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((All right, let's give this a go!))



OOC Thread



A figure casually placed the last of the boxes on the recipient's porch, making sure that if the dark clouds drizzled a little bit it wouldn't be out in the rain.

No point stuffing it into the mailbox. She figured, glancing around before walking back out to the curb. She paused to brush her blonde curls from her face and admire the moon, waxed full for the upcoming holiday.

" Why do I live during such crazy times? No, why did I choose to live such a crazy life?" She murmured to herself. " All of this teleporting, and instabilities, and monsters and nightmares... I miss it when the worst I could worry about were failing grades and my little sister watching Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? for the upteenth time..."

With a sigh, she followed the sidewalk out of the neighborhood, contemplating her choices. Would these people be up to it? She and her friends certainly weren't, and yet they basically launched themselves into their first adventure; who knew that some weird, anti-social person at the outskirts of town had a device that can transport her house to other dimensions?!

Well, maybe they would just have to do what you did. She thought. Or maybe they need Shadow to be as blunt with them as she was with us. She smiled at the memory of her strange friend going on and on about " How we're all going to die, and yet you all wanted to hunt for unicorns!"

Shadow is a strange person, but she at least knew what she was doing.


Having re-entered the town, the girl's smile vanished as she recalled the mission. According to Shadow, it was going to be pretty weird, and the small group had been through a lot-her especially. So saying it was going to be weird meant a lot more than it would to the average Joe.

I just hope our new recruits will be up to the task... She shook her head, reassuring herself. Of course they'll be up to it, Crystal! They were chosen for a reason!

Or at least... she certainly hoped so.

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((Oh jeez. Well, all or nothing. Here we go. I couldn't get my intro to fit in 7 sentences, hopefully that's ok. Fears are: getting stabbed with needles, being unimportant and ignored by everyone. And speaking of fears, I'm afraid I did something wrong. Just tell me if I did.))


The sound of a doorbell caused Cygnis to stride briskly towards her front door. Deftly swiping up a bowl of candy, she opened the door and glared expectantly at the unfortunate soul asking for candy. "Take as much as you want." She snapped, her tone irritable. Awkwardly, the kid reached for two candies and scurried away. Turning away, she was about to put the candy bowl down when she saw the box. Deciding to grab that too, she closed the door and set the candy bowl down. The box was addressed to her, a rare occurrence. Though she didn't recall ordering anything, she decided to open the box anyway.


Figuring that whoever sent he package wouldn't bother putting her name on it if it was a bomb or something of that sort, she ripped the box open. Inside there was... A mirror? It lay sideways in the box, so she must have opened the box the wrong way. Oh well. She picked the mirror up, only to drop it back in the box when she looked into it. This had to be some sort of prank. Thankfully, the box had cushioned the drop so the mirror was still intact and she wouldn't have to deal with glass shards. Noticing a note, she unfolded it and skimmed over it. It didn't help answer her questions, in fact it only increased them and reinforced her assumption that the box was a prank. Still, she had nothing else to do, so she might as well meet the sender of the box - named Crystal apparently.


Since she had already taken off her costume, she simply grabbed a few hair ties, strapped on a watch, and quickly shrugged on a light jacket. Pulling a post it note off of its stack, she scribbled a quick note before slapping it on the fridge. Once she was out the door, she broke into a light run and enjoyed the cool breeze on her face. It didn't take long for her to reach the school, seeing as she lived nearby.

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Evert was in his game room, raiding a dungeon with his online friends when he heard the doorbell. Thinking the pizza he ordered earlier was here, he announced his sudden absence to the others and answered the door. Nobody here. No pizza, but a box was at his feet. He carried the object inside and put it on his bed before heading back to the game. He'd open it once the raid was over.


After the raid, he had grabbed the package left on his bed and had decided to open it during a Skype chat with the group.


"So what did you get?"

"Is it a gift from a secret admirer? Ooooooh!?"


"Its just a hand mirror." He told the others after opening it.


"A hand mirror?"

"Did you just open something your mom ordered?"


He checked for the name of the recipient. It was for him.

He decided to put it on the side table next to an empty Starbucks cup. It was just a mirror after all.

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Crystal opened the big double-doors to the school gym, pausing for a moment to stare into the empty room. It felt so big, now that all of the party-goers had left for the night.

Hmph. Middle school. Lucky, they get to have a big party. Then again, all of her peers were probably partying at their own houses, watching movies and eating more pizza than she could fathom, talking about how What's-Her-Face's Facebook was updated and whether So-And-So would get together with What's-His-Bucket.

That's what teenagers talk about, right? It had been so long, she couldn't even remember what her peers usually did after school; she just observes them when they're in class.


" Stop standing there like a zombie, Shadow's coming." A voice cut through her thoughts. Crystal shook herself awake and looked at her friend, her stern face framed by shoulder-length chocolate-brown hair.

" Sorry." She mumbled. " Just reminiscing."

Rachel's seriousness faded, replaced by a smile, and she put a hand on her shoulder. " Don't worry about it; but seriously Shadow's coming. She just came out of... that place you know... so she's going to need the entire doorway."

Crystal rolled her eyes, moving out toward the center of the gym where the others were waiting. " She's been spending more and more time down there, you know?" She said. " I swear, if she spends another minute in that Nightwatcher morph, she's going to be stuck in it permanently. Then we'll have to oil every door she comes across!"

Rachel laughed, following. " I don't believe she has one morph smaller than seven feet tall, so I think I could get used to that. Speaking of morphs, I wonder if any of our 'recruits' are going to enjoy those mirrors."

Crystal waved casually at her other two friends; a tall boy with dirty-blonde hair and a rather athletic brown-haired girl who was currently doing cart wheels around the gym. The boy watched as the latter almost fell on her head at the sight of Crystal.


" What?! You're back so soon?!" She recovered from her half-fall and rushed over.

" Don't hurt yourself. And there weren't very many boxes, I could deliver them all." Crystal shrugged. The girl brushed her brown bangs from her face.

" Shadow here yet?" She asked.

" No." Rachel muttered. " We've been waiting all night."

" Well, technically-" The boy began, but Rachel cut him off.

" I'm exaggerating, Jacob. Don't even start."

" So was I. You didn't forget that Cygnis person, right?" He directed the question at Crystal.

" Of course not!" She sputtered indignantly. " Kind of hard to forget her! I mean, Jessie remembers her just fine!"

" You're talking." The mentioned girl laughed.

" So, now all we do is wait?" Jacob asked. Crystal opened her mouth to reply, but heard footsteps approaching the doors she left open.

" Must be Shadow." Rachel automatically got up to check.

" Or our first recruit." Jacob shrugged. " I'm fine with either."

" I hope she isn't covered in blood... that's the last thing we need the new people to see." Crystal chewed her lip.

" You're talking!" Jessie repeated, still laughing. Crystal glanced at Jacob.

His expression said it all; there was no way Shadow could return from that awful dimension and not need a bath. Well, hopefully she was actually considerate this time and remembered the meeting...

Or, you know, maybe not.






You recognize the school as it looms in front of you; a low, sprawling building hosting both the highschool and the middleschool. There were still some lights on in the hallways, though no doubt it was starting to close up for the night, as the Halloween Party for the middleschoolers has long finished and there were very few cars in the parking lot.

All the better for you; less people staring as you go to school on the eve of a holiday, of all times. It certainly wasn't like the building was more welcoming, even with all of the Halloween decor strung throughout its halls! Actually, in a way it was eerier, as rooms once filled with the chatter of teachers and students were now dead silent and dark. Luckily it's a straight shot to the gym almost upon entering the school, so this can be done and over with quickly. Though, it does seem a bit odd that this prankster would have you come to the school so late at night...




((Not sure what to do here Ceadeus, since Evert hasn't done much yet(though I can't stop laughing at the dialogue); I'm pretty sure he knows what his own room looks like. xd.png Maybe do another post? I'm not opposed to a sprinkle of regular roleplaying at first as we start, since I'm still figuring out the GM role myself.

@Silverphoenixx: Does Cygnis have a particular look to her? I'm curious since I have a vague idea as to what she's wearing, but not much else. Oh, and you can keep roleplaying where I "left off", or continue normally using the information I gave you; whichever works best!))

Edited by skwerl56767

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((Ah sorry, I was just doing a simple intro while waiting for others to join but I can write another post.))


After a while, Evert decided he should do something about the mirror he had received. Things like why was he given a mirror to begin with? And who's Crystal? He wasn't exactly social outside of the virtual world so he wouldn't be able to recognize anyone from school by name. The school seemed like the best answer so he grabbed his bag, slid the mirror inside with a couple shirts on both sides of it and set off.


At one point he pulled the mirror back out and looked into it, quickly putting it away afterwards and assuming whatever he saw was the result of too little sleep.

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Not many lights were on in the after-hours and he didn't bother to turn them on, instead finding his way through the school under the eerie red glow of the exit signs. Something so familiar during the day turned into a mass of shadows at night. That sent a thrilling chill through his veins. Nobody really stayed late enough to see the hallways like this. He fiddled with the keys in his hands, knowing full well that he could get into any room if he fumbled for the right key, but the teacher gave him a mission and trusted him with them. Better not.


Carol had just carried the last of the stuff -- including the precious cashbox -- back into the staff room with a spring in his step. The school dance didn't have an entry fee, but some of the school clubs chose to have a snack stand -- or other goodies -- to fundraise. While it meant it was a little harder to clean up the aftermath, there was nothing a little sweeping or a few wet paper towels wouldn't fix.


After handing the keys back, Carol said his goodbyes for the night (and in Henry's case, a 'see you later' for the real party that was about to start in a little bit) and checked the gym one last time. He thought he saw something, or someone, though he shook his head and left. Normally he would have investigated, but the unofficial highschool Halloween bash was going to be a blast and he was already a little late. Last year certainly was amazing, he recalled, enough for the party to be broken up by police officers dude to noise complaints.


Thankfully he lived close to the school. A brisk jog and he was already back, fumbling for keys at the door before realizing that it was already open. He stumbled on something on the way in and, cursing under his breath, he picked up the offending object -- a box -- and carried it inside.


The candy bowl was still mostly full, and he swiped a candy bar on the way in. Around the corner, he found his mother asleep on the couch. Figuring that there weren't many children coming by this year, he flicked off the porch light and locked the door for her before scurrying upstairs with the mysterious package in hand. He wasted no time grabbing a pocket knife to slice it open. The box was addressed to him even if he didn't order anything recently. Perhaps it was a secret admirer?


The secret admirer knew him well, apparently, as Carol lifted the mirror out and gazed at his own reflection. But instead of seeing his brown eyes and olive skin, flat nose and thick lips, he saw only a mass of fur. It startled him initially, until he rubbed his eyes and simply found it strange. The thing reflected everything else just fine. Putting the mirror (or, whatever it was) down gently, he scanned the note that came with it.


So that's what they were doing back there... Carol's face split into a grin. New plans would have to be made tonight, although he was a little peeved that he would have to head back to school. He didn't know Crystal as well as he hoped, but he was sure she knew about him -- after all, who didn't? Carol was certain he was one of the top ten rungs of the popularity ladder, for better or for worse.


Grabbing his phone and texting a few words of apology to some friends (for curiosity got the better of him over a night of getting blitzed), he headed back out into the night, mirror in pocket. Last he saw were some figures behind the gym -- that would be the first place he would check.

Edited by TehUltimateMage

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((A bit short cause I dunno what I should do with the gym. I feel like I repeated myself a bit in the post... but at least it has substance, right?))


Glancing at the work and decorations hung on the walls of the school, Cygnis kept a brisk pace to the gym. She appreciated the effort to be "in the spirit of the holiday", (no pun intended...or maybe yes pun intended) but some of the decorations weren't exactly aesthetically pleasing. Her mind wandered as she walked, eventually settling on the mirror. She had brought it with her, keeping it and the note in her pocket. Sure, the reflection on it might have been startling, but it must have taken a lot of effort to make the mirror do that. Why go through the trouble? As far as she knew, no one disliked her enough or had the patience to do that. Maybe they were actually serious... A normal prankster wouldn't ask her to go to the gym this late at night and give her a mirror with a weird reflection. Not that the reflection was ugly, it was just... different. Mirrors were supposed to reflect you, not make another thing appear. That would make it defy logic. If they changed the mirror, then should the rest of the mirror have changed too? But the rest was perfectly fine, and if it weren't for the reflection, she might have kept the mirror. But as for now, she didn't have a severe mirror shortage, and she wasn't the type to want to look at herself constantly, although even if she were the reflection made that point moot.

Edited by Silverphoenixx

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Shadow had indeed arrived, and it turned out she was late because she did remember the meeting, much to Crystal's relief. Though, she was also pretty irritated.

" Of course I would remember! I'm the one who organized the stupid thing!" She snapped, quickly morphing into her human form so no one would be startled at the sight of a tall, armor-plated humanoid dragon-beast.

" But you know we always worry so much about you!" Rachel said sarcastically.

" Well, in a way-" Jacob started, but Shadow cut him off, still partly morphed.

" Those boxes delivered?"

" Yes, everything is ready to go." Crystal sighed. " Why does everyone keep asking?"

" Sorry, I wasn't here." Shadow said bitterly, pausing for a moment to cough due to her half-formed voice. She waited until the morph was finished before continuing. " So I'm going to keep asking questions. You put the boxes in conspicuous places, correct? None of that mailbox stuff."

" Yes, none of them went into the mailboxes."

" Rang the doorbells?"

" Only on some of them."


Shadow grimaced. " We're going to be here all night."

Crystal opened her mouth to retort, but this time Jacob cut her off. " Should we split up with the recruits? You said yourself it will be dangerous."

" If you want, I could care less. I'm not even coming." Shadow shrugged. " I'm just here to explain to these dodos on how to use those mirrors."

" 'Dodos'?" Rachel echoed skeptically. " For your information, at least one of them has very good grades."

" In public school? Gasp! I'm so shocked!" Shadow said in mock surprise. Both Jacob and Jessie laughed, though Rachel was far from amused.

" We chose them because they're smart!" She pointed out. " That, and they have experience in areas that will help them with these... what are they, dimensions?"

" Could say the same about you." Shadow shot back.

" All right girls, you're both pretty!" Crystal hastily jumped between them before a fight could break out. " They'll be here any minute, we have to be here to recieve them and not have bloody noses."

Shadow sniffed. " Especially with human noses." She muttered. " Remind me why they stick so far out?"

" You're the one who morphed into a human." Crystal said.

" Uh... " Jacob stuck his hand into the air. " Quick question: what happened to the answer to my question?"


" I say we join them." Jessie said. " We could have another group adventure. It's been a while since the last one."

" Weren't we almost eaten in the last one? Or wait, was it 'fried up like a piece of chicken'?" Rachel butted in. " I say no. I've had enough excitement for several years, at least."

" Neutral." Jacob cast his vote. Crystal just looked at her friends nervously, glancing at Shadow.

" I don't know why you're looking at me." She said, crossing her arms. Crystal began to fret.

" What if... what if.... Oh! What if they're here already? They can decide!" She briskly headed for the doors leading out of the gym. The others just stared after her.

" That means she can't decide." Rachel said. Jessie just grinned.

" I'm still up for adventure!" She said.




[Ceadeus, TehUltimateMage, and uh... everyone, really. xd.png I'm assuming everyone is in one place.]

The school was a bit spooky to enter so late at night, but it was just a school after all. One would notice though upon approaching the building that, oddly enough, the gym had its lights back on. In fact, it seems the hallways leading to the gym all had their lights on, the contrast causing the nearby classrooms to appear even darker. If one paused long enough to peer into one of the classrooms on the way down, one might be able to see a sort of dark mass hugging the wall and experience an itching, crawling sensation upon looking at it, but with the classroom door closed it would be hard to tell if it was something unusual or just a trick of the light...

At the end of the last hallway there stood the double doors to the gym. It would have been kind of thrilling, standing there, if the doors didn't have big, festive posters over them to kill the mood. The first to arrive was Cygnis, followed by Evert with Carol bringing up a close rear. Others may arrive, but for now they were the only three at the doors.

But before anyone could even reach for the handle, the doors were opened and they were greeted by a girl with curly blonde hair and vibrant blue eyes. She seemed a bit flustered, but immediately brightened up at the sight of the little group.

" Awesome, you came!" She turned to call over her shoulder; " Hey guys! Our first recruits are already here!"

" You're lying!" Someone-a boy, perhaps?-replied from within the brightly-lit gym.

Well, she seemed normal enough. She turned back and smiled eagerly, like a hostess who just recieved her first guests. " I'm Crystal, the one who sent the mirrors! Come in! You need to meet Shadow because she's the one doing the explaining." She said that part loudly, and a different person from within the gym let out a laugh. Crystal ignored it and stood aside, allowing the group to enter.


Within the gym it was a bit more welcoming than it was outside, though the huddle of figures in the center felt out of place; the tallest one even more so. One who has a larger social life at school would recognize Crystal rather quickly, maybe Rachel and Jessie as well as the former is known for beign stubborn and defensive, and the latter her enthusiasm for sports. The boy Jacob, however, may have been seen only when school let out, which is a bit odd since he has never been spotted within the school? He seemed like more of a relaxed figure, alert but not tense. There was only one figure who couldn't be recognized: a rather tall girl with long black hair and a very serious, borderline-judgmental gaze. The weirdest thing about her is that her eyes seem to be a very odd color... purple? Well, maybe it was just part of a costume.

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Evert was intimidated at first but followed anyway while muttering 'pretend this is virtual reality' to himself. So this is Crystal, and she seems to have a squad of her own. The tall girl's gaze gave him the willies though. He stopped within reasonable distance of her and uttered a faint 'hello' while shoving his hands into the big front pocket of the hoodie he wore that night. He looked at the others who came with him, then around at the scenery. Bright, colorful, childlike Halloween decorations. Definitely nothing like a horror game.

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"You there... boy..."


"You who had your story end too early... who had your adventure cut short... I can offer you a new one, a new path... a new destiny..."

"Who.... Where...?"

"I have brought you here for that choice.... But I will require something in exchange..."

"Don't.. you dare take... Nekomi... or Suzuki.."

"No... I don't want people, child. I want something far more precious. Who you were to be, in exchange for who you shall become..."

"I don't... understand..."

"Entertain me, child... That is all I ask.... So that you may be reborn... So that you may begin anew. Now, hurry.. Your new adventure awaits..."




He awoke in a cold sweat, his pajamas coated with moisture. His hair was a mess as it fell over his face. He had obviously been rolling over in his sleep. He put a hand to his face.

He quickly surveyed his surroundings and immediately noted that something was wrong. Confused, he gazed around the room, finally his hands coming to rest on his alarm clock which had been ringing the whole time.

He stopped it, concerned, as he looked out what he could see of the window. For some reason, the view felt both familiar and unfamiliar. He rubbed his hands through his hair as he stood to his feet, shaking nervously.

"A new existence... No..." he began, when his door suddenly slammed open. He almost jumped through the ceiling, slamming his hand on the drawer next to him.

"ONIIII-CHAAAAAAAAAAAAN!" a young girl yelled, barging into the door. "Are you feeling better yet?! It's almost time for schoooool! Mom wants to know if you're going!"

"....Uh..." Ryuki began, concerned.

"Oh! And Nekonee-san is here to see you!" Suzuki elbowed him, grinning. "And you're still in your pajamas. How embarrassing!"

"....You....?" Ryuki tried to say, but this was all too confusing. This girl, he recognized her. His sister, right? He rubbed his forehead, perplexed.

Within the span of a moment, his confusion was gone. Almost as a scene from some old story, one he had been in many times - he was sure of it - she was standing in front of him, a schoolbag hanging between both hands. The one he had... given his life for? He couldn't remember now. But now so many things seemed real.

"...Nekomi..." Ryuki held out his hand, then pulled it back. He wasn't dressed yet. All of this seemed wrong. Right.. he'd been sick for the past week. A fever. They were worried he'd miss... miss what... his birthday? No... that was July. He pondered for a long time.

He looked outside again, and then it all came back to him.

Halloween. Halloween was tomorrow. His last, real, Halloween. Of course, he was far too old for it, but he would never give up taking Suzuki and Nekomi along, and she just enjoyed being around them both.

Pieces began to be put back in place. His heart stopped racing.

"I'm sorry I'm not dressed, heh." Ryuki said quickly, stabilizing himself.

"Did you have some sort of bad dream? That's not like you." Nekomi asked, putting a hand to his face and checking his forehead. He turned slightly red, backing away. She stared at him, confused.

"Since when does my touch embarrass you?" she asked, after a long moment.

"Ah, sorry." Ryuki replied. "Yeah. I had... a pretty bad dream, I guess, you could say."

"Must be... A HALLOWEEN CURSE!" Suzuki jumped at him, hands outstretched like mock claws. "THE GHOSTS COME FOR YOU, NII-CHAN. THEY COME TO TAKE YOU AWAY!'

She darted at him, and he instinctively moved aside, grabbing her collar and stopping her in her tracks. She frowned, sighing.

"That's no fun. You normally let it go for a bit.." Suzuki pouted as he released her.

"I... do?" he asked.

"Yeah. Man that dream must have been REALLLLLY bad!" Suzuki said, pondering. "What was it about? Demons? Vampires?"

"Nothing as amazing as that, nah." Ryuki responded, unbuttoning his pajama top so he could change.

"Then what was it?" Nekomi asked.

"More like... Emptiness. A void. No one to hold on to. No one to ... depend on. And I felt... truly alone. Like everyone was gone and I wasn't who I was anymore." Ryuki replied, his words coming to him without him even thinking about them. "As though... I wasn't the real me, but someone beyond myself. As though I was dying."

The room went silent for a long while. Then Suzuki punched him in the leg.

"OW, WHAT THE HELL!?" Ryuki swore, wincing.

"Yeah. You're alive." Suzuki crossed her arms, nodding. "Also Mom said you're not allowed to use that language when you're in the house, remember? Grandma is still living with us for a bit."


"Wowwwww... You really DID lose it." Suzuki shrugged. "Anyway, breakfast got done like ten minutes ago and Dad wants to know if you're walking to school again."

"....Of course." Ryuki said firmly.

"I'll go tell him!" Suzuki said, spinning in a circle as she left the two of them in the room. When the door was closed, Nekomi laid a hand on his back, concerned.

"You had one too, didn't you?"

"A what?"

"That dream... I had it last night too. And Suzuki mentioned something similar... But mine wasn't nearly as bad, because.. I saw you." she whispered weakly. "That's still... pretty freaky, isn't it? The same sort of dream?"

"I guess. It's probably nothing. We just... need to enjoy our-"


Suzuki kicked the door open again, holding out a box in front of herself with pride.


"I CAN HEAR YOU." Ryuki shouted. "And you need to quiet down before you wake up the neighbors."

"Oh, so you remember THEM?!" Suzuki smirked, plopping herself on Ryuki's bed and busying herself by tearing into the box with the courtesy and kindness of a man trying to get at his last meal. The sound of cardboard and tape being torn apart was obnoxious.

"Is your name even on that package?" Ryuki sighed, turning slightly.

"YEAH! And Nekonee-san's too!" Suzuki perked up, opening the box.

"Awww... what kind of presents are these? Laaaaaaame!" Suzuki said, grabbing one of them.

"What?" Ryuki asked, turning. "WOAH! WOAH WOAH!"

He took the object from Suzuki before she could throw it.

"Hey! I wasn't going to ruin it!" Suzuki protested earnestly.

"It looked like you were about to chuck this mirror." Ryuki stated.


"...Ryuki... that's..." Nekomi began, touching the surface.

"What?" Ryuki asked.

"Isn't that... real silver?" Nekomi asked, sliding her fingers along the back of it.

"OOOOH what kind of crazy stuff is THIS!?" Suzuki asked.


"Try looking at yourself in it! It's so clear!"

Ryuki flipped it over. One thing he noticed first - Nekomi wasn't in the reflection, even though she was right next to him. But then the second thing he noticed...

Why did the figure staring at him... look so familiar?

It was just his face for now, but it was clad in some form of lupine-based helmet sitting upon the traditional, Shogunate armor of a feudal warlord. But for some reason, he could tell it was himself.... And as though... he had been this form before....

But the form flickered away, and the mirror returned to reflecting Nekomi and himself perfectly, the surface unmarred by age or time.

"Ryuki, are you ok?" Nekomi asked, patting his shoulder.

"Huh? Eh?" Ryuki said, turning. "Why?"

"You... went silent... And your eyes seemed.. Almost dead."

"LIKE A ZOMBIE!" Suzuki added. "Creeeeepy!"

"You guys didn't see that?" Ryuki asked.

"See what?"

"Oi! It's not even Halloween yet! Stop trying to scare us!" Suzuki said. "Besides, I'm not a little, scared girl, Onii-chan. I'm not going to fall for it!"

"...But..." Ryuki began, then realized it was hopeless. Instead he finished changing and tied his shoes, sighing.

"Just.. leave them here for now." Ryuki said, putting his on his nightstand.

"NO CAN DO, nii-chan." Suzuki said, holding up a note. "This says we gotta bring them to something after school."

"The day before Halloween." Ryuki said, crossing his arms. "This has got to be some sort of prank. Who's it from?"

"C-r-y.... Crystal!" Suzuki said, holding it up. "Her handwriting is really hard to read."

"Hey, it could be a guy." Ryuki joked.

"A guy. Named Crystal?" Suzuki was skeptical.

"There are some weird men in this world, my younger sister." Ryuki leaned over a bit. "Very. Very strange men."

"You're one of them."

"I'll remember that." Ryuki frowned. "Anyway, fine. Throw them in our schoolbags. If they get broken, not our fault."

"What, you're really going to play along with this? I don't even know her." Nekomi said, holding out her hands. "How did she know to send mine here anyway?"

"Our relationship isn't really secret, Nekomi." Ryuki said. "Besides, anyone who would go to this much trouble deserves, I GUESS, a bit of our time."

But the truth was, that reflection had seemed real, and with all the things happening...

A new story...

The voice seemed to be whispering to him again.

"I'm heading down to breakfast." he said quickly, leaving them both to ponder.

"What's with him?" Suzuki asked, standing to her feet.

"I don't.. know.." Nekomi replied, following after him.




School, of course, seemed to be the same. The teacher, however, seemed different - almost as though she wasn't who was supposed to be teaching them. Ryuki, however, gave up trying to make sense of it, leaning back in his chair as was comfortable and tossed a paper ball in the air a few times.

This, of course, was his famous "leisure" pose. Those who knew him knew he was still paying VERY close attention to his surroundings. However, he liked to give people the impression he couldn't care less what was happening.

"Ryuki, you've been gone for almost a week!" Nekomi whispered from the desk next to his.

"Uh huh." Ryuki replied, throwing the ball again.

"You missed the explanation for the problem on page 45!" Nekomi added.

"Yep." The ball flew up again.

"AND you missed us being stated as the two to help work on decorations today!"

The ball stopped in his hand.


"Remember that we signed up for duties as a pair? It means even if you were sick, I was going to have to do it alone." Nekomi frowned, leaning forward on her desk. "But you're better now, so you're going to help me, riiight?"

That final remark was definitely not a question, more of a "there is no choice here." Ryuki just shrugged and threw the ball back up in the air.

"I'm not sure how good I am at decorating but-"

"Don't you lie to me with how much you draw and doodle on your papers." Nekomi interrupted him. "And we both know about your victory in that art contest two years ago."

"I'm being MODEST. Why are you being so irritable today, Neko?" Ryuki asked, sitting up a bit. "You're never this snappy."

"I'm just... really uncomfortable, ok? All this weird stuff going on and my mind is just... gah it's awful. It sucks." Nekomi replied, rubbing her hands together. "It's like my normal routine is off."

"Well then just relax. I'm here." Ryuki said, throwing the ball again. "But the teacher is coming back in."


Sure enough, just as he said that, the homeroom teacher stepped back in the room with a handful of tests. A collective groan went through the room.

When the grades were finally passed out, an A sat on both Ryuki and Nekomi's desks. His face was smug.

"You still haven't taught me how you do that." Nekomi stated quietly.

"Do what? Observe? It's all about relaxing your mind." Ryuki turned back to his paper ball, which was now a small crane. "That, and avoiding the things that really don't matter."

"How do you even do that? Everything matters."

"Not really. Only you, Suzuki, and a few other key things in life really matter. Oh, and me of course." Ryuki said with a sly grin, hand on his chest.

"Ri...right." Nekomi said, uncertain.

"Really, it's like we're both just really down today." Ryuki sighed. "Look, we'll go decorate. Enjoy the Halloween party together like we planned. It'll all be fine, ok? And I promise you as many dances as you want. The night is yours."

Nekomi brightened up a bit.


"It's only natural, my Priestess." Ryuki added, holding up the crane.

"Why did I even fold this? I don't have any wishes."




As the Halloween party ended, Ryuki changed out of his outfit. It had been a grand affair, and many of the students left pleased. Nekomi, especially, had finally relaxed - which, of course, made Ryuki relax as well. She, he knew, had always been real. She and his sister. Everything else seemed... unreal. A facade, masking something darker.

He shook his head as he removed the final pieces of his outfit. He'd been dressed as a werewolf and the suit had been far too hot. Nekomi had gone with the cosplay choice of a vampire hunter. Suzuki had been a very convincing witch.

But, it was all over now. Wiping his forehead, he retrieved his bag from one of the lockers before he noticed a glint from within it.

The mirror.


He almost jumped out of his skin again, turning quickly to face Nekomi, who was holding her mirror in a white-knuckled grip.

"Hai?" he said meekly, unsure of what was going on.

"..Are we... really going to meet with this person?" Nekomi asked nervously.

Ryuki calmed down a moment before he replied.

"I guess. And if we don't like what they're selling, we can leave, right? Besides, Suzu-"

"LOVES MYSTERIES LIKE THESE!" Suzuki finished, appearing from behind Nekomi. "We're going right!?"

"It seems that way. Come on, Neko." Ryuki stated, taking her hand gently. "It's just probably some kind of Halloween prank. We'll be fine. Maybe someone is doing a seance or something weird. Maybe an Ouija board!"

"That doesn't make me feel any better." Nekomi said bluntly. "In fact, messing with the dead for entertainment seems really, really rude."

"Then we won't partake." Ryuki assured, as they opened the door to the gym...

And found more people than they expected.

"My god it's some sort of cult meeting. Abort mission." Ryuki said, beginning to walk out.

Edited by Thaelasan

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Carol slowed his sprint as the school appeared around the corner. He took deep breaths to slow his heart, took a moment to hold his face -- after all, even if he was late he didn't have to appear as if he was in a hurry. When he finally entered, all the lights were flicked on. Odd. Two other kids were waiting near the gym doors, both of who he had only seen in passing in school and neither of them particularly enthusiastic. Loners. One letter from Losers. The guy looked tired and shifty, while the girl had her eyebrows bunched and lips pressed a frown. her gaze leading to some of the decorations strung up in the school. Sure, they were tacky, but Carol thought they were nice, especially considering all the effort he went through to hang that plastic skeleton off the ceiling.


For a little while, no one did anything. Shrugging, Carol took the initiative to reach for the handle but the door slammed open and he jumped, finding himself face-to-face with Crystal. Before he could demand any answers, however, Crystal called to the people inside. "Recruits?" Carol echoed. What did she mean by recruits? A prickling feeling travelled through his body and he had a bad feeling about the entire situation. They were going to subject him to a hazing ritual, weren't they? Or perhaps an occult summoning? A game of Ouija? It was festive, at least. What if he chanted Bloody Mary into his hand mirror?


Behind Crystal he could see some other girls -- the girls who were always with Crystal's 'clique' -- and another guy who looked familiar but was ultimately unknown, and a totally new girl who looked a tad old to be in high school. She was tall and her piercing (purple? nice contacts!) stare made Carol a little more uncomfortable than he already was. It took a lot of willpower to not look down at his feet. Instead, he forced himself to stand straighter.


"What kind of emo name is Shadow, anyway?" Carol quipped out loud while following Crystal in. Weren't they a bit too old for a game with codenames?


Another guy -- at least his face was more familiar -- showed up with some more girls (who Carol recognized as his girlfriend and sister), and promptly turned heel to leave. Smart move.

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Shadow raised an eyebrow at Carol's comment. " 'Emo'?" She asked quizzically.

" It means-" Jacob started, but as usual Rachel cut him off with a slap to the mouth.

" It means 'we should talk about it later because time is running short'." She answered for him. She then turned to Crystal. " I told you we should have made the notes longer; three people?"

" It's the best I could do!" She began indignantly. Jacob shoved Rachel's hand off his face.

" Are we counting them?" He pointed past the group, where Ryuki, Nekomi and Suzuki were backing out, evidently startled by the amount of people in the gym.

" Sharp eyes." Rachel said tartly, before turning to them. " Don't worry, we're not doing anything involving the dead. Shadow would kill us."

" Figuratively!" Crystal added a little too hastily. Rachel sighed.


" Six people... " Shadow observed. " Hm, better than no people. All right, listen up!" She looked sternly into the eyes of the newcomers. " Especially you three if you're staying! What are their names?" She whispered the last part to Rachel. The latter rolled her eyes.

" Ryuki, Nekomi, and Suzuki, remember? They've recently transferred?"

" Sorry, I've been fighting harpies and incubus." Shadow said tersely, going back to her little speech. " Anyway, we called you here for a very unusual reason; unusual for you because you won't believe a word of it, and unusual for me because I'm asking people to help, of all things." She paused for a moment, as though a complicated train of thought just went through her head. " Basically, I'm going to open a Nexus, which is a portal leading to multiple destinations. Each one of you will go through these portals and be sent to different, unstable chunks of reality. You're going to help us find out why these chunks are in limbo. Then, we'll meet back here and-"

" Shadow!!" Crystal squealed. " Don't just throw it all into their faces! They don't even know why they have the mirrors!"

" I thought you told them." She said in honest tones. Crystal buried her face into her hands.

" That explains the laugh." Jacob said.


" All right, all right! Let's start again from scratch!" Rachel let out an exasperated sigh. " The mirrors: they're shifting devices. You use them to shape-shift; it's that simple. It's um... uh... how do you use them again..."

" 'It's that simple'!" Jessie mimicked, laughing. " Don't you have to chant something?"

" No." Shadow said, rubbing her forehead. " Funny, I feel like I just explained this... The mirrors each have a certain ointment rubbed over its surface that allows the person looking through it to see his "other self" within another universe; here, I specifically chose a universe where people are consistently stronger than those same people here so you guys don't die. You can shape-shift into your other self for a limited amount of time." She held her hand up in front of her face to demonstrate. " You hold the mirror up to your face like this, and you do not break eye contact, because if you do, you will die."


" Not true." Crystal butted in. Jacob swiftly kicked her in the shin. " OW! What was that for?!"

" It's close enough." Shadow answered for him. He threw his hands into the air, as if to say "Why the interruptions??", but said nothing and simply walked off to pace around the gym. Shadow resumed her explanation, letting her hand fall and gazing seriously into the eyes of each person. " No matter what you do, you have to keep eye contact until you're at least halfway morphed. It takes time; no flashes of light or magical, instantaneous transformations. Some of you might have to go through more changes than others, but it shouldn't take any longer than a few minutes. The stronger your focus is on your duplicate, the faster the process will be." She paused for a moment, studying Carol in particular. " It might be best if you guys tried it out right now." She suggested.

" Yeah, that way we can somehow help them if a limb appears in the wrong spot." Rachel joked dryly. For whatever reason, that made Shadow smile.

" Yup. So, if you don't believe me, go ahead and try it out!"

" Oh, heavens above." Crystal buried her face back into her hands. " Why do I have a feeling this isn't going to go well?"

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Her expectant glare interrupted by the doors being flung open, Cygnis followed Crystal in. Though she might not think this was a prank anymore, she certainly didn't know what it was. Registering the presence of of other people, she barely spared them any attention save for a cursory glare. Noticing the girl's – Shadow – purple eyes, she mentally concluded that they must be contacts. Natural purple eyes were rare, and only came from albinism, something which the girl seemed to lack. The boy's comment about their names wasn't exactly polite, though she had to agree slightly. "Shadow" and "Crystal" were such a cliche names. Raising an eyebrow at the exchange between the small group, she raised an eyebrow and crossed her arms. "An ointment, eh? One that happens to bear a strong resemblance to a certain made up thing called 'magic'." she snarked. "You know what? It doesn't hurt to try. As far as I know, I can't die from looking in a mirror with magic ointment on it." Exasperated, she decided to simply follow the directions she was given. Grabbing the mirror out of her pocket, she stared into it. Two glossy eyes surrounded by feathers stared back.


At first, nothing really dramatic happened. Then slowly, her long black hair became even spikier and fluffier, and whipped onto her face. Somehow, she managed to continue staring through the thick black mass. Aware that something was indeed happening with the magical ointment, whatever it was, she held the mirror steady. She was more than concerned about herself currently, but the warning still held. Glaring at the mirror, she concentrated even harder on the figure in it, if only to get the process done with quicker. By now, small wing-like growths were sprouting out of her back, and a long sweeping tail was beginning to form. At about 3/4 of the way, Cygnis had to set the mirror down, as her four legged form made holding things difficult. As the last of the shifting finished, she sat down on her hind legs. Even though sitting down made her height a bit more compressed, she still had a good foot on about everyone else in the room currently.


"..." Cygnis appeared to be torn between amazement and an even fiercer version of her usual glare, before looking down at herself. What even was she? She had a beak, so maybe a bird? But the rest of her looked more like a dragon. Whatever it was, at least it wasn't ugly. Debating on whether or not she should attempt to talk, she decided to pick up the mirror and glare the the group instead, which did look a little more intimidating coming from a bird dragon thing than a rather short human.


((Not sure how you want the shifting, but I'll edit a picture in later. Snarked is a word.))

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"Shadow? What are you, a middle schoo-" Ryuki began, but perhaps fortunately, he was cut off.

But not by anyone in the real world. Unbeknownst to those around him, time seemed to stand still. Within an instant, Ryuki was alone, standing in the gym room, with no one around to guide or hear him.

Boy. Do you hear me?

The voice was close, behind him. Slowly, anxiously, he turned to see a figure, cloaked in grey and black. A long, white beard flowed from an invisible face masked by a hood. His very presence gave a sense of omnipotence, or rather, knowing.

"That voice..." Ryuki said, confused. "...You..."

I am indeed the one from your dream. I am here because this is where it all happens. In this timeline, in this moment. The old man stepped closer, his robes swaying behind him.

At this point, you, your beloved, and your sister make the choice to help this group. This is the story I have given you, in exchange for the one you failed.

"...Failed? What do you mean, failed?" Ryuki stepped forward, his anxiety rising. "What did I fail?"

In your arrogance and your persistence, you made mistakes in several stories, several timelines. I have brought you back multiple times, for multiple stories, because I believe you can succeed. For once, perhaps this one shall be the one.

"...But why?"

That, young one, is for you to decide. For now, make your decision... and I shall be content to watch.




Ryuki blinked as Nekomi steadied him, his body slightly shaking.

"School...er..." he finished, hand on his forehead. "Uh..."

"You might still be sick. You almost fell over just now. We should go back home." Nekomi stated firmly, holding him up straight. "Suzuki, give them our mirrors."

"But Nekonee-saaaaan...." Suzuki protested.

"Give them our mirrors and help me get Ryuki home." Nekomi ordered. "He's obviously still-"

"No. I'm fine. I'll be fine. I'm more than fine, in fact." Ryuki said, waving her away. "This... this feels right."

"What feels right?"

"All of this. Just... trust me, ok?" Ryuki said, holding out his hands.

"Sorry about that, folks and edgelord leader!" he said whimsically, looking at Shadow. "I'm perfectly fine and ready to assist."

"I... really have a bad feeling about all of this." Nekomi whispered, unsure.

"So do I. But hey, you're here, right?"


"Then we'll be fine."




As soon as they had finished discussing the story, Ryuki had a hand to his chin. Nekomi was perplexed. Suzuki was enthralled.

Ryuki nodded a few times as he absorbed the tale in its entirety and finally spoke.

"Alright, well, now we'll see if any of this is true, I guess. But if I lose my soul to some dark god, Nekomi and Suzuki better be safe." he warned, holding out the mirror.

"Senpai, don't you da-!" Nekomi tried to grab him, but it was too late.




We are one.

Deep inside, we have always been one. Since the beginning, in all the stories.

You see the moon and you feel the desire to howl.

You see the woods and you feel them call to you.

You sense the nobility, the glory, the honor.

You feel the strength. The pride. Your nerves heighten.

Take this form, the form of both of us, your other self, your true face, your soul. Do you feel it, child? Do you feel it closing around you?

Bring forth the justice of the wild. Bring forth the nobility of the moon. Become the wolf. Become the dragon.

Become the samurai.

Let us hear your roar.




It felt so familiar now. This all felt right. The metal brought itself around him, encasing him warmly in its grasp, almost as a brother to himself. But he knew it was beyond that.

The metallic wings on his back that sprouted forth, the swords within his hand, the helmet that now adorned his skull.

All of this was so familiar.

Nekomi covered her mouth to hide a scream she suddenly... didn't wish to release. No, this felt the same. This wasn't something new. She had seen this before. She remembered, in another time. She knew it.

Suzuki beamed, excited.

"What are you two waiting for?" Ryuki turned his head softly.

"Let's be who we were meant to be."




To protect. To guide.

That's who we are.

We are the other half to the warrior.

We are the mentor, the teacher, the spirit.

We will save what he hurts.

We will guide him, protect him.

We feel the feral call to the night, to join him.

We remember. We are one.

You feel the warmth and the soft purr of pleasure.

Now take your place among the stars.




She remembered it as well. The familiar feeling of cloth over her body, the quiver upon her backside, the gauntlets with their claws on her hands. She was the Priestess. He was the Samurai. And Suzuki.... All of this was how it was meant to be.

Finally, the two of them looked at the young girl.

She proudly held up her mirror....





To be a hero. To protect.

We remember this emotion.

To look up to him, we always wanted to be like him.

Now we would be stronger.

To grasp the lance. To fly alongside him.

To be the strongest wall, to be the hardest steel. To keep enemies at bay.

The skies are the only limit. Freedom beckons.

There is no longer a barrier, only a suggestion.

You may break all limits. You may break all shields.

You are the spear that will pierce the heavens.




She stood now, in armor denser than her brother, the lance born in her hands, the wings upon her back feeling so close, as though she had only forgotten they were there.

This was... this was how they were meant to be.

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"D-dimensions!? Other dimensions!? That's the sort of thing you see in video games! And shifting?" Evert questioned, in complete shock. He thought that girl was mad, but then he saw one of the others change form.


Whipping out his mirror, he decided to try it for himself. A white beast with blue stripes and a gatorlike head was shown in the mirror and Evert could feel his body changing the longer he stared. His gaze didn't break away from the mirror until he felt completely different. Taller? Yes, much taller. What's that weight from behind? Oh, a large tail. Bipedal? Nope, or maybe a mix of both? He put the mirror back in the bag, which was now too small for him and dropped onto all fours. "Wow, I feel like I'm inside a video game right now!"

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Carol raised his arms in mock surrender. "Alright, alright, I believe you," he said, even though he didn't really believe what he was seeing as everyone burst into their new forms. Mid-transformation, none of them looked rather pleasing, and he had to respectfully look away. The forms ranged from fantasy creature to Ryuki's armored form, and Carol sourly thought the result might have reflected one's sense of creativity.


To be fair, he was a little afraid of taking a closer look at what was actually in the mirror he held (turns out it was a mirror, just with an enchanted coating) and he didn't have a plan to whip it out like everyone else did immediately, even though Shadow asked them all to do it, while deliberately staring at him. It was like she could sense fear, which wasn't too much of a stretch considering what was happening at the moment.


He returned Shadow's gaze, partly in a challenge and partly since she was the one who didn't try to sugarcoat anything. He tried to look at her without staring, but her presence was still too unsettling. "Why all of a sudden, and why us? And," the boy added on a wild guess, "what if we refuse to risk our lives for you? I've got other things to do, you know, called not dying."

Edited by TehUltimateMage

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Ryuki looked over at Carol with a slight frown. He actually didn't really know if that was the boy's name. Carol or Carrie or something.

"Yo, Christmas." Ryuki said, waving in his armored suit. "Are you serious?"

He stepped over to the boy, ignoring Nekomi's protests as she rubbed her face in exasperation.

"Look at this." Ryuki said, pointing at his suit. "This isn't a dream. See? We're all gonna be legends. Are you really just going to walk out when you could have something like this?"

He held out his arms in disbelief.

"His argument is valid, Senpai." Nekomi sighed. "He IS putting his life on the line for people he barely knows. What if they're not telling us the whole story?"

"True, true. Suzuki, what are your thoughts?" Ryuki asked.

"I think this is gonna be FUN!" she said, jumping at Ryuki to land on his back. They both fell over.

"....This armor is heavier than it looks, isn't it." Suzuki asked, grunting.

"YEAH. IT IS." Ryuki said, struggling to lift her. "Dear God, how are you even WALKING?"

"It doesn't feel that heavy to me..." Suzuki said. "I guess because it's mine?"

"That's the only real excuse." Ryuki admitted. "I mean I can lift you NOW, but jumping at me is a no-no. Sorry."

"Okaaaaaayyyy..." Suzuki said, displeased. She got back to her feet, putting out a thumbs-up.

"Anyway, yeah, I mean you could leave if you wanted, but why not give it a chance?" Ryuki asked, shrugging. "They're not asking for money and I feel like my soul is intact."

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Shadow said nothing as Cygnis was the first to step up, clearly unimpressed by everything that was just said.

" You know what? It doesn't hurt to try. As far as I know, I can't die from looking in a mirror with magic ointment on it." She said. Crystal looked up from her hands, curious if the shift would actually work. Shadow said it would work, and she usually knows what she's doing; but she never demonstrated or proved it. " Trust me." Was all she said. And considering some of the crazy things Crystal and her "band" and been through since meeting Shadow, it's kind of hard to not believe her anymore.

So when Cygnis suddenly obtained a spiky mane of feathers, she let out an inner sigh of relief that nothing seemed to be going wrong, while at the same time watching in fascination. A tail sprouted from behind Cygnis, and the muscles on her back seemed to shift to make room for her new wings. Crystal's immediate thought was " It's a bird", but then she started to look more like a dragon; she was also getting bigger.

" No way!" It was Jessie who jumped up, excited by the change. " You weren't kidding!"

" Did I sound like I was?" Shadow asked, her tone halfway between confidence and confusion. Cygnis was quite shocked by the change too, sitting back on her haunches and giving everyone a classic, bird-of-prey glare as the last of the morph was completed. At that moment, Ryuki couldn't wait to try it out, despite the protests from his girlfriend. Suzuki though thought it was the coolest thing ever.

Who wouldn't? Even Evert, with some caution, tried out his shift; a massive, icy beast with a heavy tail and a stern gaze.


Carol was concerned though. "Alright, alright, I believe you, but why all of a sudden, and why us? And, what if we refuse to risk our lives for you? I've got other things to do, you know, called not dying."

Crystal exchanged glances with Rachel, who glanced over her shoulder at Jacob as he returned to the group.

" I've thought the same thing plenty of times." Was his useless contribution, accompanied by a shrug. Ryuki was a bit more helpful in that respect, voicing the kind of excitement inventors get when they suddenly receive funding for their studies; it also worried Crystal. He was right, they could be legends, but will Shadow let them keep the mirrors? Would everyone here be forced to give up this precious gift, or have to live in solitude like the well-known superheros, keeping their identities secret? She and her friends had abilities too, and to her receiving her ability was almost like a sealing of a contract: no one could know about it, because there's no telling how they would react; she had to live with Shadow and everyone else because it was the only way to stay safe; she had to be careful with her abilities, and make sure she didn't draw attention to herself.

Would any of the mirror-holders here feel cheated if they had to turn their mirrors in? Would any of them fight back? How many would go public or try to remain inconspicuous?

Crystal was taken back to an older memory, when she, Rachel, Jessie, and another girl named Heather(who was still at home since she didn't want to participate in the meeting) all met Shadow. They had been normal teens then, just curious enough to pull a lever and throw them all into the wrong universe. The hardships endured within that awful place, along with Shadow's reasoning, was an efficient drill on everything they had to keep secret from then on.

How would these people feel? Maybe she should have asked first on what would happen after all of this before she became involved...


" Anyway, yeah, I mean you could leave if you wanted, but why not give it a chance?" Ryuki's voice broke through Crystal's thoughts. " They're not asking for money and I feel like my soul is intact."

" It will be dangerous." Shadow said bluntly. " We're talking about going into limbo-which is basically the equivalent of entering nothing-and visiting unstable chunks of reality. And before you ask, we're 'visiting' to figure out how these chunks ended up there in the first place."

" Long story short, unstable chunks cause instability everywhere else, which could cause lots of bad things to happen; like having realities simply be cancelled out and cease to exist." Rachel butted in before Shadow could give a longer explanation. " At least, that's what Purple-Eyes here told us. We need to see if there's a way to restore the stability."

Shadow raised an eyebrow at the nickname, but didn't comment, simply nodding.

" You should try it out, Carol!" Jessie jumped up to him, practically bouncing. " I mean, Ryuki's right; it's like a dream! And we're all right here in case something goes wrong." She assured him.

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((Going to be busy, so less frequent posts and shorter ones. I'll try to keep up, just please ignore my horrible sentence flow due to tiredness.))

Well, the other shifted chatterboxes were gabbing away, so she assumed they could talk while shifted. "Well, it wouldn't hurt to try, at least if I could turn back. How do you do that exactly? I'd rather not spend the rest of my life as an unknown beast." she asked, her usual tone of annoyance overlaying her words. Though she'd never admit it out loud to the group, she was warming up to the concept of shifting and whatever the crazy people had in store for them. Just because what they said might be true didn't make it any less crazy. Speaking of crazy, the turn of events here did remind her of a video game ever so slightly. She had always wanted to see what flying was like anyway, and this situation was like one of those RPGs she loved. When the boy (who she didn't know the name of, she never knew the names of anyone outside of her own group) spoke up, she turned towards him and gave him a rather contemplative glare. To be honest, she couldn't care less about the danger. It was only fun if there was risk after all. And, if she could save realities, then she would be vastly more important to the universe than as a random student who played video games. It was really like a video game come to life, a perfect opportunity to put her practice into use.


"Do it if you don't have anything to lose. At least see what your other self is like, aren't you curious?" she said, her tone the closest thing to not irritated it could be. If she was being completely honest, she was only doing this cause she was curious what his form would be like. After delivering her own bit of convincing, she promptly continued to ignore him. The only thing she really wanted to do now was test out her abilities, something which she probably shouldn't do inside. Turning to Shadow, she asked "Can we go outside? I'd at least like to see what this other form can do. I don't think anyone will see us this late."

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"So, when do we get to see these other dimensions?" Evert asked while turning circles and testing his new form's footing. He was beginning to like this state of being already. One thing he did notice was that his voice sounded a bit deeper. Strange. He also had a short and very soft beard, but that wasn't important.


By now, Evert's mind was filled with fantasies of epic adventures and duking it out with large monsters. "Like in Dark Souls..." he said out loud unintentionally, but then backed away upon realizing that he just said that. Stupid! There's a difference between real life and a video game.

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"I feel like they should be paying me, Mr. Valentine," Carol replied to Ryuki, but he knew the battle was already lost before he even began fighting. Everyone was convinced that he should do it, and they were right. It was no longer time to be cautious.


"Y'all are a bunch of losers…" he muttered under his breath, fully aware that he was the loser giving into peer pressure. He slipped the mirror out of his pocket, holding it with his first three fingers. He still couldn't see through the mass of white on the other side of the glass. He gave it a long stare and drew in a slow breath.


He could get lucky with a form he liked, or not; though everyone here seemed alright with what the lottery had given them. It was now or now, and Carol felt like he was damning himself and sealing his fate. Seeing what happened with the bird girl, he put the mirror on the floor and crouched down to look at it. With renewed resolve, he could see what was inside the mirror more clearly now that he stared the mass of white on the other side of the glass. Focusing on the image, the first thing to change were his eyes which took on an ephemeral glow, light seeping out like white smoke. His hair lengthened, spread, and changed to a stark white while he felt his ears grow and migrate to the top of his head.


The whole way through, he tried to keep an eye on the mirror, scared of what might happen if he broke eye contact.


When his face tingled with new fur growing in, his jaws stretched, elongated, and it was the strangest feeling having new teeth grow in as his form remoulded itself to something that was not native to this realm. It wasn't painful, just unpleasant. At some point he began to panic when he realized his clothes had vanished, but his entire form was by that time already covered with a mix of feathers on his back and fur everywhere else. Bones rearranged themselves, lengthening in some places and shortening in others, twisting, crunching. He felt himself falling and the mirror getting closer, and he stabilized himself on all fours. A tail sprouted from the base of his spine, curled and covered with the same long white fur as the rest of him, while a single ivory horn grew from near the top of his head.


Then the changes stopped. According to the mirror, his eyes no longer glowed. He paused and checked for any new limbs: there was the long tail wagging behind him, but also two pairs of wings on his sides which he stretched out experimentally. He could hear more, sense more, smell more. The ground was closer to him. Too close. All he could see were people's shins.


He felt incredibly cheated.


"How come she gets to be a dragon?!" he barked in indignation, his voice surprisingly loud for a creature of his size. Carol shifted his weight so that he stood on his hind legs with his tail for balance, and the posture did not feel altogether unnatural. His front paws were still dextrous enough to pick up the mirror, although the object was now easily bigger than his face.


He scoffed at the comparison to video games. He just felt like a badly designed yu-gi-oh monster.

Edited by TehUltimateMage

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"He's adorable."

"Agreed, he is adorable." A nod.


"That's if he wants to be carried."

"Well then can I ASK HIM!?"

"Suzuki-chan, be very respectful when asking people if you can touch them."

"OK! Hey, dog-boy! CAN I PICK YOU UP!? Oh I just want to rub your eaaaaars!"

"Be warned, Christmas, my sister's very, very good at petting animals."

"I'M A MASTER!" Suzuki said, squatting down so she was eye level with Carol. "Ruff ruff!"

"Don't be rude, Suzuki. I have to admit, that's a pretty underwhelming form. What is it even based on?" Ryuki asked, arms crossed. "Personal true desire? Or something more? I'm kinda curious."

"Whatever it is..." Nekomi leaned close to whisper, "I'm happy I'm not him, ok? I'll be honest."

"Me too." Ryuki nodded softly. "What a terrible..."

He made a pose like out of the scene of a comedy manga.

"Christmas present."


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Evert couldn't suppress a laugh as one of the recruits finished transforming. "What are you anyway? A unicorn chihuahua?" He teased, still laughing afterwards.


Normally he wouldn't have said much out of fear, but this new form gave him a strange sense of confidence. It was nice. Evert decided to gently poke the canine creature for fun but then backed away and turned circles while inspecting his new form further.


'I wonder if I have any powers' he thought, then tried breathing on a nearby object. To Evert's suprise, his breath was white like when you breathe in cold weather, but it also encased the object in a thin layer of ice. He figured this ability wasn't very strong right now. More practice was needed. 'I wonder if the others have similar abilities' he thought before reclaiming his original position near the others.

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Everyone seemed to be settling into the shifting just fine; which surprised Shadow, since she expected to see people freaking out about how their bodies were mutating real-time. Well... it looked uncomfortable at worst, so it must not be much different from her own morphing ability. Very easy to get in to. And luckily, she chose the right enchantment; everyone could still communicate to one another, instead of grunting and growling all the time.

" Can we go outside? I'd at least like to see what this other form can do. I don't think anyone will see us this late." Cygnis asked. Rachel opened her mouth, but Shadow quickly cut her off.

" No. The risk of being seen is too high."

" But they can at least practice, right? I mean, some of them have wings." Rachel pointed out. " And we're not sending them into those dimensions with no clue on what they're doing."

Shadow huffed, glancing around the gym. " Fine, they can practice in here. It's plenty big. Just avoid damaging anything."

" So, when do we get to see these other dimensions?" Evert spoke up next. Shadow paused for a moment, as though she was pondering something, and Crystal cocked her head.

Was she hesitating? Were the dimensions really as bad as she said they were?


" How come she gets to be a dragon?!" A loud bark interrupted any response from her. Shadow turned, and anyone who knew her could swear that that was the first time she has ever looked surprised in her life.

But the booming laughter that erupted from her mouth certainly wasn't the first.

Crystal's jaw dropped, Jacob smiled, and Jessie was ecstatic. Rachel... didn't seem to have a reaction. But while everyone was changing into beasts and warriors, poor Carol was reduced to nothing but a uni-horned dog with wings.

And apparently too many people thought it was hysterical.

" Oh dear... " Crystal felt for the poor guy, though at least he was getting attention... right? That was a good thing, right? Well, at least he isn't the only dog, but no one knew about that-

Except that she was changing right now.


" Jessie!" Crystal gasped. The mentioned girl performed an impressive leap into the air, doing a backflip; if it weren't for the flash of light, one would think that she fell on her head, but instead a bright-eyed husky with familiar brown fur landed on all fours, rushing over to Carol, the bright red cloth tied around its neck flying.

<You're a dog too?! Oh boy! We could go together! We'll be the dog team! GO TEAM!> Her tail was wagging so hard it was a wonder if it hurt. Her tongue lolled as she sniffed Carol's face. <Hey, you have a horn! Do you think it can cast spells?>

" Oh bother. I wonder if we all have to show off now." Jacob sighed indifferently.

" That's what you're worried about?" Crystal almost snapped. " We don't even know if we're going to these dimensions with them!"

" They're shifters now." Jacob shrugged, as though the words said it all.


" Speaking of shifting, this part is important." Shadow recovered from her amusement and went back to being serious. " Listen up! You guys are on a time limit; the shift causes an instability by itself, and though it's a small one, it's still an instability. Stay in those forms too long-let's play it safe and say four hours-and the same thing that could happen to entire universes right now could happen to you. Got it?"

Rachel elbowed her roughly, and Shadow shot her a look.

" Aren't you forgetting something?"

Shadow rolled her eyes. " You change back the same way to changed in the first place." She added. She looked around at the group, and noticed Evert trying out one of his new abilities. " And yes, you will gain all of the powers and the flaws of your new forms, though you'll have to practice them. As long as your respective mirrors are intact, the form will function flawlessly. If you damage them, you will be unable to shift again. Speaking of which, Crystal, you said you had an idea for keeping the mirrors with them?"

" Hm? Oh, yeah!" Crystal tore her eyes from all of the different morphs and got up. " All of those mirrors have little holes in them, right?"

" As you said."

" I'll be back!" Crystal rushed out of the gym, intent on getting something. Shadow simply stared after her.

" As for the dimensions... let me set that up." She turned and began drawing something on the floor with her finger, some kind of rune she memorized. Jessie took advantage of the moment to jump up and look around hopefully at the new recruits with literal puppy eyes.


<Shadow told us earlier that the dimensions are dangerous. So um... we were thinking... if we could join you guys? To the dimensions I mean. Uh, how many are there?> She directed the question at Shadow, who was now walking around in circles muttering something.

" Four." She paused her muttering, then added: " That I know of."

<Four dimensions, ten of us. Unless Shadow is coming. So, six of us could split off into two dimensions, and the other 4 into two others! Critter teams!> She regained her excitement. <I call dibs on Fluffy!> She pointed her nose at Carol. Rachel huffed, and there was a snicker from Shadow.

" Shouldn't they be assured first that we also have abilities?" Jacob wondered aloud. " I hate escort missions. I imagine they do too."

" You just want to show off your wings!" Rachel snapped at him. He grinned.

" Well, now that you mention it... yeah, I do."


((EDIT: Trying out a text color for Jessie's morph speech. Hmm...))

Edited by skwerl56767

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Though some people might have looked away at the strange sight of a human turning into something else, Cygnis watched intently. Hmm... it was quite fascinating actually, kind of like a sped up evolution over time video. The end result was a small poofy white dog with wings. "You'd better have some sort of power, other than being incredibly short." she scoffed, though her smirk betrayed the fact that she found it amusing. At least she didn't have to deal with being small and helpless looking. Without regard to manners or rules, she reached out an arm and snatched the small creature up. Poking his fluffy underbelly with her talon, she turned him around in her palm before setting him down. "Certified uni-dog." she stated, looking quite annoyingly amused. A husky was certainly less humiliating than a pomeranian, though she thought that the "veterans" would have something more intimidating. Listening to the proposal from the husky, she considered it. "I'd like to be in one of the smaller groups. Pair me with anyone you want, I could care less." she shrugged, looking irritated at the prospect of groups. Afterwards, she returned the to task of exploring her form, ignoring the vast majority of conversation and socialization. She wasn't too fond of strangers, though she could deal with them.


Recalling that Shadow said to practice inside, she slowly unfurled her wings to their full span, trying not to break anything. Deciding that she should probably store her mirror somewhere out of the possible crash radius, she tucked it gently into a bucket full of basketballs in the corner. The gym should be big enough for her to attempt to fly back and forth lengthwise, though it would be a little short. It was probably best to just exercise her wings first and get used to her increased size. Rotating her wings, she tested out the different positions they could be maneuvered into. It was a bit like having an extra arm, a little strange, but nothing too unfamiliar. Recalling her studies on bird wings, she tried flapping them like how the books had described. She succeeded in causing a large breeze and lifting a little, but it evidently wasn't going to work with just her wings. Trying a new method, she used her legs to launch herself a little before flapping furiously. She was a little more successful this time, and managed a short glide before falling back to the ground. Practicing a few more times, she finally succeeded in flying to a reasonable altitude.


Now that she was in the air, she realized that she had no idea how to turn. It didn't really matter since she was going back and forth in a straight line, but she might as well practice. Angling her wings a little, she tried to turn right, but ended up going too far and almost spinning. She managed to stop herself by spreading the mass of feathers on her tail, but she had nearly knocked over a basketball hoop. This was pretty fun, even if she wasn't too good at it. Practice made perfect, at least. Launching again, she experimented with various tail-wing combos this time, most of them ending with her scrambling to right herself. When she finally struck the balance of turning, she was thoroughly exhausted. Breathing hard, she fanned herself with her tail and sat down. Wait... if she was some sort of bird dragon hybrid, shouldn't she be able to breathe fire or something cool and damaging like that? Taking a deep breath, she made sure the coast was clear before letting the breath out in one big whoosh.


The first thing that struck her was the incredible volume of the roar. It sounded like a shrill cross between a bird and a dragon, kind of a shriek yet deep and vibrating. The second thing that struck her was that the floorboards immediately began creaking and straining in the direction of her roar. The third thing that struck her was that Shadow had told them not to damage anything, and here she was, very much damaging the floor. Abruptly halting her roar, she looked sheepish for about two seconds, before walking over the the damaged floor and patting the floorboards back into place. It certainly didn't look as good as new, but if she angled it the right way... there! It looked as if the floorboards were simply peeling from water damage, something that wouldn't be too convincing, but better than leaving the floor there and doing nothing. "Whoops..." she said, offering an innocent smile. She decided it would be best not to try anything else before they made it into the dimensions, and lay down quietly.

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