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MarianFrae

Charon 5 (official)

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Yes... the tables do turn. More than I'd like... but no matter. I'm going to rest now.

I laid down and put a wall around my mind- hopefully no Psi would get in until I awoke.

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Makes my cares float of on the breeze, Yen's lips touchin' mine. I suddenly realize we're alone, her in my arms, and I break the kiss ta give her a seductive grin. "Ya know, love... Runner might hafta rest up, but I sure don't." I grip her bum and hold her waist close ta mine, makin' it clear what I want.

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"Oh, good." Yen sighs, kissing him again. She puts her arms around his neck, with a small jump lifting her body up with the backs of her arms resting on his shoulders, then wraps her legs around his waist tightly. "Let's go lock the door, and I'll threaten to shut down Wanderer if it interupts us again." she whispers in his ear.

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Wanderer Starship, Maintenance Bay - Shaed, Yen

 

The expected purr resonates down through my abs and inta her hips. Course I don't wanna waste too much time messin' about here in the maintenance bay. "Heh, then hold on tight, love!" I shift her 'round as I drop ta all fours, settin' her up with a nice spot atop my back, arms and legs still circlin' my body. With that, rider'n steed make a mad dash for her bedroom, where the door locks and our roles are promptly reversed.

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

 

I gave a display of comprehension with my four hands as I listened to Riven Silver's explanation... This was logical, for, according to extremely ancient archives, a very select few surface-dwellers who were interested in caverns had known of our culture, and it was feasible for them to be able to spread stories of our land as tales to their relations...

 

Just then, Riven indicated that she had seen through my lousy ruse. After all, morale alone was enough to dig half a tunnel, and I did not want to discourage the females, but it seemed that I had no choice now.

 

"Very well... To be honest, we might die along the way. The Gleethu fungus we combatted earlier is one of the lesser predators of my land. I am sure beasts like the Shinx worm and the Inkala would make quick work of a force like our's... We should be prepared for anything..." I inhaled deeply through my spiracles, as I always did whenever I was under stress or pressure, and a resounding, hollow keen filled the mineral chambers, reflecting off walls and amplifiying itself tenfold against the Citrine... I stood still for awhile, arms loose and non-moving, listening to the noise I had created slowly lose energy and die off... Faelyn then cut in with a query.

 

"What is the converter constructed out of, female Faelyn? If it is machinery I might be able to duplicate it, but only if the device is not complicated and does not contain any living components that are imperative for its functioning..."

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

 

Tek-Zem named a few of the creatures we might encounter on our trek which included the one from our last trial; the Gleethu Fungus. It sounded like this would be a long, arduous journey. "Tek-Zem, it would help a great deal if you would name all the creatures we might encounter, their characteristics, and capabilities. We cannot prepare if we have no idea what we are up against. Hanging spells with triggers is not going to take care of things like the Gleethu Fungus and others of their ilk. I can make a few preparations with what I have left on hand, but I need to know what we will be dealing with. What exactly is a Shinx worm and an Inkala, what is their make-up, and what are their abilities?"

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

 

My mind was reeling from the count that Tek-Zem was giving of the beings we could encounter in the tunnels. I had not thought they would be this dangerous. The weapon I had was only good against the Cefiyaens. Maybe the earthworms, definitely not the gooey thing we just encountered.

 

I was deep in thought when Tek answered me about the air to water converter. "I think it's metal and glass Tek. Should be easy enough to replicate."

 

Thinking some more, if Tek could duplicate the converter, water, metal... couldn't it duplicate the powder that Riven had for the gooey creature? "Tek could you duplicate the powder that Riven had that nuetralized that gooey creature? If you could then we could use that as a weapon against any more we might come upon."

 

So many things run around in my head. I still hadn't had a chance to search my memory about vammps. I would have to get to it soon.

 

I finished my Gnaz stew and had some rehydrated berries that Sarona hadn't taken. Life was getting very complicated very quickly. Taking survey of what everyone was doing and satisfied that they had the food they needed I went and propped myself up on one of the beds. Life, indeed, was getting complicated...

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((Damian: You might want to PM Marian_Frae, she's our in-charge. :D ))

 

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

 

"The shinx worm is a monstrous beast. Its exoskeleton is silicon-based but the rest of its body is largely carbon-based, so it feeds on Cefiyaens, Gnaz Beasts, fungi. In other words, anything that is smaller than it... Which is everything."

 

I glanced down at an empty corner of the granite table, and unsheathed one of my digging claws. I used it to scratch a rough oblong shape on the surface of the table, and divided it into roughly 10 segments.

 

I then carved a tiny line beside the diagram of the Shinx worm.

 

"Imagine that this is one of you." I pointed at the miniscule little notch on the table with my free hand.

 

"This would be the Shinx worm." My finger moved to carress the oval, almost ten times larger than the tiny representation of the alien female.

 

"I am unsure what would be effective against it. Usually we use mineralogical techniques to remove its exoskeleton first, but this is hard especially while its moving, so we usually extract a little chunk first. The flesh underneath is vulnerable and once pierced with a big enough weapon, the creature is almost certainly dead. But rest assured, such beasts are unable to penetrate our city defenses. There are enchantments placed in every Cefiyaen colony, including minor hives like this one."

 

I turned two eyestalks to face my crude drawings, scratching circles into the granite. They were approximately the same size as the line representing the female, but there were a dozen of them.

 

"Inkalae. They are horrid beasts, they communicate by using pungent chemicals. Though they are carbon-based, they're highly territorial and kill anything that isn't an Inkala. The worst smell-message of all is produced after they make a kill- the stench is indescribably grotesque. And where there is one Inkala, there are usually ten more. I believe certain smells ward them off, though. We usually smear Inkala-kangju fungal juices over ourselves... They smell perfectly fine to us, almost pleasant even, but I believe the Inkalae are fearful of the scent that this particular fungal extract emits."

 

I unsheathed my claws, and ran my upper-right hand over the granite surface after I was sure that the females had understood, and, as though I was brushing across sand, the crude drawings disappeared into the recesses of time.

 

"There are other terrors of the deeps, my female envoys. But I have only ever seen samples of Inkalae before, and a lone Shinx worm on my journey from Boraxil to Morbulus. I am unsure what else we might encounter... I have only heard stories. But I must get to work." I took the device that Faelyn had called an air-water converter, and placed my upper-left palm on its surface. Immediately, a image of the inner workings of the device materialized into my mind. I began tinkering with my mental projection, taking it apart, piecing it back together, and doing all manner of odd things to the psychic doppelganger of the device.

 

After a few minutes of intensive study, I gently coerced the molecules into replicating, and my upper-right palm produced an ozone-like smell, as well as a few stray sparks. Another air-water converter appeared after the tiny motes of light died off.

 

"I must take my leave, please rest, esteemed females... I will take Riven's powder so that the researchers may study it and, hopefully replicate it. I am not sure if they are able to do so, but cloning a precise mixture of the chemicals in the exact ratios is most certainly beyond my humble skills." Shortly after I signed, I slithered through the massive Citrine arch, carrying the wispy, silvery powder in a compartment of my pouch.

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

 

"Since silicon is an intermediate semiconductor and its conductivity increases with temperature energy directed at the Shinx worm through my staff should give it pause for thought. Anyone have any suggestions from that point?"

 

"As far as the Inkalae, it seems the Inkala-kangju fungal juice should do the trick if they are that afraid of the smell. They should keep their distance. What are our options if this isn't effective with all of them?"

 

"I'm wondering about the other dangers Tek-Zem has only heard about. Are they going to be worse to deal with than the three mentioned?"

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

 

As Tek started telling us about the monsters we could possibly meet in the tunnels I started mentallly going through the weapons we had on hand. I only had my rifle and a couple of butcher knives taken from Wanderer's galley. Not much to work with. I didn't know if Sarona had a bow or not and I didn't think Lennie had any weapons at all except her brute strength.

 

As I was thinking about the weapons Riven voiced her thoughts on the same. "Riven, I have a rifle with diamond coated bullets. It should be affective on the worms as well as the Inkalae. I also have a couple of butcher knives in my pack. As far as I know Lennie doesn't have any weapons. She uses her brute strength."

 

Looking over at Sarona I asked, "Do you have any weapons stashed?" Sarona had been very quiet while eating. She seemed to be listening intently.

 

When Tek finished describing the monsters we may encounter it put it's hand on the water maker. I got up from my bed and walked over to where Tek was when to watch it work. I watched in amazement as Tek did it's thing. It was such an awesome ability.

 

I reached out and patted Tek on what I assumed was it's back, "Thank you for replicating that thing Tek. I really appreciate it more than you know." I had very little else to trade with Riven. "Yes, I suppose we should rest now. Thanks again for everything, Tek." I gestured my thanks and acknowledgement of it leaving.

 

Walking over to Riven carrying the air to water converter I placed it beside her. "This is what I have to trade for your services as a guide once we make it out of the tunnels. Will this be enough?" I waited patiently while she decided.

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

 

Thinking about what Tek-Zem had said in relation to what Faelyn was saying now I figured we were about as prepared as we were going to be as long as the anule could be replicated. I had the ingredients for it in my rucksack, but it wasn't going to be anywhere near enough should we encounter more than one Gleethu fungus; two at most.

 

"Okay, this is the way I see it at this point. My energy and Faelyn's rifle will take care of the Shinx as well as the Inkalae. If we run into another fungus though, we're going to have to work in concert the way we did in the last trial to win. Does this sound about right to the rest of you? Anyone have anything more to add to the mix?"

 

I turned to Faelyn while everyone was thinking about what I had just said. "The air-to-water maker will indeed suffice in trade for my services once we're through the tunnels," I said with a smile.

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

 

I felt as Riven did, that we were as prepared as we could be considering the things we had at our disposal. If we could get some of the "perfume" from Tek to put on that would help also. "I agree Riven, I think we're as prepared as we can be.

 

Riven accepted the air to water converter which was a relief. "Great Riven, then we have a deal. Once we've all rested you may want to take a look at our map. It will give you an idea of where we need to go."

 

With that I went over to my bed and laid back. A thousand things were running through my mind. God be with us... zzzzzzzzz...

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

 

It didn't take Faelyn long to drop into a deep sleep. The revi I had given her only lasts a few hours. After that time rest is required to fully recharge. There would be time enough to look at her map after we slept even if all I managed was a few minutes. I had traveled extensively a pretty wide swath between Silverthorn, the town on the moor in which I was born and educated, and Eriah in the north. A glance would give me the general direction. I could look the map over closer once we stopped to rest if it came to that.

 

"Night Faelyn, Sarona. Sleep well."

 

Having said goodnight I turned over and was almost instantly asleep. I had time for just one thought; what an interesting day this turned out to be.

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

 

I winced visibly as the female placed her chilly digits on my exoskeleton, but I reciprocated with as best a bow as I could before I departed with the powdery mix of chemicals in my pouch...

 

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

 

I returned just as the females were preparing to rest.

 

"The researchers will be ready with more of your anule by mid-day tomorrow. They wish to replicate small samples for their own use as well, as a trade-off for their services."

 

But most of them were already asleep, except for the two named Sarona and Lennie... It would not matter, I could always tell them tomorrow.

 

"I take my leave." I gestured curtly to the two of them, and headed directly outside the palace of citrine. At the massive gateway, I initiated my hibernative biological programming, and the mixture of nausea and numbness coursed through me once more, gently caressing my innards and lulling me into the comforting promise of sleep.

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((Sorry I didn't respond earlier... I seem to have little time lately.))

She watched the creature depart. Sleep would come eventually, she was sure. She thought one of the others had asked her a question, but she must have missed it... They were already sleeping anyway.

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

 

(Sarona, not to worry, seems like everyone is busy as well.)

 

No... No... it can't be... it looked to be a thousand of the jelly blobs all around coming at me slinging their slimy goo into the air with their tenticles as they slithered across the ground towards me. With a last desperation I tried jumping into the air and hanging on to the root in the ceiling. But it wasn't to be. As I was falling back to the ground, I awoke with a start. I had sweat pouring off of me. Thank God it was just a dream. Hopefully that wasn't a foretelling of what is to come.

 

I looked around and everyone was still asleep so I grabbed my pack and went behind the curtain to freshen up a bit. I washed my face, put on new clothes, and fussed with my hair the best I could.

 

Digging through the food pouches I found some muffin mix that I could make into pancakes and some more dried berries. Setting about making water with the air to water converter I also gathered a pan to make the pancakes and a bowl for the berries. The water was finished so I mixed the muffin mix and then heated the rest and poured it onto the berries. Hopefully the rest would wake when they smelled the cooking. The pancakes were coming along and adding sugar to the berries I stirred until it was melted. That would have to do.

 

The others seemed to be coming around. It must be early... the quicker we got on our way the sooner we'd be on the other side and looking for the black box... one of the reason we were risking the tunnels in the first place. I had gotten the orbs for Wanderer and now we needed to be presented to the Queen. Pleasantries must be made.

 

Turning around to Lennie, Sarona, and Riven I asked, "Anyone ready for breakfast? I have pancakes and berries to top them with."

 

I suppose Tek-Zem would be along shortly. It was still amazing to me that it didn't need more sleep. And to only have to eat once a year or so. Boggled my mind. I put on my best smile for my companions and bowed as I gestured with a wave of my hand to our breakfast.

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

 

((I forgot the time between meals for Cefiyaens, but I think its once a decade. I admit its pretty unrealistic though, maybe once a year would be more apt...))

 

I was rudely roused from my sleep by a flavourful, robust scent that tickled my antennae mischieviously... I assumed this was more of the females' food.

 

"Greetings, my females." I gestured while slithering in at the same time, drawn by my stubborn curiosity. Faelyn was cooking something, and it was emitting a tangy scent that filled me with a sort of unexplainable energy... There was sweetness mixed in as well, but to me, the sharp yet pleasurable aroma of subdued organic acids was most apparent.

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

 

Waking to the aroma of something delicious being prepared for breakfast I simply lay there for a while with my eyes still closed as if in sleep; thoughts of the day before creeping back into my mind. It had been eventful, interesting, and I had made a good trade with Faelyn for my services. All in all it was a very good day.

 

My thoughts then turned to the journey ahead. We first had to meet the queen of the Cefiyaens which would, of course, be good manners as well as protocol if it was requested which it had been. This would require the group to brave the denizens of the tunnels. I was hoping there would be nothing more dangerous than the three Tek-Zem had already mentioned. If there were, my guess was that we were probably in big trouble. Time would tell and I was committed in any event.

 

Faelyn cut into my thoughts asking if anyone was ready for breakfast. Rising from the bed I put in my bid for a portion.

 

"I'll have a plate, thank you. It smells heavenly; like fruit. Haven't had that in a while now. I'll have to stock up on a bit when I get back to the trading post," I said smiling. "Do we have a time of departure yet?"

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

 

(Magic - couldn't remember if it was one year or ten. I can edit my post if you'd like.)

 

Everybody seemed to be waking up. Even Lennie had set up on her bed. And here comes Tek.

 

"Morning Tek. Did you sleep last night?" It always seemed to be rested.

 

"Okay, pancakes all around." I had set plates out with the pancakes on them; they happened to be blueberry. And the topping of sugared berries were in a bowl. "My apologies, I didn't make coffee this morning to go with them. I guess everyone will have to drink out of their waterskins." Thinking ahead I added, "Anyone running low on water? If so, nows the time to stock up on it."

 

"Sarona, you seemed to be in deep thought last night when I asked if you had any weapons stashed in your pack. I was exhausted last night and I think I had forgotten that I had even asked you. Do you have any weapons that would help us through the tunnels should we meet any of the things Tek described to us?"

 

Riven came up to get her plate. She had asked if we had a time of departure. We should be moving pretty soon. We had a long way to go and not a lot of time to do it. I wanted to be done and back on Wanderer to help the others. I'm not sure what I thought I'd be able to do, however, the urgency was still there to get back. "Riven, I think we should be on the move in the next two hours."

 

Satisfied that everyone had their first helping of pancakes I turned to Tek to check on the Riven's powder. "Tek, by the way, could the scientists duplicate the powder Riven used on those globs?"

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

 

Sitting down to a plate of pancakes with fruit topping with my waterskin I ate with gusto. Faelyn said we should be moving within two hours. That should be enough time to make up more anule with the ingredients I had remaining and anything else I was low on. I would check after breakfast to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything.

 

"Two hours should be enough time to make up the ingredients I have remaining if that is necessary. If you don't mind, I could use a refill on my waterskin and I would like to watch while you do it so I will understand how to use the one I now possess." I said with a smile."

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"No, I don't have any weapons." She started to eat. "They offered me some back at the ship, but I told them I didn't need any. Earth magic has always been all I ever used."

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((I was sleeping when you came in to say the powder had been duplicated. I said in the speaking part of my last post that "Two hours should be enough time to make up the ingredients I have remaining if that is necessary." I thought 'if necessary' would clue you in that Faelyn and I hadn't been told and you would mention it or tell us. Faelyn has already said we should be leaving in 2 hours. You need to post so she can readjust the time frame.))

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