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Erratus stiffened, sweat beginning to form on his forehead in response to the inquiry. This had to be another aura wielder, and likely ten times more deadly than the old man. If trying to flee or fight had been dangerous before, now they were tantamount to suicide. He had recovered some of his strength, but it wasn’t nearly enough; he doubted he’d be able to hold his own against this man even at his peak. Impossible. His only option was to talk his way out of this.

The thief's mind raced as he sized up his options, the possible benefits or consequences of telling the truth, lying, or attempting to dodge the questions outright. However, try as he might, a suitable answer eluded him. He furrowed his brow, unsure if he would be able to bear the weight of this decision. Even attempting to think about it was heavily taxing. All this damned thinking.

In a swift motion, the thief brought the whistle concealed in his hand to his mouth and blew with as much force as he could muster, then made a mad dash for the structure’s nearest exit. Only after the deed was done did he allow himself to consider the consequences. However, it no longer mattered. The choice had been made, and now all that remained was to take the logical next step. It was a great relief for him, even if he was probably about to die.


Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:39 pm
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"I'm thankful that I met you." Emeriya attempted to pick herself up further so that she could speak eye to eye with Lucia but found herself almost immediately halted by Nadya.

"No no!" Nadya quickly scampered to Emeriya's side. "You should stay lying down." Nadya placed her hands upon Emeriya's narrow shoulders to keep her from sitting up further.

"You're still not well, you've lost quite a lot of blood and we don't know if your wound will reopen, it's best if you just rest, dear."



"But..." The young girl attempted to protest but promptly stopped herself and unhappily complied with Nadya's word once she realized the futility of any kind of outburst. Gently she lowered her head back onto her makeshift pillow and remained restlessly silent for awhile. She desperately wanted to speak with Lucia about what the both of them had seen in their dreams but she couldn't bring herself to speak up. She was nervous about what Lucia had seen in her vision and was afraid of how Lucia would react when she learned what she had seen...


_______


Erratus' quick thinking allowed him elude his interrogators but immediately following his break for freedom something incredibly unexpected happened...


Behind him Erratus could feel his enemies' aura flare up and he could make a rough estimation of how far away they were, but oddly neither of them seemed to have moved- they weren't trying to chase after him. For a brief moment it seemed like Erratus was going to escape, but then without warning, a massive wall of sand blasted Erratus' back and forced his unbalanced body to its knees. When Erratus finally recovered from being blown over he found himself completely lost in an intense sand storm which clouded his vision and pelted his skin with pieces of sand and small debris. Oddly enough the storm itself made no noise... in fact nothing was making noise anymore... Erratus was nearly blind and completely deaf and now the sources of aura he could feel earlier were gone...


For a few minutes Erratus simply stumbled about through the darkness of the sand storm and tried his hardest to navigate the labyrinth of ruins but continued to find himself lost and disoriented until something grabbed at his arms and pulled him into the cover of a building. When Erratus regained his wits and reoriented himself, he found himself inside a small stone building with Gonye of all people. Gonye was oddly quiet though and only gave Erratus a quick looking over with his eyes before he turned his attention back towards the main door which he pulled Erratus through.




______



Nero was completely dumbfounded by Emeriya and Lucia's odd connection. He had no clue how they knew each other name's and trying to figuring out a connection between the two of them was beginning to hurt his head, thankfully a distraction in the distance pulled Nero away from his fruitless thinking.

"A cloud of sand..." Nero raised his hand and pointed towards the opposite side of the ruins where the other team was searching. "I've heard about these before, they're called sand storms..."


"That's not a sand storm!" Emeriya shot up from her lying position and knocked Nadya away from her side. "Those are the others, they must have found your friends." She cried out in a hurried panic. "I came with two other hunters, they're both aura users and one of them can manipulate sand, the other can manipulate sound." Emeriya tried her hardest to get to her feet but was unable to pull herself up using her weakened arms or quivering legs.

"If they've started..." Emeriya gasped as her breathing became abnormal. "If they've... if they've started that means they have one of your friends already... One of the hunters is trying to isolate their prey with the sand storm and the other is trying to disorient them by muting the sounds of the storm and everything inside it. We have to go quickly and try and stop them!"











**Probably helps to explain that one of the hunters is creating a bubble like area within the sand storm that's basically muting everything inside it, so talking within the silenced area isn't really possible.

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Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:34 pm
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Shakily, Lucia got to her feet. As expected of her abilities, she could clearly sense the aura energy being emanated from the magical sandstorm, even before Emeriya stated the true nature of its appearance.

"We have to stop them!" she exclaimed, looking to Nero and Nadya for guidance.

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Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:51 pm
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Nero nodded in agreement with Lucia and then turned his attention to Emeriya and Nadya.

"Nadya," Nero started "Lucia and myself will go on ahead, stay here with her and-" Before Nero could finish Emeriya immediately spoke up.

"I'm not going to stay here!." Her still struggling body lurched forward and her quivering hands jolted forth and grabbed at the collar of Nero's tunic "Those two won't back down once they've started and I don't want to see anyone get hurt." She released Nero's tunic and fell to her knees before him. "Please... let me speak with them, just let me try and reason with them."


"I can't catch a break today..." Nero sighed and lowered himself onto a knee. "Get up on my back then, we'll try it your way first."






Lucia, Nadya and Nero with Emeriya on his back, made their way towards the sand storm and along the way Emeriya explained who the other two hunters were. She explained that the hunter who manipulated sand was an elderly man named Charles. She seemed to have a deep affection for Charles and describe him as a man who could easily be mistaken for a kindly grandfather. The other hunter according to her was hot headed man named Raime who could manipulate sound. Emeriya explained that Charles and Raime generally worked together when pursuing intruders or targets of interest because of their synergy and what they were doing now was a tried and tested strategy. Charles would use massive amounts of aura to create a sand storm whilst Raime would use his power to mute a small area around him within the storm so that no calls for help could escape. Charles would be largely immobile during this period due to how much concentration and aura was needed to manipulated so much sand and so Raime would do most of the fighting until the target was either too exhausted to run or completely immobilized after being silently harassed through the storm. Once the target was cornered Charles would shrink the storm or completely remove it to help with the capture.


By the time Emeriya had finished explaining her allies' tactics to the group they had arrived at the edge of thundering sand storm.

"If at any point you lose the ability to hear it means you've wandered close to Raime." Emeriya warned as she looked deep into the storm. "Raime uses explosives as his weapon of choice and will do his best to keep his distance from you."


Nero uneasily looked into the storm and then tried to judge its size from where he was now and what he had seen earlier. "We don't know how much time they have in there and the ruins will only make it harder for us to move without losing one another..." Nero began to worry about just how fast the four of them could move through the storm without becoming separated but then quickly thought of a solution to his problem.

"Lucia!" He turned quickly on his heels and almost tossed Emeriya from his back. "Your threads, do you have any thick threads you could tie us together with!?"

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Wed Feb 17, 2016 3:26 am
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Rummaging through her bag, Lucia grabbed the long strand of magically crafted sand string that she had been working on earlier in the day. In truth, she was quite surprised that it had come to use already. She each of them a length of the string, ensuring that they were securely fastened before they ventured into the raging sandstorm. Taking a deep breath, she nodded resolutely:

"Alright, everyone is secured" she looked to Nero for further guidance, though her eyes drifted towards Emeriya to read the girl's expression. Hopefully all was not lost.

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Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:15 pm
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Inside the ruined structure both Gonye and Erratus were forced to simply sit and wait. Unable to speak, unable to hear, and barely able to see... neither of them were in a position to fight, but as the pair remained stationary and anxiously watched the narrow doorway to the outside world they began to feel a slight rumble run through their bodies. At first the rumbling seemed brief and distant, but as time continued on the rumbles became waves and the briefness of their occurrence became almost as common as the passing of a second.

The tremendous waves set upon Gonye's heart like a drum and whatever anxiety he was feeling before was becoming greater. To him it felt like something massive was creeping closer and was soon about to set itself upon them, but without sound or sight he could not fathom what was coming and because of the nature of these shock waves he was unable to tell where they were coming from... in fact it felt as if they were all around him as if multiple great giants were stomping about him restlessly... and then it dawned on him.


Gonye's eye grew wide and his mouth flew open as he turned to try and futilely warn Erratus of what he had only just realized.

Abruptly the wall to both Gonye and Erratus' side tore open in a massive blast and sprayed the two with rock and stone shrapnel. The ceaseless desert sands followed into the breach without missing a beat and created sand storm like conditions within what was left of the structure.

Erratus had been pushed off balance and fell onto the opposite wall as the explosion tore into the side of the building. A bit of shrapnel had slashed across his skin and lightly embedded itself into his arms and legs but besides that he had suffered no serious injury. Gonye was in much the same condition, though he had suffered one slightly more serious injury. A half meter long splinter of wood had shot into Gonye's left shoulder and implanted itself half a dozen centimeters deep. Gonye was quick to grab at the piece of fragmented support beam and yank it from his shoulder before tossing it away in a fit of rage and irritation. Blood quickly began to rush forth from the wound and soak his blouse and grey coat and in response Gonye clutched at the wound with his opposite hand. Arduously, Gonye worked himself back onto his feet and tried his hardest to look through the new hole in their hiding place. He knew now that whoever was outside was randomly loosing bombs to try and lure out his prey and so in his mind he was certain that staying put was the smartest decision, though something in his gut told him otherwise.


Gonye moved towards the corner Erratus had been tossed into and pulled him to his feet by the wrist. He was unable to speak still, but he wanted badly to tell Erratus that they should run and perhaps try and find a way out of the storm. But as Gonye prepared to point towards the door and try and motion some kind of running gesture a fist sized pot arced through the window and shattered against the wall directly behind Erratus. In a brilliant burst of hot, yellow, flames the pot exploded and filled the room momentarily with fire. In the same moment, Erratus felt Gonye pull him by his wrist and toss him towards the door of the structure so as to avoid him being incinerated. Erratus stumbled out the near doorway after being flung from the wall and moments later Gonye came tumbling out after him with the back of his coat on fire. Gonye was quick to rip away his coat and toss it to the ground once he had made it outside but despite his speed he still suffered fairly minor burns along his back.


Through the spiraling sands of the storm Gonye and Erratus could barely see each other despite being only a few arm lengths away, yet somehow in the near distance they could see the shadow of a man slowly approaching them.


______

(insert kiki post here that is coming soon but isn't overly important because she isn't here)

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Thu Mar 03, 2016 4:56 pm
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