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#DrellCompound – September 24, 2016
Kell leads the way towards a vehicle. Only, on closer inspection, this is no car. It's a bizzare antiquity, the body not unlike that of an elongated Mantis gunship. On top of it, however, are massive metal blades, joined by a smaller rotor at the tail. There is no sign of any thrusters. The sides are open, and several drell await inside.
Steve to follow behind Kell, his eyes dancing this way and that as he attempts to assess the size of this 'raiding party'. Numbers. Weaponry. Whatever information he can gleam. "The hell is this thing?" he asks with a gesture towards the antique helicopter.
There's a total of ten drell in the troop compartment of the helicopter, four seated on each side along the wall, and two gunners manning rotary cannons in the openings. All of them are wearing rudimentary armor, and are armed with antique drell weaponry, mostly rifles. Kell stops in front of the vehicle. "This attack rotor will allow us to locate them, with your guidance, of course." he says confidently.
Steve continues to look it over sceptically. "...Right." he says. Ten drell. Old weaponry. His mind runs through a number of scenarios, very few of which end favorably for him without his armor. "Depends on whether they've set out yet." he says, well aware they already have by the comms messages he has received. "First stop should be the bunker. If they ain't there, I can guide ya to where they're goin'. Best if we cover all our
Kell climbs in after Steve, gesturing at one of the two empty seats. One on each side. middle seats. Surrounded by drell. "They are not. I have already sent scouts there."
Steve gives a sigh. Not how he wanted this to start. "Did they check the lower floors?" he asks, "If they saw your scouts comin', there's a good chance they headed on down to avoid 'em. It might be worth makin' sure just so we ain't out there runnin' around for no reason."
Steve takes one of the seats, giving a glance at the drell on each side of him. "This wouldn't be a problem if ya'll would just give me my gear back. I could just call 'em up and confirm exactly where they're at."
Kell smiles. "I am confident they do not remain at the bunker. You will bring us to their new location. You know where it is, yes?"
Steve nods silently. "I know the directions from the bunker." he says. A half truth. At this point he's just buying time. Opportunity always presents itself on a long enough timeline. "North of the bunker. Like I said. Without my gear, I can't confirm their exact location. Just where they're goin'. Let's start with that."
Kell studies Steve for a moment before nodding to one of the others, who in turn speaks into a radio. The helicopter comes to life, blades spinning rapidly, the air around them whirling as it starts to generate thrust. The drell all start to strap into their seats. The straps are old and worn, but they hold. Well-taken care of, considering their likely age. Restored by Kell's people, no doubt.
Steve looks to the others around him and decides it's probably in his best interest to follow suit. He begins to strap himself in, eyes on Kell as he does. "How fast does this thing go...?" he asks out of curiosity, "Looks ancient." As the helicopter begins to lift up, he tenses. "This thing safe!?" he asks, clearly not expecting flight out of such a primitive vehicle.
The helicopter rises in the air, higher and higher, shaking and groaning as it does. The blades rotate with stunning speed, nothing but a blur. The buzzing of the rotors is rather overwhelming as it flies. It's a strange antiquitiy, giving off an altogether unreliable impression as it rises up past the factory's spires and takes flight to the south.
Kell 's smile remains. "Fast enough. And of course it is safe. It is a remnant of a different age, when my people fought great wars, and this world was full of machines such as this."
Steve's fingertips dig into the fabric of his loaner-shorts, gripping at some form of stability on this accident waiting to happen. "Uh huh..." he says distantly as he looks out through the cannon opening. "This thing wouldn't last ten seconds in open combat with the shit we got out there." he adds. A thinly veiled insult. "Be sure to let me out before the shootin' starts. Can't imagine this thing is gonna be in the air long
before my people slap it down." His gaze drifts from the opening, scanning across the troop compartment. Close quarters. Not a bad place to make his stand. The rifles would be far less effective in such close confines, but there's no telling what effect it might have on the pilot. One stray shot and everyone is going down.
Kell scoffs. "Do not presume to know our plans. Or our capabilities. Rest assured we can set you lose before any fighting starts, if you wish."
Steve sucks in a deep breath and nods. "I told ya I'd give ya a hand. I ain't goin' back on my word. I just ain't doin' it in this flyin' coffin." he says. He looks over those on each side of him, eyes moving to the rifle in their hands. "No chance of you rethinkin' this whole 'no weapons' policy? My people are well armed. Goin' toe-to-toe with 'em in a pair of shorts and sandals ain't exactly givin' me a whole lot of hope." he
Kell nods. "If you wish to fight when the time comes, I am sure we can find something suitable." Some of the other drell are quite a bit less friendly, a few angry glares going Steve's way, and one or two hands tightening around the grip of their rifles.
Steve gives one of the drell a wink as he notices the glare. "I'm gettin' the impression your lil' buddies here ain't exactly my biggest fans, Kell." he taunts, grinning at the drell guard. "Might wanna tell 'em to keep their dirty looks to themselves or I might have to do somethin' about it. Makin' me a little uncomfortable."
Steve returns the smile before sitting back in his seat with a sigh. "Should be a set of caves and canyons north of the bunker." he says with a nod towards the front of the chopper. "Can't really guide you from there. Not from up here in this thing. Put me down on the ground with a few of your goonsquad and I can get 'em through the cave systems. Can wave down the aircraft from the other side or somethin'."
Kell raises an eyebrow. "Your people went through that place...?" he asks, his tone different now. He glances at one of the others and rolls his shoulders as he awaits a response, leaning forward a bit and staring at Steve.
Steve gives a nod. "Like I said. Without my comms equipment, there ain't no way of knowin' how far they got since headin' out. But I can get ya through the route we were supposed to be takin'. Got a problem with tight spaces or somethin'?"
Kell turns to the drell next to him, saying something which causes a brief discussion, incomprehensible to Steve. He then waves a hand and looks to the drell with the radio. "Tell him to take us back."
Steve's gaze sweeps between the participants in the conversation. Eyebrow furrowed, he stares Kell down. "Wait, wait, wait. What's goin' on? Why are we goin' back?" he asks. Going back to that compound isn't an option. There's no way he's escaping a facility surrounded by literally hundreds of combatants. "You wanted guidance, I'm guidin' you! That's where we were supposed to be goin'. What's the problem?"
Kell sighs. "Change of plans." he says as the helicopter turns back towards the camp it left just moments earlier. "My apologies." he says as one of the drell next to Steve presses something cold and metallic against the human's neck and a needle stabs through his skin. His awareness would quickly start to unravel as he approaches unconciousness.
Steve would lash out the moment the sharp object pressed against his neck, striking at the drell with a headbutt. "The fuck-..."
The drell next to Steve jerks back at the headbutt, letting out a cried pain, but Kell seems unconcerned, satisfied that the sedative has been delivered. Regardless, he draws Steve's Carnifex. Just in case.
Steve blinks hard as blood begins to trickle down from the wound opened on his forehead from the headbutt. "...Why!?" he manages to blurt out as the sedative begins to kick in. His focus goes hazey, the features of Kell's face phasing in and out like a fuzzy mess as he struggles to focus.
Kell smiles gently. "I know where they are now." he says from across the troop bay. "Do not worry. You will get to play your part in their destruction still."
Steve's focus remains firmly locked on Kell as he stares through fuzzy vision. The drell's face distorts into that of the ghosts of Steve's past as he fights the sedative for as long as he can. "....You-..." he mutters, "...You should-..." is all he manages before the sedatives overtake him, relieving him from the pounding sensation in the back of his head. At least momentarily.