177 The Lost Shipyard part four
/Alpha Team: Wind: Damn Boss, where'd you get the sleeping bag?
/Alpha Team: Nix: I am a Tailor, I made it. You have one.
/Alpha Team: Pon: Yeah, but ours is store-bought crap.
/Alpha Team: Nix: Oh I see, so not a custom made, feather down, extra large with added heat enhancement and water resistance?
/Alpha Team: Semmi: Heat enhancement? For real? Is there room in there for three?
/Alpha Team: Pon: Punk bastard.
/Alpha Team: Nix: We could squeeze you in.
/Alpha Team: Fajii: No...
/Alpha Team: Semmi: Fajii!
/Alpha Team: Nix: Get some rest, we'll take the first shift.
The group from Inferno settled down for the evening after making plans to join hands with the crew of the Moon Goddess the next day. They decided that four 2-hour watches would enable them to get enough sleep while keeping an eye on things. Since there were five people in Alpha Team, Nix and Fajii did their watch together.
Fajii watched with interest as his eyes turned from their normal yellow to deep orange. They sat together propped up against a large boulder, both nestled comfortably in the warm sleeping bag. "Thanks for sharing Nix."
"It's warmer with two, but I'm going to make you one in case I'm not here." Nix scanned the area, he could see everything that was warm-blooded. Wind, Pon, and Semmi were close to the fire about ten meters away. The four crewmembers from the Moon Goddess slept against the far wall, apparently, the fire was more of a moral comfort than a physical need for them.
The two talked quietly while keeping an eye on things when the two hours had ended, Nix woke up Pon and then settled down to sleep.
A cold hand on Nix's cheek woke him up. He opened his eyes to see the brightly smiling face of Semmi, she must have deliberately cooled her hand with ice before waking him.
/Alpha Team: Semmi: Rise and shine boss.
Nix rolled out of the bag and stowed it away. "Did you wake Fajii like that?"
The blond officer shook her head. "She got up earlier and kept me company on the last watch."
/Alpha Team: Nix: Eat something if you want, let's wrap this up
/Alpha Team: Semmi: Bev returned this morning, she's in the Embassy with one of the power-level teams.
Nix couldn't keep the smile off his face. He was able to talk Bev into a one-year stay. She needed to level up, so her management skills could be properly utilized by Inferno.
/Alpha Team: Nix: Thanks.
Fajii rebuffed the group while they went over the plans.
/Alpha Team: Nix: We'll kill this Ice Elemental if we can, Plan B is to find out what's binding the crew of the Moon Goddess to this area.
/Alpha Team: Semmi: It has to be an artifact of some sort. She couldn't maintain that sort of spell for two hundred years.
/Alpha Team: Nix: We'll search for that first, destroy it if we can.
/Alpha Team: Wind: They're coming boss.
Yor approached with his three companions. Vy was the only one who wasn't wearing armor. "The three of us will accompany you, it's time we end this." The Moon Goddess Captain took off the Spider amulet and handed it to Vy.
The Shipwright took the amulet and place it around her neck. "I'm just holding it for you, Captain. Make sure the three of you come back safe."
/Alpha Team: Wind: Why isn't she coming? Not a fighter maybe?
/Alpha Team: Semmi: Too valuable to risk.
Nix eyed the three additions to their team. Yor had two short sabers equipped along with heavy armor. Rollie held a mace in one hand and a short hand-weapon in the other.
/Alpha Team: Wind: That's a sawed-off shotgun boss, never even seen one in Colonial.
/Alpha Team: Semmi: Two melee and a ranged fighter. We should be fine.
Tully carried a long rifle with an impressive piece of optics attached, he was the only one of the group that was wearing medium armor.
The Captain bowed slightly, "Would you bring up that hud thing you showed us yesterday?"
Semmi nodded and opened up her hud, she zoomed in and selected the local map so that the cavern trails would be displayed. She pointed to their position on the map. "This is us."
Yor looked at the different routes that were displayed, his stubby fingers pointed to a specific trail. "This is our route in if we are sneaking in. There is an alternative."
Nix studied the map, trying to commit it memory. "What's the alternative?"
"She knows the four of us have escaped her ice. I'm under orders to report anything having to do with dhassi." Yor gave the impression that he dreaded seeing her again.
/Alpha Team: Semmi: With our masks and helms on, we could pass for dhassi.
/Alpha Team: Wind: If we go sneaking around, she might be alerted. But if someone distracted her.
/Alpha Team: Nix: I'll take Pon, you three look for the source of the prison.
/Alpha Team: Pon: Why me?
/Alpha Team: Semmi: Because you're a badass Fire Mage.
/Alpha Team: Pon: True.
"That route looks much shorter." Nix glanced at the rest of the group. "Stealth in but be fast. Who knows how long it might be before we have to take action."
Yor nodded in agreement. "My men will accompany them while I take you directly to her. They are experts at infiltration."
After a few last-minute checks, the group departed the cavern a few minutes later and started down a path that descended into the icy darkness. They walked in groups of two with Nix and Yor leading the way. The second team had already stealthed and were maintaining tight noise discipline. Yor, Nix, and Pon talked loudly, occasionally kicking stones or purposefully slamming their weapons.
They descended for nearly two hours before Yor stopped and motioned for the other group to keep going. The entrance before them was a wide hole cut into the wall with a long curved ramp leading downward. "This is our route?"
Nix peeked in, the path was glazed over with ice and very steep. "Looks a bit precarious."
"We slide in." Yor arranged his weapons and sat down in the entrance to the tunnel.
/Alpha Team: Nix: Looks like we're sliding in, old man.
/Alpha Team: Pon: Shit...
/Alpha Team: Semmi: I want to slide!
Nix took a seat on the ice next to Yor, waiting patiently while Pon did the same. "Lead the way Captain, we'll follow as best we can."
Yor used his knuckles to push off and a moment later shot into the darkness. Nix did the same and immediately leaned back when he started to slide.
There were no off-passages or turns that Nix had to make. They slid down the same path that seemed to curve and spiral randomly. As slides go, it was far better than any Nix had experienced as a kid growing up in Camden. He could see the thermal image of Yor ahead of him by about twenty meters, the occasional glance back showed that Pon was maintaining the same distance.
Finally, the slide ended in a long room, the trio found themselves skidding across a rock floor before bouncing off the far wall.
/Alpha Team: Nix: Landing was a bit rough, but we are here. What's your status Sem?
/Alpha Team: Semmi: We are running, but still a few minutes out.
Nix stood up and brushed off the accumulated ice. They were in a long room that was occupied by a rather large throne made of ice. Yor stepped toward the throne and instantly a dozen torches lit up on either side of the room.
/Alpha Team: Pon: The f*ck is that?
Nix stared at the torches, they were blue, but not like the blue flames that he knew of. These were a deep ice blue that chilled the room with their presence.
/Alpha Team: Nix: Ice Flame maybe?
/Alpha Team: Pon: Bullshit, there's no such thing.
"Yor'... The name was whispered from the throne, a person could be seen in the distance sitting casually.
/Alpha Team: Nix: Contact.
/Alpha Team: Pon: She wasn't there a moment ago Nix.
Yor swallowed his fear and turned towards the throne. "I found these two exploring in your domain, you asked me to report anything out of the ordinary."
"So I did. Bring them closer so I may have a proper look at them."
Nix listened to the voice, it didn't sound old or weak. There was a familiar tone to it, something he heard before.
Pon and Nix followed on either side of Yor as he walked slowly. The torches cast an eerie glow on the throne, the figure sitting there stood and advanced to meet them.
/Alpha Team: Pon: Woah...
/Alpha Team: Nix: Didn't see that coming.
A young woman approached them, stopping about five meters away. She wore white leather armor that clung to her supple frame. Twin daggers tucked into her belt, each of them was caressed by slender white hands. Her white hair was cut short and spiked on the top, piercing blue eyes completed the picture of youth. She was stunningly beautiful.
[You have resisted Charm]
[Pon has resisted Charm]
[Yor has been Charmed]
Nix slammed his fist into Yor's temple as hard as he could, the crabby captain flew across the room where he impacted the rock wall and slid to the floor unconscious.
She glanced at Yor's unconscious body and sighed unhappily. "You've hit my minion." Her voice purred forth, smooth and silky like the most comfortable sheets imaginable. The urge to lay down and sleep was nearly overwhelming.
[You have resisted Sleep]
[Pon has resisted Sleep]
/Alpha Team: Pon: Enough of the bullshit. May I?
/Alpha Team: Nix: Be my guest.
Pon lifted his hands, both of them burst into flames.
A bolt of white flames slammed into the female, her feet skidding backward on the floor.
Nix didn't follow up Pon's attack, it was merely an answer to her aggression.
A small bit of blood appeared on one corner of her mouth, she tasted it with closed eyes as she licked her lips. "I do like playing with Fire. What is the purpose of you coming here? There aren't many dhassi fire mages."
/Alpha Team: Semmi: We're here. Keep her busy.
"Exploring, of course, we dhassi do like to explore." Nix casually raised a hand, a single emerald flame strand shot out and encircled her waist.
The white-haired woman hissed, her face showing surprise as she experienced the emerald flames. "So painful, I like your style." She pulled a dagger from her belt and swiped it away. "I am Nefi, a very lonely Stormsinger." She approached them slowly, her hips swaying gently while one hand casually caressed her stomach.
[You've resisted Advanced Seduction]
[Pon has resisted Advanced Seduction]
/Alpha Team: Pon: Why does a Stormsinger know so may charm skills?
Nix drew his Archon blade and pushed his Gemini Flames into it. "Lonely? You look young and beautiful, I wonder what keeps you here all by yourself."
Pon moved to one side, flanking her. "You haven't absorbed Ice Sprites, there's no way you'd remain this way if you were truly at the end of your life cycle."
/Alpha Team: Pon: There's not enough Ice Sprites around to account for her.
"Aren't you the smart ones? Exploring my territory without asking for my permission? You are after my secrets?" Nefi laughed loudly, an evil sound that gave Nix the urge to run.
[You've resisted Fear]
[Pon has resisted Fear]
Nix's form blurred and appeared beside Nefi an instant later.
[Nix has scored a critical hit on Nefi]
Pon has used Balefire to follow up on Nix's attack with a critical hit.
Nix has used a melee weapon to follow up Pon's attack with a critical hit.
"ENOUGH!!" A wave of pure power blasted outward from Nefi, instantly canceling the critical chain. Blood ran freely into her eyes as she staggered backward.
[Incinerate: Gemini Flames]
Nix has placed Nefi in a prison of fire.
The screams of Nefi echoed in the room, both Nix and Pon took a step back.
/Alpha Team: Nix: It's a short spell, hit her when she breaks out.
Nefi has activated her bloodline.
/Alpha Team: Nix: RUN PON!
Nix has activated his bloodline.
[Second Form: Ice Dragon]
[Second Form: Salamander]