109 Mercenary for Hire

    Semmi jumped in and slashed at the swamp lizard's hamstrings before rolling to one side.


    White flame tore through the lizard's abdomen backing him up.

    NIx raised a hand and a dozen emerald strands wrapped around its legs, the creatures alligator face opened wide as it roared miserably.


    Semmi has slain as Swamp Lizard.

    [Level Cleared]

    Semmi placed her hands on her knees, gasping for air.  "Stop for now?"

    Nix nodded at the blonde scout. "Nice job Sem."

    Each zone in the Embassy has a small neutral zone in its entrance.  In this zone is the floor control panel.  You can change floors, provided you are qualified to enter the new choice.  This is also the area in which you are rezzed in the event of your death.

    They walked back to the entrance together.  Semmi was covered in swamp muck from having been ambushed by a half dozen man-sized lizards.

    The blonde was using the edge of her dagger to scrape mud off her armor. "This random zone ** is for the birds."

    Nix nodded in agreement, the two zones prior to this had been arctic and desert.  "Not a bad piece of work though."

    Semmi smiled, "It looks like we qualified up to Floor 33. Want to check out the shops on the 10th floor?"


    They summoned the elevator and stepped in.  This time the floor lights were lit all the way to 33. Semmi pushed the button for the 10th floor.  "Too bad we didn't qualify for the 40th floor."

    Nix hid a smile, "Oh?  Why's that?

    Semmi wiggled her eyebrows at him.  "You know why."

    /Inferno: Ronnie: Looks like my asking price is 1.5 mil.  I'm gonna get rich!

    /Inferno: Sharl: 1.8 mil.

    /Inferno: Pon: 3.7 mil.

    /Inferno: Tess: 7 mil.

    /Inferno: Wind: Everyone wants heals. 2.1 mil.

    /Inferno: Jun Li: Tess and I just qualified up to floor 25.  Heading to the armor shop on 10 now.

    /Inferno: Semmi: See you there. I qualified for 33.

    /Inferno: Pon: Bull**.

    /Inferno: Wind: Really?

    /Inferno: Semmi: Yep.

    /Inferno: Ronnie:  Hey... You're with Nix!

    /Inferno: Semmi: Maybe.

    /Inferno: Tess: Cheat.

    /Inferno: Pon: Lame.

    The elevator came to a stop with a loud ding, and the duo stepped out.  The armor/weapons shop on the tenth floor was actually a huge bazaar.  As soon as the elevator closed, it opened again and two more inferno members stepped out.

    Tess smiled at her friends before her eyes caught the board behind them.  "Hey, it's a leaderboard."

    Semmi smiled innocently, "Oh?"  She'd already noticed that she and Nix were at the top.

    "Welcome to the 10th Floor.  I'm Khabi, the Floor Steward. May I help you find something?" A tall, muscular man with dark skin approached them.  He was wearing white robes with a purple turban and sandals.

    Nix smiled pleasantly at the Stewart.  "Where can I find rifles?"

    Khabi turned and pointed directly across from them. "This entire row of vendors sell firearms."

    "How about daggers?" Semmi had noticed a touchscreen map on the wall, however, it was listed by shop name, not by what they sold.

    Khabi stepped closer to the touchscreen.  "Upper right is the map index, you can use it to highlight shops by what they sell." The Steward chose the dagger search icon, a dozen shops on the far wall lit up.

    All four of them went in separate directions with Nix heading toward the firearm vendors.

    [Whisper: Darsi to Nix] Hey, I stopped by the Scorched Earth Temple, there's quite a waiting list.

    [Whisper: Nix to Fajii]  Would you push Darsi to the front of the conversion line, please?

    [Whisper: Fajii to Nix] Yes.

    [Whisper: Nix to Darsi]  Ask again, Fajii will take good care of you.

    [Whisper: Darsi to Nix] Thanks Nix.

    Nix spent a few minutes shopping for a quality sniper rifle that Darsi would like.  After finding one and settling on a price, the vendor offered to use their 'delivery service.' This option enabled the person to receive it as a package via their hud.

    /Inferno: Nix: Done shopping yet Sem?

    /Inferno: Semmi: Um... No.

    /Inferno: Tess: Not even close, the corner shops have accessories!!

    "Sorry Jani, Mira logged in, so we are swapping her in for you."

    "Oh, I see. It's fine... I'll find another group."

    Nix overheard the conversation between a handful of guildmates from Tea Leaf.  They definitely stood out, every one of them wore a bright green singlet over their armor.  They left the cleric in question and entered the elevator.

    She noticed his approach right away. "Care to group with me?  44 level cleric!"

    "What floor are you on? Nix smiled at her patience, she'd been dumped by her group.  She was handling it better than he would have.

    "Just the 14th," she admitted.  Her hair was dyed bright pink, and she had a smattering of freckles across her nose.  "I'm a good healer though, and I work well with others."

    Nix laughed at her words, he remembered saying the same thing at his first job interview. "You're hired Jani the Pink."

    "Sajani actually... sometimes my guildmates call me Jani."  She spoke quietly as if she was in a library.

    "I'm Nix, let's head to the 14th floor."  Nix summoned the elevator and a moment later they stepped inside.


    [Several hours later on the 41st floor]

    "Map says there are three more mobs on this level Nix." The pink-haired cleric's face was smudged with mud, she pursed her lips while studying the map.

    [Summons: Fey]

    The Drake appeared in front of them a moment later. She looked around the area, "where we at?"

    "41st floor in the Embassy. This is Pinkie."

    The Drake nodded, "Hi Pinkie. Good thinking bringing a cleric. What's our status?" The drake glanced around, they were in an arid region, low foothills with lots of sagebrush.

    "Clearing out the zone, but we are missing some mobs." She pointed to the west side of the map, "my best guess says they are here."

    Fey nodded her scaled head, "What kind of mobs?"

    "Melee so far, white primates with four arms." Nix waited until the Drake took to the air. "Why did Fey ask about the mobs?"

    Pinkie scratched her cheek while considering the question, he had been doing it all day, teaching her small things. "Risk assessment?"

    "Correct.  Fey's a flier, so melee mobs don't present a threat. She'll find them."

    /Inferno: Semmi: Dumped me Nix?

    /Inferno: Nix: Um... you were shopping until ten minutes ago.

    /Inferno: Ronnie: 41st floor?  You check out the 40th?

    /Inferno: Nix: Not yet.

    /Inferno: Tess: Cheating on me with another healer?

    /Inferno: Nix: Fraid so.

    /Inferno: Jun Li: With the Embassy here, we are going to have to get another Ferry.

    /Inferno: Nix: Sounds good.

    Fey landed a few minutes later.  "Found them, a small cave hidden by some brush.  Probably going to need a tank Nix."

    Nix scowled, "bosses seem to be randomly occurring every few floors."

    "We should stop here Nix, the last boss took us three tries."  Pinkie shuddered at the memory, The 38th floor was a volcano, the boss there had been immune to fire.

    "I guess." Nix grinned at the young woman and sent her a friend request.  "Wanna check out the 40th floor?"

    Pinkie kept her face expressionless, it was difficult to know when Nix was teasing. "We are at the top of the leaderboard.  That means we'd be the first ones to see it."

    A few minutes later they stepped back into the elevator and chose the 40th floor.

    /Inferno: Ronnie: Hey... Nix is on the 40th floor!

    /Inferno: Semmi: Traitor!

    /Inferno: Pon: What's it like?

    /Inferno: Sharl: Spill it Nix.

    /Inferno: Wind: Nix?  Why isn't he answering?

    /Embassy System Announcement: The Embassy exits and entrances close at 1800 hours, at that time a special campground for overnight guests will be located on the 5th floor. You may continue to shop or advance floors. Enjoy your evening.


    Pinkie exited the elevator and strolled into the lobby, she walked over to the kiosk and activated the 'For Hire' option.  Her asking price was 5.2 mil credits.  She scrolled down the mercenary column, even though his name was grayed out she could see the price.  "Holy crap.  Who has 20 mil?"
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