342 Night Assassins part one
The Nether rat swam up current until it bypassed the guard point and then it exited the stream through a narrow gulley. The sun had set an hour earlier, leaving the province of Neva in darkness and bone-chilling cold.
Once inside the compound, it moved cautiously, utilizing the same cover that its species would. Unlike a real rat, it understood the words being spoken and took careful notes of the guard locations.
The rat disappeared behind some crates and then stealthed. He hadn't done so before because the Nether rat possessed standard stealth that many of the guards might be able to see through. A rat in the camp would be normal, but a stealthed rat that was moving tactically would raise suspicion if spotted.
The dark-furred head pushed through the tiny cut its incisors made in the tent wall. Again it didn't enter fully, only pushing through until it could see the inside of the commander's tent.
Nix could see heavy armor that was displayed on a nearby mannequin, twin swords hung nearby in a shoulder scabbard. The rat chittered its teeth silently, melee fighter with dual-wielding capabilities; could be worse.
A few minutes later the rat retraced a similar rat to retreat from the Eastern bandit camp. Instead of heading back to Ever Flame, it started towards the Western camp.
Alpha team had quickly taken over the Townhall and set up their Tactical Operation Center (TOC) in the council area. They huddled around the long conference table with Jun Li who was making adjustments to the hud map whenever Nix would speak.
Shae sat quietly next to the reclined guild leader. Although Nix could speak and hear inside the hall, it would quickly become confusing if he started receiving too much info from either side.
Semmi glanced back at Nix, he looked like he was taking a nap, his head resting gently against Shae's shoulder. "Why hasn't he returned yet? He gave his last report more than half an hour ago."
"Two roving guards using a figure-eight pattern. They stop ever five minutes to switch places with the stationary guards." Nix's voice spoke from the cushioned couch he was sitting on.
Jun Li studied the hud map. "Is this additional data?"
"Western camp," Nix stated quietly.
Pon frowned at the table hud as it changed to the next camp. "Why worry about it now? They will increase security after we take down the Eastern Camp."
"Hitting both tonight. Prey waits." Nix smiled but didn't open his eyes.
The second camp was much easier to enter, Nix perched quietly on the axel of a supply wagon that rumbled slowly toward the bandit's mess tent. From there he followed the cook into the prepping area.
"Fajii, are you close?" Nix spoke quietly from his position next to Shae.
The Aquarion looked up from the conference table at the mention of her name. "Yes. What do you need?"
"I'm in the food prep tent, find me something that I can use to slow these guys down a bit." The Nether rat moved closer to the cook, she was a dark woman who wore a black head wrap. "Get Ronnie also."
The cook left the tent a few minutes later and headed toward a round tent that was covered in furs, two guards stood in front of it.
One of the guards slapped the cook across the face when she approached the entrance, then laughed when she collapsed in a heap. She climbed to her feet a moment later and entered without further issue.
The Nether rat skirted around the back and slipped in through a loosely staked corner. The tent had a half dozen men and women inside, each of them were chained to a bunk. The cook removed her headwrap and started feeding them.
A few minutes later, Nansu and Ronnie were sitting at the conference table. They called the human alchemist because she was well versed in what humans could tolerate. She had three large bottles of clear liquid in front of her.
Nansu handed the bottles to Ronnie. "These are lethal, but a small bit will put you out of commission for a few hours."
Ronnie flashed her a grin. "Got any extra? Sounds like something I should keep in stock."
Nansu shook her head. "It's very expensive, half a bottle would be enough for a large pot of stew."
"Change of plans." Nix stood up from the seat he shared with Shae and walked toward them. "Weapons out, Ronnie you're with me."
Nix opened a breach into the tent he just left and jumped quickly through. All of Alpha team had their weapons out when Ronnie followed him a moment later.
The woman who had been feeding the prisoners seemed to freeze for a moment when a breach opened up in the middle of the tent and two strangers stepped through.
Nix held a hand up to his lips and motioned for her to enter the breach.
The dark-haired woman shook her head. "I can't without my people."
Nix pushed flames into Wrath, a moment later the white blade appeared. "I'll cut them loose."
The woman shook her head, "these chains cannot be cut through w..." She stopped speaking when Nix's blade sliced through the first set of chains like they were tissue paper.
A few quick slices and everyone was free. The prisoners were in rough shape, but with the exception of one person were all able to walk. Nix picked up the old man who couldn't get up.
Ronnie stopped the cook from entering the breach. "Going to need your clothes and that head wrap thing."
A minute later Nix exited the Breach carrying the old man, the rest of the group raised their hands up to show they weren't armed.
Semmi gripped her daggers loosely in her hand but didn't move closer. "What are Su'Dhassi doing in the bandit camp?"
/Inferno: Jun Li: Tess, come to the TOC.
/Inferno: Tess: On my way.
"Su'Dhassi?" Jun Li studied the small group a few minutes later while Tess healed their wounds and they were given something warm to eat.
Inferno's interaction with the Su'Dhassi in Oasis could only be called minimal. Although they managed to build strong relations with the Ain'Dhassi and the Fir'Dhassi, the reclusive and nomadic tribes of the Su'Dhassi didn't willingly interact with the humans from Colonial.
/Inferno: Nix: Let's stay on target, this changes nothing.
Ronnie left the tent a few minutes later and received a slap from the guard as part of her passage. The dark beauty stayed in character and let herself fall into the side of the tent. She slowly climbed up from the ground, amid the laughter from the guards, and headed toward the prepping area.
A long table with a dozen huge stew pots filled the center section of the tent. Ronnie received a thirty-second briefing from the Su'Dhassi woman they rescued so she had an idea what to expect. The cook spent the afternoon cutting up carrots and potatoes for the evening meal. She finished her duties and managed to sneak her people a few vegetables to eat.
Ronnie unstoppered all three of the bottles and poured a liberal amount of clear liquid in each pot. The food was for the elite fighters that took up residence in the center of the camp. Those bandits on the outskirts organized their own meals.
"Hey! You inside the tent! Help me with the meat packages."
The dark archer stowed the empty bottles in her inventory and walked outside. A single wagon was stacked high with several bundles of cloth-wrapped meat.
A young man in his early 20s, with long dark hair and a tanned face, jumped down from the driver's seat. He walked around the back of the wagon and picked up several bundles before handing them to Ronnie. He grabbed a few more and followed her inside the tent.
The man's hair fell in his eyes while he worked, his brown work clothes had seen better days. "The butcher took his sweet ass time, now we're in trouble. Put three bundles in each pot, please."
Ronnie nodded and slyly put her dagger away before reaching for one of the kitchen knives. He didn't realize it, but his manners saved him from being the first casualty of the camp.