Nov 27, 2022 4:52 AM
gazette in survivorverse
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It's a fairly long conversation, and the machine only translates the Smith's side of it, but she can hear an electronic crackle from the machine anyway.

("Sir. I'm slightly disappointed you didn't evacuate as soon as you called.")

"I didn't think you'd be there, Sandor, unless I came alone."

("I might have had more help than you were expecting.")

"Son, if you want to fight the Atlantic Six, you know where to find us."

(A laugh. "Is Veritas with you?")

"Near enough, if you want to talk to her."

("I simply wanted to be sure she was listening. Well, Lowell, if you are - I give you my word the Curator and her brother were no plan of mine.")

"Thank you, Sandor. Very generous of you. Do you know where they are from?"

("Only speculation.")

"Well, -"

("Sir?")

"Yes, Sandor?"

("Check.")

And that's when there's a very, very large explosion a significant distance off, loud enough to break all the glass in all the windows in the library.

Kybele's response?

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It is to seize her brother with slightly superhuman reaction time and pull him with her under the table. Her hat stays on during this process.

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"My ship -"

The glass in the library goes inwards for a moment and then freezes like it hit a lot of walls. She can see a shimmering distortion by the windows -

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The Survivor is out the door. He moves fast; the door is slammed off its hinges and he's almost flying as he runs, his feet cracking the asphalt in the street where they land.

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And the Smith has one of his gadgets in his hand, glances at it - "He's not here." He returns it, raises his voice "- All right, check and see if anyone was hurt by the glass -"

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"Is it safe to come out from under the table now?"

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The glass is now back in all the windows; it's still a web of cracks, but it's a web of cracks that's been put back together, and it can be replaced later. "Yes."

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Out they come.

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Iskander goes back to the printer and gets her the stack of paper she borrowed earlier and shoves it into her hands. "Do you remember how the armor design went or do I need to draw it for you over again?"

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"I remember how it was put together. If you have strong opinions on the color scheme you will have to remind me." She starts - magically origami-ing - the paper into armor.

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"Oh that's fascinating," says the Smith - "Can you help us with search and rescue? We need to make sure nobody was hurt."

His tone goes grimmer. "Anyone else. Sandor..." he shakes his head.

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"I have never done search and rescue. I run a newspaper and a library." Fold fold fold.

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"Understood," he says. Then a quick smile "- Be right back."

And the Atlantic Six pay attention to the urgent work of making sure nobody is about to die.

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Ky finishes up her armor.

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And the dust from the explosion settles, and after she's been sitting tight a bit, the Smith comes back.

"One dead," he says. "No injuries that need transport out."

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"Why did he do that?"

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"His teammate the Gorgon Queen can control minds. She told someone to get as close he could to our plane, then set off a bomb the Tyrant gave him. I don't know who."

There wasn't enough of a body for that.

"It slows us down. That's all."

It buys Sandor time for whatever his plan is. How did he go this wrong?

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"Is there a way to be sure she didn't do that to me? - I guess I don't even know if the woman I met was her but."

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"What is a plane?"

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"She can only control one person at a time, and she needs to meet their eyes to do it. You're safe."

And, to Iskander, "Flying machine."

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"Whoa."

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"Well, if he actually wanted me to make an attempt to give the translator back to him he's made that rather fraught."

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"- I think that Sandor was not expecting you to give the translator back."

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"He wanted me to owe him a favor, and more of one if the translator didn't find its way back to him."

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"I think that you can owe him a favor, and still try to stop him when he tries to murder people."

He pauses.

"Walk with me?"

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