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"If I can only get off one attack with this, and no one but me can use it effectively..." Cierra began. "...the Tentacle Rod is actually useless. It's not powerful enough to justify bringing it into a battle."

Ein sighed. "All right, thanks. I'll keep it around for now." He took the staff back and headed out the door, wandering around Elendia.

Truth be told, he didn't know why he had the rod in the first place. He vaguely recalled beating Hector and taking it from him, but that would never happen. There was no way he could defeat his master, and anyway, he would remember it more clearly if he had. Wouldn't he?

He was so lost in thought that he almost tripped over the machine before noticing it. It was a strange mass of gears and pistons, but one part stood out. Just below a hole in the machine's body, the following was written in familiar handwriting: Place my staff here. -Hector

Surprised by anything from Asgard, and Hector no less, being in Elendia, Ein examined the whole contraption trying to figure out what exactly it was supposed to be for, but had no luck. It could just as easily have been a washing machine as an oven for all he knew.

There was one way to find out for sure. Without thinking too carefully about it, Ein pushed the Tentacle Rod into the hole securely, business end facing up.

The inscription on the machine changed. He peered closely at it as the letters shifted.

You're not very bright, are you? -Hector

"Hey, what is that supposed to mean-?"

Before he could wonder further, the gears of the machine started to turn. Discs spun and levers switched back and forth. The end of the rod began to glow purple as the grinding sounds of gears was covered by a strange humming sound.

Ein got the idea that he should probably take out the staff before something happened. He put his hand on the rod and tried to yank it out. It was stuck. He pulled again.

A single tendril, also purple in color, wrapped its way around his wrist and held tightly. He let go of the staff and watched, horrified, as more caught his arms and legs in their grips and lifted him clear off the ground.

The humming grew louder. The pistons worked faster. More and more tentacles sprung forth from the end of the rod, and began tearing apart his trousers so that-

Green lights lit up on the machine. A larger tentacle emerged from the end of the staff, slimy and even more disgusting than the others.

Ein prayed to every god he knew that his suspicions about where this would end up were wrong.


Elsewhere, Hector sipped his tea and watched the view through the installed camera.

Building that machine had taken months of work, a fair sum of money, and a few incredibly discreet engineers. At the time, he couldn't have known how very worth it it would turn out to be.