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December 10th, 2018, 5.25 AM, five minutes to destination

Mars Orbit, Solar System, Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy, The Universe, inside of a Pegasus-class spaceplane


Light-speed travel was great. With the coordinates set, all systems nominal and nothing especially likely to be between the Pegasus and Starshell Castle, there was little to do but wait and consider what the little band was up against.


The pilot and three passengers had a lot of skillsets between them; young adventurer, amateur mystic and philanthropist Veronica Danger, anxious AEGIS Eyespy agent Echohead, otherworldly wanderer Forever Boy and materials-mimic Facsimile, all of them brought something unique to the mission.


The mission itself was simple enough: get into Starshell Castle, don't get caught, find out and do as much damage as they can before escaping. Of particular interest were the Nightstone, supposed power source of Blackstar and his followers, and anything to suggest how they could move between Starshell and Earth without the Lighthouse satellite detecting them. That last was of especial importance, since the refitting of the satellite and its augmentation with alien technology included some of the best sensory systems the Coalition could provide. If there was a flaw being exploited, some basic incompatibility, or even some wholly-unknown power at work, it was vital information.


Outside there was nothing to see, but on the inside of the windows was a projected simulation of the solar system blurring by. If you looked too long, you started to see patterns in the stars.

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Forever Boy


It all happened so fast. Never in his wildest dreams had Pan ever expected to fly this fast, and even if it was not under his own power, it was simply amazing. A huge grin was plastered on his lips, as he stared out at the projected solar system that blurred along. He was simply fascinated by the pattern of the stars. Simulated or not, he had never been somewhere like this, out in the black void of the space. 


And yet, he had been sitting still for an awfully long time now, with nothing much to actually do. Pan had started creating images that danced in his hand. An ever shifting array of persons he had met. Lost Heroes, fellow Claremont students, his teammates on this trek, villains he had met, random people that he remembered for some reason.


And yet, try as he might to occupy himself, he could not help it. "So... are we there yet?" He had seen enough movies to know the significance of the question while travelling!

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Veronica Danger


Even for Veronica once they had gone to faster-than-light the trip had mostly consisted of routine checks of the instruments and controls to ensure they were still on course and everything was working as it should.  Of course she had done some actual manual piloting earlier in the flight.  Once they had broken free of the Earth's atmosphere, she had piloted them to the correct coordinates for the beginning of their trip towards Mars at FTL


At Pan's question, the teenage Danger glanced at some of the instruments in front of her before she gave an answer.  "We are close.  A couple more minutes until I take us back to sub-light speeds.  Then a couple more for reentry and to get to Starshell Castle."

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Echohead took long, slow, deep breaths. This was space. 


It was very big. And full of space. 


And outside this vessel, his lungs would explode and his eyeballs spontaneously ennucleate and nitrogen would form clots in his blood supply causing brain death whilst inflicting crippling agony. 


"Excellent. I am enjoying myself tremendously and qui-qui-qui-q-q-q-quite calm" he said through gritted teeth. "I am in control and I am imagining a pleasant panoramic view of my special safe place..."


He was wearing sunglasses. Because he did. And was glad, because nobody could see his eyes were clamped shut. 


"Are we there yet?"

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"this is a pretty smooth ride huh....not bad!" Facsimile commented as he walked through the cabin.


"Not quite as swanky as the kavaca but still, not as bumpy as I'd suspected." He added as he ran his fingers over the internal wall.


"We got a stealth system or something so this starshell place doesn't see us coming and shoot it's lasers at us or are we going for the smash and grab kinda larceny?" 


He hmmed as his analytical touch did it's work, he may wind up mimicking a material or even the vehicle before he lept out into the enemy base.


"Or anything else I should know if I borrow from it?"

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  • 2 weeks later...



"Wait!" interjected Echohead, swimming through the memories he had copied into his head. "Its Alien! Non-human! Alien!" he blabbered. 


"The pegasus shell is lined with Alien Metals" he said, being more slow in his explanation now he had calmed himself. He was now merely very anxious as opposed to terrified. 


"Just to let you know before you...er...do your thing" he said. "I mean, I don't know how you do your thing, but I hope it isn't a great big mess if you copy something that isn't of this earth. Like, I hope you don't explode or turn into a human lawnmower or something. Especially if we are the grass...."

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  • 3 weeks later...



Travelling at the speed of light with a good pilot and an above-average navigation computer(by Lor standards anyway, for Terresi science it was a miracle), the approach to Starshell Castle was downright anticlimactic. One moment they were hurtling through emptiness with darkness ouside, the next they were drifting below a hulking crystalline mass.


The Castle sprawled in every direction, a glossy white anemone with fronds, tendrils and arcing limbs stretched blindly into the endless night. It refracted the light of the stars burning all around, shimmering rainbows and sparkles roaming up and down its colossal surfaces. Hanging in space, clustered about a great central spire haloed by intersecting rings of many colors, were countless black hedrons. Each was as big as a Pegasus and alive with lights. Even at this distance, the scouts could see that the lights made up a different face on each hedron, composed and solemn every one, eyes shut.


The dock was on the underside of the Castle Starshell, behind a maze of whorling growths and jutting platforms, so close together and intersecting that it would take an incredible pilot to make it through on the first try.


It was also the only way in.

Edited by Ari
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Echohead gawped at the view. For all his fear, he had a love for science and a love for beauty, and the Castle tickedb oth boxes. 


"Beautiful..." he whispered out loud, humbled. 


He was so entranced, he stopped being afraid. 


At least for a moment. He saw the treacherous conditions for docking. "I uh...uh....c-c-can we dock there? I mean...uh....its not too late to t-t-turn back..." he gulped, wiping his sweaty brow again. It was a surprise he was not clinically dehydratd given his sweating antics. If there was a gold medal in the competitive anxious sweating category, Italy would take first place. And probably be given silver and bronze as well in recognition of outstanding individual achievement. 


This was space, after all. 

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"well I guess I don't wanna explode or mow the lawn anymore than I already do...besides there'll be other neat sci-fi space junk In that album art castle right?" Facsimile asked aloud as his hand slipped to his belt buckle and his form changed


"I can last on real steel till then....but when we get in here....hoo boy watch out buzz light-year." 


Needless to say he was feeling a little giddy, maybe it was nerves? They were literally made of steel at the moment.

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Veronica Danger


As they reached their destination, Veronica been ready to resume full manual control.  She carefully guided the craft underneath the impressive structure that was their destination.  "This is amazing.  How was he able to bet this out here without anyone noticing?"  She commented as she continued forward. 


As they reached the maze of growths and platforms that was their way toward the dock, a sly smile came to the teenager's face as Echohead began to panic.  "Now things become interesting."  She started as she guided the Pegasus into the maze. 


Even as self-assured as she was, Veronica's expression became more serious as she took in the chaotic space around the ship, guiding it around column jaunting out in front of them.  She had to suddenly stop the vessel as a large platform appeared in front of them.  "That was close."  She said with another small smile. 


Activating the portside maneuvering thrusters, Veronica moved the Pegausus sideways until they were clear of the large platform, she then started them forward into the maze once more.  The teenage Danger continued to guide the craft smoothly around obstacles, turning Pegasus completely around its axis multiple times in the process. 


Finally, she cleared the last obstacle and slowed down as the dock appeared in front of them.  "Well, here we are."

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"oooh dear...I don't feel well...I don't feel well at all..." gasped Echohead. His head started to swim. He felt his heart spas, like it was being twisted into a corkscrew. It felt too big. He imagined the veins and arteries swelling like balloons, then popping.


He wasn't getting enough air to his lungs, surely. No matter how hard and fast he gulped down air, there wasn't enough oxygen.


There must be a leak! The air was going! They were going to get sucked out in space.


His head felt lighter and lighter as he imagined his lungs inverting and burstinh. And then he imagined nothing at all.


He had fainted.

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Forever Boy


"Amazing..." Pan murmured, looking up at the crystalline castle that they were to infiltrate. It was unlike anything he had ever seen, unlike anything on either Neverworld or the Earth, as far as he knew. And it was the home of a villain? No, that could not stand, could it?


"Maybe the structure or the materials make it difficult to find, without the information that the dear Porpoise and Eagle shared?" he responded to Veronica's question, while shrugging. He was not sure, it was a shot in the dark, but it was his best idea, at least. And it was something that was interesting to contemplate.


Even Pan fell silent as Veronica guided them in. He had moved to stand behind her, a hand on the top of her seat as he watched everything unfolding. This was amazing, he didn't want to miss anything that might happen. "Wonderful work, my friend." he congratulated her, just before he heard Echohead gasping for air, his head spinning, him feeling lighter... and then he fell over.


With a trail of Pixie Dust behind him, Pan was by his side, kneeling and reaching out to try and help him up. "Mr. Echohead? Wake up, this is really not the time for a nap of any kind. We will be there in but a moment." He tried doing what he could to wake him up, but it was really not his forte. 

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"What...where...who....no! Miss Violet! The pretzels!" started Echohead as he woke up. 


Why Miss Violet? Why pretzels? Nobody shall ever know, for 'twas a dream. Maybe Freud could speculate. But most likely we would not want him to. After all. Violet. Pretzels. Best say no more. 


It seemed that a brief passing out had somewhat stabilised his blood pressure and his vagus nerve had somewhat normalised. Whilst his eyes briefly pointed in opposite directions, they did converge on Pan and Echohead started to get his act together. 


"Why...I was j-j-just resting my eyes!" he said, pulling up his turtleneck and readjusting his sunglasses. After all, he always wore sunglasses. Even when he didn't need to. Arguably he would wear them in a cave. He had an unconsious reasoning that he would be safer if he didn't see all the things that could kill him. 


"Where are we? What do we do?" he jammered, looking for direction from somebody. Anybody. 

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"doesn't suprise me really, we're still finding cold war villain lairs today on earth, there's a whole lot of empty space to hide stuff in and plenty of chaos if what I heard first time I was out here is true." He mused as echohead fainted and pan rushed to provide aid.


"Heh! I like this guy." He mentioned as he helped pan get echohead into a sitting position "he's funny! Those two looses in leotards getting the drop on me and knocking me out really put a damper on my mood but I feel much better already."


He was of course not aware that it has been the stress of his out of control powers and echoheads autohypnotic influence that had made him loose his memories and that it had been platypus and eagle who had clobbered him out cold so hard he had short term memory loss.


"You still with us sleepyhead?" He asked the now roused psychic "things are about to get real, real fast too."

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Forever Boy


For someone that was sworn to protect this world, and had proven quite capable during their first encounter, Pan was not quite sure if Echohead was actually up for this task. What if he fainted yet again? "Are you quite alright?" Did he forget everything, or was he merely disoriented? Curious, in either case. 


Pan pointed out the window, towards the castle that they were now under. "We are at the Starshell Castle. As Alex said, we are about to see action, whether we like it or not. Are you certain that you are up for the task at hand?"

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"Quite certain!" lied Echohead. 


He took a few deep breaths. The truth was, that whilst he had anxiety, he had a keen edge to him too. And at a certain point his anxiety distilled into a cold clarity. But even so, he was not certain. He wasn't certain about anything. 


"Besides, its too late to back out now. What am I going to do? Hitch Hike back home?"


He tried not to think about the cold merciless vaccuum of space. Of course, as anyone knew, trying not to think about a thing was a surefire way to think about it. 


"Time to suit up, I suppose" he said. "What are we looking at...and how do we get in?"

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Veronica had looked down with concern at Echohead when the AEGIS agent had collapsed, both for his wellbeing and for any complications this might cause the mission.  She was relieved when Pan had managed to get him back on his feet, though like her classmate, had some reservations about the agent's ability to continue.


Well, no time to dwell on that now.  She thought as she finished powering down the Pegasus and the unbuckled herself to climb out of her seat.  Grabbing her nearby pack, she looked over to the others.  "Well, we are not going to figure out anything just sitting around here, let us get ready to go outside and take a look, once we check the conditions out there."

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Forever Boy


"Well, we could always let you stay behind to guard the ship, I suppose?" Pan offered to Echohead, a bit half hearted. He was not about to stay behind on his own, and he doubted anyone else would. Even someone like Agent Echohead. "But fine then. Let us suit up."


He turned back to Veronica, as she powered down their craft and got ready. And he looked around at the others, a light grin playing over his lips. He raised his hand, some Pixie Dust glimmered around it, and then they all seemed to disappear. "What they cannot see, they cannot find, no? Stay close, and I will keep us hidden." He looked to the door. "Now, I would very much like to take a look at this place!"

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"No thankyou" said Echohead, more firmly. At a certain point fear solidified. 


"I think you might need me. I certainly need you. And staying on the ship is going to do anybody any good" he concluded. "And if I'm going to die, I would rather do it around friends than alone" he said, although he gulped whilst he did so. 


The invisibility dust gave him a little reassurance. 


"Well that's a trick!" he gasped. "And good fortune, too!"


He examined his own hands and found them to be invisible. It was slightly disorientating, but he got a grip of himself. "Lets go, before this wears off!"

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Veronica gave a small smile as Pan used some of his pixie dust.  "Well, it should help, but there may be security systems that this will not fool."  She stated as she checked a monitor for the state of the atmosphere outside before taking a look herself.


"Well, according to this there is a breathable atmosphere out there, but the oxygen content is well below normal Earth conditions, so we will need to use the excursion suits when we go out to compensate."


With that, the teenage Danger went over and picked up the helmet for her suit and began getting it attached.

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  • 3 months later...



Nobody could deny there were grander space castles out there. Larger, perhaps, better-formed than the sprawling, ungainly mass Blackstar called home. But none was likely to be as silent. As the travelers stepped out of the Pegasus their footsteps rang from wall to wall, echoing down the corridors of transparent crystal. 


The pressure of Castle Starshell's synthetic atmosphere was just loose enough to be unnerving, just heavy enough to be uncomfortable. Without the breathing apparatus it would have been even worse. 


The problems that did face the scouts were pretty bad, of course. For a start, how would they even find their way to anything? There was no visible interface between inhabitants and the castle, everything was massive corridors going every which way, with the central heart a truly daunting distance of miles winding around silicate arms.


Luckily, there didn't seem to be anyone around.


At all.



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For his part facsimile was unbothered by the alien atmosphere beyond the discomfort of it being different, it was part of his unique philology to simply take what he needed to survive from the ambient energies and matters of his surroundings.


That said he felt it prudent to carry the suit with him for spares and repairs and by extension the easiest way to do that was to wear it.


Ultimately it was the quiet that got to him the most and it was barely a minute before he voiced his concerns about it.


"This doesn't feel like it's on the level..." He said as he examines the seemingly abandoned fortress before him.


"If this were a lair back home it'd stink of a ambush.." bending down he set his hand against the smooth alien substances beneath him, able to feel them through the molecular gaps of his excursion suits gloves thanks to his hightend sense of touch.


"Tell me your secrets." He whispered to the ground in jest as he set himself to mimic the structure entire and absorb what information about the station he could from it.

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Forever Boy


If the others felt the need to suit up in these strange suits, then Pan would follow suit. Strapping into the same kind of suit as the one Veronica were, he was happy to lead the way outside, floating over the ground. He could have blocked the sound too, perhaps, but for now, he found it prudent to simply create an image of them not being there. They needed some way to communicate, after all.


At any rate, he had to agree with Facs. "This do feel strange. I believed the castle would be filled with enemies to evade or fight." Part of him wanted to fly ahead at speed, but he was the one keeping their presence a secret, at least for now.

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"Well for what it's worth this base is made from some seriously advanced stuff, it's doing the dakana diamond thing and it's programmable matter like if you could mess with its electrons." He explained as he examined the silvery texture of his own hand in the lights.


"Which I guess means it's gonna try and fight us off maybe, like a viral infection but with death traps and robots n junk instead of antibodies...well as soon as it notices us anyway hmm...."


The silver flowed over his form as his cells sinews and bones transmuted to the (at least to him) incomprehensibly futuristic material.


"Time to make some sufficently advanced technology happen."


First things first he needed to open the way to his allies and so he bent the programmable matter he was now made of to the task of interfacing with the station and bending it to his will, trying to open doors and reveal the secrets it's silverwalls held.

Edited by Exaccus
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  • 1 month later...



Facsimile's mind was suddenly awash in a torrent of new sensations, the taste of security protocols sizzling on his tongue as the world of electricity welcomed him into its white-hot universe of information. 


In an instant Alex was aware of exactly how many Blackguards were sleeping in the walls, the patterns of the scanners sweeping the interior, and the precise location of the Nightstone.


It slept, like the beings it empowered, like a slowly-beating heart feeding strength and comfort into the veins of so many lost, lonely souls. Even this far from it, even in just a glimpse, Alex could feel the pull of the darkness. Like a whisper soothing away thought and fear.


Come to me


Let's be together 

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