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[Catskills] "The Truth Hurts Less than a Lie

Discussion in 'UO White Stag Inn' started by Ouroboros, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. Ouroboros

    Ouroboros Visitor

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    "We should find Keliek, " the one named Arik said into his twin's mind. The twins had just concluded their meeting with the one they named Father. To everyone else in the organization, he was nameless and faceless. They had been detained by the group from Trinsic again. They were eventually released, and they had gained quite a bit of information. Even making a new way into the group perhaps. One they could try to exploit. They had decided to give up the commander's name in hopes of taking some of the heat off themselves. Now they were on the way to tell him exactly what they had done.

    The Twins stopped to face each other.
    "Agreed. One is not sure of Keliek's reaction. However, we should not lie.
    Kira's mind spoke in response.

    "He will know if we lie. Keliek will be angry. He may punish."
    Came Arik's reply a moment before they both turned to continue walking.

    They came to a set of stairs and stepping on the first step in unison. Side by side they ascended them together until they reached the top. A long hallway with doors on either side awaited them, a large door at the far end was their destination.

    Kira reached out her left hand for her brother's right. "If he punishes us, we did something wrong. We made a mistake. He doesn't punish without reason. Keliek only wants us to be better than we are."

    Ark took his sister's hand,meeting it halfway as his mind listened. "He does. Keliek is fair with his discipline. Our mistakes are outweighed this time." They walk side by side, hand in hand, down the corridor until they stopped in front of that door.

    Kira's mind whispered, "Agreed. We already know they have one of Father's resources. We might figure out which they have. They should not have any."

    "They should not have any any of His resources. We will get it back, "
    Arik agreed.

    The two children squeezed each other's hands in tandem. Kira reached for the doorknob, her brother's hand covering hers as they opened the door together.

    Stepping into the room the twins shut the door and their hands found each other's again. They were met immediately by the stern face of Commander Keliek who was seated behind his desk. Their gazes did not shift to the floor immediately like they did so often when confronting this man. The commander was dressed in a blue tunic, his short brown hair trimmed neatly to frame his face. He had a thick mustaches and what appeared to be a day's worth of beard on his jawline.

    "Arik... Kira..." Keliek said looking to each as he spoke. "What have I told you about knocking?"

    The twins looked at each other. Kira's face winced as did her brother's before they both looked back to Keliek.

    "That we should always..." Kira started.

    ".... knock before entering, "Arik finished.

    Keliek's face wore a deep frown as he looks at them. "I know the two of you are smarter than this. Why is it I have to repeat myself?" Keliek asked.

    Arik spoke first this time, "Because we believe that our..."

    "... information is important, " she finished.

    Arik smiled. Kira smiled. Keliek definitely did not smile.

    "Do not even start with that. Finish your own sentences, " Keliek said sitting back in his chair. "What information is more important than knocking before entering my office?" His right hand put the pen he had been holding down and slid off the desk to the arm of the chair.

    Kira looked to her brother and then back to Keliek. She spoke an entire sentence this time. "Rotep has one of His resources." she said and then paused.

    "We do not know which one yet." Arik said as soon as his sister had finished speaking.

    Kira's voice continued after her brother's last word, "We can find out which one."

    "We have a plan on how to find out, " Arik reassured.

    "Yes. A plan. We will find out which one is lost." Kira agreed as both twins nodded their heads in unison.

    Keliek looked back and forth at them as each spoke in turn with an impassive look upon his face. "Why are you here if you don't have its ID number for me?"

    "They hide the resource's identity still. We have found a weakness to exploit we believe." Arik said and then paused a moment before adding, "But it cost us."

    "What exactly did it cost?" came Keliek's reply.

    Kira hesitated, watching Keliek. "They knew a letter. They had K. We do not know how." Kira started.

    Watching as Keliek's face began to frown, Arik quickled said, "They demanded the name to the letter. We determined that to gain trust we would give your name."

    "And giving them my name, you believe, bought you trust?" Keliek said, leaning forward at his desk with a scowl.

    "Yes we have it. They let us go." Kira said as the twins stood their ground.

    "They let us go without conditions. We will return and get the number." Arik reassured.

    "I am not happy." He stopped there for a long moment, letting the weight of its implication hang heavily over the twin's heads. After a minute he continued, "This whole situation is getting out of hand. Our main resource broker was stupid enough to leave her instructions lying around. " Keliek said as he sat back in the chair. His right hand came to rest on the desk again.

    "We have no desire to make you unhappy. They asked if we knew where you were, "Kira started as she looked to Arik.

    Arik started to speak but Keliek waved a hand at him and he obediently stopped.

    "That's not my concern at the moment. Finding out who this girl child they have. Is. They've shown themselves capable of making the two of you forget things in the past. In order to help you find out if they've done it again, I want the two of you to go see Avalynne." Keliek said.

    The twins smiled as he said her name.

    "We are sorry Keliek. We should have more to tell you, " Arik said hesitantly.

    "Yes, very sorry. We will do better. We are happy you are not angry with us," Kira followed.

    "I will be very angry if this does not produce results. I'm going to reserve discipline for after I see where this action goes. " Keliek said.

    The twins looked at one another, frowning for a moment. Hesitantly they looked back to Keliek as Kira's voice piped up, "We will produce results. We know there will be consequences for not doing so."

    "Which one of you was caught first this time?" Keliek asked absently.

    The twins looked to each other, they couldn't help but squeeze at each other's hands just a little tighter. Looking back at Keliek, Arik said, "This one was."

    Shaking his head with a disgusted look on his face, Keliek said, "Go. Report to Avalynne. We're done here."

    The twins looked down to the ground at the sight of his disgusted look. Kira's mind touched her brother's as they turned to obediently leave, "He is seldom happy with us." They walked out the door with heads bowed and hands clasped.

    "We will make him happy with us, " Arik said gently. "We will prove we are special." The twins crossed the hall again. Coming to the stairs, they again step in unison as they began to descend.

    "I don't think he is ever happy, " said Kira quietly.
     
  2. Ouroboros

    Ouroboros Visitor

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    The twins continued on their way. They headed down another flight of stairs towards the research and development department. The stairs opened into a large warehouse. Against one wall was most of the unsorted inventory, carefully labelled and placed in groups. Many different labels were on the containers, but most of the groups seemed to share a common theme like food, and office supplies. On the central floor, crates barrels and sacks were bundled in tight groups ready for their distribution to different facilities.

    The twins crossed the warehouse floor, workers readily dodging out of their way with some wary glances. A few of them smiled and made friendly gestures, but most avoided their eyes with a few openly scowling. The twins were used to the looks the workers gave them, ignoring the smiles and waves as much as any other look.

    Avalynne's office was on the far side of the busy warehouse. The twins stopped in front of the door and Arik looked over to his sister, "This one wonders if Avalynne will be happy to see us."

    "She is always happy to see us. We are her favorites, "
    Kira smiled at Arik with a look of pride as her chest puffed out.

    Arik's own chest puffed up as his chin lifted and he smiled. "We are. Avalynne is always nice to us."

    Kira's chin lifted too and they opened the single door without knocking and went inside. The reception inside was nearly polar opposite of the one upstairs. Avalynne looked up from her paperwork as the door opened and smiled as they came in. "Hello, m'dears." she said as she put her pen down.

    She pushed her chair back and walked around her desk, opening her arms. A braided trail of colorful silk snaked over her left shoulder and curved across the peaks of her full breasts. The river of dark green, purple and blue then arched across her mid-back towards her left hip. The end from her shoulder became interwoven with this cloth in a circular swirl of intricate of weaving and knots centered on her spine. Some panels of fabric cascaded out of the of the design and hung loosely to cover her rear. The other ends continued to crest over left hip to below her belly button in a braid where it became unraveled. One of the panels continued on to slide over her right hip and back into the design on her back. The other two panels hung loosely in front to add a smidgen of coverage to the thong underwear underneath.

    For the twins, it was natural to see her dressed this way. She had done so for as long as they had known her. "To what do I owe such an unexpected surprise?"

    Releasing each others hands the twins rushed forward and wrapped Avalynne up in a hug. "Avalynne always smell so nice, " Arik said in Kira's mind. Aloud to Avalynne he said, "We are glad to see you."

    Kira agreed silently,"Yes. She does. She gives the best - whatever these are called again."

    "This one does not know the name of it. " Arik shared mentally.

    "This one either. Whatever they are... they are the best." Kira stated to Arik's mind adamantly.

    Avalynne wrapped one arm around each of the twins and squeezed them against her in a hug. They were actually a couple inches taller than her now, but it didn't keep the woman from treating them as if they were pint-sized. She pulled back after a moment and Kira bowed her head on queue for the obligatory kiss on the forehead. Avalynne planted one with a smile, a slight pink stain from her lipstick remaining as she turned towards Arik. Arik's chin dripped, his own forehead coming down as he waited for his turn. Avalynne smiled gently and planted one on his forehead as well, leaving another pink smudge. Both the twins lifted their heads with a smile and planted a set of kisses on the woman's opposite cheeks at the same time. Avalynne took a step back with their warm embrace finished.

    Arik broke the momentary silence, "What is it called when we wrap our arms around you and squeeze. We both think it is the best. We do not know the term it is called."

    Avalynne smiled, her expression patient with the child's question. She looked between Arik and Kira without an criticism in her eyes, nor look of disappointment at them not knowing the word. "It is called a hug, m'dears."

    "You give the best hugs." Arik and Kira said in unison with a smile.

    Avalynne smiled at them, "Good!" After a moment in a cheerful voice she added, "I'm glad I give the best ones. I'd have to find anyone who gave you hugs better than me and have them tossed overboard with stones in their pants." She winks at the pair with a smile" "Now tell me m'dears what you came to see me for."

    The twins grinned at her in response. "Keliek has sent us to see if our minds were affected again." Arik said.

    She looked at the two, studying their faces with a mock frown, "Has that mean old Rotep been picking on my favorites again?"

    Kira milked the woman's sympathy and mirroring her frown as she said, "He was."

    "His hand touched us again but it was blue this time. Just like yours last time we came to you." Arik said with a twin frown like his sister.

    "Well let's see if we have something new to go on Mr. Rotep's permanent record, shall we?" she said as she made a motion for them to come closer. They leaned forward as she explained, "Most of the time, the glowing is just for show. It is leftover from when a caster first learns and is used to judge the strength of the energy they have gathered. If you gather too much and don't use it, well it has to go someplace and for the caster it is generally an unpleasant experience." she grins at them, lifting her hands up. Both of her hands had a faint blue glow to them. She gave the twins a wink, "Now I just think it looks good. Always been partial to blue myself. At least Mr. Rotep has excellent color taste." She placed her palms on their forehead simultaneously, closing her eyes. That familiar warmth as her mind pressed against theirs as it had so many times before. The smell of her perfume seemed to intensify as she looked for any alteration in either twin.

    The twins waited absolutely still and silent, both aloud and mentally. After several minutes, Avalynne smiled and opened her eyes. She lifted her palms from their forehead, letting them rest again at her side. "You both are completely clean. However, we should do something to make it a bit more challenging for Mr. Rotep to play with your memories or try to pluck knowledge from your minds. As much as I adore seeing you, it should be for other reasons. " She lifted her right hand back up and tapped her index finger against her lips in thought as she studied them.

    "We think so too, " the twins said together.

    "The one called Rotep..." Arik started.

    "...should be punished." Kira finished.

    Avalynne smiled at the two, resting her finger as she studied them for several long moments. She finally dropped her hand as she began to speak, "I'm sure he will be punished in time. His constant meddling and taking of property that doesn't belong to him will insure his fate. They just do not understand how valuable our work is and that this -is- for their ultimate benefit." She took a deep breath and let out an exasperated sigh, "Now, I can place wards that should block him temporarily and at least perhaps discourage him from being so quick to use such abilities on you both. It will however cause you both great pain should he try to affect your mind. It is how this particular one was designed. Do you understand m'dears?"

    The twins looked to each other, as the two silently discussed it. "If it works, the pain would be worth it to keep him from knowing what he should not," she thought.

    "Or keep us from knowing what we should, " Arik added.

    "Yes. Agreed." Kira said silently with conviction.

    The twins looked back to Avalynne and nodded, "We are agreed."

    "Excellent. Now go get something to eat from the kitchen and I will gather the items and prepare." She looked over her shoulder to a large grandfather clock before looking back at them, "Give me an hour and then return."

    "Yes, Avalynne." they said together and turned immediately to go as instructed.
     
  3. Ouroboros

    Ouroboros Visitor

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    When the twins came back, the room was saturated with the scents of sage and cedar from incense smudges that lay still smoldering on the desk. All of her office furniture had been pushed against the walls. The rug that had been beneath their feet earlier was rolled up, a slumped fabric pillar against one of the corners.

    On the stone floor underneath was a carving of a very large pentacle. The outside circle was comprised of a single serpent with its own tail in its fanged mouth. The snakes scales were painstakingly carved and a faceted star sapphire lay in place of its eye.

    Spread thickly along that entire serpent was a mixture of many different substances. Blood from some creature formed the base of the cast circle. The wide dark coppery film clung to the stone appearing to be tacky with the and no longer reflecting the light overhead. The next layer along this lurid path was a thick line ash from a phoenix's rebirth. Crushed bamboo stems, sharp-looking cactus thorns and dried foxglove flowers had been sprinkled onto the ash with obvious great care to keep the ash an unbroken line. Finally, resting on top was a path of overlapping black scales from a shadow wyrm. The ethereal nature were nearly all the way around the base save for a small opening a couple of feet wide between the bottom legs of the star.

    The pentagram carved into the stone at the center of the snake was bare, its top point aimed at the point where the snake's head and tail met. Within the lower arms of the pentacle were symbols for each element. A small bound cluster of feathers, a mound of soil, a small red candle and a large droplet of water. At the top point was a pool of blood about a hand's width in diameter. In the center in front of a pair of bare feet was a dagger, a pewter bowl, a yellow feather, a red candle and small vial of water and another one of soil.

    Avalynne stood in the center of the locus watching the twins as they entered. In her left hand was a large handful of shadow wyrm scales. The twins went over to the desk and quietly worked to purify and cleanse themselves with the smoke from the smudge sticks. When they were both satisfied, the two children went back to stand in front of the unfinished edge of the circle.

    Avalynne was seemingly dressed as before as she smiled gently at the young brother and sister. "You may both enter my circle, " she said. Kira entered first and then Arik followed subconsciously protectively behind his sister. Being extremely careful not to disturb the symbolic elements, they both walked to the center to stand in front of the gathered items. Ayalynne walked around them, delicately balanced on the balls of her feet, avoiding the elements and the lines of the pentagram. She crouched at the base and carefully began placing the shadow wyrm scales to close the circle. She murmured something under her breath after the last scale. A bright red sphere of light appeared above that last scale and then traveled around the circle until it reached its starting point and was absorbed into the scale of origin. Avalynne stood and walked back to the locus and came to stop opposite the twins.

    "Sit, " she said even as she lowered herself onto her knees. Her rear was nestled in the cradle of the inside of her ankles with her lower legs below her, the tips of her large toes touching each other. Her back was arched slightly and shoulders pulled back as she sat watching the twins quietly as they got comfortable on the stone floor. She looked between them with her near-constant smile, "Now are you ready to begin? This will take your combined effort, energy and focus as well."

    "We are..." said Arik.

    "...ready Avalynne." Kira finished

    "Good." She lifted her left hand palm side up and held it over the objects centered between the twins. She curled her innermost fingers, keeping her pinky and thumb extended. Her thumb was pointed at Arik and her smallest finger towards Kira. She picked up the knife in her right hand, "Right hands. Palms up, " she said as she pricked the fleshly pads of her extended thumb and finger. Bright red blood welled up from the small wounds creating a bubble with a combination of surface tension and lack of arterial force. She then moved the dagger first to Arik and then to Kira, pricking each of their index fingers in kind. Placing the knife back down she spoke, "Arik rest your finger on my thumb. Kira on the smallest finger. Drop to drop."

    The twins did as they were told. Reaching out to touch Avalynne's fingers as instructed.

    "We.." Kira said.

    "...Understand." Arik finished. Both twins smiled looking at her.

    "Now relax. This is already going to take a lot of my energy and I can't spend extra fighting you. If you resist me on this, it'll hurt, " she said gently. "Do you understand?"

    "We understand Avalynne." They both said smiling ear to ear as they looked at her.

    "Good, " she said with a smile. "Now close your eyes and I'll need to you to focus on my voice, " she said as she closed her own eyes. Avalynne took several deep breaths as the children waited with eyes obediently closed. Avalynne pushed her strength of will and her trained mind onto their minds at the same time. There was a momentary resistance by the twin's as a natural reaction and Avalynne bullied her way past it with brute force eliciting a gasp from the twins. She didn't have time nor energy to be nice when it came to the requirements to do this two-fold. Most minds were naturally walled off, a bubble of consciousness and self. The minds of the twins was very different and highly complicated. Instead of a single pathway between their two individual bubbles there were dozens, perhaps hundreds. A mental network of psychic arteries and veins, circulating thoughts, emotions and sensations between the two children.

    Avalynne sucked air in through her teeth sharply and held it a moment before she exhaled slowly. She spoke quietly, attempting to keep her will exerted over the twins instinctive reactive urges to push her out of their shared world. We are going to build a wall. It needs to encompass both yer minds and will need to go around all those connections between you so it doesn't block the two of you from each other. I will provide the mortar. You both will provide the bricks. Do you understand?"

    "We provide the bricks...." Arik said.

    "...So Rotep get's punished." Kira concluded. Both twins chuckled softly.

    "If he damages this wall, it will cause you two pain. He seems unwilling to harm children, I'm hoping that humanity will provide the ultimate protection, " Avalynne said gravely.

    "Pain is..." Kira spoke first.

    "...Only temporary." Arik finished.

    "Let us begin, " she said. She began to draw mana from herself, scrounging for every last metaphysical morsel of it. After she had used her mana, she'd have to draw on her own lifeforce to finish the job. She was quietly cursing herself for not bringing a sacrifice as back-up, but she never suspected the neural connection would be so complicated. She would have to be careful not to draw too much of her own lifeforce as it could have lethal consequences.

    "Brick by Brick we will go. This will be long and tiresome, but you must keep your fingers on mine." She focused her mind and pulled out a ball of mana. She used the mana to create the desire effect visualizing a thick mortar. Avalynne spoke the words of powers carefully, articulating them crisply. "In Vas Sanct Grav, " she said as she began to kneed the mana into her visualization. She then metaphysically stretched the mana into a long strip encircling the mental equator of the two connected minds.

    "Now begin visualizing your bricks, you will need huge piles of them as it will be a very complicated wall. They can look however you want, but you want to imagine strong bricks as dense as you can. Then draw your mana into one place and repeat the words I used while you focus and push your mana into the bricks. Then go ahead and begin placing them. I will make sure there are no holes and fill in the space between."

    The bricks the twins visualized appeared in a large piled together. Long bricks, short ones, some of them really complicated shapes stars and ovals among them. Drawing on their own mana they began to infuse them. The blocks became surrounded by a faint white glow. Two at a time the bricks where piled. There didn't seem to be a rhyme or reason to the placements. Slowly the pile began to take shape, it appeared to be a human head surrounding the bubbles of the twins minds.

    The wall grew higher and lower, spreading slowly over the two joined spheres. Avalynne kept pulling great balls of mana from her pool and infusing it into new mortar to go between the bricks and between each layer. Sweat beaded on Avalynne's slender body as she concentrated with the exertion.

    After what seemed to be only minutes, but was in fact much longer, the faces of the two heads started to become clear. It was Avalynne's own face. Complete, with tongue stuck out in playful defiance.

    Finally, two opening remained. Avalynne pulled her mind back through one of them. She smeared the last of her visualized mortar over the inner sides of the last two perceived vulnerabilities. The twins placed the bricks at the same time, molding it to fit exactly with the image in their mind. Avalynne pulled some of her life force to join the last of her mana and began coating the entire protective barrier in another layer as she spoke the incantation again, "In Vas Sanct Grav" sealing it solid.

    "Well done. I am proud of you, " she said, the fatigue already evident in her voice as she lowered her hand from theirs and severed their link. "Your job is done, but I have to do a couple more things. " she said. She attempted to push her will against the metaphysical wall, increasingly harder to test the strength. She battered her mind against it in different spots for weaknesses. The wall held as she exhaled a sigh of relief as she finally opened her weary eyes.

    The twins hands clasped together rather then returning to their sides as Avalynne's hand withdrew. They smiled wearily to her, the mental exertion had obviously taken its toll on them as well. "Thank you Avalynne." They said happily but faintly.

    Avalynne smiled silently at them before turning her attention to the items before her. She picked up the red candle in her left hand and the single yellow feather in her right and held them over the pewter bowl. "Kal Hur. Kal Flam. " as she held the feather to the flame setting it on fire and then placed it in the bowl. The related elements on the arms of the pentagram began to turn smolder as ethereal black flames licking at them from the stone below. She placed the candle down and picked up the vial of water emptying it into pewter as she spoke the next set of words, "Kal Por." Ethereal flames arose from the stone under the water droplet causing steam to hiss into the air. She put down the empty vial and picked up the last element. She dumped the vial of soil into pewter bowl, as she spoke, "Kal Ylem." The mound of dirt on the arm of the pentagram began to darken into ash as the flames rose again, the fine particles vanishing into the air. She put down the vial as she picked up the knife in her right hand. She held her left index finger over the bowl. She drew the keen, sharp edge of the blade down the underside of the finger as she cut into it deeply. Bright red blood streamed off the tip of her finger into the gruesome bowl. She invoked the last part, "Kal Mani." even as she pulled another large piece of her lifeforce. Her heartbeat remained steady but slowed dangerously as she swayed for a moment. She blinked hard for a moment, refocusing on the bowl, lowering her finger into the mix and stirring it. The blood behind her within the head arm of the pentagram boiled violently on the stone floor.

    The twins watched silently, curiously, their eyes fixed on the actions Avalynne was preforming. Their hands still gripped together supporting each other drawing strength from the other to continue to remain conscious despite their shared need for sleep.

    She lifted her wounded index finger coated in the menagerie of elements and blood and looked up at the twins. Her pupils dilated and expanded as she attempted to focus her vision. She reached out to Arik and dragged that index finger from his hairline down his forehead to the bridge of his nose. She spoke as she painted his skin, "Rel Ort Kal Jux Mani." A flash of pain and heat raced across the surface of his side of the wall like a wildfire across a dry grassland. She turned to Kira's troubled face a moment later and repeated the action and invocation calling forth another flash of pain on the girl.

    "Done, " Avalynne said simply as blinked heavily as her left hand dropped. Her head nodded a bit as she swayed. She focused between the two side by side twins and murmured unintelligibly under her breath. She lifted her hands about two feet off the ground with her palms upwards. As she repeated her murmured words, she brought her hands together and closed them into fists. The small red ball of energy rose from that wyrm's scale and hovered inches above the circle. She stared at it for a moment and then made a sharp snap of her hands apart. The red ball of energy shattered ripping that bottom side of the pentacle apart. Ash, scales and the remaining components scattered loudly as the hit the walls to the left and right.

    Avalynne's eyelids fall as she circle breaks. She crumples instantly onto the ground, falling heavily onto her right side. The pewter bowl is knocked over as she falls unconscious, rolling with the resonating sound of metal on stone.

    The twins looked to each other obviously concern crossed their faces before they turned back to Avalynne's unconscious form. They moved as one, no need for speech between them. Kira moved to Avalynne turning the woman onto her back as Arik made his way to the door. Almost in a panic, Kira tried to shake Avalynne's shoulder and call out to her to no avail. Only a few minutes later Arik returned with Keliek who, after looking around the room, took charge of the situation by ordering the twins out. They left the room but waited outside, on opposite sides of the door. They tried to stay awake to make sure Avalynne was alright. Their little bodies soon betrayed them falling asleep against the wall.


    In Vas Sanct Grav - Create Strong Protection Field

    Rel Ort Kal Jux Mani - Change Magic Invoke Harm Life
     
    #3 Ouroboros, Jan 31, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2017
    Dhae Massirith likes this.