With a burst of speed, Rexis stepped out from the swarm of sentient lizard-rats, spun about and fired an arrow into their midst. He managed to skewer 5, and the rest swarmed back into the ventilation shaft.
Bruno quickly told Captain Billson to seal off the access hatch, so the Kobolds could not get back out. With a sigh, Billson steps forward, keeping a wary eye on both Rexis and Bruno. A wary eye that was warranted, it seems!
Rexis steps over by the door to the vault, directly behind Billson, and draws a fowling blunt and fires at the back of Billson’s head. Noticing the movement behind him, Billson spins around to see the arrow for an instant, before he hits the floor unconscious.
Seeing Billson hit the floor, Bruno steps up to work on the Vault lock…
Lower Class Balcony
Fear and Jorgen continue to sit at ease on the lower rear balcony, confident in their belief they have days to pull this caper off. Fear wanders into the dorm, and grabs the mattress off his bunk.
Dragging it outside, he arranges it against the wall in such a way that it bends over, and forms a crude couch.
Higher Class Bar
Ruck, having made his precision incision, and managing to slip past the mechanics who came to investigate, slips down the grand staircase, and blends into the crowd of wealthy passengers. Moments later, 3 gaurdsmen enter the room and announce “Ladies and Gentlemen, there has been a slight disturbance, but that everything is under control. As a precaution, the Captain has asked that we check your tickets, and ask that you return to your rooms.”
Rupert has a breif moment of panic, which goes unnoticed by his two drinking companions, who also haven’t noticed the guards.
Before Rupert can do anything, three men in slightly worn and dirty finery strike the three guardsmen over the head in a coordinated attack.
The largest of these ruffians lifts a pistol and calls over the noise of the nobles. “Lawd above! This is a stick up! No one move, an’ there won’ be any trouble!, innit.”
As Rupert quickly assesses the situation, he notices Ruck on the far side of the room. As he watches, Ruck slips through the crowed, and eases through a door. The door doesn’t quite close behind Ruck, and Rupert can see his companion deftly hidden, but nearby.
One of the Air Pirates circulates through the crowd near Rupert, with a sack held open in front of him. “Lor’ luv a duck! Jewels, watches, money. Brass Band i’ all over, awer things’ll go badly. Know what I mean?” Rupert hands over a pocket watch. “Won that in a game of cards with the Earl of Stratholme, don’ cha know old chap?”
Malcolm and Jimmy both hand over some sovereigns, with a cry of “More drinks, man! and be quick about it!”
The largest Pirate is peering out the window looking ahead towards the southerning sun, and says to one of his companions “Lawd above! It’s almost sunset. We don’t wan’ ter be ‘ere after Billy’s finished doin’ what Billy’s doin’.” All three Pirates make a move towards the door… the same one Ruck is hiding behind!
Lower Class Dormitory H
A squad of Arktooth Regulars enters the dorm room assigned to our heroes.
From the doorway, one of the soldiers points down the length of the long room “I saw them head in there”
Having picked the lock in short order, Bruno and Rexis quickly search the Vault. Finding the artefact was easy enough… as was finding a few loose handfuls of gems and trinkets. As Bruno ties Billson up and shifts him into the Vault, Rexis grabs a random bag, and swaps it’s contents for the artefact, a glass jar holding sparkly red powder and … yes, looking closely, some arrowheads. Glancing around the vault before exiting, Rexis notices a locked chest with the Arktooth Regulars emblem emblazoned upon it. Pointing it out to Bruno, it’s but a matter of moments before the chest pops open, to reveal the firearms within.
Grabbing 6 of the revealed rifles, Rexis stuffs them into the bag with the jar.
With a nod to Bruno, Rexis draws a dagger, and slips back through the open maintenance hatch, taking the bag of rifles and artefact with him. Bruno closes the hatch, hunts down the companies luggage, and with but a slight limp, carries it back towards the dorm.
Lower Class Balcony
Commander Lady Alexandria De Triso steps onto the balcony, surrounded by her squad of Arktooth Regulars. Glancing around disdainfully, she steps up and looms over Fear and Jorgen, blocking the lamplight.
“What do you think you’re doing here?” she asks with a sneer.
Fear answers “Why, just heading to Arktooth, Commander. Here is my ticket.” He stands and produces his 4th Class ticket from a pocket.
Grabbing the ticket out of his hand, she studies it for a second. Tossing it over the low railing, she glares from Fear to Jorgen and back. “Why do I find that hard to believe? You’ll have to come up with a more plausible story than that”
“But Commander, it’s the truth. We were retained to deliver certain supplies to Elizabeth Winters at the ”/campaign/wyrmfell/wikis/tuscelan" class=“wiki-page-link”> Tuscelan Chapel of Aurath. In the unpleasantness there, one of our companions was injured. Our employer agreed to provide tickets to Arktooth so that we could seek a healing from the Great Temple there."
“Ha! That’s no more believable than you being here by coincidence!” One of the soldiers leans over and murmurs in her ear for a moment. Alexandria waves the soldier away angrily. “Very well. It seems your story has an element of truth to it. You may stay.”
“Thank you Commander. But what am I to do if the ticket inspector comes calling, as you have thrown my ticket over the edge?”
“Oh, that’s simple enough. Direct them to the soldiers who will be watching you for the remainder of the trip.” She gestures angrily to the soldier who dared speak up in your defence, and includes the man next to him.
Turning on her heal, she stalks back into the ship, escorted by the rest of the squad.
Fear looks around, shrugs and settles back down next to Jorgen, who hadn’t even stirred from his comfortable recline. The two soldiers on guard duty look at each other and sigh. One lights a cigarette as he leans back on the railing.
Service corridor C, Upper Class Deck
Seeing the Pirates heading his way, Ruck waits a moment, getting the timing just right… As the Pirates reach the door, Ruck swings it open and steps forward. Thinking so hard on what he’s going to say, he actually walks into the door. Hitting the deck like the proverbial sack of spuds, the Pirates pay him no heed, mostly stepping over him as they pass.
Picking himself up, Ruck follows them down the corridor, carefully making sure they don’t notice him.
Moments after Ruck is around the corner, the door swings open again. Rupert staggers through, almost carrying Malcolm, much the worse for drink, into the deserted corridor. With an apology on his lips, Rupert neatly puts Malcolm out with a swift clip on the chin.
Swiftly getting Malcolm out of his Orphiran Air Brigade uniform, Rupert slips it on over his clothes. (Even with another set of clothes on under, Malcolm’s clothes are a little loose on Rupert.)
Seeing no sign of Ruck and the pirates, he heads back towards the flight deck. As he passes a trunk of parachutes, an idea strikes. “What ho. You two men there, fetch this and follow me.” The two privates, noting his uniform, shrug and grab the trunk. The procession continues on to the flight deck.
“Hey” whispers one private to the other “do you recognise this officer?”
“No, but his badge said Captain Prone.”
“Really? I thought Prone was taller. And had a beard. And sounded more… like a pirate”
“Oh yeah, him!” he thinks about it “meh, oh well”
“Golly good chaps. Load it in here, what ho” says Rupert, gesturing to one of the warmed up Gyros.
Donning a parachute, he climbs into the Gyro, and starts running through the controls, preparing himself for the inevitable.
Upper Class Balcony
Ruck watches as the three pirates tie off some ropes on the railing. As they tighten the knot, Ruck sees something in the clouds beyond them…
Behind the Iron Princess
Through the rolling clouds, lights can be seen.
They appear to be gaining.
Lower Class Balcony
Sergeant Benson notices the lights approaching, and makes his way to the speaking tube. Fear and Jorgen also notice the lights, and believing it it the rendezvous, both stand up, and step apart, readying for action without seeming to. Lance Sergeant Johnson steps forward, on guard as well.
Benson calls into the speaking tube, “What’s happening? Hello? Hello?”
A series of chirps and sqwarks answers him. Suspicious, he removes the cover. The Kobold inside lands on his face, and starts biting.
Rexus reaches the Dorm, and seeing no-one suspicious in the room, slips out of the maintenance hatch. Hearing the commotion caused by Benson and the Kobold, he slips up to the door, with an arrow drawn and at the ready, and quickly assesses the situation. He sees some ropes that appear to be hanging just near the balcony railing, but thinks nothing of them.
Seeing his opening, Fear steps forward with his sap, and attempts to strike Johnson on the back of the head. Johnson notices the movement, and easily avoids the inept strike. Rexus sees his opportunity, and fires a fowling blunt arrow. Johnson doesn’t know what hit him, as he slumps to the floor.
Benson pulls the Kobold off his face, and turns. Seeing Johnson on the ground with Fear standing over him, Benson raises his crossbow.
Jorgen quickly steps forward, and with a deft blow knocks the crossbow out of Benson’s hands.
As Jorgen is getting Benson and Johnson into the dorm, Bruno comes into the room, carrying the luggage heavily, and limping more pronouncedly than he was previously. Jorgen tells Benson to stay put, and Fear suggests to some of the ever present cultists that they should keep an eye on the pair, and not let them go anywhere.
Fear grabs his gun out of the luggage, and heads back out onto the balcony, along with Jorgen and Bruno. The four of them exchange glances, and look at the now much nearer lights.
All of a sudden, Ruck comes sliding down one of the ropes, having pushed the largest pirate out of the way up above.
Ruck quickly fills the others in on the situation with the Pirates above, the ominous comment about ‘What Billy’s been doin’ and the fact that the approaching ship may not be for them.
Glancing around, Rexus notices that Rupert isn’t with them. With a quick explanation, he heads off to find Rupert. Deducing that he’ll be with the Gyros, Rexus makes a beeline for the flight deck.
When Rexus arrives at the flight deck the insect metaphors continue, with all the support staff scurring around like ants. Spotting Rupert in a nearby Gyro, he climbs into the gunner’s seat, squeesing in around the stack of parachutes. With an imperious gesture, Rupert indicates to some near by ground crew that they are ready to take off.
Giving the Elf in the gunners seat some odd glances, the ground crew position the Gyro, which is quickly propelled out into the growing darkness. With the last glimmers of light on the horizon in front of them, Rupert drops the Gyro below the level of the Iron Princess and hovers.
Lower Class Balcony
With a crunch, the leg like devices extending from the approaching ship hook into the balcony, crushing the apparently flimsy railing.
There is a sense of movement behind the bright lights, but the figure is indistinct.
“Do you haff de artefact?”
Jorgen responds “Do you have our money?”
A large, heavy pouch comes sailing out of the light and lands with a chink neatly at Jorgen’s feet. “Dere is more when you land.”
Jorgen picks up the pouch, keeping Benson’s crossbow discretly behind his back. He quickly confirms it’s full of gold.
Bruno pipes up “Before we give you the artefact, we have some questions… about these Pirates, what were they doing?”
“Ah, I see you met the distraction, yes? Ver good, I thought.”
“They mentioned wanting to be off the ship before Billy’s done what he’s doin’. What did this ‘distraction’ do, exactly?”
“Oh, they just made it so that no one would be able to follow… I found a new buyer, you see. So the no blood rule has gone out the window.” With that, there is a glint as from the barrel of a gun. “Ze best part iz… I don’t haff to share.”
Fear has his flame gun in hand, and fires blindly at the momentary glimpse of light. For a moment, a figure is illuminated, but he is enveloped in flames that quickly pass, but leaves the starnger shaken.
As the massive ship lumbers over head, the Gyro carrying Rupert and Rexus majesticly rises from below, and Rexus gestures, asking if a fight is on. Fear indicates that it is, and Rexus uses the mounted minigun to peper the figure with bullets.
There is a thud, a small muttered curse, and a Sky Pirate lands on the deck