AAVs were common in Simonsburg. The EEF had a base here, thought Tla’al, so nothing out of the ordinary. Just in case, she had sighters track the vehicle, just in case it was Mirror Fleet…or something else. If Kalok’s invasion taught Tla’al anything, it was that you never know where your enemies lie.
When the Earther dropped from the vehicle, it didn’t catch anyone by surprise. However, it did look cool. One of the local guards, an Earther male named Gladius, envied the tattoos. When the Earther introduced himself as Exorcist Holbrook, Gladius nodded. “Ok, come with me.” Gladius led Holbrook indoors, to a known drop point into the underground shelters. The underground shelter was barren, but not uncomfortable looking. Relatively dry, and lit using light leyas, not fire, so not overly warm. The deserts made it warm enough around here.
From the other side, through a connected tunnel, Tla’al made her way to the meeting point. She was growing up. She no longer looked as gangly as she did when she first invaded Simonsburg with Gul’al a few years back. She was still young, and not fully grown into her body, but she no longer looked wet behind the ears. She was wearing simple nightmare hide armor, a hobtor axe hung at her waist, and her garb was a mix of Earther and Brezan.
Tla’al asked Gladius, “Why was I called here?” Holbrook had not seen Gladius do any calling. Gladius responded, “He asked for Vektor. Since Vektor’s not here, we implemented standard protocol.”
Tla’al responded, “Standard what? No wait, nevermind, I remember.” She was picking up on Earther habits, and their weird words. Tla’al looked at Holbrook, “I apologize for the…what’s the term…right, cloak and dagger stuff. Gladius, thank you. You can go now. Good job.” Gladius nodded, smiling despite himself, and went back above ground.
Tla’al looked back to Holbrook when Gladius went back above ground and closed the entrance way. “I’m Tla’al of the Gang of Uf Mag’og and the Great Northern Army. Right, so not everyone knows what we’re doing here. Vektor should have told you to ask for me. It would have been a lot less trouble. Sorry for that.” She takes a swig of water from a flask, and offers it to Holbrook. “It’s customary when offering a container for the person offering to drink first, proving it’s not poison. If you need more water, we’ll have some where we’re going, but I don’t want to make you wait if your travel made you thirsty.”
After Holbrook’s decision, she continued, “Well, Exorcist Holbrook, let’s get you to Vektor. It’s just a few moments walk. No need to worry about nightmares, the light wards against them.” She used the Earther term for light, instead of the customary ur’sa’or.
After a few minutes walking through tunnels and passageways that kept Simonsburg safe from the Mirror Crystal, she made her way to a wall. The wall looked common, but she made a few knocks, and a doorway appeared. She smiled at Holbrook, and led him in. There he saw Vektor, wearing an armorfiend vest, his customary Krato poleaxe leaning against a wall, and a small hobtor knife at his side. In the room with him were two more ur rhug, wearing obviously Brezan garb, and Harle, a female Brezan wearing scavanged armor with a metal sword at her side, obviously taken from a Church of One Paladin. She looked at Vektor with deference as they waited.
Also in the room were three prisoners, currently sleeping and/or unconscious. It was hard to tell. Vektor nodded to Tla’al and Holbrook when they got into the room.
Tla’al spoke first. “Vektor, I bring you Exorcist Holbrook, asking for you by name. I presume he is the guest you have been waiting for.” Vektor nodded, “Thank you Tla’al, you may go.” As Tla’al left, Harle concentrated and closed the passageway using Earth Leyas.
“Exorcist Holbrook, I am Vektor of the Gang of Uf Mag’og and the Great Northern Army. I am happy you are here. The prisoners have been drugged into a stupor, so we can chat until they’re ready to wake up.” While his words didn’t ring false, Vektor didn’t look happy. Not at all. He did, however, offer his hand in a handshake, just like Urog told him to do.