170 Loki City

    /Alliance: Pon: Good job boss.

    /Alliance: Nix: I guess they don't know about my territory options.

    /Alliance: Gideon: What options?

    Nix brought up the Territory menu again.

    [City Menu]

    1) Rename City

    2) Edit Buildings [One time]

    3) Expel Occupants [One time]

    He chose option three.

    [Expel all occupants of Loki?]


    [Please designate one-time expulsion destination]

    "Phai City."

    Nix then used the portal menu to only allow access to members of the 12 Pillar Alliance.

    /Alliance: Nix: This is set to restrict everyone but our alliance from entering.

    /Alliance: Gideon: No unwelcomed visitors.  Nice.

    /Alliance: Pon: Where'd the guards go?

    /Alliance: Nix: Expelled them to Phai City, along with the rest of the dhassi on Loki.

    /Alliance: Wind: Your diplomatic skills haven't slipped a bit boss.

    Nix drew his Archon blade and pushed Gemini Flames into it.  Two quick slices and he stepped through the smoldering door.

    Loki City had nice cobblestone streets that were wider than normal, the buildings were all made from a yellowish brick, there were wagons lined up on the streets and several horses tied up on wooden rails.

    /Alliance: Nix: Dibs on all the horses.

    /Alliance: Semmi: There should be a drafting interface somewhere closeby since this counts as our initial entry into the city.

    They walked for several minutes until they found Market Square.  It looked exactly like hundreds of people had just disappeared.

    /Alliance: Nix: No need for politeness. Since our dhassi friends no longer work here, I want all the armor, weapons, and combat accessories brought here to the square and laid out nicely.

    /Alliance: Gideon: You heard him.  That means no pocketing anything.  Get a move on.

    /Alliance: Semmi: Let's raid the shops first, then come back and hit all the vendor stalls.

    Nebula climbed up on a nearby wagon that had a workhorse hitched up to it.  "I'm driving!"

    Nix watched the cleric interact with the others.  She was a tiny woman with short black hair and a big smile.  Her personality reminded him of Ronnie.

    While their guilds were out gathering equipment, Nix and Gideon had found the weapon stalls in the Market Square and started organizing by quality.

    Gideon observed Nix throughout the afternoon while they worked together. Unlike other Fire Mages, he didn't seem fragile at all, in fact, it was just the opposite.  He tossed around boxes filled with armor like they weighed nothing.  They talked easily and as the day passed developed a good relationship.


    By 1700 the work was done.  The square had been cleared and was now covered in carefully organized stacks of equipment.

    /Alliance: Nix: Since we've gone through all this trouble, everyone may pick themselves out a complete set of gear.

    /Alpha Team: Semmi: Most of my stuff is better already Nix. The Gemini drops were amazing.

    /Alpha Team: Nix: Pick out a complete set of armor, weapons, and accessories.  We'll put it in the treasury.

    /Alpha Team: Semmi: Right! I'll pick out stuff for Junie. That way she'll be set when she unbanks.

    /Alpha Team: Wind: I'll get Banzi some gear.

    Gideon stared at Nix, unsure if he was being serious.  "We're just going to help ourselves?"

    Nix nodded and started getting gear for Ronnie and Sharl.  He broke his own rule by taking two of everything, but no one bothered to mention it.

    When they finished, Nix sent notifications to the other guilds in the Alliance to come to Loki with a five-person group.

    /Alliance: Gideon: All the Alliance Guilds will be able to gear up one group?

    /Alliance: Nix: That's the plan.

    /Alliance: Gideon: Anything else you need from us?

    /Alliance: Nix: You guys can head out. Leave Nebs, so she can help us out with City planning.

    /Alliance: Gideon: When will Loki be opened for business?

    /Alliance: Nix: A few days.  The person I'm appointing as Governor is currently away on business. She will manage commerce and trade here in Loki.

    /Alpha Team: Semmi: There's going to be a lot of stuff leftover, even after the rest of the Alliance takes their part.

    /Alpha Team: Nix: Right, we'll be keeping the rest. Cycle the guilds through as quick as you can. I'm taking Nebs to finalize the town settings.

    The Drafting Table was located near the 2nd gate.  Nebula studied the town layout while Nix started removing personal residences.  A small 3-D layout of the entire town was displayed over the table.

    "Got it figured out Nebs?" Nix liked the healer from Salamander, she was very easy to work with.

    Nebs leaned over the table, she whisked all the buildings to the edge of the map, then started rerouting roads. When she finished the roads, she carefully started placing business.  She moved Market Square closer to the dock. The residential areas were placed against the far wall of the city, away from the noise of commerce.  She removed one of the gates so that Loki City would only have two entrances, a dock gate, and the main gate.

    Nix noticed that several businesses didn't make it back to the city map. "Going to get rid of these?"

    Nebs nodded and finished up the area around Market Square. "This is what I'd do Nix. You can make changes if you like, or revert back to what it was.  Up to you."

    /Alpha Team: Nix: The guilds done?

    /Alpha Team: Semmi: Yep, they finished half an hour ago.  We're just waiting for you.

    Nix went with the changes she chose and then closed the table hud.  The Drafting Table disappeared immediately after.  "Thanks for the help Nebs, it said the rebuild time is 24 hours."

    /Oasis System Message: Congratulations to Inferno for establishing Loki City, the first Human settlement in Oasis.

    Inferno has advanced to a three-star Guild.

    New Guild options are available.

    Three new Guild Quests are available.


    Nix gated directly to the Gemini platform, it was quickly becoming the main hub for Inferno since it could be connected to any gate on Oasis and Colonial. He waited until the rest of his team left before taking out the map that Shae gave him.

    "Looks fairly easy." He was about to head out when he noticed the writing on the back.


    Changing form will make a lot of the pressure from Solomon City go away. There is no explosion when transitioning on the Upper Planes.


    Nix activated Deep Blue and selected Solomon City.

    He arrived on the platform an instant later. The pressure of the Upper Plane pushed down heavily upon him. "Might as well try it."

    Nix has activated his bloodline.

    [Second Form: Salamander]

    A small whoosh of air and an Emerald Salamander appeared where Nix had been standing. There was barely any disturbance at all. Nix felt none of the pressure he normally felt. Quickly, he scurried down the corridor.


    Vooni boxed up the last few items that Rexo possessed, her strong hands shaking slightly with anger. The Phoenix had been the weakest of her recruits, not because of his strength but rather his will. Every day he had fallen a bit further behind the rest of his squad when she could no longer fake his scores he opted out.

    The group had started out so strong, but because of her bad judgment were now in danger of washing out completely. The group scores were averaged based on four members, so even if the rest of the team overachieved, they'd be in danger of falling below the progression line. Her only choice was to wash them out and restart them in a year with a new member. "F*CK!l" Her fist slammed against the stone wall, "This is my fault."

    Vooni briefed her team on their status, she sincerely apologized to them, something none of them would have expected. It was several hours later when she noticed the Emerald Salamander leaving the recruit quarters. Unlike other creatures, Dragon descendants could see thermal signatures. Nix stood out like a bonfire at night.

    Nix stopped suddenly when a winged Archon landed between him and the gate. Her red eyes were staring right at him, even though he was stealthed. She wore black scaled armor and an open-faced helm that had short horns protruding from them.  She wasn't a beautiful woman by any means, but rather one that was quite striking.

    "A little Salamander wandering at night." Her voice was deep for a woman, but not enough to call it masculine.

    "Just on my way home."

    The red eyes stared at Nix as if trying to see through him.  "You aren't a thief are you?"

    "Definitely not."

    She considered her need for a fire creature on short notice and a smile pulled at her full lips. "Our meeting seems destined.  What is your name little Salamander?"

    "Destined?  Have you fallen for me?"

    Her laugh was light and attractive, nothing like the terrifying image she projected.  "What is your name?"

    "I am Pon the Magnificent."

    "Pon?"  She said the name as if testing how it sounded coming from her mouth.

    "The Magnificent," he corrected.

    "Well, Pon the Magnificent, I am Captain Vooni and you are coming with me."  Her voice had a slight ring of steel to it, like someone with absolute confidence.

    "Please step aside, Pon the Magnificent does not wish to embarrass you." Nix was suddenly glad that he was in Salamander's form, otherwise, his grinning face would have given him away.

    "Do you think you can get past me, Pon?" The smile that had threatened to break free finally did.

    "How did you see me Captain Vooni?  Your eyes are red... Thermal vision maybe?"

    Vooni nodded, "the gift of my dragon blood.  Want to make a deal?"

    "I hope this isn't a marriage proposal.  I have eleven wives already." Nix cursed himself for not using Deep Blue to leave from Shae's room.  He had decided to drop by the Archon training yard since they so nicely left everything out on tables.

    "I like you Pon, so let's have a wager."  She took out a small flat stone and then used her sharp-looking teeth to bite through the skin on her thumb.  She rubbed a drop of blood on the stone and then chanted something softly.  The stone glowed red for a moment and then stopped.

    Nix watched her carefully, dragon blood was exceedingly strong.  "What sort of wager?"

    She tossed the stone on the platform.  "If you get past me, the stone is yours."

    "I accept."  Nix eyed the stone, dragons were the strongest of all the fire creatures.

    "I haven't said what the penalty for failure is." Vooni didn't normally smile very often, but the Salamander's manner was comical.

    "Fine. Tell me."

    "You'll join my team for our last three missions.  You only need to stay alive.  That will guarantee you 30 points, with that averaged in, we will manage to stay above the progression line."

    "What happens after three missions?"

    "Phase II ends, I'll have time to find a better replacement before the next round of tests."  Vooni cocked her head to one side.  "Do we have a deal, Pon the Magnificent?"

    [Aura Ignition]

    Silver flames erupted out of Nix, causing the dim corridor to light up considerably.

    "Pretty flames." Vooni nodded in approval.  "You wouldn't actually try to attack a dragon descendant with flames."

    "I would," Nix admitted.   There was the smallest bit of exposed skin between her knee and upper thigh.  Nix leaned back and six strands of silver flame wrapped around each leg.

    Vooni raised an eyebrow in surprise.  "A CC class?  Oh my... These silver strands aren't enough to stop me."

    "Yep. I know."  Nix focused and pushed emerald flames down the strands, he let the silver die out and pulsed the green as hard as he could.

    "Hey!" Vooni's pale face blushed furiously, her strong legs shaking slightly.  "What is..."

    Nix flared his emerald flames, concentrating on making them hotter and brighter. He heard a soft moan and watched Vooni fall to her knees, her breathing was labored as she gasped with pleasure.

    "Bastard... Where did you..." Vooni arched her back, her hands landing on the floor in a loud moan.

    Not daring to let up, he poured all of his will into creating the hottest Emerald Flames he could. Nix strained to hold them while her moans grew louder. Vooni's shadow reflected on the wall, presenting an erotic view of her hips gyrating suggestively.

    Nix walked casually by her, he held the strands a moment longer and then dropped them.  A instant later he disappeared from the platform, along with the stone she had tossed.

    Captain Vooni didn't move at all for nearly a minute. She waited until her breathing leveled off before standing up.  She couldn't remember the last time someone had beaten her so easily.  Her face didn't resemble someone who had been defeated.  Her skin was flush and her full lips wore a slight smile.  "You win, Pon the Magnificent."
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