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Aberrant: Children of Quantum Fire - [Interlude.Gamma] Rain in a Place of Sin [Mature]

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Time Frame: April

Participants: Sin Eater, White Rain, any Terat PC's who wish to be present

Location: Sin Eater's Sanctum, somewhere deep under the earth

Sense the last time Sin Eater left Chrysalis, she had found and worked at creating a place somewhere deep under the earth, miles and miles as far as anyone could be sure, enough that heat and moisture in the place that it was quite unusual, the cave complex was quite huge, with water and massive crystal formations, but little in the way of light, except that produced by the nova's within. Generally, that didn't bother many of the inhabitants, members of the harvesters who followed Sin Eater's lead, into a different kind of monster then those who followed Leviathan or the Apothecary's lead.

There were three rules for the inhabitants.. Rule One, no hiding one's body from view, all appearance and flesh must be visible to all, that the glory and horror of each member of the one race might be enjoyed by all, eufiber was worn, but not to cover only to display. Rule Two, terat's only, no one else was welcome, Rule Three, Sin Eater's word was law. Unlike Levathan's crew who had a certain distaste for the beautiful, there was both beauty and horror here, Sin Eater had a broader then definition of what a monster was then the narrow view of some others, and she nurtured both, a good number of terats lived here.

The largest part of the cave complex was where the Demon Queen held court, so to speak, and there were often beings she had summoned with her powers, demons and monsters who served her will within. Many spoke of this place as the hidden city, or the City of Sin, sense anything was allowed and explored, as long as it didn't interfere with another evolution along the path of teras. Light was gained here though terat's with the glow aberration or biolumescence power, while there were tools on occasion, it was encouraged that one rely on powers and so there were no mechanical lights or electricity here..

The grand cathedral was the place where Sin Eater herself was when she was here, a huge expansive cave within the complex, adjacent to a steaming underwater lake, a hot spring to make hot springs envious, great crystal formations gleamed with the light of glowing and biolumescent nova's as Meena entered this part of the complex, and extended her invitation to Chang, sending nova warper to open the way for her.

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“You’re sure this is safe?” Lucrezia was nervous.

Chang could always tell when her wife was nervous. It wasn’t that she paced, it was that she began to do it with multiple bodies. In this case, twelve of them. “Sin-Eater’s a Terat sister. What could go wrong?”

“She could make you into a lawn chair.”

“So long as she agrees to sit on me afterwards I don’t think I’d mind that. We’ve talked of this before,” Chang said. “There’s more than a touch of the monster in me. Scrambler was not wrong to attempt to guide me on that path. It just didn’t quite fit. These days… well, I’m still half and half. I call myself a Portent, but am I? It’s hard to believe if you stick me in a room with Scripture or Pedro. I think my path may be something… different.”

“Like what?”

“I haven’t the faintest idea. It’s something I think about from time to time but I’ve never thought to try and name it. Caroline agrees with me. She’s been – annoyingly – calling it the path of the Monstent. She certainly sees the monstrous thread in me. I think Sin-Eater does, too,” she said.

It was not a new idea by any means. Most Portents went through huge mental changes, but the physical changes were often of an esoteric nature. Chang’s changes were fleshy, sexual, rooted deep in ideas of the body and the solid, physical self, no matter how often she might soften or flow or stretch. The same was true of those who had followed her in Teras. She resisted the urge to try and name a new path, though. She was at a point where her daily achievements outstripped her peers regularly. It was difficult to prevent the development of an inflated ego.

Chang had no love of pride. She tolerated some of it in herself – false modesty aided no-one – but it was still a deadly poison on the path, and it corrupted clean thoughts. Perhaps Sin-Eater could help her emphasize or better understand that part of her own soul.

“I’m coming with you,” Lucrezia said.

“Of course you are,” Chang said, bending her arm backwards to stroke the hip of one of her wife’s bodies as they passed by her.

Chang was sat at a low table, formed out of her body just as was the chair in which she sat, waiting for Sin-Eater’s representative to fetch her. They were in their hotel room in Kinshasa, though they did not intend to return here when this was done. Their business in the Congo was done. It was time to return to their lives and the troubles therein, and to get back to the daily grind of be seen and scheme.

It was a sign of respect that Sin-Eater was sending a Nova rather than one of her created minions, and Chang knew to note it. Every sign and signal sent her way was positive, and she felt curious rather than threatened by this invitation. Not that she had failed to put her own twist on the scenario. She had asked Sin-Eater to send her representative via one of Chang’s students, the rather straightforwardly-named Gateway. The girl could do with going to a place like the Demon’s Den.

What do you want of me, Meena? I suspect your desires run deeper than a simple ‘let’s be friends’, she thought. Sin-Eater and Orzais being an axis changed many things.

“Let your inner monster out,” Chang said. “You spend too long in human shapes. Be something else for a while.”

Lucrezia regarded her thoughtfully, and nodded. “I suppose.”

“Think about it. You hate having sex with men because they’re ‘too small’. You like having sex with me because it brutally reminds you of your inhumanity. Yet you wear forms of idealized beauty. There’s a contradiction at work there, my love. There’s no need to say anything. You’ve been through chrysalis, I’ve no right to criticize. I just think it might be good for you.”

Her wife gave a shimmy of her hips, and smiled. “Why not? I worry about you too much, sometimes. Or maybe you don’t worry about yourself enough.”

“Oh, a little from column A, a little from column B,” Chang said. “I can be foolhardy at times, I know this. Sooner or later I’ll be brought low. I fear it not. That which falls can rise, and there is more to be learned in the rising than in standing tall forever.”

They were mostly quiet after that. Lucrezia made a few quiet words, talking about the Count’s party, the things she had seen and done in Kinshasa, and what one of her was up to in Japan as they were speaking. Chang’s reply of ‘naughtiness’ earned her plenty of grins, not that she expected anything less.

In truth, for one of Lucrezia to be all the way over in Japan meant that this was the culmination of one of her many multi-layered schemes. She always worked this way, using her clones in slowly-expanding circles of influence until she reached the outermost point and finished whatever job she had set out to accomplish. There were some things they did not share and did not need to share. Lucrezia could never understand the details of Chang’s artistic creation; she operated on a level that was incomprehensible to her. The same was true of Lucrezia’s manipulations. Chang could see them in process, and extrapolate where they might be going, but she never grasped the intricacies and rarely saw the whole picture.

There came a sound. It was like fabric ripping, if that sound were echoed a thousand times at once and magnified. Chang felt the tiny shifts in the air that signalled the formation of the warp.

She turned, and saw the warp where the door was – very well positioned – a great glowing oval of yellow energy. From it emerged a long, elegant insectile leg. A second emerged, then chitinous, claw-tipped hands, all in black. The figure which followed bore an exoskeleton, all hard lines and dark shining curves. It was thin, difficult to pin to a gender, with a featureless domed head. Its mouth was situated where a throat would normally be. It shifted into the room properly, and rested on four legs.

“Geth,” Chang said. “Pleased to see you. It’s been some time.”

“Indeed, your grace,” Geth said, his voice clicking out of his altered chest, unnatural, inhuman. His voice at least had a masculine edge, but there was a feminine undercurrent to it as well. “You look radiant, as always. As for your consort, lest my foolish words give offense, I shall say nothing for I have no words to describe hers.” Geth always used the plural for Lucrezia. He considered it offensive to refer to her in the singular, even though she did not take offense to it. Chang had always thought he should call himself ‘The Seneschal’, simply because of how he stood on protocol. In truth that was why they had always gotten along. Both of them understood and appreciated etiquette.

Lucrezia gave him a smile, all of her now moving as one. Just as he respected her with the ‘hers’, she respected him by this obvious display of her true nature. One mind in many bodies, a single thought driving them all. She was almost unique in that quality. Most cloners had an ‘original’ whom always remained. Lucrezia did not.

Chang rose, table and chair flowing rapidly back into her naked buttocks. Her hair came apart, leaving her naked, her full tainted glory on display. If he even noticed, Geth made no indication. Chang suspected that he was blind, but he could clearly perceive visual input though some means.

“You are prepared for the journey, I hope?” Geth asked.

“Of course.”

“Your lovely wife will be accompanying you, I suspect?”

“Some of her, yes.”

“Four of me,” Lucrezia said. “The rest of me have a little business to finish in Kinshasa. I’ll walk to Ibiza.”

She meant it, too. When she and Chang went on holidays, sometimes they just walked along the sea bottom for a few days, watching the wildlife and fucking each other in the silt. That usually confused the fish.

Geth gave a bow by lowering his front legs, and made a strange circular motion with his hands. “If you will permit me, your grace, I must needs ensure certain formalities are maintained.”

The four of Lucrezia that intended to come gripped their clothes and began to noisily rip them from her bodies.

“Yes,” Geth said, “that is the first. No clothing is permitted within the Demon’s Den, or only such clothing as will emphasize that which is the true face of Nova. Your grace will, I hope, be only too pleased to honour us with your magnificent form.”

Chang smiled. Listening to him she could almost believe herself Jason Bellefleur or one of those glowing, impossible second generation children who had been in the Rainbow Room last month. “Of course I will, Geth. You need only ask.” Seeing four of her wife naked caused her to stiffen, too, bringing her cock to its full size. Honour indeed, for my wife at least.

“You do me such kindnesses, your grace,” he clicked. “The second rule shames me to share, for it is so obvious that the stars themselves will mock me for needing to put it to words. But I must insist nobody who does not hold to the truth of Teras be brought with you. Not even if you have consumed their unworthy bodies and intend to bless them with absorption. If you would do such, it must be done here.”

“Noted,” Chang said.

“And the final rule is most important,” Geth said, his voice clacking like bones banging together. “The Demon Queen rules absolute within the Den. She is to be obeyed in all things. Especially if she contradicts herself,” he said, in a tone of utter sincerity.

“No doubt a regular occurrence,” Chang said, grinning. “I know well the fickle nature of a queen.”

“I would never deign to imply such a thing, your grace. Now, if you are ready, shall we return through the warp? I would make my own, but your comrade has so kindly paved the way that I dare not for fear of insulting her.”

Geth went back through first. Then the Lucrezias, and finally Chang herself.

She put her hands through first, and felt the warmth and heat beyond. She leaned in, reaching, and felt the soft, slick flesh on the other side. She gripped, felt a pair of firm, round breasts, clenched and used them to pull herself through completely.

Chang emerged from Gateway’s body. She was a tall, statuesque Russian with hair that was white at the front but black at the back. Her eyes were blue and full of lust. But from her mouth to her groin her body was split open, the glowing gateway occupying it completely, pushing her breasts and squeezing the flesh of her torso up into rolls of

distorted skin.

She grunted as Chang stepped free.

With a wet sucking sound, Gateway closed up. She trembled, and shook out her hair. Then she gave Chang a crisp salute. “My queen.”

“Indeed,” Chang said.

Geth rolled his wrists and skittered about.

They had emerged on a rocky rise inside the cave complex Sin-Eater called home. Chang could hear voices, the rushing of water, and sounds more complex than that. Strange lights played off crystals in the roof, echoing what waited beyond in what was termed the Grand Cathedral. She had heard of this place, but never ben here.

“When you are prepared, your grace,” Geth said.

“When my wife is prepared, you mean,” Chang said, turning to the five naked Lucrezias that had come with her. She said she was sending four, she thought, but saw no need to make a point of it.

All of Lucrezia changed as one. Their bodies surged and rippled, flesh beginning to creak and squeak as it turned from skin to latex, her many bodies mixing primary colours to create unique combinations. The five began to warp, then. They went down on all fours, their arms and legs lengthened and sharpened.

Then her torsos bulged violently. She let out an entirely sexual moan, that distorted and broke as her heads compressed, then split in half from the nose upward. Teeth emerged, another tongue inside the gaping, crocodile-like torso of her body, which was split open to just below the sternum. Her shiny eyes looked out above the mouth, her human maws hung gaping open below, tongues lolling out. One by one, they sprouted new limbs, and began to move forwards, creaking and groaning. One turned her body, and kissed Chang’s ankle with the human mouth.

Chang stroked her wife’s back, studying the grotesque beauty of the form she had chosen. This was a new one. She stretched her arm down and patted her wife on the upper part of her head. “Well, I think you’ll fit in just fine.”

“I do likewise, your grace, and gratefully approve,” said Geth. “Will you also be gracing us with your creativity, your grace?”

“Not yet, Geth,” Chang replied. She nodded down at her cock. “I carry my monster around wherever I go, and if you insist on my going naked, well…” she shrugged.

Gateway seemed nervous. She didn’t cover up her nakedness, but she did not seem to know what to do with herself, either. Her body looked very human, if idealized.

Geth let out a rattling noise that might have been a laugh in a human throat. “You make a good point, your grace. Please, do follow. A meeting of queens is a rare thing

even in Terat society, I think. This will be fun. Of this thing I am certain.” He rattled again as he moved forward.

Chang accompanied him, wondering just what awaited beyond. She motioned subtly for Gateway to follow, and the big Russian hurried after her, while the Lucrezia’s stalked along in their strange, bestial new shape.

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Puck was fairly brimming with energy and excitement. He and the other Nursery children that had decided to brave the Demon's Den (a name he found most intriguing) were already stripped down and waiting on Teithwyr to gate them into the caves. He'd been taken there a few minutes ago by one of Sin Eater's 'porters, at Bounty's insistence that the children have one of their own willing to bring them home if they found the experience of the City of Sin.....overwhelming. Some of those interested had dropped out when they learned that you had to go in naked, or that it would be dark; Puck had probably spent more time naked in the dark (or light) in his life than he had spent clothed. Pity for them, they're probably going to miss an awesome and utterly disturbing party.

He knew the Mirror Queen would be there, and a chance to socialize with his mentor in a Terat-only gathering that wasn't on her own turf would be fascinating, to say the least. "Well, Teith? Are we going or what?"

"Don't get your panties in a twist, anklebiter," he quipped back, using the nickname some of the less enamored Nursery kids had given Puck when he'd first emerged and had no name.

Puck clacked his teeth at the 'porter, "Ankles aren't the only thing I bite, if you ask real nice, Teithy." He put his hands on his naked hips and added with a wicked grin, "And I'm not wearing any panties."

The blond nova rolled his eyes and opened a rift, if just to get the incorrigible little satyr out of his sight for a few minutes. Puck obliged by being the first one through, passing inspection as naked, a follower of Teras (duh), and willing to follow whatever edicts the Demon Queen saw fit to give for the night. One more Nursery-mate chickened out at that last requirement, even though they'd heard it before; it was a hell of lot scarier coming from someone that had no identifiable head, far more appendages than seemed fair (and none of them remotely human), and every inch covered in gleaming metal quills. Puck wasn't even quite sure how the...person...was talking, but it wasn't telepathically. He mentally shrugged off the mystery for the night and blindly made his way deeper into the cave. Those of his friends and Nursery compatriots that would follow could do so at their own pace: he was here tosee just what Sin Eater and her followers thought monsters were. After all, everything was inspiration if you'd just see it. So said the Mirror Queen, and Puck had taken her words not only to heart but to action.

He grinned. Let's see what trouble we can find in the City of Sin tonight.

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Infinity wasn’t totally naked but it wasn’t modesty that drove her fashion stylings tonight. It was practicality; her bare feet weren’t protected from the unshaped rock or gravel like other Terats and she couldn’t see in the dark. So her feet were covered by soft-looking but protective dress shoes, with a high enough heel to seem vanity rather than necessity. She was wearing fishnet stockings that went to mid-thigh, clinging to her pale skin. Her outfit was a skin-tight pattern of glowing lines that covered her lower back, sides and hips while leaving everything else bare. Additionally, where the ‘garment’ met skin, the edges glowed softly, drawing the eyes to her small yet perfect breasts and to her groin. Stripes of light ran down her arms to her hands, allowing just enough light so that Infinity wouldn’t run into walls. She looked like a psychedelic stripper, but such was life.

Infinity stuck close to Puck as they went through; she remained just behind him. When challenged by Geth about her nudity, she spread her arms and turned in a circle as she asked, “Am I leaving anything to the imagination? I like to think I’m emphasizing what is already here. Or maybe you can’t see that.” With a teasing smile, she stepped forward and leaned against that carapace, feeling her nipples pucker at the strange sensation of his shell. “Can you feel it?” she purred, just before she licked him.

A shudder ran through the nova. “I can indeed feel it, but you are unwise to tempt one as myself with sexual advances, Madame Infinity,” he told her with a bemused tone to his voice. “You would find it… unpleasant.”

“You’re breaking my heart,” Infinity sighed, resting her forehead on him for a moment. The feel of his carapace against her bare skin was… exotically erotic.

“Very well, you may pass, young Terat, though Sin-Eater might find you overdressed,” Geth told her.

“Then I will change, according to the desires of my hostess,” Infinity promised before moving to stand next to Puck.

Her oft-time lover curled an arm around her, his skin reflecting back the glows she was putting off. “You need to wear this more often,” he murmured, nuzzling her ear.

“This is your next reward then,” Infinity grinned at him, referring to those times when Puck ‘earned’ special treatment from her. Of course, that treatment was easy to earn – after all, it was always a treat for her, too.

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OOC: Sense a Picture is worth an thousand words, I'm using this picture montage to give a hint of the differences here, both groups and individuals.


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As the folks responded to the invitation they would find a kinds of different nova's down here, some mostly human like in appearance, some so different that one couldn't even figure out how they had come from humanity at all, but all of them displaying some aspect that wasn't completely human, a tail, wings, a fangs and a pair of horns, bodies that were something other then flesh and blood. Medusa Song had chosen to come with Puck and Infinity, and she was looking around wonderingly, she seemed to fit in with this crowd almost perfectly, as she slide along the stone floor as a snake would.

As they were lead deeper into the cavern, it plunged into a utterly dark area, though those with the ability to see in such would see that the cavern shrank then came around a turn then another turn, and then a third turn, and they stepped out into a vast cavern that that stretched up almost a thousand feet, and out further, with a vast steaming lake beside it, and Geth bowed as he gestured to the massive spire of crystal that seemed to be rooted in both the floor and the ceiling.

"Behold, the keeper of the caverns, Resonance, who our lady did guide into the path of Chrysalis, and now she sees the ways before us all..."


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Welcome, Mirror Queen, Welcome, Lucretia, Welcome Infinity, Welcome Puck, Welcome Medusa Song, Welcome Teithwyr; Welcome Gateway. She spoke the names of each of the nova's present as guests in turn before she continued. The Demon Queen bids you welcome to our domain, as some call it, the city of sin, or the demon's den. The message didn't just speak allowed, it also echoed in their minds and and the perfect resonance and beauty of the words additionally shivered over their bodies like a lovers touch, vibrations playing over the skin and making of them shiver in pleasure, the voice was both disturbing and glorious, something you both wanted to stop and never wanted to end. As you see, some of us have taken a step far beyond anything humanity can imagine, monsters, marvels and portents all, it was Sin Eater's desire that you especially meet me, she thought you could come up with some song or marvel to our home here justice

"She's beautiful... but, can she move from here?" There was a whispered question from one of the children standing with Puck and Medusa.

I can, in a way, I am rooted here, but I can shift location though quantum manipulation, teleporting myself elsewhere, though it must be a place I can root both above and below, of stone, water and crystal.

"Isn't that a bit sad?"

Child, I am a psychic, able to touch minds from thousands of miles away, to see though the minds eye, to experience the sensations of all living things, to move things with thought alone.. nor am I alone, I stand here in the den having passed though chrysalis once on the path of the portent as our lady guided me, and now I see both past and present, and hazy glimpses of the future, I move things with my mind even from a vast distance, I touch the minds of many and I can guide others from a distance, even sent images, I have no regrets. Now, I am the gatekeeper here, our Lady, the Queen of Demons waits for you beyond, and I see some of you are almost beyond standing my voice... perhaps later, the Mirror Queen would grace me with her voice and we could sing together.. The emotional overtones of the last words suggest that to this being, to join someone in song was something akin to an intensely sexual or religious experience.

With Resonance going silent, the guides waited for the guests to compose themselves, those who needed too, and then lead them though, to a place where Sin Eater was standing herself. Today, Sin Eater had chosen a form of beauty, her skin was a deep gold that seemed polished to the point of being a mirror itself, a pair of large bat wings stretched from from her back, and a pair of horns like a deer stretched from her forehead, with hair that seemed to be made of ruby strands and a soft golden glow extended from her body.. but in contrast, some of the creatures that surrounded her were hideousness, providing an almost artistic contrast.

"Chang, Lucretia, children, I am pleased that you accepted my invitation, come, please join me." Her voice had a sensual overtone that meshed well with the creature she was now. "I was just shifting Meridith's aberrations here to something more unifying, as she is on her path to her first Chrysalis. "



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The joining the Terat stuff is going to be handled during RR4 after the smex. By now in the IC chronology, Darrik should be definitely cleared to join here.

A glimmer of shadow, and Darrik stood with Lucrezia, a sixth of her upon the rocky rise outside of the Demon's Den. "Sorry about the delay, look's like things are about to kick off inside." The wife(s) of Chang told her companion with a little shrug. "Well, you know the rules, right?"

Darrik nodded and let a little smile play out. "Obey Sin-Eater, and..." His eufiber went away into anklets and a collar of sapphire, shades set precisely to contrast well with his otherwise ravishingly nude form. Lucrezia looked impressed, if not quite aroused, and morphed into latex, taking on the monstrous form the others inside had.

Darrik raised an eyebrow, but this was a new experience, and any bits of him that were discomforted were told to get over it by the rest. "Looks like the 'you' here is ready. Shall we?" The pair headed inside, and Lucrezia led Darrik in, quietly entering from behind everyone else- though Darrik doubted Sin-Eater or the thrilling Resonance would let them come without being commented on.
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Chang let the children talk. Her eyes were just for Resonance. The very physical responses that the Nova’s words stirred in her body demanded recompense. She was a Portent, yes, but to Chang also a Marvel.

Meena, Meena, you know me better than I give you credit for, she thought, giving silent respect to Sin-Eater for recognizing the value in letting them see Resonance rather than the more obviously monstrous denizens of the Den. Chang had learned a thing or two about marketing in the Pandaimonion, even if she declined to go through those steps in most of her work. Marketing was about controlling and influencing response. She never cared to do that.

While the others talked around her, she watched and listened. She opened up her perceptions, flooding quantum through all her senses to better feel this amazing place. Right here and right now, though, she focused hard upon Resonance, upon the acoustics of the cave in which they stood.

When the others moved on, Lucrezia creaking and squeaking, Chang waited behind to study Resonance further. She could see the fractal patterns of the Nova’s body, see the incredible beauty of its patterning, the complexity and the flow of energy acros and through her.

This is what a portent is, Chang said to herself, aware more intimately than ever of the jut of her cock hanging out in front of her, and the three breasts on her chest. Yes. There is more than a thread of the monster within me. I am not pure.

Of course, anyone who had witnessed or heard her making love knew that much to be true.

“I will create something, Resonance,” Chang said. It would take time to really get a feel for this place in all its wonder, though. “I’ve opened up my perceptions, expanded my sphere as far as it will go. The input should lead to something down the line. But for now,” she smiled, “something just for you.”

She opened her mouth, and let out a slow growing series of notes. They were modulated and aimed to resonate with the crystal structures of Resonance’s body. Chang had worked with crystals many times in her practice and meditation. Resonance was the most complex arrangement ever, but the principles were the same, only magnified and complicated.

Chang raised her hand and reached out with her quantum essence to grip the sound and make it echo, setting up great ripples of sound through Resonance’s being that she hoped would trigger some sensation that all these others could only dream of. Her music could be heard by everyone in the world. Who else but Resonance could truly, truly feel it?

Resonance glittered and let out a beauteous ringing sound in response that could have been a hundred things but let Chang know without any doubt that she wished for her to continue.

Chang stopped, though, closing her mouth and dropping her hand, leaving only the echoes behind. She smiled her mysterious smile. “For I am become song, shaper of beauty,” she said. “If you are a sign of things to come… then perhaps I am a sign of what is yet to come for you. We will sing, Resonance. That we shall,” she said. “But for now, I must attend the other queen.”

Of course, your grace, Resonance’s words scoured her with their intensity. If a mind could breathe heavily, hers was. For now, I will treasure these… echoes.

Chang bowed to her, then turned and accompanied the others to Sin-Eater.

She gave no answer to Sin-Eater’s welcome, save a polite bow and muttered, “Your grace.” Friendly or not friendly, this was Sin-Eater’s domain and it was her place to set the rules. What she wanted from Chang would emerge in time. At this rate she was beginning to hope it would be her cock. Between the beautiful sounds emerging from Lucrezia’s transformed bodies, the experience with Resonance, and all of the incredible things she could feel and hear and smell and see, Chang was becoming increasingly aroused.

Her cock now stood, stiff and long, torso-thick, near four feet in total, taller than a dwarf, longer than almost any woman’s torso. Her mind filled with thoughts of filling Lucrezia up with it, of pushing right through her body like they did so often. She liked that, and while she gave no indication of it now, the same thoughts had to be on her mind.

She was standing near Puck and Infinity, studying both of their bodies. Infinity looked over-dressed, but artfully so. Was Sin-Eater dogmatic on this point? It would not be a surprise, nor necessarily a negative. Every mentor had their techniques and beliefs, after all, and every queen her ways of wielding power.

Chang folded her arms over her triple breasts, allowed her to circumspectly caress her own nipples. A little satisfaction beats complete denial, she thought. At least, it did for her. The small frissons of pleasure were like sands in an hourglass. Eventually, those sands ran out.

She heard Darrik coming well in advance, as much because she could hear the cacophony of her wife’s movements coming towards them, as all of those limbs, her liquid innards and that great gaping torso mouth creaked with every movement, as latex stretching and compressed. My newest student, she mused. He’ll learn an awful lot here, and if he’s not careful, it may not be what he’s expecting.

Chang gave him a welcoming nod, and focused on Sin-Eater.

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Once done with her present project she turned and approached infinity first, as the most human appearing of the gathering and the most dressed she drew Sin Eater's attention first, though Sin Eater did give Chang a slight nod, to indicate she noted her presence, but she would get the other nova member of pantheon last. "Interesting outfit.. a bit overdressed, you look like a psychedelic stripper, girl, which is fine I suppose, but still not completely suitable for a member of the one race... withdraw the straps, girl, leave the shoes and fishnets, I have something else to offer you to serve as light down here... you can keep it or not, as you like." She kissed Infinity directly on the lips and the glow on her faded and moved to infinity, then changed again, so that only those who could see ultraviolet light to see that infinity still glowed. "Your now a living black light, which should be interesting down here."

She then turned to Puck and looked him over a moment, then went to him and also kissed him with a long slow kiss, before drawing back. "I'd offer you something similar, but there is no need, you will make yourself whatever you are.. you are a child of change and a swift transformation as it is, perhaps at some other time."

She prepared to turn to speak with each of the others next.. one at a time, as she moved from one guest to another..

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Puck listened surreptitiously to Chang and Resonances music as the group was herded out of the living crystal's chamber. He wanted to come back, as soon as possible, and talk with Resonance. The nova was amazing and new and he wanted to feel what the crystal felt like; like his mentor he wanted to sing to Resonance and feel the tremors, physical and mental of the advanced Portent. He knew he could not yet match his mentor for sheer artistic beauty, especially in voice, but he felt he might be able to aid in his own small way or at least have time with Resonance himself if the Mirror Queen did not want an audience or a participant during her own time there. But the group was pressing on and their was another queen to be seen.

Puck watched carefully, with a protectiveness obvious to even baseline senses, as Sin Eater approached Infinity and criticized her overabundant covering for the festivities, and then bestowed her 'gift'. The invisible (to him) illumination that was now pouring out of Infinity lit up his alabaster-iridescent skin wherever the light touched, making him an almost glowing mirror to her. He smiled at Infinity, though there was tension in it. He couldn't contradict the Demon Queen's desires here, he'd agreed to that, and he wasn't suicidal enough to do it directly elsewhere, but he hated when others gave Infinity temporary powers. Some of those with such gifts in the Nursery had done it before, out of pity or to try to trigger the Apotheosis of the Mal's favored Terat child. It had worked - to a degree. For a time, Infinity would run rampant with the bliss of actually having powers. And then they would fade away. And then she would crash. Hard. The last time it had happened, it'd taken over a week just to get her out of her room. She hadn't even been smoking, which while Puck hated her habit, it was a sign that she didn't care about anything. He'd bought her a pack of cherry-flavored cigarillos the third day in, just to try to lure her outside and into some sunlight. She'd thrown them at his head and told him to piss off.

So he bit back his anger, keeping his expression neutral and kissed the Demon Queen with skill if not enthusiasm. Her pronouncement that he didn't need a gift from her elicited a slightly rush of relief; gifts from the Sin Eater were not always welcome - or healthy.

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Sin Eater glanced at Puck a moment, noting his reaction though it wasn't exactly all that happy, and wondered what he would think if he knew that the change was permanent, it would be up to Trinity if she wanted to keep it, if she asked Sin Eater to take it back later she would, but unless she did, the change was a permanent thing. She then turned to Darrik a moment, and she smiled slightly, stepping up to him and giving him the same kiss she did the others, then stepped back slightly.

"For you, Shadowheart, I have a different sort of gift, someone you haven't seen in several years.. Heartfire, come in please." A lovely woman who seemed deeply connected with fire, as much so as one could be without actually being fire stepped into the room, she had some similarities to Darrik in bone structure, and her eyes and hair were red, but much more then the simple red that Darrik's were. "She's been with us for more then a year now, sense we rescued her, she chose her nova name several months ago, to match her son's.. she is one of the few marvels among us." She went silent at the meeting, letting the two of them get re-acquainted.


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"Darrik... darling.. how is my little shadow doing now?" The lovely voice was one that was extremely familiar to Darrik, though there were new tones to it that he didn't recall, and her appearance was not at all what he remembered, there was a hint of hesitation in her tone as the lovely woman approached her son, not entirely sure how he would react.

With a nod to leave the family members alone a moment, Sin Eater guided the others just fair enough to give them the appearance of privacy, though folks with mega-perception could certainly see and hear the discussion, and even those without could see the firery woman speaking with darrik, even if they couldn't make out what was being said.

Leaving that aside, Sin Eater turned to the other children who had come with them down to this place and spoke with each of them in turn, until at last she ended up before Lucretia and White Rain, and she smiled at Lucretia a moment. "My gift to you, Lucretia, lovely horror that you are, is an permanent invitation, feel free to leave one of yourselves here, as long as you like, and to come and go as you please, you are welcome among us monsters for as long or as much as you would like to be."

She kissed each of Lucretia as intimately as she had each of the others invited, then she turned to Chang at last. "Ah, and now we come to the two of us, what a lovely monster you are, Chang, come, you are my favored guest tonight." She wrapped both of her arms around Chang's neck and kissed her full on her lips, a sensual and inviting kiss.. "And as such, it is my pleasure.. to see to your needs and desires." She slide her hands over Chang's in very intimate manner "Of course, we shall discuss what brings us here as well, but I see no reason not to mix business and pleasure here."

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Darrik crossed his arms slightly, with a much more neutral expression on his face as his mother approached. Which mirrored as much as covered up his emotions inside. On the one hand, his mother was alive and well, and also a member of the Teragen. But on the other hand, that latter part was, combined with the sheer lack of communication from her over the past couple of years extremely... Well, it was a melange of anger, bewilderment and shock bubbling within Darrik at that moment.

Certainly, her appearance had changed drastically, utterly different than the last time he'd seen here standing in his room before Shen teleported him away to the isle for safety's sake. The voice contained hues and tones quite new and different... For that matter she was much more attractive (somewhat uncomfortable to think about, since Darrik did not want to think about his mother that way). She clearly wasn't Beatrice Reynolds the ex-Utopian S&T agent anymore. Heartfire the Harvester Terat, he wasn't sure what to make of at the moment.

"I'm doing fine." He finally admitted. "Quite well, actually." Then he finally decided to out with it. "Two years. Most of it apparently in Sin-Eater's care. And not even the slightest of messages, even through him." He wasn't going to name Shen in public, out of respect to his uncle. "And when I find you, you've clearly changed."

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She observed Infinity closely when Sin-Eater went over her with that critical eye of hers. The appraisal was blunt, cruelly applied. Not wrong as such, but unnecessary. Chang doubted that the young Terat would respond well to it, from what little Puck had told her of the girl.

However, there was no question that the light made her more visually appealing. Chang watched it playing over the nooks and crannies in the stone, reaching up high into the crystal formations on the roof and creating a chaos of refractions. When it interacted with the colours there already, gifts of other Novas moving around the cave, it became almost oil-on-water, a black backdrop on which the other colours played in a demented spectacle. I will paint that, Chang thought, trying to record it to memory. If I can remember.

It was not her place to comment on the gift, even though she felt it’s giving to be ill-done. If Infinity were angered she could voice her irritations herself. The way Puck stiffened up said much, but he likewise kept silent. When he kissed Sin-Eater, Chang could see several muscles clenched in his neck that should not have been, betraying his real feelings.

When Heartfire entered the room, Chang felt an almost painful tightness in her cock. Yum, she thought. She could feel her lusts rising in a growing tide. Her wife being so close and so raw, filling her ears with those delicious sounds her body made, Sin-Eater herself, now Darrik and this vision and Puck…

Chang’s flesh trembled, but with an effort of will she prevented the change. Her body had made its cry, and been recognized. There was no need to permit it to have its way as well. Besides, I can’t help but feel Meena’s buttering me up for something like that later tonight.

All on the Pantheon knew about Chang’s lusts. Some viewed it with disgust, some with friendly amusement, and others… others recognized it as an opportunity. She did not want to view this meeting from the angle of it all being arranged to wear down her resistance, but such had been foisted on her a dozen times. They all knew how stubborn she could be, and how close to impossible it was to get her to cooperate with anything if she took a disliking to the idea. This whole situation had the hallmarks of Count Orzais, the peerless master of making Chang agree to whatever he liked.

She could not take her eyes off of Heartfire’s body. The way the fire wreathed in her hair and gathered in her hands was pleasing to say the least, and her nudity was as open and honest as any could hope for. She wanted desperately to sheathe herself in the Nova’s body, and damn the family reunion. It would be glorious to see her stretched around it, those large round breasts forced almost onto the sides of her body…

It was a relief when Sin-Eater led them away, to say the least. Chang showed little of her internal turmoil on her face. She had wrestled with it for years, ever since her first chrysalis. Every day she meditated upon the previous day’s lusts, acquainting herself with those feelings and the nature of them, from whence they came and to whence they led.

Some were good and deserved satisfaction. Others were bad, and deserved the back of her hand.

They are shadow and flame, Chang thought, considering how Darrik made her feel. Oh yes, I can see the resemblance here. One was cast by the other.

When Sin-Eater dipped to kiss Lucrezia, she responded by arching back on her legs to meet Sin-Eater’s lips with her own human mouth, on the underside of her torso-maw. When they kissed she made a strange bubbling moan that made Chang’s shaft spasm uncomfortable. Damn you, woman. I’m going to do something unspeakable to you for this. The problem was, she wasn’t even sure which woman she was thinking about anymore. Heartfire, Sin-Eater, Lucrezia, or even herself, they were all to blame. They for being them, and she for being her.

It wasn’t even as easy as saying that she wanted their bodies. Her higher sensibilities were being engaged as well. Resonance’s crystal body, the play of fire from Heartfire’s body, the black lights from Infinity, Lucrezia’s simple, brutal ingenuity, and the inhuman things which hung from the ceiling or danced in the darkness, watching, all spoke to her muse. She could feel it knocking on the door of her mind, just teasing her to open up and see and feel all the wonders it had to share.

For I have soared above creation and seen such things, she thought, remembering the first words she had spoken on emerging from her chrysalis. It was going to be a song title soon, but she needed the right song.

Don’t you dare, she said, almost shouted in her mind, hoping her muse would hear. If it brought that, she would have to open up, and Chang Zha-Yang would be gone for the Demon’s Den, and only her body left behind for them all to see.

When Sin-Eater finally came to Chang and kissed her, she needed to do something. She flooded quantum through her cock, stretched it longer and curled it up behind the Demon Queen’s back. The extra pleasure from the changes added to the kiss helped to satiate her desires a little.

Meena’s eyes were full of knowing when she elegantly stepped back, brushing her silken cheek against the throbbing shaft.

Chang nodded to her. “That is fortunate. I have the feeling that my body isn’t going to give us any other choice.” Her voices were split, half were amused, the other half annoyed. “Though I strongly advise against attempting to see to my needs and desires right now, or else I fear we’ll get nothing useful done.”

I’m assessing Chang for at least two willpower spent via Iron Will to resist Hormonal Imbalance: Lust and her Distractible Aberrations. Stupid sexy Harvesters.

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“T-t-t-thank you,” Infinity said to Sin Eater, knowing that she should be feeling bad, but unable to register anything other than delight. It was a power, something to play with here. I’ll keep my cool when it goes, she promised herself. It won’t be like last time. Or the time before that. “I appreciate the gift. It’s very generous.”

She managed not to openly play with it until after Sinner Eater had moved onward. But she still sent bright whorls of eufiber to her fingertips, cupping her hands so that they caught the glow from her palms. This is awesome.

Infinity grinned at the new power. She knew she shouldn’t be like this, but she couldn’t help her wide grin as she ran her hands over Puck, watching his skin catch the glow of her body. “This’ll be fun,” she murmured to him, catching the look on his face. “We should find a quiet corner to play in before we have to leave. Before… you know… it wears off.” She kept her voice light and happy as she murmured, “I want to see you glow under me.”

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He cupped her cheek his hand, leaning down to kiss her with unabashed ardor. The Demon Queen had required that her guests bear their bodies to one another, he certainly wasn't going to act shy or coquettish for the party then. Besides, his desire, for Infinity and any number of other novas here in their varied definitions of beautiful had already had the obvious affect of man's arousal, a situation he rather enjoyed as he pressed up against her effectively naked body. "Anything you want, just tell me when and where," he whispered, then grinned. "Or just drag me off, however you're feeling tonight."

He'd be happy for her, was happy for her, right now. Anger and other less helpful or enjoyable emotions were set aside for later, when something might actually be able to be done about them. He caught the last bit of Chang and Meena's kiss as the two younger novas turned their attention back to the group. He quirked a brow at his mentor's rather acrobatic cock, wondering just what it would do for/to his own sex life if he had such...talents. Then again, if I had such proportions I wouldn't get laid nearly as often. He saw Shadowheart - Darrik, he'd finally learned, though it mattered little - talking to a flame-bedecked woman; it took a moment in the gloom to pick out the familial resemblance. His mother? Aunt? A sister? Exceptionally hot, in both ways, either way. I probably should have been paying more attention. Oh well.

He took the time now, one arm slung sensually around Infinity's hips as he scanned the room. So these were Harvesters, the boogie men of baselines and even a little of other novas. They were certainly a varied lot, and many of them looked dangerous just to think of touching, but the tapestry of them all here was one of a marriage of the grotesque and the beautiful for Puck. These were a portion of his kind, expressed as they wished and unencumbered by even the idea of constraint to the human form. It was amazing, frightening, and in some ways, humbling to the relatively inexperienced nova. His arm tightened around Infinity and he laid his head on her shoulder, "It's gonna be a really weird night, isn't it?"

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Heartfire looked at Shadowheart for a long moment and she was clearly somewhat sad, but also understanding of her son's anger and confusion. "With your fathers death, I called his friend, and he took you to safety, I acted to draw the hunters to me, and away from you or suspicion of you, I asked him not to contact me or try to find me, and to keep you safe. So I had no way to contact him and keep in touch, other then the letters I left you, the ones I know that you read. It was in Bombay that they finally caught up with me, and where a few of her people rescued me from the hunters. By then, I had pushed my powers to their limits and was dealing with much greater degrees of taint, fire now seems to have a life around me, and I constantly flare flame, I wasn't safe for people to be around... I can't even read stuff directly without burning books, I have to be a lot more careful about it.. even now, I am standing a bit distant from you because I don't want to burn you, my shadow. In any case, to complete my explanation, Sin Eater had one request for me, to listen and give their way a try, and she would show me the path of chrysalis, if I was interested in giving it a fair try, so I gave them my time and understanding, it seemed the best way to go, and eventually I was fully invited to join them, and to come here, and I agreed.. though I did hope to see you again when you grew up a bit further."

She looked him over a moment. "I can understand if your angry, sweetheart, and even if you don't want to forgive me, but I thought it was safer for you to stay with you know who, I was trying to keep you safe, and I wasn't sure of you being safe around me. I couldn't bring you here, this place is forbidden to all save terats, if you were invited to come here, then you made that choice on your own, but I didn't want to influence you overtly, though I planned for us to meet and talk again when you were older.. like now."

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

Meena pulled Chang further to the edge of the water, as she sprouted a few tentacles to match Chang's twisting flesh, sliding them over her bare skin a manner that was both enticing and exploration, letting her tentacles slide over Chang's skin, flesh against flesh in an ever more intimate manner. "You see my vision here, the way I have guided my people, and I find your own explorations in this area to be interesting, perhaps we can have a meeting of more then simply flesh here, perhaps a alliance of sorts.. I am sure you find Narcosis cult of personality wearying now.. I find your way of expressing and exploring what it means to be a terat far more interesting then hers."

She pulled the unresisting Chang further into the water, which was a warm and steaming, and felt good against the skin, up to the waist before she stopped,and she made a gesture to the others. "Please, join us, explore the den as you like, speak with others who dwell here, there is no need for restraint or privacy here, enjoy yourselves as you desire.. consider it not simply a request, but a command from the queen."

She turned her full attention back to Chang, as she let a hand slide over the lovely nova's cheek. "You ever explored the options with someone who had an aberrations to mirror yours, Mirror Queen?" As she spoke, she changed one of her aberrations, so that Chang's most obvious aberration and all her sexual ones, were mirror in Sin Eater.

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Darrik's expression softened at long last, as ultimately he had needed to get those words off his chest, and now he was in a better state to appreciate his mother's words. A faint smile returned to its proper place on his face, and his tense posture seemed to loosen up at last. "I understand now... and I forgive you." To accentuate the point he used his powers to duplicate his mother's resistance to her flames and closed the gap.

Heartfire was taken aback at first, but before she could move or protest, Darrik laid a tender hand on her shoulder, skin unmarred by flame or heat. "How...?" She whispered in astonishment. He wasn't injured...

Darrik's smile grew a little more. "You're not the only one to have grown and changed in the past two years, mother." The proximity between mother and child was soothing and comforting. Although part of that seems be her burning good looks. It feels...weird, if not quite as alarm-inducing, to think about kissing her in a more than a son's way. And of course, we're gloriously naked.

"The Mirror Queen recently agreed to mentor me." He told her informatively. "So I am looking forward to this night here. I have a creative surprise or two, once I have the chance to set it up."

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I can give in, Chang thought. Her body craved it so. But there were times and places for such. Was this one of them? And besides, she was a married woman. Lucrezia would not mind.

And maybe that would have been enough on most days, in most situations. The fog inside her head made thinking hard, the tsunami of desire ripping through her flesh made her want to change, to let them all see the boiling volcano in the heart of the oft-distant Mirror Queen. Everything she could hear throughout the chamber only added to the stimulus, from the distant, quiet reverberations that she had set in motion throughout Resonance, to that gorgeous Harvester watching her from the roof, hanging upside down like a bat or crawling around on all fours.

This was a world of tainted horror and beauty, though so far Sin-Eater chose to emphasize the beauty, leaving the horrors to slither in the dark, growling and grunting and slopping as they moved, else making sounds that words could not describe but which could never have been made by any natural being. Even that added to Chang’s lust, because it was a framed picture, a tableau, even, and there was meaning in letting beauty dwell in the light while leaving the vile and disgusting in the dark. No doubt on some days that equation was reversed.

But this was not most days or most situations.

Even as Meena smiled her seductive smile and her flesh rippled and shifted like clay under a sculptor’s hands, Chang was thinking of Puck and Darrik.

She breathed faster, watching Meena slowly grow a shaft every bit Chang’s equal, and mirrored in hardness. She even used the tentacles sprouting from her skin to rub the two together. Seeing her own changes mirrored in another was arousing in itself, but Chang’s true weakness had ever been for watching and hearing and feeling bodies in transformation. That and engulfing those bodies with her own.

But Puck and Darrik were here, and The Mirror Queen owed them more than simple self-satisfaction.

Her way was not Sin-Eater’s way. Chang believed in more than giving in to one’s desires. More than anything else she preached self-control, the virtues and the necessity of it. Taint was beautiful, in its way. She never looked down on her cock and thought ‘how ugly’, or on the third breast between her. She admired the shape and size, and often as not thought ‘too small’.

But you could not let it command you. Giving in was as much a choice as Teras itself, a willingness to let whatever desires it imprinted on you own the night, but the choice needed to be made.

Chang did not feel she was been given one. Sin-Eater was arranging a puppet show to drag her tainted lusts out into the open and force her to indulge them. As good as that would be… she would not.

Yet there needed to be something. She knew she could not resist forever. And if she lost control it would be quite embarrassing.

She moved her serpentine shaft, stretching it out longer and still longer, coiling under Sin-Eater’s new endowment, then turned so the silken heads brushed one another under the water.

Then, her mismatched and glowing eyes boring into Sin-Eater’s, Chang stretched her own cock gaping wide and swallowed the head of Sin-Eater’s.

It did get a little reaction; A slight twitch around the eyes, a couple of muscles playing in Sin-Eater’s mouth, and a slight moan deep in her throat. Chang sucked gently. It was like using a chisel to knock a chink in the very top of a dam, allowing the barest trickle of water to flow over. The structure, undamaged, still stood, instead of the iron bulwark it once had been, it served instead to control and direct the water’s passage.

She felt the haze in her mind diminish a little. With a few changes in the length of her shaft it became a second, full-functioning mouth, and she began to suckle rhythmically on Sin-Eater’s own. This at least gave her a degree of control over what was happening.

“Actually, Meena, there are advantages to associating with multiple shapeshifters,” Chang said, two of her four voices thickened by lust. “There may be grounds for some accord between us, but I require more. It has been years, and you have never bothered to approach me before. Why now? What has changed that compels you to make this offer?”

She leaned back in the pool, raising her hair and spreading it around on the surface of the water in two dozen slender snaking tendrils. “As for Narcosis’ cult of personality… we all have our own little equivalent.” She gestured around her. “This is the same thing in effect if not in practice, as it is with Orzais and Shrapnel and all the rest. I’ve said before that it’s not unfair to say that the entire Teragen is Mal’s cult of personality. You’ve seen what happens in the meetings when he opens his mouth. We shut up and we listen, with nary a word in edgeways. His own faction is called The Cult of Mal, after all. My primary concern with Narcosis is the same concern I have with the Casablancas: the followers of Orzais and Narcosis seem to have very little interest in Teras. What is it that you find so interesting about Orzais’ mission, Demon Queen?”

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For a moment, Meena seemed almost distracted by Chang's attentions, then she pulled back, and spoke one word. "Enough." Her flesh melted back to normal, well, as normal as could be, the same somewhat succubus like appearance she had when Chang had first appeared. "You pass my test, Mirror Queen, you are still in full control of yourself, even when struggling with your lusts, I had been concerned that it was the other way around, that like Narcosis, you struggled for self control in the midst of your lusts, or used sex and lust to control others." It was perhaps a bit harsh criticism of Narcosis, but not an inaccurate one at that, though somewhat hypocritical considering what Meena had just been doing, even if she stopped it here.

"Angela sees only beauty, and wants to have little to do with the more monstrous side of the path of teras, you however are entirely on a different level.. I think there is place for our visions of teras to merge.. " She lifted a hand and something horrid rose from the waters around them, which caused a gasp from one of the children, a being with a dozen tentacles attached to some insecticidal like form with black scales and gills, he looked like a horrible mix of human and squid, and had a disturbing aspect of dripping black slime covering him. "This is Shaine, though he calls himself Dreadful, for he is, he can not move amoung humanity without screaming occurring.. to him we are the ugly ones.. but he is as much one of us as the lovely Heartfire speaking to Shadowheart there."

Shaine, or dread was the definition of mega-ugly, hideous just to look at, and his voice as he spoke was just as horrible, sending shivers of unpleasent feelings down the spine.. however, what he said was very polite and respectful. "Greetings, Mirror Queen, I will withdraw in a moment and remove my physical presence from you, it is my nature to live within the darker depths of the waters here, and to speak telepathically, without direct contact, but our lady wished me to stay close that you might see the other side of things found within this place." At the end of that, he or it, bowed in a strange manner and then withdrew back into the deeper water, then somewhere into depths that were unnaturally dark.. somehow darkened by quantum powers so that it wasn't that easy to see with whatever other horrors lived within the deep, dark and bubbling hot waters here.

Dreadful has Mega-Ugly 3.

Waiting a moment for the vision of horror to pass, the great beauty that was present offering a disturbing contrast to the horror that had just been exposed. "Please, form furniture for us, and we shall speak in a more sedate manner, without pushing your limits and desires..and I will answer your question" They were still up to their waists in hot water, but Meena had put a bit of space between them, a few bare inches, and let Chang decide where or how they would sit, either in the water or just out of it.

*** *** *** *** *** ***

Meanwhile, as Darrik demonstrated his immunity to her flame, his mother threw her arms around him and hugged him tightly, of course, it likely slightly disturbing for him because both of them were naked, but Beatrice didn't seem to pay any attention to that. "It's good to see you, son.. and I hope to see more of you in the future. " She was more relaxed, as she hugged him tightly then drew back slightly, to take a deep breath and put her hands on his shoulders. "Now, if you will, perhaps we should join the others, and see what the Ladies have for us?"

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Whatever reservations Darrik might have had, he simply reminded himself that she had no sexual intent in that embrace, merely a mother missing her son and having him back, and Darrik felt the same way. It did admittedly help her that she could generally interact closely with him without his facing injury. "I do think so." He agreed, turning his gaze back to the interplay between Chang and Sin-Eater.

And in the process, spying a couple of lovelies- one certainly held that spot in his eyes if not most others'- he missed. Fun times, shared tutelage under Chang. And an introduction seemed to be in order. "In fact, I'd say there's two people you should meet."

Beckoning her onward (for once in his lifetime of beckoning women it was non-sexual) to follow him, Darrik came up to visit Puck and Infinity. "The pretty pair of the Fae and the Forever." He commented, joking on their names. "Meet Heartfire. My mother, and apparently a Harvester of Sin-Eater's circle."

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The sudden withdrawal left Chang’s transformed shaft gaping like some obscene, monstrous worm, but then she slowly closed its mouth, shivering at the sensations which sparked up and down its length.

She felt something stir in the water underneath her. Ripples touched her skin, betraying movement far below, a form unnatural in proportion and consistency. The sound of the water moving as it swam reached her ears next, followed by a sense not unlike dread.

When Shaine broke the surface, water cascading from his chitin along with the vile secretions of his body, Chang resisted the urge to grimace. His visage was a twisted mass, even his tentacles sprouted from queer places and angles. His face – if that was what it could be called – was lopsided, his body lacking anything approaching the comforting symmetry so associated with the human form.

This was a beast from the darkest monster movie, a creature of shredding teeth and cruel intentions, lurking in the depths and the darkness until the final reel, when the hero vanquished it via some trite plot convenience.

He seemed a pleasant enough chap. No doubt one of Leviathan’s crew, moved over to Sin-Eater for lack of anyone better to follow. Chang had to wonder if he played ‘hunt the baseline’ with the other Harvesters in the sewers. To look at him he would be good at that.

She wondered what else he might do with his tentacles and claws, though. Could he sing, perhaps? That twisted, creepy voice might make a fascinating accompaniment to music. Or could he twist wood and stone into shapes of surpassing beauty or into others of monstrous ingenuity? An idea formed in her head. It was something simple but possibly interesting, an idea rendered only worthwhile by his true nature and given form by his inhuman voice.

There were other sides to the path of the Monster, Chang felt. It would be better for them all if the world were to see them.

Without the constant barrage of seductions and with Shaine’s rather sobering appearance, Chang found control much easier to grasp and maintain. She leaned back in the water and listened as Meena finally got to the point. It chafed somewhat to be analysed so, but she inflicted the exact same on those who came to her and it would be hypocritical to complain verbally, as some unwisely chose to do. She should know better by now, Chang thought, but then, of course, she views me as tarred by association with Narcosis.

“You put me in the mind of roman baths,” Chang said, her naked buttocks swelling spectacularly. They spread out to either side in a rapid surge, rimming the pool and hardening into a series of steps. Small figures and shapes formed in the stone her flesh shifted into, a sort of divine panoply, only the figures were not the gods of the Romans, but depictions of Sin-Eater and Shaine and Geth and Lucrezia and Puck and the other guests. Though drawn in small relief, each was stunningly detailed, almost lifelike.

She gestured around the pool and leaned back, while her serpentine shaft writhed around in the water. Pleasure still quivered through her flesh, keeping her alive and hungry. Her triple nipples were stiff as darts.

Far below, Chang could feel the movements of other things, some vast and incomprehensible. I wonder if Geth dwells down there most days?

“So, Meena. I’ve passed your test. Sit upon me, and expound on the real reason for bringing me here. We’re both queens. I’m sure you appreciate how annoying it is to have one’s time wasted. Although that said, your friend Shaine puts me in the mind of something interesting. Might you propose that he records himself reading children’s nursery rhymes? His voice is uniquely horrible, and I think the dissonance between speaker and subject might make for an interesting result. I could even put it to music if it works out well.”

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Puck smiled at Heartfire and bowed; the heat rolling off of her didn't bother him overly much, but he wasn't willing to test just how far his resistance to heat and cold would carry when touching a fire-aberrated nova. "Sey'ana. It is a pleasure to meet you, Heartfire." He gave Darrik a mock-annoyed smirk, "I am Puck, fae enough I suppose, but do really want to risk bringing out the Goodfellow in me tonight?" It was a tease, but Infinity knew that when Puck decided to really live up to his namesake, he could be a holy terror on his victims. She knew that personally.

"And I think I'll let Ms. Forever here introduce herself. Otherwise I might get smacked." He grinned at her, utterly irrepressible in the gloom and wonder of the Demon's Den. "Mmm...y'know, that might be worth it."

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Settling down into the seat beside Chang, spreading her wings to cover them both, she responds to Chang's questions. "I'll consider proposing the idea to Shaine, he might find it amusing. In any case, to asnwer your questions, Orzaiz's faction is the glue that keeps us together, Chang, I'm sure you've noticed that, the Casablanca's are involved everywhere, know everyone and try to know everything, they keep the divergent ideas of the various members of the pantheon close enough to find common ground. As to why now, I feel that it's time for a new direction within the pantheon, with the children on the rise, it is important that we stand before them as a guide to what they are becoming." She lifted a hand to gesture in Puck, Infinity and Darrik's direction. "Look at them, how they shine with potential, like gods and goddesses rising from the sea.. fire giving birth to shadow.. Infinite potential awaiting transformation.. a child transformed and shaped by hyper chrysalis.. " She said it clearly enough for everyone to hear quite easily.

She paused a moment to look at Shadowheart and Heartfire standing together, shadow and fire and both of them quite beautiful, though the shadow was much greater in beauty then the flame. "You know, there is a picture that you should consider putting to music or dance.. In any case, I am approaching you, because you are more acceptable to me then Narcosis, especially now that you've passed by test, and I am somewhat intrigued by the way you have encouraged your own to explore in the path of teras. I am no longer willing to be simply part of the other factions, I seek to form something new, which is what this place is about... and part of what I am seeking with you here."

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There was something subtly awkward about the buddy-buddy way that Sin-Eater put her wings around Chang. She understood the gesture well enough, of course, and it made all the more sense as she explained herself.

It struck a chord in her, sure enough. More and more her friends and followers were clashing with Narcosis’ crew, and suggesting that they walk their own way, and proclaim as such to the Teragen at large.

She had witnessed the potential of the children, too. Coraline’s ability to – apparently – break the light speed barrier was a frightening testament to the possibilities birthing all over the world. Let alone Norman’s casual ending of Tarik and The Apostle’s treacherous scheming.

It all made sense. And yet…

“You make good sense,” Chang conceded, “but I resist. I am thankful for your compliment concerning my teachings. It’s good to know I have supporters. But though the Count is my good friend, I am not eager to further increase his power. The Casablancas are everywhere and have their fingers in everything… and I see this as a negative. The point of Teras is that Novas will seek their own methods of expression. I am becoming increasingly worried that our friends in Nova Vigilance and The Primacy are being squeezed out. Don’t get me wrong, I loathe Shrapnel as a person and my troubles with Scrambler are a matter of public record, but they are bleeding right now, and they need our support. It seems to me that we’re beginning to fall over ourselves in a desperate rush to make sure they can never regain power.”

She recalled her concerns about the Nursery, her talk with Sakura, the plan she set in motion. It is about choice, in the end. “I am not… against the idea of an alliance between us. You are right in saying that my time with Narcosis is beginning to run out. She and I are different, and our followers increasingly dislike one another. But part of the problem is that Narcosis is constantly pushing for unity and a closer cleavage to the Casablancas and their goals. I do not support this in part or in whole. The Count’s first and foremost interest is in the acquisition of material power, not the pursuit of Teras. Where would our prospective alliance lie between these… different goals?”

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Darrik had been keeping an ear open to the discussion, and Sin-Eater and Chang had not been keeping it that quiet, for his low-level nova senses could pick it up in its entirety. Sin-Eater was being sincere, and he could tell she meant to create a new faction in every way. But aside from his feeling that this was a more-elder directed version of Norman's Children of Teras- granted the factions were still very new and unknown to him- he was slowly feeling out what he was seeing of his mentor and her host, the Demon Queen.

And he wasn't so sure if they could succeed together on what they were proposing. The visions of how this could start and play out took different paths... a succubus-for it is a fiend as well as a wet dream- and an owl, mayhaps. Wise, slow to act, but intelligent and perceptive. Trying to care for a young sapling, and all the ways of failure here prove more numerous than any measure of success.

"Well," he suddenly said, interrupting Puck and Infinity, "our leaders' discussion puts me in a certain place. I think I should excuse myself, I'll be in another of those cavern pockets if you come looking for me. At work, shall we say." His face did hold a certain degree of noticeable creative consideration and thought, so he slipped off into the darkness.

Eventually, he found one, and the pitch black dark he tugged away to all but the edges, leaving plenty of light for his work at hand. With a huff of preparatory breath, he focused on some of the shadow-stuff, crafting amorphous blobs that he imparted some of his thought into.

The first three squishy-moved over the ground to meet his gaze, crude rubbery-looking visages forming. He directed one into the centerpiece of the first little scene, a white oak sapling. The second became a succubus, with a serpent's tail ala manticore, and its hand was outstretched in calm agreement with the third form shaped. An owl-woman, snowy wings extended, while lightly clawed hands accepted in a manner of friendship. "Now... what pitfalls should we consider?" Darrik mused.

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"I like Raoul, all of us do, and I think I understand what he is trying to do, but it sounds as though you dislike the idea of too much unity, or is it the way some of the aspects of exploration of the philosophy of teras is lost in too much unity, but the union between our visions here isn't aimed at the Casablanca's, Pandemonium or the Harvesters even.. I am looking to form something new here, not in revisiting old territory, in an alliance between you and I, a vision for a vision of Beauty in the Monster, or the Monster in the Beautiful.. I realized upon leaving Chrysalis the last time, that I was allowing the others to define me too much, which is why I built this place and chose to make it so different, and have sought to reinvent myself.. "

She changed as she spoke, becoming something else, wings becoming a set of tentacles that wrapped around Chang's right side as she spoke, and curling around her right leg. "I want you to be part of it, rather then it to simply become one more cult of personality among us, I think you can keep us moving on the right road, the lovely Mirror Queen bringing her vision to the matter, but I can understand you having reservations, or wanting to think about it.. But that is the crux of my proposal, I imagine you would like time to think about it, or to explore what we have built here, to speak with the beauty and horror that dwells here, I would say we are past the point of business, yes?"

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“No! No Goodfellow under uncontrolled circumstances, I doubt I’d survive it,” Infinity said, much as she wouldn’t survive fucking Darrik’s mother. She was still very tempted to do so; thoughts that his was her lover’s mother didn’t even enter into the picture. It was the fact that Infinity would burn herself in some very sensitive areas – like everywhere – that left her expression free of the lust she was feeling.

“I’m Infinity,” the second-generation nova added to Heartfire, giving her a nod. She leaned a little closer against Puck, enjoying the way she made his skin glow. “I love the name, by the way.”

“Thank you,” Heartfire said, then they were separated from Darrik and his mother by the natural press of people. After a moment, Infinity turned and looked at Puck. “So, you ever get the feeling that you were invited to someone else’s party?”

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"A moment." Sin Eater spoke to Chang, and she stood up, then made a gesture in Geth's direction. "See to our Guests, show them whatever they wish to see, while I withdraw for a more, intimate discussion with the Mirror Queen and her Consorts." She gave the plural to Lucrecia both as a form of politeness, and as a gesture to Geth, then she gestured and a gate ringed in fire appeared, though which she drew Chang and her wives.. for whatever might come over the next few hours.

*** *** *** *** *** *** ***

In the meantime, Geth bowed in an regal manner for a being who seemed more insect then anything human. "If there is anything you would like to see, young children of Teras, for the horrors to the wonders of the caverns, the Queen has left me to see to it, do you have anything in particular you would like, or would maiden who has been blessed by our lady with light like to retire with her Lure to a more private location as well?"


"Puck, Shadowheart, Heartfire, they are Lures, by our lexicon, they draw the eye and desire, to know them is to be draw to them, and our lovely Heartfire displays both the danger and glory of such things."

"You say such lovely things, Geth." Heartfire turned to Infinity. "He means the sexual aberration, though we often use different terms for aberrations here, Lure, Fury, Hunger, and the like."

"Of course, abberation implies something that isn't desired or normal, here, these things are both desired, and normal."

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Infinity was tracing lines of light up and down Puck's body, her ultraviolet glow reflecting light back to him. "Perhaps later," she purred, her red eyes sultry in the eerie glow coming from them both. It was a creation of him and her, this light that came only from his pale skin and her unusual glow.

"Perhaps now?" Puck asked hopefully, catching her hand and kissing it, his tongue flicking against her skin.

"Ok, perhaps now," Infinity said with a little laugh, pulling him back from the group with a hand around her wrist. She'd planned to have a night of philosophy and meeting new novas, but perhaps there could be a bit of sex, too. "We can have the tour later."

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  • 2 weeks later...

The two young novas let them be led to an alcove a little ways off in the cavern; there was no door or any sort of covering, and the alcove was little more than a dimple into the stone of the wall, but one would hardly expect more in the City of Sin. There was a layer of lavishly embroidered and expertly made pillows laid out on a deep and plush Persian-esque rug, creating the feeling of an Arabian love-nest in the gloom. The colors reflected eerily in the glow of Infinity's black sun and Puck's moon-bright reflection.

He grinned and pulled her down onto the pillows, finally divesting her of her eufiber shoes, as the protection was not needed as long as they were frolicking in the alcove. Several Harvesters and other guests made their way past the alcove as the two played and made love to one another, some stopping to watch (and even comment or give suggestions!), while other passed blithely by, intent on their own amusements for the evening. Once they were sated, Puck for once exercising enough self control not to tease and pleasure Infinity to exhaustion, he ran a hand over her still-quivering body. "So, shall we go join the others again? Or explore a little on our own?" He leaned up and kissed her hip and teased, "Because if you don't distract me some other way, we're going to spend the whole night in here...."

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  • 2 months later...


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