Oct 28, 2021 10:00 AM
The Underground meets Exaltation
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This has been a bogus time to surface so much. Everyone else in The Underground is jonesing for a way out of the mess they're in, and that means it's her job to take them somewhere better. So she does. This place doesn't come with a giant sky eye deleting anything it doesn't like the look of. Rad! Good enough for her.

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-which means, believe or not, that the only one of them with the balls to actually get shit done has to take over.

Crazy Jane surveys the place she landed. It's- well, it's Earth. Streets, sidewalks, and scattered litter. Hands go into pockets as she walks down the road, looking for anything she could call a landmark. If nothing useful turns up in the first couple minutes, they're out of here and onto the next world (would have been nice to know Flit could do that any time before the past couple of hours!).

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A girl with a very decorated backpack and home-tie-dyed shoes is tromping along the sidewalk. Her presumable sister is a little ahead of her, looking at her phone. The nearest landmark-y thing is probably the church over there; it's a weird turquoise-grey stone.

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Great. A couple of kids. Harder to keep a firm grip on the front- she can already feel Baby Doll bouncing with excitement and Hammerhead trying to choose between protectiveness and defensiveness. They're probably heading home from school. It's not like-

The church, over there. How long has it been there? Can they just ignore it? Everyone inside will be talking over themselves, but that's not her business. Fuck that noise. Focus on the kids.

"Hey, kids. Know any adults who can help me save the world?"

She's already trying to argue Flit into popping back out; this looks like a wash.

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"Save the world?" says the littler kid. "From what?"

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"There's an apocalypse. Giant eye in the sky, just showed up and started ending things."

C'mon, Flit. Any day now. Is she sulking again? Jane checks with Driver 8; no, but she's arguing with the Secretary. Waste of goddamn time, but there it is.

"Not your sky, though. Looks fine to me. Don't worry about it."

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"Whose sky?" asks the littler girl. "- Sam do you have your book."

"Yeah, in my bag," says the older sister, frowning.

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"My sky. Earth, in another dimension or universe. Which I really need to fix. Any superheroes or magicians you can point me to?"

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"You've come to the right place," says the little one.

"Okay, okay, I'll check," says Sam, digging in her bag and pulling out a book. "Put your hand on the cover?"

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...She wasn't expecting that to work. She does as she's asked. It's hard enough to keep a lid on this without second-guessing.

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The book - glows. Sam takes a key on a necklace off her neck and offers it to the visitor. "If you unlock the book it'll give you a quest," she says.

Littler one - she must be like eleven - bounces on her toes.

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-There's something like a heat shimmer, but more visible than that, almost like it brings shadows along with it. It travels across the stranger's entire body. There's no obviously visible change to her, but when she speaks, it's in a British rather than American accent.

"Oh, excuse me. Does it matter who unlocks the book, please?"

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"You won't be able to if it's not your quest! But you can all go together," says the little one, "we did."

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"Oh, that's quite lovely, thank you!"

She grabs at the sides of her shirt nervously, as though reluctant to reach for the key.

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There's another shimmer.

Jane takes the key, and unlocks the book.

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The book opens. There is an illustration of a trowel, and some words that start with "ഈ അന്വേഷണത്തിന് രണ്ട് സെറ്റ് ആളുകൾ ആവശ്യമാണ്." and go on like that. Sam turns the book so she can frown at it and puzzle it out. Eventually she says, "It says you need two sets of people, before you can take the trowel and go on your quest, and then you will... destroy the... Unwritten Book... and the world will be saved?"

"Two sets? Are we supposed to go too?"

"Uh, maybe? It's not like I can take Malayalam in school..."

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-huh. The 'Unwritten Book'. That sounds like an actual clue, if it's not just BS wrapped in a convincing package.

"How old did you say you were?"

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"Our body's eleven and Sam is fifteen."

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"Nice to meet you, Sam. I'm Jane. The body's around 64 but I'm 50. What's your name?"

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"Palisade, but we all have to look like Emmy in public."

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"You can control it? Sweet. We got the upgrade when we got our other powers, so it just matches whoever's up front. Sam, are you alright with me taking Palisade and the rest of- them- on a quest?"

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Sam winces. "I probably shouldn't be, but their last one turned out fine? How bad an end of the world are we talking here?"

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"If the eye doesn't look at you, you just have to avoid the rioters. I haven't even heard of this 'Unwritten Book', though, so it could get worse."

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"If the eye doesn't look at you?"

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"Things it looks at disappear. I don't know where they go. Don't think anyone else does, either."

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"...that's bad. How do you avoid it looking at you?"

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