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    Fri, Oct 8th 2021 02:23   Edited on Mon, Apr 25th 2022 01:55

    Applicant Mel Rahna (Julian) - DONE

    Greetings, Applicant Rahna. My name is Timm Galli, and I have been assigned as your interviewer for the application review process.   Please report to the provided coordinates at your earliest convenience.
    Fri, Oct 8th 2021 02:32   Edited on Fri, Oct 8th 2021 01:50

    I have your initial application right here...   Mel's Application
    Thu, Oct 7th 2021 04:35   Edited on Fri, Oct 8th 2021 02:26

    1. I am Melu. I may need help with my magic and an object. More information will be disclosed in further meetings. 2. I want to be part of something bigger than myself and also get some benefits, of course. 3. I have empath abilities and I would like to train to be a healer. 4. What I want is to enjoy some comforts in exchange for my labour. I don't need luxury. 5. I'm not being hunted or anything. I think. 6. No, but I'm intrigued by some of your members. 7 I'm in the Garnell System. 8. I'm very protective of who I consider my family. I would be a great asset to your organization.

     
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      And I'd like to follow up with some inquiries of my own, if that would be amenable to you.   Let's start with something simple first, shall we? What inspired you to apply to join the Mordena?
    Fri, Oct 8th 2021 01:50

    # In reply to Timm Galli's:
    I have your initial application right here...   Mel's Application
    Thu, Oct 7th 2021 04:35   Edited on Fri, Oct 8th 2021 02:26

    1. I am Melu. I may need help with my magic and an object. More information will be disclosed in further meetings. 2. I want to be part of something bigger than myself and also get some benefits, of course. 3. I have empath abilities and I would like to train to be a healer. 4. What I want is to enjoy some comforts in exchange for my labour. I don't need luxury. 5. I'm not being hunted or anything. I think. 6. No, but I'm intrigued by some of your members. 7 I'm in the Garnell System. 8. I'm very protective of who I consider my family. I would be a great asset to your organization.

     
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      And I'd like to follow up with some inquiries of my own, if that would be amenable to you.   Let's start with something simple first, shall we? What inspired you to apply to join the Mordena?
    I respect what the Mordena has done, even when the rumours are not always favourable. I despise the same enemies that you despise. I believe I could serve you well and you'll reward my loyalty.
    Fri, Oct 8th 2021 02:16

    And when you refer to despising our enemies, which ones? As I'm sure you can imagine, we've acquired quite a few through the years.   And why have they drawn your ire, as well?
    Sun, Oct 10th 2021 06:09

    The Hydell Order. In the name of their belief, they destroyed my past, my family. Everything except one thing.
    Sun, Oct 10th 2021 08:35

    You know I have to ask now. What is the one thing the Order didn't destroy?
    Sun, Oct 10th 2021 08:45

    They couldn't destroy what makes me: my will.
    Sun, Oct 10th 2021 11:35

    Good for you! Determination is always an admirable quality.   I'm going to switch topics here for a moment. You've mentioned rewards and benefits a few times, and so I'd like to explore a bit about what that means to you, if you'd care to elaborate.
    Mon, Oct 11th 2021 01:34

    Of course. For benefits I mean I'd like to have somewhere to call home, to rest so I can fulfil my duties with the organization. I need food, clothing, etc. I have few things at the moment. I'm not looking for luxury items but more like a comfortable place. I'm aware I can't ask for much being only an applicant. I'm willing to work hard to be worthy of all these rewards.
    Mon, Oct 11th 2021 05:01

    So... By rewards, you mean a home?
    Mon, Oct 11th 2021 08:11

    Yes, that would be good. I don't expect you to give me property just because I'm asking. I know I have to earn it.
    Tue, Oct 12th 2021 12:07

    I see.   And so when you envision a life with the Mordena, what do you see? What do you believe that would entail for you personally?   And are there any questions you have for me regarding this? I can't guarantee I can answer them, but I want to be certain you understand what you're asking to sign up for.
    Tue, Oct 12th 2021 07:35   Edited on Tue, Oct 12th 2021 09:06

    I'm interested in training as a healer so I imagine I'd have to deal with the aftermath of many dangerous situations and it would mean to travel a lot and also be in danger myself.
    Tue, Oct 12th 2021 09:34

    And how do you feel about that? Traveling to wherever we decided to send you, doing your best to ensure you and your team survive whatever challenges you're faced with in the process?   I will remind you, we are mercenaries. We take on a wide variety of jobs for a wide variety of clients and idealogies. You may not agree with all of them.
    Wed, Oct 13th 2021 12:42

    I know that and I assure you I'll always do what is needed for the survival of my team. I value my loyalty above all. And If I give it to you I can deal with the variety of clients and ideologies.
    Wed, Oct 13th 2021 02:34

    Fair enough. 😉   I do have to ask, what does being a member of the Mordena mean to you? What do you think of when you imagine it?   I don't mean the work, or the missions, or the task-assigned teams. I mean the everyday.
    Thu, Oct 14th 2021 02:14

    I must confess I haven't think about it. Now that you ask I imagine everyday life with the Mordena involves sharing moments and trading tricks to stay alive with my teammates.
    Thu, Oct 14th 2021 02:33

    *Timm shakes his head* "Not exactly." *Folding his hands on the desk in front of him.* "Is that how you stay alive now? Trading trinkets?"
    Thu, Oct 14th 2021 11:53

    *Mel smirks and mimics Timm's posture* "It depends on the trinket, and the people involved in the trading. But I did more than that to survive the Hydell Order and the devastation they brought upon my family."
    Fri, Oct 15th 2021 12:02

    *Timm leans forward.* "Tell me."
    Fri, Oct 15th 2021 11:54

    *Mel sits straight and looks at Tim meeting his eyes* "My parents made me promised I will survive, they didn't ask for revenge nor payback. I used my powers to deceive and get what I needed. I twisted my words to get passages where others couldn't. I tainted my hands with blood despite my wish to be a healer. I had no mercy for whoever didn't deserve any mercy. I helped people when I could but I also took something away if I needed it. All of it to get here. Is that enough? What more do you need to know?" Mel relaxes their posture and leans forward again. " I'm not interested in revenge. I want to serve the Mordena because I believe I could be useful to you and make a new life here"
    Sat, Oct 16th 2021 02:54

    *Timm nods understanding* "We all do what we must to survive. The universe is a dangerous place, especially these days. The hard part is making sure you can live with your decisions afterward, but it sounds like you worked that out well enough for yourself. More power to you." *Makes noted in his data pad.*   "Do you have any questions for me? About the Mordena, or anything else?"
    Sat, Oct 16th 2021 10:00

    *Mel settles comfortably in front of Tim. They notice his calm demeanour* "When and where do I start my training? And who is going to train me?"
    Sun, Oct 17th 2021 03:58

    *Timm laughs.* "Now hold on a minute. We're still working to determine whether or not you're a good fit for our organization. Your eagerness is admirable, certainly, but enthusiasm alone isn't really enough."   *He frowns, poking again at the data pad, before folding his hands in front of him, watching Mel carefully.* "I'll be honest, it feels like you're just telling me what you think I want to hear. But I'm trying to learn about the real you, why you do the things you do."   *He thinks for a moment.* "Why do you want to be a healer?"
    Mon, Oct 18th 2021 12:55

    *Mel shrinks in place and looks down. Not a hard feat since they are quite small.* "I'm sorry if I'm being too eager. I'll be honest with you in return. I wish to be a healer because since I was a little kid I've been a witness of too much pain around our sector and I could feel others' pain as my own. At that time I was sure I wanted to be on the good side. After what happened with my family and everything I had to do to survive I realized a few things: nothing is black and white, I can cause pain to others if that means surviving another day, but I still want to help, my motivation is still healing. But I'm not that naive anymore. That's why I thought I could have a place with the Mordena."
    Mon, Oct 18th 2021 03:22

    "Thank you for being honest with me, Mel. I know it's not easy to trust a stranger, especially after what you've been through. I'm just trying to learn–"   *Timm is interrupted by a knock, the door opening to reveal a stern hook-nosed officer wearing the standard Mordena black. The two converse in Morjakk for a moment before Timm turns back to Mel apologetically.*   "I'm so sorry, something has come up that requires my immediate attention. This shouldn't take long. Hopefully."   *He slips out the door, leaving his data pad behind on the table. The officer gives Mel a polite nod of acknowledgement before closing the door, leaving Mel alone in the room.*
    Mon, Oct 18th 2021 11:48

    *Mel stays in the chair. They know snooping around the office or the tempting datapad is not going to win them any points to get accepted into the Mordena. They hope the anxiety Timm felt was only for the interruption and not because there is a threat coming for all of them. They are not trained to help yet. Maybe they could survive. But Mel is tired of just surviving. Mel wants to belong somewhere again.*
    There's a commotion outside, muffled voices and the sound of many footsteps. Another knock on the door, the same officer from before entering to retrieve Timm's data pad and motioning Mel to the hallway.   "Let's go." The words are calm, almost out of place against the bustle now clearly visible through the doorway as Embassy staffers shuffle past with personal belongings and assorted other important looking items.
    Tue, Oct 19th 2021 10:13

    Mel follows the officer and curses their bad luck. There is a threat. They take a chance. "Commander? Where are we going? There is something I can do to help?"
    "Doubt it." The officer shrugs, directing Mel to exit the room and follow the bustling traffic in the hallway. "My orders are to ensure you evacuate with the others."   The activity continues in the hallway with a calm urgency, accompanied by the sound of hushed conversations in an unrecognizable language, and a small child crying.
    Wed, Oct 20th 2021 12:11

    Mel can't evacuate if there is a small child in distress. They have seen too many kids in pain... "Commander, with all due respect, you don't know what I'm capable of doing. I can hear and feel a kid crying, and they are scared. I won't go anywhere until I make sure they are safe." Mel uses their empath abilities to locate the kid and starts walking with a quick step in that direction without waiting for a response.
    "My orders are to get you to safety," the officer growls as he follows Mel down the hallway, weaving against the current of the evacuating personnel... but he makes no efforts to stop Mel.   The crying is originating from an office near the end of the hall, where a young girl sits on the floor in the dark clutching a small picture frame to her chest.   "We need to leave," the officer reiterates, crossing his arms across his chest as he watches Mel.
    Wed, Oct 20th 2021 10:20

    Mel knows the officer won't stop them. He looks that he could yank both them and the girl out of there, but he won't do that until it gets dangerous. Mel approaches the young girl and sits slowly on the floor, facing the girl but not too close. Their round features and small figure were always a source of trust for kids. Also, Mel has a soft spot for them. "Hi, my name is Mel. What's your name?"
    The little girl sniffs, looking uncertainly at the officer behind Mel before gracing Mel with a tentative smile. "Lisa."
    Thu, Oct 21st 2021 01:51

    Mel smiles back and settles more comfortable like they have all the time in the world. Then they look at the officer. "Feel free to introduce yourself. " Mel winks at him. Then they focus back on Lisa. "I see you are taking care of something important" Mel points at the small picture frame. "Do you want to show me what it is? it's okay if you don't want to."
    "It's Mommy." Lisa spins the picture frame around, revealing a photo of a younger Lisa held by a smiling brunette woman. "She said she had to go back. She said to wait for her."   The officer steps into the room, scowling at Mel as he uncrosses his arms. "We don't have time for this." He kneels in front of the girl, his voice softer as he holds out his arms. "It's time to go, Lisa."   She complies, allowing him to pick her up as she clutches the frame tighter. "But what about Mommy?"
    Thu, Oct 21st 2021 12:17

    Mel wants to think that no one is left behind in the Mordena and Lisa's mother was evacuated too, but something feels off. "Lisa, what's Mommy's name? Do you know where she had to go back?" Mel makes an effort to find the source of frustration revealing itself.
    Lisa's brows furrow as she thinks, her face turning super serious. "Miss Tally told Mommy someone needed help... And Miss Tally works in the kitchen." She looks at Melu, her face hopeful. "So... Maybe the kitchen?"   The officer sighs, shaking his head. "You're going to make me escort you to the kitchen next, aren't you? I need to get you out of here."
    Thu, Oct 21st 2021 03:17

    Mel looks at the officer with their best pleading face and says "We need to check the chicken. If we hurry we'll be out here very soon." Mel walks away following their powers. They know the officer will help Lisa.
    Noting Mel already resolutely heading to the kitchen, the officer flags down a straggler, meeting her halfway to thrust Lisa into her arms. "Get her out of here with the others."   "Did I do good?" Lisa asks as her new caretaker nods acceptance of the order.   "Yes," the officer assures. "You did good."   Rushing after Mel, he arrives just in time to view them entering the large industrial kitchen, its shelves well stocked with food and equipment. Tally and Lisa's mother are hard at work attempting to pry open an industrial sized freezer, its door heavily dented inward, likely caused by the bulky cabinet laying on its side beside the freezer, its contents strewn across the floor. The sound of pounding emits from inside.
    Thu, Oct 21st 2021 08:55

    Mel wonders if this accident is connected to the reason everyone evacuated the embassy. It likely is. But the immediate problem to fix is to get out the person inside the damn freezer. Mel approaches Miss Tally and Lisa's mother. "Who is inside, and how can I help you to get them out?"
    "I'm so sorry, Lori and I were just getting organized to make dinner when the evacuation alert went out," Tally explained in a rush. "I was so startled I lost focus on my Telekinesis and sent the cabinet flying into the freezer. Seems I bent the latch and now we can't get it open."   Lisa's mother turned to greet Mel, noting the officer standing in the doorway behind them. She visibly relaxed. "Thank the Void, Ace! Was hoping you'd end up over here. Where's Lisa?"   "Gave her to Pallick." Ace's words were crisp but reassuring. "Should be up on the ship by now."   Lisa's mother nodded, grinning. "I hated leaving her alone but I couldn't leave Lori stuck. Can you get her out?"   Ace stepped into the room, face full of concern as he placed his hand against the freezer door, closing his eyes. Moments later a portal appeared in the freezer door and out stumbled an elderly woman, her hand carefully cradling a handful of flames.   "If I never get stuck in a freezer again it's too soon," she grinned, dousing the flames. "I'd rather use my Pyromancy for cooking, not keeping myself from freezing to death!" She kissed the officer on the cheek before turning to Mel. "Thank you, dear. You made the right choice."
    Fri, Oct 22nd 2021 12:27

    Mel is relieved everyone is safe without too much fuss. Mel inclines their head in respect to Lori. "My name is Mel, and I'm here to help." They turn to Ace "I think you had orders to get me out of here?"
    "Finally." With a shake of his head Ace casts another Portal, this one revealing a mass of people milling about a well-planted room, gardening implements carefully stacked and organized on rows of shelving, the far wall revealing a large window overlooking the planet below. "There's no sense heading to the official evacuation points now, I think we learned all we can here."   He fixes Mel with a stare as the others climb through the Portal into the waiting ship, it's occupants casting curious glances at Mel. "No more delays, I hope?"
    Fri, Oct 22nd 2021 05:32

    Mel smiles at the officer. "No, I'm ready to go." Mel is excited to join the others on the waiting ship.
    Ace follows Mel through the Portal, closing it behind him before turning to a subordinate. "Everyone accounted for?"   "You're the last of them," she reports, checking her data pad. "Embassy's locked up tight, full Antimagic protocols aside from our re-entry point, and–"   Acer held up his hand to pause the status update, turning to Mel with a scowl. "You disobeyed a direct order, running deeper into an Evacuation with no idea what you'd be facing. What do you have to say for yourself?"
    Fri, Oct 22nd 2021 06:21

    Mel knows they're in a bit of trouble. They have in their favour that everyone is safe, but it doesn't look good if an applicant disobeys direct orders. They stand to attention "I know what I did. But people were in danger, and they needed help. Also, you could have stopped me, but you didn't. I'm sure that with proper training, I'll handle this kind of situation much better."
    "Spoken like a healer," Ace laughs, shaking his head. "Always in the thick of it, no matter how much we try to hold them back."   "Sir," the officer's subordinate interrupts. "I do feel I need to inform you that not all of the confidential files were removed."   "That's my fault," Lisa's mother adds sheepishly, bouncing a rather pleased Lisa on her hip. "I was setting up for that test you'd requested for your Applicant, hadn't grabbed all my files yet. Then when Tally told me Lori was stuck in the freezer..."   Ace sighs, rubbing the bridge of his nose, currently ignoring Mel. "You know this means we'll have to run another one. I wish you'd all take these evacuation drills more seriously. And you should have called for help. What would you have done if our Munokkael," he motions to Mel, "had decided to evacuate with the rest?"   "Sorry, Sweetheart. I know you're just trying to keep us all safe." Lisa's mother offers an apologetic smile before offering the young child to Ace. "Could you take her for a moment? My arms are killing me."   "Daddy!" Lisa wraps her arms around Ace's neck, snuggling into her shoulder. "Did I do good pretending Daddy? I tried to look really upset."   He tousels her hair. "You did good, Muffin."   "Yay!" Lisa casts a shy eye at Mel. "I like them. Do they get to stay?"
    Fri, Oct 22nd 2021 07:15

    Mel starts laughing. They got one word directed at them but they don't know what it means. "Your dad called me Munokkael. Maybe I have a chance?" Mel looks at Ace with hope.
    "Daddy has to go back to work now, Muffin okay?"   Ace gently kisses the top of Lisa's head and she nods, allowing him to place her gently on the ground.   "Alright, everyone, back to the Embassy," he orders, the room erupting again in a flurry of activity as one of the other mages opens a Portal back to Baden.   "Not you, Munokkael." This last directive is addressed to Mel as Ace motions to the door, the enlisted beside it shifting positioning to allow passage. "Your interview is over. Follow me." He pauses, his voice stern. "For real, this time."
    Fri, Oct 22nd 2021 08:56

    Mel feels anticipation growing in their chest "Yes, sir." They follow Ace through the door.
    Fri, Oct 22nd 2021 09:04   Edited on Fri, Oct 22nd 2021 09:08

    "I'm sorry for all the subterfuge," Ace continues, setting an easy pace as he glances sideways at Mel. "Not everyone is a good fit. And not everyone truly has our best intentions in mind when they apply. We have to be certain, so we set a little test, in this case to see if you'd put the needs of others before your own safety, even at the risk of your acceptance." He laughs. "Not that it went exactly to plan. Working with civilians is a lot like herding fylox! Just with less biting."   He pauses, turning to Mel with a quizzical gaze. "Although I do have to ask, if you want to be a healer, why all the questions to the Grand Navarch about Necromancy?"
    Sat, Oct 23rd 2021 12:07

    Mel looks down sheepishly "I understand the need for a test. Your kid is great. She did her part very well." Mel pauses for a second until they blurt out: "I wanted to get his attention. I thought asking about Necromancy was the way to do it." They look at Ace again " Being part of the Mordena was my goal. When I heard the Grand Navarch was answering questions I knew it was my opportunity."
    Ace laughs. "A lot of people make that mistake. Catching his attention is certainly one way to join... If you like to do things the hard way."   He resumes walking, motioning for Mel to follow. "I could portal us to where we're going, but I thought we'd walk. Give you a chance to ask questions." He offers Mel an easy going grin. "I'm sure you have questions for me."
    Sat, Oct 23rd 2021 04:30

    Mel relaxes again. "I have a lot of questions! Where are we going? Who is going to be my trainer? When I'll get my first assignment? There is food where are we going? I'm a bit hungry."
    "Where you are going," Ace corrects with an apologetic smile. "I, unfortunately, am needed back at the Embassy. Someone needs to look out for the civilians, they get in a lot of trouble when left on their own." He winks. "I'm sure we'll meet again, once you're far enough in your training."   His tone grows thoughtful. "As to who will be training you... Not sure what healers are accepting apprentices right now, but since you don't exactly have combat experience you'll likely be going through our basic training first. While healers almost always have a team to rely upon for defense, you'll also need to know Shielding and other basic self-defense techniques. Your team needs to know they can rely on you to help keep yourself - and them - safe in most situations."   He furrowed his brows. "You'll want to ask for Razick Kane for that, if you want to learn from the best. She'll challenge you to your limits, but you'll be well prepared for anything by the time she's done. And as long as you show you're giving her your best, she's actually quite fun. You'll see."   Ace's eyes were dancing with glee by this point. "As for where you're going, I think I'll leave that a surprise. But I'm supposed to ask what you'd like to eat, so they can have it ready for your arrival."
    Sat, Oct 23rd 2021 06:25

    Mel is happy. They were accepted! And now the real work is about to begin. But they are a bit disappointed Commander Acer won't be going with them. "Thank you, sir, for your advice. I'll do my best and I hope we meet again soon." Mel stomach grumbles. "Something sweet will be great."
    "They're going to load you up with fruit if that's your only requirement," Acer warns. His voice turns thoughtful. "It's really good fruit, though. Maybe you could ask them to send more my way, while you're there."
    Sun, Oct 24th 2021 12:02

    Mel smiles. "I was thinking more like a cake. But fruit is good too. I'll tell them to send more to the Embassy." Mel looks down and whispers. "This is it, right? I'm finally home?"
    Sun, Oct 24th 2021 01:11   Edited on Sun, Oct 24th 2021 01:14

    "There's some formalities to go through, before you're fully recognized. You'll have to eat something on Janikk, to link you to the planet. And then after that we can do the telepathic procedure that will teach you to speak Morjakk." Ace stops before one of the many doors along the corridor, placing his hands on Mel's shoulders. "But yeah, you're going home."   He types in a code and the door opens, revealing a generously sized hanger full of an assortment of smaller spacecraft. A sleek black fighter with red-lined leading edges sits apart from the rest, its imposing lines soaking up the jarringly bright lights of the hanger and giving little back. This must be one of the famed Mordena Blades, organic living fighters bearing the souls of fallen pilots.   Ace makes a beeline for the Blade, urging Mel to follow.   "Guess I just gave away where you're going, didn't I?" Ace frowns sheepishly. "Sorry. Cal was looking forward to surprising you."
    Mon, Oct 25th 2021 11:19

    Mel feels the urge to hug the commander but that would be inappropriate . They settle for a nod. "I'll make you proud." They said, and move towards the Blade.
    Tue, Oct 26th 2021 02:35   Edited on Tue, Oct 26th 2021 02:36

    "Commander Mazzard, for someone with covert ops training you are remarkably terrible at keeping secrets." The voice reverberating from the Blade's cockpit carries hurt and indignation.   "I know, I know, I'm sorry. I get a little too excited with the new recruits." Ace hangs his head, but he's smiling. "Mel, meet Lieutenant Cal Barthik. Cal, our Munokkael, Mel Rahna."   "The pleasure is mine," Cal hums, and he clearly means it. "Can't wait to stretch my wings back home again. Ace says you need a ride to Janikk."
    Tue, Oct 26th 2021 11:56

    Mel feels at ease for the first time in a very long time. They can't help but relish the positive feelings from both the Commander and Cal. "' Lieutenant, I'm sorry we ruined the surprise about where are you taking me, but I'm sure you'll find another way to surprise me." Mel approaches the cockpit and asks them "Shall we?"
    Wed, Oct 27th 2021 12:14

    Ace salutes as Mel climbs into Cal's cockpit, the windshield sliding closed in one smooth motion. "Safe travels! Until we meet again." He watches as the Blade pulls out of the hangar before casting his own Portal back to the Embassy.   Cal humms happily as he casts a Portal on himself, his engines propelling him through to a new system, this one containing a single blue-tinted star and no visible planets. "So good to be back in the open. It's stifling hot in that ship, give me the comfortable cold of space any day."   He adjusts his trajectory into a smooth orbit around the star. "Will have to make a few hops, Janikk is a bit far for a single Portal." His thoughts turn mischievous. "Have you ever flown in a fighter before?"
    Wed, Oct 27th 2021 12:29

    Mel wants to know everything about Cal. They feel comfortable whit him. "No, I haven't. I look forward to enjoying the flight and your company." Mel is filled with childish glee " How many hops until we arrive on Janikk? Do you have time to show me what you're capable of?"
    Wed, Oct 27th 2021 03:08

    "Could probably make it in three," Cal admitted. "But why rush? We're both having fun. Nobody told me a deadline." He rolls slowly, the stars outside spinning in Mel's view from the cockpit. "Anything in particular you want to do? Or is it fighter's choice today?"
    Wed, Oct 27th 2021 08:54

    Mel makes an effort to not bounce of excitement, but fails. "Your choice! I trust you know how to have fun."
    Wed, Oct 27th 2021 09:08

    "Well, I'd better live up to the expectations now." If Cal had a face he'd probably be grinning. "But I know a place."   Another Portal opened before them, Cal quietly sailing through to emerge in another silent system, this one bearing several darkened planets and a rather thick asteroid belt. "Nothing of interest here so most just leave it alone. I like to come here for target practice, when I can sneak away."   A gentle query brushes against the back of Mel's mind.   "Want to feel what it's like?"
    Wed, Oct 27th 2021 11:05

    Mel looks at the asteroid belt and they know there is only one answer. They are as eager as the fighter. Maybe more because this is something they never did. "Yes!"
    Thu, Oct 28th 2021 01:57

    The link solidifies, Mel and Cal's magic now merged into one, the experience of Cal's casting clear within Mel's mind. A wealth of information assaults Mel's senses: telemetric data of their surroundings, the Telekinetic adjustments of the fighter's engines, the Anemancy adjusting the airflow and air compositions within the cockpit, the thickly reinforced Shielding encircling them, and even Cal's readings of their own emotions.   "Here we go!" The fighter accelerates towards the asteroid field, pushing Mel deeper into the seat from the acceleration, and then suddenly they were in the thick of it, the fighter dodging and weaving between the drifting rocks, twisting and shifting, expertly redirecting their momentum to dance through the asteroid belt unscathed.   "Don't ever tell me I don't know how to show my guests a good time," Cal sings, deftly weaving through a particularly tight opening between rocks while somehow maintaining his breathtaking speed. "Although if this isn't exciting enough for you, feel free to fire up the cannons."   Mel feels Cal warming up the main cannons through their link, the fighter already anticipating the added efforts of dodging random shrapnel should Mel activate them.
    Thu, Oct 28th 2021 12:33

    Mel feels overwhelmed for a moment until they let Cal's exhilaration flow through them. They immerse themselves fully in the joy of the speed and the dance between rocks. "I won't ever tell that! I'll make sure every new recruit wants to have a ride with you! But why settle for this if we can have more fun?" Mel activates the cannons and shots at the first big rock they see.
    Thu, Oct 28th 2021 01:49

    Cal immediately shifts into serious concentration, his telemetric sensors not only tracking the new debris but also its potential trajectories. Allowing his Shielding to handle the smaller fragments, he dodges through the cloud and the larger chunks of rock with a smug confidence. "More?" he offers, spinning through a tight curve, the rough surface of an asteroid spinning almost close enough to touch.
    Thu, Oct 28th 2021 09:30

    Mel yelps from the excitement and laughs out loud. "You're brilliant, Cal!. This is the best ride I've had in my life." Mel hopes whoever is waiting for them on Janikk is at least half as fun as Cal is. They shot at another big rock.
    Thu, Oct 28th 2021 10:04   Edited on Thu, Oct 28th 2021 10:04

    .

    Cal dodges this debris expertly, too, the agile fighter proving his reflexes once again as he navigates the new obstacles. "It's a good day to be alive," he hums happily to Mel, twisting and spinning through the asteroids.   A signal pops into the edge of his awareness, the words unclear as they compete with interference from the system's star, the sender clearly panicked.   Cal pauses his flight to instead perch upon the dark side of one of the larger asteroids, blending into the black of space as he pushes the message across his Apotheturgic link with Mel, his voice shining concern.   "Seems to be a distress signal, on the other side of this system. Should we check it out?"
    Thu, Oct 28th 2021 10:11

    Mel remembers Commander Acer's words Spoken like a healer... They don't hesitate. "Of course we should."
    Fri, Oct 29th 2021 04:08

    Cal slowly weaves through the asteroid belt, careful to keep to the shadows as he reposition himself closer to the signal.   "...repeat...attack, we are...repeat...under..."   Finally the originator of the distress signal comes into range of Cal's Telemetry, the readings displaying in Cal's and Mel's minds simultaneously across their link.   Cal curses under his breath. "Sparnell."   A large freighter, clearly marked as property of the Sparnell Confederation, has found itself the target of a small Hydell Order carrier group. The freighter is in trouble, one of its Telekinetic engines already drifting in pieces across the system, a large hole leaking atmosphere at the front of the ship as several Shielding mages attempt to patch it without weakening their efforts to defend against their assailants.   "They haven't spotted us yet. Easiest thing would be to leave, let them fight it out. I'm supposed to get you to Janikk, and Timm'll be angry if you end up in more than one piece in the process." Cal pauses. "But there could be civilians in there. Impossible to tell anymore. Used to be the military ones were better defended but sometimes that's just a trick."   He lands on the back of an asteroid, pondering. "My mission is about you, so I suppose in a way you're in charge, right? So what do you want me to do?"
    Fri, Oct 29th 2021 03:43

    "I joined the Mordena because the Hydell Order destroyed all I loved. If I'm in charge I want to help to kick their ass and rescue the civilians. Get us there, Cal." Mel feels the need to assure Cal in some way. "I can't pass the opportunity to fight if I have you by my side. "
    Fri, Oct 29th 2021 03:59

    Cal pauses, thinking. "Alright," he says at last. "But I'm just one fighter, so we'll be outnumbered. I'm going to put out a call for help to the armada before we join in. Hopefully someone's close by."   Cal concentrates his thoughts on the battle before them, his emotions spiking briefly into thoughts of danger before he settles again.   "Okay. This will be a lot different than asteroids. People think and react and have emotions. One of the things you'll learn as an empath is to use those emotions to predict what they do next." He concentrates his own magic, widening his Psychometric field to include the the battle before them. "I know the spells already, so you'll be able to feel what that's like. To be at our best I'll be focusing on our defenses, so you're in charge of the cannons. Can you do that?"
    Fri, Oct 29th 2021 08:53   Edited on Sat, Oct 30th 2021 12:21

    "Yes" Mel's never been in a battle, but after they lost everything, Mel learned to use their magic to keep surviving. That meant sorting through others' emotions and focusing on what mattered the most: sometimes it was barging with someone, lying or finding their rival's weakest points. They can do this. Mel searches for one emotion: satisfaction. They do not have any training, but they think taking down the enemy's leader it's a good idea. They remember the satisfaction their parent's executioner felt when... That's enough. They are ready.
    Sat, Oct 30th 2021 02:22

    Cal launches from the asteroid field, aiming himself toward the carrier Mel selected, his flight path darting side to side to prevent the other ships from getting a lock on his positioning.   "We probably want to take out the other fighters first," he suggests kindly. "Since they're the ones doing the shooting."
    Sat, Oct 30th 2021 09:49

    Mel trusts Cal because he is the one with battle experience after all. "Alright, Lieutenant! I'll shoot at them first." Mel hopes their aim is good enough.
    Sun, Oct 31st 2021 02:46

    Cal drops closer to the carrier, riding the ship's curves to limit his opponent's vectors for shooting at him. Catching the two fighters dropping in behind him he spins, the Telekinetic drives ensuring the maneuver is quick and easy, the fighter still riding his former momentum to drive backwards along the carrier.   He lined up a shot for Mel on the tailing aircraft.
    Sun, Oct 31st 2021 02:30

    Mel knows they are outnumbered but if they manage to attract the attention of the fighters on them, maybe the Sparnell's freighter has a chance to escape. After that, well. Mel shoots at the aircraft following them.
    Sun, Oct 31st 2021 05:32

    "Nice shot!" Cal cheered as the targeted fighter spun away in pieces, slamming against a second in the process.   "Let me get you another." Cal was back in his element now, even as their effort caught more attention from the Order fighters.
    Sun, Oct 31st 2021 08:21

    "Bring them on, Lieutenant!" Mel is ready to take down more of them. They keep focusing on the enemy's feelings. Mel can't risk getting lost in the fear, anger and sorrow coming from the Sparnell's freighter under attack.
    Mon, Nov 1st 2021 04:48

    Cal bolstered his Shielding as he caught the attention of several more of the Order fighters, three pulling in behind them to take pot shots at his engines.   "I'll have a trio for you in a second!" Cal warned his passenger, already pulling on his Illusion Magic to mask himself as he slowed while his phantom twin sped straight ahead.   The enemy fighters took the bait, zooming straight past them. "Now!"
    Mon, Nov 1st 2021 10:41

    Mel shots at their target again. They relish the confusion from the enemy's fighters. If only they could give more time to the freighter. "Tell me when we can take down the leader, Lieutenant!"
    Tue, Nov 2nd 2021 11:47

    Cal watched as two of the fighters exploded, a direct hit. His copilot had missed the third, but it's flight path to avoid the shot brought it within the debris field of its companions, one of the larger chunks of former fighter incapacitating it. Good.   "We're a little outnumbered here," Cal explained, voice straining slightly as he undertook a tricky maneuver to break the lock of another of the Order's fighters. "Unfortunately that means we're stuck mostly shooting at the things shooting at us."   He pulled on his magic again, setting up an illusion of several fighters joining into the fray. He watched several enemy fighters break off before lining up a strafing run on the carrier. "I can't hold this for long but let's see what we can do. Fire away."
    Tue, Nov 2nd 2021 12:06

    "Then I'll keep shooting." Mel fires the cannon and tries very hard not to think about what would happen if the enemy fighters notice the illusion. Will the Armada come to help them?
    Tue, Nov 2nd 2021 01:33

    With his concentration drawn by his efforts against the carrier, Cal's Illusion dissolves, leading the fighters' attentions back to him and Mel. "I'm going to try something. Remember what you were doing before? With the asteroid belt?"   He spins to his left, ducking under the carrier to trace a path against its contours. "I doubt they have the practice I do with navigating here."
    Tue, Nov 2nd 2021 08:58

    Mel grins devilishly. "I do remember. Should I shoot and make some debris?"
    Wed, Nov 3rd 2021 03:37   Edited on Wed, Nov 3rd 2021 03:38

    "You know it!" Cal's joy carried through his words as he made his way toward the asteroids. He purposely adjusted his movements in an effort to appear an easy kill looking for a place to hide.   Several of the fighters broke away from the main fight to pursue, Cal successfully evading their efforts until he slipped within the asteroid belt.
    Wed, Nov 3rd 2021 12:17

    Mel is amazed at Cal's movements. But they can't get distracted from the task at hand. They have to be prepared to shoot when Cal gives them the order. "I'm ready, Lieutenant!"
    Wed, Nov 3rd 2021 06:38

    Cal waited until his Telemetry showed their pursuers entering the asteroid field. "Now!"
    Wed, Nov 3rd 2021 10:08

    Mel obeys Cal's command and they shoot. They hope their aim is still good.
    Fri, Nov 5th 2021 11:53

    Cal dodges and spins through the debris, several smaller pieces of floating rock scattering across his Shielding. The fighters in pursuit successfully evade as well, sticking tightly on their tail.   "I'm going to try an Illusion on the next one," Cal announces, darting behind a large asteroid to break line of sight with their pursuers. "Make me some really big rock chunks."
    Sat, Nov 6th 2021 12:00

    Mel knows they have to obey Cal's order. They also remember Cal told them to use their empath powers to predict others' decisions and movements. Let's hope the big rock chunks help with that. "You got it, Lieutenant!" Mel shots at the asteroid.
    Sat, Nov 6th 2021 02:45

    Cal casts his Illusion Magic, hiding Mel's newly created asteroid chunks from their pursuers, even as he darts between them. Several of the Order fighters crash into the rocks, spinning away into each other and the larger asteroids.   But Cal and Mel are still very much outnumbered. "Any suggestions?"
    Sun, Nov 7th 2021 04:16

    "Bigger rocks and the effect of surprise." Mel hopes Cal has a trick he hasn't shared yet. "Can we make them shoot at each other instead of us?"
    Mon, Nov 8th 2021 03:06

    "Oooh, I like you," Cal crooned. "I think I could. Would take some finangling, but..." He searched his memory from the current fight. "Yes. I think I can disguise us as one of them and disguise several of them as one of us. It won't last long, but hopefully it will be long enough."   His voice turned mischievous. "I'm going to need yto make us another distraction."
    Tue, Nov 9th 2021 12:52

    Mel feels a surge of hope again. Maybe they have a chance. "Of course, Lieutenant! I'm getting good at making distractions. Tell me when you're ready"
    Wed, Nov 10th 2021 04:20

    Cal darted behind another asteroid, spinning around confront their pursuers head in. Several of the fighters immediately on their tail followed suit.   "Now!"
    Thu, Nov 11th 2021 12:37

    Mel shoots at the biggest asteroid they see.
    Thu, Nov 11th 2021 04:54

    Using the debris as cover, Cal quickly taps into his Illusion Magic to disguise himself as one of the attacking Order fighters, shifting the Order fighters behind them into the appearance of Blades at the same time. He spins around, targeting these unfortunate fighters, and watching the Order ships do the same.
    Thu, Nov 11th 2021 12:49

    "You did it!!" Mel is amazed at Cal's power. "They are getting desperate!! We must take them down while we can." Mel shots at their target.
    Sat, Nov 13th 2021 01:29

    Mel's shots hit home, combining with those of the Order fighters behind them. Two of the fighters under Cal's Illusion spell burst into a cascade of sparks and fire, breaking the Illusion and causing the other fighters to turn their attentions to Cal and Mel with a renewed fury.   "Well, that was fun!" Cal announced, accelerating. "Not sure it will work again though. Any other ideas?"
    Sat, Nov 13th 2021 02:06

    "It was!" Mel's eyes shine watching the fighters burn. "Keep playing with them until they make a mistake. Can you use Illusion to confuse them even more? There is something scarier than a Blade?"
    Sat, Nov 13th 2021 02:40

    "The rest of the armada," Cal laughed, darting between asteroids. "Or even just one ship, if it also has Blades."   As if on cue, a medium sized capital ship in Mordena black and red appeared on Cal's Telemetry, a small array of fighters spilling from its sides.
    Sun, Nov 14th 2021 04:06

    Mel is stunned at the revelation "They are here! Now we have a better chance to help the carrier!"
    Sun, Nov 14th 2021 06:45

    "Cal..." The voice from the new arrival is thick with authority. "What have we told you about escorting the Munokkael to Janikk?"   "Sorry, Ma'am." Cal's tone is appropriately sheepish as he darts from the asteroid field to join the fray. "Can we at least finish the battle first?"   The speaker sighs. "What are we ever going to do with you?"
    Sun, Nov 14th 2021 10:28

    "Cal, are you going to be in trouble? We can tell her it was my decision to come here. After we survive the battle." Mel prepares to keep shooting at the enemies and hopes they didn't mess up their opportunity to join the Mordena.
    Sun, Nov 14th 2021 10:47

    "No more than any other day," Cal laughed, lining up a strafing run against the Order carrier. "I'll be fine."
    Mon, Nov 15th 2021 11:22

    "I guess we should obey orders now that we are no longer fighting alone. Also, I was out of ideas."
    Tue, Nov 16th 2021 04:10

    "They haven't formally recalled me yet," Cal pointed out. "So... We can finally go after that carrier."
    Tue, Nov 16th 2021 12:51

    Mel lights up with renewed energy. "Let's do it!" They get ready the cannon.
    Wed, Nov 17th 2021 03:59

    Cal accelerated toward the carrier, his fellow Blades providing cover from the Order fighters.
    Thu, Nov 18th 2021 01:12

    Mel gets ready to shoot at the carrier.
    Thu, Nov 18th 2021 01:45

    "Now!"
    Thu, Nov 18th 2021 12:45

    Mel fires the cannon.
    Thu, Nov 18th 2021 04:33

    The carrier's Shielding lit up from the peppering of cannon shots, several of the Blades joining in while the others flew cover, some delicate looking equipment exploding satisfyingly as the attentions overwhelmed the shielda. Cal darted to the side as the main guns of the Mordena capital ship joined in on targeting the Order vessel, spinning to line up a shot against a pair of fighters. "I found some new friends for you to shoot at Mel!"
    Fri, Nov 19th 2021 12:32

    "You know, I didn't expect this for my first day with the Mordena. But I'm glad we answered the call." Mel shoots at the fighters and they enjoy seeing them blow up and Cal's fun feelings.
    Sun, Nov 21st 2021 03:11

    "Me too." Cal spins to dodge several Order fighters, his Shielding absorbing their fire as he ducked down to follow the contours of the carrier. "Let's see if we can help cause more damage here. Time to let loose with those cannons again."
    Mon, Nov 22nd 2021 12:42

    "You got it, Cal!" Mel keeps shooting at the carrier.
    Tue, Nov 23rd 2021 09:22

    Combined with the efforts of the Mordena's capital ship and the other fighters, the Order carrier begins to show signs of severe damage, their fighters completely abandoning efforts against the Sparnell freighter.   "Take that!" Cal calls.
    Wed, Nov 24th 2021 12:06

    "We have them, Cal! I think we should give them a little bit more trouble and finish this battle. I want to see Janikk. Any ideas?"
    Wed, Nov 24th 2021 04:19

    The Blade twists his flight path in thought. "Hmm... What we could do–"   "Cal!" It's the authoritative voice again. "You've caused enough trouble for one day. Get your wings back here. Hangar. Now."   "Yes, Ma'am." Cal sighs. "Looks like we can land in the hangar and maybe the Captain will let me fly another day." He doesn't sound too concerned about that last point.
    Thu, Nov 25th 2021 12:24

    "I guess we already had our fun. Cal, I want to ask you something. How often do you get in these kinds of troubles with your passengers?" Mel is amused and adrenaline still high from the battle.
    Thu, Nov 25th 2021 06:29   Edited on Thu, Nov 25th 2021 06:30

    "I have a reputation."
    Fri, Nov 26th 2021 12:28

    Mel laughs out loud and fakes a pout "Oh, here I was thinking we had something special." They hope they can fly with Cal again someday, even if they will be a healer.
    Fri, Nov 26th 2021 03:07   Edited on Fri, Nov 26th 2021 11:21

    "We don't have a contract with you." The communication comes over the public channels this time, the speaker aloof and dismissive. "We will not be paying for this."   "This is an internal matter, and does not concern you," the authoritative voice from the Mordena ship responds.   "Just so we understand each other."   The Confederation freighter shimmers and fades from existence, the attention from the Order carrier no longer sufficient to hold it to the mortal plane.   "Typical Sparnell. Not even a thank you," Cal snorts, aligning himself with the hangar.
    Sat, Nov 27th 2021 08:19

    "Cal, what is going to happen now? Are you going to take me to Janikk?"
    Sat, Nov 27th 2021 09:19   Edited on Sat, Nov 27th 2021 09:20

    Cal settles into a space within the Mordena carrier, a stern canid already rapidly approaching them. "You're going to Janikk. But I think my escort privileges have been revoked."
    Sat, Nov 27th 2021 09:33

    Mel laughs "That's a shame. I was having fun."
    Sat, Nov 27th 2021 10:38

    "Cal..." the newcomer scolded. "You were supposed to bring Mel straight to the Embassy. You want to do personal tours, there's time for that later."   "I was having fun, too," Cal whispered, before addressing the canid officer before them. "Just trying to stay in shape, sir."   "By taking on the Order, all by yourself?"   "I'm not by myself, I'm with Mel!"
    Sun, Nov 28th 2021 10:15

    Mel smiles at the officer "Sir, I'm sorry for distracting Cal from his duties."
    Mon, Nov 29th 2021 12:04

    "Oh trust me." He crosses his arms, sending a pointed glare at the Blade. "You aren't the one responsible for the distraction."   Cal's wings rippled in the light from the hangar as he opened his cockpit. "You wouldn't have it any other way, Max."   "Commander Max Coilin," Max grinned, offering his hand to Mel to help them down. "I have the distinct displeasure of being this Blade's Dancer. Don't think this conversation is over, Cal."
    Mon, Nov 29th 2021 12:37

    Mel takes the offered hand and leaves the cockpit. "Goodbye, Cal. I hope I see you soon for another tour."
    Mon, Nov 29th 2021 09:17

    "Me too!" Cal lowers his wing slightly to help Mel jump to the hangar floor. "Haven't had this much fun all week."
    Wed, Dec 1st 2021 10:13

    Mel stands in front of the officer "Lieutenant Coilin, it's a pleasure to meet you. Are we going to Janikk? I'm ready."
    Thu, Dec 2nd 2021 12:46

    Max keeps his attention on Cal for the moment. "You good for the jump?"   "I'll manage," Cal laughs. "Go."   Nodding, Max turns to Mel. "Have you ever Hyperjumped before?"
    Thu, Dec 2nd 2021 12:50

    "No, I haven't. I trust you'll give me the needed instructions?"
    Thu, Dec 2nd 2021 07:31

    "Better," Max grinned, motioning for Mel to follow him to the edge of the hangar. "I'll strap you in myself, make sure you don't get left behind."
    Fri, Dec 3rd 2021 12:09

    "That is indeed so much better." Mel smiles at Max and follows him.
    Sun, Dec 5th 2021 01:12

    "It's pretty straightforward. Once your strapped in, it's almost like you're part of the ship." He stopped before a line of metal and fabric fixtures against the wall, carefully tugging until one folded out into a netted-bottomed seat with a five point harness attached and motioned for Mel to sit. "We'll still get you a Shielding generator too, just in case, but that's more precaution than necessity."
    Sun, Dec 5th 2021 08:39

    Mel sits and lets Max strap them to the seat "It's okay to take precautions. Do what you need to take me to Janikk. I don't want to be left behind."
    Sun, Dec 5th 2021 09:26

    "Prepare for hyperjump: thirty minutes. Jump protocols engaged." The walls shift to a deep blue to accompany the announcement.   "Looks like the battle's ended outside," Max nods, handing Mel a small gas mask shaped for a human. He shows them how to adjust their mask before donning his own, this one specially sized for the longer canid snout. He claims his own seat next to Mel, strapping in and sizing the mask before sliding it down around his neck. "We can talk until the five minute mark if you want. Did you have any questions? About anything."
    Sun, Dec 5th 2021 10:02

    ¨Hmmm... How much trouble Cal gets you into in a week?"
    Sun, Dec 5th 2021 11:20

    Max bursts out laughing. "I like you. Right for the jugular."
    Sun, Dec 5th 2021 11:47

    Mel smiles at Max "I guess 25 minutes are not enough time to answer my question."
    Mon, Dec 6th 2021 01:10   Edited on Mon, Dec 6th 2021 01:10

    Max grins wider. "Cal gets in trouble a lot. On a good day, he drags me into it, too."
    Mon, Dec 6th 2021 11:35

    "How long you've been working together? What are your powers? Who is going to teach me Shielding? When can I see Cal again?"
    Sun, Dec 12th 2021 07:18

    "I'm told you requested to become a field medic." Max pulls back his lips to reveal his teeth, eyes dancing mischief. "Cal and I are assigned to the Relentless. Not a lot of Blades on this ship, but we do have a lot of special ops teams. Last I heard you can request your own station, after training." He winks. "Just a thought."   "Prepare for hyperjump: twenty five minutes. Jump protocols engaged."
    Sun, Dec 12th 2021 07:27

    "The Relentless... I'll keep it in mind, Max. I'm sure working with you and Cal could be an interesting experience. There is any advice you want to give me before arriving at Janikk?
    Sun, Dec 12th 2021 07:43

    "Don't go wandering away from civilization on your own?" He scratches is neck thoughtfully. "At least, not until you've had more training. Janikk is wild. An untamable wild, the kind that tends to eat people who aren't looking." He grins as he turns back to Mel. "And nowhere else will ever feel like home the way Janikk does. I can't even begin to explain, nothing will do her justice. That's something you'll just have to experience yourself."
    Mon, Dec 13th 2021 12:06

    Mel puts gently their hand on Max's arm "I've been looking for a home for a long time. I'm glad I've found it and we'll share it."
    Mon, Dec 13th 2021 12:21

    "Me too!" Max grins wider. "But you asked about Shielding lessons. Do you know any Shielding at all yet? If not, I think we have just enough time for your first lesson. If you're interested."
    Mon, Dec 13th 2021 12:40

    Mel gets excited and jumps a little in their seat. "Yes! Teach me, please!"
    Mon, Dec 13th 2021 02:15   Edited on Mon, Dec 13th 2021 02:18

    "Prepare for hyperjump: twenty minutes. Jump protocols engaged."   Max's eyes close briefly. "There. Apotheturgy. Accept the link, and I'll walk you through it."
    Tue, Dec 14th 2021 11:53

    Mel closes their eyes and accepts the link.
    Wed, Dec 15th 2021 06:44

    "You should feel my magic now. And I can feel yours." He casts his own Shield, a simple casting well suited to repelling physical attacks and not much else. "We'll start with the beginning Shield. Study mine, poke it as much as you need inside and outside the link to really understand it, and then use that knowledge to cast your own."
    Thu, Dec 16th 2021 12:00

    "I could feel Cal's magic too. But in the heat of the battle, I couldn't give it too much thought" Mel explores the Shield and tries to accustom their senses and powers to the magic flowing from Max. "Okay, I'll give it a try." Mel cast their Shield.
    Thu, Dec 16th 2021 12:41

    "Not bad for a first go!" Max praises, checking over Mel's Shield. "Just a small adjustment... Here." He tugged gently on the spellwork at Mel's back, smoothing out a weak point. "The spots in the back are the easiest to overlook, but you never want to overlook them."   "Prepare for hyperjump: fifteen minutes. Jump protocols engaged."   He grinned as he worked. "In answer to your earlier question, I've been working with Cal since I joined the Mordena. He's actually been here longer than I have."
    Thu, Dec 16th 2021 10:17

    Mel pays attention to what Max is doing. "I bet you two make a great team."
    Fri, Dec 17th 2021 12:32

    "Cal saved my life. He's why I became Mordena." Max closes his eyes as he surveys Mel's Shielding. "There. Try that on for size."
    Fri, Dec 17th 2021 12:06

    Mel explores the work Max did on their Shielding. It feels great to be able to do this with Max's help. "I'm sure he is happy to have you as his commander. I can tell. I'm a telepath, you know?" Mel winks at Max.
    Fri, Dec 17th 2021 02:55

    "He wasn't going to let me be anything else. Not that I realized it at the time." Max rubs the back of his head sheepishly before winking back at Mel. "You and Cal had an adventure of your own, too. Or so I've heard."   "Prepare for hyperjump: ten minutes. Jump protocols engaged."
    Sat, Dec 18th 2021 01:28

    "We had our fun! Imagine what we could do the three of us together. I'd be there as a healer of course" Mel grins mischievously .
    Sat, Dec 18th 2021 02:40

    "Trouble." Max waves a finger in Mel's direction. "You are Trouble."
    Mon, Dec 20th 2021 09:16

    Mel feigns innocence "Me? Never!"
    Tue, Dec 21st 2021 03:42

    "First, I don't believe you. Second, if you are telling the truth then you're just going to have to learn. To be Mordena is to be Trouble."
    Tue, Dec 21st 2021 12:46

    Mel imitates Max's serious expression "Either way, I know I'm in the right place" and then starts laughing.
    Tue, Dec 21st 2021 05:25

    Max grins back. "Welcome home."   "Prepare for hyperjump: five minutes. Jump protocols engaged."   "I suppose we'd better put these on now." Max pulls up his own mask, showing Mel the proper way to strap it on for a snug fit before activating the built in locator beacon. "So Navigations can find us, just in case we do get left behind."
    Tue, Dec 21st 2021 08:33

    "I hope not! When I left the Embassy I was a bit hungry and I was promised fruits. I can't wait to try them!" Mel puts on their mask.
    Wed, Dec 22nd 2021 06:31

    The next five minutes are a blur as the preparatory flurry of activity in the hangar accelerates to tie down the last loose items before settling into a frozen calm as Navigations counts down the seconds.   "10... 9... 8... 7... 6... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... and Jump."   Reality shifts and twists around them as the ship is elevated into the Afterlife, then deposited back to the mortal plane again. Max winks at Mel, removing his mask before fiddling with the buckles on his jump seat. "Nothing to it. You did great."
    Fri, Dec 24th 2021 01:51

    Mel removes their mask and looks around "Are we home?"
    Fri, Dec 24th 2021 04:46

    Max smiles as he helps Mel out of the jump seat. "Welcome to Janikk, homeworld of the Mordena. And soon, she'll claim you as one of her children, too."
    Fri, Dec 24th 2021 12:44

    Mel smiles too. A single tear escapes their eye. "I can't wait"
    Fri, Dec 24th 2021 08:12

    "Not much longer." Max grinned, motioning for Mel to follow. "You asked when you could see Cal again? We're the ones taking you to the planet."
    Sat, Dec 25th 2021 01:06

    Mel grins wider "Oh, really? This is going to be fun!"
    Sun, Dec 26th 2021 04:00

    "Welcome back, Mel." Cal's voice is warm as he opens his cockpit, Max offering Mel a hand to climb back inside. "I don't know who's more excited. You? Or me?"
    Sun, Dec 26th 2021 11:27

    Mel accepts Max's hands as they climb back inside. They are giddy with excitement for being there with their new friends "I'm more excited because I've never been to Janikk!" Mel squeeze Max shoulder "Max, are you going to make sure Cal take me there this time?"
    Sun, Dec 26th 2021 06:35

    Max grabs a ring from behind Mel's seat, snapping it around his neck as Cal closes the cockpit. His next words transmit through speakers in Cal's instrument panel as he couches down on the base of the Blade's wing, next to the cockpit. "He knows better, but regardless, I'm coming with you."
    Sun, Dec 26th 2021 11:36

    Mel smiles "Lead the way, Commander."
    Mon, Dec 27th 2021 03:27   Edited on Mon, Dec 27th 2021 09:13

    Anchoring himself to Cal's wing with his Telekinetic boots and gloves, Max gives the okay, and then they're taxiing to the open hangar doors, the bright greens, blues, and reds of Janikk shimmering before them.
    Mon, Dec 27th 2021 11:38

    Mel is speechless. They can't wait to finally be home.
    Mon, Dec 27th 2021 09:14

    Cal makes a beeling for the planet. "Sorry, Mel. I promised I'd behave this time."
    Wed, Dec 29th 2021 11:22

    Mel is eager to arrive "Don't worry, Cal. I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunities to have fun together." They look at Max "The three of us. Right, Max?"
    Wed, Dec 29th 2021 11:45

    "After your training," Max laughs. "Or during, when we're stationed back on Janikk."   Cal rolls, still heading toward the planet. "Or now!" He accelerates.
    Wed, Dec 29th 2021 12:09

    "Now is great!" Mel giggles.
    Wed, Dec 29th 2021 04:16

    Spurred by Mel's encouragement, Cal speeds onward, the planet quickly growing to fill Max's vision. He checked his Shielding, bolstering the spell against the heat of re-entry as he grumbled from his perch on the wing. "A portal works just as well, you know."   "But not as fun!" Cal laughed back, rolling again.
    Thu, Dec 30th 2021 02:47

    Mel laughs a little. "I agree with Cal. I'm sure Max too."
    Thu, Dec 30th 2021 07:35

    And then they arrive, the thin atmosphere from space growing heavier as they descend, the Blade slowing to reduce the heat and resistance pushing against their Shielding. Pristine forests and fields and rivers and rocks lay sprawled and twisting beneath them, growing ever larger as the planetary curve of the horizon straightens before them.   "Here we are, Mel." Max's voice is thick and deep as he chokes back emotion. "Welcome home."
    Thu, Dec 30th 2021 09:59

    "I can't wait to be part of her."
    Fri, Dec 31st 2021 01:48

    Cal approaches a giant tree, growing far above its surroundings. As they grow closer it becomes apparent it is not one tree, but an entire grove, grown and twisted into a city.
    Fri, Dec 31st 2021 04:38

    Mel is in awe "What's..?"
    Sun, Jan 2nd 2022 03:34

    "Welcome to Dirkkatael, capital of Janikk," Max announces, relaxing his positioning on Calvs wing as the Blade slows for landing. "And yes. Most of our cities look like this, although this one's the biggest."
    Sun, Jan 2nd 2022 12:30

    "It's more amazing than I expected. I'm going to live here while I train?"
    Sun, Jan 2nd 2022 02:21

    "Depends on your trainer," Cal spins before lining up to land. "But traveling between cities is easy."
    Sun, Jan 2nd 2022 04:26

    Mel looks at Max. "You'll be with me? For what comes next?"
    Sun, Jan 2nd 2022 04:34

    "Of course. I wouldn't miss it!"
    Sun, Jan 2nd 2022 10:12

    "Thank you, Max. And you too, Cal. I wonder if Timm will be there too."
    Sun, Jan 2nd 2022 11:28

    "Timm's been waiting for our arrival." Max glares at Cal as he stands up, removing his helmet, before offering his hand to Mel to allow them to climb out of the Blade "Very. Patiently."
    Mon, Jan 3rd 2022 01:11

    Mel takes Max's hand. "I'm glad he's waiting for us. Cal did such a good job of delivering me here in one piece."
    Mon, Jan 3rd 2022 02:27

    "My speciality!" Cal announces, shifting his wings slightly as Max helps Mel to the ground before joining them.   "That and getting distracted," Max grumbled before laughing, pointing to one of the smaller doors on the far end of the hangar. "This way. Did they tell you how this works?"
    Mon, Jan 3rd 2022 12:10

    "Commander Acer told me I'll eat something here to link me to the planet and then a telepathic procedure. There is something else I should know?"
    Mon, Jan 3rd 2022 04:25   Edited on Tue, Jan 4th 2022 01:49

    "That's Ace. Always on top of things." Max grinned in approval before frowning, rubbing the back of his head. "About where you'll be staying... We set aside a bunk in the communal barracks, with the others you'll be training with. If you'd prefer your own place instead we can arrange for that, too. Won't be in Dirkkatael if you want it now – new section's still under construction, the housing won't be ready for another month or two – but we have some spaces available in the smaller towns nearby, and transit back and forth is easy enough."   "Good luck!" Cal calls out from behind them. "Not that you need it, Mel. Welcome home."
    Wed, Jan 5th 2022 12:01

    Mel salutes Cal "Thank you, Cal! I hope I'll see you soon!" Then they address Max "A bunk with the others is fine. I'm excited to meet everyone."
    Wed, Jan 5th 2022 03:29

    "They're at training right now, so you won't meet them until tonight. But I'll show you to your bunk, get you settled in, and then we can start the process to tie you to Janikk."   He grins, motioning Mel through the hangar exit, onto a communal balcony. Various Mordena, most in uniform, some nor, are scattered about, some admiring the view, others deeps in conversation. The surrounding forest stretches out into the distance far below, partially obscured by clouds.
    Wed, Jan 5th 2022 08:36

    "I guess I can wait to meet them." Mel looks around feeling at home. "I'll have a uniform too? As you can see I don't have many things to my name."
    Thu, Jan 6th 2022 03:05

    "Unless I'm mistaken, Veris already took care of that." Max punches in a code into a keypad in the wall, motioning for Mel to step through the resultant portal, a balcony similar to the one they're standing on beckoning from the other side. "Right now, if you need something, let one of your trainers know and we'll take care of it. Little by little we'll teach you how to get them on your own."
    Thu, Jan 6th 2022 03:51

    "Thank you, Max. For everything." Mel crosses the portal with Max. "Veris will be my trainer?"
    Thu, Jan 6th 2022 04:20

    The sound of laughter comes from ahead, a red headed woman leaning inside an open doorway. "Hardly. Not unless you're a Void Necromancer with an interest in logistics and internal plumbing. I'm afraid you're stuck with me."   Max breaks out into a grin. "Raz! Thought you'd be in the practice rooms." He turns to Mel. "Mel, Razick Kane leads our Battle Mage training program. Raz, this is Mel Rahna, our newest healer."   Razick disappears into the room, waving for Mel and Max to join her. "They're just practicing exercises today. Nothing the other trainers can't handle. Figured I'd step away and meet our newest member."
    Sat, Jan 8th 2022 01:33

    "We've actually met before..." Mel looks down "You kindly adviced me not to keep asking the Grand Navarch about Necromancy." Mel smiles at Razick "Thank you for that. Now I'm here, ready to be Mordena."
    Sat, Jan 8th 2022 05:56   Edited on Sat, Jan 8th 2022 06:28

    Razick tilts her head, grinning. "I thought you looked familiar! Welcome!" She chuckles. "And already good at listening to suggestions. Something tells me you'll be a fast learner."   She points to one of the many bunks within the large barracks, multiple drawers arrayed along the walls for personal belongings. The bunk in question already contains an array of clothing and more personal garments including several uniforms, a pair of boots, a week's worth of socks, and two sets of civilian clothing. "This is the one Veris assigned to you, although you're welcome to trade. There's a few other unclaimed, you'll just have to move your things."
    Sat, Jan 8th 2022 10:55

    Mel touches their new clothes. "No need. This is perfect." They add a few things: an old leather jacket, a journal and a small black box. "Max told me he will be with me for the next steps. You will be there too?"
    Sun, Jan 9th 2022 03:17

    "I can stay, if you like." Razick smiles, settling onto the mattress across from Mel's.   "You'll have quite the crowd. I know Timm was hoping to..." Max's voice trails off as Timm materializes in the middle of the barracks, accompanied by a blue scaled dracoling and a slice of frosted cake drenched in fruit. "Ah. Here they are."   "Veris!" Razick grins. "You're later than Cal."   The dracoling grins back sheepishly. "Mel asked for cake. Apparently that was a more complicated request than expected. Or I asked a perfectionist. This was the fifth attempt... but she was finally happy with this one."
    Sun, Jan 9th 2022 09:29

    "Commander Acer told you I wanted cake!" Mel is stunned and very hungry. "Thank you. This is much better I could ever hope for." Mel looks around them and feels at home. "This is it?"
    Mon, Jan 10th 2022 02:20

    "This is it," Max agrees as Veris offers the plate. "After this, there's no turning back. Ever."
    Mon, Jan 10th 2022 12:49

    "I'm ready." Mel takes the offered plate and then takes a big bite in their mouth. Savours the cake, the frosting and the fruits. Mel says with a smile after they are done. "No turning back."
    Mon, Jan 10th 2022 01:55

    "Welcome to Janikk," Max smiles. "And the Tenecknaab – the network of life that ties us all together. It's how we recognize each other, wherever we go... And why Janikk will always be home."
    Mon, Jan 10th 2022 08:24

    "Home was what I've been looking for." Mel feels the connection with the planet, with the life surrounding them. Now they understand better what Max was feeling before. "I'm glad you're here with me."
    Mon, Jan 10th 2022 08:29

    "You'll want to lay down for the next part," Veris recommends, passing a small vial to Max. "You still need to learn Morjakk, and you'll need to be asleep for that. Did anyone explain how that's done?"   "I can help you tuck your things in your drawers," Razick offers.
    Mon, Jan 10th 2022 08:43

    "Thank you" Mel hands their backpack to Razick. They lay down and turn to Veris "I was told there was a procedure. But I don't know the details."
    Mon, Jan 10th 2022 08:55

    "We teach it via Telepathy. It's only been reliable when the recipient is asleep, though..." Max frowns. "So I suppose it's also a trust exercise. As in how much do you trust me, since I'll be the one doing it, unless you'd rather I send for someone else."
    Mon, Jan 10th 2022 09:10

    Mel reaches towards Max to touch his arm. "I trust you."
    Tue, Jan 11th 2022 01:01

    "Then let's begin." Max sends the telepathic request, showing Mel the vial. "This will put you to sleep. Just for an hour or so. Would you like me to wait until you wake up?"
    Tue, Jan 11th 2022 12:29

    Mel accepts the telepathic request. "That would be nice."
    Tue, Jan 11th 2022 03:41

    Max widens his telepathy spell, requesting the ability to implant a memory as he hands Mel the vial. "I'll be right here. Drink this, when you're ready."
    Wed, Jan 12th 2022 06:31

    "Thank you, Max." After taking a deep breath Mel reaches for the vial and drinks it all.
    Wed, Jan 12th 2022 08:03   Edited on Thu, Jan 13th 2022 04:33

    <When you wake up, you'll be Mordena.> Max settles onto the unoccupied bunk beside Mel's, watching their breathing calm as the alchemy takes effect. <One of us.>   Feeling them drift off, he reaches into his memories, sharing his knowledge of Morjakk before settling in to wait.
    Thu, Jan 13th 2022 01:21

    Mel wakes up. They smile and look at Max "I'm Mordena. Can I start my training now?"
    Thu, Jan 13th 2022 04:41   Edited on Thu, Jan 13th 2022 04:43

    Max grins, motioning for someone else to join them. "Yukkan Morjakkael Mel, Nikkeer. No training today, I'm afraid. At least, not magic training. Razick and Veris had to get back to other things, but look who finally joined us."   "Welcome to Janikk," Timm smiles. "I'm here to show you around, and help you with any questions you may have." He motions to the door leading back to the balcony. "Your new future awaits."
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