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Iskendriel and her new team in Tales Post 10 must use the Kracker to travel out of The Fracture and to their new mission zone. The Kracker, a giant, ancient beast that opens portals, makes Iskendriel uncomfortable but she alone is able to travel without its use thanks to being a Planestrider. She takes Rab'ia al Fihri with her as the genie girl is trapped inside of a bottle due to her past crimes. Dr Lawrence Carroll is in the difficult position of being wheelchair bound but takes to the mission anyway. Their mission is to ensure that The Lamb, flagship of the Left Arm of The Imperium, is not lost to the Time-Lock Event of Pan Post 135. Dusty, one of Iskendriel's team members, confirms, using his powers, that Ameryl Hypericum has left The Lamb and is aboard the God-Killer. Nyneve Ó Braonáin, the final member of the team, also confirms by harassing a random crewmember. Everyone then pairs up to place the reality stabilisers throughout the ship so a large protective field would keep the ship from the time lock.

Post

The Peacekeepers

Time-Lock

This post coincides with Pan Post 135.

Iskendriel: "Why am I the one stuck carrying the bottle?"

She waggles the large, glass bottle as the group approaches the transport pad outside of the Peacekeepers' HQ. They look like a rag-tag bunch of misfits, none of them looking like they belong together.

Rab'ia: "I can't believe you're actually complaining. Seriously, you complain about my disability but not the guy in the wheelchair? This is discrimination."

The little genie glowers up at Iskendriel from within her bottle. She leans on the glass and points an accusatory finger at the 'normal sized' woman holding her 'home'. Iskendriel lifts the bottle up to her face to peer back at the tiny woman.

Iskendriel: "I don't have to lug around the guy in the wheelchair. I have to lug you around. And I know you got yourself into that bottle, so it's your fault I have to carry you."

Dr Carroll: "I do have a name, you know?"

She glances down at him and then back to the genie.

Iskendriel: "He does have a name, you know?"

Dr Carroll: "Really. How childish."

Iskendriel: "You hear that? You're very childish, Pipsqueak."

Rab'ia: "Pipsqueak, is it? That. That is discrimination again!"

Iskendriel: "You're only miniscule because you got yourself in there. You'll get zero sympathy from me."

Dr Carroll: "And what did she do exactly?"

Rab'ia: "Oi! That's confidential! You can't--"

Iskendriel: "Let's just say she deserves to be trapped in that bottle, doc."

Dr Carroll: "Very well. I suppose we all have our secrets. I hope you can be trusted, Ms al Fihri?"

Rab'ia: "Ms al Fihri is it now? I like that."

The genie runs her hands over her neck to her shoulders and strikes a coquettish pose for the sound of her own name. Dr Carroll's eyes flutter and her gives a small shake of the head with disbelief - evidently wondering what he's gotten himself into with this group.

He pushes the wheels of his chair, driving him towards the transport pad ahead of the others. Iskendriel knows he's forty-years-old but he does have the appearance of a man ten years younger. His brown hair is thinning at the crown but otherwise its light and fluffy. His this-rimmed glasses help to mask some of the age lines around his eyes and his skin has a very 'well moisturised' appearance to it.

When he reaches the transport pad he stops, turns the chair and backs up onto it. He wears fingerless leather gloves on his hands, much like driving gloves, to protect his hands from callouses that might be caused by the wheels of his chair. The gloves seem somewhat at odds with the rest of his outfit, which consists of a brown, tweed suit and a little, navy blue bow tie. The gloves are far too cool for that school teacher costume.

Dr Carroll: "Shall we be off?"

Iskendriel motions with her head towards the pad.

Iskendriel: "Alright team. Let's move."

She strides over to the pad and stands behind Dr Carroll's chair. She looks up at the looming Heart of The Fracture as they're still cast by its shadow. She isn't even sure how it casts a shadow, since there's no sun here, but it manages to have one nonetheless. She gives the bottle a little shake, tormenting the unfortunate genie inside it.

Iskendriel: "Hope you're ready. This is going to be a bumpy ride."

Rab'ia: "How about you go sc--"

The rest of her words are lost as the air tunnel descends upon the group of five Peacekeepers. They all lurch into the air and are sucked along by the wind tunnel. Iskendriel thinks the journey will be most uncomfortable for Lawrence Carroll in his chair, especially the landing. Damn genie would actually be the better off, protected by her bottle.

After they do land, Iskendriel takes note that Carroll does appear quite jolted from his landing. Perhaps next time they should break into smaller groups, giving him more space when he lands. Iskendriel makes a surreptitious attempt to give him a moment to catch his bearings while she gets the others into order.

Iskendriel: "As you know, I'm a Planestrider so I'll be travelling to the designation without the rest of you. Your files tell me you're all experienced enough to handle this, so you should know what to do..."

Girga: "We understand our roles. We won't fail you."

Iskendriel is a little taken aback by Girga's compliant manner but shrugs it off quickly and gives the other woman a nod. Girga Heth walks from the transport pad towards the Kracker. The creature sits upon its own floating island of The Fracture, its great mass taking up much of the landscape. Its thousands of heads chitter, some cackle or wail and a chill runs down Iskendriel's spine. There's more than one way to escape The Fracture but the Kracker is the most accurate and, therefore, most often used for important missions like theirs. As Girga approaches it, many of the heads closest to her turn to watch her. A few of them become more excited and start babbling at her. It is said that each head is connected to a different dimension - a different reality - and uses some form of higher telepathy, which is currently undetectable to standard telepaths, to send people to where they request. Whatever the truth of the creature, it has been in The Fracture long before The Imperium arrived and seemed to know what the Multiversal empire would intend to do. Iskendriel refuses to deliberate on the matter because she always gets a very horrible suspicion that the truth would be most unwelcome.

The others then follow after Girga, save for Rab'ia al Fihri who sits in her bottle in Iskendriel's hand. Dr Carroll seems to be just as uneasy with the Kracker as Iskendriel and his face suggests that he would much rather be travelling with Iskendriel's Planestriding abilities rather than the reality cracking of the Kracker. Travelling across space-time is a common enough phenomena, with many beings able to perform such a feat. Travelling across dimensions, however, is quite different. Instead of moving through space or tricking the hands of time, a traveller is punching a hole through the walls of one reality to get access to another. Some, like a Planestrider, can create a door to easily slip through but the vast majority of beings much be much more forceful in their methods. The Kracker is such a creature.

The four Peacekeepers stand in a row before the Kracker. The heads of the creature reach a crescendo of noise and then there's a snap in reality that actually sends a physical kinetic blast outwards that strikes Iskendriel in the chest like a cold breath. They're gone.

Rab'ia: "Just me and you, mon capitan!"

Iskendriel: "I could just leave you here."

Rab'ia: "You're not exactly Little Miss Goody-two-shoes yourself. You can condemn me all you like, but you deserve a bottle of your own."

Iskendriel: "Not bloody likely."

Iskendriel takes a last look at the Kracker and gives a grimace of disgust. She then turns and starts to run. Several strides later and she passes through the walls of reality and bursts out into the NeSiverse.

She almost collides with Girga, who deftly sidesteps. Iskendriel skids to a halt and gives the angellic-looking woman an appreciative nod. Could have been an embarrassing tumble there. She couldn't command much respect from these guys from the floor, arse in the air.

She senses the dimension, the time, the space - all of it is simply known to her. Her mind is able to detect the information by reading the walls of reality. They're in the right dimension.

The corridors of The Lamb are rampant with activity as soldiers, deckhands, janitors and officers go rushing about. Normally the vessel has quite a minimal crew but when the ship goes to battle, it is given a higher compliment of personnel. The ship shakes as something outside hits its hull. The group stagger a little from the shaking motion. Whatever hit The Lamb must have been extremely powerful to cause such stress to the god-infused space whale bone.

Iskendriel: "Well, I don't think you need me to tell you we're in the right place."

Nyneve: "Let's just get this over with. It's not like it's the hardest mission out there. Just plant a few devices and we're done."

Nyneve Ó Braonáin holds up the pack she's carrying and starts to take out one of the devices from within it. The device itself is black and shaped like a four-pointed star with a red gem at its heart. As Iskendriel takes the device, her hand touches the pale blue hand of Nyneve and Iskendriel feels the sudden chilled touch of ice run through her own fingers. She yanks her hand back at the sudden cold but gives herself an admonishing shake of the head and snatches the device from Nyneve. The woman's entire body is, likewise, this pale blue ice-inducing skin. Iskendriel imagines she has about as much success with men as she does. Zero.

Over her shoulders are ice pauldrons, which skirt across her shoulder blades and rise up into a high collar around her neck. From beneath the ice extends a long cape that is hemmed with pure, white mink fur. The heavy set cape is lined with dark blue velvet on the inside and black on the outside. She wears a tight, black onesie that is matched by a pair of elbow length gloves and knee-high boots that are both hammed with fur like her cape. Her hair is a grey-blue colour, like a rain cloud, and it rests long and heavy around the icy collar. The irises of her eyes are stark white and seems to shine out at Iskendriel. She feels like she and Nyneve have too much in common to ever get along.

Iskendriel: "It might be easy, but it's essential. We mess this up and the fleet here will wind up trapped in that time lock along with the High Empire. Dusty--"

Dusty: "Don't call me Dusty. My name--"

Iskendriel: "Is now Dusty. You're here because you can read the threads of fate. Can you see the thread of Ameryl from here?"

Dusty: "Yes. Give me a moment."

Nyneve gives Iskendriel an annoyed look before she jumps aside an stops one of the ship's crewmen in his tracks. He looks like he's only just noticed The Peacekeepers standing there.

Nyneve: "Is Ameryl onboard?"

The man looks bewildered.

Nyneve: "Peacekeeper business. Is Ameryl onboard?"

Iskendriel: "Seriously, Nyneve?"

Crewman: "Uh, no. She's on the God-Killer. It's come under attack from... uh... reports say... Average Joes? It's a really weird time..."

Nyneve: "It'll do. Get back to whatever you were doing."

Crewman: "Honestly, I was just sort of running around aimlessly but I guess I'll go do something productive now. Good luck on your mission. Keep us safe."

Nyneve: "Shove off."

The crewman looks dejected.

Girda: "We will keep you safe, you can count on us."

The random crewman nods appreciatively at Girda before running off, hopefully to be more productive than he'd originally intended. Nyneve gives Girda a sour look before her features alter completely into a smug smirk.

Nyneve: "There you go."

Dusty: "I can confirm... Ameryl is aboard the God-Killer."

Iskendriel: "Yeah. Thanks Dusty. You were incredibly useful."

Dusty: "My name--"

Nyneve: "Is Dusty. Nobody can say your bloody real name, get over it."

Nyneve grabs one of the devices for herself.

Nyneve: "Where am I planting this?"

Iskendriel: "You can take the bridge."

Nyneve: "On it."

She turns with a swoop of her cape and saunters down the corridor as though she's on the catwalk, the device hanging daintily from her tea-pot posed arm.

Dr Carroll: "What an interesting woman..."

Iskendriel: "Interesting is definitely the word for her."

Girda: "Where would you like me to place my device, Iskendriel?"

Iskendriel proceeds to dispatch the members of the group. She sends Dusty and Dr Carroll off together while Girda is to go after Nyneve. Iskendriel herself is paired with the genie.

She jogs down the corridors. There's no cause to run, but she doesn't want to take a leisurely pace either. She makes her way to the engineering section of the ship, which is split into two sections - that for the impulse engines and that for the astral shift engines. Once there she finds an empty spot on a wall and plants the device there.

Rab'ia: "This really was an easy mission. Feels like a waste to send such an experienced group."

Iskendriel: "At least everyone else can actually help. You're just here."

Rab'ia: "I provide moral support!"

Iskendriel: "Funny, I thought you were just annoying."

Rab'ia: "Don't hate me 'cause I'm beautiful."

Iskendriel couldn't really argue against that. Despite her diminutive size, the genie was quite beautiful in appearance and proportions; having a perfect hourglass physique and a heart-shaped face. Her skin is bright blue but semi-transparent and she wears traditional gauze 'genie pants', under which can be seen her underwear, as well as the obligatory curly-toed shoes and spangly gold bracers. She has a gauze headscarf that is wrapped around her hair and can, if wanted, be pulled up to conceal the mouth. Her thick and full hair is worn into a tall top-knot that cascades down her shoulders. Her hair is jet black while her clothes are white.

Iskendriel, instead, puts the bottle down and ignores Rab'ia.

Iskendriel: "Is everyone in place?"

Through the earpiece she hears Girda and Dr Carroll affirm.

Iskendriel: "Dusty, how close to the event horizon are we?"

Dusty: "Minutes away. It is going to be very... messy. If the devices are not placed correctly--"

Iskendriel: "If you want to question the placement of the devices, you can complain to Isk next time you see her."

Dusty: "If they are not placed correctly, we will never see anyone, Isk or otherwise, again. The initial time lock shall consume the entire Multiverse but the ensues aftermath should only lock certain elements of reality - mostly the High Empire. We could be trapped with them..."

Iskendriel: "It'll work. The chiefs at HQ wouldn't have drawn up this plan otherwise. The reality stabilisers have been amplified - they'll branch out and protect all of the Imperium ships in the vicinity of The Lamb. We'll probably end up saving a bunch of other ships in the area too. Not that that'll matter much cause they'll get a laser bolt to their bridge soon as reality is stabilised."

Nyneve: "You know none of these ships actually fire lasers, right?"

Iskendriel: "Shut up, Frosty."

Nyneve: "Great. Dusty, Frosty. What does that make you? Ashy?"

Rab'ia: "How about just ugly?"

Iskendriel: "And Isk thought a team would be a good thing... urgh."

Britt's Commentary

TBA

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