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Leg Post 5 takes place on the planet Tangris, home to the Æon Lords of Tangris, where they are conducting an execution of the outlaw named Aellisin Koure. Aellisin Koure had committed countless crimes against the galaxy and the Æon themselves and was now to be punished for that. The current clone of Aellisin, however, had been labotomised by the Void Ranger Ciel in CatH Post ? so he is unaware of the harm his predecessors may have done. Though Whippen Kur stands up for Aellisin, the decision has been made and so they exorcise the prisoner's soul and leave his body a vegetable. Unexpectedly, this leaves a body-snatcher the opportunity to take the empty vessel. Aellah had been a ghost of the Shattered Realm. He had helped the other Æon Lords, led by Kloo Celli, against the Dark Water and had attempted to bring them all back to Tangris. He has arrived alone, however, but believes the rest must be around the planet somewhere. There is some confusion as to the identity of this Aellah as Aellah of the NeSiverse was killed by Aellisin Koure, but this is the Aellah from another dimension; the Shattered Realm. Ultimately the Æon Lords, including Lord Rigorian, allow Aellah mastery of this new body as Aellah represents an unorthodox balance of spirit.

Post

MANY HAPPY RETURNS...WELL, ONE HAPPY RETURN ANYWAY

Tangris is a forested world in the Milky Way galaxy. The majority of its surface is undeveloped, and it is neutral territory in the conflicts that span the spiral arms. The reason its neutrality is safeguarded is the same reason for its neutrality to begin with: the Aeon Lords who dwell there.

Aeon are totally-not-Jedi from all species and walks of life, who share the common trait of having excessive spiritual essence, or soul. They channel their soul in order to achieve feats that are totally-not-the-Force. Although some Aeon lean towards light or dark, the majority of them, including the Aeon Lords of Tangris, favor balance.

Aeon Lord Rigorian: You are not in balance.

Although many Aeon Lords are absent, gone on a dangerous mission to another dimension, those that remain have passed judgment on a deadly fugitive, one who was once an Aeon of their order.

This fugitive is strapped into a seat, and regards Rigorian with mild interest. He certainly doesn't look intimidating. He is tall and muscular, yes, of the alien Falleen race known for their mind-controlling pheromones, but his facial aspect is...well, it's a bit vacant, really.

Aelliesin Koure: Really? I feel fine.

Rigorian frowns, the fins on his cheeks furrowing downwards in displeasure. He opens his mouth to respond, but the Aeon Lord standing next to him speaks first.

Aeon Lord Whippen Kur: Odd words for a man sentenced to execution. Oddly calm...one might say balanced.

While otherwise clad in the traditional robes of the Aeon, Whippen Kur affects the unusual choice of a squat hat with a brim twice as wide as he is. While his eight-foot height makes him appear willowy thin, his stature is as broad as a fit adult human male. He pushes his spectacles up his three-nostriled nose as Rigorian and the other Aeon Lords assembled scowl at him.

Aeon Lord Rigorian: The verdict has been made, Whippen. Now is not the time to sow discord. Our numbers are already depleted thanks to that fool's errand in the Shattered Realm.

Aeon Lord Whippen Kur: If a simple observation leads to discord, then I would say we have rather more problems than mere bickering. I do not challenge the council's decision; I only state what I observe, and share my observations.

Aeon Lord Rigorian: If that is all...

Aeon Lord Whippen Kur: It is.

Aeon Lord Rigorian: Then without further delay. Aelliesin Koure, once-Aeon, once-general of the Empire, amoral mind controller, and wretched clonemaster, you are sentenced to soul-snuffing.

Aelliesin Koure does not react as Rigorian and two other Aeon Lords approach him from three angles. It is true that Aelliesin Koure and his succession of clones (of himself) have caused mayhem throughout the millennia. It is true that each clone has considered itself to be the same Aelliesin Koure as before. It is true that each of these new Koures continued the streak of ruthless ambition and crime.

But this newest clone seems very little like Aelliesin Koure. Though the Aeon Lords do not know it, he was psychically 'lobotomized' - to use a crude term that roughly approximates what happened - by a Void Ranger, one of the NeSiverse's diverse cosmic protectors. Now he has no criminal desires, but in fact barely has any wants or drives at all.

Rigorian and the other two Aeon Lords who are assisting him in the execution raise their hands and concentrate. Aelliesin Koure stiffens, every muscle in his body going taut--

And then he relaxes, his head slumping to his chest.

Aeon Lord Whippen Kur: It is done.

Aeon Lord Rigorian: Aelliesin Koure is no more.

Koure is still breathing, or rather his body is. His soul, however, has been completely extinguished by the Aeon Lords' most terrible ability, and only the body remains, a vegetable that will soon expire unless it is put on life support (which the Aeon have no intention of doing).

Rigorian turns to Whippen Kur with a smile of tight satisfaction.

Aeon Lord Rigorian: Now we can--

Aelliesin Koure: Oh hey, we made it!

Rigorian whips around in utter shock, his expression mirroring those of his fellow Aeon Lords. Koure is sitting up straight, very much conscious and soulful. In fact he seems rather more animated than he was before, and a broad smile splits his face.

Aelliesin Koure: Huh? Oh, how cool is this? I'm breathing again! I'd forgotten what it felt like to have a body.

The other Aeon Lords continue to look stupefied, as Koure looks all around him.

Aelliesin Koure: What happened to the others?

Rigorian finally recovers enough to sputter.

Aeon Lord Rigorian: How the devils--?

Aeon Lord Whippen Kur: That is not Aelliesin Koure.

The other Aeon Lords look sharply at Whippen.

Aeon Lord Whippen Kur: Just stating my observation.

Aelliesin Koure{?}: Oh, I'm Aellah! Pleased to meet you! Er, why am I bound?

Aeon Lord Rigorian: You're a body jumper!

Aellah: A whatnow?

Aeon Lord Whippen Kur: An entity that can transfer his consciousness and soul into another's body.

Aellah: Gee, I didn't know I could do that! I was just trying to bring us all back to Tangris. I didn't expect to find a new body at the end of it. Especially one that's mine!

Aeon Lord Whippen Kur: Yours?

Rigorian's tone turns grim.

Aeon Lord Rigorian: You're another clone of him. The soul of another clone.

Aellah: Well, I'm my own guy. Master Koure and I didn't see eye to eye. He tried to kill me!

Aeon Lord Whippen Kur: Wait, you said your name was Aellah?

Aellah: That's right! Just Aellah, if you please, not Aellah Koure; I chose not to take my genesire's surname.

Aeon Lord Whippen Kur: The anomaly, Rigorian. The clone that developed its own mind and personality. Koure groomed him as an apprentice, but the anomaly - Aellah - rebelled, and Koure slew him.

He looks thoughtfully at Aellah.

Aeon Lord Whippen Kur: But your spirit has persisted, I see.

Aellah: Oh! Of course, you're thinking of your Aellah. Gosh, it's so weird hearing about yourself being killed. But no, I died of old age.

Aeon Lord Rigorian: Our Aellah? What are you on about?

Aellah: I'm from the Shattered Realm, what you would consider an alternate dimension.

Aeon Lord Whippen Kur: The source of the black water that consumed Teacher Telkrin?

Aeon Lord Rigorian: Kloo Celli! Kassuin! Did you meet them? Did they survive?

Aellah: Aye, we were all fighting together, and we raised a shield, so I could try guiding us all through the dimensional boundary back here to Tangris. Wasn't sure I could do it. Maybe I still didn't succeed. I don't see the others.

He is still smiling. Rigorian frowns.

Aeon Lord Rigorian: And you are not perturbed by this?

Aellah: No. I hope they're alright though!

Aeon Lord Whippen Kur: It's possible they arrived at different locations. Hopefully elsewhere on the planet, at least. Or maybe at different times too. Hopefully not too far in the future.

The other Aeon Lords nod, but Rigorian regards Aellah with some consternation.

Aeon Lord Rigorian: Why are you so...

He pauses, unsure of the correct word. Whippen Kur helpfully supplies it.

Aeon Lord Whippen Kur: Happy.

Rigorian glances at Whippen Kur, and nods.

Aellah: Well, Master Koure - that is, my Master Koure, the Shattered Realm version that is an alternate dimension to you - conducted a ritual intending to channel the energies of Terra Flux through me. It didn't work like he expected, and he wasn't pleased. I was rather pleased though!

Rigorian looks at Aellah in some disbelief.

Aeon Lord Rigorian: This ritual made you...happy?

Aellah: Yup! It's pretty great, I'll tell you!

Aeon Lord Rigorian: You cannot call this balanced, Whippen.

Aeon Lord Whippen Kur: No, I cannot. You do not seem... indolent, however. One would presume that unshakable bliss would make one inactive. But you speak of helping our fellows, of aiding a noble cause.

Aellah: Paradoxical, right? I don't get it myself, but it works for me!

He pauses, looking at the restraints keeping him strapped to the execution chair.

Aellah: Say, why am I manacled?

Rigorian purses his lips, trades a meaningful glance with Whippen Kur, looks across the faces of the other Aeon Lords there assembled, and then turns back to Aellah.

Aeon Lord Rigorian: You are not guilty of your genesire's crimes, being far more than an exact clone, but rather your own entity.

He waves his hand, and the bindings come off. Aellah stands up and stretches.

Aellah: Thanks! So, who are you? I don't recognize any of you from my dimension!

Rigorian turns to look at Whippen Kur, who gives a small shrug as Aellah bows to each of the other Aeon Lords one by one and introduces himself to them.

Aeon Lord Rigorian: This will be trouble. I'm sure of it.

Aeon Lord Whippen Kur: Your vision isn't clouded by bias against Aelliesin Koure, whose body this fellow now indwells?

Rigorian smiles tightly.

Aeon Lord Rigorian: Just stating my observation...

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