427 Morti Returns

    [Summons: Mortimer]

    An instant later, a towering Titan cub appeared in front of Nix.  Leveling up had caused him to grow about two feet while packing on three hundred pounds of muscle.  Morti stood nearly 17 feet tall on his hind legs, his sharp eyes staring at the dragon spawn.  "Are we gonna swat him?"

    Talon has activated [Dragon Leap].

    The dragon spawn flashed passed Mortimer, his sword raised to strike directly at Nix.  A moment later an enormous paw sent him skidding across the stone platform, his armor grinding against the tile in a spray of sparks.

    Nix has activated [Black Ice: Sculpture].

    Talon was instantly snap-frozen in Black Ice, his face locked in an expression of bewilderment.

    Nix walked towards the frozen dragon spawn while looking at his inventory.  Morti waddled along beside him.

    "He looks dead, Nix."

    Nix shook his head and took out a white box.  "Frozen."

    Morti huffed his nose several times, peering down into the box.  "Hyai make that?"

    "Yep.  Sandwiches."

    "Can I have one?"

    "I'll give you two."  Nix held up the sandwiches, magically they disappeared into the cub's mouth without being chewed.  The two of them studied the figure encased in Black Ice while they finished off the boxed lunch.

    "That's lasting a long time.  I should swat him again."

    Nix stowed the box and brushed his hands off.

    Nix has activated [Black Ice: Fist]

    Both of Nix's fist turned into head-sized balls of Black Ice.  "Go wait on the far side."

    Nix waited a few moments and then slammed his fist into the back of the frozen dragon spawn.  A sound like the shattering of glass echoed in the arena as Talon was sent flying across the platform.

    The titan cub's big tongue lolled out the side of his mouth as he charged at the dragon spawn.  A crushing blow from his paw sent the target back in the other direction.  "Swat!"


    Nix appeared in front of Talon and punched the heavily armored knight in the chest as hard as he could.  The stunned knight tumbled head over heels back towards Morti like he was shot from a cannon.

    [Sudden Escape][Dragon Roar]

    Combination Successful.

    Mortimer is immune to Fear.

    Nix has resisted Fear.

    Nix has activated [Black Ice: Sculpture].

    Once again, Talon was snap-frozen in place.  His face held an expression of stark fear.

    [Summons: Ducky]

    Ducky smiled sweetly at her two favorite family members.  Her all-blue eyes taking in everything before resting on the frozen sculpture.  "That's an impressive CC spell Nix.  Indefinite?"

    "I'm too bored to find out." Nix bent closer to Ducky and whispered something in her ear.  When he finished he punched Talon in the side of the head, knocking him to the ground and breaking the Sculptor spell.

    Talon has been bewitched.

    Ducky grabbed the dragon spawn's hand and pulled him toward Jargon Kane.  "We have an important message to deliver."

    "W-We do?"  Talon stumbled alongside Ducky, his eyes watching her every move. "You're very pretty."

    Ducky offered him a smile.  "Thank you.  Where is Breach Commander Mtui?"

    "He's locked up in the lower level of the Dra..."

    Jargon Kane has cast [Facade].

    Talon is no longer bewitched.

    "STOP!"  The man in blue appeared in the air over the arena.  "Outside interference is not tolerated in this contest.  Talon Kane is disqualified and the petition has been denied.

    Jargon Kane roared angrily and disappeared in a flash of blinding light, the sound of his anger instilling a sense of dread in the already tense atmosphere.

    "He's kinda scary."  Morti pushed his wet nose into the side of Ducky's face, making her laugh loudly.

    "He was," Ducky agreed.  Her slim fingers stroking the titan cubs soft ears.  "Were you and Nix playing a game?"

    Morti's big head nodded up and down.  "What do you call that, Nix?"

    "Dragon Pong."  Nix spotted Deidra walking toward him.  Her normally impassive face was red with anger.

    "He's sealed off Talumbir."  Deidra shook her head slightly.  "Why would he do that?"

    [Whisper: Nix to Deidra] It's his fall-back plan.  Would you agree to accept his petition if it was the only way to save your son?

    [Whisper: Deidra to Nix] I would.

    [Whisper: Nix to Deidra] Don't worry.  Your son is my friend.  I'll get him out of there.

    [Whisper: Deidra to Nix] You can get into Talumbir?

    [Whisper: Nix to Deidra] It's what I do.

    Nix opened a breach from the arena to Inferno City's control room a few minutes later.  Several of his guildmates accompanied him along with Deidra and Tai'Qui.  "We have to move fast, strictly a smash and grab.  Well... minus the smash part. We're just going to grab."

    "I'm coming."  Deidra sat next to Nix on the infusing platform.  "Brief me."

    Nix paused for a moment and then nodded. "Several key things to know.  As you remember, this used to be the marrow extraction platform.  Probes were pushed into your bones and the marrow was sucked out and sent to a central storage bank directly beneath the city."

    Deidra nodded. "I don't know much about the actual workings of the process."

    "The Dragon Cities would draw upon this bank for its energy needs. Guess what all the dragons did once all the cities were hooked up to the spectrum?"

    Deidra shook her head slightly.  "I'm not sure what the others did, but I was able to reclaim some of my marrow."

    "Yes. All of you did that.  Those lines that once held marrow were drained, some of those lines were rerouted when the cities were connected, while others remained empty."

    "I understand.  We're going to use these lines?"

    Nix nodded.  "Inferno City now enjoys a direct link to each of the dragon cities, a spectrum supply line that runs from our bank here to the banks within each city."

    /Inferno: Pon: Can't you just cut off Talumbir?  That would bring their shields down.

    /Inferno: Nix: Even if I cut them off, their bank is full of spectrum energy.  Who knows how long it would take for them to deplete?

    "We are going in through the central supply line.  Once in the city, our objective is to locate Elan Mtui." Nix placed three Emperor Nether Rat puppets on the floor, along with six smaller ones."

    /Inferno: Pon: That's a lot of rats. I'm in.

    /Inferno: Wind: Me too.

    /Inferno: Rhy: Same.

    /Inferno: Fajii: I'm coming.

    /Inferno: Jun Li: Yep.

    /Inferno: Semmi: Definitely.

    Nix considered the options for a moment before he started handing out puppets.  "The six smaller rats are mid-level puppets.  You're going to detonate them within Talumbir."

    Pon's old face creased into an evil smile  "We're blowing ** up?  Lovely."

    You have joined the Ratpack Channel.

    [Whisper: Nix to Deidra] If you're coming, you will have to follow my directions.

    [Whisper: Deidra to Nix]  I will.

    /Ratpack: Nix: Here's our layout.

    [Nether Emperor Rat] Nix, Deidra, Beta.

    [Detonation Rats] Pon, Wind, Semmi, Jun Li, Rhy, Fajii.

    /Ratpack: Fajii: How will we get Elan out once we locate him?

    /Ratpack: Nix: Unknown at this point.  He's probably being held in or near something that is disrupting his Breach Commander abilities.

    [Whisper: Tai'Qui to Nix] I'm being left out.

    [Whisper: Nix to Tai'Qui] Sorry.  You have the short straw.  Next Rat-rescue we have, you can come. Stay here and make sure the puppeteers are safe. You can join the channel and listen in.

    [Whisper: Tai'Qui to Nix] Fine.

    Nix leaned back against the platform and inhabited his Nether Rat.

    /Ratpack: Pon: Shouldn't these lines be filled with spectrum?

    /Ratpack: Nix: The banks drain all the spectrum and store it for use.  The lines will be empty, the residual spectrum won't harm a puppet.

    Nix entered the line through the marrow probe, wincing when he thought of the object being jammed into dragon bones.  It was about ten inches in diameter, more than enough for rats to sneak through.

    /Ratpack: Nix: Talumbir was one of the last cities we hooked up.  We'll follow the spectrum supply line right to their bank.  From there we'll enter the city through the infusion chamber.

    /Ratpack: Pon: Will you be able to find it?

    /Ratpack: Nix: Probably.  If we can't then it's Plan B.

    /Ratpack: Semmi: You didn't mention a Plan B.

    /Ratpack: Nix: We take down their shields by blowing up their spectrum bank.  Then we go in hard.

    /Ratpack: Deidra: I've placed my House and the House of Tempest on full alert.  If it comes to that, we will follow you in.

    Nix scurried through the main supply line, finding the correct route to Talumbir bank was fairly easy.  The line opened into a small reservoir that fed directly into the spectrum bank.  From there a half dozen lines exited to the different subsystems within the city.

    /Ratpack: Semmi: If these lines are fairly straight, then the control room would be one of these two.

    Rat-Semmi poked her nose into one line and sniffed, then she did the same with the other.

    /Ratpack: Semmi: The scent of marrow is stronger in one of these.  Wouldn't that make sense if it leads to the Infusing platform?

    /Ratpack: Nix: The theory is sound.  Let's go with it.

    /Ratpack: Tai'Qui: I've placed Houdinya on alert.  If it comes to a fight, my people will assist also.

    /Ratpack: Deidra: Thank you.

    Nix recognized the narrowing of the passage as it branched off from the main supply line.  They were in the right one.  A few minutes later, Rat-Nix entered the control room in Talumbir through dragon marrow probes.  One by one they entered, nine rats in all.

    /Ratpack: Deidra: Amazing.  We entered a fully secured Dragon City.

    /Ratpack: Nix: We'll head up the ramp and then separate.  The detonation team will pick random targets and wait.

    /Ratpack: Semmi: Stay out of sight and act like a rat.

    /Ratpack: Nix: Good advice.  If you're caught, just die like any normal rat.

    [Whisper: Nix to Deidra] Do you know where they'd keep him?

    [Whisper: Deidra to Nix] I have an idea from what Talon said.

    [Whisper: Nix to Deidra] Lead the way.

    /Ratpack: Nix: Good luck.  We're going after Elan.
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