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Author Topic: Ace of The Duck Pond Thunder of the Ghost Ships.  (Read 5678 times)
Ranger Reid
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« Reply #125 on: December 12, 2015, 04:24:09 pm »

Liam pulled out his box of "special ammo".   The king looked at him and said "The other ones."  Liam froze.  A slow tear formed in his eye and he reached back in to his bag.   "How did they know?" he thought.  Reluctantly he reached in to the pouch again.  There were only four of these bullets.  They were made exactly the same as the larger box of bullets made at his school.  

Each one was a mix of Holy relics, earth shamanism, and what they had come to call True Silver.   The silver had come from a meteorite and was more pure than their current technology could replicate.  But that wasn't why Liam cared so much about these four bullets.  

Each time the special ammunition was made, it required a sacrifice, often blood of the current head of the order.  But occasionally when one of the leaders was already dying, or when times were dire, they would take his heart's blood while it was still beating.  The process was always fatal.  

The last time it had been done was to turn the tide of a major force behind the global war.  Liam's mentor had volunteered to give of himself.  

With tears streaming down his face, the young hunter held out the bullet, and hoped that one would be sufficient.  The king looked at him sternly and shook his head.

Finally Liam held out all four bullets.     As he stood there he realized that he and Donna stood in the exact same pose holding out their "gifts".

A silver chime rang in the distance.    The king spoke softly "There is an accord."     Donna and Liam both found themselves empty handed, but surrounded by music and soft green lights.

"You are true hearted children.   Beyond the accord, I declare you friends.  Celebrate with us while my people prepare that which you ask."

Hundreds of tiny beings began to dance around them, and though they were feeling such sadness and grief, Liam and Donna began to also feel hope.

Liam turned towards Donna and bowed deeply.    "Will you dance with me my love?"

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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #126 on: December 12, 2015, 05:02:52 pm »

Donna sniffled and wiped tears from her face but when she looked at Liam there was a smile blooming.  "Always."  If she closed her eyes she could hear a rhythm much like two hearts beating together.  Felling it flow through her she remembered the stories of how her father poor mechanic that he was won the heart of the opera singer he adored by showing his passion through his feet.  She took Liam's hand and they were off in a pattern of winding fiery steps that came easy to her as breathing.  Music followed the trail of sparkles they left with pounding drums and horns neither of them had ever heard before.  They struck a balance sometimes leading sometimes following but always where the other needed them to be.  Donna laughed almost like a burden had been lifted from her shoulders.

Again control was an issue. Jace sighed was she ever going to get a proper handle on this? "Just when I thought we saw most of this place. Another city could be behind that thing."
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MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #127 on: December 12, 2015, 05:25:36 pm »

Meri and Al both saw the direction of Jace's gaze, and the question in her eyes as she glanced back at them. "Sure, you can eat all of it," Al said, sensing her question, knowing Jace as he did, "it's just a matter o' whether'r not yer stomach can handle it."

Meri sniffed, then actually snorted; in appearance, it seemed she snorted at Al's comment, but in reality, the myriad aromas had built up into a veritable stench in her hypersensitive nostrils, and she quite literally needed to clear them to try and recapture a scent that she had noticed running under, or rather masked by, the spices and cooking smells of the culinary market. She once again caught a familiar human scent; All of the scarabs that she worked with had adopted a scent tincture that they swabbed themselves with. It was subtle, not much above the level of highly-diluted lemon juice, but it was unmistakble to one trained to detect it - or one who had hyper-acute senses like Meri's. The scent's overtones identified the individual to her. Toby? she realized with a start, what's he doing down here, he seems to be alone... surely he knows the danger of this area...

"What's up?" Al said, turning half around as he kept walking forward, even so managing to avoid jutting stalls and cookpots and weaving urchins, and passersby as if his eyes were turned forward. He'd heard Meri's intake of breath; a momentous occasion for one who knew about vampire's lack of a need for breath, save for talking.

"There's a Scarab I work with here, somewhere close. I don't know what his purpose might be, the spices are messing up the scents, but it seems he's - AH! Watch where you're going!" she snapped at a dog-eared errand boy who nearly collided with them as he snuck a bite from the box of steamed buns he was carrying. "Its Toby," she continued, sighing in exasperation," The totally headblind one, so I can't send to him to find out why he's here; he seems to smell furtive, as near as I can make out, like he either doesn't want to be seen, or is doing something he doesn't want to get caught at."

"y' know, ya keep soundin' more and more British every time I see you," Al remarked.

"FAUGH!" was Meri's half-laugh, half derisiive-noise response.

"Just keep it up with the nose, it's better'm my knack, seems like," Al added, as they caught up with Jace, Wilfred and thE Blackcloaks again. "Heads up, Wil, Meri says there's a scarab either followin' us, or tryin' to get away with somethin'."
« Last Edit: December 12, 2015, 05:34:41 pm by MWBailey » Logged

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Ranger Reid
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« Reply #128 on: December 12, 2015, 05:39:04 pm »

The music flowed from their hearts, and yet seemed to be coming from all around them and nowhere at once.  Tiny beings flitted about, some flying, some dancing on the ground, and a few swimming in ponds barely visible in the alcoves around them.

Time lost meaning.  At some point, Liam wondered if his friends were waiting for them to get back yet. 

Finally the two young people woke and found themselves again laying by the coconut tree, this time fully clothed.

Liam looked around to see if there was any sign of the "gift" of help the king had promised.  He could see nothing, but felt confident that the fey would be true to the contract.
 
Looking at Donna, he felt his ability surge.  With sudden insight, he knew what he could do to help his friends.    The fey had gifted him with knowledge and insight as to the nature of the attacking ships.   

"Time to go Love." he said.
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #129 on: December 12, 2015, 05:50:14 pm »

So it was most likely not a good idea to buy an entire box of dumplings and eat four in rapid succession but dammned if she didn't feel better going in to the unknown with something in her belly.  She offered one to Al mouth half full of food.  "Want one?  They are full of this sweet red bean stuff." Not normally something she would choose but they were pretty good.

"Was that a dream?"  Donna asked getting to her feet.  There was rain dripping from above as a storm moved in and something about it made her nervous.
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Ranger Reid
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« Reply #130 on: December 12, 2015, 06:06:32 pm »

Arcing surges of energy kept firing off in Liam's brain.   "We have to go.   And I think we need to call the Aces." 

With that Liam forced his ability to do something new.   He thought of the pattern of Jace's personality. 

He focused on the lines of energy he had put to work healing her.  And when he thought he had found her in his mind, mentally, he shouted.  "UNDER ATTACK !!! COME BACK!!!!"


Out loud, he said "Donna, the ships are back and we aren't ready.   We have to go NOW!  Can you drive while I work?"
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #131 on: December 12, 2015, 06:57:28 pm »

"I have your back!" Donna shouted against the sudden worsening of the storm.  The rain was pouring down in sheets and the thunder seamed like it would never end.

Jace shook and almost fell over from the force of the words inside her head. "We have to move fast something has gone very wrong."
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MWBailey
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« Reply #132 on: December 12, 2015, 07:56:53 pm »

A bell sounded somewhere nearby, then again, and yet again. Al felt he should remember what it was for, but it escaped him as the bell's cadence quickened, finally turning to the clanging cacophony of an airlock alarm "TIDAL SURGE! CLOSE THE AIRLOCK!" Someone at about that same distance shouted, an the clanking, grinding sound of tbe ancient, rusty pressure doors sliding closed reverberated through tbe under city's' metal cavern as people began to scurry about a different manner than before. "Storm," Al said, calming down a bit. "Nothing major, we've weathered force five typhoons here before." Be thoughg, then added skightly more urgently," if we want to get out in the next few minutes, though, we'd better find a topside exit fast; they slam the undertown gates closed to maintain integrity of displacement during a blow."

a sending of an altogether different order than Meri was used to came through just then; felingalmost sesrkng hot, yrt cold as centhries of ice-trapped steel, it burned across her mknd like a red hot yet impossibly cold branding iron: daughter of blood's curse, I am thy father's sword and thine. I await thee in thy place of repose ...

"I also must return," the vampiress said. "It would appear tbat sonething of mibe has been returned to me-but in what form, Icannot say."
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #133 on: December 13, 2015, 04:03:25 am »

Donna tried to shield Liam with her body as the wind ripped at them.  "Hold tight to me!" She had never noticed how fiercely protective she felt towards him until the wind almost ripped him from her arms as the made it out of the lighthouse.  It was like the wind was aiming for him.
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Ranger Reid
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« Reply #134 on: December 13, 2015, 04:24:10 am »

Liam mechanically held on, but his mind was already miles ahead.    He had never used his ability from such a distance, but he began coating the Aces' planes in energy.  If all went well, it would protect them from the attacks.  The gift of the king under the mountain was that Liam understood the construct of the magic involved in the ghost ships.  And since he understood it, his ability would allow him to copy the protection amulet the witch had carried and cover the Aces' planes in the same energy.  

Once the planes were ready, he tried to improve the guns on the ships.  All he could do to the normal firearms was to add a small touch of power to each bullet.   It might be enough to let them touch the ghost ships.

He considered the lightning weapon on Blue Fang.     It was almost perfect as it sat.  All it needed was to be calibrated to the resonance of the magic used by the enemy fleet.    As they approached the air strip, Liam finished his work on Blue Fang.   If all went right, not only would the weapon work, but it would absorb the blasts from the ghost ships and actually recharge itself with their attacks.

As Liam worked, his nose began to bleed.   The power he was wielding would exact a price he was sure.

He called out to Donna  "I have done what I could.   Our bullets should do some damage, and our planes should be somewhat protected."

He sagged against her and almost feinted.  Only his concern for Donna's well being kept him pushing through the fatigue.

 
« Last Edit: December 13, 2015, 04:43:21 am by Ranger Reid » Logged
Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #135 on: December 13, 2015, 05:02:34 am »

Donna was practically cradling Liam as she managed to half toss both of them in to the safety of the truck cabin. With the doors closed it was suddenly quiet heart pounding and rain drumming in a constant wave was all she could hear.  "I am going to need you to be my eyes.  The wipers can't keep up with this and the wheels are going to want to skitter all over.  I can keep us on the road provided I can find it."
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MWBailey
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rtafStElmo
« Reply #136 on: December 13, 2015, 05:10:39 am »

Al felt something; he wsn't sure what it was, but it always happened when a bad storm was brewing. A similar whim to the one that had struck him when the black cloaks surrounded them struck him then, and he pulled the khukri half out of it's scabbard. The edge shone an acidic green.

Meri felt something as well. A sense of urgency filled her being as she recognized the energy wave that built and then began to fade, behind the storm. It was the same as it was the night she had fought Dreyfuss, and been driven off the edge of the St. Elmo's envelope. "The hole in time!" she exclaimed. "I know this sensation! The hole in time has opened once more!" Away across the metal cavern, wan light from outside shone down as drops of rain began falling in. The light was of a weird color, almost an orange-white, but with an odd greenish-purple cast. Meri turned to Al and Jace. "I will return soon. Go where they will lead you," she jutted her chin at the nearest balckcloak, "or where you will, I will find and rejpin you in a short time." she stepped to the left, into the shadow of a stall's canopy, and was gone, almost as though she had melted into the shadow.

"I wish I knew how she does that," Al said, in a slightly miffed tone. "It'd come in handy in a dogfight..."
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #137 on: December 13, 2015, 05:43:12 am »

"This isn't natural is it.  The storm I mean. Nothing should be those colors."  Jace was feeling dizzy as a bright kaleidoscope spun in front of her eyes.  It was almost like when the green ship had messed around with her vision.  She tried to take a step in to the opening bulk head and fell back in to Al.  Nothing was working right in her body and felt like she was shot through with lightning as energy from the storm poured in to her.
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MWBailey
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« Reply #138 on: December 13, 2015, 06:19:48 am »

"Jace?" Al absolutely loved being the one whose arms Jace fell imto, but his pre=agmatic, mo-nonsense side mad ehim realize that evenif he had no idea how to go about it, since he loved her (kind of a shock to come to that realization, but there it was), he owed itto her to try and hel[p her figure a way to use her ability, if for no other reason than just to keep her alive and well.

"Seems to me," he said, fighting to be useful to her and to keep an eye on things around them at teh same time, "you need to either figure out how ta swim through this fog you're in, or do the opposite of what Liam said and close up. Sorry to be such a jerk, but you need to make a decision either way; being in control or letting go of it are both conscious decisions. Ain't that kinda like what he said? Now, this door," he continued," I remember me trying to get through it when I was trying to feel what was on t'othe rside, and it kinda threw me back, like it seems to 've done with you. maybe if ya let go of yer ability fer a minute, it'll let ya through?"

-----------
Meri stepped out of teh shadows of an alcove in her room at the club; the space was provided with a makeshift curtain rod from which hung several of the dresses that she wore onstage and on the dance floor. A simple slab of what looked like concrete in the corner, beside which stood a three-sconce candelabra with the half-spent stumps of three candles served as a bed; she spread the bag of dirt that she kept in the not-place on it when she slept - if she slept - in her room. Meri was not a prostitute, like some of Madame's other female employees; Madame Lee had twigged early on to Meri's "condition," and had practically forbade her from taking clients of that sort, fearing an incident. Which was fine with Meri, the act of such a profession was not foreign to her, but she despised that kind of work in any case.

All such thoughts fled from her mind when she saw what hovered above her slab, however: the Ta Chi, all seven feet of it, but glowing redly from fiery pre-shogunate pictographs up and down the blade, which itself had a presence, almost as if it were alive in and of itself. She took hold of the blade, and shouted in shock at the power that flowed into her; Prana, yes, but fiery, yet dark prana, filling her with an unholy joy.

Know this, a strange, beautifully-sinister voice purred in her head, I name thee Merovingia of the Void if Time. I am thy thine and thy foster-father's blade. I am  Soururipa, the Reaper of Souls. Bound are we in the contract thou hast made. The blade said the name of the demon that reforged it and made it from a simple ta chi into a great hellblade; then, from both Meri's lips, and the sword itself, came aloud the words, "We are bound."

A flash of light, and Meri stood once again in the Undertown, beside Al and Jace. "There is no time. we must go Topside," she said.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2015, 01:07:33 pm by MWBailey » Logged
Ranger Reid
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« Reply #139 on: December 13, 2015, 12:39:12 pm »

Liam collapsed across the seat of the truck, placing his head in Donna's lap.   He pushed against the darkness and sent a spool of energy winding towards the hanger.

To Donna's eyes a thin ribbon of light, similar to the green grotto, unfolded ahead of her.   She could follow it easily through the storm.

Unnoticed, a streak of Liam's hair began to turn silver.
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #140 on: December 13, 2015, 02:02:35 pm »

"Help her!" wilfred said to the cloaks as they guided them into a cavern, "then show them the tunnel back up."
"And what will you do Wilfred while your friends are here?" One of the cloaks spoke lowing its hood.
"What the Blue Fang was created for!"
"You remember what it cost you last time?"
"I will not let that happen again."
"How can you be sure?"
"I have the Chrono Gyro!"
"You completed it?"
Wilfred nodded and walked to the back of the cavern, "They had the finial piece."
"You will return to you own world?" The cloak said watching him climb up a ladder.
Wilfred opened a hatch and climbed up.

Shutting the hatch, wilfred ran across the island to his hanger, inside the Blue fang was emitting its blue glow and the prop was running, "Well old girl, lets see if we can save them this time." The Blue Fang tore out of the hanger nearly hitting another aircraft and headed for the storm.
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #141 on: December 13, 2015, 04:22:10 pm »

Donna drove as if the devil himself were behind them.  She fishtailed countless time but she made it safely to the hangers.  It worried her that Liam looked half worn through but maybe if they got get the greenies causing this he would feel better. "Ok darling get all bucked in because I am getting dog up in the air as quick as I can."  She almost screamed over the radio at a plane that cut her off only to realize it was the blue fang.  "Dog to Fang Have you seen the Capitan?  Screaming green was empty when I passed."

With the the black robed figures drawing off some of the energy of the storm Jace could think again.  Suddenly her mind was moving faster than Jace would have ever guessed.  Resting in Al's arms Jace started to speak very quickly and sparks fell from her lips.  "The problem is so simple now that i realy look at it.  I tried to make a sticky sort of film around myself to stop pickpockets only it made things stick I hadn't intended on like the bits of electricity in the air from the lightning." Her hair was standing on end now and Al could feel the static roaming up his arms. "But I can't make it go away without having a ground or I will fry myself like that auto pilot I tried to rig up in screaming green.  We have to go now I can only hold this off for so long even with help and I don't want to call down the lightning in here."
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MWBailey
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« Reply #142 on: December 13, 2015, 05:19:14 pm »

"You want me to carry you, or you wanna walk on your pown feet-?" he cut off as she stood up and made as if to walk away. "Guess that answers mny question!" Hold on, lemme catch up, willya. Or how 'bout I race ya to the top?" he said, mischief in his eyes. "One, ytwo -" he started jogging before the count ended, chuckling slightly. "nyaa nyaa..." Yer actin' like a airhead kid, Al, he thought. Aw, what the hell, she's catching up...

Meri stared after the pair, shaking her head. "Humans..." she muttered, and then shadow-flitted, beating both to the top in record time. "Why are you wearing yourselves out?" she asked. "We still have to find transport to the hangar. I suppose I could carry you, but..."
« Last Edit: December 13, 2015, 09:37:36 pm by MWBailey » Logged
Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #143 on: December 13, 2015, 05:43:49 pm »

"Don't worry I have plenty of juice." Jace said half laughing and it was true sparks came up from her feet as she finally emerged from a nondescript door in the side of one of the big warehouses.  "Back off I have no idea how this is going to work!"  She pulled away at the mental framework like one would an old sweater and suddenly the energy was released in to a bolt that looked like lightning in reverse that opened a tiny circle of blue sky above her. Jace went down on her knees energy spent and clothes smouldering but still awake.  "Lets commandeer that truck.  The doors is open and the keys are in so i don't think they will mind as long as we bring it back."
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MWBailey
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rtafStElmo
« Reply #144 on: December 13, 2015, 07:52:30 pm »

"don't have to tell ne twice, " Al said, climbing in and turning the key. The engine strted right up, but out of teh snller door in the warehouse's big sliding door dashed a man carrying a short piece of two-by-four. he stopped and loweredthe makeshift cudgel when he saw i=tha tis was Al.

"So it's you, then, Al, whatcha doin' in my truck? And yer two ladyfriends - oh, hello, Jace."

"it's an emergency, Pete, I gotta get back to the Aces' hangar."

"okay, Al, just lemme come pick it up by Tuesday, OK?"

"great, thanks, Pete. You kin come get it today if you want."

I'll do that, Al, I'll do that."

Pete walked back inside, and Al called out, "let's go, ladies!"
« Last Edit: December 13, 2015, 09:38:27 pm by MWBailey » Logged
Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #145 on: December 14, 2015, 12:10:10 am »

Jace got to her feet a bit rubbery but was able to pour herself in the truck. "Liam sent me a picture in my head I think The green and duck have been improved but I am not sure how."  There was an unpleasant smell in the air and Jace wrinkled her nose until she realized it was coming from her.  "I smell like burnt hair and scorched cotton, lovely."
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MWBailey
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rtafStElmo
« Reply #146 on: December 14, 2015, 12:39:25 am »

"Since it's you, then yeah, it's lovely, hon," Al said between pulling the brake and letting off the clutch.

"Great, shove over, Miss Jace, Now if you two lovebirds are through canoodling..." Meri said, then looked at their expressions. " What? I've told you already you're not prey, so I wontbite you - unless you dont get this truck moving."

"Right yiu are, Miz Vamp..." Al soon had tbe truck roaring along between the warehouses,  turning left or right every now and tben to keep their heading true.

"Are you sure you know where you're going, big man? " Meri asked tartly.

"You're welcome to get out and fly as thecrow does if ya want, "Al returned with equal sarcasm...
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Ranger Reid
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« Reply #147 on: December 14, 2015, 12:40:12 am »

Liam stumbled to his seat.   It was good that the odd attachments had been removed.  In his condition anything out of the ordinary would alter his accuracy.  

He considered trying to organize the Aces or link them with his ability.  Just thinking about it made his stomach lurch.  He realized that for now his powers were spent, and pushing himself would be dangerous.

After so many years worrying about machinery more than people, hearing the plane fire up smoothly was like a warm blanket to Liam.  

He racked the slide to prep the first round.   In a detached out of body sense, he considered the alterations he had made to the bullets, and wondered if it would be enough.

A small voice in his head said "Even if it doesn't cut through the ghost ships, just the effect of the bullets penetrating should cause a small backlash of broken magical energy.   Might be enough to drive them away until the Aces could do better."
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #148 on: December 14, 2015, 01:04:43 am »

"Wow this is worse than that cyclone three years ago.  How are they doing this?"  Jace thought about it then here eyes brightened.  "They must be seeding the clouds with electricity. There was that professor with the travailing medicine show that wanted sponsors to build his machine so he could take out the drought in America. I bet the order got their hands on him. that will make it dangerous for us if the clouds are electrified but i bet we can find a way."

"I am going to try and take us as high as the dog can go so hopefully we can spot the greenies." Donna angled them up and as soon as they breeched  the clouds they almost crashed in to a ghostly plane.  "Looks like we spotted them all right.  I am going to angle us for a run if you are ready."
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MWBailey
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« Reply #149 on: December 14, 2015, 02:07:31 am »

They finally reached the runway, and saw the Dog arc up into the sky. Al stood on the gas, and the truck roared across the tarmac, nearly cutting off the tail section of a shiny Curtiss commercial airline biplane, as the sky suddenly opened up and the rain fell as if pouring from a bucket. He drove directly into the hangar and parked so there was just enough room for Greeny and the Duck to exit. "I'll  be goin' ahead, Jace, teh Duck's made for this kinda weather."

"Are you mad?!" Meri cut in. "I can fly in this, but it's a struggle; you can't even see the runway!"  

"Don't have to," Al said, stubbornly. "if I get out on the open water, I can take off in just about any sea, rain or no rain. There's the ramp next to the hangar, after all." He swarmed up the side of the Duck and started the startup sequence while still standing up in the cockpit, as he shoved the pilot's chair back and started pulling on the flightsuit. That done, he adjusted the fuel, oil and air feeds, and the engine stopped coughing and quickly spun up to speed. Meri, who was  spreading her wings and preparing to fly out of the hangar, was nearly sent airborne by the backblast of the Duck's prop.Al slid the seatback forward, sat down, strapped in, and slid the canopy closed, and cranked the radioman's canopy closed as well, and then started taxiing out of the hangar, heading for the nearby boat ramp. Soon he was on the water and roaring across the outer harbor, nimbly hopping over small boats caught in the downpour, the Duck finally screaming up into the clouds. "Wow," Al said into the transceiver," I dunno who did what ta Duck, but I really appreciate it!"

"Miss Jace, do you need help getting your ship up?" Meri asked. "I can probably give a tow if necessary. I'm used to flying through clouds and rain." The vampiress was still full of the sword's power, and felt like she could do anything.
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