"If this little tale is true, one of your wife's students went out and sacked a secret research lab, raided its databanks for information, freed a large group of captives and commandeered a ship to bring them here."
"The ship has no functioning tracking equipment on it, so that's an added plus..." the elf adds with just a hint of humor.
Fivain's measured yet still melodious voice comes across the channel a few seconds later.
"Tamrin - we have a rather warm 'package' inbound to you. It will be arriving at your teleport pad in a few minutes, and database information is updating now via secure tunnel. No appreciable wear and tear, but it should probably be inspected, just the same."
I'm guessing this is one of those uncomfortable times when Fivain really doesn't want to think too hard about what Tamrin's family is capable of. Sometimes it's better to just be thankful they're on your side. ;P
Actually, no. Fivain's just a tad frustrated by Aananda's lack of forward thinking, and not checking first to see if there was any intel or tech worth salvaging from Aegythrax's lab before it all got slagged.
When you're a guerilla movement, you can't afford to just destroy or throw away the enemy's swag. Ah well... ;)
"....Acknowledged, Avalon. We'll have agents monitor the system for any chatter or other activity, just in case. And congratulations on a successful rescue. Tell Vai I hope she can have at least a couple of days of nice, boring rest after all of this. Harbinger out."
"Harbinger, this is Avalon calling. Be advised that the girl has been safely retrieved. Also, you can take Aegythrax off your threat list. He has been dealt with. To the best of my knowledge we were in and out without being spotted by any of the natives."
"That is good news, Avalon. I'm glad she is alright."
"Is there anything for us to bother trying to clean up at the site, or was it obliterated?"
"Harbinger Ascendant acknowledges, Avalon. Tranmission received - stand by," the familiar voice of Fivain responds.
A moment later:
"Aegythrax didn't keep his laboratories close to each other, but there was a site that was supposed to be taken out a few months ago in this region. Small forested world called Darsoum. Exact planetside coordinates inbound to you now. Good hunting, Avalon - bring her back (and that bastard blue's scaly hide too, if you can manage)."
"Let's just say, for both my former apprentice's sake and the sake of this Order he now loosely leads, that I hope I am wrong about you. Considering the events of the last 24 hours, however...well, we shall just have to see."
"I believe your mother is waiting for you on the Academy Deck, in the Library. Unless Doctor Zeppler has managed to woo her, of course. You might want to go check on her and make sure she's alright," she says with a smile as she sits back down and picks up the datapad.
She puts down her datapad and picks up the one Aananda placed on the table, pulling up some of her research.
"It seems that all of the praise regarding your technical savvy that has been heaped upon you is justified," she says after a moment. "Thank you."
She puts down the datapad and stands up.
"It has been...a very give and take experience, Aananda. I wish you the best in your travels," she says with a formal nod.
She blinks, slowly - almost deliberately - before looking up, eyebrow raised appraisingly.
"If the rumors spreading around Engineering are any indication, I may indeed," she replies with a small smile.
She smiles, and puts a hand on his arm.
"I know that you will do what you think is right. Hopefully it will be so."
She turns back to the others.
"I'm sure you would all like a sojourn from our internal philosophical debates. Why don't you show them around, Tam, and get them quartered so they can rest and get comfortable. We will catch up later."
"For now, you are our guests, and we will try to be as acccomodating a host as we can be for you."
She starts to leave the chamber, and calls out over her shoulder with a smile, "Welcome aboard the Harbinger Ascendent."
And now my fingers rest. Night all ;)
Cardcaster Ryo wrote:
"Based on the...fragmentary information you're giving me, 'ally' is a pretty strong word to use since we already have an 'alliance' with members of the Qesemet, which you say have no love for your kind."
"You don't exist. Hmmm...just like us." she replies wryly. "Yet, just like us, here you are."
"Who is this Silver, and what precisely are you asking of us?"
"Our kind and our likeminded allies of many other races seceded from the Empire a long time ago. The place we made for ourselves is well hidden,and has been for many centuries. Until recently. A Silver found his way into our hiding place, and while there was unfortunately captured and corrupted by my son. We will deal with my son when we are able to, but in the meantime it is imperative that this Silver neither betrays our existence to the other dragons or provides Chan'trikalliax with yet more power beyond what the abomination that has possessed him has already given him."
"What manner of abomination has possessed your son? And what 'kind' are you and your daughter, just for the record?"
"Can we speak in common please? I'm still learning the language and I feel like I'm only getting every third word when we speak in draconic."
Switching back to Common at Aananda's request, she arches an eyebrow at Ryleh's response.
"And why is that, if I may ask?"
Cardcaster Ryo wrote:
"A pleasure, Mr. Antairus. 'Homeworld Unknown'...it sounds like you travel as much as my former apprentice here," she says with a nod to Tam.
She turns her gaze to Aananda and Ryleh.
"Your idea paid off handsomely while you were gone. We've avoided quite a few...entanglements, thanks to it," noting Aananda's wide-eyed curiosity.
She leads everyone down the hall, through a few turns (and some very stout looking doors that slide open as the go) into a large room filled with chairs and tables. An array of screens (similar to Tam's datapad screen, but much larger) adorn the walls, and the center of the room has a circular console on a raised pedestal.
"So," she says as she motions for everybody else to sit, "I suppose some formal introductions and a lot of catching up are in order...?"
Cardcaster Ryo wrote:
"Well young man, we're not in the hospitality industry, so you'll have to forgive the lack of such attentions here," she replies with a smile, briefly glancing at Tam appraisingly.
Fivain casts her gaze across Aananda, Ryleh and Ryo, then raises her free hand to the wall.
"Security? Everything is under control here. Lower the circle - ten seconds, then reactivate."
A tinny voice replies, "Yes, ma'am. Circle disengaging - now."
The circle stops glowing.
"If you'd care to join us in the hall before it reactivates...?" she asks the group as she finally holsters her own Caster.
Tamrin Sunwake wrote:
"Several years. We knew you survived the incident in the tunnels, but could never find you, regardless of our method of searching. My guess is that your nose for finding new places kicked in again?"
Tamrin Sunwake wrote:
The elven woman smiles slightly, speaking with an easy grace.
"Welcome back, Tamrin. We were wondering where you had wandered off to this time. I see you are keeping....colorful company, as usual."
"Sean, holster your Caster. That's no proper way to greet your Master now, is it?"