The Blackreach Experiments Part 12 - Sources of Power
If you missed Part 11, here it his: http://www.loverslab.com/blog/148/entry-670-the-blackreach-experiments-part-11/
****Several months later, the civil war had ended with the help of the Dragonborn, the Empire had been victorious, and General Tullius had come to assign a new Jarl, Maven Blackbriar. ****
Celine and Kiva sat down to breakfast together.
To everyone in Riften, Kiva was a thirteen year old girl taking care of her mentally impaired mother. Only Celine could see her for what she was and she didn’t care. She loved her Mistress.
Kiva had taken a job as apprentice court mage. She made enough to pay for everything they would need. Due to Celine’s pregnancy, there were several ladies in the city that came to check up on Celine while Kiva was working.
The ladies would often take Celine to the orphanage to see the children. Constance didn’t mind looking after her and since Grelod died mysteriously, it was a much nicer place.
Kiva arrived at the Jarl's court. Imperial soldiers were everywhere. “Excuse me, I need to get past,” she said as she pushed through the crowd of soldiers.
General Tullius looked down at her, “This is no place for children, you need to go home.”
“But I work here, I’m the apprentice court mage,” she stated. General Tullius looked at her dubiously. “Really, I’ll show you where I work. There are some things in there you need to see,” she made a face as she spoke and the General decided to follow her.
In her lab, she pulled out some scraps of paper and scrolls. “You can’t let Maven know I showed you these. They show many of her dealings with the Thieves Guild and the Dark Brotherhood. If they know about this, they’ll kill me.”
The General reached out for them. Kiva stared him in the face, “Promise me this is our secret, okay?” He nodded, “Of course.”
As he was reading over them, his face changed from shock to outrage. The papers linked Maven to murders and robberies all across Skyrim. General Tullius stormed out the room, sword in hand, shouting for the guards.
Kiva waited inside the lab until Tullius left. “Hehe, one problem down.”
A few hours later, Maven was in chains, being escorted out of Riften. Jarl Lawgiver was allowed to keep her position and the city guard was able to stay as well. Only a small detachment of Imperial soldiers remained.
Kiva had most of her plans in place. She would regain a human body soon but she had to plan carefully. She had contracted out to the Dark Brotherhood to kill Wylandriah, the current court mage, Celine was almost ready, and with the Blackbriars out of the way, she had an abandoned house for the ritual.
****Several months earlier, deep inside Blackreach****
Celes had been learning all she could from the strange Dwemer machines.
She finally understood a portion of this place's purpose and of the experiments the mages had been running. The power the mages were using came from an old soul engine. There were only two soul engines that she could find and her best guess was they were powered by dragon souls.
One engine was with her and it was powering her lab. When she went to investigate the other engine, she found Alduin! He was feeding it energy.
After he left, she did some snooping around. The engines were identical, but this one had something extra. A conduit leading out!
Back in her lab, she traced the flow of energy to the various holds of Skyrim. In her mind, she connected the dots. “It was an elaborate diversion! Alduin distracted the mages so they wouldn’t be researching the dragons….”
She sent some automatons to dismantle the device. With it out of the picture, the mages would not be distracted
A few days later, while uncovering an old lab, she found a set of aetherium armor, it wasn’t powered but that wasn’t hard. She started the process of charging it.
One of the things she learned from the Great Machine was how to control Dwemer constructs. She had placed several small mechanical spiders near the major cities. Most people didn’t even seem to mind them being around.
She caught the gossip from a group of guards near Windhelm. They spoke about a man, wearing strange armor that sounded just like her aetherium armor. “He’ll be executed at the end of the week. They’re making a big deal of it. The only thing that would save him is if that blue skinned woman would make a return, but I don’t see that happening,”
“Blue skinned woman? They must mean Arissa. She’s the only blue skinned woman I’ve seen. Hmm, and this stranger, I can’t let him die before I know how he got that armor.”
Celes grabbed some gear and headed toward the hidden exit shaft.
****Windhelm, the day of the execution****
Celes arrived in town and headed straight for the palace. She ran up to the guards closet to the prison. “Please you have to help me! There’s this blue skinned woman slaughtering Kynesgrove! She’s insane!”
In very short time, half the city guard was rushing to Kynesgrove. Celes had very little time. She easily made her way to Mani’s cell. “You’re Mani? The one they’re going to kill?”
“Yes, I’m…” Celes cut him off, “Okay good. Be quiet, follow directions and you’ll live.” He nodded in agreement. The two made their way out of the dungeon.
As soon as they got out, she called a group of constructs to attack the main gate as a diversion.
The gate clear and even better, a blizzard was rolling in.
They climbed down the bridge under the cover of the blizzard.
The two snuck away from the city and headed back to Celes lab.
Back in Blackreach, Mani told Celes about his mission, his wife, how he got set up, and his plan to get revenge on Arissa.
“Well, a time travelling Jarl, that’s new.”
“However I found some plans for a device that may do it. I haven’t researched them yet. As for your wife, I met her and she seemed fine, but that was a while ago. The armor is an interesting story. I just charged it.” Celes handed him the set of Aetherium Armor, fully charged.
“This looks like my armor I came here with,” Mani said.
“Well, I think it is.” Celes said. “You see, I was going to move my research on the device and the armor up to a lab in Blackreach. I think in the future, you found my research.”
During the conversation, Celes changed back to her mechanical form. Mani stared at her, “I have to ask. Are you a dwemer machine or human?”
“Well, I’m a bit of both now.” She explained her encounter with the device and her transformation.
After a few hours of discussion, Mani asked about the dragonborn. “Well, I bet he’ll be doing quite well against the dragons. You see, I activated all Dwemer automatons and gave them one target, the dragons.
They won’t move too far from the Dwemer ruins but they have a very large area covered. The dragons will be hard pressed to fight Imperial soldiers, the dragonborn, automatons, and centurions.
I’ve also managed to activate some larger ones that are now patrolling near the cities.
“Celes, why, when…” she interrupted him. “The why is because Alduin tricked us all with the energy he was sending to the mages and now that I know that, I can do something. The when, was right before I saved you. I can communicate with Dwemer constructs if you were wondering."
“Thank you,” Mani said.
“You’re welcome,” Celes replied. Now, let’s see if we can find that wife of yours.” After a few hours, Celes had some results. She led Mani to a connecting room.
They entered a large chamber. “This is the Reformation Chamber. Don’t worry, I’m not going to alter you. This is also our exit. Up there.” Stand here, but get ready, the spell is a bit jolting.” Celes hovered in front of him.
Mani stepped onto the spot and his feet lifted off the ground. “By Talos! I’m flying!” Mani yelled excitedly.
They suddenly picked up speed and soared toward the opening, up toward the surface.
An excited scream from Mani echoed in the chamber as they ascended.