Hours after seeing the fresh corpse of the Librarian Thosilus, two voices exchanged words.
"Shit. His throat was slit with his own blade. No prints on the handle," a female voice noted. "They either used gloves or thaumokinetics."
"The door and windows were locked. I had asked some of the others to check the outside of the window. No luck there, either," a dry, dusty male voice added. "Either way, we need to find the killer. If they strike again, things could get really nasty."
"If the killer's motive was to create chaos, then they certainly picked the right person to assassinate," the female added. "You found no thaumaturgical sigils on the walls, correct?"
"None whatsoever," the male replied. "But, I do have a suggestion. Aemos suggested we look at what he did before he died. I believe that the victim was writing a tomeworld. Thosilus had said he was working on a new tomeworld, hadn't he? Remember how his body was found: Sitting up in his chair. His pen was in hand, and something had vanished from his desk."
"Think that was the new tomeworld, then?" the female suggested. "Was there something in there that they couldn't wait to have?"
"Probably. But, Aemos also suggested something else," the male continued. "We did find a notebook with some character concepts nearby. That one had been paged through, but was intact. Thosilus did have a few favorites, though."
"And what was Aemos' suggestion?" the woman asked. "If we start looking too much into the murder, the Radicals and the others will point fingers, and it will degenerate into anarchy."
"That is why we won't investigate it," the man explained. "But his characters will. We will have a degree of deniability for the investigation."
"Good idea, Kenotaphion," the woman replied. "Which characters are his favorites, then?"
"Let's see, Lady Yang," Kenotaphion began to read silently. "Aemos had specialized thaumaturgy that will allow them to materialize. Let is make haste."
That is the first conversation you hear as you make the transition from paper to personhood.6/9/2008 #1
Pure darkness gave way to blurred shadows and the feeling of... becoming. Where moments ago there had been nothing, there were now many things. Memories, joys, hopes, dreams, prejudices, fears, regrets... and more. A body of flesh and muscle and blood and bone. Limbs to move and eyes to blink. A mouth to speak, a nose to smell, and ears that noticed the slightest of sounds. Sensations grabbed at the world around and gradually, she put everything together.
Chandi. Her name was Chandi. She was a warrior. No, that wasn't right. She was a politician now, which was perhaps a warrior of a different sort. At least, that was the dreck the other officials had theorized aloud to her. But she knew better. The decrees of a council never compared to the carnage of battle, though a lawmaker's claim to greatness perhaps outshined even the most celebrated hero. Bunch of pompous bastards...
Where was she? Chandi quickly scanned the entirety of the room. Her accommodations were fairly austere, not that she cared much. Any room at all was a luxury after years of sleeping on desert dirt. Other than bare stone walls, she noticed a simple bed and a desk with a pitcher of water and a stack of books on it.
Flicking her wrist, the top book opened as if by the force of a strong breeze. It was blank. Another movement of her hand transplanted the first book beside the stack of the rest. She opened the second book. Still nothing. She repeated her investigation until she had looked through them all. They were all empty.
Strange, she thought. I wonder where I am...
On the bed, Chandi saw her weapons and outer garments had been laid out for her. She collected them and placed them on her person, a bit disturbed that she had woken up without a weapon.
Come to think of it, had she woken up? The bed was made and looked pristine. She had just... been in the middle of the room. And before that, she'd...
What had she been doing? Where had she been? Something wasn't right. Chandi took out her air pistols, inspected them, and glanced in front of her at a wooden door, the only way in or out of the stark room. Chandi considered, then moved towards it.6/9/2008 #2
What? Thaumaturgic Industrial Unit "Clockroach."
Gears and mechanical implements arose from nothingness with that crucial question. The artificial soul began to feel its surroundings, subtle sensory information being absorbed before the eyes were even able to complete their sweep. After it formed, the repeated "clack-clack" of its steel legs on the floor was the only sound. A quick diagnostic of itself showed all of it and its tools were present.
Task inquiry... I must investigate the death of Thosilus?
For what purpose?
What purpose is necessary?
Who was Thosilus? Where was he, Clockroach? Was there any present danger? These, Clockroach identified as his current questions. As he began to investigate the room containing him, he attempted to discern where he had come from. He felt as though his own self was incomplete somehow. Ignoring the feeling, he investigated his surroundings.
Locked doors. Various human environmental elements. A desk with writing implements and books that, when lifted and opened with its left simulated hand, were found to be blank.
Clockroach began to investigate the door.6/9/2008 . Edited 6/9/2008 #3
He awoke disoriented, both bodies feeling like standing up was a bad idea. He fought the urge to come crashing to the floor, and the feeling quickly passed, leaving him feeling more coordinated. However, he ignored his surroundings for the moment and tried to remember more vital information. It all came back as soon as he started focusing, though it made him feel disoriented again.
He was biomancer who specialized in infiltration and assassination named Geminos. He had a vague recollection of being constantly in trouble as a result of his chaotic personality, and of the thrill he got from outsmarting the enemy on his numerous missions. He couldn't recall any specific instances at the moment, but that was just bad memory.
Having recovered that, Geminos turned outward again. He glanced around at the spartan room, noting the desk, with several books piled on it. Not much, but similar to the barracks he usually stayed in, if more private. The bed certainly looked more comfortable than his usual quarters.
What concerned him more was how he had gotten here. He was supposed to be preparing for an infiltration mission, not standing around in a dull room in who knows where. It vaguely bothered him that he wasn't exactly sure who he was supposed doing missions for, but that was overridden by annoyance at the thought that someone had tricked and outsmarted him.
No. That isn't possible. Only one thing for it, then. Tychos dug into one of his pockets and pulled out a coin, flipping it through the air to Moiros. Fate, not luck. Question answered.
Geminos noticed his gear lying in a pile in the in the corner- in a few cases a literal pile of . Tychos fastened his saber around his waist while Moiros checked the wooden door. It was locked. Now what? Heconsidered sending one of his recon biomorphs under the door, but it was too close to floor for one to fit.
Might as well try something new to get out of here. Geminos retrieved one his notebooks and flipped to near the end. He'd had an idea, and while it hadn't been thought of with a situation like this in mind, it would serve well enough.6/9/2008 . Edited 6/9/2008 #4
|The Crazy Talk Kid
Ades shook his head to clear out the proverbial cobwebs. He attempted to get up but quickly sat back down, disoriented and dizzy. From his positio on the floor he looked around at the small, sparely decorated room with its bed, desk, chair, and a few books. It was certainly the oddest prison he had ever been thrown in.
"Sir?" Oro questioned helping Ades to his feet.
"Just disoriented; where are we?" Ades asked.
"I do not know," Oro answered grabbing his quiver and bow from the ground. Ades buckled on his sword belt and placed his helmet on his head.
"Look around and see what you can find," Ades commanded as they both started to rifle through the room. The room was a mess with the bed ripped apart and the desk knocked over. They both searched through the books for any writings that would make sense but came up with nothing.
"Let's go," Ades said finally. Oro nodded then ran at the door and rammed into it shoulder first.
Ades decided it was time to step in and started hacking at the door handle. They were not making much headway. Barely even denting the door components or making a few scratches.
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