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♦ Plague of the Desert - Part 5 ♦

by goodolnoah


Warning: This work has been rated 16+.

♦ Separation ♦

PT 390, DRU Headquarters

“Kitty Alua, Special Division One in training, reporting for duty!”

“Junk that title. It’s too long. We could assign you to any division. It’s all business from here on. Get your suit on and make sure you have your equipment.”

The woman was inside of an anti-contaminate airlock. She peered at the director of her mission, Petra through the foggy glass of the window. Who waited for her pensively. She had deep, brown eyes and blonde hair that she let hang down to her shoulders. She had a permanent sullen look etched onto her face.

Kitty pulled the pants of a space suit around her skinny legs. There was an inside liner that wrapped around her legs and then an outside layer that blew up like a balloon, it looked like she was caked in a thick layer of dough. As she pulled the rest of the suit on, she averted her eyes from her body. Staring up at the ceiling a

“Wolf skin…check…Sword…check.”

She shoved the wolf skin inside a backpack and finally put the space helmet over her face. She pressed a button with newly fat fingers to open the anti-contamination lock and waddled out and over to Petra. Who shot up from her seat and clicked buttons into place between the space helmet and it’s neckline to fasten it together.

“How does that feel? Tight enough?”

“Suffocating, but okay.”

“This should be an easy recon mission. You have weapons inside of your bag in case things get dangerous. We know little to nothing about these people. Glitch ecosystems and societies can get weird, so be ready for anything.”

“Yeah, yeah. Glitches are dangerous, I know.”

“This isn’t a matter of prejudice. They have little to survive on in the Desert of Sinkholes, it’s amazing that they are able to make a society, It’s either a work of magic or extremely lucky that they have a sandstorm around them protecting them from sinkholes.”

“In storms I don’t have to worry about a portal opening under me?

“You should be fine. Ready to go?”

Petra dropped Kitty off in the desert, leaving her without a way out. It was ultimately the decision of DRU when she was allowed to return.

The wind howled violently across the black of the desert. As Petra suggested, anyone who walked near the storm was ripped to pieces in an instant. Turned into a honeycomb by the cruel elements of the desert. The sand bounced off of Kitty’s protective space-suit, eating away at the paint. She could only use the moonlight to guide her closer to her destination.

While the storm was effective on it’s own. It seemed lacking as Kitty trudged further. There were rumors that the storm was never ending, like the inside of the red eye on Jupiter. A blender that killed anybody who dared to walk closely. Kitty’s protective gear was being pelted with sand, but it wasn’t nearly the level she expected. She was prepared to be knocked off her feet and sent hurling into the depths of the storm. However, nothing of the sort ever happened, the storm simply got weaker and weaker as Kitty reached the middle. As the storm died, she saw a giant door come into sight. Her heart fluttered thinking about what Petra told her.

She was to stay as long as needed, it was DRU’s priority to gain the favor of Joji Prefecture because of their status as the most developed civilization in the post-lord world. It was the first civilization to survive for centuries. DRU knew nothing of their world from the outside. Kitty’s youth and powers made her a perfect candidate for the mission. If things went wrong and she lost her suit, her regeneration would’ve gotten her through the storm. Whether or not she was a mess of bone and hanging chunks of skin. She had only been allied with DRU for one year. Her lack of jadedness and intelligence made her a great leader of most missions over other, more volatile glitches. Which Kitty was not.

DRU only pulls two types of people into their business, glitches; those without dimensions and outcasts; those who are as good as dead in their original dimensions. Outcasts were seen as much more favorable in DRU’s world. Some even had somewhere to go to. Petra Sampson lives discreetly in her home dimension with a family and kids. To her, DRU is just a job.

It is the Dimension Regulation’s duty to protect dimensions, and to do it discreetly. Kitty was still torn on her place. Where she came from, she was pronounced dead and saved by DRU. Taken out of a world she hated, she was able to recreate herself. A new identity separate from the one she left behind.

She banged on the door. It’s metal clang echoing for miles and shouting into the barren desert. She stripped down from the uncomfortable gear she was forced to lug around. After minutes of waiting the ancient door slowly creaked open. Someone in a black plague mask poked his head out of the door. He stared blankly at Kitty, frozen in time.

“Greetings.” Kitty bowed. “I am a representative from the Dimension Regulation Unit. We have been watching over your people for many years. We want no fight, only safe travels to your home.”

She fell to her knees and rolled a wolf skin out for the timid plague mask before her. He seemed to disregard the offering. Only focusing on Kitty. She wore a DRU-issued windbreaker with an infinity symbol in it’s center. This wasn’t what he was focusing on. Her face, exposed, the short-shorts she wore exposed most of the skin on her legs. She saw the plague mask’s eyes light up through his mask. He practically picked Kitty up and pulled her inside. His hand wrapped around her arm.

He brought her across town, through a main street, past the artificial forest, to a large manor. In the darkness of civilization, this was the only building with dim lights on in its windows. There was a door almost the size of the entrance to Joji. It was built differently than other buildings. Instead of a brick-and mortar style, it was constructed with sturdy wood that was tinted a deep brownish-red color, going against the construction philosophy of all the other buildings standing around Kitty. The man in front of her knocked on the door. He still hadn’t spoken a single word. Like it was out of a creepy movie, the door slowly opened, only for there to be nobody behind it. The mask bowed and held his hand out, beckoning Kitty to enter the manor. With a small knife close to her hip, she moved in.

As she walked in, she felt the warmth of a fire creep into her nose and warm her legs. As she walked forward, she saw two figures standing in front of the fire, like they were waiting there for her. They each wore plague masks. One wore black and the other wore white. Their suits were similar to other plague masks, but their masks were more complex than others. Accented with specks of metal and gold. The man in black wore a fedora, while the woman in white had longer, daintier robes and a large hat with a white feather on top.

“You…Are a traveler from another world?” The man asked in a gravelly voice.

“You could say that. I am Kitty of the Dimension Regulation Unit. I only wish for peaceful entrance into your society. We have many goods we think would entice you.”

“There is time for that later!” The woman exclaimed “This is Aki-Su. I am Yu-Su. We come from the bloodline that founded Joji Prefecture. It has been decades since someone last visited us. Please, let us know of your travels, and stay here!”

While Yu-Su’s voice was grating to Kitty, she decided she had no other choice than to accept. It would be a bad idea to infuriate the leaders of the culture.

“I would love to!”

“Yu-Su, if she is going to be staying with us, shouldn’t she…put something on?”

“She doesn’t hail from our society. She doesn’t have our same values. It would be below us to force our beliefs on her. What would your grandpa do?”

“I am unsure. If it is your judgment, I trust it!”

“So…I don’t have to wear one of those plague masks?”

“No. We want everyone to know of your travels.”

Aki-So perked up “In a month we will throw a great party for you! Everyone in Joji will be invited. It should be just enough time for you to become acquainted with our rules.”

“And enough time for everyone to know of your great tales!”


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369 Reviews

Points: 75415
Reviews: 369

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Sun Jun 23, 2024 8:59 pm
RavenAkuma wrote a review...



Hello Again, My Friend!

It's me, Raven, and I'd like to review the next chapter in this great story using my Familiar method! Let's dive in, shall we? Heh heh heh...

What The Black Eyes See...

Awesome, a familiar character has entered the story, and she's discovered Joji for herself! I have to admit, I didn't expect things to go so smoothly, but I'm not complaining! Let's get into the details though.

Where The Dagger Points...

I didn't find anything to complain about! Good writing job ~

Why The Grin Widened...

Off the bat...

“Kitty Alua, Special Division One in training, reporting for duty!”


Ah, so this is where Kitty enters the story! How exciting to see the main character of Shattered Gravity make a return here! After seein all she's gone through in the first book, it's hard not to have a soft spot for her, haha.

“This should be an easy recon mission. You have weapons inside of your bag in case things get dangerous. We know little to nothing about these people. Glitch ecosystems and societies can get weird, so be ready for anything.”


“This isn’t a matter of prejudice. They have little to survive on in the Desert of Sinkholes, it’s amazing that they are able to make a society, It’s either a work of magic or extremely lucky that they have a sandstorm around them protecting them from sinkholes.”


Again, seeing the way people from/associated with DRU talk about glitches, it's hard not to question a lot of their motives and methods. Fine sentiments, maybe -sometimes unpredictable phenomena can turn dangerous, you don't want people playing god, think about dimensional stability, etcetera. But I mean..."glitches" are living beings!!

Also, reading this perspective on Fi's society and how it was formed, it's very interesting. No wonder there seemed to be a general sense of reclusiveness in the village, and no wonder Fi was so hesitant to leave! And the fact that they were able to make a society in a desert described in so many brutal ways does, indeed, make it seem more impressive.

I liked the excerpt about why Kitty was chosen for the mission, and her strengths at this point in time. They seem well in line with what we know about her!

DRU only pulls two types of people into their business, glitches; those without dimensions and outcasts; those who are as good as dead in their original dimensions. Outcasts were seen as much more favorable in DRU’s world. Some even had somewhere to go to. Petra Sampson lives discreetly in her home dimension with a family and kids.


Ooo, fascinating information about DRU's hiring process! Not just glitches, but perceived outcasts as well? Intriguing...

Okay...Odd actions from the one manning the door, but either way, Kitty got inside! I was very surprised by the (I'm assuming) nobles' reception of her, knowing their strict values;

“She doesn’t hail from our society. She doesn’t have our same values. It would be below us to force our beliefs on her. What would your grandpa do?”


Very understanding of her, even though Aki-So may not have been so keen on the idea. I thought it was interesting, knowing all the trouble Fi has gone through and learning about Joji's strict rules, that they would act this way to Kitty -an outsider.

Our Mad Thoughts...

Overall, that was a cool chapter, and I'm eager to see where this goes, so stay tuned for another review soon! In the meantime, nicely done! :D

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Wed Jun 19, 2024 2:23 am
KateHardy wrote a review...



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Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm Kate and I'm here to leave a quick review!!


First Impression

Well this was quite a little chapter. Kitty seems to be a very interesting character that I would dearly love to learn more of and we have our little bridge between the two sides this story has been taking so far.

Anyway let's get right to: Kate's Line by Line Reactions;

“Kitty Alua, Special Division One in training, reporting for duty!”

“Junk that title. It’s too long. We could assign you to any division. It’s all business from here on. Get your suit on and make sure you have your equipment.”

The woman was inside of an anti-contaminate airlock. She peered at the director of her mission, Petra through the foggy glass of the window. Who waited for her pensively. She had deep, brown eyes and blonde hair that she let hang down to her shoulders. She had a permanent sullen look etched onto her face.


Well looks like quite the experienced agent here as opposed to what we've seen up to now with three full on rookies running about and trying to get things done. This is sure to be quite intriguing.

Kitty pulled the pants of a space suit around her skinny legs. There was an inside liner that wrapped around her legs and then an outside layer that blew up like a balloon, it looked like she was caked in a thick layer of dough. As she pulled the rest of the suit on, she averted her eyes from her body. Staring up at the ceiling a

“Wolf skin…check…Sword…check.”

She shoved the wolf skin inside a backpack and finally put the space helmet over her face. She pressed a button with newly fat fingers to open the anti-contamination lock and waddled out and over to Petra. Who shot up from her seat and clicked buttons into place between the space helmet and it’s neckline to fasten it together.


Oooh well looks like she's got quite the kit to get out there and do her stuff with and she's really pulling it together here in the moment. You can immediately tell how experienced she is and how much more she knows about all of this equipment too, a nice contrast to earlier when they were being taught what each thing was.

“How does that feel? Tight enough?”

“Suffocating, but okay.”

“This should be an easy recon mission. You have weapons inside of your bag in case things get dangerous. We know little to nothing about these people. Glitch ecosystems and societies can get weird, so be ready for anything.”


Well we definitely no how weird those ecosystems can get sometimes from everything we've seen so far and Kitty here seems to be geared up quite a bit to go ahead and explore this particular one.

“Yeah, yeah. Glitches are dangerous, I know.”

“This isn’t a matter of prejudice. They have little to survive on in the Desert of Sinkholes, it’s amazing that they are able to make a society, It’s either a work of magic or extremely lucky that they have a sandstorm around them protecting them from sinkholes.”

“In storms I don’t have to worry about a portal opening under me?


Well this is interesting. I'm pretty sure that connects back to what we saw at the start with that society so you can see why it has its quirks the way it does but also this stroke of luck that has allowed it to survive in this money.

“You should be fine. Ready to go?”

Petra dropped Kitty off in the desert, leaving her without a way out. It was ultimately the decision of DRU when she was allowed to return.

The wind howled violently across the black of the desert. As Petra suggested, anyone who walked near the storm was ripped to pieces in an instant. Turned into a honeycomb by the cruel elements of the desert. The sand bounced off of Kitty’s protective space-suit, eating away at the paint. She could only use the moonlight to guide her closer to her destination.


Oooh well looks like this is quite the mission here, setting out on your own, unable to really even know when to return, its starting to feel like maybe its a bit more than a "simple" recon mission from the looks of things as they start out.

While the storm was effective on it’s own. It seemed lacking as Kitty trudged further. There were rumors that the storm was never ending, like the inside of the red eye on Jupiter. A blender that killed anybody who dared to walk closely. Kitty’s protective gear was being pelted with sand, but it wasn’t nearly the level she expected. She was prepared to be knocked off her feet and sent hurling into the depths of the storm. However, nothing of the sort ever happened, the storm simply got weaker and weaker as Kitty reached the middle. As the storm died, she saw a giant door come into sight. Her heart fluttered thinking about what Petra told her.


Well looks like this little outfit was very much needed and actually quite durable against it, which suggests that it was maybe a little overkill which in turn suggests they've seen even worse things in the time of the agencies existence.

She was to stay as long as needed, it was DRU’s priority to gain the favor of Joji Prefecture because of their status as the most developed civilization in the post-lord world. It was the first civilization to survive for centuries. DRU knew nothing of their world from the outside. Kitty’s youth and powers made her a perfect candidate for the mission. If things went wrong and she lost her suit, her regeneration would’ve gotten her through the storm. Whether or not she was a mess of bone and hanging chunks of skin. She had only been allied with DRU for one year. Her lack of jadedness and intelligence made her a great leader of most missions over other, more volatile glitches. Which Kitty was not.


Ooh well that's interesting. She was giving off that I've been doing this for ten years vibe but it seems that is just literally how she is. That has gotta be one very interesting backstory there.

DRU only pulls two types of people into their business, glitches; those without dimensions and outcasts; those who are as good as dead in their original dimensions. Outcasts were seen as much more favorable in DRU’s world. Some even had somewhere to go to. Petra Sampson lives discreetly in her home dimension with a family and kids. To her, DRU is just a job.

It is the Dimension Regulation’s duty to protect dimensions, and to do it discreetly. Kitty was still torn on her place. Where she came from, she was pronounced dead and saved by DRU. Taken out of a world she hated, she was able to recreate herself. A new identity separate from the one she left behind.


Hmm a little infodumpy. I feel like that was not as smooth as it could've been. Since we're focusing so much on Kitty it takes away a little bit to randomly tell us about how the DRU operates now that we're already here. If this was maybe while she was getting ready, it would fit in a little better. That being said this little lore drop is very exciting to here. I'm really liking the worldbuilding here.

She banged on the door. It’s metal clang echoing for miles and shouting into the barren desert. She stripped down from the uncomfortable gear she was forced to lug around. After minutes of waiting the ancient door slowly creaked open. Someone in a black plague mask poked his head out of the door. He stared blankly at Kitty, frozen in time.

“Greetings.” Kitty bowed. “I am a representative from the Dimension Regulation Unit. We have been watching over your people for many years. We want no fight, only safe travels to your home.”


Well this is interesting, a diplomatic request to enter the city. I wonder what that's about. Given how it was starting I was getting more undercover vibes than this more sort of diplomatic sort of approach. We'll see where this takes us from here.

She fell to her knees and rolled a wolf skin out for the timid plague mask before her. He seemed to disregard the offering. Only focusing on Kitty. She wore a DRU-issued windbreaker with an infinity symbol in it’s center. This wasn’t what he was focusing on. Her face, exposed, the short-shorts she wore exposed most of the skin on her legs. She saw the plague mask’s eyes light up through his mask. He practically picked Kitty up and pulled her inside. His hand wrapped around her arm.


Ooh I did not like that gaze one bit I suppose it is at least going to get Kitty into this without any actual fight having to break out so as uncomfortable as it happens to be, it is a win for the moment.

He brought her across town, through a main street, past the artificial forest, to a large manor. In the darkness of civilization, this was the only building with dim lights on in its windows. There was a door almost the size of the entrance to Joji. It was built differently than other buildings. Instead of a brick-and mortar style, it was constructed with sturdy wood that was tinted a deep brownish-red color, going against the construction philosophy of all the other buildings standing around Kitty. The man in front of her knocked on the door. He still hadn’t spoken a single word. Like it was out of a creepy movie, the door slowly opened, only for there to be nobody behind it. The mask bowed and held his hand out, beckoning Kitty to enter the manor. With a small knife close to her hip, she moved in.


Well this very much appears to be quite terrifying and creepy at the same time although there is also a nice sense of grandness and scale amidst it too. Glad to see that Kitty is ready to defend herself against any kind of unwanted advance in this horror show.

As she walked in, she felt the warmth of a fire creep into her nose and warm her legs. As she walked forward, she saw two figures standing in front of the fire, like they were waiting there for her. They each wore plague masks. One wore black and the other wore white. Their suits were similar to other plague masks, but their masks were more complex than others. Accented with specks of metal and gold. The man in black wore a fedora, while the woman in white had longer, daintier robes and a large hat with a white feather on top.

“You…Are a traveler from another world?” The man asked in a gravelly voice.

“You could say that. I am Kitty of the Dimension Regulation Unit. I only wish for peaceful entrance into your society. We have many goods we think would entice you.”


Well looks like they're mostly excited for someone from another dimension and aren't exactly scrambling to do any sort of harm, although the attitudes they display might be a result of a few other factors that could end up getting awkward to say the least.

“There is time for that later!” The woman exclaimed “This is Aki-Su. I am Yu-Su. We come from the bloodline that founded Joji Prefecture. It has been decades since someone last visited us. Please, let us know of your travels, and stay here!”

While Yu-Su’s voice was grating to Kitty, she decided she had no other choice than to accept. It would be a bad idea to infuriate the leaders of the culture.

“I would love to!”


Well looks like Kitty is just as uncomfortable as we happen to be, only she really must find a way to get into this culture so she can't afford to just say no and rest easy, but needs to find a way to get a full in with this culture.

“Yu-Su, if she is going to be staying with us, shouldn’t she…put something on?”

“She doesn’t hail from our society. She doesn’t have our same values. It would be below us to force our beliefs on her. What would your grandpa do?”

“I am unsure. If it is your judgment, I trust it!”

“So…I don’t have to wear one of those plague masks?”

“No. We want everyone to know of your travels.”

Aki-So perked up “In a month we will throw a great party for you! Everyone in Joji will be invited. It should be just enough time for you to become acquainted with our rules.”

“And enough time for everyone to know of your great tales!”


Well that looks positively horrifying for Kitty but it does look like she also has no way of escaping that, at least not if she wants to continue to glean information from here and be useful to her agency. Quite the ending point there I think, the most terrifying non terrifying ending that.

Aaand that's it for this oneee!!!

Overall

Overall it looks like a decently successful entry into this little dimension here whether questionable or not. Looking forward to seeing where this goes in that next chapter here.

As always remember to: Take what you think was helpful and forget the rest!

Stay Safe and Have a Nice Day!
Kate


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goodolnoah says...


I was a little worried things would get info-dumpy in some chapters of this story%u2026I think some pieces would%u2019ve been better-suited in other places.

Anywho, now for the shameless plug! The first story I posted here (Shattered Gravity) actually features Kitty as the main character. Timeline-wise, it takes place after this, but it delves into her backstory. Plugs aside, I hope you like her introduction here!



KateHardy says...


Ooooh I thought I recognized that name from somewhere xD I did like her introduction :) I'll give that read when I find some time!




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