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You sit up off the floor in the bouncy room, your breath still heavy from your "activities".
"Okay, coming in here was a good idea" You say.
"I told you" Abigail says, as she stands and begins to collect her clothes. "Floor's a bit cold, but otherwise it's a fun place to hang"
You stand up and stretch out, following both Abigail and the trail of discarded clothing back to the door. "You missed a 'B'" You say.
Abigail stops and thinks about what you said, then she smiles and pulls you in for a kiss. "It's a fun place to do that too" She says.
The two of you continue picking up your clothes and putting them on as you go.
"That's it for me, you get everything?" She asks.
"I seem to be missing a sock" You say.
"You took off your socks?" She asks.
"Well... yeah" You say.
"Why? It's not like they'd get in the way" She says.
"But it looks awkward if I'm still wearing socks" You say.
"I kept mine on" She says.
"Yours actually look nice" You say.
"Why thank you" She says. "But I honestly don't know where it is. I didn't even see you take them off"
"Other focuses?" You ask.
She smiles. "You know it"
You sigh and look around. "Now... just what the hell was I doing?"
>Look for your sock
>Check out the enchanted stuff
>Check out the weird tube
>Go back to practicing
"You don't want to find that sock first?" Abigail asks.
"Well... that could take a while. I may have tossed it in a bit of a hurry. It could be anywhe-" You stop, as it suddenly dawns on you that you know exactly where your sock is.
"What's wrong?" Abigail asks.
You smile and grab your shoes. Then you motion for Abigail to follow you.
You can kind of sense where the little fuzzball is and you find him over on the bar, sleeping in your missing sock.
"Awwwwwwww" Abigail says.
"Why would Moriarty steal my sock?" You ask.
"Maybe he was mad" She says.
"Mad about what?" You ask.
"Mad that you were playing with the wrong pussy" She says, gently bumping her hips into yours.
"Y'know, I knew that was coming" You say.
She smiles. "You still gonna take the sock?" She asks.
"Well... it is my sock" You say.
"But he's soooo cuuuuuuuute!" She says.
>It's still my sock
>I'll grab it when he wakes up
Harvey's gone full retard if he's forbidden her from healing herself.
I mean, I wouldn't be surprised, but he's woefully arrogant if he thinks he can take Saif on with his most powerful slave dead.
"I guess I can grab it when he wakes up..." You say.
Abigail lets out a little squee.
You check your watch. "... in about five seconds, when I take my sock back"
"Nooooooo" She says.
"Kidding" You say, giving her a kiss on the cheek. "Since when did you care so much about how much my cat sleeps?"
"I care when it's this cute!" She says. "Lookathimallbundledupinhislittlesockeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"
You raise an eyebrow at her, as she takes a deep breath.
"Okay, I'm good" She says.
"You sure? You're kinda cute when you do that" You say.
"Absolutely" She says.
"Good, now you can show me that thing" You say.
"I already showed you my thing" She says.
"Not your thing, that thing... the tube machine thing that you were talking about" You say.
"Oh... Oh! Right! The tube, not my..." She clears her throat. "Yeah, let's go check it out"
She turns and walks back towards the shelves, so you go after her. When you catch up you give her a quick pat on the bum, eliciting a squeak and a giggle from her.
"Okay, you're right. This looks like it belongs on the set of a sci-fi, not in a mage's warehouse" You say.
"Right?" Abigail says. "What do you think it's for?"
"It looks a bit like a Vita-Chamber" You say.
"A what-now?" She asks.
"A Vita Chamber" You say. "You've never played Bioshock?"
"Nope" She says. "What does it do?"
"In the game they're respawn points" You say.
"Couldn't be that..." Abigail says. "So far the only thing I've ever heard of that can bring back the dead is the Guardian's Shield"
"And even that doesn't technically bring me back from the dead. It just resets my state" You say.
"Really?" Abigail asks. "That's kind of disappointing"
"Still handy" You say.
"I guess... So what do you think this thing's for?" She asks.
"I dunno... maybe-"
>Text Jessica and ask
>Take a guess
>Leave it be for now
>Take a guess
Its the body double thing that Jessica was talking about when we were helping the Guardian (why the fuck did I forget her name) with her mana problem. No need to call her when we can at least figure that.
"Maybe it's got something to do with a thing that Jessica said a while back" You say. "Y'know, back when my understanding of magic was much less impressive"
"Do tell" Abigail says.
"We got to talking about simulacra, and Jess mentioned that she had been trying to come up with a way to leave clones all over the place and transfer consciousness between them" You say.
"You think this thing has something to do with that?" She asks.
"It might..." You say, as you pull out your phone. Then you shoot off a quick text to Jessica asking if you're right about the tube.
"That is an interesting concept, though..." Abigail says. "Applied right, it could mean instantaneous travel to anywhere, provided that you have a simulacra waiting there for you..."
"Applied wrong?" You ask.
"Hmm... disturbing consequences" She says. "Someone with a lot of mana could try to hijack your simulacra, your head could get stuck in transit, the simulacra could deteriorate while you aren't using it... lot's of things that can go wrong"
"I didn't think you could hijack another person's simulacra" You say.
"You can, it just wears out your reserves very quickly" She says. "Someone with a lot of mana could be in your simulacra just long enough to do some damage, and still be able to transfer back"
>Ask Abigail about Simulacra
>Check out the enchanted stuff
"Enough with this thing, show me some of the stuff you found" You say.
"Alright" She says. "Most of it was over this way. Ms. Browning doesn't keep much magic stuff in here, I found that most of these shelves are all just guns and explosives"
"She does loves her guns and bombs..." You say.
"The enchanted stuff isn't exactly top notch either, but she might be keeping the good stuff in the Archive" She says.
"I don't think so... or if she is, then she didn't tell me" You say.
"Understandable" Abigail says. "You should probably empty that thing anyway, so you have a better understanting of what's inside"
"Maybe later, right now I'd kind of like to know more about these simulacra" You say.
"Oh" Abigail says. "Well, I'm no expert but I'll tell you what I know..."
Abigail explains the basics of Simulacra to you as you make your way over to the enchanted goods.
A Simulacra is like a second body that you can switch to by touching it. It is normally created by cutting off a piece of yourself and "regenerating" it to create a full body.
"So you get a corpse?" You ask.
"Not a corpse, the body is alive. Pulse rate, breath, everything" She says. "What it lacks is a mind and a soul, which you provide by touching them"
"Just a touch?" You ask.
"The body is technically yours" She says. "The mind and soul are happy to jump to your own body, even if it's the same as the one they currently occupy"
"What is it used for?" You ask.
"Not a whole lot" She says. "Some people use them to avoid sleeping by switching bodies whenever one gets tired, and a few other niche uses. But mostly it's all potential. It feels like an idea that can be so much more, if only we had the ability to use it"
"Anything else?" You ask.
"There's the ones that the gods use" She says.
"It's not the same deal?" You ask.
"Not quite..." Abigail says. "For starters they make their bodies from scratch, to best fit the form they want"
You nod, as you unwittingly remember a certain pair of breasts the size of your head...
"They also don't house the soul, but are rather... hmm... remote controlled" She says. "The body and soul of the god or goddess is normally elsewhere, controlling the simulacra from afar"
"What if the body is too different from their own, doesn't that make it drain more mana?" You ask.
"To us, yes" She says. "That much mana is peanuts to someone with a connection to the wellspring"
A connection that every god has but Kyla...
"So say if I were to kill the body of a god or goddess here, what would happen?" You ask.
"It'd probably rebound and leave them in a sore state for a while, but it wouldn't kill them" She says. "So, what do you think? Cool concept right?"
"It sounds... dangerous" You say.
"It absolutely is" She says. "I'm sure you know by now that you can't meddle with the mind of a mage, right?"
"Yeah" You say.
"You can break that rule with a Simulacra, by working your magic into the head of the empty shell" She says. "Then, when the owner jumps back in..."
"You lose, try again" You say.
"Bingo" She says. "There is also a risk of empties being poisoned, or otherwise compromised to kill you when you get back in"
"So lock 'em up tight?" You ask.
"Or just avoid them" She says. "They don't serve much of a purpose, unless you happen to have a divine spark"
"Noted" You say.
"So, what's interesting over here?" You ask.
Abigail smiles and glides over to one of the shelves, grabbing a hand mirror from it.
"Check it out!" She says, holding the mirror up to your face.
"I can't see myself" You say.
"Cool, right?" She asks. "It's a Vampire's Mirror. It doesn't reflect anything that has a soul"
"There are things without souls?" You ask.
"Well, anything not-living" She says. "I've heard that there are actually ways to get rid of the soul, and that these were made to detect people that have"
"Seriously?" You ask.
"No, I'm just fuckin' with ya" She says. "It's a fun little trinket, and an easy enchantment. I remember one time, I put it on every mirror in the house... Oh man..."
"Your parents must have been pissed" You say.
"Oh, gods. Not my house" She says. "Harvey's house. Jeez, why would I do that to myself?"
"How mad was he?" You ask.
"I dunno" She says. "He still has no idea it was me"
You both share a laugh at Harvey's expense, and then Abigail shows you the rest of Jessica's stuff. Nothing too interesting here, but she might be right about there being more inside the Archive...
Abigail, on the other hand, seems to enjoy showing you these things. 1/3 times she has a story involving one of the enchantments and its more mischievous uses, which she experienced first hand...
"Aaaand that's it" She says.
"Good god, Abigail" You say. "I didn't know you were such a bad girl"
She sways on her feet, giving you an 'innocent' look. "You gonna spank me, mister?" She asks.
You smile. "Maybe later"
>Go through the Archive
>Break for lunch
Something I'm curious about, since she grew up with him.
>Was Harvey ever, you know, normal? Or has he always been a brat with a shitty affinity? I mean, seriously, do you think he gets how useless he is without kidnapping children?
"Right now I kinda want to check the Archive" You say. "See if anything else is in there"
"Good idea" She says. "Come on! Let's do it in the bouncy room!"
"Again? It's been like... an hour" You say.
She punches your arm. "Not that kind of 'do it'!" She says.
"You sure it's not going to turn into that?" You ask.
She looks like she's about to staunchly refuse, but instead she blushes and grumbles. "I can't say it won't..."
"Good enough" You say.
The two of you head back up to the bouncy room, and you start unloading the Archive onto it's eerily elastic floor.
"Fuck, I thought there was a lot of guns and bombs in the warehouse" She says.
"And that's just the stuff that isn't set to blow already" You say.
"What do you mean?" She asks.
"There's even more than this in the archive, but all the timers are set and started" You say. "In the Archive they're stuck, but as soon as you pull them out..."
"Ah" She says. "I get it. Our music teacher is a scary woman..."
"She's not that bad" You say. "She just has some strange hobbies"
"I'll say" Abigail says. "But you were right, there's some neat stuff in here. I'm gonna go take a look"
Abigail heads over to the pile of assorted enchanted objects and bends over to inspect one. You'd say that she was unintentionally giving you a fine view, but knowing her it's entirely on purpose...
It also leaves her nice and open. A wicked smile crosses your face as you pull out something that even you were surprised to see: A paddle-... well, it's a cricket bat. Still, it's paddle-like.
You slowly creep up behind her, careful not to disturb the floor, and then you-
>Ask if she sees anything interesting
You get in close, and gently place a hand on her lower back.
"Oop! Hello, you like the view that mu-OW" She yelps as the paddle makes contact, stumbling forward and narrowly avoiding stepping on some of the enchanted stuff.
You flip into fast time, drop the paddle and whip around to catch her before she falls.
"That hurt!" She says, you can see little tears in the corners of her eyes.
"It was a spanking" You say.
"You could've eased up a little..." She says.
"Yeah... I guess I put a little too much gusto into that..." You say.
"You're damn right you did!" She says, turning and lifting her skirt to look at the damages. "Look what you did, now it's all red!"
Despite making your best effort not to, you do look at what you did. It is indeed all red.
"Tell you what, why don't I make it up to you?" You ask.
"And just how do you plan on doing that?" She asks.
>I could kiss it better
>I'll take you somewhere nice for lunch
>You could do it back
You come up behind her and put your hands on her hips. "Look, I'm sorry... if you want, I'll take you somewhere nice for lunch to make it up to you" You say.
"You'll have to do better than that" She says. It doesn't really sound like she's putting up a front, she actually sounds upset...
You lean in, and nip her ear. "Want me to kiss it better?" You ask.
Abigail says nothing, so you move from her ear to her neck. You know how much she loves it when you do this...
She starts to grumble, and then moan. "Mmmmm-mmm Stop! that! I'm trying to be mad!" She says.
"And failing" You say, planting a few more kisses on her neck.
"Fiiiine. If it means that much to you, you can kiss my butt" She says. "Later though, I'm pretty hungry right now"
"Yeah, no sense banging on an empty stomach" You say.
She steps away from you and turns around. "Who said we were gonna do that?" She asks.
You raise an eyebrow at her, and her facade crumbles.
"Alright, fine. We were totally gonna do that" She says.
"I thought so" You said.
"So, where are you taking me for lunch?" She asks.
"I kinda want to check this stuff out first" You say. "It needs to be put away anyway, so we can look it all over as we go"
Abigail checks around the room. "Hmm... okay. It shouldn't take too long" She says. "Provided that there are no further spankings"
"Not even light ones?" You ask.
"Save it for later" She says.
"Fine, fine" You reply.
"And that's the last of it!" Abigail says, dusting off her hands.
You nod. You definitely have a better understanding of this stuff now. If it comes down to using one of these things, you'll know what to do and how to do it... hopefully.
You check your watch. "Okay, that took longer than expected" You say.
"Only because I had to explain what everything did" She says.
"Thanks for that" You say.
"Don't thank me, if it helps you stay alive it's enough for me" She says. "And I wouldn't object to you swooping in to save me using one of those either"
"We're trying to avoid situations where I have to do that, remember?" You ask.
"Yeah, I guess romantics are for when your life isn't on the line..." She says, sounding genuinely disappointed.
You roll your eyes. "But if I do have to swoop in... I guess I could have some smooth one-liner prepared" You say.
She smiles, and takes your hand. "So, where to for lunch?"
>Back to the apartment
>Somewhere you know the food is good
"Come on, I know a place" You say, taking her by the hand down to the door. You make sure you lock it on the way out, and then you head out of the warehouses to the street.
"Where is this place?" Abigail asks.
"Not far" You say. "I remember finding this little place when Veer and I were lost down here one day. The lady that runs it is nice, and the food is... well, I'll let you see for yourself"
"I thought we were going somewhere nice" She says.
"This is better than that" You say. "Nice places are all about presentation, this place is all substance. Trust me, you'll enjoy it"
"It's not gonna be super spicy, is it?" She asks. "I think I've learned my lesson about that after last night..."
"Don't worry about that" You say.
You lead her down the street, around the corner... and there it is. You head inside.
"Hello there!" The lady behind the counter says, as the bell announces your presence.
"Hi" You reply.
"Hello" Abigail says.
You put in your order, and the lady tells you to take a seat. Looking around the place, you see a familiar face... though not one you were expecting to run into.
Over at one of the booths is the Smith, and next to her is a man you don't recognize. They both seem to be talking to someone you can't see.
Hang on... wasn't Kyla supposed to be meeting with the Smith?
>Go say hello
You figure that you might as well say hello. It's not every day that you meet a goddess in a place like this...
"So then why do you all keep calling me a fool?" A familiar voice asks. It's Kyla, she must be the one sitting where you can't see.
"We don't call you A fool, we call you THE fool. Big difference" The man next to the smith says in a British accent... didn't the Smith say that the Scholar had an accent like that?
You decide to stop and listen.
"I don't see the difference, other than the fact that one of them is more insulting" Kyla says.
"You get called The Fool, because The Guardian is already taken" The man says.
"And the Fool isn't?" Kyla asks.
The man lights up like you've never seen. "Exactly" He says. "One of the greatest mysteries of this universe, right up there with how the bloody thing began, is the Fool"
"Why?" Kyla asks.
"Well, you know who the first God was right?" The Scholar asks.
"It was the Creator" Kyla says. "Everyone knows that"
"Well then it would probably grate you to know: that is entirely false" The Scholar says. "I've asked the Creator himself. When he got here, there was another god"
"What happened to them?" Kyla asks.
"That's why it's a mystery!" The Scholar says. "The Creator looked for this other God, and couldn't find anything. There were two connections made to the Wellspring, which meant there were two gods. But there was only one god"
>Make your presence known, but keep listening
>Sit somewhere and listen covertly
>Interrupt and say hello
You and Abigail sit in a booth that's close enough to hear from, but hidden from the view of the gods. Though you think the Smith might already have seen you...
"Why do you think that one god is the Fool?" Kyla asks.
"Obviously because there isn't one" The Scholar says. "Throughout all time trillions of lifeforms, both mortal and immortal, have made fools of themselves. All of this time, no god has ever come forth to claim that mantle"
"Maybe he fooled everyone into thinking he doesn't exist" Kyla says.
"A fool is not the fool-er, that's a trickster. There's a god for that. A Fool is the one who gets fooled" The Scholar says.
"So that's why you call me the Fool?" Kyla asks. "Because it's the only name that's not taken?"
"Some were actually wondering if you might take up the mantle" The Smith says. "I know this guy was"
"I just want to see the mystery solved" The Scholar says. "I've spent so long looking into this with no answers to show for it"
"Looks like the Fool's made a fool of you" Kyla says.
"Hah hah" The Scholar says. "Better than having the trai-"
"Thaaaaat's enough of that" The Smith says, interrupting her companion before he says the stupid thing you know he was about to say.
"So what does it mean" Abigail asks, drawing everyone's attention to your table. "If the first two gods were the Fool and the Creator, what would that imply?"
The Scholar looks pretty impressed. "Good question" He says. "I personally think it implies an even higher power than us"
"How so?" Kyla asks.
"Well... The Fool and The Creator in that order is kind of like a sentence" He says. "A sentence that reads: Whoops, I've just accidentally created the universe"
It seems that it wasn't surprise that the universe was already here (since except Kyla gods seem to pop up from sapient emotion) but that there was already a god, but they were missing.