16 June, 2025 – Dubai, U.A.E.
A chase through the sleeping city ensues. The party is pursued by numerous Emirati police interceptors as well as the remaining police helicopter.
Again, Mike’s powers of mind control are used to great effect, while John in the machine gun turret and Daphne with the Barrett, combined with Emily’s electronics disruption, repeatedly foil the strafing runs of the chopper. However the party does hear the approach of new helicopters, which Cole identifies as military gunships by their sound.
After crashing through a roadblock, the party finds themselves briefly without pursuers and abandons the APC in a parking garage. They hotwire two cars and approach the marina from two directions. The marina was blocked by a small police cordon, and after some maneuvering the party splits up and approaches from different directions.
Hugo, Daphne, Emma, and Cole remain unseen and hop the fence into the marina, find the target yacht, and go about hotwiring it. Mike and Seamus head down the coast a ways and swim to the breakwater in the dark. Jamie and Emily walk through the world of the dead and make it to the boat, but are spooked back to the real world by something that appeared to be a fiery approaching storm. Margaret and John talk their way past the police and walk to the boat.
The party steers the boat out past the breakwater and into the dark seas, leaving the chaos of Dubai behind, but before long they hear the sound of gunships in the distance….
Hugo somehow managed to shake off the police cars following them. Somehow, the helicopter following them had lost them too; veering off in some direction away from them. Margaret suspected Emily’s hand in that, partly because she had handed Margaret the phone and told her to be navigator, as she would be busy with something else. For a few moments, it seemed none of their pursuers were in line of sight.
With no one watching, this was the right time to change vehicle. ‘In there, the garage!’ She was not sure if Hugo had already gotten the idea, and had simply spotted the same garage, but he did not argue or ask any questions, and seemed to have started driving into the garage before she even stopped talking.
They got out of the car, if something like that could be called a car; it was not exactly a tank, but she was fairly certain it qualified as an AFV of some kind. Not exactly subtle, so finding something a little less obvious would be wise.
In a surprising short period of time, they had two new cars ready to go, and she tried not to think about what it said about her companions. As she watched Cole enter the sports car, she decided to pick the other one, just in case he decided to grow fur and fangs again.
They approached the harbour from different directions, but of course the harbour was guarded. And not just the run of the mill security guard either. These were most likely there looking for … she really had to come up with something to call their group. The Fellowship was just wrong. Had there been nine rather than ten of them, maybe. But no, not even in her own mind. Party? That would do.
It seemed the guards had noticed them, though, and were trying to get a closer look. There was another parking garage close by, though, one belonging to a hospital, it seemed, and Jamie headed in that direction. He managed to get into the garage without the guards actually seeing where he drove, giving them some time.
Seamus and Mike headed off; they were fairly confident they would be able to sneak into the harbour without the guards spotting them. Margaret did not really doubt they would be able to pull it off. Also, two people would most likely be far easier to sneak past the guards than ten. Or six.
Jamie decided to try to cross over to the world of the dead, taking Margaret and Emily with him. Except when he and Emily disappeared, Margaret was left standing. She got the feeling bringing her across might not be possible; so clearly he could bring live people, and dead objects, but not dead people.
‘We could try to sneak past?’ John was looking at her. Margaret managed so suppress the snort.
‘I could quote Poe at them until they fell asleep?’ Not really fair to Poe, of course; he was not boring. But he was one of the authors she probably could manage to quote until someone fell asleep.
John smiled, shook his head and offered her his arm. She suspected she knew what he was thinking and took it, and the two of them headed towards the guards, as if out for a stroll. She had, in fact, several ideas, but it depended on them actually agreeing on a story beforehand.
As they approached the guards, John said quietly ‘Watch this, I saw it in a movie once’. She knew, with an absolute certainty what he was going to do. Before she had the time to say anything, though, one of the guards held up his hand to stop them and asked for their identifications. ‘I just hope they never saw the movie’, she thought to herself, as John made a motion with his hand.
‘You do not need to see our identifications’. She felt an urge to add ‘we’re not the droids you’re looking for’, but that would definitely have gotten them in trouble. John then went on suggesting that the guards go get a coffee. The guards seemed to agree, and one of them mumbled something about letting dispatch know where they were going.
She felt a moment of panic. If they called in, saying they were going for a coffee, dispatch would probably become suspicious, and if they did not, others would. It would not quite be like sending up a flare, but not far from it. Why did John have to try to send them away? Her suggestion would have been to simply make the guards let them through, giving them the impression that they had borrowed a boat from a friend, and intended to go on a romantic late night or early morning trip.
Before they had time to contact dispatch, she interrupted them, suggesting that they should simply go and grab a coffee, without asking. After all, dispatch would just tell them no, and instruct them to stay where they were.
As she was trying to convince them, something strange happened. She could actually feel that she was reaching at least one of them. Was this something like what Mike did? If so, it was wrong, but the alternative would most likely result in some of the guards dying. This would probably be better for all involved.
In the end, the guards headed off somewhere to get some coffee, without contacting dispatch, and John and Margaret made their way to the boats. The others were already there, all of them. Some of them were still wet; they had clearly decided to swim. Jamie and Emily had arrived as well, but both of them seemed a little shaken; it seemed they had seen something scary on the other side. Still, they were all there, so they headed out from the harbour before the guards returned.
They were speeding away from the harbour, but as the ship that was going to get them to New Jersey was still at the port, and would not be able to pick them up for at least a day. And then, of course, they heard the sound of helicopters.