Aug 01, 2021 9:56 PM
Bys in modern earth joins a cultivator chatroom
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Follow, follow.

"I'd be interested if you know anything about my bloodline, or where I could find out more. All I know is that my whole family is like this, we're like - a twentieth of these two villages and that's it."

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One wall of the room is full of what look like electric ovens with runic formations on them. It's swelteringly hot and smells pungently bitter. The wall across from the ovens is covered by glass-fronted cupboards filled with gems, herbs and fruits, many of which are obviously unnatural. There's a small kitchen space with bowls and utensils and a sink on the remaining wall.

"From my tests it looks like a Deep Dragon bloodline - you'll probably have an affinity for sealmaking, they're known for it." 

She opens one of the ovens and takes a deep breath of the stench that rolls out. "This is done. One moment." 

She reaches into the oven with her bare hands and pulls out a metal tray. Moving unhurriedly, she turns and sets it on the counter. It's brimming with a black, noxious fluid. 

"Body Tempering Liquid, version one hundred thirty seven." Winter Rose looks at Trys. "Ready? After this there's no going back."

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She coughs, once.

Nods.

"How much will I take, and what happens after?"

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Winter Rose takes out a measuring spoon and carefully measures five millilitres. "This much. It will taste sweet, then intensely spicy once you swallow it. You must keep it down. You will sweat and it will feel like you've run a marathon when the changes are done, but you should be fine so long as you don't retch."

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"Okay."

She takes the spoon and gobbles it - ugk, what a smell - swallows as quickly as she can.

 

Oof. "-Weren't kidding."

Deep breaths. It's burning. Feels like she's sick, like she's drowning she should be panicking and doing something, anything, she should be running-

Hold the breath, eyes watering. Then out. Then hold again. In, 2 3 4 5, hold, 2 3 4, out, 2 3 4 5, hold 2 3 4...

It's not getting better right away. But not worse either. It'll pass soon enough. Right?

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Winter Rose steadies her. "It will pass. Just breathe."

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No acknowledgement.

She can deal with pain. She can hold steady to something she knows she must endure. Stubbornness is maybe her one good quality, right, so this is no big deal.

More deep breaths.

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"Good. The changes should be starting now, toning and reshaping your body. You've got a decent build but it'll be better in a moment."

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She quirks into a small smile, then winces. Deep breaths.

"Will I - need more of this to - Foundation Building?"

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"Once and you're done. Which isn't to say the rest will be easy."

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"Of course not. I'd - appreciate some hints on that next part, by the way."

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"The chat group will probably send you some introduction presents. Feeling alright?"

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"Still burning but it's not getting worse."

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"Good." She checks her watch. "You should be going into the resculpting stage in a few seconds. It'll hurt, but you're tough, aren't you? And it'll be quick."

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"I probably should have sat down for this, huh?" Forcing amusement into her voice.

 

And then she lets out a grunt of pain and twitches all over, swaying on her feet.

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"No dying." Winter Rose's voice is surprisingly forceful. 

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"Fuck no. I got shit to do."

Breathe, girl, breathe. It really does feel like she just ran a marathon. Or climbed a mountain. Or got beat up.

"-Think it's passing. Woah."

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Winter Rose offers her a hand. 

"Welcome to the club. Need a towel?" She breaks out in a grin. "Or a mirror? You look great. And now you may call me December. Now that I know you're not gonna just die on me."

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"-How often does that happen? Should I have spent a month working out first?" Headshake. "I could use a shower, honestly. And a mirror. Feel more exhausted than - basically ever - and at the same time like I could go swim across the Irish Sea."

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"There's about a one percent failure rate even among fit, healthy aspirants. Nothing you could do to improve your chances. You didn't roll a 1." She waves vaguely at the exit. "I can lend you my bathroom and a change of clothes, I've got some robes that are fairly one size fits all."

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"And every step is like that. Enough chances to roll a 1, and..." Sigh. "I will take you up on that offer, thank you. Don't you need to scan me again, though?"

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"It can wait until you're clean. No need to get my nice scanner bed sticky with sweat."

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"Okay. Hoooo. I have spare outfits in my backpack actually, so I'll just use one of those. Be back soon, then."

She grabs her pack from the entranceway and looks for the bathroom.

-And is stopped short when she looks in the mirror. Holy shit, she was alright before, but now she's some kind of supermodel-athlete hybrid!

 

Eventually she actually does shower and change into her clean clothes and head back into the scanner room.

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"Hey there! Get used to your new body yet? It can be a bit of a shock. Come on, lay down, I want my data."

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"It's gonna be weeks before I stop double-taking. I want to go to the gym after this."

Trys-->Scanner.

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