Rosalyn grimaced. Who could've guess that such a small girl could be so loud. People stared. "I'll explain later. Meet me in my backyard tonight?" She pleaded.
Nolie looked at her suspiciously. "All right," she said. "Does anybody else know about your ********?"
Rosalyn shook her head. "I'll get the others over. If they don't come, it's their loss."
"Or your loss, depending on how they react to your stunt," Nolie replied. "You know what Kira's like on her period. She'll kill you."
"Reminder not needed. Just meet up in my backyard tonight. Please." Rosalyn groaned.
"Well, there's not really a choice." Nolie replied as her mom pulled up. "See you tonight, and hope you see tomorrow."
"I told you; reminder not needed!" Rosalyn called as her friend ran out the door into the rain.
"Oh hell no." Kira said. She had just seen the hole burned into Rosalyn's back lawn, and it was still smoking. And there was a weird violet tinge to the surrounding grass. "Please tell me that you're kidding."
Nolie gave Rosalyn a look that said "I told you so". Rosalyn was sweating.
"Well, all we have to hope for now is that Edmund and Louie won't find out--" Amria started.
"Too late; he already does." A voice said behind them. They all looked around and saw the familiar bearded face of Edmund in his usual double-breasted coat and trousers. Amria winced.
"s**t." Rosalyn groaned.
"Well, at least now we know the cause of the Animated being in this world." Edmund said, looking pointedly at Rosalyn. "Would you mind explaining exactly how you did that?"
Rosalyn mumbled something. "What was that?" Toria prompted.
"I was using a spell to try and combine technology and magic," Rosalyn said. "I had my laptop out. All I was trying to do was infuse it with enough magic so it wouldn't need charging!"
"Oh, you got more than that, Miss Tourniquet." Edmund said as he crouched down to study the hole in the lawn. "I can't wait to see Johnny when he hears about this."
"I take it you REALLY don't want to poke that?" Raina asked.
"No s**t," Kira replied. "Uhm, Sir..."
"Call me Edmund. Sir makes me feel old." Edmund replied. As he got up he was slipping a small flask into an inside pocket of his coat. "What was it, Miss Daile?"
"If the Animated were brought into this world, then isn't there a way to get them out?" She asked. "And is there a way to keep these rings unstuck from our fingers?"
"We're working on the answers to both of those problems." Edmund replied. "Believe me. And any input any of you might have will be extremely helpful."
"I've got another question, if it isn't much trouble." Nolie said. Edmund shook his head, meaning it was okay for her to continue. "How are you and people like Amria here? Isn't Gaia just a website?"
"For you lot, yes." Edmund replied. "But it's more, far more. Have any of you heard of the theory of alternate universes?"
"Yeah." Kira replied. "It's going on the thought that our universe is a 'bubble', surrounded by more bubbles in an entire Mutliverse, or something like that."
"Precisely," Edmund said. "Gaia is an alternate universe. My assumption is when the man who created the Gaia website was unknowingly tapping into the subconcious of the multiverse, and literally bringing the universe you know of as Gaia into yours."
"In other words, we were already connected to begin with." Laurenciel said.
"Yes. However, there are differences between the Gaia you know and the true Gaia." Edmund said. "For example, Gaia Online has only been dealing with the Animated for a few months. In the universe Amria and I are from, it's been going on for years. Only recently have communications between the four cities--Barton, Durem, Aekea, and Isle de Gambino--been restored, and that's touchy at best. We're lucky if we can get a message more than a few seconds long through."
"Wow," Rosalyn said. "So we're basically having a mirror effect."
"That's exactly what's happening. What makes it worse is that the people in your universe aren't taking any of this seriously." Edmund replied. "I've already noticed that in that first attack people were killed. You kids are the only people I've met so far who are actually taking this seriously."
"We've seen what's going on through the Gaia site," Kira said. "And we were some of the first people on the attack, not that there are many Gaians going to FHS."
"I've noticed that as well," Edmund said. "The more people you can get fighting the Animated, the better. The only problem is convincing--" He was cut off as an alarm went off. He immedeatly checked a wrist readout of some kind and swore. "Not this soon!"
"What is--" Nolie started asking, then her PDA and everyone else's were going off like crazy.
"ANIMATED!" Amria shouted. She actvated her rings, running out to the street to take out a lawn gnome. "What're you bozos waiting for?!"
"Don't need to tell me twice!" Kira said as she tapped on her PDA. Her rings activated and she changed into her avatar: Short black hair, coal black eyes, and pale skin. She was wearing the Loyal Jay jacket and trousers, as well as black combat boots. All in all, she looked exactly like....
"Holy hell, Kira!" Nolie shouted. "Since when did you get a Roy Mustang cosplay?"
"Shut it," Kira replied. She snapped while activating her Hot Foot at the same time, incinerating a few flamingos. "I've always wanted to do that!"
Toria had changed into a dark elf with the same pigtails as before, but this time with a porcilain mask and a long, red coat. She and Rosalyn were double-teaming against a bunch of OMGs. Laurenciel was having fun teasing a bunch of flluffs. "HEY! QUIT TEASING THE DAMN THINGS AND BLOW THEM UP, IDIOT!!!" Kira shouted. Laurenciel flipped her off.
"Daile?" Someone asked. Kira looked around. It was her Commanding Officer.
"Yes, it's me; your resident sarcasm incarnate." Kira replied irritably. "And will you quit gawking at my crossdressing?!"
"You look like a guy." Zinn replied.
"It's a cosplay. I'm SUPPOSED to look like a guy!" Kira replied irritably.
"Uh, Kira." Nolie said. "Incoming Mushroom Cannon!"
"Huh?" Kira asked, looking around. She got hit full in the face from a cannonball from a Mushroom Cannon.
"What the hell are these things?!" Lisa Annelli asked. Kira looked up at her with a broken nose.
"Mushroom Cannons," Kira said thickly. "Big pains in the a**."
"...Wow, Kira. You really are a crossdresser." Lisa said. Kira flipped her off.
"Not in the mood. It's called cosplay." Kira replied, activatng her Guns Guns Guns ring and paying back the cannon. "You really wouldn't get it unless you knew anime," she added to Lisa's confused face. "And it's beside the point."
"Then what is the point?" Lisa asked. "Are you saying these aren't a joke?'
"Nope." Kira replied, using Hot Foot and Fire Rain. "They're very real. Rosalyn's the one who brought them into our world to begin with, so chew her out. Anyway, all this," she indicated the attacking uglies, "are called the Animated, and they're hell-bent on...well, destroying I guess."
"Great. And why are you and your friends the only ones who are affecting them?" Lisa asked.
Kira held up her hand. "These. They're Rings, and the only weapons that work agains the Animated." She pointed her hand at an OMG. "Allow me to demonstrate." She snapped and the OMG burst into flames. "That was Hot Foot, one of my personal favorites. You don't need to snap, though; I only did that to be in character."
Lisa nodded suspiciously. She still wasn't fully convinced. "How am I supposed to believe you?"
Kira shrugged. "Get sent to the hospital or morgue by one of these?" She asked. "Sorry, Annelli, but I've got to ask you to stay out of the way on this."
"No way in hell." Lisa replied. "I'm a superior officer--"
"Not in the world of fighting Animated." Kira interrupted. "You want to fight, then get a Gaia Online account. Then you'll get a taste of the action, but I wouldn't advise it unless you're willing to set your life on the line."