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MARK: Vorpal Bunny
(2013-11-05 - Now)
No description.
Arthur Drover Agrabah Marketplace is a bustling locale. It has become moreso since the advent of the fall into darkness, not less. People come a long way to ply their wares in the world of Arabian Nights. Gossip is a commodity like any other. A man, dressed in a light silk cloak over his usual blue cotton clothing, talks to a merchant animatedly.

"No, no, we're not here to hunt the giant whale with a belly made up of a thousand mewling goats, who roams the sands and screams in the night. We're here for a rabbit."

A rack of lean creatures, all skinned and dried, is shoved toward him, from multiple directions. "No, not a desert hare. White! Many ears! Flying, yes everything flies out here."

A small gyrocopter, a flying metallic insect, and a sword with a dragonfly hilt are all shoved his way. "No, not these. Sorry, yes, good day."

It's not working. Arthur reaches into a belt pouch and throws something that makes a convincing "clink" sound as it hits the packed hard earth of the marketplace. People scuttle and bustle in circles, grabbing up coins.

Wiping sweat from his brow, the older merchant hustles away before anyone realizes the "coins" are bits of chunk bronze, of little use but convincingly metallic. Not a denari wasted here.

Seeking to join up with the rest of the party, the canny tracker peers into alleyways and looks under upturned baskets.

"I'm beginning to think this place has rumours no other place has, but whether the subjects actually exist seems less likely than in our worlds..."

Taking off his cloth cap to mop his bald spot, Arthur adjusts the pack of arrows and the sheaf of maps slung over his shoulder. He's travelling light, and looks every bit the traveling merchant. However, several urchins seeking a quick dollar have regretted searching his pockets today. Poverty was a familiar problem, and a few beggar bowls are fuller (some with soup), but there was something else on his mind.

The beast was rare, to see it up close would be invaluable. And he was willing to pay the skilled Mark Hunters of his acquaintance, for the privilege.
Kyra Hyral Something odd has happened today for Arthur Drover. His lovely VALKYRI assistants are, in fact, not with him! Strange how they all seemed to be elsewhere-perhaps as backlash to the whole Water Crystal thing? If pressed, he might be told that they didn't want to get him in trouble.

Well, more trouble.

So who comes to their rescue? ALEXANDER ACADEMY, of course! There is nothing more reliable than a bunch of gifted teenagers out to make a munny. With him today is the white mage/chemist known as Kyra Hyral. Perhaps uncomfortably, she looks like somewhat of a punk, piercings and all. Kyra is also clearly pretty enthusiastic.

"Heh, you never know! There really could be a whale made out of goats out there. This doesn't seem to be getting us any closer to our mark though."
Arthur Drover Any Baron soldiers coming into Heart's Desire wouldn't have a great time. Only Arthur Drover knows the secret of Brahne's Mithril Corsetry - no other artisan can keep her true even more horrifying shape under wraps. There would be a war. But VALKYRI is nothing if not considerate, and the man is faintly grateful. He may be executing meetings with Avira and her ilk in secret, including checking on Maira's convalescence. "Patience first, girl."

Her appearance doesn't spark any particular unease in Drover, he's had kids, rebellion takes all forms - but the Alexander Academy crew doesn't yet inspire the same confidence in him that Shego, Shadow, and the VALKYRI crew have when he hired them in the past. "You know the old adage, a hunter shouldn't search. He - or she - should wait. Stop and look at this place."

The smith leans up against a building wall, quickly, arms folded across his chest and inviting her to do the same, be a coolkid - he feels the cooler shaded stones of a decrepit building against his back. "Look at this place. See the bustle in the street? Those are people, sure, but they're also mycelium."

Arthur throws a gold coin into the street, a real piece of munny this time. A few people smile in his direction then pounce like wolves, having sized him up to consider going after the purse rather than the coin and calculated he wasn't worth the reward.

After some minor elbowing, ownership of the coin is resolved.

"A city isn't just a city, it's a jungle. People aren't just people, they're a mob and a mushroom. What happens in one part of the organism spreads like wildfire. Did you have a granny?" He asks the question carefully, a lot of orphans around these days. "If I put a toe out of line as a kid, my granny would know in five minutes and I would get a stern talking to at home. The news would beat me home. When there is a monster in the sewers of my city, it sends ripples up and I find out before it has eaten more than two thirds of a person. Cities are alive, you know that - you look like you've been around." He nods at the piercings, the hair, the general package, still smiling.

"If this thing shows up, unless it is extremely good at hiding, the people will stir. They might keep it secret since it is exotic and they want to keep a munny in their own pocket - but watch the eyes, watch the whispers. Learn to love people for how easy they are to read when they try to be hard to read."

Arthur takes his belt from his knife - mithril so thin it looks like transparent glass. He scores a small incised rune, like an hourglass, into the wall behind him. "And always mark the places you've already searched. If they know we're looking, they'll be looking too. Look for the smoke. Your eyes are sharper than mine, your reflexes faster, I'm counting on you lot."

The city moves, wind washes through, the eternal marketplace goes on, poverty under it, the palace in the distance, and somewhere, a faint ticking.
Kyra Hyral Granted, Kyra is no hunter. That was a set of skills that she herself had not cultivated or trained. There was only so much she deigned to absorb and she had arranged for most of the absorption to be SCIENCE.

"So we aren't going to ask more..uh...trustworthy-looking people?" What goes unvoiced is that Kyra is having difficulty figuring out who here is trustworthy. Or /if/ anyone here is trustworthy. Everyone that crosses her path, save for the smallest of children, don't strike her as the types to help out a strapped adventurer. Case in point, Arthur flings a coin into the street after Kyra has leaned herself against the wall and stuffed her hands in the front pocket of her hoodie.

"I had a gramma." Kyra says with a hint of bitterness, "And a dozen aunts an' uncles."

Suddenly Kyra becomes really, really quiet, staring ahead of her. She looks...irritated, as if something in Arthur's words really struck an unpleasant chord within her. "...yeah." she eventually drawls, "I came from a big city with monsters in the sewers."

Kyra looks up now, not turning her eyes to Arthur, but out toward the crowd as people go about their business in the marketplace. She watches, giving no reaction to those who realize that they're being watched. A stretch of time passes.
Myla Mason Myla Mason is along with this merry little band of people. She's not sure what to think of Arthur yet herself but so long as he doesn't screw job them on pay she'll have no complaints. She does seem a bit uncomfotable given where they are, it's not the company it's being so far from the regions of the world she knows well. She is following with Kyra and tilts her head at the other for a moment before replying.

"I had enough relative to crew a large ship on family alone."

She notesd sounding pride and she nos "We tended to be always on the water but think I get what your getting at."
Arthur Drover "No. There are no more trustworthy people. The guards will brush us off, and the alley seers demand prices we can't pay." He follows her gaze, looking over the children milling. "We have these problems at home. We're improving them. I might have to send some of my apprentices here. This marketplace could use the right influence. Some of these kids could use jobs pumping bellows, and we know there's enough coin where we come from." He sighs, stretching against the wall. "We can't solve every problem, but we can solve the one in front of us. What are your offensive capabilities, girl?"

Arthur parts company from the wall, and turns down a nearby alleyway, away from the marketplace. "We just have to hunt, the word was it was in the alleyways, so now we'll go there. It can't be that dangerous."

He keeps one hand on the belt knife, now that they're off the main street. The sand here is little disturbed. This rack of blind alleys is often traversed above, people of Agrabah think nothing of leaping across rooftops or sliding along line bridges between their windows. It was not so uncommon to see that in Alexandria too. The occasional mouse, lizard - and once a monkey - breaks the monotony.

"Good. But that's more general, I think we'll have to track. Look for anything odd or out of place. The creature is powerful, very fast, very unusual. It has a magical signature, so if you can detect that, it'll help. I can't - I need sigils, bound magic. My workshop, no problem. I don't have time to rebuild this city in a way that would let me find magical sources, though if you get me close to it I can get its nature and point us at it."

He moves somewhat slowly, perhaps exaggeratedly so, as if cushioning his bones. The bow case on his back remains closed. Now and then he etches something in a stone and places it next to a building wall, marking their progress.

"Do you hunt Marks a lot? A friend of mine does, but I've been issued more often than worker."
Kyra Hyral "Kyra Hyral." She interupts him, "Call me that, not 'girl' would you?" She would have been commenting about the age of children and putting them to work until that little chesnut came up. Her thoughts on child labor will have to wait until another day when faced with a society that had not reached the same stage of Galianda. "Chemical and biological warfare are my specialties. I also know some offensive white magic but I tend to reserve that for only truly dire situations because it's a little /wild/."

Pushing off the wall, she follows after him. He'll notice that she's pulled something out from underneath her hoodie-a needlegun. There are also a few vials held between her fingers containing a pale yellow liquid. "A magical signature, you say? I could track that...if I knew what this magical signature was beforehand."

She sucks in a deep breath. "But an innately magical thing, I should be able to sense it amongst a sufficient amount of non-magical things."

In fact, as they walk, she seems to be doing just that-casting out her innate magical abilities to detect magic in kind. "I wouldn't say a lot, but I do it often enough. Usually there are more people with me. A team even. Not just Myla and I but tanks and destroyers to compliment the healers."
Myla Mason Myla Mason says "Seers tend to be cryptic at best. As for monster problems we turned to magi tech drones to scour the under city in Kara A Din where I grew up. Sure there were some but the population was never a threat.."

She follows along and is now wondering just waht they will be seeking other than creature s rather powerful.

"So powerful, fast and likely loads of magic. I can kinda of but it ends to be in my face when I do. Sometimes I do, I need the gil after all."

"Also the name's Myla Mason."

AT the comment on chemical and biological warfare Myla almost blurts out something about cooking. Thankfully she does not do such a thing.

"We tend to keep things in a group, it's how we were trained at school."
Arthur Drover "Good skills. Probably wrong to apply them in a populated area, especially white magic." His smile is only a little patronizing, the older man keeping pace with the two women.

She mentions her ability to sense the innately magical. An answer does come to Kyra's senses. Arthur smirks but files the name - falling in step behind her, allowing her to be the guide. There is a false start involving an old woman's shop and a few items with fake magical auras, to trap tourists. An old man is magical for some reason, but he vanishes when they look away. He is not a rabbit.

"Nice to meet you, Kyra, Myla. Well, if we do the job, you'll get the pay. Plus hourly for keeping me safe out here. I'm a respected and noble merchant, after all." A protracted wink. "I usually work alone, except on these official missions. So I'll leave team tactics to you. Let's check the next house." They carry on in this way for some exhausting time, subjected to grit and sweat. Eventually the dysfunctional little group comesto a place with a ticking sound echoing from building to building above the thin sand, and the sound of footfalls.

Patience and walking are rewarded. There is a flit of white in the alley ahead, vanishing out of sight.

The dagger flies overhand almost a second later, which is far too late. It is gone. Arthur's hand is still poised in a practiced throwing motion. The knife itself, which came nowhere near the furry retreating white behind, buries itself in the wall up to the hilt - seamlessly as if striking butter. And it stays there.

Drover runs up to it, laying hands on the weapon and yanking it out of the wall with a stone-cracking wrench. By now, whatever it was is vanishing out of sight. "Mark." he says. The thing's footprints vanish in moments, as if they were somehow /faster/ than everything else.

But this doesn't match the accounts ... the rabbit is supposed to be a flying creature, and what was that flash of red? Had it been wounded?

The synthesist takes a moment to steel himself. He takes a deep breath in through his mouth, then breathes out through his nose - fighting adrenaline, the hunt is on. The dagger falls back into its sheath, and the bow comes out. The ladies might already be pursuing, but Arthur doesn't break his policy. He doesn't run. He famously doesn't run.
Kyra Hyral Hunting around turns up a few interesting things, it seems. Fake magical items-yep, Kyra's familiar with these kind of pranks too, actually. Forgery was something they taught the thief types. Magical forgery was one of the advanced skills. That old man, though...

...pity he's gone before she could do much about it. It leaves her a feeling of unease.

Being in the lead also feels pretty awkward to Kyra. She's not used to that at all and typically takes a back row position on missions. It gives her a very uneasy feeling. But her magical senses do not lead them astray and she finds herself peering down an alleyway. There is a flash of white.

A dart embeds itself in the sand where it had once been. Kyra lowers her needlegun. "Damn." She notes the footprints disappearing with interest. "Doesn't this vorpal rabbit fly? Why is it leaving footprints?"

She gives chase nonetheless. She's young, she can sprint. For a little while at least.
Myla Mason Myla Mason says "Sounds fair to me. Right then." She blows a blue strand of hair out of her eyes as she listen figured out what she's going to do... then somesthing comes. She goes for her pistols even as Arthur makes his throw she moves squfly to follow it up.

"I have no idea on that Kyra but we can use swimmer to track it hopefully."

She bolts after the mark with Kyra hopefully they wll be able to keep up with it.
Arthur Drover They are more able than Arthur. He plods away, pausing to check the footprints for the few seconds he can. The women find it taking them on a roving circular route through Agrabah's alleyways. A few women hanging out the wash above, are shocked to see the rapid procession of the pair through the city and their weapons drawn as well. Drover can follow THEIR footprints easily enough. The chase takes a right, then a left, then three more lefts, then a right. They manage to see a lot more of it than Drover was able to: it has a little coat. It is indeed a bunny. It carries something shiny.

It is about ten minutes until Arthur, slow as he is - sees the other three coming the /other way/ toward him.

It has a little ruff, and it lets out its first exclamation at seeing the older man in its way.


Arthur politely steps up against the wall, but he doesn't nock an arrow, the girls might be faster. But they might decline to shoot because it apparently knows how to speak.

"That is NOT the vorpal rabbit."

It is carrying a watch. The watch is ticking. When Kyra attempts to sense the watch, from this close up, she detects her OWN magic, as if she were peering into a mirror. Arthur's eyes have followed the watch ever since he hunkered against the wall.

He pulls something from his pocket, a small gold bottle, and holds it up.

It is shaking in his hand.

His mouth goes wide at about the moment the rabbit seems to find a hole in the wall, and slam it open (it has a little wooden door, of course).

On them other side of the door, Traverse Town is visible.

0Traverse town is visible.

0The rabbit can bridge the worlds...] and it is prepared to leap through the door.
Kyra Hyral It's not the vorpal rabbit. But it is a rabbit and Kyra chases it nonetheless. Can it really be considered a chase if Kyra's not shooting at it or attempting to subdue it, though?

"No it's not." Kyra agrees, reconvening with Arthur, watching the white rabbit rush off with curiosity. After a certain point, she does stop running and merely observes the creature pull out a potion.

That really gets Kyra's attention and she watches as he threatens to drink it. Tempting as it was, though, Kyra is not curious enough to continue following. It clearly was hopping between dimensions and winding up in Traverse Town right now would just be an inconvenience.
Arthur Drover No, it's Arthur with the potion, sorry. The creature has a watch. It leaps through the gate and slams the door behind it. Something about the creature made Arthur's phial of elixir /shake/. That shouldn't be possible. "The watch... reacts to Light. Nothing reacts to Light."

Drover completely missed that the thing could dimension-hop, but it was enough to know that it had reacted. "The rumours had some truth to them after all. Pity, a Viera will be very sad, that we couldn't get her the tail."
Myla Mason Myla Mason is moving qucik, Myla's pretty quick on her feet as she bolts along after the mark She does not fire hwr pistols however. She's forced to holster them to keep her hands fre while running. She contiuens witha good deal of grace as she avoids things that get in her way. What she was not expecting ios this bunny.

"No that is no Vorpal rabbit at all!"

She's almost there but the bunny has made a breach.

"How is he doing that..."

she's still following however should she leap though. She's almost got a mind to tackle it but that could go terribly bad...

This scene contained 15 poses. The players who were present were: Myla Mason, Kyra Hyral, Arthur Drover