Despite the only recent reversal of the rot and waste that made up their immediate surroundings, survivors of every trade and calling zipped, wheeled, sped, glided and soared over the lands and through the skies with a detached, yet unanimous, air of joy.
Although destined to be short lived, this lighthearted anticipation was the product of carried word and signal from those among them tracking the movement, declaring with full certainty that all of them, from the West Peripheral to the tailing East, were mere moments away from the end of Inse’s turn.
Nine long days of perpetual travel were literally moments from being over.
Airships and balloons cut the fuel to their thrusters and propellers in preparation, and land based vehicles veered off from their straight paths to lay claim to ideal temporary camps amidst the rubble ahead of competitors; drivers of magic-based transports switched to less exhausting primitive wheels and gears and raced off to join them.
The transition from travel to stillness was in place, but even as the survivors began to establish their existence in their new, temporary homes, instinct, conditioned from the many years of racing to keep under Inse’s gaze, turned all eyes to a single straggling airship in the distance.
Inse’s gaze was slowed, but still not at a complete stop, and far out into the East Peripheral, a lone airship’s thrusters burned with all the power it could muster, the Blindlands catching up to the small vessel.
As a distress signal went out, one of the nearer, larger crafts ahead of it made to fire lines into its hull, a technique that in the past allowed them to help pull endangered ships along, but as the larger ship got into position, the rear of the smaller ship fell into the Blindlands, erupting in a blast of fire and smoke. The larger airship abandoned the rescue and veered off away from it, and the smaller craft went down.
Having been flying beyond its full speed, the airship did not simply collapse where it was, and instead accelerated down towards the ground in the direction it had been going, the surviving half ironically breaching out of the East Peripheral and into the safety of the Major. As Inse’s gaze ceased to turn, the airship hit the ground, grinding through the debris in a flurry of fire and sparks before coming to a burning, crumbling halt.
Arriving to the wreckage, survivors did the only thing they could do, and began to loot the ship for all its resources and surviving material. Flames were extinguished and metal was pried away, and as latecomers arrived to witness the blackened spectacle, a young girl jumped off her family caravan and went down to join in the looting, hoping to find something useful before her older brother and father noticed she was already gone. The craft had created a little crater in the ground, and onlookers, knowing better than to bother considering their lateness, watched on from the sloping rim.
“That ain’t right. . .”
No one wanted to acknowledge it, and the man continued, looking directly to the others beside him. Unbeknownst to any of them however, two more had joined them at the rim, shielded from natural sight with the help of an illusion.
“Its sped up again-“
“It couldn’t have; it’s too soon.”
“Sergo should have been more than capable of outrunning It if It hadn’t!”
No one responded, and he shook his head and left.
Those gathered continued to watch the looting in silence, but the roar of an engine brought another vehicle along to the site.
From a ledge in the wreckage, the girl watched as four people got off the vehicle, helping out a fifth who hobbled badly, clutching a broken pipe for a walking stick. He tried to swear, but instead spat blood onto the floor as he managed to stagger towards the wreckage, his grief at the sight of the ruins drowning out all questions from the surrounding onlookers. Survivors instead turned to those who had brought him, and they shrugged.
“We found him out in the East Peri.”
“What about his crew? Sergo had like thirty people. . .”
“The ship was built to eject everyone as long as one pulled the switch. We only found him out there.”
By now the hobbled man had straightened, the walking stick abandoned as Inse’s gaze faded his wounds, his bent legs showing no sign of defect. The grief in his eyes had faded into rage, and he cast a long, sharp glare out to the distance.
Following his gaze, the girl immediately spotted the silhouette of Inse in the far distance.
Turning away, the man strode towards a distracted survivor in the process of trying to cut a transport board from the exposed cargo hold, and onlookers let out a unified oooh as the looter hit the blackened floor face first, unconscious.
Getting on the board the man fired up the thrusters, an electric sail extending from the base, and taking the sail by a cord he blasted away off the ground, flying low and out of sight.
Hearing her father call, the girl began to make her way off the wreckage as below, the survivors began to talk. She had only found one interesting thing on the ship, and balancing it on her head, managed to climb down.
“He’s gonna do something stupid.”
“Just what we need; Inse’s obviously pissed enough.”
“It hasn’t sped up! Inse-”
“Then what did this? We all saw Sergo fall behind-a class 8 fell behind!”
Someone else was about to answer when one of the survivors noticed the girl with the bundle on her head. Snatching it off as she passed, he took her shoulder.
“Did this come off the ship?”
She hesitated, then nodded, and he held it out for the others to see.
“Then here’s a possibility.”
It was a Saboteur explosive: Small and compact. It was obviously just part of the cargo, being intact and not even armed, but the very presence of it set the people there on edge and speculating. One of the men who had arrived on the vehicle was particularly disturbed, and stretching out a hand, a crackle shook the air around him.
“Lets find out.”
Off to the rim of the crater the air warped, and as an illusion collapsed to reveal a male figure, the survivor pulled his arm back, causing the figure to be flung forward towards them. Seeing his face as he made to get up, the survivor sighed.
“Oh. . .You.”
Tightening his invisible grip on him, he continued.
“Well? This one of yours and Luelle’s?”
Usually, mention of the name brought about a silent, but harmless, anger, but gathered around the shattered and charred remains of an airship with a potentially dead crew, weapons were drawn among onlookers, the situation moments from escalating.
“Usually I’d appreciate the credit.”
Deflecting the hold for a brief split moment, he pulled the bomb between them, arming it, and everyone froze.
“But you know that’s not our style.”
Those at the rim backed away, but the six, including Doubter, were at a stalemate. The seventh no one noticed anymore, the young girl, could only stand there, stuck in the middle.
[OOC] I highlighted the parts where your characters/related characters entered so it’d be easier to see. Sorry to make you read again by the way, I didn’t know how else to bring your characters together. Anyways that should be the last of long text since the rest will build on from here XD
Also, use whatever format works for you for the continuation.