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Nightwatch Weyr > The Dusk > [SPECTRE RAID] Poor Unfortunate Souls


Posted by: tuathade Feb 3 2012, 01:37 AM
The weather was grim. It wasn’t storming, but rather that dull, hazy kind of weather that occasionally interrupted itself with spatterings of half-hearted rain. Between the unbroken grey cloud cover of the overcast sky, and the washed-out quality to the midmorning light, it was as if the Dusk were already upon them with its endless monochrome.

Randaath snorted. Weather in the Dusk’s the same every sharding day. We’ve got that to look forward to, at least. The brown was decked out in his full battle harness: not the light personal straps used for everyday flights, but the heavier leather straps that stretched from shoulder to the base of the tail, embedded with small metal D-rings for Seconds to hook on to. His weak foreleg, too, was braced in a contraption of leather and metal that one of the techcrafters had come up with; it wouldn’t fully make up for the injury, but it looked tremendously fearsome, and it gave him a set of wicked metal claws on that foot to match the natural claws on the other. He was an imposing sight, a dragon sejant, alert and ready.

C’ross, too, was well prepared. A knife at his hip, rifle across his back… Randaath had already chewed firestone, and there was more in the waterproof saddlebag attached to the battle harness. The Spectre wingleader swung aboard and took his place just between Randaath’s shoulderblades, sitting tall and watching the skies for traces of wings.

Soon the rest of his wing would be arriving. They all knew about the raid, of course. They’d been anticipating it for sevendays. But Randaath sent out the call anyway. Maybe it’d light a fire under some asses, encourage them to actually hustle a bit if they knew there would be an angry brown waiting for them if they dawdled. All Spectre riders to the Weyrbowl, on the double! Seconds, find your dragons and latch on. This is not a drill!

((OOC Note: Welcome to the first Spectre Wing raid thread. This thread will last until sometime on the 9th or the 10th, at which point C’ross will call all riders back out of the Dusk and it will officially conclude. This will give everyone time to resolve injuries and tally Blight before the Hatching.

Since it’s looking so far like everyone on the site moves pretty quick, I don’t anticipate any problems. But I’m going to go ahead and declare this a no post order thread, so that no one feels pressured or left behind – if you can’t post, it’s simply assumed that your character is there and doing the things they’re supposed to be doing, unless you declare it otherwise.))

Posted by: Ferret Feb 3 2012, 02:07 AM
There was something about the sky that just irked Ilmarinen that day. Admittedly, that wasn't weird. A lot of things tended to annoy the man one way or another, but the sky was particularly bothersome. It looked unfinished. It was like someone had gone, 'yeah, I'll go ahead and add clouds and shit later, doop doop' and then forgotten all about it. It was just... so blank.

But there was no time to get all poetical about shit. Ilmarinen made his final check of his weapons and straps, a slight thrill in his blood already. Flintlock, bullets, flamethrower, and knife. Good. There was every chance that the raid wouldn't even encounter any Deep Ones. It was a tiny, slim possibility, like a Green chewing firestone and clutching, but it was still there, right?

Ha! Naw. More likely that a Nightwatch Green would have a Gold egg. Ilmarinen shook himself from his thoughts just in time to hear Randaath's call. "Fuck!" he said, grabbing his things unceremoniously and running to the bowl to meet the rest of the Wing.

When he arrived at the Weyrbowl, slightly hobbled by the weaponry, he spared a moment to give the Wingleader a salute before getting to work setting himself up on Randaath. "Hey, Randaath. Ready to kill loads of terrible things today?" he remarked cheerfully, patting the Brown as he strapped himself in.

An answer wasn't necessary. The Brown looked ready to kill anything. Ilmarinen busied himself by doublechecking his supplies.

~.~

C'ren made his third check, touching each item just to be absolutely certain it was real. It... hadn't been a good day so far, with the divide between dragon and rider especially thin. Ceylith's thoughts, soft and fluffy and largely concerning Xenath, mixed in with C'ren's sharp and spiky thoughts, which were more concerned with killing Deep Ones. It was just... so disconcerting.

Both dragon and rider turned as one towards the Bowl when their Wingleader called. Communication was, more or less, optional at this point. C'ren opted more for longrange weaponry today; rifle and flamethrower. Hopefully nothing would get that close to Ceylith. If something did, then C'ren was just plain doing something wrong.

The Greenrider and dragon arrived in the Bowl quickly, making last minute preparations with the heavier fighting straps. At least they had gotten in some practice with Hai before this.

I hope Hi arrives in time, Ceylith murmured.

If that's all you're worried about, Ceyl, you're a very lucky dragon, C'ren said gently, saluting C'ross on the way.

Posted by: Meesh Feb 3 2012, 02:26 AM
Sinopa we're late! Gogogo!
I'm hurrying Mirith, I'm hurrying! Oh my god...flamethrower...gun...is that everything?
Afraid not, looks like you left your brain with some deep ones because we're LATE

Sinopa shook her head in alarm, but hopped onto Mirith's back, quickly strapping herself into the battle ready saddle she had prepared for the Green earlier in the day. The saddle had a dual purpose of protecting Mirith's stomach, the straps underneath it attached to a thick leather pad that covered the Green's belly, but there were also key points Sinopa could strike it to get it off quickly, in case....well, she wasn't exactly sure. In case it caught fire or something. Not that it was Mirith's only armor though. Lightweight leather pads covered the green's legs and tail, making her look like a smallish brown. Sinopa was similarly decked out in leather. She would have preferred wearing metal, but in truth, Mirith was just too small to handle that kind of flying in such heavy armor. So leather would have to do.

Mirith snorted in impatience, and Sinopa nodded to her dragon. Let's go Behind her, she heard yet another shreak of outrage as Mimsy attempted to get out of Sinopa's room. Sinopa had locked the firelizard in there a few moments ago- there was no way she would let her gold join such a dangerous raid so close to flying time. Perhaps Mimsy could have easily gone between even locked in that room, but Sinopa knew that once she and Mirith were out of sight, the gold would behave. It was mainly pride that made her struggle now.

Mirith took off and the two winged swiftly towards the Weyrbowl. It was time to get a move on.

Posted by: ... Feb 3 2012, 02:31 AM
Today was the day. Hai felt the nerves flowing through her body as she finished her preparations and tightened the ropes on her boots. She took one last look in the mirror, watching as hazel eyes filled with anticipation stared back at her. All of this excitement for fighting just threw her off balance. She had never expected to want to fight something. It wasn’t her place… Not as a woman… Nonsense! What was this crazy talk? This Weyr was not like the rest, and she knew that she had to stop fussing about these silly, silly things!

With a swift shake of her head, and double checking if the braided bun was tightened on top of her head, she smiled. She could do this. She would not let C’ren down. Haithiara’s fingers tightened around the straps. Telgar had taught her quite a thing or two about user both flamethrowers, and rifles. At least enough to be able to get in a couple of years practice. Now, at least, she felt useful.

Strapping on her belt of ammo, and giving one final tug on her straps, and extra carabiners, the young woman walked out the door, fixing her scarf around her face, and fixing her goggles over her head. She was always at the meeting point when she jumped at the call. It was time.

She hastened her steps until she arrived near Ceylith, checking over the straps without meaning to.

“You ready to make practice into reality?” Haithiara asked C’ren as she fixed her knife securely in her boot. She looked absolutely ridiculous with all the gear on her, but she had them set up so that she could strap them down to the harness as well, so that she wouldn’t have to hold everything. The gear on her looked heavier than she did!

Posted by: Nozomi Feb 3 2012, 02:58 AM
Xenath and Kr'stof worried. They disliked raids as a general rule but something as small and adorable as Ceyl going out like that, Xenath got agitated. A low Me and Mine are sending you good thoughts, Ceylithmine. You will be fine. before she settled down for a doze. Should something go wrong, her non-scaly ass would be rested and she would kill things without tiredness.

In the meantime, Rochelle indeed heard the pissed off brown dragon. She'd been on her way, all weapons a go, dressed appropriately, with her hands tangled up in her hair to pull it up and back, away from her face in as tight of a ball as she could. Unlike her darling Ilmar, Rochelle had no doubt they would be shooting some Deep Ones in the throat and possibly dying or killing, maybe being Blighted out of their minds.

"Ilmar!" Rochelle's face brightened at seeing her friend. Sure, he was getting ready, but that didn't mean she couldn't wave at him. And. Shards, shells, shit, where the bloody hell was C'tis. Maybe she could conk him in the head with a gun if he didn't show up at all. She finished with her hair, grumbling, but finally got it into a proper twist as to not come flying free at some point in the heat of battle.

Unless something got into it. Or she burned it. Or C'tis elbowed her in the chest and she bit him and they got into a catfight in the air.

---

Everyone else had knives.

The very first thing Si'ta thought when she appeared was just that: everyone had knives, even if they weren't as pretty as her own. She'd even tell Serdek so the next time they met up: knives were A Thing and hers were the sharpest and the prettiest there. They would probably kill the most shit. They made their way to the Weyrbowl, Miith in her full gear, sans the Second straps. It meant one less thing to fret about, not letting another person die and all that.

"You ready, girlie?" Si'ta murmured, patting the whites hide. Miith stretched out against her, wings flaring out momentarily.

Of course, of course. We will be lovely, Si'ta, don't fret. Miith hissed cheerfully, her lips peeled back. She'd chewed her firestone and Si'ta had even more prepared with her gun, the half-dozen knives she'd strapped on (made of obsidian and wood, thank you very much), and the lightest flamethrower she could find.

The whiterider climbed on top of her dragon, strapping them in with a snort. "Are we going to do a war cry, Miith?"

Miith paused as if she actually considered it a possibility. No. We are not Xenath.

Si'ta grinned. It was then that she remembered her manners and shot C'ross and his brown a quick salute and a sitting half-bow. "Wingleader! Ready to kill some things?"

Posted by: Tawny Feb 3 2012, 05:38 AM
<It is time.>

<I know.>

C'tis had been waiting for the call up in his weyr and had only to fasten his flight jacket before he was ready to go. As he made a quick final check of his rifle and Malcarreth’s harness the blue crunched on firestone and watching the first dragons of Spectre wing lift off from various points and head for the designated meeting point. This bit was the worst, waiting for battle; far too many unpleasant things to think about. Once they were off he'd be fine, efficient and brutal as he ever was... but as he ever was, making these last preparations, he was just bloody terrified.

"Right." C'tis donned his goggles and climbed up onto Malcarreth's back. "Let's go."

Sending a feeling of agreement but making no sound the scarred and spined blue stepped off the ledge and swooped towards the meeting place.

Touching down lightly Malcarreth rumbled a greeting to all present dragons before addressing Randaath privately. <Is all well with you today?> He didn't doubt that it was, but he always checked with wingleaders before setting off on a raid even if he didn't think it was necessary.

Raising his goggles onto his forehead C'tis nodded a greeting to C'ross, leaving it to their dragons to pass any necessary information privately. With this in hand, he looked around for his Second and picked her out before long. "Come along then Rochelle, mount up," he said brusquely, looking her up and down to ensure she had all the right gear with her. Seemed like she did. Good....

Heading to the Dusk, where swift death was one of the kinder fates on offer. C'tis patted his dragon's neck, trying to comfort himself with the gesture of affection rather than offering reassurance to the blue. Malcarreth wasn't afraid at all; the spiky beast never was, and for the ten thousandth time he wished he could be like that too. It would be fine once they were in the Dusk; in that greyscale world the fear sharpened his senses while fury at these beasts that would try to harm him and his dragon and his people steeled his will and sharpened his aim....

But that was in the Dusk; here on the ground he just wanted to run away and hide and have all of this not be happening to him. As that was not an option however he focused on sitting up tall and looking stoic; he was really good at doing that.

Posted by: Nozomi Feb 3 2012, 09:37 AM
Rochelle to C'tis and Malcarreth

She spotted the spiky blue as he landed. It wasn't hard, he had built in armor and a rider that looked like he was about to kill them all, not just deep once. She put her hands on her hips as C'tis studied her, eyebrows arched in a challenge for the wherry to challenge her choice in clothing. She'd even bound! Her hair was up! No makeup in sight and her nails filed to prevent anything to get in the way.

But no. They both passed. Rochelle patted Malcarreth before climbing on. "You're looking very handsome in your leathers, Malcarreth. And you, mighty Weyrcaptain--" The glasscrafter pulled out a roughly squarish bauble smaller than her palm, metal plated in the back with a hoop through it in case he wished to hang it on anything and Rochelle even had it on a sturdy bit of black leather thong. The glass resting in the metal was the same colors as Malcarreth's hide, the shape of the harp blown onto the background glass being that of a lapharp and it's strings the shade of his scars. She leaned forward to prop her arm on his shoulder, just barely long enough to dangle the little bauble at him.

"This is for you, Weyrcaptain. I told you I'd make one. Call it something for good luck we don't need but welcome anyway. I've got your back. If you wear it now, it'll have your front."

(Since the Seconds and Riders are close enough to conk in the head and elbow, I figure she'd be able to lean over enough for this. :3)

Posted by: Tawny Feb 3 2012, 09:52 AM
(Tag Rochelle)

Oh.

C'tis took the little piece of artwork and held it up by the leather thong to study it. Now why had she gone and done that? Did she want something of him, was she trying to win favours?...

It was pretty, and rather thoughtful.

If C'ren saw this he was going to be teased mercilessly... more so than usual that was.

Oh well.

"You got the colours down rather well. It's a good piece of work," C'tis commented eventually, which probably passed for a 'thank you' in his books. After studying the bauble for a few more moments he tied it onto the buckle that fastened the breast pocket of his flightjacket. "Naturally I have your back too," he went on, not bothering to twist around to look at her; her face would be uncomfortably close anyway if he did. "Oh," he did turn his head slightly then, and smirked for a moment, regarding his Second for the day out of the corner of his eye, "And I'll try not to get your front with my elbow."

Posted by: giftwrapped Feb 3 2012, 12:26 PM
The gear felt heavier than he remembered. That was the thing I'saac noticed the most as he prepared his kit. It had been four turns, admittedly, but muscle memory was muscle memory, and the kit felt heavy. Nearly too heavy. I'saac didn't remember it weighing him down like that when he was still flying under...whoever it had been.

That's probably because you're skinny as a rail. You've forgotten your armband, by the way. Ellibreth nudged him roughly with her muzzle, dropping the scarlet cloth on her rider's head and fussing at the doorway to the weyr. If the green was nervous, she didn't show it. Her eyes whirled furious blues and greens, and she cocked her muzzle to the sky, tail lashing in anticipation. It'll be good to be out there again,

"Good..." I'saac frowned, tightening the band around his right bicep and adjusting the kit on his back again. The flintlock at his hip didn't feel bulky, but Faranth, the weight of the flamethrower was positively disconcerting. He had been doing physical conditioning right along with Ell, but he'd swear the kit was heavier. Maybe it was nerves. C'ross had been so...surprisingly gentle in his suggestion that I'saac stay behind and sit the raid out. But that wasn't something the greenrider could do anymore. Useless rider, useless dragon, no. No more uselessness.

Ell wouldn't be carrying a Second. That was about the only boon I'saac could find in the mess, as he checked her harness and swung up onto her back. That, at least, felt natural, even if the angle of ell's stance, the weight leaning heavily to her right side, was odd and unfamiliar paired with the feel of the kit on his back and the harness under him. Ready? she asked, cocking her head back over her wings.

"Ready as I'll ever be."

--

The 'bowl was already beginning to crowd as the two of them touched down a short distance from C'ross. Weyrcaptain C'tis was coming along, I'saac realized with a sudden stab of anxiety. Weyrcaptain C'tis and the rest of the wing. All greens except for Si'ta and Miith. And speak of - there was Si'ta, grinning at C'ross in that way she had. I'saac smiled slightly, then turned his attention to the Wingleader. C'ross looked...suitably imposing in full kit. The picture of grim readiness. A warrior. It was a compelling image.

I'saac closed his eyes and sighed. Maybe C'ross had been right and he should be on the Sands. But that window of opportunity was closed. He had made his bed. Time to sleep in it.

"Reporting for duty, sir!"

Posted by: Nozomi Feb 3 2012, 12:38 PM
Rochelle to C'tis

"I told you I was fabulous at my job, Weyrcaptain. Now don't go thinking too much into it, I still don't want into your knickers. I know, I know, your heart is smashed to small bits and pieces." she sighed heavily, so long sufferingly, before the grin burst out once more. "I trust you, especially on the boob thing. Thank you for remembering my fears."

That's all he got. Well, that and a pat on the shoulder that could be taken however he sharding wanted (he'd probably be wrong), and Rochelle leaned back to her proper place. "I'm ready to go blow some Deep Ones out if you are, sir."

--

Si'ta to I'saac

She sees you too, I'saac! SHE SEES YOU TOO.

I'saac gets himself an equal grin that C'ross had once she heard his voice, followed by a cheeky wink. Why not.

Posted by: Tawny Feb 3 2012, 12:57 PM
(Tag Rochelle)

"My devastation knows no bounds." A pat on the shoulder. Probably she meant nothing by it or meant to annoy him - one of the two - but he allowed himself a moment of pretence and decided it was reassurance from somebody who had the power to make sure nothing horrible was about to happen to anyone. "As for blowing up Deep Ones? I'm always ready." He was so very much not ready. He did not want to do this. Couldn't he feign sudden illness?

<You go through these sorts of thoughts every time. You never do go through with any of your excuses.>

<I know!... I know. I can't help doing it though.> He hoped he never did back out of a raid no matter; even if whatever reason he gave was accepted by others he would know that he was just a lying coward. He refused to be a lying coward. He was a tough powerful dauntless Weyrcaptain who ate Deep Ones for breakfast and laughed in the face of Blight.

Har har har.

Shards he hoped they were ready to go soon.

Posted by: Ferret Feb 3 2012, 02:16 PM
Tag to Khay and a bit to Noz

Xenath... we'll see you and Yours when we get home, Ceylith promised. She didn't gird her loins because she wasn't certain how to do so and she certainly didn't dare ask anyone, but she definitely toughened up a bit. Right! She had everything to fight for. She had a lovely mate at home, who was going to Rise any day now, and she would have her babies (really, Ceylith wasn't certain who was whom in that equation; it didn't matter. The point was, someone would be having someone's babies and it better be her and Xenath. Biology be damned!).

And she was going to do her sharding best to make the world just one Deep One death safer for her, her mate, and their babies. For you, she told the other Green as C'ren unthinkingly mouthed the same words.

Ceylith bugled a greeting at Haithiara, pleased to see the Second. When she was all strapped up, she took a few steps to shake the harness and see if anything was loose. Just in case. Hello, Hi! I hope the day finds you well, she said pleasantly, as though they were going on a picnic instead of mind-rotting terrors.

Whether Hai looked ridiculous or not, C'ren didn't care. She looked ready specifically 'ready to survive'. THAT was what was important. Once the harness-check was done, he mounted up and grinned at Haithiara. It was not a pleasant grin, having far too many teeth. It was more like a shark who had seem something delicious.

"I'd like to say that I was born ready, Hai, but I'm fairly certain I was born the same way that everyone else was. Come on, get up here," he said, offering his hand to help her up.

Posted by: Pamelot Feb 3 2012, 07:25 PM
Randaath's call caught the Spectre wingsecond and his dragon as they were finishing preparations - Coelacanth was already in his heavy flight leathers, and D'oul was busy checking and tightening straps where needed. The dragon stirred, proud and restless and perhaps a bit anxious - a raid was a double-edged sword, in the sense that it could become something to brag about and carried a very real threat of being torn apart or set ablaze with extreme prejudice and little honor.

Pah. Coelacanth snorted and shook his head, chasing away the thought. As if the Deep Ones could possibly take someone like them down. The raid was going to be sharding fantastic, they'll kill all the Deep Ones, and all the ladies will be his. Yes. The dragon lifted his head higher and stretched his wings, his eyes a shimmering blue. Yes. This raid was going to be a sharding blast.

<Ready?>

What do you think, big man?

D'oul finished with the straps and the firestone pouches, ensuring that all was in place with a slight smile on his face - for all it was worth, he was almost happy about the raid. He did not delude himself into thinking that hunts were some idealized and romanticized battles of yore. He did not believe that all will be well in the end. He did believe, however, that something always went wrong and that the riders who did make it back from the Dusk never came back the same. None the less, each raid, each seared Tangler and Silence and Nightfish felt like a personal retaliation for his own Blight, that unwelcome dread that stowed away in some uncomfortably remote corner of his mind.

He swung himself up into the saddle, using his hook to latch onto straps and rings to pull himself up. Sensing that, Coelacanth leapt off the edge of their weyr and into the 'bowl, spreading his wings somewhere midway and landing almost gracefully (albeit heavily) next to C'ross and Randaath. D'oul silently saluted the wingleader with his good hand.

Today was a good day.

Posted by: EbonyDusk Feb 3 2012, 07:58 PM
Ebony had felt strange the moment she woke up that day. Today was the big raid that she had been warned about. Though she was a bit nervous she wasn't going to let that stop her from doing her job. She had been told she would be a Second for one of the riders on the raid and had been told what that entailed. Wonderful. She got to kill Deep Ones. This could prove to be a great stress relief. Albeit a terrifying one but hey, she would get to fire a gun. That made her day. Getting the call from Randaath she started moving a little faster to prepare.

Making sure she had all her gear and nearly forgetting her knife before heading out she took a few deep calming breaths and moved out. When she arrived at the bowl everyone was already gathering and she frowned not recognizing many of them. A brown...a brown named Randaath with a rider named C'ross...and Ilmarinen. Well that would be one face she would recognize. Hard to forget that guy. She smiled slightly to herself. He had been one of the first people to greet her at the Weyr and one of the first she didn't find horridly annoying.

She was certain she looked lost as she looked around and let out a breath of relief when she spotted Ilmarinen already on top a very large brown. A handsome one at that. Though she wondered what was wrong with his leg...Shaking her head she moved forward and before getting too close she bowed her head to the brown and his Rider. "Good day Randaath and C'ross." She said respectfully before moving to get in her place on top of Randaath. Ebony made sure to study how this was meant to work. Not wanting to be unprepared. When she got up there she started looking over straps and then glanced at Ilmarinen and managed a smirk. "Hey there Ilmar. How's it hanging?"

Posted by: S'yal Feb 3 2012, 08:16 PM
Speaking took time. Time that Angeth, as a very busy dragon, did not have. The green let out an eager bellow, arching her neck and nearly disrupting the man who was scrambling over her to check them. Z cast her a nasty glare, but the delight on Angeth's face stopped him. Her eyes were whirling a bright blue, and she bobbed her head repeatedly. Fighting! She loved fighting! She loved blood and ichor and whatever it was that came out of Deep Ones.

Z was less eager. He remembered the burns and bruises from the Firebringer, and he ran his hands gently over the now scarring flesh. Angeth didn't react except to glance back at him, snorting in derision. << I was alone except for that blue and surprised. We will not be caught so easily this time. >> She promised him, her eyes alight and her head bent so that her chin touched her chest.

"Blood thirsty beast..." Z muttered, tugging on her straps. "They fit good, Angeth?" He asked her, pinching her hide and deftly moving away from her suddenly turned head. The green observed the straps carefully, considering his question. She moved her wings and then her legs, mimicking flight and battle attacks.

<< Left side, around my thigh. It's loose. Fix it. >> Angeth told him, and Z nodded before going to do such. Once he was done, he assumed the proper place of a rider, hurriedly clipping himself in. No use falling off.

"Ready to kill some bastards, Angeth?"

Angeth let out her best roar in response, her eyes gleaming with blood-lust. << Kill ALL the things! They'll fall and burn before me! >>

"That's my murder beast! Remember..." Be careful, you've only just recovered. If anything goes wrong, we're back on Pern. Got it?

<< Boring, but for the sake of your weak stomach, I shall consent. >> After a moment, she reported to Randaath with a soldierly <<Angeth is ready to fight. Give the order, Wingleader.

Posted by: Ferret Feb 3 2012, 08:31 PM
Tag: Ebony.

Ha! There was Rochelle, already arguing away with her rider. At least, Ilmar assumed that was what was going on. Either way, he gave his friend a cheerful wave and went back to his pre-flight check-ups. He jerked in surprise as he was interrupted, this time by Ebony. He hadn't expected to see her here, let alone on Randaath.

And there was no way he could resist an opening like that. With a wide grin he said, "Hanging large as ever," waving a hand at his crotch.

Yep. Dick jokes everywhere.

Still, he put on his serious face, remembering that this was a very serious moment. "So, you ready to go into the Dusk already? Gotta admire spirit like that. You got your kit ready, right? You don't want to scrabble around a whole lot while we're in a battle. Keep everything close."

Posted by: tuathade Feb 3 2012, 09:07 PM
All were assembled. Ilmarinen took his rightful place on Randaath’s back as a Second, followed by the new girl – Ebony, C’ross had been told her name was. He gave them both little nods, checking that they were latched on safely. C’ren was there, with Haithiara. Z and Angeth – someone else might have been intimidated by the dangerous green, but frankly C’ross and Randaath were happy to have her on their side. Sinopa and Mirith, the Weyrlingmasters. Si’ta with her little white. C’ross momentarily stiffened when he saw the familiar spiky form of Malcarreth, but – no, he wasn’t going to let his Weyrcaptain’s presence throw him off.

When he saw I’saac and Ellibreth, C’ross lifted his hand in what might have been a wave, or a salute. He honestly hadn’t been certain that the greenrider would show, even with I’saac’s assurances. But here he was, with the rest of them. Good for him. Then D’oul and Coelacanth, at Randaath’s side in their place as wingseconds. All was in order.

“All right, ladies and Weyrcaptain!” he called out, voice ringing out clear and steady. “You all know the drill – remember to visualize the rest of the formation when you jump, so that we all arrive together. If Randaath and I signal to leave the Dusk, you do it. No questions, no dawdling. I’m aiming to bring everyone back in one piece for the Hatching, so you’d better sharding well not leave any pieces behind in the Dusk, or I will not be happy. On my signal-”

Randaath’s wings unfurled. With a tremendous push of his haunches, the brown launched into the air. One wingbeat, two – then grey. Endless grey.

The Dusk was like a fog of variable thickness: sometimes you could see danger coming, other times it lurked indistinctly just beyond your ability to discern, making you jump at shadows or the slightest hint of movement. Your eyes could play tricks on you if you let paranoia get the best of you, thinking you saw a darker patch of grey where there was none. The dragons of the wing, too, were all grey: it would be difficult to tell a large green from a small blue from sight alone, and C’ross relied on his memory of markings to identify wingmates in the monochrome. He glanced left – all seemed well. Glanced right- and Randaath jerked, twisted, roared in challenge.

There was a dragon just off his right flank. One far too large to be one of Nightwatch’s, with a dull metallic shine to the mottled dark grey hide and an eerily familiar pale hooded marking over the face and throat. In places, the hide was pitted sickly with what C’ross knew would be greenish-black burns, were he looking at them in full color. The bronze’s wings did not beat; one was unfurled as if gliding, but the other was nothing more than a mangled, twisted wreck of bone and membrane, utterly useless. Dead white eyes met Randaath’s rapidly whirling ones, and the Despair bugled in reply, a horrible noise coming from a ruined throat.

Enemy in formation! Scatter and regroup! Randaath barked, while C’ross echoed the order with the corresponding signal in case anyone had been struck by a Silence in ambush – raised right fist, swept out and away. The Despair had been waiting for them. It was right in the middle of their formation, and anyone who wasn’t quick enough to evade was going to be its first victim.

((Let the havoc begin, folks. I will be NPCing the Despair and possibly a few more enemies as needed. Feel free to throw in more Deep Ones to fight – within reason. Try not to get everyone TPKed in the first raid of the game.))

Posted by: S'yal Feb 3 2012, 10:01 PM
Angeth's wings snapped open, the green letting out a mighty bellow as she leapt into the air, her eyes whirling with a savage joy. This was what she lived for. What she had been born to do, what the blight had hammered into her skull until the green scarcely lived for anything else. Static roared in Z's head as she winked out of existence.

One, two, three... nothing.

In some ways, the Dusk was worse then Between. Z gripped Angeth's straps as tight as he could, trying to seek some form of comfort that never came. The green rumbled, turning her head to look at him and then-

<< Despair! We are being ordered to scatter. >> Z could feel unease seeping from his green as she twisted obediently, eyes straining for the thin threads of a Snare that may appear. << Be alert! >> Her voice barked through his mind.

Z swallowed and nodded, eyes focused on the Despair. He willed the worry away, feeling it be replaced by the surge of adrenaline that coursed through him. Angeth's jaws gaped just a bit, ready to spout off flame in case the Despair went in her direction.

Posted by: EbonyDusk Feb 4 2012, 11:20 AM
Ebony blinked then slowly smirked before letting out a quiet laugh at Ilmarinen's words. Did he just make a dick joke? Yes he did. And it had actually been funny. Whew, she was either really nervous or starting to relax a lot more around people now. "Wish I could say the same." She said gesturing toward her small chest.

When he pulled a serious face she did as well. Showing that she understood how dangerous what they were doing really was. "Yeah I'm ready. No point in hiding from something like this. Gotta do it sometime." Part of her wondered if she should add that though the Deep Ones were terrifying in their own way...she had always wanted to see one. Just as Dragons fascinated her so did the mysterious and deadly Deep Ones.

She didn't have time to say anything else as C'ross was already talking to everyone about what they were to do and she braced herself. Ebony had never been in the Dusk...she had been told it was a bit like between but almost more unsettling. Doing as she was told to do and visualizing as they made their way she was nearly blown away by the sudden...gray. Everything...so void of color. Looking down at herself she realized that even her own skin that was already ghostly pale was just...gray. Shuddering she looked around as everyone else started to appear and when Randaath jerked, twisted, and roared she sucked in a deep breath and held on.

But all the preparing in Pern didn't ready her for the sight she saw. The creature that was now nothing but a hollowed husk of a dragon looked almost heartbreaking in its state. She knew they called them Despairs. And now she knew why. Shaking her head to clear it she readied herself in case they were attacked. But the sound of the Despair's bugle made her shudder again and suddenly she wished she could just shoot it on principle. Course that would possibly force it to attack and that would be endangering everyone else...yeah lets not do that.

Posted by: Tawny Feb 4 2012, 11:40 AM
Not a moment too soon. Heart hammering in his chest C'tis urged Malcarreth to take a place in the wing formation... and then there was grey.

There was also a Despair.

Blood singing in his veins C'tis loaded his rifle as Malcarreth wheeled aside and then sought to take his position up again, gathering a breath of flame as he did so. The despair - a bronze in life? - had been waiting for them. The eerie stillness of it, the deadness of its eyes, the horrific wounds.... The only thing to be glad of was that it wasn't a dragon he knew, least ways if he ever had he hadn't cared for it. Never had met a bronze he'd liked.

Alert for any more incoming threats C'tis glanced over at C'ross; this was Spectre's raid and he was here to observe the wing in action and lend his fire-power, not to take control.

Posted by: Nozomi Feb 4 2012, 04:14 PM
Si'ta

Well, shit.

Si'ta had no way of making that statement as meaningful and heartfelt as the previously beautiful 'oh shit' of another Weyr, somewhere out there, but it slammed into her chest anyway. They'd lifted off, got in formation, they went to such a gray that she only knew Miith by her size and her scars. Then suddenly Despair, right there in the sharding middle of it all, big enough that he could eat Miith in one or two bites.

The 'well, shit' turned to ice and cold in the center of her as the whiteriding pair veered up and to the side, banking away from the mangled Despair. Miith drew in a harsh breath, prepared. Si'ta felt her anxiety through their bond, grateful ever more for it because they had no ability to see their dragons fucking eyes, not through the gray, and with her gun cocked that anxious feeling soothed her, just enough to not try and be stupid. C'ross was in charge, he would tell them to attack.

They fell back into formation, away from the Despair and it's jaws and bugle and claws. Si'ta did not lower her gun. Miith did not stop her flying. They waited.

-----

Rochelle

She trained her eyes on the Despair as the rest of the Wing did the same, all joking and laughter gone, replaced by cold determination and narrowed eyes. The Despairs freaked her out, on par only with Snares and Nightfish. Shards, shells, and shit she hated Snares and Nightfish. They were terrifying and sent her home to the toilet, sick to her stomach and near in tears.

Fucking Nightfish.

Something dark flickered in the corner of her eye, gone before Rochelle could whip her head around.

"Fuck me." Because there was a huge fucking Nightfish and fuck Nightfish and it was huge and suddenly her gun aimed at nightfish. "C'tis, nightfish to the right!"

Posted by: Tawny Feb 4 2012, 04:23 PM
(Tag Rochelle)

"Got it!" Oh shit.

C'tis fired and Malcarreth twisted his head around to flame at the massive shape.

<Nightfish!> the blue called to Randaath, <Under control, but be aware we cannot regroup as yet!> Well, as under control as a Nightfish ever could be.

Gritting his teeth C'tis reloaded his rifle and took another shot at the sleek Deep One before Malcarreth wheeled away from it and loosed another gout of flame. "Hang tight Roch!" This was why riders shortened their names, way too many syllables to deal with in the heat of battle.

Posted by: Ferret Feb 4 2012, 04:38 PM
Ilmar had just enough time to laugh at Ebony's tit joke before it was time to go. Well, at least she seemed to be settling into the Weyr, which was a good sign. Presumably they wouldn't have to worry about her trying to run off or something. Ilmar tried to prepare himself for the jump into the Dusk with a deep breath that did absolutely nothing to abate the sheer... Nothing of the Dusk. It was all just one gray expanse, wisps of gray fog curling and obscuring vision.

And then a shape came into focus, that of a dragon. It was far too big to be any of Nightwatch's dragon. Had they accidentally jumped right into the middle of another Weyr's raid? Did other Weyrs even do th... "SHIT!" Ilmar said, which did absolutely nothing to help the whole 'confronted with a Despair' thing but it did make him feel a bit better.

Not about being confronted with a dead dragon, of course. Nothing could help that. He automatically aimed a gout of flame at the thing's uninjured wing before he remembered that it wouldn't do shit against a Despair. It didn't need wings to fly. Shards, one of its wings was already ruined.

It's bugle was a mockery of a dragon's traditional greeting cry. 'Hello, I am here to be terrible!' it seemed to say.


~.~

As soon as they jumped into the Dusk, Ceylith and C'ren both tried to take account of their surroundings. There was C'tis to one side bu... no, not paying attention to him. C'tis would have to look after himself for a while, since there was a Despair right in the middle of the formation what. Ceylith screeched in surprise and took a sharp turn. Without an order, she automatically banked near Malcarreth.

It was a really good thing, C'ren thought, that he, Hai, and Ceylith had practiced with sharp turns. Voices and cries didn't seem to travel far in the Dusk; it was all so muffled by that ghastly fog, like it was swallowing sound. Something flickered in his vision but, by the time he turned to look, it was already gone.

He really hoped it was just the fog, swirling and combining to create shadows.

Besides, there were much bigger things to worry about. Nightfish were made of teeth, hunger, and shadow, and there was one that was far too close to Malcarreth.

Posted by: tuathade Feb 4 2012, 06:42 PM
…Nothing……. protect …

The horrible distorted mental voice broadcast to all the dragons of the wing. C’ross knew that voice. He hadn’t heard it since Telgar – L’ex’s dragon, Merceth, had followed him all this way. His hands were white-knuckled on Randaath’s harness as he realized the precariousness of their position: Merceth was fifty-five feet from nose to tail, easily double the length on Miith and the smallest greens. And C’ross’ wing was mostly greens. Not only that, but Despairs were fast and maneuverable; flight physics mattered very little to a thing that didn’t even bother flapping its wings, so the dead bronze would have no problem keeping up.

Merceth was poised on Randaath’s flank, in a perfect position to strike out at the Seconds on the brown’s back, and Randaath could not turn his head and flame in his current position without risking hitting a wingmate, what with the Despair in the middle of the formation. Randaath. Can you shake him off?

It! Randaath snarled back, already folding in his wing on the side opposite Merceth and dropping into a steeply angled dive. It’s not a ‘he’ anymore, C’ross, it’s an it! The brown barrel-rolled, unleashed a short burst of flame from below, an angle where it would strike the bronze’s unprotected underbelly at point-blank range and not risk any of the living dragons. The Despair howled, striking out and lashing both sets of foreclaws across Randaath’s shoulders, then turned away for the moment to pursue smaller prey. Angeth.

Not to mention there was now a Nightfish in their midst. Shit. Two large Deep Ones already. This was an ambush, all right.

Ceylith, Mirith, Ellibreth, assist Malcarreth, Randaath ordered. Miith, Coelacanth, with me – assist Angeth. Three greens and a blue on the Nightfish, a blue and a brown to back up the white on the Despair. Randaath leveled out and sped up in pursuit of the bronze, while C’ross glanced back to check on his Seconds, making sure they hadn’t been too rattled by the sudden barrel-roll.

“The Despair might come after us again,” C’ross warned. From what he knew of the habits of Despairs, they didn’t focus exclusively on riders they’d known in life (and this one would likely happily kill half his wing if it could, just to hurt him) but they did seem to hold some residual memories. Or at least a grudge of some kind. “If it does, no stupid heroics. Randaath has claws, you don’t.”

Posted by: S'yal Feb 4 2012, 07:13 PM
The Dusk was exploding into chaos, and Z didn't know how to handle it. He was aware of the despair first, but the form of the nightfish filled him with true dread. It just figured that his least favorite deep ones would appear one after another. A shudder went down Z's spine and he silently urged Angeth to move faster.

Then, there was static and horror in his head. The thing was talking to him. Angeth let out a howl of protest, and the static between their bond roared to life and made it so that Z could hardly hear anything else. He lifted one hand to press against his head, trying to make the noise go away.

Then, the Despair was after them and Angeth was flying away as fast as she could, trying her best not to get forced in the direction of the nightfish.

Z turned in the straps, gripping his gun as tight as he could and firing at the despair in hopes that it would find someone else to chase. Angeth screeched, diving to try and distance the bronze despair from herself. It was so much bigger then herself, and it was so fast that she felt true fear.

Posted by: Pamelot Feb 4 2012, 10:11 PM
The bronze Despair – oh Farranth why – in the middle of the formation let out a blood-curdling bellow, and Coelacanth roared a challenge, baring his teeth and veering left, out of the thing’s reach. Then, the bronze spoke, its voice (or what passed for it in this realm of swirling gray) resonating and rippling though D’oul and Coelacanth’s minds with a shockwave of screeching static. D’oul clenched his hand on the straps and ducked closer to the blue’s harness, glancing around and taking in the vague, but still frightful, shape of the Nightfish. Something cold clenched itself in his gut and his stump flared up with residual pain, but he pushed that feeling aside; focusing on C’ross’s orders and a more immediate danger – the Despair ahead, sliding through the fog in hot pursuit of Angeth.

<Coelacanth, get us above that thing!>

The blue complied, snarling viciously and pushing himself upwards in a burst of speed, he positioned himself above but still behind the ghostly bronze. D’oul was almost plastered on the dragon’s neck, for speed’s sake – the Despair was uncannily, impossibly fast, and just as maneuverable. Coelacanth’s wings beat rapidly and in quick bursts, allowing him to gain momentum from whatever passed here for gravity and his own movement. It was just as much of an effort to catch up as it was an effort not to get left behind, but the blue persisted, finally positioning himself roughly above the Despair’s midback. Coelacanth half-folded his wings in a dive, angling towards the thing below, stretching his neck and generously flaming the bronze’s back at close range before letting out a triumphant bellow and wheeling aside.

Posted by: Nozomi Feb 4 2012, 10:16 PM
Rochelle

"Hanging the fuck on, sir!" And she was, sort of. She grabbed hold of her straps (taking great pains to not crack him in the skull) and sucked in a hard, deep breath when Malcarreth did the twist. Rochelle didn't hear the orders but when other things came at them that didn't happen to be the fucking Nightfish, even she wouldn't deny a huge surge of 'oh, thank everything beautiful'.

Along with the relief came with a sort of thankful twist - that she and C'tis had practiced together and worked on things, even for just one afternoon. It helped with the putting away of the musket and the brandishing of the flame thrower. The Nightfish was too damn big to be truly 'far away', never far enough for comfort. When she got a clear shot, the shot off the flame thrower, jaw tight and trying so very, very hard not to think of the Despair or the wicked twist and flip of her stomach at that Nightfish.

Despair to one of the greens. Nightfish to them. If they were close enough, she shot at the damn thing, eyes hard and fast on it. It could eat them. Fuck. Shit. Balls. Her head hurt, pressure hard and tight at her temples. Kill it with fire.

----

Si'ta

Si'ta's fingers went cold on her gun, lips pulling back and baring her teeth at the despair. She yelled out a sort of affirmation to the Wingleader and his dragons orders, both her and the small white diving after the wild green. Miith let out a hiss, about to dive up when the blue did first.

Down, Miith! Down-- Because it'd worked out so very well for C'ross and Randaath. They went to the side instead, diving below the Despair to shoot flame along it's sides.

We are going to die.

You always say that. Too long of doing this left the constant fear as a pounding against her ribcage. Si'ta couldn't feel her lips even as she snarled, muscles aching from phantom pains that didn't really hurt and she knew they didn't. Shit went down and she'd be hurt and move move moving was the only cure.

Posted by: EbonyDusk Feb 5 2012, 12:17 AM
All the while Ebony kept her eye out for anything else that could attack them and nearly squeaked in fear seeing the massive things that showed up as well...oh faranth...She learned about those...Nightfish. Large creatures with teeth. Almost worse that the Despair in their midst. As Randaath moved and C'ross gave his orders she kept and eye out. She didn't see much else except for the Despair and the Nightfish and she was starting to get a bit jumpy.

Then she felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. It was like she could feel something nearby and she darted her head around to try and spot it. But it was like seeing a shadow in the corner of her eye that disappeared when she looked. Frowning she continued to look around but didn't see anything. Grumbling something about almost wanting to shoot something to break the tension in herself she shifted in place a bit and then let out a yelp as something darted past her side and managed to cut right though her clothing. Hissing in pain she reached to hold the spot feeling the blood starting to trickle onto her fingers. What the bloody hell was that?!

Suddenly she spotted it. Something was...crawling just in the gap between her and Ilmarinen's legs on Randaath. It looked ready to sink what looked like a barb into the poor dragon and she growled pulling out her knife and darting forward to stab it. Thankfully missing Randaath completely but managing to get the little bugger.

Unfortunately for her...she wasn't doing so good. She felt strange...Her mind felt like a fog and the pain felt like it was just getting worse. She gritted her teeth not to cry out and she spoke up to Ilmarinen. "Shit...Silence...got it but I think it cut me..." Before she could say anything else...her world went black and her body limp on top of Randaath.

((do let me know if I did this wrong XD she is out like a light now.))

Posted by: Ferret Feb 5 2012, 12:47 AM
The barrel roll jolted Ilmar, but at least he was able to go with it after the initial moment of, 'oh fuck where did the gravity go just now?' He hung on, although, really, with the carabiners and everything... well, it helped him feel more secure anyway and that was the important thing.

He nodded at C'ross' words and hefted his flamethrower again. If that Despair came back for them, all he needed was one good clean shot.

...

Well, maybe two.

...

Or a dozen.

And a dragon to claw the fuck out of the Despair.

And... ok, see? This was just hurting his self-esteem now.

As Ebony spoke, he half-turned. "What was t... Oh, fuck," he said, suddenly falling back into obscenities as the girl fainted. Pulling back his leg, Ilmar kicked at the dead Silence until it fell away from Randaath. At least Ebony had gotten to it before it Silenced the big Brown. Without their Wingleader, the entire Wing could've been lost.

He wasn't quite sure if Ebony was still alive or not. Well, no matter, he decided. If she was dead, she'd still be dead at the end of the raid. If she was still alive, then the best thing he could do right now was focus on keeping her that way.

Posted by: Tawny Feb 5 2012, 11:10 AM
(Tag Rochelle)

Backup was most welcome, he really hadn't fancied trying to take out an enormous creature made entirely of teeth and malevolence alone. At Roch's comment of 'hanging the fuck on' he couldn't help but laugh; for some reason it seemed insanely funny. "Good girl!" Then, as she aimed her flamethrower; "Nice shot!" Not to be outdone, C'tis fired on the beast again himself.


Wishing her were just a little bit faster Malcarreth blasted the Nightfish with more flame, striving at the same time to keep far enough back so that he had time to react to any sudden moves. Getting bitten in half was really, really not top of his to-do list today. <Ceylith, Mirith, try to flank it!> he called to two of the greens peeling off to help with the Nightfish. <Ellibreth, come up from underneath! Watch your distance, all of you!> They were all competent dragons who didn't need telling, but he told them anyway because if he failed to reinforce it and the Nightfish got one of them.... Didn't bear thinking about.

Posted by: Meesh Feb 5 2012, 02:25 PM
As instructed earlier, the two hung back, hovering higher above the battle- if there even was a sense of low and high in the Dusk- before waiting to make their move. and sure enough, the opportunity presented itself quickly. Mirith, Get over next to it! She heard a growl of response and her dragon folded in her wings, diving towards the Nightfish.

I can get you in close enough for one shot of your flamethrower, maybe two, but after that I have to fly out of its range again or risk us both being Blightridden past repair The Green's mindvoice was already slightly fuzzy from prolonged exposure to the Dusk. Sinopa nodded, pulling out her flamethrower and leveling it towards the Nightfish. Mir, good luck, hun. I love you The dragon's response was a roar. They could do this.

Posted by: Kol Feb 5 2012, 08:28 PM
This was not his first encounter in the Dusk, though Quiyin felt that was nothing to brag about. Instead, it should have made him feel prepared, but he wasn't sure that he felt that, either. Instead, there had been a somewhat hollow feeling in the pit of his stomach as he'd climbed onto Coelacanth, fingers working automatically to strap himself into the various buckles and loops behind D'oul. Numbly, he'd double checked his inventory of weaponry -

Knife, check.

Gun, check.

Big Blue Dragon, check check and check.

He'd wondered if D'oul's hook hand counted as an available weapon, but before he'd been able to ask, Coelacanth had risen from the ground and winked them to the Dusk, where their raiding party had immediately encountered a bumbling behemoth of a bronze Despair.

Well, at least they hadn't had to wait for very long. Quiyin got antsy when raids had to wait.

Coelacanth was a nimble and powerful flier, and the blue proved it, winging up and over the nightmarish ex-dragon, gouting it with gussets of flame. Quiyin did his duty appropriately, doing his best to aim his weapon and pepper the Despair with shot along its flaming neck ridges. Maybe, if enough people shot at the same place, the gruesome head would just fall right off.

Posted by: ... Feb 5 2012, 11:43 PM
{I’m umm… Chopping up my post responses, just so that I read everything and understand what’s going on. x__X Don’t need to answer to the beginning, Ferret!}

Haithiara laughed, giving the green a good pat before taking the offered hand. She felt a moment of pride as she gripped his hand and pulled herself up. He had deemed her good enough to aid her on mounting. That was something that she wouldn’t be forgetting quickly. Especially not with that grin of his that stretched from ear to ear. She pitied the Deep Ones going up against them! C’ren was going to give them hell.

“You, dear C’ren, must have had an exceptional birth,” she chuckled as she gripped the straps and tied herself down. She was overly eager to take off, but she tried to reign herself in. Sitting here, waiting, the doubts started to sink deeper. Doubt was good. It kept her on her toes…

--

Before Hai knew it, they were jumping into the Dusk and everything took its familiar shade of grey. Her eyes focused on the Despair right amidst them, and her knuckles went white as she gripped on to the flamethrower. She didn’t have enough time to lift it and shoot as one of Ceylith’s wings went up and they banked in a turn. Checking both weapons, and resting them across her knees, she glanced around, seeing the Nightfish not too far away.

What was the Despair doing there? Why was it waiting for them? Ambush? She couldn’t help but shake her head before she focused on the mangled wing, and hearing the dragon’s haunted cry.

By Faranth… She recognized that dragon!

Her heart skipped a few times before she felt bile nearly rise in the back of her throat. Now wasn’t the time. Forcing away the memories of Telgar, and clinging to her rifle as she readied herself to shoot at something, she allowed herself to close her eyes for a second and take one deep breath. Telgar was gone, and this thing was nothing more than a mockery of its memory!

Then, unlike the other raids that she was accustomed to, there was a Nightfish near them.

“Sear that thread scorched egg,” she hissed as she released a couple of bullets towards the damn deadly fish. They were getting closer, and she was ready to take out the flamethrower. The second shot a look over the dragon’s flank. All clear so far, but with the big guys out, she was worried about what was going to happen next. They were just entering the dusk, and things were already dodgy!

Posted by: Ferret Feb 6 2012, 11:59 PM
Mine, it's speaking to us, Ceylith said with a keen, her mind still half on the Despair and half on the Nightfish. This was a very bad place for a mind to be; being only half-focused meant you were fully-dead.

It doesn't matter, Ceyl. It's just making noise, that's all, C'ren said, pretending that he couldn't feel Ceylith's terror coursing through his own bones. There was nothing more revolting than a Despair. They were made of menace and hatred, with just enough mental capacity to recall those who knew their rider in life. And they concentrated all that malice on those poor riders.

The Nightfish. That was their target for now. C'ren sent the 'OK' signal to C'tis, but he wasn't certain if the man saw it or not through the fog. "Hai, we're going to try to flank it," he said to the Second. Really, the words were pointless since, even as he spoke, Ceylith was already falling back. She didn't want to get too close to those teeth; Nightfish were sleek predators, able to whip around in a second and take a bite out of an unwary Green, but she didn't want to slip too close to the tail either.

Her talons aimed for the creature's neck----or at least where the 'neck' would be on a Pernese creature----trying to keep it still for Ellibreth or Mirith to either flame or claw it.

Posted by: tuathade Feb 7 2012, 10:07 AM
……. protect … from me…..

The voice rang out again. It was like it was filling C’ross’ head, deafening him, drowning out everything else. Randaath roared aloud, wings straining; the brown was flat-out racing the bronze, and despite the Despair’s advantage Randaath was slowly gaining. Still, it wasn’t a pace that they could keep up for long, and C’ross knew it.

Something stung Randaath’s flank. There was a momentary burst of static, and then a terrible silence. Randaath, we’ve got to take this thing down, and we’ve got to hurry.

…Randaath?

Randaath!


***


The Despair made no sound as Coelacanth and Miith flamed it, though the flames seared away what was left of the hide at the base of the ruined wing, leaving charred-black flesh and gleaming bone exposed to the grey air. It twisted, slashed out twice at Coelacanth as the blue wheeled away, then continued its pursuit of Angeth, utterly implacable.

Meanwhile, a second Silence slid like a bullet through the Dusk, aiming straight for Malcarreth. If they couldn’t silence the wingleader, they would go for the one leading the assault against the Nightfish…

***


Shit fuck shit Faranth’s golden ass. C’ross looked behind him, scanning Randaath’s back for the telltale faint shimmer in his peripheral vision that would indicate a Silence. The brown had not slowed down his pursuit; C’ross couldn’t hear him anymore, and couldn’t direct him to slow down or change course. And – there was the Silence, but it was already drifting away from them, and right before his eyes it vanished back between from whence it came.

“Ebony? Shells.” What had he just said about stupid heroics? “Ilmar, keep an eye on her? Make sure she doesn’t bleed out or come loose, at least.” This was one of the benefits of having two Seconds; if one got stabbed you didn’t have to pull precious energy and attention away from the enemy that was still bearing down on you. Or, in Randaath’s case, the enemy you were bearing down on. The Silence was dead, so he should be able to – no. Still couldn’t hear a damn thing. C’ross and Randaath’s Blight had left their bond a little bit spotty ever since Telgar, like a signal with bad reception. Either the Silence or the Despair must have tipped it right over the edge into complete radio silence.

I’m going to give you an opening. Be ready. Randaath’s voice still rang out clear to the other three dragons, but he could no longer hear his rider. So like any good wingleader’s dragon, he acted on his own initiative. He was the brown; he was the largest and thus the most capable of engaging the Despair at close range. If he could just do the same thing Ceylith was attempting with the Nightfish – keep it still so that the other three could go in for the kill – they could end this fight now before more Deep Ones showed up.

If Randaath could hear C’ross, the rider would have told him to keep the fuck back and just flame the bastard. But he could not. The brown bull-rushed the Despair, slamming in with bonecracking force, claws digging into metallic hide. But Merceth twisted and writhed in Randaath’s grip, clawing the brown in retaliation.

Hurry! I can’t hold this sharding thing for long!

Posted by: Nozomi Feb 7 2012, 10:25 AM
Si'ta and Miith

Here's the thing, Miith- the white and her rider swooped after the Despair, Miith shrieking her personal issues of flame doing nothing against this creature. Si'ta cocked her flame thrower either way, teeth bared. Randaath's words sunk in hard, Miith projecting them right back at her rider. The fucking thing only has four claws.

Si'ta, no. I am all for stupid tactics but--

Also, he has a head. A head with a face. Do you think Despairs need their eyes?

We n-- and static, a harsh flare of it cutting Miith off in mid-sentence. She snarled hard and bulleted towards the Despair without Si'ta's say so, immediately enraged at the lack of talking and it was all it's fault. --burn it!

Either we do this, you cowardly little wher, or he dies. Or we die. Someone sharding dies where is your backbone where did it go Pain, at her scar then. Miith, the one who usually didn't hesitate, found that in herself once again, and shot up behind Merceth before swandiving down at him, her claws outstretched and teeth bared.

There was no battle cry. There was no screaming or death from above declarations. All there happened to be was a small white and her rider thinking go for the eyes, bite his face off and trying to claw furiously at dead flesh and zombie heads if they hit their goal. Someone totally wanted to pull a stunt taken from a certain pissed off green, oh yes she did.

---


Rochelle with fire and snarky shit

Fuck Nightfish, fuck them all, fuck everything about this except the fact she had a good Rider at her front and a fast dragon under her ass. It meant staying alive and staying in sight. With the three greens coming in to help and both her and C'tis torching the thing as much as possible, she felt a little more secure - but not enough not to shoot at it with her flamethrower if and when the disgusting thing got close enough.

Randaath's scream is what caught Rochelle's attention. She tucked the flamethrower up against her chest in pure instinct to not crack her rider over the head and whipped around, eyes wide. The sudden sting on her hips and thighs in response to the quick, halfway around movement meant absolutely nothing because there was nothing at all there until she looked away, intent on turning back.

Something in the corner of her eye went 'fuck shit this is bad'. She knew that shimmer. A person couldn't Second for nine Turns without knowing that, they'd have been dead and gone in their first two Raids or Incursions. Roche also knew that firing from this angle would just burn the fuck out of Malcerreth.

"C'tis! Behind, Silence!" Rochelle yelled at the top of her lungs. Flamethrowers and dragons roaring could all muffle sound, drown her out, and for the sake of small flits, she hoped he could hear her. Even if she were wrong. "Can't shoot at this angle!"

Fuck shit fuck balls shit.

Posted by: giftwrapped Feb 7 2012, 12:27 PM
The jump was easier than I'saac had expected.

And then the next several minutes were a blur and the indistinct feeling of complete horror that came as I'saac's mind went wrong and everything immediately shot to hell. He didn't even notice as Ellibreth took off away from what she knew would cause her rider the most distress. All he felt was horror; the kind of lurking overwhelming terrible horror that implied something had gone horribly wrong. The world went strangely fuzzy. I'saac couldn't think, couldn't breathe, couldn't even concentrate long enough to understand what was happening.

I'saac, stop! Concentrate! Ell's voice opened enough in his mind to break the cycle. I'saac gasped like he'd been drowning, fighting back a sob.

Despair. It was all he could think, all he could see. Despair going after his wingleader. After Si'ta. Old wingmates, his wingleader, everyone...the Nightfish was entirely disregarded. Randaath had told them - had told them - they weren't to focus on the Despair. The words, he didn't remember hearing them. But he remembered the feeling. Stay away from the Despair. Focus on the Nightfish. That wasn't what he wanted.

He wanted to be as far away from here as possible. That wasn't an option.

Ell - our - the Nightfish! he called, shifting in the straps and bringing the flamethrower into combat position. Not all the Deep Ones were dissuaded by fire, but Nightfish could be slowed. They could be attacked with fire more readily than bullets, and I'saac didn't have his rifle anyway. It had been one or the other, and he had chosen this. He hoped he wouldn't regret the decision. The pair rushed the monster as Ceylith held it at bay, coming closer than they should have, Ell dropping down to rake claws across the nothing-filled hole in the sky as I'saac opened fire on it. And then they were moving, out of range again, everything going -

That horrible voice crackled once again. Randaath roared. I'saac turned to watch his wingleader engage the Despair.

That moment of confidence was gone and everything went silent.

Ellibreth shrieked, a sudden noise of defiance that sounded more pain than rage, and turned so hard I'saac was convinced he was going to hear something snap. This would be the end of them, everything was going wrong, this was - this was - he couldn't concentrate. C'ross was engaging a bronze in combat. He had engaged, the first time, when Brenath had - they needed to help, they couldn't leave this - Ell, Ell! Ell? Ellibreth!

Tenuous bonds already severed again. Something blue flickered in the corner of his eye. I'saac whipped his head around. Nothing. Brenath wasn't here. He was seeing things - they were going to - Ellibreth, please!

But it didn't matter. They were moving already, whether I'saac wanted it or not. The green hit the bronze broadside, three sets of claws digging into the flesh as she used her weight to lay the Despair open.

Posted by: Tawny Feb 7 2012, 01:44 PM
Oh fucking hell be careful C'ren! C'tis' grip tightened on his gun and he tried very hard to remember that C'ren was a big boy with turns and turns of fighting experience behind him, not a green nineteen year old anymore. As Malcarreth flamed at the Nightfish's face however he found himself with new problems to worry about. Though Rochelle's voice wasn't too easy to make out he caught one word far too clearly.

Silence.

<Mal!> Nothing. Fuck. A moment later Malcarreth roared in pain as, presumably, it sank its claws into him. There was no way the blue could twist around to get at it judging by where the elusive shimmer he couldn't quite focus was; half way down his back. That left him trying to shoot it off, or Roche burning it off. In either case Malcarreth wouldn't get off unscathed.... Better scorched than silenced. "Flame it! Short burst! Mind his wings!" Roche with the flamethrower stood a much better chance of hitting something you couldn't focus on than he did with his gun. This was going to hurt, but it wasn't the first time they'd resorted to such a measure to free themselves of a Silence in an awkward spot....

Oh fuck, what was I'saac doing? There was Ceylith hanging off the thing and he was just buggering off to do his own thing? Fuck! Mirith was still there on the other side at least but that wasn't enough. <Mal, get to get up underneath; flame and then latch on too!...> Oh wait. Malcarreth couldn't hear him. Fuck! Well he'd just have to hang on and hope his lifemate did something sensible of his own accord. He would. Malcarreth always did. Not being able to communicate with the others was the main issue here, but hopefully Roche would sort that out quickly. He hoped she didn't baulk from doing what was necessary.


Ow! Something had struck him. It wasn't a terminal blow though so he tried to ignore it, more important things were going on. <Ellibreth return to position now! Mine! Signal to... to... I'saac.> Silence. That was the cause of the pain. Twisting his head around the blue tried to spot it. Ah, good, right where he couldn't reach with his claws, or flame without killing his rider and passenger. Well they would just have to deal with that then, for now he had action to take! Giving a challenging bellow to the Nightfish Malcarreth let out a jet of flame directly at its maw before changing course sharply and aiming to latch onto its back as Ceylith had its neck; if Ellibreth came to her senses and got her tail back here she might actually heed her shaffing orders and go for the underside so it was best not to head there himself.

Posted by: S'yal Feb 7 2012, 04:05 PM
That thing was in her head. It was talking to her and there was static and horror and the realization that it was going to catch her at any moment. Angeth couldn't fly forever- She was so small compared to it and she faced the very real fear that she would die. It wasn't often that Angeth feared the Deep Ones.

Perhaps it was because the Despair represented what could happen to her if it caught her.

<< I don't want to be like him! >> Angeth screamed in Z's mind, all fierceness and rage and power lost and replaced by a voice that sounded eerily like a terrified child. But the sounds of the fight breaking out behind them caused her to slow, and the panicked green turned to see her wingleader engaging with the bronze.

She took a deep breath and turned, heading back towards the Despair. As she approached, she wrestled with her fear, slowly molding it into rage until all Z could hear from her was static roaring in his head. The greenrider grimaced as the green dived, her head upturned towards the belly and legs of the Despair. A gout of flame was directed towards them, the green mindful of the danger that was posed by the other dragons- they could easily hit each other.

What the shards was Miith doing, anyway? Angeth had to give the little lady props- that move took guts.

And then, Ellibreth out of sharding no where. Angeth jerked away from another attack, mindful of the fact she could hit the other green. But that meant...

<< Randaath! Should I aid Malcarreth and Ceylith? I don't think Ellibreth will be returning to position anytime soon! >> Angeth asked as she moved from the bronze, fearful of exposing her rider to him. Z was one massive weak point in battle- one hit to the rider and they would be dead, and so would the dragon.

Z's fingers dug into Angeth's hide, an expression somewhere between a grin and a grimace decorating his face. He wasn't sure if he should be afraid of gleeful- without Angeth's fear, he was almost enjoying himself. This was what he was here to do.

Ride a crazy green dragon as she set things on fire.

Posted by: Ferret Feb 7 2012, 08:56 PM
Ilmar did what he could for Ebony, but there wasn't a whole lot to be done. Sacrifices a strip of fabric from his shirt, he tied it roughly around the girl's injured hand. It wasn't perfect, but at least he was pretty sure she wouldn't bleed to death any time soon. The straps were re-checked, to make sure that they were holding her in tight so she wouldn't start flopping around on the dragon's back. She'd have some terrible bruises, but at least she'd be alive.

Randaath lurched, the sudden collision with Merceth jarring Ilmar. What?! He hadn't heard C'ross give that order at all! He hadn't even seen the man give out the hand signals for it... it must've been a mental one, he figured.

"Oh shhh..." he hurriedly turned his flamethrower on the Despair's claws, which were getting far too close to the flying straps for comfort. Judging from the damage that had already been done to the undead beast, the flames didn't do anything else besides, perhaps, tickle it.

Hopefully the other dragons would get there quickly. The Second couldn't do much more than briefly fire out quick licks of flame from Randaath's back; he didn't dare try to use the carabiners to get any closer to the Despair. Sure, he took risks, but there was a difference between risks and suicide.

Another dragon joined the fray. Who was that? A Green, Ilmar managed to tell through the fog, but which one? The sight of the Green's stubby front leg answered that question: Ellibreth, then.

Posted by: tuathade Feb 7 2012, 09:26 PM
Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck they were in so much shit. C’ross felt Randaath shift, felt the brown go from trying to hold Merceth to trying to break free – and he couldn’t. The tables had turned; it was now the bronze who had the brown in a deathgrip, claws gouging deep lines in Randaath’s shoulders and slicing at the harness straps. The sturdy leather frayed, but held – for the moment.

A lot of things happened very rapidly. First, Si’ta and Miith struck Merceth full on the face, prompting the Despair to respond by screaming in fury and snapping at the white, aiming for the vulnerable underbelly. Ilmarinen’s and Angeth’s blasts of flame forced the Despair to loosen its hold, but it lashed one last slash across Randaath’s shoulder, and tethered to the neck-strap, C’ross could not fully twist out of the way in time. Lines of white-hot pain opened up, his flight leathers now spattered with dark blood. He fumbled for his rifle, aimed, waited for a clear shot where he wouldn’t risk striking Miith, held until he could see the white of the eye that was not currently full of dragon claws. C’ross fired a bullet at point-blank range at the same time that Miith tore at the other one…

And Ellibreth from nowhere, Ell striking with the full force of her weight while Miith still had her claws sunk in Merceth’s head, and something tore with an awful wet noise and the skin of the bronze’s face sloughed off entirely under Miith’s claws.

Merceth let go. For a moment it seemed the Despair was dead, for it plummeted uncontrolled, but after a few seconds it leveled off and wheeled away, putting distance once again between itself and the living dragons. Randaath hung in the air, wings beating hard and breath coming in sharp rasps. C’ross probed gingerly at one of the gouges running across his side, hissed in pain, then lifted his hand to signal I’saac and Z. There was no signal for I have suddenly lost contact with my dragon, although you can still hear him fine, so he settled on the signal for Silence, hoping they would at least get the gist.

Yes – help Malcarreth, Randaath told Angeth. Thank Faranth for Angeth and her soldier’s mentality. Miith, you all right?

Posted by: Meesh Feb 7 2012, 10:04 PM
Mirith? MIRITH! Fly out of it's range before it gets you!

The green roared in response, immediately shifting the flapping of her wings so she was rising above the nightfish. Sinopa had gotten two shots it- and two measly ones at that- but at least they had slowed down the Nightfish. Oh shards someone had to kill that thing now

SILENCE!

The yell turned Sin's head in time to see a silence grappling with another wing member. Well, there at least she could be of some use. Leveling her flame-thrower, she shot one quick burst of flame in their direction. Oh shards please not let it hit any of the wingmembers and only the silence. Another scream caught her attention. RANDATH! Sinopa was shocked to see Randath struggling in the grip of the Despair. Should we break off and help attack the Despair? That's what I'saac and His seems to be doing.

She got no response except for a roar of pain and a burst of static. Looking down,Sinopa saw the Nightfish was closing in on the Green and Rider fast. Sinopa screamed, immediately turning and blowing the flamethrower at the Deep One full blat, desperate to get that....that abomination off of her dragon's trail.

Guys? Anyone? We need help here NOW. It's almost got Mirith!

Posted by: Nozomi Feb 7 2012, 11:05 PM
Rochelle to C'tis

She did very much not enjoy this situation even a little. There were fast-moving wings and they were twisting and, oh, orders to flame the fuck out of the silence. They'd lost a green already and the Silence was on Malcerreth. they probably couldn't hear each other with that thing right the fuck there.

So Rochelle twisted once again and cocked the flamethrower, sending out a stream of fire even as she'd been thinking that fuck, green gone, Silence there. She wanted to yell out something witty and adorable to make C'tis laugh again in the literal face of danger; unfortunately for them both, all she could manage was a hiss of pain. Dead Silence? She hoped to anything that it was a Dead Silence, she burned at it, she had damn good aim and knew where it was.

Even with the mental apology to Malcerreth, Rochelle didn't have time to turn back towards before something sharp and hot and very fucking painful hit her leg.

Fire. Fire on her pants. Thank Ramoth for thick cloth and hardcore leather boots but even with that, the brief flamethower scorch ate through some leather to hit skin. It felt like the time hot glass had fallen on her knee and left a bright pink, raised scar. This just fucking hurt.

Her head whipped to the side to see who had done it - Firebringer? No. Someone in the wing. Silva, Sinopa, something with an S in it, didn't matter because her leathers had a hole in them and it felt like blisters and pain on her knee. "What the fuck?! Kill the monsters, not my fardling leg!"


Si'ta

Miith and Si'ta hit the Despair with a wet thunk, a hammer against rotten flesh. They both screamed, clutching and clawing at the dragon zombie. This apparently did not please Merceth, this made more than crystal clear when he roared and bit.

Si'ta leaned slightly to the right to grab at one of her knives at the second he screamed in his anger, just in time to not get her leg ripped off. Merceth's teeth raked over lower leg, scraping off leather and cloth. Pain seared through her, the blood dripping down her leg over her shoes and onto Miith's mostly-white hide. He'd managed to grab a bit of Miith as well, in the same bite as he had injured Si'ta with, down along the underside of her chest to the upward curve of her stomach. Her little white shrieked, biting and clawing, as Si'ta grit her teeth.

C'ross fired. The world exploded. Miith had sense of mind to get them away from the Despair, her chest heaving. We are alive, she said privately to Randaanth, mind voice high and upset but without shaking. That's what counted, wasn't it? Mine is wounded. She's alive. Should we go to the Nightfish?

"Sharding fardling son of a wherrie, crap." Si'ta groaned softly, her eyebrows crinkled up together. "Crap."

Posted by: Tawny Feb 8 2012, 05:02 AM
Tag Rochelle

Suddenly he was able to feel Malcarreth again. It was a relief for all that it was also painful; as his leg was burned at almost the same moment as Malcarreth's back he didn't actually register his own lick of flame, it was just slid by as another facet of 'scorched dragon ow ow ow'. <Is it dead?>

<Not sure. At least shaken off. I think I just caught the end of somebody else being sent to help us in Elli's place.>

<Good!> He was not happy with I'saac and his green, not happy in the least. No time to dwell on it right now however; they had a whole lot of teeth to deal with. "Good shot," C'its called to Rochelle, "it's at least let go! If it's not dead and latches back on you might need to do that again!" He was pleased at least that she hadn't hesitated; plenty of people wouldn't have done the unpleasantly necessary so quickly, and some might not have had the balls/ovaries to do it at all....

Oh Fuck. Now the Nightfish was apparently after Mirith. <Flame!> "Flame!" Swinging his rifle around C'tis took another shot and Malcarreth let out another gout of flame still streaking after the swift beast with claws extended, aiming to latch on along with Ceylith.

<Get away from my wingmate you ugly brute!> Shouting at the Nightfish probably wouldn’t get him anywhere, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t going to give it a piece of his mind along with scorching it and trying to grab and lacerate it.

Posted by: Blight Feb 8 2012, 07:25 PM
((BLIGHT LEVELS UPDATED FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS. Please be aware of your current Blight!))

Posted by: S'yal Feb 8 2012, 09:16 PM
Orders. Her orders were to fight the Nightfish and either kill it or die trying. Angeth let out a shriek of a war cry, her wings quivering in excitement and her eyes becoming more red then yellow. But as she shot past, Z saw the signal from C'ross.

Wait. Randaath had just spoken to Ang- Shit! "Angeth!" C'ross can't hear Randaath, I think! Tell Miith. He told his dragon hurriedly. Angeth slowed, frustrated by the interference in her precious mission. Her head whipped around, red eyes seeking Miith.

<< Miith! C'ross just gave my rider the sign for Silence- He may not be able to communicate with Randaath. >> She warned. << I have been ordered to join the attack on the Nightfish. >> The green had no time to worry about the Wingleader- she had her orders from the brown, and the nightfish had to be eliminated now. Angeth stifled a snarl of irritation as she raced towards the Nightfish.

<< Malcarreth! Angeth comes! What are my orders? >> Angeth was still running on adrenaline, and compared to the dragons that had fought she still had energy. Her mad flight from the bronze had taxed her, yes, but she hadn't been actually involved in much fighting. The green was uninjured and she was pissed

So Angeth would find herself in the strange position of chasing a Nightfish that was chasing a green, trying to catch up with the big Deep One so that she could attack it. She fired off a gout of flame, aiming to hit the underside of it's tail as she rushed to try and catch up to her fellow attackers.

My orders are to rip it open and see if it has guts.

<< Oooh, I like that. >> Angeth let out a noise that might have been a croon or a growl.

Posted by: Pamelot Feb 9 2012, 01:40 AM
<not the face, not the fa->

Merceth’s claws ripped across Coelacanth’s face with a sickening fleshy noise, drawing four jagged lines through muscle and hide, scraping the bone beneath and slicing through his left eye, leaving behind nothing but a moment of brilliant-white and immeasurable, searing pain. The dragon’s roar turned into a pained, frenzied howl as he strained his wings and lurched himself upwards, blindly clawing back at the corpse as he got out of its reach. Merceth’s second blow glanced across the blue’s shoulder and harness, and D'oul twisted out of the way as far as the straps would let him - but he wasn't quick enough. The claws scraped across his leg, tearing through leather and flesh alike, sending blood down into the Dusk.

--

Coelacanth steadied himself above the bronze as another wave of static crashed across D'oul and Coelacanth's bond, and something snapped and -- silence. Only wingbeats and roars and a low hum where the link between dragon and rider should be. The dread in D'oul's mind unfurled itself once more, when it couldn't, shouldn't have, wiping clean whatever hope D'oul had mustered before the raid. Shards, they were going to die, they were all going to sink, they were all going to die, they were all-

--

The air around the Despair exploded into action - Randaath slammed and grappled with the festering bronze while Miith tore off its face. A green - Ellbreth - spun out of the gray and ripped its side open. C'ross fired, the gunshot ringing clear through the sound of claws across flesh. Merceth dropped softly into the fog, hopefully dead. Or deader than it was before.

...Shards and shells. That rotten son of a wher evened himself out and slid away through the gray, as if nothing happened. Not fire, not bullets, not dragons. Despairs were implacable in general; this one was near fucking unkillable, and the best the wing could do was disable it. Permanently. <Tear it from limb to limb!>, Coelacanth snarled to his rider through the hum, remaining eye whirling madly. Everything in his skull burned, and he wanted his eye back. He wanted to rip every last piece of putrid meat from that fuck's skeleton, crush the bones, scorch it all to ashes and dust, Farranth, he wanted his eye back...

<Randaath, if we're going to take that thing out we have to do it now!>


Posted by: Meesh Feb 9 2012, 03:17 AM
Mirith strained forward, struggling to escape the gaze of the Nightfish. A noise behind Sinopa made her turn just in time to see C'tis on Malcarreth shooting a flamethrower at the Nightfish. It roared in pain, but didn't seem to slow. A little farther back, Z and angeth zoomed after the Nightfish. Sinopa's relief at seeing her wingmates here to help was short lived, however, as the Nightfish was quickly gaining.

Mirith, I know you're tired, but try going a little faster- we can't let it catch up.

Mirith?

MIRITH

Dammit, the silence....


Sinopa clenched her teeth, looking back at the steadily gaining Nightfish. Below her, she heard the green's breath coming in shorter gasps as Mirith tried to keep up the wrenching pace. Knowing she couldn't speak mentally to her dragon, Sinopa had to content with kicking Mirith's sides lightly- hard enough to get the dragon's attention, but not so hard as to slow or hinder her breathing. "Go UP Mirith. UP" Sin called to her dragon, not even sure if Mirith could hear over the roar of the battle.

Mirith, meanwhile, had goals of her own. Unknown to her rider, she was flying as fast as she could towards the Despair. Maybe if the two could collide, they'd be distracted by one another. She let out a roar as she saw the Bronze she was heading for claw at the face of Coelacanth. No one claws my wingmates but ME you piece of were-droppings!

But the Green couldn't keep her speed up much longer. she could feel it, and she knew Sinopa, who'se mind voice she could not hear for the first time since she hatched, could feel it too. Giving a tired grunt of effort, she made one final push towards the Despair. Talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire. Sinopa had turned and pulled out a pistol, shooting quick, steady shots towards the Nightfish. Perhaps if she couldn't stop it, at least she could slow it and buy Mirith some time

Posted by: Tawny Feb 9 2012, 05:56 AM
(Tag Rochelle)

Angeth, that was good. <Go for its underside,> Malcarreth ordered swiftly, <I shall attack from above!> Pushing down the pain from his burned back, and his burned neck and shoulder too, he raced on after the enemy. For all that he was furious with Mirith - she could have killed them! – the green was currently in trouble and he was damned if he wasn't going to do his best to save her.

<What is she doing?> C'tis gritted his teeth in a snarl and fired on the Nightfish again. A straight sprint more or less? Why wasn’t she dodging and weaving? <We need to get it now!>

Malcarreth couldn't agree more; the weyrlingmaster green was not communicating with him. <Mirith, dodge it you fool!> They were getting close to the Despair; with the Nightfish's agility hampered by Ceylith hanging off it a collision was possible, and that would be disastrous for the young green. <Ceylith, Angeth, give it all you have; it's almost on Mirith, and we're almost on the Despair!> Even if they didn't crash they would get in the way of the dragons still trying to fight the monstrosity. Bellowing rage at the monster Malcarreth put on a burst of speed; they had to finish this!

As Malcarreth accelerated C'tis felt his seat jolt and he instinctively tightened his legs on the blue’s neck and dropped a hand off his gun to grip one of his bondmate's neck spines. <What the-?>

Before he could finish off his thought the blue slammed into the Nightfish's back, sprawling full length and tearing, clawing, flaming at point blank range.

At the same moment the jerk C'tis had felt a moment ago was explained; near seared through and made brittle by fire, one of his straps on one side of the harness had broken when Malcarreth accelerated sharply.

When the blue smashed into the Nightfish the rest snapped as well and C'tis was flung from the saddle. Still connected to Malcarreth by a now dangling but still strong strap on the other side of the harness he wouldn't have fallen far even in clear air. As it was however he didn't reach the end of the short slack before he landed on top of the Nightfish.

Wrongness. It wasn’t really pain, but Wrong and Pain were the words that came closest to describing the feeling that overwhelmed his senses. He screamed.

Malcarreth knew something wasn’t right thanks to that cut off sentence, but when he tried to ask C’tis what it was he was just met with static. Practicality quickly won out over his dislike of addressing a stranger, and he reached out to speak to Rochelle. <This is Malcarreth. What’s going on back there? I cannot reach my rider to ask him nor spare time from tearing this thing to look!> Had he heard a cry of pain? He wasn't sure.

Posted by: Nozomi Feb 9 2012, 10:26 AM
For a few heartbeats, she didn't even notice that they were headed towards the face-less Merceth; not having a psychic connection to half of the team and the other half using that connection meant one had to depend on the hand signals of the rider or be on the lookout at all times. As a Second, the job meant doing both at once and also finding time to scorch the living wherrie guts out of a huge dark beast. She flamed and saw that the little fire happy green and her rider jetted out and away from the Nightfish in a straight line and that the Nightfish in question continued on after her with at least one other Wingmate firmly attached like a dragon-sides limpet.

She fired on the Nightfish as much as she could before that huge shape caught her eye and filled her pit with a please no. Nightfish and Despair, the former headed straight at it with all of them in the crossfire. But if Malcarreth and and C'tis were on board, Rochelle had to be, and so she continued on with firing, keeping an eye out, and making sure C'tis didn't get hit either.

Except he had back when they were torched by the running green. The scent of burning couldn't be new or unusual when a person had a hurt leg and fired flamethrowers - there was nothing to warn any of them that the leather had failed to keep itself together until Malcarreth hit cheetah like speed and jerked off. That too was normal - some dragons could find that quick burst of stamina and speed before settling into a less neck-breaking pace. She rolled with it, opened her mouth to say something when something so very not normal happened in the corner of her eye.

Strap. Broken. C'tis holding on to a spike and Rochelle screaming, "C'tis!" at the same second Malcarreth hit the beast. Her rider went off the dragon and straight onto the Nightfish. She fought against her own straps for only a few seconds before remembering that being able to reach him and get out of the straps meant probable death for them both; leaning over to grab him while still in the saddle couldn't be an option, Malcarreth was too big for her to go grabbing over. Rochelle torched the Nightfish instead, keeping her flamethrower away from the Weyrcaptain.

Rochelle flinched at Malcarreth's voice, hands unwavering. <Strap broke and I can't reach him. He's on the bloody Nightfish!> They needed to start carrying rope with them on these things, the measly leather thongs used as shoestrings or belts did little for this.

Posted by: Tawny Feb 9 2012, 11:21 AM
<He’s what?!> Malcarreth whipped his head around and just as the girl had said his rider was lying on the Nightfish, face contorted in agony. Gripping the Deep One with three limbs and his teeth the blue grabbed his rider around the chest in his remaining paw, tucking the human close against his chest. Bondmate secured and removed from immediate contact with the beast he continued to slash at it with his hind claws – the forepaw not holding C’tis anchoring him in place on its back - and treated it to more flame too. <Got him!> he passed to Rochelle, relief obvious in his mental tones. If the other side of the straps had snapped too his rider would probably just have slid off the fast moving Deep One and... he didn’t even want to think about that.

<Slight problem here!> he bellowed to the other dragons. <My rider's straps have been burned through; got him safe, but this is a hinderance and I am out of contact with him!>

---

Exactly where he had been and how long he had been there C’tis wasn’t sure but abruptly he was back in the Dusk gripped in Malcarreth’s forepaw feeling cold, shaky, and sick. He tried to question his blue about this odd turn of events but was met with a blast of static. Well that was no good. Humm. There was a Nightfish almost within touching distance. He was holding his gun. Though still slightly dazed C’tis managed to add two and two to get kaboom; he fired on the Deep One with great prejudice.

Raid.

They were on a raid, and there was a Despair and there had been a Silence or two and there was a Nightfish. Nightfish was chasing Mirith, Malcarreth had grabbed onto it and he’d fallen. Oh. Right. That was where he’d been. On a fucking Nightfish.

Posted by: Ferret Feb 9 2012, 01:57 PM
I can't--- the rest fell off into static. It was like trying to tune into a radio station and getting the broadcast diluted with Spanish or Danish or possibly Finnish. But C'ren could sense her fear. It was crawling over his skin, a terrible diseased feeling.

Ceylith couldn't hold the nightfish still. She was a small Green and the nightfish was made out of muscles and nightmares. Still, with four sets of claws and teeth buried into the nightfish's shadowy flesh, she knew she was doing some damage. A dragon's cry startled her. Oh Mirith! Ceylith redoubled her efforts to tear the nightfish apart, tearing off chunks with her jaws.

Something black slithered just out of C'ren's eyeline. He wanted to turn and look but the nightfish was right there. Ceylith wasn't able to hold it steady on her own, but she was clinging on pretty well. Same effect, at least for her riders. He hefted his flamethrower and took aim. "Smile, you son of a bitch."

He felt like the effect would've been better if he could see the monster's face but, really? He was glad he couldn't. If you could see a nightfish's face, you were too close to its teeth and probably also dead.

And what the fuck was Sinopa doing? Did she... did she just switch targets? "Hey, Hai! Consider this a lesson! Never do that!" he called back to his Second, hoping that she was still conscious.

Again, there was broken static from Ceylith. Malcarreth's --- --- --- retreat? Worry hung heavily on her mind. Something had happened with C'tis, but she wasn't certain what. Something big and terrible, though.

Wasn't everything on the raid big and terrible?

~.~

Ilmar knew that sound. It was the sound of nightmares. It was the sound of leather snapping.

Oh fuck. He shut his eyes. It wouldn't do anything at all, but at least it would keep him from seeing. But there was no pull from gravity, no fall. He opened them again, tentatively. Nope. The straps were holding, but just barely. Glancing back at Ebony, he tried to gauge his chances of getting her out if the straps snapped.

Nope. Absolutely zero.

Better not bust then.

With so many dragons in one place, Ilmar couldn't risk taking a shot at all. Every time he thought he had a clear shot at the Bronze Despair, a white limb or green face would come into view, courtesy of Miith and Ellibreth. They just looked so tiny next to the Despair.

"We're really going to need bigger dragons," he commented. And that's what Coelocanth joined the fray, fiercely tearing at the Despair and ignoring his own eye-loss. Ilmar was impressed that the dragon could ever get off the ground with balls that big. But it wasn't enough. The Despair was still moving. It wasn't a force of nature; it just... couldn't be stopped by anything.

Posted by: tuathade Feb 9 2012, 02:18 PM
C’ross assessed the situation rapidly – or as rapidly as he could while bleeding profusely. Si’ta and Miith were down. He could see dark rivulets running down the white’s pale hide. Coelacanth was missing an eye. I’saac was… yeah, C’ross did not think I’saac would be up for much more of this. One of his own Seconds was unconscious and C’ross was barely staying upright with stubbornness and vinegar, clinging white-knuckled onto Randaath’s weakened straps.

And with at least two Silence floating around that he’d been aware of, and Blighted riders on his team, communication was spotty at best. Randaath jerked his head in Malcarreth’s direction, and C’ross turned to look – C’ross could not hear Malcarreth’s warning, but the Weyrcaptain was out of his straps and clutched to his blue’s chest. A few of the greens were less injured, but that was all three of their heavyweights and their smallest dragon in no condition to continue.

On the other hand, the Despair was retreating. The Nightfish had taken severe damage from the persistent assault of multiple dragons, and was as good as down; no one knew for sure if Deep Ones could die, as they vanished between like dragons and no one had ever successfully recovered a body. But they sure as shells put up a good show of death throes. So as far as these things went, the big nasty shark was as good as dead. It had slowed its pursuit, thrashing in confusion as it was flamed and torn at from all sides… and only a few scant heartbeats after C’tis was rescued off the creature’s back, it vanished back into the dark of between.

Merceth glanced back casually over one shoulder, a point of white light still shining brightly in the skull’s empty socket…

Blink.

The Despair was gone. Vanished as well. And from out of the fog of the Dusk, two Mimics and a Tangler advancing. Merceth’s final act had been to lead them into the jaws of the ambush.

C’ross thumped Randaath hard on the shoulder, shouting aloud at the same time that he gave the visual signal for all riders retreat to the Weyr! “We’re out! Everybody out! Back to the Weyrbowl!” Randaath roared and echoed the call mentally. All riders return!

He would not make the jump himself until he had visually confirmed that all riders had successfully jumped out of the Dusk. First one in, last one out. That was the Wingleader's job.

((Officially, the Raid is now over, but this thread will remain open - feel free to post your exits if you like.))

Posted by: Tawny Feb 9 2012, 02:42 PM
The Nightfish was gone. C'tis smiled grimly, his grip on reality firming back up somewhat though the cold and sick feeling remained. "Winged you, you bastard!" Right, now what?... Oh. Oh that wasn't great. In fact being in the Dusk and not in his straps was not great even without the new Deep Ones moving towards them. Had C'ross not ordered them to leave (he spotted the visual signal and felt a surge of static as presumably Malcarreth tried to speak to him) he would have given the command himself, especially as he spotted the injuries on some of the other dragons. Fuck. This raid had been a disaster!

<We leave!> Malcarreth informed Rochelle in case she'd missed the signal. <But we wait for the rest of the wing, save for C'ross and Randaath.> Though they outranked the pair they hadn't been in command today, and it did not fall to them to see the wing out; he had no intention of trying to rob Randaath of that duty.

Posted by: giftwrapped Feb 9 2012, 03:57 PM
Ell struck again and again, ripping with teeth and claws, battering with her wings at the Despair. If Merceth's thrashing responses hurt her, I'saac couldn't know. All he knew was the unholy fury from the green was strong enough that even now, even with - Faranth - with the broken bond, he could feel it. On him, around him. The terrible mental static of the Deep Ones washed over him, a background roar that complicated the madness. Ell broke from Merceth, and the bronze moved off, the green hot on his tail. It wasn't until I'saac realized that nobody else was pursuing that he stopped - that they stopped.

Ambush. "Fuck." The static hadn't stopped. Everything was -

Blue hide torn wings white eyes, body dark with ichor -

Brenath. For a moment, the greenpair hung in the air, suddenly motionless, even Ellibreth's wings stilled as the two of them faced the Despair. The same as ever, that horrid sickly blue, throat hanging by sickly ropes of tendon, wing membranes fluttering in tatters. The blue head, eyes flashing white, turned to them, silent, ichor-spattered muzzle open in a sickening draconic grin. Then, the mouth shut, the head tilted, and a voice crackled into I'saac's mind.

I'saac - I'saac! ... is coming. Make ...

Under him, muscles surged. Ellibreth screamed another challenge, this one half pain and half fury, winging forward -

Ellibreth, no - no! "Ellibreth!" Voiced and voiceless, rider screaming hoarsely and grabbing straps, pulling back at his dragon with hands and mind and will, terror flooding his veins.

Coleta, leaning on the blue's neck, smiling at him with torn-open face and empty eye-sockets -

It was like flipping a switch. All the motion under him ceased again. Ellibreth dropped into the cold of between.

Posted by: Kol Feb 10 2012, 02:32 AM
For whatever reason it had been incredibly difficult to keep his head in the game. He had held his gun and fired it at all the appropriate times. The constant threat and terror of the raid seemed to have rattled its way into his head, and things were a constant blur. There were strange, horrible peaks of fear that jolted him into sudden focus every once in a while, usually whenever Coelacanth would move jerkily.

He was being near to useless. He may as well not even have been there. D'oul had not said anything about it, but there were more things taking up the man's attention. Perhaps like the Despair that was still shrilling terribly in the Dusk, or the Nightfish that seemed to be smoking and shredded not too far away.

He took a deep breath, grabbing a hold of the straps to try and steady himself. He needed to focus. He needed to be able to pay attention. His entire brain felt like static, whispery and misplaced.

And then, suddenly, there was Despair right in his face. Quiyin grabbed for his gun, but he was too late, too slow. Blood splashed across his face, spattering across his lips. It was in his mouth, and it was all that he could smell.

Finally, his brain snapped into focus. He lurched forward, one hand burrowing into some of the pouches at his belt, searching for the bandages he'd brought with him. He was a healer, even if he was just an apprentice, and -

Just as D'oul's leg had been sliced, Quiyin's forearm was nicked by the Despair's claws, the skin and flesh peeling away like it had been butter. He was unable to scream, too transfixed with being able to, just briefly, see the bright shine of bone.

His training brought him back, and the bandage roll in his hand was quickly and swiftly used to wrap his arm, covering the gaping wound as he hissed. Coelacanth had swerved blindly upwards, and Quiyin used his free, uninjured arm to continue to burrow in his belt. He had more bandages, and he knew he had some numbweed, somewhere.

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