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Scars of Victoria[]

Prelude – Void Dragon Training[]

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Part 1 - Preparation[]

Luthien, Draconis Combine -06/11/3047

“Now where did you get this young man?” A slender blonde woman in a white robe inspected the tattoos on Ryuun Sugawara’s thick right bicep.
“Relics of a misspent youth Illuminatus Himari-sama.”
“Are you now on the straight and narrow Ryyun-san?”
“As straight as an arrow released from a bow.”

Minoru attempted to conceal his amusement (Archer’s Paradox) as a bespectacled Brother Physician also had him under examination. A month of intensive training and ongoing chances had given him a lean yet scrawny look. “Have you been doing your exercises Minoru-san?”
“Hai Brother Isamu-sama. Ryuun-san has been a big help as have your supplemental recommendations.”

“Yes, I see that you have come along quite well from your initial evaluation. I think we can clear you for the next step.
What is your opinion Illuminatus?”

Her ivory and platinum pendant swayed as she glided backward. “I would like to see them in action before we send them to Vernan. Seeking out Odin’s Retreat is a formidable choice but one I appreciate. They clearly want to make an impression, and they may even succeed if they possess the willpower.”
“I don’t think there is such a thing in the Kurita bloodline.”
“Perhaps we will find an exception. Grab your gear, I will join you, and we will get vertical boys.”

Takaoguchi’s alabaster buildings crouched alongside the geyser fields and only source of water within the alkali Nijunen desert plateau. Plumes of parched mineral rich dust rose high above them from the conveyor that ran beside town. Its talc like powder sparkling like a million tiny stars. The air was thick with sweet tasting grit that burned exposed skin as readily as Luthien’s blistering sun.

A trio of masked and harnessed individuals stood at the top of a soaring granite ridge beside an aerial tramway observing each of the trams disappearing into the fog enshrouding the lowlands below. Buckets of mineral sand dangled from the haulage line running parallel to the passenger transport ceaselessly filled their cargo from the conveyor.

Illuminatus Himari locked her harness onto a static guide cable sunk deep into the rock before them with a thick metal rod. She tossed down a coil of dynamic toprope to run parallel to it and locked her belay and braking system to it. “Don’t worry. Going down is the easy part.”

She ensured that Ryuun and Minoru’s belays were properly secured to their harness before putting her heels perilously close to the edge. “Anyone can fall but getting back up again. Well, that takes work. See you down there boys, don’t keep me waiting.”

With a single smooth motion, she pushed off and plunged backward her blonde ponytail dancing in the wind. Ryuun and Minoru looked over the edge into the misty void, “Minoru, I am having second thoughts as I can’t see the bottom.”
“This is our first lesson in embracing the void big guy. Surely Franklin taught you some rope work.”
“Gravity is less likely to kill me in space.”
He patted the larger teen’s back and looked toward the metal rod which listed the height to the bottom. “You got this, Its only two hundred meters.”
Minoru tossed down his own parallel coil of dynamic rope, “Or are you chicken?” The prince leaned against the edge and went over into the mist with a shout.

Ryuun nervously dropped his own top-rope and attached his belay to it, “Chickens have wings, you ass. They’re meant to fly.”
rous exercise he received today. That wouldn’t stop him from spending some alone time with a cute Neophyte sister though, something of a recent desire of his. “Well, what are we waiting for?”

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