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Heron’s eyes darted about to look at what his companions were doing and what they were capable of. Maintaining the barrier was easy enough, but the learned scientist knew that it was only delaying the inevitable when it came to these creatures which were as fascinating as they were dangerous. Asura’s contribution to defense was admirable as he felt the wave of heat from her flamethrowers around him incinerate a good amount of the creatures. The soldiers nearby joined in quickly with their own flames, some even timing their bursts with the Illyrian to augment the impact of those flames.

Heron then looked at Linda who decided to provide some medical support to the unfortunate souls while maintaining her own barrier to keep the small creatures at bay.

“Fascinating…”

The Illyrian elder then noticed Abe’s ability to manipulate naturally occurring electricity, watching as the millibytes who seemed to have some sort of technology in their bodies began to short circuit.

“Wonderful…”

Heron’s eyes shone brightly as he witnessed the abilities of those around him, his belief that there was definitely merit to bringing them along finally finding support. The millibytes soon swarmed over his barrier, wanting to end what they considered a threat to their environment. Heron’s barrier was not closed so the director had to think fast. His swift analytical mind quickly came up with a strategy he thought was the most efficient and he wasted no time delegating.

“Asura, aim your flamethrowers toward the top of my barrier.”

Addressing Linda, he continued.

“You, young lady. Recover all that were afflicted and move them away quickly.”

Then he turned to Abe.

“You, let loose…now!”

Heron’s barrier regained some of its strength as he infused it with some more energy that came from the device along his wrist and he waited to see if his attempt at a cooperative strategy with these two foreigners would end in success. Unlike Luz, Heron had hope.

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With the heat of the moment, Asura almost forgot what was going on with the other team members. Only snapped out of her trance once she heard the crackling of electric coming from behind, her fellow teammate glowing with power. As she looked around it appeared the situation was not as bad as she feared, as the variety of offensive capabilities brought by the team was more than adequate to deal with the issue. As she continued her assualt, she heard Heron call out instructions. 

On 9/4/2019 at 8:31 PM, Dolor Aeternum said:

“Asura, aim your flamethrowers toward the top of my barrier.”

"Gotcha!"

She followed the instruction, aiming her flames upwards. She proceeded levitate herself slightly of the ground as to not seer those taller than her, which was everyone. She could feel the heat radiating from her wrist mounts, bringing an adrenaline rush. It'd been a while since she'd been able to use her weapons to their fullest extent, almost taking some joy in the moment.

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Abe watched the plan unfold with bated breath. He was unsure of the nature of these pests, but their weapons ans abilities seemed to be effective enough. His attention was pulled in all directions, from his allies to his enemies, and back again. Arms still outstretched, Abe did his best to maintain the meager barrier he had managed to erect. 

The luminescence of the forrest was suddenly drowned out by roaring flame. Abe lifted his head to meet the source of the attack, and was somewhat shocked to see the Ilyrian levitating off the ground, spewing hours of flame from her wrists. 

On 9/4/2019 at 3:31 PM, Dolor Aeternum said:

"You, let loose…now!”

The order came, and Abe's first instinct was to obey. He released his barrier, and clapped his hands together at his chest as if in prayer. His eyes shone bright, electric blue. The rhythmic thrumming from his shroud became louder with each passing moment. 

"Brace yourselves!" He shouted, "This is going to hurt!" He hoped his voice carried far enough over the sounds of the battle. 

Abe's disheveled ivory hair began to float upward as he amassed more and more energy. He extended his arms to his sides, willing his shroud away from his body. A translucent dome of thrumming, vibrating electricity extended ten feet outward in all directions in the blink of an eye. Beyond that, Abe was unable to accurately control the shape of the lightning. It was all he could do to stop the errant bolts from striking members of the expedition as the dome unraveled. 

Abe was unsure of the nature of the milibytes, and was unsure of how much electricity he would need to neutralize them. He hoped it was less than it would take to kill his new companions. 

He released wave after wave of his electrical dome pulses, each pulse increasing in amplitude. The thrumming increased in pitch, and the air immediately around Abe vibrated visibly. He tried his best to increase the potency of his electrical waves as minimally as possible in the hopes that none of the other expedition members would be too badly injured. 

By the time he finished doing his part, his hair had become damp with sweat. Thin whisps of steam rose from within his cloak, and the blue was gone from his eyes. 

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Thankfully, hers was the easiest part. All Linda Linda had to do was gather the afflicted members and gather she did. At least those she can reach. She felt sorry for those that too far from her clutches but she was just one woman. She cannot save everyone.

Haste is of the essence and that held true as she willed herself to move forward. Keeping her body low, she scuttled from one poor soul to another, briefly touching them with her healing hands then dragged them back towards the safety of the larger barrier. It worried her that she cannot give them the best treatment she can possibly give but she must stay resolved if she wanted the group to survive. 

There will always be losses. 

She hoped then that the others could dispatch of this threat, so she could continue treating those with afflictions. But she will try to do her best even at such unfair odds.

I think I have made a mistake. I forgot to bring insect repellents. 

 

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Heron reinforced his barrier as soon as he felt the volatile energy surge from Abe’s form. Illyrians all had a knack for sensing the flow of energy and that coupled with their analytical minds allowed them to understand quite a lot from just observing. The Illyrian elder watched as the electricity arced viciously throughout the area, licking his barrier menacingly at times. The fact that Abe could not truly control it was saddening as such a gift deserved to be honed and studied. The sight of his electrifying companion only reinforced the blooming notion that perhaps Illyria had much to offer to help those that called this realm home. He was already conjuring possible ideas that could perhaps aid the boy in making sure he could use his abilities to their full potential.

All of those ideas would be stashed away for now, though, as he assessed the situation and noticed that the millibytes stood no chance, their circuits overloaded by the surge of energy. Many of their frail little bodies popped and splattered against his barrier, while others were burned by Asura’s skill with her weaponry. He didn’t really know much about the smaller Illyrian but she had already proven herself an asset so that was enough for him at this time. As things died down, he let his barrier down and surveyed the area. Two of the Illyrian soldiers were unlucky enough that they suffered from both the biological toxin and Abe’s charged response. They were barely breathing, having passed out from the dual impact. Heron was visibly saddened by the sight of them but turned to Linda Linda briefly.

“Thank you for saving whoever you could. Please tend to their wounds if you can.”

Kneeling down to look at the incapacitated Illyrians, his hand slides along their bodies, the sight of a sliding light visible along cuff like device attached to his wrist. Taking a few seconds to look at the device, he sighed audibly. “We will not be able to take them with us unless we give them some time to rest.” He was about to come to a stand but noticed some shuffling in the distance. A small diminutive looking figure darted across a clearing several feet in the distance and then disappeared into the shelter of the trees. It moved in paths that made it difficult to track visibly. Heron could only deduce that it knew its surroundings well. The elder assumed the creature was a scout of some sort as its humanoid figure and movements were in line with the small morsels of knowledge he had acquired concerning the island’s inhabitants. Arching a brow, he quickly piped up.

“Looks like we were being watched the entire time.”

Addressing two of the Illyrian soldiers that had been near him the entire time his barrier had been placed, he continued.

“You need to bring those afflicted back to the vessel. I will continue forward with my new companions”

“But sir, that that means you will be alone with…them…”

“I’ll be fine. Our Light would want to make sure we do not lose any more than we already have.”

The two looked reluctant but then responded.

“Understood. Pick them up. We will be waiting for you when you return director.”

The men started to carry the injured ones away gingerly, leaving Heron by himself with no other Illyrian other than Asura which did not seem to bother the elder one bit.

“So is anyone here adept at tracking? Speak up now before we start to wander aimlessly into more lively encounters”

Heron waited for anyone to respond, but if he was met with silence he would simply pivot and begin heading in the direction of their small spy.

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With the combination of the crews efforts, the enemies became nothing more than a smoldering wreck of of  blood and ash. Fire and electric combine to form a formidable weapon, one that could be useful in future situations. Tho the threat had disappeared, the jungle was still quiet and gave the young scientist a ever growing chill. The wounded lay motionless on the ground, their bodies torn up from the battle. Thankfully, they were quickly attended to. It was clear from the start that they would be in no condition to continue, few could deal with such an onslaught. But even with the groups number hit hard, they continued their march forward.

"Done, hopefully at least." Asura kicked the ash of the enemies into the shrubbery, somewhat of a victory boast. 

On 9/23/2019 at 7:24 PM, Dolor Aeternum said:

“So is anyone here adept at tracking? Speak up now before we start to wander aimlessly into more lively encounters”

"I have some history with tracking, I've done a few expeditions into Terrenus on wildlife research. However, this islands wildlife appears to be completely different from anything I've encountered."

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Linda could not help but sigh at this predicament. This team could barely handle a swarm, how will they fare in the near future? From here on out enemies are going to get tougher. That she knew so well. She's been through stuff very few could ever exeprience in their limited mortal lives.

She had helped them, the Illyrians, before they were taken back to the boats. The sight of wounded Illyrians saddened her. Somehow it reminded her of a time when she had been there at the disaster in Ceyana. She had presumed that it was a god or a servant of it that she had fought that day. Now she missed the god, she wondered if she can meet Havoc again perhaps some small talk over a cup of tea.

Shaking back her wayward thoughts, Linda regarded Heron's words. "I can sense living beings around us. The supernatural too. That said, I'm not much of a fighter so don't expect too much from me."

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"I have some history with tracking, I've done a few expeditions into Terrenus on wildlife research. However, this islands wildlife appears to be completely different from anything I've encountered."

Heron perked a brow at Asura's mention that she has already completed expeditions given the fact many Illyrians have not ventured outside of Ceyana at all. He made it a point to log that revelation to investigate further later but quickly decided that the experience was needed so he nodded while adjusting his garments.

“Some history is better than no history right now so we need you to start tracking that small spy that just ran in that direction.”

The Illyrian elder turned to Linda, smiling warmly as he found out some more about her particular abilities. He had already sensed she did not favor physical encounters so having her confirm his initial analysis only made him smile all the more as he was sure his senses had not dulled yet.

“Fascinating. Glad you decided to help us young lady. If you can use your abilities to help Asura here then that should allow us to move forward quickly”

The combination of Asura’s tracking ability and Linda’s supernatural senses were likely to find that the small spy was headed directly toward the mountain in the distance. Ushering the group along, there would come a point where they would reach an open area covered partially by the trees above. Beams of light managed to pierce down and illuminate the area in certain spots, making this an excellent area to rest were it not for the sudden spear that drove into the ground several feet before them. Heron felt a chill along his form before he could sense he was being watched and the sound of several small feet shuffling all around them could be heard.

“Do not come any closer.”

Heron decidedly stepped forward to look at the crystal-tipped spear before him, crackling lightly with some electrical energy that was now grounded on the floor beneath him. With hands raised in a measured attempt to show he meant no harm he spoke.

“We are not here to harm you in any way. We’ve come here to learn more about you and your home”

Heron could only assume, given the nature of the weapon before him and what he knew about Terran language that he was dealing with the intelligent beings he had studied about before traveling all the way here. Granted, if it weren’t for his knack for learning language, he might be at more of a disadvantage than he already was. Silence filled the area save for the occasional bird or rush of wind. Heron was silently hoping that those he brought along here would move to supplement his words now.

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On 10/23/2019 at 4:39 PM, Dolor Aeternum said:

“Some history is better than no history right now so we need you to start tracking that small spy that just ran in that direction.”

"Understood."

Moving low to the ground, Asura began trying to search for any noticeable tracks. The earth was somewhat damp, allowing for easy visibility of small footprints in the earth. The tracks looked as if something had scampered into the brush, in an almost awkward side stepping motion. Asura went to take a step towards the brush, but was rudely interrupted by a spear piercing the ground mere paces way.

"Well, that's not ideal."

Heron tried to make communication with the natives, seemingly working. The sound of small bodies moving within the trees stopped, being replaced by the sound of the forest. Not sure about whether or not it was safe, but not wanting to stick around to find out, she began following the tracks further into the forest. Pushing vines, leafs and other various flora out the way revealed more prints. She eventually came across a bundle of thorny vines, it revealed a trail of blood traveling up the vines and into the trees. Small red patches could be seen on the leaves, travelling further into the forest.

"It's still moving, traveling further into the forest in that direction."

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The white-haired woman blinked at the sight of these vertically challenged creatures. She did not expect them to be this short but it did not take long for her to come into terms with that assessment. Now she's filled with wonder and amusement as she regarded these creatures.

She found them to be capable of intelligence but that was about it. However, she would still need to create a cordial relationship with these creatures in the slight chance that the so-called Ginger god would turn out to be someone she knew personally. It might not be surprising that in the near future, she would be living her together with these little critters.

That said, she gave the creatures a slight bow before taking position behind Asura. She peered through the thicket but found nothing. The creature they are following is no longer in sight. They could at least follow the tracks it had left behind.

Or ask the aid of the natives.

Turning her head, she watched the ongoing conversation between her employer and the locals.

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Abe followed his companions silently, doing his best not to get in the way. Without his partner he feared that he was of little use. He couldn't help but chuckle slightly at the thought that the thing once inhabiting his body was ever his "partner." Between Asura and Linda, they managed to make it quite a bit in what he had faith was the right direction. 

His body had cooled by the time the expedition had reached the clearing. The last faint wisps of steam escaping from beneath his cloak. Some of his hairs still stood in awkward places, and he did the best he could to smooth them out before anyone noticed. 

Abe almost let himself relax before the spear impacted the ground before them. Heron began conversing in an unfamiliar language to the stout natives, though from his stance Abe could gather he was attempting to calm the situation. 

He watched Linda take her position behind Asura before moving himself beside Heron. Electrical energy crackled from the tip of the spear embedded in the earth. Abe took a steadying breath and sat back on his heels, reaching a hand out to the spear. 

Electricity crackled from the weapon to Abe. Changing colors intermittently. Light blue and yellow sparks intertwined as Abe attempted to probe the spear. Ultimately, the investigation only proved that this world was far more foreign to him than he had lead himself to believe. 

Even so, he maintained his connection to the spear as he stood, and the yellow electricity emanating from it was consumed and replaced entirely by Abe's own blue sparks. He pulled the spear from the ground and took a step back, unsure of what kind of response his display would provoke. 

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"It's still moving, traveling further into the forest in that direction."

“Let’s try to remember that we are the ones encroaching into their home everyone.”

Heron stepped forward bravely as Abe took hold of the spear and effectively neutralized it’s electrical properties. Apparently the sight of that caused some commotion in the distance which, coupled with Heron’s decision to start stepping a bit forward, catalyzed a crescendo of sounds within the forest that pierced the initial silence. Heron could hear leaves rustling and the distinct staccato of several steps moving away from them. There was no verbal response, no attempt to warn. It would not be clear for several seconds what the next course of action was as the Illyrian elder took his time scanning the area until he pivoted to look at Asura.

“Lead the way but let us tread lightly.”

Heron turned to Abe quickly before continuing to speak.

“Put away any weapons as we make our approach. The mountains are not too far off in the distance and that is where I believe their home lies.”

The elder turned to Linda though he was still speaking to the whole group.

“Let’s move in a tight formation. Stay vigilant in the case our first impression was more sour than we thought.”

Heron smiled and then started to move forward once Asura took the lead. The forest canopy made their paths shaded though not enough to impair visibility. Weaving around the thorny vines, they would eventually be confronted with an outcrop in the distance and the introduction of more rocky terrain as the forest opens up to reveal they have finally reached. The mountain air sweeps downward, colliding with Heron as his robes undulate from the impact. The cool quality of the wind pleased the elder greatly as it was a welcome comfort from the humidity that lingered in the forest behind them. The pleasure was short-lived, however, as the slow emergence of the Ulway could be seen several feet before them. The rocky terrain allowed them to stand elevated above the approach and after a quick scan of the area Heron noticed they were standing in what could be a chokepoint given that he could see the path before them narrowed and became surrounded by rocks at all sides.

“You were told to not come any closer.”

Several toddler-sized humanoids holding a variety of weapons that might seem mundane in craftsmanship but clearly held some magical or technological components stood at varying levels of before them. The rustling of leaves suggested that the native group was looking to encircle them as well. A few of the Ulway stared curiously at Asura with a much softer glare than what they were offering the rest of the group. One particular Ulway stepped forward and rammed a spear that seemed to be quite heavy into the ground.

“Why did you disobey?”

Heron knew he needed to respond quickly and not allow the initial wariness of his group’s presence begin to sway their minds so he quickly offered a response.

“I am curious about your world and everything in it. My people were just forced into it and I must learn all I can about it to keep them safe.”

The group of Ulway did not shift their gaze to regard Heron at all save for the one already fixated on him after asking his question. With spear tips at the ready, the collective of Ulway seemed poised to enter battle should they feel it necessary.

“Leave.”

Heron noticeably frowned at that response but was ready for rebuttal as he reached into his robes which prompted several Ulway to ready what looked like crystal-tipped javelins though something prevented them from throwing them at the Illyrian. The elder emerged with a large crystal, quickly infusing it with white-colored energy that caused it to glow.

“My home has crystals much like those on your weapons and on your trees. Perhaps we can learn how to help one another make better use of them or trade?”

He held the crystal in front of him slowly and after a few seconds that same Ulway decided to speak, clearly curious.

“Have the small one bring it forward”

The entire group shifted their eyes toward Asura then, causing Heron to consider their request for a few moments. The elder moved the hand holding the crystal slowly to Asura and waited to see what she would do.

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Despite being stalker by natives and having their lives on the line, the forest scenery managed to relax the young scientist. The gentle breeze and the smell of undergrowth put her mind at ease, regardless of the situation. But this quickly came to a grinding halt, Asura stopped in her tracks as the natives once again called out. They had already given a warning to the group, she was surprised they had been given a second. Their ability to reason and question was enough to confirm her belief that their social order was compatible. 

On 11/1/2019 at 4:06 PM, Dolor Aeternum said:

“Have the small one bring it forward”

Asura hesitantly took the crystal, holding it out in front of herself as to make it clearly visible to the natives. She slowly marched into the woods, her eyes darting back and forth between the trees. It kicked in her paranoia, feeling as if tho she was soon to meet her end with a spear in her back. She turned back to see her group, then eyes back forward. After what felt like an eternity of slowly shuffling forward, she felt something grasp her wrists.

Edited by Rabbit

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