|Running into Crux again|
You've found yourself in the dusty remains of a forgoten subway station. Perhaps once this was an active and well maintained location, but obviously that wasn't anytime recently. All the benches and chairs which once provided rest for those in waiting have been pilled up against the western wall as if someone had planned to start a bonfire but lost their matches. The eastern wall houses the ticket offices - all of which are currently locked with steel shutters to prevent someone from exploring them. At the northern end of the station a long staircase makes its way into the darkness below. Hopefully there isn't anything down their still waiting for a ride...
Johnny stands in the darkness alone. His form randomly shifts between normal and shadows. In his hand rests one of his daggers which he keeps randomly throwing accross the room and catching. Of course, this isn't so strange when the person holding the weapon can summon it to his hand. Finally out of frustration he kicks over an empty trash can beside him and starts walking around the walls, stabbing the dagger into them so that his path is decorated by occasional sparks...
Crux finds himself wandering off the main road of Twisted. Normally, this would be unwise, but Crux isn't one of the people that's very frightened of the unknown. "Ara...what do we have here?" He lets his hand run along the wall, walking slowly forward. "I wasn't aware there was a big demand for conventional transportation..." His fingers run into a notch on the wall, made by a dagger. "Hmm?" He stops, and takes a step back to feel the notch again. "... A familiar wound." He glances around for a moment before his hazel eyes glow a slight gold, and he notices sparks coming from the wall further down in the darkness. A smile breaks onto his face. "Well I'll be." Johnny stops abruptly at the sound of another voice and turns. His expression makes him look like he's ready to pounce and attack at any moment. Infact, as he draws his dagger out of the wall and makes a step towards his unexpected visitor, it would seem that would be the case! However, recognition washes over him before anything can happen and the maniac squints. "Weird. So why the fuck are you down here?" He doesn't offer much time for a response before continuing, "This place wasn't here last time. It was quiet and I needed a place to think. If Cale's real, are you real this time too?" Clearly his mind isn't grasping the concept of Twisted as well as it should be...
As he notices Johnny, Crux raises his hand in a nonchalant wave, as if it were perfectly commonplace for the two to run into each other. "This time?" He continues walking towards Johnny, slowly drifting towards the wall, until a foot steps on the wall sideways, followed by another, and then another, and he's walking along the side of the wall as if it was perfectly normal. "Did I cease to be real just because I wasn't around? Good to see you too, by the way." He's wearing a mild smirk now, instead of a polite smile. "What's all this about Cale?"
Johnny starts to make a motion to speak but then pauses and tilts his head to the side as he has to think. "Oh. Cale! Right. He was at the UR. I saw him after I saw Devi." Reaching into his pocket he produces a dim ring. "Funny... that was glowing last time?" Frowning he pockets the ring again. "Fuck. I know I saw this all bright when I looked at it last. Maybe I was dreaming, but then which part was I awake at?" Frustrated he stabs the wall beside him again. "I can't seem to get a grip on reality... there's nothing to focus on anymore."
Crux tilts his head to the side, looking mildly confused for a moment. After Johnny finishes speaking, he smiles. "Ah, did the pleasant but annoyingly goddess-subservient Cale find his way here too? I see." He glances at the ring, not really ready to offer any kind of explanation about it. "Well, it probably doesn't hurt that you're not in a traditional reality anyways. How'd you find yourself here? And where's your other dagger, while I'm giving you the third degree?"
The maniac raises an eyebrow at the questions and shrugs. "Cale? I don't know. But I seemed pretty sure that it wasn't a dream at the time. Magus has my dagger. Cale said that might be why I'm all disconnected, but Magus is on Chronos and I'm not supposed to go there. Cale's looking for Sammy, which is good because then I don't have to. But he did say he'd help get my dagger back, so if that was a dream I'm gonna be very disapointed." Running a hand through his hair he chuckles, "...and I walked here. I saw something new and found my way into the station. How else would I be here?"
Crux shrugs, not really willing to explain how else the maniac might have gotten here. "Dunno, just felt like asking...." He rubs his chin thoughtfully for a second. "... And ... Sammy? .. .. Oh, that's Terry's daughter, right? You said something about her last time, but you ... well... sort of disappeared on me. You and that cute fiance of yours." Not wanting to go over that part of the past either, since he genuinely doesn't know how the two vanished, he changes subjects quickly. "But... where's Chronos again? And why can't you go there?" Crux isn't ignorant of the council's imposed rules upon Twisted, but it's better to ask than to make an assumption and be wrong. At least, when the person your asking actually tends to be truthful.
Johnny nods as Crux speaks but then immediatly begins to yell, "SHE'S NOT-!" But then, obviously he's cut off as Crux continues, "Chronos was the world Emi and I made. Where the bitch Cassandra banished me and Sammy. I wasn't supposed to leave and everytime I had to be all carefull or they'd throw me back. Like I was in a cage or something. Some weird guy showed up and told me I had to leave. Said I'd contaminated the place too baddly." The thought forces him to start laughing. "You build a fucking world from nothing and they say you contaminate it! Here I thought there was actually a place I belonged too." With a brief shrug he calms and smirks, "Anyways, it's a small price to pay to not be locked up anymore. I never did find Sammy anyways..."
Crux blinks several times during Johnny's explanation. So Emi survived Neo Tokyo's vanishing too, and she helped Johnny create that pocket world. Crux had thought it was weird to track Johnny down to a reality outside the timestream, but then, his dealings with the maniac had never been entirely normal. A lot of thoughts run through Crux's head, not the least of them is the identity of this oft mentioned 'Cassandra'. Chronos weighs most heavily on his mind though. If Johnny had built that place with Emi, then that would mean... Crux looks Johnny in the eyes for a second, and crosses his arms, looking troubled. "Johnny, just how old are you now?"
Johnny blinks at the question. His mind reels at the now alien concept. "Um... how old?" Sheathing his dagger he leans from foot to foot as he tries to think. "They assigned the founding of Guardia to 1AD. Sixty Five million BC was when the big guy fell. It was 1004 when I left. Um... like sixty seven million... wait, or was it more than that?" Shrugging at the numbers he shakes his head. "Too fucking old. I didn't age anymore though. Haven't aged since Sammy killed me in Metropolis. Come to think of it... I'm not sure I came back from that anymore." Looking at his hands he chuckles darkly. "Sure would explain alot..."
Crux walks up to Johnny and stares at him for a moment. Sixty seven million. That's a long time to be trapped in a world like a cage. Crux likes to think he understands a lot, but that's perhaps longer than he can conceptualize living. On another subject, if a resident of Chronos got his hands on one of Johnny's daggers... Something would have to be done. "Hmm. So you think you're dead?" Crux's hand flies out at a dizzying speed, intent on smacking Johnny across the face. "Does this hurt?"
Johnny winces as the impact makes a loud crack against his face. Unexpecting it he tumbles onto the ground, perhaps a little more than one would have suspected from a slap like that. Drawing his dagger he stabs it into the ground as he uses it's leverage to push himself to his feet. "YES THAT FUCKING HURTS!" As he screams his body flickers black once or twice, dulling to it's normal form as he stands again. "JERK! What the fuck did you do that for?" Taking an attacking stance he starts to make a stab for Crux in reataliation, but his body seems to blur turning slightly transparent in the process. Suddenly he stumbles. "Fuck... oh fuck... not again." Holding onto the side of his head he looks up at his friend - his face a mix of emotions. "Shit! Not again..."
Crux tilts his head to the side, curious at Johnny's ... convulsions. "... Isn't it obvious? To prove you're not dead." He walks over to Johnny again and reaches out to poke the maniac in the forehead lightly, the fingertip glowing with a very mild white light. "Now stop trying to disconnect yourself from this reality and follow me." His other hand reaches out, hoping to grab Johnny's shoulder. His demeanor is cool and confident, but he's actually rather worried that Johnny's going to blink out on him again. "We're going to find Cale."
Johnny tries to stand as the lights in the room flicker on for the first time today. However, it's not that way for everyone. "It's getting dark again..." Standing silently as Crux reaches for his shoulder he tightens his grip on his dagger. His form turns black once again and then begins to fade out. Soon Johnny finds himself standing alone in the darkend station and sighs. "And once again, I wake up." Crux of course, would find himself in a well lit station. There's a chance he might hear Johnny's final words, but Johnny won't hear anything. Infact, he's already left...
Crux grits his teeth, struggling not to clench his hands into fists. "... ... Be seeing you soon, Johnny." Crux's not really speaking to Johnny, so much as making a promise to the empty air. He stands slowly, cricks his neck out of irritation, and strides back out towards Twisted. How exactly DOES one anchor an insane seventy million year old reality-traversing maniac? He's not sure, but he's sure as hell going to figure it out.