by EsotericPhantasm

First published

Demon. Abomination. Monster. What most don't know is that my first title was, Savior.

What most don't know is that my first title was,

Before the unicorns, pegasi, and earth ponies came to what they called Equestria others were already there. Most already know of the Dragons, Zebras, Minotaurs and Buffalo. They weren't the only ones.

Snatched from my home world into this ancient time. I must bring harmony to a land that is far more tumultuous and chaotic than what the future may hold. But if things in this world are not as I thought, what does it mean if I actually encounter those who will come?

Author's Notes -
I actually created the basis for this story while helping contribute a character to the story Malideus. It's quite good and I'm glad the way he interacted with his readers by taking so many suggestions and then somehow fitting it into the story.

While there may be some correlation such as the main character's name is the same I've also changed one particular name of a character that was in the other story. See if you can spot it.

I'm not sure if I should make this part of the same multiverse as the Displaced group which was basically started and inspired by Malideus since I'll be posting this story to fanfiction.net as well. I'm sort of hoping to make it its own thing. While it does sort of hint at the same Displaced multiverse in the beginning it's more of a homage and tease than a promise. Hope you enjoy regardless.

The character tags are those who should be in the story should I keep at it and not slack off. It takes about 5-10 HOURS just to write one chapter, which doesn't include proofreading. And these aren't even very long.

P.S. I actually don't have an editor or proofreader at the moment so if you'd like to proofread chapters before they come out please PM me.

Chapter 1. A Dark Calling

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"Hurry up Virgil. The convention started an hour ago."

"Just give me a minute Fred. I only have have to finish placing the left eye." With that said I finished stitching said left eye onto my newest Midna plushie before putting my sewing kit away and hurrying to the front door of the motel.

After jumping in our mode of transportation we headed to the convention.

"Why did you need to finish that doll?" Fred questioned for at least the third time that morning.

"The proper term is plushie, and as I told you before it's part of my business. I don't just make cosplay costumes, and having a plushie to tote around the convention will get people to ask about it so I can give them my business card."

"Then why don't you just set up a booth at the convention?"

"One: I just want to browse and have fun today. Two: I already have a booth booked for tomorrow. Why do you think I have tons of boxes in the trunk?"

"Sorry, it slipped my mind. Anyway, we're here. Think I'll find some sweet guns to go with my Alucard costume? Thanks again for making it by the way." At this point I was just securing my costume in all the right places while exiting the vehicle, and grabbing my Midna plushie.

As we made our way to the entrance doors I responded, "No problem. Like I said, I know a guy that should be selling those kind of props. We can start there."

"Cool. Now what are you supposed to be again?"

"Just a costume I based on a cool sketch I saw. Basically a dark mage in a trench coat with pants and boots of the same color. I mean the silver belt with a skull definitely says 'I'm a badass' no?"

"It is pretty cool. But why? I mean last year you were dressed as Jace Beleren and the year before you were in one of those dark cloaks Organization XIII wore in Kingdom Hearts. Now you're just something ambiguous."

"I just felt like being more creative and doing something that's not so recognizable. If it makes you feel better I plan on doing something from Diablo next year." By now we were already in the convention and making our way over to some of the shopping booths.

"Okay. Whoa, isn't that the Charmcaster costume from Ben 10 you made?" Fred said, pointing at a guy over at the booth I was taking him to.

"...I wonder if he lost a bet, but ya it's the one I made. I guess I forgot to tell you it was for a guy. The Albedo costume was for girl as well. Rule 63 and all that. Besides, I think I spot a pair of guns you are looking for at that booth."

"Really? Ah sweet! Wait, where you heading to?"

"Just the bathroom. I'll be back in five. Just go check out the guns while I'm gone."

"Kay. See ya."

With that I leisurely made my way to the restrooms while toting my Midna plushie. I did get at least one inquiry about my doll and handing out a business card before reaching my destination, the large stall for handicapped people. Not that I was handicapped but I just liked being in a more open space.

After taking care of business and getting ready to exit the stall I noticed something was off. Normally the convention could still be heard as a loud noise where I was, but now everything was silent. One second bustling noise the next complete silence.

"Well, that's not creepy at all," I quipped while simply making for the stall door. The stall door that now wouldn't unlock and seemed to be jammed. It had been years since I'd had to crawl under a stall, but it seemed that is what I was going to have to do.

Before I could do anything though a sound emanated from the toilet. But not just a sound, a voice that whispered, "Come."

"Okay Fred you got me. I'm completely creeped out," I deadpanned. It was just like him to pull a stunt like this. It had been a few months since his last prank. I still couldn't bring myself to eat any noodles yet.

However, I got no response except a slightly louder, "Come," along with the lights starting to dim, and bubbling noises coming from the toilet bowl as I saw the water in it turn black.

"Okay, well I'm getting out of here," although this was said with a little more panic setting in. There's no way I was seeing what I was seeing because the 'water' now seemed alive and forming tentacles as it rose and started spilling over onto the floor like an inky goop of writhing squids.

Nothing need more be said as I dashed for the gap under the stall door hoping to make it through before whatever this was got to me. Well I actually did make it, about halfway through before I felt something grab my right ankle. I tried struggling free only to have my left ankle get grabbed and feel myself get slowly dragged back toward the toilet.

I took a firm grip on the bottom of the stall doorway before turning to see what I was now facing. I felt like I was looking at Cthulhu's beard after he washed it in the river Styx. Just a giant writhing mass of black tentacles ready grab me and do who knows what. I wasn't screaming, yet. However, my hyperventilating with onset panic meant I wasn’t far off.

"Come!" the voice now spoke again. Only now it was like the bass of those dubstep videos turned up to eleven. At this point I screamed... like a little girl. Okay, so I'm not fearless, and who would be upon seeing something that looks like it wants to drag you to the abyss. I'm glad I had just taken care of business.

I still was maintaining my death grip on the stall but I knew I couldn't hold on forever. The inky black goop that was holding onto my ankles was slowly slithering up my legs while another larger tentacle grabbed my waist and started yanking.

From my position on the floor I could clearly see that there was nobody else in the restroom, which was odd since it was a large convention with thousands of people. Then again, what can I say since I'm being attacked by a monster from a Lovecraft wet dream. It didn't stop me from calling out, "Help! Anybody! Help!"

That went on for half a minute and nobody answered. I figured whatever dark forces were attacking me could have isolated me as well.

*Sigh* "Well crap." With that resignation I just grabbed my Midna plushie that was lying next to me and hugged it for comfort. I'm glad I at least had that in what could very well be my final moments, or perhaps the start of something horrible.

Dozens of the black tentacles grabbed me and lifted me into the air while still facing me towards the toilet. I looked at it once more and saw that a great hole was forming where the tentacles came from. It seemed like a great beast opening its maw before sucking in its victim.

All the inky goop had now formed into either the hole or the great mass that now covered me up to my chest and held me firmly. It was like being caught like a fly and watching the frog open its mouth before retracting.

Quite suddenly, everything was still. After a brief yet pregnant pause I once again heard that voice whisper quieter than in the beginning yet it seemed even more audible than the great shout, "Come. Save us."

I had no time to ponder what any of it meant before the great black tongue I was attached to pulled me quickly into the hole and with it complete darkness.

Chapter 2. Dante's Inferno

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Nothing in my life could have prepared me for what came next. First I was completely enveloped in darkness. Then I was plunged into that inky goop so I was unable to breath.

I thrashed around a bit for all the good it did me but I clearly wasn't going to leave. All I could think was, “For all the trouble it would take to do this to me, why kill me? Why? Why me?”

I was pretty good at holding my breath. I could do about two minutes, or even three if I was relaxed and didn't have to do anything. But even if I could hold my breath for hours the fact remains I would eventually give out.

I think I actually made a personal record and held out for four minutes but the reflex to breathe won out and I breathed in a lunge full of goop. Oddly enough I felt the relief of breathing air, but at the same time I felt like I just swallowed fire.

My insides began to feel like they were being cooked over a bonfire and though I screamed I couldn't hear myself. All at once the goo I was submerged in began burning my skin. Though my eyelids were closed I felt like my eyes were on fire though they didn't melt.

I couldn't even close my mouth after I opened it. The goop seemed to be pumping itself into my insides as I felt it Flow past my tongue. For some strange reason it tasted black and white at the same time. Think of licorice and white chocolate. Then realize there is no reference I can truly describe.

If you could name any part of the body that can feel pain then I felt it there. Even places where it had no business being, such as my brain and inside my bones. Yet for all the pain I didn't pass out and I just felt it intensify as if my senses were getting better, sharper even. I wished my pain receptors would just burn out and go numb, but they didn't.

As hard as it was to think I finally decided to open my eyes since there was nothing else I could really do. Instead of darkness as I expected I saw a kaleidoscope of lights and colors that kept shifting as if my eyes were trying to interpret what I was seeing. At the same time I felt the goop Flow into my eyes, bringing my pain to a whole new level. I could no longer close my eyes either. As my pain reached an even higher plateau what I was looking at finally resolved itself.

What I saw I was having a hard time comprehending. Then my pain grew and though it grew my thinking sharpened and I could understand. I can't even begin to describe what it was, but if you find yourself dragged through an abyss of chaos then call me and we'll discuss it over a cup of lemonade.

I don't know how long I was in that place, but I won't be ambiguous about it. I'm pretty sure it was about twelve hours of perceived time.

About halfway through my time in that place I was experiencing such pain that any mortal mind should've snapped and gone mad, yet my mind was clearer than it ever was. At this point the pain dissipated and I felt something different. Warmth, comfort, bliss, euphoria and ecstasy. This too built to the point any normal person would've gone mad. Strange but nonetheless how I felt at the time.

During all this all I could really do was think. What was the point? Where was I? When will it end? Will it ever end?

Eventually, as most things do, it stopped. I didn't feel anything. Nothing except the clothes on my body and the Midna plushie I was holding. I had actually forgotten I was holding it the whole time. Although it felt a little more solid and different than I remember, but then again would anything feel the same ever again?

Before I could even think much more on it my surroundings changed. I was surrounded by stars and supported by nothing. The goop was gone. I wouldn't be surprised if I'd somehow swallowed it all.

Suddenly I felt the sensation of movement. All around me grew dark except the direction I was headed, which now looked like a great white light. I couldn't help at least smirking a little and thinking, Don't go toward the light!

The light encompassed my entire vision until a few seconds later I fell up through darkness, and back down to solid ground landing on my feet. It was very disorienting and I'm amazed I didn't collapse. Somehow I wasn't completely exhausted. In fact I felt better than ever. However, I still panted for a second looking at the ground while hunched over. It was then I noticed the strange arcane markings in the stonework I was standing on.

"It worked! The summoning worked!" I heard a distinctly female voice exclaim.

I looked up and took in my surroundings not knowing what to expect. I was standing in what could best be described as a magic circle, and encircling that circle was a dozen odd looking ponies.

They definitely reminded me of the ponies from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic universe, but not quite. They looked like earth ponies but with mostly dull, dark and natural colors. Stuff that would make them blend in with a dark forest. Moreover they were less bulky and more lithe and graceful looking. To top it off they had cat-like eyes with colors ranging from red, green, purple, gold and so on. They all were wearing clothing of one sort or another. Mostly cloth and what seemed like leather in form fitting designs, which just screamed fantasy setting. They reminded me of the so called bat ponies from the show, only these ones didn't have wings.

I appeared to be in a large square chamber with lots of space and one large door towards where I was facing when I first looked up. The only thing other than the ponies and the arcane symbols was the large crystal lighting fixture just above me as well as the smaller ones in the ceiling corners.

Before I could really ask any of the usual questions someone in my situation would normally muster, the door slammed open and a more familiar looking pony rushed through. It was a bat pony mare with a dark blue mane, grey coat, golden eyes and clad in armor.

"The minotaurs have breached the outer gate!" the new arrival exclaimed. She seemed to pause in her motions after spotting me. "So, it appears your summoning gamble worked after all Quinoa. We'll see if it actually pays off."

"That it did Sweet Dreams," one of the ponies encircling me responded. She seemed to be the one that had spoken earlier. Her mane was a very dark purple with matching eyes while her coat was a navy blue. She was wearing a dark blue cloth outfit with purple leather that matched her eyes and a brown satchel strapped to her left side. "The day is ours. Soon our enemies will tremble before the might of, um, pardon me but what is your name strange one?" She questioned while turning to me.

With pretty much nothing better to do I responded, "Virgil Wrathborne." Hey, it's my real name. Don't judge.

"Before the might of Virgil Wrathborne and his companion," this Quinoa said with a triumphant smirk turning her head towards Sweet Dreams.

"Wait, I don't have a companion. It's just me." Something at the back of my mind was irking me as if I knew the real answer yet still contradicted it.

As if my statement was just asking for a rebuttal I felt something stirring in my arms. This prompted me to look down and see that I was holding not a simple plushie that I had crafted with care, but a living, breathing and not at all made of felt Midna, Fused Shadow and all, asleep in my arms.

It did occur to me to wonder how this could be the real character Midna even if such a person existed. It still didn’t detract from some of the unease I felt from realization that I was holding something that was once just a doll. Never mind that I was surrounded by talking equines while holding one of my favorite characters from one of my favorite games.

If what I went through brought an inanimate object to life just what had it done to me? Perhaps I would soon find out.

It was fortunate she seemed to be in a deep sleep as even all the shouting hadn’t woken her. This would certainly help me gain a grasp on my situation before I had to deal with her.

My once plushie wasn’t the only thing that changed that I could see without a mirror. While my costume creations were very high quality. I could see that what I was now wearing was what I would think a high-budget movie would have. The cloth parts weren’t that much different, but the quality of the leather was much finer and more pliable, which really showed when it came to the gloves and boots. What once was a plastic skull on my belt was certainly metal now and perhaps even silver. I usually wasn’t as cheap when I made costumes for others but since it was for myself I wanted to save.

I’m happy that it only took a few moments to take all this in since now I needed to talk to what I guess were my summoners in order to get a better understanding of the circumstances I was now in.

“What about the one you are holding?” Quinoa asked as she turned back towards me.

“Oh, yes you’re right. Must have slipped my mind,” I tried to say nonchalantly but it still came out a little nervous.

“It’s fine. I’m sure the summoning must have been disorienting,” she said in a much more casual manner. “How are you feeling now?”

That was certainly a good question. Oddly, after what I went through, I felt great. Positively energized in fact. Like I just drank a gallon of coffee and ambrosia. “I feel fine,” I responded in a much more confident tone. I just wasn’t sure what to say next. Thank you for sucking me through the nine circles of hell? That’s far from what I would say to someone who has enough power to summon someone from a different dimension. From what I heard Sweet Dreams say about minotaurs attacking their gate I’m certain I was here to fight a war, and somehow I was to be their ultimate weapon.

“Good. I’m sure by now you’ve realized why we’ve brought you here right?”

“Umm, yes. You want me to help you fight in some battle or war you have going on.” Not that I want anything to do with that mind you.

“I’m glad you catch on quickly. Yes, that’s what you are here for.”

Her indifferent demeanor was starting to rub me the wrong way. Why would they think I would want to help them? Sure I hate war, but since when do you go practically kidnapping people and forcefully drafting them? I was being shanghaied! Sure it was cool that I was in a world where apparently magic talking equines existed but that still didn’t take away from that fact.

I took in a deep breath to calm down a bit before replying, “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be rude but no matter how awesome being in a place like this is it’s not worth dying for. Could you just send me back?” It pained me to say that since a lot of people would break their backs at a chance to be in a place with actual magic, but nobody would want to jump down the rabbit hole just to see a dragon before it ate them.

I seemed to have actually confounded Quinoa as she seemed a little flabbergasted with her mouth hanging out a bit for a few moments before she composed herself and replied, “Could you wait here a few minutes while my fellows and I have a quick meeting?” The anxious smile she plastered on seemed to imply a please.

Looking around I could see now that everyone in the room looked worried. Was I really that important to them that my refusal would cause such dismay? I didn’t fully understand what was going on so it seemed the most likely possibility.

I didn’t mean to make her sweat with anticipation but I probably did wait a little longer than normal to respond. “Very well. I’ll give you a moment. Please don’t take too long.” I didn’t want to just be standing around in a mostly empty room for even an hour in such an unfamiliar setting.

“Great! It won’t be long!”

With that Quinoa and most of the equines in the room promptly exited the door Sweet Dreams had come through. From where I was I could see the door led to a large hallway. On the way out Quinoa seemed to give a look towards Sweet Dreams that probably meant she was to stay here and keep an eye on me, or keep me company if you look at it a different way. I guessed right since after the door closed after Quinoa and her entourage left Sweet Dreams was the only one in the room other than me and Midna.

The Thinker

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It was awfully quiet after Quinoa and her fellow equines left as Sweet Dreams just stood there looking at me. I wasn’t sure if she just didn’t know what to say or thought whatever she wanted to say would make things worse. Her troubled countenance seemed to hint towards the latter.

I wasn’t doing much better. What was I supposed to say? Sorry I don’t want to stop some invasion force from destroying your city, town or whatever they had? What if they had some sort of compulsion or coercion magic tied into my summoning? Wouldn’t any self-respecting practitioner of magic do that when summoning something unknown as I clearly was? That certainly wouldn’t endear me to them but it would be the smart thing to do. I’ll just have to wait and see.

Deciding to just relax a bit I sat down on the floor Indian style to get more comfortable since there weren’t any seats in the room. It also made it easier to reposition Midna in my arms who was still sleeping. I guess I had at least one thing going for me. I needed time to think and now was a good a time as any.

If I was supposed to be used as a weapon of war, could what I went through before getting here have empowered me somehow? I do feel different in an incredible way as if I could feel my own bio-electricity.

Wait, that’s not just my imagination. I did feel something. It reminds me of how some animals really do sense bio-electricity such as the shark, or how birds can sense the earth’s magnetic field. It was as if I had been given an extra sense. I was starting to be able to perceive this Flow in myself as well as my surroundings. It was like the difference between colors and music notes but similar at the same time in that there were different ‘notes’ or what I’ve dubbed Flow.

It was everywhere and seemed to emanate from everyone in the room as well as interact and mingle with the Flow that seemed to be pervasive and constant throughout the room. It was like everyone had a personal field that interacted with a ubiquitous one. It wasn’t as if I could hear it, feel it, taste it or see it. Just as each sense is distinct and adds a whole new dimension for interacting and experiencing the world so too was this sense of Flow.

I’ll probably be able to have this new sense interact with my other ones just like how you can both hear and feel vibrations, or see what’s producing the noise. I’m sure there is a way to create a visual representation just like you can with sound, heat and x-rays.

I decided to focus on Sweet Dreams and could ‘feel’ the Flow more concentrated on her wings and eyes. It’s much like how the human brain uses the most oxygen consumption in the body compared to any other organ. I could now tell how this sense interacted with my sight since I could tell the distance between us with both my eyes as well as my newer sense. Her Flow seemed to be both self-generated as well as feeding on the ubiquitous Flow around her.

Well the best way to understand what you’re sensing is to figure out more differences between things such as smoothness versus roughness or brightness versus dimness. With that goal in mind I moved on to focusing on Midna. It seems the Flow wasn’t concentrated on any particular part like it was with Sweet Dreams. What was interesting though was that the Fused Shadow seemed to have a personal Flow of its own as if it were a separate being. I guess there was more to it than just being part of living beings.

With Midna being in my arms I got a better awareness of how these personal Flow fields interacted when close to each other.

The best way to describe it would be two people with a small field of wind whipping around them. When they get close the wind in each person’s field will intermingle but will only blow around the other person and not really intermingle with the other person at all. There probably are exceptions since I still don’t understand much of how this Flow works but it seems that’s its default state.

What about differences in intensity? There are louder sounds and brighter lights so perhaps that would apply here. But where to look for this greater or lesser aspect? How can I measure it? If it was similar to color I probably wouldn’t be able to tell without sampling a better variety. But color simply has to do with the wavelength of light once it bounces off an object and nothing to do with how intense the light is.

Perhaps it’s harder to tell when the Flow is in a default state as I’m sensing now. Could a higher intensity hurt me? It’s not like I can stop sensing it, as far as I can tell, like closing my eyes when I look at the sun or plugging my ears at an air horn. It would be similar to trying to stop feeling the vibrations of the subwoofer speaker that’s rocking the whole house, which doesn’t usually harm you so hopefully not.

It’s most likely that there’s a way to increase the Flow emanations and that can be used to better determine the difference. Wait a minute. I already did sense a larger concentration in Sweet Dreams’ Flow when looking at her overall. I could use that difference as a base to measure intensity with. I just need to pay more attention. Hopefully it’s not as hard as finding Waldo in sea of faces.

That’s it! I would like to take a look at some other samples but hopefully the three, or four if you count the Fused Shadow piece, should be enough to get started. Oh, and the universal Flow should count as well.

Hmm, the difference seems to be a little harder than I thought. In Sweet Dreams it’s more concentrated and ordered but the universal Flow is far more intense and wild. When Sweet Dreams’ Flow assimilates the universal one nothing seems to be detracted, and it seems to only make up for the emanations she gives off. I’m sure there’s more to it since you can’t measure pH level by tasting a liquid or how much something weighs by just looking at it.

The difference between beings with Flow might be simpler to gauge. Oh? Well, that’s interesting. It seems that Midna, the Fused Shadow and I all aren’t assimilating the universal Flow at all. There are less emanations as well and yet there doesn’t seem to be a decrease in concentration at all. It’s almost like looking at a sun that can’t die but still gives off light and energy. I have no idea what the significance of that is.

What about the concentration levels between Sweet Dreams and I? Huh... okay… holy crap! It’s like trying to gauge the weight difference between a feather and an elephant. Sure it’s there but do you really need it? I say I do since it’s obviously important.

It will take me awhile to get used to this Flow sense in order to really measure it properly. Plus I need more samples. The difference between Midna, the Fused Shadow and I is like measuring a baby a young child and an adult football player with me as the football player and Midna as the baby.

If this concentration has anything to do with power I can’t help thinking it. My power level, it’s over nine-thousand!

I smiled a bit at that thought, which seemed to cause Sweet Dreams to relax just a bit.

Back to my musings. It could be Flow concentration has more to do with ability to manipulate it. After all, one thing is almost certain. If you can sense something you can manipulate it. I’ll need a sample of Quinoa to make any judgments on that.

There probably is a lot of subtlety that I’m missing since I’ve only just started. It’s possible that the people here call this Flow I’m sensing ‘magic’. The fact that it’s more concentrated in Sweet Dreams’ wings than to other parts of her attests to that fact since regular aerodynamics wouldn’t allow her to fly. I haven’t seen her fly but I’m willing to bet she does. It wouldn’t be that strange at this point.

If the Flow has to do with using ‘magic’ I probably can use it. That’s probably what my whole ordeal getting here was for in order for me to be their ultimate weapon. At least, that’s the most logical conclusion. I guess I’ll just call it magic since they do. It doesn’t really describe it but it would probably be simpler to use their own terminology when talking to them.

Before I could start trying to figure out how to, or even if I could, manipulate magic I sensed a more ordered and extra concentration of it interacting with the room’s door before it quickly swung open.

Chapter 4. Keep Calm and...

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Quinoa briskly trotted into the room before the door closed again in the same manner as it had opened. I wish I could put our upcoming discussion on hold so I could see if I could copy opening the door with magic. Usually the best way to learn something is to copy someone. It’s how everyone learns at first from speaking to walking and progressing to writing and math.

That would have to wait as I was about to have an exchange of words with the one responsible for my current situation. Fortunately, I had had time to mentally prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Whether going home was possible or even on either side of the spectrum was up for debate.

As soon as our eyes met she got right to it.

“I trust you’ve had time to consider your situation,” Quinoa started before I had a chance to begin. I was glad since I was having a hard time coming up with what to say.

“Yes. However; I’m not even sure at this point what I should do or whether you can even send me back where I came from,” I calmly stated before my expression hardened a bit. “You do realize you snatched me from not only my country but also my home world? Or did you not consider that whoever you got from your little summoning would not be upset by something like that,” I questioned.

She had the decency to look a little a little self-conscious at my accusations before gaining a look of determination and continuing, “Let me explain. The magic we used to bring you here is experimental and incomplete. While we tried to account for every variable for what we needed we didn’t have time to divine exactly what we needed. In simple terms we tried to call a being capable of ending this war we find ourselves in and one who would be friendly and willing to help us.”

She paused for a moment looking off to the side as if considering something. I didn’t try to interject as she seemed like she had more to say.

Looking back at me Quinoa resumed her dialogue, “It appears that you may become friendly and willing to help us since I don’t see why that part of the spell would have failed completely, although it wasn’t taken into account that you wouldn’t be right off the bat. At least you’re being civil about this.”

I had to smirk at that. Sure, at least they hadn’t gotten some sort of raging monster that decided to tear through them and finish what the minotaurs started.

Quinoa then closed her eyes and breathed in deeply before saying, “I’m sorry for what we’ve done since it was without your consent.” She opened her eyes which now held slight concern within them. “You don’t know how desperate we are the moment. If it helps, you don’t have to worry about any kind of compulsion or mind control magic tied to your summoning. I actually did have to convince my colleagues not to incorporate anything like that into the summoning spell since it may make things worse. What with our enemies subverting many of our magicks it was foolish, and of course how would that endear you towards us on top of that. Plus, if we can’t at least retain some ethics I’m not sure if we deserve to win.”

I relaxed slightly and gave an actual smile with that last bit of information. I didn’t have to worry about my mind being hijacked somehow by arcane means, or at least from the summoning. The practical part of it convinced me more than the idealist part. While it would be great if idealism could always prevail it was often sacrificed in order to win. War was never pretty. It’s war after all. She was probably laying it all bare as much as possible since someone that could help them would be no fool.

My slight upturn in demeanor seemed to put a spark of hope into Quinoa’s eyes. I knew her whole goal here right now was to convince me to fight for them. It wouldn’t do for me to fall for any manipulations on her part, but for now she seemed sincere enough. Still, trust but verify.

“While I appreciate that I won’t have to worry about such things as direct mind control I still would like to know, if I asked you to would you send me back right now,” I queried. Let’s see if I can test that idealism of yours that you claim to have.

My question actually seem to make Quinoa appear conflicted. There was definitely a war raging in her head but what kind I couldn’t say. It was most likely she had an answer she knew I wouldn’t like and was trying to come up with a way to deliver it while trying to gain my good graces.

“Well,” she began a little hesitantly, “as I said before, the spell we used to bring you here was new and incomplete. Even if we could redevelop it to send you back where you came from we don’t have time for that. It took weeks of work that was built on decades of research and experimentation. We only have a few days or even less before our enemies break through the next layer of defenses. Even if we were given months there is still no guarantee.”

So that’s it then. I couldn’t think of a way to work around that. I was stuck. Whether she was lying or even just omitting information I had no way of telling. I was practically forced to give her the benefit of the doubt. At least for now. I could possibly try to call her bluff, but even in the likelihood of exposing her it wouldn’t get me anywhere since I still needed them to get me home.

If she was telling the truth I may be stuck here for possibly years at the least. It’s been my experience that everyone underestimates the time it will take to complete something. With the way she was talking about the spell they used it was highly likely they had cut corners or at least done patchwork in order to meet their deadline.

I couldn’t blame them for it, well I could, but it still meant there was no easy way out of this. Even if I decided to just sit here until the war was over I could likely get caught in the crossfire, and even barring that the other side would most likely take me as a prisoner.

That’s it then. My best course of action for the moment is to help them win a war. Perhaps I could learn to live here. It’s not like anything back home could compare to being able to use magic. At least, I most likely could since I can see it. Maybe I could eventually return to Earth and still use magic. I’ll cross that bridge if I ever get to it.

I resigned myself to the future and whatever greatness that had and may be thrust upon me. Then in both thought and disposition I grinned, “It seems I have almost no choice in the matter. Let’s go win that war.”

Both Sweet Dreams and Quinoa were elated at me saying that. It worried me that things were that bad for someone like me to give them hope. I’ll need them to explain the entire situation to me soon. That and getting something to eat, although I didn’t really feel hungry.

As I moved to stand up, Midna opened her eyes.