Friday, February 28, 2014

Fabi/Ruby Darkness: Misti, what should our chapter be called?

Fabi finally stood. It was getting dark. Time to get her emotions under control and focus on survival. She'd need a place to sleep, and some sort of shelter. It didn't look like it was going to rain, but you never really knew. Unless you were a meteorologist, which Fabi wasn't really. She'd abandoned that career idea in fourth grade or so.
She wandered around randomly until she came to a spot where a tree had fallen. This was as good a spot as any.
She was glad she'd brought her metal wristbands. It'd have been awful to have to go into that town again. She quickly melted the metal into an axe and hacked away at a branch of the dead tree. She grimaced at the noise. Hopefully no one was within earshot at this hour. The townspeople were probably at home eating dinner.
Dinner would be nice, once she had a shelter. The branch came off with a loud cracking noise and Fabi started on the next.

The road turned to dirt a short distance out of town and Ruby could see hoof prints travelling straight out of town. There was also a pair of foot prints. Ruby crouched down and examined them. 'There most likely from the girl that I heard about just before. 'They look larger than mine though but I see no other footprints so there probably from the girl' thought Ruby, 'I'll follow the footprints for as long as I can and hope I find her'
So Ruby followed the footprints for a while. The footprints went into the forest where Ruby could no longer follow them because the leaf litter masked the tracks. 'Hmm it's getting dark. I'll head in the direction of the tracks but if I can't find here in a few minutes then I'll call it quits for the night,' thought Ruby then she walked in the direction that the footprints had been heading.
After a few minutes Ruby was just about to call it quits when she heard something like the faint chopping of wood. 'I wonder who that could be at this hour?' Thought Ruby, 'Well there's no harm in checking it out' and with that Ruby headed in the direction of the sound. When Ruby got close enough to see who was chopping, she found a girl about her age cutting up a fallen tree. Up till now Ruby had been quietly approaching but when she saw that it was a girl Ruby made here approached more obvious. When Ruby was seven or so meters away from the girl Ruby spoke
"Uh hey there" said Ruby gently. The girls spun around and held here axe defensively. "Wow" said Ruby holding up her hand in surrender, "I'm not here to hurt you I just have to ask a question" said Ruby, "Do you know the way back to the demonstration? Cause one minute I was there and the next I was a few miles north of here"

Fabi swallowed back a wave of emotions. She lowered the axe. "Sorry. If I knew how to get back, I'd be there by now. I'm no Shunter. I can't travel between dimensions." She paused for a moment and leaned against the tree, breathing hard as the effort of chopping off those branches caught up with her. "I'm sorry... I couldn't... Stop it... In time... I tried, but she... Pushed me, and I landed... In the wrong chair."
She stopped It suddenly occurred to her that the black-haired girl might be in league with the saboteurs. She hoped not. Although she did have an axe she could use to defend herself, she would be in a pretty bad position, cornered against a fallen tree like this.

Ruby frowned as she recalled some of the events and Ruby recognised the girl, she fought with a person on the stage. 'She must have been trying to stop the shunting' thought Ruby.
"Hey it's ok you tried your best" said Ruby as she took a step forward, the girl immediately tensed. Ruby slowly raised her hands and took the step back. Ruby would have tensed if she was in the girls position. Although the girl was taller she was cornered by the tree that she had lent against. "You know I'm just glad that someone was at least attempting to stop that chaos from happening" said Ruby trying to keep the conversation flowing. Ruby frowned as she thought about way the girl had said. "And then you said that you fell in the wrong chair. What did you mean by that? Do you mean that that machines malfunction was on purpose?" Ruby had to find out what the girl meant so she could see the whole situation. Then Ruby started to panic, 'Do they know that I'm an assassin? Did they do this to stop me?' Ruby took a breath in that was a little deeper than the others, 'breath Ruby breath' There was no way that they could have known that you were coming an besides the woman at the demonstration told you that she was mixing the seating up a little. No one could have accounted for that'
"Do you know who the targets were? And if so do you know any of the other seats that might have been a trap because of that?" Asked Ruby sounding more confident than she felt.

Fabi nodded grimly. "It was a group of, for lack of a better term, terrorists," she said carefully. "They had a grudge against the Sanctuary, so I can only imagine that the targets were the high-ranking Sanctuary officials in attendance. I had a seating chart, but it's not entirely accurate. One of the ushers got bored and started leading people to whichever seat suited her whim. And yeah. They tampered with the machine... Killed the professor... We were too late..."She took a deep breath and studied the dark-haired girl for a moment, then switched the axe to her left hand. "I'm Fabi."

Ruby gave a shy smile and offered her hand.
"I'm Ruby" she said while shaking hands with Fabi. "So ... What are you doing with the branches?" asked Ruby gesturing to the branches that littered the forest floor.

Fabi switched the axe back to her right hand. "I've been trying to build a shelter. The chances that I'll be able to go home before nightfall are so slim it's not even funny." She wondered whether to chop branches during a conversation. She only needed a few more, after all. It was probably rude, though.

Ruby nodded, "Ok that's a good idea. I have a blanket that we can use to keep warm and I have a knife that I can use to cut off some smaller branches  for a fire. Oh and I have a lighter" said Ruby as she pulled a knife out of her jacket, "Do you mind if I cut some branches off?" Asked Ruby

"Go ahead." Fabi pointed to what had been the lower end of the tree, where there were some branches that weren't as green. "Those look the driest... They'd probably release less smoke than the greener branches, too. Not sure if that's any good at this point..." She paused, then thought to add. "I have an axe and whatever is in my wallet."

"Awesome, I'll cut these off" said Ruby and she moved to cut off some branches. Ruby mentally debated wether she would tell Fabi that she had another knife and two daggers in her jacket. 'She tried to stop the terrorists from shunting mages so she's likely to be with the Sanctuaries. Which is good but I don't think I should tell her everything, not just yet'
"I have another knife and some stuff in my bag. But nothing useful except a water bottle" said Ruby telling part of the truth.

Fabi tilted her head slightly, curious about Ruby's definition of useful, but not wanting to ask directly.
"Speaking of water... Should we try to set up camp closer to the river?" She changed the subject from supplies, realizing it was somewhat awkward for both of them. She'd mention the wallet, though, once she knew for sure that it worked.

"Yeah, setting up a camp near the river sounds good but we should still be in the cover of the trees. The locals aren't particularly friendly so I doubt that they would like seeing us around" said Ruby, "And speeding of the water do you know if it's filtered or safe to drink?"

Fabi nodded. "There's a filtering plant a bit upstream from the town. Some townspeople were accusing me of poisoning the water, though, so I'm not sure how effective it is. As near as I can tell, though, no one's died from drinking it. I might have some iodine, though. I'll have to check." She glanced at Ruby for a moment, then pulled out her wallet, reaching inside.
She wasn't sure what she was expecting. Either the iodine or nothing. Probably nothing. Instead, there was a small leather-bound book. She didn't remember a book. She was curious, several theories forming, but didn't want to look at it in front of Ruby.
At least this meant the wallet could hold things. She put all the branches inside so she wouldn't have to carry them all and looked around, trying to remember which way the river was.

Ruby looked at the wallet. The curious thing had managed to fit all the branches in. It seemed like Hermione Granger's bag that was bigger on the inside than the outside. Ruby didn't ask about it, although Fabi could probably hide basically anything in there.
“Nice wallet” said Ruby nodding towards the thing. “I think the river is this way” said Ruby and headed towards the river with Fabi tailing behind her.

"Thanks," Fabi murmured, looking at her wallet with a thoughtful expression on her face. She followed Ruby for awhile, then stopped as she saw, through the trees, a hill built out of stone.
"That's the water purification plant," Fabi said, pointing to the hill. "The river flows through it. There's a tunnel, but you can't see it from here."
Ruby nodded, and Fabi scanned the trees, looking for a good place to set up the shelter. Her gaze fell on a fallen tree like the one she'd taken branches from, only this one was smaller, and higher off the ground. Perfect. She took the branches out from her wallet and leant them against the tree, leaving room for someone to escape on either side. Just in case. She did the same for the other side of the log, then crawled inside and began tucking the smaller branches out of the way, weaving them together so the wall was something like an abstract net.

“That looks cool!” said Ruby admiring the shelter that Fabi made. “You’ll have to teach me how to do that so I can help you next time”

Fabi shrugged shyly. "I just move the branches so they don't poke into the shelter. There isn't that much method behind it, really, and it probably wouldn't be very much good against rain."
She looked up at the sky. It was still light enough to see, but dark enough that a few stars were visible. No clouds, then, which meant no rain. At least that was one less thing to worry about.

“Hmm, well maybe we can search for some large leaves tomorrow to cover the shelter” said Ruby, “I saw something like that on a tv show once, it seemed to be reasonably effective”

Fabi nodded. "Sounds good. Should one of us try to keep watch? This dimension seems a bit more...wild. I don't know what kind of animals live around here."

“Yeah good point. I’ll keep watch first if that’s ok” said Ruby. One of the reasons that Ruby volunteered was because she didn’t entirely trust Fabi yet. The other reason that Ruby volunteered was because her power was more affective at night with the darkness surrounding them. So if something did decide to attack then it’s be much easier for Ruby to defend and counter the attacker.

"Alright." Fabi had her own concerns about trusting the stranger, but she didn't want to voice them, because that would just be rude.
She crawled into the shelter with every intention of staying awake, but eventually her eyes closed and her breathing evened.

She may even have started snoring softly.

 But of course she'd never admit it.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Creepy Homeless Dude: ACK

All a guy could ask for was a nice nap and something to cover his head.

Noah had that bit, he'd managed to snag a newspaper from back when they still made those things. Now all he needed was for Mages to stop appearing and bothering him.

See, he'd always assumed he was the last, mainly 'cause he'd never met any others, but apparently not, because now they were appearing all over the place, willy-nilly. It was downright rude of them to come now, and it was rude of them not to come sooner.

See, he was dying. And only magic could help him. But of course it wouldn't, 'cause magic twisted people and made them arrogant and that's what had caused the end of civilization in the first place.

A couple Grand Mages had quarreled for years on end, and no one was real sure where and when the blasted thing started, but it got more and more extreme and neither would stop because they were both oh-so-powerful and important, of course they must be right. And then anyone who cared about anything took one side or the other, and eventually it was a full-on world war. At first it was a secret one, but then some American Elder decided to explode Ireland. The mortals weren't so blind not to notice that, now were they?

And of course, since they had no abracadabra presto-change-o sorcery, they brought out more explosives and well nigh obliterated the planet.

Noah had only run into one city that hadn't been bombed at least a little. Instead, some ruffian Elemental had sunk it under the sea. It was supposed to be all ironic and appropriate, but turns out it takes a lot of strength to extend an ocean all the way to Georgia, so the numbskull had died before he could reverse the thing. If he'd planned on reversing it. Guess he might not've.

But yeah, everything on this planet was forest or godforsaken ruins now, and Noah had thought he was maybe the only one who remembered when it was otherwise.

He wasn't sure what to think about the fact that he wasn't. It was definitely an inconvenience, though, that was sure. They might try to help him and try to get him to go to a doctor, and he wasn't taking any of that.

His running theory about the sudden influx in sorcerers was that they'd been from before the war, and found some shortcut to just skip past all the brouhaha. The first one he'd seen, see, still looked like she was still about college age or so, and didn't act all secretive-like, which is what some Mage would have to be for Noah not to see 'em sooner.

Or so he told himself.

Given him quite a fright, too, that first one. And the rest he was better prepared for. They likely wouldn't attack him if it looked like he was asleep, and if they did, he could jump out from under his newspaper and strangle them if he felt like it. Again, this was something he liked to think. He was probably out of practice. He hadn't killed people in centuries, and even then, he'd only killed a dozen or so before he got bored of the whole soldier thing and skipped town.

Noah's stomach churned violently and he felt the black liquid starting to bubble up his throat again. He forced it back down. Now that there were magic-y types about, he couldn't risk them noticing. They might bother him about it.

((I seem doomed to post odd things here. This was not the personality I'd intended for Noah, but I'll take anything that isn't writer's block.))

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Ruby Darkness - Were not in Kansas

Ruby collapsed onto the hard ground. 
"Umf" said Ruby as she hit the ground. Ruby shook back the head-ache that was throbbing behind her temples. She frowned when she saw the forest ahead of her. 
"Uh Toto I don't think we're in Kansas anymore" said Ruby to no one. "Where the hell am I?" asked Ruby as she stood up, "please don't tell me that I'm in Wonderland or in Oz" 
The forest didn't reply. 
"I'll take that as a 'I have no clue what your talking about'" Ruby paused for a moment, "Aw man what's my employer going to say when he finds out that John Furry isn't dead?" Ruby sighed "We'll he's a reasonably guy he'll understand that I couldn't compleat the job because I got teleported" Ruby looked around at the landscape, there was a river slowly flowing behind her and a forest in front of her. "But if I couldn't have been teleported no one touched me. Although I could be in another dimension. The machine should send unwanted objects to other dimensions. The machine could have malfunctioned" Ruby sighed, "Great now I'm stuck here unless I can find someone who can shunt aaaand that's highly unlikely" Ruby looked at the river, "If anyone lives around here it's likely to be near the river" Ruby looked up stream, there were mountains in the distance that had smouldered tree corpses on them. Ruby looked down stream, the trees where lusher and thicker. "I think I'll head down stream, it looks more ... lively" Ruby mumbled and wondered off down stream. 


Ruby had walked for a few hours before she could even see the town. And when she spotted the town she decided to stop and rest. Ruby sat down and pulled out a mostly empty water bottle then drained it of its contents. "Hmm I need a refill" muttered Ruby as she got up and crouched at the edge of the river. The water looked really clear and clean. Ruby lent down and smelt the water, "Nothing seems wrong with it, but I still don't trust it" said Ruby as she unbuttoned her white business shirt then took or off. Ruby put on a leather jacket over a red tank top that she had beneath her business shirt. Ruby then soaked her business shirt in water and ringed it out above her bottle till it was full. "And voila! Filtered water!" Exclaimed Ruby. "And now to keep walking" said Ruby as she stood up and put away here water bottle. "Hmm soggy shirt" mumbled Ruby, "It needs to dry" 
Ruby then muttered something about not wanting a wet but and reluctantly tied the wet shirt around her waist. 

Ruby approached the sign that said 'Welcome to Eastwest' with a man dosed off with a newspaper on top of him. 'Well he has a care free life' thought Ruby. The town looked a little rundown and the majority of buildings where made out of brick or some sort of stone. The few that weren't made out of brick or stone looked shabbier that the rest. There where a few people in the street and the ones that saw Ruby gave her death stares or ignored her. 'Well this is certainly a cheery town' thought Ruby sarcastically. Ruby looked around and found what appeared to be a general store. Ruby entered through a blue door with pealing paint. A bell rung when she opened the door and a man hurried out from a room behind the counter. As soon as he spotted Ruby he glared at her with a silent message 'leave my store right now!'. But Ruby wasn't looking at the man she was looking at the hand made blankets and backpacks. Ruby took a blanket off the rack and unfolded it, it was big enough for two people to use. "I can get this one and fold it in two so I can keep warmer or if I meet someone else who got shunted then I can share" mumbled Ruby. Ruby then folded the blanket back up and grabbed a hand made backpack, it was large enough to fit the blanket and her handbag in with a some room to spare. Ruby walked over and put the stuff on the counter. There was a basket with a couple of cigaret lighters in. Ruby checked the price then picked one up and lit it. The lighter sparked then became a small flame.
"Not in here!" Yelled the man at the counter. Ruby almost dropped the lighter in surprise. 
"Sorry, sorry" said Ruby as she closed the lighter.
"You better be, you could have lit my shop on fire!" The man almost yelled
"I'm sorry, I'm very sorry"said Ruby then she put the lighter on the counter. "Can I please buy these three things?" Asked Ruby after a few moments. 
"I don't serve outsiders" said the man simply. Ruby looked around the shop.
"I'm sorry but to me this looks like a store that was intended for travellers and people who want to leave this town. Currently I'm both a traveller and a person who wants to leave this town." said Ruby
"If your leaving this town then just leave" said the man
"I will as soon as I buy these three things. Look you get two things out of me buying these things, you get money and you get me to leave the town" said Ruby
The man hesitated, "Fine, that'll be forty five dollars" said the man and held out his hand. Ruby put the money in his hand then shoved everything in the backpack including her handbag. Then she walked out of the shop.
"Rude *******" muttered Ruby.
"Look there's another one" whispered a woman on the side of the road, she was whispering loud enough for Ruby to hear. "That's the third outsider today" continued the woman
"Yeah there was the one on the horse then a girl and now her" whispered a second woman with a harshly. "Why are there so many?" continued the second woman
"I don't know Diana, but they could be plotting to take over the town" said the first woman. Ruby then went out of hearing distance, she didn't want to hear anymore anyway. 'Three outsiders? They could be two others who got shunted here. ... But the horse, how did they get a horse ... Wait maybe a shape shifter? The demonstration was full of mags after all. So up to three others have been through Eastwest today. I don't think I can catch up to the person on the horse but maybe I can catch up to the girl?


(If anyone thinks anything needs changing just tell me)

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Fabi: Um... Do You Have Any Antacids?

((I don't even know what this is. Sorry. Figured I may as well post it, though.))

Fabi blinked and tried not to fall over. She was standing under a large, faded wooden sign that said "Welcome to Eastwest."
She looked around. A homeless man was hiding behind a newspaper. It would have been a better hiding spot if he'd unrolled the newspaper first.
Fabi may have ever-so-slightly panicked and ran off into the forest.
Another thing to beat herself up over later. As if it wasn't bad enough that she was stuck in another dimension, when she'd had the information she'd needed to stop the whole thing from happening. She wondered who else had been shunted. It had been a huge demonstration, and so many of her friends had probably been there. She pulled out her cellphone as an experiment, but there was no signal. Well, it had been a bit of a long shot anyway.
Fabi moved quietly through the woods, around the perimeter of the town. She didn't want to see people, didn't want to talk to them. Part of her was irrationally afraid that she would stand out like an elephant among flies, that something about her was so obviously not from around here, the townsfolk wouldn't accept it. And even if they did, would she get to stay here? Would she want to stay here?
She curled into a ball under a tree, covering her head with her hands. This had to be a nightmare.
She didn't wake from it.
Okay, Fabi. Snap out of it.
She stood, and went to look for something she could eat.
She was usually vegetarian, but she couldn't be, not here. It was a lot safer to eat unknown animals than unknown plants, and even though she recognized a few leaves as edible, she wasn't sure if they were edible here. Maybe she was panicking about this whole new-dimension thing too much, but she didn't want to risk it.
A few hours and a roasted rabbit later, she remembered why she didn't eat meat. Her stomach was so queasy. She had made sure the rabbit was cooked thoroughly, at least she thought she had. It wasn't like she cooked rabbits regularly.
Of course, she didn't have any antacid tablets.
Fabi stood shakily. Hopefully the people in this dimension still got indigestion. She couldn't avoid talking to people forever.
The homeless man was still under the Eastwest sign, and he took several steps back when he saw her. She sighed, and hoped he wouldn't start spreading rumors or something. She could teleport away if she needed to, but she doubted the locations would line up right, so she was reluctant to try.
There were a few people around in the little town, and they all stared at her. She grimaced. How was she supposed to ask where the drugstore was? If there was one... She was beginning to doubt it.
Her stomach ache wasn't worth this feeling of not belonging. She turned to go back to the forest... And saw a tiny door marked 'Pharmacy.' It was in the corner of a closed grocery store, and the door was dusty.
Fabi quickly unstuck the lock and pushed the door open. A quick look around the place told her that everything there had probably expired long ago. Still, though, it was a shelter somewhere a bit away from all the stares. But someone had probably seen her come in. She couldn't stay. She turned around and went back the way she came.
"Are you lost, ma'am?" There was an old couple standing behind her. The man who had spoken looked nice enough, but what was Fabi supposed to say? 'I accidentally came here from another dimension, and by the way, magic is real?'
She settled for a stammered apology. "I-I'm sorry. I'm not supposed to be here. I'll go now."
The couple exchanged a glance, then the woman asked, "Do you have a headache?"
"Most of the town has been complaining of headaches for awhile now," the man explained.
"Well... I don't have a headache. I'm not from around here, though. Sorry?" Fabi winced at the man's glare.
"Don't worry, hon," the woman said comfortingly, reaching out to give Fabi a reassuring pat on the shoulder. Fabi stepped back. "None of us would press charges against someone as young as you. If you can just tell us what it is you used, and how you distributed it, we can..."
"I didn't do anything! I just got here earlier this afternoon." Fabi was sure her face was bright red. She hoped they'd believe her, though of course, they had no reason to.
The man narrowed his eyes. "Lying is a sin, young lady. I'll have my eye on you."
The woman reached her hand out again, then thought better of it. "Just please, stop now, okay?"
They hustled off, but the scene had attracted so much attention already. Fabi felt like she could sink into the ground and disappear. Her stomach was still queasy, but that was hardly important now.
"Don't mind them," a voice said. "Leroy and Ursula are both extremely paranoid. The headaches are probably from nothing more than pollen, or potentially dehydration. Now, what did you need medicine for? I may be able to help."
Fabi turned to see a woman in her thirties with a blouse that actually looked like it had been white once. She was about to say something, but a man in plaid cut her off.
"Ms. Quinn, you can't seriously be trusting this stranger!"
"Who said anything about trusting her? I'm just offering to help with her..." Ms. Quinn looked closely at Fabi, analyzing. "Stomach ache, correct?"
Fabi nodded slowly. "I'll be fine, though."
The man in plaid frowned. "I think you should leave this town now."
"Mr. Fitzgerald, if we continue to treat strangers in this manner, we will have no one to run to if something happens to this place."
"What are you suggesting? We don't need another mouth to feed around here! And what could happen to this place, anyway?"
Ms. Quinn turned to fully face Mr. Fitzgerald, and paced around him in a circle, pounding her fist into her hand. "There could be a forest fire--" Pound. "The river could flood--" Pound. "We could all turn on each other and end up tearing the town apart--" She took a moment to glare at him before pounding her fist again. "We could have trouble with bears or cougars. Just because no one's seen them in years doesn't mean they're not out there--" Pound. "If we don't treat people with common courtesy, they will have no reason to do so for us."
Mr. Fitzgerald looked around at the other townsfolk, who all shook their heads at him.
"When I was a boy, we actually had to respect the people I'm charge," one man muttered.
Mr. Fitzgerald stormed off in a huff.
"Well, then." Ms. Quinn looked around, then gestured to a teenager who was leaning against the wall of a nearby building. "Daniel, run down to my place and grab the blue jar on the third shelf of the medicine cabinet. Don't take anything else, I'll notice." Daniel didn't move, so Ms. Quinn held out a five-dollar bill and waved it. That got him moving. "Quickly now."
"It's alright," Fabi said as the townsfolk began to disperse. "I don't want to be a bother..." Her stomach was still queasy, but nerves always made it worse, so maybe it'd go away once she wasn't in the spotlight.
"You can't go until Daniel brings back the medicine. I didn't argue with Fitzgerald so I could let you just leave like that."
"Oh..." Fabi was silent until the teenager returned with a jar of antacid tablets. After Ms. Quinn gave him his money, Daniel handed Fabi the jar.
"You probably don't want to stick around," he muttered. "Eastwest isn't the most open-hearted place you could find."
"Thanks for the warning," Fabi said, taking a tablet from the jar and popping it into her mouth. After all this fuss,she couldn't stop here and not have the antacid.
"No problem." Daniel went back to leaning against the wall and looking bored.
Fabi stood there awkwardly, then offered the jar to Ms. Quinn. "Thank you..."
Ms. Quinn waved her off. "Keep it. I'll get Anna to make more if anyone needs it. You need anything else? Socks? Water? A place to stay the night? There's a bed in the loft of the barn. No one uses it. Might be a bit cold, though."
"I'll be fine." Fabi turned to go back the way she'd come.
"Suit yourself." Ms. Quinn shrugged and walked off in the opposite direction.

Fabi slowed as she reached the woods again. The further she walked, the more she felt like she'd explode. Finally, she collapsed in a heap under a tree, silent tears flowing from her eyes. She didn't usually get homesick, maybe because before Blogland, she hadn't had any one place to grow attached to. Now, though... She was farther from home than she'd imagined she could be, and she didn't know if she'd ever be back. She didn't want to admit how much that scared her.

((Heh... Aretha portrayed the feel of my dimension better than I did. I got completely diverted by an antacid tablet. Oops.))

((Hopefully I'll have a more relevant chapter soon.))

((Happy New Year, y'all!))

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Aretha Tesla: Dimension One

I might post this before I'm finished with it, just so that if anyone else wrote themselves in the same time and place as me, I can either change it or collaborate or something, for consistency. Also, if you made up any details about the dimension that don't match mine, you can tell me and I'll change that. Consistency is very important to me, and can be slightly difficult in a story with loose boundaries that we're all writing together. :p

"Oh," Aretha said, not pleased or irritated, just surprised, and maybe a little amused.

"It would appear that we've left the demonstration," Niccolo added, in a similar tone.

"Yes, it certainly would. So..."

"We've been shunted. There were a few mages tampering with the machine recently; it is safe to assume they are the cause of our current situation. It is also safe to assume that they have ill intentions. They succeeded in gathering many high-ranking government officials in one place at one time, so it is also likely that there are others from our dimension who have been stranded here, and that this dimension is meant to compromise us in some fashion." He paused for a moment, closing his eyes, and I could feel him searching for a way to shunt back. He shook his head. "Its energy is too unbalanced. I'm more likely to shunt us into oblivion than back to the demonstration."

I took a deep breath. "Then I guess we just survive." He nodded.

I think it best that we communicate mentally from this point forward, he thought, his voice just as rich in my mind as it was out loud, if this dimension is meant to harm us, there may be any number of surveillance methods employed against us.

Right, I replied with a curt nod, and looked around a bit. Of course, from the moment his feet touched foreign ground Niccolo had been absorbing all sorts of information about our surroundings. There were squirrels in the half-dead trees- they'd appeared in some kind of forest- and a few rodents and raccoons scurried across the ground. There were a few deer, too, but it seemed as though the whole planet was half dead, so it was probably best not to kill those. If we were there long enough to need to eat, we'd take a squirrel.

The trees grew healthier in one direction, so we followed it until we came to a river. Niccolo gave the water a glance and tasted it before I had a chance to warn him. Of course, he knew it might be poisoned, and I knew he could handle poison, but I didn't want him to use too much of his energy early on, since we'd probably need it later. Luckily, he determined that while it wasn't perfectly fresh, the worst it would give me would be a headache, so it should be safe to drink.

Well, I started, we should probably-

Don't let your guard down, he cut me off, because as much as I knew I shouldn't I had started to let my guard down, and I'd probably continue to do so without some source of stress, but yes, I believe we ought to create some form of shelter for ourselves here. And for a moment I marveled at the fact that suddenly being thrown into a new dimension didn't constitute a source of stress in my mind. It isn't that you've changed, he commented, explaining, only that you've lost so much. Everything you might have longed to return to in your dimension is gone. Your duties are not, but as you've been stranded here in the line of duty, you need not concern yourself with those for the time being. He was right, of course. And we headed off in search of a place to make camp.

Soon enough we came across the shambled remains of an old factory, and took shelter beneath a large fallen concrete slab. We returned to the forest to catch two squirrels, and Niccolo cooked them over a small fire. He kept the flames hot and put the fire out quickly, unwilling to allow too much smoke to betray our location. I went to retrieve some water, and we teleported back to the overhang so that if anyone had seen the smoke, they still wouldn't have any tracks to follow, and I struggled to fall asleep as the sun fell over the rusted sky.

It's beautiful... And actually very steampunk, in a way. Dying forests, dilapidated factories, and red skies... The twins would have loved it. To the mortal world, I was dead. And a murderer. My life there was over, and of course that meant I could never see my mortal friends again, no matter how much I wanted to. Six sisters, gone.

You say that as though they've died. One of them has, I know, but the rest are alive and well, despite your absence.

Well is a relative term, I replied, a few tears slipping out. They were never really happy, and I-

Aretha, listen. They may not have spent their whole lives happy, but neither have they spent all their lives suffering. They are moving on, and you need to as well.

I took a deep breath, and nodded, letting the tears dry on my face. He was right. Again.

And now you must rest, he reminded me, tossing his heavy (and surprisingly soft, for a garment full of knives) jacket over me. He shifted into a cat and curled up beside me, purring softly, and even though I knew he wouldn't sleep, he stayed there long after I was calm enough to slip into dreams.

I woke before sunrise, but wasn't especially tired, so I decided not to try to fall back asleep. You're still here, I commented, surprised to find the black cat still at my side.

Of course, he replied smoothly, where else might I have gone?

I don't- oh! A quick glance at his memories gave me my answer. You kept the nightmares away.


You know they don't really bother me, though. I mean, I know it's just a dream...

I am fully aware of that. He kept them from me anyway.

Ok then. Do you want to sleep? He politely declined, having already slept for exactly two hours, and after splitting another squirrel for breakfast we headed off to explore. Teleporting wouldn't be wise, Niccolo explained, because the places we remember from our world were probably drastically different and potentially dangerous here, so we went on foot. Well, hoof. We were sitting ducks if we kept still, and we wanted to find whatever traps the strangers had set before they found us. We needed a way to move swiftly with minimal fear of recognition, so Niccolo shifted into a black horse, making certain the bottoms of his hooves were soft so they wouldn't clack against the ground, and I wore his coat, the hood that he made in it covering my face. We raced out of wherever we had been, flying past a sleeping stranger beneath a sign, and kept just outside of the road.

We determined it unsafe to talk to any locals. Or anyone at all, really. If we saw someone we knew, we would make sure they were really who we thought they were, and then follow at a distance. The safest thing was to make sure that no one knew where we were. I imagined we looked like some sort of specter, tearing down the edge of the street with the long black coat flying out in the breeze, my face shrouded in shadow, and although Niccolo's hooves pounded in quick succession against the ground we remained completely silent.

Wait, slow down a bit, I asked him as we entered an old city. Let's look around. He slowed to a walk so I could glance about the broken buildings, occasionally picking up his pace to jump over bits of rubble blocking our path. The air was laden down with eerie silence and stagnation. Dust was everywhere, as if the buildings had just collapsed one day and no one ever touched them again. I found a hand sticking out from under a large piece of cement, put it was already old and decaying.

It doesn't look like anyone's been here for years. Like, even the dust is perfectly intact, save for where we just stepped. If this is a trap, it's a really overly elaborate one. I pointed out, beginning to doubt that we had anything to fear from the city. Where we first appeared was a different story, but here- it would take so much effort for one group of people to construct and age a whole city entirely from scratch, and just as hard to turn an existing one into a death trap without leaving so much as a footprint, and on top of that the people who sent us here had no guarantee we would come to this city. They made their adjustments to the shunting machine last minute, so it wasn't likely they would have created something so detailed, and if they had, they wouldn't have left so many variables.

Excellent observation, he agreed, I've been considering this as well. It seems unlikely that anything about this dimension we've observed thus far was specifically designed to harm us in any way. While that possibility still exists, it is more probable that they intended to trap us here indefinitely, or even that sending us to this particular dimension was unintentional. Either way, for the moment, we were trapped, and all we could do was just keep living until we found a way out.

We kept our pace at a walk as we made our way through the city, conserving our energy in case we might need it later. "Stop!" I suddenly yelled aloud, our agreement to refrain from speaking forgotten.

What is it? He came to a halt immediately, and I could feel the concern radiating off of him. Too struck to respond, I slipped lightly off his back and ran towards a nearby building, quickly slowing down as I approached. When I was only a few feet away, I knelt down and reached out a hand. "Hey, little kitty," I cooed softly, "What are you doing here?"

Niccolo breathed deeply, relieved, and I felt his amusement. If silence weren't valuable he would have laughed. You care too much, he suggested fondly.

You care too little, I replied in the same tone, but we both knew that wasn't true. "Come here, little kitty," I kept spoke softly as I slowly approached the yellow kitten huddled in a crevice of crumbling brick, "I promise I'm softer than those bricks." Eventually the tiny cat pricked up his ears, and I stopped a few inches away, waiting to see if he'd come to me. He did. "Aww, look at you," I murmured, scooping him up, "You are so small." He fit easily in my hands. I moved a thick knife from Niccolo's coat to my pocket, and tucked the shivering kitten into my pocket, which had become quite warm, and headed back towards Niccolo.

Aretha, he warned gently, Much as I know you wish to, we cannot keep the cat. Before you refuse, consider how difficult it may become to keep him alive, should any dangers emerge. I thought for a moment, then sighed with resignation. He was right. I kept the cat in his coat anyway, waiting to put it back until it stopped shivering. After a few minutes, I heard a meow stronger than one any kitten was capable of producing, and I set the kitten gently on the ground before running back towards Niccolo. The second cat was a fully grown calico, who quickly lifted the yellow kitten by the scruff of his neck and ran off again. I smiled, and we kept walking.

This is not yet finished- I have to write the rest of the second day and then the third, which is when we'll be shunted again. If you guys have any notes or want to collaborate or anything, let me know, otherwise I'll just keep writing on my own.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Fabi: Dimension One

The dimension:

It’s post-apocalyptic, I suppose. Houses are still houses, and there are some rebuilt cars (mostly vans and buses for transporting large numbers of people). (Also, they no longer run on gas, but a combination of common kitchen oils) There’s still a water system, faucets, etc. No TV or internet, though. There’s radio, but it’s mostly used to communicate, and there’s no music or anything. Electricity has been rediscovered, but complicated machines and things like that are mysteries. The magical community was completely destroyed, but there are a few solo mages around the edge of things. Where once there were major cities, you will find abandoned urban wastelands, though a few people still live at the edges and scavenge. Also, most factories either were exploded or abandoned, so store products are limited. And there are no airplanes.

Magical abilities—Teleporting is probably a bad idea. You would appear in the same location on the earth, but the stuff there will likely be different, (i.e. the Irish Sanctuary collapsed into rubble) so you might end up in an unpleasant situation.

The dimensional balance is off, making it hard to focus on the dimension you want to shunt to, meaning that if you tried, you’d probably end up stuck between universes and cease to exist. Unless you got lucky, and then you would flicker back to where you started in about seven minutes.

Other disciplines should be unaffected, I believe.

I’m highlighting a village called Eastwest, which corresponds geographically with the theater, though you may have your character appear elsewhere, as there is an element of chaos involved.

Eastwest is surrounded by forest. There’s a river running through on the north side, which is filtered down to drinking water by a process that only the Water Manager (by default), a Mr. Rutger, understands. There's a River Road that runs past the town and follows the river. There’s a creepy homeless guy who sleeps under the Welcome to Eastwest sign, and he will be extremely surprised at any form of kindness.

There are these buildings and some others.

· An abandoned library
· A Lighthouse with no clear purpose, as there is no sea nearby, and the river isn’t especially treacherous. Lighthouse interior is equipped like any ordinary lighthouse, but the bulb burnt out.
· A Water Plant
· Police/Fire Station [With one vehicle that is a lot less sophisticated than a firetruck, but has a ladder and a hose]
The house of the mayor at the edge of town
· A school
· Other things. I don’t care.

Also, you can invent your own inhabitants of this dimension as desired.

Oh, btw, the water's poisoned. It won't really affect you unless you've been drinking it for a long time,  though. The townspeople will generally complain of headaches, but besides that, you'd have absolutely no reason to expect the water to be poisoned unless you saw it happening or read minds or something.

Let me know if you have any questions, or want to collab (I have Fabi, the homeless guy and a few other locals I have ideas for).

I'm hoping the next dimension will be posted in two weeks. If you finish a chapter for this one late, though, that's okay, just make sure it's labeled so readers know where it fits in.

Any volunteers to write the next dimension are welcome, and just do whatever you and your characters like with this one.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fabi: Dimension-Writing

So, I think Ember is writing the first dimension, but I'm putting some general guidelines for dimension-posts here. You don't have to follow them 24/7, but they're probably good things to keep in mind.
  1. You don't need to say every detail. It's okay to let other writers put their creativity into adding to your idea. If you don't care who runs the grocery store, you can let the person who writes the scene in the grocery store decide.
  2. Specify anything that's really important to your idea so that people don't have to bother you about it later. 
  3. Give a brief description of any important characters in the dimension. Like, if Mevolent in your dimension is Supreme Galactic Commander, then his personality, values and ruling style are important to the dimension and should be included. If you want to use the alternate version of someone's character, ask permission.
  4. Current events are also good. If the Supreme Galactic Commander is facing rebellion from the Leprechaun People, and the entire country of Ireland is in the middle of a war, that's important.
  5. Check the comments on your dimension post. This is probably the best place for questions. 
  6. If something is the same as it is in the real world or in the SP-world, you can just say that instead of describing it in detail.
  7. Be creative! Your dimension can be as normal or weird as you want it to be! I don't really want to assign a template for how everything should be done/presented.
Generally, I'd prefer it if you were to stick with ideas based on
  • Your own imagination
  • Real World
  • SP World
I mean, I'm not going to enforce that, and if you explain enough about what your dimension is like, it doesn't matter, but please don't say "This dimension is like The Hunger Games only without Katniss." For one, I'm not sure if everyone in the collab has read the Hunger Games, and for another, just taking an idea that's already out there is sort of boring. If you want to have a dimension where Mevolent runs a country with a Capitol full of rich people and some smaller, poorer, outlying settlements, that's actually sort of cool, and if you explain it well enough for people who haven't read THG, if there are any, you could actually do that.

So I guess the rule isn't "stick to those three sources," but more like
     8. Make your dimension original
     9. Make sure other people can understand it

Actually, at the end of the day, those two are the important guidelines. Sorry for all the rambling.