Written by Tanith
Silent and undetected, the Andromeda exitted the slipstream into a new universe. For the last few timeless hours (as time has little meaning between worlds), the Andromeda and her crew had been alternating between slipstream travel and IID-powered dimensional jumps in the pursuit of the Orb of Power. Both methods relied heavily on probability altering as a passive but effective approach to find the Orb. Each time, they had gotten a little bit closer in determining where their objective lay.
On the bridge of the stealth-wrapped vessel, Tanith waited patiently as Rommie analyzed and projected upon the data of their travel path so far. Rune sat nearby, flipping through a tome of magic for possible spells that may help their endeavour. Meta hovered protectively over her, keeping a dubious eye on the silent form of the Meddler, who stood at the back of the room, watching everything with perceptive eyes that missed nary a detail.
Finally, Rommie completed her calculations. "If our current course holds, it is highly likely that it will lead us into the MtG multiverse."
Tanith sighed. "I was hoping it wouldn't come to that. There's a reason those worlds have remained unconquered so far. We'd have to avoid being detected as much by the planeswalkers there as by the Overlord's forces."
"Well, on the bright side, whoever the Overlord sends to find the Orb will have the same handicap," quipped Meta.
"I just hope it didn't wind up in Quoz," said Mg as he entered the bridge. " We'd never get it out then. Or Phyrexia. If they get their hands on that thing, we'd have to team up with the Dominion to get rid of them."
"Don't joke like that." Rune shifted in her seat. "If something that dramatic might take place, I'd have foreseen it somewhere. It's definitely not on Phyrexia, and won't be there in the future either."
"...which leaves more than seven core planes to go through," said Tanith. "Let's not speculate just yet." Her fingers danced across the panel in front of her. "Try the IID now."
There was a pause as the Andromeda jumped dimensions.
"We are within the MtG multiverse now," Rommie informed the bridge. "There is a system with one planet nearby. It seems to be a desert world."
"Rabiah then," murmured Mg. "Or Wildfire."
"Hm... let's jump again and see what happens," offered Tanith.
Once again, there was a pause.
"Another desert world," intoned Rommie finally. "Very much like the first, but with a much higher population level."
"Definitely Rabiah," said Mg.
"Curious." Tanith thought for a moment. "Jump again."
"Another desert world," reported Rommie. "This one seems to be at a fairly modern technological level, though."
"Jump once more." Tanith commanded.
"This world is almost identical to the previous, except with less technology."
Tanith leaned back into her seat. "We've jumped four times, and each time wound up on a different version of Rabiah. I think it's safe to say that the IID can only narrow down the presence of the Orb to the general plane of Rabiah but not the specific world."
"There's 1001 different reflections of Rabiah," commented Mg.
"So we'll need a way to narrow things down," replied Tanith. "I think we'll need to go planetside and do a little actual detective work." She turned to Mg with a small smile. "I guess you're going to be our guide there."
"Fun," muttered Mg.
Rune looked up from her tome. "I want to come too."
Tanith turned to regard her sister in surprise? "You do? Whyfor?"
"You might need me." There was a hint of stubborness in Rune's voice.
Tanith considered the request for a while, before finally nodding. "Very well then. Though Meta will come with you, of course." Finally, she looked at the other person in the back of the bridge. "I suppose you'll want to come as well?"
"But of course," replied the Meddler. "It's what I came for."
"Very well then. I suggest you all go and get ready to beam down." As Tanith spoke, she rose from her seat and headed for the bridge doors. "Rommie, get Yeoman up here. He'll be in charge up here while we're gone. Meanwhile, I'll go see about our ground transportation."
Written by Z-man
"I, too, would like to go," Renamon said. "I can cover far distances without getting tired, and carry some of you as Kyubimon. I can also sneak around most humans undetected."
"That's nice," Tanith began, "But I would prefer Z-man stayed up here. He's never been very good at handling heat."
"This has nothing to do with him," Renamon said. "He is one of the kindest people I've met, but his kindness is a weakness in itself. He would likely not have any of us fight, for fear of injuring us. I know the risks, and I would like to take them myself. It is my world, too, and he is not the only one who wants to protect the others."
Tanith sighed. "I guess you can come, but first I'll need to research some illusion spells for you. Just in case the residents down there aren't warm to the idea of a giant fox."
"We must not break the prime directive," Renamon joked.
Written by N-Chan
Ummm... I guess I shall voulenteer. I might be of some help...
Written by Mr. Sandman
Co-pilot Wedge: These recon jobs are boring. Can't master Cody find someone else to do the job besides us for a change.
Pilot Biggs: Shut up! It should be an honer to do this. Besides, Cody's got a big reward for anyone who can give him some clue to the items location.
Wedge: What do you think he's talking about anyways.
Biggs: Beats me. He just said that there is this orb, That's it.
Wedge: Yeah. Not that it's any concern of mine. Besides, with all the ships cody's got going around it's not like we got any chance of finding it.
Biggs: I'm feeling lucky today Wedge, and master seth himself told me to check this area so I got a good feeling.
Wedge: Yeah, Master Seth almost always knows what he's talking about.
Biggs: Yeah, Now would you let me drive this thing.
Wedge: Fine! Oh, by the way. Where exactly did he say we should look.
Biggs: The MtG universe I think. We'll to check the following planets in Rabiah, Phyrexia and then we can take a break.
Wedge: Great! Just what I needed today.
Biggs: It's not so bad.
Wedge: Are you kidding! Those Phyrexians give me the creeps and let's not forget about the planeswalkers.
Biggs: Don't worry. The stealth shield on this ship is top of the line. Not even the best sensors can detect us. In fact, nothing could even see us.
Wedge: I hope your right.
Biggs: Ok, we're entering the MtG universe..... now.
Wedge: Well, I though there would be more to it then that.
Biggs: Me too. Hey, maybe god didn't have enough money to pay for the special effects.
Wedge: HAHAHAHA Yeah, and mabye there's a group of dummys watching us right now.
(Both look at each other for a moment)
Wedge and Biggs: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!
Biggs: Ok, we should be over the first planet on the list.
Wedge: The scaners picking up anything.
Biggs: Nothing around here. It's just some old desert planet.
Wedge: Ok, next planet.
( After several planet's being scaned they finally arrive at the last one on the list)
Wedge: How about here...
Biggs: Just another desert world.
Biggs: Well, what do we do now.
Wedge: Might as well take that break of ours now.
Biggs: Sure... I'll get the sandwitchs and the drink.
Wedge: I'll just leave he scaners going just in case.
(The two bring out there lunches and get to work.... eating them of corse.)
Director's Note (Tanith):
Wedge and Biggs are acting out of character from their canon selves. Therefore, they are ruled to be alternate versions of said characters.
Written by Tanith
N-Chan sighed, but nodded. The Meddler, who had been standing behind him, walked forward. "Would you mind if I brought a few of my specialists along?"
"How many?" Tanith asked. "And who?"
"Just three: Mr. Carl Creel, the android Warren, and Ms. Livia Marold," replied The Meddler. "Their expertise may be of help on this journey."
"Hm... I suppose they can come," mused Tanith as she turned to Renamon. "You can carry up to three people, can't you Renamon? Would you consent to carry these three?"
"Of course," agreed Renamon.
"Good. Then it's settled. Now if you'll excuse me for a moment." So saying Tanith headed for the bridge door once more, and headed for the infirmary. Most of the infirmary had been cleared from the refugees that the Andromeda had evacuated from Khazan, who had been transferred to the Resistance's new base on The Meddler's Coruscant. But a few remained, either because they volunteered their skills for the journey, or because their wounds had been too precarious to be moved at the time. For some, it had been both.
Walking past the biobeds in the outer room, Tanith turned towards one of the alcolves near the back of the infirmary. In front of the alcove door was a young thirty-ish man playing a silver flute in what seemed to be an absent minded way. However, anyone with sufficient perceptions in magic could have seen the strands of magical energy that he was manipulating with his music. The magic was one of soothing and healing, and permeated the room.
As if sensing someone approaching, the bard opened his eyes and finished off his tune. "G'day, milady Captain."
"Greetings to you too Eric," replied Tanith. She shot a meaningful look toward the alcove. "How is Prince Arvindel doing?"
Eric Banyon made a face. "Better to the extent that he's been complaining about the bed rest. Even though he's in no condition to go out fighting or for extensive magicking any time soon." Suddenly, he smiled an impish grin. "Filia's temper is gets shorter every time she goes to check on him. It'll be a show when she finally gets sick of it."
"Poor Arvindel," Tanith commiserated, though not with an amused smile of her own. "But he is well enough to be coherent now?"
"Oh certainly," replied Eric as he scrutinized Tanith. "And you wouldn't have come see him at this point in our travels if you wouldn't have something to ask, right?"
"Yes. We'll be heading down to Rabiah soon, and we need transportation that can blend in..." Tanith gave him a knowing look. "Rune and I have our pokemon. Renamon has also volunteered. Mg can summon steeds for himself. But I still need transports for The Meddler and Meta."
"Ah. You mean the elvensteeds," Eric nodded in understanding. "And you want Arvindel to give the orders to his horses."
At that moment, Kasumi left Arvindel's alcove. "Oh! If you're here to speak to Lord Arvindel, he's awake now. I just finished the routine checkup. You can go in anytime, Mr. Banyon."
"Then why don't I go to ask him now?" said Eric as he nodded to the two ladies and entered the alcove.
As Tanith waited for him outside, Kasumi looked at her tentatively. "I heard what happened to Jaffa..." She trailed off.
Tanith winced. "It doesn't matter anymore. Whatever security he might have leaked is fixed now."
"But what if..." Kasumi stopped, as if arguing with herself whether to continue.
Tanith continued speaking as if she hadn't heard. "I asked Thian to do a mild scan of everyone on board before we left. I doubt anyone is a blatant traitor on board. Self serving, some of them, yes... But I can't spend every moment worrying over things I can't control." Tanith shot a quick look at Kasumi before speaking again. "I've already taken all the precautions that I can take with that in mind. That's all I can do really. The rest... for the rest of it all I can rely on is trust."
Kasumi nodded. Quietly, she excused herself to her duties. Though, as she left, there was a deeply troubled look on her face.
Tanith pondered Kasumi's retreating figure for a moment, before the opening door of the alcove diverted her attention. Eric gave her a nod as he passed on Arvindel's words. "He's already commanded Etienne and Bryce to accompany you."
"Good. Thank you for the help, Eric. And give the prince my thanks as well. Hopefully, our trip will bear some friuit." With a nod at Eric, Tanith left the infirmary.
When she rejoined the group that was going to go down planetside, they had already finished readying themselves for the journey.
Mg had summoned up a Clockwork Steed as his mount for the journey. Tanith's stantler and Rune's ponyta where there too, though Rune had cast an illusion over her ponyta and Renamon, making ponyta seem like an ordinary reddish-brown pony, and Renamon, who was currently in her Kyubimon form, seem like a large muscular workhorse. As Tanith approached, her stantler shimmered as well, erecting a hologram of an ordinary brown colored horse around itself also. The two elvensteeds were there as well. Etienne was an ebony colored mare that looked dubiously at The Meddler, who she was to carry. Bryce was a young light-grey stallion who shifted impatiently next to Meta.
After one more checkover to make sure everone was ready, Tanith gave the command to the Andromeda. In a flash, the group was transported down into Rabiah, in a secluded location just outside the largest city on the planet below.
Written by Mr. Sandman
Wedge: Don't you ever get sick from doing that.
Biggs: Not at all.
Wedge: But that the fourth bag you've ate in three minutes!
Biggs: So, I havn't had anything to eat sence we started.
Wedge: But that's still no reason to stuff yourself.
Biggs: Who asked you anyways.
Wedge: Well, excuse me!
Biggs: Now, are you gonna eat that.
Wedge: God, just watching you is making me sick. Here, take it.
(Wedge tosses the bag to Biggs)
Biggs: Thanks. (Stuffs the food down his throat while Wedge try's to keep his lunch down)
(Suddanly a red light fashes on the control board)
Biggs: God darn it! What is it this time Wedge, a piece of space debree, a chunk of metal, someone turn on a microwave down on the planet and the stupid sensors think it's a atomic bomb?
(Wedge gets up and checks the panel)
Wedge: Actually sir, it just detected something teleporting down to the planet.
Biggs: What?! From where?
Wedge: I don't know sir. I'm not picking up any ships in the area.
Biggs: Maybe there's another ship somewhere around here with a cloaking device like ours. Might be one of our ally's.....
Wedge: No, we were the only ship sent to this area that belonged to master Cody. It might be a *cough* enemy ship.....
Biggs: We should keep cloaked and report to master cody at once.
Wedge: Good idea. I'll go and send a message back to HQ.
Biggs: I'll stay here and.... Finish off those chips.
Wedge: As usual I got to do all the work.
(Wedge walks over to the comm unit to sent him message while Biggs helps hiomself to the last of the food.)
Director's Note (Tanith) to Mr. Sandman:
Do you have no idea what "stealth mode" is?! Do you really think that the Andromeda would want it's transport systems to be detectable near a planet where the higher mages are nigh godlike in power, and usually insane?
...I'll allow it this time. But no more of these plot holes, dangit!
Written by Yeoman
Captain: Sir, the troops are loaded, as are the extra pilots you requested. If I might ask... why are we bringing a dozen extra pilots?
CBY: Well, as you know, my ability allows other to get their desires. However, it's not 100% accurate, especially when searching for such a slippery target like the orb. I'll be using my power on the pilots. And I will need to ensure that they truely desire to find the orb.
Captain: You mean...
*CBY smiles as the scene fades out.*
Written by Tanith
"Back already?" mused CBY as he gave up rescuing the datacard. Resigned, he looked at Gir as the robot swallowed the thing whole.
"Yessir. The majority of our scouts ended up on one of the MtG universes. Rabiah, I believe the cosmo-charts say. It is highly probable that our objective is there."
"Good, good... have they been able to narrow down the field?"
The captain shifted uneasily. "Ah... there was one problem with that..."
"Yes..." CBY's voice sounded ominous.
"Er... the pilots all ended up on Rabiah... but there are 1001 subplanar reflections of Rabiah. We narrowed it down to a small cluster of planes, but we can't seem to narrow it down any futher, perhaps due to the fact that they are all somehow metaphysically linked to each other..." The captain trailed off at CBY's glare. He gulped.
"I see. Is there anything else you'd like to report?" CBY asked in a soft, dangerous tone.
The captain stuttered, before stumbling on. "A few of the scouts went planetside to see if they could get some more information there. When their transporters activated, their sensors detected... something out there on one or two of the planes. We think it might be the Androm--"
CBY cut off the captain's explanation with a wave of his hand. "Don't be an idiot. The Andromeda has ways of tracing you that you wouldn't even know existed." Snatching the sensor readouts that was in the captain's slightly trembling hands, CBY glanced over the report and turned to look out a nearby port window, folding his hands behind him. "Hm... it seems we might have a new player on the board."
CBY spun around, just in time to see Gir tear the report from his hands and swallow it. CBY cursed under his breath and turned back to the captain. "Send another of those reports to the MunchKING. Have the fleet ready for departure. We leave for Rabiah."