Summary:The Solars confront the Sun inside the Seraglio and force him into treatment.

XP:I4, S4, V4, Z4

< How Have You Been Feeling? | Sol Invictus Logs | The Necessity of Killing >

SolInvictus inclines his head very slightly, as if deigning to give only the slightest attention to the minuscule ants that walk on the ground far beneath him. There is nothing but an empty, pregnant silence for an unfillable eternity before a voice, clear and powerful, but edged with an almost infinite weariness, echoes out from somewhere deep within the radiant helmet: "I remain."

`Spring "I cannot help but find that answer vague, but I suppose I understand if you do not wish to unburden yourself completely in this company."

`Spring "As you may recall, I came here some time ago to investigate the disease You are afflicted with and find whether I could cure it, and thus prevent your death."

`Spring "I am ashamed to say I cannot."

`Spring '''*wait that's not right

`Spring "I am ashamed to say I failed in this task."

SolInvictus shifts in his massive seat and leans forward, his two blackened arm clearly lacking the motility of those on his healthier side. "The lords of heaven have no need for assistance."

`Spring "However, I am pleased to inform You that where my capabilities did not avail me, my friend, Varanim the Last, has won through."

`Imrama ::Spring - I have only really come around to the argument that the Sun's life is worth saving in the past year. But didn't we come here today to keep him from dying?::

`Spring ::We did. However -- credit where it is due.::

`Varanim ::Don't we have some kind of standing agreement to leave me out of talks with important people?::

`Spring ::Unfortunately, I am very honest.::

`Spring "Removing the corruption which currently entangles You will be the work of but a few moments, relatively speaking."

`Varanim puts on her best winning expression, which is reasonably ghastly.

SolInvictus shakes his head slowly from side to side.

`Spring "We must hurry. The corruption appears to be spreading to Your neck muscles."

`leliana stands quietly, as she has been throughout the trip simply watching the others and taking in the slow corruption of the city. The corruption of the Sun Himself makes her scowl as does his attitude however.

`Spring "We will need the Games of Divinity."

`Spring "Only temporarily."

SolInvictus In a surprisingly quick and fluid move, the Sun takes to his feet. With his upper left hand, he makes a dismissive wave in the air. "No."

`Spring glances at Zahara, then Imrama.

`Spring "...please?"

`Varanim "I know how this looks, but removal of problem arms is no part of the cure process."

SolInvictus stares down at Spring's pitiful, pleading face. "The Games are not for such as you," he says, and reaches down to seize up his accoutrements of office in his four arms, fumbling the tiniest bit with those in the withered right-side arms. "You will not set foot in the Seraglio."

`Spring ::This is the part where you convince him otherwise.::

`Varanim ::I don't know if it matters, but someone has been spying on this little chat from what I gather is the bigger and importanter room.::

`Spring ::The other Incarnae?::

`Varanim ::Someone big with a green scarf wrapped around their hand. Sound familiar?::

`Imrama walks up high into the air to look the Sun in the face. "Oh no? Perhaps because there is already someone is in the gaming parlor who isn't supposed to be?" He raises an eyebrow of accusation.

SolInvictus 's helmet shifts for a moment in a way that suggests an unpleasant frown. Then, after a moment's consideration, he raises one fully-functional left-side hand and effortlessly pushes Imrama aside. "I doubt that very much," he says. He strides over to the left in the hallway, and opens the nearest door to the Seraglio with a loud click.

`Spring walks quickly over and peeks through the door.

`zahara also takes a look

SolInvictus The Seraglio of heaven is in every way vast and magnificent. Vast tables are set with every item of food that has ever been made or shall ever be made. Hanging curtains as tall as mountains feature intricate embroidery written in every human and inhuman language, woven into images of infinite complexity and beauty.

SolInvictus At one side of the room are thirteen thrones, each too large and too magnificent for the brain to comprehend, each perfectly suited to one and only one recipient, radiating majesty and absolute rulership -- and beside them, one more seat, smaller, more simple, like the most elegant rustic chair ever crafted.

SolInvictus At the center of the room, surrounded by pillows of infinite softness, is a singular jade bowl -- the very Games of Divinity. But absent from the room are all of the Incarna -- though it sits ready and waiting, at this moment none amongst the highest Gods takes a turn at the Games.

`zahara contemplates making a ship out of the pillows. With Bees inside.

`Spring "They seem to be gone."

`Spring "Well, shall we enter the Seraglio?"

`Spring "We have much to do."

SolInvictus slams the door shut again. "No."

`Spring "Oh. I think the visitor is back. We should check again."

`zahara "Would it soothe your need to have no help if you were to order us to do this?"

`zahara "You know I don't like taking orders, but sometimes I do things out of the ordinary to save the world."

SolInvictus The Sun starts to respond to Zahara's provocative words, when the next door over leading into the Seraglio suddenly yawns about one-fourth of the way open, as if pushed open from within.

`Spring immediately attempts to walk through.

`Spring '''*

`Spring immediately attempts to dart through.

SolInvictus The Sun's reaction time is perfect -- but unfortunately, his weakened right arms no longer are. He reaches out to shut the door, but his weakened and disease-ridden limb is slow to do what he requests of it -- and so he slams the door shut, with him and the other Solars still outside... but Spring now shut inside the Seraglio.

`zahara bites her tongue on a snide comment about his arms not being fast enough.

`Imrama still hangs in the air, near the Sun's face. "Please do not stake your existence against our ability to stop you from dying. Either you will win, and force us to fail, or we will win, and you will have to change your name."

`Varanim "If nothing else, have the common decency to open that door again before Spring lectures whoever's in there to death."

SolInvictus The Sun sighs mightily and flings the nearest door open without restraint and strides into the Seraglio, this time leaving the path open behind him.

`zahara grins and sweeps in after him like the Empress she is.

`Spring is already eating about a quarter of all the food that has ever been made or shall ever be made.

SolInvictus At the edge of the room, elegantly carved statues the size of entire nations stare with blank expressions at the strange scene gathered together here. Far above, a chandelier assembled from all the stars that would not fit in the night sky sways and glitters momentously. And at the center of the room, unattended, the waters of the Games of Divinity ripple silently.

`Varanim ::Sometimes I wonder how different all our lives would be if only you'd been breast-fed as you wanted.::

`zahara ::I wish you hadn't said that.::

`Varanim On the way past the door, Varanim brushes it and asks it who the owner of the green-wrapped hand was.

`Varanim ::You're welcome.::

`Spring "Thank you for joining me," Spring says politely.

SolInvictus As the Sun strides over to the immense table to deal with his Spring problem, Varanim reads the history of the door, and although her Essence is unusually cagey in providing an answer, the end result couldn't be more clear: it was none other than the Maiden of Secrets whose hand Varanim saw.

SolInvictus positions himself between the table where Spring sits and the Games. "This has lost any amusement it may have once held," he says.

`Spring "Not for us."

`Spring "In order to draw the corruption out of Your body, it will be necessary to employ a permeable, heavily Essence-laden, Primordial matrix. The Games of Divinity will do perfectly. If you would be so good as to place your infected arms within the bowl, we may beg

`Spring in."

`Varanim ::By the way, is it bad if we interrupted the Maiden of Secrets in here?::

`Spring ::I doubt we could really be any more blasphemous, although I am sure Lucent would have an opinion.::

`Spring ::Let us just try not to kill the Maiden of Serenity or be polite to the Maiden of Battles on our way out.::

`zahara ::Have you considered what will happen if the corruption is in the GAMES?::

`Varanim ::Oh, good point,:: her mental voice brightens. ::A little outrage is like great sex in the bank with Lucent.::

`Spring ::I have a plan to absorb the corruption, much as Varanim did with her arm.::

`Spring ::None of my body parts will be involved, removeable or otherwise.::

`zahara ::Unlike the other three or so times?::

`Spring ::Yes.::

`zahara ::I'll believe it when I see it.::

SolInvictus "You will not defile the Games," he says, sweeping one arm across the table and knocking an infinite amount of food onto the floor.

`Spring briefly looks infinitely distressed.

`Spring "They will be unharmed, I assure you. Their use is necessary for your safety, unless you have very many other Primordial devices available for us to apply."

`Imrama ::Can it be that an inherently unconquerable existence has prevented the Sun from developing a proper sense of self-preservation?

`Spring ::Hm.::

`Spring ::An interesting point. How do we apply it?::

`Varanim ::Hmm. Do any of you bright boys and girls have any way to show him something that I can see?::

`Spring snaps his fingers, pulls them apart to reveal a very thin book, and tosses it to Varanim.

`Imrama "O Ebullient Lord of the Sky; I believe there is a misunderstanding here. As a member of your diplomatic core, I feel a responsibility to correct this."

SolInvictus looks at Imrama curiously, apparently willing to give him at least a moment to make his case.

`Imrama "You are, by your name and nature, insurmountable and indefatigable. And yet, here you stand today, sorely fatigued and quite nearly surmounted. It must be a strange experience for you - a state you have only ever witnessed in others before - generally, in those who have opposed you."

`Varanim catches it, grimaces, and tucks it between arm and body long enough to take a short drink. Carefully covering her eye that sees only living things, she studies the Unconquered Sun's body with her other eye, the one that sees death and decay, and allows the book to fill with an exquisitely detailed representation of the future progress of his disease.

`Varanim Then she steps up behind Imrama and taps his arm lightly with the book, offering it as potentially useful supporting evidence.

`Imrama "The very fabric of your being must cry out against it: this cannot possibly be, and yet it is. For the first time since the foundations of the world were laid, your body fails and falters. There is a maddening contradiction here, one whose resolution eludes you."

SolInvictus takes an unsteady step backwards, towards the Games.

`Imrama "My friends and I have come today to resolve that contradiction. For the laws of the world have not changed - you remain the Sun, impossible to conquer. Impossible to conquer because eons ago you had the insight to spread flecks of your own might throughout the world, in the shells of comically weak creatures called humans."

`Imrama "You did so then, because it was the only path to victory - the only way to be what it is in your nature to be. So today, we return again, to do much the same: we, the scattered pieces of your might, have found the means to heal what afflicts you. Here: look and see."

`Imrama holds open the book before Sol's left eye.

`Spring calmly, knowingly, picks up a divine cookie off the floor, and eats it.

`zahara watches and wishes that Cerin were here that she might sneak off with him for some divine entertainment

SolInvictus The sun stares at the book for a long moment, and his hands -- those still healthy as well as those wracked with illness -- begin to tremble. He steps back once more, and then again... and then he tumbles backwards into the bowl of the Games of Divinity with a great splash.

`zahara peeks at the Games

`Spring swallows decisively, then steps forward, vomiting decisively. When he is done, he holds in his hand a familiar large sledgehammer, with something new about the business end -- the striker has been augmented with a layer of heavy Atomnoid rock by Zahara Zhan.

`Spring "Imrama. Please go into the room we were in earlier and bring me the dragon statue associated with Auna."

`Spring "There is not much time."

`Spring steps forward, raising the hammer, and says, "...You may feel some slight discomfort."

`Spring And brings it down.

SolInvictus And while Spring hammers away at the weakened limbs of the Unconquered Sun, what Zahara sees in the Games of Divinity is a secret known only to two people: Zahara Zhan, and the Maiden of Secrets.

`Spring "Varanim. I will need you to find the end -- your eyes are better than mine."

`Spring "Zahara," he remarks somewhat more idly. "Do you remember when we planned to do this, before the Eclipse? I do not think I expected it in quite this fashion."

`zahara "Ah, well," she notes. "Things change without asking permission. It is somewhat distressing."

`Varanim Now that she knows from recent experience exactly what to look for, Varanim focuses her attention on the diseased side of the Sun's body. Ignoring the hammer blows and any reaction to them as not her problem, her vision peers from every possible angle, until finding the disease's origin mote is no more difficult for her than finding an especially straw-shaped needle in a haystack.

SolInvictus Varanim spots it, in the fingertip of the Sun's lower-left hand.

`Varanim "Found it."

`Spring "Good work."

`Spring "Imrama? Are you ready?" Spring spares a moment to glance over his shoulder.

`Spring ...then remembers he has no eyes, and looks irritated.

`Imrama Yet more sunlight bursts through the door from the previous room, though in a room containing Sol Invictus it seems impossible for the level of ambient light to increase meaningfully. The massive statue of Auna dangles mere leagues off of the floor, swaying precariously from cables of sunshine as the Fable of the Reconstruction strains to keep it aloft.

`Spring "...good work."

`Spring "Drop it in the bowl, please, when I say now."

`Imrama "I am sorry for the delay, Spring. I don't usually have to haul things of such ridiculous scale."

`Spring "You bore up as best you could, and I am grateful for your assistance."

`Spring puts his hand in Varanim's. "Show me."

`Varanim "One second." She removes her hand from his, and then a moment later takes it again slightly awkwardly--and jabs his fingertip with a needle, in exactly the place and to exactly the depth of the problem mote on the scale model he provides.

`Spring licks his finger, holds it up, then jabs it into the finger of the Unconquered Sun.


`Spring immediately encounters a familiar chill sensation, and smiling grimly, latches on to it, again attuning his Essence ever so slightly in a familiar process, allowing him to draw it out, in a tenuous, winding sheet of corruption, from the Sun's body, coiling it in and around itself until the combined mass is almost too much to control....

`Spring "Now, Imrama."

`Imrama "Mr. Iggles-Lux: release the statue."

`zahara watches this process dubiously with her Essence sight, sure that someone's about to get their Evil on at any moment. And trying to get just one more peek at the games.

SolInvictus The massive statue drops into the waters of the games with a huge splash, and the marble of which it is made almost seems to slither and slide as it enters the water.

`Spring "For you, Auna: something you left behind."

`Spring thrusts the ball of disease into the water, right at the point where the statue disappears into it.

SolInvictus At the moment of Spring's action, as the tainted Essence enters into it, the statue begins to writhe for real, the statue of the dead primordial now glowing with a sickly, wan light and its shape thrashing and fighting to escape the water in which it is subsumed.

`Spring steps back quickly, brushing off his hands.

`zahara ::Damned dragons are nothing but trouble, I tell you.::

SolInvictus After a moment, the statue leaps up out of the Games, still dripping with magically-imbued water. Standing on its hind legs, it roars and claws the air before darting for the seraglio doors, its glowing red eyes leaving trails behind in the air.

`zahara gives Spring a pointed look which is entirely lost on him.

`zahara "Stop that damn dragon!"

`Spring "Something..." Spring waves his hand, then stops.

`Spring "Yes, stop the dragon."

`zahara , seeing that nobody else is doing anything, runs after the thing.

SolInvictus The possessed dragon statue tears out through the enormous hallways of the Jade Pleasure Dome with zahara in hot pursuit. It spots the hallway the Solars followed into the building and charges down it, making headlong for escape into the broader freedom of the Heavenly City.

`Imrama gives chase in the Fable, firing on the statue whenever the forward guns come in range.

`Varanim Varanim, through what can only be a monumental exertion of self-control, doesn't look the least bit entertained by all this.

SolInvictus Pelted by immense sunbolts from Imrama's fusillade, the statue lowers its head and charges through the exterior door of the hallway, bursting out into Yu-Shan's central plaza, where even as Essence shots knock thick clouds of white-marble dust from its hide it continues its attempts to escape.

SolInvictus As the Solars burst out in pursuit of it, Selonis, who has patiently waited for their return, raises one paw and starts to open his mouth to say something about this turn of events, thinks better of it, and instead settles down for a nap.

`zahara summons the War Bell as she skids around a corner, and pushes off the opposite wall -- noting how HEAVEN'S slate doesn't bloody well chip! As she spies her sort-of-nemesis of old, she takes the bell by the handle, imbuing it with the Essence of the Shattering Grasp and flinging it on wings of yet more Essence towards the thing's knees.

`Varanim follows in slightly less hurried fashion than the others, slouching down next to Selonis.

SolInvictus With an echoing peal, the Bell strikes at the statue's rear legs, explosively shattering both in a single blow and leaving it now helpless on the ground, where it writhes piteously as Imrama's ship and ready cannons close in.

`Spring remains in the Seraglio, helping the Sun up and healing any wounds He may have suffered from the, well, hammering.

SolInvictus The Sun is entirely unconscious as Spring drags him out of the water of the Games and props him back up onto his throne. His right arms are now weak, spindly, and floppy -- but clearly no longer tainted by the black illness that wrapped them just moments before.

`Imrama Catching up with the disease-possessed statue, the Fable hangs over it like the final threat of doom for a terrible instant, before releasing the full force of its guns and reducing the effigy to powder and scorch.

`zahara eyes the resulting mess with distrust, giving her bell another ring or three just to be sure the disease is dead, and watching for signs of Essence escaping.

`Spring lightly slaps the Sun to bring Him around. "Are you awake, Your Shinyness?"

`Spring "The operation was a success. Take two of these -- " he hands him a few cookies -- "and contact me whenever, in Your ineffable wisdom, you decide that it is morning."


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Page last modified on April 25, 2011, at 08:15 PM