Two identical blue white diamonds lay half buried in sand surrounded by large stingrays, likewise hiding under a thin layer of sand. The two diamonds flickered in a glowing light show. Despite each diamond being on a different world the light show was identical.
Slowly the light show slowed and ceased as the two halves of the being that inhabited them ceased sharing memories and experiences and terminated her daily merge and each half of Mary Silvestre, dungeon core and demi-goddess went her own way.
On Earth, Mary was feeling bored. It had been a few hours since anything interesting had occurred to her. She really wanted to get her hands on some of the liftwood that she had recently learned was available on the world of Tarifax. She just knew that it would just by its very existence cause a furore on Earth, and then she could use it to goad her friend Cass.
‘Right what do I know about Tarifax, it is a right dump. Honestly are all those New Gods a bunch of morons? Why the beep were they encouraging the locals to burn all that sulphurous coal. Sulphuric acid, even greatly diluted sulphuric acid was no joke. Fixable yes, but not nice.’ Mary thought to herself. She winced internally at that beep. She had never become fully resigned to Bluey, aka The System censuring her thoughts and speech.
‘Right I need an agent, and from what I can see it had best be a male human. Well a sea human I can’t create humans after all. I suspect I will need to enhance him too. ’K so be it.’
Mary stirred and concentrated. The diamond on the floor of the Pacific Ocean near the island of Maui resumed flickering even as a gigantic sea serpent swam past on one of its patrols of the large ocean dungeon.
Down in one of Mary’s laboratory caves a shape started to take form, a tall strong looking dark haired sea human male emerged. His mind was granted a full life story and given many skills by his creator. He remembered a full life on Earth and Parthia, but mostly Parthia. Rich Burton remembered growing up in the Blue Lagoon, he knew the Manga decorated children’s dungeon and the temples in the lagoon. He remembered Drina and Tomcat. His lips twitched at the thought of Tomcat’s women.
Rich remembered visiting and spending time on Earth and even spending a stint in the marines. He finally woke and knew what Mother, Mary Sylvestre desired of him. He also knew with absolute certainty that she wished him well and if he wished, he would be allowed to ignore her and make his own way on Earth or on Parthia. He smiled and stretched as he tested his body and rejoiced.
Rich dressed, donning the light, flexible chainmail shirt and leggings, strapping on his broadsword and storing the heater shield in his storage device. The twin colt dragoons he inspected closely before storing them along with their tools and cleaning kit.
Then he examined the elaborate breather mask that had been lying next to his things. He tried it on a few times to ensure he could don it easily when needed. It reminded him, not surprisingly, of a gas mask. Then there was the heavy hooded oilcloth cloak. He somehow knew it would resist acid. This he stored.
That left the other storage device. He found it contained a generous supply of trade goods and twenty breather masks. These were far more basic than his, lacking the specialised enchantments.
“I’m ready Mother.”
Mary materialised her avatar in the cave. “Good. You know what I want and I can see you’re happy to do this. It will be risky an’ my reach on Tarifax is tenuous an’ will remain so until you get my marble, my talisman into one of the local seas. An ocean would be ideal.”
“Yes Mother, I’m ready. To be honest I can’t wait to see another world, to explore, to be the first.”
Mary laughed. “Well you will be the first, sort of. Good luck Rich. Don’t forget you can always use the talisman to contact me. If you can learn something about the local gods all the better, but that is optional. Lewis will see you to Tarifax.”
Mary suddenly remembered something she had seen in the little scarfaced pixie’s mind. “Considerin’ how screwed up the town of Conimbriga is, if you want a local guide you’ll have to buy one. I believe the Caradix Emporium is one of the best place to find slaves.”
Rich made a face, “Can’t say I like the idea of a slave but if needs must. I will need a local guide. How can I tell if he or she is trustworthy and not a liar?”
“Rich, oh Rich, check your abilities. You can detect lies. As for trustworthy,” Mary spread her hands and shrugged. “Promise them their freedom and a lucrative job if they do a good job. No guarantees but it might work. It’s a twisted world. Slavery is the only way the poor have of stayin’ alive thanks to the poison in the atmosphere.”