Tower of Babel
Author: Isaac Woulms

Chapter 15
Ch.15

Thirty minutes ago she was trying to rip me apart, but now it’s like she’s trying to be my best friend, Ben thought. “So tell me more about your special necklace.”

They walked along another long corridor as they journeyed together.

“I already told you all I know. It’s some artifact from the past. No one’s ever told me why I transform into a dragon, but after a little practice I can adjust how metamorphanized I am.”

That’s not even a word.

“That’s why I have these scales,” she said, feeling her breast. “It’s like I’m clothed but still naked. I like it that way. It’s what I usually walk around in.”

“What’s it like to fly?”

“Like running in a way. At first all it did was make me tired, but now I can sort of glide. Still have to be careful not to fall out of the sky.” She then perked up. “Oh, when I’m Ishtar, I can eat a lot more than in human form. Like complete garbage and still keep my figure, yay.”

“You call it Ishtar; do you become a completely different being?”

“I’m completely aware of what I’m doing. My senses are heightened and I feel edgy.” She put her finger in one of Ben’s belt loops and gave it a gentle tug. “My libido increases too. Not while I’m a dragon, right after I turn back. It’s like I have to immediately touch myself.”

Ben smiled and thought, go on, not intentionally using telepathy.

“I just like to call my dragon form Ishtar, and I like to use my dragon voice.

“That’s creepy. You just thought of that all by yourself?”

 “Yep yep.”

They moved up a floor and continued to walk and talk. Each level they progressed, the interior slightly changed. The wallpaper had disappeared and in its place the physical material of the building.

“I’m not good at a lot of telekinetic abilities but I have gotten good at the ones I think are cool.”

Telekinetic abilities. “How many types are there?”

“A bunch. Some are still being stumbled upon. At the beginner level, I was taught push, pull and hold, the most basic of telekinetic manipulation. Push someone off their feet, pull someone towards you, and hold something that's falling. After you get those three down, you learn to use control, the combination of two of the first three lessons taught, or rotating something in midair, or hammering a nail from across the room, those kind of things. Then there's telepathy and mind reading, pretty self-explanatory.”

“I’m going to guess distance and mass come into play with the limitations of those techniques?”

She snapped her fingers and said, “We have a winner. The level of energy someone is emitting and the object’s center of gravity while being manipulated. That’s why picking up opponents is hard to do.”

Ben nodded his head. “What about after those five?”

“Perception alteration comes next.”

“What’s that?”

“Perception alteration is taking what your opponent perceives then changing it, like making someone deaf to a certain sound. Or you could project an image, scent, or sound that you intend your opponent to see, smell, or feel. I can't do much in terms of Alteration but I can make pheromones loom in the air.”

Ben remembered the feeling of her being on top of him. An honest urge amplified beyond reasoning. “Keep going.”

“Weapon & Armor forming is after that. I'm midway through that lesson, and just like Alteration I'm kind of not getting anywhere with it. Sometimes people have a niche for certain techniques and styles of telekinetic manipulation.”

 Every once in a while Ben and Trisha would pass by windows that reminded them that they were still within the earth's atmosphere. Moderate to large sized rooms occupied the inner levels while the almost cubical designed hallways cut through the floors. The light held up the same quality but with the bulbs paced out farther apart.

“What about enhancing your physical impact?”

“That comes after weapon and armor forming. Self-enhancement, it’s the last intermediate skill before it gets into advanced techniques. That's when you surround a part of your body, or all of your body, with your telekinesis for offensive or defensive moves.”

“I've gotten a good grasp on the first four techniques and I'm sure I've used self enhancement before but that seems like a huge leap from bottom of the barrel to end of intermediate skill usage.”

Trisha shrugged her shoulders. “Like I said, some techniques come easier to certain people.” I know you can use telepathy, she thought.

“How do I stop?”

“You mean you haven’t been trying to talk with your mind this whole time?”

“...yeah.”

Trisha smiled. “Tell me about yourself.”

“There's not much to tell really. I grew up in east Texas, and spent a lot of my time helping out around the house.”

“Are we being modest about our epic upbringing?”

“No modesty about it. I grew up far away from this place and the compound where we were apparently all born. It was a normal household, a little short on family, and a normal school. Every once in a while I would see a movie or hang out with a friend but nothing interesting ever happened.”

“That must have been terrible. Living here, I’ve had everything I asked for. Excitement and interesting could be given to me on a silver platter.”

“So why are you helping me?”

Trisha mentally flinched. I’ll slip into his trust sooner or later, she thought to herself. I just need to lay on some more charm.

“Ben? Come on. I was trapped inside that room. Sure I could leave, but not everything given is worth having, right?”

“Explain the whole wrong flag thing. You seemed legitimately upset about that.”

“I want to explore. I explained all of that, remember? I'm aloud to take a vacation from the Tower, two weeks at a time, once every other year, but no international travel. That's the rules here. So I wanted to bring London to me instead, and was super pissed when I found out I was looking at a flag that was all wrong.”

“You have wings though. Yes, you told me you can't fly but you had the will to go there. I think you just wanted someone to go with you.”

What's with this guy?

“Huh?”

He’s trying to make a move on me, Ben heard.

“Think about it. You said it yourself when you were about to rip my head off. 'I am the dragon of this keep.'” Ben imitating what she said with a deep voice. “But what happened is you stopped yourself from leaving and became your own oppressive dragon, and you were waiting on someone to help you out.”

She stopped walking next to a door on her right. “Here. Let’s look inside one of these rooms for something to eat. I'm getting hungry.”

 

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