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75.67% Chimera Girl / Chapter 56: Deus Wrecks

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Chapter 56: Deus Wrecks

The stone forms lay on their sides and backs. It seems that very few people being attacked by a snake-chickens are standing in a balanced enough way to stay upright once transformed into stone.

Nelda's hands were shaking. [This will work.] She hoped her potentially-magic unconscious mind believed that.

Reg had dropped the unicorn horn, and it was found beside his frozen, contorted form. [If he'd been holding it, would it have turned to stone? Then we'd really be screwed.]

He was the closest, so she pulled it lose from the mud, cleaned the tip with her sweatshirt, and touched it to his chest.

[Nothing.]

She touched it to the skin on his check.

There was a faint ripple. She leaned forward, [Yes!]. The pale stone started to bloom with a tint of color. As she watched it move outwards, at first slowing and then with an all-encompassing flash.

Reg slumped back onto the ground and took a deep whooping breath.

Nelda didn't wait any longer. They can't breathe as stone, does that mean they can suffocate?

She ran from person to person, tapping them with the horn. Most of them were more reminiscent of Pompea than classical Greco-Roman poses. She hesitated just a moment in front of the form of Phyllis.

[Any art museum would be glad to have that one. It would be called something like 'very pissed off dragon with a lot of teeth.' I must remember not to annoy her any more than is absolutely necessary.]

She tapped Phyllis's snout and then went back to the beginning. Reg was sitting on the ground with his head between his knees. "Fuck me," he muttered.

Back the way they had come from, the trees shuddered. Nelda spun in that direction, raising the alicorn like a sword.

Tyrone burst through, batting branches away from his face. "Hey, guys. What did I miss?"

#

It took the rest of the guys a while to get in a calm and conversational state. And any attempted 'help' from Nleda or HoneyBeard was distinctly unappreciated.

So they sat on one of the old logs with Tyrone propping his em=lbows on it between them. His snakey form was looped around the large exposed roots of the fallen giant. In the bright sun, the tessellated pattern of his scales was clear to see. Kind of like a cloud leopards spots but accepted with erratic spots of lime green and gold.

"It's all too easy," Nelda said.

HoneyBeard gave her that look. The one he reserved for new achievements in idiocy.

"No, think about it," she pressed. "The letters on the dagger that, if SmithGuild is to be believed, I unconsciously created, are the only reason we were talking about basilisks. Everyone agrees that no one has recently, if ever, seen one of these creatures because of their reputations. Mere minutes later, we are confronted with four basilisks, and there I am with the information I need to avoid their super-power and the weapon to kill them."

"I see what you mean," Tyrone said.

He was growing a rather precious beard that looked dense and black and focuses under his chin and at the sideburns. [It rather suits him. And I don't normally go for hipster chic.]

"What about this," Tyrone said. "If we go with the multiverse theory, there are a great many worlds. Each separated by people choices, or just by mere random s]chance events. If this is the case, might there not only be worlds that are different, but worlds that are essentially the same but just a little earlier or later in the cause and effects cascade."

"And that is relevant, how?" Nelda sked.

HoneyBeard had apparently already ruled this conversation not relevant to his interests and wandered off. The red Jasper following.

"Think about it," Tyrone urged. There are obviously, at least potentially connections between worlds. So a connection to a world a little ahead in the time lie but otherwise comparable, that would essentially be a prophecy."

"Okay. How is that helpful?"

"I have no idea. Until Fenistrate recruited me, I was more of a theorist." Tyrone rested his chin on the bleached wood of the great fallen tree. "Wow, the sun feels good. I thought logically I must still be a warm-blooded animal even with the snakey bits, but after some time in the sun I have so much better fine motor control, below the waist, that is."

{Don't say any...]. Nelda jumped about a foot in the air as something poked her shoulder. It turned out to be only the pointed end of Tyrone's wyrn-tail, looming over her like an inquisitive tentacle.

"Sorry," Tyrone said. "Didn't mean to startle you."

HoneyBeard returned with BugleHead. "There's only three," he said.

"Basilisks?"

"Yep."

"So Jasper is a retriever, not a reaver. In a way that's reassuring."

HoneyBeard rolled his eyes.

"Well, we have a cure, and we have 'StoneGaze Slayer,' so as long as we don't all somehow look at it at once—we should be okay. But if we don't find it on the way, we should add it's current location to the list of things to ask Asbolus about. I'd hate to leave it just wandering about."

Nelda rubbed her hand over her forearm where the basilisk blood was drying in itchy flakes. "All things considered I'd like to get out of here as soon as possible. If the centaurs had just asked to take charge of the unicorn resurrection project, I might just have given it to them, but after this round of shenanigans I doubt I will ever be able to trust them again."


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