Portal Breach: The Collision of Worlds :: v.4.0


    Lost in the New Real

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    Lost in the New Real

    Post by Perrin Aybara on Fri Sep 30, 2016 6:31 pm

    October 1st, Year 7
    Evening - Open

    Perrin quickly dashed into his room and buckled his quiver onto his hip, slung his cloak around his shoulders, threw his blanketroll and saddlebags over his shoulder, and grabbed his unstrung longbow. A quick glance around the room assured him that it was untouched, as if there were no sign he had ever been there in the first place. I must have known I would not be staying, he thought, exiting the room and hurrying down the hallway. I don’t seem to leave any mark behind me, of late.

    Adrenaline still pumped in his veins, the memory of his axe shearing through flesh and mail so strong, he thought he could still smell the blood on the half-moon blade; but there was no chance of that when he’d cleaned it on one of the Whitecloak’s garments, as much as he’d shuddered at doing so. No one would know he’d freed the Aielman, not unless the girl who’d seen him—Burn me, she had better not be a Darkfriend!—roused the village before they’d had a chance to escape.

    He climbed down the narrow stairs, catching a whiff of cooking food from the kitchen ahead. Cautiously, he peered inside, but found it empty except for a lone dog, with roast mutton and stews still roasting and simmering away; no doubt even the cooks were in the common room, listening to Orban’s lies about the Aiel. Shaking his head, Perrin made his way down the hall quickly, peering over his shoulder as he pushed the door to the stables open. There Stepper was, the dun stallion eyeing him as if he had known they would be leaving soon.

    Perrin quickly saddled Stepper, grabbing him by the reins to lead him out, when he thought he felt someone watching him, his hackles standing on end. He peered over his shoulder, neither seeing nor smelling anything, then tugged Stepper forwards. Perrin whipped his head back when he felt something cold rush through him, though, and...

    And found himself somewhere else.

    His step faltered, and he turned around on his heel, breathing heavily. Tall buildings rose into the sky around him, hundreds of windows lit up like fireflies. It was dark, but with all the lights he could see on in the buildings, and the lights that gleamed in rectangular slabs with indecipherable text, and the lights from within vehicles that roared louder than any Trolloc had, whizzing past him and honking a horn loudly... it was like daytime. Only in a place he had never before seen in his life.

    Another vehicle that looked like a cart, only there were no horses to pull it along to speak of, sped past him. Stepper whinnied, stamping his hooves on the odd pavement beneath their feet. Perrin swallowed, gripping the horse's reins tighter, and led him off to one side of the street, where... where he could take a moment to catch his breath.

    What was this place? Was this the Dark One's work? Was this another world, like the worlds those Portal Stones took you to? Perrin had no idea, no idea at all, and he could not help but feel frantic at not knowing, at not recognizing anything familiar...

    What was he going to do?


    Last edited by Perrin Aybara on Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Lost in the New Real

    Post by Invader Zim on Fri Sep 30, 2016 7:34 pm

    On this cool evening, first day of a very spooky month, Zim skittered about the alleys of the city on his PAK legs. The tips stabbed into the building walls to secure himself as the Irken stared down at the city streets. The barbershop had been closed for now, his doors slamming shut the moment the sun disappeared over the horizon. He much preferred the way the city looked with its artificial lights, Zim easily reclining in his little vantage point high up between two buildings. It was just a shame that the 'so-called' recreational district was so dull! Obnoxious clubs, a library that would be five times more useful if it was full of Irken information, and that little park where Zim had taken part in a talent show. Shiny pinkish-red eyes rolled. None of it made for entertainment that he'd take part in!

    Tut tut. At this point, he was tempted to pack up and return to the laboratory to tinker around. Computer had insisted that the bug get out, using the simple excuse of 'Go and do some survelliance around the city or something!' to get him to leave. That blasted AI was just being pushy because it found him staying in the base all the time 'annoying'. Lifting himself up, there was a brief squeal of metal scraping stone as the Irken slid down the side of the building. He barely had time to pull in his PAK legs or stroll out of the alley before something happened that Zim hadn't witnessed in a while. Where once had been an empty spot on the street, now there was some...human atop a HORSE! Both antennae stood straight up atop Zim's head, PAK legs instantly working fast to carry him over. The man lead his beast of burden out of the way of the cars. Coming to a stop before the horse's muzzle, the green alien looked it in the face with a grin.

    "I approve of this donkey, it looks very sturdy!" Zim complimented, more taken by the horse than the human. Backing up to better look over the human, the Irken found himself reminded of 'Njorth'. Or as Zim dubbed him, the 'caveman'. This man's bushy face wasn't nearly as overgrown as his though! "Your brain meats must be FILLED TO THE TOP WITH CONFUSION." How lucky for Perrin that he ran into the smartest person in the entire Gamma.
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    Re: Lost in the New Real

    Post by Perrin Aybara on Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:06 pm

    Perrin leaned back against a brick wall, trying to catch his breath. His fingers tugged on the horse’s reins, as if trying to convince himself of the fact that Stepper, at least, was real. The stallion’s ears twitched nervously, his hooves stamping the pavement every so often. “I know, Stepper,” he said hoarsely, running a free hand through his shaggy, windswept curls. “It’ll be all right. We’ll find a way back.” If only he could bring himself to believe his own words. But he had to believe.

    This is just like Rand and the Portal Stone, he reminded himself firmly, trying not to stare too much at the bright signs blazing from somewhere in the corner of his vision. He found a way back. I’ll find one too. Only, Perrin could not channel. In fact, no one who could channel had been near him when he had been in the stables, before finding himself… here, wherever here was. He wondered, for half a heartbeat, whether he had somehow found himself in the Wolf Dream instead, but immediately dismissed the notion. The Wolf Dream was a strange, dangerous place, but familiar. Stepper was here with him, besides. If he were dreaming, the stallion would not be here with him.

    Amidst the odd noises in the distance, produced by those strange horseless carts he had seen a few moments ago, his sharp ears picked up on something new. Something that sounded oddly like something metallic scratching against stone, like a large insect skittering about, only it seemed to be coming from…

    Abruptly, Perrin’s vision filled with something large, its long legs embedding themselves into the wall nearby. All he managed to catch was a flash of pink and green before he spotted pink and pupil-less eyes blinking up at Stepper. The horse jerked back with a startled whinny, and Perrin had to muster nearly all of his strength to tug on the reins, and keep the dun under control. He did not want to hurt Stepper, but the horse was thoroughly spooked, and it took Perrin a fair number of soothing strokes on his flank to calm him down enough, to keep him from bolting.

    “He’s not a donkey, he's a horse,” he snapped, understandably testier than usual. Hand only hovering inches away from the axe on his belt, he paused, taking in the… creature… for the first time. A large green head, glowing pink eyes, and a pink body. And long legs, or maybe tendrils, protruding from its back so that it hovered above them, like an unusually large spider. A spider Perrin wished he had a big enough hammer to squash, only… if the creature could speak… maybe it meant no harm.

    Maybe.

    “Confusion,” he repeated, eyes narrowing. Perrin was not usually the suspicious sort, but the last year had, for better or worse, taught him to be wary. Though he decided against drawing the axe for now, as it had already tasted blood that night, that did not mean that he would not use it if it came down to it. “That’s one way to put it. Where in the Light am I, and how in the world can you talk?”
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    Re: Lost in the New Real

    Post by Invader Zim on Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:16 pm

    Zim blinked, puzzled by the reaction from the horse. What a skittish creature! It must have been startled to see too much greatness at once. The human began to rub down his beast of burden, soothing it easily. A black glove waved in Perrin's direction, rolling his eyes nonchalantly. "Donkey, horse, mule! It's all the same Earthen dirt creature!" They all looked the same in his eyes! Now, as the human began to look Zim over, the Irken repaid the favor. Planting one fist upon his hip, one antennae perked up into the air like a raised eyebrow. His feet lazily swayed in the air. The man wasn't too unique when it came to humans. A darker skin tone, long dark hair and face fur. A muscular build as well. It was the eyes, though. Many humans that Zim had seen held specific eye colors. Golden yellow wasn't usually one of them. Made those eyes rather striking, even though they weren't giving Zim the friendliest stare right about now.

    "Confusion!" The buggy alien confirmed with a grin that exposed his odd, zipper-like teeth. The smile didn't stay for long though! Upon being asked how he could talk, the metallic legs moved to lean Zim away from Perrin at an angle. "HOW CAN I TALK?" The Irken was stuck between feeling insulted and being completely flabbergasted by the question. "My PAK and might brain makes up the words with thinking! I open my mouth and they come out into the air for your ears to hear! How do you THINK?" Honestly! Such a silly question.

    Huffing, his arms crossed over his slim chest. The PAK legs straightened up to keep him at Perrin's eye level. With that question answered, it was time to tackle the other. "You are in the recreational district in Portal City, which is in Gamma X!" If he'd had any doubt about this man being a new arrival, that had confirmed it for him.
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    Re: Lost in the New Real

    Post by Perrin Aybara on Sat Oct 01, 2016 3:33 am

    No, they certainly weren’t the same at all, but Perrin did not see any point in arguing. The creature did not seem to know the difference between either term, settling for brushing Stepper off as an earthen dirt creature. Because the stallion was earthbound? Whereas… it?… used its long legs like a spider to keep itself suspended in midair. Only, Perrin had never seen a spider with four legs before instead of eight, nor any spider as large as… Light, he did not even know what to call it.

    Staring at those odd teeth for a long moment, trying to determine whether the creature was a herbivore, carnivore, or both, Perrin’s eyes whipped back up to its face at its shriek. The creature smelled… prickly and knife-sharp, like a porcupine brandishing its quills threateningly. Like it was... offended... at Perrin’s question. He wasn’t quite sure how he knew that, only that he did.

    “But you’re a…” he started to say before deciding otherwise and clamping his teeth shut. No, it would be best not to offend this creature any further, at least until he learned more about where it was that he had found himself. Which was...

    Portal City. Yes, this place had to have something to do with the Portal Stones, with a name like that. Perrin sighed in relief, patting Stepper’s neck. As utterly foreign as this place was, at least they could get back home. Maybe the Stones were not always triggered by channeling. He certainly hadn’t channeled to find himself here.

    “All right, then. If you can, I need you to take me to the Portal Stone. I’m not sure how I got here, in truth, but I have to get back before I’m missed.”

    He could not let Lan and the others deal with the aftermath of his actions in Remen. Killing those Whitecloaks had been the last thing he had wanted to do, but since he had freed Gaul, their deaths were on his hands. If the others were caught for something he had done… no, he didn’t even want to think about the possibilities. He had to get back. He only hoped he had not wasted time by finding himself here.
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    Re: Lost in the New Real

    Post by Invader Zim on Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:09 am

    Pinkish eyes narrowed as the human seemed to try and wager a guess at what exactly Zim was. He wisely clamped his mouth shut, trailing off instead. Seeing this as a chance to correct the man before he could mistake Zim for a cockroach, the alien's spine straightened up as he took on a more stern pose. Jutting an index finger at his own chest, Zim declared in a boastful and proud voice, "I am ZIM! You would do well to remember that, fleshy man!" At least this guy could watch his tongue, that was something that would make their little talk that much more effective. Surprisingly, any sense of confusion seemed to melt at Zim's explanation. Many people would have demanded to know where Portal City was. What Gamma X was! This person just sighed in what seemed to be relief! Quickly catching the alien's interest, the small Irken let out a contemplative hum.

    “All right, then. If you can, I need you to take me to the Portal Stone. I’m not sure how I got here, in truth, but I have to get back before I’m missed.”

    ...Only to be completely dumbstruck by the human's next question! Zim's jaw dropped, both arms dangling by his side as he stared back at Perrin with a dull look in his eyes. Inside the Irken's mind, he attempted to make sense of what Perrin asked. Portal Stone... In all the years he had been here, not once had the alien ever even HEARD of a Portal Stone! Not even when disaster struck! With a name like that it certainly sounded like it'd be right up Portal X's alley and yet... It was absolutely something he had never encountered.

    Recovering from his brief stupor, Zim shook it off by crossing his arms over his chest once again. Antennae flattening against his skull, the alien arched his brow at the man. "And WHAT, exactly, is a Portal Stone?!" Was it some nonsense item? Or did X really have some stone that could transport people back to their homes? More importantly, why did this random human know of it before ZIM?
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    Re: Lost in the New Real

    Post by Perrin Aybara on Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:33 am

    The creature drew itself up proudly, calling itself Zim. Well, whoever—or whatever—this Zim was, it was by no means humble. It seemed to have a rather inflated opinion of itself, judging by the way it spoke. Of course, for all Perrin knew, maybe Zim truly was someone important in this… Portal City, was it?… but Perrin had not encountered many nobles to be able to tell. Nobles had no place in the Two Rivers, and what with the way everyone at Fal Dara had treated him and his friends like nobles, simply because they had been in the company of an Aes Sedai, had made Perrin all kinds of uncomfortable. It was not a life for him.

    At Perrin’s words, unfortunately, Zim’s entire demeanor changed. It radiated confusion, both by the expression on its face as well as the oddly sour scent about it. Perrin shook his head slightly in denial. He didn’t want to hear Zim say, it didn’t want to know the creature had no idea what he was talking about. Perrin’s stomach dropped to his toes before Zim even blurted out those words.

    “A Portal Stone,” he began stubbornly, sucking in a deep breath, “is a large gray stone, shaped like a column, inscribed with odd markings. There might be more than one, I don’t know. But if this place is called Portal City, there have to be Portal Stones somewhere.”

    He refused to believe there weren’t any here. He had come through somehow, even if he had not really seen how. This Zim clearly had no idea what Perrin was talking about, that was all. It occurred to Perrin, then, that perhaps Portal Stones were not very widespread here. Perhaps, like in his world, only few people knew of their existence. Like Aes Sedai, those who studied ancient texts from Ages past. Of course a random passerby like Zim, for all that it did not look even remotely human, would know of something so specific. Up to a few months ago, not even Perrin had ever heard of Portal Stones.

    “Maybe you can take me to someone who does know about them instead,” he reasoned, opening and closing his hands. “Is there someone in charge here, someone in power who might know?” The more time he wasted, the more possibilities there were that his friends were in trouble, and that Rand was getting further and further ahead of them. If his words were tinged with some desperation, well. Could he really be blamed for that?
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    Re: Lost in the New Real

    Post by Invader Zim on Sat Oct 01, 2016 5:30 am

    Listening to Perrin's description, the alien only scratched the side of his head as he pursed his lips. "Hmmm..." Came the contemplative hum. Portal Stones definitely sounded like something that'd be hard to miss! Large, shaped like a column and covered with odd markings. And yet it still sounded completely foreign to him! It was as if there was a large disconnect, insectoid eyes squinting as he tried to put all of his knowledge to use. No matter how detailed the man's account, it was like trying to shove a round piece into a triangle hole. Portal Stones simply didn't exist here, no matter the oddly appropriate name! Shaking his head, Zim spoke with certainty. "Portal City is only the City! I have been ALL OVER this continent, and never seen ANYTHING matching your Portal Stone!" While the Irken was no Portal Breach expert (though he certainly considered himself to be), he had still traveled these lands and been one of the Citizens who had been here for a long while. If anybody would have found a Portal Stone, it would have been the shrimpy alien.

    Upon being asked about anybody who was in charge, the Irken scoffed loudly. A hand waved dismissively, PAK legs shifting into a more lax and less rigid position beneath his body. "The being in charge of this world wouldn't be of any use to us!" Not Portal X, no sir. Rolling his wrist, Zim snorted at the very idea. "He would probably just...call down a rain of wieners upon us! And...and give you a FAKE Portal Stone that would curse you into exploding into ribbons and confetti!" One would not blame Perrin for being completely confounded by such descriptions. Leaning closer to Perrin, the Irken glanced around as if looking for any eavesdroppers. He continued in a harsh whisper. "The being who rules this place is crazy!" As if that would explain the wiener rain and confetti explosion.
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    Re: Lost in the New Real

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sat Oct 01, 2016 7:12 am

    Autumn was a magical time of the year, where the trees changed colour and the days grew shorter. It was perfect for the myriad of winter brews sold in the markets, for seasonal spices and soups, and for leaping into leafy piles when adults weren't looking. But, most of all, it was perfect for snuggling up to big, purple, grumbly space heaters.

    "Hmm, hmm, hmm~!" Jo was beside herself with the usual evening cheer, a light skip in her steps accompanied by a playful swing of her arms, the mechanic having just gotten off work. It was time to march on home. Home! To her kitties, to a swift fling of her bra, to Lawrence and a scrumptious dinner, and - most of all - to the one pain in her neck who was undoubtedly going to chastise her for not remembering a coat. Eh, it would be a downright crime to hide these beefy guns. A light snicker escaped beneath Jo's breath. That darn Big Z, always complaining that she was going to fetch a cold... What a worry wort! Why, with her hearty diet, there was absolutely no way - zero chance! - that she was going to catch a bug.

    "He would probably just...call down a rain of wieners upon us!"

    And speaking of creepy crawlies...

    Jo knew that screechy voice anywhere, alright. Her attention was in no way captivated by the word, 'wiener', either (shhh)! "Ugh..." She rolled those brown eyes of hers and quickened her pace, determined to just power walk away from a potential headache. Wherever there was Zim, there was yelling. And where there was yelling... well, suffice to say, the mechanic wanted no part in whatever came after. "I'm just gonna trek on home, to dinner and some warm blubber, and I am not - I repeat - not going to stop for curiosity's sake," she muttered. "Not even for that tall, dark, and handsome guy seated atop a really strange-looking quadrupedal animal." Nope, no sir. This was a woman on a mission, a woman with a resolve of forged steel! It'll take more than a tanned hunk with fluff on his face to - wait a minute... There was a clumsy shuffle as Jo abruptly stopped in her tracks. "...I've never seen that guy!" she whispered, shocked. It didn't take a Chlorm scientist to put two-and-two together.

    Faster than anyone could say 'double meat, double cheese burrito', the mechanic had already made a hasty beeline to Zim and the poor, poor unlucky soul that captivated his attention. "Hi there~!" Jo waved, approaching from the sidewalk. She paid extra mind to keep away from the steed's hooves - they looked painful! "I'm Jo Pistonne, the owner of a local chop shop," she introduced herself with a friendly smile. "And I see you've meet our resident 'invader', Zim."

    While she was smart enough to avoid using air quotes in front of the grating pipsqueak, Jo was confident Zim hadn't the foggiest idea about sarcasm. He was kinda... thick. The alien was a master with a pair of scissors, though. Go figure.

    "I take it you're new here?" she asked. Judging by the confusion on his face (and maybe the irritation), Jo could spot that newcomer smell like stink on a moozle.

    Poor guy was in for a world of hurt, oof...
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    Re: Lost in the New Real

    Post by Perrin Aybara on Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:51 pm

    All over the continent...? Any shred of hope Perrin may have still clung to at this Zim knowing where to find a Portal Stone was torn apart quickly and effectively. His grip on Stepper’s reins slackened, but his throat tightened painfully. His mind ran ahead of him, buzzing worse than the strange carts around them were. If there was no Portal Stone, there was no way to go back. If there was no way to go back, he was trapped here. If he was trapped here… Light, if he was trapped here, then he would never find Rand. Never find his way back home to Emond’s Field. Never see his family again.

    “There's got to be one! You just didn’t look hard enough!” he growled, panic battling with exhaustion. He had not slept well in days, perhaps weeks. Always tossing and turning fitfully, always drifting in and out of the Wolf Dream. Burn him, he hadn’t even wanted to drift in and out of the Wolf Dream like that in the bloody first place! Stepper tossed his head back, sensing Perrin’s distress and hoofing the pavement. This time, Perrin did not bother trying to soothe the stallion.

    Instead, his eyes narrowed at Zim’s words, the insectoid-like creature scoffing at the competency of this world’s ruler. Most of what Zim said went over Perrin’s head, if he had to be completely honest, but the meaning behind it all was clear. Whoever ruled this land was a madman, and possibly a powerful channeler who liked fooling around with his subjects. Perrin knew little about nobles and rulers, but he knew that such behavior was not right, not even if you were the Amyrlin Seat.

    Before Perrin could open his mouth to snap anything else, though, a young woman suddenly approached them, her demeanor unsuitably cheerful as she introduced herself with a small wave. She did not seem all that older than him from the looks of it, but she was blessedly human and seemed to know who this Zim was, which did help him relax. At least, a little. But his shoulders were still bunched up with tension, and he kept flexing and unflexing his fingers around Stepper’s reins.

    “I take it you get a lot of newcomers,” he muttered, clenching his teeth together. Eyes flickering between the two, his nostrils flared. Zim smelled irritable, like tiny burrs, and this Jo smelled… whatever it was, it was hair-fine and needle-sharp, tinged with something strangely bittersweet.

    Knuckling his nose, Perrin huffed and straightened, trying to make sense out of everything he had learned so far. If newcomers were common here, and humans and… odd creatures such as Zim... worked side-by-side with no obvious issues, then it stood to reason that whatever world this was, it was one that... that connected together more than two worlds. Which might account for there being no Portal Stone here. Maybe each world had its own method of travel between worlds, and Portal Stones could only be found in his world? Burn him, that would make finding a way back twice as hard, if not harder.

    “Yes, I suppose I did just arrive,” he finally sighed, trying to rein back his anger. Neither Zim nor Jo were to blame here, as far as he could tell, and lashing out at them would do neither of them good. “And I have no intention of staying, either. I need to find a way back home, as quickly as possible. Zim here said something about your ruler being out of his mind, but surely he’s got some way of sending us back, if people coming here from other worlds happens so often as you seemed to imply.”

    Light preserve him, there had to be a way back. If there wasn't...
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    Re: Lost in the New Real

    Post by Invader Zim on Sat Oct 01, 2016 8:36 pm

    Empathy was...not one of Zim's strong suits. His interest in the Portal Stone disappeared once he realized the magic 'Take you back home' rock was nonexistent. If there was truly such a stone hidden away somewhere, Portal City would have been a much emptier place! There'd probably be a giant line of people waiting to go home. So for the Irken, it was a pretty open and shut case! He never encountered it here, it didn't exist, that was that. Was it disappointing? Sure! Was it a big problem? Not in the Irken's eyes. Which was why Perrin's growling insistence that Zim didn't look hard enough took the small alien by surprise. Blinking in a stunned silence, it sadly didn't last very long. Robotic legs came closer together, stretching to make the Irken loom over the human. He sneered down at him, and turned his noseless face up at him. "How can you expect ZIM to look for something he doesn't even know of?!" Resting a hand over his chest in a self important manner, he turned his back to the man haughtily. "I am MERELY communicating that in my adventures across this land, I have NEVER seen one of these stones! There is no LOOKING HARD ENOUGH. Though if you wish to go looking, be MY GUEST!" With the outlandish, and even fantastical things that the Irken had seen, a stone like the one Perrin had described would surely stick out!

    Suddenly another voice called out, a more familiar one at that. Turning his head to face the young woman, Zim's antennae twitched in her direction. Ah yes, Jo Pistonne. The last time they had actually talked together was probably during her haircut. Although Zim spoke at times with Zurg, he didn't talk much with Jo. This could be interesting. Turning himself to face her completely, he nodded in greeting. Ah, she even remembered his title! A grin stretched across his face, it was nice to be known as an Invader and not as...the barber. "Yes, I saw this man and his donkey appear out of nowhere and decided to INSPECT the new meat!" As well as answer a few questions in his...own Zimmy way.

    Newcomers were probably still prevalent, the Invader had just been something of a hermit lately. He shrugged, deciding not to really tackle the question at the moment. He could leave that to Jo. Perrin confirmed that he had just arrived, and when he stated that he intended to leave, a rough bark of a laugh tore its way from Zim's throat. "Do you think I would stay if I could just go home?!" Yet another silly question! If X had a way to take them back to their world, the Irken would have demanded he be sent home a long time ago! This world wasn't too bad, but there was no Armada, no Dib, no Earth to invade! Even if X was a stable God, he couldn't exactly send them back to a world that no longer existed. Ever so sensitive, Zim gave the man a scrutinizing gaze. "You are stuck here."
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    Re: Lost in the New Real

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sun Oct 02, 2016 4:20 am

    Ohhhh boy, things were quickly taking a leap headfirst into a black hole. Between the newcomer's rising exasperation and Zim's insensitive provoking, this was just a crystallic fusion reactor waiting to go off. "Okay, okay~!" Jo interjected with a shaky laugh, hands fanning. Gotta placate these two ASAP. "Look, let's just go through everything nice and calm, alright? Zim," she eyed the diminutive alien, "you already did a 'superior' job explaining your fool-proof logic. I'll take it over from here." A quick, furtive glance at the man purposefully betrayed Jo's ulterior motive with her compliment - guy, whoever you are, kindly just roll with it, savvy?

    "So, uh, Portal Stone, was it?" No clue what that was (despite its oddly-fitting name). Can't worry about it, though, because there were soon to be much bigger problems. Sucking in a deep breath, Jo cracked her knuckles and blew the subject wide open. "Yeeeeeah, about that Portal Stone... Don't know how to tell you this, guy, but you really can't go back. Zim is telling the truth - once you arrive on the Breach, you're pretty much here to stay." Well, that wasn't entirely true, but there was no reason to send this irritable fellow to one of the more questionable Gammas. Anywho, can't imagine he was going to be happy either way, sooo! Jo cleared her throat and rubbed the back of her head, trying her hardest not to say anything too upsetting. "It's, uh, sorta hard to really explain, but..." Gah, how in the galaxy did Big Z manage with public relations? "You're currently in the dimension known as Gamma-X, which is overseen by the resident Portal. His name is, er, also X. Portal-X, to be precise." Pretty easy to follow, right? Here's where Jo was going to lose him.

    She studied his body language carefully, once again mindful of the distance between herself and his mount. "If you try to find a way back home, you'll fail. Believe me, it's already been done." Hello, Big Z and his ambitious ways. "And if you think yourself strong enough to venture out into the wilderness and prove a point, you'll find yourself right down in the Pool of Souls. I don't know if you've figured this out, guy, but you're currently at a fraction of your strength. It's something this place does; no matter how powerful anyone was in their previous home universe, they start back at square one as soon as they set foot onto the Breach."

    Gods, devils, average folks and Evil Emperors alike... Portal Breach kept everyone painfully equal at the beginning.

    "You kinda picked a good time to make an appearance," Jo added, hoping to sprinkle in some good news with the bad. "While there are a few unsavoury types that won't think twice about kicking your can in, most of us are fairly... decent." That's... That's probably as generous as she'll go. "If you need a place to stay while getting back on your feet, there's a local inn where they provide free room and board. Free meals, too! They're pretty good~!" Probably got rid of her poor cockroaches, too. Jo tried very hard not to think about them. "Let's see, what else, what els - oh!" She immediately perked up. "And if you stay in the inner city limits, you'll be A-OK from getting pummeled. This place is protected by the ISOs, the resident law enforcement, so you don't have to worry too much about being attacked or victimized. Try not to step into the Outer District, however... That's the bad side of town. You walk in there as you currently are and you'll be chopped liver." Not even Jo ventured into that neck of the woods!
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    Re: Lost in the New Real

    Post by Perrin Aybara on Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:41 am

    Zim rose on those spindly metallic legs, somehow managing to make itself loom well above the blacksmith’s head. Now, Perrin was only of average height back in Emond’s Field, but he had soon realized that, in other places of the world, he was fairly tall. So he found it strange—and more than a little unnerving—for this insect-like creature to be able to change its—or was it his?—height like this. Perrin gritted his teeth together at Zim’s imperious manners, but he held his tongue. Zim had a point, of course, but Perrin was sure there had to be a portal stone here somewhere. How else was he in another world?

    Surprisingly, the woman’s words seemed to help placate Zim, though Perrin could not help but give the insectoid creature an odd look at being called meat. “Horse, not donkey,” he corrected under his breath, tightening his hold on the dun’s reins. Surely Zim did not want to eat them? But no, after Perrin answered the woman’s—Jo’s, he mentally corrected himself—question, Zim barked out a harsh laugh, snapping something about them being stuck here.

    Perrin felt as if he had just been punched in the gut, all the air in his lungs escaping. He was too stunned, too numb, to even think of shouting anything back at Zim. All he could do was stare at Jo when she began to speak, his mouth hanging open. “That can’t be,” he managed to mutter, even though the words sounded hollow and empty, even to his ears.

    Most of what Jo was telling him about dimensions, portals, souls and whatnot went over his head, for good or ill. But then she mentioned something about his strength. That was something he could understand, at least. Slowly, mechanically, his hand drifted down to the axe on his belt, pulling it out. It felt heavy in his hands, as heavy as it always had. Nothing had changed in that aspect. He did not feel any weaker as a result of passing through the portal stone into this… Gamma-X… or whatever this world was supposed to be called. Exhaling, he shoved the axe back through the loop on his belt, as she went on to add that there was an inn he could stay at—finally, something that sounded familiar amidst all the foreign concepts she spoke of—and something about guardsmen in the inner city.

    He tried to digest everything Jo had explained to him, knowing that she was telling the truth as she knew it. There was nothing about her scent that suggested deception or malice. Come to think of it, there hadn’t been anything of the sort in Zim’s scent either, for all that the insectoid was abrasive and ill-mannered at best. Even so…

    “You do know that all of that sounds mad, right?” he managed, his voice regaining some of its earlier strength. Emond’s Fielders were stubborn folk, and though Perrin had never claimed to be so, he certainly found it difficult to budge when he had latched onto an idea. “How can you expect me to believe that we can’t leave this place? Something brought us here in the first place, so there has to be a way to go back.” Burn him, he couldn’t stomach the thought that he was trapped here. He refused to believe it. They had to be wrong.

    Impulsively, he took a step towards Jo, closing the distance between them. He needed proof, he needed to know that what she said was true, that he wasn’t going out of his mind. Burn him, Rand was supposed to be the one going mad, not him, though it twisted his stomach to even think such a thing about his friend.

    He gripped her by the upper arms and lifted her into the air... or tried to lift her into the air. She rose a few inches off the ground, protesting all the while, but that was it. She was too heavy for him to lift any higher, though she could not have weighed any more than the average woman.

    Startled, Perrin put her down and took a few steps back. While he did not make it a habit of lifting people up and setting them aside, he had done so a few times in the past, and with relative ease. Enough times to know that he was strong enough to do so, that it was as simple a thing to do as to pull on his boots every morning.

    If Jo was right about his strength, then… then she had to be right about everything else, too. “Oh, Light,” he croaked, taking several steps backwards until his back thumped against the wall. “We’re really trapped here...? For good...?”
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    Invader Zim
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    Re: Lost in the New Real

    Post by Invader Zim on Sun Dec 04, 2016 1:12 am

    Buggy eyes turned towards the brunette humanoid with a squint, PAK legs inching his height lower with every placation. No longer did he loom, now his eyes were slightly above their foreheads. Hey, even if his temper was being soothed away, he still wanted to keep his little vantage point above them! Nice and calm, was it? Eugh. Stiff antennae flattened against the top of his own skull in displeasure, but at least Jo's remark brought a proud grin to his face. "Yes, yes, good! Perhaps you can translate my intelligent WORDS into a dialect that this one will understand!" Maybe all it took was two hyumans gargling at each other in their little basic tongue? Jo's services as an official translator for Zim's purposes were actually something to consider. The correction was missed, although the look Perrin shot at the Irken was not missed. The little alien arched an eyebrow at him and gave him a quick gesture with his fingers. He was watching you.

    Patiently, Zim oversaw Jo's explanation, slightly off to the side. He perked, chest puffing out when she declared that he was telling the TRUTH! For Zim spoke ONLY the truth, even if it was hard to hear! For a moment, the woman seemed to stumble over her words, before settling on the important part. This was Gamma X, there was no escape, blah blah blah. Though the casual evocation of the name of their resident God did make him twitchy. His eye flickered all over, face darting to scour their surroundings. Through some form of miracle, X decided not to blip into existence today. Which was good, even if Zim didn't really like this stranger, even HE didn't wish X upon him. "It can! We're living proof!" He piped up in response to Perrin's doubt. Jo did a pretty good of covering the basics, from death to power. For now, the little bug kept mum. He rested his arms atop his knees and kept his gaze on the newest arrival, curious to see if the truth was setting in now that a fellow human was spoonfeeding it to him bit by bit. Zim's grin turned temporarily toothy at the mention of the Outer District, though this time he kept his reasons for such a reaction quiet.

    “You do know that all of that sounds mad, right?”

    Well, they had tried it Jo's way. Pinkish eyes rolling about in his own giant skull, Zim clicked his tongue. "Mad or not, that's the facts!" Crossing one leg over the other to sit in mid-air, the alien shook his head from side to side. "The door for this place locks from the OUTSIDE! There is no going back." He insisted, voice rather cold and logical. Having been here for years, it was far simpler, easier for the Irken to swallow and spit back out for the human. He scarcely had a moment to consider that he was trapped before the world tried to end thanks to Portal Z. Frankly, Perrin should consider himself lucky that way...

    Suddenly, the human stepped over towards Josephine and clasped both of his hands around her own arms! Jerking in alarm, both of his antennae shot straight up into the air and the Irken changed position. He looked as if he were leaning forward on something invisible, eyes narrowing at the man. He seemed to be...trying to lift her? "Hey! If you are trying to TOSS her, you're doing it all wrong!" Look at him, he could barely lift her higher than a few inches! Any higher, and the man would need some mechanical assistance. Wordlessly, Perrin set her down and the moment the other's hands were empty, his legs seemed to skitter backwards. The alien was now leaning away from him, wondering if he was now going to try and lift up Zim. Instead, it seems that the odd action had...somehow lead him to finally believing the two of them.

    Zim quirked an antennae, turning to share a look with Jo before he shrugged. "Yes, basically!" He admitted, as the Irken himself had been here for a good handful of years now. "Better start praying to your horse gods or whatever you humans do in times of distress!"
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    Jo Pistonne
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    Re: Lost in the New Real

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sun Dec 11, 2016 3:38 am

    “That can’t be.”

    Oh boy, here we go...

    Astonished stare, check.
    Mouth agape, check.
    Desperation rising, double check.

    Jo tried her hardest not to appear nervous (even if her cheeks were getting redder by the second). "Um..." Not gonna say you were screwed, guy, buuuut - "Yeah, well, uh... I'm... I'm sorry?" she cringed, shoulders hunching ever so slightly up. Holy pulsars, this was going as smooth as Jo-Adian cheese. "L-Look!" Time for round two. Jo once again fanned her hands in hopes of calming the newcomer down. "It's not as bad as it sounds - really! I know it's not 'home' home, but there's still plenty of opportunity here! For starters, you're not alone. That's good! Isn't that good, Zim?" You better nod along and back her up, you little bug-eyed menace! Assuming he had, the mechanic worked furiously to keep their momentum alive and positive. "A-And - And once you arrive on the Breach, then other things from your world can also surface. Friends, maybe? Family?" She paused. "...Enemies?" If he was into that sort of thing.

    Things began to head really south once the bearded stranger revealed his crude-looking weapon. She instantly froze as her blood ran cold, eyes zipping onto its sharpened edge. "..." He wouldn't be crazy enough to use that primitive thing in broad daylight, right?

    ...Right?

    The hairs on the back of her neck stood up like lightning rods, and Jo switched into defensive mode. "Hey, what's the big idea!? I don't know where you're from, buddy, but you can't just take out your weapon and flash it in front of folks," she chastised, fists balled up. "People are gonna get the wrong impression!" Like exhibit A, for instance. Though he just as quickly put it away and probably thought nothing of it, the mechanic didn't relax. No sir, her guard was up! And when a Pistonne's guard was up...

    “You do know that all of that sounds mad, right? How can you expect me to believe that we can’t leave this place? Something brought us here in the first place, so there has to be a way to go back.”

    "Are you calling me a liar!?" Tempers were bound to flare.

    Now she was starting to get incensed, that trademark Pistonne spitfire welling in her chest and the spark in her brown eyes ignited. "I'm telling you the truth and nothing but!" she continued to press. "Why would I, a stranger to you, go out of my way to lie about something like that!? Do you think I like being the bearer of bad news? Huh, do ya!?" PR be damned. This guy was cruisin' for a bruisin'!

    And just as things couldn't possibly get any worse... the guy had the nerve - the NERVE - to step forward, into her personal space, and pick the woman off her feet. If either of the boys thought Jo was mad now...

    Jo's face said it all.

    The exact moment her boots returned to the ground, the mechanic whipped back an arm aaaaaand - WHAP! - socked that scruffy-haired oaf right in his. "WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU!?" Jo howled, her expression betwixt rage and bewilderment. "YOU DON'T GO PICKING SOMEONE UP WITHOUT PERMISSION! THAT'S RUDE." There was no containing this viper, and no sooner had Jo's fangs sunk into the newcomer and gave him a royal 'what for'... "And you!" She just as quickly reared her head at Zim. "Don't go telling people how to toss me, or I'm gonna give you the Kev treatment, you here!? Your face! My breasts! Infinite misery," she threatened in a low, low growl. These generous bags of fat were enough to smother a man, so don't tempt her!

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    Re: Lost in the New Real

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