144 A New Age

    [Summons: Soup]

    "Archon?  I'm not really sure what that is but I assure you I'm only a Fire Mage. "  Nix guessed there were roughly 50 beasts, which meant the three Elder Matriarchs could summon more.

    [Whisper: Nix to Mina] We have trust, right? Unsummon your Vilas.

    "I'm Guild Leader Nix of Inferno."  Nix placed his hands outward with the palms up.  "Mina, this isn't a fight we can win.  Please put your Vilas away."

    /Inferno: Mina: 6.2, North Hall, halfway down there's a mark on the stone floor.

    Mina unsummoned her Vila. "Nix, you have the honor of addressing Elder Matriarch Cai'Song."

    "That's a familiar name." Nix smiled pleasantly, "the Artifact on the 12th floor is called Cai'Song."

    Nix could see the resemblance in the facial features. However, unlike Mina's warm beauty he found Cai'Song to be hideously cold.

    "My Grandmother was one of the Elder Matriarchs that worked together to construct it." Mina's voice was soft, her secret shame was exposed to him.

    Nix grabbed her hand as if to comfort her but secretly placed the wall opening device in her hand.

    "The sins of one generation die with them. Are you aware that three of the Aquarion women from the Souza Accord are pregnant with female babies?" Nix understood that Inferno was fast and that no one was better at deploying then Jun Li and Semmi.

    Cai'Song scoffed at him.  "Useless lies, we've given no access to the females from Mina's faction. "

    "The offspring of Aquarion women and human men are inherently female." Nix wasn't sure if that was accurate, but the Elder Matriarchs didn't know that.

    Cai'Song didn't react at all.  "Half cast offspring, it would be better if they were never born."

    "I see... you already knew."  Nix heard Mina's sudden gasp. "How is using a human girl to change the gender of an unborn Aquarion baby any different?  The Artifact does the combining, so therefore it is acceptable?"

    /Inferno: Nix: Grab onto Soup when he goes by you.

    "Grandmother!  Is this true? The Elder Matriarchs have hidden this from us?  We could have taken a path of peace! Our races could have lived together."  Mina's voice grew louder as she spoke, there was an element of anguish that made Nix want to comfort her.

    Nix used his companion commands to have Soup target the closed door behind them.

    Cai'Song laughed loudly, the sound of it made Nix's blood boil.  "What kind of Colonial woul..."

    Nix didn't let her finish.

    [Battering Ram: Target]

    Soup exploded toward the door, Mina managed to latch on as he flashed past her.  Nix stepped forward to cover their retreat.

    [Aura Ignition]

    He focused on pushing his flames outward, the result was a wave of Emerald flames being sent out in all directions.  The room shook with an impact an instant later as Soup crashed through the stone door.

    [Command: Retreat]

    Nix moved forward toward Cai'Song


    A blast of Wind has silenced Cai'Song.

    The sea beasts all moved toward him at once.  He pushed a dozen flame strands outward and gave Soup his last order.

    [Command: Shield Ally: Filamina]


    A look of panic crossed the Elder Matriarch's face as an irresistible force pulled her toward Nix.

    An instant later Nix was overrun by dozens of sea-beasts.  He grabbed Cai'Song and dodged to one side, teeth tearing at both his legs just before a strong pair of jaws latched onto his shoulder forcing him to the ground.

    Nix has activated his bloodline.

    [Second Form: Salamander]

    A wave of power blasted outward in all directions.  The entire area shook for a few seconds and then stopped, leaving only destruction in its wake. The walls of the room were completely blown out, the charred remains of the beasts were littered across the crumbled walls and ceilings.

    Nix found Cai'Song a few meters away.  Oddly enough she was the only Matriarch to survive Nix's transition to Salamander.  Blood was leaking out of her mouth, her face was badly burned and the look in her eyes was that of sheer terror.  The chamber they had trapped Nix in, was nothing but a big oven where his enemies had been cooked.

    "Release me... Filamina will never forgive you if you kill me."

    "Even if that's true, I don't require forgiveness."  A dozen barbed flame strands stabbed into her at once. She opened her mouth wide in terror to scream but was dead before any sound escaped.

    Nix felt the room spinning, the emerald salamander collapsed onto the corpse of Cai'Song.

    "Nix!" Mina's seemed to come from far away.  A few seconds later she was kneeling next to him, stroking the smooth emerald skin of his head.  She didn't even look at the corpses of the Elder Matriarchs.  "Help is coming Nix."

    "Grab the ricoli artifacts from the Elder Matriarchs."  Nix struggled to talk, his mouth kept filling up with blood.

    Mina nodded but didn't leave his side.  "I can't bear this Nix, heal yourself."

    The sound of running feet caused her to turn.  Jun Li and Tess were the first through the door, Inferno had arrived.

    Tess took one look at him and shook her head.  His left arm and leg were missing, they both looked like they had been bitten off. There was a ragged wound on his shoulder that was deep enough to put her hand in. "I can heal you Nix, but you know the deal with that."

    Nix understood, which is why he didn't heal himself.  "Junie, that hall leads to the 7th floor.  Clear it before we leave."

    [Disclaimer: In Colonial, the non-fatal loss of limbs cannot be healed by normal means.  You can be fully healed, but the missing limb won't be returned unless you are rezzed or restored by game events.]

    Mina looked up from her seat on the rubble.  "We couldn't gate out, the rooms been altered somehow."

    Tess frowned, "my rezz is grayed out too Nix.  Looks like  you'll have to be revived at the Fire palace."

    "No worries.  Thanks for coming so quickly."

    You have died.

    Nix rolled over on the flat stone of the Fire Palace's Altar.

    [Your gear is in need of repair]

    [Your locked level of 100 had decreased by one level]

    [You are suffering from resurrection sickness.  All Statistics are decreased by half: Duration 3 hours]

    "The f*ck is that about?"  Nix shifted slightly until his feet were hanging over the altar.  "Is that because I crossed the Escalades Bridge?"

    Nix walked toward the exit, checking his companion menu.  Soup had been unsummoned during the blast.

    Colonial System Message: Congratulations to Inferno for being the first guild to advance to the 7th floor.

    /Inferno: Nix: Good job everyone.

    /Inferno: Semmi: Want to hear the good news Nix?  Haven is at 80 percent exploration so we can utilize the map options and start reserving homestead locations.

    /Inferno: NIx: If you want to reserve a specific location, get the coordinates and give them to Semmi.


    A few hours later Nix was sitting on the banks of the river that ran through the area he wanted to claim.  He had tried to check on Mina, but Fajii had asked him to wait.  She would find him when she was ready to talk.

    [Activate Fishing Scroll?]


    A basic fishing pole has been sent to your inventory.

    A basic tackle box has been added to your inventory.

    A container of live bait has been sent to your inventory.

    [You have learned the fishing skill. 1/500]

    Nix set up the line with a leader and bobber.  Once he was happy with the result he baited the hook.  He cast the line and leaned back on the grassy bank. "And so the great fishing saga begins."

    [You've been invited to a secret chat channel: GoFish.  Do you accept?]


    /GoFish: Jun Li: You got our stuff?

    /GoFish: Nix: Yep, all set.  I'm at the spot already.

    /GoFish: Semmi: Wait for us Nix!

    /GoFish: Nix: Too late.

    Nix waved when he spotted two mantas heading toward him.  He handed them their fishing scrolls and then went back to his seat on the grass and then cast his line.

    [Your fishing skill has improved: 2/500]
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