Summary:The Solars finally assemble the ingredients needed to enhance their Essence capabilities, and (with one minor exception for Lucent) it goes off without a hitch.

XP:C4, I4, L4, S4, V4, Z4


< Chocolates and Glory | Sol Invictus Logs | Madam >

zahara "Finally." She lays the last of the ingredients out in a precise line, arrayed down the gleaming surface of a newly erected table in her workshop - having not had the inclination to clean off the other surfaces, and besides this table can also serve as a neat surgery surface.

Lucent walks in humming a pleasant tune. "Is it time?"

zahara "If I have to put this off a moment longer there'll be hell to pay, so yes, it is time."

Cerin There is a footstep. Then there is Cerin's voice "Good," he said, and then he appeared, kissing Zahara's cheek.

zahara turns to embrace the ninja in her life.

Imrama enters wearing only a long white cotton robe, and simple sandles. His hair is down and loose about his shoulders and his hands are folded in front of him. "I am ready."

Varanim is slouched in a corner, either dozed off or currently doing something else with her consciousness.

zahara "Alright, anyone who's late to the party will just have to wait for their turn.

Cerin unwraps his arms from Zahara, stepping back alittle

zahara sets to work. She doesn't need the checklist, having long since memorized it in all its 'intricacy'. Firstly she sets out the Orichalcum channelcage obtained from the Xi-Mi-Taxi - she ought to check up on them and see how they're doing sometime. Then with surgical precision, she extracts the essence of each ingredient in turn, dripping the nigh-invisible results into the appropriate indents in the device.

The trace Essence of the channel-cage begins to hum and glow faintly as Zahara completes her intricate work.

zahara With each added fragment essence, the cage begins to glow more brightly, the channels flowing now, with increasing speed. She holds it up dramatically, as she turns around, eyes gleaming with a giddiness that has not been seen for a long time. "I humbly volunteer to be the initial test subject."

Spring "Shocking and unexpected."

zahara smirks. "But of course, I like to keep you on your toes."

Spring chimes in from the other side of the workshop, where he is experimenting with various Essence containment structures, in case Zahara explodes.

zahara slides the lower surface of the table beneath the top, covering the ingredients in case of mishap, then slides onto the table, helpfully sliding wrists and ankles through convenient loops in order to insure maximum stillness. "Lucent, would you do the honors?"

Cerin studies the channelcage with interest, studying for any flaws, even the most minute. Though he knows Zahara's work is flawless, he's still worried about this, about what might happen if ... no.

Lucent makes surgical gloves out of Journey and Sun orbs, attempting not to joke about getting some Incarna in her. "I would be most glad to, Empress. This might hurt. In fact, you would be in excruciating pain, enough to rip your soul off from your body." He taps her forehead. "But now you will feel no physical pain. It will still hurt a little bit, though. You know. On the soul."

zahara relaxes at the touch, aches and pains she hadn't realized she had melting away. She gives him a sunny smile. "I can take it."

Cerin isn't exactly prowling, nor looking over Lucent's shoulder. But he's certainly paying attention.

zahara "Don't worry, Love. If I go mad, I promise I won't attempt to kill you."

Cerin ::That was not what I was worried about:: he says, only to her.

Lucent takes a Moon Scalpel, like those used on Pluto, and slices open her ribcage. Motes of Essence begin to pour into her, drawing out a connection with her soul, droplets of blood flowing upwards to become dots of reality into a growing node of light at the center of her chest. "Well, this is a conduit to your soul. See where the blood flows, that is the light of the Po."

zahara "That's... fascinating," Her voice is slightly strained.

Spring begins setting up small structures, consisting of improbably arranged stacks of lit candles, intended to draw off the force of any incipient Essence detonation.

Spring whistles cheerfully as he does so.

Lucent arranges the cage between that channel, holding it in stasis for a moment. "So."

Lucent "As soon as I let go this node will be catapulted back to your soul and you will need to hold it in place."

Lucent "I will help your Essence reorganize as well as I am able, but... be ready? Please?"

zahara finds it mildly difficult to concentrate on the concept of pain at the moment, but nods to him, "I'm as ready as I'll ever be."

Lucent lets go, and the node - with the cage, and her blood - sinks into her with an exhalation comparable to a iconic anima!

Cerin watches the process of melding with interest. And concern.

The first thing Zahara feels is a shock through her entire body, from top to bottom, unlike anything she's felt in -- well, probably since that time that she died.

The pain of that shock is followed by a tingling sensation that begins in her chest and begins to spread out like an uncontrollable fire, igniting her every mote with unquenchable heat and roaring energy. And after that comes the feeling of vibration, like something began to shake and won't stop.

It's at about that point that an instant has passed and zahara actually has a chance to react.

zahara stiffens with the shock of the pain, her soul not being pleased at this new development. A hiss of pain escapes her lips, her eyes rolling back and hands clawing at the slippery surface of the table. The hiss turns into a scream as her body arches, the glow spilling from her chest. She draws a ragged breath. Blinks. Shivers.

It's at this point that the light starts to fill out the rest of Zahara's body, spilling out through her eyes and mouth, putting a golden glow into her pale skin -- a glow at once alike, and yet totally different from, the anima display that Solars are so familiar with.

As Cerin watches, he sees the rapid-fire action in Zahara's essence pattern -- lines knitting and bending together, patterns expanding, segments re-arranging, all to accommodate the huge chunk of new fuel that had been dropped into the oven just moments ago.

All in all, it does not appear to be doing anything other than the -- rather explosive -- thing it was intended to do.

Cerin ::Zahara?:: he asks, radiating concern, support, fear, hope through the unity they share.

zahara ::I.. I am alright.:: She opens eyes she didn't realize she'd closed against the light and looks up at Lucent. "That wasn't so bad," she says shakily. She tries to sit up and fails, in no small part due to the fact she's still strapped down.

Cerin moves over to her side, helpfully easing her limbs from the restraints.

Lucent runs the edge of the 'scalpels' - now more like swords - on her skin, as he finishes aiding the realignament. "... good."

Lucent sighs in relief. "How are you feeling?"

zahara sits, leaning on Cerin a bit. She takes stock of herself, flexing her fingers and toes. "Amazing." She grins. "I feel amazing!"

Lucent "Yes!"

Lucent "Um, I mean, that is great, that is great." He almost jumps with excitement. "So, NEXT!"

Cerin "Good," he says, and kisses her, holding her to him closely.

Cerin glances about the room, and then climbs onto the table.

Lucent blinks. "You are not going to kill me later on for slicing your chest open, right?"

zahara kisses Cerin, sending a wave of pleasure through their link. ::I love you.:: She rests her fingers on his arm as he lays down. "Not THIS time," she winks to Lucent.

Cerin privately wonders how this feels compared to the infernal version. ::I love you too:: "Only if you mess it up, and then somehow, it will be difficult for me."

Lucent "Good point." And Lucent begins his work, slicing open his chest, pulling out the blood and light, opening another channel between his hun, his po, and the essence he was working on his hand... and preparing it. He tried not to hum. He was unsussesful. "Ready?"

Cerin just barely inclines his head. Wel, the being asked is definitely new

Lucent lets go, watching Cerin's reaction to it! (And helping him as well, of course!)

Varanim cracks an eye open, considers the room for a moment, then glances over at Spring. "You'll have to do Lucent, right? Practice on me."

zahara watches Cerin's transformation with concern and excitement.

Watching the process happen to himself is an interesting experience for Cerin. With preternatural awareness, he knows well in advance when each shock will run up and down his body; from within, he watches each strand of his own soul bend and reweave around its new elements,

noting with interest the moments in which his Essence-powered vision briefly blacks out and how quickly the rerouting Essence channels restore his Charm capabilities.

After a moment, it is done, and Cerin finds himself standing there, his sight already forcing itself out past its previous barriers, his body glowing fiercely in a manner that even has yet to subside for Zahara.

Cerin ::This ...this is going to make being a ninja rather inconvinient for a short while ...:: "Thank. You. Lucent. Zahara." he says, as soon as he is able.

Lucent takes a bow as soon as he finishes his aid. "It was an honor to aid your ascension, Cerin the Wolf."

zahara chuckles. "Quite."

Cerin stands, after a short while of lying there. He hugs Zahara once again.

zahara helps him off the table, winding her arms around him

Spring frowns, but nods to Varanim, and motions her towards the table.

Lucent glares at Varanim. And Spring! He was supposed to do that, damn it all! Spring had better do it right!

Varanim lies down as directed, losing her normal air of irritable distraction long enough to turn her Essence sight on herself and her arm.

Spring glances at the scalpels, but eschews them. Taking the channel in one hand, he places the other on Varanim's abdomen, rubbing gently, then slowly plunges his fingers fully into Varanim's body, feeling around carefully for the twin souls.

Spring "Hm."

Spring "If you overuse your fifth chakra, it will wear, you know."

Spring is relatively up on his soul anatomy and so has little trouble locating the smooth, rounded edge of the hun and slightly rough, meandering border of the po. The warm, geometrically edged light between them, though Spring has never seen or felt it before, is undoubtedly the Solar Exaltation.

Lucent "I KEEP telling her that."

zahara "Now may not be the right time for lectures," Zahara observes

Lucent "Not lecturing!"

Varanim "If I live long enough for it to be a problem, I'll put a patch on it."

Spring holds his place with that hand and licks the index finger on the other. Carefully, he breathes in, then out, and pushes the channelcage through Varanim's skin and into the light of the Exaltation, taking the utmost care not to let his fingers touch the light, lest they be perfectly incinerated.

Varanim feels, and sees, the channelcage latch on with a surprising tenacity and fierceness, and feels her souls reverberating as they send out thousands of tiny tendrils that tie them into themselves. As she feels the heat radiate out, she's confronted with almost the... feeling of a great clang as expanding Solar energy runs headlong into her soulsteel arm;

she feels the Solar heat met with the resistance of a growing icy chill, just strong enough to maintain a perfect gap betwixt the two such that the antagonistic Essences do not meet.

A moment later it is done: she feels the hot throbbing in her sternum subside to a steady level and the painful, biting chill in her shoulder sinks down to a level that the conscious mind can bear without shutting down.

Spring "You may feel some slight itching and also megalomania."

Varanim After several seconds of silence, Varanim blinks. "Huh. Well, at least I won't have to look for a new arm."

Spring "Either way, let me know."

Varanim thinks about that for a second more as she climbs off the table. "If my ego gets bigger, will you really need telling?"

Lucent "I am honestly not sure."

Spring "Yes. There is a problem with significant digits."

Lucent "Imrama, shall I aid your ascension now?"

Varanim "Maybe a problem for a brain as insignificant as... I mean, sure, I'll tell you first thing if I notice anything funny." Then she settles back in her corner to doze off again.

Imrama nods solemnly. "Please."

Imrama takes his place on the table.

Lucent proceeds to follow through the same steps he had followed with Zahara and Cerin, noticing bemused how the blood and essence of the Admiral shift like waves in the ocean before placing the cage, and closing his eyes. "And let us transcend." And so, he lets go, and the cage sunk into Imrama!

Imrama sits up abruptly on the table, light streaming out from every pore, his eyes like twin lighthouses, shining from the looming shore. In his mind, the radiant plans for a multitude of airships fan out before him. The corners of his previously sober lips curl into a grin. "I am going to make so many ships."

(For Imrama, more than anyone else, this moment had a readily-available preceding referent: the Sixth and Final Transcension of Chrysoberyl Skies, as detailed in the seventeenth entry of the Green Skies of the West series.)

Lucent smiles. "Why am I not surprised."

Imrama hops down lightly from the table, and claps Lucent on the shoulder with a warm and familiar force. "Thank you, my friend!" He nods more gently in Zahara's direction. "And thank you, Empress."

Lucent claps Imrama's back. "You are more than welcome! So, NEXT!"

Lucent "... oh, wait."

zahara grins.

Spring sighs.

Spring "Do you want to go first, or shall I?"

Lucent considers. "I... think I should be first." He nods, laying there like the others before him.

Lucent "It is not like you have not rebult my essence from almost-nothing once, after all."

Spring nods. Taking a cage in one hand, he begins to investigate Lucent's soul with the other.

Compared to his previous experience just a moment ago, Spring can't help but note that something about the soul-matter he's pushing through is rather... slight.

Spring "Have you been...I you often..."

Spring "Something is wrong."

Spring shrugs, and begins carefully sliding the cage into place.

Spring gets a mental warning before the process is complete that something else is about to surprise him, which gives him plenty of time to react smoothly and effectively to the fact that the structure he is about to implant in Lucent's soul is in fact already present.

Spring "Lucent..."

Spring "I am not sure how to put this."

zahara "What's wrong?"

Spring "Mostly that I dislike time travel."

Spring "Lucent, you already have a channelcage."

Lucent "What? I... I do not remember ever receiving one? Are you... sure? Is that recent?"

zahara "What????"

Spring "I could take it out and see, if you like."

zahara "That may not be a good idea."

Spring feels around with his free hand.

Lucent considers it for a moment. A long moment. And then he closed his eyes. "Do it."

Lucent "I trust you."

The channelcage structure seems oddly flimsy just like everything else Spring is feeling in there, but the connections that attach it to the remainder of the soul geometry seem well-established -- with none of the rawness or residual essence scabbing that marks recent surgery, and even a variety of organic capillaries that have spread out from the point of implantation.

zahara watches with her Essence Sight

zahara rests her hand on Luc's shoulder and squeezes.

Spring takes a deep breath, and hooks one of his fingers into the structure of the planted channelcage. Bending down, he breathes a thin golden air into Lucent's chakras, providing some measure of stability to carry him through what is about to happen. In one smooth motion, he swaps the two.

For exactly one-tenth of one second, all is fire and destruction.

Varanim After a few moments of feigning indifference, Varanim had opened her eyes again once everyone's attention was on Lucent. Frowning now, she watches the proceedings not only with her Essence sight but also the detective's curiosity, searching the work Spring unravels for clues about the type of person who did it.

After a tiny eternity of almost indescribable suffering, Lucent finds the experience just as suddenly over, and already an almost an ancient memory, like a bad dream that fades upon the morning's wake.

Varanim, looking over the new Essence structure that Spring finds himself holding now, digs into the subtle clues regarding who implanted it originally, and gets the sense that it was someone enthusiastic, dedicated, maybe a little possessive... forward, yet complex... a bit frantic and sometimes scatterbrained, yet intensely focused when roused...

Spring glances at it himself.

zahara takes a step forward, her attention caught by the structure

Spring "Zahara?"

As Varanim concludes her glance she finds herself experiencing feelings of joy and irritation at the person responsible, in perhaps indistinguishably equal measures.

Spring "I suppose there was no real point in swapping them."

Spring flips the excess channelcage to Zahara.

Spring examines it, paying close attention to its minutiae. It is not only the same type of pattern; it is indeed exactly the same, clearly rendered using a channelcage of identical manufacture and an equivalent in Essence flavoring batch of ingredients.

Varanim "Ah, hell. Spring, could you gird yourself to hate time travel a little more?"

Lucent smiles to Zahara, eyes still closed. He would rather not see his soul unraveling. The exchange goes with just a whimper.

Spring *switch those lines heyo

Spring "I will attempt it with all the vigor at my command."

Lucent "Time... travel?"

Varanim "Great, because the old cage was either put in by Lucent, or by an exact emotional copy of his man-child self."

zahara "What?"

Lucent "What?!?"

Spring "Yes, I hate it more now. Thank you for the warning beforehand."

Varanim shrugs and answers the room at large, "I aim to please... oh, wait, I don't."

Lucent "Wait, are you telling me that I will be made by myself using one of the Empress' devices... in the future?"

Varanim "You know as much as I do."

Varanim "I mean, about this extremely limited subject, obviously."

zahara tilts her head to one side

Lucent "So your head is hurting too?"

Spring "You might, conceivably, be made by yourself using Zahara's device in the past. However, that would still require time travel."

zahara "You know, we should try that again."

Lucent "That only makes it hurt MORE, Spring."

Spring "Perhaps you should rest it by performing surgery on me."

Lucent "Good idea. So... you DID switch mine with a new one?" Lucent asks as he gets up, a little scatterbrained, not as enthusiastic as usual

Spring "I did, although I am not sure how effective it will be."

Lucent "I did not... feel anything. Much of anything."

Lucent "Strange."

Lucent "Oh, um. Lay down?"

Spring lies down.

Lucent cancels the Wassiran's ability to feel pain, opens his chakras, creates a node of Essence... and lets the cage sink into his soul! "Well, at least your essence must be used to taking in strange, foreign essence-charged objects, right?" Lucent hopes as he sees the cage disappear into his essence.

The transition is smooth and efficient. Spring is prepared in advance for each of the shocking sensations, and after a moment he feels only the warmth of Essence cascading out through his limbs.

Spring "Hm."

Spring "Something went right."

Spring steps down off the table and stretches lightly.

Lucent "I know, that is usually not the case with us, is it?"

Spring "You will notice that is not my catchphrase."

Lucent "Indeed."

Lucent "And it appears that I am now the weakest among us." He frowns. "Being built with it, I really should be able to just snap my fingers and..."

Lucent Fingers snap.

Lucent The room explodes.

zahara ducks?

It's true: the room does, at least for certain limited senses of the word, explode.

Thankfully, nothing in the room is particularly flammable, largely including the other Solars, so the intense burst of pure Essence flame that radiates out from Lucent's body at the snap of his fingers doesn't seem to do much actual damage to anyone or anything.

Spring "Good job."

zahara sniffs and looks around the workroom

zahara "I think you melted my slate."

Lucent looks quite contrite. "... sorry."

zahara shakes her head. "I don't know why I keep using that"

Varanim looks more rumpled and irritable than usual. "Are we done here?"

< Chocolates and Glory | Sol Invictus Logs | Madam >

Page last modified on November 29, 2009, at 02:21 AM