“Be right there!” Kenny shouted as he heard the chime of the doorbell, indicating that someone had entered his shop. The upper middle aged man put down the clock he had been fixing before walking towards the front counter. What he saw caused his jaws to drop as he stared at the beauty of the hourglass woman in front of him. He recognized her instantly, after all what clock maker wouldn’t.
“Kenny Schuit,” Lady Lavini said with gravitas in her melodious voice. “We have a quest for you.” Up close, the hourglass priestess’ beauty left him almost speechless. It didn’t help that she was soon joined by two other priestesses and seeing the three side by side up close was a surreal sight. There was Akita, whose tight body suit left little to the imagination, even if the lit up numbers were bit disconcerting. Then there was Bridget, the metallic ballerina priestess who moved like a clockwork doll, yet still graceful as any dancer. He often had wondered how their bodies worked. What DID the boobs... err… numbers in Akita’s chest even mean? And why did Bridget’s cog skirt spin around her booty… er.. body?
“Ahem,” Kenny coughed as he averted his eyes after realizing he had been staring. He then gave the assembled priestesses a courteous bow.
“It... would be an honor to take a quest for you, Lady Bridget, Lady Akita, Lady Lavini. Though... might I ask, why me? I’m well past the age of adventuring and while I am a skilled clockmaker, there are definitely better,” Kenny said honestly. Having retired from adventuring after taking a cursed arrow to the knee, he feared that he would be of little help. While he still had a decent upper body strength, his flabby waistline and the graying highlights of his mostly bald head had seen better days. His skills as a clocksmith were good but even after almost two decades of the trade, he still did not consider himself a master.
“That DLC you carry is an EverLast,” Bridget said, moving forwards and pointing at something that hung at the man’s waist.
“An Ever what?” Kenny asked, puzzled as he pulled out the white metallic trinket. It was a pocket watch and though he knew that it was a Divine Level Creation, he didn’t know much about it. He had gotten the item years ago when he wore a younger man’s clothes on his last quest, the one that had injured his knee. No matter how he much fiddled or worked with it though, it had done nothing special other than tell time.
“EverLasts are unique in that they will only progress through spacetime at a specific linear rate,” Akita said. Kenny just stared dumbfounded as he tried to figure out what her words meant. The time elemental just chuckled for a moment before continuing.
“Basically, that watch makes itself and its bearer immune to spatial, temporal, and dimensional spells and effects.” Akita explained.
“Huh… Is that so?” Kenny said, quite surprised at the straightforward explanation of what it did. If it was true, then it likely made this DLC an invaluable, priceless artifact. The old man paused to look at the watch in greater detail. How had he worn this for years, not knowing that he was carrying a fortune with him? The simple silver border still shined like when had first got it as the hands ticked ever onwards. Come to think of it, the watch never needed tuning as it had always been right on time. He had simply attributed this to the craftsmanship of the original creator.
“Well... You can borrow it if you’d like,” he finally said. He figured that it wasn’t really him that they needed. They just needed his DLC and its capabilities.
“No, Sir Kenny the DLC belongs to you, as does the Quest itself,” Lady Lavini said. “While we would like to do it ourselves due to the dangers involved, our seeress Rilla identified the quest as something only you can complete.” She then retrieved a quest scroll from the folds of her dress and placed it down on the counter.
“Also, our nature doesn’t allow us to wield an EverLast.” Akita said with a sad smirk.
“Ah, of course… time elementals,” Kenny said feeling embarrassed for not realizing that sooner. Being elementals of time, this EverLast would be like their opposite, effectively being their Kryptonite. He looked down at the quest scroll and after a few more moments of hesitation, he sighed and picked it up.
“So what is this quest?” he asked.
“It has something to do with a certain dungeon you should be familiar with, the restoration of the Chronis Clock.” Bridget said with a melancholic tone in her voice as she stared out the window.
Dear Journal, Day 1
I usually don’t bother with journals. However, the priestesses insisted on it. Due to the nature of the issue at hand, the malfunction in the Chronis Clock is causing space and time in there to be quite ‘chaotic’. So much so that they fear that I will not be able to leave until it’s fixed. As such, the priestess Bridget handed me this enchanted journal to keep track of the days since the EverLast only keeps track of 12 hours like any normal clock. It also functions as a sort of companion in there. To be honest, I don’t think I will ever come back out again. After all, this is the very dungeon where I got crippled all those years ago. My knee, or lack of one, aches just thinking about when the arrow pierced it. The curse had accelerated the aging of the ligament to the point that it no longer existed. Despite visits to various temples, there was little that the priests could do about the damage since it was still considered ‘natural’.
This trap happened in the general cave system, I never even made it to the temple last time but here I am now over a decade later. I guess I should I count myself lucky that I didn’t, it turns out that the entire Caverns of Chronis system are affected by the malfunction of this ancient clock. I can see dimensional rifts forming and closing even from the outside. The priestesses seem to think that it’s all within tolerable levels of danger to the outside world. The real danger lies within the central tower of this temple and I fear for what I will encounter inside... or what would happen if this gets any worse.
I can hear Bridget calling for me now. I’m really going in… wish me luck.
Dear Journal, Day 2
As the priestesses unsealed the entryway to the interior of the central tower, I could see why it was a danger even to them. It was as if a spatial anomaly and a temporal rift had slammed into each other, creating some kind of infinite, twisting mobius of dimensions. Most of them look completely alien to me. That door was as far as they could accompany me, but the priestesses reassured me that the interior would have safe zones, including advanced food and water processing machines. Entering was, quite frankly, terrifying. Fortunately, the EverLast worked as promised and I remained untouched by the tearing of time and space, even as the anomalies careened off and through my face. There is just one annoying issue with the EverLast: apparently it has to be touching my skin for it to grant me this immunity. Carrying it in my hand ensures that it doesn’t accidentally leave my skin, but it will be wildly inefficient if I am to use tools to fix this clock.
Thankfully, it was easy enough to find the various safe zones in each sector. Not all of them were visible, but the watch seems to tingle whenever one of them is near. I must admit, I never expected this place to be so huge. It’s only the interior of a clock tower, but it has sections for almost everything. Bathes, cafeterias, beds… this was likely the quarters of the higher clergy, in addition to being the mechanical insides of the Chronis Clock. I’ll need to do a more indepth search later as there’s honestly too much to see.
The dining modules, while ancient, are still far beyond current technomancy. They dispense these flavoured energy cubes. They are tasty enough, but they are literally as hard as rock. I feel like I’ll break all of my teeth before this job is done if they are all I get to eat in here. For now, it is time for sleep. There is much work to be done in order to analyze the issue.
Dear Journal, Day 3
Exploring the gigantic clock tower, I actually found other people! Only… they aren’t exactly people I can interact with since they are all temporally trapped. Likely, they were looters or adventures that stumbled into the wrong part of the caverns. Their mistakes are still haunting them to this day and if I didn’t have this EverLast, I could have been one of them. I kind of count my encounter with the cursed arrow a blessing now. I’ve found four of them in total. I thought I could maybe free them by having them touch my EverLast but it does not seem to free those already trapped.
First, there’s the faller. The man seems to be stuck in an eternal time loop that takes roughly two to ten minutes, depending on the temporal flow. He falls from somewhere near the top of the tower, a place I’ve yet to find a path towards, all the way down to the base of the tower. Then, right before he hits the floor, the flow of time reverses for him and he just shoots all the way back up again. Then the loop just starts over again. Though the speed at which he falls seems to vary, his shout of terror as he falls is unnerving nonetheless. It’s quite possible that he fell through the roof as he was exploring. Poor fellow.
Second, there’s the frozen one. I found him near the door of the workshop, completely frozen in time. I can only imagine how long he’s been here for with that surprised look on this face. Whatever anomaly he encountered, it caught him completely off guard. It seems that the time stop only affected the man himself rather than his possessions as the tatters of the man’s clothes were covered with a thick layer of dust but he himself wasn’t. Just the act of brushing off the dust caused his clothes to fall apart, much to my embarrassment. I’ve since covered him with one of the blankets I found in the sleeping area just so I wouldn’t have to walk past a naked man constantly. I guess it’s also the most decent thing I can do for him. Not that he is able to notice any of it.
Third, there’s the ager. This man seems to be stuck in a time bubble of sorts near the bathrooms. One moment he’d be my age, the next he’ll be an ancient fossil and the moment after that, he’s a newborn baby. He seems to be semi conscious of his situation as unlike the others he does react to my presence but his mind is all sorts of broken since all he does is speak in baby talk no matter what his current age is.
Lastly, there’s the teleporter. Given his robe like clothing this man was likely a mage that tried to bypass the temporal rifts using magic. Given his partially formed body transitioning between various states of digitization though, that clearly didn’t work out as he intended. I’ve found pieces of him flicking back and forth between the various technomancy stations that maintain the tower’s energy and communications flow.
Still, despite these horrors, I have made decent progress on mapping the design of the clock. Many of the original maps still exist, built into the walls themselves thankfully.
Dear Journal, Day 4
Today was both a terrible and an amazing day.
First, the bad news. While bathing, a large temporal eddy formed throughout the tower. The good thing is that I still had the EverLast close at hand so I was unharmed. The bad thing is that my stuff wasn’t so lucky. My clothes, tools, blueprints and other gear all aged to dust in an instant. All I have left now is the EverLast and this journal. This was an unfortunate setback much to my dismay, but luckily, good news was right around the corner. This time storm has revealed several chests throughout the dorms and maintenance sheds of the tower. I searched through them and found several technomancy artifacts that should be perfect for the job at hand.
The first major one was an antenna of sorts. It looks a bit frilly but it apparently it’s supposed to allow me to mentally connect to the digital controls of the clock tower. If I understand it correctly, it’s supposed to take several days of wearing it before it can attuned me to the network. As I said earlier, it also looks a bit frilly and elegant, but at least I can cover my balding head with it. The lack of other people also means I don’t have to feel embarrassed about wearing it. Next, I found an apron. This one, too, was frilly. Much frillier than the aprons I’d usually wear. However, it appears to have been designed with the EverLast DLC in mind since there’s a circular indent in the middle to hold the watch. Apparently it’s designed as such because it is more effective there at preventing the anomalous effects. Lastly, there’s a pair of multiform gloves. When unequipped, they look like generic, white, shoulder length gloves made of some synthetic, metallic material. Once worn though, they allow me to utilize various tools embedded in them. These include screwdrivers, scissors, knives, lights, and even blowtorches. I will experiment more with them tomorrow, but if they indeed work as described, they will accelerate the repairs exponentially. Also, given how large this tower is, it’s possible that there are other chests with gear inside. It makes me giddy with excitement to think what could be in them since many of these are lost technologies.
Dear Journal, Day 7 Minute 1080
I’ve decided that including the minute of writing these logs should be a more effective at monitoring when they were created, in case further alterations are to be made. I’ve been so engrossed with my work here that I kind of forgot to write in it for a few days. I must say, these gloves are a miracle! It took a little bit of getting used to working with them but with them on, I can work a hundred times faster than normal! My arms feel like they have slimmed down, though I believe that’s because the gloves are compressing them into more effective nodules so I can’t really complain. The apron has been comfortable enough, though I believe there are supposed to be additional layers. I must say, the EverLast’s metallic touch against my stomach has been a very soothing sensation. The antenna headset has an unfortunate issue though. I found that it apparently utilizes hair as its main communication array method. I despaired and thought that it made the device useless to me, but it actually seems to stimulate hair growth. It’s currently still short and fuzzy, but that’s okay. The very fact that my hair has regrown at all is wonderful. Oh, how I’ve missed it.
Dear Journal, Day 10 Minute 1400
The headpiece has been augmenting and improving my sensor parameters. I can see everything so clearly now. It feels like I’ve been so blind all my life… Come to think of it, I can feel myself improving so much these past few days in general. It’s making it much easier to work on this project with my enhanced features.
I’ve found that bathing in pure oil feels so smooth and nice, though it does have some side effects. For instance, I found that it caused my body hair to be removed, but I honestly think it looks better that way. I don’t think I can go back to just using water anymore.
Speaking of hair, it has grown well over 2 inches now and it’s harder than I remember it being. It is also multicoloured which actually looks rather cute. I’ve been taking the time to take care of it now after all absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Also, on a random side note, the flavoured energy cubes have been tasting better and better. They have also become much easier to chew. It has still caused my teeth to chip, but it actually feels good, rather than it hurting me. Maybe I’m just over thinking it though.
A last point of interest is that I’ve come to realize that the lack of toilets here was likely intentional since this energy cube diet leaves no waste.
Anyways, I’ve been working day and night and I feel like I’m making quite some progress.
Journal, Day 14 Minute 900 (edited 1400)
My system upgrade to the Communication network has been completed.
At 15 centimeters, the hair in my new bob style is not long enough to interfere with repair modules, but it is long and varied enough to connect to the Clock nodules at a moderate range.
More importantly, my hair is perfectly aligned and attractive to my senses.
I will attempt to interact with the interface of the local Clock terminal.
~Edit: Successful interaction with terminal interface achieved.
Cache of additional artifacts has been found. System analysis shows that they are multiform shoes and various other protective accouterments.
I will retrieve and give a more in depth review on the hardware installation tomorrow as a system rest cycle is impertinent.
System Log, Day 15 Minute 1080 (re-edit 1300)
Major upgrade complete.
External paper journal has been converted to internal system log.
~Edit 1300: My initial conclusion that the leggings don’t do anything was incorrect. Upon further inspection, the leggings were designed as a shock absorption unit to protect my legs from the larger impact zones that the shoe drivers worked with.
It wasn’t obvious at first but my knee injury was repaired during the semi painful high compression phase where my leggings synchronized with the black multiform shoes.
The shoes themselves are designed perfectly. The sleek, metallic, heeled shoes were uncomfortable for brief moment as the heels fused into the neural cortex but since then, there have been no further performance deficiencies. They allow for enhanced traveling speed and allow for an increased energy usage efficiency, thanks to the increased rotary range.
Furnace corsage successfully linked with the apron set. The excess midriff bulk has been converted into additional energy reserves. EverLast DLC successfully integrated into center port. All systems now linked to it and operational. This will permanently harden all systems against temporal and spatial interference.
Skirt shielding and aeration systems successfully installed. Pending usage depends on repair furnace activation. Aesthetically, they are extremely pleasing to the eye according to this unit’s visual and physical sensors.
Estimated system efficiency after optimization is over 50%.
Current Clock Repair ETA is 140000 minutes.
System Log, Day 18 Minute 1080
System Designation ‘Kenny’, upon review, seems unsatisfactory to this unit and has been harming mental system stability. Alternative designations identified in internal database records. This unit has come to like designation ‘Kaidyn’. Emotional sensors describe it as being aesthetically cute.
Unit ID has now been formally changed to designation Kaidyn. Deleting unnecessary memory files.
~Warning: Unit owner field empty.
Primary owner identified as ‘Akita’. Additional owners identified as ‘Bridget’, ‘Lavini’, and ‘Zexa Xeza’. Owners defined as mistresses.
Unit Kaidyn wonders if mistresses will find harem.exe acceptable.
System Log, Day 21 Minute 1080
Additional artifact cache found near upper terrace by unit Faller starting point. All scans indicate unit means of entering damaged exterior clock face frame. Trajectory analysis identified artifact cache as unit target. Temporal flux suspected of hindering unit’s trajectory mid-jump, causing resulting looped fall.
Artifact designation ‘Bio Bodice’ found and installed. Final attachment in upper body links multi-gloves directly to furnace systems. Bio Bodice appears designed to provide easy access cover for fuselage systems and visual pleasure.
Against system suggestion, unit Kaidyn activated largest bio system possible under current specifications, as is unit’s right.
Work optimization lowered by latest additional feature installments. System balancing engaged.
~ERROR: Furnace system not compatible with current bio system specifications. Further updating required. Clock restoration ETA increased by 10.000 minutes.
Unit Kaidyn’s personal attraction coefficient increased exponentially. Delay therefore considered appropriate.
System Log, Quest Minute 41240
Artifact designation ‘Spark Plug’ found.
Upon restoration of additional Clock systems, temporal rift affecting unit ‘Frozen one’ loosened marginally. Unit no longer completely temporally adrift.
~Warning: Target level of functioning still minimal. Unit’s inner clock estimated to run at 1 tick for every 10.000~100.000 ticks of unit Kaidyn’s EverLast. Interaction level minimal.
Unit Frozen One had spark-plug hardware installed. Sanitization required before installation. Sanitization protocol engaged.
~Update: Plug installed in former drainage System. Previous software deleted as its functions are depreciated. Peak input of pleasure systems reached upon completion of task. Unit posterior portions upgraded to allow for maximized spark ignition values. Reasons administered to system requirement ‘cuteness’.
Other units predicted to hold additional data on additional artifacts to current set.
~Update: Side Quest ‘Frozen One’ created and updated.
~TODO: Additional Quest lines ‘Faller’, ‘Ager’, and ‘Teleporter’ created.
System Log, Quest Minute 51000
Side quest ‘Ager’ resolved. See system quest log minutes 44000-49000 for further details.
Half of starter unit recovered.
~Warning: Install unit ‘Key’ is much longer, thicker, and harder than initially anticipated. Attempted oral installations failed.
Database estimates original method of installation to be only option.
Unit Kaidyn currently does not have prerequisite requirements to install. Further analysis shows separate system unit upgrade required with parameters ‘female’ or ‘unisex’.
Currently calculating performance alterations based on different upgrade paths.
System Log, Quest Minute 63636
Side quest ‘Faller’ resolved. See system quest log minutes 44000-49000 for further details.
No additional information was found. Nothing to report.
System Log, Quest Minute 79222
Side quest ‘Frozen One’ resolved. See system quest log minutes 70000-78000 for further details.
Additional information on spark plug usages found.
System Log, Quest Minute 91234
Side quest ‘Teleporter’ resolved. See system quest log minutes 80000-90000 for further details.
Final half of starter artifact retrieved.
Starter control mechanism successfully downloaded and integrated directly into neural network.
~ERROR: Furnace systems faltered after several false starts.
Unit Kaidyn shamefully admits it was unable to control happiness coefficients during key activation sequences.
Further practice with starter unit required.
System Log, Quest Minute 99000
Cleansing Furnace system was successfully activated.
Unit Kaidyn understands its true form.
Unit Kaidyn understands its true purpose.
All praise Now.
All praise Alinavious.
ETA time to clock restoration: 1000 minutes.
“It’s been 2 months, one week, one day, and 10 hours and 39 minutes now,” Bridget said. “Ah, I really wish we could go in ourselves.”
“Relaaax, my Terabyte,” Akita chuckled. “I built Kaidyn to last. She’ll succeed.”
“I hope you’re right,” Bridget sighed. They were sitting upon the steps of the Chronis Caves, waiting for their minute maid to return. They and the other priestesses had come here every single day just to check in. Just then, they could see something happening to the last of the temporal rifts: it closed! The two smiled at each-other as the ‘cave system’ finally reformed into just one cave and one temple.
What they did not expect, however, were the four additional faces accompanying Kaidyn or that the Furnace Minute Maids quest reward would be so lewd.