|Point Me to the Nearest Portal|
"..." She grits her teeth, stands up, and dusts herself before looking around. "...Bards. Are. The. Worst." As she takes stock of her surroundings, she blinks slowly, and pats down her skirts while her tail flits about in irritation. "...This isn't any plane I'm familiar with." She's seen nicer places. She lives in a nicer place. But ... something about the Chaos is actually a bit appealing.
And a woman in leather armor which wouldn't look out of place in a medeival fantasy world happens to have been walking by at that very moment. Though, to be a bit more anachronistic, she's also currently drinking from a to-go coffee cup from a convenience store. And has rainbow colored hair. "Oh, come on. I've known some performers that were pretty good people," she says with a deadpan. . o O ( Looks like a new arrival. ) She reaches up with her free hand and rubs at the inner corners of her eyes. This used to be her job, why does she find this situation so difficult now? "Yeah, well, uh... Welcome to the plane of Twisted? And the city of Mabase."
"Oh, to be certain, but their number sink lower than almost any I've ever..." The newcomer begins to respond automatically, then slowly trails off and looks at the rainbow-haired and armored woman. "...Oh. I'm dreadfully sorry, I didn't notice there was anyone around." She takes note of the drink, and glances around. When she notices the convenience store on the corner, she quirks her head to one side.
"...Twisted. Mabase." She handles the words like they're marbles in her mouth, but then seems to swallow and nods. "Thank you. The first time I've received a proper greeting after being banished." She offers a hand towards the coffee-wielder. "I'm Liyara. A pleasure." She didn't seem like she was pleased a moment ago. But she's smiling now. So.
Rayne shrugs. "Well, you were just pulled unwittingly through some dimensional shenanigans across the multiverse and dumped here. I can understand the distraction." She takes a sip of her coffee, then raises an eyebrow. "Banished?" Oh, but then the hand is offered... and Rayne shies away from it. "Uhhh... Rayne Hurris," she says, then offers a friendly but quite awkward wave. "Um... sorry, I kind of have a... thing with physical contact." The look on her face suggests annoyance with herself more than anything else.
There is another quirk of Liyara's head when the word 'multiverse' gets tossed around, but she doesn't draw any further attention to it, rolling right along with the flow of conversation. When Rayne shies away from her hand, she retracts it with a slightly warmer smile. "That seems sensible." She returns to patting down her clothes for a moment, and then looks around once more.
"To be honest, I've never fully understood the gesture. But courtesy is courtesy." Her tail swishes a little on the ground, a little like a nervous cat, and she resumes her analysis of her surroundings. "I was banished from the material plane by a bard who thinks too highly of herself." She pauses, furrowing her brow. "... I might have deserved it. Full disclosure."
Rayne lets out a clear sigh of relief that she hasn't insulted the newcomer by not taking her hand. The free hand has gone to her chest just below her neck in the process of the sigh, but then she looks up and grips the hand a moment before saying a bit more seriously and with a lower tone of voice, "You're not going to cause trouble here are you?" Her eyes have narrowed. Someone was banished from a plane of existence and dumped on her metaphysical lap? This is not the kind of thing Rayne needs while right now. Really, why do people do things that way?! Don't they realize the troublemaker is just going to become someone else's problem? It doesn't solve anything for a net gain at all!
"Oh, heavens no." Liyara places a hand to her chest as if wounded by the accusation, but she doesn't look offended. It's clearly just for effect. "I just said some things that I probably shouldn't have, and we're both going to regret it." She shakes her head, and offers a placating smile.
"Honestly, I'm not even going to be here long, if you can just point me to the nearest portal to the material plane, I'll be out of your hair in no time." She's beaming now. Clearly this sounds like an easy request to her. She may not fully appreciate the scope of where she's ended up.
Rayne eyes the apparent Dragon-half carefully before saying, "Well, I hope Mabase doesn't treat you so poorly as for you to regret it that much, but...." She shrugs. It's the second part that gets a frowns. "Um... you're going to have to be a LOT more specific. And the portals aren't as... stable as they used to be. And there doesn't seem to be as many. And they're a bit scattered now. Enough that I don't really know where to point you to most, anyway."
"I found a couple of stable ones," comes a voice from...the roof of the 24. It's a voice that Rayne will find quite familiar. Yup. Jack Hawksmoor is crouched on the roof. How long has he been there? How did he get there? Both open questions....to which you may or may not want the answer.
Rainbow Dash flies unexpectedly into the crazy area...and all her flight senses snap; nothing makes sense, up is down and down is behind her...and there..are those islands floating in the sky? She's does a Charlie Brown AUGH!!! And spins out of control at high speed, bounces off something that felt like Jell-O and careens in a spin towards the only stable area, the small shop and crashes into the roof, bouncing off and landing in a heap on the front step. *twitch*
Those comments draw a headtilt from Liyara, who glances up to the person on the roof. "...?" Surely this isn't that complicated. There's only one material plane. Well, surely they're just a bit simple and unware of the way of things. Not everyone is as educated as herself, and she couldn't possibly be wrong. "...Of course. The prime material plane. Home to the land of Faerun on the planet of Toril." She offers a bright smile.
"...Is it terribly common for the portals here to be unstable?" She doesn't much like the sound of that. "Perhaps I'd be better off doing the research and opening my own--" Liyara pauses in mid-speech at the sound of a crash. She glances over at the convenience store.
"...Was that a horse?"
Rayne tilts her head. "Toril? Never heard of it. Do you know which galactic arm that's in? Oh, who am I kidding, I'm pretty sure you're not from my universe," she says with a glance to the side. She takes a sip of her coffee just in time to do a spit-take at Jack's talking. Luckily she had barely gotten any into her mouth and wasn't aimed at Liyara. She wipes her mouth off in embarrassment at having done that, then says, "It's far more common then stable ones, at this point, but that's par for the course with EVERYTHING in this realm...." She looks over at Rainbow Dash the same time that Liyara does and facepalms. "...Aren't you supposed to be some sort of expert flier? You're letting some little dimensional instability affect you that much?" She then looks to Liyara and says, "Pegasus, technically."
Rainbow Dash merfs...'Rub it in why don'tcha?'
"She is not a horse," Jack says, vaulting off the roof, he does a twist and lands on his feet next to Rainbow Dash. He'd offer her a hand, but he's not sure exactly HOW you give a hand up to a quadruped, so he kind of stands there. To Liyara, "Toril? Never heard of it."
Rainbow Dash rolls to her feet and shake-shakes her head and mane. "I hate this place..." she grumbles, 'Fake skies, dimensional insta-what ever," she grumbles, checking her wings, "Yeah. Pegasus. Horses don't talk."
"A pegasus, then. Apologies." Liyara looks like she needs something to do with her hands, so she smooths her dress down a bit. She looks to Jack as he lands. He seems agile. She turns to Rainbow Dash, and tilts her head again before offering a bright smile. "I'm afraid I've encountered far more talking horses than talking Pegasi in my years. Forgive me?" She looks calm and polite, but in her head, there's a different story.
Galactic arm? Different universe? Is that what she meant earlier? Did she leave the skein of her entire reality? That's not how banishment works! What's happening? Panic! Panic!
Meanwhile, outwardly... "This place seems almost as colorful as Neverwinter." Oh. If she knew.
Rayne winces at Rainbow Dash's complaints. "We're managing as best we can," she says quietly. "It's hard rebuilding after that kind of dimensional disaster." She sits down on a nearby bench and sips her coffee again. "It's colorful, alright."
Rainbow Dash says, "No prob. I'm kinda used to it...at least nobody here's called me a Dinosaur. I still don't even understand that!" she flaps her wings, rising up and floating in the air. "I'm Rainbow Dash, from Equestria," she says to Liyara. "We're ponies, but yeah, I'm totally a pegasus. All sorts there. Unicorns, Erath Ponies, Griffons, Dragons, the works."
Jack Hawksmoor is, yes, agile. Also shoeless. "Okay, look. You're in an entire different part of reality. It takes some getting used to. There's a chance of a portal home. There's a chance you're stuck here for the rest of your life." The man leans against the wall of the convenience store. His eyes glint red for a moment.
Dimensional Disaster? Liyara doesn't like the sound of where she's ended up. But letting emotions like fear and apprehension show is for the rabble. She's above that kind of thing.
"Oh my. That sounds serious." She calms herself down, inwardly. If she's not just in some strange demiplane, she might have spend a while here before she can figure out how to return home. But she'll manage. The Academy will still be waiting for her, of that much she's certain.
"Equestria?" She's turned to face Rainbow Dash now. "Well, that certainly sounds pleasant." Of course there are dragons there. There are dragons everywhere. "But..."
There's a quick turn to Jack, and Liyara's face falls very slightly. Nowhere near as disappointed looking as she feels. Her entire life? Nope, that's not happening. "...Well, that's going to offset my plans." A bit. "...But always put a good foot forward, yes?" She looks to everyone assembled. "...It sounds like this plane is in just as dire need of help as my own." Actually, Liyara's is probably a little bit better off without her. If we're being honest.
"Oh, it's definitely worse off than mine," Jack says, then he detaches himself from the wall (no, not literally) and offers a hand to Liyara. "Jack Hawksmoor." Hopefully she's from a place where last names actually exist, or he just confused her more.
Rayne looks up at Rainbow Dash. "...Dinosaur? What? Who ever called you that somewhere else?" No, she just can not see how someone could think the pony pegasus was a dinosaur. "Uh, yes. Well. And to put things into perspective... I'm from a universe where travel among the stars is commonplace. Hence my question about galactic arms and the like..." She shakes her head, then laughs humorlessly. "Getting stuck here puts an offset in everyone's plans. You'll have to come up with new ones. And if you can actually help... It would be appreciated."
Rainbow Dash says, "You're new here? Try to not worry, I was trapped someplace else for a long time...found my way home, then got shuffled here!" is that supposed to be helpful? She's trying anyway....
"Liyara." The golden-winged girl takes Jack's hand and shakes it politely. "Just Liyara, I'm afraid. My family never earned themselves a name, and I've no interest, myself." ... Right. Because people have to earn a last name where she's from? ... That sounds odd.
When Rayne explains, Liyara's eyes light up. "Oh! That's quite lovely. Normally only wizards and mages travel between star systems in my world." Well, at least someone does it. "Are your people all talented magicians, then?" That actually doesn't sound lovely to her. That sounds dangerous. But it's surely nice for the people who live there.
Finally turning upon Rainbow Dash, she offers up a warm, sincere smile. "Oh, I'm not worried. I'll find my way home. I'll just have to factor in some additional variables." She pauses, then a hint of a blush rises in her cheeks. "Ah, but thank you for your encouragement." Yes, don't let the courtesy lapse now that you're in a new place. That would be a disaster.
It's odd, but not unheard of. "Mine's had mine for a while," he says, quietly. Then he glances at Rayne. "Space travel exists where I'm from, but humans aren't really all the way in the party yet, if you know what I mean."
Rayne looks at Liyara for a moment. Sure, sure, the tail, wings, and horns. But it's the eyes that are somehow getting the most of Rayne's attention, for some reason. Suddenly, she blurts out, "So are you a dragon?" She blinks, then shakes her head, actually responding to what was asked of her. "Uh, sorry. No, no, that's actually pretty rare. Really rare. The starfaring stuff is all technology." She glances at Jack and says, "Yeah, I've gathered you're from the... 2000 area? I left from the twenty-fifth century."
Rainbow Dash says, "Yeah...ya do seem sorta dragony. But that's cool, I know some pretty awesome dragons."
Liyara actually blinks at Rayne's outburst of a question, then gives a musical laugh at Rainbow Dash's words. "My mother was a dragon. My father was..." She pauses, her too-green eyes flickering off to the left for just a moment. "...not." She immediately changes the subject.
"...Technology? That can travel the stars? I don't mind admitting, that sounds a little farfetched to me." Humans can't do things like that without magic. They're nowhere near intelligent enough. They can barely manage with magic.
"Slightly earlier, actually, 1990s, but I probably manage to be more tech savvy because I was working with people who had state of the art stuff they didn't like to admit to. And the space station, I think, was a bit ahead of some 2000s people," Jack muses. He glances at Liyara. Ah, so she's a half dragon, and embarrassed by the non dragon half.
Rainbow Dash says, "Hey, I'm not gonna judge."
Rayne offers a quick smile to Liyara. "Hey, well, I suppose I'm not the only one, then." She points to her violet colored eyes for some reason. But she picks up on the change of subject and drops that subject now. "Oh, absolutely. There's like... three different methods for faster than light travel now. Well, common ones, at any rate. As a former light starship repair technician myself, I can assure you that no magic is involved!"
Jack Hawksmoor winks at Rayne, then crouches and does an upward leaping move that's definitely beyond the reach of a normal, unenhanced human. He ends up upside down, feet against the wall of the 24...and sticking to it. "It's actually pretty amazing what can be done without magic." Show. Off.
Rainbow Dash says, "Equstria is all about magic!"
Liyara definitely seems to take notice when Rayne points to her eyes and implies that she is a halfie. She seems to relax, just a little bit, even to the point of being amused when Jack sticks to the wall. But then her curiosity comes out.
"Faster than light travel?" Liyara blinks at that, and tilts her head slowly. "...What does light have to do with..." She pauses, biting the question before it can finish coming out. Then she swallows, and her eyes go a bit wider. Like she's just had a realization. "...You don't mean you actually travel there. Like... in a ship?" She looks incredulous. "...By locomotion?!?"
That's ridiculous. Rainbow Dash's world has the right of it. Magic is the way of things. Traveling faster than light? What a brute force method! ... How like humans.
Rainbow Dash says, "I'm fast...but I can't do light speed. YET!" she boasts with a laugh, "Totally gonna crack that one of these days!"
Rayne shrugs. "Well, technically one involves warping space, one involves punching holes into another universe where distance is significantly shorter, and another involves quantum flux in ways I don't understand. In general, if an FTL's problem isn't with an electronic part or one of the larger, chunkier parts, I never would touch it for safety reasons, so I never did learn the details. So 'locomotion' is debatable, but we do call them ships, yes."
"I think," says the upside-down citywalker, "She's saying that long distance teleportation is the easiest way to move from planet to planet where she comes from." Jack pauses. "We have teleportation where I come from. But last time I used it, I wound up here. And...not over interstellar distances." Rainbow Dash says, "Unicorns can teleport...some of 'em, kind of a spell."
"..." Liyara listens, her eyes getting progressively wider. "...All of that with technology?" She glances at Jack. "Yes... generally. Or portals." She is looking rather nonplussed. Rainbow Dash makes sense; but what Rayne and Jack are saying is just... impossible. The cutting edge of human technology where she's from is plumbing, and that was invented hundreds of years ago.
"...I'm honestly amazed. And if you'll forgive me, a bit speechless." ...Somehow, she doesn't seem like the kind of person who's ever actually speechless. Rayne looks at Liyara for another moment, then shrugs. "Yeah, no one in my universe has portals or teleportation, even in magic form, as far as I know. I'm guessing our universes had different development directions. That thought would have shocked me before I got punched into Twisted. Uh... by now, well, nothing really phases me anymore. Sorry, I'm a bit jaded."
"Actually, it's mostly portals. What I do doesn't...quite...count as teleportation." And he...disappears. To be more precise, he flows into the wall. Yeah, he's in FULL showoff mode right now.
Rainbow Dash says, "Equestria isn't that much tekkie at all...we've got trains and movies and cities and stuff...but no computer stuff or cars and planes. We do have balloons, though, slow as heck though. They drive me crazy."
Liyara shakes her head. She doesn't understand how technology could ever imitate magic to that degree. But that's hardly the weirdest thing to hear today. She'll get over it. She watches Jack melt into the wall, and smiles a bit. "...Meld into stone. Are you sure you're not using magic?" She doesn't actually have any way to tell other than recognizing the effect from a spell she's known. It still could have been Subtle Spell.
"...Well, to be fair, interstellar teleportation is still fairly rare where I'm from. Portals can take you anywhere, of course." Of course.
Rainbow Dash says, "Yeah. Hot air balloons."
Rayne rolls her eyes at Jack's antics. "That's enough showing off, Detective." She sighs and shakes her head. "We have some more powered balloons parked at the Plowse Bridge ruins, but I've not talked much to the people running them." She pauses a moment, then looks directly at Liyara again to ask, "Are you going to be okay? I mean.... more than likely, it will take a long time for you to find a way to reliably get yourself home."
Jack Hawksmoor rises out of the ground next to Rayne. "Positive. But fine, I'll stop." His tone is wryly amused. "Somebody needs to give directions to the Usual." Half-dragons, unlike cyborgs, need to eat.
"Because hot air rises?" Liyara laughs a little. That's one way to travel, she supposes. Though that just seems so... ... cobbled together. "...Clever." Not what she was thinking.
At Rayne's question, she gives a soft laugh. "I'm sure it will take some adjusting, but it's hardly the strangest day I've ever had." It actually does rank!
Unfortunately, she doesn't know what 'The Usual' is.
Rainbow Dash says, "Well, yeah..that's what hot air does where I come from," she teases. "In Neo-Tokyo, we had a portal back home, back and forth. It was totally awesome."
Rainbow Dash slumps just a little in the air.
Rayne glances aside at Rainbow Dash, opens her mouth, then decides against saying the 'it comes from your mouth?' quip out loud. Instead, she nods to Jack and says, "Point. So, Liyara, if you head that way down the road," she points to the east when she says this, "You can find a restaurant with a sign calling itself 'The Usual Restaurant.' You can get yourself some food there if you need it. That way," This time she points to the north, "You'll come across a fountain. Near there is the Courthouse, where you'll find the official Welcome Center inside. They can help you there in some more official manners. I'm not sure what processes Sunset has set up there since I stopped running the place." Rainbow Dash's slump once again gets Rayne to wince. For some reason, she takes Dash's complaints, even the unspoken, personally, it seems.
Jack Hawksmoor looks at Dash. Softly, "I'm still looking. I will let you know if I find something." Rayne can explain where and what the Usual is to the newcomer. Given Dash is managing to slump while flying he figures she needs some attention right now.
Rainbow Dash pffts, "I'm not worried about it. I can manage." She props her bravado up.
Liyara doesn't look very worried, either. "Well, once I locate a wizard and the right temporal and spatial coordinates, I'm sure I can just return around the time I left." ... That's optimistic. "It's not as though I'll lose much time." ... What about all the time she'll lose trying to find that information? Could be a lot! "It sounds like I might be able to help other people with that same problem, so that seems to be worth learning." It sure sounds like it!
And then someone mentions food. Liyara orients on Rayne quickly. "...I wonder what kind of foods this plane offers." Her eyes lit up a bit there. She might like food. A little.
"Lots, from what I've seen," Jack says. "I mean, people come here from all over the place, from all kinds of worlds, and bring recipes with them." Food, such an important part of being human...
Rayne glances away at Liyara's confidence at being able to return. "Right... well... good luck... I guess." She downs the rest of her coffee, then tosses the cup into a trash bin. "Well, I suppose I should show you the Usual myself? And yeah, there's a lot, though the Usual has mostly Earth food. Not that I mind, personally."
Rainbow Dash says, "Yeah, it's got most stuff from Equestria, but that's just mostly stuff with no meat."
Liyara definitely does seem to be unusually confident about returning home. But then, she says interplanar travel isn't that unusual for her, and probably thinks this is similar. It probably isn't. Probably.
"Earth food? Food made out of earth? I can't see the appeal, honestly." Well... she's going to have a few more misunderstandings. That's for sure. She glances at Rainbow Dash. "... No... meat?" She sounds almost as confused as when Rayne suggested Faster than Light travel.
Rainbow Dash says, "Yeah. Ponies. We don't eat meat."
"Earth's a planet. I know, kind of a boring name," Jack adds.
Rayne blinks, then laughs. "Okay, yeah, I suppose the planet's name is kinda dumb, but that's what it's called! the food's super varied, though. It's the world where humans come from in most universes."
"But you said they have dragons..." Liyara clearly doesn't follow Rainbow Dash; if they have dragons, meat should be a pretty big part of their dishes! When Jack and Rayne explain that Earth is a planet, she can't help herself. She scoffs. Just a little. "Naming the world Earth..." There's just a little disdain in that.
Here's our planet! We've called it ... Ground! Here's our river, the great river Blue! And here's our desert. We call it the Sandy Desert! A fine human name! Like the water lake, and the forest of trees!
Liyara manages not to completely let this disdain show, but she definitely seems like she's bemused. "...Well. If it has a variety of food, I can hardly complain."
Jack Hawksmoor shakes his head a little bit. "I didn't do it," he says, simply, meaning the name. He's now standing relaxed, hands at his sides.
Rayne tilts her head, then shrugs. "I was born on Avia, myself. Earth's a nature preserve in my time. Anyway... I kinda have an early morning tomorrow, so I'm sure Jack or Rainbow Dash can show you the way to the Usual..." She glances in their direction just after saying this.
Rainbow Dash laughs a little, 'Ponies arent Dragons, we eat different stuff," she replies, then adds, "I heard Earth is called Terra or Gaia from Twilight, she's totally into that stuff. Humans call it Earth for I dunno why.
Liyara manages to take Rayne's cues well enough, and she waves goodbye to Rayne with a grateful smile for the handoff. She seems interested in the other names for Earth, and smiles as she nods in response to Rainbow Dash. "Those sound much nicer. What does Terra mean?" ... She's not going to be happy when she finds out it means earth, is she?
Rainbow Dash says, "I dunno," and shrugs, 'Twilight knows all that stuff, I don't always listen to her when she's goin' on about stuff."
Jack Hawksmoor isn't going to be the one who tells her. Nope. "So...shall we?" He nods to Rayne. "Get some rest."
Rayne sighs and shakes her head. "I will, I will. And welcome to Twisted, Liyara." With that, she starts making her way to the north, to her apartment.
Rainbow Dash says, "Later Rayne."
Liyara certainly seems like she's going to be ok. She's got an easy smile, and is getting along ok with people. Outwardly, anyway. Inwardly?
Disaster! A completely different universe?! A world entirely of hor-- of ponies? NO MEAT? It's going to be ok. Humans and horses. She knows how to handle humans and horses. Everything's going to be FINE.
"It was a pleasure meeting you, Rayne." Yup. All the chill. Off to the restaurant!