• Published 22nd Apr 2019
  • 253 Views, 50 Comments

Enchorus - GMBlackjack



Stories set in the Songs of the Spheres multiverse written by a variety of authors.

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The Company and the Cult (Keywii_Cookies55)

The sun reflected off the metal logo and glass windows of the office complex. The capital letter R prominently shone down into the eyes of a woman riding alongside the building, drawing her attention. She was a sharply dressed woman in her mid-thirties whose light chestnut hair was showing the first signs of deciding to grey.

But it wasn't just the light of the sun that caught her eye. As she rounded the corner she saw the same thing that greeted her every morning. Two equally fanatical groups illegally standing on her company's grass arguing with each other. Years ago she considered calling the police on them, and although that was still always her plan if things got too hectic, nothing ever escalated. No property damage was ever done, and on more than one occasion she was given a gift basket for being so understanding.

So although she had the authorities always one phone call away, she let the protestors stay there for now. No, if anything, what made them fanatical was just the things they came up with. "The true walkers would never agree to such grand gestures! They wish for peaceful travels!" the woman overheard as she found her designated parking spot, putting her car into park.

Turning the key to remove it from her ignition, she briefly composed herself, taking a deep breath in and adorning her professional expression. Which was just a neutral look and a sort of focused look in the eyes, but hey, it had worked her entire professional career, she had no reason to believe it'd suddenly stop working now. Putting her keys in her suit pocket, she exited her vehicle and heard the automatic lock activate before she heard the sound of several pairs of feet coming towards her.

Containing a sigh, the woman looked toward her company building, though more specifically the glass door that marked its entrance. "Twenty feet," she thought, reminding herself of the distance between her and the glass door where these... people... would be able to bother her.

"Mrs Seiko! Mrs Seiko!"
"Are the true walkers inside?"
"What do the travellers from beyond want?"
"Is it true they can see us?"
"Will they visit our moon?"

Mrs Seiko couldn't help feeling like a politician dealing with the press some days. But, like every morning, she gave them the classic 'no comment' and made briskly for the door. However, today was oddly unlike any other before. Being that she was actually stopped by one of them.

"Please Mrs Seiko, you have to know something!" Pleaded a man maybe ten years her junior. He didn't seem to be malicious or dangerous, much to her relief, but he was somewhat desperate. "The elder says that the Forerunner is more active today. And that if we work together, we'll get to meet and travel among the true walkers."

This was just a problem her future self would have to deal with if she didn't resolve it now. "Sir, as much as I'd like to believe that, nothing has changed since yesterday. Whatever is going on, there's been no noticeable change." Then again, she didn't want to deal with it now even more and, despite her lack of morning coffee essentially destroying her ability to publicly speak, the man seemed to accept this answer as all he'd get out of her and stepped aside. She could see on his face that he wanted so much more.

Stepping into the door and passing by her companies front receptionist Lily, she offered a simple greeting and walked on. The instant the woman was out of anyone's earshot though she sighed deeply. There was something different with the Children Of The True Walkers and their rival cult the Travellers From Beyond. They were...well, something had rallied them up. Something their 'elder' had said really got them active. And Mrs. Seiko was ready to deal with her job.

Walking down a hallway, she passed by a mousy woman in a thick scarf who was carrying several files. Shortly behind her was a short, fuming, 30-something with a goatee being talked down to by a tall blonde man with a name tag and a smug attitude. "These are people I've hired." She thought to herself as she refrained from dragging her hand down her face. "I would love to just run a call center on Eliptis-B instead of keeping this madhouse in order."

Spotting the door that was labeled with her preferred title Mrs. K, the click-clack of the woman's high heels seemed to speed up ever so slightly. It took a short number of seconds before she was turning the door handle to her office and walking inside, nodding to the man sitting at her desk already awaiting her. "Good morning ma'am, the night shift ran well." he greeted, his cleanly kept mustache bouncing slightly as he spoke.

"Thank you, Document," she greeted in return as the man stood up from the comfortable looking chair. Document had a steaming cup of coffee in his hand that he wasted no time in handing to the CEO. Taking the coffee and sighing happily, Mrs Seiko smiled and took her seat behind her desk. "Refreshing as always."

Raising an eyebrow slightly, Document couldn't help but hide a slight smirk, "I take it your morning meet and greet went well?" he asked, which gained a groan from the woman, and a slight laugh from the man.

"I swear, they're going to just break in one day and just destroy everything trying to find their weird multi-dimensional gods or something." She frowned as she started reading over her e-mails she'd received throughout the night.

"I doubt they'd ever get past the front door. For cultists, they're surprisingly law-abiding." Document observed as he looked out the window at them. "Well, aside from the loitering on private property they're so fond of."

Taking another swallow from her mug of wake up juice, Mrs. Seiko briefly looked out the window behind her at the two groups perpetually gathered on her lawn. "The leader's smart, using brainwashing in a way that doesn't make them an enemy in the public eye." Turning back to her computer she added more, "that said, I was stopped this morning."

Raising an inquisitive eyebrow, the man turned back from looking out on the collected people. "Is that so?"

With a simple nod, Mrs. Seiko continued reading her e-mails. "They seem convinced that something is happening. Something big. And I can't confirm if it's true or not, whatever's happening has them worked up. It could very well affect us, assuming they're beliefs are real, and while it seems unlikely, I believe our Primary is involved in some way."

Document raised his other eyebrow in surprise. "Our Primary you say?"

With a lighthearted laugh, the owner of the company shook her head, "No, not ours. While I have no doubt he might get involved, I was referring to the Primary behind our namesake." The man nodded in understanding. "Based on the expressions of our favourite fanatics, the recent rush of new activity, and the general introduction of the Trolls, I think we might be at the beginning of that big project we've been tracking."

"Ah, I see," Document simply informed after a short pause of contemplation. "Well let me know if Creek hears any news from the world at large, I'm officially off the clock now."

"Thank you, Document, sleep well."

~~~

Well kept brown leather shoes walked down a hallway lined with several doors. Inside those shoes was a man dressed in a clean suit which gave off the impression of wealth, as did the bushy black mustache and short, combed hair. The pair of eyes that belonged to this man spoke of an entirely different story. One of experience, of knowledge. A pair of piercing eyes that commanded respect while offering a calming aura.

Those green orbs belonged to the manager of the night shift, and assistant to the CEO. A man by the name of Document. And like usual, he could currently be found walking the office complex of the Recursive Organization. Moving forward with purpose he passed several labeled doors before stopping before one in particular.

This door was similar to many in the complex, It was a light chestnut colour stenciled with the employee type in a large blocky font. In this particular case, it read Operator 6. It belonged to the 6th in a line of very specific roles in the company devoted to, in essence, observation and note-taking. But when fully considered it was more than that 1000 fold.

Just before the man knocked on the door to announce his presence, he heard a voice from the other side. One of a woman with something of a stutter, and perhaps a bit of a confidence issue, but despite that, Document had seen initiative from her, which implied that she pushed passed her her nature in order to succeed.

"...they, I mean, when they want to d-denote a new chapter in-in their lives. It's not all about s-safety." She said before Document noticed a red recording light turn off next to the doorknob. He hadn't heard the entire conversation, but it seemed to be over, so raising a fist up the man announced his presence with a light knock. "A-ah!" Which, as it turned out, was very startling.

Seeing as he was her direct superior, after knocking, he turned the doorknob and walked in. What greeted him was a clean workspace. A wooden desk with two computer screens, one larger than the other, a standard mouse and keyboard, a standing desk microphone, and a small family photo of a younger version of the woman with a large man and a small boy, roughly aged at mid 30's and toddler, respectively.

To the side of her desk was a large, neatly organized pile of files and folders. Including one currently open with a pen sitting on top of it. Clearly, she was diligent in her job. On the larger screen was displayed a still image of what appeared to be an unoccupied patch of ground, and on the smaller was a stream of text, which looked to be a text-based conversation between several people.

In contrast to the tidy workspace, the woman it belonged to looked unkempt. Her shoulder-length blonde hair was disheveled under a wide-brimmed bucket hat. Her blue eyes were focused, which betrayed a sort of 'frightened' look the rest of her body was projecting. Perhaps the most noteworthy piece of her attire was a long blue scarf that covered her neck. Though somewhat tall, she held herself smaller than she really was, giving the impression that she was short. Finally, she wore a sweater about two sizes too large on her, causing the sleeves to cover her hands just a touch.

"S-sir! I, I, I was j-just finishing m-my report! Twi-Twi-Twilight, Twil-l-lence was jus-just S-she went invisible s-s-so I wa, won't just-" Creek began quickly explaining herself through very nervous looking eyes. Anyone could guess what had set her off, but Document was here for a reason, and one that wasn't a threat to her.

Smiling and placing an arm on her shoulder, Document waited for his employee to stop talking. "Creek, please, calm down, you're not in trouble." He reasoned that was the most likely cause of Creek's current panic. Having guessed correctly, she sighed in relief and the man removed his hand from her shoulder, wishing to remain professional.

"No, the reason I'm here is to ask you how things are going with Twilight and that Troll friend of hers." He stated, motioning to the computer. Sitting back down in her worn leather office chair, she pulled a folder from the top of the pile and began to read it, her eyes dotting back and forth.

"Ah, um, what would, I mean, what do you w-want to know, sir?" She asked, still uncertain.

"Let's start with Twilight, how has she adjusted to the shift in power?" Document asked, standing to the side and waiting for her to speak.

Creek shuffled through a few pages before turning back to her chat window on the smaller screen and scrolling up, "I-it's been go, going well, um, she, Twilence chan-changed her name, she, she's no longer Twi-Twilight. Um, she's been, been adjusting well. She, ah, I mean, Vri-Vriska i-is um...wh-what I mean is that she's currently look, looking for a p-potion to heal a con-concussi-"

Document cleared his throat, seeming to have changed his mind in what he wanted to hear. "Nevermind that, I can read your report for this." He looked directly at the woman. "Last week you asked Vriska several questions."

"O-oh!" Creek stuttered out, "Um, She, ah, Sh-she confirmed that when Pri-Primaries finish write, writing for their characters it's, it's the s-same as if they were just abandoned. A-and so when GMBlackjack...when he finishes writing for, for Twilence, she'll, she'll be l-like us." She explained, not once taking her eyes off of the folder of loose papers in her hands. "A-and I asked her about the True, True Walkers, j-just in case, and she said that she is, is one, b-but that she travels with...ah, luck.

The expression on Document's face went unchanged as he listened. "Can you recall how she wound up with Twilence?" He asked, not wasting much time with pauses.

Creek thought about the answer briefly before pulling an image up on the larger screen. It showed a grey-skinned human with two mismatched orange horns and glasses holding a blue die with an infinity symbol on it. It looked like she was purchasing it from somebody. "She, ah, Vri-Vriska, I mean, she rolled an infinite-si-sided die and it began to glow before she teleported on, onto an al-alter that Twilight tried to summon G-G. M. Blackjack, Jack onto."

Document nodded before smiling and turning to the door. "Thank you, Creek, that'll be all." He said, turning the doorknob and exiting the room. As he left he turned to look at her, still sitting in her chair. "One last thing, take care of yourself, the last thing I need is an employee that stresses herself out to the point of a heart attack." And without so much as waiting for her answer, he left her office, closing the door behind himself, and walking back down the hallway in which he originated from.

Walking through several deserted hallways, Document finally came across a door unique in that it had a keypad fasted next to the handle. Without missing a beat, the well-dressed man entered in a 10 digit combination and the light lit up, signifying that he had unlocked the door. Turning the handle and stepping inside, Document quickly shut the door behind himself, turning to see a similar sight to Creek's office. The few differences being what was displayed on the screen, and the addition of a shelf with four different folders, each labeled with a capital letter.

Sitting in the chair to what was presumably his desk, Document looked to the screen. What displayed was an image of a crystalline man running frantically through a crowded marketplace. Specifically, though the frame was paused as the man ran past somebody purchasing an item. It was notable because it was a different perspective of the same image Creek had just shown him. Document picked up the pen in front of him and jotted down several notes before playing the video in front of him.

-----

"Done," an energetic voice declared from the screen as Document watched before it added a small giggle, "now all we do is wait!" It said before finally freezing completely. The footage coming to an end, with a message in white stating CHAPTER 1-2. Document, having viewed the entire file, began jotting down word after word.

However, after not too long, he closed the front flap of the folder and pulled a stamper from the side of his desk, along with its ink pad. Without much fanfare, he pressed the stamp into the ink before dropping it on the front of the file, declaring it to be Classified. Following that he returned the stamp and picked up the folder, placing it on the shelf, unlabelled, between the folder marked 'R' and the folder on the very end marked with a T.

He then closed the video and turned off the computer.

~~~

In the dark bowels of the Recursive office complex lay a series of pipes. A framework of water containing cylinders almost labyrinthine in nature. They all convened into a center boiler whose job it was to keep the water hot and ready any purpose.

The room itself was quiet. small, and while the light bulb kept it well lit, it wasn't a place for much in the way of habitation. Perhaps in spite of these limitations, there stood a resolute desk in the side of the room, out of the way of the door and across from the boiler. it's make was that of darker coloured wood, and more notably, it was aged long after it's prime, containing countless stains. It was missing a leg, propped up by a stack of old textbooks.

Along with the desk sat a simple metal folding chair; a small but bright desk lamp, a few books, some artistic sketches, a rolled-up stack of blueprints, and an empty folder laying open.

The quiet of the room, however, was not to continue. Slowly, footsteps of somebody that dragged their feet just a touch echoed across concrete floors. They got louder and louder until finally the jingling of keys was heard and the door swung open. Stepping through the door was a man no younger than 40; he had long dirty blonde hair done in a stylish ponytail, a handlebar mustache, and a blue jumpsuit partially damp around the knees. In his hands he held two stacks of paper.

Closing the door behind him, he dropped the look on his face like somebody grabbing a hot cooking tray without oven mitts on. Where there was once the laid back look of someone disinterested there now stood a man that sighed in relief and whose mouth twitched in contempt. Similarly, his light blue eyes betrayed that he was unhappy with something.

Pulling the chair out and plopping down into it, he placed the sheets of paper from his left hand onto the right side of the open folder and stared intently at the other selection of sheets. A wicked grin slowly took hold of his expression. Still looking over the papers, he pulled out a sleek phone, partially holographic in nature. He one-handedly hit several buttons in a sequence, pulling up menu after menu until finally a name appeared. An icon of an old phone receiver turned green and started shaking. "Reeding Idiot" appeared above the word "dialing" and he raised the phone to his ear.

After a short pause the man spoke, "Hey, It's Stevenson." He greeted somewhat cheerfully, though his face told that he truly distasted the other speaker. "Yeah yeah, just make it quick." He stated before looking at the door, listening closely, and making sure he heard no footsteps.

Looking back at the papers in his hand, he grinned quite madly, "I have it." He said confidently before his darkening expression gave way to one of anger, "You know exactly what the reed I'm talking about! The Documents! They're in front of me!" He yelled, knowing that if he couldn't hear footsteps, he was truly alone, far from any prying ears.

Rolling his eyes, he lost most of his anger, but still held onto a bit of contempt. "Do we still have a deal or not? I can just as easily shred these." After a moment he nodded in acceptance. "Good, because I finally have the information we've been missing all this time." Waving the papers in front of himself and beginning to walk around as he talked, he continued, "The missing piece that'll make the last 15 years look like a joke."

As he walked around the room he looked up at a clock before he began to idly slip out of his coveralls, leaving him in a white short-sleeved shirt and a pair of jeans. "I'll be there in an hour, tops." Placing the blue janitor suit on a hook beside the door, Stevenson reached to the hook beside the first and pulled off an old brown coat.

With the phone still held up to his ear, he looked down at the folder on his desk and grinned wickedly. "Oh don't you worry your pretty little head about that. We'll be out of this hellhole by the end of the day." He said, closing the folder to reveal it had a classified stamp on it and was marked by the letter 'S' on its outer edge.

Making sure he had both the folder and the small stack of papers, he left the tiny boiler room.

~~~

It was in a reasonably sized, traditionally decorated office that an old, though refurbished, rotary phone began to ring. Oddly it was only visually rotary, functionally it had a digital display and contained a number pad. It sat atop a large wooden desk with a glossed finish, telling of wealth. Sitting in a tall-backed leather chair was an aged man with a well-kept hazelnut beard, his eyes held a friendly expression as he looked up from his paperwork, setting aside his feather tip pen.

Looking at the display on the phone, which read 'unknown caller', the man gave a confused look, but it quickly faded as he smiled, grabbing the wireless headpiece and lifting it to his ear. With an equally jovial tone, he answered the unknown caller.

"Hello," The man spoke in a friendly tone of greeting, "Father Emerald speaking." Emerald stood up from his seat, his well kept, three-piece suit retaining no wrinkles. His smile widened as he seemed to gain recognition of the person on the other end of the call. "Ah yes, good to hear from you again, how have you been?" He asked, moving some papers aside on his desk to look at a small monitor. swiping his finger across a slider, the door to the office sounded with a metallic lock.

Chuckling, he moved away from his desk toward a towering bookshelf filled with scriptures and books. "Wonderful! I hope those kids of yours aren't causing any problems. They were Robert and Stanley, yes?" Pulling a seemingly random book from an equally random shelf, the man pulled it out to reveal a small switch at the back of the shelf, which he flipped. "Of course, of course. And I can assume you've been feeding them well." Waiting a moment, Father Emerald lost his smile entirely, the jovial spark in his eyes leaving and being replaced by a pair of calculating brown spheres. "Okay Gregory, we can talk freely, what's on your mind, child?"

Putting the book back, walking carefully back to his desk and sitting in his chair, the man smiled knowingly. "Have what? You must be more specific when you speak. I can't be expected to know every single thing you talk about." As he spoke he raised his hand in an explaining gesture.

Smirking briefly, Father Emerald sat back in his chair. "Such language! my dear boy, you'd do well to find enlightenment in these extraordinary times." He held back a mocking laugh as the person on the other end seemed to be upset at the comment. He then looked to a poster beside his office door, one that spoke of always believing in the unseen he was beginning to lose patience, at least a little bit.

"Yes, yes, you're still coming with us, child, my word is as good as the ties of the multiverse." he prattled off, his tone sounding sincere, but his eyes telling of somebody disinterested in the conversation. But then it shifted to pleasantly surprised. "Oh? Well, that is good news, what have you come across?" The Father asked before a genuine smile appeared across his lips and he leaned forward in his chair looking at an analog clock on the wall opposite the bookshelf. "Excellent, I hope to hear from you soon, when can you stop by?"

Nodding, the man moved his finger across the slider on his desk once again, unlocking the door before he replaced the papers over the display. "Good to hear, my child, I eagerly await your arrival. Hopefully, with your contribution, we can move forward several months." He answered before listening briefly and hanging up on the other end.

Steepling his fingers, Father Emerald took a careful breath before adopting the same jovial smile he had before the call began. He then dialed a new number and waiting for the ring, he chuckled softly as the person on the other end greeted him excitedly. "Thank you, child, it's good to speak to you." He stood up from his chair and carefully pushed it into the desk. "I only wish to tell everyone of the good news. The Travellers have blessed us today." Flipping the switch in his bookshelf again, the man smiled warmly, "Everyone needs to hear the news, child, please tell our wonderful community to meet at House of Rest."

Without another word, Father Emerald hang up his phone and stepped out of his office. What greeted him was a large room where stained glass windows stood tall and thin along the walls and two dozen pews lined the floor. His podium stood on a raised stage looking down on the entire space. It spoke of your average church, though missing several details, preferring to keep it simple. A distinct feature was a large carved frame that was arched at the top, almost looking like a doorway. The words 'Beyond Faith, Beyond Worlds' were engraved in the doorway.

Walking over to the wooden doorway, the Father looked up to the words as he waited for his phone call to spread through his followers, and for every single one of them to congregate into the pews now behind him.

It wasn't fifteen minutes before every seat was filled with excited people, eagerly awaiting the words of the man. Mentally keeping a count of the times the door opened, Father Emerald turned back to face his followers with a warm smile. "My children, I wish to pass on my blessings. Minutes ago I was in conference with the Travellers. They wished to congratulate you, for being so eager and for being so happy. They know that each of you has worked so hard to meet them."

Looking at every face as he spoke, he noticed that one looked guilty, and offered a beaming grin. "I know you're suffering, my dear girl, but please don't be fearful, The Travellers wish even you to know that they forgive you." He then turned to look around the room, "They forgive all of you, and have decided, after these many years, to finally reward our dedication by extending their influence."

The room filled with loud gasps as the townsfolk worked out what they'd just been told, "That's right my children. We've been truly blessed on this most beautiful day, and I wanted to tell you as soon as I found out." Pausing for no other reason than effect, Father Emerald spoke again, "The Travellers From Beyond have decided to allow us to join them."

The entire room broke out into hundreds of individual reactions, ranging from crying to cheering, to jumping up and down. People of all ages broke out into their own form of a victory dance. But before a riot could break out, Father Emerald spoke, catching all of their attention immediately. "My beloved children, today is our final day on the moon of Eliptis-C. Go and pack all you wish to bring with you."

And just like that, they all ran out in a blur of activity, almost trampling each other. Left once again alone, Father Emerald walked back into his office and began preparing for later that night.

It was almost an hour later that knocking could be heard on the Father's door. He glanced at the clock at noted the time before he locked a suitcase on his desk and walked over to open the door. "You're late, Gregory," he calmed stated as if it were a fact.

Turning to look into the man's eyes was an irate looking man himself, he had a handlebar mustache and a blonde ponytail. "Yeah, well traffic was hell, something's going on downtown or something."

Emerald adorned a smile and brought an arm over Gregory's shoulder, "Ah, but that's no worry of ours, we have a purpose today. A reason to get together. A very definition of our existence!" They walked into the office and Gregory got out of the half hug, not appreciating the contact. "That is," Father Emerald started, losing any friendly tone he had, "Assuming you have what you say you have."

"Relax daf-for-brains, I have exactly what it'll take to get us out of this hole and off this disgusting moon." He pulled a folder out of his the inside of his coat. "Had to steal from my boss, but to get out of here, I'd rob a bank."

Father Emerald shook his head, "I may not agree with your methods, but I wish to see what you claim is the missing piece."

Walking over to the desk, the younger man placed the folder down and pulled a page out from it, "And I quote, 'she removes the jar filled with its usual magical gas, blue in nature, replacing it with an empty jar. She then fills the jar with a spell from a new spell.' and reading the bottom of the page, it tells exactly what that new spell is." Gregory handed the paper with the observations to Emerald.

Taking a brief moment to read over the page, a smile began to read form on the Father's face. "Remind me to give my thanks to these ponies if we ever meet them."

~~~

In a small 1950's style community suburb, excited people rushed into their houses. They wasted no time communicating with each other or even closing their doors behind them. It seemed that something had consumed their better judgment.

There was so much commotion between the two-story houses that it was easy to miss somebody that would blend in under different circumstances, but in that moment she stuck out like an orange circle on a blue background. She was a dirty blonde woman in her early 40's wearing faded jeans and a buttoned-up light blue blouse. Though her outfit isn't what made her stand out.

That distinction came from her expression and stance. Both focused towards a large church across the street. Another distinguishing feature was perhaps her assortment of surveillance equipment she was currently using. Standing behind a hedge, the woman aimed a sound amplifying dish at the church and listened to the conversation taking place inside.

"SSSSsssssshshhust won't shut up about it, sssssshhhshshhshshhhglad I stole these things to build our porsssshshshshhhh..." Her eyes wandered to the top left corner of their sockets as she adjusted a knob on a small box clipped to her belt that was wired to a pair of headphones she was wearing. "Xsxxxxsssshshshxxshshssssssant to hear how I stole them?"

At this question, the woman's eyes opened slightly, not believing what she had just heard, but then she shook her head slightly, "He can't be serious..." she whispered under her breath.

"That isn't necessary, child," A deeper, more profound voice spoke. The woman looked over at the church parking lot, noting the one car.

"My boss is such a reeding idiot, I photocopied his folder and put back the original, he'll never see it coming." At hearing this claim, the woman just continued shaking her head, looking an odd mix of defeated and vindicated. Listening for a minute or so longer, she packed her equipment into a small satchel by her feet and walked away from the hedge, complete with her reason for spying on the conversation.

Walking a block down the street, she made sure none of the people that lived in this community spotted her acting suspiciously. Eventually reaching her car, she unlocked it and got into the driver seat, placing the satchel on the passenger seat to her right. It landed on a small stack of semi-neatly organized papers and several photographs of two men meeting and working on machinery.

She played a recording of the conversation she just listened to before backing into reverse and pulling onto the road, "I need to tell Doc," She quietly told herself before engaging drive and moving down the road.

-----

Pulling into the parking lot of the Recursive office the woman quickly turned her keys and made her way out of her car, hearing the locking mechanism engage as she walked away. She hurried into the building, giving a brief wave to her co-worker running the front desk as she moved with purpose.

Almost running by the time she made it to Mrs. Seiko's office, she knocked hastily before standing there and waiting for a response. Not getting one after 20 seconds, she quickly moved down the halls, passing by operators and coders and other employees, looking for somebody specific. "Hey Sock, I-"

"No time, busy, talk later," She shouted the half apology half explanation to one of her co-workers as she passed. Wasting no time with chit-chat.

Eventually, she spotted a well-dressed man walking calmly down the halls. "Doc!" The woman shouted, getting his attention. She knew there were places where absolute quiet was required, but also that this was not one of those places. He stopped to look at Sock as she walked up to him, a bit short of breath, but no worse for wear. "Doc, I'm glad I found you, Stevenson is finally making his move."

The man, Document, regarded Sock with curiosity, but no malice. He raised an eyebrow, seeming to request that she elaborate, or at least just continue talking.

Catching her breath for a moment, she looked right into Documents eyes. "I overheard him talking to a friend of his. He stole some papers from one of your secret folders. One marked with an 'S'." Document, upon hearing this, began walking back down the hall he was coming from, Sock followed. "He copied the information over and is using some of it to build something."

She spoke with urgency, but Document never quickened his step. "Did he say what he planned to build or why?" He calmly asked her as they rounded a corner.

Sock shook her head, "If he did, I didn't hear it, I do have a recording of him calling you an idiot and saying he stole from-" She would have continued explaining, but a hand from Document blocked her path, and she stopped and looked at him.

Without turning his head, Document spoke with authority. "I'm well aware that he and you share a history together," He spoke, lowering his hand, "But I assure you, he will be dealt with. Now follow me." He then began walking again. She didn't need to be told a second time and matched her pace with her boss'

Now insight of a door Sock knew was off limits to anyone but the person standing beside her, Document began to speak. "Let me put your worries to rest," He said, stopping in front of the door to input a 10 digit security code. "Gregory Stevenson thinks he's gone under the radar unnoticed, but I have eyes in more places than he could possibly imagine." He walked into the room, but the way he spoke indicated that he wouldn't be long.

And as Sock expected, he wasn't gone for more than a minute. As he walked out of his office and closed the door to make sure it was locked, he handed two folders to her. One marked with an 'S', and another, marked with an 'R' And without saying anything else, he walked away.

Sock suspected that he expected her to follow him, but she had no idea what she had just been handed, looking at the folders inquisitively. "What's this?" She asked, picking up her feet to follow Document towards an exit.

"Reading material. You'll need to be caught up on the drive over."

~~~

The sun had begun to kiss the horizon, signaling the end of another long day as a car drove down a countryside road. It was a nice looking car as far as vehicles went. One that showed signs of upkeep, and protection from the elements in a garage. The colour was a shiny black, speaking of hidden wealth. The rare car or truck passed by along the road, but for the most part, the drive was a quiet one for the two zooming along with the windows up.

The occupants of the car were a man and woman, the man, one of good dress and a moustache was driving while the woman, one dressed far more casually, was reading through a folder with a shocked expression on her face. The folder in question had a large capital letter R prominently featured on its cover.

"W-" The woman, Sock, began to say but stopped immediately, not having anything to say as her brain chugged along. It wasn't until two minutes later that she finally spoke again. "Sir, you know I don't question my job but this... this is something I can't ignore. This is..."

Document remained silent, he both knew what was in the folder as well as understood what it meant. Sock caught herself from going silent a second time "This is US! Our company, the last few days, it's... it's everything. What you were doing, what Stevenson was doing, what...what I did an an...an hour ago. How..?"

It was then that Document chose to finally speak, "Something people don't know about observing the worlds of an author as real people is that they themselves are also the works of an author." He slowed the car to a stop at a four-way intersection and turned right. "And just like the works of G. M. Blackjack, we've received the works of our own author."

Sock shook her head before turning to look at her boss. "But, b-but that's impossible! Key-key-k...He hasn't made anything new since the Evermore Recursions, since...since he abandoned Jane in the hospital in a coma! He-"

Document, held up his hand, commanding respect even while driving, Sock silenced herself immediately. "You've been working for this company for nine and a half years, you should know that things are never that simple."

They pulled up to a community, one that broke up the tree line surrounding it, looking to be very suburb like. Pulling up to the side of the street, Document put the car into park and unbuckled his seatbelt before turning to look Sock in the eyes, "Our author is quite active, in fact."

-----

In a small park surrounded on all sides by houses and small roads was a large group of people gathered around a centre structure. The park itself was a simple affair, a few trees, some benches for sitting, and even a small building to use the bathroom, as well as a jungle gym and swings for children. The pleasant atmosphere of the park was contrasted however by an odd sort of contraption in the centre of the gathered crowd.

Standing atop a ladder leaning against the device was a man currently tightening two bits with an adjustable wrench. The man, in his mid-40's with a handlebar moustache, had a surprisingly pleasant expression on his face, which seemed out of place on his features. Watching him work was an older gentleman with a warm smile and a welcoming atmosphere. The second man, Father Emerald, looked up from a sheet of paper at the first, a worker known as Gregory.

The device itself could only be described as a portal. It had several larger tanks connected by tubes, different electrical bits connected through heavily reinforced cables, and large golden bits. However, at the centre of the setup, was an ornate mirror with markings adorning specific locations. The most noteworthy piece of all though was a connecting wire going from a transformer on the back of the portal to a power bank at the edge of the park. Which in turn connected to the power poles going off into the street.

Gregory, having finished fashioning a cable to its rightful place, took a jar carefully out of his bag. It containing a distinct looking grey gas. With surgeon level precision, he twisted the jar into its holder, before testing to see if it'd move. Satisfied that he had properly set everything up, Gregory stepped down his ladder and wiped his brow.

Looking at Emerald, he nodded, "All setup, now we're just waiting on your other guy." Before he reached into his tool bag and pulled out a flask of something presumably palatable.

Emerald just brought his arm over Gregory's shoulder "Fine work, my child. Fine work indeed." He just got out of the paster's embrace, an upset look on his face. Emerald merely chuckled warmly. "Ah, but there's nothing to worry about Gregory. Jolt has assured me that all power will be diverted in due time. All we must do now is wait for our window."

"I still can't believe you suckered some power plant worker to give you everything for 30 reeding minutes," Gregory said after swallowing a swig from his flask.

The father, however, shook his head, "There's was no 'suckering' dear boy, it was all in the name of the Travellers!" At this claim, sobs of joy could be heard from some of the people nearby.

Gregory shook his head though, "Yeah, well, whatever you did toooooo..." he began to say, but it faded out as he looked toward the park entrance. Walking towards them were a man and woman, and to Stevenson, the last two people he ever expected to see. At first, seeing his boss walk towards him was confusing, and he had to take a moment to think, but it was before he even could that he recognized who was with the man, and his blood began to boil.

It was at the same time that Sock noticed Gregory there, rage in his eyes as he stared at her, that she quickened her pace. They almost looked as though they were going to run at each other before they met mere feet from one another. "YOU!"

"OH REED YOU!" She interrupted him before he could say anything. "I should have known you'd pull something like this!"

"ME?!" He asked, upset, "You're gonna blame ME for anything? how about you? You been spying on me again?"

"SACK YOU! You think I'd waste my time on your worthless daf?" Some of the people around were looking their direction, adults placing their hands over children's ears. "I wouldn't spend my time looking at your nameless space."

"I DIDN'T WANT TO CHANGE MYSELF!"

As Sock and Gregory were yelling at each other, Document finally caught up and passed the two, walking towards Father Emerald. Several of the followers saw this and became angry and fearful, they stepped in front of the well-dressed man to block his path, but with one look from Emerald, they stopped and smiled back at him. Knowing everything was safe.

"Father, a pleasure to finally meet you," Document greeted as you shook hands with the larger man.

Emerald smiled in return, "Document, sir, likewise, I've heard much about you." They broke off their handshake and Emerald motioned to a bench a few small feet away from them.

Taking the offer for a seat, Document returned the smile, though his was more reserved, "Ah, that's good, it means we can put introductions behind us."

"Of course," the bearded pastor agreed.

Glancing briefly at the people around the bench watching and listening to him, Document nodded to Emerald, "The powers that be have made it known that you've been quite busy."

Father Emerald smirked ever so slightly, almost unnoticeably so, "We've done nothing less. Gregory has been a great help in that regard."

"My employees sure are an active few." Document placed a small amount of emphasis on the word 'active'. Nobody except Emerald noticed, who laughed softly.

"How have your employees been, recently?" he asked plainly.

Document's smile raised slightly, "Busy, I'm afraid, though they've made do."

Emerald nodded before looking to portal nearby, "Care to comment on our creation?"

"It's quite impressive, I can't say I expected much," Document commented, his smile completely gone.

"Ingenuity is a staple of the Travellers after all."

Document stood up from the bench, finishing the conversation. "So you've demonstrated." He then looked over to Sock and Gregory, who had stopped arguing at some point and were watching the conversation unfold.

Of the two it was Gregory that noticed the conversation was over first, stepping forward before Sock could stop him. Squeezing his right fist tightly, he stormed towards his boss. "If you think I'm going to let you stop what we've done, I'm going to snap your elitist reeding neck!"

Sock snapped out of her stupor and became angry, about to pull something out of her pocket before the last thing anyone expected to happen did. Both Document and Father Emerald started laughing. This stopped her in her tracks.

After laughing for a moment, Document shook his head and put his hand on Gregory's shoulder. "You're mistaken, Stevenson, I have no intention of stopping you or the good father here." He then chuckled a bit more, amused by any alternative notion. Gregory moved away from the contact, getting increasingly annoyed with each act of touch.

Sock spoke first, "But...Doc, sir? Isn't that why we're here?" she asked, which drew the attention of quite a few members of the crowd, not pleased by the idea of meeting their deities being stopped.

Document put the concern away however by smiling and moving to the portal. "Quite the contrary, I fully intend to allow these good people passage. In fact, I plan to join them."

Confused, Sock walked closer to her boss. "Uh...huh, why?"

It was at this point that Father Emerald spoke up again, "I was actually wondering that myself, what's your reason, sir?"

Reaching slowly towards the buttons on his suit jacket, Document looked at Sock, "Did you bring the folders from the car?" She nodded and reached to pull them out of her bag. "Well, I happen to have bought one of my own."

Undoing his jacket buttons with care, Document began to speak, "Long ago I came across life-changing information. So life-changing in fact that it set me on a course that's lead me to many distant places. Places you've most likely never heard of." Undoing the buttons of his jacket he began to pull out a folder marked similarly to the others.

This one was marked with a capital T.

"To travel to those places, and in turn, to this moon orbiting Eliptis-C, I've seen my fair share of portals." It was at that point a loud buzz emanated from the machine, a transparent tube displayed arching electricity. Surprising Gregory the thing didn't explode. Instead, the mirror lit up before displaying the image of a jungle.

Standing in front of the portal was a man that Sock and Gregory looked at differently, He was looking down at the open folder in his hands, flipping carefully through the pages.

All the devout followers of The Travellers From Beyond whose faces were beginning to brighten from the information Document had said were drawn from their attention as Father Emerald Spoke loudly and with purpose. "My children! Today is truly a blessed day." He walked over to the office worker to put his arm over his shoulder.

"It seems as though a traveller has decided to join our pilgrimage personally!" Emerald's voice boomed through the crowd, they erupted into cheers.

Sock, who had been stunned silent was addressed by Document. "Sock, it's been a good job, but I'm needed elsewhere," He then handed her a photograph from the folder before closing it and placing it back in his jacket. "If anyone comes looking for me, tell them that I've finally found a lead."

Stammering slightly, Sock just stared at her boss, "I- I- I-"

But before she could fully collect herself, Father Emerald spoke again, "My children, it's time." He didn't have to repeat himself as all his followers excitedly picked up their packed belongings and began streaming into the portal one by one. Before anyone could even think, Emerald was walking through the portal speaking to Document.

The final person to walk through was Gregory Stevenson, who, in his classiest move, flipped Sock off, "I never loved you, you reeding whore." Before he flipped a switch on a remote in his other hand and the power to the power suddenly went out, He and his middle finger disappearing behind it as the device returned to being a mirror.

-----

It took 10 full minutes for Sock to finally process that she was even alone. So thinking that she was done dealing with any of this, she turned away and walked back to Document's car. Remembering that he had left the keys in the glove compartment.

It didn't take long to walk through the empty streets and find the car, She opened the driver side door and sat inside. Only then realizing that she was still holding a picture in her off hand.

Looking at it she became confused. It was just a weird black tower, why even have a picture of it? Shaking her head she put the key into the ignition and drove back to work, there was nothing she could do.

Author's Note:

GM: This story is... complicated. It showcases, above all else, how time can be next to meaningless in the schemes of ka. When a company discovers how to access ka-streams, documents, and books... they could be looking at events in the future, in the past, or things that have looped back in on themselves. This story simultaneously takes place at the start of SotS, and the end of the Influence, even though centuries pass for the characters in the Influence before they encounter the beginning of SotS. It's hard to think about, but I like it nonetheless. ...Despite all its grammatical awkwardness.

Keywii: During the original run of the Influence i made a character based on myself called Key, he was like me but I guess angrier? Eventually I needed to add a context for who he was and why he was angry, and out of it came the recursive Organization. Several chapters in I made possibly my most well-liked character Creek, and I felt I had a setting I wanted to explore. Thus was born the company, the moon it was based on, a small selection of characters, and a fighting group of cults. The only thing I had left to do was tie them all together, which is what lead to this gem.

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