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The Awesome Finale to a Boston Trilogy

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Alert Re: The Awesome Finale to a Boston Trilogy

Post by Jeannie Rose March 5th 2022, 11:29 pm

Jennie's eyes get big with excitement when she sees Alexis's trick. Her mouth starts to water when her doggy power sense of smell notices the food.  

She wastes no time getting over to the table and helping herself to the snacks. Yummy it's so good your food magic is the best Alexis!. Huh, no fair how come she couldn't have met the girl whose power seems to be being a walking refrigerator first.

It was the perfect power for her sidekick to have as she always gets hungry on adventures. Jeannie needs a plan to get refrigerator girl as her sidekick.

She was also happy that Alexis seemed more relaxed and less scary than the others. well, Terri wasn't peculiarly scary she was just very quiet and secretive.  

Jeannie eats the snacks she was excited about the brownies cause she had a sweet tooth. Oh right before I forget your parents are safe black belt.  there with some friends of teddys in a cave.

Given her tendency to overreact to strange stuff Jeannie decides it best to ensure her they were fine.  Don't worry there with mommy bears. Bears are some of the best for animals when taking care of their young.  

So I told them to pretend they were just old wrinkly cubs. so there in good hands or paws tell we get back to them.

Jeannie found the noodles yummy and pleasantly familiar.  oh, you like this kinda food to Lexi?  When we get back to real-world I know a lovey dumpling shop in the Himalayas you might like.

The owner owes me one well the whole town does, I fixed their bigfoot problem.  So he lets me eat for free. huh, wonder how them sciences guys that adopted the bigfoot are.

They wanted to learn about it.  Maybe they figured out more neat bigfoot things. I wrote a best-selling book about it if you were curious how one goes about discovering and catching a bigfoot.

Jeannie smiles, she was happy Alexis was interested in storytime she had tons to tell. Yeah, I'm kinda a magnet for weird stuff like ghosts, one time I had this particular amusing encounter with one in an art museum in France.

It was haunting the place cause his paintings were going missing. So we teamed up to catch the thief and after the paints were back he floated off to rest in peace.

Then there was the time I was on a ghost ship and had to fight zombie pirates.   She playfully swings a chopstick from her noodles around like a sword.  Then there was that time I got abducted by aliens turned out to be a double whammy causes I just got done helping a friend with a vampire problem before it happened.  those two things happening in one day what are the odd right?

Overjoyed with yummy snacks and a welling audience Jeannie in-between bits of noodles and brownies continues to entertain Alexis and whoever else was listening with tales of her  Bizarre Adventures.

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Alert Re: The Awesome Finale to a Boston Trilogy

Post by PsychoEllodere March 7th 2022, 1:56 am

Terri took a quick glance at Dabbler, in a one-eyed turn that led to her turning away again less than a second later.

"I mean like- fuck it, doesn't matter if you know what I mean or not."

She took another step away from the group, facing nowhere in particular but the horizon. She likely faced either other buildings, or the perpetuating forest in the distance. Couldn't go more than a few steps in a fantasy land without finding trees, unless it's in the middle of a settlement like where she previously was with Jeannie and Dabbler.

"Great, more people-"

She cursed under her breath, undoing her ponytail as she tested to see if she could flip the hair over her face. Sadly, the decision to keep her length short went against her, and so it likely just went passed her eyes, if that. May have tickled her nose.

"Alias Black Belt, for now. And yea, survived her, barely."

Her great irritation was slowly coming back to her, after the excitement of making it through an encounter of wasps without grievous injury. At least the rescuers seemed nice, though she wasn't sure of how to feel about Sage's overtly calm words, which sounded like an alien tone to her at the present. Alexis seemed nicer and more casual, though her affiliation with Dabbler disturbed her to a point. With what she knew, anyone who could talk to Dabbler like a good friend is someone to look out for. Not that she knew too much, but she felt as if she knew enough.

Her hand rose to refuse whatever the woman tried to offer her. In her attempt to hide her face, she was incapable of seeing what exactly was in the bowl. Her thoughts distracted her from the smell.

"And- thanks for the note, Jeannie. Thank you, again. And I'm fine with poisoning the little shits, as long as innocents don't get hurt."

She responded to both Jeannie and Sage.

It seemed Terri won't be joining the conversation and sharing of tales and stories, until she could find something to competently cover her face. Which, unless the aforementioned 'rad mask maker' would oblige her with a mask or helmet, may be awhile, if at all. It sadly also struck her that somebody could be watching the group from far off, in which they would see her face clearly if they had good enough sight. Her gaze was now both away from the group, and straight towards the ground with her free arm cover her head, her other grasping the bo-staff.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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Alert Re: The Awesome Finale to a Boston Trilogy

Post by The Nekromonga March 7th 2022, 2:40 am

Dabbler went over to Sage and whispered something in her ear. They both momentarily looked at Terri, and Sage nodded in quiet agreement. As Sage prepared Dabbler’s request, one of Dabbler’s ravens had returned to feed her reconnaissance information before they went to Vespania’s Hive.

“Uh-huh? Really? That’s definitely something else. Guys, we’ve got one more obstacle before we get to the hive. Just over that next hill.” Dabbler conjures an illusion of a war camp outside the Hive, and a throng of … dwarves. Ghost dwarves from the under-below land. Dabbler “zoomed in” with her illusion, and the excellent vocal talents of these short people were made apparent with their hit song, “We’ll fight them for a fee.”

We’ll fight them for a fee / We will destroy your enemies / We’ll burn their homes and more / We fight to increase our credit score!

Sage went over to Terri with Dabbler’s request, a face concealing helm and a set of heavily knuckled caesti, to protect her hands. “The witch said you needed these.” she looked at the illusion with a most disturbed expression on face. She knew these musically talented slaving dwarfs well, allies of the wasps. “We can’t fight them and the wasps at the same time. Hmmm.”

It was the little Chinese sorcerer’s turn to whisper and trade ideas with Dabbler. The witch’s grin only grew and grew, to almost literally ear to ear.

“Yeah? Yeah? Uh-huh! Yeah I can do that! That’s awesome!” Dabbler exclaimed with worrying excitement.

“Jeannie. Jeannie, was it? Yes, you command the animals? I have a plan. They can fight… but can they dance and do tricks? I need you, Alexis and Dabbler to put on a show for the dwarfs. We need as many of them occupied as possible.”

Dabbler meanwhile looked at Jeannie and Alexis with a mischievous look. “Ladies and gentlemen, feast your eyes on the ring master!” the witch worked her magic, and transformed Alexis’s and Jeannie’s outfits into a ring master and a beast master. Alexis got a nice big top hat and a microphone, while Jeannie got a ring and a whip.

Sage meanwhile, walked and spoke with Terri, whose talents were much more useful for what she intended. “It seems we are switching up the groups. Would you please accompany me for a walk?” the earth master asked, already opening up a hole in the ground for them to travel through.


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Alert Re: The Awesome Finale to a Boston Trilogy

Post by elephantlord March 7th 2022, 7:23 pm

The social butterfly that dwelt in the mirky depths of Alexis' tiny, black heart was overjoyed to meet someone like Jeannie.  The problem was that the 'executive' committing currently comprising Steelheart's upper ranks each had something that prevented typical conversation.  Not that they weren't delightful people in their own right, but it was so refreshing not having to deal with someone she had to coax.

The Sage, for instance, was a study in manners.  Etiquette was paramount, the need for exacting decorum.  Each reply Alexis gave was weighted to provide the maximum amount of respect and courtesy.  She was like a straight, sharp sword one must care for, lest it cut you.  

Dabbler, however, was just the opposite.  Dabs was all angles; a crooked maze you had to navigate.  The walls kept changing, and you had to scurry to keep yourself safe.  Alexis held no illusions that caring about Dabbler was like caring about a forest fire; only the nuclear pile wouldn't cackle as you burned.  

Sophia was... harder in some ways.  Alexis would not deny to the powerful and capable German.  The sheer competence she exuded was intensely attractive, Alexis had to admit.  Yet, Alexis had decided long ago to bury any thoughts of  workplace romances.  It still made things awkward, however.  

No, Jeannie was just what she needed.  An affable, friendly person she didn't need to dance on glass around.  It was like dipping into a warm pool of conversation, letting it relax all your aches and pains away.  

'Black Belt', on the other hand, seemed like an absolute shit.  

That was probably unfair of Alexis, but she found she was wrung out of patience.  Normally her attitude would have been to make overtures and attempt to draw the woman out of her shell.  It was obvious she didn't care for Alexis; there was just no helping some first impressions, after all.

As Jeannie talked, Alexis watched the fit young woman out of the corner of her eye.  She noticed her stance, the way her shoulder's hunched, the way her hand never strayed far from her... aah.

Adjunct's smile would have been slow and devious, had her open, midwestern smile not been fixed in place as she listened to Jeannie's stories.  Casually, Alexis held up a hand and in it appeared the mask component from the Halloween costume she had half-adopted for her 'adventure' getup.  It wasn't anything special, just a plain white half-mask and dark underlayer made to completely obscure the face.  Darth Nihilis is bae.  

It seemed she had been beaten to the punch, however.  She vanished the mask, only feeling a touch embarrassed.  She scratched her nose sheepishly, when suddenly there was a top hat on her head and a microphone in her hand.  She blinked in surprise.  This was classic Dabbler.

"You know, I have a better idea," Alexis said, reaching up and vanishing the top hat. "Let's try the age old tactic of haggling."
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Alert Re: The Awesome Finale to a Boston Trilogy

Post by Jeannie Rose March 7th 2022, 8:48 pm

Jeannie watched amused with the funny little men on dabbler's magic tv. Dabbler then gave her and Alexis circus costumes.

Jeannie hopped around excitedly like a kid in a toy store. Yay, I always wanted to join the circus.  Yeah, I can get them to do tricks ok guys let's practice.

The wolf lines up and Jeannie wiggles her fingers like conducting an orchestra.   The wolves start howling and soon match the tune the dwarfs were singing.

She goes over to Teddy and holds up her hands. dance time teddy! The bear raised up on his back legs and puts his paws around Jeannie the two started dancing.

The other bears partner up and start following their lead dancing to the music made by the wolves. Oh yeah, we should do something with this!

She climbs up on teddys shoulders and holds up the ring. ok, kitty your turns.  the big cats take turns hopping through the hop.

Jeannie looks over to dabbler and sage. How's this for some tricks?
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Alert Re: The Awesome Finale to a Boston Trilogy

Post by PsychoEllodere March 7th 2022, 11:10 pm

"Huh?"

Terri changed a full turn, to look at the casted illusion. She was still turned away from the group, but her face may be visible enough as she tried to process what the imagery showed.

"Wait. What? Okay- wait, wait, hold on- what?"

Her eyes glanced at the helmet, and she grabbed it as soon as she realized it was meant for her. She nodded her thanks, her words still fumbling. It was heavy, something to get used to.

Had she seen Alexis's proposed mask, she would've graciously accepted it instead. However, it disappeared before her full gaze and body faced the group and illusion, no longer worrying about her face. Her brown eyes could be vaguely seen through the eyeholes, though the shadows within the fully-encompassed helm cloaked more than her face-mask originally had. The caesti were more difficult to put on, Terri unwrapping her hands before uncomfortably fitting into them, switching the staff to against her shoulder and held by the tilt of her head. She spoke as she finished up her last hand.

"Those- Dabbler, they look dead. We aren't about to fight zombie dwarves, are we?"

Her response, or perhaps silence, whatever follows, may be answer enough to her statement.

"Fuuuuuuuuck."

She should've sat down and rested when she could, stop caring about if people could recognize her later or not. Whatever the lady and the others had as well suddenly smelled a lot better, now that she knew what the now-alternative was. And now that Sage and Dabbler was conspiring a plan with each other, it looked like, her worries grew nearly tenfold.

The worries were cemented as she actually heard the plan.

"...You sure we can't just throw poison at them, too? We don't have extra batches? Or, any extra batch of, anything, that isn't... whatever this is?"

Black Belt was slowly losing her mind, and she thought for a moment that losing what she thought was common sense would be a blissful ignorance. She was in a fantasy land, and this was her first interaction with other empowered, so she likely should've thrown her sense to the wind far sooner.

However, Sage's call shook the monk out of her slight daze. She picked up her staff by her left hand, and approached cautiously.

"...As long as you aren't going to turn 'twist villain' or something and mug me in a large hole, sure."

She would follow the dragoness through, making a point to herself not to go in first. Before she would, though, she would give the rest of the party a glance before disappearing.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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Alert Re: The Awesome Finale to a Boston Trilogy

Post by The Nekromonga March 8th 2022, 9:18 am

Niao nodded sagely. It was the end game, to convince them to leave without fighting sure, but they had to offer something first. “Negotiation is also a sound stratagem. But I have no desire to see a repeat of these dwarfs capture you again; perhaps the element of…. Dabbleristic… audacity will disarm them to be open to dialogue.” Sage explained, expressing a rare moment of concern.

The witch seemed unusually convinced, especially since she was now Dabbler the witch clown, in a bright rainbow get up, a smeared on white face and messy bright red lips. Utterly demon clown levels of terrifying. “Aww. C’mon Alexa! Think of it this way. If you put ‘em in a good mood, it’ll make it easier to convince them, right? Like, you wanna bet what’ll happen if you just stroll in there? Come oooon, have fuuuuun! Live a little!” She said.

Dabbler points at Jeannie and her singing and dancing animals. “Look, Jeannie is working hard! Do you realize how hard it is to get her to do something? Almost as hard as me!”

Sage gestures to Terri as she enters the tunnel first. “No, they are ghost dwarfs for their pale skin and ability to turn invisible. They are also very resilient to poison. It’ll take too long for them to die. Please, Dabbler fills the role of the dastardly villain. But dangle a goal in her face and she may be used for good. I am a pragmatist. Come, we are off to find the pay master’s tent. We should not need to fight more than handful of them.”

OUTSIDE THE CAMP

The dwarfs were making their final war preparations when flashes of colorful light filled the sky, followed by the sound of ‘enter the gladiators’ playing from somewhere. The Dabbler Clown appeared with confetti and honking, and tumbling and juggling balls, all of which she failed to do miserably.

“Ladies and gentlemen! Dabs the clown! I suck, I’m sorry. I don’t know how to do acrobatics or juggling or whatever. Anyway…” She stood up and conjured up a spotlight, again, from somewhere, and a sandy circle on which they could perform.

The dwarfs, who were preparing for a battle, did indeed hesitate to attack and subdue the strangers, especially as they saw a large number of wild animals waiting on the ridge, not knowing they were part of the act. It had been a long and miserable march from underground, and this diversion seemed to be tolerated somewhat.

“Introducing the real host of the show, the ring masterrrr!”

UNDER THE CAMP

While the plan and its variations were underway, Sage turned into a wingless black dragon in the tunnel – a drake. As she moved forward, she seemed to have been singing some kind of low thrumming song in a draconic tongue. The earth seemed to part at her whim, leaving a stable tunnel for Terri to follow, a small jewel on her tail providing illumination. Sage paused every now and then, making an even lower, bassy noise that one could feel in their chest – then moved forward.

Eventually, Sage made a stop, and transformed back into her sorceress form. The ground above them opened up, turning into sand and dropping a chest into their tunnel. Sage brings the treasure chest to her, via the earth itself bringing it to her.

The dwarfs, naturally, were unhappy with this, especially as the camp guards were also distracted. Only the Pay Master, the most important member of the camp, was most grieved by this attack. “The money! They got the money! Get down there!” Being the typical short person, they came down there with daggers, as to fight effectively in the close quarters.

Sage made the tunnel deliberately. No matter how many there were, they could only come down one at a time, in single file. “Belt, one minute! Just give me one minute.” She said, figuring out how to open the chest first, so she could work on its contents.


____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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Alert Re: The Awesome Finale to a Boston Trilogy

Post by elephantlord March 8th 2022, 8:33 pm

Alexis had long been held of the opinion that the clothes maketh the person.  So, when Dabbler had presented her madcap plan, Alex had gone along with it.  If it she was to be perfectly honest, she was starting to fray around the edges. The stress and the sheer terror of the last few days had caused her psychology to fracture.  And there was Dabs, ready to fill in the cracks with a fine coating of crazy. You had to laugh to keep from crying.  So, Alex embraced the madness.  

The advantages of being able to carry your entire wardrobe with you were made plain when Alexis stepped out in a full ringleader's costume.  She had tasked her computer with putting something together out of the various pieces of her collection; and, Alexis, being an unrepentant clothes horse, had a wide selection.  She had found that the more you amassed, the more options you had beyond which blouse went with what set of dress pants.

A small drone hovered overhead.  A light flicked on, casting a spotlight down on Adjunct and Dabbler.  Alexis looked like some cross between Shania Twain and PT Barnum with her top hat rakishly askew.  Alex had caught her wavy brown hair up in a fine golden netting, which set off the red silk brocade of her waistcoat.  As she strode forward, she flicked the ends of her tailcoat playfully, her black leather boots giving her a few extra inches of height.

With a sweep of one arm, she doffed her hat and bowed to the 'audience'.  "You are just so bad for me, Dabs," she murmured to her counterpart.  She rose and put the hat back in place carefully, a wicked smile now there.  

A banana cream pie appeared in Alexis' black gloved hand, and she straight-armed this into Dabbler's unsuspecting face.  She turned away, still rubbing the pie in, as a microphone appeared in her other hand.  

"Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages!  Welcome to the most spectacular opportunity of your lives!" Adjunct's voice was over-the-top and bombastic, and booming from the tiny drone above.  She finally stopped rubbing in the pie.  

She snapped her fingers, and a bullwhip appeared in her hand.  Yes, Alexis had a bullwhip.  It was best not to ask what activities she got up to in her spare time.  

"This life of drudgery and danger; these tasks of endless suffering and toil can all be over!   Tonight, and tonight only, you have an amazing opportunity before you!  But before we begin our show, let's meet the main attraction!"

Alexis flicked the whip and made an almighty CRACKin the air.  As the sound boomed out, a stack of gold bars appeared.  Ten across, ten deep and ten in length.  1000 bars of gold casually stood, gleaming prettily in the spotlight.  It was a strange peculiarity of Alexis' power that she could carry over a ton of gold with her easier than she could a baby rabbit.  Ah well, the quirks of metahuman powers were many.

"This, my fine audience, constitutes roughly 40,000 troy ounces of gold." Like a magician, Alexis conjured one of the gold coins they had recovered in her gloved hand.  She stepped up onto the pile of gold bricks and used it like some sort of glimmering stage.  She held up the piece of currency between her thumb and forefinger, rolling it back and forth tantalizingly.  She scoffed and it and threw it to the crowd like a piece of trash.

"You sing about credit ratings and fighting for money?"  Alexis laughed in their metaphorical faces.  "You have no idea the sort of backing I have."  The whip vanished, and a tall wooden cane appeared in it's place.  She slapped the butt of it down on the bricks beneath her.  "This is but a tithe of what I could offer you."  

She leaned in closer, adopting the manner of a mad religious profit.  "They say you are greedy, that you cannot be trusted. I say you simply understand what you are worth.  You and me?  We have a lot more in common than you and them.  Come work for me."  Alexis said, the light of greed and gold gleaming in her eyes.  "Come work for someone who lauds your ambition.  Come work with someone who will give you what you are worth."

Alexis' smile was almost manic now.  Hers was the face of the very devil himself. In a low and throaty voice, she promised, "Come work for me and I will make you wealthier than the dreams of avarice."
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Alert Re: The Awesome Finale to a Boston Trilogy

Post by Jeannie Rose March 8th 2022, 10:38 pm

yay circus time. Jeannie was excited as they began to perform.  Huh, poor dabbler juggling is tricky. Seemed like Alexis can do magic too she made gold appear.

shiny no fair how come everyone else can poof stuff up. right on with the show!

they paraded in Jeannie and teddy leading the way joining dabbler and Alexis in the sandy circle.  One of the wolves playfully licks the pie off dabbler's face.

It then goes on to join the others and they start the song and dance routine they practiced.    Huh, Jeannie wonders how many cookies one could buy with all the gold Alexis made.

The dwarfs seemed happy with the wolf's version of their song.  The bears danced around Jeannie holds up the hop for the big cats to jump through.

huh, maybe dabbler or Alexis could conjure her some more props this was kinda as far as she got with the show. Huh, she guesses she'll work out a big final for the opening act than one of them can make her some more circus stuff to play with.

The dwarves liked the gold and drawing the attention to it some more would help with Alexis's plan to bribe the dwarfs to join them.  She has Teddy lead the dancing bears to the shiny gold stage Alexis made.

They line up standing on it. Jeannie then starts a doggie conga line with the wolves leading them over to join the bears. They then climb up on the bear's backs forming a pyramid.  with the big cats coming next Jeannie holds the hop-up as one at a time they go down the line hoping through and landing on one of the wolf's backs.

Jeannie then climbs up on the top pyramid and sparklers go off beside the stage making it sparkle more.  She takes a bow as the dwarfs cheer the odd entertainment.   yay, Jeannie liked playing circus and wondered what fun they'd do next.
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Alert Re: The Awesome Finale to a Boston Trilogy

Post by PsychoEllodere March 9th 2022, 1:31 am

Terri followed through, into the tunnel with a sigh of her breath as she descended. She was weary, of course, although Sage did seem straight forward enough.

"Guess that's true. She was focused enough saving- certain people, for me, from this hell hole."

Dabbler wasn't too bad... well, she was very bad in multiple aspects, she was still pretty sure she was actually a full blown villain, all but confirmed straight. Compared to the villains she knows of, though, or the people she's spent time with, she definitely could've ended up with worse in this situation. Terri might as well be thankful for that, helped calm her nerves, before an oncoming fight.

And her nerves immediately flared once the sorceress transformed into a dragon- It was a slow reaction, could almost be called delayed. Though she didn't exactly do anything about it, only giving herself pause to process.

Yea, she shouldn't be surprised anymore.

The monk calmly followed the illumination of her tail-gem. The staff was still grasped in her gloved hand, and Terri had to reposition herself and he grasp every now and again when an end of the staff hit against something as they moved. Annoying. Eventually, given the space was wide enough to hold a dragon, she held the staff behind her neck and wrapped both her arms around it. Strangely comfortable, for a wood staff taken from the woods. Guess the animals had good taste in items.

Maybe the staff was magical, as well. Well, this whole area was magic technically, wasn't it? Warped to become this realm? How much of it would stay, when, or if the real heroes take care of the mastermind of this mess?

Terri stopped with Sage, as she transformed back to her human form. She swung her staff from behind her and to her side again, held horizontally with a single hand as the chest was brought down and over. Her gaze followed, before she realized: There was now an opening into the camp. And, people noticed.

She put a leg behind her, Black Belt having ending up between Sage and the incoming attackers.

"Could've used more of a heads up-!"

Short legs were probably the only reason Terri could manage a good position and a charge up, in time with a dwarf attempting to swipe at her.

0.5 seconds.

The staff was thrusted at the dwarf, the enemy being sent back. She had a definite advantage, with her given weapon. A staff verses daggers, in this environment, did not look good for the ghost dwarves. However, they still held an advantage in general resilience that dwarves had.

She grunted with every attack.

1. 1.5-

She made simple attacks, lack luster in technique, but held explosive power, nonetheless. Terri seemed mostly focused on keeping them at bay, rather then actually incapacitating them. Or maybe she just didn't have a good idea as to how, though it could also be the worry in the back of her head that these dwarves were more converted humans.

Still, as more came in, they would likely be attempting to walk and run over their own comrades making the terrain even more difficult for them, and keeping the ones on the ground stay on the ground.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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Alert Re: The Awesome Finale to a Boston Trilogy

Post by The Nekromonga March 9th 2022, 8:13 am

SAGE
Sage completes her ritual and unlocks the chest. She lays her hand on the coins and begins channeling magic, precious gold turning into dull, gray iron.

“Give that chest back, surface scum!” The Pay Master said, fighting Terri with two daggers, struggling to get into her space and deliver quick, feinting cuts against her.

“As you wish.” Sage responds in their language, earth-glides the chest back to the paymaster and his goons, to reveal the precious gold had been transmuted to pig iron. The dwarfs who saw it were so shook, they revealed themselves from invisibility, before they could continue the fight.

“Well I’ll be a mushroom’s uncle…” The paymaster looked at the chest of worthless pig iron coins. They prided themselves on fulfilling paid contracts, but now it seemed, that loophole had been exploited. Wasps were unpleasant employers, the paymaster thought.

“We’d like to re-negotiate your role in this invasion of the surface.” Sage said, her tone much harsher due to the peculiar tongue they spoke. A few more dwarfs topside called down to get their Pay master’s attention.

DABBLER

As Alexis and Jeannie did their things, Dabbler did hers. She teleported around and around, doing portal tricks. For the most part the plan had succeeded, and beyond expectations.

The short kin were definitely distracted enough from attacking outright. The sight of the piles of gold definitely interested them, and those trained performing wolves and bears could easily become ferocious war beasts in a heartbeat. The dwarfs talked among themselves, seeing that their choices were dishonoring their contract to become rich, or suffer a blood bath. Still, many were hesitant until the grizzly old, one-eyed Pay Master called everyone’s attention, seeing that much of his mercenary company had left the camp to watch some bizarre side show. His eye gleamed especially at the piles of gold prepared as compensation.

“Lads listen up. We have a change of terms of agreement.” He said, to the gathered warriors, introducing their newest employers.

Sage and Terri appeared just behind the Pay Master, and Sage saw how Alexis had sweetened the deal even more. By using their significant stashed gold, they’d not only discourage the pale ones from fighting them but, defect to their cause. The Pay Master conferred with the squad leaders, and much of them were in agreement. A bloody battle for nothing, or be turncoats for fabulous wealth. The choice wasn’t hard.

The Pay Master approached Alexis and Jeannie with a stiff gait. In addition to the eye patch, it seemed he had a peg leg. His two hands were still intact, and he had no bird on his shoulder. He introduced himself and spoke a gutteral english. “The Ghost Dwarfs do not ever rescind from a contract, but neither do we ever fight without pay. Yer metal sorceress is crafty one I’ll give ya that. Sooo… ya wish to squish some bugs do ye?”

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Alert Re: The Awesome Finale to a Boston Trilogy

Post by elephantlord March 9th 2022, 3:33 pm

"That I do, my savvy fellow," Alexis said, replying immediately to the Paymaster.  "But after we're done there, we should talk long term business models.  I see in the eyes for your people a glimmer I have seen in so many others.  We'll discuss your cost structures and revenue streams and see if we can't get you a way to earn more of this."  She gave the pile another tap with her cane.  

"Between you and me?  Your relationship with the elves is unsustainable.  They'll use you to find them easy labor for now, but eventually the dynamic will shift.  More and more, they'll spawn their abominations and slowly push you out of your own enterprise.  You've seen their Warrior Caste, friend."  Alex said, speaking into her microphone.  This conversation wasn't just for the Paymaster.  "And you know how they are.  All the gold in the world is worth spit if you can't take it home to spend."  Alexis shook her head in sadness at that.

"No, they'll eventually begin to out compete you.  Typically,  outsourcing can provide many vital functions, but must be ever wary of it becoming an unequal partnership.  By taking their coin, you are aiding a business rival meet their long term operational objectives without forcing them to spend their own resources."  

"I do prattle," as Alex said this, the cane disappeared, and a scroll of paper manifested in her hand.  It was contract that her computer had been composing on her behalf, manifested now due to Alexis' power.  Alexis had the ability to arrange the things she conjured in whatever configuration she desired.  In addition to the entire storage depot Alexis carried, she also carried a large amount of printer ink.

Alexis sat on the pile of gold bricks, swinging her legs over the edge.  She handed the scroll to the dwarf.  "A simple contract for the task and for a little after so that we can discuss things on good terms.  We don't want a repeat of the cart incident, eh?"  Alexis said, as if their enslavement were a grand joke.  

The contract read thusly:
WORK FOR HIRE AGREEMENT

PARTIES
- This Work For Hire Agreement (hereinafter referred to as the “Agreement”) is entered into on this day (the “Effective Date”), by and between Alexis Lovelace , with an address of Steelheart Industries Corporate Center, Puntland, Somalia (hereinafter referred to as the “Client”), and the Ghost Dwarf Mercenary Company (hereinafter referred to as the “Service Provider") (collectively referred to as the “Parties”).

LIST OF SERVICES PROVIDED AND THEIR PRICES
- During the period of this Agreement, the Service Provider shall have the responsibility to perform and provide the following services (hereinafter referred to as “Services”) to the Client:
1. Destruction of the Deep Elf Mutant Hive (Price ____One (1) ton of gold_____________)
2. Bounty: Deep Elf Mutants (Worker)___ (Price ____800 troy ounces of gold__________)
3. Bounty: Deep Elf Mutants (Warrior)___ (Price ____1600 troy ounces of gold ________)
4. Recovery of all Material Assets______   (Price _ Market Value+15%_______________)
5. Guard Services___________________   (Price __400 troy ounces/member/day_____)

The Services are to be paid for as follows:
- Amount at signing of this Agreement: 40,000 Troy Ounces of Gold
- Amount at the completion of the provision of the Services: 400,000 Troy Ounces of Gold

OWNERSHIP
- The Parties agree that all work created, or recovered by the Service Provider in terms of him/her performing the services will remain the exclusive property of the Client, where he/she can use it without any restrictions.

TERM OF AGREEMENT
- This Agreement shall be effective on the date of the signing of this Agreement (hereinafter referred to as the “Effective Date”) and will end two (2) weeks after death of the Hive Queen.
- Upon the end of the term of the Agreement, this Agreement will not be automatically renewed for a new term.

RELATIONSHIP OF THE PARTIES
- Hereby, the Parties agree that this is a non-exclusive agreement and that the Parties are regarded as independent contractors.

TERMINATION
- This Agreement may be terminated as follows:
1. Immediately in case one of the Parties breaches this Agreement.
2. At any given time by providing a written notice to the other party fourteen (14) days prior to terminating the Agreement.
- Upon terminating this Agreement, the Service Provider will be required to return all the Client’s products or any other content (if any) at his/her earliest convenience, but not beyond seven (7) days.

...

It only went on from there.  In a nutshell, it was a very solid contractual agreement specifying a very lucrative payment structure.  In addition to the gigantic pile of gold Alexis perched on and the promise of much more to come, it prevented the dwarves from simply turning tail at the first opportunity.  Alex was particularly proud of the INDEMITY section, causing the  dwarves to forfeit all payment earned in addition to a monetary penalty for breach of contract.  Payment was to be provided two weeks after death of the Hive Queen.  Alexis doubted the Sage would have any problems creating that much.  Besides, carting away that much wealth would be a huge logistical challenge in an of itself.

"Look this over, discuss it with the others. I have outlined exactly what I expect of each of you.  It I cheat you, take this to any court in Somalia and watch the judge squeeze me for every red cent they can possibly get out of me.  However, I feel that the sweetener I've provided..." Alexis slapped her throne of gold bars. "Shows the extent of my intention."

Alexis grinned, "Do we have an accord?"
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Alert Re: The Awesome Finale to a Boston Trilogy

Post by Jeannie Rose March 9th 2022, 10:59 pm

so Alexis seemed to be making a deal with the boss Dwarf. Yay, the Dwarfs are on their side now.  Huh, paper works boring Jeannie wasn't interested in that and went about playing circus some more she was having fun with that.

For their next trick, Jeannie had the bears riding around on tiny tricycles.   Meanwhile, the wolves were balancing and rolling around on giant balls. The big kitties walked crossed a tight rope.

Jeannie then noticed some apples in a barrel, she grabs some and starts to juggle them.  She makes her way to the rest of the group.

so which one of you will let me shoot some of this off their head?  I bet our little buddies would get a kick out of that.

Jeannie smiles having fun she hopes one of them would go along with it. I promise I won't miss it, I am a ranger after all so nothing to worry about, else you an apple that is. she noticed Terri and sage were back from where ever they went. hey guys I was worried you'd miss the show. does one of you want to be my volunteer? would hate for you to miss out on the fun.
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Alert Re: The Awesome Finale to a Boston Trilogy

Post by PsychoEllodere March 10th 2022, 12:33 am

Terri continued to fight the onslaught, with increasing trouble. The terrain of the dwarves was difficult, yes, but a minute felt like a lot longer than it actually was in this sort of situation. She was getting tired, and she had never performed her power like such before. She has never performed it in such rapid succession, with 1 to 2 second increments.

And it was getting hot. It was difficult to notice in the moment, but the monk was getting more fatigued. In the end, she was saved by the bell that was Sage's ritual being completed, but in an attempt to make a more broad a swing to target the invisible targets, her arm got cut, towards her hand. She ended up giving an opening at the last second, before the fight ended.

Not that she precisely noticed the cut, many things were clouding her head. The monk continued to stand ready, a leg drawn behind her again as the chest was delivered and checked by the dwarves. She continued to stand as the dwarves began to leave.

...And finally, Terri dropped to a knee and took off her helmet. Her hair was stuck to her skin in sweat. An abnormal amount of sweat, given what she was just doing.

"Hot."

If given investigation, the helmet was hot to the touch. Nothing that would cause burns, no, but it was definitely noticeable. Just short of being able to give damage by prolonged contact. How did it get so hot?

The gloves were taken off as well, wielding the same amount of abnormal heat, and were either offered back to Sage or left in the hole. Her hands had red marks, outlined by the metal against. Didn't seem too painful, just irritated. The exposure to cooler air alone helped immensely.


By the time Black Belt emerged with Sage, she donned the helmet once more to cover herself, though she may have lagged behind in order to wait for it to cool off somewhat. She had the staff still in hand, held horizontally, the back end leaning closer to the ground than the front. Her helmet and gloves heated up, but the staff and her clothes were barely affected.

She managed to catch Jeannie's words, and seeing that Alexis and Sage were likely going to be the ones dealing with the dwarves, she answered in an almost wobbly yell.

"You can whatever you want with me, as long as I get some rest."

Terri wanted to try and sound professional while around the dwarves, but she was pretty sure they didn't need to worry at the current moment. She just wanted to sit down; she didn't care if somebody had to shoot an apple off her head in order for her to do so.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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Alert Re: The Awesome Finale to a Boston Trilogy

Post by The Nekromonga March 11th 2022, 8:06 am

THE DWARFS

The Pay Master looked over the contract quickly, discussing with the squad leaders. They were in accord, and all was in order. They take turns signing it. “Aye, aye, yer fancy words make sense. When there’s no more prey to be had, we plan to be long gone before the damned bugs turn their eyes- and their stingers- on us.” They say to Alexis, revealing their own second thoughts of serving such parasitic employers.

DABBLER

Seeing that Jeannie was still having fun, calling for volunteers, Dabbler grabs an apple and puts it on her head, while standing in front of a tree. “I’ll do it!” Dabbler decided to bob left and right, back and forth, heedless of the danger. She even decides to taunt the archer. “Yer gonna miiisss! Yer gonna miss!”

A thought crossed the witch’s mind. She shouts a question over at Niao. “Hey SAGE! Can I say it?”

“Say what?” Sage asked, wondering what she meant.

“We’re going to murder all their little icky children?” Dabbler drops a nonsensical question.

“…Fine.” Sage waves her away, irritatingly.

“WE ARE GOING TO MURDER ALL THEIR CHILDREN! MWAHAHAHA!” Dabbler proclaims loudly.

SAGE
“Anyway. We are in the end game now.” She said, her words carrying weight and getting attention. She raised an earth throne to sit and address all involved. With the hive within sight, Sage calls her allies over to plan the final play.

The ground in front Sage became a miniature sand model of the hive and the terrain around it. She creates little metal game pieces to represent individuals and groups- Alexis, Dabbler, Sage herself, Jeannie and Terri. Slightly bigger pieces represent their animal army and the ghost dwarfs.

“Well then. Let’s begin.” Sage said, beginning with herself. “As you all know, these wasps are quite the capable combatants. If we fight them head on, we’ll pay a high price in blood.” Then she reaches to her belt, retrieving the vial of poison.

“Which is why we have this… and more, stored by Alexis.”

She raises the model hive, and makes some underground passages, based on what she had learned from earlier. “…Their food supplies are stored here, some kind of jelly the Queen uses to keep her drones and soldiers under control. Does anyone here have a high tolerance for poison? Simply opening the vial may be… difficult.”

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Alert Re: The Awesome Finale to a Boston Trilogy

Post by elephantlord March 11th 2022, 10:13 pm

It should be noted that Alexis had a lot of faults. Hell, some might argue that she had far more faults than virtues. However, whatever tribalist instinct made her revile the 'them' also made her very protective of the 'us'. And while she and 'Black Belt' had not gotten off to a good start, she could see the signs of suffering plain on the woman. Terri was currently part of the 'us' in Alex's mental equation.

Alexis immediately went to her aide, conjuring a comfortable chair for her to have a sit upon and a large glass of cold lemonade. She even offered an ottoman and a cold compress for her head. She was the sort of packrat that had those things in her storage, after all.

Once Terri was seen to, she turned toward Niao and her plans. The fashionable ringleader's outfit was gone now, replaced by the cloak and leathers she had adopted earlier. She joined the Sages conversation, and said, calmly, "I've... developed a power recently that makes me resistant to toxins. As I can also carry a large amount of poison with me, so I think I would be the best candidate for that task."
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