Vaarsuvius/Ciaphas Cain (Part 5)

It hadn't taken long to find a Vox Unit. It just took awhile to actually get it working. It wasn't until Jurgen kicked it violently, as per the Cult of the Machine's usual rituals, that the radio set hummed to life and he was able to get a signal out. The odorous Guardsman requested a Chimera Armored Personel Carrier to come pick him and the Commissar, and asked in his usual blunt and uncouth manner that fresh reinforcements be sent to hold the line. The officer on the other end had informed him that they had no Chimeras or troops to spare, and he was frak out of luck. Cain was not happy to hear this, nor was he in the mood to deal with it.

Wrenching the Vox from his aide, the Commissar had proclaimed (with just enough "anger" in his voice to probably shave a few years off the officer's life) that he was Commissar Ciaphas Cain, Hero of the Imperium, and that he'd not only held the line, but he'd managed to capture an live Eldar. After a small whimper and several moments of silence, the officer rerouted Cain through several command channels. After listening to several people of various ranks debate amongst themselves on a variety of channels, Commissar Cain was eventually informed that he'd have a Chimera full of Storm Troopers within the hour.

"I'm quite the bargaining chip, aren't I?" V quiped with a mixture of sarcasm, venom, and unadmitted pride. She found it a bit silly that everything changed at the mentioning that she was something she was not. It insulted her that she had to be treated a prisoner, and no one wanted to let her know why. But while she wouldn't admit it, part of her did enjoy the fact that everyone made such a fuss about her. Sure, it would probably cause her a lot of trouble and annoyance in the near future, but it was nice to be recognized for her powers and abilities. It stroked her ego, which was in dire need of love after everything she'd endured over the last few months.

"I'm sorry, but that is how it appears to be…" Cain sighed. "But the only way you'll be able to make any sort of contact with Amberley is if we perform this charade, and convincingly. My apologies for any insult, Miss… I'm sorry, I'm not sure I caught your name…" the Commissar smiled sheepishly, slightly embarassed that he'd forgotten such a basic thing as asking what her name was. Then again, it wasn't every day you got to share small talk with a FRAKKING XENO SORCERESS. But Cain tried not to think about that - he wasn't in the mood for a stroke.

"Vaarsuvius," V replied pridefully, tilting her head back and closing her eyes as a smirk crossed her face. She was really enjoying the attention, and the fact that something as simple as her name was a big deal made her quite proud of herself. Of course, she was inspiring a bit more than awe in the two men in front of her. Since her eyes were shut, V missed the expression on Cain's face as he struggled not to be enthralled by her alluring voice receiting such a beautiful name, nor did she see Jurgen's eyes light up and a small tinge of color appear on his muddy cheeks. "Master of the Arcane, Violator of the Laws of Physics, and Wizard for the Order of the Stick." A sudden thought crossed her mind, which slightly dimmed her happy mood. What was the Order up to right now, without her?

—-

"Okay folks, One more time. There's gotta be something we missed…" Roy sighed, looking around the campfire at the rest of the Order. He then placed his finger on a clipboard he'd scribbled notes on. They'd been discussing V's dissappearance for almost an hour, and they'd gone over every detail repeatedly. But they were missing something. Roy could feel it. So, they were going over everything once again. "V didn't cast any spells, right?"

"Aye," Durkon nodded. "She was just sittin' there, and she looked like he was about to make a joke."

"So not only is the group split, again, but I also missed a chance to make fun of the elf having a sucky sense of humor?" Belkar growled in frustration. All this discussion had eroded what patience he had, and he was just in an angry mood now. "PISS!!"

"So he just dissappeared without warning…" Roy mused. "Well, I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure you can't just summon people to your location with normal magic. I'm certain you can only send yourself to them…"

"But she didn't cast any teleportation spells!" Haley whined. "That's what doesn't make sense!"

"Didn't she say something about a constant-affect spell?" Elan suddenly looked up from the new clown puppet he was making, which was wearing a chef's hat and holding what appeared to be a pie. "That would zap him straight to your location?"

"But we're right here!" Haley and Belkar both growled.

"Aye," Durkon's eyes suddenly went wide. "But she said she cast the spell for anyone who fit your description!"

"So if two people who fell under the terms of what she cast the spell for found themselves in dire straights…" Roy closed his eyes, astounded by how stupid they were for taking so long to figure this out - and how much trouble this fully meant. "She would be zapped straight to their location, wherever it may be."

Somber silence followed. Belkar was the one who finally broke it. "PISS!!"

—-

"Sooooo… Let me get this straight…" Cain scratched his chin, pondering deeply. Jurgen sat nearby, entering information into a data-slate. Cain thought it would be good to take notes on the subject, and even without encryption, nobody would be able to understand Jurgen's grammar and spelling. "You're from another plane of existance? As in… a completely different dimension?"

"Indeed," Vaarsuvius nodded, matter-o-factly. "Or so I think… I'm really not sure about all of this, myself."

"But where you're from, everything is regulated and hinges on rules and "rolls" to determine the outcome of most actions?" Cain's eyebrow couldn't rise any higher. He was finding all of this nearly impossible to believe - but "V" was quite convincing. The only reason he didn't suspect her using Warpcraft to charm him was the fact that Jurgen was close enough to almost induce gagging.

"You are correct, Mister Commissar," V replied politely.

"Actually, its Commissar Cain. Not Mister Commissar. Commissar," Cain corrected her as politely as he could. Truth be told, he knew he didn't deserve the title of Commissar. But frak it if he didn't want to still shown respect. If she'd been a Guardsman, or planetary defence member, he could have shown his full ire and had her shaking in her boots. But instead, she was an alien entity capable of exploding his skull with a wink. He was content with bending over backwards if it meant he didn't piss "V" off. "At any rate… So, you're a member of the Order of the Stick, a band of adventuring thieves, entertainers, warriors, holy men, and psychopaths?"

"Essentially…" V shrugged.

"And you're working together to close several portals which allow a world-eating force of Chaos entrance into your reality?" Cain couldn't help but be reminded vaguely of the forces of the Imperium and their constant battle against the Ruinous Powers.

"That is our current goal, yes." the Elf answered with a nod.

"And there are several forces of evil standing in your way, trying to kill you, corrupt you, or otherwise stop you from saving existance?" Cain looked over at Jurgen, to make sure he was keeping up.

"Specifically, an army of goblinoid creatures, an undead abomination, traitorous humans, and people who take their faith to the extreme and beyond." Vaarsuvius sighed.

"Why does some of this sound oddly familiar?" Cain mused, removing his cap and scratching at his short dark hair. This was too much to believe. And yet, for some reason… he wanted to. Maybe she was messing with his head? But that was impossible. Not with Jurg-

A sudden thought crossed Cain's mind. Vaarsuvius had used Warpcraft several times since she'd arrived - but she'd been near Jurgen when using some of it! Which was impossible, since Warpcraft was blocked out when in his viscinity! It nearly floored him as the depth of its meaning forced itself into his mind. He pointed at V, and then at Jurgen. "If you don't mind, please stand next to him."

V looked at Cain, and then at Jurgen, and then back at Cain. She wanted to protest, not because it was pointless, but because she didn't have a Fortitude Save to rely on. But she decided to just go along with it, to see what he was planning. For some reason, she felt… almost… inclined to trust him. Maybe it was the hat? She cautiously approached Jurgen, who didn't even seem to notice her inching closer. Finally, she stopped just within touching distance of the Imperial Guardsman, as that is as far as her nose would allow her to go without trying to secceed from her face. "Alright, Commissar," she stressed his title with a hint of sarcasm, having been slightly annoyed by his earlier correction, "Now what?"

"Do what you did earlier," Cain shrugged. "Clean your robes. Please," he added, not wanting to get immolated by a frakked-off Eldar.

Vaarsuvius arched an eyebrow, and then looked down at her feet. The hem of her robe was stained with mud, so she simply pointed down and made it spotless again with a mutterance of "Prestidigitation."

"Fascinating!" Cain gasped. She could still practice Warpcraft while in close proximity to Jurgen. Which should have been impossible, since Jurgen's existance as a Blank cancelled out Warp Energy within a certain range of himself. Which, by extension… meant she wasn't channeling the Warp. Or at least, that was the most logical explaination.

"If cheap parlor tricks are that shocking to you," Vaarsuvius sighed, "I'm worried to see what these Psykers and Inquisitors you speak about are capable of…"

—-

"Okay, so let me get this straight…" Roy grumbled, slapping his forehead with the palm of his hand, exasperated by what he was being forced to deal with. "We've been trying to come up with ideas for over an hour, and the best we've got… is… Elan, repeat it once again, just so I can fully grasp it."

"We find some people with the last names Bitterleaf and Starshine, and then push 'em off a cliff!" Elan grinned cheerfully, gesturing wildly with his hands.

"Okay, seriously, Mister Nice Guy came up with that before I did?" Belkar growled angrily. He was the Chaotic Evil one. He was the one who was supposed to come up with the hilariously homicidal stuff. Stuff like that was HIS territory. "WHAT IS THIS, MY OWN PERSONAL HELL!?"

"Belkar has a point, sweetie…" Haley frowned. "That is kinda… Chaotic Evil."

"No, not at all!" Elan replied matter-o-factly. "It'll be perfect! V said she'd be summoned to save Miss Starshine and Mister Bitterleaf, so if we throw people with those names off of a cliff…"

"V will haf ta show up an' rescue them!" Durkon exclaimed, suddenly realizing the point he was trying to make. "That actu'lly makes sense, boy!"

"Yep!" Elan nodded happily. "And it'll be all dramatic, too! The perfect suspenceful moment - two innocent people falling to their deaths, and the hero showing up at the last second to save them! It'll be amazing!"

"I can't believe I'm saying this…" Roy groaned, rubbing his eyes to cope with the insanity, "But lets go with Elan's idea… Lets get our stuff together, and try to find some people with the last names of Starshine and Bitterleaf. Haley, Belkar… any ideas where to start?" the party leader asked the rogue and ranger.

"I already have somebody in mind," Belkar smirked.

"And I have an aunt twice removed who lives about three days from here…" Haley shrugged. "I think she still has Starshine for her last name. Worse comes to worse, I can feed her some 'n'bull story about an inheritance that requires her to retake Starshine as a surname. She was always pretty greedy…"

"That's a suprise…" Roy rolled his eyes. "Okay, team. We've got our mission. Lets get ready to move out!"

"Oh goodie! Looks like Ol' Grandpaw Bitterleaf is going to be getting a visit at the retirement center," Belkar grinned fiendishly as he raced off to pack his bags.

- End Chapter 5 -

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