Nexus Guttersnipes

Interested Parties, Part 3

The finale of arc 1

The preparations were set. Gregor and Maxwell knew what had to be done. Sarin, in her instinctual and driven way, knew what had to be done as well- but had no understanding of plans. It was simple enough, but if anything went wrong all three of their lives would be forfeit.

The Plan as it was

Gregor, Maxwell, and Sarin would sneak in through boxes of chemical shipments that were to end up in the Mother’s Firewander stronghold. Using a map of the complex, they would destroy what they could of the laboratory, and in the process hopefully flush out the mother. Once she was out in the open, panicked, and confused, they would strike and hopefully take her down before she had a chance to do anything that might end in their untimely demise.

The Plan as it would be

For their gusto, the plan was not without severe flaws.

Firstly, they were walking right into the mouth of a beast—they would be placed at the whim of the guard on duty in the middle of a complex they had only rough maps of. While they knew there were approximately 40 people working in the warehouse-turned-fortress, they did not know where they were posted or what they did. They knew of three women who worked with the mother as enforcers, but had no idea what they did other than that. If everything went wrong, how would they escape?

Secondly, they had no means of communication once detached. How would they place the bombs? How would they detonate them? How would they make sure to catch the Mother? How would they let others know they were in trouble? They would all be running blind, and would have to pray on the hundred gods that everything went right.

Thirdly, they had no idea on what their explosives would do. Were they actually explosives? How much would they destroy? What would they do if one was a dud? If all of them were duds? How could they bring the building down otherwise?

Finally, how would they kill the mother? The princes of the earth are nothing to trifle with, and even Orin (Who was at great range, attacking from stealth, with the purest rage and conviction behind him) could not lay one low—so how would the three of them kill one, up close, and with no element of surprise at all? Would they reserve an explosive? Could they afford to?

The Plan as it went- Penetration

While Orin had died at the hands of Lovis DuPris, The Soot-Eyed Guardian had not. Like a spider in the crypts of Sijan, he effortlessly and stealthily flitted through the rafters and crawlspaces of the warehouse-turned-fortress, waiting to see what his former comrades would do. While not particularly concerned for their mortality, he would take the time to save them from The Mother- if only due to her necromantic capabilities. He reasoned with newly found insight that if she knew the ways of the dead, she could surely get him to his master—the master whose call still pulled on his soul.

Meanwhile the mortal trio stuffed themselves into acrid, unmarked boxes made of cheap pine and rusted nails. Fortune on their side, Gregor and Sarin ended up in the same room. Maxwell, however, did not. Instead he found himself a river boat heading downstream, carrying a variety of glasswares and herbs for the satrapies held by the realm. Maxwell was out of the mission for the short term, but fortunately left Gregor with the explosives.

Sarin and Gregor split the explosives, and went to scout the building.

The Plan as it Went- Execution

Having no real idea on what to do with the explosives, or any idea as to how effective they are, Sarin and Gregor find themselves at a thick canvas breezeway, set up presumably to keep as much light out as possible. Both Sarin and Gregor knew that the chemicals involved in the creation of Nelaya’s tears were extremely volatile but degraded quickly in light—their best bet would be catching the materials in the dark, and exploding or burning what they could. The duo found themselves in heated discussion over the best way to execute their plan—in the middle of the breezeway—which naturally lead to being encountered by guards. Sarin, in true warrior-goddess fashion, ran down the hall at the guards while Gregor ran the opposite way in an attempt to begin blowing shit up. Sarin used her spear to plant herself into the floor, swung around the spear, and threw one of the explosives directly at a guard, blowing apart the breezeway and melting faces. Landing solidly and dislodging her spear in one smooth motion, she ran towards Gregor.

Naturally, this is where what planning they did had long since hit the fan, and pure reaction took over.

Gregor ran headlong against his better wishes, narrowly jumped over the tripwire set to slice off the feet of the unwary, and went into the makeshift hallway dug underneath the warehouse. Various doors lined the hallway, and Gregor went to open one.

Haste, in many cases, can be good. It is unfortunate, then that it does not befit the accident-prone Gregor. An accident-prone Gregor who missed the fact that the door he was opening was a trap door, designed to slam people into the makeshift hallway wall. Which happened, but not quite as it should have. Gregor took the blow, being knocked back and startled (But otherwise fine) from the door. Jarred and out of his element, Gregor did what those running on instinct and adrenaline tend to do- the unthinkable.

Knowing well enough the layout of the upstairs, Gregor threw a bomb right at the ceiling of the hallway. The bomb smashed into where the middle of the laboratory should be, and he expected a mighty roar and shake from thunderous concussion and brilliant flame. At first, however, there was nothing. Discouraged, Gregor ran to through to the staircase at the other end of the hallway. Reaching the staircase, it was only then that the rumbling was audible.

Meanwhile, the Soot-Eyed guardian watched. And listened. And shook his head in the darkness. They were making a mockery of this with foolishness and lack of any real organization. The same inattentiveness and lack of direction that lead to his second breath. His grip tightened slightly, unconsciously, against the rafter he was perched on. By this point the fire had caught across the breezeway, fueled by the flammable fabric and acrid vapors contained by it. If any thing, their reckless abandon was certainly being noticed—he watched as about a dozen men rushed into the lab and began shouting. They were moving materials out, it appeared. If that was the case, certainly he could track the mother and catch her unawares—not that the flies hovering over a corpse had any chance against the vultures who wanted what was rightfully theirs—but still. He would let his former friends face their burden.

The Plan as it Went- Calamity

Sorsha was many things, and a liar she was not. Her wonderous exploding potions would bring down the building—she just wasn’t sure what sort of building they would be dealing with, so she gave them an assortment. At least, that’s what she told herself. She was pretty sure she accidentally placed a bottle of deodorant in with the bombs, but it didn’t matter.

One such bomb happened to be specifically for turning concrete, mortar, sand, and most weaker stone mixtures into clay. Fantastic for when you got bored in the Bastion while waiting to pick up an order. Or for when you were infiltrating a building with stone-paver flooring that had been dug out to create a storage area/hallway.

Imagine the scene, then, as a room brimming with emergency personnel, equipment, and product began to fall into the center in a massive, earth-swallowing-everything moment. Stone pavers melted away like butter in a hot pan, sliding down and mixing with the grime and sand of Nexus soil. A sinkhole formed, and in the moments that followed the terrifying reagents of Nelaya’s tears were exposed to fire that was normally used for distillation. Needless to say, a great many people died in that room, in those moments.

Sarin was privy to all of this as she attempted to catch up to Gregor. Hurdling herself over mortar-turned-clay and the strange sand-mud that was coming from the walls around her, Sarin evaded the horrors of the now-collapsing tunnel with grace and savage determination. She caught up to him as he stood silent, hearing the calamity unfold in the lab section of the warehouse.

Each of them had a bomb left. Neither of them knew how many guards were left, where the mother was, if the building was even stable, or if they were getting out alive. The Soot-Eyed Guardian decided to head for less uncertain grounds, and escaped the building unseen.

It was then that the duo made their first major mistake. They took the outer ring of the warehouse-fortress around, only to find themselves doubled back and at the room that held the crates they came in on. The crackle and whoosh of flame became audible, and it was certain then that getting out of the warehouse had to happen… And had to happen before things got more out of hand.

The Plan as it Went- Exit Strategy

More to come. Hopefully before Saturday gametime.

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Vivicus

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