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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Journey of the Soul-Linker, Part 8: In which your agency is briefly borrowed by someone else

Last week's adventure here

Part 1 here

The wave of slime crashes down towards you and your flamethrower. You're a tiny candle as the darkness plunges down, waving your flickering flame in circles above your head--

Something surfs under the crest of the crashing wave, something glowing and muscular, speeding towards you, racing to beat the fall of the slime. Before you can decide whether it's friend or foe it crashes into you, a solid warmth wraps around you, and you're rocketing through the closing tube of goo together as a pro-surfer one. The light at the end of the tunnel starts to go out--you zip out of the wave, surfing along a rooftop, just in time. 

"You've got a better angle to fire from here!" he shouts as he skies away, down the slope of goo trailing along the building, over into the street where Melly struggles with her ankle. She's surrounded by black slime; her face lights up as she sees him approach, but you can't quite make him out--you see a back, and shoulders, and it's almost like looking into a kaleidoscope. 

But you turn to focus, because the goo's coming up the house, and you're swinging your flamethrower as it tries to lick at your feet. The goo squeals and squelches. You hold it back. It tries to loop around behind you. You've got your little circle of clean, but it's creeping…creeping…

The surfer glances at Melly, and although the face isn't clear you can distinctly see, or feel, an "oh well" smirk cross his face. He raises his hand, and throws a golden rock.

The rock lands in the center of the goo, and with roaring, slurping scream, rushing past you from every corner of the little gingerbread town, the goo sucks into the stone.

You climb gingerly down the side of the candy house, and bend over by the stone. It's no longer golden. It's black, and swirling, like a nebula trapped inside a glass.

"Whoa." You look at Melly, and not at the weird kaleidoscope-man. "We could use this."

Melly shakes her head as she rises to her feet, and points--and you see a new blackened scar wrapped around her ankle like angry Henna. "It can't get the slime outta livin' things, not without killin' 'em. We think mebbe the goo's encodin' itself into the introns in our DNA."

She picks up the rock, and when you turn to look, the kaleidoscope man is gone. She grins, sighs, and puts the rock in her pocket. 

"Who was that?" you ask.

"That?" Melly smirks. "That was why I got mad at you back there. That's my best friend, and you were talking' crap about him." 

You didn't recognize him. He's hard to really…see. "That's the Master of the Caves?"

"That's the Master of the Caves."

See you next week.

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