Jess has unlocked a vast sea of potential cock jokes. It’s like dickmas up in here.
In an effort to be prepared for teenager related issues I have been getting up early. Five AM is the target time period, but I keep waking up at 3AM. Which is not awesome. The other side of that is that I want to go to bed at 7PM. Which makes posting the comic more difficult.
Right now the teen is convinced that she has contracted the t-virus and will be the cause of the zombie apocalypse. She is also in my bed, which is not awesome if she is, in fact, sick and not just a teenager. I am also trying to get her to understand why Clone High is an awesome show.
I have my work cut out for me.
Here’s some more of the adventure story:
“Do you think they’re corporeal?” Asked Niona.
“You mean can they hurt us?” Replied Julius.
“I’m not sure.” He continued. “It’s so hard to tell with spectral things…”
“I think these are trapped souls.” Interjected Alina. “Or at the very least bound to this infernal mechanism. There’s a good chance they have influence in our dimension.”
“Can you dispel them?” Twig asked shakily.
“I don’t think so. Temporarily maybe, but they’d be drawn right back.” Alina answered. “We four know shield charms. We should be able to repel them as a group. Long enough to undo whatever this is anyway.”
“Twig and I know some as well…” Julius mentioned in passing.
“Excellent. We should be fine then. I’ll generate a barrier for us all, if it looks like that won’t be enough we each come in as needed according to ability.”
“Wait.” Julius interrupted. “Where do twig and I come in?”
“It’s Me, Herrin, Regalius, Niona Twig, then you.” Alina explained.
“I’m last?” Julius sulked. “I studied as a temple guard…”
“Your protege, has already displayed more natural talent than any of us, apart from Regalius maybe, but as a team I’m more comfortable relying on known variables and tactics.” Alina replied testily.
“Still…” Julius mumbled.
“Realy?!” Alina growled. “This is the thing you decide to argue about? In the bottom of a haunted temple!?”
“No, no!” Julius backpeddled. “I just felt a little slighted.”
“I can’t even tell if you’re being serious.”
“I’m kind of wishing I hadn’t brought up the issue at this point.” Julius recoiled.
“In that we are agreed.” Alina replied, slugging Julius hard on the arm.
Julius summoned all of his will to stifle a scream. It was like being hit with a rock. Eyes watering, he moved ahead at Alina’s direction. The group stepped into the room completely and slowly made for the center. Evidence of tampering became more and more apparent as they went. There was no way they could avoid all of the hazy specters so Julius elected to simply approach one. At first it didn’t take any notice, but as they moved by it seemed to be deciding if it had actually seen anything. It was vaguely female. Its slim arm reached out as if to interact with them, but was halted by Alina’s barrier. After a few moments a small band of the spirits were slowly following the team. A few even made to impede their progress, but simply fell away, unable to find purchase on anything.
Though apparently safe Twig was clinging to Julius as tightly as she could, while trying to seem cool in front of new people. She need not have worried however, as the ever increasing hoard of disembodied people was beginning to frighten everyone. Especially because the more spirits joined in the more the faint whispering that seemed to be everywhere sounded more like actual words.
The machine in the center of the chamber had clearly been tampered with brutally. Evidence of rough handling was everywhere. Discarded plating, pipes, screws, and all manner of tools littered the area. The workmanship was poor at best. The glowing liquid “blood” had formed scabs around places where the seals weren’t tight enough. Corrosion was setting in in places. This had been done relatively recently, and the job was sloppy and amateurish. In spite of this the team was having a difficult time understanding what the machine was actually for and what the recent additions were meant to do.
“My best guess,” Said Niona. “Is this is some sort of battery, or maybe even an engine. I couldn’t begin to tell you how it functions though. I know a little about machinery, but this is… something different. A combination of mechanics and magic perhaps?”
“Aren’t they supposed to be opposing disciplines?” Asked Regalius.
“Generally speaking, yes.” She replied. “But sometimes opposing forces can be combined in productive ways. Like water and fire to make steam power.”
“So… it’s magic and machinery to make… what, do you suppose?” Asked Julius. Everyone was silent.
“The original mechanism powered the temple obviously.” Offered Alina. “But I don’t see whay they bothered. There’s nothing here worth protecting. Not anymore anyway.”
“She’s right. It doesn’t make any sense.” Agreed Regalius. “Why go to the trouble?”
“It’s possible that there was something here and the original creators moved it, or lost it. That’s lost to history. There are huge blanks in the historical record between the silver age and the fall.” Answered Niona. “We may never know the point of any of this. I think dispatching a full archeological survey would be worthwhile to say the least.”
“Assuming we can make the area safe…” Added Alina.
“Indeed.” Said Niona.
“So we’re back to square one.” said Julius. “We don’t know the why of this place or the why or who of this tampering.”
“Someone with better historical data than we have for sure…” offered Niona.
“With people capable of getting here unharmed…” Added Regalius.
“Who has a superior knowledge of necromancy and mechanics…” muttered Julius.
“This is bad.” Alina growled. “We need to disable this somehow.”
“We can’t.” Said Julius. “Not without killing ourselves in the process.”
“I think it might be a worthy sacrifice.” Replied Alina.
“That’s totally insane!” Replied Julius. “Can you imagine what would happen to the morale of the people if we lost you? It would be a catastrophe!”
“You sound like the council!” Spat Alina.
“Well they aren’t the council for no reason are they?” Julius retorted.
“They’re a ridiculous gathering of cowards and thieves!” Shouted Alina. “I don’t trust them any further than I could toss them.”
“I expect you could toss them a fair way actually!” Shouted Julius. “Damn it all, I can’t believe I’m defending them… Throwing our lives away isn’t going to help anything.”
“I KNOW THAT! I’M Just… sick of it all…” Alina replied, losing her thunder. “I want to get out of here. We need to leave this place. I don’t feel right.”
“Seconded.” Exclaimed Regalius.
“Me too.” Said Herrin.
“I think it’s safe to assume this place is toxic…” said Niona.
“We’ll have to think of something once we’ve been out a while.” Alina declared. “We’ve got enough information to work out a plan…”
“Can you warp us out of here, Regalius?” Asked Niona.
“No… something is wrong with this place. I’ve been trying to send stuff outside since yesterday.” He replied. “I can’t even begin to tell you how that girl managed to get in here. It’s nothing short of miraculous.”
“It wasn’t as bad before.” Said Twig. “It was gross, but I could still see master… Now it’s greasy, and putrid…”
“We have to walk back out…” Groaned Julius. “Weak…”
From somewhere a voice floated down to them.
“You don’t have to leave right away do you?”