Introducing HissKaa: One of the cities in the "new world"

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Idea Man
A series of clicks and hisses originated within the doorway leading to a massive chamber deep within the heart of a tree that’s height reached well beyond two hundred feet and was nearly three hundred feet around at its base. Not that the tree was a plant in any real sense of the word, it had been constructed out of a strange metal that had stopped being used nearly two thousand years before. Parts had been corroded, but patched with newer technology…but it still looked just like a huge tree complete with rubbery bark and plastic leaves. Nobody was entirely certain on how it hadn’t melted in the heat given off by the Five Suns, but there it was still standing as beautiful as ever.

Outside it looked the same as it always had; within it was as if nature had breached the holding to leave its mark by having life thrive unchecked. The old tiles and stucco had long since been replaced with a layer of minerals, which had flooded in over the years by a mountain runoff; the inhabitants had certainly helped in small ways to direct the water in the right directions so that all floors had been altered. Instead of being the old office building it had once acted as, it resembled a series of caverns and tunnels with lush alcoves.

Though ancient, electricity still brought the tree to life by regulating the temperatures and providing light. The type of power was quite different, gas had ceased to be used when the prices had surged during a long forgotten war and had been replaced with a more abundant source of energy…water, salt water to be more exact. Plants had been built along the shorelines, with the waves acting as their own regulator as they splashed into huge reactors. Not that it had lasted once the people of the sea had suddenly surfaced to claim they had a prior right to the money brought on by the new technology.

Now the same technique was used, but on a smaller scale. At least if you couldn’t afford to pay the premium or if you owned enough land to build your own plant. Nearly six hundred years before, the building shaped like a mountain had been made into one after the river had been diverted. It had taken over a thousand years just for them to claim enough land not to meet with opposition when setting off the explosives to curve the mighty Ssanglasias River to meet their need.

A fake mountain, a fake tree, and a stolen river; what else could be needed to set up a city? Perhaps the railroad tracks that had been untwisted from their odd looping shapes, though one had been left alone since it was shaped like a snake and that was sacred…wasn’t it? Minerals were mined from the real mountains that surrounded them, carted in the boxes shaped like seats, and then transported up the river to one of the bigger cities.

A huge arena had also been built centuries before, within all manner of gladiatorial battles were waged as a means of bringing in more money for the shows. Even at that very moment, monstrous looking robotic appearing machines were being mastered by the enslaved humans that had been brought as entertainment and a labor force that few could best.

Originally the greatness of the city some referred to as HissKaa had been built for the enjoyment of humans when they had ruled the world. Now it acted as their hell, through sweat and tears. The irony was enjoyed by their captors, far too much. Yet, back to the clicks and hisses, a speech pattern used by some of the abominations of the Yuan-Ti for discussing important matters that their human servants would be unable to translate.

Yet, the subject of their discussion could understand every small nuance of speech and found it quite enlightening. “I was told she was awake, but I don’t see any changes since the last time I was here.†The impatience, anger…she knew just how he’d be gliding to and fro on his massively thick tail and the way his tongue would flick constantly to taste for differences in the air. Not that it was an easy task with the way the room was filled with a scented fog thick on the steamy hot air.

“Lord Ssandstrom, the Lady moved her tail this morn…I swear I saw it myself.†The Half-Blood ran over to stand nearer to the ceramic bowl that took up nearly half the room, it looked more like a huge dish with the edges sloping upwards until it could hold six hundred gallons of sweet smelling oils and fresh water. A waterfall along the back gently stirred the mixture as well as freshened it on a constant basis. Not that it had been there when she had gone into torpor while bathing almost a thousand years before. Never had one of their kind successfully remained in torpor that long, not that it had happened this time either with the way she woke to adventure from time to time.

“I see no difference, but the moment you see a flash of her jewel colored eyes…I want notified regardless of what I am doing. She cannot escape our mating again, I will not permit it.†A swish accompanied his angered exit, it wasn’t as if he could stomp.

The two Half-Bloods were left alone with the ‘sleeping’ Abomination, as always. Not that they weren’t allowed to leave, but she was checked on at least twice a day and now that it looked as if she were awakening, the watch would be constant. Unlike the rest of the Elders, she had yet to breed with any of them and as such was treasured.

Unlike Ssandstrom with his humanoid arms and face, the Lady Ssilkinstrias appeared to be an extremely large snake with not a single human-like feature on her entire body. She was slender, not quite a foot around and nearly fifteen feet long from her nose to the tip of her tail. Most of her length was a creamy white with large irregular blotches across her back like crossbands. Upon closer inspection, the blotches were hardly irregular and instead looked like pink and mauve roses lined in a blackish-brown border. Few had seen her eyes due to her long sleep, but legend had it that they were blue-topaz with slitted pupils.

Just as the two Half-Bloods were about to walk out, one caught sight of a flash of those eyes and called out to the other. “She is awake!†Neither wanted to face another of Ssandstrom’s hissy-fits, so a look of mutual understand was passed before both slowly approached the coiled snake within the scented oil bath. “There is no need to pretend with us, Lady…just stop playing games and take your rightful place by our Lord’s side.â€

When the two fools were close enough for her to strike, she did…her entire body went with the motion as she lunged for the guard furthest away from her and locked her fangs deep within the front of his throat. Venom shot out, his death was instantaneous. As his body fell, the other guard made an aborted attempt to run but was caught up as she swiftly wrapped herself around him before rolling back into the scented pool. His arms thrashed, his legs jerked, a groan was smothered…too bad there wasn’t enough time to consume him as well.

The two deaths had been nearly silent, but she knew they’d be missed eventually. How long would it take Ssandstrom from sending someone was hard to gauge, but there was no time to risk such a thing. Ssilkinstrias wasted no more time, the illusion spell she had crafted centuries before was put into place after both bodies were shoved deep within the pool that had been her home for too many years…so many long lonely years. No more. Nobody stopped her as she left, granted few alive knew of the secret passageway she was using and none would have recognized her anyways.
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