[Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

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Straken
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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

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The woman sighed and shrugged noncommittally as she began to pace in front of the stairs. She crossed an arm in front of herself before bracing her other arm on it so she could cradle her cheek in her palm. "Why must American tourists always be so stubborn?" she asked the brute behind her. He did no shift or answer. "I had wanted to chat up here in the fresh air, but alas."

Her posture changed, and her cat like stare had become stone cold and razor sharp. "Here's the situation you find yourself in, Miss Smith. I am Lieutenant-Inquisitor Thérèse Toussaint. After questioning witnesses to your assault on this bastion leaves little doubt in my mind that the individual trapped in the Pagan Cell is a magic user. You however were seen using physical means to best my guards. The only crime you are guilty of in my book is associating yourself with a heretic. For all I know he clouded your mind and is twisting you to his will. Come with me, and I can promise you safety from his coven."
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Mr. Blackbird Lore
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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

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A puzzled look crossed Jane's face, a reaction she was unable to hide, but figured she could spin to her own advantage. Her hands slowly fell as she took on a distant look, as if trying to solve a complex math problem in her head.

After several seconds, her eyes returned to the Inquisitor. "I don't... His coven? Like a real witch?"
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Straken
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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

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Thump

Ruarc let his head bounce off the brick wall a handful of times. His arms were falling asleep, and despite his efforts to push aside the sand he was losing ground. Slumping, he had come up with nothing. In an act of defiance Ruarc managed to hook a finger under the strap binding the stack of books and started to pull it closer to him. In the motion, something small fell into his palm.

Shrugging once more, there was no mirth in the motion this time. "At least I can tell the Captain I tried," Thérèse said to no one before turning to leave. "Sergeant, seal the opening. Make sure she doesn't try to esc... How rude, Miss Smith. You didn't mention having another companion. Guards, into position! You! Identify yourself!"

Shuffling armored boots began to sound from the courtyard. Before long, the only sounds Jane could hear was the the pouring sand below, and a breeze creating a low howl as it whisked past the opening. Twelve hours from high noon, there was a stand off taking place. Tense moments past by achingly slow. Thérèse and the sergeant reacted to something. Thérèse drew a sleek pistol, and the sergeant drew a massive bastard sword. The wind stopped blowing.

The sergeant moved to rush, raising his sword. A hiss of wind rose once more, but the foul sound preceded a ripple passing through the air. The sergeant's hand fell to the ground, still gripping the sword. His scream of shock echoed down all the way to the cell. The inquisitor was the first to fire, followed by a number of submachine guns by the cadence of the firing.
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Mr. Blackbird Lore
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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

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"At least I can say I tried," mimicked Jane, jesting to herself about the failed deception under her breath.

"-You didn't mention having another companion." Jane's interest piqued again, and the Call washed over her like the cool wind coming down the tunnel. If anyone had been watching her then, even they might have missed the subtle shift in her posture. It was an echo of her mental shift, from coy capitulant to poised predator. As her hands came to rest on sandalwood grips, she paused and glanced back over her shoulder.

She ran, no longer concerned with sound, back to the Pagan Cell and slid to a stop by the first bar. "Flynn! Ye 'live in there?"
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Straken
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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

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"Jane!" Ruarc shouted over his shoulder. "Heads or tails?!"
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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

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Before she could think of an answer, she blurted one out: "Heads!"
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Straken
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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

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As the standoff was taking place Ruarc had managed to close his numbed hand around the gemstone through grit and determination. His only indication that he had actually grabbed it was an odd sense of tingling running up his arms. It was different from the pins and needles he felt as his arms began losing circulation. It was magical somehow, but without time to identify it there was no way to know what it would do. His gut told him it fell into his hand for a reason, but the logical part of his mind said to risk using Fissure as the situation was already in free fall. That's when he heard the scream. Agony and surprise. Gunshots followed not long after, and Jane returned sounding hurried. It was time now or never.

"Head or tails?!" Ruarc shouted. Jane's answer came quickly.

Growling at the wall through gritting teeth, Ruarc willed his hands to grip their respective parcels as tight as they could, and then he channeled magic into the gemstone. The response was immediate. Pulling back, still unsure what would happen, he tumbled through his growing tomb as the enchanted wall crumbled into sand once more. Similarly, the ceiling containing the flowing sand opened up further as well, dumping a great quantity of particulate down onto the druid. Jane lost sight of him for a moment.

After that moment the growing pile of sand lurched upward as the crouching Irishman pushed himself out of his waiting doom. His outfit had changed, among other things. While he had already been wearing leather armor, it had shifted from simple vambraces to leather cords winding up his arms. The darkened cords were inscribed with what looked to be Arabic inscriptions. In his right hand, he held a bound stack of ancient looking books; and in his left hand where the gem would have been was a heavy headed hammer.

“Oh good, still have both me arms,” Ruarc said with a hint of laughter.

Back up the ramp however, the sound of gunfire began to diminish; one gun at a time. Shouts echoed through the cacophonic staccato of bullets. Some curses, some orders, some pained.

“We’re cornered down here,” Ruarc said as he hurried to Jane’s side, massaging his arms to get blood flowing back to his fingers. “I somehow doubt anyone up there wants to help us. What do you think, Jane? Can defend here, possibly. Or we can try to use the fight as a distraction so we can escape. Or if you think of something better, I’ll follow your lead.”
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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

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Jane was moved through a series of emotions as she watched Ruarc's predicament unfold. Worry escalated to alarm then fell away to curiosity and settled on intrigue.

"What's it wit ye mage types, always changin clothes?" She asked it with a smile as she turned to survey the ramp.

"This ain't defensible, n there ain't no cover tween here n the exit. So we either push the entrance er we hope for another way out. Got any get outta jail free runes?" The smile had morphed into a proud smirk at that bit of pop culture referencing. Pop culture was a weakness of hers.
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Straken
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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

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"I'm as surprised as you are," Ruarc said back as he analyzed his arms, feeling finally returning. Looking up towards the bend in the ramp, another gun fell silent punctuated by a scream. He had a bad feeling, but he made himself move forward. "An overcharged light and sonic rune? Act as a flashbang. Give us a head start."

With his hands full, Ruarc needed to hand something off. "Mind holding this for me?" asked the druid, holding the hammer out towards Jane as he continued up the ramp. "That said, if we take this we will actually be stealing rather than repossessing. Thoughts?"

It was inane chatter, but it helped Ruarc ease the darkness he was feeling; and helped distract him from the fact that both of his arms gelt like they were being jabbed by pins and needles. Another scream from up above. The guns were growing quieter. A warcry and the clash of metal. The would need to move soon.
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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

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Jane sighed. "Are we mincin meat over stealin? Ain't got time fer thoughts, we gotta do this." She slipped her right hand revolver into its holster before accepting the hammer, then gestured with the left hand revolver toward the ramp. Then she was running up the ramp.
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