"Hey, it can all work for everyone's advantage.....if they play it right," Agent 3 protests, looking down at the sour frown of his Order counterpart.
"Besides, this is something of a last fling!" the Agent of Chaos continues, smiling, "A last bang, as it were! Don't be a party pooper."
"Right," Rule 3 finally says, shrugging.
If nothing else, this would add to the rank and files!
So with that, Rule 3 unfreezes Synizn for this.....job interview. The approach is a bit different from what they usually employ for Potentials.
Synizn's eyes grow wide and he hits the ground, kneeling.
"Wha.....what can I do for you?" he asks in a shaky voice.
He knows these Celestrials for what they are, even though he'd never actually met either type before. Legend had it that either one was.....not to be trifled with, and only a fool of a mage would try the patience of either a Rule or Agent!
"You heard our proposition for those in the Red Pyramid," the Rule states, "Through that magical device that was a part of you since all items of a Dragon's Hoard is their life...so the offer applies to you as well."
"And you know," Agent 3 continues, "from what you overheard in what, frankly, was your eavesdropping, you know what the stakes are."
"Uh, I.....I...." Synizn sputters nervously, licking his lips.
"We're not here to judge," Rule 3 says gently. "We're just here to offer you a chance at being a Champion....not to punish you for bad manners."
Synizn blinks, not sure of what to make of the last part. He then blinks again, when it occurs to him.....
"If I turn down your offer....then I will never be able to serve the ones who freed me," the dragon mage says softly, remembering that Champions from worlds other than Terra Prime may never return to their homeland, "They became Champions, and will never return."
Synizn looks over his unexpected guests and opens his mouth to ask a question.....
"Of course, if I become a Champion I could serve them better," he says speculatively, "and of course.....I can't well reach this.....Terra Prime by my Teleport spells"
He was good, but not that good!
That and actually it was rather....tempting.
"I would be honored," he finally says, giving in, "After all, I could be something of a help.....I am rather good at magic. Besides, they'd need some aid out there in that pyramid with that Book. Tiamat's blood! If some of those people even try to attack that Book directly without magical protection!....."
The last was said with more than a little trace of pride.....and worry. The dragonmage knew that the Book would probably zap anyone trying to destroy it without a second thought! That "Jarlath" fellow appeared to know this and was trying to warn them off before Synizn had butted in.....
Besides all of this, if Synizn was near enough, he could perhaps punch a few holes in the Pyramid's magical defenses to allow the mages inside the Pyramid enough time to cast some spells! Synizn had a sneaking suspicion that the Book would do it's upmost to knock out (or worse) any attempt at magic by the mages inside.
"And you know from what you and Malachi found out from your....er....research how Minestus' Crystallic worked," Rule 3 continued.
All knew that the "research" had been done by spying.....
"How best can I serve?" Synizn finally said.
Later, after recovering from the dizziness from himself and everything he owns being (including his house) teleported to Nantucket Earth (right next to the wrecked carcass of Voyager) AND getting over the shock of hearing the voice of Malachi of Jarlath's group......and hearing "himself" from this other group with this "Roland" fellow in some place called "Nantucket".....
"....and so I'm offering my services as a.......communications relay," the dragon mage finishes up.
Through the Crystallic, he'd already been able to cast a spell that blocked magical eavesdropping by the Book (though how long it would last was up for debate......the two Atlantian artifacts were......kinda powerful).....
"Any help is appreciated," both Jarlaths say at the same time.
Meanwhile, back in the home of the kitsunes....
"Who is this?" the Vixen asks, perplexed, as she looks over at Freddy Vulpine and her children, "Synizn is dead!"
Not through any fault of our own, she grumps, remembering, We only hired that woman to steal the Crystallic, not kill that werebear. (Re: 1728)
She and her mate had kept the magical translator jewelry they'd inherited along with their earthern bodies (the old human owners no longer needed them) and had kept them as keepsakes. Boy, it was surprising to hear those keepsakes talking! That and the voices coming from those keepsakes.....sounded just like those now departed humans!
They'd paused and listened, spellbound, as this strange tale unfolded. It was fascinating! And as one may guess, fascinating things draw kitsunes interests like a moth to a flame!
That is why they remained silent until now!
The scene freezes before they get another word out.....
However, unlike the scene back in Synizn's home.....the family of kitsune gasp and fall to their knees and kneel, frightened nearly silly by a large gathering of golden furred nine tailed kitsunes....and one ten tail kitsune!
"Oh no," whispers Freddy Vulpine, a sinking feeling in his stomach.
I thought the rumbling by the Elder was nothing but hot air, the Vixen thinks fearfully to herself.
It was so rare, and the two parents had thought that the warnings of a debt to that now dead mage had been.....a joke! Something about a ghost hanging around, moaning about dying before getting a chance at a release.......
"It has come to my attention that you have contributed a fellow spirit not being able to Pass on," the ten tailed kitsune purrs softly. "You know such is.....a very serious crime amongst the fox spirits.....even though this dragon spirit isn't one of our own...... Still very serious....."
Dragon? Freddy Vulpine and the others think to themselves, looking at each other in askance.
"The mage the thief you hired killed Synizn.....a dragon who'd been cursed into the form of a were-bear," one golden furred kitsune chimes in, seeing the confusion. "You failed to see to even burying him. Shameful. And you ignored our subtle....and not so subtle hints."
Kitsune are not of this earth, they are of the spirit. One should never forget that. Kitsune are, shape-shifting spirits that inhabited earthen bodies. It has been said that the spirit-creatures exist in the 'inbetween' and that they survive within a complex hierarchy of stations and figures and ranks. This particular family of Kitsune took their existence from the forms of two humans who were now long dead. That was done well within rules of the kitsune, as it were. However, the pain they'd inadvertantly caused this mysterious Synizn character was dire. This hidden dragon had been hoping to finally be free of his lycanthropic curse.....really had his heart set upon it (in addition to aiding the ones who'd come to him)...... The thief had killed him before either could happen, leaving a task undone....a desire unfulfilled that anchored the angry mage to the realm of the living....as a ghost.....suffering. As complex as the hierarchy and station of Kitsune was, that was as simple a crime.....a taboo punishable by the most terrible of punishment. Punishment that this council and the very leader of kitsune was about to met out.
No appeal would be listened to, despite how just it may seem to a human being. Kitsune are not humans. The punishment would be met out on the parents (a painful death...and never coming back to the mortal plains again) and the children swept into other households appointed by the council.....separating them all....unless......some unlikely Higher spiritual forces come in....and claims the offenders for themselves.
"May we speak?" a plane sounding voice says, right before a Rule and Agent appear. "I and my associate had made an offer that they are eligible for....."
Stunned, the other Kitsune allow it, disowning the family of Kitsune forevermore. The Vixen and Freddy Vulpine were offered the chance to become Champions....and took it up in a blink of an eye once they learned of all the ins and outs of what it entailed (no painful death, no boring eternity in the realm Kitsune dwelled between Earthly "visits", and the family stays together)! Oh, it meant that they would forevermore be stuck in their earthern bodies....but.....
"So....what do you wish of us?" Freddy Vulpine asks.
The Rule then begins to speak.....
3/26/2001 7:21:05 AM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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