Chapter 13:

Rough Seas

11 Kingdoms

Report: Rough Seas

Accessing Personal Logs: Princess Fawn Midin

I can’t help but question my earlier judgment when it comes to Riex. Up till now I merely have seen the man as an arrogant egotist that latched on my fame to raise his own. But his actions in saving me in the village and going so far as to escort me safely to his kingdom show that maybe he does have a sense of duty about him. I find it hard not to blush as he shares a smile in my direction. As he passes me a plate of stew he was able to gather up.

"You should gather your strength while we have a moment of peace." He says carefully looking away in an attempt to hide his flush face. "Given its not much good for your real body. But from the way, you were moving before I would guess that you get hungry in the world."

I nod in agreement and tear at a piece of bread he brought along, dipping it in the stew to soak up the broth. While in my other hand I dig at the chunks with the spoon having it quickly enter my mouth.

“Hey calm down, no one is going to steal it from you. Besides this is a private room, we won’t be disturbed so if you want you can drop the disguise as well Fawn.” I look up from the bowl at a joyful yet slightly disgusted Riex.

I stop and look at him puzzled then recall that the disguise of the chameleon pin was still active. I lay my hand against its form and remove the pin from its placement as a swirl of light encircles me. My form returns to the infamous image of Princess Fawn.

“Handy item you have there. It will do good to keep it on hand when in crowds or public areas. I might have to get one for myself.” Riex points out as I fumble to pack it away in my bag.

I choke down a spoon full of food. “Riex, Thank you for helping me, but how did you know where I was.”

“Ricky boy and I are working on finding out the one that trapped you here. We were observing you as well as other issues and I just happened to be the best one to respond.” He turns to look out the port-hole of the cabin. “You’re not alone and you have nothing to fear about." He pauses and a frown catches the face of the man who is never without a grin. "No, that's not right! Rick told me all about it. You are Jamie aren't you?"

"I don't know anymore." I set the spoon and bread down, and push the tray away. “I mean Jamie was a person with a body, a real live person. Am I a program with memories or am I even that? How is it that as I walk about in this world of code I can know things that shouldn't be an issue of the program?" I look at Riex who stands puzzled at my words. "Like this stew. It's loaded with salt. I wouldn’t be surprised if they boiled salt water from the ocean to make the broth. But that kind of info shouldn’t be part of the game.”

"No, the system is far advanced in working on the senses of touch, sight, and hearing. But taste and smell are two senses that would prove to be too costly and difficult to program. Let alone what each item was to taste like down the line. As I watch you eat, I see someone who is tasting the food, watching the temp of the soup. AI characters and even player characters would just carelessly eat it in a few motions and gain what health benefits the food granted. But you sit there eating like, well like a normal person would." He pauses and looks me over as I scrape the plate with the spoon and quickly plow it into my mouth. “Well, you're a hungry person I guess. It’s the simple tasks like that, that a programmer and game developer overlook. Yet is somehow a vital part of reality that it goes so overlooked by just giving a character a basic movement.” He walks over to the food grabs a roll and proceeds to eat. I watch as the loaf quickly vanishes in a mere 3 bites in a rapid session. No human would eat that way without choking. My eyes grow wide at his actions and cause him to look back at me with greater puzzlement. “What? Is the action that you see from your viewpoint the same?” I shake my head no.

“You ate like a high school football player stealing a scrap of food from a kid he is picking on.” Riex gains a quizzical look about his face then breaks out in laughter.

"I guess it's how the rest of the world eats in your view." His laughing stops as my face begins to face the floorboards. "Hey now, we will find a way to get you back to reality Jamie. You can count on me, after all, I did save your life and I am your Prince charming as the script is written."

"You wrote yourself in that role, Riex." I remind him. "I just miss things I never thought that I would. Days ago all I could think about was how to escape the confines of my room in the tower, just to get a bit of fresh air and to see nature. And yet for the last three days, I have seen sites that few have seen in any world. Now all I want is to return to the lumpy bed and to lose sleep to the brownish-yellow city sky of night. You never know what you miss in the world when you wish for something more. Till you get the thing you wished for at the cost of something else.”

Riex takes a seat across from me and begins to scratch at his chin. "Yes, it is something you regret in time. I know very well what you're saying, after all, I too got something I wished for by losing something else recently. I wasn't set to be the Great Hero of my kingdom. None of the heroes came about until the earthquake hit. No, Charles Thick was working on the character that was to be the game's icon before you. I was a mere nobody barely holding on to my job at the L.A. Branch, thanks to my bad choices years ago. Then when the quake hit San Francisco and took out most of the games info there the plan was scrapped and I was promoted and given a greater position in the game due to my experience with the company and at making games."

“And I became the face of the game.” I replied noting the hurt in the face of Riex.

"I lost many old friends and co-workers that day. So did Rick. People that were far superior to the game than many of the ones working on it today. Hard to believe but I would have loved to see the game the way it was meant to be, the way Charles was following Masaru’s design. In many ways it’s why I named my character after Charles, to carry on his name you know.”

"A different world in many ways I guess." I restate his point in the agreement.

“Listen, this may be a bit forward of me Jamie, but till we track down this Hacker I think you would be safer in my Kingdom.” I see a bit of that familiar skirt chaser that had stuck me in a fictional romance with him.

“But the system cleaning!” I say.

“That issue is resolved. We backed your info up, and we will keep you on the move through faster means such as carriage and boat. If things work out we may even be able to move you to a private server to rest and have no worries about the players causing you issues. Plus you could be safe from the plague." I couldn't tell if the words he spoke were truth or lies.

It was the first time I heard of it. But in my heart, I didn't need to know the meaning behind the name, Riex, called the computer virus. My ignorance of what truly was behind my situation caused the curiosity in me to ask for more.

“What is this plague really, Riex?"

“Hard to say really, it acts like a computer virus on the outside looking in. But it boosts the body of an infected AI making it a vastly more difficult fight than normal. But that is the basic stage of it. It causes feedback in the neuro-link system of the chairs and causes electrical shocks to be sent through the nervous system of the players fighting the creatures damaging nerves and connections in the body." He states.

"So my body is dead?" I ask.

"Sadly it doesn't look good. No Rick told me you have only the faintest of heartbeat and if it weren't for the machines you're hooked up to causing it to breathe then,” The mellow tone in his voice does nothing to comfort my nerves.

“Then it would be dead.” I have the feeling of tears come up in my eyes but push them back not wanting to look any more pathetic than I already do before Riex.

“Look technology is vastly improving each day Jamie, I mean at the least we can create the private server and you could go on living as the first true immortal mind in the world.” He tries to restore my confidence in getting out of this mess.

But my mind is still too weak to face anything more than dread from the truth as I say. “As a point of data, till the system gets corrupted.”

“Well yeah I guess you would still have a shelf-life, but there are many these days that would give everything they own to be in your situation.” Riex is forced to accept my point of view.

It's by this point I lose it and the great effort I could put forth before holding back the tears hits me too strongly. My mind goes back to Melissa's words to me the day the earthquake hit as I wonder now if it’s okay. Is it time for tears? Was she crying over my life? "I want to be me again. I never wanted this, any of this. I never wanted to be such a looked upon the princess, a hero, an idol. If I was never any of these things, then none of this would have happened.”

“It has happened! My dear, we cannot worry about what might have happened, if you weren’t any of these things then the next girl would have or someone else.” Riex states.

“You don’t know that Riex, we don’t know the reason this hacker targeted me. Or why they are affecting the game.” I cry out.

"Perhaps not but we can guess from the reports of infections from central that it looks like the hacker plans to create the world as they see fit. Maybe in their warped mind, they saw you as either part of our standing in the way of their world vision." Riex stops and pauses. "Vision of the world?"

“You thought of something?” I ask but Riex seems to be distracted and distant from my gaze even as I move myself about to face him. “Riex?”

He suddenly moves again but a great shock has turned his face a pale shade. "Fawn, you fought plague-infected creatures before correct?"

“Yes I believe so, they glow a strange greenish code on the screen why?” I ask.

“Because Rick just let me know we have some headed our way and I don't think I can handle it alone." Riex moves quickly to pull at his rapier and to pull out a new handful of dynamite from his side pouch. "I hate to use this here but if push comes to shove I may have to risk the ship to protect you."

I wipe the tears from my face and grit my teeth. "You won't be alone on this Riex. I can't sit by and let this virus harm more people while it's after me." A sudden jolt rocks the ship and I fall back down into my seat from the unsteady jarring of the ship. By the time I return to my feet, Riex is already bursting through the door. I grab my bag pulling out the Ebony staff and sliding again as the ship bucks, this time causing my body to crash into the table spilling the remains of my meal to the deck of the ship. I sway to my feet and make a quick motion to join Riex out on the deck.

The light of the fire on the rear of the ship almost blinds me from the dark cabin lighting I called home these past few hours. As my eyes begin to adjust to the light I find it hard to lock in on the source of the damage till an explosion is heard and soon another as the ship rocks about in response to the blast of a cannon.

“A pirate crew, seriously?” I shout at Riex who I still fail to find in the chaos.

"Pirates are a common scourge of these seas lass." Is the response I get from a gruff old seaman who I can only guess from his dress must be an AI crew member of the ship.

I look about to try to lay eyes on either Riex or the ship firing at us. Soon as another volley is shot out I can lock in on the ship but still, have no eyes on my traveling companion. "Looks like you're on your own in this one Fawn." I raise the staff and concentrate on casting the spell on my list granting me a short time of flight. The quick burst of light and feathers flowing about my back show to me the task was a fairly simple matter on my own to do. But I soon find as I take my first flaps with my new wings it’s not so easy to control. The time between cannon volleys I find myself caught up in the rigging of my ship and must release the spell to break free. The shake of the latest hit causes my newly formed grip on the ropes of the rigging to be brought to a tighter grasp as my lower half is flung about by the blast. I need to get down from this prime target location and help out but that would require being given a clear moment from the cannon fire to focus enough to get my footing on the ropes and let me climb back down. While I watch the burning red fire rocket at the ship I see a handful of mages also onboard casting spells to douse the flames of the fire at the rear of the ship.

Just as I prepare for the next blast, I watch as a cannon from the pirate ship explodes but not in the typical firing of a cannonball. No, this time the cannon explodes into a fire blast opening a flaming hole in the side of the pirate ship. There I see the dashing swashbuckling hero of mine. He goes about running to the next few cannons, with a lit fuse of some kind of explosive in one hand, and a mighty swipe of his sword in the other. I watch on in amazement at his quick work of the crew. If these pirates are truly infected they are the weakest infection I have seen so far.

Trying to not let my offered moment of free movement go to waste, I make my way back down the rigging and run to the side of the ship closest to the burning whole of the opposing ship. I grab the rail and look for my chance to leap to the pirate ship. Suddenly the ship raises high as a wave passes and I take my chance to leap with the wave’s motion jumping the gap in hopes to make the distance.

But in midair, I spy it. And a dark chill hits my spine. There in the flames of the hole, I have made my way towards stood the most hideous decayed form of a man. It stood there burning and laughing with a bright green glow filling where his eyes should be. A bit cliché but I was staring down in the brief moments of my mid-air travel, the infected eyes of a zombie pirate captain. The flames of the small fire that the explosion caused, burn along his body. Before my landing, a sudden pain hits my gut, not from an attack launched by the captain. No, this pain is all too familiar to me as it's the quickening pain of anxiety hitting me.

Up till now, I had little fear in facing the threat of the pirates, but now as I look into the glowing green eyes of the body burning in flame and moving to meet me upon my landing. My body decided to switch sides and add a new form of pain alongside the fight. This sudden realization causes me to land poorly from the jump and to come crashing down hard on my leg. A new pain of burning wood along with a sharp jagged pain hits scraping along as it slides into the shattered splintered wall of the ship hard.

I move quickly to try to relieve at least part of the pain I am feeling at the moment. Finding my choice of movements was a good one as the wood where I landed splits as a massive ax crashes through the burning rubble. A monstrous groan is let out from the pirate captain as he yanks the ax to make a second attempt at cleaving into my body.

Ether by the pain of the leg or the great fear running through my veins with my anxiety I find it a great challenge to gather myself to stand. I cannot escape the close combat of the captain. He lets out a struggled wheeze of some sort as he leans his body back to take another swing. I try my best to crawl away. But I find luck doesn't always strike twice and a jagged pain hits my back as the ax lands in. My whole body shakes in pain from the crushing blow. But instinct and fear win out and propel me to drag myself away and turn with the ax still in my back. While it may be painful the longer I can keep the weapon in my back the less likely he will be able to use it again on other parts of me. I feel my body strength is nothing compared to his as he tugs at the handle and flings my body back with the yank. Running is less of an option. Only the tightening guttural pain keeps me from willing to try the one option that will keep me alive. All that remains is the final path than to give in and let the monster drop its last blow on my defenseless form. I feel a hot burn and pressure as the Pirate places his foot on my backside as he yanks at the ax this time freeing it. The sharp pain makes way for a low dull repetitive pain. I look just as a splatter of my blood drops at my side. So this is the end of it. Or is it, will I just go back to some sick form of start and deal with this pain of dying over and over. Will this be the last moment of Jamie Eve at all. The Pirate wheezes as he raises the ax high and readies it’s decent.

Suddenly a great explosion rocks the ship and flaming shrapnel bursts again at the undead monster before me. The blast sends him falling back on his rear and for a moment I have to thank that dumb luck has given me another moment to live on. But the cracking of the boards below tells me that despite my injuries and general unwilling nature to continue that fate is set. I can either decide to swim and risk my chances of attracting all manner of sea creatures out to kill me. Or I could do my best to swallow that fear stopping my actions and at least retry the flight spell to escape this doomed vessel. Whether it’s the loss of blood or the sudden fear of taking action my breathing begins to match the pirate captain’s labored wheezing. But unwilling to feel the blade of his ax a second time I grasp tightly my ebony staff. As I cast the flight spell a second time. I stumble at first to gather a sense of balance as the warm tingle of my blood runs down my leg bringing my body to a small hunched standing flight. I look at the pirate captain who has regained his footing as well as his choice weapon and bring it to the side ready to take a swipe at me.

A hasty flap of my wings and I manage to escape most of the swing and take a minimal amount of the damage resulting in a minor cut across my arm, while it stings the pain is nothing compared to the pain I hold in my back and at my leg. So I give it little more than the slightest of winces. My action, however, enrages the captain and he inhales the flames that are slowly burning about his face as he lets out a dark roar of anger. Panic hits me and I begin to drop from my flight till I feel both my legs were soaked in a salty brine that brings a new sharp pain to the injured one. I let out a cry myself but find it barely registers beyond the pirate captain’s cry.

I make a quick reaction to flap my wings quickly to rise above the ocean waves, watching as the flames of the wreckage burn. The Pirate captain switches his ax weapon for a far scarier-looking weapon. The new weapon in his hands looks like a cross between a harpoon and an anchor of the ship. I take quick action to avoid the might of his throw avoiding the tip of the weapon as it lands in a powerful thunk across my own ship’s hull. I try to push on to escape the range of another attack from his hand. But soon find that while I was missed by the blow of the weapon itself, I failed to notice the enchanted chain it had about its tail and soon find the chain wrapping my torso just below my new scar on my back. The chain is squeezing me pulling my form down within the zombie's range of attacks.

I watch as the flick of flame lightens the evil face. Swearing the notice of a devilish grin of glee hit its newfound joy as his prey is now helpless to his next blow. I watch as a spark of light drops down the side of his face and he leans back as another harpoon appears in his hands. He readies the next blow. I close my eyes and ready myself for the hit. A loud boom lets out. Feeling little more than the ongoing pain and a sudden burning pressure that quickly faded away I turn to open and look at the Captain has been launched back by another fortunate explosion. I look to see its origin. Only to spy Riex, on the upper deck with dynamite in hand. He is ready to light and toss down the next stick should the captain rise from his fallen position.

“Still alive I see!” He shouts out. “You really should fight back. It would be a big help on your part as you do have experience in dealing with the monsters infected with Plague.”

“I fought them but I don’t have a clue how to defeat them any better than any normal battle, Plus, I don't think I can handle him!" I shout back trying to squirm but only find it merely makes my blood drop out as I move.

“You can struggle all you want but I don’t think it will truly let go till the master of it is gone. So you really should fight back." Riex grins as he drops a newly lit stick which quickly is followed by an explosion that sends the captain who just regained his footing crashing back down. "At least think about who you're fighting, and where. You don't have to attack just him you can use the environment around him as well." As his words finish up a loud crack is heard and I watch as the pirate ship begins to splinter apart.

The environment around him, I question myself as I look on at the zombie captain engulfed in flames and yet moving on while the flesh from his bones burns away. I raise my freed hand and concentrate on the task I wish to summon forth. Taking a deep breath, I listen to only the low wheeze of my breathing drowning out the screams, explosions shattering of wood, and crackling of flames. Forming an image in my mind I move through a collection of hand gestures. I slowly open my eyes and look on as a huge stone sphere floats just above the tip of my arm.

In a sudden sweeping motion, I swing the arm about. Setting it to point at the target I have chosen and aim for the bolder to follow smashing into the ship at the weakening crack, tearing the ship open. Soon I look at the captain begins to slide about the deck of the ship towards the open tear as the ship breaks in two. Rapidly water moves in to fill its place. Riex takes a great leap from the top deck into the waters below.

"Hurry, climb up!” I scream trying to offer my hand to give him aid only to realize my reach is just too far from his own. I work at pulling loose the chain wrappings that the pirate encased me in, but I find no way by squirming out. “Riex!” I shout in vain trying to hope my words can take place of the help I cannot provide him with. As I find myself just out of reach of his arms flailing in the current.

I watch as the ship begins to float away leaving Riex behind. With quick action, he plunges his arm in the side and begins to be dragged along the waves. How on earth did he do that? I look hard at his movements and see him repeat his actions and he begins to pull himself up out of the water. This time I can catch the small glint of a metal dagger in his hand. I can only guess the other hand also has one as he reaches a point to move his first hand up further.

I continue to jerk at the unmoving chains, why have they not released me yet. The captain’s body sunk with his ship. Wait! Is he still alive but underwater, and I can't get free till he dies. Crap this makes the whole journey suck if that's true. But even so the further out we get the more likely the chain will loosen as we get away from the Pirate Captain's location. I let out a sigh of both relief and frustration in that fact. I am stuck dangling from the ship’s hull till the chain vanishes. Suddenly the gentle quiet of the waves is broken by a cry out of pain by Riex. I look down at the cause of his sudden pain and see the decayed fleshy hand of the pirate captain clawing at Riex's leg in an attempt to drag him back down into the ocean current.

I cry out to him “Riex, I can’t get out you have to lose him somehow.”

“I can’t. I dropped my sword, and the swim and the water makes the Inferno Sticks useless for a while.” I look at his face, panic fills it. If it weren’t for his recent swim in the ocean I would be sure a cold sweat would be making it as damp as it looks now. “Look, Fawn if I don’t make it out. Head on to Azurphire’s city Corzal. Rick will send the team to join you there. Use my supplies in the cabin to get there. And I will expect a thank you kiss when you get there." What is he thinking, if that thing is contaminated by plague then the wounds it causes are real, and if it kills him then what? Will Riex, end up like me or, no. I work hard to not think of the other result of the plague's attack. But what hope does he have? I have no magic to help him.

No magic. No not magic but something just as good. I close my eyes and try to calm my rapid heartbeat, as I zone out of the world and try to focus on the task I learned earlier this morning with the Genesis program. I twist my arm around, my teeth clamp down at this motion as I dig the chain deep into the wound on my back. But I must move on as it's not my own worthless life in play now. No, now I must play the role of the heroic warrior coming in to save Riex. A dull pain throbs at my wrist as I grasp that chain. I focus on trying to change it with my entire mind. All I can think of is the pain on his face and how I must break free to help him, how the chain must break free and reach out to help him.

I feel the tears of pain roll down my cheeks as I continue to focus on using the power. But moments pass and still nothing. No change in the chain that I can feel. Did the power leave me? Or am I only able to turn stones into pieces of bread? I go to open my eyes and feel a weird sensation about me. I watch as the flames of the noticeably growing distant ruins of the pirate ship don’t flicker back and forth but slowly sway, like the ocean on a calm day. I turn to see Riex as he is falling back into the sea as the Pirate captain is ripping at him with one of his daggers, but his descent is moving as if the fall of no more than five feet would last a better part of the night to happen. Then I see it, the chain end is twisting about and turning a mixed collection of brown strands as the end is lashing out toward him. Time has slowed. But somehow I still act as normal, yet the program is acting in a way I asked it. Could it be that the program is processing it while the game is running that caused the world to slow down?

When I previously would use the program, the area I would work is isolated from the game running at the same time to not overload the processors of the system. Could this be because I asked for a greater task than forming an item? I don't have long to figure out as the world begins to speed back up and I find I am suddenly dropping as the chain switches to the new task in saving Riex. I wasn't quite ready. I fill my first attempt at taking at breathing again with a mouthful of seawater. Perhaps this is best I think, even if I don't drown here at least now the captain will come after me again.

But He doesn’t. Instead, he begins to climb up the hull of the ship digging his now bony hand still steaming from the swim, into the wood. He gives me what bit of a grin he can as little flesh remains on his face to be able to tell if it's intentional or just the skeletal form taking its permanent place on his facial remains.

Grasping the ebony staff I focus a water spell to help launch me back onto the deck of the ship. No matter what I can’t let this monster escape. Going on to hurt more people, like what he might have done to Riex. I look over at Riex’s body tied by the chains being dragged by the boat. I see a little movement and the water behind him shows a light hue of crimson. I need to get him back on board quickly. But the moment I arrive on deck, I find that my earlier match with the captain was merely a moment much like a cat playing with his intending target, and now playtime is over.

My friend, the ax, makes a reappearance in the captain's hands. Its blade was still coated in the blood from my back. Only this time I have no hesitation in fighting back. Gone is the slow guttural pain, all that remains is the burning rage of determination and the eagerness will to save Riex before things become worse.

The few players on the ship ether disappear in a fade, which I can only guess is them logging out in fear. Or they are running off to other portions of the ship to stand out of the fight. Only one person stands nearby and shouts something while charging at the captain head-on. I act quickly and punch at the floor of the ship with an earth shatter spell. The wood begins to splinter and move quickly till it meets the young warrior and bursts open a hole dropping him down in the ship. While he may not like it, I would rather bruise his ego than let him have harm brought to him for his bravery.

I reward my skill, with taking a moment to breathe deep, the end of my breath, however, is met with something I wasn't expecting outside the sharp pain from my wound. A voice comes out of the pirate captain very unfitting of the character’s look. But it's one I will never forget, it's the voice of the one that placed me in this mess, to begin with.

“Peek-A-boo, Princess Fawn!" Despite the zombie pirate face, there is no doubting it as the voice of Dark Mistress. "You Survived My Touch, I see."

“What do you want, you want to kill me. Here I am! Do it!"

“I want to Yes, But not now. Live, I want to see you suffer. Then when you have nothing I will take what remains. Till then my Plague will claim our world.” She wants me to live. Her words only serve to make my rage build.

“Our World? This is a computer game it’s not real!” Even I, find my words hard to believe after saying them. since my last few days have been far more real than I care for.

"Oh, it is very real sister." The last word she says puzzles me, sister. What does she mean by calling me, sister? “Consider this your first real kill Fawn. I will be waiting for the day you kill again.” First real kill what does she mean by that? This isn’t the first time I fought the plague creatures, not even since being trapped in this world, so what could she mean by first real kill. I have little time to contemplate this fact as the captain finally comes too and already is taking action to lift and swing his ax at me. This time however I am not such an easy target to hit as I am fully able to move unimpeded. Dodging the blow I quickly act by enchanting my fists with fire. Moving quickly to toss in a punch at the gut of the captain causing him to make gassy noises and a small sticky fluid splashes on me from his mouth in response.

He tries to recover and goes to swing the ax again, but my quick form is faster and I can land three quick hits to his right arm causing the ax's weight to force his arm to buckle in a direction that it never was intended to move. The left arm drops the ax but amazingly despite his lack of muscle he is still able to sweep the ax at a low angle. I try to dodge out-of-the-way but misjudge another injury of mine from earlier. My injured leg, which houses pain, is vastly unfelt over the pain of the back wound. Yet is still enough to trip me up near the gaping hole I sent the player earlier down. The ax while missing the most vital spots opens up my leg wound further and blood begins to gush out. I have little time left I figure till I collapse, but still, the monster stands undefeated. I get a quick glimpse of the lower deck from my place and form a plan I hope will be good enough to end this. Using the leverage of my position I kick and reach out at the captain's body in one swift motion and then with what little strength I have left. I roll the two of us back over the side of the crevasse. I scream out in pain as a jagged wooden edge rolls our combined weight on my wound. As our two bodies fly down I watch as the Captain's body suddenly halts in an upside-down position impaled on a massive wooden shard, I fall with a strong crash on a crate but my eyes refuse to be shut yet. I make sure to stay conscious long enough to see the green glow of the captain's eyes fade and his body begins to fade away. The young warrior walks over with a scowl over his face. “I could have done that.” He stops his reaction for a moment looking down at my face and realizing who I am. “No way, you're her. The midnight Star Princess! I thought you died."

"Well I kind of feel like death, I am sure it wouldn't be a bad thing now!" I reply with a snarky smile to mask the severe pain I am going through. "Listen could you help me out." I pause to make sure to make my words loud enough for all the others on board the ship to hear. "I need some people to get my companion being dragged on the chain at the side. Also, anyone who is a decent healer for the two of us would be a good thing too." I ask not even knowing if the magic will do much to solve my pain let alone the injuries Riex has surely taken from the fight. I watch as the night sky gets darker and it wouldn't be till the light of dawn till I can regain consciousness. The ship must have made it to port as the gentle swaying is minimal at best. I try to sit up but a jab of pain hits me strongly. I look around and see a small girl dressed in white sitting looking at me.

"Sorry your highness, I am still very weak I didn't have enough power to heal you back to full. But some people at the docks said someone would be coming to gather you and the things from the cabin soon. I just wanted to watch over you till then." I give the girl a light smile and offer my hand out for a handshake. She responds in kind.

“Thank you. How is my friend?” I say.

"Your friend must have logged out after we got him on board. We gathered the treasure from the monster for you though." I take a quick look and see the captain's weapons, His massive ax, and the anchor-like harpoon with a magical chain.

“You should take them as payment for helping me. Just give one of them to the guy I knocked down the pit with me, as an apology okay." I watch as astonished glee hits the girl's face, without the screen readouts in front of me, I can tell the weapons are powerfully high level and more than a fitting reward for the very people who just help see me through to another day. I watch from my bedridden position as the girl gathers the items, just then a collection of Noiox soldiers come marching in with a stretcher. I don't see Melissa guiding them, nor the makings of a pair of stubby legs of Gavin behind them either, likely they just sent some computer-controlled NPC's to gather me. I get a brief glimpse of the blinding sunny port with buildings in bright colors. The imagery of this place reminds me so much of the trips my family would sometimes take to the Keys. I look on at the brightly colored houses that grandma said seemed to infest the Caribbean. The waft of air is filled with old fish rotting about along my nose along with the calm crash of waves across my ears, the two familiar elements from my past relax my body and by the time I am loaded in the cart. I am already fast asleep.

File Source End

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000 Call Sydney Tower Transcripts April 10, 2057, 11:53:07 AM AEST


Emergency Services, can you state the nature of your emergency, and its location for me, please.


Um, yeah this is housekeeping at the Black Clover Towers, we have a body found here in room 498.

(Sounds of a woman crying hysterically in the background)


So the person is not responding in any way.


Um, I know I am not medically trained and all but I am pretty sure he is dead.


Sir, it will be the call of the responding units to make that decision. Does the victim have any visible signs of life!


Well you see, I would check, but his head sort of. Well is not all there.


Pardon me sir, but are you saying the victim was decapitated in his room?


More like it exploded. I guess I can handle it better than some. I had the two employees that found him just up and walk out on me.


I’m sure but, can you get them back, I will have to send in police to close down and investigate the scene.


I will try to get one of them back. I see one outside, the poor girl is getting sick all over the pavement outside.


Yes please do what you can, Emergency teams are on their way to your building.

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