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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. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    What makes you think he's summoning a demon lord? Oh, he mentioned fighting some of those at one point, sure. Psyche is actually a sort of replication of, not Hell exactly, but where Terra is a patchwork collection of other worlds they're all earth-like places. Psyche is a patchwork collection of hell-like places.

    Makes you wonder what the planet sitting in Venus's orbit is like, huh?
     
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  2. mastermenthe

    mastermenthe Mint Thistle

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    Could I get an MSpaint rendition of Ainsley's solar system? My last understanding was that there were a dozen more planets than our own???
     
  3. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    It's basically the same as Sol. Only instead of an asteroid belt, Mars is out there looking a bit beat up. Psyche is where Mars ought to be, Terra is where Earth is and there's a third planet we haven't visited yet where Venus's orbit would be.

    Mars is there but the planetoid has been shattered and is kind of clumped together in a loose field of broken continents and mantle.

    I have Universe Sandbox but I never played with it much, maybe I can come up with a model later
     
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  4. mastermenthe

    mastermenthe Mint Thistle

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    Please do, your verbal explanation just made me more confused in a way only pictures can cure.
     
  5. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    [​IMG]

    With the moons and such mostly remaining the same and the solar system pretty much the same out past Jupiter.

    Just to be clear, Mars isn't an asteroid belt. The planet got chunked up into 9 massive pieces which are just kind of hovering together by their own gravity, but all the energy that went into its rotation is gone, the entire thing has cooled and it's just massive chunks of semi-molten, slowly cooling planet corpse.
     
  6. Squish9

    Squish9 Squishin' around.

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    This is pretty sweet. I've been toying with a DC-based fic in my head for awhile now, and was getting pretty psyched about my own idea of writing about a dude with a Blue Lantern ring 'cause I hadn't seen it done before. Ah well. While slightly disappointing to see someone else is already doing it, I can't deny it's a nice read. Great work!
     
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  7. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    I am four parallel fanfics ahead of you
     
  8. Threadmarks: With Dauntless Might - 03
    AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    "I feel that would be a bad idea at the moment."

    "Less talking, more ring charging."

    I wince internally, pointing my ring at the battery and glaring at her as I recite the oath. A few seconds later, the battery vanishes back into it's pocket and I start speaking at the same time it disappears. "Elise, if you-"

    "No time!" The bubble she's generating drops, revealing Mina's construct fighters either shredding apart the demon-dogs or fighting with their handlers. Some kind of dark elf? I'm going to go with 'dark elf' until I have a name for these things. Elise blasts off from the spot she's standing on hard enough to shatter the pavement under her and make me flinch, construct armoring herself just before she hits the remaining giant abomination with what feels like ballistic force. Hard enough to generate a mild pressure wave I can actually feel.

    The abomination goes staggering backwards as Elise pings back from the recoil, flipping midair and firing destructive pulses at it. The thing is surprisingly fast, not trying to strafe so much as rolling sideways to try and dodge the bolts. Surprising agility and intelligence, actually. The thing actually grips part of the pavement it's on, tearing a chunk out of the ground and hurling it at Elise, forcing her to dodge. I think she's got that handled for now.

    Mina's constructs are grappling and either outright killing the demon-dogs handlers or doing... something to them, orange spreading across the dark elves who fight madly to get away but can't. The ones who succumb to it shudder and... ah. That's how she makes them. Shit, she doesn't even have to do it herself? Her minions can make minions?

    That's really fucking bad if Elise makes an enemy of her.

    Emil and Ren are tearing up the demon dogs themselves, though there isn't many left. At the same time Elise launches her attack they're just cleaning the last few up, kiting backwards to try and keep as much distance between them and their targets as they can. While Elise fights I move backwards, opposite her and generate armor for Emil and Ren. Restore.

    For a couple seconds Ren looks startled as her fatigue and the minor injuries she's accumulated so far vanish, her suit repaired. Then she grins viciously, noticing the construct augmentations to her armor. One look at Emil and a nod is all she needs to charge down the remaining dark elves. Even Mina's minions pull back, the woman herself raising her eyebrows as Ren rhino-charges past her into the crowd, grabbing one of the elves by the head and using him as a club to send another two flying. Then she starts actually attacking them.

    Gotta hand it to her, it's kind of impressive. Though I can't help but wince when she starts tearing things off them.

    Elise is handling the giant abomination pretty well. I don't think she's trying to actually beat it outright so much as get a feel for how the things fight, what works against it. The abomination itself seems to have realized it's being toyed with and turns away from her, trying to charge us instead. Mina gestures lazily at it and the construct minions start to charge it down only for Elise to bisect the thing with a butcher's cleaver large enough to shatter the ground under the thing. For half a second it continues on its own momentum before the halves topple away from each other and it twitches a few times before going still.

    Mina looks a bit put out by that, pursing her lips before turning to her new additions, which are kneeling before her. Heads touching the ground, hands out in supplication. Some ritual of hers for new additions? Something she needs to do? Whatever, she's distracted.

    I move over to Elise at a jog, slowing as I come close to her and then reaching out to touch her shoulder.

    She's not hostile right now! If you pick a fight with her, she might try to do to us what she just did to them.

    Elise glances at me, then flicks her eyes back to Mina.

    She captures sentients and keeps them against her will, Ainsley. You're not going to dissuade me. You're also REALLY not impressing me by trying to stand up for her.

    I narrow my eyes at her a little.

    Don't even. My only concern is that we already have enough concerns. Do not put us in danger for your vendetta, Elise.

    She lazily knocks my hand away from her shoulder, then heads over to Ren at a lazy stroll without looking at me.

    Taking a deep breath, I exhale slowly, catching Emil looking at me in puzzlement. Ugh, I wish I could explain to them, but with Mina here...

    The new construct-minions flicker and I turn to look at them just in time to see them vanish into her ring. She unfolds her fingers slowly, staring at the ring for a moment afterwards, contemplative.

    "It seems our friend Nemmy has been busy. This place? This city? It's his engine, his factory." She glances at us. "This whole place is just to bolster himself. It's his core." She points at the citadel hanging above us. "He's up there someplace. These guys, they're just the greeting party. Something to slow us down a little and keep us distracted."

    "How do you know this, exactly?" Emil sounds genuinely curious.

    "I ate them. I know what they know, now." She makes a face. "Everything they know. This place is disgusting, even by my standards. Tearing it down will be satisfying."

    "Emil, Ren." Both of them look at me. "I'm not sure it's responsible of us to bring you further. I'm not saying you can't hold your own, but you're very very valuable to both us and Durjak and things are going to get... messy."

    Emil looks over at Ren, who is currently doing her best impression of a successful Ninja Scroll character. Half of her is red. "That doesn't bother us very much, no."
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2021
  9. Threadmarks: With Dauntless Might - 04
    AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    "This looks like a good spot to rest a little." Emil even sounds tired. The rings keep us fresh and ready to go as long as we need and I've been restoring Emil and Ren but we've been fighting on and off since we got to this place and the stress of constantly being in combat is beginning to take its toll. I can see it happening despite the physical resets.

    The part of the city we've reached is a vast ruin, a section undeveloped by whatever force Nemesis calls his people. The whole, vast walled sections enclose large tracts of land but the insides aren't uniformly developed. The whole thing seems to have been built on the corpse of a destroyed city - because of course he would do that - and the sections we entered to the south were more populated than where we are now.

    Nemesis seems to build things with a style that reminds me of bismuth in the hard, angular lines and edges his buildings make. None of the buildings are especially tall, save for the citadel in the middle of the city. I guess he didn't want anybody getting a look in his corner of the 'looming over people' market. Even the roads, when they curve, do so in hard corners and lines. Haven't seen anything like vehicles yet so I guess they don't have to worry about making turns. These ruins though...

    The group is resting in the half-standing ruins of a larger building, in one of the more stable parts of it. The room in question only has a single opening but it's not a window, just a hole in the wall where something small but hard smashed through it. Destroyed furniture is all over the place but it was a simple matter to shove it all over to one side of the room so we'd have space to relax a little. Ren is leaning back against a wall, sitting on the floor with Emil next to her. Neither seem bothered by the lack of seats. Mina is off to one side of the room watching us from a construct chair while Elise is on the other side of the room watching us from the other side of Ren and Emil.

    I'm watching the outside as much as I can through that hole in the wall. Whoever built these ruins had an architectural style that makes me think of old european countries mixed with some of the building styles I saw in Allasfere before it was destroyed. Some kind of link there?

    Not that I'll ever get to find out, I suppose.

    "You going to sit down, Ainsley?" Elise says it quietly but doesn't look at me.

    "Just keeping an eye on things outside."

    "You'll be doing that for hours and honestly? It's weird having you standing there being so still."

    I turn to look at Elise. "Huh?"

    "You kind of... just stop moving. When you start thinking heavily, go inside your own head. Kinda freaks me out. You're not telling your ring to do that?"

    "No. Rings?"

    "Not me."

    "When introspective, the user tends to hope more for detachment from physical distraction than situational awareness and this ring acts accordingly."

    "Oh." I frown. "I suppose I could just watch from outside the room. I won't go far."

    "Stay within yelling distance."

    I nod to her and slip out of the room, using the staff as a walking stick for balance in the spots where the floor has been chunked out or debris is in the way. This place reminds me a little bit of an old office building, or perhaps a school. Ring, anything or anybody nearby?

    Yes and no, in order.

    Oh? Give me the bad news.

    A marker appears in my mind, one floor up and a little bit behind where the group is. Looking up there's no holes in the ceiling but the buildings an open ruin so moving down a little, I can just climb out of the open end and up to the second floor. Just have to be careful not to get spotted. Just because they're not nearby doesn't mean they aren't looking.

    A quick look and I dart upwards, the staff disappearing into my subspace pocket to free my hands up. Pulling myself up is a breeze compared to how I was when I first got to this place. Getting up to the second floor by the ruined wall only takes a moment.

    The hallway up here is a different color. The floor downstairs is gray but the one up here is some kind of blue tile. Some more debris but it's tapering off as I make my way back into the building. The rooms up here are pretty much the same but the furniture is a bit more intact than downstairs, since whatever blew the side of the building out seems to have hit the corner of it and just took whatever was between the walls when it happened. Some desks, a cot. A shelf of unlit candles.

    Papyrus. Hmmm.

    Using the ring to unfurl it intact, the sheets seem to be dried out, brittle. Ring, can we scan these without physically damaging them?

    Yes.

    Do it, then load it all into my head.

    Done.

    Then it feels like the fist of a demigod just punched me in the temples from both sides. I make a quiet hurk noise and drop to my knees, holding my head as the ring loads everything at once and it turns out the translation is actually pretty fucking dense.

    While resisting the urge to puke my guts up all over the floor, the information starts to take a sort of hazy focus as the ring helps my brain process it. The building was a school but it was a specialty one. I think this whole place... whoever these people were, they ran everything on magic. This school is for runecraft. I just loaded the magic inscription version of Websters Dictionary into my head and my brain isn't liking it.

    After a couple minutes I shake myself out and stand up, leaning against the wall.

    Which is how I end up getting blown out of the side of the building when Nemesis smashes through the wall into me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2021
  10. mastermenthe

    mastermenthe Mint Thistle

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    Nemesis getting involved directly via crude ambush like that is absolutely not his style.
    Worrying, for multiple reasons.
    Worst case scenario, Nemesis only dived in when he discovered his enemies were trying to read and understand what he had his civilization acting as a cover for.
     
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  11. Threadmarks: With Dauntless Might - 05
    AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    Alert! / Alert!

    Everything is kind of a blur as I go careening out the side of the building, impacting something - the ground I think -

    Fear Detected! / Fear Detected!

    - and smashing through the partially standing wall of another building, coming to a stop as it collapses on top of me.

    Yeah. Thanks. I got that.

    Pushing outwards with a construct barrier, the debris explodes off me while I establish construct armor at the same time. The first thing that registers is the fact Nemesis is hovering about four meters above me. The second is that the area is being flooded with troops from every direction. Both are a bit concerning but I focus on Nemesis as I can see Elise and the others already beginning to fight back behind him.

    "Ainsley my boy! You don't call. You don't write. I was starting to think you'd forgotten me, honestly." He places his hand over his heart as he floats down to hover just above the ground. "I'm hurt. Coming to the neighborhood to party and you don't even call ahead? Dude, I would've brought snacks."

    "We found the devices."

    "Oh? What devices would those be?"

    "The ones you planted on the central batteries."

    "Ooooh those. Yes, I figured that would eventually happen."

    I manifest a pair of twenty meter plasma cannons next to me, both aimed at him. "Stop fucking around and explain yourself!"

    "Declined."

    He flickers and the ring spins the guns to correct the firing solution while I kick the skids of my suit on. I might not be able to glide on the air here but the friction systems still work. Dismissing the guns I replace them with a jetpack and use it to maneuver sideways in a hard strafe to avoid whatever he's about to do, which pays off as the ground where I was standing is torn apart by some kind of deep purple beam, leaving a plume of dust behind it. The shot gives me a firing solution and even as I slide in a circle around him the guns are coming back, but he's moving as I move, matching my attempts to maneuver.

    Problem is, the fucking bastard can still fly. Whatever is effecting us apparently doesn't apply to him.

    Fire, construct barrier, strafe, hard stop, jump. While mid-air I use the recoil of the guns to propel myself, bouncing upwards with each shot while he fires himself sideways and flies 'round in a half circle above me, his construct armor barely cracked. I know I'm getting direct hits in and he's just tanking it like it's nothing. While moving in his arc he's firing destruction pulses back at me, forcing me to focus on on my defense, moving and creating layered barriers in front of myself. Sliding just out of reach of one of the pulses I let it fly past me and come to a hard stop, turning and slipping backwards through the hole it just blew in the wall of the building behind me.

    Catch me if you can, motherfucker.

    Smashing through the walls indiscriminately I aim behind myself, letting the construct barriers flow away and reform behind me. Stop, hard strafe to the left through the door. Gravity generator.

    Thank you Noah, and your fancy floating platform.

    When Nemesis follows the corridor down and tries to stop in front of the door to turn towards me, I activate it and create a three meter wide space in front of it with a gravity shear of more than 300 G's. Nemesis stops, looks at me and then promptly pancakes into the floor just in time for me to manifest my plasma cannon and unload on him as hard as I can.

    For a second, as it happens, everything goes silent. The ring cuts the noise out completely as the construct's muzzle flashes a pure white, nearly blinding light. Only the ring itself keeps me from blinking away at the sheer intensity of it. I can feel the vibration throughout my body, the floor and probably the walls right up until they and Nemesis disappear, the beam cutting a furrow with him at the bottom straight out of the building and through the next building and... I think the next one, but at that point I don't care anymore and I'm already turning away.

    Tearing through the building I race towards where Elise and the others are, hitting the ground and using a construct to accelerate myself while using the skids to cut the friction between me and the ground. It's like skating on wet ice and the ring is working doubletime to keep me balanced. I'm letting it handle most of my legwork. Jumping I cut the friction back in and run up a broken wall with my forward momentum continuing upwards and the construct giving me a nudge over the top of it.

    The building we were in is kind of gone. More of the giant abomination things that met us as the gate have rolled in and are smashing the shit out of it. I can't see the others. Ring, find them.

    Not found.

    I glare at the ring. Fuck you mean, not found?

    Something is interfering.

    Ugh. Kicking off the wall I hit the ground and turn away just in time for Nemesis to come blasting out of wherever the hell I buried him.

    Oh. Right. I could do that.

    If I can't locate the others right away, it makes sense to bug out and try to regroup. I'm not really interested in fighting him where he's strongest, here. Transmuting the ground below me, I knock out the wall I was just on, burrowing down even as debris covers the mouth of the tunnel I'm creating, then collapsing back down on myself. It feels a bit like going down a bumpy children's slide, sort of. Just as I start to figure it's safe to stop, I break through into some kind of chamber and come barreling out the side of the ceiling, spinning wildly and hitting the cave floor hard.

    Nnnngh.

    That could have gone better.
     
  12. Threadmarks: With Dauntless Might - 06
    AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    I'm sitting cross legged on a rock at the bottom of the cavern I broke through, leaning my elbows on my knees and working my way through an MRE that I stuck into one of the rings at some point. It's pitch dark in here, save for the light coming from me, but I have the ring compensating for it in much the same way it did when I was deep below Allasfere. The 'sonar' the ring is producing is happening in my brain instead of my eyes, I'm pretty sure. I mean, it worked in The Matrix, right? They'd plug your brain in and you'd just see or hear or feel whatever. I suppose when the ring is augmenting my senses it does something like that.

    Finishing the sandwich I destroy the wrapper, making it not-exist rather than just leaving it here. Stretching, I get up off the rock and begin looking around. The cavern itself is irregular, not so much a big room or anything as much as an even slice of open space underneath Nemesis's city. Hmmm, interesting. The ruins extend down here as well. There's a partially collapsed bridge a couple hundred meters to my right, where the rock narrows and then opens up again. Not much of an issue for me.

    Rings, state charge.

    73% charge remaining. / About 97% left.

    Hmm. My habit of falling back on the blue ring is showing. I don't bother climbing along the walls or anything, opting instead to simply make a construct walkway to where the rock narrows. Burrowing through it isn't much of a challenge, considering how I got here.

    Hmm, yep. Looks a bit like the buildings above. The parts of the broken bridge are actually still laying below at the bottom of the ravine. Interesting that the stone blocks are all intact, it looks like it had wooden supports that simply rotted away or something. But the tunnel probably leads somewhere and I don't want to come back to the surface anywhere near where I am, so wandering in the underground it is. It's a lot less spooky when you can actually see.

    The superpowers are also a bit of a confidence booster, there's that too.

    In retrospect, I think we were kind of being stupid here. More specifically, I was being stupid - again - and the others just kind of went with it. Not sure why Mina did, but I'm not sure why Mina does anything. Trying to guess her motives is an exercise in futility. But charging into this stronghold with such a small group was really stupid. We should've retreated the moment the flight cut out. That, right there, should have hinted that he had preparations for something like us to show up and make trouble but I was more focused on... I dunno. Getting Nemesis, I guess.

    I sigh at myself. Now the group is split up and without me there, I have no idea what Mina and Elise will do to each other. I need to find them but I'm not sure how to do that, exactly. I'm not even sure how the hell Nemesis set all this up.

    As I follow the tunnel it begins to wind downwards, curving in a spiral. At the bottom it comes out into an open cavern but not like the natural one I smashed my way into. This one appears built in much the same style as the city above. The air smells fresher here and there's light along the edges from some kind of bioluminescent fungus or lichen that seems to have been intentionally planted there. The light is pale and ghostly but enough that somebody used to the surface might be able to kind of see, which is helpful because the whole place is open bridges and ledges leading down to a body of moving water at the bottom of the chamber. In some places water is actively falling from the ceiling but it seems to have been piped into the room, so none of the streams water down anyplace one might wish to tread.

    Interesting. Do any of these tunnels maintain that light source?

    Affirmative.

    Mark them out for me.

    A faint blue crosshair appears in three spots of the room, one ledge above me, one below me and one on the other side of the room near the bottom. Hm, no. I don't want to go down anymore, I think.

    A construct hookshot forms in my hand and I aim it carefully, firing it at the ceiling above the ledge with the door I want. The ring binding it to my hand is pretty much all that keeps it from launching me off the ledge as it pulls me with more force than I expected, sailing across the room at a swing and then cutting out to leave me dropping to the ledge, sliding a little halfway into the door. That was pretty fun, actually. I can see why Link liked this thing.

    Making my way up the tunnel I come to a crosshairs. A quick test of the air leads me to the left one, following it upwards and coming out into another large cavern, this one open but with a solid floor. Which is probably why all the shacks are built here.

    There's dozens of them, not built but sort of grown out of some kind of fungus. The lighting is better here but I'm in the door of a tunnel on a ledge higher up in the chamber and I'm not feeling super threatened by them anyways, judging from the state of them. Looks like some more of those dark elves - maybe I'll get a name for them, finally - but they don't look quite as deranged as the ones we fought above. None of the self-mutilation, to start with. The other part of the population is some kind of large, sort-of-humanoid insectoid. They remind me of ants, the shape of their faces. Thick legs with backwards knees, kind of like a birds legs and a set of four arms, one halfway down their 'ribs'.

    I'm not in much of a hurry to jump in here when I know nothing. Getting ambushed wouldn't leave me in a position to help the others. Instead, I watch for a short time. They seem to be working together rather than one dominating the other. One of them eventually spots me, pointing and raising an alarm, but I'm not rushing in to attack them so the initial panic-and-scatter dies down after the first dozen or so flee into the tunnels.

    The ones who stay to watch me seem wary, but since I'm not threatening them, there's a bit of debate among the closest to me. Then one of the insectoids breaks off, approaching the walkway leading up to the ledge where I'm sitting.

    **Who are you?**
     
  13. Threadmarks: With Dauntless Might - Interlude (Checkmate)
    AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    Victory.

    Neil sat in the throne lazily, slouched a little, like the Jarl in Whiterun. The throne itself was something he fabricated based on a mod he used to have in the game, times he dove deep into it to escape from a shitty reality. It was gaudy, over the top and a little tacky in his opinion but having a massive stone dragon looming over you while you hold court is something people around here take more seriously than he would have in their place.

    The room itself, sitting at the top of his citadel, was partially open. 'Partially' in the sense that he had force screens keeping the shit in the air here out but could still get the sense of the room being open and gaining the benefit of the bloody natural light that permeated everything on Psyche. The only way in was a vertical lift from the middle of the citadel, giving him a bottleneck. The lift wasn't very large so no particularly large force could invade the room at any given time. Large and shaped like an elongated diamond, he lit the room during the night with fires tinged with copper. Gives the slaves something to work at and having green fire in your throne room really unnerves folks who are used to demons and other, worse things.

    While he sat ruminating, he watched the display in front of him. It was simple, really. He had Ainsley's little group stripped, strapped and put on display. Not even being tortured or anything, he just put them up like trophies while he waited for things to get into place. The bear he'd sedated simply to make her shut up, but the others he'd left conscious. Every half an hour or so, an attendant would check them to give water if they needed it, make sure they're still kicking. He wanted them to see the whole thing go down.

    He knew it broke the evil overlord rules but frankly, he deserved something.

    Victory.

    Ainsley disappearing did bother him, though. It was the most cliche story set up he could think of, their enemy having his friends prisoner so the hero could barge in to save them at the last moment with... whatever half baked shit he came up with. Frankly, Neil was having some difficulty thinking up what that might be.

    The demi-humans, things like were beasts, vampires and djinn, he'd either recruited or slaughtered. Anything not with him was swept aside. The demon lords he'd culled as much as he could, slaughtering their cults and armies and tearing down their alters. They'd come back - really pissed, too - but it would take time, more time than he needed to finish this. His goal was too important. It transcended himself, them, all three worlds. He'd briefly considered taking their little group to the dead world and trying to explain things but ultimately decided that there was too much chance they'd try to exploit it for their own ends.

    It's what he would've done.

    He felt a little bad for Vera. Not warning her. Not very much, though. Her little continent was the only part of Psyche he didn't have some direct control over and if she wanted to bottle up there being all goth about everything she was welcome to it as far as he was concerned. Just so long as she didn't get in the way, at least.

    Glancing at Elise he caught her glaring at him and gave a slight smile. "I'm doing you lot a favor, you know."

    Whatever she intended as a response was pretty muffled but the unmistakable tone of 'fuck you' was there. He nodded a little. "Yes, I thought you'd say that. What would you say if I told you that even if I did nothing, we were all going to cease to exist in about two centuries anyways?"

    Emil turns his head to look at him now and Elise is just staring.

    "What did you think, that I just brainwashed her? Pfft, no." He shook his head. "All I did was explain things. But, you know, since you're here and I'm here and we've got nothing better to do while I wait, why don't I explain exactly what makes you morons so funny?" Back to the glaring again.

    "You see, while ago - right about the time I caught Engel, the green guy - I started wondering what was outside this solar system. The rings have FTL, right? Stands to reason we could leave." He points at Elise. "Did you ever give it a try?" She doesn't respond. "I thought not. It turns out, this entire solar system and everything in it is in a tiny pocket universe."

    A look of confusion.

    "Not computing? Okay. Think of this place, this little universe, as being like a soap bubble in the space between universes. It used to be part of a larger universe but got split off intentionally. Some super demi-god scientist asshole decides he wants to study a universe decaying and makes us." He shrugs. "Then? He vanishes. Little blue man goes to all the trouble of making a pocket universe specifically to access other parallel universes and then fucks off and just leaves us all to vacuum decay. Pretty shitty, huh?"

    Neil shrugged. "But hey, good news. I'm here to save the day." He swung his arm across the middle of his body, striking a goofy pose. It doesn't look like it's amusing them very much. "No, really. See, I plan to stabilize this little pocket universe. I just didn't think any of you would co-operate if I told you my plan." He leaned in a little, squinting at Elise, looking her in the eye. "Did you ever wonder what happens to the universe that places originate from here? You know, the one Tovalon or Skal were from. Does the region go missing? The chunk of universe? Is it copied perfectly from one place to another? Turns out, no, it's not. It erases the planet the region came from as their universe struggles to correct the distortion. All the energy in the momentum of the planets, all the energy in their spin, all the energy of the sun, all of it goes into correcting the flaw. The universe folds up a little, a solar system disappears and poof, no more problem. Say what you will about the guy, that Krona fellow kept good notes. Little incomprehensible but thorough."

    Turning away he idled his way back over to the throne. "So, how much energy do you think it will take to stabilize this pocket universe, then stick it to an established universe? They don't have fucking USB ports, after all. A lot of energy. It takes a fuckmothering lot is the answer. So let me simplify this for you."

    "
    I'm going to sacrifice the places this pocket universe connects to. The regions that are here will be here so don't worry your little heads about that. But their home universes - just like yours - are going down the drain. Sorry about that. Sort of. Probably feels shitty to you but this place has remnants of universes that just don't exist anymore and that needs to be preserved more than a couple hundred solar systems, no more than a handful of which are actually populated. It's just triage."

    The chute for the lift opened as he finished speaking and Mina flew up over the lip. Removing the mobility restriction wasn't too difficult for her. All he needed was something of her and a few hairs sufficed. He didn't bother to tell her the other things he could do with a few hairs of hers, though. Always best to save ones tricks.

    "It's in place."
     
  14. mastermenthe

    mastermenthe Mint Thistle

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    What, no mention of the Anomaly in the temple?
     
  15. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    Yeeeeeeet
     
  16. Threadmarks: With Dauntless Might - Interlude (Murphy Is The Sheriff Here, Bucko)
    AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    Elise is waiting.

    Bound by a construct next to Ren and her father, she couldn't even move. From her vantage point it was difficult to even really make out what was doing on. They were inside a construct, bound to the passenger seats of the ship Nemesis was creating around them. Next to them sat Mina, holding her ring and watching her, slouched in her own seat a little, legs crossed at the knees with her tail over her lap. She wasn't wearing the ring, just casually turning it between her fingers, thoughtful.

    If she could, Elise would tear her limb from limb. In her minds eye she was visualizing it, imagining the violence. Graphicly. She kept running the moment through her own mind between the fantasies of revenge when Mina did... something to the three of them without warning. She still didn't understand it exactly. At the time she thought it was a perfectly normal idea and she could remember wanting to just go along with everything a lot, like it was all fine. Afterwards, in retrospect, it clearly wasn't fucking fine.

    She couldn't move, couldn't speak. Could only glare. Ren still wasn't conscious and in the back of her mind she was beginning to worry. She ought to be up by now.

    Suddenly the construct fell apart and instead of the generalized yellow glare from every direction it just coalesced into a laser point above her. The sun wasn't that bright on Psyche. Looking around and blinking hard she found herself unbound for half a second before being yanked hard into the sand with a yelp, hitting the ground.

    "I swear to everything I am and the entirety of House Tychorus, the entirety of my species, every weapon, every BOMB, EVERY CANNON, EVERY MAN WOMAN AND CHILD, WE'RE GOING TO FUCKING KILL Y-"

    She suddenly found herself unable to speak, gagged again by one of Mina's constructs and screamed incoherently while muffled.

    "She really is a lively one, isn't she? These genkits really seem to take their vendettas seriously."

    "Honestly? I think she's just especially talented at being a bitch. We doing this or what?" Mina was following him, making Emil and Ren hover but dragging Elise through the sand like a heavy pack she didn't want to carry.

    The temple. They're brought them to the temple. She recognized the doorway as she was being dragged in on her back, taking the chance to look around. She could barely think from how angry she was but years of training didn't just disappear. She'd been military for almost fifteen years already.

    As they entered the antechamber she could feel the change in the air. Like being too close to a massive charge, something in the air. She couldn't see the thing from this angle but the change made her nervous. When she turned her head to the left she hitched her breath in her throat.

    The last battery was in place. All seven were here. They'd already found the final lightsmith and beaten them to it.

    But then, where were they?

    Putting the others down, Mina let go of her, manifesting construct servants. A pair of humans she'd taken during the red sword fight, apparently. Just a little extra salt in the wound, not just her slaves but purist slaves. Elise stared at her for a moment, then forced herself to look around the room.

    Yes, there. A boy she didn't know, a large human. North American, perhaps. Long hair in a braid over his shoulder. His eyes were vacant and although he held a violet ring, Mina's sigil was overlaid at his chest and forehead. Which meant either this was very very recent or she'd agreed to work with Nemesis before ever coming here with the group. Not that it mattered. Not to her. It was going to end the same either way.

    As Nemesis turned to approach the anomaly, something shook the ground and a loud THUD was heard outside. Stopping mid-stride, Nemesis hung his head, sighing and turning around. "Okay, I've had it. Whoever the hell this is, I'm just going to torture them to death out of spite." Rising from the ground he passed above her to approach the doorway, forcing her to choose between keeping an eye on Mina and waiting for her chance to rip her throat out or watching Nemesis.

    She chose Mina.

    "Oh you picked a bad fuuUCK!" She could hear the sounds of fighting, constructs being made and destroyed. As she watched Mina, the woman didn't look too concerned. Looking away she tried to turn to look at Nemesis, only for the construct slave to punch her in the face and send her sprawling to the ground. One more thing to remember.

    Flying backwards, Nemesis passed next to her and nearly hit Ren on his way by, smashing into the ground and casually bouncing off it to hover in the air, shaking himself out. "Are you fucking kidding me. Seriously? I went out of my way to leave you alone."

    There wasn't a reply but a moment later, Vera passed by next to her, holding... holding the rage axe. She wasn't looking at Elise. She was watching Nemesis and Mina. Standing in front of Elise Vera glances at her but seems to pay her little mind. With a casual swipe the weapon passes just above her, passing through the construct slave close enough for it to whiff her hair, stopping in the other construct holding her father and Ren. Seeing Mina shake her hand out from the feedback gave her a little satisfaction, but the important thing is that she was free now.

    The moment she was unbound Elise sprang to her feet and screamed, rushing Mina only to be sent flying backwards as Vera hurls the weapon at her.

    "You didn't bring me here."

    Hitting Elise in the chest, she jerks in midair, the impact stopping all of her momentum cold as the blade buries itself in her chest -

    "She did."

    - And flows into her somehow, making everything so clear. She drops to her knees as somebody begins to scream -

    It's Emil.

    - while the rage at her powerlessness and the betrayal suddenly crystallizes with a laser focus. When she stands up she finds the pattern of her fur has changed, going from a cream-white to dark red. It wasn't like the ring at all. She could feel it flowing throughout her entire body, like every moment she'd ever been in combat, every moment she'd ever fought a purist. The tips of her fur glowed, making her glimmer as she moved her arm to look at herself. Every humiliation suffered from people she knew she was better than. Every time she saw somebody die because of callousness or convenience. Every atrocity. Every tragedy. Every friend she'd lost and the inability to find the people responsible. Every casual racist remark from a human, every business who wouldn't take her money, that thunderfuck in Somalia who tried to butcher her for fucking meat. Oh yes, she remembered this feeling. The drive to kill.

    Then her eyes turned to Vera.


    Vera nodded at her. Yes, she could see it now. Feel it. The need for revenge. It was something her people were familiar with, the concept of giving as good as you got, with a little bit of interest besides.

    Then she looked at Mina and the attack began.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2021 at 8:43 AM
  17. VerBlinkel

    VerBlinkel Getting sticky.

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    I LOVE all of the little touches you put into the people and the world. I so rarely think of body language in a story, and here you are making surprisingly adorable inhuman body language.

    And all of the subplots! This one tying in to character's...character. Altering all sorts of subtext about how the character responds, thinks, and what they want. Brilliant. I wish I could write half as well.

    Don't kink shame me!

    I figured Elsie would go red at some point, what with it showing up more in her speech lately. I thought it would be through ring sharing though.

    As always, great story.
     
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