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With This Ring (Young Justice SI) (Thread Fourteen)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Mr Zoat, Jan 27, 2019.

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  1. Bud-E

    Bud-E Stand up so I can push you down!

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    Do the Sirens have names or do people just call them Sirens?
     
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  2. Threadmarks: Reconstruction (part 12)
    Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    5th March 2013
    08:28 GMT +3


    Unusually new statues are easy to detect once I know what I'm looking for, and for the second time in my professional career I disconnect my own eyes. Diana has fought Medusa before, and the petrification gaze definitely isn't a Laundry Files-style transmutation effect, or a metaphor for an instinctive response to extreme ugliness. It's a magic effect, and she needed direct eye contact to petrify her targets.

    And… Their clothes, apparently. That's a Justifier, and his helmet and armour are fully turned to stone along with his flesh. There's a small house built of stone and mortar up ahead, and I smile as I consider how much easier having a power ring makes something like this. Perseus did this with a blindfold and a shiny shield, and he was up against all three of them.

    "Hello!"

    "Just a moment!"

    There's a strange sort of echo to the shout, but I assume that it's because the shout is travelling through an irregular space or something. I frown at the petrified goat leaning against the wall. Scan for-. Ah. A small scale farm, isolated location… Ah… Scan for-. Yes, several places that have been used to site an outhouse.

    And then she steps out of the house. Unlike with the siren, there's nothing here disrupting my scans, but it still takes me a moment to get my head around what I'm seeing. She's wearing a mask, one with no eye holes and a gorgon decoration on the front.

    "Who is it?"

    "Orange Lantern, one of Princess Diana's students."

    She pulls back slightly. "They attacked me!"

    "Yes, I suspect that you're telling the truth. That's a Justifier, someone whose sense of self was destroyed by the Anti-Life to turn them into an obedient thug. Ah, I already deactivated my own eyes, so if you want to you can take the mask off."

    "Deactivated-? No, I'll leave it on. I can't afford to keep petrifying my own goats. What do you mean, 'deactivated'?"

    "I got into a fight with a man called Johnny Sorrow a while ago. He has an ability quite a lot like yours, but by severing my own optic nerve I was able to bypass it entirely."

    "You blinded yourself?!"

    "I can undo it. I just didn’t want to take the risk of making accidental eye contact."

    I hear a quiet hissing, as if from a dozen different mouths.

    "Alright, Orange Lantern. What do you want?"

    "Are you alright?"

    "What?"

    "The Greek government is in crisis, and the Amazons are absent. They're concerned that certain powerful individuals might take advantage-."

    "No no no.. no. My sister-. I've made something of a life for myself here. How could I rule a country where everyone who makes eye contact with me turns to stone?"

    Hm. I had considered this earlier, but with Medusa in Tartarus and no idea where the other two were, I never put it into practice.

    "Does your power come from your eyes, or does that just trigger the connection? Or if you don't know-."

    "No, it comes from our eyes. Circe checked for Medusa, many years ago. Why?"

    "I could just replace your eyes as I've replaced mine several times. Either with cloned eyes, or with mechanical ones."

    "Cybernetics?"

    "Ah, I'm sorry. I wasn't sure whether you'd know the term or not."

    "Hephaestus-. Hephaestaean sends me letters. Sent me letters. I don't get a lot of visitors."

    "You do live out of the way, here."

    I land in front of her, holding my hands out to the side palms upwards and fabricate both a cybernetic and an organic eye. Cloning tissue from innately magical individuals is a risky business, as what you get either isn't magical -and hence inclined to not work- or is magical -and so does the exact same thing as the original- but I think I know what I'm doing. If it's part of the spell Athena used, the swapping out the original eyes should be enough. In theory, it might even trigger her to turn back into a human, but magical inertia would usually prevent that.

    "I can install either, but-."

    "Come inside so that I can take a look without turning something to stone."

    "Lead the way."

    She walks back into her house, reaching up to pull off her mask the moment she's through the door. I follow her, letting the ring fill in for my eyes. Simple, well-construct furniture, the result of having unlimited time and… Well, hands.

    "Huh."

    She turns around to face me, laying the mask on a table as she does so.

    "I thought you and the others were supposed to be ugly."

    "Oh gods, tell me you're not some sort of snake-cultist. What were they called…? Cobra?"

    "Kobra."

    "That's what I-. With a 'K'?" I nod. "That doesn't even make sense. They're Hindu. Their original holy texts were written in Kannada."

    "I thought they were from India?"

    "No, 'Kannada' with a 'K', the Indian language."

    "Ah, right. Well, their prophesied saviour was an American."

    "And suddenly it makes sense."

    "I'm not a member, though I admit to being familiar with the appearances of other species. Your face is still symmetrical, your scale-pattern is regular and-. Okay, the snakes are a bit disturbing, but I'm sure they could grow on a person."

    "Yes. They did." She takes a step closer and picks up the cybernetic eye. "And this… Works?"

    "Assuming that your body is mostly normal flesh, yes, they will work. I'd offer to implant one in myself as a demonstration, but that would risk turning me to stone. Oh! Ah, semi-related issue, I can also fully upgrade your house if you want. I imagine that you find getting work done a little difficult."

    "New eyes and a new house. You're kind of leaning into the snake-fetishist thing…"

    "I like fixing problems. And I'm affianced, so that’s not an issue. Though… I do know a few people who might be, if you want me to put you in contact? You're basically human on the inside, and this sort of isolation isn't psychologically healthy."

    "I'm… Not sure. I've had my eyes for a long time."

    "Heh. To quote the author Sir Terrance Pratchett, 'my bum has been a bum for a very long time, but I don't have to listen to anything it says'."

    "Hah! Uh. I don't think that one of Diana's students would lie to me, I just-."

    I close my eyes and reconnect my optic nerve. Then I step close enough that her snake hairs could bite and deactivate my environmental shield.

    "I'll replace them one at a time, and you can bite me if it doesn't work. I'd swear an oath to Gaea again, but the grove went with the island."

    "Uh." Oh, I-. Probably violated her personal space there. "Uh. Okay, then. I've never liked my right eye anyway."
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2023
  3. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    They have names.
     
  4. Ngamer11

    Ngamer11 Experienced.

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    That should say 'by'.

    What are the odds she'll have a thing for OL because of this?
     
  5. Whenever Possible

    Whenever Possible Versed in the lewd.

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    Did i miss a name? Is this euryale or stheno?
     
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  6. Vaermina

    Vaermina Well worn.

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    That seems like a very extreme measure to take when he could just get her a pair of magical contact lenses or glasses.

    Especially since he has no idea what else the magic of hero eyes might be connected too.
     
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  7. BR549

    BR549 This is filth! FILTH!!

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    'me', I think.
     
  8. Ngamer11

    Ngamer11 Experienced.

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    He may offer that once he is able to get in touch with his magical contacts again.
     
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  9. Vaermina

    Vaermina Well worn.

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    Constantine is available.
     
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  10. Chojin Patriarch

    Chojin Patriarch Veteran Lurker

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    So definitely a fully magical effect. Hopefully painlessly swift, because the alternative is feeling your flesh transforming into stone slowly, feeling the loss of sensation crawling up your body... :confused: It doesn't sound like a fun way to go.

    Well, at least she's not openly hostile. I expect she's taking care in case of visitors, though.

    A logical safety precaution if her power relies on eye contact. Have to wonder how she sees with it on, but that can be explained via magic.

    A good idea to lead with that. No telling how she'd react to any random tom, dick or harry turning up. Given her last visitor's state. :p

    Now, an important question to ask: Can she reverse the effect? Or is Justifier guy (and the goat) just plain gone?

    Though it did take him a little time to get used to seeing through other methods. I expect he's using virtual cameras or similar to sense her right now. Ideally with a smart censor 'blindfold' over her eyes.

    Ah, that casual reminder that OL is totally willing to maim himself in the line of duty. Remember when he force-fed that Spider Guilder his own leg? :p (OL's leg, not the Guilder.)

    ...Ah, yes. The snake hair. That might be how she's seeing, maybe, if their senses are linked to hers.

    Come now, surely you've heard of a 'welfare check' before? Or at least the idea of 'check on the powerful yet dangerous person'?

    True, and ruling by proxy hardly feels like ruling at all.

    ...And which of the sisters is she? Stheno or Euryale? I don't remember if DC ever implied much difference in character between them, though.

    ...Bit extreme, OL? Also, who's to say whether the spell would remain with the removed eyes, or simply transfer to the new orbs?

    They can have all manner of additional functions, too. Like having a mobile phone built into your vision. Which could probably be more trouble than it's worth.

    For good reason, I would think. Interesting that Heph has been keeping in touch with her, though, at least before the Anti-Life. Presumably sympathy over the divine 'fuck you' she got. (Which is said to be Athena's fault, changing all three of the sisters for Medusa's supposed 'crime'.)

    ...Man, OL really comes across as a villainous tempter, sometimes. And good, willing to test the theory that the curse is bound to the person, not just the organ.

    Hopefully it has a range limit on it. I'd hate to imagine her accidentally stoning someone on a far hillside without knowing it simply because they were looking the wrong way at the wrong moment (via binoculars or not...)

    Heh. I assume she's also close to human in form, rather than the more modern 'snake-demon lady' like 'Clash of the Titans'.

    Hey, now. Be polite, OL. The lady's been through a lot, she doesn't need teasing like that. :rolleyes:

    And of course OL is able to correct the pronunciation, despite the sounds being similar. (I assume the villainous sect is dubbed 'cob-rah' rather than 'coh-bra')

    ...And then he promptly has the same issue. Or he's just ribbing her. :D

    :V Heh. Indeed.

    Ooh, nice comeback, dear. The lady has a wry wit.

    Nonsense! He's just being a good guest. And potentially heading off minor issues that might trigger dangerous situations alter.

    Honey, believe me, there are a lot of people who would be falling at your feet. certainly, there are plenty of xenophiles and lovers of cryptological beings around, if the internet is anything to go by...

    Seriously, I don't think the modern world is going to be ready for this lady.

    Yeah, coming on just a wee bit strong there, OL. Especially to a lady who's probably starved for physical contact.

    Hopefully, once the Olympians come out of their self-exile, Athena doesn't learn about the possible sidestep of her curse and re-inflict it on the lady. I'd like to hope she'd have cooled off somewhat in the last couple of millennia. As for using enchanted glasses or contacts, why take the risk of them being removed or damaged at the wrong moment? Replacing the organs in question is still a bit extreme, though...


    "No, 'Kannada' with a 'K', the Indian language." (Unless that's some obscure term...)
     
  11. adc

    adc Getting some practice in, huh?

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    So what you're saying is that this is the best possible option available.
     
  12. Duke Long

    Duke Long Glomerulus

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    ’Files-style’?
     
  13. Kurai

    Kurai Getting out there.

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    Well, if Fate/Grand Order is to be believed, my money would be on Euryale, since she is the nicer of the two sisters. :D

    . . . Aside from that, I have to say that is a very nice workaround to the Gorgon curse.
     
  14. Darko

    Darko Connoisseur.

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    "but by"

    "to me"
     
  15. Khettien

    Khettien Perpetually confused

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    Hey!

    ...okay, it hurts because it's true.
     
  16. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    Thank you, corrected.
    She doesn't meet a lot of people.
    Thank you, corrected.
     
  17. The Froggy Ninja

    The Froggy Ninja The Blade Will Never Die

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    Why did he reconnect his optic nerve at the end there?
     
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  18. Rebu

    Rebu hey, little Anna, you're the one

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    A show of trust, I assume.
     
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  19. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    Yes, and to make himself obviously vulnerable.
     
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  20. The Froggy Ninja

    The Froggy Ninja The Blade Will Never Die

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    Considering she can't see his optic nerves and he closed his eyes anyway, I'm not sure how she was supposed to know that.
     
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  21. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    Technically she didn't, but when someone who had their eyes open and staring blankly before suddenly closes them and you're a gorgon, it isn't hard to guess.
     
  22. Coda

    Coda Versed in the lewd.

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    How does it feel to correct other people's spelling?
     
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  23. Cuchulin

    Cuchulin Versed in the lewd.

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    Quoting PTerry is always a good thing! Also quite relevant since the Discs version of the nice Lady OL is talking to is very likely a member of the Ankh-Morpork city Watch.
     
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  24. Threadmarks: Reconstruction (part 13)
    Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    5th March 2013
    08:44 GMT +3


    I wave my rune stone around another part of Mount Olympus that should register as thaumically active. No reaction, not even something indicating a residue of an old spell. Whatever happened was surprisingly thorough.

    Euryale blinks excessively hard as she looks around the mountainside.

    "Managing alright over there?"

    "Some-. I'm seeing things that I haven't seen before."

    "Do you remember what your vision was like when you were a human?"

    Whatever Athena did to transform her it wasn't bound to her eyes, though we proved that the petrification effect was by testing it on a sparrow.

    "I thought that I did. Is this how humans see things?"

    "The cybernetic eyes can see a far wider range of colours than human eyes, but by default it just has a slight expansion on the normal visual range so that your brain can cope."

    "Do they need to be cleaned or maintained?"

    "They're designed to be cleaned in the same way as organic eyes. Just blink every so often-. Not like that; I mean naturally. As for repairs, I'd normally say 'no', but given how long gorgons appear to live…"

    Ring, appointment calendar.

    Compliance.

    "You should be able to contact me by the Themysciran embassy at any time, but I'll make a note to seek you out in fifty years and make sure that they're still working properly."

    "Thank you."

    Her eyes-. She's sort of trying to look at me with three thousand plus years of instinct telling her not to make eye contact with the helpful human. But since we tested this I just fly directly in front of her and stare into her eyes. Her eyes momentarily widen in shock, then she realises what happened and smiles, bowing her head slightly.

    "Can I offer eyes like these to my sisters?"

    "To Stheno, certainly. To Medusa… I'm not sure whether she has a material body or not, but I don't think that Lord Hades is going to be moderating her punishment anytime soon. Whatever offence the gods gave her, she took it out on a lot of people."

    "Offering it to Stheno would be difficult as well; she was on Themyscira."

    "Um. Did they know that she was there?"

    "Princess Diana did; I don't know who else she told. She wanted to live somewhere with people who wouldn't forget to avoid her gaze."

    "Bit of a shame that there isn't a simple reversal for it, really. It would be easy enough for me to track down the parts of old and broken statues."

    "I-. No, it doesn't work. Even if you turned them back into flesh they would still be dead. Circe tried that once."

    "She undid your petrification spell?"

    "No, she created a spell that did the same thing and then reversed that."

    "I'm… Assuming this was some time ago…"

    "Oh, yes. This was back when Circe had only recently become immortal. She wouldn't have visited us without being sure that she could avoid petrification herself."

    "Okay. Did you have any other ideas about getting into Olympus?"

    "I never studied magic in any detail. I can tell you where most of the old paths are-. Or, were. But that's it. It's not like any of the gods like me."

    Yeah, that's… Fair. Huh. I wonder-.

    "ERIS HAS A FAT ARSE!"

    Euryale shrinks back. "What?"

    "She's nominally my patron. I haven't actually spoken to her directly for a little while so-."

    Splat!



    I wipe the custard pie off my face.

    "I know that's a classic, but this isn't really the time-."

    There's writing on the foil case. I-.

    The pie is construct-proof.

    That would be interesting to study if not for the fact that the construct-proofing means that I can't put it into subspace. Instead, I shake the remains of the pie out and read it.

    "'To: Pavlos. If you're reading this, then you've become too predictable. This is automatic. Try harder. Eris.'"

    Okay, and true, but that doesn't actually help me-.

    The pie case isn't construct-proof, so I can put it into subspace and get a wizard to try using it to track her. That's very nearly progress.

    "What?"

    "Eris and I have an irregular relationship. She-."

    "She p-p-hah-hah-hah-haha!"

    "It's a classic for a reason-. I've still got some on my face, haven't I?" Fabricate a damp flannel and a mirror, wipe… "Right, ah… This has been fun, but the world's in a pretty sorry state at the moment and I need to get back to work. Are you aware of any other Greek mythos persons of interest who might need 'managing' after being exposed to the Anti-Life?"

    "How many people do you think I meet in a year?"

    "Yes, that's a reasonable point. Anything else I can build for you?"

    "No, I'm fine with just the oven. I wouldn't know what to do with modern appliances."

    I nod. "Transition in two, one." And we're back at her house.

    "Thought… Ah." She looks awkward.

    "Do you want me to show your picture to men who might be interested in snake women? I could just give you a computer so you can set up a dating profile."

    "Those things are a terrible way to meet people. I'm not saying-. If there was someone you could refer personally?"

    "No one springs to mind immediately, but I'll ask around. Good day."

    I transition upwards, to the edge of the atmosphere. I'm glad I could help her, I really am, but the rest of the world-. And I haven't found anyone who might be causing magic-based trouble in Greece. Ah. Maybe they didn’t have a specific individual in mind, and it was just an in-case thing?

    Ring, scan the country, and if you don't find anything then I'll just give them an emergency beacon-.

    Missus Hall? What's sheshit!
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2023
  25. Z000

    Z000 If this is trash, then find me in the dumpster

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    oh wow, she actually automate a divine pie to the face system

    yeah no, she right Paul gotten predictable he deserve it
     
  26. Vaermina

    Vaermina Well worn.

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    So do you think Zoat forgot her hair has eyes? Or Paul?
     
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  27. Chojin Patriarch

    Chojin Patriarch Veteran Lurker

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    Well, looks like the eyeball replacement was successful. I assume they're only medical-grade cyberware, to use the Cyberpunk RPG terminology, rather than anything truly enhanced. Still, compared to the old mk1 eyeball... It'd still be an upgrade. I see OL also asked her name at some point.

    Kind of like putting on glasses for the first time, huh? I hope OL didn't go too overboard on the visual acuity options.

    Bet that was a sight. Waving an eyeball in the bir's general direction and *klunk* :p Heck, she could probably have them preserved and set on wands or something as a defensive weapon.

    Or, as Cyberpunk puts it, without causing Humanity damage. Imagine going through everyday life with a HUD that scopes out things like names, online handles or physical weaknesses of every person you see, or can automatically sense wi-fi-accessible devices... Those are all options for cyberoptics in 'Cyberpunk 2077'.

    She did that 'crunch the eyelids tightly' sort of fake blink, didn't she? x3

    ...Man, what does it say about him that he can casually make an appointment fifty years out and expect both him and her to be available then?

    Old habits die hard, after all. Just like the people who met her gaze. :oops:

    Plus the fact that her original body's head (or skin, or something) was used to craft the Aegis borne by Athena.

    A fair question, given her sometimes villainous appearances in the comics.

    Though I imagine reassembling them would be tricky if any of them had eroded somewhat.

    Ah, so people petrified are dead-dead, not merely in stasis. It can vary, after all.

    There could have been some awkward interactions between the effects, yes. Like the timing of returning the soul to the body before it's fleshy.

    Though I doubt she'd ever had reason to go visiting.

    Let's hope whatever the Olympians did to split their realm from Earth (and pull Themyscira with it) is easily reversible then.

    Hey, is that anything to be ashamed of? If she's in good shape, that can be a good thing.

    ...Seems she's a little put out with you about that.

    Classy. But does that mean she's still hanging around? I mean, the period of Anti-Life was somewhat chaotic, though not in a fun way.

    Huh. A special message to him? Go on, then, read it!

    ...It's likely also tricky to take with you via Greedyporting too, then.

    And Batman hears about that and says "And people think I'm crazy for having various things prepared?"

    Which does still rely on getting a wizard skilled enough to mess about with divine-level stuff.

    Come on, now. It's not that funny, is it?

    It's not like they hook up on social networks. And I'd be a little worried about whether the Gorgon's curse works through selfies...

    Man, most people wouldn't know what to do with their day with that quiet a life.

    Let me guess, now that she can look at people without killing them, she wants to actually do so?

    She'd certainly get attention from certain circles. Whether she'd enjoy that attention is another thing...

    How'd he get onto this line of investigation anyway? Poking around the site of Themyscira on behalf of the Greek government? Honestly, some subquest chains, you lose sight of the original goal once you're a couple of jobs deep...

    Ah, trouble awaits! Time for some action!

    Well, house-cleaning duty in Greece is done with, more or less. Time for OL to get back to more critical jobs. Like whatever Hawkwoman Fury is fighting. Because that reaction is not the reaction of someone called up for a pleasant chat, is it? I expect these little trouble spots are going to be popping up for a while yet. Especially as the really bad guys come out of the woodwork...



    (As for the snake hair's eyes, Vaermina, I assume the curse was bound specifically to the eyes humans would naturally look at first: the ones in her face.)


    Probably delete the highlighted part? Or change it to 'No, just the oven's fine.' :confused: Depending on perference.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2023
  28. draconomial

    draconomial Getting out there.

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    Snakes can't see colors or far away objects, though they do have good night "vision" being able to sense heat from several meters away.
     
  29. Signaller

    Signaller Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
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    I wonder if Adam Blake might have any ideas? Is he still dating Hera?
     
  30. Lord Ernest

    Lord Ernest At the End...

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2019
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    Wasn't he in Vega? Or am I confusing that fact with the one on Grayven's timeline?

    I think I remember him being involved with the extermination of Wombworld. Or am I mistaken?
     
    Cuchulin, Ardy and Firewillreign like this.
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