Skip to main content

Chapter 6: ...The Even Bigger Storm

Chapter 6: ...The Even Bigger Storm

Alorael, Zorro, Rakshasi, and Student of Trinity entered the Richard White Games Forum. At first glance, the forum appeared to be fairly normal. But upon closer inspection, everything appeared slightly insubstantial, like it didn't exist, though a moment ago it did and a moment later it will. There also wasn't much furniture or decoration. Perhaps no one had bothered to bring any down to such a small forum dedicated to mediocre-to-terrible games. Or perhaps the needle/ferrets had run off with them. Or perhaps the cultists relied on their implants to will have placed what they will have needed when they will have entered. In any case, the only thing in the room was a poster that read Galactic Core 2 is coming! And so is forum number 6,432,766,349,448,872,395,334,773!

Zorro sat on the ground and placed Galactic Core in front of him. He closed his eyes and chanted, "Long live Icshi! Long live Icshi! Long live Icshi!"

"I am Icshi that was and will be, but am not. Why have you called me?" a faint apparition asked.

"I'm tired of playing Galactic Core by myself. I'm challenging you to a game," Zorro said.

"Excellent." Icshi's apparition sat down opposite Zorro.

Meanwhile, Alorael stood and waited patiently. His implants would tell him how to retroactively prevent the snow storm from having ever occurred.

Rakshasi strode boldly to the center of the room. "I nominate myself to be Pope John XX, the pope that never was and never will be."

Alorael was slightly annoyed that Rakshasi was making it more difficult for his implants to tell him anything, but he said nothing.

"Hmm. Even a lowly Imponderable Archon like myself knows where that position should belong in the hierarchy," Student of Trinity said.

"Second-in-command only to our Beloved Leader Icshi?"

"No, I was thinking more along the lines of just below Ponderable Archon. I mean, it sounds interesting and all, but what do you actually do?"

"I save Lost Souls from eternal damnation," Rakshasi said.

Alorael said, "Would you mind being quiet? I'm concentrating here!"

"Fine. I'm going off to spam the SubTerra Forum until it's so trashed they have to remove it and this forum regains its place of honor as the lowest of the low," Rakshasi said.

"Didn't you hear me? I said I'm trying to concentrate. You wouldn't want me to accidentally make it so it's been retroactively snowing for three days, would you?"

Zorro looked up from the game. "What do you mean, Alorael? It has been snowing for three days."


Suddenly, Ephesos leapt upright. "It's the Cult! The Cult has something to do with this weather! Why didn't I sense it before?" he said.

"Which cult? There's many of them," Jewels asked.

"The Richard White one, of course," Ephesos said, "I'm going to have a talk with them." Ephesos, obviously furious, left to go confront whoever was in the Richard White Games Forum.

"Should we let him go alone?" Nioca asked, "What if the Cultists try and hurt him?"

"Hurt Ephesos? Nah, they couldn't do that," Kingy said.

"But he might hurt them if he decides to cast divine retribution first and ask questions later," Fatman chortled.

"Would he really do that?" Synergy asked.

"Dikiyoba thinks he might!"

"Then we should make sure he doesn't. Let's follow him," Synergy said.

Synergy and Dikiyoba also left for the Richard White Games Forum.


Outside, the snow dominated. No matter where one looked, it was all a smooth blanket of white. The message board was almost buried in huge snowdrifts. And the snowflakes continued to fall, driven here and there by the wind. The snow had become the winter equivalent of Imban: everything and everywhere.

Arancaytar stumbled and fell into a snow bank taller than he was. Riibu helped him out.

"Come on. We can't stop now. It's not much farther."

"I know, but there's a path back to the Ermarian Network," Arancaytar said, "So it'll be easier to turn around."

Riibu shook her head doubtfully. "Not at the rate it's been snowing. Besides, we have to tell the others about Zephyr Tempest."

"Yes, of course." Arancaytar took a few quick steps and sank up to his middle. "Hmm. Nephilim are much lighter and more nimble than humans. I wonder if they can run across the snow without sinking in."

"I don't know. Here, I'll lead for a while." Riibu pushed ahead.

"Thanks. I... achoo! Oh, great."

They struggled through the snow in silence for a while, punctuated occasionally by a sneeze from Arancaytar. Finally, he muttered, "I wish I were my generic role-playing character, Eferas. He's a pyromancer. One good... achoo! ...firebolt would take care of this snow. Achoo!"

"It doesn't matter anymore. We're here." Riibu shoved and kicked snow out of the way of the door. Arancaytar quickly joined in. When they had a fair amount cleared away, Arancaytar tried to open the door. It wouldn't budge.

Riibu groaned. "What's wrong with it? It can't possibly be locked can it?"

Arancaytar hammered on the door. "Open up! Let us in! Achoo!"

Jewels was the first to hear them. She approached the door and tried to pull it open. It still wouldn't budge.

"Open the door!" Arancaytar yelled.

"I'm trying, but I can't get it open!" Jewels said, "The door's frozen shut."

"Here." Frozen Feet approached the door with a piece of burning spam. He held it close to the door until enough of the ice had melted away that Jewels could wrench the door open.

Riibu and Arancaytar practically fell inside. Jewels helped them up and guided them to the fire while Frozen Feet closed the door. Enraged Slith added more spam to the fire.

Arancaytar started to speak, but Jewels shushed him. "No, don't talk until you warm up. Although I really hope the others had enough sense to stay inside."