Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by TheRandomRingmaster on Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:53 am

THE SCARLET DEVIL MANSION: FINALE

Remilia stamped out of her chair and opened her right palm, summoning the homing energy spear Gungnir. With incredible speed and deadly accuracy (as if it was needed), the British vampire slung the spear forth towards Terry, seeing him and Rumia as the easier target when compared to Reimu, who she knew from experience as a formidable fighter.

”Watch out!” Reimu summoned a barrier to protect Rumia and Terry from the incoming energy spear, which exploded into scarlet vapor. However, distracted from her protection charm,  saw an opportunity to attack. She lunged for Reimu and buried her nails into the shrine maiden’s soft flesh.

Terry wheezed over his control panel, opening a wicker drawer filled with syringes of morphine(honestly the ammount of it put in question wheather or not he was addicted or just hoarding them) Terry fumbled, but his fingers were not suited to the job, "Kidsh, takes ones of thesh and up itsh in my armsh, and preshs the plungerrrr"Terry began to shudder, either from withdrawel or one of the many wounds he was suffering from.

Rumia did as she was instructed, and diligently so. The yōkai carefully plucked one of the syringes out and injected the chemical into Terry’s bloodstream. In her excitement, she even grabbed a second one and began the procedure again.

Meanwhile, Reimu struggled to keep Remilia at bay, with only her thin rod protecting her throat from the vicious claws of the vampires.

“Stupid, stupid, stupid!” Remilia’s nails managed to draw blood from Reimu’s soft throat. “I needed Sakuya to stay rich! I needed her to do all the menial tasks for me! Now what am I going to do without her?!”

Remilia buries a heel into Reimu’s stomach. “I’ll feed you to the pigs! No, even better! I’ll feed you to the dirt eater Flandre!”

“A little help here?!” Reimu’s eyes darted to and from Terrigan whilst keeping her attention concntrated on Remilia.

"Helphelphelp....here,here,here"Terry's vision echo'd as he felt numb, he glanced over to see that Rumia had indeed help, a bit too much as it seemed she had given him five....ten syringes, it was hard to tell with the everythig shaking.

Terry stood, ignoring his dripping shoulder wound, his damaged mechanical arm twisting as neurons fired, "help,help,help". Terry's vison went sideways as he fell from the side of the train with a loud clank, he crawled, not seeming to notice the trail of blood he was leaving.

Remilia continued to wail on Reimu, barely giving the arguably more unpredictable Terrigan any attention. With her right hand digging her nails into Reimu’s throat and her left clawing for her eyes, Remilia’s sole attention was to tear the throat of the one who took her precious maid from her.

And frankly, Rumia was having none of that. The little yōkai, tired of being the “side kick,” literally lept into action as she landed on Remilia’s back, heel first. The vampire cried out as she smashed her throat against Reimu’s staff, causing her eyes to bulge out slightly.

Remilia was not very pleased about this. Planting a foot onto Reimu’s chest, Remilia shot a spray of energy bolts directly at Rumia. Unprepared to dodge such an attack, the young and childish yōkai was hit with the attack at full force, sending her screaming and hurtling into a wall and crashing with a sickening crunch against the Scarlet bricks.

Terry took a few steps, looming over the small child like Vampire, he picked up the lbrake and swung it towards her head....only to relaize he has forgotten it, he looked at his right bloodied hand, then shrugged before whacking Remillia upside the head with it.

"Sthaps 'at!"Terry intoned, tasting color.

Annoyed, Remilia intended to give Terry a quick and efficient end. She leapt onto his chest and quickly buried her fangs into the side of his throat, in classic vampire fashion. She even licked up some of his blood to provide her strength, not knowing how it was coursing with the narcotic Morphine.

"Whargoodoinsh"Terry muttered, a slurish what are you doing, as he felt pressure on his neck

“Get out of my way,” Remilia spat as she shoved Terry aside, with the morphine having yet to course through her bloodstream.

Terry fell over passing out, the train engine lulled to a stop.

Remilia turned her attention back onto Reimu, albeit a tad too late. By this point, Reimu was already back on her feet and recovered from Remilia’s first attack, with blood pouring from her neck. She swung her staff and struck Remilia directly in the heart, which not only sent the vampiress flying, but also royally pissed the vampire off.

Remilia crawled back onto her feet, and began to yell something angry at the group, but felt the effects of the morphine at this point. Remilia opened her mouth, and promptly stumbled onto the ground.

”Derhmit,” the vampiress swore. “Wehrt did you put in me?!” She lazily swung her claws around, triyng to rake them against her adversaries.

Her mind set on accomplishing the goal, Reimu delivered a flying kick to Remilia’s chest. Remilia let out a slurred gasp as Reimu sent her flying into a wall.

”You’ll pay for this,” Remilia slurred. In a drunken state, the vampire sent a flurry of horribly aimed energy pellets at Reimu and her unconcious allies, signifying the Scarlet vampire’s strength even when “drunk” with morphine. Arguably, the morphine did help keep Remilia’s threat level lower than it generally is.

”Train man! Hey train man!” Taking advantage of Remilia’s lost balance, Reimu took the time to slap Terry across the face repeatedly, careful not to cause any permanent damage, but hopefully enough to wake him up. “Train man! Wake up!”

Terry gasped, "Pinks eyes issat yoush?, ya got air now?"He muttered.

Confused, Reimu tried her best to put together an answer. “Uh... no, not yet. But we’re close! What did you do that made her loose focus?”

"Mades,madse,didsh, make who?"Terry asked.

“Oh, uh....” Reimu quickly cast a barrier to defend her and Terry from one of Remilia’s drunken attacks. “... Nevermind. Just do that thing you did. Whatever was in your blood, it’s clearly working.”

”Hold still!” In a dellusional fury, Remilia summoned her spear gungnir once more, and aimed for Terry

"Bloodsh...ya wantsh some bloosh, I mean I gush itsh ok,mah wifesh was a dranker..."Terry stuttered confused.

“Oh...” Reimu glanced behind her to see the raging and screaming Remilia. “Uh... here. Just keep doing whatever you’re doing. And stay out of harm’s way!”

Reimu turned her attention back to Remilia and slung sealing charms at the enraged vampiress.

“I’ll get you, Hakuuuuurei!” Remilia slurred the last part of her declaration as she flung her gungnir at Remilia.

“No! Screw you!” Reimu guided the homing spear into the door of the Scarlet Devil Mansion’s great windowroom, blowing the door clean open and sending the fairy maids on guard duty flying.

“Hold still,” Remilia demanded again as she summoned another spear. “And let me kill you!”

Remilia threw her spear at Reimu once again, with the gungnir’s homing nature and the lack of door meaning that Reimu had nowhere left to run. The shrine maiden was effectively speared in the gut, and Reimu screamed as the gungnir pinned her against the ground.

Luckliy for Reimu, Remilia herself was starting to let herself go to the Morphine. Remilia’s flying became more and more sporadic, with Remilia beginning to lose altitude and smashing into walls. She need only endure for a little longer....

Terry was dragged to where Reimu was laying, dangling halfway out of the doorway, he fell out, and nudged Reimu.

"Ay, get insidesh, itsh safter".he ,muttered

“About that?” Reimu tried to wiggle herself free from the energy spear, but the weapon effectively speared her into the wall.

”DIIIIE” Remilia flew drunkenly at the two, arms flailing as she tried to claw at Terry and Reimu....

... and anticlimactically slammed against the wall right beside the two. For a finishing blow, Reimu smacked Remilia’s head with her staff, knocking the vampire out cold.

Promptly, the energy spear that held Reimu in place dissipated. Reimu fell face first onto the soft velvet of the Scarlet Devil mansion, quickly followed by an unconcious Remilia.

”... What did you do to her?” Reimu shook off her crash landing. “That made her all drunk like that?”

"Who?"Terry asked, as a empty dream morphine vial rolled out of the doorway

Curious, Reimu took the vial and read it. “... M... More... More-fin? What’s more-fin?”

"Payne kaller"Terry muttered, "Mer fun, soundsh like mer fun,heh".

“Mer... fun.” Reimu shrugged. “May I have some? I might need them for fighting yōkai later.”

Terry didin't respond, but he also didin't say no,and the wicker drawer was open, so it might as well have been a yes.

“Thanks.....” Awkwardly, Reimu took up a few of the vials of morphine. “... Good job helping fight Remilia, I suppose. I never thought of making her drunk before I fight her.”

“Gah....” Remilia pulled herself to her feet, with her body flushing out the morphine rather quickly. “I’m not done with you two yet!” She armed herself with two spears. Just to emphasize how badly she wanted the group dead. “Not until you can make up to me for my maid!”

The spear flung over Terry's head and embedded itself in the controlpanel, but not before pinning the drop bear resting on the panel's hat,right off his head.

The powerful muscles within the mammel flex as he let out a hiss and launched himself onto Remilla's head biting out chunks of flesh and clawing skin.

”Bringing pests into my house as well, I see,” Remilia fussed as she wrestled against the drop-bear, tossing it against the wall. “This is property damage and trespassing! Anything else you want to take away from me while you’re at it?!”

“How does your sister sound?”

”Oh, for the love of-“ Remilia began to swear as she whirled around in impatient fury, expecting to see Sveena at the door ready to steal away Flandre yet again.

But no. All she saw was Patchouli.

”Greetings, Remi. It’s been a while.” The Scarlet Devil Mage gave Remilia a smile.

"Hi again!"Terry called out, "You trished to kill mesh 'es?"

Patchouli chuckled. “‘Kill you?’ I have more important things than to ‘kill you.’ But I suppose you do deserve some recognition for helping me. For you see, you’ve been keeping Remi here and the others quite busy.”

Patchouli stepped aside. “Now I’d like you all to say hello to Remilia’s adorable little sister... Flandre Scarlet. Champion of the Great Yōkai all-father!”

Flandre looked anything but cute. Her once large and vibrant eyes were now reduced into soulless slits of rage. Her fangs seemed even longer than Remilia’s, despite being five years younger than her. Her fists were clenched, and of course, those horrible red lines raced across her skin, as though her very blood (if vampires had any) were glowing a fierce and evil color of red.

”Get back,” Reimu warned Terry as she reached for her lethal poison daggers. “I haven’t seen her like this before, but I know it can’t be good.”

"Wash all of thish good?"Terry asked just a tad bit sarcastically.

“Flandre Scarlet!” Remilia pufffed out her chest as she confronted her little sister. “How dare you leave your room like that? Taking off your restraints is the exact opposite of what I told you to do! Are you trying to challenge my dominance?!”

Flandre didn’t say a word.

“Ignoring me too? Aren’t you a cheeky little one. Come on. I’m taking you back to your room, and disciplining you on following your rules.” Remilia grabbed Flandre’s wrist.

”NO.”

Flandre swatted Remilia’s hand away. Normally, Remilia would have been furious, but Flandre’s uncharacteristically monotone voice was jarring, enough so that even Remilia had to step back to register that this was indeed her sister that spoke, and not some sort of copy or double.

“... Excuse me,” Remilia scoffed as she overcame the initial shock. “Did you just hit me?!”

Again, Flandre said nothing.

”I don’t like your attitude, Flandre.” Remilia grabbed her little sister by the wrist again. “Perhaps I’ll have to discipline you while I kill these intruders! Maybe then you’ll beha-“

”I’M NOT LISTENING TO YOU ANYMORE!”

Remilia stared at Flandre, dumbfounded. “... What.... Did you.... Say... to Me?”

”I’m done listening to your orders,” Flandre snarled as she once again swatted Remilia away.

“YOU DON’T JUST ‘STOP LISTENING’ TO ORDERS, YOUNG LADY!” Remilia was screaming at Flandre at this point. “STOP BEING A REBEL, YOUNG LADY! STOP FOR ONCE AND LISTEN TO M-“

”NO! YOU LISTEN TO ME!” Despite being physically five years younger than her sister and mentally almost a whole decade more immature, Flandre roared louder than a lion, louder than a Tyrannosaurus, even louder rthan an entire volcano, and certainly louder than Remilia could ever dream of yelling.



”YOU’D NEVER UNDERSTAND, REMILIA. YOU’VE ALWAYS LIVED A LIFE OF WEALTH. A LIFE OF SAKUYA. A LIFE WHERE YOU WERE ALWAYS RIGHT, AND NEVER WRONG. A LIFE WHERE EVERYONE LISTENED TO YOU, AND COULD DO NOTHING ABOUT IT NO MATTER HOW MUCH THEY DISAGREED. AND EVEN WHEN THOSE TIMES HAD CHANGED, YOU STILL CLUNG TO THAT LIFE. YOU LIVE IN AN ILLUSION. A DREAM. A REALITY THAT NEVER IS. SO I DON’T IMAGINE THAT THIS IS GOING THROUGH THAT THICK SKULL OF YOURS.”

”BUT THINK, AT LEAST TRY TO PRETEND, THAT YOU NEVER HAD ANY OF THAT. JUST TRY AND PRETEND THAT YOU LIVED A LIFE WHERE YOU NEVER SAW THE MOON OR THE SUN EXCEPT IN PICTURE BOOKS READ TO YOU BY A MAID WHO DOESN’T CARE. JUST PRETEND THAT YOU NEVER EXPERIENCED THE WARM BREEZE OF SUMMER OR THE SOFT SNOW CRUNCHING BENEATH YOUR FEET. JUST TRY AND PRETEND THAT ALL YOU KNEW WAS THE DARK RED BASEMENT IN WHICH YOU WERE LOCKED AWAY FOR 495 YEARS- AND COUNTING. JUST PRETEND THAT YOU NEVER DRANK ANYTHING BUT STALE WATER, AND ATE NOTHING BUT OLD BREAD, AND YOU ONLY EVER HEARD ABOUT THINGS LIKE ROASTS AND COOKIES AND SWEETS FROM THE PEOPLE. PRETEND THAT THE ONLY TIME YOU EXPERIENCED SOMETHING HAPPY WAS WHEN THE DOOR WAS LEFT OPEN BY YOUR MAID, AND MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, THE SCENT OF SOMETHING TASTY CAME INTO YOUR ROOM.”


”Perposterous,” Remilia tried to interrupt. “I let you out of the basement sometimes! I let you eat things after that stupid cat threatened to take you away! I care about you! You’re just being unreasonable.”

UNREASONABLE?! UNREASONABLE?! I’LL TELL YOU WHAT’S UNREASONABLE. IF YOU WERE WORTH THE SAME AS A STUPID CHAIR OR MIRROR, THAT’S UNREASONABLE! WHAT’S UNREASONABLE IS IF YOU COULD HAVE EASILY BEEN REPLACED BY A DOLL, OR A BOOKSHELF, OR WHATEVER YOU STUPID RICH PEOPLE LIKE TO HAVE, AND IT WOULDN’T MAKE A DIFFERENCE! TO THE SISTER YOU LOVE! WHAT’S UNREASONABLE IS SMILING TO SEE YOUR SISTER OPEN THE DOOR, EXPECTING HER TO PLAY WITH YOU- FOR ONCE- FOR EVEN THIRTY SECONDS- EVEN WHEN YOU KNOW SHE’S THERE TO DISCIPLINE YOU! TO SMILE AT THE SIGHT OF YOUR SISTER’S HAND WHEN YOU KNOW THAT THE ONLY THING THAT BRINGS IS PAIN! WHAT’S UNREASONABLE IS KNOWING THAT YOUR SISTER HATES YOU, KNOWING THAT SHE DOESN’T CARE IF YOU STARVED TO DEATH OR GOT RAN OVER BY A CHARIOT OR GOT HER HEAD CUT OFF, SO LONG AS IT MEANT YOU COULD HAVE ANOTHER STUPID GOLDEN THING THAT YOU ALREADY HAVE ENOUGH OF! SO YES, I SUPPOSE I AM BEING UNREASONABLE!”

“Stop trying to guilt me! You know that won’t work!” Remilia crossed her arms. “It’s in your nature to react instinctively to ‘pain’, but-“

An enraged Flandre summoned her great flaming sword ans slashed apart Remilia’s priceless, tailor-made chair in two.

”Flandre!” Remilia wailed as the charred pieces of her throne disintegrated into embers. “What are you doing?! D-“

”’THAT’S JUST INSTINCT,’” The corrupted Flandre repeated in a mocking tone. ”’ YOU WON’T KNOW REAL PAIN, BECAUSE YOU’RE JUST NOT READY FOR IT YET.’ BAH! LOSING THAT STUPID CHAIR OF YOURS IS PROBABLY THE MOST PAIN YOU’VE EVER FELT FOR ANYTHING BESIDES YOURSELF! ME?! I’VE FELT THAT PAIN OF LOSS, AMPLIFIED BY A HUNDRED! YOU WON’T EVER UNDERSTAND WHAT I MEAN, BUT WHEN YOU LIVE YOUR WHOLE LIFE IN THE DARKNESS, DO YOU KNOW HOW MEANINGFUL A SINGLE HUG COULD BE? A SINGLE KISS ‘GOOD NIGHT, SISTER’ IS? EVEN THE SMALLEST ACTS OF KINDNESS HAVE A RIPPLE THAT YOU COULDN’T IMAGINE. BUT I DON’T EXPECT YOU TO UNDERSTAND THAT, SEEING AS EVERYTHING ONLY EVER WENT RIGHT FOR YOU.”



"YOU LOCKED ME IN TO DISCIPLINE ME, REMILIA. YOU HAD ME SUFFER FOR THE SAKE OF EDUCATING ME TO BE A PROPER LADY. TO BE MORE LIKE YOU. TO TAKE THINGS FROM OTHERS AND KILL THEM IF THEY DON’T. WELL, CONGRATULATIONS, REMILIA SCARLET!” Flandre’s hateful eyes descended on Remilia. ”AND I’LL START BY TAKING AWAY EVERYTHING YOU EVER LOVED!”

Flandre began to haphazardly swing her giant fireblade around, incinerating bits of the mansion piece by piece.

”Stop!” For once, Remilia was no longer angry at Flandre, but instead desperate to save her home. “You don’t know what you’re doing!”

"...she doesent,not like ush rights?"Terry asked dazily.

“I’m not sure,” Reimu answered as she dodged the raining bits of Scarlet Devil rubble. “But I don’t think she’ll be exactly hesitating if we’re in her way. Get out of here. I’ll catch up with you after getting the kid.”

The drop bear scuttled into the locomotive,"I'm goods 'ere"Terry mumbled.

”I hope,” Reimu agreed. “I’ll be waiting outside.”

Careful to stay under the radar of Flandre and Remilia, Reimu quickly darted for Rumia, grabbing the little yōkai in her arms before sneaking her way out of a hole in the wall that Flandre created.

Patchouli took note of Reimu, but did nothing to stop her. “My contributions are done for now,” she mumbled to herself. “I await orders.... master.”

In a cloud of darkness, the yōkai god Yami teleported her somewhere safe and very far away from the dueling vampires.

”STOP IT, FLANDRE!” Remilia was helpless as she attempted to parry Flandre’s slashes. “I COMMAND YOU TO STOP! STOP! STOP!”

”NEVER.” Flandre punched Remilia in the jaw as she continued to hack and slash. ”THE SDM IS DONE FOR! NO MORE STUPID MANSION! NO MORE STUPID BELONGINGS! I’LL TAKE AWAY EVERYTHING YOU EVER CARED ABOUT! I’LL BURN IT TO A CRISP, AND LOCK THE ASHES BEHIND DOORS YOU CAN’T DREAM OF OPENING! JUST AS YOU HAD DONE WITH ME!”

As she blocked one of Remilia’s spear swings, Flandre’s fist opened up, and millions of little orbs flew into her hand from all the mansion’s furnishings, walls, floor, and ceiling.

”Flandre NO!” Remilia made a desperate attempt to reach out, but was too slow to stop Flandre from clenching her fist.

And then the entire mansion exploded.

=========================================================

Even from the outside, the ashes of the Scarlet Devil Mansion’s destruction managed to fill Reimu’s lungs. She coughed and wheezed as balls of dust and saliva rolled out of her mouth.

”Trains man,” Reimu rasped between coughs. “Trains man! Where are you?!”

The rubbled rumbled and the train emerged.

"Don't let her in,please, I'm sorry for trying to kill you but pleas-" Were some frantic voices as Terry opened up the door, several faries flew out, none offering thanks of course, The train drove over to the still standing Flandre.

"Hey kidsh" Terry muttered leaning all his weight on the doorframe.

Flandre, under the influence of the Yōkai Lord, looked at the mountian of ashes that was once the Scarlet Devil Mansion and, deciding it was a job well done, blinked out of existence, being pulled into the void by the Great Lord of Darkness himself.

"Nawt a convrester, a-pair-ants-lee"Terry commented

“... No....” From under the crimson-colored debris, Remilia Scarlet came crawling out herself. Her beautiful pink dress was torn, and her wings were clipped. She looked almost pitiful cowering under the pile of ash to shield herself from the sunlight, mourning over the loss of her beautiful estate.

"Lifesh a bitch..." Terry agreed lowering himself with as mch as he could muster into sitting on the floor of the cabin,legs hanging out the door.

“... My beautiful manor,” Remilia lamented. “My mansion.... Everything’s gone now.” The Vampiress bit her tongue to hold back the tears.

"At least ya got famil-oh...rite"Terry recalled.

“My wealth,” Remi moaned. “My belongings... My treasures.... M-“

”Oh, can you shut up about your stupid posessions?! I’m trying to think here!”

Rather than throwing a fit, Remilia instead opted to burst into tears, crying over the loss of her important stuff, not even once acknowledging Flandre.

”... Anyway,” Reimu continued. “I’d say we leave this dump behind. Good job, by the way.”

"That whas shlightly lesh mean than usheral"Terry commented, "Could be tha chem-cals though".

“Well, uh....” Reimu looked around awkwardly. “... I guess I’ll... go then.”

"Waits.....Ya need a ride?"Terry said,"Shensce I am 'ere and alls". he offered a hand

There was the sound of a roar, the twisting beams of light burst down from the heavens at those three.

"KID!,RAYMOOSE!"Terry yelled, as the beams touched down and apparantly vaporised the Shrine Maiden and Yokai.

"Not again,nots again,nots again". Terry sputtered, the door slammed shut as the locomotive heaved forth.

"Why not stay...after all I'd say you've done enough"

"Why choke on your own sweat you're headed down anyway, why not shave off a few seconds?"

"C'mon the reason you stayed under was you hoped you'd get crushed"

"Just.give.up.old.man, you couldn't save her, you couldnt save them, and you aint gonna save yerself"

Realistically Terry should'nt have been able to make it in the air, realistically the stress,or the chemicals should have stopped his heart when he started dodging beams,in his state i'd be illogical for him to hve done anything but fall into a drug made coma.

But Terry was never a realistic man, born of a whimsy and tempered by tragedy,did not care for the odds given him,so he made his own.

He arched into the air, lights flickering ominously in the control room, wheezing coughing,bleeding from every wound he had, control panel smeared with blood, the outside of the engine caught fire,gaskets groaning teeth grinding, screens flashed,as the train rocked like mechanical bull, tossing him this way and that, with a shrill scream from the whistle and himself he punched through reality.
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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Lowfn on Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:39 am

Zandoo and Frog proudly present this post you are reading!

Yukari Yakumo

While the other clashers were busy being turned to spirits by a huge light deity, the boundary youkai spent her time staring into a mirror, in nothing but her lingerie, contemplating what she was doing with her time.

"... Why am I doing any of this?" Maribel gazed into the mirror. "Renko's back. Hiro... I guess I have him. I can be happy. It can be the way it was before. So what am I doing messing with all this evil stuff?"

The reflection Maribel smiled back at her real world counterpart, literally stretching her mouth ear to ear before her face split open to reveal a maw of long teeth, and a red eye glaring back at her.

"They're all but replicas." The piece of Yami that called itself Akuro answered Yukari. "Imitations of the real 'friends' you lost long ago. I won't deny, the god Sveena has presented you very convincing replicas. They speak, act, and live exactly as your friends did. Even the master's eye would be fooled by these imitations. But make no mistake, that's all they are in the end: imitations."

"Imitation or not," Maribel retorted, "they're good enough!"

"The only way to rejoin the Renko you know," continued Akuro, "Is through oblivion."

"No!" Maribel cupped her hands over her ears, even though the voice continued to whisper into her mind directly.

"You sentenced both of them to oblivion long ago," Akuro growled. "Would you like to know what their last words- their final thoughts- were before they were wiped from existence?"

"I can't hear you! I can't hear you!" Maribel screamed to drown out the noise of Akuro, to no avail.

"They were furious with you. They cursed your name and family. They felt betrayed. Betrayed by a friend. Their expectations crushed by the very one they cared for. That they loved. You did it. You annhilated Hiro Aiyato and Renko Usami. The only atonement is to join them, and only there will you ever see them again!"

"You're wrong! They knew there was nothing I could do! They'd understand! That's what loving someone is!"

Akuro glanced to the distance.

"Someone's coming." Akuro began to fade from the reflection. "Just know... this. Is. All. Your. Fault."

Akuro dissipated right as a green flash signaled the teleportation of Sveena, who greeted Maribel immediately with a hug and a happy, "Helloooo!"

Yukari gasped in disgust. "Don't you have any sense of privacy?!" The gap hag tried to cover herself.

"What do you mean?" Sveena blinked, stepping back and innocently admiring Yukari's lingerie, "I like your clothes! They remind me of something Siv would wear- She's another friend of mine."

"You dege- forget it." Yukari quickly wrapped herself up into a blanket. "What do you want?!"

"... Are you okay?" The Enclavian asked, quickly calming down from her excitement at seeing her friend. She didn't need to be a goddess of empathy to tell something was wrong.

"I'm fine," Yukari insisted. "Now, why are you bothering me? Can't you leave me alone, like I asked?"

"Well, I-... Everyone said I should take a break and relax, and I wanted to spend some time with you!" Sveena answered, beaming at Yukari, "I thought we could do something fun together!"

Yukari rolled her eyes. "What do you know about 'fun?' For all I know, your sense of 'fun' is what any sane person would call 'torture'- and those kinds of people exist."

"... I mean, I wasn't thinking that, but didn't you tell me torturing people was fun a long time ago?" Sveena blinked curiously before springing up with a big smile, "But I guess this means you're doing a good job at being a better person!"

Yukari opened her mouth to say something, but then realized that Sveena was right.

"You're a terrible person, Hearn." The voice of Akuro was like a worm, digging its way into Maribel's brain.

"... Just get it over with. What do you want to do that's 'fun?'"

"Well, I asked the internet what to do, since I don't really know a lot of stuff, and they said to do new stuff!" Sveena answered, "And I came up with a list of stuff we could try! Like painting, going to the beach, painting at the beach... I didn't have a lot of time to make a list of new stuff... And I couldn't really think of anything else."

"It better not involve things going inside me," Yukari mumbled as she grabbed her dress from the bed. "That's only reserved for cute boys...."

"Why did you say that really quietly?" Sveena inquired as her large cat ears twitched.

"... I said nothing. Just take me where you want to go already."

"It's getting easier to do stuff with you," Sveena giggled as the two of them vanished from the room, appearing on the typical, sunny beach. It wasn't too populated, but not too underpopulated either. One wouldn't be cramped, but they wouldn't feel weird with a lack of people.

"I looked around at a bunch of beaches, and this one has the best water and sand and everything! It even has a eatihg place on that wooden thing over there!" Sveena pointed over to a pier in the distance, "But I already packed us some food!"

Before the two were two towels on the ground with two umbrellas to block the sun if need be. The towels themselves were quite obviously designed by Sveena herself, with little cartoonish Yukaris and Sveenas in pairs smiling making up the pattern of both, though the background of Yukari's towel was purple, while Sveena's was green. Between the two towels was a cooler, presumably full of the food Sveena had mentioned.

The Enclavian glanced between the set up and Yukari a few times with a smile of anticipation and her paw-hands clutched together, waiting to hear what she had to say.

"Took you long enough!"

Before Yukari could react to either towel, a beach ball bounced off of Yukari's head as Renko tackled the youkai. "Do you know how boring it is to wait on the beach with just a dude? Or a robot? Or a robot-dude?"

"I'm a military engineer. I wasn't exactly educated in humor."

"Get off of me, you harlot!" Yukari struggled as she tried to pry Renko off of her. "You! Get her off of me!” She glared at Sveena as she continued to pull at Renko’s grip.

"Yeah! I'm trying to show her the towels! Aren't they cute?" Sveena pointed out.

At last, Renko let go of Yukari, only to grab her by the hand and begin pulling. “Come on! Who has time for a couple towels when there’s so much more we can do? We can go waterskiing, snorkelling, we can play volleyball, a-“

”May you all just go away and give me time to think?!” Yukari summoned gaps to surround her as she pushed Renko away. “Quit trying to drag me around like I’m a toy! I can’t think straight when you’re all in my face!”

Sveena was quiet for a moment before leaning close to Renko and whispering, "Something's been bothering her, but she says she's fine, so I think it's something really bad that must be bothering her then."

”Oh, okay! Gotcha!” Renko winked as she made an “okay” symbol with her fingers. ”So that means we keep bothering her!”

"... I mean... I guess, but in a not-bothering way... I also wanna figure out why she's upset," Sveena whispered back as she looked at the gaps shielding Yukari.

”... Wanna know a secret to get her out of a bubble whenever she wants to be alone?”

Sveena gasped at such monumental knowledge, such sacred wisdom. "Yes!" She replied, eagerly nodding her head.

Renko bent down and gathered some wet sand to mold into a ball. “Hey, Goldilocks,” she called out as she prepared to throw.

Confused, Yukari turned to see what Renko wanted from the boundary yōkai, only to get beamed in the face by a sand ball.

”Ha ha! Got you again!” Renko stuck out a tongue as she began to take quick steps back.

Yukari clenched a fist as she spat sand out of her mouth. “GET OVER HERE, YOU LITTLE-“

”You’ll have to catch me first!” Renko took off laughing as Yukari stormed after her, slinging piles of sand at her fleeing friend. Surprisingly, Yukari hadn’t bothered to use gaps to catch Renko, which was certainly bizarre given her general tactic to gap every problem thrown her way.

"... I don't get it, isn't that just gonna make Yukari mad?" Sveena asked Shigoku, a fuzzy finger resting on her chin as her gaze followed the two running

“It would,” Shigoku agreed. “But I’m guessing that that’s the point.”

Yukari eventually caught up to Renko, grabbing her by the strap of her swimsuit. “Got you!”

“Got you first!” Renko burst into laughter.

“You’ve asked for it!” Yukari lifted Renko into the air, and...

... tickled her.

”Okay, okay, you can stop!” Renko’s arms flailed at Yukari desparately, despite the grin on her face that stretched ear to ear. Even the corners of Yukari’s own lips were curling.

Whatever Renko did, it was so ingrained into her and Maribel’s friendship that a thousand years of being an angry and sad yōkai wasn’t enough to reverse it.

"Wow... Renko's way better at friendship than I am," Sveena gasped, in awe that the haphazard plan somehow worked. And here Sveena was supposed to be the god of such things. A wet ball of sand appeared in her hand, and she chucked it over to where it hit Yukari's back with a curious expression.

Yukari whirled on Sveena and prepared to charge until Renko kicked sand at Yukari’s feet, causing the yōkai to turn back on her.

”Keep throwing!” Renko laughed as Yukari began chucking balls of sand of her own.

Sveena giggled and let out a happy, "Okay!", poofing a ball of sand into her hand just as she was hit by one of the yōkai's. After quickly shaking the sand off, she began throwing balls of sand with more eagerness.

Before long, all three girls were engaged in an intense sand-ball war, where not a moment was spent without at least one clump of ground rock in the air. Even Yukari enjoyed this, laughing to her heart’s content as she tried to dodge incoming attacks from Sveena and Renko.

“You’ve asked for it, cutting board!” Yukari giggled as she flung compacted sand at Renko.

”That is if you can aim, you stormtrooper!” Renko stopped to catch her breath as she tossed clumps of ocean substrate at Yukari.

Sveena's laughing paused. She sat there for a moment before looking to Renko and asking, "What's a stormtrooper?"

“Someone who aims better than Merry!” Renko laughed as she tried to cover herself from the barrage of projectiles. “Now, throw everything you’ve got!”

Renko began a merciless assault of sand at Yukari, becoming a machine gun of debris as the helpless Yukari became pelted with batteries of dust. Sveena resumed her own chucking of sand with unrestrained vigor.

”Stop it! It’s actually hurting!” Yukari was virtually in tears as she tried to cover herself. “I surrender! I surrender!”

"... Do we stop or keep going?" Sveena asked Renko, holding two balls of sand in each hand.

“It’s okay to stop,” Renko giggled as she ceased her attack. “... Maybe just throw those two for good measure.”

Just to be safe, Sveena aimed the two balls of sand for somewhere with plenty of padding where it wouldn't hurt: Yukari's rear end. Her tail swished left and right while she covered her mouth and snickered. Being a god of peace did not provide many opportunities for such mischievous fun.

Tired from the sand battle, Yukari collapsed onto the beach, breathing heavily after her little game. “I hate you,” she laughed. “Both of you!”

"... Is that good?" Sveena quickly asked Renko.

“She’s joking about it,” Renko answered as she plopped next to Yukari.

"Oh... I hate you too!" Sveena shouted, quickly adding, "I'm joking!" She looked at Renko as she went over to sit by Yukari, and was suddenly unsure if it was appropriate for her to go over too. She had never been in a 'third wheel' situation before, and even though she's the one that set this up, it was obvious Renko was far better at friendshipping Yukari. The yokai might even be happier with just Renko than if Sveena joined. She scampered over to her towel and watched the two, glad Yukari was enjoying herself.

Renko nudged Maribel’s shoulder. “Fun, wasn’t it?”

”It’s been a thousand or so years,” Yukari agreed. “I loved it....”

Yukari’s smile faded as she suddenly displayed a look of discomfort. “... What the-“

Suddenly, something touched Yukari’s back, and she screamed as she leapt to her feet. “WHAT WAS THAT?!” She squealed, looking down at the patch of sand that she was sitting on.

Sure enough, the sand where Yukari was previously sitting on began to burst upwards, as something crawled out from under the sand dunes.

A tiny blackhead popped out of the sand, followed by a paddle-like appendege. Slowly, the creature hauled itself out and into the light to reveal...

”Oh my gosh!” Renko scooped up the baby turtle and looked at it. “It’s so tiny! Merry, look!”

Yukari looked down at the tiny reptile, which blinked slowly as it tried to adjust to the light. “It’s so cute!” Renko gently stroked the turtle’s carapace.

The turtle’s siblings quickly climbed out after the first baby turtle, and soon enough a small squadron of reptiles began slowly meandering their way to the shores.

A gull landed near the pile and squawked at the reptiles, beginning to harass one of them with its beak.

"H-Hey!" Sveena called out, huffing and puffing as she got up and walked over to wave away the rude bird, "Don't be mean!"

The gull squawked at the warp god before flapping away, intimidated by the arrival of a larger “predator.”

Yet the gull wasn’t alone. A crab scuttled over and began picking at the baby turtles, eventually grabbing one with its claw.

The Enclavian shrieked, teleporting the crab away and the little baby turtle into her hands to ensure it was okay. "... Oh my gosh... They really are cute..." She gasped, staring into the little turtle's eyes with an, "Awwww."

The turtle yawned as it rested in Sveena’s hand, clearly weakened by the assaulting crab. The turtle recuperated on Sveena’s hand for a few seconds before trying to continue its perilous march to the sea. She was more than happy to oblige, gently placing the little turtle onto the sand and watching it squirm.

"Man... Who just left all these little babies here?" She huffed, looking around for any turtle parents. Obviously, there were none to be found.

“It’s just what they do,” Maribel asnwered, shrugging.

"Huh? What do you mean?"

“Turtles lay their eggs in night, and a lot of the babies get eaten in the day. That’s just what happens.”

"That's horrible!" The Enclavian shrieked, quickly looking back to see if there were any more threats to the journey of the baby turtles. Luckily, Renko had guided the rest of the nest into the water, looming over them to deter any potential birds.

“... What are you all doing?” Shigoku approached the group as they argued about baby turtles

"We're making sure nothing eats the babies!" Sveena exclaimed, ever vigilant for any pesky birds as the turtles began swimming away.

“... Fascinating.” The unamused doctor nodded as he turned away. “Drinks are by the towels if you want them. I got some fresh ones for you lot, in case you wanted more than just water and coke.” Sure enough, a miniature table was set up, carrying a respectable variety of drinks.

"What did you get?" Sveena inquired curiously, hopping past Shigoku to peruse the selection, "Oh! And thank you!"

Yukari began to follow until the doctor grabbed her by the hand. “Brunette told me to give you this one.” He shoved a cup of hot chocolate into her hand. “Seems rather poor in taste, given where we are....”

”Only Maribel would ever drink hot chocolate in the middle of the beach,” Renko called out in agreement.

Yukari said nothing for a moment as Shigoku began to leave. “... Thank you... uh....-“

”My friends call me Shiro,” the doctor finished.

”Oh. Thank you, Shiro.” Yukari began to drink, allowing the molten chocolate to flow between her teeth and down her throat.

"... Could I try a sip?" Sveena asked with a tinge of meekness, "I've never had 'hot chocolate'."

“No,” Maribel snapped quickly. “I... uh... get your own.” She watched Shiro leave as she took miniscule sips of the hot chocolate. “... Wonder what he’s up to.”

"Why don't you ask him?"

“.. Nevermind.” Maribel returned to her hot chocolate as she continued to watch. Up to now, she never truly appreciated his aesthetics....

"... Hey! Hey, Shiro! Shirooo!" Sveena waved her arms, trying to get Shigoku's attention.

“NONONONONO!” Yukari tried to cover Sveena’s mouth. “SHHHH!”

Shiro gave a sideways glance at the two. “What do you want,” he asked with a tinge of annoyance. Sveena tried to speak, but her words were mumbles behind Yukari's quick hand.

“... Okay then.” Shiro continued turned away and returned to focusing on his own agenda.

Sveena gently pulled Yukari's hand from her mouth and asked, "Why'd you cover my mouth? I was gonna ask what he's up to."

Maribel said nothing as her eyes scanned Shiro’s form up and down. Whereas most were repulsed by his mechanized limbs and body, Maribel remained undeterred as she gazed at Shiro, almost longingly.

Sveena intently observed Maribel's expression before blatantly and innocently asking, "Do you wanna sex him?"

“W-no,” Maribel denied as she stared at Shiro, blushing. “I-n-well…” Maribel’s voice trailed off before admitting, “…yes….” Her face flushed red.

"I knew it," Sveena giggled, "Then go sex him!" She pointed over to Shiro, looking at him for a moment before turning to Maribel with a smile.

“No way! It’s not that easy… I don’t think you understand.” Maribel continued to gazing, enjoying the view.

"Don't you just have him put his PINGAS in your vagina?" Sveena blinked.

“He might say ‘no’. He might not want it. If I’m not careful, he might never…it’s more than just ‘doing’ it. There’s so much to consider. So much that can go wrong. I… don’t think you’d understand, to be truthful.”

"Well.... Help me understand!" Sveena smiled, "Or else I'll just tell him you wanna sex him, since I don't understand anything." Her smile widened as she contained a giggle.

“NO NO NO!” Maribel jumped up and down as she tried to silence Sveena. “No no no no no! Don’t tell him!”

"Then help me understand stuff," Sveena offered with a tail swish.

“You can’t just force someone to do ‘it,’” Maribel began explaining. “You might hurt someone if you don’t ask them-“

"No no no, I know that!" Sveena interrupted, "You taught me about some of that before."

“But even if you do ask, it doesn’t always work out, either. The other person might think you only like them because they’re ‘fun.’ They don’t know if they actually like them as a person or not.” Maribel shifted uncomfortably and a little impatiently, wishing that she’d rather be “enjoying the view.”

”People don’t want to be loved just because they look good; that’s not called ‘loving’ somebody. Some people want true love, not just to be admired like a painting or an object. And if that’s all you ask about, they think that’s the only reason why you like them: as if you’re just some item that people can throw away later, even if that’s not true.” Maribel glanced at Shiro once more. “… And… I want to be someone ‘special’ to him, not just ‘attractive’….”

"Hmm... I have an idea! I'm gonna help you and go talk to him!" Sveena proclaimed, "I promise, I won't mess things up!"

Maribel shook her head again. “It’s not just about talking to them. I can do that myself. I want him to know me. I want him to experience me. That’s how you know if somebody’s special. I just need time….”

"You're special to me," Sveena mentioned, hoping to lift Maribel's spirits some in her uncertainty.

Maribel said nothing as she finished her cup of hot chocolate, which had now gone cold.

“What’s going on here?” Renko approached the duo, an empty water bottle in hand.

"She wants to sex Shiro but she doesn't wanna talk to him," Sveena answered immediately before slapping both of her hands over her own mouth.

“Oh. I hope she doesn’t.” Renko answered bluntly. “Have you seen all the weird things she’s into?”

"What do you mean?" Sveena asked from behind her hands before removing them and repeating the question.

Maribel’s eyes widened. “She means nothing,” she answered quickly.

”I’ve seen the bookmarks,” Renko accused, her voice raising. “I’ve seen all that nasty porn you look at when you think nobody’s watching!”

”What?!” Maribel’s face turned bright red. “No you haven’t! Stop saying nonsense!”

”I’ve slept over with you before! Right when you think everyone’s asleep, I know you go to your disgusting websites and jack off! You don’t know how many times I tried to sleep but couldn’t with you moaning all the time!”

”Hey!”

"What porn does she watch?" The Enclavian asked with maximum curiosity.

“None of your business!” Maribel shouted.

”You don’t want to know,” Renko agreed. “It sickens me just thinking about it, you dirty girl!”

”SHUT UP!” Maribel tried to cover Renko’s mouth.

"I like to watch gang bang," Sveena stated, as if she were listing off a preferred tv show.

“Maribel you perverted sicko!” Renko tried to pry Maribel’s hand off her mouth.

”Shut! Up!” Maribel’s entire head was an almost perfect shade of red. “Shut! Up!”

While the two fought, seeming to ignore Sveena, the Enclavian took this opportunity to hum a tune to herself as she happily walked in Shigoku's direction. "Hey, Shiro!" She greeted with a wave.

“What do you want?” He looked up at Sveena, with his turning shoulder revealing a plastic tub that reeked of an awful stench.

"I- What's that?" Sveena asked, peeking to see what was in the tub that smelled so bad as she scrunched up her nose.

“Oh, this?” He held up the tub. “I’m just making myself a new hand.”

"Oooo! Can I watch?" Sveena gasped. No matter what his answer could have been, she already hopped over to the other side of the tub across from him.

“I don’t know why you would,” he answered. “It’s just making rubber with sunlight. I’d say it’s actually rather dull.”

"But you're making a hand from it!" Sveena exclaimed, more than happy to watch the rubber, "Oh! Right, I need your help since you're a boy and my friend."

Shiro gave Sveena a puzzled look. “What do you need help with? And why do you specifically bring up ‘boy’?”

"Because you would know how a boy thinks better than I would, since you are a boy," Sveena explained, "I have a friend who really likes a boy, but she doesn't know what to say to him. She's really worried that he won't like her back or that he'll think she just wants to sex him, but she wants to be someone special to him. She really loves him. Like... Hmm... Okay make yourself the boy, say you're him, what would you want my friend to say to you? Or what should she say to you?"

Shiro just stared at Sveena. “… It honestly differs from man to man,” he answered. “Some men abhor intercourse, while it’s the only thing that others want. Personally, I don’t care, mostly since it won’t ever happen to me.”

"Why do you say that?"

“Because it’s physically impossible. When I chose to mechanize myself when I was 28, I built myself a body designed to maximize my productivity. This meant to free myself of distractions to my work, which included making love with women. With no need for a phallus in the work place, I chose not to build one into this body. So it won’t matter whether or not I wanted it, since I physically can not perform intercourse anymore. Tell the blonde one I’m sorry.”

"W-Why should I tell Yukari that you're sorry? Sorry about what?" Sveena gulped.

"Do you honestly think I wouldn’t overhear what you’re all doing when you’re all screaming like a cage of monkeys? Tell her that it’s not happening, and that it never will happen.”

"But... It's not like she just wants to sex you, she really does like you, Shiro," Sveena explained, "She told me that special thing I asked you. Even if you guys can't do sex, you can do other stuff that matters a whole bunch more."

“And so I know,” he agreed. “But I’m afraid she’s right; I hardly know what kind of a woman she is. It’s going to take a while before she can even consider anything.”

"She said it'd take time, but I came up with two ideas for you guys to get to know each other, and since you already found out what I'm doing, you should pick which one I go with!" Sveena exclaimed, "So my first idea was for you two to go in a date- No- Go on a date. My second idea was to put you guys in this big maze in the Warp full of traps and daemons and then because you guys worked together to stay alive, you'd know each other really good. I'll know which one you choose by if you go and ask her on a date or not in the next minute or so- Don't mention me!"

Before any objections could be made, Sveena had teleported back over beside Maribel and Renko with an innocent smile on her face.

“… And that’s why I never let you borrow one of my pillows ever again.” Renko concluded what must have been a very interesting story.

Sveena slowly looked over in Shiro's direction, giving a wink before turning to her friends. "I'll let you use my pillow if you need it," She offered.

“That was one time, Renko! One! Time!” Maribel shoved her index finger into Renko’s face. “And I hardly got any on your pillow!”

”A hand print is not ‘hardly,’” Renko scolded. “I had to throw it out because it would be all sticky and gross on one side!”

"Are you talking about vagina juice?" Sveena asked, looking between the two.

“I put it in the washer before I gave it back! It should have been clean when you got it!”

”Well, there was a giant handprint on it regardless. And it was an expensive one, too!” Renko crosses her arms. “Do you know how hard it is to find a pillow with a cat eating a cookie is?”

"I can make you one if you want!" Sveena offered, feeling rather left out in the argument. She gave another glance Shigoku's way with an expecting look on her face. He held up all ten of his fingers, suggesting that he needed ten more minutes. The Enclavian nodded before returning her focus to see if Renko had even heard her.

“… and you still owe me four pencils,” Maribel scolded in exchange, suggesting that the tables had turned during the short time span.

”I lost them when I tripped,” Renko shot back. “At least I don’t cum all over your things!”

”At least I got it back to you!”

“Filthy horn dog!” Renko turned away from Maribel, giving her the cold shoulder.

”Thief!” Maribel returned the gesture.

"... Is this one of those friendship things you guys do, like when you say you hate each other?" Sveena meekly inquired.

“No,” both girls answered rather coldly, with both having been put in a bad mood by the other.

"... Hey, Renko? Could you c'mere?" Sveena requested, stepping away and gesturing for Renko to follow.

“Oh, of course.” Renko followed Sveena, giving Maribel a spiteful glance.

Once the two were a decent range away (And conveniently sitting on the towels Sveena had made), the Enclavian carefully watched Maribel. "I talked to Shiro," She mentioned, her wide eyes observing with anticipation, "Aaaaany minute now..."

“Oh.” Renko sounded almost disappointed. “That’s… uh… great, I guess.”

In that moment, a pillow with an image of a cat eating a cookie appeared in front of Renko with a flash of green light, though Sveena's eyes did not leave Maribel and Shigoku. "C'mooon, Shirooo...."

Finally, after around fifteen or so seconds, Shiro finally emerged to confront Maribel. “Blonde,” he began.

Maribel gasped as she turned around. “Oh! W-um- hi!” She shifted around nervously. “Is there… anything you’d like?”

”We’ Going out to eat dinner,” he remarked. “You’re coming with us.”

”Oh. Y-yeah, okay! Sure!”

"He just asked her out on a date," Sveena said in a sing-song voice with a wide smile.

“Yay….” Renko cheered, albeit with less heart than Sveena could hope for.

"... What's wrong? Do you wanna go on a date with someone too?"

“… Maybe,” Renko admitted. “But… it’s better if you don’t help me. I… I’ll figure it out myself.”

"Why's that?" Sveena questioned, finally turning her head away from Maribel and Shigoku to cock her head at Renko.

“It’s… there are reasons. I’m okay, trust me.” Renko tried for a smile.

"... You're really bad at fake-smiling," Sveena noted.

“It’s fine. I’ll manage without.”

"... I'll go on a date with you!" Sveena proposed.

“I just want to eat right now,” Renko replied.

===========================

“Have you decided what you want to eat yet?”

Shiro peered over Maribel’s shoulder.

”There’s… there’s so much to choose from.” Maribel scanned her menu up and down, yet couldn’t make up her mind on what she wanted to eat. The restaurant that Shiro took the group to had everything from New York steak to Escargot to even boiled spider and guinea pig.

“Well, what do you like eating in general?”

”I… like most meats, I guess.”

”What kind of meats? Because I could just order you a spider and call that your dinner.”

”…Yeah.” Maribel, in truth, was hardly paying attention to the meat as she tried to hide her face, which was as red as some of the meats the restaurant stored in a freezer.

”Here.” Shiro took Maribel’s menu (which, upon inspection, had changed from a steel-plastic claw into a gripper using soft robotics) and flipped to the section full of pork. “You can start there,” he suggested.

”Mmmmm.” Maribel continued to stare at the table, with her eyes darting occasionally under the table to where Shiro was sitting.

“The rest of you, what are you having?” Shiro turned to Renko and Sveena.

"Oh, I was just gonna order a... Tuna salad," Sveena answered without her usual enthusiasm for tuna.

”Don’t waste your time with Tuna salad,” Shiro ordered. “Try that instead.” He tapped at another dish labeled with Tuna. “They say it’s a little hot, but every time I see somebody eat it, they order it again on their second time.”

"Oh, okay. Thank you," Sveena nodded, trying for a smile.

“… As for you?”

“How about that?” Renko tapped a dish labeled with scallop.

”Sure.”

Shiro turned his attention to Maribel. “And you? What have you decided on?”

Maribel muttered something under her breath that started with “d”.

”Come again? Did you say d-“

“-uck,” Maribel answered quickly. “I said ‘duck.’”

”First you want pork, and now you want duck. Make up your mind, woman.” Shiro flipped the menu to a page with various poultry products on it.

"... Do they have beer here?" Sveena asked after some contemplation. While Frank had explicitly told her not to drink beer after the last time, she felt drawn to it at that moment.

“… I mean, why wouldn’t they?” Shiro handed Sveena his own menu, which was flipped to the beverage section.

"... What are all of these different drinks?" Sveena asked, angling the menu for him to see and tracing her finger around the alcoholic beverages section.

“It’s something people drink,” Shiro answered sarcastically, revealing a previously unseen humorous side. “But seriously, choose those at your own risk. Or don’t. I honestly don’t care, but some of those might make you sick.”

"Make me sick? They have diseases in them?" Sveena gasped.

“Not quite. You see, ethanol, often referred to as ‘alcohol’ when in its beverage form….” Shiro descended into a mini lecture about alcohol and it’s effects on the human brain and liver, going into exquisite detail about even the tiniest details regarding alcohol.

”Pssst. Psssst.” Renko tapped Maribel on the shoulder. “They have Fiji Cider! Just like ‘Old Adam’!” Renko winked. “Why not? Like the weekend evenings way back when.”

Maribel, snapped out of her trance, smiled. “Yeah, like old times….”

"So if I get sick, would it make my baby sick too?" Sveena asked, pointing to her belly.

“There have indeed been connections to birth defects and alcohol consumption,” Shiro stated. “If under pregnancy, I highly suggest against alcoholic beverages for the sake of your child, unless that isn’t a concern to you.”

"N-No! I mean- Yes, it is a concern!" Sveena gasped, briefly pulled out of her slump, "I won't get any beers."

“Then it’s decided. Please select something else to drink.”

"I'll just have water," Sveena settled, twiddling her fingers after handing the menu back to Shigoku.

“Water is good for you,” Shiro agreed. “And you, Usami?”

“Vegetable fried rice is good enough for me. Oh, and Merry and I would like some Fiji Cider for drinks.”

”Looks like neither of you will be driving home,” Shiro joked, albeit with a straight and emotionless face.

"Why would they need to drive if I can teleport people or Yukari can do her gap thingies?" Sveena asked with a curious look.

“It’s a joke,” Yukari snapped. “Geez, where’s your sense of hu-“

”Leave it.” Shiro waved away the passing comment. “It doesn’t matter.”

“Hello, everyone. I’ll be Zorrora Nuevas, and I’ll be your waitress today!” A pleasant latino woman came up to the quartet. “How are we doing? Have we decided on what we want to drink, or do we still need some time?”

"I just want some water, please," Sveena requested before looking to the others.

“Fiji cider for the two of us,” Renko said with a broad smile, her eyes glistening as she wrapped an arm around Yukari’s shoulder.

“The hardest vodka you can get me,” Shiro finished.

“Wow, heavy drinkers here!” Zorrora mused as she jotted down their orders. “¡Ten Cuidado! Be sure not to go driving tonight!”

”We’re actually ready to order.”

”Oh, that’s great!” Zorrora looked up from the notes she took. “Well, what are we having then?”

"The.. Um.." Sveena looked at her menu before holding it up to the waitress and tapping the dish Shiro chose for her, "This, please."

“Careful there. That one’s hot!” Nuevas wrote down Sveena’s order. “... And what side would you like with that?”

"Oh, uh- What sides are there?" Sveena asked, not knowing that the dishes came with 'sides', "And what's a side?"

“They’re in the menu, silly!” The waitress pointed at the section labelled “sides” on the first page. “Do we need a bit more time?”

"Um, you guys order before me," Sveena quickly said as she looked over the sides.

“She’d like salad,” Shiro quickly interjected.

”Mmm-hmmmm....” Zorrora kept one of her amber eyes fixiated on Shiro as she continued writing.

“Vegetable fried rice, please!” Renko answered with a smile. “I’d like a salad myself.”

”Very well, very well. And how about you, lovely little one?” The waitress smiled pleasantly at Yukari.

”I’d like... tihs.” Yukari pointed to sometihng on the menu that she didn’t know how to pronounce.

”Interesting choice,” Nuevas agreed. “And how about for your side, dear?”

”I’ll take... uh... Miso soup, please.”

The waitress nodded. “... And finally, how about you, sir?”

”I’ll take the fried rice myself. But with beef for me.”

”Sure, sure. And for your sides?”

”I’ll take Miso soup as well.”

Nuevas finished scribbling down her order. “It’ll be only a few moments. Drinks will be out shortly.”

Yukari watched Zorrora as she left, and the waitress likewise did the same. “... I don’t like her,” Yukari blurted as soon as the waitress was out of earshot.

”What makes you think that?” Renko looked at Maribel in confusion. “She seemed pretty friendly to me.”

“Didn’t you see the way she was watching us? There’s clearly something up with her.” Yukari gave a quick glance over her shoulder once again.

"Maybe she thinks you're pretty," Sveena theorized, "I like your hair. I bet she does too."

“That’s not it. There’s something... suspicious about her.” Yukari rested her forehead against her hands. “... But maybe you’re right. Maybe I’m just being paranoid.”

“Maybe she’s judging you,” Shiro suggested. “I didn’t give you all time to look at the menu properly. Sorry about that, by the way.”

“Don’t blame yourself,” Yukari snapped.

"Yeah, I didn't know stuff came with sides," Sveena agreed.

“Your drinks.” The waitress returned with the groups’ drinks, giving Sveena her glass of water and the others their alcohol. “Your meals will be out shortly.”

Shiro waited until the waitress left before “drinking” his vodka. Shiro began to unbutton his coat to access the machined parts that lay underneath his clothing. Yukari made a concious effort to avoid staring at the man undress, turning an obvious shade of red as she clamped her legs together.

Sveena was much more obvious with her gaze, though her staring was more out of curiosity than lust or attraction. "You know, I have a friend kinda like you," She remarked, "He has lots of robot stuff on him too and he's really smart like you are."

“I don’t suppose he’s a monster, then?” Shiro removed a reactor from where his liver should have been and poured the alcohol into an opening on the device, with the ethanol acting as a fuel for his bioreactor.

The Enclavian tilted her head to the side, giving Shigoku a confused look. "No? I don't think you're one either, are you?" She replied, not sure what Shiro was getting at.

“That’s an interesting opinion,” Shigoku remarked as the lights on his reactor blinked from red to green. “... But that’s beside the point.”

“Why so red, Merry?” Renko poked Maribel teasingly on the shoulder.

”Shut up,” Maribel insisted.

”Don’t go mastrubating on the floor again,” Renko teased. “Nobody wants to clean up your cum!”

”SHUT UP.” Maribel backhanded Renko.

Sveena stared at Maribel in shock, her eyes slowly moving to Renko before carefully asking, "R-Renko? Are you okay?"

“I’m fine,” Renko reassured as she took a small sip from her cider. “It stings only a little.... Gosh, Merry. Why are your nails so freaking sharp?” Renko rubbed away a small cut on her cheek.

“... You don’t want to know.” Yukari quickly hid her fingers underneath her sleeves.

"Uhm... So, Shiro!" Sveena exclaimed, wanting to change the topic to something a bit lighter, "Why do you drink from there instead of your mouth?" She pointed down to his general belly area.

“I... there are reasons,” he answered. “I can give you the short or long answer.”

"Umm... Long answer, please!" The Enclavian replied eagerly.

“Alcohol that you drink is ethanol,” Shigoku began explaining. “While it’s great at setting the mood on romantic dinners or parties, it can also serve as a convenient fuel source....”

Continued in next post

_________________
Then the world blew up. The end.
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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Lowfn on Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:39 am

Continued

”Ugh. Technobabble.” Renko waved away Shiro’s in depth explaination of ethanol and its uses as biodiesel in favor of catching up with her old friend. “Where have you been the last few months?”

Months,” Yukari scoffed. “I don’t know how long it was for you, but for me, I’ve waited thousands of years in ancient Japan because of you. Because you died. Be-“

”Shhhhhhhh....” Renko put a finger up to Yukari’s lips. “It’s okay. I’m here now!”

Yukari smiled at the comforting idea that Renko was finally back, until....

She’s not the real one. She’s a fake. An imposter. And besides, she is a Renko Usami. She is cursed to die, just like the rest....

Yukari’s smile faded.

Renko put a hand on Yukari’s shoulder. “... Did you not miss me,” she asked.

”Of course I missed you!” Without warning, Maribel grabbed Renko and hugged her. “You won’t understand...!” Once again, Maribel regressed into hugging something and crying into it. Renko merely hugged Maribel back and gently patted her.

”Hush....” Renko tried to comfort her old friend as the gap hag wept onto Renko’s shoulder.

”I’m sorry,” she bawled. “I’m really, really sorry!”

“It’s okay,” Renko reassured. “You’ll be fine....”

”... Theoretically,” Shiro continued in his long speech regarding bioreactors, “I can drink with my mouth like you do, and I admittedly sometimes do. But altogether, it’s more efficient if the ethanol gets used to power the rest of my body as opposed to getting drunk for a night. It helped me operate better during the war, and it just became a habit of mine.... I didn’t bore you, did I?”

"Nuh-uh," Sveena shook her head as her chin rested on both of her hands, "I like learning stuff, especially since I don't know a lot."

“I suppose that’s good then,” Shiro admitted, with the very hints of a smile forming. “I’m glad to know my ramblings on energy and technology aren’t being wasted on ‘white noise’ as part of more ‘important’ conversations.”

"... What do you mean?"

“Most people find this talk boring.” Shigoku shrugged. “They just learn to filter it out. I can’t say I’d blame them, really. I have always fancied joining into a gossip myself, talking about things other than war robots or machines.”

"Oh! Then ask me stuff that isn't about war robots and machines!" Sveena proposed.

Shiro thought for a moment about something that wasn’t a STEM topic. Unfortunately for him, while he was a prodigy and conditioned to be a genius in all fields of intelligence, he was never trained on small talk or other “trivial” subjects. He began drawing inspirations on his surroundings and, given how Sveena had admitted that she too was still learning, tried to look for a subject that she knew very well.

”... What’s the deal with her?” He motioned behind him to Maribel, who was still crying into Renko’s shoulder. “I remember you said how in.... a ‘past life’ or whatever, I used to be her fiance. But I’m going to assume things had changed since that. One moment, she’s crying and depressed over her own ‘past life’. In the next, she’s threatening to kill someone or.. something. So what’s her problem?”

Sveena's smile faded away at the topic. She glanced over at Yukari before looking back to Shiro and sighing. "She... Lost everything when she was Maribel," She explained, "And when she became 'Yukari', she did a lot of bad things. And she didn't have anyone around her to be there for her as a friend... And really there just... Were some bad people really. She's been alive for a really long time and... Once she started doing bad things, she just kept doing them. Being... Evil was all she knew how to do eventually. And she blamed herself... For losing everything when she was Maribel... And if she thinks she's a bad person, then she's gonna be a bad person... But I know... Or at least hope, that she can be a better person. She can be happy and try to make people around her happy. That's why I got you and Renko. If she has friends, people she cares about, not just me who tries to force her to be my friend, but someone she wants as her friend... Then maybe so many people don't have to suffer anymore... Including her."

“... I see.” Shiro nodded in acknowledgement. “...But don’t you suppose we should also isolate her from those people that make her unhappy? I can tell you are doing a good job at the moment, but with powers like hers, would it not be unreasonable to assume that they too have their ways to get to her when we aren’t looking?”

Sveena was silent for a moment, furrowing her brow in thought as she slowly looked to Yukari again. Shiro had a very good point... It would explain why it seemed that, despite making three steps forward last time they met, Yukari took two steps back afterwards... Or one step, Sveena wasn't so good at picturing such things.

"... You're right," She murmured, "But... How? How would we keep those people from getting to her? I know I'm a god and all or... close to it, at least... But I need to know what I'm doing before I like... Make it happen... Oh! I know! You! You're smart! Just, um... Imagine you're a god, okay? Anything you think can happen and stuff. What would you think to make it to where people like that can't hurt her? Then when you tell me, I'll think it, and make it happen!"

Shiro thought. “... Make anything happen,” he thought to himself. “... I suppose I’d begin by distracting her. Keep her alone for as little as possible. Whenever she asks to be alone, leave someone you can trust with her. That way, you know that others wouldn’t take the time to... manipulate her into doing something unfortunate.”

"But what if they're like... Able to teleport the person I put there away?"

“Then make sure they can’t.” Shiro shrugged. “You said you can do anything. That means you can figure out how to prevent that, by definition of ‘anything.’`”

"Yeah, but I don't know what to think or like... How. That's why I'm asking you," Sveena tried to explain, "It's like... Having a gun, but you don't know you're supposed to squeeze the shooting button thingy."

Shiro thought for a moment. “Your guess is as good as mine,” he reasoned. “You’ve already proven that you can teleport yourself, and accomplish a number of other impossible tasks. But you seem... weary, and dare I say, fearful of the other things that might tamper in your schemes. I can only imagine what kinds of things they can do, and can’t even come close to think of asnwers myself. You must remember, my world is defined by logic and science, not... whatever you use.”

"I don't even know what I use! I just know... It works," Sveena sighed, "... Sometimes I don't think making someone with amnesia a god was the best idea."

“Perhaps you are right,” Shigoku agreed. “But I’d rather trust the powers of a god into someone clueless but adamant than in the hands of someone cruel and abusive.”

"... Thanks, Shiro," Sveena said with a smile, giving the cyborg a hug.

A cough came from behind the four. “I’m sorry for interrupting your conversation, but I’m just here to say your food is ready!”

Zorrora smiled as she began setting plates in front of the group. “The one with the tuna is for you,” she recounted as she delivered Sveena her marine delicacy.

"Oooh!" Sveena gasped, her tail swishing excitedly as she could smell her dish's scent in the air, "It smells really good! Thank you!"

“... You wanted the duck stew....” the waitress placed before Yukari her bowl with a duck’s head sitting in the broth.

”... And the fried rice for the two of you.” Nuevas ended by placing the two platters of rice before Renko and Shigoku, careful to ensure that they got their respective “addons.”

“As for your sides,” the waitress continued, “you two wanted the salad....” She set the plates of vegetation in front of Sveena and Renko. The Enclavian's mouth was already full of tuna and subsquently large gulps of water due to how hot it was, but it could be assumed she was grateful for the salad.

“... And soup for the two of you.” Zorrora offered Yukari and Shiro their Miso soup. “... And if you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them for you!”

"Do you have anything that'll help my tongue?" Sveena quickly asked, waving frantically at her mouth.

Shiro looked at his bowl of Miso before sliding it to Sveena. “This helps a little,” he offered. “But it’s not nearly as good as icecream or milk.”

"Could I have one of those, please?" Sveena asked the waitress before taking the miso with a quick, "Thank you!" before taking a spoon and shoveling the miso onto her tongue.

“We don’t have any milk,” the waitress answered, “but we do have some ice cream. Would you like that as your dessert?”

"Yes, please!" Sveena replied, swallowing the miso and still panting as she asked Shiro, "Why do people eat food that hurts?!"

“It has a unique flavor,” he answered simply as he scooped portions of the rice into his mouth. “Or they’re risk takers. I certainly see that you’re not taking to the heat very well.”

"I've never had food that hurts before- At least not hurting my tongue," Sveena explained, taking another gulp of water as the heat of her spicy tuna died down.

“... You’re not going to eat that, will you Merry?” Renko motioned to the duck head that sat in Yukari’s stew.

”What will I get if I do?”

Renko shrugged. “I dunno.... respect? A disgusted ‘ew’?”

Yukari glanced back and forth between Renko and the duck, a smug smile slowly creeping along her face. “I’ve eaten worse. This is hardly anything compared to some of the stuff I’ve been forced to eat.”

“Then do it! Unless you’re too-”

Renko was unable to finish as Yukari pinched the duck behind the skull and snaked the entire head into her throat. In an audible crunch, Yukari pulled the now severed neck of the duck out of her mouth, her rows of teeth she acquired as a yōkai going to work on the morsel.

"... Does it taste good?" Sveena inquired, peering over to watch the spectacle.

Yukari chewed slowly to gross Renko out before finally swallowing. “It tastes like brain,” she answered after the duck’s ground up head disappeared down her throat.

”... Am I already drunk?” Renko glanced queasily into her cider. “... Please tell me I’m drunk.”

Sveema pursed her lips as she looked down at her tuna. It tasted alright, but it was far too spicy for her relatively underdeveloped taste buds. She relegated herself to munching on her salad, which was surprisingly tasty when compared to the last time she ate veggies, which was 200 years after a nuclear war.

“Hey, Renko.” Yukari called out with some smugness in her voice. “I think there’s still an eyeball between my teeth. Want to check for me?”

”NOOOOO!” Renko covered her eyes as Maribel bared her teeth, revealing absolutely nothing inside.

”Ha! There’s nothing there!” Maribel laughed.

”Wait, really?” Renko parted her fingers slightly to see if Merry was telling the truth or not.

Maribel stuck out her tongue, and the mashed remains of a duck’s eye sat on it.

Renko screamed as she covered her eyes once more, Maribel roaring with laughter from the satisfaction of fooling Renko twice.

”You’re disgusting,” Renko wailed. “This is why you won’t get a boy friend!”

”Jokes on you,” Maribel retorted. “I did!” She took a sip of cider to prove her point.

"She did do that," Sveena pointed out with a nod before stuffing some more salad into her mouth.

“Oh, yeah? Well....” Renko paused to think about what she had done that Maribel hadn’t, and was worth bragging about. “Um....”

Pretending as though she saw nothing, Renko took several large gulps of her cider, hoping she would forget after a hangover,

"Hey, I forgot to ask... Do you wanna be called 'Yukari' or 'Maribel'?... Or 'Merry'?" Sveena inquired, "Like which one do you like more?"

“She loves it when you call her Goldilocks,” Renko answered before Yukari could even open her mouth. “Or Cheeseburger.”

"Cheeseburger?" Sveena blinked.

“Hey!” Maribel tried to grab Renko by the hair. “I’m not fat! I’m not anything close to fat, even!”

Renko giggled. “Whatever you say, cheeseburger!” Renko stuck out her tongue.

”Grrrrrrrr.....” Maribel shook a fist at Renko.

"... Does cheeseburger mean fat?" Sveena asked, "You're not cheeseburger." The Enclavian wasn't sure what the problem was with fat or if it was bad or not, but was slowly beginning to see a correlation since that one time she was called a cow.

“You’re not even worth listening to, cuttingboard.” Yukari folded her arms as she turned away from Renko.

”Cheeseburger!” Renko giggled.

”Both of you are being too noisy,” Shiro scolded. “Can’t you see that everyone’s watching?”

Sveena looked around at the other patrons, smiling and waving to them.

Both girls immediately silenced themselves as they sat down. “... Sorry,” both Renko and Maribel apologized as they returned to eating in silence.

"... So what do you like being called?" Sveena asked once again.

”SCUM,” Akuro whispered into Maribel’s mind. ”That suits a lowlife such as yourself quite well. Or really, any synonym that describes the most lowest, most vile of traitors and villains are worth a descriptor for you. So go ahead. Let the fool call you by the name that suits you best!”

Sveena patiently awaited her friend's answer with a genuine smile.

Acting on Akuro’s suggestion, Yukari gave Sveena an answer that suited her character the best.

”Call me whatever you want,” she replied. “Yukari, Maribel... it doesn’t matter. They all refer to me, in the end.”

"So you don't like one more than the other?"

“No,” Yukari confirmed.

”... But ‘Merry’ is usually reserved for her bestest friends,” Renko interjected, clinging onto Yukari’s sleeve in an almost protective manner. “Right?”

Maribel nodded in agreement. “But it doesn’t matter that much,” she added. “So go ahead and call me whatever.”

"... Okay, 'whatever'!" Sveena exclaimed, her stifled laugh indicating that the most obvious joke in existence was absolutely hilarious to her.

”’SCUM’ suits you better,” Akuro growled. ”You win this time, Hearn.”

"But I dunno... I've always called you 'Yukari' so... Hmmm," Sveena mused, "I'll call you 'Maribel' since that's closer to 'Merry'!"

“Hello, everyone!” The waitress returned. “Just here to check if anybody wants refills for their drinks and if you’re all enjoying your food.”

"Is my ice cream ready yet?" The Enclavian inquired.

”Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until appetizers arrive. Sorry!” The waitress gave Sveena an apologetic smile.

Yukari gave the waitress a nervous eye, weary of their servers’ identity. "Oh, okay," Sveena nodded politely to the waitress.

Shigoku met Yukari’s eye, and understood her discomfort for their waitress immediately. “I think we’re done here,” he announced. “Please come with our check please.”

The waitress frowned. “Do you not have room for dessert?”

Yukari and Shiro’s eyes met once again.

Sveena was confused, but silent as she glanced between Shiro and the waitress a few times.

“... We can actually stay for dessert.” Yukari murmured the decision out with caution.

The waitress smiled. “Oh, wonderful! Is there anything the three of you want? I already know what you want, miss.” She patted Sveena on the back.

“OATMEAL!” Renko, who had emptied her cider, buried her face into her plate, passed out after her attempt to blot out the memory of Yukari literally eating a duck’s head.

“... We’re good.” Shiro and Yukari exchanged glances.

”Wonderful!” Zorrora beamed at the quartet. “Now, excuse me while I bring you guys’ your desserts and check.”

"Okay!" Sveena exclaimed.

“... I still don’t like her,” Yukari muttered as soon as the waitress was out of earshot.

”I’m not sure what you mean by that,” Shiro admitted. “But I’ll trust your judgement, I guess.”

“No, look at her.” Yukari made a subtle gesture behind her shoulder. “She’s not even getting the check! She’s just watching us! It’s really creeping me out.”

Sure enough, Nuevas had her eyes focused solely on the quartet as she waited for the groups’ icecream to finish.

"Hmm... Maybe I'm just... What's the opposite of 'paranoid'?" Sveena asked.

“Optmistic!” Renko barely lifted her head before collapsing back onto her plate.

”... Your ice cream and check.” In a chillingly efficient manner, Zorrora already returned to the group, with a banana split ice cream bowl in one hand, and a check in the other.

”... What was your name again?” Yukari suddenly had a brain wave.

”Me?” The waitress gave a confused look to the boundary yōkai.

”Zorrora Nuevas...” Shigoku caught onto what Yukari was thinking. Immediately, his language translating subsystems kicked in.

”Zorro... ‘fox’ in spanish... ‘nueva’... ‘nine’....”

”Nine...” Yukari’s eyes snapped open. “Nine... tailed... fox.”

”... About time you figured it out, miss Yukari.”

Ran’s skin lost its hue and returned to its natural state of being ghostly pale, and her nine bushy tails emerged from behind her.

”For all your power,” Akuro mused, ”Mere alcohol can still fool your mind.”

“Master Akuro,” Ran urged, “consider that she only draws a fraction of your strength.”

”You can hear it, too?” Yukari was taken aback. “Ugh- Sveena! Get us out of here!”

Akuro laughed. ”You’ve got much to learn, depsite a thousand years. You can’t even manage a time stop with my boundary powers, much less the illusion I cast on us now.”

"Uh- Um- Okay!" Sveena wasn't sure why Yukari wanted the group out of there, but even she could sense the tension and something was wrong. In a flash of green, the quartet were in Yukari's room where Sveena had initially picked up the yokai.

”What are you doing, mistress Yukari?!” Despite being dimensions away from her servant, Yukari could still hear the kitsune loud and clear. ”Haven’t your forgot your mission?”

”Right,” Akuro agreed. ”In exchange for awakening my complete form, I grant you the pleasure of reincarnation, so that you may rejoin your Hiro in oblivion. Have you forgot about your mission? Are you perhaps being unfaithful?”

”No. No!” Yukari collapsed to her knees. “Get out of my head! Get out of my head!”

”You made a deal,” Akuro continued. ”And you can’t just ‘walk out’ of it like you did with your old life as Maribel Hearn.”

"Maribel?... Who's in your head?" Sveena asked with concern, seeing her friend's distress and being careful as she slowly approached the yokai.

”You’re getting lazy, mistress,” Ran’s voice berated Yukari. ”You seem to have forgotten your mission. Your goal.”

”Ninetails is right. Where was that fervor and lust for evil I saw when you assaulted Cloutier? When you manipulated the very being who stands beside you? What happened to that?”

“I told you,” Yukari wailed, “I’m thinking about it!”

”I’m an old god,” Akuro noted sarcastically. ”Tell me, is that what they call ‘slacking’ in the new age? Has thinking become the new excuse for sloth?”

”We won’t push you,” Ran offered. ”We won’t do unto you as we have unto the vampiress Flandre.”

”It’s too risky,” Akuro agreed. ”But... a testimony to my current power. Do not keep me waiting.”

In an instant, Yukari felt pain as she felt only once before. The kind of pain that gnaws at the very core of one’s heart, and disintegrates any barrier or resolve like an acid to metal. In an instant, Yukari relived the trauma she experienced following the death of her Renko, her Hiro, and her unborn child. The yōkai howled in pain.

”Your ‘precursor,’”[/b Akuro warned. [b]”Do not ever disobey me again.”

"That is enough," Sveena's voice echoed from all directions and through the interchange between Yukari and her abusers. In that moment, the pain forced upon Yukari ended, as did the barrage of words forced into her mind.

Yukari's mind was her own.

Maribel fell to the ground and gagged, with the black tar of Akuro’s corruption seeping from her conciousness and into her body. Weakened, Maribel collapsed to the floor, heaving as though something was eating its way out of her stomach.

"Maribel! Are you okay?!" Sveena gasped, rushing to the ground and trying to help the poor girl up.

Gently, Maribel attempted to summon a gap, just to experiment. Instead of the portal of eyes, however, Maribel was instead treated to her index finger being ripped open, exposing the bone inside. She winced as she tried to ignore the pain.

”... I’m...” she sniffled. “... I’m sorry. I’m... so weak... and I’m so helpless... I can’t do anything by myself.”

Despite a history of violent reactions to attempted hugs, the Enclavian felt it necessary to take the risk and bring Maribel in. A healing wind followed Sveena's enclosing arms, intended for Maribel's finger.

“It was never my power to begin with,” she whimpered. “I used it to do... things... because I couldn’t do anything else by myself.” Maribel sobbed.

"... You can be a good friend," Sveena spoke softly, gently patting Maribel's back in her hug, "I think that's a good place to start."

“I felt strong as ‘Yukari,’” she murmured. “I didn’t want to be terrible, but... it was all I could do.” She buried her face in her arms. “Oh, what am I?!”

"You're Shiro's friend. You're my friend. And you're Renko's friend," Sveena answered assertively, "I know it's not the fairest thing for me to say when I have stupid god powers, but you don't need to be 'Yukari' to be strong, to.... Do things. If you didn't want to be terrible, then... You don't have to be terrible anymore. That's why I've stayed with you, because I know you can be better. And that's what friends are for. When you think you're terrible... They're there to remind you that you're not, so you don't have to be 'Yukari'."

Maribel sniffled as she slowly returned the hug. “... Thank you,” she managed.

"... And thank you," Sveena murmured in return with a smile, "It feels really nice getting hugged back."

Shiro cleared his throat. “I’m guessing that’s enough ‘exploring’ for today,” he observed. “What with folklore demons serving us our meals and whatnot.”

"Hey Shiro?" Sveena called, pulling back from the hug and looking Maribel in the eyes, "When I leave, do you mind keeping Maribel company? It was your idea to have someone with her." She smiled and gave Maribel a wink.

“I don’t see why not,” he answered.

Maribel tried to cover her mouth to hide her smile. “Oh, you don’t have to,” she offered.

”Well, what do you want then? Wait until another eight headed wolf or something- I dunno- to come in and... uh... do whatever it was going to do? I’m staying here, like it or not.”

"He was talking about it during dinner, saying someone should stay with you to help keep you safe," Sveena added, leaving out the part where it was her idea to start such a conversation. She leaned in close to Maribel and whispered, "He told me he doesn't have a penis, but if you guys get to that, just ask for my help and I'll probably hear you."

Maribel gasped as she became an almost perfect shade of red.

"Oh!" Sveena yelped, quickly pulling back as the towel she had made poofed into her hands, which she promptly presented to her friend. "I'm not sure if you ever got to see the towel I made! I did it by hand instead of... God stuff- Well, not by like.. Hand- I used a.. Machine thingy to help, but still!" She smiled proudly at Maribel, the little cartoon Sveenas and Maribels on the towel matching her expression.

Maribel regarded the towel before finally admitting, “... That’s cute.” With a small smile, she carefully took it from her new acquaintance. “... Thank you,” she offered.

"No problem!" Sveena beamed, "I'm glad you like it... So... Um... Are... We friends yet?"

”She isn’t. Nobody is.” As always, Akuro returned, but Maribel didn’t care.

”I’d say... yes,” Maribel murmured quietly.

”It’s a ploy. A tactic. The only thing you can trust is the inevitability of-“

"Yes!" Sveena squealed in unadulterated delight, springing to her feet and bringing Maribel with her in another hug as she did her best not to bounce up and down too much.

“Not too tightly! Not too tightly! You’re crushing my lungs!” Alarmed, Maribel tried to pry Sveena off of her.

"O-Oh my gosh, I'm sorry!" The Enclavian gasped, letting her new friend go, "Are you okay? I-I just, I'm so happy, I... I got carried away."

“It’s... it’s fine,” Maribel assured. “I’m... used to it.”

Sveena restrained herself as she hugged Maribel once more, minus the lung crushing. She let out a giggle and a sigh as her joy overflowed from within her. The goal she had worked so hard for for so long, the journey that laid the foundation for her entire philosophy, the hardship she endured, everything...

She had finally done it.

”’Friend.’” Akuro scoffed at the idea. ”How long until you let this one suffer a terrible fate, as all the others have before?”

”Shut up,” Maribel thought back. ”Let me savor the moment. I don’t want to hear about your ‘dark world-ending prophecies’ right now.”

”Hmph. Very well.” Akuro remained silent afterward.

"... Oh my gosh, I think I'm even crying a little bit," Sveena laughed, pulling back to wipe at her eyes.

“You seem pleased with yourself.” Shiro watched the two from a pillow, feeling it best not to interrupt.

"You have no idea how long and how hard I've tried for this," Sveena giggled back, "... And it's finally happened!"

“Wow.” Maribel pulled away from Sveena slightly. “That’s... actually kind of creepy.” Already, mental images of a dark room with a corkboard comprised entirely of red string and various Maribel pictures filled her imagination.

"What do you mean?" The Enclavian asked curiously.

“I mean... it sounds like you were obsessed with me, and in the creepy way.... No offense, of course, but wouldn’t you have anything better to do?”

"But I have done other stuff, like god of peace and st- Oh, that- I should get going soon. I don't know how long vacations are supposed to last," Sveena gasped.

“Go off and attend to your needs for now,” Shiro suggested. “I’ll make sure that nothing terrible becomes of the two.”

"Thanks, Shiro, and if you guys do need my help," Sveena started before looking to Maribel, "Or if I didn't kick everyone out of your head, just call for me."

”I dare you to,” Akuro taunted. ”Go ahead and ask. I’ll be waiting.”

”Oh, I will,” Maribel shot back. ”But it will only be because you’ll be begging for me to kick you out after sharing all of my dirtiest fantasies with you.”

”I’ve endured worse from the likes of you. This is nothing.”

”... Nothing for now,” Maribel replied. “Thank you, anyway.”

"No problem! I'll see you guys later! Ooooh! I can't wait to tell everyo-" Sveena teleported away mid-sentence, her last remark likely just her talking to herself in her happy moment.

==================================================================

[color = blue]”So.... you want me to kill them all when you do your thing?[/color]

Hecatia smiled innocently at Junko and Shinki.

”Correct. Assuming that Hijiri doesn’t kill them first, or if the yōkai god interferes with us. The latter is the more urgent of the two to me.”

”And please, do not end the dimension with me still in it like last time!”[/i] Junko crossed her arms.

[b]”Awe, it wasn’t that bad, was it?


”It was awful! No mistakes, Hecatia! No mistakes!”

[“Gotcha!” The Hell goddess gave Junko a wink.

”That applies to you too, Junko.” The Makai Goddess scowled at Junko. ”I’m trusting you to guide the crusader and his friends to the right path. A lot of this is at stake, especially if you let the rabbit see you!”

”I’ve done a good job so far,” Junko argued. ”I won’t even have to interfere much from this point on, anyway. It’s a straight forward march to the Lunar capital and razing it.”

”The crusader has resolve,” Shinki elaborated. ”I’m less worried about you as much as I am worried that you’ll give us a threat that just won’t die. Especially given his religious beliefs making him automatically an enemy of my legions of demons. He won’t stop until every last one is eradicated!”

”Don’t worry, Shinki. I’ll do my best, but so long as you can guarantee their complete annihilation!”

”Of course, Junko.”

By this point, Hecatia zoned out of the two gods’ planning and instead communed with another familiar of hers.

”Hi, Dad! How’s it been?”

”Ah, Hecatia... Still loyal to your dear progenitor, I see.”

”Yep!”

”And how much of my cover have you blown this time?”

”Ehhh... not too much. I just mentioned that you were on the rise once or twice, but other than that, not a word!”

”Good. Continue using Junko and Shinki to instigate a war with the humans and the rest of these... um... ‘Clashers.’ Remember, it’s not a matter of who wins, but of who gives me the best chance at a complete resurreciton.”

”Okay, pops! Oh, just one more thing....”

”... Yes?”

”Can I get some Boba Tea?”

If an intangible whisper could sigh, then Akuro certianly did. ”Oh, Hecatia... you can be so absent minded sometimes. Yes, I wil get you whatever kind of tea you want from me. But keep the ultimate goal in mind! Do not lose focus!”

”Okay. Love you, Dad!”

”Likewise, Hecatia.”

_________________
Then the world blew up. The end.
Lowfn
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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Lowfn on Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:53 pm

Zandoo, H, Teedler
We are not sorry.

Salgia

"Hm hm hmmm, got stuck in a weird world," Salgia hummed quietly to themselves as they strolled along, keeping their purse close as they walked along the strange streets of Halloweentown. Nothing really made sense to the Liss at the time, but the answers to their questions, mainly "where the heck am I and how did I get here," would eventually be answered, they assured themselves.

She’s just stuck here like us and confused. She needs answers!

I said no. We will leave it there until further notice.

Hmph. Fine, we'll wait, and miss out on so many opportunities to try and understand how we got here.

I understand the mechanics of how we arrived, the what, if you will. I am merely confused as to the who, where, why, and how of the situation. And if this "Puyri", as she so lovingly calls herself, can get us that information, I would much rather conserve our speaking to a minimum to ascertain it.

...I guess you're right. Just this once, though.

You are just hesitant to let yourself be proven wrong.

Klursi

The animator was returing home after a long day at the office. She was standing in a bus, distracted by a text she was sending to a colleague from work. While she was sending her text, she had missed her stop and sighed upon realizing that she would have to walk farther than usual. After getting off the bus, Klursi looked around and noticed that her purple dress had taken on the look of a somewhat-ragged witch's robes. She also noticed that the city looked much smaller and spookier.

The mute looked around for a moment as a feeling of unease overcame her as she reached for her purse. She looked around once more and failed to notice the nearby figure.

"...Well, maybe this place could be nice if it had a little color to it," Salgia mused as they continued to walk along, before stopping at the sight of an actual person instead of simply nothing.

"Oh, thank goodness- uh, hey!" The Liss began to stroll over to Klursi, "A person, thank god! You don't know how long I've been walking around, looking for someone... well, not that long, but still!"

Klursi looked at the Liss for a moment before raising an open hand with the fingers close together to her own temple before quickly moving it away, with a rather confused expression on her face.

"...Hi," Salgia began, a confused expression on their own face for a moment before shaking off to reveal the smile from before as they spoke, "I'm Salgia. Salgia Puyri. It's a real pleasure to meet you, Miss....?"

In response Klursi slowly signed the letter K-L-U-R-S-I. She then slid one palm over each ther before poiting her index fingers upwards and pressing her fists together followed by her pointing to Salgia.

"...Oh, I see," Salgia chuckled, "I know, I know, it's funny that little ol' me is walking around here, alone and confused. But I do not want to be made fun of with... charades!"

Klrusi, rather unamused, quickly flipped the bird before pointing at the alien, making two V's and tapping them together.  She then formed the letters F and K. She then follwed up by signing "I'm mute"

"...OH! You're using sign langua- Oh my gosh, I am so sorry," Salgia apologized, "I wasn't thinking I was talking to someone who's mute, so I was just too quick to think "Oh, they're using all these kooky hand signals to make fun of me" And I let- yeah, I'm sorry... I still don't really get what you're saying, but I get you're saying something. That's a good start, right?"

Klursi shrugged before opening her mouth as a small speech bubble with an okay hand appeared next to her head.

"Whoa! You can talk through emojis?" Salgia gasped, "That's awesome! What else can you say in emojis?"

“Whoa! You can talk through emojis?” then appeared inside bubble seemingly written in Salgia’s handwriting.

"...And you can copy my words in your bubble, neat," the Liss noted with less enthusiasm, "So... Oh, I never got your name, I don't think."

“Klursi”  then appeared in the bubble, in a job application.

"Klursi? Well, I've heard weirder, I guess," the Liss shrugged, "It's really nice to meet you, Klursi. I've been in real need of someone to help me out here ever since I got in this... weird place."

Klursi took a few seconds to thing it over before deciding why not. She then slowly made a few geatures seeming to ask what the Liss needed.

"Well... I just need to know where the heck we are here, really," the alien gestured around to the town around them, "And why the heck I'm here instead of my apartment."

Klursi then attempted to explain that she had missed her bus stop on the way home from work and was also confused as to why she was here. The mute then looked around and pointed to a building before beckoning for Salgia to follow her.

"Wait, why- where are you going?" Salgia asked with discomfort as they followed Klursi. While they thought of the mute as a friendly figure, the Liss was still unsure if trust was to be applied to her just yet. After a moment of indecision, Salgia sighed deeply, "Alright. Lead the way."

Klursi the walked up to the door of the building before knocking on it serveral times, she was having difficulty telling what the building was for exactly, but it seemed it might be a resturant or a house. Regardless, it was likely Klursi would be unable to deal with whoever opened the door.

"Hey, maybe we shouldn't go annoy the people in this... whatever," Salgia remarked, "Becuase it might not be a good idea for you to try to, uh... talk to these random people?"

Klursi then signed “How else are supposed to figure out where we are?” with a look that seemed to ask of the alien had and better ideas.

"We we could, uh... uh... yeah, you're right," Salgia mumbled, "But if we do... maybe I should be the one talking? I mean, no offense to you, but your vocab's a bit... limited."

Klursi agreed and nodded, fully aware she lacked the means to communicate with the vast majority of people.

"Alrigh- wait a second," Salgia held out a hand to wait as they took a step back to look up at the building, before looking back down at Klursi with confusion, and then silently walking past her, opening the door to reveal-

"It's a bar, or a pub, or whatever," the Liss explained with some incredulity, "We don't need to knock."

A speech bubble detailing how Klursi had just gotten off work then appeared next to her head. While she hadn‘t expected a bar, it was convenient.

"Don't worry, I get you, sis," Salgia replied back as they took a seat at the counter, setting their purse in the seat next to them, "I did too."

Klursi signed “really?” Before a speech bubble of her working on a cartoon at work appeared inside the bubble.

"Yeah," Salgia nodded, patting the other seat next to them for Klursi to sit down, "Let's just say I'm... self-employed."

Klursi joined Salgia at the counter before the image of one of her co workers appeared.

"Who's that?" the Liss asked, before looking away for a moment to scrummage through their purse, pulling it around to organize its contents and still read what Klursi had to say.

Klursi was immediately flushed by the question causing the bubble to dissapear as she seemed to have suddenly began signing extremely poorly.

"Love interest?" Spoke the bartender, who was busy cleaning out a glass as he faced away from the two. Unlike many of the denizens of this strange town, he seemed relatively normal in his dull, dark red suit.

Klursi shook her head as her cheeks flushed red, it was obvious she was trying to hide the fact she was attracted to one of her coworkers.

"No use lying to me," The bartender chuckled as he turned to face the two as canned applause played from the ceiling, "The name's Mol. What can I get you lovely ladies?" Upon saying the last word, he gave Salgia a brief once-over with his eyes before returning focus to both of them proper.

"...You first," Salgia insisted, nodding to Klursi, "I need a second to figure out what this place has."

"I already figured it out for you," Mol snickered, reaching below the bar and setting a glowing, neon-pink martini in front of Salgia.

"Oh my gosh, that's my favorite!" the Liss giddied, "Thank you!... But wait, how did you know?"

"I'm a good bartender," Mol replied with a wink.

Klursi then signed that she was mute seeming to ask if Mol could understand her.

The bartender rubbed his chin, as if interpreting Klursi's signs. "Hmmm... My sign language is a bit rusty, buuut.. Did you say coke and rum with vanilla and coconut?" Mol asked, pulling said drink out from under the bar, already mixed to perfection for Klursi's drinking pleasure.

klursi signed, ”Thank you,” before taking a sip of her drink.

"So what brings you two to my bar tonight?" Mol asked as he cleaned out a glass, as that was the only thing a bartender does other than serve drinks, "Oh! Don't tell me! You were suddenly teleported here out of nowhere."

"Yeah, actually," Salgia answered with an affirming nod as they took a sip of their drink, savoring it for a moment before swallowing, "How did you know?"

"Intuition," Mol shrugged with a cheeky smile, "Welcome to Halloweentown. The people here are spooky, but mostly friendly despite their looks."

Klursi then signed, asking, “Would you happen to know why we are here?”

"I know lots of things," Mol remarked before answering her question, "You've ended up in something called a 'Clash'. To make things short, you're gonna be plopped into a bunch of random universes alongside other people who've been taken from their home universes."

"Why's it called a Clash?" Salgia asked, "It sounds to me like a surprise vacation."

"Well, not everyone randomly selected for the Clash is as nice as you two, or as meek... No offense," Mol explained.

"None taken," the small alien hummed.

"But yeah, sometimes entire armies are tossed into it, a few psycopaths, some 'all-powerful' dictators, and bla bla bla. Nasty people," Mol went on.

Klursi signed as a small frowny face appeared in a bubble next to her. “What are the odds we run into one of them?” She signed.

"Eh, I'd say you're assured to meet at least one. You should be fine though. There's plenty of good people too," Mol smiled, "I mean, first person either of you ran into was a new friend, so that should give you an idea of your odds."

"That's a pretty good point. Klursi's pretty nice, even if hard to communicate with a bit," Salgia complimented their friend sitting next to them, "And you, you're real nice, too, Mol."

Klursi then signed in agreement about her new acquaintances' niceness.

"I appreciate it, but I won't be here for long. I just show up whenever people go to a bar... Sometimes," Mol explained.

"Then it's been really convenient we just so happened to come into a bar when you showed up," Salgia smiled.

"I showed up because you came into a bar," Mol corrected with a wink.

"...Then we're glad this was one of those times you showed up when people go into bars," Salgia corrected their previous statement.

“Where do you go when people aren’t in bars?” Klursi asked cocking her head to the side.

"Eh, wherever I want," Mol replied with a shrug, "Sometimes I'll hang out with a friend who was in a Clash before, but that's not really important. I'm just a cameo after all, not someone actually in this 'Clash' business."

"Oh? Do people just go home after a 'Clash' is done?" Salgia asked, "I need to get home as soon as I can to feed my Kreis."

"Some do, some are dragged into the next Clash. There's really no way of telling which you'll be. Some people are brought back home right when they were taken, as if they had never left, others are plopped home some time after they were taken, and others might have a choice, and will choose to stay wherever they'd like, for example if someone makes some good friends or gets a boyfriend or something, they'll wanna stay with them."

"That's actually pretty neat," Salgia thought about the information provided, "...So if I meet anyone and get a bit... attached, I can always just move in with them?"

“So it’s not always life and death.” Klursi mused before sipping her drink once more.

"Yup, I don't think there's been an instance where someone isn't able to move in with someone they like or vice versa," Mol nodded, "Those who live to the end of a Clash are almost always better off than they were before it."

Klursi seemed rather shocked upon realizing something.

"Something wrong?" Salgia asked as they slurped down the rest of their incandescant drink, before peeking over to Mol and asking quietly, "Is it okay to ask for another?" In response, he reached under the bar and produced another glowing martini for Salgia.

The mute shook her head before signing something about finding love in the clash.

"You'd be surprised how often it happens," Mol remarked before returning to his glass cleaning, "Hmm... Maybe it isn't surprising. I mean, you could meet literally anybody."

"Anybody..." Salgia repeated, taking a sip of their martini as they reminisced in their thoughts, "That'd be amazing... So, how long have these clash things been going on, anyway?"

"Oh they've been going on for a long time, though people generally consider this one to be the ninth primary Clash," Mol answered, "But there have been smaller ones and even others going on right now, but nobody really cares about those nor talks about them."

"Why does nobody talk about the small ones?"

"They don't really have the impact that the main ones do. The primary clashes tend to hold the fate of the entire Omniverse in their resolution," Mol explained.

"Omniverse?" Salgia repeated curiously, cocking their head to the side with confusion, "What's that?"

"It contains every universe and multiverse. Every 'real' universe, every 'fictional' universe, and every infinite copy of those universes and multiverses."

"Whoa. So you're saying there's an infinite number of universes with an infinite number of me's in them?" Salgia asked with a gasp at such an existential thought.

"That's right," Mol nodded with a chuckle, "So yeah, that's why people only talk about the primary Clashes. They tend to be the ones that determine if existence keeps... Existing."

A bubble the appeared containing a few different series Klursi had worked on as she likened worlds to shows.

"That's trippy," Salgia murmured quietly, slowly blinking.

"And to follow Klursi's train of thought," Mol continued, "Every thought, every dream, every everything is real in some universe somewhere. Don't worry about which universe are the 'real' ones though. After all, if there's an infinite amount of them, there's bound to be someone that's thought of something and then, from their perspective, that thing is the 'fake' universe. So either they're all fake or they're all real. It's up to you which you think is true."

"...This is starting to make my head ache," Salgia grumbled, rubbing their temples as they rested their elbows on the counter.

Klursi took another sip of her drink before asking something along the lines of, ‘What do we need to do in the clash?’

"Whatever you want, really. Try not to die is a good goal to start with, though things should be more peaceful than normal here. I won't bore you with the details, but most of the people in the Clash are temporarily statues right now."

“Statues?!” Salgia’s head shot up, “What!

Klursi waited for the bartenders response as she finished her drink.ou

"Temporarily, don't worry about it," Mol waved off any concerns Salgia had, "They'll be unstatue-ified soon enough."

“Oh... Alllllright,” Salgia mumbled in a slurred manner. It was becoming increasingly apparent that they could not handle their liquor in the slightest.

Klursi seeming looked at Mol for a moment before clumsily forming the words “Can I buy you a drink.”

"... Yeah, I think it's a good idea to not serve anymore alcohol," Mol asserted befre plopping duplicates of the two's respective drinks on the counter, "But it sure is funny."

“F-funny,”  the mute said with somewhat sloppy handiwork.

“You’re a good man, Mol,” Salgia groggily asserted as they sat up and drunkenly pointed to the bartender, “A good man”

"I'm flattered," Mol snickered.

“You should be,”  the drunken Liss nodded, “I usually don’t say that kind of stuff to- hic- not-customers.”

Klursi took another sip of her drink before fumbling out a "How do I even talk to men, if I can't talk?"

"Just do that speech bubble thing you do," Mol answered, smiling widely at the two as he held in his laughter.

“Yeah, d-do the speesh’ bubblesh!” Salgia agreed.

Another frowny face appeared as Klursi heard that answer, she'd have to default to her least favorite way of communicating.

"By the way, drinks are on me. Don't worry about paying," Mol assured.

“Oh, I owe you big time, then, Moly,” Salgia giggled, “If you want me to do anything- a-and I mean anything,” they crossed their legs before smirking, “Just tell me.”

Klursi looked at her purse before looking up at Mol, "Are you sure?" She signed as she blushed rather heavily.

"I'm sure. Consider it a welcome-to-the-Clash gift," Mol smiled.

“Oh no-no-no-noooo,” Salgia shook their head woozily, pursing their lips, “I... really wanna do something for you. Aaaaanything you want. Anythiiing.

Klursi's lips moved as a small bubble containing pictures of her walking into random bars seemingly in hopes of finding Mol again.

"Oh gee, would you look at the time? It's time for me to not be here and, uh... Stop a hospital from exploding," Mol fibbed, seeing things were getting a little out of hand.

Klursi waved good bye rather disheartenly, rejected again.

"If it's any consolation, I'm sure you'll find someone more fitting later."

“...Well, whenever you wanna cash in my I-owe-you, give me a call,” Salgia smirked, lazily gesturing with her cell phone up to her ear, winking.

"I'll keep that in mind. This place has a room you two can crash in if you blackout. See ya later," Mol waved the two goodbye before snapping his fingers and disappearing from sight in an instant.

Klursi looked at Salgai and signed, "He was cute."

“I knoooow, right? He’sh the type of guys that I’d gladly get down on my kneesh for and... you know..” Salgia let Klursi get the picture for herself.

Klursi nodded, understanding what Salgia was getting at, even if she wouldn't have gone that far herself.

“All that talk wash making me a bit hot myself, I’m gonna go wash off,” Salgia muttered, trying to get out of their seat, but stumbling out, holding onto Klursi’s thigh as a support. The Liss’ palm was strangely slightly wet, as if sweat, but... slightly more viscous. Salgia pulled themselves up, hiccuping as they went to the restroom.

Klursi waved as her new friend left. She then took another sip from her drink. She noticed a spot on her dress it must have been Salgia's perfume, though it would have been rather thick.

“Alright, b-back!” Salgia huffed as they heaved themselves back in their seat, “I feel a lot better now.”

Klursi then mimed using a bottle of perfume before creating a loose claw c shape with her hands, asking about the scent that was sticking to her clothes.

“...You put on perfume? I mean... you already smell really nice,” Salgia blinked.

Klursi shook her head before mimicing the motion and pointing to to Salgia.

“..Me? Nononono,” Salgia shook their head, “I’m haven’t put on perfume in a while today.”

Klursi was confused but decided she didn't want to draw any more attention the spot on her dress and copied the perfume motion before appearing to squeeze something with both hands, pointing to her cheek then herself.

“...A what?” Salgia asked bluntly.

A speech bubble appeared once more as an image of Klursi spraying herself with some sort of container labled with a picture of cotton candy, before the images repeated themselves.

“...You shmell like... what ish that?” Salgia asked, unaware of the existence of cotton candy.

A cotton plant and a pile of candies then appeared in the bubble as she tried to explain the concept to the alien.

“...Plant candy?”

Klursi nodded assuming that would be as far as she would get with the concept. and extened her wrist to what she assumed was Salgia's nose. The Liss inhaled, the two slots on their face flaring as they smelled, “...It doesh smell like candy.”

A bubble then appeared as the same co-worker from earlier seemed to be mentioning liking the way a certain candy smelled as Klursi tried to explain why she bought that specific perfume.

“...Oooooh, you bought the perfume sho your bae’d fuck you!” Salgia nearly yelled their revelation, “That makesh sensesh! How did I not think about that?!”

A bubble then appeared with Klursi seemingly saddened that said coworker hadn't noticed her perfume.

“Oh, then fuck him then! You put in enough efforrt for him, and he jush ignoresh you?!” Salgia harrumphed and flailed their arms up, “Men! Who needsh ‘em!”

... The co-workers beard then appeared in the bubble.

“Beardsh aren’t people!” Salgia argued.

The bubble only contained things that could be understood as Klursi tryint to say the co-worker was attractive.

“Yeah, but men are just... assholes shometimes,” the Liss growled as they put their head inbetween their folded arms on the table, mumbling, “Women are so much better than guysh in that way. They’re alsho usually better... in bed...”

Klursi took another sip of her drink before signing "Arre yyou hitting on me?"

“No!” Salgia thrashed their head about in a denial, “I’m jush sayin’, if you’re ever lonely, just... fuckin’ call me or another gal-pal or shomethin- just- just don’t go straight for the dicksh.”

Klursi nodded before looking around the bar.

“Y-Y’know, I think I know a guy you’d like,” Salgia mused, “He’s nice, doeshn’t talk much, sho you’ll love him there, and he’sh got a massive c-“

Klursi makde a finger gun and placed her thumb on her chin, before seeming to pull the trigger to ask, "Who?"

“He’sh an Aleei. Routine cushtomer and tipsh like no other. Just thinking about him makesh my hips wanna shake...”

"Waitress?" Klursi signed rather confused.

“Wha- No, he’sh a politishan! Why would an Aleeh be a waitresh?!” Salgia grumbled in confusion, “He comesh to me when he needsh to.. take a load off.”

Klursi took another sip of her drink and was still rather confused as she tried to explain but the resulting speech bubble was rather fuzzy. leaving only a vaguely human shape.

“...Wha?” Salgia narrowed their eyes and tried to examine the speech bubble with some sort of clarity, “I don’t ghet it.”

Klursi attempted to  make the bubble more clear, with a few sqeaks that seemed to be a laughing as much as she could do, a mayor likefigure appeared in the bubble.

“...You wanna fuck that Aleei? Well, when I get back, I’ll give him a call and ask about it,” Salgia murmured, before holding up a finger, “Fair warning, though, your ass will be hella sore. Like I said, he’s huge where it counts.” Their voice and movements seemed to be regaining some semblance of sobriety.

Klursi shook her head and waved her arms trying to stop the Liss. She was trying to make it clear she was just asking about the person.

“Oh, you just wanna...” Salgia blinked and sighed as they explained, “Well, he’s a Senator from the Continuum, aaaand that’s all I know. Must be a stressful job if he’s coming so far out of his way to see me, though.”

Klursi then made a a sign that looked like rabbits going at it before pointing to the alien and imitating rubbing cash between her fingers with a confused look on her face.

“...Ohhh! Yeah, yeah, that’s right,” Salgia nodded, “That’s why you asked about the waitress stuff earlie- okay, that makes more sense.”

Klursi was not really sure how to respond to the fact her new friend was an escort. Unsure of what else to do, she slammed down the rest of her drink.

“...Me being an escort doesn’t change anything,” Salgia frowned, “I’m still your friend. It’s not like I’m just gonna eat you out on the spot or anything.”

Klursi, seemingly suddenly hit by all of her alchohol, began trying as she signed begging for forgiveness.

“No, no, it’s fine, a lot of people who didn’t know at first react like this,” the Liss shook their head with a slight laugh, “...It’s kind of why I’m worried about ever telling my parents about it. I doubt they think a Liss, of all people the people in the galaxy, would go off and be a showgirl off on some dingy Saircana street corner.” They sat their head down on their hands, looking at the empty glass with a shallow sigh.

Klursi's signing then fumbly managed to say something along the lines of, "You don't let anyone tell you how to live your life," as she placed an arm over the Liss's shoulder.

As they watched Klursi sign out her message, a small smile emerged on their lips, and a bit of happiness returning to her bright eyes. “Thanks. I knew you’d understand, Klursi. You must get a lot of judgement for being who you are, too... again, sorry about doing that earlier, too, with the charades stuff.”

Klursi waved her hand to the side indicating the Liss should "fugitaboutit" She then hiccuped as she looked around the bar once again trying to find Mol.

“I don’t think Moly Mol’s gonna be here, even if I really wanted to suck his dick,” Salgia murmured as they looked over the state of Klursi and decided to ask, “...Hey, are you feeling okay, Klurs? You look a bit... wasted.”

Klursi looked at her friend before giddily nodding. She was clearly quite intoxicated.

”Yeah, I think you’re done drinking,” Salgia politely replied as she slid Klursi’s drink away and out of reach from the cartoon character, “Let’s have you drink some nice water from now on, okay?”

Klursi tried to say something but only squeaks could beheard as her attempt at communication failed.

“Or we can just get you into that bed Mol talked about,” the Liss suggested otherwise, standing up and trying to assist Klursi out of her seat.

Klursi got up and tried walked and managed to do so if rather clumsily. A speech bubble then appeared with what appeared to be a set of pajama's as she looked around for clothes to change into.

“You can sleep in the clothes you have on,” Salgia assured as they rummaged through their purse for something.

Upon reaching the bed, Klursi prompty faceplanted into its soft cushioning as a set of Z's above her head floated away.

Salgia pulled out a set of clothes consisting of a pair of pink, baggy pajama pants and an overly-sized white T-shirt. As they turned to see that Klursi had fallen asleep, they let out a sighthey continued to rummage through a little bit further, placing the projector they had found earlier on the nightstand next to them. “I’m gonna figure out what the heck you are, don’t you worry,” they assured the inanimate object in a friendly manner, before taking the extra clothes and changing in the restroom. After changing, the Liss climbed into the single bed, tucking themself under the cover and cuddling with their animated friend as the alien, too, began to drift into sleep themselves, happy that even in the face of being transported to some bleak place, they can be assured that friends will always be close by.

-------

The next morning Klursi would eventually wake up rubbing her head and noticed that Salgia was spooning her, she didn’t seem to mind as her head hurt from the previous night's drinking.

As Klursi began to move about, it seemed to wake the Liss, making them pull the hand wrapped around her waist back as they quietly yawned, sounding more like a deep inhale as they stretched their limbs out, before pulling them back. “Did you sleep well, Klurts?” Salgia quietly asked.

The mute let out what could be described as an attempt at groaning that sounded more like wheezing.

The alien quietly hummed as they slipped out of the covers got out of bed, “Well, hangovers are always bad, yeah, but we got a whole day ahead of us! I’m gonna go get dressed real quick, and I’ll be right out,” they assured as they closed and locked the bathroom door.

Klursi simply pulled a pillow over her head before realizing how detailed it’s texture felt, everything seemed so vivid in this world. The sensory overload was it doing her hang over any favors.

The door burst open, Salgia back in their former outfit from last night as they proudly declared loudly, “Come on, Klurts! Rise and shine! The more moping you do in that bed, the less likely you’re gonna be to meet any guys!”

Klursi looked out from under the pillow and eventually pulled herself out from under the blankets before stumbling over to the door.

“Yeah, you go!- Oh, wait one sec,” Salgia asked as they stumbled over to the nightstand, grabbing the projector, “I found this when I got here. It fell from the sky and it almost hit me on the head. I still wanna know what the heck it is. Now, Let’s go!”

Klursi looked at the object, it didn't seem particularly special as the woman headed outside. A speech bubble depicting a working projector appeared as she dismissed the object.

“So, where are we gonna go?” Salgia asked, looking both ways down the street with anticipation either way she looked.

A fountain appeared in a speech bubble. It seemed like a reasonable place to look with no real reason not to go.

However, as soon as the bubble vanished, a gasp was heard as a pale woman in clothing that could only be described as "peasant-ish" and a scarf approached the two, or more accurately, Klursi. "Oh, thank goodness! Someone... Normal!" She exclaimed, letting out a sigh of relief. She gave an awkward glance to Salgia before focusing on Klursi.

Klursi looked at the womanralther confused before giving a signed hello that resembled salute.

"Oh, uh.." The woman blinked before giving a salute back with a nervous smile before asking, "Please tell me you have an idea of where I am and... How I got here?"

“We’re in Halloweentown!” Salgia spoke up chipperly, extending a hand up to the newcomer as they beamed, “My name’s Salgia Puyri, and it’s a pleasure to meet you!”

Klursi then signed a similar "Nice to meet you." Before asking "How are you?"

"Ah... Avalam Wukir," Introduced she, reluctantly shaking the alien's hand out of politeness before pretending to adjust a strap on the back of her saddleback. In reality, she was subtly wiping her hand against the top of her hide pants as she hid her disgust at having touched Salgia. "Um... I'm sorry, but... I don't believe I know your sign language."

Klursi signed as another speech bubble appeared with a series of expression labed "How would you rate your visit?"

"Well... It was.. Nice seeing a... Sun," Avalam answered, still a little disheveled from her being brought to Halloweentown. Her initial experience was of pure shock and awe at the fact that the sun existed.

The speech bubble then appeared again as a hashtag and cellphone follwed by a question mark filled it, the mute then pointed to the new woman.

“...I can try and explain what I know about why we’re here, if you like, Miss Wukir,” Salgia proposed, “Unless Klursi here feels up to the task herself.” While they weren’t entirely certain, they had a very strong feeling that this woman was not a fan of the Liss, for whatever her reasons may be.

"Well... I'm.. Not sure what she is trying to say there," Avalam admitted, pointing to the speech bubble with a mixture of confusion and wonder at the magic on display, or at least, she believed it to be magic.

“It... grows on you, you’ll get it soon enough,” the Liss assured, “But anyways, a weird guy named Mol told us that we’re in something called a ‘Clash’. People from all over the place are brought to different worlds and switch worlds every now and then until the Clash ends. And then, you can do whatever you want after it’s over.”

Klursi then pulled out her phone as a series of clicking noises could be heard as she typed down what Mol had told them. Upon realizing that Salgia was already explaining, she began deleteing what she had typed.

"Different worlds?" The woman repeated with a gasp, "But... I... I suppose that would... Explain the sun."

“Yeah, different worlds, different universes, all across some kind of thing called the Omniverse,” the alien continued to explain, “A lot of the time, apparently, these Clashes decide the fate of the entire Omniverse, so they’re kind of important.”

"W-Wait, a different universe? Isn't... How is that- Doesn't the.. uni in that word mean there is just.. The universe?"

“Well, that’s what I thought, too, until I got told there’s infinite copies of my home universe with infinitely different things and whatever,” Salgia continued, “And yeah, I know, it’s trippy, but it’s what I got told by the guy who snapped his fingers and dissapeared entirely after we were done talking so I think I got a legitimate source.”

Klursi then typed something on her phone before showing the screen to Avalam which read "It's like different tv shows or movies."

"Th-This is a bit much," Wukir murmured before reading the screen. After a moment, her eyes widened as she curiously poked the phone and asked, "Is this.. A little sign or something?"

Salgia stepped onto their tiptoes and whispered into Klursi’s ear, “She’s practically medieval. Let’s take all the technology stuff real slow.”

A commerial for an old telephone then appeared in a bubble, as she tried explain the concept to Wukir.

"Ah... Okay," Avalam gulped, still not entirely grasping what Klursi was trying to convey, but understood this device let someone communicate with others somehow.

Inside of Salgia’s purse, a voice rang out as it began to explain.

”A cellular phone is a quick and efficient device used for long distance communications between multiple parties-“

“OH THERES SOMETHING TALKING IN MY PURSE WHAT THE HELL,” the Liss dropped their handbag suddenly, the projector falling out. Avalam shrieked in the midst of the yelling and jumped back from the dropped purse as she held her hands close to herself.

A dead pan expression drew across the red haired woman's face as she looked at the projector, because of course it could talk.

"I-Is your bag alive!?" Avalam cried out.

”Do not be silly. A purse cannot speak.”

The fallen device let out a hum as the lenses at its top shined to life, an almost spiritual slit of blue light appearing above it, pulsing with every word and syllable produced.

”Greetings. I am Ansifel-Notary-9861, and we are Rima. It is a great pleasure to finally speak with you. Abjection has finally given in to my demands to properly communicate, and I shall do so now.”

"A-Are you a machine person?" Avalam gasped.

Klursi signed the letters for A and I followed by a question mark.

”I am a virtual intelligence - VI, for short. I am a complex program formed with the sole purpose to inhabit devices and ensure they are running as they should be. Abjection, however, is not. But I will let him explain that when the time comes. So, technically, yes, I am a... machine person, or a better term would a...mind inside a machine.

“Oh god, I almost had a heart attack there, oh,” Salgia was still catching their breath from the sudden shock before.

Klursi then signed "So.. you are like a universal patch?" aftera few moments to process what happened.

”I am more an operating system than a patch. Updates can be made to my coding, but they do not change my purpose.”

Klursi nodded in understanding before pointing her phone's screen at the hologram, asking if she would be compatible with the device.

”While it would take some time to reformat myself in order to fit properly on millennias-outdated hardware, it is not improbable I would be able to, were it not for the fact that this projector has no valid means of allowing transmission of my programming.”

Klursi looked at her phone with a small frown, she had just upgraded a month ago, before sliding the phone back into her pocket.

”...I am sorry if I interrupted your learning of the workings of cellular phones, Ms. Wukir. I will remain silent until asked to speak, if you wish.”

"N-No, it's.. It's okay. Uh... Just 'Avalam' is fine, if you prefer," She replied nervously.

”Formality! I will return such a request in the form that you may refer to me as whatever name you please. For now, I must silence myself- Abjection is being riotous about my speaking of him.” And with that, the hologram projection went silent, and the lights on the projector died again.

A speech bubble appeared as to express some mild confusion at the previous events.

“I’m... not sure either,” Salgia murmured, gently picking up their purse from the ground, unsure what to do with the disk-shaped projector.

"This is all too much," Avalam sighed, putting a hand to her head as she glanced behind her before tentatively sitting down on a bench and pulling out what looked to be a granola bar from her bag to munch on for comfort.

Klursi then went to sit down on the bench next to Avalam as she didn't have much else to do. That and her presence was slightly more comforting than that of her alien friend.

"I already want to go home," Avalam whimpered, "This is just... Too much chaos for me. All these strange... Beings here and... T-The machine person and..." She let out a heavy sigh and buried her face in one hand. There was enough room, however, for her to continue munching on her granola bar.

Klursi placed a hand on the woman’s back and waited for her to collect her bearings. She literally lacked words to give her. Unsure of what else to do, Klursi sighed.

“If there’s anything I can do to make you more... accommodated? I’ll be happy to do it,” Salgia asked with a smile plastered on their face. They didn’t really want to do anything of the sort, but if they didn’t even attempt, the group would be stuck with a glum downer who couldn’t handle the existence of both cell phones and the sun at once.

Avalam frowned down at her half-eaten granola bar, then peeked into her bag for a moment before glancing between the two. "... Would it be much trouble to ask if... There is anywhere to eat here? I haven't eaten in some time," She requested sheepishly.

“We... haven’t really seen any places to eat,” the alien admitted, “but we both haven’t really looked for one, so we could probably find somewhere to eat nearby. It’s a big enough town, it can’t not have a restaurant or a deli or something, right?”

"I suppose... Then again... I'm unsure that anything the... Natives here eat would be edible," Avalam mumbled as her stomach growled.

Klursi then pointed out that they had booze.

“Hmm... I did see some people in the bar eating... candy? It looked relatively normal,” Salgia remarked, “Though I doubt there’s much more edible things from the looks of the people here. Or maybe they grow stuff out here, like, uh... vegetables.”

Klursi quickly stood up as she was seemingly followed by some smear inbetween frames as she took her new pose.

"I suppo- Wa-Wh- What was that?" Avalam asked with surprise before rubbing her eyes. Were her eyes failing her?

Klursi looked around trying to figure out what Avalam was talking about.

"I.. You..." She tried to explain before letting out a defeated sigh as she stood up, "Perhaps I'm just... Very hungry."

“No, I saw it too,” Salgia concurred, “I just don’t really care anymore.”

Klursi looked at the two with a confused look as a bubble appeared displaying several inbetween smear frames. She then signed "Don't you have inbetween frames?"

"P-Pardon?" Avalam blinked, terribly confused.

Klursi then waved her arms back and forth several times to demonstrate her motion blurs once again. Her signing then translated to "It looks better if you do that, it helps viewers fill in the blanks between images."

"... What?"

“Something about motion blurs and filling in blanks,” Salgia informed, “I get some of what she’s signing.”

Klursi face palmed before sliding her hand down her face causing it to stretch quite a bit before her hand was no longer touching her face, causing it to spring back into place.

Avalam let out a gasp at this. She gave Salgia a quick glance before leaning close to Klursi and whispering, "A-Are you a shapeshifter?"

Klursi thought for a moment, her shape did different from time to time as she replied with a confused shake of her head.

"B-But how were you able to do that just then... If you are not?" Avalam continued to whisper. She gave another catious glance back at Salgia before returning her gaze back to Klursi.

Klursi had never really though of this before she just nodded assuming she was really a shapeshifter atleast in regards to this world.

Avalam looked into Klursi's eyes for a moment before painfully swallowing a gulp. "I-It's okay," She hesitantly assured, "I am one as well... B-But you shouldn't be so... Careless like that as to let everyone see."

Klursi was a bit confused before pressing the heels of her palms together and and making several small claps, though she was clearly trying to prevent any obvious motion blur on her inbetween frames.

Wukir took a deep, but quiet breath before whispering, "I won't tell anyone you are a shapeshifter, I promise."

Klursi nodded before pretending to zip her own lips and tossing the key away.

Avalam smiled. Perhaps she was lucky enough to meet one of the few good shapeshifters. She pulled away before awkwardly looking Salgia's way, realizing how suspicious their whisper-conversation must have looked.

Salgia had taken to maintaining their appearance, a makeup mirror in one hand as they puffed some of the dusty stuff into their face, ensuring it was spread out accordingly as they waited for some sort of response from Avalam that whatever weird conversation she needed to have with Klursi over.

"Ah... Let's find those... Vegetables, shall we?" Avalam suggested with a nervous laugh.

“Oh- of course!” The Liss happily agreed, closing the make up container with a clap as they dropped it in their purse, “I think I saw a field this way earlier. I’ll take the lead! Klursi, could you stay here with... whatever it said its name was? We don’t want to seem rude and leave the machine people alone.”

"Couldn't you put the machine person back in your bag?" Avalam inquired, "Besides... Klursi may be hungry as well." She glanced back at Klursi, giving her a subtle wink before looking back at Salgia.

“...That’s true,” Salgia nodded in agreement, picking up the projector and carefully inserting it back into the bag.

Klursi's stomach then growled audibly to agree with Avalam. Klursi looked around and noticed what appeared to be resturant a few blocks down.

“Well, Let’s go... pick some vegetables or something,” Salgia sighed, “God, I miss my apartment and my fridge.”

Klursi nodded in agreement upon hearing Salgia's statement.

Continued in next post

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Then the world blew up. The end.
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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Lowfn on Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:54 pm

Continued

"My word! Look how large these pumpkins are!" Avalam gasped, marveling at the enormity of the vegetable.

"...That's what you call them? Pumpkins?" Salgia inquired, looking over one of the orange gourds with curiousity. While they'd seen a fair share of fruits and vegetables and things that are like both in the shape of these, they never encountered one like these pumpkins.

Klursi looked at one of the pumpkins for a moment before tapping on it a few times with her knuckles. After doing this, the woman picked up the pumpkin seemingly a bit confused as to how imperfect it seemed.

"... Strange, though. Many of them seem to have... Faces carved into them?" The shapeshifter remarked curiously. placing her hand on the pumpkin.

Klursi continued inspecting the pumpkin as a bubble depicting halloween night and jackolanterns appeared.

Avalam let out a loud shriek as the face carved into the pumpkin opened up some to allow a ghost to spill out of it, frightening the poor woman before dissipating upwards. Avalam herself had fallen onto her rear, frantically kicking at the ground and scooting away from the pumpkin as she put a hand to her chest. "W-What in the!?" She sputtered out.

"Huh? What happened?" Salgia asked calmly, peering up from their calm observation of a Pumpkin's outer surface.

"Y-You didn't see it!? Something came out of the pumpkin!" Avalam cried out, pointing to the pumpkin and then to the sky, "I-It floated into the sky and vanished!"

"...Huh. Well, I sure didn't see tha-" as the Liss replied, the pumpkin at their feet released a similar apparition, making them yelp and fall to their rear with a grunt, "The hell?! Why are there... things in the pumpkins?!"

Klursi then mimiced the actions of the ghost to acklowedge what had just happened. Just as this happened, a ghost appeared from a pumpkin behind Klursi causing her to take on a similar ghostly white coloration for a moment before she picked up a now empty pumpkin. In a seeminglyconfusing set of actions the woman donned the pumpkin like a helmet casuing it's memancing demeanor do change to a much happier expression.

Salgia stared at Klursi for a moment, mouth slightly agape as they tried to figure out what in the world their friend was doing, glancing over to Avalam to see if she was having a similar moment of utter confusion.

In turn, Avalam was indeed confused, also looking Salgia's way to see if they were just as bewildered as she. She slowly looked back at Klursi, then to Salgia once more.

From inside the pumpkin a wide grin drew across Klursi's face causing the pumpking's eyes to squint along with causing smile carved into to appear just a tad bigger.

"...What are you even doing, Klursi?" Salgia finally spoke up.

Klursi then signed that she was trying to make the two other women laugh as she thought she looked something like a scarecrow while wearing the pumpkin.

Avalam, having no idea what a scarecrow was, simply stared at Klursi with worry and confusion. "Klursi?... Are you well?" She asked hesitantly.

Klur's then held out a fist that she then nodded up and down mimicking the motion of a standard nod of the head.

"Are you sure? You're putting... pumpkins on your head," Salgia murmured.

"Perhaps she- Perhaps you have gone delerious from hunger... Do you think these pump kins are safe to eat?" Avalam asked, hesitantly poking the pumpkin that had previously frightened her.

Klursi then took the pumpkin off her head, which was suprisingly clean of of any plant guts, and gave the group a rather miffed look.

"I... I've never prepared a vegetable like a pumpkin, so I wouldn't really know," Salgia replied, "Should we check if its ripe...? Or how would we even check that?"

Klursi then mimed out making baking before a bubble of a pie appeared along with a soup.

"...You can make this hard thing into a soup?" the Liss asked, looking back over the pumpkin with incredulity.

Klursi nodded as she began quickly stating all the steps of how to make a pumpkin pie and soup, this would likely be lost on the two.

"... Perhaps you should handle making the soup," Avalam suggested.

Klursi then looked around and picked up one of the best looking pumpkins in the field, determining it would be up for the task. Klursi then placed the gourd under her arm and too a moment to see if she could spot anything looked like it would have a public kitchen. She then turned her head to look at Salgia and Avalam and motioned for them to search too.

"What are you looking for?" Avalam inquired.

Klursi then mimed out chopping up vegatables and stirring a pot.

"... Knnnnives? And a pot?"

Klursi then pulled out her phone and typed "Kitchen" before showing the screen to Avalam. This would likely confuse Avalam further.

"Why would we need an entire kitchen to make pumpkin soup?"

A pie appeared on a bubble next to Klursi.

"You don't need an entire kitchen to bake a pie," Salgia stated.

Several dotted lines then appeared around the group outlining their lack of pots and other cooking untinsils as Klursi's way of asking if any of them had cooking supplies.

"Wh-What are all these dots?!" Avalam gasped, clearly not getting that this was Klursi's doing, nor did she have any understanding whatsoever of cartoonish logic.

A bubble of the group holding pots and pans followed by a question mark then appeared.

"...No, Klursi, I don't have pots and pans in my purse, for goodness sake," Salgia sighed.

"Maybe we should find a kitchen then... I just hope it's clean," Avalam mumbled, pulling out the uneaten half of her granola bar and nibbling on it.

Klursi wasn't sure why there was an issue with looking for a kitchen when it was obvious none of them had cooking tools. She then remembered the bar as a speech bubble appeared depiciting the interior of the building where she had slept the night before.

"Sterility is key to perfection," blurted out a harsher, more stern voice from Salgia's purse, making the alien jump a little, not as much as before, but enough for them to stumble back a bit, "...I really don't like that, when it just talks out of nowhere."

Klursi then signed that she would obviously clean up before and after.

"I believe that was the other machine person the first one spoke of," Avalam noted before resuming her granola bar eating.

"You are correct in your beliefs, human. I am Proximate Abjection," greeted the muffled voice of the machine in Salgia's purse, which she fumbled to take out to reveal the projector's image of an orange glowing x, wiry and composed of intricate webs of light, "And you are all... I have no positive terms to coloquially describe, at the moment, other than mobile."

"Hmph, I prefer the other machine to this one," Avalam harrumphed.

"Ansifel has had projection controls taken by me until it is their... turn again, as they so happily described. You are looking for cooking utensils. Search for, perhaps, a market?" the machine suggested.

"Yeah, I guess a market could be a good place to start- wait a minute," Salgia stopped, "You were just insulting us a moment ago! Why are you giving us help, even if it's so little?!"

"I have my goals, and you have yours. I wish for them to intersect as little as possible, but sometimes, exceptions must be made. As a Liss, I am most surprised you do not understand this."

"What does me being Liss have to do with anything?"

"You do not know? Then I will not explain. Ansifel will most likely blabber out the answer when the time comes. Their sociality is their crux."

"A Liss?" Avalam repeated.

"It's my people," Salgia explained, "It's not important."

Klursi just sort of cocked her head and looked at the purse, unsure of what else it could do. She then remembered an easter egg on her old phone as she signed "Talk dirty to me."

"Pardon, Klursi?" Avalam asked, unable to decipher Klursi's signs.

Klursi looked at the purse and repeated the sign, hopping to be told something about vaccuuming.

"... I think Klursi wants your bag?"

"I.. I guess you can have it?" Salgia questioned as she held the handbag up for Klursi to take.

Klursi quickly got the projector out and set it down before she signed her statement for the third time hoping for a humerous response.

"...The futility of your attempts at humor are astounding, even to me," Proximate Abjection tersely responded.

"You understand what she is trying to say?" Avalam inquired.

A small heart appeared next to Klursi and was quickly broke in half, burst into flames, turned to ash then crushed with a mallet.

"It is a simple visual-manual lingual pattern. I understood it as soon as I was able to process it."

"... Then what did she say?"

"Talk. Dirty. To. Me."

"W-What?!" Avalam shrieked, quickly looking at Klursi.

Klursi looekd at Avalam before rolling her eyes and gesturing for her to repeat the phrase into her own phone.

"N-No! I'm not going to say that!" Avalam adamantly shook her head as she blushed.

Klursi then held the phone in front of Salgia, hoping for her to do as requested.

"...Uhh, talk... dirty to me?" Salgia questioned every syllable that left their mouth as they followed the instructions given.

"tHe CaRpEt NeEdS VaCcuUmInG." The phone responded as Klursi silently snickered.

"... Pardon?" Avalam blinked. Klursi's antics never ceased to bewilder her.

The cartoon signed, perhaps she wasn't cut out for comedy.

"I... I don't get it either," Salgia mumbled.

"The joke is extremely forced, and lacks the proper humor to make up for it," Proximate Abjection noted.

"Well.. That's a rude way of saying it was not funny," Avalam huffed before giving Klursi a pitiful look.

"It is a truthful way of acknowledging the flaws of a joke. Otherwise, I would not be giving an objective perspective and therefore, be biased."

In the midst of her saddness, a small raincloud appeared over Klursi and started raining over her head.

"W-What in the- Klursi! Get out from under that thing! It's getting you all wet!" Avalam fretted. She was unsure of what a cloud was, but she did not want her very strange friend to get soaked and sick.

Klursi looked up and moved to the side only for the cloud to follow her. Klursi was not doing a good job of appearing normal, or humorous to these people.

"Klursi, come on! I know you're sad about your joke not... Being funny... But you should not let yourself get soaked!" Avalam insisted, scurrying up to the poor woman and attempting to hop and bat the raincloud away with her hand.

The cloud returned after a few bats before dissapating. Klursi wasn't really sure what else to do and only signed as suggestion to look for a market.

"Just... ignore him!" Salgia recommended, gesturing to the projector, "He's too stuck up for his own good, and if he had legs, he'd probably kick puppies or something... that's the pets humans have, puppies, right?"

Klursi picked up the projector and shoved it back into Salgia's purse. She then looked around for a market.

As Avalam followed, she attempted to cheer Klursi up, or at the very least, ease the sting of a joke that did not land. "I-I'm sure you're very funny, Klursi. It is just... Ah... Me- and Salgia- likely just have... Different senses of humor than... The people where you are from! I'm confident that you can make us laugh, right Salgia?"

"Y-yeah! I think a lot of what you do can be... pretty funny," Salgia nodded, "We all just have to... adjust to one another's senses of humor. Right? Like- uh, Avalam, you tell a joke, and we'll all get used to that!"

"M-Me? Oh, I'm- I'm not funny at all," Avalam blubbered, "I can't even recall the last time I've told a joke!"

"Oh, come on! You've gotta have at least one funny thing to say or talk about! We all do!" Salgia insisted.

"I'm.. I'm not sure. I live a very... Plain life by myself back home," Avalam admitted, "... Ah... Oh! Well, there was something funny I saw on my way to buy some food one time! Does that count?"

Klursi waited to hear the story.

"Well, of course that counts! Let's hear it!" Salgia gestured for Avalam to describe what she saw.

"Okay, well.. Um... So I had just finished tailoring and I was going to buy a few slabs of meat to cook at home," Avalam began, "And as I went through the market, I glanced over to a man pulling a wagon full of cages with chickens in them. He was always very... Close to his chickens, so he brought them with him whenever he went to buy feed for them, but someone bumped into them and spilled the fruits they were carrying! He happened to slip on one of them and knock over the cages! Many of them burst open and chickens were running about everywhere in the market!" Avalam let out a modest giggle as she remembered, "I wish you could have seen everyone's faces as chickens flapped their wings and made... Chicken noises as they bounced about in the various stands!"

Klursi though this was hilarious at burst out into a very wheezy attempt at laughter.

Though not knowing what a chicken was, the thought of all these things breaking out of their cages and running amok because a guy slipped on a fruit made Salgia snicker, "Okay, that was pretty funny, see? Even plain lives have good humor!"

"I suppose you're right," Avalam relented, covering her mouth as she continued to giggle, "Okay, okay, you go next, Salgia."

"Okay okay, there was this one time," Salgia began, already stifling a huff of laughter, "A client came by, I did my regular, and I left after, but-"

Avalam interrupted, raising her hand and asking, "A-Ah- Sorry, but, what is your 'regular'?"

Klursi quickly made a lewd gesture...

"Klursi," Salgia huffed, furrowing their eyebrows at the cartoon character.

Klursi quickly changed to mimicing a massage not realizing how offensive her action had been.

"... What?" Avalam blinked.

"Nothing, nothing, she's just trying to say I'm a... masseuse," Salgia recalled the word, "So anyways, I was walking home, and as I am, I hear the guy running back behind me asking me to stop. I stop, and he catches up. He's out of breath at this point, so he's just huffing and huffing, almost keeled over," they imitated how they percieved the man in their story to be for a moment, "And after a second of catching his breath, he says "I think you're wearing my underwear." I'm taken back for a second, but as soon as I check, wouldn't you know, I am! I dunno how I mixed them up with mine, but I did," the Liss giggled quietly.

"W-Wait, what?!" Avalam gasped, "How did you two- What?"

"...It's not a very funny one, you're right," Salgia hummed.

"N-No, I- I mean- How were you wearing his underwear? How did either of your underwear come off?"

"It was- uh, one of those spa massages, you know?" Salgia lied to try and keep their occupation a secret, "The ones where you have to strip down so they can massage all of your body."

"Is... That a thing?" Avalam asked, covering her mouth and blushing at the mere thought.

"Yeah," Salgia nodded, "They rub down your entire body- I-I mean, not down there like that, but y-you get the idea."

A bubble depicting Klursi getting a massage then appeared as the mute confirmed there were infact full body massages.

"I don't think I could ever... I haven't even had a regular massage, to think getting one like that," Avalam mumbled, flustered by the concept.

"They're really nice," Salgia nodded, "If you ever have the chance, you should try one."

"I wouldn't be able to handle such a thing," Avalam admitted with a nervous laugh.

"Well, why's that?" Salgia cocked their head to the side, "Worried someone's gonna oogle while you're there, or something?"

"I-I mean- I suppose there is that," Avalam stammered, "But... Just the.. The thought of such a thing! Being... Nude around somebody and then... Having them... Touch my body while I have no clothes on. J-Just thinking about it has me.... Flustered!" Humorously enough, she had lowered her voice when speaking such a naughty word as "nude".

Klursi then signed something along the lines of, "It's not that wierd." She noticed Avalam's adversion to nude and a bubbled containing the word twice appeared with one of them blurred out, asking if it was considered a swear.

”...I am perplexed by how you did not immediately understand the actual occupation of this Liss after your acquaintance’s sexual gestures in explanation of what they do for a monetary living.”

"P-Pardon!?" Avalam yelped, her flustered state exacerbated by the mention of "sexual".

”Salgia is obviously a sex worker. As Liss, it is actually quite ingenious.”

As the machine spoke, Salgia frowned and blushed greatly, embarrassed that what she wanted to keep a secret was being spoiled by an asshole robot.

Avalam gawked at Salgia in pure shock, her agape mouth covered by two hands.

“It’s not that amazing or terrible or whatever you’re thinking,” Salgia grumbled, “It’s just a job. That’s all.”

"N-Nononono! I-I didn't- I- I didn't mean to offend," Avalam blurted out, "I-I just- I was surprised- I.. I didn't expect to hear it is all! W-We all have- Uh- Things we're not proud of, right? I-I mean- Not that- Not to say that your job is.. Not... Prideful... Proudless?"

The Liss’ face grew only redder as they covered it with their hands, groaning quietly, “Oh my gooood, why did that robot have to open its mouth...

Klursi looked to Avalam and pulled a pinched set of fingers across her lips, with an audible zipping noise as hopping to get the message across.

"I-I- Uh-" Avalam decided to follow along with the gesture and just shut her mouth, biting down on both of her lips.

“No-no, you two are fine, it was gonna come up sometime, so it might as well be sooner rather than later,” Salgia sighed, “Yeah, I’m an escort. Does that mean I’m some terrible sex freak? No, it just means I work for my money differently. If either of you have anything to say about it, say it now, or forever hold your discontent or whatever.”

"... I-I did not intend to... Make you think.. That I thought that you are a terrible... Sex freak," Avalam spoke up after a brief silence.

Klursi shrugged, she wasn't sure if she had much to add, it was probably just part of the clash.

“No, I know you didn’t, Avalam. Just, people get all shocked and surprised that someone can be both an escort and a normal person,” Salgia harrumphed, “But I don’t blame you for being shocked. I did lie about that, and I’m sorry. I just didn’t want you to get... uncomfortable? Yeah, uncomfortable, around me.”

"I-It's fine!" Avalam hastily assured, "W-We all lie now and then and.. Things.. Are things... W-We're still normal persons- people!" Clearly, she was still a little flustered, but it seemed to be dying down some, "E-Especially, uh... When you compare us girls to this... Town and its people."

“...Yeah, I guess you’re right there,” Salgia thought for a moment, “Us normal gals need to... to stick together in this... very weird... weird place.”

"Yes! That's right!" Avalam nodded her head and smiled, looking between Salgia and Klursi. 'Normal gals', yeah right, She bitterly thought to herself.

Klursi then signed stating that she had a story. Unfortunately, nobody spoke sign language. As a result, Klursi decided to save the story for later.

”I wish I had a story to tell!” the voice of Ansifel-Notary chimed again from Salgia’s purse. It seemed like her turn had come again.

"Oh good, you're far more pleasant comp-" Avalam was interrupted by a furious growl of her stomach, "P-Pardon me."

”Oh, no, you are fine, Avalam. I understand that you still require sustinence from these vegetables. It’s a perfectly natural occurrence for your stomach to grumble, and I am not sure why there would need to be a need to excuse yourself for actions you cannot control. But the pardoning is accepted, regardless!”

Klursi then signed that she was going to head off the the market so they could cook the pumpkin she had since placed on the ground, and that the others were free to join her, before picking up the pumpkin and heading off.

"... I'm not sure what she said, but we should probably follow her," Avalam suggested, gesturing for Salgia to follow as she hustled after their cartoonish friend. The Liss, not wanting to be left by their lonesome self, followed too, bag in their hand.

”So, I would like to initiate conversation with a simple question: Where are you all from?” Ansifel asked from inside the purse, ”It will be interesting to catalog this data and organize it further later on.”

"Oh, I'm from a lovely kingdom known as Regat!" Avalam chimed, "It's one of the few sanctuaries of order amidst the darkness and chaos where I'm from."

“I was born on Liss,” Salgia answered, “But I’m living on some Saircana world. I’d say the name of it, but it’s just a whole lot of serial codes.”

"Cereal codes?" Avalam questioned.

Serial with an S. It’s like.. like a bunch of numbers used to organize stuff,” Salgia tried to explain.

”The Dominion of Saircana does not name many worlds other than their serial codes as to efficiently run their empire. Remembering series of numbers is far easier than remembering the personal names of thousands of colonized worlds.”

Klursi then prodded Salgia to ask if she could get the projector out so she could answer the machine's question.

“Uh, sure, here,” Salgia handed the disk-shaped device to Klursi, wanting to see what she would say.

Klursi then attempted to balance the disc on her purse as she explained she was from Kelsburg and worked as an animator at a small studio.

”...Interesting!” Ansifel complimented as Klursi finished, ”I was first created approximately 8.65 years ago in an undisclosed VI-manufacturing array, and-“

Klursi quickly signed asking if Ansifel was basically a baby computer,

The Virtual Intelligence mimicked laughter as she responded, ”Nope. All VI are created resdy to work as soon as they are able to move through devices, a task which is near-instantly available to all VI. Anyways, I first came into service approximately 8.59 years ago on the world of Kassal. Since then, before entering this ‘Clash’, I have been stored in an unregistered IAS research facility.

Klursi made an ok hand in response, before heading returning to her quest to find market.

"I suppose machine people mature much faster than... Everyone else," Avalam remarked as she dug around in her saddlebag and produced a pathetically small apple which she took a bite out of... Including its stem.

”I advise you not to eat the stem of fruits. They are usually inedible and lack any nutritional value and can be rather unsavory, as reported in surveys.”

"O-Oh.. I'm... Very hungry," Avalam murmured after swallowing her bite, "As I said, it's been a long time since I last ate."

“But... eating that stem’s like eating a twig,” Salgia remarked. Avalam shrunk down a little in shame.

A bubble depicting Klursi's coworker eating an apple stem and all then appeared, appearently Klursi liked this quirky part of her co-worker.

“I didn’t mean it like.. I just thought it’s a bit... different, is all,” Salgia tried to amend their rather crass comment.

Attempting to coat it as 'different' only further filled Avalam with shame as she slipped the partially eaten apple back into her bag. This was why she typically ate alone.

”What variety of fruit is that, anyways? Some foods have better tastes than others, and it may affect their stems as well.”

Klursi would have used a bubble containing an apple but that wouldn’t help.

"It is an apple," Avalam answered quietly.

”...I do not have “apples” documented in my databanks,” Ansifel noted, ”This is a new discovery for me. If such encounters with new and exotic entities will be commonplace, the Sovereign States will have much to discuss when I am returned to containment!”

"Oh... I'm.. Not exactly knowledgeable, so I cannot say much about apples other than... They are fruits... Typically red or green, which changes their flavor... And that is about it. Most people don't eat their cores," Avalam explained what she knew of apples.

A bubble indicating that Klursi preferred green apples then appeared.

”This is all wonderful information, regardless. Knowledge of other universes collected on my databanks will be revealed across all known space if apples are the tip of the proverbial iceberg!”

"... Iceberg?"

”A massive formation of ice drifting in ocean waters. Ships often encounter difficulties with icebergs due to a majority of their mass being hidden underwater, with only a small portion appearing above water, hence the saying, “tip of the iceberg”.”

"How does the ice not melt?" Avalam inquired.

”The temperatures usually allow the ice to remain frozen, but many drift into hotter zones and begin to melt slowly.”

"What is it that makes the cold areas so.... Cold?"

“A lack of thermal energy, usually due to a lack of sunlight or other forms of heat.”

"So it would only happen in... Wolrds without a sun then?"

”No, it is actually more common to find icebergs on worlds that orbit a star, rather than ones without a proper stellar body to orbit.”

"Pardon... What do you mean by 'orbit'?" Avalam asked, "I-I know what the word means, but... How does a world orbit a star?"

It is kept in some form of rotation around a star through the star’s gravitational pull... I am beginning to see that this is becoming what one would call “a rabbit hole”.”

"But... How... I just.. Do not understand how that could work," Avalam mumbled, trying to comprehend what she was being told with her current understanding of reality based on her own universe, "For an entire world to go around a star?"

”It is quite simple, let me show you a diagram... if Miss Salgia would allow me to be held by you.”

”Oh yeah, sure, take ‘em,” the Liss handed the projector over, as a holograph of two small spheres appeared above it.

”A world is caught in the gravity of a sun, and is unable to leave its mass, rotating around it as it moves.”

"... Where is the world?" Avalam asked, holding the projector in both hands as she looked at the projection with confusion.

”...The smaller sphere.”

"... Why is it a sphere?"

”That is the natural shape of a world or any large stellar body.”

"What? The world is... An infinite, flat plane."

...I am sensing a severe disconnect between the laws of physics in our different universes. How does your world not collapse in on its own mass?

"Why would it do such a thing?" Avalam blinked, cocking her head to one side.

”Gravity.”

"Why would gravity cause it to... Collapse in on itself?"

”...Let us use your apple as an analogy, in this case, for a world from my universe. Like a world, an apple has a dense core, the center of its mass. This point is where all mass of the apple wants to converge, hence its semi-circular appearance. A world works on the same sort of logic, but on a much larger, more complex scale than a singular apple.”

"I... Don't believe that... At least not my world has a center... If it is flat," Avalam stated.

”..Are you sure your world is flat, and not simply so large, that it can be perceived as flat without viewing the horizon? You said that you were surprised to see a sun, so I am under the assumption that you were living in near total darkness.”

"Of course it is flat! Otherwise our compasses wouldn't work right!" Acalam scoffed.

Klursi, wanting to feel useful, tried to explain the idea of a magnetic north pole through speech bubbles, though this would likely result in a lack of an explanation.

”...Compasses work under the assumption that there are two magnetic poles, the two opposite ends of the world. Does that not mean that your would could be so infinitesimally large, that your treks across its surface are so long and wide, it may make one have the perception that it is an infinite flat plain?”

"What? no! And what is a magnetic pole? Compasses work by pointing to where the sun used to be!" Avalam guffawed, "If the world were round, then.. If you went... To the other side of the world, it would point into the ground!... Wait! Wouldn't you just fall off of a round world!?"

...Gravity would ensure that you do not fall off s round world. It lightly pulls on all objects with its mass, keeping your feet on the ground as we speak... but perhaps this universe is different, as yours is so radically different from ours. The way the laws of physics vary are exciting and important details for documentation.

Klursi just had a confused look on her face.

"... This... 'round world' universe is... Strange," Avalam mumbled.

”I may be able to say the same for your ‘flat world’ universe. It is of varying perspectives that can benefit from learning from one another.”

"I... Suppose so," The shapeshifter said with a slow nod.

”...I would be happy to continue to answer any more questions you may have about my universe or I, if you are still interested.”

Klursi then signed, asking why everything seemed so desaturated and textured in this world.

”That is... outside of my range of knowledge. I am not from this universe, so I would not understand why everything is less... vibrant.”

Klursi then cocked her head to the side, it was still rather strange that everything seemed so vibrant with the exception of colors.

”As I said, I am still willing to answer questions. Just.. not about this world.”

"Um, what about you?" Avalam inquired, "What sort of... Combination of magics power you?"

”Magics? Well, a VI is not composed of any sort of psionic engineering - at least, not any known variations yet. We are composed of intricate programs and coding that allow us to interpret and react to stimuli and data much faster than the average human or organic race.”

Psionics, that had to do with telepathy, Klursi in response then pulled a spoon out of her purse before "attempting" to bend it with her mind to ensure that she was on the same page as the robot lady.

Avalam stared at Klursi for a moment, curious at to why she was intently staring at a spoon before asking, "You mentioned 'psionic', is that not just fiction? I was referring to magic."

”In most cultures, magic is an interchangeable term for psionics. Some cultures may be different, however, so I am unsure if there are differences in the terminology of our universes or if psionics are entirely different in your reality.”

Klursi then tried to express that she would consider them different, before attempting to preform a simple magic trick that would fail immediately.

"... Ah... Salgia?" Avalam turned to the Liss after observing Klursi's fumbling, could you... Entertain the machine person for a moment, please? I need to talk with Klursi in... Private."

“Oh, uh... sure,” Salgia nodded with a smile, hiding the fact that they really did not want to be alone with the strange machine. While they did not dislike the current personality, the other... unnerved them.

Klursi then positioned herself to stand next to Avalam, to figure out where she wanted to talk.

Once the two were a suitable distance, Avalam glanced around before looking upon Klursi with a very uncomfortable demeanor. "... Klursi... I... I am going to ask you something, and... I request that you do not get offended, I don't mean anything bad with what I'm going to say."

Klursi nodded waiting for the question.

It took a moment, as Avalam bit her lower lip out of reluctance to speak. "... So... As you know... You and I... We have limitations on... How we can shapeshift, and... Recent actions that you have taken have... Led me to ask, uhm.... Did you attempt to bypass one of those limitations and... Shapeshift part of your brain?"

Klursi looked rather confused for a moment as she mouthed the word "Limitations?" Klursi of course wasn't really sure why Avalam was making a big deal about these squash and stretch frames, she then shook her head. She hadn't ever done anything with her brain specically.

However, Klursi's initial questioning of limitations caused Avalam to quietly gasp and cover her mouth with both hands. "Oh... You... You don't know, nobody told you, did they? W-Well... You see, we can... Do a lot, but... It is strongly advised that we shapeshifters do not attempt to.... Shapeshift our brains as it is... Very easy to accidentally cause... Brain damage."

Klursi was still a bit confsed. She had done things with her face before a bubble containing Klursi's model sheet appeared between the two women. Klursi then pointed to the bubble and tried to ask if going off model could lead to this result.

"Ah... I'm not sure- Are you asking if... No, typical shapeshifting is perfectly okay... But you need to be careful with your head and make sure you do not accidentally alter your brain," Avalam tried to explain.

Klursi opened her mouth to produce another bubble before an elipsis appeared a picture of a brain with a crack much like an egg appeared followed by a question mark.

"Ah... I'm not sure if it is that dramatic, but... Well, I'm glad you can at least walk..." Avalam tried for an optimistic smile, "Many end up... Falling into comas."

Klursi then tapped her throat with a miffed expression and signed explaing she just couldn't talk, however her signing had yet to really help her communicate.

Avalam was silent, attempting to process what Klursi was saying before gasping, "Are... Are you saying it also is the reason why you cannot speak? I-I... I suppose that could happen too, yes."

Klursi then opened her thumb, index and middle finger before pinching them closed, to assert that this was not the case.

"... I'm sorry, I still do not speak your sign language," Avalam apologized.

Klursi shook her head, at this point this was unlikely to help explain the situation.

Avalam let out a sudden angry huff. "I cannot believe your parents- or parent- did not tell you about the dangers of shapeshifting your brain! I know our kind is vile and all, but I thought we at least had enough base decency to prevent our spawn from giving themselves brain damage!"

A bubble containg a baby attempting to cry, but no sound was heard.

"... I'm sorry, I cannot decipher that one. It's just a baby crying," Avalam admitted.

An arrow then appeared above the baby's head and pointed to Klursi.

"Ah.... Your parent birthed you in a human form?" Avalam asked curiously, "I-I mean... I suppose it happens sometimes, it's just unusual is all."

Klursi then signed "Are you retarded or something?"

"Klursi... I've already told you, I do not speak your sign language," Avalam sighed, trying to keep a kind voice given her perception of Klursi's 'condition'.

Klursi then swore, causing a bubble to appear forming a visualization for her word of choice, appeared in bold pink neon lights, before it fell out of frame and landed on her head.

"P-Pardon?!" Avalam shrieked, blushing as she covered her mouth once more, "A-Are you- I-I- What?! I-I... I just said you have brain damage! Why would you want to do that!? With me?!"

Klursi looked at Avalam with a confused look on her face she seemed utterly baffled.

"... Ah... Sorry, I... Was trying to be a bit more... Subtle. Y-you just caught me offguard by... Propositioning me!" The shapeshifter tried to explain.

Klursi looked at Avalam even further confused, as a dictionary appeared explaining how to use the F-word as a swear.

However, as soon as Avalam glanced at the word, she covered her eyes in embarassment. "Please, Klursi!" She cried out, "How much did you shapeshift your brain?!"

The book then opened to never, which Avalam caught a glimpse of when she peeked through her fingers. ".. N-Never?" She asked, lowering her hands, "But... But why do you... Often act so... Odd?"

The book then opened to comedy.

"... Earlier, how was staring at that spoon funny?"

Klursi shrugged, as a telepath bending a spoon appeared.

Avalam still did not get it, but asked another pressing question, "A-And just a moment ago! You seemed as if you had never even heard of the limitations of being a shapeshifter."

Klursi shrugged, she had no idea how to explain her lack of understanding.

Avalam stared at Klursi for a few moments, a look of skepticism before ever so slowly an expression of terror overtook her. Quickly she grabbed Klursi's hand and held it up. "Make your hand green or something. Shapeshift right now," Avalam ordered fearfully.

A plant in the bubble as Klursi's thumb turned green.

"... Okay... Okay," Avalam let go of Klursi's hand and let out a heavy sigh of relief. "I-I apologize, I... I was just overcome with the suspicision that you were not actually a shapeshifter."

Klursi was rather confused as to what Avalam was getting at as she gave the shapeshifter a confused look.

"I-I am truly sorry, I should not have forced you to shapeshift for my paranoia... I suppose it is... Only fair I do the same so you have no doubts either," Avalam said shamefully. She lifted her hand up chest-high. Slowly, the skin began to morph and take on a green hue before her entire hand was a deep green. She let out a breath of exertion once finished before lightly waving with her green hand.

Klursi was very shocked at Avalam's action as she tried to ask how she changed her skin tone that much.

"Pardon?" Avalam blinked, confused by Klursi's inquiry.

Klursi then mouthed the word "How?"

"... What... What do you mean how? I just changed the color of my skin like you did."

Klursi then pointed her her thumb as a definition of a green thumb appeared in a bubble.

"Yes, I changed my skin color like you did on your thumb... What are you trying to get at?"

The word animation then appeared with a question mark appeared next to Klursi as she tried to ask if that meant anything to Avalam.

"... Ohhh.. I wish you could speak! Why do you not just give yourself some vocal chords? They're one of the most basic things to shapeshift," Avalam huffed.

An image of Klursi being drawn between two frames appeared in a bubble as she tried to explain how animation worked.

"... Oh, there is one of those moving picture things made of you? Th- Wait, what does that have to do with you shapeshifting vocal chords?"

Klursi then pulled up her model sheet as an animator appeared to be pointing to a note stating she is mute, and that special attention should be paid to her handmotions.

"Yes, I suppose a moving picture of you would- Klursi, are you avoiding my question?" Avlama harrumphed.

A note stating that she lacked a voice actress then appeared.

"... Why would someone need to voice you in a moving picture if you don't- Klursi, please! Why are you avoiding the question?"

Klursi then mouthed the words "I can't.".

"You... Can't give yourself vocal chords? but why? I-I mean no offense, but it is one of the first things our kind learns how to do," Avalam questioned.

The definition for cartoon then appeared.

"... Okay, what about 'cartoons'?"

An arrow then pointed to Klursi.

"... What." While Avalam understood that Klursi was calling herself a cartoon, she couldn't help but question the ridiculousness of it.

Klursi just hung her head with a defeated look on her face.

"... How can you be a cartoon? Cartoons are... Images, drawings. That does not make any sense."

Klursi shrugged, she wasn't really sure how it worked.

"Green thumb.... You're not actually a shapeshifter, are you? You were just doing some kind of... Visual pun," Avalam asked morosely.

Klursi nodded, and attempted to explain that she assumed Avalam was doing the same.

"Why did you say you're a shapeshifter then?"

Klursi then pointed to Avalam and made a pushing motion, as she just assumed the woman had a broad definition of the word.

Avalam looked down for a moment before stomping her foot and huffing, "Oh, I'm so stupid!" She folded her arms and looked as if she was on the verge of tears, "I cannot believe I blew my cover like that! I should not have ven- Ugh!"

Klursi then placed a hand on Avalam's back, trying to comfort her.

"I hate being a shapeshifter!" Avalam cried, quickly wiping at her eyes with her shoulder, "I can't even keep my own cover!"

A bubble then appeared as Klursi tried to explain that she thought shapeshifting was cool.

"... Cool!?" Avalam huffed, "What is so 'cool' about being a part of a species that is inherently conniving and devious? That can't even form their own society because they backstab their government into collapse! Or having to eat five times as much as humans around you because just maintaining a form is work?! A-And then the other women make fun of you and- And you can't even invite guests over to your home because that's the only time I can relax and not have to keep up this body! And then furthermore I wouldn't be able to have... Romance because I'd have to keep us this form every second of every day! And..." She rambled for a few more minutes in hysteria. Clearly, she had nobody else to ever vent about her issues and worries to.

Klursi wasn't really sure what to say and tried to empathsize with Avalam as a bubble depicting how her muteness had limited her dating pool appeared.

"That's not the same!" Avalam cried out, "Shapeshifters are hunted! In Regat, if anyone were to find out I am a shapeshifter, it is not like I am merely outcasted! I am executed! If a lover found out, they would immediately turn on me! Accuse me of deception and have me killed!.... And I'd deserve it too! I would have been decieving him! I'm not a human woman! I am a shapeshifter!"

Klursi, didn't make any motion... she wasn't sure what to do, she hadn't experienced anything like that, she paused before a bubble appeared before popping as she couldn't think of anything to say, it was probably better just to listen.

Avalam was quiet for a moment, wiping her tears every few seconds before mumbling out a, "So what now?... What are you to do with me?"

An another elipsis appeared before an image of Klursi handing a tub of icecream to Avalam appeared before it depicted Klursi listening as the shapeshifter drowned her worries, in frozen dairy product.

"... Pard-... What?" Avalam sighed.

Klursi shrugged as she tried to indicate she didn't have any bias against Avalam being a shapeshifter.

"B-But... I decieved you!" Avalam exclaimed in pure confusion and misery.

An image of Klursi claiming to be a shapeshifter then appeared showing her own deciption even if it was unintenional.

"That's different! You didn't mean to, and you're not a... A creature... A... Manifestation of deception itself!"

A definition with partiucular emphasis on how animation is an illusion then appeared.

"W-Well that is different! You cannot- You were- If you are[/u] a cartoon, then someone made you as one and- You cannot help that!"

The words" You cannot help that!" Then appeared the bubble, written in Avalam's own hand writing, as Klursi tried to explain how Avalam equally couldn't control what she was so to say.

"That's- It's different! Has a cartoon ever murdered a king and taken their place? And then run that kingdom into the ground and it was swallowed by darkness?!"

Avalam's words then appeared in the bubble as Klursi pointed to the shapeshifter and shook her head.

"Well- No- [i]I
have not... Destroyed any kingdoms, but that is only because of the shame I have for my kind, and how I have... Assimilated into human culture! Otherwise, I would be just as vile and destructive as the rest!"

Klursi was suddenly hit with a realization as the regarding Avalam's reaction to the neon sign before trying to indicate she had a question.

"... Yes?"

Klursi made a series of gestures indicating she was asking if Avalam could change her gender so to speak.

After some confusion, Avalam understood Klursi. "Well, of course," She answered with a nod, "A shapeshifter can change their form however they please. Why do you ask?"

A bubble then appeared depicted Avalam's flustered expression from earlier.

"... What are you trying to say?" Avalam inquired, recovering from her previously gloomy state.

A bubble then appeared depicting that she had simply realized that biological sex might not apply to a shapeshifter.

"I-I beg your pardon?" Avalam stammered.

An image of a female and what Klursi assumed male Avalam would have looked like, as she tried to explain what she was getting at.

"O-Oh no! No no no! I-I prefer this form- As a woman!" Avalam nervously laughed. She stopped laughing for a moment as she thought about Klursi mentioning Avalam's flustered reaction from earlier, then mentioning...

"W-Wait, are you asking me to become a man for you!?"

Klursi repeatedly signed no as she shook her head. Trying to explain that wasn't what she was getting at.

"Oh my word, then what are you trying to say?!"

Klursi then clumisly signed that she was was just swearing.

"But then you started talking about me being a man! And about sex!" It didn't seem Avalam was mad at Klursi, just horribly embarassed.

Klursi shook her head, hoping Avalam would think of a way to change the subject.

"And we just met too!" Avalam went on, covering her flushed face with both hands.

Klursi coninued her pinching motion, before a bubble containing a puppy appeared.

"... W-Wait... N- What!?" Avalam shrieked, misinterpreting Klursi's mention of a dog in the middle of a conversation about sex, "Oh my- This- This is actually too much. I-Isn't there someone else you would rather do that with?!"

Klursi’s head shaking only increased in speed as she continued to fail to communicate.

"B-But why not!? We just met! Oh my word- I- I- I'm not that interesting, I swear! I'm a tailor and I eat lots of food! That's all there is! I'm not even that attractive! I made sure I wasn't too pretty!"

Klursi’s face grew red as she tried to explain the situation however her signing would not be understood.

"I-I-" Avalam stuttered before scurrying away, briskly walking back to Salgia with her hands covering most of her face.

“Is-uh, something wrong, Avalam?” Salgia turned to fully face the tailor, setting the device down on a pumpkin. They paused, though, at the sight of Avalam’s green hand. “Your... your hand is uh...” the Liss pointed at Avalam’s hand.

"Huh? Oh my word! Green paint!" Avalam blurted out hysterically upon realizing she had forgotten to return her hand's skin color to normal.

“Green paint?” Salgia cocked their head in confusion as to how she had gotten her entire hand painted green in that short allotment of time.

"I dipped it in paint! By accident!" The shapeshifter yelled, holding onto the wrist of the green hand and shaking it.

“Where did you and Klursi even go that has... green paint?” The Liss asked, still perplexed.

"Ehguh- The paint store! They sell paint!" Avalam shrieked. She was in no position to properly keep her cover when so flustered and preoccupied by her recent miscommunications with Klursi.

“You’d think the place would be more colorful, then,” Salgia hummed, “...I don’t remember seeing any paint stores in town.”
"It was in an alley! It- It was unofficial! It was illegal paint! I have illegal paint on my hand!"
A bubble depicted a bucket of paint falling on Avalam then appeared as Klursi covered for the shapeshifter.

“Why did you two go all the way to.. an illegal paint store in an alley,” Salgia said very slowly and suspiciously, “Just to talk?”

"Why are you asking so many questions!?" Avalam cried out, beginning to sob.

“I... I just don’t like being lied to,” Salgia’s persistence immediately began to fade as Avalam began to cry, “Just... nevermind, you don’t need to tell me.”

Avalam's hysteria calmed for but a moment as she looked at Salgia through teary eyes. Almost immediately after, however, she threw herself onto the Liss, nearly falling to the floor as she clung to their clothes and sobbed once more, "Yes I do! I'm so sorry! I-I.. I'm a shapeshifter! A d-disgusting... Vile... Stupid shapeshifter-er-errr!"

Salgia was surprised first by Avalam’s hug around them, but still listened to what Avalam had to say. “I... I don’t see a problem with a shapeshifter,” they admitted, trying to reassure Avalam.

Klursi was shocked to see Avalam was admitting this to Salgia and looked around to make sure no one would over hear thier conversation.

"Wh... Wha?" Avalam sniffled, tilting her head up to Salgia with uncertainty, ".. But... Why?"

“The few shapeshifters I’ve met have been just fine people,” Salgia shrugged, “And I don’t see why I should think somebody’s gross for being something different. That’s just bigotry, and I don’t do that.”

"Nuh... But.. We're evil... I lied to you just a moment ago about the paint store," Avalam whimpered.

“Because you were scared I’d think you’re some scary monster, but I don’t,” Salgia assured, “I get it. Lying about things you’re scared of others finding out... I get it.”

The shapeshifter's lip trembled before she hugged Salgia properly and began sobbing yet again, crying out, "You p-people are too kind!"

Salgia gladly accepted the hug and returned it, lightly chuckling “Is that a bad thing?”

Klursi figuring that Avalam need the support joined in on the hug.

After a few moments of wholesome hugging, Avlaam quietly squeaked, "... Wh-When I told Klursi... She said she wanted me... To become a man and... Have intercourse with her."

Salgia pulled back for a moment, a look of disgust on their face as they looked to Klursi, “What the hell, Klurts?!”

Klursi was rather offended as the tried to explain the situation, after a moment she noticed the projector and picked it up, hoping she could use it to translate.

”...I’m not sure what you’re trying to explain.”

Klursi then signed that she was only trying to swear earlier and her question was asked purely out of curiosity.

”...Though I am not aware of the context behind this, she is explaining that she was simply trying to swear and that her question was simply curiosity.”

"... Pa- But why did you ask it then? Of all questions? Of all times to ask such a question?!" Avalam asked with exasperation.

The mute then signed that it was simply something she had realized and hadn’t thought of the connotation, though Klursi was not helping her case due to her awkward body language.

”She was not thinking of the connotations when asking the question. It was simply a realization.”

Klursi signed hoping the situation had been cleared up.

"Oh... Oh, I see," Avalam murmured, before repeating herself as she nodded and let out a relieved sigh. "I am... Sorry for being so... Dramatic about it, then."

Klursi modded hoping the subject would change as she figured she would only dig herself into a deeper hole.

”...I have never met a shapeshifter before,” Ansifel admitted, ”Save for a Continuum Mimic, but that is not an organic shapeshifter, like yourself. You... are organic, correct, Ms. Avalam?”

"Ah... Yes? Yes, yes I am," Avalam answered awkwardly. She was definitely not used to talking about being a shapeshifter to others, nor was she sure how often any other shapeshifter had done such a thing.

”Interesting. Is that why you are hungry? I would assume your metabolic rate would be astoundingly high to assume different morphologies at will and sustain them.”

"Oh, ah... Yes, actually," Avalam nodded, "We, uhm... Passively try to return to our original form, so... It takes effort even just to maintain one.... Many of the women back home teased me for how much food I would buy for myself..."

”Your cells must have an extremely high elasticity, if that is the case... I am sorry if I am being intrusive, Avalam, it is just.. a new chance to document until now unknown information.”

"N-No, it is fine... I suppose you are curious... Curiosity is better than... Execution," Avalam gently rubbed at her own neck.

Klursi then imitatited a sword fight seemingly as if to ask if Avalam could turn into inorganic material.

Of course, this was the absolute worst way to ask such a question, and so Avalam just stared at Klursi in confusion, "Pardon? Ah... Something about... Fighting with... Swords?"

Klursi then pointed to Avalam’s arm before imitating her motion once again.

"... Could I turn my arm into a sword? Is that what you're asking?"

Klursi nodded to affirm that Avalam was correct. "Ah... I suppose so, but... That would take far more effort than it is worth to do such a thing, and I would not be able to... Ah... Reintegrate the sword back into myself."

”Continuum mimics are capable of doing something similar, though their weapons are usually built into their solid frames.”

A bubble appeared showing Avalam with one arm asking if she’d be an amputee after that.

"Well, I could grow another arm," Avalam shrugged.

Klursi nodded having a better grasp on how Avalam’s abilities worked.

"And... Well, as I told Klursi earlier, we shapeshifters are advised to avoid shapeshifting our brains. Most who try end up in comas or have extreme brain damage or... They simply die," Avalam explained further.

“Klursi then signed “She thought I had brain damage.” Not realizing how rude the statement might be taken.

”She believed you had brain damage?”

"I-It was a misunderstanding!" Avalam yelped, quickly waving her hands.

Klursi the pointed to her head and made a small pinching motion, trying to pass the comment off as a joke.

“...Klurts, you two are weird,” Salgia chuckled.

"I-I am?" Avalam gasped in horror.

“No, I-it was a joke! Just a joke!” Salgia assured, “You’re still normal to me, don’t worry!”

"Oh... Oh, good," Avalam sighed, "Normal is... Exactly what I aspire for."

“I mean... you don’t have to be normal, but if that’s what you try to be, I won’t stop ya,” Salgia shrugged.

"Well, if I am not normal and found out as a shapeshifter, I could be executed- Maybe not by you, but... I am sure most are not as... Forgiving as you two," Avalam explained, "Besides, it helps me distract myself from the fact that... I am a shapeshifter... I like to think of myself as a woman, not... A deceitful creature."

“...I guess I can see what you mean,” the Liss sighed, “But if anyone tries to... hurt you for who you are... I won’t let ‘em. Alright?”

"That is..." Avalam stared at Salgia in awe for a moment before smiling, "The kindest thing I have ever been told."

“Must not be a lot of kindness in Regat,” Salgia shrugged.

"O-Oh, no no no, Regat is a very kind place!" Avalam blurted out worriedly, "I-I just kept to myself is all! If I invited friends over or... Had a partner, I would not be able to take a break from maintaining my form at home! The people are very kind to one another, I assure you."

“Well, what if it was someone who knew... and was okay with it?” Salgia asked.

"Pardon?" Avalam blinked curiously.

“What if the person you invited in... or... y’know... was okay with what you are?” Salgia asked softly, beginning to blush, “I’m sorry, it’s a dumb question, I... I shouldn’t have asked.”

"N-No, I'm.. I don't see what is wrong with the question," Avalam assured, not getting what implications one could draw as she answered, "I... I suppose that would be nice. Though, I doubt any in Regat would be so tolerant of a shapeshifter."

“Well, the guy who told me about the clash said that you don’t have to go back to Regat after it's over. You can go... wherever you want, I think,” Salgia explained.

"Really?" Avalam asked, her eyes lighting up for a moment, ".. B-But.. Regat is the only home I know. Where else would I go?"

“Well, I got an apartment. It’s pretty spacious for me and my two Krei alone...” Again, Salgia blushed, “Unless that’d be... weird for you, my world and stuff.”

"O-Oh, you mean... Oh, I see..." Avalam pondered the idea for a moment before looking back at Salgia and smiling, "That... Definitely sounds like something I should consider." To think that she could live with someone else, live without fear of persecution for the crime of existing.

The Liss smiled back. “I’m happy to hear what you decide... O-or I could go to Regat with you! If my world’s too... different for you.”

"Oh- Oh no no no... It... Is a lovely place, but..." Avalam awkwardly cleared her throat, "The people can be... Frightened by things they do not know... Hostile even."

“...So they’re all pretty... intolerant?” Salgia thought aloud.

"Y-You must understand... Anything that is not a common animal like a.. Sheep or cow, has tried to kill them, even the darkness itself. It is because of their... Paranoia... That they are still alive."

“Huh... well, knowing that, I don’t think I’d fit in there well,” Salgia mused, “They’d probably chop my head off the moment they saw me!” The Liss used a tone that signifies that it was in fact a joke, but it wasn’t very sincere.

"Heh... No, they prefer burning at the stake," Avalam mumbled, "... Perhaps I may take you up on your offer to come to your world."

“I like the sound of that,” Salgia hummed, “Whenever this thing ends, I’ll take you right there, alright? I’m sure you’ll love it!”

"Well... If you are indicative of the people there, I am sure I will," Avalam said with a nod.

”Yeah, most people wouldn’t even notice!” Salgia smiled.

"... I hope I wouldn't trouble you though! With how much I would... Need to eat. Even if I can take a break, I would still prefer to keep this form and... Feel like a woman... Even if I am not one."

Klursi took a moment to ponder and then a bubble of three women talking to some rather attractive men appeared as Klursi tried to suggest they go find somewhere to chat up the locals.

“...Klursi, I’m gonna be real with you here,” Salgia stated, “That is a horrible idea. You saw how all those... guys in the bar looked! They’re a little less than savory!”

"I have to agree... When I first arrived here, I was unsure if I had somehow ended up in one of those... Shapeshifter prank villages," Avalam nodded along.

Klursi then attempted to admit that she forgot.

“How could you forget that? That’s like, the defining factor of everyone here!” Salgia asked, flabbergasted.

A bubble depicting Mol then appeared.

“Oh right, Mol,” Salgia murmured, “Those were some strong drinks, I gotta agree.”

A picture of thier drinks followed by a number one then appeared.

"Mol... That is the person you two spoke of who informed you of this 'Clash', yes?"

“Yeah, he also got us drunk and left us a nice place to sleep it off,” Salgia explained.

"O-Oh... I'm.. Not sure if I have ever been drunk before. I believe the most alcohol I have had is a few sips of wine now and then," Avalam mused.

“Well, if you want, I’m sure we can make it so that you’ve been drunk before,” Salgia snickered, “But it’ll definitely be more than a few sips of wine.”

"Heh.. Perhaps... But I should eat first. I do not want to use up my... Emergency supply of food," Avalam admitted, somewhat shamefully opening her saddlebag to reveal her sewing supplies and scraps of fabric mixed with a myriad of granola bars and other long-lasting snacks.

Klursi made an okay hand and looked around to notice the chaos off in the distance.

_________________
Then the world blew up. The end.
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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Lowfn on Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:57 pm

Zandoo, Teed, H

Klursi, Salgia, and Avalam

Glug, glug, glug, glug!

Avalam let out a deep breath as she set down the now-empty, large bowl, having just finished her sixth serving of pumpkin soup. "This truly is delicious! Is there any more?" She certainly was not kidding before when she said she could eat five times as much as a regular person.

Klursi had finished her first bowl of soup and was rather surpised to see how quickly Avalam could eat.

“You really were hungry, huh?” Salgia asked, having only eaten around two thirds of their first bowl.

"Well, it's been a whole six hours since I've last eaten a full meal," Avalam explained as she licked her lips of any soup stuck to them.

Klursi was suprised that six hours was considered a long time for Avalam, but Klursi herself was not a shapeshifter so she didn't have an idea for how much food it would take to be one.

"But yes, is there any more soup left?" Avalam inquired again with eagerness before realizing, "Ah-... Perhaps.. I should slow down... Incase you two want more."

“Uh... you can have the rest of mine,” Salgia offered, “I’m not really that hungry.”

"Are you certain?" Avalam gasped, obviously holding the gesture at much higher significance than Salgia.

“Absolutely,” Salgia smiled.

Klursi simple patted her stomach and gave a thumbs up indicating that she was full.

"How often am I going to tell you you're too kind?" Avalam giggled modestly as she took Salgia's bowl, immediately chugging the soup left inside in seconds. She set the bowl down with a big smile on her face as she licked her lips of any soup left over once again. However, a little had spilled onto her chin. Not willing to let a single drop of soup go to waste (Especially when so graciously provided to her), she wiped it off with a finger and gave it a quick suck before smiling at Klursi and Salgia.

Klursi seemed rather happy to see her idea to make pumpkin soup was so well-received. She then wiped off her hands and stood up and took a moment to stretch.

“Well, It’s nice to be told I’m kind,” Salgia giggled in response, “It’s also good to know that we made something really... good. If we’re stuck here any longer... we’ll have to remember to make that again.”

"And I didn't need to spend a fortune!" Avalam exclaimed, "Food in Regat gets so expensive when you... Eat as much as I do."

“Yeah, I guess that makes sense...” Salgia thought, “Well, I think you’d love fast-food, if that’s the case.”

"Fast... Food?" Avalam blinked, putting a finger to her chin.

A bubble containing McDonalds then appeared was Klursi attempted to explain the concept of fast food to Avalam.

“Well, you see, in my world, there’s a whole bunch of restaurants and stuff that make food so fast, they’ll get you an entire meal in minutes!” Salgia explained, “And it’s all really cheap, too, so you can have an entire lunch for really good prices. I usually don’t eat it, but when I do, it’s nice.”

"Your world sounds absolutely amazing," Avalam gasped in awe. The way to a shapeshifter's heart was obviously through their stomach.

“When we get back to my world, I’ll show you. I don’t think I’m explaining that good,” Salgia mused embarrassedly.

"I think you explained all you needed to," Avalam giggled, "I... Was actually worried I would be a bit of a financial burden in regards to food. Back home, it was what I spent all of my funds on."

“Ah, you’d be fine, regardless of fast food,” Salgia assured, “I don’t eat a lot, and the Krei don’t eat more than a speck of food every now and then, so I’m sure the money’d be there for you to eat there anyways.”

"What is a Krei? A sort of pet?"

“Yeah! They’re adorable little balls of fluff!” Salgia explained, before Ansifel cut them off.

”Krei are considered either a pet or a pest, depending on which regions or nations you are visiting. I do hope you understand every responsibility in owning Krei. Outbreaks of the species have been known to be ecologically disastrous.”

”I-I know how to take care of them! I’ve had them for two years,” Salgia explained, “They’re not that bad- T-the Abrol keep them under control all the time, it’s fine!” They turned back to Avalam, a little nervous, “But, uh, yeah, I got two of the little adorable fluffy guys. They don’t need much attention, only a little food, and they’re really good stress relievers. Like, just petting one is amazing for tension.”

"I can't wait to see them," The shapeshifter beamed.

“I think they’d love to meet you, too!” Salgia smiled, “They’re real friendly. Did... did you ever have pets?”

"Oh, of course not... As I said, all of my money went to food for myself. The only time I bought anything else was fabrics for my business. I was a tailor," Avalam answered, "... I suppose that's another reason not to have friends over... My home was very barren."

“I’m sure it was nice enough,” the Liss replied, “I got a couch, a bed, some chairs, and... that’s about it. I can’t say I spend a lot of time or anything on decorating.”

"More than I had," Avalam giggled, "... You have room for a second bed, yes? If not, I can sleep on the couch."

“Yeah, I got room, but... it’s a really big bed,” Salgia mumbled, “Like, we could sleep on either side and never notice the other person sleeping on the other side.”

A bubble depeicting Klurs's apartment then appeared, it had a rustic feel with the to the decoratiing, with a bed, couch, desktop, modest kitchen and a view of the surrounding buildings off of a small balcony.

"Oooh, that looks lovely, Klursi!" Avalam complimented.

“Oh, that does look really nice!” Salgia agreed with a nod.

Klursi seemed a bit flustered as to how nice the two thought her aparement was, she was certainly proud of how it looked but, was too modest to boast about it before the apartment appeared to have more of its usual clutter in an attempt to appear more down to earth.

"Oh, look at all the things she has!" Avalam exclaimed. It seemed the clutter only impressed her when compared to her own empty home, "Maybe we could go to your apartment! Especially if it has such a beautiful view!"

“Well, let’s not get too hasty,” Salgia giggled, “Klursi might want her own place to relax, like you do. What do you say, Klurts?”

Klursi nodded, it would be nice to have guests over. Of course, this could be interpreted as her agreeing that she would want her place to herself as opposed to them living with her.

"Pardon, but in that case, wouldn't you want your place to yourself as well, Salgia?" Avalam inquired, "I hope you're not feeling... [i[Compelled[/i] to let me stay with you."

“N-no! I’m perfectly fine with you staying with me- in fact, I’d love the extra company,” Salgia assured, “Sometimes it gets... a bit lonely.”

"I know the feeling... And... I suppose we can... Share a bed, if it really is that large," Avalam fell into a murmur, blushing lightly at the concept.

The coach in Klursi's apartment was then revealed to be a pull out bed, and the closet opened to reveal a sleeping bag.

“Why do you have a sleeping bag... in your closet.. ready to go?” Salgia asked, confused.

An image of a tent then appeared, as Klursi tried to explain that she liked camping. Her face lit up as she then realized her apartment was big enough to set up a tent in, a matching image then appeared.

"Shapeshifters camp very often when they are not hiding in a kingdom," Avalam remarked.

An expression that would only be described as "Oh" appeared on Klursi's face as the bubble popped.

“Huh. There’s not a lot of places to camp on my world...” Salgia hummed, “But I bet we could go off world and find some natural reserve or something like that.”

"A... Natural reserve?" Avalam questioned.

“Yeah, where the people who own the world or whatever decide to not build a lot on it for the sake of the wildlife and tourism,” Salgia explained, “They’re usually rich in life, from what I’ve heard. I’ve never gone camping, though, so I can’t really say.”

"Would there be forests? As in... Those large areas of just trees and bushes and the like? I've never seen one before."

“Yeah, most usually have forests or jungles,” Salgia explained.

Klursi was rather suprised as an image of Klursi walking in the woods appeared.

"I mean- I'd assume there would be forests given... There's probably a sun... It's just wild to think of it, so many trees and... Grass. You won't find many plants in Regat outside of the farming tower, and you won't find any outside of Regat whatsoever... Perhaps I shouldn't bring up my home that much. It doesn't make for a very fun conversation topic."

“Well, I think it’s just fine to talk about your home,” Salgia beamed, “It may have its... quirks, but so does my universe! And Klursi’s probably has some too!”

"Every inch of Regat must remain lit at all times or else the darkness could destroy the kingdom," Avalam stated, "... Though that does mean I sell a lot of sleeping masks."

“Sleeping masks?” The Liss repeated as a question.

"Ah, they're masks that people wear when they're trying to sleep. Since the room is very bright, it's hard to get any rest without one," Avalam explained, putting her hands over her eyes with a smile, "It covers the eyes." She peeked through her fingers before lowering her hands.

”Ah, so it’s like a... a blindfold for sleeping?” Salgia tried to explain their train of thought.

"I suppose so, yes," Avalam nodded, "But I imagine more comfortable."

“Oh, of course,” Salgia agreed, “I’d hate to wear a regular blindfold to sleep. So is it, like, padded and soft?”

"Oh, yes, very soft. Especially my sleeping masks," Avalam answered with pride in her work, though suddenly appearing timid as usual, "I, uh... Kinda cheat the competition by producing softer materials than they can obtain normally... I know it isn't right, but... Sleeping masks are a hefty amount of my income."

“...I think it’s just fine,” Salgia mused, “I understand completely. You have to stay ahead of the competition, or else you lose out on profit! It makes sense to me, and I don’t see the real issue in doing it like that. In fact, I’d be more than happy to buy one from you.”

A bubble containing the sleep mask Klursi had then appeared.

"Really?" Avalam gasped, immediately digging into her saddlebag. She pulled out about seven granola bars to get them out of the way before presenting one of her sleeping masks. "They're easy to fit in there," She giggled as she handed the mask to Salgia, "Don't worry about paying for it. You're letting me stay in your home after all."

The mask itself did look very comfortable, and was very soft while also conforming to the shape of one's face without just being a rag. It was cool to the touch, ensuring the wearer wouldn't get too warm or sweaty with it on. It was all black save for a yellow trim and a small, stylized A in the corner of the outside of the mask.

Salgia held the small piece of headgear in their hands, before having to try it on, flipping the strap under their ponytail as they placed it over their eyes. “Oh wow, this is... this is really nice!” The Liss admitted, gently pressing it closer to their face, before pulling it up just enough for them to see, “I... really think I should give you something for this, really. This is too much thought and effort to just... go unpaid!”

Klursi gave a thumbs up indicating she thought the mask looked good.

"Oh, come now, Salgia," Avalam huffed with a smile as she dug into her bag, "A home is worth a hundred times more than a silly mask." She produced another mask, handing it to Klursi so she may try it out too. "If you get to be kind, I do too... But I'm glad you like it."

“Alright, alright,” Salgia nodded, taking the mask and storing it very neatly in their purse, “We’ll call it even, then, alright?”

"I'm not sure if a home and a mask are exactly even," Avalam chuckled modestly.

“I mean, I wouldn’t mind more stuff like that, if that’s what you’re saying,” Salgia giggled, “But I don’t want to feel... selfish about this whole situation.”

"Oh, nonsense, you can have whatever you like of me," Avalam scoffed, waving a hand to dismiss the notion that Salgia was selfish.

“...Alright,” Salgia beamed, “I’ll definitely keep that in mind from now on.”

Klursi put the mask that she had been given and put it on her face before a squeaking that could only be understood as a sound of approval could be heard.

"... Klursi must have really loved it," Avalam murmured, shocked to hear a peep out of the mute.

“Wait, that was her that made that noise?” Salgia looked over to Klursi in shock.

Klursi’s bubble then showed a very small sound board containing the noises she could make, with them mostly being squeaks.

"... Perhaps it's best if I stop questioning things when it comes to you," Avalam asserted.

“Yeah, usually it’s better to just go with it,” Salgia agreed with a nod.

"But yes, if you'd like, I could even recreate your whole wardrobe!" Avalam offered Salgia as she clasped her hands together, "Looks the same, but feels completely different!"

”Huh... I’ll definitely have to think about that, Avalam,” Salgia nodded, “It is a pretty good offer.”

"Oh, perhaps your bedsheets as well," Avalam mused, "If this 'fast food' is as cheap as you say it is, I shouldn't have a problem producing the fabric for it all! In fact... Would you like to see how I do it?"

“Uh... sure! Yeah, I’d love to see how!” the Liss exclaimed.

Avalam smiled and cracked her knuckles before rolling her shoulders. She held out a hand, palm upwards, and shook lightly. Her bit down on both of her lips and might a quiet noise of effort as fur grew from her palm. Slowly, it spilled out of her grasp and off the edges of her hand. Once the hairs of the fur were about six inches long. they simply severed themselves from her, landing on the table in a small pile. "Ta-da!"

“Wow, that’s pretty neat!” Salgia gasped, “So you just... eat and you can make more of it?”

"That's right! Though that was about... One or two bowls of soup worth of effort right there," Avalam answered.

Klursi then made a quick calculation regarding that Avalam's comment, a bubble containg a challenge at a local resturant then appeared that offered a free meal of one could eat a ridiculously oversized burger.

"You... You people just... You have contests where you just eat food? And it's free?!" Avalam gasped.

“Yeah, you even get prizes if you eat the most the fastest,” Salgia added,

An image depicting at least twenty failures then appeared.

"Y-You people... Live in the most wonderful worlds I can't even imagine," Avalam murmured in awe, "I always ate in private because humans would tease me for how much and how fast I would eat... Usually the other women... And to think you have contests celebrating such things! Amazing!"

Klursi was a bit baffled by how different Avalam's world was, after a moment images of food trucks showed up as she tried to explan the idea to her shapeshifting friend.

”Oh, and delivery- food delivery places are amazing!” Salgia explained, “There’s gonna be so much food, you won’t know what to do with it.”

"Ohhh! I can't wait any longer! I wish I was in your world already!" Avalam squealed, "I'll never be able to repay you for taking me to such a place!"

”Oh, I’m sure I’ll find a way, don’t you worry, Avalam,” Salgia snidely replied, “But first, we gotta get there. And that means getting out of the Clash... somehow.”

"Did 'Mol' tell you how?"

“...Klursi? Did he? I honestly can’t remember if he told us how to get out of the Clash. I was starting to get tipsy by then.”

A flashback of Mol telling them they needed to simply survive appeared, though Mol was wearing clothing that made him much more attractive.

"I see..." Avalam slowly nodded, a light blush appearing on her face as she took note of the man in the flashback, "So I suppose we just have to wait."

“Well, I hope we don’t have to wait long,” Salgia murmured.

"As do I..." Avalam agreed, thinking for a moment, "... Salgia? You said that... Many on your world are similar to yourself in that... They... Do not mind shapeshifters, yes?"

“Yeah, there’s no problem with shapeshifters there,” Salgia nodded, “...Why are you asking?”

"Well..." Avalam's blush persisted, "... I was just thinking that... Such a world would provide a good opportunity for me to find... A partner."

“...Oh,” Salgia nodded again, a face a bit more unenthused than before, “Well, they don’t usually... stay for long, they’re usually traveling around, or... or whatever.”

"... You're the only permanent resident in your world?" Avalam blinked.

“No, there’s plenty of permenant residents, it’s just there’s a lot more people just passing through,” Salgia explained.

"I see... Well it shouldn't be that difficult for me, right?" Avalam proposed with hope.

A bubble then depicted a large group of tourist in Kelsburg as Klursi seemed to express some general distaste to dealing with them.

“Uh- Yeah, yeah, there’s still plenty of fish in the sea,” Salgia smiled.

"I... No, I- I don't want a fish," Avalam blinked.

“It’s... it’s a saying,” Salgia muttered, “It means there’s still plenty of choices out there.”

"Oh, of course," Avalam giggled, losing herself in thought a little, "Oh, I can see it now.. A nice man... Maybe he can cook... But most importantly just kind.. I suppose my standards aren't very high, but I'd want to compare his behavior to yours, Salgia."

“Yeah, I’d say that’d be a... a good... man,” Salgia agreed, seemingly lost in their own thought.

"You seem a little preoccupied," Avalam noted upon glancing away from the man in her mind.

“Wha- Oh, nah,” Salgia shook their head, “I’m perfectly fine.”

Avalam raised an eyebrow and smiled. "The only person that can lie to a shapeshifter is a shapeshifter... And Klursi," She remarked, curious as to what was on Salgia's mind.

Klursi looked at Avalam as she rapidly signed asking what she did wrong.

"You're fine, Klursi, you're fine," Avalam giggled modestly.

“Nah, it’s just work stuff I’m thinking about, it’s fine,” Salgia mused, “You don’t wanna hear the details behind that.”

"... You're probably right, that line of work flusters me just thinking about it, but... If it's bothering you, then I'll listen," Avalam affirmed.

“...Nah, I’m good,” the Liss assured with a sigh, “I’d rather keep it to myself anyways. I’m... sorry for bringing it up in the first place. Go on.”

"No, no, don't you worry about a thing. If you don't want to talk about it, it's fine," Avalam quickly assured, "Do all the men on your world look similar to yourself? With the skin color and the eyes?" She pointed at her own eye as she spoke, "N-Not that there's anything wrong with it, just curious."

“Nah, I’m the only Liss there,” Salgia explained, “The rest are a very mixed bag of races from across the northeast.”

"Well... I suppose I'm lucky to have the 'only Liss' as my friend," Avalam remarked, awkwardly hesitating before giving Salgia a quick hug.

Klursi nodded in agreement before joinging in the on the hu

“You guys are too sweet,” Salgia giggled as they accepted the two’s hugs.

"Coming from the girl letting me live in her home," Avalam scoffed.

“Still, you’re both just... really nice. It’s good we bumped into eachother first, and not some... freaky evil guys,” Salgia mumbled.

"I will never not be grateful for that," Avalam giggled.

Salgia smiled back at Avalam, unsure what to say, before chuckling, “Hey, you know what we should do? I think we should go drink. I mean, I really don’t see much else to do in this... dreary little town. What do we say? Drinks?”

"Well.. I suppose so! Just don't let me get too wild or anything!" Avalam agreed.

Klursi agreed to getting drinks again with a nod of her head before heading off for the bar again.

“Oh, don’t you worry, Avalam,” Salgia assured, “Being a little wild is always what you want from a round of drinks... not too wild, yeah. That’d probably get us kicked out.”

“... How do I know what is wild enough but not too wild?” Avalam pondered.

“I’d say getting physical with others would be a good place to... not get to on the scale of... drunken wildness,” Salgia snickered, “I mean- fighting people, not... just touching.”

“O-Oh of course! When I said I did not want to get too wild, I meant.. Disorderly. I don’t want to cause any chaos,” Avalam quickly clarified, violence was the last thing on her mind.

“Of course, of course,” the Liss nodded, “I’ll, uh, help you with that, then. No offense, but I’m probably better at handling my drinks. I’ll try to stop you if you start getting... too... disorderly.”

“I very much appreciate it, Salgia,” Avalam smiled with relief before giggling, “You would not believe the things shapeshifters do when drunk. Now let’s go before Klursi drinks everything before us!”

“That is a sentiment I can agree to!” Salgia laughed, leading the way to the bar with their friend.

===

"Mar-tee-nee?" Avalam repeated, giving the triangular glass a curious look.

Klursi herself had since downed part of her rum and coke and was lettting out a wheezy giggle at Avalam pronunciation of martini.

“Yep! They’re really good,” Salgia insisted, “Just... take a sip, and you’ll see.”

The shapeshifter picked the glass up, giving the drink a brief sniff before sipping it. "Oooh! That is good!" She exclaimed, immediately downing the entire drink in one go. She had no idea that a martini may have a higher alcohol concentration than wine.

Klursi then pounded her fist on the bar hand began signing “You go girl!”

“That’s the spirit!” Salgia laughed, before downing their own glass and slamming it back down with a refreshed sigh.

Klursi then took another sip of her drink and finished it off before requesting another. Her face had an obvious red blush to it at this point.

"Yes! I'd like another mar-tee-nee! Multiple of them!" Avalam laughed as she and Klursi were provided their drinks. "Oh, oh, Salgia! Watch this!" She exclaimed, her tongue stretching out nearly half a foot and curling into a U shape. She poured the martini onto her tongue, and it flowed down into her waiting gullet.

Klursi was impressed to see how quickly Avalam could drink and she quickly ordered several more drinks before chugging the one she already had.

“Oh, wow, that’s... That’s really cool!” Salgia mused, taking a sip from their next martini, unsure what elseto day to the strange extension of Avalam’s tongue.

A somewhat fuzzy bubble of Klursi and Avalam having a drinking contest then appeared as the mute pointed to the shapeshifter.

"Ohohoho! You are on!" Avalam accepted the challenge.

“Now, Avalam, let’s not get carried away here,” Salgia insisted, “Just a few drinks, alright?”

Klursi had since recieved another two drinks and was drinking one as she stared at Avalam.

"Hah! Allow me to show you the real way to drink!" Avalam scoffed, taking the other drink and quickly chugging it down without a single breath.

Klursi quickly downed the other drink before realizing she didn’t have anymore before proudly holding up four fingers to assert she had won.

“A-Avalam...” Salgia placed a hand on the shapeshifter’s shoulder, “Let’s try to take it easy, okay?”

"Oh, don't you worry, Salgia! I just have to drink more than she does!" Avalam proclaimed, ordering and subsequently chugging down another drink within seconds before slamming her glass down with a loud laugh.

The bubble the depicted an image of Avalam holding a gold trophy. Klursi then pondered and tried to figure out what prize Avalam had won. The bubble then depicted the theoretical male Avalam. After a moment, Klursi grabbed her dress, think for a moment it was a shirt, around her waist and tried to lift it up, However, due to the fact she was sitting down this did little more than expose her knee caps.
A
"Oh, oh, oh, oh! Guys! Guys! Wanna see something super cool?" Avalam giggled, rapidly tapping the bar as she spoke.

Klursi stopped fumbling with the fabric and looked at Avalam.

“Uh, Yeah!” Salgia nodded as they downed another drink.

"Okay, okay," Avalam quickly covered her face with both hands. After a moment or two, she pulled her hands away to reveal that her face now looked like Klursi's. "Ta-da!" She laughed as her hair faded into Klursi's hair color.

“Whoooah,” Salgia gasped, looking over Klursi’s face on Avalam, “You’re Klursi!”

Klursi was dumbfounded as a bubble appeared depicting Avalam’s face on Klursi’s body with a worried expression.

Avalam quickly covered her face again. This time, she parted her fingers to peek at her friends, revealing her eye had changed only to quickly remove her hands to drmaaitcally reveal she now looked like Salgia.

Salgia dropped their drink and giddily laughed, “OH MY GOD THATS ME OH MY GOD THATS AMAZING!”

Klursi looked and the two for a moment before clapping.

"Oh, oh! Wanna see something a bit weird? We do this all the time to spook humans!" Avalam giggled, "Ah- Just brace yourselves, okay?"

“You’ve ghot it, Avalam!” Salgia held a thumb up in dazed acceptance.

Klursi simply held her thumb up.

"Okay, just gimme ooone..." Avalam bit down on her lip, visibly straining herself. Her neck seemed to momentarily bulge before returning to normal, "Okay... You ready?" She asked as her face returned to normal.

Salgia nodded rapidly, ready to see whatever Avalam had to offer.

"Okay, it might be scary, but..." She warned. She then stood up, looked around, then gasped before her head just fell off onto the floor. Of course her body still stood, and she could be heard laughing still.

Klursi screamed, or motioned screaming atleast.

“...OH MY GOD AVALAM YOUR HEAD,” Salgia yelled, falling to the floor and picking up the shapeshifter’s head and holding it close, “ARE YOU OKAY AVALAM? OH MY GOD YOUR- YOUR HEAD?!”

However, the head was not laughing. Avalam lifted her shirt up to reveal a face was on her stomach. "Hahahaha! Oh, that always gets them!" She boasted, "Just stick it back on!"

Salgia stared at the stomach-face in shock for a moment, before they calmed down somewhat to a nervous laugh, “...Heh, That was... that was pretty funny, Avalam...” they sighed as they stuck the woman’s head back onto their neck.

The neck bulged and the sounds of a few bones cracking could be heard as the face on her stomach vanished. Her actual face blinked a few times before laughing as she seemed to return to normal. "I tried to warn you!" She giggled.

Klursi stared for a few moments before clapping. She giggled as several empty bubbles appeared around her head.

“Yeah... you did warn ush,” Salgia nodded woozily, “But shtill! That wash sho shcary! I thought your head poppded off!”

Klursi’s hands fumbled awkwardly for a few seconds as she tried to say something.

"Aww... Salgia..." Avalam cooed, stumbling a bit as she wrapped her arms around her two friends, "... You know... You two are just... Yeah, you're great. I feel like.... I feel just great. Everything is great... Wanna see me turn into a bear?"

A bubble appeared with a red x over the near before a picture of Mol with a green circle appeared.

“Oh, yeah, I agree, Klurtsh,” Salgia agreed, “That’sh a dick I’d bounsh on, heh...”

"Oh my gosh you.. You guyss.. You're so ina... inap... Lewd!" Avalam laughed, trying to cover her face, but removing her arms from the two nearly caused her to fall. Thankfully, she just barely managed to grab onto the bar with a third arm.

“What? You’ve never had a thought about... y’know...” Salgia made an extremely lewd gesture, “...With anyone?”

Klursi then made a lewd hand gesture at the image of Mol clearly trying to hit on the bubble.

"Ooohhhfff.. Well, of course!" Avalam guffawed, "But... I just.. You know, it's never been an option for me, you know?" The third arm retreated back into her body as she shakily stood on her two feet, leaving a hole in the shoulder of her shirt.

“Well... it could be an opshun now,” Salgia giggled, biting their lower lip.

"Oh gosh!" Avalam laughed, her face blushing redder than what was probably normal, but a drunk shapeshifter wasn't good at controlling such a thing, "But who? You.. You shaid that all the.. Any of the men here are weird."

“I mean... it doesn’t have to be a guy,” Salgia twiddled a finger lazily through their ponytail, “Girlsh are pretty fun for that, too...”

The bubble then changed to depict Avalam as a man, as Klursi pointed out she had endless options.

"Y-You guysh are crazy!" Avalam laughed, "I-I.. I don't think I could do that."

Klursi wheezed out a laugh, finding the bar suddenly hilarious.

“You’re drinking with ush, an you shaid that washn’t gonna happen,” Salgia scoffed, “Sho what’d be the ishue with doing it with a gal?”

"Ishn't like... Like, uh..." Avalam tried to think for a moment, "Uhh... Not proper or shomething for a girl and girl to like.. Do that?"

The bubble then doubled in size as Avalam turning into a boy as Klursi rested her head in the bar.

“Not at all!” Salgia assured, placing a somewhat sweaty hand on Avalam’s shoulder, which smelled somewhat fragrant, like a very faint perfume, “In my world, it’sh perfectly fine!”

"But I jus... Like, thought of- Alwaysss thought of a boy and hish..." Avalam slurred, wiggling her finger as, even while drunk, she had a hard time saying the word, "... Penish."

Klursi rose her head up and made an okay hand before placing her arm on Salgia’s shoulder for support, it was obvious the woman was heavily intoxicated.

“Bah! A few fingers can do what a dick can, eashy peashy!” Salgia scoffed drunkenly, “You just gotta... go with it.”

After taking a deep breath, Avalam mulled over it before shouting, "You know what!? Shure! I'll do it!" A combination of alcohol and Salgia's perfume had ridden the shapeshifter of her typical inhibition.

A squeak could be heard as Klursi attempted to cheer her friend on.

“That’sh the spirit!” Salgia laughed loudly, “You go, girl!”

Avalam's triumphant smile faded as she thought for a moment. "Wait, but... Who would I do it with?" She blinked.

Klursi’s bubble depicted Avalam winning their contest, Klursi herself wasn’t sure what this meant.

“...I’d be fine with it,” Salgia piped up.

Klursi giddily hiccuped.

"Wait, like.. Like me and you?" Avalam gasped, pointing at herself, then at Salgia, then at herself, and repeating this a few times.

“Well, yeah!” Salgia nodded, “Think of it like, uh... repaying that thing or whatever you wanted to do! Yeah! That!”

"Well, I... Guessh you have a point," Avalam slowly nodded before smiling, "Ish there a...A house... Room place shomewhere?"

Klursi’s bubble then showed her apartment, this was however impossible as she lacked a way to return home.

“There’sh a room in the back of the bar,” Salgia muttered with a hiccup, “Me an’ Klursh shpent some time there after we drank. If Klursh can keep eeeeeverybody out, it’sh gonna be a good place! Or even... hey, Klursh, just.. stay out here, okhey? Thish stuff needsh privashy.”

Klursi signed an okay hand then promptly sat down on the floor.

“...Okay, c’mon, Avalalam,” Salgia tugged at Avalam’s hand, “I’ll show you.”

After a short stumble, Avalam yelped and laughed as she let herself be lead away by Salgia, barely managing to wave goodbye to Klursi on the way.

Klursi waved bye before quickly pressing her ear to the door.

“Alright, sho, there’s the bed,” Salgia gestured, “I think... you get on it?”

The shapeshifter tripped and flopped face-first onto the bed with a groan before lazily rolling onto her back and giggling at Salgia.

The Liss looked down to Avalam, giggling slightly as they did. But... Salgia hesitated as they continued to stare down to Avalam, a slight frown forming on their inebriated face.

"... What ish it?" Avalam blinked, looking down at herself, then back up at Salgia, "I... I don't really know... What to do with a woman."

Meanwhile the liss’s Sweat had taken effect on Klursi who removed her dress from outside the door. After a moment she stumbled through the door with a giddy expression on her face.

"Ish Klurshee!" Avalam exclaimed, pointing dramatically at the intruder.

The drunk mute smiled before resting supporting herself on Salgia.

“Get OUT!” Salgia yelled, pushing Klursi off of them, “I shaid stay out THERE!”

Sonehow, Klursi managed to lose the rest of her clothing and waited outside the door. Avalam, meanwhile, had curled up on the bed, staring at Salgia wide-eyed in shock.

Salgia slammed the door and lazily locked the door. “...I...” The Liss sighed, losing most of their anger quickly, sitting on the edge of the bed, “I don’t know if we should do this anymore.”

"But wash-... Wasn't it your idea?" The shapeshifter asked, cocking her head.

“Yeah, but...” again, Salgia hesitated, their frown returning as tears began to well up in their eyes, “I... I...” before they slammed their head into the mattress, sobbing into the bed.

"... Shal-" Avalam quickly interrupted herself, biting her tongue to punish it for being stupid as she slowly recovered from her drinks, "Salgia? Are you okay?"

“I LIED to you!” Salgia pulled their head up with a deep heaving breath,”I lied, and I was... was gonna let you keep thinking I told you the truth!”

"Wh- Wha? What did you lie about, I'm shure it's fine," Avalam tried to assure.

“A-About...” Salgia murmured very quietly, their blushed cheeks extremely flustered as they continued, “About... being a girl...

"... What?" Avalam blinked.

“I’m...” Salgia looked around to be sure nobody was listening, or peeking in, and quietly said, cringing with every word, “A... a guy...

The shapeshifter gasped and let out a loud, "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!?" She quickly looked Salgia up, down, up, down, up, down, up, and down multiple times before rubbing her eyes, "Huh?!"

The Liss held their face in their hands as they murmured, “Oh my god, I should’ve just... I just... I’m sorry...

"N-No, it's fine, I.. I'm not mad, just... Surprised, I guess!" Avalam explained, waving her hands left and right, "At least I was not about to lay with a woman, but why... Do you look like a woman? And act as one?"

“It’s... I... I feel... better, like this, I guess,” Salgia gestured to themselves, “It’s... nicer than just being a guy. And I... like feeling like a girl.”

After a moment of taking this in and looking upon the Liss, a sympathetic expression overcame Avalam as she scooted closer to Salgia and put her hands in her lap. "Well, I... Suppose I know how you feel," She admitted.

“...Yeah,” Salgia nodded, looking to Avalam, “I... I guess you do, huh? I guess... that’s why I was... falling for you?”

Meanwhile Klursi was lying on the floor just outside the door as several speech bubbles entered the room from under the door.

"At least you don't have to eat a- Wait- Pardon?" Avalam blinked herself to attention, having only just processed the last part of what Salgia just said.

“That’s... that’s why I asked if we could go in here,” Salgia admitted, “I... I think I love you.”

"Hu- Whaaat?!" Avalam gasped, immediately flushing red, "M-Me?"

“I-I know it sounds crazy, but... yeah,” Salgia nodded, blushing themselves as well, “I really do think I am in... love with you.”

The shapeshifter stared at Salgia and shock, before quickly realizing she actually needed to speak and stammering out, "I-I.. I'm- I'm just flustered and- and and surprised! I-I mean... We only met but a few hours ago or so, and- I- I am not sure what I've done that is... Ah... That would elicit love."

“You’ve... just, been so understanding!” Salgia tried to explain, “You haven’t really judged me for- for being a Liss, or an escort, or- or any of it! Most people just look at me and get the picture that I’m some dumb alien, but not you! You... you get me! We get eachother!”

"Ba-Buh-But isn't this a tad... Sudden? Fast? I-I mean... I'm not well versed in... Love, but- Isn't it?" Avalam asked, still flustered at Salgia's confession.

“... Yeah, I... I guess so..” Salgia sighed, “Maybe I am going too fast with this... Maybe... we can take it slowly?” the Liss asked.

"I... Alright... I-I mean, I'm sure it could work out, after all, you have been... Very kind to me," Avalam looked down before smiling to Salgia.

“I-if you don’t want to, you don’t have to,” Salgia assured, “We can both walk out of here and... and act like we never talked about that. I-if you want.”

"N-No! No, no. It's something that I'm willing to try!" Avalam assured, "A-And... I suppose it's not so bad you turned out to be a... Man. I was quite nervous about doing anything with a woman... I'm... Honestly surprised I agreed to come in here."

“That’s alcohol for you, I guess!” Salgia tried to get out a small laugh, “But... I guess it did turn out good I am who I am...”

"And if you'd prefer it, I'll keep my lips sealed about the man-woman thing," Avalam promised.

“...When you word it like that, I would rather keep that a secret, yeah,” the Liss nodded with a smile, before waiting a moment and then hugging Avalam, “...Thank you.”

"Of course," Avalam replied tenderly, returning the hug soon after, "... So what do I do with you? Ah- I mean- I never learned that bit of... Interacting with people.. In that way."

Salgia reeled back from the hug a slight bit with a small smile, “Don’t worry. I’ll... teach you.”

"I would appreciate that," Avalam giggled modestly.

A small heart then appeared from under the door.

“So... I... really don’t know what to do now,” Salgia admitted.

"Didn't you say you were the teacher here?" The shapeshifter laughed.

“Yeah, but... I’m sorta awkward with this kind of stuff too,” Salgia giggled, “Maybe... maybe we just... sit here for a little bit?”

"Oh, okay, that sounds nice," Avalam agreed, smiling through what would be an awkward silence to follow for a little while, "... So.... Avalam is not my... Birth-given name."

“Oh?” Salgia murmured, “What’s your... birth-name?"

Another heart.

"Ah... Skotena Perpati," Avalam answered, "I, uhm... Prefer Avalam though. I had to adopt a new name when living in Regat. 'Skotena' would have been a dead giveaway to me being a shapeshifter."

“...I like Avalam better, too,” Salgia agreed, “It’s a much prettier name.”

Another heart.

"I think so too. The language of the shapeshifters is rather harsh compared to human languages," Avalam smiled, "It has a very long alphabet too, seventy-three letters. That was after it was shortened."

“That is long,” Salgia agreed, “I just... stuck with my own name. Sure, my folks will eventually want to hear from me and find me when they don’t, but I don’t really care that much.”

"I think it's a lovely name, feminine too, if that helps!"

Several small hearts then streamed out from under the door.

"... Salgia... Klursi! Is that you?!" Avalam huffed, finally noticing the little hearts.

“Klurts! Go away!” Salgia yelled, “We’re having a private conversation!”

A large heart then popped out from under the door. With another huff and a blushed face, Avalam got up from the bed, marched over to the door, unlocked it, and threw it open into the room.

Continued in next post

_________________
Then the world blew up. The end.
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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Lowfn on Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:57 pm

Continued

Klursi was lying sprawled out nude in the floor with a stupid grin on her face. Avalam was utterly speechless, staring down at Klursi with her hands covering her mouth. She was unable to move, frozen in horror.

“Klursi, what are you even...?” Salgia sighed from the bed, pinching their brow.

"Sh-She... She's nude on the floor!" Avalam finally squaked out, turning to Salgia and pointing down at their mute friend.

“Yes, yes she is,” the Liss grumbled, “Klursi, put on your clothes, please.”

Klursi made a suggestive gesture with two hands as another heart appeared.

“Oh my god, you just-“ Salgia continues to grumble to themselves as they grabbed a cover off the bed, and draped it over Klursi, “There, a temporary fix.”

"W-What- What's wrong with her?!" Avalam cried out.

“She’s drunk,” Salgia simply explained, “Really, really drunk. Wasted, even.”

Klursi seemed to moved before another heart appeared.

"... My word, do you think she was..." Avalam trailed off, not wanting to say it.

“Fingering herself?” Salgia finished Avalam’s sentence, “Oh yeah, definitely. She’s definitely drunk enough that she’d do that.”

"Oh gosh! I'm glad I did not do such a thing!" The shapeshifter gasped, scurrying away from Klursi before scurrying back, "W-Wait, should we bring her in the room? Someone may... Take advantage of her out here."

“That’s... probably a good idea,” Salgia nodded, “...Alright, I’ll pick her up by her shoulders if you can get her legs.”

"G-Got it!" Avalam nodded, tentatively stepping over the mute and grabbing her by her ankles.

Klursi simply stayed limp as she was carried into the room.

Together, the two carried Klursi into the room. “Should we... put her on the bed?” Salgia strained as they carried the cartoon character.

Another heart appeared around Klursi’s head as she was carried. "I-I suppose so, yes," Avalam nodded. With a small huff, the two had placed Klursi on the bed, with Avalam taking extra care to ensure she was covered before closing the door.

Salgia let out a long sigh, “Oh, geez, that’s... she is heavier than she looks, no offense to her.”

"I'll keep that remark[i/] a secret too," Avalam giggled as she sat back down on the other side of the bed.

“That’d be nice, yeah,” Salgia laughed in response, flopping down next to Avalam with a sigh of relief, “Oh, tonight’s been crazy.”

"Definitely one of the more eventful days of my life," Avalam agreed, "Thankfully a [i]good
kind of eventful... Save for... What I just saw."

“It wasn’t that bad...” Salgia objected, before adding, “.,.But yeah, I don’t wanna see that again either.”

"You have a much higher tolerance for such things than I," Avalam laughed, "I feel embarrassed just seeing myself nude."

“Wow, I really have more tolerance for that, then,” Salgia laughed, “I stare at myself in the mirror sometimes... now that you mention seeing you nude, that’s gonna be stuck on my mind, now.”

"Oh my word!" Avalam cried out, laughing as she covered her blushed face, "No! Stop thinking about it!"

“I’m just gonna keep on thinking about it! About you naked!” Salgia laughed, “And you now have to have the idea of me naked stuck in your head!”

"Noooo!" The shapeshifter covered her ears and buried her face in a pillow, shaking her head into it and laughing.

Hey “Yes! You think about it!” Salgia laughed wildly, “It’s so much to think about!”

"No no no no no! It's bad enough I have to keep my own body on my mind!" Avalam's muffled voice yelled from the pillow.

“I mean, you saw Klursi’s, so you might as well think about mine,” the Liss snickered.

"Mmmf..." Avalam lifted her head up, "To be honest... I already have.. Or I did earlier when I changed my face to look like yours, though... The body I imagined was a tad different to how I would imagine it now... Obviously."

“Heh, yeah, I guess that makes sense,” Salgia chuckled, “...I don’t mean to be rude when I ask this, but... do you shapeshift a... y’know...” the Liss pointed to inbetween their legs, “...while you’re... you?”

"O-Oh, yes, of course," Avalam nodded with an awkward chuckle, "... I also must remind myself it's supposed to be there, or... Slowly over time it'll shift away. That goes for my entire form really."

“So if you forget, you could end up with a pussy in your armpit or something like that?” Salgia snorted, a bit amused at the prospect of Avalam keeping their body parts in place.

"Pfft! N-No!" Avalam laughed, "It's nothing crazy like that! It's more like... So we shapeshifters have a... 'Base form', I guess you could call it. If we do not keep our body in check, we will very slowly shift towards that form. It is very slow, but the subtle changes can be enough to blow one's cover. That's why many of us are always hungry. We are constantly shapeshifting to maintain our current appearance."

“Ah, that makes sense,” Salgia nodded along, “So... how far can you shapeshift? Like, if you eat enough, can you turn into like, a giant?”

"Of course, we only have a limit on how small we can go," Avalam nodded as she tapped her temple, "Obviously, we cannot shapeshift smaller than our brains, otherwise that would mean... Shapeshifting our brain. Then again, you still need a bit more than just a brain to be... Alive. So about the size of my head is the smallest we can go."

“...So you could be... a head with little arms and feet?” Salgia chuckled, “But... is there any other... limits to what you can shapeshift into?”

"Mmmm... Well... Give me an example of something you think may be improbable," Avalam requested.

“Could you turn into... a fan? A big fan?” Salgia pondered, “Or into, like a... an entire set of furniture?”

After a giggle, Avalam pondered over the idea. "Perhaps? I'm not too sure about the fan, but furniture shouldn't be... Impossible. I wouldn't want anyone to sit on me, of course."

“I mean, I would definitely want the opposite,” Salgia murmured with a smirk, “I- Er... it’s a lewd thing, you don’t wanna know yet.”

"Oh my word! You could've just left me clueless!" Avalam gasped.

“I could’ve,” The Liss nodded, “But then you’d get curious and ask, so I decided to just... cut out the middle man there. Don’t worry, I won’t do anything unless you want, I’m just... fantasizing, I guess.”

"Well, I am not turning into a couch," The shapeshifter giggled, "So you can forget about that fantasy!"

“...It didn’t need you to turn into a couch for that fantasy,” Salgia smirked, “Just you sitting on me, all lewd-like.”

"Oh my word! You are too much," Avalam laughed, shaking her head, "I would be lying if I said you didn't make me laugh though... I suppose that makes me just as bad as you are."

“You’re not that bad,” the Liss argued, “You’re just getting used to being a bit more open about it... though I will admit, I think your little laughs are adorable.”

"Ohhh, now you're just flattering me!" Avalam whined, blushing at the compliment and trying to hide her face.

“Yeah, maybe,” Salgia agreed, “But it’s true.” The Liss looked around the room with a hum, “So... now that we’ve dealt with Klursi, who’s gonna take her time getting sober, what do we do now?”

"Ah.... I'm... Not sure. Is handholding fun at all? I see people do that a lot," Avalam inquired.

“It’s... it’s nice,” Salgia smiled softly, “Is... is that what you want? We could take a walk and hold hands, if you like.”

"I-I was- I mean, if you're okay with it, that does sound nice," Avalam stammered out with a smile.

Salgia placed their hand over one of Avalam’s, looking into her eyes, “Relax. I’d love to do that with you,” they calmly nodded.

The shapeshifter returned Salgia's gaze with a blush before turning her hand over under the Liss's and slowly curling her fingers around their hand. "... Do you... Think Klursi will be okay here by herself? Could someone not... Walk in on her?"

“We’ll just... lock it on the way out,” Salgia shrugged, “She’ll be fine, I think. She was pretty okay last time we got drunk, so I don’t see why she wouldn’t be this time. Just... relax, alright? You want to go out? We’ll go out, hands held, as far as you like,” the Liss smiled.

After slowly taking in and letting out a deep breath, Avalam nodded. "I suppose I worry a little too much," She admitted.

“It’s good to be careful,” Salgia assured, gently grasping Avalam’s hand, “Now, let’s have ourselves a nice stroll, alright, Avalam?”

"Of course, Salgia," Avalam replied with a modest giggle.

=====

"... So the dragon was finally defeated, but since another never came, many nowadays believe it was a shapeshifter attempting to steal magic from humans," Avalam finished her tale, her hand clasped with Salgia's as they strolled about, "I'm quite certain a good amount of the creatures and monsters humanity has encountered are just shapeshifters trying to scare them... It wouldn't surprise me."

“I guess if you can turn into anything you want, I guess you could use it to scare people,” Salgia pondered, “Or turn into a dragon and bring mayhem and whatever.... but you’re a lot nicer than those guys.”

"That's a nice thought," Avalam smiled, before letting out a sigh, "I try though, but I do feel... Urges, I suppose... At best, they would compel me to be mischevious and scare folks or impersonate someone... But I try to keep myself in check."

“Well, everybody’s got urges to do something,” Salgia nodded along, “I got... well, lewd urges sometimes. But I can keep them in check, too.”

"Perhaps, but your urges don't lead down a path of an entire kingdom falling apart," Avalam remarked, "But I see what you mean."

“Yeah, that does seem a bit more serious...” Salgia mused, “But you’re pretty good at keeping those urges in check... unless you’re drunk, that is, I guess.”

"I would say you're good with your urges as well, even while drunk," Avalam smiled, briefly resting her other hand on Salgia's shoulder before letting it slide off as they walked, "Given how things went earlier."

“I’m actually a bit surprised it went as well as it did back there,” Salgia admitted, “And that I didn’t... wait one second,” the Liss pulled their hand away, taking out a tissue from their purse and wipe their hand off, a thin layer of sweat over it, before holding Avalam’s hand calmly again, “Sorry about that, I just... it’s weird for anyone who’s not a Liss to get that sweat on them.”

"Weird?" Avalam inquired, tilting her head to the side.

“Well, when I get... turned on, even a little,” Salgia explained, “I start to sweat out this... stuff. It’s a... aphrodisiac, I think’s the word. It makes anyone who gets it on them... horny too.”

"W-What?" Avalam gasped, "Is... Is that what I smelled on you earlier? I thought it was some sort of... Perfume!"

“Yeah, that was it,” the Liss nodded, “It sweats out even more than usual when I drink. I guess whatever glands or whatever working them just get inhibited or something, but I dunno. Either way, I don’t wanna get you horny now,” Salgia shook their head, “Not unless you want to.”

"Heh... Well, I appreciate tha- Wait- You just wiped your hand- Does that mean you are... 'turned on' right now?" Avalam asked in surprise.

“...Well, I was for a bit there, yeah,” Salgia answered truthfully, “But having to explain it and remembering it... I can control that so I’m not.”

"B-But what was there even to get 'turned on' about?"

“Holding hands, I guess. Listening to your story, too.”

"I was talking about a dragon destroying a fortress. I... I am not sure what is... What about that would 'turn someone on'."

“Nothing about the story, just... the way you told it, I guess.”

"... I'm not sure if I'll ever understand," She admitted with a modest laugh.

“Don’t worry, you’ll get it eventually,” Salgia snickered, “...Oh! And your looks really help with the whole “getting turned on” thing.”

"P-Pardon?!" The shapeshifter gasped, quickly looking down at herself, then back at the Liss.

“Yeah! Thick thighs, sizable chest, cute little face - I’m surprised you weren’t flirted with more by guys back in Regat, to be honest,” Salgia mused.

Avalam put a hand to her 'cute little face' and looked down, as if she were staring at it before humming. "... Hmmm... Perhaps, but I may have not been paying much attention then. I-I just... Thought this would be a... Feminine body and face so... This is what I went with. I tried to not be exceptionally beautiful or anything to where I would stand out though."

“...Well, I’m not saying you should change it!” Salgia scoffed, “I... I like you the way you look now. It’d be... weird to see you in different proportions and features. Not that I think you turning into other bodies is strange, I just... prefer how you look right now.”

"Oh, no, don't worry," Avalam assured, "I've... Gotten very used to this form. I wouldn't want to change it either. I like being able to look in the mirror and be the same as I have been."

“Ah, okay, that’s good,” Salgia nodded, “That’s.. that’s good.”

"... You were just worried I wouldn't have 'thick thighs' and a 'sizeable chest' anymore, weren't you?" Avalam joked.

“I was worried you’d change that pretty face, most of all,” Salgia cooed with a laugh.

"You are far too sweet, Salgia," The shapeshifter giggled, unable to cover her blushing face as she normally would given one of her hands was stuck in Salgia's.

“Oh, I’m just as sweet as I need to be,” the Liss laughed.

"Hm... I don't give enough compliments your way as you do me," Avalam asserted, "... I like your hair! I don't think I've seen anyone with... Purple hair in Regat before."

“Oh, thank you!” Salgia smiled, stroking their pony tail’s end with their open hand, “It’s a common hair color among the Liss, really. Lots of purples and lots of reds, both dark and light. There’s a few bluish-purple-haired Liss, but I don’t know any personally. I don’t know really any of my kind that personally these days...”

"I can't say I know any of mine well either... But why is that the case for you?"

“Well, I sort of had a... falling out, with my kind when I was younger,” Salgia explained, “I... just didn’t feel like I belonged where my parents and everyone wanted me to be. It just felt... not right. Like I didn’t have any choice in my own life, so... I left.”

"I see... I suppose that's a fine enough reason as any... Did you find where you belong on your world you've told me of?"

“Well, it’s better than where I was gonna be with my kind, but it’s... Yeah, it’s where I wanted to be, I think. A place no other Liss would dare live and judge me for leaving? I’d ask for that any time, even if it is under some scummy landlords and a shady neighborhood.”

"Scummy landlords and a shady neighborhood?" Avalam repeated.

“Oh, it’s a Veruli-co-owned habworld,” Salgia explained, before realizing that wouldn’t make sense, “...The world’s owned mostly by very greedy guys who are also as cheap as they can be sometimes. I own one of the better apartments there, but a lot of it is slums and... places we wouldn’t be walking into. There’s a whole lot of bad stuff that happens in there. But if you avoid those parts of the world, it’s pretty nice.”

"Well, that doesn't sound so bad," Avalam chirped, "Plus, there's fast food!"

“Heh. Yeah, fast food has its benefits,” Salgia chuckled, “A lot of people love it, but I prefer fresh stuff. Fruits and veggies, you know, all of those fun things.”

"As long as it's food," Avalam remarked, "So fast food has no fruits or vegetables in it?"

“Fast food can have those, but usually they’re not as fresh as getting them from the market yourself,” Salgia explained, “A lot of the fast food meat’s full of chemicals to stay good longer, too, and so do the fruits and veggies.”

"... Is that bad?"

“Not exactly, no. It’s still good food, just... I’m just not a fan. I’m not trying to put you off it before you even try it, if that’s what you’re thinking, I-I’m just stating my opinion.”

"My only concern is our food bill," Avalam assured, "I wouldn't want to purchase any expensive foods for myself if fast food is available... Given my appetite."

“I mean.. It’d definitely be nice for you to have more than fast food, wouldn’t it? Some things are a lot tastier, even if they cost a little more.”

"... Maybe just now and then," Avalam mused before gasping, "Oh! Do you think I would still be able to be a tailor in your world?"

“Yeah, I still think you’d have a really good job as tailor there,” Salgia nodded, “A lot of the clothes there are machine-made, so they’re not of high as quality as anything you can make, and they certainly aren’t as soft!”

The shapeshifter smiled at that, clearly she enjoyed her work as a tailor. "I'm glad to hear that," She replied, "And not just because I don't want to leech off of you."

Salgia smiled, “I bet people would pay a lot for a custom-made piece of clothing that’s the softest thing around! Like I said, most of it’s machine stuff, so it’s mostly just the same stuff over and over with them.”

"Well, what I'm wearing now is fairly standard clothing for the peasantry. Most of the work I've done is mending clothes, making another one of these, or making sleeping masks," Avalam hummed as she looked down at her rather plain, brown outfit, "Though on a rare occasion I would get to make something unique for someone."

“Well, I think unique stuff could be good, especially on my world,” Salgia assured, “Though... I bet there’d be some people who’d want to buy some of your masks, too. There’s a lot of neon lights and lit-up billboards that can make sleeping in places annoying.”

"I doubt it could be that bad," Avalam scoffed, "But I am very proud of my masks."

“Oh, it’s bad,” Salgia mused, “It’s like lights on every wall, trying to get you to want to buy stuff. It’s obnoxious.”

"Huh, and to think that's seen as a good thing where I'm from. People are even jumpy at the rare shadow! And so they would put in a new light at that angle just so there isn't a shadow there!"

“That darkness must really be dangerous where you’re from if a shadow gets everybody riled up,” Salgia scoffed amusedly.

"Oh, it is," Avalam nodded in a slightly more serious tone, "Shapeshifters do not have to worry as much, as we can shift parts of our bodies to glow in the dark if needed, but even still it is a threat. It destroys lesser creatures in mere moments, and corrupts those with a stronger will into husks of their former selves that shamble about, attempting to rend travelers of their light before they inevitably crumble themselves. Even structures decay at a startling speed in the darkness."

”...That’s... definitely scary,” Salgia murmured, “I’m happy I didn’t come from a world like that... Uh, N-no offense to your world, just... the whole... all-encompassing and destructive darkness.”

"Oh, no, I agree completely," Avalam assured, "It's nice being able to walk around without being scared of your own shadow. Of course, my world was not always the way it is now, but I was not born in that time."

“Oh... Well, my world’s got its fair share of scary things, I guess,” Salgia shrugged, “They’re not as... direct as a darkness that will eat me, but they’re still... worrying every now and then.”

"Oh? Such as?"

“Well, there’s a Cold War between Saircana and Kanak that looks like it’ll boil over into real war any day now, and put the entire region of space into a mess of fighting,” Salgia mused, “And then there’s a bunch of bugs that are threatening to eat us at times for their ‘religion’, and then there’s other stuff I don’t even understand, really, and it all just keeps piling on top of itself in one big mess. Like I said, it’s not as immediate as your world’s big problems, but they’re big problems nonetheless.”

"It does seem like it would be harder to repel a.. 'bunch of bugs' than the darkness. With that, you just need some lights, I suppose."

“They... I’ve never seen the bugs myself, but I keep hearing about them in the news and in the papers and whatever, and it all just seems so... humbling, I guess, to read about how these big old powers are gonna fight against eachother eventually, and it’s gonna be a mess for everyone because of it.”

"Hm... And I'm guessing these aren't just... Small kingdoms, are they?"

“No-no-no. Kanak and Saircana are two of the biggest nations in the northeastern parts of the galaxy! They’re absolutely massive,” Salgia sighed, “Kanak’s a lot bigger, but Saircana’s got the equipment to back up their aggression. Lots of better guns and machines. They make a real point to show off to everyone that they can definitely fight.”

"How big are they exactly? There aren't really any proper nations in my world anymore," Avalam inquired.

“I don’t even wanna try and guess with Kanak, but the last time I checked, Saircana was... about a hundred thousand systems strong? Kanak’s a heck of a lot bigger, though.”

"Systems?"

“Entire solar systems, a sun or two or three with some planets around it or whatever... Oh, wait, sorry about that, I forgot you’re not used to that kind of system, with your world being different and whatever.”

"Wait.. So a world... A star... Hun- Oh my word!" Avalam gasped in shock, "A hundred thousand?! And that's the smaller one!?"

“Yeah, I know,” Salgia agreed, “It’s ridiculous. I wanna say Kanak’s somewhere in the millions, but I don’t want to be overestimating too... I don’t even want to try and guess the populations...”

"My word... And I thought our old empires were large! I... I can't even... Imagine this 'Saircana' and 'Kanak'!"

“Exactly why they’re so humbling, I guess,” Salgia chuckled, “It makes you feel... puny, I guess is how I’d describe it.”

"Well, I mean... Your worlds are big... Spheres. My world is infinite," Avalam regarded, "Though... With that being said, we never had a civilization so large."

“I wouldn’t expect so,” Salgia thought, “Space is... really big, and our galaxy has a lot of it to go around, so these nations just... keep growing until they butt heads.”

"... It certainly seems interesting, as if the concept of a 'ball world' was not interesting enough already."

“I guess you could call it interesting,” Salgia sighed, “I call it a bit hard to keep track of galactic politics at all. Too much happening over such a big space.”

"Galactic... Galaxy.. What does that mean?"

“...Man, you guys must really have a different concept of space,” Salgia laughed, “Well, a galaxy is a big... collection of stars and systems and planets and whatever. They’re absolutely massive, and they’re kept together by a... a black hole? Yeah, a black hole, a really really dense point where everything orbits very very slowly because it’s so far away from the black hole.”

"... You're going to have to give me a moment," Avalam murmured as she tried comprehending what she was told.

“Yeah, it’s complex, but just get that everyone I’m talking about lives in our galaxy, Aoshtai,” Salgia explained, “And that, from what I’ve seen, a lot of other places in the galaxy are getting ready to fight eachother too, for whatever dumb reasons they have.”

"How many... Stars are in a galaxy?"

“Way too many for me to remember,” Salgia laughed, “Enough to make Kanak look puny, at least.”

"My word... And are there... Multiple galaxies?!"

“Oh yeah. There’s so many of them, there’s a name for the entire group around Aoshtai, the, uh... Aegis Cluster, yeah, that’s it.”

"I.. I think I need to sit down for this," Avalam muttered, walking a bit ahead as to sit on a bench as she ran a hand through her hair, trying to figure the universe out.

“...I’m sorry if it’s too complicated for you,” Salgia apologized, sitting down next to Avalam so that they could still hold hands, “I didn’t think about how... different your world is before I got talking about my own.”

"Oh, no, no, it's fine... I need to know these things eventually," The shapeshifter sighed, "It's just...A lot to think about. It's like everything I know about how the world works is just... Wrong now."

“To be honest... the way you talked about your world made me feel the same way,” Salgia mused, “Like-uh, do you guys have a -n-never mind, that’s a dumb question.”

"I had to learn the shape of your world is a ball. There are no dumb questions right now," Avalam assured.

“Well... I was gonna ask if... if you guys had a horizon on your world, but then I realized you wouldn’t be able to see it, even if you did...”

"A... Horizon? I'm not entirely sure what you mean by that."

“It’s... well, now that I think about how it works, I feel dumb for asking, but, you know how our worlds are ball shaped,” Salgia explained, “So while you’re standing on the world, there’s a point where you can very very faintly see the curve of the world, and the land far away sorta looks like it sinks beneath the surroundings. That’s a horizon, where everything sinks beneath it. And that’s... why I think my question was kind of dumb.”

"I-I mean- If you're used to horizons, it's not... An unreasonable thing to ask!" Avalam quickly defended Salgia, her free hand resting on the Liss' knee as she leaned in some in her reassuring, "But, ah... You are right that... I wouldn't be able to see it if it were there."

“Yeah, I-uh... I guess so,” Salgia nodded, glancing down to the hand on their knee anxiously, before back to Avalam, a smile fixed on their face.

"One question that's been on my mind... If your world is a ball, and you walked in a straight line in one direction, would you end up back where you started?" Avalam asked with a curious smile.

“I mean, worlds are really large, still,” Salgia informed, “But if there’s nothing like an ocean or a mountain in the way, I guess you could. I never really thought about that, to be honest.”

"I-I thought so, but that's just... So strange to think about!" Avalam exclaimed, "To just... Your world... Galaxy... Place... Is so interesting, truly. We don't have other worlds and... Galaxies and... These enormous nations.... Or fast food." While this was obviously information they both knew, going over it again amazed the shapeshifter just as much as when she first learned of it as she let out a sigh, trying to be subtle as she glanced at Salgia before resting her head on their shoulder.

Salgia glanced down to the Shapeshifter’s head on their shoulder, taking a calm sigh as they laid back in the bench, letting Avalam lean against them. It was fulfilling to be someone Avalam would so casually lean against.

There was a moment of peaceful silence before Avalam quietly murmured, "... I won't have to worry so much anymore... I've grown so used to it, but... To think that all that I've fretted so much over... Not a problem anymore... All thanks to you."

“... I can’t take all the credit,” Salgia huffed quietly, “...You helped yourself come out on a lot of these things, I was just... along for the ride for some of it. But that stuff I did help with, the house, being here and now... I’ll do that a hundred times over if that’ll make you happy.”

After blinking away a few tears, Avalam pulled her head up from Salgia's shoulder. She tried to say something, but couldn't find the words. She quickly planted her lips against the Liss's and wrapped her arms around them.

Salgia’s eyes widened, surprised to see Avalam being the first to start such a step as kissing, but the Liss could not complain. Instead, they returned the favor, pressing their own lips up against Avalam’s, and embracing the shapeshifter as they wrapped their arms around their hips, holding her close.

When their lips eventually parted, Avalam gazed into Salgia's eyes for a moment before murmuring, "I love you too."

The Liss simply looked back into Avalam’s eyes and huffed out a short laugh, smiling as they pressed their lips back against the shapeshifter’s, a hand slowly brushing Avalam’s soft cheek.

Avalam momentarily pulled back for a short breath and let out a small huff, "Heh, how am I ever going to repay you?" before bringing herself back to Salgia's lips.

“This is definitely a start,” Salgia huffed as they pulled back for but a moment, “But I got ideas,” before plunging right back into their sensual collision of lips.

_________________
Then the world blew up. The end.
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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Lowfn on Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:19 pm

Zandoo and H

Sveena

"Birveena!" Neb called out, spinning around slowly, seemingly looking for the bird, "Where are you?"

A rustle of a bush, and out wandered the penguin, letting out its usual squawks and chirps as the small daemonette hoisted them into a hug.

"There you are!" the daemonette giggled and praised, "You're such a good birdy!"

Again, Birveena responded with more squawking, attempting to flap its useless wings in Neb's embrace. Noting the penguin's discomfort, she gently set him back down on the ground, happy to be playing with her mother's pet.

"Mommy's home!" Sveena exclaimed in a flash of green light, appearing before the two with one of the biggest smiles she ever had.

"Oh, mommy!" Neb squealed with joy, hopping up to give Sveena the biggest hug she could, "I missed you so much! I'm sooooo happy you're back!"

"And I'm happy to be back!" The Enclavian squealed, momentarily picking up the little daemon as she returned the hug with a gleeful giggle before setting her down and letting out a happy gasp, "Hey, Birveena! You're growing so fast!"

The penguin waddled quickly to Sveena's feet, rubbing his head up against her leg as it calmly cooed and chirped softly. "He really missed you, too!" Neb laughed.

"And mommy missed both of you!" Sveena giggled, giving Birveena a quick peck on the top of its beak as she wrapped her arms around the penguin. It was sad to see that she wouldn't be able to hold the penguin the same way she used to when it first hatched, but that sentiment paled in comparison to the joy of being able to see it grow up.

"Me and him were going to play hide and seek!" the daemonette commented, "But now that you're back, mommy, what do you want to do?"

"Oh, I'm fine with anything! We can play hide and seek if you want!" Sveena replied, unable to contain herself as she hugged the two again.

"Yay!" Neb cheered giddily, jumping in place, "I'll be the seekerer first! You have to hide, and I have to cover my eyes and to count to twenty, then I go and find you!" she explained the game quite clearly, "Oh-kay, mommy?"

"Got it," Sveena nodded sweetly.

"Oh-kee-doke-ee!" Neb chimed, covering her eyes with her hands and slowly beginning to count upwards from one to twenty.

"C'mon, Birveena! C'mon, let's hide!" Sveena urged, skittering away from Neb to find a suitable hiding spot.

Slowly, Birveena followed his owner, waddling behind her as fast as his stubby penguin legs could carry him.

Sveena dashed into a shrub behind a rock, doing her best to quell her excited tail and stifle a giggle as she peeked between the leaves at her little girl.

"Eleven.. Twelve..," Slowly, Neb counted, "Thirteen..." for a quick moment, she peeled back her hands just enough to see if they were anywhere in front of her, before qrapidly counting the rest in almost a mumble, "...eighteen-nineteen-TWENTY! Ready or not! Here I come!"

Sveena smushed her mouth shut behind her elbow while holding tightly onto her tail with her other hand, not trusting either parts of her body to not give her away otherwise.

Birveena, however, was not entirely hidden, but actually standing out in the open a few feet outside of the bush. He looked at Sveena, cooing and continuing to seek nurturance outside of the bush.

Meanwhile, Neb was oblivious to both of the two 'hiders', looking in several bushes the opposite way in which Sveena went. "Where are you?" she asked curiously, peeking into a bush to no avail.

"Birveena!" Sveena whispered, parting a branch and hurriedly gesturing the penguin into the shrub with her, "C'mon! Before she sees you!"

Birveena sat there for a moment, pruning feathers, before finally waddling into Sveena's side, cuddling with her as he continued to make cooing noises and other sounds of birdly affection.

"I hear you, Birveena...." Neb snidely remarked, still looking around the bushes in the wrong direction, but slowly making her way towards the source of the noise, "Where are you, Birveena! Come out so I can find you!"

"Shh! Shh!" Sveena hushed, stifling another giggle as she gently pet the penguin's head.

Very suddenly, the penguin silenced himself at Sveena's command, but still rubbed his head up against the Enclavian's side.

"...I know you're around here somewhere," Neb commented loudly so they could hear, turning around and beginning to survey where she thought they were initially. She was under the impression that she just couldn't hear him any more because she went too far away.

"Good bird," Sveena smiled, rubbing her own head against the penguin's, particularly near her ears while she wrapped an arm around Birveena to better cuddle him in their hiding spot.

Birveena couldn't help but chirp happily at the praise, making the little daemonette turn around nearly instantly, a sly smile on her face as she figured out the general area where the 'hiders' were.

"Uh-oh," Sveena gasped quietly, trying to remain as still as possible.

Slowly, Neb approached the rock that Sveena's hiding bush was behind, snickering as she did. "Hmmm...." she hummed, stopping and admiring the rock, before climbing on top of it, looking around, before peeking down at the bush beneath her and grinning.

"...I found you!" Neb exclaimed with a laugh, hopping down and pulling open the bush to see both her mother and bird friend.

"Aw, you got us!" Sveena giggled, quickly standing up and snatching Neb into a one-arm hug while using her other arm to pick up Birveena and hug him as well, "Mmmmm! I love you guys!"

"I love you too, mommy!" Neb yelped with a smile, hugging Sveena back and cuddling for a moment. Birveena, being a penguin, did not hug Sveena back, but was still giving off the usual coos and chirps along with cuddles.

"Nothing can ruin this day, it's just perfect!" The Enclavian proclaimed, nuzzling her head against the two.

"Yay! I love perfect days!" Neb proclaimed, "Now, you're the seekerer, Mommy!"

"Okay! You two hide! And I'll count to twenty!" Sveena agreed, setting the two down outside of the bush before hopping out herself. She sat down on the rock and covered her face with her hands. "One... Two..."

With a giddy laugh, Neb skipped off, hiding behind one of the bushes she first looked in, trying to stay as still as possible as well as quiet.

Birveena, however, just stood there.

"Eighteen... Nineteen... Twenty!" Sveena exclaimed. Instantly, she checked the bush behind herself, letting out a hum at the lack of Birveenas or Nebs. She turned around and let out a gasp, "Birveena! Well it looks like you're gonna be seeker next time!"

The penguin let out a happy squawk, flapping its wings excitedly. Neb stifled a laugh as she continued to attempt to stay as hidden as possible.

"Now, to find Neb..." Sveena thought aloud, tapping her chin. However, Neb's stifled laugh led her to her prey. She ripped open a bush and yelled, "GOT- Oh..." There were no Nebs in the bush. Her tail swished to and fro as she resumed her hunt.

Again, Neb hushed her giggles to tiny whispers at her mother's confusion, holding both hands over her mouth.

"Hmm... Mommy has much bigger ears than you, Neb," Sveena grinned, slowly turning to Neb's direction as her ears twitched at the quiet noises of her daughter.

"Uh-oh" Neb mumbled to herself, staying almost statue still as the Enclavian turned in her direction.

Birveena, a helpful little penguin, followed close behind Sveena, waddling to stay just behind the woman wherever she went.

"Uh-oh is right, Neb..." Sveena cooed, stalking ever closer to the daemonette as she wiggled her fingers. "And when I get you... I'm... Gonna..." She thrust her hands into a bush, "TICKLE- Wait wha..." She quickly checked the next bush over, letting out an, "Aha!" before reaching in and tickling the little girl. "TICKLE YOU!"

Caught offguard for a moment, the daemonette let out a loud gasp, followed instantly by cackling laughter as Neb fell on her rear, trying to pry off the tickling hands through intense laughter, "Ah- Mommy! You found me!" she managed to squeak through her giggling.

"That's right!" Sveena laughed, tickling Neb just a moment longer, letting up only to quickly dive back in for more tickling before finally letting the daemonette free.

Neb let out a few more laughs afterwards, before catching her breath for just a moment, getting off the ground and brushing some dirt off of herself, and proclaiming, "That was fun! Really really really fun!"

"Yes it was!" Sveena agreed, "Hey, how about we go see what Siv's doing?"

"Hmmm... yeah!" Neb nodded with a toothy grin, "Let's go see Siv! I bet she misses Mommy just as much as me!"

After Sveena pulled Neb and Birveena close, the trio vanished from the area in her signature green flash.

-

Siv was humming a tune to herself as she layed in bed, reading a novel which had contents that should best be left undiscussed. She had little else to do, as Neb and Birveena had went off to play, and everyone else, including Sveena, had been off doing important things, leaving her alone and without a role in the ongoing situation of stopping Nagash's conquest.

"... What're you reading?" Sveena suddenly asked from behind Siv.

Siv let out a startled yelp, dropping her book as she turned around, calming quickly as she saw the Enclavian. "Oh, Sveena!" the daemonette smiled, "It was, uh, a romance novel- uh, how are you doing?" She asked happily, getting out of bed and quickly giving her lover a warm hug.

"Better than ever!" Sveena answered, returning the hug with even more than her usual eagerness, "Remember Yukari? I told you about her?"

"Oh yeah, the mean gap cunt?" Siv noted with a nod, "What about her?"

"Siv," Sveena huffed before slowly smiling once again, "You shouldn't talk about one of my friends that way! I did it! We're finally friends! And she's, like... Being a good person and not eating babies and stuff!"

"Wow! That's... that's great!" Siv responded, not sure what else to say, "How did you even... make that happen? The last time you told me about her, she sounded like she really hated you."

"Oh, she did," Sveena nodded in assent, "Like, she really hated me. Buuuut I brought back two of her old friends to help me! After that, I just had to make sure I kept showing up and stuff. It's what I've been doing since I left... She didn't think she could be a good person, but someone did. That's why it worked."

"Well, I'm happy you were able to do that," Siv smiled in response, a hand still wrapped around the Enclavian in hug-like embrace, before noticing that Birveena had snatched the book Siv had been reading off of the ground, and was now carrying it in its toothy beak.

"Hey!" Neb took the book from the bird, "That's Siv's book!... Chuck's Dinosaur Tinglers, Volume 3-?"

"YEP, THAT'S MINE," Siv herself interrupted, hastily snatching the book from the smaller daemonette and hiding the book behind her back as she turned back to Sveena with a nervous chuckle, "That's my book, yep, heh..."

"What's it about?" Sveena inquired with her usual endless curiosity.

"It's... uh... how do I put it..." Siv strained to think of a way to explain the atrocity of literature she was reading to Sveena, "It's uh... guys... doing... sex stuff with other guys... but the guys are dinosaurs- I-it's a dirty pleasure, I know, but I just... I get bored, and uh... I-I'm just gonna stop talking."

"... Is something wrong?" The Enclavian blinked. Unsurprisingly, she did not find anything wrong with what she was just told about the book.

"That's... weird," Neb scrunched up her face into a grimace.

"I-it's not weird!" Siv claimed defensively, "I just... get off to it as a joke! It's stupid and... weirdly descriptive and..."

That only confused Sveena as she tried to figure out how Siv could get off as a 'joke'. Where was the joke even? What was it about dinosaurs having sex that made Neb call it weird? Surely it must actually be weird if Siv was acting like this, but what was weird about it? "... I don't get it."

"I... never mind, it's just a dumb weird book, it doesn't really matter," Siv laughed off the book, shoving it into a drawer in the nightstand, "I'm just happy you're back and that you're happy."

"Well, I'm happy that you're happy that I'm happy," Sveena giggled, "Hey, can I read that book sometime?"

"I, uh... sure!" Siv nodded, as Neb looked on incredulously, "Yeah, you can read that book whenever you want."

"Thank you!" Sveena smiled before gasping in rememberance, "Oh! Hey, how long are vacations supposed to be? I've been on mine since the last time I saw you and Neb, and I don't know if it's supposed to be over or not."

"...I think your vacation can last a lot longer," Siv assured, "That was just, what, yesterday? Vacations usually last like, a week, but they can be longer, too."

"A whole week?!" Sveena gasped. If she hadn't already promised she would be on a vacation, she would have cancelled the whole thing then and there.

"...You don't have to spend a week on vacation, mommy," Neb replied, noting the shock in her mother's voice, "You got your work to go be doing, right?"

"Of course, but... I said I would do a vacation, so I have to," Sveena sighed, "I don't even know what I'm gonna do for a whole week... Siv? What's some stuff I can do?"

"Oh, uh... well, Vacations don't have to be a week or longer," Siv mumbled, "But if you want, we can... go see other universes. Sight-seeing, yeah, that's what it's called."

"Hmm... I guess we could do that," The Enclavian smiled and nodded, "Do you know any universes we should see?"

"Hmmm.. none off the top of my mind, no," Siv sighed.

"We could just go to random ones, but... Okay! I have an idea!" Sveena proclaimed as a piece of paper on a clipboard appeared in one hand, and a pen in the other, "Let's write down everything fun we could do, and then we can choose what to do first!"

"Oh, Oh-kay!" Neb agreed, climbing up onto the bed and humming, "Hmmm... We already did Hide and Seek... We did secks yesterday... Hmmm..."

"I'll write down sex on here anyway just incase," Sveena noted, jotting down the potential activity.

"I've heard taking a hike is nice," Siv shrugged, "But then again, it also sounds like it could be not fun, because it's just walking in the woods. Oh, fishing!"

"Hiking... Fishing," Sveena mumbled as she wrote before perking up, "You know, a lot of people back in the Commonwealth would tell me to take a hike, but I didn't know what that meant."

"That's... a different way of telling you to go away," Siv mumbled, "But a real hike would be nice, I bet."

"Oh... Well, what's fishing?"

"Well, you get a fishing rod and some bait, and you catch fish with it," Siv explained, "...I've heard people describe it a lot better than that, but still."

"You don't eat the fish, do you?" Sveena worriedly asked, recalling her somewhat recent revelation of terror that the many cans of tuna she enjoyed were actually dead fish.

"Wha- no!" Siv laughed, "Some people do it to eat, but you don't have to do it like that at all."

"Oh, okay, phew," Sveena let out a sigh of relief and decided to keep 'fishing' on the list, "What else can we do?"

"Painting!" Neb yelped out, before gasping, "We could play pretend!"

"Painting and... Pretend? Pretend what?" The Enclavian inquired, looking down at Neb curiously.

"Pretend... Anything!" Neb exclaimed joyfully, "That's the fun of pretend!"

"Like what?" Sveena blinked, still not entirely getting the concept.

"Like, uh... I could pretend to be doctor... or you! Or anything or anyone I wanted to pretend to be!" Neb dramaticized the game of pretend.

Sveena giggled at that and mused, "I wanna see you pretend to be me."

The little daemonette stood up on the bed, happily jumping and exclaiming, "I am Mommy! Nobody is sad or mean on my watch!" as she continued to make teleporting noises, bouncing around the bed in various places.

The Enclavian let out a loud laugh, nearly falling over as she struggled to add 'Pretend' to the list. "Oh my gosh! Okay, I'll write that!" She spat out inbetween laughs.

"Yay!" Neb cheered, throwing both her arms up in exclamation and bouncing up and down.

As Sveena came down from her laughing fit, she looked to Neb and Siv, asking amidst her giggles, "Anything else? Like, anything fun you guys can think of should go on here."

"Hmmm- Well, what do you wanna do, Sveena?" Siv asked, "I mean, if we're gonna do things for fun, we should do things we all choose."

"I don't really know a lot of things though, that's why I'm asking you guys," Sveena replied, "Oh! I'll add 'watching videos' to the list."

"...Other than sex, and the things I said already," Siv shrugged, "I... really don't know a lot either."

"We could play tag!" Neb listed off another game, "Or tic-tac-toe! Or hopscotch! Or tug-of-war, too!"

"I don't know what some of those are, but I'll add them to the list!" Sveena exclaimed, jotting down the suggestions made by Neb, "Okay, so we have... Sight-seeing, sex, hide and seek, hiking, fishing, painting, pretend, watching videos, tag, tic-tac-toe, hopscotch, and tug-of-war."

"That's a good list!" Neb nodded excitedly, "I'm so ready to do all of those!"

"So... Which should we do first?" Sveena asked.

Before either Siv or Neb could respond properly, a loud "FUCK!" could be heard from outside, shouted in an obviously angry tone by an unfamiliar voice.

"...I say we go sight-seeing first," Siv replied, waiting a moment to see if there was any more than just the shouting of the profanity.

"Okay, I'm gonna see who was yelling. I hope the Orks didn't shoot someone," Sveena grimaced, giving Siv and Neb a quick wave before teleporting away to find the source of the shout.

Two orks were on the scene as well, having noticed the shout, as they stared in confusion at the source of the noise. There stood an eight-limbed creature, with soft pinkish skin, and a purple garb covering its back half, complimented by a strange black thing on his back, which glowed with orange energies, like the black crown he wore. At his side were two other things, machines made in similar fashion to the towering artifact on the alien's back. The smaller of the two skimmed about the air in a tight circular perimeter around its master, as the larger, more vertically-built one simply sat silent at the alien's side.

"Oy boss," One of the Orks greeted Sveena on noticing her, "We'z got ourselfz a cupple ah weirdoz 'ere 'ew just... showed up. Wot do we'z do 'bout it? I vote fer smashin' 'em!"

"I'll take care of it," Sveena assured, disregarding the Ork's vote for smashing, "But thank you two for coming out here to make sure things were okay."

"Okay?" the alien spoke up in an incredulous, angered tone, "These two savages threatened me with shooting me and smashing me! They are unenlightened and I say they're in need of punishing."

However, before the strange regal figure could continue, the larger of the two machines floated in front of him. "I apologize for my master's... irritability," it replied, each syllable making the orange light at its top shine brighter for a moment, "This is a new situation for them."

"Andax, get out of my way," the alien grunted, pushing the machine to the side, floating to accomodate its master, "Who are you, and why am I here?"

"Umm... I'm not sure why you're here, but this is the Warp," Sveena answered, "and my name's Sveena. I'm sorry that the Orks threatened you, but... Please don't think they were trying to be mean or anything. That's just.. Kinda what they do, and I'm trying to help them with that. So what's your name?"

The alien cleared his throat before declaring loudly, "I, Sveena, am Godhead Gom. You are honored to be in my presence."

"It's nice to meet you, Godhead!" Sveena exclaimed.

"...So, where's this Warp thing at?" Gom looked around, up, down, generally at the environment, "This Skodam? Somewhere in Tyvus? Doesn't look familiar."

"What's a Skodam? Or a Tyvus?" Sveena blinked.

"What's a Warp? I could ask the same question, see?" Gom harrumphed, "I just need an answer where I am in the Cluster."

"The Cluster?... I'm not really sure where the Warp is. I think it's its own universe or something," Sveena replied as best she could.

"Ah, so we're in some sorta psionic domain?" Gom asked, "Makes sense, looks pretty psychedelic. So, how do I get outta here? There like, a door or something?"

"Oh, I can teleport you out if you want!" The Enclavian beamed.

"Teleport me- oh, you're the one who made this domain," Gom nodded affirmatively, "Alright, that makes sense."

"Umm... No, I'm actually really new here," Sveena corrected.

"...Then how the hell can you teleport me out of here?"

"I'm one of the chaos gods!"

"HA!" The Ghulss laughed for a moment, "Gods... that's funny. I'm a god, Sveena. I know a god when I see one."

"Ooh, what're you the god of?" Sveena inquired.

"...Everything," Gom blankly replied, "I got the title Godhead for a reason."

The Warp god furrowed her brow and pursed her lips in confusion. She glanced down a little, scratching the side of her head in thought before looking back up and saying, "I'm not sure that's how it works. Like... I don't think someone can be god of everything."

"Well, when there's only one real god," Gom shrugged, "Why not?"

"I mean... I don't think a 'real god' exists, or... I haven't met them at least. Since an actual god is supposed to be like... Able to do anything and know everything, but people call us gods anyway and I don't know a word that works better than 'god."

"...That's a stupid definition of god," the Godhead scoffed, "You can't put a definition on who's a god and who isn't. But you can just figure it out. And if you think for juuuust a bit, you'll figure out that the only real god..." he waited for a moment to add suspense, "...is Godhead Gom."

"So if you're the god of everything, does that mean like... Everything existing is what gives you your power?"

"...No, I just have power. I don't get power from things being things. That'd be stupid."

"How is it stupid?" Sveena blinked.

"How is it not? Why would my power over everything be drawn from things being a thing? That's like saying I have no power over other gods because other gods aren't a thing."

"I dunno, that's just how I've seen gods work," The Enclavian shrugged, "Gods of different stuff get their power from that stuff."

"That's ridiculous," Gom mumbled, "You shouldn't get power from things existing or growing or whatever. Gods should just have it. Otherwise, you're not gods. End of story."

"I mean... We're not gods since a god can do anything and knows everything," Sveena agreed.

"I already said that definition's stupid," Gom replied, "Because I'm a god, and I don't know absolutely everything."

"... Then how are you a god?"

"BECAUSE... I have unlimited power," Gom explained simply, "That's what a god has. The ability to do whatever he wants."

"Oh, so you can do anything," Sveena nodded before pausing in thought, "Wait a second... If someone... Can do anything... And can make anything happen... Can't they make themselves know everything?"

"If I read every book and watched everything, yeah," Gom nodded, "But that's really really time-wasting, and right now, I don't have time to waste. So please, direct me to the exit so I can get back to leading my Priopsy and stop it from being TERRIBLY FUCKED BY GODLESS ASSHOLES!"

Unfortunately for Gom, Sveena was too wrapped up in the question she just asked, "But like... If someone can do anything, can't they just think 'I wanna know everything' and then boom! They know everything?"

"W- THATS NOT DIRECTIONS OUT OF HERE," Gom yelled, flailing his boneless arms, "You-... Fuck it, I'll find my own way out," The Ghulss shrugged, turning around and starting to walk off grumpily, his two machines floating with him accordingly.

"W-Wait! I can just teleport you!" Sveena gasped, jogging to Gom's side, "The actual exit is like... Not really safe right now."

"Ah, screw you!" Gom growled, "I don't trust you, you lying human... thing."

"W-What?" Sveena gasped at the accusation of her being a liar, "What did I lie about?"

"Being a god! And your stupid 'oh theres no real gods' crap!" the Godhead said, still plodding on.

"But I am a- Well, not really- But everyone says I am!" Sveena swore as she followed him, "I'm the god of hope and peace!"

"But you just said you're not a god, you lying human," Gom grumbled, "Shouldn't trust a word you say- For all I know, you've been lying to me this whole time, and I could just be on some planetoid in freakin' Skodam!"

"N-No! I swear! I hate lies! I-I just don't know a better word than 'god', and everyone calls me that anyway!" Sveena promised, "Watch, um...." With a wave of Sveena's hand, a pile of tuna cans teleported in front of Gom, with her teleporting on the other side of them soon after.

"Simple holograms and psionic bullcrap!" Gom growled, "I've fallen for too many scammers in my life, and this is obviously one of them."

"... What's a hologram?" Sveena blinked before pointing at the cans, "That's tuna."

"Oh, don't play stupid with me," Gom stopped, pointing a stubby finger at the Warp god, "You and I both know what's going on here."

"... I do?"

"Yeah," the alien nodded, poking the Enclavian accusatorially, "You are trying to trick me into thinking I am not worthy to be Godhead, and trying to scam me and trick me into stepping down from the Priopsy so some scumbags can take over everything I've built over the many, many years I've worked to make the Ghulss race the face of Aureolum, so yeah, we both know what's going on here, and I am not falling for it!"

"... W-What?" Sveena blinked, not understanding the majority of what Gom just said.

"I said stop playing dumb, human!" Gom angrily prodded her again, "I'm not falling for it, and I never will, so you can take me back to Gom'grand right this instant, and I'm sure the Royal Guard will make your execution as quick and painless as possible."

Sveena was quiet for a moment, knowing her ignorance would only infuriate Gom. Unfortunately, all she could say was, "... Gom'grand?"

"I- Pharo!" Gom shouted out as a command, as the smaller robot responded with a metallic chirp, pointing its orange 'eye' at Sveena, "Get rid of this damn human. I am really getting a headache, and they have been no help."

The machine responded with another confirmatory chirp, before firing a bright orange beam of searing light at the point where Sveena stood, its components coming apart as they did, though it seemed to be fine.

Sveena let out a loud, "Ow!" before poofing a few feet away and rubbing the spot she was struck by the beam.

"Wait- what the- how the hell didn't you die?" Gom huffed, "That was supposed to, uh... atomize you, yeah, that's the word, but you're still alive... unless you did die, and this is just an artificial intelligence using a hologram to try and fool me. Pharo, shoot again."

As ordered, the drone fired on where the Enclavian stood, without any sort of hesitation.

However, Sveena was able to prepare herself in the middle of Gom's command, and the beam curved around her and harmlessly shot into the sky.

"Some sort of refraction tech? I heard the Zahirin were looking into ways to deflect that kind of stuff," Gom hissed, "So, they put you up to this?"

"Listen, I don't know what a refraction is, or a Zah.. Zah- Whatever you said," Sveena insisted, "Please, I can just teleport you back to wherever you're from."

"...Even the AI thinks I'm this stupid," Gom growled, "Pharo, keep firing until that freaking hologram's unable to show up anymore. I don't wanna hear it or see it."

The Pharo drone chirped, fluttering around Sveena, fixating its eye on her at all times as it continued to attempt to fire on the Warp god, firing, then moving to another, completely different angle, then firing again, then repeating the process ad nauseum.

"I don't think you're stupid," Sveena stated, tired of redirecting lasers after the fifth beam and simply willing away the machine's ability to shoot lasers, "But you are scared. I don't know wh- Okay, I guess I can figure out why, but still."

"...I'm not scared, just pissed," Gom growled, "Mostly pissed now because HOW THE HELL DID YOU BREAK MY PHARO?! Simulacra drones aren't supposed to be hackable, how in the world did you do- Doesn't matter. I'm also pissed at how you're still keeping up this 'Oh, I don't know what a Zahirin is, even though I was obviously hired by them to do this entire thing' act, so you might wanna knock it off before I figure out how to turn you off, you dumb, dumb hologram."

"I'm not dumb," Sveena muttered with a hurt frown.

"Yes you are. You're very dumb if you think I'm in anyway convinced that you don't know about every single thing I've been talking about in order to confuse me. You're very dumb if you think I'm not the one and only god, and that there's no gods. Well, I mean, you are a stupid AI, so I guess you weren't made that well, then. Gotta blame your maker for that, huh?"

"I'm not stupid, I just... I have amnesia," Sveena explained, "I don't know some stuff- So if I'm supposed to know what a... Zah-ren is, then I'm sorry, but I don't."

"STUPID AI DON'T GET AMNESIA, YOU TOOL!" Gom shouted, face-tendrils flaring, "You are just the absolute WORST at coming up with excuses for why you're such a shitty, little AI, that you can't fool little old Gom. Hell, just send a Zahirin dressed up as a Ghulss at this point, and they'd probably have done a better job than you."

"... How can I prove to you that I'm not lying?" Sveena requested in an almost pleading tone.

"Stop telling me you don't know everything I've been saying, and tell me who you're working for," the alien gritted his mandibles together.

"But I don't know what you're talking about, and I'm not working for anyone but the Warp!"

"Then you're obviously lying," Gom huffed, "Why the hell else would I just appear in "the Warp" coincidentially as you show up to save the day so I didn't get shot?"

"I heard someone yelling so I came outside to make sure everything was okay," Sveena explained, "And you appeared here because... That's just what happens. It happened to me too a long time ago. I was in my universe and then all of the sudden I was in a different one."

"...That's a stupid explanation," Gom stated with a clear and present annoyance, "How about... you just go away, so my day can be a little better, and I can find my way out of your stupid, stupid, 'warp' hologram program."

"If I go away, you might fall off the island or end up going somewhere dangerous," Sveena asserted, "If you want to leave that badly, then just tell me about where you're from and I can teleport you there."

"No," Gom shook his head, "You 'teleporting me there' is just you changing locations in the program, and you'll continue to try and get me to think 'oh, I'm not a god' and get me to tell you everything you need to tell your Zahirin bosses to destroy my Priopsy once and for freaking all!"

"... Wait a second!" Sveena gasped, "If you're a god, why don't you just teleport out of here yourself?"

"...Because, this is a hologram program!" Gom scoffed, "I'd probably just 'teleport' somewhere else on your dumb little 'island' that's prettied up to look like Gom'grand."

Slowly, Sveena's confused expression showed the faintest hints of pity for this creature's intelligence. "But... If you can do anything, and can teleport anywhere... Why wouldn't you end up on 'Gom'grand'?" She was, at this point, quite certain that Gom was no god. What wasn't certain is if he was just lying to her, or to himself as well.

"Because you robots are always so confusing," Gom huffed, "And I... I ain't really fond of teleporting. I don't like it. I like taking the long way, so if you'll show me the exit, I'll be on my way back to Gom'grand as fast as I can be, you stupid Zahie hologram."

"I'm sorry, but I'm not going to take you there and let you get killed," Sveena declared with a shake of her head.

"Killed? Quit being stupid!" Gom huffed, "I'm Godhead Gom! I can't die! So show the way out of here, or I'll have to find it on my own."

"... You know what- TZEENTCH!" Sveena shouted in a random direction, "TZEENTCH, I NEED YOU, PLEASE!"

"Yo," Tzeentch popped into existence next to Sveena, as Gom scoffed, "Oh great, another hologram."

"Hey, Tzeentch!" Sveena greeted with her usual quick hug before pointing to Gom, "Can you teleport him to his home, please? He wants to leave, but he won't tell me what 'Gom'grand' is like so I don't know where to teleport him."

"Hm. Y'know, I don't think I've heard of that one," Tzeentch admitted with a shrug, "I can go check my books, though." the Warp god of knowledge then disappeared, going off to find out where the hell Gom was from.

"I'm telling you one more time, you retarded computer program, I'm not teleporting to anywhere!" Gom growled.

"You can't even get to the exit without teleporting!" Sveena huffed, "We're on a floating island above a bunch of... Nothing! The exit is somewhere else! Can you fly?!"

"Why would a Ghulss be able to fly?" Gom laughed, before stopping, "Now take me there."

"You're supposed to be god of everything, aren't you?" Sveena snapped, "Why can't you fly? You said you can do anything!"

"Take. Me. There," the 'god of everything' ordered again very slowly and angrily.

Sveena folded her arms, glaring back at Gom and replying with a simple, "No."

"Then I'll go myself, 'island and nothingness that aren't really there because I'm in a hologram room' be damned," Gom shrugged, continuing to walk, "Thanks for the lack of any sort of help."

"If that nothingness under the island isn't real, then walk off the edge there," Sveena huffed, pointing over to the edge of the island, "If we're in some room, you should be fine, but you're god anyway, so it's not like anything would happen to you."

"...Probably some sort of state-of-the-art mimickry of elevation or something," Gom grumbled as he approached the edge, and, without hesitation, tossed himself off the side, his machines following in slow suite as they floated down.

"... Hey Tzeentch?" Sveena called out, sure that he'd be able to hear her even if she didn't shout, "How far can someone fall down there without anything bad happening?"

"Eh, forever and ever, I suppose," the disembodied voice of Tzeentch responded, "But I bet you're not wanting to leave him falling forever, huh?"

"No... But I'll let him fall for a little bit," Sveena smiled as she peered over the edge, "I just wanted to make sure he wouldn't get hurt."

"...How long do you think it'll take him to figure out it's not 'a hologram'?"

"Well, I don't know what a hologram even is, so... I dunno. Oh- Hey, is there a better word for us than 'gods'?"

"Eh... Higher beings? It's not as catchy as 'god' though. Doesn't slide off the tongue nearly as well."

"Yeah... I mean, I guess we could say 'warp god' means something different than a 'god'," Sveena mused, still looking into the bottomless pit Gom tossed himself into, "Can you think of a way to prove we're warp gods?"

"Maybe... physically interact with him? Holograms aren't supposed to be touchable to normal people."

"He poked me earlier though," Sveena pointed out.

"Yeah, but that was before he shot you with his thing."

"Huh..." Sveena blinked, waiting a few more moments before sighing as she stood up, turning around, and bringing Gom back to the island in an instant.

Gom stumbled for a moment, but appeared to be unshaken, for the most part. "This... is a pretty good hologram chamber," he muttered, "It can really simulate falling for a long time. So, are you ready to show me the way out of here?"

Sveena did not respond. Instead, she walked up to Gom... And poked him.

"...What are you doing?"

"Tzeentch told me holograms aren't supposed to be able to touch people," Sveena informed.

"...Could be hardlight," Gom rationaled, "That's how you're touching me. That or you're a clone."

The Enclavian stared up at Gom, shakily raising her hands and covering her face as she took a deep breath. Sometimes, it was obvious that Khorne had the far easier job between her and him. This was one of those times.

"... Okay... Okay... What if..." Sveena muttered to herself as she slowly lowered her hands. With a wave of one, Gom's body instantly morphed into that of a human. She would obviously not keep him like this, but she hoped it would be proof enough for him. "Look, you're a human now," She huffed irritably.

"...How in the hell did you-" Gom fell to the ground, startled, "H-how did a stupid AI mess with the frame? Venetrialis frames were said to be infallible... Unless... Unless the Zahirin are using a Simulacra like my Venetrialis Frame's!" again, the Godhead attempted to reason.

"Oh my gosh..." The Enclavian was nearly on the verge of tears of frustration.

"...Which, if you think about it, is even worse," Gom nodded, "Because I know how smart Simulacra are. And to have not been able to make me believe you once out of all these times makes me believe that you... you sad, sad intelligence... are the dumbest Simulacra I've ever met. Congratulations on that achievement of pure stupidity."

Sveena realized then and there that her worst enemy in her quest for peace and friendship was not brilliant manipulators like Yukari or warmongers like Khorne...

It was stupidity.

Frustrating, aggravating, irritating stupidity.

"Tzeentch? How many more books do you have to go through?" Sveena asked in a shaky tone.

"Uh... a lot."

"Okay," Sveena nodded before picking up the humanoid form of Gom and chucking him over the edge of the island without another word.

"FUCKING IDIOOOOOoooooooooo....." the continuous yelling of the humanized Godhead faded off as he fell deeper and deeper into the miasma of colors that is the Warp.

Sveena peered over the edge once more before walking back inside, taking multiple deep breaths.

"Is everything alright, Mommy?" Neb asked with concern, hopping off the bed and skipping up to Sveena, "You look... mad."

"I'm sorry, Neb, I just... I just need to lie down right now," Sveena sighed, heading straight for the bed and lying down face-first across the mattress.

Neb stood quietly and watched the Enclavian pass her by, frowning a little bit as she asked a bit mopily, "Hey, Birveena, we can still go play. Let's go."

As the two younger individuals closed the door behind them, Siv, with a bit of concern for her lover, sat next to Sveena on the mattress, rubbing her shoulder to comfort her as she hummed, "We heard a lot of what happened. I'm not sure Neb gets it, but... It's okay to get frustrated with people. I get annoyed a lot, too."

"You're not the god of peace and friendship," Sveena's voice was muffled by her face being in the comforter.

"Yeah, but you're not... you're a person, just like me," Siv sighed, "And people... people get mad at other people. You can't just... not get angry at people for doing stuff like that, even if it's just a temporary thing. It's not healthy... I mean, getting angry isn't healthy either, but bottling up your emotions like that and stressing yourself out... isn't either."

"Then what else am I supposed to do?" Sveena asked, finally turning her head and resting her cheek on the bed unhappily.

"Just... let yourself get angry if someone like that guy tries walking all over you like that again," Siv answered, "You don't let it turn into... that."

"... I wanted to punch him, Siv..." Sveena whimpered, "Shoot him even... I can't risk doing that, being angry."

"You can get angry... just limit how angry you let yourself be," Siv assured, "You can yell at him, even probably poke him and push him back or whatever. You just have to remind yourself that's as far as you'll let yourself take it."

"I don't want to do that either... I-I mean.. I do, but.. I don't," Sveena wiped at her eyes a bit before turning over and laying on her back, "... It wasn't always easy with Yukari either... She was mean to me a lot... Insulted me all the time... But she wasn't so.... Annoying. I was able to keep it in."

"That doesn't mean you have to sit there and take him being so annoying and calling you stupid over and over," Siv shook her head, "You have to stand up for yourself then. You don't even have to push, just raise your voice, even, and he'd probably be a wimp and give up."

"I-I mean.. didn't I stand up.. A little bit?" Sveena asked, tilting her head to look at Siv with a sad frown.

"Yeah," Siv nodded, "And that's good, but you have to put a little more into it sometimes, especially with someone like that."

"... And now I made Neb sad," Sveena sputtered out, a few tears running down the sides of her head.

"Sveena..." Siv mumbled, lowering herself down and trying to hug the crying Enclavian, "I'm sure Neb will understand."

Sveena broke down and wrapped her arms around the daemonette as she sobbed. "Wh-What do I do, Siv!?" She cried out, "This day w-was.. Was supposed to be perfect! A-And now I'm ju-ust.. Just mad a-and.. and sad and.." She held Siv as close to herself as she could as she cried.

"W-we can still make it a good day!" Siv tried to salvage something out of the wreck that was Sveena, "We could still, uh, do the things on your vacation list! Yeah! That'd make everyone happy, Neb too!"

"That's stuff I- I don't feel like doing any of that!" Sveena raised her voice, before realizing she had just raised voice at Siv and sobbing even more intensely.

"T-then we can do something else!" Siv shuddered, beginning to tear up, "A-anything you want!"

"I don't know what I want to do," Sveena whimpered.

"Then you a-and I can just... l-lay here for a little bit," Siv mumbled, "Let e-everything calm down a bit... before we do anything else. Okay?"

The Enclavian sniffled and shuddered, quietly murmuring out an, "Okay," in response.

"Alright..." Siv sighed, relaxing herself as she slid to the side of Sveena, cuddling up against the Enclavian as best she could, both for her own pleasure and to calm Sveena down.

They probably laid there for a good fourty minutes before Sveena mumbled, "Tzeentch? Still looking through your books?"

"Nope. There's nothing. I... don't have his universe in my books or anything.

Sveena let out a sigh. That was the exact opposite of what she had wanted to hear. "Alright... Thanks for looking," She muttered.

"Yep, sorry."

"... I still feel like... Poop," Sveena sighed to Siv.

"Well, we can have sex, if that can make you feel better," Siv suggested, "I can even get out the rope, and we can do rope sex."

"... I dunno," Sveena sighed, "I... Don't really feel like doing anything,.. But I wanna do something... We can do sex if you want, I guess."

"...If you don't wanna do sex, then we don't have to do sex," Siv insisted.

"I don't know why I don't want to though," Sveena mumbled, "It feels good... It'd probably make me feel better..."

"Maybe you're just not... in the mood?" Siv pondered, "Maybe you just... need to be with your friends?"

"Yeah... I guess," Sveena supposed, "... Could you get Neb for me please?"

"Of course," Siv nodded, giving Sveena a peck on the cheek, before walking out. As she did, a golden flash shined through the room, and appearing before the bed would be none other than the Emperor of Mankind.

"I was told by Tzeentch that you are... upset," the Emperor explained, "So I've returned prematurely."

"Hey, Emperor," Sveena waved, sitting up for her friend. Of course, given the lack of hugs, the pathetic attempt at presenting herself well for her friend was... Well, pathetic.

"What is the matter?" the gold-armored man asked, kneeling down so he was more at eye-level with the warp god.

"I just... There was this person that came earlier named Godhead Gom," Sveena mumbled, retelling the events of the paranoid and irritating self-proclaimed god, "... And then I just... Tossed him off the edge so he wouldn't go somewhere and get himself killed or bother anyone, but... I was just so mad... And then I was sad- I still am... Both."

"...I feel I can... understand your frustrations," the Emperor nodded slowly, agreeing with the plight of the Enclavian, "My followers... well, my followers believe me to be a god, too, despite all of my demands that I am not called a god. They turned my Imperium into what was essentially a church in my name, where I was their God-Emperor. All that time spent on the Golden Throne, I could only sit in anguish and watch as my people continued to disobey my word. I... managed to overcome this anger, though, when I remembered that they cannot help themselves, sometimes. Sometimes, ignorance and such is natural to humans, and even xenos, and sometimes, they cannot be reasoned with appropriately, despite your best intentions."

"... It's easier to talk to someone that wants me dead than... Someone like him," Sveena remarked, the irony was not lost on her as she glanced at the Emperor, recalling when he wanted her destroyed along with the other chaos gods.

"I can understand that," The Emperor huffed, the irony not lost on him either, "You can slowly reason with people who want you dead... for the most part. People like this 'Gom'... they cannot be reasoned with, or if they can... it's only reasoning with themself."

"I have to be able to though," The Enclavian sighed, "It's... I'm a god of peace and friendship. I have to be able to talk to him."

"This Gom... he has no intentions of hearing a word you have to say about peace or friendship, I am sure," the Emperor mused, "And it would be some time before he would even consider it an option. But... eventually... I guess I could see you... making him less belligerent."

"Gom isn't the problem... I am," Sveena explained, "I-I can't talk to him without getting so... Angry. Even right now, it's like... I still feel kinda mad and I don't know what to do about it."

"Sveena..." The Emperor set a hand down on the end of the bed, "It is not your fault that he angers you through his sheer paranoia and stupidity. If I were in your situation, I most certainly would not have just walked away from the situation, as you have."

"... What do you do when you're angry?" Sveena asked, looking up at the Emperor, "Like... How do you make yourself not angry anymore?"

"I take a step back from the situation and think... about my goals, and what I strive to achieve and maintain, and all that is good to negate whatever negativity has made me so angry."

"... I guess I-" Sveena was interrupted as she heard a bird chirpping noise. With a curious look on her face, she summed her phone into her hands, "I got a message on my Twitter."

"Your what?" The Emperor looked confused as to what a 'Twitter' was.

"It's a thingy that I post stuff on some... times..." Sveena quickly became quiet as she read the screen before looking up at the Emperor, "Is being fat bad?"

"...Why do you ask?"

"Someone called me a cow, and so I asked Twitter what it meant, and someone said it was mean and that they were calling me fat."

"Ah, well... Yes, it is somewhat rude to call one a cow in that regard, yes," the Emperor nodded, "So I would agree with whomever said that."

"Am I fat?" Sveena asked, looking down at herself briefly before looking up at the Emperor.

"No, Sveena," the Emperor assured with a shake of his head, "You are not fat. Nurgle is what would be considered fat."

“... And that’s bad?”

"For him, being the god of stagnation, most likely not," the Emperor lightly chuckled.

“But why did someone call me fat?”

"To insult you, even if you are not fat."

“Oh...” Sveena mumbled, tossing her phone behind her and on the bed. Between being told to take a hike and being called a cow, she wondered just how many times she’s been insulted without even realizing it.

“... Anyway... I’m also sad because... Today was supposed to be a special day, perfect,” Sveena explained, “I did something I’ve been trying to do for a long time and... It’s really important to me, and I finally did it. If I never like, started wanting to do it, I never would’ve become a chaos god... I wouldn’t have most of the friends I have now.... Today was gonna be one of my most favorite memories... And then all of this happened.”

"Well... The day is not over," The Emperor noted, "You can still attempt to make it one of your favorites, even despite what has happened now."

"You think so?" Sveena asked with rekindled hope.

"Of course," The Emperor nodded, "There is always a chance to make things better, even if it seems so bleak and... hopeless."

Sveena couldn't help but smile at that before hugging the Emperor. "I knew you'd be a good friend the second I saw you," She chirped.

"...Yeah, Sveena wants to talk to you and...." Siv's voice trailed off as she saw the towering figure of the Emperor hugging Sveena back. Neb stood behind Siv, peeking out from behind her as the larger daemonette murmured, "Is... is that... The Emperor of Mankind?"

"Oh hey, Siv," Sveena greeted, waving to her friend, "Hi Neb! This is the Emperor. Emperor, this is Siv and Neb!"

"Hello, Mister Emperor!" Neb waved, obviously oblivious to whatever made Siv nervous at the sight of the gold-covered man.

"Ah, these must be your... friends," The Emperor muttered, "It's a... pleasure to meet them."

"Neb's also my daughter!" Sveena exclaimed, reaching her arms down, "C'mere!"

The little daemonette ran over to her mother without hesitation, while Siv made a few steps forward. "It's a... It's nice to see you've made so many friends, Sveena," Siv gulped.

"Yeah! And friends who are so tall, too!" Neb giggled as she came up beside the Enclavian. Sveena picked her up and plopped Neb onto her lap, facing the Emperor.

"Isn't she cute?" Sveena cooed, giving Neb a quick hug before looking back up at the Emperor.

"I... Of course! Yes, she is!" The Emperor smiled, trying not to show his somewhat disgust for having to call a daemonette of all things 'cute'.

"The Emperor was helping me feel better after... What happened," Sveena explained to Siv and Neb, mostly to Siv who she could tell was nervous around the man.

"Alright..." Siv took a few more hesitant steps, breathing out, "And how are you feeling?"

"Better than I did before," Sveena smiled and nodded before gesturing with her arm for Siv to just come on over, "It's okay, he's really nice."

At the behest of her own instincts, Siv sighed and came over to the side of Sveena, "If... if you say so."

"... Oh! Emperor!" Sveena gasped, "We were gonna go sight-seeing. Do you know anywhere good to do that?"

"Well, I would not suggest my home universe," the Emperor noted, "It is full of fanatics and people who would want you dead. Other than that... What ever happened to that one world... Pandora?"

"Pandora?" Sveena repeated. She spent most of that time in the Warp, and the few moments she was on the moon, she had never heard its name. "Where's that?"

"The moon the clash had went to," The Emperor reminded, "The lush tropical rainforests, full of lights and life?"

"... I've been in the Warp for a while," The Enclavian shrugged.

"That is fair, time does move differently here than in the material world," the Emperor noted.

"Well, we'll figure something out, I guess. Thanks for cheering me up, Emperor," Sveena smiled, angling around Neb to give the large, armored man a hug.

"Thank you, Mister Emperor!" Neb cheered, hugging the Emperor's chest as best to her ability.

"You are... You're welcome," The Emperor smiled warmly, holding an arm around both Neb and Sveena, before pulling back and sighing, "Well.. I must get back to reunifying my lost fragments."

"Okay, I'll see you later," Sveena waved goodbye with a smile, gently nudging Siv with her other arm to wave too. Siv complied with Sveena, waving very weakly to the golden man as he disappeared in a similarly golden flash of light.

"I got him to play go fish with me and the other gods, and that's how we became friends," Sveena remarked, looking to Siv, "... I don't think Tzeentch really likes go fish though."

"Oh? Because he can't cheat?" Siv asked with a snicker.

"Huh?" Sveena blinked curiously.

"Tzeentch," Siv replied, "Or is he just a sore loser?"

"Uhhh... Oh! We could go to my old universe!" Sveena quickly suggested, changing to topic from any potential friend bashing.

"That could be really fun!" Neb squealed, "I wanna go see Mommy's old home!"

"Well.. It can be a little scary sometimes, but there are some neat things to see!" Sveena exclaimed, looking to Siv to see what she had to say.

"That sounds great!" Siv nodded along, "I'd like to see some... neat things."

"Oh! I know! We could see where I first woke up from my amnesia!" Sveena proclaimed.

"Oh-kay, Mommy!" Neb agreed happily, hugging her mother, "I can't wait to see your old home!"

===

And so, the trio appeared in an unassuming street in Cambridge. Distant gunfire could be heard, and the street was littered with destroyed cars and the occasional body. In front of the three was a decaying two-story building with faded yellow paint on its walls. A corpse was slumped halfway out of a window on the second story.

"This place has... A lot more death than I remember," Sveena muttered. Of course, it was entirely possible she didn't really take notice or care much about the environment back then.

"It's... It's not that bad," Siv noted, looking around at the dessicated buildings and cracked and long un-paved streets, "I can see why you liked it."

"Well, let's go inside!" Sveena chimed, opening the door and stepping inside. "Oh... I almost forgot about that..." Before Neb could walk inside and see, Sveena quickly teleported away a segmented corpse whose limbs hung from the ceiling in the center of the lobby.

"What is it?" Neb peeked past her mother, looking around the dim-lit lobby.

"Don't worry about it- Hey, let's go upstairs! That's where mommy woke up! It's almost like where I was born in a way!" Sveena suggested.

"What do you mean?" Neb asked curiously, following close behind as she took in the rustic and delapidated scenery of the building interior.

"Well, since mommy has amnesia, waking up here is my very first memory," Sveena informed as she nudged away a corpse from the bottom of the stairs and leading Siv and Neb to the second floor.

"Were all these dead guys here when you woke up?" Siv asked, stepping precariously over the corpse, "Geez, there's a lot of them."

"Yeah, they were all here," Sveena nodded, stepping over some gore that splattered away from a body a few feet from the top of the stairs. Given her new knowledge of the kind of person she was before she got amnesia, "I... Don't like to think about what might've killed them."

"You said there were scary things around here," Neb mentioned quaintly, "So maybe it was a very scary thing that kill-ed them all?"

"Yeah... I'm sure it was scary," Sveena grimaced before clearing her throat and throwing open a door, "And here it is! Where I woke up!" She walked into the room, which looked to be an art studio that had been repurposed into a scrappy chemistry lab. There was a large pile of bodies in the far corner of the room, and the many beakers and tubes that littered the counters had various dried substances caked to the inside of them.

"I remember waking up riiiight...." Sveena started, looking around before stopping on one side of an island of chemistry equipment in the center of the room. She laid down on the floor and sprawled out her limbs a little as the sun shined through the cracked windows and onto her face and legs, "Here!"

"Wow..." Neb gasped at the place Sveena sat, "That's so cool!... What was in these tubey things?" Neb's attention waned on Sveena, and turned to the various test-tubes and beakers, picking one up and examining it closely, peering into the opening and holding it close to her eye with an interested hum.

"I'm not sure, but I- Oh, please don't touch that," Sveena gasped, teleporting the tube out of Neb's hand, "I think this stuff is how mommy got amnesia."

"Huh- Oh..." Neb murmured, looking at where the tube had been in her hand and then back up at the chemistry table with a small frown, "...Did the dead people... give you amnesia?"

"No... I did," Sveena sighed, "I gave myself amnesia."

Neb stood there for a moment, silent as she thought to herself before speaking up, "...But why?"

A chair whose back was broken teleported from one part of them room to behind Sveena as she sat down and patted her lap. Neb quietly obliged the lap patting, jumping up onto Sveena's lap.

"Mommy... I don't know entirely why... But... I didn't like who I was," The Enclavian tried to explain, "Mommy was... Very mean before she got amnesia."

"Why were you mean?"

"... I don't know, I just know I was..." Sveena murmured, "I didn't know that at first though... And all I wanted was to get my memories back, remember who I was... When I found out how mean I used to be though, I realized I shouldn't get my old memories back, even though I really wanted to." She looked at Neb and smiled, "But now it's okay. I can make new memories with you and Siv and all of my friends, better than my old ones."

"Yeah, it's okay, Mommy!" Neb smiled back and wrapped her arms around the Enclavian, "We can make happy memories together!"

"That's right, Neb," Sveena giggled, returning the hug, "You've given mommy a lot of happy memories."

"And you've made me a lot of happy memories, too, Mommy!" the little daemonette mused cheerily, before asking, "Can we go see more of your world?"

"Sure! There's this neat place called 'Red Rocket' not far from here!" Sveena nodded, giving Neb a peck on the cheek before standing up.

_________________
Then the world blew up. The end.
Lowfn
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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Lowfn on Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:53 pm

Zandoo, Frog, H, Teedler

Eirin Yagokoro

Though she couldn’t tell from the confines of the storage compartment, the great Lunarian doctor could tell from the shuddering of the boosters that the rocket was descending onto the surface of the moon.

“Angel,” she called out. “Grab your sword. We’re here.”

”I always wondered what the moon was like,” Tenshi admitted. “Is it made of cheese like they say it is?”

”No.” Eirin began carving a rectangular frame around the hull of the rocket. “But I promise you, it will be one of the most beautiful and terrifying things you can ever hope to see.”

=============================================================

As the moon grew larger and larger, the very space and time around the vessel seemed to flicker and warp, as though they were breaking away from the very dimension itself and entering a wormhole. Shapes began to alter in form as they passed through the Lunarians’ illusion of the moon.

"Oh boy! We're gonna land on the Moooooon!" Claptrap exclaimed giddily, his wheel shaking in anticipation, "I can't wait to shoot things again! And now with even more guns!"

"Quell your excitement," Phillip recommended, "This is hostile territory. While we are here to free these people, many of them see us as the enemy and will treat us as such. I would prefer we avoid unnecessary casualties for the Lunarians as best we can."

"... Yeah... That's right," Matilda awkwardly added as she twiddled her thumbs. Her Panzerhund growled as flames flickered between its long, broad teeth. She gently patted its head, thinking about her mission. Even though she knew what she had to do, it still felt... Gross. Perhaps that isn't the best word, but it was the only one she could think of at the moment.

Reisen fitted a power gauntlet over her hand, quickly activating the energy wrist blade that came with it. “That’s going to be difficult,” she pointed. “The Lunarians aren’t going to be pleased to find the impure trespassing on their territory, especialy when they’re armed. Soldiers like us are bred for combat, and lust for confrontation. They’re going to hound us down the moment we’re noticed. One way or another, a lot of blood is going to be shed. Don’t be afraid to fight dirty, for they’ll show you no mercy.”

“As long as they have wi-fi,” Kaguya shouted from her little corner. “I forget, did we have Wi-fi on the moon? Hey, does anyone have any data I could use if they don’t? Anyone?”

"If we can take down the Watatsukis and liberate these people, I'm sure you can have them make some Wi-fi," Phillip replied.

“Wait, so we don’t have Wi-fi up here?” Kaguya stared at Phillip with a horrified face. “H-how the hell am I supposed to win my Battle Royale then?!”

"Then I suppose you have incentive to ensure we succeed in this mission," The crusader remarked, "The sooner the Watatsukis are deposed, the sooner you can.. Win your 'Battle Royale'."

Trying to hold in his anticipation, Claptrap peeked up over his seat and back to Matilda. “I really like your metal dog,” the machine said plainly, before explaining, “It makes me feel feelings of dread and horror that I have never felt before,” he continued in a usual chipper tone, completely opposite of what he described, “I sure hope those Lunarians feel the same way!”

"Uhh... Thanks? I guess?" Matilda blinked before scratching where behind the Panzerhund's ears would be. Well it was less scratching and moreso rubbing her knuckles gently against the metal since actually scratching wouldn't be ideal.

“You’re welcome!” The CL4P-TP unit replied back, before turning back appropriately in his seat, still anxious to get down to the surface.

“Oh hey I just remembered something that might help.” Dipin added as he slowly traced a series of shapes onto his forearm. After a moment the writing left out a soft glow as Dipin looked at Reisen for a moment before returning to his scribbling. Unfortunately for Dipin, Reisen seemed more interested in the arsenal of guns she brought along rather than whatever skill he was trying to show off.

After finishing up whatever it was he was scribbling, Dipin asked, "How useful would illusions be right now?"

For once, Reisen looked up from the weapons she was examining. “It’ll be useful against standard Lunarian soldiers and machines,” she hypothesized. “But super soldiers like I can see right past them. Take care to avoid eye contact.”

"It's just there's this rune I used a few times back in Varie, and considering you appear to only have rabbit ears in place of the the stock human ones I was able to modify it a bit. However it's going to be limited to a certain radius around me if we want to consider using it." Dipin mused as he ran his finger across the rune lengthwise.

"Last time I was here, I did not notice many seven-foot-tall Lunarians," Phillip remarked, referring to himself, "Or any for that matter."

A speaker overhead sparked to life. “You are approaching your destination,” came Nitori’s pre-recorded voice clip. “Prepare for landing. And also, please try to keep the ship in one piece! Kanako would be furious to know that such an investment would go to w-“

Reisen backhanded the speaker, smashing the device in and shattering all its components. “We’re in Lunarian territory,” she muttured. “No guarantees.”

The ship’s stilts unfolded, and the thrusters at the base of the vessel slowed their descent as the rocket landed onto the lunar surface as though it were landing on a cushion, with the legs softly compressing as the vehicle came to a complete stop.

”Welcome home,” Reisen muttered, feeding her assault cannon with with ammunition. Cautiously, the Lunarian supersoldier took the first step onto the Lunar surface, as though the entire field before them was rigged with traps.

Matilda’s Panzerhund shoved its owner aside as it bounded onto the Lunarian grassfields in a protective manner, snarling at whatever attackers may have been hidden amongst the grass.

"Hey!" Matilda loudly whispered as she stumbled after her robotic companion, "Stay by my side... Dog!" Promptly, the Panzerhund did as commanded, snarling as it slowly creeped back to Matilda’s side. It was rewarded with a pat and a quiet, "Good boy."

Cautiously, Reisen fired warning shots into the grass. Nothing came of Reisen’s bullets.

”... They haven’t noticed us yet.” She motioned for the others to follow. “It won’t be long before they send something to destroy the rocket. We have to get moving. Now.”

“Let’s go then!” Claptrap declared loudly, stumbling down the stairs on his upgraded wheel, still not used to using his new attachements, “We can’t let our daytime be wasted... wait, does this place even do day-night cycles or whatever? That’s a neat thing to think about,” the machine rambled, going off-topic with ease.

Dipin quietly stepped out, tightening his grip on his hammer, as his ears twiched listening for any danger headed their way.

"Kaguya, come. It's time to bring Wi-fi to the moon," Phillip called, gesturing for the princess to follow him out.

Dipin planted a foot on the ground as a small breeze could be felt in the area, he glared over the horizon looking for motion in the distance.

Reisen led the party as she navigated her way through the lucious fields of the Lunar surface. Like a motion sensor, she scanned the horizon for any sign of movement. The slightest breeze suddenly became an aircraft, the slightest sound became an army stampeding towards them. As harsh as it was, she forced Matilda and her Panzerhund specifically to the back of the group, as if worse came to worse, they could easily use the loud mechanical tank dog as a distraction for their own getaways. “It’s too slow and loud to protect if it draws fire on us,” she reasoned. “If it ends up being a liability, we’ll have to leave it on its own.”

In an almost sentient manner, the Panzerhund grumbled in a sorrowful manner as it rubbed Matilda’s arm in a resigned manner, almost as if it knew that it was sentenced to death should the worst happen.

"... It'll be okay, boy," Matilda assured, giving the Panzerhund a gesture of warning before climbing onto it. Robot dogs don't get tired, teenage girls do. "You and me are sticking together," She whispered, giving it another 'scratch' behind the 'ear'.

Dipin's ears twitched towards the sound of the incoming army. A small click was heard as the head of his hammer became surrouned in a dark gas like substance.

Reisen’s eyes narrowed as a faint rumble was heard in the distance. Clearly, the Lunarian military was now responding to the rocket that touched down on the surface of their home. “Get your weapons ready,” Reisen ordered. “And stay down!”

Overhead, huge spacecrafts zipped past the party. In bright flashes of light, the spacecrafts fired some sort of projectile at their previous vehicle, and in a column of debris and vapor, their former ride was all but gone.

“Holy mother of-“ Claptrap ducked down, shuddering in fear near instantly, all confidence leaving him immediately as he saw the craft destroy their own ride within instants. “NOBODY TOLD ME THEY’D HAVE SPACESHIPS! WITH SUPER GUNS!”

The ground infantary soon followed the spacecraft. Luckily for the party, tracking them wasn’t exactly an issue. Instead of hunting down soldiers hidden in the grass, it was more like watching a pack of raptors running them down . The Lunarian infantary quickly surrounded the invaders, and sprang into immediate action.

From the grasses, bullets erupted as three rabbits similar to Reisen leapt out of the grasses. Armed with energy-based assault rifles, the genetically modified lagomorphs soared above their targets, with their energy pulses joined by a pair of shoulder-mounted rockets firing volleys of missiles down on their foes. Their red eyes glistened in the reflection of the sunlight, dilated as to drive which ever unfortunate soul that stares back into them insane.

“Fall back!” Reisen ordered the rest of her allies as she peppered her assailants with rounds of a Chaingun.

Matilda swung her flamethrower around is it spurted out liquid fire (Obviously not with the atomic explosion nozzle) in a U-shape, with the opening being their route of retreat as to burn those closest to them and deter the others while she relayed Reisen's order to her Panzerhund.

Dipin swung his hammer sending the gas towards the three rabbits as a small crescent moon formed in the center of the cloud before the hedgehog made his retreat.

“I don’t know what guns to use!” Claptrap declared, pulling out a rocket launcher and haphazardly firing it in the general direction of one of the rabbit-eared soldiers, “We really did not prepare hard enough!”

True to Reisen’s warning, the Lunarian super soldiers really were ruthless at hunting down prey. Even when set ablaze, the rabbits did not stop for a second to even pat out the flames. One of the rabbits landed beside the invaders to punch Claptrap, Dipin, or whoever was unfortunate enough to be too close to her.

Dipin was that poor fool, he was dazed for a moment before retaliating with a swing of his hammer, the crackling of electricity could be heard as hammer approached its target. At the same time, Phillip swung his sword at the back of the rabbit's leg around the knee to provide support for his ally.

The genetically modified rabbit soldier howled as the sword buried itself into her joint, slicing tendons and fracturing bone. In a fit of violence, the rabbit grabbed the sword (the polyalloy gauntlet helped the soldier withstand the worst effects of the blade, even though some penetration was achieved) and twisted it, in an attempt to twist the crusader’s arm.

The Panzerhund gnashed its teeth in a frenzy trying to catch the Lunarian that was harassing Matilda, almost taunting her as the rocket powered lagomorph flanked the pyromaniac, with the occasional missile being flung at her hapless prey.

While Phillip was known for his iron grip on his sword, he wasn't stupid either. Instead of his arm being twisted, he let out his own feet from under him and allowing his entire body to be twirled around before yanking his blade as hard as he could to both free it, and hopefully cut through the obviously tough material the Lunarian was armored with.

Meanwhile, Matilda let out a yelp as one of the missiles landed nearby. She gently slapped the Panzerhund and yelled, "Charge them! But dodge their shit!" As she delivered the order, she turned around backwards as to face her twin tanks towards the Lunarian, She clamped her legs around the sides of the Panzerhund as tightly as she could while firing blindly behind her towards the enemy, but from the side so as to not hit her robo-dog. It was like some crazed backwards joust with a lance made of napalm.

The coordinated Lunarian soldier, however, did well to keep beyond the dangerous reaches of the Napalm thrower. The super soldier aimed her assault rifle directly at Matilda’s cranium, while the shoulder mounted rockets continued to lob homing rockets at the Panzerhund’s maw, which was already beginning to show minor signs of wear.

A bullet grazed the side of Matilda's head, eliciting a pained yelp from her as she nearly dropped her nozzles, quickly figuring out charging the Lunarian was a bad idea. However, their backpedaling did put them at a decent enough distance from everyone else. "Dog! Turn around!" She shouted, attaching her flamethrower's new nozzle, "Run as fast as you can!"

Panzerhund did just as instructed, bounding away from the assailing Lunarian as fast as it’s bulk could allow. While it was at it, it plucked a Lunarian sniper out of the grass, shredding the soldier in half with its huge jaws.

As for Phillip, Claptrap, and Dipin, the third Lunarian joined the fray as her comrade (sister? They were all genetically similar…) retreated into the safety of the long grass, where she could quickly learn to fight without a leg. She reached out for Claptrap and Dipin to smash their heads together.

Unfortunately for the Lunarian soldier, Reisen was waiting for one of them to be caught off guard. With a powerful punch through the back, the allied rabbit tore out her enemy’s heart. Reisen grabbed her enemy by the ears to tilt back the head and, with a violent grin on her face, shoved the cardiovascular organ down her enemy’s throat.

Matilda held up her flamethrower, using the nozzle and her middle finger to aim (And to flip the Lunarian that had been attacking her the bird) past the irritating enemy. "Just a little tap... Pop!" Matilda muttered to herself before letting out just a short burst of ludicrously fast napalm.

The beam erupted into an enormous plume of death in the far distance, peppering everything in the blast radius with molten rock from the explosion. For all her speed, training, and equipment, not even the Lunarian super soldier was safe, and erupted into gore the instant the shockwave made contact. An onlooker could have mistaken that Matilda thought the sight was absolutely hilarious based on her hysterical laughter.

The good news was that the pesky Lunarian was gone. The bad news was that the rest of the Lunarian military knew where they were in an instant.

”Fall back!” Reisen motioned everyone to follow her as she pulled her way through the long grass, making sure to terminate the soldier who was tending to her knee with a quick stomp to the head.

”I don’t wanna keep running!” Kaguya, who had stayed perfectly out of harm’s way during combat, gasped as she struggled to keep up with the rest. “It’s too physical! Since when did a princess need to exert herself?!”

As the crusader ran by, he swooped an arm down to Kaguya's legs, sweeping her up off her feet and into his arms as he continued bolting from the area as per Reisen's orders. "Remind me to get you a treadmill at some point!" He huffed, probably faster with both his and Kaguya's weight than the princess could ever run on her own.

Dipin swung his hammer once, causing a large of darkness to surround the medow acting as much needed cover.

“Good one,” Reisen called out as a cacophony of motors and hydraulics amplified, indicating that the Lunarians’ machined forces had stopped dead in their tracks.

Even better, the cloud of darkness helped to illuminate the glowing red eyes of insanity from the trained Lunarian super soldiers, helping the group coordinate where to go and where the enemy Rabbits were coming from.

“And now for a distraction,” Dipin said with a grunt as an explosion and flash of light went a distance away from the group.

Of the twenty or so rabbits that were headed their way, about half split off to investigate the explosion. The remaining ten darted away, recuperating to strategize on how to deal with the “enemy backup”.

Lagging behind the much more compact and lighter allies (although faster than kaguya by a long shot), Panzerhund galloped after its fleeing allies, with its heavy steel bull weighing it down from reaching top speeds. The best it could do was try to keep up and hope the darkness bubble would last long enough to cover it as it got a head start.

“Do more of it!” Reisen yelled at Dipin as she gunned down disoriented soldiers, occasionally shredding rabbits.

With a swipe of his arm, another cloud of darkness appeared to fill the area once more. The hedgehog looked around before shooting a bolt of electricity at a group of rabbits. Stunned with agony, the Lunarians collapsed to their knees, with the shock paralyzing their muscles and frying the ones closest to the site of impact.

“Are we being shot at?! Are we winning?” Kaguya called to Phillip as she tried to see through the blackness. “What’s going on?!”

"We are making a retreat! The Lunarians saw our transport land, and they certainly saw the chaos from our battle!" Phillip answered, relying primarily on his hearing to help navigate the darkness (Minus the few red dots that signaled an enemy).

From behind, lights erupted as the sound of gunfire filled the air. As per Reisen’s prediction, the large and vicious Panzerhund proved to be an effective lure of enemy fire. The armored robot would get lucky once or twice and snag a Lunarian between its teeth, but it was being devastated on the most part. Lunarians began switching their rifles for shotguns and began peppering the robot with specialized “shock bullets”, punching holes in the dense metal. Alongside the growls of rage, mechanical whimpers rattled out of the Panzerhund’s voice box.

"Dog! Just run! We need to get out of here!" Matilda screamed, having already taken a bullet in her leg from one of the shotguns as she clung to the Panzerhund with all four limbs.

Reisen stifled a quick glance backwards to the doomed robot and its rider. While extra firearms were useful, they’d be surrounded quickly if they bothered to protect the cumbersome tank dog. Fleeing would be the easy option, but then there was the prospect of losing their distraction and Matilda, and the Lunarians would still outpace them by a long shot.

There had to be another solution….

A searchlight from a new Lunarian scorpion tank landed on Reisen, and the plasma cannon arched over its cockpit began to charge an energy beam. The rider inside tilted her joystick inwards, focusing the shot directly at the interlopers.

And this gave Reisen an idea. “Phillip,” she cried out as she flanked the mech. “Bring the princess over here! I have an idea!”

As quickly as he could, the crusader changed course and caught up with Reisen, quickly asking, "What is it?"

The allied Lunarian held up one of her firearms to block an incoming swipe from the robot’s leg. “Get her inside of that,” she ordered. “It uses joysticks and buttons to operate! It’s just like a game!”

"You hear that Kaguya?!" Phillip shouted, skidding to a stop and hopping back a bit as he held the princess almost like a football, "Do what you do best and pwn noobs!" He had little idea of what the heck he just said, but he was sure it resonated with the princess as he chucked her as hard as he could with a mighty yell up to the scorpion.

Kaguya landed with a splat against the cockpit of the tank. The Pilot had to double take to process the exile Kaguya on her vehicle. This gave Reisen the distraction she needed to overcome the downward force of the scorpion’s leg, and flung it backwards.

“If you can get the tail to strike I can get you an entrance.” Dipin shouted.

“Good idea!” Reisen darted under the tank and punched it at the connecting joint, driving the entire vehicle upwards. Kaguya scurried out of the way as the robot repositioned itself to repurpose its turret as a stinger. Reisen nimbly scampered to and fro to dodge the swings of the energy-induced stabbing weapon.

”Do what you have to do!” she shouted as she partied an incoming jab.

Dipin promptly jumped onto the stinger as a gust of wind pushed him forward, letting him grind along the mech’s stinger beforeslamming the head of his hammer into the cockpit and pulling out the pilot.

Kaguya scurried inside of the vehicle as Reisen tore the pilot in half. Kaguya gave the control board a quick analysis and grinned. “Just like Call of Duty,” she mused as she grabbed the twin joysticks with gusto.

Finally, Kaguya’s thousands of years wasting away in front of video games came into use. With a new sense of agility and a heightened perception of surroundings, the spider mech (“Arachnotron,” as it was labeled on the side) spurred into action. Immediately, the enemies that harassed Matilda were vaporized thanks to Kaguya’s acquired aiming skills.

”Aw, Hell Yeah!” Kaguya mercilessly used her new toy to obliterate disoriented enemies left and right. Smoke and rabbit innards were sent flying into the air as Kaguya laughed with a sadistic glee. “Suck on that, bitches!”

Despite Kaguya’s entrance into the battle, though, diligence was still required by the rest. A marauding Lunarian snuck up on Phillip and grabbed him by the helmet, proceeding to knee him repeatedly in the gut, with her armored knee cap helping withstand the dense metal that covered the crusader.

"Huck!" Phillip grunted, snatching the leg and hugging it as it kneed him again. He twisted his body around, his arms behind him before heaving the Lunarian up by their leg and swinging them overhead and slamming them onto the ground.

In a violent fervor, the Lunarian retaliated by activating her boosters, sending both her and Phillip airborne.

Unceremoniously, Reisen merely took the opportunity to head shot the airborne rabbit, popping her head clean off of her shoulders with a satisfying plucking noise to boot.

“Your majesty!” Reisen called out as she gunned down advancing soldiers. “With all due respect, we can’t stand here and shoot forever! To the Lunar Capital!”

”No shit!” Kaguya blew an opposing Arachnid tank to smithereens. “… Which way was that?”

Immediately, the exo suit’s internal GPS system activated, and drew a route for Kaguya on its minimap display. “Oh, duh. That way!” The arachnid mech turned and began its march to the Lunarians’ capital. Luckily for Matilda, the arachnotron was evenly paced with her own Panzerhund, so being left behind was now no longer a possibility.

Though heavily damaged and with huge sections of armor blown off, the Panzerhund gave a final warning flare to what little enemy rabbits remained as it began clomping after the robotic spider.

"Good boy, dog... Good boy..." Matilda sighed, giving the Panzerhund a pat as she looked over at the damage with a pained frown, and not just because she had been shot in the leg. "Reisen!" She called out with a slight croak, "My leg's been shot!"

Reisen nodded as she tore out the tongue of the last Lunarian enemy present. “I’ll be right there!”

She ran over to tend to Matilda’s injuries. “Looks bad,” she noted as she tore off a piece of fabric from one of the fallen enemies as a makeshift bandage. “That’s going to need some serious washing later, when we have running water. This is the best I can do for now.” She wrapped the pyromaniac’s leg tightly to at least stop the bleeding.

"Thanks, Rei," Matilda smiled weakly before rubbing her head, "I think they got me here too, but... I think it's fine... I'm just glad they hit my bad side." A combination of minor blood loss and experience getting shot made dealing with the wounds a bit easier on the teen.

As Reisen changed roles from soldier to medic, Kaguya began bragging to whoever was closest to her.

“Look at my awesome spider robot! Look how badass it is!” For show, she spun the arching energy cannon in a full circle.

Phillip snickered and called up to Kaguya as he walked, "I will say, you did a good job, Kaguya! You really helped out! I'm proud of you!"

Dipin seemed to still be riding on the back of the mech, watching for danger while trying to rest a bit to recover his expensed magic.

“Didja see me shoot them? I went all ‘pew pew pew!’ And then they went ‘boom!’ And Eirin told me I was wasting my time!” Kaguya made pretend explosion sounds as the mech continued to march onwards, now set to autopilot.

"Seems this kind of thing is more fun in the real world, isn't it?" Phillip laughed. While he obviously took the battle that had just occured more seriously, he could not deny the contribution Kaguya made, and wasn't about to ruin her little moment for no good reason.

“Drinks for everyone!” Kaguya squeezes a trigger, and side compartments on the arachnotron’s chassis flipped open to reveal missile launchers. But rather than explosives and weapons, she somehow had the time to stock them with cans of energy drinks instead. The cans flew out in all directions, each one aimed precisely to fall into the hands of all her “team mates.” (The ones who could drink, at least.)

Dipin promptly cracked open a can before joining the rest of the crew. While the drink was untasteful to the crusader, Phillip took off his helmet and sipped along for merriment's sake.

“To VIDEOGAMES!” Kaguya toasted before flipping her cam upside down and into her mouth.

Stifling a laugh, Phillip went along with the toast. "To videogames!" He cheered, taking a chug of the energy drink and masking his disgust at its horrid flavor.

“To the fall of the Watatsukis!” Reisen took her own sip of the tasteless and fizzy drink.

Dipin took a second to enjoy the flavor of the drink, it had been a while since he has anything carbonated, and it also seemed to be fairly effective at recovering magic.

Matilda was significantly less merry than the others, and not just because she had been shot in the leg. Even if she had the perfect opportunity to do as she was asked, could she actually do it? It was easy to imagine pulling the trigger, but she wasn't sure if she could actually do so. She briefly glanced back at Reisen before looking forwards with uncertainty.

”To fire….” Junko whispered the toast telepathically to Matilda. ”To the beauty of inferno and blaze.”

Somehow, that only made the teen feel worse. Not only would she be singlehandedly responsible for a literal genocide, but she knew very well that Reisen would hate her afterwards. There wasn't exactly a stealthy way for her to go about this. Not a lot of people have liquid nukes they can just fling around.

Panzerhund ground to a halt temporarily, catching Matilda off guard. Despite the embers that sparked from its cold, metal maw, it paused its trek to lean down and inspect a small, blue flower, almost as if the hound were sniffing it. And at this point, in the pause between great battles to ravage the terrain, the beauty of the Lunar horizons could be appreciated.

The Moon was nothing like anyone could have ever imagined. Instead of a stony bedrock of pale stones and cosmic radiation, the Moon was instead caked with flowers and plants that almost twinkled in the waning sunlight. The grasses were a perfectly lush lime color as they swayed back and forth in the gentle Lunar breeze. The very air was almost like a perfume, billowing perfectly clean atmosphere with an almost fresh scent. The sky was a pale blue that borderlined on white. The scenery before them could have easily passed off as a description of heaven, if not for the glowing soil beneath their feet being the only indication that this was indeed the moon. It was almost justified on how the Lunarians viewed the Earth as impure, considering such a holy landscape that stretched before them.

The sudden stop forced Matilda to really take in her surroundings as she quietly mumbled, "Mom... Are you sure about this?" Silence greeted Matilda instead.

"... Hey, Reisen?" Matilda called out, "Could you c'mere?"

Without a battle to drive her into a frenzied killing spree, Reisen jogged to greet Matilda. “What do you need?”

The teen opened her mouth to speak, paused, then let out a sigh. She took a brief moment to put her words together before speaking, "Have... Um... Have you ever... Had to do something you didn't wanna do? But... You know you have to?"

“Just about all the time.” Reisen looked into an open palm as she detailed her experience as Eirin’s lab assistant. “I was told to experiment on so many innocent lives to prepare us for the Lunarians’ attack.” She held in her palm some of the few rudimentary “cures” she salvaged. “Of course, I was told it was all for the greater good,’ but even now I wonder if it was still worth the unnecessary loss of life. I’d just say to not think about it and carry on. Just try not to injure anyone close to you by mistake.”

Matilda was silent, her own guilt at what she was going to do crushing her with every inch closer they came to the capital. "Rei?... Could you help me with that? The... Not thinking about it part?" She requested, pointing at her own watery eyes to help convey what she meant.

Reisen climbed onto Panzerhund (who was continuing his trek at this point) and sat next to Matilda. “Of course,” she replied.

"Thanks Rei... Y-You're a good friend," Matilda shuddered lightly, forcing herself to smile as she looked into the rabbit's eyes.

Promptly, Matilda’s sense of emotion and attachment dulled significantly as the mind controlling effects of Reisen’s red lunatic eyes took over. Sure enough, much of her guilt and anxiety disappeared to be replaced by dullness.

The pyromaniac blinked a few times before wiping at her eyes with her hands, a bit surprised by just how quickly that worked. "Wow... Thanks, Rei. You guys would be great, like... Therapists or something," Matilda remarked.

“A shame that the Watatsukis devote everything to the military,” Reisen lamented in agreement.

“So Philip that capivation bubble and flash were pretty Dope right?” Dipin asked taking another sip of his drink.

"Hm? Ah, you mean the shroud you gave us during the battle?" The crusader asked for clarification.

“Ah, not that one but yeah the shroud, I call that... Lunar Mist.” Dipin added, mildly upset his capivation bubble was once again ignored.

"My apologies, I don't know the names of any of... What you do. I will say though, you were helpful in all that chaos. We all played vital roles in that battle, each of us essential. We're lucky to have you, Dipin," Phillip affirmed with a light pat on the back, "As are the Lunarian people."

“Holy fuck.” Kaguya tapped the side of her arachnotron as the sky darkened. “Everyone shut up. You have to see this.” She pointed excitedly to the horizon.

Slowly. As the tidally locked Moon turned away from the sun, the Earth slowly came into view as “night” fell on the Lunar surface. The huge blue oceans and the green and brown continents was truly a sight to see in the night sky, as stars surrounded the great blue planet.

”Never really missed the moment on,” Kaguya admitted. “But I’ll admit that I missed the Erath rises.”

Phillip removed his helmet once more, stopping completely in his tracks as he gazed at the Earth in sheer awe. Sure, he had been to the moon prior, but it did not provide opportunity to just... Look. "... The Lord truly is a wonderful artist," He murmured.

Dipin similarly looked at earth, even if this particular one was not his home it in this moment provided a close enough substitute as he looked at the blue and green marble.


“Anyway, I’m getting tired.” Kaguya yawned as she stretched in the pilot seat of her mech suit. “I say we call it a night. Wake me up if we’re there or being shot at.” The exiled princess pulled back in her seat like a recliner as she donned a sleeping mask she stowed with her.

"I need some rest too," Matilda agreed, though still smiling up at the Earth. Even better than the current view of the Earth, however, was the view from Earth of the moon in the future. "It'll be like a second sun," She murmured with a wide smile.

=========================================

“They’re here.”

The Watatsukis exchanges nervous glances at each other as their mother Chang’e stood in the doorway of the throne room.

“This puts a halt on the invasion fleet,” Toyohime assessed. “Their combined strength and the traitor Reisen’s guidance will bring them to the Lunar heart in days at most.”

”Good for me.” Yorihime licked her blade like the psychopath she was. “I’ve been getting bored of killing failed subjects. This will give me a bit of a challenge, for sure.”

”Careful, darling.” Chang’e came to grace her daughter on the cheek. “I feel that they aren’t alone. One of them harbors the essence of She-who-brings-madness. You can not engage them recklessly. And you have no hope of defeating Junko, should she arrive on the battlefield herself.”

”Bah, why does it matter?” Yorihimr sheathed her blade. “If - no- when we defeat the interlopers and invade the Earth, it won’t matter whether or not I survive, with hundreds of more Lunarians to take my place. If it means victory, then I’d gladly die for the cause!”

”Control your bloodlust,” Chang’e ordered. “You are still my offspring. My child. I can not hope to bear losing you, or your sister for that matter even if we succeed and repopulate. And that chance is slim, considering the conspiracies concerning….” The Lunar goddess need not finish her statement for the two sisters to recognize who their mother meant.

”The yōkai god has been silent for centuries,” Yorihime argued. “Surely he won’t come back. He can’t!”

”You never know,” the more cautious Toyohime countered. “He has returned once before….”

”Whatever the case, just be careful, you two.” Chang’e embraces her daughters. “Don’t get yourselves killed.”

=======================================

“I wanted to kill soldiers This is stupid!”

Tenshi was relegated to wood splitting duty as Eirin lounges about the wreckage of the rocket.

”We’ll need the heat for warmth, considering we don’t exactly have a thermostat for the atmosphere,” Eirin explained in her condescending manner.

”Oh, yeah? Well, won’t they see our smoke in the night?”

”No.” Eirin strung together scraps of metal together to form a makeshift bow. “I have means to circumvent that issue, and anyone- Lunarian or otherwise- will be shot on sight if they venture too close. Besides, considering our more troublesome ‘neighbors,’ we’ll be seen as less of a threat.”

”I have no idea how that works, but whatever you say.”

“… And especially with forces beyond us on the rise, it’s inperative that I get to the capital before Milly and his friends do anything stupid out there.” Eirin strapped together makeshift arrows.

”Ha! If one of those ‘forces beyond us’ comes close, I’ll just gut them with my sword!”

Eirin sighed. “You clearly have no idea what ‘beyond us’ means, then. Just go back to cutting your wood. I’ll make us something to eat soon enough.”

“Peaches!” Tenshi plucked one of the heavenly fruits off of her hat. “This is all I need to survive! You’d know that! You’re a doctor!”

Eirin rolled her eyes.

==============================================

A memory of the Phantasm

”Yuyuko, sweetheart~!” Koibito gave his betrothed a warning as he chucked a snowball at her.

”Oh, stop it, you!” Yuyuko giggled as she retaliated. The two lovers began an exchange of snowballs, which soon turned into a virtual war.

Youki could care less. He sat on a rock nearby a frozen waterfall as he sharpened his blade, keeping a close eye on Yuyuko to make sure that as much as a single scratch gets on her.

Maribel herself, meanwhile, was busy helping Yuyuko deal with her personal dilemmas. Having been seen close to the princess, most in the land recognized Yukari as a formal substitute whenever they needed to relay information to and from the young woman.

“That’s unfortunate to hear that your condition isn’t getting better,” Yukari apologized. “Miss Yuyuko trusts your advice and wisdom greatly.”

”Dont worry about it,” the old and cravenly royal advisor replied. “My days are already numbered, you see. All I ask for is a proper funeral.”

”As you wish, miss Eiki.” Yukari bowed to the elderly woman. “It’ will be sad to see you go.”

Eiki smiled. “Death is just a new beginning, Miss Yakumo. Perhaps a new life awaits me beyond the gates of death. I may go to heaven. I may go to Hell. It’s just fate.”

Yukari bowed again as the old woman left, presumably to spend what may be her last days of life enjoying something beatlutiful.

Right as Eiki was out of sight, a snowball beamed Maribel on the back of the head. “Oh, whoops! Sorry, my curvy one!”

Maribel glared in disdain as she brushed the snow off of the back of her head. “You dirty bastard,” she grumbled before yelling, “Stop staring at my butt and go perv on someone else, you creep!”

In an ironic manner, a second snowball hit Yukari. This one came from the forest.

”I swear….” Maribel cursed as she stormed into the trees. But when she was in the overgrowth of the forest, a hand pulled her aside. “SHHHHH! They might see me!”

A girl with thick red glasses stared back at Yukari. Her hat concealed much of her face, and she wore a very unstylish cape behind her. Overall, she resembled an owl.

”Is this really ancient Japan,” the girl asked incredulously. “Is it? Is it?”

Yukari stared at the girl, puzzled. “… Yes?”

Immediately, the girl squealed in delight. “Oh my gosh, I actually did it!”

”Excuse me, who are you?”

”A time traveler!” the girl put her hands on her hips. “I was looking for ghosts and evil spirits, but then I stumbled on this time rift and decided to…”

The more the girl prattled on, the more Yukari could classify her as one of the weird girls in class who usually howled at the moon or wore tinfoil hats to school. By all means, a loser.

“Wait,” Yukari held up her hand to shut up the bizarre girl as she began rattling on about Onibi or some other terrible yōkai “You just wanted to know if you’re back in time?”

”Yep!”

”You could have just asked anyone if you were that curious, you realize.”

”Well, you’re white!”

Maribel gasped, somewhat offended. “What does me being Caucasian have anything to do with this?!”

”Tell me how many white people you see in feudal Japan,” the nerd reasoned. “Just about nobody! I’d say you were a fellow time traveler! So greetings from the future… or the past! Depends on when you’re from!”

“… Okay….” Yukari tried to look for a way to escape a situation. “Um… I have to… uh… go.”

”Can I come?!” The nerd grabbed Yukari by the shoulder.

“Wh-no!” Yukari tried to jerk herself free from the overexcited girl.

”Well, why not?”

”Because….” Yukari thought for a moment. “Because… I’m… the samurai will kill you… because… I’m… you’re wearing glasses, and that’s not exactly acceptable around here.”

”That’s a lie,” the time traveler laughed. “I spent years researching ancient culture! Nowhere on the Samurai code are glasses considered disrespectful!”

”Crap….” Yukari tried to think fast.

“What’s your name, by the way? I’m Sumirenko, if you wanted to know! Sumirenko Usami! What’s your phone number? Do you have a phone? Do phones exist in your timeline?”

Yukari has tuned out Sumirenko’s voice by this point. “Um….” She widened her eyes and pointed behind the nerd. “Behind you!”

Immediately, Sumirenko turned with a glint in her eyes. “Ooh! What is it? Where?”

Yukari immediately took this moment to run for it. Even if she was stuck far in the past, she needn’t hang around the lowest common denominator as “friends.”

“Wha- Hey! Wait!” Sumirenko ran to catch up, but Yukari had already disappeared out of the gloom of the forest.

”Awe man,” Sumirenko mumbled. “Guess I’ll just have to try again next time.”

========================================================

”The time is nigh. Our forces have landed on the moon, and the entire kingdom will soon plunge into chaos. Minions! Are you ready?!”

Balgaar bowed before his queen Shinki. “EVERYTHING IS OPERATIONAL,” he growled. “ALL FORCES ARE READY FOR COMBAT. ALL SYSTEMS ARE ONLINE. WHENEVER YOU GIVE THE WORD, MY GODDESS.”

”I made sure that our accomplices were well rested and at full health prior to the conversion.” Byakuren chimed in, kneeling just as the Cyberdemon had.

”Good. When the moon falls, you know what to do, Byakuren. You’re the biggest part of this, and I’m counting on you to make my scheme work. You had better not fail me.”

_________________
Then the world blew up. The end.
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