For three weeks Dee didn’t emerge from her quarters. She didn’t even show up to the planned lessons with Moirai, which at first made Moirai concerned. However, once Moirai heard what had happened from Mina, she realized what was going on and prevented anyone from disturbing her disciple. They left Dee some food outside her door and allowed her to process through her breakthrough.
Inside the room several weapons made of psionic energy floated around, slowly going through the forms Dee had learned. They looked clumsy and moved slowly, but despite this there was a pleased smile on Dee’s face. In addition to the weapons, Dee was also very slowly disassembling a blacksmith’s puzzle without touching it physically.
“It seems the practice is bearing fruit. It’s not exactly fast yet, but finally it’s working.” The satisfied voice of Croestia said, bringing Dee out of her reverie.
“The speed isn’t important yet. The main thing is that I can do it. Speed and grace will come with practice.” Dee’s words were proven by the floating weapons that slowly but surely gained in both speed and grace. Few days ago she had only managed to move one of them at a time, and she couldn’t have done what she was doing with the blacksmith’s puzzle. “Your suggestion about finding a proper image to control my telekinesis was really useful as well.”
“Well, I can’t really take much credit for that. Once you managed to start practicing, it was only a matter of time before you came up with the idea yourself, I only gave a little push.” Croestia replied, secretly a little happy about being useful.
“A shortcut is a shortcut, even if it only saves few days.” Dee replied firmly.
Instead of trying to control vague directional forces with her telekinesis, Dee instead formed her power into several invisible hands that moved according to her will. As one might imagine, if you suddenly gained a new limb, or in this case several, the new limbs would feel clumsy and unwieldy at first. However, that could be fixed with patience and time. And Dee had a wealth of both.
The best part was that the new invisible limbs didn’t have the limitations of her normal hands. They didn’t have to be connected to her body, they wouldn’t interfere with each other, and they weren’t limited in shape. They could have as many or as few fingers as was required, they could be as big or as small as required, and they could bend in ways that normal hands couldn’t. In fact, she would have to revise her sword forms, since many of the forms used by normal warriors were designed with limited reach and mobility in mind. In addition, the presence of the wielder’s body blocked certain movements and some potential attacks were stupid because they left your body open for counter-attacks. But what if there was no body to leave open or get in the way?
The only problem so far, in addition to the lack of practice, was that the reach of her invisible hands was still limited. Dee had tested and found out that her reach with those invisible hands was limited roughly to ten mel around her in all directions. She could still launch her psionic weapons, or any other items, into a chosen direction by using her previous directional force method, but she would no longer be able to guide them after they crossed that ten mel line.
Dee suspected that the distance would grow as her control and familiarity with the ability increased, as would the grace and speed of movements. Currently however, she was focused on doing smaller and more precise actions. She was trying to discover how far she could push her control in that direction. After the blacksmith’s puzzle was solved, she moved on to mentally disassembling and reassembling a pocket watch she had previously picked up somewhere. Might have even stolen it. Dee wasn’t above nicking a few items from people she found distasteful.
Her eyebrow twitched as she focused and pushed her control further and further. Ever so slowly the watch fell apart, all the tiny pieces floating separately in the air, with a dozen invisible hands working in concert. Dee frowned a little and the hands grew smaller and more delicate. More suited for precision work like this. Now that she got the hang of adjusting her strength, it was no longer a problem to make minute adjustments. It had only been a matter of finding a baseline and finding out how to make adjustments from there.
Both Dee and Croestia gave a satisfied sigh as the watch one again reassembled, much faster this time, and seemed to be working after it had fully come together. Croestia spoke again. “How about the other thing we discussed?”
Dee smiled again. A dark blade that seemed to suck in all the light in her surroundings appeared in her hand and suddenly floated up and joined the other weapons performing the weapon forms. “Well at least the first step seems to be working. Your two powers can interact with each other.” Croestia remarked as she saw the weapon made of holy power moving around. “How about the rest?”
“Hard to say. I can’t really test any of it properly in here. I need targets.” Dee replied.
Although the ability to move the dark blade with her mind was great, that wasn’t really what they were aiming for. Dee was very proficient with the negative energy holy spells similar to the one she had used to kill the assassin at the Genasi party several months ago. Those spells were very effective but also very short ranged, usually requiring a distance similar to a physical contact. However, if Dee could channel those spells through those invisible hands her effective range would increase dramatically, and would only keep increasing as her powers grew.
“Well hop to it then, go find some targets. You haven’t killed anything for a while anyway, and your hands are starting to shake again. I want to see how the last thing we discussed works as well. If that one works…” Croestia commanded playfully. Apparently the undead didn’t count for whatever it was in Dee’s body that required the death of other beings.
Dee smiled as she shifted into her nine-tailed fox form and dashed out of her room. Several members of the Four Winds got scared out of their minds as a beast the size of a large bear dashed through the corridors, before they recognized Dee. Once she got outside, black and lavender wings sprouted from her back and she took flight towards the outside of the city.
“It seems, she finally got out.” Moirai remarked simply to Ngaire, who was standing near her.
“Seems she grew in size again. Should we follow her?” Ngaire asked.
“No need. I doubt there’s currently anything that could threaten her in the surroundings, and even if there were, she could most likely run away. I’ll keep an eye on her with my Mindscape. If she runs into trouble, I’ll make a portal towards her location.” Moirai said with a shrug. In truth she was extremely curious about the nature of her disciple’s breakthrough, but she’d wait until Dee was ready to show off the results of her labor.
A group of desiccated corpses surrounded Dee in all directions. The remains used to be a pack of rather dangerous direwolves, but now the beasts were nothing but dried up husks. Dee on the hand almost radiated energy. A positive side effect of draining the life force or so many enemies.
“Well, I think we can definitively conclude that I can indeed combine my holy spells and psionic power.” Dee said rather stoically, hiding her giddiness.
“Also useful that you can now use weapons in this form. That should increase your combat ability quite a bit.” Croestia replied. A couple of the corpses had a psionic blade lodged in their skulls and one had the dark blade in its throat. Dee’s claws were still the most effective method of attack in this form, but now she could utilize the levitating weapons as well.
“So a successful test then?” Dee asked jokingly, eagerly expecting the next part.
“A successful test indeed.” Croestia replied.
“So…” Dee’s voice was dripping with eager expectation.
“So…” Croestia’s voice had the same tone.
“Time for the final test!” They both said at the same time, and dashed off looking for an appropriate target.
With Dee’s senses it didn’t take them long to find a poor victim *cough* a worthy target. “A wyvern is it. I wonder why it’s flying so close to habitation?” Dee mumbled.
“Does it matter?” Croestia asked impatiently.
“Not really. Just wondering.” Dee said while she sat down and several psionic weapons appeared, floating around her.
Once Mina had put the idea of combining two of her abilities together, Dee had already leaped to the next conclusion. If she could combine two of her abilities, why not three of them? The psionic weapons all looked just like the ones she had created earlier, but if one observed closely, there seemed to be a tiny storm of power within each weapon.
“Go.” Dee said, sending one of the weapons straight at the unsuspecting wyvern.
Once the weapon reached the wyvern, it penetrated deep into the joint between its left leg and the hulky body. The wyvern didn’t even have time to scream before the weapons suddenly exploded in a maelstrom of psionic energy. The creature feebly fell to the ground as its whole lower body disappeared in a rain of blood and bits.
“I’d say that’s a pretty decent result for a first try.” Dee said rather gleefully.
She had combined her psionic weapons for penetration and containment, used her telekinesis to deliver the attack at the intended target and finally used force control to pack the weapon full of explosive psionic energy. The result was quick, deadly and surprisingly power efficient. Since the explosive power was so well contained within the weapon, there was very little wasted power. The weapon also helped focus the attack, while the telekinesis ensured accuracy.
“I’d say that’s an understatement.” Croestia replied.
Dee was capable of shredding a wyvern with her physical abilities, but this way was much faster and could be done at range. This covered for Dee’s biggest weakness, which was the lack of ranged firepower beyond simple throwing knives. In addition to that…
“So how many of these things can you make and launch at once?” Croestia asked, referring to the four identical weapons that still floated around Dee.
“Let’s see shall we?” Suddenly the four became eight; the eight became sixteen, and then thirty two. Dee tilted her head a bit. “I think this is about my current limit. Any more and I won’t be able to launch them accurately. Currently. Well see again once I can train this ability further. It might be more efficient to put more oomph into the explosions instead of increasing the number. More testing is required.”
“Well, finish the poor beast off with a bang.” Croestia said referring to the wyvern currently struggling, while bleeding to death.
“Yeah, letting my targets suffer is not my style. Bad form, but I got a bit carried away.” All the floating weapons launched themselves forward, annihilating not just the wyvern but also the surrounding terrain. Afterwards the area looked like a warzone.
“Very impressive. You didn’t have to destroy half the area along with the wyvern though.” Croestia commented, a little confused.
“I was actually aiming all of them at the wyvern.” Dee muttered.
They were both silent for a moment. “So, more practice required?” Croestia suggested.
“More practice required.” Dee agreed. “Time to get back. I suppose master and Mina might be a bit worried.” Dee said lightly.
Moirai had felt Dee approaching, as the latter for once did nothing to hide her presence, and waited in the garden in front of their house. She could sense the air of success radiating from Dee’s form, even though Dee had already managed to return to her more stoic mood. Dee could usually avoid the characteristic leak of emotions typical of psions, but that wasn’t always the case.
“I get the feeling that you have found your path.” Moirai half asked half stated.
Her words carried a slight special meaning. Most psions sooner or later focused on developing one of their abilities above all others. It was that ability that formed the core of their strength and would usually also be the ability that they would take beyond its limits when their power rose above class 10. That’s what Moirai was referring to with ‘path’.
Instead of replying, Dee looked towards a large stone near the pond in the garden. One of the psionic weapons appeared next to her head and with a flash flew towards the stone. The resulting explosion of power was rather impressive for such quick action.
Moirai observed the devastation with a frown. “Two things come to mind immediately. Firstly, I assume you aimed at the stone and missed. I assume that because I don’t want to think you actually wanted to blow away a part of our house.” Moirai looked at Dee rather pointedly, while Dee simply looked away, pretending to be innocent
“Second observation. Just a verbal reply would’ve been fine, and we could’ve gone to a more appropriate location for the demonstration. That stone is decorative, and I rather like it. It could’ve had emotional value for all you knew. It doesn’t, for me at least, but you didn’t know that. Certainly not an appropriate target for demonstrations.” Moirai continued.
“My apologies. I was a little too excited.” Dee replied, shifting back to her original form.
“Well, judging by the location of the damage you caused, you just blew up your own room. You’re sleeping outside until it’s fixed.” Moirai said with some reproach. She knew that wouldn’t be much of a problem to Dee.
“Understood.” Dee replied simply, accepting her punishment. She wasn’t going to get cold in her fox form, and as long as she stayed out of the rain, she’d do just fine. She never slept on the bed anyway, so this time she could sleep on the roof or under the covered walkways if it rained. Or she could go bother Mina for a while.
“Now to the real point. I see you combined several abilities into one. Can you make more than one of those appear at the same time?” Moirai asked.
“Yes. They’re rather power efficient all things considered. The main limiting factor is how many can I control properly.” Dee replied.
“So at the moment, not even one.” Moirai pointed out rather sarcastically. “Can you move normal weapons?”
As a reply, a dozen throwing daggers slipped out of various hiding places around Dee’s body, and floated around her.
“Good, that’s much harder to detect. Use that whenever you don’t want to be discovered. Even a mage or a warrior might feel something from the explody weapons made purely from your power. Also where did you hide all of those?” Moirai asked with genuine curiosity. Dee usually wore rather snug fitting clothes, so Moirai didn’t think there were that many hiding places.
“Trade secret.” Dee replied with a grin.