213 Gemini Temple: The Lower Levels part two

    /Charlie Team: Nix: Okay, keep an eye out for Chael.  Looks like he's perma-cursed until this Instance is finished.

    /Charlie Team: Sharl: Let's kill him right away, then he can sit it out until the end.

    /Charlie Team: Jun Li: Agreed.

    [Summons: Ducky]

    Ducky appeared an instant later; she immediately donned her House of Inferno Armor.

    Nix put a hand on her shoulder. "Scout out the immediate area; look out for Chael until this instance is over. He is not on our side."

    "Understood Nix."  The Water Witch looked past him to the rest of the group and waved.  "Hi, everyone."

    /Charlie Team: Sharl: Damn... She's completely aware?

    /Charlie Team: Nix: My little girl has grown up, I guess. Stealth up.

    A long corridor led away from the entrance to the instance; there were no other paths to travel, so the team advanced cautiously.

    /Charlie Team: Nix: There's a light ahead.

    Ducky appeared in the middle of them without any warning.  She smiled, apologetically at Nix.  "This path leads outside.  Dense growth, like nothing I've ever seen."   Red dots started popping up on Nix's local map, indicating all the threats his companion had discovered.  A red star hovered on the outer perimeter of the map.

    Jun Li was leaning over him while studying his display.  "That red star is Chael."

    /Charlie Team: Sharl: We have to assume that charmed Chael still has his sniper abilities.

    /Charlie Team: Nix: Stay close to cover, if the foliage is as dense as Ducky says, he'll have to get close for a shot.

    A minute later, the group exited through a tall stone archway.  They were on a slight hill at the edge of a valley basin.  On the far side of the valley was a large stone pyramid.

    /Charlie Team: Jun Li: Kinda looks like the Amazon, you can bet there are lots of hidden threats.

    /Charlie Team: Nix: Mina, could you keep scanning for Sea-Beasts?

    Charlie Team: Mina: There probably won't be Sea-Beasts here.

    /Charlie Team: Nix: Right, but it will tell you what is close.  Also, I landed the King in a swampy area, just like this.

    /Charlie Team: Mina: Understood, scanning.

    /Charlie Team: Nix: Chael is approaching from the west, 100 meters away, and fully stealthed.

    [Summons: Fey]

    The Silver Drakon appeared a moment later, her silver eyes quickly scanning the area.

    "Need you to stealth up and take out Chael, he's been charmed."

    Fey nodded and stealthed immediately.

    /Charlie Team: Jun Li: Do you think Vooni will give us all Dragon Eyes?

    /Charlie Team: Nix: No idea.  I had to best her for it.

    The team descended the red dirt path that wound down to the basin.  Nix moved forward and started using [Flame Throw] to clear the way.

    /Charlie Team: Jun Li: Kinda putting a target on your back, Nix.

    /Charlie Team: Nix: That's the po...


    Chael has inflicted a wound on you. [Critical Hit resisted]

    Nix dived for cover, pushing Shadai to the ground while shielding her.  A glance at his local map told him that the red star had disappeared.  Fey circled above them a few times then started scorching the jungle between them and the pyramid.

    /Charlie Team: Nix: Follow the flames, she got him.

    The small group walked down the burning path, a large predator roaming the skies sent the more dangerous land creatures into hiding.

    /Charlie Team: Jun Li: Not Chael's best moment.

    /Charlie Team: Nix: He flopped when we brought him to Helfast too, maybe he needs better gear.

    They stopped at the small stone courtyard that marked the entrance to the Pyramid.  Nix already found himself missing Semmi's steady input; the blond officer was a fountain of knowledge and ideas.

    Nix patted Fey's shoulder. "Need you to stay here and keep an eye out."

    Fey bathed him in silver flames as a greeting. "Chael disappeared after he died. Shall I eliminate all threats?"

    Nix laughed at her antics.  "Sure, Fey."

    /Charlie Team: Sharl: Peculiar way to say hello.

    /Charlie Team: Nix: It's sweet.  Let's move in.


    [Direct Contact: Gideon]

    A surprised Gideon looked at him from the holo.  "Calling us in Commander?"

    "Yes. Lapu Crater has an Archon Flash.  I'm just sending your group in for now.  If you are overmatched, scout out the area and report back. I'm designating your team as 'Pathfinder.'  Two minutes and I'm sending you in."

    /Charlie Company: Sharl: Shouldn't we handle the Alert?

    /Charlie Company: Nix: Gideon has a solid team, I want to see what they can do.

    [Create Breach: Loki: Lapu Crater]

    [Whisper Nix to Shae] Archon flash in the Lapu Crater.

    [Whisper Shae to Nix] Lapu?  That's Severance's territory.

    [Whisper Nix to Shae] That's what I was thinking, I've sent in an Alliance Team to investigate.

    [Whisper: Shae to Nix] I'm in Glory, I'll check up on Severance also."

    Nix felt a hand grip his arm, he turned to Mina who was pointing up the steep set of stairs to the entrance.  On his second glance, it looked less like a mummy and more like someone straight out of a trauma ward.  It was covered in bandages, with bits of blood oozing out in a dozen different locations. Ragged long hair and slim curves announced that it was female, she stared at the team with one hand raised in the air and black eyes filled with hatred.

    [Thunder Strike]

    Nix has been stunned

    Mina has been stunned

    Sharl has been stunned

    Jun Li has been stunned.

    The creature bound toward them, leaping down dozens of steps with each jump. Its screeching wail made the hairs on Nix's neck stand up.  When it was halfway toward them, a  Drakon flashed into view and scorched her with silver flames.

    You've resisted stun.

    Nix has activated his bloodline.

    [Third Form: Archon]

    A flash of Emerald Wings and he was next to the creature.


    Nix landed a critical hit on the undead Queen. His sword bit deeply into her neck, instead of responding she faded into a cloud of sand and flew up the stairs in a gust of wind.

    /Charlie Team: Sharl: Lightning attacks are the worse.

    Nix nodded in agreement while he bent down and picked up a necklace that he sliced off of the mummy's neck.  He stared at the symbol on it and then cussed loudly.

    /Charlie Team: Jun Li:  What is that?  It isn't the Gemini symbol.

    /Charlie Team: Nix: No, and I've never seen it before.

    [Direct Contact: Beta]

    The Albino seemed to be in the Solomon Market somewhere, her pale face showed amusement.  "Hey, Nix... You trying to steal me away from Commander Mtui?"

    Nix held up the medallion that dropped.  "Know what this might be?"

    Shadowfiend Locket


    The smile dropped from her face immediately.  "Where did you get that Nix?"

    "Sliced it off of an Undead Mummy Queen."  Nix couldn't think of a reasonable thing to call her so he improvised.

    Beta mouthed a silent curse. "Covered in bloody bandages and hard to kill?"

    "Well... not sure about the last part yet.  She did escape by turning into a cloud of sand. Some advice on this would be nice."  Nix stowed the necklace in his inventory and waited.

    "That necklace is used for making a dark pact with a Shadowfiend.  In exchange for some of your life-force, if you are killed, you return to life as a fiend to continue living."  Beta's pretty face twisting into a scowl.

    "Seems like a **ty deal.  Who'd want that?"

    "The blood you spill as an undead feeds directly to the fiend you made the pact with.  Once you have reached the agreed-upon number, your life-force is restored and you are free to go about your business."  Beta stared at him for a moment.  "Where are you Nix?  Bring me in and I will help."

    Nix shook his head.  "We can handle it. Thank you for the information."  He closed the holo and turned back toward the group.  "If anyone isn't up for this, speak up and we'll bring someone else in."

    /Charlie Team: Jun Li: Let's do it.

    /Charlie Team: Sharl: I have a skill that can block AE stuns, that won't happen again Nix.

    /Charlie Team: Mina: Let's kill it and go home.

    /Charlie Team: Jun Li: Who'd make such a deal?  Wracking up bodies to pay for an unholy revival...

    /Charlie Team: Nix: I suspect it's Tessa Beryngare, but there's no way to know for sure.

    They entered the Pyramid and were presented with a wide, torch-lit stone ramp that led down.  The walls were cut from worn sandstone and the ramp itself from a heavy granite.  It grew steadily colder as they progressed.

    Nix dodged to one side when a blade seemed to thrust directly from the wall.  He raised a hand and sent a half dozen Gemini flame strands into the torso that followed.  He yanked hard, pulling the creature from the wall.

    [Swapped Out]

    Jun Li replaced Nix and sliced at the creature's neck, unexpectedly its head fell to the floor with the stroke, slowly rolling down the ramp.

    An Undead Sand Warrior has been slain.

    /Charlie Team: Jun Li: That wasn't stealthed! It was part of the wall.

    Jun Li collapsed to her knees, as a second creature dived from the walls.  It sliced a black blade at her legs, which she managed to block.

    [Shield Slam]

    Sharl has stunned an Undead Sand Warrior.


    An Undead Sand Warrior has been caught by an irresistible force.

    Nix sliced his blade directly through the undead's torso.

    An Undead Sand Warrior has been slain.

    [Tides of Flames]

    Nix targeted the ramp directly in front of them.  An instant later, the screams of dozens of undead filled the hall, as they leaped outward into the flames.

    [Gladiator Strike]

    Jun Li has critically wounded an Undead Sand Warrior.

    [Critical Chain]

    Nix has followed up on Jun Li's strike and mortally wounded an Undead Sand Warrior.

    Mina slammed her Scepter into the head of a creature that jumped at Shadai, she sent the rest of her Vilas forward, ordering them to attack.

    [Defender's Blockade]

    Sharl has formed a perfect defense, all enemies must attack her for the next 30 seconds.

    Nix raised his hands and a dozen strands impaled six different targets.  He slammed them upward into the ceiling and then dashed them against the floor.

    An Undead Sand Warrior has been stunned.

    An Undead Sand Warrior has been stunned.

    An Undead Sand Warrior has been stunned.

    An Undead Sand Warrior has been stunned.

    An Undead Sand Warrior has been stunned.

    An Undead Sand Warrior has been stunned.

    [Incinerate: Ice Flames]

    A half dozen screams sounded at once as Nix locked them in a prison of flames.

    [Gemini Cyclone]

    Jun Li's Gemini blade flashed in a half dozen different directions, the damage scrolling across Nix's hud fast than he could read.


    Sharl has stomped an Undead Sandwarrior to death.

    Sharl has stomped an Undead Sandwarrior to death.

    Sharl has stomped an Undead Sandwarrior to death.

    Sharl has stomped an Undead Sandwarrior to death.

    Sharl has stomped an Undead Sandwarrior to death.

    Sharl has stomped an Undead Sandwarrior to death.

    A few minutes later Nix whistled softly at the number of corpses that were stacked up.  He didn't have to pretend to be impressed with the Gladiator and Defender classes.  The ramp led to a large circular room with a stone sarcophagus in the middle.  The body of Chael was sitting on the stone tile, propped up against it.

    /Charlie Team: Nix: F*ck... I feel like I've seen this before.

    Shadai looked at the fallen Inferno Sniper.  "I can't revive him because he's not really dead."

    The lid of the stone coffin exploded upward and shattered against the ceiling, showering Nix and company with bits of stone.  An instant later, the low moan of the woman caused the group to step back.  She climbed out and leaned against the stone box.  This time an aura of lightning could be seen hovering around her.

    /Inferno: Nix: Esta, where are you right now?

    /Inferno: Esta: Sanctuary.

    [Create Breach: Sanctuary: My Location]

    Esta stepped into the room a moment later.

    The Undead Mummy dropped her hands immediately.  "Esta?"
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