210 Fire Team Replacemen

    /Breach Commander Nix: Thanks for the assistance.  Opening a Breach back to Loki.

    [Create Breach: Loki]

    Nix waited while the 12 Pillars, the Inferno Rangers and most of Inferno exited through the breach.

    [Whisper: Gideon to Nix] Just wanted to let you know that just about every player who came to Oasis are now members of the 12 Pillars.

    [Whisper: Nix to Gideon] That's great news, thanks for recruiting.

    [Whisper: Gideon to Nix] It has more to do with the awards that we're getting in these Breach battles than our recruitment methods.  If you need a squad or guild size element, Salamander is ready and available.

    [Whisper: Nix to Gideon] Build an elite five-person force and we'll definitely call on them for smaller excursions.

    /Inferno: Nix: Fajii head back to Haven and prepare for your Planar Test.

    /Alpha Team: Pon: Me too boss.

    /Alpha Team: Semmi: Yeah!

    /Alpha Team: Wind: Same, we are ready!

    /Alpha Team: Nix: We aren't done with our mission yet.  Let's find the Izzin.  [Pronounced: Eye-Zen]

    A light tap on his shoulder reminded him that Beta hadn't left yet.  She took a few minutes to clean up her face, but her hair and armor were blackened with demon blood. "Don't suppose you have any demon eggs?

    "Renz said you were on a class quest mission?" Nix showed her the round stones they found in the hidden basement.  "We found something that might be eggs."

    Beta's pink eyes lit up when she saw them.  "I need five of them for my quest."

    Nix smiled pleasantly and stowed them in his inventory.  "Do you?  How many do you have now?"

    Beta frowned slightly.  "I need five of them," she repeated.

    "Well... it appears I only have six." Nix gave her a deadpan look.

    /Alpha Team: Pon: Why you being like that?  Give her the eggs.

    /Alph Team: Semmi: She did help us, boss.

    /Alpha Team: Fajii: Actually, Nix could have handled that thing by himself, and he did pull her out.

    /Alpha Team: Nix: Don't worry... I'm only negotiating, she has something really nice.

    Beta raised a white eyebrow.  "Trade?"

    Nix nodded.  "You have an artifact that masks heat signatures. I have someone that's really good at making those sorts of items."

    /Inferno: Nix: Darsi, I need you to meet Beta at your shop in Glory.  She has an artifact that I'd like copied, if possible.

    /Inferno: Darsi: Sure, I'm already there, working on a few things.

    Beta pursed her lips while she considered the trade, she stole a glance at Wind before answering.  "What if your crafter can't duplicate it?"

    Nix shrugged.  "You get the eggs for free, only five of them though."

    Beta nodded.  "As long as Wind escorts me and shows me around a bit.

    /Alpha Team: Pon: The f*ck is that about?

    /Alpha Team: Semmi: Seriously?  Do it!

    /Alpha Team: Nix: Willing to take one for the team?

    /Alpha Team: Wind: Sure.

    "We agree."  Nix handed the five eggs to Wind, trying to see what Beta might like about the dark-haired thief.  "Show her around Glory."

    Wind kept his expression carefully neutral. "We'll see Darsi first and go from there."

    [Create Breach: Glory]

    "Thanks, Beta."  Nix waited until the pair stepped through the breach before heading toward the Nether Incursion.

    /Alpha Team: Fajii: Want me to wait?  Or head out now?

    /Alpha Team: Nix: Head out now, relax and unwind, there's no telling how long your trial will take.

    Fajii nodded and gated out with a quick wave.

    /Alpha Team: Semmi: Why we heading this way?

    /Alpha Team: Nix: Two reasons, first is we haven't found our Izzin friends yet.  Second is I'm curious as to what the Nether looks like.

    /Alpha Team: Pon: Fine, let's not get sucked in or anything.

    /Alpha Team: Semmi: Right...

    The crater leading down was similar to the one from Izzin, it was straight down for 30 meters before angling off at a reasonable forty-five degrees.  Nix leaped in and glided down while the rest of Alpha used their Manta.  There were a few smaller off chute tunnels leading from the passage the wailer made.  They looked like they might have been air pockets.  It was here that Nix noticed the thermal signatures of a small group.

    Nix held a hand up to stop Semmi and Pon.  "Captain Aveck? Shipwright Vy sent me."

    A thin bald Izzin peeked out from the side tunnel, he face was covered in black demon blood. "I'm Aveck."

    Nix shook the offered hand.  "I'm Nix from the Inferno Guild."

    As soon as the group heard his name they started bowing politely.  The word Dragonslayer was whispered several times among them.  Aveck quieted them down with a wave of his hand.  "Thank you Nix, we came down here to investigate and discovered an entire city. We skirted their settlement and discovered this path leading down."

    Nix nodded. "This leads to the Nether and has been blocked off by Breach Commander Renz."

    The Captain must have known about the Nether, his face turned pale beneath the black blood.  "Oh no... Will they escape?"

    "No. We are allies, right?  Of course, we will fight when you are in danger."  Nix patted the Captain's shoulder.  "I have to explore a bit, shall I send you back to the surface?"

    Nix opened a Breach and sent them back to Lake Tysta.  As soon as they left, the trio continued to scout the main corridor. It only took them a few minutes to find the initial Nether Incursion.

    The crater ended abruptly in a solid wall.  The three members of Alpha Team stared at it.

    /Alpha Team: Semmi: Commander Renz patched it maybe?

    /Alpha Team: Nix: That's the only thing I can think of.  He can't just leave it open.

    Pon reached out and touched the wall, immediately he pulled his hand back.  "That's dragon scale Nix."

    /Alpha Team: Nix: I don't really know how Nether Incursions are patched... Let's leave it and I'll find out later.


    An hour later, Nix found himself once again on the 90th floor of the Embassy.  Fajii, Semmi, Wind, and Pon were getting ready to enter the Planar Trial.

    /Alpha Team: Nix: Only Fajii really needs to finish this now.  The rest of you can wait a few days if you like.

    /Alpha Team: Semmi: Prey waits.

    Nix nodded in agreement and approached the foundation of the House of Inferno.  The images of 12 pillars reached upward from the floor.

    [Do you wish to initiate the House Planar Trial?]


    [Place the Pillars?]

    /Alpha Team: Nix: Everyone move to one of the corners, please.

    Vooni had told him to place the strongest at the four corners.  The bonuses the House would have depended up the Foundation and its Pillars, it was Nix's hope that the House of Inferno would carry Gemini traits.

    Nix approached Fajii and gripped her hand.  "You ready?"

    Fajii nodded.  "You look worried Nix."  She smiled and leaned closer to kiss his cheek.  "We'll be fine."

    Eron swished his tail from her shoulder. "I will definitely ensure that nothing happens to this person. She is worthy."

    [Place Fajii as the NW Pillar?]


    Nix walked across the foundation to Wind.  "What happened with Beta?"

    Wind shrugged, "I showed her around Glory for a bit and then she left."

    "Be careful in your trial, rely on stealth whenever you can." Nix smiled when the small gecko climbed on the scout's shoulder.  "If you get in trouble, introduce them to the King."

    Wind nodded.  "We got this Nix."

    [Place Wind as the NE Pillar?]


    Pon's old face was expressionless when Nix approached him.  "You don't have to worry about me Boss, I'll be the first one done."

    "I know it."  Nix placed a hand on the Fire Mage's shoulder.  "Don't show off too much."

    "No promises."  Pon stared across the platform at Semmi, he returned her wave.  "No idea what to do with that one boss."

    Nix had to bite his lip to keep from smirking.  " I can draw you a picture if you like. Better think of something before she realizes that she can do better."


    "That's a joke, old man.  Take your time, it's enough that she likes you."

    [Place Pon as the SE Pillar?]


    The blond thief was all smiles when Nix approached.  Unexpectedly she hugged him. "Thank you Nix, Vooni told me how important the first Pillars are. I will definitely make you proud."

    "I know it.  Be smart and use everything at your disposal."

    Semmi nodded, her white fox Tilde was resting comfortably in the crook of her arm.  "Think Pon will finish before me?"

    Nix nodded.  "Yes.  My trial took a long time, don't worry about the length."

    "Okay, Boss."

    [Place Semmi as the SW Pillar?]


    Nix stared at the now-empty platform where the members of Alpha Team had stood.  "Eight more pillars to be chosen... No need to rush them."

    /Inferno: Hyai: Want to have dinner at the Inn on Loki Nix?

    /Inferno: Nix: Sure.  On my way.

    Nix activated Deep Blue and chose Loki.  He waved at the Scorched Earth Acolytes standing guard at the gate and walked toward the Inn.

    The Loki Inn was a bit larger than the Kindled Spirit.  Above the entrance was a large sign with the image of an Emerald Salamander on it.

    "Nix!"  Hyai was delivering food to a table near the door when he entered.  "Like the sign?"

    Nix nodded.  "At least you got my good side."

    "All your sides are good sides."  Hyai pulled him into the kitchen, where she had set up a small table for him.  "Going to keep working while you eat hun."

    "Fine with me."  Nix eyed the large stack of pots in the sink. "Did you bring me here to help with dishes?"

    The Innkeeper's pretty laugh followed her as she carried another tray to the dining room.  "Maybe."
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