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Worlds Apart

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Summary: After Darth Caedus is killed and peace has set foot in the galaxy, a mysterious string of disasters begin to strike at random worlds. The Caretaker of All Reality decides to send in several champions from all over Creation, to stop the destruction of all

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > GeneralEternalPreludeFR1826,588001,0759 Sep 0811 Sep 08No

Recruitment

Hi. Welcome to my insanity here, disguised as fanfiction. Joss Whedon has the BTVS characters, Square-Enix has Lenneth Valkyrie and Valkyrie Profile, George Lucas has Star Wars and the Expanded Universe, the concept of Firestar is Marvel Comics, the concept of The Question is DC Comics. Arcadia Fernandez, Fear, Psiko, and Alan Fernandez are all mine.

This is a crossover with Star Wars, mainly, but 4 characters are pulled from a set of original works. The concepts behind 2 of them, however, are from DC and Marvel (The Question and Firestar), so maybe not wholly original. This is my first foray into BTVS fanfic, so bear with me re: Willow and Faith. I'll try my best to do right by them. Feedback is welcome and appreciated, especially for help with Faith and Willow.





The Scoobyverse
Relative time: 11:37 PM local time, Cleveland, Ohio


Faith was bored.

First, she was in Cleveland. She reasoned, before she got there, that maybe "Mistake By The Lake" was a tad harsh.

Now, she thinks it charitable.

How bad is it when you wish the Hellmouth situated in the city you're in was more active than it was?

As a self-designated 'fixer of problems', Faith hadn't seen too much action. When your big gun is saved for the bigger crises, a place where the most action on a normal day is the occasional nest of maybe week-old vamps crowding together trying to help each other survive can get awfully stale. Mainly, her days consisted of sleeping in at the new Council safehouse until noonish or so. Nice half-hour to wake up, then go and wash away the sleep with a scalding hot shower. Nice long workout kills the time till around mid-afternoon, where the mini-Slayers come on down to give her some light warm-up sparring (which is an unholy beatdown from hell to the mini-Slayers), then get dressed, get armed, and get gone for a jaunt around the city. Sometimes it's Demon-Dive-Bar night, sometimes it's cemetary patrol, sometimes it's wander around just looking for any random night-bumpies causin' some shit.

This was option 4 tonight: sit around out in the park, mind-crushingly bored, waiting for something to happen.

Faith pulls a cigarette out and lights it, leaning her head back against the bench she's sitting in and exhaling a plume of smoke skyward.

"Might I get one of those off of you?"

Faith's head pops up, and looks over at a woman, maybe about mid 30's, fairly tall, well put together, wearing a not-too fuddy-duddy combo of silk slacks with a nice sleeveless blouse, black hair in a pixie-cut, dark brown eyes looking interestedly at Faith. Shaking her head to get herself back in the moment, she nods. "Sure, lady. Here ya go." She offers the pack to her, one brown filter sticking out. The woman takes it from her and lights it smoothly, sitting herself on the bench next to Faith, who shrugs and accepts it, leaning her head back again.

"Boring night, huh?" This is punctuated by an exhalation and a cloud of smoke drifting through Faith's field of vision.

"Seems to be the Cleveland motto there. Kinda on the dull side, for sure. That why you're chattin' up strange chicks who just sit around park benches at 11 at night?"

"Oh, just one of the reasons, Faith. You're the more important reason, though." As Faith springs up to an upright sitting position, she catches a small smile on the woman's lips as she takes another drag of the cigarette. "Come, take a walk with an ol' lady. Kill a few more of the hours."

Wary, the Dark Slayer says as she pulls out her trademark knife, "Lady, I don't know who you are, but I'm thinkin' you'll wanna be explaining how you know who the hell I am before your insides become your outsides."

"Peace, Faith. Think for a minute. Are your Slayer senses acting up?"

Pausing, Faith thinks and replies, "No. In fact, you're making it do the nice peaceful rest thing it does never. Course, you're talkin' to the gal that takes that as a bad sign. So make with the explain."

Sighing, the woman takes a last drag and crushes the cigarette out on the bench. "Kids these days. So impetuous. At least indulge me in a walk while I 'make with the explain', as it were. I didn't come to Cleveland to stare at a patch of browning grass in the park all night."

Still wary, Faith stands up with the woman. "Can't fault ya for making sense. Sure, lady." She sheathes her knife as she stands. "So what do I call ya, or is 'lady' gonna work all night?"

Chuckling, the woman responds "Usually it's 'my Lady', but you can just call me Ela for now."

"Alright. Ela, what brings you to my neck?"

"Ha! Vampire humor. See, this is why I came to you, Faith. You think on your feet and aren't afraid to be damn paranoid. You're tough, you're capable, and you're not afraid of the dark, figuratively speaking."

Bemused, Faith asks, "What're you on about, lady? Sure, the hours suck, the benefits are crap and no one really trusts me not to go nuts again, but I gotta job already."

Nodding, Ela concedes the point. "True. But, you may go back to it afterwards, if you'll really miss it that much."

Faith's composure was rapidly slipping. "Can we get close to something resembling a point here?"

"Fine, Faith. I need you to help me save reality." This was said with an utterly solemn face, all of Ela's earlier playfulness gone.

Raising an eyebrow, Faith replies, "Reality. Riiiiight. You been in it lately?"

Ignoring the sarcasm, Ela continues. "Reality is a fragile thing sometimes. Occasionally, things happen in a place that aren't supposed to. This causes a ripple. This ripple radiates out, throwing other things out of whack, till finally the course of the river this ripple occurred in is changed from its nice, slow, winding course to over a cliff."

Still skeptical, Faith says, "Okay. Say I go along with this. What's the payoff?"

Ela shrugs. "Think of this as your apocalypse to manage, Faith. Buffy's the usual go-to guy on this, but I came to you. You're the one I need on this one. And, for at least one person, they'll know you stepped up and took care of the job that needed doing. Call it piece of mind, I guess."

"Well, yeah, I'll know I did the deed, but..."

"I meant besides you, silly. In fact, let's go talk to the other person now." With that, Ela reached out and grabbed Faith's arm, and they both vanished.



Willow was a bit exasperated at the moment, but she kept her cool. Retreating to her room after having talked with Dawn trying to figure out why she was Godzilla-Dawn. Just as she was going to collapse into bed, there was a flash of silvery light and Faith and a woman wearing bluish-silver armor with gold highlights and wearing a winged helmet landed there instead.

"Um, I didn't order two girls. Faith? What're you doing in my bed? You're supposed to be in Cleveland."

Getting up to a sitting position, Faith replied, "Hey Red. Don't worry, not my choice to be in your bed. Blame her." She pointed back at Ela, who by this point had made her way to her feet.

Willow stared, askance, at the two bed-crashers. "And is there a reason she's dressed like something out of Norse mythology?"

Smiling warmly, Ela said, "Willow. If you'll endulge me, why don't you look at me with your magical senses? I think that will go to explaining who I am."

Raising an eyebrow, Willow muttered a few words, closing her eyes. When she opened them, they were a silvery grey instead of their usual bright green. She looks up, and her eyes proceed to almost pop out of their sockets. Flinging herself to one knee, she starts babbling, "Oh, my apologies, my Lady, I had no idea, it's been a long day and all I saw was a couple of admittedly hot women in my bed, and I was cranky, and I had no idea, please forgive my transgression, don't smite me, I've been good, no Darth Willow lately, I've been doing good..."

Laughing, Ela puts a hand on Willow's shoulder. "Peace, child! No worries. It was an unexpected visit. Rise, there's no need for formality." As Willow stands, equal parts awe and fear in her eyes, Ela continues. "I came because I have need of the two of you. “

“Need for what? What’s going on?” Willow asked, curious.

“I forsee a situation occurring soon. Not here, but in another reality. This will spread from that reality, going on to affect others, in a continuous chain. Eventually, everything will be plunged into chaos,” Ela stated, gravely. “In searching through for champions that can help deal with the situation, I came across the two of you. Both of you will have needed skills, abilities, and forces of will to help rectify this situation. The fact that it’s in a different sector of realities will aid you; you will both be most unexpected there, and that may well be the deciding factor in your success.”

“Wait up here, E,” Faith said, tagging Ela with a nickname, “You’re tellin’ me that there’s a whole bunch of different realities, and that you’re goin’ clear to the other end to get some peeps that aren’t from those sectors to help them? You’re way over my head here.” Willow nodded, indicating she was just as lost.

Sighing, Ela continued. “Let me explain. All reality is….think of them as different countries. Each country has its own culture, its own language, its own rules. Within this country are subdivisions where everything is basically the same, but there are subtle differences. Reality is like this. For example, here, this reality is part of a whole sector governed by what you term the ‘Powers That Be’.” At this, Faith and Willow both tensed; neither had love lost for the Powers. “In the sector you’re headed to, the governing force is called just that, The Force. It is, in their words, an energy field that surrounds, penetrates, and guides all things.”

Willow furrows her brow, and asks, “Why can’t you help them yourself? Why go to all the trouble of getting a couple of mortals to go there?”

“Because I cannot directly intervene. At least not in this case. The cause of the disturbance is not directly attributable to someone in my sphere of influence. It is all I can do to choose and send champions there. But something needs to be done to right that path, and it will not be done if I do not do this. You aren’t guaranteed victory, either; believe me, this will be a difficult task. I only hope that you will be able to do this. Also, you won’t be alone. There will be help waiting for you on the other side.”

Slowly nodding, Willow says, “Okay. I still don’t feel too sure about this, but I’ll do what I can.”

Staring at Willow in disbelief, Faith says, “Whoa, Red. You’re kiddin’ me. You’re actually going with this? Gimme one reason we should trust her.”

“Easy. My second sight. She’s told nothing but the truth since I activated it. Not to mention, I can see her…goddessness with it too. She’s on the level, Faith.”

Shaking her head, Faith says, “I still don’t see why us. I mean, Red I can see, she’s uber-maxi-witch. But I’m just a Slayer. I ain’t all that special.”

Chuckling, Ela says, “For being just a Slayer, you certainly do some good. Besides, it’s not just the Slayer in you I want. It’s your ability to think on your feet, to get the job done, and drive others to do what they need to.”

“E, I ain’t no leader. The mini-Slays…”

“Would go to hell for you. You don’t allow yourself to see it, but they would. They trusted you when they wouldn’t trust Buffy. And even with your failed plan back in the fight with the First, they still trusted you. Faith,” Ela almost pleaded, “please. I need you there.”

Staring for a beat, Faith replied, “Ah, ta hell with it. Fine. Beats being bored in Cleveland. Okay.”

Relief flooded Ela’s face. “Thank you. Now, before you go…”

“Wait, we’re leaving now?” Willow asked, slightly panicked. “But I don’t have anything ready or anything…”

“You won’t need much. This will be a relatively long time for you. You won’t be able to pack everything you need. Take one or two things, but the rest you’ll have to acquire when you arrive there. Don’t worry, as I said, you’ll have help there.”

Nodding, Willow went to her dresser and grabbed a couple of changes of underwear, a couple of shirts, a skirt and a change of socks and shoes. Faith just glanced over at Ela and said, “Guess I’m not taking anything but my knife here.”

“Well, here, let me help that. A present,” Ela said, as she reached for her hip and unbuckled a sword and scabbard from her belt, handing it to Faith. “This is my sword. Please take it, and use it well. It is Ether-forged, making it unbreakable and always sharp, and it draws upon the life force of the wielder to help strengthen it and give it other useful qualities.”

Taking the sword and unsheathing it, Faith stared at the blade. Long and bright silver, with Norse runes running up and down either side of the blade, the hilt looking like a pair of stylized angel’s wings in grey-black. A large blue stone lay at the bottom of the handle, and the handle itself was wrapped in black ray-leather in the manner of Japanese katanas, perfectly contoured for the hand. Faith experimentally twirled the sword, finding the balance impeccable. She resheathed the sword and stared in disbelief at Ela. “Y’know if I take this, I ain’t gonna wanna give it back.”

Smirking, Ela said, “Feel free. That’s actually a modified version of my usual sword, balanced better for you and the coloring is slightly different. As my usual sword is called the Angel Slayer, so this shall be the Fallen Angel.”

With a smirk of her own, Faith replied, “Yeah, it’s fallen alright. If I’m the one that’s using it, it’s definitely fallen. Thanks, E. I’ll make sure it gets a workout.” Just then, Willow stepped over, indicating she was ready to go.

“Well then. Good luck, and godspeed to you both.” With that, Valkyrie bowed her head, and began to float, a silver-blue aura enveloping Faith and Willow. One moment, they were in Willow’s room.....



Wrestlingverse
Relative time: 11:30 PM, local time, Newark, New Jersey


Firestar walks out of the Prudential Center, duffle bag slung over her shoulder, still a bit teary-eyed at the confrontation between her now ex-boyfriend Nero. She walks dejectedly over to the train station near the arena, getting there only moments before a PATH train pulls up. As she steps on, a red and black blur jumps on before the doors close. She steps back a second, tense, before noticing who the black blur is.

Wiping a stray tear and sniffling a little, Firestar says, “Hey Psiko. I know New Jersey transportation’s great, but there would’ve been another PATH in 5 minutes.”

“Yeah, but there aren’t quasi-little sisters to comfort on that one,” Psiko deadpans. “Talk about it?”

Straightening up, she closes off her emotions and retreats behind her usual impassive mask. “I’ll live. Not like this hasn’t happened before. At least this time I was half expecting it. And he was nowhere near as close as the first one was,” she states, gingerly avoiding the name of her first paramour. “Worst part of it is, my other brother, the real one, wasn’t here to comfort me too.”

“Yeah, where IS Alan, anyway? I haven’t seen or heard from him in a good long while.”

“Walking the earth again. It’s a Fernandez thing, I guess. Really was down before he left…don’t know where he could have gone. So,” Firestar shifts the subject, not wanting to talk about her missing brother or her screwed up love life, “where are you headed?”

Sheepishly, Psiko says, “I was actually hoping I could crash over your place…traveling day after tomorrow and I didn’t have a chance to book a hotel room yet. Seeing how you are right now, thought you wouldn’t mind the company…”

“Yeah, yeah, alright. You can stay over, so long as your mom says it’s okay,” Firestar teases. “It’ll be nice to not have that big house to myself for a day.”

The PATH train pulls into the station in Hoboken, where the remnants of Lunacy in Motion walk over to a black G6 Corvette, with blue racing stripes down the side. Firestar walks over to the driver’s side and goes to open the door, to find a note taped to the handle. On it, in a slightly messy hand, is written “Look behind you.” A stylized question mark is drawn underneath. Firestar glances at Psiko, jerks her head to motion him to look, then turns herself, her hands glowing orange as she calls her microwave powers to activate. She sees the mysterious Question, standing there, body language giving away nothing, blank face under his fedora.

“Peace, Miss Firestar,” the Question states in a monotone, gravelly voice. “I mean no harm. Nor to you as well, Psiko. I am merely a messenger.”

“The message is what I’m worried about,” Psiko states, not relaxing. Firestar doesn’t relax her posture, either, but the glow around her hands dissipates.

“It isn’t for you, not directly, but I feel you won’t let young Firestar here alone in her time of need,” the Question says. Turning to the young woman, he continues, “You are needed.”

Nonplussed, Firestar raises an eyebrow and says, “By whom?”

“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. Just say, you’ll finally get an opportunity to use your powers for more than show and training. You know the old Spider-man spiel: With great power comes great responsibility. Here’s where the responsibility kicks in.”

“And just what would you know about my powers? Not exactly common knowledge, and my ‘responsibility’, as you put it, doesn’t involve the regular use of them,” Firestar replied cooly.

Tilting his head like a curious bird, the Question said, “The All-Mother might think differently. She at least sounded like she might.”

Eyes widening, Firestar mutters, “Carajo. Okay, what does she want me to do?”

“Hold it, hold it, hold it. Arcadia, what’s going on here?” asked a bewildered Psiko.

Distractedly, Firestar says, “How many times? Don’t call me that. And it’s a long story. Look, Question, can we do the show and tell at Freak Show Central? I take it you don’t want half of Hoboken hearing all this, and I definitely don’t.”

“Certainly. I’ll meet you there.”

Raising an eyebrow again, she asks, “And how exactly do you know where that is?”

The Question, while faceless, still managed to put on an air of bored amusement. “I wear a fedora and a trenchcoat. Cliché though it may be, it is the unofficial uniform of a detective.”

“Touché. Okay, we’ll meet you there.” With that, Firestar gets in the Corvette, Psiko slowly getting in on the passenger side as he continues to stare at the Question.

As Firestar roars off, Psiko states, “You have to realize I don’t trust him.”

Face impassive, Firestar says, “Duly noted. But, he invoked the All-Mother’s name. I can’t ignore that. She’s insufferable enough that she’d send someone like him to deliver a message.”

Psiko, looking confused, asks, “All-Mother? As in like the All-Father, like Norse mythology, like Odin?”

“Ayup. Only, the myths don’t have it quite right. Here’s the real deal,” Firestar says as she drives off to her home in nearby Weehawken.



“So let me get this straight. Yours and Alan’s mother is the reincarnation of a Valkyrie, who aeons ago defeated Loki who had usurped all of Odin’s power, and by defeating Loki she assumed all that power to become the most powerful of the gods? And when she died on the mortal plane, she re-assumed her power as the Valkyrie and ascended to become the ‘caretaker of all reality’?”

Pulling into the driveway of the Fernandez household, Firestar nodded. “Yeah, that’s an excellent summary. Glossing over some of it, sure, but we only have time for the Cliff’s Notes. Oh, don’t look at me like I’m crazy. You KNOW Alan and I are both nuts, but this goes towards explaining it.” After a pause, “Well, it goes to explaining it for me. I don’t think Alan knows.”

Psiko looks askance at her. “How can you not tell him if you’re the only one to know?? You know how much he misses her.”

“And this knowledge would help him how?” Firestar asks as she walks up to the door, opens it, and steps inside while dumping her gear by the front door. “It’s not like it’ll help him deal. The only reason I know is because when I had that first little mini-breakdown, she led me to her so that she could help me come to grips with who I am, what I can do, and where I came from.”

“Yeah, about that,” Psiko says. “I know you were adopted. But, you make it sound like you came from somewhere REALLY not around here.”

From behind them, The Question answers, “You really don’t have any idea.”

Whirling, Firestar’s rigid face highlights her eyes blazing with fury. “Okay, you know entirely too much about me without us knowing anything about you.”

A regal voice sounds from the living room. “That would be because he is acting at my behest.”

Startled, Firestar whirls and drops to one knee, Psiko reluctantly following suit a second later, with the Question simply sketching a shallow bow. “Lady Valkyrie, hail the All-Mother.”

A small smile breaks Lenneth Valkyrie’s face. “Rise, daughter. No need of formalites with me. In fact….”

Valkyrie removes her helmet, and as she does so, her form shifts slightly. Her hair is now black and in a pixie cut, with dark brown eyes and a slightly elfin face. She’s wearing a simple silver t-shirt and blue jeans with flip-flops. “Just call me Mom, Arcadia. You know that.”

Firestar grins. “I know Mom, but the niceties must be observed sometimes. And if the guardian of all creation can’t be addressed formally, I don’t know who can.” As she rises from her kneel, she notes Psiko is goggling. “Oh, calm down. It’s just my mother.”

“Yes, David, you are amongst friends here. Please relax. And please, call me Ela,” she says, using Psiko’s real name.

Psiko, taken aback at his real name, says, “Alright, Ela. Though, as for relaxing, I might do that easier if our other ‘friend’ here might explain who he is.”

Chuckling, Ela answers, “Oh, don’t mind him. The Question here is merely acting as my herald and a helping hand. He might be a tad insufferable, but very reliable at your back. You might say he’d go through several levels of hell for you.” This last was said with a knowing smirk.

Before Firestar or Psiko could respond, The Question steps in and says, “Be that as it may. Would you like me to go over the ‘issue’ at hand, my lady, or shall you since you’re already here?”

Smirking harder, Ela says, “You know, that statement about formality goes for you too. You know you can call me…”
Be that as it may,” The Question states, grinding out the the first word, “the issue at hand?”

Shaking her head amusedly, Ela says, “As you will. Arcadia, I have need of you to go on a bit of a quest. You know my charge as watchman of all reality, right?”

Warily, Firestar nods.

“There is one reality that has need of you. In fact, I hope that you might come as well, David. And you, Question. This is a reality marked by almost continuous war. I don’t believe there’s been a moment in the last 70 years or so that hasn’t been marked by some sort of military action.”

“Okaaaay….but why am I being tapped? I’m no soldier,” Firestar states.

“Of course not. However, this doesn’t require a soldier’s touch. You’re there to prevent a war. Your unique…talents will be of great service. As will the Question’s analytical mind and fighting skill. David, I believe your help will be more than you think it will,” Ela says, cutting off Psiko’s protest before he can begin it. “Let us say that you’ll find how you can help when you get there. It is of course, all your own choices. There will likely be danger involved, and there are no guarantees for your safety.” At this, Ela grows a bit solemn. “I hate to ask you this, mija, but I know you wonder at your power and why you have it. You know how you came to it, but not its ultimate purpose in your destiny. You’re to be a light for people in their dark time. Your power is unique there, there will be none like you.”

For a beat, Firestar just stares impassively at her mother. Finally, she says, “You say this place has been at war. How can I prevent something that’s continuously going on?”

“The beginnings of a peace are taking shape there,” Ela says. “It won’t last. But, without some help, war will restart much sooner than I can see. Long before the fragile peace takes any sort of hold. If this happens, it’s going to affect much more than this reality. You remember what I explained once about the fabric of reality?”

Nodding, Firestar states, “If one reality goes out of its normal balance, it begins to impact the realities around it. Then a domino effect starts, eventually tipping all realities into chaos.”

“That’s basically it. This is one of those times. Not to mention, your being there might help some people beyond your mission. Arcadia,” Ela says, her face becoming even more serious, “I know you’ve been searching for your purpose. You want more than just to be an interviewer for your wrestling federation. While you are somewhat happy with your job, you yearn for more. More meaning, more impact. You want to do good. This is a chance to do worlds of good. That is why I ask this of you. Plus, who can I trust more than my own family?”

Face warming slightly at the loving way this last was said, Firestar nods slowly. “Okay. Okay, I’m in, Mom. I can’t speak for them, but…”
Putting his hand on her shoulder, Psiko shakes his head. “You can for me. I can’t let you go there alone. Not only would Alan bash me in the head with his mallet, but I wouldn’t feel right letting you do this solo. Count me in. Speaking of Alan, why haven’t you asked him, Ela?”

Smiling enigmatically, she looks off, seemingly into the distance and says simply, “He is where he needs to be. And I thank you for taking this quest to watch over my daughter.”

Stepping in, the Question says, “You both won’t be alone. I’ve been in for this from the get-go. No changing that fact.”

Rolling her eyes, Firestar says, “Oh, such a comfort.”

Frowning, Ela says, “Don’t discount the Question. He’s a good mind and a fine warrior. You would be surprised how useful he’ll be.”

“Yeah, sure, okay Mom. Hey, can I go pack? I mean, I’m not gonna just go like this, right?”

With a nod, Ela says, “Yes, go pack. I’d suggest a couple of changes of clothes at least, and if I know you, your laptop and your music will go as well. I wouldn’t take much more than that, however…no knowing how far you’d have to carry all your things.”

“No Paris Hilton, got it. Hey Psiko, come on, I’m sure you can raid Alan’s closet for a couple of changes of clothes. Sure, he’s a bit taller than you and has more baggy jeans than the entire hip-hop and raver community, but there’s gotta be something you can wear,” Firestar quips.

“I’ve got my gear…there should be enough in there. But I’ll keep ya company,” Psiko states, following Firestar up the stairs to her room.

Once they were out of earshot, the Question turns on Ela. “Real cute, there. You know I’m trying to keep a low profile.”

Sadly, Ela says, “I don’t fully understand why. She could use your support as well.”

Tensing, the Question says, “She’s going to have it…”

Interrupting, Ela says, putting some of the Norse goddess she was in her posture, “As yourself, not your new persona. I still will never understand why you’ve let her flounder as you have. Do not think that because I have forgiven your transgression against her that I have forgotten it.”

“I think no such thing, my lady. And you know that she’s not going to have a cool head about her if I do this as myself. Especially when she finds out who’s already over there and that he’s in a heap of trouble.”

Conceding the point, Ela says, “You make your point. Now, don’t you have something you need to get yourself?”

Straightening his posture, the Question says, “I’ve already got almost everything packed. But, I think I may just swing by the gym to pick something up.” He walks off purposefully, down to the small gym in the basement where all the weapons that the Fernandez siblings collect are.



“Wow. You know, I don’t think I’d ever seen your room before.”

Smirking, Firestar says, “No, you always stopped at the living room to hook up the video games to the 64-inch,” as she leads Psiko into her room. Covered wall to wall with posters of comic book superheroes, Evanescence, Edgar Allen Poe, and a whole wall devoted to concert, baseball, and movie ticket stubs. By the door was a large bookshelf with several rows of classical literature, poetry, and at least two whole shelves of graphic novels. Walking over to her computer desk, she pulls up a large camping-style backpack covered in flame decals, zips it open and proceeds to dump several sets of underwear into it. “But yeah, this is what Alan terms the Chamber of Flamey Mysteriousness. It’s home.”

Watching her dive into her closet and pulling out a couple of t-shirts and a set of black raver jeans with red and yellow flames licking up from the ankles, he asks, “So you guys have lived here all your lives, then?”

“Yup. Since either of us can remember. Luckily it was bought and paid for before Dad lost his shit and we got him out of here. It’s been me and Alan since high school here. We couldn’t ever let this place go,” Firestar says a bit wistfully. “Where is that…ah, there it is.” With this, Firestar pulls out a full bodysuit, sulfur yellow with an orange V of flames running down to the navel from her shoulders. The tops of the shoulders, chest, and neck were a very dark red, almost black. The integral boots and gloves were a bright flame read with orange flame lines running around the wrists and lower calf. In her left hand is a sheet of fabric that looks to be flame-shaped, the same red as the gloves and boots and the same orange flames lining the flame’s edge.

Psiko whistles. “Nice. Old wrestling trunks?”

“Hardly,” Firestar says. “Gift from Mom when I first met her. She said I’d need it. She wasn’t wrong. Looks like I need it again.” Walking over to her desk and grabbing her laptop and MP3 player, making sure the charge on both was full, then grabbing what appears to be a small toiletry kit, she tosses all that into the backpack, being careful with the computer. She grabs her second set of sneakers and a few pairs of socks, then zips up her pack and shrugs it on over her bomber jacket. Pausing, she drops her backpack and sheds her jacket, then walks over and picks up a black hoodie with a Calgary Flames hockey jersey over top of it. Putting this on and carrying her jacket in one arm, she shrugs the backpack back on and briskly steps out of the room, Psiko hurrying to follow.

“Hey! That’s it? Where we going now?”

“Basement,” Firestar says, not pausing. “I wanna grab you a weapon or two. It sounds like you might need them.”

Psiko frowns. “You know, you’re taking this awfully well. Almost as if you were prepared to do this at a moment’s notice.”

Pausing this time, Firestar says, “Not quite. But…well, given who I am, let’s just say that I’m not all that surprised this ended up happening.”

Bemusedly, Psiko asks, “And you are…?”

Sighing, Firestar says, “Apparently, the One Girl In All The World. Beyond that, I’ll explain when we get there. Something tells me we won’t have much time right now for the Webster’s Unabridged.” With that, she strides off towards the gym, Psiko following at her heels.



"Y'know, you acting like you have the run of the place isn't exactly endearing, you know." Firestar was a bit upset at finding the Question walking around the gym, testing the heft of various weapons as he examines them like an inquisitive customer.

"You'd have me go unarmed into the unknown?" the Question asks.

Sighing explosively, Firestar waves her hands. "Fine. Go ahead and pick something. But just know that you'll be vetoed on certain items. Psiko, you too, go pick something out that you can use."

Intimidated by all the live steel adorning the walls, Psiko slowly walks over to the far wall, asking along the way, "So why do you and Alan have half of Kit Rae's inventory along the walls?" He walks over to a fairly basic broadsword, shorter than normal and serrated along the back edge, with a simple crossguard-style hilt. He picks it up and hefts it, swinging it once or twice and nodding appreciatively at the balance.

Scoffing, Firestar says, "That amateur? We're friends with a real swordsmith. He gives us deals on his stuff, and in the meantime we put the word out to the Rennies that his stuff is top-shelf. Both functional and beautiful. Careful, that edge is razor sharp."

"Didn't picture you and Alan for Rennies. But in this case, it's helpful. Think I like this one." Firestar points at a nearby scabbard, and Psiko straps it on, having a bit of trouble figuring out for a moment. The Question steps up next to him a moment later, a pair of twin shortswords strapped in a shoulder holster similar to those worn by plainclothes cops for their guns. "And it seems Mr. Insufferable Enigma here has his choice." This won a glare from the Question.

Stepping down the stairs, once again garbed in her full armor and helmet, was Ela. "Arcadia. You need a weapon too." At the questioning look, Ela nodded. "I know you have your microwaves, but trust me." Shrugging, Firestar pulls a serrated-edge rapier, with a basket hilt that resembles a bowl of stylized flames, muttering to herself about how she finally gets to use her personal sword. "Now, before you go, let me see these weapons of yours." One at a time, each one took their weapon and held it out. She took each by their point as they held them out, and closed her eyes. A soft silvery glow enveloped each weapon, and they slowly and subtly changed. The blade on Firestar's rapier turned an angry metallic red, and the hilt an orange-ish gold. Psiko's sword turned a satiny grey, with a white hilt. The Question's twin shortswords' blades turned a silvery blue with golden engraving running all around the flat of the blade, and black hilts. "These blades have been Ether-enhanced, and also connected to your life forces. They're unbreakable, will never dull, and have...other, enhancements, specific to each of you. Now...are you all ready?"

Psiko goes to ask a question, but Firestar kicks him in the shin and answers in the affirmative for all of them. "Alright then. Be careful, and godspeed to you." With that, Valkyrie bowed her head, and began to float, a silver-blue aura enveloping Firestar, Psiko, and the Question. One moment, they were in the basement.....

The End?

You have reached the end of "Worlds Apart" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 11 Sep 08.

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