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Friv
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Age of Blood And Bone, Part Fifty-Four: Zwischenzug

20 Mar 2009, 23:36

So, twice a week becomes once every two weeks again. Yay for me? :razz:

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One Hour Remaining

“So, there’s something that’s been bothering me.” Perfected Tears Upon Alabaster Sorrows calmly sidestepped as the dreadful clockwork dragon bore down on him, driving his daiklave into a chink in the creature’s neck. Electricity arced across the connection, and he stepped back as the behemoth’s attention was diverted in his direction. It gave out a roar, spitting trails of acid that scorched the walls and splattered across Sorrows’ sword as he rolled to one side.

Mnemon rolled her eyes. Reaching into an alcove, she twisted the crystal rod that she held three times, and the dragon hesitated. “About why my mother bothered installing defenders like this?”

“No, that seems fairly easy. Acid and claws – very bad on large groups, keeps the numbers down.” Sorrows shrugged, reaching out to tap the dragon on the nose. It quivered with impotent rage, brass teeth attempting to open enough to snap at his fingers. “No, I was rather wondering what the actual plan was. The Realm Defense Grid is powerful, but the Conduits are going to respond in force if you just start blasting away. I can’t see a way for you to get more than one or two of them before they teleport to twenty spots on your grid and pull it to pieces.”

Mnemon snorted. “That’s because you think small.” Releasing the rod to stick in place, she strode past the dragon to a side alcove. “This way.”

Sorrows frowned. “The main path is that way.”

“The main path is a trap. That doorway deposits you in Elsewhere.” Mnemon said.

“And then?”

“No and then.”

“Ah.” Sorrows nodded thoughtfully. “Cunning. But you were saying…?”

Stepping up to the alcove, Mnemon studied it a moment, comparing it to her memories. Five statues of the Maidens of Fate ringed the wall. Stepping up, she placed both of her hands in those of Jupiter. She felt air rushing around as the alcove began to lower itself. “Using the Imperial Manse against Creation would be foolhardy at best. I would have to scour entire nations from the world hoping to catch the Conduits off-guard, and the chances of them escaping would be vast. There is a far, far simpler option.” She glanced back to Sorrows, as the ground they were on descended further into the manse. “The Solars intended for this weapon to be used against any of their foes who threatened Creation. Even the Yozi. You have heard of the thirteen gates to Malfeas placed across Creation?”

“No.” Sorrows’ response was dubious.

“Then you’ll have to trust me. One of them is, and always has been, in the heart of the Imperial Manse.”

Sorrows blinked. He considered the comment. Finally, he said “Isn’t that absurdly dangerous?”

“Nothing demonic can come through. The Manse’s defenses would obliterate even a Third Circle demon in the time it took to fully manifest. The gate is not designed to transmit flesh or spirit – nothing more complex than a thought could manage the passage. Only pure Essence was meant to flow through it.”

Sorrows took a deep breath, looking honestly surprised. “You’re going to attack Malfeas.”

Mnemon smiled triumphantly. “More or less. The Grid is immensely powerful, but not wholly. The Yozi themselves can withstand its power for some time, and nearly all of their Third Circle souls can survive between one and two minutes of deployment. Therefore, one minute of deployment is what I intend. Every First Circle soul and nearly every Second Circle soul in Malfeas is going to die. The Third Circles will be rendered all but comatose for months on end while they repair themselves, and the Yozi will fall into silence alongside them.”

Sorrows whistled. “And the Conduits won’t have any backup. Not even yours.”

“Gaia’s Conduit will. That’s all the backup we need. Without the Yozi, the Conduits can’t destroy the Realm Defense Grid quickly enough to avoid being wiped out. We can win the war with one blow.” Mnemon, judging the passing stonework, released Jupiter’s hands. As she did, she noticed out of the corner of one eye that Sorrows was leaning against Mercury’s chest. Seeing her, he straightened quickly. She narrowed her eyes. “I thought I told you not to touch anything.”

“Sorry. We were already moving…” Sorrows began.

“You’re lucky we weren’t both dropped into the Essence-furnace at the heart of this place.” As the lift shuddered to a halt, Mnemon swept out of it, keeping her face away from Sorrows to hide her sudden sweat. Another trap. He must have leaned on it the instant she touched Jupiter’s statue, while her back was to him. What would have happened if he hadn’t?

Better not to think about it.

“How much farther is this control room, anyway?” Sorrows sighed palely. “Many more challenges, and my Essence will be depleted before it even comes time to use it.”

“Then try using less. We’re just over halfway there.” Mnemon rolled her eyes. “You didn’t think this would be easy, did you?”

“I was rather hoping.” With a delicate shrug, Sorrows gestured to the hallway that was laid out before them. “Lead the way, my Empress.”
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Re: Age of Blood And Bone, Part Fifty-Four: Zwischenzug

21 Mar 2009, 01:03

Again, I find it hard to believe I'm saying this, but Poor Mnemon. I dunno though. It seems to me that touching the Maiden of Secrets and the Maiden of Journeys makes sense as the lock to this door, which I find rather odd from a security standpoint.

I have to doubt that is her real plan. She is the type who only reveals her plans when nothing can affect them any more. Plus, Gaia seems to be acting on at totally different plan right now.

Admittedly, I doubt Sorrows cares that much, since he is just gonna kill her before she has the remotest chance of putting it into action, which is probably the only way of dealing with her plans.
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Re: Age of Blood And Bone, Part Fifty-Four: Zwischenzug

21 Mar 2009, 16:09

"I was trying to catch her in my scheme, but she caught me in hers!"
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Re: Age of Blood And Bone, Part Fifty-Four: Zwischenzug

21 Mar 2009, 19:11

For some reason, I can't imagine this ending well.
 
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Re: Age of Blood And Bone, Part Fifty-Four: Zwischenzug

25 Mar 2009, 23:46

BrilliantRain: Well, it's not just the statues but the part of the statue, the order, and the timing that matters. Using the statues of the Maidens is just a mnemonic to help people who have the rest of the details out. (Basically, one of my theories is that most of the traps in the Imperial Manse aren't going to be that brutal if you have the keys, since people would have walked through them constantly. So the easier to solve, the harsher the penalty for failing.)

As far as Mnemon's plan, it does seem dubious that she would spill it to her enemy, doesn't it? Unless she's telling the truth because she knows he won't believe her. Or distracting his attention from other things. Or planning on not going along with whatever Gaia's planning... :twisted:

Dinosaur: Yeah, this is pretty much charging towards the point where two Xanatos Roulettes ram into each other at full speed.

Renaissance Blonde: I blame a surfeit of common sense. This can only end perfectly for everyone forever. ;)
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