It was pretty weird down here.
Meier walked slowly along the passage, examining the myriad valves and pipelines that lined the narrow hall. They took up much of the space- Meier was a tall man and he had had to duck under a few of the largest overhead pipes. It was a claustrophobic space.
He peered through one of the portholes, set deep within the wall. The glass was several inches thick and murky. Even if it had been clear though, there was nothing to see in the inky black of the water beyond the glass.
"You done sulking yet?" Isart had appeared next to him and said this in a low mutter.
Meier bristled at this, about to make a sharp reply, but stopped himself. He always made an effort to consider his words and if his reaction was fair before replying.
Instead of the acidic remark he'd intitially intended, he said quietly: "I didn't betray Sufokia."
"I... I know. Look, I didn't mean it like that and I'm sorry." Isart replied. Then almost to himself "I think this temple is making me paranoid..."
"Yeah, it's ranking pretty high on my list of creepy places..." Meier said drily. Then sighed. "I'm sorry too. I haven't exactly been... upfront... about anything. I didn't really tell you anything at all."
"No you haven't, but that doesn't equate to treachery, so ah, sorry about that." Isart met his eyes then and said: "You were up to something in Brakmar though, weren't you? Something you didn't think you could get away with in Sufokia or any other lawful nation. Why else would you go?"
Uh oh. Busted.
"I had many reasons! Maybe I just wanted to visit?" Meier replied, with feigned innocence, still keeping his voice down. He walked a little further along the passage.
If you expect me to believe that-"
Isart hissed, catching his arm and pulling him back. Meier stopped and turned to face him.
"No, I don't. Alright, fine. There were
several reasons for me to travel there, and yes, wanting to see the place was one of them, but the deciding factor for me was that the corruption in Brakmar would make it possible for me to conduct experiments there that would likely be illegal in other nations."
Isart gaped at him for a moment, shot a frantic look at the others to make sure they weren't listening, then in an urgent whisper asked: "Meier, what in Rushs's hell did you do
Meier gave a quiet off-hand laugh. "Oh, nothing awful- no ethical standards were broken, at least, not in my
opinion... No, but they were quite dangerous. Obviously, I took appropriate care- I have excellent attention to detail, as you know, and all my experiments ran as I planned them." 'Except for one, but that wasn't my fault'
Meier added mentally. "The only real
reason this kind of research is banned is that Sufokia doesn't want anyone else to figure out how it works- and I suppose, certain religious groups object, but oh well. Anyway, you lot don't even know half of it- there is so much more to learn!"
"Meier, what are you talking about?" Isart whispered back, looking anxious.
"Stasis, of course!" Meier hissed in return. The two looked quickly at the group, but it seemed no one had heard. Good, Meier didn't plan on telling them. "I had several projects, but I also worked on the transmutation of stasis to wakfu... and the reverse."
"You... Meier, no wonder you got into trouble!"
"Ha, actually the government probably had no idea about my research- politics is what got me into trouble. My research is what saved me from execution... if you can call it being saved. The threat was always there and I... suffered, regardless. The only people that minded about the experiments, once I was discovered, were some extreme religious groups- they said my work was an abomination. I said they were idiots. It didn't curry me any favour, but my situation was beyond that anyway."
They started walking again- the others were a fair way ahead by now. Isart was quiet.
Eventually he spoke up: "I see why you didn't want anyone in Sufokia to know... Ursula would have you locked up for sure."
"Will you tell her?" Meier asked in a mild tone, more curious than anything.
"No." Isart shook his head. "I think what you did was extremely ill-advised and dangerous... but it's research that I think should be allowed. Maybe not all
of it-" he added sharply, "but this embargo on stasis research is poorly considered, in my opinion. Plus, even though Brakmar had you for a year, you didn't tell them anything classified about Sufokia, so there's no reason to tell Ursula on the grounds of you being a security risk."
"Thank you." Meier said simply.
"And Meier... you are
my friend. You didn't really think I was going to turn you in, did you?"
This time Meier smiled genuinely behind his mask. "Thank you." He said again, but heart felt this time.
Isart smiled back.
"So, what has Ursula said to you so far?" Isart asked after a moment.
"Hmmm... not much. I was surprised. I'd half expected her to drag me away for questioning, but all she's done really is ask if I was alright." Meier replied, after consideration.
Isart raised his eyebrows. "That's very, er, considerate of her..."
"Indeed. I don't doubt her concern for my welfare was genuine, but I think Ursula is also waiting to see what I'll do. I think she suspects I was involved in research in Brakmar- it's not an unreasonable assumption, but if nothing should occur to raise alarm about my work there, I doubt she'll pursue it. If she ever got proof, she'd probably 'save it for a rainy day'- keep it until she needed me to cooperate with something I was being difficult on."
"You think she'd threaten you with it?"
Meier snorted. "Of course! Ursula is a good person, I don't doubt it, but she's Head Guard- Sufokia must come first. As long as I don't step on her toes whilst I'm here, I don't forsee there being any problems though."
Isart shook his head. "I still can't believe you pulled all this off."
Meier shrugged. "I'm glad I did the research, but going to Brakmar was a mistake. Now I'm a wanted fugitive, survivor of torture and very nearly lost the use of my magic-" Meier snapped his mouth shut. He hadn't meant to talk about that!
Isart was on it right away though: "Wait, what!? How?"
Meier just shook his head mutely. "Isart, please, it's really not something I want to talk about..."
"Meier, I... You know you could probably take this to the courts. I mean-"
Meier laughed blackly. "What, bring a legal case against Brakmar? Now that's
a good one."
"Meier, I'm serious. Maybe you should talk to Ursula- Brakmar isn't going to stop hunting you, you know that-"
"Isart, no. Just leave it, alright? And not a word to Ursula." Meier said firmly. He couldn't bear to discuss it further.
Isart sighed and held up his hands in surrender. "Alright, alright. I'll leave it to you. I just don't think it's fair that Brakmar gets away with it, is all. And I already said I wouldn't tell her."
"Not fair? Tell me about it." Meier said bitterly, mostly to himself. He sighed "Thank you. I'm glad you're my friend."
Isart nodded and they caught up with the others.
"Urgh another dark room." Riko moaned in disgust: "What is it with these Foggernaught's and the dark damp rooms?"
"What indeed?" Meier replied cheerfully, feeling much happier now that the air had been cleared with Isart.
This is when the trap was sprung. As soon as they'd all stepped into the chamber, the passage they'd entered from was quickly barred and a voice called with wicked delight through the speakers:
"Weeeeeelcome Actors! I have awaited anxiously for the next act."
"Who said that? Show yourself!" Riko called. Meier put his back to the wall and scanned the room, watching for trouble.
"Ah forgive me, seems my manners have wandered about... allow me to introduce myself, my name is Dr. Steemenhiem, head researcher of the 8th Sir Flexington Brigade."
"Why is a Flexington Brigade still around? The Foggernaut war is over, the Flexington Brigade disbanded a long time ago." Meier heard Zorn mutter. That didn't sound good...
"Head researcher of the 8th what?" Riko asked, sounding confused.
"Sigh, I tend to forget that the Iop religion are a dense kind, however explaining to you all won't make much of a difference since you are all going to die here."
"Dense? How dare you call me dense! Show yourself so I can give you a piece of my mind you coward!" Riko was getting angrier and angrier.
"My dear actress, if you gave me a piece of your mind then you wouldn't have any left for yourself." That did it- Riko looked like she was about to snap.
"Yes my actress, channel that anger, more emotion means better acting just the way I love in my theatrical entertainment, show me the great stupidity of the Iop you are, show me their IQ level because this will prove nice research material."
"Research material?" Meier muttered to Isart with narrowed his eyes focused on the speaker. "Who does he think he is?!"
"To be fair, I know for a fact that you do experiments on people all the time without their knowledge..." Isart said primly.
Meier waved a dismissive hand. "Bah!"
"Now my actors, I do hope you don't bore me, I have staged this just for this occasion and now that you are here we can finally begin Act 2, let us begin... Security!"
Foggernauts appeared around the room.
"Calling me stupid... Low IQ... Dense... insulting my religion..." Riko bubbled with rage... and took out the nearest foggernaut. It was spectacular and brutal. Meier blinked in shock behind his mask- he never doubted Riko's strength (she was an iop, after all), but there'd been so much anger behind that hit and it didn't seem to have lessened.
"Come at me! I will smash you all into scrap one by one!" She roared. Lorenzie stepped up to say something to her... probably trying to calm her down.
It didn't work.
Riko rushed into the fray, decimating her opponents, fueled by a blind fury. Meier and Isart looked at each other and rushed to help her. Isart clumsily pulled out his stasis pistol and started firing off shots, fortunately much steadier. Meier used Underhand to throw back approaching foggernauts, preventing the machines from swarming them. He found it was more difficult to use wakfu effectively- the stasis levels were low, but its effect was still noticable. He was very used to working in close proximity to stasis though and knew to pace himself.
Riko, though, was going flat out. 'At this rate, she'll completely exhaust herself...'
Meier thought to himself.
"Riko!" Meier called to her, between fighting the foggernauts. "Riko! Don't you see he's just trying to rile you up? He wants
you to be angry!"
She didn't seem to hear him.
More foggernauts had appeared and Riko was in the thick of them, laying ruin. Meier remembered the time Moritz had depleted all his wakfu- he'd been unconscious almost a full day after. Meier remembered when he himself had made the same mistake- it had been his undoing in Brakmar. If Riko didn't get some self control back, she'd play right into the hands of their enemies.
Riko had thinned out the foggernauts around her. Seeing his chance, Meier teleported to her side. It was harder than usual, but he ignored that. Throwing the closest foggernauts back with a blast of temporal energy, he grabbed Riko's arm.
"Riko! You're playing into their trap- get a hold of yourself, this isn't like you! Why should you even care what he thinks? The only value his opinion has is what you choose to give it. I
know you're smart, forget about what he says!" Meier said to her earnestly. He didn't get to see if she'd taken any of it in, because the few seconds it'd taken him to speak to her were enough for their attackers to regroup. He let go of her arm as a pulse from a stasis rifle came at him- he blocked it with a hastily crafted wakfu shield. This was difficult- pure wakfu against pure stasis. Meier's will power was the deciding factor though and his shield held. He knocked the foggernaut back once again, just as Isart ran to his side, disabling it with three shots from his stasis pistol once it was down.
OOC: Woah, long post is long! Sorry I've been away for ages, guys, been very busy.
So this is stage one, right? I'm going by what Omega wrote here for the stasis effects:
"1st section is the Cybernetics Chambers
, which is like a factory that makes more Foggernaught's this section will be filled with ASU's and a few Security Foggernaught's.
Stasis levels in this section is: 25%
It begins to become noticeable as your Wakfu seems to be sapped lightly, everyone's Wakfu capabilities are slightly weaker than usual. Stasis Capabilities slightly improves."
This post has been edited by Aacher - December 22, 2013, 17:19:18.
Reason for edit : spelling stuff, yo.