As you stand there in the darkness, the only lights the stars outside, you find yourself floating off the deck. “What’s going on?” one of your companions screams. It sounds like the woman who’s missing her daughter’s wedding.
“The main power grid just went down,” Anila says calmly. “No, this isn’t normal.”
“Actually, it’s never happened before that I know of,” Minerva says.
Before anyone else can speak gravity returns and you’re dropped back to the station floor. You hear cries from all along the corridor, and the teenage girl with you screams in pain. Amber colored lights flare to life all along the wall and floor.
Minerva goes to the teenage girl’s side. “Her arm’s broken, Anila,” she says.
“I’ll have to take them to the med bay. The core doesn’t want me using my healing gift outside my Multiverse. She says it’ll upset Lhia,” Anila says.
“Gods forbid we upset that woman,” Minerva says with a shudder. “She’s unnerving to me and I’ve met Death Lords in person.” She picked the teen up as if she weighs nothing. “Lead the way. She’s going to be too dizzy to walk on her own.”
“All right everyone,” Anila says as the rest of you get back to your feet. “Slight detour. This way.” She heads forward but takes a quick right down a side corridor.
You reach a lift. “Is it going to work?” the priest asks. “Your power is out.”
“The station has multiple backup systems,” Anila says. “One of which is the fact that if the main power grid goes out we have magical means of making the technology work. While we’ve never actually lost power before – that we can remember at least – it doesn’t mean we aren’t prepared for it happening.”
You climb into the lift and Anila touches a point on the blank wall. There’s a definite shift in the feel of movement in the elevator car but you can’t quite put your finger on what. In a much shorter time the doors slide open and you walk out onto a floor that has the faint smell of antiseptic cleaners.
There’s only one set of doors visible on this floor, other than the lift you just exited. Anila leads you down the hall and through these massive doors. You find yourself in a room full of strange and unusual technology. There are beds, large hoops in the air that look as if they’re on some kind of hydraulic system to be raised and lowered, and multiple screens with options for readouts.
A tiny woman even shorter than Anila walks forward. Her body is enhanced by a skin tight bodysuit that shows you that she is well muscled and only has faint hints of her femininity. Even her face doesn’t reflect a very feminine appearance. “Anila, who are these people and what happened to the girl Minerva’s carrying?” she asks. Her accent is thick but you can still understand her.
“Lhia, the power’s out,” Anila says.
“I was wondering why Donnevon contacted me about a potential attack,” Lhia says. “He’s so paranoid these days. Good thing Aushka was with him.”
“I’m glad. Donnevon on a rampage is the last thing we – and the station core – needs right now,” Anila says. “This girl is a visitor and when the gravity came back on she fell and broke her arm.”
“Even the gravity went out? I’m so glad the station core insisted my med lab be on a completely separate power grid,” Lhia says. “I have a feeling she’s just the first of my visitors.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised,” Minerva says. She lays the girl on one of the beds.
Lhia pulls a device out from under a cabinet. “I don’t know why that one Multiverse has better regenerative tech than mine does,” Lhia says as she walks over to the girl. She brings a panel down and a light blue light covers the very obvious break. “You’ve broken your radius and cracked the ulna. Thankfully they weren’t both broken.” She wraps the device around the girl’s arm. “This’ll have you ready to go -.” Lhia pauses, frowning at the readout. “How long have you had your blood clotting disorder?”
The girl is very pale as she looks at Lhia. “I’ve had it since I was a baby,” she says.
Lhia looks back at all of you. “Anila, you need to leave her here. If this was an ordinary break I’d be fine turning her loose as soon as the regenerator is done,” she says. “But I want to make sure she doesn’t have any blood clots. Those will kill her.”
“I’ll let the station core know she’s in here,” Anila says.
“If you can even get to the core,” Lhia says. “I was here the last time the power went out. She – she wasn’t available to any of us for three weeks. She scared us all.”
“It isn’t that bad, is it?” Minerva asks.
“I don’t know. Nariel might, or one of the ones she’s really close to,” Lhia says. “She hasn’t even played in my Multiverse for months.”
“Who are her current favorites?” Anila asks.
“I don’t know. She hasn’t been able to commit to anything recently,” Lhia says.
Nariel’s familiar digital form appears. “Manas, Lilavati, Ludger, Valeska, Mora, and Taris are her favorites right now,” she says. “I can’t find the first four but Mora and Taris aren’t that far away. They’re on Rec 6.”
“That’s only a few floors below us,” Anila says. She looks at all of you. “Rec 6 is one of the recreation floors on the station. We’re such a varied lot that the core insists on us having multiple places to go for entertainment.” She frowns. “But Rec 6 isn’t exactly within Mora and Taris’ level of tech. Is it?”
“The station core thinks they might be from a dystopian future,” Nariel says. “Like me, Wyld Kard, and Maverick.”
“A dystopian future with magic,” Lhia says. “Interesting.”
“You take care of your patient. I’ll take them to see Mora and Taris,” Anila says. “Come on. We need to find out what’s going on and it’s always her favorites who know the best.” She leads you out. You look over your shoulder at the girl you’re leaving behind, but she seems to be in good hands.
“I’ll see if I can make it to the core on my own,” Minerva says. “Sometimes she’ll talk to one of us over anyone else.” She vanishes.
“What did she mean ‘one of us?'” one of the other sin the group asks.
“Minerva, Amber, Jallorian,” Anila says. “They’re three of the ancient dragons from my Multiverse. Sometimes they can get her to talk to them over any of the rest of us because they don’t think like we do.” Anila pauses. “Well, this new incarnation of me thinks similarly to them in some ways but I’m still not the best person to talk to the core.”
“Is seeing the core the only way to go home?” the guy in the D20 t-shirt asks.
“If it’s even possible to send you lot back to where you came from, the core is the only one who can do it. This is her world, after all,” Anila says. She shakes her head. “I still want to know how you guys ended up here instead of our expected guests.” She leads you back to the lift and touches the panel again “Rec 6 here we come.”
to be continued…