Death Of A Dimension - Part 1

Death of A Dimension - Part 1

[This is the first in a series of stories, most co-authored with DawnCharger. I think Dawn still deserves writing credit with my solo efforts too, as without their input these solo efforts wouldn’t have eventuated. I would also like to Thank Myrios “Malak” LeJeans player for allowing us to use his RP hub (The Rift) as the centre of many of these stories and for his input to the roleplay.

In this series of stories we tell the story relating to the last little while of the alternate dimension Faolán and Ceara call home. While they are ‘trapped’ in ‘our’ dimension, their sister Áinfean (the eldest of the triplets) has remained in their home dimension.

To recap; Ceara wishes to return home, while Faolán has elected to remain here with the one he’s handfasted to, Astra (Roxana’s God Daughter). Ceara is hoping that their sister can convince him that returning home is the right choice.

Before any of that can happen they need to find if there is any way to communicate with Áinfean.
Ceara has heard of an unusual bookshop called ‘The Rift’, run by a man named Myrios LeJean. The shop’s motto seems to be, “You may not find what you are looking for but you’ll probably find what you need.”

+++ Long Winded Disclaimer +++

Again I apologise for any issues missed by the “Continuity Police” These stories have grown over 3-4 years of RP. The story is slowly evolving … to help tie things together more fluidly.

I play the older versions of the triplets in game and needed a reason why the ‘usual’ theoretical issues with time travel, such as paradox and the like, were less of an issue (to me at least).

Further I wanted to avoid any situation where I may accidentally suggest that I expected another player to be ‘required’ to take some action because my character was from the future and thus knew what they were going to do. So the history between when they arrive, starting in 2019 is different to that in this dimension’s timeline.

Any interactions between the future versions of the triplets and another player has always been with the consent of that player. This also includes what may have happened to the alternate versions of their characters in the Faolán and Ceara’s home dimension. For example, the Astra character died early on in the alternate dimension, but obviously not here. I hope that makes sense.]

{{This dimension: Ceara and Alpharius goto The Rift in New York to petition Myrios LeJean for help}}

The Rift

Ceara gave Faolán a final hug after their meal. She was both happy and sad following their meeting. Rushing home, she’d changed into clothing more suited to a cold December New York.

Unlike her mum she did feel the elements more, besides it was easier to hide the thin but oh so strong laminate body armour in jeans and jackets. Before leaving her lodgings, she fires off a text to her ‘Uncle’. This little detail causes her to chuckle quietly to herself and taking on her Da’s brogue “Jazus! Yer Mum will be having kittens at uncle.”

“Uncle, we’ll meet at the little store down from Screed’s Laundromat, the one in that small alley. I believe that’s what we are looking for.” As she’s typing her message, she wonders a little at this and other differences she’d noticed from Home … here Alpharius was a whole lot more wholesome … He was definitely no angel … but he wasn’t the total co<khead the alternate Alpharius was from home.

A final check of her weapons, a knife tucked into the top of her heavy boots, Her retooled Orochi Elemental Focus hooked to her right hip and her Katana. This has required her to spend considerable time casting a glamour to hide it … the NYPD were not known for their tolerance of young ladies wandering the streets with a yard of cold, curved, impossibly sharp steel hanging from their waist.
A short time later she steps through the portal, masking the slight vertigo common to the non-Bee who had access to these pathways through other means. Slipping into the shadows to be on the safe side she quietly makes her way to the designated shop.

Taking a short steadying breath, she pushes open the door to be greeted by the gentle tinkling of an old-fashioned shop doorbell. Looking up at the offending alarm she chuckles as she stamps the cold from her feet and peels the gloves from her hands.

These mundane actions cover her careful examination of what she can see from just inside the door. All the while wondering if she’d arrived before or after Alpharius.

As it turns out, Alpharius is not far behind her, dressed in his usual garb–a nondescript green suit and overcoat, longer and heavier to fit the winter weather. His violet eyes crease in the closest thing to a smile they’ve seen in years as he nods to her, though he quickly looks around after to check his surroundings.

“Hey, pup. Interesting place.”

She returns a mischievous grin as he enters, “Hi Uncle , glad you’re punctual.” Turning back, looking at the packed shelves that seem to go in all directions … many more than you would think possible considering the relatively small frontage that the shop sported, “This place is exactly how I imagine the Tardis.”

She meanders between the racks, picking up and examining the occasional item. Looking back at Alpharius again, “I wonder if Mr LeJean is about?”

Picking up an item she examines it … a small cube about the size of a dice, but with strange hieroglyphs instead of the traditional dots. Replacing the item back on the shelf, she looks at Alpharius again “I’ve heard that you may not find what you want … but you’ll probably find what you need.”

Her attention turns to another item, this one looks a bit like a tennis racquet, but instead of strings there appears to be a place you could put your face … if you were game …”

Ceara is somewhat startled by the sudden appearance of an opening door where an instant before there were just shelves, not to mention Myrios’ appearance … and also the fact that now there was a service counter. She hurriedly returns the ‘tennis racquet’ to its place on the shelves.

Myrios LeJean slides over the bit of the counter that turned before the door.

“And you’re quite correct. You won’t necessarily find the thing you want. But you’ll find what you need. I haven’t really seen either of you here before, so is this business or personal? Your visit. And would you like tea?” He looks down at the blade.

She quickly answers “Personal.” To his question and unconsciously looks down to her glamoured blade.

Alpharius nods in greeting, his eyes scanning over the relics and curiosities of the shop.

Myrios smiles, “You can keep it on you but normally I’d ask that you leave it by the door.”, motioning to what appears to be a large umbrella bin that has several swords, a Horseman’s bow, and a mace and chain sticking out of it. “Genghis will come back for that when he remembers where he left it, I’m sure.”

Ceara shakes her head a little when told she can retain the blade, “Thank you Mr LeJean, but I am happy to follow the rules of entrance to your house.” Sliding the scabbarded blade from her belt, she pushes the Tsuba up a little to expose the Habaki, which she kisses reverently, whispering something before pushing the sword back into its scabbard completely again.

Following this she carefully places it in the receptacle with the other artefacts as she quickly glances at Alpharius, a brow slightly raised.

Alpharius touches the hilt of his own sword for a moment, then unbuckles his weapon belt and gingerly puts it beside Ceara’s. His eyebrow raises at the name drop and looks over the other weapons curiously before turning back to his companions.

“My first time here. And thank you, but I’ll pass on the tea.”

Ceara smiles as Alpharius adds his blade to the collection of weapons and nods in agreement with the statement that it was their first visit to The Rift, “Mine too. But I’d love a cuppa.”

She meanders about the shop’s racks, idly looking at various objects on display. An excuse to remain silent a little longer as she tries to work out the best way to address her problem. She looks between Alpharius and Myrios and makes the decision to just blurt it out and see where it goes from there.

“I have a problem, I don’t belong here … in this here … the here outside your shop I mean … I think …” Pursing her lips uncertainly, “I think you know me … at least I know you … I think this you … Oh Lords! This is confusing …”

Myrios is leaning his elbows on the counter. It wasn’t often that he had something that genuinely grabbed his interest. There were passing fancies: crepes, bubble wrap, the Kama Sutra (He only read it for the articles.). But it wasn’t often that his…unusual perception of time could be of any use aside from appearing like an eccentric goofball.

Alpharius interjects, “There’s two of her when there should only be one, and from the sound of things she’s from further into the future? I’m curious how this shop plays into that, though.”

Myrios’ cyan eyes intensely scrutinise the two of them, "I might know you, or we haven’t met yet, or we have but I haven’t come around that far yet. I mean, shows and all that, but outside of that it’s hard to tell.”

She looks like a slightly younger version of her mother and with just a quick glance she could easily be mistaken for her. The striking physical difference being the ritual tattoo of fangs under each eye.

His eyes turn to Alpharius. Myrios is curious as to exactly what the man knows. One thing he’s certain of is that Aath despises him but is unaware of the why.

Ceara remains silent as she watches Myrios watching … no studying the two of them.

Myrios continues, "The shop is unique…well there are several others. I have…siblings. But, inside of this shop, time doesn’t pass. You leave and the time on your watch will be exactly the same. That leaves all sorts of possibilities open when the rest of the world moves while you’re standing still. Like putting a pin through a Mobius Strip, many points in time are possible.”

“Case in point, I’m Myrios, but I could be a Myrios from a different point in time.” Reaching up to where you’d expect to find glasses, “Am I wearing sunglasses? … Nope! … So I’m at least from your point of time. Late 2019 onward I’d say."

As Myrios explains his relationship to ‘time’ her mouth opens and closes a couple of times. She nods again when he concludes that he’s … well this him … is from the early 21st century as if that made everything clear and understandable … which of course, it didn’t.

Thinking to herself, “At least Áiny would have a clue as to what the fv<k a Mobius Strip was.”

Alpharius blinks, briefly wondering if he walked into a telephone box by mistake. Settling with his back against a wall, rubbing his chin, thinking to himself, Roxana was more familiar with time travel, much to Temple Hall’s ire, but even if she wanted to share what she knew, he wasn’t going to bother her with something this massive when she was less than a month away from giving birth.

Myrios continued, “I imagine the Shop comes into this for several reasons. But I’m curious, what do you mean by the two of you? Different points in this whole linear time thing that everyone’s going on about?” Adding with a sly grin, “It’ll never catch on … Or from branching paths of history? Lateral Reincarnation, perhaps?”

Ceara tilts her head slightly to the right, nods with a slight smile.

“At first I thought the former … that I was a future version of the younger … umm… here’s Ceara. But over the last few months I’ve noticed some differences that I think are likely significant. Differences between here and home … my home I mean.”

She pauses a moment before voicing a theory she’d wondered about, “Could that mean that me and … here’s Ceara” her brow furrows a little, “Aren’t actually of the same line … of time, or reality … or something?”

Alpharius looks to Ceara, “Actually, on that topic… I think I get what you mean. You’ve mentioned differences in what you remember from your time—your future—and the here and now."

Looking at Myrios. “My nephew for one, her as yet unborn little brother by way of Aath.” He shakes his head a little, “I don’t think she’d just forget her brother.”

Ceara nods as Alpharius adds the differences she and Poo had noted, interjecting.

“Yes … yes … at home, there is no Atreus. In fact, there-mum and Leannán Roxana are friends, yes … but not as close as here … Probably because Roxana sort of pretty much left our circle after Astra died in the filth in Quebec.”

“Further …” She glances at Alpharius and says to Myrios, “To be blunt … The Alpharius back Home … He is a real cv^t … Now I don’t mean this to be insulting but the ‘here’ Alpharius, while no angel, he’s …” Grinning a little she looks back at Alpharius, “… much more wholesome.”

Alpharius gives a bit of a chuckle at Ceara’s description, thinking back to words of wisdom from Winston Churchill about being called worse things by better people. Was it Churchill? He died in '56, so Al would have been there for that … and to be fair, Al knew he was a bit of a cv^t. He made a mental note not to say that around Atreus, the kid’ll pick up enough bad habits from his big sister.

Sisters, plural, he reminds himself as he looks at Ceara. Rox just had to pull the ‘family’ card on him for this fiasco … Fv<k knows he wouldn’t be doing this for free otherwise. Though on that topic … Did that make Aath his sister-in-law now? Yes? No? Sort of? Rox swore she’d never marry again after she buried her husband, but her baby bound Al and Aath by blood. Shit Aath hadn’t even threatened to gut him since Rox conceived last May—that practically put him on her Christmas card list.

He’s brought back to the now as Ceara had continued, “Further here, as far as I can work out, there has only been one filth bomb … Home, we’ve had at least seven.” Raising a finger with each name, “Tokyo of course, but also Moscow, Beijing, Quebec, Havana, Kingston and Buenos Aires.”

She stops talking for a moment and looks at Myrios “You probably need to have an idea of how we got here …” She pauses again, “Did I tell you Poo … err … Faolán is here too.”

Not waiting for a reply, she pushes on, “Poo found this artefact at The Barn … I told him not to, but he fiddled with it and poof … gone … we … umm … he had been fiddling with these twisty knobs and the number 2019 was all Áiny and I had to work on. From what we could find out about the artefact, she thought it had to do with a target year. So we used Roxana’s Time Tomb research, from when she rescued Astra … that’s a story for another time. Mum somehow had a copy of that in The Barn’s library and I was able to come back to here.”

“It took us a week or two to work out what to do … but when I got here, I found Poo had already been here 12-18 months.” Looking a little pleading “I need to find a way to talk to my sister … there …”

Myrios listens quietly, “Well, let’s think. I’m in multiple places at once because Time here is irrelevant. This stays put while everything else moves. Outside of those doors Time moves normally, only making a storefront where it’s needed or one that I choose to hold open. Makes it a little dangerous, having a guaranteed point to find me, but it makes life much easier for those outside.”

He seems to be rambling a bit but there’s serious thought going on behind his cyan eyes.

“So, at the point Time diverged.”, He looks to the both of them, his gaze falling on Alpharius, remembering the discussion at his show about how he had delivered the one bomb that their time had seen detonate.

"The big difference is the number of bombs that have gone off. Undoubtedly leading to much more … stressful times. Straining relationships and forcing things to be much more ‘work oriented’ between your mother and Roxy? I’m simply assuming. Perhaps in this time the other six bombs were spoiled by someone or something.

But conjecture aside, your ‘sister-y from another history’ will need to find the shop and the two of you could communicate here. Unfortunately, I don’t have a time machine or a magical Police box. But if there was a way…perhaps if it’s dire enough she’ll find the Shop. Just like in those…", He growls a moment at the mere thought of the author and the story. “Sam Krieg novels about me, this Shop will show up to those who need it. I don’t sell things like in that ridiculous book. Just what people need, at a very well-marked, and reasonable price. I don’t have conscious control over it. But I can hold the doors open for those that do show up. I know when customers will show up, but not who.”

He seems to be working something out in his head as he talks. “I think we might have an opportunity. We just need to figure out where you’re specifically from. We don’t need to rely on her finding the Shop specifically, but perhaps if anyone from that point needed the shop, I can keep it open, and you can find her there. I can keep the door open. I’ll need to lead you out because you can only come and go from the same point that you entered. I have to let you out through any other storefront.”

Ceara’s brow furrows as she tries to follow Myrios’ musing. Glancing at Alpharius curiously after the storekeeper’s gaze falls on her ‘Uncle’ when talking about the detonation in Tokyo in this timeline. Her attention is rapidly drawn back to the musings when he postulates one possible cause of the differences in the relationship between her mother and Leannán Roxana in the two timelines.

“That … sounds a possibly reasonable explanation.”

Myrios had continued pondering the problem aloud and Ceara looked between him and Alpharius, “Al has detected a message he’s fairly certain originated from my Áiny … but that’s another story and we’ve found no way to reply. How can we even hint that she needs to find a version of your shop there?”

Alpharius shakes his head, bringing himself back into the present. “GPS coordinates seem like the easiest fix,” he offers, “along with a date and time. If it’s coming from you, me, or someone else who she thinks she can trust, she’ll head there. The problem is getting the signal through in the first place.” Al offers over the phone. “Is there some kind of signal or metadata or neutron flow we can reverse the polarity on in this that’ll help find that point?”

Myrios initially looking aghast, grins "Gods! Who’d want to reverse the polarity of Neutrons. Seems like they wouldn’t be neutrons if you did that. Or have them any polarity at all! Where do people get these ideas?!”.

“But as to how to communicate, I’ve got an idea, if I can just find it. Hold on just a second!” He says before he hops back over the end of the counter and disappears behind that dark oak door.

The couple suffer the feeling of being compressed and stretched at the same time as the door opens. The sensation settles quickly when the door closes.

Myrios returns with a curious device that looks a little like a pocket safe. It appears very old, possibly a relic from a previous age.

Alpharius looks at the curiosity thinking to himself, “Setting up a shop in a time tomb … How would Myrios even advertise for that? ‘Deals to die for’? It couldn’t be in any worse taste than the eyepatch vendor who had a two-for-one sale.

“If you have a when and a where, you can try and use this to get a message to her. Maybe directing her to one of my existing storefronts. I have a little less than two dozen open at one time. If you combine this with your time tomb idea, it could very probably work.”

He looks back to the puzzle-cylinder curiously. “Good to know. Also, what is that and how does it help us?” After another pause, he mentally slaps his head as the first question he should have asked comes to mind.

Myrios continues, “This is what you can use to get the message to ‘alt-Áiny’. Put the message inside and set the combination to something she’d get, and it’ll find her … Relentlessly. It’s probably one reason they went out of fashion. More messages got destroyed in frustration over repeatedly finding it than through interception or environmental reasons. But it’s only going to work in the same time-slash-dimension that she’s in. That’s why I considered the Time Tomb to get the item to the desired location."

Pondering the device for a moment, Myrios sets the dials so that the item will open. Inside was certainly more than enough room for a written message. Examining the inside, one would get the idea that the only real limitation would be the ability to get an item into the silver dollar sized opening.

Alpharius had also continued, “Also, what’s it going to run us?”

“I don’t intend to sell it, so don’t worry about the price. Just bring it back when you’re finished. I’ve got a ton of them but it’s generally not a great idea to have previous-Age items laying about. If you’d like to purchase it, I’m sure we can figure out a reasonable price.”

Ceara has been listening to Myrios’ explanation carefully … her brow furrowing as she tries to comprehend the details. “Let me get this straight … if we can get this to the right … umm … reality and time period. Then this thing will find her.”

She spocks a brow at Myrios for confirmation, but not waiting for an answer, she pushes on, “So, we need to try and set the Time Tomb for then and hope that it just reverses my travel here.”

Now looking at Alpharius “I have a thought regarding the code … but how can we give Áiny a hint to let her know? … How to get anything else to Áiny from here?” Shakes her head, “You know what I mean.”

Alpharius had sighed in relief at Myrios’ declaration that he didn’t have to pay for the device… He’s here for family but buying a relic from a previous Age would likely be stretching that favour to breaking point. At Ceara’s question, he rubs his chin.

“So, we want to let her know that her birthday is the code … question: can Áiny read music?”

Ceara nods to the first of Alpharius’ questions, “Close, but I was thinking about our birthday and my birth position. Something else to help say the message is from me.” She stops talking with his second question, ■■■■■■■■ up her brow as she ponders the answer.

“I know we all spent time learning a little … if it were me or Poo, I’d say no. But I don’t know about Áiny … she spends a lot of time with her nose in books … it’s possible.”

She then points to the ‘safe’.

“There are seven rings that can be set … Our birthday is twenty, eleven, eighteen, I was second born … by about 12 minutes. We can’t use that ‘cause only seven rings.” Takes a breath, “So I was thinking 1120182 … “

“Sounds like a plan is coming together!”, Myrios says brightly. “Sorry that I can’t take you directly there. The Shop stays outside of time. It’s everything else outside that changes. If it was a simple matter of it being sometime in the future, I could simply wait it out. But diverging branches of history are a bit outside of that. But if she comes here, I can keep that door open.”

“Least we can ask for.” Alpharius nods to Myrios, then turns back to Ceara “We could inscribe it with the sheet notes for “Happy birthday”. If she’s half as clever as you say, I think she’ll put 2 and 2 together.”

Ceara blinks … “Inscribe it … the safe you mean?” She looks to Myrios “Can we do that? We’d have to add a Hagalaz.”

Myrios ponders for a moment. “You’d have better luck with magic but give me a few minutes to look up the notation, I could make the inscription. I can wipe it out after it’s served its purposes. These were designed to be nearly indestructible. And very persistent. Did I mention persistent?”, He asks with a sly grin. “One magus refused to open the message for seventeen years. So I’m told. He tried to destroy it in several ways, but always found it in unlikely places. The message will be delivered. Think of them like letters from Hogwarts.”

Alpharius nods, “Perfect. Do it, that should hopefully be enough to set Áiny on the right track.”

Ceara also nods to both Alpharius and Myrios, then addressing Myrios, “So the sheet notes for Happy Birthday, followed by a Hagalaz rune.” There’s a short pause as she starts to turn towards the door. She stops and looks back, “I must owe you something Mr LeJean?”

Myrios shakes his head. “You don’t owe me a thing. Bring the device back and we’re square. Worst case, buy me a coffee at Moca Loco. If you need to buy the Messenger, we’ll come up with something that’s fair and affordable. I’m not my ‘sibling’. You’ll know what the price is before you purchase. And I deal in currency or coffee.”, He says with a grin. “The price would be marked on the bottom, but this isn’t something that’s normally for sale.”

He brings his phone out and looks up sheet music for Happy Birthday. He holds his finger a short distance above the cylinder. Golden energy forms, seeming to arc between his finger and the cylinder. His eyes flick up toward the pair. “Hagalaz is a very busy rune. Lots of differing meanings. Are you signally catastrophe or hail?”, He says with a devilish grin as he finishes. The ‘carving’ was much neater than expected, looking as if it had been machined into the surface. Four notes and a double note on a lightly etched staff, including a time signature are followed by the vaguely ‘H’ shaped form of the Hagalaz rune. “I wanted to make sure she got the right tune. The notation is quite similar to several other songs. I’d hate for her to get this and think you’re just being pleasant and wishing her a good morning.”, He says, pointing to the 3/4-time notation.

Ceara initially simply returns his devilish grin as answer to Myrios’ question. Then a little uncertain if the question was put in jest or if there was a more significant point to the inquiry “Aunt Ria says my nature and power leans towards being unpredictable, uncontrolled.”

Her eyes widen a little and she looks at the finely crafted engraving. Looking back at Myrios quizzically, “Is it too late to add a smaller Fehu rune after my rune?” Looking at Alpharius “I think that would confirm the message was from me and Poo.”

Alpharius nods.

Myrios shakes his head. “Not at all. Give me just a moment and I can certainly do that.”. He takes the container, and the finest stream of energy moves from his finger as he engraved the three lines of the Fehu rune into the device. “Easy Peasy.”, He says with a smile.

Next: Death Of A Dimension - Part 2