17 comments

  1. So, I suppose nothing of note happened in this chapter. Better luck next time! I’ll try to make the next chapter not quite so boring and inconsequential.

    But hey, if you can forgive so little happening, I’d really appreciate a quick vote for this story on Top Web Fiction by clicking right here! Thanks.

    Tags for this chapter are: Avalon Sinclaire, Douglas Frey, Felicity Chambers, Flick, Manakel, Now You Guys Know How The Early Game Enemies Feel When You Go Back At Level Fifty And Slaughter Your Way Through Them Like Insects. Or Is That Just Me?, Rudolph Parsons, Sean Gerardo, See? Manakel Was So Dangerous‚ The True Hero Of The Story Finally Had To Step In And Save Everyone. Thanks‚ Herbie!, Shiori Porter, Somewhere‚ A Seosten Bureaucrat Is Pulling Up The Military Rules Of Engagement And Adding ‘Don’t Let Felicity Chambers Talk.’, Tabbris, Vulcan

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  2. I know I enjoy slaughtering mooks after I’ve made it to a high level. Those little bastards…

    On another note, I like how they won this by monologuing to the villain, rather than getting him to monologue at them. I’m a little puzzled on why he let her talk for so long, but I’m more pumped about the mind melt of him trying and failing to stop Tabbris at the end. I wonder how much he realized in that moment.

    More thoughts:

    – I wonder how and when he got to Kohaku.

    – I’m worried about the possibility that he’s mentally connected to another Seostne right now, because if he is Tabbris just got exposed.

    – I know “Kohaku” has been Avalon’s security mentor, and I really hope Manake didn’t sabotage her training in any way. This also casts a darker light on when “she” tried to convince Flick to join the security track.

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    1. In response to letting her talk, here’s the thing… Everyone else is unconscious, Avalon is against his sword and broken, and he’s got a hand on Flick’s chest and is able to kill her just by pressing. Meanwhile, he also has eyes outside and can see exactly how far along the people trying to get in are, and knows they’re not anywhere near ready yet.

      So, all things put together like that, he really had no reason not to think it was safe to let Flick finish what she was saying. Particularly as he was genuinely curious about what she was getting at. Hell, given how long he’s been watching them try to work out who he was possessing, he wanted to see if she actually figured it out.

      So… curiosity mixed with arrogance mixed with genuinely having every reason to see the situation as safe. Plus, add in a bit of wondering if there was anything from her mother or someone else he could get out of her information wise, considering they still didn’t know how she was immune to possession.

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      1. Meanwhile, he also has eyes outside and can see exactly how far along the people trying to get in are, and knows they’re not anywhere near ready yet.

        That I did not know. I suspected, but didn’t know for sure.

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  3. >Manakel caught it. Not only did he catch it, but he did so with two fingers.

    Not surprising, though Aizen from Bleach did it with a bit more style using only one finger.:P

    >You know what’s right next to the D on a keyboard? S. You know what’s pretty close to the O? U. She types a couple letters wrong, fucks up the end of it because that is right when your guys attacked them, and… what do you know, what turned into decorating… was supposed to be security. That’s what the pixie told them. That’s what Koren was trying to say. Mankel… is… security.”

    I’m skeptical of this line of deduction Flick is using, honestly. That is one impressive bit of autocorrupt to turn effective gibberish into the word “security”. Oh well. Anyway, so, it was Kohaku as some suspected all along that Manakel was possessing. Huh.

    >And then she spoke the trigger word that set off the spell… and let Gaia into the facility.

    Time for Manakel to make a quick exit now, I guess. Gaia, when she sees Avalon’s current state, is going to go into a full-out Berserker Rage I suspect.

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  4. When Flick said it came down to Avalon, Shiori, Columbus, and her, I realized we hadn’t heard from Scout for a while, and I went back to check. I’m pretty sure she hasn’t actually been in any chapters since 37-04. So maybe she’s part of Flick’s backup plan? Or she was just left out of the tags and I missed her on the skimmed reread, I guess. Or she’s just quiet and Flick doesn’t think she stands a chance against Manakel.

    Oh, okay, I guess it’s that last one. Or she just means Scout would just be support, but wouldn’t be able to take the remote.

    Apparently Olympian-level combat uses magic A LOT. Or at least Manakel does. Makes sense.

    So…it sounds like the shield spell does not work like I thought it did. Apparently it’s drawing power from all these people, but disrupting the power coming from any one of these people will still disrupt the spell? I guess that makes sense, since it’s only temporary, and presumably the spell would quickly compensate, but by that point it’s too late. Still, it’s good the killing spells weren’t triggered by any disruption to the power, or Tabbris would have just killed a bunch of good guys.

    It sure is lucky Manakel didn’t kill anybody else and gave Flick time to talk. It all makes sense, but it’s still really lucky for the good guys.

    Yay! Herbie got to save the day finally! Woot!

    Holy crap, that’s one way to expose Tabbris to the Seosten leadership! It’s honestly probably the best time for it, since she would have died anyway if she didn’t do anything. Or been captured. Whatever. I wonder if Manakel is in a mind-link with anyone at the moment, or if he looks down on everyone around him enough that he wouldn’t. If not, I guess they’d just need to kill him to keep the secret quiet. And we know he can’t escape with recall since Kohaku is right there. Or at least it seems really unlikely he possessed anyone else after her.

    Speaking of recall, I wonder if Tabbris’s next move will be to return to Flick. Honestly, it might not actually be safer than her current situation, depending on where Gaia appears.

    Gaia Sinclaire vs. Manakel should be a very interesting fight. Especially since there’s not much tech here and no zombies, so both of them are limited to their non-signature abilities.

    Well, except that the stasis fields are tech-based, so there’s a pretty good chance Gaia can free all her people immediately. Which could easily happen, since it would not surprise me if the other adults got stuck fighting zombies Manakel brings in and protecting the kids. Since he’s still absolutely going to be gunning for Avalon.

    Oh, also, I liked the resolution to Koren’s typo.

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    1. Other thoughts:
      -It’s interesting that it’s Gaia who’s coming in, but I guess she’s the one with the most urgent desire to get in there.
      -I wonder if Sariel is possessing Gaia at the moment. I’m thinking no (she wasn’t when we last saw her, and that might outmatch Manakel too much).
      -Oh yeah, I guess whoever figured out Kohaku was possessed was right.
      -Last chapter, I totally didn’t realize Manakel meant Avalon’s protection spell was almost out. I just thought it was a strangely-worded way of him saying he had time to give them sixty seconds before killing them, since the shield wouldn’t be down by then.
      -Avalon was awesome in this chapter.

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      1. I need to correct that bit and add Scout in what Flick says about who’s left, oops. Considering Scout wasn’t knocked out until after that, and all. 😉

        And actually, Sariel WAS possessing Gaia last we saw. Remember, during the Percival and Gaia chapter, it was hinted that Sariel was with her given the emphasis when she said that the Seosten had ‘MY daughter’. Which I subsequently both confirmed out of story and in the Lincoln/Tabbris chapter that took place immediately before that point, Wyatt showed up and told Sariel that Gaia wanted her to recall to her. 😉

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      2. Yes, but right after that in the Percival and Gaia chapter, Sariel stepped out and greeted the others in her own body:

        “With those words, a glowing figure stepped out of the other woman before turning solid. As she turned to the two Committee members, both tensed before easing slightly.”

        So she could have gone back into Gaia since we saw her last, but last we saw her she wasn’t possessing Gaia. (Chronologically. The last chapter we saw her in was before this at the Atherby camp.)

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      3. Admittedly Sariel not possessing Gaia isn’t that big of a hurdle. As long as Gaia gets inside – well Sariel was recalling on what should have been an invalid connection from Kushiel’s best recreation of hell.

        Getting back to Gaia isn’t the problem. The question is whether she’d do that or continue working on the barriers to get more help in. Sariel is small time in comparison to Committee Members, one of them a former knight of the round, and Prosser.

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      4. Oh right. Duh. Forgot about recall. But yeah, you bring up a good point. She might just project to Gaia to see if the situation is urgent, see Tabbris and realize the situation is in fact urgent, and recall in.

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  5. Minor typo: ” Mankel… is… security.” ManAkel’s name is missing an A.

    Yeah, letting Flick talk is a bad idea. Although I honestly thought she was talking to let one of the “unconscious” team members pull a Columbus-v-Charmeine. But, I guess none of them were sandbagging….

    So, Flick was mainly talking to hold Manakel’s attention, and maybe keep *him* talking. Which was stupid of him, but a lot of the Olympians seems to have a serious God complex, despite repeated evidence to the latter.
    And egomania. There’s no other reason (barring maybe revenge) to pin your enemies to the wall and tell them, in excruciating detail, just how much less they are than ants beneath your boot.

    It’s almost like Manakel has a deep-down *inferiority* complex, and needs to pull stuff like this to *prove* that he’s top dog. Treating them like worthy adversaries would be to admit they could actually *threaten* him (even at 1-in-a-bazillion odds), and he *just can’t do that.*

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Probably.

      File this under reasons Amatiel is way more dangerous than his already impressive power level suggests – unlike some of the others he has no need to prove himself to anyone. All he cares about is being able to ring up Chayyiel and say “Mission is 100% complete. No new problems to deal with. What next, boss?”

      So he won’t gloat. He won’t show off. He won’t go out of his way to rub in how fucked you are. He’ll just win.

      Amatiel vs Team Flick looks like this.

      .

      No warning, no chance to fight back, no showing off, just instant dead end.

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