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The Way of the Blue [Lantern OC]

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by AverusBlack, May 2, 2021.

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  1. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    Laviscious.

    Immigration isn't much of a problem when your whole city is underground. Even with the simulated sunlight and things like that it can be psychologically uncomfortable for some people. There's humans in Zero but they're mostly people affiliated with the genkits through relation or work or relationship bonds, people with a reason to join a highly militaristic society with a heavy focus on science development.

    But the thing about being an engineered species is you get the good stuff and not many humans are comfortable with the idea of eugenics, while it's fully embraced and exploited to the highest extent by the Zerosi. Negative cultural associations reinforced by the war between the two species. It's like having a civil war over a heresy and then the heretics get their own country and you go live in it and speak heretic and play with the little heretics. It's not actually a religious taboo but basically every human in Zero is from a very liberal country or has personal reasons to be there.

    I'm not sure how much of the worldbuilding for that place I can actually use within the scope of this story so I don't really mind just blabbing this stuff outside the story
     
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  2. 1eragon33

    1eragon33 Getting sticky.

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    how come their is a threadmark for a comment reply?
     
  3. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    Because my dumb ass put the threadmark in to write the next entry and then went full ADHD and commented instead. I plan to update some time today (Wednesday)
     
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  4. mastermenthe

    mastermenthe Mint Thistle

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    Huh, so I can assume that the genkit species and
    their creators/sponsors/allies are sitting comfortably at Hc Svnt Dracones levels or slightly below?
     
  5. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    I'm sorry, I have literally never heard of this before you linked it, so I don't know. Genkits sort of recycle. They regress back into their equivalent of puberty every 50-80 years or so and tend to die of things like disease, injury, malfeasance, etc. Because if you're going to engineer yourself with gene splicing, why not study the best things about species you find and try to exploit them? Evolution did the hard work for you.
     
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  6. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    Yeah I'm not having a good day. I'll do something about this tomorrow when I don't want to punch people
     
  7. 1eragon33

    1eragon33 Getting sticky.

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    Take your time your health Physical, Mental, and Emotional is way more important then our eagerness for more wordz. We will be waiting
     
  8. Threadmarks: On A Moonlit Walk - 04
    AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    I'm sitting on one of the ledges of my keep, overlooking the valley below. It's a nice evening and with three more days of waiting to do I figured I'd take the time to relax. This particular ledge is a favorite of mine since it overlooks the garden below and has the balcony leading to my living space behind me. I let Sammy go a bit crazy with ideas and he came up with a large outdoor cooking space and dining area with plants lining it. I've gotta admit, the little guy has a knack for this kind of thing. It was mostly me and Elise doing the actual building but the ideas were all his and it got him obsessed with learning woodworking so that's keeping him busy now that the interior rooms are done.

    Kuri on the other hand has seemingly decided to move in, something which endlessly amuses me. She seems to think it's her role to make sure we're all fed properly and taken care of. I asked Sammy about it and apparently she's always been like this and had to cut back on it when she became a shaman, mostly due to how seriously everybody at home takes shamans. Here, she's getting to be casual with us in a way she can't back home with other Skal and seems to be running it to the hilt. Personally I think she's just having fun coming up with new recipes.

    I glance down at the new road leading into Durjak and the people traveling it. Trade has returned to the town and with the addition of the castle, a sort of local tourism. It would seem the locals are interested in using the castle as a fallback position in the case of an attack, which seems reasonable and is sort of what they're for, really. But that means additions to the castle itself, extra structures for emergency housing, stores, armories... Which means there's now jobs locally and that's drawing people here too.

    Overall, Durjak is doing pretty well, I'd say.

    Standing up I turn to walk into my quarters, walking around the large round dining table set up under the outdoor roof covering it. The firepit still smells like wood smoke, a low-key pleasant smell which follows me inside as I leave the doors open, mixing with the minty scent of the flowers that were planted in here. Kuri is sitting in the middle of the living room floor, brushing her own tail as it's pulled across her lap.

    "Not traveling the countryside today?"

    I shake my head, walking over to her and sitting down to join her, leaning on some cushions. "Nope, taking the day off. Doctors orders."

    "What is a doctor?"

    "A healer based in science rather than herbalism or magic. There's different levels of medical care, doctors are at the top. They examine people and decide what the problem is while medics and nurses apply the treatments the doctors recommend. The genkits have one doctor and a bunch of them are trained as medics. They know humans too, so..." I shrug. "Elise apparently has a degree in psychology and told me to relax today so I can focus better when I need to, so that's what I'm doing."

    "You're not worried about being inactive?"

    "No." I shake my head. "I want to save people, uplift people. But I'm still just one person. Even with Elise's help I can only do so much and if I lose sight of that, I'll wear myself out or destroy myself expecting more than I can reasonably do, then be crushed by my own inability to do everything."

    Kuri looks thoughtful, then nods slowly. "I suppose that makes sense."

    "Which is why I want to train you with the blue ring."

    That stops her up, making her blink. "What?"

    I pull my ring off, holding it up. "You, ring, blue, glowy. It was pointed out to me recently that if anything happens to me and somebody else needs to pick up the ring and continue my work, nobody else knows how to use it. I'm still discovering that myself, but days like today where I'm not flittering about the countryside putting fires out? I want to train you in the ring."

    "Why me?"

    "You genuinely want to help people and take care of them. You've been trying to help me and frankly, I value having you and your brother here. I value all of you. Do you know why the bottom of the castle has that large space dug out?"

    "I assumed you planned to build inside it."

    "Well, yes. The ring didn't have much on its memory when I got it. One of the things it did have was instructions on how to build another ring. It takes a long time and I need to be focusing my hopes very intensely to do it, which means meditation on the blue light while I work. But overall I plan to create another blue ring in time and training you before it's finished will save quite a lot of work after it's done."

    She looks gobsmacked. "I... Yes, I accept. How do we begin?"

    "One of the things I've found is that if I'm hoping really intensely, the ring responds to it. I can call it that way, I did it before when I first spoke to the shamans. You have to be feeling hopeful to use the ring, so try focusing on all the good you can do while you have it, the lives you can s-"

    The ring flicks from my hand to hers, the blue glow surrounding her and causing her to gasp.

    "-ave and... yes. Excellent." I grins at her. "How does it feel?"

    "Like I can do anything, save anybody. How do you create objects?"

    "Hold the image of it in your mind while focusing on how sure you are it'll appear for you."

    She considers for a moment, then raises her hand in a gesture of habit, but the ring already has ideas of its own, it seems. It begins forming constructs of other Skal but I can't tell who they are because they all look kind of same-y to me.

    "Kurishalia. We are so proud of you. This path is yours and you can do far more good here than back home with the clan. Reach high."

    She looks awestruck, then nods and... hugs the construct Skal. I'm a little confused, it's the first time I've seen the ring do this and I'm not sure what's going on.

    "I will, mother."
     
  9. 1eragon33

    1eragon33 Getting sticky.

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    ... that so sweet, Though in order to do this I think the blue ring piggybacked off of Kuri's Shaman ability given one of the abilities of shaman's is to channel the voices of the honored dead for wisdom and advice
     
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  10. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    Nope, the ring manifested her family members to boost her own hopes. It had nothing to draw on when it came to Ainsley so he never experienced it and nobody else has put the ring on after he first wore it, so it's new. Essentially it wanted to reassure an insecurity Kuri had that she was going the wrong way by breaking convention and staying with Ainsley, bettering her ability to use the ring.
     
  11. Threadmarks: On A Moonlit Walk - 05
    AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    I jink to the left as Kuri fires a crossbow at me that fires like a machine gun. She's never seen a submachine gun or automatic rifle at work before having met us but she and her brother learn so quickly that we're beginning to wonder of the Skal are a race of short-lived savants. The larger the star, the shorter its lifespan, that kind of thing. It's amazing and the first thing I did when I got back with the green ring was scan her but we still haven't worked out what part of her brain is letting her learn like this. The lack of a genetics lab or any kind of AI-driven mainframe network makes it impossible to do a full genome analysis except with the ring but I have no idea how to deal with the results and our geeks aren't quite skilled enough to exploit it.

    Yet.

    A short transition forward and I'm underneath and inside of Kuri's personal space, firing myself upward through her guns dead zone in a tackle. I don't want to attack her, not really. This is about learning mindfulness and defense. Her railguns are dissipating as she reacts far faster then I expected her to, flipping forward as I come up at her and impacting my shoulders with her hands. My upwards momentum becomes her rolling momentum as she flips past me downward while I go upward, a maneuver which takes a bare half a second. I couldn't have done it. Wow.

    She hits the ground as I'm turning in midair and forms a railgun almost four times her own body size, forcing me to snap my way out of position wildly and fly hard to avoid getting slugged by her BFG. I can't help but laugh wildly, spinning in midair and doing spirals to throw off her aim. The little shit isn't worried about defense, she's forcing me to dodge! Ainsley could learn a thing or two from this girl, she definitely has the right mindset for combat.

    I spin downward and hug the deck, flying as close to the ground as I can and forming my own gun to fire at her construct, then following up by tearing my own construct apart and forming it into several cables of green light that attack from multiple directions! She's forced to form a dome around herself, then pushes it outwards as she learns from our last spar and begins creating ablative shield layers beneath the already cracking barrier. Good girl.

    I'm forced to abandon my offense as her outer shield layer pulls in on itself, the layers underneath taking my attack while she uses the failing layer as an attack vector against me, firing her own blue beam under and through my constructs at me! I have just enough time to pull back and form a barrier in front of myself, shifting the bottom back a little and turning it into a slant, the backward force of her attack both shattering my construct barrier and forcing me backwards and upwards at the same time. I push the movement and sail in an arc above her while she's blinded by her own attack, then land hard behind her and create construct armor as I impact her barrier directly from behind. With her focus forward it takes her just a little too long to notice I'm not getting blown halfway across the planet in front of her, allowing me to break down her construct shield layers and reach out to flick her left ear.

    Gotcha.

    Immediately we both drop the constructs, the grin on my face matching my tail, which won't stop. "I win, woohoo!"

    There's clapping from behind me where Ainsley has been watching us, sitting on a rock. "That lasted way longer than the first time. They weren't joking about you learning fast, Kuri."

    "Thank you. Should we continue?"

    "Nah, it's getting kind of late. That was really fun though. Ainsley, you've got to try fighting her."

    "How am I going to do that?"

    "By using the green ring, of course." I grin at him, pinning my ears back. "C'mon, you don't wanna try being forceful for once?"

    "Not usually my style." He chuckles. "I suppose it's not a bad idea in the long run, though. Kuri?"

    "Of course." She pulls the blue ring off, letting it fly through the air towards Ainsley as he calls it to himself. I shake my head a little. I still haven't quite figured out how to do that trick and it comes to both of them easily. Pretty sure the green ring is just on hard mode, but that kind of thing gets far easier when we synchronize.

    "So, what do you think of this upcoming meeting, Kuri?" I sit down in the grass next to her, rolling my shoulders.

    "I'm not sure inviting your enemies into your own bastion is wise, but your people are far more advanced than mine." She shrugs. "It may be that I'm just not seeing it. Why entertain the idea at all? You owe them nothing."

    Ainsley hm's. "I think I agreed to it mostly for two reasons. One, it gives me an idea of their personalities. I didn't banter with yellow much and I get the impression looking back on it he was kind of hamming it up. I don't know red at all and all I know of orange is a five minute conversation. It's not enough and knowledge is power." He shrugs. "Besides, there's three of them and two of us and they're clearly better with their rings within the bounds of their use. More practice. I'm not ready for a direct confrontation and saying no might have caused one."

    I shake my head. "I don't really like it." Especially Mina. Inviting yourself to hang out after showing up making implicit threats? That's not friendly behavior. Carrying a weapon to defend yourself is one thing but having a bunch of minions follow you around is another. I can't tell what Ainsley is thinking but he better not be going along with this because she's humanish and has a set of perky tits. I'll smack him if that's it, I really will.

    "I know. But if there's a bigger problem than just them we need to know about it and there's too much we don't know, too many questions they might be able to answer. Which is why we should have a backup plan for when this inevitably goes sideways and we have to fight all of them at the same time."

    I phew internally in relief at hearing him say that. At least he's trying.

    He might not be a genkit, but he's really trying. I've never really known a human so readily willing to change their entire way of thinking the way he does at the drop of a hat. I just need to get him to stop worrying so much about physical attraction. Pfft, humans.

    Maybe we can find him a nice human girl or boy to bridge the gap? Oh well.

    Existential threats first, homebuilding second.
     
  12. AngelicKnight.

    AngelicKnight. Lewd demon of negotiable affection

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    Sharing the blue ring ,wirh the shamen? Smart.
    Two things. Firstly is that breast envy I see?

    Secondly:
    *Makes a note of Perky next on the Mina waifu cons/benefits analysis page*
    Tsundere? Nah just common sense.
    I get the sense Genkits are more about the mind? Makes sense wirh how diverse they are physically.
    Is this supportive wingwoman behaviour?

    Or is Elise looking for a threesome to ease Ainsley into things?
    Gotta ensure there is a home left to build after.

    Then shake the foundations, break the bed and make a few Cribs.
     
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  13. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    Elise:
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. AngelicKnight.

    AngelicKnight. Lewd demon of negotiable affection

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    Wait Genkits were pretty endangered on theirbworld right? Not many of them left?

    And even fewer on this new world... perhaps she's seeking to repopulate?

    Good thing Ainsley can heal.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
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  15. Threadmarks: On A Moonlit Walk - 06
    AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    "There's still time to change your mind, you know." Elise is standing just behind me and to my right, speaking quietly. We're standing in the antechamber which serves as my 'throne room', something which Bradley eventually convinced me to make in order to have something like a seat of governance if I'm going to be in charge of people. Mostly because I am in charge whether I want to be or not. The locals just sort of unanimously decided for me.

    "No, we're committed to this now. Trust me." Kuri is sitting to my left on the steps leading up to my seat, casually leaning her elbow on one knee. In the middle of the hall a large conference table has been set up and laid out to serve meals. A few of the locals working in the castle for us thanks to Sammy are bringing out drinks for the group as we're waiting for Ren to finish escorting them to the hall from outside.

    "I do trust you. But this stinks of a set up and I don't like the whole disarming ourselves bit of this. It's stupid."

    "Who said anything about disarming ourselves?"

    I glance at Elise at the same time she glances at me and tilts her head, but there's no time for further discussion on the subject. Ren strides into the room in a full set of newly re-fabricated armor, stepping to the side and revealing our three 'delegates'.

    Yellow - Nemesis - isn't glowing. His ring is on a chain around his neck, though. Within easy reach but complying with the rules at large. Looking at him now, he seems almost hawkish, putting me in mind of Grand Moff Tarkin. That feels like a good fit somehow. His appearance has been shaped somehow by his use of the ring and how he thinks, his features severe, almost brutish. His armor is silver plate with lines of gold forming his sigil, a different suit than what he wore before. He also has an actual cape. It ought to be ridiculous but somehow, it isn't.

    Mina is barely dressed and I'm not sure if what she's counting counts as dressed. She has her ring on a string clipped to her collar, almost like a bell. The choker is the most opaque part of the outfit and the rest leaves nothing to the imagination. The outfit as a whole puts me in mind of a belly dancer but the veil covering most of her, despite being transparent, makes me think 'desert-dweller'.

    Heh, it's a good thing the ring can help control my body language. I'm pretty sure she's doing that to distract me.

    The third one is clearly the red light user and she's glowing, her ring still on. Fists clenched, she's glowering at us, wearing adventurers leathers and a thick cloak, all dyed in red and black. Her sigil glows at her chest and her body language screams impatience.

    "Ah, and so I my return has come at last. Hi there, Elise." Nemesis smiles winsomely up at us. "And with a spread, no less. Let it not be said that the blue light is attuned to the inhospitable."

    "Old habits die hard, goldilocks." Elise nods at the red girl. "We haven't met yet. What do you call yourself?"

    "I am Lady Vara." When she speaks it's curt, almost grudging. She isn't looking at us, examining the chamber and table instead. "I cannot remove the ring. I once tried and the pain was overwhelming. Debilitating. It's tied to me. Fucking deal with it or don't."

    "My ring is capable of turning off my ability to feel pain. Is yours incapable of doing the same?"

    "My ring is fucking stupid. It only sort of does what I want it to. You gonna blab at me all day or we gonna sit down and talk?"

    "Yes, take a seat." I turn to look at Kuri but she's already gone, disappeared into the kitchens. Ah. Turning to look at Elise I find her staring at Mina, frowning a bit. "Come on, they won't bite."

    I walk down the steps to join the other side of the table with Elise as Mina speaks up. "Not disarming yourselves, then?"

    "No."

    "So how come Nemesis and I are?"

    "Because we don't trust him, while you two ladies are unknown variables. And if Lady Vara can't remove her ring..."

    Mina nods, which makes the rest of her- looking up at her face now. "I get it. Gotta sweet-talk you into trusting me, no problem."

    I take a deep breath, looking down at the table for a moment as Kuri returns with several others holding platters. "Since we're not in a rush, I figured we could sit down together and have an informal conversation before we start getting serious. None of us know each other. Mina gave the impression that you want to work with us for some reason and we'll get to that, but there's hard feelings." I glare at Nemesis. "However, from what I understand the genkits have a long history of dealing diplomatically with factions they were merrily killing a week or two before and it was suggested to me that learning a bit about each other before the negotiations would help smooth things along."

    "That... makes a surprising degree of sense." Vara sounds mildly confused. "I don't know anything about you two and I barely know Mina at all."

    "Thank you." That seems to please Mina more than it ought to.

    "Okay." I nod slowly. "I'll start us off then. I chose the name Ainsley, don't know much about who I was and mostly I've been acting to improve this particular town so that I can help these people and tie trade together. Get better access to technologies, magic, knowledge."

    "And green over there? Not gonna speak up?"

    "I got this ring because of him." She points at Nemesis, who shrugs elaborately. "I'm here with Ainsley because he's proven his worth as a person. We give loyalty to those who deserve it. Who better to align ourselves with than a man who works to better others?" Elise shrugs too. "With nowhere to go, he was the first to extend a hand in friendship. Our destinies are intertwined, now. Ainsley has risked his life for us, not many humans ever did that."

    "Ooh, that sounds like a story." Mina leans forward on her elbows, resting her chin on her knuckles. "Wanna tell it to me later?"

    Elise isn't sure how to take that, looking confused. "Moving on." I interject before anything else can happen. "What's your story, Mina?"

    "Ohhh, you know. A girl goes and gets a super-ring, travels the world, collects some toys, some boys, some girls, has a few whirls. These days I'm building up a nice, semi-modern little city on the coast of one of the other continents here. 's great, really. Mostly steam-powered and basic electricity but they're doing cool stuff with magic."

    "We might be open to trade with your people at some point."

    "Hah! Maybe, depends on what you got. I'm preeeetty expensive." She grins, ears folded out to the sides as she shows teeth.

    "And you, Nemesis?"

    "Hard pass. And if you ask Vara you're only going to piss her off because she knows answering will piss me off and make problems, so piss off."

    I sigh. "Yes, I can see that dinner with you will be a delight."

    "I aim to please, Ainsley me boy."
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
  16. AngelicKnight.

    AngelicKnight. Lewd demon of negotiable affection

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    Didn't expect that tbh. Thought they would disarm too but have snipers watching or something.
    Mina is pure win. I wonder if she does that for all the diplomatic meetings or if Ainsley and Elise are getting the deluxe diplomatic treatment package?

    Also if he has to use a ring to hide his reactions then it's working.
    Red light user.
    Hmmmm..... she seems fun. I wonder if she's tsundere? Gotta weaponise that Rage at Baka's who don't understand she's got the hots for them.
    Is she afraid of a bad first impression?
    Ohhh orange! I wonder if Elise Wants Mina? She did mention wanting to find a more human looking cutiepie for Ainsley before. Maybe she's reevaluating that idea?

    Also orange followed by green. Perhaps she forced herself to keep her eyes above the neck?
    Poor Ainsley. He really needs to get some, he's been single his entire life (at least from his perspective). Don't think he's even had a kiss yet. Also looks like her plan of "Wear as little as possible and be seductive as hell" is working.
    I wanna hug them so much.
    Awwwwwwwwww!

    I see the light or love! Perhaps platonic, perhaps romantic?

    Either way I repeat, awwwwwwww.
    I bet that does interesting things to show off her figure. Probably intentional.
    Ohhhh! Elise has got a case of Bi confusion?
    Mina is Bi? She must want all the lewds. But yeah for starting off her description like a hedonistic party girl she surprisingly had a steampunk magi tech city she rules. Which implies a decent level of politicking and spending significant amounts time on not lewd or pleasurable things. She seems to be coping well with her light.
    ... how much for headpats? Would she charge by the hour or the pat?

    Asking for a freind. ;)
    No that's Mina, you aim to be a dick Mr Nemesis.

    Also tiny bit disjointed Mr Nemesis doesn't look like his Namesake. "STARRRRRS!"
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
  17. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    Corrected, thanks.

    No, she's just so used to terrifying people she expects it now when she introduces herself

    Trust me, that's not the bit that's confusing her
     
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  18. AngelicKnight.

    AngelicKnight. Lewd demon of negotiable affection

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    That's sad. Wanna hug her. Ainsley should hug her since I can't. Or Elise. But Ainsley is blue and blue is good for red.
    Because she knows she is Bi? Or because she is straighter than spaghetti?
     
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  19. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    ...Yes.
     
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  20. AngelicKnight.

    AngelicKnight. Lewd demon of negotiable affection

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    You are such a tease.


    :D
     
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  21. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    Mina and Elise are both facets of my personality I put some window dressing on, that should explain why I'm like this at least :)
     
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  22. AngelicKnight.

    AngelicKnight. Lewd demon of negotiable affection

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    Hmmm..... so you have perky tits too? And floofy ears?:p

    Interesting!
     
  23. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    If only ;-;

    There's a reason Ainsley is so casual about the idea of changing genders.
     
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  24. AngelicKnight.

    AngelicKnight. Lewd demon of negotiable affection

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    Hmmmmmm.... may I PM?
     
  25. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    I dun care but I don't plan to go into detail about it, in fairness
     
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  26. AngelicKnight.

    AngelicKnight. Lewd demon of negotiable affection

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    Okay. Nevermind then.


    So what are the chances of Mina siding with Ainsley and Elise? She seems amenable to cooperation and trade in future.
     
  27. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    We'll just have to see :)

    As for the other things, like parahumans, it's a big "Its complicated" card
     
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  28. Chojin Patriarch

    Chojin Patriarch Veteran Lurker

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    Time to get caught up on this. A few chapters behind, but...
    Heh. Some lantern SI's never think about that possibility, especially the ones in non-DC universes.

    Still, having a full partner now makes it a lot easier, doesn't it?

    Heh, 'Normal' is overrated. Embrace the strange and wonderful.

    :p I hear Meiou Setsuna is still salty about it in some universes...

    Good to see both of them showing that hint of affection. I doubt either of them have missed those flashes, assuming they've learned Empathic Vision.

    True, you need something a bit sturdier to get through environmental shields...

    An unusual tempo to her oath. But gratifying to see how strongly she feels about it. Fun to have a partner to cover your back when recharging, too.

    Ah, min-maxing, genre-savvy and high-spirited. Got to love that combination.

    I sense a touch of personal experience there. Some interesting bits of history for her to share one day...

    Oh, myyy. [/takei] Yeah, she's no teenager, is she? With everything we've seen from her, I'd bet she's closer to her thirties. If nothing else, being second-in-command of the expedition confirms that.

    I love their interplay. Takes a compatible couple to banter that easily.

    "Avarice calling!" Here comes Agent Orange!

    At least they're not especially tough, eh? I doubt that was permanent, though.

    Nothing says she didn't take the ring from another person, you know...

    Ouch, that's got to set him worrying. Knowing someone this powerful could have just walked into town without any warning...

    See, children, this is why you have backups for the environmental shields.

    Lord Fear: "It seemed like a good idea at the time?"

    Oh, yes, she's staked her claim. Just a matter of how long it takes Ainsley to realise it...

    Sensible. And declaring his willingness to play by the same rules is a fair mark of character.

    In other words, keep your central battery's location under your hat. Presumably bad things happen if it gets damaged...

    Admittedly, she probably only realised where it was because she was either tailing you, or your poking it sent off quite the energy flare...

    Ah, Elise's father, setting out to find his little girl? Hope he's thought to bring along spare portal parts, just in case.

    Okay, that's the sign of a good father right there.

    ...'Or something' indeed. Boy, is daddy gonna be shocked.

    A good father and a good commander. It's not surprising none of them turned back here...

    Boy, is he in for a surprise... A happy one, but boy, is his jaw going to hit the floor...

    A nice chance to cool down before things get real hot, eh?

    Some girls just live to mother everyone.

    More glimpses of her hidden depths, eh? I bet he still thinks of Elise as a kid, though...

    That'd be a definite way to break your ability to use a blue ring, honestly. Good thing he's smart enough not to have a single point of failure in things.

    I bet it'll be a lot easier to make new blue rings than any other, too...

    Honestly, anyone else, I could see being worried about how readily it went to her...

    Oh, my. Now that's an impressive display of compatibility.

    Maybe the Skal are just naturally more emotive than other races? Which makes me worried if one gets one of the 'selfish' colours.

    It's like tag. Tag played at the speed of thought.

    But there's still room for improvement, clearly. I don't doubt that Kuri will make those improvements.

    It would take some getting used to, though. So good to get started now.

    Know your enemy. Especially when you're outnumbered.

    Claim soundly staked.

    Like you said earlier, you're his tactical brain. Sometimes you've got to smack him with the clue-by-four... But it is gratifying when he works it out for himself too.

    Hopefully he catches on before the violet ring shows up. Could be awkward if they have to do the aforementioned clue-by-four smacks.
    I'll leave the meeting chapters 'til later, though, so we can see the whole thing complete.
     
  29. AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    Orange and Blue don't always play well together when they're at odds.

    That's not too far off the mark, actually. Her dad on the other hand, way older than you might think.

    That's pretty much how it went, yeah

    He's been at this game for awhile

    Kuri is absolutely one of those people for sure

    On the contrary, the ring did that because her self-doubt would've interfered with her ability to use the ring. It was the AI using her own mind to reassure her and provide better compatibility in the short term.

    They are, but their mental discipline isn't so great. They live shorter lives and can be very childish and raw in a lot of ways. Kuri has the benefit of being a shaman, which makes her an outlier, but they tend to be very childlike in a lot of ways. Everything is new and fascinating and there's few filters in their emotions and thoughts. By the time they're 20 they're middle-aged already.



    Apropos of this post I hope to update today, I've been having trouble framing how I want this to go in a way I'm satisfied with. Some days it's easier than others. My ability to think clearly is better some days than others.
     
  30. Threadmarks: On A Moonlit Walk - 07
    AverusBlack

    AverusBlack AKA Sky

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    "Do you wish to be free of it?"

    It's just after dinner and we're taking a few minutes before re-convening and getting down to business. Vara has made her way out to the garden balcony, looking out over the valley in the same spot I tend to sit while meditating or thinking. She turns her head to glance over her shoulder at me, framing her features against the lights in the garden for a moment.

    "Of what? The ring?"

    I nod, standing next to her and looking out where she's been looking. "Yes. You could be free of it. I could help."

    "Why would you do that?"

    "I'm hope. It's what I do."

    She doesn't answer immediately, hooking her thumbs in her belt. "A year ago I would've said yes. Now I'm not sure. I used to be horrified by it, really."

    "Used to be?"

    "Yes. The red light encourages you to think in certain ways. The first time I took a body part as a trophy Nemesis - that wasn't his name at the time - was revolted. Entirely put off by it. Since he was changed it's less of a problem but his reaction put into perspective just how much my outlook on things has been forcibly changed."

    "Does this have to do with this threat he's been dangling over us?"

    "Yes. Mostly." She hangs her head slightly, letting black hair fall across one eye. "When this is all said and done, if we both yet live, I might say yes. I'm so fucking tired of all this, really. I just want to be left alone. Why does nobody ever leave me alone?" She sighs in frustration.

    I nod. "Why are you involved with him anyways? You clearly don't like him."

    "I don't like anyone. I tolerate people to degrees. Some, like you, are easier than others, like him. I found him after he arrived, before he was re-aligned to his ring. Pathetic excuse of a man, really. A coward. Ruled by his own fears. Barely tolerable now, the cowardice was replaced by a sort of malevolent humor. Probably always under the surface, just too deep to see." She hmphs. "If you manage to kill him, I might even thank you for it."

    I shake my head. "Not really my style and if this is as important as he says, training somebody new with his ring would take time."

    "True. Part of why I tolerate him, barely."

    "And Mina?"

    "A non-concern. She's got her little toys and that's all she cares about. I barely pay attention to her or her city."

    "Is she a threat?"

    "Probably. She's not the only orange."

    That stops me up, turning my head to look at her. "What?"

    "Orange can make rings easily. Not good ones, but functional. She has one like that. We killed the original orange."

    "Why?"

    "Crazy, stupid, not useful. Too hedonistic, too selfish. Too dangerous. Their ability to forcibly turn people into constructs was too much to just ignore him and let him be. So we killed him."

    I find that rather disquieting. "I hope you're not planning something like that here."

    "No. You're potentially useful and so is your girlfriend, far more than Engel was."

    "She's not my girlfriend."

    "Yeah, let me know when you figure out how wrong you are." She snickers and turns, heading back inside and leaving me behind.

    I sigh a little and follow a moment later. Inside, Elise is watching Nemesis try and fail to hit on Mina, who's barely paying attention to him at all. When Vara and I re-enter he gets up, arms spread. "Aaah, our illustrious host returns. I trust we're ready to get down to business, then?"

    "I suppose so. So, Nemmy, why are we all here?"

    He nods, pacing back and forth across the room as he speaks. "Vara was the first of us. We didn't clue into the central batteries for awhile, not until I'd come along and established myself and Engel entered the picture. We discovered them through him. It was also he who found the seal."

    "What seal?"

    "Vara?" She provides a construct of what appears to be a temple situated into a cliff face. "This is the temple of the light. That's only what we call it because the rings don't translate what's inside. We have no idea what it actually is. The seal itself appears to be free-standing arch in a large chamber roughly half the size of this castles grounds. At the moment, the red, orange and yellow central batteries are in this chamber, bolstering the seals integrity. Which is slowly falling."

    "Why is it falling?" Elise folds her arms under her breasts, frowning.

    "It's something to do with the rings appearing. Did you know time passes more slowly here?"

    I shake my head. "No, we didn't. Compared to what?"

    "There are other worlds than these, Ainsley." He sounds grim. "We've made brief contact with one or two, like your friends homeworld. Time passes more quickly in other worlds than here. Our running hypothesis is that the rings were sent here together but are appearing piecemeal due to the dilation. Every time a new one appears that seal gets just a little bit weaker and it takes more power to bolster it."

    "What's on the other side of the seal?"

    "Beats us." He shrugs. "Who knows? Gods, monsters, demons, Spongebob Squarepants, who can guess?" What-bob... pants? What? "Frankly, for all we know, it'll blip the entire world out like waveforms canceling each other out."

    "So what does this have to do with us? Me and Elise?"

    "Well, it's simple, really. We want you to move your central batteries into the temple and agree not to fuck with the others. In return, we mostly leave you alone. When Indigo shows up they become your problem because we've got our hands full."

    "Oh?" Elise pipes up. "With what, exactly?"

    "What if there's an army on the other side of that seal? Some massive enemy we can't beat? You can't deny these rings are powerful. They're too powerful. Why are they here? Why are we here? The presumption is that we need that kind of power to face whatever is trying to make its way through here, but we're not relying solely on the rings. We have other plans in motion."

    "And you want us to give you free reign."

    "Yes, essentially."

    "Then why the FUCK did you attack us?" Elise is staring at him, eyes narrowed.

    "It was the most direct way to assess whether or not you were trying to master the rings, or simply getting by with them. If you'd been lousy or tried to run away, we'd have come after you to relieve you of the blue ring until we found somebody suitable for it. This isn't a game, kids. This is the end of the world we might be talking about."

    "You think that this makes us friends?" Elise sounds thoughtful. "Because it doesn't. Let me tell you something about my people, Goldilocks. Our time hanging around hasn't been that long, the first of us were made 'bout a century ago. In that time we've -" She starts ticking off her fingers. "-survived a genocide, established a fully enclosed city as an offworld colony experiment, established ties with every nation who fought against us and crushed the rest. Do you remember what I said about us fighting to the last that day?"

    "Oh, yes. I found your resistance both surprising and delightful. When you took the green ring and simply let Engel die, mm." He kisses the tips of his fingers. "The ruthlessness of it. Beautiful. You impressed me that day, Elise."

    She looks mildly revolted. "When you pick a fight with one of us, you pick a fight with all of us. Humans have attacked us only to find children shooting back. All of us, do you understand? When you threaten us, threaten our homes, our lives, don't ever expect it to be easy. Even if you win in the short term, your time occupying us would be so fraught with resistance you'll wish you never bothered. Keep that in mind, Goldilocks. External threats take precedence but we're not going to forget what you did."

    He nods. "Yes, that reminds me. What happened to that guard?"

    "He lived."

    "Oh, good. I-"

    "Shut up, Goldilocks. You've said your bit. Ainsley?"

    I take a moment to think before answering. "I think it would be a good idea to examine this all for ourselves before we agree to anything. Vara?"

    "I'm not taking you. I have better things to do than babysit you. Mina can do it."

    Elise frowns at that but Mina lights up like a lamp. "Ooh, I totally will. We're gonna have a blast!"

    Something tells me I'm going to regret this.
     
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