Uprising 29-06

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Confusion still reigned in the camp, as the guards tried to work out what had just happened and why all the prisoners had disappeared. That wouldn’t last much longer, but for the next few seconds, I could use it. Especially since we already knew that there was no one in the towers to point out where I was. Running down the end of the suddenly brightly lit path toward the nearest slave cabin, I darted behind it an instant before running footsteps announced the approach of troops. I had just barely gotten out of sight before a trio of guards ran past, weapons raised.

One of them abruptly pivoted to look back, apparently having caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of his eye. But I’d already thrown myself into the wood of the cabin, so he saw nothing. His eyes scanned the spot where I had been for a moment before he turned to go on.

They would be getting organized any second. The Seosten would all be up and around. And as soon as they were, the escaped prisoners and all my people would have an entire army after them. It wouldn’t take long. A couple minutes headstart at best wasn’t enough. I needed to buy them more time. And I was going to do it by using the Seosten’s own tactics against them.

To that end, I waited there for a few more seconds while other troops ran around trying to figure out what was going on. Inside the cabin whose wood I was occupying, two guards kicked the door in and rushed through. They kicked over several cots, upended small of personal belongings, and dumped a bookshelf over looking for anyone behind it. Finally satisfied, they started to leave. But one lagged behind the other, taking just one last look around. Perfect.

As the guard scanned the room, I was already sliding down through the wall of the cabin to the wooden floor before rapidly sending myself toward him. His eyes passed over me as I ‘swam’ right to where he was standing without the guard having the slightest idea that I was there.

I had no idea which one of us started it, but Tabbris and I were both humming the Jaws theme.

The man turned to the doorway, and the instant he did, I popped up out of the wooden floor. My hand grabbed his ankle, and I focused on what Tabbris had done every time she made me possess someone. An instant later, I was looking through the man’s eyes to the chaos outside. Feeling the weight of his rifle in his hands, I glanced down at the weapon before stepping out of the cabin. Around us, more guards were coming out of other cabins and starting to converge in a group in front of two other figures. Seosten. One of them was the one that we’d seen earlier.

We had to be really quick about this. Any minute now, the alert would reach Radueriel. I didn’t know if he actually had his cyborg shit installed in any of these troops since they weren’t the ones on his station. But either way, I was sure he could be here pretty much immediately. And once he was, all he had to do was bring one troop with him and the rest of his entire army could come with. If a hundred troops and five rookie Seosten were too much for us to take on, trying to deal with Radueriel and his people would be like using a squirt gun against an aircraft carrier.

On the other hand, if he didn’t find out right away… Tabbris, those Seosten are rookies. I really, really doubt that Radueriel would connect himself to them. A three thousand plus year old legend like that letting a handful of complete newbies on another planet know every move he made? Yeah, no way. And if they’re not connected that way, maybe we can actually– Before I could get any further, the relevant thoughts were already popping into my host’s mind as Tabbris helped pull them up without even being asked. And just like that, I knew exactly where to go.

Pivoting, I sprinted. Luckily, me running around didn’t look out of place since everyone was doing it. As long as I acted like I knew where I was going, nobody questioned it. With the shit that was going on, I was pretty sure that no one wanted to be the person who stopped someone who might be moving on orders from the Seosten. Or worse, might be possessed by them.

I left the slave quarters area, passing by a couple troops who were gesturing up at the towers while talking animatedly at each other. In the tower itself, another one of the soldiers was clearly examining one of the dead bodies that we had left. Yeah, things were definitely hitting the fan.

There was a small shed-like building just next to one of the troop barracks. Glancing both ways to make sure I wasn’t being followed or watched too closely by anyone, I quickly moved that way and shoved my way in through the door. Doing so, I found myself in a simple room with a bunch of floor to ceiling computers along three of the walls, a couple chairs where two people were sitting in front of what looked like control panels, while one figure stood behind them.

That figure turned even as I stepped into the room. Seosten. He was one of the other Seosten. As he caught sight of me, the man snapped something sharply in their language. He’d only gotten through a couple words before I heard Tabbris in my head, translating almost in real time.

“What are you doing?” he was demanding. “Is there any sign of the workers, or the missing humans?” The next bit came with a brief glance over his shoulder toward the console. “The communications array is about to connect to our lord. If you have good news, share it now.”

Well, that was exactly what I’d been waiting to find out. They hadn’t finished calling Radueriel yet. Their communications array was still coming online, which meant that there was time to stop that message from going out. Hey, Tabbris, I started, you thinking what I’m thinking?

Yup! Her voice chirped almost brightly in my head. Give ‘em a t-taste of their own medicine.

Right. I figured there was no sense in being subtle about this considering everything that was going on. Hoisting the gun in both hands, I blurted loudly and in English, “Think fast!” Then I threw the gun at the Seosten’s head, following up by throwing myself (or at least the host that I was currently riding in) at him as well while simultaneously telling Tabbris, Pop us out low!

Rookie or not, the Seosten was no slouch by any stretch of the imagination. His hand snatched the incoming rifle out of the air in mid-flight, flipped it around, and shot the guy I was controlling three times in the chest by the time I’d crossed just over half the distance between us.

Unfortunately for him, that meant that all of his attention was focused solely on the figure who had just rushed him. As he put the third shot into the man’s chest, Tabbris was already propelling us out of him. As requested, she sent us out low, down by his legs and in full dive-forward motion. The Seosten tried to react, but it was too late. I’d already reached his legs.

And just like that, I was staggering backward, holding the rifle while watching the body of the soldier who had just been my host fall to the floor. I felt a rush of emotions, most of them various levels of confusion and denial, coming from the man I had just possessed. No, coming from the Seosten I’d just possessed. Tabbris was right, we were giving him a taste of his own medicine.

Yaqum. That was his name. It floated up in his thoughts immediately, the second I thought about his identity. I felt him trying to get rid of me, trying to fight back and take control of himself. The fact that he could resist at all meant he was a lot stronger than the troops that I’d possessed up to that point.

But when it came down to it, he was still only roughly fifty years old. Meanwhile, Charmiene had been over three thousand. Even if I had only gotten a portion of her possession ability when I killed her, that still meant that this guy didn’t stand much of a chance. So I felt his resistance, but it wasn’t too hard to shut it out. He probably could’ve made the body twitch a little bit here or there, or taken control of a limb briefly if he tried hard enough. Overall, it just wasn’t enough.

I don’t think he’s very happy about this, I noted to Tabbris as I forced the Seosten, Yaqum, to turn around.

The two regular soldiers who had been frantically working the consoles had stopped. Both had stood, half-turning to see what the hell was going on behind them. When they saw the dead soldier that I had been possessing, and the Seosten standing there with his rifle, they froze in obvious paralyzing confusion. That lasted for about a second before they each simultaneously jerked back around to face their controls. If anything, their hands danced across it even faster.

I was pretty sure they didn’t know what had just happened or that I was possessing the Seosten. They were simply completely petrified of him and figured if he’d just executed one of their people like that, they might end up being next if they didn’t finish the job that he’d given them.

Before either of them could do anything else, however, I pointed the rifle at their consoles and started pulling the trigger. As the two jerked back and blurted out obviously confused questions, I kept shooting. Half a dozen more shots went into the consoles before I turned my focus to the rest of the computers all along the walls. Over and over again, I kept shooting every bit of technology that I could see, anything that could’ve been part of letting them call for help.

Through it all, the two grunt soldiers stood there completely frozen. They looked like they wanted to do something to stop me, but they were too afraid. Which, honestly, was kind of what the Seosten deserved for creating an environment where their soldiers were too terrified of what might happen to them if they raised a hand against one of the imperialistic assholes to actually do anything when one of them had clearly gone completely batshit crazy and was doing something patently dangerous and outrageous like destroying their communications system.

But hey, what did I know? Clearly this method of theirs was working out just fine and dandy.

Faster. I had to move faster. The one downside to all this was that the other Seosten obviously knew what was going on. Radueriel may not have been connected to them, but they would definitely be connected to each other. Which meant that they knew I was poss–wait a minute.

Tabbris, I thought at my partner quickly, if this guy is connected to the others, can we find out–

And just like that, I knew where the other Seosten were and what they were doing. Two were coming for the communications room where I was, while the other two were organizing the soldiers to track down the fleeing prisoners. They’d already worked out the direction the slaves had gone, and now some of them were just starting up several of what looked like hovercycles. It looked like the Seosten were organizing them into teams that included both Alters with some kind of tracking ability or power, those who could travel quickly, and those who could hit hard.

Yeah, even though these guards we were running into were mostly all dressed in the same featureless black armor, they were still all Alters, which meant they had their own powers. And the armor meant that it was impossible to know what they were until they actually did something.

Honestly, that bit I could really understand. If their biggest enemies were the Fomorians, who specialized in biology and all that horror freakshow stuff, then not letting them easily see what they were actually fighting could be at least some vague form of advantage. If, for example, they didn’t know that the armored, masked soldiers running at them were the wooden Relukun people, they were less likely to send creatures specifically meant to eat wood. It made sense.

So yeah, I understood the featureless armor thing. Plus it made them all into one organization, stripped away individuality in favor of the group, yadda yadda yadda. The point was, they were organizing to go after the slaves and my people. And two of the Seosten were coming for me.

Alright, I started then, guess it’s time to abandon our ride since those other guys will know exactly where he is all the time. 

Um. Tabbris’s voice was hesitant. You’re not… um, I mean, I know that you wouldn’t just–

We’re not going to just kill him while we’re possessing him, I confirmed. That just felt… wrong. Yes, I’d killed helpless people before. But that was in combat, it was… different. Taking control of this guy and forcing him to commit suicide was a step too far. Just knock him out.

I felt the other girl’s slight relief as she did just that. The view went dark for a second as the man collapsed before I was back out on my own two feet. Behind me, there was a confused gasp from the two figures. As I turned, they both stared at me. Neither made a move for their weapons or to do anything other than just stand there. They had the helmets on, but I was pretty sure both were openly gaping. For a second, we all just stood there, staring at each other.

Flick! Tabbris’s voice prompted hurriedly. We’ve gotta go, there’s more coming, remember?

The words made me snap out of it, and I turned to run. The men were just standing there, not bothering to pursue or anything. As I flung myself out of the small cabin, they stayed in place, silently staring at the unconscious Seosten lying there on the ground.

They’ve never seen a Seosten be possessed before, Tabbris whispered to me. It’s, umm, it’s kinda supposed to be impossible. The ones they call Lies, they can do it, but they can’t get back out again unless the… the host dies. And they don’t exactly advertise that. That’s probably the first time those guys have… have ever seen a real Seosten get possessed and controlled.

She… she was probably right. Obviously right. I’d known all that, but the idea of how the other species seeing something like that happening hadn’t really sunk in until I’d seen it. Regardless, however, I couldn’t focus on that right now. We had to move on. The other two Seosten were on their way, and they wouldn’t be taken by surprise as easily as the first guy had been. And in the meantime, the remaining pair were about to lead that army out after everyone who had just escaped. We’d stopped them from calling for reinforcements (for now), but we weren’t safe yet.

With that in mind, as I leapt through the doorway and back into the brightly lit camp, my eyes immediately looked around. To my right was the way that the Seosten would be coming, from what I had seen in the other man’s mind. So I darted to the left, throwing myself into a roll that took me under the cabin itself even as the sound of running footsteps approached. From the sound, it was far more than two. The Seosten had brought reinforcements along with them.

Right, I had to get away from these guys, and do something that would stop the rest of the soldiers from pursuing the others. And I had to do it pretty much right now. But as I rolled my way out from under the shed on the other side, I was drawing a blank about how to do that second part. How the hell was I going to stop them from chasing the escaped slaves long enough for everyone to get away? They were already suited up and on their way. What could I possibly do that would make them come back this way and leave their former prisoners alone? What–

F-Flick! Tabbris’s voice cut into my thoughts, and I felt her take control of my body for a moment. It was just long enough to throw me up and backward, activating the wood-melding power to send us into a nearby wooden fence post a brief instant before a snarling figure with a massive axe of some kind came rushing around the corner. I’d been so distracted that I hadn’t noticed either the sound or the feeling from my item-sense power. But Tabbris had, and she’d taken over in that moment.

Immediately, I sensed a crushing wave of guilt from the girl. I’m sorry, she hurriedly blurted. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to take over. I m-mean, I did, but I didn’t–I wasn’t going to–I’d never–

Tabbris, Tabbris, it’s okay! I interrupted once it was possible to get a word in edgewise. Trust me, I’d rather you take over my body than let us get caught like that. I was distracted. You did good.

Despite my words, I still felt waves of guilt coming from the other girl. She felt awful about controlling me. Hell, she felt awful every time she had, even when I’d specifically told her to an extent. That… that was definitely something we needed to talk about, when there was a chance.

But it didn’t look like that was going to be any time soon. Especially since Mr. Axe-man wasn’t the only guy in that alley between the buildings anymore. No, he had been joined by several others. One of them was one of the Seosten. Except it wasn’t one of the Seosten who had initially come to find me. No, this guy had been back with the others, organizing the slave pursuit.

Wait a minute… come to think of it, there were a lot of guys milling around here, taking orders about where to search. And above, there were those hovercycle things. The were flying around, riders carefully keeping an eye on everything happening below them.

All four Seosten were together by that point, barking orders at their subordinates. Orders about spreading out to find… me.

Oh. I… I guess finding someone who can possess one of them, someone who can use their own tricks against them… that’s kind of higher priority than some escaped slaves, huh?

Tabbris’s voice came back a second later. Uh huh. They’ve got trillions of slaves. Bu-but you personally hurt one of them. You sh-showed that they’re not invincible. They won’t stand for that. They… they won’t accept it. Slaves are just slaves, but you… y-you made it personal for them. And you possessed one of them. You possessed them. You controlled them. That’s what they do to other people. Doing it to them… it’s… it’s… no wonder they’re freaking out. If everyone finds out that you can do to them what they do to other people… it… it… could blow up their whole society.

Weakly, while the army of guards continued to tear apart every hiding spot, scouring every inch of the camp looking for me, I replied, At least they’re not looking for the others anymore? And um… I did say that I was going to piss someone off. Job done?

S-sure, okay, the other girl agreed, but how do we get out of here now?

That, I informed her, is a very good question.

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45 comments

  1. And with that, Flick has now definitely gotten the attention of the Seosten centered on herself. As you might imagine, they don’t really like the idea of some other species being able to possess them. It’s generally only something a Lies can do, and that’s permanent until the host dies. The idea that she can possess them and slip in and out whenever she wants just like they do to other species… yeah, let’s just say they are muy infeliz about that particular situation.

    But yeah! You guys can consider this a birthday chapter. Not for the story itself, but for me! 😀 Yup, as things just happened to work out, today is my birthday. How’s that for convenient? So thanks for reading, you guys. I hope you enjoyed that, and that you’re looking forward to seeing how the next bit goes. If you’ve got a second, I would totally love every last one of you who takes the time to click on the link to vote for this story on Top Web Fiction right here!

    Anyway, thanks again, and tags for this chapter are: Deveron: “How Many Enemies Do You Think Flick’s Made Out There Already?” Avalon: “Are We Talking Individuals Or Species?”, Felicity Chambers, Flick, Tabbris, Well – Flick – If The Seosten Didn’t Want You Dead Or Captured Enough Before – They Sure As Hell Do Now That You Can Use Their Own Tricks Against Them, Yaqum

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  2. Well. That’s ONE way to create a distraction. Slam down on a species wide panic/berzerk button. Flick is really, really good at pissing people off.

    And the slaves/mooks are so scared of the Seosten that when their boss starts blasting away at the comms gear they don’t do a thing. Given that, I expect that neutralizing any installation without Seosten on site may be as simple as Tabbris popping out and ordering the mooks around.

    I’m honestly surprised flick didn’t kill the Seosten she was possessing on her way out. I understand, it but it’s not what I would have done.

    Oh, Tabbris. Only you would break down in profuse apologetics after hitting the override button to keep your partner from getting cheap shotted while distracted. You and Flick really need to have that body sharing rules talk ASAP.

    Rule one: If you need to assume control to save my life, keep me from getting severely injured, or save my friends, do it. You have blanket permission.

    So, Lies-type Seosten CAN possess other Seosten and can’t be removed save by killing the victim. That … actually explains WHY they’re so abusive. Since the Seosten lack an anti-possession countermeasure it’s basically impossible to raise a Lies-type like one would a normal child. They CAN’T treat them like they would anyone else.

    Sariel is going to have Larissa cast the dibs cloner on her the instant they meet, isn’t she? Just so that if she does give birth to a Lie-type she’ll be able to hold the baby safely?

    Radueriel is going to be in incredibly deep shit when his bosses find out his machine allows this, isn’t he?

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    1. Radueriel’s machine/”upgrades” didn’t allow anything here. It wasn’t used in this chapter because they didn’t get a chance to contact him before Flick destroyed the equipment.

      And he already knows how said upgrades interact with people possessing his minions. He talked about it in 28-03.

      He was still smiling at his own genius before shaking his head. “But that is not the upgrade that need concern you now. No, you see, when needed, such as now, my people also obey my thoughts. I direct them. And you’ll find that your possession ability is very useless when the mind of your subject has nothing to do with the actions their body performs. After all,” he remarked while tapping the side of his head a couple times, “you never know when you might need to defend against the very gift that defines your entire race. It pays to be prepared. You’ve fought my people once. You did well. I congratulate you on that. But now, you will fight me. All of me.” At his words, the man lifted one arm. Simultaneously, every single one of the guards did the same.

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  3. Well that answers that question. I’ve been wondering if Flick could possess Seosten, and now she can. I bet this has happened before, maybe Enguerrard (his name is now in my phone’s autocorrect, by the way) has done it. But it probably hasn’t happened enough for word to get out to most of Seosten society. I’m guessing the bigwigs know, but not many beyond that.

    Those guards who saw it are probably going to be dead soon.

    Also, Seosten Lies being able to possess other Seosten goes a ways towards explaining why they’re hated by their society. The other Seosten are afraid of them. Discriminating against them isn’t exactly the smart way to treat them, but hate and fear aren’t emotions known for producing a lot of rational thought.

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  4. > Before I could get any further, the relevant thoughts were already popping into my host’s mind as Tabbris helped pull them up without even being asked. And just like that, I knew exactly where to go.

    The synergy that has rapidly developed between Tabbris and Flick is quite amazing imo.

    >They’ve never seen a Seosten be possessed before, Tabbris whispered to me. It’s, umm, it’s kinda supposed to be impossible. The ones they call Lies, they can do it, but they can’t get back out again unless the… the host dies.

    This little nugget of information is rather interesting. Makes the ostracizing of them rather dumb, since if they completely snap they could just the posses the Seosten tormenting them and pull off the suicide trick. Bang, tormentor(s) gone.

    >Weakly, while the army of guards continued to tear apart every hiding spot, scouring every inch of the camp looking for me, I replied, At least they’re not looking for the others anymore? And um… I did say that I was going to piss someone off. Job done?
    S-sure, okay, the other girl agreed, but how do we get out of here now?
    That, I informed her, is a very good question.

    Flick certainly lived up to her promise from the end of last update didn’t she?

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  5. On an unrelated note, if she can go into wood, and the base of her fox is a block of wood, can she be in her fox while she is controlling it? Or, would magic interference(?) make it impossible?

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    1. As Hendy said, they stack. In that case, it was Tabbris possessing Flick, who was possessing Yaqum. Theoretically, that could stack higher if Yaqum possessed someone else. The lower you go in the stack, the higher control that person has. Technically, Tabbris’s control should trump everyone else’s since she’s at the very bottom of the stack. But she doesn’t tend to control Flick, so Flick is the one doing most of the controlling.

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      1. It’s BOTH.

        The vast, vast majority of Seosten have a giant racial superiority complex : known exceptions are Sariel, Tabbris, Apollo and Jophiel. The average Seosten has no problem whatsoever doing things to non-Seosten they’d never do to another Seosten.

        Beyond that, being hit with malicious/hostile use of the Seosten possession power is frankly terrifying, so being vulnerable to it scares the hell out of them just like it does everyone else.

        And worse (from their point of view) the most likely way to get hit with said power is getting possessed by a Lie-type, which is permanent unless the target is able to mentally overpower the possessor, so the And I Must Scream is permanent. Unless losing the mental fight ends with the loser being absorbed and destroyed, like what happens Seosten have possession-related miscarriages.

        And a Lie-type possessing another Seosten and coming out on top is disturbingly close to how the Cronus mess got started. There are legitimate reasons to be more worried about Seosten on Seosten possession than about other kids given what happened last time.

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  6. “Deveron: “How Many Enemies Do You Think Flick’s Made Out There Already?” Avalon: “Are We Talking Individuals Or Species?”,”
    now that’s The question

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  7. Hmm… so Seosten can’t normally possess other Seosten. But baby Seosten CAN “possess” their mother, even if they can’t take control and just lose their self. That’s interesting.

    I was always thinking Seosten avoid being without a host, since they’re safer within one. It seems I was wrong.

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  8. Eh,
    I define a situation where the guy I was just possessing can likely be roused and back in the kill-me game within minutes AS a combat situation. As such, making his own arm cut his throat on the way out is NOT something I’d lose any sleep over. ESPECIALLY since it’s a dice-roll at getting the Seosten-physical-boost power for my arsenal. Handy power, that one, while stranded in Seosten space.

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    1. I agree with you that it’s not necessarily morally wrong to possess–then-suicide, but it is a harsher form of killing than killing someone from outside their body so they don’t feel like they’re killing themselves and helpless to prevent it. Doing it that way is pretty horrifying.

      Also, you and I don’t have Flick and Tabbris’s visceral hangups over possession.

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  9. Three things:
    First: Happy Birthday, Cerulean! ^^

    Second: Well, well, seems like every time the Seosten are like “Oh, she has done it NOW! This was one step too far, young lady!” Flick simply replies “Hold my beer.” 😀

    Third: Favorite moment from this chapter:
    “His eyes passed over me as I ‘swam’ right to where he was standing without the guard having the slightest idea that I was there.
    I had no idea which one of us started it, but Tabbris and I were both humming the Jaws theme.”

    This? This is adorable. I can’t wait until Tabbris officially meets Flick’s cuddle sharks. xD

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  10. And once again, I can’t help but see how I’m the token evil reader. I wouldn’t have commited suicide in-body, either… but that’s more about being kind to myself. I would have at least tried to do one of the following:

    1) Get at least one living Seosten back to the team, to try to “share EXP”. It might also be good to practice fighting in other people’s bodies, even as it allows allies to not hold back in sparring.

    2) Warn the two witnesses that all Seosten will try to kill them to keep things secret. That could turn into an interesting bit of psychological warfare, if the common grunts could be convinced to try killing their bosses in self-defense.

    3) Though it might not be possible, given what Tabbris said… Try to use the possessed Seosten to possess another. If possible, go full Russian doll and capture all five of them before letting the team execute one, each.

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    1. 3 is an exceptionally bad idea even if possibe. Triggering edge absorption without having to work for it turns people into murder addicts given time.

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      1. I’m sure it would turn people into murder addicts, eventually. I’m just not sure that “working for it” would really help much. I mean, if they have to fight before they get their murder-pleasure, wouldn’t they still get the addiction? The only difference I see is that they’d start thinking of combat as foreplay.

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    2. The problem with getting one of the Seosten back to the team would be that the Seosten is connected to the rest of his partners, so they would know where he was, what was going on, and so on and so forth. It’s a pretty big risk. Plus, trying to use one of them to possess another would be phenomenally difficult considering, again, that connection to each other. Remember, that was the whole reason that Flick and company couldn’t just expel Charmiene from Columbus right away, because it would have let Manakel know instantly.

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      1. Leading the others back to the team would be bad. But the team could move on elsewhere afterwards. Or they could assume that the other Seosten would come, and set up an ambush along the way.

        The link between them could also be used for more psychological warfare. I know I would react poorly if to knowing that my friends were getting picked off one-by one. Team Stranded might not have the coordination this time, but they could actually use how terrifying Flick’s possession is to drive other Seosten into bad situations.

        I figured that possessing all the Seosten was unlikely to work out for a different reason. Normally, Seosten can’t do it. And the one that Flick had was able to fight back, it just wasn’t good enough. But if all five Seosten tried to fight back… I don’t think that Flick and Tabbris would be able to keep control.

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  11. As for questions that I’d enjoy having answered at sow point, are Seosten the only species that can posses others or were the other species with possession capabilities systematically exterminated by them? It’s a big universe after all. Also, I can figure out a reasonable explanation for why a Heretic possessed by a Seosten would still receive the power from the kill. While Heretics don’t gain power just from being there for a kill like Reapers, the Seosten possessing them blurs the distinction between who caused the death enough that the power flows to the closest next cause, even if the Heretic could essentially just be viewed as a weapon. What I am curious about is who the power would go to if a Crossroads Heretic possessed another Crossroads, or even a Garden Heretic? Would it go to the closest conduit, be split 50/50, or even go straight to the Heretic that was possessing them as they were actually available to receive it as apposed to a Seosten? I’m quite happy to wait for the story to progress and maybe make mention of reasons, but I thought I’d ask at least.

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    1. Cerulean has confirmed that other possession abilities exist in the Spacebattles thread.

      Edge Heretics gain the power up when killing while possessed because it’s their power dealing the fatal damage. It seems from the Bastet interlude that if the person who dealt the fatal blow has Edge or Reaper absorption, they get the credit no matter what. When Bastet killed a guy by swapping places with him while his teammate was throwing a really overpowered flaming punch, the teammate got the credit even though Bastet was the one who decided that the dead guy would die and made it happen.

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    2. As Alex said, other possession abilities exist. Seosten just happen to be the strongest at it, generally speaking.

      What I am curious about is who the power would go to if a Crossroads Heretic possessed another Crossroads, or even a Garden Heretic? Would it go to the closest conduit, be split 50/50, or even go straight to the Heretic that was possessing them as they were actually available to receive it as apposed to a Seosten?

      That is a very good question. I should probably have that covered at some point since we have a main character capable of possessing people now.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. First: Happy Birthday Cerulean!
    Second: I have a question about Pace. She seems like a pretty important character, and that video implies that she might fight with Flick if given the chance to. (Y’know, without being possessed.) So, the question is, does the Lies thing mean that they can’t get out of their host no matter what, or that they just can’t get themselves out and things like that rune that they never got to use on Charmeine (COUGH COUGH) would work on Lies Seosten too. Like, the one possessing Pace?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! And as far as the Lies thing goes, I’m gonna hold off on answering whether that rune can get them out or not until later. Sorry, just not something I want to spoil right now. 🙂 But it is an interesting question.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hell, she felt awful every time she had, even when I’d specifically told her to an extent.

    This sentence needs an extra word, or more punctuation, or something.

    So, this massive uproar Flick caused by possessing a Seosten – big enough that Haiden and Larissa might hear of it sooner or later?

    Like

  14. Well, I’ve caught up now.

    Sweet.

    Every chapter I read where Isaac doesn’t get found out increases my tension. It’s annoying.

    Also, if she checked Jokai, why did she not check Isaac, Jazz and Gordon?

    Like

  15. Sure, Flick. Slaughter all of the Alter guards without hesitation, but spare that one Seosten who was making their lives miserable.

    Seriously, does she not get that she’s fighting an enemy that’s trying to do worse than kill her and her little sister? She gets more power from killing her enemies. So the only reason she should not do so when she gets the chance is if the target is either more useful alive or if killing the target is more trouble than it’s worth.

    Then again, Joselyn was apparently fully capable of beating and killing Ruthers way back, but she just decided to scare him and let him go. And look how well that turned out for her! She had her family torn apart, her rebellion crushed and erased from memory, her own memory erased, got herself kidnapped by Fossor, and now Fossor has his eyes set on Flick. Oh, and countless innocent Alters have died since then because the rebellion was wiped from memory.

    You’d think that Flick would be way past the point of refusing to kill an enemy she has at her mercy in the middle of enemy territory after nearly losing everything to them, but nope.

    Wasn’t she JUST saying to Roxa that she’d need all the power she could get? And here she goes, contradicting that notion completely mere MINUTES later.

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    1. Then again, Joselyn was apparently fully capable of beating and killing Ruthers way back, but she just decided to scare him and let him go. And look how well that turned out for her! She had her family torn apart, her rebellion crushed and erased from memory, her own memory erased, got herself kidnapped by Fossor, and now Fossor has his eyes set on Flick. Oh, and countless innocent Alters have died since then because the rebellion was wiped from memory.

      They were literally evenly matched in that fight. That was the point. She wasn’t pushing things further, no. But she was basically just breaking everything he threw at her *because* they were evenly matched. The whole point was that he thought he’d be able to completely crush her like an insect with his new Committee-level power, and she was a *match* for him anyway. Not capable of ‘easily beating him’, capable of stalemating him, basically.

      And as far as Flick not killing him goes, she’s a teenage girl and he’s a completely helpless… prisoner, essentially at that point. He could literally do nothing to defend himself. Plus, she’s got a nine year old riding shotgun in her head. So I’m not sure why you were you expecting the two of them to just blindly and mercilessly execute a completely helpless prisoner without even hesitating.

      You are basically complaining about a person acting like a *person* rather than like a person playing a video game. She’s not min-maxing a bunch of ones and zeroes on a computer screen, she’s dealing with actual lives. Flick has empathy, even for the Seosten. That’s part of her character.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The impression I got from that interlude was that Joselyn had a very strong advantage against Ruthers. But I suppose it was just that–an impression.

        As for the rest: my issue isn’t with her having hangups about killing. It’s her being so arbitrarily selective about said hangups. She was just assassinating soldiers left and right, but she decides against killing one of the most dangerous (and definitely the most guilty) of her enemies present at a time when she SERIOUSLY needs every possible advantage and power she can get, and had just voiced that very same belief to Roxa mere minutes ago. And yes, she’s got a 9-year-old riding shotgun in her head, but again, she’d just been casually killing people left and right without hesitation ANYWAY.

        Yes, Flick has empathy. Which is why it’s so surprising that she’s being so arbitrarily merciful at the *one person* who is by far the most responsible for inflicting suffering, misery, and death on innocent people that she’s in the middle of rescuing.

        Arguing that the guy posed no threat to her at all and couldn’t fight back–that’s nonsense, and she knows it. Knocking someone out is no guarantee whatsoever that they won’t be a threat in the near future, especially when advanced technology and superpowers are involved. For all she knew, the other Seosten would be able to just wake the guy up with ease as soon as they reached him, and suddenly Flick literally threw away a perfect opportunity to take out one of her most dangerous enemies present when it was right in front of her face.

        I don’t expect her to be a murder machine, or some kind of sociopath. But when you’re deep behind enemy lines, in the middle of combat, in a crisis, up against enemies that would not hesitate to inflict a fate worse than death on you and all of your friends, and the people you’re fighting are literally worse than slave masters back on Earth, and you’re already showing no hesitation about killing people, it makes Flick LESS of a relatable person for not compromising any of her (naively) idealistic morals despite being in such a desperate, dangerous, horrible, and terrifying situation. It’s frustrating, because despite the situation clearly being incredibly dire, she’s clearly not taking it completely seriously, and she’s getting away with it.

        It’s kind of like that situation before the climax of Saving Private Ryan. They have to make a hard decision–well, two decisions, really. Do they stay and try to hold the intact bridge against the German assault? And do they let Ryan stay to help defend it, despite their entire mission–a mission that several of them have already died for–being to get him back home safely? They realize that it’s a fucked up situation and they have to be realistic about it. And even though it’s debatable whether or not Miller’s decisions are more idealistic or pragmatic, what is indisputable is that he decides to go with the more dangerous and risky options. And they pay for it. Dearly. By the end, there are only three survivors, including Ryan himself. And Ryan has to live with that for his whole life. Even more than that, earlier in the film, Miller refuses to execute an enemy soldier that he had captured even though they had no way to keep him secured and continue on their mission. He basically lets him go, telling the prisoner to head towards the nearest American camp and turn himself in. It’s an idealistic decision, and one that makes him seem more human and moral for it. Except that this is reality, and brutal realities are a fact of life, which the movie does a fantastic job of showing. That same guy they captured predictably goes and links back up with his army, picks up a rifle, and in the end, kills Miller himself (along with another of Upham’s squadmates). That kind of thing is precisely WHY teams operating without logistical support or within a larger apparatus are given orders to not take prisoners–because they CAN’T process and secure prisoners, and they’d not only fail to complete their missions by doing so, they’d render themselves vulnerable by just trying to take prisoners. It’s horrible, but war is horrible, and brutal realities have to be acknowledged and addressed.

        I feel like it detracts from the story when Flick has it both ways, without consequences.

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    2. Flick’s decision to not kill Yaqum is entirely in line with her established behavior, because Flick does not like to kill people. She only does it when she is in a fight, thinks it’s necessary, or REALLY hates her opponent. Otherwise she generally tries to avoid taking sapient life. 

      Her first instinct in arc 20 was to try and talk ‘Truman Hyde’ down before he attacked, and she felt guilty for killing Doxer in arc 22, even after everything he tried to do.

      She thought it was necessary to kill the guards in the previous chapter, but she was also clearly discomforted by it. That discomfort is almost certainly part of why she didn’t kill Yaqum here.

      You obviously have different standards regarding what makes a kill necessary than Flick does, and that’s fine. But we’re not talking about what you would do, we’re talking about what Flick would do. She’s willing to do a lot of ruthless things to win a fight, and she’s willing to kill by surprise if she thinks she has to, but it’s not really surprise that she doesn’t want to kill Yaqum when he’s helpless and not an IMMEDIATE threat.

      And frankly, there’s no reason to assume that there won’t be consequences for this, because the story isn’t over yet. On top of that, not only does Yaqum have a character tag, but Cerulean literally calls his return “a certainty” in a comment on this very page.

      Liked by 1 person

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