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Zeitgeist Blue

Through the Mirrored Glass and Back Again

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Magic Club Room, Claremont Academy

Bayview, Freedom City, New Jersey

Monday, November 5, 2018

 

5:45:13 PM

 

Nicole Whitfield-Hall slammed Bellios' helm on the school table in front of her, causing it to wobble. She ignored the wobbling, instead turning to meet the eyes of everyone in the room that Claremont's Magic Club called home.

 

It was, as club rooms go, nothing too magical. The walls were painted white and the floor was covered in wood paneling. Light fixtures did a good job of lighting the room in white fluorescent and the windows were open to let the fall air in. Couches and cushions littered one side of the room, fluffy in bright colors. A large whiteboard dominated the opposite side and it was covered from end to end in Nicole's scribbly handwriting -- notes to herself and metaphorica-logic based tandems used to navigate her type of magic. The two wooden tables were pushed to the wall, freeing up the middle for the current occupants, a bunch of monoblock chairs that matched their numbers, and one table in the middle of it all.

 

Nicole's eyes were a little bit crazed, like those of a powered up cultist high on otherworldly drugs and gods. Too much caffeine and too little sleep frayed the edges of her features and she sniveled her nose, ruddy with the cold she had been harboring for the past few days. She was sitting in her wheelchair, in clothes that could have been a day old or three. A gray sweater and blue sweatpants completed the I-just-woke-up look, though for her it might as well have been a I-haven't-slept-for-two-days look.

 

"Right, so, I've gathered yo--" She stoppped, bringing a hand up to cover her mouth just as she sneezed. Taking her hand away with a sniffle, she reached for a handful of tissues to wipe at her nose. There was a few seconds of awkward silence as she did so and pocketed the used tissues before she looked up again to continue her explanation. "Right, so I need your guys' help. And I really need your help so I'm glad that you came here today no matter what we think of each other." And at this she looked pointedly at Huang, before muttering under her breath. "Jerkass."

 

Then she continued, tapping at the helm on the table. The helm gleamed a bright red and their faces were reflected on its purple-tinted visor. "See, Bellios over here has been acting up ever since a thing I did last week, if you know what I mean. Now, I've fixed most of the problems but this last one is tearing my hair out. It's honestly pissing me off and it's been doing so for two nights now. And there's no way I'm going to a faculty member after Summers' drumming after the assembly."

 

She paused and shivered, having experienced how scary Summers could really be in a locked room. Alone.

 

"So," she said, picking up again. "I think you've got the skills. Is why you're here. And the magic obviously, this would be so much more complicated if you aren't. Some of us are touched by magic through the sympathetic bonds you've created with your... things." She threw a thumb at Elizabeth and Veronica. "And some are dripping magic like sweat after P.E." And here she tilted her head towards Abigail.

 

"You're what I got and if you're thinking of walking back out the door right now we can deal. You scratch my back and I scratch yours kind of deal. What do you say?"

 

She met their eyes again, clearly expecting them to either agree or "deal" in her words.

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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Veronica

 

Veronica was seated in her chair, dressed as she usually was as if she were about to head out into some wilderness or to explore some ruins.  She had been rather curious when Nicole had asked her to come to this meeting, having not had much opportunity to interact with the older student thus far in the term.  The teenager could easily sense the powerful magic within the suit the older teen was wearing, and it was taking a bit of willpower to not look even deeper than that to analyze the nature of its magic.

 

She listened as Nicole gave a very general explanation of why they were all there.  Again Veronica felt an urge to more carefully scan the battle suit, but again held off for the moment, though she suspected that she would be helping to examine it much more closely at some point.  When the other girl finished, stating anyone that wanted was free to leave if they chose, Veronica spoke up first.

 

"Well, members of my family are typically not ones to walk away from something unusual or even potentially dangerous, and I am no different.  So, you can count me in."

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Elizabeth nodded sagely, reaching out to pull a white World War II helmet out of thin air; she plopped it down on her head and pulled it low to cover everything but an ear-to-ear grin. "We shall fight it on the beaches!" she said, "We shall fight it on the cafeteria grounds, we shall fight it in the gym and in the garden, and I don't actually remember the rest of this quote."

 

She shrugged, leaning forward on folded arms and looking around as if the helmet wasn't placed firmly over her eyes. It was somewhat incongruent with her simple t-shirt and pale blue jeans, but at least it met her color scheme requirements, and if the mask at her hip had any objections to competing headwear, it wasn't betraying its feelings. "You get the idea, though. I'm in! It sounds fun."

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Huang folded neatly into his own seat as Nicole began her rather explosive explanation of why she'd called upon them.  Tempted though he was to extract and draw out her request for aid more explicitly, particularly in light of her rather prickly commentary to himself, he refrained and looked over the helmet curiously where it sat.  Turning his hooded gaze back to the artificer behind the suit he raised a brow, "Obviously we're here to help."  he confirmed as well because if he hadn't been willing he'd likely not have attended the meeting in the first place.  

 

"So what exactly did you do?"  he queried curiously refraining for the moment from a deeper analysis of the magics before him.   "Assuming you know what you did."  he added a bit backhandedly perhaps but he was fairly certain she still counted as starting it.

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She wrinkled her nose slightly. "Your description of me is... certainly colorful," she said, looking thoughtfully at the helmet.

 

"I'm not an artificer," Abigail said leaning back in her chair, the word yet hanging in the air unspoken.  The young mage seemed more relaxed with this smaller, more intimate group.  "Not to say I am uninterested in helping, I just want to you understand where my skill set lies."

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"Thanks!" Nicole said, practically beaming at Abigail. The young artificer gave an internal sigh of relief, expecting that people would be asking for something for exchange and being pleasantly surprised when none did. Veronica and Elizabeth's easy agreements helped her mood and she wiped the sweat beading on he brow, reaching forward to flip the helmet upside down.

 

"Well Jack,"" she said, knowing it would irk him, before diving back into her explanation. "It wasn't so much as what I did as what was done to me. See, it was supposed to be an easy bust but my uncle was expecting me and he'd brought friends, this skeevy technomancer and her partner-in-crime technopath. No problem but Uncle Will must have cooked up a ward set to my signature and it looped around all my protective layers to hit Bellios where it hurts."

 

"I'd be impressed if I wasn't so annoyed." There was a small rune-shaped jack at the helmet's edge, where the head fitted into neck, and she pointed at it. "Right in the Self. Big S here. Technically speaking, this isn't the armor I wore last week."

 

"And this is where you guys come in." She set the helmet back on the table and looked at each of the members, giving Veronica a knowing smile. "You don't need to know anything about what I do because right now I don't need artificers, I need fighters to go right inside my helmet's central interface."

 

She waved a hand in mock humility. "Study all you want when you're inside. Once it's fully operational again, it'll be a pain to open it up like this. Really, you're only looking at the most complex creation of the greatest smith this side of the Prime dimension. Bet not even the Master Mage has anything half like this. Right, Jack?"

 

She leaned back as she ended her explanation, letting the whole thing sink in. Then she gestured to their chairs. "Carved underneath each one are multiple runes that together would bring your Selves, and everything on you right now, near where Bellios' Self is. I need you to bring my helmet and let it merge with the representation of the CPU."

 

"It'll take some time and protect it while it does." She sniffled, her hand hovering over something that looked like a lightswitch on the table. "Oh, and one more thing: its electronic defense systems are still active and it's going to give its all, especially this close to the CPU."

 

"So here's your World War Two in a shell, Liz. Keep that helmet on. It's cute but I'm teaching you camouflage next time we're in the Danger Room."

 

There was a pause and then Nicoleo gestured impatiently. "So if no one's got anymore questions, someone grab the helmet and I'll flip the switch."

 

(OOC: Feel free to post IC. If you're scanning the thing, any description would do. With magic, it'll probably change to fit the perception of the scanner. I'll be putting up the next GM post in a few days.)

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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GM

 

The switch flips and you find yourselves in whiteness.

 

It fills everything but yourselves and the others with you. It is the ground and the sky, the world inside the helmet.

 

"Ah, visitors. I was not expecting any." A man's voice speaks up, well-tailored and smooth, and when you look around you see an older gentleman, sitting on a plush velvet armchair, who definitely not there the last time you checked. He is a darker skinned man, gold-rimmed glasses perched on the bridge of his nose and neat dark hair, graying at the edges. He wears a dark blue robe and fluffy, bedroom slippers. His slim fingers hold a newspaper, dated today, which he folds as he stands from his armchair, still regarding you, and you realize a cutting intelligence hides behind his eyes.

 

"Apologies for the mess." He blinks and now his outfit is a sweater and cardigan, much like that of a professor in a university. The armchair and newspaper is gone. "Better."

 

"Now," he says, strolling towards you, arms open in greeting. "Where are my manners? I am Arthur Whitfield, though you may call me Arthur just fine. And whose acquaintance do I have the pleasure of making? What brings you to this humble abode?"

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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Veronica

 

Veronica had listened as Nicole provided a bit more information about the situation, reveling what it was that she needed them to do.  Turned out it was not exactly their skill in magic or analytical abilities she needed to help her with her problem, she needed them to go into her suit and provide a fix.  Of course, it sounded like it was not just going to be a stroll in the park, even if only half of what the older girl was bragging about turned out to be true.

 

But, regardless of that, the teenager Danger had agreed to help, and she was not about to back out of that now.  Besides, how often did one get the chance to go inside a powerful magical suit and study it from the inside?  It was certainly interesting how the suit was a combination of both technology and magic. 

 

Reaching up, Veronica picked up the helmet on the table.  "Okay, lets go."

 

It was only moments later that everything went white and they then found themselves in the strange world inside the suit, greeted by a man who seemed to be quite a home there.  As the man changed his appearance with but a thought, Veronica began scanning him and the area around them. 

 

When the man introduced himself, she assumed, given the last name, he had some relation to Nicole, but did not comment on that at the moment.  Instead, she gave him a faint smile, taking on a faint bit of formality as she played along with him for now.  "So very nice to meet you Mr. Whitfield.  I am Veronica Danger."

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"Huh! I expected more...voom." Elizabeth was looking around in open curiosity, hands in her pockets and her mask sitting jauntily on her hip, attached to her belt. It was also floating just above and behind her shoulder, translucent, and it mimicked every movement of her head - the tilt, the turn, always a half-second behind like it was caught in her tide. She didn't seem to notice. "I kind of like it this way, though. Hello!"

 

She waved, finally catching up to the man's appearance. She was pretty sure nobody had mentioned living people in here; was he part of that security system? "I'm Elizabeth. We're all here to help."

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Huang rolled his eyes slightly at the Artificers boast, "Certainly not bad if one can't work actual sorcery certainly."  he agreed dryly before they were one with the machine.

 

He looked keenly at the surroundings and the individual who seemed both to have command of it and he suspected should not.   "Ah I think that's what she needs help with."  he pointed out cautiously to Elizabeth, "She did say something infiltrated the suit when she fought a relative."  he let out a small sigh, "Kind of her to give us all relevant details before sucking us into her toy."

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"Oh of course," Arthur said, turning to look everyone in the eye as he shook Veronica's hand. The action was familiar, like Nicole had done, but more controlled and with a glint that hinted he knew more than he was letting on. "Help. That is something everyone needs and with a Danger here I doubt events would degrade so much as to be unsalvageable."

 

He let go of Veronica's hand then and stepped to the side, directing their attention to a space in front of the group with a slow wave of his hand. He shakes his head. "The first time she had brought any of her friends and it is to do her dirty work. But I can hazard a guess as to what you seek. Little it is not."

 

A circle appeared before them, and like a window hanging in space it opened to a view of another layered dimension. The horizon is dark, black where yours is white, and where structures, large as skyscrapers swung and floated as if there was no concept of gravity or up or down. They were crystal and brushed steel melded into one, pulsing to a heartbeat you could not see or hear. Concrete and glass entombed the crystals inside the structures, and where the crystals showed and pulsed it was in colors that spanned the rainbow - blue from green to red and back to purple. They dwarfed you and what little you could see from your side of the dimensional window could not see an end to the skyscraper structures, their bases hidden from view.

 

Yet even then they did not demand all your attention, for in the middle of it all was a Dyson-like sphere. The skyscrapers revolved around it like planets to a sun, knowing that they were but periphery to the center of the universe. The sphere was smaller, like a house in the middle of America suburbia, but there was something about it that screamed 'Important'. It too was covered in metal but it reflected its surroundings perfectly and you could see the skyscrapers on its surface. Circuitry ran along its body, a constant golden stream of glowing neon blood, and runes swam in it, forming meaning in how they collated and branched off around and around again. A wide slit in the middle separated the top and the bottom portion of the sphere, and here the golden glow of the circuitry became a torch in the dark, harsh and almost painful to look at.

 

It rotated slowly, perfectly, as if on a vertical axis.

 

And as it did you see a scorched area reveal itself. It is a hole in the sphere, where metal curled inwards into jagged edges and the circuitry terminated with sparks that seemed to glitch midair. It was no bigger than an SUV but even as you looked, you could see it expanding ever so slowly. A tumor in the machine.

 

"There it is, the source of all my daughter's sleepless nights. It had broken in a two nights ago and had completely shut down the secondary systems less than a day since." Arthur explained and you could see he held a simple wooden cane in one hand. "It is only a matter of hours until it finishes what it has started."

 

He lifts his cane, crook first, and the window widened into a doorway. "Take this and take care. Something else wanders through the armor while this-- this self-perpetuating spell bashes its head into a wall. Most likely it will come when it senses its cousin in danger. I suggest you enter with a plan to receive the stronger spell, do not think that with the state the Bellios' Self is in that you could walk out of here successful merely spell-slinging."

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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Veronica

 

"Well, I think we should be glad there is less voom for the moment."  Veronica replied to Elizabeth after she shook "Arthur's" hand.  "I imagine we will get more than enough of that before this trip is done."

 

Stepping back as the image of Arthur continued to talk, Veroncia glanced over to Hurang.  "I am not so sure he is part of the problem.  He seems more part of what is binding the magic in the suit together."

 

Looking out through the doorway Arthur had formed, she studied the scene for a moment as she continued.  "The magic of the suit stretches out all around us, patterned much like circuitry in a computer."  She glanced back at her fellow students as the simulation in front of them seemed to point them in the direction they needed to go.  "Well, shall we?"

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Elizabeth peered into the window dubiously, reaching out to pull a wide-sleeved open robe of white cotton out of thin air; she slung it over her body and brought her mask up to her face. The translucent mask over her shoulder had disappeared, now shimmering slightly over the surface of her artifact.

 

"Guess we should!" she said, flexing her hands. "Hopefully the big thing's not very smart; maybe we can keep it distracted for long enough, or at least knock it off its game. I don't think I like the look of that...magic...cancer virus thing," the girl added, wiggling a finger at the gaping hole in the sphere. "But at least the problem's easy to spot. That's something!"

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