[ Escaping Cybertron: ]
Videlle: *Manages to keep up with the group*
*She seems to be thinking, but says nothing*
~ ~ ~
[ Onboard the Geomancer: ]
*In the room is found several huge supercomputers*
*On the far wall is a huge bank of screens, though they are currently dark*
*Additionally, several huge metal drawers stand apart from the computers*
Hazanko: Here is the compilation of our research on the Galactic Leyline. This technology is largely for deciphering the variety of codes we've been faced with in our studies.
*He walks up to the console across from them, and places his hand on a raised panel*
*The screens all glow with life, before showing the single image of a massive starmap*
Hazanko: We have narrowed our search for the entrance to this area.
*Half-turning, he gazes at F-Klak with a shrewd, calculating eye*
Hazanko: The entrance is known to shift. Can you help us pinpoint the star system?
*Hand raised, Hazanko gestures to the screens*
~ ~ ~
[ Earth's Moon: ]
Nu-13: You will be contacted when you are needed.
*With that sound like cloth ripping, she disappears into thin air again*
Serrator: ...I don't trust that thing.
Octoroo: Ooh-ah-ooh! That little waif or that rip in space, master?
Serrator: Neither. *Sits, legs folded, on the ground*
~ ~ ~
[ Datrio, West City, Kokonoe's Lab: ]
*By now, Kokonoe has swept a number of sensors up and down Model 18, 17, and 13's bodies*
*Now, she's removed a number of USB cards from them, and plugged them into a couple dozen slots in the front of a large computer*
Kokonoe: *Types commands methodically, carefully putting the overall data together* ... *Sucks on the lollipop in her mouth with a thoughtful frown*
*At last, when all of the data has been compiled, Kokonoe places it all into a single file*
Kokonoe: *Cracks knuckles, as a hovering seat zips over for her* I'll have to thank Washu for this thing. *Begins typing a programming code in swiftly*
*Once all of this has been entered, Kokoe sits back and lets the system run*
*Turning on her wicked hover-chair, she tosses the stick of the finished lollipop into a trashcan; gets a new one; and looks 18, 17, and 13 over*
Kokonoe: ... *Says nothing, just watching the three with great interest* ...
[ An Island Nation, Elsewhere on Datrio: ]
*Most of the huge island nation is grassy and warm*
*Several forests dot its landscapes, and the fields are filled with colorful flowers*
*Meanwhile, small, but fairly advanced cities dot the coastlines; in one particular city, there is a small, quiet pub*
*Sat in the corner is an older, darkskinned man, with long, flowing black hair that cascades down his shoulders; a scruffy beard and mustache; and hooded, black and light gray robes, as well as brass-colored armor on his shoulders, chest, gauntlets, and boots*
*Held firmly in his grasp is a staff of whorled, dark wood, topped by a large, dark orange, teardrop-shaped stone*
*Even sat down in his seat, it can be seen that he's almost inhumanly tall; meanwhile, his eyes are hidden by his bowed head and raised hood*
*No one speaks to him, and he's quite frankly too intimidating to approach*
*As such, he sits in silence, ordering nothing to drink or eat while he stays there*
*Suddenly, a hovering drone floats up to him; spherical, with a single glowing blue eye*
Drone: *Speaks in a chipper, upbeat electronic voice* Excuse me sir, you need to order something if you want to sit at our ta -
*It suddenly stops short as the man raises his head a bit - Turning one golden-orange eye to glare into the single blue orb of the drone*
Drone: ...You're waiting on someone. I see. Do you wish to place an order for when they get here? *Unfolds a digital menu from underside*
???: *Doesn't even look at the menu, but speaks in a quiet, deep voice* I'll have mead.
Drone: Yes, sir. I'll come back when your friend arrives. *Zips away*
???: *Falls silent once again*
~ ~ ~
[ Hei Fon 4, Luo Compound: ]
*Hilda and Fred sit alone in the latter's meeting room*
Hilda: ...I'm sure you've heard of the Great Hei Fon Race, Fred. Our ship needs a sponsor.
Fred: And I assume that you wish for the Luo Weaponry Conglomerate to sponsor the Desperado in the race?
Hilda: Yes. I think that the prize money could give us a big boost in future ventures.
Fred: It certainly will! But you know, I will have to ask for a cut of the prize money. Business is business!
Hilda: I thought you'd say that. And since only the top three win money, if we place fourth or lower...
Fred: ...Your debt to me will have you quite deep in the hole! But don't worry - I have the utmost faith in your crew! If you win, it could bring a lot of nice attention to my company!
Hilda: Then it's a deal. Shall we iron out the creases right off the bat?
Fred: Quite. Now, the price for entry will come out to...
*Their discussion goes on for quite a while*
[ Conquistadores Guildhouse: ]
*Qufang, Minervy, and Persia sit in Zev's office*
*Well, Qufang and Minervy sit - Persia is laying sprawled on Zev's couch, taking a nap*
Zev: *Is looking through a picture book* So. A Viera woman, purple eyes, Summoner's Horned Headband, aaand sun staff?
Qufang: Yes, those are the most defining traits. Her name was Alys.
Zev: *Holds up an exact picture, in color* Alys the Ensorcelled? *Taps finger on the page's upper corner*
Minervy: That's her, that's her!! What's she like? Is she from a Dark Guild!? Oooh is she an agent of the Mages' Association!!?
Zev: Nope. She's one of the Four Bosses of the Guild Grandhorn. And the fact that one of their Four Bosses is on our continent is a very, very bad thing.
Qufang: How so? She rescued us from who she called a criminal from her lands. He was a detestable man...
Zev: Yes, but Grandhorn is not just a Mages' Guild. They directly serve Khalastra's war masters.
Minervy: Ain't Khalastra that tiny island country up north that controls a buncha other islands?
Zev: Yes. And they've also taken over several port cities on the northern hemisphere.
Qufang: - !! *Gives a start* Do you mean to tell me they intend to take over this area?
Zev: That is more likely than not the only reason one of Grandhorn's Four Bosses would be here.
Qufang: ... *Massages the bridge of her snout* Just tell me: What rank is their Guild?
Zev: S-Class, by the Hei Fon System's rankings. Nasty business.
*The room goes awkwardly silent*