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.
10 thoughts on “The Insecure One: Chapter 1- Rallied”
Hey Hannah sorry I wasn’t clear
The caravan is Yingli’s and the girl mentioned is her sister :b
You’re currently cloaked and hidden at the rim of the crater
[OOC] Hey Belle, I’m rewriting it again. Thanks for clarifying.
I watched the act of Doubter pulling the bomb to get the survivors fearful. I decided to walk towards the confrontation between them to see how I can push them of Inse sight to get Doubter out of the sticky situation.
I heard Doubter saying: ‘You little girl too afraid of fighting me so you got yourself a boy to do your job instead. Then in the first place you should not have challenged me.’
I smiled and decided to change my walking direction to the girl, Esther instead. With my cloak, I carefully ran towards her with a dagger on my hand.
Once the caravan had come to a halt, Blake had stayed behind – doing quick but essential repairs. Although the matters of loosened bolts and rivets may seem trivial, Blake had learnt at an early age that such minor details have the potential to become fatal during one of Inse’s turns.
Blake was in the midst of tightening the hexicord compressor when he heard a loud explosion. Grabbing an old, rusty rifle from the caravan, he ran to the scene – just in time to catch the exchange between Esther and the appearance of Doubter.
Blake narrowed his eyes – Saboteurs. The scumbags of the world. Blake raised the rifle and aimed it at Doubter.
“It would be interesting to see what happens first. Maybe I’ll shoot you as you stand right now, Saboteur. Or maybe that bomb you’re holding will explode and send us all back to the realm of greater Gods. Either way – you die.”
As he spoke, Blake walked towards the centre of the group keeping his rifle trained on Doubter. Carefully coming to rest face to face with Doubter, Blake stood in front of Esther, shielding her from the confrontation. With a brief tilt of his head, Blake motioned her to get out of the way.
Esther, after a hesitant glance at Blake and her father, ran back to safety at the edge of the rim.
[OOC] Just a note, it is only possible to fall out of Inse’s gaze when you are in either of the Peripherals. Right now you are both situated in the middle grounds, the safe zone.
Everything happened at once.
As Esther tried to get back to the edge of the rim, Luelle intercepted her with the knife, and hearing Esther cry out, Blake glanced back.
Taking the opportunity to act, Doubter swiped the barrel of the rifle to the side and threw down the bomb, and instinctively, everyone else leaped away. Saboteur bombs were known to be excessive and over the top, and onlookers turned and ran, the group that had arrived with Sergo abandoning the confrontation and getting onto the vehicle.
Everyone fled, leaving behind Blake, Esther, Luelle, Doubter and the lone caravan still sitting at the rim of the crater.
Doubter had jumped Blake the moment the bomb had hit the floor, the two fighting to overpower each other, but seeing everyone gone, Doubter began yelling.
“Easy, easy-that’s enough, they’re gone!”
Throwing Blake off, he stepped back. The bomb laid on the floor beside them; nothing happened.
“It’s a dud. Who knows why Sergo was carrying it around.”
He looked over the other three.
Luelle, emerging out of her cloak, shoved the girl aside.
While the severity of the situation had diminished, the tension of the two very different groups, survivors and saboteurs, remained.
[OOC] You can decide what to do from here. It is only Blake, Luelle, Esther and Doubter in the crater, with Blake’s family caravan and father at the rim a few meters away
Getting up from the ground, Blake glared at Doubter before glancing back at Esther who seemed shaken – but otherwise unhurt.
“What are you Saboteurs doing in these parts anyway? These are Survivor grounds. The excitement of the Peripherals seem more suited to your lifestyle.” Blake gave a disdainful look at Doubter and Luelle, picking up the rifle and heading back towards Esther and the caravan.
“We don’t need your kind here. We have enough trouble as it is.” Grabbing Esther’s hand, Blake walked steadily back to the caravan.
[OOC] During the initial confrontation Blake badly wanted to kill Doubter. Blake’s first instinct when he got to the scene was to shoot Doubter. He decided against it only because Doubter was holding a bomb which was likely to explode and injure Esther.
After the events of the mini fight with Doubter (and finding out that the bomb is a hoax), Blake is currently making a supreme effort to leave the scene without causing a scene that may get Esther injured. Blake’s first objective is still to protect Esther and his father first. Revenge always comes second.
Even as Blake returns to the caravan the sound of an oncoming vehicle grows louder, and pulling up in front of the caravan the group of 4 from before stops, but do not get off, their vehicle.
As if the earlier confrontation had been wiped from their minds, they look to Blake with a strange mix of excitement and anxiety in their eyes, and even acknowledge Luelle and Doubter who are still standing in the crater without any sign of animosity.
“You guys need to get to the Docking Grounds. Sergo’s calling for everyone to gather.”
Doubter cut in at that.
“Sergo calling a meeting? Since when have we ever even had meetings?”
The men in the vehicle began to answer.
“Because they’re saying it’s true; that they’ve proven it: Inse’s turn is catching up with us, and if it keeps speeding up we’re all doomed.”
“But Sergo’s saying he has a plan to fix all this. To fix everything.”
“He’s even calling on you Saboteurs. He’s saying to cut the bullshit and save your antics for what’s coming, cause you’ll be able to put em to good use.”
“Everything will be explained at the Docking Grounds. We suggest you be there.”
They speed off to spread the message.
The Docking Grounds was the name of the land where the airships and balloons anchored themselves in times of stillness. While access to the air vessels were restricted, the lands beneath it were only somewhat more tolerable.
For Sergo to be allowed to gather people there, however, and with Saboteurs, something really important must be going to happen.
What do you do?
Blake’s father stood still at this unexpected news.
“Fix everything. Sergo’s says he’s gonna fix everything.” Blake’s father repeated. He seemed to be speaking distantly – more to himself rather than anyone else. There was almost a faint glimmer of excitement and hope in his eyes.
“We have heard these theories before. None of them have worked and none of them probably will. And we don’t need to be part of any plan that involves Saboteurs!” Blake said impatiently to his father.
“But just think son – what if there is a new world out there! A world with no Inse, no more running. A world where we can finally find some peace.”
Esther looked excitedly at her father’s words. “You mean we can finally have a pretty house like in the old stories?”
Blake looked at the excitement in Esther’s eyes and groaned. “Alright. We’ll just go and see what they want. But it’s bound to be a waste of time.”
I regretted not laying my hands down on Esther and moved away with disgust. I stared angrily at Blake before going towards Doubter and asking him if he was alright.
*talking to Doubter as he sweeps off the dust from his clothes *
“I do not understand why the survivors always think that the whole place is theirs, are we not allowed to roam around?”
Doubter nodded in agreement with me as we walked towards the other direction.
*talking to Doubter again while covering myself with the cloak*
“Anyway, do you know that the bomb was a hoax or all along you were playing with them?”
“No clue as to why Sergo had a saboteurs bomb with them, probably making us look bad to get into more trouble. I need to find out why but before that let make our way back to the group to let them know what had happened.”
I agreed reluctantly and walked back while looking back grudgingly at Esther and Blake.