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Cause [1.2.2]

In Void, the dimension of extended night and sister dimension to Zion, a young Voidian was sat on a rooftop watching the street below fill with people who were gathering to hear the King’s address. He received a message on his wrist phone and glanced at it.

 

 Ra Keep me posted

will do. Mi 

 

With the conversation already over, and the hubbub dying down, the Voidian turned and watched Voidian King Eidolon give his address.

The Voidian King lived up to his name as ruler of Void. He was huge, standing at the height of two average men, with a massive body. Behind the extensive armour were layers of rippling muscles – pure strength. The helmet on his head was ornate and covered the face save for the mouth, with two large rectangular slits for his eyes. On his back he bore a gigantic sword the size of a man, and an inch thick. Given how thick it was, most Voidians assumed he used it to batter and club at his enemies, rather than slice and chop them. There was no doubt about it, though: Voidian King Eidolon was a fearsome sight.

“Voidians. Today I have just one thing to discuss with you all.”

His voice rang out over the crowds of people.

“There have been multiple reports of dreams where a figure that calls itself Antumbra threatens to destroy the universe that is under our care. There are further reports that there is a black mark in the Reaches that is growing in size. I am here to tell you that there is no truth to these rumours – we are absolutely safe.”

 

he says we’re safe. Mi 

 Ra Bullshit

 

“All you must do is act as you usually would: listen to the Officials, take care of each other, and continue being the law-abiding citizens I know you all are.”

 

“continue being the law-abiding citizens I know you are.” Mi 

 Ra Oh my god

 Ra Is he fucking kidding me

 

“Now, if I hear any more reports of dreams of this nature, or of the hole in the Reaches, I would like you to remain quiet about it. It may just be a fluctuation in the psychic power of the universe, which is affecting you. Remain vigilant, my people, but do not remain afraid. We have nothing to fear, and I am confident that the Zionid King will tell his people much the same thing.”

And with that, the Voidian King gave a mighty nod and turned back to re-enter his palace, accompanied by a retinue of six Voidian Officials. The Voidians began to talk amongst themselves in groups as they dispersed back to their homes. The glittering starlight above lit everything dimly, giving the Voidian on the rooftop enough light to see his wrist phone.

 

so yeah… Mi 

this was pretty worthless. Mi 

 Ra Seems so

 Ra Never mind, just get over here quickly

 Ra We’re going to have to take matters into our own hands

on my way. Mi 

 

With a hop, skip and a leap, Mizar jumped from the roof and landed with a boom in an empty alleyway two stories below. He began to run towards home, to take matters into his own hands. Like Zion, Void’s apartments were octagonal affairs – four bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom, exit and a wall for the viewport.

These apartments were stacked on top of one another, with a stairway circling around the outside of each tower, stopping on each floor to allow access to the apartment that was there. Unlike Raziel, Mizar had been unable to get a highly-prized ground-floor apartment, and he had to ascend eight floors to get to his front door.

Rana and Fafnir barely looked up as the door opened and Mizar entered. Saiph, the other male living in the area, gave a nod.

“Hey homeslice, how’s it hanging?”

“Fine thanks.” Mizar said. “Well, Faf, you were right. Totally pointless to go listen.”

“Told ya!” Fafnir replied. “It’s a good job we didn’t r-eidolon-g with you, huh?

Fafnir, sitting on the sofa opposite her, smiled at her own joke. Fafnir was a comedienne, not a fighter, and so she didn’t wear the usual grey cloth and black armour than most Voidians wore; instead, she donned a black dress with grey trousers. Rana, a true Voidian warrior, wore functional armour that did nothing to accentuate her body. As always, her sword was close to hand, much like Mizar’s was, swinging in the scabbard on his belt. Rana remained stony-faced as she watched Fafnir grin.

“Regardless, we have to act. Sit down, Mizar.”

Mizar took a seat next to Saiph – wearing his stupid hoodie as usual – on the other sofa. Rana nestled further into her armchair and gave the other Voidians a pensive look.

“We need to sort this out. These dreams are not meaningless, and we all know that.” she said.

“The Zionids reported similar dreams, right?” asked Fafnir, glancing sidelong at Mizar. He nodded. “Yeah, Raziel said him and his friends have been having them.”

“So what’s the dilly with Antumbra?” asked Saiph. “And why are we wigging out about them? They’re just dreams, right?”

“No.” Rana replied vehemently. “It was a long travel, but I went to the edge of Void the other day. I went to see the Reaches, and I can confirm that there is a gaping black hole in the ceiling that is growing in size. But when will it be large enough to begin whatever destruction this Antumbra has planned?”

“We don’t know, and that’s the problem.” Mizar replied.

“Spoken to Denneb?” asked Rana. Mizar looked at her. “Are you insane? However friendly he might be, he is an Official. If we’re planning something, I don’t want the Kings to know just yet.”

“True.” Rana replied. She sighed. “Dammit. What are we supposed to do?”

“Could you talk to Raz?” asked Fafnir.

“I suppose. I don’t know how much he’ll be able to help, but sure.” Mizar said. “Tomorrow, though, please. I’ve been up for way too long without sleep, unlike the rest of you lazy lot.”

Rana allowed a brief smile to appear on her face. “Alright.”

Mizar stood up and nodded at the group. “Goodnight.”

Within moments, his door was closed and the hub room was quiet.

“Now what?” asked Saiph. “We chilling, or we going to dip?”

Rana fixed him with a no-nonsense glare. “We are not chilling. We have a serious problem, and not much time.”

“Right. Better bounce to my crib, then. Night, chicas.” Saiph said, pointing two finger-guns at the girls and winking. Rana sighed in exasperation and made a move to draw her sword, which never failed to get Saiph, the coward, out of the room quickly.

There was a few more seconds of silence.

“And then there were two.” Fafnir said.

“Yes.” Rana replied. “Since it is just us two… perhaps I can relent.”

“Oh?”

“Find those Earth co-ordinates again. Let’s keep watching the real-life chick flick.”

Fafnir almost exploded with excitement. “Yes! Let’s do it. If we use these co-ords, and the set the year as Earth 1995, we should find… there it is!”

The friends sat and began to watch more of the lives of the humans of Earth.

Soon enough, Rana began to take advantage of her friend’s happy mood.

“Hey.”

“Hm?”

“What did you and Miz do today?”

“Oh, not a lot.” Fafnir replied. “Wandered into the centre, sat around the monument and chatted for a good while.”

“What did you talk about?”

“I don’t really remember. A ton of stuff!”

“Huh. Sounds good.”

“Yeah, it was.” Fafnir said with a smile. “Tried some of my new material on him, too… got a few good laughs.”

“I see… so, do you like him?”

Fafnir sat up and faced Rana. “I mean, of course I do. You think I’d have moved in with him otherwise?”

Rana stared her prey down, and closed in for the kill.

“Do you like-like him?”

“I’d like-like him to do the washing up more than once a week.”

Rana stared.

All that, and absolutely nothing.

Fafnir might be relaxed, but she let nothing slip past the facade.

“Fair enough.” Rana said, and went back to watching the human girls have an argument over something meaningless.

“What did you do today, Rana? Did you even leave the house?”

“Of course I did.” Rana snapped.

“…OK?”

“I went shopping. Did some training. That’s all.” Rana said.

Fafnir took a sip of her drink, which had been sitting on the coffee table going cold. She made a distasteful face and put it back.

“You’re worried about this competition, aren’t you?” she guessed.

“A little. Lots of good people entering this time. Of course, the fact that Officials are allowed to enter doesn’t make it any fucking easier.” Rana said.

“Officials? Oh wow, they’re not even going to give you a chance this year, huh?”

“Nope.” Rana sighed.

Fafnir glanced sidelong at her. “Are there any really skilled Officials? Alcor might talk up a storm about his skills, but he’s only average – nowhere near your level.”

“Yeah, he’s not excellent. A good 70% of the Officials are decent, I’d say. Denneb and Caroli, though… they’re far more skilful than they let on. Denneb doesn’t like to fight, but I’ve seen him in combat. He works his way through defences at a speed I don’t think I could even deal with.” Rana said, eyes closed, recalling the scenario in her head where she had watched Denneb training in private. “He decimates everyone he meets. Caroli is probably not as good offensively, but she has decent defensive knowledge, even of the higher-level stuff. It’d be hard to make a dent in her endless onslaught of parries.”

“I’ll pretend any of that made sense.” replied Fafnir, who was no fighter herself.

“Doesn’t matter.” Rana said. “Just stream of consciousness, really. Let’s get back to the show.”

“You said it, girl.”

The girls fell into silence, watching the viewport in the darkness of the hub room.

Meanwhile, Saiph slept, and Antumbra crept into his dreams.

“The hole will open. I will arrive soon, and destroy your world and everything you hold dear. I shall not hold back my immense power. The universe itself will crumble under my strength.”

Mizar couldn’t sleep.

Cause [1.2.1]
Cause [1.2.3]

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