|Dynamic Mahou Entry|
~Five minutes ago~
Purple, pink, and blue blasts of magical lasers blow mere millimeters past Anne-Marie Bathilda's face. Her Barrier Jacket's black coat is ragged, not even the mid-childan non-lethal blasts being hurled at her and her current partner able to stop from being entirely detrimental to her form. In short, she's been running for a mile, with eight agents of the Time Space Administration Bureau's enforces after her. Through the desert.
Now more than ever, she wishes she could fly.
"Viktor! I'm running out of magic and my lungs are going to explode in my expert opinion! Take this damn thing, hide in the sand with that spell of yours, and open a portal!"
The much larger fellow intergalactic criminal catches the highly expensive stolen magical object.
"To where!?" He yells back.
"JUST DO IT BEFORE WE ROT IN AN ORBITAL YOU IDIOT!"
~Twisted, The Usual Restaurant~
With a sound like a tennis ball being shot out of a pitching machine, a German-looking woman is spat out of a portal that rapidly disintegrates into magical motes of energy. Tattered, ragged, and utterly out of breath, she dramatically dives through into a military roll that ends in a tumble straight through a good half of the bar, only to crash straight into the bar proper, breaking two barstools as her head slams back against the lower portion of the bar with a *whack* loud enough to fill the entire restaurant.
The Device User, her head now bleeding, shakes off the sand and gives a ragged breathed, delirious laugh.
"HAH! YOU CAN NEVER CATCH ME, YOU DOGS!" She quickly descends into coughing, exhausted laughter born of adrenaline, fear, and the realization that she can't feel any Mid-Childan magic in the area.
Of course, the bar is far from unoccupied, though the barstools that the German-looking girl slammed into were vacated for a reason... The next one over is occupied by someone known to be a bit on the annoying side to people that don't really know her. Okay, and to some people that do know her. The green-haired gnome looks down from her perch at the new arrival and says, in her creepy, echoey voice, "Oh, my! That was probably the most dramatic convergence I have been a witness to! Even my own, surrounded by those miasma-dwelling monsters, was actually not very exciting from the end that I arrived from!" Nope, no 'are you okay' or anything. Just fascination at the manner of entrance. A few seconds later, the ghostly siamese cat that had, naturally, bolted when the Device User made her entrance finally peeks its head around the bar's corner again, at floor level.
True enough, the bar is is far from empty at this time of the day. It's Friday night after all and everyone in town is either here or at the dance club further in the bar.
Yes, most everyone is here, including a certain worm in a space suit who all but jumps from his seat when something slams behind him and breaks his barstool. "What in tarnation!? AGH!" Jim flails his arms around before he proceeds to fall backwards and slam on the ground head first.
It takes him a moment or two to pluck himself out of the floor and straightens up to peer a pair of mismatched eyes at the newcomer who just converged.
"See!? And y'all were complaining when I wandered over here with my pocket rocket! At least I didn't break nothin'!" It seems that the residents of the bar are more concerned about how cool was Anne-Marie's entrance rather than see if she's okay.
Which should start telling this girl just what kind of people inhabit this place.
This does not bode well. No, it's not that creepy voice. She's dealt with malfunctioning A.I. before in her line of work with similar voices. It's the content of those words. There's almost instantly a scowl as her laughter tapers off. She reaches up, and checks her head. A moment later, she sighs. No concussion, at least.
"Oh by the Saint-Kings, what festering hole has Viktor sent me to?" She says in response, not bothering to look at Doommuffin. Rude kinds abound? Her eyes don't move, or even blink. That might explain things. With no magic to 'see' with, she reaches up to grab the bar-lip, and slowly pulls herself to her feet. She leans heavily on the bar, and kicks away the debris.
"Miasma-dwelling, you say? Is this an industrial world? Always finding strange mutated creatures in magi-industrial runoff! Good if you are looking for linker cores, or just ambient magic, but otherwise never anything worth salvaging in heaps that degraded. Stuff of nightmares. ...Tell me this isn't common." Pause. Cough. She wipes off blood and magic burns, and vaguely offers a hand to Doom Muffin.
"Nice to meet you, my friend! Anne-Marie Balthida, Freelance Doctor and Magitech Mechanic. I'll stitch together your severed limbs or your second-hand, illegal Devices for a few rounds of drinks and a hotel stay. Good to see I'm at least not on some ignorant, mundane backwater this time. Ahh, I didn't pay Viktor enough. I hope he's not dead. Or if he is, that he took out those TSAB bastards with him in a blaze of glory!" She cracks a grin. A bloody grin at that. Someone slogged her in the face.
Pause. She then throws several silver coins on the bar. "Bartender! Get me a bandage, a towel, and as much of your worst swill as that will pay for!" She demands suddenly.
Eventually, though, she realizes she just helped vacate a seat. Yet again, there's mention of strange things. Someone apparently riding a rocket into a bar. That bloody-toothed grin grows wider.
"Oh! I didn't see you there. You know. What with the 'time-space ripping portal' that my idiot-and-or genius partner threw me through. Here. BARTENDER!" She is very space-German, and loud. Cue more coins being thrown down.
"Get this man a new seat! And more swill! I want at least one person half dead of alcohol poisoning by the end of the night! Doctor's orders!"
She's totally trustworthy guys. "What is your name, friend? I'd like to say I don't cause this amount of commotion normally, but that would be a lie. Life of a freelancer, and all!" At least she sounds warm, despite it all. She slumps a little against the bar.
"Where's that booze and bandage, bartender!? I don't have the magic for healing right now!" And apparently hard on bartenders.
Behind the bar, Steve gives Jim a blank look. "You've knocked the bar off its foundations... what, seven times now with that damn rocket?" While he doesn't seem very inclined to get Jim a new barstool, he does at least walk off to comply with the rest of Anne-Marie's requests.
The gnome takes the offered hand with her owned gauntletted one. "Doommuffin. Deathknight and freelance engineer. And don't get me started on mutated creatures in magical runoff! You should see what happened to my home city! Truly, it was a most horrible side effect that our attempt at eradicating an invasive species had wrought!"
"HEY!" Jim is quickly pointing fingers at Steve, that mouthy bartender. "It was just six times!" Yeah.. because he was really helping his case there wasn't he?
Whilst Steve is off getting Anne-Marie's request, Jim goes to giddily extend his hand towards the woman and give it a good hard shake. Anne will fill that despite Jim's hand being pretty massive and strong, it feels strangely hollow. Like shaking a plastic glove filled with air. "Oh yeah, them time-space portals are a real doozy! That left on Omega Centauri darn nearly ripped me ship in half!"
He smiles a little as Doommuffin starts rambling on. "Don't mind DM, she likes to prattle. I'm Jim! Your local super hero space cowboy! Nice to meet'cha!" And on the topic of mutants. "Whoo wee! I'm afraid ya came to the wrong side of the universe if ya wanted a break from mutants, pardner. There's all kinds of monsters over here." Strangely enough, it doesn't look like Jim considers himself to be a mutant at all. Even though he clearly is one by most people's criteria, including Twisted's skewed notions of normalcy.
That said, Jim can be at least a little bit perceptive every once in a while. Ya gotta be when you're in the super hero business. He peers those bug eyes of his and stares at Anne's face, noticing that she doesn't seem to be focusing on anything. "Uh, excuse me, but are you blind?" Normally it will sound like an insult but Jim really has no idea how to ask something like that without sounding rude.
Nice and firm. The gauntlet only gains a brief narrowing of the brows, but she's used to fellow knights. And if this one isn't immediately reporting her? Well, she can only assume she's another deserter or otherwise unaffiliated mage. It sets her at ease.
"...Isn't that some sort of pastry from Unadministered world number...oh, I don't remember the number. The one with the Ace of Ac...right, shouldn't talk about THEM" Spit. There's a brief look of pure loathing on her face. She calms quickly though, as her order is worked towards. She even flicks another coin into the tip jar. It's a gold one this time.
"Well, whatever! 'DeathKnight. Not familiar with that kind of magic. Interested, though! As a professional, of course! Modern Belkan Knight. Err. Former. If that doesn't make sense, then don't worry. If it does? Don't worry. Bunch of backstabbing bastards." Shrug.
When her drink comes around, and bandage she slaps the latter on first, then downs the former with haste.
"...My condolences." She starts to Doom, completely serious. She makes several religious hand-signs, then she smiles.
"Never a good idea! 'Oh, certainly this horribly toxic byproduct will destroy this seemingly invincible insect-slash-whathaveyoupest! With no consequences!'. Setti-Nine, Davorkian-Twelve...been there. I don't mean to downplay the well-meaning in the act, but one should really weigh things a bit more, don't you think? Or at least have a decent specialist on hand to deal with potential results. But they never think to consult. No, just release the runoff!" Sigh.
Then she leans in. "...Of course if you have any surviving cadavers from the incident, I'm willing to negotiate. For medical reasons! You can find cures for mutations in those. I did it on Setti-Nine!" She proudly proclaims.
Then she coughs, and takes another drink.
"Still, glad to meet another professional in the field. Too rare, too rare. Here. My Device Contact Number. Take it. Networking, as the legitimate people say!" She shoves a card towards Doom, with a likely meaningless number. Though given she's a gnome, perhaps not for long!
"Six, and no one is dead? You should be happy, Mister...Steve? I've been at the sight of a rocket accident! Nasty business! Sewed five people back together that day!"
Squeeze! The hollow, strong hand has her perking, but then relaxing. Some form of cybernetics, perhaps? Well, she's hardly one to complain, given her origins. Indeed, she's not once freaked out upon the pair.
"Any portal you walk away from with all of your functioning limbs and not increasing cancer rates, and all!" Grin!
She actually pauses, finally, a little off-footed.
"Super...hero..space..." Another long, awkward pause, then she downs another drink. "I have half a concussion, and not nearly enough alcohol in my bloodstream to understand what you are talking about. But you sound like an honest man! I like you, Mister Jim-Who-Crashes-Rockets-Through-Bars! Or Mister Jim, for short!"
Finally, she just shrugs. "As long as they have sentience and a brain cell to rub together so they aren't trying to eat or tear me to bits? Fine! Exotic clientele! I will heal them or work on their Devices if they have the money! What?"
A brow rises. "Since as long as I can remember! Finally, someone who actually bothers to ask rather than assume! I definitely like you! Here, my card!" Cue another meaningless number and card.
"If you lose limbs, first operation is free for you! What? Are you a mutant or something?" Thankfully, it seems pretty hard to insult Anne-Marie.
The gnome laughs at the phrase 'Surviving Cadavers'. "Surviving Cadaver. I think I rather like that term. I may have to use it to describe myself in future instances. But no, that was several years ago, and not in this particular plane of existence." She takes the offered card and looks at it, wondering just what she's supposed to do with this. "Oh, don't get me started on this annelidan baffoon's rocket antics. I'd swear, he's almost more a goblin!"
And to think Jim was saying DM liked to prattle on! Heh! Its not that Jim minds long winded people being incredibly verbose himself when the mood strikes him. But seeing two of them in the same room is comical enough that he feels like he needs to point it out. "I reckon we finally found a conversationalist that can handle DM!"
Of course, the gnome's response is just to continue to chatter away, which Jim should really expect right now. Either way, he returns to stare at Anne with a big wide grin. The worm doesn't care if the woman can't see his winning, sparkly grin, for him its kind of reflex. "Please, call me Jim."
"Or Earthworm Jim if you must!" He enunciates his entire name like if it was a title more than a name.
"But yeah! Hate to say that there's a lot of nasties over here that'll try to do that to ya! There's this one that has a really funny triangle hat with a big knife? Trust me, you'll recognize him when you see him." He pauses. "Erm.. or not, since you got a condition." Oh boy, this might be complicated won't it?
Anywho! Jim puts his thoughts of how to help this woman on hold since she's asking about something else. "Well! Some people might consider me a mutant since I'm a talking worm in a space suit! But I'd say I'm quite on top of the evolutionary chart if I say so myself." Yeah.. its a good thing that Anne is taking everything in stride so far, because she might soon realize a lot of things are not going to be adding up.
Nevertheless, Jim takes the offered card and hands her one in return. "Dang it! I really oughta get those cards done in braille too." Funny that he's just now considering that after living here for so long.
Somehow, her own phrase haunts her. Anne-Marie raises a brow. "...What!?"
A dramatic pause, and then a shrug. Surely it's just a similar turn of phrase! Surely the dead can't walk without her own lightning razers!
"...Wait a minute, are you telling me that idiot actually managed to shove me across a dimension?" Her third pause is far more worried, before she finally laughs.
"Then I definitely didn't pay him enough! ...Tell me you have the return coordinates, right? You do, right?" There's mild panic in her voice. The idea that she's stranded, unable to continue her fight against the 'TSAB' or whoever they are.
Then Jim's speaking, she's double-fisting the worst kind of swill, and then Jim's speaking again. Because horrible rot-gutt.
"Mistress, dimensional coordinates are..." Pipes up the gloves on her hands, suddenly glowing blue-white.
"Oh, shut up, Blitz Razer! I know what the coordi...oh just shut up and put them in a file for when I'm sober!"
There's an audible sigh from her fingerless gloves. "Yes, Mistress. Idiot."
She rolls her eyes, then returns to Jim.
"What? Miss Muffin is a fine conversationalist! I'll hold that!" Huff! Rogue or not, she's still a Belkan Knight.
"Jim then! ...worm Mutant, got it! I'll adjust my Device's database for you then! Actually, that was the first thing I vivisected! ...A worm, not a worm mutant, understand! All legal and ethical, I assure you!" Cue awkward laugh!
Her last glass down, she waves to the pair.
"Alright! I'm off to the nearest dingy hotel...We'll be fine, don't worry! Device, and all! Until next time! If you need my services...haaah!" Yup, she's drunk and concussed! She'll likely stumble into the nearest public housing facility within an hour or so.
Blitz Razer will make sure she's fine, at least.