[Captured from a small village]

"Oh?" The woman says, quirking an eyebrow. Her tone isn't patronizing, though, just simply curious. She nods at Nemo's guard. "Thank you, Donnelly, you can return to your duties."

The guard salutes and quickly strides off. The woman gestures towards the mats on the floor.

"Please. Take a seat." She seats herself on the mats, crossing her legs. "I am Kaydara, leader of the forces of the Red Dragon of Terra. Tell me about yourself, Nemo."

CAVE HQ Airspace

Malice will find that Griggs is right to be cautious, because as they hang out observing, no less than two dozen aerial drones, in both clockwork and futuristic styles move in. None move to attack them, however. Instead, one of the smaller ones comes to a stop about 2 meters from them, and plays a holographic message. A man in an officer's uniform appears to greet him, though it's clearly a recording.

"Greetings. We would be honored if you would grace us with your presecence. Please, follow these craft."

The drones turn, and begin to make a slow descent toward the base in the center of the valley.

Approaching CAVE

Soon after entering the valley, the rider and her companion will encounter a checkpoint. Half a dozen clockwork automata, along with two large hovertank droids, and a single animoid android, a massive creature with wings of an eagle and the head of a lion on an otherwise humanoid frame. The gryphon-droid calls out to her as she approaches.

"Halt! This area is off limits!
State your business here."