The next few days is spent in much the same way many return missions are spent which is a nice change of pace for many of the Heroes. The routine they have so missed, the debrief, the checking of gear, of admin details; while tedious is also somewhat soothing.Conditions wrote:Location: Merctown
Date/Time: May 1st, 112PA ;; 1630 MST
Environmental Conditions: Clear skies, ~68*F
Ley Line Conditions: Calm, Nexus nearby.
Barracuda and Grant peel away for their own discussion about leadership and transitioning. Barracuda, for his part, remains the most cheerful of the group, trying to keep spirits high in the wake of the multiple losses suffered by the group on their most recent adventure. After Grant assumes control with Barracuda as his second, the pair make Keiko and Gunnar official members of Heroes for Hire. Gunnar stays with Weiss for the initial few days, being completely out of his depth. Weiss is able to drop a line for Blackman but knows that receiving a response takes time and usually comes with a fee, so best not to wait up for it; Weiss also makes his stop at Desmonds. Keiko settles in to her new home, finding it to be a nice change of pace from what she has been experiencing for the past little while. Keiko is glad to have actual armament stores, a nice thing to have and after having visited the local Wilks, she leaves with a shiny new 457 Laser Rifle that she has time to admire while walking to Naruni. Here, trade is bustling with aliens of all sizes that dwarf the felinoid but she is unfaltering in her search. Fortunately, Naruni was able to part with both items she was after and after a mere hour or so of shopping, Keiko finds herself able to relax at the heroes house.
Grant breaks away after the meeting to research what he can about Ashlynn, anything he can about Ashlynn. Since Grant initially saw Ashlynn seeking something, he has yet to see her since. The image of her gone the night of the full moon, and since returning to their timeline, any attempts produce static. Grant spends the vast majority of his time now researching on ways to save Ashlynn, locking himself away for a few days. It is infuriating, the lack of information available out there considering all of his resources is enough to drive the magi mad. Determined, Grant continues combing through the research and eventually happens upon an isolated file about a demonic event in northern Canada. An entire town was wiped off the map, the buildings, vehicles, people, all were incinerated. Ariel photos show a swath of black in the sea of white snow, like the are was caked with napalm repeatedly. Grant cycles through the images taken and stops at one image. It shows someone standing in the wake of the destruction. He cycles to the next image; a zoomed in one. Grant can feel his heart sink at the sight of Ashlynn. She looks different, almost distorted; it's her eyes in the photo. Grant isn't sure what has possessed her, but the report has demon written all over it. A powerful demon.
Grant is taken away from his research by clattering in the main room. An unusual clattering that prompts the magi to investigate. As Grant does, he notices Keiko leaving her room to investigate as well with Wiess and Gunnar in the main room with Barracuda. The pair are shocked to see Ashlynn's familiar, Huey, the Bookwyrm, freaking out. The small reptile darts across furniture chirping and chittering, leaping onto Barracuda then crawling and jumping onto Gunnar before stopping and resting on Gunnars' shoulder and shaking its head viciously before motioning towards the door. Everyone can tell this is more activity seen from Huey since they have returned that anyone has seen.
Ashlynn can feel her eyes blink and her body move once again. She blinks as her vision adjusts to the pure white surrounding around her, a cloudy sky overhead. Ashlynn feels cold but doesn't feel herself shiver, instead she feels herself walking towards a small village. Another village. She remembers. The last time she woke up was just before she was forced to witness the slaughter of a village... now it looks like it'll happen again. She tries to scream as she watches the village get closer, unable to stop her own body from walking towards it. Ashlynn hear the mellow laugh echoing within her mind as she struggle to stop it from moving. "A penance. Every time you interfere, you will feel the blood of an innocent run down your throat." The voice threatens coldly. Ashlynn steels herself again, it hadn't broken her yet, it won't break her now. She knows what the voice is hunting, she doesn't know where it is or why it is leading her to these outskirt villages. Why any of this matters? Her questions continue to flood her mind as she continues to fight her own walk.
"Resilient. But fruitless. Observe." The voice echoes as it continues to close on the village, its steps slowing.
[Ashlynn: Roll a save v Possession]
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