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Power’s Pink Price - Chapter 100

Published at 2nd of April 2024 01:26:47 PM


Chapter 100

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I consider through a headache, and settle on calling the authorities on the comm unit integrated into my body… ah, they are apparently called police here too? Good to know.

I speak with them largely on autopilot, giving them my location, a brief rundown of what happened, and so on.  I occasionally pause to let the baddies know the authorities will be here shortly, escaping isn't an option for them, and at least they'll probably get to live if the cooperate.

As I’m dealing with the police, I'm also talking to Patricia about what I consider a far more important question: Why do I have a headache? I didn't use your power on anyone directly.

“Ah, that,” she informs me in my head, “I mentioned this before, but affecting people thusly isn't the only way we feed… we also feed on simple emotional output… and these jerks were VERY emotional during the fight… and on the energy that spills when they die… and, well, we killed three of them.  These guys were VERY nutritious, by the way… I wasn't able to hold it all.”

So they weren't just slow?

“Oh no, not at all. That hit squad would have made mincemeat out of basically anyone else,” my pink partner Patricia speaks into my head, “you're just very good at shaping our power.”

Ah, good to know.

I fight through the headache until the police arrive to take over, and when they arrive, I wait until they pull the two living assailants out of their armor, disarm them, and restrain them, before I let my attention wander at all…

…which goes to the hologram detective asking the questions (he looks a lot like a stereotypical Sherlock Holmes, by the way), “You were holding them with a pretend rifle?”

I shake my head, “No, an invisible one, here…” I hand it to him.  And yes, I checked: There aren't concealed carry laws here, it's expected that everyone is packing.  

He hefts it, and hands it back, “Okay, how do you even USE that thing?”

I shrug as I stow it on my back, “It's my illusion, I can see it just fine.  Oh, and before you ask what happened here… are you familiar with the Auto-Cam spell?”

He smiles, “I am indeed! How much did you catch?”

I shrug, “I started it up when it was clear they weren't letting me simply walk away.  Here…” I dismiss the spell, making the drive manifest, and hand it to him… although it IS neon pink.

I consider, “Don't ask about the color, please.”

The detective takes it, nodding, “I don't think I want to know…” and concentrates for a bit (the spell lets anyone holding the drive review the contents just by thinking about it).  Afterwards, he pulls out a personal comm unit and connects it to the drive, making a copy.

As the detective does so, he chats, “So… they said they were going to kill you, pointed their weapons, and you started with nonlethal weaponry… setting it off on YOURSELF to get them all?  Then switched to lethal ordinance when they made it clear nonlethal force wouldn't do the job.  Okay, yes, I get that… you clearly had them massively outclassed, though… I haven't seen anyone shoot that fast outside of a holovid; why didn't you just walk away?”

I consider, "Suppose I had. What would those thugs have done the next time someone else had what they wanted?”

The hologram skips ahead, “You didn't want them to be someone else's problem.”

I read the detective's (holographic) badge as I reply to… ah, Sherlock, “‘Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing,’” not from my usual sources for quotes, but good enough for now.

The officer nods, “I can respect that… and I will confirm the video with other cameras in the neighborhood… stay in town until I give you the all clear, please.”

I pause, “I JUST installed interplanar communications gear. You'll be able to contact me….”

“It's in case I have to arrest you,” he interrupts.

Right… “I can stick around for a few days, I suppose.”

“Thank you kindly,” he acknowledges, “and I will need your contact information as well….”

We exchange information easily enough.

“Oh, what happens to their stuff?” Yeah, I'm greedy.

“Evidence,” Sherlock starts, “will be collected for the trial. If the judge says they're free to go, it will be returned to them. If they're convicted, you can file a claim on it as rightful loot… which will have a fifteen percent tax based on the appraised market value.  If nobody claims it, it will be auctioned off at the next police auction thirty days afterthe trial closes, with the proceeds going into the town coffers.”

Hmm… not worth it, then; loot only sells for ten percent, so unless it's stuff I'd be making or buying anyway, it's a loss, “Good to know, thank you Detective.”

He smiles, “I'm happy to help.  Anyway… you're free to go for now, but as noted: Stick around. I expect this to be an open and shut case, but just to be sure….”

I roll my eyes, “I get it.  You want me to stay local in case you have questions or need to pin everything on me.”

Sherlock nods, “Indeed. But honestly…” he pointedly looks at the carnage, “...I really, really hope I don't need to arrest you. Your companion there didn't even do anything, and you took out five elite mercs.”

I chuckle, “Well… I don't want you to arrest me either. But as I haven't messed with that recording, I should be in the clear, yes?”

The AI investigator nids, “Yeah, this is looking like an open and shut case. Be seeing you.”

I smile and walk off, “Be seeing you.”

With my head now pounding, I walk to an unobserved spot, cast Mage’s Magnificent Mansion, and step through the portal with Patricia, closing the door to the extradimensional space and making it invisible behind me.  I then sit down on a silk couch, disconnect from my body and speak up: “Patricia? Laptop, please,” I ask her.

“Certainly…” she summons it obediently.

Spoiler

Level eleven isn't particularly remarkable: Thirty points from Freelancer, plus a feat.

Let's see… it would be nice to keep my gear running in an antimagic field; Unassailable Power from the Walking God template fits the bill there.  So… yeah, taking that.

What else… hmm, I can select Time Clone now from Spheres of Power with my floating talents… I can use that to copy myself; but to really leverage that… ah: The Coven Hex from the Witch base class from Pathfinder: Aid Another for caster levels. That will be quite sweet… arbitrarily high caster levels can do some fun things… and of course, it goes well with self-copies, as I can do a lot.

For the third… ah, 3.0 magic immunity is on the table with the Dragonbone Golem from Draconomicon. It's CR twelve, but the Degenerate template gets that down to eleven without wrecking the ability I want… and because it's 3.0's version of magic immunity, it doesn't care about spell resistance, and will even stop Supernatural abilities cold.  Yeah, I'm going to go with that.

What to do with the feat… item familiar? Eh, there's a couple of tricks that can be done with that… ah, Selective Spell… no, I'm still avoiding casting spells that affect people anyway. Extra JP it is… but what for… ah, Tattoo Chamber from the Cabalist Vigilante archetype; that will let me put wands and staves in storage, and ‘cast spells’ that work normally - look like spells, expire eventually, and so on - by triggering them; four items at eleventh… that will be fine… I'll need to remember to commission a few Eternal Wands for a twice a day casting, and maybe a staff or two of some nice demo spells that I won't need to cast often.

Skills all go up by a point… saves don't now, but they all will do so next level… hit points, stamina points, eidolon progresses with another hit die and another Evolution point… more skill boosting I guess, not that it matters… I really should replace Expertise and swap the Eidolon… I don't know what would be good, though… anything with choices I only get one… it can do prestige class abilities, though… and I've invested other resources… eh, keep it as is, at least until I can revamp the rest as well at thirteenth... a few other odds and ends… there we go.

[collapse]

I run one more review of my sheet, commit and… ah, so much better: My headache is gone. Of course, now there’s a few things I want to commission…

I head to my crafting demiplane and get started; I can fit four items into the Tattoo Chamber, so I want three suitable things (so that I can also use it to store things that might be inconvenient to be seen having, of course).  Now, as a spell trigger item, the I can't have my crafters bypass the spell known… but to pretend to cast, I really just need a couple low-level spells, there are one-off feats for one first level spell known and two cantrips for each of Starfinder's casting classes (and for specific categories, there are feat chains to get up to second level spells).  Psychic Reformation on a summon will change out their feats and skills, so I can get second level spells in there without much hassle.

So I get a few of my crafting summons set up with Holographic Image (as a second level spell), Disguise Self, and Create Ammunition… a fine set for pretending to be a Technomancer. To keep them loaded, I also pick up a few key abilities from the Technomancy sphere of Spheres of Power.

Of course, it will be a little bit until they’re done….





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