Type: Mostly exposition, light combat.
Synopsis: Indon takes back the ship in Cordican from the superorganism that rules it. Or... does he?
[CHAT] (90%) Indon drove his fist against the swarm with a grunt of effort. His hands and feet had been wrapped, hastily, in the sheet metal lining the hallways, to insulate himself from the xenochemistry of the alien creatures he was crushing, as he battled against the Cordican superorganism in the artificially lit hallways to get back into the ship. His fist machine-gunned out, crushing tens, hundreds, thousands of the swarm's components, just to take a single step forward against the tide. Its strength was not capable of overwhelming him, but Indon had only about five, ten minutes to beat it back before the bulk of the superorganism's forces arrived, which he knew could overwhelm him.
[CHAT] (90%) Indon was feeling pretty confident, as his fists crushed through the swarm, smashing alien organisms against the organisms behind them with each punch and kick, converting hundreds of pounds of biomatter from hostile alien to splattered mush each second, grinding away tons of alien swarm off of the ship he intended to retake. But, it was only a matter of time before their exotic chemistry started to wear away at his improvised metallic 'gloves', acidic juices eating through the metal protecting his fists just as he reached a point where he could finally enter the ship.
[CHAT] (90%) Indon cast aside the now brittle metal from his hands, the metal shattering into thin, melting shards on the cold ground, with a frustrated grunt. He didn't have time to fashion new ones. He could, narrowly, escape into the ship, but...
[CHAT] (90%) Indon held his hand up, and a small, glassy sphere rose alongside his hand. He flicked it forward, the Ur-Sphere barreling through the swarm, punching deeper, crushing more, than his physical fist could, the sphere unrestricted by any limitation like having to be connected to his arm. That sphere popped out of existence, and another appeared above his other hand, and he punched into the swarm with it, establishing a rhythm of punching his effective new technique into the swarm to grind it away easily ten, twenty times faster than before, until finally the alien mass withdrew, writhing and wriggling in escape to focus its forces for a renewed assault on Indon later.
[CHAT] (90%) Indon manifested another Ur-Sphere in front of him, staring at it. Something... didn't feel quite right. It was an incredibly useful technique for this circumstance, but... "I haven't developed this yet." Indon said. "Not until after I leave Cordican and get to Hydia." Indon turned to the ship, and opened it up. "What I did instead was retreat, into the ship, and fire the ship's weapons at the organism to force its retreat, to buy me a few minutes of time."
[CHAT] (90%) Indon walked through the little ship that he knew so well, not just from traveling with Cin and Syhiver to this place, but the months he spent on this ship, slowly eating through its rations, and desperately cultivating the next step in his martial art to reduce his reliance on food that he probably couldn't replenish, and was planning to split three ways on the way out. "First I used the ship's weapons to breach the outer hull and depressurize the chamber, to force the creature to withdraw and seal it off, because I guessed, correctly, that it needed air to be mobile. Then I reconfigured the shower into an Orion drive so that I could power the ship, instead of needing fuel cells I could not rely on."
[CHAT] (90%) Indon touched various parts of the ship as he walked, feeling how real they felt beneath his fingers... but knowing that could not be true. He continued to talk to himself, walking through his thoughts. "During my weeks working on the Orion drive, I meditated constantly, finally mastering that aspect of the Breath That Takes No Air that imbued my stomach with my meta energies, eliminating my need to eat, so that I could save the remaining rations for Cin and Syhiver once I had rescued them. Then..."
[CHAT] (90%) Indon reached the bridge, and looked out over it, as the swarm returned, just in time. Oddly convenient, even. "When I went out to engage the swarm, after winning engagement after engagement, grinding away the xenomass... the swarm sent its most powerful member after me, to try to assimilate me. When I tried to use my energies to override the swarm's intellect with my own during assimilation, it gave up, knocked me out. Then... I think Syhiver saved me? I must have been drugged, I don't remember that part well." Indon flicked the ship weapons on, heedless of the ship's dwindling energy supplies, and the weapons started to shred through the swarm. He knew exactly which weapons to activate, and which not to, because of course, he had already done this. "Why am I here, again?"
[CHAT] (90%) Indon tapped his chin. "I don't need to save either Cin or Syhiver. Cin is... in my lab, recovering from surgery. Syhiver... oh." Syhiver was... dead? Probably. Certainly not a normal way to go, but... his brother eliminated the possibility that Syhiver's vanishing was the result of some obscure technique, leaving Nova's proposal as overwhelmingly likely to be true.
[CHAT] (90%) Indon now remembered what was going on, as tears came to his eyes. Syhiver was dead, and Indon's guilt about his own failures, his own... insufficiencies... had been driving him to a frenzy of work, and finally, drove him to accepting Grithil's proposal to help him develop his apotheosis. "This isn't the physical universe. This is the place Syhiver's brother sent me to. Some kind of... Dreamplane." The word came, unbidden, to his thoughts, and he felt, with the certainty of knowledge, that it was true. That is where he
[CHAT] (90%) Indon stepped back out of the ship, as the swarm loomed and lunged towards him. If he truly was in a place of pure thought...
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"For lifeform in swarm: Create Ur-Sphere. Move Ur-Sphere to lifeform location,"
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[CHAT] (100%) Indon said, "This is a good start... but I need to push further. I need to..." Starting to float, not using his ki, but using his knowledge that there was no true gravity here to hold him, he threw his arm to the side, and the whole of the Cordican asteroid present in Indon's dream ripped away to nothing, revealing the stardust-oblivion of space beyond. Indon's chest still rose comfortably, not from any martial arts mastery, but from knowing that there was no vacuum. Indeed, nor was there air. He breathed because he wanted to - it helped him focus, and that was what mattered.
[CHAT] (100%) Indon gestured again, and this time tore away space itself, exiting from his personal dream into the Dreamplane beyond - a prismatic hellscape of roiling energies, without up or down, horizons of alien geometries extending in an infinity of directions, an N-dimensional space where N equals altogether too many, that represented a meeting-point of all of the sentient minds of the cosmos, a place of deep, nigh-immeasurable power, touched only in the most infinitesimal way by almost all beings, in which Indon had been, voluntarily though not terribly knowingly, shunted. He felt surprisingly calm about the whole thing.
[CHAT] (100%) Indon turned, his breath calm, his mind searching for the flashes of multi-colored lightning and shimmering corridors of unlight that represented the thoughts that he sought next to seek, to assemble, to complete his nascent transformation. And, though flight was meaningless in this place, because he wished to feel like he flew... he flew towards his first destination.