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Aug 22, 2019 6:03 PM
Ariadne in Lucidity
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She wobbles for the first few metres, but quickly gets the hang of the way the shadow moves. Once finally on the ground, she lightly steps off the shadow to brush her hand gently on top of it, sending thoughts of thanks the way she normally does with plants. Still crouching, she whispers to the shadow.

"Any chance you know the way I should go?"

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It wobbles. She'll get the sense it's uncertain.

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"That's okay. Thanks for the lift." She straightens to standing, lightly skipping to a tree to place her hand on it gently. "How 'bout you big guy? Do you know how I'm supposed to get home?"

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There's a sort of mental question mark. Isn't home right here where the tree is?

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"Right. Um... How about the direction of other people like me?"

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There's a few ripples - ahead and a few degrees to the right, to the right and a bit behind, to the left but mostly behind her...

The one ahead is strongest, followed by the one mostly behind her, and the one to the right and a bit behind is weakest.

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"Thanks. I guess we're following the big shake this way..." The latter is mumbled to herself as she begins her trek in that direction.

As she goes, she whistles a jaunty tune. After a significant portion of walking, Ariadne finds her getting more than a little frustrated with how freaking long it's taking. She looks around in a bit of a huff, finding a tree to climb, doing so the old fashioned way to exert some of her agitated energy. She finally get to the safest, uppermost part of the tree and looks out in the direction she'd been walking in.

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The forest ends soon, bordering a glassy wasteland that reflects the odd sky above. Shards of dark glass jut out of the plain, most small, many human sized or larger, some towering over even the taller trees. Their depths shift, almost liquid, but it's hard to discern colors - it's dark and distant, and the reflected auroras wash out the deeper glass.

Past that is a low rise of mountains rimmed with swirls of pink and purple light, that shimmers into a golden halo around the most distant and highest peak. It's maybe twenty more minutes of walking to the edge of the glass wasteland, and an hour or two to what seems to be the foothills of the mountains. There's no one actually visible - 

Except, no.

There's movement, on the wasteland. But it doesn't seem fully human. Too large, motion shutter-stop and jerky, silhouette hard to see but unnatural. Humans don't have that many arms.

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"... What the fuck? No people? But I could have sworn I asked... Shit... What are the chances there are no people?" She sits on the branch she had stood on, her legs bracketing it to stabilize her as she reaches in to her duffle to retrieve her cigarettes and lighter. She lights one as she takes a moment to decide what to do.

"Hey pal, do you know if that thing over there would kill me if I walked up to it?" She addresses the tree she's sitting on casually as she smokes.

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The tree sort of rustle-shrugs.

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"Fun." She continues to smoke, waiting till it's done before putting it out on the bottom of her thick soled leather boot. From there, she gracefully makes her way down and in the direction she had already been walking in. Eventually, she makes it to the weird crystal field and starts to make her way towards the... thing-person.

"Hi there! I was wondering if you wouldn't mind helping me!" Still significantly far away, she calls out to warn them of her approach.

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It rushes around her, incredibly fast, climbing up one of the jutting outbreaks, and then laughing.

"Well, well, well, what do we have here?" it asks, voice feminine and mocking. "Are you lost, little girl?"

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Ari's jaw clenches in the effort it takes her not to snap back at the rude, possibly hostile being.

"Look, I'm trying to find my way home... I presume because you speak English you know Earth. Specifically London."

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"Most dreamwalkers know their way around. But you're new, aren't you? Got pulled just recently? How cute. I haven't met a newbie in so very long."

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"Pulled? I guess that's something like what happened. One minute I was talking to some chick, the next, everything went all," Ariadne gesticulated wildly with her arms for a brief silent moment, "And presto change-o I was in a cave like two hours that-away." She chucks her thumb in the direction she'd come from.

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The being skitters ever so slightly closer, stepping into an area of brighter light and tilting its head.

It has eight eyes, arranged as the points to a starburst in the center of its mask-like face, and a narrow slit of a mouth beneath the star with many glinting teeth. The skin is slick, a pale grey.

"Common, that," the being says, agreeably. "You must not even know how to take your Ideal Form yet. Let alone anything more interesting."

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"Ah yes. I'm so sorry that I'm not some cryptid spider person like you, my first thought wasn't to test whether or not I could change shape, oddly enough. Actually, I was a little more focused on not dying, and maybe getting home." The immediate snark let loose from her lips was unstoppable. She sneered up at the thing, no longer bothering to play nice considering it wasn't even being the slightest bit polite, and had officially ticked her off.

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"Oh, no need to be rude darling."

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"Trust me, you have yet to see rude." Without her even thinking it, her own shadow leapt up in to her hand, immediately solidifying in to a large weighted knife, sharp everywhere but where she held it.

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"Hah! So you have experimented some. Shadow control. Interesting."

And then the spider-person is being her - not teleporting, but moving, her shadow informs her, so fast human eyes can't track it.

(But shadow can).

"But playing with shadows doesn't put you in the big leagues."

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An eyebrow quirks briefly in violent humour, Ariadne never even inclining her head towards the thing's new position.

"Don't worry, I've always been a natural."

And with that ominous statement, a giant spike of shadow erupts from the ground behind the spider-person, bluntly forcing it's way through their squishy middle in a split second, growing to split in two, effectively trapping it, impaled from behind.

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It wavers - 

And it's elsewhere, perched high on an outcropping. Light spills around it, driving back her shadow. "Clever! But not clever enough."

And it surges, glowing, rushing at her - 

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It can't catch her though, she sinks in to the shadow, reappearing behind the spider person like ink slowly filling a mould. She tuts mockingly. "Fast, but not fast enough."

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It laughs. "Oh, girly. You haven't even seen me try."

It's behind her - no, to the right - no, still in front - no, all of those -

A last flicker, it's above - 

(And the light continues to pulse out, a sickly green, winding into her shadows.)

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She doesn't let the mild panic in her heart register on her face for even a second, instead, she calls on the roots of the trees, and all of a sudden she's well above where the thing is flickering to and from, and any of it's attempts to get even vaguely near her are batted away with a whipping tendril of plant life. She stands in the roots comfortably, her arms akimbo like a sassy school mistress.

"Now, are you going to play nice, or will this have to get even more unpleasant for you."

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