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Adolin Kholin, son of Highprince Dalinar Kholin -- Gateway to the Starry Skies

[9000 pounds of horse] - [excuse me hello]


Adolin wasn't sure if the sound coming out of his mouth was a scream or a roar. He was falling -- he was on Sureblood -- Sureblood was falling. 


The rhyshadium was as stupid as he was sometimes, trampling over a literal army to get to him. While he appreciated the gesture, it didn't change the fact that they were surrounded, nor did it prevent the parshendi forces from pushing both horse and rider off the edge of the chasm.


He didn't know how far the bottom was. Rather than worrying about his own fate in the Tranquiline Halls, he found himself preoccupied over his horse. A man in shardplate, even damaged, could survive a fall. A rhyshadium? Might break all its legs at once, if it tried to land on its feet. 



The chasm darkened around him, then suddenly settled into an ambient brightness reminiscent of dusk. Adolin didn't question the change too much at the time; he was still yelling and he was still falling and he was still on his horse and his horse just crunched something under his hooves, nearly jolting Adolin off his saddle from the strength of the impact. 


No more war cries, no more rhythmic chanting. Relative silence. It was serene, even though the people standing before him were settled into battle stances or bursting with power. He was still astonished that Sureblood simply walked off the abrupt landing, in the process having seemingly having killed what appeared to be a very large whitespine. The ground felt soft under the rhyshadium's stone hooves and the grass was ornamental and lethargic... what was Shin territory doing at the bottom of a chasm?



Everything felt heavy, but it was probably because of his accumulated exhaustion and his damaged armor. The battle had shattered many parts of his plate and he was forced to abandon his helm. White stormlight evaporated from the cracks like smoke and suddenly reminded him that yes, he was part of a vicious battle to save his father about seven seconds ago. Adolin looked up, but he couldn't see his familiar sky. If he were at the bottom of the chasm, shouldn't it show as a rift far up above? He grimaced. Last he saw, the Kholin forces had secured an escape route. He could only hope that the Colbalt Guard had made it to Dalinar in time. Despite his efforts, Adolin had failed -- but at least he tried. Unlikely that he would make it back in time now, all he could do was have faith that the Blackthorn wouldn't fall that easily.


"Hello, chasm community," he began, slicking his sweat drenched hair out of his face and trying to summon his best air of diplomacy. "None of you would happen to know how to get back to the surface, would you?"


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What will you do?




The battle is over as quickly as it started. Lara has no idea how to react as the strange tentacled man changes into an even weirder monster and grabs Utakata. It looks like he's ready to squeeze the life out of him, and even in the form Utakata's in, his expression shows a state of fear. Lara has no idea what kind of power Utakata has, but she knows it's a useful one if it can be controlled. She aims at the mouth of the creature, hoping to at least distract it, when an armored man and a rather large horse come out from nowhere, falling onto the monster's head and causing it to fall to the ground. It lets go of Utakata, who in his beastly state seems rather angry now. He hisses at the monster and smacks it with all six of his tails and faces everyone else. It appears he has very little control over this state, that he's just hanging on to whatever sort of control he has left. 


Still, this beast is making aggravated noises. At this point Lara isn't 100000% sure if it's fear, rage, or a mix of both. She has to admit, if she had transformed into a weird beast only to be grabbed and almost killed, she'd be angry too. It's clear to her that this beast is something that doesn't normally come out. Part of her wonders if that's the extent of his abilities. But for now, she turns her attention to the armored man. He and the horse seem totally fine, as if they were used to knocking out giant monsters from several meters into the air. 


"Hello, chasm community," the man says as he brushes his hair back. It seems as if he were just coming back from a fight himself. "None of you would happen to know how to get back to the surface, would you?"


Ah. He's totally unaware. Lara sighs. "Well, you see, this isn't--" She hears a high pitched whine come from the red-and-black beast formerly known as Utakata. He looks like he's freaking out, ready to attack any one of them at any moment. "Oi, hang on. Let me handle this one." Lara grabs her pistol and immediately marches up to Utakata. "What the devil are you angry at, you little hell-spawn?" She cracks the pistol across the beast's face, causing Utakata to fall to the side. His head lands on a medium size rock, which causes the body to go limp. Lara winces, hoping it didn't do any severe damage. She notices that it takes a minute, but Utakata returns to his normal self. His eyes are closed, and he's lying still. Lara kneels down and sighs in relief when she feels a pulse and notes his breathing. At least it didn't kill him. 


Then Lara turns back to the stranger. "Anyways. I'm afraid this isn't a chasm or an underground community. Welcome to the Gateway to the Starry Skies. My name is Lara Croft, I'm one of the agents belonging to the eXtra Dimensional Restoration Squad, or XDRS for short. Allow me to explain." She takes a deep breath. It's the same damn spiel over again, but oh well. "You're not in your home world anymore. In fact, there are a plethora of different worlds out there, in what's called the multiverse. Everyone here? We all came from different universes and worlds, and there are many more out there. As for XDRS? Well... There are screwups in the multiverse happen all the time. People, animals, monsters, even important items from other worlds tend to hop to worlds in which they don't belong. What we do here is help make sure items that are important to these worlds- known as anchors- go back home. …..Please let me know if I need to repeat or clarify anything, I know it can be a lot to digest in one sitting." Lara nods. "Oh bloody hell, where are my manners? I should ask, what is your name?


She glances down at Utakata, who doesn't appear to be stirring just yet. Perhaps she hadn't been speaking long enough. 



What will you do?


Evonna has a hard time processing what's going on for five solid minutes. Everything seems like Noise, nothing seems right at all. The only thing keeping her from running to the next room is the fact that she's clinging on to Sorey. She feels tapping on her shoulder, and when she feels she's able to let go, she does. Chikako has a hand on Evonna's shoulder, and with the other she gestures to the rest of the room. Evonna looks around, and she sees three new people standing or sitting. They must have been the ones causing the mischief a few minutes ago. Looking between the three of them, she has no idea what else to say, other than--


"Beautiful," she muses. Chikako lets out her musical laugh again. 


"I mean, you're not wrong, they're very beautiful." Chikako looks at Sorey, then at everyone else in the room. "Wait.... How can we see them now?"

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   There was a sudden ripping sensation from his side as the mech pulled his attacker's limb taught. He didn't know if he should expect to drag this tentacled-human with him, or for the tentacle to release him or fight with him, so he barely gave it a second thought when the limb abruptly released, nicely marring his plating in the process.

   Typheus immediately braked and flew back, pursuing the tentacle, flying aft just in case it tried to spear him again. There was a scream from its origin, some crazed ranting, normal agitated noises. The tentacle then swung, giving Typheus a clearer view: the human had now turned into a completely black thing and was wrapping its limbs around the other human that had tails, which was distinctly different by his orange glow. It seemed like a great distraction, and from his peripheral he could see Fiddlesticks standing up slowly, not in immediate danger. So this other tailed human must be a significant rival to this black thing.

   Then some unfortunate person suddenly blinked in through the Gateway, landing squarely on the black creature's head, causing it to buckle. It stood up - no, the creature it was riding stood up - and casually disregarded the beast. Another human, and a horse? Figures. Makes for an even better distraction though.
   Typheus dove toward the black creature while it was weak and braked above its head before shutting off his thrusters, dropping down over the top of it with a heavy thud. He unsheathed his blades and placed on foot on its neck, putting enough weight on it to get the message across to stay still; if this thing still had a human body underneath, he will be quick to disengage it. The only thing stopping the mech is the question of whether the black form was just as infuriating as the tentacles. He studied it, gathering clues, ignoring Lara as she approached the newcomer to explain what was going on. This thing behaved like flesh, but so did the tentacles... eyes are common weak points, so if it tried to struggle he could at least blind it...


   Typheus looked up at a sharp hiss ending in a short, metallic shriek, like a steel beam was moved across another. Fiddlesticks was crouched low about twenty quli away, still uncertain of putting her full weight on her legs after the missile torched her, glaring daggers into the black thing.

   "What are you waiting for?! Kill it!!" she screeched, almost cutting the end of Lara's explanation off. Typheus prepared to retort that he didn't know how to kill it, but that would be a stupid thing to say if this thing could still understand words.

   "We need to see what the XDRS wants to do with it," he said instead.

   "That thing is not worthy of imprisonment," she snarled, shooting her glare back at it before leveling it with the Superiority model. He said nothing, holding back his real thoughts on the matter. This was the XDRS's turf, and he wasn't appointed by them to make any decisions about newcomers going berserk, setting the Gateway on fire, or beheading tentacle monsters that nearly killed everyone - barring the fact that Fiddlesticks didn't help, thinking her space-age tech could at least blast the guy back a few feet. With that thought, he glanced back at what he presumed was the entity's feet, but they didn't look like anything with good grip, nor were there puncture claws like what he and Sniper models had for stabilization. More multiverse magic, probably, his thoughts growled in frustration.

   The mech sighed by flushing out his air intake, removing some built-up exhaust from having flown back into his trail too often. "What are we doing with this?" he asked Lara, gesturing to the black monster under him. Before she could answer though, another voice came from the left: Xander. So now more agents arrive.

   Typheus took the man's assurance with silence. Deal with him how? What sort of arrangements? How did he know this thing was a human underneath when he just arrived? Did he watch?
   The Superiority model's mind lingered on the last thought. Just standing back, watching everything... This reeked of the Empire's practices. He didn't think the XDRS was malevolent, by far, but his threads had turned to defense and distrust. It only reminded him, yet again, that neither he nor Fiddlesticks belonged here. They were high-strung military mechs on the run from their Empire, trying to complete a personal mission that would hopefully have an impact on the war in general, or what they were told again and again was a war. As flippant as the Empire was about it, it was no war. It was something more agitating. Almost as agitating as the fact that the both of them still haven't fought a significant battle and have been given few reasons to trust the XDRS as allies. This almost made it; until it was abruptly ended by multiverse magic. He knew he was going to hear for days from Fiddlesticks about how she just wasted a missile.
   The Superiority model hasn't had much time with mortals, but he knew they loved magic. These past hours have only taught the mech that magic was extremely annoying. Apparently, the science of Zirhon did not meld well with multiverse magic.

   Typheus grumpily stepped off the black creature, who was still immobile, and marched over to Fiddlesticks. Recognizing the metaphorical wall in his eye, she stiffly stood up, careful not to crush her still-malleable legs, which were close to being cool enough to walk on. He tapped on right arm, leaving a dent in the softened metal, and, not pausing in his step, went over to the podium adjacent to the scene of the fight and opened his emitters. Fiddlesticks very carefully followed him, ignoring the words of the people behind her, while he searched for a signal.  It wasn't long before he figured out how to open the Gateway terminal and went to work.
   Fiddlesticks crouched down opposite of him, enough to block the view of the terminal from most of the others. She stared at his calculated determination. This place was grinding on his wires too, wasn't it? He always had to investigate new things before he knew what to do with them, but ironically enough, they were always too lawless for his taste. Ironic, because he stuck around with her. Well... perhaps now, they would actually go home. At least they would actually know what to do, instead of running around here like a gelustrik with most of its heads cut off.


   It took a while for Typheus to get the Gateway activated. Fiddlesticks stood guard when her hull had cooled enough, in case anyone tried to interrupt him. Once the suspected coordinates were in, the two machines stood on the center podium, and with a single blink, they were gone.

   ((EDIT 9/5/19: Poof.))

Edited by skwerl56767

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< STATUS: Stable; Confident >

< LOCATION: Gateway >

< AGENTS: Add, Hikaru, Rimuru, Temeraire, Utakata, Lara, Greivous, Vaccaria, Adolin, Fiddlesticks, Typheus >

< OTHER PARTICIPANTS: Dimitri, Twilight, Nata, Sureblood >


“Aw, the fight’s already over!”

Nata placed one hand on his hip as he gazed over the remnants of the battlefield. The way he pouted his lips rivaled that of a toddler about to throw a tantrum. 

“It’s a good that the battle ended before we got here,” Xander said, approaching Nata from behind. Nata raised an eyebrow at Xander as he stopped beside him, the Nohrian’s eyes trained on the newcomers at the gateway. “I’m honestly a bit surprised by how many potential agents have shown up in such a short period of time,” Xander continued as he held his hands behind his back. “We acquired quite a few more agents right before we headed out for two new missions.” Xander turned his gaze towards the grand stones encircling the flower bed at the center of the gateway. “Perhaps there’s a reason for that. One we might not even know yet.”


Nata blew a raspberry. 

“Who cares about why there’s so many people?” Nata wailed dramatically. “I was so looking forward to finding whoever started the fires and giving them the what for!” Nata punched the air thrice, striking out at an invisible opponent with great gusto. Xander glanced at Nata slowly, raising a questioning eyebrow. 


“Yes,” Xander said. “I wonder what it would be like to have to...discipline someone who was recently summoned by the gateway.” 

“Come on, I wasn’t like that,” Nata said, gesturing towards Dimitri. “It wasn’t the same!”

“Really?” Xander scoffed. “How was it different.”

“Well for one, I put up a much longer fight,” Nata said. “Probably because I’m an excellent fighter and you were all most certainly mesmerized by—” Nata raised his hand waved it in front of his face. “—my ethereal beauty and couldn’t land a single blow. Which is reasonable reaction to having all my brilliance shoved at you at once. Besides,” Nata continued with a shrug. “I wasn’t a stupid 8 ton monster.” 


Xander decided it would be in everyone’s best interest to not tackle Nata’s comments. In lieu of continuing the line of discussion, Xander looked around the surrounding area to see what damage had been done. He could see several new agents scattered about the gateway. They, thankfully, appeared to sustain no serious injuries, but he couldn’t be too sure without a close examination. The fire they had been originally called down for had seemingly died out some time between them receiving the call and arriving at the scene. Among the singed grass Xander spotted several small, flickering flames still clinging to life. 


“Nata, extinguish what’s left of the fires,” Xander ordered. “I’ll deal with the rest.” Nata let out an exaggerated groan, but still begrudgingly trekked over to the fires and began putting them out. Xander walked over towards where Twilight was. She seemed exhausted, but considering the sheer mass of the creature she had to help placate, Xander couldn’t blame her for needing a break.


“You did well,” Xander said gently. “It looks as though you and the other minimized the damage to both the gateway and yourselves. You should take some time to rest. I and the other senior agents can handle it from here.” Turning towards the newcomers, Xander walked towards them before raising his voice so it would be loud and clear. “Everything Lara said is true. All of you are no longer on your homeworlds. My name is Xander and I’m a senior agent here at XDRS. I’m sure many of you have further questions and I, along with the other agents here, will be happy to answer them. I ask that you follow my colleague over towards the castle we use as our base. We have several healers there that can attend to your wounds.”


“I can deal with him,” Xander said as he glanced up towards the mechs. “This isn’t the first time we’ve had someone become violent upon arriving and so we’ve prepared arrangements for dealing with such people.” Granted, Xander didn’t think they had ever had such a large person attack people at the gateway before, but he was certain he could move the newcomer to the holding cell. Somehow.




< STATUS: Stable; Annoyed >

< LOCATION: Gateway >

< AGENTS: Xander, Hikaru, Rimuru, Temeraire, Utakata, Lara, Greivous, Vaccaria, Adolin, Fiddlesticks, Typheus >

< OTHER PARTICIPANTS: Dimitri, Twilight, Nata, Sureblood >


So they had arrived at XDRS. Add sighed aloud, taking a moment to brush the dirt off his pants and jacket. Out of everything that did go wrong, Add was glad that his teleporter had at least sent him and Hikaru to the right place. Add didn’t think his first interaction in a supposed interdimensional squad of heroes would have him cleaning up his own mess, but no one had nagged him about bringing a ghoul to XDRS’s headquarters so he counted that as a win. 


As the blond man—Xander he said his name was—introduced himself, Add stalked over towards the remains of Starfall. His poor, beloved drone had nearly been split in half. Add knelt down in the grass, careful not to cut himself on the metal shards littering the ground. Starfall’s outer shell was cracked in various locations, and the tip of the crystal within its center had been snipped off, causing purple sparks to bounce out of it. 


“This is going to take days to fix,” Add bemoaned to himself. With a wave of his hand, the dynamos floated down towards Starfall and maneuvered themselves under it until it was cradled between them. Add stood up off the ground, making a noise of disgust when he saw the grass strains on his pants, before looking towards the ghoul. While he was stationed in Tokyo, Add had learned about the abilities ghouls could acquired if they participated in cannibalism. He had heard that the few select ghouls who did gain further strength through cannibalism, become far superior to their peers in combat. Add had initially been interested in the idea, but soon lost interest when he learned about R cells and how they only functioned in creatures native to ghouls’ world. Still, even with the research Add had done on ghouls, he never could have imagined that they could gain the power to transform into nearly indestructible monsters. Well, in this case, indestructible monsters that ruined Add’s chances of having lunch.


Calmly, Add walked over towards the ghoul. He placed his hands in his pockets, ignoring the giant robots and the horse rider as he stopped right besides the ghoul’s head. Without any warning, he kicked the ghoul hard right above where his eye was. Almost immediately, someone let out a loud whoop before launching themselves on top of beast. 

“Yeah, lavender man’s got the right idea!” Nata said as he pulled a knife out of his pocket and attempted to jam it between the ghoul’s scales.


“You can’t hurt him with a normal weapon, you imbecile,” Add scoffed. “You’d need a specialized weapon from his world before you could even think about piercing his armor.”

“Yeah well, that doesn’t mean it’s not fun to mess around,” Nata said as he slung an arm around Add’s shoulders. Add quickly shoved Nata back and took several steps back.

“Do not touch me, dirt man,” Add hissed. 

“Nata, quit fooling around!” 


Nata glanced over his shoulder to see Xander watching him disappointingly. “We still have work to do.” Nata clicked his tongue, but, much to Add’s relief, did not argue. Add pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed. Maybe joining XDRS wasn’t a smart decision after all. He wasn’t entirely sure if the were competent, but it could just be bad first impression. Add took in a deep breath and lowered his hand. The giant monster aside, there was something much worse at hand. Looking at everyone nearby, Add could clearly see that not a single one of them was a redhead. Honestly, how hard was it to find someone with a full set of bright red hair? Didn’t the multiverse realize that Add needed to find a redhead ASAP? 


“Oh well,” Add muttered to himself. He supposed he’d just have to find one while working for XDRS. After all, that was one of the main reasons he wanted join.

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Tien frowns at the envelope in his hand, turning it over to stare at the writing on its back. He can’t read it, of course. At least, he’s actively avoiding letting the words click, even though he can feel a strange force tickling at the edges of his mind that blurs the foreign symbols into near-legibility. He flips it back over with a small sigh, letting his hand drop to his side. Apparently, it’s addressed to Lara Croft. He remembers her from the Gateway--more or less--so he felt fairly confident when he first accepted the request to deliver the letter.


That faded rapidly. It has to have been at least half an hour since then, and no luck yet. He’s going through the hallway of rooms now, hoping he’ll hit on the right one eventually…and that she’ll be there.


It hasn’t been working out too well so far, but he’s out of better ideas.


He stops in front of the next door. A small bell hangs from the knob, but that’s no help in figuring out whose room it might be; he doesn’t know anybody well enough to make a guess at what it means. 


Tien sends the Almighty a silent prayer hoping this one will be right and knocks.




Lara’s eyes snap open and she immediately sits up, not liking the cold draft that starts to touch her back as Stan’s warmth fades. She sighs. “Now who may that be,” she muses as she stands up and lurks towards the door. She opens the door, half-expecting Evonna to be there with another small container of cookies- Lara swears she gained five kilos since the first day of Evonna being there. But upon the door fully opening, it’s not Evonna at all. Rather, Lara has to look up in order to lock eyes with Tien. She turns around to glance at Stan, who rolls over in bed, seemingly uninterested in what Tien could possibly want. Lara then turns back to greet Tien with a smile. “Oi oi, Tien, what may I do for you?


The taller boy blinks, gaze sliding to the side as he holds out a letter. “This was addressed to you,” he says simply. 


“Ah! Thank you,” Lara graciously takes the letter and walks over to the desk, pulling out the wide drawer underneath the desk area and takes out a small silver letter opener. Briefly she wonders where she had put her pistols, as she hadn’t seen them in the past several days, but the thought is only fleeting. She has no idea where her mind even made the association. Instead, Lara takes the letter in her left hand -noting the way Tien flinches back- and carefully uses the letter opener to break the seal. Instantly she recognizes Winston’s rather old-fashioned cursive and smiles warmly. “Oh Winston, I really ought to get him a communicator so he doesn’t need to send so many letters.” 


Her brow furrows as she takes a look at the letter. 


Lady Croft,


I want to wish you a happy twenty-second birthday. I hope all is well with the XDRS, and that all is well with yourself. 


It seems that a friend of yours has arranged a birthday party for you, I have included the details within the envelope- including the venue and the guest list. It appears that the party will be fairly large, a few of your friends are bringing plus-ones. I suggest you bring a few friends along, I’m sure some of your colleagues on base would be elated to come along. 


As usual, all is well within the Manor. I have just finished cleaning at the time of writing this letter, some workers are finishing up the pool area this week. Your room has been left untouched minus vacuuming and dusting, as you asked. 


I hope that you will be able to attend, and that you may return home soon. I do worry. 


Faithfully in your service,



It takes a minute for her to read the letter all the way through, but once she’s finished she nods. 


“Ah, I see what this is. It appears that I have a few things to attend to back at home.” Lara glances at the lad, and then the letter. “See… I hadn’t told many people here, but today’s my birthday, and a few friends of mine decided to throw a rather fancy dinner party.” 


“...Happy birthday,” Tien offers.


Ah! Thank you, Tien.” Lara looks up at him with a smile. Her smile soon is replaced with a small frown as a thought crosses her mind. “Something…. Isn’t right though.” Lara pauses, shifting her weight to one foot. “I expressed clearly to Winston not to celebrate my birthday, and I had asked him to tell my friends that same thing. He’s also telling me to bring friends. He never does that.” Lara frowns and glances at the letter again, concerned at the brevity of Winston’s words as well. “Plus, I have been hearing reports from Winston that there has been quite a stir in the news lately. There’s also a strange presence in the world that I thought would be interesting. Because of this, I ought to be prepared for anything. I’ll need a bit of help.” And with that, Lara places the letter on her desk and faces Stan, glancing at Tien as well. “Care to come with?


"Of course, my love," Stan replies when prompted, shifting within the sheets. He isn't bothered by Tien's presence -- surely the boy has seen other men bare their torsos before. Even if there was a fair bit of titanium in this one. "Your butler's going to be overjoyed when he finds out you're with a proper gentleman."


His grin suddenly dissolves and he lowers the tone of his voice. "Mighty fine timing, isn't it? Usually multiverse mail is incredibly tardy, considering none of the worlds actually sync up."


Lara furrows her brow in response, and her voice lowers as well. “Yeah… Something just isn’t right.

She walks back to the bed and sits down next to Stan, planting a peck on his cheek. “You could be right… Nothing about this looks right.


She looks up at Tien, who seems uncomfortable and has edged halfway out of the door. She clears her throat. “Er, anyway! So… If you wanted to come along Tien, you’re more than welcome.”


Tien hesitates, tracing a circle into the floor with one foot. A faint tinkling sound, like wine glasses clashing against each other, rises from somewhere near him, and he looks at a patch of embroidery on his shoulder. “...What’s it...going to be like?”


Lara chooses not to address the tinkling noise, just for the sheer purpose of not making Tien say more than he needs to. He seems uncomfortable enough just being here. “Ah, my world or the party? I suppose either?” 


Tien nods, a grateful expression flashing across his face.


Ah! Well….. I suppose there are a lot of cultural and technological differences between our worlds… There are forms of automatic transportation… er…. Honestly I’m not familiar enough with your world. But as for the party, from what I saw on the letter… There will be plenty of different types of food, sweet, savory…. There will be alcohol, it’s illegal for anyone under twenty one to drink but I’m sure there’s a way around that, there usually is….” Lara pauses. “People dress in their nicest clothing, oh! And it’s on a beach. A very lovely beach on an island, the water is a very clear blue…. I’ve only been to that particular one once. It’s lovely.” 


He slowly nods again, mumbling indistinctly to himself. Something makes more of those tinkling sounds. Maybe, somehow, it’s the embroidery he keeps looking at. “I...I only have the one set of clothes, but I’ll go if you’ll have me.”


Lara smiles warmly. “I’ll have anyone who wishes to come along.” 


"1990s Earth is the pinnacle of human civilization on that planet. It's going to be a fun time, kid, fancy clothes or not." Stan added to the explanation. "I've never been myself, personally, but it is one of my favorite eras."


Lara nods. “What he said. It’ll be nice getting a chance to relax.” I hope, she holds back from saying.


Tien cocks his head to the side. He seems to be listening, but his gaze is trailing to the metal set in Stan’s chest. He shoves his hands in his pockets as Stan leans into Lara.


"So, birthday girl, when are we heading out? best not to dawdle, or we'll miss the party!" 


Lara snorts and squeezes his hand. “Well, I need time to get myself together here…. I doubt a robe is anywhere near appropriate for this occasion.” 


"It'll make a statement," Stan teases. 


“As much as you’d love it,” Lara retorts as she leans back into him, “I personally don’t wish for my friends to see me all disheveled like this. I should be set in….” She sighs, realizing Chikako would want to be involved. “...Two hours, if Chikako has anything to say about it,” she says in defeat.


Stan swings his legs over the bed and stands up. Thankfully, he is wearing boxers -- these ones with little yellow dinosaurs with big claws from a franchise from the aforementioned 1990s era. As a pop culture reference, he thought Lara would enjoy them, though she was obviously too uncultured or too busy to pay attention to The Digital Monsters. With his feet on the ground, the man performs an elaborate stretch that even includes the metal in his arm and in his torso. "I'm always ready to go, and you know it." Stepping towards the door, he puts a firm hand on Tien's shoulder, causing the boy to stiffen at his touch. "Come on, bell-boy," he calls, referencing the insistent tinkling coming from somewhere on his clothing, "let's get Pascal to set the coordinates while the girls are busy putting on their faces."


Face. Haha. As if I’ll allow anyone to put that much makeup on my face. Watching as Stan stretches, she raises her eyebrows, impressed. Lara grins and nods. “Yeah. Right, Pascal needs to know, maybe see if anyone else would like to attend. Now shoo,” Lara says with an even wider smile, “I need to shower…..Oh. And can you find Chikako and Evonna? I may need their help.”


Tien blinks several times, turning towards Stan as he appears to refocus. He’s got something in his hand now that he’s idly toying with; it looks like a rock, vaguely trapezoidal with some small carvings. “Uh, right. I think I know where Chikako is, I ran into her while trying to find you, she might have moved…”


Lara nods. “Thank you. If you see her again, please send her to the room with bells on the doorknob.” She looks at the rock in Tien’s hand, rather interested in whatever the symbols are. When Tien is turned around, she raises her eyebrow when she doesn’t see bells anywhere on his uniform. What, by the devil, is that noise? ….”That’s an interesting rock. Is that where that chiming is coming from?”


Tien blinks at her. “The chime…? Oh! You mean Fractal?” He gestures at the pattern on his--


It’s moved. It’s on his chest now.


Stan squints. Lara blinks. Her brows furrow once more. “The Devil…..?”


“I thought you were being quiet,” Tien says, apparently to himself.


“I was,” a glasslike voice responds, “Just not as quiet as I could be. I thought we were not keeping it secret here.”


“Fractal…. secret…..” That explains some of his nervousness, I suppose? Lara shifts a little, leaning forward out of curiosity. 


"Let's just go," Stan interrupts, trying to shoo him out of the room. Boys gotta keep their secrets and he knows how that feels. If there are things he wants to hide, no sense in prying them out of him. Women can be so nosy sometimes. 


Tien lets out a small yelp as Stan shoves him. “Right, uh--I’ll go. Find. Someone?”


"Pascal, yes," the older man repeats. "She's real hard to miss, if you see her. And Evonna, and Chikako... " 


Lara sighs, mentally kicking herself for making the boy more uncomfortable. Ah, she did it again, didn’t she. Before her brain decides to kick in and beat itself up for it, she stands up and approaches her dresser, turning back to face them. “Right, I apologize. Maybe it’s best for me to keep my nose out of those things.” She nods, cocking her head to the side and smiling.Yes. Thank you, I appreciate it.


Tien hums in acknowledgement, his ‘Fractal’ adding its own chime, and darts out of the room before Stan can give him another push.


"Love ya, babe," Stan salutes, before stepping out himself and closing the door behind him. 


“Love you too, hotshot.”


Lara sighs, opening her drawer and grabbing the revolver underneath her underclothes. Well, she thinks to herself, I need something, and if I can’t find my pistols, this old thing may have to do. 


Edited by Mikasa361

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Karen and Nidrak


Allies (?): None

Location: Castle, Xander's Room

Current Morph: Karen


Well, that was awkward. 


Karen stood with both hands shoved into his pockets. He wanted to help, really, but apparently there wasn’t anything they could do. For all of the deadly injuries he’d sustained and healed, there was nothing he could do to help others. Useless. Power meant for killing and to keep them alive long enough to enact more violence. 


Nidrak shifted uncomfortably in his head. Not a physical shift, of course, but a gentle shuffling sensation in their shared emotionscape. Xe didn’t say anything, still being too shaken up by recent events to find the right words (Nidrak didn’t need to worry about that, xyr words were always the right ones), but the reminder of xyr presence helped. Xe didn’t like it when Karen’s thoughts became too dark and sharply pointed towards himself. He’d done his best to keep them to the positive, more for xyr sake than his own. 


What now? he asked. It was easier when they had a task to work towards, and Nidrak needed that. As busy as xe was worrying about him, he knew that xe wasn’t doing okay either. 


There must be more people around, right? We still don’t know what’s going on, truly. 


Let’s not make contact. It’s better to find as much information as we can while no one’s paying attention to us. 


He felt a faint twinge of disappointment from Nidrak and smiled. Of course xe wanted to meet new people as soon as possible. It wasn’t that Karen didn’t, but he could be patient and find out if these people really were who they claimed they were first. Right. Morph? 


They were so used to always being in morph while on a mission, but they’d already been seen, hadn’t they? Would they be less conspicuous, less likely to be stopped as a human? A mouse or rat probably wouldn’t be out of place in a stone castle, but he didn’t know how helpful that would be. For eavesdropping it’d be excellent. For opening doors and rifling through desks, less so. 


We could morph later, if need be. 


That’d work, hopefully. If not, the best they could do was act confident and like they belonged. Depending on the level of security at the castle (and so far it seemed incredibly weak) they might even get out without a fight. 


They took off at a quick yet unhurried pace. Fast enough to look like they knew where they were going (even though they were really just wandering around and had absolutely no idea where they were going), slow enough to not look like they were being chased. 


They heard voices and stopped to listen, hidden behind a wall. There were… people chatting and eating cookies? It hardly sounded like some nefarious plot, and for a moment Karen almost felt silly for skulking around and spying. 


Maybe there’d be something elsewhere. 


Eventually they came to a hallway lined with doors. Picking one at random, the looked for anyone watching them and pushed it open. Inside looked like a fairly normal dorm room, if far cleaner than any dorm room Karen had ever seen. It almost looked like nothing strange was going on and that these people weren’t evil. Oh well. Worst case scenario, they were caught looking through someone’s underwear drawer. Which, actually, would be pretty bad. 


Deciding to leave the underwear drawer alone for now, they headed towards the desk and opened a drawer. 


Oh, hello. 


Large, old-fashioned keys sitting alone in the top drawer? Yeah, those had to lead to something interesting.


my first post in months and it's just karen ruining things

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