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The Way of the Blue [Lantern OC]

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by AverusBlack, May 2, 2021.

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  1. Threadmarks: Blue's Just My Color Today - 01
    AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    I'm going to say coming out the gate that I am not the best with consistent updates, but will do my best if I suspect people are actually enjoying the story. I don't do particularly well with motivation because blue is very much not my color.

    I sat up and gasped, waking up like I'd just come back from the dead. That's how it felt anyways, like that first lungful was the first. I sat on the ground for a moment panting as my heart thumped in my chest. I felt wired, like I was just in the middle of the most intense fight of my life.

    The problem with that is that I was sitting in a small crater and glowing blue.

    The other problem is that I wasn't entirely sure how I got there. I stood up slowly, checking myself over. No, feeling pretty good. Why does that feel so alien? I don't remember.

    I don't remember anything. What?

    Who am I?

    User has neither stated or thought their preferred self-designation.

    That was a voice in my head. I'm pretty confused but I have a definite surety that I'm not supposed to have voices in my head. That's one of the things they put you away for.

    Wait, who's 'they'? Put away where?

    I stopped for a moment to consider, since I didn't seem to be going anywhere. As I did, I began climbing up the crater incline. Turns out I'm in the middle of a grassy field with half-melted snow. Feels a bit like home.

    Ugh, okay, that's jarring. Like... mental links are broken? Something's wrong with my mind? Oh, that... the blue glow cut out for a second there and suddenly I could feel how chilly it is where I am. What? No, I don't... think I'm crazy. Granted, none of them ever do, but that's beside the point. I don't feel unstable, I'm able to reason things out, not in immediate danger. Except why am I warm in what's clearly a cold environment, why could I feel that for a moment?

    User is currently protected by an environmental shield. An emotional component temporarily interfered with this rings function by disrupting the user's hopes with a pulse of fear.

    Ring?

    I look down at my right hand, curling it into a fist in front of me.

    [​IMG]

    Oh. That ring. Why do I feel like I know that symbol? It feels... hopeful. Which is bizarre, or... it feels off? I think? Ugh, that sensation of dissonance is really uncomfortable. I'm not going to figure anything out standing in a field, though. Okay, I have a magical ring that-

    This ring is not based on arcane principles.

    -likes to talk to me. It's responding to my thoughts, so... ring, what are you, then?

    This ring is a highly advanced xenotechnological tool designed to allow the user to operate at a higher level than mortals are usually capable of.

    ...That... No, ignore the confusion. If you stop to try and work it out you're going to be standing in this field twelve hours from now wondering where to find a kitchen. Immediate priorities first. Ring, if you're so special, how do I use you?

    User is capable of expressing their hopes by focusing on the emotion of hope. The more strongly the user is experiencing the emotion, the stronger the user's constructs and control of the blue light. This ring is capable of recharging on ambient hope as a basic function of the blue light. The environmental shield provides the ability to survive in a wide variety of areas which would usually be hazardous or lethal to the user as well as providing flight and atmosphere. Its integrity is dependent on hope.

    Flight
    ?

    And then I'm flying. I should be terrified but this is AMAZING! I don't feel in any way out of control of my movement, the flight almost intuitive as I move, tearing out over the fields and passing over a treeline. I'm going faster, the trees becoming a blur beneath me and arcing up over a rise in the land to crest over a ridgeandtheresmoretreesandstop.

    I stop, flickering blue for a moment as my momentum just decides it's had enough and is going to pack up and go on vacation to nowhere. I didn't slow down, I just stopped dead in the-

    BOOM

    -air. Whoa. Okay, just... whoa. I broke the sound barrier. Holy crap. This thing doesn't screw around.

    Ring, state current charge.

    Current charge sits at 98%

    Fuck yeah. Okay, I need... people. Civilization. Housing, culture, all that good stuff. Find me somebody in this place worth talking to so I can find out why I'm here. There has to be some answers out there.

    Location found.

    I can... not see it exactly, but I know where it is. Like a beacon in my head and the worst part is that it's not even the weirdest feeling I've had so far. Okay, lets move. Ring, explain to me what the hell you meant by constructs?

    User is capable of creating technological, working or solid objects using the blue light as a focus.

    Okay. That burns power though and I'm... not sure how to find 'ambient hope' to recharge from. Something to work on, I suppose.

    I wonder if these people will be nice?
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  2. Threadmarks: Blue's Just My Color Today - 02
    AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    The people here are not friendly.

    Okay, that's... not really fair. I'm not sure where I am and having guards around the town walls seems sensible, but those gates are firmly closed and the people manning the walls don't look all that friendly. Nobody has approached those gates the entire time I've been hanging out here but I'm not entirely sure if they're always like that, or if I've accidentally spooked them by flying above the sound barrier. I suppose if I felt obliged to build walls to protect the town there's probably a reason for needing them. I mean, it's just a wooden palisade but they're trying.

    Nothing for it, really. Time to face the music.

    I drop down out of the tree I've been sitting in and rise up into the air, making myself visible. Lowering down to the packed dirt road - wow, talk about primitive, not even stones - I begin walking to the gates. Ring, if these people decide to attack first and ask questions later, what defensive options have I-? No, stupid question. Constructs. It said I could just make armor.

    Construct armor plates form around me, resembling... I can't place the name. Mecha-armor? Iron armor? No, that's... power armor. That. Wait, I just remembered that. The armor snaps into being, opaque and glowing brightly as I realize I might be able to remember given enough time. Need to focus on the here-and-now for now, though. "Hello up there! I don't suppose you'd be willing to give some directions, would you?"

    The guards look at each other, seemingly uneasy about answering me at first. There's some hesitation there. "Who are you? What are you?"

    "Good questions I really don't have answers to. I woke up in a field somewhere in-" I take a second to think about it, then point. "-that direction. I went looking for the nearest place with people and... you're it."

    "Why... what do you want from us?" The guards don't give me a chance to answer, getting pulled out of the way as the person I presume to be their commander interrupts them and shoves his way through.

    "Get out of the way, you lackwits! Move!" The guards seemed to just have a motley of gear on, like they strapped whatever they could find or scavenge but this guy seems to have an actual uniform of some kind. That implies a government, or... at least, something like it. He looks older, grizzled. I'd guess mid-fifties. Bit of gray in the hair, there. "You! Stranger! Are you responsible for that sound earlier?"

    "Aah... maybe?" I shrug helplessly. "It'd be bad form to start this off by lying and it wasn't intentional. I've been like this for less than a day and still finding out what I can do. I can't tell you what I am because I honestly don't know, I'm just looking for... anything, really. A place to stop and put my feet up and mull this over where I'm not sleeping in a tree."

    He appears to be giving it some thought. "I watched you fly to the road. You could have simply entered the town if you'd wanted, wall or no wall."

    "Yes, that's true. I felt it'd be a bit rude."

    "In that case, if you give your word that you will conduct yourself peacefully, you may enter. That is not an invitation to stay indefinitely, however."

    "Yes, I understand." I rise up off the ground, the construct armor flaking away as I do it. I come to face level with the man, hovering over the side of the parapet he's standing on. "What is this place?"

    "This town is Durjak. You look human. Are you?"

    I nod. "I like to think so, anyways."

    "I've never seen anyone as fat as you who wasn't a noble."

    Ouch. Well, not like I haven't been hearing jabs about that my whole life. "I'm not a noble, no." I can see where he's coming from. I'm... well, it's obvious whoever I am, I haven't been taking care of myself. "But I'm pretty sure that's not going to last much long-"

    EEEEAAAGGGGHHH!!

    I drop out of the air, hitting the ground as my everything hurts what the hell I really hope this stops soon oh thank fuck. The soul-searing level of pain I was just experiencing quickly gets replaced by a static tingling sensation like when your leg falls asleep. I lay on the ground panting, staring up at the parapet the commander is leaning over to look down at me. "...Are you dead?"

    I take a breath to answer him but I can't seem to tense my abdomen the way I would to raise my voice. It comes out as a hoarse whisper instead, weak. "Nope, not dead." The sensation's worn off and I try lifting my head, looking down at myself, then dropping it back. Ring, what the fuck.

    User's hopes about body modification prompted this ring to alter the user's body to closer match the user's mental image of what you should be like.

    Why was that agonizing?

    You didn't hope it wouldn't be.

    Right. Thanks for that. I push myself up slowly, expecting it to hurt but it doesn't. Rising off the ground I look down at myself. Huh, not... I don't look like a model or anything but I actually look like something close to fit for once in my life. That feels like cheating.

    Rising back up to the parapet, the commander is still watching me with a mix of curiosity and horror at how I changed myself. "Are you some kind of shapeshifter?"

    "I have literally no idea. Can you please just... point me to an inn or... at least somebody who I can trade a favor to for a place to stay or some-"

    He points to the street. "Follow it until you see the house with the red bricks. You'll know it, it's hard to miss." I nod to him and press on, passing over the wall and lowering myself in front of the gate as the townspeople try to press on with their business without staring at me too much. Their clothes look rough. Homespun? Maybe. Pretty plain looking, anyways. The only ones wearing leathers I've seen so far are the guards. The men and women don't seem to be dressing too differently, trouser's and tunics seem to be the order of the day. Or perhaps the century. These people don't look to be the bleeding edge of technology.

    At least nobody is bothering me, but... on the other hand, nobody is bothering with me either. I'm not sure what to make of this place. I need information but I don't even know what these people use for money. Ring, can we make money?

    This ring is capable of transmutation, but requires large amounts of power to achieve.

    Ah. Well, that's a bummer. But if I need ambient hope to recharge, I need to find a way to get these people to feel it. I'm... not sure how to go about doing that. I don't know anything about them. Oh, there's red brick.

    The building in question is only a single story deal but it's larger than the others and the chimney is far larger than the houses. Not much surprise, I guess. It has windows all along the street but they're tinted yellow-orange, or... no, the lights inside are some kind of lantern with a glowing point of light inside, flickering like.... no, that's fire. They have fireballs in lanterns as light sources.

    What.

    I think it's time I got some answers. Jogging up towards the inn - Wow, that's a lot easier to do than it was half an hour ago, holy crap - I stop in front of it and grip the door, pullng it open.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021
  3. moralrelativity

    moralrelativity Recovering pendant.

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    Thanks. Enjoying it so far and I hope you write some more.
     
  4. Threadmarks: Blue's Just My Color Today - 03
    AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    I... don't know what I expected but somehow this doesn't surprise me.

    The furniture is actually pretty decent quality woodworking. Bare rafters with a space above them where the roof supports are. Looks like they have some kind of loft or storage space up there. There's only a few people inside with it being the middle of the day and all but the moment I step in I'm instantly the focus of everyone's attention. Guess that's what I get for glowing.

    Making my way through the room I give a couple awkward nods to people who all look like they have no idea what to make of me. By the time I reach the bar the bartender is staring at me too. Nobody objects as I sit down. "Hello, I'm... a bit new to the area. Let's start with the basics. What do you use for money around here?"

    "Uh... silver and gold. Platinum, if we can get it. Everyone's got different stuff so the only real value's the purity, y'see." I nod to that. "There a reason you're glowing blue, mate?"

    "Seems to be my color today. Okay, while I don't have any precious metals on me-" I can see his face sour slightly. "-I do apparently have one of the most powerful tools ever, so let's trade. I need information and a place to stay for the night while I plan my next move. You?"

    The bartender is giving me the most curious stare, but looks away as a couple of people enter the bar behind me. I glance behind me and... yep, they're staring at me too. I wave a little. "Hiya, fellas. Don't mind me."

    "Did you really fly over the wall? Make an armor suit outta nothin'?" The speaker is one of the men who just entered. It's one of the guards, his helmet in one hand and his other hand resting on the pommel of a genuine, actual sword. Wow.

    "Yeah, but... apparently I have a pool to work out of, limited power. That stuff burns power so I've been leaning towards not using it much until I figure out how to renew it. With that said... I'm broke, so I'm looking to trade favors for information and some hospitality. Whats up?"

    The men look a little confused for a moment, the guard shrugging. "The... moon?" I blink, then make a 'go on' motion with one hand. "We can probably help you blue man, but we have problems too. We've been getting raided. Not every traveler coming into town, but enough of them that folks are getting itchy about trying to come here. We need that trade to survive. Our scouts find nothing or just don't return. We stopped sending them out." He shakes his head. "If you can find out what it is, you could just fly away and escape. You can obviously protect yourself long enough for that, at least. Help us find the raiders and get rid of them and you'll have whatever help you want."

    I take a deep breath, letting it out slowly. "You mean right now?"

    "...No?" He looks confused, a few of the others chuckling. The guard sighs. "My names Zack. What's yours?"

    "No idea!" I say it cheerfully, smiling. "I plan to think on it tonight. You on duty?"

    "Nope."

    "Come sit with me then, and let's talk."
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  5. moralrelativity

    moralrelativity Recovering pendant.

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    Not every traveler
    Things are going well, I would think NoName BL would be feeling a bit of hope by now. Or maybe the guard feeling more hopeful for the town?
     
  6. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    The BL in question is feeling a little reserved because this feels suspiciously like something out of an MMO, only they can't remember what an MMO is so there's just a vague sense of wanting more information before they really let themselves feel that. The character isn't somebody who's inherently hopeful. Learning to get better at that is part of the journey.
     
  7. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    I've said this to people before, but I strongly recommend using COLOR=#0040ff for blue, rather than color=blue. Default blue is rather hard on the eyes.
     
  8. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    Yeah, I was sitting here looking at that picture of a ring earlier and thinking it didn't match the blue. I made it a bit closer. You're right, darker blue is kind of ow.
     
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  9. LordMentat

    LordMentat I Push Button

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    Maybe thread mark your chapters to help with navigation?
     
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  10. Threadmarks: Blue's Just My Color Today - 04
    AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    I'm pretty sure this is supposed to be wine. It tastes a bit weak, but I'm not really complaining since I don't think I particularly like the taste of alcohol. It took me about ten seconds of thinking about it when I realized it's probably a water purity thing, a little alcohol keeps it from getting undrinkable when stored. Or at least that's what I figure, since this practically tastes like it.

    "You're really that new?"

    "Yep. I woke up about five hours ago in a small crater. No idea who I am, where I was, nothing." I take a sip. "I mean, now I know I'm in Durjak but that doesn't really help if I don't know where Durjak is."

    He nods slowly. "It's... complicated. Six months ago we were a small town in a peaceful country called Dak. There came a night... We woke up and went about our day like any other, but strange travelers came to the town. Not humans. Beast-people in strange paints. They weren't hostile, but we'd never seen anything like them. Short and shaped like animals, but they stood like men." He holds his hand at around the level of his stomach.

    "None of us spoke their language. When we all realized there was no talk to be had they moved on. We never had guards before that." Ah, that would explain the haphazard way the guards dress. They really did just cobble together whatever they had or hunted. "It took us nearly a month to build the wall. We never saw the beast people again. We got other visitors, though. Sometimes human, sometimes... other things. I've seen things twice the size of a man with green skin wearing a bear pelt his traveling band swore he killed himself. As in, by himself. People with strangely shaped ears and strong magic, wizards, people with amazing devices... mostly merchants and whatever weird guards they hire."

    "Nobody in town panicked when they saw me and I wasn't sure why. I mean, I glow blue."

    "Not even in the top ten, blue man." He shakes his head. "You sure you don't got a name?"

    "I'm not even sure if tomorrow I'm going to be a man. If I can reshape myself however I want, it's completely new to me and how I look isn't my considered opinion."

    He's giving me an odd look. "...Okay, Blue it is for now, then." I nod, then take a sip while I listen to him. "Anyways, it's not just the visitors. Hunting in this area has gotten far more dangerous since then. Stuff we've never seen before... there's things out in the woods now that nobody remembers, in no book, nothing."

    "You have a library?"

    "No, no." Damn. "Just books for useful things, herblore and records and such. But even the plants have changed. It's as though Durjak and everything around it were scooped out of the world and put into another. Everyone who travels here is the same, strangers to this place. All we have in common is finding ourselves here without explanation, like you." ... "None of us forget our names though."

    "Yeah, it's a bit odd, can't deny it." I sigh a little. "I'd really hoped you guys were just a small town in a wider government. It would've been nice to be able to get a handle on this easily."

    "Yeah, probably. We're just trying to get by, really. Captain Mason has some maps of the area, I could probably convince him to let you take a look at them if we're going to find the raider camp."

    "We? You planning to come with me?"

    "Ah..." He frowns. "I'm not really... I was a merchant before this, heh. Not if I can help it."

    "Alright." I go quiet for a moment, looking down into the cup. "Okay. I'm in. I asked for information and you've thrown in your end of the bargain so it's only fair, I suppose." Finishing the wine, I put the cup down. "Ring, can you get me a map of this area? Lets say, fifty kilometer range."

    A construct map appears above my ring hand on the bar and I lean back a little while Zack rears back slightly. The town is clearly marked, as is my little crater. "Any of this look familiar to you, Zack?"

    He nods, leaning in to look more closely at it. "Yeah, actually. That ring of yours is why you're like that?"

    "Yeah."

    "Magic artifact?"

    "Not according to it."

    "Caaareful with those." He's giving me a serious look. "The town has a rule when dealing with travelers - don't fuck with magic. We don't understand it and it's incredibly dangerous. Even stuff like these..." He gestures at the fireball lamps. "Specialist pieces, nothing we made. If you don't understand it, it's dangerous."

    I nod slowly. "That's... probably good advice. I've only had it a day but I'll have to keep that in mind while trying to learn how to use it."

    "Yeah, don't blow up the town or anything if you mess with it tonight." He knocks back the rest of his glass and stands up. "I'm gonna go talk to the captain and let him know you're gonna help."

    "I'll see you first thing in the morning, then." He waves to me without turning around, headed out the door. When I look down I find the bartender, sly bastard that he is, has refilled my cup.

    Who am I?

    Whoever I want to be.

    While that's technically true, it's... all the things that make me me is an amalgamation of my past experiences and the ways they shaped me. How much of me is me when that's removed and why can't I remember?

    When I think of my own self-identity I don't really have anything definite. I'm clearly male but if I can make myself into anything, do I want to stay that way? No, no. That's... probably the wrong way to be thinking about this. The ring is something that runs on hope, right? So I need to try and think of this from a hopeful angle.

    Ambient hope. What will help me cause that?

    This place is strange and dangerous. I don't know much about myself but I do know that people perceive men and women in different ways, whether they intend to or not. I'm going to become a creature of hope and that job will get easier if people are willing to trust me. Oh, I'm being a bit daft. Ring, state remaining charge.

    89% charge remaining.

    What? Oh, the... reshaping me must have eaten up a bit of power. How much, exactly?

    Complete refabrication of the users body draws between 5%-10% power.

    Whoo. Bit expensive. Okay, so if I'm going to do that then it's in my interest to just choose something once and then stick with it for a bit until I can find something I can use to charge the ring. Maybe there's some kind of artifact that collects hope?

    I'm almost startled out of my chair when the air next to me unfolds and... what the hell am I looking at?

    It's vaguely shaped like a lamp, or maybe lantern but the metal is a dull blue with bright blue lines flowing across the casing. It's shaped vaguely like the sigil on my ring with a pair of fan-like handles on either side. The center of it is a bright core of light that... that...

    I wipe the moisture from my eyes. It's beautiful.

    Seriously, what am I looking at?

    User hoped that the personal battery of this ring be unsealed from it's subspace pocket.

    I can recharge?

    You can recharge.

    Hooow?

    User need simply hold the ring up and state a recharge. A short oath to reaffirm ones commitment to their light is a traditional accompaniment.

    I see.

    ...

    I hold the ring up to it, ignoring the looks I'm getting, and close my eyes. A verse.

    "In darkest day, with dauntless might,
    Face down despair, continue to fight
    Stand tall against the blackest night
    You will not fall, for hope burns bright.
    "

    Ring at 100% charge.

    That's what I like to hear.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  11. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    I'm not going to lie, I dead ass forgot I can even do that.
     
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  12. moralrelativity

    moralrelativity Recovering pendant.

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    QUEST COMPLETE!

    That's going to make things much easier. :)
     
  13. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    lol
     
  14. Threadmarks: Blue's Just My Color Today - 05
    AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    Slowly drifting up out of being asleep, I go from dreaming about... something about spaceflight... approaching a star? It's already slipping away from me as I feel my mind coming into focus and sleep drops away. I'm not awake but I'm becoming aware of my surroundings, disinclined to get up just yet while my mind slowly recalls the weirdness of yesterday.

    Then something brushes my face and I am awake.

    I snap up in bed and open my eyes only to startle what looks like small animal roughly the size of a raccoon and kind of shaped like one. "EAGH!"

    "AAGH!"

    There's a moment of hesitation where both of us freeze, staring at each other. It's got brown fur, the same color as the wood around it with a very thick tail - good gods that tail just goes on for days, it must be the length of its whole body - and an elongated body. The markings form a sort of mask around its face but it's not the same as a raccoon's markings and...

    I'm remembering what a raccoon is. The pulse of blue causes both of us to relax, the animal eyeballing me but apparently deciding I'm not going to eat it immediately. "Oookay, you... scared me. No idea what you are but you do you and I'll leave you alone."

    It relaxes immediately. Maybe it's sophont? It understood me, anyways. I sit down on the bed and rub my face a bit as it wiggles its way over to sniff at me, then go about exploring the room. "How'd you even...? Oh. I guess there wouldn't be window screens here, would there?" It doesn't seem inclined to have a conversation about it. Maybe it can't?

    Whatever. No harm, no foul. I stand up and approach the window, then rise and fly out of it instead of bothering with going down the stairs and bothering the innkeeper, who I recall being very pleased when I transmuted a small chunk of gold for him. Technically I could leave now since I basically have what I wanted but I gave my word I'd help these people. When I leave, this place will be better for it and whatever happens, they were the first to help me.

    As I approach the gates it appears Captain Mason is there. No sign of that Zack fellow but I suppose it is a bit early, still. He watches me approach and land but when I hold my arm out to shake his hand he grabs my wrist instead, surprising me for a moment.

    "Zack told me you intend to do something about the raiders who've been disappearing my townspeople."

    "That's the plan, yeah."

    "Alright. I'm happy to take a chance on a friendly stranger if it means not seeing more lives fall apart over that kind of grief. I heard you ended up paying our innkeeper after all... somehow. I won't ask, stranger's secrets are theirs to keep." He makes a dismissive gesture. "But if you're still willing to do this regardless, you have my thanks."

    "I'll return and let you know what happened." Up into the air and commence with the zoom. There's a thump sound behind me as I snap from 'standing still' to 'getting the fuck out now' and move upwards until I'm about half a kilometer into the sky. Let's see what this baby can do.

    Ring, scan the area. Yesterday you gave me the highest concentration of people. Now I want to find every group of people in this area. Mark them out for me so I can save Durjak.

    A blue HUD appears laid over my vision. Ohhh, I could get used to this. Suddenly I can... not see, but I have a much better sense of how the area is laid out. Waypoints appear over my vision, laid across the forest. There's almost two dozen of them, that's kind of surprising. Okay, remove every group that doesn't have weapons.

    None of the marks disappear.

    Okay, that's... not helping, I guess. I suppose I can understand the need for self-defense if people around here are getting ambushed, but for all I know these groups are the raiders and it's not a single unified group as much as a bunch of opportunistic nomads passing through the area. If that's the case, a strike isn't going to stop this problem.

    Still, that's just supposition on my part. I need to know more, so lets remove every marker with less than three people since a group that small is unlikely to successfully ambush a trading party. That leaves only four groups, actually. Nice. That's a lot easier to deal with.

    Let's go talk to some of them.

    I zoom down, my fall turning into an arc as I approach the first group. I really need to be able to assess these people. Ring, how well do you work with other peoples hopes?

    This ring is capable of augmenting the user with additional sensory perception allowing them to assess the hopes of others. A strong source of ambient hope is capable of adding additional charge to this ring. Additionally, the user is constantly emitting a low-effect fortification of the hopes of everyone around them within a 200 meter radius with a variable to that radius depending on the strength of the user's hopes at any given time.

    Okay, so... mind reading, but also not. As I approach the first group I slow in the air. Show me.

    Looks like they hope for... security, shelter, a place to belong and home. They're lost too. If they're still here when I'm done I'll return and see what I can do to help them. They may not know about Durjak and I'm not seeing anything malicious here.

    Time to move on. A flicker and... wait, what was that? Ring?

    User performed an FTL transition to the designated group co-ordinates.

    FTL-? I can do that? No, no, task at hand. I have a town to save. I look at their hopes... They're trying to reach a land far east of here where they hear there's a large kingdom. That's something to bear in mind for later. Not the ones I'm looking for though, they're just passing through here and don't even know about the danger. When I'm done, they never will either.

    Moving on.

    Another transition and I'm above the third group. Let's see...

    Ah.

    Hoping to find somebody in particular in a caravan.

    I fooouuuuund yoooouuuuuuu.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  15. Threadmarks: Blue's Just My Color Today - 06
    AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    My first instinct is to jump in and just fly down there and talk to them. On about three seconds of self-reflection that seemed like a really bad idea. I took to heart what Zack said, magic is a thing here and it's dangerous enough that there's a cultural taboo over it that developed in the short time they've found themselves here. So magic is Dangerous with a capital D.

    Note to self, try and learn magic. Whatever it really is.

    I got sidetracked while thinking on appearances last night but at least I came by it honestly. Now I have to consider it seriously though. How do I want to approach this? It's entirely possible that they have some good reason for doing this so I can't justify coming down like some kind of hammer and I don't think that's what hope should be all about anyways. You don't inspire hope by being a justicar. You do it by being a keeper of the peace, an arbitrator.

    So how do you convey to people that you're a savior instead of a soldier? When you're as powerful as I seem to have become it's difficult to walk the line between amazing and terrifying. It's not just that either, I have to consider the consequences of the approach I take. If I lean into the priest or monk approach, I risk developing a following. Is that something I want to do? These things have a way of getting out of hand of the people who started them and the last thing I want is to accidentally inspire a jihad 500 years from now after I'm dead and gone. Hope was Jesus Christ's thing too and look how that went in the long run.

    Urgh. Getting things like that... without context is jarring. Like remembering a reference you saw once when you were six years old and you remember that but not what you were doing or who you were with or anything else. So frustrating but if strong emotions interrupt the ring I can't focus on that too much.

    Do I want a following? It might be easier to organize people into helping each other if they believe there's some divine intervention going on and emphasizing that would cause my presence to spread that hope like a wake behind a boat wherever I go.

    Okay. So we're going for the priestly angle, then? No, no. Chanting and such isn't... isn't my thing. Why not a blend, then? Something like a Buddhist monk, perhaps. Just without the Buddhism.

    My clothes - the jeans, sweater and boots I was wearing - vanish as the ring transmutes the air around me into winding robes that fit loosely. Blue with a black trim and a stripe of white running along one side. The jeans change to baggy pants. Something a martial artist might use, perhaps. The shoes change to sandals and the blue sigil that's been glowing at my chest splits, a pair of them placing themselves to either sides of my shoulders instead.

    Yes, this is good. I'll take the time to work out what kind of body I want later, that's not so important right now.

    I lower myself down from the sky, placing my hands together in front of my chest, palms in contact with one another. I generate a large blue sigil to glow just behind my head and another just in front of my forehead. The camp below me is beginning to take notice, shouts of alarm ringing out as they spot me and half the camp scatters to try and find weapons.

    Yeah, I can see that this is going to be a trial if I want to do it diplomatically.

    I hover just above the ground without touching it, watching them as the now-armed fighters begin to rush me. They're a mix of humans, at least three of the beast-men that Zack described - I think they're some kind of cat? - and the rest are what I swear are...

    ...There's no way.

    Seriously?

    What I can only describe as cat-boys in armor are now trying to swing swords at me.

    I was not prepared to deal with today. I mean, I'm prepared to deal with attackers but I feel like it's difficult to take this seriously when I'm dealing with...

    Okay, kinda done with this now but I don't want to hurt them. Ring, we can store stuff, right? Is there anything stopping me from taking their weapons?

    Several dozen threads of light fan out around me as the swords, axes, cleavers, machetes and spears vanish almost simultaneously.

    Nothing is stopping you from taking their weapons.

    The attackers all switch from rushing me to stumbling over each other in confusion as they try to work out where all their stuff went. Now if they don't run away first, they might listen. "Attacking me is unnecessary. Even if it had worked, I'm not convinced you'd actually succeed. Does this camp have a leader? Someone to speak for you?"

    "NOW!"

    Wha-ARGHBLEGHBLEGHBLE

    I'm being hit with some kind of lightning and it's gone right through the environmental shield, knocking me flying out of the sky. I transition to the side by hoping not to get hit by a followup and form construct armor, a tower shield and a mace. Paladin style construct armor, because today's asswhooping is brought to you by our sponsor, the school of 'this is what happens when you hurt people and they want you to stop'. I have the ring control my movement and ping-pong my way through the crowd, smacking them with the shield and mace in equal measure, mostly knocking them flying or stunning them rather than trying to seriously break them.

    THUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMP.

    A few seconds later, a dozen of them are on the ground groaning and the others are hesitating. "Please stop. I don't want to fight you." Transition just as another bolt of lightning strikes where I was. Ring, was that you?

    Control of personal agility is still being handled by this ring.

    Oh, I suppose I did tell you to do that, didn't I? Nice to know you can do more than follow only literal instructions. I need to deal with whoever is throwing those lightning bolts, though. Ah, there you are.

    It's a human woman dressed in black leathers. There's runes or glyphs glowing in the air in front of her. Ring, record those and stop the fighting. She's probably the leader.

    I bring the tower shield around as she strikes one more time, cables of blue light whipping out at her at the same time. They form clamps on her hands as she tries to sidestep them but no, we'll not be continuing this, thank you. Dismissing the shield I pull her up into the air and over to me. "Seriously, all I want to do is talk to-"

    "DIE, INVADER!" The ring moves me just as I realize her eyes are beginning to glow, the suicide blast meant to envelop me instead only destroying her camp and... shit.

    That's a lot of injuries. I don't want these people to die, not without knowing why they did it. They could be coerced but even if they're not, they need to face justice and this isn't it. If the ring can heal me, maybe I can heal others.

    I'm already flying back to where I was a few seconds ago. I don't want these people to die! Heal and restrain!

    Blue threads fan out around me and touch the humans, beast-men, cat-people and I swear that thing is a fish man but I'm not willing to testify to it. Restore with the scan we took earlier. Restore. Restore. Restore. Restore. Restore. Restore. Restore. Restore. Restore. Restore. Restore.

    Done.

    I have the ring bring them together, using constructs to restrain their wrists and legs. I'm getting a lot of glares but nobody is talking.

    "Okay, can we have a conversation now?"
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  16. Assblaster5000

    Assblaster5000 Not too sore, are you?

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    I know you said you were hesitant to post this in the WTR thread, but I have to admit that even with you laying out your reasoning for that there I'm having trouble understanding why, because so far this has been quite good.

    The speed at which posts are coming out is also astounding, which is just a cherry on top. But if you do start to feel burnt out by moving this quickly then don't be afraid to take it a bit slower, because it would be a crying shame to have something like this end from you overworking yourself.
     
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  17. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    I've never published any of my written stuff or worldbuilding, ever. Now I'm putting it out there in the form of a story for the first time.

    As for the speed, I'm having fun writing it and knowing that people are genuinely enjoying it is giving me the motivation to keep at it. I'll probably slow down eventually but even then I'd very much like to try and stick to at least one post a day, I've just got a bunch of... this to get out and this first arc of it is the set up for the rest to give a sense of where BL is and the kind of thing he's dealing with, how he comes to grips with it, etc.
     
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  18. shakeval

    shakeval Versed in the lewd.

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    We just worry about you as many an author here has fallen to the cruel mistress of burnout.
    I'm wondering if they got trasported to faerun or similar
     
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  19. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    A fair concern, but I've had this story, or something like it - a proto-story - rolling around in my head for over a year and in truth it's almost cathartic to get it out. The feedback helps, most of my concern over motivation is that when I feel I'm not getting anywhere I tend to get dismayed easily but I don't feel like that all here.

    I think I'll hold off adding more until tomorrow though, so I can mull it over and refine it in my head.
     
  20. moralrelativity

    moralrelativity Recovering pendant.

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    100% agree.

    You don't have to model yourself on Mr Zoat, he's a writing machine not a normal fanfic author. Once or twice a week updates would be exceptional.

    And thank you, I'm already engaged and wanting to see more.
     
  21. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    I don't think I'd be satisfied with just that. But I hear what you guys are saying and I'll keep it in mind, really. This is just a case of enjoying what I'm doing combined with satisfying an itch I used to scratch through other means. I like writing and storytelling. I don't think I want to burn out anymore than any of you want me to, haha.

    If I start to feel that way at all I'll cut back a little and say something, but for now I'm happy just to get some of this out of my head before the walls have too many dents in them.
     
  22. Threadmarks: Blue's Just My Color Today - 07
    AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    "Don't kill us!"

    Several of the panicked beast-man's associates turn their heads to look at him. "Khumu, if he was going to do that, he'd have just let us die when Navra blew herself up." His tone is entirely that of an adult explaining to a child that toast is, in fact, re-cooked bread. Khumu, who upon closer inspection looks suspiciously like a leopard or jaguar, pins his ears back and bares his teeth in... embarrassment, apparently. Pretty angry looking but I guess non-humans just roll that way.

    "I told her. I told her a hundred hundred fucking times but that dumb bitch never listened." I walk around the edge of the group until the one who said that is in sight. Oh, it's one of the cat boys. He spots me and shakes his head. "I told her that she shouldn't try that spell but she always thought she was so goddamned smart. Look at her now. Except you can't because she's a crater."

    "Yeah I'm... not entirely sure that would've worked even if I hadn't just moved away from her. But since you're the most talkative one so far, you get elected to speak for them over this."

    "Hey!" "He's not in command!" "He doesn't spe-"

    I put them on mute. I'd like to get this done today, not stand around debating the merits of bandit command structures. "Alright. Mind giving me a short summary of why you've been raiding travelers?"

    "We weren't raiding them. At least, that's not how it started." He looks sour, slightly hunched over like a child who's been caught red-handed and isn't very happy about it. "Navra hired us to recover some books at first. You know, magic stuff. Fancied herself a mage, only the dumb bitch had no knack for it. That and an arrogant streak a mile wide. We've been running all over the countryside for months looking for mages but mostly all we've found is traders. Sometimes they have stuff, but... no teachers? Good luck with that."

    "Obviously you can't pay mercenaries that way so after a couple months, we started knocking over their gold chests too. Without that it was sometimes valuable stuff we could trade. Frankly, living in the woods like this is shit but how do you walk away from a job when the one who hired you has an obsession with frying people with lightning?"

    "Tie them up first."

    "Easy to say when you're... whatever the fuck you are." He looks away from me, frowning. "Look, I'm not going to pretend most of us are sorry for what's been going on. They aren't. But I'm smart enough to know when somebody is just trying to help and... you could have just let us die and called it day. Thank you for not doing that."

    I don't say anything, watching him for a moment and letting him shuffle uncomfortably. "You've been strangling a nearby town's trade. Trade they need to survive. I don't have a prison to stick you in, I'm not going to just cut you loose... So here's what we're going to do. I'm going to take a walk around this camp now and gather up anything which looks valuable. Then, one by one, I'm going to let you retrieve anything personally important to you and then the whole lot of us are going to go to Durjak, where the guard captain can decide what to do with you. If he just says 'kill the lot of them' I'm not going to let him do that but at the very least you're going to pay back your debt to that town, even if it's just manual labor for a year or two. Something. You took from others, it's now time to give back."

    The others are being surprisingly calm about this. One or two are fighting against the restraints but not getting anywhere all they're really doing is annoying their associates next to them. The cat-man sighs. "That... is probably fairer than this group expected to get. Just... not all of us wanted to do this. I'm not saying we're innocent, we're not, but it's hard to tell your boss no when she can set you on fire with some gestures and words."

    "Noted. Please sit back down." He rejoins the group and the restraints envelop him again. "Alright, campers. Sit tight while I go have a look about."




    Actually, it's kind of surprising how much stuff they had there. It wasn't just chests of money, though there were two of those. There were books on magic, random stories from other cultures, scrolls, a few gems, jewellery, some pretty high quality melee weapons and lots of arrows, bows, even a few guns.

    And a plasma gun.

    It's not functional. There's no power source, according to the ring. But what the fuck is a plasma gun doing here? I had the ring scan it so... now I can make plasma guns, I guess, but when I tried forming a construct of one it turns out they're really power intensive so I think I'd rather not. Something to keep in my back pocket, I guess. I might be able to trade it to somebody for other technology.

    As we approach Durjak the giant glowing blue cube I'm holding the group in is drawing some alarm, but since most of them have seen me already or word of me has gotten around there isn't any real outright panic. Mason is on the wall watching me land and starts his way down when I drop the construct and deposit the group on the cobblestones.

    "Blue man, you're back. With new friends too, no less. This the group?"

    "Yeah. They were being led by some crazy mage woman who I'm pretty sure was trying to use fire on me, but blew herself up instead. They claim at least some of them were under duress."

    That gets a snort from one of the gua- oh, that's Zack. Yes, I can see why he'd find that funny. Mason doesn't laugh but he does smile in a vicious sort of way. "Serves her right, then. As for them, I don't really give a shit why they did it. I have dead friends because of them." He glares at the group. "I suppose I can assume you won't let me just get rid of them, will you? Or they wouldn't be here alive right now."

    "Yeah, lets not. What they can do is help the town. Your wall needs reinforcing and now you have some free laborers for getting that done. Same with farming, repairs, clean up... I imagine a few years of that might drum some humility into them. This-"

    I deposit the chests, weapons gems and jewelry around me onto the street. That gets some definite gasps but Mason only looks surprised. "-is what I collected from their camp. It will pay for materials and the extra food needed to support new additions to the town. Also I noticed your guards gear is kind of crap and figured the weapons would come in handy."

    "They most certainly will. I find myself surprised by the lengths you're going to." He looks over at the group, turning his head. "You think a couple years of living with us is going to change them? We'll have to guard them non-stop, you know."

    "I think that if you show them empathy and teach them that they can succeed in a community without killing anything then yeah, maybe. I can't control how you handle any of that once I leave, but... I'm powered by hope. Helping others is... what I do now. It's what I'm for.

    "I won't forget that Durjak was the first place to welcome me here, but there's others out there. If the whole world is like this, then there are people out there right now who need saving. So it's time to get to work."

    "I'll drink to that." "AYE!" Mason's guards back him up and he nods as they speak up. "Durjak will always be open to you, blue man. Gods go with you."

    "You too, Captain."
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  23. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    I know how you feel. I've got a Magic the Gathering story I've been thinking about for a long time as well.

    I'd say the same thing about I Want To See You Smile, but perhaps that's not the best example.
    It took me a while to get up to my current pace, and I honestly wasn't joking with that 'three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in fanfiction' thing. Don't use me as a model.
     
  24. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    Honest truth? I have a lot of free time on my hands and nothing to fill it with. Writing this story and people actually enjoying it is a moral boost I sorely needed. I don't have a life to balance because I am effectively undead.

    All jokes aside I'm probably going to slow down at some point but I'm enjoying writing this so much I don't want to stop, haha. Not yet, anyways. You guys are probably right about me needing to slow down so I will, but even limiting myself to a single post a day is a slow rate for me because I'm just dropping a chunk of story everytime I get bored of gaming or drawing or something.
     
  25. Chojin Patriarch

    Chojin Patriarch Veteran Lurker

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    Okay, let's have a look at this nice stuff.

    Found a few typos and the like if you want to correct them...

    It's spelt 'dissonance', I believe.

    Should be 'user's', as a possessive apostrophe.

    Probably easiest to add a new paragraph for the captain's speech, to make it clear some new is talking?

    :rolleyes: Ah, the joy of power rings.

    Should be 'women', as a plural.

    Practical magic use. Got to love it.

    Another spot needing an apostrophe: 'value's'. This one's a contraction.

    There's that plural again: 'women'.

    Exactly what you asked for. :D Always entertaining watching new Lanterns at play.
    And perhaps 'I'm almost startled' there? It's usually not used the way you did.

    A good oath. The second line's a little off tempo, with 'con-tin-ue' but that's nothing to go changing.

    Another possessive apostrophe spot: 'stranger's'

    Well, this sounds like an exciting land.

    That apostrophe's a real tricky blighter: 'user's'. Contraction this time.

    Well, at least the scenery's nice. :cool:

    Should be 'sponsor'.

    Another contraction apostrophe case: 'what's'

    Three full stops in that ellipsis, so you can capitalise the word after as a new sentence: 'So'.

    Well, okay. Quite the fantasy kitchen sink of a setting, then.
    Also: 'was' should be 'were', as there's more than one book, and 'jewellery'.

    Looks like you've got a goal now. Make the world a better place.
    As for grammar: the end quotation mark of the first paragraph isn't usually needed if it's the same person talking in the second.

    I'm guessing English is not your first language? Though if it isn't, you type very well. Most of the typos I found were matters of Grammar, :p which can be tricky even for us lifetime English-speakers. :oops: Though I can't promise that's all of them found...
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  26. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    Nah, I'm english native, just never did well with school. One of those people that is fine with learning, just not learning the way schools think I should be learning. I don't pretend it's a great thing, but it's a thing. I don't really mind being corrected so thank you for pointing those out, I try to learn from typo mistakes but frankly I'm bloody awful with contractions and probably always will be.
     
  27. Chojin Patriarch

    Chojin Patriarch Veteran Lurker

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    It's cool. Like I said, not everyone can get all the rules of grammar. English is funny like that. I still have trouble with some things too. Often, writing like this is a good way to learn without the stress of a classroom.

    For example, one thing to note here that can be tricky:
    The second paragraph still needs an opening quotation mark, to mark it as continued speech. What's called a block quotation. Sites like Wikipedia can be handy for the tricky things. ;)
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
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  28. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    Yeah that feels off to me. If I do that in the future I'll probably just be like 'fuck it, burn me for being wrong' and do the quotations for both blocks of text just so that people who don't know about that like me don't bug me about correcting it in the future. Not like this'll ever get published as a book or anything anyways, I suppose. I'd like to get the grammar right for the most part but doing it that way makes me feel like I'm getting it wrong intentionally.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  29. Threadmarks: Blue's Just My Color Today - 08
    AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    I recall a small group of people who didn't know where they were or how they got here when I began this, this morning. Heh, it's not even lunchtime yet. Not sure what I'll do for food but I suppose there isn't anything stopping me from dropping into Durjak with the awesome FTL transition thing this ring does. Part of me wants to go exploring but priorities.

    I have the ring transition me to the edge of the camp I first scanned when I began searching, finding myself facing more animal people. These ones are different from Khumu. Where Khumu was only about as tall as my stomach these guys are all human sized and I can recognize the animals they're supposed to be. That's not what marks them out to me, though. Their body armor vaguely resembles what I came up with as a generic power armor construct. Get a scan of that, I think. The boots they're wearing are heavy looking and the plates covering them are connected with a flexible mesh that puts me in mind of backpack straps for half a second. It's clear that the armor is meant to enhance their strength but the ring only seems to think it's about twice the regular strength of a fit human male, not super strength or something. That'd be very unnerving to come across this early but frankly the stuff I've seen just in the last day or so has convinced me that I could walk into a cave one day and find it full of clone troopers and a very confused Jedi. I don't think I'd even be surprised by it now.

    Randomly remembering cultural references without remembering anything about the actual culture is starting to make me wonder what the hell happened to me, because that's a very specific kind of amnesia. It kind of implies all the memories and knowledge is there but the connections are broken somehow and every time I reconnect one it's my mind moving sideways from something I'm thinking about to this other thing that was only vaguely related to it as a metaphor. It's like remembering the name of a thing you spent hours thinking about but recall the next day without any issue at all.

    Thankfully, these folks don't seem to be the 'shoot first' types. They're a little tense and one of them is muttering quietly so they're probably reporting that I'm here but they're not pointing the strange looking - scan - rifles they have directly at me. Oh, that's disappointing. It's basically a conventional gun, just designed better. Still, maybe I can make use of that somehow. I hold my hands up, showing they're empty. "Hello there. I'm not a threat or anything, I'd just like to have a talk, if that's alright?"

    The two guards - one of them a bear, the other some kind of canine - wave me over. "Who are you and how did you just appear like that? We should've detected you approaching the camp."

    "Yes, sorry about that. I'm a bit new to this and still learning the finer points of how to meet people in this place, if you take my meaning." That gets an understanding nod from the canine. "Have you got a leader or captain I can have a chat with?"

    "Yes, but we'll be waiting for her to come here before allowing you into the camp." I nod. "Also, you didn't tell us your name."

    "I haven't chosen one. I don't know." I shrug helplessly. "Everyone has been calling me Blue or blue man. This is my second day doing this so I just don't have a lot of answers for you, sorry."

    "So why are you here?"

    "I'm powered by hope. Earlier today I was looking for a group of raiders-" I'm not an expert on furry people body language but that's not a happy facial expression. I think I can guess where the plasma gun came from. "-and while I was doing that, I came across your group. You weren't who I was looking for so I moved on, but resolved to come visit you after I had dealt with them to see if you need any help."

    I'm pretty sure that's their commander approaching. She's twice the size of everybody else but I'm not sure if it's the armor she's wearing - swiggedy swooty, your blueprints are my booty - or if she really is almost 7' tall. I tilt my head to look up at her as she approaches.

    I've never wondered what a grizzly bear would look like as a seven foot tall juggernaut of a woman but today I am learning very, very quickly.

    She stops in front of me so that I have to tilt my head almost backwards to look up at her. Instead I rise up off the ground, hovering to compensate for the height disparity.

    "Pretty ballsy to just show up like that. I heard what you were saying over the comms." She rumbles while mulling it over. "I'm Colonel Ren of the Zerosi Mobile Infantry. You're right, we don't know how we got here. I'm very interested to find out how you found that out. What happened to the raiders?"

    "Kicked their asses and dragged them back to a nearby town they'd been raiding."

    "They stole some equipment from us. A mounted weapon is the most -" I subspace the plasma gun on the ground next to us. "-pressing... Ah. There were other things, but it was provisions, food and water." She waves it off.

    "If it's any consolation, Durjak will be putting them to some pretty intensive labor fixing the town up."

    "We weren't aware there were any nearby settlements." Not surprised, they're not exactly close to town. "Can you guide us there? We have wounded and need to resupply soon."

    "I can help with your wounded and yes, I can probably take you there. But I like those people and with all due respect, I just met you and you're pretty heavily armed. I'd like to spend a few hours getting to know you if you're not in a rush."

    "If my soldiers are taken care of I have no objection to this. Are you a doctor?"

    I gesture to the camp while the two guards go about beginning to collect the plasma gun. "No, just ridiculously well equipped. Please take me to them, we can talk after I've restored your people."

    Colonel Ren snaps her fingers, pointing to a random girl passing by us. "Elise, take this man to the medical tent and stick to him. Answer any questions he might have within reason, keep an eye on him and tell me your assessment of his personality when I come find you. Whatever else you were doing, I'll find someone else to do it."

    "Yes ma'am." Elise nods to her and only relaxes after Ren is ambling away. Elise herself appears to be a ferret, or something very much like one, anyways. She makes a quiet phew noise. "She's really scary. Hi, nice to meet you. What's your name?"

    "I don't have one."

    She blinks. "Well, that's no good. C'mon, I'll take you over and help you decide on one after you work your healing magic." She manages to sound chipper, almost skipping as she heads off towards one of the tents on the other side of camp.

    If she tries to suggest anything sparkly, this is gonna get awkward because she really, really seems the type.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  30. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    BAH! Reject irrational grammar!
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