261 Chained Lightning
The iridescent Salamander walked down the rows of her peppers, her sleek head raised slightly as her nostrils flared. Shae loved the sweet scent of the plant nearly as much as the taste.
[Whisper: Ducky to Shae] Nix has been exposed to something bad. Come to Loki!
Shae disappeared from her garden and reappeared next to her mate a moment later. The appearance of Shae in her natural form caused everyone to take a step back. Nix lay on the sand next to Chiba and Fajii. The Aquarion was still semi-conscious, but the other two were not. Small black veins were visible under Nix's and Fajii's skin, oddly enough Chiba's skin seemed unaffected.
The Salamander touched his forehead, her eyes closed while she explored with her senses. "Nether contamination, mixed with something else. What happened here?"
Semmi's bright blue eyes shone with emotion. "We were fighting next to this basin of liquid Nether. Chiba and Nix were exposed during the fight."
Shae's fine scales reflected every color in the spectrum, her body glowing while she checked the other two. "Fajii was exposed after?"
Semmi nodded. "Nix fell in, she jumped right in without even thinking."
Shae moved back to Nix. "It's a persistent poison. It says Nethradic contamination."
/Alpha Team: Pon: F*ck! That's the kind that stays with you even in you die right?
/Alpha Team: Wind: Aye.
"Nix!" Ducky called from the gate, her feet covering the distance to them in an eyeblink. She knelt next to Shae and put a hand on his head, her lower lip was sticking out like a little kid trying not to cry. "I've got this!"
Shae changed into her human form and took the small vial from her hand. "This is the contaminant?"
Ducky nodded. "Our ally sent it to me."
Semmi glanced at the other members of Alpha Team, they were all thinking the same thing.
/Alpha Team: Wind: The same one who opened the breach?
/Alpha Team: Pon: Damn that boy and his secrets.
[Whisper: Shae to Deidra] Come to Loki.
Deidra saw the message, her face showing an un-dragon-like surprize in front of her two pupils. She cleared her throat and opened a breach. "It seems I've been summoned by a salamander."
Deidra stepped onto the sandy beach a few meters from where the three members of Inferno lay. Almost immediately she shook her head. "Nether liquid... nasty business."
Shae moved to one side and let the dragon examine them. "This is a sample of it."
Deidra took the sample, immediately she swore under her breath. "Not good..." She glanced at Chiba and motioned for Ducky. "Remove that ring so I can see her exposure level."
Ducky nodded and removed the plain-looking ring from Chiba's finger, the entire group gasped in shock.
/Alpha Team: Pon: The f*ck is that?
/Alpha Team: Wind: No way...
/Alpha Team: Semmi: Who is that?
The old woman's countenance changed completely when Ducky removed the ring. Her stringy gray hair turned into thick golden blonde curls and her wrinkled ugly face changed into a goddess.
Deidra always knew of the disguise but didn't realize the extent. Without a question, Chiba was the most beautiful human she'd ever seen. She touched the perfect skin, small black veins were clearly visible just beneath the surface. "We have a problem."
Shae had moved around Nix and was holding his hand. "Can we burn this out?"
Deidra shook her head. "Normally that's exactly how you deal with this sort of poisoning, especially among fire creatures. Unfortunately, that's not going to work."
Shae caressed Nix's cheek, her warm brown eyes staring at him. "Why not?"
"This Nether liquid wasn't made with normal blood. It's combined with dragon blood." Deidra frowned at the thought, where would someone get enough of it to make this.
Pon cussed loudly, the old man's face showing more anger than usual. "Let's go back and burn that f*cking place to the ground. We can..." He trailed off for a moment before looking back at Deidra. "What about Nix's flames? The Ice one?"
Deidra smiled slightly. "A good idea. Unfortunately, Nix is the only one who could do that and he's unconscious."
Shae had been listening to the conversation, her thoughts were in complete disarray. "And we don't know what would happen to Fajii and Chiba if they were exposed to Ice Flames."
"There has to be other options." Semmi considered the normal cure. "You said that fire is usually the treatment?"
Deidra nodded. "Dragon blood makes that impossible."
The blonde-haired officer pursed her lips while she considered the problem. A moment later she snapped her fingers together. "What about lightning?"
"Lightning? I've never heard of anyone trying it." Deidra stood up, her eyes straying to Nix. "The problem is that a lighting strike powerful enough to cleanse them might end up doing irreparable damage."
"We may have a way around that." A calm voice spoke from behind them, announcing the arrival of the Gemini priestess. Elune's dual-colored face frowned when she saw the Gemini Lord. "We are Gemini after all, together we are strong."
Wind nodded. "That's right, we're strong together."
"Strong as f*ck." Pon agreed.
Elune moved from one patient to the next. "All three are Gemini, so naturally they will create a Gemini chain."
"Chiba is a Gemini?" Pon couldn't bring himself to look at the blond goddess, it completely twisted his sense of reality.
Elune nodded and stood up. "Nix gave a Gladiator stone to Chiba and a Defender Stone to Vooni last month."
/Alpha Team: Semmi: Must have been right before they were captured.
/Inferno: Elune: Esta, we need you to meet us at the Gemini Training yard.
Shae stood up and picked up Nix in her arms. "Thank you for coming Deidra, we will take it from here."
Deidra nodded even though she wanted to see the cure in action, she understood that no outsiders were ever brought to the mysterious Haven. "I'm sorry I couldn't do more. Please keep me advised."
Jun Li stood at the front of the three lines, her eyes scanning over the list on her hud. "Did I miss anyone?"
Nix: Gemini Lord
Jun Li: Gladiator
Semmi shook her head. "Sixteen right? We can put an entire Gemini Raid together."
All of Inferno stood in the Gemini Training yards watching as Esta formed the Gemini into three separate lines.
[Line 1] Semmi, Pon, Wind, Ronnie, Nix
[Line 2] Sharl, Floyd, Dalton, Moki, Chiba
[Line 3] Jun Li, Milat, Vooni, Darsi, Fajii
A metal rod was pounded into the sand floor of the training ground; Mina gripped the steel bar with both hands while Semmi, Sharl and Jun Li each placed a hand on her shoulders. The line behind them each held hands; the last person in each line was the injured person.
/Inferno: Esta: Shae and Elune will monitor the patients. Do not break the chain, the first four in line are the conduits.
Tess, Gypsy, Pinky, Wylie, and Saji were standing by ready to heal.
/Inferno: Tess: We are just going to spam AE heals on you guys. Don't worry, we'll take care of you.
[Gemini Bond Enabled]
Esta moved away from the rod, putting ten meters between herself and the start of the line. Slowly her hands raised up, the air charged with electricity, small sparks swirled around her transparent body.
Small bolts of lightning erupted from the space around her, striking at the Storm Singer while she gathered absorbed the power of her element.
/Inferno: Esta: I'll use my weakest strike first.
A single jagged streak of lightning cut through the air and struck the metal rod. It visibly traveled through Mina and the lines behind her until flashing around the last person. Everyone jumped slightly with the first shock, but no one let go.
Three successive strikes erupted from Esta's hands. Immediately after, the clerics started healing.
Shae checked Fajii first before moving on to Nix and Chiba.
/Inferno: Shae: It's working on Fajii, a few more like that and we can disconnect her. No change in Chiba or Nix.
Three more lightning strikes and Fajii gasped in pain, Darsi threw a leg over her chest to keep the Aquarion from sitting up.
The pony-tailed blond kept a tight grip on her hand. "Rest easy Fajii."
Shae checked on Fajii, her hand resting on the Aquarion's head for several moments before she nodded in satisfaction.
/Inferno: Shae: Fajii's line may disconnect and move away. She has no more of the nether contaminate in her.
Shae helped Fajii sit up and then led her to one side where the healers were waiting.
Fajii's eyes looked around in confusion. "Where's Nix? Is he okay?"
Tess grabbed both her hand and held her in place. "He's being treated, hun. Please wait here while they take care of him."
Shae cursed under her breath when she checked Nix. Chiba was visibly better but Nix's levels had only dropped a small bit.
/Inferno: Shae: Something a bit stronger now Esta.
A three-pronged lightning attack struck the metal rod that Mina held. The surprise was etched on her face when the currently flowed through her. It was much stronger than the previous strikes.
Esta cast a half-dozen more times, Shae was moving quickly between the two patients.
/Inferno: Ronnie: Somethings wrong Esta! I barely felt he last two strikes.
Semmi nodded in agreement and checked her resistances.
/Inferno: Semmi: It's Nix, we are sharing his resistances. His lightning resistance is skyrocketing.
/Inferno: Shae: Disconnect Nix's chain and continue treating Chiba. Her treatment is nearly complete.
One more round of strikes put Chiba in the clear. The swordmaster sat up slowly, her beautiful eyes immediately going to Nix.
/Inferno: Chiba: My apprentice?
Shae left her hand on his head for several minutes while she inspected him. Finally, she nodded to herself and stood up.
/Inferno: Shae: There's nothing more we can do for Nix. His lightning resistance has climbed too high.
/Inferno: Semmi: So now what?
/Inferno: Shae: Bring him back to his home and let him rest. His resistance to the Nether Poison is slowly started to climb.
/Inferno: Fajii: You think he'll recover on his own?
/Inferno: Shae: Yes.
/Alpha Team: Pon: What the hell is up with your appearance Chiba?
/Alpha Team: Chiba: What does that mean you old fool?
/Alpha Team: Semmi: He means you are attractive, like really attractive.
/Alpha Team: Chiba: I regularly refer to myself as super sexy and the most gorgeous thing ever. Don't you guys listen?
/Alpha Team: Pon: Sure. We just thought you were nuts.
Chiba's disgusting cackle broke the spell, there was no hiding that.
/Alpha Team: Chiba: You guys are dumb. Where's my f*cking ring? You clowns better not have messed with my demon peni$.
[Gemini Ability Unlocked: Chained Lightning]