Dis Baba sighed when he heard the young beast tamer's question. "Kin society is stratified to an immense degree, young lad. However, I've already explained it at length to Luxanna of Crownguard, and given recent events I have none of the patience necessary to explain it a second time."
He would have said more, but at that point a chime rang out throughout the Common Room. Rey's wrestling ring, the Urban Warfare Arena, the bank of monitors and all the various other facilities scattered throughout the chamber disappeared as the room seemed to shrink until it was a sterile grey cube, roughly forty feet across. A portal flared into existence at the center of the newly-altered Common Room, its surface rippling through a large number of colours in a truly bewildering display; every now and then large black dots would appear in its heart, assembled in patterns resembling the faces of a die.
Dis Baba stared at the iridescent apperture, then gave a weary sigh and strode up to it. "I suppose there's no point in delaying the inevitable..."
The blue-clad alien touched the rippling portal, and with a sound like the rattle of a gargantuan pair of dice he disappeared.
Mason got up when he saw the portal. He took two steps towards the Hilux, before he thought. He then walked into the portal, wearing no body armour, and with no weapons bar his SOG Knife. To the sound of dice rolling.
"All of us have homes we wish to return to," Jack said, bowing his head. "But until the opportunity arises, we must make the best with what we have. It cannot be helped. That being said, our chances will be much greater if we make an effort to adapt. You must understand the value of teamwork, in whatever form it takes. You speak as someone who has experienced much hardship. That burden would be greatly eased if you make the attempt to work with us. You may find that the results surpass those you have achieved while working alone. It is at least worth the attempt."
Seeing the others walk into the portal, he sighed, straightened up, and walked in after them. Everyone here seemed bent on accepting these challenges. What else could he do but protect them, even from themselves?
edited 18th Mar '11 12:44:53 PM by RedCedar
A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving. -Lao Tzu
Naoto looked to the portal with a raised eyebrow, wondering what relevance dice will have with this new challenge. Perhaps it is a gambling challenge. Deciding that just standing around won't answer questions she walked through the portal as well.
The doors to Ravage's chambers flew open, and the Predacon came hurtling out on a curving trajectory that would take him straight into the portal; from his startled outburst and vicious profanities, it was clear that the transmetal panther was being carried towards the apperture against his will.
"Slag it!" he snarled as he was hurtled into the portal, disappearing with another roll of those invisible dice.
Rey looked up, then sighed softly, patting the Engineer a couple more times. "You're a good listener, Eng, but looks like it's time for me to go to work." He stood, moving to step into his armor, letting it close around him, then flicked down the visor and followed the others into the portal.
The first thing Ravage noticed upon entering the portal was the noise; his audio receptors were assailed with the hustle and bustle and assorted commotion common to all large crowds everywhere. People were talking, people were shouting, merchants were hawking their wares, and all throughout the constant drone of hundreds of feet moving at various speeds over what felt like cobblestone provided a lulling undercurrent.
Then his optic sensors came alive with visual data, confirming the Predacon’s suspicion that this was a fairly large city of some sort. He stood near the center of a vast square, easily three hundred feet across and bisected by the gentle curve of a mighty river from the northwest to the southeast, and all around him men, women and children clad in robes, tunics and jerkins milled about aimlessly or bartered and haggled with the plethora of merchants whose stalls lined the perimeter of the vast space.
There was something odd about these people, however; they displayed an unusual variety of physiological traits and features not normally found amongst humans. Some were tall, slight and had pointed ears, while others were a few heads shorter than their compatriots but compensated for their lack of height with broad, stocky bodies laden with muscles and thick beards. Still others were even smaller, though their features suggested nothing remotely childish, and for a moment Ravage wondered what sort of pygmies these wee folk might be; his lips curled in disgust when he saw that some of these diminutive humanoids were not merely barefoot, but that said feet were covered in a thick layer of hideous fur.
The Predacon tore his attention away from the vile organics and focused on the city itself. Large buildings, hewn from locally-quarried stone and arranged into mighty spires and edifices of granite and brass, stretched several stories into the air and dominated the skyline, and from somewhere in the distance the resonant peals of a great bell tower rang out, sounding the hour out as five past…whatever these people used as the day’s median.
Beyond the majestic spires of the skyline, the horizon was blue and dominated by white clouds, much like the planet he loathed so much. it was immediately clear, however, that this was thankfully not Earth; after all, Earth did not have three moons hanging in the evening sky like a quartet of red, blue, green and yellow marbles.
Ravage looked down at himself, deciding to see whether or not this challenge had wrought yet more changes to his body. He quickly learned that this was indeed the case; while his talons and shoulder blades retained their lethal sharpness, and a quick inspection revealed that his tail blade had not lost its edge, his patches of black fur were gone, leaving his appearance entirely mechanical. Furthermore, parts of his arms, legs and torso had been replaced with transparent panes of glass—or some glasslike substance, at any rate—revealing that his complex Cybertronian inner workings had been replaced by the no-less-complex but far more primitive gears, cogs and ticking pendulums of clockwork technology. Ravage flexed his fingers, noting that they clicks and whirrs accompanied their every movement, and he stalked over to the river to get a look at his reflection.
His face looked like a ceramic mask of some sort, as though someone had only fashioned his head after the rest of his body was finished and stuck it on to provide a decorative touch to an otherwise urbane machine, and while his mouth moved, the ears twitched and his eyes glowed and shifted as normal, no other part of his feline visage moved at all.
“I say,” said a chipper voice from somewhere near the Predacon’s thigh, “what a fancy golem ye are! Were be yer owner?”
Ravage fixed his gaze upon a garishly-dressed, colourful little fellow in a bizarre set of robes. He bore bundles of what the panther could only assume were relatively-advanced devices, a pair of markedly mismatched goggles, a meticulously-trimmed goatee that was at odds with his unkempt hair, and a smug little grin.◊
Ravage could do little more than sigh and bring a hand up to his face. “Primus give me strength,” he muttered.
Subaru stepped through the portal and was surprised to see the city around her. People, not all human, moved back and forth in what seemed like the Medieval equivalent to rush hour.
Subaru stopped speaking, as her voice had changed slightly. It had a slight…mechanical change to it.
Looking down at herself, Subaru found that she had been…modified.
She was just a tad taller than normal, but the biggest change was her body. Now it seemed she was directly mechanical, with her skin seemingly made up of light silver armor of some sort, with a darker material running underneath. Revolver Knuckle was still on her right arm, and Sword Breaker on her left, but they also had been changed slightly, seemingly inscribed with some sort of glyphs that glowed and their color matched her skin.
Mach Caliber was still on her feet…or rather it was her feet. It had been changed like Revolver Knuckle.
“This is…new.” She still had her magic; she could feel it still, so that had not changed.
Looking over the water, Subaru stared at her reflection. Her mouth was gone, replaced by some sort of mask. Her eyes glowed a gentle green, her hair was still blue but it was not really hair anymore but a stylized helm of some kind.
“I look like a medieval robot.”
Looking over at Ravage, Subaru blinked,
“And so do you.”
-Isaac awakes to find himself in an animated town, not unlike those he has encountered before in his travels. Wondering if perhaps he has returned to Weyard, he sets off to explore the town.-
-The Dullahan manifests itself in a dark cellar.-
-Far away to the south, a heavy splash as something disturbs the waters...-
Sub-Zero appeared in the square. He saw that this was clearly not the place for a battle. He spotted Ravage and headed over.
"Turned to clockwork, eh?" said Sub-Zero. "Can you still turn into a panther, or no?"
Rey found himself standing alongside the others, but for the moment was too distracted with himself to notice them.
The armor he had been wearing was still there, to a certain degree...black gauntlets and gloves, with guards over his legs, stomach and chest. Under those, however, was now a dark red robe, one that he immediately recognized as being similar to the clothes he had worn as an altar boy in his youth. A white cross was emblazoned along one side of the robe's skirt, and he reached up and felt a hood that was on the back, which when pulled up, was enough to cast his entire face in shadow. He still had Mal-Keshar's sword at his side, tucked into a leather holster from a belt around his side, which also had a small, though thus far empty pouch balancing the sword on the other side.
"Well...isn't this interesting."
As Jack emerged from the portal, looking around, he immediately felt more comfortable. The Common Room, for all its luxuries, was a prison. This place was something he knew well. It might have been one of the western cities from his own time and world, save for the other peoples, which called to mind the towering, dark dwellings of the future. It was likely sorcery existed here. He stepped to the side to take in as much as he could while removing himself from the way of the passerby. It was at that point that he noticed his own appearance had changed, and he looked down at himself in mild surprise.
He wore heavy steel plate armor, polished to a mirror sheen, under a blue-and-white tabard. The armor covered almost all of him, complete with gauntlets and heavy boots. Jack had worn armor on occasion, enough to dislike its encumbrance, but it had its merits as well. His sword, at least, hadn't changed, and hung at his left side as it always had. A none too gentle nudge at his shoulder alerted him to the presence of a horse standing just behind him, saddled and ready to ride. Jack smiled, stroking the creature's nose to quiet it down for a minute.
Looking around, he saw a few of the other champions, and, taking hold of the reins, managed to make his way over to them.
"Excuse me," he said. "But we cannot delay in finding out why we are here and where, in fact, we are. And we must remain together."
A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving. -Lao Tzu