Vestige: Re-Union, Tesseract 6: "Double Take"
Anthadd, Cyan and Cantomon wandered around the temple aimlessly for a few minutes before something at the back of Cyan's mind brought itself forth.
"Hold on a second, Anth."
Anthadd stopped and turned. "Did you find her?"
"No, but I have an idea nonetheless."
"What is it," asked Cantomon.
"Well," Cyan looked to Anthadd. "Okabe has at least some level of Stellar abilitiy, correct?"
"Yes, but why do you ask?"
Cyan reached into his pouch and extracted the mini-computer stored there. Upon removing it, he spoke to it. "Terminal. Configure. D-port. Tracker. Range: Stellar." He pulled another small device off his belt and plugged it into the side of the terminal.
"Configuring. Please wait," intoned the terminal.
"This little tracking device is capable of detecting and tracing sources of Stellar powers, among other things."
"And you think we can find Okabe that way?"
"Perhaps, depends on how bad the temple's interference is."
"Configuration complete," chirped the terminal.
"Now we hope."
Cyan looked at the screen. In place of its usual grid, all he saw was, 'Excessive signal level.' He stared at it for a second.
"The temple's interference is powerful. I can't locate anything."
Anthadd wasn't quite ready to give up on the idea so easily. "What if you tried narrowing the range of the scan?"
The idea hadn't yet occurred to Cyan. "It might work. You're more familiar with her - and Stellar in general - than I am, maybe you should do this." Anthadd took the device and fiddled with it for a moment.
While all this was going on, Cantomon had laid down and was taking a nap.
"I think I've found her," announced Anthadd.
"Great. Let's go," suggested Cyan. Cantomon immediatly rose when he heard those words.
Following the signal wasn't easy. The temple wasn't the simplest place to navigate, but it wasn't the hardest, either.
While they were walking, Cyan examined the range of the interference.
Hmmm ... The bands the temple's interference covers look an awful lot like Harsemhin's range. I wonder if they're linked.
The three continued on.
All of a sudden, the fabric of space around the group disappeared, and faded into a swirling vortex. Space shifted in and out.
"Whoa!" Skulryk exclaimed. "What's going on?" He looked towards Unity, who was in a deep state of meditation.
Luna silenced him. "Be quiet! Unity needs to concentrate! You DO want to end up in the right place, don't you?"
Skulryk looked around him, then said, in a much quieter voice, "Uh... just what could happen?"
Luna sighed. "We could end up in a completely wrong dimension. We could end up in the wrong place. We might end up in a wall or underground! So just shut up!"
With this Skulryk did not say another word. Everyone in the group but Unity looked around them. They were floating through a void of everything and nothing. Pictures flashed by, but nothing could be seen, and a million voices passed through, yet nothing was heard.
The nothingness began to take shape, however. Forms slowly locked together, and the ever-changing world began to become constant, piece by piece. The world locked into reality, and Unity's eyes snapped open. She smirked, and said, "We're here."
They had appeared in a small clearing in the forest. Several birds erupted into flight from the tall pine trees at their arrival.
Skulryk stared around him. "What happened?" He stumbled at his first step forward, rather unaccustommed to the sudden change.
Unity chuckled. "Let's just say we've changed dimensions. What we went though was the path between dimensions." She helped Skulryk up. "We're not in Saturn Valley anymore because I've put us as close to where we need to be."
"Just... where DO we need to be?" Dan said.
"We..." Unity started. "Listen, I know where we gotta go, so simply follow me, please. I doubt any of you have a clue where to go anyways."
The group frowned a bit, but complied. They followed Unity out of the forest clearing.
Pulling herself along the wall, Luna made it to the kitchen. She gritted her teeth, while the air around her felt like it could easily crush her into a cute compact ball of mass.
"I neeeed help..." she muttered, dragging herself along a counter in the kitchen, when she lost her grip on the smooth polished surface, and collapsed to the floor, hitting her head hard. "Ugh... this is not good..." Luna sighed, shaking her head, trying to chase away the images dancing in front of her eyes as she slowly lapsed into unconsciousness.
Unity marched onward confidently. The whole group kind of trotted after her like a dog after its owner, when Luna asked for a break.
"Why? we've only been travling for 5 minutes!" said Unity irritably.
"I just feel... really really really tired... and hot... and... and..." Luna said, chugging water from a bottle. "and... oh my god... I'M DISSAPPEARING!" she gasped, dropping the water bottle and staring at her hand, which was flickering and fading.
"...what the heck..." gasped Unity, staring at Luna, who was opening and closing her mouth. The flickering seemed to increase, and the fading looked as though she was being sucked into a giant wormhole, but no one else was experiencing it.
"Help me!" she cried, but when Unity grabbed for her hand, hers went right through it. She stumbled backwards and stared. Then Luna was gone.
"What.. what the..." Skulryk was gasping, staring at the spot where she had been seconds before.
"Where'd she go!?" yelled Dan, rushing forward, waving his hands through where she stood.
Unity was in a standstill. She blinked at the ground for a minute, then said in a monotone sort of voice, "I don't know..."
Luna's eyes flickered open. She jumped up, and rapidly fell back down. Her eyes darted around the room nervously. What had happened just then? Did she die? Was this heaven? Why did heaven have a kitchen? She looked down at her clothes. Kind of white silk robey things. She patted her back. No wings.
"I'm getting mixed signals here..." she announced to no one in particular. "So, am I dead or not?" No answer. "Hello?"
Luna blinked. How strange. She thought to herself. I don't remember opening my eyes... She stood up experimentally. Had it all been a dream, the collapsing, the pain? Then suddenly, like an anvil, it hit her again, and she fell to the floor.
"Unityyyyyyy!!" Luna shouted from the floor. "Skulrykkkkkkk!!" She thought about it for a minute, and sighed. "Sirissssss!! Anyone?? Ugh, where the heck am I?" A thought struck her. Maybe there had been a glitch in the machine that had transferred her to another person's body! Maybe she was inhabiting their mind! She struggled upwards and inched towards a mirror she could see above the counter. She stared into it, and screamed. It was her... only... it wasn't. "What the.."
"...heck is going on here!?" yelled Luna, who looked quizzically at the mirror. Last time she looked she was sitting on the floor. What was happening to her? "What's happening to me!?" she shouted, then covered her mouth. "I didn't say that... but I did... and then... hey, what the heck, I'm talking. I didn't tell myself to talk! Stop that, you other talking voice!"
One voice sighed, and a voice identical to it also sighed.
"I think we have a teeny weeny problem here, me..." Luna commented to herself. She nodded.
Dabih was in a sitting room of the Balance Dome, biding her time until something important happened.
Man, this is taking forever. What's taking these people so long, she thought.
Luna tried to struggle up. I have to find Unity and the others.... no, we have to get to the Solid Light Temple! Solid Light wha? No, my friends are probably worried about me! Yeah, well, they'll have good reason if we don't find out what's wrong at the temple! Listen, I don't know what you're talking about, but I have to find Unity and the others right away!
At any rate, Luna agreed to walk out the front door. From there, she got into an argument.
This way! No, we have to head for the woods! That's where I think the others were! Luna gritted her teeth. I give the orders here! Because I'm me! Her eyes widened in shock. I'm just as much me as you are! Uh, I mean, I am! We are? Oh, I can't take this! Look, we're going to the Solid Light Temple! Luna frowned. Oh, fine. But hurry up! She conclusively stalked off in the direction of the Sky of Solid Light, stumbling at first because of the mixed signals to her feet.
Unity and her troupe were still headed toward Unity's instinct.
"Unity, do you have any idea what we're looking for?" inquired Jeff.
Unity's face turned pensive. "Well...... it must have something to do with freeing Paula. Once Paula is no longer inhabited by the forces controlling her, we can try to minimize that force to restore balance. I guess. I don't know, maybe we're going to find something to make Paula change her mind about what she's doing. Or maybe we're going to find something light to purge the darkness. I don't know right now."
As the other eight members of the group theorized, Poo had been studying the surroundings carefully. Around five minutes later, he spoke. "Wherever we're headed, I believe it is in Twoson or the surrounding area."
Paula looked up at the trees. "Hey, Poo, I think you're right..."
"I guess we need to go to this Paula's house?" asked Ness.
Unity frowned. "Let's not jump to conclusions. We'll follow my instinct, and see where it leads us."
The nine wanderers were near the border of the forest.
Okabe floated in nonspace. Floated in Null.
Her voice still echoed. But no longer echoed as her own voice.
Yes, her voice still was her voice; but the echo was now a multitude of voices: young; old; male; female; soft; hard; quiet; loud.
"Return me to myself..." she whispered softly. Her echoes repeated that, mocking. She breathed. "Return me to myself..."Her echoes faded. The males faded out; then the loud echoes; then the hard; then the old. Then the quiet faded; the soft; the young; and finally her own voice, the female, faded.
Slowly, so slowly, the nonspace melted away. And as it melted away, the temple melted back in; but she was not where she was.
"Now what?" she cried.
She jumped towards a nearby pillar.