tagSci-Fi & FantasyGoing Feet First Ch. 05

Going Feet First Ch. 05

byDarkPulse©

Author's note: this story continues my tale, 'Going feet First', and follows Galen, a soldier once in Vietnam, now on a journey into a medieval fantasy world filled with Elves, Magic, and all kinds of fantastical creatures.

Welcome to Raska.

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Going Feet First

Chapter 5: Before the storm

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The sweat still glistened off of Felyn's skin in the wake of her rut with the surfacer. Not a single article of clothing covered her body as she stood in the Commandants' study, holding a defensive stance as changes began to take place in the space around her. Tides of magic washed through the stonework walls and disrupted the radiating energy that allowed her to see without light.

Her darkvision worked the same as the rest of her race, using the energy coming off all solid objects just as "normal" eyes would use light. Anything, whether it was animate or lifeless, was defined in their shape by this energy, though without the vividness of color and not for a limitless distance. Through this perception of the energy flowing in the room, Felyn could see "cracks" of arcane magic spread over the stone of the floor of the study while more crept over the ceiling like water down a pane of glass.

When the raw power of the disruptive magic peaked in the room, magnificent whips of cyan energy were cast out from the floor by an unseen force. With sharp snaps and cracks they coiled and lashed out at the space around her and the human with the force to send the air into a torrent. Books were tossed from their shelves and documents that had been so neatly stacked on the desks were scattered across the room by the wind, all while the light coming from the arcane cracks in the floor continued to grow brighter in Felyn's darkvision.

Several of the tentacle-like strings of energy then encircled her body. From instinct she slapped her hand at one that drew too close but it only provoked it and every other around her to latch onto her limbs. The Empath tried to cry for help, only for an electric sensation to ripple over her skin and numb her from throat to lungs. Now struggling to draw breath, she found herself failing to keep control over her body as the cyan ropes coiled tighter around her arms and legs. A brisk frost suddenly pierced her chest, her torso shaking in response as the cyan magic sunk into her flesh. Then oddly enough, all she could feel was a mild tingle.

She managed to catch her breath when the feeling rapidly returned to her numbed throat as a new heat burned in her core to restore the warmth in her chest. In her belly she felt as though a feather was brushing over her insides and in her arms she felt her blood pulsing through her veins with a peculiar throb. But aside from these minor discomforts, no damage had occurred. No marks were left in her skin from... whatever had happened.

Disconcerted by this ordeal, Felyn glanced about the Commandant's study to check for further changes. Papers were scattered across the floor, the cracks in the floor and ceiling continued to spread, and new strings of energy had stopped appearing although the ones that had spawned had all vanished into her flesh.

A sudden flare of magic burned through Felyn's core, making the Drow warrior's vision flash as her guts felt as though something was shifting inside. Her lungs prickled with short, stabbing pains, her limbs growing tense as though something slid along inside her veins.

What in Lolth's name is happening? she thought, clenching her teeth.

Without warning it all faded off again, just a moment after it started. Whatever had stirred within her had gone and been replaced by nothing more than a tingle in her belly.

"I feel... warm..." muttered a voice beneath her.

The Empath looked down on the male laying down beside her feet. Galen was there on his back, stripped of all his clothes and gear. An eerie, white glow consumed his entire left arm. As glowing cracks in the floor spread to the walls, the light began to consume more and more of his body.

It was then that the door to the office barged open, Dreek storming in wearing her full battle armor with Keetle in tow.

"Commandant-" Felyn started.

"Silence. Get your armor on and prepare the Human. The pillar has awoken, and I can feel something has gone wrong."

As the last word slipped from Dreek's mouth, the arcane cracks in the floor finally consumed the whole of the room. With an earthy burst of scent and a crackling sound, several vines erupted from the jagged lines of magic in the middle of the floor and headed straight for the ceiling. When the green stems met the stone overhead, they spread out and draped down, forming a cloud of leaves and flowers sprouting from rapidly forming buds.

Then the vines began to change. Their green skin turned rough and jagged; frail stems grew thicker as bark replaced its outer layers. Tendrils became branches, the central vine became a trunk as thick as one's body, and right before the eyes of the watching Drow, a tree took its final form.

Standing with two daggers drawn, Dreek watched as the floral spawning came to an end within her shared study. Her entire ceiling had become overgrown with the canopy of a deciduous tree, while her floors remained unaltered aside from the now-dimly glowing cracks of cyan energy. In the wake of this transformation, even she could not hide her awe.

"Lolth's tits, how is this possible?" Keetle muttered as she gazed about at the transformation.

"There is something very wrong with this cavern," Dreek said, her mouth slightly agape.

Without warning the cyan glow over the floor intensified, the Commandant taking a defensive stance once again with her daggers as she felt a force pull her body toward the ceiling. All the papers and books that had been scattered after the first initial pulse of energy lifted off the floor and floated to waist height.

Galen, who had been in a drowsy state on the floor, began to rise above the ground. His eyes fluttered, his head lolling as he rolled to the side. He reached out to the empty space beside him trying to find his jacket or a blanket, but instead he only groped at the air. It was then he realized he was no longer grounded and his eyes shot open.

"Holy shit!" he cried out as he came back to his senses. He began flailing around as he continued to rise slowly upward. "The Hell is goin' on?!"

"Keetle, is this your doing?" Dreek hissed, turning to the aid.

Holding one hand to the ceiling and the other toward the Commandant and Felyn, the force-mage shook her head and answered, "No, I am the one keeping us on the ground."

The Commandant scowled as she turned to see the entire left side of the soldier's chest glow a bright white along with his left arm. As he kicked about in the weightless environment attempting to right himself, his nude body turned more toward Dreek. Right when he had spun to completely face her, the glow of his arm lighting up his entire physique, his cheeks flushed red and both hands moved over his crotch. His glowing extremity merely added more detail.

With the view she had been given, Dreek raised an eyebrow at Galen with a hint of a grin. When his whole face flustered, she rolled her eyes. Before either soldier or Commandant could say anything on the matter, the gravity in the room shifted once again. Each book returned to its place on the shelves, every thrown paper or object was pulled right back to their stacks on the Commandants' desks.

Still wrapping her mind around the new tree in her office, Dreek was near speechless that there was no mess to clean up.

"Keetle..." she whispered.

When she looked back, the only thing her aid did was continue to awe at the sight and shake her head as she responded, "This isn't my doing."

A sudden burden fell upon Dreek's shoulders and sent her to her knees as the sudden reintroduction to gravity caught her off guard. Beside her both Galen and Felyn dropped to the floor, the former landing with the audible smack of bare flesh meeting stone while the latter dropped to all fours.

"If not your magic, then whose?" the Empath questioned under her breath as she ignored Galen's groans of pain and recovered her stance.

Back on her feet she turned to face Dreek, immediately taking notice of the increasingly concerned look upon her Commandant's face just as her Empathy detected her urgency. Before she could dig further, however, the Commandant's emotional aura cut off, a barrier shutting out the Empath's power. But in those final moments of her connection with the elder, Felyn could have sworn she felt Dreek worry.

"Get your armor on," the Commandant ordered.

Without a moment's hesitation Felyn nodded and quickly moved as per her elder's order.

"Galen," Dreek addressed as she watched for anymore occurrences with the cyan energy.

"Arrghh, damn... Yeah?" the Private mumbled, rubbing his hand over his still-stinging belly while pushing himself over onto his back and sitting up.

For a moment Dreek remained silent, waiting for something else to happen as Galen winced at his red mid-section, his glowing arm finally dimming to a candle-like glow. From her best judgement of what she sensed, the flow of arcane power in the stone around her and how it had stabilized at last. It was more potent than before but compared to the sporadic mess it had been just moments ago, it was calm. While giving a breath of relief she returned her daggers to the sheaths at the hips of her yellow armor.

"Get dressed and get your battle gear on," she ordered, looking to Galen. "Do this now, there is a... 'situation.'"

With a nod, he mumbled his response, "Yes, Ma'a- I mean Dreek."

Keeping at least one hand over his privates Galen began to feel around for his clothes which were scattered around him. With only the light coming off his arm to guide him, he had to primarily feel around in the dark and as he did the Commandant watched and waited. Had the situation been different, she would have found the Human's struggle to gather his clothes while hiding his genitals amusing, but she was not in the mood to entertain a joke.

"Keetle," she called out.

The aid nodded before an order was given. With a wave of her hand all of Galen's clothes and gear came flying toward to him. His rifle hissed as it skidded across the floor in his direction.

"Woah, thanks," he said as his pants struck him in the chest.

He moved to get ready as fast as he could, standing up as soon as he got some underwear on so he could fight with his pants. In his haste, however, his foot caught in one pant leg, and as he hopped on the other to keep balance, he tripped over on the sling of his rifle.

"Oh shi-" he swore as he toppled over, his shoulder slamming against the side of the tree in the middle of the room.

"Oww, what the Hell?"

With the glow in his left hand growing brighter, Galen brought his illuminated appendage to touch it. At first he saw the bark, and looking down he found cracks in the stone floor from where it had grown. Then he looked up, his arm illuminating the foliage above him just enough for him to see. The Private blinked several times over, rubbed his eyes, then looked again.

"Where the Hell-?"

"If you have an idea, do tell, Galen," Dreek said aloud.

Shaking his head with his jaw slacking off, all he could answer was, "I ain't got the foggiest idea."

"Unfortunate," she responded, crossing her arms. "Get dressed."

He continued to stare at the tree a second, then nodded and collected his affects. In the timeliest possible manner, the Private got the last of his clothes on, tied up his boots, pulled on his jacket, and then put on his webbing. Upon picking up his rifle, he fished a magazine out of one of his pouches and pushed it into the receiver, racking the bolt and turning on the safety.

Beside him he heard Felyn say something aloud in Drow, followed by Dreek's response, which was then followed by Keetle's. The door to the office opened up and the light of the main living area of the Sun-Kissed's base poured inside. Right away Galen could see a similar transformation had come to the main hall of the base.

Vines had grown out from the floor around the couches circling the table in the middle of the room. Oddly enough, clusters of grapes were already reaching a ripe size from its stems and hung conveniently around the couches' arms rests. In each corner of the room a new tree had grown and spread its branches out across the ceiling well above head-height. A plant bearing gold-colored leaves sprouted from the floor and grew into a border around the painting of the three Drow nobles.

"This wasn't here moments ago..." Dreek mumbled aloud as she observed the changes to the room. "And I am not sure as to whether or not these growths are for the better or worse."

A new scent crossed Galen's nose then, a potent one that brought his attention to the spot in the wall below the painting. Red roses bloomed in full in seconds as he watched; roses with golden leaves growing off their green stems. The Private stared at this for a second and one name came to mind.

Celia.

As he stared at those flowers, his mind didn't wander off to think of her capture; The danger that surrounded her didn't enter his thoughts. For that moment, all he could think about was that smile on her face when she buried herself into the roses she had summoned that morning. His sweet elf in her beautiful roses. The image had his heart glowing inside him bright enough to bring an unexpected euphoria to Felyn's mood when she glanced back into his eyes.

This mood shattered when the stairwell door at the far end of the room swung open with enough force to slam into the wall behind it with a thunderous clap. Unconsciously, the Private's grip on his weapon tightened as Jrastra, wearing her complete yellow, plate battle armor entered the room followed by her aids.

The first Commandant paused a moment to observe the botanical changes to the living area before uttering a Drow curse and heading for the doors leading to the exit tunnel. A second later the second Commandant, Aufryn'uit, and three squads of Sun-Kissed warriors in full combat armor emerged from the stairwell and formed loose rows behind their leaders.

"With me," Dreek ordered as she moved to join up with the others.

Flexing his finger in its position overtop his rifle's trigger guard, Galen promptly nodded and stuck close behind her while Keetle and Felyn trailed behind him. The three Commandants came together at the door leading to the exit, stopping to exchange querying looks with each other. Jrastra cocked an eyebrow at Dreek, who in turn looked to Aufryn'uit.

It seemed to Galen they were wordlessly asking each other the question, "Are you ready?"

He assumed this inference to be correct as the three Drow gave a synchronized nod to one another and shifted their focus toward the two dozen warriors behind them.

Several more Sun-kissed then came out from the stairwell, one still doing up the last of the binds to her armor before falling into line with her sisters. While some of the Dark Elves paused a moment to look over the changes to their base, they quickly moved to join ranks with the rest of their sisters.

Looking over the number of her warriors lining up, roughly thirty of the forty-six she expected, Jrastra finally gave her order. "Everyone, move out! Those who are late will pay for it when they catch up."

"Follow," Dreek commanded to Galen as she and the other Commandants began to move down the exit tunnel.

In one organized, uniform movement, the rows of Sun-Kissed warriors filed into the tunnel into three columns, each column lining up behind their respective Commandant. Galen, being blind in the tunnel, used the glow off his arm to provide just enough light to keep himself from bumping into Dreek. With the number of battle-ready Sun-Kissed around, he didn't want to run the risk of one of them confusing clumsiness for some hostile action.

"So what's with the battle rattle?" he asked.

"Battle rattle-? Oh, the battle armor. The pillar in the middle of the city," Dreek started. "It released a wave of energy and its light has grown brighter. Surface vegetation had only begun to grow throughout the cavern when I last saw it just a few zetras ago and an uproar had begun in the market district. On top of this, several of our servants in the village outside experienced... outbursts with magic, even if they had no skill with the arcane to begin with."

"Chaos. Plain and simple," Jrastra declared. "It has erupted, and now we must take action."

There was a pulse through the air, and the door at the end of the tunnel opened up. Galen squinted as the bright light flooded into the darkness and he raised a hand to block it from his eyes. Every Drow save for Dreek did the same, some even winced or gave near-silent whimpers of pain. Yet as the Dark Elves stepped out onto the top landing of the stairway that lead up into their home, many of them had already adjusted to the more intense brightness of the central pillar.

When Galen looked out over Faerssune, the first words to slip from his mouth were, "What the Hell?"

"What in the Goddess-damned..." Jrastra mumbled.

Across the stone floor of the cavern, between the city districts and over the empty expanses between them yet to be developed spawned either dense forest or rolling fields of grass speckled with clusters of trees and random oases. Colorful flora and deciduous plant life crawled around the buildings and fortresses that encompassed the cavern and continued to do so as Galen saw an impossibly large willow grow and wilt over a pond that had appeared around a solitary hut located in the empty field between two sectors of the city.

The entire circumference of the cavern's walls had become overgrown with even more trees and tides of ivy that swallowed the stone whole. The only places left untouched, or at the very least minimally affected by the growth, were the fortresses, districts, and the roads and paths that connected them.

Behind Galen several of the Drow women began whispering to each other, just as the Commandants did amongst themselves. The Private, unable to understand a word, kept looking out to the city and analyzing the changes that had, and continued to, take place.

"Move," a voice hissed.

Without warning an armored shoulder smacked into Galen's, making him stumble aside.

"Hey!" he snapped, only to pause when he recognized who had bumped into him.

"Sapril, forget him and get up front, now," Aufryn'uit ordered.

The second Commandant's aid, Sapril, glared at Galen, an eyebrow barely arching down over her swollen left eye. Galen was tempted to use his healing magic on her, considering it was his head-butt that had given her that shiner, but he would expect her to cut his hand off should he present it to her. So in an awkward silence he merely turned away from the aid as she gave a huff and moved to Aufryn'uit's side. Only before he relaxed another hand brushed him aside and the Commandant's second aid moved past him in silence to join her elder.

In a very loud, commanding voice, Jrastra began speaking out in Drow, pointing off to her right. Galen only assumed she was giving orders as Dreek and some of the Elves behind him gave an affirmative response the moment she finished. Jrastra then pointed to the Central pillar, giving more orders which were then confirmed by Aufryn'uit and her followers. She topped this all off with giving a last set of orders which were answered by another set of troops which Galen assumed belonged to her.

The groups started moving, Jrastra and Aufryn'uit leading their squads down the steps and heading their own ways. Only Dreek and the dozen members of her squad she'd gathered remained on the landing. The Commandant turned to Felyn and a pair of Sun-kissed behind Galen and gave an order to which they nodded. The trio then immediately returned to the base to do whatever task the Commandant had given them.

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