In Tales Post 18 Ameryl Hypericum is due to meet with the elusive Right Arm of The Imperium aboard the Space Orca. She magically sends herself to the conference room where she is soon met by the captain of the ship, Space Orca himself. She reveals that she has been using esoteria, a special kind of magic that allows a magician to extract infinite information, which she accesses through her locket. Space Orca reveals that the Right Arm was once ruler of the Hydriaverse but was conquered and then hired by The Imperium. When the Right Arm arrives, Ameryl initially mistook her for Imeryn Hypericum - her sister. But the woman is actually an alternate version of Ameryl herself. This would be expanded upon in The Prequel Part II in Pan Post 149.
The Story of Ameryl
The Prequel Part I
Many years ago Ameryl's career as a politician of The Imperium was looking promising. Her connection to the science divisions gave her a weight of power that most politicians of her rank didn't have. She was able to dominate discussions and debates and those that didn't fall in line she could always resort to guile. The temptation to use her allies within the intelligence divisions would eventually prove to great for her to resist. Gadreel, Watcher of all that happened, could dig up dirt on anyone in the Multiverse if he cast his eyes to the task. A good nudge with information got her everything. The first time she accepted a document from Gadreel she felt dirty. But it became easier and easier.
But her meteoric rise drew attention from other quarters of The Imperium hierarchy.
She found herself being summoned by none other than the Right Arm of The Imperium. They were to meet on a planet Ameryl hadn't thought of of in a long, long time.
When her ship enter orbit she looks down on the planet to find it still burning, all this time later. The world, infected by the Darke Spawn, had been entirely burnt to molten rubble by its own keeper - The Imperium itself. As though no time had passed - which she realised was entirely possible with the nature of The Imperium so double-checked - hovering in orbit was the massive space-whale-turned-spaceship that belonged to Space Orca.
From her own transport ship, Ameryl rises out of her seat. She peers down the narrow corridor towards the cockpit where the two military suited pilots are navigating towards the other craft.
Ameryl: "Don't worry, I'll see myself out."
She whisks herself across space using magic. She whips through the hull of the old vessel and reappears in the conference hall. Nobody is here yet, not expecting her arrival so abruptly. The table in the centre of the room is made of the same bone material as the walls of the ship but the chairs have an unusually soft, yellow leather on them. Ameryl recalls the Pokémon that Space Orca likes to hunt so much as she sits down on one of the chairs and feels the smooth leather against her fingers.
Before she could even order herself a glass of wine from the replicator a man stomps into the room.
Space Orca: "You can't just go magicking your way onboard like that! I might have had the security locks zap your incorporeal form when you touched the shield, you know!?"
Ameryl: "I knew you wouldn't..."
Space Orca: "Oh right, sure. Because I'm known for my lapse of security measures!"
He glares at her.
Ameryl: "Let me try again. I knew you couldn't. This ship doesn't have that technology. I did my research before I arrived."
Space Orca folds his arms across his chest. His cloak hangs loose down his back and he cuts an imposing figure, despite his silly name. She never wanted to ask why he was called such a thing though she has always wondered if he commissioned the ship with the irony in mind.
Space Orca: "They said you'd become some kind of political hotshot since I saw you last. I guess this is how you do it? Snooping?"
He walks over to the table and throws himself into a seat where he requests a drink called a Bounsweet[Ext 1] cocktail. What appears is a thin-stemmed glass with a wide cup filled with a purple liquid. A couple of decorative leaves hang over the edge of the glass, probably from whatever plant the drink is made of.
Ameryl: "Yes. A bit. Preparation is everything. Plus it's easy for me to retain knowledge."
Space Orca leans forward in his chair.
Space Orca: "Why? You one of them photographic memory types?"
Ameryl: "Hardly. It's much simpler than that. I'm very good with magic."
He frowns with no comprehension.
Ameryl: "I can create knowledge as magic. Manipulate all of the knowledge I learn so that it transforms into aether. Well, I kind of aether anyway. We call it esoteria. In that form I can then access it whenever necessary. Then wipe it from my memory again when I don't need the information. I'm afraid even the brain of a Hypericum can't hold an infinite amount of wisdom. On average we're smarter than most humans but not that smart."
She smiles and thinks she's being humble.
Space Orca: "Okay... thanks for the life lesson, Teach."
He rolls his eyes and leans back in his chair again, perhaps disgruntled that the mystery of Ameryl turned out to be a trick and not some impressive feat. Yet he doesn't realise that creating esoteria is not a magical trick that can be performed by any laymen magic practitioner. It takes great skill to transform concepts into substance. Alchemy, like turning lead into gold, would be a much easier task than forcing an idea to become physical matter.
Seeing Space Orca's drink she asks for him to order her one too. When she sups the Bounsweet cocktail she finds it is, as its name suggests, incredibly sweet. She blinks from the unexpected sugar rush.
Space Orca: "I'm surprised she's so late..."
Ameryl: "She's not. I'm early, remember?"
Space Orca: "Yes, you're early, but she's late. She must know you've arrived early and yet..."
Ameryl: "I don't think someone should have to drop everything just because I show up early."
Space Orca: "I think this meeting is meant to be important."
Ameryl perks as she sees an opportunity to get some information in advance. Getting knowledge about Space Orca had been easy. He is a well-known commander of Imperium forces in all areas - cosmic, naval, land, air - being something of a jack-of-all-trades in military affairs. His ship, she knows, is on its way to be decommissioned though. The whale is simply not capable of being upgraded without compromising its very structure. The notion of breaking down such a magnificent and long-serving vessel seems somehow sad to Ameryl now.
Ameryl: "Please tell me about her. I couldn't find out any real information on the Right Arm of the The Imperium. In fact I couldn't even find anything about the Left Arm either! Records of the Left ended ages ago, apparently."
Space Orca: "Doesn't surprise me. The last Left Arm died along with the original founder of The Imperium. I don't know what happened, I wasn't there. The Left Arm was always more... open. The one that most people knew. The Right Arm is more... mysterious. It allows the two of them to work in different areas. While everyone is watching the Left Arm, nobody sees what the Right Arm is up to."
Ameryl: "I see. Simple but clever. But you know who she is, right?"
Space Orca: "Sure, I suppose. I know her name and what she looks like at least. I know she comes from the Hydriaverse."
She checks her memory for any such references. She delves into the esoteria she keeps locked in a broach around her chest, searching the aether like a computer looking for a key word. She finds some garbled information stating that there was a massive battle between The Imperium and the native empire of the Hydriaverse for control of the entire universe. Ultimately, it seems, The Imperium won.
Space Orca: "That's right. She was recruited after the war. She was actually the leader of the defeated empire."
Ameryl: "And we hired her!?"
Space Orca shrugs.
Space Orca: "Sure. We do it all the time. An enemy proves they have worth, it would be a shame to lose that talent. I just joined The Imperium on a whim, but lots of people were recruited after opposing us. Even the current skrai, Vedas Khaan, was recruited this way. He had a planet thinking him to be their god and when we showed up they all died for his sake. His ability to inspire is probably why so many voted him in as the skrai last year. It's really just a popularity contest."
Ameryl: "I haven't met him yet but I've heard rumours that he's not such a nice guy in person..."
Space Orca: "Well he certainly looks like a nasty customer but you can't judge a book by its cover, right?"
Ameryl: "I guess the Right Arm must have put on quite a show for her to become one of the rulers of The Imperium?"
Space Orca: "Her military record is... definitely impressive, yeah. She's, uh, not like you though..."
Ameryl: "What do you mean by that? Should I be offended?"
Space Orca: "No! Kind of the opposite. You're more... nice."
Ameryl feels a pang of guilt. She doesn't feel so nice, not these days. Spying on people and sentencing laws on people have left dark holes in her soul. A man that steals to feed his family is guilty of stealing and yet his family might have died had he not done it. She is then responsible for punishing such a man for such a crime. She glowers at the table in a sudden sulk.
Space Orca: "Let's just say that Vedas Khaan is probably someone she likes."
Ameryl: "You mean she's... evil?"
Space Orca: "I wouldn't say that. She wants to help the people of The Imperium. But she's kind of... I dunno. Just not nice."
Ameryl: "Okay I gu-- wait, why even compare her to me anyway? I'm really not that nice!"
Space Orca: "Oh! Well, uh... she's..."
Woman: "Thank you for that charming introduction."
Ameryl jumps out of her seat and spins around at the intruder. She's incredibly surprised. Ameryl always has a thin magical field around herself that detects any and all living presences, even if they're magically transporting themselves into her vicinity. She ought to have detected this woman long before she even entered the room.
Ameryl: "H-How did you--"
She then stops talking. Suddenly the method by which the woman got into the room seems incredibly unimportant. Ameryl's jaw drops. Imeryn?
Ameryl: "No-- you're not Imeryn..."
Woman: "No I'm not!"
Ameryl: "But you look just like... us..."
Woman: "My name is Ameryl and I intend to make you one of the most important figures in The Imperium."
The alternate Ameryl smiles while our Ameryl balks.