The party, one of the inquisition, and three line soldiers (leaving behind the pilot, a second inquisition person, and one soldier to guard the airship and get it ready to dust off) headed down the stairwell to take the mayor into custody -- with the party coming along (and the soldiers carrying the big anbaric spring) they wouldn't fall prey to specters, at least.
Booby traps, on the other hand...
So, the party (minus the unconscious Caihong -- he's the healer, but consistently manages to take the most damage himself somehow) the unwounded inquisioner, the pilot, and the last remaining soldier in any shape to fight headed down the stairs, checking a little more carefully for traps. They recovered the anbaric spring from the next landing down -- luckily, it hadn't exploded from being bounced down the stairs. They proceeded to the mayor's office...
Which was trashed. The lift was trashed. The files in all the offices were shredded. Everything was in total ruins, and there was no sign of the mayor. Since taking the spring down stairs was not recommended, Taegan and Jana decided to go down to the basement and fix the lift, if they could -- it was a hydraulic lift, so the motor was at the bottom.
So were a couple seals, guarding the basement door. The party spotted them first, so Taegan threw a rock up the stairs, and managed to decoyed one out of position, so they were separated with the party between them hiding under the stairs for cover. This worked less well than anticipated. The one still in the basement vanished into the darkness when Jana tried to confront him, and when she turned to get the other, she tripped over the stairs and landed flat on her face.
Hearing gunshots, Eric ran for the stairs, leaping down several flights and badly twisting his ankle just as he came to the enemy. Hearing him coming, the enemy decided to leap over the railing, bounce off Jana's back, and -- oh, wait, Jana wasn't helpless, and 'parried' his leap with her sword, sending him sailing into the door out of control, to splat against it instead of opening it to run for safety.
And then his friend opened the door, slamming him into the wall and pinning him. He couldn't really dodge well there, so Jana managed to finish him off while Eric and Taegan chased the other into the darkness again.
Anyway, Taegan got out a lantern and shined it around until it spotlighted the enemy hiding amongst the (also shredded) shelves of assorted records. He ducked out of the light, but when Eric started running down the next isle towards a flickery bit of candlelight he spotted at the end, the enemy seemed desperate to stop him, and started racing him for it instead of fighting...
Except that Jana flew fast enough to get in front of him, trapping him in the aisle and forcing him to fight both her and Taegan, while Eric examined the candles. Oh, big surprise, another portal -- obviously, the mayor had used it to flee. Eric leapt through without hesitation...
...straight into a firing squad. They didn't manage to actually hit him, but they kept him dancing and scrabbling for cover for a whole round, while pixies flew out the portal to molest Taegan and Jana. Jana got stung and nearly blew up Eric with a grenade, but instead of, like, coming back through the portal, Eric ran farther in trying to catch the mayor (or the seal impersonating him), and ran right into the Intention Craft holding the portal open. Which fired an explosive laser at his feet and blew him up about as thoroughly as the booby trap had gotten Caihong.
Luckily for him, Jana was right on his tail, and VERY FAST. She managed to snatch him and get him back through the portal before the intention craft could fire, or close it (it had to hold it open long enough for the pixies to get through, after all). Then she basically succumbed to the poison.
In a corner of the basement, they found the 'chalked' circle they'd come to expect, which looked empty. Taegan fired a beanbag at it to smudge and ruin it... and did enough damage that instead of slowly melting, it immediately exploded. No one in the basement saw that it also set free the other specter, which flew up to the roof and tried to eat the wounded people there... except that Caihong (bandaged and brought awake with stimulants) was waiting, and managed to get the probe which was still hooked to the engine in time to zap it.
In another corner of the basement was the flayed body of the mayor and other civil servants who'd been replaced by seals, along with the specter-eaten soldiers.
The inquisition announced that they'd driven the enemies out of city hall to the cops guarding against the mob, and decided to stay to try to get things back in some sort of order, although with all the city's records shredded and most of its government dead (and all trade and communications cut off) that could take some doing. The party and the soldiers returned to the military base to rest up.
It took about a week for Caihong to heal (Eric regenerated inside an hour, because he's a cheeseball), during which Taegan managed to reassemble a working Intention Craft from the pieces of the two wrecked craft and the specter-eaten scientists' notes... which the Inquisition promptly claimed. Along with the backup power supply and beam weapon. Taegan *did* keep possession of both portal devices (securing such technology was the purpose of the Order), some extra microchips, and a bunch of alien scrap metal that had been replaced with local materials.
Wren had gotten in touch with them over the week, and told them that he was waiting for them at the Church of Brave Hearts with Lord Wright's orphaned airship team. It was time to go see the bears in the north, to see if they could explain why only a few things hurt specters, and get them to forge better anti-specter weapons.
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