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02 January 2013 @ 05:59 am
FIC: The Windmines of Bora Bora - 10/11  
Author: Osiris Brackhaus
Story Title: The Windmines of Bora Bora
Part: 10/11
Rating: R
Configuration: /
Warnings: slavery, despair, previous rape and torture mentioned, off-screen rape, frequent and graphic violence
Word Count: 5.700/36.000
Setting: 'Phoenix Empire' verse, see Phoenix Empire Timeline & Index
Characters: Ivan, Smelly
Summary: Faced with organ traders, demons and tunnel rats, the only question is - how are Ivan and Smelly going to survive this?

“Okay...” Ivan said, his voice still filled with disbelief. “We need a plan, like, now.”

Across the warehouse hall, the gorilla bull demon and the tunnel rat queen were staring each other down, while swarming hordes of tunnel rats attacked all remaining cultists and organ traders alike.

“Right.” Smelly sounded surprised, but not overly so. Actually, considering that their already bloody mess of a two-way-fight between the expected organ traders and the very unexpected demonists had just turned into an even messier three-way fight with a completely unexpected, enraged tunnel rat queen and her frenzied brood, he sounded cold as ice. “The queen and the big demon are our real problems. We ignore all the other fighters as long as they ignore us.”

“Sounds legit.”

“If the mercenaries give up, let them run. Kill all demonists.”

That sounded unexpectedly harsh from Smelly, but Ivan didn’t feel in the mood to argue. After all, two hours ago, he hadn’t even known that demons were actually real, so what did he know.

“I’d say you take on the burning demon and I take care of the queen?” Smelly suggested.

“Aye!” Hesitating for a heartbeat, Ivan added: “I’ll need weapons.”

Smelly frowned. “What for?”

“I’ll need some physical weapons to harm that demon, just fire won’t cut it. Literally.”

Instead of an answer, Smelly smacked Ivan in the neck, hard.

“What was that for?”

“For being stupid.” Seeing that Ivan was genuinely clueless, Smelly explained: “I’ve seen you fight Ga’Un style. It is MADE for psions, doubly so for viscerals. Just act as if you had blades.”

“Are you serious?”

Smelly gave him only a stern look in return. Which admittedly lost a bit of its impact as Smelly was still only wearing a dirt-crusted tunic, his bushy, filthy hair and nothing else. But his point was clear, and Ivan was definitely not going to argue in this case. After all, Smelly had taught him everything he knew about psionics, and the more he had listened to him, the more his skills had grown.

“Aye, aye, sensei.” Ivan nodded and took a deep breath. “Ready?”


Without thinking, Ivan jumped off the crates they had been sitting on. Rolling off on the floor, he came back onto his feet in front of a group of tunnel rats that were standing in the open, looking a little lost. That was, they looked like a slavering mass of bristly bodies, fibrous scales frying at the edges and pink skin mottled with black spots, hissing and twisting and biting in every direction. As lost as tunnel rats could look.

“Damn, you guys are SO. FUCKING. UGLY!” Ivan spat with deepest conviction, slipping into the Ga’Un melee stance almost subconsciously.

As if he had never done anything else than facing swarms of murderous aliens scavengers with empty hands, Ivan nodded coolly towards his enemies, flicking his wrists just as if he were actually carrying blades and flashing them their broad side to make an impression.

The tunnel rats noticed him, and the whole group started shifting their attention towards Ivan, their narrow snouts showing rows of thin, sharp teeth. When the first tunnel rat lunged at him, it took Ivan a conscious effort not to fall back into an unarmed Ga’Un move. Instead, he slashed at the beast with an imaginary saber – and almost yelped with shock.

As if he had touched a life wire with his mind, he suddenly felt energy coursing through his whole body. Not just gently humming, passive, as before. This time, it was running through him like a current, electrifying, exhilarating, dazzling, taking physical shape in his hands in the form to two sabers of pure fire, white and orange, searing and bright.

The charging tunnel rat died before she had time to notice that Ivan had sliced off her face, two more got skewered in little more than a blink.

The sabers were perfectly balanced, their curves perfectly attuned to Ivan’s reach and style. The blades were his condensed will, his psionic abilities extending his body in the most natural and elegant form. Ivan felt intoxicated with the simple perfection of his powers, tears of joy prickling in the back of his nose. This was what he had always been meant to do.

Suddenly, he almost felt pity with the tunnel rats.

But the bristly creatures didn’t seem to care if they were hopelessly overpowered. They just continued to attack in twos or threes, each wave mowed down by Ivan’s flameblades with less effort.

With every moment the fight continued, Ivan felt more and more of his training return to him. Fighting became something like dancing, a graceful flow of motions that needed hardly any conscious thought. It barely mattered if he fought tunnel rats or mercenaries on his way to the large demon, the only difference seemed to be the height of his opponents. It was beautiful.

At least, it was beautiful until Ivan got violently bowled over by a low-flying fork lift truck.

Like a human bowling pin, Ivan was hurled across the floor, all his grace and easy concentration drowned out by deep surprise.

“What the FUCK?!” he yelled as he came back to his feet, still struggling to get reoriented.

“Sorry!” he faintly heard Smelly yell through the din of combat. “You okay?”

Looking over his shoulder, Ivan could see his companion stand a little further down the hall, his bare feet planted wide apart, looking positively guilty. Apparently, he was able to grab the mostly metal fork lift trucks with his mind, using them as massive clubs in his fight against the tunnel rat queen. Most impressive, but his aim sucked, big time.

With one hand, Ivan flashed Smelly a thumbs-up, with the other one he flipped him the bird.

His right side smarted from being hit with a truck, but Ivan was relatively sure nothing important was broken. He knew how that felt pretty exactly. All else was pain he could ignore.

Turning around to face the gorilla bull demon once again, Ivan noticed with a certain satisfaction that Smelly’s maneuver had cleared the space between him and his target. The large demon was only a dozen meters away now, and apparently grimly focused on tearing apart a makeshift barricade where a handful of genuinely frightened mercenaries were trying to deter the beast with their guns, only enraging the beast more in the process.

Smiling ferociously, Ivan started walking towards the demon, his smile faltering only a little as his first steps had more of a limp in them than he had thought. That fork lift truck must have hit him really hard. But step by step, it was getting better, and Ivan was getting back into fighting mood once again.

In his face, he could already feel the heat radiating from the demon’s fire aura. Though it didn’t worry Ivan too much. Fire was a part of himself, and he was a part of the fire. And fire didn’t burn itself.

At least, that’s what Ivan told himself to believe.

“Ey, freak!” he yelled as loud as he could, hoping the demon would notice him over the noise. “Go home where you belong, you pathetic attempt at a proper being!”

The demon stopped tearing at the barricade, hesitating for a heartbeat before he turned around slowly. The monster’s face was partially obscured by the fire that wandered all over his body, but Ivan could see that its features were a lot more detailed than those of the other demons he had seen so far. He had no clue if that meant anything significant, but at least he was sure he had its attention now.

Unfortunately, he also had the mercenaries attention now, and a hail of bullets peppered the floor around him.

“CEASE FIRE!” Ivan yelled, only belatedly remembering that he just might be immune to fire, but definitely wasn’t bulletproof. Yet. “I’m going in!”

There were no more shots fired then, and Ivan silently thanked all the gods that might be listening right then that so far, all the bullets had missed him. He was running through his good karma at a frightening rate, he realized. Hopefully, there was still enough left to survive this.

He was just about to shout something insulting at the demon as the creature roared at him. It was a sound that shook the foundations of the hall they were in, and almost like with Ivan, the roar took the shape of a massive cone of fire hurled directly at Ivan.

Way too close to have any chance to evade the blast, Ivan just remained standing there, forcing his mind to relax. His body screamed in panic, in blind urge to bolt and run, to do ANYTHING but to get away from the fire. Yet in his mind, Ivan knew that he had not enough power or control to ward off the blast. Instead, he forced himself to welcome the flames, to let them wash over him, through him, past him. He forced himself to offer no resistance, to breathe the monster’s flames like he would breathe air – and it worked!

Opening his eyes even while still engulfed in flames, Ivan realized that from now on, no fire could ever harm him again. It was a damn sexy feeling.

“That’s all you got?” he shouted at the demon when the blast had subsided. “Measly.”

Slowly, tauntingly, Ivan slipped into the Ga’Un melee stance, and this time, his fire blades snapped into existence with hardly any conscious effort.

The demon grunted and lowered his head, looking angry and maybe even a little daunted.

Ivan was sure they presented a marvelous image right then, the massive demon and the tiny human facing each other down. Unfortunately, no one really cared.

Not really in the mood to wait, Ivan charged. Keeping low to the ground, he rushed towards the creature, hoping that he would be able to slip in underneath its usual range and maybe get a good hit or two at the demon’s legs.

But the demon didn’t care about the usual agility of mundane creatures of his size and bulk. Unhindered by the restraints of a real organic body, his tree trunk sized paw moved through the air much faster than Ivan had thought possible. Like a mouse swatted off the floor by a playful cat, Ivan found himself hit mid-stride and hurled up into the air and against a pile of metal containers.

The creature’s flames didn’t have any impact on Ivan, but the impact in the wall of containers hurt like shit and his subsequent impact on the floor only a little less. This time, Ivan was sure he had broken a few ribs.

Gathering himself up from the ground, he blinked, trying to get his buzzing head to working again. At least, the demon bull considered him finished like any other proper human and was already turning his attention back to the mercenaries.

Taking a deep breath, Ivan was just about to walk back up to the demon as suddenly something hissed next to him. Acting mostly on instinct, Ivan dropped himself and rolled to the side, shooting a blast of flames in the general direction of his presumed attacker. But the fire didn’t seem to deter his opponent much, as a large, vaguely spider-shaped demon jumped right through his blast. Again trying to dodge, Ivan attempted another roll, but didn’t get far enough, mangled and exhausted as he was.

Suddenly that spider demon was right next to him, its oddly undefined, spiny legs slashing wildly for his face.

Too confused and out-of-breath to decide between firing another useless fireball or trying to conjure his fireblades, Ivan just sat there, staring at the beast in horror. Now that would really be a stupid way to die.

But right then, a badly mangled fork lift truck slammed down from above like the fist of God, smashing the demon to pulp in a single blink. It remained on the smoking remains for another heartbeat, idly rocking a little back and forth. Then it bobbed like a six-foot beachball and took off again, aiming for a very battered looking tunnel rat queen.

Closing his eyes for a second, Ivan took a deep breath. He was high on adrenalin, high on psionics, and for the first time in his life was fighting together with someone he trusted with his life. A real friend, as mad as all this was. Dying now would definitely feel like dropping out of the game after the first three minutes. Not going to happen, Ivan swore to himself silently. Not if he had any say in this.

Picking himself up from the ground once again, Ivan could have sworn that he felt every single bone in his body. But that wasn’t important. It was just pain. His friend needed him, and he had a fucking ugly demon to exorcise. Preferably in small pieces.

“You! Bitch!” Ivan shouted at the demon, flicking his flameswords back on with practiced ease now. “I wasn’t done with you!”

Again, the demon turned around, staring at Ivan from gleaming ember eyes, the flames dancing along his antlers flickering nervously.

Ivan had no clue about demon psychology. But if he were pressed to make a guess, he’d say the beast was surprised. Or at least miffed, which was just as fine with him.

Again, the demon roared, blasting flames in Ivan’s general direction. But it seemed to be more of a gesture than anything else, for the flames subsided almost as soon as they had started. Apparently, the demon had learned that Ivan didn’t care much about fire one way or another.

This time, it was the demon who charged first, walking on his massive front paws much like a gorilla would. But Ivan had also learned from his earlier mistake. That creature was much faster and much more agile than any biological creature that size would have any right to be. But it was still limited to the shape of its body, and probably just as simple-minded as all its brethren.

Well aware that the demon would not take any real damage, Ivan hurled two fireballs in the monster’s direction, not even looking if he hit or not. Instead, he turned around on his heel and ran for the nearest stack of crates. Jumping over the corpses and general debris that littered his way, Ivan ducked left and right, hoping to keep the demon too occupied to realize what he was trying to do.

It seemed that the demon had swallowed Ivan’s bait, the massive creature following him with an angry howl.

Running around the corner of another large pile of crates, Ivan almost stumbled over a pile of dead tunnel rats in his way. But he caught himself in the very last moment and ran on until he came to the next corner of the pile. There, he hesitated just long enough to see the demon follow him around the first corner, angry and hissing pale bouts of fire with every breath. As soon as he was certain that the creature had seen him, Ivan dashed off again, around the next corner. Unlike before, he didn’t run down the length of the stack but instead jumped onto a low container and climbed on top of the next one.

As he had hoped, the gorilla bull demon didn’t look up when it came around the corner. Instead, it blew another wave of fire from its nostrils, and continued pacing around the stacked crates. Right what Ivan had hoped.

Swiftly, he climbed across the boxes, trying to be faster across than the demon would be around. Ivan arrived at the pile’s other side a few seconds before the creature, so rushed that he barely cared that the pile was swaying wildly under his weight. But the pile lasted just long enough for the demon to come close, and Ivan jumped.

He landed on the demon’s back with a lot less grace than he would have hoped. But luckily, the demon was too distracted by the collapsing stack of crates next to him to notice anything unusual, giving Ivan a precious few seconds to sit down properly and take a look.

From his place, he could see that the demon was build pretty much like any organic vertebrate creature, and only a little less detailed than the original. It actually reminded Ivan a little of a cheaply rendered character in a computer game. But it did have a neck, and it looked less armored than the rest of the demon’s hide. Short and squad, the neck would usually have been neatly protected by the demon’s flame-wreathed antlers, but from where Ivan was sitting, it seemed like a perfect place to start.

Only on second thought, Ivan realized that he was sitting right within the demon’s fire aura, flames several feet high licking all around him, scorching everything that came in touch, melting the plastic of crates nearby and blistering the coating on the floor. It felt like nothing more than a comfortable breeze to Ivan.

The demon flung a few crates out of his way, grunting, appearing mighty pissed. With slow, heavy steps it started walking again, and Ivan had to scramble quickly just to keep sitting where he was. But he managed, and tried to make his way further up to the beast’s neck to get a good hit.

The unusual sensation of something moving on its back took the demon a moment to process, but then it stopped walking again, its giant paw clumsily reaching for Ivan. But even though his arm would have been long enough to reach Ivan, it was way too thick and didn’t seem to bend in the direction necessary. The demon lost precious second to realize that he had no chance to get Ivan off his back this way.

By then, Ivan was already standing at the demon’s neck, for a heartbeat wondering if he could possibly make his blades take another shape, preferably one better suited for stabbing than sabers. But when his flame blades appeared, they were the very same sabers again, and so he shrugged inwardly and brought them both down in a scissor-like cut at the demon’s neck.

The blades cut deep into the creature, smoke and dirty flames hissing out of the wounds. The demon bellowed in pain, rising onto its hind legs, forcing Ivan to jump onto the demon’s head not to be thrown off immediately. Holding tight to the beast’s antlers, Ivan almost laughed with the absurdity as the beast started shaking its head wildly to get him off, flinging Ivan left and right, slamming him hard against the antlers each time.

From one heartbeat to another, one of the antlers suddenly turned to smoke, and Ivan found himself hurled across the air in a wide arc once again. Having pretty much expected such an end to his maneuver, Ivan managed to land almost gracefully, rolling off on the floor until he came to land in a pile of dead tunnel rats.

Gritting his teeth as some of the rats’ bristles found their way through his tunic and stuck into his already smarting right side, Ivan forced himself to ignore such details. Instead, he was back on his feet instantly, only to gasp and break out laughing.

Apparently, his weight had been too much for the antlers to bear, and he had broken off the left one. Now sporting only one flaming antler and a weird collar of oozing black smoke, the demon looked positively ridiculous. And really, really angry.

The demon was already stomping in Ivan’s direction again, his head low and twitching with what looked like genuine pain to Ivan. Good, Ivan thought, we are getting somewhere.

As soon as it was close enough, the demon roared again, louder this time and furious. The blast of flames it projected was blinding white and hot enough to set the floor ablaze. But Ivan didn’t care much. If anything, it made him angry, too, annoyed at the fact that this was all taking so long.

“SHUT! UP!” he roared back at the beast, pretty much trying to project his anger the way the demon was.

Ivan felt something happen, something big, energy flowing through him at an rate simultaneously intoxicating and alarming. The demon broke off his roar, confused, maybe even a little cowed, and it took Ivan a long moment to realize what had happened.

The demon had stopped blasting flames at Ivan, but he hadn’t stopped burning.

Instead, he was now covered in fire from head to toe himself, orange-white flames the same color like his blades. An intense corona of fire instead of the demon’s lazy licking flames that covered every inch of his body, hissing and roaring and burning the floor beneath his feet, leaving nothing but smoldering concrete.

Once again, they stared each other down, large demon and tiny human, though this time, the odds seemed much more evenly matched. And yet again, no one really cared.

Slowly walking up to the demon, Ivan could see in its eyes that it was wondering what was going on. It seemed weakened, the wound in its neck still oozing dark smoke, angry and irritated and not as battle crazy as before. The demon eyed Ivan with a certain wariness, as if seizing up an enemy that might just be the first real threat it had ever encountered.

Once more, Ivan flicked on his blades, smiling as the demon involuntarily snarled at the sight.

Suits you right, he thought grimly. You really ought to be worried.

They circled each other for a while this time, human and demon, each one cautiously aware that neither one was the kind of opponent they usually faced.

Again, it was the demon who charged first, straight ahead at Ivan, apparently hoping that it would manage to smash him flat with his giant paws. It was not a bad plan, but Ivan had a different idea. He waited until the beast was almost upon him and already raising its paw before he stepped aside, only a single step.

Much as he had guessed, this move was so unexpected to the demon that its massive paw slammed into the floor where Ivan had been standing a heartbeat before. That demon was obviously very trained in fighting against enemies who tried to run away. He had no clue whatsoever how to fight opponents that kept on attacking.

Smiling viciously, Ivan slashed at the demon’s arm with both his sabers, feeling the flames of them bite deep into the unreal substance of the creature, oily smoke pouring out of the wound. Instantly, Ivan dodged, but instead of rolling away from the demon, he rolled underneath him. Suddenly standing right under the beast’s unprotected belly, he thrust his sabers up, burying the blades up to the hilt in the demon’s entrails. If demons had entrails, that was.

The demon screeched with pain and confusion, a sound rather unbecoming for a creature of its size. Smoke poured out of the gaping wound, together with loose bits of something that Ivan couldn’t even begin to imagine what it was. Still screeching, the beast suddenly bolted to the side, toppling over Ivan and actually stepping on him. It was heavy enough to push the air out of Ivan and singe the poor tunic he was still wearing, but it was much, much lighter than it ought to have been. Considering it size, it felt positively insubstantial.

Scrambling back to his feet, Ivan found the creature limping away from him, oozing black pools of smoke onto the floor, the flames around its body almost extinguished, only flickering here and there. It looked like trying to crawl back to the cave it had come from.

“Bitch!” Ivan yelled after the demon. “You’re not getting away that easily!”

Limping after the demon, Ivan realized that he wasn’t in too good a shape himself either. Over the last minutes, he had been using powers he hadn’t even dreamed of ever possessing, and he started feeling drained and jerky to the core. He had to end this, and soon.

He caught up with the demon easily enough, blocking its way out of the hall. The demon pawed at him with a half-hearted effort, but Ivan could already see in its flickering eyes that it had all but given up. There was an odd kind of surprise in the beast’s eyes, a deep confusion as if nothing of this should have been possible.

Maybe, in a way, it was right. But then again, Ivan really didn’t give a damn.

Coldly calculating, he raised one of his sabers and rammed it in the barely moving creature’s forehead, pushing the blade through the massive skull with sheer willpower. The demon shuddered one last time and collapsed, its fires finally dying, its ember skin turning black and gray and brittle, breaking apart like ashes in the wind.

Before Ivan could even think of anything cool to say, the demon was disintegrating, its matter returning to whatever remote plane it had been conjured from. A little anticlimactic, maybe, but at least it was over.

Done with his task, Ivan scanned what remained of the warehouse. All around him, crates and piles of goods were toppled, some of them burning. Everywhere, corpses of mercenaries, tunnel rats and demonists were lying, sometimes one of each in a pile, all equal in death.

But there were no more fights to be seen anywhere, and even listening closely, Ivan couldn’t hear any sounds of combat any longer. The only person still moving was Smelly, still barefoot and wearing nothing but a dirty tunic, checking the corpses of demonists with grim professionalism, making sure there were no survivors. Somewhere in a far corner of the hall, Ivan noticed the tunnel rat queen lying motionless with a fork lift truck in its back like a giant Sunday roast. Typical Smelly, not even a hint of respect for a monster.

Giving a deep sigh, Ivan let go of his sabers and the halo of flames that had surrounded him until now. The air felt cool in comparison, heavy with smoke and carbide, stinking with burning meat and exploded guts. It was a good thing the fight was over now, Ivan decided. He really wouldn’t have managed to continue much longer. His hands were shaking.

Slowly walking over to Smelly, he couldn’t help but smile when he saw Smelly notice him and smile wide with relief and pride. A friend. At the least likely place in the whole Empire, he had found a real friend.

“Good job with the rat,” Ivan said once he was close enough to Smelly so he wouldn’t have to shout. He had really shouted enough for a while now.

“Great job with the demon yourself,” Smelly replied, cocking his head. “You okay?”

“Sure! This was great, I could go on all day like this.”

“You don’t look like you’re all right.”

Maybe he was a little tired and a little light headed, and had a weird, tingling ache in the back of his head, but apart from that, Ivan felt good. Smelly, on the other hand, didn’t look much different than before the fight. He definitely smelled the same.

“Really, Smelly, I am fine. A little hyped, sure, but who wouldn’t? Did you see what I did? Did you see me burning?!”

“Yeah, I did.” Smelly sounded impressed, but more than just a little worried. “You really don’t want to sit down, not even for a moment?”

“I am fine, how often do I have to tell you? I could go on like this -”

But then suddenly, Ivan’s world tilted and hit him in the face with the floor.

He was out cold before he even realized what had happened.


“And as I am perfectly aware that you won’t believe a word of what I said, I’ve taken the liberty to ask the psions’ guild to vouch for me.”

“You did what?” A man’s voice, sounding very confused. “Yes? Yes, that’s me. What? No? Yes, he’s here. Oh. Yes. Of course. I – I will – yes. Thank you.”

Ivan had no idea who that man was talking to. But admittedly, he didn’t really care. His whole body felt battered and bone weary, his stomach knotted with something that could either be the immediate urge to throw up or ravenous hunger and his mind felt like he had screamed it sore. He didn’t even have the energy to open his eyes.

“Hey, Ivan.”

Suddenly, there was Smelly’s voice right in front of him, and more importantly, Smelly’s stench. Instantly, Ivan had both eyes opened wide.

“Are you feeling a little better now?” Smelly asked, his face uncomfortably close to Ivan’s.

Instead of a reply that probably would have come out totally mangled, Ivan merely shook his head.

They were in some kind of clean, brightly lit office, he realized. And he was lying on a rather comfortable couch, with a clean blanket thrown over him.

“I’ll just sort out things here, then I’ll take care of you,” Smelly promised, sounding a little worried. “And with a manaburn like yours, you really shouldn’t move for a little while longer.”

Smelly looked strange, Ivan decided. It took a while to realize that it was because he had washed his face and pulled back the hair on his head in a relatively neat ponytail. He looked ridiculous. His friend smiled and gently patted Ivan on the shoulder, then he rose and turned his attention back to the man Ivan had heard talking earlier.

A tall, middle-aged man in an expensive suit, his lapel pin identifying him as one of the BoBo MEGs. And right now, he looked terribly apologetic.

“Sir Yaden, I am inconsolably sorry that I didn’t recognize you immediately,” the man started explaining with the oily cordiality of a salesman. “You have to admit your appearance here was more than a little unexpected. But I can assure you now of my unquestioning co-operation.”

“That’s a very healthy attitude, Director Mortensen. Very healthy.” It was amazing how much of a threat Smelly managed to put into his words. “So just we are on the same page here. You understand that you’ve had both an organ trader ring and a coven of demonists preying on your slaves?”

“You’ve said so, Sir.”

“Indeed I did. You’ll sort things out with the organ traders, and you will eradicate any trace of the demonists. Understood?”

“Absolutely, Sir. You have to understand, though, that this is quite a financial effort you are asking there.”

Ivan’s mind was still a little sluggish, but even he had to blink at the director’s words. If Smelly really was a Phoenix Knight, he was speaking with the Voice of the Emperor. That legally made him the emperor, for fuck’s sake, and definitely the last person to argue with when he gives you a clear order.

“I will send you a Verata team to make sure you’ve caught all of them.”

“I can assure you that won’t be...” This time, the director caught himself in the very last moment. “Of course, Milord.”

This was getting funny, Ivan thought and cautiously pushed himself into a sitting position. His head protested wildly, but at least he didn’t throw up on the spot. So apparently, it was hunger he was feeling.

“Very good. It was a pleasure meeting you, Director.” Turning around to Ivan, Smelly asked: “You think you can stand?”

“Sure.” Slipping to the sofa’s edge, Ivan realized that his legs were uncomfortably wobbly. “With a little help, though.”

Instantly, Smelly was at his side, supporting him. Ivan didn’t even really mind the stench any longer.

“Erm, Sir Yaden?” Director Mortensen suddenly interjected. “That slave is property of the Bora Bora Mining and Engineering Guild...”

Oh than man was stupid, Ivan winced inwardly.

“Listen,” Smelly started icily, and Ivan could have sworn the temperature in the room dropped several degrees. “This slave is evidence. I’ll take him home with me. And if you even dare so much as frown at my decision, I’ll decorate this room with your entrails. Are we clear?”

The director blanched, both with anger and fear at the same time, his mouth working soundlessly for a moment.

“Absolutely clear, Milord. My apologies for the misunderstanding.”

“Good. Have a nice rest of your life.” Again turning around to Ivan, Smelly asked: “Ready for port?”

“What?” Blinking, Ivan was relatively sure that he was definitely not fit to have a strange psion hurl him lightyears across the empire. But then again, any objection would mean they’d have to stay longer on this rock. “Sure, I’m splendid!”

And before he could even ask where they were porting to, he felt the short, stretching disorientation that came with a long-distance port, and then they were elsewhere. They were standing in the middle of the largest porting circle Ivan had ever seen, with hordes of people bustling all around.

Immediately, a whole swarm of them descended upon the two of them, camera flashlights going off like machine gun fire, several people talking at the same time, a flying camera hovering around them like a nervous insect. Other people in imperial uniform appeared, urgently ushering them off the porting circle, causing a wild argument with one of the cameramen. Several huge beasts were ushered into the room from another entrance, their handlers yelling loudly in a language Ivan had never heard. The people who had immediately swarmed them were now all involved in a wild discussion with the guys in uniform, Smelly and Ivan standing almost forgotten at the border of the porting circle.
Through the window behind them, Ivan could see they were high above the ground in some kind of tower, the city below sporting green roofs and several high-rise towers in the distance. The skyline was unmistakable - they had to be in Imperial City on P2. And that particular view could only mean they were up in the Imperial Palace, somewhere inside the Noon Tower, also known as the Phoenix Knight Tower.

So Smelly hadn’t been lying, after all.

“You okay?” Smelly asked warmly, still holding Ivan’s arm to steady him, even though it was hardly necessary by now.

Ivan flashed him a wry grin. “This is very... loud.”

“It’s always like this.” Smelly returned a wide, beaming grin of his own, looking rather happy. “Welcome to your new life!”

Meridaemeridae on January 2nd, 2013 07:26 am (UTC)
I hope Ivan gets to tell his sister about his new powers in person.


And I want to meet Smelly's husband (the first one anyway).
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on January 3rd, 2013 07:51 am (UTC)
Better yet, he'll get to SHOW her. But, she'll hear about the whole affair in a different way - that's what the epilogue is going to be for. ^^ Very much looking forward to that one.

And you actually met Colin already - during the 'Kebab Killer', remember? But he'll also get a lot more screentime in the coming stories about Ivan's new life with Yaden, so stay tuned!
Meridaemeridae on January 3rd, 2013 08:23 am (UTC)
I know - I just re-read the Kebab Killer, and I want to know more about the 'family dynamics' between all of Yaden's spouses.

And whether Teagan manages to get into Sam's pants. MUWAHAHAHAH.
(no subject) - osirisbrackhaus on January 3rd, 2013 08:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - meridae on January 3rd, 2013 08:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
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idolme922idolme922 on January 2nd, 2013 08:39 pm (UTC)
Weeeee! Action and more action! On to his new life? What a wonderful and entertaining way to get Ivan from one place to the next. So looking forward to part 11!!!
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on January 3rd, 2013 08:07 am (UTC)
Hehe, thank you! And I think chapter 11 will be very satisfying, even though neither Smelly nor Ivan will appear in person... ^^
debbiemethosdeb on January 3rd, 2013 03:05 am (UTC)
loved it ,what another action packed chapter,and smelley (I mean sir yaden)got him out of there alive.
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on January 3rd, 2013 08:14 am (UTC)
Thank you! Well, Yaden isn't a Phoenix Knight for nothing, saving people left and right. But we'll get to hear some more about Yaden's habit of bringing souvenirs from his missions in the following stories... ^^
BerthaBlueberthablue on January 3rd, 2013 06:16 am (UTC)
So awesome! The description of Ivan's swords reminded me of cartoons where some magical creature suddenly grows wings all of a sudden and there's rainbows. Also that scene from the movie Splice, but in a less horror-movie way.

Um, I think I'm trying to say it's beautiful, lol.

So happy that Ivan got out of there! I would imagine that being a part of Yaden's life would be *pretty* fucking awesome.
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on January 3rd, 2013 08:20 am (UTC)
I love that you mentally filed the mutation scenes from 'Splice' under beautiful, I felt quite alone with that feeling until now.

And yes, being part of Yaden's life IS awesome. It is also crazy dangerous, restless, completely mind-boggling crazy, but it IS awesome. And there are still so fucking many stories we have to write...
BerthaBlueberthablue on January 3rd, 2013 06:32 pm (UTC)
Haha, I'm just glad that someone else knows what I'm talking about when I refer to Splice! Such an underrated movie. I was rooting for the creature the whole time.

I want ALL the stories :D
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on January 4th, 2013 08:03 am (UTC)
So no pressure on me, then. *phew*
hab318princess on January 12th, 2013 10:06 pm (UTC)
loving this... have to admit, had to go back and figure out who Yaden was... (well, remember)
brilliant story
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on January 13th, 2013 06:57 am (UTC)
So happy you liked it!
I'm currently putting together a wiki for our stories, so we won't have to struggle with that dog-eared pile of papers every time we want to check something. Here's what I gathered about Yaden so far:
It's still a bit rough and some parts are missing, but I think it's already becoming a useful resource, at least is is for us. ^^

Thanks for commenting!
hab318princess on January 13th, 2013 08:04 am (UTC)
I went to the main masterlist you'd linked to and that helped...
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on January 13th, 2013 02:59 pm (UTC)
Everything that helps is fine with me. :D