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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:28 am 
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The first thing he heard was the ocean, and the groaning creak of wood. His eyes fluttered open, and winced shut again as the glare of light made him groan. He raised his hand to block out the light as he sat up. He let himself acclamate to the daylight, seeing the glow slowly dim behind his lids, and opened his eyes again.

His hand was still a ghastly sight. The back of his arm was completely covered in spines of varying lengths. The longest had to be almost four inches, and had narrowed and shimmed until they looked almost like blades. His hand, now black as coal, looked like is should belong to an evolved lizard. He was thankful he still had a thumb. His pinky and ring finger had fused completely together, and he now had four nasty looking talons. They reminded him of velociraptors from... some... thing... movie? Whats that? His head hurt, and he heard and dull ringing way in the back of his mind, like a dull bell. He felt like he had packs of wet cotton stuffed between his ears.

"Am I dead?" he asked out loud. God, in His wisdom, decided not to answer.

He looked out over the field, his mismatched eyes taking in the serene setting, rolling fields spotted with slowly turning windmills. He also saw floating equations and records of computations and encounters. Gate in time, Gate out time, monster regen clock, level strip, item level range. Information written into the sky and floating in mid-air, picked out in red fire. A line of text was even floating past him:

Q:/fields/textures/landscapes/field/daylight/grass.w.tx

He reached out with his maimed hand, to touch it. The moment his finger touched the words, he heard a screech like a nail on a chalkboard, and the wording slowly blackened and disintegrated. As it did, he saw the green grass flicker and wink out, replaced with a field of darkness, picked out of a hexagon pattern that glowed with a sickly green light.

He screamed and jumped to his feet, thinking he'd plunge into the darkness if he waited too long, and bolted away. The green field started again a dozen feet behind him, and he all but dived towards it, rolling along the ground. He got back up on his knees to survive his handiwork. Almost a hundred foot square section simply was no longer there.

Note to self... he thought. don't do that again.

He got back to his feet, his legs feeling stiff and full of sand. He groaned as he stretched for the first time in what felt like months. He couldn't stay here long. They.... they? the hackers... they could find him if he stayed here to long. He was vulnerable. He had to get home, to Mac Anu.

As he walked, he cocked his head to one side, and his menu opened. He checked his backlog of messages. It was long, much longer than it had a right to be. He... his name was Kodel? That didn't seem right... had been asleep for a long time it seemed. Most of the messages he could guess at from the Subject lines: variations of Where are you? and Are you alright? Why hadn't he gone to them for help?

"Because you're stubborn, and stupid to boot." he muttered under his breath. He opened one of the last ones, the one that appeared even after the messages checking in on him had trickled away. It was from Nejla, a name he recognized immediately. She had beaten the stuffing out of him then had decided to help:

I've been told you might not recieve this from quite some time. I hope you will be alright once you wake. You're memories should return eventually. You were... scattered somewhat to keep you safe while you recuperated. You're consciousness had taken quite a beating. Human minds where not meant to interface when computers the way that yours had, though some good came out of it. Helba wanted me to thank you. She said you suffered more than anyone deserved, but the information it produced helped.

I'm afraid you won't see me again. They know where I am, and who I am, and I am not willing to sacrifice myself the way that you have been. Still, I'll try to help if I can. The World is not the only battleground anymore...

Don't trust the admins.

Don't trust the hackers.

Don't trust anyone except Helba and your... compatriots.

Anyone who doesn't want to kill you will want to use you, and that is even worse.

Be well.

-Nejla.

Who's Helba? he thought. He realized it didn't matter, and closed the message. As he had read it, things had come back, slowly at first. Nall, Vera, Gingi. Tokki, who'd saved him initially, months and months ago. Faces and places. Garaa, he thought as his mouth twisted in disgust, and his talons slid from his fingers.

"I hope the codes I remember still work." he muttered as he summoned a town gate. Time to see what was to see.

_________________
"Goodness for the most part is an illusion... Little fables people tell themselves so they can get through their days without screaming to much."
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Kodel | Level 20 | Blademaster | 45000 Gold | Pheonix Wing | Thunder Armor, Silver Bracer, Time Headband, Safety Shoes, losta items and some scrolls | Ani Slash, Ani Revolver, Ap Ganz, Ap Corv, Ap Do. Gan Zot, Rai Rom


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 1:18 am 
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One of the first things he had to do, he realized, was buy a new costume. He was standing out far to much. There were normal characters, modified characters, seriously modified characters, and then there was him. Everywhere he went he drew stares. Several people shrunk away from him as he approached, and he even recognized some of them from his days as a PK. Only a couple showed anything other than stark terror and surprise, and he didn't blame them. When he'd been in the grip of the infection, he'd been unstoppable, and had torn through most parties like a scythe through a row of dry wheat. He even heard people call out, asking how he got that model. Those were the strangest. He supposed he looked vaguely draconic, but on only one arm it was bizarre. He wasn't like a cat or wolf anthromorph, he looked like something out of a carnival sideshow.

He stopped at a nearby clothing store, and refitted himself with a collared cloak complete with a steel half-gorget. It was ink black and made out of, ironically enough, dragon scales. He slung it halfway across his shoulders and drew the other side down across his chest, completely covering his arm. Using his good hand, he moved his sword to the other side of his belt, under the cloak. It would be harder to draw, but hopefully he wouldn't be fighting in Mac Anu. Fighting was normally unheard in the Root Towns, but then he was as well, he supposed.

He took a long, languid route across the city to the wharfside warehouse he remembered as the base. He wasn't sightseeing on his way there, he was trying ot make sure he had not been followed. He doubled back frequently and dashed down blind alleyways to watch from the corner for pursuit. There never was anything, but he'd gone past the point of paranoia. From what he remembered of Garaa and Nejlas message, people were out to kill him.

He finally found himself in front of a small but well upkept building, unsigned and unadorned. He muttered the code phrase he remembered and tried the knob.

Nothing happened.

He tried the second, and the third. Nothing. His breathing quickened and he had to fight down the wave of panic he felt rising inside. He could wait outside for them to come back, but he could be spotted. He couldn't go back to the fields, he might keep missing them, and he'd be caught eventually. He had to get inside. He swallowed heavily as an idea came to him.

After making sure he was clear, he pulled his cloak over his other shoulder, exposing his clawed hand. He raised it and laid it lightly on the banded wood of the door. He felt a shiver of cold run up his arm, and suddenly saw a series of equations dancing along the surface of the wood grains. Even though he didn't know how he knew, he coudl tell that they were there to tumble the entry codes periodically, so that only someone who knew how the equations changed could have a prayer of opening the door. Curling his fingers, he clawed through one of the codes, and saw it vanish like smoke in the wind. He heard a ka-clunk, like a bolt being drawn, and he tried the knob again. It gave, but only just. He grabbed it in his other hand, and twisted. The knob gave a little more. He pushed, and nearly let go as he saw tendrils of darkness, like those running from his elbow up t ohis eyes, start worming their way up the door. It gave a shuddering creak, but still did not budge. He pressed harder, sweat starting to pop out on his forehead. The darkness spread, and as it reached more of the entry equations, they greyed and slowly sank into the surface, like a boat silently slipping beneath a jet black ocean. The knob suddenly turned with a loud snap, and he was inside. He slammed the door behind him, backing away.

The blackness began to recede as quickly as it had spread. It was like watching a large pool of water in a hot skillet. The blackness pooled into circles, and sizzled faintly as it bubbled off of the door and frame, curling away as black smoke, before simply winking into nothingness.

After the door had returned completely to normal, he turned to survey the hideout. As he had suspected, no one was hear. They'd have heard him otherwise.

As he walked from room to room, he felt the panic come on again. All of the furniture was still here, the desks, tables, chairs. There was however, no items, no weapons, personal effects, no chests with gold for the groups use, nothing to indicate anyone was going to be coming back.

They'd abandoned this place. They must've been found out, or maybe it was no longer safe here for some other reason. They could've moved to a different server, cycling through safehouses to avoid being caught. But at the moment, there was no one.

He sank into one of the chairs, a pang of dread mingled with nausea racing through him. Where else could he go? Should he stay here and hope they come back? He couldn't do that, he realized. Even if this place is still secure, they stopped using it for a reason. He had to get out. Even a field would be better.

He tried to rise and realized he couldn't. A tide of utter exhaustion was washing up his legs and chest. His hand spasmed, and he felt his head suddenly grow heavy. my hand he thought. It must've somehow drained all his strength from when he cut through the door. He was asleep even before his head rang off the surface of the table.

_________________
"Goodness for the most part is an illusion... Little fables people tell themselves so they can get through their days without screaming to much."
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Kodel | Level 20 | Blademaster | 45000 Gold | Pheonix Wing | Thunder Armor, Silver Bracer, Time Headband, Safety Shoes, losta items and some scrolls | Ani Slash, Ani Revolver, Ap Ganz, Ap Corv, Ap Do. Gan Zot, Rai Rom


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 12:20 am 
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OOC: Up to whoever wants to respond.

Kodel suddenly jerked awake, and nearly cracked his head on the table a seocnd time as he sat upright. His head throbbed from where he had hit the table, and his whole body tingled like pins and needles.

He'd been out for a few hours, he surmised. Obviously no noe had come back since there was no one here waiting for him to wake.

He'd have to send a message. It was risky, but better than him wandering around waiting for someone to get the drop on him

He waved a hand and opened a message window. It was fully written before he realized he'd even thought of what to say:

To: Gingitsune, Rayo, Nall, Nighthand, Hijinx, Asgard, and Vera
Subject: Where is everyone

Hey,
I'd imagine you'd never expected to hear from me again. Wish I could say I was less surprised. I woke up on a field a couple hours ago, and I've apparently slept the last 6 months or so. I'm in the place in town, and I can't find a trace of anyone. Is everything alright?

-Kodel

He thumbed the "SEND" button, and the window vanished with a soft musical ring. He rose to his feet, and shuffled over to one of the bed braced along the wall. He'd just had a nap, but there was nothing else he thought he should be doing, and the more rest he got, the more he could do, he surmised.

_________________
"Goodness for the most part is an illusion... Little fables people tell themselves so they can get through their days without screaming to much."
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Kodel | Level 20 | Blademaster | 45000 Gold | Pheonix Wing | Thunder Armor, Silver Bracer, Time Headband, Safety Shoes, losta items and some scrolls | Ani Slash, Ani Revolver, Ap Ganz, Ap Corv, Ap Do. Gan Zot, Rai Rom


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:49 pm 
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Location: ...Tracking...please wait...
Flashmail!
To: Kodel
From: Nall

Good to have you back, I think. We can certainly use all the help we can get. We're not in Delta or Theta anymore, they aren't safe. You're probably in danger, the Elites are watching the towns for us. We're in Lambda where they aren't looking... yet, anyways. I'll send someone who can get you in to our hideout. It's a special system; we never see the actual root town. With a key, that my envoy will give you, you're taken directly to our hideout rather than to the root town. It's like our own little miniature root town, with shops and stuff. Stay in the hideout, it's the safest place for you; she'll be there shortly.

<!End Flashmail>



It was only a matter of a few minutes after Kodel received the flashmail before he noticed a disturbance on the wall. Since the town was unsafe, Raine chose to make her entrance directly into the hideout itself. At first, it was simply a blueish spot on the wall, but it soon grew to the size of a doorway. The blue took on the surface qualities of the Chaos Gate, and through it stepped Raine.

She was dressed in traditional wavemistress garb, though it was obviously more armor than robes for her level. Her clothing in black and white, a single star emblazoned on her shoulder, she made something of an imposing figure; especially stepping through a wall.

"You're Kodel, then." She said, looking over the blademaster. "Nall told me you'd be here."

She scanned the blademaster, noting that his infection was somewhat... unique, compared to the rest of the group. It wasn't based on brute force, as the rest seemed to be. She'd have to study it later, perhaps.

She pulled a thing silver chain from a pocket of her robe-armor, attached to the end was a small silver key. "The moment you take this, it'll embed itself in your character data. It's not really a physical item, you see. It makes any chaos gate attempting to connect to Carmina Gadelica, the Lambda root town, automatically take you to our hideout instead. There's an override to get to the town if you need to, but there shouldn't be a need to. We have all the facilities of the town in the hideout. There's a gate in our hideout as well, that can take you to other servers and to fields. Only a few of us are in there right now, everyone else is off on a mission. You'll have to wait for their return."

She put the key on a small end table near Kodel. No telling what the player would do if she forced a character edit on him without his approval. "Take it when you're ready. However, I still have quite a bit of work to do, so, I have to head back. See you soon..." She smiled a bit. The fewer loose ends attached to their group, the better. Getting this one back into the fold would be a benefit.

Turning, her blue hair waving before it settled against her back, she stepped through the gate in the wall once more. It disappeared, and the wavemistress was gone. Kodel was alone with his thoughts, the small silver key within arm's reach, waiting for his decision.

_________________
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 4:20 am 
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Kodel watched the wavemistress slide back out through the wall, trying to keep his mouth shut. Some abilities he had seen had been impressive, but had never heard of anything approaching that level of teleportation.

She must have been a hacker. That was the only way to explain it. That, and she also... felt wrong, like she wasn't completely there. It was another one of those things that made sense as he thought it, even though he didn't know why. It must has to do with the fact that she’s using a headset, and I'm consciously here, he mused.

She had not stayed to chat, so he could not ask. With only a slight amount of trepidation, he walked over to the table. He didn't like feeling like his feet were bound to railroad tracks, but sometimes you found yourself rolling along them nonetheless. It occurred to him that she could be one of the enemy, but then why the elaborate deception. He was in an enclosed area, with no reinforcements, and despite, or in spite of, having been in what amounted to a coma within a coma for the last half year, he was incredibly weak. He did not know how it would translate into game terminology, but he was not certain he could swing his sword even if he wished. That and the simple fact that she'd appeared within minutes of messaging Nighthand.

I'm over thinking this, he thought to himself. Just take the key and see what it does. It wasn't terribly impressive, but he knew that meant less than nothing. The Key of the Twilight was the most potent item in the game, and if common sense won the day today, that meant it was a key too.

He picked it up by its chain and dropped it in his malformed hand. It was silver, like the chain, with only two blunt teeth at the end. It looked more like a dresser key than a door key, but it was still a key. He gasped suddenly, as he felt a sharp pain in his palm. He looked down at his palm and saw that the key had melted into a mercury like pool. Before he could fling the stuff off, it slid, without fanfare or even a crack to slid through, into his hand. He suddenly felt incredibly dizzy and nauseated, and nearly collapsed onto the table, before shooting out a hand to brace himself up. Flashes of color and light danced behind his eyes, and he saw a field with several buildings. For a moment, he thought he was hallucinating, then suddenly it was gone.

He was panting heavily, and drew a deep breath, righting himself. He looked back down at his arm. All the silvery stuff was gone, into him most likely. He blinked, and cocked his head to one side. There was a name, a string of code floating inside his head, like a stray thought suddenly coming to him. When he pictured it, that strange vision of another area came to him. How he was doing it, Kodel had no idea, but he knew he was looking at the hideout on the Lambda server.

A picture was nice, but getting there better, he thought darkly. It was not an area that you could gate to he knew, else it would not serve well for a hideout. He could not summon gates like the wavemistress could.

He could, however, open doors. He'd opened the hideout door with the necessary password, with difficulty, but he had done it. Maybe his bizarre hand could open the door on the hideout, gate or no gate.

He walked back over to the entrance. He closed his eyes and saw the vision of the site, and reached out with his hand. The knob turned, with a loud and strange click-crunch, like the bolt was grinding a rock. He pushed forward, having to give the usually smooth door a hefty shove, and opened his eyes. He felt himself smile as he stepped through. It was definitely not Mac Anu on the other side.

_________________
"Goodness for the most part is an illusion... Little fables people tell themselves so they can get through their days without screaming to much."
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Kodel | Level 20 | Blademaster | 45000 Gold | Pheonix Wing | Thunder Armor, Silver Bracer, Time Headband, Safety Shoes, losta items and some scrolls | Ani Slash, Ani Revolver, Ap Ganz, Ap Corv, Ap Do. Gan Zot, Rai Rom


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