Getting On The Van

JP with mdman, Lorem, LucianNepreen, Lasersexpanther and Cindy

While Cronk made it sound simple, refreshingly so, Vor agreed with Sasha's concerns. He had silently been helping with loading supplies, focused in his anxiety and inquisitive excitement to be at the headquarters, silently praying to Metira that the place was truly abandoned. Both the risk of conflict and losing any chance of infiltration if they saw him with the others was remaining a snag on his mind.

Elizabeth did have her own concerns about who or what they might run into and about the wrong someone's seeing Vor. She though knew he was the only one that would really what was Arudan artifacts and what wasn't. If it wasn't for that she probably wouldn't be taking him.

She had confidence those loading the things on to the van, which now included Marcil, could take care of it. So, Elizabeth made her way on the bus and took a seat. She had with her a small satchel, it was empty for carrying something if needed. There really wasn't much to do but plan things in her mind and wait.

Cronk had completed loading things with the others. He boarded the Van, stretching out in the back seat. He was excited to once again be venturing off the grounds with a few of his favorite people.

Lorem was next to get into the bus. She was dressed in her work attire; however, she had the grenade satchel on her person and a holster for her personal hand cannon. In addition, she wore what looked to be a protective vest, though form fitting, made out of metal work and lined on the interior with comfortable padding. It was rigged with clockwork looking mechanizations. There was a wielded heart-like cog on the front chest area and the backpack part was slightly domed similar to the shape of a tortoise shell. Finally, she had some interesting headgear, a cross between a protective helmet and a sextant with multiple lenses. She took her seat.

Sitting near Lorem allowed Vor a closer look at the gizmos she had adorned herself with, viewing them with curious distaste. So much metal weighing one down, unable to be free as Metira wished. While he would keep such thoughts personal, he still struck up conversation.

"Pardon the question, Miss Ipsum, but I am rather curious on what you are wearing?”

The technology perked Cronk’s interest as well. He leaned forward to hear Loren’s explanation.

Lorem, like a good little gnome, was ecstatic at hearing the call of curiosity requiring explanation. She turned to Vor with a spark of enthusiasm in her eyes, that made it clear he had better be careful if he proceeded with any follow up questions, lest she talk his ear off the rest of the trip with all the fine tuned details.

Pointing to the apparatus on her head. “Well…this cranium protecting device here helps me see things in different ways, depending on what lenses I employee. For example, “ she pulled down over her eyes a goggle like covering and reached up to fiddle with some fine tuning gears. The lenses in the apertures over her eyes extended with each turn of the cog like wheels on the side. Getting up on her knees on the seat, and then her feet, she looked out the window and down the street. “I can read the street sign accurately several blocks away.”

She returned the head gear back to its default state and took her seat again. She then pointed to the chest-and-back gear. “I can’t demonstrate this inside, but this protective gear can help me get around to hard to reach places.” To pointed to her back, and upon closer inspection they might be able to deduce that a grappling hook like utility was possible. She then pointed to the front heart cog box. “And this helps me make a forceful impact if things need a moving.” She smirked. “It also has a few compartments along here for a variety of small tools for different occasions we might run into.”

She then pointed to the hand cannon. “And this protective cannon, “ She was really emphasizing the protection words in all her talking. “Has all sorts of explosive utility.” She snorted with a mischievousness giggle and had to cover her mouth out of embarrassment.

Once she had stopped blushing, she pointed down to her feet. They might not have noticed, because who looks at a gnomes feet, that she was wearing some rather interesting boots. “These add a spring in my step and help cushion all this added weight.”

When Elizabeth heard Vor ask about the gear Lorem was wearing, the Eldren turned to get a better view of the gnome. It was definitely an interesting collection of attire but Elizabeth expected nothing less.

Hearing the uses for her suit, Vor was unsure if he wanted to ask more. From what he understood of it, it was a suit that denied a true connection to the world. Vests for bullets were one thing and he himself was a tad uncomfortable in the suit he wore now, but to encase oneself in such a way was stifling just to think of. Her enthusiasm towards it made it clear however that she was quite at home, something that sparked an interest to ask her later about.

"It is thought-provoking indeed. I can never quite wrap my head around such contraptions, like the flower you had presented to Cronk.”

Lorem’s boots kicked back and forth, she enjoyed the different feeling it brought due to their unique weight and cushioning spring system against her soles. She smiled and with a congenial tone asked Vor, “What do you mean by that? Do you mean you don’t understand HOW they work? Or more along the lines of what their purpose is?” The upwards inflection of her voice gave Vor the opportunity to provide clarity beyond her two proposed probing questions.

“Cronk still has,” Cronk excitedly pronounced with enthusiasm, bouncing up and down in the back seat, which was seriously testing the shock absorbers that may have been in the back. The backside of the van bounced with him.

If Cronk got any more enthusiastic he might just break the van. "Cronk," Elizabeth's tone was gentle but firm. "Please stop bouncing. We do need the van to remain in one piece."

Elizabeth knew Vor and Lorem seemed to have a very different outlook on things. It wasn't surprising and she didn't interfere with the conversation.

Cronk stopped bouncing and the van slowly followed suit. Now, the two breakfasts, giving blood, some of the Good Doctor’s Irish whiskey, and the bouncing, all caused a commotion within Cronk’s stomach. It gave off a grumble the equivalent of a small earthquake and Cronk couldn’t keep the gas inside. If it would have been visible, one would most likely see a green cloud coming up around Cronk.

“Oops!” Cronk exclaimed, embarrassed. “Sorry!”

Vor nervously chuckled as the van settled, grateful that it had endured such abuse. He was about to answer Lorem when the odor hit him and he initially struggled to find breath. When it finally came to him, rather forced, he had already lowered a window.

"You would give my Great-Aunt and her Rakfisk a run for their money, for sure Cronk."

He said this with a cheerful laugh, rather enjoying the reminder of his family despite the humorous mental trauma that came from it. To not dwell on it for Cronk's sake, he looked to Lorem and the hanging question.

"How they work, yes, though also on a level of my faith. We are taught to live in the world and be close to its wonder; to be bound by our natural abilities, yet always strive to test those limits."

He looked out the window, fully aware there was then some hypocrisy by riding in the motor vehicle that easily outpaced everyone on the streets around them.

"The efficiency of technology and its myriad uses is not lost on me, but there are many of my people that see an over-reliance on it as choppy waters for the future.”

Sasha finally arrived carrying two objects she seemed to have gone back for. One looked like a strange lantern, the other resembled a gun that looked like some middle child between a shotgun and a handgun. Lacking her normal coat, a second handgun hung on a shoulder rig. "Sorry, for my lateness. I decided I would need something more specialized for our task." she said, taking a seat.

Lorem was grateful for the breeze of fresh air when Vor cracked the window. She acknowledged Sasha when the impressive lady finally joined them. Then she returned her attention back on Vor.

“If I understand you correctly? Machines and constructs are not considered natural in your faith? That is interesting.” She paused to think.

“Have you ever considered, if the feathered bowerbird, adorned in the splendor of its intricate nest, and the industrious otter, employing stone as an instrument of sustenance, are hailed as exemplars of nature’s artistry, then let us, as stewards of the earth’s dominion, acknowledge the inherent nobility of our own endeavors.

For is it not within the essence of gnomes to shape the raw materials of our environment into tools and structures that enhance our well-being? As the bowerbird crafts its abode and the otter employs its stone, so too do gnomes, in pursuit of knowledge and progress, fashion inventions and innovations that enrich the tapestry of this beautiful thing called life?”

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