Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Laufey's Treasure - Chapter 19

Construct projections! It made so much sense to Laufey once he approached the guard inspecting the long dead soldier and his jaunty movements. Anke watched him as he observed the agent, looking the image over, mesmerized by it's resolution and rendering. He would never of expected the subterfuge had he not gotten close. Only now could he see how dated the technology was. Turning back to them all, he looked between them, wondering what he should do next. As his eyes scanned each of them, they fell to Geira.

"You," he pointed. "Crack this image and disable it."

"Ragna," he added, "go and find out where on the map we go in." Reaching into his pocket, he extracted the construct map and tossed the rugged vintage cylinder to his sister.

"There still might be a trap," he grumbled, crouching down and looking over the edge of the compound.

At his feet in the sand, he dug around until he found a small stone. When he found one he hurled it towards the building to see what happened. Harmlessly the rock clanged against the exterior of the building. As he did this Ragna had opened up the map, isolating the front entry way. Kaupi and Keli followed Kaun onto the sandy dunes, crawling on their hands and feet covertly. So routine, so mundane, Laufey thought. It had been too easy.

"This doesn't feel right," he murmured, keeping his eyes on the triplets as they edged closer.

"Very observant," Geira said, and she busily worked on her virtual construct station. "I thought the same thing before we got into this whole mess."

Laufey could not help but express his disdain.

"Why would some creature kidnap Amma," Laufey speculated, "when all of this was just simple tricks?"

"Maybe daemons are as stupid as we are," Geira murmured under her breath. Laufey sighed in exasperation and looked back at the triplets once more.

A small brown rabbit hopped along them, hidden on the other side of the dune. The children didn't seem to notice, only Laufey. He squinted, trying to follow the creature, hoping to see where it went. As it veered off to the left, towards the compound he stood up and held his breath. Kaupi let out a loud cry of laughter, causing the rabbit to dart towards the facility, when a large beam of energy exploded from the door. The boys shrieked, rolling away from the building, and when the dust settled there was no more rabbit, nothing at all.

Ragna and Geira froze, huddled around Anke, who all the while was looking over Geira's shoulder until the blast errupted. Laufey grew tense, anxious.

"Alright, Geira. Let's see what you have, shall we?" Laufey said, whispering. Geira blinked then, as if coming back to reality, began to frown. She expanded her construct window once more and looked over the edge of the projection, pressing a final key. The projection faded, the charade was over.

"So," Anke began, quaking with anger, "you got me to come along on this crusade... I'm not one to hold a grudge or think less of you either."

He paused, glancing a moment at Laufey.

"So why is there a battle bot, at the front?"

Laufey craned his neck, to observe the machine. It was an old one, still watchful and on guard after centuries. All the projections now vanished, Laufey could see that their prize laid on the other side of the main blast doors at the front of the desecrated compound. The silver exterior had faded to an orange hue. The scent of oxidation became all the more apparent.

"So there's a battle bot," Laufey replied. What of it?"

"Well, Sigmundur's boys were nearly killed." Anke retorted harshly, his voice a shrill whisper. "What do we do now?"

Laufey had anticipated this, though what was to come he dreaded. Glancing at Ragna, he pulled out his construct wand and cycled it on.

"What we talked about," he began in a slow calm voice. "Are you ready?"

Ragna bit her lip, her attention returning to the battle bot, which shuffled stiffly on it's iron haunches. Grabbing her own construct wand, a large sword and shield materialized around her.

"Yup, let's get this over with."

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