The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice LXXIX – Memories of Dream

After Charles got the ex-deiphages settled in on Earth for the moment, he settled down to take a look at his maps…

  • He had his original sketch-map of Yu-Shan and it’s Geomancy – a hopelessly incomplete tangle of course. While he had plenty of agents, few of them were welcome poking around Yu-Shans foundations and an awful lot of areas were closed off – not to mention that the job was colossal.
  • He has his newly-acquired map, quite complete and through – if incomprehensibly complex and limited to the original design, rather than including all of the stuff that had been added later on.
  • And, of course, he had the map from that dream that Orchid had sent… that had been kind of weird! He’d been skiing down a slope backwards while juggling cats and trying to negotiate the right-of-way with cranky Yeti who’d escaped from his video game when he’d fallen down a hole and landed in the geomantic monitoring station, with the refrigerator still open…

Hm. Maybe he should review the important bits one more time! There might be something that he’d missed! It was kind of hard to make sure that you’d got everything with dream-conferencing…

(Yes, I forgot to post this short segment; it belonged just after The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice LXXI – Meeting the Nocturnals. Ergo, we’re having a flashback. Sorry about that.)

So… in the dream he’d just finished getting the cats some cream when Orchid had beamed down from the Enterprise, using the openings in the wards that he’d left to allow some dream-communications. He’d run it through again from there…

Well, Orchid had been going to check with Terapishim’s captor; hopefully this was really her sending a dream-message and she’d had some results. Hm! He had to check sometime on that Quintessence Fountain he’d fixed up!

(Charles) “Hello!”

(Orchid, still in the body she’d had before) “Hi… phew, I’ve been busting my rear on this. I managed to yank the information out of one of Lotus’s friends. Lost a lot of motes on that one.”

(Charles) Do you need some?

(Orchid) “You can do that? Well, it’ll save me a lot of trouble come the dawn, so as long as they’re clean…”

She was salivating…

Charles set up a link and transferred over a hundred nice clean motes.

(Orchid) “Ah… thank the Mighty Ones. I was really worried there. You… can’t do that often, can you?”

(Charles, with some surprise) “Why not?”

Orchid went blank for a bit… Charles had to wave his hand in front of her body’s face.

Could… Could the boy really be a nigh-unlimited source of motes? That could change everything!

(Charles) “That was about ten minutes worth… but I could speed things up from the normal level if it’s important!”

(Orchid) “Okay… my boss is going to… I don’t even know what he’ll do when I report THAT! But that’s not what we’re here for… as delicious as that was.”

(Charles) “Did you need some more?”

(Orchid) “Uh… do you have a perpetual mote machine in there or something? You’ve GOT to run out eventually.”

There was more salivating. A normal god of her rank would NEVER salivate, much less let it dribble like that.

(Charles) “Why? It’s geomancy; the power comes from the tension between the underlying pure chaos matrix and the structured matter overlaying it. And there are all the second circles to contribute if needed!”

(Orchid) “Just… four more. That will top me out.”

Charles cheerily transferred four more.

(Orchid) “You… surely can’t do that for multiple entities at once. Surely not all ninety-nine…”

(Charles) “Do they all need the same amount? Cause that would take three or four hours… It’ s not so much that there’s a power shortage, but I can only transfer so fast!”

He had to wave his hand in front of her face again…

(Charles) “Does something happen that you can’t draw on normal sources?”

(Orchid) “What, you mean to heal the daily drain?”

(Charles) Yep!

(Orchid) “Boss says it goes to a good cause. All I know is it drains into the geomancy. ALL of it. I feel like a sieve sometimes; respiring Essence, but not keeping it… Enough about me, though. You came for information.”

(Charles) “Does it work if you’re in a manse?”

(Orchid) “Manses help… somewhat. I know I won’t… cease existing if I’m in one, but the hunger would be maddening. It’s still better than not having a domain at all, I’ll say that.”

She removed a map from her robes, and unrolled it to show to Charles… It was a map of the Lunargent Ecological Protectorate, but not of the above ground. The twistiness of the tunnels, and the depth to which they extended, was incredible. A dot, with a notation indicating that it was about two thousand feet down, sat between two of the gates.

(Orchid) “Good luck finding that point, even with the map. I don’t know too much, but the way my boss talked, even Sidereals have trouble finding places like that.”

(Charles) “That will be a bit tricky! (He mad a note of the location and the map). Still, it’s probably doable…”

(Orchid) “He said they’ve done it before… and then he got in the worst mood. Er… You’re… serious, right? You can support ninety-nine of those links?”

(Charles) “Well, it would take about four hours to transfer that much power to each link… But this might help!”

Charles cheerily held out a ball of blue-gold light/

(Orchid) “Still… once I report THAT, my boss will want to talk to you, succeed or fail. Wait, what’s that?”

(Charles) “It’s a linking effect… A sort of initiation really! Among a few other things, it will basically let you stay in a trio of manses while you’re out and about your business! That should help with the drain I think!”

(Orchid) “Okay… knowing you, this PROBABLY isn’t a trick.” (She tasted the orb first… Satisfied that the Essence was not going to kill her, or affect her mind in horrible ways, she undertook the attunement).

It was basically the start of Charles’s version of making “Akuma” – the usual “embed some health levels in the manses, doubling of base health, being in three rank-5 manses all the time, +1 essence. a few minor manse-based enhancements (doubled base health, fast healing, environmental protection), and three extra charms. On the other hand, it was just with some of the new planetary manses. They weren’t Adenic and didn’t provide any of the unique charms he was working on developing.

Even Charles was a bit leery of giving a deiphage a direct link to his personal energies – and Gothumg had nearly exploded at the first HINT of such a thought crossing his mind.

Gothmug was watching her as she traveled the metaphorical path though… He was getting rather inspirational levels of loneliness and depression off her… and curious about the geomancy that she was tied to. Orchid was behaving quite well though. The sky seemed to be confusing her a bit, and she was definitely having to get used to the idea of “outdoors” again, but she was nearly finished.

Still, even Charles had to admit that Deiphagy WAS sort of naughty.

Gothmug agreed. Consuming other sapient beings for one’s Essence was horribly dark and desperate.

Still… if a measure this straightforward – even if it did involve some of Charles’s exotic geomantic manses – could make that much less necessary, it would be a big improvement!

Ah! Orchid was coming out of the trance!

(Orchid) “Kid-Aden… thank you.”

(Charles) “Oh you’re welcome! Hopefully that will cut down on the problem some!”

(Orchid) “At any rate, even if I can’t hunt, I won’t die!”

Darn! He’d been hoping that – with three Rank-5 Manses contributing – it would be enough to maintain a positive energy flow.

(Orchid) “I’m not sure how much of that will go to the geomancy; it tends to take its own over time. But I’m safe . . .”

She seemed to be near tears. She was desperately trying to hide it, and appear as imperious as before, but it was showing.

(Charles, rather appalled) “That… really seems like overkill! Even as a method of ensuring that power continues to come in!”

(Orchid) “I don’t know where it’s going… but the boss says it’s vitally important.”

Hmm… It looked like the net total WAS positive – but at only about one-tenth what he’d expect from that many manses contributing… Surely she couldn’t normally hunt enough to support THAT. The drain must have responded to the new supply… Well, so long as it was positive – and it really should stay that way; she was currently contributing far more than her share!

(Charles) “I don’t think that much of anything is worth killing the people helping you! Or that good causes need a constant threat of death to make people participate!

(Orchid) “Hey, he didn’t choose this either. But when I ask him about it . . . he just says it’s always been this way.”

(Charles) “Needs fixing! Those links are pretty easy; I presume everyone else would like one?”

(Orchid) “You’d have to talk to him… and I’m not sure he fully believed what I reported from our last meeting. And then he’d have to talk to his coworkers.”

Charles wasn’t good at social graces, but he tentatively gave her a shoulder-pat.

(Charles) “Well, if anyone else needs that set up, they only need to get in touch!”

(Orchid) “I… I will see. I think I had better… well, wake up, I guess. This better not be part of the dream!”

(Charles) “Well, it shouldn’t be!

He got the feeling that – even if it was – the chances of her trying to eat him and thanking him for giving her some hope were about even… Still, if she felt any results at all, it should be real enough. After all, she’d have no idea of what – if anything – to expect. Since she’d gotten accurate information it should have worked!

The dream had faded – but Charles slept quite a lot longer; he never really did get enough sleep!

He made sure to double-check Orchids links and make sure that they were working properly after he woke up though. They were fine… but the Essence regeneration on the Manses had gone down by a point an hour for others attuned to them. That was quite a drain! Far more than could normally be channeled through an individual attunement… Someone on the other end of the link had some neat geomantic tricks that he didn’t know!

Well, experience probably counted for something. A good thing he hadn’t linked things up internally! It shouldn’t bother the design purpose of the manses though; they were mostly unused at the moment, since they were designed to provide city services over their extended areas of influence – and that part seemed to be working just fine!

Still, with that much power flowing, it should have been possible to tell where it was going – besides over the extradimensional link into Yu-Shan… there had to be quite a current of power going BEYOND Orchid. Of course, if it was shielded that sort of thing did always win.

He didn’t really push it – but he did get SOMETHING… it was apparently… going into about a block of empty quarter… adjacent to a slum. It seemed to be centered on the quintessence fountain. Huh! Location, but nothing as to function…. Oh well! At least Orchid didn’t have to worry about being sucked into the Geomancy if she ran out of motes!

5 Responses

  1. Let’s hope whatever’s doing the draining on Orchid has the good sense to not up the rate of draining any further. Or Aden forbid, try to drain essence from Charles. After all, nobody does geomancy like Aden. You wouldn’t want the link to start transmitting vicious Drop Bears instead of essence.

    • Well, that was why he was careful to link her to some of the new planetary manses on the world’s he’s been terraforming rather than straight back to him. They are on the same geomantic network though; poor Gothmug was so relieved to see Charles taking SOME precautions that he didn’t really think of that.

  2. […] LXXIX – Memories of Dream: The Geomancy of Yu-Shan, Black Orchids, and “Akuma of Aden”. […]

  3. […] LXXIX – Memories of Dream: The Geomancy of Yu-Shan, Black Orchids, and “Akuma of Aden”. […]

  4. […] LXXIX – Memories of Dream: The Geomancy of Yu-Shan, Black Orchids, and “Akuma of Aden”. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: