Money Makes the World Go Round - Part 11
(Previous Chapter: http://www.erfworld.com/blog/view/50841/money-makes-the-world-go-round-part-10)
Parson, while the archon was informing Charlie of what was going on, made a motion with his hand. At that signal, the Fool and the Thinker took each other's’ hand, and a wash of gray seemed to cover the world, dulling the sights and sounds as it passed. Once it fully encompassed them Drachma understood. Beyond the washed out gray tones, the world seemed to slow to a crawl, the Moneymancer’s own body becoming heavy. It stood frozen, while his spirit seemed to leave it behind, a dull impression of himself stepping and turning, as the same happened to all of Gobwin Knob’s Casters.
“Okay, I’m going to ask this once. Did anyone here know about this?” asked Parson as he turned to face them, his gaze going almost instantly to Lady Wanda, who viel seemed even more obscuring on her face now that she had stepped outside herself.
“My Lord, I can safely say that none have contacted us, and as Jetstone lacks a Thinkamancer, it’s doubtful they could have initiated such communication,” answered Maggie, and the others, save Wanda, nodded. The Croakamancer’s silence said much about it, but Parson just sighed, his thought form turning to look towards the stage again, and then looking around.
“Hmm, is that the line she’s using to contact Charlie?” he asked at last, as his gaze fell upon the brunette archon. She, like the rest, had slowed, becoming nearly a statue. Unlike most, she and her sister had lines of light coming from their heads, slowly rising towards the heavens, blue strings that vanished from sight. The brunette’s was just a bit brighter though, and what looked like small beads were slowly making their way along it.
“It is, Lord, and before you ask, I cannot sever her connection to Charlie without starting combat with her. It would violate the agreement you made with Tramennis to try,” said Maggie, and Parson nodded, stroking his chin, before finally shrugging his shoulders.
“Eh, it’s at least worth a thought,” he said, looking at himself, and poking his arm. As they were just projections, probably caused by a subtle Foolamancy/Thinkamancy link, his finger actually went right through, and he smiled at that for some reason, before turning to face the crowd. Around them, the various Jetstone units were like statues, only small movement noticeable as they continued to move in normal time, rather than at the speed of thought itself.
“Interesting use of a link. Was this something you practiced?” asked Drachma at last, figuring he should add something to the conversation.
“It’s something we discovered Maggie and Jack were able to do in the course of sending all those Thinkagrams yesterday. It not only works as a kind of deep encryption, one we’re hoping Charlie can’t break, but it does have the use of giving me more time to think too,” he answered while walking over to the two Liliths. Even here in the psuedo-thinkspace, they looked identical, a testament to Lloyd’s skill in his discipline.
“Should we explore the castle then? Perhaps discover something about them in this frozen moment?” asked the Moneymancer, but Parson gave a rather dry chuckle, while shaking his head.
“Sadly, we can’t do that. A quick test yesterday says we’re moving about two orders of magnitude, around a hundred times, faster than normal, and while that’s fast, it’d be just our Luck that someone realizes we look like we’re in a Thinkagram while we’re away from our bodies,” he said, and then motioned for Drachma to follow him towards one of the plaza’s columns.
When he did, the Caster was startled to find that behind the thing, there was nothing. That is to say, that, while the scene of the city was well detailed, enough so that he almost believed he could walk out to it, the space directly behind the pillar was simply blank. Looking back, he quickly realized why that was, and nodded.
“Ah, line of sight only. It works for anyone in the Thinkagram?” he asked, and Parson nodded.
“Yeah, it sort of merges the areas, if you’re in different rooms. Trippy really. Still, it’s biggest use right now is a pause button. Though we should probably wrap this up,” he said, pointing towards Pierce, the Healomancer, who was turning to face them. Almost instantly, the Thoughtspace collapsed, and in a very disorienting whoosh, Drachma found himself back behind his own eyeballs, swaying a bit on his feet.
Collecting his thoughts, the Moneymancer was rather startled when time just started again, and he immediately felt a difference in the world around him. At first, he thought it might have been due to the Thinkspace altering his perceptions, but then he quickly parsed that thought down, and realized it wasn’t that. The worth of the plaza, the intrinsic wealth that came from simply existing, had gone down, and it had gone down by a lot in the last few moments.
He immediately rejected a hypothesis of the Thinkspace using the Juice of the two Gobwin Knob Casters enough to be the cause of the dip. While they were worth a pretty shmucker, the spell had not taken that much from them. Exploring his senses deeper, valuing each unit in turn, he discovered the source of the dip, much to his utter dismay, and he quickly went through his options, wishing he had a signal for the Thinkspace spell, before just tossing it all aside.
“Where is the other archon!?” he demanded quickly, tossing two rocks at the pair of blue suited women. The one on the call remained passive for, taking the light tap of the stone without even a seeming reaction. The other, however, seemed to collapse in on herself from the simple touch. Her business attire fell into itself like a folding tent, before it too faded into nothingness, leaving only a blank space where the archon had been standing a moment ago.
Instantly, everyone was on guard. Even Lady Wanda was pulled from her stupor by this turn, her eyes darting this way and that, along with every other pair. The guards fell into place in a heartbeat, a wall of steel and flesh surrounding the Liliths, while King Tramennis drew forth some very pricy looking Dollamancy items. Meanwhile Gobwin Knob’s Casters formed a tight ring around Parson, their hands moving as they prepared basic attack and defense spells, the Fool even casting a light baffle as he moved, making them untargetable.
“What’s going on?” asked Parson, his voice possessing a worried edge, but nothing showing on his face, and you could almost feel his mind working at a million hexes a turn as he tried to absorb every detail of his surroundings.
“I felt the worth of the plaza drop significantly. Inspecting the units here, one of the archon’s costs had dropped to near zero. She’s used some kind of Foolamancy to spirit herself away,” said Drachma, as he prepared a nice golden shower, his hands glowing with the magic as he kept looking. With so many Casters, Warlords, and others in the plaza, it would not be long before the archon was found.
“Guards! Seize the remaining archon. My good Parson, I believe Charlie is about to make a move on you. Might I suggest you retreat to the Magic Kingdom?” advised the King of Jetstone, his gaze tracking this way and that, even as his men grabbed the archon, still frozen in Thinkagram. Manacles automagically affixed themselves to her wrists and ankles, yet still her sister did not appear.
“With all due respect, your Highness, I’m pretty sure Charlie’s counting on that course of action,” countered Parson, but he motioned for the others to move closer to the center of the plaza.
“Might I suggest you allow us to repatriate Lilith, and we do the same with Ace and Cubbins?” he offered, and without much more than that, the chains vanished from all four, with Lilith and her Ditto running to join them, while Cubbins and Ace gathered around their king, joining his stack. Yet despite the minutes passing nothing was…
“My Lords! The tower’s worth has just gone up!” shouted Drachma, and Parson swore in that odd way of his, pulling back his sleeve to reveal a bracer on it, which began to glow with power as well. Before anyone could do much, however, a unit came from within the tower, the red haired archon, whose eyes shone a deadly blue now, wielding a strange pipe weapon in one hand, while the other held an egg.
“My life buys Charlie’s!” she shouted, bringing the egg to her lips. Parson barely had time to shout some odd word, Gren Aid or some such, before she threw it, the thing sailing into the air. It landed with a clattering sound on the tile in the middle of the plaza. Her diving behind a column said all anyone needed, and her action was mirrored by many, even as the strange egg seemed to click.
huuh, the tag you selected is not the same for all episodes, so it's not useful (clicking it doesn't show a list of all episodes), maybe separate it with commas, so it's several tags, and leave one tag as the name "Money Makes the World Go Round"? :)
Also, would you add in each episode a link to the next? =) It's really nice for the readers who start at the beggining :D