Grandfather is brought back from the edge of a heart attack, and the bad guys are all tied up. Yay!
But where's grandmother?
Whenever they travel over grasslands, Whisper is over the moon with delight, swimming through the grass as fast as the Wolfen can run, and pulling them along under it to help speed up their journey. When there isn't grass, she is about as slow as a normal 6 year old would be. And as whiny.
Now that no cult members are going to escape and undo all her work so far, and the grandfather is unlikely to immediately die on her, Latas can go find out!
Her bullet wound has stopped bleeding at this point, and there is no bullet in the wound, luckily, but she's not going to be able to reliably use it. Therefore, she takes her gun in her left hand and gets ready to move.
Also, at this point, Latas calls for back up, both medical and law enforcement. They may not arrive in time deal with the remaining members, but they'll be able to cart off the ones she's dealt with already.
This accomplished, she begins heading down the hallway Tex came through.
That... was a lot of blood. And it didn't bode well for the grandmother's survival. Latas weighs the situation in her mind- this didn't give her many specifics. Just Charlie? Release him where? Just tell him to run off? And where was the grandmother to be found if Charlie was released?
How likely was it that the grandmother was already dead? Could she truly weigh that possibility in her decision on what to do? How likely was it that she would just be killed even if Latas cooperated?
A plan forms in Soldier Girl's mind. It was cold, but it would be the best route to ensure all possible objectives were met to the best of her ability. She steels herself.
"I'll assume you're watching now." She says, loud enough to be heard by anyone lurking around, but not by those in the room she came from. "I'm going to cooperate with you. I'll take Charlie to the van you came in. You can drive away with him."
Face cold, Soldier Girl turns back the way she came. "I've got the situation under control, but I need Charlie." She'll walk over to the cult leader with long strides and attempt to pick him up, roughly.
Soldier Girl fails to respond, but instead takes Charlie outside to the van, where she'll put him in the back, if possible. "I don't suppose you're in contact with your friend right now?" She asks quietly. "I need to speak with them."
And so Charlie unwittingly gives Soldier Girl the piece of information she needed to know so her plan could be put into action.
Finding the nearest object to do the job, and remaining in the van so she can't be seen by anyone in the house, she'll gag him with a piece of cloth, then retrieve a splinter from the wood and rope bonds he had around him. With practiced precision and efficiency, she dips it into a vial from her medical kit, and then will jam it completely into Charlie's arm, where it will dissolve with strange rapidity, until there is nothing left but the hole it entered in.
"You were right, Charlie. It's time to go. Your friend bargained for your release, and so I'm letting you go together. But I've poisoned you- I won't say with what, but I find it quite unlikely that anyone else will be able to give you the antidote in time.
"You have a few hours at most- enough time to get to Remnant, or to turn yourself over to me. Do so within that time, and I'll be able to administer the antidote. Otherwise, you'll die."
This accomplished, Soldier Girl will relieve Charlie of his cellphone, then leave him bound and gagged in the back seat of the van. She shuts the door behind her, then head back inside to begin searching for the grandmother- presumably the remaining cult member has seen her take Charlie to the van, if the message was true, and has started out to join him.
"He's in no condition to drive." Soldier Girl responds to Linda, stopping before reentering the house. "And the others are injured or disabled, so they're in no state to drive either. I called for Remnant backup quite some time ago, so if you plan to escape, you can't wait for him to recover. His only chance is with you as a driver."
Linda was quite obviously loyal to Charlie, and so Soldier Girl banks on that. Charlie wouldn't be served by killing the grandmother, after all, only by seeing him safely away.
"Just take it easy. I'm going to cooperate, just don't hurt her."
Latas simply nods, then waits. She carefully checks Tex's pistol to make sure it is loaded and ready in her jacket pocket, where she can shoot Linda if necessary. After all, this was a pretty dangerous game she was playing.
Pathfinder will struggle a bit at first, still weak, but over time he'll recover. When they reach the complainy/non-grassy areas, he'll try to pick the girl up and carry her for the comfort and sanity of both of them.
A few moments later, Linda comes around the house, pushing the terrified elderly lady in front of her. Grandmother has a lot of blood on her, but she's holding one hand clamped down over the wound in her arm. She kept her wits about her enough to do that much.
Indoors, Sophie succeeded in keeping Stupid Grandson from doing something stupider.
Carrying her like a human carries a small child? Or like a horse carries a rider? Either way, it will definitely cut down on the journey time. And the whining. She's very light.
Eventually they'll see the little town of Marthorne in the distance.
Linda edges near the van door, still holding Grandmother. She fishes the keys out of her pocket, leans in and starts the van with one hand. Then she eases into the seat. At the last minute, she shoves Grandmother hard, towards Latas, and tries to speed off.
((All actions are attempted, and the sequence of events can be interrupted at any time.))
Latas will allow them to leave, keeping the grandmother as her priority at the moment. She'd risked enough by poisoning Charlie, after all, and wasn't sure she should have even attempted that. That said, she managed to pull it off, so hopefully things would go well from here.
"Don't move any more. I'm going to take care of this." Latas says as she tries to gently assist the grandmother in sitting or laying down. No more movement than that until she figures out where she is wounded. Latas gets out her medical kit and begins inspecting the injury, though she'll call out to the others inside the house while she does so.
Latas will tend to the grandmother's arm, while she contacts Remnant again, and informs them of the current situation. She gives them all the information on the van and its occupants, and also tells them that she has the phone number of one of the people in the van through Charlie's cellphone (though granted, a bit of interrogation will be needed to figure out which number in Charlie's phone is hers).
She'll also inform them that Charlie is poisoned... though it turns out she lied to him about the exact potency of the poison. It will likely make him quite sick, and possibly put him through some pain, but unless he's abnormally weakened, he should pull through in time. Though, it won't be surprising if he feels like he's dying. It'll certainly make it harder to do anything with him, and could help Remnant notice him, assuming he doesn't come in of his own accord.
Latas will ask Julia and Sophie to accompany her to Remnant headquarters to help her compile a full report of the situation, though she'll also attend to medical needs they have, and offer some sort of compensation for the trouble, if only a decent lunch.
She gets the prisoners escorted back to Remnant safely, and will also help the family with any needs they have- the injured grandparents, and perhaps offering them a place to stay while their house is repaired. After all, they'd need to get the door back on and fix things up from the fight.
When all this is accomplished, she'll return to Remnant.
[Coffin Hunting - Above the Most Definitely Not Suspicious or Haunted Mansion and surrounding Dark Forest]
A couple of Vino's bat hawks are scouting the area around the mansion Rot has hidden his coffin in! They will note many things from the sky high above the cursed land.
In this area, the sky is dark and the sun is permanently obscured by ominous black billowing storm clouds. Only flashes of dramatically appropriate lightning ever bring light to this dismal place, though it never rains. The forest surrounding the large manor looks completely dead: there is no undergrowth, no animals to be seen, and all the trees are bare and leafless with dark brown and knobby bark. The reaching finger-like branches and twigs sway in the chilly and howling wind. If any of the bat hawks fly down among the trees, it will be suddenly swatted down by a whip-like branch and absorbed among the roots on the ground, revealing the danger the haunted forest poses. A single long and winding dirt road goes through the trees, leading up to a black bar gate in a tall square brick wall around the mansion. The gates are always open, but one continually swings just enough to create a repeating ear-aching creak.
The mansion itself is huge and Gothic, with tons of shuttered windows and tall towers and threatening spikes and pointed roofs and grotesque gargoyles. The imposing wooden double doors are closed this time. The structure itself is made of blackened stone bricks, or at least it looks like stone. They won't get any more information from looking at it, there aren't even any pale faces looking out the windows.
Avatar by Gulaghar. Yeah.
Originally Posted by Julius Caesar, Shakespeare
Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear,
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.
Either way that would have been more comfortable for her.
When they get into the sight of the town, Pathfinder will set Whisper down. "Now, stick by my side." He tells her. "They probably won't like outsiders such as us, and we need to make sure to be quiet so the woman won't know we're here to steal back Grass-Bringer."
Durin nods to Vino, taking a moment to think. "We don't have a lot of options save for goign through the forest and taking the front door. Vino, take rear guard. Astrana, stay in between us and keep your head down."
He isn't sure why Ramiro chose to send the girl along. To him at least, she's little more than a child. Though, she is some sort of mage, and that could be valuable.
Durin draws his runed blade and starts moving forward slowly. Slowly so his companions can add their two cents before they get too far.