Vacation (Part 2)




The steady sound of metal on stone had become about as familiar to Aeryliss in the past few days as the feeling of parchment between her fingertips once was when she’d spend days at a time with her face buried in arcane tomes. She felt a certain sense of release every time the steel pick would break through the solid earth with a loud CRACK, yielding bits of raw ore and the occasional precious gem.

She let out a heavy sigh as the last few pieces of Khorium tumbled down the rock, landing at her feet with a rattling sound. She looked up at the sky – the Twisting Nether soared above the broken planet for what seemed like eternity. Looking at it made her head spin. Has it been six hours already? She lifted herself to her feet and wobbled for a moment. Gritting her teeth and leaning against the rock formation for support, she stole another quick glance at the sky.

Only three? How odd. The day before it had been six. Come to think of it, it had taken nearly all day before that. She wondered for a moment if the Consortium was ripping her off – diluting it so she’d have to come back more often. No, no. That didn’t make any sense. She wasn’t actually paying for it, just working. Besides, she’d be able to tell if the solution was any weaker.

A small part of her thought she should be worried by the fact that she was becoming dependent, but to be honest, she didn’t feel much at all. Except maybe a little annoyed.

Aeryliss bent down to pile the last of the ore in to her bag. As she swung the bag over her shoulder, the weight nearly sent her face-first in to the ground. Strange… it never felt that heavy before, and she didn’t have nearly as much this time.

Her stomach turned as she straightened herself out and looked back toward the Stormspire. The distance had seemed much smaller three hours ago, when she’d decided to go without her wind rider. She vaguely recalled the feeling. The mana injectors hit instantly, filling her with an incredible energy and a strange sense of invulnerability. It was as though she had pure electricity running through her veins rather than blood.

But now, the electricity was gone. As she began the walk back, she was very much aware of the unnatural Netherstorm heat on the back of her neck and the way it seemed to intensify the haviness of her head and the churning in her stomach. When she finally arrived and stepped off the lift, she dropped her bag and headed straight for the engineer she’d been working for.

“Back so soon?” He eyed her curiously.

She nodded. “And with about forty power cores worth of Khorium.”

“Impressive,” the Etheral shook his head and chuckled, “I don’t know how you do it, kid.” He gathered up the bag and piled it next to his other materials and engineering gadgets.

Aeryliss looked up at him wearilly. “Those injectors certainly help,” she replied suggestively.

He blinked. “You just had one a few hours ago. Look, since you’re back so early, why don’t you get some rest? You haven’t slept since the night you got here. There’s bread in the back, too. Haven’t eaten much, either.”

Aeryliss frowned. She didn’t want to rest. Too much room for her mind to wander. And the thought of eating made her feel even sicker. She grinned at the engineer and raised her eyebrow slyly. “Bet I can get you forty more.”

Just as she’d suspected, he couldn’t say no to extra profit. He tossed her another injector. She swirled it in front of her face for a moment, watching as it sloshed around inside, almost appearing to be several colors at once – kind of like the way oil is, depending on what angle the light is hitting it at. She popped off the protective covering and expertly plunged the device in to her neck. She didn’t even flinch this time. She just closed her eyes and smiled, allowing that sweet electricity to flow through her once again.

And with that, she headed back toward the lift.

I think I’ll walk this time. It’s not that far.


3 Responses to “Vacation (Part 2)”

  1. 1 Zengu 3 July 2009 at 12:43 pm


  2. 2 Taylor Vincent 3 July 2009 at 11:58 pm

    Yowsa. What an ending. Moar please.

  3. 3 Lanuria 4 July 2009 at 7:10 am

    Liss you druggie, ilu<3

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