Monday, November 2, 2009


((25 - The Tower))

April 16th, 802 AT

Though they were only a few hundred feet from the Corkscrew, the massive floating base was practically invisible through the heavy fog of the Void. The heavy cables connecting the small, floating platform Spider and Kasby currently stood on to the Corkscrew seemed to disappear into the haze all around them. Kasby stood on one side, one hand on the thin railing.

The Void had never felt bigger, more lonely to Spider than right now. "This is the STUPIDEST idea ever!" she shouted. Now that she was finally on the thing, she was feeling less brave. She held out both of her arms, as if that would help the constantly swaying world. She chanced to look up, and the endless void made her dizzy head hurt. "If I die, I'm going to haunt you like there's no tomorrow."

"Hey, you're the one who wanted control of your powers. I'm helping you control them." said Kasby in a measured, cool tone. "You can haunt me all you like, and it won't make me feel any guiltier. Besides, you seem to be doing fine so far. Got a good grasp on it, right now, it looks like." said Kasby, making a short circle around her to observe.

"Just don't... spook me..." She squinted her eyes in concentration. Just don't look down, uh, up, um... She began to feel a lurch in her stomach, and her feet briefly lifted from the ground before she fell back onto the platform. She let out a sling of curses. "You just gonna wait there till I fall?" she pouted.

"...Not exactly," he replied. "Why do you want to control your powers, Spider? To fight, where we're going? To survive it?" Kasby's question had a dangerous edge, something unseen.

Spider sat for a moment, in silence. "I'd like to not fall against every damn wall," she muttered, but there was a certain lack of sincerity in her voice. "What the fuck are we supposed to be fighting anyway?"

"Not sure. Most likely demons, but I'm not sure..." mused Kasby. He turned his attention back on her, sitting down in front of her. "I seem to be having a hard time believing that you're out here, risking your life, all because you have a few bruises from running into walls. So what is it really?"

"Want the headache to go away," she growled. "And it's not like I've ever had a choice in the matter anyway! Here we are, forced to go in these goddamned caves. I never said I wanted to fly into the whatsisface and go demon-hunting."

"No, but YOU'RE the one who let those demons out. You broke the structures holding up that crystal." Kasby responded with a sharp tone. "What would you do otherwise? Stay in the Corkscrew, living like a hermit in the edge of space? Slamming against the walls until you die of old age?"

"I'm gonna punch you again." But this time she had the smallest smirk. "I didn't say I didn't want to control them. Though it's not like there's much more prospect in my life." She looked out to the void, holding her toes. "Defeat demons for the rest of my life? Whatever."

"Make a difference. Save humanity. Defeat all the demons, all at once," he said. "But I still don't think that's what you're interested in."

She scratched her cheek. "There's more humanity?"

"Lots more. Thousands. Men, women, children... all scattered throughout bases in the Void, destined to fight demons for the rest of their lives because no one else will."

Her mouth made a perfectly circular 'oh.' "I didn't know."

Kasby nodded. "That's what I fight for."

Spider sighed, and slouched over. At least the spinning was subsiding. "Well, you could say I've got a little motivation... seeing as those huge... things... cracked my lovely crystal." She started at the ground.

"Good." said Kasby, nodding. "Revenge can be just as fueling as anything. Better yet, a desire to prevent it from happening again. But how useful are you going to be if you're glued to a wall when people actually need your help?"

"I'm more useful than the rest of them!" she blurted out, very defensively. "I had to practically drag them along!"

"...You're useful, Spider. That's true. But you're unfocused, and you need to keep focused to help anyone at all. Do you understand that?"

She raised an eyebrow at him. "Whatever you say."

"Good." said Kasby, and nodded. He reeled back a hand and slapped her across the face.

"What the FREAK!?!" Spider flailed backwards, sliding down the flat platform on her butt. She managed to center her gravity. On all fours, she glared at Kasby, seething. "Are you TRYING to kill me?"

Kasby's expression hadn't changed. "Spider, demons will be trying to EAT YOUR FACE OFF. Be thankful I'm going easy. Now focus!" he said harshly, striding over to her and hitting her again, this time with a backhand strike.

Spider flew backwards, cursing. For a moment it seemed as if she was going to zoom off at an angle into the abyss. But she dug her heels into the gravity and came falling back at Kasby. She hurled herself at him. "Fuck you! That fucking hurt!"

In something out of ancient judo, Kasby snagged her momentum as she went past and turned it into a throw, driving her down into the platform and letting go once more.

Spider sprawled out on the ground, and groaned. "This ISNT HELPING with the whole BASHING AGAINST WALLS THING!"

Kasby didn't respond. Instead, he grabbed her by the foot, dragging her along the platform, over to the edge. He turned to her. "Bounce back. Think rubber-band." With that, he flung her off the platform.

"ITS NOT LIKE A RUBBERRRrrrr...." Spider began to shout, but her voice was carried away with her as she fell sideways into the abyss. She quickly disappeared from view. Now, she had no visuals to go by. But, cursing furiously, she felt that weight in her stomach and tried to... shift it. She slowed in her descent sideways. When she stopped, her hair and clothes slowly pulled upwards... or, downwards now, sideways---

Kasby saw a flailing Spider fly over his head, and to the left now. "Bastard!" was all he heard. After a moment, he felt a clunk underneath. Kasby crouched down and knocked on the metallic platform. "Safe yet?"

"Yeah, but YOU'RE NOT!" she shouted. Clunk-clunk-clunk, she emerged upright on the platform, glowering at Kasby.

He gave a smile and a wave. "Having any more problems controlling that gravity?"

She walked up to him, seething, and said, "Control this!" and kicked him in the crotch.

Kasby gave a squeak, unprepared for such an attack, and collapsed into a small ball onto the floating platform, twitching occasionally.

"Now who's got vertigo?" she was grinning broadly, as she floated a few inches above the ground. "Thanks for teaching me, old man!"

"Y-You're.... welcome..." Kasby murmured, twitching, his voice a few pitches above average.

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