whaaaaat: (smile - wee)
[personal profile] whaaaaat
Dr. Jillian Holtzmann lands flat on her back, a stunned smile on her face. Whoops. She was not anticipating such a dramatic reaction. An exhilarated giggle escapes her, part of her brain already buzzing with the adjustments she'll need to make to prevent another blow-up like that. But she doesn't get very far before she registers, through her soot-smeared goggles, that there's open sky above her. Oh, shit. Was she actually blown outside? Good thing no one else was in the lab, but god, the collateral damage -- her toys...

She heaves herself up into a sit, one arm cradling the prototype for a new-and-improved PKE meter. There's an unseasonable nip in the air, sending a pulse of surprise surging through her. Is this... did she actually make it to Michigan? Her free hand shoves her goggles up onto her forehead, clearing her vision, and she sighs at the familiar skyline. Still New York. Michigan would have been a hell of a story to tell the rest of the team, though.

Then again, this is shaping up to be a pretty decent story in its own right. She's nowhere near headquarters. Whatever just happened, it sent her all the way to Bryant Park.

... It is really cold out. Granted, dicking around with the PKE meter was pretty distracting, and she didn't check the weather this morning, but this seems extreme for September. But hey, it's a short walk to Grand Central. She left her phone and wallet on her work bench, but Abby will take a collect call. It'll be hilarious. Collect calls are still a thing you can do, right?

Hell, worst case scenario, she can just walk. She's farther from HQ than a standard (survivable) explosion could send her, but she's not that far.

She looks down at the prototype. It's in a sad state, all blackened on one side, but most of the damage appears to be cosmetic. Once she's back in her lab (presuming it's not a smoldering ruin, but she's not seeing smoke or hearing sirens from that general direction, so that's promising), she'll have it patched up and polished in no time.

Holtzmann gets to her feet, not even bothering to brush at the soot coating most of her front (with the exception of a prototype-shaped clean spot where the PKE meter took the brunt of it). She probably looks like some kind of dystopian chimney sweep. Oh, well. She notes a passer-by's startled glance, and gives them a wry grin and a salute. "I'm okay!" she yells for good measure. "I'm a professional!" A few other strangers look her way, so she adds, "Don't try this at home, kids."

Well, there's the PR for today wrangled like a boss. Holtzmann flips the PKE prototype up to rest on her shoulder, then swaggers off towards Grand Central Station.
royaldick: (Riding)
[personal profile] royaldick
Richard is so hungry. Stupid bats, eating all their food.

It's a good thing he's riding, because between the hunger and the remnants of the cold he's still fighting, Richard definitely wouldn't be up for walking all this way. He's almost dozing off on his horse, sniffly and miserable as they ride through the forest.

It's getting really cold too.

Actually, it's... getting really weirdly cold. Like it could almost start snowing.

Hold on, it is snowing! Just barely, little flecks of snow drifting down through the trees, not enough to actually cover anything, but enough to confirm how cold it is. The leaves beneath the horse's hooves are crunchy with frost.

Have they entered into a Snow Queen's realm or something? Because it really isn't the season. Richard is fairly sure there's no one like that around these parts, but he's been wrong, you know, on occasion. If that's the case, he'd better warn Galavant and Roberta that they should change their course.

Which... would be easier if he knew where they'd gone off to. Did they become separated while he dozed off? Damnit.

"Galavant?" he calls, then clears his throat, voice scratchy from his cold. "Gal, buddy?" He pauses, listening. "Bobby?" Still nothing but silence, and a cold breeze rustling the crisp leaves above him. Richard shivers, then reaches into his shoulderbag and pulls out Tad Cooper. He tucks the baby dragon inside his vest, where he can be kept warm by Richard's fever.

Well, nothing to do but to ride on. Perhaps he can find some more open area to see what's ahead. He calls out a few more times, until he reaches a stone road. That's peculiar, how did they get it all flat and even like this? They must have really talented masons around these parts.

Soon enough the forest opens up, and Richard can see the mountains ahead. The... very tall, very vertical, block-shaped mountains?

Really talented masons, then.

"...What the hell?" he proclaims eloquently.

Cut for flavour image )
boneshaker: (yeah whatever)
[personal profile] boneshaker
A young man stands by the fountain at Bethesda Terrace and smokes a cigarette. He has only just arrived, appearing several feet off the ground and falling flat on his back with a pronounced yelp. Apparently, one harried passerby tells him, this kind of thing happens all the time. Apparently there's a whole community of 'people like you'. He refuses to stick around and provide any more salient details.

Castor blows smoke into the crisp autumnal air. He's not entirely certain what to make of his predicament, except that it has saved him the trouble of the backalley scrap he'd just gotten himself into, so that's something.

Whatever city this is--New York? Chicago?--it's clean. Well, cleaner. Well, this bit is. And on top of that it's a park. Parks are the sort of luxury not afforded to his kind back home. That might be a good thing. It might also be a problem. Well, probably not a big problem. He's never far from garbage. Not really.

He finishes his cigarette and flicks it to the ground, crushing it gently under his shoe and absorbing the energy back from it. Cigarette butts are everywhere. There's not much life in them but he can make do. Every bit counts. He stuffs his hands deep into his coat pockets and pivots on his heel, studying his surroundings. What's he supposed to do here, wait around until someone comes to pick him up? Wander and hope he runs into somebody he can talk to? It's not a great plan, but he doesn't have another one. It occurs to him he might be in shock.

Whatever. Be like a shark. Keep moving.

As he wanders through the startling greenery, he casts his awareness about idly, trying to feel... something he can relate to. This is not an exact science. It's linguistics, and the vowels shift every damn day. He adjusts the parameters in his head. A weak excuse for a thought experiment: let's say this new place is a dumpster, and you've been discarded from your previous dumpster and tossed into this one. And let's say there are others like you. So find them.

Ridiculously, it works. As he moves through the park, there is some vague sensation of familiarity tugging him in an increasingly focused direction. It says 'this thing is in the same language group as you'. This thing is a person. He walks up to it. Them. "Hi," he says with a friendly grin. "This, uh, this might be a weird question, but when you came here did you do it by like... appearing out of thin air?"
cheeseburger_backpack: (amazed - absorbed)
[personal profile] cheeseburger_backpack
"Whoooah," Steven says as he stares at the New York City skyline. He's splayed on his back - on his backpack, if you want to get technical - and his palms are being tickled by... grass. Which is not the warp pad he should be feeling.

This is weird. He's good at warping, now. He's the Warp Master! He knows better than to mess around while they're all on the move. What went wrong?

Steven wiggles for a moment like an upended beetle, then rolls over onto his stomach. "Pearl?" he calls out experimentally. Maybe the warp pad they were aiming for got broken. Maybe it scattered them. "Garnet? Amethyst?" He pushes himself upright, then shivers. Wherever he is, it's colder than Beach City. Good thing he came prepared! He unzips his backpack, and a few moments' rummaging produces a hoodie. He pulls it on, puts up the hood, and gives the strings a good jerk to tighten it.

Much better. Now, he can find his friends.

That turns out to be much easier said than done. There are loads of people here. It's like six or seven Beach Cities combined, at least. Usually, warp pads take them to out-of-the-way places where people don't live, not huge, bustling spots like this.

Steven makes his way to the edge of the park, then stops, frowning at the heavy foot traffic. None of the Gems would be able to spot him in that crowd, or hear him over the rest of the noise. There are fewer people back the way he came. Maybe he should retrace his steps to where he arrived, in case his friends land in the same spot. Maybe it was the timing that got messed up, not the location. Maybe the warp pad was buried under the grass! Can that happen?

He'll ask the others when he finds them.

It's good to have a mission, even if it's not the one they originally set out on. Steven starts off at a purposeful march, backpack bouncing, eyes and ears peeled for any sign of Garnet, Pearl, or Amethyst. Or Lion. Hey, maybe Lion will show up!

He's been wandering long enough to start feeling a little apprehensive when he hears the familiar sound of someone playing a guitar. He knows it's not his dad - or at least he's pretty sure (could he have used the warp whistle again?) - but he wanders toward the sound, anyway. He likes music, and the Gems know he likes music. Maybe, if they can hear it, they'll head towards it, too.

Sure enough, the guy playing the guitar is a stranger. But he's playing really well! And he seems approachable, so Steven goes right on ahead and approaches. He doesn't intend to interrupt the performance, but the song is catchy, and the chorus is easy to pick up on, and before he can stop himself, he's singing along in harmony. If only he had his ukulele; then they could really jam.
literatimariano: (Surprised)
[personal profile] literatimariano
Jess needs to get out of this damn city.

Historically speaking, Manhattan has been his playground. (Literally, if you go enough years back.) He's always known the ropes, where to go, where not to go, where you could find something exciting happening. Now it's already starting to get stale. It's been almost three years since he moved away, and a lot has changed in that time. He's changed. His friends have changed - moved on, or simply moved away. Meanwhile, Jess feels stuck, and he hasn't even been back all that long.

It's probably those self-help books Luke got him to read. How can he move on if he's just going back to what's familiar? Furthermore, how can he pursue the things he wants if he's barely making ends meet? Self-actualisation is practically impossible when survival and safety isn't guaranteed. He works too much and he's living in a dump, but New York's gotten expensive, so there's not much choice. He tried LA, but it's just not his scene. Chicago, maybe? Or perhaps Philly...

The subway train comes to a screeching stop, pulling him out of his reverie with a jolt.

He sighs and heads out, up the stairs, taking two steps at a time as he shrugs back on his leather jacket. Too stuffy and humid underground to wear it. It's starting to get that way outside too, but it hasn't quite reached it, the air dusty and crisp.

Chilly for May actually, which seems fitting. Supposedly April is the cruellest month, but Jess wouldn't mind contesting TS Eliot on that. All this evolution and momentum around him, and for all his travelling, Jess is standing still. What he needs is a change.

This is probably one of those 'careful what you wish for' moments. )
spiritofwinter: (mischeivous | snowball)
[personal profile] spiritofwinter
It's been a few days since Jack was suddenly transported from Queenstown to Manhattan without an explanation. He knows people who can do that kind of stuff, but he didn't see any magic portals when it happened. More worryingly, the season is all wrong, autumn when the northern hemisphere should be in the throes of late spring.

Most worryingly, he can't leave. As in the wind won't work with him when he tries to fly away from the island of Manhattan, buffeting him back in instead of carrying him where he wants to go. As in not knowing how he can get back to anyone who might have answers for him -- the Man in the Moon isn't any more talkative than he's ever been, and Jack doesn't have any way of contacting the guardians when he can't fly to the North Pole...and when Sandy doesn't show up at bedtime. That's the part that came as the worst blow: he'd sat up through the entire first night waiting to see the dream sand, sure he could go to his friend and find out what was happening and why he's suddenly here instead of back in New Zealand, and whether he really did lose a year when it happened (the newspapers say it's 2013, and while he's pretty sure it was 2012 the last time he checked, once a couple centuries go by the years all blur together).

He's lonely here without anyone who can see him, and he's a little scared all the time from not knowing what brought him here or what's keeping him in and the other guardians out. Lonely isn't new, but it still hurts after things had been so good for a little while. Now that it's been a few days without any hint of what he should be doing to fix whatever happened, he's coping with it the same way he always has, if with less joyful abandon than before. It's cold enough for a little snow, which means it's cold enough to send people slipping on the ice -- and cold enough for a game of Snowballs From Nowhere. If there's one good thing about being unseen, it's the look on people's faces when he beans someone with a snowball and they can't figure out where it came from. He's been at it a while, and it's actually working to take his mind off of things, for now, to judge by his laughter when he lands a snowball right on the back of a random woman's neck.

[OOC: While this post is for introducing Jack to Greta, please feel free to assume he's lobbed snowballs at any characters who can't see him yet.]

[cw references to character death in comments]
lonelyghost: (what was his name)
[personal profile] lonelyghost
There is something he's forgotten, isn't there. Isn't there? Darkness where there used to be light, nothing where there was something, but now who's to say what it was. The sky is scarred but healed and quiet, and everyone is glad they are safe and you helped and you should be happy, but there is that itch of forgetting, like before, when you forgot yourself.

Can't keep the thread of that now, slipping through your fingers like fine sands, like a dream. The Inquisitor is here. Your friend.

"There've been some reports of Fade rifts in the Hissing Wastes," he says. "Would you like to go with us?"

"I've never been to the Hissing Wastes," says Cole. "Do they actually hiss?"

"I don't know about that," says the Inquisitor with a little smile. Cole likes his smile. It's friendly, and isn't forced. "Harding called it the worst place in the world, but I don't know if I agree with her on that. It's all quiet desert. I thought it was rather nice, myself. You might like it."

He asks when he doesn't have to. He is the Inquisitor, he can make anyone go with him at a word, but he always asks. He is a good friend. Cole hopes he never forgets.

The Hissing Wastes do hiss a little, wind whistling woefully over the sand. Cole does like it there, dark and cool and mostly quiet, traveling with Varric and The Iron Bull, neither of whom call him 'it' or 'thing', or seem to mind what he is. When they come upon the Fade rift The Iron Bull laughs and Varric says something funny, in the wrong order, and Cole's mind is mired elsewhere because this one does not feel right. The others don't notice, can't feel it, but this rift is two rifts, one inside the other, something else beyond, reaching and grasping.

He shouldn't, knows he shouldn't. Nobody should. But Cole reaches back.

It's what he does; he helps people. The others can't sense it, don't see that this rift wants more than to let demons out. It wants to pull them in. He can't let that happen to his friends. He won't. There is no time to warn them and no time to stop it so Cole pushes forward and offers himself, gives up himself gladly, to save them all.

"Cole!" the Inquisitor cries out, startled, confused, why is he going, why is he doing this, but Cole can't answer him now, can't turn back; if he were more like a spirit he could fight it, but he's not, and so he can't. He lets it swallow him up, and he is afraid: he doesn't want to go to the Fade, he doesn't want to be alone.

It is over very quickly. But it is not the Fade where he finds himself. This place is real. Whole. But it is not the world he knows. It is something different.

He is sitting in grass, real grass but different grass, feels different, remembers hundreds of different years, and millions of lives, nothing Cole's ever felt before. This is somewhere new. Not Thedas and not the Fade.

He does not move, sitting in the middle of the grass, surrounded by people who ignore him, even though he is wearing his hat and he just appeared, no one sees him, nobody sees. He's like he was.

Afraid and alone, adrift, absent. Cole curls inward and tells himself to wake up. It will not work. It never works. This is no dream.

Wake up, please.



[OOC: Please note Cole's permissions page and the abilities section of his app. It is possible that your character can meet him and then forget the encounter afterward, if you like. This means there could be multiple encounters. Feel free to tag in setting your character up as minding their own business, and Cole can approach them, as he is not easily noticed (not by the average person, anyway). Hit me up if you wanna run something by me.]
grabme: (AAAAAAAAA)
[personal profile] grabme
The thing about space is that, frankly, it's enormous. Bloody massive, in fact. Just so very much of it stretching in so many different directions, and here, right now, currently drifting among the assorted debris caught in the Earth's lunar orbit in a slow, forlorn arc, Wheatley finds himself thinking that space, space is just - well, it's terribly overrated, really. It all looks more or less the same, to be honest. Big, black, empty space, with a little dusting of stars here and there, nothing special, just a few pinpricks of illumination to highlight his current complete and unending isolation.

Not complete maybe. Not entirely.

"Space," hums a delighted, dopplering voice in his audial processor for the millionth time in - well, Wheatley's not entirely sure how long he's been up here, but he's certain it's been quite a while. Ages, in fact. Some very long, very lonely, very loud bloody ages. The shared link between his audial processor and his companion's has given him some company, he can say that much, some sort of radiowave variation to offset the noiseless vacuum of space, but it's not saying a whole lot in the end, as said company is not exactly the best or most engaging conversationalist. In fact, the only other personality core around has exactly one topic on hand to discuss at inarticulate and immense length, and that is -

"SPAAAAAAAAAAACE."


"Right," sighs Wheatley without much enthusiasm. "Bang on. Space. Got it in one. Loads of it. Don't ever plan on running out, no sir, we can check that one in the column of things that we have at our, at our collective disposal. Space." Wheatley has long since come to accept the fact that emotional modulation doesn't seem to have much of an impact on his hyperactive companion's extremely one-track mind - regardless of how angry he's gotten, how desperately he's cajoled or pleaded or politely asked or screamed for the other core to pipe down for just a sec, mate, just one bloody second, is that so HARD?, the space core remains, as always, blissfully, elatedly, happily unaffected, lost forever in its euphoric personal daydream.

"Yeah," says Wheatley, watching the star-studded perpetual night spin lazily past. "Yeah, look, mate - d'you mind keeping it down over there? Trying to reminisce here, terribly important."

It was all his miserable, miserable fault. He'd been greedy, and bossy, and monstrous, and he'd mucked things up so colossally that she'd had no choice but to launch him into the great empty vastness of space. Really, he doesn't blame her for that - who would? She'd made the best choice she could, and he'd - well, if he's honest with himself, which has become increasingly easier here, in space, with no one to listen or care for a word coming out from discarded, broken, tiny old Wheatley's vocal processor, he'd conversely made the worst choice.

Hence: the banishment. To space.

Until, suddenly, he's not anymore.

He doesn't get a great deal of time to adjust. He gets the briefest impression of white, intensely hot light, and the barest flutter oh god, it's happened, I've been knocked out of orbit, I'm about to fly into the flipping SUN, and then, just as abruptly, he's somewhere else. It's terribly bright, and something's wrong with his optic, something's got to be off there, because everything is just more than a bit wonky, and, most impressively - no space! No space at all!

Wheatley does not get very long to process the latest in this unforeseen string of events as he's dropped, literally, on top of something squirming and squishy and moving like it's got limbs and he's got limbs, and he realizes he's got limbs and realizes the person beneath him has got limbs and reacts in the only reliable way he knows and understands: he screams, realizes he's acquired an entirely different vocal processor and screams again, and tries, with absolutely no coordination behind the movements or any idea what to to do with his newly-acquired body with its variety of long, gangly limbs, to scramble upward and off and away from the person beneath him, all with the absolute maximum of volume available to his vocal processors.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"
0thingsonmymind: (Default)
[personal profile] 0thingsonmymind
For a moment no one was there, there was just an empty space on the sidewalk near central park. There was no real reason for it to stand out, unless being empty counted. But it only remained this way for a moment as a young man clad in a tan hoodie and a black mask suddenly appeared to replace the empty space. He had been running, but once he noticed where he was he skidded to a stop. Normally, suddenly ending up in a different place wasn't all that odd, but something felt different about it this time. Maybe it was just that the city was unfamiliar and he hadn't expected to be in a city, or maybe it was something else. He's not sure, he just knows it feels off (many things were off and they were okay, but this was a different off) and he can't quite place why. And he's not happy about it.

He tenses, pressing himself against the nearest wall and peering at the city from behind his mask.
This is not right. This is not the hospital, or the school, or the woods. Or whatever world the Operator came from.
This was just...different. And he did not like it.

He tries to push the panic down, to at least keep it at a manageable level. He could (would) worry later, now he needed to figure a number of things out. His location was the most important; the name didn't matter, he needed to know how close to Rosswood he was. How close to Alex or Tim (hadn't Tim been chasing him? Where was he?). If he wasn't close enough to get back quickly he'd need somewhere to hide, somewhere to figure out his next move (somewhere with internet he could steal). This was different. This was WRONG. But he could deal with it.
Somehow (he had to).
driftseeker: (got those jet pack blues)
[personal profile] driftseeker
Post-drift and post-canceled-apocalypse, it’s a disarray of decontamination protocol and harried celebration and administrative detailing that’s lost on a head that’s too full of sentiments opposed. There’s grief, sick and heavy, laid flat against the fluttering escape of relief, the confused realization that somewhere outside of this lies an actual future, not simply in the context of a motivation or incentive to fight ever-onwards, but as something conceivable and attainable and imaginable.

She can hear Raleigh for days after, as they undergo endless directives to ensure that they are free from the heretofore unconsidered threats of radiation poisoning or infection by alien pathogens, but nearly all of it slides past in an incomprehensible, exhausted blur of prolonged lassitude. They're ghosting constantly, instinctive and unthinking, awake and dreaming, and there’s a familiarity to the the brush of his mind against hers; they’re each others' anchors in the nightmares that follow, one dragging the other out of those plunging tangents of things many-eyed and blue-dyed and split-jawed and glistening, and between the horrors buried in their heads and the steel ache of loss, sometimes Mako wonders how it is she is still sane.

They’re released from the labs and medical procedures after a week. Herc circumvents the wall of paperwork for them, dismantles the red tape to scrape one last favor out from the Shatterdome’s shattered shelves, and tells them to give themselves a brief cushion of space before the press hits, because it will. They saved the world. They’re heroes. They're cultural icons. Their faces are plastered on every magazine and news report, and everyone will want to know what it was like and were they scared and how did it feel to save the world. Privacy will be a privilege they'll soon miss.

Mako just wants to sleep. Raleigh does too. They sequester themselves in an anonymous hotel and barricade out the real world and hunt for rest without dreams of things with too many teeth. The only clothes they have are PPDC-regulation. Personal effects have been left abandoned in their old rooms. They crash fully clothed and sleep with boots still on.

It’s with a roaring in her ears that Mako wakes and finds that everything is bright and wrong. The hotel is gone; the world, everything, and when she claws out in search of Raleigh’s mind she only finds screaming silence. It takes her a moment for her scrambling mind to string together causality and consequence, form a concatenation of deductions to be drawn from the seeping chill that soaks her from the waist up, the wet cling of her clothing, and conclude that she is standing waist-deep in water in a fountain in a city she doesn't recognize. Wind hisses over the water's surface, distressingly non-littoral.

Mako raises a hand and squints against the glare of the sun, bereft.
waymoremysterious: (pic#7828797)
[personal profile] waymoremysterious
There are very few moments in Raven's relatively young life that she can remember being truly stunned by something to such an extent that it literally changed everything, aside from one. The night she met Charles, when she was just a girl. She was shocked to discover she wasn't alone. There were others who could do things – special things – just like she could. It had given her a feeling in her stomach as though she'd been punched and had caused the world to seem to tilt a bit as hope exploded within her. Everything changed for her. It had been life-altering.

Now, however, she realizes she's going to have to add another time to that very short, extremely exclusive list. Because right now, she's feeling that same way again. Something huge is happening that is changing her entire perspective on life as she's always understood it. This time, however, it isn't because of what she can do but rather where she's wound up. Or, more importantly, when.

New York City in 2013. New York City she can handle. She's spent plenty of time in the city and knows how to survive just fine. But fifty years into the future in the blink of an eye? It's enough to make her wonder what else, exactly, is possible. Because even for someone who can change her shape to look like anyone she wants, time travel is a tough pill to swallow.

Not impossible, though. So while the situation is a heady one, it isn't enough to steal her composure for long. After a few heartbeats of staring with a somewhat slack-jawed expression at the date on the newspaper in a corner stand, she pulls herself together and turns to take in her surroundings more fully with a raised chin and speculative look. She isn't blue, as much as she longs to shed her "normal" human guise and return to her truly natural look. For the time being, though, she isn't trying to draw attention to herself. She just wants to blend in and figure out what in the hell is going on.

That's the last thought that goes through her mind as she moves away from the newspaper stand and, with her gaze still flickering from the shops to the people around her, Raven absently steps off the curb and directly toward oncoming traffic.
mamasgirl: (pic#7748405)
[personal profile] mamasgirl
"Mama?"

Even as the word passes Lilly's lips, she knows it's pointless. She might not know where she's turned up but she knows for a fact that Mama isn't around. She was there - or, at least, Lilly had been with her. She's still wearing the crown of flowers that Mama made, is still adorned in her dirty night clothes and tattered bathrobe, and can still feel the bite in her cheeks from the wind as it whipped past her while she fell off the cliff, toward the water, safe in Mama's arms.

Without Victoria. That thought makes Lilly frown and stop in her tracks on her way to the trees thirty feet or so away. Victoria said no. Victoria didn't want to come with them. The loss of her sister is something Lilly has never experienced and therefore doesn't know how to handle. Her sister has always been there. To go anywhere, even with Mama, without Victoria, seems wrong.

That doesn't seem to matter now, though. Although unquestionably young, and certainly underdeveloped both mentally as well as physically, Lilly is far from stupid. She understands more than she lets on and she's capable of more than she normally does. This situation is no exception. She knows, with absolute certainty, that she's alone in a strange place. Neither Victoria nor Mama is here. She also knows, with equal certainty, that she needs to get to safety.

For Lilly, that's always, always the woods.

Fortunately, the trees aren't too far from where she's arrived and, after shaking off the overwhelming sense of sorrow at her sister's betrayal, it takes very little time for her to reach them. Once in an area that's a touch more secluded, she next sets out gathering up bits of twigs and brush to build an area for her to rest.

That is, until she hears the telltale sound of someone approaching. Immediately Lilly drops into a crouch. A low sound comes from her throat - similar to a sound an animal might make while warning another animal that it is encroaching on its territory - and she scurries quickly on all fours - palms and feet flat on the ground and back arched unnaturally high - to a nearby tree. She doesn't climb it, and won't unless she feels threatened, but instead she simply begins to wait for whoever is approaching to make their presence known.
insectreflection: (5)
[personal profile] insectreflection
"Your shirt," Tara says, her brow knitting in a worried frown. It's spattered with red.
 
The last thing she sees is Willow's horrified face, as she collapses and everything goes dark. She doesn't have time to consider what this means. It just seems to happen.
 
And then she's... elsewhere.
 
Everything is soft and warm, and she know Willow's all right. She must be grieving, she must be in pain, but she will be okay. She has her friends, and she's strong. She'll heal and prosper and be safe. So will the rest of her friends. It's all going to be okay.
 
She doesn't know how long she's there. It can't be too long, but time seems to have no meaning.
 
And then she's not. The sunlight is harsh and bright, and there's all this noise. Traffic.
 
A lot of traffic, all around her. She's... in the middle of a round-about? It takes several long minutes for her to take in her surroundings. Gigantic buildings, tourists, cars. The noise is deafening. She looks down at herself, her jeans and blue sweater... the dark red stain and hole in her sweater, just over her heart. She touches it, but the skin there is unharmed, whole.
 
How did she get here? Where is here? The questions are too many for her to order in her mind, and she's not sure exactly what's happening. She has to collect herself for a minute to stop from panicking.
 
And she seems to be stuck atop the base of a monument. The granite is warm against her back, and it's just a little too far down for her to feel comfortable jumping. Especially given how shaky she currently feels.
 
"E-excuse me," she calls out to a passer-by. "I'm sorry, c- could you help me?"
burgleurturts: ((゚ペ)?)
[personal profile] burgleurturts
The sun drops with almost immeasurable slowness into Greg’s teacup. He rests his chin on the tree stump and holds up one thumb and closes one eye and watches the big yellow ball roll down the side of his finger. He remembers the time a girl at school told him that thumbs aren't really fingers. “That’s a rock fact.” His breath, clear as the air, puffs away the snow that’s fallen in front of his mouth. The snowflakes are undisturbed? By the sound. It’ll be night soon, and Greg made his wish the night before; Wirt must have found his way home by now. He’s smart like that.

The trees far away eat up the sun before it can land in the cup, swallowing it in their needles and branches, but Greg is too tired, and the light breaking through the trunks is too pretty. Just as the last little slivers disappear, a green light flashes, like when he makes Wirt photograph him and his findings with that camera that spits out pictures, except this flash is growing and growing, filling the sky and the forest and his cup. It resolves into the shape of a kitten, then a cat, then a big cat, bounding closer and faster. It leaps into the air and strikes its head against the tree stump, shattering it and the cup and the branches that Greg hadn't noticed were hugging him. It stops in front of him, shaking the leaves and snow from its fur.

"Oh, Gregory," the fearsome critter says, like his father when Greg tells him about the adventures he's had and the new friends he's made.

"Hi, kitty," Greg greets, quiet and awed and droopy-eyed.

"I am not a kitty," it huffs. "I am the Splintercat." Greg reaches out to play with the funny tufts of hair at the tips of its ears. It bows his head, rumbling, then circles him three times, taller than Greg where he sits. "You don't belong here, Gregory." It wraps itself around him, soft and warm.

"Okay," Greg sighs, and falls asleep.

When he opens his eyes again, it's daytime, and the soft warmth surrounding him is much bigger and softer and warmer than before. Greg takes a big breath of the fur under his nose and sneezes. The big soft warmth rumbles. Greg pokes it, then pushes his fists into it.

"Punch, punch, punch."

With a mighty yawn, which Greg follows with one of his own, the fur parts to reveal the sky, and some rocks, and some water. Greg squints up at the sun and stretches.

"Boy, am I pooped."

A white face and a black nose descend on him, snuffling at his face, and his clothes, and then his stomach. Greg laughs, batting at the animal's snout.

"Haha! Hey! Hahaha!"

The creature whumpfs and nudges him with its nose, batting back with its big paws. Greg tickles it under its chin and on its cheeks.

"I'm gonna call you Antonio," Greg decides, as he's rolled back and forth by the curious creature. "You're real fuzzy, Antonio."

There's another flash, but not green, this time, and raises his head to look at it. Over past the rocks there's a big crowd of people waving at him and taking pictures. Delighted, Greg waves back.
scales_and_silence: (something probably wants to eat our face)
[personal profile] scales_and_silence
"There are places where the layers of reality don’t sit well against each other, like... like wearing a new
pair of shoes. They rub and pull and holes can form."
- Jonathan Healy

Central Park, New York City. (And Not the New York City One Would Normally Expect- At Least, Not the One Alex Would.)

Alex stood dazed for a moment, suitcases in hand. A moment ago, he was unpacking them from the car, getting ready to take them into the hotel room for the night. He and his fiance were driving from Ohio to Portland, with his colony of Aeslin Mice and church griffin, ready to start making wedding plans once they got to his family home outside of the city.

But. This was not the hotel parking lot. This. Looked a lot like Central Park. In New York City. The exact opposite direction of the way they were headed. And Shelby was nowhere to be seen. He put the suitcases down, and hushed the cheering from within. "Not now, guys."

"Shelby?" No answer. Not good. Or possibly good, since that meant she wasn't sucked into this, and that she was probably now looking for him on the other end of it. Comforting thought.

"Crow?" A big, black shape flew from one tree to another, squirrel caught in his beak, fuzzy hindquarters disappearing into the leaves. Alex relaxed a little. Okay, he had... some sort of backup with him. Even if he was only... mostly likely to listen to him.
deadeyedchild: did you know who it was (this wasn't supposed to happen)
[personal profile] deadeyedchild
"Alex—?"

The word comes out like a breath he'd been holding too long. He's barely even aware that he said it.

He's awake. Is he awake? Is he alive?

He's on the ground, propped against a tree, one sweaty hand clamped over his stomach and no camera, and no blood. His legs kick out uselessly, scrabbling in dirt and twigs and dead leaves, as he jerks his head to the side, gasping for breath. Where is he? Where is he.

Where is Alex? Alex was there a minute ago, wasn't he, wasn't he right—

Oh fuck. Oh no, no, no, no.

The dream comes back in little pieces, seeing Tim in that weird cottage, and—remembering

This time he lurches up, away from the tree, but his legs won't support his went and he pitches right onto his hands and knees, coughing hard, almost choking, hands fisting into the dirt, no, no, no, this wasn't supposed to happen, it wasn't supposed to happen. None of it. And now he doesn't know where he is. He doesn't know what to do.

Okay. Get a grip. Figure this out piece by piece. Where are you.

The woods aren't familiar—and he had been getting pretty familiar with a lot of woods. The trees are all different. It's not as quiet as it seems like it should be.

He gets to his feet and takes a half turn and freezes.

There is a phone booth, bright blue and just sitting there, a few yards away, half-hidden in the foliage. That's not—what the hell? He stares at it for a long time, trying to make sense of it, its brightness somehow making it stranger than all the creepy architecture he's ever climbed on and ducked in his head into only to have It standing behind him—he considers making a move toward it, but no, fuck that, not without a camera. He feels the hairs on the back of his neck prickle and he turns again, sharply, half expecting to see a faceless stare from within the trees, but there's nothing.

There's a path, he can just make it out. He wanders clumsily down to it, following it to wherever it'll take him.
postictal: (that boy needs therapy)
[personal profile] postictal
God, not this again.

Unclenching his jaw floods his mouth with a tacky, iron wash of blood, head pounding with that familiar dull ring. Drawing his senses into a hazy knot, Tim places himself.

Fluorescent lights. Mirror. Bathroom floor. Headache. Okay. So that’s. Not good. Headache means -

“God damn it,” Tim hisses. He is so done with this. It’s been months since last time. He rolls onto his stomach, palms pressed against the cool white tile, levering himself to his knees, that’s step one, then to his feet. One white-knuckled hand grips the sink’s cheap porcelain edge as he hauls himself upward. He can do this. He can think past the blinding agony of his knees right now.

He really doesn’t want to look into the mirror. It’ll confirm what he’s suspecting or deny it, and either option suffuses him with dread.

Well, whatever. He’ll get it over with. So yeah, this is so plainly the kind of thing Alex would film, something appropriately hipster-y and pretentious and beyond fucking cliché, Tim, I want you to look into the mirror and ~contemplate your life~, a million years and half a dozen inaccurate diagnoses ago, wow so that’s not a train of thought Tim needs. Big red neon sign there. But it distracts him from steeling himself to stare at the mirror because when he comes back to himself, he’s already staring at it.

“Mm, good for you,” his reflection says dully, the pale and trembling thing with sunken eyes and the thin dried dribble of scarlet running from nose to upper lip, blazing against the ashen of his skin. He groans and leans forward until both elbows are supporting his weight on the sink’s immutable edges, two fingers against each temple and both thumbs hooked under his jaw in a symmetrical downward tilt of silent agony. His forehead comes to rest against the mirror, eyes slipped shut. Focus on that sloppy pyramid of fixed points, good job. “Good job, buddy.”

Both eyes crack open dazedly for a second look at the same time everything changes. The abrupt lack of sink-related support sends Tim smacking face-first into the ground. Into the - grass? Wait. For the second time in what feels like as many minutes but probably isn’t, Tim forces himself upright into a disorienting sway. The brilliant contrast of the midday sun versus the clinical glare of cheap fluorescent bulbs sears his retinas for a minute, intensifying the scraping spike of double-edged pain behind his eyes. His vision fades into a cluster of photobleached splotches for a terrifying minute until everything clears.

So this is definitely a city? And he was definitely in his bathroom?

A hollow clap resounds in his chest as Tim sits on the patch of grass with a weary bump. So, again. Again. He doesn’t want to do this. He doesn’t want to assess. How many weeks has it been, how many miles from home, what complete bullshit did he do this time, and oh, look at that, his nose is bleeding again. Makes sense. Why wouldn’t it be?

Not this again.
singthesong: (Reaper Man)
[personal profile] singthesong
In retrospect, he possibly should not have taunted them all at once like that.

The Balladeer stumbles, catching himself on a tree and gasping sharply for air. The familiar weight of his guitar is on his back, but he's not sure how they got here. He isn't sure where here is. He recalls the assassins surrounding him, closing in, and then -

- he doesn't know what happened then exactly, but thinking about it makes his skin crawl. Something has gone terribly wrong.

But it’s okay. He's okay, and wherever he is there doesn't seem to be trouble here. It looks like a park, bright green under the heat of a summer sun. Somewhere in the distance, he can hear the sound of people talking and laughing and playing, which makes him wince a little, because since he's here there are probably going to be gunshots soon. He hates to see how they react. It’s worse when they’re actual witnesses; someone always feels like they should have done something more. There's a song in it, something mournful that he's half-heard in a million different voices over the years but never quite put his finger on. Those aren't really the stories he's here to tell. Still, he's always held on hope that they will get told someday.

Whatever's going to happen, he needs to be there, so he starts walking towards the noise, darting a quick glance out towards the audience as he goes to see if he can get a read on their mood. They must have seen what happened just now, at least.

Orrrrr they could just be totally gone.

He spins a quick circle, then swings the guitar about and plays a few chords from one of his older songs. He's not even sure why - does he think it'll summon them back? It didn't. Thinking about it, he can't even really see where it was they were anymore. "Okay," he breathes, fingers tightening around the neck of his guitar. His voice sounds strange, spoken aloud to no one. "Ooooookay. I guess it's time for my monologue."

Nothing. He's just talking to himself. “I don’t even get a tape?" he asks the trees. "I’ve got a few thoughts about West Side Story, I could go on.” There's another moment of quiet. He lets out a rather half-hearted laugh, shakes his head as if he knows what’s happening to him and is merely amused by it, and takes off towards the sound of people at a faster pace.

From there, he can be found wandering around Central Park. On the outset, he doesn't look entirely out of place there - maybe more like a very lost tourist than a transdimensional transplant. One with a guitar slung at his side who keeps scrutinizing the skyline like it isn't supposed to be there.

But he's not worried! Once he figures out what president is about to die, this will all make sense. Things’ll be fine.
julianbashir: (oh shit what the fuck)
[personal profile] julianbashir
At first the only sensations Julian can connect with his own body is extreme vertigo and nausea, side-effects Bashir isn't used to experiencing with the transporter beam since he was a first year student. Still, he has the distinct feeling that he is about to puke up everything he's eaten in the last 24 hours, which isn't much thanks to the fact that his Dominion captors weren't all that concerned about giving full meals to prisoners that were just going to die anyway. He squeezes his eyes shut tight, willing himself with all his power not to vomit, and slowly realizes he is on his hands and knees gripping the sidewalk with his fingers like the whole world might slip out from under him at any moment, shaky but clearly alive, his atoms not lost forever in the vastness of space. That is certainly something to be happy about, at least. He doesn't feel like he has any parts missing, either.

Wait, the sidewalk? The surface beneath him is definitely not metallic. Julian forces his eyes open. This is not the Dominian internment camp, and he is really, really glad about that. But it isn't a rescue ship either. Julian is not prone to cursing, but as he looks around the only thing that comes out of his mouth is, "Fuck." Because this is Earth, or a planet that looks very suspiciously like Earth. Which doesn't make any sense at all. This isn't even the Earth he calls his home, but clearly an Earth from... the past? He was always a terrible history student. You'd think his last accidental trip to the past would have made him study it, but he'd thought one accidental time-travel trip was probably all he would have to suffer. Wrong, apparently.

His hand goes to where his comm badge should be before he remembers that the Dominion took that from him too. He is utterly alone, cut off from rescue. Had Garak been lost too, or had he made it out? He hopes Garak is safe, somewhere. No matter how out of time Julian's clothes might be, he is still human, or at least mostly human. Would Garak, the crew look for him, or would they assume Julian was dead? He couldn't be stuck here forever... who knew what future he would change, screw up, just by existing here? From imprisonment to freedom, but not the kind he was hoping for. There would be no rest, no return to his quarters and friends, not yet.
Too many questions, and not the right time. He stands up, gives himself a mental medical check and finds nothing pressing, and takes in a deep breath. Julian presses any remaining panic down and steels himself. "You're an officer, Jules. Act like one. What do you do next?" Survival and not messing up any timelines should be his first directive. He is trained for this, he should know what to do and has been through this before in a way, though never on his own. He needs to get out of sight, first of all. His uniform will need to be abandoned somewhere, and clothes of the time found instead. He hates to steal, but his priorities are to blend in, stay out of trouble, find out where and when he is, and if possible why. It seems to be somewhere between the 20th-22nd century, though Julian has always been a terrible history student. Why, why hadn't he cared more about history? He'd been swept into the past, into mirror universes where the future was different... by now one would think he'd learn from his mistakes.

But... research! Julian loves research. He's good at it too. It is immensely calming to think of this as nothing more than his next research project. Gathering data of his surroundings, to support or go against his formed hypothesis of when and where and why... Yes, that Julian can do. He feels slightly better already. At least so far no-one has spared him a second glance. Wherever/whenever he is, people don't seem to be thrown by strangely dressed men standing in the middle of...wherever he is. Julian needs food, water, and a good long sleep, then he can figure out how to get home without majorly messing up either history or himself.
andhiswife: (recovering herself)
[personal profile] andhiswife
All right. Greta Baker knows what she needs to do. Good.

But of course it can't be easy, finding your way through the Woods. Which direction had she come from? One gnarled, ancient tree looks much like the other, and she hadn't left a trail. Maybe she should have, but she hadn't anticipated getting turned around quite so… thoroughly.

She's still trying to puzzle out which way to go when the first footstep falls. By the second (much closer) one, she decides which way doesn't matter as much as to go. It's the third or fourth earth-shattering impact that really knocks her off balance. She gropes for a branch on which to steady herself and misses by a fair margin. Her body is surprised by the error, her lungs sucking in a startled gasp of air, but what she thinks is an exasperated: well, that was foolish. She wasn't even close.

And then she's falling, absurdly, as if she doesn't have so many better and more important things to do (find the boy, join the group, stop the giant, get out of the Woods). One hundred and seventy-four paces, wasn't it? She mustn't lose count, but maybe it doesn't matter, because the count will be different by the time she lands. How many paces is she falling?

It looks like quite a few.

Everything stretches. Something snaps. The air is driven from her lungs. She tumbles down a gentle incline of leaf litter and twigs and green young growth, and finally somersaults to a halt near a large, bald patch of stone.

What was that?

A few leaves have got into her hair, and she scrapes them aside as she catches her breath. The air feels thick and heavy, but not in the cool, still way it had been in the Woods. It's hot, and it's humid, and there's a sound like a great, rushing wind. She scrambles inelegantly into the boulder's shadow, her eyes roving over the too-thin tree cover. It must have passed through here, must have torn up the trees as easily as pulling weeds in a garden, leaving only a fraction of the canopy behind.

Pressing her back against the cool stone, Greta scans the sky for giants.

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