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Feb 27, 2024

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Trouble in Gilead

Summary:

After their escape from the Advocates on their (stolen) ship, Raziel, Joseph, and Aeon arrive at the Gilead harbor, hoping to spread the news of the impending pirate assault.

Setting:

Gilead

Participants:

Aeon? (Male Red-eared Slider Turtle)
Joseph? (Male Mouse)
Kria? (Female Sand Lizard)
Raziel (Male Tiger)
Zorro? (Male Fennec)


The dock workers walk over to talk with Raziel, “Well, yeah. There are always pirates in the sea. But they wouldn’t come all the way over here to where the king’s ships are.” He looks over at the boat, “This your boat?”

Aeon looks over at the dockworkers, then at the boat. “I guess it is now. We didn’t have much time to find any other options, and the pirates we kicked off of it stole it to begin with.”

Raziel would rather not spend time discussing who stole whose boat for a manic coyote, and cut right to the chase. “Look, we need to talk to talk to a guard captain, or someone. Something terrible has happened in Noria and Meson, and it poses a very real threat to the rest of the kingdom.” The feline flits his ears nervously as he speaks.

The worker raises an eyebrow at Aeon, and then looks at Raziel and the boat, seeming just a /tad/ skeptical.

The dock worker you’re speaking with gestures to the three of you, and a few of the dock guards come down. He whispers to them, and the guards explain, “Hands behind your backs. We’re going to need to take you in until we’ve got a clear understanding of whose boat that is. You’ll be coming with us to the jail.”

Aeon looks at Raziel, and then Joseph, before nodding “we’ll comply.” He looks at the Tiger “If we don’t, we’ll just look more suspicious.”

Raziel is going to have no such thing! The tiger has serious, serious problems with being restrained. He takes a step back. “Stop! Listen! We have /four/ witnesses who can attest to Meson falling to Advocate control, and three who saw them invade Noria. We had to outrun them to /get/ here!”

The dock guard who seems to be ranked above the others, “You have four accomplices in stealing a boat. You’ll get your chance to explain yourself later. If you don’t come willingly, we will take you to the jail by force.” Gilead is not a good place to try to evade the authorities. Soldiers hang here for funzies!

Aeon grunts and looks at Raziel. He crosses his arms and taps a foot “Its either we go peacefully… or they bludgeon us into submission before dragging us to the jail.”

Raziel stands his ground, and growls slightly. “Then so be it. I am /not/ going to let myself be arrested because these obstinate fools refuse to listen!” He seems…rather firm on this issue. “Did you spare even a /moment/ to consider the implications? We did not travel across the sea, chased by pirates, at night, just so that paranoid guardsmen could ignore all sane reason!”

The guards come after Raziel, holding their cudgels and looking to bop him good!

Aeon grunts and looks at Raziel. “I’ve thought about it, but actually fighting the guards will just make them less inclined to believe us. We took the boat from pirates, who in turn took it from someone else. Soon as the trouble blows over I intend to return the ship to its owner… if the pirates didn’t gut him.”

“Stop!” A tiny little fennec starts to run down the docks. It might take a while for Raziel to recognize him, as it’s been a very long time. The little fennec pulls something out of his pocket, a little identification badge of some sort, and shows it to the dock workers, “The King’s investigatory service. These are contacts of ours, and I would appreciate it if they were not harassed.”

Aeon tilts his head, looking to see the tiny fennec. He didn’t recognize this individual, but it seemed they had a lot of pull and power.

Raziel braces himself as the guards bear down on him - then blinks in surprise as the diminutive pasu approaches. It does indeed take a few moments for recognition to kick in, but after what they went through, there’s no way he could forget that fennec. “Zorro…?”

The guard looks at the fennec, taking his little credentials and looking them over. He gives an exasperated, angry sort of face, and hands it back to the tiny fox. “Fine. But if these fools cause trouble in my town, it’ll be your ears.” The guard and his lackies walk back over to their stations.

Aeon looks at Zorro, before saying “Don’t believe we’ve met.”

Raziel strides over to the fennec, his anger replaced by relief in the span of a few heartbeats. He looks happy enough to hug Zorro - but, you know…he’s not going to. “You can’t imagine how surprised I am to see you! How have you been?” The tiger does, however, give the smaller pasu a pat on the shoulder.

He gives a little smirk, “I’ve done well enough for myself.” He grabs the tiger’s paw and starts to lead him, “Now, come on, before they figure out there’s no such thing as the King’s investigatory service.”

Aeon blinks, looking around before he proceeds to follow Zorro and Raziel, signaling to Joseph to come too.

Joseph stands up, wobbling and ambling over with Zorro, Raz, and Aeon, and looking mostly confused.

Raziel chuckles to himself, grinning. “Still as crafty as ever, I see.” The tiger follows along without delay - he doesn’t particularly want to wait around either. “What are you doing in Gilead? Though, I suppose you’ve had sufficient time to take your trip back home to Muon…”

The fennec explains, “After the two of us parted ways, and I wrote a few novels loosely based on our experiences and the other adventures I’d had, I came down here to write for the theater. I was down at the docks today hoping to hear from one of our patron donors in Meson. He likes to be low key, see. But then you show up in his boat, of all people, so now I have to ask you a simple question.” He turns around, and looks to Raziel, “Is my patron a pirate or something? What the hell happened?”

Aeon says, “Pirates took his ship. unless he was a bunny, fox, or rat. Basically Meson has been captured by pirates… I think Raziel said they had an official name when we saw them capture Noria…”

“The Advocates,” Raziel says quietly. “As I was trying to tell those guards, the Advocates have taken Meson…and Noria.” He rubs the back of his neck, and sighs. “I don’t know where your patron is; as Aeon said, the boat was already seized by pirates, and we just took it back. Regardless, we /need/ to tell someone what’s happened. Someone who will believe us, and who has enough authority to do something about it.”

Zorro looks to Aeon, “Yes, he was a rather built looking bunny fellow. Why, have you seen him?” The fennec then looks to Raziel. “That would explain why the telegraph lines have been down over that way. We can’t even contact Cetayanti at this point, so I’m not really sure what all is happening. I know a couple of people who we can talk to, but what you’re saying is a pretty major claim. Do you have any proof I can give them?”

Aeon grunts as he looks around “well…do we, Raz?”

Raziel cringes slightly when Zorro mentions the bunny, but he doesn’t say anything. In any case, that can wait - and who knows? He certainly seemed to be playing buddy-buddy with pirates. “We…don’t have much physical evidence, honestly, other than a few injuries. They came in too quick in Noria, and we /tried/ not to be seen in Meson. I suspect it’ll become clearer when shipments stop arriving from either port, but we may not have that long to prepare…” The tiger’s tail sways in short, nervous strokes.

Zorro hmms, “Well, shipments have been a little delayed. But it’s not quite long enough for people to have become suspicious yet. We should probably get to a telegraph, though, and maybe send some messages around to alert some people.” He pulls a little thing out of his pocket. It looks like a clockwork timepiece of some sort. “There’s some fellow I usually telegraph that might have been able to tell us what’s going on. But this address hasn’t worked since the telegraph went out in Meson.”

Aeon says, “At this point, all we can do is hope, and try our danged hardest.”

Raziel rubs his chin. “Is there anyone else? Or another way we could send a message? Telegraph repair in a warzone is a little out of my league…” The tiger sighs, and begins pacing, before glancing back to the fox. “What precisely is that device, there?”

Zorro looks at it, “I’m not entirely sure. It was used to contact a fellow named Terrence if there was some business deal that needed doing. It changes its number every few minutes. You’d send a message to the address there, and then a response would come back faster than any human could tap it out explaining where to be. Terrence would meet you there.”

Aeon says, “Really? thats an interesting device.”

Raziel nods, and looks it over as well. “That it is. I’d love to see how it works…if we had more time.” As he resumes pacing, he states, “Aren’t there any bureaucrats in this city who would take the threat of the Advocates seriously? You’d think that because of the proximity to Esquemelin, there would be a few paranoid officials…”

Zorro nods, “There are. I was just hoping we had a bit more to present our case with. Come on, I know of a few places where the powerful congregate.” The fennec leads the group toward a bar on Ocean Lane.

Aeon looks around as they walk into the bar. Usually the turtle isn’t a fan of the drinking scene, but he needed to go where the more chances of someone who could do something would be. “So the more powerful tend to come here?”

Raziel nods, and follows the fennec along. “I wish we had more, too, but it’s not really the Advocates’ style to sign declarations of war, now is it…?”

Zorro nods, “They do. The business owners, the government officials, everyone with something to lose if the pirates take over.” He walks into the inn walking toward the stairs, “They aren’t usually fans of giving people warning, no.”

Aeon nods as he looks around, noticing its clearly an upper class as they walk into the place. “I have to take your word for it Raziel, I’ve not heard of the Advocates before.”

Raziel chuckles mirthlessly. “Hard to believe. They own Esquemelin. Though…I’ve come to find those that do know of the Advocates question the existence of Leviathan.” The tiger takes the stairs two at a time, staying right behind Zorro.

Zorro looks to Raziel, “Do you?” The fennec walks up to the bar, and spots the general. “He’d be the one who can probably do the most here.” The rather gruff looking human sports a hell of a beard, which, if the rest of his face is any indication, hides a ton of scars.

Aeon grunts and shuffles his feet a moment, before looking over at Raziel. “It might be best if you approach him. I’m not the most… battle hardened. He may appreciate someone who’s got that kind of experience.”

Raziel looks at Zorro seriously. “No. I don’t question it at all, anymore.” He give another dry laugh at Aeon’s comment, responding, “I /am/ an engineer, you know. Any resemblance I have to a soldier is purely coincidental…or situational.” Nonetheless, the tiger takes a step forward towards the human. “Sir…? I believe we may have some information that you would find valuable.”

The man turns his head to look at the ragged, sea-worn engineer with a big-ass rifle. He pauses for a moment, and then says, “Yes?”

Aeon remains quiet, though he does lean on the bar and listen in.

Raziel begins slowly, “There…has been an attack on Meson, and Noria. The Advocates stormed them, no more than a few days ago. We…” The tiger gestures to himself, Aeon, and Joseph, “…Were there to see Noria fall, and narrowly made it through the fortifications in Meson. We needed to get here, to Gilead, and inform someone of the danger. As Zorro here tells us, that someone is you.”

The general scoops another forkful of his food into his mouth, and turns to the person next to him, “When did you say we lost contact with Meson?” The guy says, “A couple of days ago.” He looks to you, “You’re in an unenviable position now. If you are lying to me, I will gut you. Are you lying to me, tiger?” He narrows his eyes.

Aeon grunts and looks over “Why would he lie about an invasion, especially after risking his life to get here?”

Raziel’s blue eyes lock with the general’s. “I wish I was lying. But sadly, that’s not the case. Joseph and Aeon will confirm that I’m telling the truth.”

Kria remains hidden, listening in on the conversation.

The small mouse pipes up, “They overtook Noria using a few airships and a sea-based attack. We only narrowly managed to escape with our own lives.” The general finishes his drink, and stands up, looking to the person next to him again. “Ready the men. We need to start arming and send a detachment to Meson to confirm. These here are not to leave town until their story is confirmed. And if it’s not, kill them.”

Zorro looks to Raziel, “It’s a good thing I know you wouldn’t lie about this sort of thing.” He adds, “But if they speak the truth, they’ve earned a reward. Bring them to me.”

Aeon grunts and looks around. “well, at least they are going to go look into it. They’ll see for themselves soon enough.” He softly knocks on the bar “Clearly we’re not going anywhere tho.”

Raziel frowns at the death threat - he’s really not fond of those - but he knows that he has nothing to fear, so the tiger remains quiet. “At least you’re willing to look into it. That’s more than the dock guards were willing to do. And your suspicion is understandable. We couldn’t believe it was happening, either.”

Kria tries to glean what they’re talking about, cursing her long eared captain for sending her on this mission rather than doing it himself.

The general exits to verify things while the group is held on-the-spot captive by a few soldiers with weapons. Zorro starts to explain to them that they should feed the group for free, because either they’re heroes and deserve free food, or they’re about to get the death penalty, and deserve a last meal. This works.

Aeon sighs as he has a mix of salad and meat, eating enough to sate his hunger. He was glad for the chance to rest, there was no doubt about that.

Kria clenches her sharp little teeth in frustration as all she hears is witless banter, knowing there’s something important going on here she needs to report to Kaizo.

Zorro tears into a marvelous hamburger that’s nearly as big as one of his ears. He spots a sand lizard hanging around, and remarks to Raziel, “I haven’t seen her around here before, I don’t think.” He looks around. The guards aren’t paying attention to the lizard either. They’re mostly going about their business and keeping an eye on the group to make sure they don’t pull anything or try to leave.

Kria freezes as she heard them and sneaks towards the door.

Raziel doesn’t feel particularly hungry, though his body disagrees - the tiger’s steak doesn’t last long, after the amount of exertion he’s gone through recently. At Zorro’s comment, he shrugs. “It’s an inn. People come and go. But I’m not the one who’s been here before, so…” He resumes eating his steak, though he does glance at the lizard in question.

Kria sits at a table and orders something to drink.

Zorro nods, “Yes, but as this place usually caters to very wealthy individuals, the amount of people who are new is… slim.” He looks to the tiger, “If we had to pay for that meal we just had… well, it wouldn’t have been good.”

Kria looks at her tab for the drink and spits it out, spraying some nearby patrons.

Aeon shrugs a bit “I certainly couldn’t afford the majority of this food, most likely. Even with the income I do have.”

Kria hands over all she has on her just for the drink and sits there, looking none too happy either.

The nearby patrons that get sprayed give the lizard a dirty look, and probably start calling her names. Didn’t she know what kind of bar this was? But they eventually go back to what they were doing.

Kria doesn’t think she can salvage this train wreck of a mission but stays none the less. She’s determined to find out what information those soldiers have.

Zorro and the group look just as out of place as the lizard does. The soldiers are just chatting about soldiery stuff. And what they’re going to do this weekend, and whether or not they thing Noria and Meson were really overtaken by the Advocates.

Kria’s eyes widen as she stands. Perfect! Just what she needed to here. Though worrying it means she can leave this fancy place full of stuck up posh dandies.

…Which she doesn’t know if she said out loud or not.

Raziel nods. “…True. I couldn’t afford this place either. Anyone who tells you engineers make a sizable income…? They’re /lying/.” The cat at least tries to relax, though, now that they’ve accomplished what they came here to do… He leans back on his chair, propping his paws up against the table, and ignoring the looks he gets.

Kria blinks and walks over to the door before any guards try to stop her. She knows for a fact she’s been too obvious tonight.


Previous - Sneaking Through Meson
Next - Muon Onslaught

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