Removed to avoid copys
Isme’s Journal #11
So, Its been a few days… but I finally got to Crystal Bay and then headed up to Crystal Peak. Good thing I have been focusing on improving my skills, because first it was papoo then it was… STAIRS! SO MANY STAIRS!!!
I climbed all the way up that mountain to the very tippy top. I needed to catch my breath. When I could breath enough to look around me I saw snow and stores. Who knew there would be stores on the tippy top of a mountain?
I was expecting a shrine or remote crashed ship with stores of old tech and archives. The stores kind of intrigued me. What would people want to climb a mountain to get? So I did some window shopping. There were many wonderful (and expensive) things for sale up there!
Then I found the robot I was looking for. He told me some history, gave me some basic insight into the different groups. Then sent me on my way to meet with some people who could tell me more. I started with the Haruspex. The elder, at the cave, has always been kind so it seemed like a good way to begin. The first person he sent me to, told me to get a data pad and kill papoo. So I thought this was a great start!
Then I realized that I had to go all the way down to the bottom of those stairs again. If I fail in my attempt to rescue this planet from papoo, I will least have the best looking calves on the planet! As much as I cringe when I see stairs… my legs look great!!!
I went to retrieve the data pad. It didn’t look so far on the map. It seemed to take forever though. Then there were these wagons. They were nice looking wooden wagons with nice tapestries draped over the top. They were also completely empty. It seemed very strange. They were clean and nice and the space around was also clean and nice and no evidence of animals anywhere. A little spooky though.
Not far from the wagons there was a little space with papoo… I figured those were the ones in my mission, and I was right! I took out the papoo and the data pad was right in the middle were the furry beasts!
Mission accomplished so I will head back and turn it in. It was an interesting trek but so far I really have not learned much about the Haruspex
Isme’s Journey #12
ARGH!!! WHAT A NIGHTMARE!!!
I dreamt that I was on a landing in the middle of a drift wood staircase. It stretched as far as I could see in both directions. Every step had at least one very angry papoo on it! Red ones, gray ones, yellow ones and brown ones, all were represented and all were angry!
I can still see it when I close my eyes!!
It must have been that last round of missions that did it! After I helped the Haruspex. After I got turned in the data pad I was sent back to a different Haruspex settlement to give it to their head being. As a way of building trust. I learned that they did not have a leader as we would define it. They are all so friendly and kind! But I was sent to talk to a different elder and then to a guard and then back to an elder and then to kill mutant boars.
Mutant boars are mean. But I did it! Poor little weak Isme is getting stronger! MUHAHAHAHA
Okay okay I know…… I am a long ways from being the next hunting master. But I can pretend!
But seriously all the swunting is paying off! I could take on 2 at a time! And survived a while with 3!
Enough patting your own back Isme! After I took care of the boars and went back to the guard and then the elder. I then had to go back to Crystal Peak… and more stairs. Then I realized I had to deliver some other messages in the area. I said I would because I was headed that way. BUT I found out AFTER I was at the top that the person I needed to talk to was at the bottom. Then She sent me back UP the stairs!
I was so bummed out! And tired. As for learning about the Haruspex, They are all super nice, the are a very peaceful bunch. That is why they needed my help with the boars. They were not equipped to fend them off. They told me too info about the Derma. I don’t fully understand it. Its sort of like an evil spirit that can infect people if they are not on the watch for it. I have to learn more about that.
Oh …I made a new friend today, James Smithle (the great… Sometimes. hehe ) He is one of the newest arrivals. I showed him where the piglets were so he could get in some good swunting!
I need muscle balm. My legs hurt so bad!!! I will write down more tomorrow.
New Elysian Order Fanfiction, first part is true, end is hilarious ;D will post on quotev too
Prologue - Rough Start at Caly
There we are, at the high-tech gates of Port Atlantis - a miracle of technology, almost as old as the colony itself. These halls are traversed daily by many great and not-so-great Elysians, with me being part of the latter group.
I had just started out as a hunter and learned why it’s never a good idea to ask “how bad can it get?” before trying something outside of your comfort zone. We may be immortal, but we’re not invincible and boy, these monsters are letting me know it. I was fighting caudatergus, one of the weakest monsters on planet Calypso. Its danger rating is only level 1, but for a beginner who has no armor and a rusty old pistol, it sure doesn’t feel that way. I was a warmed-up corpse by the time I ran out of ammo.
The genetically modified monsters on the training asteroid, Thule, were much easier to handle, but I knew if I ever wanted to grow as a hunter, I had to go to Calypso, where all the big shots are. One must not be fooled by the shiny architecture, as Caly is a planet full of danger, posed by both robots, mutants and monsters. Although the Robot Wars officially ended eons ago, some territories are still highly contested or even controlled by the remaining invaders and one of them, the Zychion Citadel, we may never get back. Those who return from Zychion with the loot of Mulcibers are feared and admired as heroes, as these merciless machines with levels above 300 could slaughter an average colonist before entering their line of sight.
What amazed me even more than their bravery are their seemingly limitless pockets. The kind of gear required to take down something so colossal is equivalent in value to a warp ship and a palace in the sky.
I didn’t really want to go to Zychion, my dreams were much simpler. I wanted to get my hands on a special kind of weapon, a chip that gives the user superpowers. This power, called mindforce, was long out of the working class’s reach until synthetic mind essence was invented. While still pricey, using it is now my plan instead of my dream.
Even for immortals, money was essential to keep people motivated and prevent the younger generation from falling into despair. The first goal was achieved, the second not so much. The chances of a youngster catching up with seasoned professionals, who worked in their respective fields for centuries was next to none. Sure, there were new professions such as tailors, gardeners and painters, but the available niches were running out fast and the future didn’t look bright for the children of the poor. While reproduction wasn’t biologically necessary, some colonists still brought children into the world, justifying any potential problems with immortality. The easiest ways to make money while investing only time were fruit-picking, looking for rare stones or perhaps the most humiliating of them all – collecting vibrant sweat from monsters. While it may sound strange, sweat can be used as a lubricant for crafting and making mind essence, which is still widely used by healers and more potent than its synthetic alternative.
This is how I spent the majority of my first year on Calypso, before my life was changed forever.
Chapter 1 – The Voyage
I was getting accustomed to life as a hunter, and once I acquired a level 1 lacerating chip, I felt invincible. Obviously I was brought back to reality by the damage of a kerberos and the jeers of stronger hunters who ran away with my loot while I was down, but I didn’t let that ruin my day. Okay, maybe it ruined my day a little, but it wasn’t as bad as killing a rabbiger that is super expensive when tamed.
By now I also had a ship, although it was the cheapest model. I was hesitant to use my car or ship, since oil was a luxury and I had plenty of time to get where I was going, but it was helpful not to have to call for rescue whenever I got encircled by a horde of monsters.
I also got to travel through space, visiting the nearby planets Cyrene and Arkadia. I loved hunting ferans on Arkadia, but after my ex broke up with me I couldn’t stand being on the same planet as him and went back to Caly. Lots of people love flying through space, but I didn’t think much of it, especially with the threat of pirates looming overhead. Flying at light speed would have been interesting, but it’s ten times more expensive.
One day as I was minding my own business, I saw a recruitment poster – they were looking for volunteers who were cooperative and not afraid of the unknown. I was bored, so I decided I might as well take a look at this. The job was fully sponsored and was a rescue mission to a planet called Next Island. It was my first time hearing of that planet and long story short, ages ago a scientist opened a portal to a distant planet in hopes of offering people a better life, but it went sort of sour. The separation of people who had the corrupted demra molecule in their dna from those who didn’t have it was unsuccessful and 400 unidentified people marched through the portal along with the chosen 100. Unable to deal with this, its creator self- destructed along with the portal, trapping the colonists on the distant planet and it isn’t until recently that warp drives were strong enough to send a rescue mission, which is where I come in.
“Welcome to OnlyFly, we hope you enjoy the flight. A bag is attached to the seats in case you get spacesick.”
We were seated in a ship that was huge even for warp ship standards and sent on our merry way. The warp was incredibly fast and we were soon making our way through the planet’s atmosphere. But the wilderness we expected to find was nowhere to be seen, instead we were greeted by infrastructure not inferior to that of Caly.
There weren’t many people when compared to the metropolis Calypso, but it didn’t look like they needed rescuing. In fact, we looked terribly out of place in our rugged military uniforms, while everyone else wore swimsuits or something that could be seen on the runway. Hunting without armor was the norm here, not something poor people had to endure.
We asked to speak to someone in charge and our adventure begun.
Chapter 2 – New Elysian Order Recruit
I was debriefed about the situation on the planet. The first wave of colonists split into different factions with their own respective territories. The Elysian Loyalists got the most fertile land, as they weren’t particularly strong – this is the faction where we landed. Haruspex got the forests, they also aren’t powerful but they are in tune with nature. Stel are demra corrupted scavengers and thieves, they are strong and tech savvy occupants of the desert. Resa branched out from the Stel and are nomads mainly found around waterways. And finally, the New Elysian Order. One could see the contempt on the Loyalist’s faces when they talked about N.E.O’s arrogance – they were the most elite of all the groups, able to make a living in the harsh mountains.
This was very new to me. People on Calypso were too busy trying to stay afloat on an overpopulated planet to bother with politics and were united against a common enemy. This level of complacency was a completely foreign concept, but it intrigued me.
I was instructed to talk to Ben if I wished to learn more and happily obliged. I was killing most monsters I came across on the way in one shot, if you can even call them monsters – they were pigs and monkeys, normal animals.
I decided to investigate the New Elysian Order since hunting monkeys and boars all day would bore me to death. I talked to Audrey Niles and guess what she wanted me to do? Hunt brown monkeys. I finished the easy hunt and just as I was about to give up on this planet altogether and take the first warp back to Caly, a female voice beckoned me over.
Her name was Alice and she was in charge of training New Elysian Order recruits. The completion reward was a cool blueprint, and of course bragging rights. Okay, I’ll bite. It started off fairly easy, with me having to find a certain cave and a guard, but then progressed to bickering with angry Joan and bizarre riddles. By the time I was supposed to decide which tree doesn’t belong in a forest where all the trees look weird I was out of my depth and guessing things– it turned out to be a tree stump. Maybe it’s meant as a metaphor that the weak don’t belong in New Elysian Order, but I’m probably reading too much into it. The last riddle was finding the item between winter and spring, which actually wasn’t that hard to find – I was getting good at this.
My final task was to kill a drake. I could hear my heart racing as I kited the drake across the hill, the adrenaline giving me the power to outmatch its speed. It hit the ground with a thud and I never felt more alive than in that moment. I went on this huge adventure and spent basically nothing, even the ammo I used on the drake was free, courtesy of Joan. The so-called elitist faction was actually the fairest of them all, with merit prevailing over money.
It was right then and there I decided to officially join the ranks of New Elysian Order and become a much more powerful cryogenic.
Chapter 3 – N.E.O. V.I.P.
Damn snakes. It’s been ages and I still can’t make a dent in these daudaormur creatures. I was determined to take the head of every creature on this planet, but so far the swampy residence of these fancy snakes remained a death zone for me. Not a single faction made a claim on this area, unsurprisingly. It was like the Zychion of Next Island.
I resigned, dropped a few probes and came back to the headquarters with my head hung in shame. I noticed a new terminal standing next to a televator – New Elysian Order VIP, it said. Apparently, materials are needed for a new project in the underground, they mostly weren’t hard to procure, but were quite pricey due to rarity. I jumped the wagon and, not wanting to wait until I collected all the materials, sold some off my possessions and bought them on the auction from other factions.
The televator took me to a huge underground cave with more missions to be found, the mining one caught my eye. I had to deliver 100 praetonium claims to help with the construction, and in return I’d receive a drake wings blueprint. I was mainly a hunter, but I dabbled in mining and praetonium could be found in shallow depths so I decided to try my luck. It took a while, but I was still among the faster ones to finish.
Since I had two left hands for crafting, I outsourced the blueprint in exchange for one pair of wings. They were so pretty, but merely cosmetic at the time. I was really hoping flight would get implemented – hoverboards and ships were great, but flying with your own pair of wings was something I always desired.
Fortunately, I didn’t need to wait long, straight from the hands of the world’s most accomplished engineers came the new battery capable of taking me to the skies. It was not only fun, but also very useful, since it got us out of reach of anything except drakes. This made a light bulb go off in my head and I suggested a quick trip to Calypso to take care of a couple Mulcibers.
After a bunch of “what’s in it for us?” an expedition team was finally formed with me in the lead. The tables have turned, and the people of Next Island who were supposed to be rescued by Calypsians became the ones doing the rescuing. Obviously I couldn’t care less about being a hero, but the gold and glory beckoned me and my fellow faction members.
When we arrived on Caly, a lot of colonists were giving us the stink eye. Word travels faster than light and people didn’t exactly sing our praises, so it didn’t surprise me much. We get in, sell the loot and get out, that’s the plan.
Unfortunately plans don’t always work out as intended.
Chapter 4 – The Ice Queen
“We’re really doing it!” Cheered my teammates. The Mulciber we were targeting was on its last legs, but suddenly an odd sound was heard. Uh oh…
Sparks were flying out of my teammate’s wings. Come on, now out of all times? He lost control in the air and dragged down two of us with him.
“Idiot, what are you doing?! Let go, you’re immortal!”
“Hell no! Pull me up!”
Slash. Rip. Smash.
Great, now all our wings are broken. Thank gosh for the revive terminal. Facepalm, these guys were born with a silver spoon in their mouth and likely didn’t die even once until now, of course they would freeze up.
“What are we gonna do? We can’t show our face back home.” a teammate complained.
“Look, there’s enough of us to kill it, if you’re prepared to die a few times and live up to the name of the New Elysian Order.” I said. Damn, I’m going to hell for this.
Few times was a euphemism but after the seemingly never ending massacre, we managed to slay enough of them to safely retrieve the loot and return home. Thankfully I had spare clothes so we didn’t have to embarrass ourselves further.
Our names got into the hall of fame and my use of cryogenics earned me the title of Ice Queen, which I must say kind of pleased me. It’s also very fitting, since my subordinates shudder every time I walk by them, tho I’m a little bit less pleased with that.
“So, esteemed heroes, would you be so kind as to lend us your aid and kill some leviathans?”
“NO!” We all said in unison and walked out.
“Is it something I said?” The chief asked around, flabbergasted, as we already had one foot out of the door.
“Man, I have a few ‘words’ to exchange with that engineer.” One of us sneered.
“So do I, but let’s get home first.”
To Next Island.
Isme’s Journal #13
Today was. That is about all I can bring myself to say about it.
I crawled out of bed this morning. I mean literally crawled!
I was so stiff and sore that I had a hard time moving my legs, back, and neck. Even crawling was hard at first. As I moved more it got easier and eventually I could move enough to stand. I tried to use my pulse unit to see if that would make any improvements. It politely and somewhat coldly told me “You are not wounded”. Thanks pulse unit.
When I could move enough to function like a proper person. I got up and got ready to go out and hunt. My hunting is still improving but I do not feel I live up to my Super Hunter status just yet. I am getting enough now to fix my equipment and eat more then Ramen Noodles. I heard that ramen noodles have been a cheap food and around for a long time. They are pretty tasty. That powder they include with it gives me a headache if I use to much of though. I wonder what is in it? Any way, the point is I can get enough hunting to eat at least a little better. So YAY ME!!
I wasn’t sure how well I was going to do today though with how stiff I was. I decided that a walk would do me good. So I walked to the auction house. I saw a pattern I wanted for only 1 Ped starting bid. I took a chance. And I got it! I would like to remember it as skillful bidding on my part. If I am going to be honest though. I think it was really because no one else wanted it and the auction was almost over. That sounds super sad though…hmm. I think, I think the story I will tell is that I watched and waited and sniped it at the last moment! Sounds so much more clever and dramatic!
On that positive note I will just call it a day!
Isme’s Journal #14
Some days its REALLY HARD to stay positive.
I wanted to learn more about the other factions. So the next on my list was the New Elysian Order.
I found out from that robot that I needed to talk to an Audrey Niles. So I went to find her. I walked and walked and walked. Took the teleporter to Tanzanite view and began the roughly 2600m hike to where she was supposedly located.
I had to walk because I didn’t have enough extra to buy fuel for the car. Also I hadn’t clearly thought out how long of a walk it would be. I mean, after all it only looked like a couple of millimeters on the map…. Ha
I THOUGHT I saw a way I could shimmy down the side of the mountain, I was wrong…
As I stood once again at the Tanzanite View revive terminal. I shook my head and tried a new way down the side. I tripped on a rock. Next I knew I was back at the same revive terminal. I had forgotten to heal the last time then took a hard fall……
So this time I decided that I would take the road part way down. It was going in the opposite direction I wanted to go but it would get me closer to the bottom of the mountain. Once I was about half way down I tried the shimmy down approach again. It almost worked! Almost. As I was falling to my doom I realized one side was a gentle small slope to an almost sheer, deceptively high drop. Where the other was a slight drop and then a slope and I had picked the wrong side!
As I once again started out from the Tanzanite terminal, I took the road a bit farther down, shimmied down the gentle side of the hill, and turned to head toward my way point. I was making good progress. I traveled nearly 1000m when I encountered the herd of mutant boars. I got the first one down. No problem. The another came at me, and another one joined that one. Next thing I knew I was back at the Tanzanite revive.
Does this happen to anyone else? Or am I just really skilled at dieing?
I think I will just spend the night here in Tanzanite. Maybe tomorrow will show me the way.
Fatty’s Submissions for June!
Submission for June #1
The Origins of Sebastion Part 2 - Escape
Short Story/Lore by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson
Dr. Kylon was a kind, albeit quirky man, Sebastion thought. He provided for all of his lab subjects and the tests he ran were incredibly humane considering that they were tests on animals. Sebastian was one of the Papoo that Dr. Kylon cared for, but of all the Papoo there, he was different. Sebastian would often hold long conversations with the good doctor while he measured and took notes on him and his Papoo brethren. And if Sebastian didn’t know any better, he’d say the doctor was starting to grow a fondness for him far above the others. This didn’t surprise Sebastian. Dr. Kylon – Paul, as he insisted he call him- was shut off from the other Humans and craved social interaction. Sebastian was the nearest thing to a Human that Dr. Kylon had contact with for months at a time. When another Human did visit, it was brief and not terribly pleasant. I mean, it wasn’t unpleasant. It was just business stuff. “Boring stuff,” Paul called it. Regulations, other scientists checking in on his progress, it all seemed sketchy to Sebastian. Was what Dr. Paul doing illegal? He asked Dr. Kylon one day and Dr. Kylon assured him everything was on the up-and-up. Sebastian wasn’t all too sure he believed him, though he desperately wished he could.
The day it all went away was a day like any other. The underground laboratory was dim and quiet, even though outside the sun shown brightly and the jungle birds and screechers noisily romped and cawed. The other Papoo had been getting antsy and spoke to one another of rebellion. Even though Sebastian could speak Human, he could still understand the other Papoo. Their language was simple and guttural, but hard to comprehend to Humans. Sebastian was certain his friend Paul had no idea what was coming, so one day he brought it to his attention… only to be deflected by Dr. Kylon.
“I have considered the possibility that the others might try something and precautions have been taken, Seb,” Dr Kylon said to his faithful Papoo friend. Again, Sebastian was not so sure. When Dr. Kylon began to clean the cages, Seb noticed the evil looks in the faces of the other Papoo, but it was too late to do anything about it. Before he could even screech a warning, one of the Reds jumped from their open cage and snatched Dr Kylon’s keys. They had been watching him use these to open the cages and knew what they needed to do. It began opening the other cages and Yellows, Reds, Browns, and Greys leapt from their confinements and started to surround the poor doctor, murderous intent in their eyes.
Sebastian knew there wasn’t much time, so he had to think fast. Using his gift of high intelligence, he weighed his options. To save Dr. Kylon, he had to do something drastic. He then saw the laboratory’s generator, a large battery bank powered by solar, wind, and thermal sources. He knew how unstable this was and that destroying it may be the only way to distract the others and allow the good doctor to escape. Seb grabbed a pipe and, using all of his primal strength, ripped it from the wall. He then began to beat the generator repeatedly with all his might and determination. Time seemed to stop for Sebastian. Would this work? Would he end up killing himself in the process? Could he even save his friend?
After an eternity, it seemed, the generator began to smoke. Then, without any warning, it burst into a flaming fire-ball! Sebastian was thrown backward, shrapnel and heat passing him, nearly skewering him. He landed with a sickening thud. His eyes drooped, and he lost consciousness.
When Seb awoke, everyone was gone. There didn’t appear to be any signs of a struggle or of there being violence. There was a bright, gaping hole in the side of the laboratory that lead out into the dimming jungle. It must have been dusk, meaning he must have been unconscious for hours. He knew deep down that the other Papoo must have taken the opportunity to gain their freedom when the hole was blown into the lab. As for the doctor, he had no idea. Why would his friend leave him unconscious on the floor? Did he chase after the Papoo who must have escaped? They were his life’s greatest accomplishment, after all. Sebastian wouldn’t have blamed him one bit. But still, a hot anger grew in his gut, a slight pressure at first, but then it became all consuming.
“DOCTOR!” Sebastian exclaimed in fury. “WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME!”
Sebastian’s breath came in short, powerful bursts, his chest heaving. What was he going to do now? He had saved his friend, but what did that get him? He had to make his own way now. Surely he’d be fine in the wild. A Papoo with his intelligence could certainly survive without much issue. Still, he felt betrayed. The question that nibbled his mind the most was this; what had happened after he lost consciousness? “I guess I’ll never know,” he spoke under his breath, wrath tainting his words. Sebastian lumbered into the brush. He grabbed the pipe that had clearly been blasted out of the lab and smacked it into his other palm. “Who needs friends if they just leave you, anyway?” He walked out into the wild green jungle with a nascent vengeance growing in his heart and was not seen again for many months.
Submission for June #2
The Origins of Sebastion Part 3 – Vengeance
Short Story by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson
He was on the run. The doctor scarcely had time to stop for food or shelter. He could trust no one. Word of his experiment had gotten out not long after the Papoo nearly killed him and then escaped. They had integrated back into the wild and were wrecking as much havoc as they could – robbing people, killing endangered wild-life, and worse yet, breeding and spreading their tainted genes. He cursed under his breath as a Guard on duty walked by the shadow of the tree he was ducking into. Nearby, a sign read “Tanzanite View”. He felt like the red ball cap and dark shades he was wearing were enough to help him go unnoticed for the most part, but he had a narrow escape himself, with a guard just the other night. He was a wanted man now. Yet, he couldn’t help but feel a deep, heavy sense of guilt for leaving Sabastian behind. He was a good Papoo. Surely Seb was the least of his concerns, however. Obviously Seb could survive on his own better than the doctor himself could. Both had a measure of intelligence and craftiness, but the doctor was the one that the settlers were looking for. A bounty had been placed on his head. It was a significant bounty.
There was a ruckus in the square and guards rushed by without looking at him. “I wonder what it could be this time?” Dr. Kylon muttered under his breath. “Probably another drunken brawl by the new comers.” New settlers had been arriving en mass ever since Next Island was “discovered” by the denizens of a planet called Calypso and another one called Rocktropia (bizarre name, he thought). Naturally, this meant all sorts were arriving, including the troublesome sorts. Dr. Kylon was pretty open minded, not xenophobic in the slightest, but he still didn’t like it. But maybe they would be a blessing in disguise. He could get one of the space travelers to give him a ride to another world where he could start over. Not to mention the plethora of new scientific knowledge that would come with such an adventure. He smiled. Maybe if he ran into Seb, he could bring him too. Seb would like that, he thought. Again, a painful feeling of guilt gnawed at him. He didn’t want to leave Sebastian at the laboratory wreckage, but he had to try to catch the escaped Papoo at all costs! It was too late for that now, though. If he had the luxury of looking for Sebastian and apologize to him, he would, but he had to beat feat and get off world as soon as Humanly possible.
Sebastian tore through the overgrowth. He heard Humans. He was near a Human settlement, for certain. Then he spotted them. Two Humans brawling in the street at the edge of the forest. He could smell them, too. A horrible mixture of sweat, filth, and booze. It angered him. Humans were the reason he was alone now. The only Human he spent time with had left him and what was worse, they never returned to get him! He was unconscious for hours after the explosion, the explosion that saved that man’s life, he thought bitterly, a rage building up inside. Was his anger undeserved? He had asked that question a few times, and each time his instincts told him NO. It was fair to be mad. Of all the Human settlements he ran into throughout Next Island, none of them had the doctor in them. The doctor not only didn’t come back for him, but seemed to be hiding from him. All of this angered Sebastian even more. Someone would have to pay for this grave injustice. He glared at the two imbeciles who were rolling in the street, smashing their fists into one another. What did they have to be angry about? They were doing what he wished he could do to Dr. Kylon.
That was the final straw. Sebastian leapt from the bushes, baring his claws and his fangs and closed in on the two drunkards. The two stopped fighting for a second that would prove perilous, staring in unison at the awe inspiring sight of a mad Papoo coming right toward them. All animosity between them was forgotten and they struggled to get off one another and scamper away. But it was too late. Using all of his primal fury, Sebastian ripped off the man’s right arm. Blood spurted from the wound and the man howled in agony. Sebastian could hear footsteps coming his way and the burly voices of guards, as well as the clank of weapons on backs. He smacked the man with his own arm, threw it at him and dashed back into the jungle. But not before he heard a click and saw a flash. The other man had taken his picture. Seb thought nothing of it and winded his way toward a shadowy grove. That was when he saw him. He recognized the man by his scent before he recognized his face. He was wearing a red ball cap and dark shades, no doubt to hide his identity. So he was hiding, then! This new revelation renewed his anger.
Paul Kylon saw the familiar Papoo and a broad smile burst onto his face.
“Seb!” Dr. Kylon exclaimed. “You found me!”
Sebastian was unsure for a moment and then the wheels in his head started turning again. You found me was something someone would say if they were hiding from you, he thought feverishly. He wrung his primitive hands and closed in on his former friend. What he failed to do to the drunkard, he was going to do to the man who abandoned him in the cruel jungle, the man who had left him to die and who could have thought he had been dead already. Had he even stopped to check to see if he was alright before running away?
Dr. Kylon saw the fury in his old friend’s eyes and raised his hands as though to fend off the first blow. It all happened too fast for him to even comprehend what was going on. Sebastian had taken his left arm and torn it out of its socket. A wave of fear and pain washed over Paul as the raging Papoo tore his other arm off. Next, Sebastian tore off Paul’s face, shades and cap with it. Dr. Kylon barely was able to gurgle a scream before another blow knocked him unconscious.
There he lay… Dead in a pool of his own blood with the heaving Papoo standing over him. His rage was finally quenched and a new emotion filled Sebastian. It was loss. It was sadness. Dr. Kylon was the only person he could call a father figure. The sight of his mangled body made a well of heartache rise within Sebastian. Tears streamed down his monkey-like face and he tried to stem them with the back of his palm. Then, footsteps and the clank of weapons on backs were heard approaching. Thinking fast, Sebastian grabbed the only two things that he could remember his beloved friend by; the red ball cap, and the shades. He put them on and darted into the woods.
No one could identify the doctor. His face was gone and he wore no other identification. Fingerprints and dental details were preserved, but that technology wasn’t widely available yet so his corpse was given to the boars to eat. No evidence of this evil night was spared, save for the red ball cap and shades that were retreating into the night on their new owner. To this day some are still looking for Dr. Kylon. But now there is another they are looking for- the assailant who gravely injured one man and apparently killed another in a similar fashion.
Submission for June #3
The Origins of Sebastion Part 4 – The Papoo Mafia
Short Story by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson
Has anyone seen Dr. Paul Kylon? Sebastian was nursing a deep wound, but it wasn’t one of the physical variety. He had just killed his only friend in the universe. Did he have the right to do that? At the time he thought so, but now he wasn’t so sure. He kept wearing the red ball cap and shades in part to honor Dr. Kylon and in part because they made him feel safer. There was a bounty out on him now, though it was for “Killer Papoo”, not Sebastian. If he hid his face and head, perhaps he would never be identified. Damn that drunkard for taking his picture. He saw it plastered in every Human settlement he went to.
People thought it was cute, though, to see a friendly looking Papoo wearing a hat and shades. Several children and women – and even one, particularly fat man – had come up to him and offered him a paplon or two exclaiming how adorable he was. He would smile and accept the fruit and then go about his business, which of course meant getting away and wandering some more. These days, Sebastian was lost in his thoughts more than anything. Maybe his violent streak was behind him, but he feared it would rear its ugly head again one day. What would his life be like now that there was no doctor and no laboratory? It had been a year since the explosion and most of the lab was still in tact and unmolested. No one had even so much as taken a tech chip since the disaster. It was a secret lab, after all, even with much of it exposed now. But the jungle had started to reclaim it. Tree roots, ferns, and mosses were growing over the gaping maw that was exposed with the explosion. Birds of paradise had made their nests in old machinery. Screechers were getting annoyingly curious about it and Sebastian had started making it a daily ritual to chase them away. Luckily, their eggs were also very delicious and very filling. Sebastian had stumbled on an island with a large cavern filled with them.
It was war… The Screechers were stupid, flightless birds, but they were irritatingly aware of everything Sebastian was doing. They went out of their way to make the poor Papoo’s life a living Hell. Maybe it was warranted, but a Papoo’s got to survive. What were a few unborn chicks worth? He noticed other Papoo, the Red ones in particular, brutally attack Screechers, sometimes stealing into their nurseries and murdering the chicks for food. Sebastian had no way to stop this barbarism and was forced to accept it. What he wouldn’t accept, however, was the Screecher’s apparent disdain for all Papoo, himself included. Papoo weren’t all baby killers! Just the dang Reds! They gave them all a bad name. He supposed the egg thieving wasn’t helping his case, but they were enough to feed him for a couple days at least. When fruit was scarce, they were his go-to source of sustenance.
They were getting smarter, too. The Screecher had formed an alliance with the Boars. Boars. The name made Sebastian shudder in anger. Boars were literally everywhere on Next Island, and their main food source happened to be the thing Seb couldn’t find anywhere; fruit. It was really the boars that were to blame for Seb’s egg thievery! If they weren’t such big pigs, maybe there would be enough fruit to eat, he thought savagely. It was all coming to a head, however. The Screecher’s had built a caged enclosure for their young and then put the boar piglets inside with them. It was impossible to harm the chicks without harming a piglet. Even a piglet was dangerous to a Papoo, who, for all of their primal might, couldn’t match the ferocity of a full grown boar. And that was exactly who would come to call if one of their piglets were harmed. That was when Sebastian formed the perfect plan.
Why should a Papoo life be put at risk? Why not trick a Human into killing the problematic piglets for them? They were hunting the adult boars anyway! But a Human wasn’t going to kill a bunch of little piglets for nothing. Sebastian had to reveal that he could talk first. It surprised every Human at first. They’d come say hello to the cute, little Papoo, and then Sebastian would introduce himself and they would run away screaming. That was, until he started waving around rewards. At first he offered fruit, but that was no good, because he needed the fruit himself. Surely, though, fewer boar piglets meant fewer boars, and thus more fruit in the long term. Alas, he could not justify giving them fruit at this time. He thought hard. What do Human’s value, he pondered. Then the laboratory popped up in his mind’s eye. Technology! Of course! He knew he could get his hands on a nearly endless supply of tech chips at the old lab if he tried.
But the chips were big. Big and heavy. It would take him forever to gather enough for one Human by himself. He needed to employ people to move the chips. But the people were afraid of him, and even if they would work for him, he would need a reward for that as well! Who would work for free? He smacked himself in the face with his Papoo palm. His Papoo brothers! They could be encouraged to help, perhaps. Motivation. He needed a motivation. He frowned. The Papoo hated Humans. Perhaps he could unite the Papoo as a singular group against the Humans? Tell them that they needed to steal the chips to hurt the Humans, maybe? That could work.
Before too long, reports of a Papoo Mafia sprang up on the fringes of Next Island. Troupes of Papoo wandered far and wide stealing from helpless settlers. This was a start. Now Sebastian just had to direct them all to gather all of the Elysian Tech Chips from the lab and bring them to the staging area. The staging area was an ancient ruin in an area known as “Papoo Village”, conveniently right next to the enclosure the Screechers built to protect their young. Sebastian, dressed in his red ball cap and shades would stock pile them nearby and offer any bored Human passerby the chance to a shiny reward simply for taking out as many piglets as possible!
Finally, a hunter passed by and he hailed them. The usual surprise at a talking monkey happened, but then, a miracle! He convinced a hunter to kill 200 piglets in return for a thousand or so tech chips. The hunter loaded up the chips and dragged themselves away to the nearest storage terminal. He had duped the other Papoo and now he had duped his first Human. Many more would come to collect the chips, which he found out were pretty hard to get other ways. He had the perfect business transaction going on. He provided the Humans with something they desired, he provided the other Papoo with a way to get under the Humans’ skins, and best of all, he had plenty of fruit to eat now with less competition. He took a big bite out of a bombardo and munched on the savory flesh with relish. He was now the Don of the Papoo Mafia.
Oh, and that fat Human came by and did the mission too. Afterward, he asked Sebastian about his back story, not satisfied with the typical answer he gave anyone curious enough to ask. Seb spilled the whole thing to him on his word that he would tell nobody. As far as Sebastian knows, his secret is safe.
Submission for June #4
Our Savior Tommy – Fatty’s journey to Next Island
Short Story by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson
The second he stepped off out of the cockpit of his Quad-wing, Fatteus was hit with a rush of humidity similar to what he had experienced in other tropical environments. He tasted the air, it was tangy and sweet with the pollen of tropical flowers. The sun played with his skin, bathing his face in warm waves of heat. A calming breeze blew through his long, silver hair. He smiled.
“Tommy be praised. Truly, the lord Tommy has blessed this paradise.”
He spent most of the day exploring the beaches and tropical rain forests of the Southeastern “gateway” of Next Island. He marveled at the wildlife and amazing plant life. He amused himself with a funny little monkey wearing a red ball cap and shades that offered him some Elysian tech chips for killing a couple hundred boar piglets. The locals were very welcoming. They offered him gifts and advice on how he could become a full-time citizen of this world.
Fatty was here on an adventure, to record the previously unknown and unrecorded, and most of all spread the good word of his lord Tommy, the first avatar, the giver of gifts and teacher of patience. Like with all other planets, he encountered the pagan followers of the deceiver, Lootius. For too long, Lootius was the only name worshiped. It would be Tommy’s time very soon. Tommy’s day was coming, and just maybe, he may return, Fatty thought. After all, no being has ruined more lives than Lootius. Promising all time highs, he lures his followers into spending every last dime they earn. Tommy teaches patience and responsibility. Tommy teaches us to risk only what we can afford to risk and to accept failure when it comes. Tommy teaches us that there will be harsh droughts, but there will also be times of plenty. Tommy teaches us that we should play smarter and not harder.
Fatty, the High Prophet of Tommy, would bless most of the settlers he ran into, telling them “May Tommy bless your hunt,” or something to that effect. Often times this would lead to people asking who Tommy was, and Fatty would be delighted to tell them.
He sat on the pier on the beach at the foot of Crystal Peak listening to the mad calls of birds and the play of nearby Screechers as the sun was swallowed by the western horizon. Dusk dimmed everything, casting shadows here and there. “Here now sets the sun on the time of Lootius the deceiver. A new dawn will come; the dawn of the hour of the Tommites. The church will grow here in the fertile soil of this world. I have planted the seeds on Calypso, and also here on Next Island, and it will grow. All hail Tommy.”
Submission for June #5
Through the Wormhole – Giving day in late May
Short Story by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson
It was a warm, placid morning. The birds were warbling, the waves of the nearby ocean were gently caressing the sand, sighing as the sea foam gathered, and just a little ways up the beach, a party was starting to form. Word of a great gifting had come, and his majesty Socrates was descending the televator, beaming onto the sandy coast at the foot of Crystal Peak. He was resplendent in the finest armor and it was impossible to see his face, but he gave off a warm, welcoming aura. He brought many gifts. The group began sweating a Screecher and were shocked when none other than the Desertcrawler King appeared in the center of the sweat circle! Some panicked, but most adjusted quickly and began to sweat the beast. It took a while, but they managed to dry him out, then a few brave souls began to bring him down. Everyone shared in the bounty.
The fun wasn’t over, however. Soon Socrates opened up a rift in the air behind the sweat circle. Everyone gazed in wonder at the rare sight. Wormholes were not something most people got to see every day. Socrates dared them to step into the rift. No one knew where it lead, and many were hesitant until a few got up the audacity to jump through it. What they learned was that it lead to a far-flung colony; an oasis in the middle of the badlands called Serpentine Village. It was gorgeous there! Verdant ferns and bamboo dotted the lush green lawns and a clear pool surrounded a teleporter pad. There were winding paths that wended their way around the grounds. This would be an interesting place for a race, some settlers thought. Some folks spent their afternoon soaking up the sun by the pond or laying in the grass and gazing at the clear, blue sky. Others quickly returned through the wormhole back to Crystal Bay and the sweat circle. Truly, it was a day to remember and I look forward to the next gifting day.
Isme’s Journal #15
I did it! I made it to Audrey Niles! Wowzers what a journey! She said that she was trying to learn more about the NEO, New Elysian Order, so she needed me to get some samples of things. One of the things she needed was biological samples of brown PAPOO!!! Yes!!! Perhaps she realizes that the papoo are trying to take over too!
She needed 20, I got that and then some. Evil papoo……She also needed some samples of ore. THAT was another matter. I started to head in the direction of the way point that she added to my map. Everything was all was good. Clear country for as far as I could see around me. Then I looked up. I saw the biggest freaking drakes I have ever seen! I am not sure how I am gonna get around those drakes… I mean they were so big! All it would take would be one wing swish and it would be bye bye Isme for sure! There is no time limit on getting these samples, so maybe I will scoot back to papoo village and swunt piglets and yellow papoo for a bit and figure this out. Maybe I will even take a crack at that sensor wave thing again. Maybe the practice will help a little and the drakes won’t be able to squash me before I can grab the samples. I’ll jot down some poems to help me focus and off I go!
All aerial adversaries,
Paltry prowess possessed
out of options
Piglets plus papoo
Alright-y let the papoo/piglet hunt begin!!!
A Next Island Love Story by Pope L’Brung
Book 3, Chapter 1
I accompanied my friend PK to the teleportation portal at Crystal Bay. He told me that he needed to make a quick stop at the storage terminal. I tried not to stare, but it looked like he took some various items out of his storage and exchanged them for PED at the adjacent trade terminal. PK finished his transaction quickly and gave me a confident smile. I could tell that he was excited, and to be honest so was I.
He checked his messages again and confirmed that the meeting with the Haruspex guide was to take place at Tanzanite View. We stepped onto the Crystal Bay teleportation portal. Though I had used them for years, teleportation portals still fascinated me. I didn’t quite understand the technology, but I trusted it. I tried to imagine what it would be like to teleport through time. Perhaps I would get to experience it soon enough.
Within seconds, PK and I were transported to an area called Tanzanite View. There were several tents and wagons scattered around. Most of the people at this area were Haruspex and this appeared to be a settlement. I kept my eyes open for any signs of Jihkanna. Ultimately, my goal was to find her.
“Our guide is called Ayinde. He will meet us here,” spoke PK.
Tanzanite View was a beautiful area. The people seemed proud and kind. I’d never seen so many Haruspex people in one place. I remained close to my friend’s side though I wanted to explore the settlement.
“That’s him over there,” PK pointed.
I could see a Haruspex man talking to what looked like a hologram. We weren’t close enough to hear what he was saying but it seemed like he was talking to some sort of apparition that was being projected in the air above his head.
Book 3, Chapter 2
Upon completing what looked like an intense conversation with a hologram, the Haruspex man beckoned us over to him with a wave and a smile. PK recognised the man as Ayinde, the guide he’d met once before. Ayinde shook both of our hands and introduced himself to me with a warm, trusting smile. We exchanged respectful greetings and small talk before PK asked a direct question.
“What was that thing you were just talking to?” asked PK.
“Ah, my friend. That was the Haruspex Elder. A wise spirit and advisor to our community.”
I was somewhat knowledgable about Haruspex beliefs but had never been this close to a practising community.
Ayinde continued, “The Elder fortold that you both would be visiting here today and offered guidance on how I could best assist you. He said there would be two of you. One seeking treasure, and one seeking love.”
It was odd that Ayinde mentioned both of us as he didn’t even know that I would be accompanying PK. I was intrigued by his statment. PK seemed less interested in mysticism and more interested in questioning our new friend.
“How do we get to the time portal? Is it here?” he whispered.
Ayinde grinned and hugged the both of us. “Trust me. The portal you seek does exist and it is nearby. The Elder has approved of me revealing its location to you but asked that I escort you on a mission first.”
I’ll admit. I had a brief feeling that this whole thing might be a con. Ayinde seemed nice and friendly but I wanted to keep my wits about me. Perhaps there was no such thing as a time portal and this was just a trap for tourists to spend PED chasing a childish dream. I was curious as to what the ‘mission’ would be and how much it would cost.
PK seemed to have no such caution and was already agreeing.
Book 3, Chapter 3
Ayinde told us that he would lead us to the time portal on the condition that we complete the “Trust Bridge.” He said that The Elder approved of us as long as we could earn the confidence of the Haruspex. Ayinde said he would guide us along the mission but we would have to complete a series of tasks designed to prove our loyalty and worthiness. It seemed elaborate and complicated. I felt like we were being duped.
I wandered away from Ayinde and PK to gather my thoughts. I had agreed to help my friend but I didn’t sign up for a ‘mission.’ I wanted to find Jihkanna. She was in my thoughts more than any ‘tourist trap.’ I glanced down and saw a sign.
The future twists like a tree
Where had I heard that before?
It was the title of one of the poems in the book of Haruspex poetry that she had given me on our last morning together back on Toulan.
The future twists like a tree
It was a beautiful poem by poet called Flora. It was about trying to find courage and strength in the face of the unknown. I had read it several times and it made me think of Jihkanna. It made me wish that I had never left her side. I took the small book out of my backpack and held it. I missed her terribly and wanted to find her.
Ayinde and PK joined me as I was still looking at the Woodland Haruspex plaque.
“Ah yes, my friend. It is true. The future twists like a tree. It is our motto,” smiled Ayinde. “Perhaps you would like to know what your future holds?”
I looked into his kind face. I wanted to trust this man but I wasn’t convinced that any of this was legitimate.
“Perhaps you’d like to know if your future includes her?” he said, pointing to my book.
Book 3, Chapter 4
“I know who you are looking for,” Ayinde adressed me directly. “I can help you but I must also protect her.”
I was confused. How could he know who I was looking for? I wasn’t sure what he was talking about.
“Jihkanna. I know you seek her,” he continued.
My confusion turned to shock. How did he know her name? This didn’t make any sense.
“I see you look quite confused, my friend,” he said as he placed his hand on my shoulder. “I can explain. You see, my sister works as a bartender at Caroline’s. She told me that a new arrival was asking about Jihkanna last night. Just now, when you walked off, your companion here told me that you were searching for a girl. A girl that had perhaps…captured your heart?”
“I said he was being a moody hopeless romantic instead of the brave miner he used to be,” chimed PK with a bit of banter. “Love sick, we used to call it back in my day. Poor kid.”
I half-chuckled, embarrased. “You know Jihkanna? Is she here? Is she close?” I asked Ayinde.
“Ha, my friend. Now you sound like PK asking for the time portal,” he replied. “The Elder’s words were ‘One seeking treasure, and one seeking love.’”
Ayinde and PK found it funnier than I did. They laughed. I wanted answers.
“Please Ayinde,” I begged. “Do you know her? Can you help me find her?”
“Yes boy, don’t worry,” began Ayinde. “We know Jihkanna well. She is a member of our Woodland Haruspex community here. She is a treasure to all of her family and friends. She is loved by all of us. That is why you must understand that we are protective of her. Why would any of us reveal her details to a mere stranger?”
I understood but I perstisted, “Please help me find her. I mean her no harm. I am in love with her. I will do anything to find her.”
“The future twists like a tree, boy,” he responded.
Book 3, Chapter 5
Ayinde began telling us about the mission. I agreed to particiapte. I succumbed despite my doubt and distrust. After giving it more thought, I realised now that trust works both ways. Of course a village wouldn’t tell a stranger where to find one of its members. It made sense…but it didn’t help my heart.
The mission was called ‘Trust Bridge.’ It would be a series of tasks that PK and I would need to successfully complete. The tasks seemed to require extensive travel around Next Island. Some tasks called for meeting certain contacts and some tasks called for procuring specific items. Ayinde would guide us through each step of the mission. He called it a chain. He said he could lend assistance, but PK and I would have to complete each task.
First we would need to travel to a place called First-Wave Settlement. Once there, we’d meet with a contact called Lee Davies. If we could find him and talk to him, then he would give us the directions for the next step.
I asked about more details regarding each step of the mission. Ayinde only smiled and responded that we undertake each part of the chain one link at a time. He again assured us that this mission would prove to the Haruspex people that we were trustworthy. If we followed the directions and completed the tasks, then we would be rewarded.
I looked at PK and he looked at me. We knew each other for years and worked together several times. I felt safe around him and he trusted me. He might have had more confidence than me, but I would borrow some of his.
The three of us left Tanzanite View and teleported to First-Wave Settlement. As soon as we arrived, Ayinde excused himself and then seemed to dissapear.
We carried on with our first task…finding Lee Davies.
Today, I finally saw Chloe. This was not the girl I remember from when I saw her last. The look in her eyes has changed a lot. This is n longer a girl, but a woman…or a warrior! Se gave me a device that I recognized as a Haruspex recording device and asked me if I knew how it worked. I said I did and she said I should listen to it and that she no longer needed it. This is what was on it:
Does this thing work? I guess it does. This is really strange. I’m talking to a piece of wood!
Hi, my name is Chloe. My friend Daniel gave me this thing and said I should use it as a sort of diary. This is so weird. Then again. Daniel is a stranger. How should I know what’s weird or normal to them? So a diary. Should I start with dear diary? Or just start talking? This is so strange! Talking to a piece of wood! Ok, here I go. Hi, I’m Chloe. Daughter of Alexandros. My mother is called Berenice. Oh, right! My father is a city guard. And we live in Thebes! I like practicing with weapons much more than that girly stuff other girls do, like picking flowers and learning embroidery and singing. I can scream though. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!! That’s my battle cry. Pretty good, isn’t it? I hope this thing works like Daniel said it would. Right. Maybe I should say something about Daniel too. He is my friend. He gave me this thing. And he is Haruspex and he has promised me he would train me how to use weapons! Also, I think he likes me and wants to kiss me. If he tries, I will hit him on the head though! I guess he is a bit older than me. He showed up a few weeks ago and we’ve been talking each day since then. He knows so much!! He knows how to throw knives, and catch frogs. Ans he’s very good at keeping his balance too! Anyway, I’d better stop talking to this piece of wood now and ide it somewhere safe. Daniel did say I should not tell anyone about him and about training with weapons. It’s not something girls do and they wouldn’t understand. I’ll go pick some nice flowers for my mother now.
Hi there. This worked last time, so I think this will work again now. For the last few days, Daniel has been teaching me how to fight with knives! He said they’re good, lightweight weapons and great for a first weapon. Later he’ll teach me how to fight with heavier weapons. I can’t wait! I also watch the soldiers train at the barracks. They train with spears and swords mostly. I don’t think swords are my thing. It looks heavy and like a lot of strength is needed for it. I’m just a girl! Well. A woman to be. But I am quick. Even Daniel says so. And very accurate. Yesterday, I threw a throwing knife at a frog at 30 feet distance and | hit it! Daniel had just left. That was fortunate because my father just arrived. He scolded me, but that’s alright. I know part of him is proud of me too. If he had seen Danel there, I’m not so sure. I think he would have attacked Daniel. I honestly don’t know how that would have turned out. My father is a strong man and he has years of experience. But Daniel is…well, he’s Daniel! Maybe it is that he is a stranger, I don’t know. But he can move quick! And he’s stronger than he looks. A lot stronger! Also, I really like Daniel. And my dad, of course!! I’d hate to see them fight. And for what? Nothing is going on with Daniel and me. He still hasn’t tried to kiss me. Not that I’d let him, of course! He’s just teaching me to defend myself and he’s really nice. Tomorrow we’re going to the south of Thebes and train in the water there! Daniel says water training is good for getting strong, but I think he just likes to push me under. He can be playful, like that too. I do wonder if we’ll train with a different weapon there. A spear maybe! Throwing knives in the water seems silly. Anyway. Time to go home now.
Hello again. It’s been about a week since I last did this. A lot has happened this week. Maybe this is what Daniel is training me for. To defend me and my loved ones against the evil creatures around Thebes. As I thought ls week. Daniel had me training with a spear in the water. I was so sore the first few days! But I got better. Stronger and faster Daniel says. I think I blushed when he said that. I like training in the water. It’s soft and warm. And I also like how the water makes Daniel’s clothes fit tight around his body. Okok enough! No daydreaming Chloe. While training, a bit further south from Thebes than Orpheus’cave, I saw a stranger fight what looked like women with spears. Daniel said they were Myrinians. Not women, but a species of those monsters. I wanted to take a closer look, so we moved closer to the fight. They look just like humans! But they fight very aggressively. Long jumping attacks with a powerful thrust of their spear. I want to learn how to do that too! The strange fighting them had very powerful weapons and armor, but I saw him weakening wth every attack and finally one of them got through his defenses for the final blow. The moment his body fell to the ground, they turned around and went on as if nothing had happened. Like animals! As much as I want to learn how to do those jumping attacks too, after witnessing that I just wanted to clean up and go home. Daniel saw the look in my eyes and nodded. He took my spear. I cleaned up a bit and picked some flowers for mother. When I get home, I’ll give her a big hug. Tomorrow, I will start working on those jump attacks!
I’M SO FRUSTRATED! I can’t do these long jumps! I‘ve been practicing all week long and I can barely jump half the distances these Myrinians jump. Daniel says it is still a very powerful attack, and I know he is right. We’ve also been doing a lot of water training with both spear and daggers, and honestly. I’ve become good at it! Yesterday, Daniel and I sparred at the end of the day and I wiped his feet from under him. I was faster than Daniel! A huge achievement. We also saw the smoke from Thebes. I knew something wrong when I saw that. I immediately ran home. Mother told us, that the king ad just announced the army that was sent out a few weeks ago had perished. I completely forgot to mention that here! I’ve been so busy training, Rumors had been going around about monster attacks increasing. The king sent out scouts. I don’t really know where, but they found something, and the whole army was sent there. It was very impressive to see all of those soldiers board the ships. But the soldiers never came back. I guess that’s also a reason I’m frustrated. If all of those soldiers weren’t enough. Then how much of a difference can I make? That evening, father said he want mother and me to go to Cyzicus. He says it’s safer there. Part of me wants to go there. To escape all of this and live a simple life. No monsters, no training. Mother grew up there. Grandpapa and grandmamma live there. Maybe it’ll be good for me. Another part of me wants to stay here. My friends are here. I grew up here! Part of me wants to stay here, and defend Thebes if it comes to that. I haven’t been training for nothing.! And what about Daniel? Will I ever see him again? I’ve told him mother and I have to leave for Cyzicus. He nodded and said my father had made a wise decision. What does that mean??
Well, this has been my first week in Cyzicus and I have to say that it has been an interesting one. When we first got here, I was amazed by how open it is here. Very different from Thebes. Very different also, because of all the things that are not here! No market, no temples, no barracks. Life here is so different. It’s quiet! Too quiet for my liking. One very, very pleasant surprise was that Daniel is also here! I don’t know how he does it, but on my second day here I was exploring around town and he was just sitting there on a rock! He looked very out of place dressed like a stranger but he looked the same in Thebes. But he behaved like he grew up here. He knew every path, every place where you can cross the water. How is that possible?? I asked him, but he just smiled. He also brought a pear and daggers for me and we have been training with them here. Mother is much more relaxed here, so it’s easier for me to come up with an excuse why my hair is wet, or why I have bruises on my knees or arms. While exploring, I found monsters all around Cyzicus. They looked very much like the Arges north of Thebes, but they look a bit different. Daniel said the ones in the south are the Achelous and the ones to the north are the Asterion. They are big and move pretty slow. This week Daniel is teaching me how to look for weak points in an enemy I’m fighting. My daggers won’t do much damage to big opponents, so I need to learn where to hurt them the most. My aim is good enough. Especially on such big targets as these Achelous. Daniel said I’m almost ready to fight those! A bit scary, but Fudge the world! I want to make this a safer place!
Wo is Daniel?? Is he Haruspex? Are they taking an active role in Ancient Greece? Why? Why now?
Preface - A New World
As they crossed through the portal, shaken and distressed by the attacking forces on their citadel, the Elysium colonists ran towards safety in this new world. Amidst the group, a 12-year-old boy was being pulled by the hand of one of his parents. Scared, Jone Foste could only think of his father’s words before they crossed the portal. “Grab the Ancient Orb from the pedestal and don’t let go of your mother’s hand, we need to run to a safe place.” said his father. They were supposed to come to this world only a few months later, but when the citadel got attacked they had no choice but to suddenly pack their belongings and rush towards the portal. Jone was still holding the orb when his father quickly grabbed it and placed it inside his military jacket while looking around as if checking if no one saw what the kid was holding. Tankor had always been a caring father and husband, in the Elysium Alliance he was a known engineer with fighting abilities that far surpassed his colleagues. Jone’s mother, Kara, a smart and beautiful woman, was a biologist with expertise in plants and herbs.
They had been preparing for months to enter the portal to a new world, but they were not part of the first wave of colonists. Luckily, some rumors had been circulating in the citadel, that some of Earth’s world leaders were trying to steal the technology created by the alliance, so the family prepared emergency kits in case of a sudden catastrophe. After a few minutes of crossing the portal, the Elysian noticed several groups of mercenaries that came in pursuit of them. As noticing the current event unfolding behind them, Tankor turned to face the pursuers.
“Jone, go with your mother…” said Tankor in a calm but serious tone.
“But what about you dad?!” berated Jone, noticing some mercenaries following the last Elysian crossing the portal.
“Your father will be fine, come Jone” said Kara as she pulled the worrying kid. She looked into Tankor’s eyes before continuing to run.
Name: Captain Hector Draken, EEF
Data - Encrypted:
My luck has turned around for the better! As I walked across the sandy beach, Chloe was crafting something, a little souvenir, I assume, for her time spent relaxing on our beautiful home planet. When I walked up to her, she was in a good mood and gave it to me, and said, “I know why you’re here, I know about the dig site and I’m in”.
Chloe took me by surprise, how did she know about my proposal? Who leaked it to an off-worlder? Does she understand the risks we are taking?
I said nothing, not even a sound came out of my mouth. Her first ever message to me swept my train of thought away and I froze. “Shall we negotiate the splits?” She continued. “… uhhh” I replied.
“50% cut to me for providing the equipment, that leaves you 50% to share with your private army and members of your admin team”
“30%, the army and risk don’t come cheap”
“I have to ship the equipment across space, give me some attractive numbers or I’ll gladly sit back and watch you try to find another business partner”
“40% and I’ll issue you secure travel across Loyalist territory for all your transports”
Our bickering soon ended with her pulling out some iced tea from an Asclarias-themed backpack and we cheered to a new partnership.
For the next several hours, we proceeded to discuss what equipment we needed, who she’ll be on-boarding to help out, and assured me that her people can keep their mouths shut.
The entire time we smiled and looked at the other high-rolling tycoons relaxing on Crystal Beach that are missing out on the most profitable opportunity of a lifetime.
It will take us several days to warp equipment over from across space and try to fit it into Orpheus Cave, but I will append a new entry when the time comes to deploy our teams.
Name: Captain Hector Draken, EEF
Data - Encrypted:
It has been 8 days and so far our setbacks have exceeded any progress we have achieved. Any tasks for an operation of this scale I believe were a logistical nightmare to plan out and it has shown to be true.
These setbacks include:
- Losing an entire convoy to a papoo ambush deep in our territory
- A makeshift war among the papoo in which we somehow got dragged into
- Equipment not able to fit through Orpheus Cave’s entrance
- Haruspex scouts sabotaging our striders
The papoo war was just a case where we ended up at the wrong place at the wrong time. I did write once about how the papoo seemed to have territory split up based on their own factions and seems they have fallen into the same predicament we have fallen into, fighting over resources.
This little conflict of theirs does make our supply line at risk of being disrupted but I think we should be able to defend ourselves against small creatures. In fact, we can just kick them over and they’ll probably run away.
Update: one of our drilling technicians kicked over one when it was in the way of the convoy and had we had to call in backup after the papoo’s friends saw and started damaging the drill we were wheeling to the cave
I will have to do more research again on these papoo, since resolving the matter is top priority now that I know our supply routes are not completely safe.
The Expeditionary Force has asked where I’ve been and I haven’t replied. Soon they’ll call back to Paradise Landing if I don’t give any info, but I think I can play off the papoo problem as an excuse to be out on the field and not be investigated by High Command. Do they know what I’m up to with the drilling equipment? No, they are completely in the dark. The areas around the cave are patrolled by Murdoch’s troops and we try to send supplies down at the cover of night, thus limiting any contact we have with any faction. I’m just hoping the papoo don’t start speaking and expose our position.
Name: Captain Hector Draken, EEF
Data - Encrypted:
We have begun positioning the drilling equipment on the flat plains and are setting up a base of operations. Some locals have started appearing and wondering what we are doing, however, a quick trip on a heli and then dropping them off in the middle of nowhere has proven effective in terms of hiding our position.
I have begun talks with the local government in Thebes to spark a conflict with the cyclops in the area to distract them from our heavy equipment. Our infantry aren’t very effective against the cyclops and heavy artillery is required to scare them off. I’m hoping with a conflict between the locals and the cyclops “clans”, both of them would keep away.
A proposal that was brought up to me from one of Chloe’s researchers was to make our mining area radioactive or release gases which harmed anyone who didn’t get a toxic shot. That was shot down pretty quick since we didn’t want to damage the overall wildlife with an uncontrollable deterrent.
Storage tents have been raised, sentry posts installed, and plans drawn up again for how to safely get the resources we mine out of the area since we want to be discrete.
I proposed we wheel the shipments on carts through the cities and have the ships in Thebes sail them to Orpheus Cave but a bit of planning needs to happen to not raise questions on the source of the resources.
Name: Captain Hector Draken, EEF
Data - Encrypted:
They are everywhere… I don’t know how… but the Haruspex are everywhere. They are among the locals and they talk of stuff. I was in Thebes when I overheard chatter among the locals about missing people who go journeying out of Thebes lately and the influx of people entering Thebes.
No one goes near Orpheus Cave except Haruspex, living among the ancient Greeks, and they suspect something big going on. Why do I say they’re everywhere? Between my last entry and this one, the Thebes officials have summoned me to discuss some strange activity happening at a precise coordinate that they showed me. No one knows of our activities unless they’ve been following us from Orpheus Cave to the drilling site and only the Haruspex lurk around there.
Eventually I’ll have to bring the Ancient Greeks into the dolls but for now it’s entertaining to see them connect the dots. The officials even asked me about The Gorgon and that confirmed my suspicions that the Haruspex are active too in Ancient Greece. The Haruspex are a mysterious faction that like to alchemy and sorcery. They must be here to choose after The Gorgon’s mystical powers. I’m not overly concerned with it but their presence here is deeper than most think. I respect that, they do well in hiding their activities better than me.
Shortly after walking out of the government building on the hill, a Haruspex, who was leaning on a pillar came and intercepted me.
“We know what you’re doing outside of the city”
“Good for you, why should I care about what you know?”
“I have a deal to cut. Speak of this with any Loyalist and everyone planetside will know of your operation here “
“What do you want me to keep quiet about?”
“Don’t do any more research on the Gorgon. Wipe or restrict data on your logs and we’ll pretend we didn’t even know of your activities here “
I nodded and continued walking back to the port.
We start drilling tomorrow, I will get some sleep in before overseeing the initial digging and then submit a new entry tomorrow.
Name: Captain Hector Draken, EEF
Data - Encrypted:
The sun shines bright today as we begin our dig. We all gathered at the main tent on the hill to see miners and gatherers begin extracting resources from the land. All was going according to plan, with the Haruspex ensuring no one disturbed us as long as we stuck our noses out of their Gorgon research.
Glasses of fine wine were handed around and a toast was made to the partnership. Soon enough, we had unexpected visitors to the site, representatives from Thebes that came by to congratulate us. Did we want them here? Not really. However, I guess it was time to finally bring them onboard and hopefully secure a smoother plan for logistics.
Meeting with the representatives was not very productive, turns out they were literally only here to send the local government’s regards and we are setting up a separate date for negotiations and discussion.
The rest of the day went as expected, continuous extracting, but I did get some time to slip away and enjoy the scenery around Ancient Greece. It is a shame we can’t seem to reach space while in this strange land but it is what it is.
I took a look over Thebes again, no Haruspex, no Loyalists, no one from my team, just me, feeling a slight breeze and the sun setting over the horizon. The last of our ships sailed for the day to Orpheus Cave so I’m happy.
My next task is to lead on the Expeditionary Force to not enter Ancient Greece or call me back to headquarters, which will prove to be a challenge but I’ll have to think more about how I’ll navigate this deception. But what of my old log entries? Should I wipe them or should I encrypt them? If I do, it’ll raise suspicion and maybe get flagged, but if I don’t, people have something to look into, oh how difficult it is to come up with the best cover up!
Character Name: Dalia Vivian
5 Lore Submissions:
I knew I’d seen this kind of movement before!
I had left the island with the screechers’ cave with many questions on my mind. I started following the river to the east. I quickly found a wooden pier on one side and could see that it was the end of the road I had been traveling on before. Near the side of the road there was a token and an abandoned caravan. I was curious to know who these things might belong to, but it was as if the road ended there, at the river. On the other bank there was also the wooden pier but there was no path. So I decided to continue following the river, looking for new clues.
I passed some red papoos and shortly afterwards I saw some screechers on top of the hills that flanked both banks of the river. I wasn’t going to stop as I’d had enough of the screechers. But I came to realize that they were moving in a way that I had already seen in the young screechers at Crystal Peak, in the many hours I spent there watching them: when in the presence of a high level screecher, the young ones seem to get more agitated. But how could there be a screecher of such a high level that would make the big ones behave like that?
Needless to say, that before I thought twice I was driving my strider up the ravine into the middle of the creatures. And that’s when I saw it: the Racc! I was right in the middle of Racc’s Hideout!
Of course, this time I didn’t stop to be attacked, as quickly as I went up the ravine, as quickly I went down. Some of the big screechers dove into the water after me, but they ended up drowning.
I marked the Racc’s Hideout location on the map. Now I have renewed my confidence again that this trip will not be in vain and that I still have so many things to discover!
The Haruspex: we have so much to learn from them! Yesterday I arrived at this place called Tanzanite View. So the caravans I was seeing on the way belong to them!
I thought it would be okay to come a little north as long as it didn’t get too close to the mountain area, and it was the best decision I could have made! Here everyone is very cordial and friendly.
Flora invited me to stay for a few days.
Early in the morning, Frederick was showing me around.
May said that she could help me gain some skills by crafting some items.
I only met Alve after lunch: he had gone on a mining trip and as soon as he arrived he looked at my backpack and said that it looks great for carrying mining material. He doesn’t even imagine that Herbert had it for exactly that purpose.
So in the afternoon I went to see the place with Frederick. He seems to be quite impressed with these big blue flowers and asked me to help him find some… No, wait! That was in the morning… or maybe before lunch? No! Before lunch I was watching the Hunting Specialist hunting one of these boars. The boar stew for dinner was delicious! Or rather… I think I’m a little confused… dinner was roasted fish and fruit salad, with the fruits I picked with Flora.
So in the afternoon I was crafting with May and we ended up going to clean up the mess Fri left behind when she decided to help make dinner. Fri seems a little crazy, always forgetting things and making a big confusion even with little things. So that’s when Alve and the Hunting Specialist arrived with a big boar they had hunted and we had roasted steak for lunch…well…wait, this doesn’t make any sense!
I’m certainly a little tired with so many things I’ve done today and maybe I should write things down correctly later.
My first day with the Haruspex was great. I’m looking forward to the things I’ll be able to learn.
May invited me to stay for a few days. She said she would show me the place and the people who live around here.
In the morning, I met Alve: he was going on a mining trip and said he would like to get a backpack like mine to carry mining material.
Fredrick showed up saying that Fri was again walking around without clothes so Flora went to help with the situation. So Frederick wanted to show me these big blue flowers and said I am good at finding them, so we could go look for some. But, I was seeing these flowers for the first time! It was also weird when May told me that I’m improving a lot in construction and that this way I can gain even more skills.
So then I helped Flora prepare lunch… well… yeah I think that was it… for a moment I was imagining that Flora was the first person I met when I arrived at this place… but of course that is impossible: the first one was Fri! I even wondered if she might be a little crazy, but I think she’s just distracted.
… wait… didn’t I write up there that I first met May?..
What a mess!..
This I remember very well: Flora came to call me to show me the place when I was talking with the Haruspex Elder! That was definitely first thing in the morning! And the Elder… well… that was an experience that is hard to describe! Exactly what they are I don’t know… but clearly they know many things we don’t about this place. As it was getting dark he told me that I could stay as long as I wanted and… what? this is not making any sense… again…
…maybe I should…
IMPORTANT: speak with Flora today
Don’t forget! The answer is in the details…
I need to get out of this place immediately!
I don’t know how many days I spent in that place… but it was probably too many!
My memory is still a little confused… I don’t even remember when or how I wrote the last two entries… although I have some fuzzy memories of actually doing these things… just fragments, details that made me realize that something was wrong.
But I don’t think the people there were trying to deceive me. Instead, it was as if everyone could see what was happening to me and were trying to give me tips.
Even at lunch, someone mentioned that I still hadn’t been able to eat with all of them together, either Alve was missing because he had gone to mine, or Fri was missing because she was doing some of her crazy things or simply because she forgot the time…
So I finally asked Flora directly how many days I had been with them. “A few! But you can stay as long as you want!”, she said.
“A few days? How is that possible?”, I thought. Am I supposed to believe that all those days I woke up looking forward to my first day there and to all that I could learn? "Yesterday I got to this place and today is my first day here!”, that was all I could remember!
I ran to my diary to find that it was true and that I had even written before that I needed to get out of that place. Why I didn’t do it immediately when I wrote it I don’t know… but this time I did it! I’ve been trying to put my memories in place and I decided to write my conclusions.
I don’t really remember everything that happened to me in Tanzanite, but at least now I’ve regained my sense of time and of what I’m doing. So everything went back to normal… well… except the fruits: I was sure I had picked a lot more than the ones I have… but for that I am sure will find a logical explanation!
I caught the fruit thief! I caught it in the act: a papoo snooping in my food. It ran when it saw me, leaving behind a red cap.
I was still so upset about all the recent events that I unleashed all my fury on the creature, protesting against him…
When I calmed down, the papoo, that was hiding behind a tree, slowly started to get closer: it seemed to want the hat… I threw it the cap and it was happy.
It was then that I heard a soft voice:
– So what about the food? Can I take it too?
“I’m really going crazy! Now I imagine the papoo talking.”, I thought.
– To share? – He said, staring at me.
– What? Do you really talk? – I asked still in disbelief.
– Yes, I talk. And what about our food?
– How? It can not be! Why do you talk?
– Well, you talk too… and a lot!
– Of course I talk! People talk, papoos don’t!
– Your logic isn’t very good: if I’m talking, then you can’t say that papoos don’t talk.
– What?.. okay, I’m not going to argue logic with a…with you. … So let’s try to start over: I’m Dalia. Who are you? Do you have a name?
– Dalia? Like the flower?
– Well, yes, like the flower.
– This can be quite confusing.
– How’s that?
– Well, if I tell someone that I talked to a Dalia, nobody will believe it, because everyone knows that flowers don’t talk. And that’s obvious! You’re not very smart, are you?
– What?.. Calm down, Dalia! You are talking to a papoo and a papoo’s logic is not logic at all!..
– Sorry to interrupt your thoughts, lady with a flower name, but maybe we’d better just talk about my food…
– YOUR food? … Sure! I can give you food! – I smiled to myself – I can do much better than that!
So that’s how I met Sebastian and convinced him to join me. After all, if I tell, no one will believe it. So tomorrow I’m going back home and I’m taking him with me.
The Art of Craft - Part 1:
Two weeks can be a short time in a person’s life… or an eternity if you spend them with in-laws who hate you to death for taking their daughter on a wandering life of adventure…
The truth is, when I saw the transport leave with the two of them, I could finally breathe easy… and look, in those two weeks I had tried to ingratiate myself with my in-laws, but there was no way…
I even took them to Papoo Village to see the territory of the papoo… and we ended up in the middle of a Red Papoo wave with the King in front… For a moment I thought if they wouldn’t kidnap my in-laws and take them to the tallest tree there was … at least the hours it took us to rescue them would be of peace for me, but I didn’t count on my brave father-in-law, who stamped his cane with a handle-shaped of Kiana Arkadian on the head of Papoo King himself… the poor monkey ran away between howls of pain…
But it was all over… now my interest was in a convention of crafters that was going to take place in Next Island… An event that for the first time was going to be held here instead of Calypso… Of course, Chief Socrates had pulled a lot of strings for it …
Let’s see, I dedicate myself to crafting vehicles and clothes, but it never hurts to have the opinion of experts on these topics, because we had two of the most famous Crafters from the entire Entropy Quadrant as guests at the Symposium: Martre and Soul.
I met Soul years ago in his Rocktropy redoubt… He spent time in an area dominated by hordes of zombies and other creatures… He had specialized in vehicles and furniture and had ended up owning shops on all the planets, including Next Island.
And where was the event going to be held? Of course, at Caroline’s, the only place big enough and cozy enough and with a big stage to put on the whole show.
There was no room in the bar… the lecturers’ table on the stage was set up, and all the seats in the bar arranged in rows and rows with an order that had never been seen before…
We were all talking when suddenly there was silence… The Sponsors of the event appeared through the side door followed by Marte, Soul, Kotter and some other famous crafter… The applause grew louder as they took their seats… The organizers gave a short speech to officially start the event, and later they gave the floor to the first guest, who turned out to be Soul… he took a sip of water, cleared his throat and began his speech…
-Craft is the art of creation, the art of design, but it is also the art of combination… To all those who dedicate themselves or want to do it, I will give you some advice: worry less about the result and more about what you get collaterally…
He paused as we all listened expectantly.
-I’m not talking about the waste, or the opal obtained in the HOFs… A large part of the profit in the craft is due to the AI that is in charge of creating what we tell it through the BP… The AI is in charge of analyzing the results, see what was obtained and interpolate new combinations of those elements, giving rise to new BP to make new items that can have a great MarkUp… And it does that every time we click…
That was something known: The crafting machines could create new BP by analyzing what was created, the materials, the skills of the crafter and the gods know what else… But it was something apparently random, meaningless… Soul continued his speech:
-But what almost nobody knows is that the result can be predicted in advance… My colleague Marte and I have developed a prediction method based on countless analyzes carried out in our manufacturing process… -A murmur was heard in the background, while some crafters smiled and rubbed their hands thinking about future profits -Let’s see, let me tell you that this method is not going to be made public, since it has been our initiative without any type of subsidy or state aid, so it belongs to us, but… As a scoop I will tell you that a new BP of a high performance weapon could be discovered in the next few days… And that, both due to the materials and the results, the probability of it being discovered here on Next Island is very high…
I barely heard the rest of the speech… In my mind I saw the discovery, the new weapons, and lots of money… As soon as I left Caroline’s I was going to try to be the discoverer of that BP…
The Art of Craft - Part 2:
A weapon… I mean, you should craft weapons to get a BP from weapons… If it’s high performance it could be a BP of level IV, V or more…
That means trying to craft big guns… I’ve never done that, so I don’t know if it will be profitable, or I’ll leave a trail of debt behind me when I have to escape my creditors on Next Island.
Katalina knows my manias and my things, and she was already thinking about the complications that all this BP mess was going to give rise to.
The first thing was to decide which weapon to craft… The most logical option is Armatrix, but its high production cost would drastically reduce the number of attempts to be made… It should make cheaper weapons…
-And why don’t you make weapons from another planet? - Asked Katalina - Surely in Cyrene or Toulan there are cheaper weapons to build than those Armatrix…
Katalina was right… She should try to find something on another planet, even if she needed to import the materials…
Three hours later, she had tired eyes and a sore head… But she had narrowed down the list to Toulan’s weapons… Specifically, she had three possible options:
• Thaqafa Blade M1 (L) Blueprint
• Thaqafa Blade M2 (L) Blueprint
• Thaqafa Blade M3 (L) Blueprint
Ok, in Cyrene there are even cheaper weapons, but they use cubes, and some have a great MU, and there are not always the necessary amounts, so…
The M1 was the cheapest option, and with more common materials in Toulan…
• 6 x Maro Ingot
• 3 x Sunburst Ingots
• 2 x Yashib Ingot
• 2 x Caldorite Ingot
That was definitely the weapon, and besides, the BP was level V… Now, the search for materials… Again a good time looking at the Toulan Auction House, and the store directory…
If I found them, I could go pick them up but I didn’t want to risk being shot down by a pirate, so it was best to rely on planetary transport… The materials in Auction can come here that way, but the materials from the shops had to be shipped in another way… So I had to make a planetary videoconference.
Select a contact on my Communications Tablet and click on the “CALL” icon… wait a few seconds, and then the face of my friend Moustapha appeared on the screen… He had a crooked turban and a face of few friends… at the bottom of the image I saw a cage with a totally crazy Atrox… Working at the Flora and Fauna Center in Toulan involves more dangerous animals than a simple TabTab.
-Salaam Aleikum, Dante, what a joy to see you again… As you can see, I’m a bit busy right now, but tell me, what is your life? – Moustapha always so polite even with a rogue Atrox roaring like a man possessed.
-Salaam, Moustapha… Well, you see, I need you to go to one of the stores in Nahar City and buy me some materials… then you put them up for auction and I’ll buy them myself… or you can send them to me by transport, as you see…
-Okay, it’s not a problem, but as you can see, now is not the time… send me the list of materials and the stores where they are… when I have them I will call you so I can put them up for auction and you can buy them… okay?
-Okay, Moustapha… I’ll send it to you later and… be careful that Atrox doesn’t bite your ass- I told him with a smile.
A couple of hours later I had seen the options… Yashib is available for a good price in AH, as well as Caldorite, but Maro and Sunburst will depend on Moustapha. I sent him the references of the two materials as well as the quantities by message to his communication Tablet, and I dedicated myself to waiting while I savored a bombardo liquor that the Haruspex distilled in Tanzanite View…
Half an hour later, a call from Moustapha: he had the materials… Now the dangerous moment: he would put the materials up for auction and at that moment he should buy them quickly, to prevent another buyer from doing it… Both looking at the AH… Item up for auction , now!!! Click, price, click, orders…… click, buy… Maro Ingot is mine!!! I repeated the operation with the Sunburst and I already had the materials in my possession!!!
I effusively thanked Moustapha while waiting for the materials to arrive… I took advantage of those minutes to do the math… I had 300 attempts, but… the expense had been excessive… if a new BP didn’t appear or I didn’t have HOFs, I could be ruined …
The Art of Craft - Part 3:
I spent a long time looking for a free crafting machine, but it was an almost impossible task: Half the population of Next Island was in the process… Soon there would be a large surplus of weapons in the Auction House.
So I headed to Shaterrock, my favorite place to craft… There in the desert I felt comfortable… The sand, the wind and the distant growls of the Desert Crawler…
Miraculously, my favorite machine was free… I entered my identification and the list of possible fabrications with the materials I had available came out… With everything I had in my Storage, the list was long… there it is!!! 300 Thaqafa Blade M1 (L) Blueprint attempts.
I connected my Tablet and made the list of globals and planetary HOFs visible, to see what the others were doing… Then, praying to the gods, I activated the “START” button with the green indicator…
CLACK!!! Tick tock, tick tock… a few eternal seconds and a yellowish light shone around me… Extra loot GLOBAL!!! And at first, wow, I’m in luck…
Those 300 peds received in waste were a help to be able to recover the money invested, but… that was not what worried me now…
Click a Clik, the machine advanced… the Blades were piling up in the Storage, along with the waste and some BP of minor weapons that had also come out, although they were fabrications that had already been discovered…
In total there were 3 GLOBAL Extra Loot and several Mini Loot… Armatrix BP, waste… 295, 296…
On attempt 297 something strange happened… the machine gave an Error, nothing manufactured, no residue, nothing came out, but… A double helix wrapped me while the “Discovery” indicator lit up.
What the hell!!! If there is an error it is impossible for anything to appear… In fact, the name did not appear but “UNKNOWN ITEM” in the list…
298… 299… 300… that’s it, the craft is over… He didn’t have any BP of new weapons, although between the Globals and the waste and weapons with the corresponding MU, he had managed to recover the expense made, although just barely…
I began to check the Storage looking for the so-called Discovery… nothing… it wasn’t material, or a weapon or anything… It could only be a BP, so I checked the corresponding section and…
I was there!!! It was something never seen… An authentic Discovery…
A BP (L) Boosted from a single attempt of a UL weapon… the list of materials was overwhelming, although they weren’t rare materials, only some of them were Rare, and others used high MU items… Anyway… it was time to put the BP in the machine and see what the result would be if you had the materials and could craft… Select the BP, go to the screen and…
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing…
The Art of Craft - Part 4:
Incredible… the most efficient weapon ever known in the Entropy Quadrant… A UL pistol with 98.3% effi and damage up to 73… A brutal range for a pistol, of more than 60 meters, and a speed of 83 shots per minute, the DPS went up to a maximum of 101… a critical would surely go beyond 200… and an “Exceptional” Durability indicated a very low Decay… it was definitely not Marco’s weapon, but for normal people it was the ultimate weapon!!!
And the name of the weapon… Fenix Fury… I remembered other times and other places when my good friend JoseGaltor called me Fenix… Sometimes I fondly remember those times that will never come back… I’m getting old…
For a second I thought about going to buy the materials and make the only attempt… I could go out or not, but I had to try… However, the rational part of me told me not to do it.
Let’s see, since the Mindark Corporation discovered the Entropy Quadrant, the Consortium had sold concessions for the exploitation of the different planets… The concessionaires, called Planet Partners, had signed contracts with Mindark according to which they had certain limitations, especially at the weapons level.
The war… That was the fear of the Mindark Corporation… that one of the Planets Partners would get a tactical advantage in weaponry over the others and, considering that war and conquest are in the human DNA, would want to conquer other planets by force . That could jeopardize the investments that Mindark Corporation had made in the Quadrant, especially in the Calypso Mother Planet…
That is why the Mindark Corporation monitored the production of weapons and armor, to prevent one planet from prevailing over another and the balance from being broken… and now suddenly I have the possibility of manufacturing an ultimate, powerful weapon…
Okay, it’s just an attempt, but… using Reverse Engineering it could be duplicated in case the only craft succeeds… So suddenly, I’m the possessor of a secret that could destabilize the Entropy Quadrant…
And the worst thing is that it is probably unique… The craft machine gave “ERROR”, and yet the BP appeared… That error might never happen again, so…
I am the sole repository of a secret… and that could be very dangerous…
The Art of Craft - Part 5:
I talked about it with Katalina, and we both came to the same conclusion: That BP was dangerous if they found out in the Central Government of Calypso… It was also dangerous if the weapon was developed and fell into the wrong hands, so it would be best to keep it in a safe place.
Katalina and I had an apartment in FOMA, in Alpha West 11D… that was a tribute to hunting, mining, craft… the decoration was based on things obtained throughout the Entropy Quadrant… Pure collecting.
So in a few days we will go there and I will place the BP on one of the shelves, as an ornament… Deep down I refuse to destroy it or leave it hidden…
The sale of the obtained materials and the developed BP, as well as the weapons, made me recover the money invested and earn something… Not much, but at least we did not go bankrupt and we will not have to give my father-in-law another displeasure in the form of debt flight , like the other times in Arkadia, or Calypso, or…
That afternoon I was going to relax with a liquor while Katalina went shopping in Crystal Bay… I put a program on Holovision, sat down with my glass of liquor and…
Someone knocked on the door… hell, they won’t leave me alone… Probably another business.
I opened the door and looked surprised at those two individuals.
The one who knocked on the door was short, stocky, wearing armor that he had seen better days and had a huge scar that crossed his face… Without a doubt he did not use a quality healer and that “memory” was left on his face.
The other guy was a Turrelion…
Those silent beings, covered with masks and hoods… Their eyes were invisible under the lenses that protected them… two weapons hung from their belt… The Turrelion of Cyrene are sometimes hired as mercenaries or bodyguards… I tensed.
-Yes? – Ask suspiciously.
-Good afternoon, Dante… - A cracked but strong voice came from that guy with the scar.
-How is that…?
-…Do we know who you are? – Scar said – Your fame precedes you, Dante… You are a great crafter and we are here to talk about business…
Crafter… The BP… I went on alert…
-Em… um… okay then… say what you have to say – My hands brushed the deployment button of the armor.
Scar looked at me… his eyes smiled slightly… He knew that I knew.
-Okay… Dante, we know you’ve discovered something… and something big… we saw it…
It is done!!! I don’t know how, but they knew… Maximum tension.
-No, it hasn’t been something interesting… it seems to be an error of the craft machine that… - I couldn’t finish the sentence.
-We know Dante… but it was “something interesting”… without a doubt the weapon that Soul said at the conference… What I don’t understand is why you haven’t publicized the issue… -Scar looked at me with an air of knowing everything…
-Listen friend, I don’t know what you’re talking about, but if it’s not business, go out the door and leave… okay? – My fingers went to touch the armor deployment button.
I did not have time.
The Turrelion suddenly advanced towards me with a Mace FEN in his hand… I don’t know where he got it from, I kept looking at his two weapons in their holsters… they were undoubtedly a decoy… Traitor….
Everything suddenly went black, and my head seemed to explode…
When I opened my eyes, Katalina hadn’t arrived yet… I had been unconscious for a while… I looked around.
The house was all messy… open drawers, clothes on the floor…
I trudged to one of the drawers, which had a concealed double bottom…it was open, and the hiding place was empty…
They had stolen the BP…
Harriot’s lore for July
Vulcan’s pass wasn’t on the top list of tourist destinations. For one it was an active volcano, we had heard stories about how any day it would erupt and destroy anything in its path. But despite the stories, hunters would visit it daily to kill the Vulcan drakes. The drakes had made their home in the fiery hot centre of the volcano. It was clear to see that the heat didn’t bother the drakes at all, though I doubted a Snow drake would fare well in that hot environment.
Elliot and his crew seemed like that had already been prepared to brace the skin melting temperature as they had shown up with their top heat protection gear. Something about that bothered me. I had over the years acquired my own set of protection, which was rustic compared to their shiny new armour but was more than sufficient for the job at hand. Elliot and Carlos both held what looked like top-of-the-line hunting rifle, which for archaeologists seemed out of place. Charlotte refused when Elliot offered her a gun almost as if she were ashamed of it.
Elliot was the first one to make his way to the edge of the volcano. He removed what looked like climbing gear out of his bag, he anchored a rope to the side of the mountain. It took him only a second before he disappeared down the side of the mountain. My heart began to race, abseiling into a pit of lava with Vulcan drakes swarming was my kind of adventure.
The surface of the volcano was a solid layer of cooled lava. It was thick enough that it made no sound under the weight of all of us. What looked like flowing molten lava hissed and swirled at our feet. However, it seemed awfully quiet today, hardly any drakes were in the volcano, something that I had never seen before. I had no time to think about it, if even the ones that had remained saw us we’d be dead meat. I had to be careful, even more so as now that there were 3 people to be concerned over. It didn’t take us long to find the cave, it was a small opening in the side of the mountain. The cave looked rather small and empty, Elliot looked around in a frantic manner.
“There must be something here! We can’t have come all this way just for an empty cave. Start digging, I’m sure we will find something.” Carlos and Charlotte looked at him as if he had gone mad, but started digging anyway. It didn’t take long till they uncovered something.
It was a huge dead drake, nothing but its charred bones remained. It looked like there had been 2 or more here in this cave as though it were some weird form of burial ground. Charlotte brushed some ash and rock away, what seemed like a blinding red light bounced and glisten in the cave.
The fire gem! It was small and if it hadn’t been for the light shining off of it, i had a feeling we would have missed it.
“Why didn’t I think of that?” Elliot seemed to stare at the gem for a moment. Charlotte started to examine it.
“Wait, this surely can’t be possible. But I’m fairly certain this is a crystallised drake’s heart.”
Charlotte explained to us that due to the pressure and heat from the volcano it had manipulated and formed the heart over many years to create this small unique gemstone unlike anything ever seen before.
“If this gem was formed from the heart of a drake, it stands to reason that the other 3 gems are also formed from drake hearts or something similar. But, how they are formed is a mystery. There must be a way to form them based on the environment they are found in.”
Elliot had wasted no time at all, before Charlotte could examine the gem further he snatched it up and removed the medallion from his bag. The gem seemed to be formed in such a way that it fitted perfectly in the top slot on it. Once it was in place it was as if someone had super glued it, the gem bonded firmly into the medallion.
“If what Charlotte said is correct then we must study the environments that each of the drakes live in. There are maps back at the house right Charlotte?” She nodded sheepishly with her eyes still fixated on the medallion. “Then we shall meet back at the house to study where the other drakes live.”
I had spent time gathering new maps since the last time Charlotte had been on Next Island so that I could show her around the new land formations that had occurred since the old days. But watching Elliot stand over the maps I had gathered for her was racking on my nerves.
Storm and Snow Gem
Elliot had marked out 3 different locations, one for Storm drakes, one for Snow drakes and one for Death drakes. Charlotte and I decided to go look for the Storm drakes while Elliot and Carlos went to look for the Snow drakes.
The Storm drakes were located on a small island to the north. Xrager Island. They seemed to prefer the mountainous hills that almost touched the sky here. There was a buzz in the air like pent up static electricity, I could feel the hairs on my arm raise as if reacting to the static.
We were just about to explore for clues. But when I saw Tempest, the leader of the Storm drakes I stopped Charlotte in her tracks.
“That drake over there is no ordinary drake, he is their leader. Something is not right, he hardly shows himself in the open like this.”
His wings were huge and spanned as far as the eye could see. What looked like a lightning storm was almost tattooed on his wings as if it were a war banner. Charlotte must have seen them at the same time as me.
“What if the storm gem is just that, formed in a storm with lightning. But the weather has been perfect every day so far. Where are we going to find a storm to test that?”
“I know where but you’re not going to like it.”
-Elliot’s Expedition (Elliot’s journal)-
I had no idea why Charlotte trusted that Resa girl, from everything I had heard about them there was nothing to stop her double crossing us. Carlos had been quiet since we had arrived on Next Island. I only hoped that he hadn’t changed his mind. We had come too far to quit. We made our way up the mountain, being as they were called Snow drakes I figured our best chance was to seek out the reason why they were called ‘snow’.
Sure enough, they were gathered in a pack at the peak of the mountain. So far nothing I had seen was of any use to us. That was before we met the largest of all Snow drakes. She was at least 3 times the size of the other Snow drakes. On her back she had spikes that almost looked as if they were embedded shards of ice. Till I got a closer look, sure enough they were crystals.
“We only need one crystal off its back. Help me pin her down so I can cut one off.”
Carlos unpacked the net gun that I was grateful I had packed back on calypso. The drake hit the ground with a loud thunder like thud. It took a quick few seconds to hack off a crystal from its back. “We got what we needed, let’s move on.” Carlos was staring at the helpless drake.
“We can’t just leave her like that.” I waved a dismissive hand at him.
“On your head be it”
Making a Storm
We had regrouped at the house where I found Elliot looking smug. Almost flaunted the medallion in front of my face to show off the newly acquired Snow gem. Each gem seemed to fit and mould into the medallion as if it were made for it. Something that if I hadn’t seen happen myself I would have thought unbelievable. Elliot’s words snapped me back into reality.
“So what you’re saying is, you want to take this drake heart up to Zeus and say ‘hey I know you’re not busy and all but you mind zapping this’. With the ‘hope’ it’ll turn into a storm gem.”
“That’s the basis of it. why, do you have a better idea?” I had no clue if that crazy idea would even work, I still had no clue why he was so desperate to gather all these parts to the medallion.
“Fine, we’ll try that but once it doesn’t work please look harder next time”
Zeus wasn’t an easy God to visit, he was by far the only god closest to the sky and as such it was a long climb. Even Elliot and Carlos, the strongest looking members of our little crew, were worn out when we reached the top.
-Who goes there…
A voice bombed out louder than thunder. We were silenced for a moment as I felt a loud ringing resonating in my ears.
“Only a lowly resident of Next Island who request your unique service.” I had no clue how to speak to a god or someone who could kill me in seconds without a second thought about it.
-A person from Next Island, there have been many trying to kill me. What makes you any different from them?
His voice resonated through the air, it took me a moment for my hearing to return to normal.
“I come seeking your help. There is a rare gem I am looking for, something that I think you can help me make. With your mighty thunderbolt can you strike this drake heart and help me prove to these non-believers that you can turn this heart to a precious stone.”
A chuckle like a thunder clap rang through the air.
-A proof of my mighty power is something I will gladly show, but I give you this warning. No good will come of it.
A piercing light brighter than anything I had ever seen before struck the heart I had placed on the ground. The transformation was almost instant and there, in its place, was a dark blue gem stone.
The Storm gem.
Elliot sat stunned at the newly formed storm gem. Zeus let out a roaring chuckle before retreating up the mountain further. Elliot let out a loud cough before snatching the gem up first. He quickly added it to the medallion.
“Only 2 left now.”
There was only 1 kind of drake left, the Death drake, Where the 2nd gemstone came from I had no clue.
“But there’s only 1 drake left…” My voice was barely above a whisper but Elliot had the hearing of a hawk.
“The fifth gemstone is a combination of all 4” Elliot seemed to know more than he was letting on. “We’ve spent too much time already on this, let’s just get to the Death drakes and finish this.”
The Death drakes lived in the furthest north of Next Island. The area was a rocky swamp surrounded by mountains. In some places the water dipped further down than it looked meaning each footstep had to be carefully assessed. It was a dangerous area to walk across if you hadn’t been there before. From what I had seen of the drakes they were the only type to openly protected their eggs. All the other drakes would find a secluded cave or mountain top to lay their eggs. I had never been this close to them before but they had a green shine to them almost as if it shimmered in the afternoon light. Elliot spotted a lone egg. His eyes almost lit up at the sight of it.
“This is what we are after.” In a split second my sword was drawn and at his throat.
“How do you know this is what we are after? All the way through gathering the gems you have seemed less and less surprised as to what we need. I think the only time you have been surprised was when we took the heart to Zeus.” Elliot seemed to smirk for a minute. Before removing a tatter piece of paper from his pocket.
“This inscription was found alongside the medallion. Charlotte is an expert in the language and has translated most of it for us.”
The translation from Charlotte, it was like a road map on where each gem came from, if he had this all along why did he come to me for help. More importantly, why had we gone through all that trouble when he knew exactly what he was looking for.
Auberon Night Night
5 chapters of Aeon and the Guardians
Chapter 11 - Window to heaven
The next few days was a daze of frenzied activity and Aeon felt more in the way than anything else. Everyone of the bird people seem to know exactly what to do and where to go and even though he was never actually in the way he felt as if he was.
Aeon found himself wandering the city and finally found his way to the temple. The doorway to the inner sanctum was open but on reaching it he felt a spiritual force emanating from inside. Not malevolent in any way but almost tangible and he did not feel worthy to enter so he sat outside the doorway looking in. Allowing the sensations to flow over him as for a moment he felt part of it all. Closing his eyes and allowing his thoughts to wonder his mind was filled with visions of space in ways he could never imagine. The vast empty space was alive with energy that seemed to shape and form in the same way as “action paintings in abstract art” does, only this was ever changing and with vastly more depth.
Feeling a serenity and oneness with all he simply let his mind wander this vision. His body responded with goosebumps and the release of endorphins as his mind experienced for a moment the true power of the heavens, the world of the gods and spirits.
When he finally opened his eyes again Bzzznip was sitting next to him and it must have grown late based on the darkness.
“We never expected a human to be able to enter our world”
“It is time we go now Aeon”
Aeon realized that Bzzznip looked different. Ghostly in appearance and much like the energies he had seen and experienced earlier in his vision.
“Yes it was our kind you saw”
“Wait”, Aeon thought, “ Did he just read my mind I did not say anything”
“Yes”, Bzzznip said, “You could say I read your mind although to be more accurate your mind spoke to mine and I am not really speaking either”
You crossed to our world Aeon and for a while there became one with us. You will forever be part of us and we a part of you.
In honor of that and as a way to return we will leave a portal here. Hidden as an enchanted forest with spirit guardians. When you are ready to return to us, enter the forest, go to the centre and find a tree there, touch it and you will cross over to the spirit world and back to us.
And with those last words a shimmering light surrounded the buildings and Bzzznip. Slowly everything and everyone seemed to dissolve and dissipate.
In separateness lies the world’s greatest misery; in compassion lies the world’s true strength
“Wait” Aeon called out, “How will I know when I am done and how will the forest be protected and….”
Bzzznip smiled, “The forest will be part of this world and be nothing more than a hunting ground. Only once a person is ready and his work in this world is done will the portal truly reveal itself.”
“You will know when it is your time to go”
“Farewell Aeon of the Mir Sky”
And with those words the last of the city and its people disappeared.
Chapter 12 - The warrior
Once again alone, Aeon set off in a South Easterly direction to find where he started from on this planet. That cave may be just a hole in the ground but it is the closest thing to home he has left.
Walking along the plains enjoying the sun he suddenly felt the disorientation and dizziness as before when he was displaced in time.
This time he was more prepared and braced himself by spreading his feet and lowering his stance. This lowered his centre of gravity and helped him anchor his energy to the planet. When the spinning sensation settled and his vision returned he found himself faced with a legion of guardians spread out over the plains.
Anger swelled within him driven in part due to losing his home planet and part due to being here fighting when all he wanted was a simple life.
Drawing his claymore he let out a battle cry that would chill the bones of any mortal and stormed at the nearest guardian.
Running full speed directly at the guardian Aeon stepped to the left and seemed to mean to pass but launched himself at an angle to the guardian, swung the claymore at the neck joint slicing clean through.
Before the body even hit the ground Aeon attacked the next one. Holding the claymore pointing directly forward as if a spear he pierced through the softer middle section severing the spinal cord and killing the guardian.
Looking slightly down he limited his forward field of view and allowed himself instead to use peripheral vision and see where the closest mobs are. His burning hot anger has been replaced by the cold calculating mind of a warrior who has already accepted his death and thus no longer fears it.
Time seemed to stand still in such a moment and had this been a movie one would see the camera move while everything stood still to show how multiple mobs was storming in towards him as he stood with his claymore still through the mob and calculating his next move.
And just like that time would return to the movie, if this had been one, and for a moment we would think replay has been accelerated but the truth is Aeon, now fully in the grip of war, fights and moves unhindered by thought. With speed gained from years and years of training and battle experience he moved from one mob to the next so fast if looked like he was leaping. Slashing, piercing and even kicking he destroyed them faster than they could move.
For the next few minutes one could clearly see the line of mobs diminish and be pushed back. Their number rapidly reduced while he destroyed them.
But as is true for all humans we will eventually grow tired and Aeon is no different. This would be a battle of attrition testing their numbers against his sheer will and stamina.
Had anyone been there to see they would have grown tired and hungry while watching the battle drag on for hours. Guardians seemingly endless in numbers streamed over the plain and hills and Aeon kept cutting them down.
Chapter 13 - Valley of death
As the light began to recede and the last of the mobs died at the edge of Aeon’s claymore, silence returned to the land. The starry night sky became visible and painted the world in wonder. The beauty of the sky could almost make your forget about the valley at your feet. But one look at the valley and you would understand the world is filled with beauty but also unforgiving in its brutality.
As far as one could see lay bodies. All of them with a kind if golden sparkling energy emanating from it. A peculiar effect that is visually pleasing but seems to only happen on dead mobs. Wounded and tired Aeon still had to salvage all the kills. A hunter never kills for sport. Even if the kill was in defense you have to salvage what you can. That is something Aeon’s father drilled into him as a child.
As he walked across the plain, salvaging mob after mob watching the peculiar sparkle disappear as the last of their essence leaves their bodies, his health slowly returning and his load increasing he realised that his skill at salvaging these has been increasing. At first the salvaging took longer and yielded less usable materials but now he finds that he gains more items.
As before when hunting the variety of materials was astounding. Various crystals, oils and even small tech items he did not yet understand how to use, but he kept it anyway.
As the last of the death sparkles disappeared and Aeon straightened up from his hard work carrying a now almost unmanageable load he looked up at the night sky and felt peace settle over him.
Aeon was born into a family of farmers but his father insisted he learn to fight from early on.
“It is better to be a fighter on a farm than a farmer on the battlefield” Or something like that his father used to say.
Feeling grateful for the training and happy to have won this battle he set out again walking back to the cave he has come to think of as home.
Chapter 14 - Settlers
Reaching the hill with the 3 lakes and his cave he realised that he is in a different time frame from originally when he arrived as there are now people here. A small base seemed to have been erected on top of the hill with a few people there already. For a while Aeon just stood there looking at them. He has been alone here so long that the idea of other humans felt strange and something to adjust to before he could simply walk up and greet them.
After a while of standing there he walked up to them and greeted as if this was the most natural thing to do.
Well if you know anything about the first wavers you will know they never expected anyone to be living here so naturally Aeon was a complete surprise and caused quite a stir.
In some ways it seemed almost surreal to Aeon to see humans. People who speak his language and look like him. Which also brought up some other thoughts. Why do they speak the same language as him when he is from another dimension?
Why do they look the same?
But for now he enjoyed the company even if so far it is mostly a bunch of talking and questions about him.
Finally Lee, one of the first wavers said, “Aeon you must be tired and here we are just babbling on and on. Lets have a seat by the fire and eat first then talk some more”
“Naturally we are curious. And I am sure you are curious about us too.”
Well Aeon never said no to a meal and having people to talk to was a welcome change.
So he sat and down with them and Miranda handed him a a drink and plate of food.
“Food rations, not the greatest but it has everything we need”, she said as she handed it to him.
As he smiled and thanked her he could see Helen look at him suspiciously from one side.
Guess I cannot blame her for wondering about me, he thought.
Helen seemed like a tough one but Miranda seemed more like a nice friendly girl.
Before his thoughts could further dwell on the women in the group and his feelings towards them Lee once again spoke up.
With his deep and calm voice he sounded like a natural leader although Aeon could not determine as yet if he was the leader as such.
“So Aeon, tell us more about you please. We just arrived here a week or so ago and as far as we knew there was no humans on the planet so you are a surprise to say the least”
Chapter 15 - Story time
What started out as a meal and question on question from them to Aeon and from him to them finally settled into new friends around a camp fire sharing stories and jokes and having a great time.
The night sky seemed even brighter and more beautiful than before to Aeon.
Looking up he felt as though he is looking back to his past to his home planet while surrounded by new friends and maybe just maybe a new home.
It seemed he had won the battle against the guardians and he could rest for a while maybe even settle.
Miranda seemed nice and yet Helen would be someone he could have adventures with.
Smiling to himself he allowed his thoughts to drift to a normal life.
A simple life.
As he sat there Lee was talking and summing up the story they could all piece together so far.
Aeon was born on the planet Mir to a human, English speaking family. Mir is in another dimension where it seems a being of great power created the guardians who are destroying planets in a search for power. Aeon followed them through a rift in time and space to this world and seems to have been affected by the rift’s instability leaving Aeon unable to stay in a time or place for more than a certain time period.
By moving back and forth in time Aeon met a race of gods or demi-gods who lived on this planet and called it an island in space that they created. These beings was in fact the progenitors to the screechers that the settlers found close by.
The settlers came from earth using a technology to open a rift in time and space to find a new world to start life free from persecution by power hungry countries and companies after the technology that allowed the opening of this portal and many other advances such as portable medical healing kits that scans you and then heals you. Chips you can implant in your head to allow you to heal, fight or teleport simply by thinking it.
Though it seems their portal may have caused the rift Aeon and the guardians came through and so inadvertently their flight to a safe haven brought a new danger in the form of the guardians.
This was all very much to absorb for Aeon but he felt at peace and glad to have some facts and working theories.
As he again looked up at the sky he thought he saw a figure some distance from them with a peculiar device in his hand. A green light emanated from the device and Aeon turned to look directly at the figure but there was no one.
Did he imagine it?
Isme’s Journal #16
Whew! I smell like… like… farm yard mixed with zoo! Toooooo much time swunting I guess. Didn’t do to badly though. I got more then enough this go round to fix my gear and get groceries for the next week!! Not enough to eat fancy food just yet, but enough that I could get more then prepackaged amen
While swunting was good, the rest of the day, was QUESTionable. Ha! I made a funny! The Quest I got was from a lady who wanted me to find her friend and ask her what fruit she wanted for some dinner. I said I would, since I was headed that direction anyway. I would also have to come back by way of the lady who asked. I forget her name.
As I walked though I started to get really mad. Isme Gotitt Super Hunter in the making is NOT some messenger girl at everyone’s beck and call. Why can’t she go find her friend? I mean its her friend after all. With all this fancy tech around there ought to be SOME way she can get a hold of her?
But then I stopped and took a deep breath. While true its not Isme Gotitt Super Messenger girl, It is also NOT Isme Gotitt Super Jerk either. I mean it wasn’t out of my way and it was easy to do, did not even cost me more then a few minutes of my time.
It was after I found the answer and did my shopping and headed back that I got really upset. Now that I was her messenger, she wants me to find supplies for her. And she wants a lot of supplies, triple digits minimum in fact. 1500 pieces of fruit, 500 stones, and 500 bits of dung. I mean like what the heck???
If she is planning to make a fire pit with the stones and cook the fruit over burning dung…. Who would want to eat it? NOT ME!
She said if I bring her that pile of stuff she will give me some free DIY furniture. I don’t know if I trust her though. I am kinda wondering if she will hand me a note that says “take wood chunks, hammer them together like the picture. You now have a chair”
My plan is I am going to go about my own business, If I happen to find any fruit, dung, or rocks while managing my own things, I will pick them up.
She will be lucky if I don’t throw them at her though….
Removed to avoid copys
Removed to avoid copys
Isme’s Journal #17
This piece of DYI furniture I am supposed to be getting better be wonderful. I find myself staring at the ground all the time in case I see any of those items. I have found 39 fruit. That is it. That is the sum total.
I found the fruit in the piglet pen. What a place to find fruit! There it was growing, untouched. Not what I expected. I expected to find dung and stones. I mean that is what those stupid mountain boars are good at, Goring things with their tusks and pooping. I spent enough time in that pen for that stupid evil Sebastian, unknowingly clearing the way for his Papoo army, so I should know what those piglets do.
It makes my blood boil!!!
I do feel a little less upset then I did earlier. On my walk I came across some biggish gray papoo. They tried to take me on but I introduced them to my claymore. Now there are a few less papoo to terrorize the populace.
The gray ones are tougher and stronger then those yellow ones. I survived all the fights but not as well. That shows I am going to need to train a little harder. I need to be able to take on any color of papoo as easily as I take on piglets or puny screechers.
Perhaps on my next hunting trip I will revisit that sensor array. The one that called up the yellow papoo in waves. I think that is exactly what I will do. That will accomplish a few tasks all at once: a good walk to look for requested items, weaken, a little, the papoo forces, and get some good training with multiple targets and short times between encounters.
Yes, that will be tomorrow’s plan. I think I will make a few small additions. Firstly make sure my pulse unit is fixed. Secondly, make sure that my stock of muscle balm is good and I have ice packs in the freezer. It always makes me wonder why the pulse units can “fix” all your wounds but you can still be as sore as if you were still all banged up.
Sometimes science is weird.
Off to bed. I will need all my strength for tomorrow.