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Snippet #2821597

located in Short Stories From the Abyss, a part of The Abyssal Paradox, one of the many universes on RPG.

Short Stories From the Abyss

Into the Abyss; another world of strangeness beneath the plates of Titan's Fall.

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Drama Queen: Princess is awake.


I'm aware. Felt it through the plates.

Drama Queen: I feel bad for any Acute Awakened down there.


She's getting better... slowly.
But yes, I expect reports of "unexplained fainting" in the Undercity to rise now that she's out of my range.



Drama Queen: It's going to attract unwanted attention.


I can't just leave my post to babysit her. Can't someone cover me?

Drama Queen: Your assignment. Figure it out.


The Templar Tower receptionist blew a sigh devoid of his characteristic whimsy as the text dissolved from the AR display of his oval wire frame glasses. [Text Deleted] floated in his vision for a moment before his Templar workspace flicked back into view. An email from Sairyn, received earlier in the morning, informed him that the Tinker was heading out to "run an errand," which typically meant he was getting a part or material for an unauthorized project.

"Sounds like somebody's got a case of 'The Mondays,'" chuckled one of the analysts as she passed.

"Oh stop, sister, it's Saturday," he quipped, shooing her out of the lobby.

Fact of the matter was that he couldn't be in two places at once, a thought that weighed heavily on him throughout the day. Leaving his job at the Templar HQ lobby for even a couple of days would get noticed. Taking a leave of absence wasn't an option, and neither was calling in sick, since the premise of his employment as Sairyn's administrative assistant was based on his "anomalous power." Although Sairyn's curiosity very quickly waned once he figured out that there was no meaningful data to be
gleaned from this "Unexplained Dimensional Permanence." Since Mana wasn't measurable by any modern scientific device, after a few weeks his status as "Person of Interest" very quickly devolved into "Test Dummy," and then "Hazardous Materials Disposal Expert." Being at the whimsy of a mad scientist wasn't all bad, however, and Sairyn was always very good about keeping him tangled up in enough red tape to keep the other departments at bay. He sensed there was an ulterior motive at play, but didn't yet know what it was.

Archer, I'll be taking the kids out for dinner.


Speak of the Devil... Code for: "I have to do an undesirable task for some asshole I don't like, and I don't know when I'll be done." Likely an errand for SINS. Archer sent back a smiley face and dismissed the text.

He mulled over the thought while scrolling idly through the collectables section of Glamazon, looking for figurines and bobbleheads to add to his desk. One in particular caught the corner of his eye: the Köttur Paladin keychain figurine on the corner of his desk that Yue was always obsessing over. He'd tried to give it to her several times but the stubborn woman just would not accept a gift. After staring at it for a long time, he picked it up and turned it over in his hands. She'd definitely recognize it: Archer always engraved a stylized insignia of the Artemis constellation on the bottom of the stand. Though... maybe that wasn't a bad thing? An impulse through his Neurolink flicked his messages back into view.

I need you to cover the front desk while I make a talisman.

Gemini: ... No? They'll know something is up for sure.


The only person who actually knows what I do around the office is going to be out for a while.
Just sit at the front desk and be pleasant until I get back.



Gemini: Ugh. Fine, but you owe me for this: I hate wearing your skin and the people there give me the creeps.


We all have to make sacrifices.


March 11th, 2045 - 12:30pm - Templar Residences, Texas, USA



"C'mon, puh-lease?" Archer pleaded with the door.

"I'm sorry, sir Archer, but I can't grant you access without authorization from lady Bayushi."

"But I'm making a gift for her and it's a sur-pri-iiize! I'll be super-duper quick, and I promise it'll help."

"That would be a violation of her privacy, and Precept 226. If you persist I'll be forced to report this incident."

"Pffff," he deflated, rolling his head back in disappointment. After a while he looked carefully up and down the hallway to ensure it was empty. Archer casually pulled what appeared to be an ornate gold coin out from his inside coat pocket and pressed it against the door's visual receptor with a firm *clack!*

"A-a-a-a-a-authorization Recognized," uttered Sovereign in a severely glitched monotone. He took his finger off the coin, and though it shuddered for a moment, it stayed in place with a low sizzle. The door opened jankily part way, hissing white smoke from the motors, allowing Archer to slip in before slamming shut behind him.

He exhaled slowly. His superiors wouldn't approve of his use of magic in public, but since there was no sweet-talking the AI it was unavoidable. His nose wrinkled at the smell of stale coffee. Yue was apparently one of those people who "seasoned" their coffee cup instead of washing it. He rinsed out the cup thoroughly and placed it in the drying rack, resisting the urge to clean the rest of her apartment and instead sliding his jacket off his shoulders and draping it across a desk chair which didn't appear to see much use.

Mana pulsed in his eyes, glowing blue as the room illuminated with the crimson essence of Yue's radiant power, and the sting of lingering haze. He placed a hand on his hip loosely and approached the area of the apartment with the highest concentration of [Crimson], as she would refer to it to her therapist. Of course it was the bed, where she played Final Odyssey. Archer rolled up his shirt to his elbows, revealing a full sleeve of tattoos in ornate, glowing arcane script only other Awakened would be able to read. His skin sizzled as mana seeped out of the ink, and the Paladin keychain lept from his fingertips. It embedded itself in the air above the bed, while burning blue script ignited the air, forming a complex array that seemed to suck the [Crimson] straight out of the room.