Friday, August 31

Beneath the Mason Ruins, Part V

Koen and I were trapped inside a magic circle, and Koen was doubly trapped in a cage that had slammed shut from the energy unleashed when we tried to break free. The glow of my eyes illuminated the dusty stone where the sigils lay. Were they a Qabalistic enchantment I might have been able to manipulate the They were a Runic alphabet, of which I was not familiar. was hesitant to damage the sigils with my weaponry, for fear that the noise would summon the homunculus and its floating spawn.

Koen paced the edges of the cage. "This cage isn't bloted to the floor...she must have unscrewed it.." He tapped the ankh at his collar with a claw, "..probably with this."

"That's why the gate opens up past the edge of the circle..but that's not enough to get us out." I pulled some metal tubing from a compartment in my armour and attached it to my wrist. I spent the next hour cutting open the metal of the gate lock, using my inner furnace to power the blowtorch. Koen crouched in the other, looking away.

"Qli..remember thse little bunny golem things? They walked into the bars before they came through..I see the tracks. They keep acting like the cage is in the middle and have to adjust at the last minute. That's why they put the food tray and the chamberpot right next to each other in the corner..that's as close as they could get to where they were programmed to place them where the cage was supposed to be."

"The drones must be created with the same magic as the circle..which is why they can pass through.." I furrowed my brow.
"I have a plan.."

We waited for the drones to return for housekeeping. Judging from the decent size and quality of the meal..which Koen consumed in his spare time..Sumalee was getting two meals a day, assuming the drones were delivering enough food to keep her from starving. I did correct Koen, the meal may have tasted like chicken but I'm certain it was rabbit.

Eventually we heard the rhythmic tapping of the drone's waddling. Two drones would be coming. We only needed one. Koen waited until the last moment to swing open the gate, just as the drone was crossing the circle. The drone collided with the edge of the gate, but kept trying to walk through it in a straight line. I looked down at its footsteps, they were flailing helplessly in and out of the magickal boundary. I jumped of the roof of the cage and over the drone to the outside of the circle.

"Koen! Now!"

Koen bolted to my side. We were both free. I switched my hand attachments and blew a white cone of calcium carbonate into the drone's furnace in its belly, extinguishing its spark of animation. We drew our weapons and continued down the passage from which the humonculus had retreated.

Meanwhile, the second drone waddled past its inoperative double, bumped against the cage, sidestepped to walk through, retreived the tray of finished food, and waddled back the way it came.

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