Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A Break In the Waves

I find myself amazed that it has been more then a month since I have last written. It seems so much longer. My days have been filled with healing the wounded and fighting of the continual waves of Rikti which have, luckily, begun to subside. There is no end to the need of my healing crystals. So much so that my own energy gives out far before theirs.

With my apartment destroyed, my home is a refugee station in Steel Canyon. When I do get to sleep, I share a small room with another healer. When the raid sirens announce another attack, I quickly don my gloves and rush outside to join the others. Several times I've gone back to Atlas or to King's Row to fight against the invaders. These names come easy to me now and I am familiar with them. It is amazing how quickly you come to know a place when you are thrown into the defense of it.

What causes me to remember to write is that I have made contact with my crew! They are well and although attempting a single rescue mission, have sat patiently for the past month awaiting word. The manner I reached communication with them though is another tale altogether!

As the Rikti have began to exhaust themselves against the stalwart walls of superhuman defense, I was recently asked to look into a missing friend of a survivor who had come into our refuge. Her friend, a mystic and fortune teller, had disappeared shortly after a Rikti sweep. Her name was Alianna. I agreed to do what I could and started my investigation. While at the area she was last seen I was able to interview a young man who had seen a group of the nefarious Circle of Thorns abduct the young woman. Pointing to a nearly unseen cave entrance within a small park, I followed his direction. After a harrowing adventure in a cave system underneath the city, I was able to overcome the dark mystics.

I found Alianna in a side cavern, bound, and in the center of a mystical circle. Leaping to her aide and stopping the bald devil of a sorcerer that launched mystical energy at me, I also dispatched his henchmen by throwing them into the cavern walls! Once freed, Alianna was anything but demure. Saying a quick thanks to me she immediately flew upon the nearest unconscious robed thug and began kicking and punching him.

Pulling her off of him, I suggested our best action would be a flight to the service. She quickly agreed and as we climbed through that damp and dark cavern we were beset upon by other Thorn guards who tried to block our path! Alianna jumped in quickly to aid in my defenses and together we smashed the heinous dogs! Within moments, we found our way to the surface and to freedom! As we ran she spoke quickly and accused the Thorns of trying to manipulate her seeress abilities. Obviously treated unwell while in the captivity of them, she treated the Thorns to brutal psionic attacks which left several gibbering and slumped at the juncture of cave wall and floor.

During our run back to the surface she has asked me several questions as to my crystalline effects and did not hesitate to explain whom I was and what I represented. When hearing that I was, indeed, stranded away from my Otherworld ship which hovered outside of this dimension, she professed little knowledge of such things. However, she did know a mystic that resided in Paragon who could possibly help me, a self-professed "Walker Between Worlds."

Once on the surface, I asked his name and Alianna, in thanks, promised an introduction by the next day to a mage by the only name she knew him by, Rustcloak. I retreated back to the refugee building and reported to Alianna's friend that she was safe and whole. Her friend knew nothing of this man named Rustcloak and told me as much. For the remainder of the evening, I tended to a new batch of injured citizens and ate a quick meal of hastily prepared rice and vegetables.

The next day I was summoned from my work by a courier claiming that a man named Rustcloak was outside and waiting for me. I was not sure what I expected but his appearance startled me. He was a relaxed, bald man wearing red sunglasses and common city clothing. Down his well tanned arms were great swirling brown tattoos hinting at some mystical or spiritual persuasion. He nodded in greeting and after a short introduction as a "dimensional pathwalker", he acknowledged knowledge of Otherworld travel and of the great crystalline powered Otherworld ships. In fact, he confessed to some limited knowledge of hearing my name as a captain.

He soon agreed to see what he could do to make contact with my crew explaining "there was no small difficulty in dimensional travel with the current invasion underway." Yet, he said he would strive for contact and asked for something from me that, should he find my ship, would identify himself as a messenger. I quickly handed him a bone necklace I wore under my tunic which my first mate would recognize. With a gentle smile he nodded and flew off into the sky. Within two days, I had heard from him.

When I saw him again, he appeared tired but well. The darker circles under his eyes told the tale of the effort it must have taken on his part. He explained that my ship, though defensive to him at first, was well but rapidly growing impatient and out of supplies. The first mate was quite sure they would have to make a run for a nearby Otherworld port but that she was delighted to hear I was well.

Our conversation made towards possibly finding a way for me to travel back to my ship. He promised to consult a Fey or two and to research the possibility. The strongest objection to such a passage in the near future would be the constant danger of Rikti attack. Without a shuttle's protective shields around me or magical knowledge in shielding myself, such a strong vortex of dimensional energy would, most assuredly rip me in two. He promised to contact me as soon as he had a respectable answer.

Even though I am exhausted by the constant wear on me to heal and defend others, I am excited by this newest string of events. I know, regardless of the love of my ship or other worlds, I will not leave this place in jeopardy. As long as the invasion continues, I am needed here and I will abandon no one. However, the knowledge that I might set foot again upon the deck of my ship brings a new wave of energy and hope!

And, as if on cue, the sirens have started to wail again and I must, once again, run into the breech.

I have seen enough of these Rikti to learn I care little for them. We must not fall. It is not an option.