Summary:The Solars work to eliminate the necromantic booby-trap left behind by the Mask of Winters in occupied Lookshy.

XP:C4, I4, L4, S4, V4


< Looking for Something | Sol Invictus Logs | Slim to Nothingness >

The elaborate metallic latticework churns and roars, its essence payload growing infinitesimally greater by the moment.

Somewhere far away, Zahara continues her rounds, preparing the Benediction that -- ideally -- this particular object will no longer prove an obstacle to by the time she completes it.

Spring throws another pebble into it.

Another bolt of greyish essence leaps out and strikes yet another wall of the stately building in which the device sits with a loud SCREEEEE noise, leaving tiny wisps of smoke to rise up from the impact point.

Varanim ::Hey Verbena, I'm sure you're doing something really exciting and important, so I won't interrupt. This dragon line water clock bomb in Thorns definitely isn't a big enough deal to need your direct intervention. I'm sure that Spring will figure out the trick any minute now, he just has to keep prodding and throwing things in it. Have a great day!::

Cerin ::Whilst they are poignant last words, I feel they might be saved for a better situation?:: Cerin remarks as he continues to study the large Essence device.

Lucent "Spring, do not taunt the ultimate evil."

Spring ::That bolt of greyish Essence was at least twice as powerful as the last one. We must be doing something either right or horribly wrong.::

No more than seven minutes have passed before a nearby medium-sized rock, part of the "natural ambience" landscaped into the exterior of a nearby building, splits open and an extremely dusty Verbena steps out, walking purposefully towards the other Solars' location.

She arrives, still covered head-to-toe in greyish-white rock-dust.

Imrama ::I don't recall us making a distinction between the two, up until now.:: Imrama's magnified mind-voice booms.

Spring coughs and spits up a feather duster, which he politely offers to the other Twilight.

Spring Not that one, the other other Twilight.

Varanim checks her internal time sense, smirks very slightly, and then turns to beam at Verbena. "Oh, so you were free, that's so sweet of you to take the time. Zahara wants to benedict the shit out of this place; how can we make that not an exploding activity?"

alsoquin accepts the duster without a word and gives herself a perfunctory brush up and down the front side and looks over to Varanim. "I did not wish to allow Spring to operate this device," she says. "We are standing less than twelve Aehrmmstrangs from the Sunlands and a reverse heptoroil would've mussed my last batch of calibrations."

Spring "You missed a spot."

Varanim "Someday I'm going to enjoy playing wino aunt to the neurotic and obsessive children of your twisted union. Now, how do we take apart the nice bomb?"

Verbena "Yes, I did." She looks up at the device, carefully examining it. "Hrmmmm. This is a doozy."

Cerin refrains from comment on this latest observation

Spring "I had already deduced the dooziness of this device," Spring points out helpfully.

Lucent "You are so cute."

Lucent nods

Verbena "So I assume there's a reason you don't want to simply empty the city, wait seven weeks, let it blow up, and then deal with it?"

Cerin "Well, we're operating on the assumption of that's what the Mask of Winters intended. Which is perhaps not what we want."

Lucent "It could summon something. Or worse. If it was just protecting people from killing miasma, I can do that. But Quen knew that."

Verbena "Aha. That is indeed an excellent reason." She takes out a set of orichalcum calipers, three pieces of golden string, and a small monocle and begins to perform various odd investigations of the lower portion of the device.

Verbena "And you've already considered and rejected implementing an essence tamp on one to three of the input lines within a half-Aehrmmstrang radius to bleed it out slowly over the course of several months, presumably because you don't want to leave the Shadowland here open for some kind of whoopsie-surprise, am I right?"

Cerin "In a manner of speaking, yes. In addition, there's the slight disparity in timescales you brought up there."

Spring "Varanim was in charge of considering and rejecting that."

Lucent "She is good at that."

Verbena "Oh, that. Motonymically reducing the linear Essence input over a macro timescale would prevent the device from ever reaching a singularity threshold. OBviously."

Verbena She looks over to Varanim and rolls her eyes in a "can you believe that question" sort of way.

Spring "Yes. That would indeed be an effective plan if we had not already agreed that we have to reject it."

Verbena nods. "In that case, that really only leaves one option." She calipers a few more metal bars for good measure.

Lucent "That being?" Lucent asked with the weight of the world! Not knowing was his role here, after all.

Verbena "We need to asymmetrically decouple the system in order to redirect its output flows into a reverse-Ak'eta crosshatch dissipation structure."

Varanim ::Imrama, how good is your memory?::

Spring "Dangerous for the birds."

Lucent ::You are asking HIM that? You know, with the smoke?::

Cerin appears to give what Verbena has said some careful consideration. Not how he would have done it. But then he supposes that is why she was asked ... "Ak'eta?" he asks, just to be sure.

Imrama ::It depends on what for. Does whatever you need remembered involve airships, intoxicants or obscure sexual practices?::

Varanim ::Peripherally item two--right now you have a very good and multifaceted angle on what is hopefully going to be a neat Essence phenomenon. Or: woah, killer view.::

Verbena "Oh," she says. "It's, ah, a bit... off the books," she says, absentmindedly dusting one shoulder with her hand. "Ak'eta did not qualify for inclusion in the Twenty-Seven Auspicious Patterns due to certain inherent... risks. But: it is still very useful."

Cerin "Just so."

Verbena nods.

Spring "As long as you are not a bird."

Varanim "Is this bird thing going to be a problem?"

Verbena looks at her with a very slightly raised eyebrow. "No." She pauses. "No, it shouldn't be."

Varanim widens her eyes in an innocent 'don't look at ME, HE wanted to know' face.

Spring looks skeptical.

Verbena "I'll need a few assistants, of course."

Lucent "I know nothing about motonics."

Verbena "How much do you know about following simple directions?"

Cerin thankfully doesn't need to turn his head to glance at Varanim at this question.

Varanim grimaces slightly, and takes a drink.

Spring "He is a priest."

Lucent "Yes, and I am also very good at following simple directions!"

Verbena "Goooooood," she says. "Lucent, stand over here and hold this," she says, leading him to one corner of the room and handing him a small golden novelty mug in the shape of a frog wearing a Sunlands-style academic cap and the traditional lettered tunic and jodhpurs of the formal scholar.

Lucent "This has got to be the sixth-weirdest mug I have ever seen."

Verbena "Peeerfect," she says, moving along. "Who wants to volunteer next?"

Lucent "How long do I have to hold it?"

Varanim "Only if my prize is at least as cool as his."

Lucent "No, seriously, for how long?"

Verbena "Until I say to stop holding it," she says. "Hrmmm," she continues, and fishes around in a small bag until she finds a short piece of rope with soulsteel bands holding together each end. Varanim notes that half the fibers appear to be "alive" (or, rather, present in the living world) while the other half are "dead" (or rather, in Netheos.)

Verbena "Will that do?"

Varanim "Ooh."

Verbena "Just kind of... hold it up... here" she says, picking a spot about seventeen inches above Varanim's eye line.

Varanim promptly does so with the arm that isn't alive to get tired.

Verbena "Alright," she says. "Two more."

Cerin "Very well," says Cerin

Spring looks around for a bigger pebble.

Verbena "Okay," she says to Cerin. "Down... here." She leans underneath a few of the bars and indicates a spot that he should grip so as to hang, his feet on the ground but his body suspended at an angle inside the guts of the machine.

Cerin adopts the indicated pose.

Spring experiments with tossing the pebble into the machine in such as way as to aim the bolt of Essence so that, in combination with the previous burn marks, it spells the Old Realm character meaning "boredom."

Verbena "Spring, don't write childish messages using high-powered Essence beams, please. Imrama," she says, "could you please stand about seventeen inches above the floor, right about here?" She indicates a spot.

Imrama An Imrama adopts the requested position. "Will it be a problem if I smoke?"

Verbena "Only if you're smoking something that was grown in the southwest."

Imrama The Imrama smiles. "That level of specificity is not a problem." He produces a small teal pouch and his pipe. After a moment's efforts, the air begins to fill with the smell of hickory and the sea.

Spring throws another pebble in, altering the character to say "potentially unreliable extension of traditional motonic theory."

Imrama The Imrama holds out his pipe to Spring. "I think you need this more than I do."

Varanim whistles off-key, wiggling her bit of rope in the air in what might be a sloppy-handwriting sketch of the words "jealous of my prize."

Spring "Not on duty."

Cerin passes the time reading a book in the Mask Of Winter's library.

Verbena "Alright." She walks over to the device and starts tying tiny golden threads around the innumerable metal bars, weaving them nimbly back through her fingers as she ties them together into elaborate knots and then sends tributary strands out at all manner of odd angles.

Spring " not require any further assistance?"

Verbena After only a moment, she has an elaborate web built up between her fingers and sends four large rope-like strands out of it. She ties one to one of the frog's legs and hands the others to Imrama, Cerin, and Varanim. Then she turns to look at Spring.

Verbena "Well," she says, "would you like to do the honors?" She points to a single, purposely-loose thread emenating from the largest of the knots, whose every fiber seems to bristle with pent-up potential Essence.

Cerin mentally closes the book as he takes hold of the strand.

Spring "Cerin, are there any birds within one hundred yards of this point?"

Cerin "No."

Spring grips the thread with two fingers and firmly pulls.

Verbena There is a burst of light, and then a series of seven loud "pops" of varying intensities.

Verbena For Spring, the experience is much like that of having an extremely gentle and friendly electric shock move into his fingers at a langorous pace, then casually explore various pathways until finally deciding to exit his body again via the ears.

Verbena For Cerin, it is a symphony of 72 distinct Essence waveforms, each moving in parallel at half-step increments through the bar between his hands, then breaking like waves on a shore at the ground point of the cord.

Verbena For Imrama, it intensifies his high with a brief flash of all-encompassing (all-the-current-room-encompassing, anyway) awareness; for Varanim, it creates a temporarily quite interesting contrast between the living and dead world that is probably worth documenting and examining in further detail later.

Verbena As for the mug, what mysteries the experience holds, the world may never know.

Verbena A few moments later, the spinning, juddering collection of Essence within the device slows and thins out, and then -- after a final, sudden burst that briefly lights up the ground and sends everyone's lower-leg hairs standing upright -- stops, with the device beginning to break and collapse under its own weight almost immediately after.

Spring stands ready to dodge the other Twilights out of the danger zone, should their defenses not be up to the task. He uses his other hand to rub his ear.

Cerin "Nicely done," Cerin remarks, as he extracates himself from the bars.

Verbena "There we go," she says, dusting her hands off, reclaiming the mug, and then beginning to wind up the gold thread that has helpfully extricated itself from the device's ruins.

Lucent "... nothing happenned. Are you sure you did that right?"

Spring "Good work with the mug, Lucent."

< Looking for Something | Sol Invictus Logs | Slim to Nothingness >

Page last modified on May 04, 2010, at 03:57 PM