500 Easy Fix

    The Dark Reaper turned toward her captors but was unable to see anything outside of the glowing circle she was trapped in.  A long curved scythe formed from the shadows around her as her two bone hands gripped it tightly.  The circle she was in was about five meters in diameter.  She sprinted toward the edge and slammed her weapon into the barrier.  Her weapon bounced harmlessly off the unseen wall as her body was picked up and tossed back to the center of the circle.

    Fajii has been stunned.

    "FAJII!"  Shae's enraged voice filled the air a moment before the entire area was bathed in orange flames.  The salamander waded through the barrier like it didn't exist, scattering the remanents of power in all directions.  The Aquarion skelly was slowly climbing to her feet, shaking her head as if to clear it.

    "I'm okay."  Fajii rearmed herself and scanned the area around them.  There was no enemy in sight.  She held a finger to her lips to silence the salamander.

    [Whisper: Fajii to Nix] I was just attacked.  The same circle that was used on Rhy.  I would have been killed if Shae hadn't interfered.

    [Whisper: Nix to Fajii]  Are you okay?

    [Whisper: Fajii to Nix] Yes.

    /Inferno: Nix: Looks like another ambush attempt.  Thankfully no one was injured.  Let's continue our diligence.  Formation in the morning, no exceptions.  I want to take look at our troops.  Let's call it an official inspection.

    /Inferno: Alfie: I'll make sure everyone is there.

    Nix made his way back to the kiln, Alpha knew better than to speak to him, his aura was burning so hot that no one except Pon could even approach.  A few minutes later he stood at the edge of the river, clouds of steam enveloped him as it rose up over the rapidly increasing water temperature.

    /Alpha: Semmi: Don't kill all the fish!  I'm gonna make us some fishing poles.

    Nix let his flames wink out.  "Hey, old man... Got any of those mid-range explosives?  I want to try putting them in golems again."

    Pon nodded.  "I do, but weren't they too big for golems?  As I remember they kept tipping over."

    Skelly Nix took a seat on the rocks and opened his crafting queue.  "I have an idea."

    /Inferno: Nix: Put up guards on the camp perimeter, until further notice no one leaves camp without clearing it through me.

    /Inferno: Alfie: Understood, Nix.

    Pon unloaded the explosives from his crafting inventory.  "Want us to head back too?"

    Nix nodded.  "Yep.  You guys head back, I'll be fine.


    Shortly after dawn on the next day, the Undead Faction stood in one large formation while they waited for Nix.  He didn't show up, but Semmi started removing individuals from the group.  Mortimus, Gil, and Morti walked back toward the HQ together.

    "What do you think Nix is doing?"  Gil glanced over his shoulder at the skeleton formation.  The Inferno members were slowly being removed also.  He addressed the question to his Warleader but Morti answered instead.

    "Probably something smart.  Nix is always doing smart things."  Morti glanced at his dad for confirmation.  Unexpectedly they were the same size while in Bone form.

    Mortimus's deep voice rumbled.  "Everyone who faces Nix eventually takes a step backward."

    Gil watched the interaction with interest.  It was the highest compliment a Titan could make. "I hope we start fighting soon..."  Like his fellow Titans, Gil had come in his turtle form.

    The group stopped next to Alpha team and waited.  It was another half-hour until Nix finally showed up.

    Nix waved to Alfie and Edi who were standing in front of the formation.  "All hands on deck?"

    Edie nodded.  "Going to inspect the troops?  Inferno has returned to the camp."

    "I'll inspect the rest in a bit, return and let them know."  Nix motioned for them both to leave and then started counting troops in his head.  He counted twice to make sure the number was right.

    Nix took ten paces away from the formation and then turned to face them.  "I want to thank each of you personally for your hard work."  He brought up his hud while looking at their numbers.

    [Whisper: Nix to Mortimus]  Contain Alfie and Edi for the next minute.

    [Whisper: Mortimus to Nix] Understood.

    "Detonate,"  Nix said the word quietly, a momently later the entire field flashed into a giant ball of flames.  There was a long moment of silence as he stared out over the smoking bones of the dead skeleton troops.

    [Your kill count has just surpassed three hundred]

    You have remembered a forgotten element [Black Ice].

    [Your kill count has just surpassed four hundred]

    You may summon an additional companion [Fey].

    "NIX!"  An enraged Alfie pulled his bow and moved toward the Inferno leader, Mortimus swiped him down, pinning him to the ground with a giant paw.

    Gil moved in front of Edi, but she hadn't moved at all.

    /Inferno: Edi: What is the meaning of this?

    /Inferno: Nix: Numbers.  194 summoned from the graveyard yet we have two hundred troops.  I want you and your brother to take the Titans and check each grave.

    [Whisper: Pon to Nix] Holy **...  You ganked all of them.

    /Inferno: Nix: Check the bodies here, I want to know how they were killing us.

    Edi walked toward the graveyard without speaking.  Unlike her brother, she wasn't overly concerned with Nix's actions.  He was obviously dedicated to retaking the Bone Fortress.  She walked between two rows of gravestones, scanning each side before stepping to the next.  The graves had been resealed with the fresh bodies of her people. Half-way down the rows, she found an empty one.  "Alfie!"

    Alfie had been walking between the third and fourth row.  He crossed over and knelt beside the empty grave. He pushed his bone fingers into the dirt before cursing under his breath.  "Desecrated.  It's been salted."

    "Let's continue looking."  Edi stared at the empty grave for a moment, she had been duped.

    /Inferno: Edi: An empty grave here.  All the graves should have been resealed.

    /Inferno: Nix: Good work, you should find six of them.

    "Nix!"  Rabi stood up from the middle of the field, part of an actual leg held in one skeletal hand.  "Rabi has found a leg!"

    "More body parts over here boss."  Wind uncovered part of a hand with a kick before removing a ring from the dead finger.

    /Inferno: Wind:  Bingo.  Here's the link.

    [Thine Enemy]: Ring, Tidal Artifact

    Description: Your form changes to match the enemy faction.

    /Inferno: Pon: Mother...  Where did you get that?

    /Inferno: Nix: Find the rest of them.

    [Summons: Fey]

    Nix waited while a bone Draken appeared in front of him.  Without speaking he jumped onto her back and shot into the air.

    /Inferno: Pon: How'd you summon Fey?

    /Inferno: Nix: Heh... Rank 5, old bastard.

    /Inferno: Pon: You damned, cheating punk!

    Over the next half an hour, Nix and Fey could occasionally be seen flying near the Xander borders.  During that time, six rings hand been recovered along with the same number of desecrated graves.  Semmi and Jun Li were talking with Alfie and Edi, trying to piece everything together.

    Semmi watched as Alfie helped Nezbit sanctify the open grave.  "The six of them salted the graves and then buried themselves inside?"

    Edi nodded.  "Smart move, all they had to do was wait for us to recall everyone and then claw their way out. Pretending they were part of our faction."

    Semmi slipped on one of the six rings she'd been given.  Immediately she changed into her natural form.

    "Beautiful."  Alfie looked up from his task to stare at the blond officer.

    Semmi's face blushed slightly before breaking into a smile, quickly she slipped the ring off her finger.  "Thanks...  Will these graves be usable now?"

    Edi nodded, her eyes glancing upward at the Inferno Leader who circled the graveyard before landing on the far side.  "Is that a dragon?"

    Jun Li shook her head.  "Not quite, but she is formidable."

    They waited while Nix walked through the graveyard. The mount he'd been flying morphed into a skeleton mage and followed alongside.

    /Inferno: Nix: We sorted out?

    /Inferno: Semmi: Yes.  They used the rings to become undead and then planted themselves in the graveyard.

    Semmi handed him the six rings that were recovered.  "We could do the same thing to them."

    Nix slipped on one of the rings and let himself smile for the first time in days.  "Hold that thought. I'm going to find Raine and get her to cook something."

    Pon shamelessly abandoned the group and followed Nix.  "It's only fitting.  We've been here the longest."

    Nix paused for a moment and looked back at the siblings.  "You coming?"

    "Real food?"  Alfie ignored her brother's glance and followed.
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