Trinsic Tales:Afterlife in the Fast Lane/Chapter 16
Chapter Sixteen: Seeing Double
(07:03:45) <@Capn_Ascii> "As we join our heroes, we find them facing their greatest nightmare come to life - TWO Eralias! Twice the bitchiness, twice the snobby attitude, twice the hotness...hmm, maybe this isn't so bad after all."
(07:06:52) <Dkort> "Do you have a sister you haven't told us about?"
(07:07:45) <Eralia> "Not that I'm aware of."
(07:09:42) <@Capn_Ascii> "I'm no sister, guys - I'm the genuine article. I'm Eralia..." She looks at Eralia. "The *real* Eralia."
(07:10:12) <Eralia> "Oh?" Eralia challenged. "What makes you think this?"
(07:11:24) <@Capn_Ascii> "Well, for one thing, I don't look like some cheap dime-store ripoff of the real McCoy."
(07:11:27) <Rika> "Knew I should have kept that silver knife.."
(07:11:54) <Eralia> "What's that supposed to mean?"
(07:16:39) <@Capn_Ascii> "It's simple, really." Eralia points at herself. "I'm the real Eralia. I got seperated from you guys back in the mansion, but you didn't even notice..." She points at Eralia. "...because this fake me was put in my place to keep you from noticing."
(07:17:08) <Eralia> "That's quite simply the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard."
(07:17:38) <Eralia> "I don't even recall a time when I wasn't in sight of one of the others in that mansion."
(07:18:22) <Rika> "Me neither"
(07:20:20) <@Capn_Ascii> "Really? Are you sure?"
(07:23:10) <Dkort> "Why would someone want to plant a fake?"
(07:24:28) <Eralia> "Pretty damn sure. So why don't you give up the charade and tell us who you really are?"
(07:26:22) <@Capn_Ascii> "...really? Aww, dang. I was hoping there'd be at least a *little* doubt." Eralia frowns. "So much for *that* plan. Geez, the boss is an idiot."
(07:27:15) <Eralia> "Look, give me one good reason why I shouldn't seriously hurt, if not kill you, for this insult. As if anyone could copy ME."
(07:30:36) <@Capn_Ascii> "Awww." Eralia whines like a disappointed child. "Okay, fine, I'll level with you. I'm..." She poses dramatically. "...not the real Eralia!" *dramatic soap opera music sting*
(07:30:53) * Rika stares.
(07:31:01) <Dkort> "Yeah, I figured."
(07:31:19) <Eralia> "Very good. Now, who are you really? And why should I ignore this insult?"
(07:34:48) <@Capn_Ascii> "It's not an insult, it's a compliment! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." She grins a giddy schoolgirl grin - something that seems entirely disturbing on Eralia's face. "I like being you, you're like, this *awesome* ninja fighter. Hee-yah!" She strikes a combat pose, but then calms down and clears her throat. "Okay, look. The gist of it is, I'm a booby trap."
(07:35:49) <Eralia> "If you see it that way, fine. Keep talking."
(07:37:44) <@Capn_Ascii> "The store here is rigged up with spells that create magical copies of anyone who enters after-hours. We're programmed to confuse and deter would-be thieves."
(07:39:08) <Eralia> "And you know what we just did last... how?"
(07:40:02) <Dkort> "Does that mean there's a copy of me lurking here?"
(07:41:23) <@Capn_Ascii> "I can read your short-term memory. And, yep! He's right there." She points behind you...you follow her finger, and find yourselves looking at a perfect copy of Dkort, standing noiselessly between you and the door you entered through. He waves a hand. "Hi."
(07:41:42) <@Capn_Ascii> NotEralia grins. "Rika's here too, but she's hiiiiding."
(07:42:17) <Eralia> "Alright, who is this 'boss' you mentioned?"
(07:42:54) <Dkort> "Can the spell only make copies of living beings?"
(07:44:44) <@Capn_Ascii> "The store owner, Mr. Peabody. He's out today, what with the orc hordes rampaging through the city and all."
(07:45:05) <@Capn_Ascii> She turns to Dkort. "I dunno. Nobody's ever come in here with a dead body before."
(07:45:13) <Eralia> "Right. Okay. So now that you've met us, what do you think?"
(07:46:09) <@Capn_Ascii> "Think of what?"
(07:46:56) <Eralia> "Of us. Are we agreeable to you? And, more to the point, will you let us do what we need to do? You should have a fair idea of what that is."
(07:50:09) <@Capn_Ascii> "What, rob the place?" She scratches her head. "Well, I'm not *supposed* to let you do that, but I'm not really a fighter - all I'm really programmed to do is trick people. I don't suppose there's much I can do to stop you at this point. Although, for what it's worth, you're too late - that big jerk already took the artifact."
(07:51:13) <Eralia> "Er... you mean, Steve?"
(07:54:44) <@Capn_Ascii> "I dunno, I didn't get his name. He just barged in here with a bunch of orcs and stole a few mirrors. Including the special one." Eralia pouts. "I was supposed to guard that one..." Behind you, Dkort frowns a sad frown.
(08:00:42) <Dkort> "The special one?"
(08:01:30) <Eralia> "We're looking for a Mirror of Mental Prowess. We won't steal it, just use it to teleport ourselves. Can you help us with that?" Eralia queries her copy.
(08:02:16) <@Capn_Ascii> "Yeah, the one that..." She suddenly gets a reluctant expression on her face. "...I'm not supposed to tell anyone about. Ah, heh heh." She grins sheepishly.
(08:03:09) <@Capn_Ascii> "Oh, that? Yeah, we've got some of those. They're in the back." She motions toward a plain door leading into the back of the store. Most of them got smashed, but a few should still work."
(08:03:26) <Eralia> "Rika? Wanna check that door?"
(08:04:14) * Rika walks over and tries to open the door.
(08:06:01) <@Capn_Ascii> Rika: The door is ajar. You turn it back into a door again, and try to open it. It's unlocked...and by 'unlocked' I mean 'kicked in with the latch broken'.
(08:06:23) * Rika looks in the room.
(08:10:47) <@Capn_Ascii> Rika: As you're about to step through the door, you notice a strange glass half-dome on the ceiling overhead. It appears to be some sort of magical trap-like device, apparantly designed to scan for intruders and then project copies of them.
(08:11:26) <Eralia> "Are we clear, Rika, or do you see something?"
(08:11:38) * Rika stops and turns to look in the main room if there's one on that celing too.
(08:12:22) <@Capn_Ascii> Rika: Why, yes, there is. Whatever would have made you think to look for that in here, though? ;)
(08:13:15) * Rika looks at the Eralia copy, "Does the copy-maker in the back room work the same as the one up here, or does it make more violent copies?"
(08:13:37) <Dkort> "If I leave and re-enter, would there be two copies of me?"
(08:14:43) <@Capn_Ascii> Eralia shrugs. "Nah, it's just part of the same system. We can't go anywhere there isn't a projector." She looks at Dkort. "'Fraid not. When you leave the store, we fade out."
(08:16:01) <Eralia> "Alright, so which one's the mirror we want? Anyone know? Rika?" (08:16:25) <@Capn_Ascii> Rika: You push open the door and peek through. Aside from the dome on the ceiling, the room looks pretty much normal for a craftsman's shop - there are numerous shelves, lots of wood and glass leaning against the walls, and a large wooden bench in one corner, where Mr. Peabody presumably plyed his trade. These days, though, it's less 'plying' than 'dying' - the mirror-maker's dead, bloodied corpse is slumped over the desk, motionless.
(08:16:57) <@Capn_Ascii> Two more doors a-door-n the walls - one marked "STORAGE" the other "EXIT".
(08:18:42) * Rika peeks through the storage door.
(08:22:28) <@Capn_Ascii> Rika: You open the door, and take a gander inside. My god...it's full of stars! ...wait, I mean, mirrors! Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head.
(08:23:22) * Rika calls to the others "there are a bunch of mirrors in here."
(08:23:49) * Rika looks for one that was similar to the one in the mansion.
(08:24:06) * Eralia walks up to join Rika
(08:24:39) * Dkort tags along
(08:28:25) <@Capn_Ascii> Eralia follows as well. The moment she enters the back room, however, she sees the corpse on the desk, and freaks. "Oh my GOD, Mr. Peabody!! No, NOO!" She runs over to get a closer look, and starts hyperventilating. "OhmygodohmygodohmygodohmyGOD, he's DEAD!"
(08:29:00) <Eralia> "People die. It happens. Sheesh, you're a pathetic ME."
(08:29:39) <@Capn_Ascii> While Eralia panics, the three of you enter the Hall O' Mirrors and start searching around. Rika seems to have no trouble navigating, but Eralia and Dkort quickly get lost in the maze of mirrors. After a minute or two, Rika holds up a hand from somewhere in the back. "Here it is!"
(08:32:03) <@Capn_Ascii> Eralia continues to panic. "But...I mean...no, you don't understand! *I* don't understand!" She glances around. "My programming says he was just taking time off!"
(08:32:33) <Eralia> "Sounds like someone's been messing with it. Where's your programming unit?"
(08:35:57) <@Capn_Ascii> "I don't know! I mean, he *was* taking time off, before they..." She sniffles. "...they killed him..."
(08:36:18) <Eralia> "So, what are you going to do?"
(08:36:26) <@Capn_Ascii> Rika: In the back of the mirror room, you find a mirror that looks just like the one from the mansion, only newer. Ooh, shiny.
(08:38:16) <@Capn_Ascii> Eralia sighs. "I dunno. Disappear, I guess, when you guys leave." She points to a piece of folded paper sticking out of the body's jacket pocket. "Hey, there's something written on here. Can you guys see what it is? I can't pick up anything, what with being not real and all..." She sighs again.
(08:38:57) * Eralia goes back to look. "What's that?"
(08:40:32) * Rika looks at the mirror "Koosalagoopagoo."
(08:41:13) <@Capn_Ascii> Rika: Nothing happens. This one must have a different command word.
(08:42:03) <Rika> "Hmm.."
(08:43:04) <@Capn_Ascii> Eralia: There's a piece of paper in the man's pocket, with some writing on it. You pull it out, unfold it, and have a quick glance. The wording is rather dense and legalese-ish; the words "LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT" appear near the top, along with "Important information for the survival of humanity!" scribbled in red ink.
(08:43:33) <Eralia> "This should be interesting," Eralia comments. She begins reading.
(08:56:39) <@Capn_Ascii> "To whom it may concern..."
(08:57:37) <@Capn_Ascii> "I, Mr. Sherman Peabody, being of sound mind and studly bod, do hereby leave this message for those who would fight to keep the world safe from the harbringer of death, Steve."
(08:59:19) <@Capn_Ascii> "As you may already be aware, Steve is both exceptionally powerful, and immortal - he cannot be killed by conventional means. Anyone who tried to do such a thing would be doomed to inevitable defeat and a horrible, violent death."
(09:00:11) <@Capn_Ascii> "No, seriously. HORRIBLE. We're talking war crimes here. I once saw him tear a guy in half like a phone book. Lengthwise."
(09:00:34) <Eralia> "Oh, damn, I didn't realize he had immortality. That could be a serious problem."
(09:02:01) <@Capn_Ascii> "Anyway. I must confess that his power is my doing. Steve was once my apprentice; he was a precocious lad who seemed harmless on the surface, but deep inside, he possessed a hunger for power, a thirst for blood, and a midnight craving for death and carnage."
(09:02:35) <Eralia> "Hmmm. Okay."
(09:03:18) <@Capn_Ascii> "The greatest creation of my career was a special artifact mirror, which would grant power to whoever used it. To my everlasting shame, *he* used it, and became the violent death machine we know today."
(09:04:29) <Eralia> "Oooooooooooh. Artifact mirror. I like the sound of that."
(09:04:53) <Eralia> "Especially that 'grant power' bit."
(09:05:05) * Eralia looks around to make sure Rika and Dkort aren't listening.
(09:05:45) * Rika looks on the back of the mirror for an instruction manual or something
(09:06:14) <Eralia> Satisfied with their non-presence, Eralia continues reading.
(09:06:21) <@Capn_Ascii> "He tried to kill me, but I took the mirror and fled. He's been searching for me ever since, intending to kill me and take back the source of his power. I've hidden myself in the city of Port Starboard *that name is scratched out* Merryville *scratched out* Trinsic, where I am relatively certain he will not be able to find me." Yeah, right. "However, I know it is only a matter of time before his desire for power brings him my way."
(09:07:18) <@Capn_Ascii> Rika: On the back of the mirror is a small sticker, with a model number on it: "SN-WT 0004".
(09:09:16) * Rika looks around for a book or folder or catelouge or something.
(09:09:40) <@Capn_Ascii> "Heroes and armies will try to stand against him, but their efforts are futile - his power makes him invincible. The only way to stop him is to break the mirror - and for all my tools and experience with such things, I cannot find any mortal means to destroy the artifact. It shrugs off all blows, remaining stubbournly intact no matter what I do to it; I fear it will take a power as great as Steve's own to shatter it and break the spell.
(09:11:35) * Rika heads back to the office
(09:12:02) * Eralia, spotting Rika returning, subtly turns away so that Rika can't see what she's reading.
(09:12:37) <@Capn_Ascii> There's an addendum at the bottom of the page. "I have heard that Steve's armies march for Trinsic. I fear he has finally found me, and intends to take back the mirror to make certain it can never be destroyed..."
(09:13:32) * Rika looks around for a book or folder or something.
(09:14:41) * Eralia keeps reading
(09:15:07) <@Capn_Ascii> Eralia: The note ends there. Cryptic, huh?
(09:15:46) * Eralia turns the note over
(09:16:21) <@Capn_Ascii> Eralia: Hey, there's a letter on the back!
(09:16:54) <Eralia> (Wow. Biiiiiiiig surprise there. ;) )
(09:17:05) * Dkort goes over and checks the desk itself
(09:17:44) * Eralia reads the letter on the back
(09:17:47) <@Capn_Ascii> Rika: As Eralia stands around reading something that's apparantly very interesting, you start pawing through the boxes of tools and materials nearby. In one box full of left-handed hammers, you find a booklet entitled "MASTER INVENTORY MANUAL".
(09:18:02) <@Capn_Ascii> Eralia: "P"
(09:18:11) <Eralia> "Hmmm."
(09:18:51) * Rika grabs the manual and skims through it.
(09:19:04) * Eralia pockets the note
(09:21:47) <Eralia> "Find anything yet?"
(09:23:15) <@Capn_Ascii> Rika: You thumb through the booklet. It appears to be a quick reference for store employees about the various mirror models sold in the store - how they work, what their features and price tags are, and such. On page 1,573, you find your mystery mirror - listed as the "Amazing Oracular Orator"
(09:25:00) <@Capn_Ascii> "This state-of-the-art scrying mirror lets you keep an eye on your appearance - and other people, too! Impress your friends, spy on your enemies; a big hit at parties. This model's main feature is a revolutionary new speech module that allows the mirror to communicate with the user using an advanced on-the-spot rhyme generator."
(09:26:17) <@Capn_Ascii> "Features glass defoggers, auto-polish setting, and programmable password (Factory default setting is "Mirror, Mirror, on the wall...").
(09:27:37) <Rika> "Just the password I think, for that mirror back there."
(09:27:57) <Eralia> "Awesome. Let's try it."
(09:29:07) * Rika goes back to the mirror
(09:31:13) * Rika looks at it "Mirror, Mirror, on the wall..."
(09:31:18) * Eralia follows
(09:35:11) <@Capn_Ascii> Dkort: You unceremoniously dump the body off of the desk (this causes NotEralia, curled up in the fetal position in the corner, to whimper), and rifle through it (the desk, not the body). In the center drawer, you find a pair of fancy-looking goggles.
(09:35:47) <Dkort> "I hope these goggles turn out to do something..."
(09:36:12) <@Capn_Ascii> Rika steps before the mirror and recites the magic words, with Eralia looking on. The mirror's surface changes, once again showing an image of that smiley-face thing from before.
(09:45:24) <@Capn_Ascii> The two of you stand there, staring blankly at the mirror, it stares right back at you. After about a minute of doing nothing, the corner of the mirror suddenly lights up with a small image of what looks like a tiny hand mirror with cartoon eyes. It speaks to you with a high-pitched voice. "It looks like you're trying to scry. Would you like some assistance?"
(09:45:52) <Eralia> "Yes."
(09:46:35) <@Capn_Ascii> "Would you like to turn on auto-rhyming?"
(09:46:49) <Eralia> "No."
(09:48:28) <@Capn_Ascii> "Are you trying to spy on someone, or teleport to a location?"
(09:49:59) <Rika> "Spy on someone."
(09:50:23) <Eralia> "For the moment. We may teleport there. Not certain though."
(09:50:40) <Dkort> "What? No rhyming?"
(09:50:54) <@Capn_Ascii> "Entering Spy mode. What is the name of the person you wish to spy on?"
(09:51:14) <Eralia> "Steve. He's specifically a huge warlord named Steve."
(09:51:19) <@Capn_Ascii> "Rhyming is only active for advanced users. It is disabled in wizard mode."
(09:54:50) <@Capn_Ascii> "Subject: Huge Warlord Steve. Searching..."
(09:59:29) <@Capn_Ascii> *ding!*
(10:01:02) <@Capn_Ascii> "Subject found." The mirror's surface resolves into an image of a very large bedroom. In the middle of the very large floor is a very large bed, in which lies a very large Warlord Steve (still clad in his super-badass armor). He appears to be sleeping.
(10:02:09) * Eralia searches the screen for anything that looks like a mirror within the mirror ;)
(10:04:17) <@Capn_Ascii> Eralia: You can't see one, no. In fact, the bedroom is rather sparsely furnished overall - besides the bed, the only pieces of furniture in the room are a large wardrobe, an oversized wooden table, and a single wooden chair. The bed itself looks like it was once a magnificent four-poster bed, but the sheets and curtains are dirty and torn now.
(10:05:12) <Rika> "Well, that's one heck of an opening, but I still don't see what difference it makes."
(10:05:32) <Eralia> "It doesn't. We can't beat him like this."
(10:05:54) <Eralia> "Can you move screen a room over?"
(10:07:30) <@Capn_Ascii> "I'm sorry, but this mirror only has the ability to spy on specific people. Unless you can name a target, I cannot help you."
(10:08:30) <Eralia> "I'm guessing you don't have zooming capabilities either, do you?"
(10:09:51) <Rika> "Does he happen to have a second-in-command you can find for us?"
(10:10:10) <@Capn_Ascii> "Oh, of course I do. What do you wish to zoom in on?"
(10:10:23) <Eralia> "Er... I meant more like... zoom out..."
(10:10:31) <@Capn_Ascii> "I am afraid I do not know. I can only locate individuals by name with the currently-installed software package."
(10:10:55) <@Capn_Ascii> "...oh. I'm afraid not, although I can rotate the view."
(10:11:30) <Eralia> "Let's do that. Begin rotation, counterclockwise, 10 degrees per second unless I give a halt command."
(10:13:14) <@Capn_Ascii> "Processing..." The view slowly begins to pan to the left.
(10:14:57) <@Capn_Ascii> "Processing..." It pans a little more to the left.
(10:15:50) <@Capn_Ascii> More of the room comes into view as the 'camera' spins around. There's a worn dresser that's missing paint, a wastebasket, an antique dressing mirror, the door to the bathroom...
(10:16:07) <Eralia> "Halt"
(10:16:28) <Eralia> "Can you identify that mirror?"
(10:17:34) <@Capn_Ascii> "It is...a mirror?" The voice seems puzzled by the odd request.
(10:17:52) <Eralia> "What, are you just 'a mirror'?"
(10:18:24) <Eralia> "I want a specific type, if there is anything that may possibly be significant."
(10:20:24) <@Capn_Ascii> "I'm sorry, but I don't know. I'm not programmed to recognize objects, only people."
(10:20:53) <Eralia> "Oh."
(10:21:46) <Eralia> "Any ideas, people?"
(10:21:54) <Rika> "About what?"
(10:22:04) <Eralia> "What to do now."
(10:22:45) <Rika> "None, what-so-ever."
(10:22:53) <Eralia> "Dkort?"
(10:22:55) <Dkort> "Do spells like Detect Magic work through the scrying?"
(10:30:32) <@Capn_Ascii> "I believe so."
(10:31:05) <Rika> "I'll give it a shot."
(10:31:41) * Rika closes her eyes, says something nder her breath and opens them, looking through the mirror
(10:34:01) <@Capn_Ascii> Rika opens her eyes, looks in the mirror, and sees...a mirror.
(10:34:18) <@Capn_Ascii> A *glowing* mirror. Two of them - this one, and the one in the bedroom.
(10:34:33) <@Capn_Ascii> Interestingly, the bathroom door in the bedroom is also glowing.
(10:34:58) * Rika looks sideways at Eralia "Not sure how you knew this, but that mirror is magical. And so is the door there."
(10:35:04) <Dkort> "Take any magical items you can without waking him up."
(10:35:14) <Dkort> "And if you can take the door stealthily, do so."
(10:35:23) <Eralia> "The mirror first, though."
(10:35:38) <Eralia> "And yeah, go for it."
(10:36:49) <Dkort> "Oh, before anyone goes in there, take a look at these goggles, too." Dkort holds them up
(10:40:09) * Rika takes them from Dkort and examines them.
(10:40:58) <@Capn_Ascii> Rika: They appear to be a pair of Goggles of Minute Seeing. Essentially, a pair of magnifying glasses, used for precision craftwork at close range.
(10:41:40) * Rika hands them back "Goggles of minute seeing. they magnify what you're looking at."
(10:43:14) * Rika continues looking at them, then looks at Dkort, "Actually, can I keep these?"
(10:44:13) <Dkort> "All right."
(10:46:37) <Eralia> "Whenever you're ready, I believe it's time for a 'grab and dash', Rika."
(10:46:48) * Rika puts them on her head, above her forehead, "thanks."
(10:49:59) <@Capn_Ascii> ---END SESSION---
(10:51:41) <@Capn_Ascii> Alright, I already have a title for this one:
(10:51:45) <@Capn_Ascii> Chapter 16 - Seeing Double
(10:52:21) <Rika> "Okay Mr. Narator."
(10:52:37) <@Capn_Ascii> Sorry, I missed. :p
(10:52:50) <Rika> "Heh. I figured."