Northern Markets Ep80

Episode 80: Look what the ranger brought in

“Bog siar! Bog siar!”
“Get back! Move it, now!”
The convoy moved slowly across the suspended bridges and elevated branchways. The mob of archmages surrounded the delivery truck as it rolled slowly by like some weird parade.
The civilians; average low level people were herded away by the arch mages, who were keeping a 60-foot distance between people and the truck. People huddled nervously around the shops by the sides of the branchways as the convoy drove past. Leading them was a crystal-powered GM’s hover patrol car with its blue lights flashing.
[“Clear out! Dangerous cargo coming through!”]
The GM’s ahead were on hover motorbikes and hog mounts, honking air horns to get the people moving off the main road.
the archmages had their staffs up and ready to ice the truck if anything were to happen. These mages had lightning reflexes and could ice a bomb the second it exploded and actually stop the blast itself. These mages wore sleek black robes with blue patches on- the patch symbols were staffs crossed like an X with the red star over them in a blue background. They were from the CCA’s 7E Foireann (7th elite squad), one of the magicians’ most brutal forces. They drove out the Sharenians, decimated the invading rangers, and literally shredded and fried the Sino Army who invaded back in 1942. Because most of the 1500 mages who belonged to the 7E-F, they handled the deadly threats, such as the truck driven by a JA ranger. Because he was alone and surrendered immediately, the 7E-F assumed he was a suicide bomber and the truck was packed with some high yield bomb.
When the ranger was captured and the mages discovered the suffering magicians, the CCA ordered them to guard the truck until the 7E-F came, and the Bomb Scaud team examined the half dead magicians, and make sure they themselves weren’t being used as bombs.

After the magicians prisoners were rushed to the hospital, the truck was driven to the CCA HQ, and locked up in a hangar that had super-reinforced walls inside the tree. Walls designed to contain explosions. As soon as it arrived, the truck was completely frozen over and stripped down by the mages, and mechanics called in from the autoshop.

As for the ranger, he was iced up, and dragged roughly with staff tips at his throat like spears. He was dragged to the lab where they stuck memory crystals all over him, and even jammed one in his mouth. If the supervisor officer wasn’t in the room, the pissed off archmages would have jammed a really sharp tipped crystal up the ranger’s ass.
After a four hour memory scan, the younger lower ranking mages zapped and kicked the crap out of the ranger until an archmage electrocuted them all (violence against prisoners is forbidden).
The ranger was dragged by the throat down to the deepest, darkets, dampest and coldest block of cells in the detention area.
The mages opened the stiff vine cell doors and shoved the ranger in. Still tied up in ice, he hit the splintery floor flat on his face.
“F***king murderous dog!”

Jango squirmed. His whole body hurt and ached from the electric and ice torture.
A wizard fried him again with a lighting bolt, and he writhed in agony.
“Stop! That’s enough!”
The wizard stopped, and they slammed the door shut and walked off

5:05 PM
CCA officer Soa, the long silver-haired archmage, and officer Leixip, the blue haired mage sat in the crowded meeting room on one of the upper floors of the complex. Joining them was the commissioner R. Athlone, an MBI agent, and a GM. Some other chief officer archmages were also called to the meeting.
Squad 160’s captain Ylin Arla, level 92 mage was also present, and sitting next to her was the 75 poison mage Fred.
As more CCA officers and GMs came into the meeting room, Ylin gazed out the silk window at the mountains. The sun was behind them, but its rays of orange-pink light still lit up the valleys.
Ylin served with the CCA for over seven years at home, and in secret abroad. She was just a recon/patrol squad captain, and still felt uncomfortable sitting around the higher-ups.
They all sat around a huge stained oak table, under bright blue-white crystal lamps.

“Allright, let’s get started,” Comissioner Athlone began. “Today I recieved the report from squad 160 and the short summary of the ranger’s arrest. According to Captain Arla’s report at 1:53 PM this afternoon, team 160 captured a Justice Arrow ranger who arrived at the checkpoint driving a delivery truck. Upon arrest, the ranger offered no resistance, and advised team 160 of the package containing contact codes for New Saskatchewan. As per your report, the truck also contained 18 cages; each holding one to four magicians; all in critically ill health. The magicians were taken to the infirmary under a medical emergency declaration. The ranger was put through an extensive memory scan, and then placed in the detention block. The truck is being stripped down and examined as we speak.”
The GMs and MBI officers nodded. To everyone else, the ranger’s actions were a complete surprise- last time they checked, no one in the Justice Arrow would ever surrender to the enemy.

“Captain Arla,” Comissioner Athlone said. Ylin stood up.
“How do you validate the general summary? Is it entirely truthful?”
“Yes, sir,”
“What about the incident where the ranger was attacked?”
“Enraged over his personal loss caused by the JA, Fred, here, attacked the ranger with poison gas. At once the rest of my team acted and took the ranger down before he could fight back.”
“Did the ranger provoke your friend?”
“No, sir.”
The officers and GMs nodded.
“How was the ranger’s approach?”
“He stopped a distance from us, and I ordered him to walk closer on grounds of deadly force.”
“How was he after you tied him up?”
“The ranger showed no resistance and was pretty much dead weight when we threw him in the truck,”
“Thank you, Captain,”
Arla sat back down.

“Archmages, Leixip and Soa, you have your report on the memory scan?”
The two archmages who dealth with the Kerning cop and then the ranger stood up, arms at their sides.
“Yes, sir,” Leixip began.
“Would you like to enlighten us to the innards of the ranger’s mind?”
“Yes, sir,”
Leixip and Soa walked to the front of the room where an opaque white screen was drawn down. Soa pushed her hair back and started the magic powered wooden- projector, and stuck the dark blue memory crystal in it, and closed the hatch.
She took one of the smaller topaz crystals that were hooked to the projector via cables, and handed the other one to Leixip.
Using the topaz crystals as remotes, they used their magic and minds and started the presentation.

“The memory scan took nearly three and a half hours. We extracted first information about the ranger, his intent on coming here, his history with the JA and personal background, his health, and-“
“Start with that please,” Athlone demanded. “We want to know who we are dealing with, and if there is a potential threat and how serious that is,”
“Yes, sir” Leixip replied.
A mugshot of the ranger appeared on the screen. He appeared skinny, had a short mop of blond hair, and piercing blue eyes.
“Jango Alyth, level 70 ranger, infantryman of the Justice Arrow. Born 47th day of Autumn, 1991 to Joseph and Aungier Alyth, both residents of Henesys, and senior officers of the Justice Arrow. He was expelled from the Henesys schoolhouse in 2002, and put to hard labor after killing two classmates by strangling and hanging one, and stoning the other. The incident was the ranger’s response to years of harassment and abuse. He was to be executed by burning, however Joseph Alyth intervened and asked the JA to take him in. Jango worked for the JA doing community service work around Henesys, and in
2005, was promoted from serviceman to combat status rank following his 2nd job advance. Jango was sent to Westborough to aid the JA and associated gangs with their crusade in Kerning City..”
Images, and short videos of the ranger’s memories flashed on the screen while things he said and heard and thought echoed from the red speaking crystals.
“Jango was often sent into the slum areas, the Asian districts and areas where magicians, hackers, and noobs were concentrated. Jobs included roughing up people to hunting hackers, criminals, and other high profile people whether good or bad. The ranger’s teams often vandalized and destroyed stores, businesses, and assaults on people. On October 9 last year, Jango disobeyed orders when he was told to crash a rave party and attack Permanoob technosinger Amanda Skotz. For that, his boss, Robert Killinger, leader of the team shot Jango in the stomach, and as punishment, Jango was lashed 216 times with a chain, beat up and locked in the cellar of Westborough Church for a whole week; no food or water. He was also ordered to pay the medical bill for the clinic visit-“

Athlone cut them off and demanded, “Is the ranger a threat is what I want to know?! Are there more bowmen sneaking around here? What about the truck? Was ther hazardous materials or chemical weapons of the sort in that thing? What about the health of the ranger and the magicians for Elune’s sake!”

The guy from the Academy infirmary stood up. “Overall examiniation of the patients turned up no diseases or dangerous infections. They all suffered from severe mana poisoning, and-“
“Thank you, we’ll ge back to you doctor! What about the ranger? Is he diseased?! Perhaps the JA sent him with some magic eating virus to waste us all!”
“We’ve yet to fully inspect the ranger himself, however during the memory check, he showed no symptons or signs of illness. None of the us who personally saw to him got sick either.”
“Thank you!” Athlone said briskly. “Now what about his buddies, does he have anyone else sneaking around here? Perhaps he didn’t expect a checkpoint and we might have other bowmen sneaking around out midst!”

Soa answered, “Comissioner, the memory scan results indicate that the ranger had no contact with the JA since 1:30 pm yesterday. We have records of his conversations with the bowmen at the JA’s base at Fuar Bais Scoith [Cold Death Pass] in Corazon Canyon, and he did no tell the others of his plans to come here. He lied to the others and said he was en route to Kerning City.”

Athlone nodded. “So this fella planned this on his own is what you’re saying?”
“Yes, sir”
“Now tell us why he surrendered!”

“We’ll explain in chronological order, sir,” Leixip said. The officers nodded.
“Although he was raised by a deeply loyal family, Jango Alyth never believed in the Justice Arrow’s morals. Abused as a child growing up, he only pretended he was one of Jalonska’s disciples. After being on tours of duty in Sleepywood, Kerning, and on espionage missions in the Kaom Tor magician settlement and villages, he never personally justified the JA’s work. Given the information we have on the ranger’s emo-chemical history, he has suffered numerous guilt trips and depressions relating to his crimes. The chemical of guilt still runs through his veins for his part in the JA’s assault on Border Town, a small city in the SEA Lands. According to the ranger’s memory, the JA killed hundreds of residents including magicians, and refugee hackers, noobs and magicians who fled Kerning City over the winter.”
Pictures appeared on the screen showing the Justice Arrow’s attack on the town and farms surrounding it. They also showed the magicians killing rangers with light, and growing plants them. Pictures of a giant airborne ship being blown up by fire and ice from ground based ships also ran accross the screen. Then there were memories from a big battle between the infamous purple haired hacker and one of the JA commanders, and the hacker pumping the JA bow woman with hackium energy. Pictures of a woman holding her baby and pleading with the ranger appeared.
“The ranger wasn’t too sure of who to attack during this battle, and upon seeing this woman here, he abandoned any intent on fighting and hid.”
Soa showed the video of the ship being destroyed and the flaming wreck falling to the ground.

“If you don’t mind my asking,” began a guy from the Ellinia Magic Council, “How the hell did the Justice Arrow acquire such a ship-“
“It’s from Roika,” the MBI agent spoke up. “The ship was to be scrapped and the JA bought it from the Roikans. They had in total of 21 airships as of November.”
“The JA traded with another country?! How?” the man from the Magic Council demanded.
“Be assured the JA’s purchase of that airship was done in secret by pro JA groups in Roika. The government would have stopped them if they knew about it!”
The guys from the EMC argued quietly among themselves.
“What was the Justice Arrow doing all the way out there?”

the map of Border Town appeared.

Leixip spoke up again. “The JA had a base in Border Town. There they used a warehouse to hold magician prisoners. The JA kidnapped magicians everywhere and brought them here after taking over Fuar Bais Scoith. Here, they sold them as slaves or food to other markets accross the SEA Lands. The money the JA recieved was in colossal amounts. Before they took over Cold Death Pass, the rangers had to pay royalties to the Pass’ original owners, costing them large percentages of their profit, and it cost them even more to smuggle the slaves into the Free Market. Their profits increased a hundredfold when they transported the magicians themselves to the SEA Lands rather than have SEA Landers come down to the JA’s bases near Perion to get the magicians.”

“What is the state of this affair now?” a Magic Council guy asked.
“The people in the SEA Lands attacked and destroyed the base at Border Town. Jango Alyth was the only member of the JA to survive. As you can see here, these archmages who seem to master the elements of light and wind destroyed the entire base including the warehouse. Assumingly, all of the prisoners were instantly killed, but that still has to be verified,”

There was an angered murmer among the CCA officers and other mages in the room.

“okay, enough! What did the ranger do after it was all over?” Comissioner Athline demanded.
“He stole a delivery truck that didn’t reach the base, stole radio equipment and a radio station index. The ranger put these things into the truck with the magician prisoners and shut the door. He drove to Cold Death Pass, lied to the rangers, and came here. Here as we watch this, the subtitles are the ranger’s thoughts hoping the magicians in the back would survive long enough to come here.”

“Very interesting,” Athlone commented. “What about the communication equipment?”
“Everything was sent to the communication department, and the codes and index were copied and sent to the EMC,” Soa answered.

There was a pause.

“It seems this ranger wanted us to have this information before the Justice Arrow finds out. The JA have lost their financial supply line and yet our spy companies havent reported any changes to the JA’s activity. The assault on Kerning is still continuing, and they seem to show no awareness to the fact they will run out of money soon. The Roikans pulled out of Henesys, and the JA is not recieving financial or supply aid from them,” the MBI man said.
“Not bad way to set them up.”
“He gave us an advantage, and we can contact these people in New Saskatchewan-“
“And ask them what the bloody hell they killing our magicians for?!” the old man officer shouted. “They slaughtered all of them!”
“We will look into that once we establish contact!”
“They can’t be our enemy as well, after all they did destroy the rangers stationed there…”

“Remember we are threatened by the JA, folks!” the guy from the EMC said. “I am just as upset over the loss of the magicians up there but that has to be investigated before we point fingers! We can’t afford to make enemies with another group!”
“for Ellinia’s sake I hope you are right, my friend,” Athlone said.

“We will work on establishing contact with New Saskatchewan, what will you do?”

“We’ll see what else we can squeeze out of that ranger, and our communications department will also work on contact as well.”
“What about telling our delegation?” Arla asked.
“Out of the question!” the EMC man replied. “Our men have prepared a full speech series for tomorrows summit at Lith Harbor. We won’t complicate their negotiations with Henesys with this information. It could just as well hit the wrong ears.”
“Leave them blind is that it?”
“Well its better than telling the Justice Arrow their trafficking program is gone! Grendel IV will be informed when the delegation returns!”

“What about the memory crystals obtained from the highschool?”
“We found evidence that the JA is involved, and our findings from this ranger who surrendered to us cements it together!”

11:15 PM
Jango Alyth was dragged out of his cell by a group of angry mages who found their way down to the detention block. All of them were pissed off at the JA and took their revenge by subjecting the ranger to cruel torture.
He was stripped to his boxers, tied to a chair while the guys gashed him with shards of ice, blasts of fire and lightning.
He screamed in agony, and his screams echoed down the hell, and reached the ears of Rusty Miller. He lay on his bed in his cell, and didn’t move. He shifted around wanting them to shut the ranger up.
hell hath no fury like a pissed off archmage seeking vengance

3 thoughts on “Northern Markets Ep80”

  1. Oh, man. Reading this makes me want to read the whole thing, but I don’t have that time. D:

    Good story though, I’ll try and keep up.

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