“In those early days, they could’ve crushed her easily. Though, how do you crush something if you don’t know where to find it?”
I lean back in my new lounge chair and noisily slurp from the cup with cold fruit juice. Somehow I got addicted to the stuff when I first tried it. To increase my own comfort, I used magic to cut the chair out of a large piece of rock, then I covered it with a blanket and placed the entire thing in the middle of my garden.
My attention wanders to the lemu. The animal is chewing on the twigs of a nearby bush. “There is nothing better than being alive, right? The sun is shining, it’s warm, and I’ve a cold drink at hand. All I am missing now is a real bikini instead of these undergarments.”
I gesture at my simple outfit. A bra and panties. The people of this world would flip if they saw me like this. “Oh, and the ocean! I definitely need an ocean!” I look around and consider the core’s available power. Well, maybe a pond will do. A small one.
I call up the interface and adjust the output of the four engines which are propelling my island forward. The first activation wasn’t as impressive as it ought to be. Oh, there was a lot of noise and quite a few people beneath us threw themselves to the ground. The process of compressing air inside the tubes had a little bug.
But this entire place is a work in progress, so I am not surprised that I’ve to figure out some things on the fly.
The intention was to make an impressive departure, but I ended up flying circles above Hormundad. It took me an hour to fly roughly straight forward and even longer to program a reasonable control interface for the island. My power core seems to have some balancing issues when it has to handle a lot of tasks at the same time. So I had to clean up the code. I am clearly working with limited resources.
The computer may be a huge innovation for this world, but the core has only as much calculation power as a small calculator. “I’ve to make some additional cores as soon as possible,” I mumble.
But for now I’ve a map and a basic control interface for the island. I can tell my new home where to go and how high I want to fly. Though, the engines are dragging to the left. It doesn’t bother me for now, but if I don’t check my direction now and then, I would be flying in a very large circle. It’s hard to control the energies which I am playing with.
My next goal is to gather a group of people around me. They don’t necessarily need to be reliable, but I need to be someone who gives orders. I need my own estate. Otherwise the nobles of this world would just see me as someone who is yet another puppet. I’ve to make it clear that I am one of the puppeteers.
The first destination is Abasin Valley. The communication crystal says that they are still there. The four of them must be bored to death by now. It has been over a month since they took the job. Guarding some old ruins, sitting around day and night, waiting for something to happen, thinking about god and the world. I couldn’t do it.
I would go mad. I laugh.
I take another sip from the fruit juice, then I stand up and walk to the front of my floating island. The sky is blue and the sun is at its peak. There are just a few white clouds to see.
Beneath me is a seemingly endless grassy landscape. I left the large fields which are located around Hormundad behind me hours ago. From time to time I notice a road or a shack. Small villages are a rarity. Hypnotized, I watch the landscape pass by. This could be a really nice world, if its people weren’t such pricks.
I am travelling at almost a hundred kilometres per hour. That’s much faster than anyone could follow me on a lemu or by foot. The gate network allows them to get ahead of me, but as long as I stay away from the gates, nobody should be able to catch me. They would need a little army to take this baby down.
I’ve read that some factions have flying aircrafts. The Consortium, the elves and the demons for example. But they must be rare since I’ve yet to see one of those rumoured vehicles. The empire has them too, but they are a rarity. They require huge amounts of energy, which means that they need a power stone.
A small dot at the horizon draws my attention. It quickly grows larger and I notice the wings much too late. Right in front of me, the animal slams into the barrier which is protecting my island. I jump, startled by the impact.
The huge, winged lizard slides sideways and falls to the ground, out of my sight. It was at least thrice my size. Not quite a dragon, but a genuine sceada!
I watch as the smear of blood is slowly pressed sideways along the barrier. The force field which stopped the sceada isn’t a physical object, so there is no adhesion between the blood and the force field. The reason why the blood stays in place, is that the air pressure is strong enough to press it against the barrier.
So I am faced with the same problem which modern cars have. I doubt that the local wildlife will adapt any time soon to something like my flying island. “Great! Now I need to design a windscreen wiper.”
And who says that there aren’t bigger bugs in this world? I need to develop anti-air and anti-ground capabilities at the double. I turn around and quickly walk back to the house. At least I found something to do while the island approaches my friends/enemies. Frenemies?
I stretch myself and take one of the bowls. The whole group is assembled around the fireplace. It’s one of the rare chances to be together while most of the archaeologists are still sleeping. I fill the bowl with stew. “Kiara, I swear that without your cooking I would’ve gone mad three weeks ago!”
Kiara receives the compliment with a smile. “Thank you. Does anyone know how long those idiots intend to poke around the ruins?”
Brian shakes his head. “They take great pleasure in turning around each and every stone. I am afraid that they can happily spend the rest of their lives in this rotten place.”
Fae sighs. “We are approaching the upper limit of our contract. I suggest that we simply leave once it terminates next week. Or does anyone have the intention to extend the contract?”
Kiara and Brian shake their heads.
“But the payment is good and we just have to sit around without much risk.” I can’t help it. I have to point out the one good thing about this job.
I plunge my spoon into the stew and shove a good spoonful of it into my mouth. It’s delicious, but I like it salty, so I reach for the jar with the salt.
The morning sun irritates me and I look up, squinting my eyes. My brain freezes and the spoon topples out of my mouth. Something in the back of my brain refuses to comprehend what’s right in front of my eyes.
“Stop it! You are ruining the stew!” Kiara steps forward and takes the salt-jar away from me. “Why are you looking like that? Is there something in my face?”
Then the ‘thing’ blots out the sun and casts a shadow over our campsite.
The others look up and just stand there, frozen, just like me. One of the archaeologists comes out of his tent and starts screaming when he realizes what’s hovering above us.
Fae squints her eyes and points up. “Is that a person?”