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Thread: Strange Tides

  1. #1
    The Quiet One Strange Tides Andromeda's Avatar
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    Strange Tides

    Afternoon, though it wasn’t always easy to tell that from the ground of Sector 5. Vast skyscrapers stretched out and crowded the streets leaving much of the sector in shade. For most that casually walked on the streets, this was a normal day. Nothing made it stand out as strange or off. Yet as the calm before the storm, the destructive force would catch all by surprise.

    But the same for everyone was the same for Katlyn as she walked back from the store. She couldn’t believe that she had forgotten to get flour for dinner. It was too late to call in a delivery bot, they wouldn’t get to their home in time for dinner. So she had to make it on foot. Not that was a bad thing at all. Sometimes it was nice to get out of the apartment and just walk through the city. Such moments became something that she cherished more since having a family. Balancing work with children left her with little else on her hands.

    Her stroll back stayed uneventful. A ride up the elevator to the hundred and twentieth floor brought her back home. The hallway only had a few doors. Each floor in this part of the building were condos rather than rented rooms. It gave them more stability to raise their family.

    Passing three doors on her left, she came to their home. Placing a hand on the panel next to the door frame, a blue light ran down the panel scanning her hand. “Physical and genetic match confirmed. Welcome home, Mrs. Mills,” a woman’s voice said. Even though it was computer generated it easily passed for someone that you might meet off the street. Each voice was adjustable by the owner allowing for something pleasing for whatever the tastes might be.

    Their door slid open greeting her home with the sounds of her children and husband playing off in a different room. “I’m back! Dinner will be in an hour!” she shouted through the room.

    “Dinner!” shouted Abby running out of the play room into the living room to greet her mother.

    Katlyn knelt down letting Abby see her before she started to cook. “That’s right, but it won’t be ready for a while. So you get to play with Daddy for a bit longer.”

    “But I wanna help you!”

    Out of the corner of her eye, Katlyn spotted her son, the youngest, poking out from around the door. Curiosity towards Abby seemed to have made play less appealing to him. Franklin stepped out behind him smiling to her silently encouraging their children in persuading her. “Alright, let’s all help out then!”

    “I get to help!” Abby cheered bouncing around at her feet.

    Handing over the bag that she carried, she directed Abby over to the counter. “Why don’t to take that over for me. I’ll start getting things prepared and you can help your brother get the rest of the ingredients. Dear, why don’t you help them out?”

    Franklin knelt down picking up Stephen and putting him on his shoulder. “Looks like you get to be the big man tonight!”

    Half way through the prep work, a call came through the speakers, “Mrs. Mills you have a call from a Mr. Brookwell at Arrow Technologies.”

    She paused looking over at Franklin disappointed that their family night was being interrupted. But he nodded to her and picked up where she as working so that she could step away. Wiping her hands off the towel quickly, she stepped out of the kitchen. “Direct the call to the office.”

    “Yes, ma’am. One moment.”

    The lights slowly grew in brightness as she walked into the office. Behind her, the door slid closed. “Privacy Mode engaged.” While most of her clients that she still kept around didn’t regularly discuss or have secrets out in the room during calls, privacy was part of her trade. And she respected all of their work not to risk such things slipping out. Most of her clients, and by her years with them, friends, held important roles within various highly competitive fields. Stress came as part of the job and one that she was good at relieving.

    She turned to face the wall as a holographic image cascaded down the ceiling like a waterfall projecting the image of a young and very attractive man. Mr. Brookwell, one of her oldest clients that she picked up in her first year. He trusted no one but her and could not give up her services even when she started a family. At the very least, he was generally very respectful of her life and didn’t pick such hours to call. She had regulated times for her clients to call and schedule, this was well outside of her window. ‘What’s wrong? It’s not like him to call me off hours.’

    “Katlyn! I’m really sorry, I wouldn’t be calling you if it wasn’t an emergency.”

    Seeing him filling up nearly the whole wall was shocking and walked her back a few steps. “Calm down, Jack, breathe a little.”

    He immediately saw the look on her face and slight bit of fear. It sharply curbed much of his intensity as he fell back in his chair. “I’m sorry, sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you like that.” Breathing seemed to still be something he struggled with maintaining.

    Working him through her normal routine with him, she took a minute to get his tension brought down to manageable levels. It was a bit of a surprise at times for her that he could be the CEO of the corporation with how badly he handled stressful situations. He used her services a lot during her regular days, but now he had to manage on his own more often. She feared he became too dependent on her help.

    “What’s wrong, Jack?”

    A sigh escaped his lips. “What’s not wrong!”

    “Things aren’t that bad. What’s the current problem?”

    “Oh right, I’ve got a big merger tomorrow that I have to attend and everything that can go wrong is going wrong. I’ve got most of the fires under control now, but my hands won’t stop shaking and I feel like my heart’s going to explode. Please, Katlyn, I know this isn’t normal, but I need you! I can’t calm down and I need to be focused to complete this merger!”

    “I understand, but Jack I’m having dinner right now with my family.”

    “Please, Katlyn. After dinner? I wouldn’t be asking you if it wasn’t important.”

    “I know.” Her shoulders dropped a little knowing how sad that they would be hearing their mom had to leave. She took a moment putting it all together in her head. There was no other way. “Give me three hours, Jack.”

    “Thank you so much!”

    The call ended with a black screen appearing over the mist as it disappeared into the wall returning the soft cream of the room back. She walked back over to the door as it unlocked. “Privacy Mode disengaged.” Back out in the living room, Katlyn could see her children looking a little worse for wear with Franklin’s help. She smiled a little seeing them making progress if not a mess too.

    She walked back into the kitchen joining them to finish dinner. While Franklin kept watch on the noodles and sauce, she pushed around the breaded chicken. “How’s Jack doing?” he asked.

    “About as you expect.”

    “That bad?”

    “Unfortunately.”

    “When?”

    “After dinner, I’m sorry. We were going to spend the night together after they went to sleep.”

    He leaned over and kissed her on the temple. “Don’t worry about it, I know how important your clients are to you and how much they need you. We’ll still have some time before my flight in the morning.”

    “What are you talking about Daddy?” Abby nosed in with hands covered in a flour mix.

    He patted her on the head a little. “Just what games we’re going to play tonight!”

    One hour till the end…

  2. #2
    Lady Succubus Strange Tides Victoria's Avatar
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    “Oh that just simply won't do!” said a pink haired young woman as she laid her eyes on the most atrocious thing she'd ever seen. Someone's hair had split ends and was full of oils and the unkempt style really wasn't meshing well with them. “Allow me to fix it for you~” she said to the female adventurer type. At least she thought she was an adventurer by the way she was dressed.

    She grabbed the woman by the hand and pulled her toward her shop whether she wanted to or not. It took several moments but by the time she was finished with her craft, the woman was better off for it and ended up thanking her despite the earlier protesting. Just as the woman left the shop, however… it happened.

  3. #3
    The Mad God Strange Tides Heartless Angel's Avatar
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    A small team of workers paced about this rather large, yet cluttered room, frantically searching for various tools, and parts, as requested by a man with his head in an engine.

    "Hmm, we still haven't achieved our reaction... Fetch me two more Arcanite rods. I want to amplify the pressurizing spell.", he said.

    "Are you insane? The shell will never hold!", shouted one of the assistants.

    "Probably not, but if it works for a few seconds before exploding, then I know our next step is to design a more durable shell, rather than find an alternative fuel.", he responding, as he reached his hand out, impatiently motioning for his parts.

    The young woman shook her head as she located the requested components and passed them to the man.

    "Connect this here... Reposition these to make a stable matrix... Alright, increase the Aether flow, 12.7 percent!", he shouted, as a large, older man worked some controls outside of the machine.

    '12... 12.25... 12.5...", he counted up.

    "Easy... easy...", spoke the man inside the engine.

    "12.6... .63... 65..."

    "Gently, I don't want this thing to blow while I'm still inside it...", said the lead worker.

    "I don't want it to bloody explode at all!", shouted the young woman.

    "12.68... 69...", the main continued.

    "Almost there, take it slow..."

    "695... 6975... 69825..."

    "Oh, **** me!", yelled the head worker, as he cast a quick teleportation spell to escape the machine, just before it belched out purple flames, and destroyed several pipes.

    "Xelyan, make a note. The experimental fuel, Aeternium can not be broken for energy. It undergoes a chemical reaction with oxygen before the desired pressure is achieved.", he said with a sigh, as he found a towel to wipe the dirt and oil from his face and hands.

    "All that time...", she said, with a disappointed tone.

    "All those parts...", said the older man.

    "I'm quite alright, thank you for your concern.", Celtorix said, jokingly.

    Just then, the door to the room flew open with the yell of a furious older woman. "Uthorim!", she exclaimed, as she barged into the room angrily. "We're hours behind on our orders! I said you could use this research area, and the team for this project, but not during business hours!", she yelled.

    "Hmm... it seems the time dilation spell also needs work... You shouldn't have gotten back from lunch for another 25 minutes in our frame of reference...", he mumbled.

    The woman put her palm to her face, and shook her head slightly. "Well, was it worth it? Did you make your breakthrough?", she asked.

    He shook his head. "Negative. The solution to the mystery surrounding the means to releasing the energy from the 'indiviton' still eludes me.", he answered, disappointment noticeable in his tone.

    "I don't suppose you've considered the possibility that the idea that came to you in a dream about all matter being composed of microscopic fundamental pieces could just be... you know, wrong?", she asked.

    "Of course I did. Weeks ago, when I first came up with the idea. Then I thought about it for a while, debated with the heads of the physics inquisitorium..."

    "And lost...", she interupted.

    "According to them.", he retorted, "Point being, I'm convinced that isn't the problem. I remain certain that all matter exists in the form of clusters of unimaginably tiny fragments containing all of the fundamental properties of any given material. This, by necessity could not be broken into any material thing smaller. Energy, however, is not a material thing. We already know material things contain energy, but our current methods can only release some of it. If we could just find a way to divide the indivisible, we could only find energy. You mark my words, Solara, once I figure this out, Illumaria is going to be the laughing stock of Anameleth.", he finished.

    Though he was missing a few key pieces of information, this young man was well on his way to discovering atomic theory, and the interchangeability between matter and energy. Unfortunately, most dismissed him as eccentric, but lacking in the intellectual ability to actually discover anything of use. Solara was among the few in Anameleth willing to entertain his madness, whether this was merely for entertainment, or because she truly believed he may have been on to something was often the subject of her peer's speculation. But no one could really be certain.

    Celtorix Uthorim knew that his people's knowledge of the world paled in comparison to what remained unknown. He knew that he lived in a world filled with mysteries that most of his people lacked the creativity to even notice were there. He knew the answers were out there, hidden in plain sight, waiting for someone like him to start looking... but what he couldn't know, is that in another place, there were people far more advanced that had already known many of the answers to his questions for ages. And he certainly couldn't know that soon, he would have a chance to meet them. No, today he knew only that the answers had eluded him yet again, and he would console himself with his work.

    He returned, defeated, to the main workshop, to begin filling the orders he had been putting off for his experiment.

  4. #4
    The 37th Red Spade Strange Tides Coff9's Avatar
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    "Nine hundred years..." said Unduli Zozo.

    He stood in front of a window, overlooking the east end of the kingdom of Baakti.

    The sun was just beginning to set.

    "Nine hundred years I have walked these lands," he said. He sipped water from a stone goblet.

    He looked out the window, admiring the city.

    He was in his chambers; a small room that supplied him with the basics of life: a bed, a desk, an altar to the goddess. It was here where he had lived for centuries, and he hoped that he would continue to do so.

    Wars plagued the land. They had always plagued the land, but the kingdom of Baakti stood tall. Despite constant besiegements, the people of Baakti never relented in their faith, the faith in their great goddess. She had been with them on the battlefield; she had been with them in their swords and spells. By her will their enemies were repelled. They were never gone for long, yet neither did they stay for long.

    The east end of Baakti was especially fervent, and for this devotion, the goddess had shown them special favor: the east end had been untouched by any and all enemies. Or for at least as long as Unduli could remember. The Race of Gor would never see the monastery; Unduli would not allow it.

    "Thank you," he said. He lifted his left hand in the air, fingers pointing upwards. Gesturing out the holy symbols, he uttered a prayer of gratitude. He sipped his water again.

    "Guide me, She-Who-Walks. May I live to be a thousand, so I may do your will. May I live to be two thousand, so that I may do your will."

    He drank the rest of his water.

    Unduli walked to his altar at the side of the room and placed the stone goblet in the center. The altar itself was quite beautiful; it was made of a shiny, black stone. Unduli could see his reflection in its sheen. Upon it was an engraving of a holy symbol that was then traced with silver. Two white candles sat on either side of this symbol, unlit.

    "By the power of the goddess, let fire be born here today."

    The candles lit.

    Unduli held his left hand over the goblet.

    "By the power of the goddess, let water be born here today."

    Underneath his hand the air became thick like fog. From that cloud of fog, water dripped, water flowed, water spilled into the cup, filling it to the brim. The cloud was then exhausted and disappeared.

    "I give you thanks and praise," said Unduli, as he bowed before the altar.

    He lifted the goblet to his lips and sipped the water. It was cold.

    There was a bang at the door.

    "Father Zozo! Father Zozo, are you in there?" asked a voice, sounding frantic.

    Unduli sat the goblet back into the center of the holy symbol and faced the door.

    "Yes, I'm here. Please come in," replied Unduli.

    The door opened, and before him stood two people. One was Sister Annaka, a member of the monastery and a member of the Orthurian race. She had served this place for almost two hundred years, ever since she was a child. Unduli found favor with her, for she was almost as devoted to the goddess as he was.

    Beside her, there was an Euthish girl, her eyes looking down at the floor.

    She coughed.

    She looked direly ill; Unduli couldn't understand how she was standing. He could see her veins; they were black with disease. Black like his eyes.

    "Father Zozo," said Sister Annaka.

    "This girl is very ill. She claims to have..." she stopped. She approached Unduli and brought her mouth to his ear.

    "She claims to have... necrosy," she whispered.

    Unduli blinked.

    "Necrosy, you say?" he asked, his voice at once hushed and surprised.

    "Yes."

    Unduli blinked again.

    "Necrosy has not been seen in centuries," he said.

    "These are the symptoms, however," he said as he walked in front of the girl.

    "Speak, child," he bid.

    The girl weakly fell to her knees.

    "Oh my lord, save me from this! Please, I beseech you, heavenly host! Work your divinity and save me from this!" she begged.

    She began to cry.

    She began to cough.

    And then she threw up.

    Her vomit was black and red.

    "By the goddess!" exclaimed Sister Annaka.

    "Sister, fetch the transmutation powders! Go quickly!" ordered Unduli, as he lifted the sick, Euthish girl into his bed.

    "Yes, Father!" she replied, and hurried out the door.

    "I will help you," said Unduli to the girl, as she coughed and coughed. Her eyes wandered dazedly around.

    "Stay with me. I need you to focus on my hand," he said. He extended his left arm out, palm facing the girl, fingers pointed up.

    The girl's eyes kept wandering.

    "Look at my hand, child," said Unduli, as his hand began to glow a purple color. The girl's eyes looked immediately at it and also began to glow the same color.

    "Very good," he said. He lowered his hand and it's glow ceased.

    Sister Annaka ran back into the room, a black pouch in her hand, making sure to evade the puddle of blood and vomit.

    "Here, Father!" she said as she handed him the satchel.

    "Thank you, Sister," he replied.

    "She's been stabilized," he told the Sister.

    "Oh, thank the goddess!" she exclaimed.

    Unduli opened the pouch and grabbed a pinch of a sparkly powder. He sprinkled it on the vomit.

    There was a crackling noise as Unduli and Sister Annaka, in unison, uttered a holy word.

    With the sound of a snap, the vomit became mere water.

    "Thank you, goddess," said Unduli. The Sister bowed her head.

    He walked in front of his altar, grabbed another pinch of the powder, and added it to the water in the stone goblet. He uttered another holy word and there was another crackling noise followed by a snap.

    The water was now white.

    Unduli picked up the goblet and turned to the sick girl.

    "You must-"

    Unduli stopped.

    He dropped the goblet and the pouch at once, the contents of both spilling out onto the floor.

    The candles extinguished.

    He did not move. He looked forward at the wall, but it was not the wall that he saw.

    "Father Zozo?" asked the Sister, as she tapped him on the shoulder.

    He still did not move.

    "Father Zozo, is... is it another vision?" she asked.

    No answer.

    Unduli made no movements for several moments.

    He breathed a deep breath.

    "Was it another vision?" asked Sister Annaka, clearly astonished.

    Unduli looked at her, his trance ended.

    "Sweet Sister, yes, yes it was," he said as he took her hand. She looked into his black eyes.

    "I need you to take care of this girl. I must ponder this vision," he said. She nodded.

    Unduli looked solemn, serious. It had been sometime since last Sister Annaka had seen him like this.

    "Very good. I shall return, and when I do, we will heal this girl completely. For now, pray to the goddess for her intervention until I am here again," he ordered.

    "Yes, Father," she replied.

    Unduli stepped over the puddle of once-vomit water, hurried out of the room, down several flights of stairs, and out into the streets of the Kingdom of Baakti.

  5. #5
    The Quiet One Strange Tides Andromeda's Avatar
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    Abby stared quietly at her as she stood in the threshold. This was hardly the first time that she left or even the last time. It was something that Abby knew well. But it was hard for her to be anything other than disappointed. All of her plans for after dinner were going to be without her Mommy now. She could understand it and yet still remained sad.

    Smiling back at her daughter and son, she tried to give them something encouraging to hold on to for her return. “We’ll do something together once I’m back. It won’t be long.”

    “Promise?”

    “Of course, dear. You pick something with your brother and get Daddy’s approval and we’ll do it. Alright?”

    “Okay.” She gave Katlyn a small nod still having trouble with it, though in a little more positive mood.

    Franklin knelt down next to them trying to get them to wave and lift up their spirits more. “Wish Mommy a safe flight.”

    “…have a safe flight!”

    “Thank you, I’ll be back before you know.” She smiled to them the last time and stepped out of the threshold. The door slid closed impatiently, after being held open for so long. Katlyn shifted her expression quickly pulling herself together for the job.

    While she waited on the lift, she sifted through her bag. It already had been double checked, but she went over it again. Most of the contents would be unnecessary for the job. She had a medical license for physical therapy and training. Part of the equipment was the tools of the trade. It all came with her as a precaution and partly out of habit. While everything did have strict uses, she knew each well enough to know how to get different effects out them when she needed them to do something other than intended purpose. Trade secrets as it were, things learned from experience, though what others might see a gray area. Yet it was why she had so much trust with her clients and friends, she could get the results needed.

    Everything was in order and her flight remained on time. As she rode the hover train to the port, she monitored the time on her flight. She had twenty minutes before her flight and it was ten minutes out from landing. It would remain on time, she had no doubt about it. It’d be strange if something wasn’t on schedule.

    The 3674 city port remained bustling even at the evening hours. Most that packed the busy terminal, which ferried out hundreds of thousands every day, were businessmen and women at this hour. Just like she knew with Jack, work didn’t stop just because technology made their lives easier. In fact, it almost seemed worse because there were so many conveniences now. So it was faster and easier to move and finish things. More could be done and so people worked harder to keep progress moving at a break neck pace. Life was anything, but slow. Though she forced herself to slow down even while the world around her kept sprinting.

    “Flight C3952 to City 3509 confirmed,” spoke the young man’s computer generated voice, “Please lift your carry-on to the scanner.” Holographic directions appeared out in front of the computer terminal directing new or inexperienced fliers to the procedures. They weren’t something that she could waive, but she could skip things by forcing the scan. Once completed all of the directions disappeared. “Thank you, Miss Mills. Please have a safe flight.”

    Granted access into the hundreds of gates that made up the planetary status port, Katlyn sat down on a waiting hover taxi. The building was made up of multiple wings and buildings in a large complex that couldn’t be navigated on foot with any reasonable amount of time. Her flight was docked and finishing the cleaning routines now. It was going to be open in five minutes and it would take nearly an hour on foot if she tried. Thankfully, the internal taxi could make it less than ten.

    Eleven minutes almost to the dot, she could sit down in her seat, already half packed with four minutes remaining before the flight left. A countdown ran digitally down the aisle in several places reminding the passengers of the schedule.

    It was going to be a busy flight for her. The rest of her row was filled out quickly and the transport hit the full capacity of a hundred just as the countdown hit zero. Even while people shuffled around to find their seat, the engines kicked on. The sound dampeners kept the engines to a low whisper that sounded more like wind blowing by than lift. Only the fact that the perspective changed out the window could it really be told that the transport was moving.

    Like Katlyn, frequent fliers had developed a special skill to be able to detect the very subtle changes. She knew when it moved, though any test and machine would say that there was nothing that they could feel. The logically bound computer would say it was just a figment of their imagination crafted by visual cues they are subconsciously picking up from the windows. However, she knew better. Machines still had a ways to go before they could comprehend the complexities of the human mind, even if they were technically already superior to humans now.

    The countdown for the arrival at 3509 replaced the zero’d out display with a time of thirty-four minutes and twenty five seconds.

    Everything would be fine.

    That’s what she thought. What everyone thought.

    The last recording from the 3509 city transponder came two minutes and forty-seven seconds in the flight. A massive flash of white and green light lit up the night sky completely blinding everyone temporary. The force dampeners could not fully keep up with the sudden strange turbulent force that struck the transport.

    Screams, shouts and panicked cries flew throughout the cabin of the transport. Nothing like this had ever happened. No one knew what was happening. Two people still standing talking at the time were tossed into the ceiling from the rocking and collapsed to the carpeted floor unmoving with blood dripping down their foreheads.

    The internal lights flickered and disappeared throwing the whole chamber into darkness with only the blinding light from outside to give them false comfort.

    Everything stopped.

    The shaking was gone and the lights started back up. The blinding light disappeared. Everyone sighed with relief that it was over. Yet that was too soon to hope. Red warning lights threw up on the screens as well as holographic displays. New turbulence kicked up tossing everyone around.

    Almost no one was belted into the seats, including Katlyn. The force that shook the transport ripped people out of their chairs and threw them around the cabin unable to keep themselves supported. She smashed her head against someone else that she couldn’t see before she blacked out.

    Day 1 – Zero Hour

    On this day everything changed in Alouria.

  6. #6
    Lady Succubus Strange Tides Victoria's Avatar
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    A strange thing appeared in the sky. A very large strange thing preceded by a blinding white and green light in the sky. Zhang Shia shielded her eyes with her hand, watching the very large structure fall from the sky and out toward the mountain side. It would take a day and a half to travel that far just to see what this curious structure was and where it came from. She could forego her night job to travel ahead of the crowd, and the curious part of her wanted to do just that.

    So she waited for the moon to rise, dressed in tight clothing to keep in her warmth as she opened up her wings and took flight toward the mysterious thing. Even with her being able to fly like this, it would still take several hours for her to arrive. Possibly by morning the next day if she hurried. "Maybe there will be things worth a fortune in that place. I can't wait to see what it has in store." she thought to herself as her wings occasionally beat to push her forward.

  7. #7
    The Mad God Strange Tides Heartless Angel's Avatar
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    Celtorix sat in front of a large marble desk with golden metal inlays and a plethora of runic carvings, astronomical charts, magical binding symbols and the like. His workspace was cluttered with various tools, both mundane and magical. There were civilizations in the world that would have gone to war over the marvels that lay scattered about this workshop. To the Zeroth, these wonders were commonplace, simple tools used by a craftsman to make simple trinkets that could be bought or sold by anyone in Anameleth.

    Celtorix peered out through his window as he tinkered absentmindedly with a small metallic cube with a few runes engraved on each of its faces. The arcane locking mechanism of this magical puzzle box was often used by other cultures to safeguard national treasures from all but the most powerful of mystics, yet in Anameleth, this intricate mechanism was a part of a children's toy given to the young of the Empyrean city to help them learn basic deductive reasoning skills and magical competence.

    Just outside Celtorix's window was a planter filled with flowers with glowing blue petals. Above it was a golden pipe that distributed water to the building, and sprinkled it upon the plants below to keep them healthy. These moon lilies were a key ingredient in a potent medicine that could cure all but the most stubborn illness.

    There were many places throughout the world where clean water, arable land, and medicinal herbs were scarce enough to wage wars over, yet in Anameleth they were so readily available, they were often used as decorations for common homes. The Zeroth race often took for granted many things that others would kill for. Too often, they neglected the fact that their quiet, peaceful lives surrounded by all of these little luxuries were the envy of most of the civilized world. The Zeroth had grown accustomed to being far beyond most of the world, so much so that it had never even occurred to them that a race more advanced could even exist.

    Soon, the Zeroth would see the light.

    A blinding flash of green illuminated the Anamelethi skyline.

    Celtorix briefly glanced in the direction of the flash.

    "Hmm. Looks like Crazy Carnelia is trying to trap lightning again... Hopefully she didn't set the bookstore next door aflame again. It was closed for a week last time.", he remarked.

    He had no comprehension of the true significance of the light. No idea that the entire city's place as the most advanced in the world just fell into question. He wouldn't realize it for some time, but his world was changing. His people were changing. His life would never again be the same.
    Last edited by Heartless Angel; 03-14-2016 at 09:51 PM.

  8. #8
    The 37th Red Spade Strange Tides Coff9's Avatar
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    He ran.

    He ran down the streets of his kingdom.

    The vision pounded in his head. He had seen at first a flash of white, then a flash of green.

    He saw his goddess standing before him, pointing, to a place off in the distance.

    He looked in the vision to the place she was pointing.

    And then he saw it.

    Towering before Unduli Zozo were towers. Tall towers. Towers of varied shape and size, but the constant among them was height. They were so tall, it made the nine-century old priest reel for a few moments. Even the memory of the vision made him uneasy.

    He continued to run.

    His pace began to slow. He'd lived for nine-centuries (give or take a decade), after all.

    He stopped.

    He gasped for breath.

    He looked up to the sky. It was nearly night; he could see the moon and the stars.

    He took another breath and lifted his hand upwards, and gestured out a sign of prayer.

    "Oh great goddess... lead me. Grant me my wings to fly, so that together we may soar over the vast expanse that is your creation," he prayed.

    Wings did not suddenly sprout from his back, nor did ethereal ones appear. But he felt renewed; he felt that his prayer was answered, and he began to run again.

    More flashes of the vision returned to his mind's eye.

    He saw the towers, climbing high, some which seemed as though they would scrape the sky. Some of them had an oval shape, which sides curved into a point at their top. Others were square; upon their flat tops in each corner was a smaller tower. All the towers, no matter their shape or size, had several perfect rows of light, shining vertically on every side. Their brilliance outshone the moon and the stars.

    In the center of this marvelous yet terrifying collection of towers was some circular structure, some sort of hub-space. Maybe a temple, or a marketplace, reasoned Unduli.

    The vision would not leave him as he ran and ran, seemingly lead by his goddess to exactly where the content of his vision would be revealed.

    The brightness of the lights of the towers were burned into his memory. He had never seen anything like it before. Hardly handling the vision, he wondered how he would feel upon actually seeing them for himself.

    His thoughts returned suddenly to the girl that supposedly had necrosis. He hoped, prayed even, that Sister Annaka would be able to keep her alive until he returned. Necrosis was a rare disease, but one that was thought to be eliminated. How could it have returned?

    Too much was happening too fast.

    He could feel exhaustion creeping through his body. He wouldn't be able to run for much longer. The outskirts of the Kingdom of Baakti were just ahead.

    But he did not need to reach them.

    He saw it.

    Off in the distance, he saw the sprawling towers and their blinding and beautiful light, even more intense and immediate than his vision. It drowned out the moon and the stars. No precognition could have prepared him for the sight.

    He gasped.

    "Great goddess...!" he exclaimed.

    And then he collapsed.

  9. #9
    The Mad God Strange Tides Heartless Angel's Avatar
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    His eyes again moved towards the window, noticing a faint light against the otherwise dark night sky.

    "Hmm? Did she actually manage to trap the lightning? I was certain her hypothesis was mistaken... This I have to see.", he said, as he neatened up his workspace, in his own disorganized way. It was the sort of arrangement that was just a mess to an outside observer, but a filing system to its architect. He removed the magnifying eyepiece he wore, and set it beside his tool.

    "If lightning really IS a sentient being, I will eat my Magiscopic Eye.", he mumbled as he adjusted the magical energies in his artificial eye, returning it to its normal level of magnification and light sensitivity. He threw his work apron over his chair, and made for the door.

    With a brief chant and a flash of purple, he'd used his knowledge of Biomancy to augment his body. He leapt onto the roof of his workshop, and then to the taller building next door, quickly making his way across town to the laboratory where Carnelia worked.

    It wasn't long before he realized that her laboratory wasn't the source of this light, nor was anything in the Empyrean city. He made his way to the edge of the city, where there were already several people gathered to look at this faint white glow.

    "Out of the way, I have a portable magniscope.", he said, as he pushed through the crowd, fighting his way to the front. He was met with a few disapproving grunts and a glare or two, and a solid whack to the back of the head, nothing he wasn't used to as a member of the silver haired minority.

    He once more adjusted his eye to see at greater distances, and to be more receptive to light. "Whoa...", was the only thing he could manage to utter when the eye came into focus.

    In the distance was what appeared to be a huge collection of illuminated towers, the likes of which he had never seen anywhere outside of the Empyrean city, but at a scale that dwarfed even the most impressive structures his people were responsible for.

    "Were those just conjured, or has an illusion concealing them just been dispelled? Perhaps they were teleported?", he asked to no one in particular. No one had any good answers.

    "I have to investigate this. Any option that makes sense indicates that someone with exceptional magic, technology, or both is behind this. I have to know how they've done it!", he said.

    He looked around in the crowd, trying to pick out a familiar face. It took a few seconds, but he managed to identify his coworker, Xelyan.

    "Xelyan!" he called out, as he once more forced himself through the irritated crowd. "Xelyan!" he called again as he got closer.

    She turned to face him, and gave him an acknowledging nod.

    "Tell Solara I'll be out of the workshop for a while!", he said, as he turned and looked towards the glow, again forcing his way through the crowd.

    "Tor?", she called after him, wondering what he could possibly have running through his warped little mind.

    He looked over the edge of the Empyrean city, into the great lake below. He took a deep breath, and without another word, dove over the edge.

    The air rushed past his face as he plummeted from the height of the city, the lake beneath him growing larger by the moment. Just a few seconds before he would hit the water's surface, he held out one hand, and a pink light pulsed from it. just then he decelerated and flipped himself such that his feet would gently touch the surface of the lake. He again looked off in the direction of the glow, with a smile on his face, and broke out into a run across the lake in its direction.
    Last edited by Heartless Angel; 03-25-2016 at 09:43 PM.

  10. #10
    The Quiet One Strange Tides Andromeda's Avatar
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    Day 1 – 0:34 hours after City Fall

    The blackness retreated from sight, but a fog lingered. Through the fog, a high pitched sound screamed in her ear. It was painful. She wanted it to stop, but no matter how much she tried it did not. It ignored her, annoyingly. Persistent and consistent, it would never end.

    She awoke with red flashing all around her. Red painted the wall that used to be well maintained and polished white, now charred with electrical burns and tears. Low moans and cries filled with what sound was not really taken up by the emergency alarms.

    Everything felt weird and off. Her head ached wrecking her vision and she felt something slowly crawling down her face. ‘What…happened…?’ As she tried to pull herself up to take stock of the situation, she nearly fell over not noticing her precarious position balanced on the backs of chairs. Groggy, she stared lazily down at the head of the transport, what it used to be. Now merely a crumpled mess of metal, wires and exposed circuits. It felt close in a way that seemed inviting, but also a warning. Her mind told it was too far down safely.

    Seconds ticked by giving her pause to her situation. The hull groaned and shook sending out fresh cries from the passengers. Katlyn grabbed on tightly to the backs as the shaking wanted her down. She refused to give in.

    It stopped.

    She sighed.

    It woke her up fully. Her mind started turning and putting together the pieces. The transport hit the earth at nearly a perpendicular angle. Down was now rear and front was down. Rear was up, above and out of reach. It no longer was just a walk.

    Katlyn stared out around at the wreckage and the survivors. She saw so many injuries of different types. Broken arms, crushed ribs, scraps and wounds, there did not seem to be a single person unharmed. “They need help,” she muttered before pulling herself up to sit safely on the chair back. “Are there any doctors or people with medical skills?” No answer. It was not a certainty. They could be still out from the crash or too confused to answer.

    Staring down at the front of the transport, a plan started to form in her mind. ‘I hope it’s not damaged…’ It was going to be her only chance to treat the people, though for some that could be a long shot at best. She started to guide herself off the chair and down to the next when a bloody hand stretched grabbing her wrist.

    Pausing immediately in surprise, her eyes became trapped by the wounded young man half under the seats. “Help me! Don’t leave me!”

    “I’m going to get the emergency med station, just wait.” Katlyn dropped down to the next chairs. She heard the man calling to her and begging for her to stay. He was not the only one that she needed to help.

    At the bottom, the new floor was a crumpled mass of twisted metal making for a very uneven floor. Across the aisle a woman stared over at her unmoving with fear in her eyes. She seemed to be questioning Katlyn’s decision. However, she could not get lost in the individuals. She turned her attention to the station. Her fingers touched the start up panel getting a soft green light to spread through the transparent sections of the station. “It’s still working!”

    Looking around at the interior, she saw so many faces staring at her now. Attention turned to her and her actions. She did not like the situation. “You, can you walk?” she called to the woman that stared at her. All she got was a confused stared until she yelled back at her once more.

    “…maybe…”

    “Then try! You, sir, I need you as well.”

    “Me?” questioned a middle aged man that probably was some business middle management type.

    “Yes, you look less injured than the others.” She walked over to the woman and pulled her out of the chair to test the woman. At a glance, she saw nothing harming her other than fear. They were the best she had until she found more. “You two, there’s a lot of people hurt here and this isn’t the place we can treat them. I need you to help me start getting people outside where we can treat them. If there is anyone with debris or something through their torso don’t move them and get me. We may have to treat them without moving them outside.”

    “What about you?”

    “I’m doing the same thing! The faster we get people out of here the more that we can save and keep healthy until rescue arrives!”

    “Shouldn’t a team already come by now?”

    “Probably, but we can’t worry about what should be, just with the way things are now. Get moving!”

    1:48 hours after City Fall

    Most of the survivors were out now along the ground. Once they got a few out, Katlyn started tending to each. She never found a doctor or nurse, anyone with more medical knowledge than her, which was not saying much. Her understanding could hardly pass for a nurse, but it was the best they had. Thankfully, the emergency station managed most of it on its own with her just giving assistance. But not everyone could be treated with it. There were some with too severe of wounds that they would be back in full health. They were at least stabilized, but she had to wait for the rescue team to arrive.

    Taking pause, she stared off in the distance towards 3674. It was further away than she realized. They fell out of the sky and crashed well beyond the city’s natural boundaries. ‘Is that why we haven’t been rescued yet, the automated services are expecting a different city to handle our rescue?’ Unfortunately, she could not see any of the other cities, even though 3674 was surrounded rather closely by several other cities.

    Something was wrong.

    None of that could be processed for Katlyn. She didn’t have the time. A stinky hand came over her mouth with a knife at her neck. ‘Who is this? What’s going on? There shouldn’t be anyone out in the wastelands…unless…’ Whatever she thought they might be, she wasn’t even in the right category.

    She heard screams and cries spring up all around her with primal roars in a language that her nanomachines never heard of before. These people were complete foreigners, unknowns. Katlyn had no idea what was going anymore.

    She was no longer in her world.

    A strange looking man covered in furs and leather with patches of maybe iron or steel plates appeared before her. He seemed to acknowledge her as the leader of the survivors with how he focused on her with his unknown tongue. He wanted something, but she couldn’t understand him.

    The barbaric looking man waved a hand over her face and she suddenly felt very sleepy. For all she tried to fight to stay awake, she couldn’t. She was unconscious in moments.

    “What are Curothians doing this far south, boss?” the right hand man asked, watching as the men rounded up all of the stranger people.

    Staring down at one of the severely injured people, the man pulled out his long sword and ran it through the man’s heart. “Kill all too injured to keep, no survivors!” He stared down at the dead man looking confused. “They look like Curothians, but they don’t have any mutations or cross-bred traits.”

    “You don’t think.”

    “These could be untainted Curothians from the north.”

    “But no one’s seen one before! Even among the Curothians they just treat them as legend.”

    “Only to the lazy that are too comfortable in their lives here.”

    “You believe in the legends?”

    “No, but I don’t need to believe in untainted Curothians, just our buyers. Something this exotic and unknown will make us all very rich. Looks like Yorthar is smiling upon us today.”

    One of the men came over to the boss. “Boss, salvage is going to be impossible.”

    “What do you mean?” He immediately grabbed the man by the thin layers of leather sewed to his chest. “This is valuable salvage and this is our claim!”

    “But none of it is useable. It’s nothing like what we’ve seen before! None of it makes any sense and none of our weapons or tools can even make a scratch on it!”

    “The greatest find in all of Alouria and you’re telling me it’s worthless?!”

    “Y-yes, boss!”

    Grinding his teeth at the prospect of losing something so valuable and being told it was worthless. He could tell it was strange and foreign. But it should have been worth something. Unfortunately, he was going to have to live with disappointment. “Fine, destroy it. If we can’t have it no one can.”

    “But we don’t know if we can, that’s what I’m saying boss.”

    “Nothing is indestructible!” Suddenly, flames built up around his arm as a magic array formed at his feet. His men immediately scattered with their prizes in tow. The most powerful fire spell the boss knew was not something to be around or even near for. Wind kicked back off him from the rapid pressure change as magic streamed into the flames guided through the array. Another array expanded out.

    “A six fold spell?!” shouted one of the men seeing six arrays forming between the newly expanded array.

    “Everyone run!”

    Only moments later, the earth tore apart as magic flooded the area around the man drenching the very air in magic completely distorting space. A massive ball of flame expanded and changed form into chariot. Lead by a dozen horses of flame, the chariot sped towards the wreckage completely engulfing the entire thing in flames. Heat and fire blasted out in a massive radius around scarring the earth.

    He walked away from the towering pyre of flames. It was done.

    Or so it seemed. The surprise of his men made him turn back to look at the wreckage. It should have been completely obliterated, yet it still stood. It crumbled more than it did before, clearly damaged from the magic spell, yet not nearly as much as it should have been. “That was a Siege class spell, nothing should be left…” A deep troubled crack appeared in his brow as he stared at the flaming wreckage. He had nothing better to toss at it and casting such a spell already drained him. “Damn Morene to the Twenty-Nine Celtrats!”

    Turning away from the wreckage, he was going to have to learn to live with disappointment. “Move out! We can’t be having our cargo dying before they get to the market!”

  11. #11
    Lady Succubus Strange Tides Victoria's Avatar
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    Shia had arrived at the wreckage after what felt like half of the day. She saw the moon set and the sun rise on her way there. Her forehead had dew drops of sweat forming from the journey. Once there, whatever wreckage this was had been set aflame. Whether it caught fire from the crash or due to other means she was unsure, but what she was sure about was how advanced this technology looked.

    Even if it was magic, it was still very advanced as far as she were concerned. However, the more she investigated around the scenery, there weren't nary a peep to be heard nor a corpse to be seen. She clicked her tongue and pouted in annoyance, brigands must have been nearby to loot any survivors and anything worth coin. Whatever material this was, though, had to been too advanced for them to haul off. Whatever it was, seemed very durable but she had neither the tools nor the know-how to salvage it.

    Maybe if she were quick enough, she could catch the bandits at their camp, but she had no idea where they had even gone. She stood for a moment, attempting to think about what a bandit would do with survivors, she headed back home to Althnor. They most likely would sell anyone in the black market there, and she lived in the district that specialized in that sort of mess. So it would be easy for her to track down where these people would be sold.

  12. #12
    The Quiet One Strange Tides Andromeda's Avatar
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    Day 1 – 8:54 hours after City Fall

    Darkness again… It seemed to be common now. She hated it. She was left clueless to the happenings around her. And every time it faded there was something different.

    The strange sounds of celebratory voices droned in Katlyn’s ear as she awoke from her sleep. Unlike the time before, it felt oddly restful for her. Even though she found the hard earth less than desirable for sleeping on. But she awoke again and this time with her hands and forearms bound with rope as well as her legs. They went so far as to even cover her hands so she couldn’t even pick anything up. A cautious and dangerous group that seemed very experienced.

    She looked around to see the rest of the survivors with her all pooled together with several guards watching them, looking rather annoyed that they could not join in the party happening within sight. Some of the survivors looked to still be asleep and others were awake, but completely terrified.

    She thought she would have been more scared herself in the situation, but her mind just kept trying to put everything together. Each piece had to be put in the right spot and she needed to solve it. And the most important piece was that there was something clearly very wrong with their kidnappers.

    While appearing human in shape mostly, they were definitely not human. She could not make anything out of them made them all fit together. Each seemed to be a different species of something humanoid. There was a few with tails, but they were not even the same sort of tail with vast differences. She saw one or two with some sort of bone or horns coming out of their faces, but appearing more human. One had a thin and more bird like appearance. Whatever the people were they were nothing like what she had ever seen except for out of fantasy movies. The whole scene before her looks like she was a movie set. She might have even thought that except her mind clearly told her otherwise.

    Some unknown amount of time passed for Katlyn before she saw someone different come over. It took her a moment, but the difference of the night before and day time now bled away. She recognized the patching of furs, leather and metal. ‘He’s the one I saw before I fell asleep.’ He was the most human with black hair like the night and a very dull glow to his skin that looked unnatural. Otherwise, she could not see any noticeable differences. But she could tell that he was the leader just the way the others acted towards him.

    “…you…woman…” She could not make out any of the other words that he said. The translation program still had trouble understanding the language. It sounded nothing like what she knew from Earth. She had heard many of the languages spoken through audio recordings without the aid of translation, but it matched none of them. The base and root words that define their language were probably so different from any sort of Earth tongue it was going to be a while before it figured it out.

    Even without speaking, she could at least make some sort of stand. She straightened out her back and sat on her feet trying to find somewhere to get comfort in the situation. Giving the man a sharp look of determination, it produced a grin from him.

    “…silence…”

    “I don’t understand you,” she replied, figuring that he was thinking her silence a mark of her bravery. Talking would have been preferred. She could have found out what they wanted and if they were going to be ransomed or killed. She wanted to know what her situation was and how she might be able to escape.

    Her strange words cut a small crack of confusion in his face. He leaned down staring at her even more closely than before. A toothy grin came over his lips as something seemed to come to him. He jumped forward at Katlyn knocking her back as he seemed to be testing that bravery. The man laughed as he walked away and barked out orders.

    Day 1 – 19:02 hours after City Fall

    Those orders turned out to be marching orders. A long and hard march throw the hanging sun troubled many of the survivors not used to such an endurance demanding effort. Even Katlyn was sweating after walking for the whole day, but she was better off than the others. So when they were allowed to stop for the day everyone collapsed.

    No longer tied up at the legs, they could sit around more comfortable than before. But everyone held silent unable to utter anything for fear of being beat anymore than they already were for failing to keep pace with the march.

    Katlyn walked around checking on everyone’s injures both fresh and old. ‘Thankfully for now, the nanomachines are keeping them healthy. But I don’t know the quality and grade that everyone’s using. Some might even be due for their maintenance soon…’

    “…woman…here…” The broken translation still failed to get close, but it felt more natural what she picked up. So it was improving, but it was going to take time. Unfortunately, time was not enough. She knew the voice of the gruff voice calling out to her. It was the boss. He motioned over to her, apparently understanding that she couldn’t understand his words.

    ‘What’s going on?’ She didn’t really have a choice. For now, she had to listen to him and get along until she understood the situation better. Katlyn put more resolve into her walk now that she had a little more freedom and hid her exhaustion.

    The man placed a white ivory looking object into the air that suddenly lit up the entire space. Something that she hadn’t realized was they were all inside some sort of field or barrier. It had been invisible until now to her. And he created a hole for her to walk out of. That seemed to be his intension from the way he motioned to her.

    Once she left the barrier, he pulled out the ivory object and the barrier disappeared, though she assumed it to be still be present. He grabbed her by the arm and pulled her along to the opposite side of the camp.

    Everything about the situation felt off. She couldn’t tell if he planned to kill her, though she didn’t get that sort of intention from him. He had a purpose, but she couldn’t pick up on it. It remained a mystery until he produced a scroll.

    “…sit…” It was the first time she figured something out. Though it was still hard to know if there was anything else he wanted from her. But she was ordered to sit, so she agreed. He sat down and rolled out the scroll. Strange arrays and writings filled the paper that she didn’t recognize.

    He barked to her again, though all she got was the usual ‘woman’ that he kept referring to her as. Since she didn’t understand, he just took action and grabbed her bound hand. Removing a dagger from his belt he cut her finger quickly and squeezed out the blood to drip on the parchment. Before she even had a chance to react to it, he placed a hand to one of the strange arrays and started to chant something.

    The writing lit up with a bright blue glow. And then to surprise and awe, they peeled off the paper. The characters or symbols floated into the air drawn to her open wound filling. She would have pulled away if it wasn’t for the fact that he still held onto her. Katlyn could only watch as they entered her body and the symbols crawled through her skin covering her entire arm and face before fading away.

    “Can you understand me now, woman?”

    Her eyes widened in shock to clearly hear the man speak. She lifted her head up towards him. “Why can I understand you?”

    “Good, it worked.” He rolled up the scroll and tossed it back into a pack off to the side. “You don’t even come from the north, do you?”

    “North what?”

    “If you were truly a Curothian, you wouldn’t have such a strange tongue.”

    “Curothian? What’s going on? Who are you people?”

    “You’re a very strange people.” He stood up and turned to look back in the distance. “An unknown people and a strange mountain of silver both appearing on the same day.”

    Katlyn looked over to 3674, it was so much smaller now than before. She had been walking further away from it the whole day. It was nearly disappearing now hard to see amongst the rest of the strange scenery. “What do you want with me?”

    “You’ve got spirit, unlike the rest of your group. You the leader?”

    She almost answered honestly, but thought about it. “That’s right. I’m their leader. If you want to negotiate terms tell them to me.” This was going to be her only chance to get more information. Anything to give her a clue to what was happening and how she could escape this horrible situation.

    “Negotiate? You seem to be thinking this is different scenario. We aren’t holding you for ransom or anything like that.”

    “Then what is this all about?”

    The man turned around and stared down at her. “Money. Someone as young and fresh like you will get quite the price. There are plenty of men in Althnor with a taste for the exotic. Unlike the rest you’ve got stamina, I bet some nasty old man will be able to ride you all day long just getting off on your cute little screams.”

    Katlyn stomach churned up at the thought. Though she didn’t give him the satisfaction of knowing that his efforts did anything to her. She could tell from the way he spoke he was trying to scare her, break her into something more easily worked with.

    He laughed a bit watching her closely. “You do you have balls, woman. You’re going to be a fun one.”

    “Your buyers are going to be disappointed if they’re expecting to hear anything cute out of me.”

    That made him laugh even more. He grinned widely very excited by how much she fought back with him. “You’re making me want to take you myself! Don’t tempt me woman.”

    “You couldn’t handle me,” she tossed back. Dealing with someone that could actually kill her was not the sort of situation she had ever been trained for. But she had been in so many high stress situations that she managed to channel that into her mind to keep her calm while her heart pounded with terror. She could be scared as much as she wanted, just as long as she didn’t show it.

    He leaned in grabbing her making her heart jump into her throat while she fought to keep her shock in check. He had an extremely rough touch and absolutely no technique, but he wasn’t trying for that. All his hands wanted to do was see her flinch. But she didn’t give in. “Never touched a woman before?”

    “You really are something else.” His hand slid out from between her legs and let his nose take in her fragrance. Everything he did attempted to unnerve her move. And with each failure only seemed to get him more amused. “You’re no ordinary woman. You a whore?”

    “So crass. No, I’m a masseuse and therapist.”

    “What? Is that what you people call a whore?”

    “I see that’s lost on you. I relieve people’s stress or help them recover from injuries. But in my younger days, I had less scruples about relieving people’s stress. I dealt in the shadier side of what would be considered legal.”

    “So you are a whore.”

    Katlyn sighed as work and cultural differences still didn’t translate well. She had actually lost quite a bit of the fear that made her heart race out of her chest. All that remained was annoyance. “If that makes it easier for you to understand. Consider me an extremely highly skilled stress reliever. I know ways I bet your tiny little mind haven’t even thought of. I can promise you that.” She got a little caught up in defending herself, that she wondered if she went too far. But she could see the glow in his eyes. He saw money and definitely some unwanted lust. Even if she went further than she wanted it seemed to work. There was value to her. ‘Hopefully with this I’ll get some special treatment and maybe even be able to figure out a way out of this.’

    Day 2 – Evening

    Unfortunately for Katlyn, escape wasn’t going to be so easy for her. She found herself staring as a large city spread out at the fork of two major rivers. Boats filled the waters as far as she could see trying to get into the port. Out on the proper trade routes, caravans lined up to enter through checkpoints before crossing the magically crafted bridges. Stretched out in all directions in advance of the city were pillars with strong green glows that bled magic into the sky and dancing through the air like an aurora constantly over the city.

    Before her was the city-state of Althnor, but she didn’t get the normal treatment of any regular citizen entering. Their kidnappers pushed them over to stone walls that ran on broken and ruined for kilometers. Still out of clear sight of anyone that might be watching from the city, the traders had a hidden route into the city. They were cast into darkness once more, but with torches and illumination spells lit their way through the underground tunnels that ran through the city.

    Katlyn would soon reach her destination.

  13. #13
    The Mad God Strange Tides Heartless Angel's Avatar
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    "Ohh, my head...", he said wearily, as he came to, immediately noticing a crushing headache.

    He turned his head to view his surroundings, but it was still dark. With a little effort, he conjured a small orb of light, and tossed it upward. Shortly thereafter, it stuck to a surface and illuminated the area. The first thing he noticed was that much of the scenery was inverted. The second, that what the orb had attached itself to, was in fact, the ground.

    He looked up to see his foot caught between two branches in a tree, holding him high above the ground. "How did I manage this?", he asked himself, looking around, hoping to notice some familiar landmark to tell him exactly where he was.

    With some effort, he managed to recall the events that had lead up to this mishap.

    Immediately upon touching the surface of the lake beneath the Empyrean city, he began running in the direction of the city that appeared from the flash. After about half an hour of running, he came to realize that he had seriously underestimated the scale of the city on the horizon. It was much larger, and farther away than he had imagined. It would easily be a two day journey on foot.

    "But then, I am above such mundane travel, am I not?" he asked himself, sarcastically emulating his father's sense of self importance and pride in his noble blood. He focused his eyes on a fixed point, about 20 feet away, and vanished, reappearing a moment later at the point he had kept his eyes set upon. This spell of Material Transference was a relatively new idea in the field of Law Magic, one that Celtorix found particularly interesting. Its only limitation was the awareness of its user. A direct line of sight was all that he required to send his mass to any point in space. He though he could shave off a great deal of his travel time this way. It did save a great deal of time, but it also tired him quickly. Before long he was too tired to continue, and decided to set up for the night. Only then did it occur to him that he actually hadn't prepared anything for this trip. In his excitement, he had jumped from the heights of Anameleth without even stopping at home to pack.

    "Right... Well, the lesser races do this all the time, how hard can it be?", he asked himself, as looked around for the materials he would need to set up camp.

    After a great deal of trial and error, he had managed to create a rudimentary shelter, a few large sticks propped up against a tree, covered in leaves to keep light out, and more leaves piled on the ground for comfort. "Hm... Somehow, this doesn't feel like an accomplishment", he remarked, looking upon his shoddy handiwork. A craftsman was only as good as his tools and materials, and unfortunately for Celtorix, he hadn't brought either. He let out a deep sigh, and began to crawl into his little hut when his eye began to resonate with a powerful magical energy. He sprang to his feet without thinking, and knocked the key support stick from his shelter away, causing the entire structure to collapse.

    "Damnit!", he yelled out in anger, now that hours of work had been undone in an instant. He kicked away the branch in frustration and then walked away from the mess. He walked to the top of a nearby hill, and looked off in the direction of the strong magical energy he had detected. The only thing he could see clearly was a large ball of fire, scorching the land.

    "Whoa, what is that? Large scale destruction magic... Could this be one of those Savage wars I've read about?", he asked himself. When the flames cleared away, he could see a small metallic structure where the blast had been centered. "Wow, that had to have been a really strong metal to take an attack like that. Even Anamelethi Sunmetal would have at least warped a little under that much heat.", he mumbled.

    He then noticed that the color of the metal was almost identical to that of the city from the flash. "Could they have been a scouting party?", he asked himself. It had then occurred to him that in fact this structure had come under attack from a band of savages. "Oh, no. I should try to help them!", he said. He teleported towards the site, about 20 feet at a time, but he realized that this would still take him much too long to be of any assistance. "Hmm... I've never tried it before, but in theory, I should be able to gain my spatial coordinate from the Magiscopic Eye, not just my real one...", he mumbled, as he began channeling energy into the eye. He closed his biological eye, and zoomed the implant to a place near the site of the attack, but hidden from view on the other side of a hill, and began to prepare the Material Transference spell for its first long range test. He vanished, just as he had done dozens of times on this trip already, but when he reappeared, he immediately noticed something was wrong. He was falling.

    "Right... I teleported here... But where is here, exactly? It would seem that the Material Transference spell isn't as accurate as I thought it was. At long distances, the error would naturally be a lot larger in scale." He mumbled. He looked around again, this time with the power of the Magiscopic Eye, but it seemed unwilling to cooperate with him.

    "Uh oh, what's wrong with this thing?", he asked himself, its focus continuously shifted, its direction changed, seemingly at random as he tried to control it. Somehow, the eye had been damaged, and it wasn't responding to magic the way it should. After a little trial and error, he managed to relearn some of its more basic functions, using new magic to compensate for the damage. Soon after, he managed to get a fix on the wreckage of the attack he had witnessed earlier.

    "Oh, damnit! They've moved on already!", he said, as he began to struggle, hoping to get down from the tree he had found himself in. Before long, he managed to shake himself loose, and he fell just a few feet before his coat got stuck on another branch. Dangling from the coat, he was still stuck, but quickly began trying to remove his arms from the sleeves to let himself free. "Alright, I'll just slip out of his, and land on that branch underneath...", he began, but he was cut short when the coat ripped from holding his weight. He quickly dropped down, and hit a few branches on his way down to the surface. He managed to extend his arm, and tried to cast the same spell he had used to slow his fall from Anameleth, but it wasn't quite fast enough, he hit the ground with a resounding thud.

    "Ow...", he managed to say, as he laid in the grass beneath the tree.

    "Alright... So, first I heal up, and then I go after those raiders, and help the scouts from the city.", he said, weakly, as his hand began to glow as he channeled a healing spell.
    Last edited by Andromeda; 03-30-2016 at 11:40 PM.

  14. #14
    The Quiet One Strange Tides Andromeda's Avatar
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    Day 3 – Morning

    Despite what she thought she had gained in value with the boss, Katlyn found herself behind bars along with the rest of the survivors. Hidden in some underground part of the city, that she still didn’t understand, they were completely out of sight. Escape would prove to be difficult. While she shared room with others, the rest of the cells held a vast array of other species of humanoids. After seeing the make up from her kidnappers, she started to put together the different species. She still lacked any sort of names for them since no one spoke near her about anyone.

    “Are we going to be safe?” a young man asked. It was probably the first time anyone had really spoken since being captured.

    Katlyn didn’t have much hope to offer the man or any of them. Packed tighter than the hover trains at rush hour, they crowded into the cell. She leaned forward being able to talk to them. “They value us because we’re different. So at the very least we’re worth more to them alive than dead. Unfortunately, they plan to sell us off the highest bidder.”

    Many of them gasped in shock. Unlike the world that they found themselves in, the idea of human trafficking or slavery were so foreign it was nearly impossible to understand why they would do it. Katlyn couldn’t find herself any closer to understand the situation than them. She just had to accept the reality of their position even if it is didn’t make sense.

    “But the military’s going to rescue us right?”

    “3674 doesn’t have any military and I didn’t see anything other than our city out there. We’re going to have to survive on our own.” All that did was induce more panic. She expected as much. There wasn’t really any good way to put it. They needed to understand their situation and the truth. She could work on calming and easing them afterwards.

    Unfortunately, calming would have to wait. One of the guards arrived at the cell. “Hey, woman, boss wants to see you.” It was one of the sort of animal like species that she noticed with a tail. Seeing non-humans still unnerved her a bit, but she started to get used to it. They were made easier by the fact that they mostly looked human.

    Everyone looked worried seeing Katlyn leave. Ever since she took charge of everyone back at the crash she found herself with far more responsibility than she was used to managing. They looked as though all of their lives weighed in her hands and maybe they were right. It was hard to know. “I’ll be back. It’ll be fine.”

    She walked with her escort that kept glancing over at her. There was an uncertain look in his eyes like he wanted something, but was too afraid to do anything. ‘I wonder if he’s afraid of their boss doing something.’

    It wasn’t long before she was in the boss’ chamber. There was an assorted mix of old pottery that might have been considered relics to them. Something that might have been bear fur lined the floors. She had trouble telling if he was rich or not. It looked like he had wealth, but none of it seemed to have much worth in her eyes. But she didn’t know what they valued in this world. “Planning see if you can handle me?” she opened as strong as she could.

    The boss laughed at her bite. “No, tempting as it would be to break you, I can’t be selling damaged goods to my buyers. But I make no promises after you’re sold.”

    “You’re such a gentleman.”

    “Still such a sharp tongue for a woman in your position.”

    “Unless you called me over for me to verbally abuse you, what do you want?”

    He grinned still enjoying her spirit. Katlyn knew that she had managed to win him over in a way with her strong personality. It seemed to something that he liked and contrary to what she might have expected, he didn’t strike back. “I’m putting together the selling information on your lot. So I’m needing to take some personal details.”

    “Interviewing me now?”

    “In a word, but this isn’t the sort of interview where you get to answer questions.” He walked out from around the desk and pulled out his dagger. Rubbing the point against his finger, he approached in with an intimidating presence. “You’ve got two choices. Strip yourself and I strip you. I’d enjoy the second option.”

    Physical examination she guessed. ‘Guess he wants to confirm my quality. This world is truly disgusting. I can’t wait to leave.’ Katlyn moved to tap the electronic button on her sleeve. “You’d pop before you even made it halfway through.”

    “Tempting.”

    Apply slight pressure to the panel on her sleeve the entire form fitting one-piece suit loosened up. A seam formed along her waist and down her back allowing her to remove the top separate from the bottom.

    “You’ve got some interesting magic clothes there. I bet the Val would love to reverse engineer that thing.”

    “The Val scientists?”

    “No, they’re magic specialists. No one knows magic better than them.”

    “Then they won’t find it very useful. This is science, technology, not magic.”

    “They like anything that peeks their curiosity, they’ll buy this. Everything, woman!”

    She had stopped at her underwear, but he was being thorough. It was about what she expected, but she had to attempt to save some of her dignity. Completely naked before his lustful eyes made her heart race with fear while she kept a cold exterior.

    “You really are something special, woman.” He walked around her admiring her from every single angle. “No hint of modesty just showing it all, you really are a whore.” As he came back around in front of her, he squeezed her breast looking for any sort of reaction from her.

    Her eye flinched as he had a horribly rough grip on her. “First time touching a woman’s breast?”

    He laughed and walked back to the desk. “You’re going to go for quite a pretty mal.” Behind the desk, he rummaged around for something until finally producing a strange device. The upper part was a cloudy sphere with metal tendrils attached at the base linked to several smaller orbs. Along the entire thing, a warm glow covered the metal as symbols carved into the air in orbits.

    The boss placed it in front of her and then placed his hand on the main sphere. Suddenly, the glow intensified and expanded covering the entire room before it faded. He then walked back to the desk placing his hand on a scroll. Out of the paper, what Katlyn would have considered a holographic projection of her body appeared though she knew better. It was likely some sort of magic as the man had been saying repeatedly. Alongside the display a long list of text in whatever language they used appeared. He read it intently for a while before turning back to Katlyn.

    “That’s the last proof I needed.”

    “Proof?”

    “You’re not from this region. You’re not even remotely related to even the Curothians. Whatever you are, no one’s ever recorded your race.” A wide grin with the thought of money came over his face. “I’m going to be able to get quite a lot of mal from you.” He paused as he glanced over at the text and then back at Katlyn. “Show me your finger.”

    “Huh?”

    “Your wound, show it to me!”

    She didn’t understand, but obeyed as it was a simple request. However, there was nothing to show him. “What is it?”

    He grabbed her hand to stare at it closely. His grip tightened the more he stared at her skin. Then he glared at her. “What are you, immortal?”

    “Of course not!”

    “You should have a wound here, a scar, anything to show that I cut you. But it’s completely flawless. In fact your entire body is flawless.”

    “Naturally, the things inside my body repair any damage quickly. Your knife wound you gave me was completely healed in a couple of hours.”

    “What magic is this?”

    “No magic, its science. We all have it in us.”

    “Rapid regeneration, very interesting. I can spin that nicely.” He poked through the data on her again. There seemed to be something else that bothered him. “This is getting confused results on your age. You’re nineteen or twenty.”

    “Thirty-one.”

    “Don’t lie to me woman! Answer me, what’s your age!”

    “I already told you. I wasn’t lying.”

    “You can’t be that old, you’ve got no wrinkles, no signs of aging. You barely look fit to bare children.”

    “I hardly look that young, you’re a terrible judge of age. The things inside me maintain my youth. Trust me, I’m older than I look.”

    “Damn! Yorthar’s beside me. I’m going to be able to sell you for a King’s ransom. Healing and eternal youth, I’m going to have to fight them off.” He started to manipulate the magic in the paper mumbling to himself about the wealth he would soon have.

    Katlyn bent down to start picking up her cloths to put them back on, but the boss yelled out to the guard outside. The man the escorted her came in and immediately stuttered getting an eyeful. “Give him your cloths. You can put them back on in your cell.”

    She glared at him as he intentionally did that just to spite her. All her rebellious attitude seemed to have come back to bite her. Katlyn complied as she had no chance in fighting. The guard however seemed to have other concerns. “Boss, if I take her back like this the boys will get excited.”

    “So what, as long as they don’t damage the goods too badly and if I don’t see it I’m not going to tell them no.”

    “Thought you didn’t want to damage the goods,” she remind him of his own words earlier in the hope of sparing herself from what she feared to imagine would happen if she walked out in such a state.

    “Your things inside you will fix up any damage you might get before the sale tomorrow.”

    Baring as much spite and wrath at him as possible, she pierced the back of his head with her intense glare. “You’re quite the gentleman,” she spat back.

    “I look forward to seeing how much of that spirit you still have by the time you reach your cell.” He waved the two off as he continued to work on the paper.

    She was barely out the door behind the guard had her up against the wall and pulling down his pants. ‘Just think of Franklin, think of Franklin…Franklin…’ It was all she could do to repeat it to try to get through it. And it only got worse as the guards came by and were encouraged to join in.

    By the time that she was tossed naked into the cell completely soaked in things she didn’t want to think about all she was saying was her husband’s name repeatedly. The sight completely terrified the rest of the survivors and set an example for them to follow.

    Day 4 – Afternoon

    Shivers still ran down her body of the day before. She never experienced something so horrifying and painful in her entire life. Even now she continued to whisper his name to keep her sanity, though maybe she had already lost it.

    Lined up back stage in the auction hall, all of the survivors with her were stripped completely naked with no dignity. They were merchandise and she could do nothing to ease or comfort them. She focused only on herself and trying to keep herself together. It was nearly impossible as her body still shook from it all. And now she hated her nanomachines as they completely repaired everything that they had done to her. It was as though none of it happened, yet her body could still feel it. A sickening paradox was created.

    As time passed and the other survivors went up for auction, she was put last. She was the big prize and the one the boss built the entire event around. So when it was her turn, he paraded her out with great fanfare. Before the entire crowd of on lookers, she started to feel violated once more. She fought to keep herself in check and not give any of them the satisfaction, especially the bastard boss that tossed her to the wolves. He wouldn’t have the pleasure of breaking her. That fueled her enough to close up and stand straight and proud.

    “And last, we have this fine specimen. A completely flawless body, youthful and full of life!” He squeezed her breasts to show off the quality of her body to the audience. “The body of a young woman, but by our measure she should be nearly half dead. Youth in old age. How many of you want such a body in your bed never to age unlike your wives? Or perhaps you want to learn all of her secrets, secrets that you can own for the right price. You’ll never run across something like this again. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.” He worked up the interest of the crowd that they were already leaning forward wanting to start throwing out their money. “Let’s start the bidding!”

  15. #15
    Lady Succubus Strange Tides Victoria's Avatar
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    It'd been a few days since Shia had returned home from the abandoned wreckage. Something in the back of her mind nagged her every day and she wasn't sure what it was but she knew there had to be something more to that wreckage than there was. She didn't let that stop her enthusiasm for her work, styling the hair of her clientele during the day and relieving their tensions and loneliness during the night.

    Today, however, proved to be an interesting day for Shia. A messenger came by with an interesting tidbit of information that she found very useful while she spent some time with a client. A grin spread upon her lips as the mystery in the back of her head had been answered. These must've been the survivors she'd been looking for from the wreckage. Why else would they be worth a high price? Shia made absolutely sure she'd attend the underground auction. After all, it'd been a while since she'd attended one as a piece of arm candy.

    Lucky for her, one of her more wealthy clients had planned to attend so she offered him a deal to tag along with him to the event. They arrived a little early to get the best view possible, Shia eager to see what the survivors looked like. From what she could see, they appeared to be normal humans, but given the place she resided in humans were such a rare sight that most people don't even remember what they are. As the survivors got brought out to auction one by one, there'd been a peculiar looking one that Shia couldn't take her eyes off of.

    She could recognize the traits of her craft immediately. The way her own hair had been styled, the delicate fingertips and the way her nails were trimmed just so. Lucky for her, the price she bid at was just slightly above what she made in a week as a courtesan. It didn't take long for the transaction to be processed. "Let's get this nasty thing off of you." she said as she removed the collar from her new acquaintance.

    Shia dug into her purse for a spare pair of clothes. "Put these on, unless you have a thing for being naked all the time. I know I do, but not everyone is me." she said. The red haired girl wasn't sure how to react to all this, but was at least thankful the collar was removed. Even more thankful that she finally got to put on some clothes, despite being a little big and tight in different areas. Better than nothing, she thought.

    "..Thanks. ..Wait, how come I understand you?" she asked, the fact just now donning on her. Shia could only grin.

    "Because I'm fluent in your language. I'm not originally from here, actually. I'm from a place where you humans are commonplace so I became fluent in your tongue. Name's Zhang Shia, but you can call me Shia if you like." she explained as the girl looked herself over and adjusted the clothes.

    "Rina." she replied. She wasn't sure what the fate would be of the other survivors, but at least she lucked out and was bought by someone who appeared to be nice. Then the last one came out, the main event woman. As Shia laid her eyes on her, she couldn't help but let out a loud, very offended dramatic gasp that was loud enough to stop the proceedings. "WAITAMINUTE NO NO NO!" she shouted.

    "This just SIMPLY won't do!" she cried out, appalled at the display in front of her. Sure the woman's body was in pristine condition and she was no doubt very pretty, but she wasn't beautiful. Not yet. She ran over and helped herself onto the makeshift stage, kicking a box into the center. "Sit sit sit, I won't take no for an answer." she said to the woman whose name she didn't know.

    She glared at any who opposed or were angry with her outburst, spotting someone who hadn't come in to her shop in a long while. "Don't worry, madam, you are next! You are long overdue!" she said. Once the woman sat on the box, she dug out a cloak from her purse and swung it around the woman's front and clasped it tight around her neck, but not too tight. Most of the noise died down once she made eye contact with several people, knowing a good amount of them were clientele. So once they realized who barged in, they let her do as she pleased.

    With her scissors and comb in hand, she started her magic. But as soon as she touched the woman's hair, she stopped. "Oh you poor thing! You haven't had your hair washed in ages!" she exclaimed. She dug into her purse and pulled out a spray bottle of water, spraying it on the woman's hair to get it nice and wet as she grabbed a bottle of her favorite brand of hair cleaner and lathered it in. After a few minutes of massage, "Tilt your head back." she said as she uncapped the bottle of water and poured it over the woman's hair, rinsing the suds away making the stage all wet. Once her hair was nice and clean, she snapped her fingers and a runic circle appeared above the palm of her hand that blasted out hot air that she used to dry the woman's hair.

    Once she was satisfied, her scissors and comb went to work in a flurry until it came out looking like this. "Voila~" she clapped. "Beauty fit for a queen~" she guided the woman to stand back up and removed the cloak, pushing away the box.

    She gazed at the auctioneer, "I bid three million mal, by the way." she said as she walked down the stage and back toward Rin.

  16. #16
    The Mad God Strange Tides Heartless Angel's Avatar
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    A grizzled old man pushed through the crowd at the the auction, making his way towards the front.

    “And last, we have this fine specimen. A completely flawless body, youthful and full of life!” He squeezed her breasts to show off the quality of her body to the audience. “The body of a young woman, but by our measure she should be nearly half dead. Youth in old age. How many of you want such a body in your bed never to age unlike your wives? Or perhaps you want to learn all of her secrets, secrets that you can own for the right price. You’ll never run across something like this again. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.” He worked up the interest of the crowd that they were already leaning forward wanting to start throwing out their money. “Let’s start the bidding!”, the auctioneer hyped up the crowd for the sale of this woman.

    "Did he say last?", he asked himself quietly. "Damnit, I'm too late... I wasted too much time getting here", he mumbled.

    "Alright, that should do, I need to get moving if I'm going to help those people.", he said to himself, at last standing up. He looked to the tree that he had fallen from, and recalled the time it had taken him to crash from where he had materialized. "Interesting... Almost 30 meters off target at that range. I guess that rules out Material Transference through a scrying orb as a viable alternative to standard teleportation for long distance travel.", he said, annoyed with the limitations of his spell.

    He made his way towards the wreckage, looking it over for clues to the destination of the raiders and their captives. They hadn't been subtle, it was an easy trail to follow, and it was clear that they were going to Althnor.

    "Well, Material Transference may not work at long range, but Althnor is a known variable, so standard teleportation is an option.", he said, as he focused his thoughts. He had been sent to the city to deliver orders in the past, but he had only ever traded for knowledge from the handful of scholars in the city, a slave auction would be a new experience for him. In a flash of light, he changed his shape to that of an older Curoth man, with long brown hair, and a ragged, disheveled appearance. Solara had warned him in the past that there were unsavory types in the city who would kill to get their hands on a Zeroth slave. He was certain she was exaggerating, but he knew it best not to take chances with the surface Savages. After inspecting his new form, he vanished once more, reappearing within the city.

    He looked on as the auctioneer showed off this poor woman as if she were a piece of meat being sold to the hungry. It seems that Solara hadn't exaggerated the dangers of the surface world after all. These savages had no value for sapient life at all if they could do this to one another for the mere acquisition of material possessions. Shortly after the introduction, a rather strange and insistent woman made her way up to the stage, ranting about the final slave's appearance.

    "Is this sort of thing normal?" Celtorix asked another man standing nearby.

    "Not at all.", he replied, looking on in amusement.

    Celtorix could only watch in confusion as the woman tidied up the captive, before at last placing a bid of 3 million mal.

    "Mal? What is mal?", he asked himself. He glanced over the the man beside him, who appeared to be considering placing a bid. Figuring this man must then be aware of the value of the current bid, he opted to rip the information from his mind using neuromancy. His eye glowed blue for the briefest of moments, and then the man collapsed. "I see, so they use this Mal as a symbolic representation of value to simplify trading without having to barter goods. That is surprisingly creative for these Savages.", he thought. He had gotten a good enough understanding of this to create the appearance of money in a neuromantic illusion. He decided to bid, smirking slightly at the thought of the auctioneers realizing at a later date that they hadn't received any real currency for this transaction.

    "Three and a half million.", he said, raising one finger to mark himself in the crowd, pushing his way further towards the front.
    Last edited by Andromeda; 04-01-2016 at 04:00 PM.

  17. #17
    The Quiet One Strange Tides Andromeda's Avatar
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    Katlyn lost much of her stoic resolve while she was being man-handled by some strange woman. The brazen entrance she made left her confused and unable to react. Everything just sort of happened beyond her control and then it was done. That seemed to be it, until she heard a bid from the same woman. ‘What’s with her? Is this normal in this place?’

    Shortly after the first bid, another man that vaguely looked similar to her called out a higher bid. ‘…millions…’ A staggering number for her to comprehend, especially when it was a value on her life. It was troublesome to ponder.

    “Four million,” raised a very well dressed man.

    “Four two,” countered a middle aged woman in a slimming layering of silk like robes.

    The bids jumped around the room as the fire began to spread. “Ten,” the man returned in the latest duel over Katlyn’s life.

    “One hundred,” someone from the far back spoke in a soft voice that spread through the entire clearing through everyone else as though they stood next to them. It sparked everyone’s curiosity and fear not sure what happened, though most recognized it as magic.

    Separating from the crowd, a tall woman with glowing veins of magic running under her skin appeared. She held a vast length of hair equal to at least four times her height spread out through the air and tied up, all through active magic arrays. Anyone knowledgeable in magic would simply be in awe at the pure simplicity of the magic arrangement, if it were a machine, it would be an engineer’s dream, no moving parts.

    The boss immediately became visibility shaken by the sight of the woman. Katlyn could feel his nervousness through the hand that he held on her arm. ‘Who is this person? Everyone in the room is reacting to her. She someone important?’

    “A hundred million mal?” he questioned incredulously with greed and fear mixing into a messy stew.

    With the way parted, the woman slowly walked forward with smoothness and grace that was unnatural. Once standing at the floor before the stage, she looked up slightly towards the two. “No, one hundred mal.”

    “Umm… Representative Alur, the current bid is ten million mal. If you wish to place a bid, it must be higher.”

    Shifting over to the stairs, she came on stage making the boss sweat. “I’m aware, however I only stated what I felt the worth of this individual was to me.”

    “I-I see, I’m sorry you disagree with others appraisals of this woman’s value.”

    The woman stared down intently at Katlyn with the glow under her skin radiating intensely suddenly. It calmed after a moment. “Yes, I had to be sure.”

    Katlyn suddenly felt very lightheaded as a headache over came her. She had trouble keeping the pain back. ‘Why am I getting a migraine now? It shouldn’t be this intense that the nanomachines can’t handle it.’ In fact, she shouldn’t be having any migraines or even a headache. The nanomachines would keep her brain chemistry in balance to prevent that. Yet, it was the truth. She almost couldn’t see with how strong it was.

    “Sure?”

    “I detected some curious magic in use in the room and thought it might be coming from her, but it’s not. It’s from that man in the crowd.” One of her tied off hair clumps waved in the general direction making no solid accusations, not that it didn’t stop everyone from staring and questioning everyone with great suspicion. “No, I don’t detect any magic from this woman, apart from…” She touched Katlyn’s shoulder as symbols of black surfaced from her skin and then shattered. “A common language translation spell.”

    “The magic is internal. Perhaps you can’t detect it.”

    “No, there is no magic that I can’t see. This woman has no magic in her.” The claims made by the woman quickly erupted the whole room in shock and outrage over being lied to with falsified information. Anger quickly rose in the audience.

    Pulling out a knife, the boss took a shaky hand over to Katlyn’s hand. “She has magic, I’ll show you!” He drew the blade over her finger creating a shallow wound that Katlyn pulled away from. But he grabbed her hand forcibly showed it to the Val. “Look, this is the rapid regeneration.” The blood slowly came to a stop as he wiped away the wound to show it already closing up. “In a mere hour there won’t even be a scar left behind!”

    He had the crowd back on his side a little bit as what they saw appeared like magic. “I don’t appreciate you insinuating that I would lie to this fine gathering of men and women.”

    The Val moved in very close to Katlyn. She ran her hands up and down her body in a full examination of everything. Katlyn couldn’t even feel embarrassed as her head was crying in pain. And with each touch it only spiked in pain.

    “Very fascinating. I sense no magic in this body, but your documentation on this woman appears to be accurate. I want to know more about this body. Is it a magic from another realm or dimension or something natural to their body.”

    Trying to shake off his fear, the boss went straight to the heart of the matter. “Do you wish to place a bid?”

    Alur glanced back up at the boss only half paying attention to him. Her interest was already clear. “Right, yes. What was the bid?”

    “Ten million mal, Representative.”

    “Thank you. Eleven million.”

    “R-right, if you would please return to the floor, Representative.”

    Alur looked half eyed back at the crowd. “Oh. I guess I will have to wait a bit.”

    As the woman backed away and stopped focusing on her, Katlyn started to feel better suddenly. She could stand properly once more. It left her short of breath and nearly panting from the ordeal. ‘Who was that woman and why can’t I understand anyone anymore?’

  18. #18
    The Mad God Strange Tides Heartless Angel's Avatar
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    He smirked slightly, as he listened to the bidding war as it escalated. "These guys are definitely interested. It's a good thing I never planned on actually paying for this...", he thought to himself. His calm was soon shaken by the appearance of a Val.

    "Shit...", he thought to himself. Though his illusionary magic was more intricate than most, more than capable of fooling even the most discerning eyes, the Val didn't only see the light surrounding his body, they could see the magic. While the complexity of his spell would make him undetectable even to the most trained illusionists on the surface, the same complexity meant he would practically glow in the dark to her.

    "Well, maybe she won't be paying attention to the crowd, and certainly she won't be around when I try to pay...", he thought. He was sure that he would be safe, as long as he didn't do anything to warrant the Val's attention.

    The Val, after making an invalid bid went closer to scrutinize the subject, probably trying to discern the nature of these people's healing magic. "Perfect, with her focused on her magic, she probably won't even pay mine any notice.", he thought.

    “Yes, I had to be sure.”, the Val spoke.

    “Sure?”, the auctioneer inquired.

    “I detected some curious magic in use in the room and thought it might be coming from her, but it’s not. It’s from that man in the crowd.”, the Val uttered the last words Celtorix had wished to hear, she had all but announced his scheme.

    His heart skipped a beat. "**** the gods...", he thought. Though his people didn't actually believe in any deities, they often jokingly blamed them for mishaps of sufficient caliber. It would take supernatural guidance to throw this large a wrench into his plan, so it seemed appropriate.

    Her hair waved in his direction, not pinpointing him, but certainly enough to raise everyone's suspicion. He knew the Val likely didn't understand that he was attempting deception. If he'd tried to blend in to the crowd by feigning suspicion, there was a good chance she would try to clarify if she thought that he actually didn't realize she was referring to him. He thought better to act casually, looking only at those who made contact with him in the confusion.

    "Keep calm... I need to plan my next moves carefully...", he thought. "I could suppress their memory of this with neuromancy... But the Val might bring it up...", he considered briefly trying to blend back into the crowd by erasing their suspicion from their minds, but that could be considered an act of aggression by the Val, who may confront him if she were to notice anything particularly unfriendly about his intentions. He then considered an even riskier maneuver.

    "The Val's arcane sixth sense isn't much different than anyone else's eyesight or hearing... In theory, my neuromancy should be able to interfere with it, just as it would any other sense. It's never been tested, and she would likely see me preparing the spell... I would have to catch her off guard, and would have to take the chance that she could still identify the spell's source and nature before it took effect... Then, even if it DID work, she would still know what had happened, and could likely create arcane interference to disrupt it... Then there'd be absolutely no way out of a confrontation.", he weighed his options in his head, deciding that although the riskier choice, it had a much greater chance of succeeding, if it came to that.

    "Alright... I'll proceed, normally, hoping she doesn't have any real interest in me, and was just pointing out her observation. I don't think I'm the prime suspect of this crowd, not with my appearance anyway.", he thought. He looked back towards the Val, who had just outbid him. This could go very badly.

    "Fifteen.", he escalated, hoping to scare some of the competition out of the race.
    Last edited by Heartless Angel; 04-01-2016 at 07:35 PM.

  19. #19
    Lady Succubus Strange Tides Victoria's Avatar
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    Lucky for her, the runners of the event didn't seem all too upset with her intrusion of making the woman beautiful. She'd restrained herself so much up until this point that she really truly couldn't help herself any longer. After the bid she made, one of the Val came into the auction which she'd didn't see coming so she watched the scene unfold. Turned out that there was no magic inside these human people, but she could have asked Rina about that.

    She let out a sigh as the bidding had gotten out of control. She was sure her client wouldn't be able to afford this upper limit of the bid war, but lucky or unlucky for her he was a little gullible and swayed by herself and the Val who happened to put in a bid after an examination of sorts to verify some things she was unaware of.

    Staying up front, she couldn't help but glance back from Rina to the woman of the hour. "You know, I feel like you should be worth as much as her cause don't you all have the same.. things inside you?" she raised a brow, still unsure what they were called. Rina hadn't thought about it, but she did nod in agreement once she did.

    "You have a point, but maybe because she took responsibility for us?" she wasn't exactly sure herself either. But she wasn't going to complain. "Eighteen." said Shia's client. He must've been dipping into his secret back up account for this. She didn't say anything about it, though, because she really wished to help these people get out of their lives as slaves. It was his choice how much he wanted to invest in this woman whom she didn't even know the name of yet.

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    The Quiet One Strange Tides Andromeda's Avatar
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    Katlyn understood almost nothing of what was happening anymore thanks to the translation she received being taken away from her. The nanomachines started working overtime again trying to figure out the language. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t be done in time for her to understand what everyone was saying. She at least knew what was happening right now was a bidding war. So she just had to look for the voices. But she was going to be lost after that.

    The price continued higher dropping people out. But now that the Alur became invested in the bidding more hesitation developed amongst those that did remain. They started to question the wisdom in bidding against the Val Representative. Some still found themselves completely clouded by the prospects of eternal youth and immortality as they were seeing it.

    Raised up to eighteen million mal now, the price started to get borderline outrageous. Fear stopped even being a motivating factor anymore. Wallets and savings became more important. Was Katlyn worth all the money that they were throwing out?

    A middle aged man with a thick bushy beard and tail full of scales stepped forth. He had been consistently bidding since the beginning. Motioning to the boss, he came forward. “I’d like to inspect this woman for myself.”

    “You’re more than welcome. Be as thorough as you would like, sir.”

    It wasn’t until he stepped onto the stage that Katlyn got a real look at him. She didn’t know what they had said. ‘Is the bidding over? Is this one that bought me?’ He had a stockier build that felt intimidating while not even trying.

    Then to her surprise he started touching her. He squeezed her arms and rubbed her skin. It was like he was examining fruit at the market. He wanted to see in person what her quality was. And then he started getting more intimate examining much more personal areas and all she could do was stand still and take it. It was only made worse by the fact that everyone watched her and it was all on display for anyone to see. Keeping herself together proved almost impossible. ‘Franklin, think about Franklin,’ she chanted to herself until he finished.

    Looking back at the boss, the man seemed finished, but had one last question. “Given the mistakes you’ve already made are you certain that she’s a pure Curothian? That any of these you’re selling today are Curothians?”

    “You doubt my sources?” the boss baulked, fainting insult.

    The man turned to look back at the Val, taking their more impartial judgment over a lying snake. “What did you find?”

    Alur tilted her head a little with curiosity. “I’d require more time and invasiveness to be certain. I can say this woman has no hint of magic within her. While magic barren individuals are rare to see, an entire group is unlikely. Meaning the entire group was likely born without magic or they possess a magic that doesn’t exist within our defined understanding. Either way, it’s unlikely they’re Curothian as this man claims, though they are no people anyone has ever seen before.”

    “A seller of tall tales, but still of rare goods.”

    Fixed with slightly accusatory look, the boss turned defensive. “An unknown people or long lost pure Curothians, which would have believed more? I don’t lie about their value.”

    “Only their origins.”

    “Rare is still rare, do you want it or not?”

    “I recall a rumor from today about strange happenings in the Kingdom of Byrox. I wonder how rare they might be.” The man stepped down off the stage.

    “Do you wish to make a new bid?”

    “Her quality is premium, but no. She’s not worth eighteen. My bed is warm enough.”

    “The secrets her body contains doesn’t interest you?”

    “I’ll leave it up to the Val to find.”

    Alur looked especially eager for her reward not stopping with the bidding. Wealth had little significance to the Val, yet despite that the protection they provided to the city earned them vast wealth comparable to that of any of the Six Families of Althnor. But it was looking like most of the other bidders had dropped out leaving only two others remaining.

  21. #21
    The Mad God Strange Tides Heartless Angel's Avatar
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    He watched on as yet another bidder examined the merchandise. He began to wonder if he should do the same. He was the only serious bidder left who hadn't made any attempt at appraisal by now. But then maybe it was too late. He had already made a significant escalation to the bid without examining her. He also had reservations about groping the unfortunate captive before an audience, and if he made an examination more related to her seemingly magical abilities, it could lead the others to suspect that he was the mysterious mage in their midst. It was a difficult situation.

    The odds of his cover being blown only increased as the auction dragged on. "I need to end this soon. If I can make them think that I have enough money that I can best any bid without any serious deliberation, I might just win this.", he thought.

    He took a step forward, and spoke in a monotone voice aiming to sound as emotionally withdrawn as possible, "Thirty million".

  22. #22
    The Quiet One Strange Tides Andromeda's Avatar
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    Marked silence fell upon the room with such a bold move. The amount made the boss stagger for a moment falling into delusions. But he quickly snapped back to reality and sharply focused in on the big spender. “Thirty million is quite the sum. I’m afraid sir we’ve never met before. I’m familiar with all of the Six Families and merchants in Althnor. You aren’t familiar to me. I’m going to need some to see some good faith money before I can accept such a bid.”

    Motioning to his men around the room, they moved in towards the stranger. “If you can produce half of your bid I’ll accept your bid. If you can’t I’m going to have to ask you to leave and the return the bidding to eighteen five to the Val Representative.”

    He leaned forward on the stage. “Can you prove to me you’re good for what you say you are?”

  23. #23
    Lady Succubus Strange Tides Victoria's Avatar
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    Shia could only let out a sigh along with her client. They thought they had it in the bag with his bid of eighteen, but the Val put in a slightly higher bid that made them question their budget and have some caution. However, a strange individual bumped it all the way to thirty. That was way beyond the comfort zone and budget that both Shia and her client could afford.

    Now that Shia looked in his direction, she was sure he was the same individual that bumped it up way beyond what Shia herself could afford. He either must have a lot of money stashed away somewhere, or had a trick up his sleeve. She could use this to her advantage. Depending on how this goes down, she could use the distraction to pull off a rescue.

    Rina noticed Shia's mind turning gears as she saw the woman's eyes scan across their surroundings for some reason. "Now that I think about it, why did you bid for me? You don't seem like the, er... type to do that." she said.

    "Your fingers." she said plain, still focused on her task at hand of coming up with an escape plan.

    "My.. fingers? I'm afraid I don't quite understand." she replied.

    "Let me ask you a question then," she turned to Rina and ran her fingertips through the striking red hair that felt as smooth as silk. "Did you style your own hair?"

    Rina fidgeted a little from her touch, it coming in unexpected. "Well, yes, but.."

    "That's why. I needed an assistant stylist and you fit the bill." she explained as her fingers ran across the red head's cheek. "Being a pretty redhead was just a nice bonus.." she said in a soft tone as she cleared her throat to get her mind back into gear. She did all the thinking she could for the moment, just had to wait and see how things would unfold from here on out. If the thirty went back down to eighteen five, then they still had a slight chance if Shia threw in something else into the pot.

  24. #24
    The Mad God Strange Tides Heartless Angel's Avatar
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    The auctioneer had called his bluff. He paused for a moment. This was bad. If he had won he'd be able to pay in private,but being asked to prove himself with the Val watching... There was no way he was going to be able to catch her unaware with his spell.

    He cleared his throat. "Ahem, well, quite obviously I haven't got fifteen million coins in my pocket. I'll have to send for it and have my men deliver it by cart." he decided to stall for time.

    He had clearly overplayed his hand, having only known about the existence of currency for the last half hour or so, it hadn't really occurred to him that thirty million was such an unbelievable amount. And his disguise was that of a commoner to make matters worse.

    He was almost certainly suspected to be the mage by now, and even if he wasn't, the Val certainly knew. If she exposed him as a liar, there's no way they would believe anything he said.

    This was his endgame. He needed to stop the Val's magic sense from seeing any of his neuromancy. Perhaps he could distract her vision with enough magic that she wouldn't notice any beyond what she was already aware of.

    Yes, the plan solidified in his mind. He could turn that suspicion into trust by revealing himself, and use the distraction to blind the Val to neuromancy.

    "I can see why you would be concerned that I may not have the wealth I claim to, given my appearance and your lack of familiarity with it. But I assure you, it will all make sense in a moment.",he said, as he let off a huge amount of magical energy into the area. Hopefully to the Val this would be like looking at the sun, and would blind her just enough for her to fail to notice his spell. With a quick glance in her direction he cast the spell to disable her ability to sense neuromancy, and dispelled his own illusion shortly thereafter.

    Before the man now stood something that most would never see in their lifetime. In an instant he had gone from a disheveled man that could easily be mistaken for a beggar, to a hauntingly beautiful, long silver haired Zeroth, wearing lavish jewelry, as was common among his race. He was briefly concerned that the horned woman might try to style his hair. Now he looked the part of a wealthy man with good reason to have interest in this woman.

    If his spell had been successful, the Val would be fooled just as much as any other by his next act. He knelt down and picked up a small stone. He slowly stood up, and showed it to the man. He closed his hand around it, and his hand glowed faintly. He cast a wide area neuromantic illusion on the crowd, including the hopefully oblivious Val, who should have seen it as something completely different. He opened his hand again to reveal a gold nugget where the stone had been. No one had ever mastered alchemy, his own scholars had deemed it an impossibility, but given the reputation of his people, no one on the surface would be able to say with any certainty that his people couldn't have managed it... He hoped.

    "My people have no issue covering any expense. As you can see.", he said, placing the nugget into the man's hand. His spell was far more than illusion. He hadn't just created the appearance of gold, he had fooled the senses of his observers, it would have weight, texture, scent, everything their minds would expect of a real object.

    There was nothing to do now but hope the Val hadn't made him.
    Last edited by Heartless Angel; 04-02-2016 at 10:38 AM.

  25. #25
    The Quiet One Strange Tides Andromeda's Avatar
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    It had been some time since Alur had seen such a volume of magic spread out. Not since living back in the homeland and such things were so common it barely made a flicker for Alur. But the Val still found it impressive for a race other than themselves to generate such magic. However, that proved to be their undoing.

    Once revealed as a Zeroth, the Val immediately drew in with increased interest. “A Zeroth, it’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to speak with one. I can still remember the day they lifted their city into the skies. I always wanted the chance to examine one, your race has a curiously different approach to magic. I’d very much like to pick your brain over.” Alur approached with the words having uncertain meaning to everyone around. People didn’t know if to take the Val literally or figuratively. They’d do anything to learn more.

    Yet, as Alur approached the Zeroth already went into another action. One that made the magic in the Alur’s body glow with excitement. Magic clearly came from the man, though it wasn’t clear at the moment what they were doing. So Alur already started speculating. “Has your race finally learned to communicate with the natural world and transform it? We Val suspected that we would be the only race to achieve such an intimate communication with the world. To know that another race has achieved such a progressive step forward is exciting. I’d like to know how you feel when you’re in communication, since your race differs so much. Is the sensations the same?” Alur stretched out touching the gold and then immediately soured with disappointment.

    The Val stared deeply into the Zeroth’s eyes quickly getting a read on everything. “What’s the phrase the merchants here seem to enjoy? ‘I don’t take kindly to being strung around’ I believe is representative of my feelings at this moment, Zeroth. Magical enlightenment still seems far away for your race, I thought I had found a kindred spirit.”

    “I demand to know what the hell is going on right now!” yelled the boss. His greed completely entranced him at the sight of pure chunks of gold being produced. But he wasn’t the only one. There were many greedy and scruple less individuals in the crowd, some had dark looks in their eyes. Such a display was dangerous and a huge threat to the merchants of Althnor.

    The boss ordered his men to spread out the crowd away from the Zeroth and Val. Several of the merchants attending had their own personal attendants with them, which to no surprise to him were closer to assassins or bodyguards. He could see hidden weapons being drawn quickly and he cursed that his own men did such a poor job searching everyone. But now many were out for blood, such a spell would destroy the economy that they worked so hard to control.

    Alur glanced over at the boss. “It’s an illusion, whatever unique brand of magic they’ve developed it’s nothing more than a fake.”

    “A fake?!” Hidden weapons returned to their sheaths as bloodlust in the air disappeared. However, it was not over for the Zeroth. The boss pointed his hand at the foreigner. “I’d suggest you leave before things get rough for an outsider like yourself.

    The Val turned back to the Zeroth flipping mood quickly. “Where are you staying, sir. I’d still very much like to learn what your race has been up to.” None of the entire atmosphere fazed and came to notice to Alur.

  26. #26
    Lady Succubus Strange Tides Victoria's Avatar
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    It all happened so fast. First the hooded figure turned out to be one of those people that lived in the clouds that she'd heard so much about and had ever rarely seen until now. The moment he took a rock and turned it to gold, she steeled herself as the tension in the room shifted to something she'd been accustomed to all her life. If he knew what was good for him, he would turn that thing back into what it was or risk losing his head. Althnor didn't take kindly to economic inflation, and that's just what turning things into gold would do.

    The val lady took a heavy interest in the man, however and bombarded him with questions until she revealed that the gold was counterfeit and nothing but a well crafted illusion. She let out a held breath and relaxed herself as the tension died back down to normal levels. Shia swayed her hips as she sauntered back up to the front of the crowd.

    "I take it that means the price goes back down to Nineteen, then?" she asked with a knowing wink, her voice more sultry than before as she stared into his eyes. Her fingers slid down her massive cleavage as she pulled out a thick wad of bills. "I've got a mil right here.. and I can throw in something more... to your liking." her voice was laced with magic only known to her race of people. She bit her lip as her eyes peered deep into his mind, pulling out his deepest desires. Her body shifted ever so slightly, hips expanding a few inches and her lips becoming fuller as she pulled some pieces of paper out from her purse.

    She slid them onto the stage floor with an enticing giggle, her bedroom eyes locked onto him. "If you're interested in my... services, feel free to use them. They're worth two hundred thousand mal each. I'm the best there is, after all." she winked and crossed her arms beneath her large breasts, pushing them outward just a tad to expose herself.

  27. #27
    The Mad God Strange Tides Heartless Angel's Avatar
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    He had made a grave miscalculation. He had counted on the Val's lack of interest in material wealth for this ruse. But he had neglected the Val's reverence of magic. She had no interest in the gold, but in the magic that had produced it. Somehow, even with her sense blinded to neuromancy, she could tell that the gold wasn't genuine.

    As expected, the situation turned to disaster almost immediately upon the revelation. Weapons were drawn, and the crowd was dispersed by the merchant displeased by his deception.

    Naturally, the Val seemed completely unfazed by all of this, and yet seemed interested in friendly discourse. Theirs was truly a remarkable race, their dedication to learning was as pure as his own. Though they saw magic in a more spiritual light, whereas his own people considered it a science, they were more alike than not.

    He lowered his face, and laughed slightly. "You speak of enlightenment, while presiding over the exchange of sapient life for a few coins. You and I have very different understandings of the term.", he said.

    She had seen through the gold upon close inspection, but his spell seemed to have been a success, it wasn't until she had touched the stone that she had realized the deception. She was blind to the nature of his neuromancy. Normal illusion magic affected the thing perceived, rather than the one perceiving it. That difference should have been enough to keep her from knowing how to disrupt his spell, meaning he still had one more chance to save the woman before the Val had completely caught on to his tricks.

    He left an afterimage of himself where he stood while his true body sneaked through the now dispersed crowd towards the stage. He stood just beside the captive, his heart racing.

    "I only have one shot at this. I only blinded her to neuromancy... She will see my Material Transference spell. I only have one shot to get clear", he thought.

    He took a deep breath, and grabbed onto the captive with both arms, before using his spell to try and move them both beyond the city walls.
    Last edited by Heartless Angel; 04-02-2016 at 02:54 PM.

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    The Quiet One Strange Tides Andromeda's Avatar
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    Katlyn didn’t understand anything going on. There were so many different languages being spoken that the nanomahines probably wanted to explode right now. She couldn’t make heads or tails of anything. All she saw was what looked like someone trying to pay for her, but everyone got upset with him. And then the strange woman from before nearly flashed herself in front while waving things around. She could feel the tension in the air though, things were bad.

    Then suddenly something grabbed on to her arms. Someone was trying to steal or kidnap her again. Everyone in the room just saw her as merchandise and not a person. It was instinct, but Katlyn bit down on whatever grabbed her and found herself loosened enough to escape from whomever it was trying to take her. ‘I’m not going to be kidnapped again and put into an even worse situation!’ She ran away off the behind curtain of the stage as the boss shouted out orders to recapture Katlyn and their Zeroth illusionist.

  29. #29
    The Mad God Strange Tides Heartless Angel's Avatar
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    "Ouch!", he yelled, as the pain caused his teleport to malfunction, and it misfired him directly into a nearby wall. His illusions dispersed while he examined the bite marks on his arm.

    "Interesting, these bite marks suggest that their species is omnivorou- Oh...", he snapped back into reality when he saw the angry mob approaching him. He got to his feet, and looked through the crowd for the Val. She didn't appear to be joining the mob. If she had no hostile intentions, he still had a chance to fight his way out of this. At the very least, he could buy the captive enough time to escape.

    His power flared up, as he aimed his hand into the crowd. "Stay back, all of you!", he commanded in a threatening tone. "Unless you wish to see what a Master Zerothi Destroyer is capable of!", he continued. Nobody here was likely to have ever even heard of a Zerothi destruction mage, certainly they wouldn't know that he had never actually studied anything more than the most rudimentary of destruction magic. Neuromancy, biomancy, and Law magic, could he really fight off such a crowd armed only with these spells, that had never been intended for combat?

  30. #30
    Lady Succubus Strange Tides Victoria's Avatar
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    Shia huffed, just as things were about to go her way, the strange Zerothi guy just had to foil her plans of rescuing the pretty brunette friend of Rina's. At least she assumed they might have been friends. Acquaintances more like. "Rina, be a dear and chase after your.. acquaintance. You can speak her tongue and she's one of your kind. She's probably scared out of her wits and doesn't understand a lick of what's going on." she said to her new friend with an encouraging spank to her posterior, which caused the girl to flush and run up the stage and back behind the curtains to chase after the brunette.

    Just then, the Zerothi man threatened to fling destructive spells at them if they moved. Shia tilted her head and stared at him, using the same magic she did before, delving deep into his mind. Given his nature, the feedback she received was very vague. He'd probably fluster at any kind of charm thrown his way. Made things a lot simpler as far as she were concerned.

    "You wouldn't burn little old me, would you?~" she cooed as she sauntered up toward the stage. "Especially not when I can help you.. discover things you didn't know about yourself." she added with a giggle, hinting at lewd things with a wink. Her words were laced with her token charm magic.

    Meanwhile, Rina hoofed it to run ahead of the bandit captors to hopefully catch up to Katlyn. "Waaaaait~" she said in a loud tone so hopefully she could hear. "Come baaaack! Not everybody's a bad person! My boss is a nice lady, really! Even if she is a bit lewd..." she said between breaths to keep up her running pace, mumbling the last part mostly to herself.

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