Lonely Divide

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Chapter 21

Chapter 8.3

Escort Mission

You are Clayton, trying to get this boat back safely, and now you have been interrupted.

"Can't you see I'm trying to figure this boat out?" you ask, exasperated. "I had to hack into the computers as it is, now you want me to stop?"

"Well there's a dolphin out there!"

"So play with him some other time, we need to get back."

"No, no, he asked for our help, and I think he's an ESPer."

"Don't be ridiculous."

"Actually," says Jake, turning, "If there are human ESPers, other animal ESPers isn't that much of a stretch. Being an ESPer is just a genetic mutation allowing access to a part of the brain that allows manipulation of the physical world on a mental level. Dolphins are smart enough, right? They could learn to do things just like we can."

"I thought it was just a background," says Jaden innocently.

"You know what I mean. The point is, you say this dolphin of yours needs help?"

"No, he said himself that he needed our help. Rose talked to him, there's something fishy, if you'll excuse the phrase, going on under the sea."

"Well we can't help him right now, we've got a mission to finish," you say. "Tell him we'll meet him at the dock tomorrow at sunrise. It'll keep until then, right?"

"We did finish this mission," Rose protests. "We've caught the bad guys, they're locked up, it's over!"

"Is it?" you ask, seriously. "Take a look at your character sheet."

"Fine, but I don't see how that's going to make any difference." She takes it out and looks it over. "What am I looking at?"

"You don't yet have the XP from this mission, and your cards haven't changed, right?"

"My gosh, you're right! I guess we're not done, then. You win, I'll tell him."

Rose and Jaden leave again, and you manage to get the boat back to the dock without incident. You call the local police to come check it out, and get a ride back to where you're staying.

"How did it go?" asks Dhul, coming to meet you.

"We took out eight people on a boat connected to the murder and attempted murder, we should know shortly if there was anyone else involved."

"What?" asks Dhul sharply.

Jake looks over at you quizzically.

"To make sure there weren't other people as part of their group we didn't see. They'll be questioned with magic and you can continue your campaign in safety."

"Oh, yes, of course, good, I'm glad the NPC-PS can be counted upon to be so thorough. Such a shame about my running mate, of course. I wonder if they'll find someone willing to step up and take his place before the election? Well, that's not your concern. I assume you'll be leaving in the morning?"

"If you don't mind, I'll just check you over one more time to make sure you're not in any danger now?" asks Jake.

"Certainly, certainly, can't be too careful, now can we?" He laughs, holding out an arm. Jake touches him, after nodding to Rose and getting a spell cast on him.

"No, seems you're totally safe," says Jake, relieved. "I guess we will be heading back soon. We met a dolphin and Rose says he needs help, so we're going to be investigating that tomorrow, but our association with you is over, it seems."

"Dolphin? Oh right, fairies can talk to all animals, of course. I hope you can help him. I can't thank you enough for your protection!" Dhul gushes. "You've really saved me, and I appreciate it."

"It was our pleasure, sir."

Passing a magic shop on the way back to the place you're staying, Jaden excuses herself and runs inside.

"Oh, right, she has card 31 this time," you say. "And magical items are the best." You get out your gun and lightly stroke it, smiling as you think about all the bullets you can shoot without reloading. You notice the others watching you and hastily put it away again. "Ahem. We'll just wait for her, hopefully she won't be long, even though she is a girl."

Luckily, she isn't, by that I mean she isn't long, she's still a girl, Rose would never forgive- anyway, she runs out smiling. "We're like sisters!" she says, showing Rose a bracelet on her upper arm, seems like she's Invulnerable now, too. You can't blame her, she is a close up fighter, after all.

You all head back to your rooms and Jake motions the girls to follow him, so you all pile into one room.

"There's something really weird about that guy," Jake says. "I was monitoring his emotions on a hunch while we were talking, and when you said something about others being involved his fear shot through the roof. Then he was relieved and finally really, really happy to see us gone. I think we should have another little chat with him, in a less formal setting. Maybe before we go see your Dolphin friend tomorrow, Rose."

"Just so you know," you say, "There's no way I'm swimming around in the sea with all this hardware attached to me, breathing spell or not."

The others look at your arms and head. "Yeah, I guess not. Sorry Clayton," says Jaden.

"I don't think there will be much use for a hacker down there anyway, and my guns won't work, that's for sure. I guess in the morning you can send me back and I'll just get started writing the report, and tell them where you guys are."

"Still, maybe you can have a little mini-adventure before then to make up for it." Jake smiles. "Now where's what I purpose we do..."

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