Just a little heads up, there's a lot of gender bending in this story. Uh. At this point.
And by that I mean Safa and Soren. In Sync 1, Ray had a bit of a swap. He kinda became Rilia because one of Dr. Maiwell's devices had a bit of... chromosome... changey... things. Or something.
But that's gonna be changed here. Rilia has a twin brother named Ray in the Sync 1 universe, whereas the other Rilia has a sister named, obviously, Lavender in the EC universe.
Name-AF represents character doubles from the Altered Future.
Another pretty big change is the Phaze Lord Hideaki. Now he was probably already mention in this story, but very little, if I recall correctly. His name will be changed to Phaze Lord Aether. However, Hideaki will still exist. He's like one rank under Phaze Lord. Essentially, he's Aether's closest son. He's the most powerful Phaze Guardian in the universe, so he calls a lot of the shots for Light.
(Safa is saved. The dark of night's fallen, and for once I actually feel safe. A lot of the villagers have returned. Daniel came back with Rilia and Slianna, and honestly, I've never seen Safiri so happy... But I guess I've only seen her a limited number of times anyway. Even still, it meant so much more to me to see the three of them together after the things Safiri had explained to me in our free time. With as much as she said, she never did get to the details about Slianna and Rilia being Eclipses. I knew they were, but what did that mean? They weren't super world-controlling responsibility-bearing Eclipses like Safiri, I think. Were they like back-up Eclipses? Did they have some other role? I'd probably find it in Safiri's Script, but that's private stuff. I won't invade.)
(We had never found out what happened with Lavender and Riolu and the alternate Slianna and Rilia. I knew they were looking for other Eclipses who could be lost on Safa. But we really haven't heard from 'em since... Safa went down for a bit.)
[The spirits of the town, despite its state, are high. There is a large celebratory gathering around a fire before the central statue. Many Safans are participating, singing joyously and honoring Safiri for her heroism. Cruce opted out of participation, however the tribe insisted that he partake in the celebration. Reluctantly, he does so, only enjoying it for the fact that Safiri is by his side. Behind the crowd, he spots Rush, arms crossed and leaned against a wrecked part of a structure of some sort. He smirks, watching the two be praised. Slianna and Rilia rush from the ground, embracing Safiri and enjoying the moment of glory with her.]
[After a time, the celebration dies down. Three figures approach the praised heroes. One is a boa constrictor, the other a vixen, and the last a squirrel. Each of them are well-aged Safans.]
Safiri: [She blinks at the sight of the fox.] Oh, you're... you're me. One of the many other me's, heheh.
Safiri-AF: [Simply an older Safiri, about in her thirties. Her fur is darker and she is quite a bit taller. Her hair is also shorter, and her posture more upright.] Yes I am. Good to see you again! It seems like you've had a real mish-mash of adventure...
Ray-AF: [Rilia's twin brother, however of the futuregrounds. He is Safiri-AF's husband. He possesses a simplistic, cool look about him, with a few lines of gray in his messy hair and an otherwise sleek brown coat, minus the messy end of his tail.] Mish-mash, there's a good noun, Safie.
Safiri-AF: [She giggles.] I couldn't think of anything else.
Slianna-AF: [The aged Slianna, bearing a more sophisticated look. She is the doctor of Oathville Futuregrounds, the only real differences in appearance being her small glasses, shorter hair, and longer body.] Only hours ago I couldn't think of anything to say at all. But now that's been remedied with our world panacea, the Eclipse.
Safiri: N'aw~! Cruce helped out so much.
Cruce: [Staring blankly.] ...Uh...?
Safiri: But 'cha did!
Rilia: If it weren't for you, we'd all be sitting around in Naught's castle still. I-I know they only wanted to help, but it's still scary there...
Cruce: ...[Still staring blankly at the three altered future Safans.] Are you three...? [Looks at the Eclipses, and then back to the others.]
Rilia: Wouldn't'chu have guessed Ray's all gone and married to Safiri in the future~?
Safiri-AF: Oh, sorry Cruce, I don't think we'd ever gotten to meet. I'm Safiri Meres.
Ray-AF: I'm Ray. You may known me better as Rilia's brother... well, of the future. I don't think little Ray's around Oathville.
Rilia: Nope~. He's with distant relatives. I hope he's okay... We got to escape Safa, but they didn't.
Slianna-AF: I'm sure he is just fine. Why, we have the esteemed Eclipse Safiri to trust in!
Rilia: Yep~. Cruce, this is Slianna from the future. Told ya she'd make it big! She's a professor and everything.
Slianna-AF: [Chuckles.] Heh, it's all thanks to my mentor.
Cruce: [Dumbfounded.] ...Wha... H-hey wait, so... Are you also the Eclipse, Safiri...? Future Safiri?
Safiri-AF: Not necessarily! In our time, a tragedy befell each of the Ecliptic worlds. We Eclipses were cursed by a formidable enemy known as the Blank. They wiped our powers away, forcing us to pass it on to others with the help of a very unusual Connector. It's not the one we had grown up with. Not Chris. His name is Danithan, the holder of the Ecliptix. His power allowed us to pass our Ecliptic abilities to our children. Unfortunately, they cannot be present on the same planet...
Ray-AF: It's because of the concept of the Necliptic energies. Slianna here can explain that better for you. She was the one who noticed it with Light.
Safiri: Necliptic energies? Please do explain... That sounds interesting.
Slianna-AF: Of course. You see, our village, the Ancient Growth Forest, and many regions outside of this area have extraordinarily powerful Ecliptic forces. [At this point, Rush walks into the scene, tuning in on the conversation.] Oathville has the most powerful Ecliptic energies on the planet. This is because Safiri and Roxy live here--Roxy being the Meres' daughter and the Eclipse of the the future--both in such close proximity to another Ecliptic giant: the Ancient Growth.
Rush: That makes sense. The Ancient Growth is the keeper of the Oron Mo. Ecliptic symbol, yes?
Safiri-AF: Right. Each Ancient Growth has an Oron Mo; a symbol pertaining to Eclipse forces, or ancient magical energies that characterize this planet as Safa. If it weren't for them, this planet would be barren, devoid of magic and life, and the Oronians would not have existed. Oronians being ancient Safans. The Ancient Fairies are an example of Oronians. And to elaborate a little on Slianna's explanation, Ecliptic energies "stack". Young Safiri here is an Eclipse, which, alone is probably enough to give this location the most Ecliptic influence on the planet. But with the Growth of Oaths so close by, it's almost doubled. This is why Oathville is the center of Safa. It is why many portals lead to this location, or the Ancient Growth Forest nearby. The Ecliptic energies are a collective guide.
Slianna-AF: Well put. You may have noticed that portal Riot left, yes?
Rush: Sure, that's how I brought Cruce here.
Slianna-AF: That portal is fueled by something called Necliptic energy, the main source of power for the Blank. I'll tell you right now, Necliptic energy is a scary, scary thing. It works on the principle that Ecliptic energy is sought out, which is why a portal will also lead you to the strongest source of Ecliptic energy on a world. However, any amount of Necliptic magic used in the presence of Ecliptic forces whatsoever will place a curse on the immediate area.
Rush: Oh, Danithan talked about this curse. He said it causes Ecliptic overload. It lowers the maximum amount of Ecliptic forces an area can sustain. And if the Eclipse magic goes over its cursed cap, bad things happen...
Slianna-AF: Riot's left us with a terrible curse. He has taken advantage of this strange combination of ages to produce exactly what he desired: Ecliptic overload. Its stage isn't terribly high, but it is such that Roxy cannot come to this world without the "bad things" taking place. Trust me, we cannot have any more of these bad things.
Cruce: Okay, but... this is a pretty big planet. Can't Roxy catch a ride from Darkness, now that we're on the same side here?
Safiri-AF: Roxy would have nowhere to go. We want to see her again, but if she comes close to these lands, I fear the worst for all of us. She has vowed to partake in the Ecliptic battle against Riot with the other world's "future" Eclipses. She has become a Phaze Guardian, and I couldn't be more proud.
Ray-AF: Haha, our little girl is growing up. But not too many Safans get that kind of recognition! She's such a good girl. And strong. Stronger than her old man could ever hope to be.
Safiri-AF: She has made an amazing Eclipse... Right now, I think she's on Earth with her friends. I'm not too sure what's happening on that world, but it sure is a mess.
Slianna-AF: Roxy has a good habit of keeping her wits about her in those messy environments. I don't know how she does it. She's exceptional... Ah, there is another type of energy. A third. Not Necliptic nor Ecliptic. I don't know what it is called. I know very little about it... but it's there. What it does, I can't say. I just don't know.
Rush: [Speaks up.] Xecliptic. My father and I had a meeting with the Phaze Lord while in the Gardens. Some of the Phazes were there, so this was important. The topic of discussion was the Xeclipse Outbreak, otherwise known as the opening of the Strayer Void... and the possible return of the Storm.
Rilia: [Gasps, her paws over her mouth.] !!
Cruce: [Listens closely...] (The Storm...)
Slianna-AF: Great Growth, the void...? ...You'd probably know a lot more than me if the Phazes and Lord Aether addressed this. What is going on with this Xeclipse Outbreak?
Rush: To start, it's all because of the rupture of the Strayer Void, which started on Chronic--the one of this universe. We're not sure how it happened, but the Believer was present at the time. Hideaki doesn't think it has anything to do with him. Universes are colliding with each other left and right, and he couldn't have caused that. The Xecliptic Outbreak is probably because of the collision cascade, Hideaki calls it. But anyway, the Strayer Void's this badass red portal in the sky with lightning all around it--real frightening thing. Has a resemblance to Riot's little portals.
Safiri: T-the Strayer Void [Swallows spit.] ... I can't believe it.
Slianna: That evil thing... [Shivers.]
Safiri-AF: Can the Strayer Void lead to this alternate Safa I've been hearing about?
Safiri: The alternate Safa? I know a bit about the void, but I don't think it can do that. We have another way there.
Cruce: If it can, though, it'd explain how that other Darkness got here in the first place.
Rush: Actually, it can't. They're gateways to an ancient universe. Naught and Aether call it Dreamplane. Or some cheesy thing like Dreamland or Mirror World. It's interchangeable--doesn't really matter. In Dreamplane's center is a world called Dreamscape, a world surrounded by other smaller worlds in a system called Hypera. Dreamscape is the source of all things Storm or Xecliptic, and allegedly this stuff actually does have something to do with Chris... We don't know what. Same thing goes for the Empyrean Paradox, an empty realm said to be at the top of the universe. Lord Aether told us that the Xecliptic properties of the Strayer Void actually cause the birth of Ecliptic energy within a certain being. So think of it as planting a seed of power. That sounds great at first, but the Strayer Void's a nasty sucker. Once a being of Hypera passes through the Strayer Void, he or she will always end up on the corresponding world here. This happened on Chronic with many Pokémon. We know three pretty well. Adam, Al, and Eve have had some psychedelic experiences ever since their passing through the Strayer Void. They ended up on this universe, and now they're working with Darkness.
[Safiri and Cruce look at each other curiously at the mentioning of the names Adam and Al...]
Slianna-AF: Do go on. This is the most intrigued I've been in some time.
Rush: Will do. So... Inversely, a knight by the name of Pikapoe, who was born on this universe's Chronic, passed through the void, ending up on the "mirror" world as part Eclipse. So she could feel the Connection and everything. Same goes for Adam and Al and Eve. They've become part Eclipse. Why is this bad? It's bad for the same reason our three Eclipses here [Smiles at Safiri, Rilia, and Slianna.] are terrified of the thing--and up at Chronic, it's actually forbidden to talk about the Strayer Void. But yeah, this "part-Eclipse" stuff is food for the Storm. As long as any being possesses any kind of Ecliptic power, the Storm can alter that into Xecliptic power, which they can then harness and manipulate... And that means exactly what it sounds like. Mind control. And some kind of transformation. I've never seen it. But you get what's going on? The "Xecliptic Pull" synergizes with the Storm. It can cause what they need.
Cruce: Crap... that sounds a lot like how Nightmares work.
Rush: Nightmares, huh? Those things that the other Darkness uses. After seeing them, we're keeping a closer eye on our universe's Naught. Something's not right, but it's fine that Darkness and Light are working together. That's great. Still, you can never be too sure about those guys...
Ray-AF: Now are these Storm bozos able to come to our planet?
Rush: As long as the Strayer Void is open, it's a possibility. But there's a good chance you're not in danger. Very long ago, and by that I mean longer than I can imagine, the Eclipses and the Phazes and Light and Darkness and all of the mighty good guys of the Dreamplane got together after a huge war with the Storm and placed a magical seal on the Strayer Void. It was a fail safe, in case something somehow opened the thing back up. That seal's power is so ridiculously mundane, yet effective. It's amnesia. It applies for everything and everyone. If you pass through the Strayer Void, you have amnesia. Can't remember anything until you go back through the void where you belong. It was to keep the Storm from achieving their goals. But it even affected good folks. No one cared who you were. No one came out of that void remembering a thing except their own name and personality. But... Pikapoe and Adam and company bypassed it. They did the impossible. This is something that baffles Lord Aether and Naught. So we're nowhere near close to figuring that out. But Cruce... [Looks at Cruce suspiciously.]
Cruce: ... [Lowers his head.] So that's it.
Rush: Sounds like it, doesn't it?
Safiri: Huh? You think Cruce belongs to that Dreamplane?
Rush: Well... maybe... There's one way to slowly get your memory back. But it's so unlikely. It's if someone says anything about the faces you know. It's gotta be specific too. Exact names and all that. Cruce, I remember talking about Safiri when we met. And you didn't have any recollection of events before you got here... When I named Safiri, I saw a light bulb go off. You remembered Safiri. You remembered Safa.
Rush: That's just eerie, dude... It's too much like the amnesia seal.
Safiri: I don't think Cruce has anything to do with the Strayer Void.
Rush: You don't?
Safiri: No. There is no Strayer Void for Earth. And isn't that where he appeared? He's naturally a human, so... he should be from Earth.
Rush: ...Good... good point... I didn't think of that. [Shakes his head.] Wow, you're absolutely right. There really is no world corresponding to Earth--it doesn't have a void. Because there's no Ecliptic energy there. We just don't know of a world that corresponds to it... 'makes no sense.
Slianna: But what you've explained about the amnesia thing does sound like someone we've met, but don't know too well.
Rush: ...[He nods.] Rainbow Dash. She's from the other side. This means that her world corresponds to this one. The Safan Strayer Void has opened.
Cruce: That's where I need to go. I promised I'd help her get back home. I need to find a way to get back to her world. Could I go through the Strayer Void?
Rush: Oh gods above gods, no! Look man, we haven't heard from the Believer ever since he passed through one of those things. Look up the definition of danger, you'll see a big red swirly vortex of death.
Cruce: Well we have to try something, right? What'll happen if I go through that void thing?
Rush: Do you want amnesia again? Do you want to be a target of the Storm, the biggest threat ever recorded in ancient history?
Cruce: But that's in the past, has anyone here even worried about the Storm in their lifetime?
Rilia: ...I-I do...
Safiri: They're waiting to come back, and now that the void's open, I'm sure they've thought of something to get past that memory thing. Maybe that's how those Pokémon did it.
Slianna: I'm worried about it too... and... that's all I can say.
Safiri-AF: I've always kept that horrible void on my mind.
Slianna-AF: I never would have imagined that the Xecliptic findings related to the Strayer Void in any way...
Rush: Slianna, where exactly did you locate evidence of the Xecliptic energy?
Slianna-AF: [With her tail, she points in the general direction of the area.] Siren's Delta. I was close enough to pick up the energies on my manalyzers. It registered as Ecliptic, but it was incredibly unstable. And that's not a characteristic of Ecliptic magic at all. It couldn't be Necliptic...
Cruce: (Hm... the Storm... could this be the threat Vesse was talking about? It did a number on Xulfur when he was the Eclipse.)
Rush: So that must be where Rainbow came from... Obviously, she's innocent. She must have gotten captured by the rupture of the void on her world, and was forced here. Would make sense. She flies. [Scratches the side of his head.] This is pretty serious...
Cruce: You sure I can't give it a shot?
Rush: I know you want to help the girl out, and that's awesome. Your intentions are in the right spot, but this is big. This goes beyond Light and Darkness. Personally, I don't want to lose a new ally as strong as yourself.
Safiri: Cruce, I know how powerful you are. I know that Safa might not've made it without you. But you can't fight the Strayer Void. You can't fight the Storm... They're just too strong...
Cruce: ...[He sighs.] Really?
Safiri: Um, hold on... Come with me for a sec, Cruce. [She leads Cruce off of the statue's round platform, huddling up and whispering into his ear at a distance from the others.] Remember back at the Growth? I tried going to the other Safa on my own using the Oron Mo.
Cruce: [With his head leaning near Safiri, he nods.] Yeah-huh? Something happened and you turned into the fairy.
Safiri: Yes, I heard a voice before that. It sounded like it could just... delete anything. All powerful. I don't think I've heard of that before... something that can bring back my past physical forms. And with Xulfur, I think that demon dragon said the same thing happened to him, but he wasn't so lucky. He was deleted.
Cruce: Right. Vesse. She doesn't even know what it could be. Is it the Storm?
Safiri: It's not the Storm. The Storm wouldn't delete you. I don't know how that's even possible... The Storm takes your everything, but it doesn't get rid of you... Isn't this our real enemy?
Cruce: ...(Vesse did say that... Gather the Ruinous and the Eclipses and face this crazy-a** foe. But she also kind of implied that I need to get stronger on my own... Hm, still, Safiri has a point.) Yeah, I guess you're right. But I hate that I can't help Dash out.
Safiri: Leave that to Light. They're unsure now, but they've always found out how to create possibilities and whacky ways of success.
Cruce: Aren't I part of Light?
Safiri: Y-yes, but... [Looks away, frowning.] Light doesn't want to lose you, and... neither do I... I couldn't take it. Chris already vanished going through the void, and we should still be able to feel his Connection through the universes, but nothing. Nothing at all. And I don't want that to happen to you.
Cruce: [He sighs again, chuckling afterwards.] Alright, alright. That's fair. I don't want you to worry... I'll just find out more about the whole deletion business.
Safiri: Thank you! Thank you, Cruce... [She gives Cruce's cheek a gentle lick and giggles.]
Cruce: [Blushes and grins.] Aw, hey! Heh... Uh... by the way...
Cruce: Where is Rainbow Dash anyway? [Looks around the area, incapable of locating someone who would be otherwise conspicuous in a crowd.] We're talking about her so much, I'd assume she'd be around.
Safiri: I thought she conked out early. Rilia said she'd be alright with having Dash spend the night at her house. I think she's snoozing away already, hehe.
Cruce: 'Don't blame her, everyone's going to sleep nice tonight.
Safiri: ...Uh, well those who can get over the Strayer Void and actually -have- a place to sleep. Oathville's still messy.
Cruce: Right! [Sweatdrop.] Sorry.
Safiri: It's okay! Let's get back to everyone else, 'kay?
[Cruce agrees, following slowly after Safiri. The night goes on as the many Safans enjoy their temporary peace. After his lecture on the Strayer Void, Rush explains that priorities will most likely take a turn after Lavender and the others have been located.]
[It is not long until many Safans head to their own houses, or for those less fortunate, other friends' house, to get rest. Safiri thanks Cruce another time before departing for some well deserved sleep. Rush prepares to leave Safa due to the Ecliptic Pull beginning to overpower him. When all is cleared up, only he and Cruce are left in the center of the town.]
Rush: [Smirks at Cruce.] You did good, you know.
Cruce: [Sitting in the spot he had been with Safiri while watching the sunset.] Thanks. It felt pretty good...
Rush: Yeah, it does. [He gazes up at the Safan moon.] I'm starting to feel more like a Safan... Ecliptic Pull is getting to me.
Cruce: How're you not a Safan already?
Rush: Phaze Guardian barrier. Helps out with long missions on these worlds. We don't really train as much as we should in other forms. Danithan and Ethan are supposed to be really good at that though. They can fight in almost any body... Told you, dude, you're going to turn into a lot of things.
Cruce: I've already been three.
Rush: Counting human?
Cruce: [Nods.] Counting human...
Rush: ...Damn... Alright. We should head to the Gardens. The longer you stay here, the more your spirit melts.
Cruce: Safiri told me that too. I'm gonna lose my human spirit if I stay here too long. Sounds all bad and whatnot.
Rush: It is if you ever want to be a human again. C'mon, I'll give you a lift to the land of Light, and we can get back here tomorrow and look for everyone else.
Cruce: ...Alright... [He stands, momentarily freezing...]
(Vesse: Cruce, it is Vesse. I need you to follow my instructions... Decline Rush's offer... This is where you must separate yourself from Light and the Eclipses... Don't worry, you will be with them again soon.)
Cruce: Uh... Actually, I have something I need to take care of.
Rush: Oh yeah? What're you going to do?
(Vesse: Be careful in your words, Cruce...)
Cruce: ...I forgot to tell Safiri something, I... uhm...
Rush: Hm...? ...Oh... Heh... She's... a little young though, man...
Cruce: (? ... Oh, ehhh... That...) Well, it's just... You know, she's... special to me. [His face goes red.]
Rush: Hahaha, wow! You really feel that way about her? Dude, you just met her! A-alright, you know what, I won't get in the middle, heh. I know how it feels. I think she might be still awake. Go talk to your... young girlfriend... Jeez, man.
Cruce: [Blushing much more vividly.] Yeah... I'll be a little. [He begins walking away.] (Alright, that was awkward. I don't like Safiri like that. I think she's cute, but she's like thirteen. Plus, isn't she destined for Ray--ah whatever.)
(Vesse: Good work. Keep walking Cruce. When Rush is not looking, you will alter your course. I will tell you when... [She watches from beyond, or below, as Cruce heads to Safiri's den...] Now. Go left. He is not watching. [Cruce does so, heading straight from here.] Cruce, you will see Rainbow Dash in the Oathville garden. I want you, and I am sure you do as well, to take her home. I want you to go to Dreamplane. The next portion of your quest will be there. The girl will lead you to the Strayer Void... and when the time comes... trust in your Spirit Cross.)
[In the small circular garden, Rainbow Dash stands on the spherical statue at its center. She simply stares at the night sky, wind flowing through her hair. Cruce steps forth...]
Rainbow Dash: [Turns to see Cruce in the night.]
Cruce: ... [Looks up at her.] ...Can't sleep?
Rainbow Dash: How'd you know?
Cruce: I had a feeling.
"It's time to go."
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