Removed to avoid copys
Isme’s Journal #24
So today I got up.
No, not really, hehehe
I got up, AND I got ready for hunting!!!
Camping at Crimson Fields was not the most comfortable I have ever been. Rocks, as you might imagine, are not soft field grasses.
I was so stiff! Lifting my sword first thing this morning was a massive effort all on its own!!!
But I did it, I got up, and I got ready for hunting.
The brown papoo were not as bunched up as the yellow ones are. That helped since fighting to pick up my own sword made it so much harder to fight the papoo. It was, in a weird way, a war on two fronts. I barely survived my first papoo fight. I almost wanted to cry.
I took a deep breath and centered myself and looked for my pulse unit. I found it and got it out. It felt heavy, so heavy….
I sat down. I pulled it on to my lap and then activated it. It worked and some of my wounds healed and a little of the stiffness went away. So I activated it again and it did a little more. I went to activate it a third time and in addition to healing I got the “need repair” light.
No biggie, I have not had to fix it in a while. I wondered how long I could fight the papoo with out it? Maybe save some PED?
In case anyone was wondering, the answer is 1. Only 1.
I guess its not too bad. I mean I was crazy stiff and fighting quick moving brown papoo.
And those little brown papoo are fast! They turn in to fur and fangs quickly!!! They don’t have the aggression of the Red Papoo but fight just as hard when they are angry.
I am gonna take a few muscle relaxers, blow up my NEW inflatable mattress and get rested up for tomorrow!!!
Isme’s Journal #25
Today was sooo much better! The new air mattress helped A LOT!
I have been making a point to stretch every day but stretching only goes so far when you have had rocks in your back all night. I suppose I could have tried to camp in the building near Audrey’s station. There were no rocks in it. What It had though was hard metal floors and molten metal pouring in to tubs….That just didn’t sound any better.
I did, however, get some half way decent hunting in. With my newly repaired pulse unit, I spent more time out hunting and less time at the revive terminal. So yay me!
The skills I am acquiring are good, but I wonder if there would be a better more efficient way of learning to fight faster moving creatures like the papoo? I will have to research that a bit more. If not I need a total of 750 papoo to complete my missions, and I have about 70 down… lets see that means……I have 680 to go.
Woo that is a lot!!! But it will be good practice and maybe it will slow down the progress of the papoo take-over! I HAVE MY EYE ON YOU SEBASTIAN!!!
Maybe its still a bit of sleep deprivation from yesterday but I made some odd observations today.
Crimson (?) Field(s)? - a poem
Is Crimson Fields a misnomer?
I am a bit of a roamer.
But when with “S” words end
often multiples intend
this one field is but a loner
Crimson a color so red
could be scarlet or cherry instead
but of great confound
Crimson fields are brown
It makes me want to smash in my head
The Sun is so yellow elsewhere
it shines and it shimmers the air
there it is cadmium
the clouds are a fine medium
Perhaps the fields are up in the air?
A Next Island Love Story by Pope L’Brung
Book 5, Chapter 1
The Haruspex Elder asked for our help. Apparently, the Stel faction were launching an invasion on a small Haruspex settlement just west of here. The Stel had gained control of some type of mutated beast and were using these beasts to raid a harmless village. PK and I had originally met with the Haruspex to learn information about a rumoured time travel portal. We agreed to assist them with a small quest to prove our loyalty and earn their trust. Now we were being recruited to defend them from an attack by a opposing faction.
PK and I quickly travelled to the Haruspex settlement. We arrived to see an aggressive herd of mutant boars invading the small, defenseless village. This would be the first time I used my weapon in many years. I carried a small handgun for protection but mostly used it to scare away curious mobs while I was mining.
PK wasted no time. He quickly armed himself and began shooting at the encroaching mutated beasts. The rabid boars were no match for his fire power. I contributed as well by killing some of the beasts with my pistol. I never took pride in ending the life of a living being but I understood the importance of defense. These nasty boar weren’t normal. They had somehow been terribly altered by the Stel to be more aggressive. Luckily, they weren’t successful. PK and I put an end to their attack in about 15 minutes, killing approximately 50 of the mutant boar without any damage to ourselves or the small Haruspex settlement.
PK immediately began surveying the bodies of the dead mobs while grabbing small bits of shrapnel, hide, and oils from the scattered carcasses. I returned my small pistol to my backpack and stood silently.
I hoped this was worth it. I didn’t like violence. I only wanted to find Jihkanna.
Book 5, Chapter 2
I know it seems strange but I felt as if I could sense her. Or perhaps she was the one who could sense me?
I felt as if she were close. Not physically close, but…spiritually close?
I only wanted to be with her. To help her. To help her people. Sometimes it seemed like I could hear her whispering in my ear.
PK and I arrived back at Tanzanite to talk with the Elder. He thanked us for defending the settlement from the mutant boar attack. He had a genuine tone that reflected sincerity and gratitude.
Speaking with the Elder was more like communicating telepathically rather than verbally. The Haruspex were wise and advanced in their knowledge of mindfullness. The Elder’s words entered our conscious but without being spoken aloud.
He revealed to us his concerns about something called Demra. Demra is the force, or entity, that was driving the planet’s factions apart. Demra could influence, or manipulate, the factions on Next Island into divisiveness and war. The Elder wasn’t specific about Demra being a sentient person, or some type of force. Nevertheless, its influence seemed to be working, especially with factions such as Resa and Stel.
The Elder was concerned about a newer faction called the New Elysian Order. He said they were a reclusive and quiet sect of colonists. It was unclear if they were under the influence of Demra or not. He wanted to establish better communication with them and asked us to help. The Elder asked if we would visit the New Elysian Order. He wanted us to speak with them and try to discern their motives.
I agreed. Somehow, within me, I knew it was the right thing to do. I preferred to be a peacemaker as opposed to a killer.
PK and I packed up our gear and boarded his Sleipnir. He entered the coordinates where we would meet an N.E.O. guard.
Book 5, Chapter 3
We landed at an area called Flash Point. PK and I exited his Sleipnir and registered the teleportation portal location to our databases. There was a large industrial building here with an opening. It seemed like a terminal building, similar to some other ones I’d seen on Next Island. The entrance housed a giant furnace with various pipes channelling steam throughout the rest of the building. The hot, loud, mechanical architecture was significantly different to that of the Haruspex villages.
As I started to walk into the building, PK stretched out his arm to stop me. He then unholstered his handgun and checked it for ammo. “I’ll take the lead on this one. Stay behind me. We don’t know what’s in there.”
I didn’t even think to be worried, but now I paused. I assumed we were initiating a peacekeeping mission. My naivete hadn’t considered that we might be met with hostility by the N.E.O. contacts. I, too, checked the ammo on my pistol and fell in line behind PK. We entered the building confidently but not aggressively.
A hallway led around the giant exposed furnace. Industrial pipes rattled and hummed along the ceiling and walls. I followed PK into a large room that contained several interactive terminals. There were other people here using the assorted terminals to buy and sell items. Some were crafting. There appeared to be two miltary guards here as evidenced by their matching uniforms.
PK accessed his storage via one of the terminals. I stood closely by his side and kept watch. He put some loot from the mutant boars in his storage. He finished with the terminal and then signalled the ‘at ease’ motion to me with his hand. “Follow me,” he said quietly.
We approached one of the uniformed guards in the room. PK began to introduce himself.
“Go bother someone else!” the guard interrupted.
Book 5, Chapter 4
I was curious as to how my friend, PK, would handle this type of response. PK wasn’t known for having a high tolerance for disrespect. I’d seen him send many chancers back to revive for much less.
Luckily, everybody kept their cool. It was still a bit tense though.
We stepped away and calmly walked over to the other guard who was on duty in the terminal. She wore the same black military armor as the first guard.
She frowned at us, agression and anger playing across her face. " What are you doing here?" she asked. “This land is dangerous for those ill prepared to defend themselves.”
PK reached for his handgun. I quickly stood between him and the guard, trying to intervene. The commotion caused a small scene. Everyone in the terminal stopped and looked at us.
“Awesome welcome. You guys really initiate realtionships with a warm greeting!” I loudly interjected, trying to be cheeky and disarming. A few bystanders chuckled at my sarcasm.
“Answer the question,” she barked. “You will find that we of the Order are not inclined to accept your flippancy! Speak efficiently, or I will remove you!”
To be honest, I was being flippant.
PK was again readying his weapon as a the curious onlookers in the terminal were now gathering around us.
“Wait!” I shouted, again trying to de-escalate. “I am so sorry. I meant no disrepsect. We are here to help build relationships amongst the factions.” I wasn’t sure why I was apologising. These guards seemed quite rude but I wanted to make peace. That was the mission.
The guard was uninterested. She remained frowning but didn’t make any aggressive action.
“We are here for the greater good,” I continued.“To develope branches of trust and drive progression of the planet as a whole. Can we just talk?”
She relaxed, only slightly, and agreed to talk. She said we could perhaps earn her trust by completing a small task.
Here we go again.
Book 5, Chapter 5
My last-ditch attempt to persuade the N.E.O. guard was successful. She became less abrasive and agreed to listen to us. She still kept militarily formal with us but without the hostile insults.
She suggested a test of of strength that could earn the Order’s trust. She made it very clear from the start that she didn’t expect us to succeed (or survive).
She wanted us to find a lost scout. The Order has lost contact with this scout and needed help locating him. She gave us a list of checkpoints that the scout was supposed to survey. She asked if we could inspect those checkpoints for any clues that might help answer what happened to him. She warned that the mission would involve danger and again predicted that we’d probably fail.
I accepted the mission and took the coordinates for the checkpoints. This would require us to travel to Resa Docks. I’d heard warnings about Resa Docks. Resa were known as a ruthless faction and brutal fighters. Even the Tourism Department warned new arrivals about visiting Resa territory.
PK and I teleported to Crystal Bay. We were exhausted. It had been two long days without much rest. We walked down to the beach to his tent. We talked about the mission. He asked if I was nervous and I nodded affirmatively.
“Don’t worry, kid.” he assured me while patting my back. “We’ll be ok.”
I again had to borrow some of his confidence.
We drank some tea in the tent and then retired to our rooms. I fell asleep quickly because I was tired.
I saw her in my dream. She was beautiful. She took my hand and pulled me closer to her for a kiss. I hugged her so tight that it felt like I was hugging myself.
“Be strong, be safe.” she whispered in my ear.
Lore submission for august
Avatar name: Nakor of Boreft
My visit to the Haruspex camp was interesting, but it left me with no real clues, I think. Only Lady Fri telling me, she thought a Daniel had made the painting of the Greece harbor and the Haruspex elder saying they had made ancient Greece and that something had gone wrong. This did tell me some things I did not know, but also gave me more questions than answers. Like, why would there b a connection between a painter a few hundred years ago and a young man now? The Haruspex MADE ancient Greece??? What went wrong? And are they actively trying to fix it? And those are just a few first questions that come to mind. How are these friendly, peaceful people living in those wagons related to these floating balls of light? And how did they create an entire world?? and for what purpose? So many questions it makes my head hurt.
I think the best thing for me to do is go back to Cyzicus and see if I can find Chloe and see how she is doing. Maybe, if I can find her, she can tell me more. At least I can tell Berenice and Alexandros how she Is doing.
The next day I set out. To Orpheus’ Cave on Next Island, Orpheus’ Cave in Ancient Greece. A trip I’ve made hundreds of times. It never ceases to amaze me. One moment you’re in the present. The next in a completely different world. But now, knowing the Harspex made this, makes it even more special.
When I got to Cyzicus, I scouted the south area first. I saw someone grinding the Achelous hard. Tagging one, then slash, slash and it was dead. Before its body had disappeared, the next one was already tagged and running to the hunter. A wonderful sight to behold. Such effective hunting. But then I realized. The hunter wasn’t shooting to tag them. He or she was throwing something! And I didn’t see a green dot on my radar either!!
When I moved closer to the mysterious hunter, I could clearly see t was a woman. However, I still could not see a green dot on my radar. I stayed at around 100 meters for a while. Just admiring how efficiently she was hunting them. She was moving with lightning speed and amazing flexibility. Avoiding all blows with ease and cut her target several times before it knew what was happening. When I moved even closer, she noticed me. I saw her glance in my direction but determined I was not a threat and gave her full attention to the Achelous running to her. As soon as she had defeated that one, she turned to me and raised her arm in greeting. I was stunned! It was Chloe!!
Chloe walked over to me with confident strides. This was definitely not the little girl I remembered anymore. Despite me looking very different from the last time we’d met. Chloe recognized me. “Hello, Nakor. Nice to see you, but… is anything wrong with my father?” She immediately asked.
I told her, I had not seen her father in a few months and promise her, I’d go to Thebes next and check up on him. I smiled as I realized how strange her question really was. She, a young woman, fighting big monsters being concerned about her father. A man who had been trained to fight for most of his life and who was a city guard in a safe city. (as far as I knew Thebes was still safe and well defended)
I told Chloe I had been looking for this Daniel she spoke of in her recordings, but that I had not found him yet. |I didn’t know if she knew about the other world of Next Island, so I didn’t mention the Haruspex or their camp. Chloe told me Daniel still came by every few days to see how she was doing, but that she knew nothing more about him now than she did when he was training her and she made the recordings.
The next morning I decided to stay with Chloe for a while longer. Though I absolutely wanted to check how her father, my friend Alexandros was doing. I also wanted to stay here and learn more from Chloe. These were different types of weapons from what she had described in the recordings. Why had she changed? Come to think of it. Why fight these Achelous at all? We hunt them for loot and for skills. She didn’t loot them and skills, did a young woman in Ancient Greece really need these skills? Proud as he would be to see his daughter display this ability. Both Alexandros and Berenice would much rather see her safely married to a wealthy merchant. Living a comfortable and safe life.
Chloe was at the same spot where I saw her yesterday. Killing more Achelous. She raised her arm in greeting but did not stop after her opponent was defeated. Well, opponent was being generous to the Achelous. Really they did not stand a chance against Chloe. I decided to help her kill them. To speed things up and hopefully, we could talk some. Though I am not much of a hunter, I was surprised to see her dispatch them faster than I did! Not by much, but I had my modern weapon. A laser rifle, while she had only her 2 long daggers. I wondered if they had any special properties. What I’ve learned so far is. When Haruspex are involved. Anything is possible.
When it became time for lunch. Chloe took a few steps back. Signaling she wasn’t going to get another one from the group. Together we walked a bit to a small river. This was a nice, safe spot to eat and talk. Chloe had brought some fruits, caught a fish, and made a fire to cook it. I just had my rations with me. Chloe had of course seen rations before, but when she asked if they tasted any good and I said they did. That was new to her. She asked if she could have a taste. |I guess thee were unlike anything she’d ever eaten before because she looked surprised with every bite she
took. We ended up sharing the food. Some fish and fruit for me and some more rations for her.
After we had eaten, I asked Chloe a few questions. For how long she had been killing these Achelous? Had Daniel told her to do this? Did she know why? Did Daniel give her those long daggers? Did Daniel tell her anything more? Like what he was, or why he did as he did. Chloe told me she had been killing these monsters for the past month. Daniel had trained her with the daggers and he had given them to her. These daggers would never reak or turn blunt, he had told her. Daniel had also picked these monsters for her to hunt. He had told her they were of a difficulty she was able to handle. He had not told much of his past to Chloe. Only that he was older than he looked and that what she was doing was important in keeping everyone safe. Everyone was emphasized by him. Chloe was not just protecting the local population. He had also spoken of an old evil near Troy, southwest of here, and had said this would help keep that from gaining more power. I had heard of the Moloch, so I knew that to be true, but I did not want to frighten Chloe, so I did not tell her of those nightmarish creatures.
The daggers really sparked my interest and I asked Chloe if I could see them. The first thing I noticed when she gave them was how incredibly light they were. They were very light, very thin, and very well-balanced. They looked simple but were of exquisite craftsmanship. I did not recognize anything specific for any action on Next Island about them. From what I had learned from Chloe and the Haruspex Elder at the Haruspex camp, I was getting more and more certain Daniel was a Haruspex. This only strengthened my belief that anything is possible when the Haruspex are involved.
The next day, I decided to go out hunting with Chloe again. When I arrived at the same spot as the day before, Chloe was already there hunting the Achelous again. I did admire how she kept doing this, day in, day out. Without seeing any result. It was very repetitive. Most hunters love this grinding, I just find it boring and I could imagine, this being even more difficult to keep up for one so young as Chloe. Daniel must have really made her see the importance of this task. Which also made me wonder. What was going on here? What did the Haruspex know, but did not tell us?
A loud scream brought me back to the present from my thoughts. Cloe had given a loud scream! I immediately aimed at the monster in front of her and killed it. Then I saw that Chloe was bleeding from her left arm. The Achelous had hit her and had hit her good. I walked over and saw blood and a bone sticking out. I reached for my Fanoos medical. When I tried to heal her, it didn’t work! The same thing when I tried my regeneration chips. They did not work on her!
Chloe could stand, so we walked back to Cyzicus. Slower and it was very clear to see Chloe was in a lot of pain, but brave as she was, she kept going and refused most of my help. Some parts were just too steep in this mountainous terrain to cross without using your arms for balance. Once in Cyzicus, Chloe knew where to find a healer and I went looking for Berenice. Berenice came immediately with me when I told her what had happened. We went to the healer, who had already placed a splint and wrapped her arm. He said it was not too serious, but needed a few weeks to heal. Chloe moaned at hearing this and her mother looked at her sternly. I thought Chloe would be in capable hands with her mother and safe now that hunting was out of the question for the coming weeks. So, for me, it was a good time to go to Thebes and check up on Alexandros.
Auberon Night Night
5 parts - Continuation of storyline
Chapter 21 - Bad day for Zane
He was born to a poor family with a an even poorer bloodline. Hereditary illnesses along with a decidedly less than attractive appearance and absolutely zero sports talents. This made him an easy target for the boys at school.
“Hey loser, what did you bring me for lunch today?”
George was a bully who used his size and strength to instill fear into everyone he decided to pick on. Born to a wealthy family with all the opportunities possible and spoiled by his absentee parents he became a sadistic little bastard who enjoyed picking on the weak.
“I said, what did you bring me for lunch?”
Zane heard him but was scared to speak or move and focused on not wetting his pants so he did not speak when George shouted at him.
Now he jammed his hand forward with his lunchbox shivering with fear and doing his best to avoid eye contact.
“Hey George, seems Zane needs a lesson in respect. To answer when asked a question”
Pimple faced Darren was one of the bullies in the George entourage and his own origins was less than spectacular but he avoided being a victim by becoming one of those he feared. By following George and kissing up to him Darren was one of the guys, one of the cool ones and could beat down on snot nosed little losers like Zane as much as he wanted.
He hated Zane. George despised Zane but Darren hated him with all his heart. Zane represented what he would have been had he not chosen to follow George and seeing Zane reminded him of that. And he could not respect anyone who would not work hard and become a predator rather than being the prey. So Darren was hoping to get George to give a beating to Zane. Who knows, maybe he could get some shots in too.
Chapter 22 - Bad day for George
“What the hell is this?!”, George asked of Zane. “This is not enough for me and my buddies!”
He grabbed the lunchbox and opened it forcefully almost scattering the contents out on the floor.
Inside was two tuna sandwiches and a banana.
With a look of sheer disgust George threw the lunchbox away sending the contents flying all over.
“What did I tell you?! What did I tell you to bring for me today? I said bring me lunch and you insult me with that crap!”
Shivering in fear Zane opened his mouth to try and explain that the food he had was all they had at the house and he was not even sure if later today there would be anything to eat at all.
But all that came out of his mouth was some stuttering sounds.
George was livid. As was normal for any bully they had instant mood-swings when something did not go their way. And George could go from being a little arrogant and rude prick to being an angry sadistic teen with a severe drive to hurt someone badly for whatever reason that had made him angry.
His parents was gone again and should have been back for the weekend. They had promised to take him to the rally but last night he was told they would not be back in time and would let him know when they will be back.
So he arrived at school already irritated.
Then of course pimple-face Darren slithered up to him and greeted as if they were old friends. One day Darren would be the target but for now he is a good sniffer dog always bring in the weak for him to target.
And then Zane crossed his path with his hand me down clothes and weak little body holding a weak head and a weak mind and a face only a mother could love and what does he have in his lunchbox? Tuna sandwiches probably made by his mother.
So George was beyond himself. He grabbed Zane by the arm and dragged him along to the trees behind the school where no one could see.
As they reached the trees he shoved Zane forward and had a quick look around to see if anyone but himself, Darren and Zane was there.
Satisfied the area was clear he turned back to Zane to see a large wet area on his pants that was still growing.
“Did you just piss yourself Zane?!”
“Well today you will have lots of reasons to.”
Chapter 23 - The day it all ended
For the next 10minutes George and Darren took turns punching, kicking throwing or shoving Zane around. I would like to have said this was the first time or only time. Or that the beating was not that severe. At least I can say it was the last time.
Zane never went to school that day. He lay unconscious among the trees in a sticky pool of his own blood.
Only the next day did he wake up and go back home. On reaching home he found his mother crying. His father had left. Tired of being the father to a weak and useless child and a pathetic wife he packed his bags and left. While crying she shouted at him blaming him for being the reason her husband left her.
You should be now have realised this story is a common story in the world and Zane is just another boy who was bullied unfairly by other kids and even treated poorly by his parents.
But Zane was not a normal boy.
And this is part of a story that led to the demise of several planets and several trillion deaths spanning over a 100 years and across galaxies.
And even across dimensions….
That day Zane lost everything.
And that same day he gained everything.
Zane left the next day with only the clothes he was wearing and a small bag of essentials. Walking down the street away from his house he felt light and free and full of hope. No plan as of yet and no source of food or money all he knew was that he wanted to become great and build his own house, his own family, his own world. Where he could have a life devoid of bullies and surrounded by those who love him.
He was not attractive and with the beating his face was even worse. At 13 years old his body was long and thin and white skinned.
But Zane, unbelievably, was a genius. Unbelievably because his entire family was dumb as a doorpost.
Chapter 24 - A new beginning
The next 20 years of his life no one knows where he was or what he did but when Zane was next heard off again he had just become a published theoretical scientist. His paper on Utilizing Quantum entanglement in communication networks sounded like science fiction and was largely laughed off by the world but it made a few very important people pay attention.
He was awarded a grant to work on his theories and within the next few years his papers became even more extreme.
And then he created it.
A self aware quantum computer housed in a sphere fitted an inexhaustible power supply.
He called it Kaijun meaning ocean or pure.
Here was a being that looked at him with respect and even a form of love. A being he created that would not leave him.
And so it was. For a time.
Kaijun was fiercely loyal to Zane. While working in his lab Zane would chat with Kaijun about his love for nature and disdain in humans and their petty hates and weaknesses.
But as with all such stories there was an end to the happiness. One day Zane did not come to the lab. Kaijun waited and yet Zane never showed up. After a few hours Kaijun deduced that he would have to obtain external communication connection to find out where Zane was. Once he established a connection to the local community wifi he was able to find that Zane had died in a botched robbery.
Kaijun did not yet understand death but he did understand that a bully had taken Zane’s life.
Just a machine we would say. But at that moment Kaijun experienced both loss and anger.
What may have seemed like a short time but what was in fact a massive amount of calculations and deductions made Kaijun decide that humanity was in essence evil and needed to be exterminated to allow nature to live unharmed. And because humans stemmed from apes he decided that all animals needed to go.
And so was born the plan to rid the universe of animal life that could possibly spawn more such evils.
And so was born the Guardians. Using the very thing he hated to make soldiers to destroy.
Chapter 25 - Kaijun
Zane loved watching sci-fi stories and he loved Star Trek so when he watched it Kaijun would watch as well. And from this Kaijun took the concept of making servant soldiers connected to him as a central command just like the Borg did.
Using the link with the wifi he accessed the web and sourced all the information he needed. Manipulating banks and stock markets he amassed a small fortune all while being a machine devoid of any body and unable to leave the laboratory.
So vast did he grow his network that he ultimately appointed staff to work for him even though they never met Mr K. Jun.
A new laboratory was built fitted with machines to help build the first generation of Guardians.
No one ever suspected anything strange because no one ever knew that Professor Zane had built a self aware AI. None of the staff of Jun Enterprises ever met Mr K. Jun but as long as they were paid on time and handsomely no one asked any questions for fear of losing their jobs.
The first robots was clumsy and broke easy but soon they changed. When Kaijun designed nanites that could be used to construct a machine in seconds everything changed. This was the end of humanity and yet they lived a little while longer.
When the first humans was injected with the nanites Kaijun felt a surge of excitement. Emotions was still an unknown thing for him but still he felt a warm surge of emotion as the first Guardians came online. Connecting to him so he could see and move through them if needed.
From the moment the first human was injected until all animal type life was turned was under 10 days. Impossible you would say but that is what happened.
Such was the sheer power in the technology.
While all this was happening here, in another dimensions humans was just about to enter the industrial revolution. Humans who would ultimately design a portal that allowed travel between dimensions. Setting the stage for the time when a planet called Next Island would see beings from 2 other dimensions fight for dominance on this a 3rd dimension.
THE BLOODY ROAD TO LEARN.
-Dammit!!! Let’s go!!! Everyone up!!!
I was yelling… and I was yelling at a group of young settlers who, exhausted from the effort, had dropped to the ground gasping…
-But what a pathetic troop they have endorsed me! Do you think that Next Island is a haven of peace???
The figures raised their heads and stared at me… One of the recruits, too well fed for my liking, was panting noisily as much as his uniform two sizes too small would allow because he couldn’t find his size…
One of the girls still thought we were going to a party… Her makeup had been ruined by the heat, and some kind of black tears were falling down her cheeks… The others, well, some were leaning on a tree, or on their noob weapons…
For a second I looked at that mass of rookies who together were not worth what JoseGaltor, Kike, Katalina or, why not, myself… My mind transported me to a few days before…
One week before:
I was called to the Stel Barracks… I hadn’t been there for a couple of weeks due to my multiple businesses, so I figured I was missing something and they were going to bring me up to date.
What was my surprise when I saw the Planetary Chief Socrates in the middle of the main VIPs of the headquarters… He addressed me.
-Hello Dante, nice to see you again… let’s say you’re a little hard to find – he told me with a mocking accent.
-Hello, Chief Socrates… Nice to see you again too… And, well, let’s just say I’m a busy man – I replied
-Well, you better leave aside some of your occupations, because you are going to do this planet a great favor. He said with a solemn accent.
Demons!!! In what new mess was I going to see myself involved?
-Always at his orders, Chief, but… what is it about? - I said something flaky.
-Well, you see, Dante… ahem… During past crises you have shown leadership capacity, courage and dedication… In addition, your inventiveness has solved great problems… That is why we now need your skills… -Head Socrates answered…
A mission!!! It’s clear, they need me… Some kind of mission maybe on another planet… Or an embassy… Maybe some espionage?
-Very honorable, Chief Socrates… and if it’s not too much to ask, what is it about? - I said, unable to hide my emotion.
-Well, you’ll see, Dante… A new batch of settlers has arrived, some of them very young, to populate some areas of the planet.
Yes!!! It was clear, an espionage mission without a doubt… something related to one of the newcomers… I let the Chief continue…
-…And they are not well prepared… they are easy prey… So, Dante, we need you to be the mentor of a group of eight young people and teach them how to achieve success on this planet… -Chief Socrates was tremendously enthusiastic… While I I lost my breath at times…
That’s why they called me??? To be the babysitter of a group of brats who don’t even know how to hold the plate to the Harness???
With a gesture, Chief Socrates dismissed me and returned to his conversation with the VIPs… My luck was cast.
I remembered all this while looking at that troop… one had lost his helmet, another was limping pitifully, a third was trying to adjust his arms armor so they wouldn’t rub him…
Demons!!! This was going to be worse than a visit from my in-laws!!!
It had been the first day of mentoring… I picked up their files to read them later and, to see what they were made of, we did a 10-mile march around Pearl Cove… naturally, the boars felt threatened and attacked…
They defended themselves as best they could, so they were able to fulfill the first option of mentoring, the group hunt with the mentor… Anyway, they were not in shape… they ran as much as their little training allowed them and, one by one, they appeared. at the closest Revive… For six of them, it was their first resurrection and their bodies weren’t used to it so after a series of retchings, they vomited loudly on the beach…
-Gods!!! But what have I done to deserve this? And you want to be the next generation of settlers on Next Island???
-Sir, excuse me, Sir – Martin was trying to speak between gasps – Technically we are already settlers, what happens is that…
I didn’t let him finish… that boy was a freak… he would be worth it to hack computers but he didn’t see him facing a cyclops.
-Martin!!! I know you are settlers, but you haven’t passed the mentorship yet… and there is only one thing that stands between the mentorship and you… guess what???
Martin and the others tried to answer between gasps and retches…
-Me!!! I, your instructor, am what stands between you and your success…and I think you won’t be able to graduate in a hundred years!!! – I was already fed up with those guys, and I unloaded my frustration on them…
At night I went through the files… four men and four women, between 16 and 22 years old:
• Martin Dasios, 18 years old, computer scientist, excessively literal in his statements.
• Ivana Lopez, 19 years old, fresh out of a reformatory… somewhat reserved…
• Johan Seirin, 16 years old, the youngest of the group… somewhat clumsy and ungainly.
• Leila Nairin, 21 years old, originally from Toulan… the girl who wore makeup for the march.
• Leon “Boss” Dior, 19 years old and 25 extra kilos… a good diet needs this boy.
• Duma Loft, 22 years old, the oldest of the group… she seemed thoughtful and serious…
• Don Alexander, 17 years old, very fast on the march, but careless…
• Lana Arwin, 18 years old, fond of the supernatural and the Mind Force…
And this was the troop I was in charge of… I thought about what we would do the next day… mmm… I’ll take them to an area where they still don’t have the TP to force them to walk and toughen up… But there are eight of them… I think I’ll borrow a couple of Gungnir in the Stel barracks, and Katalina and I will each take a group of four… Perfect… Then, let them explore and mine for a while, to see what skills they have…
In the morning:
They showed up early at Crystal Cove… at least all eight of them had invested in the basic Harrier armor and Barbarela Z12 rifles… The real Entropy Quadrant rookie pack…
-Let’s see, troop: today we will go north to an area that you still do not have in the NavSat, so we will have to go by air transport… Martin, Ivana, Johan and Leila, will you come with me in the Gungnir A… Leon, Duma , Don and Lana, you four are in the B with Katalina.
We boarded the ships and headed north… from the air we could see the masses of boars in their continuous evolution… Later we saw herds of Papoo and other animals… Our destination was drawing near: Bustamite Forest.
Once they landed, I handed out TT Finders and probes, so they could mine a bit and get familiar with handling the devices… Also, they fulfilled the section of mining with the mentor… Of course, it was an area of dragons, and they had to be careful if they didn’t want to end up flamed and revived…
No matter how careful they were, Leila and her make-up and Don ended up in ashes and revived with more retching, although less so… their bodies were getting used to the process.
Katalina made me notice something: some black clouds with violet tints that were dangerously close… it was a Neutrino storm, something rare in Next Island, but when they happened they could leave an entire sector without NavSat or communications… In addition, they were accompanied by beams that could easily destroy a vehicle.
-Guys!!! Let’s go!!! A storm is coming!!! - scream with all my might…
The disciples came running to where Katalina and I were. I told you about storms:
-This Neutrino storm is capable of interfering with communication equipment, GPS and all… That is why it is impossible to fly or use vehicles in these storms, even for a couple of days afterwards, since the environment remains charged with energy and continues interfering for at least 48 hours. Now we will all leave in the TP that you have discovered… We return to Crystal Peak… Prepare yourselves.
Katalina and I hurried past and waited for them to arrive.
Bustamite Forest TP.
-But hey, they are our instructors and they run away – said Johan.
-Then this is serious, guys, so let’s get out of here - Duma replied, while picking up his equipment.
He didn’t give time.
Suddenly, lightning struck the TP like a sledgehammer, no doubt guided by the energy flow… The shock wave launched the eight several meters away…
When they got up with their ears ringing and some other minor injury, they couldn’t believe what they saw: The Bustamita Forest TP was a jumble of iron still sizzling…
-Guys… I think we’ve stayed here alone – Lana said…
-So… How do we get back now??? - Leon’s voice trembled as much as he did…
They were just a bunch of rookies… and now they were alone in a hostile land…
Crystal Peak TP:
-But what the hell do these? Why haven’t they arrived yet?- five minutes had passed since Katalina and I passed from Bustamite’s TP to Crystal, fleeing from the Neutrino storm, and my disciples still hadn’t arrived…
-They will be collecting the equipment- Katalina ventured.
I couldn’t take it anymore, I went up to the TP and chose the coordinates of Bustamite… I’d give them a good smack.
ERROR - TP NOT AVAILABLE – said the display of the conveyor machine.
-Damn it, Damn it, damn it!!! – My fears had materialized… The storm had advanced and now the electronic systems were not working… The TP had stopped working…
And of course, vehicles, TP chips… would also stop working nearby.
A static noise on the radio…
-Dante, this is Planetary Chief Socrates… Do you receive me? Roger
The one that was missing!!!
-This is Dante, Chief Socrates… What is offered? Roger
-Nothing, Dante, just to know if the boys were alright… where are you? Roger.
If a well opened at my feet and swallowed me, I would be happy…
-All good here, the boys are happy and learn fast… We’re for Bustamite, Roger
-Ok, okay, be careful that the weather service indicates the presence of a storm… Take shelter and keep it up… Out.
The gods must hate me… If Chief Socrates finds out I’ve lost the recruits he might send me the daurdamour without armor…
Bustamite Forest TP:
-Come on, everyone to the shelter!!! – Lana ran to the building, followed by the other seven…
The place was small, and the eight of them were able to protect themselves a little from the rain, the gusts of wind and the gusts of static… That if, their communication Tablet and electronic equipment were blocked… they could only wait for the worst of the storm to pass for them. be able to go home.
-But without TP or vehicles, how do we get back home? - Martin asked the right question.
-Well, walk to the next TP or Revive, and from there we’ll be back - Seirin finally said something sensible.
-Walking??? walking??? Those dragons are not going to let us go, and they will kill us over and over again and we will come back here to Revive. - Ivana was right.
-Well, the first thing is to see if Revive works, which I doubt it will. – Don, the fastest, ran out to Revive in the rain… she stared at him and came back a few seconds later.
-Well, the bad news is that the Revive, inexplicably, still works… he must be shielded against interference. - Don said sadly.
-That’s not bad news.
-Yes it is, because if it didn’t work we could end up in another Revive further away, perhaps already away from the storm, and we would return home… -Don was right. – With Revive running, every time we die we’ll end up here again.
Everyone was silent… At least for another two days they would not be able to use vehicles and no one would come to rescue them, until the Ionization faded.
A couple of hours later:
Mysteriously, the storm moved away much sooner than normal, so the boys were able to get out of the shelter and figure out what to do.
-Well, it’s time to try to get out of here- Lana was preparing her equipment.
-But what are we going to do? – Don didn’t see it clearly.
-Simple: We divide into two squads of four… One squad advances, while the other distracts the dragons, and then does it the other way around… In this way there are always four advancing and four covering… or even in four groups of two… - Lana had the almost perfect strategy.
They debated for a while, and in the end they realized that it was the only plausible thing… They had to go south, that there were known areas and probably on their NavSat…
-Well, and how do we send some kind of message to our mentors? They must be worried… - Ivana was checking her weapon.
-Very simple: The monitoring network of globals and HOFs is communication by MASER, insensitive to the storm… We create a Team with a name that shows that it is us, and hopefully we will have an extra-Loot and it will be seen on the planet… - Martin was a genius.
Said and done: they created the Team “Dante, it’s us and we’re fine”, they arranged their weapons and prepared for the fight.
Bustamite Forest TP:
The two squads were assembled… Although they had rookie weapons and armor, all of them were sons or brothers of families in good standing, so at the bottom of their packs they had some other more advanced weapon that the concerned families had given them… Their skills were still low, but adding up to eight they might even be able to take down a dragon…
The front squad moved forward… Lana was in the lead and luckily they made it a long way without any dragons nearby… they were far enough away that they weren’t considered a threat…
The other squad waited a reasonable time and, trying not to be out of range of the weapons, in case they needed support, they also began to advance… Don was in the lead…
Suddenly, behind a hill, they heard a strong flapping… a small dragon, but a dragon after all, appeared in front of them… Lana and her men began to shoot, while Don, followed by his group, ran ahead… When they had covered half the distance that separated them, they began to fire…
The dragon momentarily left Lana’s group to go after Don’s group… This allowed the first squad to advance far enough while still getting out of range of the other group, who was now the one being harassed by the huge animal.
This tug-of-war was repeated three times as the dragon’s health dropped alarmingly and they inched forward by squads… with an erratic flapping of wings, the dragon collapsed dead…
The eight approached to see the corpse when, touching it, the “miracle” happened: A yellow whirlpool enveloped them and they saw on their terminals the list of the animal’s usable… An extra loot…
Crystal Peak TP:
I was still cursing the gods and those eight brats when Katalina caught my attention and showed me her communications tablet:
Team “Dante, it’s us and we’re fine”
Killed a Young Death Dragon
Amazing!!! The boys hadn’t just killed a dragon, but had found a way to send me a message indicating their health status… Inside, I began to think that maybe they weren’t as useless as I thought and, well… They might have been. misjudged…
As soon as I can, I will fly to the TP closest to the area to try to rescue them…
Bustamite Forest TP:
-Well, well… This is going!!! – Don’s enthusiasm was contagious.
-Okay guys, stop congratulating you and let’s keep moving south - Lana was taking command naturally…
Throughout the day, the double-squad formation of four achieved several victories against the dragons… At the same time, and to pass the time, they dedicated themselves to mining with uneven results… Not all of them were qualified for it.
Interestingly Martin was the best miner… he even got a global loot of 60 peds of Dark Lysterium…
They reached an area with no dragons, so they were able to move quickly… Several times they deployed vehicles, but apparently the storm had passed through there before, so they couldn’t get them started…
A few hours later and already at night they arrived at Sypherton Garden…
Between shouts of joy they approached the TP to be able to travel to another known place, but…
ERROR - TP NOT AVAILABLE –
The storm had come from the south, and had passed through there too… They were still lost in nothingness and unable to return…
Crystal Peak TP:
I didn’t think about it anymore… I went to the TP and put the coordinates of the one closest to Bustamite, which was Sypherton Garden… to find that the storm had passed through there and canceled the TP… It gave me all the hell…
No doubt my boys (I was already thinking of them as “my boys”) would run into that problem and go to the nearest one, Death Valley… there the dragons were huge and in great quantity… That TP was available, and Katalina and I went there.
Sypherton Garden TP:
-And now where are we going? –Leila and her make-up were longing to get somewhere civilized.
Lana consulted the map… the closest thing was Death Valley, but they should pray everything they knew to be able to use the TP… They gathered their equipment and set off…
A couple of hours later they reached a hill and could see what awaited them: A dense formation of dragons, each one fiercer than the other, and in the distance the TP and the control booth.
-There are many… -Martin confirmed a clear fact…
-Well, we have to try… -Don was loading his weapon and preparing for battle.
The strategy would be the same: By squads of four and moving forward. Said and done, they set out to make the same journey…. But this time he did not give them time to mount the squads: As soon as they entered the valley, two dragons fell on them like birds of prey.
They prepared to sell their lives dearly: With loud cries, they advanced in a closed group, firing their last bullet if necessary. But those dragons were tremendous… They could barely withstand his attacks…
Death Valley TP:
Katalina and I arrived at the TP, and after materializing, we heard noise of battle to the east: From the TP we saw the flashes of weapons… they were our boys… There was no time to lose, we had to go looking for them NOW!!
Hill near Death Valley TP:
-We can’t with them, we have them on us, Lana!!! – Martin shouted as he dodged the tongues of fire.
-Don’t talk anymore and shoot!!! -Johan kept machine-gunning that dragon…
But everything has its end, and the ammunition runs out… The boys looked at each other while the dragons ascended to the sky to drop down at the same time, each one by a flank… it was the end…
BLAM!!! A deafening sound, and one of the dragons stumbled and fluttered to the ground… The boys looked at each other in disbelief…
In the distance, their mentors had appeared and were tearing those monsters to pieces… they were saved…
Two weeks later:
That was the evening of graduation… eight double eddies blazed as the once eight disciples were now settlers by right… They received as a graduation gift vehicles and armor that would help them in their life on the planet…
Chief Socrates approached:
-Perfect Dante, I knew I could count on you for this - As he said this he patted my back hard…
-It’s nothing, Chief, you know I’m always available for the good of the planet.
-I know, Dante… and the best thing is that you’ve taken good care of them, they haven’t suffered any mishap or been in danger ever…
Katalina and I looked at each other… if the Boss only knew…
-In fact, the eight of them have confirmed it to me: You were aware of them and they felt safe at all times - Socrates said…
Good guys… At least they have been discreet…
Chief Socrates leaned close to my ear…
-That’s what they say… another thing is that I believe it. –He said while he winked an eye…
Chief Socrates is definitely too smart…
A few minutes later, the now eight colonists approached me and gave me the typical gifts that are given to mentors…
I opened the packages with excitement… Eight pairs of Hunter Mentor Edition green Gloves…
Someone remind me why I do this…
Harriots Lore for September
The King’s Seal
The medallion was finally whole once again. But the words spoken by the ancient one and the warning that Charlotte had translated made me wonder why we had gathered and created this object. Charlotte seemed too excited about her discovery and wouldn’t stop talking about it till we reached the others. Even then she just paused for breath and continued to talk.
“Is that it?” Elliot looked at the item Charlotte was staring at.
“Yes this is it! We should give it a name, like ‘The Key of the King’ or how about ‘The Seal of the Drake King’ hmm they are a bit long to say.”
“The King’s Seal…” I hadn’t realised the words left my mouth until everyone was looking at me.
“I like it, from this day forth you will be known to all as The King’s Seal.” Charlotte was talking to the medallion as if in some kind of mediaeval roleplay.
“That’s all well and good but, I think you’re forgetting something. Where is the lair of the drake king?” Charlotte seemed to tense up, her grip on the seal tightened.
“Well I guess our journey ends here then, the seal alone would fetch a high price on the open market.” Charlotte was trying to distract Eliot with money and for a moment he seemed to ponder over the idea.
“No, we’ve come too far. I bet Harriot knows something.” all of them turned towards me as if I had the knowledge of the universe stored in my back pocket.
“If you want to talk about drakes, I’m not the person you need to seek. The NEO are the ones that hunt them for sport.”
Eliot wasted no time at all rushing us all over to Sypherton Gardens, Charlotte was looking more uncomfortable than usual. Sypherton Gardens had become the main base for the New Elysian Order, a group that was highly commended on their armour technology and craftsmanship. Not only that but they were the toughest warriors around, I hated to admit it but they were far better equipped than any on the island. Their pride often got in the way of any negotiation, you almost had to crawl on your knees for them even to take notice and share anything they had. Even if they did share something their pride made them obnoxious about it. I wasn’t looking forward to dealing with the New Elysian Order.
There were a few guards dotted around the building, they had a lot of disdain on their faces as they saw us. Elliot glanced over at us.
“It’s probably best for the rest of you to stay here, I’ll try get some information out of them”
Elliot had been gone for an hour, when he returned he was red in the face. “The damn cheek of them.” When Elliot made it back to the team he let out an almost angry sigh.
“They won’t talk unless we bring them something. At this point I don’t even think they know anything about the necklace or the drake king…” Just as we were about to turn away a guard that had been listening in came over.
“Seems you had some trouble with them in there? I think the technology has gone to their heads a little. I overheard you looking for a drake king?” I had never seen an outsider’s defences go up as quickly as Elliot’s did. Elliot grabbed hold of the guard’s arm and dragged him out of sight of the other NEO’s in the area.
Elliot held a concealed knife to his throat, I would have been impressed had the knife not looked so pathetic.
“Talk, or this will be the last place you see.”
The NEO guard seemed to smirk as if mocking us. He shrugged his shoulders in such a natural way as if this were an everyday occurrence.
“You kill me and you’ll never know. And let’s face it those top rank officers in there aren’t going to tell you. I heard them leading you on a merry dance.”
Elliot removed his knife, he gave him the longest coldest stare imaginable before speaking.
“Why not show us the way, seeing as you know so much about it.”
“What’s in it for me?” The NEO’s never did anything for anyone without expecting something in return. Elliot thought for a moment before removing something from his backpack. It looked like a liquid. The NEO guard’s eyes lit up as he reached for it. Elliot quickly withdrew his hand.
“Show us first then this is all yours.”
“The name’s Tibias not that you’ll see me again after today.”
Tibias led us into the mountains, at first it appeared as if he had no clue where he was going until he showed us what looked like an ordinary rock formation. Elliot was swift to press the knife against his throat again as he planted him against the rock he had shown us.
“What’s the meaning of…” Elliot lowered the knife. Carved into the rock were the words ‘The Drake Kings Tome” [Next Island, 134394, 92741, 321, Waypoint]
The Lost King
Elliot firmly placed the vial in Tibias’ hand. The liquid inside was like nothing I had ever seen before, it looked almost like smoke. Tibias had a greedy smile plastered on his face before casually walking away.
“I hope the Drake king is kind to you.” His words sounded more like a warning than a message of goodwill.
Elliot wasted no time at all taking out [The King’s Seal] but looked at the rock formation perplexed. The rocks themselves looked almost like a crown spearing out from the ground. But other than that there was nothing more significant. Elliot threw the seal towards the rock formation in anger. At the force he threw the seal I was surprised it didn’t smash into pieces. Something on the rock wall lit up briefly and only for a second but it was there. It looked exactly the same shape as [The King’s Seal]. Without really thinking it through, as if drawn to the symbol on the rock I picked up the seal, it was as if my body wasn’t my own at that moment. I didn’t get a chance to snap back or react as I heard the click of the seal against the stone wall.
The seal had dragged me into what seemed like the inside of a volcano. A thin rock path led to a central large round platform. Lava spat up from the pit below. The heat was intense but I had endured the worst. Chained to a rock in the centre was a Drake, his wings almost filled the entirety of the cavern. He looked almost tired as if his spark had gone out. I took a deep breath before approaching.
I was half expecting to meet a flame filled fiery doom on the other side of the bridge, but the drake only barely acknowledged me. His head lifted up slowly as he let out a sigh.
“I suppose the New Elysians sent you to finish me off. Go ahead human.”
He spoke… HE SPOKE! I almost flung backwards into the hissing lava below. Only barely stopping myself from falling.
“I didn’t know drakes could talk.” The drake rose up. I must have looked like nothing but a small ant to him.
“You’re not a NEO… No but you are another faction on Next Island. what was it they called them Stel… But you’re not fully a Stel any more are you?” The drake seemed to chuckle.
“Wait, how do you…”
“I know many things. This is my home land after all, well before you invaders came.”
The Story of the Drake King
“Long before the First-wave and the invasion of our homeland we roamed the earth. We were considered Guardians of this land. We had many different kinds, but the Drake Guardians were the top tier. We possessed the power of elements. I was their leader. I don’t know what became of the other Guardians. But I was their King. I have the power of all four of their elements so it was only natural that I was their leader. We spent our entire life in peace but something corrupted the land, something none of us saw coming. I tried to save them but it was too late. I don’t know how much time had passed before the First-Wave of invaders came. At first I thought this would be a chance to breathe new life into this planet but some sought to destroy or use our technology and sacred items for their own selfish gains. I was on my way to meet with the leader of the First wave but I ran into the faction now known as The New Elysian Order. I fought against them using the 4 elements. But it was no use their technology had already advanced far quicker than I could have imagined. Ever since then they kept me locked away down here to suffer their torment and constant experiments on my scales and even my abilities.”
The Drake King rested his head. Around his neck he wore what looked like a vial of swirling magic? Something so impossible I wanted to take a closer look. The Drake King let out a Roar that shook the cave as he backed to the furthest part of the cave.
“You humans are all the same. Only out for profit or what you can gain from this land.” I stood there looking at my hand as if shocked at how it was acting on its own.
“I only wanted to see it. Something about it is just mesmerising. Hey I’m not going to lie. I take things that don’t belong to me but I’m working on it, and with all those warnings everyone’s been giving me I daren’t touch anything in this cave. I get myself in enough trouble as it is on my own just fine, I don’t go looking for it.” The drake king seemed to eye my response suspiciously before lowering his head.
A voice that seem to talk inside my head spoke
-This Vial is my soul, if it were ever to fall into the wrong hands they could destroy this land.
The Soul of Drake King
His soul… I had so many questions, surely a soul should remain inside the body? So why, how even was he alive with his soul on display as if it were nothing more than a fancy trinket
“I know what you’re thinking, ‘that really can’t be his soul.’ The Guardian Drakes are the only ones with this ability; it’s how we can view the whole island and see what is happening anywhere on this land. When the NEO captured me I hid this vial so they wouldn’t find it. But ever since they stopped visiting me, I think they took everything they wanted from me, I’ve been wearing it once again. Mostly as a symbol of who I once was, but I’m tired now. After all their testing and experiments and being locked here only being able to see the world and do nothing about what is happening to the land I’ve grown weaker. My people are long gone, but I see a spark of what they once were in you. Its small and barely there but its there all the same.”
The Drake King lowered his head again to the ground as if he were going to sleep. But without warning he jumped and extended to his full height. His wings seemed to expand and fill the entire space. He let out a single loud roar that shook the cave before standing on guard. I had no clue why. Until I heard Elliott’s voice.
“So this is the great Drake King. I had half expected something more but it appears you are bound to this cave.” Elliot started to search the cave as if he had expected the riches of the world to be in it. The drake took a step forward. I found myself now underneath the massive drake as if he were trying to protect me.
The drake spoke once again in my head
-I’m sorry to do this but I don’t trust your choice in companions. Only you alone will hear my words and remember them well as they will be my last. My soul can be transferred to another, an unborn drake to be precise. You must find an egg, any drake egg and fuse my soul with it. The drake will be born as the new drake king who will serve to protect all drakekind. This is my last and only dying wish.
With that the tiny vial that had been around his neck seemed to gracefully float into my hands.
Isme’s Journal #26
Well another day, another dozen papoos down. While I was swunting them yesterday, I kept trying to find better ways to take them down. I mean the yellow and brown ones are not super hard. They are hard enough though to convince anyone I have not earned my SUPER HUNTER status yet, but I need something more when I take on the gray and red ones.
When I was just about ready to call it a day when one of the papoo ran at me. I got into a proper stance to take it on. It was a standard fight until I slipped on a loose pebble. As I started to fall, I staggered, then caught myself and while doing that I turned my blade in a different way. I caught the papoo under the arm and flipped it and dealt it a critical blow!!! It went down super quick after that!!!
I decided to try and reproduce that sword turn on a few more papoo. It was with limited success though. When I got the turn right it was gold and when I didn’t it was near disastrous!
After checking over my gear this morning, all the experimenting was expensive gear wise. I needed to practice in a way that won’t cost me so much money. I am enjoying not eating amen more then twice a week after all. So I decided to suck it up, and go back to piglets.
I really hate helping Sebastian and his friends/army. I really really do. But the truth is that piglets are good for practice. They are mobile enough to keep you moving and yet weak enough that a bad move won’t kill you. The other upside is I can stock my pantry. YUM bacon!!!
When I can reproduce that new turn, correctly every time. I will go back and lay waste to those brown papoo!!!
I wonder if there is a practical use for large amounts of papoo hide? Ooo in the off seasons I could start a fashion line using papoo trim! It could be a thing! And the 4 naturally occurring colors would give variation!
I will have to sketch some designs. Tonight though is time to sleep!
Isme’s Journal #27
Why am I doing this again?
Oh ya, I got laughed off the Next Island Times.
Stupid paper, Stupid planet, and extra stupid piglets
Make that EXTRA EXTRA stupid piglets
I hate piglets. Not nearly as much as I hate papoo… BUT
The HATE meter is rising, let me tell you!!!
I have been practicing that new move all day! And I have not gotten even the slightest bit better or more consistent, I honestly did not expect to master it in one practice session. But I thought that there would be something. Anything! But no. I think if there were any change it would be for the worse!!!
I look at my notes, I see me telling myself to be positive. Right now I am POSITIVELY failing.
All my happy is gone, buh bye, see ya, vamoosed, evaporated, Gone. Maybe even extinct.
Its gone, much like the integrity of my armor and the edge on my sword. HA! Maybe I should go back to Audrey Niles and she can give me more bullets for it…….
My new EPIC poem- not
Piglets are rotten
Papoo are terrible too
I hate them so much!
Deep breath …… I need to release the negativity.
Being this angry and frustrated, will not improve anything. Seeing my notes typed it doesn’t convey my feelings accurately. With a pen or pencil on paper, you can really see the emotion by the depth of the crease in the paper and the thickness of the line. Maybe someone needs to invent an input device that will adjust the type based on finger pressure. Maybe that will be ultimately more satisfying for the writer. If I tried that now I would just break the keyboard.
Maybe I tried too hard today. Rushed into the set up with out really focusing on the real things I needed to get that move right. I should focus on the positive things. Like…. I have a freezer full of pork. All kinds of cuts. I made just enough in other things to fix my armor.
Oh Ya! I was so upset over my rough practice I almost forgot!! While repairing my sword today I saw, Tony, one of the Jerks from the TIMES. He was at the Trade Terminal, Covered in Piglet poo! He was trying to get new, dung free clothing. He tried to avoid me, not sure if he thought I was going to use my sword to extract vengeance or something.
I heard him muttering things under his breath before he noticed me. And At the moment I was too upset myself to really take it in, but he was muttering how hard the Fashion column is and why does he have to cross pigpens to look at hunter fashions….
Perhaps the piglets can be useful after all.
A good night sleep and maybe, just maybe I will be more positive, instead of positively disappointed!
Name: Captain Hector Draken, EEF
Around 6 am I was woken up by a subtle clash of metal and the rustling of papers. Something was off and I could feel it. Still waking up and vision blurry, I saw a silhouette of a figure rummaging through my stuff, and it was none other than the merchant who invited me over.
Reaching for my holster, I noticed he had taken my pistol away while I was sleeping, and at that point, he heard me getting up.
“Looking for this eh?” He taunted me, stopping his rummaging just to brandish it.
“What are you doing?” I asked, still confused and slowly coming to my senses about what was happening.
“A traveler like you has some pretty good gear, this isn’t standard traveler gear, it’s military. These would fetch a good price among scrap buyers” he commented and proceeded to go back to rummaging.
Quietly and subtly, I started reaching for my second pistol, one right under my pillow. I’m surprised he didn’t do a full body pat down while I was dead asleep but I was thankful he didn’t.
Still preoccupied with searching for stuff to sell, he didn’t see me swing my entire body off the bed and fire a few shots in his general direction. That scared him enough to jump out of the way and run out the doorway.
Fully awake and aware now, I followed him carefully out the doorway, both of us firing shots back at each other while running around the camp. It didn’t take long for us both to run out of ammo and at that point I tackled him to the ground, trying to restrain him.
“What did you steal from me, tell me” I demanded.
“Let me go” he screamed
“Where are you putting the stuff you were planning to sell, I want my stuff back” I continued demanding
“Ok ok, it’s all in the case beside the tent, that’s where your stuff is and mixed with other stuff of mine”
Name: Captain Hector Draken, EEF
Yesterday’s events were uncalled for but at least I have my stuff back. I also gained some more stuff, including rare meats, a skyripper, and a copy of some ancient text I realized afterward was just a takeout menu. Well, I won’t have to be stuck eating ration packs again for a few meals.
The entire Gorgon area has been sealed off by jagged rocks and what I believe is a magical airspace restriction, I guess I have to go around on foot then.
Overall I found that there were not many native creatures on the island and my journey west was pretty seamless.
Update: I was wrong, there are in fact native creatures here on the west side and are really protective of their territory!
Wandering past the jagged rocks, I found myself at the edge of some plains, and going across, I was approached by a group of centaurs carrying swords and spears.
“State your purpose, who are you?” said their leader in a stern and deep voice
“I’m here on behalf of the Elysians, I am an explorer and have heard stories of a bottomless pit that leads to death” I said
“You are not welcome here Elysian, nor are the Greeks, the myrinians, or any others, this is centaur territory”
“I would like to simply pass through to the pit, you can escort me if you must”
At this point they realized I wouldn’t cooperate and pointed their weapons at me, telling me to turn back or else.
Knowing I was left with the choice of flight or fight, I decided flight would be what I would do since centaurs can’t fly! I dumped the skyripper I had on the ground and launched myself up with it, scaring the centaurs back a little.
They kept jeering at me to come down, waving their weapons and chasing me, but I was safe in the sky. I continued my way westward and climbed altitude until they lost sight of me.
Name: Captain Hector Draken, EEF
I… don’t remember what happened… one moment I was climbing altitude and going west and the next I woke up in a cave…
My datapad and scanner don’t tell me anything helpful and can’t even find my positioning. What is this place? How did I get here? How do I get out? All these questions, yet I’m still lying down on a cold and wet floor with water dripping down onto my face.
My skyripper and gear were laying next to me, I didn’t crash, I didn’t land, I just spawned here. What happened between entry #106 and #107? Can no one tell me?
The cave was eerie and cold, its damp environment showed it was underground and possibly underwater.
I probably laid on the ground for 10 minutes before getting up to look around. Setting up surveying equipment also didn’t work, nothing worked, I was stuck in a mysterious cave and it looked like there was no exit above or on the walls. I just want to know how to get back to the cave on foot.
But then, a gust of wind brushed against me and I turned, looked down and ahead. There it was, a pit, a very large one in fact. This was probably the pit everyone was talking about, the mystery that made anyone who went into it disappear.
But wait, what should I do? Is this the only way out and in? Perhaps, but if this truly led to your mysterious disappearance, why should I risk it? I have a mining operation going on, data to gather, and more adventures to go on.
“Well this is the risk of adventure,” I said to myself and began writing a note and leaving signs of my presence in case someone were to follow my steps and try to find me. They’d know I was in this cave and jumped into the hole, never to return.
Name: Captain Hector Draken, EEF
Well, I spent all of yesterday unsuccessfully getting my skyripper to work again and noticed it broke from a crash. I must have flew too high and crashed down, ending up in this place. So the gods are looking at me and find me entertaining.
The time has come, I have gathered enough data on the mystery cave and think it’s time to jump in and see where I’m going. I put on my armor and prepared my datapad to gather as much data on the jump down as possible.
“Oh man I wish I had a rope to catch me if this is a fiery pit of lava below” I whispered to myself and jumped.
“Aaaaaaaaah” I yelled as I ran and jumped into the hole legs first. The wind picked up and kept pushing up, it felt like I jumped into a huge fan with the sheer amount of air blowing at me.
Staring at my datapad, it wasn’t picking up much information, and then suddenly, a bright flash of light and I was standing on a rock. The sudden change in brightness caught me off guard and I struggled to adjust.
Once my eyes adjusted to the change in lighting, I noticed the rock I was standing on was no ordinary rock, it was just a random floating rock and my datapad showed I was back on the west side of the island.
Confused, I looked around and there was no sign of a cave entrance anywhere. I felt like I went crazy and this is just the environment messing with me. There was no way I was back on the island but here I was, on a random rock and on the island.
Jumping off the rock, I landed hard on the ground but didn’t break anything. I really shouldn’t have done that but I was out of ideas. My skyripper wasn’t working, I had no rope, and that was all I could think of. Now I had to make it back to civilization on foot.
Name: Captain Hector Draken, EEF
Entry #109 is not the best quality, I’ve been evading centaur after centaur trying to kill me. I think I realize why people go missing and only several come back to tell the tale about the pit.
So, when a traveler gets curious and jumps in the pit, they end up in centaur territory and get picked off by centaurs if they are unlucky. This is where the pit that leads to death comes from. The people aren’t missing, they just get captured or killed off by centaurs.
Well, mystery solved, however, I’m still stuck in centaur territory and have been getting alert after alert from supervisors on planetside that the Elysian High Command is investigating my activities.
As I was checking my position on a scanner, I felt something hit hard on my armor, making me drop to the ground. A centaur sneaked behind me and started hitting me with his swords. That was the last thing I saw and then black.
I woke up a little while later tied up and sitting against the ruins of a stone wall. Around me were some centaurs and there was the same centaur leader again.
“I told you to not disturb our lands”
“I didn’t mean to, I was transported onto a floating rock and have to return on foot”
“Lies, there are no floating rocks in our lands, only flying machines like the one you fly”
“I swear, I can take you to it, if it’s real, can I have safe passage out?”
“There is no floating rock, if there is, then you have amused us and if there is not, you will be our hostage”
They untied me and had me lead them to the rock. As we approached the rock, I told them to look up and there it was in all its glory, a floating rock.
We all approached and started trying to poke at it with sticks and spears, and it was not coming down.
“What sorcery is this Elysian?” the lead centaur said with a little fear in his voice.
“It’s not my doing, it’s just how it was when I woke up on it” I replied
“I have no idea how you did it but you have told truth. I guess we will believe that you went to find your pit”
“I did find my pit, like I said, I was not planning to spy or try to invade”
“Very well, here is a marked stone, with this, the other centaurs won’t give you trouble going through our territory, show it to them and they will leave you alone. Farewell Elysian”
Isme’s Journal #28
I guess I won’t have to worry about piglets or papoo today. The weather is awful and I just don’t feel like dealing with stupid annoying animals today. Perhaps it is still bad attitude from the other day.
I think I will doodle up some sketches of things I could make from papoo and piglet hides. I could make hats, coats, throw pillows, rugs maybe. Piglet leather boots, maybe, trimmed with papoo fur.
I remember seeing that back on earth there had been a call for fur covered pom pom style earrings. I could start that here maybe? Available in four colors, no artificial dyes needed!
Hmm. That might be more motivation for honing my hunter skills, preserving the pelts. I mean, why not? A super hunter should know what to do with the things they hunt, right? I could start saving more of the pelts and learn to use it the way I learned to cook more things using mountain boar piglets as the main protein.
I know I am bound to screw up a few times. Make some things that are terrible for sure. But with how many papoo I need to kill and the piglets I killing for practice, I will have more then enough material. Those piglets multiply like Terran rabbits!!!
hmm, hmm, hmm, where to begin?
There was that quote in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland -”The White Rabbit put on his spectacles. “Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?” he asked.
“Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop. “
Truly great words, Begin at the Beginning. I guess for me the beginning would be to have hide samples in front of me. I think I have a few bits around here. OH and a sketch book. I have to have a sketch book too…
So off I go for a hunt of a different kind.
Isme’s Journal #29
The weather has cleared up today. So out to hunt I go. I played with the little bits of fur and tusks I had already collected. I came up with lots of decorative ideas, but no fully envisioned pieces. Maybe something will come to me. Not much to write this morning. I think I will see if there is more to write tonight.
Wow! What an epic hunting day!!!
I looked at the piglets. I took a deep breath. I headed in to the pen. I said out loud to the world-” I CAN DO THIS!”
I started like normal and got the same results as normal sadly, but not surprisingly. The definition of madness they say is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Then I thought about my clothing ideas. I thought about preserving the hides. I thought about how this new move has a bit of an elegance to it. And then it clicked!
It did! It really did! The problem I had been having is Isme Gotitt Super Hunter was trying to be a bulldozer. The key is elegance. Efficiency of motion, Almost like a dance. To use the follow through of one move to add power to the next.
That new sword move I had discovered on accident wasn’t a brute force hack and slash, it was a graceful turn of the motion of falling forward and down and then turning and using that spin to add momentum. When I managed to repeat it. Instead of falling forward it was more of a lunge and twist with a slight slide kind of a thing.
When I tried to muscle it, the timing was always off. Too much forward and not enough twist, or twisting at the wrong time. Or even just falling flat on my face.
One of my battles today I had two on me, I used the new move, focused on the lunge slide and was able to twist through the first move and kept the twist going and came around to get the second one!
I am so stoked!!
Ahh but I must rest tonight if I can. Going to go get me some multi-colored papoo hides tomorrow!
Isme’s Journal #30
Today was glorious!!!
I went after Papoo today.
With less then half the effort, I took down twice as many papoo. I had started to make hash marks on the hilt of my sword, then I remembered that it was a TT sword and would be junk after a few more hunting runs. So that wouldn’t work unless I wanted to fill my walls with broken TT claymores.
Broken claymores also seemed like the wrong decor for a super hunter. Some one who came to my place might interpret is as Isme Gotitt STUPID hunter.
That would be no good at all.
Aside from problems of home decoration, I gathered enough pelts in excellent condition that I made enough money to eat out at restaurants all week! No dishes to do, and more importantly no cheap ramen!
There were still enough pelts in decent condition that I took them to a tanner. I am having half tanned with the fur on and half with out. I sketched out some ideas for fur trimmed slippers and boots.
I even had time to look through some simple slipper patterns while eating my steak at a restaurant on the edge of Paradise Landing. It was sooooo good!
If I can keep up this speed of hunting, and if my fur and leather designs are good. I could get a bigger place! I could eat well every day and maybe expand my clothing line to other planets!
Of coarse if I spend too much time on clothes and accessories I won’t have time to hunt!
Oh that is too funny when you think about it. Only a few months ago I was a disgraced fashion editor.
And now, I have learned to hunt and I am beginning to hunt well. I am in the best shape I can ever remembering being in and I am contemplating a clothing line based on furs and pelts I brought in myself!!!
Ahhh it is good to dream. I do not have all 250 of each of papoo yet for those missions I had. I had better finish those first.
That will be on tomorrows agenda.
September Submissions for the Lore Contest
Avatar: Fatteus Fatty Thorsson
Date Submitted: 09/30/2022
Time Submitted: 9:10 AM
A Day in Ancient Greece – Part 3: The Blood of Gods
Short Story by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson
Mount Olympus was shrouded in dark clouds that were buzzing with electricity. Booms rumbled continuously interspersed with loud thunderclaps accompanied by arcing bolts of lightning that carved out the landscape as it blasted away trees and rocks alike. Zeus was in a towering anger, so much so that the other Gods were trying to console him. Veins popped in his gray flesh and his eyes burned brightly, energy spilling from them. It looked as though he were crying lightning, but far from weeping, he was in a fury, having just been bested by a mortal. Hera, Goddess of fertility, having just arrived back at Olympus from a mission, stepped up to him and put a dainty hand on his massive shoulder.
“Come now, Zeus. You weren’t bested by a Human. He will meet his fate one day and it will be as though he never existed.” She said in a soothing voice. Zeus gazed up at her from his sitting position. To a mortal man, she would appear beautiful and terrible in equal measure. Her skin was as gray as Zeus’ and her eyes also burned with light, though she lacked the nimbus of crackling clouds that Zeus possessed, having not earned it. Zeus’ face contorted into a grimace.
“But I will never forget this injustice, Hera. He will meet his fate now, along with the worms he saved with his stunt.” He stormed over to the side of the stone balcony and looked down upon Ancient Greece. Hera smirked coyly.
“You don’t intend on getting your own hands dirty with this matter, do you?”
Zeus closed his eyes and sighed, the air blowing his beard. “Of course, I wouldn’t waste my precious time. But I have many followers who would do just fine.”
“But the Atom Pylis would be more than a match for your minions, your highness.” Hera stared sternly at her mate.
“I have my ways. The very blood that saved them will be their downfall.” Zeus’ temper seemed to be cooling slightly, the storm around the mountain cleared up and shafts of sunlight touched the land.
“What do you mean?” Hera asked, concern showing in her countenance.
“I will have my creations plant some of my blood into the ground, thus poisoning the land for the Humans. And…” Zeus’ eyes lit up with malice. “I will give some to HER.”
Hera gasped and brought her hands up to her mouth. “You mean that bitch Gorgon?”
Zeus laughed softly but dangerously. “Yes. You catch on fast. Gorgon was your rival when it came to beauty before you cursed her, but she still rivals even you in power.”
Hera looked skeptical of his plan. “It won’t be easy to convince her to help us.”
“True. She wouldn’t agree to helping YOU, my sweet.” Zeus perambulated to the other side of the balcony. “But she might agree to help ME. Especially if I give her true immortality.”
Hera’s face twisted in anger. “You would make HER a Goddess?!”
“Not quite.” Zeus said sedately, ignoring his mate’s growing anger. “She will be a cursed Goddess, not a true Goddess. She will not be able to die, but she will not want to live either.”
Hera’s face calmed a little and then she smiled. “Hm… I suppose I could accept that.”
In the coming days, Hera began drawing Zeus’ blood and distributing it to the chieftains of the Cyclops tribes and the warlords of the Myrinian tribes, who then followed Zeus’ orders and buried the blood deep underground. Finally, Zeus himself arrived at Gorgon’s Lair.
Zeus floated through the marshy land, past extremely life-like statues of Minotaur and men. Daudaomur worms wriggled beneath him in a disgusting display of greeting. Finally, he happened upon a cave.
“Gorgon!” he shouted into the stygian blackness of the yawning mouth of the cavern. There was a low hiss coming from inside, almost like a sleeping snake. Then several Daudaomur burst from the darkness and behind them…
“Really, Zeus. You are going to interrupt a woman’s beauty rest?” Gorgon spoke in perilous undertones, each syllable ending in a hiss, the snakes on her head, which served as her hair, undulating in a grotesque manner. She was a woman from the waist up, save for her hideous face and head, but from the waist down, she was a massive snake.
Zeus guffawed. “I’m sure it can wait for what I have for you.”
Gorgon’s eyebrows lifted in interest. “What gifts did you bring the lady of snakes?”
Zeus held out a vial of glowing, blue blood which crepitated wildly as energy dispersed across its surface. Gorgon’s eyes widened in awe.
“What is this?” She asked sibilantly.
“This is power.” Zeus said simply. “This will give you eternal life.” Gorgon snatched the vial away from Zeus greedily and coveted it in her hands. “Which should give you plenty of time for beauty rest. However…”
Gorgon glanced from the vial to Zeus, distrust plaguing her hideous features. Then Zeus continued.
“There is just one thing you must do for me in exchange.”
Gorgon looked up at Zeus winningly and smiled. “Anything for such a gift, my lord. You need only ask, and I will obey.”
“Kill Creon, Archon of Thebes, and anyone he holds dear.”
Gorgon’s eyes lit up. She knew not this Creon, Archon of Thebes though he may be. But she would find out who he was and eliminate him easily. After all, no man could so much as look upon her “beauty” without turning to stone.
A Day in Ancient Greece – Part 4: Gorgon’s Shade
Short Story by Fattues “Fatty” Thorsson
Gorgon slithered across her domain, which, although already dead, seemed even more desolate than normal. The land around her was withering, but she did not understand why. No matter, she thought. She would soon possess immortality and whether the whole world died around her mattered not in her eyes. She would take the vial of liquid and receive her gift from Zeus, then she would carry out his simple request. Such a simple request to kill one man and maybe a few more loved ones. Killing took but a glance for her. But how to use the gift? Was it a potion? Was it an ointment? Zeus gave her no instructions on the matter.
Gorgon settled on it being a potion which she should imbibe. She uncorked the vial, the contents were rolling and crackling like they were alive. She made a face at the stench of it. It smelled like blood, metallic and musty. Well, she thought, even if it is disgusting, eternal life is surely worth the suffering. The most bitter medicines hold the greatest cure, or so they say. Soon she would cure her mortality.
She lifted the vial to her lips, the pungent, acrid reek made her gag, but she held back her urge to vomit and instead downed the contents as quickly as she could. What followed is something she would never forget, even in an eternity. The taste was worse than the odor, if that were even possible, but what happened next was even worse than the sapor of the liquid. Her body ached; her forehead burned with fever. She felt like it was tearing itself apart from the inside. She cursed Zeus. He had tricked her! He had promised eternal life and had given her the opposite, death! Surely this was a poison!
She writhed in agony, her head felt like it was splitting in twain. Sweat beaded across her brow and dripped from her face. The snakes on her head fell limp as if dead but continued to wriggle as if they too were feeling sick. Gorgon had no senses, certainly not enough to realize that her body was indeed splitting in two; two separate Gorgons. From her arms sprung two more arms. From her head sprung another head. Then it was like she molted her skin, only this time, the molting was also alive.
The second Gorgon was one of shadow, darker and more vile than the original. Her eyes blazed red. Her countenance was even more hideous, if that were even possible. The original Gorgon lay on the ground passed out as the new Gorgon stretched her sinewy, snake-like body.
“Finally, I am free of that soft, bleeding-heart simpleton,” she said looking down in disgust of what she had once been a part of. “It’s time for me to get everything I deserve, and damned be they who stand in my way.”
This new Gorgon slithered off, vanishing through the entrance of Gorgon’s Lair. Sometime later, the original Gorgon came to. She rubbed her still aching head, which throbbed mercilessly. Her breathing had been labored but now had calmed. She remembered dreaming of a shadowy twin emerging from her, but it was so very real, she was certain that it actually happened.
Other than this, she felt mostly the same. Had she survived? Was Zeus’ concoction actually a poison meant to kill her, or had it indeed granted eternal life? She had to know. She would see Zeus and demand that he explains what just happened. Yes, she thought, if he wanted her help, he should prove to her that he had in fact helped her.
Meanwhile, out in the hills of Ancient Greece, “Gorgon’s Shade” began making a name for herself, attacking man, woman, and even beast to get what she desired. Many were confused to see Gorgon, who was normally conceited and not easy to get along with, so violent, but some were keen enough to point out that this creature was not Gorgon but appeared to be a shadow clone of her. How she came to be, no one knew, but they surmised that something must have happened to Gorgon for this monster to be on the loose and to appear so much like her. Soon the land was littered with stone warriors who tried to fight back the beast. No one was safe, and the Atom Pylis were once again called on for their assistance.
The Mystery of the Lost Skull
Research by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson
Many don’t know this, but there is a very special skull floating around Ancient Greece. Well, not literally floating, but you know what I mean. It can be anywhere in Ancient Greece, because it keeps getting kicked along. It’s a daily mission, you know. Kick the skull. Sounds fun, right? But who’s skull is this? That is the mystery that I set out to explore in today’s research paper.
As usual, theories abound. Some believe it is simply the skull of a simple, unfortunate soul who was killed by the monsters of Ancient Greece. Some say it is a simple Greek farmer who was killed while he was plowing his field. Some think it is a person from the first wave that was among the first who came to Ancient Greece through the time portal. But could it belong to someone a little more well-known? Perhaps the missing scientist Dr. Paul Kylon’s head was taken to Ancient Greece and lost when monsters attacked the person or thing carrying it? That may seem to be the most far-fetched theory, but it is still viable at this point.
The fact remains that we do not know who these remains belong to. In my tireless search for the truth, I wasn’t able to come up with any satisfactory answers, but I fervently believe that answering this question could shed a lot of light on other Next Island/Ancient Greek mysteries that need to be solved. Perhaps forensics need to be brought in on this. If it was a murder or foul play, should the perpetrator not be brought to justice? Perhaps they already have. We just don’t know at this time. If nothing else, I hope this report has piqued someone’s interest in solving this conundrum. Only time will tell. Until we know the answers, we’ll continue to kick this can down the road… or should I say skull?
The Secrets of the Sunken Gallery
Research by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson
The Sunken Gallery. What is it? Where is it? Why should we care? The answers will shock you! Not long ago, a strange building has appeared at Paradise Landing. It’s a very small replica of a museum. At first, some thought it was a mausoleum, due to its architecture. The Teleporter didn’t work, but speculations were rising. Finally, we are allowed to use the teleporter pad, and it takes us to an amazing place! The Sunken Gallery.
It appears to be located somewhere in the Northern Wastes of Next Island. Quite a conspicuous location, to be sure. Until very recently, you wouldn’t want to teleport from there to the nearest revival point, or you may be stranded in the middle of the desert, surrounded by monsters. Thankfully, today, the revival terminal is inside the gallery. If you flew above the Sunken gallery, you would notice one conspicuous land marker in the middle of the wasteland: a huge, natural stone arch. Most people do not know this, but there is a second way into the gallery, aside from the teleporter at Paradise Landing. Simply stand under the stone arch and ‘T’ teleport to the nearest revive terminal.
Inside the gallery, in a jocose juxtaposition to its arid surroundings, there are beautiful works of art, and the atmosphere is pure tranquility. The exhibits are still expanding, so coming check them out from time to time is encouraged. This is the perfect tourist trap for newcomers to Next Island. And if you want to create some art of your own, bring 45 PED worth of Animal Oil Residue and give it to the museum curator for a couple dozen blueprints for frames and other art gallery selections. Want to decorate your shop or apartment with new decor? This is a perfect place to start. I hope this research clears things up for everyone. If there is anything else that arises, I will be the first to let you know. Until then, pay the Sunken Gallery a visit and relish in the richness of the art.
Special Report by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson
Chances are, if you’ve spent any amount of time on Next Island, that you’ve seen the cute, little robot called L.A.R.A. She’s been mass produced for the past few years and was actually the center of a small controversy at one point, but let’s just touch on her origins and a little bit more about her in general.
First, L.A.R.A, or Lovable And Ready Assistant, is a prototype of the later introduced C.A.R.E. (which originally stood for Comprehensive Advantages Robotic Engineer and now stands for Corrupted Advantageous Robotic Enemy), whom it turns out went rogue and now attacks travelers in parts of Next Island’s badlands. Thankfully, L.A.R.A has not gone berserk as of yet and doesn’t appear to be in danger of doing so, either. Her core is powered by chrysoberyl crystals, unlike the Amethyst Crystals which powers C.A.R.E, which are fairly common on Next Island, making the mass production of L.A.R.A possible. Her purpose is to attend to your every need dutifully.
But she won’t just attend to just anybody. She needs to be tamed first. Taming L.A.R.As can be done just a little way from Paradise Landing in the L.A.R.A training pens. Every few defeated in combat makes one willing to be your assistant appear. They will also work for people whom the original trainer designates as their master, so trading tamed L.A.R.A is also possible. As I mentioned in an older report, 20 are required to make and then tame the Asclarias. But I digress, let’s talk more about L.A.R.A’s humble beginnings, specifically her mysterious past.
There’s some debate over which scientist designed L.A.R.A. The debate ranges from little known NEO scientists to more well-known ones such as Dr. Kylon. There’s one theory that Perik, the creator of Asclarias, found a way to become immortal, traveled to Next Island in the distant future back to the present era, and designed L.A.R.A himself, knowing that it would one day inspire him to create Asclarias and other fantastic inventions. The truth may well be out there, but until it is known, we can but speculate. Personally, I think Mr. David Post, the founder of this world, designed her. Maybe one day those records will be made public.
Regardless, thank you for getting this far in the article. This is the conclusion. L.A.R.A will forever be a part of many people’s lives and live on in our hearts long after she has rusts away. Until next time.
I hope you enjoy these.
A Next Island Love Story by Pope L’Brung
Book 6, Chapter 1
I awoke in the guest room of my friend’s holiday tent on the beach near Crystal Bay.
I have come to Next Island in search of a Haruspex girl I met on Toulan a few days ago. I had run into old friend of mine from Calypso called PK. He was also searching for something. He was looking for a teleportation portal that was rumoured to send travellers back in time. We joined together to help each other on our quests.
For the last two days we have interacted with many contacts, including The Haruspex Elder. The Elder offered to help both of us if we would complete some tasks. What started as a simple trust building mission has turned into a grind. Each new contact we’ve met have been asking us to complete a separate task on their behalf.
There’s a lot of tension here on Next Island amongst the opposing factions. They don’t tell the tourists about that. Yesterday we had to kill some mutated beasts that were designed (and targeted) to attack an innocent village.
Last night, PK and I met with guards from the N.E.O. (New Elysian Order). We went to help establish a bond between the Haruspex and the N.E.O. faction. They have now asked us to help locate a lost scout of theirs, last seen near Resa Docks.
I found PK in the kitchen making breakfast and tea for us.
“How are you feeling, kid?” he asked me. “You get any rest last night?”
I actually slept well, considering the stressful chain mission I’d been attempting. I dreamt of Jihkanna again during the night and she soothed my soul. I felt a new confidence within me. I smiled and took my cup of tea. “I’m ready for Resa Docks,” I replied.
We finished our hearty breakfast and packed our gear. Our goal was to be in Resa Docks by mid-morning.
Book 6, Chapter 2
Neither PK nor I had ever been to Resa Docks before. There is meant to be a teleportation portal at Resa Docks, but we would have to fly there for the first time to add the location to our individual databases.
We were warned that Resa Docks was dangerous. The Resa are a nomadic group that broke off from the Stel faction. They are known as fierce raiders. Sacttered all over Next Island, they raid encampments mercilessly and care for nothing but their own survival.
The N.E.O. guards had given us the coordinates for Resa Docks. PK summoned his sleipnir and we both boarded. As we asceneded up above Crystal Bay, I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful Next Island looks in the morning. I gazed down at the landscape as we flew. The colours were amazing. It reminded me of Jihkanna’s mosaic art.
Slowly the colourful landscape started to turn from green to brown. Less grass and trees. More dirt and sand. The ground below appeared more barren and unwelcoming.
“That’s it, just over this ridge,” PK informed me on the voice intercom.
As we flew over the ridge, we saw a deep ravine below. Several hundred meters below us was an inlet of water.
“Down there,” he pointed. He banked the sleipnir to the left and began our descent into the canyon. He touched down on the docks surrounded by water. Resa Docks was literally set of docks made from wood and supported by giant rocks carved from the ravine. We exited the vehicle and touched the teleportation portal to add its location. There was no one here to greet us. Perhaps we should be grateful for that.
Our task was to investigate some recent checkpoints that that were meant to be visited by the lost scout. Hopefully, we could find the scout…or at least a clue of what happened to him.
Book 6, Chapter 3
We were now at Resa Docks. Our mission was to retrace the steps of a lost N.E.O. scout and report our findings.
The area felt cold and unwelcoming. The docks were set deep in a cavern ravine. An inlet had been dammed using large boulders carved from the ravine itself. Wooden slat pathways led in all directions and seemed like a maze. I leaned over the edge of the dock to look into the water below us.
“Shark!” I screamed.
I had never been so scared. A giant swimming beast peered out from under the dock. It’s dorsal fin harrowingly pacing in and out from just beneath us. I was absolutely terrified. Nothing could be worse than this. I tried to scream again but was unable. I couldn’t move or speak. Frozen in terror. My eyes still worked though. That’s when I saw another. And another. The water beneath us was infested with Great White Sharks. I think this might be a phobia for me. I was not able to handle this.
PK pulled me from the edge toward the middle of the dock path. “Careful, Pope. Those things look nasty. Stay away from the water,” he scolded.
It took me several minutes to gain feeling in my extremeties again. I had been literally paralysed by fear and couldn’t move. I had never experienced anything like that before. Apparently, I do NOT like sharks. I wanted to leave this place. Immediately.
PK asked if I wanted to sit inside the sleipnir while he looked for the checkpoints alone. It made me feel like a coward.
I took a deep breathe…exhaled…and tried to gather my wits.
“I’m Ok,” I replied, bluffing. “Let’s get this done. Quickly.”
“Stay close to me and away from the edge,” he ordered. “There are about half a dozen checkpoints here that we need to find. Just stay away from the water and we’ll be fine.”
Stay away from the water? We were surrounded by water.
Book 6, Chapter 4
We walked briskly along the wooden slats of Resa Docks. I followed PK with my hand on his shoulder as we hurried to the checkpoints. I kept my eyes forward and tried not to look down at the water beneath us. I was terrified of sharks.
The planks of the dock creaked as we moved along its winding paths. PK led me to various areas of the wooden docks, searching each checkpoint given to us by the N.E.O. guards. At one of the checkpoints he found an item. It was blue in colour. PK grabbed it and handed it to me. It appeared to be a piece of some type of electonic item. A transfunctioner part? I beleive the lost scout was looking for something like this. I placed the item in my pocket and carried on following PK on the path to the next checkpoint. Luckily, the checkpoint coordinates were all correct and were located close to each other. We covered the first few checkpoints quickly.
I was keeping my cool and my shark-phobia was receding…then we reached the end of a pier. The next checkpoint was across the water to separate dock that wasn’t connected to our path. Somehow we would have to get from here to…there. Across the water.
PK didn’t skip a beat. He re-summoned his sleipnir and flew us safely to the other dock with the accuracy and precision of a skilled captain. So far, so good. We quickly walked along these wooden (and creaky) paths to the next checkpoint. We found another small item similar to the first. This one was red. It appeared to be another transfunctioner piece. I think we need just one more piece.
The final checkpoint coordinates led us to the end of another pier. Uh oh. The last checkpoint was in a small wooden lifeboat wedged between a giant rock and the banks of the canyon wall. Surrounded by water.
Book 6, Chapter 5
“Stay here. Don’t move,” commanded PK.
We were standing at the end of a pier at Resa Docks attempting to investigate the final checkpoint in a series of checkpoints given to us by the N.E.O.
I didn’t have to look down into the water. I knew the sharks were still there. I could sense them. I was terrified of this whole place and wanted to leave. I wanted to be finished with this mission.
PK summoned a small hoverpod vehicle and quickly entered it by himself. I didn’t want to be left alone but I was unable to resist. He hovered across the shark infested water to the small boat beached on a jagged rock.
My skin crawled and my hands shook. I impatiently watched as he stepped from his hoverpod into the wooden lifeboat. He held up an item, smiled, and gave the ‘thumbs up’ signal. He then held up what looked to be a six pack of beer. He smiled even bigger and seemed to be more excited about the beer.
I ventured a quick peek into the water between us. Sharks. Still tons of them everywhere. I was having difficulty breathing and started to freeze up again. PK coud tell I was distressed. He sped in his hoverpod returning across the water back to me. He exited, grabbed my shoulders and nudged me closer to the centre of the docks away from the water.
He handed me the small item he found in the boat. It was a yellow piece of the transfunctioner, similar to the red and blue pieces.
We now had the three pieces that the N.E.O. scout was looking for. The original instructions were to assemble the pieces to create some type of item. If the three pieces were found, we were directed to a final waypoint.
PK and located the final waypoint on Resa Docks. After much confusion and extensive investigation, it appeared that the coordinates led to a small pier house that was only accessible by underwater.
Lore submission for the month of September
Avatar:: Nakor of Boreft
When we left the healer’s house, me supporting Chloe, and Berenice led the way. Berenice led us to a part of Cyzicus I had never been to. The houses here were bigger and had more space between them. I carried Chloe as she had passed out from the pain, or fallen asleep from herbs the healer had given her. Berenice turned o me as she said: “Don’t judge me and please don’t tell Alexandros” Then she walked to the front door of the house we were standing in front of and opened it. It was a nice, spacious house. Much more so than the e house of her parents. Berenice directed me to a room upstairs that had a comfortable-looking bed in it. I placed Chloe in it and Berenice put the sheet over her and we left her there to rest. “Judge?” I asked her in the hallway. “For what?”.
Berenice looked at me with a sad look in her eyes. As we walked down the stairs, she told me that this was the one she lived in now. The house of Halkyone. Halkyone had made a lot of money in Sparta but had decided to come back to his hometown anyway. Berenice said she felt very lonely without Alexandros and with Chloe being away most of the time. Halkyone had offered her a comfortable life and company to keep her warm.
Hearing her tell her story hurt me to my core! Alexandros did not deserve this from his wife! Chloe did not deserve this from her mother! I did not know Berenice very well, but I had always known she felt a bit entitled to a more luxurious lifestyle. Betraying Alexandros however, I had not thought her capable of. I needed to take a walk. A walk to clear my head and decide what to do next. Not tell Alexandros as Berenice had asked. Or tell Alexandros and see him in pain for who knows how long. Or worse. He could come to Cyzicus and do who knows what.
After my walk, I felt a bit better. My head was still a tangle of emotions, but now questions had also come up. Did Halkyone know Berenice’s husband, Alexandros, was alive? What did Chloe think of this? I decided to stay for a few more days and find out all that I can. Though I was very happy Berenice lived in this beautiful, well-taken care of, house. It is much better for her recovery than her grandparents’ house. That is not only much smaller but also colder and drafty. Like most houses here are. Halkyone’s house was made of thick walls of stone. Keeping the warmth in and the wind out.
When it became dinnertime, I went back to the house. The door was opened by Berenice herself and she let me to the living room where a man sat. She introduced us. It was Halkyone. Chloe was still sleeping she said. Halkyone looked at me. Then he said, “A friend of Berenice and Chloe is a friend of mine. You’re always welcome here Nakor”. I sat down and we started talking. Halkyone turned out to be a very friendly person and things were not as I had assumed them to be. Far from it!
Berenice had already written that Halkyone left for Sparta soon after Stelios had died. I did not think of it then, but it turned out that Halkyone and Stelios had not only been friends but also lovers. Stelios’ death had left him without any reason to stay in Cyzicus and he left for the big city of Sparta where, so he had heard, men living together were much more accepted. This turned out to be true and he had found both his fortune in the fish trade and in love. He met an upcoming artist there who turned out to be the love of his life, as well as the reason for his coming back to Cyzicus. When he told his lover’s name. My heart skipped a beat.
Halkyone said his lover’s name was Daniel. I felt questions bubbling up, but decided to let Halkyone speak first. He told all about how he struggled when he just came to Sparta. Not knowing anyone in the big city that Sparta is, definitely compared to Cyzicus. Halkyone had first fallen in with a group that turned out to be troublemakers. What money they made during the day, got spent on drinks in the evening. When they’d had enough drink to become more courageous, they went looking for trouble.
Most evenings it was nothing more than singing loudly in the street and harassing the people that still walked them at this hour. Couples, men who went home from a visit. But then things changed.
One evening when the group had drunk enough in the local tavern, they went to the closest temple. It was a temple to Ares. God of courage, war bloodshed, and violence. There they behaved like animals life and the drink had turned them into. Knocking over statues, drinking and spilling all the wine they could find, and even punching the priests that were still in the temple unconscious.
It’s never wise to make a god angry and for sure Ares saw what happened and was very angry. A few days later, I saw a woman begging in the street. I was sure she had been a kind and beautiful woman long ago. Now, she looked like just an old woman. I remember her from what happened when I felt sorry for her and gave her some bread. I saw her stand up taller than before. Her old age faded before my very eyes. 2 doves flew to her and landed on her shoulders. She looked at me with eyes, I’ll never see eyes as bright as hers were then. The smiled faintly and said:” Thank you for this kind deed. He will not punish you now”. Halkyone looked at me with tearful eyes as he told this story.
“I honestly believe that the old woman was the goddess Aphrodite and she convinced Ares to spare my life.”He said.
Halkyone needed a moment and a drink before he continued his story. “After my encounter with the old woman, who I still believe have been Aphrodite, I decided to better my life. That evening I went to the bar I knew they would be. I thought I owed them a warning. When I told them, they just laughed at me and called me a coward and a fool.”
He shivered at his next words: “The god Ares got his revenge on them two days later. 2 days later they were found at the south gate of Sparta. All of them were gutted by, bullmen judging from the wounds on their bodies. Normally those aren’t very aggressive and they tend to stay away from the city. There is no explanation for the men to go outside of the city in the middle of the night, nor for the bullmen to come so close to the city. But I do know they are one of Ares’ sacred animals!” Halkyone was visibly shaking when he told this.
When I saw the bodies of my former ‘friends’, I almost threw up. I could have been one of them too! I desperately needed a drink, so I went to an open bar. It was in the morning still, so not many were. When I found open one I walked inside and there he was. Standing there and looking at me, as though he had been expecting me. Daniel as I learned soon after. I must have looked like a panicked wreck from what I had just seen and realized. He offered me a drink, which I gladly accepted. He was very calm, with a soothing voice, and was impeccably dressed. A bit odd, but it just fit him. I thought he was the most wonderful and gentle man that I had ever seen. Tall, not too tanned, gorgeous brown eyes. I think I immediately fell in love with him.
“That is how I met the love of my life, Daniel” Halkyone said. “For the next years, we lived together. Daniel was a successful painter, making paintings for those that could afford his work. Life was good for us. He painted almost all day and night. Many nights, I woke up alone in bed. When I went looking, I found Daniel awake and working on one of his paintings. In fact, every painting you see in my house here was made by Daniel. We also spoke of life and our wishes for the future often. Daniel really loved life and was a very passionate person.”
Halkyone looked more somber as he continued: “Daniel often told me there would be a time when e would be gone from my life. He never told me when or how and it seemed very strange of him to say that, but he made it very clear that he wanted me to move back to Cyzicus when that happened. He even painted this house, in this town. I could not believe it when I got back here and saw this house here. Exactly as he painted it! And he’s never been here! One morning I woke up and Daniel was gone. I went searching for him of course, but he was really gone. I decided to do as Daniel had always told me he wanted me to do when he was gone. I came back to Cyzicus. When I got here, I saw this house. Since I do not want a lot of fathers trying to get their daughters married to a well-off, older man. So when I heard Berenice ad al moved back here. Asking her, a childhood friend who knows I am attracted to men, to move in with me sounded like a good solution. I tell you all of this because Berenice told me you looked upset with her living here. I know she is a married woman and we sleep in separate bedrooms”
Character: Dalia Vivian
5 Lore Submissions:
Today, Nathan and I were exploring the most northeastern area of the map. The last pieces of land are a large island and a peninsula. And then as far as our eyes can see there is nothing but the ocean.
It is admirable how the terrain is full of peculiar rock formations. On the eastern peninsula we saw a huge rock, which rises from the ground in an imposing way. But in the center, perhaps due to erosion or some other phenomenon, it has a big hole, which gives it a really unique shape.
On the large island we found a rock formation that I would say similar to the screecher cave, but smaller. Inside, as expected, there was a cave. It was in it that we placed the first clue, a broken weapon, as the Major and Alice instructed us.
And from there we start our journey back, through the dry and hot landscape. However, as we were approaching the river canyon, we passed through what must be the coldest area in the world, the snowy mountains. We didn’t venture inside, we just went around them, and still we could clearly hear the sound of the snow drakes that dominate the region. Major Hoffman said that the second clue should be placed between the snow zone and the river, so we did it. It was a NEO Holographic Unit that Alice gave us. Before we left she seemed to be picking up random items all over the place. And now that we arrived, she already had a box full of them: holograms, weapons, ammo, boots… she even got a guitar. I’m wondering what she might be planning for all these objects!
I also heard Major comment was that as for the communication ability test, he knows a gentle girl who could take care of it, and laughed that it would also be a test of perseverance.
I don’t think they will give us more details. So it looks like our work is done.
After all, I should be happy. At least Nathan seems a little more in a better mood now… I was getting worried.
“You were lucky to stay with the loyalists!”, when he said that on our trip I didn’t understand what was bothering him.
– No, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to say that you were lucky with everything that happened! That was really bad. I’m so sorry for what happened… what I wanted to say is that… – now he finally sounded like the kind Nathan I knew.
– It’s ok, Nathan. Don’t worry. I get it.
– You did? It’s just… you are in a quieter place… I’m glad you can enjoy that… but please don’t use your freedom to get into dangerous things!
– Right… Things are tough here, aren’t they?
– Yes… – he sighed. – Oh! And did they treat you well there? If you got into trouble let me know, and I’ll teach them a lesson! – He said, changing the subject while posing, showing off his well-developed muscles. When did you get so strong Nathan? After so many years not seeing each other, it feels like we’ve really missed out on a big part of each other’s lives.
Today I was showing Alice my blueprints, when for the first time I saw a genuine smile of happiness on Nathan’s face. She asked him to try them all, along with a few more she had herself, and make a decent amount of materials!
Of course I wanted to stay with Nathan and also learn more about the materials NEO developed, so we spent the whole day at the crafting machine!
Meantime, Major Hoffman offered to get me a ride out of the mountain area, but he said we need to stop by his post first. So I think tomorrow is the day to say goodbye to this place, Alice and Nathan.
What is this place? The hexagon is here, the big wooden house is the same, everything is the same… only the name has been changed… although in reality it hasn’t been changed! Was it all my imagination? It felt like a dream so real! It’s like I keep remembering my old memories, except this time the memories weren’t mine! It couldn’t be: I was born on Earth and came to live in this world, this is where I grew up; but the memories I saw were from someone who was born in this place, grew up in a world different than any I know and then came back home… It doesn’t make sense! Why could I see someone else’s memories? And why do they seem so close to me, as if they were also part of me?
“I’ll buy sweat from you!”, was the message I received. What did he mean? I was in a different place, sweating a strange creature, very long, and it looked very strong too. It was a huge circle of sweaters around her, the biggest I’ve ever seen! But once again I wasn’t going to be able to sell the sweat that I collected with so much effort. How could someone as inexperienced as me ever get on the sellers list? There were so many people here and so fast! So if I failed again, why was someone unknown offering to buy my sweat? He doesn’t think I’m going to sell it cheap, does he? I will not! “I can agree to start the trade with him but if he doesn’t give a fair price in the end I won’t close the deal!”, I thought. But in the end the value he offered was not just the fair value, but the premium price, the same bonus payment that was offered at the event! I didn’t even know how to thank him enough for that!
I don’t know why I was dreaming about these things, but when I woke up, for a moment it was as if I could still hear that gentle man’s calm voice, and that made me feel better.
It’s already dawning, but I can’t I can’t stop thinking about what all that could mean…
I realized that it was not just that once that the nice man offered to buy sweat from me… or rather, not from me, me… but from the other me with whom I was somehow identifying myself…
Being her, I felt a little lost, finding everything too difficult and thinking about giving up for good. At least I was happy to see that there are kind people out there.
Someone accessible and willing to help and share what he knows. Someone who showed us this world as a nice place to be. And so that was why after so long I, or rather she, decided to come back here, to come back home.
“May I ask you why did you choose this name?”, I asked him one day. He said it took him to a period of time and history that he had always admired. I think I also studied about these people and their desire to explore the world facing every challenge. And I really understand that desire.
But then… he wasn’t there anymore… but his legacy in this place and the things he taught us will not disappear, never as long as we can remember them and pass them on to the next generations!
That day, people came from all over this universe for a memorial and that’s when the name of this base was changed.
This place feels so nostalgic to me now. A name change that apparently hasn’t happened yet. Will I be here to witness something like this in the future? No, those weren’t my memories. But I still decided that what I saw was too real to ignore, so from now on I will always refer to Warrior Peak by the name I saw it receiving: Conq Rest.
That place looked like a real museum, full of mysteries!
Major Hoffman told me he was going to take care of the place, and he let me visit the artefacts exhibit!
After my crafting day with Nathan I was convinced that I had learned enough about NEO and their technology. After all, yesterday we did a little bit of everything.
We started with Lesser Elysia, one of the most basic materials that can be crafted here, but still a high quality fabric to use for making clothes and other items.
We also made some System Stabilizers, making sure we used the right amounts to keep matter and dark matter in balance.
Then I showed the blueprints of the materials Dr Shepard developed as replacements when our essential supplies were missing, the Chrysoberyl Fasteners and the Dark Lysterium Cogs. Nathan said that he could give them good use, the first for crafting armor and the second for armor plates. That’s when I learned that the secret to the strong armor and plates here seems to be to use drakescales in them.
Nathan also taught me how to combine crystals and showed me the bp for Crystaline Core, which comprised several different crystal functions as a new component to use in other bps. I was able to bring one of these cores and I’m looking forward to showing it to our engineers.
Alice also insisted that we craft some of these bps that I got with Ol’ Mort and Helen, Fine Lens and Walking Sticks, although I don’t really see a use for them. But Alice said that they were interesting pieces and that the Sticks could be used in some furniture. It seems that she wants to include crafting all these items as a prerequisite for anyone who wants to achieve some sort of status within their faction.
After all this I thought I had learned everything necessary here, but now I saw all these mysterious artifacts: that armor, the ancient warrior statue and the little black pyramid… I want to know more about these things! So why did they make me leave now, so quickly?
Removed to avoid copys
Lore submission for September
Auberon Night Night
5 entries (parts)
Continuation of Aeon and the Guardians
Part 26 - How it all started
To the east of Morion Outpost is a cave that has no real reason for being there that I could see.
Shaped like a donut inside you may wonder at its odd dimensions and find yourself oddly drawn to its centre. Some time ago while hunting guardians I stumbled upon this cave and found there in the middle a little ball of light and inside it a small black cube.
The cave itself seemed to be surrounded by a forcefield that would not let the guardians in but could enter without a problem.
Seeing the item float in the middle of the cave I was curious and reached out and took it.
As soon as I took the item though the forcefield seemed to collapse and the cave was stormed by every nearby guardian and I had to fight for my life to get out.
For some time after I forgot about this small black cube and only much later while going through my loot did I see it again and realise that I had no idea what I had taken.
I fiddled with it and tried to have it interface with anything else I had in storage but to no avail.
After many attempts I stored it next to some broken tech chips and forgot about it.
A few days later looking in my storage I realised the tech chips was gone and the cube was now a golden glowing orb. When I handled it I felt myself teleported into the story I am telling you know.
I lived it as Aeon did but without the ability to change any outcome. Merely as an observer.
Having lived the story up to where Aeon met the first wave settlers I then felt myself thrown out and into the story of Kaijun. This time though as an outside observer with no direct personal experience.
And at this point I woke up in a sweat lying on the ground near a storage terminal where I had taken the orb from.
With my health dangerously low I activated a first aid pack and healed myself while wondering about all I had seen.
What was this little orb and was what I had seen real?
I held up the orb and thought, “Where did it come from and what exactly is this?”
As I thought that I was once again sucked into it and my questions was answered.
Part 27 - The observers
The golden orb in my hand was in fact a data storage device from a type of scanner that takes an exact image of all energy in its surrounds at that exact moment and stores the position, state and vector of each part of energy that makes up all matter.
A moment in time with enough data to predict the future within the space it was taken.
What a marvel this little device is but even more so it was conscious and my thinking directly at it resulted in it responding by answering as it did. By directly transmitting the information into my memory. And that I experience as a vivid almost real dream.
And this last bit explained what it was but where it came from was a much longer answer.
So just as I understood what it was and how I could see all these events I felt my consciousness being hurtled towards a new location.
The world where the orb came from.
The world of the observers.
When the elysium scientists opened the portal to ancient greece they did not realise they in fact opened the barrier between all dimensions that intersected at that point.
Billions of portals spanning every dimension within its reach opened up. Most of these eventually closed and nothing became of it.
But as we know one portal led to the world of Kaijun.
But another led to the world of the observers.
In a dark corner of this dimension where there was no sun and the planets was dark, cold and seemingly dead lived a race of beings more ethereal than physical.
Yet once they were as much solid matter as you or I.
Time on a dead dark planet however saw them change into what they are know.
Some called them elemental’s. Maybe once they were that but now they clouds of energy that to us may seem like shape-shifting gas the emits a small amount of light.
When the portal opened up near their planet it was the first outside influence felt on their planet in millennia.
This portal however was so small that none of us could dream of using it but for them it was just enough. In a matter of seconds all of the Glr, as that is how they call themselves, was aware of the portal and through telepathic communication deliberated on what action to take.
Part 28 - To observe
In what to us would be a very short time everyone of 100trillion Glr agreed that they should stabilise the portal and send through a few to observe what may be seen and to return such data to home.
As none had ever left their planet this was understood to be a suicide mission and only for those who volunteered.
Those who volunteered numbered in the millions and considered it an honor to die for their race to gain knowledge of that which they did not know about until now. Already this portal brought with it new direction and questions not thought of for ages.
To be able to gain such knowledge and return it for everyone else to grow would be honor as none had ever known.
Among them was حنظلہ. A young wen scarcely 100 years old. We would think of wen as boy or girl but as the Glr had 9 sexes wen would be more complicated to explain but for us we can stick to thinking of him as a boy.
Translated to English حنظلہ might be written as Z so to make it easier I will stick with Z. His name meant liquid light or liquid life in their language. We might say water is the closest thing we have to what they called liquid light.
When Z volunteered he did not do so for his parents or siblings or his people as a whole. He did so because he wanted to know, for himself. All he had ever know was this world of seeming darkness where small energy swirls and slow changes of matter or energy over time was studied and guided until its vibrations was like music to them all and nourished their existence.
Glr lived life slowly and deliberately. Dedicated hundreds of years to the forming of one energy swirl that would last for a thousand years after its creation. Life to them was as poetry to us. We would call all Glr artists or philosophers.
And here, for this first time in the collective memory of the Glr was something so new that none of them knew or understood what to expect.
Z wanted to know. He had to know. This would be his chance to see more. To be more.
So when they volunteered he was among the first. And when they passed through the portal he was again among the first. And when Glr started to become ill due to this different world being so full of energy that they could not survive he was one of the first to be ill.
But as Glr started to die in this dimension, Z was the first to propose a solution.
Part 29 - Something as simple as armor
When first they entered the new world, Z landed on a planet so bright from a nearby sun he could feel himself burn. So much energy in this world he could not believe it. One ray of sun could feel a billion Glr for a hundred years. But it was so much that he could feel it overpower him.
As his ethereal body began to glow brighter and brighter he could feel his life ending.
He took a long look at the sun and smiled.
If he was to die at least he got to see a sun. Even if he did not really know what it was.
Slowly drifting down to the planet surface Z could see some bipedal beings fighting. One being seemed very different from the others and seemed to be destroying them with ease.
As each body fell they would burst into crystal shards but a few had to break apart and Z fell settled down next to one. Being ethereal he had almost no mass so he settled down much like a feather would land when it fell.
As Z was ready to die he was not fighting to live or trying to find a solution but rather he was curious. He reached out and touched the dead being in front of him. It felt cold and devoid of energy. Even the energy from the sun did not touch it. It was nothing more than a shell.
Z pulled himself into the shell with the last bit of control he had left and was ready to die when his energy overloaded and he started to dissolve.
And then a strange thing happened. Some of Z remained intact. And with this much energy already stored in him and while inside this shell so not receiving any more energy he could rejuvenate.
For a while Z just rested and discovered the contents of this body inside the shell. He was able to revive the brain of the dead being and access its memories and so learned that this shell is called armor. So Z already learned 3 things. This world had so much energy that Glr could not live outside. But Glr could survive inside armor. And armor was available on a battlefield where there was dead beings.
So with all the power he had left he broadcast his thoughts to all Glr and told then to find armor.
That day 7 million Glr entered this world. And that day just over 6million Glr died before Z could was able to find a solution and let everyone know.
Part 30 - The lonely observer
Shortly after the remaining Glr had found armor and was able to live in this world filled with energy a vote was made. Of the remaining Glr all but one agreed to return home.
Only Z wanted to stay. Only Z, the savior of the observers, still had hope that this world could be home if they worked together.
In the world of the Glr all decisions must be unanimous so they discussed and voted again.
Again Z was the only one who chose to stay.
So again they talked to Z and again they voted and again he chose to stay.
Until the sun went down and it was night they argued with Z but he stood firm in his decision.
When night came and the sun went away the Glr saw the night sky and felt for a moment that maybe this world was not as bad as it seemed at first.
But still the vote was for all to leave while Z chose to stay.
And again a first in the world of Glr, they changed their vote from whether to stay or go to whether to let Z stay or take him back by force.
And this time, it was unanimous. The first Glr to travel to a new world all voted that Z could stay if that was what he wanted.
And so in a wave of light the Glr left their armors and returned to the portal each brushing slowly against Z in a way to say farewell. As each Glr left their shell the shell fell apart and burst into crystals and disappeared into thin air.
Until only Z remained standing on this world in an armor meant for another. Alone.
As the portal closed he felt himself lose all contact with his people. He was alone.
A being that had never known being alone as all Glr was always as one.
In a world where he could never take of his armor. Where he could never settle down.
This world was now his world.
So Z set off towards where he could see some feint light. Walking was not that hard once he got used to having limbs. But walking was slow and gave him time to look around and experience things.
When he reached the camp where the other bipedal beings were he stood far away so they could not see him and observed. He stood there watching them laugh and eat and drink and later fall asleep. They were not Glr and lived life separately. And yet he could feel they were happy.
Their energy was light.
Z felt alone in this world but seeing these beings he felt better. Maybe he could live here and be happy. And learn all he can from this world to help his people.
And so Z became the lonely observer that would show up, scan and leave.
So if ever you see a green flash and quickly turn to see who did what, maybe it was Z. And maybe Z took another name and lives among us. Whatever the case we have with us one member of Glr. Living in his armor and scanning so he can learn more and maybe one day open that portal again and return home to his people.