Summary:With great effort, the Solars eliminate the source of Atomnos' malady.

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


< The Dead Animal in the Well | Sol Invictus Logs | The Great Work >

Spring "Well, we know how to deal with dead animals. Lucent?"

Zahara ventures back off the ship and over to the circle. "Anyone figure out why the world is icky and black yet?"

Spring "Atomnos has been poisoned."

Zahara "Oh, well good thing we brought two doctors then!"

Cerin "By a dead ... animal. At the bottom of the sea."

Lucent "I happen to be built for it. Spring, can you attempt to route Heaven's purification out when I burn the body away? What would it take to just channel pure lethe from lethe?"

Lucent "You know, from a cleansed soul to a whole Primordial."

Zahara "We're pouring Lethe into Atomnos now too?"

Lucent "It is cleansing of all vices and impurities. And I open a direct channel to it when I burn a body."

Spring "I am not sure. That was on our list of impossible things to do after this one."

Lucent "We just, um. Need to cleanse him without sending him on his merry way to the Void."

Lucent "Or worse, to Lethe."

Lucent "I am quite sure Lethe would handle a Primordial crashing into it as well as Netheos did."

Spring "Indeed."

Lucent points to his Pluto-Orb, which helpfully cracks like Pluto did upon the First Death

Zahara "Isn't that the problem your Malfaen wishes us to fix, Lucent?"

Cerin "Why don't we start by burning the dead thing, and see how Atomnos does from there?"

Spring "Indeed."

Zahara "Fair enough."

Spring "He will not worsen while I am here."

Lucent "Because if the dead thing is connected to all of Atomnos' disease, then the moment we burn it will be the moment we can replace black with white, there. Though, hrms. Spring, you can keep someone stabilized on the same condition, right?"

Lucent "Can that apply to keeping the 'hole' on the Primordial there?"

Spring "Hm."

Lucent "Then we can leave the loci of the disease and the gate to lethe open long enough to put a pipe there."

Lucent "I can make a cure infectious, so I suppose I can help it spreading when we find a way to channel lethe out of the 'hole'."

Spring "Yes, I think we can keep the hole open."

Spring ::And if I might make a suggestion, perhaps the period between us leaving the hole open and us channeling the Lethe in would be a good time to forge a detente with him.::

Lucent ::I think that is a perfect idea. Imrama could take you and Cerin to Letheon while me and the Empress impress it on Atomnos?::

Lucent ::If only we had the ability to coordinate our actions from different planes.::

Spring ::Perhaps if we had a brilliant artificer.::

Zahara ::The gate network was the most likely way to route communications. With it down, the problem becomes significantly larger.::

Cerin ::Perhaps when we have rebuilt the gates::

Zahara ::Perhaps.""

Lucent ::Wait. We will have a channel open to Lethe. Can you just make a small device to route the rings through the hole? So we can talk with them there, and here? Even if it's just the simplest signs, like 'go'?::

Lucent ::Might serve as a good test-run for you to make gates and rings working through Lethe, Empress.::

Zahara ::I will see what I can come up with.::

Bertrand? May 04, 2010, at 02:57 PM

A few moments later, the Solars stand on the deck of the Fable, staring down into the inky black "waters" of the Quicksilver Sea, at the far depths of which the venomous corpse sloughed off by the underworld sits, poisoning the Primordial.

The oily waves slosh slowly across the surface as the cold wind slowly blows from some unknown source elsewhere in the plane's vast, rocky interior.

Zahara "Enticing isn't it."

Imrama "Prepare to dive!" Imrama yells from the deck of the Fable, its lower levels sealed in expectation of the fetid mire.

Lucent "So, Cerin the Wolf, can your short-ranged omniscience tell us wher-AAAAAH!"

Lucent holds on for dear life

Spring ::Are you there yet?:: Spring gripes from his position back in Atomnos's chamber, as healing energy pours through him like an Exalted funnel.

The prow of the Fable cuts through the oily water like a sun-warmed knife through rancid butter.

As the ship dives, the oily water ablates across the sun-glistening surface of the vast Solar ship -- enough to protect those within from the sickening touch of the water, and to keep the vile mechanical beings that dwell within it at bay, but not enough to keep away the intense rotting stench that floats through the vessel's decks.

Though the distance is great, the Solar ship traverses it in but a short time: and so soon, it alights itself next to the source of all Atomnos' woes: a rotting body, several miles in length, just barely visible as a vast black lump through the hazy water that surrounds the Fable.

It appears that the "water" at the bottommost point of the sea is actually the cleanest left, as the ichor leaks from six specific points -- limbs? spines? secondary body segments? -- that rise well upwards from the rest of the beast's body, and the light density of the oil propels it upwards to infect the surface.

Lucent "Ew."

Cerin "Believe me, it looks no better from the inside."

Zahara "What IS it?"

Lucent "Whatever it is, I suppose even beasties fallen out of Malfean backsides have the right for salvation."

Lucent "..."

Lucent "I will have to TOUCH it."

Zahara "Good luck with that."

Imrama "Some sort of ancient, long-dead Ultra-

Imrama Roach"

Imrama ?

Upon closer examination, there are at least thirty-seven distinct elements extending out of the large central body of the creature, and in somewhere between one and twelve full-sized limbs.

Zahara "Well, go touch it!"

Cerin "This is probably going to be most unpleasant," Cerin remarks. Then he looks at the whole thing at once.

It is indeed most unpleasant.

The creature's outsides are half-decayed, bent at strange angles (whether by nature or in whatever violence killed it is nigh-impossible to determine) and, where they remain unrotted, coated in some sort of greenish-black fluid scale that creeps slowly across the body, even now that it has been dead for such a long unknown time.

The creature's insides, besides being the size of a small city, twist and turn with thousands of strange organs, tubes and muscles, all built up out of the strangest of materials to help support the creature's vast bulk: Cerin makes out no fewer than seven intestines, all seemingly built of rock,

a variety of large oblong organs each latticed with giant bone structures that are tipped in large lumps of iron, and other bizarre structures altogether unlike those of normal-sized beings.

After some examination, Cerin locates what appears to be the head: a thousand-foot-long vaguely egg-shaped protrusion from near the center of the "body," whose empty depressions suggest the long-ago presence of numerous eyesockets and whose vast gaping hole lined with jagged metal was presumably once a mouth.

Cerin , lacking anything better to do for the moment, starts to draw it.

Zahara watches Cerin draw in fascination.

Lucent covers his mouth

Zahara "A Behemoth or a Soul?"

Cerin "A behemoth, I think."

Spring ::What is it?::

Cerin ::Large and dead. I shall bring you back a postcard.::

Imrama waits around atop the Fable. Essence insulates him against the choking, poisoned death of the surrounding fluids, but not against the feeling of cold and ick. ::Lucent, my friend: Do you need help, touching it?::

Lucent ::Yes, just take it within fifty yards of it. No more than you have to. I have no need to touch its heart, just its surface.'''

Imrama scooches the Fable a bit closer to the rotting thing.

Lucent reaches out, touching it with the Testament's primordial touch and ignites it with his mandate to save all souls on Creation and Beyond!

Spring ::Are you there yet?::

Lucent feels the light of the sun well up in his finger, and leap across the empty water between himself and the vast, rotting beast -- and at first, he feels it simply slip away, even such a massive dose of fiery light swallowed up altogether by the immeasurable size of the dead thing.

Lucent "What. THAT has never happenned before!"

Lucent "Damnit."

Lucent "I will see about burning if as if it was not just one body, but several, one per organ."

Zahara "Do you regularly use your anima on Behemoths?"

Lucent "Can you open the Fable, Imrama? I will need to take a walk outside."

Lucent "... it worked on Abadis?"

Cerin starts to sketch small vignettes of Lucent and the behemoth, aside from the main detailing

Imrama makes a gesture expansive enough to be felt a short distance through the slick, and Mr. Iggles-Lux quickly opens and closes a hatch, permitting Lucent to join Imrama on deck.

Zahara "For certain definitions of "worked" yes."

Lucent "Do you have any suggestions? You can tether me so I do not vanish like last time."

Lucent steps out the deck, breathing oil as if it was water. Not overly pleasant water, but breathable nonetheless. "I like fire better."

Zahara unwinds the Bonds from around her waist and attaches them firmly to Lucent as he steps out.

Lucent "I do not think I need to be calmed down..."

Zahara "No, I don't think so either."

Lucent "Right, so... back in a flash." With that Lucent steps out of the ship, swimming torwards the monster, attempting to find its center... and upon reaching it, able to touch most of its organs in all directions, focusing on each of them as if they were singular entities, as if burning a host of war's dead, Lucent ignites '''everything* around him with his anima!

With waves of Solar power flowing through him, Lucent touches the innumerable pieces of the dead creature, one by one: he brushes viscera the size of a small mountain here, a cluster of ten thousand spleenlike organs there...

He feels the rush of power surge through him, the powerful light of the Sun spreading out, bit by bit, to every part of the huge cadaver that poisons Atomnos, and he begins to feel himself becoming lost in the flow, almost ready to slip away at any moment as gouts of beautiful Solar light flow through him as a vessel and out to purify the world....

Lucent "Zahara? Empress? Zee? NOW would be good to do whatever! I am..."

Zahara Feeling Lucent slip away through the Unity, Zahara quirks her lips and sends a strong feeling of earthly desire through the Bonds, reminding him of all the pleasures of humanity.

Lucent remembers... and as he vanishes into the fire, Alveua is there to take his hand. Birds is there to take his hand. A nameless Kashaen girl is there to take his hand, with the guilt of having forgotten her name. Injara reaches up to him. Each pulling him in turns, the three sisters of empty sand, and then Varanim... and it is with Varanim's image, leaving behind all others in the fire, that he steps out, his feet touching the Fable again.

Lucent "Thank you, Empress."

Zahara "You are most welcome, Lucent." She flicks her wrist and the scarves settle back around her waist.

Spring ::Something changed.::

Lucent ::How much?::

Underneath where Lucent stands, the vast black bulk of the horrible creature begins to unwind and dissolve in vast golden strings, tearing and breaking away into bright golden fireworks that bubble upwards through the water, flash-igniting the black oil as they go.

Meanwhile, far above, Spring feels the power cycle which he maintains on the Primordial subtly but noticeably shift as the inexorable pull down towards Oblivion lightens.

Spring ::Subtly but noticeably.::

Lucent ::You are keeping this moment in stasis, right?::

Spring ::As best I can.::

Spring examines the flow through his chakras to judge the strength of Atomnos's healing processes.

On the vast flowthrough of Essence that Spring is currently privy to, he searches for clues about the Primordial's potential to hold himself together absent Exalted assistance. The information is scattered, complex, difficult to interpret, but as he scans over it again and again, a picture begins to emerge.

With the direct influence of the poison gone, the only active force pulling Atomnos further and further down towards death and Oblivion appears to have ceased

-- though his cross-dimensional spiritual frame is already severely damaged, and those subsouls and Primordial systems which once would have repaired it are among the pieces of his Essence structure that are broken beyond normal functionality, even in such a crippled state he is capable of continuing to exist almost indefinitely as long as no new shock to his system disrupts the current balance.

Spring ::He will not heal any further until we help him.::

Zahara ::Excellent. He had better be more properly grateful than Pluto.::

Spring "Atomnos? We have stopped the poison."

Imrama ::We should return to converse with Atomnos before Long-Awaited Spring says something to him that the rest of us can't talk our way back out of.:: With that, the Fable reverses orientation and begins to fly upward through the ooze just as fast as it sank.

< The Dead Animal in the Well | Sol Invictus Logs | The Great Work >

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