Chryst scratched the back of his head. “Yeah, actually we were just about to address the group.”
“Good” I said, then glanced about at said group, looking at Boyd, and Jaxx, and catching my own reflection in one of Jaxx’s chrome add-ons.
I hoped they’d put it in simple terms.
Still, it couldn’t be any more confusing than one of Seymour’s refectory meetings.
"Right..." Jay cleared his throat and turned to address the rest of the crew
"No, this is important!" Cass insisted, catching hold of one of his wrists to pull him around and back into the conversation "This place is crawling with fucking time-tourists; we need to get this over and done with as quickly as possible!"
"Yeah, I know" Jay soothed, gently withdrawing his hand to fold his arms "We..."
"No! No you don't!" Cass interrupted vehemently "Brittany will be in as soon as she can reverse engineer the paradox chain - This is too high profile - we need to get this done now!"
"I disagree" Jay shook his head "If we wait until tonight, we've got a much better chance of infiltrating the palace and evading capture - You can take it from me: Being crucified bloody well hurts"
"Yeah, but Brittany will hurt even more!" Cass countered "How many lifetimes of torture do you think you can handle?"
She paused to raise a shaky hand to her forehead and, briefly closing her eyes, massaged her temples with her fingers before letting her hand fall and turning to Katrina
"Make him see sense" she pleaded, her brow furrowing
"I'm with Jay on this" Katrina shook her head "If we had enough artillery for a frontal assault, then fine; but taking a Simulant down is tough enough, and we can do without any extra risk from the guards"
"Don't the rest of us get a say?" Alex asked
Cass barely even acknowledged this, sparing him only the briefest of glances before returning her attention to Jay "We need to do it now" she reiterated "If we take the sewers, we can... can..."
She wavered a moment and reached an unsteady arm out towards a concerned looking Jay before her knees buckled and she sank to the floor
"Whoa" Jay and Katrina both dived forward to catch her
"No... No, I'm okay!" Cass protested, weakly holding her hands up in supplication
"Like hell you are" Kat scowled, crouched down next to her
"It's just the nanite treatment - It took a lot out of me; I just need a few minutes"
"How badly were you hurt?" Jay demanded
Cass pursed her lips
"Three broken ribs and a dislocated knee" she replied, and after a moment's consideration added "A collapsed lung as well"
"Bloody hell Cass" Katrina sighed "You need rest"
"That settles it" Jay straightened and turned to address the others with an unreadable expression on his face "We do this tonight"
"Uh..." Jamie held up a hand "What exactly are we doing tonight?"
"Sorry - I should have said: We're here to kill a Simulant"
"Wait..." Jade frowned "What!?"
Jay sighed and shook his head
"I'll start at the beginning, shall I?”
“Yeah, I think that would be best” Phil smirked
"Okay..." Jay took a moment to gather his thoughts before he continued "The last time I was here, my mission was to eliminate a rogue Simulant who had travelled back from the sixty-eighth century to masquerade as Pontius Pilate”
As he paused to let this sink in, Cassandra, still sat on the floor behind him, suddenly grinned and shook her head
“Yes... but Pilate’s still alive” Artemis observed
“That’s just the thing” Jay gave everyone a sheepish smile “I was captured, crucified, and had to fake my own death to escape; and when I finally did an emergency jump back to HQ, I found that the mission had been an out and out success, and that there was a major new religion in place. I was given a commendation and three months of R&R”
“But Pilate’s still alive”
“Yeah... I've often wondered how I managed my resurrection and the mission objectives” Jay shrugged “Turns out that I came back three hundred odd years later along with you guys to finish the job”
“So we’re going to have to kill Pilate?” Alex asked
“That’s about the size of it” Jay nodded “Although I've got to say that it’s not going to be easy - We’re short of a lot of the heavy weaponry we’d normally need to take a Simulant down”
“I might be able to help there” Herbie grinned “I've got a few high calibre weapons stashed aboard my ship”
“Your ship?” Jay frowned
“Uh, yeah... I crash landed here about an hour or so ago” Herbie explained “The ship’s knackered, but we might be able to salvage some equipment from it”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake, that’s all we need” Jay sighed “Is the reactor still online?”
“Yeah” Herbie shrugged "Or at least I assume it is - The windscreen wipers were still working"
“Right we can’t just leave a ship lying around in 33AD," Jay said seriously "the archaeologists will go fucking mental; so after we've salvaged what we can, we need to overload the reactor and destroy it”
“I suspect that the Simulant will probably be investigating the crash site” Katrina interjected
Jay rolled his eyes
“Yeah,” he grumbled “there is that”
"I locked the doors" Herbie said dismissively "He'll never get in - We'll be fine!"
"I wish I shared your confidence" Cass muttered darkly
She was about to say something else, but she was interrupted by the arrival of a squad of legionaries
"There they are!" the soldier at the head of a unit yelled as he entered the synagogue "Sieze them!"

Someone sort the legionaries out and then get us to the crash site
After that we need to (optionally) savlage and then destroy Herbie's ship but how many troops are at the site?
Is the Simulant there too, or is he residing in his palace?
Are the troops armed with any of the heavy weapons?
How do we get onto Herbie's ship to overload the reactors?
Oh, and happy Christmas, if that's your sort of thing :)

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