42 Gladis Hub

    The courtyard around the platform was empty in the mid-morning hours.  Generally speaking, the crafters of the LifeStyle Village were working hard to finish their daily quotas.  Semmi stopped and stared with the rest of the Inferno Guild.

    She glanced at Nix who seemed more amused than anything else.  "Is this a mall?  Holy Shit Nix."

    "Come on, let's get going."  He grabbed her hand and left the main courtyard and headed upstairs to the second level west wing where the Artificers were located.  "Stealth here and take everything from Darsi's work station while she is talking to me."

    Semmi pinched his side, "do your best Nix."

    Nix entered the room, there was only one artificer working.  According to his map, she shared this work station with two alchemists.  None of them looked up when he walked in,  He smiled at the ponytailed girl.  "Really good concentration guys."

    Darsi stared at him, her blue eyes wide with shock.  "Trip-Seven..."

    The two male alchemists in the room glanced at him, neither paying much attention.  Semmi snatched everything out of Darsi's finished bin while she stared at Nix.

    "This is a hold-up, please step away from your work-stations."  Three green strands shot from Nix's outstretched hand, they waved threateningly in front of the three crafters.  Each of them felt the intense heat pulsing from the emerald flames.

    Semmi couldn't help but snort at his expression, she finished all three bins and headed toward the door.  She tapped Nix's shoulder on the way out.

    Darsi slammed her hand on the counter, just before she noticed the empty bin.  "God in heaven... You are robbing us?"

    Nix nodded in affirmation "Yes, I said that already."

    Darsi sighed heavily, "Can you give me back my Phelinomia bracer?"

    Nix shook his head, "No way... What time do you finish your daily quotas?"

    "My companions and I are done by 1400 every day."  Darsi stared at the smiling Nix.  "I messed up, I wish I had done things differently."

    "Have all your friends on the platform tomorrow at 1500."   He turned and trotted out the door.  By the time he arrived back at the entry point, the rest of the raid group had already returned.  He activated Deep Blue and chose Sea-World.


    Nix walked down dock carefully inspecting the bounty they had picked up, there were several different kinds of melee and ranged weapons.  Walking a bit further he ran into the armor section, it started at cloth armor and ended with some enhanced plating.  At the end of the dock, there was a combination of potions, artifacts, and jewelry.

    Not many things impressed Jun Li, but this was a haul bigger than anything she had seen in any raid.  She was looking through the jewelry very carefully, everything they brought back was high end.

    Nix leaned back against the dock post and waited for everyone to assemble.  All of  Inferno finally finished picking through the loot, no one had asked for anything yet.

    "How is this sort of haul possible Nix?"  Jun Li had walked into the weapons area and had literally taken everything, no one lifted a finger to stop her.

    "Who here has heard of the Gladis Corporation?"

    Semmi considered her answer before answering, "they are a massive VR corporation, recently they've been delving more into games like Colonial."

    Nix nodded, he figured Semmi would definitely have heard of them.  "The Gladis Corporation recently purchased the contracts of non-violent felons to work as lifestyle players.  The place we just visited is called the Gladis Hub."

    "Holy ** Nix!"  Ronnie had been standing next to her sister, her dark face wore a huge smile.  "We just stuck it to Gladis Corp?"

    Semmi watched him carefully.  "That woman called you Trip-Seven."

    "Inmate 777, that was my designator while I was at the Gladis reception area.  I escaped before being assigned to the Lifestyle Village."

    Semmi clapped her hands together.  "An escaped felon?  How does she know you if you escaped from reception?"

    "Oddly enough there's an empty room across the hall from her that has my designator and picture on it."

    Semmi raised an eyebrow, "For real?"

    "Yes, they used an artifact to change my binding point back to the Gladis Hub.  I died and was respawned at the LifeStyle Village."

    Jun Li cussed loudly, "those black diamonds were used to make that artifact?"

    "Yes," Nix answered truthfully.  "However, without all the stones it became a one-time use item."


    "There it is."  Wind pointed to a large drafting table a hundred feet from shore.  A few moments later the three of them landed and approached.

    Nix placed his hand on the table and instantly a menu popped up in his hud.

    [Guild Leader Nix of the Inferno Guild: Please name your guild's island.]

    Nix smiled to himself.  "Glory."

    [Do you wish to start a settlement on Glory Island?]


    [There are two types of settlement options for this island.]

    1) Coastal Settlement.

    2) Inland Settlement.

    "Coastal Settlement."

    [Use the overhead view of your map to choose a site.]

    Nix maneuvered the map over the island's natural cove and chose the site.

    [Coastal Settlements come with a dock feature.  Build Docks for Glory Island?]


    [You can currently choose one of three support buildings to be built on Glory Island.]

    1) Guild Hall

    2) Shipyard

    3) Guild Portal

    Pon pointed to the third option. "Best to go with Portal."

    Wind nodded in agreement. "We already have four ships, so building a shipyard at this point isn't reasonable.

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    [Glory Island]

    1) Guild Portal

    2) Coastal Settlement

    3) Dock option

    4) Natural Feature Site.

    [Total cost: 734,454,040 credits] Keep all options and build Glory Island?

    Pon laughed at Nix's face.  "Holy **."

    Wind whistled softly, "yeah... that sucks."

    "Yes.  Build Glory Island." Nix started paging through the available settlement options, there were dozens of different stores and shops that could be constructed.  Each of them carried hefty charges.

    [Guild Structures have been built.  Inferno has been promoted to level two.  Guild chat has been enabled.]

    /Guildchat: Ronnie: I have a Guild portal icon on my hud!  Incoming!

    A moment later Ronnie ported to Glory Island, she was quickly followed by the rest of Inferno.

    Nix took a seat on a nearby rock and watched while the docks were being built.  As a coastal settlement, they would receive ten initial small shop plots to be given or sold.  Additionally, there were two large plots available also.

    "Anyone know a good Innkeeper we could talk into moving here?"  Jun Li was smiling at Nix for once, usually, she was serious when he was around.  Everyone knew that he had a close relationship with Hyai from the Kindled Spirit.

    Nix returned her smile. "How's that work, Junie?"

    She didn't seem to notice that he used her nickname.  "The Inn goes with the Innkeeper.  She could pay a fee and the KIndled Spirit would be moved from the plot in Cyphix to one here in Glory Island."

    "Hmmm... I'll consider asking her. Pon, I need you to find me a reliable Fire Acolyte for our temple."

    The old fire mage nodded, "I know of several, but Fire Temples require a flame spirit."

    Nix shook his head, "no it doesn't."

    Jun Li pursed her lips slightly, Nix hardly ever said things that were wrong.  "In this case Nix... I believe he is right. To receive all the benefits of having an elemental temple, a spirit is required.  Or else it would just be a building."

    Nix shook his head again. "Flame spirits are fairly low-level elementals.  We don't need one of those, because we have a Fire Nemesis."

    Pon, "oh god."

    Jun Li, "you can't be serious."

    "Why not?  Temple Spirits are given their own elemental worlds."  He had already discussed it with Shae, it would give her a secure place that she could call her own.

    Jun Li glanced between Pon and Nix.  "No one has a Nemesis Elemental as their Temple Spirit.  How would that even work?"

    Pon scratched his old face as he considered it.  "Temple benefits are directly related to the strength of the Elementals residing within its core world.  Honestly, I have no idea what would happen if Shae had her own temple."

    "Bring me an acolyte, Pon.  You know what Shae is like, so try to find someone who can get along with her."

    Semmi had been listening in on the conversation, she nudged Nix over slightly and sat down next to him on his boulder.  "You'll use one of the large plots to build a Temple?"

    "Yes, we are going to need the benefits of a Fire Temple if we intend to make further progress in Mermaid City."

    Nix accessed the settlement menu from his hud and checked the Temple prices.  He whistled and closed it immediately.  It was nearly five billion credits, he didn't have that kind of money.  "How can we land a temple without paying for it?"

    Semmi laughed at the comment.  "You want to take someone's temple?

    Nansu chose this moment to approach, she was holding hands with Chael.  "I'd like an alchemist shop, please. I know it will probably have to wait until a later time, but just keep it in mind."

    Nix brought up the menu interface and showed the plot locations for small shops.  "See a location you like?"

    Nansu pointed to one that was close to the docks.  She was never certain when Nix was serious or joking.

    Nix highlighted the area and then chose the Alchemy shop from a long list of possibilities.  He smiled at the look on Nansu's face.  All businesses would automatically donate fifteen percent of their profits to the guild.  "All done."

    The build options Nix chose only took a few hours to complete.  Jun Li volunteered to recruit Ship captains for them, while Semmi would look for a Settlement manager.  Nix had a general idea of what he wanted, but he had no idea the best way to get it done.  A manager was definitely needed.

    A familiar face approached him, Nix was surprised until he remembered that he had given her back the second Deep Blue bracer.

    Mina smiled at him, "I hear you are looking for a Temple?"

    Nix nodded, "you know of one?"

    Mina brought up a map and zoomed in on a large building.  "The Arcadic Temple."

    "Oh god..."  Pon stared at her like she had three heads.

    Jun Li stared at the map.  "That's an Aquarion Temple from Mermaid City, it isn't even part of the raids."

    Nix looked at the map then back at the Aquarion.  "I like the way you think Min."
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