Bane nodded and picked the box off the floor, setting it on the table. “Ya, you have a point. We need to find out what triggered her being taken. Maybe that’s why things are going nuts the last few days.”
Matias pulled himself off the bed and examined the innards of the box in as much detail as he could muster. Files upon files were flush against each other in their cardboard containment. At random, he picked two sheets out out. He squinted as he read the contents.
"These fuckers hide their tracks even within themselves," he grumbled, "I mean.. Base PV-1... And this one, R-3... What the hell does that mean?"
His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of treads hitting wood. He looked over, and Oleander was now towering over him.
"PIXIE VILLAGE. RINHALA. THERE ARE BASES THERE."
"How do y–?"
"I HAVE SEEN ONE SOUTHEAST OF PIXIE VILLAGE. I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU TO GO THERE."
"YES. I TOLD YOU WHERE IT WAS."
Matias looked at the bug with huge, confused eyes which drifted off to the side as he attempted to recall past events. Then it hit him.
"... The second note... Okay, I remember now. So that's where they're being held..."
Bane frowned and said “are you that’s where? I mean, it’s right in the middle of the city? One of the missing is a pixie. How would anyone be missing that?” Dante looked over from the file he was reading and said “more then likely they are using cloaking or magic to hide it. Do we go now or wait for the boss?”
Iris had been checking midnight over and said “she’s not going anywhere for a while. She’s too weak”
Matias looked at the two like they stunk. He shook his head after his initial expression of displeasure.
"No, you idiots. Obviously it's not directly in the damn place. Hold on."
In the middle of his talking, he had pulled out his phone. He once again found himself looking at his search history, once again looking for that string of numbers, and once again pulling it up. With a sigh, he showed them the map, full of green.
"Look. It's miles away in the middle of nowhere. Even if they didn't cloak or whatever, this wouldn't be easy to find."
Matias's eyes rolled a near-perfect 180 degrees backwards. He wasn't having it.
"First of all..."
His hand opened over Midnight's bedside, his palm pointing up.
"... Look at her. Do you really think she's in the state to be going out? This is the third time or something that she's passed out for one reason or another. I'm getting a little tired of it, personally. Second..."
His nail tapped on his phone screen.
"It doesn't matter what the bug fucking said, the base is where I showed you it was. Which, by the way..."
He suddenly took his free hand and lightly patted Oleander's stomach, which was all his height really allowed him to reach. This was much to Oleander's distaste, however, and they backed up.
Matias looked like he was about to burst, but Oleander stepping forward kept him from erupting. Still, he gave the moth a scowl as he swallowed back his profanities.
"Clearly you know way more than me," he huffed, "so you go ahead. Fucking bug."
Oleander gave Matias a two-second glance and nothing more.
"LET IRIS STAY WITH LADY MIDNIGHT," they signed, "THE SOONER WE CAN INVESTIGATE THE MATTER, THE SOONER WE CAN END THIS. I SUSPECT THAT CLOAKING IS BEING UTILIZED TO HIDE THE BASES, BUT THAT TECHNOLOGY IS HIGH ENERGY AND DETECTABLE."
"Hence the coordinates," Matias chimed in, waving his phone in his hand.
Bane and Dante nodded and Bane said “alright then. We go check out the location and see what is there. If we need back up we hit the SOS?” He glanced at Iris who nodded. “The boss will stay with me until she’s rested and recovered. I’ll make sure of it…”
Dante smirked and said “alright we now have a plan”
While Oleander was already making their way out the window, Matias took a moment to stare at Midnight from where he stood. He half expected her to start moving, and he half expected to start fighting her again to make her stay. The grim reality settled, however, and he set the thought aside.
"Alright," he sighed, "let's get a move on."
He took the lift downstairs, feeling he might need as much energy in his legs as he could muster. The sun coated him nicely as he made his way to the van. He was looking through his keyring to open the back door when he suddenly heard a familiar clicking followed by a thud.
"Do you just not walk anywhere?" Matias asked, turning to face the source.
"IT IS IN MY NATURE TO FLY," Oleander replied, "NOT TO MENTION MORE CONVENIENT."
"Well, stay on the ground. We need your help getting over there."
Now Matias was wondering if there was more metal than flesh composing the damn thing.
The others followed him out and Bane said “it’s just his nature Matias. Mine would be to shift and use my wolf form over there…” Dante chuckled and got into the van. “His got a point. That’s what we are fighting for right? Everyone to be their own person?”
Matias rolled his eyes before looking back at Dante dully.
"Right. But don't make it deeper than it needs to be."
He found his coveted key eventually and stuck it in the keyhole. He was rather quick to open the door and step inside, settling down by one of the van's metallic walls. Oleander followed, crouching uncomfortably to even fit inside but eventually finding their place on the other wall.
"Alright," Matias huffed, "Where did you say that place was, Mothman?"
It almost seemed like Oleander wasn't going to answer as they stayed quiet for a good five seconds. Before Matias could insult them, however, their hands began to move.
"FIFTEEN MILES SOUTHWEST OF PIXIE VILLAGE," they replied, "CURRENTLY, WE ARE FORTY MILES NORTHWEST."
Band pulled up the map on the vans screen and set the location. “All set. Hopefully we find something there that will give us some answers…” Dante leaned back in the seat and said “I hope scarlet is okay…” they set off, the manor soon vanishing from sight.
In his small bout of anger, he had completely forgotten that she had left to Pixie Village. Now he was wondering if Oleander knew or even cared. Looking towards the moth, his lips pursed slightly as he prepared what to say.
"I'm assuming we're gonna look for Scarlet before heading to the base?"
Matias bit his lip softly. He really had nothing to say outside of "I didn't see her either", and what good was that response? Though, he hadn't checked his phone in a bit...
No use saying anything, again, so he didn't. As the van droned and rumbled, he spent his time staring and thinking, mostly the latter. He hoped that the puritans spent their day today thinking about doing a raid than actually doing one. The last thing he needed right now was to see more explosions or, worse, deal with another injured teammate. Iris was tired, and so was he. He was also worried. So much so that he almost obsessively checked his phone to see if there was any feedback from Scarlet, every few minutes, even if there were none every single time he checked.
Comparatively, Oleander didn't bother with such petty human emotions. They were simply grooming themselves throughout most of the ride.
The van seemingly slowed to a stop after what felt like hours upon hours of driving. Matias's behind was so, so sore, but he forced himself up anyway. It was finally time to see what the village had in store for them.
Bane pulled a few yards outside of town and opened the doors, stepping out with a frown on his face. “It’s way too quiet for the village…normally you would hear music or something…it’s like a ghost town…I don’t like this at all”
The village was certainly beautiful, at least in Matias's eyes. Lush flora peppered every inch of land, some even climbing the walls of seemingly vacant houses. Many colors but mostly green painted what would have been an otherwise dull neighborhood. Pixie Village bustled with life, but Matias had never been somewhere that felt this dead.
Oleander's wings clicked behind them, taking them up and atop a terracotta roof that clacked under their boots. It was then that Matias caught sight of their sniper rifle behind their back, something he somehow missed earlier. Looks like they came prepared.
Dante was sniffing the air and said “I don’t smell blood…so I don’t think we are walking into a battle scene…it’s almost like they all ran away or are locked away somewhere. Oleander? Can you see anything from up there?”
Oleander felt different kinds of eyes on their back, but they ignored them seeing as they were, for now, friendly. They silently surveyed the area, nothing but green and brown filling their vision for the most part. Their antennae served as a second pair of eyes, swaying to and fro around their blind spots to pick up anything, anything at all...
They quickly turned to their right.
If any of them were to look, they would have seen nothing but a harmless line of bushes and trees undulating in the soft wind. Still, Oleander was fixated. They tapped at the sides of their helmet, a decrescendoing series of gentle beeps following it. Then they stuck out a hand and motioned towards the van, their line of sight refusing to leave where they stared.
"What is it?" Matias asked, trying to get a look.
He could barely move a foot from where he stood before Oleander suddenly leaped in front of him, forcing a swear out of his lips. The moth placed a finger in front of their proboscis before signalling towards the van and sneaking behind it.