(Author's note: This chapter is an example of a power roll than ended up taking over. As you can probably guess, a serious power came up early in the chapter and I needed to spend most of the chapter dealing with it. This has had some impact on the progression I had mapped out, including alternate perspectives and my hope to get to Somer's Rock next chapter, but that's the nature of this kind of writing. I tried to button up everything in this chapter and can hopefully skip over some of the details of Joe's preparation for the summit. The main reason for this note is to clarify the wordcount of this chapter. The last portion of the chapter is devoted to documentation related to one of the powers. The actual body of the chapter is only about 13,000 words.)
56 Arrival Time
"I still don't get why she would stay on a boat with literally everyone who wanted to kill her." Aisha said, shaking her head.
"I'm pretty sure she didn't know about most of them, and she actually trusted a lot of the people who ended up as suspects." I replied.
"Yeah, I get that for most of them, but when the crazy bitch showed up again that's the least it would have taken to get me out of there. And she still got on the damn boat with people she was suing, or were trying to rob her, or were just pissed at her in general. And once again, the crazy bitch! I mean, if you steal someone's man you need to be prepared for some level of crazy when you see them. Did people not know that back in the thirties?" She ranted energetically.
"I think they kind of trusted that people wouldn't want to make a scene. There was a lot of social pressure in place to keep them from acting out." I offered.
Aisha snorted. "See, that's the problem. Nowadays, Jackie and Linnet would just fight it out in a 7-Eleven parking lot until someone called the cops." She smiled at that. "Much more civilized."
"Can't say I have any experience with that kind of thing." I said in a measured voice.
"Used to happen like twice a week at the store near my mom's apartment. It was basically free entertainment when I needed to get out of the house. And a lot more direct than two hours of trying to figure out which of the ten people who wanted to kill her actually did." Aisha paused and looked over at Garment's representation within the virtual space. The flickering mass of fractal outfits had shifted slightly as if in agitation. "I mean, not a bad movie, as far as old stuff goes, but seriously, girl needed to watch herself. Are all rich people that dumb?"
"I wouldn't know." I said. "I'm technically unemployed and was minimum wage before then. Oh, and I've also been living off the assets of an arguably criminal enterprise."
"And they say crime doesn't pay." She joked and I shook my head in response.
"Look, are you ready to get back to this?" I indicated to the course materials I'd prepared with my duplicates. We were on one of our scheduled study breaks and the conversation had shifted to the plot of Death on the Nile.
"Yeah, I'm good." She said, settling back down. "Honestly, I was expecting this stuff to be a lot more difficult."
I shrugged. "In addition to that teaching power, one of my abilities covers the nature of memories. Part of that is understanding how they're stored and recalled. It makes it a lot easier to set things up for the creation of semantic and declarative memories." I explained. "Most people don't even bother memorizing the periodic table, and they typically stop at one hundred an eighteen."
"What, seriously?" Aisha asked in clear shock. "But that's less than half of the transuranic elements."
"Less than a third, and that's still ignoring the deeper islands of stability." I replied.
Aisha looked over the material I had displayed on the virtual blackboard. Well, the virtual blackboard, the fully interactive holograms, the tactile models, and the other components that made up the immersive learning environment. Really the desk arrangement in the center of the room was largely a concession to tradition of education, rather than a necessity.
Though Garment taking a seat in the back and drawing in a notebook rather than paying any attention to the lesson was at least equally traditional. It wouldn't have been a realistic class without someone ignoring the teacher.
Honestly, I wasn't sure if Garment was actually getting anything out of this kind of lesson. Survey, Fleet, and the Matrix were machine intelligences and didn't need to acquire information through conventional means. Tetra's mind was technically organic, but it worked in such a distinct way that it was usually better to just give her access to a database and then provide support on any areas that she was having trouble with. Garment could conceivably get some use out of this kind of lecture, but I suspected she was here more for the design opportunities presented by an academic setting than any desire to learn chemistry.
Aisha looked over the presented information and shook her head. "But why don't they teach them?"
"Uh, because they don't know about them?" I answered.
"Really? They think it just stops at one eighteen?" She asked.
"Not that it stops, just that there's no stable elements that can be synthesized after that point, at least outside of non-reproducible tinker projects and some highly contradictory analysis of parahuman powers. You can't teach what you don't know."
That got a smile from her. "Lucky you on that front."
"Not going to deny it." I said. "I mean, they also tend to start with the Rutherford–Bohr model of the atom, which isn't that bad, but does screw up how you think of orbitals."
She nodded in understanding. "With how you were explaining things I did wonder why people always drew atoms with the electrons looping around the nucleus."
"Saturnian model. It's easier to picture-"
"No, it's not." Aisha said confidently.
"If you haven't had the working of atomic structure explained to you with the benefit of the full scientific knowledge of multiple alien and advanced civilizations broken down with the guaranteed capacity to make complicated concepts understandable then it's easier to think of atom structure interacting in the same way things do on a macro scale."
"Yeah," she admitted reluctantly. "I guess."
"Look, this is going to provide a solid base for when we move into material science, which will make it much easier when you start learning basic transmutations." I mean, just being able to understand why certain crystal structures form, rather than learning them first and working backwards would be incredibly helpful.
"When are we getting into the alchemy stuff? And how much can we cover in here, rather than out in, you know, meatspace?"
"Meatspace?" I asked skeptically.
"Got to call it something. And you don't even have a name for this deal yet. It's some kind of super soul cyberspace, right?"
I sighed. "Magitech enhanced neural connection to provide a conceptual link to a generated environment." I explained. "I'm not getting into branding, but I'm going to veto 'meatspace' as a term for anything related to this."
"Yeah, about that…"
It seemed the term may have been coined by Aisha, but it was enthusiastically embraced by Fleet, Survey, and even the Matrix. Aisha was no doubt proud of how well it had caught on, but I would at least need to make sure that terminology didn't end up leaking beyond the bounds of the Workshop. Fine for an inside joke, but the kind of thing that could have some troubling implications.
"To answer your question, we can cover theory and techniques here, but you're going to have to work through the practical parts in the real world." Not 'meatspace'. "There are some aspects of channeling transmutation energy that you'll need to get a firsthand feel for." Aisha nodded in understanding. "We can also practice drawing circles so you can get a handle on that before you try it out there."
"Wait, I thought you said we couldn't train that kind of stuff in here. The muscle memory, or whatever?"
"Implicit and Procedural memory." Using those terms was a massive simplification of the concepts in play, but it was easier to use common, if inaccurate, terms than to get into the real mechanics of how memory functions. "I said we couldn't do combat training in here, and that's still the truth. Learning to fight, especially with the types of martial arts I can teach you, it isn't a simple matter. It's as much about getting a feel for your body as it is the actual techniques themselves. If you learn advanced combat in a controlled space, then try to apply it to a body that's not ready, you could seriously injure yourself."
"Right, but you can just patch that up, right?" Aisha asked in a casual tone.
I sighed. "I really don't want you getting used to the idea that injuries are just something you should accept like that." At least until I finished work on medical nanites. Honestly, with my Noble Phantasm I could probably have knocked something out that would at least cover standard healing, but nanites were serious. If I was turning someone into an EVO I was going to do it right.
Which also got into the issue of whether I should be extending various transhumanist advancements to Aisha. In the face of the coming threats the answer seemed to be obvious, but I didn't want to undersell the significance of what this kind of thing really meant.
Aisha stretched in her seat before replying. "Fine, no ninja training in the magical computer world."
Despite how fanciful the turn of phrase was I honestly couldn't fault her for any part of that description. Then again, I did have a set of mechanical rainbow fantasy animals that had once been my bodies, so perhaps the ship had sailed as far as fanciful terms went.
My thoughts wandered back to the memory of that run. The weeks of unending stress and fear, constantly one mistake away from destruction, racing on impossible paths above an unforgiving abyss. I swallowed and shook off the all too vivid recollection.
You Became A Star was a powerful ability, both for the skills and technology it granted and for its supporting powers and items. It's just that power was balanced out by the extremely harrowing memories that came with it, and by the near paradox that was the arrival of my former bodies from that world.
I took a breath and focused on the present. "You can practice and refine techniques once you have the basics down, but this isn't a good place for developing first impressions of that kind of thing."
"Shame, would have been super convenient." Aisha glanced around. "How long has it been? Out there, I mean."
"A little under five minutes." I replied.
Aisha blinked at that. "Shit. Time really flies." She looked around again. "I mean, it really flies. God damn."
"Do you want to take a break? Head out for a bit?" I asked. To my surprise Aisha looked seriously conflicted. She started shifting nervously, like she didn't know what to say. "Aisha?" I tried again.
"Fuck." She muttered. "Jesus fuck, it really…"
She slowly turned to me. "Sorry, it just hit me; you know?"
"Know what?" I asked.
She took a breath and leaned back in her seat. "I don't know, I guess I kind of thought this whole thing was going to crash and burn." She looked around at the classroom. Well, class space designed with the benefit of all of my style, design, and aesthetic powers to facilitate engagement and learning. "Like, I know you said you could teach anyone, but I was kind of expecting it to fall flat, at least with me." She said the last bit in a quiet voice and looked even more uncomfortable with the situation.
"You're upset that you're learning? That the lessons are working?" I asked, trying to gauge the situation. Behind her Garment had pulled her attention away from a virtual sketchbook that had been filling up with concepts for school uniforms and was instead watching Aisha's reactions.
Aisha took a moment, seemingly drinking in the atmosphere of the room. Then she started, glancing around frantically before calming herself again, this time with something of a conscious awareness of the space around her.
"Okay." She began. "Okay, school and me don't get along, right?" I nodded. "But this didn't feel like school." She glanced at the classroom again, then looked at me. "I'm not sure what it's supposed to feel like, but yeah, no problems like school. Not even a reminder of school. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but…"
She waved nebulously and I nodded in response.
"Right. So, magic teaching powers work. That's great. Wasn't really expecting it to. I mean, I probably should have, but… I think, like it caught me off guard." She glanced up at me. "It's really been eight hours in here?"
"We've been taking breaks." I said defensively.
"I'm not complaining." She sighed. "At least, I'm not trying to." She glanced off to the side. "But, like, five minutes and we covered all that. It didn't feel like a lot but it was right? Most people don't know that stuff by heart?"
"Not generally." I admitted. "Typically, people learn concepts, what they need to know, how properties interact, then use reference, look things up when they need to."
"But I don't have to. Won't have to." She slumped back. "God. It's like…" She looked up at me. "It's like, if we can get through this much stuff in five minutes, and I don't even want to think how long it would take to learn that normally, if I could even learn that normally, then I guess what I'm getting at… Fuck. Every time I'm doing anything other than this is going to feel like a waste." Her tone was an odd mix between amazement and frustration. "Like, I can get better. Really can, and I know it, so anything other than that…"
She slumped back in silence. I shared a look with the shifting mass of fashions that represented Garment in this space. It was harder to read her like this than out in the real world, the information was just too dense, but I understood her meaning. I cleared my throat and Aisha glanced up.
"I get it." I said simply.
"What, seriously?" She asked.
I shrugged. "I've been dealing with this technology, this kind of stuff longer than you. I know what it's like. When you can accomplish so much it makes every moment you're not working full blast seem like a waste of time." Bad memories were surfacing, thoughts that festered in my mind while trapped in the aftermath of March's attack. Stuck in darkness with only my extraneous senses keeping me grounded, sane. "You can do a lot. Learn a lot, and accomplish a lot, but if you try to do it all at once, push nonstop, you're going to burn out. You don't need to feel guilty for not jumping on the opportunity the moment it surfaces."
She nodded along, but I could tell she was skeptical about the idea. Probably a personal history with a distinct lack of opportunities. I doubted I could talk her around with one lecture, but I could at least throttle the lessons, make sure she didn't wear herself out.
"Let's disconnect for a bit." I said. "Take a real break, check in on the rest of the workshop."
Aisha gave me a critical look. "You're sure? You're not just cutting this short because you think I can't handle it?"
"I know you can handle it." I assured her. "But you don't need to rush anything. You'll have plenty of chances. It's not going anywhere."
Aisha sat up and smiled at that. "See, that's how you jinx yourself."
I smiled back, then my smile turned brittle. Garment reacted with equal intensity, rising to her feet and hurrying over to me.
"Józef? What's going on?" Aisha asked in a concerned tone.
"We have to leave. Now." I stated as quickly and directly as I could.
We immediately disconnected from the simulated environment with me practically launching myself off the throne. Actually launching, with enough force to trigger Shoot For The Moon. Fortunately, the jump boost and related effects didn't activate every time my feet left the ground, but any serious jump was going to be trailing rainbows. It still bothered me, but I had bigger things to be concerned about.
I hit the ground and motored down the walkway, the after effects of my latest power burning in my mind. It was like I had told Dr. Campbell. I used to get little powers. That wasn't happening anymore. In my final moments on the throne another glowing nova of power had descended on me.
There is power within all things. Great potential hidden within even the most mundane and pedestrian of items. What we think, what we believe are limits, they are only the beginning of what can truly be brought forth with skill and effort.
The power was called Infusionist. It revealed a truth of creation that even in the depth of my skill and understanding I had completely overlooked. I had crafted, but through my work I had only begun to bring out what was possible. I had chased after better materials believing they were the secret to true power, to being able to produce items of legend. I had dismissed base materials, seeing them as useless in the face of what I was able to work with.
I was wrong. Nothing is useless. Everything has its strengths, its potential, its true elements waiting to be brought to the surface. It was a secret of the nature of the world, one that could just barely be glimpsed when working with materials of myth and legend. Take the strongest, rarest, and most powerful components and you could just begin to see the potential, the possibilities of true craft.
Until now. Until I got this power, an ability which tore down that illusion, the idea that power could only be found from the rarest sources. No, it could be nurtured from anywhere. A plain steel sword, a kitchen knife, a wooden stick, I could draw out the power from any of them. The true, primal elemental fury that all things contained. No need for runes or magic or the metals of gods, just an understanding, a respect for what I was working with was enough. Power was everywhere.
This was a massive, fundamental power, a world apart from anything else I could do. This wasn't stapling on an elemental effect with runes or magecraft. It wasn't some paltry spell or trick of construction. It was drawing out the true potential of the item, pulled forth from its core components, a connection stretching back to the dawn of creation. A primal, unbreakable link to the energies of the universe itself. A true expression of elemental energy.
What it actually meant, the improvement in elemental weaponry, the strengthening of materials, the defensive applications, in the face of my other abilities they could seem underwhelming. Would anyone else understand the difference between wielding a blade infused with Burn Dust, inscribed with masterwork flame runes, and acting as a channel for Hearthfire with one that had the true nature of fire called into it?
Yes, they would. Maybe not in description, but in application there was no question. The elemental might of my weapons, something that was already bordering on the tactical scale of battlefield applications, was now beyond comparison. This was one of my most powerful abilities entirely focused on the nature and mastery of elemental weapons and armor. In isolation it would have allowed the creation of weapons that could stand on par with some of the strongest blasters and strikers out there. With the weight of my other abilities behind it, it was the wrath of nature made manifest.
But even with all the power it unlocked, it was unquestionably overshadowed. Not by my other crafting abilities, but by the secondary power tacked on at no cost. The power that had caused a slight tremor in the workshop that was still settling as I exited the neural link. The power that was why I was moving towards the storage lockers with all the speed my enhanced body was capable of.
There, in the entryway of the Workshop, a new collection of lockers had appeared. There was the main 'locker', a large square door set into the wall about three feet on a side, but also four distinct clusters of smaller lockers arranged around it. All together about ten items had been added, but it was only the main central one that I was focusing on.
I approached it with a level of apprehension I hadn't felt since Garment's arrival. This was a core principle, something I had promised myself from the beginning, when I first got my powers. Something I had endeavored to hold no matter what. The conviction to treat any sapient being with dignity and respect.
Maybe I hadn't been perfect on that front. It took a while for me to recognize Tetra as more than an alien material, and there was still a gray area around the skulls and machine spirits in the Laboratorium, but I was trying. There were no intentional breaches of that principle. At most a few points had been temporarily overlooked.
This was another critical situation, another case of the Forge giving me a sapient being, handed out like a piece of equipment. The thought of Garment trapped in that dark locker had driven me back to my workshop as quickly as possible. This was even more serious. Not an animated pair of gloves, a Laboratorium of cybernetics and advanced AI, an alien lifeform, or another animated glove. A living creature, trapped in a locker. I reached forward and carefully opened the door, freeing the creature, the person my power had handed me.
What I found was shocking. Not because of any aspect of what I found inside the locker, but from the contrast with my own expectations. I was picturing some immediate lunge for freedom tinted with rage and indignation. Really, I probably should have expected something more in line with what I actually saw inside the locker.
The sound of thrusters signaled the arrival of Aisha, trailing after me in her armor. She touched down and the suit collapsed in a flash of light, leaving her dressed in one of Garment's outfits. The girl cautiously approached and peeked around me at the contents of the locker.
"Your power gave you a… cat?" She asked in a skeptical tone. Almost in response the feline creature curled up on the cat bed that was sitting in the locker shifted slightly. It yawned and stretched, reaching out with dark brown paws that contrasted with its light tan coat. The darker shade made a pattern across its body, marking its face and stretching in trails along its limbs.
On closer inspection the limbs were thicker than you usually saw on cats. There seemed to be more range of motion and capacity for expression. And thumbs. The thumbs were a big give away.
"It's…" I checked the locker's label. "He's not a cat. He's a Felyne."
"So, a type of cat?" She asked playfully. I glanced over at her in response.
I was beginning to recognize that some of Aisha's joking and seeming irreverence to a situation was more focused on breaking me out of whatever mental spiral I was caught up in at the time than an expression of her typical teasing. It was kind of encouraging to know that she had enough awareness to find a productive use for that kind of thing. It was less encouraging to realize that Aisha had effectively taken it upon herself to help manage my mental state.
"So, is this from, like, another dimension, or universe, or whatever?" She asked. The Felyne finished yawning and sat up on the cat bed, blinking wide, blue eyes and looking towards us with an excessively enthusiastic expression.
"Probably." I said, as the Felyne looked between me and Aisha. "The power is connected to a few others that came with other things." Apparently delivering living creatures was something of a tradition from this powerset. "Uh, did the duplicates tell you about the insect glaive and the-"
"Flying drug lab." She looked over to where the Felyne was doing everything in his power to wake himself up. "Anything crazy like that going on here?"
"No." I said cautiously. "Not that kind of crazy."
She gave me a critical look. "Okay, you are really on edge about this. What's the deal here? What's up with him?"
"Tybalt." I gestured to the nameplate on the locker door as the Knowledge constellation missed a connection. "His name is Tybalt."
Aisha glanced at the plate and nodded. "That's a Shakespeare thing, right?"
"Actually, it's from Reynard the Fox, a fable from the twelfth century. Shakespeare was referencing it." One of my duplicates called out as he approached. The second was trailing behind him, wearing one Avid Glove with two others pinned under his right arm. His durability made the other glove's repeated attempts to bite him meaningless, but that did nothing to diminish their enthusiasm for the activity.
The Felyne, Tybalt, perked up even further at the new arrivals, quickly scampering to get out of the cat bed, pulling himself out of the locker and lowering himself to the floor. He landed on his hind legs and balanced perfectly while looking up at everyone with shining blue eyes.
"Aww." Aisha crooned, then looked over, picking up on the fact that none of the tension had left my stance, tension that was now being mirrored by my duplicates. "Okay, what's the deal? I mean, beyond getting a cat from another dimension." She paused and looked down, noting the attentive expression on the Felyne's face. "Wait, can he understand us?" She froze and barely contained excitement bubbled to the surface. "Can he speak?"
"Understand, yes. Speak is a bit more complicated." The second duplicate explained while wrestling with the Avid Gloves, one of which had slipped free from his arm and was trying to see if it would have better luck if it found a softer place to bite. Technically my other duplicate could have restrained that glove, but elected to give it free rein while focusing on the current situation. To be fair, I also wasn't bothering to use my link to hold back the other glove which was still fighting for its own freedom.
"What do you mean?" Aisha asked.
"He can understand you, but he still has a cat's vocal cords. Felyne's have their own language based on that." A language I could now understand. Something just dropped into my head along with everything else about this situation. "They can kind of speak, but it's hard to form words."
Tybalt waved to get her attention. When she glanced down he carefully began to speak, producing a cry that came across something like "Hallrooooo." Upon finishing the word, a proud expression plastered itself across his face and he proceeded to dive into a series of cries and meows explaining how happy he was to meet everyone and how much he looked forward to working with us.
"Aww." Aisha whispered, then looked over at the stone-faced expression still held by me and my duplicates. "Alright, seriously, what's the problem here?"
"It's not exactly a problem." I explained. "It's just something that's never happened before. Even with everything that's come from my powers, there's never been anything like this."
"What? What is it?"
I took a breath, then pushed forward. "He's my cousin."
Aisha blinked. She blinked again, looked down at the smiling cat, then back at me. "I'm sorry, what?"
I let out a sigh and exchanged glances with my duplicates. From their expression they were clearly willing to leave this to me while they watched and wrangled biting gloves, respectively.
"Tybalt is different from anything else from my power." I began. "You know those worlds that my power connects me to?" She gave me a flat look and I nodded. Of course, she wasn't about to forget when I had only just become a heroic spirit. Really, going over stuff like that was as much for my benefit as anything else. "Right." I looked down at Tybalt, who looked back up at me with an expression of pure earnestness. "I'm not the only one connected to them."
I could practically see the gears turning in Aisha's head as she tried to process that. "What do you mean by that?"
I took another breath. "Tybalt, he's what my power calls a Companion. That's a serious thing, by the standards of my power, and apparently it means he can connect to some of those worlds as well."
"Wait, you're saying the cat has powers? Powers like yours?" She asked in a shocked voice.
"Not exactly like mine, and not as many, but yeah, same type." I looked down at Tybalt. "One of those connections is to the same source that made me a demigod."
She looked at the Felyne who was standing proudly with his paws on his hips. "You mean he's…"
"A demigod." I said. "The son of Ares. Um, I'm not sure how that worked-"
Tybalt started rapidly meowing and gesturing emphatically with his paws. I raised my eyebrows in response.
"Really? How did he end up meeting one of Bast's handmaidens?" There was more meowing. "Uh-huh." More meowing and some hissing. "Right. What was that thing about Cleopatra's Needle?" There were some inquisitive meows. "Uh, no. I don't remember anything from my side. Really, just vague impressions and out of context moments." More meows. "Huh. You as well?"
I paused as I realized Aisha was staring at us. "Oh, sorry about that."
"You can speak cat." Aisha said flatly. "Can I learn to speak cat?"
"The language isn't Cat, it's Felyne. Learning it will make it easier for Tybalt to talk to you, but you're not going to be able to just start talking to random cats." Aisha actually looked disappointed at that news and I felt bad for dampening her enthusiasm.
Tybalt explained that it was alright and he understood the confusion. Aisha didn't understand him, but apparently the sight of a Felyne happily attempting to explain something through meows was endearing enough to completely raise her spirits.
It was at that moment that Garment finally arrived, having taken a diversion to collect Tetra. Tetra may have been more independent than ever, but her tendency to spread herself out when researching meant that having Garment on hand actually sped things up considerably when she wanted to shift to her mink form.
Garment immediately began cooing over Tybalt while Tetra approached more cautiously. When she passed by the second duplicate the Avid glove that had been trying to chew on his neck launched itself teeth first towards Tetra. She snatched it out of the air and hugged it to her chest, her fibers lighting up from the contact while she continued to slowly approach. The glove continued to try to bite, but it seemed mostly for show at this point, and it wasn't like that kind of thing could do anything against life fibers.
Tybalt himself was relishing the attention and doing his best to express greetings to everyone present, including Survey when she appeared via a life-sized projected hologram.
"Phonetic breakdown of the Felyne language has commenced based on translations provided by Apeiron's duplicates. A complete guide will be available in due time along with automated translation services on demand."
Tybalt meowed extensively at Survey and there was a brief delay while my first duplicate linked to the network to provide a full translation.
"Thank you Tybalt. I would be most interested to receive samples of the languages written format as well." She replied.
"Uh, sorry to bring it back to this, but the cat is a demigod?" She paused. "Wait, is it okay to say cat, or is that like a slur or something? Should I be saying Felyne or whatever."
Tybalt meowed at Aisha, paused, then gave me a hopeful look.
"He says the cat stuff is fine." I translated. "I think it's the equivalent of referring to a person as a hominid. Just a more general term."
"Right." She said, "So, getting back to it, demigod?"
"Serious demigod. Really serious." I replied, trying to get my head around the scale of that. "And a bunch of other stuff too. He's connected to seven different sources of my powers. There's varying amounts from each of them, it's just the demigod thing is the biggest."
"Maybe." My first duplicate said. "There's also Spiral."
"That infinite power thing you needed to build up? The cat has that too?" Aisha's eyes gleamed. "What else does he have? Wait, are those lockers from his powers?"
Garment was already edging towards one of them, pretty much giving things away.
"Yes, it's the same as for me. Some of the connections come with items. For instance, the locker that Garment is trying to approach without looking like she's trying to approach contains Tybalt's version of the iconic outfit I got during my fight with Lung."
Garment froze and unconvincingly tried to convey offence at the accusation, but also indicating that if Tybalt was so inclined to perhaps want to share an example of fashions from another universe she would very much like to see it. I don't know exactly how much of that Tybalt understood, but he got the gestures towards the lower locker. He gave me a questioning look and indicated towards them.
"Oh, go ahead. They're yours, not mine. You can do whatever you want with them."
He made a chirp of excitement and pulled open the locker door. Inside was a cat-sized outfit, dark gray with red highlights featuring an aggressively cut jacket, pants, and a cloak that ended in points. It was serious without giving up the charm that seemed to define him. As perfectly suited as my own outfit had been.
Of course, that wasn't the only thing in the locker. As Garment fussed over the outfit Tybalt reached in and pulled out his version of what my power referred to as a 'Questionably Practical Weapon'.
"What is that?" Aisha asked.
"A Jägerstock." Survey answered. "Literal translation 'hunting stick'. A double headed spear documented in a small number of combat manuals. The weapon has seen no documented mainstream use in any major conflict."
The moment Tybalt picked up the double spear he almost seemed to become a different person. It was as if he morphed himself around the weapon, changing every aspect of his stance, grip, posture, and movements to optimize its use. The comparatively tiny weapon came alive in his paws and in that moment looked like the deadliest thing on the planet. The barest hint of what a demigod son of the god of war could do with a weapon in his hands.
For a fraction of a second he held a combat stance with the jägerstock readied. Then, with a flourish, he moved it to a resting position and suddenly he was the same happy, curious Felyne we had seen before.
"Okay, demigod. Ares. I get it now." Said Aisha as she turned to me. "So, your cousin, huh?"
"Yeah, same 'grandmother' as it goes." I explained.
"Hera, right?" She paused. "Wait, shouldn't that be Hera and Zeus?"
"No." I said awkwardly. "Hera kind of flew solo with Hephaestus."
Aisha gave me a strange look. "What, she just squeezed him out?" She sounded as uncomfortable with the concept as I was.
"She is the goddess of motherhood. I think she could just do it on her own? Or maybe not, considering how Hephaestus turned out?" Aisha was giving me a series of progressively more horrified looks. "Hey, I didn't ask to be related to any of this."
"Yeah, yeah. Can't pick your family." Aisha looked around at the crowd as she said that, a crowd that was joined by a couple of Fleet's small vehicles, and her expression softened. It was basically a full conference in the entryway to welcome Tybalt to the group. That felt kind of nice. "So, he's got demigod powers like yours? I mean different feel, because war god, but same level?"
I almost flinched at the question, though Tybalt was looking exceptionally proud at that moment. "No, not at our level." I said, glancing at my duplicates. They understood what I meant.
"Ah." She looked down at Tybalt. Garment had levitated his outfit out of the locker and was carefully examining it. Tybalt's eyes were tracking the floating clothes and he seemed to be working to restrain himself from batting at them as they bobbed over his head. "Are his powers weaker because he's a cat?"
"No." I said solemnly as a connection was missed on the Size constellation. This was the main reason for the earlier apprehension. "Not weaker. A long, long way from weaker."
Aisha blinked at me, then looked down at the cat shaped tactical weapon who's resolve had finally broken and was hopping into the air trying to snatch back pieces of his iconic outfit as Garment continued to suspend them with her power.
"He's stronger than you? Than YOU?" She asked in amazement.
"His demigod powers are." I explained. "He has both of the powers I do that are directly connected to being a demigod. Divine Child makes you a demigod and Fate Finds You Interesting increases your powers."
"But he has more, right? Other ones? You said the powers don't match up exactly. What is it, those blessings and skill things, like with Aphrodite?" There was a flicker as Aisha's eyes darted over me, then quickly looked away.
The effect of my last blessing, and the awareness it brought. Thankfully, it didn't go any further than knowing Aisha thought I looked good. There wasn't even a hint of the inappropriate teasing that had been so common when we first met. I had been worried about what the awareness of beauty from that blessing would tell me, but it turned out it could convey nuance. Aisha was treating my new appearance with the same regard that extended to all of my work. That was as far as it went. I was being viewed like a work of art, but mercifully not as a romantic prospect.
"Not blessings or skills. Other abilities from the same source. A couple of minor ones." Tybalt meowed at me. "Comparatively minor." The correction seemed to satisfy him. "One's called Legendary Training, Berserking. It makes him tougher and lets him fly into a blood rage that makes him super strong and nearly unkillable."
Aisha gave me a skeptical look, then turned to where Tybalt had caught the hem of the jacket with one of his paws and was engaging in a tug of war, trying to pull it out of Garment's power as she kept bobbing it back upwards.
"Right." She said slowly. "What else?"
"He has a Legendary Implement." I said. "An item with divine properties, made out of special materials."
Tybalt shifted his attention to us at the mention of the implement and released the hem of the jacket, letting it flutter over to Garment. He gestured excitedly, then planted one of the points of his jägerstock into the floor. With a smooth motion and incredible display agility, he scampered up the length of the weapon to reach the locker above the one with his cat bed.
It was made more impressive when I realized that the weapon wasn't actually planted in the ground. He was balancing perfectly on the spearpoint while using the shaft as a ladder and sitting solid as a rock. That feat was soon forgotten as Tybalt pried open the locker revealing a dark purple glow from within.
Sitting in the center of the locker was a pitch-black Corinthian helmet. Despite the metal of the helmet seeming to swallow all light, the area around it showed signs of a deep purple light somehow coming from a surface of the darkest color imaginable. Tybalt grabbed the helmet and tucked it under his arm before sliding down the length of the spear like a fireman's pole.
"What is that?" Aisha asked, taking an involuntary step back as Tybalt presented the item.
"Stygian Iron. Like Celestial Bronze, but cooled in the River Styx rather than the River Lethe. It's… it's serious stuff." I said, completely redundantly. Anyone who looked at it could tell as much. That was only made more apparent as Tybalt slipped the helm over his head. Suddenly his little cat face was obscured by pitch black panels that seemed to make his eyes glow with malice. His posture seemed to shift and the shadows around him darkened. For an instant the tiny cat seemed to tower over all of us.
Then it was gone. In a flash the helmet collapsed into a black ring on Tybalt's left ear. Size adjustment and concealment effects. Basic features of divine craft, and ones I'd only begun to experiment with.
"Uh, wow." Aisha said in a shaky voice. "Um, is that stuff even safe?" She looked back at my duplicates. "It didn't feel safe, on like a lot of levels."
They nodded and the one not pinning down an Avid Glove launched into an explanation. "Really powerful and dangerous stuff. It actually drains lifeforce on contact." There was a motion from Tetra as she perked up and looked towards Tybalt. "We wouldn't carry it, and it's barely safe to work with, and even then mostly because of supporting powers. Ares is connected with the dead, those who die on the battlefield, so there's enough connection for Tybalt to safely use it. Anyone else? Not so much."
"Pretty much." I agreed. "I wouldn't go near the stuff without at least a blessing from Hades, and even then it's iffy."
"Right. Right." She paused then gave me a concerned look. "Wait, you said these were the minor powers?"
"Yeah." I admitted. "He has another one." And was currently looking adorably proud of the fact. "It's called 'Glory to Me'. It's the strongest power I've ever encountered."
There was a moment before exactly what I had said got through to Aisha. "What do you mean?"
"Exactly what I said. Stronger than any of the major powers I've gotten so far. Stronger than the power that made me a Heroic Spirit. Even stronger than the combined effects of Divine Child and Fate Finds You Interesting. It's divine powers with the brakes taken off and limits removed. Power that can fight gods or call down natural disasters, that opens up the full breadth of your parent's abilities. Power made manifest."
Aisha looked at me in shock, then down at the grinning blue eyed Felyne who offered an encouraging meow.
"Ha." She said nervously. "Well, good thing he's on our side." She reached down and extended a hand. "Welcome to the team."
In a fit of excitement, he set aside his spear and took the hand in both paws and shook with enough intensity that his entire body moved. Aisha giggled as his whiskers brushed against her hand, but all I could think of was how strong he actually was and how much worse this could have gone if he hadn't turned out to be such a ball of fluff and sunshine.
"So, demigod and spiral. That's two. You said he has five more?" Aisha asked after breaking off the handshake.
"Yeah, he had…" I paused and turned to Tybalt. "Is it okay if I explain this?" He nodded excitedly and settled in to listen to my explanation, beaming with pride. "Okay, he has a power from the same source that gave me my reinforcement ability. The thing that lets me wear a piece of armor and get protection on my whole body?"
Aisha nodded. "He have something similar?"
"Kind of. His is called Hard Target. It doesn't do any reinforcement, but it means armor will never be awkward or get in his way, no matter how bulky it is. It also helps prevent breaches in armor, so attacks are less likely to slip past." I explained.
"Nice. So, are you going to make him some armor, or does…" She trailed off as she watched Tybalt use his spear to leverage another of the lockers open. "Oh my God. That is adorable!"
"Aisha…" I tried.
"No, seriously." She gestured at the contents of the locker. "Look at the little armor, and the boots. And he even has tiny dog tags!" She pointed out the cat-sized COG armor and combat boots that stood waiting for Tybalt. I had my own version of everything in the locker, including the pistol which for some reason was the one item that hadn't been scaled down to cat size, making it more of a SMG for him.
"I have the same stuff. It came with a reverse engineering power." I explained. "He got the ability to beat people with guns, plow through enemies really, really well, reload efficiently, and swear."
"Swear?" Aisha asked. In response Tybalt gave a sharp meow that caused me and my duplicates' eyes to widen. After a moment for translation Survey brough the hand of her hologram to its mouth and mimed horror. Aisha just looked around in wonder. "Okay, what did he say?"
"Um, it doesn't have an exact translation, and the implication isn't really fit for polite company." I said.
Aisha gestured to the group. "What about this company is polite? Come on, make with the profanity." When there was no response to her pleas she slumped. "Fine, be that way. What else did he get?"
"The power that came with the spear and outfit lets him control his weight and do a special move that extends the reach of his weapons." I said. Tybalt quickly demonstrated Demon Fang, thrusting forward with his jägerstock, causing a bolt of light to travel the same distance as his reach. Effectively it negated any disadvantages from fighting at his size, and coupled with his insane combat skills it would make him a terror in close combat.
"Very nice. Anything else?" She asked. This time Survey decided to chip in.
"An additional automated hanger and striker craft have been added to the workshop." She called up a hologram of the new facility, identical to what had been provided for me with the exception of the striker clearly being based on a Supermarine Spitfire and it being scaled for someone Tybalt's size.
Also, it came with a set of weapons. A .50BMG rifle and a .308 machine gun, both sized for easy deployment along with the striker. I mean, I hadn't gotten any weapons with my striker, but that was fine. I didn't need perfectly preserved vintage heavy weapons that could be hand fired while flying at combat speeds. After all, I had my missile compliment. There was no reason to be envious.
Okay, does it say something that I'm more focused on the gap in classic hardware advantage than the near limitless divine power that Tybalt wields? I wonder if that says something about me. Wow, just a few hours from therapy and suddenly Tuesday can't come soon enough.
"Wait, if he has a set of those plane legs then that means he can do the animal thing, right?" I didn't respond to Aisha's eager tone, but behind me both of my duplicates called to their familiars, suddenly sprouting tufts of fur from their heads and growing tails.
God damn it, with Aphrodite's blessing they only looked more adorable. Aisha's badly concealed squeal and Garment's complete lack of any restraint in her enthusiasm for the display made that extra clear.
Tybalt called out, this time working to pronounce the word "Here." To the best of his ability. Through my sense of mana in the area I could feel him reaching out and calling down the spirit of his familiar. With a slight poof a bundle of white feathers appeared on either side of his face, and was joined by a fan of longer feathers near the base of his tail.
"Oh. My. God. He's a cat bird!" Aisha exclaimed. Garment was taking particular note of things as Tybalt proudly displayed the manifestations of his familiar.
"Eagle familiar." I explained, pointing to the feathers.
With a surge of mana Tybalt called up his shield, a central disk with three rotating sub-circles. Where I had consistently been somewhat awkward working around the fixed disc of the shield, Tybalt gripped his jägerstock and fell into a natural combat stance, looking for all the world like a Spartan warrior in a shield wall. That image was reinforced to a disturbing degree when his earring surged and expanded into his full helmet, leaving him with glowing eyes peering out of a pitch-black helmet.
Though this time with fans of feathers sticking out of either side.
There was a flare as each end of his jägerstock burst into flame with the same baleful glow pouring forth from his eyes. These weren't the flames of creation that burned within the forge or the Hearthfire than defined house and home. These were the flames of war.
The roiling flames that coated the spearheads of the weapon and burned within the Felyne's eyes were thick, clawing, sulfurous things. The flames of burned corpses, cauterized wounds, and siege weapons. It was the flame of gunpowder, firearms, and sabotage. Fire that existed primarily to consume. There was some shelter and protection there, but it was limited, contained. Flames of torches, picket lines and mess fires. Flames that hardened men and drove them forward to die.
I could feel the power behind that simple expression of flame and know that it was the absolute lightest touch possible. The merest hint of what he was capable of unleashing on the world. Fire as a consuming force, directed at his command.
And then he collapsed the helmet once more and dismissed the shield and flames, his posture immediately changing to such a degree that it was hard to picture him as the foreboding presence that had just appeared. Well, hard for everyone but Garment who was furiously scribbling in her sketch book. Given that display had involved a helmet, shield, and nothing else I had a feeling Barbarian Chic would be branching out fairly soon.
"Very cool." Aisha said as the Magic constellation moved by without securing a connection. "So that's six? There's one more, right?"
I nodded. "Yeah. It's actually from the same source as Garment."
Garment preened at the mention, but Aisha gave her an unsteady look.
"Right. Uh, it's easy to forget that Garment came from your power. Like, from another universe of something?" Garment indicated she wasn't particularly concerned about the implications of that, being more focused on the current projects available to her and the people she had connected with. Aisha seemed to get the 'not concerned' part and nodded. "So, what's the power? Some kind of fashion thing?"
"Uh, no." I said, shaking my head. "This is actually going to get a bit weird."
She gave me a flat look. "See, considering our baseline of 'weird' you feeling the need to point that out has me more than a little concerned."
I sighed. "Well, strap in." I turned to Tybalt. "Are you ready to try it?" He meowed back, indicating that he was. Frankly I was glad he hadn't opened up with this power. Setting aside the questionable phrasing used in the name, it had massive potential on a level I could hardly believe.
Tybalt gave a thumbs up, then activated his power. I knew it was coming, but it was still a trip. Aisha seemed to be struggling to figure out exactly what had happened, and incredibly even my A.I.s seemed to be affected.
"All right." She said slowly. "I know something happened, but I can't tell exactly what." She looked down at Tybalt. "Is it that he's not wearing pants? Is it that I'm not finding it that strange that someone's standing around without pants?"
Tybalt dropped the effect and there was an equally confused moment as Aisha evaluated him again. "Uh, what just happened?"
"He has a power that lets him make people ignore superficial traits about him." I said. "Traits like being a three-and-a-half-foot tall bipedal cat can be ignored in favor of an evaluation based only on merit."
Aisha blinked furiously, then shook her head. "God, that was… I mean, even knowing about it, it's still…" She turned to me. "Is this what it's like when people deal with my power?"
I considered the similarity. "Sort of? It's a different kind of effect. Also, a lot more powerful. There are people who can slip past stranger effects, but as far as I can tell this will work on everyone and everything."
Aisha gave an impressed whistle. "Wait, so that means he could just walk out into the city and everyone would treat him like normal?"
I shrugged. "As normal as anyone gets treated in Brockton Bay. They wouldn't hold his height, speech, or species against him." I shook my head. "Normally I'd be nervous about putting something like this to the test, but this is about as powerful as this stuff gets. There's no chance of backlash."
"Right." Aisha said. "Plus, once you master the entire planet to make them call you by a cool title everything else seems minor in comparison."
I frowned, but knew she was saying it in good humor.
"God, so he could actually go outside. Like, just make a run for milk or to visit the Boardwalk or anything." Aisha mused.
"Yeah." I said as Tybalt preened. "It's not a license to cause trouble, but he can go out and be judged based on his behavior, like anyone else."
Aisha shook her head slowly. "Crazy. First one who can freely leave the workshop and it's the cat."
"First one would have been Garment." I clarified, but I got her meaning. I was proud of the community that had built up in the workshop, but I was aware of how limiting it was. Even Garment didn't have complete free rein to leave, just from the dynamics of being a public cape and a known figure. Anytime she showed her face it would be like a publicity event from the Protectorate. I don't think that dynamic exactly bothered her, not with the way she relished attention, but it was a bit sad that she was limited in how she interacted outside the Workshop.
"That is something I'm working on." I added. There were knowing looks from my duplicates, but with the way the rest of the Workshop crew had clustered around it felt like this was something that should be happening in a meeting hall or something like that. Even without a physical presence, Fleet and the Matrix were extending awareness to the events as they played out. Relocating for the sake of setting the scene… Well, it was the kind of thing my power excelled at, but I didn't need to turn this into an apparent sales pitch.
"For Somer's Rock, right?" Aisha asked. "Who were you planning on bringing? Aside from me."
I looked around at the crowd. "Provided I can manage it? Pretty much everyone."
Aisha blinked. "Everyone?"
"Well, not the duplicates." I said. That was a trump card I needed to keep hidden. Plus, there wasn't much benefit to doubling up on that front, and it would be better to have off site support covering for us. "And only people who want to go, of course." I looked down at Tybalt. "So, if you'd rather-"
An abrupt and derisive meow cut me off as he gestured towards the nameplate of his locker. My eyes jumped to it and I nodded. "Sorry, didn't mean to insult you. I'd be happy to have your assistance."
"What?" Aisha asked, looking at the plate. "What's so important."
Tybalt stood up and carefully enunciated his words. They still rolled out with a very cat-like quality, but it could be clearly understood. "Pal-i-coe!"
Aisha gave him a blank look then turned to me for clarification.
"Um, okay, my recollections of this are a little scattered, so this might be a bit vague." She nodded and gestured for me to continue. "Felynes, at least in whatever place Felynes are from, work with humans. Like, they're part of society. They work as cooks, crafters, stock keepers, or any number of other jobs."
"Wait." Aisha said flatly. "You're saying there's a world out there that has adorable little cat people running around doing chores and cooking?" The excitement in her tone was completely blatant.
"Maybe? Still not completely sure of how this multiverse stuff works. Also, based on some of the other stuff that's come from that world and the powers relating to it, I'm not sure it's the kind of place you'd want to visit."
"It has a society of helper cats. There could be man-eating monsters around every corner and it would still be worth visiting." Aisha stated confidently.
I decided not to argue the point. "Anyway, palicos are a special kind of role for Felynes. They're kind of… I guess the best comparison would be squires." From Tybalt's posture it looked like he was pleased with that term. "They act as assistants to warriors. It's a very dangerous and very prestigious job."
She nodded in understanding. "And Tybalt is your palico?" He meowed in confirmation. "So, the idea that he would like, abandon you or not want to help…"
"It was an insult." I said seriously. "It's a partnership built on depending on and trusting each other."
"Right." Aisha said with a smile. "Apeiron and his adorable demigod cat." Her face twisted in contemplation. "Normally I wonder how that would go down at Somer's Rock, but with that power I guess it's not an issue."
"No." I said, looking around. "Just everyone else." Aisha followed my gaze, but I caught an apprehensive movement from Tetra. She quickly corrected it, but I could feel her reaction through the Dragon's pulse. Something that was bothering her. That had been building since she arrived at the meeting, but had gotten sharply worse. A quick look told me this probably wasn't the best time to approach her, but I would need to follow up.
"If it's everyone, how's that going to work?" Aisha asked. "I mean, Garment can't come, right?" Garment pulled her attention away from Tybalt's outfit and lifted her gloves, wiggling the fingers, then gesturing at me. "Oh, right. So, what about the people you can't wear?"
Did that include Matrix, or with Nanite Absorption did they count as wearing me. An eager pulse of data from Survey was acknowledged by me, and she stepped forward to begin her presentation.
"Apeiron has been working on means of personal representation for Fleet and myself." Screens popped up displaying an array of plans and technologies, with nested revisions from the integration of the suggestions and requests that had been made since I first made the decision to bring them. "While simple drone constructs would be sufficient and easily able to hold each of our respective programs," There was a sharp emphasis on that sentence and I suspected Tetra wasn't the only one I needed to speak with. "Apeiron has been adamant that temporary and disposable forms are not an appropriate step on this occasion. Instead, considerable emphasis has been placed on the development of a primary body to serve as a focal point for offsite activities and interaction with the larger community."
Aisha looked over the screens. "So, you're building special bodies for Fleet and Survey?"
I nodded. "Dedicated humanoid forms, and high-level construction." I accessed the network and called up my own contributions to the plans. "Including forms of crafting and enchanting that I have held back from up to now." I'd need to practice my singing.
"For good reason." Said Survey. "They are excessively costly and unnecessary for this application. The resources could be better directed towards personal safety rather than an indulgence for either of us."
Tybalt called out with a series of cries and meows, part of which Survey was able to translate and part of which was handled by my duplicates. Survey directed her hologram to look down at the Felyne. "While being active in the field to directly support Apeiron may provide additional safety and support, it would still be more prudent to direct limited and key resources towards his own safety rather than our own enrichment."
Tybalt's response was fairly dismissive of that idea. I stepped in before it could turn into an argument. "Decision is already made. This has been in the works for a long time, the only difference is what I can bring to bear in terms of crafting. And also protection against precognition and high-level clairvoyants or scanners."
"Yeah, fuck the Simurgh." Aisha said. "How's that going to work, anyway?"
"Well, you're getting a ward before you leave tonight. Hope you're comfortable wearing a charm bracelet." Said my second duplicate. "As of now nobody steps out of the Workshop without one. The two of us have looked into it and there are ways of fooling predictions. Kind of a 'hold the course' thing. We should be able to convince everyone we're still following that bunkering down plan without needing to make sure we follow it, now or in the future."
"You're sure that will work?" Asked Aisha, a little nervously. It was undoubtedly a big step. So far nobody had gotten out of the Simurgh's shadow, to say nothing of the myriad of concerns connected to other high-level thinkers.
"The magic checks out and there's a lot of power behind our work. Blocking is actually easier, at least comparatively. It's a lot simpler to break something than redirect it. Even if the deception doesn't hold, they won't be able to get anything from us." He assured her.
"Right." She took a breath. "So, Tybalt's going, Survey and Fleet have bodies in the works. Garment's sneaking in with you. I'll be in my armor. Tetra can go as she is." Once again, the slightest flinch from the crimson hell mink form of Tetra, easy to miss without the Dragon's Pulse basically casting a spotlight on it. "What about Matrix?"
The Nanobot Matrix quickly accessed the display systems, having already been tied into the network to observe the conversation. They displayed their requests for work in preparation for the Somer's Rock summit.
"One hundred and fifty liters of tier one nanobots?" Aisha asked.
"Best quality nanobots take a long time to make." I explained. "We've been adding to the reserves of tier one nanobots, but it's slow work. Minutes of work to make even a drop."
Aisha gave me a concerned look. "See, for anyone else that wouldn't mean much, but I know how fast you work. How powerful are the tier one things?"
"Very. Normally even a few liters of them would be a pipe dream, but with my Noble Phantasm…"
"Right. Timeless." Her eyes lit up. "Hey, you said it was faster with smaller things, right?"
I nodded. "Right. Working at nanoscale cuts the mana cost down to a bare minimum. Really only time and complexity costs, and those are much less significant. I could actually fill an order like that. It would take a lot of mana management to cover that much work, but at least it's possible now."
"What's that thing about generation four beta- asterisk-superscript-temp-pending?" She asked, reading the terms off the screen.
I sighed. "Every redesign of the nanobots that make up the Matrix is a new generation. As I get more powers the old plans have to be updated to include them." I gestured to the mess of a designation. "Generation three rolled out when I got Elerium and meld technology. The thing is, I got some major powers and new materials after that, so they instantly launched into generation four. Only the plans keep updating because they don't want to commit to a design that's going to be outdated as soon as I get another big power."
Did I tempt fate? I had to wonder if I tempted fate, because right then I felt a connection form to the Crafting constellation. It was a smaller mote called Weapon Crafting. It provided the now familiar improvement to crafting skills, giving a natural understanding of any weapon I could get my hands on, enough to build or improve the design. As a unique bonus, it gave the unique ability to grant a weapon unlimited ammunition.
There were some limits. There still had to be at least a base example of the ammunition used, particularly for exotic offerings. Making something with an endless supply of standard rounds was easy, but you needed something chambered if you wanted to shoot something more exotic like rubber bullets, hollow points, or high explosive rounds.
The rounds fired weren't actually physical things. They were composed of… I guess you could call it demon energy. It was similar to what I understood of Miss Militia's power, energy shaped into a bullet that dissipated after firing. It did have the benefit of being able to use some incredibly specialized ammunition without worrying about anything being reverse engineered or salvaged from it. The image of a Celestial Bronze chain gun mowing through a crowd and ignoring everyone but the cape I was fighting popped into my head. Or Celestial Bronze fragmentation grenades. The options were endless.
It was also a huge boost for projections. Energy weapons had been nearly impossible to sustain, but now I only needed to charge enough power for a single shot. The same with projectile weapons. As long as I could project a single round of whatever I was firing I would be free to unload as many shots as I wanted.
"You just got a new power, didn't you?" Aisha asked. "This something that's going to set back the Matrix's new gen?"
I considered and shook my head. Nanobots didn't really have any applications that could benefit from unlimited ammo. In fact, you were more likely to shoot nanobots than have nanobots themselves shoot something.
Oh, that was a scary thought. Nanotech rounds designed to function as aggressive deconstruction effects, only to vanish once the demon energy dissipates. It would have been a 'safe' use of weaponized nanite technology even without Matrix managing things for me.
It was also brutal overkill and the kind of thing that got kill orders issued, so maybe not the kind of thing I should be open about or use casually.
"No, the power itself is pretty minor." I explained as my duplicates uploaded details of my new abilities to the computer core. "Better crafting and comprehension of weapons, plus the ability to give weapons endless ammo."
Aisha blinked. "Right, because that's a minor thing for you." Suddenly something seemed to occur to her. "That's the main power, right? What else ya get?" She asked, leaning forward.
My duplicates were making encouraging gestures, so I decided to give in. I lifted a hand and dragged it through my hair. As I pulled it through my brown strands styled themselves and extended past shoulder length. I experimentally flipped my hair, enjoying the feel of a length I had never actually let my hair reach, then swept my hand through again, resetting to my usual length, though in a more controlled style.
"It's called Get Set. The power lets me style my hair however I want, and even change the length." Aisha was watching me open mouthed and Garment had her hands clenched in excitement.
"Wow." She said, looking at the display. Honestly, I may have overdone it with that hair flip, but the atmosphere settled soon enough. "Um, anything else."
"Whole bunch of stuff." My first duplicate chimed in. "Ability to hold unlimited weapons, store them in a pocket dimension and switch whenever we want. A power based on taunting people, where you can recover stamina when it works, oh, and this limit breaking thing that apparently lets you do impossible stuff if you train hard enough."
"Seriously?" Aisha asked. The second duplicate nodded.
"It's called Cuh-Ray-Zee, exactly like that. Sort of like Spiral, except it somehow makes less sense, and also ranks you on how well you perform." He explained. "And there's this."
Suddenly a cluster of translucent blue blades appeared above his shoulders, angled towards me. From the look in his eye, I could tell what he was planning. That was fine. He wasn't the only one who was Cuh-Ray-Zee.
The swords launched forward like they were fired from a rotary gun, but I was already in the air. A translucent blue sword formed in my own hand, moving up to deflect the first blade as my momentum carried me enough to catch the second with a high kick, sending it flying into the ceiling. I swept my blade down to cut the third in half, then I had enough height to kick the fourth into the floor. Using the force from the kick I flipped over, allowing me to grab the final blade by the hilt.
Next came the hard part. The art that allowed us to do this was called Dark Slayer. Half of it was about projecting weapons composed of demonic energy. Any weapon I'd seen could be copied. Normally a fairly weak copy, but the better I understood it and the more practice I had the stronger it would be. I had experience with projections already, so there wasn't much trouble getting a feel for that side of things. The other half was another story.
I focused, drawing my mind from where I was to where I wanted to be. Suddenly I was nowhere, then everywhere, then I was there. 'There' as in teleporting behind the duplicate who launched the swords. If I had this kind of thing perfected I would have appeared with both of my blades crossed under his neck. Instead, I was lucky enough to show up behind him, facing the right way, and only half a foot off the ground. Still, I was able to go for the dramatic finish pose without much trouble, but this wasn't a real fight anyway, just showing off.
In the corner of my vision, I saw a stylish B appear, along with the word 'Bravo!'. Apparently a passible job, but not exceptional.
"You can teleport?" Aisha asked.
"Yeah." I tossed aside the blades, letting them dissipate. "Part of a combat style that came with the power. Short distance teleport and the ability to project weapons." I saw her expression and quickly clarified. "No, it's not something I can teach. You're going to have to make do with ninjitsu and alchemy."
"Fine." She made a show of being hurt. "I'll make do somehow." She gave me another look. "And that was just tacked on to the other power?"
I nodded. "It's definitely strong, but it's totally usable. I can probably handle the weapon projection, but the teleportation and any creative uses of the style are going to take work." I sighed. "We have time to get everyone outfitted for Somer's Rock, new equipment on top of making Fleet and Survey's bodies, but there's too many things I need to train or practice with. I'm not going to be able to get the full potential out of all of them."
"Yeah." She agreed. "I guess we can get through technical stuff with no problem, but I'm in the same boat with alchemy. Not going to be rolling that out by the meeting."
I nodded. "Really, you shouldn't need to, it's just something I want you to have in reserve." I sighed. "I guess we should get back, unless you…"
"No, I'm good." She assured me. "I know what you said back there, but there's no way I'm not going to feel like I'm wasting time by standing out here."
Tybalt tugged on my hand and meowed at me. "Oh, yeah, of course you can join in." I looked up at Aisha. "If you're alright with it?"
"Hummm, school with an adorable demigod cat as a classmate. Yeah, I think I can manage."
"We should probably get back as well." My first duplicate said. "Still plenty of work."
Garment gestured emphatically about her desire to return to the class, particularly with Tybalt in attendance, but my eyes and the sense of the Dragon's Pulse was drawing my attention to Tetra.
"Aisha, why don't you and Garment show Tybalt around real quick. I'll catch up with you at the computer core."
Garment jumped on the opportunity and immediately led them on a path that would take them directly to her workshop. I would honestly be surprised if Tybalt didn't have a new outfit by the time they made it to the interface thrones.
Tybalt was gesturing as they departed and I immediately learned what he was up to from Aisha's cry. "He can make milkshakes?"
The last power, an unlimited supply of very unhealthy and very delicious milkshakes. Oddly also from the same source as Garment, but clearly something the group, sans Garment, would enjoy on their tour.
That left me alone with Tetra. Well, as alone as was possible with the multiple senses and omnipresent surveillance of the workshop. She hugged one of the Avid Gloves in towards her chest. She seemed both grateful to have a chance to talk and embarrassed that I had picked up on the need for it.
She shifted nervously for a moment, then looked up as I rolled up my sleeve. "Here. I know the link works through the glove, but you probably need more energy than that."
There was a flicker of excitement that momentarily overshadowed the apprehension. It reasserted itself quickly, but that wasn't enough to deter her from scampering forward, darting up my back and settling onto my arm in a bright flare of red fibers, wrapping her tail around my shoulder.
She also released her grip on the Avid Glove, which was not my Avid Glove, meaning it was more than happy to try to find something to bite or explore. The fact that I would probably have been near impervious even without my reinforcement did nothing to deter it through its tireless efforts.
"Tetra, what's bothering you?" This close, the emotional link between us was strong enough that there was no point denying anything. She shifted slightly, then looked down at the new locker.
"Palico. He's your partner. He gets to fight alongside you." She said. And with that, things fell into place. "He's stronger than me, and he doesn't need to feed like I do, and he can talk to other people without needing to go through the infrared relays."
"Tetra, it's not like that. There's no replacing anyone here." I explained.
"I know." She shifted. "I know it's not the same. And I can help. It's nice to be able to move, after everything that happened, but it's not the same." There was a pulse of life fiber energy as she struggled to settle her emotions. "I'm trying, to learn, to get better at things, but we can't fight together anymore, and that's not getting better."
"This is about not turning you into a Kamui." I guessed. The link told me I was correct, even if she didn't say anything. "Tetra, that's a massive step, something we can't undo. What happened to you, this is something unique. I don't want to throw that away."
"You're making changes for Survey. And Fleet's getting a new body as well. And the Matrix will be on their fourth generation soon." She countered.
"The Matrix is part of the reason we can't do this now." I explained. "Turning you into a Kamui isn't some iterative process. It's a big and pretty much final step."
"The powers are going to keep coming, aren't they?" She asked. "There's no point where it's going to be enough." Another pulse of energy came with a wave of emotion. "I liked helping you fight. I think that's what I was supposed to do. It's my purpose. I want that again."
And that was probably the biggest thing. As wonderful as Tetra's independence was, she was designed to be connected to another creature. It was a fundamental part of her nature, her biology. Being cut off from that with no way back would be hard for her.
"It doesn't have to be your only purpose." I sighed. This was getting too heavy. I was in therapy myself. I didn't know how to guide an alien parasite through an identity crisis. All I could do was blunder forward and try my best. The Knowledge constellation missed a connection as I continued.
"And you're right. I don't know when the powers will be enough." Possibly when I had some kind of reverse option or undo command in case she changed her mind. "And the powers aren't stopping." They were coming as fast as ever, and getting stronger. More than that, they were expanding.
The one thing I hadn't mentioned to Aisha following the arrival of my last power. Something new had happened. A thirteenth constellation. With that power some kind of threshold had been crossed and a new mass of lights bloomed into being. I didn't know what they were yet, there were no connections or even close passes, but I could feel them in my mind.
And they felt familiar.
Something about these new motes were similar to powers I already had. That meant one thing. More connections to the same sources, the same universes as before. My powers were set to get broader and deeper with no end in sight. But there had to be some point.
"After Somer's Rock." I told Tetra.
She raised her little mink head. Really, she was about the same size as Tybalt, which may have drawn more comparisons to the forefront. "Really?"
"I'm not saying we'll make any final decisions." Her head drooped. "But we'll look into it. Plan things out and see what's possible so YOU can make a decision." That was what I'd always promised. This wasn't about what I thought was best, it was about letting people in my care decide for themselves.
Free will. With what could have happened, it was a big deal for me.
"After you've had a chance to get out of the workshop you can decide how you want to go forward, whether like this, as a Kamui, or something else, but right now we need to get ready for the summit."
"Okay." She said, "I understand."
A thought occurred. "We're about to start alchemy theory." I said. "I know you can just access records, but do you want to join the class?" Her head perked up again.
"Really?" I nodded. Frankly, there was no reason Garment or Tetra shouldn't be able to do alchemy. It was a scientific principle, and everything I understood about them said they should be able to handle sensing and channeling the energies involved. I didn't think I'd be able to train up four alchemists before Somer's Rock, but we'd get there eventually, and having something new to focus on would be good for Tetra.
"Come on." I said. "We've got a lot to cover."
Special Note: The Felyne granted by the 'Felyne Comrade' item is specified to count as a Companion. As such, any previous jump documents that granted free companion imports apply to the Felyne and are included along with other free items. A list of free companion imports and their associated abilities can be found below.
Democracy Under the Companions (Highschool of the Dead) Free:
At no cost you may import up to eight Companions, who shall receive the 100cp perk of their Origin, and an appropriate history. Companions may not be imported as one of Them, and each of the first six origins (All Rounder, Otaku, Genius, Fighter, Teacher, Soldier) must be filled by you or one of your companions before any unassigned imports can double up at no cost. You must pay 50cp to import a Companion as The Expert (Drop In), or when importing a companion as any given Survior origin after the first without filling the roster.
Hard Target (Highschool of the Dead) Free:
You're a tough nut to crack because you know how to wear armor effectively! This perk ensures that any armor or protective gear you wear feels comfortable and doesn't get in your way no matter how bulky or awkward it seems. Further, your skills make rips and breaks in the armor much less likely, and far easier to repair. One of Them won't down you with a lucky one bite hit!
Some Of My Best Friends Are Dodgeball Players (Dodgeball) Free:
You may import eight Companions, granting them a past in this world. Since everyone in this world plays dodgeball, they have at least a moderate amount of skill in the activity more if they were already particularly physically or martially inclined. Your Companions share your Origin, in addition to any 600cp perks you purchased for yourself, with or without a discount.
Milkshake OR Nutrient shake - Milkshake (Dodgeball) Free:
One tastes delicious and comes in a variety of flavors and probably isn't the best for your health. The other comes in one flavor gruel and does wonders for your health. Choose one upon purchase. You may summon one whenever you like, but only one at a time.
All I Know Is That Dyke Can Play (Dodgeball) Free:
Race, accent, gender, sexuality, social class, age, wealth, relations, dress these are but a few of the ways your worth or capability is judged. You may, at will, choose for these or other superficial traits to be ignored for an objective merit based evaluation of yourself, or instead for a trait to be exaggerated in their perception. You may mix and match. You may also apply this to your perceptions of others to eliminate these biases in yourself.
Form Up, Team! (Gears of War) Free:
Fighting alone gets you killed. Good thing you can bring backup; you can bring up to four Companions with you for free, as human members of your own squad. Should you desire more, you can pay 50CP per Companion to bring additional Companions with you, up to four extra for eight total. Each Companion is able to have their own Background (CQC Expert), and 200CP to spend for the purpose of this jump.
GOD DAMN SON OF A BITCH (Gears of War) Free:
The art of swearing is crude and obnoxious when used incorrectly. But you? You know how to swear EFFICIENTLY. Whether it's for the sake of injecting some comedy into a situation, or emphasizing the seriousness of a situation, you'll know just how to get the most bang for your buck.
Action Reload (Gears of War) Free:
Whether it shows up on a HUD of some kind, or whether it's a 'feeling' you have, you're aware of an action prompt whenever you reload your weapons. When you hit the sweet spot in your reloading routine, you're able to finish the job much faster, and the excess movements you've discarded make your shots that much more accurate for a brief period. Every second counts in battle!
Weapon Executions (Gears of War) Free:
Most guns are designed to kill something from afar. But where's the fun in that? If an enemy is downed or in a position where you can take the time, you can come up with all manners of methods to use your weapons to execute enemies in a hilarious fashion. Use a shotgun like a golf club? No problem! A sniper rifle like a sledgehammer? No problem! All of these and more, plus your weapons will never suffer damage from using them in this fashion.
The Cole Train (Gears of War) 400, discounted to 200:
To Hell with ANYONE in your way. Momentum is your friend, your ally; when charging the enemy you find your attacks deal a noticeable increase in damage, and your ability to reload and strike people on the fly is increased. You could even shove your gun in someone, fire through them, and move onto the next one akin to chaining your kills. This effect ends when standing still, but when you push forward and charge through the enemy they will know it. All Aboard!
COG Armor (Gears of War) Free:
Standard issue armor that's made of multiple metal plates. On the back of the suit is a magnetic 'holster', that resembles a general infantry backpack, allowing people to carry two weapons on their backs. The armor provides medium protection against damage (multiple assault rifle shots only bruise the wearer), but will not withstand concentrated or sustained gunfire. Helmet optional.
Combat Boots (Gears of War) Free:
They're thick, they're heavy, and they'll serve you well. Along with giving excellent comfort and protection from the myriad of terrains you'll find here, they're also very handy for stomping the heads of enemies like watermelons at a comedian show
MX8 Snub Pistol (Gears of War) Free:
The standard sidearm for all COG soldiers, this weapon makes up for its low damage and small 12-round magazine through a high rate of fire and its impressive accuracy. Expect to find ammo for it everywhere
COG Tags (Gears of War) Free:
A form of identification that takes the form of a necklace with small gear-shaped tags. They will have whatever identification you desire upon them
Personal Digital Assistant (Gears of War) Free:
There is still a reliance on technology, even if the war with the Locust make things... problematic. With this, you'll have an easier time with Command and keeping track of your data.
Someone From Below (Gurren Lagann) Free:
You can make up to eight of your current companions inhabitants of this world, granting them a background, the power to generate Spiral Energy and either a human or beastman body for free. You can also spend 50cp in order to give an individual companion 600cp to spend, or pay 200cp to give all eight imported companions 600cp to spend on perks, items, or a Gunmen. Companions cannot purchase any companion options or drawbacks. Companions will only gain the free items, perks and discounts given by their backgrounds if you spend cp on imports. Otherwise they will only benefit from their new memories, a new form and the power to generate Spiral Energy.
Spiral Energy (Gurren Lagann) Free:
A mysterious but incredibly powerful evolutionary force that can be harnessed and manipulated by living beings. Spiral Energy can allow an individual to achieve virtually anything imaginable, but in order to keep things from getting too crazy you'll have to slowly unlock your Spiral powers over time. Initially you'll only have enough power to pilot a Gunmen but with enough time and the right circumstances you can figure out how to generate large powerful drill weapons from your mech that are capable of easily destroying other Gunmen and can cause massive explosions. After a few years of continued use you could potentially learn how to increase your physical abilities, Intelligence, and natural lifespan to superhuman levels. Once you've fully unlocked your Spiral power you'll be able to live for over a thousand years, punch apart small Gunmen with your bare hands, discover and forge incredible technological wonders, and generate drills and other constructs from Spiral Energy without the assistance of a mech.
Band (Percy Jackson) Free:
You may import or create a companion with 500 cp, if they take the same origin as you they get the origin for free. You may further supplement any companions with your points at a 1:1 ratio or giving them the Illiterate, Divine Disdain, Unwanted Suitor, Godly Grudge, Luddite, Minor Mistake, Fate Finds you Interesting and/or Bad Oath drawbacks for the appropriate amount of points (max 300 from drawbacks per companion). As Fate likes its threes the first two companions are free.
Old Traditions (Percy Jackson) Free:
You are knowledgeable in the ways of the ancient civilization corresponding to whatever mythology you're most connected with. You can read their languages, know the proper ways to honor the gods, and have a decent grasp of their mythology. Otherwise unassociated Drop-ins may choose any one ancient culture to know of. You may purchase this multiple times, each time gaining insight into a new culture.
Divine Child - Ares (Percy Jackson) Free:
You are the direct child of a god of your associated pantheon and gain various benefits from this. You gain lesser manifestations of your parent's domains as well as generally being better than an ordinary mortal. You may take most any god as your parent but to take one of the heads of a pantheon as a parent you must take the "Fate finds you interesting" drawback receiving no points for it (you can also do this with a lesser god to get greater powers). Generally this will give you insight into and some control over your divine parent's domains, a son of Poseidon for example can control water and ships, talk to horses, cause minor earthquakes and is empowered within water
Fate Finds You Interesting (Percy Jackson) Free:
"Fate finds you interesting" drawback receiving no points for it (you can also do this with a lesser god to get greater powers)
Legendary Implement - Stygian Iron Helmet (Percy Jackson) Free:
Be it a celestial bronze sword that folds down into a pen, a staff that was custom built for you and helps channel your magic, flying shoes, a yankees cap of invisibility or any other useful mildly magical weapon or item this is what you're after. Weapons may optionally be forged from one of the various divine metals, in which case they will do nothing to mortals but be amazingly effective against monsters or other creatures of legend (once the jump is over you may turn this on and off freely). The following add ons may also be purchased: Materials (free) You may have your item made from Celestial Bronze (relatively mundane, somewhat lighter than the other metals), Stygian Iron (absorbs the essence of monsters it kills, preventing their return), Imperial Gold (can be broken to create a fairly large explosion of mystic energy), or Bone Steel forged from a species of your choice (is much more effective on things similar to the donor of the bones). Concealable (free) When not in use the item will turn into a small mundane item so as to hide its nature and help make it easier to carry. Unique ability (100, one free non-weapon items) The item has some minor ability unique to it, from a cap that turns you invisible when worn to a Sword that trails water.
Legendary Training - Berserking (Percy Jackson) 200, discounted to 100:
You can fly into a blood rage, while in this state you are far stronger than normal and can fight despite nearly any wound. You will still use your other abilities effectively but will be hyperfocused on melee combat. Also taking part in this training has toughened your hide, making it possible to shrug off blows that would leave mortals reeling.
Glory to… Me (Percy Jackson) 800, discounted to 400:
Your divinely related abilities are all massively enhanced to the point that you could fight on par with some mid-tier gods. Using your powers is instinctual and nearly as easy as breathing. Also you gain benefits from your divine parent's more obscure domains. A child of Hades might find themselves able to call up wealth and ghosts interchangeably while one of Apollo could burn his foes and heal his allies with his mere presence. Using your abilities extensively is tiring though and you should be careful not to wear yourself out too much by summoning a natural disaster where something smaller would've worked just as well. Generally the stronger your parent or other source of abilities the more you will get to work with, a child of a minor deity will probably get less but get some additional ways to interact with their parent's domain. Generally a demigod can fight on par with a non combat focused god of a rank equivalent to their parents with this.
Companion Import (Tales of Symphonia) Free:
You may freely import up to 8 companions and grant them a Race and Origin at no cost, granting them a history in the world. They receive the free perk of their Origin. Do NOT collect CP from the Half Elf background.
Warrior (Tales of Symphonia) Free:
You have supernatural command and discipline of your body.
Weight of Breath (Tales of Symphonia) Free:
Through a breathing exercise, you have learned to manipulate your own weight. When you begin, you'll be able to multiply or divide your weight by a factor of two, but mastery may push you to further heights. There is a snapback effectreducing your weight for a time will cause you to multiply your weight immediately after. The effect extends to armor and tools which you are wielding. Masters are known to take advantage of the snapback for 'jump and ground pound' like techniques, in addition to reducing their own weight so as to not resist the knockback of an enemy attack and make distance. As a bonus, you've learned a technique known as Demon Fang that allows you to project a strike roughly twice your own melee range. Demon Fang is obvious, resembling a bolt of soft light coming off your weapon.
Iconic Outfit (Tales of Symphonia) Free:
This outfit is rugged, stylish, and undeniably YOU.
Questionably Practical Weapon - Jägerstock (Tales of Symphonia) Free:
You're fighting with that? Really? And merchants will sell you more and more deadly upgrades? If you want this can be a well crafted mundane weapon instead.
Companions (Strike Witches) Free:
Any companions you bring in with you are given the freebies and a striker of the Generation as you. They can be outfitted with a different type of Striker (IE if you have a Fighter they can have a Super Fortress or a Bomber). You can also give them weapons to their maximum carrying capacity. You cannot exploit this, and any weapons assigned to your companions that you haven't bought for yourself cannot be used by you. You can import the maximum amount of companions Jumpchain allows for.
Defensive Sign "Directional Shield" (Strike Witches) Free:
All Strike Witches are trained to produce a 2 dimensional circle of energy a short distance directly in front of them which can deflect light attacks. You cannot fire a weapon through a shield.
First generation Striker (Strike Witches) Free:
A basic propeller driven Striker unit. Very agile but unable to break the speed barrier. Fighter
Bomber Jacket (Strike Witches) Free:
Discount Army Surplus offering customised bomber jacket for free to any and all of our STRIKE WITCH HEROS. Call through and give your Regiment, Call-sign and Address and will mail out in a day with Regiment patch and Call-sign embodied. Go get „em girls! Ph: 123-456-7890
Call sign (Strike Witches) Free:
Attention all military personnel, due to the recent alliances several documents of low importance have gone missing. It is important that you announce your call sign to your direct superior as soon as possible. All your comrades will know you by it, and if you don‟t tell us one will simply be appointed to you during your next Sortie.
Anti Tank Rifle (Strike Witches) Free:
A highly accurate weapon capable of firing .50BMG rounds with a range of 2.5 kilometres on hard targets. Moving targets might take some skill though.
General Purpose Machine Gun (Strike Witches) Free:
Considered the standard ordinance of a Strike Witch, they fire powerful rounds like the .308 at a rate of 1,200 rounds per minute. During extended use the barrels tend to overheat and may need to be replaced in the field. - Considered a medium weapon.
Jumpchain abilities this chapter:
Infusionist (Monster Hunter) 600:
An art form thought lost to the ages and only tangentially unlocked in the rarest of armors, you have discovered the secret to infusing and uplifting weapondry and armor past the typical point even the best blacksmith are capable of taking it. Any weapon that doesn't have an element can be given one, and any weapon that already has one gets a great boost in power. Any armor that this is used on gets a great defensive boost, both to innate defensive capabilities and elemental resistances. This skill can apply to any weapon you have learned how to create - that blue lightsaber you made decades ago? Bet you didn't know it had a latent affinity for ice, did you? That high frequencey blade? It now has enough heat to cauterize as it cuts. This doesn't just apply to melee weapons either - with enough training and focus, you can create bowguns that natively shoot ice or lightning, or gunlances that fire heat beams instead of shells. The possibilities are only limited by your skill and the quality of what you have to work with.
Felyne Comrade (Monster Hunter) Free:
Shortly after arriving in this world, you come across an old wyverian ladey with a backpack easily 3 times larger than herself full of meowing felynes. She insists you take one with you to help you with your chosen journey, but that is the last one she can just give away, she will have to come back with more next week. You may choose your desired color, gender, skillset and species of felyne that will accompany you on your journey, either as an assistant in your forge, a bookkeeper in your trade caravan, a fellow hunter, or simply a wandering lynian attempting to find its place in the world. While most felyne's skills are dwarfed by even the most marginally competent human, they make up for their shortcomings with extreme enthusiasm and constant effort to get better. Counts as a companion.
Weapon Crafting (Devil May Cry) 200:
Alright, so you fancy yourself a weapons dealer, huh? Well now you know the ins and outs of every single tool made for killing that you get your crafty little hands on. Swords, handguns, axes, sniper rifles, spears, rocket launchers, it'll all come naturally to you, and you will be able to create these weapons or even improve them with your own custom designs. And to make it even a better deal, you know how to modify a weapon to have unlimited ammunition capability. So go nuts, buddy. You've earned it.
Cuh-Ray-Zee! (Devil May Cry) Free:
The moment you step into the world of Devil May Cry, you, and anyone you brought with you, will have the innate potential to do incredibly amazing stuff all day long, pal. However, it will take great skill and effort to pull off anything like blocking attacks with the back of your hand, or playing an air guitar that actually produces audible sound for others to hear. But never fear, if you train hard enough, and git gud enough, you too will be able to deflect bullets with other bullets, destroy buildings by spouting out innuendos, and become a worthy disciple of my ways. And yes, you totally get to see your rank whenever you're doing anything.
Taunts (Devil May Cry) Free:
Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelled of elderberries! You are able to come up with witty dialogue, insults, jokes, and one-liners on the fly. Now, taunting does three very useful things. First, it will boost your Style rating. I know, I know, that's amazing, and awesome, and all that. Second, taunting pisses off your enemies. A lot. So much that they'll try to stomp your pretty little face in. While this may seem like a bad thing, it can also be good for you, as the dumbass you're fighting will make a mistake in their rage. And thirdly, a successful taunt will help you get your game on and replenish your stamina. You won't be able to run entirely on smack-talking suckers while you rip them a new rectal cavity, but it will definitely ensure that you'll be able to fight for hours, sustained only by the power of your quips.
Weapon Swapping (Devil May Cry) Free:
The ability to swap between your weapons in the middle of battle. These weapons are stored in a pocket dimension known only to you, and can be switched instantly with but a thought.
Dark Slayer (Devil May Cry) Free:
Dark Slayer Style is essentially an evolved form of Trickster, in that it's based around movement, but rather than simply dashing, Dark Slayer is all about teleporting in quick short-ranger bursts. However, the biggest change from Trickster is the ability to summon swords outta nowhere. Got your attention now, didn't I? Yep, you can effectively create copies of any weapon that you've seen before, from swords, to axes, to giant homing two-sided Shuriken. I will never understand where Nero got that idea from. You can wield them or shoot 'em at your enemies in countless different ways. Make it rain pointy swordy death from above, surround your opponent with them, shoot them all out in rapid succession faster than even a minigun, and much, much more. However, these weapons are often pretty subpar compared to the original, unless you're very familiar with the weapon, or have trained extensively in the replication of weapons. Now, I know this Style's name might sound a bit dark and edgy, but it was my brother's own personal Style, rest his soul, and he was kinda going through a phase at the time. A dickish, emo, power hungry phase. So just cut him some slack and bear with it. Besides, it actually does sound pretty cool. Comes with free Get Set!
Get Set! (Devil May Cry) Free:
You now have the ability to style your hair in whatever form you wish, whenever you wish, with just your bare hands. Is your hair not long enough or too short for the style you want? No problem, just run your hands through it a couple times, and it'll adjust. Don't ask me how it works. It just does.