12.20.3013: Said The Spider To The Fly I
Summary: Several Havenites are caught up in the wake of a Hostile attack on Lazarus Island
Date: 25 October, 2013
Related: The night before Said the Spider to the Fly II
Balius Lyrienne Aaryn Lucretia Cyrielle Elodie Hostiles 

Black Sapphire Hotel and Resort, Lazarus Island, Isles of Terran
Tucked away on a small island of Terran is the Isle of Lazarus. Filled with beaches and jungles and a cluster of climbing mountains, it is a beautiful gem in the blue Imperius ocean. The Black Sapphire Hotel and Resort had been renowed before the hurricane had demolished nearly a third of its primary structures. It had taken the better part of two years to finish the reconstruction efforts, and already critics are booming about its success. Invitations had gone out to nobles and Citizens all over Haven, including a few contest winners to provide the less affluent a chance to forget the terrible war and political upheavals throughout the System. The Resort itself consists of five primary structures that rise like bejeweled wonders from the island itself.
20 December, 3013

The first day of the reopening of the Resort had included a schedule filled with events that included tours of the hotel, guided shopping excursions in its mall, rotating exhibits in the various art galleries, tours through the massive conservatory, and plenty of freetime to enjoy the nature-inspired swimming pools, gardens, and restaurants. One of the art galleries, which resides at the top of the furthest west building of the Resort, hosted a continuous tour of art inspired by Old Earth and its mystery.

It was almost sunset when the alarms began to sound, causing guards from all over the hotel to quickly depart their stations and head toward the lower levels. A peaceful, childlike voice had come over the announcement system and informed everyone to follow the flashing red arrows toward the various safety stations. Before those in the art gallery could comply, however, there had been an explosion. It shook the entire room, caused the crystal-ensconced lighting to tinkle, and almost caused the art on the walls of the gallery to fall off the walls.

The last thing you remember is the power flickering out just as the floors beneath you collapsed, sending you falling into a dark abyss…

And now…

Uneven emergency lights flicker overhead, though they hardly provide enough illumination to see much of anything beyond the rubble of a collapsed floor. The room below had been a penthouse suite — a quite a comfortable one. Now, the pipes in the bathroom had burst, the vidscreen had been cracked when it fell off the wall, and the windows which had a view of the jungles to the north had been blown out. At this altitude, the winds scream across the open window, adding a layer of noise to the blaring alarms. The sun has completely set, washing the skies in complete darkness.

Rubbing his forehead, Balius Quellton, groans loudly as he tries to make his way up unsteadily. So much for contest of a lifetime…his green tunic is now slightly tattered as he adjusts his satchel, instinctively reaching for his medkit. "Hey - anybody hurt?!" He calls out to the other figures…his senses still a sense of blurs and rings. Flashing lights jarring his vision, and his ears still ringing for the blast and fall. He brushes some dust off his cloth pants.

Lyrienne is not much of a fighter. Not really. But as a Sauveur, formerly betrothed to a future High Lord, and wife of a naval captain, she's learned a few things about protecting herself. She managed to snap up enough psychometric armor in the moment of the explosion to take the worst of the impact, and rolled on her landing as much as she could, but her poor dress isn't going to be quite as versatile as she might have hoped. Silk and explosive mess go poorly together. As she stirs, she holds still at first, carefully and gently checking her limbs and her abdomen. "I think I'm all right," she calls to the voice asking questions.

"Ow." Doctor Aaryn Reilly sits up, holding her head. She forces herself to her feet and holds on to.. what is that? OH! "Excuse me, my apologies.." It was a Balius she'd grasped on to. "What happened?" This was way too familiar, this dark, unknown, she lived it on a daily basis, but.. rubbing her head again she squints against the flashing lights, the wind.. she raises her voice. "I'm not hurt.." Was she?

<FS3> Lucretia rolls Psychometry: Success.

Ouch. Lucretia grumbles a curse, wincing as she shifts, slowly coming to. She blinks up at the darkness overhead and then slowly shifts to roll onto an elbow and then start to rise. Her black dress is torn in spots, and her staff is off to the side a large piece of rubble having crunched the wooden shaft into more than two pieces. Alas, her witch's hat is missing as well, her short brown hair disheveled. As she straightens to her feet, the Valen woman asks loudly, squinting against the darkness, "Is anybody hurt?" Grunting, in an entirely un-ladylike fashion, she mutters, "Should've stayed in Phylon.." And then she snaps her fingers, a little ball of light blinking into existence at her shoulder, lighting up about five meters around the Witch, whose eyes have gone white. A very faint aura of glittering green flecks dances through the air around her.

After the various stresses of the last few weeks, Cyrielle Hollolas was more than glad to provide as the member of her household to visit the resort. She's had some less than stellar times lately serving as representative for their interests and this is pretty much perfect. Relax, mingle, and enjoy herself. Sometimes, you have to take time for you.

Art is something the young noblewoman is always interested in. Particularly photography. She had been drawn to today's gallery showing as it being a collection from a particularly infamous photographer who went out and documented the damages to the islands after the hurricane. It was meant to serve as a somber, but hopeful opening with the final display showing animated timelines of areas around the resort being cleaned up and improved upon over the last two years. It was in this part that Cyrielle was enraptured when the explosion hit. She was unable to put up a shield in time, being so near to an exterior wall, but the crux of wall and ceiling had lessened the blow. So it's under a lighter pile of rumble that she begins to stir, groaning faintly with the overall concussive pains one experiences from such an event.

As movement is detected in the room, there is a flicker of light from the ceiling that beams down and rapidly forms into a semi-translucent hologram that resembles the silhouette of a child. She stands in what is the middle of the room, hands clasped behind her, completely ignorant of the debris and rubble around her. A little girl's voice peacefully echoes throughout the room, "Greetings. I am your Hospitality Organizer for Leisure, Luxury, Excursions and Entertainment. You may call me H.O.L.L.E.E.," pronounced Hollee of course. "Due to unknown conditions, particular zones of the hotel have experienced abrupt powerloss. Already technicians are working on the complication." There is a pause, the little hologram tilting her head. "Can I be of assistance?"

Giving Aaryn a quick nod, Balius offers her some help. "S' alright miss." His vision steadies as he looks around and hears the various responses…and then that damn AI thing - Hollee? Damn techies. "Ummm…Hollee…we need an exit?" He says, unsure of this holographic child.

Is that..Yes! It's Lu's hat. Which she notices, in the glow of her meager, piddly light ball, and she scoops down to pick it up, dusting it off and settling it upon her head. The cone atop it is a bit floppy unlike usual, and sags to one side. She glances to the hologram child, blinking, then glancing around at the others. She nods when Balius speaks, and comments herself, "Yes. An exit. Is the Resort being evacuated, Hollee?"

Lyrienne takes a deep breath, finally starting to rise from the floor as she hears more voices. Just a moment after Lucretia's light, another ball of witch light - bright and steady - floats up over the younger woman as she stands, her aura a soft shimmer of gold, pink, and teal aurora. "That was unexpected," she says quietly, taking a careful look around. "Hollee, are we structurally sound here right now?"

"Thank you," Aaryn says as quietly as she can, keeping herself upright. As the holochild appears, she takes an instinctive step backwards, still managing to stay on her feet. For now, she doesn't say anything to the AI, preferring to remain below the radar of anyone around.

There's a slight scuffle of feet on Cyrielle's side and she's gritting her teeth. "Nnnn." The woman reaches for her waist, briefly thanking the Six that she wore slacks today (even if the outfit was nice, overall). Unfortunately, her cane is not in its usual place. Wiping dust from her face, the Hollolas looks around until she spots the glimmer of silver-toned metal.

The device is snatched up and she thumbs the button. *CRRR-CLK* Shaking it a few times, she presses it again. *CLK-CL* It extends a few inches and reveals the issue: something in the mechanism within is no longer functioning. There's a few mumbled swears of the ilk only sailors would dare utter and she throws the thing aside. Grabbing onto the remains of a built-in ledge on the wall, she gets to her feet and squints across the room. She's distant enough from most of the others that only the hologram is visible at first. Eyes white over and a glowing orb appears over her as well. Deciding the others have the hologram in hand, Cyrielle starts slowly climbing around where she'd fallen and looks in and around rubble. Seeking other victims, perhaps.

Usually Elodie is the one entering these situations, not being in the middle of them. She's also usually the conscious one. Having unceremoniously dropped the drink she picked up for Aunt Lulu when the alarms started going off, she was looking for the older woman when the explosion occured. Curling up in a ball as she fell, she avoided broken bones on the landing, but she couldn't avoid the debris that hit her on the head as it fell. It isn't until the AI child shows up that she begins to stir, coated in dust and wishing that her armor had been fashionable wear to an art gallery. She sputters and spits some dust and blood from her mouth, lifting a hand to feel gingerly where she bit through her lip, but didn't break any teeth.

"There are four possible exits, each at the end of the east and north corridors. Use of lifts are not permitted at this time," the little AI reports. Then there is a long pause from H.O.L.L.E.E, tilting her head to one side once more. "The Black Sapphire Resort has passed all safety and construction regulations determined by the Safety Council. I detect nothing wrong with the structure of this room." The AI turns her head slightly toward Lucretia. "My Lady, I'm afraid that I am not detecting evacuation protocols." There is a sudden lightness to her voice that suggests a smile despite her face being nothing but a shadow — a three dimensional silhouette. "I am pleased to report that we have gained another two thousand visitors in the last two hours."

As Awakened-blessed balls of light flicker into life, the shadows that stretch and elongate the room become less so. The light reflects off the torrents of rain that fall outside the broken windows, explaining the fierce nature of the wind. As Lyrienne's bright ball of light bobs a bit overhead, it illuminates an unfortunate body that had not been quite so lucky as these six. The dead man hangs upside down by his foot, arms draped over head. His back is obviously broken, and his face slack and eyes glassy. Something about his face looks as if he has been preserved in a terrible scream, his eyes rolled back in his head. The door to the suite is at least visible, though its keypad is completely black and lifeless.

"Two thousand…visitors?" Balius becomes rather concerned about that number, even as he takes in the balls of light. "Alright folks, I guess we should start making our way outta here, right?" He's not entirely certain, but staying amidst the rubble seems like a bad option - screw Hollee's structural integrity assessment. Seeing Cyrielle, he'll give her a nod. "You okay, my Lady?"

"Two thousand visitors?" Lyrienne looks to the others, face pale in the Awakened light. She flinches slightly at the body revealed, then gently sweeps her hand in a cupping motion, dimming her own light and giving it a more gentle, golden cast. "Hollee, are you able to sense…cybernetic enhancements in our latest visitors?" she asks quietly, starting to carefully pick her way through the rubble toward the others.

After asking her question, Lucretia casts her green eyes across the room again. She grimaces at the sight of the unfortunate body and then blinks when she sees Elodie in the now slightly more lightened room. She steps over to crouch near the girl, "Elodie, are you alright? I was hoping you'd gotten out." When HOLLEE starts talking again, the Witch glances back that way, eyes still white, "Can you tell us which ex—.." She trails off, blinking, "What? Two thousand? Before, or after whatever just happened?" Skeptically, she looks to the others and nods at Balius' seeming surprise as well, "Hollee, can you tell us if any of the exits are blocked?"

"Hollee," Cyrielle calls after a few coughs to clear her lungs. "What time is it and when did the explosions occur?" There's a glance to fellow survivors, a glance particularly to those she knows. Balius and Lyrienne. "Do any of you recall the exact time? I… I don't know how long we were out. Two-thousand seems too large of a number."

There's a nod to Balius, distracted, as she hears movement nearby. Cyrielle makes her way over and light illuminates Elodie. A hand is offered out to her, despite the grimace on the Hollolas' own features. "Can you stand?"

With the lack of anything else, Aaryn remains nearby Balius, crossing her arms over herself. Two thousand? She listens as the others address the AI yet she still doesn't input anything to the conversations right at this moment.

H.O.L.L.E.E. clasps her hands behind her back once more, maintaining a neat poise in her petite posture. "All time is based on the current location time zone, where it is thirty-seven minutes past nine o'clock. I am capable of providing time for any location in the Haven System. Popular time requests include Landing, Volkan, Arborenin, The Ring…" H.O.L.L.E.E. seems prepared to continue her list until she focuses on the second question. "The explosion event detected in this area of the Resort happened at thirteen minutes past six o'clock." She seems to be smiling again, but that might not mean much for a hospitality AI. "There are sixteen points along the first north stairwell, eight points along the second north stairwell, ten points along the first east stairwell, and twenty-seven points another the second east stairwell that are all blocked. Would you like me to create the safest route to the ground floor?"

After the darkness, the Awakened light shining on her is too bright for the first moment, but Elodie can see that a hand is being held out to her, and she takes it, scrabbling up to her feet. "Thank you," she says quietly. Looking around she rubs her hands together to get life back in them. "I have to find Lady Lucretia…" then she gives a sigh at the ludicrosity of being able to find anyone in this, but then looks to see that said lady is actually there. "I was looking for you when the alarms sounded. Are you hurt?" Her blue eyes turn back to the white ones of her rescuer.

"..So the two thousand visitors all arrived an hour or more after the 'explosion event'. Is it too much to hope that they're emergency help?" Lucretia asks, this more directed at the people in the room and not the AI. She remains crouched near Elodie, nodding to Cyrielle as the woman tries to help her up. Lu straightens herself, the Valen smooths her dress, then lifts that hand to adjust her limp hat, looking around the group, "What do you all think? Yes? I am thinking the safest route with the added caveat of..avoiding these new arrivals." She glances back to Elodie and Cyrielle, lowering her voice, "Yes, I'm fine, dear. Can you walk? We need to get to safety."

"Old injury," Cyrielle is saying to Elodie, though mildly distracted as she listens to the hologram. "Almost three hours. Two-thousand visitors in the last two." The times don't synchronize well and she pales somewhat at the implication. The hand offered to Elodie shakes even as she helps the woman to her feet.
"Hollee, define safest route." The noblewoman's eyes take in the others, swiftly. "Two-thousand arrivals could be military and rescue crews after the explosions, but it could also be Hostiles. We need to be careful…" Cyrielle looks particularly to Lyrienne, but speaks to the group as a whole: "Does anyone have communication devices on them that are working? I'm afraid mine is missing." Likely damaged the same as her cane.

"HOLLEE…can you provide us a ground route that avoids the new guests?" Balius offers, decisively agreeing with the others as he gives attention to those in the room. With no visible injuries, he starts to look at the walls. "That's well after the explosion…" At least there are Awakened nearby? He grasps his medkit instinctively. "We should be careful regardless."

"We can't assemble and move that many people through Waygates in only two or three hours," Lyrienne shakes her head, quiet. "If two thousand bodies hit the ground in that time period, either it's Hostiles, or it's someone else who was already on the way." She presses a hand carefully over her stomach, eyes closing for a moment as she takes a series of slow breaths. "I don't suppose anyone's armed with actual weapons?" she asks wistfully.

Elodie shakes her head. "I'm fine. A militarily organized rescue team could assemble in an hour's time and start coming in, but two thousand is a bit more than I would excpet so quickly." She looks to Cyrielle, and then looks around the floor for te he small purse she was carrying. She gets to her feet, and offers a hand to the older noblewoman. "It's possible, but not likely."

H.O.L.L.E.E. pauses, taking a moment to process all the incoming information. Then she announces confidently, "The safest route will provide avoidance of detected hazards. I can also provide the fastest route if you prefer to expedite your evacuation." The little AI pauses once more. "I can do my best," she offers to those asking to avoid the guests. "Would you like me to calculate the route?" Perhaps due to programming that forces H.O.L.L.E.E. to provide the most information to any given prompt, she turns toward Lyrienne and offers smilingly, "They did not transit through the Waygate or other vehicles. They just appeared at the edge of my sensors."

At the mention of them /not/ arriving from a Waygate, Elodie pales, not that it's noticeable under the dust that cakes her face. "Let's try and avoid all new guests, please, H.O.L.L.E.E.," she says tightly.

"Yes, HOLLEE, calculate the fastest exit which avoids the visitors. We'd like to consider them hostile, if you wouldn't mind." Balius says quickly. "I've got a dagger…?" He says to the group, feeling around for it in his satchel.

"That is…bad. Very, very bad," Lucretia murmurs as she listens to HOLLEE, hand lifting to rub at her face. "Two thousand of them. That's a lot. And they've been here for two hours. I can only imagine they've spread out to scour. The fastest route please, and the one with the least visitors. Preferably no visitors." She looks to Balius when he mentions a dagger and she looses a sigh. She glances to Lyrienne and Cyrielle as they both sport balls of light, "Lady Lyrienne, unless my memory fails me completely, you are talented enough to help in a fight if it comes down to it, yes? Do we have any other Awakened with us?"

"Unfortunately, I do not carry my bow everywhere." Though Cyrielle may be quite tempted in the near future. Her aura (faint, glowing green vines) flares around her briefly as she takes a few steps towards the door with the darkened pad. The ball of light followsher, casting light around. She gives the barest glance to the dead man; acknowledgement, but not too overtly bothered by it.

"Hollee, when will backup systems be active? Can you provide us contact with local military or other outposts?" A pause as she starts inspecting the keypad closer, trying to see if maybe the display is just off. "Also, Hollee… From which direction did the new guests appear and did they all appear at once?" Her hand raises to gesture in Lucretia's direction. "I am capable of armoring myself and fighting if need be, yes."

Lyrienne sighs softly at the answer, brushing a hand over her skirts. "I'd feel better if I was a bit more practically dressed," she admits quietly. "But I can provide some defense if needed," she nods to Lucretia. "So long as we don't actually close with them, I should be able to deliver a respectable amount of damage."

H.O.L.L.E.E. bobs her semi-translucent, shadowy head. "Calculating…" There is a pause as the AI prepares the route. She is silent as she does. Finally, she reports that, "Route has been successfully acquired. Please state when you are ready to begin." And it appears that H.O.L.L.E.E. intends to be their guide. She glances toward Cyrielle at the question. "I'm sorry, my Lady, but I am unable to detect a singular direction of their arrival." H.O.L.L.E.E. pauses again at Lyrienne's words. "Our route does take us through the Emeraldine Mall." She is the Hospitality Operator after all…

Aaryn is completely unexperienced at this sort of thing with nothing in her past to draw on. Whatever the others say and do, she listens in silences, getting a few life lessons. "Is it Hostiles?" The question is given to Balius, still the person she has stuck nearby since standing. If it were Hostiles, at least she could draw on one previous experience with them. Elodie, she finds, looks familiar as well. She'd met her on that expedition. Armor.. right. "I can armor myself too," she tells Cyrielle.

"Where does this door lead, Hollee?" Cyrielle is not ready to trip the emergency release until she's more certain what may lie on the other side. "Did they appear from all directions, Hollee? Even beneath the ocean and ground surface? What was the pattern of their arrival? Were they arranged into any groupings?" A look to the hologram, "Can you display your reports on their arrival?" The woman's jaw works and there's a glance to Aaryn, "I suspect her sensors may be malfunctioning."

"A rescue effort would arrive through the Waygates," Elodie says quietly, not quite placing Aaryn at the moment. "It may not be Hostiles, but whatever it is is unlikely to be friendly." She raises an eyebrow at Cyrielle's questions, but they are all good ones, and so she looks to the AI Guide, closing her eyes briefly at the mention of going through the shopping center. "If only the shopping center sold real things of use, rather than replicas."

"What? No, we aren't stopping to shop. Get us out of here!" Lucretia mutters in exasperation at HOLLEE's remark, before glancing to Cyrielle, Aaryn and Lyrienne with a nod, "Very good to hear, dears. Be ready. And if we run into anything, try to keep them away from the group." Her eyes fall on Cyrielle again, hmm'ing quietly, "I suspect the thing is probably damaged at the very least, but I'd rather take a chance than wait here to see what happens." At Elodie's remark, Lu pauses, then asks HOLLEE, "—The mall doesn't have weapons, does it?"

"Well, folks, shall we?" Balius motions to the group. Looking to Aaryn, Balius shakes his head. "We've got no clue. Better safe than sorry is all I'm saying… He's pulled out the dagger. "Between the lot of us, we should be set then." His eyebrow is clearly raised at talk of shopping.

"Are there any security offices or places to acquire armament on the way, Hollee?" Lyrienne looks to the others from beneath her lashes at the mention of the mall. She's thinking about it. Running for your life is so much easier in a sensible pair of breeches than in gauzy silk, after all. It's entirely a practical concern. Entirely.

"I'm afraid I am unable to provide you with that information, my Lady, without proper clearance codes." H.O.L.L.E.E. says to Cyrielle before she pauses, and then replies diplomatically to Lyrienne, "No, my Lady. Once connection with the InfoSphere resumes, I can direct you to sphere-sites that are able to meet that transaction request." Then the little AI smiles once more. "Would you like me to add the Emeraldine Mall security station to our intermediate destination?" The AI starts to walk toward the door, but her body dissolves as she nears the portal. Her voice however continues to echo around the room through the announcement speakers. "Please exit the room, and take an immediate left. You will continue down this corridor for twenty meters."

With a quiet nod of acknowledgement to Cyrielle, Aaryn remains quietly listening to the information from the others. She is no warrior herself, but she can defend herself if needed. "I'll be ready," she assures Lyrienne, before turning to look back at Balius. "I agree.. But be careful."
Cyrielle pages: Before Cyri opens the door, she's going to bring up her Psych armor. Just in cae. Is that a roll?

Stepping towards the front of the line reflexively, Balius moves to the door and takes a step forward. "Just…stay close gang. The lighting should be useful." He forces a smile.

There's a grumble of frustration from the Hollolas noblewoman. While her words are largely polite and still in the realm of etiquette, her father can be seen in her actions. Or perhaps it's the ocean. Plunder! Pillage! Bring me the rum! Cyrielle's aura flares brighter and the vines that had faintly showed shift and expand, becoming transluscent plates around her form. They're leaf-like and glow a faint green. With the protective psychometric armor in place, she grabs hold of the emergency release and lets the door open. Her body is kept angled away from the door; archer's instincts in place.

Elodie listens, then looks for Aunt Lucretia. She makes sure she's at the woman's side, able to step forward to protect the woman if necessary. She glances around, looking overhead and to the walls as she waits for the door to be opened. "It should be fine," she murmurs, mostly to herself. "Wall is intact enough that the opening shouldn't weaken it." Still, she seems poised to drag anyone around her back at the slightest sign of instability.

<FS3> Lucretia rolls Psychometry: Good Success.

Lu for one is certainly glad she has over the years favored riding boots over heels. Her boot-clad feet pad across the floor. The glowing ball of light remains at her shoulder and she looks aside to Elodie, "Stay close to me, dear. And please, nobody decide to wander off…" Her eyes fall upon the shattered shaft of her staff and with a twitch of fingers and brief brightening of the glittering green flecks around her, the top foot of the wooden shaft floats up and towards the Valen sorceress's hand as she approaches the door with the group, the large aquamarine still held in the wooden claw's grasp. "Yes, add the security station to the list…" She tells HOLLEE unless someone says otherwise.

Lyrienne's slippers are at least easier to navigate than heels, though she steps carefully around the rubble, focusing on old habits of stealth from her youth. Staying quiet, she finds a place to one flank of the group as she starts to follow the guide's directions.

If the group was expecting immediate action beyond the door of the penthouse suite, they are sorely disappointed. Instead, it is… quiet. The lighting here is unreliable at best. It flickers every few yards, and there are entire sections of complete darkness that threaten to swallow them. There are already sections of wall that swell from heavy water damage where pipes have exploded. The hallway is just an endless stretch of closed doors, and the soft roar of wind and rain beyond provides an isolating effect.

They are utterly alone, and H.O.L.L.E.E. only speaks to provide directions — and her manifestations are even more sporatic as they cross through heavily damaged corridors. They are directed to a stairwell that goes down four floors before a huge chuck of cement composite blocks their path. It is a portion of the wall, and so they must exit into another corridor. There is another dizzying stretch of corridor, though their occasional turns take them toward the center of the building where all the corridors come together into a terribly dark salon.

Drip, drip…

The Awakened light softly illuminates the first five meters into the room. There are lush carpets that create whorling patterns. A large grand piano stands shadowy and abandoned, slanted due to one of its legs being completely broken.

Drip, drip…

There is a strange shadow toward the back of the room that looks like a shape hovering a meter or so off the ground. It has a vague… X-shape to it. And it releases a soft groan.

Drip, drip…

Hearing before seeing anything Balius thrusts an arm out reflexively in front of the group. Youngest of the lot, perhaps, but brotherly instincts are brotherly instincts. "What the…" Balius whispers softly, not looking back to the group at all, transfixed and concerned by the…object? Thing? In front of them.

Wandering along with the group and striving to be quiet as they follow HOLLEE's directions, Lucretia keeps a firm grip on the remnants of her staff, which likely looks a bit silly, missing the vast majority of the wooden shaft as she is. Her eyes remain whited over, the little ball of light hovering at her shoulder. The Witch's head swivels from side to side warily and when she hears the groan from the back of the room, her emerald green eyes cut across that direction to settle on the shadow and she murmurs softly, "What is that?"

With psychometric armor still in place, Cyrielle doesn't mind being at the fore. Her younger years within the navy have fallen into place. This may not be a ship and she may not be a captain, but Roger deeply ingrained certain things into his youngest child whether she realizes it or not. Using her hand to direct it, the woman gestures the ball of light out as far as she can. "Hollee," she calls softly, trying to keep her voice isolated, but also reach any pickups for the AI, "is there any ETA for the backup generators?" Surely there's backups. Something to get lights going here.

Lyrienne takes a deep breath, focusing, at the sound ahead. "Lady Cyrielle, if you have whatever's ahead, I'm going to see what we can light around us," she murmurs, starting to send her own light globe around the perimeter of the room in a careful search pattern.

Still keeping her place next to Lucretia, Elodie bites her lip. "Lady Lucretia, can you float a ball of light over there?" she asks quietly, her grip tightening for a moment on the woman's arm as she guesses what it might be. Then she lets go and folds her hands together in front of her.

As Cyrielle's ball of light adventures forward as far as it can, it reveals more of that carpeting and a high-packed chair. The upholstery seems a bit… strange. It is white, but there are abstract smears of dark red. The wood that accents the piece of furniture also has deep grooves in its arms — four of them in fact. Something about them would seem vaguely familiar to those with a medical background. They almost seem like… fingernail scratches.

Drip, drip…

Toward the center of the room, another faint streamer of light emerges and quickly forms into the shadowy silhouette of H.O.L.L.E.E. She has her hands clasped behind her back once more. "I have sent a message to the technician team."

Drip, drip…

There is something vaguely humanoid about the shape in the shadows as more and more light starts to close in around it. Limbs are spread out from what could be a torso, stretched all the way to the edges of the room as if spread-eagle with very long legs and arms.

Grasping his dagger tightly, Balius' watchful eye takes note of the…creature. "Damn…anybody know what that thing is?" He nods towards the misshapen humanoid. He shuffles a few steps towards it, slowly, keeping a watchful eye on its reactions.

"Anyone without armor remain behind those with it," Cyrielle says sharply as her light brings the form into view. "I'm going to go in closer. Would someone with medical knowledge be willing to go with me?" And she's already slowly shifting down the stairs, fingers wiggling slightly at her sides. Keeping on the ready. "Hollee, please provide us any updates as to the visitors, the technicians, and any other damage to the hotel."

"Wait." Lyrienne's voice is soft, but firm, as Balius steps forward. "They did this in Arboren. When they first arrived. It could be bait."

With her own armor in place, still hopefully near Balius, and the others, Aaryn looks back to those without armor and keeps herself in between them and the unknown if she is able to. The dripping.. Stiffening when she hears Lyrienne, she stops in her tracks. "I'm a doctor," she tells Cyrielle.

"I'm a doctor," Elodie responds at almost the same time as Aaryn, but she nods over to Lyrienne. "Be careful, it just smells like a trap," her eyes lingering back on the chair. "I'll stay here, though. I don't have any way to protect myself, yet."

"We need to get out of here," Lucretia hisses quietly as the green and gold flecks around her brighten for an instant while she focuses on the shadowy shape, "It doesn't look human from here, and I'd rather not risk all our lives to take a closer look. If it was someone who needed help, I don't think it'd be refusing contact." She shoots a look towards HOLLEE, "HOLLEE, where is the exit? Now." The Witch looks at Cyrielle and she snaps, "Why do you want to look at it? This is a bad time for curiousity."

"If it is or was human, I don't think we'll be able to help them," Lyrienne points out regretfully. "Not…like that." She continues to send her light around the room, though her eyes narrow as she starts to let it flicker unevenly, searching for unusual reflections.

Drip, drip…

"Please proceed forward," H.O.L.L.E.E. announces. "You will exit through the door directly ahead of you." Obviously H.O.L.L.E.E. doesn't think the shape ahead is an appropriate disruption in their path.

"Because we may not be the only ones trapped and if this is part of an attack, it is our duty to be able to provide as much detail as possible." Naval training crops up whenever you need a fallback. Otherwise scared witless? Training says no. Cyrielle is not approaching quickly, but she is trying to get near enough to send her orb of light in to illuminate whatever is stretched. "I'd almost rather that dripping to be blood," she mutters towards Balius. "Last thing we need is water flooding in on us." There's no telling how much is waiting to burst from the walls and further damage the stability of the building.

The woman does laugh as Hollee speaks. "FUCK! I love AIs." It's a very sarcastic tone that Cyrielle announces this in. She pushes the light forward, walking a bit more boldly towards the figure now. She, at least, is armored.

Balius will walk next to Aaryn, taking cautious steps and nodding in silent agreement with Cyrielle. "Don't seem to me like we got much option, my Lady." Bey responds, suppressing an urge to grin at Hollee.

"If we get out of here, I'm telling the technicians to replace you with a grown up model," Lucretia mutters under her breath in response to HOLLEE's directions to proceed forward. The Valen sorceress shifts her grip on her broken staff as if ready to brandish the aquamarine-clasping claw, and unlike the others, she hasn't surrounded herself with a layer of psychometric armor. She glances to the others, stepping to go ahead forward herself, and sending her ball of light straight for the shadowy figure ahead of them as far as she can.

"We can at least walk around the edge of the room, Aunt Lucretia," Elodie offers, her eyes going to the broken piano. Edging over that way, she lifts a broken leg, but gives a grunt at the weight. Pursing her lips, she turns the piano bench upside down, unscrewing a leg while the others are occupied with whatever hangs in the center of the room. It doesn't take too long once it's loose, and hefting it, she considers undoing a second one.

While the others focus on the figure, Lyrienne is still searching the edges of the room, light flickering in a testing pattern. Her armor is in place, but she doesn't seem entirely reassured by that.

Where Cyrielle and Balius lead, there goes Aaryn but she looks back at Elodie with a somewhat lost expression. Nothing had prepared her for something like this.

As the Awakened light closes in on the shape, the shadows crawl back. It is a Havenite. She is strung up by her wrists and ankles, spread as wide as the limbs allow without detaching from the torso. She is wearing a bikini, and her hair is tangled enough to suggest she might have been enroute from one of the pools. Thick cords of slick rope hold the body aloft, connected to the wall. The woman's belly has been torn asunder, blood dripping rhymically from the obvious innards. It was probably what killed her, but the fact that her left arm has been completely flayed of its skin is an indication she suffered greatly before she was put out of her misery. The corpse groans again.

H.O.L.L.E.E. calmly strides forward toward the door on the other side of the room, walking directly through the hanged woman's feet as she does.

<FS3> Cyrielle rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Lucretia rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Balius rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Elodie rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Lyrienne rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Aaryn rolls Alertness: Good Success.

<FS3> Cyrielle rolls Psychometry: Failure.
<FS3> Cyrielle rolls Psychometry: Good Success.

Holding back his own urge to wretch, Balius looks at the woman briefly and then away. The groaning is particularly disturbing to him. "That's…that's not natural.."

As the Havenite comes into view, Cyrielle swallows. It's the fact that it's human that really gets to her. Clean enough kills for your dinner and it's easier. Not easy, just… easier. If white eyes can show pity, then hers do… The woman extends a hand towards one of the ropes and a bit of flame flickers there. The rope snaps, allowing the body to release in that spot. She looks towards another rope and is about to do the same… but something distracts her and the rope just barely singes. She holds up a hand in the classic military gesture of 'freeze' and appears to be listening to something…

Insides sometimes spill out on the battleground, and Elodie's stuffed her fair share back in at times to save knights and soldiers. But flayed limbs are not seen so much, or the obvious signs of such torture. The naval surgeon turns her attention to securing another piano leg for her use, and she holds one firmly in each hand. Swallowing done her bile, she starts to return to Lucretia, freezing and tilting her head to the side. "Did I hit my head too hard, or did I just hear something skittering?" she asks, dropping her voice.

"That's very much like what they did in Arboren." Lyrienne is pale, but her jaw is set with determination as she moves through the room. She stiffens at something, looking back over her shoulder. "We should keep moving, and quickly."

Lucretia's face blanches a bit, hand lifting to her mouth as she looks away, her ball of light fading away and her eyes returning to normal for the moment. She makes a face as Cyrielle starts to burn the rope but nods slightly before freezing when she thinks she hears something and apparently so do others in the group. Her head turns, glacing around before she mutters quietly, "I think it's a bit farther on…get her down and let's go.."

H.O.L.L.E.E. waits by the door, hands clasped behind her back. The little AI is quite patient. If she was text-based, there is no doubt there would be a gently flashing 'Waiting…' on her screen.

<FS3> Cyrielle rolls Psychometry: Good Success.

"Keep your eyes and ears open," Cyrielle mutters, bringing her focus about to the task again. This time she's more successful and the second rope gives, letting the body swing free. "Balius, can you help me remove the rest of these ropes? We can't provide her a burial, but we can make her body as comfortable as possible for the rescue teams." She speaks with a firm, rushed urgency… but there's an underlying waver of concern to her voice.

Balius sets to the unhappy task of cutting the ropes with his dagger and cutting the woman down. His face is grave and serious as he silently does as Cyrielle requests.

Lucretia very pointedly does not look at the body, and she steps over to the door, giving Cyrielle and Balius a moment. She looks to the others, then back to the AI, "HOLLEE, has anyone at all come through the Waygates since the explosion?" As she speaks, her eyes white out again, a ball of light appearing at her shoulder.

Her jaw tight as the woman is cut down, Elodie waits, scanning the darkness as much as she can, trying to listen. She keeps alongside Lucretia, waiting for the answer to the question asked, but not holding up much hope that the answer is going to be a good one. Her attention is more fastened on their surroundings, the integrity of walls around them, and the possibility of things collapsing or jumping out from the dark.

Despite being a doctor and seeing a lot of things in her field, Aaryn has never.. not that she could recall anyway, seen anything like this. Immediately bile rises in her throat and it is all she can do not to lose it right then and there. She lifts her arm to her lips, trying to gather herself. Looking back towards Elodie, she swallows hard. "She's dead." Yes, Sherlock, she tells herself for stating the obvious. She also hears the skittering and stills again.

H.O.L.L.E.E. pauses, and then replies calmly and childlike, "The Black Sapphire Waygate in the Conservatory is currently offline. My records indicate that the last Ways activation was detected just before it went offline. Transit was incomplete."

"Incomplete?" Lyrienne blanches at that, shifting her weight from foot to foot as the others work on cutting the body down. She's occupied with keeping an eye on things. So that nothing creepy can sneak up on her.

Taking the body over his shoulder and carefully laying the corpse on the ground, Balius seems to only partially hear the part about Waygates being offline. He grabs something from his medkit to sterilize his hands and the dagger.

"Well that's just fucking nice. Waygate is down. We're fairly sure we have Hostiles in evidence. Hollee, how far are we from security?" Cyrielle mutters something about squids and a Hostile's mother. You don't want to know the details. The woman does, however, give a small nod of appreciation to Balius and places a hand on his shoulder before she starts moving forward. A gesture of her fingers and her ball of light heads past Hollee, illuminating whatever may lie ahead.

"Of course the waygate is off," Lucretia mutters in response to the AI, hand lifting to absently try to straighten the floppy cone of her hat. Then she blinks as the the rest of HOLLEE's answer sinks in, making a face. She finally works up the nerve to look to Cyrielle and Balius, nodding as they seem to be done and turning to wave the AI towards the door, "Shall we?"

"The security station is just on the other side of the skybridge to the Emeraldine Mall," H.O.L.L.E.E. says in that helpful voice. She turns and starts to lead them onward into the dark corridor. The AI says over her shoulder. "Have you been enjoying your stay so far at the Black Sapphire?" She asks, as if trying to encourage conversation while she guides them down the hallway toward the stairwell at the far end of another exhausting series of doors. Several meters down the hall, her holographic projector gives out again and she flickers into nothingness, leaving just her voice to guide them onward.

"What does that mean.. incomplete? Where… what does that mean for those traveling?" Imagining all sorts of horrific images, Aaryn doesn't look at the body but moves on with the others, remaining with Balius.

Lyrienne continues to move purposefully, definitely interested in getting to the security station. "Hollee, what kind of protective measures are available at the security station?" she asks as she walks, still looking around. "We may be better off barricading ourselves there if they're adequate, considering the Waygate is down."

"We have to keep ourselves alive they arrive," Elodie murmurs confidently, giving the older lady a grim smile and a nod. She keeps her eyes on the walls as they go, not entirely trusting the AI the know about structural safety and such. "Wait, over a skybridge?" she asks, her eyes leaving the building to go to H.O.L.L.E.E, her eyebrows drawing together in a frown.

"No. I'm afraid not, and I have no intention of ever returning," Lucretia answers HOLLEE dryly. And then she looks to Cyrielle, "We're fairly sure?" Her hand lifts to wave back towards the woman they'd just discovered, "I think that was plenty of proof that we're dealing with Hostiles." When Lyrienne speaks, she waits to hear the AI's answer.

Balius has gone silent but marches on, as if in a trance. His eyes continue to scan the room for threats, but the boisterous Quellton is letting the others do the directing as he clutches his tiny dagger almost like a support blanket.

"Hollee, please file this visit as unsatisfactory due to restriction protocols. Nobility should have access to records such as those I requested about the visitors received around thirteen past seven. These are times of war and such information can be vital." Someone will find the AI's black box, as it were, and perhaps Cyrielle's complaint will be heeded in the future. "How structurally sound is the skybridge, Hollee?" There's a glance to Elodie, but Lucretia draws her gaze instead. There's a brief flash of teeth… as if the Hollolas finds this amusing. "We were out for a full hour after the… visitors appeared. They may have come and gone."

Despite the gravity of the situation, Elodie snorts something that could almost be a laugh as Cyrielle files the visit's unsatisfactory review.

"I'm sorry to hear that, my Lady," H.O.L.L.E.E. says automatically. Then it speaks to Cyrielle. "I'm sorry, my Lady. If you will provide me with proper security clearance, I can provide you with the necessary records." Then the AI pauses to answer Elodie and Cyrielle's questions at the same time. "The Skybridge connects the building you are currently in with its neighbor, the Emeraldine Building. It hosts the Emeraldine Mall, the Green Pools, and rooms G1101 through G8901. The skybridge is intact and structurally sound."

H.O.L.L.E.E. leads the group through another series of ghost hallways and down another series of floors. She no longer inquires for comments about the resort, their stay, or otherwise, merely providing directions as they move down through the building. They come to a door announcing that they have reached the floor that has access to the Ruby Greenhouse and the Rubine-Emeraldine Skybridge. They step out into a lovely garden within the interior of the building. It is as dark as a jungle at night in here, and there is a faint chirp of nocturnal animals as they move through the branches of the tall trees. The unique feature of this garden is that it emulates the weather outside, which means it is pouring rain in here. If there was enough power, static shields would at least be keeping them dry as they venture down the twisting path toward the glass doors labeled SKYBRIDGE. But, instead, whatever power there is appears to be dedicated to getting them all soaking wet.

<FS3> Lucretia rolls Psychometry: Great Success.

"Hollee, are you currently engaged anywhere else in the Resort? Are you helping anyone else?" Lucretia inquires as they walk, occasionally glancing to the others. Lucretia for one isn't getting wet as they walk through the gardens, and she extends that same protection to the rest of the group, her aura growing more intense, green and gold flecks of energy dancing in the air as she wards off the rain around the group, so long as nobody strays too far from her, "Hollee, what is the best way to get off the island, if the waygate is down?"

<FS3> Elodie rolls Survival: Good Success.

One hand holds the dagger, another hand is on his satchel. Balius is watching along and seems thankful for the protective shielding from the water. At the question from Lucretia, he looks to Cyrielle. "My Lady, you know how to navigate ships…what'd you say our odds are?"

"If the Waygate is too damaged to resume operation, our emergency procedures indicate that evacuations will be moved to the Port of Lazarus. Emergency ships from Beacon and the neighboring island of Yatarina will be sent to help ferry evacuees to the nearest Waygate," H.O.L.L.E.E. provides helpfully. There is a pause. "Other instances of my programming are being utilized in fifty other locations."

"H.O.L.L.E.E." Lyrienne reaches up to twist her hair into a more practical knot, slipping the combs in to hold it in place. "Do you show any ships on their way now? Or is there somewhere we can fortify ourselves until they arrive?"

As the group proceeds through hallways and into the garden, Cyrielle remains at the fore. She's trusting instincts and armor more than true brawn, so any corners are approached warily and with careful movements. There's a quick glance cast to Balius and she makes a slight noise in consideration. "Never dealt with Hostiles on the ocean. I'd say provided we can get to the docks, we'll be fine. If there's a ship there…" She trails off, not really wanting to consider that now.

"…Are any of those instances being used by the visitors who arrived after the explosion event, Hollee?" Comes Lucretia's voice after a moment of considering the AI's answer with a small frown upon her lips. She glances aside to Lyrienne, nodding when the woman speaks, and maintaining the ward against the garden's rain.

"I'm sorry, did that thing just say fifty?" Balius says, perking up in alertness. Deal with his own trauma later. "Hollee, if you'd be so kind, can you confirm if your other utilizers are all human?"

Such good questions from them all except were the Hostiles considered human? Or.. were they machine? She'd heard both. Aaryn awaits the answer as she remains with the others, proceeding through with Cyrie and Balius.

"Unfortunately, my Lady, the loss of power has impeded my ability to establish communication outside of the resort's internal feed," H.O.L.L.E.E. replies to Lyrienne. "Once power has been restored, I will be able to provide further information to your inquiry. Would you like me to send another message to the technician team?" Because that has worked so well so far. There is a sense of peace in this garden. No dead bodies, at least. There is another pause from H.O.L.L.E.E. as she processes these new requests, and she answers with a succinct, "Confirmed human, and each recognized as previous visitor."

At the idea of the fifty AI's working, Elodie almost smiles, the idea that there are other people around alive and having survived the explosions. But then Lucretia and Balius point out the other possibility, and her expression dampens. "I would vote for holing ourselves up in the security office if the bridge doesn't collapse on us," she says. "Getting to the port means risking run-ins with Hostiles, and I'm not nearly well enough armed or armored for that."

There is another flicker of light as the holographic projectors manage to produce H.O.L.L.E.E.'s form. She stands before the skybridge doors in that regal poise.

Lyrienne is generally very calm, but a flicker of irritation crosses her features. "I'd be all for holing up in the security office, too, except the lack of response about it is making me wonder if it won't require authorization codes we don't have," she says irritably. "Let's move on. It's supposedly on the way either way."

"Hollee," Cyrielle asks as they near the doors. She does try to look through, but she doesn't go through them yet. "How close are we to your other instances? Will we be converging with them? And do you have… eyes on the security location we're approaching? Is the area clear?" The woman pushes hair from her face; brown locks damp from before Lucretia's manipulation got things overhead cleared up.

"There are only six other instances in the Emeraldine building, none of which are on the route you requested. Would you like me to adjust the route?" H.O.L.L.E.E. inquires calmly as she glances over toward Cyrielle. She pauses again. "The security location is clear," she confirms.

"You can forget the technician team, Hollee, we have more serious issues at hand," Lucretia remarks dryly as they step towards the doors to the bridge, glancing aside to Lyrienne and Cyrielle. She hmm's, "No. Just..get us to the security location, we'll decide what to do there, I think."

The skybridge beyond the doors is a simple stretch of tight carpet and transparent composite walls and ceiling that would provide a breathtaking view if not for the loss of power and torrents of rain.

Elodie glances towards Lyrienne, but she doesn't speak. Stepping to the side of the doors she presses her back to the wall, listening intently, trying to pick up that skittering sound again, or any sound. She looks over her shoulder down the skybridge, and at the rain. "Well, at least rain helps obscure the view of anyone that might be looking in as we go across," she observes. "Shall we?"

"Keep the route. Let us know if any of them adjust their routes." Cyrielle places a hand on the doors, glancing over to the others. She does catch Balius' gaze for a moment, seeming to try to affirm that the young academic is faring alright. "Hollee, do we have clearance to know how many visitors you can sense at this time? In total." And she leans onto the door, pushing it open. A close look of the woman, beneath the glow of her psychometric armor, may find that there's a steady tightening of her jaw and grimace.

Lyrienne starts moving forward down the path, shooting an appreciative look at the other Awakened when the pounding of the artificial rain lets up around their group. Because wet was really not in her plans.

Lucretia lets her aura fade away as they step out onto the skybridge and out of the malfunctioning gardens. She glances around at the group, inquiring, "How is everybody holding up?"

As the rest start stepping out on the bridge, Elodie takes one last look around the gardens, and brings up the rear, waiting for everyone else to get out before she moves.

There is not much that Aaryn can really say at the moment, but she does remain with the group as they step out onto the Skybridge. She's not last but hopefully she is before those who aren't wearing armor.

"Fine, my Lady, fine." Balius says as he trudges along, quite unsure of what he's supposed to make of this whole ordeal. The Awakened have taken the lead and he just waits as he steps further along the Sky bridge.

H.O.L.L.E.E. once more dissolves within a few meters across the skybridge. The group manages to get about halfway across before the lighting at the far end of the skybridge flickers into life. It illuminates a figure standing at the far end of the skybridge. By its stature, it looks to be an armored man. His helmet is missing entirely with his black hair slicked back. He is standing in profile to the others, looking as if he is talking to someone that is further down the corridor. He has a sword on his hip.

And when the lightning illuminates that figure, Cyrielle freezes in place. She says nothing, just puts out an arm to make sure Balius halts as well.

At the back, Elodie was paying more attention to whether or not something was going to appear from the garden and follow them. The lights flaring to the life at the other end almost makes her jump, and she blinks a couple of times to adjust. "Finally," she mutters, then stops when she sees the man sans helmet at the end of the skybridge. She doesn't want to go any further, and so stands there, sideways, keeping an eye out behind, but glancing to the front.

Making her way across the bridge with the group, Lucretia's steps falter for a brief instant when the lights at the other end flicker on and reveal an armored man. When she notices others stopping, she glances aside at Cyrielle, brow arching as she stops herself and inquires quietly, "Why are we stopping? Let us go say hello."

Lyrienne doesn't seem particularly reassured by the sight of someone in armor just yet, still cautious. The light of her globe dims, but instead, an eldritch crackle of lightning starts to grown behind the fingers of one hand, building in her palm.

"The waygate was interrupted," Cyrielle says in a quiet voice. "And a hospitality AI would inform guests if resort security was in their vicinity. Standards and regulations usually insist that guests remain in place until assistance reaches them." She starts to slowly edge forward, trying to get close enough to where she can hear what the armored figure is saying.

Slowly, the head of the armored figure turns toward the Havenites. The entire left of its face is covered in cybernetics including a wicked skeletal jaw. Both eyes are black pits that faintly glow, and it points down the skybridge at the six. As it starts to step forward, so does another armored Hostile. The two start charging forward, reaching to pull their weapons off their belt — a sword and an axe.

<COMBAT> Lyrienne attacks Hostile20 with Psychometry but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Lucretia attacks Hostile20 with Psychometry - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile20 passes.
<COMBAT> Aaryn attacks Hostile20 with Psychometry - Serious wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile21 passes.
<COMBAT> Elodie passes.
<COMBAT> Cyrielle attacks Hostile21 with Psychometry - Moderate wound to Right Leg (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Balius passes.

"Hollee, we need to discuss the meaning of 'clear'," Elodie mutters as the Hostiles turn and charge the group. She steps up as the Awakened let loose with their pyrotechnics, not getting in the way, but ready to block the coming attack.

Lucretia's eyes widen a touch as the figure turns and proves to be a Hostile, and then there's a pair of them charging down the bridge. She doesn't freeze up though and her hand staps out as her aura flares and her eyes go white, waving the aquamarine-tipped remnant of her staff towards the charging figures and loosing a fireball which strikes one glancingly in the chest and she calls to the group, "Everybody be careful!"

Lyrienne says something under her breath that she must have picked up from her husband, throwing her arm forward with a swift motion from the elbow, aiming for one of the Hostiles. Whether it's the surprise of seeing one that could at least pass for human in the dark, though, or interference from the storm outside, the first strike of lightning goes wide, cracking into the wall next to it.

"We no longer trust the AI," Cyrielle says as the Hostiles reveal themselves to be… well, exactly as she'd feared. "The security office may not even be across the bridge." Or they didn't ask the right question. AI can still be really light on the 'intelligence' part of things. The woman has never faced down a Hostile before. She's fought her mentor and she's lived years deep within the Spine… but this? Her breath catches, but she presses it all down. Deep down. She can deal with the emotions later. Her hand whips out and the green of her aura flares as fire rips from her fingers into the alien's leg.

The Hostile with the wicked jaw staggers back a bit at the series of violent psychometric strikes against its frame. It does not slow however, and neither does its companion. The two continue to charge forward, and quickly close the distance between them and the Havenites.

There is a pause from H.O.L.L.E.E. before she gracefully answers with, "You inquired if the security office was clear…" She is a Hospitality Operator, after all.

"Hollee, you are the WORST hospitality operator EVER!" Cyrielle may have two hostiles bearing down, but she really needs to file a complaint.

Damn. Just damn it all to hell. "Stupid crap AI…Hollee…!" Balius yells as he moves with his dagger to slash a target.

With sudden calm, Aaryn steadies her breathing and a dangerous like aura encompasses her as her eyes turn white. Rarely does she do this in front of a crowd. She lifts her hand as she concentrates and the bolt that flashes from her strikes the Hostile fairly hard.

An axe, that's what she needs. Ronan taught her how to use one of those, but first, the Hostile holding it has to go down. One thing at a time. Elodie ducks low, trying to sweep legs out from under the Hostile with her wooden piano stool legs.

<COMBAT> Lyrienne attacks Hostile20 with Psychometry - Serious wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Hostile20 attacks Lucretia with Bludgeon - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Elodie attacks Hostile20 with Bludgeon but Hostile20 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Aaryn attacks Hostile20 with Psychometry - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Lucretia attacks Hostile20 with Psychometry but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile21 attacks Cyrielle with Sword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Cyrielle attacks Hostile21 with Psychometry - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Balius attacks Hostile21 with Dagger - Light wound to Right Leg (Reduced by Armor).

"I'm sorry. Would you like me to send a message to the concierge desk?" H.O.L.L.E.E. says, and her voice sounds terribly dejected — if it is possible for a childlike AI to be on the brink of tears, H.O.L.L.E.E. would be.

Of course, that doesn't really compare to the fact that the Hostiles are falling upon them.

When you're not a powerhouse who can take a hit, you learn to be lighter on your feet. Cyrielle has never worn more than leather armor for that very reason. When the hostile swings his sword, she turns to the side and whips out her hand, lightning crackling from her fingers into the Hostile's chest. "Hollee, you need to adjust your understandings! Whatever protocol that is! If a guest asks if an area is clear, they mean the area surrounding as well." Damnit, now she feels bad for the creepy thing.

"Hollee, I'd like to send a message to everyone…otherwise we might be getting ourselves killed here." Balius grunts as he remains focused on jabbing the Hostile in front of him, feeling rather exposed without his armor and AI.

Lyrienne doesn't have time to argue with the AI. Instead, she'd prefer to do some damage to the Hostiles running toward them, because the last time she tangled with Hostiles really didn't end well for her, and she doesn't particularly want to repeat it. Now that the targets are closer, she broadens the scope of the lightning strike she aims at it, branches converging on the armor with a sharp crack and the smell of ozone.

Lucretias were not made for getting hit in the chest with axes. The Witch manages to avoid being chopped in half, but there's a nasty cut across her abdomen and blood is soaking into her black dress. She staggers back with a pained yelp, the next fireball is more an attempt to ward the Hostile away than to damage it. One hand goes to the cut as the other prepares to brandish her staff again.

No more words for Hollee as Elodie sees the Cindravale noblewoman being hit. What part of her face can be seen through the streaks of dust pales, then turns read with fury as she brings her 'weapons' up, both hands coming down simultaneously as she tries to hammer into it.

In her zone now, Aaryn fully concentrates on what she is doing, paying very little attention to the things around her. Survival is foremost in her mind and the darkness that edges her mind, that lack of memory that plagues her, keeps threatening to creep in. Forcing herself to continue, she murmurs something quietly, eyes still white as she throws another..

<COMBAT> Hostile21 attacks Cyrielle with Sword - Light wound to Left Hand (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Lyrienne attacks Hostile20 with Psychometry - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile20 attacks Lyrienne with Bludgeon - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Elodie attacks Hostile20 with Bludgeon - Light wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Cyrielle attacks Hostile21 with Psychometry - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Lucretia attacks Hostile20 with Psychometry - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Balius attacks Hostile21 with Dagger - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Aaryn attacks Hostile20 with Psychometry - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).

Even as the Hostiles take hit after hit, they continue to stand — though one is not looking terribly good. Even as it swipes its sword toward Lyrienne, the blasts to its torso sends it reeling until its gaze falls on Aaryn who becomes its new focus. The other turns toward the sole male of the Havenite group, raising its axe as it closes the gap on the Quellton.

H.O.L.L.E.E. sulks.

This is perhaps the upside to attacking in this way. If Cyrielle were using a sword (which would be rubbish anyway) or even a bow, the sword that comes down on her hand would render her incapable of continuing to use the weapon properly. There is a grunt of pain as the force of the weapon breaks through the glowing, leaf-like armor projected around her by the abilities she taps into. White eyes flare and with a growl, her other hand reaches out towards the hostile. Close enough to practically be touching it when she lets fly the electricity. "Lyri!" Using the name Nitrim uses for the woman, "Get behind someone!"

As the Hostiles swing their weapons around the group, Lucretia ducks away and with a flick of her bloodied hand, a large chunk of ice manifests from the air and flies into the axe-toting Hostile's gut, clanking against its armor and then falling to the ground. Lu flicks a look towards Lyrienne, shouting, "Are you okay?"

Seeming somehow excited that he's proving even a little useful with his dagger, Balius throws his force as he connects again, this time giving a loud yell to the Hostile.

Lyrienne shoots off another blast of lightning at one Hostile, only to catch an axe to the chest from the other. That's it. This dress is ruined, and someone's going to pay! Eventually. And they'll probably pay someone else, because Lyrienne goes down with a cry, hunching around the deep slice at her shoulder protectively. Her aura flares, eyes fully glazes white, as she goes to one knee to make a smaller target of herself. "Someone cover me," she pants, looking toward the lush garden of the skywalk.

Refusing to back down, Aaryn continues to concentrate her focus on the Hostiles, centering herself, drawing the energy to sling another identical bolt at the one who refuses to back down. As she notices the one she has been attacking focus on her, she still fights back.

The piano legs come down on the Hostile's head, and Elodie gets a brief satisfaction of striking some sort of hit, before she notes Lyrienne getting hit in the chest with an axe. "Six damned," she mutters, and as the woman kneels down, she slides in next to her. Her own dress is going to be even more ruined, because the doctor doesn't have her usual field kit with her. She's going to have to improvise with what she can find.

<COMBAT> Hostile21 attacks Balius with Sword - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Hostile20 attacks Aaryn with Bludgeon and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Cyrielle attacks Hostile21 with Psychometry - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Lyrienne passes.
<COMBAT> Lucretia attacks Hostile20 with Psychometry - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Elodie treats Lyrienne:
< Chest (Serious): successful
<COMBAT> Balius attacks Hostile21 with Dagger - Light wound to Right Hand (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Aaryn attacks Hostile20 with Psychometry - ARMOR on Right Hand stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Hostile21 has been KO'd!

<FS3> Lyrienne rolls Psychometry: Success.

Lyrienne is very still as Elodie treats her. Instead, her focus is on the skywalk and the greenery there, which stirs as she focuses. Colors shimmer and swirl like the northern lights around her, faster, deeper, more intense, before she makes a throwing motion with her good hand, teeth clenched. Vines and roots follow the trajectory of her fingers, wrapping around the remaining Hostile to hold it immobile. "Take it out," she pants to the others, watching it from behind white-glazed eyes.

Feeling the hostile's sword slash across his unarmored chest, Balius gives another slash of his dagger as the Hostile he's helping fight slumps to the ground

When the sword-bearing hostile opts to go after Balius instead, Cyrielle is having none of that. The academic may have a dagger and may be quite brave, but he's without armor. Twisting to try to put herself in the line of attack instead, she lands on her bad foot and stumbles slightly. The woman attempts to reach out with electricity again, but the wrong section of armor is hit and the electricity just sizzles in the air. The vines wine around the Hostile and the woman bears a near-viscious grin. "Fall back, Bal. I gotta get you home." And yes, that last Hostile is going to get it.

Aaryn doesn't need to be told twice, so hearing the voice telling them to take it out, she looks back at the Hostile, eyes still white, arm still extended as she gathers her energy to throw another at it.

As the fight drags on, the bloodstain on the front of Lucretia's dress spreads, and begins to inch its way downwards fairly quickly along the skirt. She hisses quietly in pain as she moves, flicking her staff at one of the Hostiles and sending a small fireball at it, which seems to harmlessly splash against the thing's chest. The Witch mutters a curse, her staff coming up again as vines close around the remaining Hostile.

One Hostile falls, collapsing under the weight of its damage compounded by the attack to its hand. The other though, even while it advances rapidly, is bound for a surprise. Even as it attempts to strike down the Havenites, it becomes wrapped in the telekinetic power.

<COMBAT> Lyrienne passes.
<COMBAT> Hostile21 passes.
<COMBAT> Elodie attempts to treat Lyrienne but LYRIENNE has no treatable wounds.
<COMBAT> Cyrielle attacks Hostile20 with Psychometry - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Balius passes.
<COMBAT> Lucretia attacks Hostile20 with Psychometry - Serious wound to Abdomen.
<COMBAT> Hostile20 passes.
<COMBAT> Aaryn attacks Hostile20 with Psychometry - Critical wound to Abdomen.

<COMBAT> Hostile20 attacks Aaryn with Bludgeon - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Lyrienne attacks Hostile20 with Psychometry - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile21 passes.
<COMBAT> Cyrielle attacks Hostile20 with Psychometry - Moderate wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Aaryn attacks Hostile20 with Psychometry - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Lucretia attacks Hostile20 with Psychometry - Light wound to Right Hand (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Elodie attempts to treat Lyrienne but LYRIENNE has no treatable wounds.
<COMBAT> Balius attacks Hostile20 with Dagger and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Hostile20 has been KO'd!

The hand that had been hit is tucked in against Cyrielle's side, but her other hand is just fine. The woman steps in further even as the vines fade away, released from their task. Plants are so stubborn. Perhaps that is why the noblewoman identifies with them so well. Electricity flies from her fingers again and the tendrils of it seem to wrap around the alien's neck; skipping straight past the armor. She's angry… and it's serving her well.

Lyrienne's lips move quickly, breath escaping on syllables that likely sound like nonsense to most, but manage to hold the Hostile in place long enough for others to attack it. When the plant life starts to give out, though, she has no intention of letting it get any closer to her, firing off a burst of lightning that crackles across its armor in a light show of electricity.

Pressing a hand rather ineffectively against her wound, Lucretia continues to try and do her part to down the remaining hostile, hitting it with a bolt of lighting and then another chunk of ice that smacks into its hand glancingly. Even with the entire group battering the thing it doesn't seem inclined to go down, and the Witch grunts as it finally does, "Please tell me they can't all be that tough/

Balius seems like he might follow the order but tries to gang up on the remaining Hostile. Ignoring his injury for the moment, he just grins as the second hostile falls.

Once the last of the Hostiles has fallen, there is a soft calm that falls upon the skybridge. The rain pitterpatters on the exterior composite. There is a quiet moment before H.O.L.L.E.E. quietly offers, "The security office is twenty meters ahead…"

Aaryn is a doctor, not a warrior and despite her armor, the Hostile manages to get a hit in to her chest. She stumbles back despite the lightness of the attack, sitting down hard, a pained look on her face as the armor fades away and her eyes are the usual green again. Lifting her hand to her own chest, she gingerly touches the light wound before she forces herself to stand up and steady herself again.

"Most of them are tougher," Cyrielle mutters as the final Hostile falls. She leans over to try to wrench the sword free of the first one. She holds it out to Balius. "Can you use this? How are you feeling?" as Hollee speaks, she gains a narrowed look from white eyes. "Hollee. Is there anyone or anything moving in or around the security office. Can you provide a video feed of the area?"

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