Outcast (MK)

GEAR

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#1
OE ???
Time: Unknown
Location: Unknown


There was the gentle clink of glass, as a dark blue cup was replaced on a low-cut bamboo table. Two reclining chairs sat on either side of it, barely shaded from a radiant, gentle light. A ring-bedecked hand brushed its sides loosely, as if savoring the coolness of its surface, before returning out of view to its holders lap. Overhead, stylized greco-roman architecture formed a perfect shade - as if it had been placed there specifically for the occasion, as well as the perfect weather conjured-

Yet, it would take only a moment's glance to realize that the sky above... Was anything but ordinary. Glimpses of worlds, shooting stars, and all manner of distant, twinkling realities blended together into a kaleidoscope of dreams that could reduce even the most strident and cynical of realists to tears with its majesty - veiled by a cerulean hue, as if someone had carefully wallpapered over the majesty of the infinite with a imitation sky. Structures jutted up from endless grassland - almost, but not quite ruins, stretching out in an endless grassland plane, over which an ethereal wind drew constant waves.

It was over this gorgeous landscape that a distant star began to glow. It increased in size and intensity as the seconds ticked by, until it was a blazing meteor-

And with a terrific crash, the Astranagant came thundering down, out of oblivion...

And into parts unknown.
 

MKR

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Aug 19, 2018
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#2
Like an Angel cast out of heaven the black PT made its ungraceful entrance into the foreign atmosphere. Inside its pilot pulled at the unresponsive controls in an attempt to avoid any structures below. It at least managed that much as the mech turned comet struck the plains it left behind it a line of dirt and destruction, seeming almost as out of place as their cause in the endless grasslands.

The Astranagant looked up at the sky, Derrick pulling himself up after the rough impact. For all the technological and magical marvels contained within this monstrous machine it was lacking the shock absorbers for an orbital reentry. A grunt came from the man, there were two things he could do right now first and foremost, removing the Z.O. blade from the Black Angel.

The crystaline unit did just that, extracting its weapon from itself and letting its arm rest besides it. The pilot estimated that the external armor would mend itself in roughly a minute, but to check internal damage he would need equipment. Which led him to the second thing he could do, check if the atmosphere was breathable. Which it luckily for him was.

Derrick grabbed his coat and climbed his way out of the cockpit, standing atop his steed the scientist gazed at the foreign sky as he donned the white coat and straightened his tie. Beholding such a sky would've been a joyous occasion if it had been his goal, but it was with a sour taste that he gazed at the stars and worlds beyond this one. From his vantage position he finally looked downwards to note the structures, either this world he had been sent to had a thing for ancient cultures, perhaps they were one and he had been effectively shoved back into the bronze age. Their nigh ruined state however brought an image of a dead civilization to mind.

Not exactly athletic himself the young Vance made his way down the Astranagant in short overly secure hops and jumps, he had a theory he wished to test so, as soon as he hit the grass below his hand went through it. It actually felt like grass, something he was not sure to be happy or upset about as at least his terrible muse had not opted to collect their due quite yet.

But here he was, sent beyond his reality into a foreign land and place with well. Nothing, no food, no water, no supplies and no way back. Perhaps, he theorized if he could cause another reaction like the one above the ZONE he could force his way back but he'd need to find a target first of all and this world had not shown any sign of living denizens. The wind lapped against his coat and his hair, with no better option following the direction indicated by mother nature was his plan for now, it at least would make it rather easy to find his way back.
 

GEAR

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#3
"You know, I was expecting you right around now."

A voice called out to Derrick... One that was oddly familiar. Or rather... It would have been, had it contained a certain accent, reminiscent of smokey, sense-addling rooms and arcane instructions being transcribed from ancient volumes, to be pressed into his hands before he was abruptly wheeled out of a doorway before his brains started melting out of his ears.

"Now, of course, being subjective..."

Someone was coming down a hill towards him, languidly. Sure enough, the man was just as he remembered him - that shoulder length, almost ashen blonde hair, the sunburned appearance, the dated, vintage-clothing-store fashion sense and dark sunglasses... Even the mannerisms, spreading his arms wide as he approached, a cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth as he continued, in a drawling tone:

"Well, at least for me."

Coming to a stop at the (buried) head of the Astranagant, he reached down, rooting around in the dirt for something as he continued:

"What I did not expect..." - He gave a slight gasp as he rose, grasping the end of... what appeared to be a mangled turnip. He shook his head in dismay.

"Was you ruining my garden. Thanks, Derrick. Thanks a whole lot, man."
 

MKR

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Aug 19, 2018
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#4
Hearing the voice Derrick stopped dead in his tracks, frustration replaced with confusion. He crossed his arms as the familiar face came closer and he began a reassessment of his situation as he stepped back to the Astranagant.

"Well this is the last thing I expected to see upon being flung into here. But it is the least surprising." He remarked, sizing the man up and down, everything was exactly as he remembered it being the last time they met, the face height and details of his friend and one of the Alchemists who helped in the construction of the black angel at their feet. But one thing was off, one thing that made Derrick believe this was not the man who introduced him to the most dangerous muse in existence.

"I have to admit, you almost had me fooled for a second but you missed the accent." He wondered as to the appearance of what he guessed the native creature of this dimension to be, perhaps psychic links to use and adopt memories to copy mannerisms and appearance with speech being somewhat limited, it nailed the speech mannerisms itself but perhaps it was incapable of accents.

Derrick took a step closer. Glancing over to the turnip then back to his greeter. Equaling it to perhaps being his own personal Jacob Marley, here to warn him before the three ghosts of Christmas arrive. But even this more comical guess did nothing to improve the Lunarian's mood, just as annoyed that someone would impersonate a friend of his as being kicked into another dimension.

"But I take it that opening remark wasn't a lie. So regardless of any ruined gardens what do you want with me 'Zivon'." He was grateful that it decided to talk near the Astranagant as he could launch the gun slaves from this proximity should this all have been a trap but somehow he doubted that, there were better individuals in his memory to try and coax him with and the decor didn't exactly put him at ease to be ambushed.
 

GEAR

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#5
"You remembered!"

"Zivon" laughed and clapped his hands together. Sure enough, it was the very same man - the one who had pointed Derrick in the direction of Gragios, and then faded from his life like invisible ink... Yet, the impact of what he had done had changed the young man's life forevermore. There seemed to be no apology forthcoming as he dropped the turnip back into the dirt, giving a shrug as he did so.

"No, no. This is just-" He paused, as if fishing for the right words, before continuing: "-A way for you to perceive me that... won't make you freak out. Tends to be... Counterproductive. You get me?"

Placing his hand on Derrick's back, he began to walk with him, back up the hill he came. At the top of it... A marbled table sat, between two long, comfortable looking deck chairs. Behind it, a restored Greco-roman bath, surrounded by statues, pillars - all aspects of creation long since lost, yet perfectly preserved here, beyond the perception of their original creators.

Or perhaps... this man was in fact the originator? What was the prism through which all ideas, all creativity, was projected? Gragios. But, was this really the realm of the Creator God himself? Had he been spirited away by his patron at the last moment?

"I don't usually mingle with mortals. Not unless the situation calls for it, at least."

Zivon walked to the table, and from beneath it, produced a small, marble cooler. From within, he produced a pair of ice-encrusted aluminum cans, holding them up to inspect them as he squinted in the artificial sunlight, crouched over it like a treasure hunter inspecting his prize.

"Which, in case you haven't noticed, it definitely does."
 

MKR

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Aug 19, 2018
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#6
The man who pointed him towards Gragios an act that, despite the events after that, he was still grateful for considering everything. How could he forget as he got pushed along up the hill Derrick couldn't help but get a sense of deja vu. But the line about perception raised his eyebrow, Zivon acted as if he was both the real deal that Derrick had met and as if he were some shape shifting entity whose true form would make him freak out.

This situation made the scientist feel weirded out, he didn't particularly like not knowing what was going on and everything from Zivon to the sky he couldn't begin to try and explain. He got the particular feeling however that the thing that pushed him into here probably didn't mean this meeting when he was talking about broadening understanding.

When the two reached the top of the hill Derrick remained quiet for a moment, the building style was definitely actual Greco-roman, not faux or some odd branch off. Also here were a marble table and... A.. Marble beer cooler? The cans coming out of the cooler stood out in contrast to the rest of the scenery, as if someone had brought sci-fi props into a history film.

If this was truly Gragios he was talking to the dark god's fancy of cooled drink would come at quite the surprise, then again now that would just be another for the many of today. At that last remark the Lunarian finally spoke up.

"That I have, felt it too."

True in multiple senses of the word, ever since the ZONE went on he just felt like something was off and there of course was the whole getting pushed into another dimension bit. If this 'Zivon' acted just like the real thing, maybe even was he no doubt saw this coming.

"Before you tell me what you want to tell me however, what is this place and what are you really then?"

As long as this entity, be it Gragios or something else held Zivon's form Derrick would treat them as Zivon. If they wanted respect they should've taken the form of his grandfather or father. With his question poised the scientist headed for of the deck chairs.
 

GEAR

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#7
"Not where!"

Zivon raised an index finger pointedly as he continued to rummage around in the chest, talking animatedly.

"When! That is the question you should be asking."

At length, the man rose with a grumble, and placed some small, aluminum cans on the table. The script inlaid on their surface... was unlike any he had seen before, but its colorful appearance, at least, indicated it was some kind of drink.

"This place is... How can I put it?"

Chuckling, Zivon took one of the cans and cracked its tab open, gesturing that, if Derrick was so inclined, he was welcome to do the same, before he continued.

"Neither here, nor there. Between places, to borrow a certain phrase. If I didn't have it, I couldn't do the work that I do.

Which, in case you were wondering, is extremely important. For all of us."

He took an appreciative swig, looking around at the area about him, as if pleased at the quality of its construction.

"To answer your other question... I am not Gizos Gragios." He continued, gesturing with his pinky at the rolling horizon in the distance. Suddenly, he changed the topic, as though he had been dying to ask a question:

"What do you think of the Tippler Cylinder, Derrick?"
 

MKR

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Aug 19, 2018
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#8
Derrick seated himself as Zivon replied to his 'where' remark. Raising even more questions than before. The Lunarian inspected the can put in front of him, unsuccessfully trying to make sense of the script on it as his gracious host continued to lay onto his confusion, carefully he opened the tab on the can and took a swig filling his mouth with the taste of... Beer? But not exactly beer, not like that of earth or everglory at least.

Well at least one question was sort of answered, while he hadn't heard what Zivon actually was he claimed to not be Gragios and last Derrick heard that muse of his had nothing to do with time either and then a sort of surprising question hit him, his thoughts on the Tippler Cylinder. The part of Astranagant he understood the least and the source of the Infinity Cylinder the attack that brought him here in the first place.

"Currently I have no clue how it actually functions, I have a vague understanding of what it does but how remains a mystery. Which honestly, frustrates me greatly."

He would take a swig of the beer before continuing.

"Nevertheless it feels like something completely necessary to be part of the Astranagant. So my feelings on it are mixed, as it is both something I want to understand but any attempts to do so have failed miserably."

He pauses, furrowing his brow as he thought back to just a few minutes prior. He didn't know what the Infinity Cylinder did prior to then but the feeling that it had to do with the 'before' he mentioned was clear as day then he looked at Zivon with his remark of when he was and gears in his head began to turn.

"From the looks of it however... It seems like it is capable of weaponizing time manipulation."

The mention of this place not being a where but a when, that Zivon did something important to everyone, the presence of long gone civilization's structures and now the question about a part of the the Black Angel that seemed to utilize time all glared him right in the face, waiting for the dots to be connected. Causing Derrick to take another swig of the beer before putting it down and looking directly at Zivon.

"Are you trying to imply you're 'Father Time'?"
 

GEAR

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#9
"That's right. You don't understand it. Nor will you ever."

Zivon turned as he spoke in response to the man's statement on the Tippler Cylinder, walking back towards Derrick, as he lowered his glasses. Now... There was something unusual about his eyes - the way they focused, the kinds of colors that swirled in their depths, like a roiling, thundering sky... It was said that the eyes were the windows of the soul - and what Derrick gazed into, at that precise moment, was anything but human. His voice was low, and dangerous as he spoke.

"Because it's not for you to understand."

...And, yet, just as quickly, the smile was replaced, and he pushed his glasses back up, giving the young man a pat on the shoulder and a dry chuckle. What was the point of the inquiry? Had he been testing, perhaps, to see just how far Derrick had delved into the Astranagant's systems?

"I keep the lights on, Derrick... Make sure that things go the way they're supposed to. In layman's terms, I'm the best damn watchmaker you'll ever meet, and you wouldn't believe how many times someone's tried to screw the whole thing up - or, how many would, if they were given the opportunity. Preserving the order is my purpose, what I was made to do."

Here, he paused in mid explanation, as though something had just occurred to him, chewing the thought in a fashion not unlike a cow. He took another sip before he spoke, moving his hands animatedly as he did:

"See, humans... Mortals, I guess - you can't even comprehend what that's like. You are free to choose your own purpose. If you like, you can just laze around, and fritter your lives away! There are no real consequences! And all of you just... take this freedom, this incredible gift... for granted."
 

MKR

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#10
A chill came down his spine as he saw Zivon's eyes, both this and the voice hammered home the fact that what he was talking to was not human. The gears in his head grinding to a halt as this reminder brought him back to 'reality' just in time for Zivon to explain his role, from the sound even lamenting it. At least the outburst was informative as the Lunarian recovered from the scare, by its own accord what he talked to was constructed for and tasked with maintaining time and had no choice in the matter. Somehow Derrick felt like a rescue by Gragios would've been better for him as this was a lot to take in and process.

"No we can't imagine what that is like." He simply replies "From the looks and sound of it you yourself are something inherently incomprehensible to humanity, the 'way to perceive you' implied as much. However, it seems that also goes the other way around if you truly believe all 'mortals' take something like free will for granted. Or if you believe there to be no real consequences to what we do."

Derrick put his drink down and crossed his arms, even if Zivon was his one possible way back to where he came from he wouldn't sit here without a counter argument. His pride wouldn't let him.

"It is a simple matter of scale, in my case our meeting in Russia certainly had very real consequences, in fact without it I doubt I would've ended up here and shouldn't that be a very real consequence for you? Someone barging in and ruining your garden. All because some mortal listened to your sales pitch."

Derrick paused before resuming.

"Or do we need to cause some cataclysmic even that threatens all of time and space before we begin having real consequences? You already said the situation caused for your involvement or is that all caused by entities like yourself?"

If mere mortals could cause him to get involved because they were messing with time that should speak volumes to the importance of their consequences in Derrick's mind.
 

GEAR

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#11
Zivon listened almost impassively, fingers drumming out a steady beat on his can. He sighed, and bowed his head, scratching his hair as he did so. He seemed to be thinking carefully, perhaps trying to convey what it was he wanted to say in such a way that it wouldn't cause the poor man's head to explode. At length, he put his hands together, and affixed Derrick with a star.

"Let me break it down for you, sport." He said adding dryly; "...In the simplest terms possible."

Settling down, he reached a finger over to the table between them, drawing several lines on the surface as he spoke.

"As you are probably already aware, through the Tippler Cylinder, there are other worlds - other "realities", shall we say."

Down each "line", he then drew several forks, giving them an overall tree-like appearance.

"Every time a decision is made," He explained, "The possibility of another world exists. Some devices are able to move us from one of these worlds to another... No small feat, mind you."

Zivon reached out, and ran his palm along the surface, wiping it all clean.

"And in fact, in the distant past, that was a pretty common thing. Technology the likes of which you can't even imagine allowed for the harvesting of the suns, the manipulation causality, creating infinite ... Well. Almost infinite possible worlds, all that could be - and were - harnessed for even greater power."

The outsider raised the same hand, and uncurled it - and within it, against all reason, was an apple. Its surface was red and rosy, as normal and ordinary as any that might have been plucked from Earth's own farms - Zivon proferred it to Derrick, giving a chuckle as he did so. What he spoke of seemed almost... impossible to imagine in its sheer scope, its scale, but he talked about is if it were nothing but the truth.

"That used to be the case for your world too. Did you know that?"
 
Aug 19, 2018
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#12
Zivon was right, he understood that there were multiple realities and theirs had turned into the garbage filled beachhead where everything washed ashore. All knowledge he only had because of the Tippler cylinder. He had known about the choice based multiverse theory before but to hear it basically confirmed but not as final as theories would pose it.

Choices could make other worlds, but weren't guaranteed to from the sound of Zivon's statement, preventing the exponential expansion of realities some scientists so believed in.
The harvesting of entire realities was not unheard of, at least in science fiction but this scale was something else let alone the fact that it didn't seem to be self-sustaining.

Letting out a sigh Derrick took the apple, throwing it up and down in his right hand as he milled over the issue.
"A few questions then, for now."

"What caused us to be the point of no return, for what purposes were realities harvested and were we among those intended to be harvested, who was behind the harvesting and who managed it, what prevented infinite realities from forming, is it still happening and lastly did any of the harvested worlds manage to stop the process?"

Alongside his wall of questions he threw the apple over the table in a high curve, using it as a duchy to pass onto Zivon. He wasn't going to waste this chance to ask all of the questions he had right away, he doubted Zivon would answer all of them but at the very least it didn't seem like he would lie about the answers.

"And why tell me this?" he added as the apple came down from above, clearly if this was told to him it 'was for him to understand' and he felt as if the why of it was more important. This was no movie villain explaining their evil plot before killing the protagonist. No this was more of a debriefing and that didn't sit well with the Lunarian.