“Hello Minerva,” Anila says with a wary smile, greeting the massive dragon with a slight bow. “No they’re not. Those visitors seem to have been sent elsewhere and we got these.”
“Oh dear,” Minerva says with a sigh. “Who’s in charge of arranging visits these days?”
“I don’t know,” Anila says. “I got pressed into being the welcoming committee about ten minutes before they arrived.” Her form begins to waver. “Again?” A few moments later the petite elf’s body solidifies again. “At least this time it’s not as bad.” Her voice holds a much colder note and her eyes are now the color of the sea – and just as cold. Her body is thin, hard, and now she’s dressed in soft leather armor. Bow guards cover both forearms. “Hm, I’m not his Bladedancer now. I wonder what she’s doing.”
“You know the core,” Minerva says. “When she gets an idea she runs with it until she either gets bored with it or until she finalizes it.”
“Speaking of finalizing things, did she ever figure out what she’s doing with that other Multiverse she’s been working on?” Anila asks.
“Actually, the core can’t decide if they’re their own Multiverse or if they’re just another part of ours,” Minerva says. “You know she’s been working with our world for over 20 years.”
“Yes, but where would they fit? She didn’t put that many continents on our planet to begin with,” Anila says.
“Excuse me, what just happened?” the young man with the D20 t-shirt asks. “You look different.”
Anila looks at him coolly. “Of course I do. I’m a new version of myself. The core is changing things again,” she says. “Apparently in this life I’m the sole survivor of the Illithri – my elven race – and the last of my kind in general. I’ve been released from the curse the Guardians laid on me by the Banished God and the God of Death.” Anila smirks. “Her sense of humor in this is very apparent.”
“Oh?’ Minerva asks. She blinks as her own form wavers and then solidifies. “Well, that’s new.”
“She’s having way too much fun with this,” Anila grumbles.
“I think her partner has something to do with our changes this time,” Minerva says.
“Her partner?” the priest asks. “She has a wife?”
Anila laughs. “She is married, and she is mostly interested in women, but no, priest. She has a husband who is a major influence on what she does with us. He’s her muse when the rest of us cease to cooperate.”
“The Banished God has to be his idea. He’s always been fond of that particular trope,” Minerva says.
“Yes, but Caer? And Raghnall? Oh, and who they team up with to save the world?” Anila laughs. “I hope this version stays, though from what I’m already sensing the core may change us again very soon.”
“Who knows with her? She’s not been in a good mood lately,” Minerva says.
“Reality isn’t being kind to her,” Anila says softly. “You know that.”
“I do. I really wish I were a creature who could enter her world,” Minerva says. “Her problems would cease to be problems.”
You’re overwhelmed by a sense of extreme power. “You aren’t the only one, dragon,” a rich, masculine voice says.
As you look up you see a tall, thin man with flame colored hair – or is he crowned in flames? You aren’t sure. He’s dressed in a loose-fitting red robe and carries a staff with several crystals embedded in it. Minerva growls when she sees the staff.
Anila bows deeply to the newcomer. “Hello Caerbre,” she says conversationally. “Or are you Raghnall today?”
“I’m Caer today,” the man says. He smiles at you. “Greetings. I am Caerbre, also known as the Banished God.” He points at Anila. “I’m from her Multiverse.”
“You cannot exist,” the priest says, holding his cross tightly. “There are no other gods but the one true god.”
Caerbre rolls his eyes. “Christianity doesn’t exist in our world, human,” he says. “I don’t think the core cares for it either. I’ve heard her rant against Christians many times.”
“Let me remind you of something here, priest,” Anila says. “This isn’t your world. This is the domain of a woman who eschews all religions from your world. She favors no gods created by any but herself.”
“She has you sounding more formal than before too,” Caerbre comments.
Anila rolls her eyes. “Looks like I’m back to being the eloquent loner,” she says with a sigh.
“At least she never made you into a cold, heartless, nearly soulless being,” Caerbre says. “I love her dearly but she hasn’t been overly kind to me in all of my incarnations.”
“You or Raghnall,” Anila says. “I still remember being his sister.”
Caerbre laughs. “Yes, we remember that one too. It’s amusing just how much I’ve learned getting merged with the boy that was – let’s see now. He was my son, my clone, and eventually my reborn soul. I love our station core. Even when she’s being a sadistic bitch from the Void.”
“I think we all do,” Minerva says fondly.
The lights flicker. “What’s going on?” the teenage girl shrieks.
Anila frowns. “A power outage? The station never loses power. That’s one of the reasons we’re all safe here.”
The lights flicker again. “I’m going to go check on the station core,” Caerbre says. In between one breath and the next he vanishes.
Minerva’s form shifts and she is now an exceptionally tall humanoid woman. “I’m going with him. Try to get them to the dormitory level before the power goes out,” she says. She too vanishes.
“Those two can teleport on their own because of their magic,” Anila says before any of you can ask questions. “It’s part of their natures. Caer, as you heard me address him as, is a god in my Multiverse. Minerva is the oldest and most powerful of the dragons living on my continent, though if we bump into Jallorian and his girls you’ll meet someone completely different.”
“Jallorian?” the young man with the D20 t-shirt asks.
“Another dragon, though if you won’t see him in his true form unless you’re really lucky,” Anila says. The lights flicker and then the whole station plunges into darkness. “Oh bloody hell.”
to be continued…