⚡️THUNDERFANG S2 #19
The journey to Wolfe Hollow presents more than enough resistance for Locke and the crew.
Season 2, Chapter 19
Wolfe Hollow—home of the Ironlands.
Despite repeated efforts, we couldn't get a signal through to the Salvi Pass. Whether it was the nebula cloud we were in or the distance, we were cut off. Had Ira sent us here on purpose, and if so, why hadn't he warned us first?
Ira had told me stories about his home, about how he was considered a Miss all his life. I never understood where the terminology came from, but I did know a Miss was not a good thing. They were bad omens—a sign of failure or bad things to come.
He had told me the story of the man he was seeing, and I was suddenly reminded of his words to me not too long ago about Ironsworn and their vows. From his experience, the Ironsworn were all talk. They didn't adhere to their vows. They actively skirted them at any chance they got.
He had told me of how he was exiled when his Branding manifested. He hadn't known it at the time, but it was technically his fault the crops had been ruined. Though, to be fair, the man he was sleeping with had pushed him to his limit.
I wasn't excited about heading there. Okay, maybe a little. I did want to see where he'd grown up eventually, maybe even get a chance to meet his sister. But...was he truly ready to go home after all these years? Would they welcome him, or shun him? Would they welcome us knowing we were associated?
What's Jane up to? Action+Theme—71, 44 => Protect Home.
-sigh- That was to be expected, honestly.
I didn't have time to ponder it all.
Jane started acting up again.
"I WANT TO GO HOME, NOW!"
"Jane, we can't even get in contact with anyone back in the Salvi Pass," I said, doing my best to remain calm.
"And did you not see the huge fleet of ships chasing us before the last jump?" said John.
"I don't care! Look, I'm not trying to be ungrateful but this has gone on long enough. If we don't get back, I won't have a family to return to. They'll all be dead!"
"I don't think Jack will actually kill anyone," Fletcher said. "As far as we know, he hasn't followed through on any of those threats—to your family or ours."
"As far as you know," Jane mocked, "he's murdered each and everyone one of our loved ones and is trying to send us a video of him doing it."
I cleared my throat loudly. None of this was helping. "The sooner we get to where we're going, the sooner we can make arrangements for your family. Diogenes entrusted your safety to me, and I don't intend to let her down. Maybe once we can get a signal out, we'll contact her and have her protect your family."
That seemed to have quelled Jane's fears, for now.
// Undertake an Expedition
+2 (wits) => 3 vs 4, 6. Miss.
What could possibly go wrong now?
1: A trusted individual or community acts against you.
-heavy deep annoyed sigh- It's Jane, isn't it?
Likely, 75-: 13.
I began preparations for the next jump moments later with John. The fact that we were in the home of the Ironlands still had me shocked.
Why wouldn't he tell me that was where he was sending us?
And then I thought about it. I would have probably said no, and found any one of a million reasons why I was right. The last I'd heard, not only was he exiled but they had given him a condescending trial to pass if he wished to return. Some impossible number of seeds to collect—fucking seeds! And then there'd be no telling if he'd be allowed back even if he came home with all of them or more.
Yup. I would have definitely said no.
And now it was too late. Ira was smart.
John gave the OK and we began accelerating rapidly. Once we reached the correct speed, we could initiate the jump and be one step closer to my boyfriend's birthplace.
Something—I don't know what, just my gut—told me to turn around and look behind me at the cockpit entrance. There stood Jane, creeping in. She'd phased through the door so we wouldn't hear her enter.
"Jane?" It was the only word I could say before she threw herself onto the controls, passing through me but selectively unphasing her hands so she could—
Fuck. She was sabotaging the jump.
// Face Danger
+3 (iron) => 4... vs 4, 10. Miss.
WHY. DOES. THIS. GAME. HATE. ME?!
Okay, okay. John is here. We can reroll. John can see her, so maybe he can make her dizzy or something.
...and the reroll grants us another 1, for a total of 4. -sigh-
Let's go with a story complication, because WHY THE FUCK NOT.
63: Trap is sprung.
"JANE!" I tried to push her away but failed miserably. I felt the air shift, rapidly shifting from thin and thick around us; John was trying to make her pass out.
He seemed to have all the fun tricks.
We were off course, I knew it. She stepped back, proud of herself and—
The Scarlet Adler lurched violently, sending all of us flying. I hit my back on my chair while Jane smashed into the controls. Luckily neither of them—the controls and Jane—were significantly hurt, as well as John who managed to cling to his seat. I hoped the other three weren't too caught off guard.
"What the hell, Jane!? You could have had us killed!" I pulled her to her feet, but she phased through my hand after standing and rushed through the cockpit door again. I chased after her. "Are you trying to die before you get back to your family?"
"I'm sorry but—"
"Locke!" John yelled. "We're caught in some kind of trap."
I glared at Jane and let a little bit of my electricity spark out from around my exposed skin. "I will deal with you later."
I rushed back into the cockpit and John pointed out what was going on. "Seems to be some kind of sector defense mechanism. See here and here, a collection of what looks to be regular space junk is actually emitting essentially a net made of energy. We can't move."
I cursed loud enough for the entire ship to hear, then did my best to calm myself down. There was no use in arguing with Jane. We needed to get out of this trap, quickly. I talked through a few options with John and we tried a few that didn't seem like they would kill us outright.
// Secure an Advantage
+2 (wits) => 6 vs 1, 9. Weak hit.
+2 momentum 
We tried to accelerate and break through the net, but it was pointless. The Scarlet Adler was made for escaping to freedom, not demanding it. She wasn't equipped with a single weapon, just fast-enough thrusters.
"We're sitting ducks out here," John said pacing the cramped cockpit.
"John, you're making the air change again," I reminded him. He quickly apologized and I felt the air return to normal.
The Scarlet Adler did not have a single weapon built in. In fights, she was supposed to run. There we no weapons on board.
Except the Branded.
Jane had used her abilities to cause us to end up here. John's abilities were more useful in space than I had originally thought, able to manipulate the air we were breathing accidentally.
I was an electric bomb, a living battery, a bolt of lightning.
We were the weapons.
And I knew just how to get us out of this mess.
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