Tales Post 7 sees Ameryl within the El'Psassment Wat and watching the sleeping Peysiant Guril, her lover. Ameryl cannot help but think of Peysiant Guril's marriage to Ameryl's twin sister Imeryn and her own love for Highemperor. But Ameryl needs and wants to discard this old life that brings her nothing but pain. So she decides she must leave the temple. On her way out she meets with Gaje Aspurr again who commends her choice to leave her old life and reminds her to learn more of her own Path to Nothing. Some time later she meets an unusual inventor named Reimi Soulstar who is part of a group of space gypsies that travel the galaxy in spaceships. He goes with her to the planet Dreidos which is part of The Imperium. They jump into the Dream Gate and in the Dream Hub they find a statue of EMPEROR, the ruler of Deidos - the alternate reality version of Dreidos. They opt to travel to that world but when they arrive they find that it is nothing but molten slag.
The Story of Ameryl
Dreams Lead to Nothing
Ameryl stands, leaning her back against the warm stone wall of her room at the wat. Peysiant Guril is sleeping softly in her bed, even though her guest has her own bedroom. This attachment is delivering neither of them to the promise of Nothing, as they're both focused so much on Something; that being their relationship. In many ways Ameryl feels like she could continue on this way with Peysiant Guril, who has shown herself to be ever more the soul mate than Highemperor ever was. Highemperor might have been charming and handsome but these shallow characteristics only mask the more sinister, selfishness of his person that now, free of him, Ameryl sees as clear as day. Peysiant Guril, for all her unusual flaws, is nothing if entirely genuine and open about who she is and what she wants.
Those flaws are pretty damn weird though. It started with her asking Ameryl to get undressed in the bedroom while she stays outside of the room and peeks in through the keyhole. There was no sex, just peeking...
But it doesn't bother her half as much as her own emotional baggage. When they are together, out shopping in New Sima or sitting in quiet meditation in the temple garden, then she feels that they are meant to be together and this is what should have been all along. But then memories resurface and now, as she looks at Peysiant Guril's heart-shaped face in the low light room she is reminded of her sister. Imeryn and Ameryl had both fallen for the same woman, yet while Ameryl had been content to share their prize, Imeryn had not. Imeryn's selfishness, imbued by Highemperor, separated Ameryl from this loving relationship and into exile. She wants to forget and move on but when she sees Peysiant Guril like this her mind always flashes back to that day she approached the dual thrones of Hypericum and asked for their hands. Ameryl, even now, isn't certain if Peysiant Guril had been asking her or her sister or expected both of them.
Ameryl glances away and lifts the heavy, brown drape in front of the open window to look out at the brilliantly lit world beyond the temple walls. The sun never sets here, the curtains are always thick. The scent of bacon drifts towards her from an open air market not far away, which mixes with the gentler smell of flowers, which are growing just outside the window.
She drops the curtain back, once again staving off the bright light that might disturb her lover's sleep. Ameryl mutters a quick spell and her short, white nightie is replaced by her usual drab robes. Her lips, however, once again sparkle with pink gloss. She leans over the bed and lays a long, though gentle, kiss upon the sleeper's lips.
Then she is gone.
She doesn't get far from the temple doors when someone calls out to her.
Ameryl bows her head to the old gaje, who is sitting on a bench just outside the doors like he was waiting for her. He is smiling serenely.
She doesn't ask why Orien Aspurr is there, or if he had foreseen her departure. Nor does she question why he does not try to persuade her to stay. These are idle questions when dealing with the realm of mysticism.
Gaje Aspurr: "You believe you have failed."
Ameryl: "Surely my running away from here proves that?"
He shakes his head in amusement.
Gaje Aspurr: "Or perhaps it demonstrates our greatest success. You leave because you know you must leave. Not because you are afraid to stay. Success in teaching is not judged by what you have learnt but in how open-minded you have become. Now, pariṣā, you can learn the Path yourself."
Those words of encouragement fill Ameryl's heart.
Ameryl: "Thank you, gaje. If you could... tell Peysiant Guril I left... I would appreciate that."
The old falleen struggles to his feet and leans on the broom he takes everywhere. As he moves towards her he, as always, gently sweeps the ground to remove any creatures that might be unfortunate enough to be crushed underfoot. When he nears her he reaches out and pats her on the arm, affectionately.
Gaje Aspurr: "If she commits herself to Nothing when you are gone, then she will understand and appreciate the decision you have made. You do this for both of you."
Ameryl nods slowly. Perhaps part of her is concerned about Peysiant Guril's Path to Nothing too, but she has to be honest with herself; the move is largely a selfish one. These months have been a turbulent wash of passion and then depression and back to passion again. She is pretty sure that Peysiant Guril, too, has been experiencing uncomfortable memories. Ameryl looks so much like her twin sister that Peysiant Guril must often be reminded of their marriage together, both the good and the bad times. The fact that Peysiant Guril never accidentally called her Imeryn is a true testament to the woman's presence of mind.
Ameryl turns and walks away from the wat. She takes a last look at its grey, stone walls and sees the windows to her room where the heavy brown drapes conceal its contents. There her love would be sleeping gently. A tear slips from Ameryl's eye. She hopes Peysiant Guril doesn't cry too. But she cannot stay here just from guilt of hurting Peysiant's feelings. It is best for them both in the long run.
The only passage off of the planet she was able to get was as part of a flotilla of space gypsies. She accidentally ran into a fox-like man with fuzzy blue fur and green hair he wore in a braid. He said his name was Reimi Soulstar and he's an engineer on one of the ships. The flotilla happened to be passing by and he was getting supplies. When she told him she had nowhere to go, he offered her a place immediately. The kindness of the stranger overwhelmed her and he accepted without really considering her options.
She hasn't regretted it.
Today has been the first day she has ever gotten her hands truly dirty.
Oil is splashed all over her forearms, where she has rolled up the sleeves of her beige robe, and the leather gloves Reimi borrowed her have done little to keep them clean either.
And she is loving it.
She finds the sensation of washing after getting so dirty to be incredibly cathartic. The struggle of repairing machinery is swept away and her body is renewed each time. She methodically scrubs every inch of her fingers to ensure that the grime is gone.
The food is great too. It's greasy and heavy, sitting in the stomach for days, but it makes her feel hearty and whole. The atmosphere is generally jovial, with the crewmembers shouting jibes at each other all day long. Reimi teaches her how to help him make the minor repairs and she is quick to learn. Given an incredibly short time she is able to learn how to even fix the warp core, which seems incredibly temperamental and likely to explode every other day.
Reimi Soulstar is almost always wearing a white lab coat and a pair of oversized goggles on his forehead. Yet she never sees him actually use those goggles and she's certain they're just for show. This is especially silly since he seems to be constantly blinding himself with sparks or dirt.
He has an interesting penchant for naming things. The engine, after he upgraded it, was dubbed the FRED drive. The Freakishly Rad Energy Drive. He quickly declared than he and Ameryl were now BFFs and was always more than keen to go travelling down to the new worlds that the flotilla happened upon. Together they, and other travellers of the flotilla, were able to see many strange new worlds and new civilisations.
This lasted several months until they came to the planet Dreidos. The world is a massive planet and teeming with life. Eager for supplies Reimi and Ameryl go planetside to investigate. There they discover that this planet is one of many within a vast empire called The Imperium.
Reimi: "Never heard of ya."
Reimi shrugs as they gossip with a vendor. The salesman appears to be just human, nothing out of the ordinary, yet around them are all kinds of strange alien beings. The place is almost as varied as New Sima had been. A couple of guards troop through by, apparently on their way to save a cat's owner from a tree, but otherwise she couldn't see much sign of this imperial presence.
Ameryl: "If this is an empire than spans universes, how does the people get around? It seems highly improbable."
The vendor laughs and jerks a thumb to indicate they ought to venture further through the market and they'll find their answer. Ameryl, having become something of a technology obsessive since meeting Reimi, is keen to go and check out the device. Reimi seems interested, but he is just as interested in even the smallest and most common of machine parts making it difficult to drag him away from the vendor once he spotted a games console he exclaimed to be a precious and incredibly rare Sega CD[Ext 1]. Ameryl thinks it sounds like a sexually transmitted disease but he buys it anyway and after bartering for twenty minutes (yet only reducing the price by a paltry two pennies) they make their way through the crowds.
As they go they find it becomes busier and busier. Queues are formed but they skip past so that they could get a look at what they are all waiting for. As they come from under a shop's canopy they are suddenly struck by a massive, circular gate with a shimmering centre. The technological apparatus appears to be quite out of place in this rather mundane outdoor market filled with nothing but the basic odds and ends, yet there it stands. People are filing into it from three queues - though one being is so fat that he's actually occupying a whole row in each queue by himself - and disappear. On the other side people are exiting the portal, and they're definitely not the same ones going in.
Ameryl: "I have seen portals before, but this one seems very... functional! I wonder where it leads."
Reimi: "Probably everywhere! I bet there's a hub inside there, you choose your door and poof you're wherever you want to be. Provided there's another one of them gates. I wonder if I could... study this thing..."
Ameryl looks sidelong at him. She has come to hear the sound of discovery and invention in his voice, like a sudden drop in tone as though speaking reverently. He suddenly snaps out it and looks at Ameryl with a broad foxy grin on his face.
Reimi: "Shall we go in?"
Ameryl: "If we go in, we might not be able to come back. And then the flotilla will leave without us."
Reimi: "... adventure time!"
He runs off, his white coat flapping behind him, and dives into the portal. He shoves several other people out of the way, who all give indignant expletives. He did actually bounce off of the massively rotund being, and then went through the shimmer. Ameryl, wide eyed, looks at the other side of the portal where he doesn't emerge. He's actually gone through it.
She waits, thinking he might come back.
Ameryl: "My turn, I suppose."
Ameryl jumps up into the air and floats over the heads of the people. Some point up, angrily at her.
Queuer #1: "Oi! Another one is pushing in!"
Queuer #2: "Bloody colonials, I bet!"
Queuer #3: "Bugger it, I'm going for it too!"
Queuer #4: "Oi! Stop pushing!"
Queuer #5: "Get out of my way! Let me in first!"
Queuer #6: "Guards! Guards!"
So what is usually a very orderly, quiet process for Dreidos is suddenly marred by a riot as people start pushing and shoving to get through the portal first. Ameryl slips over heads and plunges through the Dream Gate, escaping the guards and any possible consequences.
She lands inside the Dream Hub where she spots Reimi Soulstar. Normally he's easy to spot because he's bright blue, but amongst these eclectic people he blends in rather well. Instead she spots him because he's climbing on a statue. He sees her and waves.
She's tempted to pretend she doesn't know him, but she cannot claim any sort of innocence after she just caused a riot back on dry land. She hovers over to him.
Ameryl: "Why are you climbing on that statue?"
He ushers her over and embraces her, heads beside each other, and snaps a selfie; the statue's head next to his.
Reimi: "Me, you and EMPEROR!"
Ameryl looks at the statue. It's very tall, yet the proportions of the being they're looking at give the impression of a very, very short child-like being.
Ameryl: "This is the emperor of The Imperium?"
Reimi: "EMPEROR not emperor!"
Ameryl: "I didn't hear the difference..."
Reimi: "He's not the emperor of The Imperium. He's the ruler of Deidos."
Ameryl: "Dreidos? The world we just left?"
Reimi: "No no. Deidos. It's the sister planet to Dreidos. Well... the alternate universe version at any rate. They changed the name of it so there's, at least, a subtle difference."
Ameryl: "How do you know this? I thought you hadn't heard of The Imperium?"
Reimi: "I lied. I just think it's funny to annoy really patriotic types by telling them you've never heard of their country!"
He jumps down and points at a plaque.
Reimi: "Plus I read the information sign."
Ameryl: "So, shall we see Deidros? See what's different compared to Dreidos?"
Reimi: "Sounds like it'll be interesting! How do we get there?"
Ameryl: "I assume one of these doors leads there..."
After pestering several people for information on how to get out of this Dream Hub they finally are able to call up a door to let them access Deidros. Oddly there seems to be a required 'time' input section too, though the system is severely limiting their choices in time. Reimi suspects it's to prevent large scale time travel paradoxes. As they select their destination they step through.
As they do there's a sudden oppressive heat and Ameryl instinctively raises a protective shield around them. Deidros is burning.
The whole planet is molten slag.