deucexm deucexm at gmail.com
Wed Jul 20 12:05:18 PDT 2016

It's nice to have a weekend where I can focus!  Here we go with another chapter of:

SYSTEMIC: A DiVerse Alpha Chronicle
by Colin Stokes


Rose looked around Mariana Station's portal room - for every station, a nexus of
miniature craft and pedestrian traffic - and then down at Worldbreaker.  "I think
you're a little too large of an accessory for this sort of place."

-BY YOUR COMMAND,- Worldbreaker chimed, and began folding into itself, its handle
shortening and its head collapsing section by section until it had turned from a
massive warhammer into an arm-length scepter.  Rose nodded her approval, and then
turned to see Violet come twirling through the gate as it collapsed, a gleeful
smile on her lips.

"We're not here to play around, you know," the youngest Goddess's Avatar reminded
the white-clad lady, her brow curving into a mildly disapproving frown.

Violet's smile widened by degrees.  "Perhaps /you're/ not, little Rose, but you're
not the only one on this lovely little journey.  Besides," she added, waving one
hand dismissively, "this is simply how I /am/, don't you know~?"

Rose's lips compressed into a thin little line for the briefest of moments; then
she let out a sigh and shook her head.  "Whatever.  So long as you promise not to
jeopardize the mission, I suppose I can deal with you for... well, however long
this will take."

The other lady let out a theatrically exaggerated sigh, not to be outdone.  "Oh,
you're always so /serious/ when you're not around your- ah."  The redhead's eyes
had narrowed noticeably at the remark, and Violet took that as her cue to lay off
for a while.  The Goddess of Design was just so terribly /businesslike/ when her
dear Chaos wasn't around; she'd hoped to get Rose to open up, maybe relax a little
for once, perhaps even accidentally let slip what she'd been working on recently -
well, not that the last item was Violet's /main/ motive of course, you understand. 
"I promise, dear little Rose.  I wouldn't cross Dio on this; you know that."

"Yes, well, I wonder sometimes," Rose returned with just the hint of a smile.  She
was trying, at least.  "Let's be off, then; I don't want to keep the captain
waiting any longer."

And you /should/ wonder sometimes, Violet mused, with a sly smirk at Rose's back.

The portal room had just enough space for the three aetheric gates that came with
every standard installation.  The main gate, almost fifteen meters across its
octagonal brass frame, faced the exit to the general-access hangar area; a sleek
little red and silver quad-engine fighter was in the process of coming through, as
Rose looked up at it.  The personnel gates - one on each wall - were a bit under
four meters tall; perfect for the stream of human and humanoid and other-sentient
traffic common to most space stations.

The two Avatars hadn't come through a personnel gate, instead appearing off to one
side in the shadows of the main gate (though the use of a Divine Gate had turned a
few heads anyway).  Rose strode purposefully toward the transit authority counter,
Violet behind (and finding the non-conductive rubber flooring pleasantly springy).

"Ma'am, I'm sorry, but I need to ask you to get in the queue with the other-"

"Not today," Rose returned briskly, cutting off the apologetic transit agent and
pointedly ignoring the dirty looks a good portion of the queue was giving her now. 
"I'm in a hurry, and more importantly, I've got administrative rights."  Resting
Worldbreaker's scepter-head on the countertop, she waited a moment for it to
override the processing systems - which it did, with a cheery success chime.

The transit agent looked very conflicted.  "I, uh- is there something I can help
you with, ma'am?"  He was trying, Rose had to give him that much at least.

Violet stepped up to the counter with her bright and charming smile.  "Yes please! 
If you could provide us with transport to the VIP section - bay number 3?  We'd be
/ever/ so grateful."

The agent looked at Rose for confirmation, receiving a nod in return, and tapped a
few things on his display.  "I'll have your cab ready shortly.  If you could wait
right here, it shouldn't take long at all."

Rose slipped Worldbreaker back under her arm and smiled lightly, glancing down at
the agent's nametag.  "Thank you, Evan.  Sorry for the interruption."

Evan simply smiled politely and nodded, returning to serving the queue as Rose and
Violet sat down on a nearby sofa to wait.  Moments later a neon orange hovercab
with luxurious red interior floated to a stop, and the two ladies traded the couch
for the cab seating (which was much nicer - it was for VIPs, after all).  As soon
as they had fastened their safety belts, the self-driving cab hummed off, out of
the portal room and into the general-access hangar where spacecraft of all shapes
and sizes could be seen.

The view lasted a few moments, and then the cab angled off toward a subtly marked
entrance that sent them into an upward-sloping passageway.  Violet glanced over to
see Rose's eyes closed as she leaned back in her chair, and giggled softly.  "Just
felt like flexing your muscles a little, did you~?"

"It's not like I haven't /earned/ it," Rose returned defensively, not even opening
her eyes as the ceiling lighting strobed over her.  "I created the entire network,
not that anyone remembers.  You'd think they'd have come up with something better
by now - or at the very least, something /different/.  Maybe I should-"

Violet raised one eyebrow when the thought remained unfinished.  "Should what?"

"... Never mind."

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