Fred goes to the Southern Caves to slay a dragon. He kills Velus. He & Astra are sent to the Calamari Desert to die. Dr.Vincent saves them. Minestus kidnaps Astra and turns her into a demifox. Fred goes after her but becomes a demifox too. Malachi and Minestus kill each other. Fred & Astra go to Walants to give Synizn the Crystallic so he can cure them. WereBear Synizn cures them and sends them to Aqualaria where they get married and have 7 babies. Later, Synizn (now a demifox) visits them and asks for their help to destroy the Crystallic. They go to Normady and meet up with the dragon Sigin. Dragoness Moreau somehow manages to drag Fred and Synizn (now a demifox) to the lost city of Atlantis, defeat them in battle, and leave them for bait for when Astra, Sigin, and the 7 infants come along finally. The other adventurers do come along, and find the unconscious Fred and Synizn sprawled next to the burned out corpse of Dragoness Moreau. The corpse is still smoking after all this time since time.....flows at odd speeds at this fell city. The adventures are reunited, but must flee Atlantis because the magical battle that had knocked out Fred and Sigin (and killed Moreau) had weakened the city's magical shields. The adventureres get away and witness the tons of water crush the fell city.....ruinining it and any chance they had at fulfilling their mission to destroy the Crystallic through means found in Atlantis! But this destruction caused some bad feedback in the slipgate system, so while the entity that was in control of the slipgates was assessing damage to itself....Terra Prime's slipgate was reaching out and grabbing land and people like mad....... And this is what happened when it reached out to take these adventurers through THEIR Crystallic!
Now, it can be said that the multi-verse is a weird place, where almost anything is possible AND probable....if you look hard enough. Sometimes, however, even some events just come out of left field, take a right at the stoplight.....and head into the zone of just plane NUTS!
Now, some argue that there is a higher order.....that Someone or Something is in charge. Anyone witnessing the next event from a position ABOVE the multi-verse, in a set of universes of "low probability"......that person would have to wonder about that!
A Crystallic, giving off the proscribed warning signal to it's owner, to prepare him for an unexpected call from a malfunctioning Otherworld Slipgate system, is instead thrown through the very viewing screen/warning sign it had used to warn it's owner. The much suffered artifact shrugs mental shoulders, and finds itself at the feet of a humanoid, grizzled, grey furred wolf....and a bunch of demi-foxes! The safety feature of the slipgate system that SHOULD prevent two such powerful Atlantian artifacts to exist on the same plane of existence, backfires and sends yet another Crystallic that was floating in the molten remains of what used to be it's owners lair (re:1270) zipping back to a stunned demi-fox and his shipmates (re:2523). Then, the entire Island of Dragon Moreau suddenly flashes yet AGAIN, finally causing the imprisoning shields meant to keep the Pack in (and incidentally keeping a deadly Phage out) back to where it's home universe.
Then.......we get a view of what Synizn does next.....
A glimpse at what happened....
"I mean just that," Synizn states as he places the Crystallic into a large mug. With a mental command, the Crystallic first forms into a bottle of fizzing liquid, then seems to just melt down into the mug....forming a glowing liquid that fills the mug. The demi-fox slams the mug's contents down his throat, startling quick. The demi-fox licks the last drop of what had been the Crystallic, and turns to look at his stunned friends. His eyes seem to have an inner glow to them, and then fade back to normal.
"Are you CRAZY!" Fred nearly shouts. "You want to try to...."
"Poison myself?" chuckles the demi-fox. "It didn't happen to your analogs, nor shall it happen to me. And since there is nothing of the Crystallic to use to 'control' me......"
"You've become the Crystallic!" gasps Sigin, suddenly seeing what is happening. "By consuming it, you and it combine!"
"Right," nods the demi-fox sadly. "And while that means that anyone who wants the power of the Crystallic will have to destroy me. And since I'm part and parcel to that thing....destroying me destroys It. The downside, though it's kind of not a downside, is that I now have the lifespan of the Cyrstallic."
"Uh," Fred gulps. "How...long?"
"Frankly," the demi-fox says. "I'd guess with the in 500,000 to a million years, I should be finally done."
His friends just stare at him. Even Sigin looks queesy at the idea of living THAT long. Dragons could conceivably live forever, but.......
"Now, I had possesssion of this item and pledged to serve you and yours, dear Fred and Astra," the demi-fox says, bowing formally. "With this, I guess I get to serve for a longer time than I previously figured.
"And besides," smiles the demi-fox. "It isn't like by consuming that Crystallic I'm suddenly a god. Tiamat knows that I am not! It just gives me an edge in a mage battle, and allows me to do a few more things that I'd need the slipgates to do."
"Your humble servant awaits," Synizn says to his friends.
Well, at least he's now no longer stuck with the lifespan of a human! Sigin says to himself.
But lo, the slipgate finally gets done assessing damage to self, and sends out a panic message to the Crystallic....which is now Synizn.....
Everyone is just beginning to smile at along with the infectious grin on Synizn's face when......
The now cousin to the Crystallic endowed demifox, the slipgate system, has just run a self diagnostic.....and has now just gotten over the horror of what it has detected. Synizn is knocked to his knees as facts and figures!
The inrush of water went off with the force of high explosives, and was thus able to cause a serious feedback inside the slipgate system. Basically, the same thing that happened to the slipgate system on a parallel world called Terra Prime!
Problem is that the only solutions that the little demifox knows of, instinctively, can not be done. This is in large part that the control center of the system had been in what had been the city of Atlantis! There was only one entity race that would have the answers for this vexing problem, and that involved incredible persistence (for how would that person have gotten the qualifications for this trip otherwise!
Synizn grows pale (as far as his colorful complexion allows it), and he whispers something in dragon.
Roughly translated, it translates into fecal matter!
Sigin, Astra, and Fred suddenly are disoriented to find themselves in front of a small gray man in a slate gray 20th century business suit.....and a scowl of annoyance!
179 then pauses, and looks down at a rather detailed report as to just why these people (this takes only a second to read a report who's print is as small as individual atoms and conveys information many times the sum total of all human knowledge). He then smiles and nods, looking more kindly upon the strange group in front of human, demifox, and dragon. Small stuffed fox plushies appear in the little hands of the offspring of the infants (appropriate, considering their unusual heritage).
Now, according to the report, these were some of the few analogous demifox mages who'd been.....gutsy enough to ingest the Crystallic....making it's substance their own. The others were being taken care off by other.....emotionally enhanced Rules. Rules specifically chosen, endowed with emotion and initiative to handle strange situations that left the plain Rule in conniptions!
The humans and other mortals are just beginning to open their mouths slowly to ask what the meaning of all this is (mortals minds and reflexes were incredibly slow in the Realm that 179 worked) when 179 is about to tell them he's going to add their caseload to the pile of slipgates that need to be shut down when 179 hears a sound that chills his nonexistent heart!
The demifox mage just hiccuped.....four times....and with the powers he had inside him.....
One tone of hiccup causes....
A Star Fleet Admiral, along with the FOUR analogous people who all called themselves Kathryn Janeway....are sent (along with some of the office furniture) to a parallel world that....they had only left a few moments ago.....in a relative measure of time....
A different timbered hiccup calls forth set made of a fallen dark knight by the name of Frederigo D'Honaire (Thoabath to his demonic masters), a young girl/woman who should know better than to seek out adventure in such wild lands, and a young flame haired woman who was currently reveling under the sway of the moon (mushroom induced wolf curse coursing through her veins). A holy man pauses in consternation.... knowing SOMETHING just happened nearby....but wasn't sure exactly just what happened....
Due to previous strictures set down by the Rules.....they would not be returning to the world that had spawned them. They all knew that....they weren't going home....ever.
Looks of shock....fear are slowly forming on their faces (even on the presently lupine Astra's face).....
Another hiccup....higher pitched....
Another set. Another set of not going "home."
Another Fred D'Honaire, along with his sister Lady Rowena, and Lem (a dwarf), and Dokken (another dwarf), suddenly find themselves looking at a rather surprised looking caravan of dwarves who are gathered around a wagon who is holding the black skinned beauty known as Astra. Fred's brows start to draw together in shock....and surmise.
By now there should be signs of necrosis on the lovely woman's stately body.....but......
A twist of the magical ether and three incredibly tiny human infants appear next to the silent Astra.....and suddenly shiver! Stillborn and dead though they had been, the infants find themselves alive again....due to the unique nature of both a synergistic reaction between the Crystallic essence that marks up a small part of themselves.....the dragon gem that's still in Tarrin Gazin's pocket....and a demifox mage. Oh, and don't worry....we made sure that the right sould get put back in the right bodies.....Astra 7 and Fred 7!
One last hiccup, and that takes care of what would have been delicate work for 179 as far as dealing with the demifox's group. Coming to 179 in such a manner was allowed by the Rules, so the demifox hadn't been risking anything by something here by teleportation. Indeed, it was REQUIRED that he come here....and take along the people around him (leaves less witnesses). See, though Synizn and friends could come to 179.....they weren't allowed to return home.....again....ever. Cruel, but that was the stricture handed down by the Higher Ups. But instead of leaving a mysterious disappearance, Synizn's hiccup had made one last set of duplicates. However, these duplicates are unlike the OTHER duplicates of analogous people. They are dead and stiff in rigor mortis. Much sorrow and grieving will happen throughout the lands of Allaria and Aqualaria. The originals know this (well....the grownups understand...the infants just are confused by the images that parades through their infant minds). They start to shout in protest.
The look of sadness that 179 gives them in way of apology stops it cold. The Rules silently wishes he could do something else....and also wishes that these poor people had come across his desk in the more convenient form of paper files. That way he'd be able to not have to look into their faces to break the news to them about what's up.
"Sorry," the Rules says softly. "I can't change it....not even a little bit. But, I won't leave you stranded here. I wouldn't wish that dull existence on my worst enemy! There's another world out there....similar to yours and where you'll find friends....for those who deserve them! I leave how you handle the Oathbreaker knows as Fred....also known as Thoabath to you fellows. As for Tarin and the other dwarves....when you meet Queen Astra and her Dwarven delegation.....I suggest running....FAST!"
"I'll be along....soon enough to take care of some loose ends," the Rules says, turning away back to work. The adventurers disappear into thin air....and reappear in an Ethiopian desert.....
179's hand's blur as he whittles away at the massive pile of Request to shut down the numerous analogous Terra's slipgates who's Crystallics had been destroyed. Synizn's form is on the top of the mound of forms.....
"And so you appeared on Terra Prime....fighting ensued for various reasons and we now have ourselves here," 179 sighs. "Thus ends Fred 6's story to this point...along with a little bit of color from the others here....."
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