199 Inferno“s Rangers
The rising sun shone directly on Nix's face, he turned his head and sunk his face into his soft pillow, a moment later his pillow stroked his head. He opened one eye and realized he was leaning against Hyai's generous bosom. Shae was laying across his lap and Fajii had an arm around his waist with her head on his shoulder. Nix grimaced slightly when he tried to move, there was an empty barrel of [Semmi's Golden] nearby and Pon was fast asleep across his ankles.
There was no easy way to extricate himself from the entanglement so he decided to stand up quickly and jump out of the way. Four different people moved when he did so, but they resumed their sleeping a moment later. Nix stretched his arms, noticing that his dad was sleeping against Morti, one of the Aquarion women was leaning against him. He didn't see his sister anywhere.
"Nix!" Mina's voice whispered quietly from Morti's back, she had been sleeping there with Pinky and Jun Li. "Going to Parliament?"
Nix nodded and waved for her to join him.
They arrived at the Parliament North Courtyard a few minutes later. Nix had arranged to meet Captain Locas and his company of Knights here.
"Think we found them." Mina's voice held a hit of amusement. Three hundred Ain'Dhassi Rangers were standing at attention on the white stone Courtyard of the Parliament. Captain Locas was standing in front of them waiting patiently. All of them were wearing the green House of Inferno Armor.
Nix walked toward them, he noticed Rain and Del Tali sitting at nearby tables but was careful not to make eye contact. He stood in front of the Captain and saluted. "Captain Locas, are you ready to accept your post in Inferno?"
The Mohawked Captain returned his salute. "Sir! On behalf of my company, I accept our position as Rangers in the Inferno Guild."
Nix used his Guild Leader menu and brought all three hundred of them into Inferno. He placed them all on probation and restricted their travel to only Loki. "You coming Min?"
Min gave him a confused look. "Portals won't allow me to access the Oasis world until I cross the Escalade bridge."
Nix grabbed her hand. "I don't need a portal. Rangers follow me."
[Create Breach: Loki]
A large seam appeared in front of Nix, he stepped into and pulled Mina with him. He kept walking until all the rangers exited.
He smiled when it vanished. Immediately Nix noticed his hud buzzing, but he ignored it. They were just outside the city gates of Loki near the beach.
Mina stared at the city and then toward the ocean behind her. "This is Oasis?"
Nix nodded. "Yes."
Nix walked down the beach away from the City, the beach ran into a small inland cove; it was here he turned and followed a small river that led toward the heavily wooded area. He walked a bit further until he found a large square-shaped rock. He climbed up it and turned to face the rangers. "Anyone been to Loki before?"
Captain Locas shook his head. "Although the Ain'Dhassi have contested this land, none of us have been here."
"This is your mission. You're rangers, I want to know everything that you can find out." Nix accessed his Breach Commander hud and brought up a large holo of the wooded area behind him. "I want to know what wildlife is on the island and what kind of dangers are lurking. Don't miss anything."
The Mohawked Captain nodded, "should we eliminate the dangers?"
Nix shook his head. "Use your judgment, I just want to know what's here, unless it represents a clear danger to our settlement, leave it in peace."
"He's not scary you know." Mina climbed up next to Nix. "If you have questions to ask, or want to say something, feel free to do so."
A white-haired Ranger gave Locas a questioning look when he nodded she spoke. "I want to thank you, Commander Nix. One of the rangers you saved is my nephew."
"You're welcome. What is your name?"
"I'm Bali Zenda." The Ain'Dhassi was much smaller than the Rangers around her. "Are you really the Winter Sparrow?"
A white sparrow appeared and hopped on Nix's shoulder, its Ice feathers reflected the morning sun. "You could say that I see and hear through its eyes and ears."
He canceled the spell right away and the bird vanished.
"Do you really ride a Dragon?" The one who asked was a tall Ain'Dhassi male with a long braid down his back.
"Technically it's a Drakon, you'll see her sometimes when I visit." Nix nodded at Locas and then jumped down. "I want to make one thing perfectly clear. You are members of Inferno now, nothing you say or learn is to be shared without authorization."
Locas saluted crisply. "We are Inferno's Rangers now, Commander."
Nix and Mina walked back toward the beach, the Aquarion slipped a hand through his arm and deliberately slowed him down.
"I would like to talk to you Nix, but I'm having trouble putting together the words I want to say."
"I have the same issue sometimes Min, take your time and speak your thoughts when they are clear."
[Create Breach: Haven]
Nix pulled Mina through the Breach and stepped onto the long grass of the plateau near his ranch. "I'm getting the hang of this, it helps if I can visualize the place."
[ALERT: ARCHON FLASH ON INUIT]
Three Holos popped up in front of Nix, it was the three Breach Commanders.
Mtui greeted Nix with a nod. "There is an Archon Flash 100 miles North of Parliament. Are you going to investigate?"
Nix nodded. "Yes, my team will is on it, I'll send you my findings."
The three holos blinked off, leaving Min and Nix there alone.
/Alpha Team: Assemble immediately at the Gemini Temple.
/Alpha Team: Semmi: Pon and I are on our way.
/Alpha Team: Wind: Same.
/Alpha Team: Fajii: I'm already at the Temple.
Mina looked like she wanted to say something, but instead, she gave him a quick hug and moved away. "Good Luck Nix, we'll talk later!"
[Whisper Shae to Nix] Summon me if you run into trouble. Be careful.
[Whisper Nix to Shae] Of course.
/Inferno: Nix: We will be expanding Alpha Team to 10, contact Semmi if interested.
Nix met up with the rest of the Alpha Team in Sanctuary.
/Alpha Team: Wind: What's up boss?
/Alpha Team: Nix: We are investigating an Archon Flash in Inuit.
/Alpha Team: Semmi: If the Aquarions have Archons, then the dhassi on Oasis are sure to have some also.
Nix's Breach Commander Holo showed a large image of Inuit, there was a flashing dot North of Parliament.
/Alpha Team: Nix: In we go.
Nix stepped in, a moment later the rest of the team followed.
/Alpha Team: Wind: Gotta say boss... this is completely awesome.
The team arrived at the base of a large tree. It was at least 100 feet in diameter and had a doorway carved into it.
Ducky appeared a moment later, her short, blue spiked hair made her seem more human. "We on a special mission Nix?"
"Yes. Scout out the immediate area, tell me if anyone is close by." Nix waited until she moved away before turning back toward the entrance.
/Alpha Team: Nix: So... Tree Dhassi?
/Alpha Team: Fajii: It seems like we should go in.
Ducky came back a few minutes later. "There's no one close by but eight Fir'Dhassi are riding toward us."
/Alpha Team: Nix: Let's go in.
Nix stepped through the doorway, immediately he understood that a rather large World Seed had been attached to the tree.
/Alpha Team: Stealth up, we need to move away from the entrance.
Nix led the team away from the doorway, it was thickly wooded like most of Inuit. After a minute of running, it gave way to a large clearing. All of them stopped abruptly.
Several large buildings carved from wood hovered in the sky. Ribbons of gold flowed from the bottom of the dwellings and anchored in the ground below.
Eron jumped from Fajii's shoulder to Nix's. "Those ribbons are siphoning power directly from the ground Nix. We are sitting on a ley line."
/Alpha Team: Nix: Get down.
The entire team lay prone in the tall grass. The Fir'Dhassi dismounted from their horses and walked toward the buildings. They stopped only a few meters away from Alpha Team. Nix frowned when he recognized one of them, Tura Umi Strom.
A flash of light announced the arrival of a silver winged Fir'Dhassi, he landed in front of the group that had just arrived. The Archon radiated power, he wore a long blade across his back and his armor seemed to absorb the light around it. He had light brown hair that he wore in a topknot and a very youthful face.
Umi Strom bowed low before him. "Archon Zar, the Foundation Stone wasn't in the Vale."
A loud slap sounded and Umi flew into the distance like she had been shot out of a cannon. Nix started to get up but was pulled down by Wind.
[New Guild Quest discovered: The Fallen House]
Umi limped back a few minutes later, one of her beautiful light brown eyes were completely closed. Nix felt anger bubbling in him, but he forced it down. A trickle of blood ran down her forehead from her dark auburn hair. She bowed once again but didn't speak.
"Find the foundation stone, I can sense that it's in the Vale." Zar scowled at the group and then disappeared into the buildings above with a flash of silver wings.
/Alpha Team: Semmi: Can we take that guy?
/Alpha Team: Nix: Maybe... Let's follow Umi instead. I want to report this to Commander Mtui also, he might understand what's going on.