the EMP bomb strong enough to take them out? Did he even want to? No. But he was scared. He stopped in the mouth of the cave and held tight to both the tetrahedron and the EMP bomb. "...I want your word that if I come with you willingly... you won't hurt me." He was addressing the dragons as they were the ones actually in charge.

He was more than prepared to leave the EMP bomb here. He didn't want to use it. He didn't want to hurt the dragons or doom Blood Network Boy. He just... he was so scared that once again he was going from the frying pan to the fire. "Please. I need your word that no harm will come to me. Now or in Aedolis."

Offline Lion

Re: Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes [Nix, Nephebro!]
« Reply #35 on: May 31, 2017, 12:15:52 PM »
With Chance passed out in his arms, Banning focused more on the going than his company. Goggles could say whatever he wanted, think whatever he wanted, but the Pilot Royal knew that leaving him behind wasn't really an option. Biscuits was the only one that could handle that power source without setting it off, and although the heat from it likely went out by now, he figured they'd gone this far. If the kid really wanted to escape, he should have ran when the Thing kept both Pilots occupied.

Besides, where else was there for him to go?

Banning kept his annoyance in check so when they finally reached the hole in the cliffside. There the pair of dragons clung to the rocks, a thin ridge marking the end of the vertical crevice that served as the tunnel's exit.  Banning gripped Chance and knelt as Hyperion jumped and clung to the rocks closer to the exit and bared down on Goggles, the little human looking like a damn good snack right about now.

Hyperion looked to Banning. "And who is this little meatbag?"

"Goggles. Sometimes Biscuits. Sometimes Bowl-cut, take your pick. He helped us get out of there. And he has the tetrahedron. And a lovely little EMP bomb," Banning said aloud. "But he wasn't talking to me, Hyperion."

"I have a point of not making promises I cannot keep," Hyperion growled to Goggles, his voice rumbling and making that section of canyon quake. He furrowed his brows and gripped the wall with one claw, moving in closer to the trio, looking at Anhur to fly closer and pick up Chance who was clearly injured.

"You cannot stay here. So you will come with us. As for the here and now, no harm will come to you. Banning is a good man, and I would not have chosen him were he otherwise. Your actions will be noted, and taken into consideration. However, know I speak only for myself."

Offline Nix

Re: Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes [Nix, Nephebro!]
« Reply #36 on: June 01, 2017, 08:51:58 PM »
Goggles trembled a bit when the dragon spoke. He (?) was magnificent! Beautiful, powerful and both awe and fear inspiring! And Goggles was scared. He gulped lightly and looked from the dragon to the Pilot Royal, Banning was it?

And then to the Pilot Echo and the dragon holding him. They didn't have much time. Goggles dropped the EMP bomb and stepped on it, breaking it without any effects coming from it, as a show of good faith. "Ok. He needs to get to a hospital immediately." He said looking at Veins and Veins' dragon.

He didn't want to let the Pilot die.

Offline Lion

Re: Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes [Nix, Nephebro!]
« Reply #37 on: June 02, 2017, 01:36:46 AM »
Hyperion honestly didn't know what kind of answer he'd been expecting. The little snack was clearly afraid, and while that had it's perks, Hyperion preferred to reason than to simply take advantage of a display of power. There were dragons back home that were fiercer than he, and even some not quite as intelligent.

"He will be cared for. Come then before those little meatbags show up. Already the ground rumbles with their two-wheeled toys," he grumbled and once Chance was secured in Anhur's grasp, carefully like a little lamb, he maneuvered himself so that Banning could climb onto his back. Hyperion gripped the ledge, reptilian eye flicking to Goggles.

Banning reached out a hand to him. "Let's go, man. We can't wait any longer." The note in his voice was different than the orders he'd been barking through the tunnels, and if he listened carefully, there was even a hint of trust present there. Banning settled Goggles in front of him, clunked his gloved hand against that helmet to make sure it was on properly, and nudged his heels into Hyperion's side.

His dragon pushed off from the cliff's side, leathery wings flapping against the incoming wind, taking it and flying upward, back to the east. Back to Aedolis.

Offline Nix

Re: Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes [Nix, Nephebro!]
« Reply #38 on: June 03, 2017, 05:55:21 PM »
Goggles was still in awe of the dragon, and hung on Hyperion's every grumbled word. Meatbags? Ruckus and Rampage. He shuddered at the thought of them catching up. If he stopped and paid attention he could feel it too, and he was far less sensitive to such things. That meant they were getting awfully close.

Goggles was pulled from his thoughts by Banning holding out a hand to him. He grabbed a hold and found himself of the back of the dragon. This was... it was amazing! And absolutely terrifying. He clung to the dragon, terrified of falling off and afraid of touching any of its mechanical parts too much. He didn't want to interface with the creature without permission.

As they headed back towards Aedolis, somewhere in the recesses of his mind he wondered if he could have been a Pilot, and what returning to Aedolis would mean. But of course he couldn't think those things. He winced a little as they crossed the surface of his mind. A wholly conditioned response. His name was Goggles, and he belonged to the Wastes.

Offline Lion

Re: Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes [Nix, Nephebro!]
« Reply #39 on: June 05, 2017, 10:48:56 PM »
At once they took to the skies, and Banning kept close to Goggles to ensure the kid - was he a kid? - wouldn't be slipping out of his seat. The copper clouds that clung to the surface indicated the storm that hunted them, thunder quaking the soil with raging engines.

Rampage knew that there was no way Goggles would allow himself to be backed into a corner. He would make his own escape, that squirrely little shit always did. Rampage had lived long enough in the Wastes to know a cave network wasn't far from the little Crumpet's hovel. He got away once before, he'd be damned if some fucking Pilots were going to escape with that prize.

"Warthog! Launcher!" Rampage cried out when his bike perched on top of a boulder and the raider beside him pulled out an elongated tube from his saddlebag. Warthog extended it and stuffed a missile down the front of it, hoisted it onto his shoulder took aim.  Firing the rocket, a clouded coiled tail trailing in its wake and promptly exploded not even close to the damn targets!

"Warthog! I'll rip your fucking balls off!" Rampage howled, snatching the missile launcher from him. It was immediately reloaded and Rampage took careful aim, holding the barrel steady and following Hyperion's trail. As the missile closed in and Banning turned to the side, Hyperion beat his wings back, rearing up, and his chest heaved with heat and oxygen.

His opened maw revealed rows of metal teeth glistening with white heat. The flare that erupted scorched the air and slammed into the missile with impunity. Hyperion grinned sinisterly at them before twisting off and flying back toward Anhur.

Rampage watched them get smaller and smaller in the distance. And he took a blade from his belt forced Warthog to the ground and made good on his promise of ripping his balls off.
_________
The flight back Aedolis had been hours out of the way, but they were not going back to Haviah now. Chance's well..chances would be considerably better in Havina, and the moment they were in range, Banning activated the com on his helmet.  "Make the call. Pilot Royal Gerard Jensik. Tell him we're coming into DoSaM hot. Pilot Royal Banning Lockhart."

The moment they were on the ground, Banning peeled his helmet from his head and left it with Hyperion, along with their friend Goggles. He'd hoisted Chance up in his arms and ran the rest of the way into the ER section of DoSaM.

"GERARD!  GERARD JENSIK!"
« Last Edit: June 05, 2017, 10:51:43 PM by Lion »