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Thread: Pantheons of the NeSiverse

  1. #81
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798
    Space Camelot: Space Snowflake
    Characters: King Arthur | Queen Guinevere | Prince Mordred | Morganna le Fay | Merlin the Younger | Sir Kay | Sir Lancelot | Sir Bedivere | Sir Galahad | Sir Tristram | Sir Caelia | Sir Red Rose Knight | Sir Black Knight | Sir Faerie Knight | Andy | Admiral Ltexi | Gamma Pans | Nerifian | Fayrie King | Monde | King Mark | Queen Iseult | Sir Gawain | Sir Greene Knight

    Humans smell weird.

    They don't smell bad. Just weird. A bit like soil or lettuce. Earth lettuce at that. And their bodies are all stretched out and long, while they have stumpy legs that must make them very slow when running. That's why they need those horse beasts to get around. And they wear clothing made from plants! That might be why they smell like lettuce.

    Gamma Pans is in the Observatory watching the humans going about their daily routines. Some are here for the view, others are here to meet with friends, while some seem to be making plans for the future and directing events. He doesn't recognise any of these humans. All the ones he is familiar with have gone down to a strange, new planet - and left him up here to do nothing. He had hoped he would be taken down to the planet Uranus too but, for some reason, he was either forgotten or not trusted enough. He had sulked for an hour, then took to people watching.

    Most people didn't actually seem to do anything here. Merlin, a short human child with the inability to grow human hair and a skin disease that turned her bright red on occasion, said that the ship itself was providing everything they needed with minimal input from them. It created food and new clothes, though most still wore the clothes they'd brought with them, and the ship needed little maintenance. Most people that are employed somewhere are employed to research - trying to figure out what most parts of this ship are actually for. It reminds him of his own status - research specimen and owner of the amulet, due for research too.

    Fear of his fellows and curiosity of an incredible future brought him up here. Frustration and isolation is going to kill him.

    And then, suddenly, he's being accosted.

    Strange Human: "Come on, son, let's see if you can be useful, eh?"

    The man seems to be more heavily dressed than most, having a thick furry cloak around his shoulders and a little hat on his head. The man is a little heavy-set, perhaps from eating more than other humans, and his voice is very soft with a rasp to it. Gamma is sure he's being very friendly but the X-Krypton can't figure out why or what the weird guy expects him to do.

    Gamma Pans: "Uh, where are you taking me?"

    Strange Human: "I was thinking that you may have a unique perspective on our little schemes. That and you looked terribly bored by yourself."

    Gamma has to concede to that point but he isn't sure what kind of perspective he could give on any human matter.

    He's led through the sparse crowds of the Observatory, beneath the swirling visual of the planet Uranus' clouds and the great machines floating in its orbit. He glances at some people who are having a picnic under the blue cast of light and he admires how humans do seem to appreciate aesthetics of the universe far more than his own people seem to.


    They reach a set of four, long tables that have been positioned into a square and on the tables are assorted papers. Some of the papers have writing but most have pictures on them, usually pictures of green things.


    There's a group of people around the tables, mostly discussing energetically or scurrying off to do something or perhaps pointing and inspecting things on the papers. Planning is definitely the word Gamma would use here.

    One woman looks up, her eyes drawn by the approach of the strange human Gamma is with. Her eyes meet his with a certain kind of respect, admiration but also a sadness that Gamma finds unusual. Then she looks at him and she brightens with excitement. She hops round the table, bustling with enthusiasm and energy. When she reached them her hands scoop up one of Gamma's and she wiggles up and down rapidly.

    He watches the action, perturbed.


    Strange Woman:
    "It's great that you decided to help us! An outside view will be really, really helpful."

    Gamma Pans: "Uh..."

    Strange Man: "Sorry, darling, I actually haven't given him much choice. I sort of just dragged him over here..."

    Strange Woman: "Och, how awful of ye."

    She gives the man a chastising smirk. She lifts up her green and white dress as she then turns and sweeps her free hand over the tables to indicate the work that they're doing.

    Strange Woman: "We're making colonisation plans, Custodian Pans. Huh, that rhymes!"

    Strange Man: "Mmmm, does it really?"

    He winces playfully. She puts her hands on her hips, attempting to garner authority.

    Gamma is amused that he's learning these human body expressions.


    Strange Woman:
    "Aye! It does! A wee bit anyway!"

    She then realises she's probably wrong and whips her head up.

    Strange Woman: "Pah! Who cares anyway? English is a stupid language."

    Strange Man: "Couldn't agree more, my dear. But that's the language of the realm and we have to put up with it."

    Strange Woman: "Oh right. I always forget yer native language is Cornish, not English. Ye Englanders are all the same to me!"

    Although a joke there's a sudden, brisk tension between them. Her eyes glance up at him but divert quickly back down to the tables and she pushes one of the papers into a new position and then fidgets with its corners. He just looks deeply lost for a moment before he sighs, waking up from whatever memory was just brought out of him.


    Strange Man: "You know, I just realised we haven't properly introduced ourselves to our alien guest."

    The woman is taken aback.

    Strange Woman: "Och! Ye dinnae introduce yerself when yer met him? Mark. You are forgetting yer manners the older ye get."

    She approaches Gamma and curtsies, lifting the sides of her dress and making a pretty, little bow.

    Strange Woman: "I'm Iseult, Princess of Ireland. Even though I feel more Scottish than Irish half the time."

    Gamma did detect a slight strangeness in her accent that seems different than other members of Arthur's crew, though Gamma has found many odd accents all over the place. A group seemed to be from the south of England and have similar sounding voices, while others hale from Cornwall, like this man, others yet from northern lands in England. Further still are lands named Wales, Ireland and Scotland - all of which have several accents of their own. But the hardest weren't the accents, truly, it is the dialect and when these people start talking to each other they spout the most unusual words and Gamma has no hope of keeping up with their gibberish. Sometimes he's certain he speaks better English than these supposed native speakers.

    Iseult: "And this insane but incredibly charming man is my husband, King Mark of Cornwall."

    Gamma looks up at Mark in surprise.


    Gamma Pans: "Another king?"

    King Mark chuckles and his bright eyes twinkle.

    King Mark: "That's right. I know it must be confusing to someone alien to our culture. I am King of Cornwall. It's a... sub-kingdom of Arthur's kingdom. I am... vassal to King Arthur."

    Gamma Pans frowns. These aliens and their strange ways.

    Gamma Pans: "I... see. I think."

    King Mark sweeps his arm around Gamma again. Gamma's shoulders are much higher than most humans' but Mark is taller than most and manages to comfortably rest his hand upon Gamma's left shoulder and steer him towards the tables where Iseult is standing.


    Queen Iseult: "We were thinking our knowledge of agriculture is really limited to just Earth and perhaps ye, being from Saturn, might be able to give us some more insight!"

    Mark adjusts the thin hat he wears, which Gamma now recognises has a crown attached to it while the middle of the crown is a black felt material to cover his hair. He has a slight hunch that seem to degrade him and make him more accessible to those that meet him, especially given his friendly nature and lack of pomposity or the arrogance of Arthur. Truly, Gamma suspects, Mark has made himself a king for the people rather than a king to rule over them. He puts his long fingers upon one of the drawings,

    King Mark: "Most of these drawings have been made by Sir Gawain-- speaking of whom."

    He looks up from the papers to see a knight approaching. This knight is wearing leather armour, thick than the thick suits of armour most knights are wearing, and over it is a pale green tabard with white checkers. He tabard seems almost robe-like, extending right down to the floor and is much thicker than the others'. His hair is muddy blonde and very untidy, looking like he may have cut it himself when it got in his eyes too much. In some way he actually looks quite like Arthur and Gamma Pans is left wondering as to the boy's lineage.

    Sir Gawain:
    "Hello there Custodian. I'm Sir Gawain. It's an honour to meet you. We did briefly meet each other on Saturn during the battle against the G-Kryptons. Quite a city that was. It's a shame the entire affair ended so..."

    Gamma Pans: "Badly?"

    He gives an uncertain wince.

    Sir Gawain: "I suppose. It was very confusing. I'd just started to learn some local cuisine too. That strange fish you cook was really tasty."

    Gamma Pans: "We... don't eat... fish..."

    The knight looks panicked.

    Sir Gawain: "Uh... now I'm worried about what I was eating..."

    King Mark: "I haven't seen old Palamedes for a while..."

    Gawain blanches.

    Iseult shakes her head, both at her husband's teasing and at Gawain's gullibility.

    Queen Iseult: "He's just joshing, ye daft git."

    King Mark: "Come on, lad, I'm sure it was just some local wildlife you were chomping on."

    Gawain nods, though his face is still white.

    King Mark: "It didn't taste like pork, did it?"

    Mark's voice is inquisitorial but even Gamma could tell he's continuing his little jibe.

    Sir Gawain: "A-a little! It was fishy but yes! Also a bit like pork! Does that mean--"

    Queen Iseult: "You didn't eat Sir Palamedes. I saw him just a few hours ago on his way to look at the engines."

    King Mark:
    "Ah. Mystery solved! Then again, I haven't seen Sir--"

    Queen Iseult:
    "And here comes the Greene Knight."

    They all look over to yet another knight approaching them. This knight is short but fairly bulky - though Gamma Pans realises that his armour is incredibly bulked up itself. He wears no tabard and his armour is entirely green - such as dark green that it is almost black. His armour features two large shoulder paldrons and large, heavy gauntlets that are probably very difficult to move in. Gamma instantly recognises that this man is not of the same lands as everyone else. His skin is not white, nor is it black or brown, but instead it is yellow and his eyes appear to have a distinct narrowing at the corners that makes his face all the more striking when he stands amongst the pale-skinned humans. Under his arm he holds his helmet, which has two long, red feathers protruding from it. Upon his face he has similar red marking around his eyes that must be created from paint. His hair is short on top but long at the back, tied into a small, thin tail. His hair is also a strange colour - green.

    Just went Gamma had been thinking he had seen all humanity had to offer.


    King Mark:
    "This is the Greene Knight. Uniquely suited to help us in our arboreal challenges ahead."

    Sir Greene Knight: "I think Sir Gawain would be more... useful, in all honesty. I can help in the beginning, certainly, but it's Sir Gawain's knowledge of plants that will prove most useful in the long term..."

    Sir Gawain: "Wow! Thanks! Coming from you that means a lot!"

    The young Gawain swells with pride, a huge beaming smile on his face.

    King Mark: "Well, I expect we'd all be dead during our first few days without you, Greene Knight. But you are quite right. Gawain, your services are invaluable."

    Sir Gawain:
    "Thank you, Your Highness."

    He bows.


    King Mark: "Just don't eat any more knights, okay?"

    Gawain's smile instantly turns down into a frown and he actually looks like he might cry. The Greene Knight actually gives Gawain a stare of anger, as though he also believes the words of the king.

    King Mark: "I'm just teasing you, Gawain. Relax."
    The Greene Knight also relaxes and Gamma wonders what his function actually is here.

    Gamma Pans: "So... what can I do to help you?"

    Queen Iseult: "As I said, alien worlds have different biology than ours. Wherever we settle, we'll need to think in new ways. We can't stick to our own understanding of Earth biology. So some understanding of the biology on your world will help us!"

    Gamma Pans: "Okay, I see. But even if you find a new world to settle, I doubt the biology there would be anything like Saturn or Earth..."

    Mark pats Gamma gently on the back.

    King Mark: "And you looked a little lonely out there by yourself."

    Gamma is embarrassed by the truth of that and disturbed that others had noticed it.


    Gamma Pans:
    "Oh! I was- I was alright by myself. Just getting used to things here, you know?"

    He looks are the strange vegetation that seems to be the foodstuff of Earth - or at least of Britannia.

    Gamma Pans: "But I'm more than happy to help! I think doing something will help me to understand humans better, right?"

    King Mark: "That's the spirit! First we should tell you what plants we have onboard that we'll be trying to sow on our new alien farms! Ever heard of a turnip? Sir Bedivere swears by them."

    Gamma Pans: "Is it anything like lettuce?"

    Maybe these people smell less like lettuce and more like turnips then.

    Sir Gawain: "This could take some time..."

    Then a voice echoes through the room. It's the voice of Tom a'Lincoln, the Red Rose Knight.

    Tom a'Lincoln: "Everybody, prepare to jump."

    Everyone groans with annoyance. Nobody likes to jump on this infernal machine. They all go to the walls and line up, ready to be glued in place for an uncomfortable minute or two.



    Arthur leans upon the wall of the walkway, which is made of the bronze-coloured magical material, and gazes up at the snowflake-shaped construct. It's certainly pretty to look at but he can't make neither heads nor tails of what it actually is.

    Sir Bedivere: "Do your people know where this spacecraft came from?"

    The Fayrie King nods and, like Arthur, leans upon the balcony - careful not to shove his hairy hands into the blue vines that are creeping even all the way up here. Arthur takes that as a testament to the history of these processors - the plants have managed to grow so, so high up its walls.

    Fayrie King: "It's from your world, I believe."

    The humans all look at each and frown.

    King Arthur: "It can't be, we're the first!"

    Prince Mordred: "Uh, except we found our spaceship, remember?"

    King Arthur: "Oh yeah..."

    Fayrie King: "It's all ancient history now. And I mean incredibly ancient history. We are beings of magic, native to Uranus, and the people of Earth came to our world and showed us such magical wonders we were astounded... even humiliated that they could understand us better than we understood ourselves. We already had a lot of techniques for using and generating aether or vril but these humans from Earth showed us how to improve our machinations and were the first to teach us of the orichalcum that they were using for everything."

    King Arthur: "Could he mean... the Egyptians? They do have those weird pyramid things there, right? Someone told me that once."

    Sir Bedievere: "I believe that was me. That's about as ancient as our history goes, so perhaps it was them."

    Fayrie King: "I have no idea what an Egyptian was, but I don't remember there being talk of pyramids from my lessons as a child... or in the archives, though I haven't exactly studied much history for a... long time. Anyway. That ship is also made entirely of magic."

    Sir Bedivere: "So it's made of orichalcum?"

    Fayrie King: "No... that would be this stuff."

    He tapped his knuckles against the hard, smooth material of the walkway wall. He then points at the snowflake ship.

    Fayrie King: "That is more akin to magic as energy. Plasma. Whatever people call it these days. It's simply magic itself - aether processed and turned into an energy state."

    Sir Bedivere: "If it's energy then how could it be a spaceship?"

    Fayrie King: "They didn't reveal all their secrets. Just enough to help their primitive neighbours."

    King Arthur: "Did you just neigh again?"

    Fayrie King:
    "I'm a zebra, not a horse. I believe I did mention this..."

    King Arthur: "I forget things."

    The zebra-head nods sagely.

    Fayrie King: "Me too."

    They stand, side by side, looking up at the snowflake.

    Fayrie King: "Do you think a lot of humans would like to come and... look at this thing?"

    Sir Bedivere: "Probably."

    Fayrie King: "Maybe we could build something here? For guests, I mean! I have heard of tourism from out on other fayrie colonies. Perhaps that could work here!"

    Just as an old spark of innovation finally hits a single member of the fayrie species, Monde's voice drones from inside.


    Monde: "It is almost time for your nap-nap."

    Fayrie King: "Right. Time for me to go."

    King Arthur: "You know, you don't have to do what the machine tells you to do, right?"

    The alien king stops and seems to ponder this, as though it's an entirely new revelation to him.

    Fayrie King: "But Monde knows what's best for us to live long and healthy lives. I think I had best follow its instructions. If I don't, I might become sleep deprived!"

    He shuffles slowly back inside.


    Fayrie King: "Come now, we should get you to the roof so that you can be collected by your friends. If they did travel here in your vessel... otherwise it's going to be a long wait for you."



    Arthur stumbles backward and lashes out to grab a hold of one of the straps hanging from the ceiling. Once his composure is regained, his anger hadn't.

    King Arthur: "Who in the in name of Christ is flying this thing!?"

    The knights aboard the space boat wince at their king's blasphemy but then wince at the potential anger he might exhibit once they tell him who's piloting.

    King Arthur: "Well!?"

    Sir Kay: "It's that pillock, Sir Robin, Arthur. I told them not to let the imbecile near the sticks but they wouldn't listen to me. Said he's so keen, and it's a simple trip, what's the worst he could do?"

    Sir Robin, from up front, shouts back;

    Sir Robin: "It's alright, mi-liege! I got this now! Jus' takes a a bit of gettin' used too, innit?"

    Arthur sours. He only let Sir Robin into his band of merry men because Robin is the prince of a Scottish king. Keeping the Scots in line by letting their prince on the round table seemed like a good idea at the time. Any prince of Scotland should have been an asset... then Sir Robin showed up two planks short.

    The ship wobbles.


    Sir Robin: "Aye, that's how it works then? Jus' move this thing about. Like this."

    The ship wobbles again.

    King Arthur: "Someone forcibly remove him from the cockpit before I do."

    Sir Robin: "Oh eh! What's this button do!?"

    There's a sudden whoosh of air that fills the ship, coming from the cockpit. Arthur and Kay rush to the front and peer up out of the hole in the cockpit roof. There they see the seat and Sir Robin whizzing upwards and away from the ship.

    There's a moment of silence.


    Sir Kay: "A noble and honorable death... that's what we tell them..."

    Another prolonged silence.

    Then Arthur finally groans as he hears Robin's squeals from somewhere outside.


    King Arthur: "Steer the ship so that he lands on the roof again and he can crawl inside..."

    Sir Kay: "We could be rid of him..."

    King Arthur: "I know... I know... but... I couldn't do that. Come on, Mordred. You give it a try."

    Prince Mordred: "But I've only had a couple of lessons!"

    King Arthur: "Show me what those lessons have taught you. Don't worry. Just do your best..."

    Sir Kay: "Hopefully his best isn't enough."

    King Arthur: "Then at least we tried, right?"

    Prince Mordred: "So if he dies, it's my fault?"

    King Arthur: "Never! If you fail, it's nobodies fault. We're not perfect beings, are we? We can only try our best!"

    Mordred slinks into the co-pilot seat, relieving the original pilot of his duty. The pilot could have done this easily enough but nobody wants this to be so easy, do they?

    Mordred steers the ship upwards. The seat has expelled a sheet that seems to be making Sir Robin's descent slower and easier to track. Much to Sir Kay's disappointment. Sir Galahad leans over the second control bank to help Mordred while Arthur and Kay go back into the waiting area of the boat to talk about the happenings on the planet, chatting away as though Sir Robin were in no danger and everyone is on a jolly trip home.

    The ship rises and rises until the seat is just above and slowly floating down towards them.


    Sir Robin: "Hey lads! Nice to ya again! Guess we know what that button does now, eh!?"

    Sir Galahad: "Uh... Mordred..."

    Prince Mordred: "What?"

    He looks up to see Galahad staring through the hole at Sir Robin.

    Sir Galahad: "I think... I think he's going to--"

    Galahad leaps aside as Sir Robin abruptly drops in through the hole, having ditched his seat. There's an audible snap and a scream of agony.

    Sir Galahad: "Why did you jump!!? We were coming up to get you!"

    Sir Robin: "Thought it'd be quicker, right? Blimely mi bloody leg! Christ! I think I'm dying!"

    There's a soft 'woohoo' from somewhere in the back.

    Prince Mordred: "What do we do, Galahad!?"

    Sir Galahad: "Uh... urm... I remember Sir Gawain taught me some things... let me try to... push it back."

    Sir Robin: "Eh!? Push it back!? You've gotta be mucking mi about!? You'll make it worse!"

    Arthur suddenly appears.

    King Arthur: "There, there man. Be brave! If you become a cripple, we'll make sure you're looked after. Go ahead, Sir Galahad... do your best."



    Sometime later, in the docking bay, Sir Gawain and Merlin are waiting to tend to Sir Robin's legs. Luckily Sir Galahad had saved the leg, or unluckily depending on who you ask, and Sir Robin would just need some time before he's back on his feet and ruining everyone's day.

    He's carried by Sir Kay and Sir Lancelot, the whole while him whimpering about his poor, old foot. Unlike the other two men, Sir Robin is very scrawny. He has a rough beard that looks like it's desperately trying to be manly but failing to be more than scruff.


    King Arthur: "Any information on that spaceship, Sir Red Rose Knight?"

    Tom a'Lincoln:
    "Not really. It's definitely a derelict. It looks like there's pieces missing from the structure. Merlin said it should be symmetrical, so based on that we can tell what parts are missing. She, Morganna, Caelia -- all the magical users, they've all had a good look and a... a feel? They can feel the magic. It's very strong, very potent. Morganna, especially, says it definitely feels like Earth magic but she says it's ridiculously old. Impossibly old, actually."

    King Arthur: "Anyway of boarding it?"

    Tom a'Lincoln: "None that we can see. Morganna thinks you'd probably need some magical skill to phase through the magical shell. Inside she thinks could be perfectly solid - protected by the magical energy field. In fact she's fancying up that inside could be magically projected too, so it wouldn't look as boring and bare as our ship."

    King Arthur: "But it is from Earth? How can that be!? Did Sir Caelia mention anything about her people and this?"

    They begin walking out of the hangar area, which is incredibly large and spacious so that dozens and dozens of the space boats can be lined up. They suddenly stop when they find one boat crashed into a wall.

    Arthur looks at Tom.


    Tom a'Lincoln: "I'm told it was Sir Robin..."

    Without further question they keep walking.

    Tom a'Lincon: "The Aes Sidhe have confirmed a story amongst them of a lost prince called Oberon who married a human girl and fled Albion. With the help of the humans he left the Earth to travel the stars with his bride. So they say, at least. They maintain it's a common story with many swearing it's based on truth. How much is true and what is legend, they don't know, but here we are with a magical ship from Earth and the story seems to back it up..."

    King Arthur: "Can't any of our magic users phase inside and... poke about? There could be some great stuff over there!"

    Tom a'Lincoln: "Nobody is willing, Sire."

    They start walking up the stairs.


    King Arthur: "What? Why!?"

    Tom a'Lincoln: "Morganna says it'd be crazy dangerous, while Caelia says she and her people would find it... offensive to go there. So she doesn't want to go."

    King Arthur: "We're going to miss out on a grand opportunity to... to..."

    Tom a'Lincoln: "Loot?"

    King Arthur: "Learn stuff! I mean, what happened to it? Why's it derelict?"

    Tom a'Lincoln: "I wonder if there's a connection between it and our ship... since ours was found on Earth. But it looks quite unlike that one..."

    King Arthur:
    "Indeed..."



    King Arthur: "End of the journey! Looks like we're blasting out of the solar system next! Best tell that half-naked woman she'll have to take her space boat back to that clone ship she called Hopeless!"

    Merlin: "She calls it The Hopeful, Sire."

    Tom a'Lincoln: "Actually there is another planet, Sire..."

    King Arthur: "What!?"

    Merlin sighs.

    Merlin: "It's not a planet, Sire, it's just a big rock."

    Tom a'Lincoln:
    "It is a planet. It's called Pluto. It's right here in the data logs."

    Merlin: "The logs don't consider it a planet, Red Rose Knight. It's two big rocks, one is Pluto and one is Charon. They're flying around each other. They're just grandiose asteroids. They're in the Kuiper Belt!"

    King Arthur: "Whose belt!?"

    Merlin: "Uh... it's the asteroid belt beyond Neptune. There's one between Mars and Jupiter too, but we skipped that one thanks to the Jupiterians. Now we just have to look at this Kuiper Belt. But really, it'd be very dangerous to go there."

    King Arthur:
    "Why?"

    Merlin: "Lots and lots of rocks."

    King Arthur:
    "Space rocks are very boring..."

    He glances up at Andy, who's silently standing in their company.

    King Arthur: "Present company excluded, Andy."

    He wiggles his fingers at Arthur - Andy's all-encompassing expression of understanding, cheerfulness, greetings, or other well-intentioned feelings that the rockman might be experiencing.


    King Arthur: "Okay! Skip it! Let's get out of this system and seek out new worlds and new civilisations! To boldy go--"

    Sir Bedivere: "To go boldy, Sire."

    King Arthur: "Uh, what? Why?"

    Sir Bedivere: "Split infinitives."

    Gamma Pans: "English is a very difficult language."

    King Arthur growls.

    King Arthur: "Alright, alright. Someone tell the big-bosomed lass to get off my ship. We're going where no man ha--"

    Merlin: "Or woman!"

    King Arthur:
    "Yes... where no one has gone before!"

    Gamma Pans: "Shouldn't that be 'has gone to'? Or maybe has been?"

    King Arthur: "What? No! Maybe? I don't know! Who cares! We're going! Just get Lady No-pants off the ship first before she thinks we're kidnapping her!"



    Down in the hangar, having left the Command Deck in the somewhat capable hands of the king, Merlin is standing with Admiral Ltexi.

    Merlin: "I've really enjoyed your company, Ltexi. I think I've learnt a lot."

    Admiral Ltexi: "Of course you have! I am a great teacher after all!"

    She grins.

    Admiral Ltexi: "But you are a great student too. So there's that. But I guess everything comes to an end. In all honesty I'm desperately craving for cinnabuns. And a nice bed. Our beds are wonderful, I have to tell you. Things hard surfaces on this ship -- pitiful. My back is killing me."

    Merlin: "You are rather top-heavy--"

    Merlin's eyes stare.

    Merlin: "I've heard that can give you back pain..."

    Admiral Ltexi: "Then I'd say we're biologically superior because they don't give me back pain... thsoe stupid beds do. Anyway. I hope you learn more about this ship, Merlin. One day maybe I'll come and find you in my own ship and we can compare notes!"

    Merlin bounces with excitement at the idea.

    Merlin: "I'd love that! I'm so happy I'll see you again, Miss Ltexi!"

    Admiral Ltexi: "Alright, calm down. If I bounced like that, I'd give myself a black eye. Yeesh."

    She turns to her own ship, ready to leave Camelot.

    Then a voice sounds over the speakers.


    Tom a'Lincoln: "Prepare to jump."

    Admiral Ltexi: "Oi! I haven't left yet!"

    Then Arthur's voice blurts out through the speakers;

    King Arthur: "Admiral Thunder-pants, you're too slow wherever you are! You'll have to come back here by yourself once we stop!"

    Admiral Ltexi: "You stupid swine, you can check the systems to see where I am! And hear me. Your king is a moron! Men are morons! No man should be left to run a ship, let alone a realm!"

    The two of them run for the walls and are dragged the rest of the way as the ship enters its jump phase. The world around them turns to blue, then red.

    But what Arthur didn't know is that Pluto is not just a boring old rock in space at all. In fact it is regularly known as the "Party Planet" and a major tourist destination for sentient beings from around the entire NeSiverse who are looking to get their groove on. Forever missed opportunities...
    Last edited by TheBritt; 10-18-2016 at 07:02 PM.

  2. #82

    Neith Lièrén, Founder of the Deep Void Rangers

    Billions of years ago, before "years" and "time" formed as ideas understood to humans of the NeSiverse, before the NeSiverse itself existed, another universe existed in its place. A universe glowing among countless others, dotting across the vastness of the Deep Void which stretches to the limits of Forever.

    A beautiful universe, filled with self-entitled souls spurning the awe-inspiring Nature of the Multiverse.

    Such thoughts sprung in the mind of Neith Lièrén, first-class venator of the Pan-Cosmic Command. Such thoughts were not hers to act upon, however, and whatever thoughts she presumed Command had in the orders they gave her was not hers to question. Her life began in the Deep Void, and her life would end in the Deep Void. So long as Command respected the nature of the Multiverse and the dark, desert wildnerness of existence known as the Deep Void, she cared for little else. She would scout for them, she would gather intelligence, and when the call demanded, she would hunt any self-righteous soul asked of her.

    Neith spied as a shepard of souls -- Galen, she learned -- did his own duty, day in and day out. Perhaps Command would leave this universe alone, given what she would have to report. Except one day, a man clad in black arrives. Curious. He installs thirteen strange hedrons not far from Galen. Not-so-curious. Clearly some petty assertion of ownership. She pets her sraiyj*, Kagegao, her trusted companion and carrier through the Deep Void. This mission would fall in the annals of drudgery for sure.

    *Sraiyjs, one of the few natural creatures of the Deep Void, often remained hidden within the folds of space-time as a defense from the particularly desperate netherwyrms hungry for a meal. When they surfaced, though, they resembled a dark mix of crocodile and horse-like deer. When lurking above the surface of space-time, they will lay flat, and when striking, they will rise their antler-horned heads and spring their legs into action, their manes and tails shimmering like the ends of comets.

    Disbelief washed over Neith when the Cosmic Destructors arrived. What were these things? Did Command send them? Command would never authorize such an action, not based on her reports, and yet they bore the insignia of the Pan-Cosmic Command on their sides. The insignias burned into her eyes as the Destructors annihilated the very fabric of the universe's existence, the very nature of the Multiverse. She brandished her favored weapon, what looked like a combination of a highly-advanced sniper rifle and longbow fused together. She pulls the cord of the bow back and cocks it into place. She lines up her sights upon one of the Cosmic Destructors billions of light years away, adjusting for the unfathomable distance. She fires, and to any surviving resident of that universe, they may have been briefly blinded by the cleanest crack the likes of which make a lightning of laser seem slow and dull.

    HIT!

    And yet the Cosmic Destructor still stands, damaged but still functional. Frustrated, she prepped her rifle-bow once more and fires, then again, again, and again. Finally, the single Cosmic Destructor falls, but as it does, it's clear to Neith that the universe is already doomed. There are simply too many of them, and she knows little about their nature to be effective at her distance. She watches in horror as the Cosmic Destructors raze the wondrous universe.

    The trauma settles within her even as a Voice ushers in a new universe in its place. The trauma pulls her into isolation, forever away from Command and away from the new life shining within this NeSiverse. Neith wanders the Deep Void as the Titans foster the universe with their creativity, and she protects the fledgling universe from would-be predators from other universes even as the God-Monarchs grow to subjugate it. When she finally notices and confronts the God-Monarchs, they in turn offer their vision and a seat among them. She nearly turned them down, had they not mentioned a familiar man in black..

    She flashed her teeth in predatory fashion. Self-righteous souls who care not for the nature of the Multiverse should be cursed, and she reveled in griefing such souls when Deep Nature provided.

    While the other God-Monarchs built Mega Jonestown Prime, Neith built up a division she would call Void Rangers. While the other God-Monarchs held dinners with high muckity-mucks, she trained her rangers in survival, tracking, and concentration within the hardships of the Deep Nature. While the other God-Monarchs taught their subjects to conform, Neith taught the Void Rangers independence and the strength of individuality, even among their trusted ride. While the other God-Monarchs grew cocky of their accomplishments, she drilled into the Void Rangers contingency plans upon contingency plans, should she ever not be at their side, for even if she would fail herself to protect this precious universe, she would not fail to have others try in her stead.

    On the day she would first confront this man in black, this Highemperor, she gazed upon her reflection in a mirror. Donned in dark dress fatigues and crowned in something that resembles a red bandana, Neith could be mistaken for an Egyptian goddess or anelite Chinese soldier of Earth, were it not for her elven-esque ears and her iris blacker than the Deep Void itself.

    Today, Neith would know her enemies.

  3. #83
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326

    Girls in the Fireplace (AKA Totally Not a Ripoff)

    DISCLAIMER: This post was originally inspired by a Doctor Who episode. I was blinded by my fanboyism of the series at the time, but now I find this post's content to be repugnant, and so I completely altered it. However, Geb and Britt the Writers both vehemently opposed the alteration of the post, maintaining that doing so is against the spirit of improvisation and collaboration that NeS and its spinoffs are based on. This is true, but I myself still vehemently despise the content of this post. As a compromise, I have agreed to leave the original post, but with this disclaimer at the top. In addition, the alteration I intended is added after the original post's content.

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    The Deep Void is strewn with universes like stars, bright points in the vast gulfs of nondimensional emptiness between cosmos. Many are like the NeSiverse, and many are not at all similar to it. It is in one of these many universes, far removed from the NeSiverse, where this post opens.

    In a galaxy, on a planet, within a palatial bedchamber, two young girls stir in their sleep. One of them nudges her twin.


    Girl #1: Psst! I'm cold, go turn up the fireplace!

    The other girl mumbles something sleepily, and her twin nudges her again more insistently, finally prompting a response.

    Girl #2: Whaaat?

    Girl #1: Go turn up the fireplace!

    Girl #2: We have servants for that sort of thing.

    Girl #1: Sure, but why bother them? And you're always embarrassed about anyone except Mummy and Da seeing you in your nightgown.

    Girl #2: Okay, but why don't YOU turn it up?

    Girl #1: Because I'm oldest!

    Girl #2: Only by a minute and a half...

    Despite her words, Girl #2 grudgingly rolls out of bed and pads over the floor to the fireplace, and kneels before it to adjust the nozzle.

    Man Cloaked in Black: Oh! Hello there.

    Girl #2 is startled as she suddenly realizes that the back of the fireplace is gone, and instead there is a vast chamber behind it, with a man crouching down to look through the fireplace at her!

    Girl #2: Em. Hello, sir. What are you doing in my fireplace?

    She is fascinated rather than scared. This man is a handsome stranger, with a strong face and kind eyes. The sort of charming prince she and her sister read about.

    Man Cloaked in Black: Well, there appears to be a space-time rip centered on this portal from this Deep Void vessel, though why the Pan-Cosmic Command wants to spy on a little girl is beyond me--

    He breaks off at the blank stare from the little girl.

    Man Cloaked in Black: Emm...I'm your fireplace inspector.

    [b]Girl #1:[/b} Who are you talking to?

    Girl #2: Come here! There's a man in there!

    Doubtfully, Girl #1 comes over to her sister, and is equally shocked to see the man cloaked in black.

    Man Cloaked in Black: Oh, I see! It's a cloning facility of some type!

    Girl #2: It is?!

    She appears shocked. Girl #1 rolls her eyes, and answers her twin before answering the man.

    Girl #1: No, doofus. We're twins, not clones.

    The man cloaked in black opens his mouth to reply, but is interrupted by a whooshing sound from some distance to his side, beyond the twin girls' vision.

    Man Cloaked in Black: Ah, I'll be right back. I have to go convince him that we're NOT ripping him off.

    He pauses.

    Man Cloaked in Black: Again.

    He stands to his feet and moves away, and then the wall of the fireplace is back, as if nothing had ever happened. The two girls look at each other, wondering if they were dreaming, before finally going back to bed, and eventually drifting back into slumber.

    A few months later, the girls are asleep one night as usual, but jerk awake as the fireplace rotates, revealing an identical fireplace, and from it steps the man cloaked in black.


    Girl #2: Sir?!

    Man Cloaked in Black: Hey, it's just me - the fireplace inspector? We just talked.

    Girl #1 regards him with some disdain but also curiosity.

    Girl #1: That was two months ago.

    The man cloaked in black frowns, and turns around to tap the fireplace.

    Man Cloaked in Black: Hmm, must be a loose connection.

    Girl #2: Why are you here?

    Man Cloaked in in Black: That is an excellent question. I'll answer with another question. Why are the Pan-Cosmic Command spying on two little girls, using a fireplace as a window?

    Girl #1: Not just a window, it seems. A door.

    Man Cloaked in Black: Indeed.

    He pivots around, eyes scanning the room, until his gaze fixes upon the clock set upon the mantle.

    Man Cloaked in Black: Ooh. That's not good.

    Girl #2: What's not good? It's just a clock.

    Man Cloaked in Black: Yeah, but it's broken. Looks like it was smashed. So here's another question...

    Girl #1 finishes his sentence in realization.

    Girl #1: Why do we still hear ticking?

    Clockwork Man: Technically, it's tocking.

    The girls jerk their heads around to see another man standing beside their bed. He appears to be a sort of clockwork robot.

    Clockwork Man: Honestly, it's a bit aggravating that organics can never tell the difference.

    [b]Man Cloaked in Black{/b] Fascinating. A Discharding clockwork man. Steampunk robots that gained sentience.

    He adds this last bit for the benefit of the girls.

    Man Cloaked in Black: Tell me what you want with these girls.

    Clockwork Man: Nothing.

    There is a pause.

    Clockwork Man: But the Pan-Cosmic Command wants her dead.

    He produces a blade from his sleeve. The two girls gasp. Girl #1 reaches for the bell rope to summon the bodyguards, but it has been cut. The gaze of the man cloaked in black hardens.

    Man Cloaked in Black: These girls are under my protection. Why do you want them dead?

    Clockwork Man: I told you, I don't.

    Man Cloaked in Black: Ugh, why are all robots so literal? Your bosses want them dead, and you're going to obey them, so close enough. Save the semantics for when it matters.

    Clockwork Man: You're still wrong. My bosses don't want them both dead. Only one.

    Girl #1: Which one?

    Girl #2 is clutching her sister's side, but Girl #1 shows no fear.

    Clockwork Man: Unknown. Cannot correlate records with youthful incarnations.

    Man Cloaked in Black: So one of these girls is going to grow up to become a threat to you, is that it? And you're going back in time to prevent that. But you don't know which one, so you're spying on their timeline until you can figure it out.

    Clockwork Man: That is correct.

    Man Cloaked in Black: Well you tell your bosses - these girls are under my protection. Both of them!

    He thrusts out his hand, and a line of glowing white light lances from his palm, spearing through the air to the clockwork man. As soon as the steampunk robot is touched by the light, it vanishes, disintegrated into atoms.

    The twin girls gasp in shock and delight.


    Girl #2: My hero!

    Her eyes are adoring.

    Girl #1: How did you do that?

    Her eyes are fiery with fascination and curiosity.

    Man Cloaked in Black: It's called powerplaying. You're more or less impressing your will on the universe, then inventing a reason, a metaphysical justification as it were, for your will to come to pass.

    Girl #1: Sounds like magic.

    Man Cloaked in Black: It's very similar, to be sure.

    The fireplace rotates again, bringing another man into the room, this one cloaked in red and brandishing a sword.

    Man Cloaked in Red: I heard the sounds of your super ray--

    Man Cloaked in Black: I keep telling you, it's not a super ray - it's a Mega Blast Type IX.

    Man Cloaked in Red: --and came to help!

    Man Cloaked in Black: Already took care of it. But there's more on that Deep Void vessel. Clockwork men from Discharding. Although they don't work for Discharding, they've taken up with the Pan-Cosmic Command.

    Man Cloaked in Red: Ugh, Discharding. Hated that place. So stuffy and full of politics, no one actually fights!

    The man cloaked in black rolls his eyes and ushers the man back to the fireplace, following him.

    Girl #2: Wait!

    The men pause.

    Girl #2: Who are you?

    Man Cloaked in Black: Oh! Silly me. I'm Highemp. My bloodthirsty friend is Soriel.

    Girl #2: Pleased to meet you! I'm Ameryl. My sister is Imeryn.

    Girl #1: We're princesses of the galactic realm!

    Highemp bows, his black cloak flapping.

    Highemp: A pleasure, ladies. Until next time. I shall endeavor to prevent any further clockwork men from reaching you.

    Then he and Soriel rotate with the fireplace back into the wall, and are gone.

    The next time the fireplace rotates for Highemp to emerge, it is daylight, and the rooom is empty.


    Highemp: Ameryl? Imeryn?

    He calls softly, not wishing to cause a ruckus. A lovely young lady enters, and starts to see him.

    Highemp: Hail! Sorry for the intrusion - are Imeryn and Ameryl around?

    The ghost of a smile appears on the girl's face, and she calls out the door.

    Young Lady: Ameryl! Come here!

    Highemp hears footsteps, then the door opens again as an identical young lady enters. Highemp's eyes widen in realization.

    Highemp: Oh, YOU'RE the twins. Damn, that really is a loose connection.

    Ameryl: It is rather rude of imaginary friends from one's childhood dreams to infringe upon one's waking adult life.

    Highemp: Er, sorry? I'm just trying to figure out why the Pan-Cosmic Command is after one of you. Soriel and I have scoured the vessel for clockwork men, but there are always more.

    Imeryn: Perhaps if you got to know us better, you'd be able to figure it out.

    Highemp: Well, perhaps a telepathic scan would be best--

    He is interrupted as Imeryn pulls him to her and snogs him.

    Hours later, on the Deep Void vessel operated by the Pan-Cosmic Command, Soriel is standing atop a heap of clockwork parts. Highemp comes in, staggering slightly, a glass of wine in his hand, his red sash tied about his head.


    Soriel: What took you so long?

    Highemp: I just snogged a princess! TWO princesses!

    Soriel: SILENCE, BLADE! Didn't the last princess you snogged die?

    Highemp glares.

    Highemp: That's a touchy subject, and not a pleasant memory, thankyouverymuch.

    Soriel shrugs.

    Soriel: I can't find any more clockwork men, and I've smashed all their production lines so the ship can't make any more - but the manufactory records indicate more clockwork men than we've destroyed.

    Highemp: We've searched the entire ship, so where could they--

    His eyes widen in horror.

    Highemp: They've marched en masse through a portal!

    He dashes back to the fireplace portal, brandishing his sword of white energy, and stops short as he sees Imeryn, sitting in a comfortable chair in her bedroom and sipping wine. Clockwork scrap litters the floor at her feet. She lights up to see him.

    Imeryn: Lover!

    Highemp: Oh - I guess you didn't need my help after all.

    Imeryn: But you did help - you taught me how to powerplay. Now I'm a great sorceress and queen of the galaxy!

    Highemp: Oh! Well, congratulations!

    Imeryn: Don't go this time. Stay with me. You shall be my King Consort, along with my Queen Consort.

    Highemp is tempted - he has been wandering for so long, and let's face it, he's a giant pervert who loves a menage a trois with two females.

    Highemp: Alright. Where's Ameryl?

    Imeryn's face darkens for just a moment.

    Imeryn: She has been banished. One cannot have any rival claimants to the throne.

    Highemp: No, I suppose not...

    Imeryn: Now come, greet me properly, and kiss me as you did six months ago.

    She stands to her feet, and now Highemp notices that her belly is round and swollen with child.

    Imeryn: And you can feel our heir kicking in my womb.

    She snogs him, and Highemp returns in kind. He thinks about asking if Ameryl was pregnant too, but decides it's unwise to ask.

    And so Imeryn and Highemp and the Queen Consort - a former peasant girl - live happily together. Soriel serves as a royal enforcer, sent out to trouble spots throughout the galaxy where he exults in putting down rebellions in as bloody a manner as possible.

    Imeryn gives birth to a healthy baby girl, and they name her Chimaat, 'daughter of destiny'. The daughter of two powerplayers, she possesses an unfathomable affinity for all manner of supernatural energies, as well as being highly resistant to any hostile or unwanted supernatural effects, be they from a cosmic, mystic, psionic, or any other source.

    One day many years later, when Chimaat is 8 years old - the same age her mother and aunt were when they met Highemp - she is sparring in an arena. Swordmasters, archmages, deadly creatures, and psionic champions face off together against her, and she defeats them all, her powers deflecting all their attacks as she knocks them all unconscious with blasts of multiple types of supernatural energy.

    Highemp, watching from a balcony above, sighs heavily. He knows it is time. He realized a few months ago, and he can put it off no longer. He turns to his lover, Imeryn, who is standing beside him, beaming proudly down at their daughter.


    Highemp: Imeryn, love...I have to go.

    She catches the tone in his voice, and frowns at him.

    Imeryn: Why?

    Highemp: I've told you of the writer who controls my destiny.

    Imeryn: Yes, a sort of personal deity. Chimaat once asked if that meant he was your guardian angel.

    They both smile briefly at the memory.

    Highemp: He always, without fail, ends my happy romances in dramatic tragedy. I don't know why, it's as though he's justifying his own circumstances by making mine tragic. But Chimaat is powerful enough to protect herself without me, and if I leave now, perhaps I can avert the tragedy.

    Imeryn squeezes his hand.

    Imeryn: We can work together to thwart your Writer. We're the two greatest powerplayers in the multiverse, surely we can do it!

    Highemp shakes his head regretfully.

    Highemp: He is the source of my powers. And a fragment of his soul resides within me. I am literally unable to fight him, though I often rail at him. I have to leave, I'm doing this to protect you both.

    Imeryn: Then I will wait for you. Some day, you may appease your writer, and come back to us.

    He kisses her, and bids his beloved daughter a tender farewell.

    Chimaat continues to grow, and bereft of her happy life with Highemp, Imeryn's ambitions rise to the fore. She conquers and conquers, expanding her queendom to multiple galaxies, then to a universe, then across multiple universes.

    Chimaat fights in these wars of conquest, but eventually leaves to wander and find her own path. Her mother is immortal and needs no heir, and Chimaat wishes to find something that will bring her father back to them, and to claim her fate somewhere in the multiverses.

    After her daughter's departure, Imeryn stumbles upon the Stronghold of Powerplayers and attempts to claim their throne. Her ruthless amibitions, coupled with her long-buried anger and sorrow at her separation from Highemp, boil over into seething vengeance when she learns that the throne is reserved for none other than her onetime lover.


    Imeryn: Is it not enough that he abandons me and my daughter, but he must also usurp that throne which should rightfully be mine? I declare him, now and forever, my foe, and name foes all who stand with him!

    So the war begins, before Imeryn is eventually driven back and escapes to the NeSiverse, where she founds Mega Jonestown Prime and assembles the God-Monarchs. One day, a familiar stranger comes to her grand space city.

    Chimaat: Hello, mother.

    Her daughter still appears youthful, same as her half-sister Kimleigh, but her eyes are ancient, the same as her father's. Her power is beyond reckoning, perhaps even beyond that of her mother, and she takes a seat one of the God-Monarch's thrones.

    Elsewhere and elsewhen, Highemp finally ends his wanderings, claiming his destiny as leader of the Stronghold of Powerplayers and conquering a massive and grandiose High Empire. By this time, his writer has relented, and allows him all the happy romances he wants; but Imeryn is still embittered and will not allow him to return to her. One day, a familiar stranger comes to his great capital of Urbs Dei, beyond Forever.


    Chimaat: Hello, father.

    She is a powerplayer almost without peer, and takes a seat as one of the Entities that comprise the greatest Powerplayers in the High Empire, the High Pantheon of the Throne. She has wandered so far and so wide, throughout time and space, through dimensions above and below, that her timeline is twisted and tangled and gnarled beyond comprehension. As Powerplaying God, she remembers her time as a God-Monarch, and as God-Monarch, she remembers her time as a Powerplaying God.

    But she can no longer tell if she is remembering her past, or remembering her future. Or perhaps she does know, and keeps her secrets.

    As Powerplaying God, she is friends with the Indigo Shade and Kimleigh, both her half-sisters. As God-Monarch, she applauds the Indigo Shade's rebellion and mourns Kimleigh's death.

    In both roles, her power is unfathomable. She commands unthinkable amounts of supernatural power - cosmic, divine, psionic, mystic, and more, and she binds all her knowledge and secrets into a thick tome of infinite pages.

    As God-Monarch of Mega Jonestown Prime, billions of years before the NeSiverse's present day, she joins her fellow uber deities in cherry picking the best and most powerful artifacts of the multiverse to customize and empower the NeSiverse that they have chosen as their home. Chimaat herself diverts ley lines - of fate, of magic, of quintessence, of reality - from many multiverses into the NeSiverse, and they are all centered on Earth, to be the crown jewel of their domain against Highemp.

    But Chimaat prays a secret prayer...


    Chimaat: Save my father. O Writer of Writers, save him from his personal writer. Save him from himself.

    So when the WriterGod usurps Earth and humanity on behalf of the Ancient One, declaring the planet sacrosanct, the other God-Monarchs fume. But Chimaat smiles, for she senses a far larger plan at work. So many schemes and empires under the purview of the most uber deities and muckity-mucks ever, and yet an unassuming little god can thwart them all.

    And when Mega Jonestown Prime departs the known NeSiverse for parts unknown, secreted away for eons, Chimaat leaves behind her tome with the local cosmic god of magic, the Runekeeper. And she takes up a hobby, at her mother's suggestion.


    Imeryn: Daughter dear, you really should get some worshippers.

    Chimaat: I do. We all do.

    Imeryn: Those are the beings who worship us all as a pantheon. You need your own personal worshippers, the way I have my PUDDAFs, Typhon has his Derkesthai, Minos has his alitaurs, Yannah has her toastinators, and Dave has his Daves.

    Chimaat thinks.

    Imeryn: Something grandiose and fitting of an uber powerplayer and deity. Perhaps a synthesis of multiple races? Such as the way I amalgamated phoenixes, unicorns, dragons, demons, angels, and fairies!

    Chimaat: I've got it!

    She has cast her sight across the multiverse, before settling on something from the NeSiverse's own future. She has a fondness for this universe, having been instrumental in its early rule, as well as the fact that it's her father's origin and her mother's chosen home.

    Chimaat: Turnips. I shall be a goddess of turnips!

    Imeryn: What?! Surely you must be joking.

    [b]Chimaat:[/i] I'm Chimaat your daughter, not Shirley your jester.

    Imeryn: But why turnips of all things? They're so... dull.

    Chimaat: And therein lies the draw. Through worship of me, they shall be uplifted into beings greater than even PUDDAFs, and all shall know how great I truly am!

    Imeryn: Brilliant! I am proud of you, my daughter.

    Chimaat: Thanks, mum.

    She is indescribably ancient from her long wanderings, probably far older than her mother at this point. So she has no need for her parents' approval - but it's still nice when it happens.

    Imeryn: Now if only I could get you to start drinking wine instead of tea...

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    Non-Story Note: Here ends the content of the original post. Following is the altered content that I wished to introduce. Due to Geb and Britt's objections (as noted in the Disclaimer above), the following altered content is NOT CANON. (It has the alternate post title 'Star-Crossed Romance'.)

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    The Deep Void is strewn with universes like stars, bright points in the vast gulfs of nondimensional emptiness between cosmos. Many are like the NeSiverse, and many are not at all similar to it. It is in one of these many universes, far removed from the NeSiverse, where this post opens.

    In a galaxy, on a planet, within a palatial bedchamber, two young women recently come of age at 18 stir in their sleep.


    Woman #1: Stop making noise!

    Woman #2: I'm not making noise!

    Assassinbot: What, you can hear me?

    The two women jerk upright in bed to regard the interloper into their quarters.

    Woman #2: Eek!

    Woman #1: Oi! Get out of here before I call the guards!

    Man Cloaked in in Black: Actually, it's probably me you heard. Swishing cape and all that.

    The women whip their hands around in shock to regard the handsome stranger.

    Woman #2: Oh my! Are you here to save us?

    Woman #1: And what are you doing in our bedchamber?!

    Man Cloaked in Black: That is an excellent question. I was tracking this assassinbot.

    He turns to the robot.

    Man Cloaked in Black: Why are the Pan-Cosmic Command sending an assassinbot after two young women? Tell me what you want with them.

    Assassinbot: Nothing.

    There is a pause.

    Assassinbot: But the Pan-Cosmic Command wants her dead.

    He produces a blade from his sleeve. The two women gasp. Woman #1 reaches for the bell rope to summon the bodyguards, but it has been cut. The gaze of the man cloaked in black hardens.

    Man Cloaked in Black: These women are under my protection. Why do you want them dead?

    Assassinbot: I told you, I don't.

    Man Cloaked in Black: Ugh, why are all robots so literal? Your bosses want them dead, and you're going to obey them, so close enough. Save the semantics for when it matters.

    Assassinbot: You're still wrong. My bosses don't want them both dead. Only one.

    Woman #1: Which one?

    Woman #2 is clutching her sister's side, but Woman #1 shows no fear.

    Assassinbot: Unknown. Cannot correlate records with pre-aggrandizement incarnations.

    Man Cloaked in Black: So one of these women is going to become a threat to you in the future, is that it? And you're going back in time to prevent that. But you don't know which one, so you're spying on their timeline until you can figure it out.

    Assassinbot: That is correct.

    Man Cloaked in Black: Well you tell your bosses - these women are under my protection. Both of them!

    He thrusts out his hand, and a line of glowing white light lances from his palm, spearing through the air to the assassinbot. As soon as the robot is touched by the light, it vanishes, disintegrated into atoms.

    The twin women gasp in shock and delight.


    Woman #2: My hero!

    Her eyes are adoring.

    Woman #1: How did you do that? We can cast spells, but they require a bit of time to cast!

    Her eyes are fiery with fascination and curiosity.

    Man Cloaked in Black: It's called powerplaying. You're more or less impressing your will on the universe, then inventing a reason, a metaphysical justification as it were, for your will to come to pass.

    Woman #1: Sounds like magic. With fewer limits than spells.

    Man Cloaked in Black: It's very similar, to be sure.

    Another man leaps into the room through the window, this one cloaked in red and brandishing a sword.

    Man Cloaked in Red: I heard the sounds of your super ray--

    Man Cloaked in Black: I keep telling you, it's not a super ray - it's a Mega Blast Type IX.

    Man Cloaked in Red: --and came to help!

    Man Cloaked in Black: Already took care of it. An assassinbot working for the Pan-Cosmic Command.

    Man Cloaked in Red: Ugh, hated them. So stuffy and full of law and order, no one actually revels in battle!

    The man cloaked in black rolls his eyes and ushers the man back to the window, following him.

    Woman #2: Wait!

    The men pause.

    Woman #2: Who are you?

    Man Cloaked in Black: Oh! Silly me. I'm Highemp. My bloodthirsty friend is Soriel.

    Woman #2: Pleased to meet you! I'm Ameryl. My sister is Imeryn.

    Woman #1: We're princesses of the galactic realm!

    Highemp bows, his black cloak flapping.

    Highemp: A pleasure, ladies. Until next time.

    Soriel has already leapt out the window, but Ameryl forestalls Highemp's departure.

    Ameryl: It would be rather rude of us not to reward you.

    Highemp: Eh, don't worry about it. I'm just an itinerant wanderer.

    Imeryn: I'm sure we can work something out.

    She stands out of the bed, her curvaceous figure draped by her nightgown.

    Highemp: No, really, it's fine--

    He is interrupted as Imeryn pulls him to her and snogs him.

    Hours later, far away, Soriel is standing atop a heap of destroyed robot parts; they had no relation to the assassinbot, but the swordsman had to sate his craving for combat somehow! Highemp comes in, staggering slightly, a glass of wine in his hand, his red sash tied about his head.


    Soriel: What took you so long?

    Highemp: I just snogged a princess! TWO princesses!

    Soriel: SILENCE, BLADE! Didn't the last princess you snogged die?

    Highemp glares.

    Highemp: That's a touchy subject, and not a pleasant memory, thankyouverymuch.

    Soriel shrugs.

    Soriel: I couldn't find any more assassinbots, so I made do with these.

    Highemp: We should still do a more thorough investigation, see if the Pan-Cosmic Command will send more after them.

    Soriel: As long as it involves chopping and slashing, I'm game...

    Some months later, Highemp leaps in through the window of the princesses' bedchamber again, brandishing his sword of white energy.

    Highemp: It's the PCC, they're sending more assassinbots after--

    He stops short as he sees Imeryn, sitting in a comfortable chair in her bedroom and sipping wine. Robotic scrap litters the floor at her feet. She lights up to see him.

    Imeryn: Lover!

    Highemp: Oh - I guess you didn't need my help after all.

    Imeryn: But you did help - you taught me how to powerplay. Now I'm a great sorceress and queen of the galaxy!

    Highemp: Oh! Well, congratulations!

    Imeryn: Don't go this time. Stay with me. You shall be my King Consort, along with my Queen Consort.

    Highemp is tempted - he has been wandering for so long, and let's face it, he's a giant pervert who loves a menage a trois with two females.

    Highemp: Alright. Where's Ameryl?

    Imeryn's face darkens for just a moment.

    Imeryn: She has been banished. One cannot have any rival claimants to the throne.

    Highemp: No, I suppose not...

    Imeryn: Now come, greet me properly, and kiss me as you did six months ago.

    She stands to her feet, and now Highemp notices that her belly is round and swollen with child.

    Imeryn: And you can feel our heir kicking in my womb.

    She snogs him, and Highemp returns in kind. He thinks about asking if Ameryl was pregnant too, but decides it's unwise to ask.

    And so Imeryn and Highemp and the Queen Consort - a former peasant girl - live happily together. Soriel serves as a royal enforcer, sent out to trouble spots throughout the galaxy where he exults in putting down rebellions in as bloody a manner as possible.

    Imeryn gives birth to a healthy baby girl, and they name her Chimaat, 'daughter of destiny'. The daughter of two powerplayers, she possesses an unfathomable affinity for all manner of supernatural energies, as well as being highly resistant to any hostile or unwanted supernatural effects, be they from a cosmic, mystic, psionic, or any other source.

    One day many years later, Chimaat is sparring in an arena. Swordmasters, archmages, deadly creatures, and psionic champions face off together against her, and she defeats them all, her powers deflecting all their attacks as she knocks them all unconscious with blasts of multiple types of supernatural energy.

    Highemp, watching from a balcony above, sighs heavily. He knows it is time. He realized a few months ago, and he can put it off no longer. He turns to his lover, Imeryn, who is standing beside him, beaming proudly down at their daughter.


    Highemp: Imeryn, love...I have to go.

    She catches the tone in his voice, and frowns at him.

    Imeryn: Why?

    Highemp: I've told you of the writer who controls my destiny.

    Imeryn: Yes, a sort of personal deity. Chimaat once asked if that meant he was your guardian angel.

    They both smile briefly at the memory.

    Highemp: He always, without fail, ends my happy romances in dramatic tragedy. I don't know why, it's as though he's justifying his own circumstances by making mine tragic. But Chimaat is powerful enough to protect herself without me, and if I leave now, perhaps I can avert the tragedy.

    Imeryn squeezes his hand.

    Imeryn: We can work together to thwart your Writer. We're the two greatest powerplayers in the multiverse, surely we can do it!

    Highemp shakes his head regretfully.

    Highemp: He is the source of my powers. And a fragment of his soul resides within me. I am literally unable to fight him, though I often rail at him. I have to leave, I'm doing this to protect you both.

    Imeryn: Then I will wait for you. Some day, you may appease your writer, and come back to us.

    He kisses her, and bids his beloved daughter a tender farewell.

    Chimaat continues to grow in power and skill, and bereft of her happy life with Highemp, Imeryn's ambitions rise to the fore. She conquers and conquers, expanding her queendom to multiple galaxies, then to a universe, then across multiple universes.

    Chimaat fights in these wars of conquest, but eventually leaves to wander and find her own path. Her mother is immortal and needs no heir, and Chimaat wishes to find something that will bring her father back to them, and to claim her fate somewhere in the multiverses.

    After her daughter's departure, Imeryn stumbles upon the Stronghold of Powerplayers and attempts to claim their throne. Her ruthless amibitions, coupled with her long-buried anger and sorrow at her separation from Highemp, boil over into seething vengeance when she learns that the throne is reserved for none other than her onetime lover.


    Imeryn: Is it not enough that he abandons me and my daughter, but he must also usurp that throne which should rightfully be mine? I declare him, now and forever, my foe, and name foes all who stand with him!

    So the war begins, before Imeryn is eventually driven back and escapes to the NeSiverse, where she founds Mega Jonestown Prime and assembles the God-Monarchs. One day, a familiar stranger comes to her grand space city.

    Chimaat: Hello, mother.

    Her daughter still appears youthful, in a similar manner to how her half-sister Kimleigh had preserved her own youth, but her eyes are ancient, the same as her father's. Her power is beyond reckoning, perhaps even beyond that of her mother, and she takes a seat one of the God-Monarch's thrones.

    Elsewhere and elsewhen, Highemp finally ends his wanderings, claiming his destiny as leader of the Stronghold of Powerplayers and conquering a massive and grandiose High Empire. By this time, his writer has relented, and allows him all the happy romances he wants; but Imeryn is still embittered and will not allow him to return to her. One day, a familiar stranger comes to his great capital of Urbs Dei, beyond Forever.


    Chimaat: Hello, father.

    She is a powerplayer almost without peer, and takes a seat as one of the Entities that comprise the greatest Powerplayers in the High Empire, the High Pantheon of the Throne. She has wandered so far and so wide, throughout time and space, through dimensions above and below, that her timeline is twisted and tangled and gnarled beyond comprehension. As Powerplaying God, she remembers her time as a God-Monarch, and as God-Monarch, she remembers her time as a Powerplaying God.

    But she can no longer tell if she is remembering her past, or remembering her future. Or perhaps she does know, and keeps her secrets.

    As Powerplaying God, she is friends with the Indigo Shade and Kimleigh, both her half-sisters. As God-Monarch, she applauds the Indigo Shade's rebellion and mourns Kimleigh's death.

    In both roles, her power is unfathomable. She commands unthinkable amounts of supernatural power - cosmic, divine, psionic, mystic, and more, and she binds all her knowledge and secrets into a thick tome of infinite pages.

    As God-Monarch of Mega Jonestown Prime, billions of years before the NeSiverse's present day, she joins her fellow uber deities in cherry picking the best and most powerful artifacts of the multiverse to customize and empower the NeSiverse that they have chosen as their home. Chimaat herself diverts ley lines - of fate, of magic, of quintessence, of reality - from many multiverses into the NeSiverse, and they are all centered on Earth, to be the crown jewel of their domain against Highemp.

    But Chimaat prays a secret prayer...


    Chimaat: Save my father. O Writer of Writers, save him from his personal writer. Save him from himself.

    So when the WriterGod usurps Earth and humanity on behalf of the Ancient One, declaring the planet sacrosanct, the other God-Monarchs fume. But Chimaat smiles, for she senses a far larger plan at work. So many schemes and empires under the purview of the most uber deities and muckity-mucks ever, and yet such an unassuming seemingly minor god can thwart them all.

    And when Mega Jonestown Prime departs the known NeSiverse for parts unknown, secreted away for eons, Chimaat leaves behind her tome with the local cosmic god of magic, the Runekeeper. And she takes up a hobby, at her mother's suggestion.


    Imeryn: Daughter dear, you really should get some worshippers.

    Chimaat: I do. We all do.

    Imeryn: Those are the beings who worship us all as a pantheon. You need your own personal worshippers, the way I have my PUDDAFs, Typhon has his Derkesthai, Minos has his alitaurs, Yannah has her toastinators, and Dave has his Daves.

    Chimaat thinks.

    Imeryn: Something grandiose and fitting of an uber powerplayer and deity. Perhaps a synthesis of multiple races? Such as the way I amalgamated phoenixes, unicorns, dragons, demons, angels, and fairies!

    Chimaat: I've got it!

    She has cast her sight across the multiverse, before settling on something from the NeSiverse's own future. She has a fondness for this universe, having been instrumental in its early rule, as well as the fact that it's her father's origin and her mother's chosen home.

    Chimaat: Turnips. I shall be a goddess of turnips!

    Imeryn: What?! Surely you must be joking.

    Chimaat: I'm Chimaat your daughter, not Shirley your jester.

    Imeryn: But why turnips of all things? They're so... dull.

    Chimaat: And therein lies the draw. Through worship of me, they shall be uplifted into beings greater than even PUDDAFs, and all shall know how great I truly am!

    Imeryn: Brilliant! I am proud of you, my daughter.

    Chimaat: Thanks, mum.

    She is indescribably ancient from her long wanderings, probably far older than her mother at this point. So she has no need for her parents' approval - but it's still nice when it happens.

    Imeryn: Now if only I could get you to start drinking wine instead of tea...
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 10-03-2018 at 02:24 AM.

  4. #84
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow God-Monarchs: The Final Monarch

    The ship slides through the solar winds as it crosses the depths of space. The ship had never really been designed for this, but Archadmiral Rozariel Blakilshihård Lo likes to have her kit upgraded and modified to overcome such little obstacles as 'impossible' and 'breaking the laws of physics'. All in a powergamers day.

    She stands at the helm and swings the wheel to alter their course and the solar sails shift their glittering panels. The hull of the ship is made from the a peculiar crystalline material that is commonly used by the High Empire and grown in galaxies unknown to most. Coating her ship in the material was not only a stroke of genius - adding not only to the value of her ship, but the shininess as well - but it's a big 'in your eye' to the hated Highemperor and his cronies. Hanging to the side of the ship is a miniature gravity well generator that will anchor the ship in place when they finally reach their destination.


    They could have just teleported there in an instant but Lo likes to play with her name and sees no need to rush. Fortunately her two companions don't mind either. Din is practically a child in mind and seems to enjoy standing at the prow and holding her arms out like a lunatic. Din's pleasure in the simple sensations of existence is an attractive quality to Lo and she feels somewhat justified in her own long-standing stance on 'experience' over the 'end result'. Her other companion is Zhuge who, oddly enough, seems only ever to teleport himself around and that being his only power known to the other God-Monarchs. Everyone knows there's more than that, they can sense it, but he never shows it. No worshippers, no temples and zero presence amongst the others. Only Lo seems content with having him around and, uncannily, she's about the only God-Monarch Zhuge is happy to be around as his disdain for the others is also commonly known.

    Zhuge is sitting by the mast with a pipe and he stares out into the cosmos at galaxies unknown. Lo, however, has her eyes on the prize. Getting Zhuge to come out of his hermitage, his own astral plane masked somewhere ridiculous (this time a half-eaten oreo in the middle of a universe made entirely of paper. And honestly who eats only half an oreo!?), had been a nuisance but getting Din to join her had taken just three words; let's get shiny.


    Din certainly liked Lo's ship, which Lo named "Highemp's My *****"--

    Lo: "What? My ship does not say asterisks-asterisks-asterisks-asterisks-asterisks!"

    She leans over the side and sees that it does, indeed, read
    "Highemp's my *****".

    Lo: "Alright! Which one of you cretins censored the title of my ship!?"

    She turns and glowers at her crew, who are also her most devout followers and regularly attend "The Church of Skull Rock" when not aboard her vessel. They quickly line up like naughty school children who have forgotten to do their homework and then proceed to point accusingly at each other.

    Zhuge, languidly, puffs out some blue smoke from his ornate pipe.


    Zhuge: "I suspect the CensorGod paid you a visit, Madam Lo..."

    Lo: "The CensorGod!? How dare he!? That's it! I'm starting a new set of God-Monarchs tasked to destroy the CensorGod so we can all swear as much as we ****ing please!"

    Zhuge: "Perhaps if you were to meet the CensorGod half way and simply asterisk a single letter of your title?"

    His pipe hangs from his beak, it's made of oak but has been well smoothed and polished out. The pipe bears an inscription in the language often considered to be the 'first language to exist', which Zhuge would tell them is utterly stupid. Everyone should know that English was the first language and that's why it's so common and every other language desperately tries to catch up. Only stands to reason.

    Lo eyes him, hands on her hips with her long coat-tails cast back.


    Lo: "How are you smoking that with no lips anyway? You needs lips to smoke pipes."

    Zhuge: "Says the woman sailing a galleon through space..."

    Lo: "Touché. Well... maybe I can call it Highemp's My B*tch and let the CensorGod have his asterisk. And if that's not good enough I'll ****ing wipe his ****ing head into a ****ing lamppost."

    Zhuge: "How terribly graphic you can be, Madam Lo..."

    The crew all glance at each other, happy they seem to be in the clear but nervous that Lo might test her lamppost technique on one of them for ever listening to the CensorGod to begin with.

    She glares at them.


    Lo: "What're you landlubbers standing around for, eh? Get the rigging in place, we're almost at our destination! Someone get back in that crow's nest up there!"

    She thrusts a furry finger mastwards where there's an outlook for spotters - and a bunch of space crows flying around it. What's the difference between a normal crow and a space crow, I hear you ask? One is in space. And wears little space helmets. One step for Lo is a giant leap for crow-kind and she's happy to let them tag along so long as she gets to make stupid crow's nest jokes every now and again.

    She returns to the wheel while her crew run off to pretend to be working busily when, really, most of the ship ran itself - or rather it ran by whatever Lo wanted it to be doing.

    The ship sails silkily around a large planet populated by Orion Slavemasters, slipping across its atmosphere like a ship sailing on smooth lake waters, and glides off towards its final point.


    Lo: "There she is!"

    Zhuge rises to his talons to get a look at this mysterious quest Lo has taken him on. He walks slowly towards the prow where Din looks at him glumly.


    Din: "It a big box."

    Zhuge: "Indeed it is a very big box."

    Lo saunters down the ship after them.

    Lo: "You've no imaginations, either of you! Come on now! It's not just a big box! It's a treasure chest!"

    She reaches them and gazes up at the gigantic cube that floats in space like an irregularly shaped planet. She does remember the High Empire owning a few planets in a universe where all the planets were square - the Highemperor was so disturbed by the weird shape he had his people terraforming their worlds to chisel off the corners so they'd be more rounded. They stopped trying to conquer that galaxy because of the effort it took to go round chiselling each planet they took. Even the asteroids looked like blocks from Minecraft whizzing about through space.

    Zhuge: "Lo... do you even know what this is?"

    Lo: "I just told you, a treasure chest!"

    Zhuge: "That's a no then. Just because something has mysterious contents, it doesn't mean it's treasure."

    Din: "No shinies!?"

    Zhuge and Lo glance at each other with a certain panic. Zhuge had once been the match for any powergamer, including Highemperor himself, but having renounced that life he only uses his powers to keep himself hidden away in his seclusion. Usually trying to keep out of Highemperor's sights, lest the imperial ruler again attempt to pester him into joining his cause. Repeatedly.

    Lo on the other hand has always been overly reliant on her loot instead of her own talents. Powergaming comes in all shapes and sizes, and all manner of tricks and techniques. In her case it's acquiring awesome booty with which to achieve awesomeness.


    Din, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have diminished in her raw power and tends to show a tendency to use it upon the slightest whim. This makes her dangerous to everyone, including her supposed allies. Zhuge, frankly, often wonders if he'd made the right choice in aiding these power-mongering fools in their quest against Highemperor. The Highemperor is truly dangerous and will, if unchecked, destroy the NeSiverse with his idiotic thirst for attention and self-aggrandisement. But to defeat Highemperor it seems that his allies would resort to the untamed and uncontrollable powers of immensely powerful beings that Zhuge also believes ought to be brought down too. Din is probably just as dangerous to the NeSiverse as Highemperor, only at the opposite scale. Highemperor seeks dominance through order and control while this wild spirits only seeks to satisfy her impulses. Only her naïveté sways his opinion as she may well mature into someone responsible and wise. He was young and stupid himself and he believes everyone deserves the oppotunity to learn and resolve the errors of their ways. But as a daughter of Chaos is it even possible for this illuminous woman to learn control? She despises the very concept, so perhaps even self-control is an anathama to her?

    Zhuge grimaces. One thing at a time.


    Zhuge: "No shinies, Din."

    Din: "Din want shinies!"

    Zhuge: "As a famous philosopher once said, 'you don't always get what you want'."

    Lo: "Who's that philospher?"

    Zhuge: "Mick Jagger."

    Din: "But--! What is box?"

    Lo: "Yeah, Mr Know-It-All. What's in the treasure chest if not something cool and sparkly? My little birdy tells me this beauty is ready to open... my little birdy being a message from the future, so I'm damn certain it's going to open any minute now."

    Zhuge:
    "It's not what, Madam Lo, it's a question of whom... This is a prison. A prison designed to contain people such as ourselves."

    Lo: "Bollocks... you mean it's another one of those Imperium machines? I heard about that they have one that can just end us all instantly and it's Imeryn's own bloomin' sister that's in charge over there!"

    Din: "Why they fight?"

    Again Zhuge and Din glance at each other. Better not explain that Imeryn did exactly what Highemperor did and sought to control all and exiled Ameryl when she refused to adhere to Imeryn's demands. Din might go back and try to destroy Imeryn on the same grounds as wanting to destroy her own father - Highemperor.


    Zhuge: "Family matters, Din. It's their personal business. As for the prison... Well, I believe I know who is about to emerge from that accursed place."

    Lo looks at him suspiciously.

    Lo: "Who?"

    Zhuge puffs on his pipe;

    Zhuge: "It stems from the Only War."

    Lo: "... there's been a few--"

    Zhuge:
    "The only war between these two factions and the only war there ever will be between them..."



    Long, long ago in a galaxy far away. And yes that's long, long and just one far. It's longer ago than it is father, okay?

    Having said that, time is certainly getting messed up quite badly here. The universe is known commonly as the Neververse on account of it never existing in the minds of most people that hear the stories of it. Oddly enough they're not wrong as the Neververse was destroyed several times over during this war, only to be returned again by someone or for some reason and the war would continue on. With soldiers arriving from time periods in the future, only to be overcome by enemy units from a more distant future, calling for backup from even more advanced units from an even more distant future, only to then discover that the war is already in that more distant future so they call in from a future even beyond that and-- well, it all gets very wibbly-wobbly confusy-woosy.

    The war probably broke out by accident. Someone from The Imperium likely insinuated that he had impregnated the mother of the Highemperor several times and thus sparked some zealous rage amongst several people from the High Empire that happened to be sharing the bar that day.

    However it started, its ending is what really matters right? The High Empire declared itself the victor many times, believing the sheer will of powerplaying victory meant they had won. But then the powerplayers from The Imperium declared that they had, in fact, won and so it goes with idiot powergamers--


    ---

    Lo: "Oi, stop putting your personal opinion into the narration."

    Zhuge: "Quiet you. It's not my opinion. It's a fact. Universal truth."

    ---

    Unable to resort to a dick measuring contest - because then there would be many men throwing their genitals around and powerplaying themselves ever larger until the Multiverse was occupied by nothing but shafts of man flesh - battles broke out. Many showed off their powers and skills and whatever else they willed themselves into doing until the end game.

    During this time Skrai was long dead and in his stead ruled a skrai. The Imperium is not like the High Empire, which bends its knee to the single ruler, but instead it's brimming with politics. Politics to the point that it's literally considered a sport on some Imperium worlds where it's shown on television for public viewing and all bets are on the table. Not everyone was bound to obey orders from this skrai, certainly not the Left and Right Hands who boasted that their loyalty remained to the true Skrai and they awaited his glorious return. They waited a long time, but then time is something most of these fools toss around until the words are meaningless. Centuries, a pinch of salt. Aeons, that's how long it takes to walk through the park. Might as well stick to minutes and hours because it's not impressive or dramatic to shout about these dumb ti--

    ---

    Lo: "Zhuge..."

    ---

    And so!

    Space Orca: "Look at this twit! He hasn't even signalled his indicators that he's turning his ship! Blasted fool!"

    Space Orca, Powergamer extraordinaire, commands his massive whale-shaped ship towards the High Imperial forces. Using mega, uber, umpa-lumpa canons and shields that exist in several realities and other nonsensical jibberish, Space Orca manages to blast his way through the imperial forces to reach what is often called the NeverWorld.

    ---

    Lo: "Lemme guess, sometimes it doesn't exist."

    Zhuge puffs blue smoke into the admiral's face angrily.


    Zhuge: "I'm telling the story!"

    ---

    The NeverWorld was under the domain of the High Empire and its people were largely civilians. But civilians that were absolutely dedicated to their god-emperor. Their faith in him held such sway that even in the face of death, not a single person on the entire planet would surrender to Space Orca and his Imperium ships.

    Hearing of this, the current skrai decided to make a visit.

    Now remember, as I said, The Imperium is an empire made of individuals and while one arm of the empire may be benevolent - people who pet bunnies all day long and sing about rainbows - others within this empire can be cruel and evil. And the current skrai he was... unpleasant.

    He arrived at the world and used his power to control every single mind on the planet. Billions and billions of minds were suddenly under his control.


    ---

    Lo: "Ha! Lots of new followers!"

    Din: "Not like this man!"

    Lo: "Dunno. If it's the easiest way to take a world without killing everyone then--"

    Zhuge: "I didn't say he didn't kill everyone..."

    Lo: "... he didn't?"

    ---

    The skrai forced the entire planet's population - men, women and children - to butcher each other. Not just suicide, but to literally bludgeon each other to death with their fists, feet, heads. The scene was... a disgusting.


    Space Orca: "Wh-what have you done!? Why? That's not... you can't do such a thing! The Imperium has rules!"

    The Skrai: "Are you the skrai, Space Orca?"

    Space Orca: "No, but--"

    The Skrai: "I make the rules. I am the rules."

    Yet the agony and horror of the people of NeverWorld echoed through time and space to the target of their prayers and hopes. The Highemperor was struck by the devestation and he was enraged. In an instant the emperor transported himself to NeverWorld and gazed first upon the carnage and then upon the murderer that did this. Their battle raged in ways that I don't care to describe. I'm sure someone would say it was 'oh so epic' but I'd say it boils down to two men slapping the crap out of each other.

    Space Orca stood by and watched. Though he could have joined his skrai and together they may have overcome the Highemperor, he did nothing. Instead a communiqué was sent to other rulers within The Imperium and then one answered his call.

    And that was, of course, Ameryl Amaryllis Floranymae Hypericum--


    ---

    Lo: "Seriously that's her name? And people say my name is bad!"

    Din: "Dumb name. Din need just one name. Din is Din. No other Din."

    Lo: "Come on, Din. There must be someone else out there called Din. Din Smith. Din Jones. Din Din?"

    Din: "Din din means dinner! Din not dinner! Din is Din!"

    Lo: "Right... Din is Din. Okay."

    Zhuge: "I'm trying to tell this epic story and you two are discussing dinner?"

    Din: "Din is Din! Din not din din!"

    Zhuge: "...Din, does my story bore you?"

    Din: "No?"

    Zhuge: "Then please allow me to finish it. Okay?"

    Din pouts like a guilty child.

    Din:
    "Din... apologise."

    ---

    She did not arrive with our now infamous God-Killer. This was a time before then. She arrived as herself, alone. The Left Arm of The Imperium and the hope of her people. She is often viewed as a benevolent and courageous woman who aspires to bring peace and harmony to The Imperium's worlds -- admittedly if that means killing the likes of us to do that, she's more than happy.

    So she shows up and the battle between the skrai and the emperor comes to a halt as both are surprised by her arrival. Skrai hadn't expected her to interfere in his affairs while Highemperor hadn't expected to find his one-time lover on his greatest enemies' lines.


    Highemperor: "Ameryl! What-- why are you with this empire? Why would you turn against me?"

    Ameryl: "You might ask the same of Imeryn. Why did she turn against you?"

    Highemperor appeared sad and guilt-ridden. In trying to spare Imeryn from tragedy he had caused it to befall her and his daughter--

    ---

    Lo: "Are we supposed to know this? Isn't this private business? Pretty sure Imeryn didn't tell you this."

    Zhuge: "I am wise and--"

    Lo: "Don't gimme that rubbish. How'd you find out?"

    Zhuge taps his pipe against the top of his beak.


    Zhuge: "For me to know..."

    ---

    So--

    ---

    Lo: "Ah! Tell me! Come on!"

    Din: "Zhuge tell Din where his knowing is from!"

    The bird-man rolls his eyes at their incessant behaviour.

    Zhuge: "Okay, okay. Chimaat gets very talkative when she's had a few pints of Bacchus' Own Brew. Wonderful girl really. If a bit befuddled in the brain. Too much mucking about in space-time will do that to you."

    ---

    Ameryl: "I did not turn against you, Highemperor. I simply joined those you have fallen into confrontation with. Two empires such as these can never co-exist so long as ego drives them. Drives you."

    She pointed at her former lover.

    Ameryl: "You know this war will literally never end until everything that is the High Empire and everything that is The Imperium is obliterated from every time, every dimension, every universe and every reality. Hunting and slaying for all eternity... this isn't how it should be."

    Highemperor: "So you propose a truce?"

    Ameryl: "I never-ending truce. No wars, no competition between us."

    Highemperor: "What if I... accidentally-on-purpose need to bash a guy's face for trying to flirt with my wife?"

    Ameryl: "Don't you have enough of them to share?"

    Highemperor: "... ... ... no?"

    Ameryl: "Whatever personal vendettas you have, whatever accidents occur, we maintain a state of non-combat between us. This war ends now and shall never be repeated. It will be wiped from existence and remain only as a memory of those of us that lived through it - yet we never did live through it, for it shall never have happened. I've enlisted services of Memnoch in order to twice-forget events. Silly name, really, since we'll all undoubtedly remember it - but it won't have actually happened."

    Highemperor: "... and so his war crimes are to be forgiven, just because we undo them?"

    Highemperor turns his glare upon the skrai.

    The skrai, however, shows no fear, no concern, no remorse. He showed only arrogance and even... boredom.

    The Skrai: "I shall allow this truce to happen if it eases relations within The Imperium. If ever you wish to finish this between us, peasant, feel free to make the attempt."

    Highemperor:
    "Your insolence--!"

    Ameryl: "Vedas Khaan--"

    The skrai looked up in aggravation. For a man that usually shows no emotion, suddenly rage was upon his face. Once the skrai of The Imperium, your true name is renounced and one becomes nothing but 'the skrai'. To name him is to disrespect him to the highest degree -- you are saying he is not the skrai.

    Ameryl: "You shall be judged."

    The Skrai: "You have no authority to judge me, child! I am the skrai of The Imperium. You are merely the Left Arm -- an outdated and unwanted role for a forgotten ruler. The Imperium is mine to command--"

    Ameryl: "No longer..."

    Vedas Khaan spread his arms wide and laughed triumphantly.

    Vedas Khaan:
    "Then where is your army? Where are your Peacekeepers? You think you can take me alone?"

    Highemperor: "I shall do it!"

    Vedas Khaan: "You're a pathetic wimp, Highemperor. Get out of my sight--"

    Ameryl: "You shall not be judged by our empires or their commanders, Vedas Khaan. You shall be judged by an unbiased organisation."

    And then, right on time, the prison appeared in orbit around the NeverWorld like a colossal cubed moon. The governing body of this prison is the Pan-Cosmic Command. The cube then shifted, phasing ontop of Vedas Khaan and trapped him within...

    Highemperor: "I don't know if this is enough to satisfy my thirst for vengeance..."

    Ameryl:
    "You may have defeated him, Highemperor. Or maybe he would have defeated you--"

    Highemperor: "Not bloody likely! I am undefeat--"

    Ameryl holds up her hand to quiet him.


    Ameryl:
    "Every powergamer says that. And yet you believe you can defeat them, they can defeat you. There's no possible winner. You can shout 'I can' and they will shout 'cannot' and that's all it would amount to..."

    Highemperor crosses his arms.


    Highemperor:
    "... ... ... I can!"

    Ameryl: "Cannot. Do you see how this works?

    Highemperor: "Fine. Let the Pan-Cosmic Command have him."

    He looks at the cube and shudders. He has fallen through time before and it was a bleak age that he would not wish to return to. Instead he looks at Ameryl, just as beautiful and graceful as ever she was.

    Highemperor: "So... how have you been?"

    Ameryl: "..."

    Highemperor: "You know what would sweeten this deal?"

    Ameryl: "I don't think so."

    Highemperor: "... I came back, you know? I met Imeryn, she said you were in exile."

    Ameryl: "I was. She learnt her lessons from you very well."

    Highemperor: "There can only be one ruler, you've seen your politics here!"

    Ameryl: "And yet this is the better way. Better to argue and come up short than to obey the petty rule of a dictator. A dictator like you."

    Highemperor decided he didn't want to argue with her, not after he had just found her again. Instead, something had preyed on his mind ever since he met Imeryn and his new daughter, Chimaat...

    Highemperor: "I met Imeryn's daughter... I don't suppose you--"

    Ameryl: "Pregnant? Yes. You seem to have frustratingly determined sperm."

    Highemperor brightens in the blink of an eye.

    Highemperor: "That's fantastic! She can come to live with me and her sisters! She'll love it, I'll give her whatever she wants--"

    Ameryl: "I had an abortion."

    Highemperor felt like his heart had just lurched into his throat. He choked and couldn't find words to speak. The very idea of abortion had never even occured to him in all his life. How could this be? Why would she do this?

    Ameryl: "I was living a life of exile, alone, without position or wealth or influence. And, frankly, you turned out to be a tyrant. I had to take responsibility and I did what was necessary. I wasn't going to allow an innocent girl suffer because of my mistake."

    Highemperor stares at her shoes. He can't light his eyes to face her. He doesn't know if he should feel guilty or rage at her. He manages to mutter;

    Highemperor:
    "You're lying just to hurt me, aren't you?"

    Ameryl: "Use your powergaming to tell if I'm lying."

    He already had. She wasn't lying.


    Highemperor: "You killed--"

    Ameryl: "Killed nobody. There wasn't even a foetus. I chose not to allow another life to be ruined. I heard later what you did to Imeryn..."

    He finally looks up to defend himself.

    Highemperor: "I had to leave to protect her! I--"

    Ameryl: "You shouldn't have slept with us. It's not all your fault, I take responsibility for that too. I should have known better but I was just a girl and I was in love. More importantly we should have protected us from getting pregnant at all. You have so many children but you have been a father to none."

    Highemperor: "I provide--"

    Ameryl: "You can give all you want but you are not there. You don't raise and nurture them. You abandon them. You abandoned me, even. You didn't even look for me when you met Imeryn. Just accepted that I had to be exiled..."

    She turned from him, struggling to keep the sorrow and rage within her under control.

    Ameryl: "This was our Only War, Highemperor. It shall never happen again. I am not your enemy because I chose another side..."

    She glances at him.

    Ameryl: "You are, however, the enemy of my heart. I hope you learn to take responsibility for your actions someday. You toy with lives and discard people when you're bored. I am not your doll to play with any longer. Any man I choose in my future will be better than you by far--"

    Highemperor: "I'm the greatest man there is!"

    Ameryl: "Any man who is there for me and me alone is better than you."

    She disappears in a haze of aether as she boards the giant whale ship of Space Orca and is steered home. Highemperor scowls for a long moment, unsure what he should do. Was there some way to fix this? Change time? Change her mind? He looks up at the cube... maybe then he'd be no better than the former skrai locked away in that prison. It seemed to Highemperor that they were both punished this day...



    Din: "Din... understand Ameryl."

    Lo: "She is really a bore! Wow! No wonder he dumped her!"

    Din glares at Lo and Zhuge frowns disapprovingly. The pirate shrugs.

    Lo: "Jus' sayin'! She's a miserable cow! Anyway, while all that last part was so riveting I thought I was going to gag, what the Hell happened with this cube here? Are you saying that bloke is what's about to emerge? How'd it keep him locked up all this time?"

    Zhuge:
    "The cube is a prison, yet, but specifically it is also your punishment. Upon being taken within you have two options... the first option is to confess your crime and be judged by the Pan-Cosmic Command. If you do this your sentence will be significantly shorter and you are likely to see yourself for the villain that you have truly become."

    Lo: "Sounds gay."

    Zhuge: "Lo..."

    Lo: "Gaaaaaaaaaaaaay!"

    Din: "Option two?"

    Zhuge: "Escape."

    Lo: "OPTION TWO PLEASE!"

    Zhuge: "The entire cube is created entirely of folds in time. No space. Just time after time after time. Certainly any of us could escape, but even the mightiest of Powergamers - Highemperor, Imeryn, this Vedas Khaan or even Din here - would spend aeons making their escape. It was devised by Chronos and then created by Aeon--"

    Lo: "Thought they hated each other."

    Zhuge: "They do. But they do both value structure in time. Oddly enough, on Earth magic is wild and untamed while Runekeeper has magic in the rest of the universe is running like clockwork, if you'll excuse the pun. Conversely, Chronos has time being policed and regimented by her Time Enforcement Agency while time beyond Earth has been bent, broken and downright ignored by many. So Aeon decided he would like to engage in a little policymaking of his own and took up Chronos' proposal as his own and created what you see here."

    Lo: "I'm guessing Chronos' original plan wasn't quite so... grandiose?"

    Zhuge: "Probably. Truthfully I think there's only one person she designed it for and he, as yet, still hasn't been judged within..."

    Lo: "No points if you guess who."

    Din: "...Father."

    She growls.

    Lo: "I said no points, Din!"

    Din: "Din want points!"

    Lo: "No points!"

    Din: "Give Din pooooooints!"

    Zhuge: "... points to Din."

    Din: "Yes! Din has points!"

    The cube above them begins to shift its interlocking pieces like a convoluted Rubik's cube of smooth black panels.

    Zhuge: "If it's power you God-Monarchs want, Vedas Khaan has enough to do battle with Highemperor..."

    Zhuge almost hates himself for even saying it. But he has joined the cause, so he should follow through.

    Lo: "Would he really want to destroy Highemperor? Sounds to me like he'd want revenge on Ameryl more."

    Zhuge: "What better way to kill two birds with one stone? Destroy Highemperor, vengeance is met against Highemperor. Destroy Highemperor and break the heart of Ameryl. And should the Highemperor die... I would expect so too would die the High Empire's vow at the conclusion of the Only War. The Imperium is held together by mutual politics and policies, the High Empire has only one man's word and if he is gone..."

    Din:
    "So is the man's word..."

    Zhuge: "Well done, Din."

    Din looks hopeful.

    Din: "... Din has points?"

    Zhuge: "Din has points."

    Din: "Yes! Din has points! Din has many points this day!"

    Zhuge: "Indeed you do, my girl..."

    His words trail off as the cube walls open after aeons of punishing the war criminal Vedas Khaan. A single figure at the centre of the unlocking cube remains motionless. A pinpoint against the moon-sized block. The Pan-Cosmic Command, punishment met, blasts out of the system and leaves the prisoner alone.

    Lo: "Did he allow himself to be judged?"

    Zhuge: "He was in there for aeons... so no. He did not."

    The man there is over ten feet tall, his skin is midnight purple. He's very buff and wears an open, black jacket to show that fact. His head is bald and he floats there, motionless, slowly beginning to rotate as gravity takes hold of him.

    It takes some time before he opens his eyes. When he does the top of his head bursts into flames of red and yellow, whipping out from his scalp like a mane of red, fiery hair. His eyes are just two orbs of pooling blood and they now focus upon the quiet, crystalline ship.


    Vedas Khaan:
    "The High Empire..."

    Zhuge: "You'd better explain quickly, Madam Lo, else your fine ship will be--"

    Lo: "I'm not with the HIGH EMPIRE! WAIT!"

    Most would never have even seen his approach as he moved faster than light, but Lo, for all the mundane approach she takes to life compared to the other God-Monarchs, is no ordinary person. She looks over the edge of the ship to see Vedas Khaan poised with his fingernail stretched out just centimetres from the crystal hull.


    Lo stretches out her lips in relief.

    Lo: "Well, hello there, matey. Nice day to be out, eh?"

  5. #85

    To Prepare for War with Highemperor: Setup

    Setting: Some pocket dimension parallel to the NeSiverse, where an iridescent ocean spreads endlessly below a color-negative of a clear night sky. An ancient and ruinous limestone platform juts from the ocean with stadium-style bench seating capping its top. Underneath the seating, carved in an almost cavernous fashion, a lobby area with highly ornate ceilings curving up to points acts as a hub between magical entranceways outside the pocket dimension, stairs leading up to the benched seating, and out onto an arena ground hung over the ocean. Apart from the ocean waves, the ruinous stage known as the God-Monarch Middle Ground stood quiet.

    Quiet, that is, until the God-Monarchs themselves begin filtering into the lobby.

    Lo: "So which one of you scallywags interrupted my harem time? I need to know who to punch in the face first."

    A dog-sized Typhon shakes the structure with every step as he lumbers his way to the platform for space. He apparently didn't find condensing his size four orders of magnitude denser than his usual mountainous size comfortable.

    Typhon: "Not before I bite their head off for having us meet at our Middle Ground! This place hardly has doorways fit for a human!"

    Dave: *looking back at the doorway twice his size* "It fit well enough for me."

    As Typhon exhales on the arena ground itself, he allows his bloated self to grow to only three orders of magnitude smaller than his usual mountainous size - still easily the size of a blue whale or any "normal" dragon.

    Yannah: "I think it's nice for us to get together every now and then, just ourselves, for a little fun."

    Zhuge and Neith: "Hmph!"

    The two glance at each other with curiosity.

    Din: "Din was told there would be fighting, big booms, and shiny. WHERE'S SHINY?"

    Minos: "Who told you that?"

    Chimaat: "I think I know who..."

    Last to enter, Imeryn Iristatice Floranymae Hypericum draws everyone's attention to her -- no mere feat when done among attention-seeking God-Monarchs. While identical to her twin sister, Ameryl, Imeryn chose long ago to accentuate the purple in her hair (now whipping to her side like a shampoo commercial), while her sister opted to accentuate the pink in hers. Compared to many of the other God-Monarchs, she stands relatively small among them, though not short for a human woman. She brushes her flowery princess dress and clears her throat.

    Imeryn: "Yes, I brought you all here today, and with good reason! We will need to make our move on Highemperor soon enough, and who better to practice our fight against him than ourselves, right?"

    Zhuge and Neith: "I'm out of here--"

    The two glance at each other again, the curiosity growing stronger between the two. Imeryn seems to take no notice.

    Imeryn: "So I took it upon myself to set up a little friendly tournament between us."

    Din: "And winner gets shiny?"

    Imeryn: "Yes, Din, I even brought a one-of-a-kind trophy for our fun team-building competition. Of course, the real prize will be when we take Highemperor's head."

    Vedas Khaan: "I'm not with this paltry alliance for games and trinkets--"

    Din: "Bad man can't have have shiny! Shiny is for the best. Din is limitless. Limitless is best. Din is best. Din will have shiny."

    The man walks up to Din and looks down into her eyes, making the giant golden goddess seem average height compared to him.

    Vedas Khaan: "On second thought, I could use a diversion..."

    Imeryn: "It's settled then! Everyone will pair off, and we'll proceed with a single elimination. That does mean we'll need a three-way near the end--"

    Minos: "A three-way, you say?"

    Imeryn: "Not like that, you animal!"

    Minos: "In my harem, three is a minimum--"

    Imeryn: "You'll be facing off with Vedas first, Horn-head!"

    The alitaur shifts his eyes towards Vedas Khaan, who stares back with orbs of pooling blood for eyes. For the briefest of moments, Minos frets, but quickly composes himself.

    Minos: "Pfft, thanks. I could use a warm-up..."

    Zhuge: "I'll have my first match with Neith."

    Surprise hits Imeryn, even moreso when she sees Neith nod in agreement.

    Imeryn: "Well isn't this a treat?"

    Din: "DIN FIGHT GHOST MAN!"

    Dave: "Uh, ghost-man? Who's she talking about?"

    Imeryn: "As you wish, dear, you can fight The Shard--hey now!"

    Din immediately starts wailing on The Shard with razor claws, tearing up the fabric of the universe in the process. The Shard, taller still than Vedas, clearly has difficulty dodging her attacks.

    Zhuge: "Will this be it this time, I wonder..."

    Imeryn: "Din, stop! I ord--"

    Din immediately turns her attention to Imeryn, fury in her eyes.

    Imeryn "--inarily would ask you to wait until it was your turn..."

    To her credit, Imeryn remains composed while Din teeters on the edge of ripping all of existence into a finely-graded cheese. Chimaat approaches Din's side, and holds a turnip up to her.

    Chimaat: "Would you like a snack?"

    Din readies to slash Chimaat's head off--

    --but instead plucks the turnip from her hand with a gentle smile.


    Din: "YUM!"

    Nibbling on the turnip, Din makes her way up the stairs into the seating.

    Dave: "...so I already forgot, is Din fighting a turnip?"

    Typhon: "I will pit my strength against the daughter of Imer--"

    Chimaat: "Match me with Dave please, mother."

    Imeryn: "Of course, my little flower. Does a certain someone have a crush on the boy?"

    Dave: "Who? What?"

    Typhon: "I clearly claimed first!"

    Imeryn: "Do not presume to claim my daughter, Typhon!"

    Typhon: "That's not what I meant!"

    Dave: "Let the dragon have his turn! In fact, I should probably just sit out altogether, uh, because I don't want to hurt anybody of course..."

    Imeryn: "Don't be preposterous, Dave! It's only fitting that the two strongest of our fold should pair up! Strongest aside from myself, of course, don't you forget."

    She winks at Dave and nudges him, which sends him nearly falling over. Typhon and a number of the other God-Monarchs grumble about being considered anything less than the mightiest among themselves.

    Typhon: "Very well... Ascension! You're the only one among us larger than even myself. I challenge you!"

    A wind filled with glittering-yet-scarred petals picks up through the foyer and out into the arena ground, where Typhon stands. Everyone can hear when the Ascension speaks, yet the voices (for it sounds like many voices) appear more than are heard in the minds of them all, in an alien fashion despite clarity clearer than their own thoughts.

    The Ascension: "Only in number, Great Ur-Dragon. We accept with honored reluctance."

    Lo: "I'll take you on then, Miss Tin Can!"

    Yannah: "Perhaps you'll learn your place this time, meatbag."

    Neith: "And I wonder who will be your opponent, Imeryn."

    Imeryn: "Oh don't be absurd, Neith. Clearly, I'm mediating this tournament, as I outmatch you all by far."

    The grumbles are heard from certain God-Monarchs once more, though Neith simply grits a grin.

    Neith: "You can prop yourself with words, if you wish. I will show who among us will be key in Highemperor's downfall with my actions."

    Imeryn glowers at Neith, then smiles insincerely herself.

    Imeryn: "I'll fight the winner myself, if they so wish it, but they get to keep the trophy regardless. It wouldn't feel right to give myself my own trophy, after all."

    Unease hangs above the heads of the God-Monarchs, for times like this make apparent their tenuous alliance. Chimaat breaks the tension by speaking up to Din in the stands.

    Chimaat: "Would you like to take your turn now, Din?"

    Din: "Take turn for what?"

    Chimaat: "To have your fight with The Shard."

    Din: "Who?"

    Chimaat: "Nevermind! Please enjoy your turnip!"

    Din: "MORE TURNIP! CHIA-MAT GIVE DIN MORE TURNIP!"

    Chimaat: "I'll be right up!"

    Imeryn: "Typhon, why don't you two go first, since you're already out there?"

    Typhon only huffs in response through his nostrils. The rest of the God-Monarchs, minus the Ascension, make their way to the seating above. Once everyone's seated, Imeryn rings a gong by her side.

    Imeryn: "Begin!"

  6. #86

    Typhon vs. The Ascension

    As the glittering petals of The Ascension swirl around Typhon, the petals themselves begin to smear into a solid, scar-covered prison. The great Ur-Dragon, covered in scarred scales of red, black and gold himself, flashes his teeth in a wicked grin.

    Typhon: "A trap? How simple of you! Let's see you try against my true measure!"

    He spreads his wings and lifts off, swooping away from the arena ground. As Typhon does so, The Ascension's shimmering strokes against reality follow like ribbons. With each beating of his wings, Typhon grows in size, and with each beat, The Ascension leap-frogs, the ribbons twisting into a deadly laser light show. When Typhon begins to swell beyond the size of a mountain, and The Ascension preparing to shift into an incomprehensible hypersolid which rings around planets, Imeryn interrupts them.

    Imeryn: "Would you be so kind as to stay within the arena grounds? This was meant to be a little affair of fun, after all."

    The two stop in their dick-measuring contest.

    Typhon: "As you wish. After all, you spread yourself across the universes, Ascension, but you lack what makes a god in your reach to the commons."

    The Ascension: "What is a god but relative on a scale?"

    A divine fire spews form from Typhon as he condenses back down in size, but instead of lessening in power, the fire intensifies, blinding and melting The Ascension upon the arena grounds and the ocean. Typhon lands back on the arena ground, now back to the "normal dragon" size he started at during the beginning of the fight.

    Typhon: "Significance."

    Imeryn and some of the other God-Monarchs applaud at the show and blow against The Ascension. They all know that this is not the end, though, as the melted parts pool together and up to form several child-like humanoid forms, each bearing scars on otherwise natural, if primitive, aesthetics. Neith in particular seems to be rooting more for The Ascension. The voice of the Ascension, having been more ethereal before, now projects more plainly from his humanoid forms.

    The Ascension: "A facet of scale. All is relative."

    Typhon: "And a god makes themselves absolute! My derkesthai know this to be true and give worship for that gift. But what would you know of that, with your smattering specks of commoners you deem followers, who make of what they think is as if they were gods themselves, all equal among each other?"

    While Typhon gives his speech, The Ascension rains upon him brilliant spears all across his body. Despite their apparent lethality, they largely bounce off his scales, even his eyes, as if it only water. He laughs as he even opens his mouth upward to gulp the shots, then spitting them back at The Ascension, who guard themselves with shields, though some fall and reform, though clearly more worn than before. What few wounds Typhon received quickly heal.

    Typhon: "My cause is righteous, and my virtue won the heart of the purest angel in the multiverse! What is your cause, Ascension? What significance do you assert upon our mutual enemy?"

    A stand-off lingers. Dave turns to Imeryn.

    Dave: "So how are these matches to end, anyway? Do we give them points for showmanship and technical execution or something?"

    Imeryn: "Nothing so formal, Dave. They simply fight until one gives up."

    Dave: "Uh...and if neither do?"

    Imeryn: "I'll make a call if things start to drag out. You hear me, you two? Don't drag this out!"

    With their spears and shields still held in defense, The Ascension takes the time to have one of its humanoid forms look back at the other God-Monarchs.

    The Ascension: "Significance is relative..."

    The humanoids lower their spears and shields.

    The Ascension: "...and winning this battle is not significant. We yield to the honorable Typhon."

    Imeryn and some of the other God-Monarchs applaud one more. Typhon humphs in his victory, then flies to perch on one of the mighty pillars nearby the seating. The Ascension dissolves their humanoid forms, forming glittering petals once more.

    Lo: "Gaaaaaay!"

    The petals float to the seating, where they form an audience of humanoids filling much of the seating.

    Imeryn: "So who wants to go next? Any volunteers?"

  7. #87

    Chimaat vs. Dave

    Chimaat: "We'll go next!"

    Dave: "No! I mean, uh... Din still needs to be di--"

    The golden goddess stops chewing on her turnip to raise an eyebrow at Dave.

    Dave: "--n. ...yes, Din still needs to be Din."

    Everyone else raises an eyebrow at Dave.

    Dave: "Which, uh, means Chimaat and I should keep feeding her turnips. Too bad! Guess we'll just have to take that raincheck, heh heh."

    Din: "Dave make no sense. I like this!"

    Dave: "Well there you have it! Guess someone else--"

    Din: "Dave and Chia-mat fight now!"

    Dave: "Wha...?"

    Imeryn: "Well there you have it!"

    Dave: "But-but-but-... turnips!"

    Din: "Got turnip!"

    To make her point, Din holds up a partially-eaten turnip in her hands.

    Chimaat: "I've been looking forward to practicing my latest technique. I call it..."

    A dark shadow falls across her face as she stares into Dave's soul.

    Chimaat: "Time's Up."

    The shadow dispels, and she takes Dave's hand with an innocent smile.

    Chimaat: "I hope you like it!"

    Dave sweats profusely as she leads him onto the arena grounds, glancing about as if trying to find an exit. Imeryn rings the gong.

    Imeryn: "Begin!"

    Dave: "I GIVE UP!"

    He falls to the ground. Imeryn and some of the other God-Monarchs mistake his fear of his mortality for shyness and chivalry, and begin to applaud.

    Imeryn: "How noble of you, Dave! I approve your gallant behavior towards my daughter."

    Lo: "Gaaaaaaay!"

    Dave: "Huh? I mean--yes, of course. Clearly, you see the reason for my reluctance. And now that I've given up, the match--"

    Imeryn: "--will proceed. By which I mean the fight, of course. Don't think I'll let you match with my daughter so easily in other matters, dear!"

    She winks at him.

    Dave: "But you said if-if-if someone gave up--"

    Imeryn: "I said the combatants would fight UNTIL one gave up. No fight has happened yet, noble Dave. Give us at least a little show, won't you? I promise you that even you won't so easily hurt my daughter."

    Dave: "Oh, I know. This is it. It was nice while it lasted..."

    Imeryn: "Now, BEGIN!"

    She rings the gong once more. The surroundings darken as Chimaat surrounds herself and Dave with turnips carved into surprisingly spooky lanterns floating in the air, each a Grim Reaper more terrifying in their mockery of human sensibilities of what makes for dramatic tone. Still, there's plenty else to make up for such apparent mockery, such as the echoing tick-tock of some Absolute Clock, and some of the ruins themselves wildly fluctuating between being newly-carved and even more ruinous. As her technique apparently finishes, a deep chiming reverberates through the air.

    Chimaat: "Time's up."

    A flash. Chimaat and Dave are gone.

    -------------------------------------------------

    When Dave opens his eyes, he sees Chimaat still standing before him, apparently somewhat confused. Dave at this time can't get much of his other bearings together to figure out where he is, only that he doesn't seem to be at the Middle Ground anymore.

    Chimaat: "Your methods are odd, indeed. I presumed that my technique, to alter your lifespan to skip right to its personal end, would not succeed on someone like you, but not in this manner. I expected negation or perhaps substitution for one of your other Daves, and yet we seem to be in some other time and place, one I'm not familiar with..."

    Dave: "Uh, hey, we all make mistakes, right? I hear sometimes this whole time-jumping of yours can leave you a bit loopy--not that I'm implying anything! I mean, let's just go back where we came from, where I can give up for real and just move on with--"

    Chimaat: "It seems my technique worked after all. Maybe I can learn from this."

    Dave: "What do you mean by--HOLY ****!"

    Lying before him, Dave sees his own dead body. He verges on spewing further obscenities or other noises of panic, and fails to do so. Instead, only one question escapes his lips.

    Dave: "W-what's the meaning behind this?"

    Chimaat: "No, I'm not meant to learn of just your death here, am I? Because it's not just you, here."

    True to her words, Dave now makes out the corpses of other God-Monarchs. But not just of God-Monarchs, but of the members of the Council of Powerplayers as well, of the fallen armies and fleets of the High Empire, of Mega Jonestown Prime, of former Imperium, of countless other indomitable powers of the NeSiverse and beyond, littered against their reality itself burning away.

    Chimaat: "I can see mother and father. Weak, and still fighting. Themselves? No... this can't be..."

    She turns to Dave, grasping him by the sides of his arms.

    Chimaat: "I see now you wanted me to know of this doom."

    Dave: "About that--"

    Chimaat: "I must resolve to avert this future. I'll take you back and yield to you so that I may start at once."

    Dave: "Wait, we can't do that. Maybe we can call it a draw and both be out--"

    Chimaat: "No, we mustn't draw attention from anyone who might be orchestrating this ultimate tragedy you've had me witness. Suspicion will raise if I've won or even drawn the fight. This is the only way."

    Dave: "But--"

    Chimaat: "Thank you."

    With that, Chimaat sends herself and Dave back to when and where they came from...

    --------------------------------------------------

    When the two return, Dave attempts to yell, but Chimaat's voice drowns his out.

    Chimaat: "I YIELD TO THE MIGHTY DAVE."

    Imeryn and some of the other God-Monarchs clap in polite appreciation. Dave hangs his head in defeat, which Imeryn and some of the others have taken for humility.

    Chimaat: "I apologize, mother, but I have business with the Turnip Tsar I neglected prior to this event, and I wish to ensure my new followers are tended to in this early stage. May I take my leave?"

    Imeryn: "If you must, dear. I know you have your own young and idealistic thoughts on what it means to be a god, however misguided they might be. Go then, before I change my mind."

    Chimaat bows, then makes for her leave.

    Imeryn: "I do say, I hope whomever of you goes next drags out their match a little more than that one -- no offense, dear Dave, I know you meant well."

    Dave sulks in the stands.
    Last edited by Gebohq; 10-24-2016 at 02:19 PM.

  8. #88
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326

    In Memory of Those Lost

    Pan Post: In Memory of Those Lost

    The imaginatively named city of Urbs Dei is the crown jewel of the High Empire, always bright and gleaming. Tonight is a special occasion though, for it is the Shadowtane Fest. Terran humans would recognize it as a variant of their own Halloween: a holiday where darker and more secretive powers are celebrated and called to come out into the light for a night of wild rejoicing.

    Costumes and pageantry abound, as do many anonymous trysts between those wearing masks. Highemperor costumes are fairly common, and it is likewise a commonly held belief that the supreme ruler mingles with the masses in disguise on this night.

    However, while Highemperor may have indulged in such disguised mingling in the past, or may yet indulge in it in the future, he does not tonight. Instead, he is the grand citadel at the heart of Urbs Dei, the Stronghold of Powerplayers. Deep beneath the surface, within most of the most protected vaults, the Highemperor sits alone. Three candles are lit on the floor in front of him, made of mystic ever-burning crystal rather than wax, and they release a sweet scent into the air. One glimmers faintly purple, another vivid green, and the third pure white.


    Highemperor: Indigo...

    He remembers a young girl, laughing and playing in her youth, with the long black tresses inherited from her father and the lavender eyes of her mother. A girl who could manipulate the very forces that bent time and space, and who constantly sparred with the biggest swords she could get her hands on.

    Indigo wasn't her given name, of course, but in her teen years she had insisted on being called that, and of course as a divine princess her whim was obeyed.

    But one whim, that was more than a whim, was not obeyed - she revolted against her father and his empire. In his mind's eye, Highemp sees the duel playing out before him, himself against his daughter, she trying to kill him, he only defending himself. He sees her face as he imprisons her in a vault older than remembered human history, and her eyes haunt him, for they hold only rage.


    Highemperor: One day, I will win your love back...

    He tears his eyes away from the purple candle, and his mind from those memories, and gazes instead at the green-tinged crystal candle. He sees another young girl, one who chose to remain forever young even while her mind matured. A girl who loved creatures and pets of all kind, be they large or small, savage or docile, sentient or stupid.

    Highemperor: My little beast tamer...

    He tried to remember only the good moments, yet he could not stop himself from scrying the moment of her death, in a strange little ship far from her home or anything she had ever known. A gigantic construct hanging in space, with a hungry gaping maw of white-hot anti-power--

    With a gasp, he forces the memory of the scrying away. Utterly annihilated, her soul shredded and removed from existence beyond resurrection.


    Highemp: One day, I will find away to undo anti-nihilation, and to bring you back. Oh, how your mother will smile then...

    He blinks away moisture, and looks to the third candle. Its light is a pure soft white. Memory assails him once more...

    Highemperor lived a happy existence with Queen Imeryn, their child the infant princess Chimaat, and the Queen Consort, as the King Consort. Yet on their wedding night - after a wedding of extraordinary pageantry - after Imeryn lay slumbering in exhausted contentment in his arms, Highemp disengaged gently from her, careful not to disturb her, and got out of bed, magicking his clothes back on.

    Highemp: I'm sorry, Imeryn. I know things didn't end well between you two. But I have to find her. Maybe...maybe you'll even make up.

    The sleeping queen of course does not hear him, and he leans over to kiss her brow.

    Highemp: I'll be back in but a moment, love.

    Then he vanishes through time, rewinding several months, and then watches invisibly, flitting from moment to moment. He sees a feud over the peasant girl who is now Queen Consort, he sees the duel between sisters, and he sees the banishing of Ameryl.

    The princess is sent away with a coterie of servants. It looks good for Imeryn, and as far as the new queen is concerned, she's only removing those sympathetic to the exiled princess anyway. As soon as that royal barge leaves the galaxy at hyperspeeds, Highemp flits after them.

    The ship of the exiles makes several hops before stopping over a lush green world. Perhaps the exiles seek to refresh their spirits with natural beauty. Highemp takes the opportunity to streak towards the space barge - only to be repulsed by a field of invisible force.

    Highemp: What? There is nothing that can resist me!

    Yet try as he might, he can't break through. Nor can he send any sort of communcation or the slightest indication of his presence. Frustrated, he conjures a glimmer of silver light into his palm, and it unfolds into a contraption that resembles a compass, if a compass had three faces, several dials, and lots of blinking lights. Highemp fiddles with the dials and watches the color changes of the lights and the spinning of the arrows closely.

    Highemp: A fixed point in time? And narrative-locked? But I should be able to--

    He pauses.

    Highemp: My Writer's Soul has damned me again.

    He is wrong, or at least not technically correct, for it is another Writer who has locked this particular narrative...but he would still rail at his own Writer even if he knew, for allowing such tragedy.

    Still, he follows the royal barge closely, for years, flitting around in time and space, unable to see Ameryl or get a message to her. He wonders if she was pregnant, if she has given birth to a daughter, and he wonders if they both are happy. But try as he might, for years of shadowing, he cannot break through the narrative lock.

    Highemp: One day, my powers will be great enough. I will set right all these wrongs that my Writer inflicts upon me. And then, on that day, I will return to you, Ameryl. I swear it.

    He zips back through time and space, and appears at Imeryn's bedside, scant minuts after he'd left. He is weary in a sense that has nothing to do with physical exhaustion. He gazes at Imeryn for a long moment, wondering how he can love a woman who was so callous to her own sister...yet love her he does.

    He crawls back into bed, and as Imeryn snuggles back up to him in her sleep, her largely pregnant belly pushing into his side, he approaches something resembling contentment for now...
    Highemp: My unborn child...fate was cruel to you, and to your mother, and to me.

    He gazes into the white crystal candle, for this candle is more than a candle, but holds an unformed soul, the spirital essence of an aborted fetus. Highemp journeyed through a hundred underworlds searching for it, and found it. Cradling it in his palms, he brought it to his world, where he safeguards the non-sentient, unborn soul within an unbreakable crystal.

    The other two crystals in this room are merely candles - but this one is not a candle. Its light is rather the light of the nascent soul within.


    Highemp: One day, I will reconcile with her. I will restore you to her womb. And we will choose a name for you together...

    A tear trickles down his cheek. Hope tears at his heart, yet he knows that his hopes are mere fantasies. Still, his entire empire is built on fantasies, fantasies that he has wrenched into reality with the strength of his powerplaying.

    And so he remembers, and hopes, and dreams, while the city around him celebrates.

  9. #89
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Space Camelot: Caledonia

    Space Camelot: Caledonia

    Characters: King Arthur | Queen Guinevere | Prince Mordred | Morganna le Fay | Merlin the Younger | Sir Kay | Sir Lancelot | Sir Bedivere | Sir Galahad | Sir Tristram | Sir Caelia | Sir Red Rose Knight | Sir Black Knight | Sir Faerie Knight | Andy | Admiral Ltexi | Gamma Pans | Monde | King Mark | Queen Iseult | Sir Gawain | Sir Greene Knight | Isolde of the White Hands | Prelate Seerias

    Xen'drik lazily glides through the sky in its rapid orbit around the planet Caledonia. It would be up there for just three hours before it would be gone from view. But while it is there it casts a brilliant white light over the world that helps the humans to better see what's going on around them.

    Prince Mordred stands atop of the wooden palisade and watches the wretched jungle for any signs of movement. He spies one of the fat badger-like creatures, which is about the size of a bear, scamper through the underbrush as it seeks out its next meal. Fortunately it only eats the giant insects of the jungle and would rather sit on a human than eat one. Which literally happened to Sir Robin before the giant badger was shooed off and the idiot knight had to be carted off to the hospital again. So far he'd managed to contract several diseases, get poisoned by a variety of plants he'd tried to eat, fell off the palisade (twice) and got sat on by a giant badger. Bets are on for what will happen to him next. Mordred has bets on Robin being mauled by a rabbit, while King Arthur has bets on Robin choking on a soggy orange - because only Sir Robin could die that way.


    Further down the palisade he spots Sir Galahad standing beside one of the torches, which casts a warm, yellow glow around the wooden wall. Pretty stupid place to stand though. If one of the enemy is out there, they'd see him in an instant and he'll wind up with an arrow in the face.


    Prince Mordred wonders if he could get a bet for Galahad being picked off first. He'll be rich in minutes.

    Xen'drik passes below the jungle canopy and the world is plunged, once again, into its eternal dimly illuminated darkness. The world has a constant light but it's very dim and difficult for most of the humans to see by. His eyes adjust to the lowered light and he can make out the vague shapes of the trees, their curved leaves and the sense that the leaves might be coloured blue. Though that might be his memory filling in the information for him.

    Up above were ten more moons. Unlike Xen'drik, however, they're much further out, smaller and reflect less light onto the planet. The sun itself only shines on them every few months, and then only for an instant as it peeks through the moons that block its line of sight as the world slowly turns. They'd seen it just once thus far but Merlin the Younger assures them it will return in a few weeks from now.

    The second largest moon is named Seldarine and hangs in the air as an eerie white ghost of a moon. Somehow it had been broken up centuries ago and now it appears as though something had tried to take a bite out of it. The remains half the moon still float in orbit with it, though they've slowly formed something of a trail after it. Only half of the moon remains in tact, while the rest is broken into pieces of various sizes. Merlin estimates that something very large collided with it. Lucky the same object miraculously missed the planet itself...

    Of the moons, however, the most curious one to Mordred is dubbed Lolth. It's the smallest of them all, but coloured entirely black with rivets of red, which he's been told are rivers of red liquid. The tiny moon is forever in the sky as it rotates in synch with the planet's rotation. Some of the local religions worship this moon as a god of some sort and Mordred can almost appreciate why. The Red Rose Knight calculated that this moon is emitting its own light rather than reflecting it from the sun. This light has been described by the locals as 'Netherlight'. When asked what the opposite of light is, Mordred had once said darkness. He was corrected with; "Darkness is not the opposite of light, but the absence of light. The opposite of light is netherlight.". This netherlight is cold. Instead of emitting heat like the sun, it emits a chill over the world. The humans have occupied one of the warmer areas of the planet - an area where it only snows once a week.


    The netherlight keeps the world dimly lit, which is something better than nothing. It does, however, make Mordred question, once again, why they're bothering. Wasn't Earth better than this?

    He has no idea what time it is. It's actually impossible to keep time in the way they had on Earth. Earth time is based on rotations of the planet. If they based their time on rotations of the planet it'd probably still be 1am.... for the next month in Earth time. Instead they were keeping track of time by the moons alignments. Since Seldarine is still in view and Xen'drik has just disappeared, he estimates that it's currently "Xen-drik past Seldarine"... whatever that means.

    Once Seldarine is gone and the moon Erelhei-Cinlu, an unimaginative moon that apparently isn't willing to put in the effort to be as interesting as its brothers, rises past Lolth, it would be... "Erelhei-Cinlu past Seldarine and to Lolth.". Or something like that. Either way that meant it would be time to go and wake up Sir Kay while he went for something to eat. He isn't sure if it's supposed to be breakfast, lunch or dinner... perhaps it's "Meal to Erelhei-Cinlu" or "Meal past Seldarine".

    Mordred walks slowly past the torch on his end of the palisade. Despite knowing it to be dangerous, he can't help but long to bask in its warmth and pleasant light. He passes by with a sigh.

    Then he hears something.

    A whistling.


    Then a loud "THUNK" as something hits the palisade beside the torch.

    A bright red, metal arrow.


    Prince Mordred: "ATTACK! WE'RE UNDER ATTACK!"

    He bellows and turns back to the torch. It's positioned within the corner tower and above it is the alarm bell. It's the most dangerous spot of all - lit up and an obviously place for anyone to be. If he doesn't ring it though, others might not hear his call. His selfish nature is overridden by that same selfish nature - if he doesn't ring the bell he'd be overrun and killed anyway.

    He grabs the rope and whacks the metal orb inside the bell against the brass. The alarm is sounded. He then ducks quickly and, as he'd expected, another arrow whizzes through the air where he had just been. He gasps with relief.

    He sees Galahad down the other end of the palisade, along on the floor. He watches. The knight isn't moving.

    Prince Mordred: "Bloody moron!"

    He scuttles across the floor, keeping his head below the tall, sharpened logs, until he reaches Sir Galahad. Two arrows, one in the shoulder and the other in the gut. Fortunately shock of the strikes has rendered him unconscious, else he'd be in tremendous pain right about now. He yanks the arrow from his shoulder out and tosses it aside. The arrow in his gut, however, he'd have to leave in lest he bleed out rapidly without anyway to stem the tide.

    There's plenty of movement suddenly as knights group up outside of their huts and don armour and equip swords. Sir Tristram exits his hut with his wife, Isolde of the White Hands. Mordred thinks she's just as creepy as the creatures shooting at him. Tristram runs for the wall and unslings his beam-bow while Isolde makes for the walls near to Mordred. Several soldiers flow behind her, eager to "protect the damsel", not knowing she'd probably end up protecting them. She walks slowly, showing no haste, but wears a mask of grim determination.

    She ascends the steps, showing no interest in keeping her head down. And arrow hurtles by her and strikes one of the soldiers straight in the end. The blood that spurts from the gash matches the red of his tunic. The other soldiers get out their standard bows and latch arrowed from their quivers to the bows. They return fire. The arrows aren't nearly as effective as the strange red arrows of their enemy, but they'd be just as deadly should they manage to strike a head too.

    The dead soldier then shudders and drags himself to his feet. His spine is completely rigid while his limbs are limp, his head lolls back. His legs march mechanically as he ascends the stairs and reaches the palisade wall. Some of the soldiers reel back in horror - they'd never worked with Isolde of the White Hands before. She stands still, unwavering and unmoving, close to Mordred. The soldier himself leaps, unexpectedly, over the wall. One soldier calls to him... thinking he's still alive.

    Arrows thwack into the walking corpse as it marches across the short clearing towards the treeline. Arrow after arrow, each one becoming more and more accurate as it gets nearer and nearer to the hidden enemy. By the time it reaches them, he looks like a pin cushion. He draws his sword, quite clumsily, and waggles it about in the air - looking like a puppet on strings. He bounces, more than marches, now and slashes at enemies that Mordred can't see at this distance.

    With the horrifying, immortal man lunging at them, the creatures break cover and retreat towards other parts of the jungle brush. They're shorter than humans, between four and five feet at best, and their skin is as obsidian as space. They even have small white spots around the temple, as though they are trying to imitate the eternal night sky of Caledonia. Despite their jet black skin, they do have stark white hair, though some have grey. Most of them are wearing hoods to hide their hair in the darkness, but in retreating from the oversized hedgehog man their hoods flap free and expose their bright heads. This gives the human archers something to shoot at and they loose their bows. The enemy, however, are nimble and can see perfectly well in the darkness of this world. In fact, Mordred had observed that they never attacked during the sunlight hours once a month and he suspects their vision is actually impaired by bright light.

    One of them suddenly explodes in a cloud of black smoke and liquid, which splatters out like ink from a spilt inkwell. The arrows pass through the spot where she had just been and she reappears, unharmed. She grabs a dagger from her leg strap and tosses it at the walking corpse, planting the blade with deadly precision into the man's heart. He then shuffles after her and she backs away before retreating with her fellows.

    As they reach the jungle again, several of these black-skinned drow, as they call themselves, step forward. These drow are more heavily armoured than the archers and they carry long, black staves tipped with various coloured stones. One of them, with a red-tipped staff, points the weapon at the zombie and a sudden blast of netherflame erupts over the body. The netherflame, unlike normal fire, burns colder than ice yet it burns the corpse in an instant, more viciously than the hottest fires of Hell. The drow wizard turns her staff on the palisade and the soldiers have the good sense to jump out of the way when the wooden wall bursts into roaring flames of blue and white. Then a sudden flash of brilliant white netherlight blasts above them and Mordred is temporarily blinded. He hears even Isolde cry out in surprise. Mordred, trying to drag Galahad away from the netherflame, falls over something and lands head first into the wooden walkway.

    He heard the dull thunk of his head against wood after he felt it. Cursing to himself he winces against the agony of the hit and the blindness in his eyes. Though it had only been a flash of netherlight, the light had been so utterly cold that his eyes ache with the agony of being exposed to the sudden freezing temperature. They're surely going to be hurting for days.


    His vision is slowly beginning to return and, as they do, he suddenly jumps to his feet. A drow scout has climbed through a patch in the netherflames to enter the camp. This assault seems more determined than ever before. A laser arrow smacks her in the chest and she falls down dead.

    Only to then rise a moment later as the undead slave of Isolde. She is now hidden against the wall, apparently only now she takes the threat seriously enough to take cover. She's a tall woman with incredibly pale skin, such so that Mordred might have taken her for one of her own corpses. Her hair is dark red, as red as the blood moon that rises every couple of days on this world. Her irises, too, are red, which Mordred considers a very bad omen indeed. She wears, however, a white dress right now, but has a leather jacket over it to keep her warmer. In the cold of Caledonia, everyone has to dress warmer.

    The drow zombie turns and jumps back down into the field where she would undoubtedly cause havoc amongst her people. Three more drow appear, however. Two women and a man. The male drow are usually shorter than the females and Mordred has seen less of them. When Sir Tristram fires another laser arrow, Mordred is almost sorry that it's the male he kills first, seeing how rare they are. But his corpse rises and grabs hold of one of the women, who doesn't understand that he's being possessed and attempts to reason with him in their alien language. The other drow female, however, fires an arrow of her own towards Sir Tristram, all the way on the other side of the camp. She almost hits. He fires back and, likewise, almost hits. She shouts at her ally and promptly kicks the dead male off of her friend. After a brief squabble, the non-archer charges around the walkway, straight towards Isolde. Mordred is on his feet and draws Clarent. The drow sees him approach and whips a hand-held crossbow from her belt and aims it at Isolde. Isolde throws her hands up, playing the innocent fair lady.


    Drow: "No move, or she dead."

    Mordred glances at Isolde. It would probably be a good thing if she died, but he likes Sir Tristram and he likes her. He pauses and that gives the drow enough time to grow a little more confident.

    Drow: "You prince-king. Come here."

    Prince Mordred: "You know me?"

    Drow: "Come. Now. Or this is dead."

    He steps forward she she shouts at him;

    Drow: "Drop! Weapon! Stupid man!"

    He does so. Clarent hits the wood with a resounding, almost forlorn, clang of a fallen blade. He glances back to see Sir Kay and Sir Black Knight notice what he was doing and they turn to rush towards his aid. The Black Knight jumps at the wall and clambers up awkwardly, while Sir Kay takes the long way round to the stairs.

    The drow shouts more urgently at Mordred but he takes his time to shuffle towards her. The drow suddenly fires her crossbow. The bolt hits Isolde in the shoulder and panic washes over Mordred. He shouts his own compliance and hurries over to the two drow women. Isolde cries in agony but grits her teeth and glares at the drow who shot her.

    Isolde: "You shall be a victim to my vengeful spirit, blasted creature!"

    The drow looks disturbed by Isolde's malicious determination but urges Mordred over the break in the wall. She shoves him and he topples down. He hears The Black Knight call his name angrily but the soft earth muffles the sounds from within the walls. He gets to his feet, only to have the drow kick him down again.


    Mordred: "Hey! I can't walk if you kick me down!"

    Drow: "Up. Move! Quick!"

    He goes ahead of her, though not too fast. He feigns an injured leg from the drop and hobbles along. The second drow jumps down, after firing one last arrow at Sir Tristram. The Black Knight reaches the gap in the wall and glowers down at the drow, daring her to stay and fight. The drow, however, isn't dumb and she fires an arrow up at the knight. The arrow pangs against her thick, metal armour and actually embeds itself into the shoulder pauldron. It doesn't, however, pierce enough to hit flesh. She jumps down after the drow, with her two beam swords ignited. One of them is curved, perfect for quick slashes against unarmoured foes. The other is traditionally straight, better suited for taking out armour. She swipes at the drow, but the white-haired alien ducks the blows. She makes it look easy, but since she cannot parry the attacks, the drow is on the backfoot. One mistake and she'd be dead to the fearsome Black Knight.

    Mordred, meanwhile, is still being ushered towards the jungle. Just as he gets there he hears a cry and manages to get a glimpse of the archer drow on her knees. The second blow from The Black Knight is not a blow one can cry out to...


    The drow with Mordred grows in desperate anger, seeing her friend decapitated so mercilessly. Oddly enough Mordred appreciates that she hadn't killed Isolde when she had the chance. Perhaps it was to maintain Mordred's compliance or perhaps it was mercy. Either way, The Black Knight had not spared a life the way that the drow had done.

    Mordred: "Why are you taking me?"

    Drow: "Quiet. You will know when you will know."

    He begins to wonder if he had been the target all along for this little raid. The attack started when he was in the firelight. Had they waited to see him there and then came for him specifically. She had known he is the prince of Arthur, after all. Soon they're joined by more drow and Mordred realises that there had been a lot of them in reserve. They had only sent the minimum necessary for distraction and extraction. It wasn't meant to be an all out battle.

    This is what he had come to expect of them. These drow don't fight like warriors. They fight like thieves. They use darkness to mask their movements, they assassinate unaware foes and they retreat at the slightest provocation. Living to fight another day is no negative attribute amongst them. Victory is all. Honour is nothing. Yet they do have a code of mercy that he had witnessed tonight.

    There are different classes of drow here. The wizards are wearing thick armour, quite the opposite of wizards of Britannia. But they are in the minority, while the agile scouts seem plentiful. Others appear to be soldiers and wear armour that reminds him of the tough, metal armour of The Black Knight herself. They wield lances and spears of various assortments and were likely standing in the jungle as a line to stop any humans from rushing in there. They don't, however, appear to be as impressive as the human knights thanks to their short stature and lithe forms. He spies a few more men amongst these armoured soldiers, but the women are still in the majority.

    Prince Mordred:
    "Why did you take me?"

    He asks again even though he knows he'll get no answer. This time they ignore him. The original captor is lost amongst the sea of alien faces and he's ushered along by complete strangers until they reach a river. The water on this planet is always lukewarm, as though its the only thing that saves the planet from being a barren ice waste. He's sure that the water bubbles up hot from beneath the surface of the planet, possibly through vents or ocean volcanoes, and is then swept across the world is warm rivers. Only isolated lakes tended to be so very cold that they were normally frozen over. A soldier binds Mordred's hands behind his back while they prepare to cross the river.

    The wizards go first and he watches with some amazement as they walk on the water, careful not to be pushed by the currents by idling. They quickly move over the water and then the scouts go next. They jump and run quickly through the river as though it isn't any kind of impediment.


    Then they hear a shout from the trees. Some scouts are informing them of approaching humans. The soldiers shove Mordred into the river, where he topples over and his head plunges below the water. He writhes, unable to use his hands to support himself as they're tied behind him. The warm water is strangely soothing despite his predicament.

    He's hoisted from the water by two soldiers. They drag him along by his arms. The scouts stand on the far bank with their bows poised.

    Sir Kay: "There he is!"

    Mordred tries to look back to see Sir Kay but the soldiers only drag him all the harder. The drow scouts, without needing any kind of order, let fly their arrows.

    Sir Gawain: "Take over!"

    Mordred hears someone cry out in pain, evidently hit by an arrow, but he can't tell who it is. He reaches the bank and the drow fire another volley. Mordred feels guilty that someone was hurt, or even dead, trying to save him. He wants them to stop trying to save him and save their own lives, sacrifice him. He's not worth it.

    At least that's what some tiny speck of his brain is telling him, evidently the speck of his brain that has been infected by Sir Lancelot and Galahad. The rest of him urges the knights to push on and hurry the Hell up over that bloody river. He doesn't want to be spending the night in water torture device these sneaky devils have in store for him.

    Suddenly a magical battle erupts behind him and he watches the scouts quickly run away from the magical blasts, likely being expelled by Sir Caelia or The Faerie Knight. Several drow wizards, instead, turn about and chant quickly to cast a magical wall between them and the captors. He's dragged through the jungle and he wonders what happened in the wizard battle. Did the drow wizards just sacrifice themselves? That didn't seem the style of these drow. Perhaps they were overconfident in their magical prowess, or underestimated the magical skill of the humans. Or maybe they held up the barrier just long enough to then make a retreat.

    He then finds stone underfoot. The jungle has given way to a huge slab of stone in the ground. It might have not been noticed by Mordred had it not been for the strange carvings in the stone surface. Symbols, writing, diagrams - it all looks like a lot of magical spells to him. The slab itself is long enough to have been the foundations of a great hall and he wonders if this was once a drow village. Maybe that's why the drow hate the humans so much - they're invading their territory.

    The soldiers file on and the scouts, again, have arrows notched in case the humans come blundering up behind them. The remaining wizards step onto the slab and netherlight suddenly seeps from their feet and into the stone slab beneath them. The symbols and writing all illuminates brightly with netherlight and the stone rattles and rumbles. Mordred falls to his knees but the drow, with thier peculiar agility, stand aloft with ease. Even the heavy amoured drow are able to stand perfectly still.


    Mordred suddenly realises that the massive stone slab is actually leaving the ground. Up and up and up. The gigantic rectangular block of rock is actually flying. He hears exclamations in English from below, but by now they're well away and the scouts have lowered their bows and returned arrows to their quivers. The air grows colder and thinner as the flying slab rises ever higher. Then it slows and turns. Mordred wobbles, feeling like he's going to topple off. He throws himself down against the rock and tries to hold onto it, awkwardly bringing his tied wrists to his side. The slab then slowly soars through the sky towards a distant mountain.

    From up here he sees Seldarine ever more clearly, its fractured surface like a cracked and broken stone. He hopes that's not an omen for what's to come as he looks back down at the slab he's flying on. He tries to look up at the drow, without straying too far from lying down. Some of the drow have seated themselves, settling in for a long flight. They're chittering in their own language and he senses many glances in his direction.


    Prince Mordred: "Could someone now tell me why I was captured?"

    Drow: "You will know when you will know."

    He groans with irritation but he's too afraid of being flung off the flying brick to argue. Of all the things to see today, he hadn't expected this.

    ----

    He realises he had slept on the rock as his eyes snap open. It's unusual waking up on Caledonia since it's always as dark as when you fall asleep. He had, however, been drolling. He tries to gather some semblence of dignity, as though nobody had seen him snoozing away with spit dripping from his lips. Unfortunately a face full of rock leaves a very artistic pattern across the skin. Albeit a painful one.

    The slab has landed somewhere on the mountainside, embedding itself into the soft ground and becoming nothing more than a curious rock formation. At the far end of the slab is a silk tent of dark red that reminds Mordred of Isolde's hair. The gazebo has its canopy raised high and the front flaps are wide open. Inside is a table and an occupied chair. The woman there is a drow too, but she is not soldier. She's wearing a long, red dress that actually matches the tent, complete with white webbing-like patterns across the lower half of the skirt. It has a black hemline and the bustier amplifies the woman's chest with what looks like bone ribbing. The dress comes up at the back to form a kind of setting sun effect behind her head and on her head is a tiara that actually has horns on either side, as though she knows the mental anguish that might induce into a Christian culture's psyche.

    She has incredibly long white hair that appears well groomed and as soft as silk. It appears to reach down to her waist at least. The small white specks at her temples are more numerous than most of the drow he'd seen and he imagined these specks would likely be considered beauty marks by their culture. The drow all share the same coloured iris - lilac. It's an unusual colour to find in the midst of such a dark complexion and it can be so faint that some drow look like they only have their tiny black pupils.

    The woman is seated with one leg crossed over the other at the knee, showing her leg from the calf. Her skin is incredibly black and, to Mordred's eye, looks very soft and her fingers are completely uncalloused. Something in him admires the woman. But mostly he recognises the danger of someone who knows they're in complete control of the situation and that he is at their complete disposal.

    When she notices that he's awake she looks at him with a slightly amused expression on her lips. He manages to stand up and finds that his hands are unbound. There's only two soldiers present aside from this woman. Her arrogance leaves him puzzled. Is she stupid or is there more than meets the eye. He slowly approaches her.

    Prince Mordred:
    "Are you go--"

    One of the soldiers stamps towards him. He watches her, thinking she's going to check him for weapons or drag him closer to the woman in red. When the guard throws a punch to his stomach, knocking the wind out of him, he's taken by complete surprise. He falls to his knees and gasps for breath. How the woman could punch so hard through armour he couldn't fathom right now. He actually sees stars for a moment as he gasps for breath.

    Drow Guard:
    "You speak only when speak to."

    The woman appears ever more amused by her victim. Mordred snarls defiantly.

    Prince Mordred: "How about you go fu--"

    The guard punches his face so hard that he actually falls to one side. Evidently these two women are empowered beyond their physical limitations. Mordred spits a glob of blood out. He'd been hurt more now than he had for the whole capture. Perhaps he's overestimated his worth. This woman only seemed to be entertained by him.

    Prince Mordred: "Ouch... you know... you hit like a girl..."

    He snickers at himself but is rewarded by a kick to the stomach. He groans with agony. He lies there quietly by himself, waiting for the pain to subside. He wonders what witty remark he could come up with next. He doesn't enjoy the beatings but he's quite thrilled at the opportunity to play the defiant prisoner. At least he can keep it up until the real torture starts. Then he'll squeal like a pig and tell them whatever they want to know at the first sign of a rack.

    Woman in Red: "Welcome, Prince-king. These land is called Llurth Caridwen. In your tongue this is meaning Mountain Island."

    She gestures and the guards hoist him up. They drag his limp body towards the edge of the cliff that they're on. She sweeps her hand down and he can see that the mountain is, indeed, surrounded by sea on all sides. Almost a perfect circle around the mountain base where he can see thick jungle foliage and some drow-made towers.

    Woman in Red:
    "This land is mine. I am named Prelate Seerias. I am prelate of Llurth Caridwen, and blessed by Lolth."

    Prince Mordred: "So you're a crazy moon-worshipper?"

    He manages to grin.

    Prelate Seerias: "Moon-worshipper? Perhaps. Crazy?"

    She crouches down and grabs his face. She forces her fingers into the wound just inflicted by guard. He winces and moans at the pain she inflicts.

    Prelate Seerias: "Absolutely."

  10. #90
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Space Camelot: The Invaders of Caledonia

    Space Camelot: The Invaders of Caledonia
    Characters: King Arthur | Queen Guinevere | Prince Mordred | Morganna le Fay | Merlin the Younger | Sir Kay | Sir Lancelot | Sir Bedivere | Sir Galahad | Sir Tristram | Sir Caelia | Sir Red Rose Knight | Sir Black Knight | Sir Faerie Knight | Andy | Admiral Ltexi | Gamma Pans | Monde | King Mark | Queen Iseult | Sir Gawain | Sir Greene Knight | Isolde of the White Hands | Prelate Seerias

    Several months ago...


    King Arthur: "Now that the wall has let me go... where are we?"

    Tom a'Lincoln marches across the Command Deck as though he'd never been pinned to the wall at all. His ability to walk straight, no matter how wobbly, or drunk, or tired he is often staggers Arthur's mind. All those years at sea certainly did his sense of balance the world of good. Arthur generally avoided boats altogether because a few inches of oak tree between him and swimming the breadth of the Irish Sea never appealed. The only reason Arthur is satisfied with this ship is because instead of inches of wood, there's metres upon metres of metal.

    Besides, if God had wanted man to go floundering about in water He would have made both halves of a mermaid attractive instead of just the top half. And He would have made manatees more appealing in general.

    Tom a'Lincoln: "I have no idea, Sire. The ship just kind of... went where it wanted to go..."

    Guinevere: "What do you mean by that?"

    She gracefully walks over to Arthur, again as though she had also never been pinned to the walk. Guinevere possesses an almost supernatural ability to appear composed at all times. Even when pinned to the wall she looked, to Arthur, lies she was lying upon their bed.

    Though that may just be wishful thinking on his part.


    Tom a'Lincoln:
    "When I set a course to leave the Solar System it automatically generated this location, your majesty."

    Guinevere: "I see. Would that mean the original owners of this vessel had intended to come here?"

    There's a moment of quiet as everyone considers the implications of that.

    Tom a'Lincoln:
    "I... suppose so."



    Months later;

    King Arthur: "They took my son!?"

    He looks like his indignation might boil over into pure rage. Then, abruptly, it vanishes.

    King Arthur:
    "Guess I'll have to work on getting new ones."

    Sir Kay:
    "Or we could, you know, save him?"

    His indignation returns.

    King Arthur: "Right! I shall save my son!"

    They're gathered together in a large hut, made from the blue logs of the jungle trees. The Blue Hut, as it is mostly known, is Arthur and Guinevere's private abode and is positioned towards the near of the camp - which faces a thin stream. The stream itself has been encompassed into the camp so that a source of fresh water is provided and has even been cleverly engineered to come up some metal faucets like in the rooms of Camelot. Arthur has even had a toilet installed. This had been his top priority as he didn't want to have to start pooping in pans to give to servants anymore. He remembered that one servant once stole his poop and sold it as 'divine poop' that someone smeared on their head... It wasn't a nice thing to witness when the man was arrested for refusing to wash it off and his story judged. He always remembers, specifically, the man's grin through the--

    Sir Kay: "I know where they went. Me and Sir Tristram watched them after their flying... brick--"

    He glances at Sir Bedivere for confirmation on the terminology.

    Sir Kay: "--went towards a distant mountain. The mountain is pretty far off, could take a while to get there unless we use the spaceboats."

    Sir Tristram: "We'd lose any surprise we might have had though..."

    Sir Kay: "They're all--"

    He wiggles his fingers.

    Sir Kay: "--magical though. They'd probably know we were coming either way."

    Sir Lancelot: "These drow lack all honour!"

    Queen Guinevere: "Not all of them, dear knight."

    Tempers soften as the Queen of Space Britain talks.

    Queen Guinevere: "We have met many who are very pleasant and cooperative. We have learnt much about this world from them. But their society is just like our human societies of Earth. Fractured and separated. One may favour us... another may not..."

    Sir Bedivere:
    "Indeed, your majesty. Why would they not favour us, I wonder?"

    Sir Tristram: "I want to know why they stole away with the prince."

    King Arthur: "I want to know how Africans got here before us!"

    There's a silence of absolute puzzlement between everyone save Arthur. He continues without noticing.

    King Arthur: "Maybe they found a ship of their own! Was it Ethiopia? I believe they are a powerful kingdom!"

    Sir Bedivere: "Sire, not all black people are Africans..."

    King Arthur: "... they're not?"

    Sir Bedivere: "I believe we need to have a conversation about racism, Sire. But we can assume that the drow are native to this world. They do need perfectly adapted to it."

    King Arthur:
    "Like they evolved to suit the world?"

    The knights look in horror at him.


    Sir Bedivere: "Absolutely not! They were evidently created by God to suit the environment He put them in, Sire."

    King Arthur:
    "Oh right. That's what I meant to say."

    Sir Kay: "Along with the Space Badgers?"

    Sir Robin:
    "They're obviously created by the devil himself!"

    Sir Lancelot:
    "At least it didn't eat you!"

    Sir Kay:
    "Unfortunately..."

    Sir Robin is seated on the wooden armchair, again made of the same blue wood as the rest of the building only smoothed out to be soft and smooth to the touch. Someone has made comfortable cushions for the chair that are coloured white to compliment the blue wood décor well. With the large white cushions are small blue pillows, one of which Sir Robin clutches to his stomach as he remembers being sat on by the giant badger-like monster beyond the palisade.

    The windows of the hut contain glass that is slightly tinted white, apparently due to the chemical compounds of the sand on this planet. This gives the outside a lighter look that it actually has. The curtains are white drapes. The Greene Knight had created some cotton plants that was used to make the materials. Trying to find a plant adequate for making cloth has so far been a trial.

    The wood does burn very well and Sir Gawain throws another blue log into the fireplace. The scent of the wood is, however, quite strong and took the knights a while to get used to it. It smells somewhere between fruit and Coca-Cola. Like coke with a twist of lemon and lime.

    Most of the knights are standing, Sir Gawain on fireplace duty, while Queen Guinevere, Gamma Pans and The Faerie Knight are seated around a blue circular table. Only Sir Robin is sitting by himself, aways from everyone, on account of his infirm state.

    Gamma Pans:
    "I hope they don't do anything terrible to the young prince..."

    King Arthur: "I heard that Africans cut a man's..."

    He makes cutting motions towards his nether region. A few knights recoil in horror.

    Sir Kay: "You know Africa is a continent, not a single culture, right?"

    Queen Guinevere: "And they're not Africans."

    King Arthur seems oblivious to their remarks.

    King Arthur: "If they do render him female--"

    Sir Bedivere: "That wouldn't mean he's--"

    King Arthur: "--then I guess I'll need new children to continue the line!"

    Sir Tristram wouldn't let on but he finds these kinds of remarks very irritating, judging that the king is more than keen to cut Prince Mordred from the line of succession. Guinevere, too, doesn't seem to mind the constant references made by her husband. Though loyal to Arthur, Tristram has a deep respect for Mordred and feels he'd be an excellent king with more time to learn to take his responsibilities seriously.

    Sir Bedivere: "Do we go for an all-out assault of the mountain then? It may be very dangerous given we do not know the terrain very well."

    Sir Tristram:
    "We should obviously scout the area with a small party. Maybe we can even get in undetected--"

    Sir Kay: "Magic! Hello?"

    Sir Tristram: "Magic only works when being used. If there are magical detectors, then perhaps, but otherwise I see no reason we couldn't manage it. I have taken out many evil wizards in my time, Sir Kay."

    Sir Kay: "Uh, yeah! So have I! I was just saying, you know, they might have those magic detectors... right?"

    Sir Tristram: "We don't know what defences they have in place unless we scout the area."

    The Faerie Knight: "We could approach the locals and see if they'd help us. They might have information on the area, or even offer to take us there."

    Sir Bedivere: "They may know what they want with the prince."

    Sir Lancelot: "They probably want a ransom. Confound their blackhearts!"

    Sir Gawain: "Who will go to meet the locals then? I think I remember the way to the nearest drow village..."

    Sir Tristram: "A group to meet the locals and another group on standby for battle at all times. They may well return or we might have to move quickly to this magic mountain in a rescue effort..."

    King Arthur: "Good, good, Sir Tristram. I was wise to hire you."

    Nobody comments how Arthur takes Tristram's success and makes it his own.

    Sir Tristram: "Glad to be of service, your majesty. The tournament was a long time ago..."

    He speaks as his mind briefly drifts to the past. It doesn't last long, though, as he thinks of the unfortunate prince in bondage.

    Not that kind of bondage, you dirty minded readers.


    Sir Tristram: "So... now we just need to decide who will seek out the local drow village?"




    Several months ago;

    King Mark: "I think this would make a fine spot! Clear the trees, push back the jungle, and we'd have enough wood to make a strong wall to protect against these... giant badgers."

    Queen Iseult: "And there's a freshwater stream nearby."

    King Mark: "Have we tested the water yet? It may not be safe to drink..."

    Queen Iseult: "Sir Robin already drank it... and he's not dead."

    King Mark: "Ah. Quite."

    Nobody has to ask why Sir Robin drank the water without checking it was safe. The answer would, invariably, be; "Because it's Sir Robin".

    Sir Gawain: "I've seen some of the jungle trees that have fruit on them. No one has eaten them yet, but hopefully they'll be edible."

    Sir Kay: "Maybe we should give them to Sir Robin..."

    Sir Kay is an odd addition to the planning committee this morning. He's never shown an interest before but suddenly he's down here with the 'tree-huggers' as he'd been calling them before now. King Mark and Queen Iseult are joined not only by Sir Kay and Sir Gawain but also the usual presence of The Greene Knight and Gamma Pans. Between them The Greene Knight and Sir Gawain have been studying the flora and fauna for sources of food and materials.

    Queen Iseult: "I do wish there was more light. This can't be healthy for us."

    King Mark: "I'm inclined to agree with you, dear. But I think we'll be fine here for a while. You know our king. He likes to try new things. This is just another stint, like when we were on Saturn."

    He glances at Gamma Pans.

    King Mark: "My apologies."

    The X-Krypton gives a little shrug. A very human shrug.


    Gamma Pans: "Water under the bridge, as you might say."

    They hear voices nearby and glance over. From the trees they can see the young Prince Mordred in the distance. He's not wearing his armour, only his princely costume of furs and fine silk. On his head is an especially broad hat with a feather tipped in it. Mark doesn't approve much of the young man. He had too much of his mother in him.

    Then they see Sir Tristram with Mordred and an awkward silence drops upon husband and wife.

    They wait until the two have passed by, out of sight, and Mark turns to Iseult and softly says;


    King Mark: "I'm sorry."

    Iseult flashes angry eyes at him.

    Queen Iseult: "Don't. Don't do that."

    King Mark:
    "What?"

    She speaks agitatedly but as hushed as her angry tone will allow, trying to keep it out of earshot of the others who are poking at the soil and discussing whether it would do for growing crops. They marvel as The Greene Knight causes a cotton plant to spontaneously grow from the ground.

    Queen Iseult: "Don't be nice to me. Don't apologise. Why are you apologising!? You did nothing..."

    King Mark: "I'm sorry that you have to see him. I know it must bother you..."

    Queen Iesult: "Bother me? Why doesn't it bother you!?"

    King Mark:
    "It does. It does..."

    They're both quiet again and the voices of the others creeps over them as they stare at each other with deep, awkward sorrow.

    Sir Kay: "Is that magic? Where did you learn it?"

    The Greene Knight: "Magic of my people, Sir Kay."

    Sir Kay: "The Chinese you mean?"

    The Greene Knight: "No. Not quite. My people were there before there was a China. Once there was a great kingdom of my people, long, long before China. Before Egypt. So the story goes, at least."

    Sir Gawain:
    "Like the stories of Atlantis that the old Merlin used to tell the kids?"

    The Greene Knight: "Yes. Like that. The Naacal people lost their home when some great flood swept the planet--"

    Sir Gawain: "For forty days and forty nights?"

    The Greene Knight: "Perhaps. I don't think our stories are so specific. Either way, the survivors drifted to Asia where we dwelt in the forests of the land. We live... longer than humans."

    Sir Kay: "How long?"

    The Greene Knight:
    "Since I'm on an interplanetary mission on a hostile planet, probably until I get an arrow to the skull from one of those sneaky drow characters."

    Sir Kay: "Fair point."

    The Greene Knight: "So yes. Our magic is passed down through the generations. It's entirely genetic in nature. We have an extra feature to our cells which allows the production of magic. It's why I don't need aether to use magic and I'm unaffected by The Rift to Albion. Probably why The Lady of the Lake doesn't like me very much."

    Sir Kay: "She is a bit of a prickly tart though."

    They chuckle.


    Sir Gawain: "So rude."

    Gamma Pans: "Do you think you could understand my magical amulet, Sir... uh. Sorry I don't actually know your name."

    The Greene Knight: "Everyone just calls me The Greene Knight. If you have to call me Sir anything, then Sir Greene will do just fine."

    Gamma Pans: "Sir Greene it is."

    The Greene Knight: "As for your amulet, sorry I can't help. My magic is very narrow focused. It's flora only. Your lightning is more... aether magic. Wizard magic. Even witch magic. Mine is nature magic and nature only. Sorry I can't help you."

    Gamma Pans: "It's alright. I'm sure Lady Morganna and Miss Merlin can solve the riddle themselves."

    Sir Kay snorts.

    Sir Kay: "Weird to hear them called that. And if there's one thing I know about those two, it's they can't work together to save their own lives. God knows how poor Old Merlin kept up."

    Gamma Pans: "Why is it that this God person seems to know so much?"

    The Christians sigh. Sir Greene smirks with amusement.




    Several months later;


    Prince Mordred:
    "My father will come for me, Prelate Seerias. You know that, right?"

    Prelate Seerias: "I'm counting on it, little princeling."

    They're still on the side of the mountain, underneath the dark sky. Lolth still looms there, as though it spurs on the prelate's misdeeds. Only the smaller, less spectacular moons, otherwise occupy the sky now. Their small round shapes dot the sky. One of them is moving quite quickly, while the rest slowly pace their way across landscape. Dark clouds seem to be rolling in from the east. The first storm he would experience on this world - and he's stuck out in the open on a mountain.

    Prince Mordred:
    "So you're setting a trap? Don't you want a ransom or something?"

    Prelate Seerias: "The only ransom I would accept is that you invaders leave our world and never return."

    Prince Mordred: "We're not invaders."

    Prelate Seerias:
    "This is not your land to settle. That makes you invaders."

    Prince Mordred:
    "We were accepted by the Eberron."

    Prelate Seerias: "You are not accepted by me!"

    She lashes out with a backhand and catches Mordred off-guard. He stumbles back and clutches his stinging skin. Her sudden outbursts might just land him in real trouble if he's not careful.

    Prelate Seerias: "Invaders from the sky. You come, you claim lands not your own and then kill my sisters to keep them out."

    Prince Mordred: "Your sisters tried to kill us first."

    Prelate Seerias: "You claim our holy ground!"

    The prince falters.

    Prince Mordred: "We didn't know, we'll settle elsewhere if--"

    Prelate Seerias: "All of Caledonia is holy ground. If it lies beneath Lolth then it is holy. Your ilk are not permitted to sully the soil of her divine netherlight."

    Evidently this woman has zero inclination to be reasonable.

    Prince Mordred: "You don't know who you're messing with."

    Prelate Seerias: "Those would be rather entertaining last words, wouldn't they?"

    She stares at him with dead serious eyes and he decides not to push his luck any further. He certainly isn't going to make jibes if his life might actually be forfeit. Then there's a tremendous boom from above them. Mordred thought it was the storm coming in when he first heard it but as he looks up he sees the massive hulk of Camelot. He knows his father is here on Caledonia so who would--?

    Prince Mordred: "Mother..."

    Then there's flashes of light and, as he watches, he realises it's about to rain hot, hot plasma. Apparently his mother is very unhappy. Plasma bolts strike the terrain around the mountain, melting jungle areas to ash and molten slag in an instant. One blast hits the mountain towards the peak and the whole area shakes violently. Mordred thinks he's probably going to end up dead by his own mother's hand instead of being rescued.

    Prelate Seerias stands defiantly while her two guards looks uncertain about the new development. She thrusts her finger towards the ship looming massive in the sky.


    Prelate Seerias: "So they think to return now, do they!? Perhaps they sense the presence of the other invaders!"

    It takes Mordred a moment to follow the train of words that the priest of Lolth just ran through.

    Prince Mordred: "You mean... you've seen this ship before?"

    She spins to face him.

    Prelate Seerias: "Indeed! The invaders that came before you! Seems they have taken you as allies!"

  11. #91
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326

    Hit and Run

    In the top of the tallest tower of the Stronghold of Powerplayers, the massive and palatial citadel in the High Empire's capital, Highemp and his daughter Chimaat pore over some holograms of newly conquered territory. Their war planning is interrupted when Knightlord Thorn strides in.

    Knightlord Thorn: Highemp, I have bad news.

    Highemp raises an eyebrow, unperturbed. Being a nigh-omnipotent uber powerplaying emperor-deity means that nearly any sort of 'bad news' is easily rectified.

    Highemp: Yes?

    Knightlord Thorn: Five of your daughters have been killed.

    Highemp: What, again? I'll resurrect them immediately. Which ones?

    Chimaat: It hardly matters, Daddy. My sisters are a dime a dozen.

    Highemp: But how did they die? It takes quite a lot to kill my offspring, let alone five of them.

    Knightlord Thorn: The Space Bus Driver has struck again.

    Highemp and Chimaat both recoil in horror.

    Highemp: The fiend! What baffles me is, why would anyone go to the trouble of procuring a multiversal transport only to target my daughters?

    Chimaat: The more pressing question is, why would they make said multiversal transport look like a bus?

    Knightlord Thorn looks askance at Chimaat but makes no comment.

    Highemp: Have our forces caught the Space Bus Driver yet?

    Knightlord Thorn: Unfortunately not. His space bus is powered by tasseoline - rather than gasoline or nuclear fusion or anything else - and one of tea's little-known properties, as well you know, is to dampen powerplaying abilities.

    Highemp: Much like frying pans...

    He winces at a memory that Thorn and Chimaat are not privy to.

    Chimaat: But Daddy, you're powerful enough that no tea could stop you! Why don't you capture or kill the Space Bus Driver?

    Highemp: How would it look if I personally had to step in to deal with a damn bus driver???

    Knightlord Thorn: A fair point, sire.

    Chimaat: And after all, they're only a few sisters among how many thousands anyway?

    Knightlord Thorn: ...the Space Bus Driver also ran over a field of turnips.

    Chimaat: I'LL KILL THAT *******!!!
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 11-04-2016 at 01:30 PM.

  12. #92

    Zhuge vs Neith

    Meanwhile, back at the God-Monarchs' Middle Ground, the elfen Egyptian-esque God-Monarch, Neith, speaks up.

    Neith: "If you wish to see a longer game, Imeryn, I can do that... provided my game is up to the challenge."

    She looks at Zhuge, who in turn nods.

    Imeryn: "Yes, but not too long, please! After all, Neith, I know you're the sort that likes to sit around and...wait for their moment to strike. Hunting can be a dreadfully dull sport, sometimes."

    The two walk out onto the arena ground, each always keeping an eye on the other. Neith, short among most of the God-Monarchs, checks her various pouches and pockets to note her inventory, before tightening the red crown-like band around her head. Zhuge, even shorter than Neith, brushes his brown robe and tan feathers alike, as if to show Neith that he only has himself to show. With his Buddhist-style necklace as his only adornment and his general bird-like appearance, he appears like prime prey for a hunter. The two stand off, facing each other, hints of smiles appearing on both their counternances.

    The gong rings.


    Imeryn: "Begin!"

    Just as Imeryn finishes uttering the last syllable, Zhuge dissapears. As he disappears, the rest of the arena ground litters with a jungle of objects, some natural, others man-made, an electic mix filled with titanic trees and terrifying towers, tempting treasures and trivial trash. Neith summons a dark, cat-like creature, which begins to sniff out the surroundings, while Neith herself brandishes a pair of emeici-like weapons in each hand. She makes a cocking action with each, as if they could each shoot something, before prowling the grounds herself.

    Neith: "You've set a wild and confusing stage for our fight, Zhuge."

    While Neith can be heard from all, Zhuge's words from the astral plane speak a level of quietness only Neith can hear.

    Zhuge: "Thank you, that's the idea. Tell me, why do you collude with these others?"

    As Zhuge speaks, Neith listens carefully for where she believes he may be hiding. She begins to speak in a quieter tone, such that the other God-Monarchs presume to better hunt.

    Neith: "Same as you, I would think. Same as them all. The Highemperor is a threat, and we band together to bring him down. But I suspect you didn't need to band with others. Why did you agree to join with these others?"

    Zhuge: "Same as you, I would think. Despite your claim otherwise, I think you're with them to observe. This NeSiverse may be in danger by a such self-proclaimed Highemperor, and it may be in danger from those that wish to challenge him. We observe, and then we make our step only when the time is right, yes?"

    As Zhuge asks his question, Neith stops still. It's a sort of stillness that makes statues look lively. She holds her hand up, and her cat-like familiar stops as well, then she points to the side, and the familiar follows her direction.

    Neith: "We wait, yes, and we take note of our target. You, for instance, prefer to hide in unassuming places."

    In sync with making her point, Neith strikes at a bird's nest of eggs. The nest anticlimatically breaks in a sad fashion. Neith snarls.

    Zhuge: "And you prefer to use your tools to flush your target so that you can deliver the blow yourself. As you say, we take note."

    For a moment, Neith stands lost in her self-evaluation of her situation. From the seating, Imeryn calls out.

    Imeryn: "I hope one of you two do something already! We have others I think who will put on a much more thrilling show ahead of you."

    Inspiration seems to have struck Neith, and she once more directs her familiar to a new direction, while Neith herself stalks in another, flanking fashion.

    Neith: "You and I may also be the only ones to have taken note of this Highemperor himself. How he was born on Earth, how he once was a mere mortal, how he ties his power to something he would call a narrative. You know this too, right? You like your stories."

    She waits for a response. When she receives none, she allows a smile to creep along her face.

    Neith: "It seems in this Highemperor's case, he aimed to control the whole of this NeSiverse, and in his mind, everything within the four corners of Forever and beyond through that, and yet he perceived his master, his "writer", to have set him up for his downfall. Now this Highemperor considers himself a shell of his former self. Sound familiar?"

    Again, no response. Neith directs her familiar to surround what appears to be an old book on a stool to the side of a writing desk.

    Neith: "I think you and this Highemperor have more in common than you wish to admit. You may think yourself better than him, casting aside your power and hiding yourself away, and yet you still flaunt that which you two share so intimately, that which all gods crave..."

    She checks around herself, spying for any traps that may be around the book, before diverting her attention back to it.

    Neith: "Attention. Some want it in worship, others, like you, want it in tragic reverence. You want such a story to respect you as the most worthy, and this Highemperor stands before you for all to see. You say he stands for everything you've renounced, and I think you really believe that he stands for everything you respect."

    Just then, on the writing desk, where a writing quill sits in an ink well, Zhuge's form spills suddenly to Neith's side. She spins around, raising one arm to block, but Zhuge strikes with furious blows, his fists forming complex signals in the single, smallest frames of time as they connect with Neith, easily pushing her blocking arm in the direction it wanted to go, away from him. Both his palms end on her solar plexus, one high and one low, his eyes staring into hers with a fiery maelstrom of emotion never before seen by the God-Monarchs. In fact, since his back is towards the other God-Monarchs, only Neith sees his fury.

    Zhuge: "You've made a mistake. I am not like him."

    Neith: "You're right. I'm not like him either."

    She looks down, and Zhuge follows her gaze. He can see that she has one of her emeici points poised to his side.

    Neith: "So what's your next step?"

    While she stares back at Zhuge with admirable confidence, it's also clear that she's struggling for composure as Zhuge literally holds his life in her hands. The raw fury in Zhuge's gaze calms, drawing one of his hands to pat the other, as if to undo whatever ultimate attack he had just performed.

    Zhuge: "Observe. My target still has much for me to see."

    He draws his hands away from her, then turns to Imeryn and the others.

    Zhuge: "I yield to Neith."

    Most of the God-Monarchs applaud politely as the arena grounds dissolve into its former, more bare environment. Zhuge and Neith bow to each other before making their way back up to the seating. Imeryn yawns in apparent boredom.

    Imeryn: "Long, short, I just ask that the next two show us something worth watching, please."

  13. #93

    Yannah vs Lo

    Lo: "Well, if you want something worth watching, then that means I should--"

    Din: "DIN FINISH EATING, NOW DIN FINISH GHOST-MAN!"

    With no regard for anything, the giant, golden goddess lunges once more against the even taller spectre known as The Shard, who once more deftly dodges her attacks. Imeryn sighs.

    Imeryn: "Can you lure her out over there, please?"

    The Shard does as Imeryn asks, floating out towards the arena grounds, Din mindlessly swinging at him with various sharp axes, greatswords, and maces. When the two arrive at the center, and The Shard seems ready to take on the offensive, Din suddenly stops, apparently distracted by a bird flying overhead. Imeryn takes the opportunity to ring the dong.

    Imeryn: "Begin!"

    For a while, The Shard hovers in place, waiting for Din to make her move. The God-Monarchs wait to see who will make the first move.

    Dave: "Who's Din fighting again?"

    Lo: "Nosebleed section up here, amirite? Try these binoculars."

    As it so happens, the pair of binoculars she gives Dave actually allow him to focus long enough in remembering what he's seeing for more than a split moment.

    Dave: "She's fighting the ghost of Slenderman dressed up as the ghost of Jacob Marley?"

    Lo: "What?"

    Dave: "Nevermind. Is that guy going to be able to stand up against Din?"

    Lo: "Besides you? If anyone, maybe this guy. I don't know much about this guy, but I hear he does his best work when nobody's looking, like some sort of super-ninja. Then again, ninjas are nothing compared to pirates like me."

    Dave: "Ninja, huh? So, this is going to be like a fight between Batman and Joker?"

    Lo: "Who?"

    Before Dave can respond, though, The Shard decides to take the first move. The black script bound to him like tattoos and chains ripple through the air, and an unnatural night-time falls across the Middle Ground. The Shard steps back and disappears into the darkness, while Din stands oblivious, her body shimmering in an almost gaudy, ornamental fashion despite the lack of light to reflect off her. The foreboding atmosphere, clearly invoked against Din, forms chains of unbreakable words tying her hands and feet in place. A silence suffocates the Middle Ground, and only slashing glints of light betray a flurry of attacks from behind her.

    Moments after the attack, Din's body falls to the ground in pieces. The Shard stands visible now behind where she had been.


    Dave: "Well, that was unexpected."

    The piece of Din's body that contained her mouth begins to laugh hysterically and loudly.

    Dave: "I take that back - that was unexpected."

    Din's laughter breaks the silence into more pieces than she embodies, and the pieces of her float up into the air.

    Din: "GIVE DIN HUG!"

    The pieces of Din flicker, and dozens of nasty claws (and one croissant) jut from her pieces, then snap to encase The Shard in a coffin of her own body. The Shard, however, bursts from his own form into something resembling a swarm of bats, if the bats were made of the whispers of secrets no one should know of. Din, for her part, was largely whole again, except her head pointed backwards and her left hand was swapped with her left foot. For the moment, Din revels in her own madness, blinded by her own chaotic nature to think about The Shard, as random patches of the ground and sky around her pop into visual static-snow.

    The Shard, reforming behind her vision, whips one of his "chains of text" straight at her chest, as a harpoon on a rope, and pulls her towards him. As he does so, though, he can see that he seems to have pulled a ragdoll-like dummy of Din, and that the "real" Din stayed in place. In fact, a "waterfall" of Din dummies pour forth, all repeating the same effect the first dummy did, while Din herself moves to the side with no regard to physics. Not missing a beat, The Shard uses his chained Din dummy to hurl at the real Din, sending them both tumbling to the ground.

    To whomever said "sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me" never saw The Shard throw the very Words That Created A Multiverse at someone, flying through the air as shurikens if they were made of galaxies, first disarming the weapons Din attempting to draw before pinning her to the ground, crippling her in place. The Shard glides over to her position and leans into her neck, his faceless head splitting open into a mockery of a mouth, fanged and fearsome. Din's head spins around to face The Shard, her eyes wide, her mouth open to scream.

    Except she doesn't scream in terror. She screams with a lucidity not of her own, possessed by a madness so deep that it's reached around back to an understanding too clear to see by most.


    Din: "SAY MY NAME!"

    The Shard stops in place, his mouth now disappearing and, if his face could emote, would display confusion.

    Din: "SAY THE NAME OF THAT WHO BROKE YOU! SAY THE NAME OF THAT NOW IMPRISONED IN THE ABYSS. SAY THE NAME OF THAT WHO YOU FEAR! WHO WE ALL WILL FEAR!"

    Stepping back, The Shard shakes his head.

    DIN: "THEN I WILL!"

    The very air fills with thunderous echoes of her last word, whipping around as a violent thunderstorm. Din seems to be shouting a name at The Shard, but her voice is drowned out in the storm, and only The Shard could hear what she was saying. Before she could finish, though, The Shard slams shut the pandemonium silent, closing the shutters on whatever may have been said.

    A hushed whisper escapes from The Shard, and yet the God-Monarchs knew what he had said.

    He yielded to Din.

    This time, nobody applauded. The Shard, composed with dignity, glides back to the seats, while Din snaps out of whatever state she had been in.


    Din: "What happen?"

    Dave: *to himself* "Someone set up us the bomb."

    Imeryn: "You won, dear. Congratulations."

    Din: "Din...win?"

    Imeryn: "Yes."

    Din: "Din win! Din win din win din win din win..."

    The golden goddess skips back to the bleachers.

    Imeryn: "Perhaps whoever goes next could put on a little less of a show..."

  14. #94

    Now you're playing with power, SUPER POWER!

    Meanwhile, at the Stronghold of Powerplayers, Chimaat (once known as Entity #4) sits on a couch in a chamber filled to the brim with all sorts of items from Earth's popular culture in the 1990s. At this time, she stuffed something into the couch as she plays a game of Super Mario All-Stars on the Super Nintendo, specifically Super Mario Bros. 2 on it, using Princess Toadstool to launch turnips at enemies. From behind her, three of the others of the Council of Powerplayers step into room and in view.

    The first, once known as Entity #1, now identifies herself simply as X, wears a silver form-fitting robe, white opera gloves, and a face mask. The mask, similar in spirit to one worn by the Phantom of the Opera, bears a thin, black X across it, the mask exposing only her mouth and caucasian-colored cheek, itself adorned with abstracted whisker-like black markings which manage to complete the X motif across her counternance.

    The second, once known as Entity #2, goes by Knightlord Thorn. He too wears a largely body-concealing garment, but his outfit - dark - bears more the style of a cloak than a robe, and only his hood sometimes masks his dark eyes, completing the Strider-like look to his facial features. Golden gauntlets cover his hands, and while X's footsteps had betrayed the sound of heels, his betrays the sound of boots. Presumably, the rest of his appearance under his cloak gives reason to his name as Knightlord.

    The third, once known as Entity #6, calls himself Aryst Omnistellae, and adorns himself in a fashion not unlike a Roman Emperor. His armor, largely black leather and ornately decorated in gold and silver trims, compliments his white toga and cape. He never hides his effeminate face, and his head only bears a laurel wreath that appears to be made of shimmering stars. His sandals step with little noise.

    The three glare at Chimaat in judgement.


    Knightlord Thorn: "You failed to join us in our conquest of the Miracle-Agent Multiverse."

    Apparently ignoring Thorn's comment, Chimaat waves her hand to point out the things in the chamber, never taking her eyes off the game.

    Chimaat: "Did you know that an entire decade of the planet Earth seems to have been wholly Forgotten? And not by circumstance, it seems. To think, this culture would have been lost had it not been taken to Wayne's World."

    X: "Best left Forgotten, unlike your absence in our campaign."

    Chimaat: "You all managed well enough without me."

    Aryst Omnistellae: "It's not a matter of our success, child. Even just two of us could have successfully claimed that multiverse. It's a matter of show, dear. What good is adding another realm to the High Empire if we don't make our presence known, hmm?"

    Knightlord Thorn: "Fortunately, we improvised ourselves as the High Trinity which represented the Highemperor, but this campaign had been specifically designed as Highemperor's Reach Across The Four Corners, and would have preceded much more smoothly had the original vision been held."

    Chimaat: "It's all a bit silly, if you ask me."

    X: "We didn't -- and you best watch your tongue! You may be a daughter of Highemperor himself, but that will not save you if you speak ill of His will."

    Chimaat: "I have research to do here and power to play with, if that'll be all."

    X raises her hand, ready to backhand Chimaat across the rear of her head, when Knightlord Thorn stays her hand with his own.

    Knightlord Thorn: "That'll be all... this time."

    Thorn releases his grip from X as he turns his attention to her and Aryst.

    Knightlord Thorn: "Come. We still have to speak with Entity #3 and #5 about revealing their forms for christening the Virtue Warden Initiative."

    He turns his attention one last time to Chimaat, who still keeps her focus on Princess Toadstool fighting Birdo with a turnip she laboriously carried with her.

    Knightlord Thorn: "Perhaps Chimaat will deign the Initiative to be worth her time."

    The three powerplayers leave Chimaat to her gaming. When they've left, she eyes the door that they left before pulling out the item she had squirrel away in the couch -- an old book...
    Last edited by Gebohq; 11-07-2016 at 01:07 AM.

  15. #95

    And Now, The Amazing Carian Myste!

    Clad in the disguise of a simple guard, Highemperor stands on the other side of a gateway into the "stage" of the Imperia Amphitheater, more commonly known as the Interdimensional Arena. There, he looks on as a relatively rare performance plays out for the hundred and forty-four thousand attendees -- the Aeonial Act.

    Its star performer, Carian Myste, holds a position among five other powerplayer councilmen, known collectively known as the Pantheon of the High Throne. Donned in a traditional stage magician's suit and tophat, only his swirling iridescent scarf gives any immediate sign that he holds even the slightest physical power, and yet his presence clearly commands attention akin to the most flagrant of powerplayers. For those watching, though, they have already witnessed acts that make actual for-real magic appear as cheap parlor tricks in comparison, mockeries devoid of invoking wonderment -- no small feat with an audience of literal gods and goddesses.

    After a twirl of his cane, Carian Myste plants it to the ground to indicate the end of a particular segment of his act, after which applause breaks out. He strokes his Van Dyke beard in exaggerated thought.


    Carian Myste: "Now what could I possibly show you all next that you haven't already seen? How about a little old-fashion fun to break things up? Many unforgettable duels play out on these grounds, after all, so why not get double your value in this show!"

    The "stage" transforms, as if invisible curtains rise, and reveal a ghost town fitting of an American Western tale, though instead of simple human bandits surrounding him, a gang of seven clearly evil beings appear, each an amalgams of beast, machine, and demon, and all larger than life. He tips his tophat off and, with a flick of the wrist, it turns into something more fitting for a cowboy. His scarf wraps to conceal the bottom half of his face, and a spin of his cape transforms his suit into an outfit fitting of the Man with No Name. Myste reaches inside his jacket, but instead of pulling out pistols, he pulls only his own hands in the gesture of pistols. Again, in an exaggerated gesture, Myste displays confusion at his lack of weapons. Only a few in the audience seem to truly grasp the real danger present, with the rest either unaware of the identity of his opponents or believing this to be an illusion.

    From the side, Highemperor's face grows with some concern.


    Highemperor: "He actually summoned The Seven Sins of the Supreme Soulstice, here of all places. I should--"

    He steps forward, then stops.

    Highemperor: "No. He's not the vagabond I found him as. He's like a brother now, and he can do this on his own. I must believe that..."

    Despite his words to himself, Highemperor still stands on edge as he watches on.

    As the seven abominations of all Creation draw closer to Carian Myste, he taps his head with the bottom of one of his palms, as if he forgot something obvious. With another twirl of his hands, revolvers appear in his hands, and he starts firing upon the Seven Sins with far more concern for flashy form over function, the shots themselves leaving laser-like tracers through the air. While it's clear he's hitting them, it's also clear that he seems to be hitting them with what appear to be paint pellets, and his revolvers produce far more smoke than normal guns would. In fact, as the seven descend on his position, they dive into a pluming smoke cloud. Nasty shredding echoes throughout the ampitheatre, with bits of Myste's clothes spewing from the cloud. When the smoke dissipates, no sign of Myste remains, and the Seven Sins glance around in confusion.


    Voice: "Are you looking for me?"

    The seven turn to see Carian Myste, dressed once more in his traditional magician's suit, standing on top of the ghost town's single tower.

    Carian Myste: "Say good-bye to our lovely audience, won't you?"

    Before the seven could do otherwise, the paint splatters on each of them spreads across their bodies, glittering brighter and brighter, until each of the seven stands completely covered in glittering paint. Simultaneously, the Seven Sins of the Supreme Soulstice explode in a confetti of glitter. The crowd cheers, and Highemperor relaxes.

    Highemperor: "He knew their sub-atomic weak spots after all, and he hit his marks."

    Myste continues bowing as the Western backdrop disappears as it had appeared, lowering the powerplayer to the ground in the process. As the applause quiets down, he pulls out what appears to be a pocketwatch with a mirror in it from his breast pocket.

    Carian Myste: "Oh my, look at the time. This show's just about over! Though I suppose I could perform one final act..."

    He holds his pocketwatch mirror up high, and as he pirouettes, a trail of mirrors spread from his watch, growing and spreading as if throwing a stone in a lake to cast ripples in the water. For now, the mirrors simply cast reflections of himself and the audience, but soon, they notice that they can see different versions of themselves, from different realities, and while they can see different versions of Myste as well, it seems more like different outfits like his outlaw one, from something akin to Robin Hood to something akin to the King of Thieves to countless alien attires. The realities themselves show one reason why the Interdimensional Arena may have been given such a name, each leaving the audience feeling smaller and smaller in the expanse of pure imagination. Just as the audience of gods and goddesses feel like powerless mortals, the "original" Carian Myste grabs hold of his cane.

    Carian Myste: "Until next time."

    He snaps his pocketwatch shut, and the whole of the ampitheater space suddenly snaps into darkness. A moment later, the lights return, and Myste is gone. The audience raises in a thunderous standing ovation.

    Highemperor smirks, and turns to see Carian Myste standing next to him.


    Highemperor: "A good show, as always, Cari."

    Myste bows, far less showy but with far more sincerity.

    Carian Myste: "Thank you."

    Highemperor: "Did you have to steal the Tears of Purity to use on the Seven Sins though? It'll take me another three billion years to restock those things!"

    Myste smiles somewhat sheepishly.

    Carian Myste: "I'm better at asking for forgiveness than permission."

    Highemperor: "Well, you did me a favor. Those seven kept the High Empire from fully claiming the Supreme Soulstice for far too long. I had planned to send Entity #5 with Aryst and Thorn to do the job next century -- speaking of, I could have sworn you were Entity #4."

    Myste smile turns mischievously.

    Carian Myste: "Why said I wasn't?"

    Highemperor: "You do enjoy impersonating the others, don't you? Particularly my daughter, Chimaat..."

    Carian Myste: "I keep telling you, at least half of those are her idea!"

    The two laugh as close kin do with an inside joke.

    Highemperor: "Walk with me, Cari. We still have much of Forever to explore."

    Carian Myste: "And much good to still do!"

    As the two walk, Myste seems oblivious to the emptiness that reveals itself in Highemperor's eyes.

    Highemperor: "Yes, of course..."

  16. #96
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Space Camelot: The Drow

    Space Camelot: The Drow
    Characters: King Arthur | Queen Guinevere | Prince Mordred | Morganna le Fay | Merlin the Younger | Sir Kay | Sir Lancelot | Sir Bedivere | Sir Galahad | Sir Tristram | Sir Caelia | Sir Red Rose Knight | Sir Black Knight | Sir Faerie Knight | Andy | Admiral Ltexi | Gamma Pans | King Mark | Queen Iseult | Sir Gawain | Sir Greene Knight | Isolde of the White Hands | Prelate Seerias | Minister Lysse

    Sir Galahad is vaguely aware of some tension in his party, especially between the two Isoldes. Or rather Iseult and Isolde, who both essentially bore the same name but in two vying languages - English and Gaelic. Isolde of the White Hands, who was actually born in Brittany which makes her mostly French, is taking every opportunity to snap and argue at Iseult, the Irish Princess now Queen of Cornwall. Sir Tristram is actually more talkative than usual, as though trying to distract himself. Galahad knows he cares about Mordred, perhaps he's worried.

    King Mark seems the most placid of them all, as he normally is, but even he seems unwilling to chide Isolde for insulting his wife. As though he thinks Iseult deserves the nasty remarks.

    Sir Gawain also looks uncomfortable but he, like Galahad, is uncomfortable because he's stuck in the middle of whatever argument is going on between the other four. Finally there's also Sir Palamedes with them, who Sir Gawain was especially relieve to see as he had been under the impression he had eaten him. Sir Galahad is particularly worried about Gawain now.


    Why Sir Palamedes is with them, Galahad doesn't know. The man is certainly not suited for silent movement and he as all the diplomatic wit of a tree stump.

    Sir Palamedes: "We should throw water on them."

    King Mark: "Not a bad idea, it might cool some tempers."

    Sir Palamedes: "Better yet, their clothes will be extra clingy when the cat fight starts!"

    King Mark: "..."

    Sir Palamedes: "Just wish it was me they were fighting over."

    King Mark: "... I think that's enough of that."

    Sir Palamedes: "He's a lucky guy to have two smoking hot--"

    King Mark: "I said ENOUGH!"

    The king, in a very unusual bellow of anger, turns on Sir Palamedes with a glare that could have made rocks come alive with fear and scurry away to hide.

    When Sir Palamedes falls silent, King Mark tightens his lips and reflects poorly on himself. The others are silent, though Iseult looks guiltily at the soil beneath their feet. Sir Galahad decides not to remind the king that he should be quiet lest he get bellowed at too. Then again the king seems remorseful already for losing his temper. Galahad has always admired the king as a calm, intelligent man of great kindness and caring. Definitely one of the better kings under Arthur's banner. Probably the only king that doesn't have ambitions of rebellion in fact, despite being the only one that could.

    Mark glances up at everyone with his large, beautiful eyes.


    King Mark: "Well, shouldn't we be moving? I think the village is nearby."

    Mark and Iseult usually wouldn't be asked to join knights on official business, neither of them being Knights of the Round Table, but their work leading the colonisation scheme means they have unique knowledge of the land that is useful in navigating and understanding the land. Tristram and Isolde, on the other hand, have been scouting the terrain since arrival on Caledonia and both are experts at silent movement. Secrecy is paramount, so that they remain undetected by the drows of the mountain.


    Meanwhile, as planned, the majority of the knights are leading a very noisy expedition towards the mountain to draw attention from what Galahad is up to. With the Faerie Knight there to cause magical bangs of noise and flashes, The Black Knight essentially acting as a one-man wrecking crew and Sir Kay being... obnoxious... the group stands a good chance of distracting the enemy. Sir Palamedes would have helped in that endeavour, given her penchant for running his mouth, but instead Sir Tristram requested that he join them. Oddly enough Sir Palamedes is one of the few people that could be considered a friend of Sir Tristram; the Saracen preferring his own company to all others. Oddly enough, Galahad is pretty sure their relationship started because they were fighting. Or so Mordred said, but most of Mordred's stories revolve around someone fighting or hating someone else for some reason or another. Guy has issues.

    Sir Galahad stumbles his way through the blue jungle, keeping an eye out for the creatures that dwell here. Aside from the infamous Robin-sitting badger, most of the wildlife has been fairly distant from the humans. He sees that Sir Tristram, especially, is able to navigate the jungle as though he were born here. Galahad has long wondered how the native drow actually manage to make their way through these dense jungles without paths or signs to indicate where they bloody are.

    Drow: "Humans, why do you come here?"

    The voice has the usual soft, drow lilt that sounds like their contemplating the meaning of life with every syllable. The king often sounds like that when he's talking about his cheese farms but Galahad doubts that these drow even know what cheese is.


    Sir Galahad:
    "We come in peace!"

    Drow: "I should bloody expect so! Do you often go round to towns not in peace?"

    Probably, Galahad muses to himself but isn't about to admit that to these drow right now. He feels guilty for not answering the question but thinks the drow wasn't seriously expecting an answer anyway.

    The drow appears to be a young woman, though Galahad has found that all the drow look young even when they're old. She is fairly typical for the sort; obsidian skin, grey hair and the usual white specks around her temples. She wears typical drow clothes too, though he has noticed that some towns favour certain styles, loose fitting garments of a material that he thinks is linen. Their colours are often bright, reds and white or orange and teal, and are often slit to expose legs and backs. However even where exposed skin should be they wear what Sir Galahad can only describe as long-johns. These body garments coat the figure tightly but also warmly, protecting them against the cold of Caledonia. Oddly enough Galahad thinks he might have frozen to death wearing nothing but linen and long-johns, but these drow are obviously better adapted to this cold, dark environment.


    Sir Galahad: "We need to speak to your leaders. It's urgent."

    The drow just shrugs.

    Drow: "Alright. I was just asking. I'm not a guard or anything. I was just out picking mushrooms."

    She snatches a big, green mushroom from the bark of a tree and chews on it. She leans against the tree casually and watches them go by. Iseult pauses.

    Queen Iseult: "So these mushrooms are edible?"

    The drow nods with surprise at the question, as though this common knowledge ought to be known by all.

    King Mark: "We should still be careful, dear. The drow biochemistry may not be the same as ours. Still, perhaps we could take one or two of them off your hands?"

    The drow hands over two mushrooms to the king and queen with some bewilderment.

    Isolde: "I hope you choke on it."

    Queen Iseult: "I'll choke you on it, if you speak to me again!"

    Isolde: "When you die of food poisoning, I'm going to resurrect your corpse and make you the whore of--"

    King Mark: "Now..."

    The first time the king has chided Isolde on her insults and Galahad couldn't blame him. The whole situation is getting way out of hand and he has to wonder if Sir Kay knew this would happen when he arranged their expedition.

    Isolde: "Or maybe I'll just mount your head on my wall."

    Queen Iseult: "Even my mounted head would be more tolerable than your living one."

    Sir Palamedes: "Drow people of Eberron, we have cometh for thine aid against a most--"

    Sir Galahad: "What... is he... doing?"

    The Grecian knight spreads his arms wide as he enters the town. He wears a suit of gold armour, no tabard, which, under the sun, would glitter and shine brilliantly. But under the moons of Caledonia, it glitters and shines with an altogether eeriee light that makes him look almost ghostly.

    He is bulky, has long hair that constantly looks a little wet and a fine, thick beard. He is the absolute opposite of what most drows are; slender, clean and entirely beardless. They only seem capable of growing hair on their heads and nowhere else, yet even the males cannot grow beards. Half of the time Galahad couldn't even tell the difference between the male and female drow and sometimes has to try to eye up a drow to check for breasts - the only way he could have definitive proof of a female presence. Of course, looking at breasts is a very unknightly thing to be doing and he loathes himself for the act and finds that he can't help but blush furiously whenever he meets these drow aliens.


    Sir Palamedes goes on for several minutes; confusing the drow people who are just out on shopping errands or playing sport or off to work and suddenly they have to tolerate a loud-mouthed, weird, hairy alien. The ship in the distant sky has some worried, and the sudden presence of the human aliens has them concerned. Many give the humans a wide berth, others hurry their children into their homes.

    Some drow approach them wearing uniforms. Galahad presumes their soldiers come to keep the peace and inspect the weird alien menace.

    Drow guardsman: "Can I help you, humans?"
    Sir Palamedes:
    "Good sir! We are here--"

    King Mark places a hand on Sir Palamedes, whose booming voice instantly lowers and the soft, rythmic voice of Mark takes its place.

    King Mark: "We would like to meet with your leaders. If you would take us to them, we'd be very grateful."

    The drow glances at the shining Palamedes before nodding quickly to Mark. The guards guide the group through the streets of the town. Galahad admires that their buildings appear to be made of the common blue wood but also chalk-like stone. To him the stone reminds him of the Cliffs of Dover; those brilliantly white cliffs that mark any ships' arrival to the lands of Britannia. Into the white rock are delicate carvings, usually of spiralling patterns but sometimes there are depictions of drow people in animated poses. Most of the buildings also have English carved above their doors, informing visitors of the buildings' purposes. At the outskirts of the town, the buildings are fewer and the paths are made of dirt and random stones. Sometimes there would be blue wooden paths here and there. But as they got further into the town, the roads are also made of the same white stone. Sir Palamedes could almost become invisible against their brilliance with his own ghostly brilliance.

    They get a lot of looks from the local people. Sometimes weary, more often curious. Some point and giggle at the strange foreigners, others start gossiping excitedly, while some of the older drow just stare; dumbfounded.


    Palamedes waves and grins at the people, sometimes shouting hello at them.


    Finally they reach a wide gazebo towards the centre of town where a lot of people are hanging around and talking. This seems to be how the leaders conduct their politics with the people, who approach and make requests or suggestions.

    Sir Palamedes: "Who is the king here?"

    One of the drow approach. She is is especially short, but she seems to have an air of authority over the others. She has a hurried, busy look to her, as though meeting with them is a necessary intrusion to her shedule. She bows her head to them quickly but low.

    Drow Leader:
    "We have no king here. We're a republic. A demarchy."

    Sir Galahad: "Democracy!!? I feel the corruption creeping over my skin already!"

    Drow Leader: "That's probably the humidity, human. It always gets worse an hour before the rainstorm. And technically I said demarchy. It's democracy but a little different."

    Sir Gawain: "Uh... how so? Like you vote for a king?"

    The drow looks amused.

    Drow Leader:
    "No. We have random selection amongst the qualified persons. The chief isn't here right now, but I'm a representative so I can help you. I'm Minister Lysse."

    Sir Galhad: "Pretty sure King Arthur wouldn't approve of this system of yours, Minister Lysse."

    King Mark: "There are many things that our dear king wouldn't approve of, Sir Galahad. But he will have to lump it."

    He beams kindly at Lysse.

    King Mark: "I am King Mark. I'll let you call me Mark, if you promise to bear with us."

    He winks and Lysse can't help but smile at his manner. The knights stare at him with horror. Even his wife is looking aghast.

    Minister Lysse: "Thank you, Mark. I fear there'd be no such thing as democracy if more monarchs were like you!"

    King Mark: "Kind of you to say, Minister. But we are here on a serious matter."

    He look to Galahad to let the knight speak. For a moment Galahad is too out of sorts to muster himself.

    Sir Galahad: "Uh... we require aid against the drow of the distant mountain."

    She looks to where Galahad points. They see the ship looming above the mountain.

    Minister Lysse: "Llurth Caridwen. Mountain Island in the common tongue. It looks like the drow have enough to deal with..."

    Sir Galahad: "Honestly, we don't want to go blowing up one of Caledonia's mountains. And we don't really want to destroy all of the people up there. They took our prince hostage. We just want him back."

    Minister Lysse: "I doubt that'll happen now. An all out assault like that, they've probably killed your prince already."

    Sir Tristram: "No..."

    King Mark: "We don't know that."

    Minister Lysse: "You're right. But really, you should be talking to the owners of that ship."

    Sir Galahad: "That... that would actually be us. But the prince's mother is currently... not taking calls."

    She looks at them oddly.

    She appears young, but Galahad thinks she's probably much older than she looks; like all drow. She has a small nose and big eyes until she narrows them as she eyes them with suspicion. She's wearing clothes much like the loiterer in the jungle, but she has an outer dress of white and only her 'long-johns' are white. She also has a thin tiara of blue wood that he supposes must be ceremonial for her office.

    Minister Lysse: "If you own that ship, you must be allied with them..."

    The humans stand confused. Galahad becomes aware that the other drow have stopped what they were doing and are now listening to the human conversation. Galahad glances at King Mark and Sir Tristram.

    Sir Palamedes: "Who the Hell're you jabbering about, woman!?"

    Galahad groans while King Mark looks at Lysse apologetically.


    Minister Lysse:
    "... that ship. We've seen it several times before. They sometimes use it to travel to one of the moons..."

    King Mark: "What? There's another ship like ours here!?"

    Minister Lysse: "Why do I feel like I've stumbled into something I shouldn't have?"

    King Mark: "I suspect we all feel that way right about now."

    Another drow pipes up from nearby.

    Drow: "I think you should probably leave us. We don't want your troubles here."

    King Mark: "Now, now. We mean you no hassle--"

    Drow: "I said leave!"

    Palamedes looks more affronted than Mark and he steps forward aggressively.


    Sir Palamedes: "You dare speak to a king of Britannia in such a fashion!?"

    Sir Gawain:
    "Pretty sure it's Space Britain now..."

    Minister Lysse: "Let's all calm down, eh?"

    Isolde: "Yes. Let's. Otherwise you'll see some real trouble right here right now."

    Queen Iseult: "Let Mark deal with this."

    Isolde: "Shut your mouth, pleb."

    Queen Iseult:
    "You--!"

    Sir Gawain: "This isn't the time for that, ladies."

    Sir Tristram: "He's right."

    Sir Gawain: "Could you please tell us who owns a ship like ours? Perhaps they'd be willing to help us."

    Sir Tristram: "Or they might try to take our ship..."

    They hush and wait in both concern and curiosity.

    Minister Lysse: "They dwell in the coldest lands of Caledonia. They call themselves the Boreans. I... I could guide you there, if you truly wish to go?"

    And so the group prepare to leave for the distant lands of Hyperborea and the mysterious people that possess a ship identical to Camelot...

  17. #97
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    1,326

    Lad of a Faraway Land

    In a cosmos, far removed from the NeSiverse across the Deep Void, there is a world that we would find unusual - yet in some ways eerily similar. The planet is all air and wind around a dense core of poisonous and toxic gases. The sun shines closely to the planet, burning hot and blindingly bright.

    A great city-state is built on clouds in the air of this world. The cumulus puffs are solidified by strange technology, and districts are built atop them. The nobility live on the lowest layers of clouds, with the upper layers blocking some of the light and heat - whereas the poorest wretches live on the topmost layer, which is hot as a desert and as blinding as a sunglare.

    In the lowest layer, a young lad lives in a splendid manor. He has grown up on the lap of luxury, spoiled by his father as the only child. A maid who is his age has been his playmate all his life - and he has just met the daughter of another noble house, who is beautiful and gracious, and just as drawn to him as he is to her.

    However, before he can even think about having to choose between the two girls, his father goes bankrupt. Debts and corruption come to light, and the lad loses everything in a night. Driven to thievery and subsisting in the topmost cloud layers, he regularly descends to the noble district where he grew up to pilfer valuable objects.

    A great deal of the money he gets from fencing goes to helping the other poor and hungry on the top layer; the spoiled lad has discovered that his personal needs are actually rather little.

    But one night, while breaking into one great manor, he sees through the window a great party downstairs. Men and women mingle and waltz - and the noble girl to whom he was drawn is there, talking quite earnestly with an older man, with whom she seems quite taken.

    Devastated, the lad watches as the man and girl dance, and she looks longingly after him as he eventually withdraws from the party and left.

    His plan, to rob the upstairs of the manor whilst everyone was busy downstairs, evaporates, and he creeps after the older man through the streets. How odd, he thinks, that this strangely dressed man walks, rather than taking a carriage.

    But whatever fate has arranged this, the lad welcomes the chance to avenge his heart.


    Lad: Halt.

    The man turns around, and the lad pulls out a small object, opening it to beam a bright light - collected from the heat of the top layer of the floating city-state - into the man's face.

    Lad: I'm armed. Empty your pockets and you won't be harmed.

    The man stares unflinchingly into the light, and the lad feels a slight prickle of unease. This prickle of unease is quickly replaced by another prickle - a hard metal point against his back.

    Lad: Fuq.

    Older Man: Don't kill him.

    Man Behind Lad: You never let me kill anyone.

    Older Man: We just slaughtered the orc hordes of Iazarleen.

    Man Behind Lad: That was yesterday!

    Older Man: This lad reminds me of myself.

    He looks the lad in the eyes now, clearly somehow not blinded by the light that still beams into his face.

    Older Man: You once had everything, didn't you, lad? And lost it all?

    The lad does not trust himself to speak, but nods.

    Older Man: Put your blade away, Soriel. Lad, I am called Highemperor.

    Lad: Highemperor of what?

    Highemp: Why does everyone ask that?

    Soriel: I don't know why that surprises you.

    Highemp: Highemperor of my own destiny - and one day, perhaps, of all destinies. What is your name?

    Lad: Carian Myste...
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 11-11-2016 at 05:18 PM.

  18. #98
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    1,326

    Mentors

    Tonight. The city-state on clouds. Another party in full swing.

    Herald: Assembled ladies and gentlemen, may I present - Carian Myste!

    The crowd turns to see a dashing young man in an impeccable suit walk in. His manner arrests everyone's attention at once, and all the girls swoon over him. He mingles, his charisma charming everyone, and dances with girl after girl.

    The young Lady Dibella, who knows Carian from her youth, before his father lost all his wealth, is struck anew with the young man, and makes her way through the crowd to him.


    -----

    A month ago...

    Carian Myste: I don't need your help. Especially not the help of the man who stole my love's heart!

    Highemp raises his eyebrow.

    Highemp: It is never my intention to steal another man's love. If you are referring to the party I just left, none of the ladies there seem my sort. I suspect whatever effect I had on your love is merely temporary infatuation from my charm.

    Carian remains stonefaced.

    Highemp: Perhaps I should mention that I know exactly how you can win her love again...

    -----

    Tonight.

    Between dance partners, Carian checks his pocketwatch. The hands rotate on a polished mirror for a clockface. Nearly midnight.


    Carian Myste: It's almost time.

    He smiles at Lady Dibella, who approaches him, and bows gallantly from the waist at her, as she curtseys, blushing.

    It is then that the windows shatter, bandits swinging in on ropes. The crowd screams as the miscreants draw guns and knives. Dibella screams as well, but Carian squeezes her hand comfortingly and offers her a roguish grin.


    Bandit Leader: My men will be taking your valuables - and I will be killing that dog Carian Myste!

    Carian Myste: You brought it on yourself, cur. Extorting and beating the poorfolk topside. I hope you enjoyed the thrashing I gave you earlier - because you're about to get it again.

    He pulls a slender sword out of his cane, as the bandit leader brandishes a scimitar and serrated knife. The two circle each other, Lady Dibella clutching her skirts in dismay. Everyone watches as the pair face off, even the other bandits holding off from lightening everyone of their jewelry.

    Carian Myste: A gentleman lets his opponent make the first move.

    The bandit leader charges. Carian sidesteps and trips him with his cane. The leader growls as he surges to his feet and turns around, only to be blinded with light from Carian's pocketwatch.

    -----

    A month ago.

    Highemp: What is that you hold?

    Carian has put away the beam of blinding light. He shows the small object to Highemp.

    Carian Myste: My father's pocketwatch. The mirror within it can trap reflected light.

    Highemp: Oh, you can trap and release so much more than light with a mirror.

    Carian Myste: What do you mean?

    Highemp lays a finger aside his nose and smiles. He holds out his other hand, and Carian wordlessly places the pocketwatch into it, with some reluctance. But he is curious despite himself.

    Highemp: There is a wine bottle in that window there. I am not familiar with this world's wines, but I suspect that is a fine one.

    Carian Myste: It is. Sokan's Vineyards, 153rd Harvest.

    Highemp opens the pocketwatch. Instead of beaming the light trapped within it, he merely lets the mirror within act as a mirror always does. The pocketwatch glows a faint silver for a moment, then Highemp brings the miniature mirror away from its direction towards the wine bottle and proffers it back to Carian.

    He takes it and looks at it. The mirror, despite being pointed into his own gazing face, is still reflecting the wine bottle in the window!


    Highemp: Not reflecting. Unflecting. You know how to summon trapped light from the mirror. Now summon the wine bottle from the mirror.

    Carian Myste: But... how?

    Highemp: It's called powerplaying.

    Carian looks at the window - the real window - as if to confirm his senses. The wine bottle is still there. Then he looks into the pocketwatch mirror, still showing the reflection of the wine bottle. He bites his lower lip and concentrates.

    And then the wine bottle is no longer in the mirror, but in his hand.


    Highemp: Well done...you've taken your first steps into a larger world.

    Carian Myste: I don't recognize that line, but the way you delivered it makes me think you're ripping someone off.

    -----

    Tonight. The bandit lunges over and over at Carian, who sidesteps every attack. Periodically, the young man opens his pocketwatch again, blinding the bandit leader. Now he opens it once more, and the bandit shields his eyes expectantly.

    But no blinding light escapes, and instead the crowd begins laughing uproariously. The bandit leader is now clad in aught but his skivvies! The pocketwatch mirror is reflecting the bandit leader, but in the reflection, the bandit is still clothed.


    Bandit Leader: What-- what trickery is this?

    Carian Myste: Justice.

    He stabs the sword through the bandit leader's heart, killing him instantly. The other bandits surrender in trepidation as the coppers come in. The crowd cheers their new hero as he cleans his sword and sheaths it back within the cane. Lady Dibella practically dives at him and snogs him.

    Her body pressed into his gives his impeccable suit the first wrinkles it's had all night long.


    -----

    Two weeks ago.

    Tailor: I can make this suit indeed - I am the best tailor in the world, after all! But - it will cost you a pretty penny.

    Carian grins and dumps a large bag heavy with gold coins onto the counter.

    Tailor: Now we're talking!

    Carian leaves the shop shortly, and meets Highemp outside.

    Carian Myste: I could've just unflected a suit from the shop window. For that matter, I don't understand why I need a suit at all. I'm still living on the streets.

    Highemp: You must be noble at all times. You are a gentleman of the highest order. I too am a wanderer, with no home or possessions, yet I wear rich raiment. Thus do all powerplayers.

    Carian Myste: Okay, but I had to fence a lot of unflected stuff to pay for a custom one.

    Highemp: As an up-and-coming powerplayer, your raiment must be unique and special, made especially for you.

    Carian Myste: Hmmm, I think I get it...

    -----

    Tonight. Lady Dibella has dragged Carian upstairs and pulls him into her bedroom - where he is surprised to also see his old childhood friend, the maid Demara!

    Carian Myste: Demara!

    Maid Demara: Cari!

    Lady Dibella: I thought you would like knowing that she entered my employ... Let's all reunite together!

    Elsewhere in the cloud city-state, Highemp and Soriel are playing poker.

    Soriel: Don't you EVER get sick of this game?

    Highemp: That's a rhetorical question, right?

    His poker deck is illustrated with an epic cosmic tarot, and the next card he draws is the Mentor, which depicts a bald old man with a long flowing beard.

    Highemp: Ah. What brings you here, old friend?

    An entity shimmers into existence beside them, revealing a massive roundish shape floating in the air. A single large eye and a toothy maw are on one side, and 69 eyestalks wave about from it. A beholder deity!

    Beholder Deity: Just wanted to check up on you, old chap!

    Soriel: Bollocks. You want to spy on the kid getting it on with his two girlfriends, don't you?

    Highemp rolls his eyes longsufferingly.

    Highemp: Quincturianos Dthesyrius! You are the Knower of Secrets, the One Who Sees, the All-Eyed God! Not a common voyeur!

    Beholder Deity: Why can't you ever just call me Quincy?

    Highemp: Such a... pedestrian appellation. You came up with that piece of grandiosity yourself anyway!

    Quincy: Yes, but when all my worshippers routinely chant the whole damn thing constantly in their prayers, it gets a little old. Besides, I never see you complaining when your hookups call you 'Highemp' in the moment of passion.

    Highemp: I-- Wait, have you been spying on me again?

    Soriel: SILENCE, BLADE!

    Quincy and Highemp ignore Soriel, used to his outbursts.

    Quincy: Well, I AM the All-Seeing.

    Highemp: Oh gods, at least tell me you didn't put any of it on Pay Per View.

    Being the deity he is, Quincy is the god of Pay Per View and all its variants throughout the multiverse.

    Quincy: Er...of course not!

    He quickly retcons things to make his statement true.

    Highemp: Thank the gods for small favors. You know, I never understood why, if you like sex so much, you don't just powerplay yourself from genderlessness into gender and get it on with someone?

    Quincy: I'm the One Who Sees. Voyeurism is what I enjoy more than anything else!

    Highemp: If you say so. Don't spy on Carian though. Give him a little privacy.

    Quincy: But--

    Highemp: At least for his first time?

    Quincy: Fine, fine. You twisted my eyestalk. Young whippersnappers these days, talking back to their mentors. I hope Carian talks back at you someday too!

    Quincy met Highemp during the early days of the latter's wanderings, and took the fledgling powerplayer under his wing - much as Highemp is now taking Carian Myste under his own wing.

    Soriel: Lovely catching up. Don't suppose you're here for any reason other than Porn Per View? Maybe to tell us about some big war going on?

    His eyes light up hopefully.

    Quincy: Actually yes, I am here to tell you about a big war.

    Soriel: Point me the way!

    Quincy: Uh...the war's over.

    Soriel: Dammit!

    Highemp: What sort of war was this? You wouldn't trouble me about anything that wasn't insanely epic.

    Quincy: Certainly not! My Pay Per View ratings went through the roof streaming all the battles. It was that fellow Zhuge, you heard of him?

    Highemp: The bird-man? Yeah, one of the greatest powerplayers ever, huge multiversal empire, the works. I plan to outdo him someday.

    Quincy: Well, a whole coalition of other empires and powerplayers rose against him.

    Highemp: Oh? Who won?

    Part of him wants to hear the Zhuge won, that a king among powerplayers would never be taken down - yet another part of him wants no one else save himself to be unbeatable.

    Quincy: Zhuge, of course. But here's the kicker. War just ended, and Zhuge - he stepped down.

    Highemp blinks.

    Highemp: He what?

    Quincy: I dunno, some tripe about 'feeling hollow and empty inside', becoming a hermit, whatever. Personally I think it's a midlife crisis.

    Highemp looks completely befuddled by such a decision. He looks sharply at Quincy.

    Highemp: Did YOU beat him then? Is that why he 'stepped down'?

    Quincy: Nah. I was too busy watching all the fighting to be buggered to actually join in.

    Highemp: Think you'd have won?

    Quincy: Of course! But I'm a powerplayer, that's what I always say, irregardless of truth.

    Highemp: It's 'regardless'. Not 'irregardless'.

    Quincy: More backtalking. The cheek!
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 11-11-2016 at 09:23 PM.

  19. #99
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    1,326

    The Second NeSorcerer

    Circa 10,000 B.C. Two decades after the fall of Atlantis.

    Britannia surges with magic and life and prosperity. Fairies and faeries roam the land, streaming through the portal from Albion that is Stonehenge. Beneath Stonehenge lies the cavernous city of Doughnutdelf, where a new order of wizards known as Druids has trained.


    Belshaggath: Where's my donut?

    Apprentice Druid: Shouldn't that be 'doughnut'?

    Belshaggath: Don't get cheeky with me!

    Baker: How can you hear the spelling he uses?

    Apprentice Druid: Oh, Master Belshaggath has trained us very well. We are highly attuned to words, due to our mastery of runes.

    Baker: Fascinating.

    His bored voice contradicts his statement.

    Baker: Here is your doughnut.

    Belshaggath: Don't you be cheeky too!

    Baker: What?

    Belshaggath: Nevermind. Thanks!

    He chows down. Now middle-aged, the portly master of the druids is steeped in learning, though he still remains magically weak, more so than every last one of the druids he trained. But he is wise and knowledgeable, and catalogued much of the new order of magic, in the wake of the Atlantean ultranexus' destruction.

    Siobhell: Grandpa! Grandpa! Come quick!

    Belshaggath takes another bite of his doughnut--

    Belshaggath: DONUT!

    --and turns to face his granddaughter. Pixies age far more quickly than humans, typically living no more than 10 years. Belshaggath's beloved wife Dinkersmell died 15 years ago, but left behind many half-pixie children, and now grandchildren as well.

    Belshaggath: I'm still eating breakfast.

    Siobhell: How can you tell? You eat doughnuts--

    Belshaggath: DONUT!

    Siobhell: --at every meal, they're all the same! Anyway, sorry, Grandpa, but a giant pit opened up in the middle of Stonehenge! There's a voice coming up from it calling your name!

    Belshaggath: Ugh, it's probably some cultist mispronouncing Yog-Sothoth again and summoning me instead.

    He trudges out of the cavernous city where the doughnut bakeries are in full swing 24/7, and emerges into the open sunlight. The portal of Albion is a large glowing oval, and now hovers over a great black hole in the ground beneath the megalithic structure of Stonehenge.

    Voice: Belshaggath, heed me!

    Belshaggath: Oh, what do you know, it really does want me. Here I am, stranger, and who are you?

    Voice: No stranger to you, my apprentice.

    Belshaggath: Master Magistarr???

    Voice: No longer he, but the Plot-Hole Wizard now. I cannot leave this plot-hole now, so you must come to me.

    Belshaggath: You couldn't have waited till after supper?

    Siobhell: I thought it was breakfast?

    Belshaggath: Whatever, they're all the same anyway.

    Magistarr's Voice: I am not yet strong enough to keep this plot-hole open for long. Come while there is time.

    Belshaggath: As you say.

    He descends into the plothole, and is surrounded by blackness, and standing on it. His old master, Magistarr - onetime court archmage and NeSorcerer of Atlantis - stands there, smiling secretively at him.

    Belshaggath: Master, I thought you were dead!

    Magistarr: That is not the case, as you can see. You have done well, my apprentice. Forged an alliance between faeries, fairies, and men; built a city; trained new mages; codified the new laws of magic.

    Belshaggath: And made lots of donuts!

    Magistarr: And that. There is a reason they call you, their leader, the Olykoek Oligarch.

    Belshaggath: Thank you, master. But why reveal yourself now?

    Magistarr: With another question shall I answer yours. Tell me, Belshaggath - why did you focus the training of your druids in the art of runes?

    Belshaggath: Runes are written magic, and you always taught that we live in a narrative world. If our very world is a written existence, then written magic is the most potent of all magicks.

    Magistarr: And that is why I have appeared to you now. I declare you my successor - you are the new NeSorcerer.

    Belshaggath gapes.

    Belshaggath: But - why me? Did Shinzallar and the others perish?

    Magistarr: Nay, but while they may be stronger than you, none are wiser. You have grasped the nature of the cosmos in a deeper understanding than they ever will.

    Belshaggath: I am humbled, Master, but - if you are still alive, why do you need to pass on the mantle? Did the Ancient One not intend you to be his immortal and eternal NeSorcerer?

    Magistarr: He intended many things, and it seems most if not all of them are for naught. I have failed in my role, and so I pass it down to one more worthy. Nurture the narrative, save the story, and protect the palisades of poetry.

    Belshaggath: And use lots of alliteration?

    Magistarr: What?

    Belshaggath: Nothing.

    Magistarr: Then, my apprentice, I pass on to you - the NeSpell!

    Later, Belshaggath emerges from the plothole, wearied by the transfer of power. The plothole shuts behind him.

    Siobhell: Grandpa, is everything alright?

    Belshaggath: Yes. I'll explain shortly. But first I need a donut.

    Siobhell: Isn't it 'doughnut'?

    Belshaggath: The cheek!
    Last edited by Gebohq; 11-11-2016 at 10:01 PM.

  20. #100
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
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    1,326

    Supreme Superweapons Division

    In the High Empire's capital city, the Stronghold of Powerplayers stands as the most glorious and imposing edifice. Yet as large as it is, it is even larger on the inside.

    The Doctor: I've HAD it with these rip-offs! Time to open a can of whoop-ass!

    The Doctor makes a phone call from the phone on the exterior of his TARDIS. Shortly a new entity arrives.

    CensorGod: Hey old buddy! What's up?

    The Doctor: Got some people who CONSTANTLY rip me off!

    Aryst Omnistellae: Get lost, troublemakers!

    CensorGod: ****e, I can't fight these powerplayer gods! Sorry, Doctor, you're on your own!

    He vanishes.

    The Doctor: I'm a Mary Sue myself, so don't think you've seen the last of me!

    He shakes a threatening finger at Aryst, then goes inside the TARDIS, which whooshes away.

    Aryst Omnistellae: Eternius, you may continue your narration.

    Right. So, the Stronghold of Powerplayers is even larger on the inside. At this very moment, Aryst Omnistellae - one of the High Empire's Powerplayer Gods on the six-strong Pantheon of the High Throne, and sometimes known as Entity #6 - walks through a series of secure doors, that is in no way a rip-off of the opening credits of "Get Smart".

    Aryst Omnistellae: It's totally a rip-off. You don't have to soft-pedal it. CensorPeon can't hurt us.

    Right, but aren't you uber-original, having all the best ideas, and they're all your own?

    Aryst Omnistellae: That's Highemp. I commandeer all the best ideas from everywhere, regardless of source! Aryst Omnicogni, best of all the ideas!

    ...right. Anyways, beyond the last door is a glimmering portal - the entrance to a tesseract. Aryst steps through and instantly is in an incredibly vast space that contains an entire universe. This is the Supreme Superweapons Division's testing ground.

    High Director Pwnenstein: Welcome, my divine lord. I hope your inspection finds us satisfactory.

    They are on a gigantic space station in the void. In the distance through the viewports can be seen huge explosions all over this miniature universe - evidence of weapons tests.

    Aryst Omnistellae: You're our glorious empire's greatest minds. We wouldn't have assigned you here if we thought your performance would be anything but stellar.

    High Director Pwnenstein: Thank you, my divine lord. I'm sure you'll be impressed. I, er, understand that you received a solution to the 'God-Killer Machine problem' from another source?

    Aryst Omnistellae: A VERY unconventional solution. While it may be effective, a rather more grandiose countermeasure would be preferable. I hope you've made progress.

    High Director Pwnenstein: We only have preliminary hypotheses, I'm afraid, but I can highlight some of other most promising projects if you like.

    Aryst Omnistellae: You may proceed.

    The High Director leads the deity down the tubular hallway, the surfaces made completely of an invulnerable transparent material, the better to see the testing grounds of space around them.

    High Director Pwnenstein: Here you can see our test firings of the Cosmic Cannon.

    A massive construct can be seen. It resembles a mass effect relay from the 'Mass Effect' video games, only much larger: the size of a planet. Its gyroscopic core glows white hot, and its prongs charge up, before a devastating blast of power is released.

    Aryst Omnistellae: It destroys universes?

    High Director Pwnenstein: Conceively multiple universes with a single shot. Its name comes from the fact that it shoots an entire universe as a projectile, wrapped in a tesseract shell.

    Aryst Omnistellae: Brilliant. Reloading it seems like it might be an issue.

    High Director Pwnenstein: We're also working on an efficient cosmic manufactory system using an array of quasar forges, so that we can eventually mass produce baby universes as ammunition.

    Aryst Omnistellae: A work in progress then.

    High Director Pwnenstein: Just so, my divine lord. If you'll look over here, you can see our studies into anti-powerplaying techniques. While of course anti-powerplaying techniques can't defeat the likes of you, my divine lord--

    This said very piously.

    High Director Pwnenstein: --the lesser powerplayers under your command should be well served, if we can develop countermeasures against these techniques.

    Aryst Omnistellae: Is that... acid?

    He watches bubbling vats, with hot liquid being manipulated by magical kinesis.

    High Director Pwnenstein: Far worse. Tea.

    Aryst Omnistellae: Ah, yes. My b-- The bane of many a powerplayer. Certainly not myself. Not at all.

    High Director Pwnenstein: Our staff tasseomancers are seeking ever deeper understanding of the mystical substance in order to discover weaknesses to exploit.

    Aryst Omnistellae: How Chimaat can drink the stuff, I'll never know.

    High Director Pwnenstein: My most divine lord Chimaat is truly a shining example to use all, showing that you, our leaders and gods, fear nothing.

    Aryst Omnistellae: Uh, yeah. That. Are those frying pans over there?

    High Director Pwnenstein: Yes. As I'm sure you're aware, they're surprisingly effective against powerplayers when employed as blunt weapons. We're testing the efficacy of similar cookingware against powerplayers to see if we can discover a correlation, but thus far only frying pans have any effect.

    Aryst Omnistellae: Never had an encounter with one myself, but I've heard stories.

    He shudders.

    High Director Pwnenstein: Coffee and non-stick wax paper seem most efficacious against tea and frying pans, but we're still working on other solutions.

    Aryst Omnistellae: And hopefully more grandiose forms for said solutions...

    High Director Pwnenstein: Indeed! We'll extract them to crystalline matrices once we've essentialized them sufficiently. Now over here we're studying the deadliest virus in a million universes, within a sealed hot room.

    Aryst looks through a window into a chamber, with a steaming canister at the center of it. Scientists in hazmat suits are working around it.

    Aryst Omnistellae: What is it?

    High Director Pwnenstein: It's a spiritual and kismetic virus, not biological. The colloquial name for such a vector is 'curse'. This one is known as the 'Salmitton Butt Death Curse'.

    Aryst Omnistellae: I've never heard of it.

    High Director Pwnenstein: It's rare and not well known. There's only one known carrier in multiversal history. It's felled gods and fiends alike. We're hoping to develop both an antidote to it and control over it. At the moment it's nondiscriminatory, but will randomly slay any and all entities near the carrier.

    Aryst Omnistellae: Exotic. Seems like it has potential. What's its origin?

    High Director Pwnenstein: It was apparently created by some staggeringly powerful divine entity. We know nothing about him except his name: Britt the Writer.

    Aryst shudders.

    Aryst Omnistellae: I know of him. Our illustrious Highemperor is well acquainted, and has told me tales that would shrivel your soul.

    The High Director crosses himself with an imperial holy sign that is passingly similar to the way a Catholic might cross himself.

    High Director Pwnenstein: Anyway, over here we have transpsionic subcosmic aeration, weaponized via hypergetic accelerators...

  21. #101
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326

    End of the Multiverse

    The Deep Void sparkles with islands of light and reality and existence. Sometimes the islands are continents with small ponds of void; other times there are tiny dots in vast oceans of nothingness. Sometimes islands die and are replaced with void; other times they are reborn into new islands.

    Thus do the universes live out their cycles in the Deep Void.

    But as meta-time marches on, the lights slowly dim and wink out. Entropy - or whatever you wish to name whatever force causes the end of all things - inexorably wears everything down. Fewer universes are born; more die.

    Even the hyper-astral wyrds are overtaken, until nothing remains but their desiccated multidimensional husks, until finally the husks disintegrate into nothingness as well.

    And finally, when no titans remain to forge existences and no Voices call forth realities into being, there is almost literally nothing left in the Deep Void, after an infinity of meta-eons. Only one tiny island remains - not even a universe, but a single dim red sun.

    The star does not produce energy, nor does it emit light. It emits cold netherlight, and burns its nethergetic core of cold energy.

    A planet orbits this red dwarf. It is not truly a planet, but all that remains of a long-dead hyper-astral wyrd, a corpse the size of multiple universes withered away to the size of a pockmarked moon of gray dust and ash.

    Only the strangest and most chthonic of creatures could still subsist in this dead world, beings whose nature is terrible and unknowable. But one rules them all, the king of the last survivors of the multiverse.


    Creature #1: Hiss!

    Creature #2: Hississs!

    There are no random audience members left to complain of the lack of English translation. The creatures congregate around a black throne that glints in the cold red netherlight. Before the throne is a chipped black obelisk.

    In the throne sits an odd chthon. It is encased completely in metal, dark gray ironlike metal that is freezing to the touch, sculpted around the chthonic king's body. Said body appears humanoid, albeit very rotund and 10 feet tall from three-clawed feet to shoulders.

    From its metal-covered shoulders springs an incredibly long metal-covered neck, just as long as the main body is tall, and at the end of the neck is a humanoid head, sheathed in the same dark gray metal. The face is blank, there are no openings for mouth or nose or eyes, assuming this chthonic king, the Iron Voice, even has those.


    Iron Voice: --Bring forth the treasure--

    Creature #1: Hissssss!

    A tentacle produces a cube - twice the size of a human fist, etched with eldritch markings, and humming lightly - and it floats over to the Iron Voice.

    Iron Voice: --Do you know what you are, treasure--

    Cube: I.am.the.Ichron.

    Iron Voice: --Sentient repository of all knowledge ever collected in the multiverse that is now dead--

    Ichron Cube: Almost.dead.

    Iron Voice: --Tell me, Ichron, how many millennia this red nethersun has existed--

    Ichron Cube: Fifteen.million.millennia.

    Iron Voice: --And how long has this red nethersun been fifteen million millennia old--

    Ichron Cube: An.infinity...Time.is.dead.

    Iron Voice: --How long until our dying demi-world too passes--

    Ichron Cube: Forever.and.no.time.at.all.

    Iron Voice: --And in all your collected knowledge, you know of no way to sustain us--

    Ichron Cube: I.know.that.you.know.the.answer.

    Iron Voice: --So there is a mind to you after all, and not merely a voice regurgitating memory--

    Ichron Cube: I.know.also.what.you.wish.me.to.do.

    Iron Voice: --Then do it. Extend the multiverse's life, as you must. Let it live forever, if you can--

    Ichron Cube: Activate.the.last.hedron.

    The Iron Voice looks at the chipped obelisk, and it gleams dully in the red netherlight, drawing from the cold energy, bent to the will of the chthonic king. The surface of the obelisk begins scrolling green glyphs, but the images are staticky and faint. Whatever purpose the hedron was originally built for is beyond its capability now - but it will suffice for what the Iron Voice intends.

    Iron Voice: --Go--

    A light emits from the half-ruined hedron, and the red sun dims, its nethergy being drained to power its final task. The Ichron Cube is bathed in the light, and it vanishes. The light of the hedron goes out, and then so does the red sun.

    Darkness and void overtakes the last world of the multiverse, and the end finally comes.


    -----

    The multiverse is young. Life and reality fill the Deep Void as the titans rejoice in forging new existences throughout the black nothingness.

    In an alien universe, on an alien planet, an alien lieutenant in a transgalactic military stumbles out of a bar to see a shooting star overhead. In a moment of drunken whimsy, he follows its path, and at the end, in an alleyway between bunkers, he finds a glowing cube, the weird etchings upon its surfaces glowing invitingly.


    Drunken Alien Lieutenant: Whoa man, this is some ****.

    He hesitantly prods it with a reptilian finger, wondering if it will be hot. He jerks his hand away - it was incredibly cold to the touch! He prods it again, and this time the cube feels slightly less cold. He picks it up gingerly, and it gradually warms to a normal temperature. He can practically feel the unnatural cold melting off it in wisps of freezing steam.

    Drunken Alien Lieutenant: Wonder if I can pawn this for a few gold.

    Ichron Cube: You.could.trade.me.for.a.few.gold.or.keep.me.for.a .lifetime.of.greatness.

    The alien lieutenant nearly drops the cube.

    Drunken Alien Lieutenant: What are you?

    Ichron Cube: I.am.the.Ichron...A.living.repository.of.knowledge ...Use.me.and.you.shall.rise.high.

    And the alien lieutenant does so. With the Ichron's wealth of knowledge and its incredible intellect, the alien lieutenant rises swiftly in rank as he achieves amazing things with the Ichron's help. Shortly after his promotion to Colonel First Class, he is reassigned, to the task force that his transgalactic kingdom contributes towards the Pan Cosmic Command.

    The PCC is a joint organization backed and funded by thousands of transgalactic and even multiversal powers. Its mandate is to protect and preserve the multiverse and its citizens. It has unlimited power to acquire resources in any manner it chooses and to deploy them in any manner it sees fit.

    The alien colonel serves with distinction in the PCC, with the Ichron's help, rising to the rank of Brigadier General in the PCC military, before at last dying of old age.

    Other officers of the PCC discover the Ichron, and it passes through a series of hands over millennia, its possessors always achieving distinction in the ranks of the PCC.

    The last alien officer to possess the Ichron is named a Gul Moff - the very top rank of the Pan Cosmic Command, with unlimited authority over all its forces and resources. There are several Gul Moffs, though their exact number is kept secret.

    When the Gul Moff who possesses the Ichron dies, the sentient cube makes it move.


    Ichron: Gul.Moffs...I.am.the.power.behind.your.deceased.co lleague.

    It is speaking through a holo-link from its deceased possessor's office to the council of other Gul Moffs, whose images are scrambled so their identities remain unknown. The Ichron does not hide its appearance, and proves its words and its worth, after investigation from the Gul Moffs.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: Ichron, it is with the support of my fellows that I acclaim you the newest addition to our number. As Gul Moff, you will work with us just as you did with your predecessor, except that now you will not be hiding behind him.

    Gul Moff Ichron: Then.let.us.continue.our.work.to.preserve.the.mult iverse...Forever.

  22. #102
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow The Rinky Dink

    In terms of importance, the NeSiverse falls somewhere between minus ten and 'what's a NeSiverse' in the eyes of most empires from other parts of the Multiverse. Some suspect the High Empire only came here at all because it's the home universe of their illustrious Highemperor (or rather they say this so long as the 'Foreverist Cult' isn't around) while others determine the High Empire only entered the Terminus Systems because someone's ship crashed into a small moon and rather than admit the embarrassment of such a mistake the captain declared it was deliberate and claimed the moon in the name of his emperor.

    The political centre of the Terminus Systems (not literally in the centre of the space because that would be weird and is probably occupied by an asteroid belt, rather it's somewhere towards the left) is a spacestation nicknamed "The Rinky Dink" on account of it being fairly small and unimpressive when compared to other spacestations of the High Empire. Even the ships that pass through often dwarf the station they're meant to orbit. The technical designation of "RIN-D" in the crystalline systems doesn't help.


    The current Proconsul, who manages the Terminus Systems from aboard The Rinky Dink, is currently playing patty-cake with a random soldier he's managed to brow-beat into appeasing him.

    They're in a lounge room and are seated on the floor for better arm space. The walls are coated black with prominent beams lining them and high intricate patterns carved into them as they then run along the ceiling. Red velvet drapes hang on the walls bearing various sigils of important families or planets, and the plush seating is similarly coloured. Crystals protrude from the glass-like floor, carved with flat surfaces for people to touch. One smaller crystal floats somewhere around the heads of Kim and his unfortunate patty-cake partner.


    It had announced the arrival of someone important a while ago but Kim had chosen to selectively not hear it.

    Then the doors swish open and the figure of a Coaleshion woman stands there. Kim's attention snaps. A lot of excitement slowly spreads on his face. He's on his feet and running in an instant.


    Kim: "Gwyyyyyyyyyyne!"

    He cheers and dives at her.

    She lashes out and smacks him straight down hard into the floor. He whines.


    Gwynne: "No way! I'm not playing! You're supposed to be acting serious, Kimmy!"

    He bites her leg.

    Gwynne: "Ow! Ow! Ow! Stupid! Stupid!!"

    She is pretty short for a Coaleshion woman of the vulpine-cat variety. She has brown fur with black stripes and a little orange nose. Her yellow eyes are wide and innocent. Except when they glare at Kim.

    Gwynne: "Why are you still an idiot, Kimmy? You're supposed to be in charge round here! Not playing patty-cake! Or trying to bite my ankles!"

    She backs off as he tries to wriggle along the floor towards her like a cat-man-snake.

    Kim: "There's nothing to do. I'm bored. So I mostly just, you know, do... stuff."

    Gwynne: "I'm pretty sure there's lots of stuff you're supposed to be doing but aren't."

    Kim rolls onto his back and groans from the effort of listening to his old friend.

    Gwynne: "Soldier guy."

    The soldier, who is was still sitting cross-legged on the floor, jumps to his feet and salutes.

    Gwynne: "You're free to get back to a normal life."

    Soldier: "Thank you, ma'am!"

    The soldier sounds incredibly sincere.

    Gwynne: "Anyway. I only stopped by since I'm on my way to represent the High Empire at--"

    Kim: "Hey! Did you get any new rares!!?"

    Gwynne's face falls into a sulk.

    Gwynne: "I'm trying to tell you--"

    Kim: "Something very, very boring. I know."

    Gwynne: "I'm the ambassador! Me!"

    Kim grins.

    Kim: "I'm the proconsul!"

    Gwynne pouts, looking between a state of upset and anger.

    She's wearing a short colonial-style jacket coloured navy blue. Her cufflinks and buttons are a bright white-silver and the embroidery is also white on black lapels. Her trousers are white and her boots are brown. Rare for a Coaleshion she was born with a genetic defect - a very short tail that now wiggles. If long it would have looked annoyed, but because it's short it just looks cute.


    Gwynne: "I have an ultra rare lightwind edition Kleo the Summermaid."

    Kim leaps to his feet.

    Kim: "No way! You don't!"

    Gwynne now gives a smug smirk and, from her pocket, whips out a list that details all of the cards she has collected from the 'daughters of highemperor trump cards' and hands it to him.

    Gwynne: "You can keep that list, Kimmy. And wish you were me."

    She practically skips from the room, pleased as punch, while Kim is left shaking with jealousy at the card list.
    Last edited by TheBritt; 02-03-2017 at 01:17 PM.

  23. #103

    Petition for The Coordination

    Agent Rruth: "Over a cluster and through the 'verse..."

    Agent Qiana: "Must you sing?"

    Agent Rruth: "What? I can't have fun now, Quiana?"

    Agent Qiana: "We have a job to do."

    Agent Rruth: "If this monk-guy is any indication of things to come, I think we'll be fine."

    Agent Qiana: "You really have no idea what we're getting into here, do you?"

    Agent Rruth: "What do you mean?"

    The two female bodyguards, each decked in Secret Service-esque suits, trail behind Ambassador Ptolemais and her male assistant, Secretary D'ave. They, in turn, follow another human-looking male of average height, brown skin, and a bald crown with thorny, white hair on his sides. He wears a simple outfit that resembles a magnolia-colored dhoti and ochre cīvara belted in clear cloth. The only sign that the man hails from another species are his palms, or rather, holes where his palms would be, and while somewhat obscured by his attire, a hole through where one's heart might be. The Jovians, though one of their government's many portals, had arranged to meet a liaison in a neighboring galaxy, and now, as planned, they follow the liaison through another, different portal into a different multiverse altogether.

    When they arrive onto the other side, the Jovians quickly identify their surroundings to be of a military nature, and an intimidating one at that. Magical walls of molten rock curtain the group's view beyond more than a half-mile, and blood-red fortress towers made of a diamond-platinum alloy pierce the skies. Iron execution crosses and concentration camps slash across one side of their view, while the other side brandishes interdimensional space missiles that seem capable of tearing through the fabric of universes. The nighttime sky does nothing to alleviate the mood, though the black banners displaying a pixelated pink smiley face muddles it for sure.


    Agent Rruth: "Fuq! We were sent to negotiate with the Omega Reich?!"

    The other Jovians spin around with disbelief at Agent Rruth, while the man turns more calmly in interest.

    Ambassador Ptolemais: "No, Agent Rruth, we were not sent to do such a thing."

    Agent Rruth: "So... we didn't time travel to the past then?"

    Agent Qiana: "No, you dolt! Did you read any of the debriefing about The Samanvay before we left?"

    Agent Rruth: "The what now?"

    The man chuckles lightly.

    Robed man: "That is the name of our kind's government, though you may find it more to your liking to know it as The Coordination. We span the multiverses, holding up the heavens with our pillars of peace."

    Agent Rruth: "Like I haven't heard that one before..."

    Ambassador Ptolemais: "Rruth! What did you just say?"

    The robed man holds up his hand, the hole where his palm would be quite visible now.

    Robed man: "All is well, Ambassador Ptolemais. She is skeptical, and for this, I am glad. I apologize for the site you see before you. Our only means to reach you at this time is tied to this memorial site of ours, a place which reminds us of the tragedy that was the birthplace of The Coordination.

    He gestures them towards what, by most accounts, looks like an antique, white Hindustan Ambassador sedan.

    Robed man: "Walk with me, please. The night will end soon, and the capital is best seen during sunrise."

    He opens the doors for the others, with the ambassador taking the front seat and the others sitting in back, the two agents squeezing Secretary D'ave in the middle rather uncomfortably. The robed man himself takes the driver's seat, starts the vehicle up, and in a Back-to-the-Future DeLorean fashion, the car lifts up into the air and away from the site.

    As the sun rises to their right, the rays illuminate the city before them.


    Robed man: "Welcome to El'Psassmet!"

    Despite the buildup, the vision of a beautifully-wondrous megacity one might expect from that buildup did not appear before them. The city sprawls quite wide to be sure, and even high in some places, but there are no Interdimensional Arena's or even Burj Khalifa's to demonstrate the power that other multiversal empires would show. If anything, it comes off as a blend of San Francisco and Singapore thrown together both from a century ago and a century in the future. Despite its relatively modest size, its diversity does clearly show its multiversal reach, for better and worse.

    Then they hit some flying car traffic.


    Ambassador Ptolemais: "I was led to believe the capital of the Coordination was called New Sima."

    Robed man: "It's true that its worldly name is New Sima, and for those who see past the veil you consider reality, they know the capital by its true name."

    Secretary D'ave: "The two are technically sister cities, with New Sima recognized as the political center and El'Psassmet as its religious...center..."

    He trails off as he sees his fellow Jovians giving him wide-eyed stares.

    Robed man: "Tell me - what do you all believe in?"

    Ambassador Ptolemais: "While most of parents probably still believed in Marduck, I'm afraid none of us here are very religious -- I apologize, I don't think I ever got your name."

    Robed man: "Call me simply Gaje, please."

    Agent Rruth: "Gage?"

    Agent Qiana: "Guy?"

    The man smiles the sort of smile that comes from a lifetime of mispronunciations.

    Gaje: "Whichever is easiest for you to say."

    Secretary D'ave: "It's literal translation is 'grove' and roughly means 'servant-leader' in the Devatan... language..."

    He trails off again as he's once again given the stares.

    Agent Qiana: "I hope we haven't offended you--"

    The ambassador raises her hand to stop her, which confuses the agent some.

    Gaje: "Not at all. The Coordination values all beliefs, even if some lead to enlightenment through a windier road than others. Do you believe there are people or things stronger than others?"

    Ambassador Ptolemais: "Yes."

    Gaje: "And who or what would you say is the strongest?"

    Agent Rruth: "Wonder Woman!"

    Agent Qiana: "She doesn't count! Besides, that's an Earth-thing."

    Before Agent Rruth can respond, Gaje responds for her.

    Gaje: "Can you think of something even more powerful?"

    The agents look at each other, puzzled.

    Gaje: "Perhaps I can give some more hints. What is more evil than the most evil thing you can think of?"

    The Jovians grow only more puzzled, in some part from thinking of an answer and in part because they don't know why this man is asking the questions he's asking.

    Gaje: "No? What if I told you the poor have it, the rich need it, and, if you were to consume it, you would die?"

    Silence. The ambassador speaks up.

    Ambassador Ptolemais: "Nothing."

    The man nods in delight.

    Gaje: "Yes! Nothing is more powerful than the all-powerful, nothing is more evil than the all-evil, the poor have nothing, the rich need nothing, and if you consumed nothing, you would die... at least, most species I have met do. Do you Jovians need to eat?"

    Ambassador Ptolemais: "Yes, Gaje."

    Agent Rruth: "I hate riddles."

    Gaje: "What is a riddle to you is a way of life for us in The Coordination. We believe that Nothing is the only Absolute, that the Nameless came from Nothing, that the Nameless is Nothing and that Nothing is the Nameless, and from them, they brought forth everything else. All that we know and see, all that we struggle with and suffer through, all are small, insignificant, trivial -- an illusion which covers as a veil to the only truth: there is Nothing."

    Ambassador Ptolemais: "Before I proceed with the meeting with your government's Ministers of the Moment, I need to be reassured that the Coordination is not a theocracy--"

    Gaje: "Of course not, ambassador! Those among the Coordination define their own progress and perceptions of significance, for there are many roads which lead to Nothing."

    Agent Rruth: "Man, diplomacy with you all sounds like it'll be a nice change of pace from all the other backstabbers in the multiverses."

    Secretary D'ave: "So long as we're not too nice."

    The others look at him once more. The ambassador sighs.

    Ambassador Ptolemais: "He's right. The Figg Federation had a similar diplomatic approach. In response, the Head of State for the Coordination, the Mayamanu Nahda, flipped out and bombed out their very existence with his bare hands. Devastated several surrounding multiverses in the fallout."

    Gaje: "An abnormality, to be sure... ah, we're here!"

    He lands the flying car nearby what appears to be a Parliamentary building, which from above had resembled a torus shape, though now that they've landed, they can tell that what seemed an empty center was in fact domed. As he escorts the Jovians inside, many people start to flock around him for attention, which they largely manage to dodge as they head inside.

    Agent Rruth: "You seem like a popular guy, Gaje."

    As they walk in, two officials walk up to the group, bowing deeply to Gaje.

    Official #1: "Thank you for delivering the ambassador to us, Venerable Mayamanu, Perceiver of the Veil, Sinheartha Gho'bi Nahda."

    Gaje/Mayamanu Nahda: "Please, as I always tell you, call me Nahda, or Gaje of El'Psassmet if you must address me by a title."

    Official #2: "And we must respectfully decline, sir, as that would not address you with the whole truth."

    The Jovians eyes shoot open in shock as the officials move to shake hands with the ambassador.

    Official #2: "Ambassador Ptolemais, I'm glad to see that you and your personnel have arrived safely. As Ministers of the Moment, we can help expedite your petition for The Coordination..."

    Agent Rruth continues to stare behind her as the group walks away, and Gaje -- Nahda -- smiles warmly and waves.

    Nahda: "May Nothing be with you!"

  24. #104
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Space Camelot: Space Elves

    Space Camelot: The Drow
    Characters: King Arthur | Queen Guinevere | Prince Mordred | Morganna le Fay | Merlin the Younger | Sir Kay | Sir Lancelot | Sir Bedivere | Sir Galahad | Sir Tristram | Sir Caelia | Sir Red Rose Knight | Sir Black Knight | Sir Faerie Knight | Andy | Admiral Ltexi | Gamma Pans | King Mark | Queen Iseult | Sir Gawain | Sir Greene Knight | Isolde of the White Hands | Prelate Seerias | Minister Lysse | Benem | Kryst | Tulla

    Minister Lysse: "Those blasts from your spacecraft are pretty erratic..."

    Camelot's turbolasers are still firing, if sporadically, in random burst patterns. Sometimes they manage to strike the mountain, othertimes... not so much. One blast hits close to the jungle land that Sir Galahad's band is traversing atop of a flying brick.

    They had been incredibly perturbed by this 'beast of burden' but the long trip would have been too far to walk in any reasonable amount of time. The brick is one of the smaller ones but managed to seat almost everyone. Bar one. It was quickly decided, mostly without his own input, that Sir Gawain would be the one to ride separately from the main brick. Instead he gets to ride upon a paving stone, which is being towed by a rope from the brick. Most of the early trip was spent listening to Sir Gawain's desperate wails. Once he had settled down, however, he found cruising through the skies to be fairly pleasant. He calls over the gap between his paving stone and the bigger brick.


    Sir Gawain: "I don't think they know how to fire them properly!"

    Sir Palamedes: "Or maybe they're fighting over the controls. Merlin is up there with Lady Morganna, after all..."

    Sir Galahad: "True..."

    Sir Palamedes: "And you know how women are, amiright!?"

    They sit in silence and Sir Palamedes deflates.

    Their drow guide is seated at the front of the brick, cross-legged and somehow guides the brick with nothing more than suggestions of where to go.


    Minister Lysse: "Well, I wish they'd get it under control. How much life do they intend to destroy down here?"

    Sir Palamedes: "A few cats and dogs won't be missed, Minister!"

    She glances back at him with a stern glare.

    Minister Lysse: "By you, maybe."

    King Mark: "It is a nuisance, Minister. Dangerous for us too. Unfortunately I don't think the Lady Morganna is willing to listen to us right now. She's never been the most patient of people nor the greatest of listeners..."

    Minister Lysse: "She's going to have to listen to a whole planet of people if she keeps that up."

    The brick bobs below a particularly tall blue tree, whose big palm leaves brush against the heads of the seated flyers. Sir Gawain almost ends up in the canopy of leaves below them and he cries out as a branch in snapped from a tree and dragged along with his dangling legs.

    Minister Lysse:
    "We're almost there. Please keep all arms and feet tucked in at all times. The crew of this flight cannot be held accountable for any loss of limbs."

    Sir Gwain: "I can't! My paving stone isn't big enough!"



    Merlin:
    "Morganna, please open the door!"

    Sir Caelia: "How did she even trick you all out of the room anyway?"

    Tom a'Lincoln: "Doughnuts. She said there were fresh doughnuts in the canteen room..."

    Sir Caelia refrains from facepalming. They're stood outside the Command Deck in a large group - mostly the Command Deck staff but also a few other knights who'd decided to join in the attempt to get the doors open. The Command Deck, however, has been sealed tight. Only a small, circular window allows them to peek into the room where they can see Morganna frantically mashing buttons to force Camelot to open fire on the planet below. Having only a rudimentary grasp of how the computer systems work she's not doing the greatest of jobs, but she's learning every minute.

    Faerie Knight: "If she keeps it up, she could end up killing the prince instead of rescuing him..."

    Tom a'Lincoln: "I know but she's not in her right mind."

    Sir Caelia: "Can't believe you were tricked by the promise of doughnuts..."

    Tom a'Lincoln holds his hands up in innocence.

    Tom a'Lincoln: "You know how much I love doughnuts! And it's been a long time since--"

    His wife rolls her eyes.

    Sir Caelia: "At least our son would never--"

    The Faerie Knight shuffles uneasily and receives a look of disappointment from his faerie mother.

    Sir Caelia: "Half-faerie, half-moron."

    Faerie Knight: "But doughnuts--!"

    Sir Caelia: "I guess it could be worse..."

    Merlin: "Worse how?"

    Sir Caelia:
    "They could have an obsession with eating haddocks or something. That would be really nasty."

    Tom a'Lincoln: "Never fear, dear."

    He wraps an arm around his son's shoulders and pulls him in.

    Tom a'Lincoln: "We are doughnut men!"

    Sir Caelia: "How is this a source of pride for you?"

    She tilts her head and puckers her lips in thought.

    Sir Caelia: "But how do we get in there?"

    Admiral Ltexi: "You know you don't have to, right?"

    They all turn to see Ltexi leaning against the bulwark of the corridor. Since being stuck on the ship she's had to change her clothes for washing and, in the meantime, is now wearing a traditional long dress of England's women. Yet, despite the sudden refinement (in the eyes of the humans) she still carries herself with all the grace of a highwayman. She jerks her thumb behind her and looks at them as though they all came drooling out of the local tavern.

    Admiral Ltexi: "The Command Centre. I have told you about it before."

    Merlin perks up.

    Merlin: "Oh! I remember! It's like an auxiliary room, right!?"

    Admiral Ltexi: "Exactly. The psycho-with-the-guns in there obviously doesn't know where way around Jovianbook, nevermind a... what? Why're you looking at me like a bunch of stoners?"

    Merlin: "What's Jovianbook?"

    Admiral Ltexi: "Social media..."

    Faerie Knight: "What's a stoner?"

    Admiral Ltexi: "Someone high on substances..."

    Sir Caelia: "That sounds like fun!"

    Faerie Knight: "Mum!"

    Sir Caelia: "You have your doughnuts..."

    Merlin: "What's social media?"

    Admiral Ltexi:
    "Media used by the people."

    Tom a'Lincoln: "And what's media?"

    Admiral Ltexi: "Oh for crying out loud! What is this, a game of twenty questions?"

    There's a pause.

    Sir Caelia: "Pretty sure I could come up with way more than just twenty questions--"

    Admiral Ltexi: "Seriously, you have a crazy woman armed with firepower that can melt the surface of the planet and you want to make a list of questions?"

    Sir Caelia: "Oh right. Yes! To the Control Room!"

    Admiral Ltexi: "Command Centre..."

    Sir Caelia: "Oh. To the Command-- Command..."

    Admiral Ltexi: "Centre."

    Sir Caelia: "Centre!"



    Sir Galahad: "Oh wow..."

    The jungle abruptly ends and is replaced by a great white expanse of snow. The air is instantly freezing, as though they'd passed an invisible wall from the cool air to the freezing air. Though amazing by itself, their attention is actually drawn to the colossal sphere that looms in the distance. As tall as any mountain, the sphere occupies the heart of the ice wastes. It's completely black, save for a blue mesh that clings to it like a symmetrical net. A blue aura surrounds the sphere like a halo.

    As they draw closer, the other buildings upon the snow become more apparent. Larger than any city of ancient Britannia the buildings are all incredibly unique in their designs, sizes and shapes. Even the streets between them have their own flair and styles. Some streets appear as roads, others tunnels, others are brightly lit while others still are covered in exotic foliage. And yet, above it all, still hangs the sphere. Yet they can see the aura of the sphere streaming down to the city. It doesn't appear entirely consistent as it shifts and changes in strength from building or area but there is an eternal draw.


    Minister Lysse: "Welcome to Hyperborea. Let's hope they don't shoot us down!"

    King Mark:
    "You probably should have mentioned they'd do that before we came here, Minister..."

    Isolde of the White Hands: "Just great. Killed riding a brick. That's not going to look good in the annuls of Camelot..."

    Queen Iseult: "Maybe you could bring yourself back from the dead. Become one of your own monsters."

    Instead of retorting, Isolde gives a bemused smirk - almost as if she's considering what that process might actually entail. When Isolde doesn't respond Iseult settles back with an irritated scowl, until her eyes lock with her husband's. Then, instead, she looks guiltily down at the snowscape below.

    Minister Lysse: "Relax! I was just joking with you. We're in no danger, though I think they'll be surprised to see us."

    Sir Galahad: "So your people don't keep close contact with these Boreans?"

    Minister Lysse: "No. They don't really like to mingle with us locals. And honestly, most drow see them as invaders. You too, by the way."

    Sir Galahad:
    "We know that. But you don't?"

    Minister Lysse:
    "Oh, I do! But it can't be helped. You are here, we are here. I don't think hitting each other with rocks is going to help. If you need a place to live, well there's plenty of land for everyone."

    Sir Galahad feels a little guilty when she says that. Possibilities of conquest had already been cooked up during a Council of the Round Table. But they would be better off under British rule, naturally. The chance to be in God's true kingdom, serving the greatest king in all the lands... of course they'd be happy to submit!

    King Mark: "What is that orb, Minister? Should we be worried?"

    Minister Lysse: "I think it's magic. Or something similar. I don't really know, I'm a drow not a Borean. These people are pretty reclusive. They're not uncooperative, they just don't seek out others. If you want to meet them, you have to go to them first. Weird behaviour for a group of aliens that landed here."

    Queen Iseult: "Do ye know where they're from?"

    Minister Lysse: "No clue. I know they're not from this world though. I'd have seen them in the Over-Soul if they were."

    There's a moment of quiet until someone decides to ask the obvious question.

    Isolde of the White Hands:
    "What the Hell're you talking about?"

    Minister Lysse: "Oh, sorry! I didn't think to explain!"

    Despite her words, her demeanour conveyed that she'd been waiting for the question and was pleased as punch to be educating her alien guests.

    Minister Lysse: "It's where we go when we die."

    Sir Galahad: "Oh, I see! You call Heaven the Over-Soul. Strange name for it."

    Minister Lysse: "Heaven? No. Some people believe in religion like that but I don't. The Over-Soul has nothing to do with any of the gods that others' believe in. It's the unique physics of our wo--crapcakes!"

    A rogue blast from Camelot splashes down into Hyperborea. Far from the city, but close to the flying brick. Galahad curses their luck and swears that Morganna must have been aiming for them. The brick, struck by the shockwave from the blast, flops in the air and upends everybody so unceremoniously that Galahad feels they weren't so much dropped as dumped.

    They fall downwards from their tremendous height, tumbling and spiralling down, down, down until WHOOMPH! They land in a thick layer of snow. Sir Galahad scrambles out of the Galahad-shaped hole and looks around for the rest. Heads pop up from their respective shapes.

    Minister Lysse: "Wow! Lucky there was all this snow here or we might have d--"

    CRACK!!!

    The humans stare with horror at the fallen flying brick, sitting where Minister Lysse had once been.

    Queen Iseult: "Oh my God!!!"

    Isolde: "Great! Now I can possess her corpse!"

    Queen Iseult:
    "Don't you dare, witch!"

    Sir Galahad and Sir Gawain desperately try to move the brick but it just lies there stubbornly. Even if they had moved it, the chances that the drow minister survived the sudden press are fairly slim...

    Sir Galahad: "Poor Minister Lysse..."

    King Mark:
    "Unfortunate... but also pretty bad for us too. Not sure how introductions with the boreans will go without her..."

    Queen Iseult:
    "And how are we going to explain she was squished by her own brick to her people?"

    Sir Galahad has his hands pressed together and eyes closed in quiet prayer.


    Sir Gawain:
    "Maybe we should pray for this over-soul thing too? That was her religion, I believe..."

    Sir Galahad: "I can't pray to something that's not real."

    Sir Gawain: "Right..."

    King Mark: "We should go. Mourning will have to wait, otherwise we'll be mourning more deaths if we don't get the prince and convince Lady Morganna to stop firing."

    Isolde: "At leat let me get her b--"

    Queen Iseult: "If I see any flatten drow corpses shuffling in my vicinity, I'm going to cram one of these flying bricks down your gob."

    Sir Tristram: "Her death alone will cause upset with her people, we don't want to make it any worse, Isolde dear."

    Iseult glances at Tristram but quickly turns away. At first she appears upset but then she looks at her husband with a mask of determination. Mark nods at her and they proceed towards the city of Hyperborea. Sir Galahad follows with a heavy heart.



    Admiral Ltexi: "So, from here you should be able to retake control of the ship. So long as your nutjob friend doesn't figure out how to override it since the Command Deck outranks this Command Centre."

    Merlin: "Okay. So... how do I do that?"

    Admiral Ltexi:
    "The compu--"

    She pauses as she remembers; this isn't The Hopeful. Aboard her own she she had had console banks installed in this very room to make it functional. But here she sees nothing but the original design - a room with a singular circular gold plate on the ground. There's no A.I. here, no manual input... this was a bad idea after all. The problem is; how can she not look incompetent.

    Tom a'Lincoln: "There must be some way to--"

    There's a sudden whirring sound from above them. Tom is standing at the centre of the gold plate and, from above, hatches have opened up. He stands there, dumbly looking up at the mysterious openings.

    Admiral Ltexi:
    "Move you idiot!"

    She rushes towards him and shoves him to the floor, away from the platform. He topples over, somehow overwhelmed by this woman despite his muscular bulk, and lands on the floor with a loud clang as his forehead smacks the metal. He whines.

    Faerie Knight: "Oi! That's my dad!"

    Sir Caelia:
    "I wouldn't mind learning that move."

    Admiral Ltexi: "A bump on the head is better than a metal rod in the spine..."

    Faerie Knight:
    "What do you mean? You mean those openings?"

    The hatches slowly whir closed but they continue staring up at them.

    Admiral Ltexi: "I do... I've only seen them once. One of my soldiers was trying to test what the plate did. A tendril of some kind came out and slammed into her spine. Then the rest came out. We didn't wait to find out where they'd go. I cut her down..."

    Faerie Knight:
    "Was she...?"

    Admiral Knight: "Alive when attached to the ship. Dead as soon as I cut her loose."

    Merlin: "Wh-why would that happen!?"

    Admiral Ltexi: "It's the O.I. technology. That's how this ship used to operate. The ship takes over your body, uses your brain as a kind of computer. The brain is able to work much better than any computing machine, but we're just rubbish at utilising its full potential. A machine gets hold of an organic brain and... well it works better than an actual machine could. You were nearly turned into living husk, petal."

    Tom gets to his feet.

    Tom a'Lincoln: "Don't call me petal. I'm not a little girl..."

    Admiral Ltexi: "You are the rose knight, aren't you? Ergo, petal."

    Tom a'Lincoln: "How did you become an admiral with an attitude like that?"

    Admiral Ltexi: "Considering the state of your knights, I'd probably have had an easier time making it as admiral in your kingdom, smart arse."

    Tom is about to argue but couldn't see how she was wrong. He shrugs and nods, conceding her point.

    Merlin: "Is this O.I. technology the only way to control the ship from this room, Ltexi?"

    Admiral Ltexi: "Without console banks or an A.I., I think we're buggered..."

    Merlin: "Right..."

    She marches towards the plate but Ltexi, seeing the odd look in her eyes, grabs her and forcibly pushes her away.

    Admiral Ltexi:
    "What the Hell are you doing!?"

    Merlin stands straight, determination but also fear on her brow.

    Merlin: "If it's the only way to s--"

    Sir Caelia: "Merlin! Good grief!"

    Tom a'Lincoln: "Didn't you hear what the admiral said? You'd die!"

    Merlin: "It's the only way to--"

    Admiral Ltexi: "I am going to smack you in a minute, you stupid girl."

    Merlin: "But--!"

    Admiral Ltexi: "And I'll use the back of my hand!"

    Merlin: "... but--"

    Ltexi follows through with her threat. The smack hits Merlin on the cheek and she staggers back. The others wince in sympathy. Merlin is silent, holding her cheek.

    Admiral Ltexi: "I don't want to hear you ever saying such stupid things again, Merlin. Sacrificing yourself so readily would be a waste and I won't let you do that. Ever."

    Merlin:
    "You told me... you said you'd die with your ship if you had to..."

    Admiral Ltexi: "If I had to, sure! But not until I'd tried every other possibility first. Besides. I'm captain. The ship is my responsibility. Last I checked, the captain here is our petal."

    Tom a'Lincoln: "I'm guessing there were a lot of people that hate you back on your own ship, right admiral?"

    Admiral Ltexi:
    "You're too important, Merlin..."

    Merlin: "Did you really have to slap me to say that?"

    Admiral Ltexi: "So you'll remember it."

    Merlin: "..."

    Admiral Ltexi:
    "Plus, I kind of enjoyed it. Heh heh heh."

    Merlin:
    "Seriously?"

    Admiral Ltexi: "Maybe I could make it a national sport for Jupiter! Human-Slapping! Satisfying fun for the whole family!"

    Sir Caelia: "I'll sign up for that! Any excuse to slap my husband a few times a day!"

    Tom a'Lincoln: "Heeeeeeeeeey--"

    Sir Caelia: "Would it make it better if I said spank instead?"

    Sir Faerie Knight:
    "Mother!"



    As the humans approach Hyperborea, the Boreans glance at them but do nothing else. None of them approach the intruders, nor do they seem disturbed by them. The humans pass as though they're just a bunch of stray pidgeons. The humans huddle up.

    Sir Gawain: "This is a little creepy..."

    The Boreans have skin that is very pale gold, looking especially golden when standing in the dark and especially pale when in the light of the moons. Similar in effect to the armour of Sir Palamedes, only not so sparkly. Their ears a long and pointed and their eyes are almond shaped, narrowing in the corner like the eyes of the Chinese. The colour of the eye is such a faint hue of brown that they appear yellow at a distance. Their hair is most commonly blonde, though some have white hair, but they come in all manner of styles; long, short, up, down. The most striking feature of them, however, is that they appear to be androgynous. They are feminine to Galahad's eyes, but not a single breast in sight. Are they, then, all men? Perhaps their breasts are just very small...?

    Sir Gawain: "Should we try talking to one of them? Seems like they're not going to come to talk to us..."

    King Mark: "I'll give it a shot."

    He strides confidently across a small bridge that hops over a thin stream of cold and pristine water. The bridge is wooden and, had any of them visited the east, would have looked Japanese to the humans. But on the other side of the bridge is a tarmac road lined with street lamps of white light. The buildings here all have a somewhat oriental flair, but their all still incredibly unique in design, features and function. Yet even some of the buildings here defy the conformity of the rest and stand proudly with zero oriental influence upon their aesthetics.

    Mark approaches a borean whose hair is long, and soft as silk. As he nears it, the borean tilts their head inquisitively. As Mark nears the height of these boreans becomes apparent. They're not giants, but they average at six foot - which is much taller than the average height of human men of 500AD.

    King Mark: "Greetings!"

    Borean:
    "Oh you can talk can you? How adorable."

    Mark stammers, confused by that remark. He manages to collect himself, resisting the urge to glance for help from the others. He stands as tall as he can, still a few inches shorter than this female-esque being. And Mark is one of the taller men in Arthur's kingdom. Fortunately his nice, velvet hat makes up those extra inches to give him the appearance of being the same height.

    King Mark: "I can talk. I'm human. We've come to ask for your help. Could you take me to your leader?"

    Borean: "You poor thing. You must be lost..."

    King Mark: "No, no! This is Hyperborea, correct?"

    The Borean nods slowly.

    King Mark: "We wish to form an alliance against a drow nation that threatens us both."

    Borean: "Oh... I see. You are definitely speaking to the wrong Borean!"

    The Borean titters and Mark is certain this is a woman. Albeit a breastless woman. She's wearing something like a long-sleeved t-shirt that is quite form-fitting so there is no mistaking the lack of 'chesticles'.

    King Mark: "That is why I think I need to speak to your leader. Not that speaking to you isn't pleasant! You seem very nice and I'd love to stand around and chat but important matters, and all that."

    He gives her his best smile.

    Borean: "We have no leaders."

    A mental snap, cursing aliens and their bizarre ways, slams through Mark's mind for an instant. He manages to soften it after physically rocking back on his heels, as though blasted by the shock of her words.


    King Mark: "Right. I see. So... who should I speak to?"

    Borean: "Some are coming to meet you now."

    She's barely spoken when several Boreans approach him. They don't appear especially militaristic, nor do they appear to dress like lords. They're dressed just as individualistically as the buildings appear to be.

    Borean #2: "You are called human?"

    King Mark: "I am a human. My name is King Mark."

    Borean #3: "Well, King Mark, we are old elves..."

    King Mark:
    "You don't look very old."

    Borean #3:
    "We don't age."

    King Mark: "Yet you're old..."

    The Boreans have a good chuckle at this.

    Borean #2: "That would be a paradox, wouldn't it! By age, we mean to say that our species is not submit to entropy."

    King Mark: "You are immortal?"

    Borean #1, the first of them he'd spoken to, scoffs.

    Borean #1: "We can die! From attack, for example. Not that that has happened in a very long time."

    Borean #2: "We haven't been fighting since we arrived here, actually. Some of the drow do resent us, it's true. But they haven't plucked up the courage to come and attack us yet. I, personally, am glad of it. I do dislike harming lesser species..."

    Mark realises he's probably considered to be a 'lesser species' by these people.

    King Mark: "It seems certain drow factions may be changing their ways. They attacked us and kidnapped our prince. Their intent has been to drive all of us invaders, so they see us, off of Caledonia."

    Borean #3: "That's unfortunate for them. If they come here intending harm, they'll be dealt with."

    King Mark: "But if we join together, we would be stronger! Help us and we can help you!"

    The Boreans all smile patronisingly, as though Mark were a child that asked the cutest darned question in the world.

    Borean #2:
    "The help you have to offer... I'm not sure we need your help. It's very nice of you to think of us though."

    Borean #1: "It's adorable, isn't it? There's more of them over there."

    The first Borean points over to the other humans, who are all looking sheepish.

    King Mark decides to swallow his pride and assume this may be the best way to get their aid;


    King Mark: "You may not need us, but we need you. Without your help, our prince may die and his family will not stop until they either destroy the drow or lie dead. We don't want either to happen. We seek only peace, but we will free our lord and protect ourselves. If you help us, perhaps the fighting will be over quickly and the drow will surrender and realise that they must learn to share this world?"

    The Boreans fall silent for a moment, though their faces change expressions as though in deep conversation. Mark begins to wonder what is happening when one of them speaks;

    Borean #3: "We will go with you. Only us three. We shouldn't start marching everyone out of the city just for this little endeavour."

    King Mark's cheeks flush red.

    King Mark: "With all due respect, I think you are underestimating this enemy."

    Borean #2:
    "The drow pose no threat to us. I promise you. We'll keep you safe, King Mark."

    The Borean pats him on the head.

    King Mark:
    "... thank you."

    The Boreans begin to guide him down the road and the other humans follow. After a few introductions, the Boreans reveal themselves to be Benem, Kryst and Tulla. Their names seem far more simplistic than he had expected and Benem, who is the first Borean with the t-shirt and long hair, tells him these are their pet names - names most species seem to be able to say. Their true names are their 'mind names' and not words at all, but a sense of being that is conversed telepathically between them. They then explain that their telepathy doesn't revolve around language but sensations, feelings and mutual understandings. The whole process seems incredibly difficult to comprehend and reckons only a Borean could truly understand the concept. Like trying to explain 3D to an ant.

    Kryst has very short hair, cropped close to the skull. Mark thought this one must be male based on that alone but then there was that same tittering that Benem also had. Kryst wears a thick robe that Merlin and Morganna would have admired, coloured with faint green fabric and fastened with gauze adornments. Tulla appears more feminine than the other two - the face is less angular and the lips fuller. Her hair is worn up in a peculiar style that looked like a golden plant growing out of her head. She wears a simple blue tracksuit, not that Mark knows what that is so to him it appears entirely alien.

    Queen Iseult: "I didn't see any children in Hyperborea, do you keep them in safe places or something?"

    The, now familiar, patronising smirk passes amongst the three Boreans.

    Kryst: "We don't have children."

    There's a long silence as the humans try to fathom such a thing. As delicately as he can, Mark decides he has to ask for clarification.

    King Mark: "Then how... do you... make new old elves?"

    Benem: "God makes them."

    Shock passes through the humans.

    Sir Galahad: "God? He just... makes new people for you?"

    Sir Gawain: "You must be... chosen people. Like us!"

    Benem: "God provides us with everything we require to live the way we do. Through God our magical energies come forth. We don't need to use aether, for example, as other beings do. Magic flows into us from God. God is our mind, through it our minds are connected. We sense each other all of the time. Truly, God is great."

    Sir Galahad: "Indeed! God is great!"

    King Mark:
    "I feel like we're missing something in this little tale..."

    Isolde: "Where is your God? Have you seen him?"

    Sir Galahad: "Isolde! You can't ask that!"

    Galahad always knew Isolde must be a wretched pagan!

    Isolde: "Answer the damn question! All I hear is hot air!"

    Kryst sweeps their arm and holds their palm towards the gigantic orb that looms over them. From here it seems to take up the entire sky.

    Kryst: "Here is God."

    King Mark: "See? I knew it."

    Sir Palamedes: "If that's God, I'm a penguin."

  25. #105
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Vedas vs Minos

    Minos Mootchief leaps from the stands and into the sand-coated arena.

    Minos: "If it's a show you wish for - then you should have asked for me to go first!"

    He grins broadly, displaying his pearly whites and exuding charisma. He spreads his arms as though accepting an enthusiastic applause; despite the utter silence from the other God-Monarchs.

    Imeryn:
    "Vedas, I suppose--"

    But the massive bulk of a man was already stepping down onto the platform. Aside from the seating to one side, the opposite side of the suspended platform is open to the vast, seemingly endless ocean world beyond. Just at the sky opposes the sea, the two God-Monarchs oppose each other in their own natures.

    While Vedas Khaan towers over most God-Monarchs and other humanoids, Mootchief Minos manages to be all the larger with his sturdy horse-like body from which his torso extends. His large wings ruffle as Vedas walks onto the arena floor. The alitaur's hooves scuff at the sand before he turns and begins to strut around the edge of the platform as though parading for his invisible audience. Vedas just stalks to the centre of the platform with a grimace on his face. He views all this as a waste of time, there are more productive ways of training, but as it's wished by the others he shall oblige for now. He's been unconvinced that the Highemperor is truly as invincible as everyone would have him believe. These morons are simply too stupid to outsmart the High Empire and its resources. Either that or they're too weak; either in strength or in heart. Many of them have followers for the purpose of self-aggrandisement. Their existence is meaningless and no different that the Highemperor himself. Followers ought to serve a purpose. They're tools to be used.

    To him this Mootchief Minos is a complete waste of space. So too is Imeryn, the woman that believes herself the leader of this cadre. Both are vain fools and of the exact same cloth as Highemperor. Din and Chimaat are, quite simply, idiots. There is no other way of describing them. All power and no brains. Should he ever discover a way of siphoning their powers from them, the multiverse would be better served without them in it. Zhuge was once another Highemperor but having seen the error of his ways he has been reduced to a snivelling coward that hides and licks his wounded pride away from the eyes of the civilised masses. Another individual that would be better chewed out and put out of his misery. Rozariel Lo is another useless itinerant that seeks her own fortune, though she's perhaps to be considered 'Imeryn-lite'. Her assortment of artefacts does make her marginally more appealing to Vedas, but those items would be better off in his hands than hers. The Ascension; cold and void of the essence of life. It is essentially the opposite of Highemperor and his arrogant vanity, yet it has a meaningless existence. What will it do when the Highemperor is dead? And dead he shall be.


    The cunning and greater purposes of Yannah and Neith Lieren are the more admirable qualities of his cohorts. Both of them would make excellent officers in an empire of his own, conquering the multiverse for the grand goal of control over the lesser beings. Then again, perhaps they would not bend the knee? Yannah has been a ruler and wouldn't be quick to become subservient to another. Yet she is a machine and machines often possess the cold logic of making the right choice that hot-blooded beings lack. Neith, even now as an ally in this group, may prove the greatest bane to him. As a being once of the Pan-Cosmic Command is warped by morality. Conscience is the path of cowards. She is probably unable to do what needs to be done and may even attempt, as others have done, to stop him should he proceed with plans she would consider 'evil'. Typhon is probably the God-Monarch he understands best. Pure vengeance, albeit for a truly petty reason, is a good cause and reason to be. He has no doubt that Typhon would destroy everything in his path to the of revenge and that is a mutual path Vedas could see himself upon. And then there is Dave... an enigma. Vedas is unable to make heads nor tails of him. He seems one thing, yet is known as another. For all Vedas' perception, Dave appears to be nothing but a mere, insignificant mortal. The mortals that ought to serve as tools by his command. Yet he is known throughout the multiverse as the greatest deity and his true form is hidden from all of the monarchs by this mortal façade. It may well be Dave that emerges from the fallout of this war against the Highemperor as the ruler of all...

    Mootchief Minos ends his march and stands opposite Vedas.

    Minos has dark, wild hair that is filled with flecks of grey - an attempt to give him an air of aged dignity and authority. It runs down his neck and into a long mane that runs down the spine, stopping at the body. Likewise his tail juts out at the back in black wires. His tail lifts and he poops.


    Vedas: "... dude."

    Minos: "What? Better out than in!"

    Vedas: "I believe there's a time and a place..."

    Minos: "Pah! Not amongst my people! We fertilise the ground wherever we go!"

    Vedas: "You can't fertilise the stone..."

    The alitaur just shrugs and grins at the red-skinned creature before him. Pooping everywhere is a common practice in alitaur communities, but before a battle it's a symbol of dominance over the opponent. This arena is mine, the pile of poop declares. Not that Vedas knows this but that just makes the experience all the more entertaining for Minos. Crapping in front of someone so conceited is always a sly pleasure.

    Minos may be the most powerful of all the alitaurs, yet he still considers himself to be an alitaur first and a God-Monarch second. Everything he does is for the good of his people. Even doing good for himself, like stealing all of Highemperor's wives when the time comes, is doing good for his people. What benefits him, benefits them. Alitaurs never fight alone. They fight together. They are a herd. This one-on-one match up of Imeryn's is an inconvenience. Minos is aware of Vedas' power and more so of his evil. The day Vedas was accepted into the God-Monarchs was the first time Minos got into a heated argument with Imeryn. He believes that defeating Highemperor shouldn't be 'at all costs'. When the deed is done, they will be left with Vedas to deal with and Minos is under no illusion that Vedas would ultimately turn on every one of them once they have taken out the greater threat. Minos' spirit of cooperation is stretched thin in dealing with this monster.

    Minos looks towards Imeryn, who is standing in the seating area, for her sign to begin. In the corner of his eye he sees a sudden rush of motion.


    Minos jerks himself backwards as a flaming fist narrowly misses him. Minos shouts angrily;

    Minos: "We haven't even begun yet, you fool! This is cheating! Where's your honour!?"

    Vedas:
    "You think our enemies will wait for you to be ready?"

    Minos: "... actually yes. Highemperor probably would!"

    Vedas:
    "Then that is how I shall take the fool down. Just as you will fall here."

    Vedas moves in again and Minos brings his arms up to block the incoming strike. The powerful, flame-haired man strikes with enough power to shake the very foundations that they're standing on. But Minos, channels his strength into his arms to coat them in magical protection against the attack. Vedas' fist actually rebounds due to the velocity with which it struck.


    Minos is silently pleased about this. Vedas seems intent on drawing up close in a physical brawl, just the way Minos likes it. Grappling with your brothers is the way every alitaur is raised. Minos doesn't even know what Vedas is. Perhaps he's no longer of his species but is now something else, separated from his past. Minos might have felt pity for him, had he not been so malevolent.

    Minos' horn glows as he draws on its stored energy. The current flows first into his skull and then through the rest of the body. It feels like a cool breeze might against the skin, only this is inside his organs. He casts an aura upon himself that would raise his physical protection should a strike get through his defences. He blocks another strike from Vedas. This shouldn't be as difficult as he had been expecting.

    While his horse body makes him a much bigger target, it also makes him not dextrous. His back legs hop round and his body follows, allowing him to dodge a big boot. Now on the flank Minos snakes his arm around the neck of Vedas, putting him in a sleeper hold.

    Minos:
    "You can give up any time you like."

    Vedas: "Surrender is for lesser creatures."

    He vanishes in a blast of flame, from which Minos reels. That wasn't very sportsmanly.

    Then Minos feels a sudden torment on his mind. There's a growing sensation of dread burrowing its way through his brain. Being an all-powerful alitaur means that such mind tricks stopped working on him long ago, yet never before have such tricks been applied by another God-Monarch on him. Despite that sensation trying to worm its way into his psyche, Minos isn't going to relent to it. He turns, annoyed that Vedas would treat him this way, only to see an inferno blazing across the planet.


    The very oceans are ablaze, as is the floor of the arena. Minos has to funnel more of his energy reserves to crate a cooling aura around his hooves. The unnatural hellsfire gives way, with a protesting hiss, at the stamp of each hoof.


    Imeryn: "Vedas, you can't mess about with my--!"

    A sudden barrier rises up between the audience seats and the arena, silencing the complains of Imeryn from the two combatants. Oddly enough Minos is somewhat grateful for that, sparing him from Imeryn's constant attempts to control everyone. A woman in control of Minos Mootchief. The very thought.


    Minos: "You think these parlour tricks will cause me to cower, Khaan?"

    Vedas lunges at him and Minos misses the attack. Vedas' clawed hands slip around Minos' throat. The alitaur's muscles stand firm against even the tight grip of this giant, but there's something about the grip that disturbs Minos. A dark energy seeps into his skin, like poison, and he feels his awareness draining. The harrowing sensation in his mind grows all the stronger and he lashes out, striking at Vedas but hitting only a visage of flame.

    He realises that he might escape this underhanded trick but whatever, more powerful attack Vedas has planned next, would be very difficult to parry. His senses are dulling and his will to continue is drained. The fight had been exciting, even if it didn't test the full capabilities of either of them. Minos raises his hand.


    Minos:
    "I will surrender to Vedas Khaan! The match is his!"

    His voice goes unheard, but Imeryn sees the hand and starts barking something behind the barrier. Vedas, of course, should have heard but the attack is unrelenting.

    Minos:
    "Do you hear me, demon? The match is yours. Release me."

    Darkness is beginning to grip his mind.

    He squirms against it and the flames upon him. With a sudden expense of energy he projects a kinetic blasts in all directions - a globe of movement pushing everything away. The flames retreat and he's given a moment to breathe. He manages to catch a glimpse through the flames of what appears to be a figure.


    Minos: "Khaan. Stop this nonsense. It's over."

    A sudden onslaught of aggression assaults Minos and the darkness of his mind consumes his awareness. He calls out in rage against his assailant. It seems like an eternity within the darkness of his own mind, the heat searing his physical form.

    Then it all stops.


    Minos shakes his head and blinks to find Imeryn standing next to him. He straightens up, as though nothing had happened.

    Minos:
    "Battle's over... is it?"

    Imeryn:
    "This was supposed to be a test match, Vedas. You overstep--"

    Vedas: "A test for me, an experience of his own impending demise for this fool."

    There's a silence amongst the God-Monarchs. Two loose cannons in the group is rather a lot and the fragility of their alliance is all the clearer...

  26. #106
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326

    Perverted Peasant Post

    In a galactic kingdom far removed from the NeSiverse, Highemp lies in the arms of twin sisters Imeryn and Ameryl. The young women had gleefully ravished him as he deflowered them, and now lay sleeping as the moonlight poured into the room through the palace window.

    Highemp is still awake however, and gets an uncanny sensation. As though someone is watching him.


    Highemp: Dammit, Quincy, can't I ever get any privacy?!

    A pop of displaced air signals the teleported arrival of a beholder, whose single eye looks innocently at the man.

    Quincy: Nope.

    Highemp glares at his old friend and mentor.

    Quincy: Fine, fine. All the action's over now anyway.

    He looks slyly at Highemp.

    Quincy: ...unless you think they'll wake up again?

    Highemp: Scram already.

    Quincy: You're so easy to tease.

    The beholder laughs and disappears. Highemp relaxes again...until he feels another uncanny sensation. This time it is not Quincy. He looks out the window, and sees a glint of reflected moonlight from one of the far palace towers.

    Highemp: Uh oh, I'd better investigate. Hope it's not more assassinbots!

    He carefully disengages from his sleeping lovers, and springs out the window, running along the palace roofs and hopping from tower to tower, until he reaches the far tower, and climbs up the wall to the gentle sloped roof.

    Young Woman: Eek!

    Highemp is surprised to see a young woman--

    Highemp: No, I'm not, the script just told me there's a young woman saying eek.

    Stop talking to invisible narrators that other people can't hear, or you'll spook her even more. Anyway, he sees a young woman sitting on the edge of the roof, holding a pair of binoculars.

    Highemp: Wait - were you peeping on us?

    The young woman scrambles to her feet, blushing furiously.

    Young Woman: No! I-- Um-- Well-- That is--

    She sighs.

    Young Woman: Maybe?

    Highemp: I have to admit, being spied on by sexy young women is a lot better than being spied on by Quincy...

    The young woman looks at Highemp's crotch, before blushing furiously and turning away. He abruptly realizes that he's still naked. He quickly conjures his outfit onto himself, whistling innocently as he does so.

    Young Woman: I, uh, wasn't spying on you. It's the princesses. I've loved them since I was little.

    A dreamy cast has come into her gaze.

    Highemp: A celebrity crush ain't love, darlin'. And it gets creepy when you start stalking them.

    Young Woman: This kingdom, while sci-fi in technology, has the magic and tone of a medieval fantasy, so it IS love. Fairy tales and all that.

    Highemp: You're surprisingly narratively aware... I'm Highemperor. What's your name?

    Young Woman: Peysiant Guril.

    Highemp: "Peasant Girl"?

    Peasant Girl: What? No! The T is silent anyway, how did you even hear that?

    Highemp: I have a script.

    Peasant Girl: Then you should know it's Peysiant Guril, not Peasant Girl!

    Highemp: Too late; the script has you down as 'Peasant Girl'. Could be worse, I was once in love with a woman named Harem Girl #87.

    Peasant Girl: Wow, poor girl.

    Highemp: And while you're smokin' hot--

    Peasant Girl: That's an awfully forward thing to say to a woman you just met.

    Highemp: A woman I just met who has seen me in my altogether getting it on with two ladies.

    Peasant Girl: Fair point. You were saying?

    Highemp: While you are most beauteous indeed--

    Peasant Girl: Actually, I think I'm okay with 'smokin' hot'.

    Highemp: --your clothing is poor, so I would venture that you are in fact a peasant girl.

    Peasant Girl: You're not a snob who's going to hold that against me, are you? Or do you only bone princesses?

    Highemp: Was that a come-on?

    Peasant Girl: No, but only because I don't want this scene to fade to black just yet. I'm enjoying talking to you.

    Too late. The Writer has run out of things for y'all to say. So Highemp and Peasant Girl spend a few hours sitting atop that tower in the middle of the night, chatting animatedly. Highemp encourages Peasant Girl to come forward about her love for the twin princesses; in a world partially defined by medieval fantasy tropes, it might actually work!

    They part before the sun comes up, Peasant Girl returning to her hovel and Highemp to the arms of his sleeping princesses, before leaving them to stop more clockwork assassins.

    Months pass. Highemp returns to find Imeryn queen and Ameryl banished - and Peasant Girl the Queen Consort! Despite their shared sorrow over Ameryl's banishment, Highemp and Peasant Girl get it on with each other as much as with Imeryn.

    Yes, a daughter or two comes out of it. No, they are not going to be detailed this post.

    After a while, a pregnant Peasant Girl asks Highemp an odd question one day.


    Peasant Girl: Highemp, dear, do you think we could have done anything differently, that day Ameryl was banished?

    Highemp glances around to make sure Imeryn isn't within earshot; the queen gets annoyed whenever her twin sister is mentioned.

    Highemp: Unfortunately not. I wasn't even there.

    Peasant Girl shoots him a strange look.

    Peasant Girl: Yes, you were.

    It is Highemp's turn to give her a strange look.

    Highemp: Um...no, I wasn't.

    Peasant Girl: Don't be daft, of course you were. You intervened in the duel and--

    Highemp: Oh, I get it! Timey-wimey shenanigans!

    Peasant Girl: So...you haven't done it yet, but at some point you're going to travel to that past moment to try and change it?

    Highemp: Apparently.

    Peasant Girl: Doesn't seem much point, since it didn't work.

    Highemp bites his lip in thought.

    Highemp: Time is nearly always in flux, and can be changed. I will have to think on this and prepare...

    Years go by, and when Highemp's children by Imeryn and Peasant Girl are 8, he chooses to leave, in order to protect them from the fickle whims of his Writer. Peasant Girl is sorry to lose him, just as she lost Ameryl, and now watches in sorrow as Imeryn gives into her ambitions, and sets out on an almost-mad conquering spree.

    When Imeryn sacrifices her entire galactic kingdom to strike a terrible blow to the Stronghold of Powerplayers, Peasant Girl can abide it no longer, and bids her queen a sorrowful farewell, before vanishing.

    She wanders the universes in a cosmic flitter obtained from Imeryn's now-dead kingdom, and becomes almost as big a voyeur as Quincy - though she never finds anyone else to love from a distance, as she did for the princesses and Highemp.

    One night, she is in the distant city of New Sima. It is a sprawling megalopolis larger than any she has yet seen, and opportunities for voyeurism abound. She is watching with binoculars from a rooftop as one of the Ministers of the Moment get it on with his mistress.


    Peasant Girl: Maybe I should hunt down that Quincy fellow who showed up to the wedding between Imeryn, Highemp, and myself. He might know some decent voyeur opportunities.

    Robed Man: El'Psassmet doesn't satisfy you in that regard?

    Peasant Girl starts, ripping her binoculars away from her face to see a short, nearly bald man in simple robelike garb. From the holes in his hands and chest, she can tell he is one of the natives - though of course there are many species native to this world - and she can't remember what the particular species is called.

    Peasant Girl: Damn, but you gave me a fright. Thief or voyeur?

    Robed Man: I'm nothing of either kind.

    Peasant Girl: Well, it's true that you look nothing--

    The robed man smiles, as though immensely pleased with what Peasant Girl is saying.

    Peasant Girl: --like either a thief or a voyeur, but then, it's not as though voyeurs have a consistent uniform.

    Robed Man: You looked lonely up here, and so I thought I'd pop up for a chat.

    Peasant Girl looks briefly around them. There is no easy way to this roof without climbing sheer walls, hopping from other roofs, or using some kind of aerial vehicle (of which she sees none, save the late-night traffic overhead).

    Peasant Girl: You're more agile than you look, I'll give you that. What did you want to chat about?

    Robed Man: Nothing in particular. Though you don't seem satisfied with your view.

    Peasant Girl: Once, I peeped on people whom I loved, and this led to doing more than peeping.

    Robed Man: Where are these loved ones now?

    Peasant Girl: Not here.

    Robed Man: What would satisfy you then?

    Peasant Girl: At this point...not sure anything would.

    The robed man smiles again.

    Robed Man: Then I must ask... what do you love more than your loved ones?

    Peasant Girl: Nothing.

    Robed Man: Then you are wise indeed.

    Peasant Girl throws a bewildered stare at the man.

    Peasant Girl: Uh...right. I don't think I caught your name.

    Robed Man: Call me Gaje.

    And so, in a very roundabout fashion, Peasant Girl's spiritual tutelage under the Gaje of El'Psassmet, otherwise known as Mayamanu Nahda, begins. He joins her on many nights as she peeps on various trysts, never failing to find her no matter where in the vast city she is. It's a long time before she realizes he is the local religious head, and even longer after that before she discovers that he is the Head of State for the Coordination, as well as possessed of mind-boggling powers.

    By this time, she is no longer meeting him on rooftops of course, but in the temple chambers, both in classes where he instructs multiple pupils in the way of Nothing, and in one-on-one tutoring sessions. Peasant Girl finds comfort in the religion, despite its sometimes confusing (for her) tenets, but one day her views are shaken, when word comes in about her teacher utterly destroying several multiverses.

    When next she sees him, he is as calm and unassuming as ever, standing at the head of his class of pupils, and she challenges him.


    Peasant Girl: Gaje, is it true?

    Gaje: What is truth?

    The classmates answer.

    Classmates: Nothing is truth.

    Peasant Girl: By the same token, Gaje, nothing is false. Did you destroy the Figg Federation?

    Gaje: I did Nothing.

    Peasant Girl: I had no idea you had such power. But why? What did they do to deserve it?

    Gaje: Nothing, of course.

    Peasant Girl grows increasingly frustrated, as she fires off several more questions before finally giving up, and Gaje begins instructing the class as normal. But in her mind she nurtures her questions, even as she learns to channel Nothing, the same way as her teacher.

    But unlike her teacher, she begins nurturing desires to use the Nothing for something - to obtain that for which she wishes. Her love for Imeryn and Highemp and Ameryl is tempered with sorrow, bitterness, regret, and anger, and so her desires twist in ways to become nothing what anyone would expect.

    And one day, Peasant Girl leaves New Sima and El'Psassmet, abandoning her cosmic flitter and streaking through the multiverse under her own power...because there is Nothing that would let her now do so. An extremist, she violently uses her powers to correct wrongs she sees and brings to heel corrupt orders the cosmos over.

    When she comes into contact with the Pan Cosmic Command, she joins, rising rapidly through the ranks to become one of its mysterious leaders, the Gul Moffs.


    Gul Moff Peasant Girl: Nothing can stop me now...
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 09-27-2018 at 04:20 PM.

  27. #107

    O Captain! My Captain!

    Captain Arxis: "Captain's Log, Everdate Bravod of Three, Rat, Point Zero. The Commission has assigned me and my crew aboard the PCC-Horizonavel-NX one final mission: to carry what may be the most dangerous cargo ever from the Antiverse Core back to Amalgamated HQ. The order comes straight from Gul Moff Nizhoni herself, and as such, our mission to transport cargo of unfathomable explosive ammunition, for an experimental weapon called a Cosmic Destructor, remains top secret. Publically, the Commission has said that our vessel would be sent into enemy-controlled Commission territory to deliver the final, covert blow to the Omega Reich enemy and its Axiom Vehemency. Gul Moff Nizhoni has informed us that the the Reich has already fallen with its leader, Jagisk Ttocks, having taken his own life. Certainly, we'll be hailed in history, either as living legends or as mythic martyrs, but not for our true task regardless."

    The log notes a heavy sigh.

    Captain Arxis: "Frankly, this mission leaves me conflicted. The concept of this so-called Cosmic Destructor takes everything the Pan-Cosmic Commission and its Ultimate Directive stands for to its logical extreme -- weapons of absolute peace through absolute annihilation. We're meant to conduct order, and yet we're fueling this mad engine when the Omega Reich will no longer even pose a threat. Gul Moff Nizhoni, however, predicts one among the Amalgamated themselves will pose an even greater threat after this conflict, and yet she wouldn't tell me who, possibly because one of the other Gul Moffs might serve said Amalgamate forces. To send my men and women to possibly die in such treacherous territory, under such clandestine and questionable circumstances, isn't right. And yet, I must. If there is even a remote chance this prediction holds true, even such a terrible weapon may not be enough..."

    The PCC-Horizonaval-NX, an experimental stealth corvette ship of its own, resembles a kunai, with the Commission's signature interlocking C-shaped 'rings' outfitted in the rear as its bridge. Its commanding officer, Captain Arxis, vaguely resembles Abraham Lincoln, if Lincoln appeared as a strange, anthropomorphic cross between a horse and an orangutan. His dark, salting beard and mane forms great, furry Cs on his head in a similar fashion to the ship's signature bridge.

    (It should come as little surprise that Captain Arxis had been one of the ship's key architects as well.)

    The small ship bucks wildly from the furious tempest of the Antiverse Core, with something resembling a thick, metal rope having been "lowered" into the very center of the Core itself.


    Captain Arxis: "Report!"

    First Officer Zenithread: "Extraction of antiversal energy at sixty-three percent. We need another three minutes and twenty seconds to complete the package."

    Security Officer Deph: "Shields at twenty two percent! At this rate, they'll be down in less than two minutes!"

    Chief Engineer Renigayd: "Engine core has gone critical! We need to slow down or risk blowing the whole ship up!"

    Science Officer Phymist: "Antiversal anomalies have gone off the charts! There's no telling how crazy they'll get now!"

    Helmsman `~}|#: "The exit wormhole is shrinking rapidly. Even at my best, there won't be enough wormhole to shoot back through after four minutes, tops!"

    Captain Arxis: "Zeni, Reni: double-time it! Deph, Phymist: have all auxiliary power diverted to shields and sensors! Helmsman, start spinning us up for an old-fashion Discus Maneuver!"

    Helmsman `~}|#: "This might require more than my best..."

    The klaxxons continue to blare as the antiversal storm rages on. A panel explodes, and a poor ensign flies from it across the bridge. Steam shoots out from another panel. Everyone grips onto something as an especially strong shockwave shakes the whole ship.

    Security Officer Deph: "Shields are gone!"

    First Officer Zenithread: "Package complete."

    Captain Arxis: "PUNCH IT!"

    The helmsman slams his palm down on a giant button. The ship, with its "blade" part having rapidly been spinning around its bridge, suddenly flies towards the exit wormhole. It already looks like it may close completely at any moment. The ship's chief doctor, who looks exactly like Mr. T in a doctor's coat, walks onto the bridge with a delicate cup of tea. He sips it.

    Doctor T: "...we're screwed beyond all belief."

    Captain Arxis: "You best make your time!"

    Miraculously, the ships manages to squeeze through the exit wormhole before it closes completely right behind them. The whole crew jumps with joy, with the exception of the first officer (who's a stick in the mud) and the doctor (who goes back to drinking tea).

    Captain Arxis: "Great job, everyone! The celebration will have to wait until we get back to HQ, though. Reni, report to me what repairs are needed in fifteen--"

    Science Officer Phymist: "Sir, I'm detecting unidentified vessels closing in. They appear ready to--"

    Suddenly, the whole crew appears to simultaneously fall unconscious as the ship goes dark.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The emergency lights eventually begin to glow, and the crew slowly regains consciousness.

    Doctor T: "You a'ight, Cap'n?"

    Captain Arxis: "Yes-- someone tell me what the hell just happened?"

    Science Officer Phymist: "No more signs of whatever those unidentified vessels were now, sir."

    Chief Engineer Renigayd: "The engine, sir..."

    Captain Arxis: "Spit it out, Reni!"

    Chief Engineer Renigayd: "It's...gone! We're dead in the water!"

    First Officer Zenithread: "That's not all that's gone."

    Captain Arxis: "Don't you dare tell me--"

    First Officer Zenithread: "The antiversal energy package is no longer aboard the ship, sir."

    The captain falls over into his command chair. Everyone looks to him for yet another instance of just the right words to say to get them out of this new impossible mess. He sits for several moments in silence.

    Captain Arxis: "...send out a distress signal."

    --------------------------------

    Captain Arxis: "Captain's Log, Everdate Miketh of Eight, Monkey DragonRat-Tiger, Point Zero. No, that can't be right... even the computer has lost track of the everdate? Not that I'm surprised. All systems have failed at this point except for the distress signal. I've diverted even life support to it at this point... it's just me now, after all. The rest have passed away. It seems whomever stole the antiversal energy left some for us after all...as microscopic contaminated spills across the ship. By the time we detected it, it was too late. The whole crew would die from the energy poisoning. Some of the more sensitive species on my crew died relatively quick... mercy was on their side. I watched as my crew dwindled one by one. The doctor worked feverishly for a cure, but to no avail. It seems my own kind have a particularly hardy resistance to such things... heh... I consider being an omaretan to be a curse now. Cursed to watch as I could do nothing to save my crew, or even get revenge on the thieves who assailed us..."

    The log notes some wheezing.

    Captain Arxis: "This will likely be... my last log. If anyone reviews this log, please know that I had... the finest crew a captain could ask for..."

    The log notes a hailing sound.

    Captain Arxis: "Can it be...?"

    Ending the log, the captain presses another nearby button with great effort.

    Captain Arxis: "This is... the PCC-Horizonaval...NX..."

    Hailing Voice: "This is Gul Moff Nizhoni, Captain Arxis. I came as quickly as I could when I didn't hear from you. Did you acquire the package?"

    Captain Arxis: "Acquired...and lost... trace amounts contaminate this ship... crew gone save myself..."

    Gul Moff Nizhoni: "Saving you is exactly what I intend to do, Captain, even if it means giving my own life to do so. I'm getting too old for this nonsense, and the new Command needs someone like you to live on. Someone who truly embodies its principles. Someone imbued with antiversal energy in their blood..."

    -------------------------------------------------

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: "Captain's log, Everdate Yankeest of Two, Rat Rooster-Pig, Point One. At this time, I reflect on a lifetime ago. Nizhoni had been true to her word, more than I'd have ever wanted. Through powers both natural and unnatural, she had ensured that I would live...virtually forever, it seems. She gave her own life to do so. Out of the victory against the Omega Reich, the newly-reformed Pan-Cosmic Command quickly rose as the pivotal mediating organization among the multiversal powers it was meant to be. I do my best to uphold the principles of the PCC as well as my own, but the PCC isn't what it once was, and neither am I, so I adopted a new name and made the best of things."

    The log notes a clearing of his throat.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: "I now hold the new PCC-Horizonaval under my personal command. She's a lot bigger and fancier, for sure, though I don't think she has quite the same charm. I'm attending a meeting with Gul Moff Ichron and Gul Moff Peasant Girl to discuss a new sting operation. I don't know how the girl pilots the PCC-Nullity without a crew and with just the bridge, but then again, the talking box has turned the PCC-Judgement into some incomprehensible puzzle of a ship, so apparently, I'm the only one in Command these days who knows how to actually design a bloody sensible ship. And yet, I myself feel like an old ship dragging her anchor along with her... I may not be the man I once was, but so long I command a ship, damn it all, I'll always be the captain!"
    Last edited by Gebohq; 08-12-2017 at 09:43 PM.

  28. #108
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326

    Seeds of Evil

    In a universe far away from the NeSiverse, long ago...

    Jaggy: Grampa, Grampa!

    The little boy runs through ruined pillars, excitedly waving his arms. An old man, kneeling in dirt and brushing away soil from an orichalcum plate with a flexi-force filtration tuner, looks up from his work and smiles to see the lad.

    Jaggy: Grampa, look what I found!

    The boy holds out his pudgy hand, and the old man inspects it. It is a chip of stone, with a very worn and faded rune upon it.

    Jaggy: Is it treasure, Grampa? Is it magic?

    The old man smiles indulgently. The item, while ancient and highly valuable to archaeologists such as himself, is not magical or monetarily valuable in the least, being a replica from the olden Epsilon era, rather than a true Alpha treasure.

    Grampa: Jaggy, it is treasure indeed. To folks such as you and I, mementos like this give us the greatest magic of all: the story of history.

    Jaggy leaps up and down for joy.

    Jaggy: Tell me about the Alpha Reich, Grampa!

    The old man chuckles.

    Grampa: I've told you the stories hundreds of times, dear lad.

    Jaggy: Tell me again! Pleeeeease?

    The old man pretends to think.

    Grampa: Well...alright.

    Jaggy: Yippee!

    The old archaeologist sits upon a portable hoverchair, and lets his grandson clamber up onto his knee.

    Grampa: As you know, Heinyrios has long been considered the cradle of life and civilization in the multiverse of the Deep Void. Some people dispute the fact that our universe was the first universe in the Deep Void--

    Jaggy: But they're wrong! Right, Grampa?

    The boy is petulantly patriotic to a fault, and the old man suppresses a chuckle.

    Grampa: Well, the one thing no one can dispute is that it was in our universe - the Heinyrios cosmos - that the first transversal expedition originated. The ancient Heinyrians, from a billion trillion eons ago, breached the veil of spacetime and launched out into the multiverse.

    Jaggy: And they were the founders of the Alpha Reich!

    Grampa: Correct, my boy.

    He passes over the fact that his grandson has skipped several thousand years of important history from the first expedition to the imperial founding.

    Grampa: And so the Alpha Reich was born. The first multiversal domain in Deep Void meta-history.

    Jaggy: The first and greatest multiversal dominion in Deep Void meta-history. You hafta say it right, Grampa!

    Grampa: Indeed, the first and greatest multiversal dominion in Deep Void meta-history. Because the heart of the Alpha Reich, here in Heinyrios, was the biggest source of pure aether known in the entire Deep Void.

    Jaggy: And it made all the Alpha Heinyrians strong and immortal and wise!

    Grampa: That it did. And it fueled all their magnificent technologies and spells, that likes of which have not been seen since. Their knowledge was vast and their culture magnificent. They invented the Everdate sytem, you know.

    Jaggy: But they weren't all nice, were they? Some of them wanted to hurt others and be mean.

    Grampa: That's right, and so the Alpha Heinyrians banished them from their Reich. They held them no ill will, but did not wish their own harmony to be disrupted.

    Jaggy: They should have killed those meanies.

    Grampa: Now, now, Jaggy. The Alpha Heinyrians were being merciful, and mercy is a very noble and heroic trait. And the exiles weren't the true reason for the Alpha Reich's downfall.

    Jaggy: It was the trickster goddess, wasn't it?

    Grampa: According to legend, yes. All we know is that the Alpha Reich's source of aether somehow ran dry, unexpectedly. The tales say that it was a trickster goddess from the future of a far away dimension, who stole away the aether and left behind piles of turnips, but of course we can't know for sure.

    Jaggy: Turnips are yucky!

    Grampa laughs.

    Grampa: They're healthy for you, my boy.

    Jaggy: Not as healthy as aether, right?

    Grampa: I suppose not. Turnips won't make you immortal, it's true.

    Jaggy: That's what I'll tell Mama next time she tries to feed me turnips!

    Grampa: And she'll tell you that's fine, if you can procure some aether instead.

    Jaggy: Awww...

    Grampa: Do you want me to stop telling you the story? I didn't mean to upset you.

    Jaggy: No, Grampa! Keep going, please!

    Grampa: Well, the Alpha Reich kept their loss secret for as long as they could, and carefully conserved what they had left. The decline of their multiversal empire took several more millennia.

    Jaggy: And then those mean ol' exiles came back.

    Grampa: Yes. They were barbarians now, but still strong for all that, and incredibly numerous. They were the bulk of an army of all those who feared or envied the Alpha Reich, and when they sensed weakness, they invaded, tearing down the noblest empire to ever exist.

    Jaggy: But then there was the Beta Reich!

    Grampa chuckles. This time, the boy is skipping over millions of years of history.

    Grampa: Yes, and more multiversal Reichs after that. Gamma, Delta, and so on. Great multiversal empires. But they all inevitably fell, for there was no aetherial nexus at their hearts; and they were not alone in having multiversal dominions anymore, for the Deep Void had filled with life and civilization.

    Jaggy: And none of them were as great as the Alpha Reich! Right?

    Grampa: That's right. The stories say that the Alpha Reich was a paradise. Those who didn't like paradise were free to leave.

    Jaggy: Still think they should have just killed them.

    Grampa rolls his eyes. Jaggy plays too many violent holo-games.

    Grampa: And the twelth Reich of Heinyrios fell two hundred thousand years ago.

    Jaggy: Think there will ever be another Reich, Grampa?

    Grampa: I'm sure of it, if history is anything to go by.

    Jaggy: But will there ever be a Reich as great as the Alpha Reich again?

    Grampa: Who can say? Perhaps if someone can synthesize powerful magic and technology out of turnips, then maybe...

    Turnips are astonishingly plentiful in the Heinyrios universe, perhaps giving credence to the old tale that the trickster goddess had left behind the plants in 'exchange' for the stolen aether.

    Jaggy: Gross!

    Grampa laughs, and hugs his grandson fondly.

    *****

    Many years later, a young man sits at a bar in a space station, known as Outpost Finagle. He boarded the station in his home universe Heinyrios, but by now, the station has moved on, and is in some other far removed universe, where the local citizens mill aboard the station, gambling and drinking and sporting and whoring.

    Bartender: If you're not gonna drink that, push off and make room for paying customers.

    The young man, who is a grown-up Jaggy, glances at his shotglass of whiskey, which is untouched.

    Jaggy: Bring me another, and put it on my tab.

    The bartender eyes him, but does as he asks, before moving away. Jaggy eyes an alien woman sitting alone at a table, and wonders if she would find a struggling artist and ex-soldier attractive.

    Prophetim: She won't.

    Jaggy turns his head and raises his eyebrow to look at a different alien woman, who has just come up behind him to take a seat the bar next to him.

    Jaggy: She won't what, and how would you know?

    Prophetim: She won't go for you. She only likes plant-based sentient species.

    The alien woman picks up the second shotglass next to Jaggy and drains it.

    Jaggy: And how would you know that?

    Prophetim: The same way I know that you and I are going to have a very nice time tonight - I'm an oracle.

    Jaggy: Damn, that's not a bad pick-up line. Wish I'd thought of it. You don't mind if I steal it, do you?

    Prophetim: I am an oracle, no joke. Jaggy, from Heinyrios, who fought in a losing war under the direction of that universe's inept cosmic council, against other dimensions who tread all over it and imposed massive sanctions.

    Jaggy: Not bad. Either you really are an oracle, or you're a helluva information broker.

    Prophetim: And you don't care either way, since you think I'm hot.

    Jaggy: This is true. You seem to have me a disadvantage, doll. What's your name? I don't recognize your species, either.

    Prophetim: I am called Azariel. I am a member of an oracular angelic race called the Prophetim, who serve the God of Ordimar.

    Jaggy: Never heard of him.

    Azariel: No reason you would have. Just one god out of many in the NeSiverse.

    Jaggy: The NeSiverse?

    Azariel: That's where I boarded Outpost Finagle, three universes ago.

    She takes Jaggy's hand.

    Azariel: Let's go have some fun, shall we?

    Jaggy grins...

    Later, the pair lie in each other's arms in bed, satisfied. Azariel traces a path along Jaggy's chest with her fingers, walking her hand across his war scars.


    Azariel: When I have communed with someone this deeply, it grants me a very deep, but temporary, link to their fate. If you wish, I can use it to tell your future in an extremely accurate manner that you will never have the opportunity to hear from anyone else.

    Jaggy: Surely you already know I'm going to say yes.

    Azariel grins shamelessly.

    Azariel: I do, but it's still polite to ask. One moment.

    Azariel closes her eyes. When she opens them, they are blazing white, and she speaks with an otherworldy voice, as a phantom breeze blows around them.

    Azariel: --Universes shall rise and fall in your wake. Some shall say you are born of deepest darkness; some shall say you herald purest light. You shall follow your ambitions and your hopes and your desires and your dreams, and in the end, a power greater than any other shall rise and last for countless eons--

    Jaggy stares at her openmouthed, as her eyes return to normal, and her voice loses its otherworldly cast with a gasp. She likewise stares at him in shock.

    Azariel: I-- I had no idea. You-- You are one of the largest men in multiversal history!

    Jaggy: I will be?! I thought they were just stupid hopes that would never happen, I was embittered by the war--

    Azariel gets out of bed, and dresses.

    Jaggy: Where are you going?

    Azariel: I have seen what you will become. I am not sure if I like it - or if I like it too much. I cannot stay.

    She turns took at him directly as she finishes dressing.

    Azariel: But I am glad to have known you, Jagisk Ttocks.

    Then she is gone.
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 12-17-2016 at 12:38 AM.

  29. #109
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326

    Daunting Duel of Destiny & Creation of Cosmic Crux

    In the small universe of Discharding, Victorian style steampunk towers rise to the orange sky, as zeppelins sail through clouds of steam. The Royal Palace is not only the tallest, but the widest, structure here, and at its heart turn the cogs of the Royal Engine, that supreme reality-manipulating device that exerts control over all Discharding, and has since time immemorial.

    Every 500 years, a new sovereign is elected by the nobility to rule them, with the Royal Engine enforcing the king's dictates. The king's daughter, Princess Damask Rosenbilte, has been living in the palace for a hundred years, remaining eternally youthful as do all members of Discharding nobility and royalty.

    But before her father was elected king, making her a princess, Damask had a lover, an exotic wanderer from another universe. The exotic man is a fabulous lover, and she adores him, and awaits his visits eagerly every time he leaves.

    He has just returned, and after a steamy night of passion, he makes an unusual request of her, one that now has them walking quietly down to the cellars beneath the Palace in the dead of night.


    Princess Damask Rosenbilte: But I don't understand why you want to see this. It's more or less useless in this form.

    Highemp: So no one will mind if I borrow a bit of it, then, surely?

    Princess Damask Rosenbilte: I suppose not. And as princess I do have some ability to grant royal permissions.

    Highemp: Thanks, love. How much longer?

    Princess Damask Rosenbilte: This is the last stairwell.

    The descend the spiral staircase, the sounds of clanking cogs growing fainter from above, and Damask opens the final door. They walk into a cavern lit only by the soft silvery-blue glow of a strange mist that pools in the center, swirling lazily about.

    Highemp: So that's the magic mist that powers the Engines your people make.

    Princess Damask Rosenbilte: It's not 'magic mist', it's gaseous astral flux. Our dimension contains many such growths of it, and this is by far the largest. It has supplied the Royal Engine for ages, and will continue to supply it forever.

    Highemp's tone is amused.

    Highemp: Gaseous astral flux? So it's transdimensional farts? Easier to call it magic mist.

    The princess giggles despite herself, but quickly adopts a stern expression.

    Princess Damask Rosenbilte: But it's not magic at all. It's totally different and alien from magic. I mean, yes, it can serve as an energy source for conventional technology or spellwork, but it also obeys a completely separate set of intercosmic laws that can be exploited to create and power our reality-warping Engines.

    Highemp: It does things that are virtually inexplicable, and which can't be explained by science. So close enough.

    Princess Damask Rosenbilte: The same can be said of your powerplaying, yet you maintain that it's not magic, or at least not just magic.

    Highemp scowls, and Damask giggles again. He chuckles.

    Highemp: Alright, you have me there, darling. Now, if I just gather up a sample of this...

    He opens his hand, and some of the misty light swirls into his palm, which glows bright silver for several moments before vanishing.

    Princess Damask Rosenbilte: Unless you've learned how to construct an Engine, that won't do you much good. Yes, it's powerful, but in that state it's barely controlled.

    Highemp: According to my research, it's possible to get even more potent results from the raw stuff of the magic mist - excuse me, the gaseous astral flux - than even the Royal Engine, reacting to one's desires if said desires and one's willpower is strong enough.

    Princess Damask Rosenbilte: Yes, but desires are fickle and treacherous, and the willpower required is fantastically strong depending on the result you want to achieve--

    She stops, seeing the look on her lover's face.

    Princess Damask Rosenbilte: This is something you want very badly, isn't it? Or someone.

    Highemp: Several someones, darling. Split apart by a feud and cruel fate.

    Princess Damask Rosenbilte: Then you have my blessing. Stay the night before departing, love?

    Highemp: For you, princess, I will...

    -----

    Mystic bolts whiz across the courtyard. Conjured constructs stomp around and crash into one another. Elemental magicks clash. The crowd, watching from the bannisters all around, is hushed; they are afraid to cheer for either side, lest the one for whom they cheer turn out to be the loser.

    Twin sisters are dueling, bringing to bear all of their mighty sorcerous capabilities. A poor lowborn girl, now clad in a fine dress, wrings her hands as she watches, horrified over the two women she loves being torn apart in this manner.

    Ameryl weaves her hands in complex gestures and mutters arcane syllables to summon a mighty spell, when Imeryn flings out her hand, and flaming meteors rain down on Ameryl. Ameryl breaks her spell in mid-cast to summon a protective shield.


    Ameryl: That's CHEATING! You didn't even use magic words or casting gestures for that!

    Imeryn: It's not cheating, it's winning. I'm powerplaying, dear sister.

    Peasant Girl, still wringing her hands, is agonized. She wants to scream for them to stop, she loves both of them, but she knows it is too late for words. Imeryn is too far gone with jealousy and lust for power to share love with her twin sister any more. Then, there is a distinct pop of displaced air beside her, and the young woman gasps to see a familiar man appear next to her, one she has not seen in a couple of months, since the fateful night they met atop a palace tower roof.

    Peasant Girl: Highemp?

    Highemp's heart aches with love for Peasant Girl, as well as Ameryl and Imeryn, but this is his past; in his personal timeline, he has already left Peasant Girl and Imeryn with their 8 year old children, to save them from the whims of his writer. But now, he dared to defy destiny and change time.

    This is Peasant Girl before she was in love with Highemp. She will not see him again for a few more months, when Highemp returns through the portal in the royal fireplace from the Pan Cosmic Command space vessel and marries Imeryn.

    But Highemp loves her. And he loves Imeryn. And his heart breaks as he looks upon Ameryl for the first time in a long, long time. He has been unable to approach her, thanks to a narrative lock enforced by his very own damnable Writer. But now, by traveling back in time, he hopes to change all that.


    Highemp: Peasant Girl, you love them both, and you want them to reconcile and for us all to love each other peacefully, don't you?

    Peasant Girl doesn't quite understand the implication of Highemp being included in this love circle with her, but she knows that he loves the princesses just as she does.

    Peasant Girl: Yes.

    Highemp: Then help me. Focus on that desire, with all your heart and all your strength. AMERYL! IMERYN!

    There is a sudden lull in the duel as the princesses hear his bellow, turning to look at their onetime lover with astonishment. Highemp holds out his hands, palms forward, and glowing silvery-blue mist swirls from them. The mist pulses brightly, and grows to fill the courtyard, and there is an outcry of surprise and confusion from the crowd on the bannisters above.

    Energy crackles in the mist, which veils all vision and senses. The emotions and souls of the four lovers down in the courtyard - Highemp, Imeryn, Ameryl, and Peasant Girl - swirl together and merge in a joining more intimate than anything possible through physical communion.

    For one brief moment, utter love unites them. Then it dissolves into a storm of jealousy, lust, ambition, regret, and fate. An eternity of their mingled emotions rages around and in them before an astral wind whips through the mist, shearing the brief connection apart as the gaseous astral flux begins to dissolve.

    As his vision clears again, Highemp knows that he has failed, he could not change this fate. But maybe, in some small way, he has succeeded in a manner he could never have foreseen.

    In his arms is a baby girl. Creation of all four of them, conjured by their astral communion. He takes one last sorrowful look at the three women, and then vanishes. As the last of the magic mist--


    Princess Damask Rosenbilte: Gaseous astral flux!

    --aren't you supposed to be in Discharding? As the last of the, ahem, gaseous astral flux - because that's not a pretentious name or anything - dissolves, the three women's brows furrow, as they struggle to understand what just happened, or even to remember.

    Then Imeryn launches a bolt at her twin sister, sending her sprawling, before pouncing onto her and binding her with mystic locks.


    Imeryn: Victory is mine.

    Her twin sister gazes at her with utter sorrow. She knows she is defeated, yet she also knows that there was no outcome to this battle that could have been called victory. Imeryn does not hear her murmured reply, as she accepts the accolades of the crowds.

    Ameryl: Victory...would have been not fighting at all...
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 12-17-2016 at 12:31 AM.

  30. #110
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326

    A Drink Between Old Friends

    The PCC-Horizonaval is a majestic super battleship floating in the void between multiverses. It is attended by a flotilla of support vessels, space stations, and even planets pulled along by cosmic tugs, to serve as training centers, garrisons, storage, and resources. It is a miniature solar system, always busy and clustered with traffic between space stations, planets, and the larger ships, as PCC corpsmen and permit-holding contractors do their business.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: I disagree. The Lazull Initiative should never have been prioritized for those megasectors to begin with--

    The comm on the desk in his private command center beeps.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: One moment, Ichron. Yes?

    He has flicked the comm switch on his desk, and the voice of his second in command comes through.

    Commander Numm Birwon: Captain, Engineering needs your inspection and approval for the new upgrades to the drive core.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: I'll be there at half after Disco-Minus sharp, Commander.

    Commander Numm Birwon: Aye aye, Captain.

    Gul Moff Ichron (via long-distance commlink): You.would.achieve.your.goals.more.efficiently.if.y ou.delegated.captaincy.Pfaxarxis.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: I don't tell you how to run your directorate, do I?

    Gul Moff Ichron: Your.input.is.always.welcome.Pfaxarxis...Accumluat ed.knowledge.and.experience.contribute.to.efficien cy.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: Bah, why do you have to be so reasonable? Forget I said anything--

    His desk comm lights up bright red. It's a long-distance commlink signal, rather than from the bridge. Furrowing his brow, Pfaxarxis flicks the switch. A harried voice responds.

    Occulus Indigo Acute: Gul Moff, this is Antiverse Watch. Unknown entity has breached the cosmic wards surrounding the antiverse, repeat, unknown entity has breached the cosmic wards.

    Pfaxarxis's hands grip the edge of his desk tightly, as memories of being adrift in that chaotic maelstrom return to him.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: Telemetry of the invader?

    Occulus Indigo Acute: Single bipedal bioform, Class Medium-II in proportion. Power signatures scrambled by antiversal feedback but clearly significant. Quiescent since breaching the ward.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: Do not approach it. If it makes any move, alert me immediately. I'm on my way. Commander?

    He flicks the comm switch to the bridge.

    Commander Numm Birwon: Sir?

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: Prepare for disengagement from the fleet. We're departing as soon as I get to the bridge. Engineering will just have to wait for their inspection.

    Gul Moff Ichron: Continuing.our.discussion,would.be.inefficient.at. this.time...Contact.me.if.assistance.is.required.

    The holographic image of the floating box, as Pfaxarxis thinks of it, winks out. He stands and hurries to the bridge. Taking his seat in the captain's chair, he lets out a brief sigh of relief. No matter what crisis might be portending, he is now exactly where he belongs.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: Navigation, input heading: Antiverse Watch. Take us through vector nonagon-delta-shadow. Combat systems: orange alert. Engineering: keep both your eyes on the drive core.

    The PCC-Horizonaval zips through the Deep Void at unimaginable speeds, until it arrives at the chaotic maelstrom of the Antiverse. The unimaginably vast edges of it are covered in sparkles, the only visible indication of the equally mind-bogglingly large kappa-field net cast over it, that serves as a ward to casual entry into the Antiverse.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: Antiverse Watch, this is the captain of the PCC-Horizonaval. Do you copy?

    Occulus Indigo Acute: Copy, Captain. We have a visual of the intruder. Feeding it to your display now.

    Pfaxarxis takes one look at the image, then groans longsufferingly before bursting out laughing. The entire crew looks at him, perplexed. Occulus Indigo Acute, who is watching through the comm display, doesn't bat an eye.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: Cancel alert, restore to green status. Integrity of the Antiverse is sustained. Engineering, lower the shields, we have a visitor incoming. Mess...prepare your finest tea, for two.

    Shortly, Pfaxarxis and the intruder are sitting together in the officers' mess, which is currently empty save for the two of them. They are sipping tea, and Pfaxarxis regards the man sitting across the table from him. His visitor appears to be human, with a long beard, pointy hat, and grayish-white beard.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: Was this really the easiest way to get my attention, Fladnag?

    Fladnag, who goes by the appellation 'the White' despite that fact that his robe and beard are most gray, sips his tea calmly.

    Fladnag the White: Yes. You're a Gul Moff of the one of the greatest multiversal powers in history; I'm a court advisor to the ruler of a minor cosmos. No official channels would ever put me through to you if I used them.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: You have a point, old friend. But, minor cosmos, my arse. The NeSiverse might be unassuming, but there are some major players there. The Imperium, the High Empire, and then there were the God-Monarchs. I don't believe they're really gone.

    Fladnag the White: Nor do I, Arxis. But there is no telling when they'll be back, assuming they do come back - unless you are privy to such information?

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: They're damned powerful, they are, and even if I thought I could locate them, they're low enough priority that it wouldn't be worth the resources I would have to marshal to do so.

    He takes a drink of his tea.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: In my opinion, anyone who underestimates the NeSiverse as a 'bit player' deserves whatever he gets. Especially since I've caught wind of complaints from neighboring universes about diverted ley lines?

    Fladnag the White: I don't have information on that, I'm afraid. But I didn't visit just to talk to politics.

    Pfaxarxis's gaze softens.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: I suppose not. How have you been, old friend?

    Fladnag the White: Still as stuffy as ever, I assure you.

    Pfaxarxis barks a laugh. He had first met Fladnag when, as Captain Arxis, he had been assigned to transport the demigod super-mage into a warzone against the Omega Reich. While the God-Monarchs had kept the NeSiverse largely neutral in the multiverse-spanning conflict, many of their citizens such as Fladnag had volunteered in the war effort. Arxis and Fladnag had not gotten along well at first, and the young captain had called the immortal-but-much-younger-back-then wizard-god all manner of things.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: 'Stuffy' was the LEAST of what I called you. I hope your only purpose here isn't to rub it in my face what a dick I was to you?

    Fladnag the White: Of course not, you have your fellow Gul Moffs for that.

    The demigod super-mage says it straight-faced, but there is a hint of a wry tone, and the Gul Moff laughs again. Arxis and Fladnag had eventually become close friends, fighting alongside in many missions against the Omega Reich, all those eons ago.

    Fladnag the White: Also, I wanted to remind you that there are worse names out there than Pfaxarxis. Why, I'm the only one in my universe who can pronounce my boss's name!

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: Ugh, you'd think the legion of highly intelligent officers under me could remember a simple thing like the spelling of my name, but noooo! This is why I prefer Captain.

    Fladnag the White: Is that what your mistresses call you?

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: No, they call me Pfaxy-- Dammit, how do you get me to tell you these things?

    Fladnag lets out a chuckle now. He sets down his teacup and puts a finger aside his nose, before answering in a mysterious tone.

    Fladnag the White: Magic.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: So why are you here? I know you're extremely busy as de facto ruler of the NeSiverse--

    Fladnag the White: I am merely vizier.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: My information sources aren't THAT bad, Fladnag. Deny it all you want, but you're ruler in all but name, and that keeps you so busy that I can't imagine you have the time to gallivant across the multiverse just to catch up with an old friend.

    Fladnag the White: I'm taking a vacation.

    Pfaxarxis stares at his old friend incredulously.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: A vacation.

    Fladnag the White: That is correct.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: I didn't know you knew what a vacation WAS.

    Fladnag the White: A waste of time in which working beings choose to be idle.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: You're not exactly changing my opinion...

    Fladnag the White: Well, some idiot wanted to depose the Big O, so I just let him have the job. After a few hours he'll be begging me to take it back. That's always how it goes. In the meantime, I thought I'd step out for a spot of tea.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: Ha! I should remember that next time someone angles for my position.

    Fladnag the White: Also, I do have some potentially troubling information that I thought it meet to share with you.

    Pfaxarxis groans.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: I knew it. Always an ulterior motive. No such thing as a casual drink.

    Fladnag the White: One of my Void Rangers has found trace elements of antiversal energies.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: What? Where?

    Fladnag the White: Where do you think? As you know, I don't get out much.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: In the NeSiverse? But why would there be any antiversal anomalies there?

    Fladnag the White: I could not say. Omnispectral analysis on Tatooine revealed that the trace is quite dissolute...and old.

    Pfaxarxis says nothing, waiting.

    Fladnag the White: Somewhat over 14 billion years old, to be precise.

    Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: I don't know the details of your universe's history, but that was when the God-Monarchs were present, yes?

    Fladnag the White: No, before they were around. Before the NeSiverse itself was around, in fact.

    Pfaxarxis stares at Fladnag in surprise.

    Fladnag the White: It may be that the universe that existed previously to the NeSiverse didn't die a natural death...

  31. #111
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
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    1,326

    Cosmic Littering

    The Phortress of Phractal is currently drifting in the Deep Void between universes. Distant cosmos are starlike pinpricks of light. The gigantic crystalline castle emits its own glow, yet the Netherwyrms that prowl the Deep Void know to avoid it.

    Inside the throne room is a total mess in the aftermath of a drunken party. From his crystal throne, the crystalline-fractal-appearing god Phractal surveys it critically.


    Phractal: I don't know why I let you keep slumming here.

    The HorseGod, who can really hold is alcohol and never has a hangover, is up and moving perkily about, cleaning. He steps over the snoring EditorGod as he answers.

    HorseGod: Because I know how to throw really great parties.

    Phractal: Really messy parties, you mean. Those alitaurs are crazy wild.

    HorseGod: I know! Ain't it great?

    Phractal: 'Great' is not the term I would use.

    HorseGod: If it bothers you so much, why not leave the room?

    Phractal: I'm a transdimensional deity. I'm more or less nearly everywhere at once. So it's virtually impossible for me to leave. Besides, I thought alitaurs worked for the God-Monarch Minos Mootchief, not you.

    HorseGod: Minos and I are on good terms.

    Phractal: Are? That would suggest you still speak to him, and know where he and his fellow God-Monarchs are now.

    The HorseGod shifts his eyes in a cagey manner.

    HorseGod: Er, no, of course not. I just mean I was on good terms with him! So, the alitaurs he left behind when Mega Jonestown Prime vanished don't mind deferring to me in his place.

    Phractal: If you say so...

    HorseGod: Besides, if you're omnipresent, wouldn't you know where Minos and Mega Jonestown Prime are?

    Phractal: Nearly omnipresent. There's quite a lot of places where I am not there, and even most of the places where I am present, I am not fully aware of what is going on there.

    HorseGod: That explains why you ignored the hot alitaur chick who was hitting on you last night...

    A knocking comes at the giant crystal gate.

    HorseGod: I'll get it.

    The HorseGod, unusually for a deity, doesn't mind getting his hands dirty or doing menial tasks. This may be a side effect of spending much of his time in the company of rather more grandiose gods who look down on him.

    Phractal: I'm already there.

    Phractal doesn't move from his throne, yet the grinding of the crystal gate opening can be heard, and footsteps herald the arrival of a guest into the throne room. The guest is wearing a PCC uniform, and a badge that identifies him as Bridgadier-Lieutenant Shileesi.

    Shileesi: There you are! We never received a notification that you changed your address.

    Phractal: I didn't. I've always been in my Phortress.

    Shileesi: Yes, but until recently it dwelt within the NeSiverse.

    Phractal: No, it did not. Yes, I spent some time there, but that much in the grand scheme of things. Why does everyone always assume I'm a local NeSiversian god? I'm a transdimensional entity existing throughout the Deep Void, for my sakes!

    Shileesi: Hmmm, if you say so.

    He makes a notation on his clipboard.

    Shileesi: Anyway, I am here on behalf of the Pan Cosmic Command Cosmovironmental Conservation Committee.

    HorseGod: The PCCCCC? Try say that ten times fast.

    Phractal: I don't know why you'd want me to, but alright. PCCCCCPCCCCCPCCCCCPCCCCCPCCCCCPCCCCCPCCCCCPCCCCCPC CCCCPCCCCC

    The HorseGod and Sileesi stare at Phractal.

    HorseGod: Sometimes you are just no fun at all. Do you have to take everything literally?

    Phractal: Yes.

    The HorseGod facepalms.

    Phractal: And why are you here, Brigadier-Lieutenant? As a transdimensional entity, I approve of your cosmovironmental work.

    Sileesi: Your actions bely your words, Phractal.

    Phractal: What?

    Sileesi brandishes several slips of paper from a thick sheaf.

    Sileesi: Multiple citations of cosmic littering. There are dozens in this sheaf alone, and hundreds of sheafs in our file cabinets at the office.

    Phractal: That's preposterous. I've never done anything harmful to the cosmic environment at all! And why would you write up all these ridiculous citations and then only confront me about them now?

    Sileesi: As I said, we could not locate you, as you never informed the Pan Cosmic Postal Service of your address change.

    He looks over his spectacles disapprovingly at Phractal.

    Phractal: I already told you-- ugh, I hate bureaucracy. So what are these so-called citations?

    Sileesi: I have here tickets of you trailing fractalline shards in various locales.

    Phractal: It's called shedding. You don't write snakes up for shedding their scales, do you?

    Sileesi: Snakes don't have scales made up of transdimensional crystal. You do. In many cases, these shards of yours have led to much disorder and mayhem. There's even a documented case of one being used by locals to create a weapon that can shear rifts into spacetime!

    Phractal: Well, I can't very well help that I shed. Besides, one could say that all portals are rifts in spacetime, and that falls within my purview.

    Sileesi: Another citation here is for industrial waste on a planet called...let me see... Joo Puh Ter.

    Phractal: Jupiter? That's not industrial waste, that was me taking a dump on Marduck's front porch and setting fire to it. I don't have a dog, after all.

    Sileesi: This industrial waste led to multiversal instability in that region, spawning a nexus of hundreds of not thousands of portals on the planet.

    Phractal: Again, not seeing the problem here. Portals fall within my purview.

    Sileesi: And here I have a citation of you releasing toxic afterchemicals into an inhabited and civilized universe. Discharding is the name, I believe.

    Phractal: The frack? Are you talking about the gaseous astral flux that I excrete?

    HorseGod: Transdimensional farts.

    Phractal glares at the HorseGod.

    Phractal: I am a divine entity made of magic multiversal crystal. I do not have a digestive system, and I most certainly do not 'fart'.

    HorseGod: They sound like farts, they smell terrible, and they emit from your posterior region. Close enough.

    Phractal: Bah. Anyway, I only get those excretions when I've swallowed a terrible hyperdimensional wrinkle or flux of some kind. I can tell you for a fact that I directed all of it - well, most of it anyway, I couldn't direct all of it - into an uncivilized and uninhabited universe. I instituted a time wrinkle into it so that any future excretions--

    HorseGod: Transdimensional farts.

    Phractal: --go there as well.

    Sileesi: So you claim, but Discharding is quite populous.

    HorseGod: I know of Discharding. I'm acquainted with a marquis there. Though they built their civilization there eons ago, it must have been well after Phractal farted there. And if those farts--

    Phractal: Excretions of gaseous astral flux!

    HorseGod: --are the power source of their steampunk Engines, as I suspect, then it's likely BECAUSE of said farts that they settled there.

    Sileesi: Hmm, I suppose I can issue a petition to the Department of Coordinates and Calendars to double-check the timeframe of those events. As you may know, time varies wildly between universes.

    Phractal: Hello, transdimensional entity here. Of course I know.

    Eternius the Omnarrator chooses to stumble in at that point, looking blearily around in the throes of his half-drunken stupor. He sees Sileesi and shuffles over.

    Eternius the Omnarrator: Whash thish? Anudder vi****or? We'sh all outta *hic* beer, dude...

    Sileesi: Trust me, I do not want whatever you've been imbibing-- AUGH!

    Eternius retches all over him.

  32. #112
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326

    Size Princesses

    The imaginatively named capital city of the High Empire, Urbs Dei, is blanketed in soft white snow. The megalopolis however is eternally springy in climate, so the snowfalls were magically conjured and enchanted to never melt while outdoors for the duration of the holiday.

    For a holiday season it is: the 12 Days of Highnoel, which prompts the largest and grandest celebrations throughout the entire High Empire. It is a day celebrating the founding of the High Empire, its glorious lord Highemperor, and the magnificent love he and his subjects hold for one another.

    A cynic might suggest that it is nothing but pomp served to bolster the ego of a narcissistic ruler. Regardless, it is a time of feasting, gift-giving, and romance.

    In the Stronghold of Powerplayers, Highemp's daughters are gathered around him as he passes out presents and reads stories to the younger ones.


    Random Daughter #1: Gee, thanks, Daddy! This is exactly what I wanted!

    Highemp: You're very welcome, honey. I love you. Now then, my next gift is for... Alitaur Daughter #3!

    He looks around the vast throng of his offspring, but does not see her, nor does she appear.

    Highemp: Where is Alitaur Daughter #3?

    Random Audience Member: Oh come on! How misogynistic can you get? Just number designations for his own kids?!

    The writer is too lazy to come up with real names, and even if he bothered, you can bet that Britt the Writer wouldn't be able to spell them.

    Random Audience Member: I concede the point...

    Random Daughter #2: Em...she went to do a ritual for Highnoel.

    Random Daughter #3: And all of her alitaur sisters too.

    Highemp: Ah, well, it is the multiversal meta-zodiac alignment every Highnoel, which bodes well for the magically inclined such as they. I suppose I will give them their gifts later.

    His many daughters look shiftily at each other. They are covering up for their alitaur half-sisters, who are Highemp's progeny by the Seven Sorcerous Sisters of Serleria. The alitaur daughters, who number in the dozens, are all randy size queens.

    Considering that ALL alitaurs are size queens - because otherwise the race would never procreate, given the horse dongs of the males - this shouldn't be terribly surprising. Particularly since their father is a sexpot himself, and their mothers constantly derive pleasure and magical power from sexing said sexpot father.

    But like any young women living under their parents' thumbs, they sneak around for their liaisons.

    Elsewhere in the Stronghold of Powerplayers, Alitaur Daughter #3 is curled up with Carian Myste in his bedchambers.


    Carian Myste: I really had better go, dear. It's after midnight, and I haven't even loaded the astral sleigh yet.

    Carian Myste - also known as Entity #3, one of the Powerplayer Gods on the High Pantheon of the Throne - is a Santa figure in the High Empire, bearing gifts all across the High Empire. He is a bit of an idealist, and his mentor Highemp sees his old idealism live on in his protégé.

    It should come as no surprise then, that a protégé of Highemp's has a big package and a harem of his own.


    Alitaur Daughter #3: Aw, stay a little longer? Highnoel is one of the few times I can sneak out for a few days at a time, what with that rubbish meta-zodiac ritual ruse.

    Carian Myste: I really wish you'd let me tell your father. He trusts me, and I don't feel comfortable letting him down. I'm sure he'd see our love and let me instate you as queen of my harem.

    Alitaur Daughter #3: Well, if you don't feel comfortable screwing me, just say so.

    Carian Myste: I didn't mean THAT...

    Alitaur Daughter #3 smiles coyly.

    Alitaur Daughter #3: Then stay with me a bit longer...

    Carian Myste: Very well, For you, my dear...

    Several multiverses away, in the expanse known as the Deep Void, the crystalline Phortress of Phractal hovers in the blackness. Phractal sits on his throne as he always does.

    Phractal: Given that this Everdate corresponds with extravagant annual celebrations throughout a great deal of the multiverse, I'm surprised that those dratted squatters--

    By which he means the Eternal Pantheon of narrative deities, who live in the Phortress.

    Phractal: --haven't thrown another horribly messy party.

    Yet the vast throne room is empty. Phractal frowns, then shifts his awareness to another chamber in his space castle. He is nearly everywhere at once, and by focusing his attention, he appears in this separate chamber, while still sitting on his throne.

    Phractal: Eternius, I--

    He stops. Eternius is not there. Phractal does not sigh, not being human enough to possess such a trait, and shifts his attention/presence to another chamber.

    CharacterGod: WriterGod dammit, man! Don't you ever knock?

    The CharacterGod has spilt his ink-tea all over himself, and irritably waves his fingers to clean it up.

    Phractal: Where's Eternius?

    CharacterGod: Off narrating - excuse me, 'omnarrating as he puts it - for the High Empire. Don't tell me you actually wanted to see him?

    Phractal: Of...of course not. I was simply curious why there wasn't some raucous celebration tonight?

    CharacterGod: HorseGod puts together all the parties. He knows who to invite, who to get to cater, what bands to get, and so forth. The rest of us just make stories about parties. We don't get to actually party unless he sets it up.

    Phractal: Then where is HorseGod?

    CharacterGod: For an omnipresent deity, you sure are clueless sometimes...HorseGod has, shall we say, company. And I suggest that you don't look in on him, rumor has it that he's into some weird bondage.

    Phractal shudders.

    Elsewhere in the crystalline space castle, the door to HorseGod's chambers open, and Alitaur Daughter #42 saunters out. She turns around and blows a kiss.


    Alitaur Daughter #42: Thanks for that rockin' good time, babe.

    HorseGod: Can't you stay a little longer?

    It should come as no surprise to anyone that someone called the HorseGod is, well, hung like a horse.

    Alitaur Daughter #42: I'd love to, but I need to get back now or Daddy will start to suspect something's up. You wouldn't want him to find out and get mad at you, would you?

    HorseGod blanches.

    Alitaur Daughter #42: Thought not. Happy Highnoel!

    She prances through the crystalline corridors and leaps from the gates into the void, before sparkling into warpspeed across the Deep Void back to Urbs Dei.

    Elsewhere in the Deep Void, the NeSiverse is a comparatively small sparkling jewel. On its edge orbit the Outer Galaxies, in which is the planet Tatooine, capital of the NeSiverse and home of the Big O's palace. In the grand audience chamber, where Fladnag the White stands by the throne and holds court with various petitioners, a Gamorrean guard runs up to the demigod mage, and blubbers frantically.


    Gamorrean Guard: Fladnag, sir! A High Empire vessel has just jumped insystem!

    Fladnag the White: You REALLY don't have to tell me that.

    Gamorrean Guard: I'm sorry to bring bad news, sir! But something must be done!

    Fladnag fixes the Gamorrean with a close stare. He can't tell one of them apart from any other.

    Fladnag the White: You're new here, aren't you?

    Gamorrean Guard: Yes, sir! Transferred from another galaxy just last week!

    Fladnag the White: Your fellows have been lax in telling you how things work around here. That High Empire ship is not a threat. There is a... personage... aboard, who desires congress with the Big O, and routinely visits him.

    Gamorrean Guard: What-- Oh. But I didn't know the High Empire had Alien Japanese Expies!

    Fladnag the White: As vast as they are, they surely have them somewhere. But no, this is not an Alien Japanese Expy. She is a... high-ranking noble.

    Gamorrean Guard: But if she's not an Alien Japanese Expy, why would she be interested in the Big O?

    Fladnag the White: Because she is a size queen - or perhaps size princess would be more accurate - and the Big O has rather... large... tentacles...

    The poor Gamorrean guard looks like he's about to puke. Fladnag dismisses him and turns back to the line of petitioners.

    Elsewhere in the NeSiverse lies the Milky Way galaxy. On the planet Tangris, a docile reptilian alien sits placidly in his cell, awaiting trial by his Aeon Lord captors.

    A shimmering heralds the teleport of a sorcerously powerful entity into his prison.


    Alitaur Daughter #666: Koure, I'm here to bust you out!

    Koure: Oh hello. I recognize you from the memories of my predecessors. Thank you, but there is no need.

    Alitaur Daughter #666 frowns. She has been lovers with the nicely hung Koure - or his clones - for a while, but this docility is new. Typically he tries to assert dominance over her, which she always denies him - it's a game she rather enjoys.

    Alitaur Daughter #666: Like hell there isn't. I'm not about to let them execute my favorite piece of ass. What's the matter with you?

    Koure: Nothing is the matter with me.

    Alitaur Daughter #666: Your mind's been affected somehow... Ugh, if I paid more attention to my magical studies instead of being distracted sneaking out to see you, I might be able to figure out how to reverse it. As it is...

    She picks him up and knocks him to the floor on his back, ripping away his pants.

    Alitaur Daughter #666: Docile or not, you ARE going to help me get my rocks off...

    Elsewhere in the Milky Way galaxy, the planet Jupiter is now a small, dim purple sun called Zeno. Construction of various space stations, in an array of unique designs, has been initiated, and it is in the offices of one of these space stations that Secretary D'ave receives a phone call.

    The phone rings for quite a while before a sweaty hand picks it up and hands to D'ave, who gasps breathlessly into it.[/I]

    Secretary D'ave: Ambassador... Ptolemais' office...

    Voice on Phone: This is Ptepper Ptotts, CEO of MechArmor Engineering Solutions. I'm calling about-- I say, what are those squelching and slapping noises?

    Secretary D'ave: Noth...nothing, I... please go--

    Ptepper Ptotts hears something that vaguely resembles a feminine yell of OH GOD YES.

    Secretary D'ave: --on...

    Ptepper Ptotts: Er, perhaps I'd better call back later.

    Secretary D'ave has no qualms about hanging up and returning his full attention to screwing Alitaur Daughter #Tau-51. Like all young Jupiterian men, he is a beefcake, with the package that that implies.

    Secretary D'ave: We keep... almost... getting caught...

    Alitaur Daughter #Tau-51 huffs a panted reply.

    Alitaur Daughter #Tau-51: That just... makes it more... exciting...!

    On Secretary D'ave's desk is a bobblehead of his patron deity, Dave, after whom he was named. The deity himself, God-Monarch Dave of Mega Jonestown Prime, is currently sleeping in his palatial bedchambers within the grand citadel on top of Mount Tall. Mootchief Minos' bedchambers - far larger than Dave's, as Minos maintains a harem - is raucous with the typically loud liaisons of the alitaur.

    Tonight Minos seems to be having a particularly raucous liaison, and if Dave hadn't learned long ago to be able to sleep through these trysts, he'd infer that Minos was either screwing someone new, or someone he didn't get to see very often.

    Eventually the noise dies down. A few minutes later, a loud knock sounds at Dave's door. Dave stirs and goes to answer it. A very flushed and sweaty woman is there.


    Alitaur Daughter #3.14159: Hey, Dave. I've missed you.

    Dave lights up, even as he grows uncomfortable. Being in the presence of powerful beautiful women, who somehow desire him for some reason he can't imagine, always intimidates him as well as excites him.

    Dave: Hey! I thought you weren't gonna make it. Christmas Eve is over, it's after midnight. But merry Christmas!

    He is too oblivious to wonder why Alitaur Daughter #3.14159 is already sweaty and flushed.

    Alitaur Daughter #3.14159: Christmas? Oh, right, that's what you call Highnoel. Happy Highnoel to you too, stud! Sorry I'm late, I had to... meet a friend first.

    Yes, dear readers, Dave has an incredible package himself. This is perhaps one reason he successfully got it on with one Losien Simon all those years ago in a laundromat of no account on Earth.

    It is several minutes later, that another knock comes at Dave's door. A couple of minutes pass before a sweaty and disheveled Dave opens the door partway to see--

    Another powerful and beautiful woman. He furrows his brow. He doesn't seem to recognize her, but still... The woman is voluptuous and curvy. A gold armored breastplate adorns her torso, with the cups being fashioned in the likeness of purple vegetables; said cups reveal enough cleavage to leave no doubt as to the capacious bosom the woman possesses.

    A purple skirt is over white leggings and white boots, and her hair is green, in a wild topknot sprouting up from her head.


    Woman: Dave, darling!

    She flings herself at him and kisses him passionately, flustering him to no end. When she finally allows him a breath for air, he seizes the opportunity to speak.

    Dave: Not to look a gift-alitaur in the mouth, but, er...

    The woman's face lights up as if suddenly realizing something.

    Woman: Oh! Of course, silly me. I've gotten time mixed up again. This is before we-- Well, as omniscient as you are, I'm sure you already know what happened. Well, will happen for you. See you then, stud.

    She winks at him, and then poofs away. Mystified, Dave goes back inside to rejoin Alitaur Daughter #3.14159, who is hiding behind the curtains.

    Dave: It's safe now. We can keep going.

    Alitaur Daughter #3.14159: Seems like I'm not the only one who enjoys Dave-meat. Who was that?

    [b]Dave blushes at her frank appraisal.[/I]

    Dave: I don't know...

    It is only later, after a satisfying tryst and Alitaur Daughter #3.14159's departure, that Dave finally realizes why the mysterious young woman seemed so familiar.

    She was - or will be - Chimaat.

  33. #113
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Talking Hit and Run

    As Highemperor and his present daughters finally get down to eating their family meal for Highnoel there's an unexpected rumbling...

    Then the walls come crashing down as a big, red, double-decker bus crashes through the room and runs everyone over.

    The bus then crashes through the other side of the room and disappears into the aether from whence it came...

  34. #114
    Highemperor hobbles up from the floor as the dust settles. He surveys his great hall within the Stronghold, holding back the rush of fear for the safety of his infinite number of daughters as he calculates through the roll call in his head.

    Highemperor: "...Elven Daughter #436, #Heinyrian Daughter #Aleph-Null, Real Doll Daughter #i, Too-Good-For-This-Sinful-World Daughter #1..."

    His fear starts showing the better of him when he can't find TGFTSW Daughter #1.

    Highemperor: "Oh no, it can't be... no... NOOOOOOOOO--"

    A sickingly-adorable blonde-haired girl coughs behind him.

    Too-Good-For-This-Sinful-World Daughter #1: "Daddy?"

    Highemperor nearly tears up in relief at seeing her, and he grabs hold of her sides with near-trembling joy.

    Highemperor: "Oh thank Me -- are you OK?"

    Too-Good-For-This-Sinful-World Daughter #1: "The dust from the bus made me a bit cough-y."

    Fury the likes of which is rarely seen burns in Highemperor's eyes as he glares at whence the bus had departed.

    Highemperor: "How dare it do such evil upon my beloved daughter..."

    Too-Good-For-This-Sinful-World Daughter #1: "Wait, no, that was just my adorabley-terminal illness which continues to plague my destiny."

    Apparently paying no mind to her, Highemperor continues to stare where he envisions his most hated enemy of all time (of all this hour) -- the bus -- to be.

    Highemperor: "Every year, that bus threatens to end the lives of my daughters..."

    Impossible Daughter #Point-Nine-Repeating: "And yet it fails to kill the sluttier ones every time.

    Highemperor: "What was that?"

    Impossible Daughter #Point-Nine-Repeating: "Uh, I said it bails until uh... nuttier another time?"

    Highemperor: "Nuttier indeed, my well-spoken daughter...nuttier every time it dares assault THE MOST POWERFUL MAN OF ALL!"

    Astoundingly-Generic Daughter #808017424794512875886459904961710757005754368×10^ 9: "Here we go again..."

    Highemperor: "I vow, upon this New HighAeon's Day, with all my TRANSFINITE MIGHT AND RIGHTEOUS WRATH, I WILL END THE REIGN OF TERROR THAT IS THAT BUS!"

    With considerable pomp, flair, epic choral music, explosions, and most definitely not a fart, Highemperor jets off in presumable pursuit of the bus.

    Just then, Chimaat steps into the hall. She glances around at the wreckage.


    Chimaat: "Did Father declare his resolution again to end the bus?"

    The uncountable number of other daughters all nod their head wearily.

    Chimaat: "I'll be starting the betting pool this time around at three weeks."

    Newest Uniquely-Special-Snowflake-Dumb-As-Bricks Daughter #-6: "Three weeks until what?"

    Chimaat: "Until he forgets about the whole bus ordeal and goes back to conquering multiverses, of course."

    Only-In-Existence-So-Highemperor-Can-Have-The-Rarest-Trading-Card Daughter #1: "And nobody better be powerplaying for the winning bet this time!"
    Last edited by Gebohq; 01-04-2017 at 12:38 AM.

  35. #115
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326

    Wedding of the Century of the Week

    A Buxom Reporter: Welcome, loyal viewers, to Holochannel 42 News's exclusive coverage of the Wedding of the Century--

    The female reporter's handler speaks into her earpiece.

    Handler (through earpiece): You already used that phrase to describe the Duchess Salarnyrifa's wedding last week.

    The female reporter continues without missing a beat.

    A Buxom Reporter: --of the Week!

    The holocameraman makes sure that the reporter's bosom is constantly in view, as this contributes to Holochannel 42 News's high ratings.

    A Buxom Reporter: In less than an hour, our glorious new queen Imeryn Iristatice Floranymae Hypericum will be wed to her King Consort and Queen Consort!

    The camera pans to show guests milling about in the large cathedral. An inset continues to show the reporter's head and bosom as she speaks.

    A Buxom Reporter: The highest lords and ladies of the Glorious Galactic Dynastic Star Monarchy of Hypericum Resplendis Maior have all assembled to pay their respects.

    Handler (in earpiece): Why do you always ignore me when I tell you to stop saying the entire name of our kingdom? Hypericum is good enough.

    The doors to the cathedral open, and Highemperor and Peasant Girl walk in, arm in arm. Both appear nervous but radiant as they walk up the aisle to the altar where the pontiff stands.

    A Buxom Reporter: Ah, our groom-consort and bride-consort have arrived! Much as been made of Peysiant Guril, the commoner who won the heart of a queen with her astounding loveliness.[/I]

    Peysiant Guril, or Peasant Girl, is in a fancy white wedding dress with silver bits and a gold tiara. Her eyes are pearlescent irises with no pupils (for none of the dominant native race in Hypericum have visible pupils), and her hair is long lavender and aquamarine locks spilling down the back of her dress.

    All Hypericumites are shorter than humans, with adults typically ranging from 4 to 5 feet in height rather than 5 to 6 as is most common with humans. Peysiant Guril is at the low end of that spectrum, standing at 4 feet even.


    A Buxom Reporter: And the mysterious Highemperor, tall dark and handsome, of whom we know little, has won the love of the kingdom with his mystique.

    Highemp has trade his typical black and red uniform for a white and silver variation for today. A gold coronet sits atop his head.

    A Buxom Reporter: I recently uncovered some choice information on our mysterious King-Consort-to-be from his aloof companion.

    The camera switches to a recording from a few days ago. In grand markets outside the palace district, the reporter catches up to Soriel, who turns to regard her warily.

    A Buxom Reporter: Hello there! I am Abuxia Amriiportah, correspondent for News Holochannel 42!

    Soriel blinks, processing the woman's name.

    Soriel: You're... a buxom reporter?

    There is some obvious snickering from the cameraman, that for some reason was not edited out. The reporter looks affronted.

    A Buxom Reporter: That's a rather forward thing to say! I take great exception to your remark!

    Her chest is heaving with indignation. It's very clear why this segment wasn't edited out. Soriel continues to look confused.

    Soriel: But, you just said your name is--

    A Buxom Reporter: Abuxia Amriiportah, yes.

    Soriel: Who names their child A Buxom Reporter?

    A Buxom Reporter opens her mouth to reply indignantly, when Soriel's outburst shocks her into silence.

    Soriel: SILENCE, BLADE! I don't care how buxom her mammaries are, there will be no plunging into her!

    There is silence for a few moments. Holochannel 42's ratings shoot through the roof from the speechless expression upon A Buxom Reporter's face. The rest of the interview is cut short however, as the camera switches back to A Buxom Reporter live in the cathedral.

    A Buxom Reporter: I'm sorry, folks, we'll have to see the rest of that interview later. Tune in at 5 for the juicy details of Highemperor's background! But for now, I've just received word that Queen Imeryn herself is coming down the arcade!

    The camera switches to the outdoor plaza, down which Imeryn is being borne on a floating palanquin pulled by PUDDAFs. The queen herself is even more resplendent than her consorts-to-be. Her white dress has even more frills and jewels than Peasant Girl's does, and Highemp and Peasant Girl's outfits have silver, Imeryn's outfit has gold. Her crown is gold and bedecked with many jewels.

    She is the identical twin of her banished sister, with the same golden irises (no pupils), the same long pink waves of hair, and the same short height of not quite 4 and a half feet.

    She is waving indulgently to the crowd, soaking up their accolades, and looks completely and utterly smug and triumphant. Ruler without question, with her two loves being sworn to her today...


    *****

    NSP: I wrote this post solely because Britt asked for a description of Imeryn/Ameryl and Peasant girl XD

  36. #116
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326

    From Beauty to Beast

    Arriving back at the Stronghold of Powerplayers in the heart of his High Empire, Highemperor cradles the baby in his arms wonderingly. Created from the merged desires and emotions of himself, Imeryn, Ameryl, and Peasant Girl, through the catalyst of the gaseous astral flux, this child just may be the key to reuniting them.

    Highemp: Galatea.

    Thus he names her, and she gurgles happily.

    She grows rapidly over the course of a week, and on the seventh day she is a fully grown adult. Her beauty, intelligence, and charm are remarkable.


    Random Audience Member: Bull****, EVERYone's beauty, intelligence, and charm are special in this thread, which means they're all NORMAL!

    Take it up with the Writer, eh? I'm just narrating the script. Anyway, she is very much in love with Highemp - for the desires from which she was formed include Imeryn, Ameryl, and Peasant Girl's love for him.

    Random Audience Member: And his own narcissistic love for himself, no doubt.

    What was that?

    Random Audience Member: Nothing.

    Galatea: Oh Creator! Let me stay by your side forever!

    Random Audience Member: Now this is descending to the level of awkward fanfiction.

    Highemp: Of course, Galatea, and together we shall reunite with the others!

    Galatea: I shall go to them now! Surely they will love me as much as you do, for I am made from themselves.

    Highemp: True! Although they admittedly aren't as egotistical as myself... But now is not the time. The emotions and hurts are still raw.

    Galatea: As you say, Creator. I will remain here for a while, then go to them.

    As the High Empire expands rapidly through voracious conquest, Galatea displays immense capabilities, originating from her four creators, and with her powers can even keep up with Highemp himself. But she grows restless. Although Highemp and Imeryn's ambitions stir within her, so too do Ameryl and Peasant Girl's desires for peaceful happy existence, and the united desires of all four of them for each other override all of Galatea's other urges at last.

    Galatea: I cannot tarry any longer, Creator. I must seek out our loves.

    Highemp: Galatea, you have my blessing. But I do not know if the time is right. I am still constructing my hedrons--

    Galatea: Farewell, Creator. Yourself willing, we will all see each other again soon.

    So Galatea journeys, one by one, to see Imeryn, Ameryl, and Peasant Girl. All three are astonished to learn of her existence, yet all three feel the connection to her straight away, and love her as deeply as she loves them, for she is born of all of their desires and emotions.

    Yet while they are all united in their love for Galatea herself, they cannot agree with her to reunite with the others. Imeryn is too proud and angry; Ameryl has moved on; Peasant Girl is too bitter.

    So Galatea moves on, wandering the multiverse for a way to reignite love lost in the hearts of deities.


    Random Audience Member: Why the hell do so many of these lame backstory posts involve an unspecified amount of wandering?

    The Writer is too lazy to do much else.

    Random Audience Member: He could at least do a montage!

    The montage director is on strike. Anyway, no charm nor potion Galatea finds is sufficient. Finally, she dares the apex of creation in a bold intrusion, as she storms into the ethereal home of the Nameless him/her/itself.

    Orichalcum double doors gleam with holy light, barring her way to the throne room, and Serapharch stands before them. This place is empty of all save Serapharch, the Nameless's chosen servant.


    Serapharch: None may enter the throne room, for the Primum Mobile of the Nameless is sacrosanct.

    Galatea: You cannot stop me.

    Serapharch: When I act under the mandate of the Nameless, there is none who can stand against me.

    Galatea: Then know the strength of the passions that war within me!

    Serapharch's psyche is overwhelmed by the emotions of four of the most powerful beings in the multiverse, and he falters, stumbling to his knees with the force of it. Galatea walks past him and throws open the doors to the throne room--

    Galatea: Most High! Undefined, Unknowable, Undomitable! I come to beseech--

    She stops as her eyes adjust to the brilliant light emanating from the grand throne.

    Because the throne is empty.


    Galatea: Serapharch! What is the meaning of this!

    Serapharch is blinking, still recovering from the onslaught of deific emotions hurled at him, and Galatea seizes him by the collar, wrenching his attention to her.

    Serapharch: The Nameless cannot be defined or measured or contained. You see his/her/tis home as a sacred heaven, and so that is what it appears to you. But your expectations cannot define him/her/it.

    Galatea: But WHERE IS HE?

    Serapharch: He/She/It.

    Galatea glares at him.

    Serapharch: Everywhere. Nowhere. The Nameless is undefinably present. Some would say he/she/it does not sit on a throne from on high, but instead wanders the multiverse among his/her/its creations. But the truth cannot be known, for there is no truth regarding the Nameless, just as there is no falsehood.

    Galatea: Bloody useless...

    She flings the Serapharch aside and stalks away.

    High Imp: Bad day?

    Galatea whirls to see High Imp, onetime friend and sworn nemesis of Highemp. The archfiend is leaning against a wall of ethereal light, twirling tarot cards between his fingers.

    Galatea: You! I know you! My creator's sworn nemesis!

    High Imp: Yes, my dear, the Narrator already said that. Do try not to be redundant.

    Galatea: I know your ways, Pactmaker. You have nothing I want.

    She turns on her heel and keeps stalking away. High Imp's voice floats nonchalantly to her from behind.

    High Imp: Really? Even though I could help you reunite all four of your creators?

    Galatea stops in her tracks.

    Random Audience Member: What a cheap trope. Honestly.

    You know how lazy the Writer is, does it REALLY surprise you?

    Random Audience Member: Good point. Not really.

    Galatea: And just how would you be able to do something even I can't do?

    High Imp: If my nemesis's memories are within you, then you know that I always bargain truthfully. So I mean what I say when I tell you that I can do this.

    Galatea: Again...how?

    High Imp smiles, a very Grinchy smile.

    High Imp: By unlocking the Potential within you...

  37. #117
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326

    The Return of Mega Jonestown Prime

    In the palace of the Big O on Tatooine in the Outer Galaxies at the edge of the NeSiverse, Fladnag is taking a tea break. Naturally he is still working while sipping a concoction whose recipe was once shared with him by the Jade Emperor.

    His earpiece pings, and he telekinetically flicks it to respond.


    Fladnag the White: Void Ranger priority channel open. Fladnag speaking.

    Lobo Ono: Vizier, the nonterrestrials you allowed through our perimeter around Earth have completed their excavation.

    Fladnag the White: Did they find anything?

    Lobo Ono: Yes, some Deus Ex Machines. Eleven of them, hedron style. Composition appears to be older than the NeSiverse, so they're not originally from Earth.

    Fladnag the White: Hmm. And how did the Derkesthai know about these hedrons, much less exactly where to find them?

    Lobo Ono: Apparently this was a site known to local authorities, before being buried in the Second Magical Cataclysm.

    Fladnag the White: Ah yes. Curse Memnoch for not reining in those foolish Greys who still revere him.

    Lobo Ono doesn't respond to that. Memnoch of course disavows the terrorist actions of the Latter-Day Greys, but they both know he approves their actions and probably was in fact the impetus behind them.

    Fladnag the White: They haven't caused any disturbances?

    Lobo Ono: No, they've been cooperative with Hero Force in maintaining a low profile and not creating any sort of stir. I think Hero Force's coordinator, DelphAI, is just as happy to get the Deus Ex Machines off her hands.

    Fladnag the White: Very good. Keep me posted.

    Lobo Ono: Roger. Over and out.

    In orbit around Earth, cloaked beyond the ability of any modern terran scanners to detect, floats a gigantic space dragon, with a citadel perched upon its back. This is the mobile capital of the Derkesthai, a dragonlike humanoid species descended from the God-Monarch Typhon. The half-dragon, half-angel son of Typhon himself - Dragonlord Riaken - is there, viewing events through the many multicolored floating orbs in his command chamber.

    Dragonlord Riaken: So all 13 hedrons are accounted for now, correct?

    Draco-Qhobeg: Yes, milord. The party we sent to recover the other two from that former derelict was successful, despite their fears of the Salmitton Butt Death Curse.

    Dragonlord Riaken: Likely as not the curse will still get them. Slip on a banana peel tomorrow or something.

    Draco-Qhobeg: As you say, milord.

    Dragonlord Riaken: Right then. Prepare the orbital submarine drop into the Pacific.

    Draco-Qhobeg: Marquis Rosslefot awaits only your word, milord.

    Dragonlord Riaken: The word is given.

    The gigantic space dragon swoops through Earth's orbit until it is directly over a specific point in the Pacific Ocean. In a single massive claw it clutches a vaguely dragon-shaped submarine, powered by steampunk technology. On cue, it drops the submarine precisely to its target.

    The steampunk dragonlike submarine nosedives from orbit into the Pacific, the advanced Engine powering it - created by Marquis Rosslefot (from Discharding), recruited by Chronos (Earth god of time) - protecting it from the roughness of the landing.


    HorseGod: So when does the orbital drop begin?

    Marquis Rosslefot, who is steering the submarine, raises an aristocratic eyebrow at the HorseGod, who also works for RITE - a secretive, eclectic, and powerful organization working for the 12 God-Monarchs of Mega Jonestown Prime.

    Marquis Rosslefot: We just landed in the Pacific. Didn't you feel it?

    HorseGod: Oh, that? I've had liquor that gives more kick than that. I suppose I should tell ole dragonface that I'm okay.

    He does just that through a comm unit.

    Dragonlord Riaken: Thank you for checking in, HorseGod. 'Uncle' Minos wouldn't be happy to hear that I'd sent his favorite drinking buddy plummeting to his death.

    Marquis Rosslefot: You should have more faith in Discharding engineering. If you didn't, why recruit me?

    Riaken doesn't bother responding, signing off the comm, and Rosslefot rolls his eyes.

    HorseGod: There!

    He is looking through the periscope.

    HorseGod: The ruins of Kumari Kandam are dead ahead. And there's an excellent ziggurat whose rooftop is mostly intact and clear of rubble.

    Marquis Rosslefot: Excellent! I shall signal the Derkesthai deep-sea workmen!

    Several Derkesthai swim out into the deeps, their draconically tough bodies easily able to withstand the pressure, so that they only wear rebreather masks for air, as they guide the 13 hedrons to stand on the top of the ancient ziggurat.

    The undersea ruins of Kumari Kandam are all around them. Long ago, Kumari Kandam was a queendom on the continent of ancient Lemuria. But when the First Cataclysm of Magic happened - i.e. the catastrophic fall of Atlantis - Lemuria sunk into the ocean as well, despite being on the opposite side of the planet.

    Most importantly, Kumari Kandam is on the opposite pole of the world from Seattle...where Bob Roberts' toilet is the new ultranexus of aetherial magic on both Earth and throughout the NeSiverse.


    Marquis Rosslefot: An elegantly beautiful configuration, twelve circling around one. Not as charming as the hissing steam and varied pipework of Discharding's Engines, of course.

    HorseGod: Yo Rieekan--

    Dragonlord Riaken's voice hisses irritably back through the comm unit.

    Dragonlord Riaken: It's RIAKEN. Why does everyone keep getting it wrong?

    HorseGod: Sorry, Rieekan is a common name on Terra Flux, easy to mix up with yours.

    Dragonlord Riaken: Whatever. Are the hedrons in place?

    HorseGod: That they are. Work your magic, son.

    All Derkesthai are arrogant and proud, and none more so than Riaken, who bristles at the cavalier tone in HorseGod's voice. But HorseGod is favored by his 'uncle' Minos Mootchief, one of his father Typhon's fellow God-Monarchs, so he lets it pass.

    Dragonlord Riaken: Runekeeper. You know your place.

    Runekeeper: Indeed.

    The NeSiversian god of magic is still loyal to the 12 God-Monarchs, and has awaited their return all these eons. He now appears within the ring of hedrons and begans channeling his aetherial magic. In his war room, Riaken telekinetically hoists several of the multicolored orbs floating in the air, and they begin glowing brighter and spinning around him in a variety of arcs, as he mumbles incantations. Far below, atop the ruined undersea ziggurat, the 13 hedrons began glowing and pulsing with light and energy.

    Above the waves, a massive hurricane brews, and as a gigantic pillar of energy shoots upward from the hedrons below, it spears through the eye of the hurricane, hidden from most senses and scanners on Earth thereby. When the pillar of energy hits the ionosphere, it refracts and is invisibly redirected to the sun, and THROUGH the sun, clear to the exact opposite side of Earth's orbit around the sun.

    And there, Mega Jonestown Prime sparkles into existence, a massive space city returned from its extradimensional hiding place after untold millions of years. The aetherial potential of the ultranexus floods it, as the megalopolis of the God-Monarchs asserts its rightful place as center of the cosmos.


    Runekeeper: Just as the hedrons were in the center of old Atlantis, now do they channel the ultranexus's power to center on Mega Jonestown Prime, as it should have done from the beginning, before that wretched WriterGod kicked us from our own planet.

    HorseGod: Well, that's done. Time to go bar cruising with ole Minos again!

    Across the multiverse, many powers take note of Mega Jonestown Prime's reappearance. Fladnag purses his lips, and informs the Big O, who doesn't notice, as he is too busy dallying with his Alien-Japanese-Expy concubines. Then the demigod super-mage hails the space megalopolis.

    Minos Mootchief: --one moment, HorseGod, have a priority call. Fladnag, my man! Seems like you've been doing a good job while we were away!

    Fladnag the White: My lord, I have striven my utmost to act as a good steward--

    Minos Mootchief: Champion, just champion. Stellar work. Keep it up for a while longer, would you? We've got some important business of our own to take care of in the meantime.

    Fladnag the White: As my lord commands--

    Minos has already hung up. Fladnag suppresses a sigh. He didn't really think the God-Monarchs' return would change his role...and he is secretly glad, because as frustrating as his job is...he wouldn't trade it for the worlds.

    Far away, in the war room aboard her flagship, the
    Lamb, an aide walks up to Ameryl, Arm of the Imperium, and whispers something urgently into her ear. She dismisses the aide with a nod of her head, then stands there silently for a moment.

    Ameryl: Navigation.

    Navigation Officer: Ma'am?

    Ameryl: Set a course to rendezvous with the God-Killer Machine.

    Navigation Officer: As ordered, ma'am.

    Ameryl: Communications.

    Communications Officer: Yes, ma'am?

    Ameryl: Signal the God-Killer Machine that we will be rendezvousing with them, and to prepare for my boarding it.

    Communications Officer: As ordered, ma'am.

    Ameryl returns to silence, and her thoughts are dark. The past keeps trying to catch up to her. She wishes she could keep out of this, but the clearly-imminent conflict between Mega Jonestown Prime and the High Empire - between Imeryn and Highemperor - could be devastating to the multiverse without someone to step in.

    In an even more distant plane, a flotilla of vessels orbits around a supply depot. The insignia of the Pan Cosmic Command is emblazoned on every ship and space station. Aboard the
    Nullity, which is little more than an empty bridge that somehow flies through its own power through the multiverse, Gul Moff Peasant Girl stands at attention, hands clasped behind her back.

    There are no officers or crewmen, yet Peasant Girl receives the message nonetheless.


    Peasant Girl: And so the end begins. All vessels, prepare a warp tether to the NeSiverse, and be ready to jump into battle at a moment's notice.

    She pauses, and her next words are muttered only to herself.

    Peasant Girl: Nothing will come of this...

    On the very edge of creation lies Urbs Dei, capital of the High Empire. From the tiptop of the tallest tower of the Stronghold of Players in the grandiose city's center, Highemp sits in his throne, listening to his daughter Chimaat.

    Chimaat: So I just remembered that we - the God-Monarchs I mean - returned to the NeSiverse today!

    Knightlord Thorn: I don't suppose you know whether you're remembering the past or the future this time?

    Chimaat: Nope!

    Thorn suppresses the instinct to facepalm. Highemp's expression is exultant.

    Highemp: Finally! And they're using the hedrons as well.

    X: Little do they know just how much you've had your fingers in NeSiverse history. Setting things up for the ultimate climax!

    Highemp: Indeed. I once thought the usurpation of bloodink alone would be enough. But now, unfettered by my limiting Potential, I have knowledge and ambition enough to drive the destinies of every universe!

    Carian Myste: And when your hedrons have soaked up the narrative potential of our battle, they will be charged enough for you to become ultimate God and right every wrong ever in all Existence and Anti-Existentessence!

    Quincy: I just hope some of these 'wrongs' include 'not enough porn'...
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 01-17-2017 at 03:48 PM.

  38. #118
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Space Camelot: The Boreans

    Space Camelot: The Boreans
    Characters: King Arthur | Queen Guinevere | Prince Mordred | Morganna le Fay | Merlin the Younger | Sir Kay | Sir Lancelot | Sir Bedivere | Sir Galahad | Sir Tristram | Sir Caelia | Sir Red Rose Knight | Sir Black Knight | Sir Faerie Knight | Andy | Admiral Ltexi | Gamma Pans | King Mark | Queen Iseult | Sir Gawain | Sir Greene Knight | Isolde of the White Hands | Prelate Seerias | Minister Lysse | Benem | Kryst | Tulla

    The little band of adventures manages to make its way out of the snow-laden lands of Hyperborea and clamber up into the mountains of Caledonia proper. They fight their way through the dense, blue jungle - though their Borean friends seem to glide around the place like the world is shifting to accommodate their presence - until the trees fell away and they are at the top of a low-lying mountain. It took a surprisingly short time and when they get to the top, none of them are especially worn out from the jaunt.

    King Mark points up into the sky, his fur-lined robe blowing eagerly in the wind. Up there is Camelot. It's turbo lasers blast again and several green globs of heated plasma slam down onto the planet somewhere.


    King Mark: "This is our ship, Camelot."

    Kryst smirks and shakes their head.

    Kryst: "Your ship is it?"

    The other Boreans all chuckle knowingly. Sir Galahad remembers that the drow believed the ship belonged to the Boreans themselves.

    Sir Galahad:
    "We are its current owners, yes. We found it on our homeland."

    Kryst: "I see. What is the name of your homeland?"

    Sir Galahad: "Britannia."

    The Boreans shrug with lack of comprehension. Sir Gawain adds tentatively;

    Sir Gawain: "How about Earth?"

    The aliens' faces change in an instant and they give a series of nods while they look at each other, yet all done in an awkward silence. They do this for a minute before they look at the humans expectantly. Another long, awkward pause.

    Benem:
    "Oh! They couldn't hear us!"

    Kryst and Tulla both sigh.

    Tulla: "All this wagging the tongue is very difficult to keep up. I don't know how these lesser beings manage it."

    Tulla's pineapple-shaped hair blows quite gently in the wind. It's odd to see as Sir Galahad expects it should be billowing as fiercely as the long hair of the humans - but it isn't.

    Kryst: "We remember Earth. Quite a lively planet. A lot of aether there and a lot of beings that used it copiously. We always thought the people of that world would have eventually blown themselves up given their penchant for magic and destruction. But here you are!"

    Benem looks at the humans more quizzically.

    Benem: "Humans, I think you said? Not sure I remember you kind..."

    Kryst rolls their eyes.

    Kryst: "They were the squishy ones. The impotent ones. Lots of impotent rage to boot."

    Sir Galahad: "Impotent!"

    King Mark: "I can assure you, Lady Kryst, not every human is impotent..."

    Kryst: "I meant to say humans were the least talented and yet the most aggressive."

    There's a long silence.

    Iseult: "I think we're bein' insulted."

    Isolde: "I say we give them a good smack, that'll teach them."

    King Mark groans.

    King Mark: "I think you've just proven their point, ladies..."

    Sir Tristram: "All of this talking is keeping us from our true mission here. We can let the scholars debate all of this later. Right now, we need to plan our next move..."

    King Mark looks like he wants to say something but refuses to do so after Tristram has spoken. In that moment of silence Sir Galahad opts to carry the conversation instead.

    Sir Galahad:
    "Sir Tristram is probably right--"

    Sir Tristram: "Probably?"

    Sir Galahad: "We can't spend so much time standing on a mountain discovering these secrets while Lady Morganna blows us all up."

    Benem: "Yeeeeees. I remember this particular ship. One of the 'sister ships' I think they were called..."

    Kryst: "That's right! The only one with weaponry, I remember. We all went to Earth like a little flotilla! It was so adorable! Those little beings with their cargo. They were very uppity, I recall. Very arrogant. The little dears."

    Benem: "They had to go and put those guns on the ship though. Thought we'd try to steal their precious rocks. Still, they got used to us on our little venture through space! It was quite the pleasant little cruise, I felt."

    Kryst: "I think we only went to Earth because of them, right? Our ship responded to theirs, because of this sister ship thing, and we went to find them. Right?"

    Sir Gawain: "I thought the ship was yours?"

    Kryst: "No. We bought it. We bought many of them in fact. So did our little friends in the... the... something empire. Great Empire was it?"

    Benem: "The Hippy Empire, I think."

    Kryst: "No! It was more grandiose! Maybe the Grandiose Empire?"

    Benem: "It was definitely a 'H'. The Hindu Empire?"

    Tulla: "Why don't I remember this?"

    Benem: "You were on Tatooine at the time."

    Tulla: "Ah! I remember Tatooine! Then it was a very pretty place! Until that damned dragon showed up and turned it to sand. What a nuisance."

    Sir Palamedes:
    "Dragon!?"

    Kryst: "Well, we arrived on Earth and then what did the Happy Empire do?"

    Benem: "I don't think they did anything. They just wanted to deliver their cargo. They landed and remained. The planet was young then. The land very turbulent. The life was very simplistic. Eventually I think the first sentient life that evolved were called lemmings."

    Sir Gawain: "Lemmings!?"

    Kryst: "No. They were the lemons."

    Sir Gawain: "L-Lemons!?"

    Benem: "No no. Lem....Lem..."

    Tulla:
    "Lemurians! I wasn't even there and I have this information! Check your collective consciousness once in a while, huh?"

    Benem: "It's hard to talk like the lesser beings and think in our way at the same time!"

    Tulla: "It's called multitasking!"

    King Mark: "This is a fascinating topic, my friends, but we really should go..."

    Benem: "Weren't these Lemmings--"

    Tulla: "Lemurians."

    Benem: "Weren't they like these humans?"

    Tulla: "Probably precursor humans. You forget how time works, Benem. Species evolve, remember?"

    Sir Gawain: "We were made this way by God!"

    Benem: "You were!? I don't remember God making humans..."

    Tulla: "Maybe it did and you forgot. You can't even remember the Lemurians name properly."

    Benem: "I can access the collective consciousness, you know? No humans!"

    Kryst: "Or Lemmings."

    Tulla: "Lemurians."

    Kryst: "After those people I also remember the magical peoples, the Muirians, then the Atlanteans. They were very annoying. I always knew they'd blow up the planet."

    Benem: "That's why we left your world. Humans are too destructive. Too greedy. It became wearisome."

    Tulla:
    "Yet, here they are! Followed you!"

    Iseult: "Tell someone it's urgent and they babble on like a bunch of auld housewives..."

    Sir Galahad: "Kryst, Tulla, Benem; we really should hurry."

    Benem: "Sorry! We're often reminiscing about things."

    King Mark: "It seems you have a lot to reminisce..."

    He says thoughtfully.

    Benem:
    "Indeed! So! We have to go to the Llurth Caridwen and save your young prince, am I right?"

    Sir Galahad: "I assume that's the name of the mountain? Then yes. He's being held prisoner up there by the drow. Our king assaults the base of the mountain, coming in from Seldarine."

    From their position he is able to point from the mountain to the landscape on their right. It's cracked surface, with dozens of canyons, split by the blue jungles. Somewhere there would be the small human settlement and nearby the drow settlement that Minister Lysse is from.

    Was from.

    He hopes nobody else is going to die in the venture. Going back to Hyperborea to explain the deaths of their people would be an awful experience...

    Maybe they wouldn't notice?


    Benem: "Then let's go."

    There's a sudden rush of wind and Sir Galahad feels a terrible sensation of being pulled, dragged, forwards. He tries to stabilise himself, waggling his arms, and then suddenly it stops. He wobbles, but his feet haven't even left the floor. Yet that floor is different.

    Sir Gawain:
    "How did we get here!?"

    Sir Galahad:
    "I think we're on the other mountain!"

    The two young men turn back and they can see Seldarine behind them and the mountain that they were once on. Now it would seem that they're upon Llurth Caridwen. This mountain is much, much larger and from their new, high vantage point, the world looks much larger than it had. They can see far, far out across the lands of Seldarine and further still to the great ocean of Karakdulth, which spans the planet of Caledonia almost straight along its equator. Otherwise the planet is split into two great halves of land. When settling the planet the humans had chosen this continent because it was a little warmer than the other.

    Benem:
    "Sorry, little ones, I didn't wish to spend much longer trying to get here. All this walking about is quite an effort."

    King Mark: "Right... We're... happy for the... assistance... I think next time, some warning might allow us to be better prepared."

    Sir Palamedes is lying flat on the floor, which armour glittering brightly as though making his pratfall all the more conspicuous.

    Benem: "So I see..."

    Sir Palamedes: "I think... I'm terribly wounded..."

    King Mark: "In pride?"

    Sir Palamedes: "My most sensitive area..."

    Sir Tristram helps Palamedes to his feet and draws him in for a brief 'bro hug', not that Galahad would know what that is. Their relationship is a strange one.

    Kryst: "So. We have to locate your prince."

    Tulla: "I have never understood the need for lesser beings to put themselves into a hierarchy. Does it help?"

    King Mark: "It's the only way we know. It's pretty difficult for us to conceive of life any other way. We've seen it--"

    He gestures to the Boreans.

    King Mark: "But we can't fathom it."

    Tulla: "Just like we can't fathom your need for it, you can't fathom our lack of need for it. I see. Existence is a most perplexing thing, isn't it?"

    Sir Tristram:
    "Philosophy later, saving princes now."

    Mark's eyes rove from Tristram to Galahad and, for a moment, Galahad is locked by them until he realises he's meant to speak.

    Sir Galahad: "Um. Yes. Let's go."

    King Mark's refusal to speak after Tristram is going to get difficult and Galahad isn't sure he understands what's going on between them. Mark has been one of the most open and likeable men within the British aristocracy, why he would suddenly have a gripe about one of the knights of the round table is astounding to Galahad.

    Sir Gawain: "All the way up, I suppose."

    Benem: "We can sense were they are..."

    Isolde: "So can I, actually. I can feel their life energies. The mountain is crawling with drow. Like insects."



    Prince Mordred: "She'll never stop. Not until you release me."

    Prelate Seerias: "I'll never release you. She only serves my purpose! If she kills many drow in this rampage, all drow will unite against you! And I shall lead them!"

    Prince Mordred: "And we'll defend ourselves. We will fight if you force us to. We're very good at it."

    Prelate Seerias: "Yet you cannot win. You are not of this planet. You cannot enter the over-soul. When you fall, you fall. Our lives are eternal. If I fall, I shall return!"

    Mordred shakes his head. He doesn't understand the drow's strange religion and concept of reincarnation. He knows all too well how futile it is to argue with someone who who has incorrect religious views, or even slightly religious, as they can never see any other point of view. Why everyone chooses to ignore the truth of God is a mystery to him.


    He has been studying the guards movements since being brought here and he thinks he could overwhelm those closest and attempt to make a run for it. But he would need a distraction. Annoyingly enough it seems his mother can hit everything except the one target she is supposed to hit. He wonders how she got control of the ship from the others. If it were anyone else, like Merlin or Tom, they'd have hit the mountain by now. And, frankly, only his mother is crazy enough to start blowing up chunks of a planet for his sake. He wishes he could somehow tell her where he is.

    Then there's a commotion. A runner comes up to the plateau that they're on and relays a report to the Prelate. She dismisses the runner with an irritated wave of the hand.

    Prince Mordred: "I suppose someone has come to rescue me?"

    Prelate Seerias: "Yes. Yes they have."

    Mordred smiles. He has no qualms about being rescued. He just hopes it's someone competent like The Black Knight or even Merlin.


    Sir Palamedes: "HA-HA! Try that again you pack of scallywags!!"

    Of course he was hoping for too much.

    As Sir Palamedes comes running up the path, glowing like a beacon in the netherlight, Seerias turns to meet him. Aether crackles and growls around her as its drawn into the pores of her obsidian skin. Electrical energy snaps and writhes down from her shoulders to her hands, ready to flash out towards in the incoming intruder. Mordred is half tempted to just stand there and watch Palamedes get blasted off of the mountain.

    But his conscience kicks in.


    He jumps forward while the guards are rushing towards Palamedes and collides with the Prelate. Her lightning blasts off into the air and is instantly grounded by the mountainside. Seerias, however, is knocked over the edge of the plateau and tumbles down with an unceremonious squeal.

    Mordred, lying on the floor, gasps with relief.


    Palamedes makes short work of the two guards headed his way and runs over to the prince to help him up.

    Prince Mordred: "Well done, Sir Palamedes. Please cut my bonds and we'll get the Hell out of here."

    Sir Palamedes: "Your wish is my command, my prince!"

    Sir Palamedes uses an exotic sword as his weapon of choice, brought from his homeland of Greece. It's a Spartan Hoplite Sword from ancient times, it's hilt curved at the very end to give the hilt a comfortable hand grip. There is no guard, but it's unnecessary thanks to the groove in the hilt. The blade itself is exceptionally thin, able to slice very cleanly - however its fragility means it wouldn't be overly effective against heavily armoured knights. Fortunately none of the drow seem to have realised how helpful armour can actually be. Then again they tend to blast at each other with magic a lot.

    Prince Mordred: "How did you get up here?"

    He knows Palamedes well enough to know he couldn't achieve conquest of a hillock held by children without the strategic help of someone much smarter. If anything, Mordred suspects Tristram must be nearby.

    Sir Palamedes: "Well, your highness, there's these strange, golden girls who aren't really girls because they're breastless, but either way they're gold. And they were made by God and they can speak to God and asked God to bring us here so--"

    Prince Mordred: "Maaaaaaaaybe someone else had better explain this to me..."

    Sir Palamedes: "Sorry, your highness. Is it my English? I thought it was getting better."

    Prince Mordred: "Not... really... Oh bollocks."

    Mordred grabs Palamedes by the shoulder and throws him and himself down to the ground, just in time to avoid a blast of lightning from the levitating Prelate Seerias. Not as dead as Mordred had hoped. And she looks pissed off.

    She lashes out with lightning again. The magical streak of hot, white electricity smacks into the rock and sprays outwards like many creeping worms. The two men rolls away from the creepers. Mordred springs to his feet while Palamedes scrambles up, huffing with surprise.

    Prince Mordred:
    "I don't suppose you brought my sword with you?"

    Palamedes fishes a small dagger from a strap on his leg.

    He gives an apologetic shrug.

    Prince Mordred: "Well. How about this!"

    He suddenly throws it. It whirls through the air, straight at the floating drow. She brings up her palm and the dagger strikes an invisible wall with an audible ping. Before she can retaliate, more figures come running up the path. An arrow whizzes through the air with a screech of wind. She blocks it again. Then blocks another arrow. And another.

    Only Sir Tristram would fire so rapidly.


    The knight jumps up into the air and appears from behind the wall leading to the path like a heroic portrait. His long blade sweeps up through the air but the drow slips aside, moving through the sky as though she just sidestepped on land, and the sword misses its mark. But even as Sir Tristram lands, Sir Palamedes hurtles forward to. To stop this double-edge attack. Seerias blasts at Palamedes. This time the attack is magical flame, which sears through the air in an expansive gout. It wouldn't do as much damage as lightning, but its got a much broader range. Palamedes skids to a halt and hunches down, the back of his armour to the flame.

    The fire ceases as the Prelate is forced to dodge Sir Tristram again. He has to be more careful than Palamedes as he wears only his saracen leather armour as opposed to the heavy, magical metal of Palamedes. Fire would surely melt through his leather quickly.

    Both are, however, at a massive disadvantage when trying to fight with someone who is several metres off of the ground.


    Prelate Seerias: "Ah. Finally. He comes my support."

    She sweeps her hand in the direction of the path. There they see ten drow soldiers marching towards them, swords in hand.


    Prelate Seerias: "Surrender now, and I might let you live."

    The two knights, however, seem unperturbed by the drow soldiers and stand resolute. They wait.

    The soldiers arrive and bear arms.

    Towards Seerias.


    Prelate Seerias: "Wh-what is this?"

    Then she, like Mordred, realises that these women are walking corpses, their broken and bloodied bodies animated back to life by Isolde of the White Hands. It sickens Mordred. He can only imagine what effect this has on Seerias. Her jaw hangs open in horror.

    Prelate Seerias: "What have you done to them? What evil is this?"

    Sir Tristram, somewhat casually, draws his bow and notches an arrow. As he does so, he speaks;

    Sir Tristram: "Now it is your turn to consider surrender. You might live."

    Prelate Seerias:
    "It seems I am defeated in battle but not in the war. The drow will unite against you, invaders. I was right about you. You are here for conquest and death. My... my warriors. You have perverted them. This is not a natural state for any drow!"

    Prince Mordred: "Nor any human, frankly..."

    Prelate Seerias: "I will not surrender to become such a perversion--"

    She begins drawing on more aether, Mordred can even see the air around her whirling as the invisible force is sucked into her body. Tristram's arrow flies - only to be deflected. Thrown spears by the drow zombies are deflected. Mordred detects the last efforts of a desperate person, intent on taking everyone with her.

    Prince Mordred: "I think we should run. She's going to blow us up!"

    Even as they flee they see her, now, enveloped in glowing magical energies, almost as horrifyingly warped and transformed as the walking dead. As she floats over the dead drow, who Isolde left there, they disintegrate within the sphere of blow aether that surrounds Seerias. She continues to float after the humans as they run down the path. There they see King Mark slowly walking up towards them at a casual stroll, through the aftermath of the battle the knights had had on their own way up.


    When he sees them coming straight at him he doesn't need to be told. He just runs and runs too.


    Prelate Seerias:
    "You cannot escape me!"

    Her voice is distorted by the bristling aether around her so that she sounds even more malevolent than ever. Her eyes burn with blue fire, her hair billows out on invisible aether currents that swirl around her as it's drawn in.

    Sir Tristram fires another arrow back. A continuous, if futile, attempt.


    Prince Mordred: "Maybe she'll wear out. She can't draw in all that aether like this for long! She's going to kill herself. I know it. Even my mother couldn't keep drawing and drawing like this!"

    King Mark: "Hopefully sooner rather than later!"

    As Mark glances back at the prince to speak he suddenly trips. The others are several feet by before they manage to break their downwards progress to try and grab their fallen king. It's Tristram that reaches out and Mark accepts the hand up. They share no words.

    The trip, however, costs them.


    Prelate Seerias: "Now... you die."

    BANG!!!


    The mountain itself shakes and rocks blast apart from it as power is unleashed upon them. There's a great shout of panic and confusion. Then Mordred opens his eyes. Where Seerias had been there is now a massive crater. The rock hisses slowly from the energy expended.

    Prince Mordred looks from the crater to Camelot.

    At least his mother finally managed to hit the target.

  39. #119
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326

    Shattered Illusions

    Carian Myste: Highemp...I have to tell you something.

    The two powerplayers are alone in the private throne and command chamber that sits atop the tallest spire of the Stronghold of Powerplayers. Highemp is moving holofigures, each representing military assets, around in a 4-D map, strategizing.

    Highemp: Of course, Carian. You know you can tell me anything.

    Carian Myste gulps, and hopes that's still true.

    Carian Myste: I've been keeping something from you...but I don't want to hide it any longer.

    Highemp looks quizzically at him, up from the 4-D holomap.

    Carian Myste: I'm in love with Alitaur Daughter #3, and I want to marry her.

    Highemp's face slackens in surprise. Then he grins.

    Highemp: Why, that's wonderful!

    Carian Myste: It is?

    Highemp: There is no better man for my daughters than you! Lord knows a few of them have chosen some... plebeian husbands.

    Carian Myste: Whew! I was afraid you'd be upset.

    Highemp: Let me call her in here and see what she thinks.

    Presently, Alitaur Daughter #3 arrives.

    Alitaur Daughter #3: What's up, Daddy? Oh hi, Cari.

    Highemp: Dear, Carian says he is in love with you. What say you to that?

    Alitaur Daughter #3 squeaks slightly.

    Alitaur Daughter #3: Cari, you didn't! I've told you it's not like that - we're just f*ckbuddies!

    Both Carian and Highemp look aghast at her. Then Highemp turns a darkening expression upon his protégé.

    Highemp: You...you deflowered my precious little girl?!

    Lightning crackles dangerously around his form. Carian wilts.

    Carian Myste: Well--

    Alitaur Daughter #3: Geez, get over yourself, Daddy! He didn't "deflower" me, I jumped his bones! Half of us princesses are shagging guys, and I'm tired of sneaking around you to do it. We have lives and feelings and hormones, and you can't expect us to be your "precious little girls" forever!

    Highemp's darkened expression turns to utter shock once again, as his gaze swivels back to his daughter.

    Highemp: Whaaaa...???

    Alitaur Daughter #3: Yeah! Kleo's got her cute boyfriend, my alitaur sisters and I are all size queens, Hopelessly Besotted Daughter #1 is head over heels for the Space Bus Driver - incidentally, that's how he's always able to get past Stronghold Security every Highnoel, she invites him to the feast every year - Chimaat has a crush on some dude named Dave--

    Highemp: You're all grounded. For life! Forever!!!! Your bodyguards will be with you 24/7--

    His daughter snorts.

    Alitaur Daughter #3: Oh please. At least a hundred of my sisters are shagging their bodyguards.

    Highemp stops in mid-rant. His mouth opens and closes several times, but no words come out.

    Alitaur Daughter #3: As for YOU, Cari, stop spouting all that tripe about love and romance. Go back to your chambers and put on your collar and leash for me, I'll be by in a bit.

    Carian acquiesces meekly, shooting Highemp an apologetic look as he scurries away. The alitaur girl turns back to her father, and her gaze softens. She hugs him.

    Alitaur Daughter #3: I'm sorry, Daddy, but you have to let us grow up.

    She kisses his cheek, and trots out.
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 01-17-2017 at 01:58 PM.

  40. #120
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326

    Backlash

    In the Toiletium - the new center for magic on Earth, based in Seattle where the new ultranexus is - the mage leader Archmario sits at a desk. He wears a crooked wizard hat and red overalls covered in mystic sigils. His staff - an extremely long-handled plunger - is propped against the wall behind him. There are two phones on his desk: one is beige, and the other is red.

    The beige phone rings.


    Archmario: Wizards R Us Plumbing Company, Archmage Mario Miyamoto speaking.

    Doctor R. Deep: Archmario, did the ultranexus plumbing foul up again? Aetherial concentrations of magic have weakened all over the planet!

    Archmario: Not to my knowledge, there's been no word from--

    The red phone rings.

    Archmario: Nevermind, he's calling now. I'll fix the problem ASAP.

    He hangs up the beige phone and picks up the red phone.

    Archmario: Wizards R Us Plumbing Company, Archmage Mario Miyamoto speaking.

    Bob Roberts: Mister Miyamoto--

    Archmario: Please, call me Archmario.

    Bob Roberts: My toilet is malfunctioning again!

    Archmario: Did it explode again?

    Bob Roberts: No--

    Archmario: Get stopped up?

    Bob Roberts: No--

    Archmario: Spawn a hundred imps?

    Bob Roberts: No, thank god, I'm still cleaning up imp manure from the last time--

    Archmario: What's happening then?

    Bob Roberts: It's, er, well, this is going to sound very pedestrian compared to the usual issues, but it's flushing very weakly.

    Archmario raises an eyebrow. Doctor R. Deep had just mentioned magic growing weaker planetwide. Archmario had felt it too, but had assumed it was only a stomachache.

    Archmario: Not worry, Mister Roberts. I'll be right over.

    ***

    On Mount Olympus, home of all 'mythological' Terran deities, Hermes Trismegistus is sitting cross-leggedly in midair over the center of a pentagram, with glowing candles at each point. A massive book is held on his lap, and he flips through the pages. Many of the pages are blank, but many are also covered in script and diagrams.

    This is the deity's incomplete copy of the Runekeeper's sacred tome, which contains all magic in the NeSiverse. Hermes had once bargained with the Runekeeper to see a single page in that tome, but his super-fast processing had caught glimpses of all the pages through which the Runekeeper had flipped to get to the single page he'd intended to show Hermes.

    This book in Hermes' lap was transcribed from that memory, and he has devoted all his time to poring through it.


    Hermes Trismegistus: Chimaat? Isn't that one of the God-Monarchs?

    He has his finger on the name written on the opened page of the book, chewing his lip thoughtfully. The book does not identify her beyond that name.

    Hermes Trismegistus: ...bestowed upon the Runekeeper the collection of all power and knowledge she had gathered from throughout the multiverse-- Holy sh*te, is that why there's so much power concentrated in the ultranexus? It was taken from all over the multiverse???

    His musing is interrupted as he feels the sudden weakening of Earth's magical field. Intuition prickling his senses, he sets the book down and zooms up into the sky from Mount Olympus, higher and higher until he achieves orbit, looking down to survey the lattice of ley lines that glow to his mystic sight.

    Hermes Trismegistus: It's been pulled...channeled elsewhere. But how? Why?

    He follows the ley lines to the force that is pulling them, and espies the undersea hedrons channeling the aether up into space. And he feels the rumble through the interdimensional flux, as Mega Jonestown Prime shimmers back into known existence.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Bollocks. Their final fight against Highemperor is about to begin, if they're back...but couldn't they choose a battleground away from here?!

    He supposes not, if Mega Jonestown Prime wants the ultranexus's constantly generated magical aether as fuel...

    ***

    Fladnag the White has just finished dismissing the futilely optimistic Coach of the Tatooine Ski Team when his earpiece beeps.

    Fladnag the White: Fladnag speaking.

    Lobo Ono: Sir, Mega Jones--

    Fladnag the White: I already know. I'm dispatching forces throughout the NeSiverse in preparation for mitigating casualties and sheltering refugees. Who knows what collateral damage will be caused by their war against Highemperor?

    Lobo Ono: Did you know that they're draining Earth's magic in preparation for this war?

    Fladnag pauses.

    Fladnag the White: I did not. Threat analysis?

    Lobo Ono: Earth will be in for a rough ride, but if this keeps up, the ultranexus will be recentered on Mega Jonestown Prime, and the NeSiverse will keep going like always.

    Fladnag the White: ETA to recentering?

    Lobo Ono: A few years, at this rate. I get the impression they don't care about the speed of actual recentering, since they're already receiving all new magic the ultranexus generates now.

    Fladnag remembers what he knows of the God-Monarchs. A far more tenuous alliance than most know, rather than a true pantheon of common vision. After this war, no matter how it ends, none of them may care for the NeSiverse any longer...which means none will care what collateral damage their war causes.

    Fladnag the White: For now, if Earth is still the center, it still needs protection from outside elements. Mega Jonestown Prime can protect itself. You...may have to take precautions against collateral damage.

    He speaks the last sentence carefully.

    Lobo Ono: I understand, Vizier. Earth will be safe. The Void Rangers will not fail.

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