Gearing Up (4-22-18)


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Dirge and Dread followed the skeleton marked by Dread until they found Ballisea’s shrine. It stopped on a hill overlooking something that resembled a stone gazebo. Black stone stairs led up to a pool of glowing crystal clear water. Five tall black pillars jutted out of the stone around the pool to support a large silver ring between them. In the center of the silver ring a beach ball sized orb of glowing red energy hovered, suspended over the water. Skeletons milled around the pool and on the ground floor in front of the stairs. Dirge and Dread sat down on a hillside overlooking the building and Dread explained what was in store for them. 

“This’ll be easy and awesome,” Dread said. She pointed at a small golden ball of energy orbiting the red ball. “That’s an Inanimate Soul. When we get the orb I’ll let you keep it.” 

“Alright! Loot!” Dirge stood up and cheered. “Let’s go get it!” Dread stood up, grabbed Dirge by the shoulder and pulled her back down out of sight.

“Hold on, you see that pool? It’s guarded.” 

“Oh by what?” Dirge looked at the pool intently. 

“There’s all kinds of different guards, though that pool means it’s #6, La Sirena.” 

“The mermaid? No problem, she won’t know what hit her.” Dirge smiled and punched her hand, anxious for a fight.

“I don’t want to kill her,” Dread said. Dirge’s face fell, but then she had an idea. 

“Did you know that if Uniques kill other Uniques, they can absorb their souls and get stronger,” Dirge said. “We wanna get stronger, right?” Dread shook her head. 

“Yeah. At least, I know that’s how Ballisea got so strong. I don’t like to kill, but I have a plan that always works against Sirenas.” The skeleton that led them there stepped closer to Dread, and she touched it with glowing hands. Thin golden vines grew out from the golden flower on the skeleton’s forehead. They decorated its face and ran down the rest of its bones, sprouting golden flowers where ever there was room. She released the skeleton and it walked down the hill into the crowd of skeletons. Each skeleton it bumped into began to glow with a golden flower on its forehead, then those skeletons bumped into others. In about ten minutes the entire ground floor of skeletons was converted by Dread, then they began to climb the steps. It wasn’t long before all the skeletons in the area glowed with golden flowers, they stood around the pool waiting.

“C’mon.” Dread stood up to head to the shrine. 

“But how’re you gonna get the orb?” Dirge asked as she followed Dread down the hill. 

“By climbing,” Dread said. She pointed to the skeletons. Some of them began to climb on each other’s shoulders, and they locked themselves together to form a ladder. Dread stopped before she stepped on the black stone of the shrine. The skeletons continued to build vertically, but a majority of them still stood around the pool.

“The second we step on the stairs the Sirena is gonna know she has intruders. So once the skeletons are in place we have to run up the steps and climb. When I say ‘Go’ the skeletons around the pool will jump in and lock themselves together, like a net, to keep her in the water. It won’t hold her forever, but once we get the orb we can go to the next Earth,” Dread explained. Dirge nodded.

“Okay!” She watched the golden glowing skeletons build themselves up high enough to reach the orb. She focused so much she did not hear when Dread said ‘Go!’, until she noticed Dread already halfway up the steps. The skeletons splashed themselves into the water as the two girls ran up the steps. They reached the skeleton ladder and climbed to the top of the giant silver ring around the red orb. Dread looked down to check on the Sirena. Dirge saw a flash of blue watery hair as the mermaid thrashed against the skeleton net that held her trapped. 

“She’s petty!” Dirge said. Dread nodded.

“Yeah. Anyway we’re gonna have to jump, but let’s wait until the Inanimate comes around again,” Dread reminded Dirge about the golden inanimate soul. They waited for the golden orb to circle a couple of times to get the timing down, then they leapt towards the red orb when the gold one floated in their path. Dirge touched the golden orb and her body absorbed the golden light, then the two girls touched the red orb at the same time. It disappeared into their bodies then a black portal opened directly beneath them. They fell through the darkness and landed butt first in a stream. 

“Is it always like that? I got of flash of Ballisea when I touched the orb. It was like a snapshot of when she set up the orb,” Dirge asked. She stood and began wringing the water out of her black dress. Dread stood up and walked out of the middle of the stream. She glowed with golden energy to dry her jeans.

“Yeah, you start learning a lot about her after a while. What Inanimate did you get?” Dread asked. Dirge held her hand out and made a golden flash. After the light dissipated she held an elegant white lace umbrella. 

#5, El Paraguas,” Dirge said. She looked it over in her hand, then made it disappear with another quick flash of energy. “Shield variant,” she said. “Thanks for letting me take it!” Dirge hugged Dread. 

“No problem,” Dread said. She looked around at the new Earth. “Let’s go see what’s going on here.” She picked a direction and started walking. Dirge followed. 


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Previous Chapter: Shattered Bones
Next Chapter: Mission Objective: Spider 

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