River woke somewhat groggily. Memories slowly flooded back to her. She wasn't entirely sure what she'd drank the previous night, but she could remember the fun she'd had before and after.
Sitting up, she found that not only was she not in her own bed, but she was not alone in that bed. The Dersite girl who'd been trying to assassinate her as well as two other derse ladies were laying in bed with her.
There wasn't a scrap of clothing to be found anywhere in the room, so they'd likely been naked already before they even got to wherever this was.
She couldn't remember all of the previous night it seemed, but this simply made her giggle. She looked over the three beauties in her bed, admiring their bodies.
Her gazing was interrupted by several loud bangs on the door that woke the three derse women. River frowned, and turned to the door with a scowl.
Said door burst open, several dersite soldiers starting to enter with pikes at the ready. River was already by with her bo staff out by the time they did.
They had been ready for a fight, but they had not been prepared to see their prisoner charging them stark naked, and that hesitation cost them. She brought her staff down onto the head of the first guard with enough force that his knees buckled and he collapsed onto the one before him.
She dropped low to avoid the pike thrusts of those who'd regained their senses, striking at their legs with her staff to drop them as well.
River struggled not to burst into laughter at her so called captures so easily felled into a struggling heap.
One managed to get back to his feet, only to take a strike to the side of the head. The next did the same, but managed to try for a strike.
River struck at the pike, knocking it from its hands before pivoting and striking him on the other side of the head to the other.
The last finally managed to free himself from the unconscious soldier beneath him, only to see the naked prisoner standing over his three now unconscious fellow soldiers. Her bo was held at the ready, a 'make a move' expression on her face.
The soldier assessed the situation and decided on tactical retreat, hurriedly getting out an apology for interrupting her pivot time and bailing. River was met with cheers from the girls at this. She smiled and set to pushing the unconscious soldiers out the door.
By the time she was back from taking out the trash, the three derse woman were already fully awake and back to the fun, two making out heatedly against the bed while the third had taken out a bottle of that odd drink.
Grinning, River sauntered over to the bed, bringing her hand down hard on her ass. The shudder it sent up her spine nearly made her drop the bottle.
She matched the purple pearl's grin, taking a large swig of it before handing it to River, who proceeded to down a frightening amount of it. Her Gem anatomy made it impossible to be dangerous for her, not that she was even aware any such danger existed.
She smiled at the sudden warmth that flowed through her as her sense of abandon was amplified. She looked to her former assassin turned eager plaything and tipped the bottle over, allowing the drink to pour over her chest.
She squeaked and hurriedly pressed her breasts together, collecting as much of the drunk between them as she could.
River admired the sight for a few moments before diving in, lapping up the drink and continuing to lick and suck along her chest when it was gone.
Her hands moved along her smooth body, groping her lovely rump for several moments as she enjoyed her breasts, the moans of the woman a sweet melody for her.
Wanting more of that melody, River's kisses moved lower on her body before reaching their destination between her legs.
Her moans grew much louder as River's tongue buried inside her, swirling through her folds to send waves of bliss through her.
The purple pearl was a natural it seemed. Her hands moved to River's head, holding it as she moaned, hips bucking against her face, seemingly desperate for more.
Grinning to herself, River happily gave her more, tongue not only working inside her, but also extending, shapeshifting to extend inside her and hit much, much deeper.
Her moans turned to cries of ecstasy that were indeed heard for quite some distance.
Her tongue didn't let up until the dersite woman let out a lovely drink of her own, her body shaking as she went over the edge.
River drank up her release happily, allowing the black shell skinned woman to lay back, panting. River laid back with her, only for the other two to pounce.
The two seemed desperate to please her in return for the fun she'd shown them the prior night, both licking desperately between her legs.
River moaned happily. They didn't have her skill nor ability to shapeshift, but working together they still felt lovely.
Her arms stretched out, moving beneath them and between their legs to reward their efforts, making them moan against her. Her moans were muffled by the first girl kissing her, tasting her own juices as they kissed heatedly.
River had no idea how she'd gotten her, but this most certainly had to be the height of luxury.
River woke with a start, her gem flickering as whatever hologram she'd been projecting cut out.
She still wasn't sure what she kept displaying, but the consorts around her all looked terribly flustered. Even Meghan was red faced, though she at least was still willing to talk.
Why the consorts continued to watch her holograms if they were so bad, River couldn't speculate, and was far too embarrassed to ask about.
In any event, it was time to get the day started.
Caroline: How goes the training and study?
Lazurite: Pretty good on both fronts actually, I've learned quite a lot.
Caroline: Oh yeah?
Lazurite: Yep! Apparently the planet makes a sort of natural music because of, like, a dozen different factors from air current to the movement of its tectonic plates. Music, near as I can tell, it a collection of noises that follow a rhythm or beat, making a tune that's both pleasing to hear despite not necessarily having informational substance, but can also evoke certain emotions in the listener, kind of like the singing that the pearls do.
Caroline: I've actually heard of music before. They uh.. actually have it where I'm from.
Lazurite: Oh.. right..
Lazurite: Anyway, the bat consorts evolved in tune with the music. Their whole culture used to be built around it, pain and passion and everything in between, migrating to different parts of the planets to follow or find certain songs.
Caroline: Used to be?
Lazurite: Yeah.. some time ago, something called 'The Denizen' arrived. They burrowed deep into the crush and did something. The surface of the planet has always been innately hotter for some reason, and small fires would fill the skies with a thin veil of smoke that the consorts could fly through harmlessly.
Lazurite: But whatever the denizen did caused the fires to spread and rage out of control. The smoke grew incredibly thick. Now it's not only generating monsters, but also warping the music, turning them into broken, unpleasant, sounds that at best hurt to listen to and at worst seem to actively drive the consorts mad.
Lazurite: I can only assume setting things right is my mission on this land. I've already made progress to. I found a land mark, this massive mountain sized structure called 'The Tuning Fork.' It amplifies and regulates sound.
Lazurite: It took several tries, but eventually I was able to strike it hard enough to activate it. I've created a sort of temporary safe zone, no monsters inside and no mad consorts. Hopefully I'll be strong enough to strike it again by the time it's vibrations stop.
Caroline: Wow.. you're doing amazing. So far all I've done is butcher my way through monster.
Lazurite: Somehow I feel like that's basically what you're meant to do on your land.
Caroline: Heh, yeah probably. I'll let you get back to it. Keep doing great!
Lazurite put down the communicator with a smile, feeling warm. She wasn't surprised Caroline knew what music was, she'd heard stories of something like it being seen on earth.
"Shall we continue training?" Desert Glasssprite asked.
She nodded, stretching out and letting out her wings. Desert Glass rose several pillars of sand and sent them at her, some as rigid pillars, others like attacking tendrils.
There was almost no water on offer for Lazurite to work with, so they'd instead worked on training her wings.
Lapis lazulies usually weren't known for brute strength or much aggression in combat, but so far, Lazurite seemed to be doing pretty decent, her wings smashing and slicing through pillars, forming hands to catch and force the tendrils back.
She seemed to, at a certain point during training, get 'into the zone.'
That was the best way she could put it, and she wondered if it was how quartz Gems felt when they were fighting. It was exhilarating, rushing and striking and thinking of nothing but combat; and made even more satisfying when she actually succeeded.
Desert Glass smiled as she watched her.
She'd worried for Lazurite for years now, even as a normal desert glass she'd still been able to tell how stressed, depressed, and disillusioned she'd become over time.
She hadn't thought it possible to become bitter towards the Diamonds before, but as she watched what had happened to her partner... maybe it was the new freedom being a sprite brought her, but she was glad they weren't in that world anymore.
She couldn't wait to see how far her partner would go, what she'd become.
Maxixe and Green Spinel had been collecting frogs for ages.
Maxixe's scope had been severely limited in usefulness on account of the massive crowds packed into the towns.
Spinel, though, was an amazing help. Both because her elasticity allowed her to reach frogs far away in awkward areas far easier, and by being able to clear clouds or distracting them with her bombastic jester act to keep them from moving about.
Maxixe could only assume they were nearly done. She'd only just begun to figure out the full mechanics of the ecto-biology lab, but was able to just about fathom its functions. She was disgusted by the visuals of it of course, but had to commend the advanced nature of the technology.
Even Gems hadn't cracked technology that could effect things through time.
"Nearly done." Maxixe assured Green Spinel as they traveled via rooftops. Maxixe road on Spinel's back.
She told herself she'd ordered Spinel to do so as a show of respect, but both were well aware that the aqua marine physically wouldn't be able to keep up otherwise, the gravity too high for her. While her physical body was unaffected thanks to the mechanics of a Gem, her innately weaker than average wings had become unstable.
Maxixe tried not to let herself think about the fact that Spinel might well know about this weakness. Thankfully her inner thoughts on the matter were cut off by a heavy rumbling.
Looking to investigate, both gems were surprised at what they saw.
An absolute monster of a frog, looking to be twice the size of as Roaming Eye. It had claws at the end of its feet, and spikes jutting from various parts of its body, some of which were in its tongue. The most simultaneously upsetting and intriguing part of it was it's back.
It seemed to be partially liquid.. or perhaps some kind of mesh. Dozens of other, more normal frogs, were trapped within it, still croaking and wriggling but unable to escape; some even seemed to be glowing.
The feature made the name above it's distressingly large health bar make perfect sense: The Carrier Frog.
"Woah.. we found the mother load!" Green Spinel explained, "We take that one down and we're done for sure."
Maxixe nodded, climbing down from Spinel, "I'll lend support from up here, you head down for direct damage. Try not to damage the other frogs."
"You got it boss." Spinel said, spring jumping from the rooftop and landing in from of the massive frog.
It's eyes focused on the green Gem before it, it's mouth opening wide and releasing a spray of a thick, sickly looking goo.
Spinel yelped, launching herself out of the way. Rather than jump away from the Carrier Frog, she launched herself beneath it, letting the goo land where she'd been.
From her position beneath it, she was able to wind up her arms and punch rapid fire at its underbelly like a machine gun, chipping away at it's health.
The frog let out a deafening croak before launching itself off the ground. The force sent it far above the rooftops. Spinel's mouth literally fell to the ground, and after fixing it, she tried to avoid being wherever the massive beast was going to land.
But Maxixe could see it, her eyepiece tracking it's moving let her know that for as unintelligent as the creature looked, it's descent was following her.
Unless she ran into the crowds or hid in a building, it would land on her, and Maxixe knew the Green Spinel wouldn't do that, as it risked the consorts.
Why she felt they mattered, Maxixe couldn't say. She also realized that if it did land on Spinel, it would be so focused on her that she could simply use her zero point eye lens to pull all the frogs free of its back and flee. And yet...
"Spinel watch out!" She extended the area of her lens and stopped the entire frog. It had been so close to landing Spinel could feel a rush of wind hit her when it was stopped.
"Nice catch!" She called with a sigh, returning to her bullet punch technique to steadily chip away at the monster's health bar.
Unseen by either of them, the Carrier Frog's eyes moved from Spinel up to the blue trail of light, connecting the energy pinning it in place to Maxixe.
It let out another thunderous croak before opening it's mouth. Neither were worried as it's slime couldn't reach Spinel.
But slime isn't what came out. Its long, spiked tongue shot out of it's mouth as though fired from a rocket, curving around in the air and smashing into the root, taking out of it off in a massive crash of debris.
Spinel heard it, and though she couldn't see it, when the Carrier Frog fell onto her without warning, she new Maxixe had been hurt.
Thankfully it had landed on her from a mere few feet. She was in no pain, just trapped beneath it.
Well, trapped may have been too strong a word considering it took all of a second for her to inflate herself, launching it off of herself. Her arms stretched up to catch its body and slam it down hard on its weakened belly.
It burst into enough grist and frogs to fill the entire area. Spinel moved fast, arms rapidly collecting all the look, to be given to Maxixe later of course, as this was her land after all.
This done, she stretched her arms up to the wrecked roof and reeled herself in.
"Heya! That went great!" She said, "Hope you didn't take too much of a tumble."
When she got no response, she grew nervous. Had that attack been enough to poof Maxixe? She quickly set to clearing debris, and when she found Maxixe among it, she gasped.
She wasn't poofed.. she was unconscious.. with her gem cracked...
Ceylon returned to the Hephaestus, landing at the edge of his volcano.
The massive molten serpent was steadily hammering away at a slab of metal with a hammer clutched in the curled up end of its tail. What he was forging, she couldn't begin to speculate on.
"I've collected metal for you." She called up to it, taking it from her game inventory.
She'd gathered what she believed to be a respectable amount of every possible metal she knew to exist. It had taken her quite a bit of time, effort, and meditation on her future vision to collect it all.
Both her future vision and ice abilities seemed to be somewhat dampened lately, either by being a sprite or by being inside a machine, which made both finding and effectively gathering the materials quite difficult. In some cases she'd even needed to find and pass through Gates to other lands when a type of metal didn't exist on her own.
Hephaestus turned, briefly looking over the large pile of metals. With its tail, it reached out and pulled it all into the bubbling lava.
Wrong Metal. He said simply.
"WHAT?!" She questioned in a combination of shock and frustration.
Must fight to collect the proper metal. Only the Paradox Walker carries the metal you seek.
"And you didn't think to tell me that?!"
Why did you not think to ask? Hephaestus questioned, This is why you are unready for The Choice.
Boiling rage rivaling that of the volcano she was standing on swelled inside her, cooled by a combination of chilling logic and a sudden surge of that 'tired' sensation that had been coming and going.
With a sigh full of enough bile to poison all the oceans on all twelve of these planets, Ceylon resigned to rest herself. If she were to fight a boss for access to some mystery metal, she was in no state to do so now.
She laid herself down on the volcano edge, knowing that her robotic body didn't move while she slept, and as infuriating as it was, she doubted the denizen would push her in.
She laid herself down on a section of volcanic surface within a thin, carved out rectangle. She lay directly above the symbol of a gear.
For some reason.. she passed out faster than she ever had before when her back made contact with the symbol.
Green Spinel: SOS SOS SOS
Green Spinel: Immediate help needed! Maxixe's cracked! Her gem is cracked!
Green Spinel: What do?!
F Ceylon: Ah yes, I'd worried I was scanning the wrong area. Do not panic, as it will only lead to a worse result.
Green Spinel: Please tell me you know what to do!
F Ceylon: There is a bed, a stone slab with a sort of spiral like pattern. It should be atop the highest building. If you can find it and place her on it before she shatters, she'll be alright.
Green Spinel: Really? How?
Green Spinel: Never mind, the crack is spreading no time.
F Ceylon: Indeed. Please hurry. I must be returning to my own matters.
Green Spinel: Quick question, what's the F in your name for?
F Ceylon: A mere clarification so as not to have you confuse me with your present iteration of me.
Green Spinel: ...okay I don't have enough time to try and figure that out.
Spinel closed the communicator and picked Maxixe up. Thankfully she was both small and very light. Green Spinel scanned the area, looking for the highest point she she could find.
When she found it, she launched herself towards it with her legs, using her free hand to stretch out further and grab it, reeling herself the rest of the way up. Once at the rooftop, she searched for the bed.
When she found none, she repeated the process. It took several tries, Maxixe's gem crack steadily spreading and growing deeper.
Green Spinel did all she could not to panic, but was still shaking as she climbed higher and higher up the buildings of the land.
Finally, to her immense relief, she indeed found the bed. It was placed in the center of it.
She hurried to it, placing Maxixe down as gently as she could and stepping back.
She watched, waiting for something to happen. She expected to see Maxixe's gem start to reverse in damage until it was back to normal, or even just blink back to full health.
But it wasn't.
The cracks just kept spreading and deepening, Maxixe remaining out cold, an expression somewhere be shock and acceptance on her face. After several minutes in complete silence save for the creaking of Maxixe's gem... she shattered.
Her gem broke apart into shards, her physical body blinking out of existence. Green Spinel starred, unable to accept what she'd just seen.
No... no, no, no, no.. this couldn't be happening.
Ceylon had said.. she.. she..
Spinel's eyes began to blur with tears, so it took her a few moments to notice that the gem shards were glowing. When she did, her despair turned to confusion. The light grew brighter until Spinel couldn't see anything passed it anymore.
When it finally faded, Green Spinel rubbed her eyes, opening them to see Maxixe standing up, her physical body fully reformed.
Her clothes were different though, and not the usual slight change that reforming usually brought. It was completely different, a jet black top with that swirly symbol on the front in white, a matching rather short black cape and even shorter black shorts.
Spinel's eyes struggled to lift from what what were essentially tight black underwear on Maxixe, but the sheer shock of seeing her return from broken shards let her return looking her in the eyes from sheer awe.
"I'll be perfectly honest," Maxixe said, "I have.. absolutely no idea what just happened."
Ceylon woke up, slumped against the wall where she'd fallen asleep while trying to call down to the hunky shelled folk below her window.
With a dopey grin, she pulled herself up and looked out the window. Her grin melted into a frown at seeing a distinct lack of hunky shelled folk down in the street.
Her smile returned however when her future vision informed her of who was outside her room. Looking outside the bars on her door, she licked her lips at the sight of several of the black shelled folk, even hunkier.
She stared at their large bulky missiles for several moments, legs moving of their own according to rub together.
She wasn't entirely certain what they were trying to do, but was content to let them do it, following whatever these new instincts were.
"Hello there~" She purred to the guards outside her room, "Mind if I come out and play~?"
"Prisoner stays in her room." One of them said gruffly.
For reasons she also didn't entirely understand, these words sent a shiver down her spine.
"I'm your prisoner am I~?" She questioned, "That means I'm yours to do with as you wish~?"
The guards looked between one another, slightly confused and uncertain if their strange blue prisoner was really about to go where she presumed she was going.
"If I'm not allowed to leave, then certainly you're allowed to come in~" Ceylon wasn't sure what it was she wanted from them, but she knew with all the certainty in the universe that she wanted it; and wanted it desperately.
When the guards still hesitated, an idea came to her. Perhaps it was her future sight, perhaps it was more new instincts.
Outside, the guards were shocked to see the prisoner's clothing pushed through the bars and drop to the floor.
"If nothing else, surely you can return those to me? I'll even move back to the other end of the room so you know I'm not trying to escape."
One of the guards, suspecting some kind of clever trick, looked through the bars. He was not met with any makings that could have been a trick.
The room was completely empty save for the bed and the prisoner. The now naked prisoner sitting at the far end of the end, back to the wall with her legs apart and a sultry smile on her face.
The door opened, the guards entering.
They told themselves before entering they were just going in to return the prisoner's clothes... and yet they closed the door behind them.
Ceylon's grin threatened to go passed the edges of her face. Finally she would get what she had been.. had been.. why was she so tired...
Ceylon sat bolt upright.
She was certain if she could sweat she'd be drenched. She felt so tense, wound so tight that ice had begun manifesting across her body despite the heat of the volcano.
She had a feeling of having been right about to achieve something... but try as she might to remember, it escaped her, leaving her even more frustrated than she already felt physically.