[Episode Four] Lockdown

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Starship Graveyard

Upon the warbling, Glas immediately shifted into his full size, having shrunken down to better navigate the derelict ship. He followed Tara's lead in stepping back away from the... things. As he did so, his great wings instinctively flared out to shield the others, and he made a low noise of wariness.

But then, he saw her, and his heart soared. Artemis had returned!

Little one! I have missed you! I thought you dead! Are you well? We must get you something to eat. I...

...I have...


...She didn't respond, and continued shuffling forward.

An inkling of worry entered his mind, and he continued shuffling away. Something was wrong. She... was wrong.

Artemis, why do you move so? Are you injured? What covers you? Have you been playing in the muck?

The way she and Dhalia moved spoke to something in the most ancient, most reptilian part of his brain, and elicited the most primitive and basic of emotions. He... he did not want his little one near him. He wanted her away. She was not well.

He sniffed the air, and realized with horror that he'd smelled that same scent before just a few days prior.

Danger! Bad! Unnatural!

Maim! Kill!


Glas snapped himself out of his trance, shutting away the feral instinct rising within him. Perhaps there was hope. Perhaps Artemis and Dhalia were still beneath the black murk somewhere, much like the alchemist had been one with his own corruption. Perhaps if they were to find a pickle jar large enough-

No sooner had he thought that, had the creatures morphed and lunged.

In that split second, Glasawyr realized that this was not Artemis. It was a threat. So, he reacted to it in one of the few ways he knew how.

The dragon took a deep breath, and with a guttural roar unleashed a two-meter wide stream of blue flame at the attackers, slowly moving his head left and right for maximum coverage within the confines of the ravine, and using his wings as a heat shield for anyone standing behind him. He did this for five seconds before he felt his chest heating up dangerously, and stopped.


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Rhea could only shiver and turn around as her echyllis... went out, for lack of a better term, and she observed the three ghastly figures in... hot pursuit? Well, they almost appear as if they'd always been there instead. The others were... blurry to her, but she was afraid to focus on them regardless. At the forefront for her, was the one staring right at her, looking very much like the captain.

"C-captain I... I'm sorry I- let you down..." Rhea tried placating it as she carefully put some distance between the apparition and herself. She was... fairly certain it wasn't real, particularly with how her... less than normal senses felt about them, but it didn't hurt to try.

She took a few more steps back as she tried again to get a response out of it. "Would you uh, happen to have seem Ar- EE" The creature appeared to take offense at her question, given how suddenly it lunged at her- leading her only recourse to taking a chunk of metal- was that a wrench? And agressively swinging it in an uppercut-like motion even as she threw herself to the side and away.

"Help! Captain is trying to kill me!"


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Starship Graveyard

Everything's spinning around and around. He could safely ascertain that the Downrider is living its name. FINALLY. He didn't expect it to happen this soon, but that's fine. He's caused microcosms of apocalypses worse than this, but none of them smelled like pickles.

Not like that's bad or anything noteworthy, just... Doesn't smell like pickle brine.

The jar smashed against the wall, and Juryrig was smooshed under a rolling mass of metal and chemicals. He seeped through the mess, aiming his mass for the vents.

He wasn't worried about himself. Just for Tom. Only Tom. Only him.

Tom, with uncanny swiftness and urgency, whipped out a rectangular box out of his bag: slamming it onto the ground behind him, the box erected, hissing and clinking and hovering. "DISPENSER UP!"

Tom dug into his bag once again, taking out the most crude, slapped-together weapon ever seen: two metal tubes, welded together at a slight bent. He looked on at the goopy foes that would be remaining from Glas's breath attack.

"Trust her, guys! I know what these things are; they aren't the people we knew in life!" Tom spoke without the jubilee and sweetness that the crew would normally expect. His voice, his expression, his posture, it was calculated and cold. "Not anymore!"

Tom whipped his arm, throwing the bent pipe with enough force to spin through the air. It arced around, flying right at the shade of Dahlia, as Tom took out another bent metal pipe from his immediate surroundings.
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