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Engineers by khronosabre
This one was fun cuz I haven't drawn Richelle in a million years. She sort of appeared on the ship in part 1 and then blended into the background because there just wasn't space for her. It's unfortunate though, because she's an interesting character. We never really did delve into why she wanted to leave Paraven so badly. I guess we'll never know.

Or will we?

Anyway, I pretty much redesigned her face. She was kinda bland before. Now she's a lot more pointy. Though Fiearius must have been reeeally drunk cuz her face looks nothing like Leta's :P

Caelum Lex: A Sci-Fi Web Serial. Action, adventure, romance and rowdy space pirates.
Quake by khronosabre
I really liked this arc. I won't say what happens in case you haven't read it, but it's a good arc I think. Lots of stuff happens. Lots of bad stuff to Corra in particular, poor thing. She has pretty much the worst day in the history of days.

Corra's always been my favorite to draw. I think because the way I designed her, she has a very expressive face, moreso than any of the others. She has a kind of preserved youthfulness that lets me give her more of a range of emotion. She wears her heart on her sleeve and doesn't try to hide it. Or...she did anyway. Her part 3 design hasn't been revealed yet, but it's been a change, that's for sure.

Caelum Lex: A Sci-Fi Web Serial. Action, adventure, romance and rowdy space pirates.

For a moment, Fiearius thought he'd gone back in time, the scene was so terribly familiar: he was slouched on a dirty exam bench in the Dionysian's infirmary, scowling, while Leta wrapped a bandage around his shoulder. Like so many times before, he was at the mercy of this woman's expertise as she held stinging medicinal gauze against the burns on his skin. It was just like the old days - with a few startling differences in company.

On his other side stood Javier, a tablet in his hands as he rattled messages Fiearius had received while he'd been ashore. Apparently, there were a lot of them.

"Captain Lorren has invited you to his husband's charity event," Javier was saying.

"Ignore," muttered Fiearius.

"Niall Torrenz wants more money for-"


"Quin sent a report on the-"

"Save for later-ow." He shot Leta a glare as she squeezed some gel onto his arm.

"Quit squirming, I'm almost done," she scolded, ripping a bandage in two.

On the other side of the infirmary, Dez was pacing the floor impatiently. Unfortunately, Ren's little outburst had had the exact effect Fiearius had predicted.

"You can't go after the Councillors without me, Fiearius," Dez said, for perhaps the tenth time since he'd followed them back to the Dionysian.

"I can," said Fiearius simply.

"The Paravian News Network wants a statement on-"


"Not successfully," Dez went on. "You're a half-baked assassin at best, you really think you can pull this off alone?"

Fiearius' eyes narrowed at him, but he didn't justify the slight with an answer.

"Lieutenant Garrow wants to know when you'll be on the CORS next," said Javier.

"Hell if I know," Fiearius muttered. To Dez, he said, "I can pull it off alone and I will pull it off alone. You can't be involved in this. No way."

"I have to be, Fiearius," argued Dez, taking a few steps towards him. "We were made for this moment. They made us for this moment. Think about all the jobs we pulled together. All the people we've ended together. We have to finish it together. It's-" Dez frowned, searching for the words. "Poetic."

Fiearius was sure he'd heard that incorrectly. He stared, one brow raised. Even Leta stopped what she was doing to glance at him incredulously. Awkward silence filled the room, and then Javier said, "Admiral Gates' assistant would like to have a call for your request about Leta's apartment."

"Ignore," Fiearius said at once, but he cracked a grin when Leta's jaw dropped. "I'm kidding, I'm kidding, schedule it."

"Fiearius, you know I've been hunting for clues about the Councillors for years. This plan was mine. I need to see it through just as much as you do," Dez said matter-of-factly.

"It wasn't just your plan," Fiearius insisted. "We've all known it would have to come to this eventually. But Dez, you know I can't work with you in public."

"Good thing it's not a public operation."

Fiearius shook his head. "It will be once it happens. You can't be involved, I'm serious. I need to do this without you."

"Because you're loyal to Carthis," Dez put in, snarling with bitterness.

Fiearius groaned. "I'm loyal to myself and to my own. But the fact remains that Carthis is taking the brunt of this war on their shoulders and I need them on my side. And you," he pointed to Dez, "are going to get in the way of that."

Dez fixed him with a sharp stare, his arms crossed over his chest, but he said nothing more. Fiearius was sure this argument wasn't over. Dez was hardly the kind of man who backed down when he wanted something. But suddenly he felt a sharp pain shoot through his arm, heard himself yell "Shit!", and he forgot about Desophyles entirely.

"What the hell was that?" he demanded of Leta who was holding a spent needle and gazing back at him innocently under her eyelashes.

"Nothing," she said. "Just something my team was working on back on Vescent. Something to keep you alive. Don't worry about it."

Before he could ask what Leta was looking so pleased about, the door swung open and Ren stepped inside, his hand still on the door knob as he scanned the room, his expression blank.

After the conversation they'd had right before the man's home burned to the ground, Fiearius wouldn't have been all that surprised if Ren had just disappeared. Sure, he'd said that he would help, but he definitely didn't sound very happy about it so when he'd lagged behind to help his neighbors and relay Fiearius' offer to join one of the many refugee camps popping up around the Span, Fiearius half-expected him to bolt.

But there he was, in the doorway, blinking back at their expectant faces.

"They're gonna be okay. One of them has a ship large enough to carry them to the Orcion camp. They're heading out in a few hours."

Fiearius thought he felt Leta tense beside him, but perhaps it was his imagination. "And you-you're not going with them? You're coming with us?" she asked, half-smirking, half-wincing at Ren. "Are you okay with that?"

"I should have known it would come to this at some point," said Ren, letting his hand fall from the door as he entered the room. "That research could never be buried forever. I guess now's the time to dig it up."

"Hang on," said Fiearius suddenly, his eyes narrowing in confusion. "I thought you said you had no idea where it was?" He glanced at Leta who frowned at him curiously. "That your journals were long gone."

"Of course I said that," Ren answered simply. "I wanted you to leave."

Fiearius felt a sharp spike of irritation and a strong urge to cross the room and sucker punch the guy in the face.

He resisted.

"I hid them before I was arrested," Ren went on. "It's possible that the Society dug them up, but...I doubt it. If you honestly think it will end this war, I'll lead you to them." His tone suddenly got very serious. "But that's all I'm doing. After that, I want no part in any of this."

"It would be safer and easier if you help," she said, softening. "We'll never be able to understand what's written there without you. I kept a few of your old journals, and the codes are so complex - even Cyrus couldn't decipher them."

Not particularly in the mood to hear how genius Ren was - especially from Leta - Fiearius grunted, "It's fine. Just get us the journals, we'll handle the rest." Leta opened her mouth to protest, but Fiearius caught her stare and shook his head. The last thing they needed was another ARC-induced outburst.

She asked Ren, "Where did you hide them then?"

"Remember that old library we used to study in?"

Fiearius wished he hadn't noticed the pink flush in Leta's face.

"Of course. You hid them there? But that place is huge, where-"

"Where do you think?"

They paused, and the deep blush in Leta's neck was impossible to ignore.

"I was sort of hoping one day you'd find them," he said quietly.

Finally, Fiearius decided he couldn't take much more of this exchange. He pushed himself to his feet. "Well," he muttered, looking around at them all. "Back to Vescent then."

Seconds after the Beacon's ramp lowered to touch ground in the vast, dusty hangar of the Conduit - the old abandoned ship that now acted as a homebase for freed allies - Finn was stalking down it, face clouded in determination. Without hesitation he started to the main doors where the guards were already watching him with curiosity. The Conduit didn't particularly like visitors, but Finn had no choice but to invite himself inside: if anyone knew where Corra was, it was the Conduit's leader and Corra's mother-like figure from her own enslavement, Raisa. He was sure of it.

Of course, he'd asked Raisa before. When he realized his co-captain had disappeared without a trace, Raisa was among the first people he'd called. If Corra wasn't with Leta on Vescent and she wasn't on the Dionysian with Cyrus, she most certainly had fled to the Conduit to offer her help. It was the obvious choice. Raisa, however, had been less than accommodating, informing him that she was not at liberty to discuss Conduit members with outsiders. The matter, since, was dropped.

But this time would be different. This time she would answer.

Footsteps followed him down the ramp. Finn spared a glance over his shoulder and was surprised to see Cai starting after him, eyeing him uncertainly. Daelen and Alyx were nowhere in sight. Hell, he hadn't even seen Alyx in days. Finn knew he was being reckless, potentially careless, but he didn't care - not when he was this close to having answers. He had to know how Corra had found Callahan. How she'd killed him. What she'd been up to. And why she'd left when he needed help the most.

The armed guards flanking the door eyed him as he approached. One of them nodded at Finn and asked, "Hello. Your ally ID?"

But then he glanced at Finn's right ear and noticed that it was fully intact - absent the cut that signified enslavement. The man set his jaw with suspicion. "Who're you? What can we help you with?"

"Finnegan Riley. I need to speak with Raisa."

The two guards exchanged bemused glances.

"Sorry sir, outsiders need prior approval to enter the facilities."

Finn bristled with irritation. The Beacon must have still been in the Conduit's approved-for-docking list. Apparently, that didn't extend to its captain. "I have approval and I need to talk to her," he lied simply, but neither of them seemed to buy it.

Cai, who had been hovering behind Finn, finally stepped forward. "It's concerning an ally who may be here," Cai put in, considerably more polite than his counterpart.

One of the guards fixed her attention on Cai and Finn could tell even from here where her eyes traveled. "You're welcome to come inside and look for yourself, sir," she offered to Cai.

Before Cai could answer, Finn stepped in front of him in a haste and cut in harshly, "No, I need to be there. I have to talk to Raisa."

Which was apparently the wrong thing to do. The male guard adjusted his grip on his gun threateningly. "Is this man bothering you, sir?" he asked Cai, though his eyes never left Finn. "Know that inside these doors, you are granted full amnesty, freedom and protection from people like this." He jutted the end of his gun in Finn's direction with such an expression of disgust, he immediately jumped to his own defense.

"What?!" he demanded. "I'm not-god, I'm not a slaver, I-"

And that was apparently the wrong word to mention.

Before Finn knew what was happening, one of the guards pressed the COMM in her ear. "Control, we need backup at the gates." The other pointed his gun at Finn's chest and said, "Step away from the Free."

"Oh for god's sake," Finn growled, holding up his hands in surrender and taking a step away from Cai anyway. "This is ridiculous."

Cai himself tried to amend the situation. "Really," he assured the guards, "It's not like that at all. He's a friend, honestly, he hasn't -"

"Sorry, sir, we can't take that risk," said the guard as she tapped something on her tablet. "Now if we can just get your ally ID-"

"But - ugh, 210544 - please, this is really unnecessary-"

"Ah, here you are, Cailean, is it?"

"Yes, but listen-"

"Not to worry, sir, we're well equipped to handle this situation-"

Finn watched them argue back and forth, his frustration mounting. This was so stupid. Not to mention a waste of time. All he needed was to see Raisa for five minutes. Maybe less. And yet he was stuck at the entryway, accused of keeping slaves. He internally groaned.

"Please, I know you're just doing your job, but-" Cai was saying to the guard when suddenly Finn saw a way out of this. The woman he was speaking to hit a few buttons on a keypad and the pair of doors behind them slowly creaked open. The guard with the gun on him was talking to someone on his COMM, hardly paying attention to Finn. And when the woman told Cai, "Go right ahead, sir, you'll be well-protected inside, I guarantee it," Finn decided that he was fully tired of waiting.

In a flash, without bothering to give it a second thought, Finn frowned, turned on his heel, and bolted through the doors.

"Captain!" he heard Cai yell over his shoulder as he dodged his way through the crowded Conduit marketplace. "No!"

It was only moments before Finn was out of sight of the door. He slowed his pace, stepping easily into the throng and disappearing amongst them.

Well he was inside. That was a start. But as he looked around the market and down the hallways beyond, he realized with some discomfort that the truth was - Finn didn't know where he was going.

As he chose one of the hallways at random, he realized something else: there were more guards, their guns ready and their eyes searching as the COMMs in their ears probably barked Finn's description.

As he continued down the hallway, he ducked out of sight of one, sped past the back of another and then made the most unfortunate eye contact with another.

He froze in place. So did she. And then, in a flash, her hand went to her COMM, she barked, "Found him!" and Finn did all he could do: run.

Fortunately, the further into the Conduit he ran, the less people he had to avoid ramming into. Unfortunately, the further into the Conduit he ran, the less people he could hide behind. His feet pounded the metal floor, echoes bouncing across the walls and only barely behind him, a slowly growing barrage of pursuers. He could only be thankful that none of them seemed willing to fire off any rounds into the steel tube they ran through. At least not yet…

Still, as fast as Finn could run, they were gaining on him and he needed to reach Raisa before that happened. All he needed was a chance to explain himself. In twenty minutes, they could all be laughing about this.

But for now, he took his chances that he was going to find his salvation down the fork to the right.

Well, he was half right.

In front of him, some 30 yards, was a door that lead into the main command hub of the ship. Standing in that door was, he recognized from the calls Corra used to have with her, Raisa.

The downside was that standing between them was six more guards, far more armed than their counterparts and those arms were pointed directly at him.

Finn stumbled to a halt before them, his hands raised in surrender. His eyes locked on Raisa's. "Listen, I need to talk to you, it's -"

But before he could speak further, before he could smooth all this over and explain the situation, the stout older woman raised her own hand to silence him. Her forehead was creased into a frown as she barked, "I don't know who you are or what you're trying to do, but it ends here."

Finn opened his mouth again, determined to get out his reasoning, but then the sound of six guns cocking met his ears and suddenly the words were lost on his tongue.

Someone else, however, found them.

"Wait! Don't shoot!"

Finn swung his head around to find the source: Cai, gasping for breath and hobbling towards them on his busted leg.

"Don't-don't shoot him, he's a friend!" he went on. "A friend of Corra's." Finn's eyes swung back to Raisa to gauge her reaction.

Her frown hadn't left, but she was regarding Cai with something a little more akin to curiosity. At last, she refocused on Finn. "Alright. But you better have a damn good explanation for this."

Leta snapped open her eyes. She hadn't realized she'd fallen asleep, but it took only seconds to gauge her surroundings: she was lying on a couch in Ren's apartment, alone. Her throat was burning, her eyes were streaming - thick black clouds were filling the room.

She vaulted from the couch, just as Fiearius and Ren rushed in from the balcony. She didn't have to time to register what they could be doing out there, not when the smoke was growing thick. "Fiear - Ren," she coughed, pressing her forearm against her mouth and nose, "there's a fire - we have to - "

"We have an extinguishing system," said Ren quickly, crossing toward a console screen embedded in a wall. "It should have activated already."

"It won't."

Fiearius said the words so sharply, so confidently, that Ren and Leta stared as he crossed through the room. He snatched their bags off the floor, tossing Leta's into her hands. "What do you need from here?" he added to Ren. "Grab it. Fast."

"What are you talking about?" said Ren, eyes wide. "The system will react, it just needs a minute, we'll be - "

"I'm telling ya, it won't," Fiearius insisted. "It'll have been disabled. This isn't gonna be stopped. Trust me."

Ren opened his mouth to argue, but Leta was inclined to believe him. The look blazing in Fiearius' eyes - she'd seen it before. Many times. It meant trouble.

And for that reason, she seized Ren's arm and marched them toward the exit. "How do you know, Fiearius?" she asked. "What is this?"

Fiearius wrenched open the door and cast her a dark look. "Varisian."

Ophelia Varisian was the woman who had hunted Fiearius when Leta had been on the Dionysian. But she'd disappeared; this didn't make sense.

"How? How do you know this is her?"

"Cause this isn't the first time she's done it."

As he spoke, Leta's eyes were naturally drawn to Fiearius' right forearm: a gnarled burn scar ran from his wrist up to his elbow, twisting up his flesh. Leta felt momentarily stunned: she'd read that report. He'd been burnt in a base raid where a fire had somehow gotten out of control. There had been no mention of arson. Certainly no mention of Ophelia. But now wasn't the time to ask why.

"Wait," said Leta, snapping back to her senses and throwing out her arms to halt them. "We can't leave yet - we have to help people get out of here."

Closing his eyes in agreement, Fiearius inhaled a smoky breath. "You," he pointed at Ren, "Start evacuations downstairs. Leta, take this floor." He nodded towards the ceiling. "I'll go up."

Leta nodded as Fiearius bolted off towards the stairs and without a moment's hesitation, she turned to the nearest door and rammed it open. "Hello? I'm here to help!"

Fiearius dodged down the stairs and burst out of the crumbling, blackened door, pulling with him an older woman in a robe, who stumbled behind him. She'd spent the last minute half-coughing, half-sobbing in the smoke. But they'd made it: he'd dragged her from the hallway where she'd been fenced in by flame, through the front doors, down into the wet grass and toward a circle of trees where Leta was tending to patients, Ren at her side.

"I think she's the last one," he said, out of breath, as the woman sank against a tree and put her face in her hands.

"And the extinguishing system?" Leta asked, her eyes reflecting the distant flames. As she spoke, she wrapped a bandage around a teenage boy's wrist - she must've run back to the Dionysian for her supplies.

He shook his head. With most of the occupants safe, he'd swung by the system's controls on this last run to see if the building could be saved. But what he'd found was - "Gone," was all Fiearius managed, chest heaving as he put his hands to his knees and crouched over. "Probably the first place to bur-"

But his words were drowned out. Suddenly, up on the hillside, the building gave a tremendous, long, unending crash as two of its walls thundered to the ground. Flames shot toward the sky and black smoke billowed into the air. Everyone stopped to watch, horrified.

So much for saving the building, Fiearius thought, finally pushing himself up and running a hand through his hair. His eyes turned to the tenants, clustered around one another in the night chill, their faces lit only by dancing orange light and his mind turned to Varisian, somewhere out there, perhaps still nearby, watching, laughing maybe that she had just destroyed these people's lives.

For him.

He'd destroyed these people's lives. He never should have come here. This was a mista-

"Someone's missing!"

Fiearius wheeled around. It was the woman who had greeted them in the lobby, waving a tablet and looking frantic, tears in her eyes.

"Are you sure?" asked Ren. "Who?"

"Y - yes - we're missing Gardon!"

Fiearius couldn't help it: he darted a look toward Leta. Naturally, she was staring at him, looking awed and horrified all at once.

"Right," he muttered, mostly to himself as he turned on his heel, "I'll be back - "

"Fiear!" Leta called after him, voice straining in the cold night air. He could hear the fear in her voice as he rushed back up the hill towards the blackened complex that was quickly becoming more debris than structure.

It wasn't the first time in his life he'd found himself running about a burning building. The first time - gods, nearly twenty years ago now - had been his unwilling induction into the life of a 1st Degree Internal Affairs agent. It was the first night he'd truly faced his own mortality and the first night he'd walked away with someone elses. The face of Pieter Rowland, crazed eyes alight with the same tumultuous flame that surrounded him now, still haunted him, even today. Especially now.

He shook the image from his head which was becoming increasingly lighter each passing second he traversed the smoke-filled atmosphere. Fiearius didn't know what he was looking for exactly. Gordon? Garbin? In retrospect, he thought, as he vaulted over a burning support that had fallen in his path, he should have asked for a few more clues for where to look. Fortunately, it turned out he didn't need them.

Suddenly, he became aware of a noise amidst the crackle of flame, the creaking of wood and his own footsteps. It was barely audible, but distinctly human.

Fiearius froze at once, losing at least one of the noises to try and hone in on the new one. He peered through the thick clouds of smoke, holding his arm over his mouth and blinking back the water that was filling his red eyes. His head turned one way. Then the other. He could still hear the cries, drowned out as they were, but he couldn't see their source. He couldn't see anything.

And then, by some cruel miracle, another wall came down.

Fiearius braced himself as the shockwave of dust and debris came roaring at him, but in the instants that followed, a cold gust of wind from outside blew in through the gaping hole, clearing the air. Just for a moment. But a moment was all he needed.

"Hang on!" he shouted to the figured huddled in a ball in the crumbling hallway as he bolted towards him. The young man seemed fine, just paralyzed in fear, until Fiearius got close enough to see what the problem was. A support had fallen on his arm, pinning him to the ground with its weight.

"Thank God!" the man cried when he saw Fiearius hovering over him. "I was trying to get out when-"

"Save your breath, kid," Fiearius warned him as he eyed his obstacle. He didn't have much time. This room was likely to come down any minute, with two more stories of apartments on top of it.

"Alright, count of three then you make a run straight out that opening," Fiearius ordered, pointing to the most recent hole in the building. It was blocked by a pile of debris, but the flames there had died down in the cool air. It could be scaled. The young man nodded in obedience and Fiearius readied himself. "One. Two. Three!"

Fiearius seized the pillar which seared his palms immediately and yanked it with all of his strength. The boy's arm pulled free and in a flash he was on his feet and tumbling towards the exit.

Fiearius dropped the pillar with a thump on the blackened ground and, ignoring the pain burning his hands, turned to the way out himself.

But then it happened: just as he staggered the first steps toward freedom, a tremendous crash overhead made Fiearius jump sideways for the floor, throwing his arms over his head as debris and wooden beams rained down on him. The crash seemed endless, like a freight train, and dust filled his nostrils and eyes and mouth.

He could feel searing painful cuts on his back and neck, and something hard was digging into his leg, but he seemed alright enough. At last the crashing settled. Dust swirled in the air like fog. Surely it was over.

But then, he tried to push himself up, and a yell of pain ripped through his throat. He chanced a look over his shoulder and saw more wooden beams that weighed like a mountain of concrete on his back and legs.

Well, fuck, he thought. He was trapped.

Gritting his teeth, tasting blood in his mouth, he tried again and found his arms shaking with effort. He sucked in a gasp of breath, but it was full of dust and smoke and made him choke. What now? Unfortunately, as was so often the case lately, when his life was seeming to come to its long-delayed close, his mind went to the most unhelpful place of all: what would the headlines say? 'Rogue Verdant crushed to death while saving helpless in burning building'?

Better than last week's 'Admiral Soliveré gets shot in the back of the head by a Society intern because he forgot to close a door'.

Just as he was shaking the thoughts from his head and trying instead to focus on a way out of this, a noise reached his ears. Heavy footsteps, coming his way. Someone was kicking aside the debris. The weight on his back became lighter and lighter until finally, Fiearius was able to turn his head and see his savior. Ready and willing to scold Leta for coming after him, he squinted through the smoke and saw, with a bolt of shock, it wasn't Leta, but the lumbering figure of Dez shoving the debris off his legs.

"Come on," he heard Dez shour through the roar of flames. "This place is coming down, we need to move." He held out his hand and Fiearius, feeling confused but willing to live another day suddenly, seized it and pulled himself to his feet. Stumbling slightly, he followed Dez through the smoky din. He, at least, seemed to know where he was going.

"Not that I'm complaining," Fiearus coughed, "but showing up at the last minute is getting to be a bit of a habit for you, huh?"

Pushing aside fallen beams, stepping over spurts of flames, they finally found clean, fresh air. They stumbled over a collapsed outer wall and out in the grass, twenty feet away from the building, Fiearius sank to a crouch. He could feel blood running down his neck and soot coating his face as he gasped for breath that wasn't laden with burnt remains.

Dez stood over him. "Are you alright?"

"Been better," Fiearius growled, his voice hoarse. "What the hell are you doing here?"

"Tracking Varisian," Dez answered.

Fiearius looked up at him, a frown crossing his face. If Dez knew Ophelia was coming here… "Coulda warned me, y'know…"

Dez lifted one arm in a half shrug. "She was headed to the middle of nowhere and you're supposed to be on Vescent. How was I supposed to know you needed warning?"

Fiearius could barely think, his mind was a fog. But then it hit him: why he wasn't on Vescent. He'd come to get information from Ren. Information about the Councillors. Which was part of a plan to kill the Councillors. Which Dez couldn't know about.

"You gotta get outta here."

It wasn't so much a matter of trust that made the idea of Dez knowing his plans so unappealing. Over the years, Fiearius had somehow ended up recultivating a lot of the trust that had once been lost between them. There was still bad blood, that would never go away, but he knew by now that Dez's intentions, at the very least, were in line with his own. No, this wasn't a matter of trust, it was a matter of - though it killed Fiearius to recognize it -politics.

If Dez knew that Fiearius was intending to personally assassinate the very heads of the Society, he would want a part of it. And why wouldn't he? His hatred was just as strong and as far as assassinations went, none were so successful as those that both Fiearius and Desophyles had embarked on together. Fiearius would actually be glad for the help, in truth. But it wasn't going to happen. It couldn't happen. Leta was right. Carthis, and thus much of the span, saw Desophyles Cordova as a terrorist. Fiearius couldn't risk what would happen when some upstart reporter got a shot of the two of them together standing over the dead body of their enemy.

Of course, Dez wouldn't see it that way. "Excuse me, I think I just saved your life?" he pointed out, feigning offense.

"And I'm appreciative," Fiearius snapped, looking around. "But now you need to go."

"Why?" asked Dez suspiciously. "If it's Carthis, I'm not afraid of-"

"It's not Carthis," Fiearius insisted, "you just have to go, okay?" There were few people capable of ignoring Fiearius when he got down to pleading. Unfortunately, Dez was one of them.

"Always so grateful, aren't you?"

Pleading wasn't going to work then. Fiearius groaned in frustration and, without meaning to, started to pace tight circles in the grass. "Grateful? It's your fault that psycho did this to begin with."

"That's hardly fair."

"Fair? Fair." Fiearius shook his head in disbelief. "If you had just listened to me and taken her back to the ship instead of-gods, I don't even know what you did, lock her in a cell and try rehabilitative therapy? She wouldn't be out there trying to set me on fire every six months!"

Dez's stare narrowed. "I did what I thought was right, Fiearius. You would have just handed her over to Carthis and-"

"Carthis wouldn't have tried to 'fix' her," Fiearius growled.

"It was you who gave me the idea," Dez argued, but Fiearius ignored him.

"Nor would they have been fooled into trusting her or releasing her and they definitely wouldn't have told her about the goddamn Rowland case." He stopped pacing and looked over at Dez, dropping his hands at his sides. "Why the hell did you tell her about the Rowland case?"

Dez didn't meet his eyes when he shrugged and admitted, "It seemed relevant at the time."

Fiearius could do nothing but groan once again and roll his eyes. "And you say I'll do anything for a pretty face."

The comment only seemed to confuse Dez who muttered, "My decisions had nothing to do with-"

A fearful voice broke through the air.


It was Leta, coming down the hill. Smoke stains streaked her face and arms but she looked otherwise unharmed. He caught her by the forearms and slowed her to a halt; he could feel her shaking.

"Are you hurt?" she breathed. "What happened in there?" She noticed Dez over his shoulder and went rigid. "You! What're you doing here?"

"Is she the reason why you wanted me to leave?" Dez asked behind him and Fiearius was about to respond when Leta suddenly tore herself from his grip and advanced on Dez.

"It wasn't Ophelia who caused this, it was you!"

"It wasn't," said Fiearius and Dez in unison and Fiearius felt Leta's glare turn to him.

"What? It doesn't seem like a coincidence that he just happens to show up right when this happens? You said it was Ophelia, but where the hell is she? If she was here to kill you, she certainly hasn't tried very hard."

Fiearius opened his mouth to respond, but Dez beat him to it. "Because she's not trying to kill him." The statement was met by a glare of confusion, but Dez said nothing else.

"We're not really...sure what she's playing at," Fiearius told Leta slowly. "But every time she's caught up recently, all she's done is play a bit of arsonist and disappear again. She hasn't really tried to kill me since-since Vescent I guess." He shrugged. "I can't get a read on her."

"Personally I think she's just lost her marbles," Dez put in unhelpfully.

"No thanks to you, I'm sure," Fiearius grumbled, casting him a glare.

But then Fiearius felt Leta's hand on his arm and he looked down to find her staring at him seriously. "I didn't even know she was still out there. I knew about the fires, but the reports - they said they're chemical or - accidents, not -" Her grip tightened. "Why didn't you tell me?"

To that, Fiearius just smiled at her kindly and smoothed her hair with his other hand. "Didn't want you to worry."

Before Leta could respond, movement caught his eye as it approached. Leta followed his eyes and she too watched as Ren, his face darkened, came to a halt before them. He stood silhouetted by the cackling flames in the background and Fiearius felt Leta's hand drop away.

"Everyone in this building has been happy and safe for years," said Ren suddenly, his voice level but angry, "and you two are here for a few hours and look what happens. Gone. Just like that."

Leta stepped toward him. "Ren-"

But he cut her off. "And what am I supposed to do now? Stay here? In the charred remains of the life I wanted for myself. Try to rebuild what you've corrupted. Or give in. Get on that ship of yours and do what you want."

Fiearius furrowed his brow. "This - we didn't mean for this."

"No," Ren laughed. "But it's what you knew would happen, isn't it? Trouble follows you wherever you go. And now it's left me with no choice. Was there ever? You told me yourself, Admiral, you couldn't leave here with a 'no'. Well I guess you've found your 'yes' then. I'll help you find your Councillors."

The words had been spoken before Fiearius could even think to stop them. At his side, Leta gave a start. She threw a look of alarm at Dez. "Ren - "

But it was too late. Dez was already frowning in thought, looking bemused. "Find the Councilors?" he said to Fiearius. "So that's what you didn't want me to hear."

War Table by khronosabre
War Table
This was around the time I kind of decided to redesign Fiear a little. He always looked too young. He still looks too young in this one. But especially with a big time jump right around the corner in Part 3, it became apparent to me I was gonna have to figure out how to age him better. Plus, here, he's only barely recovered still so he's gotta LOOK older, even if he's not. But it was an early experiment into what became my new way of drawing him. Good shot, kinda missed the mark.

I still like the 3D hologram map reflection thing though...

Caelum Lex: A Sci-Fi Web Serial. Action, adventure, romance and rowdy space pirates.

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Hey people, oh people.

Sorry if I've been suspiciously absent lately, been kind of a busy few months at work and at life and whatnot. But I'm still alive and still working on Caelum Lex if you've failed to notice. I'm also backlogged on uploading the art for that though. Oops.

Anyway. News of the day, I'm going to E3 next week! Just one day since goddamn them, it's in the middle of the work week and although I am technically 'in the industry' enough to get in, I'm not 'in the industry' enough for my work to let me leave to go to a gaming conference for 4 days o.o 

I'm pretty psyched though, I've never been. Should be fun. If there's anything you know is being shown and you want me to check out, let me know. Otherwise I'm just gonna try and see everything and then hit up all the after parties with the free booze :P Good plan? Good plan. 

How are you people? Tell me about your lives. I like hearing about people's lives.

Also, there are STILL slots in this silly OC thing. I'm not gonna stop til I hit 15 I guess. Even if it takes me a year o.o Which it will.

For the first 15 people who comment on this journal, I will feature one of their characters. I'll also tell you what I like about them. [I will go to your gallery and pick one character. If you have an OC folder or other useful links, please link it as it will help].

• THIS PART IS OPTIONAL, but it would be nice if you did it ----> If you comment, please do the same in your journal, adding one of my OCs to the list. The idea of this is not to get a free feature, it is to spread art around for everyone!

1. :iconteryster:
I don't know how I couldn't pick Hauru. She's got spunk, attitude and a great hairstyle. Can't wait to read more of her story in Asternight. Seriously though, that hair. It's perfect.

2. :iconmimmime:
This one's easy, Thomas Hewett of course. Kind, caring, a little messed up, but an all around good guy. His relationship with his sister is particularly sweet. Love reading all the lil stories from his past :)

3. :iconelreniagreenleaf:
Just look at this awesome horse Toa. I've always had a soft spot for that grey kind of horse (pretty sure there's a name for it...) They're just so pretty. And any animal that's had a hard time but still the potential to be great is a story I can get behind :D

4. :icongogorocketgo:
Okay I couldn't find much information about Eira so sorry, don't have a heck of a lot to say, but I love her hair. And her outfit. And she looks like a badass who can stay someone with a sword so I'm down with that. 

5. :iconarteaus:
This is Saint George who is a warrior saint and a dragonslayer who is pretty cool looking if you ask me, but the best part is that he runs a bakery in Nottingham now. Gotta love a dragonslayer that appreciates good pastry.

6. :iconcookei-fox:
Pyxis Reasons for this are easy. Look at her. Aaaawesoooome. Second. Any character named after star constellations are badass. Third. The concept with the personality changing based on the eyes is super interesting and unique, i love it. Fifth. Space. Yeah. Super cool.

7. :iconalchemistmaycry:
Jonathan of course because guns AND swords? Yes. Yes yes yes. Also, I'm a total sucker for facial scarring. What can I say. 

8. :iconrinoa-light-leonheart: It may just be that I'm a sucker for redheads but Nikta. Also totally dig her outfit, I would wear that in a heartbeat except it's never cold here.


Artist | Professional | Varied
United States

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Arteaus Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
How often do you get around to the Western united states comic cons (if at all?) My wife and I live out in Tucson and there are three just in Tucson, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City alone. The reason I ask is I got my wife interested in you're stuff and I thought it would be a good venue for you to promote Caelum Lex (that and so I can fanboy right in front of you...)
khronosabre Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2014  Professional General Artist
Aww that's really sweet.  I'm actually a purveyor of the even more western comic cons. SDCC, Wondercon Anaheim, Comikaze (LA). I don't table, just attend (because I have nothing to sell except a website haha) , but I try and hand out cards for CL when I can. But if I ever do hunker down for a table (and believe me I consider it every year...) and you happen to make it out to the southern California area cons (and you should, they're great), I'll definitely let you know :)

PS thanks so much for reading and spreading the word, you're the best!
Arteaus Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I try my best. We sci-fi junkies need to stick together. If I ever do end up at one of those cons (very likely) I'll look for your table ;)
JupiterBlossem Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2014  Student General Artist
Thanks for the fave! Heart Love 
freelex30 Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2014  Student General Artist
Thank you for the Fav! Feel free to watch me to, really appreciate! La la la la 
Woltz Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:iconsayhiplz: Thank you so much for the fav!
HoshinoDestiny Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the fav!
1priness62 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014  Student Artist
ty for fav
Atilea Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the faves :)
Eniell Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014
Naw, thanks hun for the fave :)
The Hunt: Profile - Amal by Eniell
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