Tears of the Present - Chapter 2 - Settling Up
if you missed chapter 1, here you go: http://www.loverslab.com/blog/148/entry-702-tears-of-the-present-chapter-1-cont-from-the-blackreach-experiments/
In the two years following Sybille’s death, Kiva was moved into the position of Court Wizard. Several mages tried for the position but they all met with mysterious deaths or suddenly changed their minds. Finding a dead mage in the streets was starting to be as common as tripping over a stone.
She solidified her position by being one step ahead of her rivals. Her dark brotherhood contacts saw that no other mages were able to vie for her position.
**** Down in Blackreach, in Celes’s lab ****
The magical effect holding Celes and Arissa in stasis broke. Arissa found herself on her hands and knees coughing.
She felt very different than she did when she went into the chamber. She quickly saw why. The dragonskin curse had consumed her entire body. She let out a scream and began sobbing.
Behind her, she heard Celes’s tube deactivate. Arissa was shocked. Celes entire body was now mechanical! She was on her hands and knees coughing but her voice had a strange mechanical sound to it.
Arissa remembered how she looked, “Celes, don’t panic but I changed.”
Celes glanced at her own hands but was more shocked by Arissa’s extreme transformation. “How, what happened to us?”
Celes leaned against the tube and tried to figure out what happened
After several minutes, she got up but was rocked by a splitting headache. “Oh gods my head, it’s like I can hear every gear in me moving.”
Arissa gave her some sympathy. “It’s okay, take your time but when you feel up to it, see what happened to us.
The headache passed after a few minutes and Celes went to the control panel. Arissa couldn’t make heads or tails of what Celes was doing , it just seemed like random button presses.
“Celes turned toward Arissa and with a grim tone said, “It looks like the magic that keep us asleep fueled your curse and powered my transformation. It only stopped because the soul gems powering the lab ran out of charge.
“You mean…the transformations aren’t done?” Arissa was devastated. She dropped to her knees, shaking.
Celes knelt down and tried to comfort her. “It’s okay, it would take an extremely strong magical charge for our transformations to get any worse.
They sat and talked each other out of panicking over their altered bodies. They decided to find out who hired the assassin to kill Celes, then to see if a cure could be found for Arissa.
Together they left Blackreach and headed for Whiterun. First stop was Belthor’s shop to see if he knew of any good leads.
As they entered the shop, Belthor started to give his standard line, “Take a good look and…what in the nine Divines are you two?!”
Arissa growled, “Like we haven’t heard that 100 times since the gate.” Celes chimed in, “Belethor, it’s me Celes. We were cursed, that’s the short version. We need to know who hired the assassin to kill me.”
“Well, usually I charge for that kind of information, but…..give me the long version and I’ll tell you what I know.”
They gave him the whole story. both of theirs'.
“Alright, the girl’s name that hired the assassin is Kiva. She’s the court wizard of Solitude but you didn’t hear that from me.”
They set out for Solitude, avoiding most of the roads. They lucked out and saw Kiva in the marsh, gathering reagents. She turned around as soon as they got close. “Alright, who’s following me!” she yelled.
Arissa and Celes stepped into view.
“Oh what a nice freak show. Is there a carnival in town? It’s so hard to keep up with these things.”
“How dare you! You sent an assassin to kill me and Mani and now have the nerve to make jokes at my expense!”
“Oh. You must be Celes. Looks like your dear automatons tried to fix you. Anyway, I hate to break it to you but the assassin was there to collect Mani, you were just in the way.”
“Oh that’s it! I’m going to make you pay!” Celes built up all the power she could muster and it lit the area around her as if it were daytime. “Time to settle up!”
“Oh this should be fun,” Kiva snickered.