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MarianFrae

Charon 5 (official)

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Cefiyaen tunnels - Faelyn, Sarona, Tek-Zem, Lennie, Riven Silver

 

Watching Sarona move the dirt from under the fungus and drop him in a deep hole, I decided to try and move the dirt back onto it. Lifting my arms I blew into the air towards the dirt on the floor of the cave and it started swirling around. I blew again and steered the floating mass of dirt with my arms over the hole and dropped my arms to my side. Instantly the dirt dropped covering the fungus and filling the rest of the hole.

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The shield strengthened around Shaed, Hey, fur boy. Can ya hear me?

 

((let the thoughts in this time. Can't get it right the first time ya know. ;) However... it could be 'breaking up' like an intercepted phone convo. Then you'd be halfway there.))

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Wanderer Starship, Maintenance Bay - Shaed, Yen, Runner

 

Boy, hear me! Hrm, that's an awfully demandin' thought. Wonder if she meant it that way, sorta as a taunt for not gettin' the shield quite right? I ain't no boy, hun, and ya can ask Yen for confirmation on that one. I let the memory of an empassioned sigh drift over Runner's way, hopin' ta fray her concentration a bit while clampin' down hard on my own.

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I rolled my eyes and spoke aloud, "Called ya furboy. No need to get defensive. I take it you didn't hear everything I said. But you did hear some. Try again."

Can you hear me now?

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Cefiyaen tunnels - Faelyn, Sarona, Tek-Zem, Lennie, Riven Silver

 

Sarona had dug a hole beneath the creature with her magic and Faelyn had thrown the dirt in after it. Now it was time to get out from under the heavy layer of slime that covered the dome and neutralize it so it would do no further damage. From what I had seen of her work with Sarona, Faelyn had an excellent sense of timing without having to pre-plan. I was sure she would be right with me as well in that sense. It was time to call the air elemental.

 

"Vindo, Feliz, vindo!" For the first time he came without coaxing. He must have heard the urgency in my mental voice. I relayed the plan to Feliz in very simple pictoral terms. 'Dome disappears, big wind makes slime fly, Feliz creates whirlwind, drops anule in it, my raised hand, whirlwind disappears.' I went through it twice making sure that my visualization showed events EXACTLY as they needed to happen. I got, what was for an elemental, the equivalent of a nod which meant he understood.

 

I dug through the rucksack with my free hand finding the grey clay jar of anule; readying it to toss to Feliz. "Alright, Feliz is ready. Get under that cloak as quickly as possible after you've completed your task. Here we go...1..2..3!"

 

As I counted three I lifted the staff in both hands. Faelyn had readied her magic and was lifting the 'goop' up and away as the dome disappeared. Feliz being what he is dropped the whirlwind right in the middle of us. It became the center of our little group. He dropped the anule in at the precise moment required and everything went opaque. I had forgotten to visualize just where I wanted him to place it. A few grains found a home in my eyes before I closed them.

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Cefiyaen tunnels - Faelyn[/], Sarona, Tek-Zem, Lennie, Riven Silver

 

Riven was talking to her elemental in a language I didn't understand. I watched her pull the pot out of her pack and knew it was time.

 

"Lennie, come over here and open the cloak. As soon as the dome is dropped and I have blown the goop out I'm going to hunch down and you cover us both with the cape."

 

I heard Riven saying 1... 2... 3... and I threw up my hands making huge arcs as I blew upwards towards the ceiling of the hole. I watched to make sure the goop was flying up and out away from the dome. When I was sure it was going the way I planned, I quickly haunched down and felt the cape surrounding me. Lennie was holding me tightly. She was breathing loudly and trembling.

 

We both waited for Riven to signal the all clear.

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Cefiyaen tunnels - Faelyn, Sarona, Tek-Zem, Lennie, Riven Silver

 

I waited for 11 seconds, raised my hand and the wind died. Using the inside of each sleeve I wiped the powder from my eyes and surveyed the scene. The acid was being neutralized quickly. There was slime on my cloak which had begun eating holes before it had become completely inert. I hoped Faelyn and Lennie weren't hurt.[/i]

 

"You can drop the cloak as the air is clear, but be careful. There is mucous on it."

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Cefiyaen tunnels - Faelyn[/], Sarona, Tek-Zem, Lennie, Riven Silver

 

Lennie took the cloak she was holding around both of us and with a big arch she threw it backwards off of us. The goop had already eaten through the cloak. Lennie and I checked each other to make sure that the acid hadn't touched either of us. Thankfully it hadn't.

 

Looking over at Tek-Zem we waited for the judgment from Tez-Mar.

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Yen folded her new wings again with a sigh, as she overheard the Runner challenge Shaed's mental blocking skills. When neatly collapsed against her back and shoulders, they were barely visible, even to the third eye.

Enough playing around, she thought, mental energy isn't the only problem we might face against a vampire.

It was afternoon, and she was hungry, wanting another snack, but instead she walked back to the computer and downloaded some of her coding programs onto the console.

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Cefiyaen tunnels - Faelyn, Sarona, Tek-Zem, Lennie, Riven Silver

 

Even though the females' fighting style was both novel and effective to an extent, the fungus had a few biological surprises of its own.

 

A sickening green slime began to flow from the cracks and fissures in the dirt, and very soon a viscous puddle of the liquid had formed on the surface of the hole that Sarona had produced, it was resisting the breeze that Faelyn and Riven were producing, by adhering tightly onto the floor.

 

The Gleethu fungus was capable of slipping easily from liquid state to solid, and vice versa, much like the aliens called the 'sea cucumbers', whom I had read of onboard Wanderer. Even though the acidic secretions of the fungus had been neutralized by the strange alien powder that Riven Silver had put to use, the creature was still as volatile as ever, and it began swiping its appendages mindlessly at Lennie, apparently because she seemed the weakest in the group.

 

Tez-Mar was signing her approval to me. Apparently, even though she very much would have preferred for the females to succumb to their goopy opponent, their combat tactics impressed her as well.

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Cefiyaen tunnels - Faelyn, Sarona, Tek-Zem, Lennie, Riven Silver

 

As soon as I got a sign from Tek-Zem I turned around to tell the others. To my amazement there, bubbling from the ground, was that goop. That fungus had turned to liquid and was reforming it's tenticles on top of the dirt covering the hole.

 

"Riven, it's coming again! It's turned itself into liquid and it's tenticles are forming again!!! It's taking swipes at Lennie!!! We need to get out of here! Can you shock it again and then make for the ramp? Hurry Riven! There's no time to waste!!!"

 

"Lennie!!! It's swiping at you... RUN!!! Run for the ramp!!! Sarona!!! Run! Run NOW!!!!"

 

As swift as an jackrabbit and light as a feather my feet were fleeing over the dirt. I made it to the ramp along with Lennie and Sarona following suit. Riven was not far behind.

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Cefiyaen tunnels - Faelyn, Sarona, Tek-Zem, Lennie, Riven Silver

 

When I heard Faelyn say the fungus was reforming it was difficult to believe what I was hearing. Turning to look I was amazed to see the slime puddling on top of the spot where the fungus had been buried.

 

"Make for the ramp. I'll be right behind you."

 

Lowering my staff I let a surge of energy flow into the ever expanding puddle. That would stun it long enough for us to ascend the ramp to safety. Then I could render a bit of first aid to Lennie. One of the tentacles had tagged her and I knew she would be in pain. I could stop the burn and start the healing process.

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Cefiyaen tunnels - Faelyn, Sarona, Tek-Zem, Lennie, Riven Silver

 

I watched as Riven began to channel more electronic energy through the pole-like tool of her's, into the fungus' gel-like form. Riven had neatly caught it in a state when it was neither liquid nor solid, and thus was both vulnerable and possessing immense electrical conductivity. Dazzling sparks were beginning to coalesce on the creature's sleek surface, and it emitted a keening cry as its emerald flesh began to burn off in sooty flakes. Very soon, the entire fungal body had been neutralized by the magical current, it was now but a smouldering heap of pungent ash. I turned to gaze at Tez-Mar expectantly.

 

"Very well. The females have passed all the trials, and the Matron Queen has witnessed this through our eyes. She deems that they are fit to pass into her lands, and partake of its danger and beauty." The voluminous female called for the hatch to be opened once more, and the whole group of us, Cefiyaen and alien alike, headed back to the Outpost.

 

Routinely, everyone else dispersed to continue working, but I was suprised to see Tez-Mar towering over us. I bowed as she began gesturing to the females. I could easily pick up the sincerity and honesty from her mental signature.

 

"My surface-dwelling equals, you not just convinced our great Mother, you have convinced this humble female that you are more than worthy to walk our lands. Drone Tek-Zem will now take you whereever you please, be it within this outpost or deeper into the heart of the hive."

 

With this, the female slithered away, back to the obsidian tower.

 

"I believe she has been swayed to our cause by the miracles that you esteemed females have brought to existence. Now, where shall we travel to next?" I signed triumphantly to the motley gathering of aliens.

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Sarona had thought it was over before the screaming started. Things never got easier, did they? She ran with the others to the ramp, until it hit her one hadn't come.

Her eyes turned back to where the new comer was still standing, surging energy into the attacking... whatever it was. Was she an energy mage? No, her magic was probably more versatile than that... She had seen her use wind earlier.

She watched the next exchange (not that she understood much of it), but then stayed true to her typical silence when... whatever the creature was, whether animal or just alien, spoke (or whatever the term is) again. She doubted she had any input that could make any difference.

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I know that. But Shaed needs to be prepared. Adrian has been mainly attacking me and I have an old version of myself stuck in my mind, tormenting me. I've seen what they used to do to people. I've seen everything I can do... and everything Adrian and Tremere can do. A lot of it involves mental energy. I'm just trying to prepare you two for them... and me if the Other takes control. She's only playful before she kills.

I decided to try to find Faelyn. Elves are often highly perceptive to Psi... a few have even been born Seeing, Faelyn... can you hear me? It's Runner. We've been hit with mental attacks. I need to know how you're doing.

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My nose twitches with mild confusion. The barrier must be messin' with outgoin' signals too if she can't tell I'm still bein' playful. Mostly, anyway... I really was hopin' ta distract her a bit. Too bad she can't just scent my feelins on it, ya know? Can you hear me now? Suddenly pops inta my head loud'n clear. Tsk, went and distracted myself!

 

Unfortunately. I confirm. Hold a tic, I just had a thought... I let go of the barrier and think back ta my earlier trainin', before my eye opened. I start ta sink inta a technique I'd kinda liked, sendin' Runner a hazy Try now. as I do.

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A lush, green jungle. Moist, warm, all the comfortin' scents and sounds a Jhozian fella like ta hear. Really paradise, ya know? ...wasn't there somethin' I was supposed ta be doin'? Meh, whatever. This place is nice. I go about my cozy jungle, addin' lil' touches here and there ta perfect the thought.

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Cefiyaen tunnels - Faelyn, Sarona, Tek-Zem, Lennie, Riven Silver

 

When I reached the ramp I turned to make sure everyone made it. I saw energy serging from Riven's staff into the liquid pool of fungus. It was turning into ash in front of my very own eyes. And then it was gone, nothing but a pile of ash.

 

Behind me I heard a lot of clicking and movement. It seems that not only the Queen but Tez-Mar was pleased with how we handled the trials. We were now being invited to roam as we pleased. This was great news! We had made it through all three trials and come out on top. The others on Wanderer would be pleased.

 

Drained to fullest extent I started thinking about the others on Wanderer. Although it had only been a day, it seemed almost like a life time ago that we had all been together. It will be nice to be back together again in the comfort of the ship.

 

Faelyn... can you hear me? It's Runner. We've been hit with mental attacks. I need to know how you're doing.

 

"Runner?" I looked around to see if she was there. Nobody. Not even one of my companions here indicated that they had heard anything. Riven was wandering up from the hole and Sarona seemed to be looking at Lennie's leg. She must have been tagged by that fungus, her leg looked bad and Lennie was moaning in pain.

 

Where did the voice come from, it's like Runner was right here beside me. She must be telepathic also... like Yen...

 

With as much effort as I could muster, being exhausted from the trials, I concentrate on Runner and send a thought out to her...

 

Runner... okay here... put through trials... passed... got five orbs... going to the Queen...

 

This thought process felt different. It wasn't like when I sent a thought out on a breeze. It was more confined, more imagery, more thought; something I had not done before. I was a little shaken by it and at the same time, very curious. It was like the thoughts were being pulled from me.

 

Riven had made it to the ramp and was checking out Lennie's wound. We all needed to eat and recuperate.

 

"Tek, glad that's over with. And I'm glad we have pleased the Queen and Tez-Mar. We are grateful to you for everything you have helped us through. If you please, we are in need of food and recuperation. We definitely need some rehydrating. Can you show us back to our room?"

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Ok. Good. I'm glad you can hear me. We're still on the ship... No one has come yet. But they will. I'll send you a message to say when it's safe for you. I fear we will be taken... both Adrian and Tremere are quite strong. And Shaed and Yen seem more interested in each other and their own agendas than preparing. There have been some... interesting developments. Don't respond until you have the energy. I hope the trials weren't too difficult.

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Cefiyaen tunnels - Faelyn, Sarona, Tek-Zem, Lennie, Riven Silver

 

Ending the fungus threat I hastened up the ramp to check on Lennie. Bending over her leg I could see the acid, though it had been neutralized a bit, had done a number on her and it was continuing to sizzle. Reaching in my rucksack I pulled out anule and queimadura and quickly applied the anule to stop the acid in its tracks. Pulling out my waterskin I cleaned the wound as gently as possible, dried it a bit, and applied the queimadura. It would dull the pain making Lennie more comfortable as well as combat any infection trying to get a foothold and speed the healing process in conjunction with her own biological system.

 

"Faelyn, I have done all I can for now. We all need food and rest after the trials we have been through, but particularly for Lennie. How do we go about acquiring these things here?"

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Cefiyaen tunnels - Faelyn, Sarona, Tek-Zem, Lennie, Riven Silver

 

"Riven, I was just talking to Tek-Zem about that. Tek has already set us up in a room with some beds and a place to eat and cleanse ourselves. I've asked Tek to take us back there so we could do just that."

 

And just like that Runner was in my brain again.

 

Ok. Good. I'm glad you can hear me. We're still on the ship... No one has come yet. But they will. I'll send you a message to say when it's safe for you. I fear we will be taken... both Adrian and Tremere are quite strong. And Shaed and Yen seem more interested in each other and their own agendas than preparing. There have been some... interesting developments. Don't respond until you have the energy. I hope the trials weren't too difficult.

 

Concern overwhelmed me. And at the same time I knew the three... no make that four it seemed... of us would probably not be of use to them at this point. All I can do is hope for the best for them. At least I will be able to rest and recoup before contacting her again. I need to do some deep thinking to pull from my memory the things I once knew about vampires. All in good time.

 

I gestured to Tek-Zem that we were ready to go.

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Cefiyaen tunnels - Faelyn, Sarona, Tek-Zem, Lennie, Riven Silver

 

"It was an inspiration to observe yourselves in battle, esteemed females... The Citrine Palace is this way." I gave a flourish to my distant left...

 

"I will go prepare more food and water for you, my female guests... But female Faelyn, I do not see Runner nearby. Why are you calling out to her...?"

 

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

 

We were all in the Citrine Palace, and there was a spread of Gnaz beast meat and fungal bodies before the females. I had purified the bath water in the obsidian tub by separating the filth from the H2O molecules, and the shimmery, yet toxic liquid was probably clean enough for the females to use.

 

"Lady Lennie, I apologize for not taking notice of your wound. I am unable to cure it any more better than the Druid Riven Silver already has..." I said simply, before I went back to bring the water in the pot of the granite table back to a boil so that the Gnaz tissues could be cooked.

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