Consciousness was a fickle thing at times as thought itself was something hard to define in purely concrete terms.

The first trickle of concepts which slowly seeped into Lumina's mind were incoherent, tangible memories she'd never lived of feeling good with her back upon silk sheets and her master's face coming closer. This was joy, good, pleasure, and -right- in a way which tore away all else.

The second thing which came to mind was a memory of watching in delight as the round glass globe of a aether light ignited as she touched it just -so- and said the right words. Her first cantip was a wonderful event especially with, near at hand, was her master whom she could run and show.

The third thought was that her body hurt and such an idea was quickly followed by the realisation that she could smell something burning and she needed to wake up -now-.

Lumina's eyes blinked open, as she banished the feelings of 'right' there because… well, just no. "Ow.. Weird dr…" She looked around. This wasn't her room. Those fires aren't her lights or LEDs, and… well, the rocks piled up on her legs were most -definitely- not her duvet. "…eam?" Ok, not good. First thing's first, she tried pulling her way out with all the strength her nerdy-girl muscles had to offer. Or, the muscles she had last time she wasn't dreaming.

Muffled voices spoke, or more like screamed in panic, somewhere in the distance but for now Lumina couldn't deal with those. Instead she was trying to get out from beneath bits of wooden support, shattered stone, and with a few fragments of sharp edged porcelin tile for variety. Wriggling slowly did seem the preferable option as trying to use force caused several pieces to jab —hard- into her legs.

"…I can't-" A distant voice screamed before suddenly being cut off.

"Ow! Ok, bad plan." She whispered after the voices convinced her being quiet was a -good thing-. Instead she slowly shuffled her way out, and stepped carefully over the debris towards the flames, using them to check out the damage on her- "Mreep? No way is this… ]Illuminating Aether[" She tried to whisper the last line but really… there was no way it could work right? But work it did, as a gout of light erupted from an outstretched hand, giving her a much better view of herself. "Pooppooppoop what even the?" The cuts and scrapes were no surprise but the steampunk chic from the dream? And the MAGIC? She started making freaked out noises as she ducked back down and tried to survey the room with her freaky magic lighting.

With the light now glowing in a small swirling cloud just above her hand, that seeming to be the 'easiest' form to keep it for now, the details of the room could made out and it was immediately apparent that she actually hadn't gone far.

Instead she was in a familiar well appointed corridor and had just pulled herself out of the rubble which had been the wall to the 'Guardians' room. That cold place was cold no longer and, in the corridor, the aether spheres had gone out. She could smell smoke, blood, and hear the sounds of conflict but more importantly she couls see how one doorway a short distance away had been 'expanded' as though a larger figure had crashed through it…

The girl blinked at the door, quickly turning back around. "Ok, I'm actually fine with not going that way. Not going that way's good!" She whispered nervously as she carefully placed bare feet over the broken remains of that poor wall. What did it ever do to anyone? Once she's cleared that she sneaks up to the door in the back. The idea she was trapped in a game was crazy, but at this point there didn't seem much arguing with it, so it was probably best to go along with it… For good measure, she tried pushing a couple more ']illuminating aether['s into her hand, to see if they stack.

Bits of wall, tile, and similar structural debris was uncomfortable to stand upon to say the least when one was barefoot. Yet expanding the light gave Lumina more to think about than such minor discomforts as she made out more of the interior of the 'cold' room which the Guardian had been within and the heavy iron bound door at the far side which looked oddly dull compared to the last time she had seen it.

Something ahead chittered disapprovingly as the glowing cloud of aether expanded and pushed light ahead of it into the room, but Lumina couldn't see anything…

Lumina pressed on, parhaps foolishly, and poured more aether into a tight ball, silently hoping she remembered the 'explode light sources' spell correctly. Once she was at the iron door, she knocked on it gently. "Hello?"

The heavy door was cold enough to the touch that after the brief contact of knocking Lumina's hand felt chilled. This time the sound was a giggle as it came from one side of this room which, in the bright light, contained a now empty box from which were eminating cold vapors.

From the direction of that other, now 'openned', door came a long hoarse scream.

Lumina remembered a key being in there. One to get the hell out of here. But… Giggling? She turns in that direction. "Who's there?"

There was another giggle and a voice, reedy and warbling, called out, "Maxwell!"

"Ok… umm.. do you live here too?" Why was she talking to things? Really, that's not a good idea at this stage.

A series of small flames, like those from lighters, sprang up over one region of tiles and hoarfrost spread on the area directly in front of Lumina. For a moment a figure, not bigger than two hands in height, was visible before her as a shimmer of ice and fire then it gave a bow and was gone.

"I'm Maxwell's…" The voice said insistantly.

"…Demon. Right." Of course it was. Silly of her really to hope that -wasn't- what she was dealing with. "Friends?" She nonetheless asked hopefully, trying to remember the name of the 'make people like me' spell she'd noticed. It looked like it was suspension of disbelief time anyway, she could only hope the insanity would end soon.

The spell was on the tip of her tongue, the motions required subtle and more about stance than actively waving her hands, so the thought was easily translated into action. Shoulders back, head up, chest out, smile just -so- and she found herself murmuring, "]Unlike Poles Attract["

"Oh, pretty…" The figure, barely visible in the aether light, drifted forward in the air then stopped almost up against Lumina's chest and looked up at her admiringly, She could feel, and barely see, one tiny and sharp claws hand rest on each breast (the creature small than either 'feature' of her anatomy) with one being icy cold and the other almost uncomfortably hot.

…Lumina wished she were surprised that the 'make people like me' spell was basically thrusting her boobs out, she really did. But, sadly, she wasn't. "Brr; ok, where did you come from?" She didn't try to stop the thing for now; that… really didn't seem like a good idea to annoy a demon.

"Hell!" The creature stated brightly, the outline of its head looking up at her before at added, "Texas!"

"…" Really? Wasn't hell in like, Michigan or something? "I don't suppose you know of any keys near here?"

"Pretty…." The creature said, lightly scraping an icy claw across sensitive skin and sending a shiver along Lumina's spine for more than one reason, "How many keys?"

Lumina shuddered, and tried to ignore it. At least -this- one wasn't making her disturbingly happy. "Just the one; it should be behind that door…" She glanced over and pointed one scuffed, if otherwise immaculate finger towards the iron door.

"Lotsa keys." It exclaimed in a delighted tone then patted her in what would have been a reassuring manner if now for wherethe hand was, "How many want?"

Lumina glanced down at the thing, trying to work out if it was familiar or not. Sure, it seemed friendly, but that could just be the spell working.

The exact details of the creature was had to make out as it's outline was only barely visible even in the bright light. It was tangible, as Lumina could well attest, but visually… Well, she didn't recall seeing such a thing before.

…Suspicious, but it's not like she had much choice, the thing was probably going to keep following her anyway. "I'm looking for a magic one, specifically. Dimensional, I guess?"

"Demons?" The creature asked then laughed, "Can find demons!"

Lumina shook her head quickly. "Nono, like, a key to a portal."


"What are you..? No… Look, how many magic keys are in there?" She was trying to talk a demon into getting her a magic key to a portal… how was this even happening

"Umm… one, two, three, many lots?" The creature counted then stepped 'back' in the air, moving without bothering to change the position of its legs, "Magic calling thing has lots keys."

"What do you mean magic calling thing?"

Lumina thought it said the portal had 'a' key but this… sounds complicated.

"The one with the keys? Different colors?" It asked as it moved towards the door, less visible as the distance was put between Lumina and itself, then it tapped on the metal, "Want me to open?"

Lumina nodded… She hadn't actually tried to open the door herself yet, since the demon was so distracting, but at least it wasn't groping her anymore. "Please? And you mean the mirror down the storage hall, right?"

"Oh, the shiny went boom." The creature said dismissively and, without warning the room began to grow warmer with flames flickering into brief life in the air even as frost became visible on the door, "Saw after got out of box."

"…The key to the mirror broke, or the mirror itself?" Well, that sucked.

"Oh, the big shiny thing." It stayed where it was as the cold and heat divide intensified, "Lots of ways throug hnow. Where'd you want to go today?"

"Wait, so it went boom, and now we can choose where it leads, you mean? Do we even need the key then?"

The creature blew a raspberry, "Leads -everywhere-. You want to go everywhere? All over the place? At once? Need a signpost"

By now the heat was getting uncomfortable and the door was frosted entirely over.

Lumina stepped back from the door. Really, there must be a simpler way of opening it. "Which would be the key, right? And is the magic calling thing the mirror, or does it have a tuneable key?"

"Honestly, just getting home would be nice."

"Naw, Geists have to play it out." The creature said then reached out to give the door a gentle tap which shattered the metal as thoughit were glass struck by a hammer. On the other side a room which looked to be a cross between a surgery and a chemical lab, with a full blown piano off to one side, could be dimly seen.

Lumina carefully stepped forward, hoping not to head face-first into a wave of fire or frost. "Ok… What do you mean -play it out-?" If she can get through without weird temperature hijinks, she looks around to try find something matching the description in her book. Or, knowing what happened last time, a glowing golden aura.

This time the faint golden light was visible on the chemistry apparatus and a rather… corroded lump of metal sitting on a lab bench nearby. Before she can really register much more though the creature zipped inside with a cry of 'shiny!'.

Ahh, science time! Something Lumina and her 'player' could both agree on. Grinning, she rolled up her sleeves and took the lump of metal, waiting until the the little demon was otherwise occupied before she got to work finding out just what this thing -is-.

Well, she also shivered a bit as she entered, but she wasn't planning on being in there long, so she could live with that

The little demon (a small corner of her mind which she wasn't sure was her own murmured 'daemon' instead) seemed content to toy with what seemed to be a small pile of something which clinked. The equipment before her (alchemy murmured that useful little inner voice) could definitely be used… although it boded fit to drop her into another 'minigame'.

Lumina cracked her knuckles and got into whatever animation the minigame wanted her in, as she examined things while looking to see where to start.

Bubbling vials, odd glasswear, and wierd ingredients were all in use here and beyond that the puzzle proper had several components which already looked intimidating. Color matching. Time management. And sequence memorisation of a sort.

Well, at least it seemed less arcane than the one in the library. So, she potters around with that, arranging and performing the experiments as best as she can work out, the daemon forgotten as she tinkers away at the little thing that she apparently needed to get the hell out of here.

«Scene Pauses during Puttering»