Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Mortim
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Dan shirked away as he consistently did with Anora's abrasive state, he didn't appear to entirely understand or appreciate her current mindset as something he could grow accustomed to. He sputtered into speaking with anxiety against the waves of ever-angered questions.

"Th-th-they, uhm, well, like, the people I do jobs for, they said that Pahn was creating some sort of super-weapon here. They needed to send someone who could, y'know, like, actually neutralize it if he turns out to be hostile...-" He scratches at the back of his head before jamming his thumbs inside white-knuckled palms that pace with force against his thighs. "-I mean, the people who asked me to come here, not, like, my bosses necessarily, but, uhm, the ones who thought I could benefit from a trip here, they, uh, they call themselves 'The Council'. They're a sort of, uh, a network of wizards set up to guarantee all forms of non-hostile trade in the universe at large... W-we also, like-! Y'know, we come together if there's some sort of big threat, or whatever..."

Dan shivers visibly due to whatever combination of exhaustion and stress may be coiling its vicious body around his maladjusted mind. *Cough-cough, Whe-heeze!* Dan coughs and wheezes for a few short moments, his shoulders rattling like the legs of a chair getting ready to give under too much weight. Quickly, he finished coughing and came back to slouching as he tends to with both hands either anxiously pacing his thighs or gesticulating gently towards Anora.

"W-well Darsby, here, he will be helping with direction. I mean, you didn't exactly, interact with Pahn, but, uhm, we believe a distant ancestor of yours was one of his creations, err, associates?" Dan scratches at his head with the ending of that last statement/question.

During the aforementioned fit of coughing, Darsby performed a fast and nearly undetectable action. The man leaned towards Anora at incredibly fast speeds, and, without permission, tapped his finger against the small wound on her arm. There was a miniscule drop of blood atop Darsby's finger as he leaned back into his seat, having finished that entire movement in under a second. Somehow, her arm wouldn't hurt any more than it already had, and no bandage or scab had been opened.

Darsby breaths a small cloud of greyish smoke into his lap, this cloud evaporates once it had reached about the size of a small jewelry box. What is left in its wake is a small black cube. Darsby touches the blood against its top surface, the box then morphs and shifts its shape into that of a sphere with very small, rough looking details tapering its surface. Eventually, blues and greens and greys fill this orb with creamy hues. After about three or four seconds, it was clear that this globe was turning into a small replica of Earth with Darsby keeping his finger locked against its upper side. He eventually retracted his finger from the top, the strange object shrinking all at once with a thin silver chord attached to it to form what looks to be a necklace.

"Wear this please." Darsby would say to Anora without flinching as if everything that had just happened was what everyone should have expected. His consistently deadpan features would do nothing to alight our young woman of what it is that had just specifically occurred.

"Yes, uhm, this Quenz-Box should, uh, it should let you know, sort of, empathically, which way we need to be going." Dan blushes at Darsby while he gestures towards the small necklace with Earth as it's jewel. The clouds and oceans appeared to be moving in real-time atop its faintly reflective surface.

Ahllasta continued to display annoyance at the puttering descriptions of Dan. Perhaps it was just this man that rubbed her raw; perhaps it was the subject matter. Regardless, her lower lip wasn't likely to survive the gnawing of those ferociously sharp canines.

Should Anora touch the necklace, she'd hear a strange breeze. Winds and cawing birds would fill her ears, drops of water gently touching upon leaves and the scent of grass accompanied by thoughts of fruit would fill her mind. These thoughts and images wouldn't occupy her entire mind; it's as if her consciousness were a house and someone had flipped on the TV in a room near the one she was occupying. This TV would display distant images of what looked to be some rainforest with vast plains and tall mountains. Strangely, these images blurrily collided with the thoughts of some Chinese or perhaps Japanese city, in all of its concrete wonder shooting as towers into the sky. She would feel some compulsion to continue down this road they were driving on with an eventual inkling to turn right at some point.
Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Siaya Dragalorn
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Anora’s fidgeting gave the piece of energy bar a reprieve at Dan’s mention of a ‘super weapon.’ She paled slightly as the day just kept getting better and better. She took a deep breath, making herself refocus on Dan as he continued speaking. Picking out the information in his words was a chore all of its own.
Absently, she ate the deformed bit of bar she had been holding. She sighed heavily and rubbed her temples with her free hand. She was positive she felt a headache coming on.
So, ‘The Council’ from some unknown organization had sent him. An organization who wanted to stop a threat, but also invade Earth.
Great. She let out a slow, steadying breath. Dan’s coughing fit made her jump. She turned in her seat, trying to see him.
“Are you—hey!” She interrupted herself when Darsby reached forward and tapped the bandage. She blinked in confusion, glancing between it and the bead of blood now on Darsby’s fingertip.
She sat the remainder of the half-wrapped energy bar on her lap, then reached to gently touch the bandage. It hadn’t bled enough to more than slightly discolor the bandage. Her own tap made it sting slightly, where she could have completely missed Darsby’s.
She tried, but failed, to hide her excited awe at yet another show of power as the box he had created—or summoned—formed into a miniature version of Earth. Despite her situation, she couldn’t help but still admire the show.
“The Galaxy’s not on Orion’s Belt, after all,” she muttered.
Eyes still on Darsby and his magic trick, her head cocked as Dan continued. But she turned fully to him as he finished his uncertain statement, gawking at him.
Her stomach fluttered at the prospect of an ancestor of hers being created by Pahn. Though Dan had changed his wording, like before, he had still thought to use the word.
“Not a huge difference there, or anything!” She struggled to tame her irritated exasperation.
A part of her wanted to reach back and strangle the infuriating, pathetic-looking man and shake him to try getting a straight answer. Instead, she forced herself to take a breath. If having siblings had taught her anything, it was that losing your cool never helped. Even when they did deserve to have their head dunked in a toilet.
“Which is it, then?” she continued, her voice stiff with an effort to keep it even. “A creation, or just someone he worked…” She looked to the Earth necklace when Darsby handed it to her. “…With?” she finished, the last word coming out quietly as she looked at the now pendant-sized sphere.
Despite its size, it had lost none of its detail. She instinctively reached for it, wanting to get an even better look at the impossible, moving pendant, but she stopped herself. Her eyes narrowed as she looked Darsby over, avoiding direct eye contact.
She curled her fingers away from the necklace. The itch to take it made the action slow, hesitant.
“Why? What’s it do?” A sense of pride at remembering to actually think before just grabbing a strange, box-turned-planet-via-blood flashed through her.
It was Dan who answered her. Great. Now they’re tag-teaming the weirdness.
“Oh.” That answered one question, at least; they weren’t really going anywhere. Just driving. For the time being, anyway.
Gaze locked back on the swirling surface of the small Earth, she let her fingers wrap over the silver cord near the pendant. She kept her grip loose, fearing to disrupt the movements of the clouds—or sink one of the continents with her pinky, for all she knew.
At first, she thought someone had opened a window, but a quick glance about the car told her that wasn’t the case. She inhaled sharply through her nose as sights, scents, and sounds whispered in the back of her mind. The sweetness of fruit and the outdoors made her long to be outside the car, to be in a place that could produce such an atmosphere. Then it changed to an oriental city.
She groaned inwardly. If the mini-Earth was trying to tell her they needed to go to East Asia, this could end up being one long, tense trip. Unless, of course, Monster Mash could do his Scotty teleport trick en masse.
She shook her head lightly, trying to push the sensations aside to focus on the here and now.
“Keep… keep going straight,” she said softly with a glance to Ahllasta. “But we’ll turn right… somewhere.” Anora scowled at the vagueness of the directions. Vague answers. Vague directions. Vague future. The Trinity of Vague.
She looked back to the men in the backseat, then quickly told them what she had seen. “Does… that mean we’re supposed to go to Asia? Because that’s overseas. Bit difficult to get to with just a car… Well. Normally,” she added with a nod to the side.
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"W-well, all we have are fragments..-" Dan scratched at the back of his head, squinting his eyes before releasing a sigh to indicate his joy at Anora not focusing solely on him anymore. "-We b-believe that Pahn bound the original elements of this planet to separate, human forms some-... uh, l-like six or seven billion of your, uh, 'years' ago? That would be your ancestor." Dan pointed this way and that to indicate time and figures, his eyes wandering as easily as his mind all the while.

"Anyways!-" Dan continued as if his first point was hardly anything to think about once spoken. "That quenz-er-necklace, uhm, I mean, pendant? Yeah, yeah that. That should feed you some sensory information for your mind to translate. I guess, 'Ahshia' it is?" Dan clearly didn't understand the word 'Asia,' nor did he know how to speak it. Regrettably, it was the only word he had yet spoken with confidence. He gestured towards his two companions and then to Anora with bright eyes saying things like, 'yes, onward friends!' in quiet bodily directives.

By this time, it may be possible that Anora would find the protein bar she'd left on her lap to be gone. Should she look for it, she may eventually find that someone who wasn't previously eating next to her now has herself quite the aggressive snack. Ahllasta had grabbed the food as if it were second nature to her with such slight that only Darsby had noticed the action, and, thought it better to say nothing of it.

Ahllasta was upset and mumbling between bites. Shortly after Dan had clumsily said the word 'Ahshia,' Ahllasta would only grow more annoyed. She seemed to hate something about this man; perhaps it was the organization he worked for, perhaps it was all his own doing. Regardless, she'd vent her frustration into the buttons of the center console with food-stained fingers, mashing this and denting that while muttering something about her being the only actual wizard here. Eventually, the car sputtered and shifted its shape whilst Anora clearly said "Ahshia, I'll take you to bloody ahshia. All you clueless, inbred, good-for-nothing-" And her voice would again trail off into quiet curses whilst both hands turned white-knuckled atop the steering wheel.

The black car they'd first found themselves in had begun to shift and mold along it's exterior into something of a flighty creature. The inner cabin retained it's shape and feeling whilst two, massive wings of the feathery sort sprouted their long figures from either side of the car. Two flaps later and they were sailing above the freeway, another two and they were in the clouds. Their velocity was supernatural; what else is to be expected of current affairs. No momentum or g-force could be felt within, only the faint whistling of the wind.

Darsby had calmed himself quite a bit since being in the presence of Dan. He was now gazing longingly into the outer world, clouds and long hilly landscapes birthed some sense of romantic poetry into his face and shoulders. He looked like he was either getting ready to burst into song or settle back into his seat with some profound statement about the size of everything.

Dan, feeling the rather 'cool' sort after pushing Ahllasta into her raging action to transform their transport, settled back into his seat. He eventually made a not so profound observation about the size of everything.

"I guess we're the big four, knocking on Pahn's door, eh?" Dan gently slapped the seat near Darsby instead of hitting the man's shoulder, deciding that entering someone else's personal space was still only too much for him in his moment of sudden confidence. He let out a few strangled sounds from the abyss of his semi-smiling open mouth before looking frantically for affirmation, tightly crossing his arms, and looking out the window in a way meant to mirror Darsby's eccentric habit of gazing upon creation.

Ahllasta and Darsby gave the man no more room than he asked for, attending to their own emotions as previously prescribed. Dan seemed to be the only one jittery and anxious enough to respond to anything Anora might say. He must not be the sort who has many friends.
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Anora’s mouth dropped open at being a descendant of someone with an element bound to them. Unlike Dan who switched topics as if he had just told her that her great-great-grandfather was an ice cream man, she only half heard his next words, consumed with the first thought.
“Asia,” she corrected him absently. She held a hand in front of her, summoning a couple minuscule clouds of her mist around her fingers. The glittering substance swirled with an almost eager playfulness, ever ready to do her bidding.
Her brows furrowed as she tried to think of what element could possibly look like her powers. As far as she could tell, it wasn’t exactly an element, per say, she controlled, but some sort of energy. But then, that's exactly what some elements were, wasn't it? Energy?
Her eyes widened and she inhaled as a thought struck her. There were more than your four classic base elements, after all. Especially depending on what culture you asked.
She quickly turned back in her seat, heart beating quicker with the anticipation of at long last knowing what, exactly, she could do.
The typical gentle glow of her eyes faded as she released her powers and opened her mouth to confirm her suspicion. But Ahllasta reaching to press the buttons on the center console gave her pause and made her heart jump for an entirely different reason.
Worry at what Ahllasta had done pushed her excitement aside. Noticing the woman had taken her energy bar, Anora glanced quickly between the wrapped food and where she had sat it.
She frowned and opened her mouth to give an annoyed, yet surprised “Hey!” but the woman’s irate mutterings made her shut her mouth. The last thing she needed was to further irritate Ahllasta. Her eyes narrowed, wondering what, exactly, made Ahllasta hate Dan—or his organization—and Darsby so ardently. And not for the first time. But she didn’t have time to dwell on that, or the minor theft.
Anora gasped and turned fully forward when the car began to sputter and change, its exterior stretching in a way no normal, human-made car could stretch. Her breath caught in her throat. She tightly gripped the edge of her seat near her legs as the car began to rise into the air with a couple downward strokes from the feathered—feathered!—wings that had sprouted from the car.
“Holy Valkeries!” Anora breathed
Once the initial shock wore off, she quickly pulled part of the seatbelt over her head for more maneuverability and practically pressed her nose against the window. She had her hand on the crank for the window, but thought better of opening it; what of the world she could still make out below blew by with impossible speed. And she rather liked her head and hands where they were.
She exhaled heavily as a grin spread over her face. They were flying. In a car. With wings.
“This thing would make the Weasley’s jealous!” She ran her fingers through her bangs. The desire to lean out the window and touch the inky feathers made her fingers itch. “This is amazing! What’d you do, turn a Pegasus into a car, or vice versa?”
Dan’s voice reminded her of his presence.
“Huh?” she turned again to look at the back seat. Her gaze paused on Darsby, the easier of the two within her sight. He looked the most comfortable with the situation than he had since she met him.
This… is normal to them, she reminded herself. Flying cars, spidery monsters, magic—all of it was just another day for them. On the other hand, adrenaline and the thrill of adventure and meeting the bizarre buzzed through her, only adding more emotions to her already over-clogged brain. Her stomach did a few excited flips. The whole situation was crazy—completely insane—but she couldn’t help but enjoy it. Some of it, at least.
She eyed Dan worriedly at the noises he made. Her brows furrowed as she tried to figure out if he was trying to laugh, clear his throat, or if was about to burst into flames or something else to add to her ever-growing List of Weird.
“Okay,” she breathed as he mimicked Darsby and looked out his window. She turned fully to get as good a look at him as she could. “Backing up, here. My powers. They’re… am I controlling aether? Or is there another element I’m missing?”
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Dan perked up, his dim features being set alight at Anora offering him time to ask a question. He was skittish, small, noted as a monster, yet he looked honestly overjoyed when another person noticed him enough to ask anything. He contained his excitement like any school child might: clenched hands, a gingerly chewed lower lip, and upwardly shrugging shoulders to surround ember eyes. Those eyes, inhumanely grey yet entirely rife with some profound joy at the aspect of socialization. That aspect, at least that, was vibrantly human about our alien man, Dan.

"Ah! Y-yes! You-you have quite the power to you!-" He watched the static in her hand with quizzical fascination, marveling at whatever traits he'd observed there. "-W-well, you s-see, by our records, at the start of The Olympus-s Era, there were about six individuals made b-by Pan. Th-they procreat-ted to make a sort of, s-sort of blend of elements in their many ch-children." Dan nodded with an anxious shake or two. Whatever lay outside the window was nothing like the talk he was having with Anora here, the knowledge and speech are flagrantly stimulating to him. He didn't seem to favor Anora in any light most grown men would, with distance and hesitant measurement. Dan jumped at the opportunity to speak like a tired child alone in the corner of a kindergarten classroom, too scared to talk first but undoubtedly happy to learn and teach as any young human would be. Do all 'monsters' not have any friends to talk to? What kind of Embassy Rep is this?

Darsby continued to look out the window, his traveled eyes absorbing more than most humans do in a lifetime. Whatever it was he looked at had drawn him into some distant land of thought. He was a man in another world by the remote air to him.

Ahllasta continued to grumble and munch vigorously at the food between her fingers. Heated air rasps from her lungs in small spurts of protest. She appears to be relaxing into the seat, both shoulders sitting square on the leather above a faintly slouching waist. Her complaints only continued as Dan carried on in his usual way, his presence and manner keeping her aggravated. She didn't look unused to this state of pestered being.

------------------------------------------------

Far, far away in a damaged farmstead there lay an incapacitated agent and a continuously ringing phone. On the other ened waits a directore of sorts who'll likely only spend another ring or two of his time before finding solutions to problems far bigger than his widest estimations.
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Anora watched Dan with a mix of suspicion and curiosity. She couldn’t tell if he was just etremely eager to answer and possibly get her fully on his side, or had had too few people to talk to in his lifetime. Or perhaps both, with how he spoke.
She inhaled, her expressive features shifting slightly with each bit of information Dan gave. At least he seemed a tad bit less skittish now Darsby had contented himself with the outside and Ahllasta was too busy in her world-hating corner of self-pity.
“I’m going to take that as yes, I control aether,” she interrupted, unsure if his ‘Yes’ was in answer to that question, or something else with how easily he said it.
She listened to the rest of his response with a look of awed disbelief.
“So, I’m not completely human, then?” she asked, her voice giddy. “But… then why am I the only one in my family who can control aether? Shouldn’t my siblings or parents have the same abilities? And Darsby mentioned Olympus before,” she continued on, eager for the answers he seemed willing to give. But she gave Dan scarcely enough time to breathe between questions, let alone respond. “We talking Zeus' and Hades' Olympus here, or in some sort of code? And is their ‘era’ something like a dynasty, then? Like, a period of rule? Or popularity?”
She reached to fidget with the Earth pendant. A bubble of panic worked into her chest when she realizing she had dropped it on the floor when the car took flight. She quickly adjusted to search for it. She found it beside her backpack.
With a relieved sigh, she grabbed it and straightened. Sitting awkwardly in her seat, she draped its cord around her neck. The small Earth thumped lightly against her chest.
On the bright side, she hadn’t noticed any catastrophic earthquakes when she dropped it.
“And… I won’t crush anyone in Australia by handling this thing, will I?” she asked with a slight, concerned smile. She carefully indicated the pendant, holding it from her by the cord. She didn’t think Darsby would give her something she could cause mass destruction with. Not without a warning, anyway. But it was better safe than sorry.
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Words flowed like water into an already occupied mouth, gagging Dan with strange sputtering sounds as Anora bombarded him with question after question. The neurotic soul was overjoyed to witness an actual display of interest developing. His limbs wrenched forward with his palms upward in a show of openness to whatever it is Anora may be questioning. Just before Dan could begin speaking, Ahllasta made some obscure quip about machinery and Anora being confused about what's going on.

"No, uhm n-no, you're actually more human than m-m-most humans. The original humans were, in fact, those elementals I spoke of..-" Dan scratched the back of his head before setting his innocent gaze upon Anora. There wasn't any struggle aside from that of the self here. His anxiety and joy looked appallingly human, yet, something about Dan was still alien. He was like a kindly classmate you meet at university who must've come from an entirely different walk of life, his smaller mannerisms denoting something of a different upbringing.

"You should b-be fine with the pendant, I mean, I-I didn't make it, so there really wasn't a whole lot of p-power invested in i-t-t-" *HACK!-HACK!-COUGH!* Dan broke out into another fit of openly painful coughing. His shoulders heaved, and body trembled at the receding of his episode. Oddly, no one in the car gave that physical distress any mind. You could say they might have even ignored Dan's moment out of reverence or respect for something. By the time he was done, he had looked back up towards Anora and continued responding after a little adjusting of his glasses. His cheeks were red, eyes gilded by moisture, perhaps the first sign of common weakness displayed from any of our three wizards.

"S-so you're a sign to Pahn being active again, with your p-powers awakening and all. His m-mind and body are tied deeply to your Earth-th and it's populace, likely from some old contract-ish magics used to m-mold them, you being here in your above average form shows Pahn being in n-need of something, likely subconsciously. I m-mean that whole pantheon of people you call gods, Z-Zeus and Hades are all part of, uhm... Y-y-you said dynasty? Uhm, things didn't exactly go like how they do with most humans. I m-mean, l-like, it's not like a bunch of people flocked together to survive and called it 'history'. I mean, th-there's no need for a code or rank of popularity when the ruling being here could end all of what you c-call, uhm, like, life on Earth? Yeah, that. When he could end all of that with a proverbial snap-" Dan snapped his fingers to that last word as if he were putting on some fascinating lecture. "-of the fingers." Dan was bright and spoke quickly of these subjects. He was not surprised to say that gods existed or that some even higher power ruled them. Dan became more and more comfortable as they spoke, enjoying the act of conversating with someone, anyone. His legs had folded into his seat by this point, that smallish figure fitting comfortably into a hunched posture of gesticulating amidst further relaxed expressions.

Our group's vehicle was well over the ocean by this point, faint scents and smells growing stronger in Anoras mind the more they traveled. Blue fields of aetherial mist spread out beneath them while clouds slid over an invisible table. They were high in the sky, very high; one could say they may even be reaching some atmospheric limit. The heavens hadn't quite grown dark or shown signs of being exited, yet, they must be close with how distant the Earth has become.
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Anora shot Ahllasta a glare at the woman’s comment. She bit back a retort; further aggravating the driver—especially while in a car flying over the ocean—was never a good idea.
‘More human than most humans,’ Anora repeated mentally, returning Dan’s stare as she waited for him to catch up with her questions. “So… humans without powers have more non-human blood in them?” Her brows rose. She made a light, chuckling snort, still fidgeting carefully with the mini-Earth’s cord. The implication that, once, humans were magic beings themselves was a mind-blowing thought.
She stared at Dan for a short moment when he answered regarding the pendant. Either he was the most chill type of arrogant, or he really did have powers beyond what his appearance let on.
Dan’s second coughing fit interrupted her thoughts.
“Are you okay?” she asked slowly when the violent cough subsided.
That couldn’t be normal. Yet, a quick glance at the others in the car showed their lack of reaction. Whether because of some unknown respectful custom or it being a normal occurrence, she couldn’t say.
She cringed inwardly in sympathy when Dan looked back to her. For a self-stated monster, his lack of monster-like characteristic was shocking.
Anora chewed the inside of her cheek as Dan continued. She listened, gaze never straying from him as she tried to follow the rest of the man’s explanations. Something about him made her think of her old high school history teacher. Only if he was an inexperienced substitute with stage fright and a stutter.
She sighed, and reminded herself to use different terms. Terms possibly more common so Dan wouldn’t have to guess so much about what she’d meant. Maybe that would help him make more sense to her. Or maybe not.
She glanced down when Dan finished speaking, letting his words sink in. Her fidgeting with the pendant increased.
“So… whatever it is Pahn needs, some type of magic somewhere thinks I’m the one who can solve whatever problem he has?” She shook her head. “What happened to him, anyway? Why’d he vanish—go dormant—whatever, in the first place? And wouldn’t it be smarter to activate that contract in more people if someone that powerful needs help? I mean, I’ve had my powers for years now. But Mad—” she caught herself before she said her siblings’ names. She didn’t want to risk getting them involved. “But like I said,” she corrected herself, “I’m the only one in my family who has them, and Darsby said I’m the only living human with that contract. Is that something that should run in families? A bloodline type deal? Or is it all determined by chance?”
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Dan chuckles at Anora's questions, the innocent laugh of someone excited to shed truth on subject those nearby may be unclear on. He was joyful to spread knowledge, or perhaps he was simply in the mirth of being close to someone curious about anything at all. Dan wiped his somewhat runny nose while his cheeks cleared of their rosy complexion. Grey eyes bounced before focusing in on Anora in a way most humans don't, clean of any dirtied thoughts or wishes.

"I could be wrong, b-but, uhm, I'm being misunderstood. We aren't speaking about a human, or a-anyone who lives and dies or thinks l-like you do. Pahn is s-someone who's passing thoughts bring things into existence here. P-perhaps he anticipated d-danger of some kind, like in p-passing, and your particular existence r-resonated just right with uhm, w-with his possible suggestions of a future solution. L-like, if you g-got old and decided to take a year or two off j-just to recover your, uhm, y-your thoughts, or perhaps-s uhm, like, work on a project in secret, that wouldn't b-be unheard of-f. Pahn is suggested to b-be billions of your Earth-years in age. Maybe he took a c-couple hundred m-million years off or to do, uhm, to do something in s-secret?" Dan shrugged, taking a shaky breath through a hoarse throat before continuing. His lips pursed as if he had been holding something back. He was excited to tell all but limited by the avenue of words and habits.

"That would line up with The Seers Guild's divination of a great danger here. Your celestial reverence, respectfully, may ask about something?" Darsby chimed in, having turned from his view of the outside with a slow and sanguine air. Those dark eyes loomed with faint connotations of fearful respect over Dan.
"Y-yes, sure! Go right ahead!" Dan squeaked back, not having expected Darsby to interrupt.
"Your celestial reverence, I have wanted to ask this since meeting you, does the situation truly demand a presence like yours? Has The Council's formal analysis of the 'Comet Omen' in this sector revealed greater peril than I can handle?" Darsby was focused intently on the smallish man beside him, the suitcases underneath his eyes still keeping him from looking entirely awake.
"W-well, uhm...-" Dan leaned forward an arm running slowly over the back of his neck while the other rests in his lap.

Ahllasta had white-knuckled the steering wheel again with audible groans of leather after Darsby had called Dan 'your celestial reverence'. Strangely, she quickly calmed herself and grew tense with a faint air of survival-driven fear when the question of dangers magnitude came to the table.

"-...I-I mean you're all in my charge s-so, anyways, this has to do with another d-development. I p-plead that you do not worry about it." Dan acted like he spoke of some solemn affair, Darsby mirroring the emotion as he turned to look out the window again. This time, Darsby was in thought over something different, something more immediate, his tightened jawline showed it. Ahllasta invoked a similar change in herself, her eyes looking far away for the first time since she'd met Anora.

Dan had withdrawn himself inward for several moments before looking back up at Anora via youthful exuberance. He was ready to continue with her questions; these talks of danger doing nothing to dim his spirits in the moment.
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Anora sighed and frowned when Dan began his newest round of answers again with ‘being misunderstood.’
Not my fault you’re more confusing than one of Maddy’s boy rants, she thought, still fidgeting with the Earth pendant.
She concentrated on the rest of his answer, doing her best to put it all together. Her brows rose as he shone more light on Pahn’s strength.
“So, from the sound of it, he’s some god-level being who vanished to either possibly make a weapon of mass destruction, or sip martinis on a remote beach in Japan?” She smirked at the thought of some mighty being sunbathing on a beach. Hey. Everyone needs a vacation now and again.
She had scarcely finished her question when Darsby spoke up. Anora blinked at him. She had momentarily forgotten the pink-haired man was still there.
“Seers Guild?” she muttered to herself. She cast Dan a sideways glance at how Darsby addressed him. Not knowing who Dan was, what he could do or had done to be addressed as ‘celestial reverence,’ threatened to drive her nuts.
Her eyes narrowed as she listened to their exchange, most of it going over her head. But from what little she could tell between the men’s exchange and Ahllasta’s reactions, there was something she was missing. Something big.
She tried to stifle a humorless laugh at Dan’s plea to ‘not worry about it,’ but failed, the sound escaping in a snorted rush through her nose. She glanced between Ahllasta and Darsby at Dan’s pause, wondering if either of them would bother to question his painfully vague reply. But neither of them did.
Silence fell for a moment before she realized Dan was looking expectantly back at her.
“That’s it?” she asked, taking charge where the other two in the car wouldn’t. “Just, ‘I’m your babysitter, so I’ll deal with it?’ C’mon.” She glanced between the other two. “I didn't understand half of that, but it can’t seriously pacify you.”
She sighed heavily. These two seemed like blind followers, happy to accept any orders given them. Well, perhaps not happy in Ahllasta’s case, but she still followed them. And she didn’t like the sudden tension that radiated from them.
She turned her attention back to Dan. “I don’t know how you guys work, but if I’m going to be apart of this team here, Monster Mash, I want to know what I’m facing. We’ve already got a guy who sounds like he could turn me to dust like that,” she snapped her fingers. Though she said it with a fair lightness, the weight of the concept hung heavily on her even once the words faded from the air. If things went wrong, there was the good chance she’d never get to see home again.
“But apparently,” she continued, doing her best to shove the thought aside for now, “that wasn’t what made you come here to help. So what’s the deal? Did Hades decide to release the Titans again and send them our way, or what?” She shuddered. Though simply another movie reference, the thought drew that morning’s dream back to her mind.
She glanced toward her backpack with her sketchbook and the sketch of the screaming hand bursting through the ground. She shook her head slightly and refocused on Dan.
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Anora's words "-I didn't understand half of that, but it can't seriously pacify you." caused a reaction of some kind.

Ahllasta flexes against the steering wheel, it's circular shape contorting alongside the vapid grunts of actively warping metal. Her shoulders swell with circulation as her features go red. Her body quivers inside its fleshy suit of bulging veins. For a moment, one could say she appeared to be rather upset.

"If you need to vent your frustrations...-?" Dahn focused on our driver. His words were kindly as they typically found themselves to be, yet, they carried a new burden here. Was it a threat? His body didn't look ready for combat, aside from the fact that for the first time since sitting down he'd stopped fidgeting entirely.

"BLEAGH!!" Ahllasta would spit a guttural sound from her throat just before smashing the center console with her fist right over a button labeled 'Auto-pilot' that now looked more like 'A--Upu-z' when read through it's shattered body.
"I need some air!!" She'd howl violently before opening a window which relinquishes a surprisingly calm breeze upon our current crew's cabin. Ahllasta would then climb out of the window and on to the roof. Violent winds slam against her clothing but pass across her overtly rigid form as if it were no more than severe sunlight before she slips from view via several odd slithering motions. Dan and Darsby didn't pay said tantrum any more than a sigh each.

Earth's populated horizon could be seen approaching below. They were still many countless miles from the surface, but, with this vehicles speed, there's no way of telling how quickly those miles might be distanced. Ahllasta has made herself at home atop the car, out of sight and earshot of their conversations.

"Our Celestial Reverence is a highly distinguished combat specialist. He-" Darsby was interrupted mid-explanation to Anora by Dan himself.
"D-D-Darsby! J-just call me Dan, for the remainder of the mission."
"That's hardly your full nam-"
"P-please!"

"Understood...-" Darsby eventually gives in. His propensity for following core-rules and formalities appears to run deep.

"Yes! Why am I here?-" Dan would ask, attempting to focus back in on Anora in his typically fidgety way. "-W-well, it's simple. The worst possible scenario is a sizable p-possibility. So, I'm here." Dan shrugs as if this reply should completely answer any questions to be had here. "I-I mean it would st-stink if half the galaxy got vaporized or something." He'd then chuckle aloud, and adjust his glassed.
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The protesting screech of the steering wheel drew Anora’s attention back to Ahllasta. Anora inhaled at the sight of the woman. Apparently, she’d hit one heck of a nerve.
Oh, crap! Violate eyes wide, she held her breath and pressed herself as close to the passenger door as she could. Misty particles fizzled into existence around her, in part from a conscious desire for a ready defense, and in part of their own accord. She glanced worriedly out the windshield. If Ahllasta went off the deep end this far up…
Dan’s voice interrupted her worrying. She glanced to him incredulously
She’d felt only a shadow of Ahllasta’s power. Watched her ruthlessly kill Darsby in the blink of an eye. Seen her turn brutally on her earlier companion on a whim. Yet Dan, who looked like even Anora had a chance at beating him in a weight-lifting contest, was more than enough to keep the beastly female in check, even now. And his countenance had shifted, as if the prospect of a fight was more in his comfort zone than making conversation.
It made for an unnerving reminder that she knew practically nothing about who she traveled with. What kind of strength they each held. To top it off, she still wasn’t sure if she should actually call them the good guys or not.
‘You… wait!” Panic settled in her when Ahllasta reached for the window. She wasn’t an expert, but she knew what happened if you opened a door in plane.
She cringed, expecting the worst when the window rolled down. But instead of a devastating catastrophe, only a fresh, salty breeze filled the car. She gawked at Ahllasta as she crawled out the window easier than Anora would have thought possible.
“Well… That just happened.” She glanced up at the ceiling as the sounds of Ahllasta’s movements settled. Who needs physics when you’re in a flying car?
She looked to Darsby, eager hope lighting her eyes as it seemed she was finally going to get some sort of full answer about Dan.
When the other man interrupted, it took most of her willpower to not yell at him in frustration. She faced forward as the two spoke in the backseat. She glanced at the broken auto pilot button. Neither of the men seemed to be worried about it, but then, she had the feeling they could be on fire while bombs went off around them and still just shrug it off.
She blinked and turned her head when Dan answered her last question. If you could even call it answering.
She groaned and ran a hand down her face. His vague, roundabout responses threatened to give her a headache. Getting information from him was worse than asking her siblings how school went.
If she was going to get any straight-forward answers, she had the feeling Ahllasta was her best bet. She seemed more… rebellious than the men. Which could prove useful. If she could manage to get the woman alone to talk to her without getting herself twisted into a pretzel in the process.
She turned again in her seat to meet Dan’s gaze.
“I’m getting tired of you beating around the bush with all your half answers,” she snapped, gesturing about in emphasis as she spoke. “If you’re doing that because I’m new here, I’m not some terrified child who needs things sugar-coated. So out with it!” She slapped her hand down on the side of the driver’s seat, using it to help turn her better to eye Dan. “What am I—what are we,” she corrected, her voice and gaze firm, “going up against? Besides some god-like… whatever.”
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An odd reaction occurs when the formula of Dan and Anora combines with noise and frustration; Dan calms down. The man's lips relax, his shoulders square and place their weight against the leather behind him, his eyes level against Anora's with an innocent peace typically found only in the ignorant. "Hmmm.-" He'd mutter, his lips pursing for a moment whilst his fingers cease to twiddle, curl, and writhe. "-Sure."

"There's a force in the universe most closely related to what your people call 'magic'. Humanity has recently been adopting this energy on a larger scale despite general skepticism. This is mostly due to some of our reality's larger-scale threats manifesting here on Earth, resulting in a greater need for general policing and protection. I can smell one such threat on you, they're called 'bluth' I believe?" Dan relaxes further, grey eyes glazing over whilst his voice deepens in the confidence of fluid-speech. Somehow, being yelled-at or presented with hostility has a placation effect on his anxiety. Should Anora be observant, she'd notice her hand slamming on the console caused his eyes to briefly widen, then shortly after, narrow and relax along with the rest of his body.

"I belong to a union of intergalactic guilds balanced by several government bodies. I'm contracted as a 'safety inspector' of sorts. I was told to investigate the appearance of what is predicted to be the emergence of a 'singularity-level' wizard: A single sentient entity with an affinity to wield magic on a scale of manipulating several solar systems simultaneously.-" Dan continues to speak in a rhythmic and semi-passionate fashion, the way a strange celebrity may speak on TV when tired and reciting a rehearsed monologue to advertise their latest film.

"My second job is to make sure no less than thirty percent of all sentient life remains alive by the end of 'emergence'. I personally prefer most all of life remains the same for those involved, but, if I determine my strength to be inadequate, my methods won't matter since someone stronger will have to be called in. Who we're looking for is someone by the name of 'Pahn'. They've apparently been trapped on Earth for quite some time and have spent the past two billion years forging some kind of 'instrument'. The details after this get hazy as the specifics of events and their motives arent the specialty of our Seer's Guild and their predictions. Though, when it comes to an event actually occurring, their accuracy is infallible. Besides, you were pretty key in the predictions. Your face and name came up quite a bit, especially in the war." Dan would then release a deep sigh and lean further back against his seat to stare out the window. For the entirety of that monologue he may have been looking 'towards' Anora, but, you could hardly say he was looking 'at' her. Some part of him had closed off and become oddly mechanical, despite the presence of emotion. He was made cold in his ease of communication, sparing an equal amount of semi-passioned talk about colors and magic as he would about life and it's required 'percentage' of survival. His anxious self was confusing and harmless, his calmer side looked nearly-empty in its readiness to do anything necessary.

The Earth below was now a bit closer. A skyline of man-made towers could be seen growing along a curvacious coast. Darsby continued to observe Anora and Dan as they spoke, he looked to be consumed by some rather severe thoughts throughout their talking. Thankfully, he had also thought to be quiet while others were talking.
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Catching Dan’s eyes widen at the show of her frustrations, Anora groaned inwardly. If he’d been nervous before, she feared her outburst would only make it worse.
Her head had already begun to throb, deciding full-heartedly that now was a great time for a headache. Her stomach gnawed at her, demanding she feed it.
She was in no mood to keep dealing with Dan’s near indecipherable answers.
She blinked, surprised, when the man instead relaxed, sinking back into his seat. Even his ever-wringing hands fell still. She eyed him, trying to figure him out. Did he actually prefer hostility?
As if her action had been just the right prompt, for the first time, Dan responded in a way she understood without having to sift through his verbal fillers. For a moment, Anora could only stare, shocked at the drastic change in his tone and speech patterns.
She grimaced at the reminder of the spidery blouth from the hospital. And, like Darsby, Dan apparently had a heightened sense of smell. She hadn’t even touched the things, and he could smell them on her.
Curious, she pulled the collar of her shirt up, making the chains clipped to the side jingle lightly, and sniffed at it. The only scent she picked up on was the faint hint of laundry detergent that had somehow survived this crazed day.
Her attention snapped back to Dan as he continued. Her eyes narrowed at his practiced, mechanical tone. She met his gaze, and a shiver ran down her spine. It was almost like he’d been programmed, reverting to his default state with the right trigger. Before she could think much deeper on it, his words called for her full attention.
Her violet eyes widened at the apparent strength of the being they were up against.
Several solar systems?” she hissed, but the gentle rush of the briny wind through Ahllasta’s open window and Dan continuing drowned out her voice.
She let out a quick, disbelieving breath at his ‘second job.’ Despite his words, there was a sickening brusqueness to it, like someone stating they’d prefer to have the whole cake, but would happily settle for just a slice. Only it was people he was talking about. Billions of them. But to him, it sounded like it was nothing but business.
Her hand fisted against the seat. Sparks of purple and gold puffed to involuntary life around her fingers for a second as angry heat rose to her cheeks at Dan’s relative indifference. It took her a moment to force herself to refocus on the man’s words.
“I what now?” Incredulous surprise pushed her anger aside for a moment. “In a [i]war?[i]” She huffed out a breath, turned around, and leaned heavily back into her seat. She looked down, gaze and jaw tense. “A war you expect to kill billions of people!
There was no way she would let that happen. Somehow, there had to be a way to avoid losing over half the people of the world. To avoid a war between an intergalactic invasion party and overpowered god-level wizard. A war she apparently had enough of a part in to get the attention of a bunch of psychics. Prophets. Whatever his blasted ‘Seers Guild’ was.
She let out a dark, hysterical chortle at the thought as she reached for her open backpack at her feet. This whole thing had thrown ‘insane’ out the window long ago. She didn’t think there even was an English adjective strong enough that would work for the situation.
She pulled out another of dwindling supply of granola bars and started to open it. She glanced out the windshield just long enough to realize they were already approaching a coastline. She paused, staring out at the approaching civilization, the wrapper of her snack partially torn.
Until now, she hadn't even noticed the shift in lighting, the subtle—and not so subtle—indications of entering a completely different time zone. The now morning sun glittered off of windows in the distance, turning the city into a spectral to behold.
She shook her head lightly and ripped the granola bar open. She supposed she shouldn’t be surprised they had made a fifteen-hour flight in a matter of maybe half an hour, give or take.
“So what is it you plan on doing about Pahn, Monster Mash?” she snapped, returning to the issue at hand. She tossed the wrapper into her bag. “Figure out where he is, then call in an armada? Confront him yourself?”
Hidden 6 mos ago 6 mos ago Post by Mortim
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Dan sighs, his eyes turning away from Anora to gaze out the window. He'd take a brief moment with himself despite others being around, allowing all questions to linger for a moment before snapping at them. He is relaxed, relaxed in the same way a bear may be as it lingers over a fish-populated river.

"I'll observe and draw conclusions after I've put my eye on them. We're both trying to answer the same questions. I know that Earth is small compared to space, but, so is The Council. We get scared out there in the dark too..." Dan offers a sidelong glance before some unspoken thought trips him up and he begins to tense. His fingers pace slowly into themselves, gradually lacing into one another. His knees shrivel inwards. He spirals into anxiety as he did on arrival.

Darsby, who'd been slowly relaxing more as the conversation carried on, began to inspect the tears in his baggy clothing. The tips of his fingers would glow a faint pink as he traces them over various scars and wounds, healing them instantly upon first touch. Something about Dan had frightened him, he'd worked past this after observing the man for some time.

"My apologies for earlier.-" Darsby would suddenly say aloud whilst attentively working on his deformities. "-You never know what you're getting with these 'Celestial Wizards', the power and age make a dangerous combination at times. It's better to be polite." His last sentence would be said towards Anora as he finishes his work and slumps back into his seat.

"You did good calming him down like that." Darsby looks towards Dan, who'd only half-heard the things spoken about him. The jittery man would nod and chuckle a bit before looking back out the window whilst gnawing at his nails.

Darsby, the alien she'd arrived here with, looked markedly overwhelmed. He'd smile at Anora in a way that said they were both somehow on the same boat at this point.

The horizon grew closer, Beijing's skyline quickly closing in. They were just about at whatever destination they'd been attempting to get to.
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