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10/10/2019 20:03:42   

17 Aug 327: We have made a most auspicious discovery: a circle of shimmering light against the backdrop of the forest. The surface looked glasslike, except it did not reflect back any image. The surface was cold to the touch, rippling outwards where my fingers pressed into it. While others shied away from this anomaly, I was too enthralled to ignore it. It took a few hours to convince the others to let me pass through the circle, but I am glad that they did. It was like passing through a spider’s web, matter clinging to my body as I passed through into another world, very different from here. It was filled with all manner of beings unlike any we have ever seen. I spent only an hour within this other place before forcing myself to return. When I went to return, however, my clothing and possessions remained behind and I came back to the others, naked and ashamed. Despite that unforeseen complication, this ‘portal’ deserves further study.

23 Sep 327: Our knowledge of what exists is expanding at an exponential rate, with new discoveries happening every minute, it seems. I spend more and more time on the other side of the portal, in that strange world, mainly because whatever I take there must remain, including this journal and all of my notes. We have been testing if any objects are allowed to return to our original home, but nothing has passed back through yet.

4 Dec 328: A new opening appeared in what we have come to call The Shrine, that place we travel to, between worlds, the first activity we have experienced in quite some time. I spend most of my days here now, rarely going back to my home. We have not sent anyone through the new hole yet. We are worried about what lies on the other side.

6 Dec 328: An odd being walked through the opening today, dressed in strange clothing and carrying weird tools. It did not speak our language, and yet, when we heard it speak, we could comprehend what it was saying. Our small team was very concerned with this new development and returned through our portal to discuss with the Shogun what to do next.

14 Jun 329: Seven more portals have opened and more creatures have made their way through. The Shogun was adamant that we retain our presence in The Shrine, as we were its first founders, but I am having more and more trouble convincing others to return with me or to stay for any amount of time. And so I get to know the strange people who come through these portals by myself.

19 Sep 330: I’ve started to lose count of how many portals have opened. The first nine of us who arrived began to meet several months ago, to create a new society for this place. After much deliberation, we decided to name our new world ‘The Bridge’ as it seems to connect many civilizations from many different times and places.

We hope to build a peaceful society amongst the various peoples who have chosen to reside here. Tomorrow, we will hold a celebration in honor of the official creation of our Council of the Nine Pillars, which will serve as a governing body for those who decide to remain in The Bridge and the acceptance of a set of codes that we have created in order to maintain order in our new home.

Seiko closed the weathered tome, meditating on his favorite passages from his grandfather’s old journal. He imagined what it would have been like to be one of the first to come to where the Hashi District now lay, to explore this world when it was wild and untamed. Before they had started to create the city and before the place had been civilized. Seiko often dreamt of joining the Exploratory Core and go out to discover what new portals he might find, what people he’d meet, what strange and amazing new artifacts that the youth might uncover.

The alarm in his room went off, signaling that breakfast was ready and it was almost time for him to head to work. The young man had been up for a couple of hours already, training with his blade and reading from his most prized possession: the journal. Grabbing the weapon and pulling on his uniform, the dark-haired youth rushed from his room to join his family for a meal.

Garret, a second-generation inhabitant of the Brucke district stood with muscled arms folded as he waited for his partner, Seiko, to arrive. Late again, he thought, sighing despite himself as he turned his graying head towards the young third-generation running up to meet him.

“S-sorry, sorry. I got caught up in the Deck,” Seiko panted out, bowing sloppily to the older man.

The older man simply grunted at the boy, turning to walk into the complex that housed the cities northern portal. It was connected to some world he couldn’t pronounce. He braced himself for the tirade of inane gibbering he expected to flow from the young Hashian’s mouth. The kid was always chattering on about Exploratory Core-this and Exploratory Core-that. It was enough to drive a man to drink. He had mentioned several times in the past that the kid should simply apply for the Core and be done with it, but Seiko seemed more interested in talking about joining than actually doing anything about it.

“Are any of the teams due back today?” his partner asked excitedly as he fell in step with the must larger man. “It’s always so cool to see what they bring back and to hear all the amazing stories of what they found out there.”

“One, I think,” the man growled, hoping that it would stop the questioning and knowing that it wouldn’t. As they approached a pair of tired-looking guards standing to either side of a sliding metal door, Garret adjusted the firearm strapped to his side, making sure it was within easy reach. The kid was obsessed with swordplay, especially using the new Vibro-blades that had been part of one of the most recent excursions, but the large man had always preferred the feel of a pistol.

“Seiko Onimura, reporting for duty,” the kid said excitedly, snapping a quick salute to the guards they were replacing, eliciting a low groan from the woman stationed on the right.

“Garret Schmidt, here to take over,” the bigger man growled, piquing an eyebrow at the young woman who’s groan seemed to have escaped his partner’s notice. “Anything to report?”

The man standing to the left shook his head, “Quiet night here. Glad to get some replacements. Currently only one traveler today, sometime around noon.”

Garret dismissed the two and took up his position beside the door, settling in to listen to the kid's ramblings for several hours.

An older woman approached the two guards, having just passed through a security checkpoint before finding herself staring at an older man and his young, overly-exuberant junior.

“Isabelle Suiremont,” she said with a strongly accented tone, “Senior Researcher at the Caeryton National Institute, traveling to retrieve supplies and tools for the Pont District University, where I work.” The woman pushed some papers at the larger man, presuming that he was the one in charge. He took the papers and gave them to the younger man, who perused them for a few moments, then passed them back.

“Everything seems to be in order,” he said cheerfully. “Have a good journey!” The youth bowed to her in a strange style and opened the door.

Isabelle walked through, coming into the antechamber for the portal. Here, she would go through a process of disrobing and running through a gamut of sterilization procedures to ensure that she carried nothing from The Bridge back to her homeworld of Caeryton. On the other side would be fresh robes for her to put on.

As she began to undress, she could see a strange flickering coming from the next room. She pulled open the door to check on the gate. Within, the portal started to change shape, elongating as if someone was pulling it from both sides. She shouted at the two guards outside, pulling on what clothing she had taken off. The two men came rushing in, hands on their weapons, but stopped short as they caught sight of the anomaly.

“What in the world is going on!” the older man exclaimed as the gate stretched until it was only a foot across, extending from one end of the room to the other. “Seiko, quick, go and inform the Council.” He moved to put himself between Isabelle and the portal as the younger man blinked a few times, then rushed out the door, dashing down the hall.

Isabelle took a few steps backward, watching in horror as the opening stretched further until the opposite sides touched and the entire thing winked out of existence, a wave of energy emanating outwards and knocking herself and the larger man off their feet. Her head hit the wall and she crumpled to the ground, the world around her fading to black.

Fifteen minutes passed since "the incident" when a loud, long claxon call rang out through the city, signaling that the Council would be meeting shortly. The town quickly became abuzz with residents chatting with each other, many speculating about what was the cause of the general alarm. But whatever was the reason, it was drastic enough that the Nine were meeting out of their session to address it and that in and of itself was worrisome to many.

< Message edited by superjars -- 3/14/2020 23:08:22 >
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 1
1/17/2020 1:10:20   

Jakobal sighed as he sat down at his desk to eat lunch, his head pounding. He'd just come from an unfortunate meeting with the so-called twin geniuses from Frauzen 7 that had lasted two hours and, sifting through the mountains of technobabble they'd spouted at him, figured out that they had no current viable theories for experimentation and were trying to trick him into thinking they did.

Needless to say, Jakobal was not in a particularly good mood when the klaxon rang out. When there was a knock on his door shortly thereafter, he strongly considered ignoring it. But knowing it couldn't be the twins back as they'd simply have barged in, he dragged himself to his feet and answered the door.

Standing before him was a young man, slightly out of breath, a piece of paper clutched in his hands. “Yes? What is it lad?” The young man composed himself and spoke, “I’m from Pont University, they sent me with an invitation,” he said, holding out the piece of paper to Jakobal, who took it and gave it a quick read.

Brigadier Jakobal Verltruden, this note serves as an invitation to an impromptu gathering of minds. Given the unique nature of some of your avenues of research, your presence would be immensely helpful for answering pressing questions that have arisen.

Jakobal’s eyebrows arched and he regarded the young man before him. “Do you know exactly what this is about?” The young man shook his head. “All they told me was that the matter was urgent.” Jakobal snorted. “I’ll say. Far as I am aware there is only one avenue of research that we are the only group to work on. Lead on, lad.”

AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 2
8/2/2020 0:57:46   

“My God,” Trask says, shaking her head. “You’ve really outdone yourself today.”

Ten days. Ten days since she told him to find the documents, and he shows up at her porch exactly ten days later, to the minute. She’s half tempted to check if it’s the same second, too, but - what good would it do? Feed the superstitions? Already too many superstitions floating around her brain as is, enough to drive a person crazy. She reaches out for the papers: he dumps them in her hand. Unceremonious.

Strange. She always used to be the no-nonsense one around here.

The papers he hands her are rough, yellowed. Water-damaged, she thinks, although why someone would put genuine paper near water...and they aren’t rich people, either. What can they afford? Certainly not furniture, certainly not paper. Barely food. She’d try to fold the documents neatly, maybe to hide what’s written inside (no, definitely just for storage), but she already knows how that would go down: the God-awful sound of the paper wrestling with itself like a screaming demon, refusing her authority. No. I will not be bent by you. I am independent, strong, I have my own free will -

Cut it out, Trask, she tells herself, biting back a laugh. It’s just a bunch of paper.

First he comes here ten days to the minute, and she’s thinking about chance and superstition and statistics, and the next moment she’s anthropomorphizing paper. Maybe it’s about time she got her head checked. (Past time, the voice in the back of her head prods, only half insincerely. You’re well past due. How long before you admit you’re loony?) And this is what solitude does to her - talking to herself, triple-doubting, jumping at her own shadow.

Superstition, she thinks, and coughs out a laugh that makes the little man on her doorstep jump. Superstition. I thought you were supposed to be an engineer.

Well, no, not an engineer exactly. More of an inventor. But what’s the difference? One’s respected and credentialed, the other is a madman working in a madhouse with his hair standing on end. So, really, no difference at all.

“Trask,” the little man on her doorstep says pointedly. There’s a little cough to his voice, too, almost as little as his stature. He raises his eyebrows. He’s a thin little guy, reminds her of some kind of goblin, almost, like the kind you’d expect to be an underling to someone like her. Ha. Ironic. “My payment?”

“Oh, well.” She bites her lip. She’d forgotten about that, truly, it’s hard to when she’s always in the back of the shop staring down her long list of debts. The mystery woman, destitute. Who would’ve guessed? None of the stories about her ever seem to factor this part in. “I thought, you know, we’re friends, Ess. A favor -”

“You said that last time. And the time before.”

“Right. But a favor for a favor, I think - don’t tell me that’s not fair, Ess. You know it is.” She leans towards him, and she knows exactly how she’d look if she had a mirror: the glint in her brilliant, electric blue eyes, the jaunty smile, the confidence. Overconfidence, some would say. (But she doesn’t believe in a surplus in confidence. You can never have too much of the thing.) “Tell me what you’d like - anything. I’ll make anything for you.”

She never talks this much with anyone else. But a favor’s a favor, she can’t deny him that.

Ess narrows his eyes at her.

“Look,” she says, lowering her voice. “If nothing else, I’ll help you with your prestige. You know how it is: third generation, and I’m not just any third generation freak. I’ve got my reputation, and it’s a big one - don’t tell me, don’t tell me you don’t agree with that.”

“You’re a freak,” he says, his eyes still narrowed. “I’ll give you that.” But there’s a strange flickering look to his eyes, a back-and-forth tremble that makes Trask pause. She’s seen it before, when the children come by and stare. “I don’t know what you are making here, Trask. I’m not sure I really want to have one of your...creations...as close company.”

Those words, that comment - her cheeks flare up and she almost wants to snap at him, but even short as he is, he’s a good half inch taller than her, and he’s smoldering down at her in a way that reminds her: yes, you asked for this. The stories spring up around you and you accept them. What have you done to stop it? The mystery woman, the brooding Trask cooped up in her laboratory day in, day out. What has that woman done to her home? No wonder she has nobody living with her. They’d be a security risk.

A security risk. The thought of it sobers her.

“Ess,” she says, her voice lowering to almost a growl. She steps back a little, almost drawing him in through the doorway, but she can see the hesitation in his eyes before he stops, refuses the implicit invitation. Fine. She’ll do it his way, then. “I’m not a freak, and I’m not as idiot as you think I am. Those papers you brought me - they’re not just any papers. I know, I know it must all seem very strange to you, and I’m sorry about that. But I know more than you think.”

He looks up at her, then back at the papers. And then, very slowly, very softly, emphasizing every word: “Is that why you don’t know who your parents are?”

She freezes.

“Third generation,” he murmurs under his breath, and laughs.

She watches him go, watches him disappear from her doorstep, her hand gripped so tight against the frame her knuckles have gone white, and she thinks to herself: my God. He read the papers. He violated the agreement.

In the end, curiosity always gets the cat.
AQW  Post #: 3
9/6/2020 13:55:18   

The youth guided his charge through noisy streets in a direct line towards the university. People poked their heads out of their doorways or paused in the center of the street, while several others rushed towards the central district with a look of determination in their eyes. The klaxon continued, loudly at first, then fading to the background as time passed.

In all of his brief time working for the university, the boyish man had experienced no emergency that required such a quick response from the scientific community. His betters had not given him much additional information to what was in the note, which he had read only once before his mad dash to get the Brigadier. The youth was tall himself, with darkish red skin that placed him as an immigrant from Caeryton, same as many researchers with placements within the university.

“Sir, what do you think is going on?” he said nervously, trying not to stare at those standing in the center of the street, his hands clenched in front of his body. “I mean, uh, it’s got to be something rather important, right? To get all these people together.”

They had replaced Seiko and Garret at their guard, and both now sat in a large, white room at a hospital within the Deck. Beyond some scrapes and bruises, both had come out of the explosion relatively unscathed. Garrett kept complaining that his ears were still ringing to anyone who entered the room to examine them or check into their needs, but otherwise, they sat in relative silence.

Seiko couldn’t help but wonder at what they had seen in that room. He couldn’t be certain, but he could have sworn that he had seen some finger-like appendages pulling at the distended edges of the portal before it snapped closed. When he had mentioned it to Garret, however, the man had just looked at him strangely, saying he had seen nothing like that. Seiko hadn’t brought up his thoughts in any of the myriad interviews that had filled the last couple of hours of the two guards’ lives.

The room heated as the afternoon sun came to bear through the far windows, and it left Seiko to his own thoughts. He ran through the events of the anomaly once again, exactly as he had told everyone he had met with.

The woman had yelled.

Garret had been first through the door, and the junior guard had followed him shortly after.

Both had seen the portal as it thinned.

When the edges had touched, the wave of energy had knocked the woman down and pushed the elder guard into his charge.

Seiko had been the only one who had remained conscious, protected from the brunt of the wave by his larger partner.

He had called the incident in right away, then worked to pull both Garret and the Caerytonian out of the room and close the door.

When help finally arrived, he was leaning against the closed door, panting from the exertion.

They had whisked all three of them away before he could ask any questions, and now they were here.

That’s all he knew.

Essvan Salori couldn’t help but shake his head as he stalked away from the meeting. Maybe he shouldn’t have looked through the procured paperwork, but then again, he was sure that Trask would not fulfill her side of the bargain. He probably should not have even taken the request. But she was right. The reputation of a third-generation could get him things that he, as a first-generation, had no way to obtain.

Still, shouldn’t have looked through any of that, not taken a personal interest. If he came back empty-handed, it would anger the boss. Maybe he could still salvage the day, find someone else who needed his particular set of skills.

He was just turning down the next street when the faint whine of something struck his sensitive ears, followed immediately by the loudest alarms the city contained. He threw his hands up against the noise, trying to stifle their klaxon blare. After a few seconds, the ringing in his ears finally subsided to where he could hear closer to normal once again.

Not good, he thought, changing plans and heading back to his headquarters. The boss was going to need everyone if there was an actual emergency. He’d just have to deal with his lack of funds later. With a sigh, he changed direction, heading towards Phaellos.
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 4
1/8/2021 19:25:11   

Jakobal glanced at the young man, taking in his nervous disposition. "Important? Nay lad. Based off the information available to me at this time, what I find likely to have happened is nothing less than a disaster, with potential ramifications of a cataclysmic nature. What is likely to have happened is no less than the worst-case scenario for very many of us." The youth was bewildered; "The worst-case scenario?" Jakobal nodded. "There is exactly one avenue of research that, to my knowledge, only my group has been working on: How to disable or destroy a portal." The young man halted, realisation dawning on him. While his face slowly fell into an expression of abject horror, another couple of expressions shone through, fleetingly; disgust and accusation.

A weary smile crossed Jakobal's face. "Keep it to yourself, lad. Won't tell me anything others haven't already." "Why would you even..." "Tell me lad, what if a new portal appears and through it comes a stream of monsters, laying us to constant siege? How would we fight back? Best we could do is fight what comes through. What if it never stopped?" The young man's mouth worked, but no words came out. "Of course you have no answers to that; You'd never even considered the matter before, but I have. Knowing how to shut down a portal would allow us a sense of safety that too many already feel undeservedly. Besides, that research mostly exists at a theoretical stage at the minute. Without a proper understanding of how the portals work, trying to ascertain how to disable them is much like trying to turn off a computer labelled only in a language you can't read: You can hit random buttons and hope for the best, but that's unlikely to get you anywhere."

"W-What do you mean by 'mostly' theoretical though?" "Well, that particular research has mostly been under the eye of Jasmine Zigfreun, researcher from Acasterus. While xe has mostly been trying to wrap xyr head around how portals work, much like every other researcher, occasionally xe takes a hair-brained hypothesis and throws it against the wall to see if it will stick. Last time xe did that was over a week ago though, the likelihood of that attempt leading to our current situation is... heavily unlikely. Which, I imagine, is why I'm being invited to a meeting of minds, as opposed to being dragged before the Nine in chains." They had reached the university now and he followed the young man the rest of the way in silence.
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 5
1/8/2021 21:39:22   

“Criddens,” Trask snaps. In her hands a soft sheet of metal bunches, then rips, its thinness tearing almost like fabric. Criddens, Trask, how in Nine’s hearts could you think…? She’d trusted him. She’s always trusted him. Never even really thought - well, he seemed so harmless, it seemed so natural. He’s a business partner, yes, but he’s a friend, too. And so she trusts him like a friend when she wouldn’t trust a business partner.

Maybe it’s not possible for him to be both.

She feels a flash of anger. Her papers, her livelihood, her life, her secrets. He must have known they weren’t for his eyes.

What if the rest find out?

She drops one half of the metal sheet and grabs the other with both gloved hands, the hard pads of the fingertips scraping with an angry screech against the metal. Shears the sheet in half a second time, watching half of its glittering expanse drop to the ground. Kicks at it with her boot. Criddens. (She’s never known where she got that tick from, either, that little bit of rubbish slang, foul language. Bits and pieces of a dialect that don’t belong. I’m a Third Generationer, she thinks. Third Generation -)

Liar, the wind seems to scream, throwing itself bodily against the windows, the door. Flailing and scraping against the confines of her world, this little hidden place she calls home. Liar, liar, liar, liar -

The word seems to go more shrill, screeching, a klaxon call that beats itself against the walls and makes her eardrums ring, until she realizes -

The alarms. An alarm in the city. She has to find out -

No. Not like this. Everyone will recognize her. No; now is the time to be someone else.

She turns to the cylinder mirror in the center of the room, blinking as the lamps in the room flash and sputter, a firework of light. The gloves slip from her hands easily. She finds her skeleton headband in the middle of a pile of wilting parts - the remains of a bad solder job - and settles it on her head without thinking. Her bright pants, her tunic top and vest, her boots - she kicks it all off until she’s just in her sleeping tunic; pulls on a slinking orange-and-red dress that swirls around her ankles, accented in angles and long sweeping lines.

The skeleton headband melts against her skin, seeping into her hair, and she feels herself change - the image of her changing even as she stays the same, a thin layer of living being shifting across and sculpting her face, her body, her stature.

Only the electric blue of her eyes, and the short crop of her hair, remains the same.

She blinks twice and turns for the door; and then she sets her sights on Phaellos.

ten years ago, outskirts of the Bridge
The ground rasped with sound.

It was nighttime, and here on the outskirts, everything was so quiet it might as well be dead. The single lone house stood, dimly lit, flickering inconstantly like some strange fallen star. A hand reached along the ground, fingers gnawing into dirt. Two eyes stared up from the grime, electric blue. Clothes hung in tatters, streaming from the woman’s skeletal body.

and so and so the darkness swallows like the petals of a flower opening to trap a pair of eyes

The house was close now. Its silhouette stood unevenly against the horizon, slanting drunkenly in the night.

there is a home somewhere, to have not found a home is not to be lost but to be finding, and in the finding there is a seeking

Her hands grasped the first of the crumbling foundation stones.

a home, a home, a home, there is no such thing as stealing, only finding

The woman dragged herself onto the front step. The door stood open. Shadows swarmed within.

She entered.
AQW  Post #: 6
5/9/2021 12:57:53   

The silence lay heavy as they approached the door. The young messenger had heard stories of this scientist amongst the university members, but they paled when compared to the genuine article. He opened the door, glad to be free from his charge, and disappeared into the night, heading to his next destination.

“Welcome to the Pont District University. We expected your arrival. Please follow me,” a short woman standing to one side, with dark hair streaked gray and a small set of spectacles perched on the bridge of her nose, gestured for Jakobal to follow her.

Deirdre Garre had been working at the university for 20 years, taking care of administration and performing her research over her tenure. Tonight, she was being tasked with shepherding the appropriate minds to the appropriate rooms. A job well beneath her talents, she could be sure. However, she wouldn't allow her thoughts to be apparent to her charges and therefore performed the duty placed on her with an inordinate amount of grace and dignity.

She turned to her left, walking past a spiral staircase leading to the upper levels of the main hall. She led the researcher down a well-lit and luxuriously decorated hallway, simple bronze and copper tools encased in a crystalline lattice and set upon marble pillars lining the walls with dark wood flooring between.

Several doors hung open as they passed, and the murmurs of conversation floated from within each one, hushed voices in concerned tones. None of it was loud enough to comprehend and, as they approached the door at the far end of the hallway, anything that could be was quickly drowned out by the raised voices coming from the other side. Jakobal’s guide stopped in front of the door and pulled it open to allow him in.

“... absolutely inconceivable that the story we’ve heard is remotely true. We’ve been studying these things for over a decade, and what you are proposing is simply impossible!” The voice of a larger, brightly dressed man carried over the other voices in the chamber, demanding to be heard. The man had darkish-gray skin and hair like chalk, in stark contrast to his gaudy yellow, purple, and red of his suit. “And we have yet to be allowed to speak to Miss Suiremont, as those pompous politicians in the Deck have monopolized her for their so-called ‘investigation’ and left us, genuine scholars, with just this pitiful statement!”

The man, Garrus Phyrand from Argosy IV, waved around a piece of paper, gesturing with it wildly and shoving it in the face of several of his closest fellows.

Someone had neatly piled a small stack of similar papers on a small table to the right of the door. The room was large, with half a dozen tables in a tight rectangle at the center. Men and women of various types and professions stood or sat around the table, several shouting back retorts to Garrus and others sitting silently, simply observing what was happening. A couple from the side of the table facing Jakobal noted his arrival, and a set of confused and worried looks darkened their faces at what this newest member could mean.

"Does any of you curs have a source worth a damn?" The boss, Gwere Valleri, yelled at those assembled, upset less about what the alarms might mean than she was about her lack of knowledge of the situation. A heavy-set woman with long dark hair that hid pretty features, she stared out at those assembled, her eyes challenging each set that met hers. "Useless, the lot of you!"

A couple of her crew shuffled uncomfortably under her gaze, men who knew what could happen if they said the wrong thing when the boss was in this type of mood. She felt a wave of pleasure flow over her within but quickly dismissed it to keep the dour look upon her face.

"You three," she said, pointing to some of those who looked most uncomfortable, causing two of the trio to almost jump out of their boots. "Go and find Essvan. If he doesn't yet know what's going on, he'll know how to find out."

The three men froze for a moment, unsure where to go look for the boss's right hand, but one look at the fire in her eyes pushed them to action. They rushed from the room and out into the night.

After they had left, Gwere leaned back in her chair, the sound of the alarm muffled by the walls of their headquarters, but still audible. "The rest of you, get out there and find me information on what the hell is happening in this city."

Isabelle sat gracefully in the uncomfortable wooden chair, eyes locked with the Senior Investigator across the table. She'd already been interrogated by three others before this one and was rather tired and hungry from the days' ordeals. However, she would never let these people see that side. And so, she pushed her negative feelings down and presented her best face forward.

"And so, you claim that the portal seemed to stretch itself into a thin line before closing?" the elderly investigator was asking, a question that she had already answered numerous times.

"Yes, that is what I told the others. My recollection of the matter has not changed in the last three hours." She forced a smile on her face, using every bit of her composure to avoid tinging it with any negativity.

"Yes, yes, so you said," the investigator muttered to himself, looking down at the papers spread before him. "And when it did close, it let out a wave of energy?"

Isabelle stifled a sigh, keeping her mask of a smile plastered to her face. Why won't these fools just let me leave, head back to the University and get on with finding a real answer to what happened.

"Yes, that is what I felt when it threw me against the wall. Much like a wave of water pushes sediment into the shore." She replied, using the same metaphor she had used for her other interrogators. However, she knew that was a paltry example in comparison to what she had felt.

"Right, right," the man said, collecting the papers into a neat stack and standing from his chair. "That's all the questions from the Department of Extra-Portal Affairs. Thank you for your time."

He turned and walked out of the door, giving the Caeryton scientist a glimpse of the hallway beyond. Several others were seated in the hallway beyond and one of the closer ones stood and walked through the door.

"Greetings Miss Suiremont, I am a Senior Investigator with the Department of Inter-District Commerce, and I have some questions for you."

Oh great, more idiots to ask the same questions I've answered for the last two hours, she thought as she forced another congenial smile on her face and gestured for the man to sit. "Whatever I can do to help."

< Message edited by superjars -- 5/10/2021 23:00:46 >
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 7
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