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Z-Space

The AnneX

August 20th 2019, 5 PM, Earth Prime Pacific Time Zone

 

Z-Space was quiet, as it usually was. The sky and almost everything that could be seen were swirling patterns of randomly intermixing colors, each heralding its own universe or dimensions. Stray bits and pieces of known and unknown universes, giant rocks with strange architecture floating through the sea of color, everything appearing close enough to touch, no matter where you stood. Everything that had fallen between the cracks of its own reality or out of its own broken reality were here. High above, but still seeming so close, a giant derelict vessel drifted by, pushing by multiversal waves, buffetted between the emissions of energy released by cosmic destroyers and defenders of each individual universe.

 

This was Z-Space. Chaos and peace at once. A window in to all the universes that were, could be and might be. And on a particularly large piece of rock, perhaps one quarter the size of Manhattan, in a structure that had been dubbed the AnneX by its occupant, a purple portal appeared to lead Justice and the Meta-Naut into Z-Space.

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Justice

 

Not that they could really see much of that, when the people-sized purple portal opened up inside the AnneX, which didn't really have any windows. Not that Robin hadn't though about getting some windows set up, but the entire structure had king of been there already, and she'd just gotten to work actually putting things inside it. 

 

"Ta-daa! Welcome to the AnneX!"

 

The portal opened up into an armory, where the Meta-naut would be able to recognize the hammer and blaster that Justice had used before, along with a sword with a black hilt and no guard. All three weapons were carefully placed on a weapon rack, with some different pieces of armor and equipment, including not just the armor that she had worn, but several other pieces of armor that seemed compatible with it. Her motorcycle was parked in the same room, with a pulled down gate on one end of the room, and a door leading further into the building on the other.

 

"So, what do you think?" Truth to be told, she was a bit nervous. The only other person that'd ever been here was Shrike, and that had been a whole other weird thing, so she hadn't really had time to show off her place. "I've got beds and a kitchen, a library, my workshop and laboratory, and a bunch of other neat things."

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The Meta-Naut

 

The Meta-Naut looked around curiously. Initially, she had expected things to be... stranger. Right now, it looked like the interior of a conventional, albeit impressive, building. She had expected levitation and counter-intuitive physics, maybe some weird architecture. But, she was impressed all the same. And besides, it wasn't like she was going to badmouth someone's place when she was their guest. 

 

She smiled over at Justice. "Well, when we work together in the future, it'll be cool to know there's a place we can go afterwards," she said. "Must be weird to sleep between realities. Still, this is really cool."

 

She looked over at Justice. "So. I want to see your lab first, then your workshop, then your kitchen, okay? Unless it's off-limits, which, you know, I get. But I'd really appreciate it."

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Justice

 

When we work together in the future, she said! Awesome! Yes, working together with another hero, just like that! So awesome! Robin was one huge grin, standing with her hands on her sides, just looking at the Meta-Naut taking everything in. This was so cool! 

 

"Well, I haven't really slept here all that much..." She trailed off for a moment, before continuing. "Well, except when I worked on something and sorta forgot the time and... never really made it to the bed... but ANYWAY! Yes, really cool! And yes, you can see it all, not like you're gonna try to steal my tech to turn it into some kind of doomsday device or anything like that after all, right?" She paused again. "Not that it could become a doomsday device, no. Of course not." 

 

So, right. Lead the way. Show off! Continuing in through the kitchen, which was a table, a stove and oven, a microwave, a fridge and some chairs, she turned sharp to the right to lead into the workshop, which was honestly, kind of a mess. A rectangular room with tables, equipment and tools everywhere, most of the tables absolutely filled with devices and gadgets in various stages of completion. Robin blinked a bit at the mess. She should probably have cleaned this place up, but... eh. Too late for that.

 

"Soo, I kind of, uh, used to borrow the 3D printer and discarded stuff from the university to make my stuff, before I found my way here. Now I mostly use stuff I found out there." She motioned back to the garage-slash-armory they had left with her head. "Things tend to get kinda screwy out there, all kinds of random stuff falling out of the sky, weird materials to mine and such."

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The Meta-Naut

 

The Meta-Naut could not help herself. She only barely managed to suppress a squeal when she saw the workshop, and started moving around, looking through all the various half-finished gadgets. She could appreciate more fully now that she was in the presence of a true intellect. Not that she couldn’t before, but all of this really hammered home just how brilliant Justice really was. When she mentioned having to borrow a 3D Printer, it just came spilling out.

 

“I can get you funding to build whatever you like,” she said. Then, she paused. “I know this lady, Raya Wells. Runs Compass Rose International, and she funds my stuff. I know for a fact that she would be super jazzed about investing in anything you have going. No return expected or anything. She’s cool like that.”

 

She looked over at Justice expectantly. “I mean… If you still… If you would want that. It sounds like this dimension provides a lot but you know. Could be cool to have a more steady supply of stuff,” she said, shrugging and trying to look nonchalant.

 

“You’re pretty clearly some kind of super-genius.”

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Justice

 

Robin paused as the Meta-Naut blurted out that she could get Robin actual funding. Not so much because of the offer of funding, but because of where that funding would come from.

 

"You know Raya Wells?" 

 

Now it was Robin's turn to squeal, and she honestly didn't even think about suppressing it, instead doing a small jump with her hands clasped in front of her chest. 

 

"She's so awesome! All the stuff Compass Rose is doing, spaceships, going into space, that's just, so, so... so awesome!" She was just a bundle of joy now, and honestly, she didn't really mind. She was practically bouncing into the room, before stopping and pausing, quickly shaking her head to try and get some sense back. "Err, I'll have to think about it, obviously, but I wouldn't really object to some kinda funding. I got the ideas and everything, but, y'know, sad thing is that science doesn't happen from nothing, right? I mean, I've made do pretty well so far, even if my first suit was just a collapsible costume in a belt, but, maybe? I hope that's alright?" 

 

She froze as she realized the implications of the last sentence. "I don't know if I'd go as far as to call me a super-genius or anything like that. I just got a lot of good ideas?" She felt kinda uncomfortable at the idea, really. Sure, she was smart, she knew that, but she didn't like to be put on a pedestal like that.

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The Meta-Naut

 

The Meta-Naut realized she had made things awkward, which was no good at all. She wandered over and patted Justice on the shoulder. "Look, I just meant... Genius isn't just smarts, you know? It's creativity and the ability to go through with those ideas you have. Not everyone could do what you did. I certainly couldn't. You should be proud of what you achieved. Maybe virtuoso is a better term, or something?"

 

She shrugged and backed off. "Anyway, yeah, I know her. Keep it to yourself, though, I'm only telling you because I feel like you're the sort of person you can trust with that information. She's a pretty private lady."

 

She wandered away, heading back over to one of the tables and looking over the assembled objects, and then over at Justice. "Anything in particular you're working on at the moment? Maybe got some new tricks for the bad guys?"

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