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 Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)

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Celo the Impossible
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PostSubject: Re: Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)   Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:25 pm

"So he could survive?" Ketryn asked, feeling hope swell up in her metal body. "That... is good/" She found herself turning it into a question, unsure if fighting in an arena was a good thing to survive through. She sighed flatly, feeling herself calm down. "So when will they be done discussing what our outcomes will be? I am growing tired of waiting."

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Thomas Hobbes wrote:
To this war of every man against every man, this also in consequent; that nothing can be unjust. The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice have there no place. Where there is no common power, there is no law, where no law, no injustice. Force, and fraud, are in war the cardinal virtues.
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PostSubject: Re: Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)   Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:48 am

"He could, yes," Vetrys said. "What you must understand," he continued, "is that no one goes to the games for fun. We are required to, as an example of what happens to those who break our higher laws. It is... Effective." He stopped, quietly looking over the prisoners. It was late. "Levith will be here in the morning. If you wish to sleep, do so soon." That said, he sat down in a chair at the end of the hall, where he could see everyone.

* * *

Kirex grinned and answered one of his favorite questions with one of his favorite words. "Aye!" he exclaimed, much too loud. "This 'ere's cap'n Parrath! And I be the first mate, Kirex!" He seemed to be dancing back and forth between his feet, as if he was wary of being in one place for a long time. Either that or incredibly excited, it was hard to say.

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PostSubject: Re: Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)   Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:27 am

Morning. It seemed so dreadfully far away. Kydi sighed. There wasn't anything he could actually do, so he sat down on the small bed. He took his lab coat off and hung it from a handy rung in the wall. Without it on, he looked different. Less official, with a gaunt tone to his frame. Mostly though, he just looked tired. Idly he wished for the book back on The Silent Dirge, as he didn't think he would be sleeping anytime soon with so many thoughts running through his head.

Kydi stared up at the ceiling.


*  *  *

"Ah," Thray said carefully, not sure what to think about this. He'd heard of space pirates before, and how they had adopted the near-mythical attitude of pirates of old, but he had not actually believed the rumors. Space pirates were threats to lone ships; Thray recalled the great armadas that left together to prevent pirates from having their way with the space lanes and highways that were key to delivering goods to distant Kyrenien worlds.

"I'm sure ye have many questions," Parrath smiled, "but lad, ye look like ye could use a good night's rest before I lays any other shocks on yeh."

"Other shocks?" Thray asked, concerned. He'd already been told he was going to die, by several different people. Was there worse news? He didn't think sleep was an option, especially when just a few moments ago someone had been cheering for his death.

Parrath seemed to read Thray's expression. "Don't worry lad. Them nasty Jakulo won't bother yeh no more. Not till the morn comes for a few days, anyway. The code and all." His gaze turned hard. "And if someone does try ta blow ya down, they'll 'afta go through ol' Parrath first ta get to ye!" This seemed to strike the pirate enormously funny, and he began laughing quietly to himself.

Before Thray could utter any words of protest or ask any questions, Parrath had guided him to a secluded corner where a couple blankets were laying around. The pirate instructed Thray to rest, and that he would 'stand watch' for the night. Thray did not appreciate being ordered around, but was too exhausted mentally to argue. At least Parrath hadn't tried to kill him yet.

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PostSubject: Re: Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)   Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:28 pm

Kirex stood away from Thray, though not far from Parrath. He eyed the Invader, mistrusting. This was stupid, really. The Hunter was capable of killing every last one of them, unarmed. Or at least Kirex was pretty sure he was. This seemed like a terrible idea, but he trusted Parrath's judgement. Usually. "Cap'n..." he mumbled, trying not to let Thray hear, "What're ye thinkin'?"

* * *

Somnus sighed. He supposed they weren't going anywhere any time soon. It was unlikely he could talk his way out of anything with Vetrys. Quietly, he laid down on the floor, too big for the bed. He closed his eyes, mostly, but did not sleep. He probably would eventually, but not until everyone else did.

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PostSubject: Re: Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)   Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:13 pm

Ketryn looked at Vetrys blankly before sitting on the ground, plugging her wires back into the battery she had been provided. She closed her eyes, still sitting up. She couldn't sleep, really, but Ketryn preferred to pretend that she was. It helped her mind relax and think things over. She let her chest rise and fall, as if she were actually breathing. She was just going to have to wait for the morning, then, and find out what everyone's fates would be. With her luck, it was going to be life in prison or something

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To this war of every man against every man, this also in consequent; that nothing can be unjust. The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice have there no place. Where there is no common power, there is no law, where no law, no injustice. Force, and fraud, are in war the cardinal virtues.
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PostSubject: Re: Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)   Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:58 pm

Parrath checked to make sure Thray was out of hearing range before answering Kirex's question. He drew Kirex aside, checking to make sure no one else was listening. The other prisoners seemed to be going about their business. It was rather late, and the sudden arrival of Thray had been an interruption to several people's sleep patterns.

"Kirex," Parrath started, choosing his words carefully, "how long ye reckon we been down in this hole? A few months now, is it? Or longer?" He paused for a second, thinking about how to continue. "Yer cap'n is sick a seein' these dark faces every day. It's time we get out." He threw a glance at the half-asleep form of Thray in the corner. "And if I be right, we just found ourselves clear passage to freedom. Now we just have to convince him ta join our crew...'Tis a dangerous game, but these be desperate times."

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PostSubject: Re: Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)   Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:29 am

Kirex considered this for a while, and then a grin slowly appeared on his face. "Parrath," he whispered, "ye're a genius." That said, he sat down, not intending to sleep, but resting. He kept his pale blue eyes fixed on the scowling Jakulo at the other end of the room, but said no more. This was likely to be a long night. But it would prove their trustworthiness to The Hunter, and that was the first step towards their escape...

* * *

Vetrys leaned back in his chair, calm. The prisoners had expressed little interest in escaping, and were probably unable to anyway. Now all he had to do was wait for the night shift to arrive, so he could sleep. Speaking of which... "Wratchet," he said suddenly, "you should go, too. It's late."

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PostSubject: Re: Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)   Thu May 01, 2014 2:33 am

That night, Kydi dreamed of Faez.

Faez appeared in a white room with Kydi. Faez's bright blue color clashed horribly, but he didn't seem to mind. Smiling broadly, he greeted Kydi with a simple statement.

"Kydi! Thar be pirates!"

Kydi awoke the next morning with a bemused expression. He sat up, unsure of where he was for a moment. Oh. Right. Jail. At least Levith was supposed to give them a verdict today.

"Hey!" Kydi yelled, staring outside the cell. Wratchet and Vetrys were gone, having retreated to their dwelling for the night. They would most likely be back soon. Hurriedly, Kydi began messing with the door of the cell. He had an idea.

*   *   *

Thray woke up to Parrath's orange eyes inches from his face. He stared back, unamused. Parrath cracked a grin, showing his sharp teeth, one of which appeared to be made entirely of gold.

"Good morning sunshine!" Parrath sang. "I don't suppose ye know what's in store for ye today!"

"Uh, no," Thray admitted, uncomfortable due to the fact that Parrath hadn't moved away from him yet.

Parrath laughed, a deep laugh that shook his whole wirey frame. "Kirex! Kirex me lad, wake up! We've got tales ta tell and precious moments ta tell 'em!"

It was then Thray decided his so-called saviors were undoubtedly insane.

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PostSubject: Re: Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)   Thu May 01, 2014 11:52 am

Ketryn's eyes were closed, her mind in another place when she was lifted out of her thoughts by yelling. The light on her forehead glowed the brightest it had been in a while, signifying that her systems were finally completely chargeds as she unhooked the wires of her mechanical body from the battery and looked up to see who had called out.

Kydi was playing with the door of his cell, rushing as he did so. Ketryn watched him with a blank face, wondering what he was doing. Wasn't there an electric field around the cells or something? Wait... It was the door to the cell. Maybe it didn't have a field around it so prisoners and guards wouldn't be unable to enter? But then they may have just turned off the electric field as they walked into the cells.

Ketryn stood up, letting a fake yawn overcome her- she always liked doing that. It made her feel more... Real. She walked towards the edge of the cell, looking curiously at Kydi. "What are you up to?" She questioned, quiet so that no one would become suspicious of a lot of noise.

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Thomas Hobbes wrote:
To this war of every man against every man, this also in consequent; that nothing can be unjust. The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice have there no place. Where there is no common power, there is no law, where no law, no injustice. Force, and fraud, are in war the cardinal virtues.
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PostSubject: Re: Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)   Thu May 01, 2014 5:42 pm

Kirex, who had been curled up in a ball so tight that his tail covered his entire face, shifted slightly. He moved his tail first, and stared up at Parrath for a moment. What were they doing again? The next thing he saw, though, was quite the famous face. The Hunter, of course. They had to tell him what was going on today. Having figured out what was going on, he immediately became wide awake, jumping straight up from the floor to his feet with a grin.

"Aye!" He agreed cheerfully, "if ye're goin' ta survive here, ya gotta know tha ropes!"

* * *

Somnus was alert long before he opened his eyes. Kydi was doing something, he could hear clicking noises coming from the cell door. Ketryn had asked a question, and judging by all this activity, there were no guards around. Finally, he opened his eyes, got up, and stretched. He was right. There was no one nearby except the prisoners. He watched Kydi, silent, in an attempt to judge what he was doing.

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PostSubject: Re: Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)   Thu May 01, 2014 8:07 pm

When the lights came up he jumped up fists curled,teeth bared expecting to fight his captors to the death if he had to....turned out it was just Ketyrn she did a robotic thingy with her head. He got up and stretched his arms and legs then he removed his helmet to reveal a large thick horn that was jutting out the top of his cranium smaller dull horns sprouted all along the base of his horns they continued until stopping just above his brow line he ambled over to the glowing wall across the hall was a Kydi messing with his cell wall as someone who had already had an injury with the walls decided "I wouldn't try messing with that buddy you're liable to get shocked or turned to ash or both".

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PostSubject: Re: Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)   Thu May 01, 2014 8:59 pm

As if on cue, the door shocked Kydi. He jumped back, cradeling his zapped hand and mumbling a few choice words. After recompsing himself, he stared at the door, puzzled. "I don't get it," he said. "These doors...this whole cell. It's rejiggered Kyrenien technology. Someone specifically set the walls to shock instead of just block...and where did they get the tech anyway?"

There was something funny going on here. Something Kydi couldn't quite place. Well, his fiddling with the door had done nothing but reaffirm his suspicions, and now his arm throbbed. Worth it.


*   *   *


"What exactly is this place?" Thray asked, straight to the point. He stood up, so that Parrath couldn't loom over him anymore and invade his personal space.

"Not much one for pleasantries, are ye lad?" Parrath asked rhetorically, taking a step back. "No matter. Anyway, this be the Jakulo version of a sec'ndary trial. If ye survive the arena, ye supposedly earn yer freedom."

"...Arena?"

"Aye. The arena lay beyond those three doors. And in the arena, be the monsters. Me an' me crew been down here fightin' the blasted things since the day we was captured. As ye might have guessed, Kirex and I be the only survivors of a twenty-man crew." Parrath looked away for a moment after this sentence. He seemed oddly saddened. "These caves be no place for gen'lmen of fortune, such as ourselves...But blast. Here we be."

Thray thought this over, mildly impressed. So these two must be astute fighters, to have survived where the rest of their crew had failed. Thray knew very little about pirates, but one thing was for sure: They normally didn't do things unless it resulted in their own gain. So why befriend him? Why save him from the angry Jakulo who had spoken to take his life? Thray was no fool, and he wanted to know the pirate's motives. There was one way to find out.

"Parrath," Thray asked quietly, "why are you helping me?"

The pirate grinned, standing up straight and folding his arms. He fixed Thray with a cool expression, gold tooth glinting in the dim light. "Well Sunshine," he started, "yer allowed ta have a team."

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PostSubject: Re: Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)   Sat May 03, 2014 2:44 pm

Ketryn silently looked at Kydi and then the door. She was tempted to bring up her theory- of adding electricity to the electric layer and using that to maybe make it short-circuit somehow. But then she didn't want to seem like a fool, or low in technology when it came to her knowledge of it (She might be a cyborg, but that doesn't mean she is good at electronics). She stood, frozen for a bit, thinking things through.

Finally Ketryn shook her head, scolding herself in her mind for doing this as she asked, "What if some more energy was added to the electrical field? Some open wires or something? Could it be possible to short-circuit it?"

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Thomas Hobbes wrote:
To this war of every man against every man, this also in consequent; that nothing can be unjust. The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice have there no place. Where there is no common power, there is no law, where no law, no injustice. Force, and fraud, are in war the cardinal virtues.
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PostSubject: Re: Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)   Sun May 04, 2014 9:35 pm

Somnus got up and walked to the front of his cell, where he could better see Kydi across the hall, as well as look at his own cell door. He really didn't know much about technology, but it might have been worth looking at anyway. He fixed his eyes on Kydi for a moment, then spoke. "If this technology is Kyrenien, then they must have somehow taken it... Which means either the Kyreniens left in a hurry, or..." He paused, considering what he was about to say, how unlikely it was. "Or the Jakulo truly are a force to be reckoned with..."

* * *

"Aye," Kirex said, still grinning. If they could get Thray to help them, there was no way they could get themselves killed. Even better, they could probably escape. It occurred to him how much he liked having Parrath around to think of these things, since Kirex himself tended to be fairly short sighted. At least Kirex could hold his own in combat. Mostly. Speaking of which... They probably didn't have much time.

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PostSubject: Re: Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)   Mon May 05, 2014 12:53 am

"If this was a normal Kyrenien door, I'd say no way," Kydi explained in response to Ketryn's question. "It isn't a normal Kyrenien door anymore though... From what I can see here, there's a chance you would fry yourself trying to overload the energy field." His eyes travelled up onto the ceiling, where he noted the large fan, and wondered if he could fit his hand through the blades and find any lose wires. It probably wasn't a good idea, but now he was curious. "None of this makes any sense," Kydi went on. "How would they know what to mess with? Who 'redid the wiring,' so to speak?"

Somnus' comment rang true to Kydi's heart. If the Jakulo possessed enough technological intelligence to successfully modify Kyrenien technology without breaking it, there was definitely something to be admired here. "You know Somnus, it isn't as unlikely as you might think," Kydi responded. "A rebellion against the Invaders. It's happened before..."

*   *   *

Team. So this is what they wanted him for. Thray had to give the pirates credit for their bravery, not many life-forms he knew would dare ask for assistance from the Hunter. Oh how he hated his reputation.

"Well, Sunshine?" Parrath asked, extending a hand in Thray's direction. "What say ye ta joinin' me crew- err- team?"
"Do I have to talk like a pirate?" Thray questioned, straight-faced.
Parrath blinked, and then roared with laughter. "A' course not, me hearty. One must keep to his reputation!"
"Alright then," Thray agreed, taking Parrath's hand and shaking it. He had no idea what to do in this arena Parrath described, and had no desire to face it alone when someone was offering an alliance. He at least needed time to figure things out. "So. What have I got to do?"

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PostSubject: Re: Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)   Thu May 08, 2014 2:19 pm

Ketryn slowly nodded, glad, really, that she didn't have to try such a feat as shorting the wiring. But the Jakulo being able to change the technology of Kyrenian tech.... such a thought made her nervous. She looked down at hands, slowly opening and closing them to create fist. What if they got ahold of her? Would she be hurt?

A sudden thought came to her mind. What if they could help her? Change the wiring in her system so that it could read emotions sent from her mind? It would be.... she would probably do anything for that, even allow them to experiment on her. Ketryn looked at Kydi, her expression as blank as ever.

"So what do you think this is all going to grow into? Something prosperous or something disastrous?"

She glanced at the door. When are they going to come in and reveal their fates already?

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PostSubject: Re: Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)   Fri May 09, 2014 1:18 pm

There was a quiet thump, and a small door in the side of the hall opened. Somnus looked up, surprised that whoever it was hadn't come from the hallway, the way he himself had come the previous day. It was Vetrys, already fully armed.

"Of course we would modify the cells," he said casually as he locked the door behind him, "You aren't the first alien prisoners we've held. Or the first Kyrenien."

Having finished locking the door, he located his rolling chair, brought it to the front of the hall, and sat down. "By the way," he said, leaning back, "I don't advise trying to escape. Levith will be here within the hour, and that would not be news I'd want to have to give him."

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PostSubject: Re: Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)   Sat May 10, 2014 3:14 am

Kydi blinked, and then smiled sheepishly at Vetry's appearance. So, their jailor hadn't been gone after all. Well, that was yet another botched impression. Kydi scolded himself mentally for being so...untrustworthy. This was new.

Out from behind Vetrys popped Wratchet, bright-eyed and practically twitching with energy. "I did some of the wiring in here," she answered, solving a portion of Kydi's mystery. As an afterthought, she added, "And I also helped shoot your ship down."

Kydi stared at her for a long moment, impressed, but saying nothing.


*   *   *


"Oh that be the easy part!" Parrath cried, dancing back away from Thray and towards one of the doors. He gestured for the Kyrenien and Kirex to follow him. "All ye must do is stay alive! Should be easy for ye, yes Sunshine?"

A little put off, Thray gave the back of Parrath's head a half-glare. "Why do you keep calling me that?"

"Yer eyes lad," Parrath answered, whipping around and pointing at Thray with a clawed finger. "They glow the same color as the noonday sun. A pretty yellow if ye ask an ol' space pirate like meself. Not very bright, mind ye, but just enough for me ta notice."

Oh, Thray thought. He then spent the next few seconds trying to will his eyes to stop glowing. He had never been able to control it, but he always felt he needed to try. While Thray was busy doing this, Parrath charged up to one of the formidable metal doors and began pounding away as if it were a thin sheet of paper. Had anyone been close enough to hear his raving whispers, they would have heard curses and a couple of phrases concerning swords. "C'mon ye cowards! Give ol' Parrath another fightin' chance with the bloody beasts!"

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PostSubject: Re: Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)   Sat May 10, 2014 3:43 am

Vetrys tensed, looking at Wratchet.  This was news to him.  "You were supposed to be rewiring things in B24.  Don't tell me you were outside the whole time?"  He stared at her, clearly worried.

This confused Somnus.  Vetrys acted as if Wratchet was somehow his responsibility, and yet she was the head engineer.  There was no reason she should be under his command.  Come to think of it, there was no reason for her to be in the prison at all, unless she was going to repair HL3, and it seemed that would not be happening for quite some time.  So why was she here?

*  *  *

Kirex darted along right behind Parrath, barely listening to their conversation.  Something about Thray being the sun, he didn't care.  It was time for the games, and the doors had yet to open.  Which meant only one thing...

Clearly they needed to bang on the door until it opened, as if that would change the time.

Of course, this made perfect sense to Kirex.  Or at least, enough for him to justify yelling at things, which he enjoyed anyway.  And so he did.  "Aye!  Ye've no idea how bored we be down 'ere!  Open up, ye cowards!"

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PostSubject: Re: Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)   Wed May 14, 2014 8:38 pm

"Oh I was fine," Wratchet said dismissively to Vetrys. "You worry about me too much." She grinned up at him, putting on her innocent face.

Kydi smiled sadly at this exchange. He was reminded of Safyr3 and Opajik in a way. He wondered how they fared back home... No doubt Safyr3 had given Opajik a few nasty scares by now.

The faint sound of footsteps suddenly echoed down the tunnel. Someone was coming. After a minute or two, the imposing figure of Levith came into view.

"The Games are starting," he said emotionlessly. Nodding at Vetrys, he went on, "you know the drill."


*  *  *


The rest of the prisoners were starting to gather around the doors. A couple laughed at Parrath and Kirex, amused by their behavior. Oddly enough, the Jakulo from the previous night was standing not too far from Thray.

The two quickly got in a glaring contest. "So you've joined with Parrath," snarled the Jakulo. "Didn't know Kyreniens were team players!"

"I didn't know Jakulo were so forgiving," Thray answered. "Dumping you down here must have been fun. How anyone tolerates your presence is a miracle."

One of the other Jakulo in the crowd laughed. "He gotcha there, Nakion."

Nakion. Thray decided to remember that name. He smiled to himself under his hood.


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PostSubject: Re: Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)   Thu May 15, 2014 1:00 am

Vetrys nodded at Levith without a word, then turned to the prisoners. "Alright everyone," he said in a loud voice, "the Games are about to start, and you-" he paused for a split second, glancing at Levith out of the corner of his eye, "get to watch. The doors will be opening in a moment. I expect none of you to attack anyone, or there will be a problem."

With that, he turned and went back into the small room he had come out of. There was a click, and slowly all the doors in the high security area began to open. Except for HL3, which was disconnected from the system until someone decided to fix it.

Somnus slowly padded out of the cell, looking around cautiously. Levith had brought several guards, and so he hoped none of the other prisoners would do anything to aggravate the Jakulo. He saw Vetrys exit the small room and lock it behind him once more, then begin walking back up the hall. Somnus followed not far behind him. Close enough to hear Vetrys whisper to Wratchet.

"Let me know next time you go to the surface. So I can lock you in one of the cells."

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PostSubject: Re: Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)   Thu May 15, 2014 1:37 am

Levith, along with another guard, took up the rear of the march, directly behind Kydi. Both Levith and the other guard had two hands on a gun at all times.

Kydi was more interested in the door mechanism. It was something completely new to the borrowed Kyrenien technology, and he was yet again amazed at the ease with which it seemed to work. There certainly was something funny going on here...

They came to the top of the tunnel, where there was a transporter waiting for them.

"Everyone in!" Levith ordered

*  *  *

The enormous metal blast doors hissed, and creaked open. There was a mad rush of bodies towards the openings, Parrath the first one inside. Thray, more cautious, was nearly the last.

What was inside had him staring in shock. The walls were lined with weapons. All manner of handheld weapons. Swords, shields, knives, cleavers, axes... Everything.

A familiar gleam caught his eyes. Turning, he spied the sharp form of his beloved sword, suspended from a hook in the cieling. Losing himself, he raced ahead if the crowd, jumping over a few people's heads, and neatly snatched the blade from its place. It glowed warmly in his hands. It was a great comfort, holding his trusted sword again.

Behind him, Parrath laughed. "I wouldn't worry none about us folk stealin' that marvelous blade from ye," the feline grinned. "'Tis a bit long for all us short scallywags, ey Sunshine?"

"They give us weapons?" Thray asked, confused, but not complaining.

"Usually," Parrath answered. He then turned away and began hunting through some crates.

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PostSubject: Re: Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)   Thu May 15, 2014 1:39 am

Ketryn felt herself internally wince, despite the lack of feeling. They had to watch the games? Ketryn's heart began to pound. W-what? Why? Ketryn took several steps back in her cell, tripping back to sit on the cot as the guards came in to escort them. She didn't want to watch the fighting. She remained sitting on the cot.

Her voice, while flat, was somehow able to show fear and nervousness- perhaps it was the stammering she had somehow been able to add into her voice as she spoke. "P-please don't..." as she said this, however, Ketryn slowly stood up. Despite her fear and wanting to stay where she was, the logic of Ketryn's mind still overpowered her will. They would make her go either way, correct? So why try? She followed the others out of the room.

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PostSubject: Re: Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)   Thu May 15, 2014 2:49 am

Donfroste simply put on his helmet and joined the group,Arena Games? Donfroste was quite suprised that they'd let potentially dangerous inmates to a place where there are a lot of sharp,pointy,zappy gadgets and blades. Sure they were being "secure" with all the guards but all that was needed was a distraction and all hell could break loose,He could probably take out a guard steal his tech and boom he was free,a plan was formulating in his head, oh yes a plan....

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PostSubject: Re: Endurance: The Next Chapter (IC)   Thu May 15, 2014 3:17 am

Kirex leapt in right behind Parrath, cheering, and dove straight for the far corner. A familiar glint had caught his eye, a small pile of things that were always found together. Four small knives that fit perfectly in the loops in his belt, and several sacks tied closed with a string, which he tied on the other side of his belt. That done, he looked up, still grinning ear to ear with sharp teeth, and waited.

* * *

Vetrys gave Ketryn a sympathetic look, and whispered, "you don't have to watch, but I'm afraid you do have to come." He looked forward once again, showing no sign that he had said anything. He climbed into the transporter without another word.

Somnus followed, trying to stick close to everyone else. He had no particular wish to watch the games, but perhaps they could learn something about how to get Thray out, if it came to that.

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