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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2013, 18:49 
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The rock around Aran collapsed amidst a shower of stone chippings and dust to reveal four robots in tight formation, two on the ground and two hovering just above them, waiting in ambush just beyond where the outer wall of the crevice had been. Aran found himself standing completely in the open, surrounded by nothing but debris, at the base of what now looked more like a scree-covered slope.

He reacted quickly, taking in the situation before the air had even cleared enough for said situation to be fully visible, before half scrambling, half falling over the rubble and up against the nearest piece of still-vertical wall, dragging his robo-shield with him. At almost the same moment all four robots opened fire. The robot's body, combined with the Barrier spell that he'd cast at the start of the battle, provided a significant level of protection (though the impact from the makeshift shield each time a shot forced it to bounce against him was far from painless) but even so, two shots got through and caught him in the shoulder. The pain almost made him drop his shield - he found he could barely still hold on to it with that arm. He was pretty sure the shots had hit bone and something was broken. He'd been trying to avoid casting any more magic than was absolutely necessary at this stage - casting was exhausting and he could only do it a limited number of times before he had to rest - but he knew he had no option but to cast Cure once again if he was going to stand any chance of continuing. He used the robot's gun once again to send out a barrage of shots to try to keep the ambushers at bay just long enough to heal the worst of the injury and then, dropping his shield, he made a grab for his swords, which had fallen in towards where he now stood when the wall had come down, and made a sudden dive to his right, straight towards the big guy. As he had expected, he was followed by a barrage of shots and, as he had not expected but had rather hoped, a couple of them hit the big Robot, causing him to lurch and take his attention away from Aran momentarily. Another of the shots got through Aran's Barrier. It stung like mad but didn't hit anywhere vital. His shoulder was still agony, especially as he rolled at the end of his dive, but he knew he had to ignore it; any exacerbation of the injury that he caused would just have to be dealt with after this was all over. He let his momentum carry him back on to his feet and darted past the Robot, slashing at the android's shoulder joint as he he did so. A further shot caught it on the chest while yet another whistled past Aran's ear. As he pivoted round the Robot he was able to see his four attackers. To his surprise he found that his protective fire had taken one of the fliers down. It wasn't out of action, but its hoverjet unit and lower limbs no longer appeared to be functioning: it was slumped in a rather unnatural sitting position with its legs bent at odd angles. It was still firing, but couldn't rotate its upper body very far to target him. If he could lure the others into attacking him on the other side of the room, he reasoned, he could pretty much rule that one out as a threat. But for now he still had to worry about three still very capable gunners and of course the big guy, who, though slower than his minions, wasn't wasting any time in turning to respond to Aran's latest tactics.

----------

Alyssa paused to take in the new situation. She couldn't really see what this latest test was all about, and there was no sign of any immediate danger, but she didn't drop her guard as she slowly moved forward. A breeze was now blowing, and the source was almost certainly the holes that had appeared in wall at the far end of this new corridor. Given the distance, and the noise, she knew she could expect the wind strength to increase markedly as she approached. She wasn't wrong. By about half way down the corridor she felt like she was walking through a gale and was having to lean into the wind to stay on her feet. A few yards further and she could no longer make any progress at all - as she tried to step forward she was lifted off her feet and dumped unceremoniously a few feet further back.

She dropped to the floor to reduce her wind resistance and considered her options. She figured the wind strength would likely be slightly less along the side walls, where there would be no overlapping currents from adjacent vents, so she crawled to her left and was able to make a little headway by squirming along on her belly beside the wall, but eventually even that didn't work. As she wondered how to proceed she found herself staring at the floor. It appeared to be made of some kind of synthetic material.

I wonder... she thought.

She turned one hand over so that some of the rough skin on its back was in contact with the floor and tried releasing some acid. It required a certain amount of concentration to limit the acid to just that one area, but she didn't really want to be left with acid-soaked clothes (even though she'd long ago learnt to wear all natural fabrics if at all possible, which stood up to it considerably better than synthetics). Sure enough, the floor's surface began to bubble and shrink away from her touch, leaving an irregular indentation. This was going to be slow going, and tough on the fingers and toes, but hopefully, if she could dissolve sufficiently deep cavities into the floor to act as hand- and toeholds, and keep herself pressed against the floor for maximum friction, she could cling on tightly and gradually work her way across the remaining distance to the end of the corridor. She had no idea what she was supposed to do when she got there - there was no obvious exit, but from experience so far, she guessed a new stretch would very likely open up and, if it didn't, at least once she was up against the far wall, so long as she remained below the level of the vents she'd be out of the worst of the wind and could search for a way forward without being blown away.



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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2013, 21:32 
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Pamela looked rather worried for Aran when she saw the Trouble into which he had managed to get himself, but then she found herself quite absorbed with Alyssa, about whom she still knew very little; it did not surprise her to see she had difficulty making Headway through such a strong Wind, though she herself had never been put to such a Test (likely because Tilly would have made it rather laughably easy), and she was quite astonished to see her somehow making Depressions in the Floor. She had the Camera zoom in, and saw it was some Kind of Acid, and she made very many Notes about this.



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PostPosted: 17 Jun 2013, 09:03 
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Xander was making slow progress along the corridor. At first his barriers had proved easily sufficient, but then he had not initially expected the sheer variety of modifications that could be made to the simple act of launching a spherical projectile at someone. At first the force at which the projectiles were launched had incremented, a couple of times this his changed so drastically that his wards were nearly thrown off entirely. Then the projectiles began spinning. Xander had been modifying his wards as he made gradual progress along the corridor to better deal with the incoming fire, but when one flew just past the side of his head he began to find genuine annoyance at this form of testing. The rapid rotation of these new projectiles allowed them to twist straight through the redirection arrays he had surrounded himself with, and now they were clipping against one of the back-up arrays, one which met force with force while another counterbalanced and kept him anchored to the spot- though at the cost of an equivalent level of energy.

Though he knew that he could keep this second barrier up for some time, Xander was after all quite proud of his magical stamina, in spite of his age, he decided that now would be a fine time to find a more efficient method of dealing with such things. He first made an array that would allow him to apply a variable amount of force to a specified point within a certain range of himself, though he knew that he would have to find a better way to do this in future as well, seeing as he had to recast the array each time he wanted to use it, and this would take time and energy that he didn't want to waste. He made the area of effect of this array wider than he usually would, so that he could test it without having to lower his barriers and unnecessarily expose himself without a reliable defence, and began trying to knock the projectiles off of their intended trajectory himself with his new array. This proved difficult to the point of impossibility in most cases, as he simply couldn't react fast enough to calculate the angle and force necessary to redirect the shots. He needed a way to slow the incoming projectiles, he thought, and began working on a solution in his head as he reinforced his other physical wards and continued along the corridor.

His distraction nearly cost him dearly, as a large section of the wall suddenly moved out from the left of him to meet with the wall on the other side of him, with enough force that he really did not want to be caught between them. Once again Xander was a little too slow to react, and it was only his wards that saved him. Out of reflex, or perhaps instinct, he jumped forward into an awkward, unpractised roll, and when his barrier activated to attempt to push the crushing mechanism back his other arrays had nowhere to anchor him to, so he was simply pushed with it towards the wall. The wall also set off his wards however, and the combined pressure of the crusher and the wall being met by his barrier resulted in his attempt in an acrobatic dive instead projecting him forwards at great speed as though he himself were launched as a bullet. The unintentional manoeuvre threw him around the next projectile, which passed by his side without Xander even noticing, and past another crusher, which activated but missed as the old mage flew past a little too quickly for it to make contact. He was stopped quite suddenly when another projectile hit his barriers dead-on from the front, though a little above him, and forced him to the ground. This triggered another set of wards that Xander used to cushion falls from great distances or high speeds, and they did exactly that- he was left belly-down on the floor, groaning and disorientated.

"That," he muttered as he pushed himself up, "was distinctly unpleasant." The event had drained him. He knew that his reserves of magic would recover easily given time, but he wasn't likely to get a break any time soon. His barriers were holding, and would continue to do so against the projectiles at least, but another one of those crushers would be far too much. He took a few moments to catch his breath, concentrate on recovering his magic, and analysing the corridor both ahead of and behind him. He needed to figure out how the crushers were triggered, and the constant barrage of projectiles clipping off of his barriers weren't helping.


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PostPosted: 03 Jul 2013, 19:04 
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As Xander looked up, the Projectiles stopped, he was too close to the wall for many of them to hit him anyways, looking around to observe, he could see that he had managed to rocket past the line at the end of the hall.
-------------------------------

"Should we start up the same test cycle again sir, he seemed to luck his way across the barrier line. I'm not even sure he realized that it had happened till it was over."

"No just start the next section as well. It looks like the Girl is just about across hers as well. As much as I disagree with the logic of chance, the chief believes that a certain amount of good fortune should be accounted for. There, She's made her way past the end marker, stop the wind and open up the next chambers."
--------------------------

As Alyssa crossed the line on the ground, the air stopped pushing against her. The wall to the side then lowered, even as the hallway behind her closed up. Before her was a transparent wall showing her the twisting layout of the half risen walls of the next test below her, with several floating spheres, obviously mechanical in nature. No way forward presented it's self at the moment, but a large rodent, large enough to be made out at this vantage point at any rate, was lowered into the maze. It darted forward, turning as it ran into one of the sphere's but it ran too quickly into another, and could not turn around due to the first having taken up pursuit. Not being able to retreat, it lunged at the Sphere before it, but too late. For the sphere's part, it released a small field of electricity, shocking the beast into submission, till it stopped moving. Then, as the things turned to resume their former patrols, a crane came down from the ceiling, picking up and removing the rodent.

After this demonstration, A hatch opened and showed a ladder leading downwards.
------------------------------

Xander faced a similar scenario, though rather than several spheres , there was a series of sections that had been blacked out, as though the light had been stolen from them. Briefly, before another light went out, he could see a jet black humanoid figure with dark purple hair and observable purple veins trailing all across it's body. Shortly, the hatch opened for him to progress as well.



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PostPosted: 11 Jul 2013, 20:16 
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Pamela was rather taken aback by the strange purple-haired black whatever-it-was, and tapped the Eraser of her Pencil against the Sheet on which she was writing before asking a nearby Scientist 'What is that peculiar Thing hiding in the Shadows?'

There was something decidedly unsettling about it, whatever it was, and she was not entirely certain it was not merely a Trick of the Shadows, though it did not quite look like any Shadow she had ever before seen, and she had seen quite a lot of them.



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PostPosted: 16 Jul 2013, 13:32 
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Xander stood for a moment, observing. Those areas of black were not inviting in the slightest, he decided, but he could not see a way through the maze without coming close to a few of them, and he half expected the maze itself to start altering the moment he set foot inside. After just under a minute, he let out a deep sigh.

"It would appear as though I have a lot of walking to look forward to. I do wish they had let me keep my cane." He frowned, he figured that he could probably use a little edge should that dark creature with the purple hair and veins turn out to be hostile. He was expecting it to attempt to injure him in some way, but could not think of a way in which it would specifically do so. He elected to reset his barrier spells back to their original, multi-purpose state, then prepared a couple of reactive arrays, ones that he could trigger at will, which would collect benign radiation from the air around him, mostly low frequency ambient light and infra-red heat, and concentrate it into a focussed beam when discharged. He could speed up the process of collection to make these arrays viable in combat should he need them to be ready sooner, but the process of creating them took a couple of seconds, and so he wanted to avoid wasting them.

He took one last look up at the transparent wall showing the maze before him in an attempt to memorise the maze, and then headed through the hatch with little more than a huff about the black humanoid's unkempt hairstyle.


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PostPosted: 16 Jul 2013, 17:07 
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Alyssa sat up as soon as the transparent wall was revealed, and viewed the unfolding scene below her with consternation. It reminded her somewhat of a giant game of Pac-Man, only instead of playing the game she was very shortly going to find herself in it. It didn't appear that she was being forced to enter the maze straight away so she sat and tried to study the situation from the safety (so far) of her current floor.

It bothered her that this test seemed to be unrelated to her abilities. The fate of the rodent made it very clear that she couldn't touch the spheres to attack them with acid but, even if she could, they looked very metallic from where she was sitting, so it was highly unlikely she'd be able to disable them in that way anyway. She mused that she might be able to climb the walls but they didn't look high enough to raise her out of the spheres' err... sphere... of influence. They were floating a good 3 or 4 feet above the floor, which would give her room to pass underneath, but she wondered how that might be achieved without being spotted. One thing she did note was that they seemed to have a definite front and back - one side was always facing their direction of travel, and when they changed direction they also swivelled to bring their apparent front round to face the same way as their movement. If their ability to detect sounds wasn't too acute, she thought, she might be able to make use of that - without shoes she could move pretty silently. But if she followed behind a sphere, what could she do when it reached the end of its run and changed direction? Or if she met another one coming the other way, as the rodent had? She also wondered if the machines could change their height or speed as they travelled, and what their field of vision was. She also tried to memorise the route through the 'maze' - it might be useful to be aware of what twists and turns were up ahead once she was in it, in case she had to dart for cover.

After several more minutes of watching, trying to assess the spheres' capabilities and work out whether they followed a set path or moved randomly through the maze, she came to the conclusion that she wasn't going to gain anything more from waiting so she waited until the nearest sphere no longer had a direct line of sight to the entrance and then, with great trepidation, she climbed down the ladder and dropped silently on her bare feet to the floor below.



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PostPosted: 24 Jul 2013, 15:17 
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It didn't take long for Mirasa to cut through the insulation to the power lines. She took a moment to collect herself, making sure that her tongue was pulled back from her teeth and set at the base of her mouth. She checked her knife to make sure that none of the metal was poking through her makeshift handle, and she positioned herself so that when her muscles clenched if her precautions failed, they'd force her away from the hatch and and the dome of energy, not into either of them. She then went to work, ideally, she'd want to cut the cables completely so as to prevent any backup generator from powering the dome, but that would take long, and her shoulder was already feeling slow, and the shirt over it was quite red. If they wanted any more in this test the blood loss from the time that would take could be much too detrimental. No, this needed to end now. By cutting the select wires and using the metal knife to create a loop, She could short the circuit the generator and burn out the room for long enough to grab her items.

However, theory tends to work better than practice. As soon as Mirasa connected the knife between the two cables, the room went black. This was acceptable, and planned for. She had memorized the location of her items and the rough size of the field. She could check if it went down and grab her things. What she hadn't accounted for was the heat in the palm of her hand.

She let go of the glowing hot knife immediately, the only light still in the room. No doubt the now melting handle had saved her hand, but barely. The center of her palm, where she had applied the most pressure to the handle biting into the cable was a blister.

"Why didn't you tell me those cables had enough power to supply a city for a month going through them. Dammit. If this keeps up, I'm not going to have any hands to use at all..." She spoke out to the air.

She then huffed as she moved over to the middle of the room, pausing only briefly at where the border to the field was, and grabbing her things, heading back towards the door afterwards.
----------------------

"Phase one complete, activate the generator and begin Phase two." stated the doctor, looking at the tech he had earlier been discussing Mirasa's test with.

"Sir, she can barely walk, and neither arm is doing well perhaps we should send in a medical team?"

"If she ever makes it to the mission, it is unlikely that she will have time to rest because she's injured herself. Begin the phase now."



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PostPosted: 24 Jul 2013, 17:16 
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Aran had no more than a second or two in which to think. Somehow he had to get across the room and away from the damaged robot's line of fire, but he was also now out in the open, and injured. And he still had three apparently fully functional smaller robots and the big one to contend with. At least only one of them was a flier. On the ground, he was pretty sure he had the drop on all of them in terms of agility, so if he could just take out that last flier... He had been conserving his magic, largely because using it was mentally very draining - and physically in a way too, though not in the same way that physical exercise was. It was something he found hard to explain to non-materia-users - but also because he didn't want to find himself short of options towards the end of the battle. But he figured that the time had probably arrived to risk making more use of it. There was no way he could attack each one of the remaining robots physically without positively suicidal manoeuvres, but magic had a far longer range. He was also painfully (literally so) aware that he had performed no more than basic triage on his injuries in terms of the amount of Cure he had cast on himself, but now that he was out in the open he was also more open to getting hit. He really needed to get his health back into a more resilient state, but how was he to find the time to do that without taking more damage from being shot at than his spell could cure? He decided the only possibility was a distraction, preferably one that would do useful damage at the same time.

Still shielded from the other robots by the large one, but now totally unprotected from its own attack, he raised the hand holding the sword in which his lightning materia was equipped and pointed it over the Robot's shoulder towards the flying robot, focussed on it intently and directed a blast of Bolt2 directly at it. Almost simultaneously he thrust the other kodachi up into the large robot's neck joint. For the second time in this battle luck was with him and the linked elemental Ice2 triggered as the blow hit, forcing a mini-blizzard of ice crystals into and around the cut. The robot didn't fall, but it did stop, and the arm that had been in the process of raising its weapon paused and juddered momentarily. Aran lost no time, but instantly cast Cure on himself and dashed out from his rather hazardous cover, dodging and weaving amidst a sudden hail of bullets to hurl himself behind the further of two ground-based robots.

Amazingly, none of the shots hit him, but he reached his destination feeling dizzy and light-headed. He had built up his materia-using stamina to a level where he might manage anything up to 10 or 12 castings, depending on the level of the individual spells, before he had to rest up and replenish his energy, but a was used to a bit of a break in between each one. In this battle he had now twice cast one of his higher-level spells immediately followed by Cure, with mere seconds between them, and the strain was taking its toll. He felt like he was surviving on pure adrenalin.

Once again he used a robot as a shield but this time it wasn't a dead one - before the machine in front of him had time to turn he grabbed it round the neck with his left arm and jammed his right-hand sword into the joint between its leg and its hip, while peering over its shoulder at the others. The smaller ones continued to fire and the large one had clearly recovered from the ice attack and now rejoined the fray, but the flying one was clearly damaged: its jet pack was sputtering and it was rising and falling only just above the ground and seemed to be having trouble moving towards him. Now, if he could just manoeuvre himself and his shield into the line of fire of the other damaged one without getting his arm shot off... now! Just as the flying robot's malfunctioning jet pack dropped it once again almost to the floor he pulled his hostage, which had been struggling against him but rather feebly, a step to the right, eliciting a shot from all three of the other surviving small robots. As he had hoped, the shot from the damaged one on the floor hit the flying one, which had suddenly dropped into its line of fire, and that one finally fell uselessly to the floor, crashing against the final undamaged one as it did so. That one staggered but didn't fall, and fired off another shot, clearly going for Aran's arm, which was vulnerably in view around his hostage's neck. But Aran had seen its intention and, before it pulled the trigger her released his grip and at the same time gave his shield robot a smart kick in the backside, sending it falling (with its now damaged right leg, it was unable to stand up to the force of it) towards its companion. The shot went straight into its neck, as did a further shot from the big guy. Aran himself dived to his left as a strong smell of burning circuits emanated from the now defunct robot as it fell against the final standing one.

Just one small robot left and then he could focus on the big boss. He wondered how many hits it had taken already. He had no idea which ones he had hit when - they all looked the same, and he had been too focussed on self-preservation to be taking stock of which ones had been doing what. Could he dare risk another spell and hope it was enough to take it out? How much longer would his mana reserves hold out if it didn't? The big guy had already taken quite a few hits himself, but he knew from his previous battles that it took quite a lot to take him down; he needed to be sure he had the strength for a few spells against him to back up his sword attacks. He was also aware that this battle had been going on for a while. He couldn't guarantee his Barrier would hold out for the entire test; he might need to replenish that too.

But he couldn't stand around in the middle of the room, dithering. The damaged robot on the floor could no longer hit him here but the big Robot and the final little one could, and was already freeing itself from the obstruction of its fallen colleague. So Aran paused less than a fraction of a second after coming to his feet from his dive before hurling himself once again at the boss and once again slipping round behind it. He decided he would risk yet another shot of Bolt2 at the last little guy; if he could get him out of the way, he figured, all he needed to do was stay alert enough to keep behind the big guy whenever it tried to turn and he'd be relatively safe - as far as he could see, his assigned nemesis on board this facility didn't seem to have too much in the way of damage-dealing equipment on its back. His decision made, he fired off the spell and tried to keep his eyes on the outcome as he dodged this way and that, keeping pace with the big Robot's attempts to turn and face him. To his dismay, the small robot didn't fall. But then, he realised, neither was it firing. It seemed to be trying to, though. It appeared that the lightning had shorted out, or otherwise damaged, the power supply to its gun. Instead, it began to walk across the room towards him.



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PostPosted: 27 Jul 2013, 22:29 
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"James Kepler this is ADU-209 OC Room; where the hell are you?"

The lady whose workstation James had commandeered earlier was less than pleased that she had to track down the person who was supposed to be overseeing this particular test in the first place. It had taken herself and the other two scientists in the little Observation and Control Room a while to notice he was actually gone. Usually when James was given oversight of a test he spent the entire time in a chair before the largest monitor or monitors with a large mug of hot cocoa and quietly watched, only whispering little movie and videogame references to himself now and then when something caught his eye. They had all subconsciously tuned out those little whispers over time, but then the boss had come in and pressed them to move Mirasa into Phase Two regardless of her current physical state and then rather pointedly--perhaps threateningly, depending on what kind of person you were and how you saw it--asked where Kepler was.

The Generic Scientist Person pressed down hard on the comm interface option at her station again. "James Kepler this is ADU-209 OC Room: get your damn ass--"

"I'm here."

The woman and both her colleagues jumped at the voice behind them.

"The hell, Kepler?"

"Sorry. Was using the bathroom."

"What, this whole time?"

James looked at her with his unnervingly expressionless gaze. "Do you even know how long I was gone?"

The Generic Scientist Person opened her mouth to make a retort, but flapped it closed wordlessly. "No..." she admitted.

"To be fair, I did mention a couple of my posts ago that I would have to use the facilities sooner or later." He held up his Schrödinger mug, "I drink a lot, remember?"

The woman shook the confusion from her expression with a vicious shaking of her head and an irritated shaking of her hands. "Honestly though, James, all the rest of us are going to get chewed out if we can't add to a report you can't write because you have no idea what happened here."

James grabbed a rolling, spinning chair from where it had been pushed to the far end of the L shaped bank of workstations so as to be out of the way and rolled it up between the woman and the next man over, just inside the L. It had a collection of several monitors showing different angles of Mirasa and her activities. He sat gently in it to make certain he didn't spill his tea, but did so backwards so he could lean forward into the back of the chair. "She had a knife, you guys missed it. She's been talking to her summons that you can't detect when she isn't actively manifesting them and so assume are merely in her imagination, possibly something her psyche has conjured up to rationalise her otherwise inexplicable abilities. She's cut power to the test chamber with her improbable improvised weapon, and He Who Shall Not be Named declared that she be pushed into Phase Two regardless of what her impromptu knife may have done for her health. Also she's grabbed the trinkets. Since that's Phase One. Getting them, I mean."

The woman looked at Kepler with a mysterious expression existing between respect, perplexion, and creeped-outed-ness. "Remote monitoring? While you were on the toilet?"

James gave a curt sigh. "No. Told you: I read this already. I mean, assuming that part happened like it should. As it is, she hasn't actually experimented with creative forms for her summons like her test briefing specified. So either the briefing was meant to mislead me or else this element differs a little bit from what I read before." He paused and looked away from everything for a minute. "Which could lead to some interesting butterfly effects later...don't know how to fix that naturally..." He looked back up at the Generic Scientist Person. "What is your name, anyway? I don't think it was ever given when I read."

The woman rolled her jaw in irritation that James had forgotten her name on top of all this. "Geneva."

"Full name. I want to prove a point."

She sighed and held up her hands, giving up. "Geneva Sofia Pierre."

"See, it's interesting because all your guy's names have initials that match your abbreviated NPC roles."

"I really hate you sometimes."

"That's okay," James took a gulp from his mug and settled into his chair, looking at the monitors. "I love you too."



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As Alyssa landed, the walls began to rise up higher.

Bother, she immediately thought, and a wave of anxiety ran through her - she had been able to see across the tops of them from her earlier perch and she knew there were currently no spheres in the passage on the far side of the wall opposite the entrance. Her intention had been to quickly nip over the wall while the nearest sphere had its back turned. But if the walls were now going to rise to the ceiling...

But as it happened, their growth quickly stopped. They were high enough to make scaling them far less convenient, but there was still a gap above them. So long as she could climb them. Checking that the sphere was still heading the other way she dashed across to the wall. Yes, the material felt synthetic; climbing might still work. Moving right into the corner at the dead-end by the entrance, where she hoped the spheres might be less likely come up close and notice, she began hollowing out hand and foot-holds in the wall with the backs of her hands. Then she quickly and quietly ascended and peered over the top. The second corridor was still empty but to her right she could see the top of a second sphere just showing above a short stretch of wall running parallel with the edge of the chamber and it was moving towards where the corridor opened out at that end. She'd have to get down and out of sight quickly. Again as quietly as she could, she dropped down to the floor and ran around the turning at her end of the corridor.

There she paused. She hadn't spotted any other spheres in the immediately vicinity as she'd looked over the wall, and as far as she could tell their visual sensory equipment was at a height that would have prevented them from seeing over their own nearby stretches of wall unless they rose up specifically to look at just the right moment. So hopefully she was safe here for a few seconds at least - just so long as they didn't have super-acute hearing.

And on the subject of hearing, she now wondered how she should go about checking ahead - the spheres seemed to be disturbingly quiet. She fancied she might have been aware of just the faintest hum from the one in the first corridor when she had initially entered, but by the time it had moved further away she couldn't hear it at all. So most likely she wouldn't be able to hear a sphere approaching until it was almost on top of her, which meant she'd have to rely on peering around or over walls. That could be dangerous if there was one peering back as she did so. She also found herself wondering how severe a shock one would inflict if it managed to touch her. It had been enough to knock out the rodent, but she was larger. Could she possibly survive such a jolt and keep going, should worst come to worst? She tried to remember what she had observed of the spheres' paths while she had been watching through the window. The first sphere patrolled the first two stretches of corridor. It wasn't moving fast but if she stayed here too long it would come down the second corridor and spot her when it reached the end.The second one followed a path that formed three sides of a square, but the particular stretch that she was just entering was quite complex and as she recalled its layout in her mind's eye she realised there were a couple of corners that always remained out of its line of vision. One of them was just a couple of corners away from where she was standing. Not that that would help all that much in the long term - it wouldn't do anything to get her nearer to the end of the course. Still, it would give her a better place to stop and consider her next move. She rounded the next corner and moved up the short distance to the following turn. There she halted and listened. If the sphere happened to be at this end of its run she would be visible as she made the dash to the hidden corner. Given where it was when she started, it shouldn't have reached here yet but she didn't like simply assuming. There was silence. It should be close enough to hear, she thought, if it was in a position to be a danger, so she figured she was safe, and made the dash. She had been right, and made it successfully.

Now she had to work out how to proceed. She could remember the layout of the next couple of sections and the patrol patterns of their associated spheres - they were quite straightforward, which made them easy to remember, but harder to negotiate, since there were no hidden nooks and crannies. Beyond there her recollection was hazier. She knew the corridor layout became more convoluted but she didn't have a photographic memory and wasn't sure if she could remember the exact arrangement, nor could she remember the exact routes of the spheres that wandered along them. She figured that from here onwards she was going to have to make use of a great deal of listening and careful timing.



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As Xander entered the maze room proper, the walls ascended until they connected with the ceiling, shutting off vertical travel. Past the entrance hallway, there were two paths leading either left or right, but these paths themselves ended in turnoffs.

More than the walls, Xander became aware of something else. Somewhere in the maze, something was screaming. It was a primal howl of rage and pain. He couldn't tell which side the noise was coming from, but it was growing louder.



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Xander fought back a shudder. That was not a happy sound, he quickly decided, and suddenly cursed not having made some manner of map before he entered the maze. He had expected it to alter form just as the walls had to form the previous challenged, rendering any form of mapping pointless, but still, any direction was better than none.

He decided that first he would need some way of directing himself, and quickly wove an array to form a compass, more for reference than actual direction, but still viable. Next he created a couple of extra weaponised arrays, like the two he already had prepared, just in case whatever was making that awful noise caught up. Then he went left, observing his compass as he turned and finding himself pleased with its functionality, he would simply follow the left wall until something stopped him, or he wound back on himself enough to prove that the wall were moving. Simple enough, though it took a moment for him to steady his breath before taking that first step. The second was easier, and he was soon walking with only barely feigned confidence, ready to defend himself if he needed to.


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Aran began his attack by simultaneously stabbing both his swords into the armpits of the big Robot in front of him. If he could just sever whatever circuitry connected the arms with the central processor it would be unable to fire its weapons - the ones controlled by its arms, at least. The rocket launcher on its back would still be an issue, but only if it could keep Aran at a distance, and so far, despite the looming threat of exhaustion, Aran was making a far better job of keeping himself up close and out of its line of sight than the Robot was of countering his tactics. Unfortunately, while the move undoubtedly did further damage - he could feel resistance inside the external armouring as the blades cut through something - the machine remained apparently fully functional. It could certainly still move its arms, and it was waltzing around, twizzling this way and that, as it attempted to wrong-foot Aran and get him into its sights. Maybe he should have gone for its legs instead, he mused. That had been effective on the smaller one just a moment ago.

Well, no time like the present, he thought, and he pulled both arms back, ready to thrust the kodachi into his opponent's hip joints. And he was very lucky that he did, because at that precise moment the Robot rotated its sword hand at the wrist by 180° and made a thrust of its own - backwards. If Aran's right arm had still been where it had been half a second previously the blade would have gone straight through his forearm. As it was, he still received a nasty-looking gash as he just failed to evade the blade's tip. Fortunately, his Barrier spell absorbed it to some extent and it was only superficial, but it still bled profusely.

That was when he noticed that the Robot's dancing hadn't been totally random. As it spun back and forth, it was slowly making its way closer to the immobilised robot still sitting where it had been felled. If Aran allowed this to continue he'd soon be having to evade shots from that one once again, as well as worrying about the big guy. And the last small robot left standing was almost within reach. Its gun still wasn't functioning but it was approaching with a definite air of purpose. It looked like it had something in mind. There was no point in trying to conserve magic energy now; if he didn't end this soon he'd loose any chance of coming out of this as the victor and he had a nasty feeling that if he didn't win, he very likely wouldn't be coming out of this at all. Up till now he had passed all his tests relatively easily and he'd started assuming he always would. The question of what would happen if he lost hadn't been an issue. Would the powers that be stop the fight or was this really a matter of survival of the fittest? The robots' weapons and ammo were certainly real enough and the robots themselves clearly weren't programmed to hold back. From now on it had to be all or nothing. He fired off yet another Bolt2 spell, willing the big Robot to go down. But it didn't.

And then his Barrier failed. He felt a sudden sense of nakedness and vulnerability as the spell finally wore off, as though a layer of clothing had been ripped away. The small robot seemed to be aware of it too. As its last few strides brought it within arm's reach, and before Aran had time to re-cast Barrier, it raised its rifle like a dagger and pounded it downwards, muzzle first. Aran realised at the last second what it was doing and lashed out with his left-hand sword, trying to slice at its arm, but it was too little too late. The muzzle smashed against his ribcage, close to the shoulder wound that was still little more than patched up and still hurt like mad. He heard as well as felt the rib crack. He cried out and tears welled up in his eyes from the pain as he stumbled against the big Robot and dropped to the floor under the impact. The Robot stepped over him and began backing up to line up a shot.

No! It can't end like this! It can't!

In his head Aran was yelling his defiance, but the only sound that came from his mouth was a whimper. For the first time since Meteorfall he actually felt scared. There had to be a way out of this! But how? He was out in the open now, with one robot about to shoot him, and another about to pound him to death with its rifle. There was one slim chance, and if it failed he was a dead man. He had learnt an elaborate attack technique not long before Meteorfall, but it needed a lot of Lifestream energy to convert into the necessary power and this wasn't a Lifestream universe. He'd never tried the technique since leaving Gaia. Did he have enough of the Lifestream within himself to generate that power? His own internal Lifestream enabled him to manipulate materia to create magic, and allowed him to achieve levels of athleticism and feats with his swords that were well beyond anything that a normal human in this universe could manage, but 'Limit Breaks', as the people of his world had called techniques such as the one he was contemplating, were an order of magnitude more powerful and demanded a level of focus that was hard to generate more than very occasionally even back on the Lifestream-rich world of Gaia. But right now desperation was providing the driving force for his concentration. He wouldn't let it waver, because wavering was not an option.

Summoning the last reserves of energy from his pain-wracked body, Aran rolled over just as the small robot's rifle hit the floor where he had been slumped. He cast Barrier on himself once again as he forced himself back on to his feet. He began to spin, his arms, their hands gripping their respective kodachi, flung out wide. Once round. One sword caught the small robot on the neck. It sliced through metal and circuitry as though it were little tougher than butter and the head came flying off. The robot wobbled, and then collapsed on the floor. Twice round. His momentum carried him closer to the large Robot and the left-hand sword made contact, slicing a deep gouge through the armouring of its chest. The right-hand sword followed, widening and deepening the gash. Three times round. The support structures within the Robot's torso began to fail as the left-hand sword once again extended the damage, and its top half started to keel over, like some grotesque tree being felled. The right-hand sword followed, leaving the Robot's head and shoulders hanging upside-down beside the rest of its body, attached only by a narrow sheet of metal on one side, and a few wires. Aran stood panting, bent over double, hands on his knees, as he fought to steady his breathing. It had worked. He'd won.

But no! Horrors! Slowly, barely perceptibly at first, the destroyed Robot's gun arm began to rise and the attached gun swivelled to point in Aran's direction - before the lights in the Robot's eyes went out and the arm dropped again. Whatever residual power had been left in the severed upper part of the body had clearly finally run out. It was dead.

But not so, the immobilised small robot. In his desperation to dispose of his two attackers Aran had forgotten to keep track of his position and he had strayed just within the line of sight of the last semi-functioning robot. A sudden crack broke the silence as a shot barely missed the backs of his knees. In his surprise and exhaustion Aran's only evasive maneouvre was to fall over. With one final effort he fired off an Ice spell at the robot from where he lay. He was too tired to summon up a level 2 spell so it was a simple level 1 Ice. It was enough; the robot keeled over. But Aran was unaware of his success: he had passed out.



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The sound was getting louder, Xander noted worriedly, as he continued into the maze. He took the first left that he had come across, and then the next, and then the next before coming to a dead end, leading him to double back a short way to take his next left.

This will take forever.. he groaned inwardly, taking care not to appear as perturbed as he felt. He was at least pleased in that his arrays had all finished charging and were ready to fire upon his direction, that at least was a good portent. He began thinking up countermeasures as he moved, racking his mind for spells both new and old that could make this situation less worrisome. If only he knew what it was that was chasing him down, he thought as he decided against one left that would take him through a darkened section. ..Perhaps a scout would suffice then? He recalled at this point a spell that might be of use, a series of arrays that formed a self-replicating 'drone', one that could map out the maze for him. It would take a fair amount of magic to create though, and he certainly didn't want that thing to come across one of the drones and follow it back to him.

All it took to convince Xander that the risk was worth the gain was another hungry roar in the distance, though nowhere near so distant as he would have liked. He quickly thought of a series of modifications to the original spell that would allow him to track it remotely, causing them to harmlessly disperse once their magic had run out, and a second array to store their gathered data, a rune-drawn map of sorts. He paused only a moment to gather the required magic and drew out the arrays with a well-practised hand, and once he was done a small orb of swirling rings made up of arcane letters floated before him, and a larger disk of similar composition floated above his open right palm. The orb floated in place for just a moment then split in two, forming two identical orbs which sped off quickly in opposite directions. They would continue to do this until they reached a dead end or another obstacle, and there they would disperse. Xander allowed himself a little grin, looking down at the disk above his hand that was already showing an image composed of runes of the paths that the drones were taking.

Seeing no reason to stay in one place just yet, Xander continued forward, following what looked to be the most promising path ahead, keeping one eye ahead and one on the map, waiting for his drones to start disappearing..


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It took Mirasa a little to make it to the door, practically staggering about in the dark and holding her shoulder despite heading in the correct direction. Very nearly at the door, however, she stopped walking. "They turned it back on? I guess they had a backup generator. But the test is over, why would they..." Mirasa's question was cut off by a sound behind her, and seconds later, the room was lit up by the muzzle flare of the rotary barrel assault cannon that had emerged from the wall.
----------

"Send the medical team to extract Mr. Saber." The lead scientist said.

"And Ms... Mirasa?"

"In a minute or two, when her test has reached it's conclusion."

"It isn't over? she doesn't have much stamina left and the Gun..."

"Has not hit her. If you're going to be assisting, at least pay attention to the monitors. Switch the monitor to setting five. The Muzzle flare will disrupt the light inversion setting,it is too dark to see the room properly by the standard light and her defense can't be seen by the thermal view. You'll need to watch the flow of energy that she emits when using her powers."

"Oh. she managed to pull it off in time. But there isn't enough..."

"Yes, she's on borrowed time. So we shall observe what she is going to do with that time."
----------

"Thanks Gnome. And thank you for the Warning Umbra." said Mirasa, ducking behind a large man in what appears to be Armour made of stone.

"It is fine little one. However, there is a lack of earth in this room." Replied the large man, his voice deep and hollow like listening to a cave.

"I know. It's not fair Gnome, but I needed to do it quick and you're the best fit to guard." Her head then whipped to the side. "It's expanding. You're kidding me. Okay, Gnome won't last long under the fire from the gun emplacement, and even if he does, The burning field will probably keep expanding till it burns the whole room out." Mirasa spoke, suddenly stopping for a moment. "Mander. It's your turn. Let's test out how hot this burning field is.

Mirasa then Passed a small token into her burned hand, keeping it to the fingers as she closed her eyes and held out a hand. Setting five on the monitors showed particle trails flowing through her body and out her hand, Flowing into the air and to the ground before her, taking form from there up, changing into a larger lizard creature, nearly twice as tall as Mirasa before it fell to all fours.

"Right Mander, on you I should be able to get through that field unharmed." Mirasa said, laying a hand on the creature before sliding her leg over it as it roared. "Let's Go Mander. Gnome, just hold out a little longer." She said and the pair moved towards the expanding incendiary field.
----------

"So she's walking into a wall of 3000 degree Celsius energy. Well, so much for the Medical team, we should probably get the clean up crew." observed the tech operator.

"Keep watching, and read your reports." The head scientist replied. "It seems that that particular creature absorbs and disperses heat from around it in such a way that it keeps the rider safe."

"Sir, that is all well and good, but that field is twice the heat of the center of a Volcano, all being focused across it's surface."

"Which is the point. We still haven't seen the upper limits of how much heat it can diffuse. To use your measuring, it was able to handle a volcano without any difficulty. Eventually we plan to see if it can deal with re-entry, or the heat of a star, but we haven't been given the go ahead for any excursions or exciting fusion in the test chambers, so 'two volcanoes' is the extent of our continuous energy release. So pay attention to her vitals."
----------

Mirasa passed through the Field without much trouble, beyond heat enough remaining to dry out her hair, cause her to begin sweating, the lizard glowing like a lightbulb, and exacerbate her wounded shoulder. She slumped off her mount and slid to the ground as it and the Armoured Man faded from existence. Without the nearer target to shoot at, the gun turned back on Mirasa as she lay on the ground. However, as the gun continued to fire on her none of the bullets made contact, disintegrating upon hitting the energy field. Mirasa took a moment to breath a sigh of relief.

"Well, at least for a moment I'm safe." She said, barely bothering to move. Then she sat up quickly. "Oh for the love of... It's shrinking? That Sadistic son of a bitch." She then slumped back onto the floor. "Right, I suppose I ought to Figure out what to do next shouldn't I. Right, I need to stop the dome, but I need to deal with the Gun first, or I'll be that food thingy with the holes in it." She transferred her remaining items into her hand and ran her fingers over them one by one. "Okay. Time for some Teamwork, cause I don't think we have much more time." She held out her hand and waved it sideways, And two figures emerged, one inside the dome, the other outside, on the opposite side from the gun.

"Sylph," She said, referring to the small being flitting about outside of the dome in green. "Get to the other side. the gun kept targeting Gnome even after I moved out from behind him. It's probably set to track the nearest object. Just don't get hit and let Umbra do her thing when she does."

"Yes'm I'll get toit rightaway boss it can't hit me I'm probably the size of it's bullets anyways zoom distraction gooooo." The minature summon lightly chitered, not pausing at any point in it's statement.

"Undine," Mirasa turned back to the blue woman standing inside the dome with her even as the other summoned being was talking. It was wearing a purple dress and its hair was a stream of water, in a very literal sense, raising up into the air and steaming off as it hit the dome.

"You are in need of medical attention, I will keep you from loosing more blood while they deal with the machine outside this abominable dome." The woman responded, the words more flowing from her than being spoken by her.

"Thanks Undine, but I can't have you worry about me, I'm not sure how much more time we have, so I'll need you paying attention to the gun. As soon as it goes down, I need you to hit this dome with everything you've got. I'll be fine, I promise. Then you can help."

"As you wish, Milady I will fulfill the task you have requested of me to the fullest of my ability."

While this was happening, the sprite had already circled the dome, and was attracting the guns fire. "You may aswell stop now you can't hit me I'm way to fast for you to track and really when are you going to run outof bullets?" the asked, as she moved about, between the shots. Eventually she managed to get it to track her to the side, along it's own wall. From behind the weapon, a growl could be heard as from the shadows caused by the gun behind it's own muzzle flare a great set of fangs emerged and latched onto the arm supporting the gun., crushing it and tearing the mechanism from the wall, landing on the ground even as the room was immersed in darkness again.

As soon as the bullets stopped, and the room was in the dark again, the blue woman knelt on the ground and raised her hand. In the dark it would have been difficult to see, but on either the thermal imaging cameras placed within the dome or setting five it could be seen that the air around her hand was swirling, with either an unnatural coldness or the particulates that setting five observed, not emerging from her arm like when Mirasa summoned, but flowing to her from around the room, before she directed her arms down towards the centerpoint of the dome, realeasing all that she gathered into the floor. Which erupted with icicles as the dome, now closing in on the pair, sputtered and died, it's generator shooting out sparks under the icicles and illuminating the room as the light filled the crystalline mass and refracted is about the room like a miniature aurora.

"Well, I hope they enjoyed the show." Mirasa mumbled as she fell down, face first into the thankfully padded floor, the ice lady and the fairy disappearing, the owner of the maw that destroyed the gun nowhere to be seen already.



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Kepler put his mug down near one of the consoles, rather precariously. "Right. We should stop this now. Get her handler and some help and get her taken care of. Make sure they've got some sort of protection against physical damage. Lacerations and contusions likely,. I guess. Seems like it could be anything though. Really."

Geneva didn't bother looking up, just sighed gently from her controls, resigned. "You think she'll pull another knife?"

"No."

"She doesn't look like she has any fight left in her..." the other lab worker present noted sceptically.

"Well no," James admitted, catching the mug before it hit the ground from being jostled as he stood from his rolling chair. "Doesn't mean nobody else does." He smiled devilishly as he adopted a Pete Tyler persona, "Trust me on this." Then he was straight faced again and walked over to the corner of the work stations near the mysterious coffee machine and entered a series of commands to collate data to a docked tablet device, which he promptly then removed. "I'm going to see that Scientist Guy."

"Oh, him," Geneva remarked snidely at the vague declaration.



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Alyssa didn't dare try to move from her hidng place until she was sure the sphere patrolling the adjacent corridors had come and gone: until she heard it coming up close on the other side of the wall around her little nook, she had no way of telling its location. So she waited, straining her ears and hardly daring to breathe. After what felt like an eternity she detected the faint hum of the approaching sphere. She could hear how it drew level with her position, then passed it. She had observed before entering the maze that this sphere only came as far as the end of a peace of wall just across the corridor from her hiding place, before turning round and retracing its path. Nevertheless, she couldn't convince herself that this time it wouldn't extend its patrol and discover her, and she squeezed herself even tighter into her corner. But much to her relief the position of the humming sound seemed to remain stationary shortly after it was past where she stood and then, a few seconds later, she heard it returning the way it had come.

Once the sound of its motor, or whatever it was that drove it, had faded almost to nothingness she risked poking her head just far enough round the corner to take a look. It was nowhere in sight. Assuming it was performing its normal patrol, she could assume it had turned off down one of the adjecent corridors a short way up. She emerged from her cover and krept up to the junction. Once again she listened. The hum was faint and getting fainter. Again she risked a glance around the corner. Yes, it had its back to her and was approaching the bend at the far end of the corridor it had entered.

But from now on things were going to get tricky. She remembered that the next few passages offered no permanently unpatrolled corners, so timing would be of the essence. On top of that, the next sphere was the last one whose movements she had been able to memorise. After that she would be working, if not exactly blind, then at least very myopically - she'd have almost no information on what was up ahead until she reached it, and at the same time she'd have to try to keep out of sight of each preceding sphere while trying to scout out the corridors immediately in front of her. Timing would be of the essence.

The corridor she was about to enter ran almost the full width of the test chamber, with a 90° turn at the leftmost end. It's patrolling sphere, she recalled, travelled from dead-end at the far right, the full length of the corridor, then around the corner, along the length of that corridor, and round the corner into the head of the one after that. At the same time, the sphere who's path she was currently standing in whould be reaching the end of its allotted path very shortly and beginning the return trip; the final stretch that it was approaching was not very long. As soon as it came back round the corner she would be visible. She had to find out the location of the next sphere, work out a tactic, and carry it out before it came back into sight. She listened. She could already hear the sound of the sphere in the next corridor. It was getting closer - from the right, she was pleased to find out. That meant that once it was past, it would be heading round the corner, which would give her more time to work. But before that it would be passing the opening into that corridor, close to where she was standing. Where she was would be in its line of sight if it had any kind of peripheral vision, which she assumed it did. She made a quick dash across her corridor, flattened herself against the dividing wall between it and the next one, and waited. As she stood listening she became aware that she could now also hear the sound of the other sphere on its return journey. It wouldn't be long before it rounded the corner. She willed the other one to hurry up and get past. Finally she saw its back as it passed the entrance and far sooner than she would normally deem wise she dashed out behind it. She hoped its sound sensors weren't too acute, but the risk of being seen by the earlier droid seemed greater than that of being heard by the next one.

She had thought of a plan, but it rather depended on what, if anything was in the next corridor over. Her intention was to make another set of foot- and hand-holds in the far wall, climb up and peer over the wall, and, if the next passage was clear, wait until the sphere and reached the far end of its patrol and begun its return, then dash over the top. If there was a sphere in that passage, she sincerely hoped that a) it's path would cause it to turn away from her before its colleague returned and b) it wouldn't be looking straight up as she scouted out that corridor. So far, the spheres hadn't shown any inclination to look up, but she couldn't take that for granted.

Having quickly melted some indentations into the wall she pulled herself up and peered over. There was a droid - not in the next corridor, but in the one after that, and it was headed her way. But there was also a bend near to where the current corridor's sentry ended its patrol. She would have to make for that. There was no time to stop and observe the next sphere's patrol pattern, but assuming it patrolled both the corridor it was in, and this next one, she should have a few minutes of thinking time before either it or the one in the current corridor came within sight of that spot. She could also see the current sphere from here. It was just approaching the end of its path. She quickly ducked her head down to avoid being spotted as it rounded thefar end of the wall. She allowed time for it to turn round and start to make its way back, then slid over the wall and dashed for the temporary cover of the bend further down the corridor.



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Xander walking faster now, his drones were still multiplying and exploring ahead of him, and the map in his hand was growing out like the roots of some great plant. He was starting to think he had found the way to the end as well, though he couldn't be certain, he was growing confident that he had identified the route to the exit from what he could see of the map so far. He was quite pleased with how the drones were performing thus far, and as he strode on he decided that he would have to put a lot of thought into developing more practical applications for them in future.

He had noticed, as he took yet another right towards the wall he suspected the exit to be set into, that they were very much capable of losing themselves in circles, and that he had a few that were wasting magic by splintering off several copies over paths that had already been explored after circling back on themselves. He couldn't do much to alter that now though, it simply wasn't possible to change arrays while they were functional, and cutting all of them off and starting again with newer drones was impractical in the extreme. Instead Xander corrected the array in his head, ready for the next time it might be useful, as he took another left, then a right. He was well on track, by his estimations.


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2013, 09:45 
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Kepler peeked into the room where Pamela and one of his own research peers from another department were observing multiple tests before actually walking in. When he did he handed off the datapad from his own observation and control room to scientist in charge.

"Brought you the data myself. All the good stuff. Sent in a team to collect and treat Mir. Told them to be careful; not all her friends'll be out as cold as her." He leaned over Pam's chair to inspect the monitors she was looking at. "Hi Pam."



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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2013, 12:35 
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Pamela looked up from her Writing, which seemed quite indecipherable at first Glance, and noted something when she looked at Kepler. What was before her might well have been some Kind of secret Code were it not really a Shorthand composed of nigh-indiscriminate Use of Roman and Katakana with random Chinese Characters thrown in here and there, though the writing itself was very clear, only very small.

'Did you need something?' she asked; she was not at all happy about being called Pam, so she was thinking a very impolite Japanese Word for 'you' when she asked, though her Tone did not quite betray it.



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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2013, 14:32 
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"No, I just sort of piddle around, you know." He looked at Xander's monitor. "So what you think about the new guy?"



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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2013, 19:24 
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'I think he's a Magician about the same Age I am from a World likely less developed in Terms of Technology than my own, and that the Principle on which his works is a Form of Energy Manipulation rather common to Fictions which give birth to Worlds,' Pamela answered, and she sounded as though she were reading it from an Entry in a Book, though she was not looking down at her notes. 'Most of them seem to rely on some Kind of Life-Force or metaphysical Power which has scientific Properties, as far as I am able to tell, and his is not an Exception. I'm not certain I know what this Thing is that's hidden in the Labyrinth for him, but I imagine, knowing the Kinds of Tests you do here, that it very likely has some Kind of immunity to or detrimental Effect on Magic Users whose Magic operates on such a Principle. He seems to use it skilfully enough, as far as I can tell, but I am yet to research the World whence he comes, so it is difficult to make an exact Estimation of his Abilities at this Point. His Magic is likely stronger than Aran's, and appears to be more easily given tactical Applications than Mirasa's, but Mirasa's possibly has a higher destructive Potential. I believe he is a fairly ordinary Humanoid otherwise, in rather good Health for his Age, and likely more than passingly intelligent owing to his Use of his Magic, and overall ought to prove a fairly valuable Member of whatever Kind of Team is being put together, provided he matches well with the others psychologically. I've some doubts about Mirasa — she's very erratic — but the new Girl who looks rather like a Frog seems to have tactical Intelligence enough not to get caught by those awful spheres.'



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Meanwhile, in the testing zone, an anomaly occured on Xander's map. As one of the repeated drones turned a corner for another loop, it vanished, as though it had hit a dead end, despite the Map suggesting that it would continue on it's not-so-merry-go-round. Shortly after came another roar and another one of the circling Drones vanished.

"There you are sorceror! I will devour you!" Could be heard now, coming from the same direction as the roar.



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PostPosted: 15 Nov 2013, 17:57 
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"That's interesting," James replied, while managing to sound as if he found it anything but. "Oh. Look. Falkner found Xander. Worth noting the magic string Xander's using works both ways. Double-edged sword kinda thing. Oh, and you shouldn't be tricked by the apparent power of Aran, Xander and Mir. All of these magical systems are pretty much only limited in power by how easily they can be accessed and how efficaciously they're used. I'll let you think on that."

Kepler turned to the scientist who had been speaking with Pamela before he had arrived. "Chaz should be posting about Miranda soon. You'll probably want to watch on a monitor. Just because."



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