215 Entrance Token
Nix stopped by Darsi's shop on the Glory docks before heading out. She had told him that the artifact he requested was ready.
"Hey, Trip-7!" The blond sniper was stocking her shelves when Nix walked in. Since she had risked a great deal to help him, Nix had no qualms about helping her out whenever she asked.
"Got Beta's artifact copied already?"
Darsi nodded, her blonde hair was up in a bun, only Nix knew that she was even prettier in real life. "Gonna cost you this time, boss."
Nix nodded. "Figured, so, what do you want?"
"Jeans... the comfortable ones, not the stupid slim fit kind. Oh, and some tank tops." Darsi pushed the ring across the counter to him. "Maybe some underwear if you are feeling generous."
Ice Blood: Ring [Unique]
Description: Matches your
body temperature to the
Crafted by Darsi.
"It's a ring?" He held it up and examined it for a moment before slipping it on his finger. Nix glanced over his shoulder at the door and lowered his voice. "Don't mass produce these."
Darsi nodded, "I'm also working on an artifact that grants thermal vision; it's a work in progress." She gave him an innocent smile, Darsi understood all the advantages both artifacts came with.
"Owe ya one, Darsi."
"Hmm... I'll think of something Trip-7." She started to wave and then stopped suddenly. "Hey wait!"
Darsi grabbed a small leather pouch and tossed it to him.
[Create Breach: Lapu Crater]
Nix stepped onto the beach near Lapu Crater, or what remained of it. When Severance super-charged the core, it exploded and took a large portion of the mountain with it. The surrounding bays were still intact. Several Manta were circling him cautiously while he moved to the edge of where the crater use to start. It should have been entirely underwater, but it wasn't. The smell of sulfur and brimstone saturated the air.
[Whisper: Mina to Nix] May I stay at your place for a while to keep Nansu company?
Nix extended his hand and armed himself before peering into the depths of the crater. He had forgotten that Nansu and Mina were spirit companions. The first Human/Aquarion pair to do so. "You know you don't have to ask Min. Let me know how it goes."
He stealthed and activated his Ice Ring. His eyes turned Deep Orange, signifying that he enabled Dragon Eyes also. At the center of the smoking pit was a large crack that gouged deep into the black rock.
Nix has activated his bloodline.
[Third Form: Archon]
The crack was perhaps 50 feet across so Nix leaped in and glided down. The temperature and light increased with each passing meter. His route led directly to where Severance use to have her lair, the entire place was littered with bodies.
[You have joined the Pathfinder Channel]
/Pathfinder: Nix: I'm on the scene. Where is everyone?
/Pathfinder: Jiggs: Sure... the big guns show up after we spent half a day fighting.
/Pathfinder: Nix: You mean after Gideon and Roto killed everything.
/Pathfinder: Gideon: Heh... you must have been watching Commander. Half of these bodies were put here by Shae, she's with Severance.
Nix kicked over the nearest body, the Aquarion was wearing armor from one of the Greater Houses.
/Pathfinder: Nix: Not just an Aquarion, but one from Solomon City. What could they want here?
/Pathfinder: Nebula: Not going to say hi to me Nix?
/Pathfinder: Nix: Hey Nebs.
/Pathfinder: Nebs: Most of these are human, but there are a few Aquarion fighters thrown in. They dropped a lot of decent gear.
/Pathfinder: Gideon: Follow me Commander, I'll take you to Shae. The rest of you watch our backs.
The route down to Shae looked like a classic descent into hell. The flames grew hotter and the rocks around them started to glow. The path down took them to a small cave where Shae was sitting near Severance.
/Pathfinder: Nix: The f*ck is this?
/Pathfinder: Gideon: Shae ordered me not to enter, so I will stay here.
Nix nodded and proceeded inside. He had forgotten about the history between Salamander Guild and Shae, although Gideon and his group had probably already been in Upper-Tier at the time.
/Pathfinder: Nix: Right, I'll talk to her and then we'll plan our next move.
Severance lay on the molten rock, all of her clothes had either been removed or burned away. There were dozens of small gems attached to her body, her beautiful face looked haggard. Shae was sitting next to her, smoothing back her dark blue hair while speaking in a hushed tone.
"What is this Shae?"
The redhead wasn't surprised to see him, she seemed to sense that he was close. "It's beyond my experience, but you can bet it has something to do with one of the Greater Houses."
"Hmm...Did you try removing those gems?" Nix knelt down, the Fire Lord's skin was unnaturally cold. "It's taking her Fire?"
"Her essence, which in this case is fire." Shae pointed to the chrysalis that signified Severance had attempted metamorphosis. "Although she was near death a few months ago, our interference must have pushed her to the realm of Nemesis."
Nix shook his head, "that doesn't make sense. As our ally, she would have come to us and requested help." Nix gripped the chrysalis in one hand, it felt like the normal cloth but he knew from experience that it was nearly indestructible."
"I'm not sure what the gemstones signify, or why she wouldn't be inside the chrysalis." Shae pursed her lips in thought, "where are the bones?"
"Her mates bones?" Nix remembered the old skeleton that was half-buried in the molten rock the first time he's seen the old fire lord. He pushed the chrysalis with his hands frowning when he felt the bones. "They are in the chrysalis. Was she trying to revive him?"
Shae shook her head. "Such a thing Nix... completely impossible after so long."
"Love is many things, but hardly ever rational. His bones are inside the chrysalis, remember your promotion? I was forced to absorb a substantial about of blue and yellow flames because they were attacking the red."
"The red is the flame of life and metamorphosis, I'm convinced that this eventually caused your own change as well as Fajii's."
[Direct Contact: Breach Commander Mtui]
The dragonspawn was sitting behind his desk talking with Beta. He closed the hud he was reading and gave Nix his full attention. "Are you on-site at the Archon Flash?"
Nix nodded. "Yes, unfortunately, I have more questions than answers at this point. A fire lord here was attacked during her metamorphosis. Several gems have been placed on her skin, it appears to have drained much of her strength."
"Remove the gems, they are open pathways and will only hasten her death." Mtui gestured for Beta to come closer. "I can know nothing further."
Beta nodded and waited while he left the room. "Commander Mtui will have no knowledge of anything I am telling you."
Nix shrugged. "Who would I tell?"
"He trusts you, however, even Commander Mtui answers to someone else. If he was ordered to speak, there would be no choice." Beta leaned back against Mtui's desk. "There's a contest going on involving an entrance token."
Nix held a hand up to stop her. "I've no interest in this token. What I want to know is, can I reverse this? And if I can't, how do I find the one responsible?"
"Her essence has been stored. You will find what you are looking for in the House of Aquarion." Beta used her hud to send him a detailed map of Solomon City. "As far as her strength being returned, she must survive until you bring back the storage device."
The holo closed a moment later. Nix and Shae started removing the gems that were attached to the Fire Lords skin. After they were done, Severance was bleeding from a dozen different wounds.
The Air Priestess immediately recognized Nix's ally and healed her wounds. "I can do nothing for her besides this Nix, there seems to be too much of her missing."
"Go Nix, I will wait here and guard her." Shae stood up suddenly and pulled him closer. "We can't let something like this stand Nix. No matter what... teach them a lesson."
"I know just the thing." Nix bent and kissed her quickly before stepping away.
[Create Breach: Solomon City]
/Pathfinder: Nix: This mission is continuing on the Upper Planes, unfortunately, none of you have passed the planar trials yet.
/Pathfinder: Gideon: Are we done then? You're not coming back?
/Pathfinder: Nix: I'm hunting for something and will return to this spot when I find it.
/Pathfinder: Gideon: We'll stand watch until you return Commander.
/Pathfinder: Nebula: Yep. Leave it to us.
Nix stepped through the Breach an instant later. He had envisioned the Gate near the Market Place, so that is where he ended up. The Market was still busy even though the sun was just starting to set.
He brought up his hud and studied it for a moment. Beta had been nice enough to highlight his target, the House of Aquarion.