Gin walked through the smoke machine fog, lights flashing in a steady rhythm to interrupt his path with a seemingly solid pillar of light. His suit was for all intents painted on. The magic used to dress him was old and archaic. It was a potion, poured on him then like a living creature it flowed and formed hugging all his parts, painting him smoothing out where instructed and hiding those bits purposely cupped or taped to look like a second flesh that didn't exactly show the parts that people were still ashamed to admit were there.
A second layer structured and formed by a Couturisan trained in mystical Couture. He or she, androgyny seeming to be the preference for those who trained in the craft, shaping it to the latest fashion in sport coats. His belt, black and heavy with so many items as to be made unsuitable for it's original purpose. And boots so polished that they looked like glass. They rose to hug his mid calf.
This was it. This was his chance to shine. The trial had begun and what ever the outcome it would decide the rest of his life. He'd put off the trial so long that he'd been given transmutation orders. He had this one chance to make something of himself and he hoped he was ready.
First it was a lady in red. She came out and grabbed him the dance steps obvious. This was a tango. He turned and countered by raising his arms and lifted his knees one at a time in an exact counter to her high step march. Left, right, left, right on the third left he kicked out and planted his leg firmly behind hers, stopping the back step that would allow her leverage. He gave a quick twist and dipped her. Upon rising he grabbed a sash she was wearing at her waist and held it out. Her perfect plastic face, no doubt done up with the same magic that made his costume, glaring at him with a terrifying smile.
She pulled back, he mimicked her, connected arms touching, free arms holding parallel to the ground. They smiled manically to nonexistent judges. She came around to face him, he had to follow. He was sure to be losing points for following her, but not too many, and if he did it well enough and could lead her into a trap.
With her sash he swung, she twisted and grabbed him by the neck. The sequins on this, a gloved hand, began to pierce his flesh. Poison was not allowed but there were other chemicals that didn't kill but could hamper. He put his arm out and wrapped it around her's to break the grip with his weight. He felt the sequins scratch, but he couldn't deal with that now. He used his grip on her arm to pull her down and back. She almost lost her footing, he would have won but she was good and let him lead her into a spin.
One time around. She was damn good. He couldn't drop her, this was The Tango and he needed to keep her with him at all times unless she broke it off. A second time. What could he do? He could feel her shifting. She was up to something. She had so many options; a blade in her boot? A well planned twist? She seemed to have more power over the dance now.
Then he remembered the dance was one of passion and he only needed to keep the tension up,. It was daring but he didn't know any other way out of this. They were going into the fourth spin, Too many, this would drop his points so he leaped and let her go. He landed on toes and palms straddling her. A twist and dodged her blow with the knife.
He spun, rolled, and rose to his feet,in a move that looked planned but he did all he could to avoid three attacks. She was so smooth, he left her confused and stumbling. He hadn't won yet. He took her sash stretched it as she did a cat like crawl up his leg. Her one chance to grab the sash before it changed. He put it in his mouth and it coiled. injecting a powerful toxin into him. But she now had to steal it from him. It was the dance she had to follow the rules.
He felt the toxin pour into his body and she played him, forcing him have to drag her across the floor and absorb more toxin. With a kick he straddled her and flung her up from under her. she now had to take the rose. If she could get him in a spin he'd take the rose back but he could see it wilting. He twisted and they began the classic tango. She tried but he dipped her. The second phase of the rose began. It pumped the antidote in. She screamed and dropped he had to end wisely to get the points back. He went to her took out a scarf from his belt and laid it on her as he watched consciousness ebb from her.
The trial of body was the easiest of the three he’d have to take. The tango was the hardest. This meant the next two were going to be advanced. He wasn’t ready for this. He’d never wanted this. He just wanted to fade into the background and do a job like food worker — not glamorous but simple. He’d made the mistake of passing the M.A.T.s with high marks. His best score in the Sciences and thinking he’d failed the practical he’d actually just couldn’t fail that day and passed full graduate when he’d only stayed in school to tenth grade.
His heart slowed enough that he could spread his conscience out, this activated the red spot. It was far. He hadn’t realized that the dance floor lacked a fourth wall. The spot shone in the distance. He had to make it to the spot before it faded. The rocky terrain that surrounded him would have made the journey hard enough but someone decided it would be fun to put a labyrinth in the way.
The painted suite didn’t protect him from the elements. Instead it just let everything through He had to check twice to be sure he wasn’t naked. The rubbery texture assured him he was clothed but this was nerve wracking.
Gin opened one of the pockets of his weighty belt and pulled out a tube. Rubbing it on his hands he concentrated on gloves. soon he had red gloves that glowed on the palms. Capping the tube he put it back in the pocket and started toward the maze.
A light flashed to his left and he dropped and rolled left hoping that the shooter would expect him to go away from the threat. He was right but the shooter adjusted fast and got Gin right in the back. His magic coat flashed super bright white. so white it almost blinded him from the reflection off the cliff face. He ran. The damage wasn’t so bad, the coat might heal itself. It had a few more tricks in it so he didn’t toss it away.
Nothing flashed at him until he’d made it to the maze entrance. This time, however, what flashed was a spell that formed into red glowing gel beasts, about 7” tall. He could hear the ground sizzle where they touched it. One jumped and stuck to his chest. It began to burn. He panicked and fell on another. Several more flashes followed by several more splats turning into 7” acid gels hit the wall of the labyrinth. He noted them but was to busy screaming to care much. He pulled off his coat, sad that he’d not see it in action. Maybe the couturisian could make him another if he survived.
He finally peeled the creature off and threw it aside in time to see another man in a painted suite walk up. He’d obviously ignored the part where he put the cup on before the suite. The suites really did form to everything.
“yah?” He sniggered.
Gin looked up and saw the man in his white suite with a blue and Magenta lightning design coming from his shoulder to point at the un-cupped area. He had spiky hair pointy nose and a pointed chin that rapidly moved up and down on the gum he seemed to be enjoying as much as the gloating.
Gin, instead of staying to take this man on, test or no, He grabbed on of the acid creatures and threw it at the man’s face. It burned hard but he was protected with the gloves he’d just put on.
Just as he thought, the man didn’t protect himself from the affects of the little creatures. He removed the gloves and began to apply new ones when he thought of something. The top of the maze was protected from just flying to the red light. But did they protect the sides. This maze was built not cared so it had to be worth checking. He moved to the left and saw that is didn't’ go all the way through. so he went to the other. This one was open. Why? A trap?
Onward he went he could see the red spot and as he began to see the stage where the spot shone. He reached it and as he climbed the stage and the light went out. All the lights. He’d failed. He’d have his magic stripped and he’d be sent out, enslaved most likely.
“Gin Talawandamuckitymuck?” a dual voice rang out and a bright speck of light bobbed into view. Gin just shook his head. He was trying not to react to loosing. A well behaved Dulled has a better chance in a rich home. Most of his personality would be wiped, of course, but there is some part of the person still in there and doing well in the fog.
“We have come to inform you that you have passed.”
You showed restrain, agility and wisdom. Very few think to look at both sides of the the maze. You used Skull’s magic against him. And the contents of that belt were inspected prior to your prep. We see some advanced artificey in there. You even mimicked the idea of the suite with those gloves. You will study as law enforcement.
Gin was so excited. There wee no limits to what you’d ever be tested as but Law enforcement was the best job in the world.
He’d never believed he be the good enough. He hoped for something dull but ended up with the the best life ever.