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3/30/2017 11:56:23 PM

REEF MOB, Ch. 70: Teliks-12

If you missed the last chapter of REEF MOB, you can find it [url=]here[/url], or if you need to find a previous chapter, you can find them all in the [url=]Table of Contents[/url]. Please give a bump or leave a comment if you enjoy this and any other chapter! ***  Many Eliksni have forgotten how the House of Kings came to preside over the other Houses following the Whirlwind. In the wake of losing House Rain, and Judgment spread thin throughout the other Houses, the House of Kings were the only ones left that could offer the other Houses incentive to keep peace: ether. The servitors of the Kings, the Teliks line, was renowned throughout the Houses as being superior to all others. Through our relationship with these servitors, the Kings grew large enough and strong enough to physically match any who would challenge them, but for all their strength and battle prowess, it was always their intellect and craftsmanship that kept them in power, even after many Houses had devolved into fanaticism. For the Kings always knew better – the only way to control their own destiny was through intellect and industry, not through blind devotion. All eventually returned to the Kings in the past to keep the ether supply lines open, and with rumors of the Wolves’ Rebellion stalling from the Guardians’ assault, it seems like it won’t be long before the Kings once again bring another stray House back into the fold. [i]As hopefully I will someday, too.[/i] I make a few adjustments on my new servitor’s casing, keeping focused on my work while casting quick furtive looks toward where I know the cameras are. [i]They’re still watching – but at least they can’t read my thoughts.[/i] As I continue working on the servitor, I feel equal measures of pride and shame – [i]I’d let the Wolves cloud my mind, let my allegiance turn to Skolas and away from my father. I’d suffered terribly for this betrayal, made worse Skolas docking me, and even after that I found my allegiance once again falling to another: the Mob. And look where that’s gotten me.[/i] I make a few more tweaks, and finally turn the servitor on – it rumbles as its eye glows to life, a deep, soothing purple glowing brightly as it twitches, starting to move on its own. I smile behind my mask at the achievement, though the suspicions that preceded the achievement still remain – [i]why did Chryses Outpost have so many servitor-specific supplies? Was it just junk that was collected through years of fighting my kind? And why aren’t they concerned with me building my own servitor? Shouldn’t they know what I can use it to do?[/i] I push aside my doubts, hoping that I’ve overestimated their capabilities and I’ll be lucky enough to catch them unawares. [i]As long as Lady Luck’s on my side…[/i] I smile again at the familiar phrase. Despite the various betrayals I’ve endured through my life, I’ve at least always found good company amongst the outcasts, even if it’s always only temporary. I push these doubts away as well, hoping that Nas finds what he’s looking for. Despite my best efforts, though, there’s a twinge of fear lurking in the dark corners of my mind that we’ve waded into a mystery that’s beyond any of us. [i]They won’t catch me unsuspecting, though[/i], I think as I watch my new servitor hovering in midair, the familiar mechanical whirring signaling it’s already beginning to synthesize ether for me. [i]The Teliks line has always been regarded as superior to all other servitors[/i], I think proudly. [i]And now one more is added to their numbers.[/i] Teliks-12, a servitor all my own. I cast another quick, furtive look to the cameras, mentally judging their fields of visibility. [i]Only one blind spot I’ve deduced thus far,[/i] I coach myself, bending down behind the servitor as I subtly coax it to hover in front of me, covering the blind spot. [i]Luckily, it’s in the perfect spot to hide my other pet project…[/i] It’s been years already, but the ache is still there, always there – [i]Skolas pushed his foot down onto my back, pinning me to the ground, forcing me to look at Anixias’ dying body –[/i] * Look at what your indecency has wrought! * [i]he growled wrathfully into my ear.[/i] * You shame your House and your family! * [i]I fought and struggled against the brute, but he was too big, too strong, too driven – With a roar of wrath and betrayal, Skolas seized my upper arms in his and pulled them from my body in one swift, brutal motion –[/i] I shiver unconsciously, pushing the memory down once more. [i]What was done was done. Focusing on the past won’t change it. It’s the future I’m more concerned about.[/i] Quickly checking again that Teliks-12 is hovering in the cameras’ blindspot and blocking me, I move aside the junk and debris I’ve hidden around the unassuming metal crate. I ease the lid open, and pull out the metal struts and mechanics. [i]Only a few more hours, and I won’t need to hide any longer,[/i] I think as I make a few last-minute adjustments. The arms took less time than even the servitor to construct, and I found all the parts I needed in this small workshop I’ve been locked in ever since Nas left. More suspicions entered my mind as I began to piece them together, but there’s no time to seek answers – there’s something hidden at this Outpost, and I need to be prepared for whatever it may be. Checking the camera again behind me, I hunker down behind Teliks-12 and put the finishing touches on my new arms – *** A little over an hour later, I’m finally ready. BZZZZTTT!!! The buzzer squeals as it hails my captors, and after a moment it crackles back. “[i]What?[/i]” “[i]I’ve lost one of my tools,[/i]” I tell them, hoping they’ll believe me. “[i]Can you bring me another?” “Which tool?” “I don’t know what it’s called – it tightens the bolts on my servitor.[/i]” The voice on the other end sighs audibly. “[i]Fine, fine, gods damned bug….[/i]” He trails off as the comm switches off and I brush off the slight. I turn back to Teliks-12, seeing it hovering behind me as I directed it, blocking the closest camera angle so they can’t see the added bulk beneath my cloak – Within minutes, the door buzzes and one of the Raptors walks in – he casually tosses the tool at me and goes to close the door once more – “[i]Wait![/i]” I call after him, and he instinctively stops. “[i]Will I get meal soon, too?”[/i] “Want, want, want!” he complains, kicking the door back open – as he rolls his eyes, I take my chance and rush him – caught off guard, he stumbles backwards as I seize him with my metal arms and toss him into the room behind me – he struggles to his feet at Teliks-12 floats over to me and I slam the door shut with a smirk. “HEY!!!” he bellows, pounding on the door, but I’m already moving down the hallway. My old crew would think this was incredibly stupid, but I’m not afraid of the Raptors – despite their threats when I arrived, their numbers are still limited – and we’re too far out for any reinforcements to come. Pausing in an alcove as a pair of Raptors pass by, I take more ether from Teliks-12, gorging myself on it to gain some last minute strength – I can feel my muscles growing, my body expanding imperceptibly as I breathe deeply, and as the Raptors disappear around a corner, I bolt out, heading for what I hope is the hangar – But just as I pass through the nearest corridor, I feel my heart stop and my feet follow suit – Standing in front of me are all the Raptors, their leader Djoz smiling expectantly. “She told us you wouldn’t be able to resist,” he sighs as I bare my teeth and ready myself for a fight. “There won’t be any need for that, though.” Catching me off-guard, I cock my head at him curiously. “Come on, it’s okay,” he says. “We’re not gonna hurt you. We’re not even gonna put you back in that room or take your new arms away or nothing.” I growl suspiciously, but Djoz just laughs. “Don’t believe me? I’ll show you what I mean.” He beckons me to follow, and when I hesitate, he sighs again. “Come with me and you’ll understand why we won’t need to lift a finger to stop you.” Even more confused, I nonetheless follow cautiously behind them as they turn and walk away. [i]What do they mean? Why won’t they stop me?[/i] As though he can hear my thoughts, Djoz turns and drops me a wink, leading the way through the Outpost and down into a large, circular room with only a giant metal door adorning it. “[i]What is this?[/i]” I ask, trying to keep the trepidation from my voice. “Open it,” Djoz commands his Raptors, and four of them approach the door and, with grunts and heaves, slowly pull it open. Darkness lies beyond. “Go on,” Djoz encourages me. “No one’s gonna lift a finger to stop you.” [i]This isn’t right[/i], I think as I feel the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. [i]There’s something wrong.[/i] And then the smell hits me. [i]Eliksni… What is this place? What have they done?[/i] I take a step forward, forcing myself to show courage. [i]I am Solis, daughter of Hatiks, Kell of Kings. I do not run from fights, I face my enemies with courage –[/i] The smell grows stronger as I take a few more steps forward. [i]I know this smell[/i], I realize suddenly. [i]But not for years, not since –[/i] My blood runs cold. [i]It couldn’t be.[/i] The smell grows stronger as my knees tremble, but I force myself to keep walking toward the door. [i]It’s not possible, they’re all dead.[/i] I finally reach the door as a low growl reverberates around the dark room, and then another, and another – The purple light of a servitor glows in the darkness, and then another, and another – I unconsciously take a step back as I hear rustling in the darkness, and feel the presence of a massive force approaching me. [i]Wolves,[/i] I think with a thrill of horror. [i]What are they doing here?[/i]

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