234 The Rat King conclusion
[Eastern Shore of Loki: 1945 Hours]
The tall girl tripped over her hair for the 5th time in as many minutes. She was slowly gathering firewood, a slender hand held her hair to one side while trying to move about in a robe that was too large. She stacked the wood on the beach and then attempted to knot up her hair that hung to the ground. After three large knots, the long silvery tresses were still passed her knees.
"Good enough." She smiled widely before stumbling over the staff that announced her as a mage. Covered in sand, the mage sat up carefully and pointed at the stack of wood. It immediately burst into flames.
The thin girl shivered slightly and gathered her robes around her shoulders. "I don't remember this place being so cold."
[Guild HQ: Loki: 2000 Hours]
Jun Li stared at the large Holo map visible over the conference table. Three different areas were blinking. "This means that there are three separate incursions?"
Deidra was sitting between Vooni and Shae at the conference table. "Yes. I will respond however you wish, or not at all if you wish to concentrate on the Nether."
Semmi studied the map while she considered their responsibilities. "Nix is the Breach Commander for Oasis and Colonial, we should handle this in his stead."
"I agree." Sharl pointed to the southern area that was highlighted. "This seems like another Izzin Breach, I'll take a team there."
"I'll take Zeta team to the north, that's where Alpha team took on the Vampire right?" Banzi gestured toward the point just east of Isla'Fairbal.
"Fine. That leaves Alpha Team to head into the Nether." Jun Li turned her eyes toward Deidra, "how will they find him?"
"I'll send you directly to Breach Commander Mtui, he is already devising an extraction strategy." Deidra didn't hide the surprise she felt at all the activity. Were they getting ready to take Oasis?
Jun Li nodded. "I'm going to stay here and oversee the operation. All decisions will go through me."
While they were speaking three more blips appeared on the map. Pon cursed loudly. "Those are on Loki!"
"It's fine." Jun Li stood and moved toward the door. "Send the away teams on their missions.
/Alliance Command: Jun Li: Preliminary alarms indicated three sizeable incursions on Loki.
[Sub-Commander Sulane] You will take half of the Pillar Guilds and head North to the Vo-Tech. Scout the area and eliminate all forces.
[Sub-Commander Gideon] You will take the other half of our Alliance and head to the western shore, take whatever actions you deem suitable.
/Alliance Command: Jun Li: Captain Locas, you will stay with me and the remainder of our Inferno Forces to defend the town.
/Inferno: Locas: Understood!
Sasi watched patiently while the yellow-eyed rat left Nix's cell and scurried toward the barred door. It crawled easily through the bars before disappearing in a small cloud of smoke. "That was one close Nix!"
Your Taxidermy Skill has improved to 50.
[New Skill learned: Advanced Rat Mannequin]
Nix nodded from his bunk, bathed in sweat he staggered to the bucket to drink the last of his water. He drank the tepid water down while considering what he saw. Rat animation worked similarly to the Winter Sparrow, it didn't have the refined control that the sparrow had and its vision was poor.
The room adjoining theirs was also dark, it was another cellblock with a few prisoners. These prisoners were manacled to the walls and in much rougher shape. Through the rat's eyes, he was able to see a glimmer of light down the hall, that must be where the guards were stationed.
Nix looked toward his companion who was sitting on her bed. "You okay Ducky?"
"I'm fine Nix. Keep it up!" Ducky seemed to be gaining confidence as the minutes passed, the conversations she had with the Qi family put her in good spirits.
"Yep." Nix eyed the last four rat Mannequins that he had. The Qi family had killed all the rats in their cellblock. Sasi even smeared rat blood on the floor to attract more from the next area. There wasn't going to be any more Rat Mannequins after this.
[Assemble an Advanced Rat Mannequin?]
[Advanced Rat Mannequins require 4 target creatures.]
Nix muttered a curse, that was the rest of his rat dolls. "Of course they do. Assemble Advanced Rat Mannequin."
He moved closer to the bed and leaned against it. "Animate!"
[Assuming direct control of Advanced Rat Mannequin]
The vision of the Advanced Rat was much clearer, it moved quickly through the adjoining room to the light.
Sasi watched Nix, her face was pushed up against the bars that she gripped tightly. She strained her sharp ears to hear the words he was whispering.
"Three guards are playing a game of dice. They are some sort of Nether creatures that I don't recognize. A large ring of keys is hanging over the table next to them. Up against the far wall are three wooden chests."
Uta stood and walked to the edge of his cell. "Be ready." He also could hear Nix's words.
Nix moved the rat just inside the door and studied the area. "Don't blow up on me Rat King."
[Designate Advanced Rat as Rat King?]
"Sure." There were three options available to the Rat King.
1) Self Destruct
It was here that Nix noticed there were also two progress bars in his view. The top one was full and seemed to be fixed. The bottom one was slowly draining. "F*ck... is that some sort of activity bar?"
Nix targeted the nearest guard.
Rat King may only dominate other rats.
"Of course..." Rat King scanned the room slowly, there were two rats near some tipped over slop buckets at the far side of the room. Hugging the wall tightly, he scurried toward them. Beady red eyes stared at him menacingly, Nix could sense their murderous intent.
Rat King has dominated a Nether Rat.
Rat King has dominated a Nether Rat.
There were three commands for the Dominated creatures.
Nix had the Rat King move within a few feet of the table. There were four chairs and only three of them were being used. Rat King would use the fourth to hop onto the table and steal the Key, in theory. Nix targeted the two guards closest to the keys.
Nix smiled in his cell when the rats moved in, the smile froze when he noticed that the lower bar had almost expired. "Don't even think about it."
The two Nether guards jumped up from their chairs cursing and stomping as the rats attacked their legs. Rat King hopped onto the chair and then the table in quick succession, he grabbed the keyring and leaped from the table, keeping close to the wall while he dragged them away.
Nix cursed when he heard the stomping of feet. Was he discovered? Without looking back he ran down the middle of the hall and scurried through the barred door of the adjoining room. Rat King was running toward Nix's cell when it caught him.
One of the dominated rats sunk his teeth deep into the Rat King's back, Nix continued to move forward, dragging the angry rodent behind him. It was nearly to his cell when the Rat King disappeared in a stinky cloud of smoke. The rodent looked around in confusion, too late he saw the foot that slammed down onto him.
Nix picked up the keyring and after a few tries found the one that unlocked his cell. Sasi was hopping up and down excitedly. Nix pushed the barred door open and walked toward Uta's cell. "Game on!"