Harpuia followed up silently, waiting for the two humans to start walking before moving himself, bringing up the rear of the line (or at least attempting to). Nodding to Fefnir’s brief explanation, he decided to leave any further information or thoughts until they met with Phoenix. Thankfully, they didn’t have to wait long.
Clearance was a wonderful thing. He idly doubted Zero had the same opinion, with him lacking it and everything. It was a humorous thing to ponder, anyway.
Crossing his arms as they entered the room the green-armored General idly wondered just where the bird-like mutos reploid had gotten his love for the dramatics. The flair was just not needed on this sort of situation, in his opinion. ‘Drama queen’, Fefnir would say.
Or something along those lines. He almost smiled to himself at the banter between General and subordinate.
Listening to Phoenix speak of the case in person, the reploid frowned and turned a bit pensive. He had seen reports, but he had never heard the account being told of the mechaniloids being witnessed to leave the scene. This was vital information.
He decided to speak up then, now that Fefnir had given him the signal to speak, had he anything to add. And oh, did he…
"There have been several reports of this, although none before Phoenix had witnessed the mechaniloids leaving themselves, especially not after their signal had vanished." He began, shifting his position to one more comfortable, his arms now crossed as his back stayed ramrod straight. "The reports have all been in certain locations, those a ways from the border of Neo Arcadia. Never have more than seven mechaniloids vanished at the time."
He then paused, took a deep breath, and looked at the two humans they had brought along with them.
"Do either of you have any idea as to what this could be?" He asked, his eyes flicking from one human to the next - perhaps Atlas or Aeolus would have further information…?
Aeolus looked around once they arrived to the factory, his eyes curiously swallowing every detail they could. Quickly memorizing the path they were taking, although he doubted he could take it as well (he had noted that some doors required clearance), he made sure to walk in the middle of the line, pressing his comm softly now and again to speak some quiet words into it. He still had to coordinate with Siarnaq anyway.
Once they arrived, he almost flinched from the bright light emitted by the reploid he assumed was in charge of the facilities. Almost scoffing at the dramatics, he instead focused on not seeing spots everywhere, blinking away the overload of light on his optics, and frowned as the situation was explained.
Well, didn’t this sound familiar? He didn’t hear anything about this in any of the history accounts of this time, and it sounded strangely like a more subdued modus operandi of Model W.
He hoped he was wrong. He hoped some crazy bastard had managed to turn off beacons from mechaniloids and lured them somewhere to try and collect their scrap or something.
Anything but that.
"Always near the border, to lower the risk of being seen as they left." He muttered to himself. "Seems to try to draw as little mechaniloids as possible, but enough to know it’s trying to amass them, but for what purpose?" He spoke out loud, pressing his index and middle finger to his forehead as he tilted his head downward in thought. His brain fired rapidfire suggestions, anything that could not be, but…
"If it’s what I think it is, I’m not going to like it one bit…" He hissed, scowl deepening, as he resisted the urge to pace. "It never needed to really take away mechaniloids slowly, aggressive out of having insider support, but if it doesn’t have any here, then its actions make sense… it can’t afford to be discovered now, and it’s planning to do something with what it’s taking." He summerized, then glanced at Atlas, before looking at the three reploids.
"If I’m wrong about this then I’ll be very, very happy."
Appearing now at the power plant, Atlas allowed her eyes to wander as they traveled further in, the female plenty curious of its similar appearance to the Temple of Flame. That was, at least, the similarity of having lava pools in the building. Perhaps they were powered thermally? It would make sense to her if that were the case. Still, the warmth of the building felt comfortably familiar, effectively calming her nerves. Thoughts would not be foggy here, which would only be beneficial, considering the oncoming discussion they would inevitably have on this little incident they were investigating.
Glancing to Aeolus as he whispered every now and then to his comm, the woman rose an eyebrow, however kept quiet. Who the hell could be talking to, and why now, of all times? Could it not wait? I’ll ask him later, Atlas decided, before giving the red general her attention as he briefed them on the few facts they knew at the moment.
Suddenly, upon entering the room of their destination, a blinding light had her inhale with surprise, bringing an arm up to protect her eyes. Hearing a voice echo in the room, and subsequently Fefnir’s groan, the woman wondered, what the hell is this?
As soon as the light dimmed down, and the (apparent?) bird had landed, she dropped her arm, blinking several times to no avail, as there were still spots in her eyes. Drat, she had looked for a second. What a bother.
The two fire users’ banter went on for a moment, as she a bit grudgingly muttered to herself, “Mind telling me why blinding us was necessary…?” Who knew if she’d get a response; she just felt ticked off by the fact that her vision was now filled with several spots. They’d go away, of course, but it was annoying…!
Coming to terms with this, she crossed her arms, listening to the (jerk) flashy reploid’s report on his observance, and then Harpuia’s additional information. Frowning, she looked down to think a moment before Aeolus began his plausible deduction. The soldier sighed out of her nose at his mention of amassing forces, a reason already forming in her mind. Listening to the man’s words, his logic and insinuations opened her eyes.
It this, it that… Sounded exactly how they had spoken of Model W in the past. His mentions of it having insider support finally snapped the missing piece to understand this horrid possibility into place. Atlas shook her head, scoffing. Could it really be what he implied it might have been? What with all the time nonsense, she hoped to whatever gods above that it wasn’t. If it was not prevented from altering history…!
No no, those thoughts were poisonous. Right now, they had to say what they thought on this information, not their assumptions.
Being given a glance from the male, Atlas gave an all knowing look in return. “There’s no doubt in my mind that someone” or something “is forming an army.” What else could it be, though, if not the damn biometal? “Perhaps it’s…an enemy you know?” Any citadel the size of Neo Arcadia had to have some enemies, right? She hoped.
Giving Aeolus another concerned glance, the female tried express without words that even now, she wasn’t sure what to do. How could they keep it from the Generals if it was truly Model W? They would investigate, as it was their duty.
What to do, what to do…
Fefnir and Phoenix both turned to Harpuia, and then in turn to the humans as they had very different reactions to the news.
Phoenix, on the other hand, seemed to have an idea of his own, and directed his voice to Fefnir, “there’s only one reploid who I know of who has any kind of ability close to this, and-“
The Fire Guardian, however, cut across him sharply, “Anubis cannot turn working mechaniloids into zombies and you know it, Phoenix.”
His tone made it very clear that he wasn’t impressed with the accusation towards his subordinate, even if it was within Phoenix’s training to suspect everyone and anyone.
The bird reluctantly stayed quiet, and instead turned his attention to Atlas and Aeolus. The green clad male seemed to have more of an idea of what he suspected it to be, and he nodded at his deduction of what had occured. He looked at Atlas as she offered her own idea, and Fefnir merely shook his head, “the only enemy known to Neo Arcadia is the Resistance, and I don’t believe they would do anything such as this… though it is a possibility none the less,” he glanced at Harpuia for a moment before turning to Aeolus.
"Do you have something in mind?" he asked him. It seemed like he did, but he wasn’t being very direct with his opinion. If anything, it seemed like he was trying to HIDE what he knew, if anything.