|The Greatest Arrival!|
To the northeast, the slight high rise of the Integra's Arms Apartments is apparent, and eastward there's a larger, mysterious structure that may pique one's interest.
To the northwest is a vast, cubic building proudly emblazoned, 'POLICE'. Between this and the sidewalk is a sprawling, gated parking lot, where a variety of vehicles are parked at all hours. A guard's station and boom barrier prevent - or, at least, discourage - unauthorized access to the precinct.
Despite it being still early in the evening, it's a dark night. Maybe it's the occasional snow drifting down that's the cause. Either way, a few cars come and go. The light from the headlights a stark contrast of the skies above. Abruptly a shimmering purple vortex rips itself open at the base of the fountain with a loud hum. Inside a multitude of colors snake backwards into oblivion while the air around it vibrates from the disturbance. For Twisted, this is something new. A deliberate portal being opened instead of an accidental one and for once without damaging the fabric of space-time around it. The portal holds in the air in a perfect circle and out of it a young woman in glasses steps out. She brushes some of her purple hair out of her face and clicks a button on the helmet-like device she's wearing over her head. Green symbols display over her glasses a moment, blink several times, and then the symbols and the vortex vanish without a trace...
And...a moment later a man comes running out of the vast, cubic building proudly emblazoned, 'POLICE'. He's wearing a slightly scruffy suit and no shoes (or socks, so it's not just that he took his shoes off in his office to relax. He's looking at the area where the vortex well, was. "Too slow."
Nathan Xeos who is wandering about after landing himself here because the universe seems to like toying with him, stops after the portal closes. Having caught the portal closing, but nothing else, he taps the side of his head in thought. "I swear, trying to puzzle this out is going to get me stung."
Lucca Ashtear, the girl with the purple hair, turns towards the officer as he was on the scene first, clicking another button on the side of the device. More green symbols appear briefly and the girl laughs, "Oh good! We speak the same language. You know, that's happened on over 90% of the places I've portalled to and most of them weren't even in the same time-frame?" She lets out a maniacal laugh, and then turns her full attention to the fountain, running her hand along the brim of it. "No doubt. This was the end destination of the interloper." She's not even acknowledging anyone else at this point. "...now someone tell me why the Truce Fountain of 2300 A.D. has been relocated here? More importantly, how they managed to recover information from a dead timeline?" To whom she is directing that is anyone's guess at this point.
"It probably fell through a hole in time, that happens a lot around here," the man who came out of the cop shop says. He's not wearing any kind of uniform, nor does he bother pulling out a badge as he rather lazily makes his way over to the purple-haired girl.
Nathan Xeos is just rolling with it at this point. "Or this is 2300 AD and this place got hit with a burst of urban development. What are we talking about?" And why does this sound familiar? Nathan's standing at the side of the fountain, trying to look like he hasn't lost the plot already.
The girl begins to cackle at the officer's dismissal. "Ahahahahaahahahahah-no." She produces a small wand with a crystal of some sort anchored onto the end, honestly much like a Sailor Senshi transformation wand, and begins to hold it over the edge of the fountain making the carvings begin to glow with an ominous purple light. "So who did it? Who came over to my world from here, who's mucking about in my timeline? Who's polluting things with this..." She turns around to look at Nathan for the first time. "When did we get an audience?" There's a few other pedestrians looking this way as well but more just to see the glowing fountain. "DO NOT WORRY! This is an official investigation! Nothing to be concerned with!!" And now she's doing the officer's job too. A click of her wand and the fountain stops glowing. People begin to go back on their way again. Clipping it onto her belt, she glances back at Nathan and pushes her glasses back up. "Trust me as the foremost authority on temporal and interdimensional travel I can assure you that this fountain doesn't belong here and that this is most definitely not the world I come from." She presses that button on the side of her helmet and reads the green flickering symbols again. "...besides time doesn't work that way here." She starts to just up and walk away. "...fascinating. You people are lucky to be alive."
"Like I said. Holes in time." Jack actually frowns. He walks over to the fountain himself, drops to one knee and touches it. As if he's checking what she says for himself, although without any visible, external instruments. "Well, *huh*."
"I get that a lot..." Nathan mumbles. His phone buzzes out of control before he checks it, someone or something has texted him nothing but 'touch it' a few dozen times. "That sounds like a terrible idea, but at least you're hijacking my phone." Says the idiot who sat on the dang thing yesterday. He waves a hand nearby just to make sure it isn't horrifically hot or anything before poking it with a finger.
"People vat cocksure only come in two varie'ies: va kind wot know nofing, and va kind wot 'ave seen some serious kerflarking trouble."
This voice comes from a small figure nearby, probably mostly unnoticed amidst the environmental context. A raccoon perches sitting atop a public trash bin. Sitting up, legs crossed at the ankles, the small fuzzy mammal tinkers with a mechanical chunk in one hand with a simple torque tool in the other. Oh, and the raccoon is wearing clothing.
"You'uh implying vat va fountain is important and vat it didn't come from anuhvuh set of chronospatial coordinates. So, what..." asks the bandit-masked mechanic. "You saying it's a domestic object native to vis place?"
Lucca Ashtear spins completely around in a circle coming to a stop facing Nathan directly. "I am doing no such thing!!" She pauses to take off... wait, it's not a helmet on her head at all. Over one ear is cupped a device that connected a thin piece of plastic over one of her lenses - apparently the source of the green symbols. Why does it look like a Dragon Ball Scouter with a little antenna on it? She glances down at it and smacks it. "Maybe I am!" She pulls off a hat that seems to be made of some kind of animal hide and clips the device back over her ear. "Hahahaha!! I'm just that great!" She throws the hat at him, "Wrap it in that. It'll stop." Clicking the button on the side a few times she asks, "What's this folder marked selfies-?" Luckily Rocket's introduction distracts her from investigating further. "I didn't say it was important! I said it didn't belong here!" She drops down on one knee to get a better look at the newcomer. "There's multiple overlapping bodies sharing the same multiphasic coordinates which accounts for your 'things falling out of time' but this is a totally foreign body which has been pulled across galactic space-time, not due to a path of least resistance but by the interference of a third party's conscious decision to bring it here." How she said that without breathing is a mystery of its own. "However, the original destination is a non-event timeline which had been obliterated, or so I thought, from its original translocation. That doesn't work here because everything is happening all at the same point along the timeline."
"So, you're saying somebody stole it. Or perhaps rescued it, if the timeline no longer exists." He glances at the raccoon. "She's right. It didn't start out here, although the dimensional fabric is knit, and it's most definitely part of Mabase *now*." The man rises to his feet. "As for everything happening at once, that's not an issue, I mean, it seems like time is normal, so..." Oh, that's a datapoint the citywalker didn't have before, that explains a lot about how this city is. "Just means this place is, indeed, insane." He offers a hand to the purple girl. "Jack Hawksmoor."
Nathan Xeos stuffs his phone back in his pocket, only to be hit by the hat. "Gah! Right, first thing I'm doing when I get home, upgrading phone security. Way too many people are getting into this thing." <We have been nothing but sweet honeyed angels-> Don't you start! "That said, if this thing isn't supposed to be here..." He pulls a jade coin out of his jacket, clipping it to his belt, he waves a green energy robed hand around close to the fountain. Let's see how it reacts to Chaos Magic.
The raccoon frowns a little in thought and listens as the others speak. However, he barely even pauses his tinkering as he takes a moment to speak as well. "Okay." He parses the expressed reply as a matter of objects existing simultaneously across timelines so long as the states of those objects in those instances of time coincide. Just because a version winds up here doesn't mean that the original doesn't exist in its home spacetime, but that does bring up a lot of questions concerning not only people that wind up here by those, like the raccoon, that have already experienced going through a similar 'nexus' before arriving at this one.
"I get it. It's an object represen'ative of a temporal paradox, innit. A timeline you seem to be familiar wif, love. Somefing tells me you 'ave a few stories a'tell." Rocket looks up, finally lifting his gaze, then squints. "Oh, you've gone and done it now. Last fing we need around 'ere is encouraging people a'try messing wif por'als and timelines and remnants. Last place didn't fare so well."
Dusting off her knees, the girl stands and peers at the offered hand. "Oh. Right. Introductions." She holds her hand out too for a moment before spinning around and raising a fist to the air, "Lucca Ashtear!" She lowers her hand and adjusts her glasses. "But where I come from they call me, LUCCA THE GREAT!! BWA-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH!!!!" Seriously? Evil villain laugh? She side glances as Nathan waves a coin at the fountain. With a raised brow she considers informing him it was only glowing because of her scanner, but decides against it. Luckily the Mystic gives her a much more interesting thing to contemplate. "Ooooh, someone here tried to create an artificial portal system and it backfired?" She headshakes, "Wouldn't that destabilize the gravimetric-" Realization washes over her, "OHHHH." Lucca the Great shakes her head, "Well, that was stupid."
Jack steps towards Nathan. "I wouldn't. Just because it didn't belong here in the past, doesn't mean it doesn't belong here *now*." And he glances. "Actually, the problem comes when you try to MOVE portals. Pro tip: Don't."
Nathan Xeos hms. Nothing, disappointing, but not exactly unexpected. "Well, there's always the probability that at some point it won't or didn't." Yes Nathan, let's cause a paradox with another paradox, that worked so well for you in Egypt. "But it does so... Just don't go flipping any coins around here for a while." He shrugs. Lucca, Lucca, why does that name ring a bell. "Nathan Xeos. Magical idiot." It's not entirely untrue.
"No. Not here and not now. A different where and when. I'll explain it latuh. If vere is a latuh wif you." The raccoon has been around so many colorful individuals and misfits that peculiar personalities don't strike him as strange. He puts his tool to his mouth and holds it with his teeth while reaching a clawed finger into the chunk of hardware to try moving something, digging something out, scraping something free -- it's hard to tell. There's a click and the ringtail takes the odd-looking torque wrench out of his mouth.
"Glad somebody showed up wot might actually understand me," mutters the small 'Mystic' before pressing something that turns the machine on. It creates a small yet potentially notable gravitational field. Gravity is a pretty weak force, after all. However, there's a sound of something crackling, a fizzle, and then the device powers down due to some failure. "Everybody calls me Rocket. In'erstelluh, in'ergalactic, and occasionally in'erdimensional traveluh, mercenary, inventuh, and va 'eart o'va a group o'galactic guardians. No problem too big wot a good finking ovuh and an even larger gun can't 'andle is me motto, Luccer." For such a built up introduction, this Rocket fellow delivers it fully nonchalantly.
"So, now wot you is 'ere, going a'tell us 'oo vis In'erlopuh is?" A single eyebrow raises.
Lucca Ashtear glances at Jack and Nathan as they speak, crossing her arms and nodding her head. "Huh." See, Crono! See Marle! She can totally just listen to people! How DARE you say she can't be silent for more than a minute if someone is in the room with her!! "If I had a coin for every time the two of them have accused me of-!" Oh, she's speaking out loud. No one heard that right? Her eyes turn to Rocket as he introduces himself and for a moment there's a flutter of recognition in her eyes. Why, she likes guns and building things too!! Reaching into a side pouch she produces a handful of custom tools and offers them over to the raccoon. Surely something will help him with that. "I don't know! That's what I came here to find out!! Well, that and who showed up and wreaked havoc at the Chronopolis by traveling to 1006 and stabbing a hole in Truce Fountain." She points at the fountain again for anyone who hasn't made the obvious mental connection to the subject matter.
Jack Hawksmoor nods. "Unfortunately, you grabbed the wrong fountain, and you're gonna have problems getting out," Jack says, simply. She's going to be mad about that, but it's best she finds out right now. Unless she happens to be the one person who can.
Nathan Xeos stuffs the coin back into his hoodie pocket. Doesn't need any more chaos currently. "If you have people time traveling just to stab fountains, you probably have bigger problems, like someone trying to alter history in much worse ways... And then ending up here because of a wrong chronological turn at Albuquerque. Those lower branches can be a maze." He is assuming of course that time travel works the same way for him as her.
Rocket's attention is diverted for a while as he takes the pouch without question and begins to look through the assortment. That is, he doesn't just look at them; the raccoon removes each in turn to give a full hands-on inspection. Every now and then he pokes the device with a tool to see if it's what he needs but has to swap out a few times until he finds something he can use.
Gravity doesn't take a lot of power to 'create'. Sure, gravity seems to be a product of mass affecting spacetime and mass is density divided by volume, but mass is also force divided by acceleration. Therein, one need only provide a sense of mass in order to affect local gravity.
There is a buzzing from the roughly ball-shaped chunk of electromechanical machinery in the raccoon's grip just before he pulls a tool away, sets it upon the pouch now also on his lap, and tries to turn the device on once more that it seem a little more stable. Almost as if the tools were magnetic, any free-sitting ones lift up on one end only as they seem to be affected by the proximity of the device nearly as equally as the sense of gravity that the world itself experiences. If he moves it one way or the other, they follow along but then fall it gets too far away.
"Don't be stupid. Vere's always a way out. Va problem is vat you create a temporal paff between vis place and uhvuhs if va doorway you create allows travel bofe ways. You need a clean movement from one set of coordinates to va uhvuh wif no way for any information to go from when or where you came in order to prevent such a...'lock'. Va's basic quan'um temporal dynamics at play."
Lucca the Great raises a brow at Jack and smiles with bemusement. "Oh, is that so? Did I stutter when I told you my name? I am Lucca the Great! I've saved the world of Chronos from disasters spanning it's entire existence! I know the Guru of Time by name! I've worked with the God of War! I built a transporter on purpose and a time machine on accident! I've repaired complex machinery built 1300 years into my future! I've been to parallel worlds, alternate timelines, and stared down the true face of the monster that fell from the skies and changed the evolution of life on my planet. No one tells Lucca the Great she can't do something!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!" Why is that voice nagging in the back of her head again? "Oh, um. Sorry?" Stupid obligations to apologize for being herself. The Mystic seems to get it at least and the slightly crazed inventor nods her head at him. "In the grand scheme of things this is a null point. It was anchored to my world and leached off it's time flow. This world, or what's left of it, might feel like it has this grand history from your perspective, but that's because connecting it to my world caused it to grow old. Someone or something traveled from here to my world recently and tampered with that fountain. I'm not concerned with that as much as I'm concerned that there was another fountain on this side of the portal. From my perspective there's now four of these. The one in 1006 AD Truce Village, the one in 2306 AD, the one from the deleted 2306 AD timeline, and the one here. Now unless someone's worked out how to somehow copy physical matter from one state to another without obliterating all of existence, this is the third one transplanted somehow. Someone had to consciously make this happen simply because this can't naturally happen by any logic. Someone is using this fountain like a giant billboard to get my attention. It doesn't mean I'm trapped here, but it does mean someone or something is watching us. You three clearly don't know who or why, so clearly that's the end of it." She ponders a moment, stroking her chin. "Fascinating, however. I'm one of only four people on my world who would have noticed."
Jack Hawksmoor frowns. "The problem with that idea, Rocket, is that we're information." Apparently, the shoeless cop isn't stupid. Then he turns to Lucca and listens to her. "Well, time can flow at different rates in different places, it almost has to for the entire concept of a multiverse to work. Everything's a little loose in the Bleed." The rest of what she has to say, of course, whooshes over his head; it being world specific and all.
Nathan Xeos has shot and killed several eldrich horrors from byond the stars, reclaimed ancient artifacts as well as fought, and won, against literal nightmare fuel turned inter-dimensional herpes. You don't hear him bragging about it, mainly so that he doesn't terrify people. "Oooor, like the shoeless detective said, time and space are busted here, which... This place connects to Agartha somehow, same with Neo Tokyo, though that was on Earth at least, though not my Earth. Thankfully."
Rocket nearly facepalms, but he has his hands full. "No, you aren't following, Hocks. If you go frough a doorway, va flow of information, including you, 'as to only be one way. Uhvuhwise you create a causal link and somefind bad wot 'appens t'one place can 'ave effects on vose places so linked even if va portal don't exist anymore. It only needs to exist once, the when don't mah'uh."
Rocky takes a moment to put tools away, fold the pouch up, and - still holding the proto gravity grenade - hops off the trash bin and walks over to offer the tools back. "Well, somebody wanted you 'ere, ven. Not va place for a reunion, I'd waguh, Luccer. If you need t'ire a bodyguard while you'uh 'ere, I'm curren'ly between jobs." He doesn't mention that he has been investigating the nature of the place since his arrival due to experience from a previous Nexus, one in fact that Nathan simply blurts out. That's not a conversation for now.
Kneeling down on one knee again, Lucca takes her tools and gives the Raccoon a genuine smile, "You are without a doubt the most intelligent Mystic I've ever come across." It could be argued that it's not a very high bar, but let's ignore that. A compliment is a compliment. By now she's stood again, securing her tools on her belt once more. "And I might take you up on that offer depending on how things go. I'm going to have to get with some friends back home before I can decide a course of action on this." She frowns, crossing her arms once more. "I suppose I've been too comfortable since everything that happened after the war." The inventor lets out a sigh, "Crono's not going to like this."
Jack Hawksmoor shakes his head. "You probably won't be checking with your friends back home," he says. Then...anticlimactically...his phone chimes. He takes it out, looks at it. "Boss needs me." And he wanders, no better word for it, back into the police building.
Nathan Xeos needs to learn to shut up when thinking to himself sometimes. Not to mention he needs to remember this isn't his Earth, nor is it the Nexus he blurted out, the rules are vastly different, though everything still works as it should, for the most part. "Well, you two have fun. I'm not exactly one for quantum entanglement, but I if I catch wind of anything I'll seek you out." All in all, since he doesn't have to report back to Sonnac (Yet), he might just look into things himself. Time travel or no, he can't let a good mystery slide.