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 Post subject: Re: Welcome to Ameraka
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:58 am 
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Ooo I get it. It's like two different abilities that can be used, but not together. And of course blood diluting is going to create lots of half-breeds and hybrids. Just had a thought: would flying be a recessive gene then, since it was weeded out by continuous intermingling with human genes?

Ooo, intrigue! Mystery! Excitement! \:D/ Can't wait to get to that part! Also hopefully more Ember :inlove:

Yayayayaya! I love different POV stuff, it's so interesting to look at someone's experience from different angles. As Obi-Wan would say, "a certain point of view". LOL ;)

Aww, poor Blade. :(

I find it intriguing that Ember has this kind of reputation of being a good man unless something pushes him over the edge. Like people love and trust him, but they're also afraid of him because of what he can do.

Awwwww Glory and Jet are so sweet together. :inlove:

ACH NO! Not again! *wails* Poor Jet, he just can't catch a break! :cry:

In conclusion: :D About the wings, do they extend from inside the...cuffs? on his arms? Like nano-tech or holographic wings or something? I usually picture them looking like the harness Falcon wears in the MCU, but Jet's sound a lot smaller and lighter. And pretty comfortable, if he can sleep with them on. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome to Ameraka
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:14 pm 
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Helios wrote:
Ooo I get it. It's like two different abilities that can be used, but not together. And of course blood diluting is going to create lots of half-breeds and hybrids. Just had a thought: would flying be a recessive gene then, since it was weeded out by continuous intermingling with human genes?

About the wings, do they extend from inside the...cuffs? on his arms? Like nano-tech or holographic wings or something? I usually picture them looking like the harness Falcon wears in the MCU, but Jet's sound a lot smaller and lighter. And pretty comfortable, if he can sleep with them on. :D


Flying would be recessive. Though it's rather unclear how exactly it works as the Winged are interdimensional beings and their flight is not literal, like with wings. Some Royalty theorized it was, but lately the theory of scientists has been that they did not have actual wings. Thus the almost immediate inability to fly of the Royalty, after the first generation. Ancient history was a bit indistinct, as it was erased through many wars, only living in memory from that first era.

Jet's wings are also not literal wings--just that the bands around his arms allow him to fly. I didn't know it was not clear. I originally did have "actual" artificial wings, but then opted for the more streamlined approach. Orikal makes it possible. ;) A sort of antigravity force created so they're not bound to the earth. They are comfortable, they basically mold to his arms on the inside. Because flying was so essential to who the Royalty are, they had to invent a way to fly pretty early on. Originally (after things like balloons etc) it was like a jet-pack and gradually evolved into the present wings, esp after being able to harness orikal, which revolutionized City Magnificent society.

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome to Ameraka
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:22 pm 
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Chapter 9

I tried to struggle away, but it only sent fresh waves of agony through my head and arm, so I remained still and helpless until they dropped me in front of the fire, facing the other three cult members.

I sat there in a heap, a mass of pain, hardly aware of their voices and movements, just focusing on breathing, staying as still as possible. Behind me, I could hear the snap and hiss of the fire, but I could feel no heat. At least they would not be able to burn me with holographic fire. But would they actually try to hurt an outsider, and risk being caught? Normally, they would be caught if they tried anything, but since my sensor shield was still working, no one would come to my aid. Maybe I should shut it off. It might eventually degrade like the invisibility one had, anyway. If I shut it off, Ms would be able to find me almost immediately, and carry me out of danger. Or—which would be more difficult—I could snap on my other wing again and fly up out of their reach….

The cult leader swept one arm toward me. “These creatures taught us they were gods. But you see how weak and fragile they are without their armies of Ms. They do have innate power, given to them by demons. But this power can be defeated.”

He turned to me. “I believe, unlike Royalty, the Nobility can be salvaged. It would be easier to simply kill them, but we are not like they are. We are merciful.” He slid a long, thin blade from his belt. “Their evil is manifest in their lightning. The origin of the evil is the blood. If we shed enough blood, it will replenish itself with new, pure blood. Each Noble has a different amount of evil inside. We will know if the evil is fully purged when the new human is unable to produce lightning anymore.” He swept the knife toward me; it just barely missed my cheek.

Time to get out of here.

I wasn’t ready for Dad to find me. I didn’t want to fly back in defeat. So I slid my right hand into my pocket and slowly, carefully, lifted my wing to my left arm, cupping it to hide it from the cult members. Then I slipped it on over the burn. I winced as it scraped over raw flesh, but managed not to make a sound. Mesmerized by their leader, the cult members didn’t seem to notice my actions.

With my right hand to help push me up, I jumped off the ground.

My legs faltered. I barely managed to stay standing. My wings had not worked. Perhaps they had been damaged from the lightning like the invisibility program apparently had. Or maybe they just needed to be charged.

Either way, I wasn’t going anywhere.

The leader swished his knife toward me. “You see? The light is on our side. Take him.”

The Ice man and a reg woman with long brown hair sprang forward and grabbed my arms. They carried me over to a tall green mushroom and slammed me against its stalk. I stifled a cry as a metal bed post hit my back. They tugged a rope around my stomach, pressing my arms tightly against the post. I couldn’t get to the com in my pocket…though maybe I could give it a voice command. My situation was looking desperate if they were more than playacting, or if their game was getting out of hand because of finding a real live Noble…

The cult leader lowered his blade to my chest. I flinched, but the blade didn’t cut, it just rested there, over my heart. Maybe they were just really into the game and wouldn’t actually hurt me, other than rough handling which only hurt because of my injuries.

The others gathered around, looking at me with avid faces that reflected the glow of the leader.

“And now, we, Divine Humanity, will purge this creature of evil and give him new life, so that he may be reborn into the body of a pure human, the ones who truly own the multiverse.”

He lifted the knife away, to my relief—only to lower it again and this time, slice into my chest. The blade made a long, agonizing gash and I gasped as pain ripped through me, along with shock that he was actually cutting into me.

“Com—” I said, as soon as the knife lifted away—“stop the sensor block.”

No answer. But I had put it on silent mode, so I couldn’t tell if it had responded or not.

The cult leader passed the knife, dripping my blood, to the Mirage woman. She took it and stepped toward me.

“Com—call Dad—now!”

Nothing. Perhaps it was being particular and wanted me to touch it directly. I struggled against the bonds and inched my hand toward my pocket.

The Mirage woman stopped in front of me, red warring with orange across her face. She smiled. “Don’t struggle. I know this hurts, but it will be worth it, I promise.” She slid the flat of the blade over my arm, almost like a caress. I jerked my hand downward—but the rope stopped it before it could reach my pocket.

The blade lowered again and pressed against my skin—a quick shove, and cut down into it—I writhed away—

The albino from Ice hurled a punch across my face. “Stop struggling. It’ll only make it worse.”

I sagged against the bonds as pain throbbed across my cheekbone, my vision blurred.

Please, please, Winged, if you are there, help me.

BOOM!

I jumped, my heart leaping out of my chest. Had they shot me?

But no. I didn’t hurt any more than I had a moment ago. And the cult members had turned toward a figure in the doorway. Her hair shimmered over her shoulder like a waterfall of gold. Black clothes clad her strong, lithe body, and in her hands she held a large gun. She swung the gun toward the cult leader.

“Get away from him!” she said. “Or I kill your leader.”

“If you kill me, I will ascend, and another will take my place.”

“Yeah, but I doubt you want to feel the pain of leaving this plane.”

“Pain is but a moment’s kiss of eternity.”

“What does that even mean? Look, I’m tired of playacting, and I’m not leaving without Cash. You will not touch him again, because if you make a move toward him, I’ll shoot. It won’t be fatal, because despite what it looks like, this gun only stuns. But you will be incapacitated, and it will be unpleasant. You’ll be knocked out of your Flicker haze, and you’ll have to face reality.”

“R-reality?” said the Mirage woman, in a horrified voice.

“Yes, reality. Worse than death to you guys. So. If you’d move away from him, please. I haven’t got all day.”

The cult members looked at each other with bewildered, half-fearful faces. Then they shuffled out of the line of fire—all except for the leader. He stood in front of her; his long silvery hair floated around his shoulders like mist. “Your words will not trick me. You are Nobility, and you must be purged.”

“You’re really deep into it, aren’t you?” She lifted the gun to her shoulder. “Very well.” BOOM! A blast of white light knocked him off his feet, and he sprawled onto the ground in front of me, unconscious.

The young woman lowered the gun as she strode toward me, then leaned it against the base of the mushroom stalk. “You sure got yourself into some trouble, didn’t you?” She grabbed a knife from her belt and angled it toward my side. I flinched away. “Hey—don’t worry. I’m not gonna hurt you. Just gotta get this rope off.”

I nodded, in so much pain I could hardly comprehend what was happening.

The knife sliced through the rope, and it fell away from my body. I took a deep breath.

A gentle pressure across my neck. A cold, liquid-like sensation spread over my skin. Then, tendrils of euphoria crawled through me, dulling the pain.

“Thank you,” I said.

“Well, if anyone needs a medpatch, you do. Now, we’ve gotta do something about those wounds. Didn’t expect you to be more wounded than when Cade and Tania left you—but apparently the Flicker-heads found a refuge on the storage floor.” With her knife, she sliced off a piece of her black shirt, then wrapped it around my arm. She cut another piece and pressed it over the wound on my chest, sopping up the blood.

Even with the medpatch, it still hurt, and I must not have been able to hide it.

“Sorry,” she said. “Just don’t want you losing too much blood on me. Medpatch should fully kick in now, though, and pick up the slack.”

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. You said that already, you know. Cade did say you had a concussion….”

“I mean—thanks for all of this. For saving me.”

“No problem. Usually Flickerheads are pretty docile….but everything’s getting out of hand. Cade’s taking Tania home and I told him I’d come get you.”

“So you’re….”

“Their sister Sym. Short for Symphony. How are you feeling?”

“Better. Kind of shaky.”

“I’ll help you.” She slid her arm beneath my uninjured shoulder, and I clung to her opposite shoulder with my hand. She picked up her gun and we made our way over the blue fungi toward the door, while the cult members clustered around their fallen leader, some of them sobbing as if they’d lost him for real.

Sym gestured toward them with her gun. “I almost feel sorry for them. Well, if they hadn’t hurt you. They just don’t know fantasy from reality anymore.”

“They…might be even more dangerous without Flicker.”

“You’re probably right. But….not everyone is better under its influence….” A shadow fell across her face.

We stepped out of the door into the hallway. Relief hit me to be away from the Eclipse holo and the cult that had tried to slice me up.

“I think I can walk on my own.”

“Okay. If you’re sure.” She slid her shoulder out from under my arm. I followed her down the hallway to the elevator.

“We’ve got to go all the way to the ground floor,” she said. “It’s past curfew, so the cars won’t come to pick us up. We’re gonna have to walk home. Good thing we don’t live far from here.”

“I thought Quarantine didn’t have curfew during Festival.”

She shrugged. “I thought so too. Nothing makes sense. It’s like—this is a super-Festival, and there are no rules, except a few random ones.” She lifted her gun. “If I didn’t have this, I probably wouldn’t have made it to your floor.”

“Why? What’s going on?”

Before she could answer, the elevator doors opened.

Two people jumped out of the elevator and aimed their guns at us.

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome to Ameraka
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:00 pm 
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Ooo okay that sounds like the flight thing may have been a mental or pyschological ability. O.o

Do the Royalty and Nobility have oral traditions for passing history down?

Ooo okay so he's not like sprouting big feathery things from his biceps. \:D/ I agree, the non-feathery-wing makes it a lot more streamlined. Also the thought of Blade trying to flap himself higher with gigantic wings is a little too comedic. :P

Would orikal kind of be like the vibranium of Mag City? (I dunno if you watch Marvel movies, it's a big deal in Black Panther and the stuff they use to make Cap's shield)

Now to the stream of consciousness :D

This cult man who's trying to bleed Jet is just creepy O.o LIKE EEEEEK FLY AWAAAAAY JET

Aaaaaah yESSSSS SYM!!! *dances* \:D/ and she's totally kicking butt :inlove:

Ommmmygooosh the intrigue is building! Man I did not expect this to be the direction the story would go, but I'm loving it!

So just to clarify: It's Echo, Sym, Cade, and Tania, as siblings, in that order, right? :?

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome to Ameraka
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:57 pm 
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Helios wrote:
Ooo okay that sounds like the flight thing may have been a mental or pyschological ability. O.o

Do the Royalty and Nobility have oral traditions for passing history down?

Ooo okay so he's not like sprouting big feathery things from his biceps. \:D/ I agree, the non-feathery-wing makes it a lot more streamlined. Also the thought of Blade trying to flap himself higher with gigantic wings is a little too comedic. :P

Would orikal kind of be like the vibranium of Mag City? (I dunno if you watch Marvel movies, it's a big deal in Black Panther and the stuff they use to make Cap's shield)

Now to the stream of consciousness :D

This cult man who's trying to bleed Jet is just creepy O.o LIKE EEEEEK FLY AWAAAAAY JET

Aaaaaah yESSSSS SYM!!! *dances* \:D/ and she's totally kicking butt :inlove:

Ommmmygooosh the intrigue is building! Man I did not expect this to be the direction the story would go, but I'm loving it!

So just to clarify: It's Echo, Sym, Cade, and Tania, as siblings, in that order, right? :?


the Royalty and Nobility do have oral traditions-- they're practically living history, as they can live 1000 years :) They also have official history, which goes back almost 20,000 years, but the Winged were before that, so they can only speculate about them and about their origins and ancient history. Also much of history especially from the defeated Royalty was destroyed in the war so those perspectives are lost....

Ha it's a bit like vibranium in a way, in that it makes Mag City possible and it absorbs and stores energy. Mag City primarily uses solar cells with orikal, which translates solar energy in a very efficient manner. I hadn't heard of vibranium when I created orikal... it's sort of inspired by orichalcum, a prized metal of Atlantis (I may have mentioned that before).

what direction did you expect the story to go? :)

Close. It's Sym, Echo, Cade, Tania. Actually, since there are 9 kids in the family, it's Euphoria, Harmony, Symphony, Echo, Rhythm, Cadence, Tania, Donita, Sharlee.

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome to Ameraka
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:15 pm 
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Chapter 10


As they stepped into the hallway, a shadow swept over it, painting the walls with gray bricks. The tops of the walls morphed into crumbling rubble, and in the distance smoke rose from a burning Mag City during the Endless War.

Warzone. A holo I’d played quite a bit a couple years ago, before I got tired of the never-ending conflict.

Sym raised her gun. “We don’t want any trouble. But we’ll give you some if you try anything.”

“What faction are you?” said one beneath her opaque black helmet. They both wore black from head to foot except for a red armband. “I don’t see your colors.”

Sym sighed. “I’m not from any faction. I just want to get home.”

“There’s no such thing as no faction,” said the other. “If you think you can be neutral in this war, you’ll find yourself dead.” He gestured to me. “He looks half-dead already.”

“Yes, well, I rescued him from another faction. They were torturing him for information.”

“What faction are they?”

“Not yours.”

The woman gestured to the man. “Let’s go.” They lowered their guns and ran past us. As they neared, the woman grasped Sym’s shoulder. “Here’s some advice. Join the Vales. We’re going to win. If I see you next time without a color, or with the wrong color, I won’t hesitate to shoot.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

They ran the rest of the way down the hall and disappeared through the storage room door.

“Let’s go,” said Sym. I walked to the elevator and, grateful for the rest, leaned against the wall. Sym flipped from “100” to “1” on the glowing holographic controls. As the doors closed, muffled gunshots rang out from the storage room where the cult was, along with a cacophony of screams. The sounds shut off completely when the doors eased shut.

Sym touched her arm. “I could put on a faction armband. But it’s more likely they’ll shoot on site if I’m the wrong faction than if I’m none.

“You have a holocom, right? Cade told me you were invisible when he found you.”

I nodded.

“Maybe you should at least put some holoclothes on, so you don’t stand out when we get to the ground floor. I doubt I’ll be able to get you an actual shirt till we get home.”

I lifted the com from my pocket. It would cover my wings too. Without my wings, I could almost pass for a reg—unlike Sym, whose height and blond hair marked her as Nobility.

I brought up the holoflage program and scanned Sym’s clothes. A moment later, a holographic black shirt and pants spread over me, identical to hers. I felt better, less vulnerable, though beneath it the wounds were still there, bound with pieces of Sym’s clothes.

“How do you feel?” she asked.

“Better. I don’t really feel like myself yet, though….”

“Well, you were hit by lightning. Medpatches never quite fix all the symptoms of that.”

“Have…you ever been struck by lightning?”

“Not sky lightning. But me and my brothers used to stormdance quite a bit. I’ve got a lot of lightning—almost as much as Royalty—so I’m usually prepared for attacks. Except against Rhyth—he’s got about as much as I do, and he….well, he doesn’t play fair.” Her blue-purple eyes struck mine with an intense, searching gaze. I forced myself to meet it. “Cade told me you would find Echo for us.”

“Yes. I’ll go to the restricted zones and see if I can find him. It’s just that—my invisibility program isn’t working for some reason. I tried to hide myself from those Divine Humanists….but it wouldn’t work.”

“You made the program, right?”

I nodded.

“Then maybe you can fix it. You’ll have time when you get back to our house. Rhyth’s good at that kind of thing too, but he’s not always the most helpful. If it helps get Echo back, though….I hope he wouldn’t hold out on us.”

“I should be able to fix it,” I said, with confidence I didn’t feel. At least the holoflage was still working…and so was the sensor block, apparently, otherwise Ms would have swarmed the place by now. “Even if I can’t, I still have the sensor block, so maybe I can get inside anyway.”

“That would sure come in handy in Quarantine…. You must’ve thought you’d run into some trouble.”

“I wanted to be prepared. I’ve never been to Quarantine before.”

She tilted her head, deep shadows hinting secrets in her eyes. “How much do you know about why Echo disappeared?”

“I…just know that one day I was playing with him, the next day—no one would even talk about him. Like he’d never existed.”

“Cade doesn’t know. He was so young….but I was good at lurking in corners.” The ghost of a smile lifted her lips. “I put two and two together, and later I confronted Mom about it, and she told me the truth. Echo is only my half-brother. She had an affair with Flash Vale. Dad was kind of…setting out on his own during that time, and she was lonely, and Flash was, well—Flash. He made her feel loved. That’s what she told me, anyway. Besides being an affair, it was innocent on her end. She just got swept up in the romance of it all, and….She never had anything to do with the Vale family otherwise. She wasn’t wrapped up in their intrigues. Flash was just having another one of his flings, and Mom didn’t mean much to him. But Ember—” Anger sparked in her eyes—“he threw us in Quarantine anyway. All of us, except for Dad. We were sentenced for life. And Echo…By the Winged, I hope he’s only in one of the restricted zones.”

“What do you mean?”

“I have a suspicion. No proof, of course. But….he has Vale blood. Ember believes that DNA is absolute. If blood is tainted by that of a traitor, then that person is doomed to a fate worse than death.”

“So you think Echo is….” I couldn’t bring myself to say it. Dad could not have done it. Thrown an innocent little boy to a place of such horror…..

“In the Abyss. I don’t know, and Mom won’t even let me hint at it—but it’s the place he most likely is.”

“But—D...Ember wouldn’t do that! He’s just; he doesn’t punish innocent people.”

She gave me a strange look. “Maybe it’s like that on the outside. But not in Quarantine. Our family is being punished, and we are innocent. Even Mom. She didn’t mean to get involved with Flash Vale, it just happened. It could’ve been any number of dashing suitors….It was just our luck that it was the son of the greatest traitor in history.”

“But you’re only in here because Ember didn’t want to break up families. When you come of age, you’ll be able to get out.”

“If that were true, why didn’t Ember let us stay with our father, and just punish Mom?”

“I—don’t know. But if you appeal, I’m sure you can get out.”

“I am of age, since I just turned seventeen, but I don’t want to get out until we all can. I’m not leaving little Donita and Sharlee on their own. I could see if I could take them with me, but I don’t know if an appeal will work even then. In some families, there are third generations—other innocent children of the supposedly guilty, with little children of their own—and they have appealed, but were unable to get out.”

A sharp thud. The elevator shook and jolted to a stop. The large blue floor-indicator button glowed “10”.

“What the—?” She scrolled to the 1st floor button and tapped it. Nothing happened. “Let’s see if—”

The elevator doors slid open. Five black-clad figures aimed guns at us.

“Come with us,” said the one in the center.

“I know those things aren’t real,” said Sym. “So if you stun me, I’ll just wake up later.”

“We know they’re not real. We’re not on Flicker. But you can either come with us before we stun you, or after.”

“I’m not playing this game, okay? I’m done with Festival for the day, and I’m taking this man home.” She gestured to me. “He’s injured.”

“Is his name Cash?”

“Yes. How did you—?”

“Let’s go.” The leader waved her gun. “I’m not going to ask again.”

“What do you want us for if you’re not on Flicker and we don’t want to play?”

“You’ll find out.” She made a swift motion and the other four surrounded us. A gun prodded my back, and I stepped out along with Sym. Then, they marched us down the hallway and we turned left through a door. It opened to a half-collapsed building, where figures clustered around a fire, some of them sitting on piles of rubble, cleaning their guns or working on coms. Planes roared through a melon-colored sky; an explosion slammed into the silhouette of a skyscraper and it shuddered and crumbled, bursts of fire lighting the twilight as it came down. Even the air smelled like burning fuel. It was a very realistic holo. I could almost believe I was there, except I knew that the explosion was only gradations of light, and the guns could do nothing more than stun me unconscious—which I didn’t want to happen if I could help it. Maybe I could reason with these people, since they weren’t on Flicker. Why would they force us to play, anyway? It didn’t make sense.

A gun prodded me up to a boy who was leaning against one of the steel beams that were still supporting the intact half of the roof. He wore a long coat over his black uniform, and its collar was turned up, as if against the cold. His brown hair was tousled; it spilled over his forehead. There was something familiar about him….

He turned toward us.

It was Cade.

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