The magical residue that forms on the inside of a Lavoids central chamber is called Lemange. It is a combination of Lavoid Energy and Lifestream and appears in the form of purple crystals. While it was originally hypothesized that the crystal itself could be sold for money, it was later discovered that when ground down into a powder and ingested, Lemange became a powerful psychedelic and life extending drug. The trips it induced actually gave the user a temporary sense of prescience, and, ingested in mild daily doses, it increased life expectancies as much as 172%.
"Unfortunately, the drug is extremely addictive when more than .05% of the users body mass is consumed daily for an extended period of time. Withdraw symptoms include nausea, intense head aches, high fevers, vomiting, muscle cramps, whooping cough, internal hemorrhaging, and, depending on the length of the addiction, eventual death. Due to its life extending properties it is an extremely expensive drug and not only provided the LEA with its funding but also created the personal fortunes of Duncan McKlane and Orphius Arinthir.
"Orphius was perhaps the most well known Lemange trader in the Union and the Empire. His reputation for his trading and his information network was wide ranging. (see individual entry for more detail)
Duncan had made haste to leave the Citadel shortly after the Trial had been completed. He had never been a big fan of the place, and, after all, he had business to attend to.
He met up with Kyrie, who had made the final preparations on the ship, and they were off within the hour. It was a fourteen-hour travel through subspace to get to their destination, and Duncan would spend the time studying, recuperating from the trial. First, he briefly looked down the time steam and saw no disruptions in their journey. With the coast clear, he sunk into reading up on some of the newest resources from Aristrand. It wasnt long, however, before he fell asleep in his reading chair.
The Vendetta came out of sub-space above Terrenus VII, a planet in the Terrenus system in the Mystican Empire. Duncan had not been pleased about having to travel so far to find this man that Orphius knew. It was only because Orphius did a lot of business with the Empire that he had such a deep connection there. Duncan also wondered why this man, his name apparently being Taggart, could not have met him somewhere more convenient. He was, as Orphius had mentioned, difficult to deal with, it would seem.
Terrenus was a mess. The major city, Trell was in such disorganization that it took him nearly an hour to get clearance to land. There had been some confusion as to whether or not he was an accused smuggler or some other absurdity. Regardless, the longer he spent around this planet, the more upset he became with it. Unlike the cities in the Dominion, which were monuments to order, or cities of the Eldar, which were monuments to architecture, this city seemed to be nothing more than a monument to smog and corruption.
He was to meet this Taggart person in a bar that was a reasonable distance from the Space Port. What Duncan had not expected was that people would attempt to pick his pockets three times on the walk through the slums. His pale skin and slightly pointed ears gave him somewhat of a mystic-like look, and his hair wasnt weird to those who spent time around mystics. But, people didnt seem to take kindly to a man who clearly carried a sword beneath his trench coat.
Of course, none of the attempts really caught him be surprise. In fact, he dodged the first two attempts simply by swaying away at the proper moment. By the third time, however, he had decided to teach the would-be thief a lesson, setting his clothes on fire and slicing open his britches, allowing him to run through the streets in a burning pair of underwear. People paused and stared as he re-sheathed his sword, apparently oblivious to the fact that magic was not supposed to be practiced so openly. Duncan didnt care. He didnt care about much of anything on this planet. The smell was beginning to irritate him and the Ethereal Winds there were itchy
The slums seemed to stretch on forever, and he briefly considered the possibility that the entire city was nothing but the slums. It was a dimly lit town, making the shadiness of the people within it more accentuated. The restaurants were shady, the clubs were shady, and this bar that he was going to was shady. It was called A Hole in the Wall, located somewhere between 785th and 786th street. When he reached it (after being offered a wide variety of services by a variety of folk), he found it couldnt be described as anything more than a hole in the wall. There was a bar on the far side, an old stage for live music that looked like it hadnt been used in years, and some busted up wooden chairs and tables scattered throughout the floor.
He wandered into the bar, gazing around through the smoke, and he examined the crowd, noting from slight minutia in the folds of their clothes that most of them carried weapons underneath their dirty jackets. Up at the bar, all the metal stools were filled save for one, which he casually walked up to and claimed it for his own. Glancing to his left and right he noted that the patrons of the bar seemed to be generic thugs looking for a way to drown the sorrows of the day. The bartender glanced at him.
Whatll it be? he asked. Duncan raised an eyebrow.
Whats the highest proof alcohol that youve got? he questioned.
Rebulla 180, he said. What do you want it mixed with?
Just ice, Duncan said blankly. The bartender looked taken aback, not realizing the man in front of him was of a species whose livers detoxified poisons at an incredible metabolic rate. 90% alcohol wasnt so bad for Duncan. He didnt have the ability to get drunk. It did warm his throat on the way down, though. The bartender poured the drink and placed it in front of him.
Duncan quickly realized, through listening to conversations around him, that the people here were mostly mine workers. The bar was filled of talk about a potential strike or something of that order. He realized that the dust that covered their jackets was of sediment from the mines located a few miles outside of the city boarders. Apparently, workers were shuttled there by train each morning, worked a 14 hour day, then were shuttled back, all for minimal pay. A few words about adamantine, one of the metals he incorporated in his anti-magic weaponry, were also exchanged. Someone had apparently snuck some out of the mines recently, and this was a crime punishable by death.
Behind him, he could hear some shuffling as someone new entered the bar. A few greetings were exchanged and footsteps came towards where he was seated. Duncan soon felt a light tapping on his shoulder.
Youre in my seat, a voice said, gruff and raspy. Duncan had apparently stumbled into the seat of one of the regulars. He didnt move, despite noting that the man was prodding him with a loaded gun.
I think youre mistaken, he said without turning around. As I have no intention of getting up, he said casually, taking a swig of his drink. Duncan heard a clicking noise, the kind of sound a gun makes when the hammer is drawn back. Some attention of the surrounding patrons was drawn, and those around him began telling Duncan to move, but he kept his eyes on his glass.
I only ask once, the voice said. Duncan furrowed his brow. Before the man behind him knew what had happened, Duncan had slid his hands underneath his arms, drawn a knife into each, and was already spinning around. The left hand knife sawed through the barrel of the gun that had been poised against his neck a fraction of a second earlier. The other knife was quickly and gracefully pressed ever so slightly against the neck of the man. There was muttering amongst the crowd and those around Duncan rose from their seats, not sure what do next. Some drew their own weapons. Others stared in shock.
Rei Taggart, I presume? Duncan asked sarcastically, holding the man at knifepoint.
Youre .Duncan McKlane? the man said, short of breath due to shock.
What gave it away? Duncan asked rhetorically, withdrawing the knives and sheathing them in a blur.
Well, holy shit. Orphius said you were fast but woah Taggart said, taking a step back. He was just under six feet high and of stocky build. His face told the story of someone who had been in a lot of fights thin scars etched their way across his cheeks. He wore a leather jacket over a dirty red shit. Denim pants covered his legs.
Duncan rose to meet him. Orphius had mentioned you were difficult to deal with, but I hadnt expected to be held up. He gave the man a cold stare.
He told me thats how Id know who you were. Youd be the man who could get the jump on me and pull it all off without batting an eye, Orphius said in his own defense. I wasnt actually going to shoot you. Duncan nodded slowly.
Let us take care of business somewhere else, he said, glancing around and seeing that they had drawn the attention of most of the bar. People might be listening here that shouldnt. Taggart nodded curtly and the two men made their way out of the bar.
The sun had pretty much set on the dirty town by the time the men came out of the bar. The remains of the twilight highlighted the dust that hung in the air. The faint smell of sulfur was apparent, residual from explosives used in the mines. Humans and Mystics wandered the streets, some of the hair coloring on the humans being just as bizarre as those of the Mystics.
So what exactly is it that you do? Taggart asked him as they wandered out of the bar.
Im Lavoid Hunter, Duncan said. A Demon Slayer, you might say. I hunt down and kill Lavoids by trade.
Rarely any of you around these days, huh? he asked. Havent heard stories along lines of that since the ancient days the Exterminatorum Adeptus, and other bull shit fairy tales of the like
Its hardly bull shit Duncan said, unphased. The Adeptus might be responsible for you even being alive, you know. A Lavoid might have wiped out your family tree long before you came along, depending on where you originate. He gazed over at the man. Where exactly are you from?
Here, actually. Its sad that I call the slums of this town home, Taggart said. But its lucky that my skills with getting information earn me better work than that of the miners.
I see Duncan said, then followed with silence. Finally, he became bored.
Then lets cut to business, Duncan said, not looking at the man as they walked down the poorly lit street. I need to know about Cain and Im assuming from Orphiuss faith in you that youve found my information at this point. Taggart, immediately seeing that this man was nothing but business, took the bait.
Now, I dont want to know what you need it for, he said. Thats none of my concern. I do have your info, though. He reached into the inner pocket of his jacket and procured a small disc. Waving it in the air, he grinned. But I decided its going to cost you a little more than whatever you arranged with Orphius. Duncan stopped walking.
Give me the disc, he said in a very controlled tone, extending his gloved hand.
Three-hundred thousand credits, Taggart said, placing the disk back in his jacket. Duncan stifled a small, sarcastic chuckle.
Mr. Taggart, you very clearly have no idea who youre dealing with. Now give me the disk he still spoke in a low tone, not showing any sign of violence. Taggart folded his arms across his chest.
Buddy, I dont care who you are. Everything has a price, and that includes this information. You think it was easy to get? The kinda stuff like this is only viewed by those with the highest security level clearance. Duncan shook his head.
Bako jara kua, he said in the ancient tongue, invoking an obscenity. Then, with great control and precision, he repeated. Rei Taggart, you will give me the disk in your left jacket pocket. He extended his mind into Taggarts, locked consciousnesss together with him. Taggart gazed back with a dumbfounded look. His eyes suddenly went blank and like a puppet on strings, he reached into his pocket, drew out the disk, and handed it to Duncan. As Duncan put it in his jacket with his right hand, he snapped his fingers in his left hand and Taggart returned to a sentient state.
Thank you, Mr. Taggart, Duncan said, beginning to turn around and walk away. Your services have been appreciated, he said with his back turned.
I didnt just Taggart mumbled. Fumbling into his own pocket, he found it vacant of the disk he had just handed over. Then, realizing he was so easily manipulated, he bolted after Duncan. Hey, come back here you wormy piece of- he had nearly reached him and finished his sentence, but before Taggart could even see Duncan move, the blue haired man had unhooked the sheathed Dreamblade from his belt and was holding two inches of exposed blade at Taggarts neck.
Dont finish that sentence, Duncan said. He slid the sword completely into the sheath again, reattaching it to his belt. So now thats twice Ive spared your life. But, if youll excuse me, I have to get off this poor excuse for a civilized planet. He turned around again and started walking back towards the Spaceport, confident that that man wouldnt be trying anything again. He was now one step closer to getting rid of Cain.
Duncan returned to the Vendetta and moved it away from Trell as soon as possible. He brought the ship into a middling orbit above the planet. He and Kyrie sat down to analyze the information which Duncan received.
The War Room on the Vendetta was located on the upper level in the midsection of the ship. It was the place were Duncan typically plotted out actions before he took them. The room was filled with charts, screens, readouts, computers, and other things that made beeping sounds. In the middle of the room was a stainless steel table that sat up to eight people around its edge. Duncan and Kyrie sat in silvery swivel chairs that were anchored to the floor, just like most other things aboard the ship.
On the table was a lap top computer which Kyrie was operating. Her fingers were flailing away at the keys and her eyes showed signs of minor distress.
Whats wrong? he asked.
Hes a bastard all right, Kyrie mumbled, continuing to type away. After a moment, she paused and looked at him.
He put locks on most of the files, she continued. Sort of a safeguard against you deciding not to pay him, I guess.
I did let him live, Duncan said. For a rat like that, he should accept that as pay.
Regardless, theres a whole mess of code I need to fiddle with, now.
Can you get by it?
Maybe twenty minutes or so?
Kyrie, thats slow for you, he said with a slight smirk.
Oh, give me a break. These are high-level Dominion codes. I mean, for Iluvitars sake, the codes he got through to get these couldnt have been much more complicated.
Peculiar Duncan mumbled. I wouldnt have expected him to be versed enough in stuff like this to try and double cross me
He is a veteran informant for some high level political figures, Kyrie said. Its not terribly surprising that he knows a bit about computers. Also, remember, he wouldnt have been able to get the info in the first place if he didnt know a thing or two about hacking.
I suppose, Duncan agreed. He furrowed his brow. Just please move with haste. I would like to start planning the mission as soon as possible. Then, he rose from his seat and walked out of the room, leaving Kyrie to work with the files. Kyrie shook her head at the computer, not particularly in the mood to deal with it. Something about this stunk to high holy hell.
These codes are far too close to standard Dominion protocol. Why would an informant of an underground drug trade use codes that were so close to the nature of the Dominion military? She wondered. She hacked away at the codes diligently, though. It wouldnt prove too much trouble. Even high-level Dominion access codes werent hard for her. Actually, the fact that these were Dominion codes might have made it easier for her; shed had tons of practice on them in the past.
Note to self, she said out loud. Get Duncan to yell at Orphius for making him deal with such a shit head. She shook her head and got back to work.
Numbers made sense to her. Number and code were always the kind of things she was fascinated with and patterns were fun to deal with. Its why her knack was always in design. That was always were she was drawn to as a child and in school.
Elves have a higher education system somewhat like the one on Pre-Fall Terra. They had a University system that was tuition based, but aide was hard to get from the government. As a result, most of the college-going elves were already part of the aristocracy, or they at least came from some form of money. Kyries family, being from Ithilian, probably had made their money in trade. Being able to send her to school was the least of their worries, at any rate.
She studied physics and engineering at a top-flight university, graduating early. Her mind, as one teacher had put it, was like a natural computer. She would have been able to get any job that she wanted for any of the big corporations that is, if the Lavoid hadnt come. The irony was that she continued to engineer things, only now she was engineering things used to fight what almost drove her off of that path in the first place.
Kyrie let out a brief sigh and stopped typing for a moment.
Somethings up, she thought. But hed see it, right? Im sure its just my own paranoia, of course. Focus, Kyrie. He needs your help, now
She blinked once, then dutifully returned to work.
Duncan wandered down the hall until he came to the last door on the right; his quarters. Waving his hand across a sensor, he watched the door hiss open. He entered and sat down on the bed, gazing around.
Note to self, Duncan said, Yell at Orphius for making me deal with such shit heads. He sighed. His room was rather Spartan for a man as wealthy as himself. The walls were mostly undecorated, still baring the steel coloring of the rest of the ship. Sporadically, there were posters that displayed the technical specifications of the Vendetta or other starships. Muffled yellow lights on the ceiling illuminated them. There was a rug thrown across the floor, but it was a simple, cool blue. The only pieces of furniture were a bed, and end table, and a small couch along the right wall. The left wall also happened to slide open to reveal the storage compartment for all of Duncans clothes.
Duncan didnt really ever need to sleep. A long time ago, he had perfected a technique which allowed him to shut down part of his brain, keeping other parts active. By cycling the parts of his brain through this stage of dormancy, he could technically rest while staying awake. He did find sleep to be helpful, though, for his mental sanity. There were certain times when sleep certainly did seem like the only option that he felt like taking.
Filling time was something Duncan dreaded. Often enough, he would mentally cycle through his memorized spell book, sometimes pausing to make sure that he knew the exact motions and incantations of some of the harder ones. Sometimes he fiddled with the files in the Tactical Indoctrination machine he kept on board, toning certain Data-Sets to be more effective.
He used to paint. That was years ago, though. He still had a collection of many paintings done in acrylic and watercolor, though he hadnt managed to force himself to do much painting recently. Maybe he was getting World Weary as some of the older elves tended to get, and thats why he didnt find that urge anymore. His pictures were almost always of battle scenes, anyway, and he saw enough of that when he was at work.
Sometimes he read, but he joked that writers werent producing anything good anymore. He surrounded himself more with the Classics from the Pre-Second Fall Era. They were hard to get a hold of nowadays, but they told stories of galaxy in which the rulers were just and the heroes always won over the enemies within a measurable constraints of time. At most, these battles took only months or years. Never was anything so drawn out as the battle against the Lavoids. It was three thousand years and counting now, with no end in sight. No .sometimes Duncan liked reading because the stories were less depressing than reality.
Im going to just do this quick and move on with my life, he said to the ceiling as he stared up at it. Hes just the ruler of the largest political body in the galaxy no big deal, right?
<Hes strong>, a voice in his head resounded. He didnt know were it was coming from, but he knew who it was.
I know, Lucent, he said, answering his friends telepathic message.
<Certainly no match for my student, but he hasnt survived this long without having some experience to show for it>
He did manage to create an empire that spans most of the galaxy. Of course hes no weakling.
<And no fool, either> Lucent reminded him.
You dont trust my judgment on the battlefield?
<Kid, I taught you how to makes judgments on the battlefield. Im just reminding you that hes seen a lot of stuff. Make sure youre original in your plan of attack>
Ill probably use a series of stealth spells, he said. If I have to take down a few bystanders in getting to him with a spell then so be it, but I suppose that Id prefer doing the deal in hand to hand. A matter of honor, I suppose.
<Bull shit> Lucent shot. <Kid, I know youre into that honor crap, but this is one of those situations that you know doesnt call for it. You think hes the one whos responsible for killing Hyrial and you want to see him bleed for it. Dont kid yourself or me. You know the two of us know you too well for that>
Haha, Duncan forced a laugh. Youre probably right. I guess I dont even know what Im thinking.
<Then dont think about it> he said. <Stop using that Planeswalker intellect to overanalyze what might happen and start using it to concentrate on making it happen. You know that youll drive yourself mad if you think about it too much. Besides, the battlefield is too unpredictable to plan ahead for too much. You know that>
You always know just what to say.
<It comes with the territory of being the ultimate, powerful super-being that I am. What can I say?>
<You thinking straight?>
Yes I think I am, now.
<Then Im done. Just remember: self doubt is the mind killer. Screw fear. That can be surpassed. Self doubt thatll eat you up. Get over it>
So you done?
Thank you, Lucent.
<You got it>
As quickly as he had entered Duncans head, Lucents being made its exit. There was no indication in the ship that he had even been there, but Duncan felt him leave. It was nice to hear his voice, though. He always had a knack for instilling a sense of reason in Duncan, even when he himself wasnt terribly sure of what was happening. Duncan McKlane faced with uncertainty only behind closed doors (and to Lucent) could he ever admit it.
Duncan! Kyrie called from the other room. Ive got it. Come see. Duncan snapped his eyes open and rose from the bed. Rolling his neck, he exited his room and wandered down the hall again, going back into the War Room. Kyrie was sitting in her chair with a victorious grin on her face. She spun the lap top around to Duncan could see, motioning to the screen that was displaying the blueprints to something.
The Junum Imperial Amphitheater? Duncan questioned. He swung into the nearest seat, looking closely at the screen.
Its the location of an address Cain will be making in two days, Kyrie said.
Whats he speaking about?
Apparently, it has something to do with new power sources. I mean, its probably just something to placate the people on Junum, what with their complaining about the Nuclear Generators there. More than anything, now, we know-
Where hes going to be Duncan finished her thought.
So we act? Duncan gazed into space for a moment.
It seems too easy, he said after breath. That Amphitheater is an easy target. No way in hell he doesnt know that. Ive been there. The way its built there are too many ways in.
So theyll have beefed up security. It is Emperor Cain. We can get around it, though, right? she asked. Duncan nodded.
Look up the history on terrorist attacks on that building. I want to know where people have attacked through before, as those will be the places that theyll guard most heavily.
Right, she said, minimizing the display window and beginning to run a search on the Amphitheater. The computer buzzed for a few moments, then displayed a list of search results.
Anything within the last ten years? Duncan asked.
Yeah one. But it was only an attempt. It was cut off.
When was the last successful attempt?
Well, the entire complex was destroyed about fifty years ago in a bombing.
Then rebuilt it the same way? I dont believe Ive been there within the last fifty years.
No. This is the new model. Slightly different more secure, I suppose.
So look up all attempts since the new construction. She nodded, typing a few more words and searching again. The computer displayed the histories from three instances.
These, Kyrie said, motioning to the screen. Duncan narrowed his eyes.
Can you bring up the full information?
Right she said, opening the files. Three new windows came up displaying text documents recapping the incidents. Kyrie scanned over each of them, swapping back and forth between documents, sometimes.
One was an assassination, she said. A man was shot dead at the speaking podium. The assassin was suspected to have taken up position in this building here she said, opening up a picture of the Amphitheatre and its surrounding area. She pointed to one of the taller buildings with a clear view over the low side stands of the theatre. As you can see, the top of the theatre is completely open to the sky.
Next, he said.
One was an attempted bombing, like I said before. That was seven years ago, and the bomber had snuck in through the rather spacious ventilation system. He had rigged most the main support struts to blow, and the explosions had been positioned to allow the theatre to collapse inwards, killing most of the people that would have been watching the presentation. I believe it was a popular play that was being performed.
A disgruntled art critic, perhaps? What about the last?
Hostage situation, she said. Forty years ago, a unit of revolutionaries calling themselves the Crimson infiltrated the compound. They were well trained they managed to time guard patrols and camera paths to sneak a group of twenty two armed men into the facility. Dominion Forces were able to put them down, but not before seven hostages were executed. None of the men were taken alive.
Any common themes?
It looks like all the incidents took advantage of both flaws the highly-automated security system, and the structure of the building that allows for easy infiltration.
So theyll be guarding it pretty heavily, beefing up the automated security, Duncan mused. Can you bring up the plans of the infrastructure?
Yup, she said, bringing up a menu on the right and opening a map of the ventilation systems and the restricted areas.
Theyll prepare for a potential infiltration through here he said, pointing to one of the side passages that was easily accessible through a central duct. Or this area here he pointed to an area behind the stage that rose about ten stories.
If I come through a side passage, Ill have to dispatch guards. No problem, for the most part, but I dont want to cause a scene. Something like this will make the news, and I cant afford to get the full forces of the Dominion military on my back. Id rather cause as little disturbance as possible, so
Yeah? she asked. He rose from his seat.
Im gonna drop right from the sky, he said matter-of-factly
Skydive in and kill him with one strike while hes exposed. The open roof makes it a great option, and its not standard practice, so they wont see it coming.
Magical descent and a single blow with the sword?
Coupled with a series of stealth spells to keep my identity secret. Theyll be over-occupied with protecting against an infiltration through standard means. They wont be expecting an attack from a magic-user. He grinned.
Plot the course to Junum III, starting a long range scan for Dominion activity? she asked with a similar grin.
Ill be in the study reviewing Emperors Cains battle history, he said, agreeing with her plan of action.
Dont study too long, she said, rising and walking to the door. Im going to make you sit down and have diner tonight.
As you wish, he said, nodding to her. She left the room and the door slid shut. He clasped his hands together and cracked his knuckles. Youre mine, Cain and my fathers mercy shall not be spared
Mox Jet's Fanfiction