The Next Step 8-08

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Gavant ordered Tristan to stay where he was. Then he, Shiori and I raced back through the narrow passage toward the central room. The sounds of fighting were getting louder with each passing second, and by the time we made it (Gavant having a pretty substantial lead due to his size), the battle was well under way.

I had a quick second to take in the scene. On the plus side, the lights had been restored to the room. Unfortunately, that also meant that I could see just how badly things looked. The Meregan were scattered around the room, being attacked by what looked like an entire contingent of various creatures. I saw more of those little sand goblins, along with several of what looked like the same kind of Orc creatures I’d seen during the vision of Gaia and Seller that the Edge had given me. There were also a few humanoid goat figures, a couple large pale men who would have looked gigantic if it wasn’t for the Meregan’s own size, and an obscenely fat man that was as tall as the Meregan themselves and much wider around, with long thick dreadlocks for hair that reached the floor. There were even more than that, but I couldn’t process them all at once.

Oh yeah, and my Heretic sense was helpfully informing me that all of these figures were Alters.

Thanks for that, Heretic sense. Super useful.

Gavant’s rifle was in his hands and up as we came out into the large chamber. He fired twice in quick succession toward one of the goat figures who was holding a makeshift spear high above one of the fallen Meregan. Rather than bullets, a couple short dark blue lasers leapt from the barrel of the rifle. The first missed, but the second hit the goat-man directly, leaving a hole in the middle of his chest that he blinked down at before collapsing. His spear clanged off the floor next to him before rolling away.

Beyond that, it was chaos. Total and complete chaos. Screams, lasers, blood, and more filled the room around us. Pandemonium ruled, and it was obvious that in spite of their size and technology, the Meregan really weren’t warriors. Most of them didn’t look like they knew what they were doing while trying to defend themselves from the smaller, less technologically equipped barbarian-like creatures.

A hand caught mine, fingers interlacing to squeeze briefly, and I looked that way to find Shiori gazing at me silently. No words were exchanged between us. None needed to be. She just squeezed my hand, the promise fully evident in her gaze. She had my back. She was with me, and she wouldn’t let anyone take me by surprise. Whatever came next, however this fight went, we were in it together.

Then the moment was gone and the two of us were running together. I wasn’t even completely sure which of us had moved first. Was one of us leading, or had we both leapt into motion at the same time? We were running across the open chamber, and my staff was in my hand, already charging up.

One of the big Orc figures, a massive double-sided axe in his meaty hands, turned toward us. Just as he bellowed in warning, Shiori threw both of her discs past the figure on either side of his head. As they went by, a chain of electricity formed between the discs to briefly electrocute him. The eight-foot tall figure recoiled back a step, giving an angry, pained howl that sounded like the squeal of a large pig.

The electric chains wrapped around the Orc’s neck just long enough to change the discs’ directions. They came snapping around before the chain disappeared, flying off perpendicular to their original course. One smacked off the face of one of those sand goblins, briefly shocking it, while the other rebounded off a wall. Both returned to Shiori’s outstretched hands as her gloves summoned them.

Two more steps of my own, and I pointed the staff behind me at the ground before triggering just enough of the charge to send myself flying up into the air and forward. The Orc had just started to recover, shaking off the electric shock and turning back to us as both of my feet took him in the face.

The force of the blow knocked the big creature over onto his back with a bellow of both anger and pain. I saw several of his teeth go flying, even as I rolled forward off his face before he could grab me.

Normally, getting up would’ve taken a second. But I still had enough charge built up in my staff to point it at the floor as I rolled, triggering it to shoot myself into the air, twisting to land on my feet.

The Orc was (rather impressively given his size) up as well, his face bleeding and bruised from my (essentially) jet-propelled kick. He was screaming something I couldn’t understand while clutching that double-sided axe. Before I could move, he lashed out, swinging one of those blades for my head.

Except I wasn’t alone. Even as the axe came swinging down, Shiori’s discs flew past the weapon. Again, she triggered the electrical chain between them. It caught the handle of the axe, yanking it off course to hit the floor a bit to the left of me while simultaneously shocking the big, ugly figure.

I didn’t give him a chance to recover. Stepping in, I kept my staff charging while spinning around to build up momentum. Then my weapon lashed out in a two-handed swing that took the Orc in the chest.

Normally, a little girl like me wouldn’t be able to hit something as big as this Orc hard enough to actually matter very much, even with a big stick like mine. But with the kinetic-charge, the blow hit the big guy so hard I actually heard the air rush out of his lungs in a long, sustained squeal. He was lifted off his feet and thrown backwards, much like the Meregan that I had thought was a statue had been.

As the Orc landed hard on his back once more, Shiori was there, standing behind his head. She had her discs back, the chain of electricity sharp between them as she charged it up. The Orc had time to let out a weak, strangled bellow before the other girl dropped to her knees while bringing the discs down with her, straight to the floor on either side of the creature’s head. With a sickening sound, the electricity chain cut right through his exposed throat, thoroughly severing the Orc’s head from his body.

A second later, Shiori’s back arched as a bright red aura appeared around her. She gave a thoroughly distracting moan that almost made me drop my staff before remembering where we were. Bad idea.

It also served to attract more attention, and I threw myself that way in time to bring my staff up, intercepting the spear from one of the goat-men as he stabbed it toward Shiori’s back.

No wonder Heretics were taught to fight in teams. Every time we killed something, we were distracted for a few seconds by a rush of pleasure that was almost orgasmic. Sure, the older Heretics got used to it, but without partners and teamwork, I doubted most of us would survive many long, involved fights.

Still, I managed to block the goat-man’s spear, knocking it out of the way before placing myself between Shiori and her attacker. He bleated angrily at me once before coming in for another stab.

Again, I blocked with my staff, knocking the blade of the spear aside with one end before smacking the goat-man in the face with the other. Then I snapped the staff up and around to hit him even harder with the opposite end that had deflected his weapon. As it was knocked aside, I shoved the staff up to his neck to get his attention. “I don’t want to kill you!” I shouted over the din of battle. “Just surrender!”

I didn’t know if it would work. I didn’t even know if the creatures could understand me. But I had to try.

For his part, the goat-man just stared at me with his beady little black eyes for a second. In the end, it wasn’t he that spoke, but Shiori. The other girl shouted a warning, and I caught a glimpse of one of the sand-goblins leaping up toward me out of the corner of my eye. I snapped my head backwards, but my classmate was already there. Her hands caught hold of the goblin in mid-leap before she threw it away.

The goat-man had recovered by that point. He lashed out quickly and repeatedly with his spear, but I was ready, deflecting each blow one after the other while inwardly thanking Avalon for the intensive training she had put me through. Every swing and thrust from his weapon was met with one from mine. One blow after another, I blocked before catching my breath long enough to make a sharp gesture with a hand that sent a pile of sand up off the floor and straight into his eyes. While he was recoiling, I spun myself into a kick that took him hard in the stomach, doubling him over. Left open like that, I came back around with my thoroughly charged staff, triggering it just as the weapon connected with his head.

The goat-man’s head basically exploded, sending goo and bits of skull in every direction while I jerked backwards with a yelp that morphed quickly into a gasp as my own golden aura rose up. The pleasure from my own kill overwhelmed me for a second in spite of my best efforts to the contrary.

Thankfully, Shiori was there to cover me. She sent one of her discs to crash into not just one, but two of the sand-goblins, bouncing it between them and electrifying both before it returned to her waiting hand.

“I don’t think they’re in the mood to surrender,” the other girl informed me with a quick glance my way.

“I had to try,” I replied quietly, watching the rest of the battle going on. She was right. They weren’t here to play nice. They weren’t playing at all. I saw one of the big Meregans on the ground, crying out for mercy as one of the Orcs stood over him with a massive, jagged sword raised. At the last second, a trio of shots from Gavant’s rifle took him in the chest, knocking the Orc backwards with a cry.

That one was saved, but others hadn’t been so lucky. Several of the Meregan lay dead on the floor, and the sight sobered me considerably. Tightening my grip on the staff, I nodded to Shiori. “You good?”

She returned the nod, placing her back close to mine while confirming, “I’m good.”

“Great,” I put my back against hers and faced the rest of the room. “Because here they come.”

Two of the goblins came for me, flying in on a whirlwind of sand. A flick of my hand sent both flying sideways out of control. As it turned out, I could control their bodies when they were turned to sand. I took advantage of that by yanking them toward me. They got the idea and switched back to their flesh and blood forms, but it was too late, as my own charged up staff slammed into them with enough force that both goblins were taken to the floor, their bodies broken. The brief, resulting wave of pleasure almost made me drop the staff, but I tightened my grip on it and rode the wave with gritted teeth.

That was followed up by what looked like an ugly, five foot tall figure whose skin was covered in rough bark. He had a sword in one hand and some kind of thin dagger in the other, and he was screaming a terrifying war cry while rushing forward. I met the stab of his sword with my staff, side-stepped the blow from the knife, and smacked the staff across his wooden face to very little effect.

In response, the wood-man made another quick slashing motion with his knife, catching the edge of my arm enough to draw a thin line of blood. Thankfully, the Peridle’s regeneration not only would take care of it, but also dulled the actual pain itself enough that I barely noticed, already bringing my staff up and around in a second blow. This one was aided by a burst of kinetic energy, enough to knock the wood man sideways, and I used the opening to kick the knife from his hand before spinning the staff up over my head and back around again. The brief helicopter spin made it quickly charge up enough of energy that the next blow tore the sword out of his hand. Without wasting any time, I put the point of the staff right into his eye while triggering the last of the built up charge. He didn’t survive the impact.

Once again, I spent a few seconds struggling not to bask in the pleasure that killing the wooden-man had provided. The glow of my aura was bright in the dark room, alerting Shiori to my distraction almost as well as my gasp probably did, and I wondered if that was part of an intentional design. The aura could apparently only be seen by other Heretics. Was it meant as a warning that the Heretic experiencing it would be distracted for a couple seconds, so that others would watch their back?

By the time I recovered, Shiori had already dealt with another of the goat-men. Her red aura flared up, reminding me to watch her back, and I turned in time to see two cloaked figures on the other end of the room with bows drawn and arrows nocked. Just before they let loose, I summoned the sand that was around me, gathering it with a quick gesture while praying I was fast enough. Then the arrows were flying. They came entirely too close before my frantically summoned sand knock them out of the air.

I didn’t stop there though. Shoving my hand forward, I sent the sand that I had gathered straight under their hoods, aiming for where their eyes should be while calling out for Shiori, “Get the archers!”

The other girl reacted instantly, sending her discs flying at the hooded figures as they reeled.

Unfortunately, another threat decided to take advantage of her temporarily disarmed state. One of those big, pale figures came running our way with a long knife in each of his hands. When he opened his mouth, I saw multiple rows of jagged teeth, like a shark. I immediately thought of the creature that Avalon had described, the one that had attacked her and her father. Fahsteth. Which probably meant this creature’s blades were just as poisoned as his had been, and while I was pretty sure the Peridle healing could handle it, I didn’t want to take the chance. Besides, even just being poisoned for a few seconds would probably put us down long enough for the rest of the invading Alters to finish the job.

Turning on my heel, I called, “Shiori, sand!” Then I swung the staff, praying that she’d understood, because the big guy was almost right on top of us.

She had. Her body turned to sand just before my staff would have crashed into the back of her head. Instead, the weapon went right through her, scattering some of her sand in the process before it slammed into the big shark-toothed man’s stomach just as I triggered the charge. The blow doubled the man over, and Shiori did this quick backward flip thing, turning solid long enough to kick him in the face in mid-flip before she landed beside me.

“Sand,” I repeated simply. I’d felt the connection to her shifted state, and after killing the two additional goblins, I wanted to try something.

Shiori promptly turned to sand once more, and I made a thrusting gesture with one hand while focusing my effort into her. Sure enough, the other girl was sent flying up into the air, high over the shark-man’s head just as he began to recover from the blow to the stomach and kick to the face. She flipped over in the air, then turned solid before actually sticking to the ceiling. Huh. I didn’t know she’d gained that power.

The shark-man’s focus was on me, as he sniffed. “Oh, I’m gonna have fun eating you, Blondie.”

“Eh,” I replied casually. “I may be Blondie, but you look like a Dagwood to me. I’m pretty sure you’ve got the same taste in sandwiches.”

With a roar, the man leapt at me then. Before he could take more than a step, however, Shiori sent her recovered discs flying. They shot down toward us, rebounding off the man long enough to send a jolt of electricity that stopped him in mid-charge, making his mouth open in a bellow of surprised pain.

I met his bellow by… sending as much sand as I could into his open mouth. He choked, reeling backwards while I kept shoving more and more of it into him.

“Get it?” I asked while the shark-man stumbled and fell, choking as more and more of the stuff filled his mouth and poured down his throat. “Sandwiches?”

Somehow, I didn’t think he appreciated the nuances of my humor.

Shiori dropped beside me, just as the shark-man stopped struggling. I braced myself, but that time the pleasure was so much it actually dropped me to one knee. Dear god, it wasn’t as big as the Amarok had been, but still.

“How… many more…?” I asked after working my way through that.

“None,” Shiori replied, and I looked up to see the rest of the invading army had taken the hint. They were retreating. A few of the Meregan were giving chase, but the battle appeared to be over. Losing several of their big guys like that must have changed their minds. I even saw that massive fat figure squeeze his way through the doorway on his way out.

“I guess they don’t want to play anymore,” I muttered while watching the departing creatures flee from the room.

“They will be returning to the one who is their master.” Gavant appeared beside us while speaking a bit morosely. “He will already be using our childs. We must be saving them. We must be trying. Even without the aid of Friend-Joselyn Atherby.”

His eyes met mine, and he spoke gently. “We would never choose to be endangering one of Friend-Joselyn Atherby’s childs. She was been done much for the Meregan people. We cannot ask your aid in this. Give us time to be preparing, and we will be sending you back to the home of school to be safe. Then we will be saving our childs.”

Not wanting to speak for both of us, I looked toward Shiori questioningly. She met my gaze for a moment before straightening and turning her attention back to Gavant. “I just spent a long time thinking that I was a monster, sir. With all due respect, I’m not going to let myself turn into one now by leaving when you’ve got children in danger. I’m staying to help.”

Smiling a little bit, I nodded while sliding my staff back into its case. My hand found Shiori’s without really thinking about it. “She’s right,” I said quietly. “We’re not leaving you alone, not with your children in trouble.”

Gavant swallowed noticeably, blinking a few times before he spoke. “Standing with dhampyr, helping the Meregan. Saving our childs. You are… more like Mother-Joselyn Atherby than you were appeared.”

“Gavant, sir,” I replied in a low voice. “I’m just started to learn the truth about my mom, about who she was and what she meant to people.

“But I’m pretty sure that’s the best thing you could ever say to me.”

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33 comments

  1. Okay, so Flick killed an orc, a satyr(?), a shark-man, a wood-man (dryad? Ent?) and more sand-goblins. Shiori appears to have made most of the same kills.

    Is there any chance you can tell us what powers they got other than the wallcrawling (which I suspect came from the wood-men)? Or give some hints? Please?

    And Flick, please leave the wordplay to Shiori. Or get lessons from her. She’s much better at it. Stick to snarking, that’s where your comic relief talent lies.

    That last section of the girls promising to help and Gavant’s comparison was gold.

    Oh, and Flick and Shiori keep adorably holding hands. This chapter might have made me a Shiori/Flick shipper. More data is required.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. a satyr(?)

      Yeah, just taller and more war-like than the goofy little cartoon satyrs that most people think of, which is why she wasn’t sure that’s what they were.

      As for the rest, Flick didn’t actually kill an orc. Shiori got the last hit on that when she took his head off after Flick knocked him down. The other one was killed by Gavant.

      To sum up: Shiori kills: 1 Orc, 2 sand-goblins, 1 Satyr.
      Flick kills: 1 Satyr, 2 sand-goblins, wood-man (not really ents or dryads, I promise to give them names asap), 1 shark-man.

      Is there any chance you can tell us what powers they got other than the wallcrawling (which I suspect came from the wood-men)? Or give some hints? Please?

      The wall-crawling actually came from the Daesimalo (ugly green monkeys) that Shiori killed in her interlude. She already had it, she just hadn’t used it.

      As for the rest, let’s see… what can I tell you…. Shiori gained increased strength from the Orc, more control over her sand form from the goblins, and from the satyr she gained the ability to make a musical noise that has a chance to stun depending on the opponent’s willpower. Essentially it makes pretty sounds and the target stands there staring dumbly for a length of time dependant on how willful they are. Downside is that it doesn’t really work in active combat.

      Flick, meanwhile, killed a Satyr as well. But she didn’t get the same power. Instead, her gift is increased dexterity, which will help a lot with her staff. She also gained more weight allowance and finer control over sand from the goblins, up to around 100 pounds. From the wood-man she gained the ability to meld with/walk through wood, be it trees, walls, fences, whatever as long as it’s real wood. And from the shark-man… well, I’m keeping that a secret for now. 🙂

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      1. Dang. All that sounds awesome. Thanks for sharing (I wasn’t expecting that much detail XD)

        Question: does the wood melding allow Flick to teleport from tree to tree? Or can she only move through physically connected wood? If it’s the latter, I really want to see her get into a fight at Eden’s Garden.

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      2. Question: does the wood melding allow Flick to teleport from tree to tree? Or can she only move through physically connected wood?

        She can go from wood to wood if it’s close enough. AKA within about 5-6 feet. Longer distances the more she kills.

        But what about the archer people that Shiori killed, what did she get from them

        The hit didn’t actually kill them, just hurt and drove them to pull back.

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  2. I agree with Flick, the Heretic powerup system seems designed, it’s too well-thought-out to be natural. (Or, I suppose, the basic effect could be natural, with the other useful effects added on later as Heretics started to notice problems and acted to fix them.) Speaking of, hurrah for powerups! I look forward to seeing what the shark-man boost is, if it was almost as strong as the amarok’s ‘don’t sleep, don’t get tired, sprint for four hours and still come back for more’ boost was.

    Maybe some massively enhanced sense of smell, or sensing electrical auras? Breathing underwater, maybe? (Not particularly useful right now, I’ll admit.) Maybe her skin becomes as hard as her teeth, although full-on dermal denticles might be a bit body horror for this series.

    Hm. Sharks have a lot of superpowers, but not a lot of them seem very applicable…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Man that was so damn awesome, just really really cool.

    And I knew the orc power would be increased strength although I figured Flick as the melee fighter would be the one to get it. Increased dexterity is just as useful though, and I guess that’ll be easier to hide when they get back to Crossroads.

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  4. Trololololol this tag, though “It’s Almost Like Someone Deliberately Designed The Heretics To Be Rewarded When They Kill. But That’s Just Crazy Talk.”

    With the system as it is, though, I’d be expecting they’d breed small, mindless (not because of ethcal concerns, of course, just intelligent ones would be too dangerous to keep around), easy to kill, quickly reproducible strangers so that they get to kill a few from time to time…

    On a more serious note, if Flick has gained so many super useful powers so quickly (even if she’s been more lucky kill-wise than most), experienced strangers who have lived like a thousand of years must be tremendous powerhouses. Yet Joselyn (relatively new, considering when she was a student), was somehow able to lead a rebellion, and successfully at that. True, she had experienced allies, but I’d think she herself should have been and easy one to catch unless she was under heavy guard at all times.

    So somehow, living and killing strangers for 1000+ years doesn’t give you the tremendous powers I expect. Most likely hypothesis, there are only so many different powers you can get, and killing the same creatures over and over again only boosts them so much. Thus, you can catch up fairly quickly.

    Then there’s the issue of weapon upgrades. We’ve consistently seen the weapons of experienced heretics be more powerful than the weapons the new students have. So unless someone’s intentionally handicapping the new generation, the weapons can get more powerful. We’ve heard nothing of that, yet. Adding more enchantments, perhaps?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “So somehow, living and killing strangers for 1000+ years doesn’t give you the tremendous powers I expect. Most likely hypothesis, there are only so many different powers you can get, and killing the same creatures over and over again only boosts them so much. Thus, you can catch up fairly quickly.”

      As has already been stated, there is vastly diminishing returns for each one of that type of stranger you kill. We already have a concrete example in this chapter. One sand-goblin gave flick 50 pounds of sand control. Two more kills didn’t net her 150, just 100. With each successive kill, she would get less and less.

      The older the Heretic, the more powers they are likely to have. But there will be a point where each individual power levels out, so a slightly younger heretic might have fewer powers, but they’re likely to be nearly as strong individually.

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    2. On a more serious note, if Flick has gained so many super useful powers so quickly (even if she’s been more lucky kill-wise than most), experienced strangers who have lived like a thousand of years must be tremendous powerhouses. Yet Joselyn (relatively new, considering when she was a student), was somehow able to lead a rebellion, and successfully at that. True, she had experienced allies, but I’d think she herself should have been and easy one to catch unless she was under heavy guard at all times.

      One thing is that it’s kind of a crapshoot how much power and what it is you get each time you kill something. It could be a tiny boost or something more drastic. In general, you get lower boosts the more of the same thing you kill, but that’s like… Let’s say the first thing you kill could give you a power boost of anywhere between one and a thousand. The second of the same thing with the same power granted could give you a power boost of anywhere between one and nine hundred, the third could give you a power boost of anywhere between one and eight hundred.

      You see how this goes? Someone could roll a fifty on their first power gain, then roll a 900 on their second. The POTENTIAL maximum boost goes down with each subsequent gain, until eventually they’re gaining minimal amounts. But for the first few kills, it’s all over the map.

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    3. Re: heretic weapon upgrades.

      Since Heretics are basically Reapers (or more specifically, Hangmen), it makes sense their weapons would work the way Hangmen’s do. I don’t recall the details, but over time, the weapon of that sort of demon become fiercer/more dangerous.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. “No wonder Heretics were taught to fight in teams. Every time we killed something, we were distracted for a few seconds by a rush of pleasure that was almost orgasmic. Sure, the older Heretics got used to it, but without partners and teamwork, I doubted most of us would survive many long, involved fights.”
    Me:…Yeah, that’s probably a bit of doctrine that was developed after the first few times things went terribly wrong in combat after the first kills were made.

    ““Sand,” I repeated simply. I’d felt the connection to her shifted state, and after killing the two additional goblins, I wanted to try something.

    Shiori promptly turned to sand once more, and I made a thrusting gesture with one hand while focusing my effort into her. Sure enough, the other girl was sent flying up into the air, high over the shark-man’s head just as he began to recover from the blow to the stomach and kick to the face. She flipped over in the air, then turned solid before actually sticking to the ceiling. Huh. I didn’t know she’d gained that power.”
    Me: Interesting that those two are so in synch with each other. Nice synergy in the shared powers and impromptu tactics though.

    ““Get it?” I asked while the shark-man stumbled and fell, choking as more and more of the stuff filled his mouth and poured down his throat. “Sandwiches?”

    Somehow, I didn’t think he appreciated the nuances of my humor.”
    Me: *facepalms*

    A good action sequence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me:…Yeah, that’s probably a bit of doctrine that was developed after the first few times things went terribly wrong in combat after the first kills were made.

      There was definitely some trial and error in there.

      Like

  6. Apologies if this has been asked before, but what does it take to get a logo for your serial on Topwebfiction? It’d make it stand out more if there was more than a name there.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh god, Shiori is rubbing off on Flick.

    (And with the way Flick reacted to that moan went I’m not surprised WA-HEY!)

    But wow, yeah, until the tags mentioned it, I didn’t realise how little sense the Heretic power-up system makes unless it’s deliberate. DUN DUN DUNN.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Idly wondering how to turn the mechanisms of the Heretic Edge in a role playing system. There’s an inherent issue: You’re denying peaceful solution seekers the physical rewards of getting cool new powers, while those preferring violent options become more and more powerful.

    Which raises the question as to why Joselyn was so powerful, actually.

    Like

    1. There’s an inherent issue: You’re denying peaceful solution seekers the physical rewards of getting cool new powers, while those preferring violent options become more and more powerful.

      That is kind of a downside, though there are still a lot of the ACTUALLY dangerous, ‘should kill on sight’ versions. The trick is allying with the good ones so that you have actual help beyond what you yourself can provide, and killing the bad ones.

      Allying with good Alters can provide other kinds of resources. More numbers, information, that kind of strategic, non-immediate power-up sort of gift.

      That and… well… keep reading. 😉 There’s more to this.

      Like

      1. That sounds an awful lot like an implication that there are ways to trigger Heretical power absorption that don’t involve actually killing. Exploits involving Alters that can transform others or grant powers? For instance, causing an interaction between the power absorption effect and Akharu blood’s transformation ability to grant a budget version of Akharu superspeed?

        Liked by 1 person

  9. This is amazing 😀
    Definitely up there with legion of nothing on my ‘current favorite ongoing web-fic list’ :p
    Looking forward to more.

    Theory time… we have seen two methods to turn bystanders into heretics the light and apple, we also know that heretics can be stripped of their power by taking away their heretical edge. But if a heretic has experienced both the light and eaten an apple would they have to go through two processes for their power to be taken away? Or does one work? Or are the two methods to give the heretical edge not compatible.

    Also can her mother get her power back through either of the two methods or will she start back at the beginning?

    We also know that the heretics weapons are significant and grow alongside them. So is there a connection to a heretics weapon and getting their power back? Was the twins dad a member of the rebellion and thus steal back Flicks mothers weapon for this purpose or was it more a respect for their fallen leader sort of thing? Or is he loyal to the school and trying to keep Jocelyn from getting her weapons back ever again?

    So many questions lol could go on all day.

    Thanks for sharing your stories, its been a great read so far.

    Like

    1. Awww, thank you very much! Really glad you’re enjoying it.

      As for the questions… all I can say right now is that they are very good questions that should be addressed eventually. 😉

      Like

  10. It’s only at this part that it really sunk in just how creepy the kill-pleasure Heretics get is. Seriously, your race been hunted by a group of super-powered murderers is one thing. Being hunted by a group of super-powered murderers that practically orgasm when they kill you is somehow even worse.

    Like

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