219 House of Dragons

    Nix finished his shower and laid out some clothes to wear. He decided to forego armor and go in high-stealth mode.   High stealth mode was a set of clothing that Nix made using enhanced camouflage, he combined that with an overlay on a pair of comfortable boots Dalton had made for him. It was untested, but Nix was interested in seeing the results. The smell of bacon brought him out of his room, the sizzling sound of it being cooked reminded him of Hyai and her Inn.  However, it was his sister Bev that was doing the cooking.

    "Morning Froglegs." He smiled and sat down at the kitchen island.  "You heading to Loki today?  I hear there's a big house with your name on it."

    "Really?  Trying to get rid of me?"  Bev served him up some bacon and then pointed to the eggs that were already made.  "Help yourself."

    "Sure... it's only my food and my house, you're very generous Bev."

    His older sister nodded in agreement.  "If Dad and I didn't stay here, the house would be filled with women."

    "Smartass.  Fajii is gone for a few weeks, Hyai is on a quest and Shae is helping out a friend."

    Bev rolled her eyes and took the chair across from him. "Yet somehow all the spare bedrooms are taken."

    Nix frowned when she reminded him of Nansu and Mina.  "What a **ty deal for her and Chael. I have to figure something out."

    "Don't interfere Stixx.  They'll work it out, or they won't."

    Nix didn't comment, it was something he already believed but that didn't mean he had to like it.  "Take over the governorship of Loki today, you have complete control."

    She stared at her younger brother, a slow smile crossing her face. "I'll work out the bugs and introduce a viable political/free trade system."

    [Direct Communication: Nix]

    Breach Commander Mtui's life-size holo popped up in the middle of the kitchen. "Are you ready to go Nix?"

    Nix smiled apologetically at the dishes.  "Bev this is Breach Commander Mtui. Unfortunately, I have to eat and run."

    "It's fine Nicky, nice to meet you Commander Mtui."  Bev offered him a smile, "try to bring my brother back in one piece."

    Nix stepped through the breach that Commander Mtui opened up.  He found himself standing in front of an iron black gate.  A quick look around told him that no one else was present.  "Seriously?  I got things to do..."

    After turning on his hud's anonymous setting, he stealthed up and cleared the gate without really trying.  His eyes turned deep orange while the landscape fluctuated with his thermal vision.  "Time to test the Ice Ring."  He activated the artifact and then walked down the only path available.

    A peculiar scent hung in the air, it was pleasant to the nose like the barest hint of something sweet.  The hard brick path turned to dirt and then to a slightly moss-looking plant that was spongy beneath his boots

    A flash of green caused him to look up, two people wrapped in thin veils ran down the path, Nix carefully stepped to one side and let them pass.  Both of them had horns protruding from there head.  He suspected they might be twins, even though they were male and female.

    As he guessed from the increasing amount of moisture in the air, the path led to a large pond, several ancient willow trees stood guard on the banks, their lower branches dipping into the water.  Nix had thought that they might be swimming, but instead, the sat beneath the trees and assumed a position of meditation.

    The center of the pond bubbled suddenly, steam pushed off the surface and the edges lapped at the shore.  Neither of the meditators seemed to notice.

    A perfect woman with skin as white as ivory rose out of the water.  Her long raven hair hung wetly to her naked form. She also had horns, but not the short stubby ones of dragonspawn.  These were long and wickedly curved.  A feeling of extreme danger caused Nix to hold his breath while she walked toward the shore.

    Nix watched her carefully, she made no extra movements, yet her skin and hair dried the moment her barefoot stepped onto the lush green grass.  The second step she made saw her dressed completely in a sleek black dress that looked better suited to a seductress than a serenely beautiful woman.

    "The two of you were late again, perhaps you had an important matter to tend to?" The woman's voice oozed power, Nix understood right away, this was Commander Mtui's mom.  Slowly he backstepped, not daring to breathe until he was back on the path.

    A few minutes later he cleared the fence easily and was only waiting a few seconds before an official-looking man showed up.  He wore an elegant suit and his hair was slicked back on his head.  The Majordomo jumped slightly when Nix dropped stealth.

    "Are you Commander Nix?" The well-dressed man pretended that he wasn't surprised and spoke in a polite tone.

    Nix nodded.  "I am Nix, pleased to meet you."

    The man's eyes seemed old, even though his appearance was youthful.  "Come with me please."

    "No." Nix slipped his armor on and opened his hud.

    "Sir?  You are here for a meeting with the Mistress of the House of Dragons?"

    [Create Breach: Loki]

    "I was, but that was nearly an hour ago. I don't wait that long for anyone."  He stepped into the breach, leaving the Majordomo staring at him with his mouth wide open.

    [Summons: Ducky]

    Ducky appeared a moment later, she wore the green House of Inferno armor and was holding the bow she took from Eri Dale, the Su'Dhassi ranger.

    "You going to keep the bow Ducky?"  Nix knew that her Water Witch abilities were natural talents and now part of her primary and secondary paths.

    Her blue eyes stared down at the silver bow in her hand. "It's pretty."

    Nix nodded in agreement, "let's go talk to someone about that."

    They walked together up the narrow path from the beach, the Ain'Dhassi rangers had set up camp a few miles from shore. They were using the 'Treehouse' as a makeshift HQ.'

    Bali and Locas were in the middle of a heated discussion when Nix spotted them. Both Ain'Dhassi rangers had made a good impression on him.  Because of their argument, neither looked up until they entered the camp.

    "Commander Nix!" Locas gave him a crisp salute, the look on his pale face showing that he was embarrassed.

    "Lover's spat?"  Nix grinned at the two of them.  He already knew they weren't involved, but the tiny Bali liked to teased everyone around her.

    Locas shook his head, "Ranger business sir."

    Bali sighed heavily.  "You caught us, Commander, the Captain has been wooing me for several months now."

    The Ain'Dhassi scowled at her for a long moment before turning back to Nix.  "Need help, Sir?"

    Nix couldn't keep a straight face, the ranger captain looked completely disgusted.  "Do you have anyone who can teach the Bow Skill?  My Spirit companion would like to learn Archery as a primary path."

    Locas nodded, "Bali was just saying that she has too much free time on her hands."

    Ducky clapped her hands excitedly, then stopped suddenly, her face showing alarm.  "Someone is here Nix."

    Nix still had 'Dragon Eyes' activated, a quick glance around the area showed no one.

    The Water Witch pointed toward the HQ tree.  "There."

    A pleasant laugh sounded from in front of the treehouse.  An instant later the raven-haired woman from the pond appeared out of thin air. "Your perception skills are remarkable.  Would you like to work for me?"

    Ducky shook her head quickly and stepped behind Nix.

    "I'm Nix, welcome to Loki."

    "I'm Deidra Mtui."  Surprisingly she opened a Breach in front of Nix.  "Could I get you to take a short trip with me?"

    Nix didn't bother to hide his surprise.  "You can open Breaches..."

    "Of course, it is a Dragon Skill after all."  Deidra smiled pleasantly at the two Ain'Dhassi rangers, both of them looked like they were frozen in place.  "Ain'Dhassi rangers?  You have a wide variety of friends."

    "That's true.  Anyways... I don't have any more time to waste today, please come back next week, or maybe the week after that."  Nix turned back toward Bali Zenda, "this is Ducky, her perception is quite high so I expect that she's a quick learner.

    Before he could say anything else, a strong hand gripped his arm and yanked him through the Breach.

    [Guild and Personal messaging have been disabled.]

    [All Archon and Breach Commander Skills have been disabled.]

    Nix didn't waste his breath cursing the Dragon, her full lips were curved in an amused smile.  "Where am I?"
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