Apr 21, 2018 9:08 PM
testament
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a jeanne meets tarinda
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Obviously she's interested in the portals.

So when one of her mage friends texts her complaining about how excited he was to get to try out a new portal, and how disappointed he is that he can't get through it -- and then updates her, six hours later, that the next two mages to try can't either --

-- well. She's intrigued.

So she drags Zari into the car and drives at ninety into Nowhere At All, New Mexico, and bribes people and flutters her eyelashes and convinces one particularly credulous guard that she's from the Federal Department of Portal Inspections, and gets herself a look at this portal.

It doesn't look like anything at all, of course.

Jeanne is undeterred by this. The files that Zari got her access to say that the portal is actually ten feet off the ground; the stepladder's presumably been put away when the people who were legitimately here went home for the night, so she gets Zari to telekinesis her up to where it should be.

And then the telekinesis abruptly cuts out and she is falling. And also somewhere very different.

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Under a butterscotch sky and light gravity there stands a sign reading O'Leary Ranch, Racetrack, Riding, and Restaurant. Jeanne has landed on a dirt path beside a pasture in which an indifferent pinto flicks its tail at her. If she proceeded fifteen feet down the path she would reach a low building with a bench-bordered patio, a barn off to the left and a dining area to the right. Past that is stadium seating that may surround the promised racetrack, though it doesn't look like any racing is going on right now.

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Well that's new.

She does the unremarkable illusion over herself that will make her look to any observer like whatever sort of person they would find most unremarkable to see here, and follows the path towards the building.

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There is a person sitting on a patio bench, doing butterfly knife tricks and whistling. She waves with the hand that is not doing the butterfly knife tricks.

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Jeanne waves back, and approaches a bit closer -- not too close, people trying to interact with the illusions usually ends up giving them away.

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"Morning." Knife flips over her hand, snaps closed. "Wrong time for racetrack. Riding? Restaurant?" Knife twirls around her thumb.

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She knows how to ride, in theory, but it's a long time and she doesn't even know what style they practice here. "Restaurant."

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"Get the steak! It's not the best steak in the system but it's maybe top ten on the planet, that's still pretty good!"

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"What, you've tried them all?"

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"Not yet! I am sure there are at least nine steak places on Mars I have not tried! So I can't be more complimentary than I have been."

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"And yet here you are hanging about this one you've already tried, hmm?"

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"Oh I'm here for horse stuff. My maiden is interviewing ponies and I'm waiting for her."

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(Maiden and also Mars, what century is this supposed to be?)

"Does, ah, your maiden usually have much luck interviewing ponies?"

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"She's never tried it before! I am sure she will pick an excellent pony though."

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Giggle. "What qualifies a pony as excellent?"

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"She was thinking a black one but isn't sure! Anwyay if she gets along with one that's a different color they can change its coat for her."

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"That's very cute. ... So when you say 'maiden'..."

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"...my girlfriend, but 'maiden' is more fun. I rescued her from her enchanted slumber, and all."

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"Ah, I see."

(She really really doesn't but is not going to let on to that. Girlfriend? Enchanted slumber?? )

"By the way, I don't think I caught your name."

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"Tarinda! You?"

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"Jeanne! It's lovely to make your acquaintance, Tarinda."

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"Good to meet you too!"

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"So tell me all about rescuing your maiden, I am terribly charmed."

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"This is actually the first place I came! It's not that far from my place and a pony was the first thing on the quest list. But she took a while to feel like bothering to come pick one out, what I actually got her was a reservation for the option to do that. Then I had to order up a few thousand hours of her favorite canceled television show - one of the actors dragged his heels, they wound up finding a way to replace him in short arc nine. That took years to finally wrap. And she wanted a makeover and not to have to deal with some annoying stuff, and I had to make sure depression was cured enough, and then I could wake her up!"

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(What the actual fuck.)

"Awww. Lucky sub."

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"Pardon?"

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