5806/Prospektor's Revolt-7

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Prospektor's Revolt-7
Date of Scene: 21 April 2018
Location: The Great Ocean
Synopsis: Pending
Cast of Characters: Priscilla, 6258, 6322, Kushiko, Staren, August Kohler, Captain Flint

Priscilla has posed:
    Surprising no one, the deepest, darkest recesses of the magic crystal mines haven't suddenly seen a radical change in topography or contents. Since it seems the Prospekt don't even know what's down here, or at least have abandoned it and any intention of excavating this far down, it's still pretty much a dark hole filled with magical anomalies and lethal, naturally occurring crystals with bizarre effects, including carpets of crawling green flakes that send people flying on touch, and incandescent diamonds that shine from within that project invisible cutting lasers from their facets.

    Of course, at least /some/ effort has been made to make the place less of a nightmare to descend. The passage to enter is still a winding hole in the ground from fairly far away, going past a rusted out and abandoned outpost originally used by the old resistance, but some enterprising Concord staff have at least put up some mining lights to see by, and more sturdy and functional zip-lines and ladders for getting around in a practical and uncomplicated fashion, unlikely to be affected by any magical anomalies. The really awful ores and crystalline formations that were lethally hazardous to go past have been excavated or just plain broken. It's still possible to get zapped if one wanders far from the track, but it's not like playing mission impossible to get down to the bottom.

    Nobody is here today to mine the lucrative (and bizarre) varieties of raw magitech material though. The real find is what the Prospekt had seemingly last discovered when working as slaves in these mines, just before the uprising had begun. On the bottom level, past a winding mine cart track that leads through a maze of floor-to-ceiling rock formations, is the partially exposed head of a gigantic golem/statue/doll of some kind, flat and semi-metallic with gem-like eyes and radiating absurd amounts of magic. In an upper passage far away, parts of its hand have been excavated, jutting into an incomplete mine passage, which are finely articulated and covered in ancient script, putting the thing's size at an easy eighty meters tall.

Lemeza Kosugi (6258) has posed:
The discussion among the other parties in the past couple days have proved enlightening for Lemeza. The bottom floor is an enticing prospect, but there's some very ancient writing that was on the statue's fingers, higher up in the cavern. He's thankful for the Concord's work in making this easier to explore. Leveraging them for resources has begun to pay off! He traverses the ziplines and ladders down to the exposed hand, sets down his backpack, and digs out his laptop.

From there, it's an easy enough task to analyze what he needs to. He clicks through a few files, navigating to a program listed as READER.EXE, then aims his laptop's built-in webcam at the ancient writing. He makes sure to pan the camera slowly so that he can be sure the recording program accurately captures every bit of writing there is. From there, it's a simple matter to highlight the text in order and press the TRANSLATE NOW button. If it's at all possible to translate, this has an extremely high chance to succeed, even if it takes some time.

Amy Rose (6322) has posed:
Amy Rose has been exploring this new multiverse her planet aligned with. She has happened across a cave which is leading towards this very mine. She's running, very fast, like a speeding car through the labyrinth of rails and passages, down, down, further down into the depths. She is alone this time, not wanting to endanger Cream by bringing her here, "This place isn't so bad! Just a bit of exercise! Kind of dark though.." She says to herself as she continues by in somewhat of a blur. Eventually she slows down, and then stops near the rock formations and partially exposed statue head, "Huh?!" She stares at it and blinks, especially noting the eyes, "What is that thing?" She isn't asking anyone of course, she doesn't even know that anyone else is going to be down here. While she doesn't know anything about magic, she does see and feel the energy radiating from the eyes, causing her to step back a bit, "What in the world? Where am I?"

Kushiko has posed:
It's entirely possible that the Warframe in question that comes down this time instead of Valkyr may be a bad idea--but given what they've been going through already, what's the *worst* that could happen? Something that may have an energy requirement potential is why the Tenno's sent her Mag, the Primed variant that looks quite noble in comparison to its baseline. Accompanying her is a u-shaped looking drone, the central piece in the crook of the 'U' making rapid circular motions as it scans the giant in question.

It can't do heavy analysis, but it /can/ collect and collate data together for proper experts and members of that field, like Lemeza, to better evaluate--or rather more accurately, additional redundancy. The laptop has the required software, but Helios, the u-shaped drone in question, can provide backup for Lemeza's needs.

In the meantime, Mag-Kushiko herself is quietly standing vigil--watching Lemeza and others work, though 'watching' is a bit weird, given her Warframe has no readily aparent eyes beyond the cyclopean fixture dead center in her head. Or the swirling mist of energy beneath the semiopaque dome. It's kind of weird, that without that she'd look every bit the type of 'space ninja' right down to the tabi-feeted soles.

Staren has posed:
    Magic is inherently more resistant. Fascinating!

    Staren's experimented with golem bodies before, even showing one off at the Izzet fair some years ago, but until now he hasn't had a practical use for one! The result is an armored humanoid his usual size, with a tail and protrusions resembling ears, although the 'face' if there is one is concealed behind a visor and facemask that make it look kind of like he's wearing a helmet or, you know, just 'is a robot'. The rest of the armor looks like his usual combat armor, and is, minus the shoulder missile racks and beam cannons. Internally, though... The body itself is a golem. Like a metal doll, with wires running through it for things like touch sensors on the hands and kinesthetic accelerometers all over -- there's no need for motors since the magic handles the movement. Believing magic is the key, Staren's shielded it as best he can, having Concord mages cast various basic shielding spells and durability enchantments and whatnot on it and spreading potion-derived oils and such over it. The seat of his being, the cyberbrain (about half the size of a human brain) and its accompanying cortical stack, are in the head, shielded by a thin shell cast from the single ingot of thaumium Staren obtained working with Steve.

    He descends into the mine, still trailing a fiber-optic line and replacing the damaged radio relays he left last time. Others are translating the writing on the hand, so he goes to re-examine the head now that the stone covering it has been cleared away -- or now that he has more tools ready to clear it away, if necessary.

    As he makes his way to the head though, he sees Amy wandering around and stops to stare. "What are you doing?! Does /nobody/ around here bother with protection in the freaking magic radiation cave!?" His voice is recognizeable! He gives Amy the rundown of the situation. This cave is deadly to anyone except the prospekt, a magically created slave race which rebelled when they found this statue, and then allowed the surface cities to fall into ruin because they could not maintain them. The elites have worked on rebuilding the society, and when they came down here to investigate the mine finally they found the statue which noone had mentioned previously.

    "...So, we're examining the statue to see what the deal is." He finishes, and offers Amy a spare environment suit (it shrinks to fit! Smart materials!) before moving on to examine the head.

August Kohler has posed:
August is wondering what the hell is up with that statue and the writing, but he has no way to translate it. The redhead is instead dressed in a t-shirt and shorts, jacket tied around his waist, with a gun and knife at either side of him and his mirrored bracelet on his wrist. His goal is to investigate the head of the giant statue, and so, he's carefully climbed down and ziplined towards that estination. Whatever this thing is, the Prospekt knew about it, Garit knew about it, and it's probably very important.

At the bottom, August spots Staren heading down here as well, as well as Amy, who's an unfamiliar face and a recently familiar voice. "You must be that chick from the radio. How the hell did you get down here into a radioactive cave without even knowing what it is?" It's strange, to say the least.

The German nods to Staren's explanation, and then moves to investigate the statue. He's trying to find anything interesting about it, or special, or maybe a passage around it he could explore. Something he could assist in doing. Alternatively, circuitry, because one of August's first thoughts, as a nerd, is simple.

Is this thing a giant robot?

Captain Flint has posed:
     A frowning, weather-beaten man with brown curly hair stands a few feet from the exposed head of the magical golem. With a fountain pen in one hand and a notepad in the other, he makes his best effort to draw both the centerpiece and its surroundings. Those familiar with Captain Flint will know that this man is Howell, the ship's doctor. Of the Walrus crew, he's probably got the best chance of accurately drawing it (that is, unless Flint or Silver have a hidden talent they haven't shared).

     Behind him, resting upon unturned stones, leaning against the wall, and generally waiting for direction are a crowd of perhaps fifteen pirates, none of whom seem too keen on getting close to the unearthed construct. "It ain't right," says one pirate in a hushed, conversational tone, with a wary nod towards the head. His already low-set brow is wrought with suspicion, and his brown eyes flick towards the captain and his quartermaster, busy conversing in private. "Ever since this whole Unification thing he's been gettin' all kinds of fool ideas in his head. This? This is the work of the devil, you mark my words. He's gonna have us dig it up and just you wait, it'll probably come to life and suck the very breath from us to do it."

     "What d'ya suppose it is, Turk?" asks a youger pirate with a messy mop of red hair.

     "Ain't it obvious?" Turk scoffs, jerking a thumb backwards. "It's one of them, what do you call it... giant robots. That's the head there, the hands a ways over that way," he verbally meanders with a nod in the general direction of the unearthed fingers a long way away. "Ten dollars says Flint'll have us dig the bastard up and hand it over to the Militia."

     The pirates around Turk attempt to get his attention, with a few cleared throats and more than a few hand gestures. These are in vain, and he finishes his explanation only to have a response in a low, gravelly British baritone. "That's exactly my aim, Mr. Turk," says Captain Flint, having finished his discussion with Silver. He stands with his arms crossed, and the crew seems to shrink slightly from his presence. "Once I'm certain you can safely do so. I'm surprised you're familiar with the term 'robot.' Are you familiar with the etymology?"

     Turk shakes his head, and Flint continues, despite an annoyed look from John Silver to his right. The quartermaster leans upon his crutch with a put-upon expression as the captain explains. "It comes from the slavic 'robota,' which means forced labor. Exactly the sort of thing I'm working to protect the lot of you from." The men don't really care to offer a rebuttal, but only some of them appear to visibly believe the captain is as altruistic as he claims--suspicion hangs like a stormcloud over the gathering.

     Silver is the first to notice the newcomer, and shuffles around to get a better look at her. "What... is that?" asks the quartermaster in a hushed tone as Staren offers her a protective suit.

     "I believe she said her name was Amy," Flint says after a delayed look over his shoulder. "Of the planet Mobius, if I recall. More than that, I can't say." He places a hand upon Silver's shoulder and sort of gently guides him away from the men. In a slightrly more hushed tone, he gives an order. "Get what supplies you can from Staren for us. The moment we're sure it's safe, I want that thing excavated."

Priscilla has posed:
    Pretty much exactly as Staren had expected, the alterations to the robot shell design work pretty damn well. Nothing beyond the surface of his armour detects any signs of magical radiation whatsoever, and the optic quality this time is crystal clear with the thaumium shield around his sensory processing center, i.e. brain.

    August wanders down to the head. Though he is not expressly rejected, it is men and women (and robots) in Concord task force uniforms excavating the thing, using powerful precision mining beams and industrial acids to rapidly clear out the rock rather than hitting it with picks like a bunch of cavemen. A very considerable chunk of it has been scraped away, exposing the statue's 'horns' and where its flat, plated jaw falls away into a neck, mostly being a lengthy series of narrow, articulated plates, and then a collar where the semi-metallic sheen begins again. The gaps in the neck show the same sort of angular markings as Lemeza is working on, though they're far harder to see.

    Since he was actually with Kyoko when she had mapped out the area above ground before by pulsing magic through its power lines, he can definitely tell that parts of the writing look very close to the branching right angles used in those flat, crystalline channels electroplated into everything powered here on the island of Garit.

    Lemeza can however confirm that there is actually a language to be read here. Scanning the inside of the fingers for repeating patterns, discrete characters, and repetitions of such in ordered formats that suggest words and sentences, his laptop software quickly isolate the glyphs that actually mean anything, turning out to be a minority of the tracery on the inner surface. It's mostly the more organic shapes, arranged into rows that are broken up by the hard lines, which seem to mean anything, written such that each space or full stop is a conductive line.

    ". . . of royal blood, they shall be granted dominion over men with power of . . ." It's not that the laptop can't figure it out, but that the writing on the fingers obviously isn't the whole chapter and verse. He'd need to see more of the statue itself to get more text, which seems pretty obvious.

    Of course there wouldn't be a bunch of Concord personnel dicking around down here with zero supervision and at nobody's behest. While unrest spreads amongst the pirates of Flint's crew, with only one of them actually doing anything productive and tracing out the detail of the head, the space beside the group shimmers as disturbed water, and the white and gold garbed figure of Priscilla steps out uncomfortably close to the conversation.

    "I am afraid that shalt not be the case." she intones, cool and airily. "Whilst I commend thine efforts in organizing such uselessly disparate groups of uneducated tribesmen into something of worth, as far as I hath been able to follow this operation, thou and the others hast seemingly overlooked the vital aspect of ensuring that there be any significant return for the Concord in expending our time and labour here."

    "May I remind thee that this is not a charity. That the people of Garit were very much willing to offer greatly significant influence and reward in this region for doing precisely the opposite of what thou hast done, and which I hath left largely to thine own discretion in hopes that ought wouldst come of it. This is very much worth such, and so it is the Concord that shalt be acquiring it, for the purposes of study and practical application, rather than yet another alm donated to the natives of this island, whom art barely able to deal with each other without something so potentially destructive."

Amy Rose (6322) has posed:
Amy Rose puts on the environmental suit before responding, her small, high pitched voice sounding a tad faint from within the suit now, "Magic radiation?!" She looks back at the statue, "Well.. I guess it's a good thing you got here in time huh?!"

Amy laughs nervously before glancing at August, "And.. well.. I found a cave with a small opening. It just seemed like a good place to explore. I have no idea who dug it out but after I jumped in I was able to find my way down here through other openings. Eventually I dropped down into what looked like a mine and kept running. I think the openings were too small for you guys to fit into though. They might have been made by animals or something.."

She then smiles, "Yeah I definitely remember your voices from the radio!" She looks in Silver's direction now, a bit of a confused look on her face as he asks "what" she is, "Huh? Oh.. sorry! I'm a hedgehog! Hmm.. I guess there.. aren't any of us where you are from then?" She asks delicately, trying to sound polite.

When Priscilla seems to materialize out of nowhere, Amy looks surprised, "Huh?!" She can only blink again as the woman also begins to talk about things way over her head!

Staren has posed:
    Staren shrugs at Amy's comment that she's lucky he got here. "It's not a radiation shielding suit. It's just in case of pockets of poison gas and to stop you from breathing radioactive dust." He explains for the benefit of Flint's crew too. "After leaving here, you need to recieve medical attention from a factional facility immediately. If you don't have access to one, go to Heal Plz hospital on Afterus. Tell them Staren sent you."

    Priscilla appears, and he nods in agreement.

    He briefly answers Amy, "I'm from the Free City of Lazlo, on a particularly unusual Earth. I'll tell you more about it later."

    Staren moves on to inspect the head. If it IS a robot... how does it work? Is it piloted? There are so many questions, and he's probably not familiar with the methodology. Some kind of rune-based magitech? He looks for any runes on the head to scan for analysis as a possible magical programming language, looks into the eyes to see if he can see anything behind the gems, and thinks about where it'd make sense to put maintenance hatches on this thing, if it needs them. Is it even hollow? He tries every sort of scan he can think of to determine this, and the possible location of any active power source.

Captain Flint has posed:
     The pirates of Flint's crew, seem taken aback by the presence of Priscilla. Only a few of them have been in the presence of an authority figure such as the First before, and even among those, not all of them are entirely certain how to act. In Mr. Turk's case, this is glaringly obvious. Lips curled into a sneer, he manages to get out two words. "Fuck yourself." There was undoubtedly a third word on his lips before Flint's bejeweled fist crashed into his nose with a wet crack and sent him sprawling onto his back.

     Having momentarily turned his back on Priscilla, Flint returns to her, cool and composed as ever, wringing his hand and wiping it off on his long coat. Without any further acknowledgement of his crewman, the captain addresses the First. There is zeal in his seafoam eyes, much the same as when he came to her aid in the Painted World. "Take it if you want," he says, "But do so knowing it will hamstring the very endeavor you permit me to pursue. Don't think of it as charity, think of it as an investment. The Concord has countless wonders that equal or even outshine this one." A fist is raised, smashed into an open palm. With a gesture of that same palm towards the buried head, he continues. "You've been patient with me this far, and I know your patience isn't unlimited. But I'm asking for a little more, because /I/ see what we stand to gain if we allow the Prospekt to keep it."

     As August rails against the Concord's efforts to claim it, he nods towards the angry young man. "Mr. Kohler's reaction is /exactly/ what will happen amongst the Prospekt. It will be seen as nothing less than betrayal, and the /best/ thing that could possibly happen is that the Prospekt will unite, /against/ us." He raises his brow, leaning in closer. "Is that what you want? Or do you want a satellite state capable of producing wonders like this on a regular basis, utterly and completely devoted to us? I can deliver that to you, Priscilla. I just need your patience for a /little/ longer."

     Silver begins distributing the protective gear offered by Staren to the crew, who put on the suits and join the Concord work force (after an insistent display of 'get to work' gestures). Seems they wanted to see how things went between Flint and Priscilla. As he supervises the crew, which is both actual supervision and spying for Flint, he struggles to get the protective suit on, having to lean against a wall to do it thanks to his crutch. "A hedgehog?" He chuckles, between grunts of exertion. "We have them, yes," admits the pirate. "But they walk on all fours, they're about the size of your hand, not usually bright pink, or clothed, and they certainly don't talk."

Kushiko has posed:
For what it's worth, when asked 'what to do about this giant robot', Kushiko's mind went to 'how to deal with a threat' before actually finding and thinking of it as a prize. Because when it gets right down to it, something like this is something that cannot be left in the hands of the Prospekt, to say nothing of the Garit.

Not that she voices this notion about her disdain for Garit, given Priscilla's sudden presence and appearence. Nonetheless, it's not something she can disagree with either, especially given the militant faction and the batshit fucking crazy faction as the Lodestone was.

Giving this to them, even in the future, would be foolish. Still, she does have herself to blame in some degree, such as it were--they had been following something of a serpentine directive here, and it didn't occur to her to think about anything but trying to make this a situation where it was stable. Amy Rose's presence is something she finally, if briefly acknowledges, in as much as she follows the words of conversation that go on between her, Staren, Lemeza and the others here. With August reacting as he does, however, the Tenno shifts her weight in an almost impossible detect fashion. Thorny issues not withstanding, what it comes down to on the Tenno's side is a certain predeliction she has for following orders and authority at times.

And right now, that authority is Priscilla. Besides, she's expressed her piece as much as she has already. At least for now, Helios is drifting off to continue helping document and scan and help out Lemeza with cataloguing the magitech construct.

August Kohler has posed:
Oh, man. It really /is/ a giant robot, or atleast, August is pretty damn sure it is. He's a bit uncomfortable with all the Concord, so he starts moving back to the group after he's made out what he can...and sees Priscilla arrive. And hears what she has to say, about how they're claiming the robot.

His hand immediately drops to his gun, but he doesn't drop it. "Fuck you." The redhead's reaction is fast and fiery, basically spitting. "This doesn't belong to you. If it belongs to anyone, it belongs to the Prospekt who toiled in these mines for so long as slaves. I don't care if this isn't a 'charity' to you. You're just waltzing in and claiming this because it's shiny and you can put it to war or conquering or whatever bullshit you plan to use a giant robot for."

August has, at heart, been waiting for a chance to finally shout at the Concord, because he hasn't trusted this one bit. He knows he's heavily outnumbered...but Flint and his crew seem to be on his side, and for now, he'll take that. "You don't get it. I won't let you. I'll set this entire mine ablaze if I have to." The mirrored bracelet is brought up to August's face level, which is the Persona equivalent of having your hand on your gun. He'll summon his Persona in an emergency. "Maybe this was your whole goal all along. Someone had to know about this. Maybe Garit told you? Maybe that's what you wanted all along?"

Lemeza Kosugi (6258) has posed:
Huh. That snippet is important, but kind of useless in its current state. Royal blood could be either the giver or the recipient of the power, and "they" could be literally anyone. And this power is strong enough to grant dominion over others. Whelp, only one thing to do... oh GODDAMMIT. Between Flint, Priscilla, and August, the question of what to do with the construct has brought forth a frustrating amount of political infighting. If this hinders his ability to unearth the history of this thing, he will /not/ be happy, and that's putting it lightly. He /is/ glad to have had the Concord's assistance in even reaching this thing in the first place, but even with their resources the faction's involvement may ultimately end up screwing him out of a grand find.

With a sigh, Lemeza just gets back to the task at hand. He starts directing the Concord workers to clear away more of the hand, looking to reveal as much as possible of any writing connected to the snippet he'd originally scanned. He'd continue scanning in new bits as they get unearthed, while keeping one eye on the infighting that threatens to explode into combat. But--oh SWEET! Kushiko's giving him data on the head! Lemeza immediately sets up another translation thread parallel to the first, using the original writing and translation as a sort of Rosetta Stone to speed things along.

Priscilla has posed:
    Seeing Turk punched in the face is all well and good, because if Flint hadn't, Priscilla sure would have done something worse. There is that sense about her, if only briefly --a kind of void of real aggression or indignation, but a cold, heart-thumping prickle of something really genuinely dangerous the second she looks their way. It abates somewhat when Turk gets decked hard, and she keeps her attention on Flint by turning her eyes back.

    "An investment is something that is defined by a return, Captain Flint. One dost not giveth away without a guarantee of receiving back more than thou didst giveth. What is it, precisely, that thou hope to see from this? What hath the Prospekt half-heartedly and incredibly sworn to thee that thou shalt see for thine efforts? Why is it that thou believeth they shalt maketh better use of this, somehow, than the most brilliant of the Concord? I hath patience, Captain, but only as long as if it wouldst seemeth beneficial. I am no member of thine crew, in dire need of leadership and more intelligent guidance. I am not convinced merely by the charismatic words of one saying 'trust me'."

    When Lemeza radios in additional information from his deciphering of the hand runes, it only seems to redouble her conviction on the topic. "What of this, then? What 'royal blood' wouldst thou believeth the Prospekt capable of producing? How long before they possesseth anywhere near the learning to be able to maketh use of it, and how likely that they inadvertently destroy themselves in the process? What powers possesseth it, and how wouldst thou trust them in the hands of anarchists and militants thou hath only just convinced to cease shooting one another mere weeks ago? It is irresponsibility in the extreme to divide treasure before thou hast even appraised its value. I had thought a free trader wouldst knoweth such."

    Staren and Lemeza have a moment to continue their examination. Staren determines that the head is indeed hollow, but only to a slight extent --to say that it has a number of irregular cavities within it, but it is not an entire hollow space. The eyes are a little weird. There are no signs of any obvious mechanical pieces or linked items within them, despite their clear emerald material, seemingly inserted into solid stone sockets with a single rune carved into the back of each.

    Concord personnel quickly oblige Lemeza's request, rapidly excavating more fingers of the same hand, across which the script seems to continue. Adjoining the head scans completes the first half of an entire second verse, along with the other exposed fingers. ". . . and sleep in wait for the return of a worthy king. A prayer to the spirit within, so that when it may recognize a true heir of royal blood, they shall be granted dominion over men with the power and divine providence of our king of old, and that their line be surrogate to ours that ends so soon from now. A prayer that the guardian carved in our image shall know its time to 'waken, and set right the impurities that may transpire in our wake, as we pass from this world to . . ." The scripture is probably written across the entire body, and seems to be an entire litany of prayers intermingled with the magical circuits themselves.

Priscilla has posed:
    When August suddenly blows his stack then, Priscilla interrupts her tense debate with Flint for a shallow, patient sigh; patient, except not really. She disappears from sight a second later, where the logical assumption would be her invisibility, but instead she reappears by surprise standing right beside August, way quicker than she could have walked there, and while the air is still rippling, casually strikes him with a clenched backhand to the ribs, still facing Flint and his crew.

    It's not a lethal hit. If she was really serious, she'd have used her scythe. Regardless, even if she hits like an amateur, she is stronger than she has any right to be, and any contact is grounds for an bizarre and inexplicably intense nosebleed, as well as deep, numbing cold.

    "If it were to belongeth to anyone, it wouldst be the people of this island clearly so far more ancient than Garit that if thine prattle hadst any integrity to it, the logic wouldst be to locate their descendents. The Prospekt toiled as slaves for the exploitation of this land's sorcerous resources, for the wealth of their over class. Stumbling upon something by accident is no grounds to claimeth it rightfully thine, and even less that one is worthy of it. In short, thine opinion is juvenile and irrelevant, borne of inexperience and directionless anger. I am entirely capable of seizing it, motivated in every way to do so, and so I shalt, whilst thine allies art too cowardly to show thine faces, or too disingenuous and apathetic to care."

Amy Rose (6322) has posed:
Amy Rose widens her eyes again as a bit of violence breaks out. First as Flint punches someone in the face, and then as Priscilla back hands August in the ribs. Amy is visibly shocked and starts to back away, "What.. what is going on here?" She asks her question meekly, clearly not in any position to truly demand any explanation, and certainly not really expecting any.

Captain Flint has posed:
     Priscilla has seen right through Flint's attempt, charismatic though it might have been. The distraction from August is exactly what was needed, however--from the moment she begins to lecture him, his eyes search up and down the gradually emerging colossus, briefly pausing upon Howell as he works to produce a sketch.

     "If you're determined to take it," Flint says with a shrug, "Then neither I nor Mr. Kohler can stop you, for different reasons. I'm answerable to you as a matter of authority, and Mr. Kohler would be outnumbered--especially without the help of my crew, which I'll not endanger for the sake of ideological purity." A hard, stern look is given to August after this, but he then places a hand upon the young man's shoulder.

     "That being said, I think we can all get what we want. Staren and Mr. Kosugi want to study the device. You want to take it for the Concord, while Mr. Kohler and I wish to see it in the hands of the Prospekt. Mr. Kohler," he says, looking towards the Watch leader with an enterprising smile. "If the Prospekt were given specifications and blueprints detailing how to build... safely," he says with a nod towards Staren, "One of these devices for themselves, would you begrudge the Concord custody of the original?"

August Kohler has posed:
As the strike interacts with August, he completely didn't expect it. The numbness puts him off guard, as he staggers back. Reflexively, his wrist goes to his eyes, and he shouts out. He's not going to be unarmed. "Persona!"

In a flash of blue, the Tin Soldier is summoned, and immediately moves to bat Priscilla away with its arms, gun-leg curving around the ground to make a short wall of fire to block off anyone trying to charge at August. He doesn't immediately move to attack, though. "I don't care what this is. I don't care if you study it. But I'm not /giving it/ to the Concord. If you're going to treat me as a child, as irrelevant, then I'll show you what I'm made of. I'm August Kohler, Cloak of the Watch! I haven't gotten this far because I back down to those who thinks that they can TAKE WHATEVER THEY WANT!"

August doesn't, however, move to immediately strike, instead moving into Overwatch. Anyone who moves towards his ring or to strike over it will face a hefty burst of fire from the Tin Soldier. He's instead calling over his radio. <"This is a call to all Watch contacts. Tell the Lodestone what's going on down here. If I don't report back soon, request that they drop the nuke. I think they'd do it."> And then, a turn to those aggressors he's keeping Overwatch on. "Do you?"

Lemeza Kosugi (6258) has posed:
Great. Just. Fucking. Great. Lemeza had finally gotten some real meat to this legend, and now August is threatening to call in the Watch and: (a) nuke the construct, (b) nuke the Concord, (c) nuke the Prospekt, and (d) nuke Garit. So, the professor has a decision to make. Continue uncovering more of these runes, or put down the lunatic threatening to erase them from existence? The decision seems clear. He stands up and reaches for his revolver, intending to go on the offensive, but Captain Flint on the radio presents some very compelling rationale for not engaging right away. So, he sets back down and works on directing the help to clear away more of the hand, and perhaps the arm? If it's safe to do so.

A quick call to Kushiko. More data on the head! Though, over the radio she relays to him that the main script is likely on the body, which is going to require EVEN MORE DIGGING. And when August audibly /contacts the Watch/ and sets up a deadman's switch on himself to drop the nuke, while simultaneously engaging in combat with the First, Lemeza has to make a snap decision: he himself grabs some tools and contributes to the digging, frantically unearthing just as much as he possibly can in what is probably the short time he has left before the history of the Prospekt gets blown to smithereens!

Staren has posed:
    Nnh. No more conclusive data. And this argument on the radio is going nowhere. They don't even know what this thing is yet!

    Oh great. It IS... well, if not /just/ a weapon, something that is DESIGNED to pick one person, based on unknown criteria, and give them great power to dominate others. They HAVE to get it away from random untrustworthy people and figure out how it works, before it gives someone superpowers carelessly.

    When Staren hears August invoke his persona, he immediately starts rushing back into the main cavern. He disconnects the cable from his neck just before coming into view.

    He aims his beam cannons at August, and then remembers he didn't put them on this armor. He didn't /really/ expect a fight. He hesitates, considering the consequences of August's actions. "You're acting EXACTLY like a child. Throwing a tantrum to show how relevant you are. But you're NOT a child. You're not going into time-out and sent to bed without dessert. You do this, we KILL you, and then we leave the cave and do whatever we have to to disable the nuke. Some prospekt will probably die if we're not SUPER lucky. Is that what you want?"

    He doesn't fire, or run to leave the cave just yet. "We just translated enough to know... some of this thing's purpose. Some precursor civilization left it, to choose a successor and give them the power to dominate others. Do you have ANY reason to trust these precursors? WE'VE worked to restore the prospekt civilization. Nay, to /create/ it, since they didn't have one of their own before. You can't deny that's been good for the prospekt. Do you really believe you have reason to trust these precursors over us?"

    "Think about it." Staren lays out the scenarios. "Worst case, it ends up in the hands of someone who abuses it. Or in the hands of someone incompetent or careless, who'll misuse it without meaning to. In the BEST case, you get a benevolent dictator -- someone who uses it to try and make things better, THEIR way, THEIR definition of better."

    "August, this can only make things worse if it activates. In the very best case, you're left with someone else doing the exact same thing you're mad at US for. Is it really worth risking your life, and that of the prospekt, for that?!"

Kushiko has posed:
Realistically, Kushiko is... honestly indifferent to what August is raging about at this point, because of the sheer, furious indignation to it all. She honestly had a preference to say, you know, /peaceful/ resolution if only because it's the kind of situation that, fighting here would be monumentally risky for collateral damage. Frankly, what Priscilla says is highly accurate, as is Flint's proposal, but only one of these things can carry the day.

<"Pointless."> the young girl begins--words echoing and resonant from the auspices of the Void energy that permeates the air around her, lending sound to that which has no voice within. <"Completely beyond reason."> Even still, Lemeza's request is one she obliges with a command to continue this, to fully scan in everything the head has to offer, and to feed this data directly to Lemeza's laptop, or project it whenever the Sentinel returns from where it is.

Because with August's last words, the faceless Warframe's 'shift' becomes far more pronounced--cold fury and the sense of /death/ roils off her in waves. Whatever passivity that lay in her before is gone in an instant. For from her comes the young girl's voice as she scathingly snarls, <"So you just want to fuck /everyone else/ at the same time, too?"> Unbelievable. The mere concept of a 'nuke' or anything high powered enough to do something /here/ is going to have irreperable damage elsewhere, if not in fact across the island itself.

Given where Priscilla is positioned and where she herself is at, she turns on a heel and starts walking away. <"With what you've threatened, I'm going up and I'm going to start killing everyone up there who might even be thinking about bringing this nuke here. I'm going to use my ship and in case something comes airborne to do it, I will make sure it never reaches here.">

At this point, the 'kill 'em all' scenario might just work out for the best, she muses, pulling loose her weapon from some hidden point, with Helios remaining behind to help Lemeza.

Priscilla has posed:
    "That is correct." Priscilla says with icy indifference to Flint's assertion that nobody can stop her if she decides to do so, irrespective of its (admittedly somewhat high) level of accuracy. "Mine concern is that the Concord stand to actually gain something from this so-far social experiment, not solely that the Prospekt be denied it. Whilst it is clearly and plainly obvious that the Concord is far more deserving of it than they, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that they may proveth themselves worthy of such a thing in future, and so I shalt leave it to discretion of thee as a group as to whether the time and elevated standard it wouldst taketh to divine the meaning of such instructions and reproduce them wouldst be time and standard enough to ensure their civilization is matured enough to handle such a device."

    In the time it takes her to settle it with Flint though, August is alread up from being semi-metaphorically gutpunched and resorting to the ballsy sort of violence August is known for. Priscilla turns in time to flick a slender silver knife from her sleeve and through the air into August's radio, but it is likely too late to actually stop the transmission, and probably just accomplishes being startling.

    "And in thine haste thou hast made certain that at least one splinter of the Prospekt people shalt covet it, and in that uncertainty there is no guarantee that any others shalt align with that same interest --or at least not in such way as to grant Lodestone their druthers. Unlike August, Priscilla is a little too old and cautious to charge a big machine gun pointed at her head on. In plain view of him, she hits her own radio, and says "Contact those of the Starbound Flotilla. We requireth the excavation be accelerated." It's an open challenge to have someone do anything about it before six guys with Matter Manipulators show up and have the whole thing out in a couple of days.

    "Unfortunately, thou hast also imperiled the lives of those thou wish to protect. I do not take likely to those that believeth they art able to threaten or cow mineself, Cloak August. I grant thee not the heroic stand thou desperately wish for. Instead, I slay every last Prospekt who thinketh it wise to respond to thine call." She tags Kushiko real quick. "Exposing thineself shalt not be necessary. I requireth thee to maketh certain that the Cloak is taken care of, as Sir Flint refuses to taketh up arms against him, and Sir Kosugi is otherwise occupied."

    Poof. She disappears in a ripple of wind and a flurry of momentary frost. True to her word, several seconds pass and August doesn't have any horrid slash wounds. One of the cables briefly tenses, and a ladder much further up quickly makes a forceful pinging noise. She's serious about it, and it is pretty damn probable that, as ludicrously dangerous as Lodestone are when they get kinda drunk and crazy with their gadgets, they are woefully unprepared to deal with that kind of thing.

    "A prayer to the earth and sky and sea to cradle our will and testament so that it may lie and sleep in wait for the return of a worthy king. A prayer to the spirit within, so that when it may recognize a true heir of royal blood, they shall be granted dominion over men with the power and divine providence of our king of old, and that their line be surrogate to ours that ends so soon from now. A prayer that the guardian carved in our image shall know its time to 'waken, and set right the impurities that may transpire in our wake, as we pass from this world to a place beyond here, shown to us in glimpses through the glittering windows of crystal that belongs not in this realm."

Captain Flint has posed:
     Priscilla's notion of Flint is only partially correct. Over the past few minutes, Flint has indeed attempted to be a voice of reason, trying to talk August down and keep the matter from coming to blows. But, it's become increasingly obvious that August won't be reasoned with--that the differences between himself and Staren are too stark for this to end peacefully.

     He hasn't moved, since August erected his firewall, and the flames which surround the two of them illuminate his face clearly. Anyone observing can see the gears turning in his mind. His men, too, see this, each one of them from Silver on down the line watching to see what's going to happen next. Hands cautiously reach for weapons, eyes shift from captain to Cloak. "She's right," Flint says, loud enough for August to hear. "About the fact that you've fucked things over immensely, that is."

     The sound of a flintlock pistol's hammer being pulled back echoes through the cavern. "But not about my willingness to shoot you. I like you, Mr. Kohler," he says as the barrel of the gun is pressed against the young man's spine. "But given the choice between your life and the future of Nassau, I would have the latter in nearly every regard. Stand down. Please."

Staren has posed:
    And then Priscilla up and leaves to go kill the Lodestone. Staren wants to go with her. Maybe he could talk some sense into them, so they don't have to die...

    But the moment is past. Staren looks back to August. "Call the Lodestone off. Maybe we can still save them. Maybe they can prove their maturity and surprise us all."

    Restating his ultimatum prompts further:

    "WHY??" The emotion is in Staren's voice, if not his face. "I don't understand, why are you hell bent on giving them something that risks destroying their society?! What nobility is in that? What do you hope to achieve?!" Staren's moral problems with August's choice are bad enough. But intellectually, he can't UNDERSTAND what to gain by it, and that's not just depressing, but infuriating.

    And then he decides it's not too late after all, and runs for the ladder, wings appearing to lighten him as he climbs his way back up. Maybe he can still save lives.

    That's got to matter, right? Hasn't that got to mean something?

Amy Rose (6322) has posed:
Amy Rose is amazed by the displays of power she has seen so far, but that doesn't distract her from August threatening to nuke the mines.. and the innocent people working here, "N-nuke?" At first she looks scared, stepping back again, but her eyes are soon narrowing, "You would kill all of these innocent people?! You monster!" She doesn't spring into action, she is still keeping her distance.

She keeps her eyes on August, "I don't think I stand a chance at fighting you but.. I am not going to help you if these people attack you! You're on your own buddy!!" Her brief moment of bravery is empowered by her anger.

She is able to hear Lemeza now and gives a nod in his direction before running towards his location.

Kushiko has posed:
Well. That will settle that. <"Very well, Priscilla."> Oddly, out of anyone here, there's something to Priscilla that lends a subtle comfort to the Tenno, where for all others, it's perhaps anything /but/ comfort. It's a strange thing. She turns immediately after having announced her intent otherwise, coming to face August without a word otherwise.

August may think it odd--by even the most lacking of knowledge over guns--but this figure carries with her what has to be some kind of sniper rifle. Surely, it's the poorest of ideas to have something like that here, right? Helios on the other hand, is directed to assist Lemeza in whatever he needs--document the /crap/ out of this giant's head whereas her attention is chiefly on Tin Soldier and August Kohler.

<"It's strange. At one point, I had considered your people."> But too much like the Red Veil. Far too much like them--and there's Captain Flint. Ah, if the young girl could show her face, it might well show surprise like none other, and a hint of sadness. Regardless, electromagnetic energy begins to quietly roil through the air itself. Tangible, palpable, ready to seize at a thousand different points as she levels the rifle at Kohler. Which emits a faint whine as within one a heartbeat, a mote of light travels along the side and begins to pulse gently at the barrel's tip. Which is then pointed directly at Tin Soldier, and the trigger is squeezed.

She realistically didn't expect August to stand down. Yet that means that regardless, the /threat must be dealt with/, in her mind, and with that Persona out, that was one part of it. And from her rifle came a high velocity projectile propelled through magnetic induction. A railgun. The shot, snapped off with pneumatic, electronic *thm!* as it hurtled towards Tin Soldier. Even as she allowed--nay, /forced/ out incredible amounts of electromagnetic energy--that she would control that shot's velocity, and bring her full power to bear on the pair.

Lemeza Kosugi (6258) has posed:
Ngh. Great. Everyone's running off to fight. Staren and Priscilla were already engaged, Captain Flint finally caved and started attacking, and now Kushiko's shifted from assisting in translation to assiting in battle. Sheesh. At least she left Helios there to continue scanning. Lemeza takes a bit of a break from the stress of it all, flopping on his back and radioing to Amy for a bit of help.

And she actually responds this time! She must've had her radio off by mistake, still getting used to things and all. When she reaches Lemeza, he starts briefing her on what he's been doing so far: unearthing the ancient symbols, recording them with his laptop, and having a program translate them. He also points out the feed he's receiving from Helios, and how that's getting translated as well. After that... "Alright, I need to get as much of this arm out in the open as we possibly can before that fighting hits critical mass. Think you can help with that? It'll at the very least give you something to do besides worrying." There's a sense of urgency in his voice. "Or, if you can give any insight on what the translation so far means... that might actually be more useful."

Amy Rose (6322) has posed:
Amy Rose is away from August now but she isn't naive enough to believe that she's safe from the nuke. She listens to Lemeza explain his project, understanding a bit, but she's no genius, "Hmm.. well I have a friend back home who would probably be better at translating these.. symbols. But if it's digging out an arm that you need help with I am stronger than I look! Is this the kind of thing that a shovel comes in handy for?" She looks around for one, just in case theres such a thing lying about.

August Kohler has posed:
August is outmanned. His radio is taken out by Priscilla, who he doesn't deign with a response except to spit on the ground. She's leaving and he can't stop her without getting blocked by someone. He doesn't actually want to nuke the place - it's a bluff that he was going to call off at the last minute if he couldn't get what he want, because he doesn't honestly want to nuke the place. A fire inside him does, though. It wants to fight. "I want them to have it over /you/. I'd be fine if you destroyed it. But I'm not going to continue letting you people get your way. I'm not going to sit back and let you tell everyone what to do! I'm going to resist, god damn it!"

And then, the gun is put to the back of his spine. Shit. Amy's statement gets a sigh out of him. "You don't even understand what's going on." That's all he says, because in a moment...

The railgun has fired into the Tin Soldier. It's not an actual robot, so the electromagnetic energy doesn't shut it down, but it smashes into its chest, sending it flying backwards and causing August to stumble. A sympathetic link between the Persona and the user, by timing. It hurts. It really hurts.

A voice in his mind speaks to him. Get them out of your way. It's not a real voice, but the mind's inner discussion. Normally, he'd resist giving into his impulse. He'd resist giving into his rage, into his fire that builds up. But right now, he hurts, and he's not going to be an idle threat. He's the Cloak of the Watch.

As the Tin Soldier flies back, it suddenly fires out of that gun. A blast of fire moves for Flint's gun, hot enough to burn his hand, a bullet that might hit August, and August himself, who screams from the pain. August takes this momentary second to force himself away and through the firewall, allowing it to burn against him as he roars outwards. The Tin Soldier turns, so focused on the fury that it actually reacts sort of like a robot, firing a hail of bullets at everyone opposing him besides Staren, the bullets followed by molten flame. The gun continues to heat up, a massive stir of fire flowing around it. If that goes off, it's /certainly/ not going to be pretty.

It does remain close to August, though, who charges at Staren. He's not moving to attack him, though, as he shouts out and is clearly looking for something else. "Give me your radio!" If Staren moves to draw a gun on him or shoot him, August will reach for his own knife, not allowing himself to get shot straight-on. It's clear he's a bit desperate, though. But he's also pretty sure he could take them, somewhere inside him. That he can blow through anything in his way.

Staren has posed:
    Well, at this point the only possible reason for August to ask for a radio is to call off the Lodestone, right?

    He reaches into his bag, pulls out an ecto in smartphone shape, and tosses it to August. It's connected to his boosters so it can get the signal out loud and clear.

    He's not going to step in front of whatever retaliation others aim at August, though.

Lemeza Kosugi (6258) has posed:
Lemeza winces a bit at Amy's suggestion that he might need help with reading the ancient text. "I... have the translation part covered. Just not interpreting the results." He brings up the translation so far:

"A prayer to the earth and sky and sea to cradle our will and testament so that it may lie and sleep in wait for the return of a worthy king. A prayer to the spirit within, so that when it may recognize a true heir of royal blood, they shall be granted dominion over men with the power and divine providence of our king of old, and that their line be surrogate to ours that ends so soon from now. A prayer that the guardian carved in our image shall know its time to 'waken, and set right the impurities that may transpire in our wake, as we pass from this world to a place beyond here, shown to us in glimpses through the glittering windows of crystal that belongs not in this realm."

"Think you can make heads or tails of that?" he asks, figuring he miiiiiiight know the answer. Hinting as such, he grabs a pair of shovels and pickaxes, handing Amy one of each. The professor gets to digging around one side of the arm, and motions toward the other: "If that hurts your head, you can at least help uncover more information." As he's digging, though, Lemeza keeps glancing to see if Helios has relayed anything new.

Amy Rose (6322) has posed:
Amy Rose scratches the top of her environmental suit thoughtfully, "Well.. um.." She reads the inscription again, "I.. think whoever wrote this is expecting a hero to rise up.. a prince maybe? Honestly I don't have a lot of experience with this kind of thing. I've been in a lot of ancient ruins but I'm not exactly a scholar. But it definitely sounds like some kind of prophecy. Without knowing more about the history of the people who wrote this, it's hard to say honestly."

She looks at the shovel and pickaxe, setting the shovel down for a moment to use the other tool, "Well this is something I am good at! Hi-YAA!" She starts hacking away at the soil around the arm, her strikes much more forceful than one would expect from someone her size.

Kushiko has posed:
She didn't expect it to shut down. Then again, the way she wields electromagnetic energy, it's warping enough to screw with anything, regardless of flesh, bone, metal or energy conduit. In a sense, she could easily be seen as a telekinetic at time, simply manifesting enough energy around someone to wrap them up in it and yank them about like a certain ferrokinetic mutant.

The thing of it is, what she needs to do first is further neutralize Tin Soldier--it's unfortunate that it didn't quite go down; she expected it to be linked to August, and proven right as she is, she simply adjusts her position--the gunfire smashing against her shields, causing them to flare bright blue around her like a second skin, the fire that comes forcing her to quickly pivot to one side to try and avoid it.

She takes a hand off her Lanka to gesture with a hand at Tin Soldier: energy roils and rises in a moment before a bubble of luminescent lilac energy like a sphere envelops where the Tin Soldier is laying down firepower--both literal and otherwise. The act itself is very simple--contain Tin Soldier. And Kushiko's ability here, 'Magnetize' will do that: a powerful magnetic field designed to pull in foes (but not friends, so everyone else is fine!) and since August is far enough away, it won't pull him in. But if Tin Soldier continues to fire from within this field of magnetic energy, it'll be pulled back, shredded and used to tear apart the being trapped within.

The only downside of this bubble is that it'll be hard for anyone to fire through it, since it'll pull in any kind of fire--both literal and not--into its occupant.

But depending on what August may do next, she won't fire anything more into it, if he's going to try and call off that nuke.

Captain Flint has posed:
     The fire sears Flint's hand, and the shot goes wide, a spherical shot zipping through the young faction leader's shoulder. The barrel of the pistol cracks upon the weapon's landing, rendering it useless. Behind him, his men drop their tools and ready their weapons. With a terse, brief chorus of clicking, August has a firing line aimed at him.

     Flint's face is a stony, determined mask as he recovers from the attack. His cutlass sings a shrill, metallic note as it's loosed from its scabbard. Silver barks out an order to hold fire, and the pirates hesitate. But the captain doesn't, his boots beating into the dirt and his sword raised... until he hears August's command. The burn on his hand looks fairly deep--easily third-degree, and quite painful if its ugliness is any indication. Either that, or the tenseness of the situation, or both cause a slight delay.

     Hunched over to lower his profile, Flint stands a few feet from August, the blade of his sword facing outwards and ready to strike. This is not the charming, charismatic man of the people seen in the Prospekt meetings. This is a caged animal, his lips pulled into a thin snarl, ready to bite any hand which creeps too close. "You're calling it off?" His seafoam eyes spy August for any deception, his body refusing to uncoil until the young man's intentions are proven.

     John Silver's face can be seen through the protective suit he wears, or rather, his eyes can. Something between disbelief and disgust bubbles in those pools. "Flint, he's a /kid./"

     "He's old enough to bargain with lives," the captain spits back. Pausing briefly, as if receiving some hidden counsel, the captain raises a hand and gestures to his crew. They raise their weapons and begin to slowly advance on the Tin Soldier, moving to form a blockade between it and August.

Priscilla has posed:
    Jamming around the buried hand with shovels, there is only so much Lemeza and Amy, even between the two of them, can excavate. Since the prayers only seem to be carved in with the magical circuitry, the forearm that lies below it has nothing useful to see. It's all flat, sleek metal with a ring of embedded gems and fine decoration, with no glimpse of the interior layer covered in scripped. What they find adjacent to the buried hand is perhaps more important however:

    Part of the titanic grip of what is very much blatantly a rifle, almost identical in design to the ones scavenged from the Garit military, but far larger, and with far more refined crystal ore implementation.

August Kohler has posed:
Kushiko's trap works, catching the Tin Soldier in the bubble. It can't attack without killing itself and August. As he grabs the radio, he stares back...and the Persona disappears, desummoned. "Sorry, but not that easy." August is glad that worked. The sphere might have blocked that, and then he would be completely out of luck. He holds a hand up, lifts the radio to his mouth to speak.

"Call it off."

And then, at the same time, he moves the mirrored bracelet up to eye level. "Secure me, Tin Soldier!" The Persona reappears between him and Flint, willing to take any bullets, as while they'll still hurt, the metal body is able to dampen them. "Fuck you. I'll settle this later." August does not return the radio.

No, instead, August goes running, leaping onto an old and sort of rusty elevator inside the shaft. The Tin Soldier leaps on as well, as August grabs his knife and cuts through the counterweight, sending the elevator flying upwards. Mid-flight, August sees something, and the Tin Soldier fires.

It fires on a massive crystal, specificially, hoping to drop and blow it up. August transmits one last thing. "This isn't over. I'm not letting you get your way!" As soon as he's risen to the surface, he'll duck out and run for the warpgate, and then proceed to the Watchtower. Hopefully, he's set back the Concord enough to buy him time to gather the Watch. But why did that feel so good? The rush, the adrenaline...maybe being alive has its perks.

Amy Rose (6322) has posed:
Amy Rose is staring at the rifle that her and Lemeza's digging revealed when August begins his retreat after calling off the nuke. Her attention is drawn to him now, "Huh? Well.. you know what I am about to say is definitely not a compliment but.. that guy reminds me of Eggman.. the evil doctor I mentioned on the radio before. He runs away as soon as the table turns like a coward so he can plot his next.."

Her words are cut off mid-sentence as a nearby crystal explodes, drawing a gasp from her, "Did.. did the nuke drop anyway?!" Her eyes widen!

Lemeza Kosugi (6258) has posed:
Huh. If there was any doubt remaining that this thing was a massive weapon, this latest revelation wiped it away. Rifle arm. Neat! Just like --we interrupt this train of thought to bring you August firing upon one of the cavern crystals. "DAMMIT. Couldn't leave well enough alone, could he!?" Lemeza drops his shovel and swiftly breaks out his Angel Shield, placing it between him and the exit in anticipation for the impending explosion, then placing himself in front of Amy and motioning for her to stay put. "Calls off the nuke and tries to detonate everything regardless... tch. He's a threat to historical preservation." Staying put may not be the /best/ idea... but Lemeza could only fly himself out on his portable plane, which would leave Amy a bit unguarded.

Captain Flint has posed:
     Flint's men have a look of almost comical shock upon August's Persona simply disappearing. The captain himself has nothing to say to August, even when he makes a claim that things will be settled later. When the Cloak attempts to make his escape, he's chased by a squad of pirates, whose pursuit is cut off first by August's quick thinking, and then by an order from Flint himself.

     As the projectile collides with the crystal, there's no telling what could happen. "Take cover!" His gravelly voice raises to a commanding shout, and in that one moment, there is no suspicion or question of his motive. His men move as one unit, dashing either for an exit or for something solid, as their respective positions allow.

     There is one who can't quite make it, though--Silver. The quartermaster does his best on one leg, but even with the practice he's gotten in the past few months, his best won't be fast enough to get him clear of the falling crystal in time. Flint stands for one second, frozen, eyes darting between the tracks which lead aboveground and his quartermaster. Muttering a swear under his breath, the captain sheaths his cutlass and charges straight for Silver.

     "Come on," he says firmly, taking the crutch under one arm and slipping Silver's over his shoulder. Eyes frantically searching for something to take cover under, Flint has given up escaping before whatever calamity happens. Without help, he and Silver both might be trapped in the mine--or worse.

Kushiko has posed:
A dark thought occurs: should have killed Tin Soldier as swiftly as possible when they had the chance. Well, August has effectively set himself in a way in her mind that he won't be treated with a chance ever again.

But, ah, now they have bigger things to worry about--literally--thanks to August ordering his Tin Soldier to lay down fire upon one of those crystals. You know, the big, unstable, going to explode in terrible ways kinds of ways, at least potentially. And there's no much of a way /out/--the only option is to try and dig in as much as possible. As much as she might be internally grumping, there's no time to waste on the actual words in regards to it.

Her attention shifts--the head swiveling to where Flint and his men are at, then to Staren, Lemeza and Amy. Where she's at, however, she has to make a swift choice, and that one's simple enough: bolting for where Silver and Flint are, and with her speed and strength, she's going to put them to use--stowing her rifle in one smooth motion and quickly shouting to both: <"Hold on!"> Mostly since her sudden speed means things are going to move pretty quick as she gets both men onto her shoulders, making a beeline for the tracks they're near and launching herself through the air to gain some momentum to run with the pair to get somewhere at least /relatively/ safe.

At least, that's the hope. And hoping everyone else can protect themselves enough to weather August's spiteful move.

Amy Rose (6322) has posed:
Amy Rose hides behind Lemeza, knowing that it's still too early to thank the man for shielding her, "Coward!" It's all she can throw after August since she doesn't have any weapons of her own!

Priscilla has posed:
    Remember that time Lemeza surveyed the area for points of structural weakness? Remember how it was basically 'everywhere'? Yeah.

    August's shot striked a stalactite of almost solid clustered rubies dead on, which instantly daisy chains like a line of exploding missiles and blows a massive chunk of of the ring layer above the bottom floor. The pathway and its overhang begin crumbling immediately, and tunnels on that level collapse in the blink of an eye. An avalanche of rubble descends, both caving in the tunnel where the hand was found, and blocking the mine cart passage to the head unter tons of stone and magical ores that didn't go off as secondary blasts. Excavation is going to be . . . delayed.

Staren has posed:
    "YOU DIIIIIIIIICK!" Staren curses August as the mine crumbles around him.

    And then he's buried in rock. Great.

    On the bright side, that can't really hurt him that much? He's harder than the rocks. And his body runs on magic that will never run out.

    His brain only has about 500 hours of battery life, though.

    Staren remembers he has a matter manipulator. He digs his way to the cable and sends a message to Priscilla: <"August collapsed the cave and fled after calling off the nuke."> She can deal with him. For now... he needs to dig his way to where he remembers everyone else being. The Concord excavators are probably in the most danger, followed by Amy, whose abilities he doesn't know, and then the others who are best equipped to handle themselves.