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"Huh. So they have Marines where you're from, too?" She'd sort of glossed over it a little earlier, but it caught her attention more this time. Not that it was odd for different places to have similar concepts, but happening to call them the same thing...god, this was going to be some sort of weird, parallel universe crap, wasn't it?

She should have anticipated that he'd ask her the same question; not that she minded sharing, it was just...complicated and a touch on the crazy side of things, which somehow made it simultaneously embarrassing to admit. "Oh, nowhere interesting. No space colonies or anything." A grin twitched at her lips before she continued, like acknowledging it was ridiculous might make it less so. "Then I ended up in a pocket dimension, and..."

She fingered the edges of her blindfold. "Well, yeah. It never sounds any less crazy when I say it out loud."
Tsunake's avatar

Bloodsucker

"Uh-huh. The Federation." Now he was studying her curiously, not even daring to hope. "Help make sure there's peace in the galaxy. Prevent Space Pirate raids, the like." Or, tried to. He grimaced briefly, but didn't bring that up. He wouldn't dishonor the men that had died that way--not again. "You could be from the past. Or, hell, even my future." Or, unfortunately, a different universe entirely.

If he had been curious before, his expression was the perfect picture of disbelief. "No ship or anything? I've heard of that happening, rarely, usually has to do with alien technology..." He shook his head, marveling. He certainly didn't seem to think she was crazy, and what would she gain by making up something like that? Arden believed her.

"Sounds disconcerting, anyway." He rubbed absently at his neck, where the gem was implanted. "That's how you ended up here?"
"Past, probably," she guessed, "Or a parallel universe, or something. Unless things went all Playstation while I was gone, but it was only five years, so...I doubt it."

"Nope." Alice shook her head. "It was kind of...the opposite of technology, I guess. Magic, a castle - fantasy, really, not sci-fi." It was a silly comparison, something she acknowledged with a laugh, but it was a valid way of thinking about it.

"Sort of. We had these cards we could use to go back and forth when we wanted, they made little portals. I wanted to see if things were bad outside, too, so I used it, but I ended up on this world instead. And then I lost my card, so...I got stuck."
Tsunake's avatar

Bloodsucker

Play...station... A station designated merely for play? His brow furrowed until his forehead creased, and Arden was politely attempting to puzzle out exactly what she meant. Thankfully, Alice steered the conversation in another direction before he could embarrass himself.

"Were there dragons?" He inquired politely. He knew a little about fantasy. Mythical creatures, unicorns and princesses and heroes in shining armor. They also rode beasts--horses, if he recalled correctly.

It was easy enough to equate 'card' to 'transporter' in his mind, though the mention of it being lost made things tricky. "Is there any chance it could be found? Or someone else being able to use it again?"
"No dragons, at least not that I ever saw. There was a basilisk once, though." That had been a rather...frightening episode, to say the least. And everyone had insisted on helping which had made it that much more nerve-wracking for her. She much preferred to be the only one in danger, as impossible as that was.

"Found? I guess there's a chance, but not much of one. It was just a card, just..." Alice made the approximate size and shape of it with her fingers, a little larger than a standard playing card. Assuming they still had those in the future, although Playstation had clearly not survived. "And just paper, I can't imagine it would ave made it, but I could be wrong. No one else would be able to use it, though. The cards were specific to each of us."
Tsunake's avatar

Bloodsucker

"A basilisk." His tongue stumbled over the foreign word, quite pleasant despite its strange repetition of consonants. "I do not know of those. Are they dangerous?" That was how Arden worked, of course, measuring danger as a sign of significance.

There was a nod to show he understood, and a significant amount of relief that came with it. "Good. I would not like..." He hesitated, and then continued. "The beings that are in this realm should stay in this realm." He couldn't even begin to imagine what Bazyli would do if he were allowed to run free in a place that he could devastate to his heart's content. "Another cannot be made?'
"Hm. It's like...a giant lizard, basically. Kind of like a komodo dragon, if you have those?" Or had them. There was always the possibility they'd gone extinct. "Except if you look them in the eye, they'll turn you to stone."

Alice shook her head. "Not as far as I know. These were...relics, sort of? We never knew how they worked. A lot of what happened there, we never figured out how or why."
Tsunake's avatar

Bloodsucker

A giant lizard was something he could work with, in his mind, and though Arden didn't fully understand... well, he had enough of an imagination to piece it together. "Can't imagine that goes over well with people." Turning to stone didn't seem like it was something that could exactly be fixed.

Well, alien technology could be just as finicky and just as impossible to sort out. "Makes you wish you had a good engineer, sometimes." He offered with a lopsided smile.
"No, it really doesn't," she confirmed, shaking her head. None of the 'Court' had fallen victim, but some of the servants had, and that was no more acceptable than if it had been one of the cards. They'd hoped killing the creature would reverse the state of the victims, but it had proven irreversible.

"We did have a Magician, but he was just as clueless as the rest of us." Alice chuckled, although her expression fell just a little. What had happened to him, and to everyone else? She'd probably never know.
Tsunake's avatar

Bloodsucker

Ah, a Magician--for magic! Just as engineers were for technology. Though it didn't show on the man's stony face, he was fairly pleased with himself for making such an analogy. "Did you know how to use magic?" He asked after a beat, feeling a little ridiculous for asking. It was hard for him to really understand what sort of magic she was talking about. What could magic do that technology couldn't?
"Not exactly." She almost left it at that, but after a moment, decided to elaborate. He'd indulged her curiosity, so it was only fair. "Not in a broad sense. We each have something we can do, a...power, I guess you could say."
Tsunake's avatar

Bloodsucker

["Can you still do it, even here?" Arden didn't seem to realize this could be dwelling into 'far too personal' territory. As far as he was concerned, they were simply comparing skill sets, and hers were far more interesting than his were.
"Yes," she answered, with a only a touch of hesitation. It wasn't especially personal, as far as she was concerned, it was just one of those things that sounded a little odd to talk about. Arden didn't seem to be having any real trouble with it so far, so what was the harm? "It's not something I can really show you, though - well, I could, but I wouldn't."

"I can sense the guilt in people, and I can make it worse. It's...I've only done it once. I think it's cruel."
Tsunake's avatar

Bloodsucker

Arden wordlessly tipped his head forward, considering the pros and cons. Emotional regret had long ago been stomped out of him, but that was just one casualty in a much greater war. A worthy price for peace. "It sounds disconcerting. Useful, though." He wouldn't hide his appreciation of such a talent. "I think it would be nice, if I could guilt people into repenting for what they've done, rather than being forced to engage them in battle." And, of course, kill them.
"It doesn't necessarily work that well." She could understand, objectively, the potential for such a power, but messing with someone's head that way...disturbed her. "It can be resisted, if someone's will is strong enough, and it doesn't create guilt. If they don't feel any in the first place, it's useless."

"It's meant to force a confession, but...it's better in theory than in practice, really."

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