(Author's Note: I've been dealing with a lot over the past few weeks and haven't had much time to write, but I didn't want to leave this scene hanging any longer than it's already been drawn out. As such, things are limited to a half chapter this week. I'm hoping to be able to get back on my usual schedule soon, but I can't make any promises due to other commitments.)

94 Weaving

I made my way to the edge of the plateau that had been raised to contain the Loft area. The elevation really was terrifyingly high, able to look down not just over the expanse of what had become of my workshop, but on the volcano. The crater of the Volcanic Forge that once stood as the pinnacle of my previous metric for ridiculous workshop expansions was visible beneath us. Not that the volcano was small, it just no longer stood out the way it had. Now it acted as a focal point for a chain of mountains and an effective gateway to the more industrial parts of the workshop that had been assembled into a makeshift city.

I pulsed my aura and expanded the watch on my left wrist into its gauntlet form, allowing my Teigu to resume its proper shape. The lantern shield had taken on a chitinous appearance when it had been transformed by the process that granted me one of the Imperial Arms of another universe. A product of its construction from the remains of a Super Class Danger Beast, granting me a portion of the creature's power.

Power that I tapped into as I stepped off the edge of the plateau. At this point I had dozens of ways of achieving flight. Everything from direct magical manipulation, aerokinesis, telekinetic manipulation, gravity alteration, space warping, and more forms of vectored thrust than I would care to count were at my fingertips, but the flight granted by my Teigu was unique.

It wasn't 'flight' in the sense of moving freely through open space. Instead, it was extremely controlled and precise movement. My Teigu allowed me to anchor myself to invisible lines of aether that formed the background structure of the universe. Support fibers woven through the very fabric of space. It was a trait taken from the creature the gauntlet had been turned into. When I hung in the open air I didn't bob or sway with the force of the wind. I was braced against an invisible network that allowed more precision and control of my placement in space than any other method of flight available to me.

I clenched my gauntleted fist, charging the invisible lines of aether with spiritual energy and launching myself towards the volcano like a shot from a railgun. Flying with my Teigu was more like riding a roller coaster than piloting an aircraft, except I was mapping out the track as I moved. Spiritual energy pulled me through the network of invisible strands with my speed only limited by the amount of power I was willing to expend.

It was exhilarating. A form of flight unlike anything else available to me, and yet it was a minor expression of the gauntlet's abilities. My lantern shield had been repeatedly rebuilt and upgraded from the moment I received it. Infusionist unlocked its shadow element. Design improvements granted greater performance and efficiency. My tinker power reduced the spiritual energy cost of its flight down to almost nothing while improving the speed and response time. Layered enchantments, dust effects, runes, magecraft, and psionics had all been combined to turn it into an item of immense power.

And yet for me, it was a novelty. A novelty that had personal meaning and significance, but it wasn't some great project or massive undertaking. I valued it for what it represented, but even with the Teigu abilities, it paled in comparison to what I could create if I got serious.

That was what I was looking at with Tetra. Not some upgrade or half completed project. Not a compromised construction or experimental piece to test out a new power. A full expression of everything I was capable of, because nothing less would be acceptable for something this important.

The thing was, 'everything I was capable of' was a terrifyingly high bar. The last time I had attempted something like this was when I had built Fleet, Survey, and the Matrix's physical forms. Back when I was a lot less powerful than I am now, but had still been able to accomplish more than I ever dreamed.

I think the problem came from thinking about the Celestial Forge as a tinker power. It was a power that made things, no question, but even early on I could see how much further it went than just technology and gadgets. Not that those applications weren't an impressive part of the Forge. The fact that I had the designs for hypermatter reactors with the power output of a main sequence star made that abundantly clear, but it was everything else, every other effect, that had caused things to snowball on me.

The expansion of my Unnatural Skills was probably what had brought things into focus. I always knew that my power could change the world. The problem was I always thought about that in practical terms. The introduction of a new technology or solving some ongoing problem. I didn't think about its ability to literally change the way the world worked, as in alterations to the fundamental principles of reality.

Honestly, if there had been more of a buildup it might be easier to deal with. More time to master the abilities, or some kind of cost that regulated how far I could push things, but no. Inside the space of a single day I had gone from desperately balancing the risks and benefits of confronting a major threat to having the luxury of deciding when and how I would crush them, with absolutely no doubt to the outcome.

What I was doing for Tetra wasn't a minor project. There was a significant cost in terms of spiritual energy for this kind of enchantment, on top of every other power I was bringing into play. The entire team was going out of their way to make sure everything possible was included in this project. It was effectively the culmination of everything I had learned, gained, and acquired up to this point, dwarfing any project that had come before it, as well as the vast majority of works that were planned to follow it.

The thing was, those projects dwarfed by Tetra themselves dwarfed the threats we would need to manage in the outside world. She towered over lesser works which in turn towered over the forces that had defined the balance of power of the planet. I had hit my threshold of being able to safely act without drawing attention, but that threshold had been set so high it was almost dizzying. I could build spiritual constructs to act on my behalf that relied on no magic or detectable technology. With the addition of psionic elements there was absolutely no chance of them being noticed, even through the use of advanced precognition or high level thinker powers.

Life energy constructs to heal those who asked for help was a good first step, but it was only the first step. The Slaughterhouse Nine would remain our priority, particularly with the need to discern Jack's power, but we were at the point where we could start taking more significant actions. Where we could really start to make a difference.

But a large part of that relied on untangling the mess in the city. Seven days for Coil. Given the situation with the Slaughterhouse Nine, I was willing to let that play out for the moment, particularly with Bakuda still at large. She was another problem being dealt with. Right now, it was just question of whether the Spiritron Core would crack her code before or after Garment's event tomorrow, and that was assuming no new abilities arrived to speed things up. After that came dimensional dynamics, exploration of pocket universes to root out her hiding place with Uber and Leet. Something that would both address what remained of that threat and build towards a starting point for access to Passenger Space.

Still, I didn't like letting things 'play out' in the city. Not with the level of power I had, but every action had consequences. I could act subtly now, which meant I could gather information, put countermeasures in place, and prepare for any number of contingencies. But striding out into the city and unleashing divine fury… no. Just no. That was the kind of thing that would feel great for all of five minutes, and then turn into months or years of damage control. I was powerful enough that I could address these problems in a way that wouldn't cause even more trouble for me.

The Magic constellation passed by as I touched down at the Skyforge. My duplicates were going through the final steps of checks and refinements to the structure in preparation for Tetra's work. Normally you don't forge an item of clothing, but Exotic Compatibility opened up all kinds of possibilities. If something could be crafted, it could be forged, with all the benefits that I was able to confer to metalwork rolled into it.

"Hey." The first duplicate called up. "Still wrestling with the scope of our power and what we can do with it out there?" He asked.

I paused. "Is that a guess, or is the telepathic link more active than I thought?"

"Bit of both." The second said, "It's not like we don't know how you think, but all the passive senses you have we can pick up on as well. Plus, this is a lot to deal with."

"Yeah." I admitted. "It's going to take more than a bit of alone time on the Volcano to get over the pileup of divine abilities."

"Still, it's what we've been waiting for. Magic and technology can be picked up by parahuman powers. It didn't matter how advanced the stealth effects were, there was too much variation in thinker powers to be certain we'd escape notice." The first duplicate mused.

I nodded along. It had been a point of frustration for us. The early spike in our capabilities came paired with a realization of how insane even relatively mundane parahuman powers could be. There was a level of caution that needed to be exerted that effectively restrained our capacity to operate on a wider scale.

Now we had more options. Powers that didn't rely on any conventional mechanism. Nothing that could be detected. Effects that didn't even bother acknowledge the laws of physics as anything more than set dressing.

"Precog might still be a problem, but we can work around it." The second duplicate added. "Throw out enough unplottable effects and whatever we do is going to get lost in the noise. Psionics, divine mandates, and spiritual effects can't be predicted like magic, technology or conventional forces."

I smiled. "All the power in the world, and we're excited because it will let us sneak around without being noticed."

"Hey, we've all seen Survey's assessments." The first duplicate said. "The equilibrium that's built up after the ungodly hour is paper-thin and barely holding. The stranger effects haven't helped things on that front, but people are willing to go along based on thinker assessments and our behavior. If we need to take overt action things will get messy."

"I mean, we can handle it, but it'll still be a mess." The second added.

"I know." I said. Even assuming we didn't garner an S-class response, as soon as it was clear we were willing to go beyond local concerns every major power in the world was going to go into panic mode. We'd be looking at desperate actions, international coordination, scorched earth tactics, and possibly even a breach of the Endbringer pattern. We could deal with it, but it would involve fighting a war on every front all at once. There would be devastation on a global scale, which we could also deal with, but the position that would put us in… We'd have conquered the world in all but name.

"We handle this wrong, and things are going to be Biblical." I added. It was probably one of the few times that was an appropriate descriptor.

My first duplicate let out a short laugh. "You have to admit, it's a bit ironic that our strategy to avoid being treated like a god is to start acting in mysterious ways."

I shook my head. "I'm still not sure how that's going to play out. Not sure I want to know." Though I imagine wayward souls showing up in the workshop would effectively force my hand on that matter. "Frankly, I'd settle for not having to rebuild the world from the impact of our attempts to save it."

"The extra time is an asset there." The second duplicate said, sharing some of his insight on the matter. "The longer we have the more we can put in place. We can better manage the immediate effects and put measures in place to deal with the worst elements."

I nodded. Playing spymaster and puppet master didn't feel particularly heroic, but it was better than open panic. In terms of acting openly, the Nine were providing us with the perfect opportunity to justify wider actions, and one we were going to milk for everything it was worth.

"We can circle back to this later. Go over things in the Spiritron Core later tonight." I said. "Where do we stand on Tetra's procedure? Everything set?"

"All done. We've even got the final piece in place." I gave the duplicate a confused look. "Your hybridization for when you perform the work."

"Um…" I was planning to work in my Transformer's body to take advantage of my boost to Unnatural Skills, but I hadn't considered taking things further. A more unnatural form meant stronger unnatural skills, but I wasn't sure how you got more unnatural than a million-year-old alien robot.

Apparently, I hadn't been thinking creatively enough.

"Fucking hell." I said. "Is that even inside this universe?" I asked.

"Some of it is." My duplicate said proudly. "I mean, it's elemental shadow infused with spiritual energy and constructed using fold principles in a transwarp conduit. It's natural for it to be a bit outside the norm."

Apparently, my duplicates enjoyed downplaying things for entertainment value as much as I did. I had to admit, it was a lot more fun when you weren't the one subjected to it.

My Transformer body was a completely mechanical form and as such it could be hybridized with any other machine. Hybridization Theory combined the benefits and reduced the weaknesses of the blended technology. As such, there was really no reason not to use it to boost my capabilities during the upcoming project.

What my duplicates had created was a remote assembly array. Kind of a combination of a bomb disposal robot, a factory assembly arm, and a robotic surgeon. A combination of precise manipulators, immaculate tools, and advanced detection systems, all built with the insane quality I was capable of. And then taken further, because we didn't work within the realm of what was conventional possible anymore.

Titan's Blood had been used to take elemental shadow energy and form it into the solid base of the machine. You know, rather than using something mundane like divine metals, multidimensional quartz, or plating manipulated on the quantum level to be effectively indestructible. You know, boring stuff like that.

As a result, the massive construct, sized to blend easily with my transformer body, was barely visible through conventional senses. It was more the impression of a presence, visible by the way the light interacted with it. Like if you took the highlights and shadows of an object and separated them from its physical form.

I had to admit, if they wanted to go more unnatural, this was definitely a step in the right direction. I wasn't exactly thrilled with the idea of embodying a step between realities for the first time while also performing a complex procedure, but this was an undeniable asset. A way to take my powers just that much further, and one I couldn't turn down, not when this was for Tetra.

"We would have tested it out, but you know, we don't have Transformer bodies." The first duplicate said.

"At least not until the next set of duplicates. Should copy if you take the potion while merged. And speaking of which…" He lifted a vial that I recognized as one of the duplication potions. Only this one had obviously been brewed after we acquired Titan's Blood, probably with the benefit of Monstrous Strength's boost to Unnatural Skill: Alchemy.

The normally flat blue potion was pulsing between shades as it radiated power that the vial seemed hard pressed to contain. I could feel the energy coming from the tiny container as once again, quality improvements had taken the potion to a new level.

"The effect is complicated, but I don't think we'll need to worry about losing the benefit of training from now on. And the Exsphere is probably going to hit a new level pretty soon." He explained. "Potion extends into a spiritual level. Even without the telepathy, this would probably be enough to preserve memories and skills."

"At least for the next set." The second duplicate said. As usual, it was without any of the typical concern for mortality. That irreverence was a staple feature of my duplicates, and something I at least understood thanks to being able to mentally connect with them.

"Right. Another thing to adjust to later." I said. "For now, we should get things in place. We're about ready to start."

There were still the final arrangements to be made. Libations were prepared to my new highest limit of quality, and then dumped upon Athena in quantities that would probably qualify as a poisoning attempt. The gift of supreme booze combined with a new mastery of rituals was enough to take my blessing from Athena to the absolute peak, preparing me for the kind of divine weaving that typically ended with someone being turned into a spider monster.

My duplicates handled the preparation of the Skyforge for the upcoming work while I focused on adjusting to a hybridized state with something that barely qualified as physically existing. The mindset of my Transformer body was already a significant step away from human. Blending in something that extended halfway into the unseen world and halfway into a half dozen other facets of reality was more than I had been prepared for.

The combination would be a godsend once we started hunting for Bakuda's pocket dimension, but right now I was mostly focused on trying to remember which of the sixteen 'ups' I could perceive applied to the physical universe.

As usual, Aisha was supportive and understanding of the matter.

"Did you turn yourself into a fucking Ring Wraith?" She asked, trying to focus on the shadowy form that was a blend of machinery and spiritual constructs.

"I'm not a damn Ring Wraith." I protested. "Just because I exist mostly in the spiritual world and have a form that can't be fully perceived from the physical universe-"

"And it was done in pursuit of power, in the service of a major artifact." She looked towards the Skyforge where Garment was helping Tetra get ready.

"I think your analogy is breaking down." I said.

"Yeah. Tetra's much too cute to be the one ring." She said with a grin, then looked back at me. "You know your voice sounds really freaky like that?"

"It's the echo from speaking in multiple phases of reality." I said. "Nothing I can do about it, but it should help with the singing."

She nodded. "That I wasn't here to see. Can't believe I missed it the last time."

"Survey has recordings." I said.

"Even she admits they don't do it justice. And that was before all the monster skills started piling up. If you're ready to drop a hot track I'm not going to miss out."

I smiled and shook my head. A head that was part metal and part shadow while possibly not really existing. "Fine. Are you all set?"

"What, for spectator duty? Sure, I've got lots of experience standing around doing nothing."

"Sorry, this isn't exactly a team effort." I said. Survey, Fleet, Tybalt, and even the Matrix had all gathered, though the Matrix had assembled a thin shell of Tier One nanobots while continuing to work on mantic channels through the expanded workshop. The titans were watching remotely while the Wishes seemed to understand something significant was happening, but were more comfortable giving space to the rest of us.

"Yeah, except for you and Garment." Aisha said. "Can you even like, wear her like that?"

"Not a problem." I raised a hand that fractured through a dozen realities, but one of them was the real world. From the perspective of that universe, the shadows grew darker and more solid. "I can interact with the world perfectly fine. Plus, The Glove of the East helps with channeling spiritual energy, so there's no problem connecting."

"If you say so." Aisha said. "I'm going to head for the stands. While you're like that make sure you don't listen to any burning eyes or whatever."

I waved her off as I ran through the final checks for the process. Various words and messages of encouragement were shared as I approached the Skyforge, from Tybalt and Fleet's simple well wishes to Survey's comprehensive analysis of the upcoming work, subjected to its final revision, to the Matrix's more detailed interaction.

'Mantic channels have been revised following the alterations to the workshop. The larger footprint has allowed more robust procedures, facilitating the accelerated growth of cores and ensuring ample energy should it be necessary for this procedure.' They transmitted.

'Thank you.' I extended to them. I could feel the mountain buzzing with energy. The benefits excessive mantic energy could provide to this kind of work were fairly minor, but I appreciated the Matrix going out of their way to facilitate things. And of course, there was another reason for that.

'I suppose you're looking forward to the next generation of nanobots, given what we'll be doing here?' I asked.

'A significant portion of the principles that have been applied to this project are not applicable to nanotech applications. Still, I have found the effort and creativity imparted on this work commendable and look forward to the eventual finalization of the next generation of nanites.' They replied.

I smiled. The Matrix had been caught between a desire for the highest grade nanobots possible and the knowledge that anything created would be obsolete almost immediately. The addition of Feel It Out's infinite upgrade tree had only complicated matters further. For the most part they had accepted improvements as a continuous process rather than an ultimate goal, meaning they could accept delays or even setbacks on that path. The fact that they were willing to indulge in experimental designs for the repair colonies integrated into the Wish-Zoids showed as much.

Approaching the stone eagle of the Skyforge as a giant extradimensional shadow monster wasn't quite the way I pictured this process playing out. Fortunately, neither Tetra nor Garment seemed the least bit put off by my current form.

"Hey." I said to Tetra. "Feeling nervous?" I asked.

"No." She said plainly, looking as calm as I had ever seen her mink form. "I know everything will go the way it's supposed to."

I appreciated her confidence in my admittedly absolute abilities, but I couldn't help but feel a bit uncertain. This wasn't the construction of a weapon or suit of armor. It wasn't building an extension for an established existence that would continue to persist even without the physical form I was constructing. It was the permanent and fundamental alteration of a living being. The fact that I knew I could handle it didn't change the significance of the event, or the stakes.

Honestly, even if there was no chance of anything going wrong, I felt like some nervousness would be appropriate, if only for the sake of tradition. I mean, I would normally have been happy to provide as much nervousness as was called for with more on call and a little extra in reserve, but that didn't quite work anymore. I was currently looking at the universe from the outside with a very liberal interpretation of what counted as impossible. In the face of every instinct to worry unnecessarily, I was forced to admit that Tetra's faith was very well placed.

"Alright." I said. "Are you ready to-" I wasn't even able to finish the sentence before her smiling mink form exploded into a mass of red fibers. From my current extradimensional perspective I could see the effect of Garment's telekinesis as it guided the individual strands through the assembly we had prepared. Tetra's body flashed with blinks of excitement as Garment finished the placement, then raised her hands towards mine.

Despite the difference in scale there was no problem donning Garment's gloves. Her dress was carefully folded up and set aside while I felt Garment's skills and knowledge blend with my own abilities. Despite the depth of knowledge and power I had acquired, there were aspects to Garment's skillset that I couldn't replicate without her help. Aspects that stood independent from craftsmanship of aesthetics, but true artistry often does.

After Garment I donned the Glove of The East. Thanks to Armor-Shift Manufacture the glove could adapt to any change in shape, including something as drastic as my current hybridization. It meant effectively layering Garment between me and another glove, but she didn't seem to mind being in the middle.

Okay, I know I was picking up a sense of amusement from Aisha over that. I elected to ignore her and focused on the task in front of me.

Gleaming crimson fibers were spread over a custom-built assembly that served as something halfway between a loom and a ritual circle. I approached, my multidimensional body able to perceive and interact with Tetra on a level that I had previously only understood in theoretical terms. Life fibers existed on the macro and micro scale, as matter and energy, physical and spiritual, extending in and beyond space at the same time. It was beautiful in its complexity and at that moment I could see all the principles I had gained from my Tailor power laid bare in their true and ultimate form.

As the Alchemy constellation missed a connection, I moved to begin my work, manipulating the fibers in ways too complex to explain. Ways that in some cases actually defied explanation. Effect plucked from intention, with cause completely circumvented. I was drawing on multiple divine powers that traced to the dawn of creation or the true nature of the world. Matter, energy, intent, form, and function, all bowing to my command.

Life fibers already had little regard for physical constraints, and with my current nature I could disregard them to an even greater degree. I had Unnatural Skill in Smithing, Alchemy, Enchanting, Transmutation, Runes, Music, Firecraft, and Rituals. Each power starting at a point of monstrous proficiency that skirted the rules of nature, then expanded to a maddening degree by the compounding power of Monstrous Strength. I stood apart from the universe, an unnatural being not bound by nature.

In this form I was never further from those restrictions, but in a way I had never been closer to them. I could see the laws, principles, and limits that would have impeded me. I could see them as they flew past, then see them again in the rear view mirror as I drove into new territory, unbound and unrestricted.

My Unnatural Skill allowed me to navigate the previous limits my power had presented to me. Knowledge, understanding, and even divine blessings had shown me what was possible, revealing principles that I never would have imagined. And now I could launch past those possibilities and enjoy the unbridled potential.

Athena's blessing allowed me mastery of weaving beyond any mortal feat. I could spin thread into perfect alignments, control texture and placement with inhuman precision. I could bind power into my work, weaving creations that carried the strength of the gods or bound magics that the world had never seen. I could do all that, and then I could take it further. I was effectively playing both sides in a contest between monsters and gods and reveling in the impossibility.

Which isn't to say the principles I had gained from the Forge were being ignored. In fact, they were being applied on a level that should not have been possible, even for someone of my skills.

Magic was wielded to bind runes of power and strength, folding in the highest level of magecraft possible from my Item Construction skill. Enchantments from a dozen sources, smelted in the Crucible of Eight Trigrams, were folded into the construction, binding powerful magics in a density I had never achieved before.

But Tetra was becoming a Kamui, and a Kamui was a product of technology as well as a living creature. What's more, Tetra was a magical creature. And I had the knowledge of Magitech to bind those principles together. Everything from the basic empowerment of Mechanist's Magitek principles to Setup Wizard ensured compatibility to the perfect blending possible from Technosorcery, all of my knowledge was folded into the work. Technomage would allow Tetra to function as her own striker unit while Mega Bomb facilitated complex spellcasting through mechanical systems. All serving to blend her natural and imbued powers with the technological wonder I was working to create.

On the biological side, I drew on the full weight of my medical and alchemical knowledge. Everything from Deranged Alchemist's insight into the principles of life to Natural Alchemy's infusions of energy. Knowledge of Kaiju creation and alien medicine were blended with advanced spiritual techniques drawn from Belmont Alchemy, perfectly balancing her biological and spiritual form, with the alchemy machine ensuring the highest quality results of the process.

As I worked, I also forged. Fibers were prepared before being formed into their final shape, heated like molten iron in a process that shouldn't have been possible for a living creature, then alloyed with the solidified discharge of transwarp energy. The resulting 'metal' was smelted with bone and quenched in blood, both drawn from the remains of Lung, creating a 'bone steel' version of life fibers, imbued with divine might and extraordinary power against parahumans. Then the forging process was complete through the use of the secret of steel, a process of traditional Japanese steelwork that imbued further power before drawing the burning mass thread back into a pure fiber of crimson energy.

The actual structure of the Kamui was complex, but it was a complexity that existed independently from most of the technology I was integrating into the process. Life fibers had a natural ability to adapt, evolve, and emulate technology. Tetra had access to all the designs that had been submitted and stored into the central computer core. She just needed the ability to emulate them properly, something I ensured through intricate structures and integration of bio-active materials.

The protein branching innovation stolen from Blasto helped with that. It was so simple yet so effective that it eliminated the need for more complex micro structures. I could lay the base for Mass Effect technology through nano-scale nodes similar to those that facilitated biotics while also integrating ragnite and fold carbon structures. The integration of transwarp energy effectively opened a shortcut for every possible application of Cybertronian technology from Space Bridges all the way to Fusion Cannons powered by extradimensional singularities.

But some effects were not based on any technical principle. The things only I could apply. Unique effects expressed through my abilities, with most only possible at creation.

High frequency effects were added, increasing strength and cutting power. Maliwan elemental enhancements were integrated into her structure. Spiritual energy was tempered and forged while her offensive abilities were improved and customized. Spiral Energy based construction methods made issues of scale irrelevant, facilitating unbridled growth while the basic principles of Weapon Crafting allowed her infinite ammunition in any emulated weapons.

Modular principles were added and mechashift allowed construction of four alternate modes in parallel. Heretical Adaptation allowed constant improvement, compounding her natural evolution. The Arcane Craft allowed her entire body to function as a focus for her Life Fiber energy, enhancing and focusing her natural capabilities. Quality powers elevated the work to the level of a divine object, and then took it further, beyond even that lofty height.

I drew on clothing modifications, allowing style, durability and perfect fit regardless of external factors. The full range of my design and aesthetic powers were unleashed, though channeled more precisely than they had been with Survey. In one of the four parallels a human form was being crafted with knowledge of advanced medicine and human replica droids and formed to high quality, but not another Helen of Troy situation. Moderated closer to Survey's civilian form than her alleged stranger effect.

As I worked I felt out the nature of Tetra's existence with my Infusionist power, searching for and drawing out her elemental affinity. It was an extended process, taking longer than I expected and stretching over a long part of the assembly, because it was an element I had never encountered before. In my previous work, the elements came naturally. Fleet was associated with wind, Survey lightning, and the Matrix with earth. I had shadow and Tybalt had fire, though those weren't the product of Infusionist. They were still conventional elements, unlike Tetra's.

Tetra's element was primal, destructive, and incredibly rare. It was a form of energy that ravaged, bound, and drained. It burned black and red and drew from a source I had never encountered. Because her element was dragon.

She could strike with power, blight her opponents, and seal abilities, and those were just the surface level applications. It was something new and fascinating, but just one of an entire sequence of such novel impossibilities encountered through my work.

Work that had reached the most critical point. Because Tetra wasn't just becoming a Kamui, she was becoming a Teigu. Teigu could exist in almost any form, including that of 'living' creatures, but regardless of the living status of a Teigu, Imperial Relics were the product of death.

Except death wasn't that meaningful to the types of creatures that formed the basis of Teigu. In fact, turning such a beast into a Teigu was often a desperate attempt to kill something that wouldn't die, binding its spiritual existence in a state that should count as dead, but was more… restrained.

Life and death were no strangers to Tetra. Life Fibers indulged in both. They enhanced and they consumed. They grew and they died. They killed and they cultivated. Seeing Tetra from the perspective of the unseen realm, I could understand that. I could see how spiritual presence was shaped into a Teigu, formed into a core of self that would allow the creature to persist in the face of any damage. Tetra's core wasn't bound to her physical state. It extended through every aspect of her existence. The only way to end Tetra would be to target her core and destroy it completely on every conceptual level.

And even then, the attack would still need to overcome her extraordinary, and now heavily enhanced, regeneration.

With the structure of her spiritual self now bound into her Teigu core the work was nearing completion, meaning only the most critical aspects remained. My most powerful and most limited abilities, the powers that could only be used upon the creation of an item.

Craftsmen of the Gods, able to grant extraordinary powers to items constructed from base materials. My link to the dawn of creation allowed me to alter the properties of existence in anything that was built from materials with a connection to that primal state. And despite how extraordinary Life Fibers were, they were undoubtedly primal.

I worked, altering the nature of Tetra's fibers in a similar way to how I had shaped her Teigu aspects. What was solid was now split, like light through a prism. Matter that existed in multiple states at once. Not solid and liquid, but physical and spiritual. The same effect that created the rainbow bridge between worlds, applied to the fibers of Tetra's Kamui.

The red lines now shimmered with a rainbow of colors as they shifted between worlds, because Tetra existed in more than one reality. She was Bifrösted, split between realms and able to access, interact with and possibly even travel to other universes. It was a power of incredible utility given the nature of parahuman powers, and it was the weaker of the divine powers I was able to grant.

Titan's Blood extended the power of Daedalus' Student to the dawn of creation. Form and function were divorced at a fundamental level, allowing a simple item to carry the strength of an army. Tetra was not a simple item, she was a masterpiece of creation, and I worked to express that.

My mind extended back to the inception of woven life fiber, to the first time any life fiber entity had produced the most basic construct of connected thread. And it extended forward, to the infinite potential that such combinations carried. With just Daedalus' Student I would have been able to create an effect beyond the limits of Tetra's physical structure, but with Titan's Blood I could approach the problem from a much more fundamental perspective.

It was about connections. That was the purpose of every advancement and structure that life fibers formed. Forming and maintaining connections. Extending connections. Enriching connections. Finding new connections. It was a constant battle, something intrinsic to their existence and fundamental to their purpose. And it was that purpose that I focused on, extending it to a single principle.

The thread would not break.

Any connection Tetra formed would be maintained, forever. The physical limits or practicality of the situation didn't matter. Written into the universe as a fundamental aspect of her existence, connections would be maintained. Maintained in her favor, that is. It was her fibers connecting, and her driving the effect. Trying to turn it on her wouldn't work. After all, you can't push a rope.

Practically, the effects were harrowing. Anyone she touched she could enhance or drain at any point she wished. Anywhere she went, anything or anyone she touched, she could return to. Because she was already there. She was always there. Always connected. A persistent and instantaneous version of Mouse Protector's teleportation ability was actually one of the least significant aspects of her power, particularly when you consider the breadth of what a 'connection' could mean to someone like Tetra.

And with that the final divine aspect crystalized. All of the abilities, all of the powers I could grant had been instilled. Four forms existed simultaneously through an incredibly complex configuration of woven fabric. The process of creation was almost complete. There was just one thing left to do.

In a form of shadow and metal, bound to a spirit of fashion and looking into the material world from the spiritual plane, I began to sing. I drew on the highest level of Elven Enchantment, drawn further by unnatural abilities in an unnatural place.

The language was Quenya, the language of the Speakers. Language from the Year of the Trees. A language of weight, significance and power. Power that I could see for myself as the spiritual world around me churned and animated with every syllable. A world beyond the perception of mortals, rising like a living thing and binding itself into my creation. Into what I hoped Tetra to be.

I sang of my hope for Tetra, for the work I had done and the connection we shared. I sang of what she meant to me, both for the oath I had made to all sapient beings under my care and for the friend and companion she had become. I sang of transformation, her beginning and end in a single act, performed as both a gift and a service. Performed as an offering to grant peace, comfort, and wholeness to one I cared for. I sang of the future we would face and the challenges we would overcome, both together and with the help of those who stood by our side.

My duplicates picked up the song, carrying it as well as they could without direct access to the unseen. Their refrain reinforced the effect, sealing the physical aspects of the spiritual process. An act of creation, of hope, light, and kindness, was bound and made manifest. Four shapes, a spindle, a girl, a suit, and a robot, existed simultaneously. Then they flickered, consolidated, and suddenly were one.

Tetra flickered between her shapes, shifting as smoothly as if she had been born to them. And then she settled and stood before us in a form that finally felt whole.