Emily waited with baited breath as finally, after nearly two hours since she had fucked Kaido for the information, Lucas and Aiden walked into the Tree. The library was full, with dozens of people that she barely knew, and she was grateful that Sam had lent her a quick tanktop with some shorts that somehow still fit her -the cat was about her size, wasn’t she?- as she looked across the various characters.
Kevin and Ivan, two horses that were apparently the first two in Alenkas, towered over everybody, their height only challenged by George, a giant bear with a cross shaped scar on his chest. Most of them were fairly short though, and Emily had no idea who some of them were. Every time someone she didn’t know entered, Simon took a quick moment to explain who they were, what they did while working at NuVO, and how they’ve taken to Alenkas.
Most of them were fairly boring. They helped with the Great Hunt, the first one, and most of those people that showed up for the final hunt in that showed up to this meeting. There were a few that didn’t bother, such as a Stellar’s Jay that lived up in the North Tower. When he had been brought up Emily was shocked that someone lived up there at all, let alone a bird.
All of the birds in her character creation had been turned off, along with most of the reptiles. When she brought this up, it only made Simon start to think, making small ‘hmm’ sounds every once in a while. She wondered what he was thinking.
About halfway into the wait, Haley had showed up. The black cat merely strolled in as if she owned the place, and watched with rabid interest as more Alenkans showed up. Eventually Sam offered to take her up, and Cal stayed to make sure that things were still in order.
“Alright, so we’re finally here, and we think we got everyone who was going to come,” Lucas said as he walked in. Emily gave a sigh of relief, and Aiden gave her a quick smirking stare. The arctic fox looked around and gave her a mirror of Aiden’s.
“Perfect,” Simon started. “From here it’s just a matter of planning. Alex and Lyla got sent out earlier to actually check the place out. They’re under instructions to not get caught, which usually means that they’re going to get caught, because we all know them,” Simon said plainly. There were a few minor chuckles from the group.
“Are we just waiting for them then, or are going to sit around and actually plan?” Kevin asked impatiently. There were small smiles around the group; most of them recognized the horse’s impatience for what it was; both a sense of worry, and a sense of interest. He wanted this to be finished; wanted everything to be back to the way it had been before this all sprung up.
“No, we can start even without their key info,” Simon said. He pointed to a map on the table, which Sam had redrawn with the area of interest magnified. “This is what we have so far, just a map of the general area. Lucas, Aiden, you two have been around the area a lot even beforehand, right?”
Aiden nodded. “Yeah, we have,” Lucas exclaimed. “We also searched it during the first one. Basically this area here-” he continued, pointing to a small area off to the side, “is essentially a makeshift garage, including a door that leads into the main house. I don’t remember much of the layout though, do you?” he asked his partner.
Aiden’s ears perked. “A bit. I remember that there’s a hallway right here, and a few big rooms in front. Has a giant one in the back, which is probably where they’re holding everyone. It depends on the info from Alex and Lyla once they get back.”
“Once who gets back from what now?” Lyla asked as she sauntered into the Tree. She was still limping slightly, she knew, but she was hoping that her entrance would cover most of the pain she felt. It wasn’t that it actually hurt, so to speak, but rather the fact that it was rather seemingly scratched up.
It only made her blood boil for Mia even worse.
“Oh good, you’re here. What did you find out?” Simon asked. Lyla continued her tail-waving walk as she looked over at the map. She reached out for one of Sam’s pencils, and drew a few circles.
“Right, we know they have guards here, here, and these places here. We only saw six, Alex only saw five but I saw a cat on the roof, right here. There may be more, but if there were we didn’t see any. Alex and I hid here-” Lyla said, drawing a small X on a nearby alleyway, “and they didn’t seem to notice us.”
“Right…” Simon said. He looked around to the group, and he saw small smirks and smiles abound. They were tired of waiting around, and if he had to be honest to himself, he was too. “Ok, here’s what we’re going to do. Half of us will go back here-” Simon continued, pointing to the back of the house, “- where we’ll act as backup for the main force. This is going to be where it gets a bit more…complicated.”
“How is it complicated?” Ivan said from the back. “We should just be able to show up, take back what’s ours, and leave. Nothing stopping us.”
Kevin chuckled. “Simon’s saying that they’re going to fight back. And I don’t mean NPC fight, where they can’t hit worth a damn. These are people, real ones just like you or me. There is going to be violence. And I’m not sure if we can work a distraction this time.”
“Distraction? What do you mean?” Emily said, jumping in. The Alenkans closest to her jumped a bit as they had almost forgotten she was there. Simon sighed, while a bright smile lit up Emma’s face.
“Well, the last time we needed to get somewhere, there were about thirty or so NPC’s hanging around that probably would’ve tried to kill us, or at least hurt us. So I opted to act as a distraction. One of the best fucks of my life, really,” Emma said, her face gaining a dream-like quality to it. Emily blinked in confusion.
Kevin clarified, “Yeah, she banged all of them. For…what, four or five hours? Long enough for us to get the IDM. They had almost gotten the best of her but by that time we had found the damn thing and turned them off.”
Emily’s mind turned with surprising alacrity. “There’s nothing saying we can’t. But we can’t just go in and assume they’ll act the same. But these are the kinds of people that want to overwhelm, want to show their power over other people…” Emily said.
“We aren’t just going to send in someone to be raped. We’re better than that,” Simon assured, his tone growing cold.
“It has merit, Emily, but that’s something I really think you should think more about. Who knows how many people are there, how long that would take to get everyone out,” Lyla explained. “Not to mention they’re rough as hell and don’t care if they hurt you.”
Emily sighed, but an idea came to her anyways. It was stupid, risky, and something she shouldn’t do…but something inside her screamed otherwise. She was a Knight, dammit. What was it that Knights always did, back in the Middle Ages? They were big on that chivalry thing, but it was more on the honor front. Although they probably did a lot that they shouldn’t be considered ‘honorable’.
But what did she know? This was a stupid plan she’d come up with, but maybe…just maybe…she kept the ill-thinking smirk to herself. She needed to plan, and this was probably going to hurt, and cause massive problems for everyone…or it could solve everything.
“Honestly, violence isn’t that big a deal for most of us,” Kevin assured. “I can take a punch like the best of them, and I know George over there has been in a barbarian-esque rage for the last week or so.”
The bear grinned, almost with an evil look. “Bring them on. I will show them why they should not fuck with us,” he smirked. A shiver went down Simon’s back; George was going to act like a missile, not caring what happened so long as the mission was successful. If he had to be the one to send George in, it would be a last resort. They had other options for now, but he had a startling feeling that he’d have to send George in.
“Right. Good to know. So who wants first half and who wants back half? The back half will still have to keep lookout to make sure that the first half don’t get swamped if more of them come,” Simon said.
Sam rose her hand, “I think Lyla, Emma, and I should stay in the back half. They’d recognize Lyla and that would send up dozens of red flags, and Emma and I are fairly well known. Me less so, so if you need someone in the front I can go, but I think the more recognizable we are the less we should go.”
“By that notion I should stay back too. I don’t want to though. I want to rip their heads off!” Alex growled out. The wolf’s words were slowly working the rest of them up, and Simon had to call for everyone to calm down before they could continue.
Contrary to his thoughts, it wasn’t the first entrants that had the lack of people. He was worried that most people wouldn’t want to, because they weren’t exactly the strongest of people. He’d fully admit he was a coward, but he’d still step up if he needed to. And yet it was the second half, the lookouts, that needed more people.
More and more of them volunteered for the first half, the fighters, and Simon realized that he needed to cull some of them back. “Right, this isn’t going to end well. George, stay back until they’ve cleared out the first part of the guards,” Simon asked. The bear looked at him in confusion, before understanding dawned on his face. Scowling, he nodded slowly.
“Kevin and Ivan, you two are going in first. Alex, you’re plain enough, no offense, that they probably won’t recognize you. You’re going in too. Jen…?” Simon asked. The arctic wolf looked worried for a moment, before she nodded and tried to relax.
There was something eating Simon’s brain, and Sam thought she knew what it was. “Better idea. How about we let everyone who wants to go first and everyone who wants to stay back can. None of this planning nonsense when it comes to this. We should be as aggressive as we can. This isn’t a chess game where they get the opportunity to take a move based on everyone we do,” she said. Murmurs circulated through the Alenkans.
“We get one shot. Everyone who wants to stay back, act as lookouts for those that go into the fray. We need to hit them hard, and we need to hit them fast. Just like we did with the IDM. We found the spot, and we took care of it. Same thing here. We rescue what is ours,” she continued. Nods went through the crowd.
“Alright, from now on all speeches come from you,” Simon muttered quietly. Sam giggled lightly. “Right, we attack in an hour. Everyone attacking, make sure to come from different areas so we surround them. No sense in giving them an easy out.”
Everyone nodded as they understood. And slowly, the crowd thinned out, until finally the only ones left were Simon and Sam. No one noticed that Emily had snuck out with the rest of them.