"What... do... you .... want?" she hisses, deep blue eyes threatening rain. Alex lets out a weak gurgle before collapsing to the floor, threatening to fall unconscious. But something in his limp, piteous frame strikes a chord on the warrior-maiden's heart. Something that compels women of all backgrounds to cuddle and nurture wounded animals everywhere...
He rolled a pity 30.
Somewhere in the universe, a crack appeared. The stresses and strains of years of DCM's collective mayhem had been building and building, and at this time, in this when, the load was just too much - the blow was just too pointed.
The crack widened, and the Other started to seep in...
His head was pounding, throbbing from the blow he took when his head hit the wall - man was this chick fit... He was starting to feel a little lightheaded, a little stoned even (shit, I hope I don't have a concussion) when Porthos hands him a joint.
"What do I want? I want you to tell me about that hill - Eldritch Mountain." He's sitting on a couch. Athos is to his left, eye on the joint. "Yeah, man" he rasps, waiting his turn at the roach. "I heard you guys got into some crazy stuff before we joined on."
Alex looked from Athos to the joint, then up to Porthos, who was standing above him expectantly. A quick glance around told him he was back at DCM headquarters. The Guidos? Hell, they hadn't been heard from in days? Weeks? Yet here they were, talking to him and passing around a joint. what the hell was in this stuff, anyway?
Right about then, the front door opened, and Xeno walked in. seeing the gathering ar the couch, he skidded to a halt and looked around in thinly veiled exasperation. Alex stood up and began talking in the loud, slow monotone of someone trying to explain something to a deaf, idiot child. "HEY XENO. IT'S ME, ALEX. I WAS JUST TALKING TO THE GUIDOS HERE. THEY SAY WE'VE BEEN HERE AT DCM HQ FOR ABOUT 6 HOURS. ISN'T THAT INTERESTING?"
Something in Alex's tone got through the fear and surprise. Xeno snapped to.
"What night is it?" he blurted out, spittle spittling. "Why," Aramis' eyebrows furrowed. "It'sa Wednesday." "Good. Xoe's night at Mysty's. Let's go."
Xeno turned on his heel and shot out the door. He was surprised to find not only Alex and the Guidos, but Takemiya and Holth had joined him as well. Takemiya was looking confused. He said as much while trying to keep up with Xeno.
"Something's wrong. And it's probably Alex's fault. Last thing we all knew, he was getting fawned over by that valkyrie and WHAM! we're all here - months in the past. Eldritch Mountain? The Chaos Star? Shit's getting real - or unreal - and we have to find a way to to outsmart it.
Xeno pulled up short at an intersection. He looked at the street signs. It was kind of nice seeing Port Harbor not on fire and being attacked by illithid dreadnoughts again. Somewhere one of his vertebrae tingled...
"Change of plans. We're off to the Iron Stoat."
The group took the left-hand path and didn't quite notice the faint, radiant shimmer like a nighttime mirage as they passed under a natural tree archway in the road. A brief, faint hiss precedes the burst of pain that erupts from Xeno's shoulder just before Holth yells "Get down!" Xeno whirls to see the candycorn Ninja poised in the branches above, ready to strike again. A small knife, the twin of the one now sticking out of Xeno's numb shoulder, sits in her hand like a deadly pigeon. The others fade into the background, silent. There's just the two of them in all the world...
Xeno rips into his bodice and whips out a pair of knives - far pointier and far poisonier than the frail thing the Ninja has troubled him with. He unleashed the pair of them at her, spewing epithets and vile curses. The knives clatter harmlessly into the treetops, each one missing their mark by a hippo's width. The Ninja looks at the holes they chopped through the canopy with bemusement. Then, nimble as a cat who's spent a lifetime taking nimble lessons, she flips, cartwheels and flips again, and is soon crushing Holth's larynx between her powerful thighs. Holth's knees buckle and as he gasps for air and his vision starts to fade, Aramis steps in with a sock full of nickles and pops the ninja full on the mouth. She goes down in a spray of teeth and mascara, and the sound the molars make as they clatter off the cobbles sound just like the tik tik tik of the cymbals of "The Doors" drummer as "Break On through" starts to play. Xeno looks up, experiences the now familiar mix of bewilderment and resigned exhaustion, and noticed one costumed partygoer dressed like Ray Charles. He's in the middle of the gym, but soon heads over towards the locker room, deftly stepping over a couple who are making out at the top of the key.
"Here goes my vertebra again," thinks Xeno as he heads in the opposite direction and out through the front of the gym. He ducks into a classroom only to be assaulted by the man in the Leonard Nimoy mask. Xeno hurls desk after desk at the assailant, and on the 3rd try hits him full in the face, knocking him onto the teacher's desk.
Xeno leaps and lets the fight take him over. He pins the madman down on the desk, rips off his mask and discovers... "FUNDUS!" The man's eyes are in a rage as he produces spittle of his own. "I really am beginning to hate you...." before flipping Xeno into the wall and knocking him out cold.
Meanwhile in the gym, Alex sees Ray Nitschke and "Boom Boom" Mancini come from the locker room. He discovers a dead Korean in the coaches' office...
Gigamesh follows Ray charles into the locker room as he bears right and passes through a handful of teens, smoking, chatting, making out.
the Philosopher carries his bone of glass into the locker room and, taking the second row, finds Cindy Brady sitting, smoking a joint in her pigtails. "What do YOU want," she lisps petulantly. This just presses more than one of the philosopher's buttons, and he sits down next to her and simply says, "You."
Xoe, however, is suffering from a burden of clarity. Maybe it's being almost naked amongst all these teenager, but her senses are a little on edge and she's thinking almost too clearly. "Walk though the door..." she whispers. Hmm. well, Robbie looks about the right height. She walks up behind him, duck ever so slightly, and just as he busts into the solo from 'Light my Fire", she walks between his legs and smells the musk of universal manliness and feels the heat of his fire oh my his fire is LIT and there's a great green wall of burning fire and is fire supposed to be green, I mean wait, it's purple and oh my god we're falling into the star...
The ship felt light under their feet - as if it was made of light. All around them, the star was like a great, cosmic bead curtain - flickering and tickling them with orangepurplegreen light.
Then nothing. Nothing but space and a fleet of Elven ships.
"Five hundred, to be exact." Ben again. They were all standing on an observation deck. David, Kate, Alex, Karl, The Other David and Eric. Eric had a noticeable hickey. "This was supposed to be an invasion force. The Ice Elves. They're from the eight planet in this system and their world is dying. they were going to knock this planet senseless, had they seen sign of any spelljamming this far in. You were supposed to trigger an attack by your exploration of your local space. You were supposed to do a lot of things in space." Ben looked at David with a look of disappointed exhaustion. But then he smiled. "But you were never good at taking a hint."
"The past that never was. An aborted universe. We're seeing just a few of the possibilities - a few of the things you set in motion when you and your group started meddling with this." He held up a d30 between his thumb and forefinger. "And it would appear that the only way out, is through..."
They sat back down at the gaming table. there were muffins all over the floor. "Everybody roll a 30" said Ben, and as they all took turns rolling and attempting telekinesis, Alex picke up the original green 30, the one with the overprinted 1 and rolled a 30 and everything fell out of the bottom and the ship was falling out of the sky...
"Brace yourselves!" called Takemiya from the helm as everyone grabbed onto the rigging atop Der Chelonian as it plummeted to the icy continent below. Ragnar looked grim as is his wont (being a dwarf) and Saladin was already starting to shiver. But as the ship headed towards what looked like a cricket oval etched onto the surface of a glacier, Takemiya managed to pull up just enough to avert total disaster.
The turtle skidded across the ice and settled amidst a number of angry men in togas. After pointing out that interrupting a Test was the height of boorishness, their leader, Maximinus, led them into an underground temple and sat them on any number of chaises lounge. He offered them tea and biscuits; ad while Xeno and Xoe were a bit apprehensive about meeting Trevor again, Eric was more than willing to taste of the large tray of psychedelic mushrooms the boy Clavdivs proffered.
Soon after shoveling about half an ounce into his mouth, the world began to change for poor Eric. everything went all reggae,and he was soon confronted by Bob Marley himself.
"What DO you want, mon?" he asked as a cloud of gray-green smoke issued forth from his mouth.
And then, and there, Eric saw everything at once. He'd broken through the great barrier - he'd stuck his head through one of those cracks in one of those universes. He was now talking to a HIGHer being.
This was it. He had one shot - one question - one chance to get some clarification, some help from the Great Bob himself. One chance to find out something, anything that would help them end this madness, this chaos.
"Damn," he thought to himself as he felt the eyes of all the seasoned and weary campaigners boring into his back from the other where. "I better not fuck this up."