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Twilight  - Kitchen

 

The general mistrust of the formerly-shackled man was to be expected, but still Twilight was concerned for his well-being. It would not do to have a guest end up bleeding out. It was unfortunate that Gladekeeper ended up coming all this way only to have Jowan refuse her healing, and Twilight concluded that maybe she could try healing him herself when she could gather more energy. Wouldn't want the spell to backfire and do more harm than good.

 

"Gladekeeper, hello!" Twilight greeted the earthen dragon. Remembering the two robots and the goddess' hostility towards mechanical beings, she followed it up with sending the dragon on an errand. "Sorry to trouble you, but could you see if you can find Qaksh in the castle? He might be interested in seeing newcomers!"

 

~~~

 

Tea Party - Dining Hall

 

By the time Twilight settled all her unfinished business, a small purple dragon with green frills pattered towards the table of assembled guests, his claws clicking on the floor with each rapid step. The bright-haired girl, Light, turned around at the clicks and seemed to start before she stared curiously at him, and the silver metal beast was shaken from his own thoughts, and seemed a bit confused by the setup; he didn’t know what to make of the creature’s entrance, nor of the “party of tea”. The table was set, and tea poured around for everyone. There weren’t enough teacups to go around, so some of the newcomers had a couple of Xander’s mugs.

 

The metal beast circumnavigated the table with Okay, but finally settled at the end of it, simply staring at the mug. For a moment Twilight regretted not knowing what he would drink, assuming he could, but relaxed a bit when he allowed Okay to have the tea, as he was paying too much attention to everything else. Suddenly entrusted with two teacups, Fushi found himself sitting on the lap of the metal beast, who had picked a seat towards the end of the table and nestled the two of them quite comfortably there. His ears perking up as steaming teacups were passed around the table, the wolf sniffed curiously at the cup before him. Something told him it might be better to revert back to being the Boy for this situation, but he -- still did not quite know how to eat or drink things properly. Watching as the steam rose up from both teacups, Fushi curiously lapped just slightly at the one handed down to him from Typheus, his new friend. It was a strong, minty taste, and -- HOT! The wolf whined suddenly, drawing back -- the mint taste of the tea was overcome by the strong flash of … what, exactly? He could not describe the sensations across his tongue, only that they were unpleasant, and perhaps he was … could he be?

But no, to Fushi’s surprise, he wasn’t dying. The feeling faded from his tongue, and he stared at the teacup suspiciously.

 

The headphone-wearing boy gingerly took a seat at the table. Glancing at Okay as he recoiled from its teacup, he inspected his own cup of tea and took a small sip. It seemed to be a mint tea of sorts. Figuring it wouldn’t kill him, he went ahead and took another sip. The bright-haired girl grasped her mug with both hands, her attention finally passed from Spike, and read the inscription, a smile creeping on her face before she took a long draught of the hot beverage. The white dragon eyed the hall suspiciously, seemingly unsure about the drink. They gave their tea-cup an experimental push, but pushed a bit too hard and knocked the cup over, spilling tea. The dragon-boy hissed and tried to smell the tea, before they raised their head back up and hissed in confusion. The silver beast noticed this and gave him a long, uncertain stare; didn’t all humans know about these drinking vessels? The bright haired girl looked over in surprise as well, but then stated:


“Let me get that,” and with those words she murmured a spell. The water flowed upwards into a strange-looking ball covered with icicles and blocks of ice with the exception of a “face” with a icicle on the forehead. It blinked and the girl said something to it, at which it floated to her side and remained. The silver beast switched his gaze to her; seems that was yet another, unexpected ability humans had, or at least whatever “human” she was. Twilight tilted her ears, fascinated by the curious display of conjuration.


Duke settled himself into a seat, relaxing into the chair as he watched the other members push around teacups and test out the tea. Holding his teacup up, the blond gave it a curious sniff before taking a small sip, allowing the minty flavour to spread across his tongue. Ah. Homegrown tea -- not bad. There wasn’t much for him to do beyond sit and stare -- he’d heard this speech already countless times. Points to Twilight, however, for having the patience to run through this very same speech with every newcomer brought to their little island.

 

Here you go, Twilight,” said Spike, catching Twilight's attention. Hopping onto a chair to reach high enough, with its tiny hands it placed a disk-like machine onto the table and shoved it so it was closer to the center. The contraption turned on with a whirr. It projected a tiny version of the already small planet in three dimensions, showing all the landmarks such as the Gateway, the meadows, the castle, and a shallow lake. The silver beast watched comfortably; this was at least one thing it was familiar with. The bright-haired girl’s eyes widened. The white boy stared at the display, before hissing again and pushing back - only for the chair to wobble and a yelp of surprise to escape their mouth. Headphones boy goggled at the projection for a moment, before regaining his composure. At the projection, Fushi looked up from his glaring into the teacup to stare at the image of the planet in wonder -- what was this? This was unlike anything he had ever seen, but, considering recent circumstances, the immortal had already become accustomed to accepting there were a lot of things he was still not familiar with on this earth. His ears perked up, the wolf attempted to listen to Twilight’s speech to the best of his ability, with his limited communication skills.

 

“You guys have a pretty high science level too?” the bright-haired girl asked in wonder.

 

Mostly thanks to Pascal!” Twilight replied. “She's amazing with machines, even stuff she's never seen before!The silver beast blinked at this, about to ask if she had dealt with AI before - specifically, self-corrupting AI - but decided to wait until Twilight had explained everything else first. The bright-haired girl cocked her head.

 

Anyway, despite uh, unexpected setbacks,” Twilight began, putting down the teapot after finally pouring herself a cup and waiting until everyone began to settle down. “Let me formally welcome you to the home of the XDRS, or Cross-Dimensional Restoration Squad -- or X-Dreamers, since the acronym kind of looks like that. I think it’s a pretty charming name. Our main objective is to go to different dimensions and fix any problems that affect the fabric of space and time.”

 

“You don’t have any actual somniari, then,” Jowan confirmed.

 

“‘Somniari’?” the silver beast echoed. It seems that word wasn’t translated, for whatever reason; just another reminder about how alien everyone was to each other.

 

Jowan hesitated for a moment, wondering how to explain. “Mages with powers over dreams.” He seemed to want to go into more detail, but held his tongue to allow the conversation to progress. The beast was about to question him further, but the girl interrupted him:

 

“But that’s the job of the Time Lords, right? The fixing timespace thing,” she asked in a confused tone. “Unless you mean something happened so that they can’t travel across spacetime anymore…? Then wouldn’t Siran know something?”

 

There are probably beings in all different universes keeping order in their own realms, and maybe we can coax them to our side," Twilight replied. "The thing is, we’re suspecting that this is something a lot bigger, given that it’s brought together things that shouldn’t be mixed.

 

That had some unnerving implications to the silver beast. He tried to hide his concern; his universe wasn’t being “mixed”, was it?

 

With her hoof, Twilight hit a button on the hologram projector, changing the slide to an image of multiple orbs suspended in the air. “Normally, time-space anomalies aren’t a really big problem. Dimensions – in other words, worlds – rarely collide since they’re each protected in their own bubble and are normally fixed in place. However… Something out there recently is upsetting the balance of these bubbles and making them shift and bump into each other. This causes them to displace, merge, or in some cases, completely cease to exist.” To punctuate her point, she bumped the hologram and some of the delicate bubbles popped with a cartoony bursting animation. The beast’s wings shifted; yeah, that wasn’t good at all. The bright haired girl seemed to have a very negative reaction to the news, judging by the look of horror that came over her face.

 

Headphones’ eyes widened. “What?!” he yelled in alarm, making the beast jump.

 

“A ripple in one dimension can cause a chain reaction that disturbs all those around it, Twilight elaborated, trying not alarm the guests more than she needed to, but the bright haired girl shrank back and her horror seemed to worsen and the white-haired dragon cried out, eyeing Twilight.

 

“Like a supernova?” the silver beast asked, suppressing his annoyance about the loud noise.

 

Twilight paused for a moment to think about the comparison.  It’s similar, she said. “To put it less lightly, everything you might have known up to now is in the process of falling apart. We don’t know as much as we’d like to, unfortunately.

 

"I come from a world that’s been drifting across time and space for eons… Or so I’ve been told…” the bright haired girl drooped a bit. “Are you saying that we’ve been accidentally ruining worlds all this time…?” The question hung in the air, unanswered.

 

At this, Duke’s eyes darkened, and the blond took another carefully planned sip of tea. Twilight was correct -- they didn’t know all that much about exactly why the planets seemed to be aligning wrongfully, causing such disruption within the system, and the implication of the small girl that her universe could possibly have something to do with it … well, Duke was not a man without flaws, and he could admit to wondering -- just how was she involved? Could she have answers to the eternal questions that had been raised by Twilight for so long? And if so -- could he go home?  Reminding himself not to get too excited at uncertain prospects, Duke simply set his teacup down and stared gravely.

 

The silver beast was dismayed by the answer, briefly looking down at Okay. The wolf looked up, raising his tail curiously -- Fushi did not completely understand what had been said, but he knew enough to understand that the atmosphere of the room had changed -- the red-haired girl sounded devastated as she spoke, her words rapid across the table, and as the pony who appeared to be in charge -- was it not usually humans that held order? -- replied with a calm, yet ominous voice.

 

The dragon froze, watching Twilight. They stared, a look of horror and fear upon their face. She gave them an apologetic look, before shaking her head and continuing: “It’s a total disaster, and we’ve taken it into our hooves to clean it up before it spells the end of existence as we know it. Through our investigations, we found one way to keep the dimensional anomalies at bay: and that’s to return to each world what’s rightfully theirs.

 

“Oh…. That’s good,” the bright haired girl seemed to perk up a bit.

 

In other words, there exist important things like relics of great power that literally contain the essence of a world, and by putting them back where they belong we can bring stability back to the multiple universes. That’s our job as agents of the XDRS.

 

The bright haired girl contemplated this for a moment, then asked, “Is it possible for a person or bloodline of some sort to be the essence holder?”

 

“How could a person contain the ‘essence of the world’?” the silver beast interrupted, “and how could you even know if it’s the ‘essence’? Worlds aren’t alive; it’s not like you can inherit their blood.”

 

“Things don’t need flesh and blood to hold spirit,” Twilight said.

 

“‘Spirit’?” he asked. The word translated to him, but he didn’t know exactly what she was talking about. Did she mean a zeitgeist?

 

There are different beliefs in every world, as you might have noticed and it’s a fascinating research subject, but I have a theory that there’s a little essence of our homes in all of us,” she tried to explain. Usually they are items vital to the function of the world they’re tied to, but we’ve had one case so far where it was a sentient being. I think the essence can get passed along, if they were to be killed.”

 

“Then what about the dimensions that ‘cease to exist’?” asked headphones boy. “Are they just... gone forever?”

 

  The beast shot him a sharp look. Cancellation theory, just because some zeitgeist-infused thing disappeared? How was any of this even plausible?

 

“Maybe they vanish, maybe they move elsewhere," Twilight answered uncomfortably.  "Whatever the case, we’re no longer able to detect them. Maybe they are out there, somewhere. We're not sure, and it's our duty to find out.

 

“Whatever the fate of your world, you’re here because this planet decided to save you from a dimensional hiccup," the pony went on. "The Gateway is known to attract heroes, drifters, and those with noble heart, you see.

 

Something in the beast’s eye changed at the words, but it quickly disappeared. The dragon, still watching, whimpered slightly at the conversation. They looked down, whimpering a bit more. Jowan made an odd noise, somewhere between a choke and a laugh. Headphones rolled his eyes, muttering something that sounded like “of course” under his breath.

 

Most everyone who is here already came from that warp, with the exception of me, Pascal, and a couple others. The X-Dreamers isn’t a very old organization,” Twilight admitted. “We just started and we’re always looking for more aid and support. But as much as I would like more help for our cause, a promise is a promise. Once we can locate your homeworld, you have the choice to head back on your own.

 

But please. Consider the fate of the multiverse.”

 

A pause. She let the offer sink in.

 

At this, Duke hummed to himself. Truth be told, he was not entirely selfless -- a part of him wanted to return to the life he left behind, the people that mattered most. But he had formed relationships here, communications with heroes and legends he would never have imagined, and the offer was a heavy weight on all present at the table.

 

There’s a lot at weight here,” he says lightly. “It’s not an easy decision to make, and no one faults you if you choose otherwise.” Then, he crossed his arms and smiled. “But I would certainly be pleased if you stayed to spend a bit more time with yours truly.” Of course, after the prank he’d pulled earlier, Duke highly doubted he was first on anyone’s priority list, but it didn’t hurt to try, right? Plus, the atmosphere was so grimdark it was suffocating.

 

The silver beast gave Duke a flat stare. He definitely seemed to be the more open, social type, but he did cause some… unnecessary strife. He still couldn’t blame him for trying to be friendly though. That aside, would it really be worth it to return…? He and his partner didn’t have much to return to, aside from the fate of an entire war and a rebellion’s cause, of course. He switched his gaze to the holographic projection, pondering the options. He couldn’t speak for his partner, but he also felt it was in her best interest to… but then again… though he also had to consider what happened to their universe... Gah, which was the safest option?

 

Headphones considered Twilight and Duke’s words for a moment. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want out,” he said, slowly. “I’m real tired of being yanked around by others just to get a normal life back. And I have to admit, some of you really rub me the wrong way.” He briefly eyed Duke at this, then turned back to Twilight. “But if there’s one thing I know, it’s that the world is worth saving. I guess that’d be even more so with the multiverse. And if my friends are in danger from this issue...” He sighed. “This is a lot to take in.”

 

The bright haired girl finally spoke. “There’s a lot of problems in my home right now. My friends and I had recently… Recently resolved one of the bigger ones, but…. We all need to be stronger,” she closed her eyes and the sparks at her shoulder moved to wrap slightly around the back of her neck. “I’ll stay with you…. If I’m getting what you’re saying, my home would have caused…. Would have caused much more destruction and mayhem than I thought possible… And, and from what you’re saying, there’s a way to restore my world without ruining any others…. I have to know if there is,” the girl looked down at her mug, then looked back up. “Plus, it’ll be a great learning opportunity, right? I’d love to find something that wasn’t already written in the Ancient Library.”

 

Nodding at both teenagers and their noble responses, Twilight thought it would be a good time to have everyone learn each other's names to lighten the mood. “Shall we introduce ourselves?she offered. Tell us your name and a little about your homeworld. I’m Twilight from Equestria—”

 

Princess Twilight,” Spike corrected. The small dragon had been half-listening to the explanation, as usual.

 

She swiveled her ears back, sheepish. “Princess Twilight Sparkle,” she re-stated. “And that’s my assistant, Spike the dragon. We come from Equestria, a world populated by horses and other animals. There aren’t any humans, apart from that portal to that alternate universe…” Indeed, it was always a little shocking to some people that she came from a place where technicolor talking ungulates were the dominant species.

 

Duke gave a wave to accentuate her words, having introduced himself already. The silver beast appeared to be contemplating something grave, uncertain if it should trust anyone, and especially uncertain about the way the slit-eyed boy was behaving. Maybe the human form was just a disguise for whatever creature he was before?

 

The dragon-boy seemed to shrink into themself, refusing to meet anyone’s gaze and continuing to whine. Twilight was a little bit concerned for them and their well-being, though Xander didn't seem to be anywhere nearby.

 

Fushi perked up at this -- he could introduce himself, he knew how to introduce himself. From the pony’s long, winded speech, he had zoned out somewhat due to the amount of words he could not understand and the complicated discussions that had arose between the members gathered at the table -- unable to comprehend much beyond his limited vocabulary, Fushi latched onto what he did know -- that the pony’s name was Twilight, and that the strange little creature by her side, when she gestured to it, was Spike. The wolf wriggled until it was free from the lap of the metal beast, causing him to look down in curiosity, and the wolf paused to press itself against the other’s legs comfortingly before there was a shimmer of light and he was the Boy once more, sitting on the ground. The former watched intensely, making an uncompressed recording of the transformation to remember later; assuming he wouldn’t stick around to see it repeatedly, anyway. The transformation wasn’t quite logical to him... He got up, and picked up one of the teacups. He stared at the table before him, and -- well, this wasn’t exactly a good idea, was it? But he was in too deep now, and the stares of everyone was suddenly unnerving.

 

“Fushi,” he said clearly, pointing to himself. Then he held the teacup up and pressed his face into it to take a drink.

 

The bright haired girl beamed, any trace of the solemnity she was just displaying gone. “I’m Light! And this little spirit here”--She held out a palm and the spark shimmied down her arm to her hand--”is Rao.”

 

Jowan stared at the ‘spirit’ for a moment, but didn’t say anything. It seemed as though some words meant something different to everyone.

 

With the willing introductions the silver beast recognized that, even if he gave his ID out, the chances of it falling into enemy hands were slim to none, and he was being given fewer and fewer reasons to discredit the X-Dreamers. He still held suspicions, but if worse comes to worse, the mechs could escape just the same. Hopefully without blowing up half the place like last time…

 

“Typheus, ID 36-78.” He briefly noted with interest that his “Mn~Raruke-Zeteke” translated a bit differently than he expected. “My partner is 56-767. I’m surprised she hasn’t shown up to eat anyone yet,” he looked straight at Duke when saying those words. “I can’t say we’re ‘noble heroes’ that your gate has pulled in, but if I’m being honest, I’m not very interested in leaving. Let’s just say I have reasons to believe that what I’m seeing isn’t real.” He folded his arms, looking around the table and not caring if it was an unpopular opinion; as a hacker, he had to recognize that everything could be bits-n-bytes at any moment.

 

“You can say that again,” Headphones said, shaking his head. “This whole thing doesn’t feel real at all. In any case, the name’s Neku Sakuraba. Far as I know I should just be a regular Japanese earthling, unless I’ve either somehow gotten affected by a weird dimensional anomaly or died on the way here.”

 

“You don’t look much like a corpse.” Jowan paused, bit his lip, and glanced downwards before continuing. “My name is Jowan. I’m a mage from Ferelden.” He shifted in his seat, then took a sip of tea to hide his discomfort. It seemed like half of the people in the room had openly used magic, and a mage of some kind was in charge. Clearly, magic wasn’t nearly so stigmatised in most worlds. “If this is all true… Please let me stay. There must be some way that I can help.”

 

"Of course," said Twilight. "Of course."

 

Edited by TehUltimateMage

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Stan - Dining Hall - Totally missed the party

 

 

The doors to the dining hall creaked open, and the stout man sauntered in. Both his hands, the normal one and the broken mechanical one, were stuffed into his pant pockets -- there was no use worrying Twilight when there was nothing to worry about. There were many more people than he had initially anticipated, and adding the three others... The base was going to get a lot more lived-in.

 

Two new children walked into the room following them, both with very confused and concerned looks on their faces. Evonna, is it?," said the one in the red cloak and the yellow braid. "This place is so weird! Look- there’s a talking horse!”

 

“My dude, that might not be a good thing to say. I heard something about her being in charge of the base.” The curly-haired girl- Evonna- smacked her partner’s left arm and walked further into the room.

 

Typheus switched his judgmental gaze onto the two of them at the sudden comment; he could already hear his partner’s indignant comeback in his head about how she thought they were weird, but thankfully she wasn’t here to provoke anything. So he simply studied the two, wondering what weird powers they must have.

 

Twilight stood from her seat at his arrival, and greeted him and Xker. "Welcome back! I just finished the debriefing, and we were just introducing ourselves."

 

...J-just finished?! His breath caught short in his lungs at the revelation. Stan had brought these kids here to listen to the speech and wiggle out of needed to explain it himself. Now that it was over...

 

Speaking of introductions, the pony took it on her to introduce them as well. "The man and the beast are Stan and Xker, respectively, and they're both experienced agents. Last I checked they were on a scouting mission. How was that?"

 

"Well, it's a long story..." Stan pulled up a chair from the far side of the room, so he could take a seat near their leader. Metal peeked through his sleeve as he moved and he stealthily concealed his mechanical arm again, hoping that none of the newcomers were as sensitive to prosthetic parts as that tree lizard -- although with Xker in plain sight and nobody attacking yet, he took it as a good sign. He waved his good hand dismissively. "I think we have a good idea of where that anchor is and what it might be, but there's some vicious dudes who don't like having us invade their territory..."

 

Then, to whispering to Twilight, he added, "Hey, maybe I should give the details of the mission to you in private? Don't want to cause any uh--" his stare shifted to the trembling white-haired man that Xander picked up on his travels, then back to the horse -- "more distraught on these alarmed people."

 

"Nonsense," she reassured him. "It'll be useful for them to know what we do as an organization. Not all missions involve fighting, but many times it's an inevitable reality. The Holodeck is already here, ready for you to upload."

 

Stan nodded. Boss' orders. "Hope none of you mind cyborgs?" Producing a cable from his breast pocket, he leaned forth to connect one end to the hologram projector and the other to a port near his elbow. A ring of green light appeared around the brown iris of his right eye, signalling that the connection had been made. "I see we picked up a mech," he commented absently. "A nice break from all this fantasy-magic. There was another robot that got here at the Gateway, too, actually. And, now that I think about it," he mused, his hand on his chin, " Back at the entrance, Xander and Natsuki were in the company of a robot too, that looked really similar to that one!"

 

 

Edited by TehUltimateMage

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Xker followed Stan in, taking notice of... quite an assortment of newcomers. The Volt released a couple surprised clicks on seeing the robot. "Been awhile since I saw newcomers that could be from a magicless 'verse," aer addressed the bot. "I'd be from a universe without magic, myself." The Volt's ears swivelled to listen. Seems like Stan was done talking. And seems like he hadn't yet mentioned something Twilight honestly should hear about. Hell, it needed yo be said, and the commander-sergeant had said the report may as well happen in here.

 

"If we're here, I may as well say you probably shouldn't send anyone metal to that universe, Sergeant." Xker addressed Twilight with a military rank out of habit, no matter how many aer was reminded of the lack of ranks - it was a habit ingrained into the space warrior. "The things in there, they have some form of magnetism. They can bend an' attract metal. Thank **** it didn't pull on the metal bits of my inner workings, or I'd be pretty well screwed."

Edited by DuskOfTheStars

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Sora &  Yusei

 

There was so much information that Sora almost didn't keep up. He managed, though, and sat forward just a fraction. "That sounds like what I do back in my... universe?" He didn't really know how to claim it. So many worlds, so many stars that were connecting when they were supposed to remain separate. "Maybe... the Doorway opened on these worlds too? My friends and I..." Sora paused, frowning slightly. His friends.... Shaking his head, he continued. "We're fighting the Heartless, creatures of darkness born within people's hearts, and locking the doorways found on each world," he explained briefly. "Sometimes we don't make it in time though, and the world is consumed. A star goes out."

 

"That explains why you're not upset by Twilight's words," Yusei popped in. The young man had chosen to be a background ornament, leaning against the wall with his arms folded and his left boot propped against the painted plaster. Sora glanced in his direction, internally labeling the man as the brooding type.

 

Shifting to face the group again, his teacup largely ignored (or perhaps he wasn't even aware of its existence), the boy rested his chin in his hand. "My name's Sora, from the Destiny Islands. But, I haven't been there in a long time. I've been traveling around the worlds, trying to keep their existences a secret from the rest," he introduced. Sitting straighter, a smile started to cross his face, an edge of goofiness making it crooked. "I'll help where I can!"

 

"And I'm Yusei Fudo. I arrived a couple weeks ago, in the general sense of time, from a city on Earth named New Domino," the man greeted.

 

Stan and Xker arrived some moments later, newcomers in tow. As the cyborg and Volt addressed Twilight, beginning to debrief (looks like Stan needs some repairs done), Yusei examined the strangers behind the pair. Two of them looked like human children or young teenagers. The car, however, was mildly surprising. The man opted not to comment about it. He had seen stranger things before.

 

Cuircuitraider

 

Plus one point for respecting her 'no'.

 

Minus one point for calling her 'babe'.

 

Stan was, in all fairness, likely to be a human Circuitraider could live without. However, he wasn't the worst she had encountered before. The front hall was occupied by a few more after she and the man-and-his-dog duo had. Two humans in strange clothing she was unfamiliar with (was that armor on one?) and... another bot? Her fingers curled as she stared with her blue optics. The bot was strange. Certainly not a Decepticon she ever met but, neither was it an Autobot. In fact, it didn't appear to have any sort of insignia on its plating to designate its affiliation with any group. 

 

It was expressive though. And somewhat intelligent based on the minimal speech patterns. Puzzled by the bot, Circuitraider made a mental pin to investigate further at a later time when it was more convenient. The information could be important to Optimus - maybe he would know something she didn't.

 

It was time to move on. One glimpse at the doorway and she immediately knew it wasn't tall enough by the size of a human adolescent. Preferring to avoid the humiliation of hunching over, Circuitraider instead chose to follow Stan on all four wheels. After a quick change with the sound of shifting parts, the Autobot scout began moving, creeping at a rather slow speed so as to not run over her... Well, she wouldn't quite call them companions. Acquaintances, then. 

 

Their destination was a dinning hall already filled with several people. By how things appeared, and the words exchanged between Stan and Twilight, their little group had just missed something. Perhaps all of the answers Circuitraider would have gotten. Perfect.

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   XDRS - Dining Hall

 

   Typheus switched his gaze from the two younger humans as yet another group of strangers entered; although, judging from Twilight's enthusiastic greeting, she knew the trio. She introduced the human male with a mechanical arm as Stan, and the yellow alien quadruped behind him as Xker, but she didn't mention the purple vehicle creeping up behind them: a strangely small, rather smooth Earth car with no passengers. Was it remote controlled? Maybe that's why she didn't acknowledge it.
   Twilight prompted Stan about a mission he and Xker were on, and at the recognition of familiar dialogue, Typheus turned his head to listen. Stan came over to the table and picked a seat, taking care to hide his immobile prosthetic; perhaps it was malfunctioning?
   "Well, it's a long story... I think we have a good idea of where that anchor is and what it might be, but there's some vicious dudes who don't like having us invade their territory..." he faltered off.
   "'Anchor'? you mean one of these zeitgeist-bearers?" Typheus asked aloud. Stan was hesitant to share more, and asked Twilight something in low tones, but she refused whatever it was:
   "Nonsense, it'll be useful for them to know what we do as an organization. Not all missions involve fighting, but many times it an inevitable reality." Typheus drooped a bit, knowing it wouldn't bode well for his partner's health if that was the case. "The Holodeck is already here, ready for you to upload."
   Stan finally obliged, albeit hesitantly. "Hope none of you mind cyborgs?" he asked, and Typheus was quick to respond with a shake of his head; in the proper way for humans to understand, of course. The man procured a cable and attached one end to the projector and the other to his arm, and one eye lit up green in response. The machine was surprised at the reveal of further electronics in him; that was the kind of technology the mechs expected the humans to have! Maybe Stan's universe wasn't too far removed from his own?


   As if he sensed the machine's thoughts, Stan commented idly: "I see we picked up a mech. A nice break from all of this fantasy magic." He then paused, putting his hand in his chin while he studied Typheus. "There was another robot that got here at the Gateway, too, actually," he said, "and now that I think about it, back at the entrance, Xander and Natsuki were in the company of a robot too, that looked really similar to that one!"
   Another brief moment of surprise as Stan correctly guessed Typheus's functionality. "You must know your way around machines," he said, "The first humans I met believed we were armored lifeforms, then slaves." He then caught himself upon realizing he used a plural pronoun out of habit. "Well, me specifically." He then blinked, recognizing the first description as his partner; so she was with a "Xander" and "Natsuki" back at the entrance. So much for her plan to flank Duke, but at least she was safe, in a known location. Who was the third machine though? He didn't recall any other mechanical beings walking around.
   There were some clicks to the right of the machine as the alien spoke up in agreement, "Been awhile since I saw newcomers that could be from a magicless 'verse. I'd be from a universe without magic, myself."
   No magic? Typheus slid his eye over to Light, and the seemingly-alive ball of ice floating near her. I suppose that's accurate.
   "There definitely seem to be more miracle-users here," he agreed. He then checked up on the alien again, trying to figure out the specie. The voice sounded more masculine to him, but the appearance matched nothing in his archives and the accent was foreign. Evidently from another universe, but was it one he knew a little better than the others here?
   Humans with superpowers and unrecognizable aliens; figures that the first impressions and ability expectancy didn't match up.


   The alien stood rigidly to attention, adding onto Stan's unfinished report with militaristic practice. The hints were intriguing: living things with innate power over magnetism? They can bend metal to their wills? Was "screwed" an intentional pun?
   Ugh, Fiddlesticks, why? Typheus suddenly stopped himself at that thought, closing his eye to mentally sigh. I swear she scrambles my logarithms more than she does her own... Quickly discarding the random curiosity about a pun, Typheus finally asked, "Is it a specific magnetism? Something that can be cancelled out with another field? Not to volunteer too early - I would like to know the report first just as much as the others - but my partner and I are built to tolerate magnetic forces because of our own capabilities. More importantly though, she is..." he hesitated, "let's just say she has a lot of energy, and once the tour is officially over housing her would be difficult. A combat mission could cement her... our, loyalty." He turned to Twilight, "If you ever decide that violence is necessary, that is. It is simply an offer."

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~Ed and Ev~

 

Edward hissed at the pain in his arm. “Jesus, Ev, if you could lay off the force…

 

I’ll lay off the force if you lay off the goddamned obnoxious comments,” Evonna hisses, “Now pay attention. If you want answers, just listen to the ‘talking horse’!” Evonna politely took a seat and looked up. Guys. I don’t understand them one bit. How do people just go around talking and making comments like that without getting punched in the face? She noticed the look that someone gave them. It was some sort of robotic creature, with what looked like one eye. I mean, is he wrong? No. Are we weird to some of these other creatures? Um, YEAH? Why is it necessary to be making such comments, anyway? That’s how we get judged. She continued to sit and analyze the room, taking mental notes on the variety of beings in the room.

 

Edward huffed and followed suit, still thinking that the creatures were odd. That thing shouldn’t judge, it’s weirder than Al- that’s saying something. He rubbed his probably-bruised arm. Jeez, she only smacked my arm and it’s gonna bruise. Imagine if she punched me in the face… Ow. It’s like Winry and that GOD FORSAKEN WRENCH… **** . He looked up at the talking horse, mind clouded with confusion and curiosity.

 

...

 

~Lara~

 

Lara shrugged, casually adjusting her ponytail- she felt it slipping and hated losing her hair ties. She only had so many, after all. "Right, right. As certain as I am that it's Duke, we do need more evidence." She took her fingerless gloves off and placed them in a back pocket, not particularly comfortable with the sweat on her palms. Lara wiped her hands on her shorts. "Yusei went to the dining hall with Princess Twilight. I assume he's there to help her out at the tea party, filling in the newcomers and the like. As for the welcome tour, they're there too." She looked at the malfunctioning machine. "Perhaps this one should come along?"

Edited by Mikasa361

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Natsuki [ Main Entrance ]

 

"Of course. Please let one of us know if you do require assistance." While Natsuki didn't believe for a moment that Fiddlesticks was really fine, it was better to avoid making any accusations. The atmosphere was relatively calm for the moment, and they wanted to keep it that way for as long as possible. "No, we don't have anything set up yet. Security mostly consists of various magical wards and Nata, for the time being. What do you need to eat? Petrol? Ethanol?" 

Edited by Zor

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Stan and Twilight -- Dining Hall

 

"It was like magnetism, but... weird." Stan couldn't really think of any other way to describe it. "It pulled on metals even if they were non-ferrous, like brass and copper, and they could attract and repel them like a magnet. With magic in every other world, we can't assume it works how we expect it to work. We'll just need to figure out the place's rules as we go." He shrugged. "An anti-magnet field would be useful, or maybe it wouldn't. We don't know."

 

It wouldn't help to give it a try.Tactically, it might have been a little sketchy to bring a mech to city brawl, but if they were going to brute force it anyway to distract those... things.... And as a bonus, they could solidify their allegiance and see what they were capable of.  "I'm more of a mechanics guy, but I've picked up that every world's magic runs on an internal logic for the most part."

 

On the holographic projector came the image of a dark, dusty city with the sky stained red. The buildings were dense, archaic, and mostly low to the ground except for the majestic ones that rose into gothic points. In the distance was an intimating collection of spires culminating in an elaborate palace-like structure. "We only got attacked when we were going towards that huge building. The people were pretty dreary."

 

The next picture was one within the city, with many humans milling about, all of them dusty and the ground blanketed by the same ash that Stan tried to wipe off from his clothes. Mixed with the black soot, however, were golden grains of sand. "The sand. That's what we're looking for. Pascal's radar pointed towards the sand's origin, but we could only follow it so far before getting chased off by these two dudes with magnetism."

 

He hesitated a moment, but in the end decided to not show the next slide. "I don't know if they're demons or what, but they look like humans, except they have spikes rammed through their eyes, shaved heads, and ritual tattoos all over their faces. Had a real bad feeling about them. The people over there seemed really afraid of them too, and I think they called them Steel Inquisitors. We didn't have the chance to ask about them before we escaped."

 

Twilight nodded at his explanation. "Anything more we know about the sand?"

 

"The sand doesn't belong, but I doubt that an entire desert is the anchor. Before we got chased out, I heard people on the street talk about huge, strange creatures, and of Colossus of some kind. Some say the sand drives you mad if you touch it for too long, and that's even more reason to round up the artifact behind it." Stan licked his bottom lip, and put his good hand to his chin. "We underestimated the danger of this place at first, so I'm not entirely sure this is a good introductory mission."

 

"I trust your judgement, then. There might be something easier that might come up later." Stan was relieved Twilight had made that call. They needed more people for backup and the mission was a little urgent. However, it would probably be a bad idea to send people who literally just got here ten minutes ago.

 

Then, the pony addressed the rest of the table. "Why don't you all get settled into the castle? There's plenty of empty rooms just laying around."

 

Edited by TehUltimateMage

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   XDRS - Dining Hall

 

   Typheus was disappointed by Stan's description of the magnetism; seems it bent the rules of the world he knew. That made it incredibly dangerous for Fiddlesticks. It would be in her best interest if they stayed here... but he couldn't lie to her if she asked, and keeping the hostiles a secret... Why was managing her always so hard? She's just one mech!
   The image of the hologram changed, revealing a city in perhaps the Forging Era - that is, before computer technology. It was a rather ragged, miserable-looking place, but as far as Typheus was concerned it looked normal, if a bit odd with how short all the buildings were. Towards the back of the city they became noticeably taller, merging into one, larger structure.
   "We only got attacked when we were going towards that huge building," Stan explained, "the people were pretty dreary." He changed the image again without even uttering a command, telling Typheus that he had some kind of console built into him. Most of the beings in the image looked human, albeit clothed with heavy, soiled fabrics. They nearly looked burnt, aside from the odd glint off the weave. "The sand. That's what we're looking for. Pascal's radar pointed towards the sand's origin, but we could only follow it so far before getting chased off by these two dudes with magnetism." Stan hesitated again before further describing the so-called "Steel Inquisitors"; absorbing all of this information and comparing it to the possible capabilities of Stan and Xker made the Inquisitors sound like worthy foes.
   Worthy enough for a challenge, but were they a risk worth taking?

 

   Typheus ran some more comparisons as Stan and Twilight spoke on, exaggerating the likelihoods of success. The odds that the mission wouldn't be a good one for the newcomers weren't very surprising, but it still worked against his hopes. He was painfully aware of what happened when Fiddlesticks became antsy, and being overwhelmed and suppressed by these people because she decided to have a fit wouldn't just be inconvenient, it would be downright stupid. They had their trust so far; no need to squander it. It begs the question though: could they even stay here safely? Or could things only grow worse?
   Typheus stashed away the information in his head when Twilight changed the topic. He wasn't sure how to "settle in"; typically he just did whatever his charges did. With that logic, the first thing he should do is locate his partner, and make sure she hasn't broken anything yet.
   "I will go acquaint myself with Xander and Natsuki. Twilight, I... may have to disclose some things with you before we go poking around afterwards." He wasn't quite comfortable with everyone else knowing the full details yet, and the horse seemed level-headed and experienced enough. Stan and Xker just returned from a mission, so they would want respite first.
   He excused himself, rising from the table, and stiffly walked to the door just to pause and look back at Fushi. For whatever reason he expected the wolf boy to follow him, as he seemed very comfortable around the machine. Weirdly comfortable.
   Not important, he dismissed, and continued on into the hallway. I need to find Fiddlesticks.

 

   -------------------------

 

   XDRS - Main Hall

 

   Her escorts were surprisingly courteous for what she was used to, even though the one seemed rather high-strung, but what was more important was the answer: and that was that there was no security system.
   Fiddlestick's disbelieving thoughts lingered on that for a little bit, supposing that they simply had no threats to warrant a system even though every building as big as this one had at least a nerve center. Also interesting that the human knew what she meant. Also that he was familiar with combustible liquids. What was ethanol though? Was that... no, that was diesel... both burned weird though.

   There was a click in her brain. Burning. Burning was fun, she knew that.... No, focus. Fuel is important. They might have - stuff to burn! I like burning things.
   Burning weird field. With caterpillars. Caterpillars? Caterpillars are cool machines - focus! Fuel... eating... They ate diesel. Eating is fun. Caterpillars.
   Fiddlesticks jerked her head to try and organize her flaking thoughts as her temperature only rose. An answer was expected of her, darn it! Why couldn't she think straight? What was going on with these threads?

   "Um... I don't knoooww..." she drawled. Another jerk, and she said more clearly: "BONES! I like bones. Combustibles. Maybe milk? Broccoli. Or is that potassium?" She shook her head, as if it would help. "No. Petrol makes me feel funny." She suddenly paused; it was a short "e", right? Pea-troll? Peh-troll? Burning things?

   "Peh-troll," she tried aloud, "peeeeeh-troll. Pea-troll? Bones. I'm sorry, the service you requested is no longer functioning. MALFUNCTION. AA!" She suddenly yelped and gave herself a more violent shake at the automated response; closing the vents off was a really bad idea! Overclocking! Need air! Need to pretend to be fine! Caterpillars? OH RIGHT!
   "Calcium! I use calculus," she finally said more clearly. The severe movement only made her engine work harder, and she now visibly drooped. "Calculus? I mean, calcium. I'm sorry, I think my circuitry is melting. I'm fine though."

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Xander - Main Hall

 

Xander nodded, suppressing any visible indications of his relief, as Lara agreed to wait for more evidence before convicting Duke. She was reasonable so of course, she knew better than to press the subject. Xander had gotten too familiar with incompetence and speaking to someone who had at least a sliver of understanding when it came to acting appropriately was a small relief.

 

“Thank you,” Xander said with a small bow of his head. “I was planning on taking this newcomer to Yusei anyways. We can’t have confused and potentially dangerous individuals wandering around the base, now can we?” Xander was keenly aware of how poorly prepared everyone was when Nata first arrived. It seemed like he made it his mission to punch everyone on the planet; Xander had a fading bruise on the side of his face, hidden by golden curls, to prove it.

 

Natsuki seemed to be dealing with Fiddlesticks well enough so Xander couldn’t fault them when the robot proceeded to flip out once more. Xander’s head snapped around as Fiddlesticks rambled, his eyes narrowing at the mentioning of bones. He fought the urge to rest his hand on Siegfried’s hilt. The only individuals he knew that could possibly consume bones on a regular basis were the Wolfskin and even then Xander wasn’t positive if they actually ate the bones of the victims they killed or just left them all scattered on Mount Garou. The Wolfskin aside, hearing that the robot ate bones was more than enough to make Xander suspicious. He tried to reserve judgment as Fiddlesticks explained that she needed to consume calcium, but he made sure to keep his eye on her.

 

“We can always see what we have in the kitchen,” Xander suggested. “I’m sure we can find some milk, broccoli, or something else that you might be able to eat in there.” Xander glanced over at Natsuki. “Besides,” he said with the smallest of smiles on his face. “We were going to head to the kitchen anyway. I refuse to let you out of my sight until you eat a proper meal.”

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Natsuki [ Main Entrance ]

 

Fiddlesticks' head jerked oddly, and Natsuki took a startled step backward. Immediately after they cursed themself for making such an obvious mistake. One didn't show signs of weakness when facing unknowns. As unpredictable as being a robot made her, Fiddlesticks' probable lack of a chase reflex was fortunate. 

 

In any case, Fiddlesticks' clearly wasn't fine, whatever she said. Why, though? Why was she suddenly not fine, and why hide it? The fan noises had ceased, but that didn't make sense if she was overheating. Slurred, disjointed speech was far more noticeable and worrisome than some panting.

 

"Calcium?" they said, failing to keep the skepticism out of their voice. It was important, of course, but for biology- they'd never heard of a machine using it for anything. Admittedly, they didn't know much about machines, but calcium wasn't even an energy source. Surely Fiddlesticks consumed something else as well. "Broccoli has both," they said slowly. "But perhaps not as much as you need. Bones certainly have more calcium than vegetables and milk. Is the air too hot for you?"

 

They grimaced at the reminder, but nodded. "Let's go, if no one has any more concerns that must be addressed here."

Edited by Zor

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Keaton - Gateway

 

Nose twitching in irritation, Keaton slowly opened his eyes before sneezing aloud. He shook his head violently, his ears perking up as he lazily wiped his arm against his nose. He blinked the sleep from his eyes just as he gave a big yawn. Keaton was well-acquainted with falling asleep in unfamiliar places. His sense of direction was abysmal. He often got lost when trying to go back home, meaning he had to sleep in the most comfortable spot he could find before continuing towards his destination.  

 

Keaton couldn’t remember falling asleep on his stomach in what appeared to be a small field of flowers, but hey, his memory wasn’t that great either. Keaton pushed himself off of the ground and into a sitting position. He yawned once more while he stretched his arms over his head. He caught a quick glimpse of the sky as he stretched his neck upward and—oh, was it still nighttime. Keaton lowered his arms and squinted his eyes up what appeared to be a night sky littered with countless stars. Did he not sleep for long? Keaton could distinctly remember falling asleep at night although he could not parse exactly where he had slept. Besides, he felt refreshed; there was no way he didn’t get a good night’s rest.

 

Lowering his head, Keaton blinked in surprise to see that he was surrounded by… rock pillars? His ears twitched as he snapped his head to and fro, confirmed that yes, he was in a small field of flowers that were encircled by a bunch of weird rock pillars that were most certainly not natural rock formations.

 

“Oh man!” Keaton said as he leaped to his feet, his tail wagging ever so slightly. “I have no idea where I am. I should have brought Kaden with me, haha,” He placed his hands on his hips as he let the realization of just how utterly lost he washed over him. He never had any problems with getting lost before, but it was always a delightful surprise when it happened. It was like he was going on his own little adventure. It was an adventure that required him to wander around aimlessly until he found a road if he miraculously managed to not starve, but it was an adventure nevertheless.

 

As Keaton took in his surroundings, he noticed what appeared to be two humans standing nearby. One of them had a really cool white-red hair combination while the other appeared to have blue glowing cracks in his skin. Keaton hadn’t ever seen a human glow blue before, but then again, he didn’t really understand magic. Deciding that he could ask about the glowing after he found the road, he bound up to the two humans.

 

“Hey, hey, do either of you know where the road is?” Keaton asked as he looked between the two. “I’m pretty sure I fell asleep in those flowers and now I’m lost.”

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