The team decides to begin working on the escape device, and consult the cat/Mr Johnson. Much to their disappointment, they are not actually building a spaceship, but merely a sub-orbital launcher and some small hoverpods to hold them in the upper atmosphere until they can get snagged by the stealth craft that the Johnson has waiting.
Scrounge is resting up somewhere after his grueling time in the pits. RH is still tied up, coming down from his Kamikaze rage. Asp knocks him ot every once in a while until he finally regains composure. The he is set free. The team begins working, K is levitating tools and objects while Ivan directs and HCB fiddles. Asp is providing backrubs and home cooking. Scrounge wanders off somewhere invisible again. RH decides to take care of external security, and promptly steps on some leftover poison cake and sends himself into a hemmoraghic fever. Scrounge reappears and agrees to help Asp get RH to Winternight to heal him up (as they are rumored to know about poison), while the rest of the team keeps working on the devices. They work only during the night while the Vory crew is gone, and head their progress during the days.
Asp, RH and Scrounge travel to the Winternight farm, healing RH both magically and with 1st aid after each bad bout of poison induced vomiting that he suffers. He is alive, but barely cognizant. He mumbles that whatever happens, they can’t let Mimir take his horns in trade for healing. They reach Wodan who ignores them until one of his ravens whispers something in his ear, and they are once again guided in by Ratatosk thru realms of fire, ice, and stranger things to Loki’s shining hall of lies. As Asp touches the door, the illusion fades and they find themselves on a normal prison farm, confronting a mundane brick building. Asp still is sure that he saw Lefty and Heather palying fetch off in the ice realm, though.
Loki agrees that WN will help RH in return for Asp’s assurances that the Copland raid is on, and will go down soon. Scrounge has left them behind somewhere along the line, seemingly not wanting to get involved with these weirdos. Asp RH down into Mimir’s well, and then climbs down the rope and hauls RH to the end of the cavern, where he finds Mimir waiting. Mimir asks Asp what he will trade, and Asp tells him that he doesn’t want anything done to himself, so Mimir can take anything from RH that he wants. Mimir asks waht RH values most, and Asp tells Mimir that RH specifically requested to keep his horns. Mimir chuckles and tells Asp he can leave while he operates.
Asp returns to find RH shorn of his horns, and bleeding from the stumps. However, the poison appears to have been cleansed from his body. They return towards the factory, and Scrounge rejoins them on the way. RH is having an identity crisis, as he is both scarred and de-horned, as well as having shamed Heliopolis’ royal guard during the bank heist. Very sad. They return to the prison and help put the finishing touches on the escape devices, while K and Scrounge scout Copland. They hide the components and estimate how long it will take to assemble and launch. K and Scrounge return and deliver their report, and the team sets up their plan.
HCB goes off to let WN know that they are ready, but sprains his ankle on the way while trying to run, so the plan gets delayed a day. WN and HCB agree on a meeting point and time to begin the assualt. HCB returns to the team, and they head out as the sun is setting, smuggling the cat under a blanket so the Vory workers don’t see it. Scrounge stays behind to guard the factory. HCB notices a conspicuous new hill by the meeting spot, and approaches. A rock swings aside on the hillside, and he is beckoned inward. He crawls through and sees the WN guys all wearing warpaint and operating what appears to be a Da Vinci style tank driven by multiple modified bicycles. He is offered a drinking vessel along with a chant of “skol!” He notices the vessel is an emptied out skull with the orifices sealed. He sips a little, but they insist he drink it all. He does so, and feels somewhat woozy, but they tell him that it will clear out his nano-trackers.
He calls for the rest of the team to enter, and they each in turn drink the brew. Ivan is the only one who feels better afterwards. Most of them refuse to pedal as the strange craft begins to move. The team notices that the interior walls of the “hill” have an image of roiling seas, as if they were in a longboat. They are duly impressed by WN’s bizaare use of active camo and sim. After a while, Loki announces their arrival. K and Asp head out first to deal with the guard towers. WN seems impatient, but Ivan convinces them to hold back for now. K casts invisibility and leviatate on both Asp and himself, and they zip around the guard towers, rapidly eliminating all four with no difficulty. Asp knocks each guard unconscious after paralyzing them, and K executes them afterward, although he waits until Asp is safely out of sight before doing so after Asp is horrified by K’s point blank execution of the first guard. Blood splashes on Asp’s face, as usual, on this first occasion. It seems he can never incapacitate someone peacefully anymore. The guards are all prisoners assigned to Copland, and are all carrying bolt action rifles. K abandons Asp on the roof of the main Copland building when Asp starts whining about not needing to kill people, and goes off to scout the inside a little more before he brings everyone in.
Asp decides to get down off the roof, but first strips off his coveralls, as they are rather bright. He almost gets noticed, and the rest of the team briefly panics as a spotlight plays across the roof, but he manages to dive out of the light just in time and jump down from the roof without injury. He approaches the fence where Ivan, RH, and HCB are now waiting, and ko’s one more prisoner in a field on the way. Ivan and RH have noticed (thanks to them remembering to bring a voltometer) that the inner of the two security fences has a faint electrical signal flowing thru it, probably an alarm rather than a shock device. K can’t find any way to turn it off, but he does get a better idea of the layout, seeing four prisoners playing some sort of game on an athletic field to the east of the main building, and assensing a building full of well-prepared inmates who seem to know they are coming to the west. He is so afraid he refuses to verify the presence of these inmates, despite Ivan’s repeated requests to do so.
K returns to the north fence, and lifts everyone over, including the WN dudes, who got tired of waiting and came up front to see what the hold up was. They all go running off in three groups. The team all sticks with the center group, headed for the main building. They all also rmove their coveralls, and are all naked except for their armor. Asp reaches it well ahead of everyone else, and sprints thru the halls, looking for the access to the secure complex. He barely avoids detection by a prisoner with his back to him down a side hall, and decides to be more careful. He enters a trid lounge by a serious looking security door at the south end of the building, and decides that secrecy justifies homicide in this case, so he kills the two prisoners in the lounge. A man emerges from a nearby office to see what the commotion was (Asp is quiet, but not that quiet), and quickly dives back inside. Asp enters the office, avoiding a shotgun blast, and quickly dispatches the third prisoner as well.
Outside, the WN guys are now running all out and hollering a terrible battle cry towards the heavens. Whenever they see other inmates, they chuck some spheres at them which shatter on impact, releasing a purplish gas. K goes off to the east to help the WN dudes who went that way take care of the athletes. The main group enters the main building with the team, and begins looting and pillaging. The team heads down the hall, with HCB taking the lead, after all putting on their gas masks. HCB encounters the inmate that Asp bypassed in the throes of a terrible convulsion. His blood seems to be crystalizing in response to the poison that WN unleashed. HCB finishes him off, although he completely misses with his first swing. Luckily no one is watching to mock his poor aim. He checks the east and west halls, but finds they both lead back outside, where WN seems to have things under control. No one has yet emerged from the building to the west that K was so sure was full of guards.
Ivan advances towards the serious looking door at the end of the hall, and is set upon by a prisoner with a doctor’s gard using cleaver. He is lightly injured, but the doc is quickly eliminated by the cat and HCB, who unloads some rounds from the FN-HAR he appropriated from Humanis. At this point, they can all hear alarms going off in the building. Ivan begins examining the door, and trashing the nearby medical facility and office to try to find a way to open it. K rejoins them and tells them that the guys on the field are all dead from the poison the WN unleashed in concert with K’s spellcraft. The door suddenly begins to open, and the team takes up defensive positions around it. Asp hides under the bed in a side room off of the office of the last man he had killed. K ducks into the doctor’s office with HCB. Ivan, the cat, and RH take up positions in the trid lounge.
Next up, what will come thru that door?