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MarianFrae

Charon 5 (official)

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Jho (city of Jermann) - Faelyn, Sarona, Lumiana, Riven Silver

 

Having finished the repairs to the cloak the woman had brought in Mr. Harmonik stepped back through the curtain which separated his workroom from the storefront.

 

"That will be two dimoulas for repairs to your cloak," I said. Then simply waited for the young woman to respond.

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So I come up on Runners door, half slammin' inta it ta help myself come ta a stop. "Wanderer, has the gas been vented?"

 

"It has not, oh furry one. However, Runner does not appear to be in any danger at the moment." The ship replied evenly.

 

"Whaddya mean by that? Open the door already!" It's startin' ta get on my nerves, which ain't good when my fur's already standin' on end!

 

"Privacy mode is still active in Runner's quarters. I will relay your request to enter."

 

"Ya think I'll just twiddle my thumbs out here!?"

 

"I've told you that Runner does not appear to be in any danger. Be a good kitty and sit for a moment while I contact Runner." Darn scrap heap! Tsk, but ya know what? Wanderer wouldn't lie about somethin' like Runner's safety, so I guess I don't need ta go rippin' doors outta sockets just yet.

 

"All right, but you open this door no matter what she says if there's any sign o' trouble! Ya know I'll just rip it open if'n ya don't!"

 

"Perhaps."

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"Shaed wishes entrance to your room."

"What if I leave instead and you can do your scan?" The door opened in response and we exited. The door closed behind us and we looked between the two people there. "We are no longer two entities. We have combined... and we need a name."

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((Ack! OK, now I'm confused. 'We' are Elindra and Runner, right? Who are the other two people there? Isn't Shaed out there alone? Or did you bring Necunoscot out with you? I'm going to guess you left Necunoscot to his own devices in the room...))

 

-----

 

The vampire's head was spinning. At least it would have been spinning had he currently had one. It appeared that that creature who claimed to be Elindra and Runner combined had just lifted the curse Jadis had placed on him.

 

But then, without missing a beat she had invited the ship to scan the room and walked out on him to join that furry Jhozian. Did she really say what he thought he heard as the door was closing, We are no longer two entities. We have combined... and we need a name.

 

Who's side was she on anyway?

 

She had given him a great deal of strength. He believed that he could take on his material form now, but he dare not take the chance right now. The ship would be starting it's infernal scan at any moment.

 

Very well, he thought to himself. I will talk more with her soon. As quickly as he could, he flew through the ventilation duct, flying faster and faster, hoping that the ship's sensors would not pick up his passage. At the first junction, he switched to an electrical conduit -- much less likely to be monitored.

 

Then he settled down to explore the ship.

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My mouth opened and closed. She ain't in any trouble, for sure, so I guess I can just calm on down. Still, what's this about two entities mergin' and bein' one? Oh hells, not...! "Where's that vampire!?" Worryin' again, I took in a whiff o' her scent. Different, for sure, but not nearly enough like a vamp ta draw that conclusion. Then what? "Runner and Elindra?" Her eyes didn't tell me no.

 

Well I guess we don't need ta worry 'bout Lindy takin' over again, seems she's gone for good... and Runner too. So what about the new gal? Suppose I'll just hafta hope she ain't got too much o' Lindy's lovely personality. She wants a name, too. Just what'da I call a mix between a mutt and a crazy b****?

 

"How'dya feel about bein' called The Artist Formerly Known as Runner? Or maybe Rulindra? Sternholm Reinbach III? Jadis Mk2? This is hard! Where's Yen?" I glanced 'round, wonderin', then remembered I'd dropped her back in the hallway. Judgin' by the loud bump I'd heard just as I was takin' off, she'd probly be mad at me next time I saw her...

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((woops... thought you and Yen were still together

Elindra's a kewk. ;)))

"I believe Necunoscot has been disposed of. I'm serious about us needing a name. We won't fully be one until we are named... there is always the possibility of there being a split. As for Yen... I expected her to be with you. She's certainly not in my room." I looked him up and down, "Elindra was wrong about you..."

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As Shaed suddenly let go of Yen she landed on her feet, watching him run at light speed to Runner's quarters,obviously intent on confronting the vampire.

 

She still thought better of following him, she was not just cowardly, she reasoned she was the most likely to become vampire lunch, and feeding the blood-sucking monster would only increase his power to use against Shaed and the Runner.

 

She stepped into her quarters and pulled up surviellance, which showed the hallway and Runner's door clearly. When the Runner came out of her quarters and demanded a name, Yen got a really creepy feeling while Shaed gave his usual wise-cracking response. Name them? She could barely recognize Runner mentally now, and tried to send her a thought wave, just to find out if she could still hear Yen. As irritating as the Runner's mental interuptions had been, it was even weirder now that her whole personality seemed to be 'gone'....

"You're going to quit interfering with Shead and I quorking, now, are you?"

 

Yen sent the suggestion tentatively, waiting to see how much of the Runner was left dominant between the pair.

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Necunoscot quickly cataloged what he could of the ship's internal defenses. If the ship became aware that he had not been destroyed while they were outside of planetary atmosphere, life could get quite difficult for the vampire. The vampire was not particularly gifted in mechanical engineering, but still... he could make a few guesses.

 

It appeared that life support could be controlled independently for each of the living quarters, which meant that the ship would be able to gas him without harming the crew if he were by himself. There were some bright spots. It appeared that there were a couple of high-value holds that had their own separate life support systems, but most of the others seemed to be on the same circuits. He might be able to use that to his advantage should it come to that.

 

He followed the electrical conduits back to the hallway outside of no-longer-Elindra's room. She was eyeing that furry beast curiously.

 

Well, he thought with a mental sigh, I suppose this is as good a time to test the waters as any. It would be easier to flee this ship now than after we take-off.

 

Elindra, he called to her softly, or not-Elindra, as the case may be. I have thought of a name for you. Renastere -- it means rebirth in the ancient language from which I have taken my own name. A simpler form of it would be Renata.

 

So who are you now, my dear? his sending was not without threat. She would be a very good source of fresh blood if she were to turn against him. But it also held a hint of promise. Should she choose to bind herself to him, in her new state, they would have a great deal of power.

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You're going to quit interfering with Shead and I quorking, now, are you?

We never said that, Yenomeht. We may be different but there is a time and place for such things. Besides... we can't have both of you growing horns, now can we?

"She thought of you as weak... in all but body. She did admire your body but you belonged to another and she hardly held interest in that. She believed she could use you... because she thought you were weak. We see, however, that you are not weak... just shielded. She would have been devastated should she have tried. There were other things... but that is what we referred to..." we received Necunoscot's thoughts, "Renastere... Renata.... What do you think of those names, Shaed? Yen? For I'm sure you're watching." A good humored smirk formed on our face, "You wouldn't want your furball eaten... by anyone."

To Necunoscot I sent a thought, Who are we? That is left to see... a better question my love is what we feel... and whom do we feel it for? Would you like the answer to that question or would you like to jump once again to misconstrued conclusions? As for the name... it is quite beautiful. It may just suit us. We have died, been born again, broken and split, reborn, at war, shoved down, recombined, and now we are ready to be reborn. Yes... I believe it is fitting.

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Heh, kinda hard not ta keep from breakin' inta a nice big grin on hearin' that. I'm a sucker for flattery, 'specially when I think it's honest. "Renastere... Ren? Terri? I like Terri." I could even go with Nasty if she started buggin' me. "Renata, let's see. Could go with Ren again, or maybe Nats if ya wanna stretch it. Hrm, don't like it. Can't shorten it ta nothin' nice."

 

A couple little thought clicks breeze through my head. "Lia is the Jhozian word for -She who controls lots of crazy psi magic and runs really frickin' fast.- It's usually only used to refer to women with 2 meters long tails at least, but other than that I think it fits pretty good."

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"Renastere is a name form of the word for reborn in an ancient language... and there could be nicknames. Yen seems to like that- nicknaming people. I remember her trying to come up with something other than Runner. I will take that name. Renastere. Thank you... and I doubt you will have to call me Nasty." I laughed and smiled at him, hardly even realizing I had just read his mind. There was a certain... searching. I had just been reborn- in a sense. As much as Runner had been born... and as much as Elindra had died then come back. For her, I suppose it was a bit more of a coma. Regardless... I had been reborn anew. It was not an infrequent thing. Phoenix would not have been a bad term either. The first time definitely there was fire. Odd how I could even remember back then now... but my memory of how Runner came to be was still hazy. I was searching for something... possibly those memories; perhaps who this new reincarnate was to be... but, nevertheless, I was searching and had no clue where to look. You chose a good name for me, Necunoscot... though perhaps not the best for you.

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We shall see... Renastere, we shall see. I am pleased that you approved my choice. There is much power in names, but there is very deep power in languages, too. I think you will find it... difficult... to align yourself against me, now, Renastere. At least on some level you are bound to me...

 

Necunoscot -- the Nameless One -- looked carefully at Renastere -- the Reborn One. He could sense Elindra's influence on this new persona, but he also could sense more. A hazy shape, shifting continuously. That must be Runner. As much as he was relieved that she had chosen the name that he had offered -- and that was another form of binding, one which he had not chosen to speak about yet -- the name had not fully settled in yet. Much about this new person still hung in the balance.

 

Renastere, he called again, letting his passion for Elindra come through the sending, Renastere, I must thank you properly for the gift of my freedom. I believe that I am strong enough now to take on my material form... for a moment he let his sending shift from words to the exquisite, nearly painful, desire to be fhesh once more and to feel the warmth of another living being. If you think you have managed to soothe your companion's concerns, perhaps we can find some time to get... properly... re-acquainted.

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((I'm just going to assume she had gotten money in the bags... I'm not sure, but I'm going to hope I'm right.))

She looked at the money in the pack and handed him as many as he asked for. Whether it was the right amount or not, she knew he had asked for two. "This is what you wanted, right? Can I have my cloak now?" She rarely went this long without it. It was almost like the scars were glowing on her hands, she was so self-consious of them.

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We shall see, my love.

"Jadis needs to be killed... and Adrian deserves it... but he is so pathetic." I looked away for a second, hazily, fighting with a decision, "We can't kill him... and we should get him in a more... less compromising position. This ship could very well kill it just as Yen could shut Wanderer down. I can't kill him... but where could we..."

We will have to reveal your presence eventually if I am to remain trusted. We shall sneak you out at some point... and then you should come back.

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Necunoscot nearly ground his teeth in frustration. Shall we, my love? Very well, Renastere, I would not like to compromise your comfy position among these... friends... of yours. I shall not trouble you for the time being.

 

He was angry... and frustrated... on many levels. His... dalliance... with Elindra had been so cruelly interupted, and now Elindra was lost to him again, forever it seemed. Renastere might be a worthy companion... but then again, she might not. It was impossible to tell where her loyalties lay. Still, he would not leave without a fight. He flooded his mental connection to her with every ounce of physical yearning that he had. He sent to her the fire and ice that had coursed through his veins the last time that he had felt her fingernails tracing along his spine. He sent to her his own hunger to feel her body inside his desparate embrace. You will, I am sure, be able to find me whenever you... feel safe.

 

He was not willing, however, to leave quite yet. Before trying to slip off the ship, he sent a message through the tiny fragment of himself nestled in the ship's emotional core. It was delicate -- barely words at all. He hoped the ship would take it for its own thoughts. Relief. The vampire could have harmed my crew... And I -- I the greatest weapon in the known universe... unable to stop him... I should have been able to kill him when he was outside... He paused for a moment, trying to evaluate his handiwork. It was delicate. He wanted to touch the ship's pride and insecurities, without arising too much suspicion. He wanted the ship to fear on an abstract level. He decided to risk one more thought, subtle... very very quietly What if he came back? I must be able to protect my crew.

 

All he could do now was hope. Hope that Renastere would come back to him. Hope that he had successfully planted seeds of doubt in the ship's mind... seeds that might bear a useful fruit to him. He must regain his strength. He had hoped that Renastere.... Nevermind, he cut off his musings, she will come to me in time, or she will regret it. I have found her, and I will not lose her again. He crept out through a mechanical access panel (very unlikely to be monitored) and drifted out through the desert. The town he and Adrian had been in was probably the closest place for a fresh meal...

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I almost laughed, I did not say you had to leave right away. I may not be the same person you last knew... but then the same goes for you. It is safer for both of us if I remain trusted. I still play the Game. Come back in the morning, my pet. I can still make your blood burn.

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I gave Terri an odd look. She smelled of lust and pheremones, and the only male anywhere onboard besides rat-boy was me. She couldn't be thinking that, right? I wouldn't blame her for wantin' this solid manly bod o' mine, but really she couldn't be thinkin' that! I cleared my throat, pointedly ignorin' her scent for now. "Well I'm all for waxin' Jadis, but we're gonna need some weapons. Faelyn's group was in charge o' findin' those, right? Maybe y'wanna give her a lil' mental ring?"

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"I'm not sure I can... Runner didn't have time to tell her she could open her mind again before she and Elindra combined... but I will try." Faelyn... can you hear me? Can I still reach you? I am not exactly Runner... or Elindra anymore. They combined. Call me Renastere. Shaed wants to know how things are going. We have Adrian captured... and being poisoned by the ship. And the vampire is possibly dead.

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Necunoscot drifted slowly over the desert, musing over Elindra... or Renastere... whoever she was now.

 

The scent of fresh blood... of life and living things pulled him out of his reverie. He was back at the village that he had left so recently. The shadows were growing long, now... It was a good time for the transformation. The boundaries between body and spirit, life and death were more fluid at twilight.

 

If anyone had been watching, they might have seen a strange dark mist gathering itself in the twilight. If, perhaps, a young woman had noticed dark shadows moving oddly, and if she had gone closer to investigate, she would have seen them swirl wildly, getting darker and denser with every heart-beat until... until they took on the form of a handsome man dressed in a dark cloak, a streak of silver in his otherwise black hair. She might have been uncertain... surprised to see a gentleman appearing from nowhere in the middle of her sleepy desert village. But she would have found herself put immediately at ease by the warm smile he offered her. Perhaps she would have walked to him willingly, accepted his eager embrace.

 

But no one save Necunoscot would ever know for sure. The only sign that he had been back in the village would be the bloodless corpse of a young woman found on the edge of town in the early light of dawn. And by then, the vampire, freshly sated, would be long gone.

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She took it from him and pulled it over herself. "Thank you," she murmured, and turned out into the street. She could only hope she remembered the way back.

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