Siva Mako - 130 EXP (Siva leads a team that don't necessarily work well together.)
Red - 100 EXP (Two words: RED. STUNTS. GALORE.)
Luciela Argentum - 50 EXP (Taking a back seat for the most part, even Luciela feels she doesn't have anything to contribute. She manages to save Red, however.)
Siva was in the middle of the desert. She'd come out on a dune buggy to explore the area for her mission, and decided to turn back. She felt she had enough data, sure, but it was more due to the fact that she was just about done with the locale.
As she was turning back, she found Luciela, who seemed to be barely clinging to life. Apparently she'd rather foolishly decided to try and cross the expanse of desert between the Sanus coastline and Vacuo alone, with naught but meager supplies. Siva had gotten her up and given her some water, and that seemed to bring her back from the brink.
In addition, she'd found Red in the trunk of the buggy. He just couldn't stay away, could he... She was afraid for him. Staying near her could be lethal, for multiple reasons.
And now, she had to get all three of them back, alive. Red's A.I. June had predicted that if they took the shortest path back, they would run into quite a few Grimm, and it was either that or take the scenic route and risk running out of supplies. Since Siva was driving, she decided they'd take their chances with the Grimm; Luciela and Red were already weak as it was, no point in making it worse.
She had a plan. She'd make sure they lived. No matter what.
Red had been silent for some time along the way. It's not that he didn't know anything anymore with his semblance turned off, but he just couldn't time it all correctly anymore which was essential to his thinking process. Without that distraction... His thoughts drifted more on Siva, on thinking or actually rather having feelings over the information he had gathered so far on her. Of course, it was less.. number based and instead more of... her appearance, her personality, her words, her...
Was she thinking of him by any chance?
Of course she was too busy to notice he had been staring and meanwhile he kept checking June for more alerts since June had a tendency to alert at the last second unless otherwise specified which he couldn't really do at the moment.
Deciding to just outright ignore Luciela, Red broke the silence, "Siva," he said suddenly and with some volume.
Though Siva was focused on driving, and the sound of the engine was somewhat overwhelming, she still heard Red say her name. "What is it?" she asked, doing her best to split her attention between looking at the map, scanning the horizon, and listening to Red. It was a bit of a hassle, to say the least. She just hoped a sandstorm didn't start..
Luciela was looking straight ahead, she was absorbed in her own train of thought. She didn't really care too much if Siva took her all the way to the capital. Her sole concern was to make it to the capital one way or another. From there she'd plan the next step and go from there. Shade wasn't the first thing to come to mind, but she supposed it wouldn't be too bad of a choice. The weather was definitely going to take some time to acclimate to though.
The sun was directly in front of the travelers in question, signifying that night would hit only in a few hours. Once it did, it would hit hard. In the meantime, the only thoughts were on the scorching heat that made the horizon feel like the sand was waving or rumbling up and down, indistinguishable from the effects of heat on vision or something... more sinister.
The sand around them even had the same effect.
Shaking it off however, it seemed to stop for some time.
The way her name sounding on his tongue when he spoke it, rang in his head for a minute before he continued to talk. He seemed almost entirely recovered from his illness. Whether it be physical endurance, the pills given to him, or he was just hiding something, was unsure. But he didn't look that frightened or even frightened at all.
"Siva, I need you-" he began before June silently alerted him of some anonymous danger. Looking around a bit, he decided it was probably just the heat, then started again, "I need you to use your semblance with my Sylph to break through the swarm when we hit it in.... around 2 hours. If I can time us correctly... we could actually generate a massive electrical force field but it has to be at the right moment otherwise we may draw attention too soon or worse, lose our vehicle in electromagnetic malfunctions."
Throughout the explanation, he started to sound less serious oddly, a little lighter, at the thought of teaming up with Siva being thrilling, "Up for it? I think it'll be worthwhile," he said almost with a little chuckle, "I can't guarantee my USUAL perfection with timing, but I still have a way with numbers with or without my semblance. I just may not be able to help some shocks here and there, but I think we can take a mild tossing."
He was mostly ignoring Luciela, not that he found her a threat still, but mostly out of bitterness.
As with before, it was no question for Siva. "Just tell me what to do when the time comes," she replied. "For now I need to focus on making sure we're going the right way." So long as Red explained everything to her clearly, it would be no issue. And she REALLY didn't want to walk to the capital. She also needed to make sure things didn't go wrong in the meantime. "Everyone doing alright?" she asked both her companions.
Luciela looked over, not sure whether it was really worth responding to. "Even if I wasn't, you really wouldn't have to worry about it." The statement was vague, but she didn't really feel too motivated to give details. Details that would far too hard to believe in any case. And with that comment, she fell back into silence, not willing to spend much energy on talking.
Right at the second Siva had said "Everyone doing alright?", there was almost ironically a rough bump that shook the buggy from side to side until it evened itself out. Nothing out of the ordinary.
It would have been possible for only a certain quiet horned faunus to see a small peak of something dark as she had been looking over to the side when she had said her response.
Before Red had a chance to answer, Luciela gave her response which he found annoying but wasn't smart enough with words to say anything back to. Then the car shook from an underground movement.
What!!! June, you little-
Red cursed at himself out loud for not being able to calculate for an incoming threat. He then snapped towards Siva, "Neutral gear, no fuel, but try to accelerate and I'll give the vehicle and electromagnetic push. NOW."
He turned on the magnets in anticipating to get them to start revolving around each other midair and create that electrical charge which he would use his wrist magnets to manipulate its flow.
Upon feeling the bump, adrenaline began to race throughout Siva's body. She heard Red's commands, and did as he said to the best of her abilities, confusing as they were. Neutral with no fuel, but still accelerate?! Sheesh! Where she couldn't figure out how to input the commands on the buggy's console, she used her Semblance to interfere with the systems directly. It required no small amount of effort, but somehow, she pulled it off, though it was still a rough ride. "Anytime now!" she called.
Luciela shook her head. Whatever Red was going on about was, once again, irrelevant. She kept a firm grip on her blade, she was mentally prepared for the worst. There was definitely something underneath them, and it was obviously just waiting to pounce on them. And that was something that the deer faunus was actually prepared for, for the most part. Such was the nature of Remnant. That much wouldn't change, so they had to live with it. As man and faunus always had.
When the charge hit, its peak, of course, it would go straight towards the closest conductor. He made sure it hit the engine, but not without giving Luciela a sharp zap in the process. He smirked over to her side.
The car was able to receive a big enough jump to accelerate faster, especially with the help of Siva in manipulating some of the functions of the vehicle system.
He seemed rather pleased with himself despite his semblance not kicking back in fully.
"We may have drawn some attention and will need to start going 20 degrees further south easternly. It'll get us to hit an exterior town near the capital but from there we would be good to split up. It'll take 4 hours driving alone, the swarm in the middle of that, and we risk vehicle damage if we drive into drastic freezing temperatures," he said. Of course, when he said "split up" it was only referencing Luciela taking her leave, and he was sure Siva would know he meant that.
Luciela wheeled around and decked Red. "What the hell is your goddamn problem huh?! You've been acting like a little child since Siva picked me up! You got a damn problem?!! I'll throw the fuck down! Let's go!"
Siva let out a low growl of irritation. "Now is hardly the time, you two," she called back to Luciela and Red. "Focus on the danger so I can focus on driving." Controlling the buggy under these circumstances was getting difficult. Red had done something that made it go crazy, and it seemed to be working...for the moment at least.
The magnetism from the electromagnets MAY have helped the vehicle accelerate without using more fuel than necessary, BUT, it drew a threat closer at the same time. After all... Vacuo... was known for their metal resources.
Suddenly a segmented snake like creature with metallic looking armor over it lunged upwards and shot towards the magnets and their bearer, shooting both of them over the vehicle and tumbling into the sand.
Almost making a motion to dodge out of the way, June alerted him of the creature again and his distraction allowed him to get punched harshly by Luciela. Glaring back and turning red in the face from her words, he wanted to go on a full on rant about her when he suddenly didn't see the danger due to this aggressive distraction of the metallic Grimm lunging at him. It was honestly probably because of the damn magnets being on still....
The pain of the impact of hitting the ground was searing. It felt like a severe slice and a strong crush all at once. Red cried out in this pain but couldn't stand out as the weakling. With purpose, he struggled to get one of his Sylph out and turned it on to a very strong repel and shot the Grimm far a way before turning his magnets to be opposite and then letting go of one of his guns in a rotational spinning pattern as it was similarly repelled by his other magnets. Of course, increasing in electricity all the way up until broke through the Grimm's body, causing it to fizzle in the air before he drew the magnetic gun back to him, trying to be safe but needing to rush.
He bit his lip and anticipation of the pain of the next move but he turned on every single one of his magnets to draw as he allowed what was probably a broken shoulder of his arm to quickly draw him back to the vehicle in order to not divert Siva's path.
....He couldn't tell if this was as bad as the electrocution... But at least he passed out quickly during the electrocution....
He slammed against the vehicle, trying desperately to not get scraped/burned by the tires and underneath rubble as he tried to haul himself over but his shoulder simply couldn't do it.
Looking up, he knew he had no other choice, "LUCIELA!" he yelled in a panic. He needed to get over there, with this pain, he wouldn't support this much longer.
"And now I'm needed. God. This bastard is lucky that I'm not a total heartless sociopath." Luciela rolled her eyes and ran over to him. If he continued in the way he was after she saved him, well. She'd have to just smack that ridiculous petulance out of him. "Yeah, of course now you need my help. Not so high and mighty now when push comes to shove, huh? Not that that really needed to be established."
Siva's patience was wearing thin. The extra speed was helping them evade the Grimm, sure, but it was making the buggy harder to control. And when they were already driving over loose desert sand, that was really saying something.
Siva let out a low growl and said, "Save your little spat for when our lives AREN'T on the line!" She spared the briefest of glances back at their assailant, as if considering something, then turned to face forward again and said, "Bringing pettiness like that to the battlefield tends to get one killed!" <This,> she reminded herself, <is another reason I work alone. Damn unprofessionals...>
Growling at not receiving instant help, Red decided he was just going to take care of himself. Just like he always had to...
Almost impossibly lifting his other arm, he shot the magnetic gun towards the very edge of the buggy with turning on the repel pole on his wrist magnet so that it'd latch into the metal of the car. He then reveres the poles so he would be drawn towards and instantly at the same time did the same to the other magnetic until he was able to somewhat able to crawl himself over, of course shoving Luciela out of the way but his time mostly out of necessity to simply collapse.
"Thanks.. for... nothing..." he breathed out harshly as he tried to massage his shoulder back into place. Luckily, slamming against the car helped with the dislocation, but it still needed recovery...
Checking June one last time before he blacked out he said quietly, "No danger for now..."
"Oh please. Like you deserve the help. You acted like a little child and now you're all butthurt because I called you out on it. The fact is, you're insufferable and every bit as petulant as me, with less of an excuse. Get over yourself."
Luciela turned around, she didn't regret the response she gave Red. It was ridiculous how he was acting and she wasn't going to second guess herself. She was not an unsympathetic individual, but she was not going to be party to an overgrown child. This Grimm was going to die and then she would continue on to Shade.
The sun was setting over the horizon behind the car which was traveling more towards the east. Over the next couple minute, it was fully underneath the horizon and darkness blanketed the landscape.
The temperature drastically hit a sharp negative 30 degrees Fahrenheit from the 120 degrees it was prior. The night was dead with activity.
Red had partially laughed at what Luciela had said but didn't find it worthy of a response. As he started to black out, he noticed that it wasn't really his internal vision getting darker but rather internal. Sighing, he forced himself up as the sun came down and before the freezing temperatures hit fully, dangerously maneuvered around the back of the car in a wobbbly manner to grab a small pack of his on supplies he had brought. He of course had never planned to leech off of Siva, he could take care of himself after all and he DID have probability sight after all too. A night stay was a probability and a dangerous one needed to be accounted for. He had accounted for some sort of meet up, but would have never guessed what would result of the meeting.
But, Red, you should practically be able to tell the future at this point...
Opening the bag, he got out two heated blankets that were of slightly and oddly advanced technology that were meant to be slightly thin but keep warm electronically and wirelessly. Turning them both on, he actually did end up tossing one over to Luciela then put one over Siva with an hand to her shoulder, "Stop driving, I'll freeze lock the car." His voice was tired.
Siva was unsure of how to proceed. On the one hand, they could continue on now and risk the cold damaging the buggy. On the other hand, they could stop for the night and risk frostbite and other cold-related injuries. Either way, it was bad. So she made a judgment call.
"We need to keep going," she said. "I'm sure we can find some way to keep this heap together. We can set something alight if need be. I can cover any damage to it if we wind up in the worst-case scenario."
Siva put the buggy back into normal drive mode so as not to overcharge it. She then noticed Red had put one of the heated blankets over her, and blushed the tiniest bit. "Thanks," she said quietly, just barely audible over the engine. "But make sure you take care of yourself as well."
Luciela took the heat blanket and laid down a distance away from the others, wrapping herself in it as she turned the opposite direction of the group. She had no interest in conversing and as such closed her eye, letting her thoughts take over her. The only company she cared to keep.
"I trust you, Siva," he said softly, leaning in slightly close to her. Nodding slightly at her decision since it would only take 2 hours to get to exterior of the capital anyway, he hopped she could hold it out for them.
Siva wasn't the only one holding it out though. In an attempt to not disturb Luciela and cause more problems, Red decided to leave her be and stayed to the other corner. Those blankets only covered one person anyway and there wasn't much use in sharing. He made sure to be quiet and it was dark already, so Siva would not notice. That he felt like taking another one for the team.
"I'll take us as fast as we can go," Siva said. And she meant it, because she needed to get back to the capital as soon as possible. Her mission was time-sensitive, and she needed to have it completed by the night after next. Time was not on her side, and she needed to outmaneuver it, which was hard enough on its own. This whole desert jaunt had made things unnecessarily complicated. Why had she done this anyway?
Red barely was able to nod but internally did so anyway. Only a couple of hours... he supposed he should work on small mental activity to keep his mind on alert. Though without his semblance, it wouldn't be as easy, the challenge of not having his semblance proved to be fun at times.
Working some numbers into his head, he accidentally let a thought of a feeling drift into his mind as his body went numb and he lay quiet as those two couple of hours past.
The lights of the edge of the capital came into view and were soon upon them.
Siva shivered under her blanket as they neared the city, despite the blanket. She had never been one for the cold, and this was only making the whole experience worse. At least they were getting close to the city. "Nearly there," she said, half to herself and half to Luciela and Red. "Still alive back there?" she called to her companions. She hadn't heard out of them in a while, and it was slightly worrying.
Luciela remained silent, she was in deep sleep. Subsequently there was no response to Siva, she was tired of Red's constant childish antics and simply wanted to sleep. It was a dreamless sleep, which in her view was the best kind.
At this point, Red's ears and other senses were numbed. He couldn't hear Siva call to him and only saw a slight turn of the head but couldn't muster up the strength to fully respond back instead "A 2007 in bracket 9 out bracket 0 minus...." he continued trying to be loud but then muttering.
He seemed to be speaking nonsense, though honestly he needed to work out some numbers... Also saying anything would probably give Siva less worry, though he was not paying attention to the fact that Siva may be worried about Luciela as well. Simply because he felt there was no reason to do so.
He had never cared about anyone. Until Siva.
Siva heard Red mumbling something. Good, at least he was alive. However, she couldn't hear anything from Luciela, which was somewhat alarming. She spared a glance to the girl, and noticed her chest rising and falling, indicating that she was breathing and therefore alive.
<Good,> Siva thought. She wouldn't let either of them die if she could help it. She looked at the fuel gauge, then at the city looming in front of them, and put the pedal to the metal. It was the home stretch now. They were almost there. "Just for once," she said to herself, "everyone lives."