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View Full Version : The Grove Planet: An Intergalatic Waystation



Jason Sanborn
02-25-2005, 03:24 PM
Name: Unnamed, usually called the Grove planet

Location: The planet rests near the core of the galaxy that Elysia is located within.

Surface Conditions: This planet possesses an Earth like environment. It has the standard four seasons, but each one lasts for six months. Nearly all of its land is covered by unspoiled forests or jungles.

Ruler/Owner/Governing Body(s): None

Primary inhabitants: The planet is populated by a wide variety of animal and plant life.

Places of Interest: The Grove, a section of a vast forest that is a convergence in a massive network of spacial portals.

Unique Planetary Conditions: There are a countless amount of access points to a network of portals that lead to nearly every place in the universe. These access points are centralized within a few square miles of forest. These portals can be located and opened using a crystal based gadget created by Qwaring.

Brief History: Qwaring discovered this planet and its portal network during his early travels in this universe. He has tried to map out the portal network but his attempts to use artificial probes did not work out, since the probe's internal mechanisms would degrade within the portals. Qwaring soon created a device that would use the bio-electrical field of a humanoid being to shield its internal workings from the damaging effects the portals have on its technological components.

When Quaxo came to Qwaring seeking transportation Qwaring decided to use her to map out the portal network. He gave her a device that would allow her to travel through the portal network, while at the same time it would secretly map out the network for Qwaring. When he gave Quaxo the device he also gave her free reign of the Grove and the rest of the planet.

Jason Sanborn
02-25-2005, 04:02 PM
In the grove, a swirling portal of energies opened. Emerging from the Ministry of Transportation was Jessie. As soon as she was clear of the portal, she turned around to wait, to see who else followed her through.

Mortin Steel
02-25-2005, 04:19 PM
"Aaaaaaaah"*THUD* mortin lands face down on the ground,pulling himself up "Ouch,that always happens for some reason"moving away from the portal Mortin lays down to see who else comes through."Nice place *The Grove* huh"

Jason Sanborn
02-25-2005, 04:21 PM
Jessie gave Mortin a curious look.

What happened? Are you alright?

Mortin Steel
02-25-2005, 04:37 PM
"I'm fine thanks for asking"Steel scratches his head "Portals have never agreed with me as you my have notice like when I entered Q's Place,The truth is I'm not sure it just happens I don't mind I've gotten use to it but mostly I travel on foot,It may just be bad luck or a curse I don't know.I ended up at Q's place because I got into a fight that not even I Mortin Steel could not survive my only option was to open a portal no time to pick a place.the next thing i knew I was in some room with a spaced out looking *woman no Affense."

Jason Sanborn
02-25-2005, 04:42 PM
Jessie just eyed Mortin for a moment.

Well, in a universe as vast as this, the portal system is the only way we can really travel.

Jessie then began to search for the portal to Planet Tigers, while waiting for Quaxo and TJ to arrive.

Quaxo9
02-25-2005, 04:47 PM
::Oreina allowed the portal energies to seep into her consciousness and she relished the feeling that she had long been without. However, when she found herself on the other side, she momentarily lost her balance and felt like she could be sick. Opening her eyes, the feeling passed and she observed Mortin on the ground, presumably resting from his tumble through the portal. She raised an eyebrow at his explanation, not too sure what to make of him as of yet. Automatically, she sent a command to her non-existant crystal.::

~Crystal, locate portal to Tigers Pl... ~

::The momentary memory loss was followed up by a few curses in Beichar'anian. She still hated feeling helpless and relying so much on others - it frustrated her to no end not being able to do things on her own. Swallowing her pride, she bounced Iolair and merely waited.::

Mortin Steel
02-25-2005, 04:50 PM
"I usually stick to one planet for a long period of time before going to the next,Like I said didn't have much of a choice.but my portals aren't as refined as yours mostly just a hole rip through space from one place to another and apparently your portals do the same thing to me as mine do"

TJFox
02-26-2005, 11:02 AM
TJ walked out the portal, shaking her head at Mortin, and stood next to Quaxo while waiting for Jessie to locate the portal to Planet Tigers.

Jacen Bell
02-26-2005, 02:48 PM
Mortin Steel


"What Got a problem with some thing I'm cursed so what,shezs some people"

Mattson
02-26-2005, 03:03 PM
(So much for a mystery clone)

Jacen Bell
02-26-2005, 04:26 PM
(son of a,note to self make sure your in the right account next time)

Jason Sanborn
02-26-2005, 09:15 PM
((It happens to the best of us, Jacen. :whaat:))

Jessie looked back at Mortin with an icy stare. The man needed to learn to control his tongue. Speaking his mind in such a way was a sure way to alienate others. With a sigh, she turned back around and opened the portal to Planet Tigers.

This portal will take us to Tigers Planet. Perhaps Alexis will be able to offer the assistance we both require.

Jessie walked through the portal to Planet Tigers.

TJFox
02-27-2005, 10:38 AM
"That comment better not have been directed at me." TJ said to Mortin as she followed Jessie through the portal.

Mortin Steel
02-27-2005, 01:36 PM
Jessie looked back at Mortin with an icy stare. The man needed to learn to control his tongue. Speaking his mind in such a way was a sure way to alienate others. With a sigh, she turned back around and opened the portal to Planet Tigers.

This portal will take us to Tigers Planet. Perhaps Alexis will be able to offer the assistance we both require.

Jessie walked through the portal to Planet Tigers.

seeing Jessie's icy stare Mortin knew he had gone to far
seeing Jessie open the new portal and her and miss TJFox go through the portal and not wishing to be made a fool of three times in one day Mortin ran at and into the portal.

Quaxo9
02-28-2005, 08:08 AM
::Rolling her eyes at Mortin, she shifted Iolair in her arms as she stepped through the portal.::

Jason Sanborn
03-11-2005, 01:23 PM
A portal appeared from Planet Tigers. Emerging from it was Jessie. As soon as she had arrived, she had the portal crystal locate the portal that would lead her to the one place that would make her feel most at home. The crystal gave its reply, and Jessie went to the portal at the location specified, passing through to Tebryna.

Mortin Steel
03-11-2005, 01:40 PM
Mortin steps out of the portal only to be sucked into the new portal Jessie opened

Jason Sanborn
05-23-2005, 12:25 PM
Arriving from the Theatre de Vampyre, Shae'la appeared in front of the hospital in the underground city of the Cha'i. Her eyes glowed with an indigo glow, as the Cha'i, that was now in control of her body, exuded it's will upon those around her. Fear touched even the bravest of individuals, and soon, people began to flee, not knowing what they were running from. Calmly, she walked through the hospital to the room where the larva Cha'i were being stored.

The time has finally come to gain our independence, my brothers and sisters. We've lived in subservience far too long. That time has now come to an end.

Shae'la sent a portion of her power into storage capsules. The various color Cha'i began to glow their respective colors. Shae'la grinned as the storage containers began to break, and the semi-transitioned Cha'i fell to the ground. Under normal circumstances, the Cha'i released in this fashion would die quickly, but embued with power, they continued to live. Shae'la began to gather the fallen Cha'i, preparing for the next phase of her plan.

Jason Sanborn
05-24-2005, 03:22 PM
Shae'la had finished gathering the larvae Cha'i and turned to walk out of the room. A female nurse was standing at the door barring Shae'la from leaving.

Please don't do this. The Cha'i can't survive on their own, and without them, our children will die.

Your children are not my concern. The Cha'i will live, not in slavery but in freedom.

Shae'la manipulated her aura so that the woman's sadness would be intensified. The woman felt the overwhelming sdness build up inside of her, and struggled to keep control. The more she struggled, the harder it became to retain control. She collapsed to her knees, burying her face in her hands and began to weep. Shae'la simply stood there, watching the woman, allowing her aura to further bring the woman into the darkness of despair.

Suddenly, the woman stood to her feet. She appeared amazingly calm. Her face was streaked with tears, and the depression was overwhelming. Shae'la continued to watch, and continued to increase the woman's depression and despair. The nurse picked up a surgical knife from a nearby table and proceeded to slash her throat and her wrists.

A moment later, Shae'la stepped over the dying body of the nurse, back into the hospital. It was time for her to leave, and find the Cha'i new hosts for them to control. Shae'la walked out of the hospital and vanished.

Secret Shadow
05-26-2005, 02:48 AM
Under the branches of the forest, a shadow darker than any other slowly started to take shape. Red unblinking eyes appeared and a reptilian face followed suit. A few moments later, the shadow had transformed into a weird cross of human and dragon. The creature sniffed at the air for some time and, eventually, a cruel smirk of triumph appeared.

"Yess, he iss here. Finally, he sshall die. He will pay for hiss crimess. Ssoon. Very ssoon."

The creature became shadow again and disappeared between the trees of the forest. There was great power in this place. And its prey had always been drawn to power. He would not escape again.

Qwaring
06-16-2005, 05:08 PM
BOOM!!

**The appearance of a Boomtube breaks the otherwise stillness of the vast wilderness that covers this world. The branches of trees shake, leaves and other small natural debris is swept up from the gound and blown into the air and animals abandon their dwellings, perches and hunting grounds to avoid the thunderous noise. Form this portal floats an oval shaped pod of pink liquid that is covered in several small devices. The machines of the pod are designed to simulate the conditions of a goddess' womb for the living fetus that is contained inside of it. Moments after the hovering pod's arrival Qwaring steps through the Boomtube, which closes immediately after the god of gadget's appearance. Qwaring steps onto the soft, leaf carpeted ground and glances around at the surrounding wildenress. His First senses can detect the hum of the unnatural hidden among the thick layer of nature. The protals of this world practically sings out to the Sinister god. The red haired First speaks to the pod that hovers beside him.**

Welcome to the Grove planet, little one. This is the first stop on our trip across the universe. And I'm sure your mother will understand why this is the first place I would escape to.

**After a moment to allow his senses to focus on the unseen portal network that naturally exists on this world the god of gadgets begins walking through the wilderness. He boldly makes his way through the untaimed forest, following the sound of a specific portal to a specific destination. While walking he continues to talk to the pod floating besinde him.**

You see, this world is at the center of a vast network of universal protals. From here one can travel to almost any point in the universe. From here I can go anywhere. I suspect your mother is clever enough to track down my Boomtubes, but this should make things a little more difficult for her. Although I'm sure Lady Mattson won't have too much trouble seeing the portals and setting her teleportals in synch with their subspacial vectors, so they can continue to follow me, but that whole process will take time. And time is what we need.

**Qwaring pauses beside a large boulder with a thick layer of vines growing along one side. He closes his eyes and listens to the portal network hum around him. He holds up one tanned hand and can almost feel the disruptions in space. After a minute to feel out the geometry of this specific portal the god of gadgets is now certain of where it will lead him.**

Your mother and her friend, Lady Mattson, won't be able to access the portals directly. In order to do that one will need a crystal that can only be found on a handful of worlds, such as this one. And they'd need to build a machine to harness the crystals power and focus it into manifesting these portals in our realm.

**Qwaring pauses at this point and wonders if his mind is truly as stable as he had designed it to be. He is after all discussing a natural occuring network of subspacial ruptures to an infant that isn't developed enough to comprehend audio stimulation, let alone words. The First simply shrugs and decides that it's never too early to teach a child to appreciate intelligent conversation. And so he continues.**

And there aren't many who know how to build such a device.

**There is a russling in a patch of tall grass to the First's left. Qwaring does not seem suprised by this movement, he simply holds out his left arm and waits. Seconds later the movement on the grass stops as a small metallic device with insect like legs on its bottom leaps out from the foliage and lands on Qwaring's outstrectched arm. The legs of the small machine wraps around the First's large bicept. The body of the gadget is roughly oval shaped, whith silver colored metal skin with no visible seems. In the center of the device gleams a red crystal. This central stone glows with the ambient energy that flows through the portal network surroungding it.**

Thankfully I happen to be one of those few that not only can build this device, but I can build them better than anyone else.

**Qwaring telepathically activates the device that is attached to his arm and the gadget summons the portal that Qwaring had found. The air in front of the First glows for a moment before exploding with light. Shards of orange light falls away from the burst as a swirling vortex takes form. The vortex appears to be a manifestation of cloud, liquid, fire and light. It is an unreal thing that only exists in the realms beneath normal space and in normal space for brief periods of time in the form of portals. The hovering pod speeds into the vortex and is immediately transported to the far off planet that it connects to. Qwaring takes one look around at the calm forest. Despite being a diety devoted to technology he finds this place suprisingly soothing. He decides that he'll have to return here someday, but for now he must press onward. He turns towards the vortex and walks on to the next world.**

Qwaring
06-27-2005, 11:10 AM
**A portal opens and from the Matrix Quadrant the vortex carries the floating pod and Qwaring back to the grove. The god of gadget's journey to the Matrix Quadrant was an informative one, full of eye opening revelations. It has also reminded him of how vulnerable he is. He has only recently created this form to match his stabalized mind and so his powers are not yet fully developed. His store of universal energy is far too low to give him any of his First powers. The most he can manage is telepathy and the glow in his eyes. The other powers that he has developed remain untested and aren't ready to be used yet. While in exile Qwaring had learned about other energies that are much more universal, more primal, than the universal energies. Even though he had created this body to harness those newfound energies it will still take him time to learn to properly harness them. Until he gets these matters worked out he'll have to relly on his mind.
The red haired First silences these momentary worries and focuses his mind. He listens to the elemental forces of this world and hears the call of the portals hidden here. He finds the sound of a specific portal, its voice. It's a few miles south in this dense forest. Deciding the walk will help him to clear his thoughts Qwaring begins his trek through the woods. The hovering pod floats after him. The unborn passenger of this pod is safe within the devices many protective and nurturing technological systems, which are designed to mimic the conditions of a mothers womb and the defensive capabilities of a fortress.
And so the god of gadgets and the kidnapped baby begin their journey to the portal leading to the next stop on their mad run across the universe.**

Vampyre Lestat
06-27-2005, 01:06 PM
If Qwaring was so inclined to notice, he would detect a cloud of red mist forming before him. Â* Within this cloud he could detect that the liquid at the center of this construct was condensing and forming the humanoid body of his Father. * When the process was complete, the black and red garbed Vampyre approached with a smile and asked a pivotal question.

"Who won?"

Qwaring
06-27-2005, 01:17 PM
**When he hears the sound of his father's voice Qwaring can't hold back a smile. When it hears an unknown voice the floating pod flies behind Qwaring, putting the god of gadget's between itself and the potential threat. Qwaring turns to face Lestat. His eyes glow with Sinister energy and his smile curls into a mischievious grin, that would have been at home on the young face of Xalidus.**

I did, of course.
The other aspects destroyed the pocket dimension while I was concealed, like you advised. I managed to take what I needed and left them to their fate.
How have you been?

Vampyre Lestat
06-27-2005, 01:24 PM
"I was bored..but now...Now I'm doing quite well" *Lestat said answering his son's query. * "Its been too long that you have been away." *He commented happily. *"Lets work together to keep it that way."

But his attention shifted for a moment as he leaned to the side in order to view the device hiding behind his son.

"Your creations never appeared to be shy in the past."

Qwaring
06-27-2005, 01:33 PM
I'm glad you're doing well. But I don't see how you could possibly remain bored for too long.

**Qwaring glances at the pod for a moment before returning his attention to Lestat.**

The pod has been programmed to be paranoid in order to protect it. It contains the child of Meteorette, who is the female counterpart of Meteoro from another universe. I took her child in order to free her from some entity and I now lead her across the universe so she'll learn how things work here. She'll hate me and seek to kill me, but in the long run she'll be better off after this experience.

Meteoro
06-27-2005, 01:48 PM
The Fetus in a Pod

Normally, the fetus wouldn’t react to Qwaring’s conversation or to the changing environment. *Neither to the sudden arrival of the First’s father and the obvious emotions sparkled by his coming. *But still, the fetus moved as if paying attention to the conversation. *His barely formed head turned, not randomly, but with an intelligent move that would creep out the keen observer.

Were its eyes open, they would have shown a sparkle, the same one that got attracted into the pod at the Matrix Quadrant.

Things had changed.

Vampyre Lestat
06-28-2005, 06:46 AM
"She'll hate me and seek to kill me, but in the long run she'll be better off after this experience."

"And years later after numerous deaths and reincarnations he will be whole and finally understand." *He said with a raised eyebrow and a bit of a knowing smile. * "But it doesn't answer the most important question. * Why? *Why go through all the trouble? *There must be a reason for it. *An Endgame…otherwise you would have returned him to her mother, no?"

His eyes glaze over the pod attempting to look at it on multiple levels.

Qwaring
06-28-2005, 07:02 AM
Yes, there is an end game. But it's one of those situations where you can't see exactly how the pieces will fit unless you can see all of the peices everywhere. You'll just have to trust me and believe that everything I'll do is for the good of everyone.

**Qwaring's eye's glow brighter for a moment as he ponders some small secret burried in the back of his mind, but he returns to normal and calmly continues.**

How are mom and BB doing? I was going to visit all of you when I got back, but-

**"But you're living in the place where I was murdered" crosses the god of gadget's mind, but he doesn't say that and quickly forgets it.**

-but I don't want to bring trouble with me. When things calm down, then maybe I'll visit.

Vampyre Lestat
06-28-2005, 07:37 AM
"More like me every day. * Though you had me until you said 'The Good of Everyone'…But that doesn't mean I don't trust you." *He considered the irony of the words despite knowing that his son was keeping something from him."Your mom and Brother seem well enough. *They have been chatting about food again. * Can't see the obsession…Its not like I can converse about the various vintages of hemoglobin…but I digress."
He made a gesture as if they should continue walking.
"So where are you headed? * Where were you before? *Fill me in on the details."

Qwaring
06-28-2005, 07:43 AM
I just came back from the Matrix Quadrant, where I suspect Night tried to use young Cao to hurt or possibly destroy me. Maybe if you have a second to spare sometime you can use that transitioned power of yours to stuff Night's head to some unpleasant portion of his anatomy. I'm sure the exercise will do you good too.

Vampyre Lestat
06-28-2005, 07:59 AM
"Wait a moment…Night used Cao to try to destroy you? * Why would he think that Cao could hurt you? * Before you were able to take down most of the first..now..a child is your equal? * * Even Night should be below you in power….Is there something you are not telling me?"

He was concerned as well as perplexed. *The story made no sense. * Qwaring was of his blood…his kin. * He should be powerful than most. * It was a very humbling moment..but not one that he could not rectify if asked. * However, he knew his son was too pigheaded to ask. * Like father..like son.

Qwaring
06-28-2005, 08:11 AM
**Qwaring can't help but smile at his father's reaction. It woud seem this situation hurt Lestat's pride more than his own.**

Night hides his weapons well. He's taught Cao a dangerous little spell-

**Qwaring decides to show Lestat. He opens up his telepathy and shows the vampyre a glimpse at what was almost unleashed on Qwaring. A spell that assaults the mind with every nightmare it had ever concieved. Bombarded by terrors that crushes the mind and tramples the soul. Qwaring only felt part of the spell and is still recovering from it.**

Plus anger and vengence are powerful motivators, even in children. Apparently Cao blames me for her troubles.

Vampyre Lestat
06-28-2005, 08:20 AM
"Intriguing. * But I would think that your telepathic defenses would have protected you from the onslaught. * I told your mother that you and your brother needed more training in protecting yourself from the dark arts. *But NOOOOO…she felt playing outside was more important."
He laughed aloud
"Though..considering that the root of the spell is terror..I must not seem as bad as a father in comparison to the nightmares you encountered."
He took a moment to consider the obvious. * The thought of Night manipulating Cao into tapping into these dark spells was a matter that Lestat was sure to address.
"Question, did Cao know you were my son…or was she incised by something you had done? *Has she been rescued from Night..or she still his captive?"

Qwaring
06-28-2005, 08:55 AM
**Qwaring's grin vanishes as his expression and voice becomes entirely serious.**

Sil couldn't defend herself from the spell. And she has more experience with telepathy and mental attacks than I do.

**Qwaring shrugs lightly at Lestat's question.**

No, she didn't know you were my father. Why? Would she have chosen a worse spell for me? All she knew was that my recent actions somehow lead to her latest tragedies. She blames me. I blame Night.

**Qwaring then becomes a little uncomforable when asked the question about Night, a problem that was left unsolved.**

My power levels are still low from my recent rebirth. So an attack on Night wouldn't have lasted as long as I would have liked, and the end result would definately be unpleasant, for me. I'm going to try to gather together an assault on Night, but that will have to wait. Elysia and the First are in danger and it's my job to make sure Millennium has the information he needs to lead the First through that danger. But if you want to deal with Night, go ahead. After all I'm going to warn Millennium about a mess you had a hand in. Shae'la has used her power to evolve other Cha'i and she's spreading an insanity causing virus. But that's okay, this conflict will help the First grow, right father. And Cao's time with Night, while everyone else is destracted by the Cha'i will help her to grow too.

Vampyre Lestat
06-28-2005, 09:09 AM
Sil couldn't defend herself from the spell. And she has more experience with telepathy and mental attacks than I do.

This was interesting. *He had underestimated Cao's power, yet it explained some of the impetus behind Cao's abduction. * *Before he thought it was merely a tale of revenge..but there was more to it obviously.


No, she didn't know you were my father. Why? Would she have chosen a worse spell for me? *All she knew was that my recent actions somehow lead to her latest tragedies. She blames me. I blame Night.

**Qwaring then becomes a little uncomforable when asked the question about Night, a problem that was left unsolved.**

My power levels are still low from my recent rebirth. So an attack on Night wouldn't have lasted as long as I would have liked, and the end result would definately be unpleasant, for me. I'm going to try to gather together an assault on Night, but that will have to wait. Elysia and the First are in danger and it's my job to make sure Millennium has the information he needs to lead the First through that danger. But if you want to deal with Night, go ahead. After all I'm going to warn Millennium about a mess you had a hand in. Shae'la has used her power to evolve other Cha'i and she's spreading an insanity causing virus. But that's okay, this conflict will help the First grow, right father. And Cao's time with Night, while everyone else is destracted by the Cha'i will help her to grow too.

"When last we spoke…Cao was less than thrilled with me…But I do believe she cares for me…and I care for her. * *So the revelation might have helped or hindered your cause depending on her state of mind."

He removed the bracelet from his wrist forcing it to revert into the Gauntlet of Atwaal.

"You need this more than I do." *He paused. *"With regard to your accusation, yes, I've assisted in the evolution of the Chai. *You were there when I told the First my plans. *Granted…you weren't in your right mind and quickly thereafter you tried to destroy everyone. *But I didn't Lie..not this time. * *Besides, I'm not quite done yet. * *Your going to love what happens next when all the 'pieces are in place'. * Be sure to tell Millennium that when you two have your discussion."

Qwaring
06-28-2005, 09:33 AM
Yes, that one is easy to underestimate.

**Qwaring holds out his hand and lets the gauntlet melt over him. He glances at the artifact as it takes shape.**

This should make things interesting. Not only am I running around free, but now I have the gauntlet of Altwaal. The other council members will love this.

**The god of gadgets grins at the possible reactions.**

I'll give your message to Millennium, but that might not make him feel a whole lot better. The Cha'i have both Minity and Bellona. Who are enslaving the gods of Elysia. Speaking as a former leader I can tell you how unsettling that situation can be.
And I wasn't accusing you of anything. I just thought Banter would have wanted me to bring that up.

Cao
06-28-2005, 10:11 AM
"When last we spoke…Cao was less than thrilled with me…But I do believe she cares for me…and I care for her."

((Awwwwwwwww!!! Stat DOES care!!! *:woot: *:grin: *:wub: ))

Vampyre Lestat
06-28-2005, 10:44 AM
"If they don't like it…tell them to come see me and let them speculate as to the other things I can do which won't be to their liking"

When contemplating Mil's reaction Lestat can't help but smirk. * *"Be sure to tell him that this is all an extension of our earlier debate. * *But you should both keep this in mind…do Minity and Bellona really need an excuse to enslave the First? *Can the Chai really be held responsible for this turn of events..or are they really allowing people to act upon their inner desires?"

Then Lestat contemplates another possible angle.

"You know….If the council is seeking to determine if you are worthy of their trust..I can be quite helpful in that capacity. * *If you were to betray your father…their opinion of you might shift."

Vampyre Lestat
06-28-2005, 10:45 AM
((Awwwwwwwww!!! Stat DOES care!!! Â*:woot: Â*:grin: Â*:wub: ))

as if you didn't know.

Qwaring
06-28-2005, 11:32 AM
((Pffft, he doesn't care unless he's removed your memories or hunted you down.))


"If they don't like it…tell them to come see me and let them speculate as to the other things I can do which won't be to their liking"

When contemplating Mil's reaction Lestat can't help but smirk. Â* Â*"Be sure to tell him that this is all an extension of our earlier debate. Â* Â*But you should both keep this in mind…do Minity and Bellona really need an excuse to enslave the First? Â*Can the Chai really be held responsible for this turn of events..or are they really allowing people to act upon their inner desires?"

Then Lestat contemplates another possible angle.

"You know….If the council is seeking to determine if you are worthy of their trust..I can be quite helpful in that capacity. Â* Â*If you were to betray your father…their opinion of you might shift."
One betrayal to make up for a past betrayal? That would be interesting if I considered the idea an option. Even while I was crazy I never betrayed our family. Not directly any way.
As for Minity and Bellona, I wouldn't mind their actions if they didn't have the slugs in thier necks. When a First seizes power I know what to expect, but with the Cha'i...I do hope you're taking precautions. You might not be immune to their control. I'm not sure anyone is immune to the Cha'i.

**Qwaring pauses the conversation, but not his pace through the woods. He then continues in a grimmer tone.**

Try to make sure mom and BB are safe.

Vampyre Lestat
06-28-2005, 11:39 AM
"That’s what makes it so interesting son. * Save the day for the First. *Once their faith in you is restored..the ruse will end and you can act accordingly." *He shook his head a bit and continued. *"The offer is on the table..should you change your mind."

And then he smiled again, "Don't worry about me, Son. *I took precautions. * As far as your family is concerned…well..if you truly want to help them…you might want to take me up on my earlier offer. *However, as long as they stay in the Theatre..they should be protected."

Qwaring
06-29-2005, 06:10 PM
**Qwaring pauses his trek through the woods and leans against the trunk of an ancient oak. This moment of rest isn't because the red haired First is tired, his new body does not tire unless under the most extreme of conditions, instead it he stops in the shade provided by the tree because his thoughts need to be shrouded in darkness. In secrets. e quietly shares his thoughts with Lestat.**

During my absense Millennium has made some poor choices. His role in my "defeat" should have earned him a heroes place in the hearts of Elysia. But instead he's known for breaking up Minity and Lord Mattson's marriage, fathering a child with a non-Elysian goddess and having his own marriage fall apart. Now he has Jas trying to challenge his rule. I'm sure Millennium can deal with Jas, and will probably have a good time with it, but this could be a symptom of a growing problem. Perhaps Millennium could benefit from your offer more than I could. He could show Elysia that he can best his own council of manipulation in a battle of wits. Make the public forget about the trivial gossip and focus on the god that they need to be following into greatness. That is if you don't mind being the "losing" party here.

Vampyre Lestat
06-30-2005, 07:25 AM
Lestat beams.

"My pride is not so great that I would mind "losing", but the orchestration of the plot must be careful as there are many who know that I look favorably upon Millennium. * So whatever scheme is hatched must be realistic enough to allow others to subscribe to it completely."

A plan begins to manifest.

"If I were to ally myself with those who sought to undermine Millennium and attempted to solicit you into the process…Its quite possible that you would regect me and a fight would ensue where you could possibly escape. *Aware of my schemes, you could bring what news you have of my plan to the council. * *It might force those against him to my side…and put you in a position where those loyal to the throne will renew their faith in you and rally under his leadership. * *It can all begin with you alerting him of my involvement in the current struggle with the Chai. * Tell him what you know. * Let him know you are willing to keep tabs on me for the moment."

He smiled.

"Or not….are you willing to be involved in this scheme?"

Qwaring
06-30-2005, 08:05 AM
**Qwaring responds with a sinister grin and an approving nod.**

And that is why you are the council of manipulation.
The scheme will help increase Millennium's influence, so of course I'm in. Should we bother letting him know about this? It might help the authenticity of the ruse to keep Millennium in the dark for as long as we're able to.

Vampyre Lestat
06-30-2005, 08:08 AM
"At first..No. *Tell him nothing. * Let his reactions flow naturally. * *When the time comes...we will find a way to tell him if it becomes a necessity."

Lestat smiles.

"Even if he manages to kill me....I'll rise from it eventually."

He approaches his son and laughs. *"Finally..my powers of evil can be used for good."

Qwaring
06-30-2005, 08:25 AM
Without the villains there can't be heroes. As long as Millennium has us to give him villains every once in a while he'll be the hero, whether he likes it or not.

**Qwaring glances to his left, several meters away a portal of swirling blue light pops out of emptiness, sending shards of torn reality falling away in the form of glowing orange spheres. The god of gadgets remains where he is as the pod flies through the portal.**

I should get going before Meteorette and the alternate reality's version of Mattson tracks me here. If they saw us both here it might cause problems for our plan. Small problems, but annoying none the less.
I'll go to my new citidel to charge up my energy supply for my rejection of your "attempt to recruit me". I do want to be at my best for the fight that follows. Well, not my absolute best, I'm supposed to narrowly escape not win completely.**

**The red haired First's lips curl mischieviously at the last remark. There is a small challenging element in his tone of voice.**

Will I locate you after your forming of an alliance with Mill's enemies or will you summon me?

Vampyre Lestat
06-30-2005, 08:37 AM
"Lets play it by ear...and take care of yourself. * *Should you need my assistance..let me know. * I'll be watching.

Qwaring
06-30-2005, 09:33 AM
**Qwaring pushes off of the tree he was leaning against and walks into the light of the sun that filters through the gaps between the branches and leaves above.**

I'll be fine. With the two of us working together Millennium's reign will be more glorious than Altwaal's wildest dreams.
Until next time.

**Qwaring walks the distance between him and the still opened portal, steps through and into his Citidel on Elysia. The portal swirls closed soon afterwards.**

Vampyre Lestat
06-30-2005, 11:29 AM
With no other reason to stay The Vampyre Lestat began to walk forward and dissipate into nothingness as his mind reached out to another being, or more accurately, beings who caught his attention.

Meteorette
07-01-2005, 09:56 AM
BOOOOM! (http://www.cbreview.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=68656#68656)

The deafening sound of the Boom Tube echoed in miles as its vortex released Meteorette and Lady Mattson.





((If Lady Mattson doesn’t join, I’ll be editing this ;).))

Meteorette
07-01-2005, 10:30 AM
Walking through the thick vegetation that was The Grove, Meteorette looked around anxious. *She didn’t see him; there was not a trace of the God of Gadgets nor of his unborn son.

Could it be possible that Qwaring, once again, had moved away before she could find him? *Her eyes got covered in fire as anger and sadness competed to take hold of her. *

“Damn it, Qwaring! *What are you doing to my baby!â€

Lady Mattson
07-01-2005, 05:21 PM
Hey, boss lady. This place is a trip. As for where he's gone, it could be anywhere. This place is portal central. Its like most of one type of teleportation system runs through here. Instead of going from point A to point B, you have to go from point A to here and locate the route to point B.

Looks at Meteorette

You're looking like your going to torch this place, eMie. Don't. You fry it and it might mess up the teleportation system. Then I can't synch with it and find the most recent used.

Meteorette
07-04-2005, 02:43 PM
“I’m… *I’m sorry, Mattson.â€

Lady Mattson
07-04-2005, 04:14 PM
She pauses.

Before I followed you and Manity here, something happened. An energy trail lead me to a distant planet. Some water witch attacked me with my own power. I destroyed her and stole her power but there was a cost. My unborn child was lost. And I ended up in this realm.

I think I'm helping you now just to keep somewhat sane. Did Manity find you in this land? We were reunited on Elysia. Then...

...then..his double went mad and killed him. Beheaded him. I was sent away for protection and I'm now almost alone.

It sucks.

Lots.

Stops for a moment.

Give me five minutes. This is like one of those stupid knot puzzles.

Meteorette
07-04-2005, 04:47 PM
“Oh…â€

Lady Mattson
07-04-2005, 04:59 PM
Either that or go quite mad together and conquer this universe, making the men all our slaves or something like that.

So if were sister's now, we need to find a good botique once this is all over. Some nice shopping to take the edge off.

And I don't want that Night thing knowing about me. He killed his father and he might want to do the same to me. And I really don't want to die.

Meteorette
07-05-2005, 09:42 AM
Meteorette was surprised by Mattson’s sudden change of mood, but it was okay. *They had gone through a lot already, making plans for their future would be good and healthy for both of them.

“For starters, we need to give you a better disguise. *You already told Night you were my sidekick, so it would only make sense that you really play the part. *I think the logical choice would be to make you pretend being NestlĂ©e or Benlass, both of them have been sidekicks of mine in the past and, since no one has seen them before in this universe, it would make sense.â€

Lady Mattson
07-06-2005, 06:48 PM
I was already going for a kind of look for chocolate puppy girl but probably got too dark on the hair.

Um, maybe we should wait a few. The Blood Lance is there. Its owned by our favorite fanged friend or her double rather and whats worse, there is some chaotic interfarance. Probably the clone. I tried killing her so much for making eyes at Manity but nothing stuck. And she would do that poofy thing where everything changes around. Its maddening. Do we really want to bust in there now? We could wait until its less populated.

Meteorette
07-07-2005, 12:37 PM
Meteorette’s eyes opened wide as she realized Lady Mattson already knew the way. *Her first impulse was that to activate the Boom Tube, but time and again she had learned that moving too fast wasn’t always the right way to do things.

“Let’s wait. *Just stay focused not to lose Qwaring. *I want our meeting to be final. *:flamingmad:â€

Lady Mattson
07-07-2005, 03:44 PM
Just remember its a disguise. And he was talking with his guests now.

Meteorette
07-08-2005, 12:17 PM
“Was?â€

Lady Mattson
07-08-2005, 05:59 PM
Yes. Now he's.....must of teleproted onto the ship. Well, good news is no bloodgoddess or other First sensed. Two mechanical things, one cosmic duck, undead staff, Clone's gone too, and it seems the logical one is asleep.

Opens a teleportal (http://www.cbreview.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=199&start=100)

Lead on, boss.

Meteorette
07-11-2005, 04:09 PM
With determination, Meteorette approached Lady Mattson’s teleportal. Â*

“Under different circumstances, I wouldn’t trust any transportation device other than my Boom Tube. Â*I’m glad to say that I can really count on you this time :)â€

Janus
07-25-2005, 11:19 AM
Janus appears since he has time until his other meeting. He figures its time for a meeting with the plaguebringer. He moves away from several portals and then once sure he has a good range to act, sends out the equivelent of a psychic dog whistle to Shea'la.

Come bug. Its time for us to face off. Its time for the crucible to begin.

Jason Sanborn
07-25-2005, 11:35 AM
((Shae'la doesn't use the Grove's portal system, but magic she learned from BB. :whaat:))

A black portal, not one of the Grove's portal system, opened in front of Janus. Emerging from the portal was Shae'la, or more appropriately, the Cha'i in control of Shae'la's body. Shae'la's eyes glowed with a slight mauve glow, indicating the control of the symbiont over the body.

I don't believe we've had the pleasure. What is it you want, and why have you called me to my home world?

Janus
07-25-2005, 11:40 AM
(Main point of usingit was to send the call to many locals quickly)

Two reasons, first, its time for the end game to start. I felt it best the chess players to acknowledge each other. And second, to know if Shae'la still exists or if she is no more.

Jason Sanborn
07-25-2005, 11:47 AM
Shae'la chuckled.

End game? My dear fool, this is but the beginning. After millenia of being forced to lives of slavery, my people now have the power to be the masters, and not the slaves. The one you know as Shae'la lives. I control her thoughts, her memories, and her emotions. I use her, the way she once used me. I am Shae'la.

Janus
07-25-2005, 11:53 AM
Then I'll see about not killing her. But I wouldn't bet on your kingdom.

Janus turns smiling wickedly.

Time to see what you are made of.

Around the two several fires ignite forming the mask image Janus often uses. He floats into the air as the fires begin flying towards Shae'la.

Jason Sanborn
07-25-2005, 12:06 PM
Shae'la casts a spell of ice, extinguishing the flames.

I was trained in the magical arts by my grandfather, Baron Banter.

Shae'la used her power over emotions and extended the virus to Janus. If affected by the emotions, all his negative emotions would flare up. Fear, concern, sadness, whatever was most pressing, and the most supressed in Janus's mind.

I was taught control of emotions from my great grandfather, Lestat.

Shae'la cast another spell, causing angelic wings to appear on her back.

I was taught to fly by my adoptive mother, Oriena.

Shae'la jumped into the air, clutching her staff tightly.

I have been given powers beyond that of the so-called "gods" by Pax. What makes you think you, a forgotten mystery, can stop me and my plans for my people?

Shae'la swung her staff in a sweeping motion in front of her, a gust of wind flew from the path of the staff, carrying with it razor sharp stones, intent on tearing through Janus.

Janus
07-25-2005, 12:21 PM
Janus doesn't move as the staff plunges into him. He looks down at his chest.

Hmmm...appearently I can still bleed. Good to know. And sorry. Got enough demons in my head already. Much like I doubt you could plague Lestat with emotions, you'll find my head a bit harder to pry into.

Reaching down to grab the staff, Janus channels electricity up it.

But forgive me, you were ranting. Blah blah blah. I've learned much too. After all, time is what I have much of. You have no clue what I am little insect.

Pulls himself off the staff

You have no clue what I've seen. What horrors I know will likely come.

But I will not accept it.

I will force the First to face this crucible! I will forge a new future!

Janus' eyes change color to orange and launch blasts into the girl

You will find I have the power and will to back up my claims.

Jason Sanborn
07-25-2005, 12:33 PM
((It was supposed to be razor sharp stones, not the staff. Oh well. :whaat:))

The electrical charges forced Shae'la to release her staff. Loosing the staff would limit her magical abilities, but thanks to the transition, she wasn't fully reliant upon her staff for her magics. When Janus attempted to blast her with the energy from his eyes, she quickly cast a portal spell in between herself and Janus, intercepting most of the blast, and redirecting it back at Janus. She wasn't able to intercept the full blast, though, and the initial part of the blast struck her in the chest, knocking her out of the sky.

Janus
07-25-2005, 12:39 PM
Reaching out, Janus transofrmed his energies into swirling dust around him. Without slowing he descended and caught the girl before she landed. He was leaving himself open to the Chai'i but like all this, thus far, it was a study of capabilities.

No delightful banter now?

Jason Sanborn
07-25-2005, 12:48 PM
Shae'la looked into Janus's eyes with her mauve eyes. A sly grin crossed her face. Her chest was in pain from the blast, and smoke rose from the charred clothing, but she didn't pay much attention to it.

How noble of you. Blast a lady, then catch her while she falls.

As she looked into his eyes and spoke, she reached into her pouch to pull out a Cha'i. At this proximity, with the transitioned Cha'i's ability to teleport, he should quickly become an unwilling slave, like all the others she had liberated.

You will understand my goals, in time.

The Cha'i vanished from her hand, attempting to appear in Janus, to make him the next slave to her people.

Janus
07-25-2005, 12:58 PM
Why thank you. I've been awaiting this move.

Releasing the girl to allow her to float down, Janus stepped back. His eye colors shifted across the spectrum until finally returning to normal. The mystery man raises his hand and plunges it into his chest. A cascade of energy errupts and explodes consuming Janus. As it dies down, only the charred outline of the play mask remains.

Jason Sanborn
07-25-2005, 01:05 PM
Shae'la looked at the charred outline of the mask, while holding her chest. The mystery man was more powerful than she anticipated, but even he could not withstand the transitioned Cha'i's influence. It might take a few hours, or perhaps a few days, but he will fall as Shae'la had before.

Shae'la picked up her staff from the ground and cast a spell that repaired her clothing. The burn and pain in her chest still existed, but it was something that time would heal. She might bear the scar, though, for a long time to come. Small price to pay for the liberation of her people.

Shae'la cast a portal spell and walked through, leaving the Grove behind.

Mortin Steel
08-06-2005, 01:40 AM
Mortin Steel comes crashing to the ground from A rip that leads to Minity's place.As the rip closes Mortin rolls onto his back and passes out.

Mortin Steel
08-08-2005, 10:16 PM
Mortin Awakes some time later."I must find my other half....but where do I start?" Mortin lays there trying to figure out where next to go.

Mortin Steel
08-09-2005, 08:02 AM
Well Mortin is thinking he feels a pull from A place very familiar to him...........Home,his birth place.Mortin begins to remember the events that have caused all these problems,Mortin is not sure whether he will be welcomed or attacked when he goes home but he opens A rip home any way.(Panet Tigers)

Jason Sanborn
12-12-2005, 11:32 AM
A cemetary in the underground city.

The glowing phospheresence of the rocks in this underground city glowed steadily, day and night. The only indication of a difference between day and night were the artificial lights that were used in more abundance during the day. The fact that most of the artificial lights were dimmed or off was an indication that night was upon the city of the Cha'i.

In the cemetary at the edge of the city, a swirling black vortex appeared. Walking through the portal into the cemetary was Shae, just arriving from her home on Tebryna. As soon as she had appeared, the vortex closed behind her, leaving her alone in the dark cemetary.

Shae looked down at the tombstone she stood in front of. She hadn't been back to the city since she ran off to play in the Grove and met Oreina for the first time. The shock at seeing her real mother's name engraved on the tombstone at her feet was enough to send Shae to her knees.

'Ey! What're ya doin' 'ere at this 'our?

Shae ignored the man speaking behind her, and simply stared at the tombstone, her vision blurring from the tears.

Didja 'ear me? The cem'tary's closed! What're ya doin 'ere?

Shae felt the man's firm touch on her shoulder, and she broke her gaze from the tombstone and looked at the face of the man. Tears stained her cheeks.

There now, Lass. Didna mean ta frighten ya. It's late, and a cem'tary's no place for a lass like ya. Shall I summon a constable to show ya 'ome?

Shae rubbed her hand across her eyes to wipe away the tears.

No, thank you. I'll be fine. I just wanted to visit her while it was quiet.

Shae motioned to the tombstone, and the man followed her gaze.

She was a lovely one, she was. I remember the day I buried 'er. Sad day. 'Er daughter gone and vanished and 'er 'usband... The man spit to the side in disgust. ...beat 'er beyond death 'e did.

The words struck Shae to the heart. She knew what had happened, but to hear it again, from a man she didn't know, at the foot of her mother's grave, was almost unbearable.

There now, Lass. I didna mean to be upsettin' ya. Are ya of relation to 'er?

Shae nodded weakly.

I'm her daughter. I'm Shae'la.

The man's eyes opened wide in shock.

Truly? Glory be! The prodigal daughter 'as returned. I knew there be something familiar 'bout ya. Ya 'ave your mother's looks about ya, ya do. From the talk, I'd always thought ya to be younger. Come to me 'ome, Lass. The missus will fix ya up a nice warm supper and we've a spare room for ya to rest your 'ead. I'm so terribly sorry I'd upset ya, Lass.

The man stretched out his hand kindly. Shae smiled and took his hand and stood to her feet.

Name's Bellon'gi. 'Tis a pleasure to meet ya, Shae'la.

Shae'la took one last look at the tombstone, then back at Bellon'gi as she accompanied him to his home. She knew she had nothing to fear. This was her first home, and she was one of them. In the morning, she'd go to the temple and make sure the Cha'i remain safe.

Jason Sanborn
12-14-2005, 01:21 PM
The Underground City. Bellon'gi's Home.

Bellon'gi led Shae through the cemetary to a modest home at the edge of the cemetary. The home was as old as the cemetary itself, being built by some of the first inhabitants of the underground city, ancestors of Bellon'gi's wife, Maire'le.

Bellon'gi was the caretaker of the cemetary. He was responsible for maintaining the grounds, and seeing to the burial of the deceased. It had been his responsibility ever since he married Maire'le fourty years earlier. Even in his advanced years, with arthritis affecting his bones, he did not shirk in his duties.

Maire'le was a priestess from a long line of priests and priestesses. It was her family's tradition to look after the souls of the sick, the dying, and the deceased. It was she that would help the family and friends cope with their losses, and there has been much reason to grieve in recent times. In fact, their own daughter, while preparing for marriage and taking over the family responsibilities, died defending the larval Cha'i from the White Witch who invaded several years ago.

The elderly couple were kind to Shae. Maire'le could sense the pain that the young woman felt, and could empathize with her. Shae didn't say where she had been all the years she was gone, only that she'd been away, and since her parents were gone, she had no place to stay. The couple were more than happy to offer their daughter's room for as long as she chose to stay.

Shae didn't sleep well that night. The image of her mother's gravestone was clear in her mind. The knowledge that the woman who formerly slept here was killed by the same woman that killed her own grandfather added to the discomfort. Her biggest concern, though, was the transitioned Cha'i. It was the fact that they sought to upset the whole delicate balance of life. She knew it would be only a matter of time before another Transitioned Cha'i infected First comes to bring more Cha'i, and she didn't know what she could do to prevent it.

Early the next morning, Shae met Bellon'gi and Maire'le for breakfast. Even Bellon'gi could see that she didn't seem to have slept well. He attributed it to the difficult night she had last night.

Mornin', Shae'la. 'Ope you slept decent.

I had a lot on my mind.

I understand, Dearie. You've been through a lot.

"More than you know," Shae thought, but said nothing. She wasn't looking at her gracius hosts, but noticed them glance at each other out of the corner of her eye.

Ya know, Lass, the Missus an' I 'ave been talking, an' well...

Our daughter was taken from us, and we're too old to have another child.

We was thinkin' an' all. Since ya don't 'ave no parents, and we don' 'ave no daughter, that, mayhaps ya'd like to stay 'ere.

Shae looked up at the elderly couple in shock.

But you don't know me. You don't know where I've been, what I've done.

I'm a good judge of character, Dearie, and you remind me so much of our daughter, rest her soul. I knew, from the moment I laid eyes on you, that you were a good person.

Ya don' 'ave ta give us an answer now, Lass. Jus' think 'bout it.

Shae thought about Jas and Oreina, her adoptive parents. They had been there for her since she first ran away so many years ago. They took her into their home and loved her. Despite that, it wasn't the same. Jas and Oreina were immortals, and Shae wasn't. These were her people, the people she had been raised around when she was a child. They were mortal.

I'll think about it.

Bellon'gi and Maire'le smiled at Shae's answer. While it wasn't a definate yes or no answer, it was still enough to satisfy them.

After breakfast, we'll go to the temple. The high priest will want to know you're alive. It's a joyous day. It's not often that the lost return home.

Shae looked at Maire'le. She was getting to the temple as she wanted, but seeing the high priest didn't seem like the best option. There would be questions that need to be answered, and some questions might not be easy to answer. And if they should recognize her from when she, under control of the Cha'i, had invaded the temple and taken several larvae, that could end in disaster.

Is something wrong, Dearie?

With a sigh, Shae'la looked at the kind woman. The couple had been so kind to her, and she knew it wouldn't be right to leave them in the dark.

Maire'le, there's something you should know...

Jason Sanborn
12-16-2005, 01:49 PM
The Underground City. Bellon'gi's Home.

A few years ago, I went to the surface. I knew I wasn't supposed to, but I was curious, and I had to get away from the house. It wasn't my first time on the surface, I went as often as I could get away with it. While I was on the surface, I was able to forget the pain my father was causing my mother and me.

Well, the last time I went to the surface, I became lost, and wasn't able to find my way home. It was then that I met another kind woman, Oreina'ge. I stayed with her and her husband for a while, before wanting to come back here, to see my mother again. Unfortunately, I was too late. I learned from my grandfather that my parents were dead. I would have returned home with him, but that was when the White Witch attacked, and he was killed.

After that, I lived with Oreina'ge and her husband. They sent me to school, and I learned a lot of new things. Unfortunately, I was recently struck with an odd... infection. This infection affected my Cha'i, causing it to become more powerful and aware. It was more than any previously known disease, this one actually caused the Cha'i to take control of my mind and my body.

If recall several days ago, when the temple was attacked, and a number of the Cha'i were taken, that happened as a result of my Cha'i's control over my body. The Cha'i wanted to infect the larval Cha'i to make them more powerful as well.

Yesterday, I nearly died when my Cha'i vanished from my body. Yes, vanished. I don't know what had happened to it, whether it found a new host, or if the infection caused it to simply disappear. Maybe it was the infection, I don't know, but I survived the loss of my Cha'i. After that happened, I came back here. I wanted to make sure that the Cha'i were safe. I wanted to make sure that no more Cha'i are taken.

Shae'la stopped her abridged narrative of her life, and looked into the shocked faces of the elderly couple that had been so kind to her. She knew that this news could easily cause her to be turned in, and for her part in the the theft at the temple, cause her to be put to death. She had taken a big chance letting this couple know the truth, and now her life was in their hands.

That is an interesting tale, Dearie. Maire'le replied after a moment of silence. The fact that, after all you've suffered, you'd want to return here, is a testimony itself. I pride myself on my judge of character, and I believe you.

Maire'le stood up and walked to Shae.

We will go to the high priest and speak to him. You will tell him everything you told us.

Shae lowered her head. To do that was a guaranteed death sentence. If it was necessary to save the Cha'i and the First, she would do so.

Don't worry, Dearie. You won't die this day. I shall speak the Rite of Hana'le on your behalf.

Shae looked up in shock. She remembered the story of Hana'le from her childhood. Hana'le was a priestess from ages ago, when the people still lived on the surface. She had a son that became involved in a rebellion against the people. When the rebellion was ended, many of the rebels were cast away, and others were forced to pay the ultimate price for their crimes, death. Hana'le's son was one who was scheduled to be executed for his crimes.

In a show of love of mother towards her son, she stood in for him, preparing to give up her life in exchange for that of her son. She swore he would live a new life, and be a productive member of society. The executioner, moved by her act, had allowed her son to go free. Since the crime, though, could not go unpunished, Hana'le took the penalty in his place. Hana'le had died, so that her son would live. It has since been a rite used only by mothers or fathers in rare situations to protect the lives of a condemned, yet repentant, son or daughter.

I'm not your daughter. You cannot invoke that Rite. I can't allow you to die for me. You don't even know me. You have husband. Bellon'gi, talk some sense into her.

Bellon'gi sighed and looked down. He was never one to speak against a decision of his wife, no matter what the reason. Nor would he stand idly by while an innocent, repentant woman was facing a certain sentence of death.

Ye used ta sneak out of the city when ye're younger. If ya leave, I won't tell a soul you've been 'ere.

Shame on you, Bellon'gi! Sending this poor girl back out to the unknown. Especially since she has news of what has happened to the Cha'i.

But the Rite of 'Ana'le? With Tali'la on the ot'er side, there'll be no priestess to fill yer shoes.

Yes, there will. Maire'le put her hands on Shae's shoulders. Shae'la is our daughter, and I'll be passing the title to my daughter.

Maire'le, I can't accept. Thank you so very much, but I can't ask you to die for me. I can't even hope to fill your shoes. I'll do what I need to do in secret, and make sure that the Cha'i are safe. When this is over, I'll leave, and never return. I can't have your death on my concience too.

Listen to me. What I give, I give freely. I'm an old woman, and don't have long left in this world. You are young, and have many years left in you. You can still live a full life, free of fear, in the city of your birth. You can comfort others, with the comfort I'm showing you. You can encourage those who have lost, with the encouragement you found from others through your loss. You can show people that it doesn't take a Cha'i to make one complete, to encourage those who were not worthy. You can move forward with confidence, and not have to live in the shadows of life.

I know I'm a selfish man, but what've me? Ye'd just turn yer back on me?

No, Bellon'gi. I'm not turning my back on you. I'm giving you a daughter again. I'm filling the void that has been in our hearts since we laid Tali'la in the earth. I'm giving her and you a second chance at life. My sacrifice is a sacrifice of love for you both.

Shae was in tears. She could barely speak. The amount of love that this woman showed was beyond comprehension. They only met the night before, and she was willing to take her as a daughter, and not only that, but to die in her place. Shae couldn't believe it, and couldn't let her do it. She had never been so torn.

Decide as you must, Dearie. We'll go to the High Priest in the afternoon, to give you time to think. If you come with me, you shall become my daughter and you'll not have to live in fear anymore.

Jason Sanborn
12-19-2005, 12:33 PM
A cemetary in the underground city

Shae was kneeling on the ground next to a grave. With her right hand, she ran her fingers across the engraving on the headstone. "Jain'te. Beloved daughter and mother." Shae's left hand ocassionally wiped tears away from her eyes. She had hadn't even been back to her home city 12 hours, and already her task here had grown increasingly complicated.

I'm so sorry, Mom. If I'd been here, this never would have happened. If I'd just stayed home, you'd still be alive. I would have grown up here, maybe gotten married, and been at peace. But I had to leave, I had to get away, and you died.

Shae's voice cracked, and she had to stop talking for a moment.

It's my fault you're dead. It's my fault that Grandpa is dead. Even this latest threat is my fault. Everything all started when I ran away. It's all my fault, and now a woman I only just met wants to offer her life in my place. She's willing to do the Rite of Hana'le so that I can live here.

Shae closed her eyes and stopped talking again. She couldn't hold back the tears or the pain.

I don't know what to do.

Shae fell forward, throwing her arms across the gravestone, and wept. *She didn't know how long she lay there before she felt a gentle touch on her shoulder. Shae didn't move, she just lay there for a few more moments, weeping over her mother's grave. Bellon'gi didn't say a word either, he simply stood there, waiting for her to be ready to talk.

I can't stay.

Shae said at last, not looking at Bellon'gi.

I figger'd 's much. Might I be askin' why?

Shae pushed herself into a seated position and faced Bellon'gi.

If I hadn't run away, my mother and grandfather would still be alive. If I had stayed here, the Cha'i would never have become more powerful. If I hadn't left, Maire'le wouldn't be considering the Rite of Hana'le. I can't be responsible for her death as well. It's more than I can bear.

Bellon'gi was silent for a moment. His eyes glazed slightly as they began to water. Without saying a word, he simply bent forward and pulled Shae into a loving embrace, as if she were his own daughter, Tali'la. Shae was surprised by this show of affection from the elderly man, but was comforted by his tender embrace.

Ye've suffered much, Lass. I can understan' loss. Not a day passes that I don't miss my dear Tali'la. I blame meself for 'er death, I do. She wasn't s'posed ta be at the temple that day. I'd injured meself doin' something I knew better. When the missus brought me to the 'ospital, Tali'la, bless 'er 'eart, went to the temple to offer prayer for me. That was the day the White Witch attacked. If I 'adn't climed that ladder, fallen, and broken me 'ip, she'd never 'ave been at the temple to die.

Bellon'gi sighed, while still holding Shae.

I guess me point is we dunna what tomorrow 'olds, so we canna blame ourselves for our yesterdays. We canna change yesterday, but we can change tomorrow. This 'ere city be yur home, Lass. My missus, bless 'er 'eart, sees our dear Tali'la in you. I do, too. I won' lie to ya, I dun want Maire'le ta die. I also canna stand by an' watch you die trying ta save the Cha'i, as me daughter 'ad. If ya choose ta stay, I promise ta love ya as if ye're me only daughter.

But, what of Maire'le?

She'll be in the next life waitin' for me to arrive. She'd be watchin' over us from above, sending down 'er love an' blessings.

And what if I still die defending the Cha'i? That is why I've returned.

Bellon'gi was silent for a moment before answering.

We dunna what tomorrow 'olds, but I'll not be lettin' ya face the danger alone. An' the priests'll be warned an' prepared, not like before.

Bellon'gi broke the embrace and pulled back slightly. He cupped Shae's chin in his hand gently and looked into her eyes.

Me wife be givin' ya a way from fear, Lass. She be givin' ya a chance at a new family an' a life with yer people. It's a rare an' beautiful gift. Don' pass it lightly.

Bellon'gi gently kissed Shae on the forehead. As he pulled back, he gently wiped away her tears, as a father would to a daughter. After giving a kind, yet weary, smile, he turned and walked back toward the house. Shae looked back down at her mother's gravestone. Two options lay before her. On one hand, she faced an incredible challenge alone, and the possibility of never being able to return here again. On the other hand, she was being offered a chance for a new life, with a new father, in the home of her birth, a prospect that would also gain her the support of the temple should the Cha'i be in danger again.

I love you, Mom.

Shae said quietly, then stood back to her feet. Her decision had been made, she only hoped it was the right one.

Jason Sanborn
12-19-2005, 06:26 PM
The Underground City. The Cha'i Temple.

Shae walked through the doors of the temple. As she did so, she shivered involuntarily. It felt as if her stomach had moved to her throat, and she swallowed to try to get it back in place. The last time she was here, she was under control of her Cha'i. She remembered the fear that the Cha'i had sent out, scaring everyone away.

She was escorted down the hall by two temple guards, one on her right, the other on her left. She felt the eyes of several of the priests and priestesses upon her. She knew that some were afraid, but many more were angry with her. She didn't blame them, she probably would have felt the same in their shoes. She cringed slightly under the gaze of several angry pairs of eyes.

Finally, Shae was escorted into the chambers of the high priest. The highpriest stood in the center of the room. Standing in front of him was Maire'le.

You know why you're here?

Shae nodded her head, but remained respectfully silent. She felt slightly light-headed standing in that room, facing the high priest, and was certain her skin appeared a little more pale at that moment.

You stand before me, charged with wonton disregard for the Cha'i, taking them from this sacred place, to who knows what fate. It is a crime most serious, and one punishable by death. At Maire'le's request, you have been given a chance to speak, to redeem your soul, before judgement is passed upon you.

Shae'la nodded in respect, and proceeded to tell the high priest the story, as she had told it to Maire'le. She emphasized the fact that the Cha'i had changed and had taken control. She wanted the high priest to know that the Cha'i in the temple were still in danger. She wanted them to be prepared, no matter what would happen to her.

We will be on guard for any other disturbances in the temple. You can be assured of that. With your testimony, your soul is clensed, and you can die in peace. Are you prepared to meet eternity, Shae?

Shae was relieved that her name was used. It meant that, even though she were to die, her name would be remembered, unlike that of her natural father, who died nameless and dishonored.

High Priest, Alvis'to, I seek the Rite of Hana'le on behalf of my daughter, Shae.

The High Priest looked at Maire'le in shock. He had not expected those words to be spoken. Hana'le was a rite specifically for parents of the condemned, and was very rarely invoked.

The Rite of Hana'le? Shae is not your natural daughter. It does not apply to her.

Her mother is dead, and she has no father. She has none that could ask for the Rite in her place. My daughter died defending the Cha'i from the White Witch. Bellon'gi and I have accepted Shae into our family as our daughter. As such, I have every right to invoke the Rite of Hana'le on her behalf.

This is highly unorthodox.

As was Hana'le's original request, if you recall, High Priest. You have heard Shae speak, you know she is repentant of her acts. I ask that she replace me in my role as keeper of the dead, the sick, and the infirm. I ask again, for the Rite of Hana'le, that I might take upon myself the penalty for her transgressions, so that she might have my life in my place.

The High Prist was silent for a moment, as he considered carefully the implications of Maire'le's words. Finally, looking at Shae, he spoke again.

Are you a daughter of Bellon'gi and Maire'le?

Shae knew that this was it, this was the moment she had been afraid of, from when she walked through the door. Her answers here would determine her fate, and the fate of the kindly woman who had graciously opened her home.

I am.

Shae, daughter of Bellon'gi and Maire'le, do you understand the Rite of Hana'le, of which your mother asks?

Shae could not keep the tears from forming.

Yes.

Shae, daughter of Bellon'gi and Maire'le, Will you take over your mother's duties at the cemetary, with the sick, and the infirm. Will you take care of your father, and live on, a productive member of our society?

Yes.

Then watch and remember this. Your mother has taken your transgressions in your place. She shall die, and you shall live. Never forget what this sacrifice has cost, and live rightly in your new life.

The high priest turned to Maire'le.

Maire'le, you have taken your daughters transgressions upon yourself. May your soul live on, comforted by the fact that you have clensed a soul from death. Are you prepared?

I am prepared.

Very well.

The high priest began to walk out of the chambers, Shae, with the Ka'an on either side, followed, with Maire'le in the back. Shae knew that this was Maire'le's last chance to escape death, without any thought to the contrary from the high priest. She also knew that the elderly lady would do no such thing. Shae could not keep the tears from falling, knowing what lie ahead.

The high priest led them into a room where an executioner in a black hood stood waiting. Execution was beheading, killing both the host and the Cha'i. The high priest looked at Maire'le, who walked past Shae, towards the block where she was to die.

The crimes before us demand a penalty of death. Shae, daughter of Bellon'gi and Maire'le has committed acts of extreme disgrace, taking from this very temple the Cha'i, to ends unknown. Shae's mother has invoked the Rite of Hana'le on her behalf. The penalty must be paid. Watch and remember this day, Shae.

Shae wanted to close her eyes, to turn from the horror that was about to happen. One of the Ka'an next to her forced her to continue to look forward as Maire'le knelt at the feet of the executioner, willingly laying her head down on the chopping block. Shae was forced to watch, as the executioner raised his axe. She closed her eyes just before the axe was lowered, but she heard the sickening sound of the woman's head being severed from her body. Shae no longer had the strength to stand and she fell to her knees, weeping.

It is finished. The penalty has been paid.Shae, daughter of Bellon'gi and Maire'le, you are freed by the blood. Go forth, and live the life you've been granted through your mother's love.

The Ka'an left the room and the high priest walked over to Shae. Gently he helped her to her feet.

Let me take you to a room to rest and reflect on today.

Jason Sanborn
01-12-2006, 10:35 AM
The Grove

On the surface of the Grove Planet lies a grove of trees. From outward appearances, it appears no different than any other grove of trees, yet this particular grove has some unique properties to it. It is the nexus of a portal system that connects the Grove Planet to every other planet in the universe. Usually, if one wished to travel from one planet to another, they'd find the portal to the Grove Planet, and then locate the portal in the Grove that took them to their next destination. Of course, it wasn't quite as simple as that. A unique crystal, specifically in tune to the frequency of the portals, was required to make the portals appear and become usable.

One such portal, from the planet Aerysh, opened in the grove. Ruwach was the first to emerge from the portal into the silence of the grove. He knew that his companion, Oreina, would follow soon after. Neither of them would be searching for another portal to another world. Their destination was on the Grove Planet itself. It was an underground city, more specifically, a temple of Cha'i within. Oreina, disguised as a temple priestess, and Ruwach disguised as her Ka'an temple guard, needed to enter the temple without suspicion, take an untransitioned Cha'i, and return to Aerysh for study. The fate of the First rested in the balance.

Ruwach looked around, keeping his senses tuned to his surroundings, waiting for Oreina to arrive through the portal.

Quaxo9
01-13-2006, 07:38 AM
::Oreina was right. The memories were stronger here. So much had happened to them on this planet - to her and Jas, that is - and old wounds were dragged to the surface against her will. However, with the wounds also came the good memories, which at the moment only increased her mental stress. Not now. She couldn't think about it now. The job. Focus on the job. Oreina forced down the nausea she felt building and blocked out what she could of rememberances. When she spoke, her voice was low and the words clipped.::

The last time I was here, I discovered a mobile portal system within the city. It is dangerous, as we don't know where we'll end up precisely, but I think it is the best way in to avoid rousing military suspicion. As I recall, they don't get many guests from topside.

::It occurred to her to ask her companion's opinion of her plan. Ruwach had displayed incredible knowledge of her people and their customs. He was aware of the dangers, therefore he should have a say in how they met them. In a hesitant, but not begrudging manner, she posed a simple question.::

What do you think?

Jason Sanborn
01-13-2006, 10:39 AM
Ruwach narrowed his eyes in thought.

No, just randomly appearing inside the city may not be a wise idea. Who knows who we'll appear in front of, or if they'd like our sudden appearance for that matter.

Ruwach turned to Oreina.

I believe there is a hidden entrance to the city. Shae'la didn't leave through the front gates, and neither did Paran'ti. If we could find this alternate entrance, we should be able to get in without a problem.

Quaxo9
01-16-2006, 07:58 AM
:: A nearly imperceptible nod was her only response. The longer they stayed in the glade, the heavier the feelings of self-doubt, fear and hate - yes, hate - became. How were they to find a secret entrance? Lately, when Oreina was looking for things that were lost, she had just used her talisman to aquire it, but she had no idea if it would work in her depowered state. Still, it was worth a shot. Slowly, she raised her right palm up and the lettering emblazoned on her hand glowed emerald green as she focused her thoughts. Suddenly, information was being fed through the AI of her portal device, giving her the location of an entrance to the hidden city that was unguarded. Oreina was shocked by a) the fact that the talisman worked and b) the method by which it achieved her goal. The surprise was still on her face as she looked at Ruwach.::

I have a location. This way.

::As Oreina led Ruwach through the underbrush, dales and glens, she laid out her plan just as she had before every mission she lead back on Beichar'an. They moved softly and she spoke in subdued tones as she constantly searched for guards and traps with her suspicious eyes.::

Once inside, we will need to locate a temple nursery. If we can avoid being seen, I think we should do it, however our disguises may be the only way in. All I need is a few skin samples of various larvae - preferably blue, to cut out some genetic variation - as well as samples from a Cha'i that is joined, but untransitioned. I assume we'll have to "disable" someone - you won't have a problem with that, will you?

::She looked at him expectantly, not only for the answer to her question, but also because they had reached what appeared to be a hole in the wall. Once they entered, there was no going back.::

Jason Sanborn
01-16-2006, 05:47 PM
Ruwach followed Oreina to the hole in the wall. He was glad that she had some abilities to call upon, despite the loss of their First powers. He looked into the darkness beyond before answering Oreina's question.

I'm ready to do anything necessary to accomplish our objective.

Ruwach looked back at Oreina and smiled.

Trust me.

Ruwach ducked his head and walked into the darkness beyond. There was enough light filtering in from outside that he was able to see, somewhat, where he was going. In a few moments, the tunnel came to an end at a grate. It appeared to be newly installed. Either Oreina found the wrong entrance, or the inhabitants found it and blocked it off. Either way, that didn't bode well for them.

We're blocked!

Ruwach put his hands against the bars and pushed. With a loud creak the grate pushed upwards.

Then again, maybe not.

Ruwach continued holding the grate up as he slowly moved through. He hoped that the sound of the grate opening didn't attract any unwanted attention. Once he was in the city, he continued holding open the gate for Oreina to enter, while, at the same time, keeping his eyes opened for any that might come to investigate the noise.

Quaxo9
01-16-2006, 06:53 PM
:: Priestess robes were not made for crawling through tunnels - of this, Oreina was certain. She just hoped that it wasn't noticably dirty by the time they made it out or she might have to knock off a real priestess just to finish the job. A grimace passed across her face as it appeared that their short, yet grimy, journey had been in vain. The facial contortion remained as the loud squeaking made her grind her teeth in frustration and a little pain. Emerging cautiously, she was glad to see no welcoming committee waiting for them. For the time being, it seemed as though they were still flying under the radar, so to speak.::

:: Oreina dusted herself off, glad to find no serious damage to her robes, and straightened to a more stately pose. It took her awhile to adjust to the odd green lighting of the place. Everything looked eerily out of place and she tripped slightly over a loose piece of cobble. Blending in could be more difficult than she had initially anticipated. Of course, if she could remove that headband, it would solve that problem, but her First energies could contaminate her samples. They weren't going through all this work just to lose it all for some comfort. Taking a moment to steady herself, she set her mind to figuring out where the temple was likely to be - or at least a minor nursery.::

I believe the most plausible location for a nursery would be where the highest concentration of crystals reside. Therefore, the brightest location should be where we will find the nursery. *taking a deep breath and stepping out* Let's do this.

:: "Trust me." Ruwach had said. Well, this was the threshhold. And it almost surprised her to find that she did indeed trust him. How or when her change of heart occurred, she knew not, but for perhaps the first time, she didn't care. It was time to move forward - in more ways than one.::

Jason Sanborn
01-17-2006, 10:11 AM
The Underground City. The Cha'i Temple.

Shae awoke early the next morning. She experienced a restless night of sleep, the images and sounds from the previous day still rang in her mind. The sacrifice the kindly old woman had made for her was beyond comprehension. Even as she went through her morning routines, at the direction of one of the priestesses of the temple, she was felt numb.

I can't begin to know what you're going through, Shae.

Shae turned to face Alvis'to, the High Priest. He looked at the young woman with eyes of compassion.

Your mother made an incredible sacrifice for you, one not to be taken lightly. Come with me, we must prepare for her services.

Alvis'to reached forward opening his hand for Shae to take. Shae's eyes began to water, and she was unsure of what she should do.

It's okay to grieve, Shae. It will refresh your soul.

Alvis'to kept his hand out, waiting patiently for Shae to take it. After wiping some tears from her eyes, Shae took his hand and accompanied him to prepare for the services for Maire'le, the loving woman who took Shae as her daughter and gave her life for her.

Jason Sanborn
01-17-2006, 10:34 AM
The Underground City.

As soon as Oreina passed through the grate, Ruwach let the grate back down. The screeching caused him to grimace, but there wasn't much that could be done about it.

Ruwach and Oreina were in a relatively undeveloped section of the underground city. A good distance ahead of them was a neighborhood of what could probably be houses. Odds were that Shae'la's old home was among those homes. Going through the neighborhood might not be the best of options for them at this point.

I think the first thing would be to find a way into the city without attracting too much unwanted attention. We don't even know if there are other cities that connect to this one, and I'd rather be at our destination when we discover that.

Ruwach looked along the cave wall to the right and to the left. Off in the distance to the left was a building a little higher up than the rest, that seemed to be carved directly from the face of the rock. The way it was carved into the rock gave Ruwach the impression it was important, possibly holy in design. Ruwach pointed in that direction.

Either that is our destination, or it is some sort of government/monarchial building. What do you think?

Quaxo9
01-18-2006, 09:24 AM
:: She shot him a look that said something along the lines of her not appreciating being second-guessed all the time, but looked where he was pointing nonetheless. The building was odd-looking, to be sure. On her home planet, caves had been considered sacred places - could the same thing be true here as well?::

Let's see for ourselves, shall we?

:: Drawing herself up and forming a prayerful pose customary of the priesthood, she and Ruwach began walking towards the ornately carved building front. As they came nearer, she could see two guards standing just inside the recess of the doorway. The area behind them was filled with emerald light; internal crystal deposits casting illumination down into the inner chambers. This looked promising.::

It's showtime.

:: Oreina whispered before raising her hand in a blessing. The environmental chamber felt heavy at her side and she hoped against hope that their ruse would work. In a lilting, yet solemn, voice that did not belie her nervousness, she addressed the guards as authoritatively as she could.::

Greetings in the name of all the Ascendeds. A blessing upon you and your families.

::Hidden behind her hood, her eye twitched as she hoped she hadn't just blown it. Much to her relief, the guards raised their hand in salute to "her holiness", but cast a suspicious eye at her comrade-in-arms. Underneath the flowing robes, Oreina's body was stiff - ready to spring into action should something go wrong.::

Jason Sanborn
01-18-2006, 12:01 PM
Ruwach gave a customary salute to the guards, which was promptly returned by the guards. It seemed that the first few steps were accomplished without incident. Of course, he couldn't help thinking that the hammer was about to fall.

Ruwach followed Oreina into the temple. There were many priests, priestesses, and temple guards scattered throughout the temple. Some would glance at them, others might watch them for a short time. Every glance that fell their way made Ruwach slightly nervous. Their dress wasn't identical to what Oreina and Ruwach had chosen. They both went off Oreina's memories of her homeworld. This culture had obviously migrated on a different, yet similar path.

A young priestess took extra interest in the two visitors to the temple. She even walked up in front of the two. Her expression was one of kindness, yet also held a hint of sadness.

Salut in the names of the Ascended, Sister. Are you Kiere'le?

Quaxo9
01-18-2006, 12:35 PM
:: Some rather un-holy words were tumbling through Oreina's head as the pair was approached and addressed by a venerable young lady. Taking a split second to analyze the possibilities, she decided not to take the easy route - who knew what responsibilities Kiere'le was supposed to take on? She only knew so much about the cloth - it's not like she went to seminary - so Oreina opted for honesty. Well, at least for this sentence, as she went through the customary hand motions.::

The Ascendeds be ever reigning. My apologies, sister, I am not the one you seek. Fortune in your search. Hawain*

:: Oreina made to move past the priestess, while bowing her head in a kindly manner. She hoped Ruwach remembered his manners as well and would salute as they passed her.::


((*parting word literally meaning "They rose"))

Jason Sanborn
01-18-2006, 01:03 PM
The priestess looked at the two oddly, before moving in front of them again.

Pardon, Sister. You are not from this temple. What brings you here this day?

A couple of the temple guards notice this exchange, and begin to walk towards them.

Quaxo9
01-18-2006, 01:25 PM
:: "This is *not* good." Oreina's blood pressure rose another point and some as the young priestess pressed for a more detailed answer. What was she going to say? She knew from experience that too many lies often entangled the bearer and the last thing they needed right now was to be trapped inside the temple - especially before they even started to complete their mission. She noticed people were walking about in mourning veils and armbands. They could use the funeral excuse, but she didn't know who had died. It's hard to claim a friendship when one doesn't know the name of the deceased. Oreina's head churned about until finally, it coughed up an idea. Tell the truth ... to some extent, of course. Suddenly, Oreina felt a bit more at ease as she finally had a direction in which to pursue her goal. She relaxed somewhat, giving an air of calm to her movements.::

You are correct in your observations, sister. This temple is not my own, however, my purpose here concerns the Keepers of the Young alone. Would you know where I can find them? *She paused, actively taking note of the mourners.* There has been a loss here. I am sorry. Does the deceased lie in good faith?

:: She hoped that by asking, she wasn't starting an hour-long conversation and that it would put the priestess - and the guards - at a greater level of ease.::

Jason Sanborn
01-18-2006, 01:34 PM
The priestess looked down in respect.

Maire'le was a wonderful priestess. She will be missed by many. She gave her life for her daughter in the Rite of Hana'le.

The priestess looked back at Oreina.

I'm afraid your visit here was at a very inopportune time, Sister. Services will be starting shortly. You will need to see High Priest Alvis'to before you can enter the presence of the guardians. I'm sure you can understand that. You are welcome to attend the services, if you wish, or you can wait here until the High Priest becomes available.

Quaxo9
01-18-2006, 01:55 PM
:: "Great, more delays. Just what we CAN'T afford." Despite her frustration, she managed a respectful silence and a gesture that indicated wishes for a swift passage into the next appointment for Maire'le. Again, she had a choice - to go into the service, or remain out here. Perhaps they could sneak away...a glance around at the curious stares of the guards and various clergy told her that was highly unlikely. If they did not attend, it would arouse more suspicion. Besides, this way she could brush up on the appropriate customs of this temple and people. But what about the High Priest? Later. She'd figure it out later. Oreina nodded to the young woman, and motioned to the large doors where people were streaming in to have a seat in a large chapel. ::

Of course I will attend the service of our fellow sister. Such sacrifice for one's children should not go by unnoticed. Let us go. *she said in Ruwach's direction*

:: Oreina wondered what the Rite of Hana'le was, but figured that she could get by with what information was given. Feeling confident, she turned more fully towards the doors and felt her heart stop beating. Just inside the door, each person that entered knelt before a priest and temporarily removed their headcovering to have perfumed water dripped upon their heads before continuing into the chapel. "Oh, Altwaal. What have I gotten us into?"::

Jason Sanborn
01-18-2006, 02:20 PM
Ruwach followed Oreina towards where the services for Maire'le were being held. Attending a funeral was definately not on his "to-do" list for the day. Of course, what did he expect? That they'd walk in, get the samples, and leave without a problem? Fate wasn't that kind.

Ruwach looked beyond the priests into the sanctuary beyond. It was large, and already filling up quickly. It appeared that there were priests and priestesses directing people to their seats. So much for quietly sitting in the back, and making a quick escape.

Oreina and Ruwach were almost up to the priests that were annointing the heads of the mourners when guards could be heard behind them.

Make a way!

One of the guards barked. Ruwach looked back to see two guards escorting an older man and a woman. He didn't pay that much attention to the older man, but his eyes locked on the woman with him. Shae'la.

Make a way for High Priest, Alvis'to!

The gathered crowd behind Ruwach and Oreina began to part, allowing the high priest and Shae'la to walk through. Shae'la was looking down, as if sad. What game was she playing? Ruwach glanced over at Oreina, to see her reaction to this new twist.

Jason Sanborn
01-18-2006, 03:28 PM
Shae kept her head down as she walked with the high priest. The pain and guilt she felt was overwhelming. This service, though, was a necessary stepping stone. It was an attempt to close this part of her life, and look towards the new life that Maire'le had offered to her.

So much pain, so much loss. Part of her was glad that her great-grandfather, Lestat, wasn't here to witness this. What would he think of her giving in to the pain so easily? Of course, he could never truly understand, or if he did, he chose to blind himself to it.

Shae wondered what had happened to her adoptive parents, Jas and Oreina. Both had taken her in loved her, and cared for her. They taught her much in the times that she spent with them. She must be a big disappointment to them, bringing the Cha'i threat upon the First. Shae didn't know how she would be able to make it up to them, if they did ever cross paths again.

Shae heard the guards calling for the people to make way, but Shae still refused to look up. She didn't want to look into the faces of those she had caused pain to. She didn't want to see the faces of those that loved Maire'le, knowing that she was responsible for the kind woman's death. Seeing only their legs and feet was more than enough than Shae could bear.

Shae remained by the high priest's side, as they made their way through the crowds.

Quaxo9
01-18-2006, 05:18 PM
:: Oreina was about to lower her hood when the calls sounded out behind her. Pausing, she turned as she stepped to the side, and barely kept her jaw from falling to the floor. Shae'la. Her beloved daughter who was possessed with a megalomaniacal Cha'i. ::

:: "I'm no match for her magics in my depowered state! Curse this headband. Curse the Cha'i. I could remove her from the room, but what if she ... " Here, her thought processes paused as fresh trails of tears shone on the girl's cheeks. "What is her part in this? Her sadness can't be real. That girl could transition every Cha'i in the place with a mere thought. She's dangerous! You need to remember that she's the enemy!" At that thought, she nearly jumped out to take down her own daughter, but Oreina pulled back at the last second. If Shae'la was unaware of her presence, then perhaps the damage could be undone once the cure was found. It was too dangerous to confront her at this time - they had to maintain their cover. ::

:: As the High Priest passed by, she bowed her head low. It was bad enough that there were probably people from the city present who would recognize Oreina from the few times she had been there - but now the presence of Shae'la jeopardized everything. After they passed, she realized that she had stopped breathing for that whole period of time. She gasped slightly as her lungs kicked her for forgetting about them, but maintained her composure. The line began moving again, and she removed her hood while keeping her face down as the priest blessed her with the scented water. As soon as she stood, the hood went up again and she followed an usher up the aisle to a place a little closer to the front than she would have liked. Copying what she saw, she knelt on the little mat provided with her head lowered in a respectful manner. Were she the praying sort, she would have been the most penitent person there, to be sure. ::

Jason Sanborn
01-18-2006, 07:34 PM
Ruwach continued to watch as the High Priest and Shae'la continued to approach. His eyes were focused intently on Shae'la. He could not help but question what she was doing. There was clearly more here than met the eye.

Ruwach felt a strange tingling sensation in his hand as he watched the procession move forward. In fact, so intent was he in watching Shae'la, that he had momentarily forgotten about the etiquette, and the fact that he was supposed to bow his head low in respect.

Oreina had already lowered her head, so she was unaware that Ruwach still was staring at Shae'la, watching her intently as she passed. Despite this breach of etiquette, no one seemed to give Ruwach a second glance, all except for one person.

Shae'la looked up, for the first time, and looked directly into Ruwach's eyes. She wouldn't recognize him in his new form, which was probably for the best. Yet there was something about the way she looked at him, something familiar.

The pause was only momentary, as the high priest and the guards didn't stop moving. Shae'la lowered her head once again and continued walking with the high priest. Ruwach wasn't exactly sure what had passed between them, but he was certain that there was more to the situation than met the eye.

Once the procession had passed, Ruwach continued in the line, lowering his head and his hood, to be annointed. He kept the hood in just the right spot to hide the fact that he didn't have a Cha'i in his neck. It wasn't difficult to do. Once that was passed, he raised the hood once more and followed Oreina to the mat and knelt beside her, respectfully.

While he knelt, his mind was racing on what had happened. He had blatently disrespected the high priest and no one batted an eye. He had exchanged glances with Shae'la, an almost familiar look. He recognized the look of pain and loss and wondered what it could mean. Also, he wondered why his hand had begun to tingle. So many questions, so little time to answer them all.

Jason Sanborn
01-18-2006, 07:45 PM
Shae had continued to make her way through the crowd with her head down. As she walked, she could sense something. It was her pendant, given to her by her grandfather Baron Banter. It gave a slight vibration against her chest, alerting her to the fact that it was protecting her mind from some outside source.

Shae looked up. Most of the people were looking down in respect except for a single Ka'an Guard. His clothing style was quite different from the Guards she was familiar with, perhaps from another city? If that were the case, why was he staring at her with such familiarity?

Shae continued to look into the man's eyes, and he looked into hers. There was something familiar about the man, although she had never seen him before. Somehow she knew that he was the source of whatever mental attack was happening, whatever it was that was causing everyone else to ignore him, despite the fact that he refused to show respect.

Shae's pause was only momentary, and as she passed the guard, she lowered her head again. This time, a new image was in her mind, in addition to the painful ones. It was the image of the Ka'an guard staring directly at her, as if he knew her. Could this guard be a transitioned Cha'i in disguise? The very Cha'i she had returned to protect were now in very real danger. She only needed to find a way to protect them, without endangering the lives of the innocent at the funeral.

Quaxo9
01-19-2006, 11:57 AM
::Feeling Ruwach kneel next to her, Oreina took advantage of the fact that many were praying outloud to speak to him using their communication devices. She still whispered, but he would hear her loud and clear, while anyone watching them would only see her lips moving.::

Did you see her? This complicates things.

:: Suddenly, the congregation rose and began speaking in one voice. Oreina was a little slow to get on her feet - the hood had its purposes, but it made copying those around her more difficult. She pulled it back a little, hoping that the people in front of her would keep Shae'la from seeing her and giving away their position as Oreina tried to keep up with the ceremony.::

If she turns the High Priest, our mission is ruined. We're going to be leaving this city in a box.

::The people suddenly fell to their knees as the High Priest intoned something or other and everyone else fell silent. They had to get out of here, grab a larva and get out. The woman next to her harumphed when Oreina got something backwards and ended up poking her in the ribs. Great - more attention. Just what they needed. Oreina found (in avoiding the glares of her neighbour)that she could see Shae'la from where she sat. Good. She'd keep an eye out and if Shae'la...her cha'i... tried anything funny, she and Ruwach could hopefully act in time to save some lives. Her eyes narrowed as the High Priest gestured at Shae'la briefly. Something about being the deceased woman's daughter? As far as she knew, that funeral should have been a long time ago. Hang it all - they were too late! Shae'la probably already had them all bewitched. She glanced at Ruwach to try and read his thoughts on the situation.::

Jason Sanborn
01-19-2006, 12:18 PM
Yes, I saw her.

Ruwach whispered while standing with the rest of the congregation. As he stood, he looked directly at Shae'la, once again. He couldn't shake the feeling that something wasn't right. When the congregation went to its knees again, Ruwach followed suit.

It does complicate matters, but we aren't going to fail. She doesn't know me, and I can keep her distracted while you complete your task.

Ruwach heard the announcement of Shae'la being Maire'le's daughter. If the memories he had from Oreina were correct, Shae'la's mother's name was Jain'te, not Maire'le.

Why would she kill a stranger and claim that she was her daughter? She has enough power to take what she wants by force. She doesn't need a ruse. It doesn't add up.

Jason Sanborn
01-19-2006, 01:04 PM
Shae had accompanied the High Priest to the raised platform in the front of the sanctuary. She could feel the eyes of the congregation upon her as she took her seat, continuing to look at the floor. Everything was happening so fast, and it seemed that Shae barely had time to breathe.

She could hear as High Priest Alvis'to began the service. She had never been to a service before. Her mother died while she was away, and she wasn't able to remain for the funeral of her grandfather. Now, she sits in a place of honor for a woman who had courage and kindness enough to take a lost woman in as her daughter, and then to die in her place.

Shae raised her hands and buried her face in her hands and began to weep. She cried for the loss of her mother. She cried for the loss of her grandfather. She cried for the loss of Maire'le. She cried for all those who had died as a result of her Cha'i. She was so broken, that she didn't hear the High Priest introduce her as Maire'le's daughter.

A gentle touch on her shoulder caused her to raise her head, to look at the man standing in front of her. It was Belon'gi, the husband of Maire'le, and her new father. He didn't say a word, he just looked at her with compassion and kindness, before walking up to the front to speak to the congregation.

I be a man of few words. Me wife, bless 'er 'eart, knew all the right words. I be just a 'umble undertaker. You might'n be rememb'rin' our daughter, Tali'la. When she were taken from us, we thought we'd never 'ave 'appiness again. Maire'le, bless 'er 'eart, remained cheerful. Then this precious child came into our 'ome.

Belon'gi smiled and looked back at Shae, who was continuing to watch him, wiping the tears from her eyes.

She 'ad lost 'er parent's long ago. She 'ad been 'iding since. When Maire'le met 'er, she fell in love with 'er, as I did. So much like our precious Tali'la she be.

Belon'gi looked back at the congregation.

We agreed to take this lost woman as our precious daughter. She told us of the mistakes she'd made and me wife, bless 'er 'eart, volunteered to give our new daughter a second chance. That is why we be 'ere now.

Belon'gi paused. Tears in his eyes. It took him a moment to regain his composure to speak again.

Maire'le believed in mercy. She believed in repentance. She believed in a young woman we now call our daughter. Its in 'er loving mem'ry that we be gathered 'ere today. Out of the depths of 'er 'eart she loved. Let's rememb'r 'er love by the love we show others, and the love we show to our daughter.

Bellon'gi finished his euology for his wife, and went back over to Shae and embraced her. Shae returned the embrace and wept in his arms. Despite the pain, she still had, in the back of her mind, the encounter with the Ka'an guard, and hoped that services wouldn't be interrupted.

Quaxo9
01-22-2006, 12:32 PM
:: Why the ruse, indeed. Oreina watched intently as Shae'la broke down on the platform, first on her own, then in the arms of a kindly gentleman who had apparently adopted her. The pieces were starting to come together, but Oreina still didn't understand. *Shae'la was her daughter, wasn't she? Had she done such a horrible job as a mother...no. Oreina had no time for such thoughts. Shae'la had been fully possessed by her cha'i - who knew what treachery she was capable of. Still, something didn't smell right. Shifting uncomfortably, Oreina glanced towards the door - hoping that the ceremony wasn't as long as some of the death rites she had been a part of on Beichar'an. Her heart couldn't take three hours of stress.::

We'll have to play it by ear. If all else fails, we'll have to leave and find another way to get what we need. *glancing at the guards and remembering the suspicion surrounding she and Ruwach's appearance*Though leaving peaceably seems like less and less of an option.

Jason Sanborn
01-24-2006, 11:45 AM
Ruwach continued to watch Shae'la in suspicion. Her tears seemed genuine. Could the Cha'i controlling her be that deceptive? And what of this man's tale? Nothing seemed to be making sense, but he did agree with Oreina. leaving peaceably definately did not seem like an option.

We'll do what we can, and try not to seriously harm anyone.

Jason Sanborn
01-24-2006, 12:12 PM
The memorial service continued. Shae'la passed on her opportunity to speak. She didn't know what to say, or how to say it. How does one speak for a woman you barely knew, who sacrified her life so that you could live? Maybe later, she'd be able to tell others, but right now, it simply hurt too much.

Maire'le had many friends in the city, and a lot of them chose to come up to say a few words. It was obvious that Maire'le had given them all comfort at one time or another, and was loved by everyone. Each that came up to speak, when they were finished, walked over to Bellon'gi and Shae to give each a quick hug, before moving on.

The final one to speak was the high prist himself. He spoke of kindness and of love, of the gentle spirit of Maire'le. He spoke of how she had comforted him when his sister had died in childbirth. He spoke of Bellon'gi and Maire'le's love for each other. Finally, he spoke of their new daughter, a daughter given a chance at a new life, free from past mistakes, given to her by a woman whose love knew no bounds.

When he finished speaking, he walked up to Shae to hug her. Like the others, he spoke low, so that no one else could hear.

Take this life you've been given and live it to the fullest, Shae.

As much pain as Shae was in, she knew she could not let this opportunity pass. She hugged the high priest, as she had others who had given her comfort, and whispered in his ear.

I think there's someone here that threatens the Cha'i.

The High Priest didn't pull back. If what Shae said was true, he didn't want to alert anyone of the suspicion.

Here? In the service?

An unusually dressed Ka'an guard. He's seated in the fifth row, and has been watching me through the whole service.

The high priest pulled back, smiling, and keeping a hand on Shae's shoulder. To the onlookers, it would appear only as if he was giving her additional encouragement.

Don't fear. I'll take care of it.

The high priest then moved to give a comforting hug to Bellon'gi. He spent near an equal amount of time talking with him, and giving him encouragement, to further divert suspicion. In fact, it wasn't uncommon for a high priest to spend a little extra time speaking comfort to the family.

After comforting Bellon'gi, the high priest gave some final instructions to a priest, then proceeded back to the front to complete the ceremony. All that was left now, were the final words of blessing and benediction before the service was finished. Anyone watching would think that the high priest had given the priest instruction on what to do for the final part of the ceremony. In reality, he had passed him some very important information to pass to the temple guards.

Quaxo9
01-24-2006, 02:34 PM
:: A shiver ran down her spine - not for the first time today. It was colder down here than she remembered. Oreina's eyes followed Shae'la's every movement, gesture, emotion - so she saw when the girl's eyes flickered over Ruwach. Her own eyes narrowed and she murmured to her companion as the people once again went to their knees for the final blessing and benediction.::

She caught you watching her. Hopefully she is just curious about your fashion.

:: She paused as everyone recited an incantation she was unfamiliar with and rose to begin filing out. Unfortunately, the exit ritual seemed to have an order to it as well. So much for blending into the centre of a crowd. The high priest and his entourage, complete with Shae'la and her "father", paraded past. Priests in front and behind them waved censors filled with incense as they sang in low, solemn tones. After them came the first rows of people who had been related or close friends of the deceased, followed by the next row and so on and so forth. At least there was some perk to sitting so close to the front - they would be out of there quick. Out of the frying pan and into the fire, that is. ::

:: Oreina kept her head low and followed Ruwach as he began making his way down the aisle. A bead of sweat trickled down her neck, betraying her nervousness as they approached the guards at the door. She considered falling back and pretending she wasn't with Ruwach in case either one of them was taken aside for questioning, but they had been seen together and undoubtedly that lie would come back to bite her in the butt. They would just have to stick it out and hope for the best. That thought, positive as it may have been, did not keep her from biting her lip and wishing desperately that she had brought her sword.::

Jason Sanborn
01-24-2006, 04:11 PM
Ruwach didn't answer Oreina. He already knew what she had told him. The fact was, he and Shae'la had locked eyes from the moment she walked into the sanctuary. There was no point in letting Oreina know this, though, as it didn't suit their purpose at hand.

Ruwach walked up the aisle at the end of the ceremony, in line with the other mourners. As he approached the door, two Ka'an temple guards stepped in front of him.

The High Priest would like to speak with you, Ka'an. The guard glanced at Oreina. You'll come too, Priestess.

It wasn't a request, they could easily tell that. It was more of a demand. Ruwach looked back at Oreina for a moment, then at the guard.

Why the priestess? She's of no use to you. The high priest wants me, not her.

If Oreina was looking down still, she may notice a slight glow from behind Ruwach's glove, something Ruwach was unaware was even happening.

You're right, he did ask for you. I'm sorry, Priestess. You may go about your duties. Come with us, Ka'an.

Ruwach nodded and followed the guards. One guard walked in front, the other followed behind him. As he walked, he whispered under his breath, knowing that only Oreina would be able to hear him.

Get the sample and get out of here.

The guard in front stopped and looked at Ruwach.

Did you say something?

Lead the way.

The guard eyed him for a moment, then turned back around and continued walking. Ruwach followed calmly, knowing he had to keep the high priest distracted, in order that Oreina could complete her mission.

Jason Sanborn
01-24-2006, 04:19 PM
After Shae had exited the sanctuary, she left the procession. Her excuse was that she needed to wash up, which, while true, wasn't the reason she left. With the strange Ka'an there, Shae felt that the Cha'i were in danger. She knew that High Priest Alvis'to would question the stranger in his quarters, away from the Cha'i. She knew he was more than willing to die to protect them. Shae could do no less.

Once Shae was away from the crowds, she quickly moved towards the Nursery of the Young, where the larval Cha'i were kept. If anything was going to happen, it would happen there. Gathering several Ka'an Temple guards along the way, she prepared for the inevitable, and prayed for the best.

Quaxo9
01-24-2006, 08:36 PM
:: Her heart hit her throat when they were stopped at the exit. Under the long sleeves, Oreina's hands balled into fists - ready to do the bidding of their mistress in a call to battle. About to say something, she paused when Ruwach's hand suddenly took on a glow. She had seen that glow before - when he tried to form a link to her mind. Had he been hiding the fact that he had these abilities to affect how people think? It seemed to come naturally that the guards suddenly didn't need her after Ruwach suggested that they didn't. He was taking the fall - and providing the distraction. Biting back words she would have regretted, she merely raised her hand in blessing and continued on her way. She heard what Ruwach said, and even as she walked away without a second glance, she made a quiet vow. ::

I'll get the sample, but I won't leave a man behind. This I promise you.

:: Of course, she had no idea where the nursery was, but Oreina had a hunch that it would be in the most protected area possible - meaning it would be deeper into the wall of the mountain. Not a sound did she make, nor any contact with anyone aside from ritual greetings. She walked with purpose, for people who look like they know where they're going tend not to be approached. Oreina made a mental note of which direction Ruwach appeared to be led in and where in reference to that she would be. As she walked, she met more priests and priestesses along the way. Some passed bearing ceremonial sacks containing young larvae, and a small smile of satisfaction curled her lips. She was getting closer - the tunnel was also getting smaller. It was inevitable that she would reach her destination soon, though the end was impossible to see due to the twists and turns of the now naturally formed cavern system. Hearing the sound of many footsteps and hushed voices, Oreina pulled herself into a darkened nook and peered around a stalagtite. She could see the entrance to the nursery - and she could also see that it was full of guards. It was a trap. Had to be. Leaning back against the wall, she tapped the back of her head against the stone. Now what? She was expected. Well, she didn't necessarily have to go IN to get the larva she required. Obviously, they were still letting people pass. All she had to do was wait for a loner, grab him or her and take the cha'i from the bag. Piece of cake so long as she could be efficient - and quiet - about it. Silently, she hunkered down and waited for a victim to pull into the shadows. For Ruwach's sake, she hoped it wouldn't be long.::

Jason Sanborn
01-25-2006, 03:11 PM
Ruwach was led through the halls into the chambers of the High Priest, Alvis'to. Once in the presence of the High Priest, he bowed.

Greetings in the name of the Ascendeds, High Priest. I have come as you commanded.

The high priest was silent for a moment as he looked at Ruwach.

You speak the words, yet still you hide your face from me? Lower your hood, that I may see your face.

Ruwach rose from his bow, and carefully lowered his hood, so that it still covered the back of his neck.

A thousand apologies, High Priest.

Your dress and your words are foreign. You are not from our city. What is your business here?

I attended a funeral for a special woman, and your guards asked to me to accompany them to speak with you.

And through the entire service, you watched the daughter of Belon'gi and Maire'le. Why?

She is a beautiful young woman, and I am a Ka'an of unclean thoughts.

Ruwach was shocked at how easy the lie came, although he didn't show his shock to the High Priest. At one time, he would never tell such a lie. He really had changed.

I suspect there is more than that.

The high priest nodded, and the guards quickly tackled Ruwach to the ground. It happened so quickly, he wasn't prepared for it. As he hit the ground, the communication device was unintentionally knocked from his ear and damaged, cutting him off from Oreina. As soon as he was pinned, the high priest moved the hood back further to look at the back of Ruwach's neck.

You have no Cha'i! Who are you, and what are you doing here?

Ruwach paused. He could feel daggers against his back. If he moved too quickly, he'd be stabbed, and in his mortal state, he'd probably be killed. He considered carefully his next words. Were they to be the truth, or a lie?

My name is Ruwach. I'm a mercenary that has been following a threat to my people. That woman you believe to be the daughter of Bellon'gi and Maire'le has been affected by a disease, and her Cha'i wants nothing more than to enslave my race, and yours as well.

Ruwach knew it was a gamble, but there was still a part of him that believed the truth could overcome lies. Of course, he didn't have to tell the whole truth, especially if his words weren't believed.

I was already aware of Shae's past. She told me all about it. Yes, Shae. She no longer has her Cha'i controlling her. Maire'le believed her as well, which is why she chose to die in Shae's place.

Ruwach was shocked by the high priest's words. He knew the high priest spoke the truth. Only one thing didn't make sense.

But.. But how? She'd die without her Cha'i!

Let him up. Even I can't answer that, but it is the truth.

Ruwach felt the daggers being removed, and the guards roughly pulled Ruwach to his feet.

I believe you. Is there any chance I can see her?

No, for I'm still uncertain of your intentions. You are an outsider and are not welcome here in this city, let alone this holy temple. You have no ties to us. I should have you killed for violating the sanctity of the temple, but in light of the ceremony today, I am choosing to be merciful. Instead, you shall be escorted out of the city, and you shall never return, on pain of death.

But there is still the danger to the Cha'i.

Of which we are more than capable of handling on our own. Farewell, Ruwach.

The guards grabbed Ruwach and turned him around.

Come on! You heard the High Priest!

Ruwach looked over his shoulder at the high priest for a moment, before complying with the orders of the guards. He wished he hadn't lost the earpiece, he needed to tell Oreina the news.

With a sigh, Ruwach allowed the guards to escort him through the temple. At least he could wait for Oreina in the Grove on the surface. She had to come back that way in order to return to the lab.

Jason Sanborn
01-25-2006, 03:35 PM
From a side chamber, an elderly priestess entered the nursery.

What's the meaning of this?

The woman looked directly at Shae, and her face grew more pale.

You!

Shae looked at the priestess, the caretaker of the nursery. She remembered when she had come here under the influence of the Cha'i, she was one of the ones she made run in fear.

I'm sorry about what happened before, but I'm here now to prevent that from happening again.

The elderly woman looked dubious. She remembered all too well the fear that she felt when Shae'la was there last.

Having all these guards, and you, here is unsettling to the priests and priestesses who are trying to do their duties. That stress even affects the children.

Would you rather let the children be taken again? I made a mistake before, and have been forgiven. I'm not going to let it happen again.

But what of the nursery priests? How are they to work?

Until we hear from High Priest Alvis'to, we will limit activity in the nursery. Only one in or out at a time, under escort.

That is highly irregular...

But necessary, Priestess. I'm truly sorry about this.

The elderly priestess scoffs at Shae's remark.

Then I'll just have to speak to High Priest Alvis'to then.

The priestess turned sharply on her heel and walked briskly back into her side chamber. Shae lowered her head and sighed. She wished things were easier. Regardless, the Ka'an knew their duty, and they would fulfill it. Only one priest or priestess would be passing at a time, and when they did, they would be escorted at all times by two Ka'an guards. Shae didn't like disrupting things in this fashion, and prayed that it was only a false alarm.

Quaxo9
01-25-2006, 04:51 PM
:: Dang - she should have taken her chances with the last pair of priests she had passed in the corridor. Now, all people exiting each had two guards with them. In this mortal state, it would mean certain death if she tried to take a Cha'i from one of those innocently dangling sacks. Gritting her teeth, she ran through the appropriate greetings in her head. IEven if she tried to leave now, it would arouse suspicion if she had no guards with her. She had to go in. Oreina straightened and pulled her hood a little further over her face before she started walking towards the doorway. A guard stepped forward and raised his hand for her to halt. ::

Hold! Where is your escort? *the burly man paused, looking her up and down* State your name and position as well.

Greetings and blessings in the name of the Ascendeds, my son. I do not have an escort, as you say, though I have seen others pass under guard. Is there some reason for concern that security is so tight?

*The guard harumphed and considered Oreina's words. It was possible that the others had not reached the entryway so that some clergy would still be unguarded.* Nothing that the temple guards are not taking care of, however, you must take an escort with you when you leave. Now, your name and position, priestess, and then you may go about your business.

Penela'ta. I thought I would visit my fellow nursery maidens while I was in the city for the funeral of Maire'le.

Very well, you may enter. *He threw a second glance at her as the young priestess went by - something seemed a little off, besides the clothing, but he couldn't tell what it was. Probably nothing, but you could never be too careful. With a nod of his head, he sent one of his men to follow the woman.*

:: Oreina didn't have time to breathe a sigh of relief. There, in the middle of them all stood Shae'la. The Cha'i were probably already tainted - but no one seemed to be dying, so perhaps there was still a chance of getting a sample. Quietly, she moved past the crowd of people waiting to leave and made her way to the back chambers. She tried to clear her mind and emotions, as she knew that Shae'la could sense emotions, but she couldn't help but worry about Ruwach and the completion of the mission. You couldn't get much futher into enemy territory at the moment.::

:: There was a brooding chamber in the corner that looked like her best option. Oreina strode up to it, put on a pair of clean gloves left at the station, and looked around discreetly before reaching beneath her robes for the first syringe. Taking a deep breath, she reached into the chamber and began taking the first sample.::

Jason Sanborn
01-25-2006, 10:31 PM
On top of the emotional pain she was still feeling, Shae was extremely nervous. She didn't even have time to greive before she was thrust into the task of defending the Cha'i. She tried not to think about what her great-grandfather Lestat would say about her current emotional state.

Shae noticed the unaccompanied priestess enter the chambers and become questioned by the guards. She could hear the conversation, although not too clearly. The woman's voice was familiar, somehow, but she was too far away to make it out clearly.

As the priestess made her way over to the brooding chamber, Shae noticed that she was being followed by a guard. Obviously she wasn't fully trusted by the Ka'an. Shae would have gone to question the woman directly, if the elderly priestess hadn't emerged from her chambers.

Well, you can dismiss all the Ka'an and yourself now. I just spoke with High Priest Alvis'to, and he said the stranger was being escorted... Wait one minute! Who's that entering the brooding chamber, and what does she think she's doing?

Shae quickly turned to look at the strange priestess. The enemy snuck in, boldly walking into their midst. Shae should have seen it first. Shae reacted quickly, on instinct, and pointing her staff at Oreina, she spoke the words to a wind spell. Immediately a strong wind surrounded Oreina, pushing her away from the Cha'i. As the wind pushed her back, the guards would rush in to try to grab her.

Quaxo9
01-26-2006, 06:45 AM
:: Oreina was on her second sample, having put the first syringe back into the chamber for safe keeping, when a priestess suddenly called out. The syringe was left inside with a small Cha'i still hanging off it and the environmental chamber was knocked to the floor as Oreina was carried away by a sudden gust of wind. Shae'la. She'd been found out. Acting quickly, she used her momentum and a wall to propel herself out of the way of a few guards. The sample would have to remain if she were to get out of there alive. Bolting for the exit, even Oreina's nimbleness couldn't keep her out of the way of all those guards in that little room. The ground rushed up at her and she saw stars for a moment as all the air was pushed out of her lungs. Then, her arms were wretched behind her as she was pulled upright by a huge man and turned to face the angry elder priestess. A strand of flame-red hair hung down from the hood that still encompassed Oreina's face and she coughed, hoping for some sympathy at least. She didn't recall a tackle hurting this much - even when she was semi-mortal - maybe she cracked a rib. Her first instinct was to fight back, but the man holding her wrists merely tightened his grip, eliciting a gasp from his quarry. Oh, for a bit of power. Gritting her teeth, she spoke a warning. ::

You don't know what you've just done. For the sake of your people and mine - let me go!

Jason Sanborn
01-26-2006, 08:54 AM
The elderly priestess looked angrily at Oreina.

Who are you?

The priestess demanded. Shae put a hand on the priestess's shoulder.

I recognize that voice.

Wha-?

Shae pushed back the hood of Oreina's robes.

Oreina?

Shae looked at her adoptive mother with a look of shock and confusion.

What are you doing here?

Quaxo9
01-26-2006, 09:17 AM
:: Once the hood was down, Shae would see that Oreina was furious, for starters. A futher perusal of her visage would betray the facts that she was afraid, in pain, and tired - not that the strength she was putting into resisting arrest would give evidence of the latter. Nor would anything else reveal her fear as she snarled out an answer. ::

Cleaning up the mess you made, what else? Cut the crap, Shae'la. You know bloody well what I'm trying to do.

:: There were too many guards to succeed in escape. Someone picked up her environmental chamber and the cry went up that a Cha'i had been killed. As the head priestess' glare, Oreina sullenly defended herself.::

Had I not been interrupted, that would not have happened. I am trying to save my race - yours will benefit as well - IF you let me go.

:: She purposely avoided addressing Shae'la. Why wasn't she forcing her empowered will on Oreina and infecting her with a cha'i? Was there some ulterior motive that she didn't know about? What was her game? Oreina scruitinzed the young wizardess - her daughter - trying to judge the thoughts of she and her cha'i. ::

Jason Sanborn
01-26-2006, 09:51 AM
It was as if a dagger was being thrust in her heart a second time. Not that she blamed Oreina, Shae'la, under the control of her Cha'i, had caused considerable harm. Hearing that a Cha'i was killed further twisted the knife in her heart. Despite Maire'le's sacrifice, Shae still felt guilty for all that had happened, and the guilt was evidenced upon Shae's face.

It's Shae now.

Shae said turning her head so that Oreina could see that she no longer had a Cha'i in her neck.

And you're right, my Cha'i had done some horrible things, and I'm here to see that it doesn't happen again. What were you doing?

The elderly priestess angrily stormed in between Shae and Oreina, holding the dead Cha'i larvae in her hands.

It doesn't matter what she was doing, it is quite evident! She's violated the sanctity of this chamber and killed one of the children! Take her away!

The priestess turned on Shae.

You too! Leave these sacred chambers! I do not want to see you down here any more!

((OOC: Wait before doing another Oreina post. We should be having an unexpected visitor arriving))

Jacen Bell
01-26-2006, 10:24 AM
Flames erupt as Jacen appears behind Shae * * * * * *"Shae?What are you doing here?" * * * * * * * * *Jacen looks around confused

Jason Sanborn
01-26-2006, 10:33 AM
The sudden appearance of flames in the sacred nursery caused fear to run among the priests and priestesses. Even the highly trained Ka'an guards were on edge and more tense as a result of Jacen's sudden appearance.

Shae looked at Jacen in confusion. What was he doing here? How did he know of the Grove Planet, let alone know exactly where the Cha'i nursery was.

Jacen? This is my home! What are you doing here?

Shae hoped Jacen was only here to find her. She knew that Jacen was the one that was there when she lost her Cha'i. Somewhere, in the back of her mind, she feared the worst.

Jason Sanborn
01-26-2006, 10:39 AM
Ruwach was calmly following the guards through the temple, towards the large front doors. As they walked through the large foyer, a priest came running from one of the halls in a panicked state.

The Cha'i! Danger! Man of Fire in nursery! Help!

"The nursery!" Ruwach thought. "Oreina's there, and in trouble!" The guards looked at each other, hearing the panic from the priest. Several other guards had already rushed down the same hall towards whatever danger lay ahead.

I can help!

Unknown to Ruwach, his hand was glowing again. The guards looked at Ruwach, then at each other.

We could use all the help we can get. Come on!

The guards began running down the hall. Ruwach quickly ran after the guards. He only hoped it wasn't already too late.

Jacen Bell
01-26-2006, 10:41 AM
"I'm not sure,I've been in a daze since I meet you at Great grandmother's lab.I can't stop thinking about you." * * * * * * * * *Jacen spots Oreina being held by the guards * * * * * * * * * "I thought you said she was you mother?why would you have men hold her captive?" * * * * * * * * * * *there are traces of blood lingering below Jacen's mouth * * * * * * * * * *Jacen wipes his mouth with his arm in an attempt to remove them. * * * * * * * * * All the while unable to remove his gaze from Shae.

Quaxo9
01-26-2006, 10:45 AM
:: Taking advantage of the situation, Oreina stomped on the guard's foot and smashed her head into his chin as he doubled over. As he relinquished his hold, she wormed from his grasp and snatched up the precious box. Again, the Ka'an grabbed at her and she nearly made it out the door, but one of them stomped on her trailing robes and sent her tumbling. She bit, scratched and kicked, but still she was separated from the chamber and now she was being held with a dagger to her throat. It was only then that she looked at the new arrival. Jacen - Minity's son - what was he doing here? ::

Jason Sanborn
01-26-2006, 10:53 AM
Shae noticed Jacen wipe the blood away from his lips and narrowed her eyes, gripping her staff tighter.

You were there when I fought against my Cha'i. You were there when my Cha'i vanished. You were there to pull me from death. And now you are here, in this sacred place. There can be no coincidence in that. You have my Cha'i, don't you, Jacen'lo.

Jacen Bell
01-26-2006, 11:02 AM
Jacen looks at Shae confused * * * * * *"What?I was at the Lab when you showed up yes,but I was there first!I saved your life with the power of the Meridian Talisman,I didn't have to but I did.I came here looking for you and you accuse me of being the Bring of Cha'i....how could you?" * * * * * * * * * Jacen's eye's begin to water as he talks. * * * * * * * * * *he wipes them to hide the fact he is crying. * * * * * * * "I came here to tell you I love you and all you can say is mean things and call me a beast?I guess coming wasn't such a good idea........"

Jason Sanborn
01-26-2006, 11:49 AM
Shae's face softened. She had been hasty in her accusation. She had been so worried about the Cha'i and their safety that she first attacked her adoptive mother, then she accused the man who saved her life. Shae lowered her head.

I'm sorry, Jacen. You're arrival here caught me off guard. I assumed the worst. I just know what that Cha'i can do, and I fear for the Cha'i here, and want only to protect them.

Jacen Bell
01-26-2006, 12:18 PM
Jacen looks around again this time taking a good look. * * * * * *"I think some of it I am to blame,It looks like people don't just appear out of thin air and with Fire involve that often." * * * * * * * Jacen walks over to Oreina and places a hand on her stomach and uses the Talisman to heal her. * * * * * * * * * * *whispering to Oreina. * * * * * * * * * "What's the matter?getting old are we?" * * * * * * * * * Jacen walks back to Shae as guards move away from him. * * * * * * * * *Jacen smooths his hand over Shae's cheak. * * * * * * * * "You really are quite stunning,tell me more about your home?" * * * * * * * Subtly Jacen emits empathic emotions to Shae willing her to answer his question. * * * * * * * *though she would feel natural and easy about answering Jacen's question the others in the Room would feel the truth.

Jason Sanborn
01-26-2006, 12:32 PM
Ruwach arrived with the guards as Jacen had healed Oreina, who was still being held captive. Everyone had been watching the interaction between Jacen and Shae. Ruwach knew there was something terribly wrong here.

When Jacen used the emotional powers of the Cha'i, Ruwach's hand began to glow. For the first time, Ruwach noticed this event and realized he wasn't without power as he had thought before, and suddenly, he realized that the cooperation of the guards was not a coincidence, but the power of suggestion. Ruwach knew, also, that the sigil glowed now to protect his mind from the effects of the emotions against his mind.

Release her, she isn't a threat.

Ruwach ordered the guards holding Oreina. As he expected, they let her free.

You!

Ruwach shouted at Jacen, holding his sword in front of him.

I strongly advise you to step away from Shae and leave this temple and world immediately!

The mental suggestion was thrown, and Ruwach wondered if his powers against the possessed First would have any effect. The glowing from the sigil was so bright now, that it literally burned through Ruwach's glove.

Quaxo9
01-26-2006, 12:35 PM
:: Oreina let out a hiss as Jacen stepped away from her. For one, she didn't want him touching her - she didn't feel as though they had that kind of relationship. Two, she had some very bad memories of men with affinities for fire touching her stomach. Three, she was NOT getting old. Oh, and four - she didn't like him well enough to allow him to hit on her daughter. Oreina was very much intrigued by the fact that Shae'la - or Shae, rather - no longer had her Cha'i. She had assumed that the girl didn't have enough First blood to allow that to happen, but evidently she was wrong. A wave of guilt for being so accusatory passed over her like nausea, but she knew that she couldn't possibly have known about Shae's condition. But then why would she want to take parents here? Was she planning on staying? Not now. Right now, Shae and the rest of them were quite possibly in extreme danger. Of course, with a knife to her throat, she wasn't really in any position to be giving orders. The most she could do was whisper a warning to her daughter.::

Shae - be wary.

:: Just then, Ruwach rushed in ... leading a group of guards? To her astonishment, he was alive and the guards holding her were following his orders. She snatched the chamber back from a Ka'an who was standing and gazing rather dumbfoundedly at the whole scene and rushed to Ruwach's side. Now she could see his sigil in its full glory and she was shocked to find that it matched Iolair's. Had Isabel given one to Ruwach as well? If he had her endorsement, perhaps there was much more to his story than she had originally thought. For the millionth time she wished she had her sword and tried in vain to produce a portal through which she could draw it - or even toss the precious box through. Oreina felt so defenceless and she couldn't shake the sick feeling inside that something was about to go horribly wrong.::

Jason Sanborn
01-26-2006, 12:35 PM
Shae's necklace vibrated once again, fighting the intrusion of her mind by the emotion influencing power of the Cha'i. At the same moment, she heard Ruwach's shout, and she took a step away from Jacen.

Shae was confused. Could she have been right all along? Or was this new warrior the threat? She looked at Ruwach, with his sword pointed at Jacen, then looked at Oreina, before looking once again at Jacen.

Jacen? What's going on?

Jacen Bell
01-26-2006, 12:55 PM
Jacen turns placing himself between Shae and Ruwach. * * * * * "I'm not sure,though from the looks of it This man is controlling every one including your Mother,I don't think it is safe here any more." * * * * * * *Jacen again uses subtle Empathic emotions to gain Shae to believe him. * * * * * * * * * *though in her confused stat she touched Jacen and he almost slipped but caught it before shae would know.

Jason Sanborn
01-26-2006, 01:12 PM
Ruwach stared intently into Jacen's eyes.

You're the only threat here right now, Jacen. Or more appropriately the Cha'i burrowed into your brain, controlling your actions.

Ruwach turned his head quickly, exposing the back of his neck to Shae, showing he didn't have a Cha'i. Even turning his head, he never let his eyes off Jacen. He only kept his head turned for a second, just long enough for Shae to see, before he turned back to Jacen.

I have no Cha'i. I'm under my own control. Can this man say the same?

Jason Sanborn
01-26-2006, 01:20 PM
Thanks to the medallion given to her by Baron Banter so many years ago, Shae's mind was safe and protected. Neither Ruwach's mental powers nor Jacen's emotional powers would be able to influence her. Unfortunately, neither would she be able to tell who was trying to influence her.

Jacen had saved her life, and she knew nothing of this man with the glowing hand, other than he had no Cha'i. Of course, he didn't have to have a Cha'i to pose a threat. He did bring up a point, though, did Jacen have a Cha'i controlling his actions? More importantly, did he have her Cha'i? The original transitioned Cha'i.

Shae took another step backwards, away from both Ruwach and Jacen, not knowing who to trust. She was out of control, and spirling down fast, but the threat still remained, in one form or another.

As she stepped back, she raised her staff. With four quickly spoken words, a vortex appeared above them.

There is danger to the Cha'i, and I will end the danger.

With another word, and a downsweep of her arms, the vortex fell down from the sky, encompassing everyone in the room. As soon as the vortex passed around them, everyone would now find themselves on the surface of the Grove Planet. Oreina, Jacen, Ruwach, and several of the priests, priestesses, and Ka'an guards.

Now we see who the real threat is.

Quaxo9
01-26-2006, 01:21 PM
:: The howling wind filled her ears and she actually shut her eyes for the briefest of moments. Upon opening them, she found that they were in a new venue - one more appropriate to conflict they were enduring. Oreina could see that Shae was confused, as well she should be by all the goings on. At the very least, she could put the girl's anxiety about Ruwach to rest - at the risk of confirming something in Oreina's own mind. Stepping forward, she gestured towards Ruwach. ::

Shae'la - Shae - you may not recognize the body of this man, but you know his spirit. He calls himself Ruwach now, but he is Jas, your father.

:: Her face looked even paler after that statement. Admitting that she believed Ruwach...would have repercussions. Besides, it may have just made things even more confusing. Oreina cursed under her breath, and started preparing the crystal to find the portal to Aerysh.::

Jacen Bell
01-26-2006, 01:28 PM
Silently Jacen lifted his Hair up reveling bare skin. * * * * * * * first to see would be Shae then Jacen turned slowly showing all in the Room his bare neck. * * * * * * * * * * "I bare not Cha'i."

Jason Sanborn
01-26-2006, 01:31 PM
((:confused: PM sent to Jacen))

Jason Sanborn
01-26-2006, 01:33 PM
((Never mind me. I was confused for a moment. All is good in the world. Sort of. ;)))

Jason Sanborn
01-26-2006, 01:41 PM
Ruwach looked back at Oreina surprised at her words. Could it be that she's finally believing in him? There would be time to discuss that revelation later, as there was a more immediate threat, a threat which was appearing to be unfounded as Jacen showed the fact that he had no Cha'i. There was no mistaking, though, that he was the sorce of the emotion manipulation. Ruwach didn't lower his sword.

You have no Cha'i, but there is still no doubt that you have some sort of emotional manipulation you are trying to do. What is your purpose here?

Jason Sanborn
01-26-2006, 01:46 PM
Shae grew more confused by the moment. Jacen had no Cha'i, and Oreina claimed that the man was Ruwach, the Spirit of Jas. It was clear to her that Ruwach did have some mind controlling abilities, probably as a result of his glowing hand. Perhaps he had affected Oreina's mind into believing that.

Stop it!

Shae shouted in frustration. She wasn't one to raise her voice, ever, but she was being pushed beyond herself at the moment, and she didn't know how else to react.

Jacen has saved my life. If it wasn't for him, I would have died when the Cha'i vanished from my body. I don't know you, and only have Oreina's word on who you are, a word that could easily have been influenced by your mental tricks. Right now, I only see one threat, and that is you.

Shae pointed her staff at Ruwach.

Jacen Bell
01-26-2006, 02:01 PM
Ruwach looked back at Oreina surprised at her words. Could it be that she's finally believing in him? There would be time to discuss that revelation later, as there was a more immediate threat, a threat which was appearing to be unfounded as Jacen showed the fact that he had no Cha'i. There was no mistaking, though, that he was the sorce of the emotion manipulation. Ruwach didn't lower his sword.

You have no Cha'i, but there is still no doubt that you have some sort of emotional manipulation you are trying to do. What is your purpose here?
"I speak the truth and from the heart,Manipulation,I see only *you manipulating people." * * * * * * * * * *to ensure Ruwach doesn't try to use his sword Jacen uses the power of the gantlet on his left hand to form a sword and knock the sword away from Ruwach. * * * * * * * * * *Speaking telepathically to Ruwach. * * * * * * *Hahaha,you sorry man.You try and yet all you succeed in doing is send her closer to me. * * * * * * * * seeing as he is unable to manipulate Ruwach Jacen trys to manipulate Oreina in an attempt to make Ruwach look like he is controlling Oreina

Quaxo9
01-26-2006, 08:24 PM
:: Oreina brought her hand up to her temple and staggered backwards a few steps. It was all so clear now. He'd been using his powers the whole time - getting her to trust him, getting her to let him in - but to what end? Had she any feral abilities at the moment, she would have let loose a growl and perhaps some claw to back it up; though, with her ferality intact, perhaps she would have sensed the mental intrusion from Jacen as well. Her package safely stowed beneath her robes, she turned only to smack the heel of her hand into the nearest Ka'an's nose and steal his weapon before turning back to face Ruwach. Now, she edged a little closer to Shae and Jacen. She wasn't sure that she could trust him either, but now she would be in a better position to protect her daughter.::

So, this whole thing was a lie? What was your purpose? To infiltrate my operation? Speak, man!

Jason Sanborn
01-27-2006, 11:22 AM
In his mortal state, the strength of Jacen far outmatched his own. Ruwach's arm popped slightly as the sword was knocked away, yet he still managed to keep hold of his blade. Ruwach replied to Jacen telepathically.

~You have no idea who you're dealing with.~

Aloud, Ruwach responded to Oreina's statement. He didn't have time to argue with her, he simply gave her a mental command to obey.

The First need you to find a cure. Go back to the lab and finish what you've begun.

Since Oreina had no mental defenses in her mortal state, he didn't have any doubt that his command would be followed. After giving the command to Oreina, he gave another command to the gathered priests, priestesses and Ka'an guards.

Return to your temple. Guard the Cha'i as you've always done. Your people trust you and depend on you. Follow the direction of the sun to find the entrance to your city.

They looked around for a moment, and then walked off in the direction of the city, leaving Ruwach, Shae and Jacen alone.

Now, Shae, I don't expect you to trust or to believe me. In fact, you don't know me like this. But what Oreina said about me being Jas is true. The spirit of Jas, with his memories and ideals, lives inside of me. One of us, either Jacen or I, are lying, and you'll have to decide whom you'll trust.

I know of the gift, given to you by your grandfather, Baron Banter, protecting your mind from intrusion of any kind. With it, you can make your decision, free of influence. But you must decide, for the fate of the Cha'i depends on who you choose to believe.

Jason Sanborn
01-27-2006, 11:24 AM
((I'll post with Shae after Oreina and Jacen post ;)))

Quaxo9
02-01-2006, 07:34 PM
:: She lowered the sword and looked at Ruwach strangely for a moment before regarding Jacen and Shae'la once more. An apology shone in her eyes as her feet started moving her away from her adopted daughter and then she turned and raced through the wood, leaping into an open portal leading to Aerysh. ::

Jason Sanborn
02-15-2006, 09:35 PM
((Unfortunately, I can't wait for Jacen any longer. I need to keep this part of the SL moving.))

Shae looked at both Jacen and Ruwach, not knowing who to trust. Jacen had saved her life, but Ruwach's words also made sense. In fact, Ruwach did seem genuinely concerned for the safety of the Cha'i, although that, too, could be an elaborate hoax.

My only desire is to protect the Cha'i. At the moment, I don't have to trust either of you.

Shae quickly spoke the words to her portal spell, opening two separate portals, one above Jacen, the other above Ruwach.

Never return to the Grove again, or I may deal with you more severely.

The portals fell onto Ruwach and Jacen, transporting each of them to different locations in the Bright Universe, far away from the Grove Planet and the Cha'i. When that was done, the portals closed, and Shae closed her eyes. The threat, if any, had been neutralized for now. Now it was time for her to return to the temple. Casting another portal spell, she transported herself back to the temple.

((Jacen, when you return, the portal can deposit Jacen whereever you want, but it will be somewhere safe. She wouldn't have deposited you in space, or any other harmful area. ;)))

Jacen Bell
02-19-2006, 01:02 PM
All Jacen could do is watch as Shae created portals above the other man and himself * * * * * * * * * * *"Shae?What are you.........." * * * * * * * * * * *Jacen disappeared before he could finish

((Thanks Jas.))