Circles in the Stream, Chapter 14: Metal Gear, Avalon Edition

So the party — Emily, Adriane, Kara, and Ozzie — take the bus to  Miller’s Point Industrial Park, where Phel is being held in a warehouse.  But one problem: there’s guards all over the place!  What’s a trio of 12-year-old girls and a talking ferret to do?

Well, they could sneak in like Snake in the Metal Gear games…

…but all the girls have are two Sparkly Rocks and a StarTac cell phone.  And the only person that contacts them is Heather from the Catty Girl Posse, who isn’t much help.  Adriane even hangs up on her.

Hmm … they could do it like Link in Ocarina of Time

…but there’s no convenient structures the girls could climb to reach their destination, or free money they could potentially pick up.

So the girls summon Stormbringer, who arrives as a ghostly mist and materializes before them.  Apparently, mistwolves can turn into mist and cloak people and objects.  The girls take advantage of this and sneak in under mist cover.  Eventually the girls reach the warehouse where Phel is being held in.  Ozzie enters through a window, but he can’t reach the locks on the door, so the girls levitate him with their jewels.  Kara learns that touching the Sparkly Rocks amplifies whatever spell the girls are casting.

So that’s what a Blazing Star’s power is: they’re walking Amplifier Artifacts.

Anyway, the girls make it inside the warehouse — well, after Adriane and Kara argue over who enters first (new edition only):

“You first, Princess.”  Adriane bowed to Kara.

“Oh, no, after you,” Kara said, bowing back.

“No, no, I insist.”  Adriane swept her arm toward the hall.

“Just come on!”  Emily barged her way past the others and strode ahead.

Nice to see Emily take charge here.  I wish she’d do it more often.

After Kara does her best reenactment of that scene in My Neighbor Totoro where Mei lands on Totoro’s belly, the girls get Phel on his feet and get him out of the warehouse through a loading door.  But wait — there’s an alarm on the door, and it goes off!  And guards and Dobermans are coming!  And Emily doesn’t want Adriane to attack them!  What’s the party to do?

Well, Emily, in a panic, manages to blast all the searchlights with her Sparkly Rock +1.  Ozzie distracts the Dobermans by talking to them.  And Phel starts flying, with the party in tow.

Yay, the party escaped their first dungeon!  Adriane learned Levitate!  Emily learned Levitate and Magic Missile!  And Kara learned how to amplify spells!  And I guess everyone gets experience points or something.

EDIT: Changes in the e-book edition

  • Adriane is now 13 years old.

Next time: The inevitable First Boss Battle!  Oh noes!

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