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The Wilderness, 39km Northwest of Varrock

Siris stood in awe at the sight before her. It was unlike anything she had ever seen, and the enormity of it caused her to reach for her protective goggles and remove them slightly, just enough to see more clearly. The heavy cloth of her suit's hood resisted her guiding hand. Ash-laden, cold-as-ice winds whirled dusty clouds aloft, obscuring the scene before them like a widow's veil. Even so, in the piercing rays of the just-rising sun it could be seen clearly. Deacon crater, as Group Six had been calling it. The impact site for Citadel Battle Platform Angel.


From atop the rock-strewn, blasted ridge where they stood, a massive circle was presented to them. The platform had fallen from the edge of Gielinor's atmosphere to here, in a thick and dark pine forest. The trees, once dark green and foreboding, were now savagely burned and twisted, having all been blown back in large concentric patterns by the force of the blast. The earth here was noticeably more scarred than other regions of the Wilderness, owing to the more recent calamity. No signs of life remained to be found. Siris's pointed, elven ears twitched painfully as the stinging ash penetrated her open goggles. She quickly replaced them as her colleague, Hermann, a brutish Dwarf, sauntered up next to her.

"Gods alive. And HQ thinks he may have survived? They must be daft!"

For emphasis, he kicked a rock off the ledge.

"That damned rock killed everything big enough to die here. Even so, it's been months! What do they expect us to find?"

Siris sighed and turned toward her turgid partner.

"I know you're dull, Hermann, but please tell me you haven't already forgotten why we're here. We've only been on the trail for three days."

The dwarf swatted his hand dismissively, and began to waddle his way down the ridgeside, steadying himself with a cane fit for an Elven child. Siris prevented herself from taunting him as she so wanted. As she followed, the dwarf spoke.

"I know, I know - find the glass eye. How do we even know he went up there with it? What if he, I don't know, left it in his bloody locker that morning?"

Must have been asleep during the briefing. Siris thought. Unbeknownst to Jon Church, his glass eye had been surreptitiously replaced with an identical, constantly-transmitting commbead not long before his turn for the worse. 

"Location data from the eye says otherwise. His movements during the entire... 'incident' were tracked, even his altitude when he went up. We know he had it."

The Dwarf nearly stumbled, before regaining himself. Wiping fog from his goggles, he retorted:

"If the damned thing was transmitting the whole time, why don't they know where it is now?"

"Well, Hermann, I'm no sorceress, but I remember command saying something about the vast energy produced by the fall and impact screwing with their tracking. They lost it and never got the signal back."

"Hah! 'No sorceress' she says!" Hermann bellowed to the emptiness before them.

"Keep it down, you dolt. You don't want anything out here to hear us."


The trek into the crater area was perilous and tiring. Upon reaching ground zero, the pair made camp just at the edge of the ruined treeline, so as to hide their firelight. The next morning, the pair set out to find the bead. Varrock theorized that the bead may have been damaged, but not completely destroyed during the impact. It's signal would be present, but significantly weakened. The two placed their own commbeads in their ears, and set out to follow the signal.

"Ah! I hear it!" Siris called out as they trekked, her sharp hearing picking up the dull, disorganized magical static before Hermann.

"Good! Let's get it on with finding it then, so we can go home."

"Very well."

As they approached the location of the bead, presumably buried in the minced earth, the signal would intensify. They walked for hours and hours across the ruination, seeking. As they approached one edge of the crater, the signal grew particularly strong. 

"Hm. That's unexpected." Hermann remarked. "Show us that map you had again, the one overlayed with Angel."

Siris complied, retrieving the diagram from her leather satchel. It flopped dangerously in the buffeting wind, but was clear as ever. The control room, where Church had been, was exactly in the middle of Angel's superstructure. If the bead were anywhere, it should have been there, in theory. Then again, an event of this kind hadn't happened for many years, maybe millenia. No one could really be sure. Determined to get home, she chalked it up to strange, unforeseen forces during the impact. One boosting the other, the team scaled the crater wall and moved tentatively across the windswept wastage.

As they continued, Hermann comm'd to Siris, his voice crackling through the orb in the high wind.

"I don't like where this is going, Siris. Not at all." The pair had cleared the ruined trees several hundred paces ago. All of the trees here were upright, if slightly charred on one side. Something was quite wrong. In time, Hermann began to swear and kick clods of accumulated ash on the forest floor. Soon the pair broke through the trees to a clearing, if such a thing could be said to exist in the harsh Wilderness. An otherwise idyllic creek flowed South here, the ash near it congealing and black. Siris set her pack on the ground and sat down, cradling her head in her hands.

"We're in deep shit now, Hermann. Real deep shit."

"Yeah. Signal's strong as well. So much for going ho-"

Hermann stopped short. Siris looked up to see what was the matter.

"Siris, get over here. Get over here right now."

Curious, Siris launched up from her pack and jogged over to Hermann. Before them in the silt, near the edge of the creek, sat a glass eye. Their objective.

"Fuck." Hermann said curtly.

"Ugh!" Siris put her palms to her temples.

"What do we do now?"

"Call it in. Best two of three."

Hermann nodded and the pair played rock-paper-scissors. Siris lost, and cursed her fate as she activated her commorb, hoping against her better judgement that the wind would cut the signal enough for her to cut in and out at headquarters. 

"HQ, there's a problem. I don't think you'll like it."

Edited by The_Fridge
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