153 The 12 Pillars

    "Catch something suitable this time Nicky..." His older sister smiled sweetly from the back of the brown mare she had taken for an afternoon ride with Kyla, Nansu, and Hyai.  Bev was wearing a riding outfit that Nix had made for her.  Her black hair was pushed up under a riding cap.

    The four women spent a lot of time riding during Nix's week off.  He hadn't even known Bev could ride. "I am feeling a bit lucky Frog Legs.  Seen Dad this morning?"

    Bev sighed in frustration."Yeah, for a second.  Why did you introduce him to Oasis Tailoring?"

    Oasis crafting could be learned by either converting from Colonial Crafting or purchasing a crafting token at one of the skill vendors.  Unlike Colonial Tailoring, Oasis didn't require prerequisites like hunting and leathermaking.

    "He's my dad, so of course if he asks me, I'm going to do it." Nix had already set up a crafting area on the second floor of the ranch house.  He bought his dad a Crafting book and left enough inventory for him to work steadily at improving.  Nix planned on asking them both to stay. It was nice being together again.

    Semmi waited until the group rode away before letting her smile show.  "You're tempting them both."  She cast her line and settled back to watch the bobber.

    Nix nodded, not bothering to deny the obvious.

    Jun Li had already caught a nice fish and was re-baiting her line.  "Did you know that Ronnie used her Homestead Token on a Library?"

    "...." Nix.

    Semmi laughed at his expression.  "Apparently not?"

    Nix couldn't keep the smile off his face, Ronnie was definitely unpredictable.  "So... no waterpark then?"

    Semmi shook her head.  "The library is really big too, so it's mostly empty.  All regular libraries come with only general knowledge collections.  She's been roaming all over Colonial trying to fill up the other shelves."

    Nix zoned out for a moment, picturing the dark beauty dressed as a conservative librarian.  "Damn... She could totally pull that off."

    Semmi gave him a questioning look.  "Pull what off?"

    "Nothing... Put the word out in the guild to be on the lookout for books.   Having a readily available resource can only help us."  Nix made a careful mental note to make a few appropriate outfits for Ronnie to wear around her library.

    "We sure about the choices for the Guilds?"  Jun Li put down her bait bucket and cast her line again.

    Semmi nodded, "those are the strongest." She had sent notice to the selected guilds. "After the Alliance is formed and the Guildhalls built, they have been directed to let the other Guilds stew for a while before opening up recruitment."  She let her line sit in the water and pulled up her hud.

    [Alliance: 12 Pillars]

    The following 12 Guilds will become the 12 Pillars of Oasis.  Inferno, Resolute, Salamander, Hoss, Daybreakers, Stilleto, Nighthawk, King X, Tsunami, Guardian, Taiga Su, and Vesuvius. All members may build Guildhalls and personal residences on the Island of Loki.  The 12 pillars agree to share in the defense of Loki, pay the agreed 4% Tax rate and elect one member to become part of the Alliance Council.

    Jun Li leaned over and looked at the list again. "Those guild leaders are smart, they know how to recruit. With any luck, the 36 guilds of Oasis will become 12 in a relatively short amount of time."

    "Resolute will be crossing the bridge in two days."  Nix was glad that their ally from Colonial was finally making the trip.


    [Sky Kingdom: Solomon City: Great Library]

    Peri's shoes made a clicking sound that echoed on the white marble floors.  She removed a spot of dust from one of the dark wooden shelves that extended all the to the vaulted ceiling.  Long tables and chairs were lined up in a perfectly orderly fashion in the center of the library. She caught a glimpse of red and walked around the nearest shelf to investigate. Despite the early hour, there was already someone seated.

    "You can access books from the other Great Libraries from that table hud.  However, you can't make copies or hold the books physically."  Peri smiled at the beautiful red-haired Archon.  The normally stern librarian always kept a smile ready for her.

    The Archon nodded and then tried to sit, her wings knocked the chair to one side causing her to frown.  She dismissed the wings with a casual wave of her hand. "Thank you Peri, please let visitors know that I don't wish to be disturbed."

    Peri nodded and glanced at the handful of admirers that were already intent on approaching her.  "I like that dress Shae."

    Shae's lips curved in a smile.  "They have given me lots of other ones, however the ones that he made are my favorites."

    Peri didn't have to ask who 'he' was.  Shae had scorched a dozen would-be suitors that refused to listen to her words.  She already had someone.  "I will try to keep them away."

    Shae used the hud to open the Parliamentary Great Library Selection.  The Parliament library regularly updated the book on 'Oasis Parliament Politics.'   Shae stared at the amended docket for several minutes. "He's already making moves, you won't be able to stop him," she whispered softly.


    A few hours later Nix walked down the hall toward the Parliament Guild Office.  A familiar Ain'Dhassi bowed low. Solomane Manu would greet him politely every time they passed each other in the hall.

    For once Nix stopped before walking by.  "What's going on?  The entire place seems on edge."  He had stopped at the Northside Courtyard for a cold beer before heading toward the office.  There was a very tense atmosphere in Parliament.

    "Inter-Clan fighting again at Clan Xai.  I think this will finally settle it once and for all."  The white-haired Ain'Dhassi was surprised that Nix stopped to greet him, usually, he was rushing from one place to another.

    /Inferno: Nix: Alpha Team, report to Parliament Guild Office.

    "What can you tell me about it?"

    "Saigon Xai is making a move on Tura Raine, he's her older cousin and in his eyes, the rightful Leader of the Xai Clan."

    "Where's her compound?"  Nix brought up the map of Inuit.

    Solomane glanced at the map and pointed.  "Hers is here, about five miles south of Saigon's compound.  You planning on trying to help?"

    Nix smiled but didn't answer.  "I'm just a level one class.  I really couldn't do much even if I wanted to."


    An hour later Pon, Wind, Fajii, Semmi, and Nix stepped into Saigon's Compound.  The gate was still heavily fortified, but there were only a few people inside.  The stealthed Alpha Team had easily walked through the entrance without raising the alarms.

    /Alpha Team: Semmi: What's the mission here Nix?

    /Alpha Team: Fajii: If we are going to help Raine, shouldn't we be at her compound?

    /Alpha Team: Nix: We aren't helping Raine, we are helping ourselves.... to all of Saigon's stuff.

    /Alpha Team: Pon: So... we are here to steal his valuables?

    /Alpha Team: Nix: Correct... Semmi you find the vault and see if you can get it opened.  Pon and Wind grab whatever looks like it will sell.

    /Alpha Team: Semmi: What are you going to do?

    /Alpha Team: Nix: Going to take Fajii and raid the stables.

    /Alpha Team: Pon: Bastard... Are we here to grab horses for you?

    /Alpha Team: Nix: Sounds kinda bad when you say it.  There's no hurry, Saigon is bound to have a lot of things here that each of us can use.

    [Summons: Ducky]

    Nix smiled at the Siren.  "Stealth mission, don't let anyone raise the alarm."

    Ducky nodded. "I understand."

    /Alpha Team: NIx: Okay, head out.  Let's finish this place in an hour.  Call out if you get in trouble.
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