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[M] The Agent of Chaos [Astral Void Quest]

#1
There is only blackness.

Luci screams, a long blood-curdling moan of despair. Her wail echos back mockingly.

Down in the darkest and deadest parts of Luci’s subconscious, where nobody can hear her, she screams until her throat is raw and cracking. The fearless gangster sniffles. She is crouched tightly in the fetal position, naked and cold. And dying.

Cautiously, with a shaking hand, Luci presses against her abdomen. She winces, and draws the hand back immediately. Although she cannot see in the darkness, she can feel the warm sticky wetness, and smell the metallic tang of her own blood. How long will it take, in this timeless abyss at the bottom of the Astral Realm, to die? How long before her last drop finally falls?

Ignoring the jolt of pain in her abdomen, Luci reaches her hand up above her head. She hits a rough stone ceiling almost instantly, and a wave of claustrophobia shakes her to the core, causing her to retch.

“Oh fuck,” she gasps pitifully, clutching her throbbing stomach.

‘Oh fuck,’ echoes back the waiting dark.

Luci sits against the rough stone wall until her head stops swimming, hugging her knees. She thinks. After some time, Luci tries to whistle, but cannot bring her cracked lips together, and her mouth is as dry as a desert.

She lets out a guttural bark of frustration, and listens carefully for the response.

‘Ah!’ confirms the void, the voice echoing into nothingness.

Luci sits in the dark for a long time, her eyes narrowed, burying down her primal nihilistic instincts begging her to end it all.

“Go,” Luci whispers finally.

‘Go,’ the void mocks softly.

Luci falls forward on her hands and knees, her abdomen sending a jolt of pain throughout her body. She sticks a hand out in front of her, tracing the rough stone walls of her pison. The stone is sharp enough to leave tiny cuts and scrapes on her hands, but the wounds heal instantly, leaving nothing but a sting. Eventually her hand finds only open space, and her fears are confirmed; it’s a tunnel, less than two feet high, maybe two feet wide.

Luci begins to crawl.

The tunnel curves steeply upwards. Still Luci crawls.

The stone is sharp, cutting into Luci’s legs and arms, the wounds healing as she goes. Still she crawls, dragging her protesting body inexorably up.

Her abdomen throbs, the pain at times overwhelming her and forcing her to stop. So Luci stops. Then she crawls again.

The crushing, suffocating darkness threatens strip her sanity down to is last screaming exposed nerve. Still, Luci crawls.

Above it all, drowning out all of her bodies other protests, is the thirst.

The maddening thirst that only those a second from death have known. A fire that starts in the chest and radiates outwards, vowing to burn it’s host to cinders as it explodes.

This verse may stretch her time, but Luci has entered the Astral Realm as she left Coruscant; on the brink of death, willing to give anything for one last sip of life giving water.

***

The years pass in darkness and pain, and still Luci crawls.

***

There is a new pain, familiar yet unfamiliar.

The creature in the tunnel cringes, rubbing its eyes. It burns, but the creature not flinch away. It remembers the pain.

It is light.

Like dim moonlight, filtered through a scanner darkly, but it burns the creature’s sensitive eyes like an Imperial flashbang.

The creature crawls on its arms, dragging it’s legs behind it with a trail of blood leaking from it’s abdomen.

The tunnel stops slanting upwards, straightening out. At the very end, the pale silvery light swirls, casting strange shadows on the walls.

For so long the creature has known only darkness, only pain, and above it all the burning thirst.

It crawls towards the light.

It’s eyes sting as it gets closer, but the creature only drags itself steadily further. As it gets closer, its sees the swirling light is coming from a pool in the floor of the tunnel.

The thirst burns.

The creature leans its head over the brim of the pool to drink, but then it catches sight of it's reflection.

A pale, scared girl with haunted eyes.

***

Luci pulls back from the brim of the pool. Her thirst screams at her, throbbing in every fiber, but she does not succumb.

She leans over the edge of the pool, and begins to cry.

She thinks of blood in the streets Tier Five, and a red tear drop falls into the pool.

She thinks of the artificial sunsets of Coruscant, and an orange tear drop falls into the pool.

She thinks of the laughter of the Deathblades, and a yellow tear drop falls into the pool.

She thinks of the forests of the Knife Ears, and a green tear drop falls into the pool.

She thinks of the determination of the Hufflepunks, and a blue tear drop falls into the pool.

She thinks of everyone she loves, and a violet tear drop falls into the pool.

And she thinks of everything that she’s lost, and she does not lose hope, and a gold tear drop falls into the pool.

After several ragged, agonizing breathes, the colors start to swirl. Slowly at first, then gaining speed, the teardrops whip around each other in a psychedelic frenzy. They meld, blend, and start to stretch.

A bubble of shimmering OM rises slowly from the pool and hovers over Luci. Inside it is a spraycan, rotating in it’s prismatic prism. Luci reaches out a trembling hand and pops the bubble, and the spraycan falls to the ground with a rattle.

Luci does not retrieve the can, but continues staring into the pool for a very long time.
She thinks of the Astral Realm, of the beauty of dreams from all the Omniverse woven into one glimmering tapestry, and a shining silver tear drop falls into the pool.

Luci watches it sink like a stone into the pool. She waits.

After a moment, a brightly glowing silver key floats up to the surface of the pool, and Luci snatches it.

She grabs her trusty magic spraycan, shaking it, making the little metal ball inside clink against the can, trying not to rush herself. With an aerosol hiss Luci paints the shaky outline of a door in light blue spray paint, with a blue handle and keyhole, above the pool.

Panting, Luci pushes the glowing silver key into the painted keyhole, and the outline of the door starts to glow a very bright blue.

Luci spends a moment sobbing tears of relief, and then she turns the handle and crawls out the door into a bright blue sky.

***

Luci is falling. The wind whips her hair, the sun warms her skin, the clouds tickle her face. She cannot see the ground below her, and still she falls, leaving a trail of blood on her wake.

Luci is very weak now.

She cannot keep her eyes open.

***
President of the Westside Knife Ear Warriors

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#2
There is a discordant wailing at the edges of Luci’s mind.

She awakens in a squalid subway car, covered in graffiti and trembling on its track. Broken fluorescent lights flicker mournfully, their loud buzzing joining with the rumbling of the subway car.

Luci instinctively puts her hand to her abdomen, but the wound has vanished.

She is dreaming.

A dream within a dream. For a moment, Luci knows peace.

Then she hears the flutes.

“Oh God,” she whispers.

The notes are so faint they cannot be heard consciously. They do not vibrate the air to create sound, like a two-dimensional violin string wobbling to create a three-dimensional sound wave. They are notes produced by instruments being played in many dimensions at once, their quantum waves vibrating and pushing and screeching their way between the quarks in reality, and the neurons between thoughts.

Luci has her eyes closed tight, grinding her teeth madly as blood starts to drip from her nose. Her knuckles are white as she clutches her chair.

The flutes rise sharply in tone and volume, and with a wave of wrongness the train car shudders. A lurch in Luci’s stomach causes her to jerk forward, her head swimming.

The flute notes ring disgustingly between her synapsis as she pulls herself up.

“What?” she calls loudly, her scared voice echoing around the empty train compartment. She stumbles to her feet, clutching her nose, grinding her teeth.

The flutes again rise in pitch, screeching in Luci’s head, and the subway car warps with wrongness once more, bringing Luci to her knees.

Through ragged breathes, Luci picks her head up.

“I’m sorry,” she says desperately to the empty car. “I can’t understand you.”

The flutes hiss in anger, and Luci screams. The subway car crashes, crumpling in on Luci

***

Another level deeper.

Luci is on a very strange planet being bathed in the ultraviolet glow of a dying sun, on the edge of a cliff overlooking an ocean. Luci thinks it is beautiful; ultraviolet is her favorite color.

Down at the bottom of the cliff, standing atop a few jagged rocks, a well-dressed man with skin like night and eyes like madness is staring up at her.

“Hello,” says Luci cautiously, her whispers getting swept up in the wind.

The flutes screech back, and Luci falls to the ground twitching, blood pooling rapidly from her nose.

This time, Luci thinks she recognizes the first trappings of speech.

‘THOOOOORNS,’ the flutes wail.

Luci lays on the cliff, twitching as the notes overwhelm her.

The flutes are unforgiving.

‘DEEEPER,’ they whisper, as the neurons between Luci’s thoughts start to flicker.

“No! No please!” Luci yelps.

Her body acts of its own accord, jerking upwards as though on marionette strings.

Luci’s body drags itself over the cliff and into the ocean.

***

The flutes have not changed their notes. They have gotten no quieter. They still buzz between the subatomic particles that make up Luci’s astral form.

The only difference is now the music seems...pleasant.

Luci awakens beneath a silk golden blanket, thin yet opaque, and glittering brightly.

She holds the blanket to her chest as she sits up, her eyes scanning what appears to be an upscale hotel room. Every time she turns her head, she sees impossible things in the corner of her vision, but as she soon as she turns back to them they dissappear

She hears a man’s confident laughter, and clutches her blanket tighter to her chest as the Black Man walks in.

He is grinning with a maw full of misshapen teeth. Reality warps around his avatar like a black hole, sucking in the light and reflecting none, save for his glowing poisonous yellow eyes and his white teeth. Were it not for his immaculately tailored suit his form would be indecipherable.

“Oh,” Luci says, breathing a sigh of relief. “It’s just you.”

Luci lets her blanket fall and gazes at the Black Man with loving eyes that glow a poisonous yellow, just like his.

“Just me,” he says warmly, out of the mouth of madness with the voice of an angle. “But I feel like I’m missing something…”

“Your tie, of course,” Luci says, striding over to the closet, her bare feet padding against the carpet. When she opens the door, a dozen snakes hanging from a tie-rack hiss and lash out at her.

Luci does not seem concerned by the numerous deep bites she receives, but takes her time, studying the angry snakes. She grins as she sees the perfect one; a panicky little adder in the back of the pile. Luci is calm as she lets her hand drift closer, even as the adder opens its mouth and strikes, sinking deep into her palm. Luci does not flinch, but grabs the adders head with her other hand delicately, pulling it away and holding it by the back of it’s head.

With a housewifes smile Luci pads over to the Black Man, carefully lowering the adder to his throat until the snake latches on.

“Perfect!” the Black Man says soothingly. He adjusts the tie in a mirror, but when Luci peeks in the mirror it shows her unimaginable cosmic horrors, so she looks away.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t understand you before,” Luci says. Her neck is craned backwards, studying the plain white ceiling above them. “I must have been insane. It all makes so much sense. I understand now.”

The Black Man grinds his teeth, tusks, and fangs. The flutes trill.

“You do not understand,” the he corrects in his hypnotic voice. “You are very weak,” he adds, adjusting his collar. “So close to death I could not feel you. So small I could not see you. So quiet I could not hear you. Why have I found you?”

Luci grins coyly as she slides beneath the glittering gold sheet, batting her eyelashes.

“I can think of a few reasons,” she says in a husky whisper.

The Black Man does not react.

“Is this like Alice in Wonderland?” the girl teases. “You have to stay still to move forward? You have to ask the question, I answer it?”

The flutes howl.

“You found me because you see my path,” Luci admits. The notes from the flutes start to get louder, and more distracting. “And if you can see it, He can see it.”

Luci’s insane yellow eyes roll back into her head as she contemplates the machinations of insane gods, her own madness coming up short.

“But,” she says. “Why-”

The Black Man sighs. He walks over to Luci, extending an ink black hand to brush her hair out of her fair.

“You do not understand,” the Black Man repeats in disappointment. His voice is still soothing, still hypnotic. “We must go deeper.”

And then his hand is crushing Luci’s throat, and the hotel room is spinning.

***

The music is so beautiful. The haunting, discordant flute music has become an ecstatic orchestra, filling Luci with warmth and comfort.

Luci opens her brightly glowing yellow eyes and hurries to wipe away her tears of joy. She is still wearing the shimmering gold blanket from the hotel room wrapped around her like a dress.

She is in a desert made of aqua colored sand, the wind whipping it wildly into the air. When the sand sprays against her skin, it breaks into cool water droplets.

Before her stands a mummified pharaoh with a tall, emaciated frame. It wears a massive golden crown glittering with scarab beetles.

“Can you hear the flutes?” it whispers, with a voice like ash in the wind.

Through her tears, Luci nods, the sand whipping at her face.

“What do they say?” it asks as the flutes harmonize.

“They’re saying…” Luci closes her eyes, letting the notes burrow between every fiber of her being. With a gasp, she opens them.

“They’re screaming,” she says dully. “They’re insane, and they’re screaming…”

“You will come to him,” the pharaoh assures her. “And he will show you the light, and you will be one of his flutes, forever.”

A windstorm picks up, the aqua sand begins swirling between them furiously. The flutes scream.

“I understand,” whispers Luci, her eyes glowing very brightly now.

She can hardly see the pharaoh now behind the grains of aqua sand billowing between them.

The sand overtakes her.

***

Luci is falling. The wind whips her hair, the sun warms her skin, the clouds tickle her face.

***
President of the Westside Knife Ear Warriors

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Westside: Join or Die



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#3
The Sage fell towards the surface of the water, the rush pressing his body straight as he shot towards the reflected sun. he burst forth into the empty air, and only then realized he had been underwater and not the air. The Sage looked down at the surface of the water, noting that his vision seemed strangely obscured. Curious, the sage reached a hand to his face, finding a strangely familiar mask seemed attached to his visage, but his attention was drawn away from the mask by the realization that he was standing on a seemingly infinite film of water. The Sage crouched down, trailing his hand through the shinning liquid, watching it ripple and splash about much as any normal water would be expected to.

And yet it holds weight. Where logic fails, belief must bear its own weight, I suppose…

His gaze caught on a sequence of strange lights dancing in the ripples, and he looked up to notice a woman, her form a scintillating array, though its sheen seemed dull and sickly. Then the Sage noticed the crimson cloud that issued from her prone form.

“Oh dear, what trouble have we found this time, Chapel eyes?” the Sage murmured to himself as he made his way over to her. The thought briefly crossed his mind that he had been dying just before this. Could his own psychic state be affecting this situation? He felt intuitively that this area was his space, or at least some portion of his mind. Was Luci wandering again, or perhaps she was just a subconscious manifestation of his own impending demise.

In which case, he thought with a rueful grim, I may need to reassess my self-image…

The Sage turned Luci over gently, glancing over her injuries with a practiced eye. She had certainly taken some bruising, it looked like she had fallen a significant distance to land here. Yet by far the most concerning injury were the jagged gashes that seemed to have torn up her abdomen. The cause was not readily apparent to the Sage, but he didn’t need to know how the wounds had been inflicted to know they would be mortal if nothing was done. A quick knife slice provided fresh inkblood which the Sage smeared over the injuries. As always, his strange blood seemed to understand his intent, and the black liquid trickled purposefully across Luci, knitting closed her wounds like the finest of surgeons. Her pallor was still quite concerning, and the Sage wondered how recent the injury had been inflicted. The scarlet mist her blood made in their strange floor faded away too rapidly to be of use. The Sage settled down next to Luci, and began filling his pipe.

“Wake up soon, Chapel eyes, I need you to tell me which one of us is dying.”
If history is to become legend, it first must be recorded.
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#4
Luci is walking hand in hand with the Black Man, and then there is a familiar voice, and then she is gone.

***

Luci feels the sun on her face, she feels her body gently floating atop the water, and for the first time in a very long time she feels no pain.

The color begins to fill into Luci’s skin again, electric blue and hot pink and neon yellow.

Luci breaks into a warm smile and she lets out a sigh of contentment.

When her eyes open they are alight with a powerful phosphorescent fire, projecting scintillating patterns of neon everywhere she looks. Luci pushes herself up on her hands and lets her her head loll around on her shoulders, taking slow deep breaths as she gazes around the Sage’s astralscape.

The Sage sits calm and still, waiting patiently for the pipe-dream known as Luci to acknowledge him, being careful not to startle her. He does not leer at the naked young woman beside him, but nor does he look away uncomfortably either. Steady clouds of smoke billow from his pipe, and where the sunlight passes through them, they glimmer prismatically.

Luci blinks at her companion, causing a strange strobe effect in the Sage’s clouds. Although his mask hides his face, Luci would know the Sage anywhere.

She smiles coyly for a moment, then uses her trusty magic spraycan to cover herself briefly in a plume of aerosol paint. When the plume fades, Luci is wearing the same faded grey hoodie and torn jeans she is accustomed to, a bright red backpack on her shoulder. She rises and stretches, bouncing slightly on the surface of the ocean, then turns to her rescuer.

“Thanks,” she says simply, her head still craning around, looking for something other than the endless expanse of sea and sky.

The Sage nods, but does not look up. He offers his pipe to Luci, who accepts it gratefully. The Sage does not see what Luci adds to the pipe, but when she inhales the bowl crackles with multicolored sparks, and when she exhales there are sparkles in her cloud.

“So,” says Luci after a moment, not meeting her savior’s eyes. “I wish I could stay but-”

“Are you a vision?” Sage interjects quietly, asking the same question he had when they had first met. Luci just shrugs. “Is it you? Are you real?” he clarifies, turning his head and looking Luci in the eye.

Luci exhales an obnoxiously large cloud, the strange little sparks chasing each other around gleefully.

“Definitely not,” she answers, choking softly on the smoke. “Considering that astral quarks are one one-trillionth the density of Omniquarks, and Omniquarks are constantly slipping in and out of the Omniverse based on a complex probability field, my astral form can truly be said to exist at all. I am less real than a dream, less real that a passing thought, which can at least be detected on some quantum level.”

Behind his mask, the Sage grins.

“It IS you,” he says happily, pulling his pipe back from Luci. “How did you get here?”

Luci raises her eyebrows in a mysterious way, and rattles her trusty magic spraycan.

“Ah,” says the Sage. “Of course, such an experienced oneironaut would have little difficulty navigating back to such a familiar place. But it is one thing to find me; it is quite another to get here. At the great risk of appearing conceited, I would mention that I have rather potent mental defenses.”

Luci looks away for a moment, watching the softly undulating ocean beneath them. As always, the Sage waits patiently.

After several minutes, Luci reaches down the front of her tank-top and pulls on a chain so thin it is quite invisible. She withdraws a sparkling silver key and begins to pass it from knuckle to knuckle.

“Extraordinary,” the Sage says softly.

“It’s my Key,” Luci explains, the neon light of her eyes reflecting off the silver key strangely. “Like you said, it’s one thing to find the Astral coordinates you are seeking; to make a Door. It’s something else to turn that Door into a portal. To do that, you must become truly lucid. You must have your Key.”

The Sage nods sagely, his eyes still fixed on Luci’s Key.

“My friend,” Luci says slowly, meeting Sage’s gaze with her own imploring eyes. “I really gotta get going. I got a long trip ahead if I wanna to see Coruscant again.”

“You could awaken,” the Sage suggests simply. Luci shakes her head.

“Nah, I’ll die,” she says matter of factly. “I might already be dead. If I manifest in Coruscant... I may be healed here, but in another universe I am not.”

The Sage shrugs. “It is not so bad to die, I am told. Quicker and easier than falling asleep. A few ‘days’ later, you will be born anew in the Nexus, and you can enter Coruscant again.”

Luci shakes here head, her rainbow hair leaving a trail of sparkles in the air.

“I’ll never get into The City through the Nexus, I’m a terrorist,” she replies, a hint of pride in her voice.  

The Sage nods sagely.

“Then,” he says softly. “Will you stay here, and truly become a dream?”

Luci shakes her head again. Her jaw is tight.

“No,” she says slowly, as if the very words were painful.

The pink and blue lights in her eyes start to fade as a bright highlighter yellow replaces them. Luci voice drops as she gazes out across the ocean.

“There is another way. A void in the Astral Realm, a place where the fabric of reality has been warped so strongly that it has torn.”

Behind his mask, the Sage frowns.

“I can see the path so clearly now,” says Luci, a vapid kind of smile tugging at her lips. “He has shown me. Every footstep I am to take sears with the brightest light. He loves me, you know. He wants me to be with Him forever.”

“Luci…” the Sage says, interjecting sadly.

“I will show you,” the girl says, and she lifts up his mask and kisses the man.

***

The flutes are screeching. Their discordant wailing drowns out all thought, all action.

The Sage floats hundreds of miles above something. It is so large, so disturbing, so inherently against the very concept of reality itself, that Sage’s mind simply blocks it out. It manifests simply as a void, but it’s presence burns in the air like a furnace.

The flutes are overwhelming. There is no pattern, there is no rhythm, yet still the Sage senses something that makes his stomach drop; the flutes are a chorus.

They are the anguished wails of the victims who have succumbed to a cosmic madness. Now they are the heart that pumps pain and insanity through the veins of an eldritch horror.

“Azathoth,” the Sage whispers.

The void flinches. The Sage screams.

***

Luci breaks the kiss with a girlish smile.

They are standing atop a gently undulating ocean underneath a clear blue sky.

“So c’mon,” she insists. “I don’t have much time. We need your Key.”

***
President of the Westside Knife Ear Warriors

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Westside: Join or Die



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#5
The Sage was silent for a time despite Luci’s request, regaining his composure from the experience to such insanity and power. He held shut his eyes, steadying his breath, cleansing his mind of Azathoth’s tendrils as well as he could. He opened his eyes to see Luci’s hunger. She itched to be on with her journey, further into his madness. A few seconds of exposure had so unsettled him, yet she had experienced undoubtedly far more. Was she too far gone already? The Sage spoke finally, but his voice was tinged with sorrow.

“Luci… are you quite certain that there is no other path?” he watched her gaze as he spoke, but her eyes scintillated in a way he could not read.

“Perhaps I or another ally could find your body in Coruscant. I have only a small bounty from a foolish misunderstanding, they might not notice me if I am clever enough.” Luci did not immediately reject his suggestion verbally, but he could read her well enough to know that she was not truly listening to the idea. Her eyes looked out into the distance of the Sage’s mindscape, seeing only the beckoning of the Unfathomable. The Sage took her hand in both of his, drawing her attention away from Azathoth’s influence for a brief instant.

“This path may allow you an escape, you are correct. But I have known many schemes in my years, and this route is beyond any doubts a deception.” He spoke with concern.

“I know.” Said Luci, but her gaze had strayed again into the distance and he could not tell whether she was responding to him or the other presence within her mind. The Sage sighed, realizing that Luci’s path was beyond his ability to mold. All he could do was prepare her as best as he could for the trial that was ahead of her.

“Come.” He said, beginning to walk, “We must go and retrieve the key. I fear I have misplaced it.”
If history is to become legend, it first must be recorded.
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#6
The sun never sets on the Sage’s dreamscape. There is only the endless ocean below them, the bright noon sky above, so Luci counts their steps.

Luci matches the Sage’s languid speed comfortably. She is rather quiet for the first five million steps, but speaks up after step five-million-and-one.

“Do you know how long we’ve been walking?” Luci asks suddenly, still facing ahead, her kaleidoscopic eyes fixed as always on the horizon.

The Sage looks at the sun for a moment. “About five million steps,” he says casually.

Luci is silent for a moment.

“You think if I made another dogboat…” she says, her question railing off.

The Sage shakes his head. “I do not think we would arrive any faster. And the term is ‘catboat’, as you well know.”

Luci grins.

The pair walk on.

***

They find several islands of subconscious nestled within the Sage’s mind.

They find an island of countless decaying ruins, the graveyards of dead societies, some so lost to history that they only remain here in the Sage’s subconscious. The spend several years picking through the ruins and hiding from the savage natives before they walk on across the ocean.

They find a massive castle floating gently above the ocean, larger than all of Tier-5. The years they spend searching the castle are more tense, as hordes of undead plague them at every turn. It is only after every corner of every room is checked that they move on.

They find an island of every woman the Sage ever wanted to kiss and never did. They are quite welcoming, over-eager even, Luci thinks. Luci wants to stay a while, but the Sage only consents to a quick search and they are on their way again.

They find an island of books that Sage had forgotten. Luci realizes she will have to search this one herself, as the Sage promptly picks up a book and begins reading. Eventually she is able to drag the Sage to his feet, assuring him they would come back another time.

They find an island of Reynold’s repressed childhood memories, and they agree to check that one last.

They walk on.

***

Countless islands later, the pair come upon a gleaming white staircase leading up into the clouds. Without preamble, Luci begins to climb.

The Sage watches her go, but stays at the foot of the staircase. Luci stops after a few steps and turns to him, but does not climb down.

“It has been a long journey, Luci,” The Sage says pointedly. “Are you not weary? Perhaps there is another way.”

Luci stares down at him with her swirling, shifting eyes.

She does not reply.

The Sage closes his eyes, and when he opens them again Luci is already climbing, not looking behind her, sure that the Sage is following.

***

Approximately twelve million steps later, the companions are standing before a pair of glittering golden gates hundreds of feet high.

Luci gives Sage a sideways glance. The Sage, for his part, shrugs.

“A little ostentatious,” Luci chides.

This time it is the Sage who is silent.

“Aww, c’moooon,” Luci says, rolling her weird eyes. “Look, I appreciate your concern for my well-being, but I’m an astral gangster, yo. I’m here for a good time, not a long time. So let’s go, I’ve got a good feeling about this one.”

The Sage frowns, a gesture Luci has come to know means that he is thinking of something in terms of a puzzle

“The Key is not in there,” he says finally. Luci does not seem convinced.

“I wish you had said something like, twelve million steps ago, but seeing as we’re here…”Luci says, her eyebrows raised, walking backwards towards the doors.

“Behind those doors is something more precious to me than my Astral Key,” the Sage says carefully.

***
President of the Westside Knife Ear Warriors

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Westside: Join or Die



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#7
“Oh?” Luci said with an eager gleam in her fluorescent eyes, “Sounds juicy! What is it?”

The Sage opened his mouth to answer, but said nothing, and after a time closed it again. Luci gave him a look and raised a hand towards the gate behind her. The Sage sighed in defeat and motioned her to wait.

“Every person must have purpose if they are to achieve anything of worth in life. Some seek power, and amass armies to their beckon call. Others seek wealth, and hoard great vaults of gold and jewels within nets of locks. Yet others seek knowledges and steal secrets away from the world’s learning, to be bartered and traded for still more secrets.”

The Sage walked past Luci and rested a hand on the smooth metal of the gate.

“I covet all of these, as do you, as does any man. Yet I do not seek them. They are tools towards the same goal. The colors with which we deface the canvas of our history.” His back was still to Luci, and he idly tapped a rhythm on the metal as he spoke. She almost couldn’t tell if he was talking to himself at this point.

“It is the story that matters in the end. The defiant warrior standing down a thousand foes dies in vain without the skald to tell his story. The doctor who cures ailments without reward is vindicated in the tales her patients spin of her miracles. The merchant prince who secures peace for his people at the cost of his coffers serves himself well only if the peace is acknowledged in chronicle.”

“History and story, the ingredients of legend.” The Sage said simply, turning back to face Luci, his astral key spinning between his fingers like a coin. Luci’s eyes tracked the key with an unnerving hunger.

“You didn’t answer what’s in there though.” She pointed out, still focused on the key.

“I know.” The Sage responds, “But I’m not going to. The contents are… less important than their part in the story anyway. Think about it.” He stopped twirling the key and spread the hand wide. To Luci’s dismay the hey had vanished again.

“After many trials, fears and conquests, we have reached the very core of my mindscape. Beyond those gates could well be my very soul itself. Where else would one expect to find such an article as an astral key?” Luci looked at him incredulously.

“You cheeky bastard! You had it the whole time!” she exclaimed, though the outrage was mostly good natured. The Sage did not deny the accusation, producing the key and a book from within his robes.

“Unless I am even more a daft old fool than I believe, you are on a course into darker waters than you have hither to plumbed. I cannot stop your story, but I can help you to properly record it. When you lose track of where is now and how is next, it may serve as a map of sorts.”

Luci took the book absently, her gaze focused on the silver key, now attacked to a thin copper chain. The key caught the light of her reflection and cast rainbows on the clouds. She glanced back at the Sage briefly.

“That’s not your soul in there.” It was a statement more than a question. The Sage gave her a pained look, but shook his head.

“No. The real stories in life are never that simple, I’m afraid.” He pointed towards the key she now held, “Who will be the next host of your Icarian flight, Chapel eyes? The demon or the madman?”
If history is to become legend, it first must be recorded.
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#8
Luci stands atop the tallest mountain in the Sage’s dreamscape, her alien eyes focusing and unfocusing on his Key. The wind whips her hair, catching little specks of glitter and letting them waft into the clouds.

The Sage tries to hide his look of defeat and concern behind a mask of gentle wistfulness, a face that is only forlorn because of the imminent departure of his friend.

“My path’s clear,” Luci says finally as she stows the small leather book in her bright red backpack. The book falls next to her own Black Book, the book that Luci uses to draw that graffiti she would eventually spray from her magic spraycan. On the other side of the Sage’s book is a pack of markers with brightly glowing tips.

“The Black Man showed me a map that burns so bright I can barely see anything else, like a phosphorescent after-image in my brain” Luci continues. “He wants me to pass through the demon, to the heart that beats below the surface. That’s where I’ll find his key.”

The astral warrior pauses; the vulnerable young woman bites her lip, her strangely fluctuating eyes downcast and guilty.

“That,” the Sage observes. “Was not an answer.”

Luci takes her attention off of the key and meet’s Sage’s gaze.

Her eyes glow with the pink and blue neon lights of 1980’s Miami.

“My answer,” says Luci, as specks of neon plasma drift upwards from her iris’ like a lava lamp. Three lines of prismatic war-paint appear beneath each of her eyes. “Is that I’m a not a slave, I’m a gangster. I see my own path.”

Luci rattles her trusty magic spraycan and paints a Door onto the massive white doors of Sage’s subconscious. The borders of the door flicker with artificial light. The girl turns back to the Sage, her jaw defiant but her face guilty.

“I guess I owe you one,” she says with a stony voice.

The Sage waves his hand dismissively. “Think nothing of it, my chapel-eyed vision. It is what friends are for.”

They share a very sad smile.

Luci unlocks her Door with the Reynold’s Key. On the other side is a deserted parking lot illuminated by flickering streetlights.

Luci tosses the man his Key, and without a single painful ‘Goodbye’, she is gone.
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#9
***

The parking lot is silent as Luci’s portal disappears behind her. There is only the dim flickering street lights, casting absurd shadows on the black asphalt below. The stillness in the air is overwhelming.

In the middle of the parking lot, illuminated in a single inexplicable beam of moonlight, is a silver gun.

Luci is no stranger to firearms. She is an accomplished gun-runner in four universes, a gangster in two, and a natural born crackshot. In the Omniverse alone she has fired handguns, phasers, heaters, machine guns, grenade launchers, flamethrowers, and miniguns. She has killed orcs, hutts, humans, wookies, twi’leks, stormtroopers, jedi’s, and even elves.

She has never felt the need to wield a weapon as dangerous as the gun on the ground in front of her. The gun is a Prime weapon, a weapon dragged from the mind of a Prime and infused with enough OM to make it Real. The gun is so Real it warps the very fabric of the Astral Realm around it, creating a pool of moonlight which no flickering shadow can touch.

Luci crouches down, and picks up the gun.

Beyond the parking lot, the neon haze of 1989 Miami starts to fill the night sky.

The hustle and bustle of the nightlife starts to trickle in.

A pair of footsteps approaches.

The Game has started.

***

As the footsteps draw closer Luci backs up against a red brick wall, and seems to disappear.

A two-dimensional graffiti portrait of a rainbow girl appears in her place. The eyes of the portrait blink guiltily.

A pair of old white men emerge from an alleyway into the parking lot. Their expensive loafers flop softly on the asphalt, their immaculately tailored white suits reflecting the dim light garishly. They puff cigars as the walk, meandering with the easy swagger of killers.

One of them, a bald man standing a foot taller than his companion, is boasting loudly and expositionally about his recent criminal exploits in a light Russian accent.

“So we have stolen the van,” he continues, puffing his cigar. “We are thinking, just for the quick cash, you see? And would you believe Ivan, what was in the back?”

Ivan shakes his head, taking his eyes off his companion and squinting at the graffiti mural of a girl they are passing beneath. “No Ivan, what was in the back?” he asks in a thicker Russian accent.

The taller Ivan chortles slavicly. “Girls, Ivan, there were girls. Nearly a dozen.”

The shorter Ivan blanches. “That is much money, I am thinking. But how can you sell?”

The taller Ivan smirks. “Our friends in Opa Loka have import/export business, they run it out of Ivan’s Car Repairs. They pay good too, sixty thousand my friend.”

The shorter Ivan laughs. “Not bad for a van.”

The two criminals walk off into the night, their greasy guffaws lingering in the air behind them.

Luci slides off the wall and hits the ground walking.

She starts to walk the opposite direction of the russians.

***

Miami pulses with life, hedonism, and a steady undercurrent of violence.

Coked out yuppies in upturned collars rub shoulders with derelict crackheads. Cops and mobsters sit at the same tables in the same strip clubs, ordering dances and making deals. Beautiful prostitutes drip from the elbows of pimps in gaudy suits. Pushers, hustlers, partiers, the gang’s all here.

The air is filled with exhaust and cigarette smoke and the bachic calls of the nightlife. Car’s screech, drinks spill, skirts slip. Gleaming skyscrapers reach for the heavens, and a heady neon glow fills the night sky.

In the center of the city a single beam of grey light streaks up into the sky.

Jacket is awake, and there is no telling for how long.

Luci moves through the astral cityscape like a fish through water. She passes the bars and the clubs, she passes the drug dealers and pimps, she passes Ivan’s Car Repairs. Everywhere she goes, the threat of imminent violence seethes just below the surface.

Luci wanders inside a small, hole-in-the-wall strip club. The club is bathed in garish lights, filled with obnoxious porn music, hungry-eyed girls and sad-eyed men. The smell of spilled beer and cigarettes mingles with the sweat in the air.

Luci grins.

***
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#10
***

The months pass, and Jacket is still awake.

Luci is breathing nervously behind a stained red curtain; she is always nervous before she dances.

The lights of the strip club dim to near total darkness as Luci walks onto the stage. A hush falls over the crowd. Eerie synth music starts to play.

Luci is wrapped in a translucent white cloth glowing with a soft neon light. The music begins to speed up, and Luci lets her shawl fall to the ground.

The multicolored bioluminescence of her nude body bathes the club in a warm rainbow glow.

There are gasps from the newcomers, whistles from the regulars.

Luci leaps forward and latches onto the top of the pole with her thighs, leaning backwards and letting her body start to spin, her long sparkly hair nearly reaching the floor.

The club becomes a blur as Luci spins faster and faster.

***

Backstage, surrounded by beautiful nude women, Luci is again wrapped in her shawl and sniffing some kind of strange dream-drug that feels a LOT like cocaine. She is not the only one.

Her coworkers giggle and tease and use their drugs loudly. The raucous strippers give a wide berth to the prismatic young woman in their midst; they know to leave Luci alone when she’s in one of her moods.

Luci glances into the big round mirror in front of her, and catches a savage looking blonde glaring coldly from behind her shoulder. She has half her head shaved, the other half in dreadlocks.

Nadezhda has not liked Luci since day one; she has liked her even less since Luci started fucking Nadezdha’s drug dealing boyfriend.

Luci calmly stows her drugs in her purse and starts to dress. She has only put her spaghetti strap shirt on before Nadezdha is across the room, breathing down Luci’s neck. Luci catches the blonde’s eyes in her mirror, her strange eyes wide with fear while the blonde sneers back.

“Is good dogs?” Nadezdha asks in an icy whisper. She speaks with a thick, syrupy russian accent, but Luci knows she is asking about the drugs.

Slowly, her gaze still locked with the russian woman in the mirror, Luci nods.

Nadezdha’s hand latches onto Luci’s shoulder, her bony fingers digging into the rainbow girl’s flesh.

“And how is Viktor?” the blonde asks, her face screwing up in rage.

Luci jumps from her seat, but Nadezdha is too fast, and she buries a fist into the girl’s gut.

Nadezdha trembles with rage as Luci doubles over, gasping for breath. The strippers around them laugh and back away from the fight.

Nadezdha grabs Luci’s hair and jerks her forward roughly.

“Coke whore!” Nadezdha screams as she drags Luci into the bathroom.

***

Luci is walking home, her hands in her pockets and her eyes downcast, her hoodie pulled up to cover her bruised eye and bleeding lip. She leaves a trail of rainbow blood droplets all the way from the strip club.

Luci walks past Ivan’s Car Repair. She thinks she hears screaming, but she continues.

As always, she stops before reaching her home to gaze wistfully at the greyscale apartment complex next to her own.

She turns away from Jacket’s apartment and back to hers, walking up the steps to her door, and freezing when she sees the package on her front step.

A beautiful white lion mask, and lying on top of it, a tape recorder, with a little sticky note that says ‘play me’.

Luci steps over the package and puts her key into her door.

The door stays locked.

Luci stands still in front of her door for a moment. Slowly, with trembling hands, she turns around picks up the tape recorder and presses Play. A familiar voice comes out of the machine.

“Hey bitch, don’t think I can’t see you.”

Luci’s blood runs cold.

“I see you. Everyone sees you. All the demons in hell and all the nightmares in this universe see you. None of them hate you as much as I do.”

Luci says nothing. The voice is right.

“I’m giving you one option, you coward,” the voice continues. “Play the Game. Get Jacket’s Key. Get the fuck out of my boyfriend's head. Failure is not an option.”

***
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#11
Hotline Miami 3: Luci’s Game


***

Chapter 1: Catching the Train

“First mission, take out Andrei Kolkov,” the voice of Jacket’s dead girlfriend, Hooker, had said on the tape recorder.  “You can find him at the Santa Clara train station tonight. He’s meeting a contact at two AM.”

Andrei Kolkov sits on a bench in a silent train station at 1:30 AM, his massive bulk taking up nearly three seats. He and his two thuggish companions have ‘dressed down’, wearing plain grey track suits and tennis shoes. An attentive observer would notice their gold chains, their flawless haircuts, and their $400 cologne. They might even notice the guns concealed in the Russian mens waist bands.

A train rumbles past, it’s lights flickering in the dim recesses of the train station. When it is passed, a young woman in a white tiger mask is standing on the other side of the tracks.

She is small, dressed casually in jeans and a tank top. Her skin swirls with multicolored bioluminescence. The eyes of the white lion mask burn with blue fire.

Her big silver gun glints in the buzzing fluorescent lights.

There is a rumble; another train is coming.

The thugs reach for their weapons, but before they can even touch them the woman has emptied her clip into the obese body of Andrei Kolkov. She lets her gun fall to her side, and cocks her head at the thugs from behind her mask.

By the time they have their weapons raised another train is barreling past them.

When the train has passed, the girl is gone.

***

Chapter 2: Viktor’s Pad

“Here’s an easy one, Princess,” Hooker’s voice had said on the next tape recorder. “Go take out that fuckboy Viktor, you know where he’s at.”

Nadezdha Semenov saunters down a dingy hallway in a ramshackle apartment complex in south Miami. The sultry blonde stripper’s hips sway expertly beneath her black miniskirt. She stops in front of a peeling green door and raps it quietly with her fingernails.

Instantly, there is the sound of locks and bolts being undone, and the door is swung open.

Viktor looms large in the doorway, the hulking Russian wearing a wife beater and an expression of confusion. Then again, his face always looks like that.

“Viktor,” Nadezdha coos as she breezes past him, her fingers trailing on his chest. Her accent drips with vodka. “I ‘ave missed you.”

Viktor’s stupid face scrunches stupidly, but he shuts the door and follows Nadezdha into his apartment.

The beautiful blonde is already helping herself to Viktor’s cocaine.

“I am thinking you are jealous still,” Viktor says as he reclines on a long leather couch.

“Puh,” Nadezdha says, while miming spitting on the floor. “I ‘ave spoken with Luci, is all sorted out.”

Nadezdha takes another long, shuddering snort, and turns back to Viktor with a smile. IN one swift movement the stripper straddle him, and the lovers are kissing wildly.

“The FUCK is this?” a voice screeches.

Viktor looks up to see Nadezdha standing a dozen feet away in a red dress, her face contorted in rage.

Viktor’s big dumb eyebrows look to the girl on his lap.

Her skin is glowing with swirling rainbow lights.

She is wearing a white lion mask, with eyes that burn with blue fire.

The real Nadezdha roars Russian curses as she pulls out a .22 caliber pistol from her purse and unloads the clip into the girl.

When the smoke clears, the rainbow skinned girl is staring at Nadezdha from behind the mask, unharmed. The girl cocks her head to the side, grabs a kilo of coke from the table, and then she is gone.

Nadezdha trembles as she stares at Viktor’s corpse, riddled with .22 caliber bullets.

***

Chapter 3: Car Repairs

“Nice job on Viktor,” the voice of Jacket’s dead girlfriend had said on the tape recorder. “The cops think his girlfriend got him. Next mission is tougher; go down to have Ivan’s Car Repair and waste every one of those sick ruski fucks.”

Olav Fuklofsky rolls into the back of Ivan’s Car Repairs in a black Mercedes, catching Ivan’s eye as he does. Olav is smirking, and Ivan knows what that means.

“Cargo?” Ivan asks in his thick Russian accent as Olav gets out and greets him with a kiss on the cheek. They wear matching italian suits and loafers, despite Ivan’s supposed job title of ‘head mechanic’.

“Cannot a friend come just to see friend?” Olav jests. Ivan grins. Olav pops his trunk, and Ivan inspects the goods.

A petite Cuban girl is huddled in a fetal position inside the trunk. There is a hood over her head, and her wrists and ankles are both handcuffed. She is trembling.

“Is good,” Ivan admits. The old Russian man whistles and points to the trunk.

A pair of track-suited thugs emerge from an office. The Cuban girl screams as she is lifted from the trunk, but her screams are abruptly cut short as the thugs take her back into the office with them and shut the sound-proof door behind them.

Ivan pours two glasses of expensive Vodka and offers one to Olav. The gangsters recline on the couch to discuss payment.

“Is good cargo,” Ivan admits russianly. “Two thousand for you, my friend!”

Ivan raises his glass in toast, but Olav is grim.

“Three thousand, my friend,” says Olav sadly. “She has such beautiful eyes.”

Ivan guffaws loudly. “HA! We do not buy girls for eyes, Olav! That is why they wear hood.”

Olav nods gravely. “I am thinking you will say this. So I say, go see for yourself.”

Ivan frowns, but rises from his overstuffed chair with Olav.

“These had better be some krasivaya eyes, Olav,” Ivan warns as they walk down a grim stone hallway and approach the soundproof room.

Ivan opens the door, and retches.

His two thugs lie slumped against the soundproof wall with big bullet holes in their foreheads.

Olav holds a handkerchief to his jowly face.

A sudden series of gunshots shock the gangsters into action. They flee backwards down the hallway, and the lights cut out.

A single figure stands at the end of the dark hallway.

A pretty young girl in a white lion mask with blue flames in its eyes.

***

Interlude.

The missions become more bloody as Luci carves her way through the Miami underworld.

Luci does not sleep, but she does wake up in strange places.

The nights blur together.

Luci starts to write in the Sage’s book, trying to retain what memories she can as her life slips into chaos and violence.

***

Chapter Whatever: The Biker

“Kill Biker,” the instructions had said, and no more.

A girl in a white lion masks stands over the kneeling, bleeding form of Biker. She removes his cracked helmet and places the barrel of her Desert Eagle to his temple.

“Before you kill me,” he chokes, blood dripping from his mouth. “There’s something you should know.”

The girl in the white lion mask pulls the trigger.

In the spray of blood and bone and brains, a glittering silver key on a thin chain explodes from Biker’s head.

The girl in the white lion mask picks it up and clips the bloody chain around her neck. She walks with heavy steps away from the crime scene, leaving her mask behind her.

***

GAME OVER

***
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#12
***

Luci lights a hand-rolled cigarette with a steady hand, inhaling tobacco smoke and exhaling rainbow clouds. She lowers the driver side window of her bright red 1970 Stingray LT1 as she drives into a dimly-lit dingy parking lot and parks in the corner. She rummages around in her backpack for a moment before retrieving a Black Book, covered in glowing graffiti. A single psychedelic eye blinks on the cover.

“Why are you here?” says the voice of Jacket’s dead girlfriend, muffled through the tape recorder.

“I’m drawing,” Luci says dreamilly as she flips through her Grimoire.

“I know what you’re doing,” the tape recorder hisses from the dashboard. “Go do it somewhere else. You have your Key, now get out of my boyfriend’s head or I’ll give you a real out-of-body experience.”

Luci does not respond, but withdraws a single ink pen with a shining white tip.

“You’re drawing that woman again. She must be asleep,” the voice on the tape recorder continues. Luci tries to focus. “You’re going to do to her what you did to Jacket.”

“No,” Luci says calmly. “Much worse.”

Her eyes turn a soft peach, the color of flesh. The tip of her marker glows the same color, and Luci starts to draw the first outlines of a beautiful female face.

“Worse?” the tape recorder echos back indignantly. “You used my body to trick my boyfriend into fighting your war.”

Luci’s eyes flicker along with her pen, getting darker and then lighter as she applies shading and shadows to the face. She starts to draw the outlines of the body.

“He was fighting his own war,” Luci says icilly. Her eyes narrow. Luci fills in the womans plump lips, the edges tugging downward in a scowl. “I just showed him the best way to do it. In his head, his demons were eating him alive. I used your body to save him-”

“And that’s the only fucking reason you’re alive,” the voice spits back. “Who is this bitch anyways? What makes her so important you have to sneak into her dreams?”

Luci does not reply, but her eyes change to the color of blood and wildfires, flickering brightly. The pen changes with it, and Luci starts to draw strands of fluttering red hair.

When the woman’s hair is complete, the picture starts to move.

The woman is in bed. She is restless. The picture is hazy, wobbly; her Astral Defenses are weak.

The woman in the black book mumbles something; her lover’s name.

On the other page of the Grimoire, a flawless blonde woman with a curvy yet athletic form starts to appear. She is wearing only a thin silk night robe, and is creeping up to the door.

Luci’s eyes flare like prisms, the tip of her pen likewise changing into a strange kaleidoscopic lightshow. She quickly fills in the blonde woman’s pupils with iridescent ink.

The picture halts.

“Ok,” Luci says, exhaling deeply.

“Ok,” says the picture of the blonde woman, her lips moving with Luci’s own.

The picture pushes the door open cautiously.

“Hey babe,” Luci whispers, in unison with the drawing of the blonde woman.

“You having a bad dream?”

***
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#13
As the sedative forced the Sith Warrior into a deep sleep inside her bacta tank she found her mind going blank once again. It wasn’t until she felt herself rustling between silken sheets, her panties bunched up towards her upper thigh, that she heard Nova’s whisper.

“You havin’ a bad dream?” Nova asked, entering the darkened sleeping quarters. No reply.

Lightning streaked through the sky and temporarily lit up the room, as was common on Dromund Kaas. Able Company of the 15th Infantry Division under Naga Sadow had been in their final year of reconditioning. The barracks for Special Forces candidates were luxurious compared to boot camp. Each unit had a living area with a built-in kitchen, one full bathroom, and one master bedroom with a king-sized bed. A giant glass window exposed the bedroom to a view of Kaas City in the distance. As thunder rumbled through the room another bolt of lightning stuck one of the pylons used to harvest the storm’s energy outside of Trixie’s window. Nova had crawled into bed to investigate why her lover had sat up and was staring blankly at the torrential downpour that always covered most of the planet. Through her journal Luci could see that the dream Trixie was having was much different than anything she had seen on the Dataverse about the woman. She couldn’t recognize the location.

Nova gently ran her fingers along the Mistress’ bare upper back, tracing the dark tribal markings that almost seemed to jump out at her. Numerous 15th Infantry Division tattoos littered the woman’s arms, and forearms. Imperial barcodes and logos also appeared to be stamped on her partially naked lithe form in various places. Some out of pride for her duty and some as if she had been stamped like cattle. The flick of a lighter caught the blonde woman’s attention as Beatrix lit up a cigarette and inhaled deeply. Deciding to escalate the moment, Nova moved the redhead’s hair over her shoulder and gently brushed her lips across the bottom of her neck by her hairline.

Trixie felt her lovers’ touch, a chill traveling down her spine as goosebumps appeared on her silky skin. Letting the cigarette hang from her lips the soldier in-training wrapped her right arm behind her and pulled Nova’s head into the mess of hair she had moved aside. The blond instinctively knew what she was doing and began gently kissing Trixie’s neck, pulling the redhead back onto her lap. Taking the cigarette from her lips, the Mistress flicked away the excess ash on her covers and lifted it up to Nova who slipped it between her glossed lips. Beatrix closed her eyes as the blonde inhaled on the cigarette and ran her hands along the naked form of her lover, touching every inch of her smooth skin. Zulenka looked significantly younger than the photo on the Dataverse. Her body was lightly toned, but still very feminine looking in the dimly lit master bedroom. Spitting the cigarette from her mouth as if it hadn’t existed, Nova leaned over Trixie and placed a light kiss to her abs. The blonde woman could feel her lovers’ muscles react to the gentle touch, even as she applied her tongue, kissing the redhead once more, moving further down her stomach.

Trixie gripped the silken sheets beneath her as Nova split her legs apart to let the Mistress’ head fall to the bed. Crawling on all fours the blond continued her gentle assault of kisses until she reached the dark purple panties that her partner had chosen to wear to bed. Gripping the frilly waistband with her teeth Nova gently pulled on them, teasing Beatrix.

“I already couldn’t sleep, Nova...” Trixie said into the back of her hand covering her mouth.

In a moment of desire, the redhead flexed her heavily trained body and smashed her crotch into her lover’s face. Nova’s muffled words fell on deaf ears as Trixie threw the blond against the numerous pillows that lay at the head of the bed. Pinning her to the sheets Beatrix could not contain herself as she pressed her lips to Nova’s, piercing her mouth with her tongue. Ripping the silken robe from her body and gripping one of her partners breasts, the Mistress’s advance was halted by a hand in between her bosom.

“Calm down, babe. I’ll help you sleep well tonight.” November whispered through another crack of thunder.

The rain pounded the window in the master bedroom as the two women swapped places. Terra made sure her partner was properly positioned among the pillows before laying into her neck with a kiss that slowly dragged its way to a breast. Trixie moaned as Nova kept going, her fingers grabbing at the long blond hair tickling her thighs.  Terra placed one last kiss to Beatrix’s slim waist line, her purple panties had magically vanished.

“N-Nova…” Zulenka whispered breathily.

The Mistress’ sounds of pleasure were hidden from the rest of the barracks by the violent cracks of thunder that had been perfectly timed. As Trixie arched her back, the muscles on her stomach tensing, her thigh muscles contracting, and her toes curling inward the redhead awoke to a surgical droid starting the draining process for the bacta tank she had been floating in.

A dream? 
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#14
Luci’s slams the book closed, her cheeks flushed, breathing heavily.

She lights another cigarette with trembling hands and exhales her rainbow smoke out the window.

You’re a piece of work,” comes the voice of Jacket’s dead girlfriend from the tape recorder.

Luci stares out the window, her jaw tight, but does not respond. The ash from her cigarette curls.

Disgusting,” the voice of Hooker continues. “I’m a whore, but even I never sunk that low.

Luci does not respond, but stows her little black book in her backpack.

Fuck are you still here for?” the voice demands again.

Luci’s strange eyes dilate, and she looks at something far away. She takes another drag, and taps her ash out the window of the car.

“Jacket’s asleep,” the tie-dye gangster says, though she doesn’t sound very sure of herself. She raps her fingernails on the cover of the book.

Somehow the voice on the tape recorder sneered. “You come anywhere near him and I’ll turn your brains into a cloud of glitter.”

Luci does not respond, but drops her cigarette out of the car window. She pulls out a bag of cocaine and arranges a few lines on cover of her book. She sniffs them loudly, and a small trickle of rainbow blood seeps from her nose, which she wipes away hastily on her sleeve. She takes a deep breath.

“Ok,” she tells herself.

“Ok?” the tape recorder mocks.

Luci stows her book in her backpack and opens the door.

“Ok,” Luci repeats, a little more confidently this time.

“This is your last fucking warning,” Hooker’s voice says on the tape recorder, her pitch rising. “Get back in your car, and ride off into dreamland.”

Luci grabs the cassette player, drops it on the ground, and crushes it beneath heel. She sniffs loudly, and head’s to Jacket’s apartment.

***
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