Anila leads you down the hall to a door. You hear a few gasps at the Gothic style wooden aperture. “I told you he’s a vampire,” she says. “But this is more for show than anything else. He’s actually a lot older even than the stories of Dracula. I don’t know how old he is, though a few of the people from his Multiverse do.” She knocks on the door.
“Come in Anila,” a deep, rich voice says.
Anila sighs and pushes open the door. “Maverick and Wyld Kard did come remind you of the rules, right?” she asks.
“Yes they did. I’m rather displeased that Nariel felt it necessary to send those pests to harass me, but I suppose I do have a tendency to ignore the directives of the station’s central core.”
The speaker is probably one of the most gorgeous men you’ve ever seen. His black hair is short and neatly trimmed. The beard on his face looks a little rough but is still well kept. He’s sitting with his shirt open showing off a magnificently well built body.
Anila sighs again. “Khey Lan, you know you look a little silly, right?”
Khey Lan grins, flashing a set of fangs. “I’d say our unexpected guests are pleased by what they see.”
Anila glances over her shoulder. She rolls her eyes. “Don’t get too enamored with him. If you’re not careful he will put you on his dinner menu.”
“You’ll ruin my fun if you keep this up, elf girl,” Khey Lan growls. Even that sounds sexy, and it goes deep into your soul.
“Get on with it, Khey Lan. I need to show the rest of the station to our guests and they need security clearance,” Anila says. “I also want to introduce them to the station’s core.”
“She’ll just love them. She always loves visitors to her domain,” Khey Lan says, his smile back. “Now then, let me see here. Which Multiverse are you from?”
“Nariel says they’re from 218,” Anila says.
Khey Lan raises an eyebrow. “A Multiverse where no magic exists? Where creatures such as us don’t exist as anything but stories?”
“Yes, and some rather poor ones at that,” Anila says. “I hope this will wake up their imaginations a bit more. I’m sure the station core would appreciate it.”
“You talk about this station core like it’s alive,” the priest says.
Khey Lan growls, this time without the sense of amusement in the last one. “She is alive. She is the creator of this station, and our Multiverses. You’ll be respectful or, rules be damned, I’ll tear your throat out.”
“Khey Lan, security clearances,” Anila says. “I’ll deal with this.”
“Fine.” Khey Lan presses something on his desk. Where he touches lights up, as if he were typing on a keyboard built into the surface. “They’re set. Go ahead and finish your tour. Watch out for Vixen. She’s on the warpath again. I think someone just killed one of her children.”
“Another one? How many does that she-wolf have?” Anila asks.
“I’m not sure,” Khey Lan says. “Last count was nineteen, but you know she’s virtually immortal. It doesn’t help that she’s one of the core’s first discoveries.”
Anila nods. “She is rather overpowered compared to the rest of us.” She turns and looks at all of you. “Let’s go. I can take you around safely now.” She leads you back out the door.
“Who is Vixen?” another passenger asks. “And why did you call her a she-wolf?”
“Do any of you know what a dire wolf is?” Anila asks. Several of your companions say yes. “She’s a shapeshifter from a multiverse named Dykaithra. She goes from a rather tall woman to a dire wolf. She’s extremely powerful and not easily killed. So far she’s ‘died’ twenty three times and has managed to return each time.” She shrugs. “That’s the core’s gift to her, though I’m wondering if it’s more of a curse these days. She’s watched three husbands die and, as you heard, multiple children. Also her best friend abandoned her several years ago so she’s really testy.”
“I am not testy.” A heavily accented voice echoes down the hall. A Japanese woman who looks like she easily stands over six feet tall stalks towards Anila. “I am angry. I am bitter. I am cynical. I am jaded. But I am not testy.”
“I was being polite, Vixen. I didn’t want to call you a raging bitch from hell, but if you want me to I can,” Anila says.
“That fits better anyway,” Vixen says. Emerald green eyes fix on you and you see your death in them. You shudder and swallow hard. “Who are these people?”
“Guests,” Anila said. “I just got them security clearance.”
“Well, keep them out of my way,” Vixen says as she continues past you. As you turn to watch her go, you see a katana and a wakazashi strapped to her back, and two more blades that look like long knives attached to her belt.
“Before you ask, she’s a ninja trained by two very elite ninja clans,” Anila says. “I’m not going to give you her whole history. It’s in the archives if you want to see it. Now, let’s keep moving. The station is huge and we have a long way to go before we get to the core.” She starts moving forward again and you have no choice but to follow her.
to be continued…