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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Like Clock Work Part 3 - Sand of Time

Art by Ibenz, story by me
 poll for edwin's extra page

"Impressive" I said to no one in particular as I entered the new opened Cathedral with mingled with all the other tourists and reporters. As the group openly marveled at interior, I searched for guards or wards, after all it honestly looked more like something you would find in an arcanists lab then a church. The walls, windows, and even chairs were seemingly made up of cogs and other gears. The tick tock of the gears and other machinations, reverberated throughout the building as they cranked back and forth slowly pulling the giant front gates completely open for the grand opening.

"Thank you for joining us today for the reopening of Alinavious Temple, I am High Priestess Akita and I will be your guide today." The priestess said as she did a short bow, her bodysuit type clothing leaving very little to the imagination as the various magitograher pictures flashed out catching her every pose.

"In the front you'll find the newly renovated Shrine of Percent Marvels". She continued unperturbed by the flashes, clearly she was more experienced then her looks gave away.

"Ohhh" I said, mainly to accompany the others clamoring as more flashes of magitograhy flashes went off we watched the as a grandfather clock in the center of the Shrine seemingly expand and contract at the same time. Hundreds of cogs seemingly descended from the ceiling in a large mass before each piece simply clicked into place as it formed a large clock of cogs, even the hands were masses of smaller cogs combined.

As the flashes winded down from the display Akita spoke up once more, her voice echoing through the chamber.
"Follow me we'll be heading into the main chapel, where we'll begin the main program."

As she guided the group towards the main chapel, I slowed my walk to a sluggish grand fatherly pace that mirrored my appearance allowing the rest of the group to over take and pass me in a natural progression. As the priestess attention shifted towards escorting the front mob, I slunk into corner, as the shadows created in the cervices of the chamber came over me I could feel my stealth skills take effect. The world seemingly dimmed around me as if a fog had drowned out the light, I waited like this until the darkness was prefect, even to the most observant the shade that indicated my presence would be impossible to differentiate outside of the most illuminated areas.

With the camouflage effect firmly in place, I straightened up dispelling the old reporter facade that I, Nipul Sea, Master thief extraordinaire had entered with. Other then an eye mask I felt no need to hid my beautifully sculpted face, as my tuxedo and top hat standard outfit appeared instantly on my body as I preformed my flash equip change.

Normally I liked to show off the change but today called for a quite entrance so I had done the whole stealth routine through the outer wards of the Cathedral. As I began to scout the venue for traces of my target, 'Edwin Thamos' a arcanist moguls, the wealthy donor and one of the driving forces behind the reconstruction of the Cathedral. He was supposed to be here today but he had not been with the general crowds, though that was no surprise given his age and wealth, he likely had entered early or through a private entrance.

Welling mana through my frame I cast my tracking skill 'Aspect of the wolf' it felt as if my nose had seemingly elongated as I crouched over and took a whiff of the area, recoiling at the body odor of the one of the fat unshaven reporters. It took a few minutes of canvasing the main lobby before I found what I was looking for, the unique cigar smell of Le Puon an import from Pronce that was Edwins favorite.

Following the trail it led through a locked side door with some traps and wards, a minor inconvenience but nothing that was difficult for my skill. No the interesting portion was that it trailed into the stone floor. A minor phase shift skill let me bypass that particular issue as the path spiraled downwards into an underground chamber, as a large hourglass like shrine in the center positioned there along with my target.

"Is it ready yet!?" Ed shouted in his usually demanding tone his attention solely on a Clockwork girl of sorts. As the gears of her skirt spun the lighting of the chamber reflected against her slim figure, with her outfit she must be the High Priestess Bridget if my sources were correct.

"Are you sure you want to go through with this? Sir Edward? As you saw with your butler the process isn't 100% accurate, you could end up a baby like him." Bridget said with serious tone as I spotted a pile a clothes on the floor to the side.

"Of course I'm sure! A few years off isn't a huge deal compared to having my youth back. If you over shoot just do that aging process like you are for Peter." Ed shouted back as I realized what type of deal this was for, after all youth magic or a DLC of that type would be huge deal. While there were technically plenty of effects that had youthening, it was almost always as a side effect pretty much all of them had notable mental side effects like bimbozation or the sort. Gods were very frugal with handing out DLC's that gave effective immortality with no restrains to even the  richest of there followers not that I could blame them.

"Very well you may use the DLC" Bridget said as she seemingly stuck her arm into the giant hourglass the glass rippling as if it was water, as the sands disappeared in a flash of light. As the light faded in the palm of her hand was a small and simple full hourglass which she then presented to Ed.

"Finally" Ed smiled with glee as he grabbed a hold of it as he flipped it without even a second thought.

With a trickle the sands dropped, falling like the steady pieces of rain in the glass and suddenly all around him, I could see the grains seep seemingly through the pores of his skin as they swirled about.

“Haha it's working!” Edwin shouted with glee as I could see the wrinkles across his forehead smooth out, my the tears of age unwind against his frame as color and vitality filled his body.
His spine straighten as muscles and a gut long gone returned, as shirt tore slightly against his new or should I say old frame. As his old bald head of grays turned into a fresh full black mound of prefect waviness even I was impressed, after all not many rich would be in such a shape even when young.

“Much Better.” Edwin said as stood in front of the hourglass smirking as he admired himself in it's sheen like reflection.

“It doesn't seem to be over.” Bridget said simply as she shook her head.

"No! Damn it! You better get that re-aging process ready” Edwin shouted as suddenly the de-aging process continued as his body seemingly shrank against his clothing, his frame getting smaller and younger as puberty reversed until he looked no more then 10.
“Why is it still going! It stopped around here early!” He shouted in panic as the process continued as soon his words turned into a tantrum before de-evolving into "Wa-WAAHHH"

"WWWWAAHHH" Bridget sighed disappointingly as she looked at the baby crying in the bundle of clothes in front of her. "I must say I didn't expect this many failures finding someone suitable for this DLC.

As the baby continued to cry buried in the pile of clothes as Bridget bent over to grab the hour glass before shouting “Crystal."

"Yes mistress" The voice surprised me as I had not detected her presence, still the newly entered nun clearly didn't notice me as she entered the chamber.

“Deal with this one, after all we still have other guests to entertain and it would be remiss of me to let Darling Akita handle it all.” Bridget said before placing the hour glass back into giant hour glass as the sands seemingly reappeared falling almost endlessly.

Still I was taken aback by the speed she moved as I spoke and breathed not as she passed inches from where I stood prancing down the hallway with inhuman speed and grace. “WAHHHHH” filled the chamber as the nun followed slowly out as will, a baby likely one that was once Edwin in her hands.

I waited a few moments ears to the walls and floor to firmly make sure no one else was approaching the chamber, after all I could ill afford the nun surprising while working. And while dangerous I very well couldn't just leave an exotic DLC like that just sitting there could I. Examining the giant hour glass the flash was likely either an optical illusion or ward, it took me a whole of 1 minute to break the ward and illusion as the giant hourglass faded as I stared at the regular sized one that Edwin had used early just sitting on a pedestal.

The faded hour glass was even more beautiful now that I stood next to it, the glass itself was flawless but the outer metal frames age was aparent as I neared. The entire device seemingly flowing in a an impossible pattern as the sands fell but never piled up or down.

Still triggering the DLC was dangerous, I hardly could afford to let me self be turned into an infant while stealing it. Still it wasn't my first time handling dangerous artifacts, after all phantom hands were prefect for touching what you physically shouldn't touch after all. I summoned the ethereal glove like hands to grab the hourglass as the other placed my calling card and a rock. Always a rock after all depressing the pressure trap perfectly was always required even if there wasn't one.

As I pulled open my bag of holding, I stared into the glass the sands bustled against the edges of the glass like a microcosms of stars in the night sky as I felt myself drawn into a...


Pain surfaced as my actually right hand struck myself out of trained reflex bringing my attention away from the glass.
“That was close.” I said to no one in particular, training for mind traps was one thing but still even the slightest mistake could be fatal in this business.

Still slowly looking over frame, this time I made sure my eyes avoided the sands. With DLC's  you always needed to check for wards of tracking and the like and while eyes could catch most,  the most minute of engraving could be invisible to the human eye.
“#$^%!” Engraving there were, not one, not two, but likely hundreds, the dull glossed metal had likely hundreds of etched glyphs that gave it it's dull look among other things as I could feel the magic in them ignite even within the spectral hands.

Quickly I replaced it back on the pedestal as I darted towards the door with all my might. Passing through I slammed the door shut sounds be damned, the last glance I had of the DLC was the glass seemingly shattering as the frame spiraled apart.

As I moved quickly through the shadows of the Cathedral I sweated like a newbie, swearing  under my breath at the amateur mistake. Running through the corridors what disturbed me the most was the fact that there was no rally or shouts, the only noise I heard was the “WAHHH” of likely the still baby Edwin.

As I ran up the stairs and turn left through the door back to the main lobby instead the door opened to the sight of a shattered hourglass, as a pit of fear ran logged into my stomach at the site. Thus I ran once again, the only sound in the shiny metallic corridor was the irritatating “WAHHHHH” of Edwin repeating in every direction. Panting I pushed open the exit door I once again only to find myself in-front of the chamber again.

I had heard of Space Time traps, they were after all legendary as the ultimate punishment a god could inflict. Looping never ending minutes or days or even years, usually ending when either the punished redeemed themselves or went mad. Given what had transpired, I likely only had one choice in the matter as I looked as the shatter reminds of the hour glass that traced the floor of the chamber and got to work.

Gathering the remains took a while to say the least, if it wasn't for the spec-less floor finding all the grains of sand even sparkling as they were would have taken forever. Even still I had long lost count of the hours maybe even days I had spent piling them together.

“What do you want me to do.” I said tiredly “I'm not a smith I can't fix this.”
I looked dejectedly upon the pile, as suddenly the sands shimmered as if hearing my plea. Pulsating the sands rose swirling around me like a twister any words I had dying as I had to cover my mouth and nose to breath but that clearly wasn't enough as suddenly the sand washed over me like a wave.

I could feel my clothes tear apart against the assault, though my skin was untouched by the violent whirls. Were they toying with me or something? I wondered as a warm feeling convulsed inside my body, pulsating again and again I could feel it centering into my chest, no the stomach. Suddenly the whirlwinds died down, as I opened my eyes to look suddenly pleasure ripped into me as something impacted my stomach.

As I strained to look the sand was filtering into my belly button, or at least what was once my belly button. The glass pinhole that it had turned into was funneling the sand into me, it was was making me into the hourglass!

Horror passed through my mind at that revelation, only to be drowned out in waves of pleasure as the transformation of flesh to glass reached my privates. It blurred from there pulling and pushing and filling, each act I screamed and released everything only for it to do it again and again and again and again… I could feel smooth lips part as darkness reach forth and claimed me.

I walked through the alley in the merchant quarter my skinny frail dirty hands flittering in nervousness of my 4 year old self. I remembered this theft from anywhere, it was after all my first job, the snooty merchant was busy arguing with a noble when I simply walked by and palmed the gem only to get caught by that old man. No wait that's when Lady Lavini caught me wasn't it? I remember meeting her unearthly beauty and her boundless wisdom…??

“Cough!” I exhaled, as I felt a grainy bitter taste expunge from my mouth, I… that was…what was I dreaming??? As I sat up against the bed of sands my soft ass tickled against it in pleasure, reminding me of the situation I was in but before I could even move the sands moved in concert as as well giving me no time to think or act as they began to filter into my belly once more.

I could feel my chest blossom outwards almost comically, likely the top of the hourglass I wondered what would happen to my head. As I looked down they looked like giant boobs before pleasure loop began once again, the pulling and pushing and filling each act I screamed and released everything as darkness claimed me once more.

Thus I dreamed, old man Raven beat into me the basics of pick pocketing, of marking, of lock picking, of pray, of make up, wait makeup??? When did I learn to love the purple shades accents… no wait… Lady Lavini went over it daily, right? The daily prayers, self care, time magics, and how could I forget the others they were right there??

“AHhhhh” I moaned as I woke up once again, what was I thinking about?? Stretching my joints ached freshly as my prefect hour glass body grinding against the sands spread across the floor. Hmm sands..? Why were they on the floor?? I looked as the mess as I felt sticky... fleshy… why?? What was missing… I needed to finish something right??
I-I-I needed to finish, puckering my lips I could feel the sands eagerly flow into my jaw, the imperfections melting away as pleasure engulfed my face. The pulling and pushing and filling each act I screamed and released everything as darkness claimed me like an old friend.

As I stared at the cat burglar Persia her silken tresses mocking me, I raced the rival burglar flowing across the roof, I-I-I w… wait... who are those people?? The memories mock me as the faces blur… Why would I dream pointless things?? The shift and I know these people… Akita lecturing in an all night as her nightie leaves nothing to the imagination, Bridget tanking for me her metal ass smashing the monster as I chanted my spell, Cassie… oh Cassie blushing… oh Cassie her soft white lips touching mine as we sychonzed for the first of many times as she became mine… all mine.

“I'm late!” I shouted as I woke up, Why was I late?? Oh yes my powers always knew I was late, as was the fate of time… as my tresses of hair bobbing unsteadily as I swiftly got off the hard metal floor. I quickly checked and admired my outfit, the silken see-through tress covered me but left little to the imagination just how I liked it. Straightening out the wrinkles in my hair and clothes with a brush of time, I double cheked once more. After all appearance was important for a grand opening. Satisfied I opened my eyes to the eternal times once more and pushed as space bent to my will, as the world melted away.

“WAHHH!!!!” the screaming assaulted my ears as I completed my teleport, Cassie, my 'nun'  turned with the human baby in tow. Wordlessly I leaned forward as we kissed before she nodded, turning to return to attend to her duties, as I had mine and thus I pushed once more.

As I emerged I was met with Bridget’s voice and crowds of hundreds..
“Introducing the Bishop of Alinavious, Lady Lavini!”

It was a standard affair one of many we would likely have to entertain for months to come, but still this was my duty. Eventually the fan fare died and the various reporters and tourists left for the day as the grand gate closed. As Akita and Bridget began to embrace, Akita turned to me in puzzlement
“Why are you still here, Cassie should be done by now” she said simply.

Smirking I looked towards the others as I pushed against space once more, after all this was my job… why would they know.
Smirking I faded into the passages of time my words lingering as I left “Ah yes, I still have to do one more thing last week, after all someone needs to inform a certain thief about a church he should visit.”

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