14 Fourth Floor

    Nix yawned into his pillow, every night spent in the hut's bed was an amazing experience.  It was by far the most comfortable bed he had ever slept in.   He sat up and slipped on his Turtle Under Armor. He had customized it and managed to improve the stats to +20 AC.  He slipped the Aquatic suit over the top of it.  His raid gear was super sleek and very light.  "He nudged the sleeping turtle with his foot.  "Wake up Soup."

    He walked out the door, leaving it open so the turtle could leave.  The rest of the turtles moved toward him.  "You guys are on your own today, try and stay out of trouble."

    He activated Deep Blue and chose Jenzi, the Daybreakers were already in place, two of them grabbed his hands and they quickly returned to the Lake Cavern.

    Although they were already prepped, they stood in a circle going over a few last-minute items.  Nix and Ronnie had the least amount of experience, so Sharl made sure they both knew their assignments.  Ronnie would provide range dps in support of the Main Tank.  Nix would attempt to hold their tanks in check so the group could quickly eliminate the casters.

    "You nervous Nix?"  Ronnie was still standing by him, she looked very good in the aquatic suit. She was the only other one in the raid who didn't have armor over the top of it.

    "Not really."  He had once lain under a parking lot grate for two days so that he could burn the building down Monday morning during their board meeting. Everyone but the board members had been able to evacuate.  Later, he had washed off the stench of the gutter, a smile on his face while he listened to the news report on TV.

    "Bull **... my knees are knockin!"  Ronnie checked her bow for the fourth time and looked at her sister who was talking to Pon.

    "Go take a nap on my bed, am sure you know the way."

    Ronnie shook her head, "maybe later.  I'm too nervous now."

    Nix smiled slightly, his golden eyes full of mirth.  "I'll probably be using it later."

    Ronnie's dark eyes flashed at him.  "Me or Sis?"

    Nix didn't say that he would probably bring Hyai.  "know what I think when I see two pretty sisters?"

    Ronnie grinned at her older sister who had returned in time to catch the last few sentences.  "That younger is always better?"

    "Nope. Why not both?"

    "..." Ronnie.

    "..." Sharl.

    Nix laughed at their faces and walked toward the rest of the Daybreakers that were forming around Pon.

    A few minutes they all joined hands.  Sharl was on Nix's left and Pon was on the right.  The Guild leader squeezed his hand tightly.  She leaned toward him and lowered her voice.  "It would take an incredible amount of alcohol to make something like that happen."

    "Well... I am the Underwear King."  Nix activated Deep Blue and chose Mermaid City.

    They ported onto the same platform that Nix had seen a few days earlier.  He started swimming toward the 'T'.  "To the left is the locked gate where I ran into Salamander, to the right is the hall that I didn't explore."

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    The entire group swam close to the floor.  Nix was in the front next to the scout so that he could provide immediate CC (Crowd Control) if needed. Directly behind them were the two Tanks, Sharl, and Banza.

    The hall they followed led to a huge room, the sound of voices made them stop.

    Sharl hefted her spear, the end of it was on fire despite being in the water. "Scout it out Wind!"

    Wind was a slight man of average height.  He wore his brown hair in a long mullet that ended halfway down his back.  He was the only stealth user in the group, and the twin daggers that he wielded gave him the best dps in the raid.  Wind nodded at Sharl and immediately disappeared.

    A few minutes later the scout returned.  His cold black eyes were calm.  "Sixteen Aquarions total, 5 casters,   3 tanks and 8 melee dps."

    Sharl's face was grim, in equal or near-equal numbers, Aquarions overmatched their human counterparts.  "Positioning?"

    "We're in luck, the tanks are near the casters."

    Sharl nodded, "it's a good break.  Nix you're on the tanks.  Me, Banz and Pon will distract the melee while the rest of you burn down the casters.  Ronnie is the main assist, everyone attack her target. When the casters are down, I become the main assist, everyone attacks my target.  Do your best on the tanks Nix, even if you can't hold them, keep them busy."

    Wind disappeared again, his voice coming from nowhere.  "My sneak attack on the first caster will be the signal to start."

    Nix moved to one side to give the others room to get by him.  Wind attacked the nearest caster, scoring a critical hit, he managed a stun.  Instantly Nix flashed toward the tanks, he pulled up halfway and three fire strands wrapped out the arms of the tanks.  They screeched loudly, their weapons instantly disappearing.  Pon had taught him how to target, for tanks the sword arm was best.  They would lose their weapon and take on a penalty when they summoned another.

    Nix felts the pull of three tanks but he braced himself on the floor and managed to hold them.  The tank's arms had burst into flames, their screams nearly drowning out the rest of the raid.  Off to his right, he saw the flash of flames and heard the deafening sound of explosions as the Fire Mage attacked.

    The casters went down in quick succession.

    Sharl shouted from the other side of the room. "I'm the main assist now, everyone attack my target!"

    One of the tanks died. Nix immediately put a second strand on the nearest tank, he died almost immediately.  The last tank only lived seconds under the inferno of three fire strands.

    Half of the melee were already dead, so he picked three that were trying to attack their clerics.  He raised his hand and once again three strands shot out, completely immobilizing them.

    "Tanks are down?"  It was Ronnie who asked in between shots.

    "Tanks are down," Nix affirmed.

    The fight was over less than a minute later.

    Sharl sent Ronnie to loot the corpses.  "Anyone down?"

    A cleric named Gypsy-Rose shook her head.  "No casualties."

    The room had been cleared, there was a raised platform with a lever behind it.  The entire raid was thinking the same thing.

    It was Ronnie who said it.  "It can't be that easy right?"

    Sharl shrugged and walked up to the platform, she pulled the lever down and then stepped back.  A blue chest rose up out of the floor.

    Colonial Message System: Congratulations to the Daybreakers for being the first guild to clear the first stage of the fourth floor in Mermaid City.  All members of the raid will receive the Badge of Aquarius.

    Badge of Aquarius

    Amulet: Unique

    Description: The effectiveness

    of all water-based skills and

    abilities have been doubled.

    Sharl opened the chest and linked the four items that had dropped.  Since Nix wasn't a member of the guild, he didn't ask for anything.  There was nothing he would have wanted.  A cool looking spear-gun dropped, somehow Colonial classified that as a bow equivalent, so the only archer in the raid received it.  Ronnie was smiling from ear to ear when she equipped it. A necklace meant for healers went to Gypsy-Rose.  A tank oriented spear went to Sharl and a flame gauntlet went to Banzi.

    Wind made a face at the loot table.  "Two tanker items?  I feel sick."

    Banzi smiled and waved the gauntlet at him.  "About time tankers receive a bit of love brother!"

    Wind gave him the finger.  "When I'm fat and ugly, then you can call me brother."

    Nix laughed at their interaction.

    A smiling Ronnie joined him, "don't let them fool you.  They are best friends."

    "I could tell."  Nix held out his hand, "let me see it?"


    Speargun: Heroic

    Description: Weapon

    discharges three spears

    at a time.  +10 Damage to

    water creatures.

    Nix handed it back, "Guess I won't have to carry you anymore."

    "What?  No more free rides?"

    A door opened up behind the chest after Sharl removed the coins from it, 200k was automatically given to each person in the raid.  She waved Nix over and handed him a few hundred water crystals. "They are for crafting."

    "Oh, then thank you."

    Sharl smiled at her raiding party.  "This is our door.  Follow me please."

    The raiding party walked through the door and down a hallway to a large staging area.  They cheered each other when they arrived.  They stopped abruptly when they noticed another group approaching them.

    [You may now choose Mermaid City, Fourth Floor from any Colonial Portal.]

    "Congratulations on clearing the first stage of the fourth floor.  I hadn't even realized another guild was on the fourth floor."  Jun Li had seen the message along with the rest of Colonial, but she didn't offer any hostility.  "I'm Jun Li, Guild Leader of Salamander."

    Sharl took the hand she offered.  "Sharl, Guild Leader of Daybreakers."

    A woman dressed in black noticed him first, she didn't say anything but rather approached him with a smile and offered her a handshake.  "I'm Semmi.  Please accept my apologies on behalf of Salamander for plastering your likeness all over Colonial."

    Nix shook the petite blonde's hand.  "I'm Nix. You a Scout Semmi?"

    Semmi nodded while she chuckled at his words.  "Goodness, your Nix."  She turned back toward her Guild Leader who seemed to be frozen in place.

    "You're a member of Daybreakers?"  Jun Li had finally found her voice.

    "I'm a guest player."  He smiled at Sharl who suddenly looked alarmed.

    "A guest?"  Jun Li hid the smile that tugged at the corners of her mouth.  "Well, good job today Daybreakers.  It was nice to finally meet you Mr. Nix."

    Nix nodded but didn't say anything.

    [You have received a friend request for Semmi Dow.  Do you accept?]


    Twenty minutes later the raid dispersed and said their goodbyes at the Jenzi portal.

    Sharl and Ronnie were the last two.

    "Hey Sharl, I'm going to hang out with Nix for a bit."

    Sharl shook her head. "Sorry sis, guild business.  I need to talk to him."

    "It's pointless to argue.  I'm hungry and thirsty."  Nix activated Deep Blue and chose Lake Cavern.

    Ronnie waved to her sister and quickly put her hand on his shoulder.  "Next time sis."

    Sharl grabbed his hand and stepped closer.  "Can't wait."

    A moment later all three figures disappeared from the platform.
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