Well, it's living.....

The Never Ending Quest - episode 13223

We have three women here.

One is an Astra Thessamer from a timeline where she'd just been freed by "her" Fred  and the teen/dog Velus (a real dog and not a dragon or such in disguise).  The y had just begun exploring the surrounding area and tumbled upon an abandoned market place within the caverns.  Tehy'd only begun to explore when a dimensional anomoly/warp struck and sucked up them all and threw them into different universes.  Astra wa placed in another universe where she was clothed  and armed.  She couldn't speak the language and would have fallen victim to a powerful evil mage who woul have used here as a tool for revenge on a rival, but her new friends Charmina and Angela prevented this.

Charmina is a woman who, at an early age, saw those she cared for cut down by murderers.  This scarred her and put her on a path of an avenger and a seeker of justice (something like Batman in a way).  She posed as a barwench to better cover her dual nature/calling.  However, due to a magical mishap between two powerful magical items, Charmina's soul was sucked into the splitting image of herself (a perfect disguise for a young knight of her world called Fred who'd been tasked to bring justice to a sinful town).  That Fred was cast out and Charmina was now within a body that looked like her old one, but was much stronger, faster, more agile than her old one.  She then was sucked up by that same warp that sucked up Astra and she then helped prevent an evil mage from having his way with Astra.

Angela is a woman who literally didn't exist yesterday.  She was wished forth by a very dumb version of Fred (who'd wished for beer and a beautiful woman).  She'd been "born" to aid this young knight (and by did this jerk need it).  She couldn't help him, however, when that warp sucked her away at a critical point.  That Fred was soon discovered afterwards, drunkenly asleep.  The dragon guard killed him and claimed the bounty on Fred's head.  Turned out that Angela was also a magic user, for her magic came forth and help kill the evil mage who was trying to enscroll Astra into doing his bidding.

After that happened, they all were sucked up again by that warp and now.......

"We....our time is at an end?" Angela asks, aghast.

"Not really," the Angel of Death says in a rather droll voice, "I'm just here to say that up until a few moment ago....that was true. I used to have an appointment with you, but with certain Events that my colleague here will tell you about. The short of it is that you've been selected by the Higher Powers to instead of merely expiring and going on to Wherever, you're be given a choice. A choice between forevermore serving as a Champion for a Celestrial Organization.....or actually going ahead and seeing me for a....Final Destination?" 

The looks on the still mortal faces says it all. There's a difference between being fearless in the face of death. There's a difference between being brave and being foolish. It would be foolish to take up Death's second Offer, for the first Offer held so much more....promise. 

That, and who in their right mind would take up the second Offer?! 

"Understood," Death chuckles (a chilling sound indeed) as he crosses off their names from his list. "I really don't blame you, Champions." 

The names crossed off and dates for Collection (which are flexible enough where it can be delay....but never permanently unless Canceled in this manner), the new Champions reel and then laugh a little bit in giddiness as they feel what this means. 

"Wow....." Astra says simply, awed. 

"Do be careful though, Champions," Death advices the new immortal ones, "While you may not die, and you'll recover from any and all injury up to and including disintegration......it's painful. 

"Now, that said I myself am almost late for one spectacular airplane crash," Death says softly, "No survivors! My services are definitely needed to cease those clients needless pain. Farewell." 

After the Champions recover somewhat, the Agent then explains what being a Champion entails. The new Champions, of course, have a few questions and feel well enough at ease with this Being to ask. 

"If the Shambler was scheduled to do that, why didn't it happen?" Charmina asks. "I'm not knocking it, but....." 

"Because, frankly, when it came to light that the Infernals had kidnaped a living being....by the name of Rayek.....for further entertainment down in Their Realm," the Agent says, shaking his head. "I can't tell you all about the Hereafter at this point in time, but needless to say....." 

"That wasn't allowed," Angela guessed. "And when the fact came to light...there was a Penalty to be paid." 

"And the allowance of a few more Champions is part of that," Astra says, "I take that getting more Champions is somehow discomforting to the Infernals." 

"Annoys them to no end," the Agent reveals, "That's something We can get from the Infringment, since Our part wasn't as large as the Infringment on the Angels Territory. There's more, but that's not really important right now.. The Angels' Payment is something else again." 

The Infringment (exact details not available at this time in regards to how it related to Rules and Agents), was just why They were involved. 

The reason as to just "why" them (the women) instead of others basically boils down to..... 

"Well, it's the luck of the draw," the Agent reveals, "There is such a thing as luck and chance in the Multiverse." 

As the new Champions mull over that one, Astra then speaks. 

"Well, I can't complain if it bought us our lives," Astra mutters to herself. 

"I could understand why that was supposed to happen to Charmina, but why to I and Astra as well?" Angela asks, "I thought that a Shambler didn't work that way!" 

"Take it from me....the current magical theories on them aren't right in that regard," the Agent chuckles, "I know how they work and why they work the way they work....but I'm not going to reveal that here and now. 

"Let us just say that it's creation also accounted for those black voids that brought Astra to that one world where that mage would have used her for less than honorable reasons and uses." the Agent says. 

"Now, while we don't need you for any particular mission at this moment," the Agent sigh, "We can't very well keep you here." 

He points around at the white void that they are in. 

"We however, can't return you to your homeworlds," the Agent sighs, "That was part of the Deal to get your lives spared' 

The Champions aren't thrilled with that. The Agent wasn't thrilled with it, either, but it was out of His hands. 

After calming the Champions down, the Agent is able to give them some good news. 

"However, I am allowed to put you in a land that could eventually lead you back to a relatively close approximation of your world. It's called Terra Prime." he says, "I just suggest you aid one small elfin girl named Jenny who got hit by a stray thought, literally." 

    "Xanth is good for puns like that," the Agent mutters as the Champions fade from view. 




9/23/00 1:45:47 AM

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