Level 6 Sectonia (holding 1 level up) - (36/60) +3Location:
Sandswept Sky - Town
Word Count: 2512
Sectonia was accosted by one of the warehouse managers after sending her antilions in to check for the mimic, said antilions tapping on crates seemingly causing him distress. Sectonia explained the situation to the man, in which he replied in kind mentioning that her antillions would get squashed by the security inside said warehouses. "Thats not a problem, I can always make more."
Sectonia said, dismissively. She then continued. "However if that is the case, finding this 'mimic' would be far more tricky. Especially if these sentinels are so bad at their job that this thing could sneak in anyway."
"What?!" The contempt with which Sectonia responded, both for her workers and the city, ignited a spark of outrage. Contrary to the queen’s assumption this merchant was just an independent vendor, knowing nothing of the situation inside the warehouses, who happened to see what for all intents and purposes appeared to be a coordinated raid. A few warehouse workers, customers of the nearby bazaar, and other bystanders had gathered, just as taken aback by the sudden intrusion. Sectonia’s explanation smoothed things over a little for those aware of the infestation, but even they had to wonder why the giant bugs decided to barge in without so much as a by-your-leave from the owners and provoke the Ruin Sentinels. Hearing that the insect queen didn’t care if potentially destructive fights broke out with the fearsome guards only served to rub everyone the wrong way.
A heavyset warehouse foreman stepped forward with a brave face, pointing a beefy finger at the massive hornet. “Well, even if you are hunting for the mimic, you’ve gotta get those bugs out and find another way! We can’t have brawls right in the middle of all the goods, and they’re cousin’ panic! Attackin’ Sentinels is almost as bad as attackin’ the Grimleal themselves. And if the stinkin’ Resistance catches wind of this, they’ll join in the chaos and attack again!”"Fine."
Sectonia said, snapping her fingers. An audible 'poof' sound could be heard from where the antillions were at the time of their searching as they disappeared into smoke and stars. "So I assume some of you have a much better idea then as to where this thing is? I don't need to search if one of you has more pertinent information."
The foreman looked annoyed at Sectonia's presumptuousness. So the only grounds someone had to ask her to stop doing something was if they had an easier way to get it done for her? "Tellin' you not to break the law and disturb the peace doesn't mean we gotta do your job for you! We've all got our own work to get back to!"
"Weren't you complaining a moment ago about the Sentinels not being able to do things themselves?" the merchant added among grumbles from the others. Even if Sectonia came to do something good, the way she had decided to go about it -going over everyone's heads to do as she pleased- was running up against resistance. That plus an underlying fear, both of her monstrous appearance and the duplicitous Resistance, combined to unite the crowd against her.
One cap-wearing girl
, however, spoke up from the crowd. "Hey, maybe I can help! Try the red brick warehouse on the other side!" she suggested. "The overseer there, Nazeem, got his fingers bitten off by something last week."
Sectonia could only roll her eyes at how uncooperative this town was being. First the vizear's troop, now the townspeople. Seems like this town was full of nothing but fools. But before she was just about ready to leave as to not deal with all of this complaining from horribly managed subjects, a little girl actually gave her a good source of information. Ignoring the riff raff who was being overall very unhelpful, Sectonia moved to the girl and tipped her hat, her alcremie under her hat also trying to tip its imaginary hat. "Thank you little one."
Sectonia said. She gave the rest of the crowd a glare before asking for directions to where this warehouse was.
The ones she'd dismissed did not respond. Francesca, however, pointed Sectonia directly to where the warehouse lay with her ability to fly in mind, and trusted in her ability to discern the characteristic red brick to do the rest. Sectonia made her way to the spot in question, finding the building that stuck out with its red brickworrk. The building seemed to be empty of workers, the door open. considering the time, they probably went out for lunch if Sectonia could guess. Still, seeing as this was her major lead she should have this all wrapped up in short order. Summoning her green antilions again, she sent them to fan out around the warehouse to find said finger eating box.
Just a few moments after the bug queen sent her minions inside, history repeated itself, albeit with Sectonia able to see what happened this time. The clank of heavy metal armor in motion followed by the slam of a weighty polearm against an antlion carapace drew her attention, and when she looked inside she found one of the Ruin Sentinel guards on the offensive. An unnaturally tall and thin night in armor with the yellow sheen of brass was addressing the unauthorized intrusion one bug at a time using a polehammer as tall as it was. Though it didn't move at great speed, its long strides and reach allowed to to follow the Antlions wherever they might scuttle."And there it is. I suppose this would be a good of a test as any for this."
Sectonia said, pulling out one of her staffs and pointing it at the metal behemoth now that she could see where it was as it smashed two of her 5 antillions without much effort. Wordlessly the sentinel started to slow down, with its massive loss in speed on top of his already slow movement making its attacks dodgable by the third and final indoor antillion who went about doing what his queen commanded of him.
With Sectonia interfering with but technically not fighting the Ruin Sentinel, her underlings could go about their assigned task of giving absolutely everything in the warehouse a once-over. They pored over boxed tools, furniture, construction supplies, and a whole host of other goods. When the two from the perimeter turned up nothing they joined in the search to speed things up, but the time dragged on. All too soon, the lunch break threatened to end and put the factory staff back on the clock. Sectonia's magical reserves hurt a little too, as sustaining the time distortion field around the Sentinel required notable upkeep. It was at about that time however, that she noticed that she hadn't seen or heard the antlion sent to the second floor in a bit.
Noticing this, Sectonia made her way past the sentinal with the last two antillions, making her way to the second floor of the warehouse. Controlling this sentinal was getting annoying, but seeing as it wasn't much of an issue now Sectonia held the spell on it as she reached the second floor. She spread out her two remaining antillions, figuring out where the other one perished so she knew what to attack.
Finding the missing minion proved tough, since in a world where even full-bodied people left no corpses, summons especially didn't. As Sectonia searched, however, she came upon an odd sight among all the stacked boxes and cases. Arranged in a rough circle in one area were not one, not two, but five unique treasure chests. She could see a gold-locked marked chest
, a brightly colored toy chest
, a smallish reinforced chest
, a metal-plated electronic chest
, and a time-worn old chest
. Some sat on top of other crates and some on the floor, facing various directions without much rhyme or reason, but for someone on the hunt for anything unusual the sight of so many in a small area seemed amiss.
Down below, the Sentinel started to move. The distance between it and Sectonia had put it out of her hex's effective range, and it now headed for the stairs to the second floor in pursuit of the intruding targets.
Sectonia sent her antillons to try the odd looking chests, positioning herself so that she had view of the odd collection of chests and the stairs at the same time as she heard the sentinel making his way to her location from down below.
No sooner did one antlion open the reinforced chest and find nothing out of the ordinary about it, than the toy chest sprung to life. It popped open to reveal a nebulous head with arrow-shaped red eyes, and from its base extended a trio of spider-like legs terminating in blades. With a skittering sound the creature
leaped at its fellow bug, blades flashing in the imperfect light."Hmph. Doesn't seem too out of the ordinary in my kingdom."
Sectonia said to herself as the toy chest mimic did its thing with the antillion. Trying out her new power again, Sectonia made herself faster and charged the mimic chest with her blades out, doing a few swipes at it before attempting to stab it.
Sectonia's weapons fell upon the creature with extra force thanks to their increased speed, but even without she got the impression her strokes would have been sufficient. Each attack dealt visible damage to the Spiderchest. It pulled a leg-blade from the antlion's head and turned it against the insect queen, but with little effect. By the time she readied her thrust, it was already on its last legs, and her stab finally put the little menace to rest.
The next moment, the electronic chest lunged for her. It burst out of its original shape as it leaped, revealing a much larger and more horrifying mimic
, and with vicious talons tried to grab hold of Sectonia's abdomen so that its grisly fangs could chomp in.
The newcomer to the mimic party caught Sectonia slightly off guard, as she wasn't expecting more than one mimic. The fact that it went for her lower half though wouldn't leave it unscathed. While it did manage to get a grab on her, Sectonia summoned a large ring of light and had it spin around her lower half, the buzzsaw ring of light causing massive damage to anything that was attacking that section.
As soon as the pain began the nightmare mimic got a final chomp in, let go, and scooted backward out of the ring's range. It took the opportunity to pull itself on top of a nearby crate and then launch itself bodily at Sectonia in a wild leap. It aimed to land on Sectonia with the full weight of its body behind its ghastly jaws and bring the big bug to the ground.
Evading the constant damage of the ring after getting its final bite in, the mimic decided instead to instead knock Sectonia out of the air using its body. Even so, Sectonia still had her light ring spinning around her, and seeing as the mimic couldn't dodge in the air, she launched it at the airborn mimic intending to cut it in half.
A shrieking sound rang out as the ring cut into the mimic, but while it dealt enough visceral damage to spray gunk over the storage space, it did not kill the monster outright. The mimic followed through with its leap and crashed into Sectonia, knocking her to the wooden floor with a loud noise. The planks below her rattled under the impact, soundly built but not made to bear the strain of combat.
This creature had no fear, no brain, just instinct it seemed as it took Sectonia's ring of light head on becoming gravely wounded in the process in its attempts to knock her to the ground. While it did succeed, it didn't succeed for long as she blasted it with another one of the powers gained by absorbing the count's spirit, a dark globe of void energy, at point blank. followed by a blink to right herself back in the air.
Her magic scored a heavy hit on the mimic, and though the vicious thing meant to lunge at her once again, her magic had begun to take its toll. Seldom did the monster ever spring its trap and not brutalize the hapless bystander outright, and now that it found itself confronted with a capable -and durable- victim, its low intelligence wasn't doing it any favors. The mimic's slobber flew this way and that as it gnashed its teeth, pulling itself at Sectonia once again, but the monster could not defend itself if she took action in time.
Sectonia, not wanting to be on the reviving end of this slobbering brute's jaws again, summoned her swords and unleashed a barrage of rapid stabs at it as it approached. Most enemies would try to dodge this attack, but the mimic didn't seem to have the intelligence to do so, nor the ability to stop itself from moving once it got started.
A flurry of steel fell upon the mimic as it scrabbled toward her, sinking into its mottled flesh. Despite it wounds the monster was a credit to its kind, and only barely slowed down under the onslaught until one of Sectonia's points pierced its glowing green eye. The rest was a done deal--the bug queen pierced straight through and into the monster's brain, killing it. After struggling around for a moment in its death throes the greater mimic lay flopped down and started to dissolve. In another moment only its spirit remained, joining that of the spiderchest in floating just off the floor.
At that time the clanking of armored footsteps grew louder; the Ruin Sentinel reached the second floor. Worse still, she heard voices echoing through the warehouse below. The first few workers had returned from their lunch break, and it was time for Sectonia to make herself scarce.
Before leaving, Sectonia grabbed the spirits of the two mimics. Seeing as the sentinel was at the top of the second floor stairway now and more commotion coming from below, she dismissed her antillions and made for a window, blinking outside the warehouse when she had clear vision and avoiding the whole situation of dealing with the rest of the people downstairs. Hopefully it was just these two chests, and not a third. But considering the bounty was for only one chest, they should be fine with the proof she had. At least she hoped, getting bitten by something with a mouth that big, even if it didn't hit at full force, wasn't the most pleasant of things. at least the pipe of insight she had gotten earlier was now showing how useful it could be, slowly healing the bite wound left behind by the large mimic. She made her way back to the palace to collect her reward. Bounty work, for a Queen! Galeem really needed to go.