Voidrealm: In Search of the Master

January 11, 2015:

Carol and Cal journey to Voidrealm to see what's on the other side of the Black Valley Rift

Voidrealm

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

It's been a bit since Cal and Carol and Jericho last talked about going through the rift. The consensus was that only two of them could go directly through it. But Cal, able to mimic Illyana's power of opening stepping disks might be able to get Jericho through on the other end. The hacker himself has been a bit busy but not so busy that he hasn't had time to observe the comings and goings of the Russian military at the base. Things are… tense there. The rift has been open for way longer than the cycle predicted and there's rumors that there might be something on the other side keeping it open. Since things on the other side generally prove hostile, that's kind of a bad thing.

It's late at night, the guards are tired and it's near the change of watch, which is why Jericho has picked this time to signal Cal and Carol to go through. One simple set of pyrotechnics to ruin everyone's night vision before they go in and they shouldn't have any problems. Not on this side anyway. The rift itself seems to have a rough passage through and who knows what's on the other side…

"Okay… I'll be waiting in Limbo for your portal. Hope this works. Either way, good luck. Pyro in three… two… one…

White light throws everything into stark relief for a blinding second.

-

Cal's not certain if trying to teleport through a dimensional rift will work or not. Or something much worse than merely not working. That doesn't stop him from porting them right to it though. Armored up and hovering in mid air thanks to Colossus' and Phoenix' powers respectively, he and Carol *BLINK* to within just a few feet of the rift as Trent hits one and then he's flying through it, planning to take immediate evasive action as soon as he hits the other side.

-

Carol hasn't had a chance to fly into alien space in a good, long while. It's almost exciting! But it's probably best not to let the other people involved know that she's getting a rush out of legitimate threat of death. They usually take that poorly. "Let's do it," she nods to Cal as the distraction begins, flying into the rift.

-

There's a bright flash of light that is not from Jericho's pyrotechnics as they enter the rift and then a sudden sense of rushing at great speed. Stars are blurring past them and there's no clear sense of up or down. Worse, there seems to be debris of some kind in the rift itself. It's spinning, floating, rushing past them as well. One flashes by with half of the Russian Flag on it. Others have fragments of writing in cyrillic. There's a definite direction, though, to their travel. It twists and turns and seems to loop in on itself sometimes, but they're clearly going somewhere…

If they don't get shredded first.

-

Dodging was easier when Cal had Northstar's powers but he couldn't fly armored up. Being slower but more durable has its advantages, especially when you add in telekinetic forcefields ahead of you shaped much like the prow of an icebreaker to route the debris to the sides of them. 'Looks like the Russian vessel couldn't withstand the stress.' he sends to Carol telepathically. Did he ever mention he could do that? Maybe not.

-

Flying, at least, is Carol's specialty. And it doesn't hurt that she's pretty hard to actually hurt, too. The larger pieces she dodges around. The smaller tend to bounce off. Nor is this the first time she's had a voice in her head. « Probably a good thing we didn't try to bring Sam through here, too, » she replies, forming the words in her mind.

-

It probably is. The wingpack would have had a hard time standing up to this. Whether or not anyone got to the other side from the Russian craft is a good question. There were, at least, no bodies floating in this place between places.

The gravitational stress picks back up and after a limb shearing moment that stretches out way too long for comfort there's a rapidly approaching white light, another flash and they're on the other side. The rift itself looks the same but they're on a field of greyish stone. All around them are impact craters for miles. Mountains rise in the distance in two directions and the sky is reddish. It's night, seemingly, but none of the constellations are right.

In the distance, toward the mountains there are lights though from here it's impossible to tell from what.

-

As soon as they break out into the open, Mimic is zooming up and to the side. Better safe than sorry, after all. But at the lack of a response to their arrival, an immediate one anyway, nor any actual visible installation monitoring things, he slows in order to take a look around. « Well, I'd say this wasn't what I was expecting except it mostly is. But busier. Can they really not be keeping an eye on it? »

-

Cal goes up and Carol goes low, instinctively dropping below the radar. Or where radar would normally be in her experience, at least. « Maybe they know something about it we don't, » Carol posits. « Could be giving off something harmful. Or maybe they're the religious sorts and we're about to get attacked for violating their sacred places. »

-

There's no attack immediately forthcoming but… is that a horn sounding in the distance? There, a long, low tone fading away through the wind. And then another, answering it some miles further… er, cardinal directions are kind of hard to tell here. But further away. And then another. Either they came just in time for the midnight chorus, or they've been spotted. The second hypothosis seems to have some support as Cal can see from his vantage point a trio of figures make off at speed - possibly riding something - toward the lights in the distance which seem to be some kind of large settlement from up here.

-

« Looks like they just didn't want to be too close. » Cal tells Carol. « Seems like they were keeping watch after all and are now going to tell their bosses. Low tech world? We should stick around close enough to see how they respond. It'll tell us something. »

-

« Sure, that sounds…not entirely like it'll end with us running across this strange planet for our lives, » Carol replies, as a rush of strange memories flashes through her mind. There are strange creatures, aliens, foreign planets. And power. Power that dwarfs even what she can do now. Burning through her. It's all there, and then she clamps down on it, hard. « I'm going down, » she says, light shimmering around her as she changes into something a little more post-apocalyptic - battered pants and layered shirts.

-

There's also, now, a party approaching. Bigger than the one that went back. A dozen? Fifteen? Something like that. They're on animals that look kind of like horses but, on closer inspection, are vaguely lizard-like and seem to have fangs. They're also armed with… guns? Something. It looks techy. And they're… kind of dressed like Carol is now. Or like Mad Max extras. There's a bit of time before they arrive though, for the two rift-hoppers to decide if they really wanna stick aorund to say hi.

-

Cal stays where he is to use the higher vantage point to his advantage. « Party approaching. » he tells Carol. « Riding animals. But carrying what's probably some kind of gun. Strange mix of high and low tech, assuming they are. Definitely not baseline human. If this is a world of mutants, they might have invented things to neutralize powers that we don't have. Might be wise to go. » It's half a question.

-

« You stay up there, » Carol advises, watching what she can. « Let's see what we can manage here. How do you feel about playing a little bit of chase? » She doesn't bother with words this time, envisioning a chase scene as she runs from him. The intent is clear: Carol's just a refugee here, being chased by someone who may or may not be an enemy. With each of them apparently on a different side, they've got a fifty percent chance of someone in that party identifying with them.

-

The weapons, now that the approach party is getting closer, are clearly advanced rifles of some kind. Best guess is that they're energy weapons but they could be quite a nearly anything as Cal oberved. He's right about the odd tech admixture too. Other than the weapons and maybe some advanced binoculars, they don't see to have any. No communicators, radios or the like, no vehicles, no advanced body armor, no rebreathers… nothing but stuff that goes boom. Which they haven't pulled out yet but they're not quite close enough for a good shot yet either. One of them turns to the lead, pointing at Carol and says something, then points up at Cal.

-

« Risky. » Which is not to say that Cal is rejecting the suggestion. « Take cover as if you're hiding from me. They've made us. I'll pretend to not have spotted you. » Which he's doing as he's talking to Carol, facing slightly away from her and scanning the ground as if searching. « What's the cover story? And do I let them capture you or blink you out? »

-

« Let's see what happens first, » Carol replies. « We could get lucky and they'll thank you for helping them take me prisoner. » This is what happens when you spend too much time working in intelligence, apparently. This becomes your idea of fun. At that, she starts to run, not away from the approaching group, but toward them, waving her arms. "Help!" she calls out in Russian.

-

The Russian actually gets a lot more of a response than anticipated. The group starts talking animatedly amongst itself and then three of them break off to ride forward. Their rifles are out, but still slung low at their sides. Once they get close enough the lead one draws up short of Carol. "Who are you who speaks the Master's language?" He demands. "And who is that above you? Friend or foe, speak quickly!"

-

Cal can't help but notice they've got company at this point, not without being obious about it. Nor can he miss Carol's shouting so he turns to look at them but remains where he is. « The master's language? » he repeats. « They're nervous. I get the feeling they're grunts. Or serfs of a sort, if master is actually accurate. Maybe you should be vague about me till we know more. »

-

Think fast, Danvers. The Russian was a gut choice. After all, they came through Russian wreckage. The man they're looking for is Russian. The rift lines up in Russia. Solid chance it would be understood. "I don't know," she answers the man, shaking her head quickly. "I was flying, and then I was in this strange place, and there was this tearing sensation, and suddenly I was here, and he was here, and- Do you think he did it?" Dumb blonde is not her favorite role, but she's not above giving it a try.

-

Eyes travel up to Cal and then back down to Carol. The fact that they don't ''seem'' to know one another is enough to get hands to go to the grips of the rifles and the leader to signal back for the rest of his group to come up. "No. The tear has been here for a long time. Even before the Master came through. Are you an acolyite? Do you bring news of him? The Master has been long away?"

To call he calls up, again in Russian. "Come down! Have you been sent of the Master?"

-

Cal gazes down at those below as he considers a course of action. After a few moments, he slowly and gracefully floats downward toward them. "Who are you who asks of the Master?" he demands, also in Russian. "He has been gone too long and I seek word of him."

-

Carol crosses her arms over her chest, shifting slightly away from where Cal floats down. Definitely short on information here. Need more of it. "Who is the Master?" she asks, looking between Cal and the group. "Maybe things are different on the other side?"

-

"The Master is… the Master. He looks like you…" The leader of the mutant group gestures to Carol's human looking skin and hair and ears and other features. "He came through the rift. Communed with the Void. Showed us the Way. He has not been seen many cycles."

-

Cal is regarded for a moment before nodding. "The Master is not here. The Void has returned to us, but He has not. We grow restless awaiting for him. The Council mutters that perhaps he has abandoned us. Why do you seek him? And why do you seek him here?"

-

"I seek the Master anywhere." Cal informs them. "He left us to go through the rift but he has not returned. His absence is troubling and our council decided to send searchers. Many have gone through the rift to try to find him but none returned. Now it is my turn to look for the Master." Frowning, he looks at Carol. "You are not one of the searchers. Who are you?"

-

"Only a traveler," Carol replies to Cal, chin rising defiantly. "One who is familiar with the voids between the stars." She looks toward the group, then back to Cal, speculative. "If it's the void that you seek for your master, than perhaps I will be able to offer some assistance."

-

The mutant warband leader looks at the two strangers and then back to his men. His second says something in a low voice in another language and he nods. "You must meet the Council, then. If you seek the Master, or can aid in our own search, then it is they who will wish to hear about it." He seems, and is Cal can tell, genuinely relieved to have this be someone else's problem now. "Can you ride? Or have you other means of travel?"

-

"I will meet with them." Cal agrees, his tone clearly stating he's agreeing to this because it's something he wants to do. "They could prove helpful in my finding the Master. I also seek word of those who came through the rift before me." They're clearly not asking him about travels since he merely lifts off the ground a few feet and then waits. "If she cannot, I will take her with me." « You mentioned flying earlier but not how. » he sends to Carol. « Mention a device of some sort so they don't know you can fly unaided. »

-

"My ship was destroyed coming in," Carol shakes her head to the leader's question, looking to the lizard-horses for a long moment. "I'm not familiar with these beasts, but I can certainly give riding a try." Sticking with her earlier story, she still gives Cal a wide berth.

-

Cal can clearly fly so if he refuses a beast they won't press. Carol they look at for a moment and then the second turns his beast sideways to her and waits for her to climb up. Obviously, they don't have spares or remounts. "If you are armed, do not display the arms in the city. The guards will react forcefully." But they wont' search which is… interesting.

-

Cal just gives the hint of a nod at the advice and waits for the mounts to start moving. Once they do, he just floats along at the side of the one who was doing the talking. "Tell me of this world."

-

Right. Ride the weird lizard horse. Carol's no practiced rider, but she's done it a time or two, and she's athletic enough to manage getting on without making a complete fool of herself. Mostly. "I'm unarmed," she assures once she's aboard. Though she leaves out the fact that she might as well be a weapon herself.

-

The group turns and sets off. It is probably a fair six or seven miles to where the city can be seen and as they approach it's apparent that it's fairly large. A hundred, two hundred thousand people perhaps? "The Master named this place Void Realm. We have no name for it ourselves." The leader says as they ride. "He came to us ten years ago through the rift as I said. Unified a great many of the cities and tribes. Before that we fought often…" They still do. Just there's now an actual 'nation'. "This world was once, so the stories say, bright and green. But fire from the sky turned all to ash and the sky red as blood."

-

"The Master is a great leader." Cal states matter of factly. "It is no surprise to hear of what he has done for your people. How long ago was he last here?" As they travel, he studies the terrain they pass through and the various mutants.

-

Carol seems content to let Cal do the talking for now. Instead, she watches where they ride, tracking the direction and distance from the rift in the void. Their way home. The size of the city, the type of construction used. The people here.

-

The constuction is ramshakle an the organization of the outskirts of the city fairly nonexistant. As they move in past the 'suburbs' there's evidence of constuction techniques that they clearly don't know how to use or maintain anymore. Larger buildings are made of metal and stonework but are in disrepair. The mutants themselves are of several types many of whom seem moderately superior to baseline human in terms of their physical attributes. Colored skin, pointed ears and fangs are all fairly common mutations. Perhaps there's one or more 'subtypes' here that breed true.
"The Master is a ruler born." The leader agrees as they make their way toward the most impressive building in the city. "There were none who could oppose him after he communed with the Void. It conferred upon him the right to rule. But he has been missing for more than a year now."

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