So, I am apart of a fanfiction round robin community and have been writing a story set in the 7th Seas universe. I thought you guys might be interested in reading it. The story is apart of the Infinite Loop project where various characters from across fiction experience temporal loops where they basical eperience a Groundhog's Day time travel that typically last more than a day. Usually the length of whatever their story is. For instance, Harry Potter would typically experience loops that last 7 years.
All of that is background info so you all can underrstand why I am using Harry Dresden (Dresden Files), Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter), and Twilight Sparkle (My Little Pony) as the main characters and why some odd concepts may pop up. I hope you all enjoy.
Twilight Sparkle awoke in two senses of the word in a bed that felt both familiar and foreign to her. "Nice to have a gentle wake up," She muttered to herself as she looked around the lavishly decorated room she was in as she reviewed her loop memories. She was pleased to see that her unawake self was both gifted in the local magic and well learned and read, but was disturbed by the way her magic appeared to manifest itself. She looked to her hands, confirming she was in human form this loop and one of those dully colored versions to boot, and that her hands were stained red and scarred. With a quickening of her breath, she looked around again and saw little details pop out at her. A knife with a red stained edge sitting on her dresser as an important accessory one always needed nearby when going to sleep or waking up, objects her pre-awake self valued with small reddish brown stains on them. And right in the middle of her large room, on a beautiful rug that had nails holding it in place, a rust brown circle.
Twilight closed her eyes, disturbed by the way so many of her fellow nobles and her unawake self casually harmed themselves and the world itself while using magic. Looking to a bag her memory told her was marked, and subtly feeling the mark as well, Twilight reached a hand out, followed by the other, grabbing at two sides of nothing.
"Porte," She whispered as she pulled her hands apart from each other. A quiet, wet tearing sound of ripping meat accompanied a soft shriek of pain. A bleeding rip in the fabric of the world was in her grasp with an accompanied pair next to the marked bag. Reaching into the hole, Twilight saw her hand appear out of the other rip and grab the bag, pulling her hand back and releasing the edge of the hole, Twilight realized she had just done one of the most disturbing methods of getting a bag from one side of the room to the other. Closing her eyes, Twilight sent out a Ping and was pleased to get two Pings back. She was not alone. And what she wanted right now was a familiar presence. One that would hopefully understand he unease with the magic she had just witnessed.
Getting up, Twilight made a motion to pull something from nowhere and frowned when nothing happened. Reaching her hand out towards the bookcase in her room, her frown deepened when nothing continued to happen. Looking to the knife on her night stand, she grabbed it and put it in the drawer before begging to pack the marked bag with the essentials for travel. "Looks like I am doing a no magic loop this time," Twilight quietly told herself.
I Awoke to a rather unpleasant sight. A beautiful woman saying she will prevent my enemies from following for the price of the memory of a beautiful flower. My Asleep self was an idiot. I don't know what he did to get into the situation that lead him to summoning one of the Fair Folk, especially one that was clearly a noble of great power, but the life choices that lead to this moment had to be incredibly stupid.
"No," I said firmly. "I have had a change of mind and I think I will be able to get away on my own."
Wasting one of the Noble Fey's time was rarely a good idea. They were quick to anger when they felt insulted, had long memories, and were capable of some unique forms of retribution, but my experience in dealing with the Fey has instilled me with a hard won paranoia that a deal made with them was always worse.
Seeing the crossed look on the Fair Lady's face, I knew I had just made an enemy for the loop, but I could handle whatever she would end up doing. It was always normal humans that would cause the biggest issues.
Looking around and listening, I noticed that I appeared to be in a warehouse of some sort. Likely one on a wharf if the gentle sound of waves lapping against a wall was anything to go by. I headed off in a random direction, trusting the mixed instincts of my local self and my looping self to take me to a safe location. As I began to sort through my local memories, I felt a Ping, followed by a second one, before I sent my own out. Two loopers that were not stealthing. Always good to have potential allies in unfamiliar loops.
Getting back to my local memories, I spat a curse. A Mantle. It seemed that my Asleep self pledged himself to the crown in exchange for power. After further review, I was relieved to find that it was only my local power that was tied to the pledge and that breaking my oath only meant losing my Knighthood and not my life. As I ran, I tried to pull my staff from my Pocket, but found myself without access. That might be an issue. Leaping on instinct, I grabbed the edge of a balcony and climbed up to the roof line to get a better vantage of where I was. I was right about being near water. Specifically, I appeared to be on the edge of the Docks in whatever city I had found myself in. Making a quick decision, I ran towards a ship I saw was loading. Seeing horses in the middle of town quickly told me I was in a loop that was less technologically advanced than what I was used to. And ships in eras before what I would consider the modern age always were looking for fresh crew to replace the crew that either have died or decided to stay ashore for a while.
"Hail," I called out, putting a smile on my face as I spotted a man that was ordering the crew around, getting supplies onto the ship and merchandise off. I very carefully did not look closely at was being loaded or unloaded. My luck said I was likely about to get onto a smuggler or pirate vessel and it would be better for my sake in the short term to not know for sure.
"What do you want?" The man asked before barking out another order.
"Got room in your crew for one more?" I asked, curious to see if he would ask questions.
"You got any experience?" His eyes roamed my unusually tall frame. Probably thinking I was just some landlubber either seeking adventure or trying to get away from a crime I had committed.
"I know my knots and have experience with the rigging of a single sail ship," I answered, thinking to all the times I had been to Demonreach out in Lake Michigan. Sailboats were always more reliable for me than an engine and magic had ways of making sure you had the needed wind while out sailing.
"Grab that box and take it into the hold," He told me. "We'll see if you can work with us."
I nodded and got to work. Nothing like passage on a random boat to make sure any enemies I had before Awakening could not find me. Picking up the large wooden box, I noticed for the first time what I was wearing. "Am I in a skirt?" I asked myself in a hushed whisper. Hopefully there would be a change of clothes available on the ship.
Light. Day. Or is it a station? It is a very pretty station. Even has a window with a picture of a yard. These lines of light are a bit annoying. Getting in the way of the view of the lines in the floor. Hm, these light lines are solid. Advanced station then. Sharp too. Most holodecks have safety features to prevent cutting oneself on artificial things, so one of the less friendly loops with solid light. Hm, there seems to be a lack of reading material in my room. Ah, the Nargles have arrived with my memories.
An elderly, but stern looking, woman in simple clothes knocked on the bedroom door that Luna found herself Waking up in. "Madam Amorebuono, it is time to get up," The servant said before letting herself in. "Ah, you are up already. You have a meeting with your father this morning to discuss who you are to marry, so let's get you dressed."
It took an hour for Luna Amorebuono, Sorte Strega Daughter of the Noble Rolando Amorebuono under the gracious care of Merchant Prince Donello Falisci, to be dressed in the traditionally black dress of the Sorte Strega. After getting ready for the day, Luna was lead to an extravagantly decorated private dining room with gold clad statues, a table made from purple wood from a distant part of the world, and paintings that could be used to pay for a human life. Seated at the table was Rolando, a slim man with the lightest gold of hair and old steel eyes.
"Welcome Daughter," Rolando said, gracing Luna with a quick smile before returning to his papers as he continued to eat his breakfast.
"Daddy," Luna said with a smile as she took her seat and began her meal.
"I have had several offers for your hand and narrowed it down to the three most profitable."
"There has been a change in the Tessere."
Rolando put down the papers he was looking at and gave his daughter his full attention. "Oh?"
"Two strands connected to me have appeared. They are of a color I have not seen before," Luna said, lightly caressing a spot in the air.
"What do you think it means?"
Rolando stood up and went to a window that overlooking his vineyard, his hands behind his back. Luna continued to eat her breakfast, enjoying the variety of fruits offered.
Luna was on her second plate of fruit when Rolando spoke up. "Do you think you can follow the strands?"
"Then we are going on a trip."
With that declaration, Rolando went to prepare to preempt whatever this new wrinkle was. Whether it was for good or ill, he would not be passive about it.
One thing few people know about being a sailor during the age of sail is that the pay was actually very good. And that excellent pay is why there are many port taverns and port wenches, Jennies as they are called in the world I found myself in, that are capable of having a very comfortable life as the Sailors continue to return to sea time and time again to make their fortune before spending that wealth on overpriced, watered down booze and men and women of loose morals and looser legs. Myself, I was never one that took part in the pleasures of the flesh on a casual basis and I tend to be able to find places that have more respect for their beer than the ones that cater to the masses. That was how I found myself with a healthy sized coin pouch tucked away in a pocket in a custom made pair of pants. Seems I tended to tower above most people in this world which was one of the reasons my unawake self was happy to continue wearing his family tartan. The kilt was a great item of clothing for the heightly blessed people of the world, but I was, despite what this loop said I was a born and raised, red blooded American. We wore pants dammit.
Getting back to the situation at hand, I was sitting and minding my own business while enjoying this world's various forms of alcoholic pleasures, and missing Mac's, when I got invited to play a few rounds of cards with a couple of the locals and another visitor to this port town whose name I had forgotten as soon as I was told it. This hand was down to me and the other visitor and the betting was getting rather high, but I had more cash on me than he did and he seemed to not want out of this round, apparently believing he had a strong hand, when he pulled out a piece of parchment.
"I'll raise this deed to a manor home in Eisen," he said, tossing the paper onto the small pile of coins in the middle of the table.
Frowning, I thought about it carefully before pulling out my money bag out and tossing a gem the size of a baby's thumb and a few gold coins onto the pile as well. "I believe I will call," I said, knowing Eisen had been through a long holy war about ten years ago and was still rebuilding and very dangerous, reducing property values across the board.
The man smirked and revealed his hand. "A pair of threes and a pair of fours," He said, showing a weak two pairs.
I just smirked back. "Well, I have the other pair of threes, and I have three of the twos," showing my hand, I began to pull my winnings towards me as I saw the man scowl. "Now, I believe I think I should retire for the evening while I am ahead, but how about I buy everyone a round of drinks first?" I ended the question louder and directed to the bartender and got a hoot of approval from the bar in general. Putting my winnings away, except for what I left for the bartender, I began to plan my trip to check out my new house to see if I should just move in and be a recluse, or sell it and find somewhere else to settle down for the loop.
My winnings enabled safe transit on a small merchant vessel that was heading to Frieburg, the city that takes great pride in its only true law of 'No Questions.' Reading through a pamphlet one of my fellow travelers had picked up the last time he had been in the city, I got a very biased view of the city that my long experience in being the multiverse's punching bag allowed me to read between the lines and see that the city was likely one of the harshest cities to live in in this world with black markets operating right next to legitimate businesses in full view of everyone. The city sounded like a German Tatooine. Luckily, I come from Chicago and have long dealt with Chicago's seedy underbelly. I know how to deal with such elements and it is the Theodore Roosevelt method.
After a long month of sea travel followed two weeks of traveling up river, we finally arrived at Frieburg's main dock on the Rostrom river. From there, it was a simple matter of spending a coin to get directions to the City Hall, a building used mainly to store records and host special events and less to actually run this lawless city. The lady working the counter was quick to confirm my legal ownership of the manor and give me directions there. I left after thanking her and made my way to the manor, having to take a long and roundabout path, that I most definitely did not get lost walking, in order to get to a bridge to cross the Rostrom. The bridge ended up being very close to the manor and was going to be a great landmark if I ever needed to tell someone how to get to my place.
Looking around the property, I found it to appear to be very well cared for. The flower boxes were carefully weeded, the walls were painted within a year or two, all the windows were whole and sparkling. Which meant that someone was residing here. Looking down at my travel worn clothes and shrugged. I was never one for caring much about people's initial impression of me. I walked up to the front door and knocked loudly.
"Yes, my lord? How may I be of service to you?" An older man in a well fitted and cared for suit answered the door a minute later, looking me over with a critical eye, blocking entrance into the manor with his body. Judging by his demeanor and general appearance, I had instantly pegged as an Alfred or Jeeves.
I pulled out the dead from my coat pocket and handed it over for him to look at. "I think I would like a tour of my new home if that is alright," I said as amiably as I could. Seeing his eyes widen in recognition, I knew he realized I wasn't just some random drifter.
"Right this way my lord," The butler said, opening the door wider and bowing deeply, his words emphasizing the 'my' in the statement. I chose to file that away for future consideration. "If I might be so bold as to suggest, I was just about to sit down for lunch and it appears my lord just arrived to this fair city. It might be best to begin the tour in the dining room."
Smiling at the suggestion, I nodded. "Dresden. Harry Dresden," I introduced myself, holding my hand out. The butler took it with firm care and we shook.
"Armin Fauser, My Lord Dresden," Armin introduced himself.
"Just call me Harry, please," I requested as I followed Armin to the dining room, looking around the decor.
The meal ended up being a simple affair of meatballs with a sour version of potato salad that I was pretty sure did not use actual potatoes. As we ate, we talked about the mansion, its history, and my plans for the place. Armin appeared pleased to hear I was thinking of settling in and starting up a local business, although I don't think he fully approves of me being a private detective. Probably because it sounds too much like a mercenary or a body guard to him. During the conversation, I learned I was, as owner of the manner, Lord Drachenheim. Which I decided I would use only for formal occasions.
After the meal, Armin lead me around the mansion, showing off its many rooms, including twelve bedrooms and an impressive private library. All together, I felt like this was going to be an enjoyable loop if this was going to be where I laid my head to sleep. Although I silently refused to dress up as a bat.
The next day started off with me in a bed much larger than I normally got in any loop unless I was working for a rich, powerful, and some form of evil bitch. Usually Mab. Almost always Mab in one form or another. You agree to be knighted one time and you can never get rid of your queen.
Judging by the birds chirping outside, it was probably still fairly early in the morning. I don't know how early Armin wakes up and I would feel bad waking the old man up to make me breakfast since I never really got good at anything more advanced than a bowl of cereal or a sandwich. With my mind made up, I got dressed and ready to wander the city to find a market for breakfast. Unfortunately, none of the previous owners appeared to be as gifted as me in the height department, so I had to wear my travel worn clothes again. Luckily, one off the previous tenets did have a staff he used to practice pole-arm strikes. An out of style form of fighting, but my experience using my magic staves over the years has made me partial to having a long pole to defend myself with over just about anything that wasn't a gun.
I made it ten steps out of my door when I noticed a crowd of people that were probably barely out of puberty at oldest in clothes as roughly cared for as my own, circled around something, or someone, in a manner that instantly put me on guard. I strolled up to the group casually and noticed that there was food on the ground next to a man in black clothes. Servant clothes. The same black servant clothes Armin seemed to prefer.
"You guys might want to leave the old man alone," I said, feeling the specter of long exposure to Winter give my words a hard edge.
Several of the young people turned to me and one of girls in the pack decided to condescend me. "And what are you going to do about it?"
I gave them a harsh smile and stood up to my full height of just shy a foot and a half over the entire crowd. "Teach you to respect the Louisville Slugger," I said before taking my staff in hand and began to whack the miscreants on their limbs to encourage them to leave. I may not have all the power and strength built up over countless loops, but skill and instinct built over millennium of hard living and fighting is not easily forgotten and makes extremely quick work of a bunch of untrained street rats.
After sending the last one running with a swat to his ass, I turned to Armin who was still on the ground. "Stars and Stones. That is a nasty shiner you got there. Lets get you inside and something on that." I helped the old man up and helped him get into a chair in the entryway.
"My Lord, I am sorry you had to help me like that," Armin began.
"You can thank me by skipping the fancy titles while it is just us. And if I couldn't drive those kids off, then my business would probably not work out too well. Now sit there while I grab something from the cellar for you to put on that eye."
I left Armin and went to the cellar door in the kitchen to find a jar or vegetable or something in the cool underground area used for keeping food cool and fresh. I found a jar that looked like it was full of sauerkraut and grabbed it. By the time I got back to where I had left Armin, he was just stepping back into the entrance with groceries in hand.
"I thought I told you to stay seated."
"My Lord, I ..."
"Za Lord," I interrupted. "If you are going to call me lord, then call me Za Lord. That is a title I am actually a bit proud of. Now put this on your eye. It should help the swelling."
"I managed to get some of the wee folk to respect me and that is the name they decided to call me while serving me."
"I am sorry My, I mean Za Lord, but I am not familiar with the wee folk," Armin said with a mix of confusion and amusement in his voice.
"They are a type of fey. I am sure there are stories told to children about creatures that will take bad little boys and girls away. The wee folk are the ones from those stories that are either actually helpful or just pull pranks and are generally the size of mice."
Rolando Amorebuono stood on the road outside of his carriage, his daughter sitting with the driver, playing with what he knew to be fate strands, despite it being invisible to his eyes. His boots splattered in mud from long travels, dust settled over his silk clothes, and a thick scruff of blonde hair on his jaw line. Looking up to his daughter, he spoke his concerns. "Are you sure both strands are in this city?"
"Yes Daddy. This one seems to be moving around a bit less, but both seem to be across the river." Tilting her head, the Sorte Strega looked at the two strands carefully, gently tugging at the strings to get a feel for them. "This one might be on our side of the river. Very close either way. Perhaps they are in a boat on the river? Can we go fishing Daddy? It has been oh so long since we last went fishing."
Rolando smiled kindly at her daughter. "How about we find the person near the river first, then we can see about talking with them while fishing?" He suggested as he got onto the carriage and directed the driver to start leading the entourage through the slums on the outside of the city into the heart of Frieburg.
The ride through the city was an uneventful hour as the young Fate Witch directed turns for the group to take, eventually crossing a large, beautiful bridge and taking an immediate left turn to a lovely mansion.
Rolando's eyebrow rose as he looked towards his daughter. "One of the strands leads here?"
"I believe they are behind the door," Luna said, squinting at the front doors. "I think there may be someone else there too."
Rolando nodded, smiling to himself as it seemed that whatever the fate thread they had been chasing for the past two months was going to be a fortuitous event. He helped his daughter off the carriage and motioned for only two guards to flank the pair. Knocking on the door, Rolando was surprised to hear a bit of yelling before the door opened to reveal a tall man in a long coat holding a staff firmly in hand in a defensive manner.
"What is it?" The man asked curtly.
"You seem to have been thrown for a Loop recently?" Luna said before her father could say anything to what appeared to be a somewhat rude manservant. Rolando was surprised again to see how his daughter's words seemed to relax the man servant.
"I have been trying to keep myself Anchored," the man replied before motioning the group in, eying them as they crossed the threshold into the building. "Dresden," the man grunted out, closing the door behind the group before leading them towards a sitting room.
"If I may, where is the Lord of the Manor?" Rolando asked, dreading what the answer was going to be.
"I am. Won it in a game of cards," the man said before taking a seat, keeping the staff nearby. Luna followed suit in sitting down, Rolando following his daughter's lead while his guards stood at attention nearby. "What's with Bull and Brick over there?"
"They are Daddy's guards. They'll just stand there and be bored."
"And how about you two?"
"I am Luna, other Harry," Luna said with a bright smile felt even hidden behind the black veil of the Sorte Strega.
Rolando got a confused look on his face as he tried to remember when their host introduced himself. "Rolando Amorebuono," He introduced himself with a nod to the stone faced man.
"Amore?" Dresden's brow creased for a moment. "Luna Lovegood," he said with a chuckle as his face relaxed. "I suppose we have a lot to talk about if you found little old me here before I did anything important."
Luna just nodded and Rolando knew he was about to be apart of a very confusing conversation, already squeezing the bridge of his nose as a headache began to form.
“Lovely house you have,” Luna said, looking around.
“Best house I have randomly won in a game of chance. This one at least isn't haunted, run down, have monsters living in it, besieged by angry villagers, hosting an intelligence that is overly protective and loving, or any of the other sort of houses I have dealt with.”
“Sounds like you have had a rather full life, I'm sorry, but I seem to have missed you introducing yourself,” Rolando said, with a polite smile as the hairs on the back of his neck stood up as he felt something was incredibly off about the situation.
“You could say that,” Dresden said with a knowing smile. “And you might call me a bit superstitious, but I prefer not to give out my full name. Names have power and I have dealt with too many that could have used my true name against against me to be comfortable. You can call me Lord Drachenhei. That title goes along with this house.”
“Or you can call him Other Harry,” Luna said with her mysterious smile of both being there while also lost in some other world that was probably all in her mind.
“Why Other Harry?”
“To not get confused with Harry,” Luna and Dresden said at the same time before they chuckled at the joke.
“I'm sorry, but have you two met each other before?” Rolando asked, concerned about what his daughter had been up to.
“Should we?” Dresden asked Luna, letting he take the lead.
“Syrneth Artifact,” Luna answered with a nod before turning to her father. “There was an accident and we, along with a few others, are reliving our lives. Father, I am only physically younger than you.”
Rolando stroked his beard as he thought about what had been dropped on his lap. “Luna, honey, how did you two first meet?”
“On a train,” Luna answered easily before describing the metal snakes that would one day be built by man to speed up transportation across the continent.
Rolando carefully listened to the description as his mind whirred. “Have you two ever been married?” Rolando asked, wondering if he was actually dealing with a son-in-law, and wondering how he was suppose to deal with that considering he had missed the wedding. Or forgot the wedding. Or the world forgot the wedding of his daughter. Time travel was confusing and he wasn't even the one doing it.
“Yes.” “No.” Luna and Dresden answered at the same time.
“I have had a few bad experiences with women. One was mind controlled by a former master of ours before I killed him and I thought she was dead for years before she showed up out of the blue one day. The next one was turned into a vampire and I had to kill her in order to end a war the vampires were raging. Another was being mind controlled to a certain degree into loving me. And the last... it was never a good time,” Dresden said, a distant look in his as he remember his life in baseline. A life he had to live many times over. It never got any easier. Not for him.
Luna gave Dresden a fragile smile, knowing the look of loss he had far too well. “You would have liked Rolf. He was an explorer. We worked together to visit the farthest reaches of the world and discover the animals that lived there. He was a brilliant man and so capable when it came to discovering new species.”
Rolando was at a loss for words, not expecting such a reaction and feeling uncomfortable at the emotions the two were displaying for lost love. Looking around, he was relieved to see his guards were looking to be as uncomfortable with the situation as he felt.
“Perhaps it might be best to discuss what we are going to do,” Rolando suggested, changing the topic in a much less polished manner than he would prefer.
Taking a deep breath, Dresden nodded. “Yes. Now, I am willing to offer some of my other rooms for a time, and Luna, as a companion of mine, is welcome to stay as long as she wishes, but I am a bit short on staff for a noble such as yourself. In fact, I was just telling my butler that he had to take it easy for at least a week due to a recent... altercation with some of the youths in the area.”
“I did notice that there was a lack of servants, how large is your staff?” Rolando asked.
“Armin,” Dresden answered with a single name. “I might hire more to help him if my business takes off well, but that will have to wait for another time.”
“And what business are you in?” Rolando asked, his evaluation of the man in front of him constantly shifting around and being unsure how to handle it.
“Supernatural investigator,” Dresden said with a shrug, modifying what he would normally call himself due to not having his usual magic and his new powers being rather different, but usable. “Lost items found. Paranormal investigation. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable rates. No love potions, endless purses, parties or other entertainment.”
“You have done this before, haven't you?”
“I plan on getting business cards made up.”
“And what are you planning on doing, sweetie?”
“I think helping Other Harry might be fun,” Luna said, setting a finger on her chin as she thought. “And I believe there may be some creatures I have not come across before in the area.”
Rolando nodded before standing up and motioning for his daughter to come to him. He gave he a gentle hug.
“You grew up so fast, and I missed it because of some artifact. Just, please be careful.”
“I will, Daddy.”
“And you better keep my daughter safe,” Rolando said, glaring at Dresden over his daughter's head.
“I have often been accused as being quick to help a woman in need. Have no fear,” Dresden said, waving off the concern.
It was with that assurance that seemed to do little to ease Rolando's concerns that he and his guards went to find a hotel in the city to stay at for the night before returning home, Luna having convinced him it would be best for her to stay behind and find our other companion. We made plans for going out the next day to follow where her method of finding our companion. I did not understand Luna's explanation for how she was able to find me and how we will find whoever it is we still needed to find. Something about strings and the interconnectedness of something.
I never claimed to be smart. In fact, I often am accused of being little more than a magic wielding thug.
The next day we got up, I made sure Armin was continuing to rest and heal up as well as introducing him to Luna and telling him that we would be out for most of the day.
Our first stop was to the Marcktplatz to grab a bite to eat from one of the food stalls that opened early. I had rarely had any chance to visit foreign countries other than England for those Hogwarts loops, Mexico to train the young Wardens in my baseline to deal with the war, and an unseemly number of times in Japan for all sorts of reasons. Luna, on the other hand, was apparently well versed in traveling European like nations, or she was just a more adventurous person when it came to food. I chose to believe it was the former and got the same thing she did. It was a savory pastry that I think was filled with sauerkraut and topped with mustard. I do not know if it was a traditional breakfast here, or some weird thing, but either way, I did not care much for it. I miss good old fashion Burger King and donuts.
After that rather unsatisfying start to the day, Luna lead the way out of the city proper and into the shanty town on the outskirts. In a city that prides itself on the motto, 'No Questions' with the law being literally what you can enforce yourself with either your gold or your steel, an area being known for being lawless is always going to be bad. The outskirts of the city were some of the dirtiest and hopeless places I had seen in a long time. Naked corpses left on the streets, dead from all manner of causes and everything they had on them taken by someone in need of a few coppers, a shirt, or, as one corpse seemed to suggest, a spleen. The buildings were poorly constructed and looked like a stiff wind could take them down. And Luna seemed to believe there was a Looper somewhere out here.
After turning down an alley and coming to a dead end, Luna spoke up, pointing low on the fence. “They are there.”
“Ok,” I said, nodding, looking at the fence. It was wood and poorly constructed. Reaching up, I grabbed one of the boards and pulled, surprised and disturbed by how easily it came off and the movement of the connected wall. That was probably going to collapse soon.
Looking at the other side of the fence, I spotted a huddled figure. “Are you awake and loopy?” I started, reaching out to see who it was under all that muck. A flash of movement and some debris fell away from the person's head and hair. Long hair. Long, purple hair with a set of very distinct purple and pink stripes. “Twilight? Hell's bells, what happened to you?”
“Dresden?” Twilight started, focusing her eyes on me as I nodded confirmation of who I was. The next moment, I was on my ass with a crying girl babbling on top of me. Gods and Admins above, give me a monster to fight, a murder to solve, or an Apocalypse to stop, but do not give me a crying girl. My greatest weakness has always been a dame with a sob story. It goes back to my neolithic origins that make me want to help the girl by clubbing her problems over the head.
“It's ok Twilight, we understand,” Luna said, having moved to hug the two of us and rub Twilight's back. Stars and stones, I missed what Twilight was babbling about. Well, once we get her cleaned up and calmed down, we should be able to help her deal with whatever the issue was.
Friend Twilight has issues with her local powers. I sometimes forget how easily the younger loopers can be disturbed by some of the darker corners of the multiverse. Friend Twilight will learn to deal with these more bloody aspects of life. I hope Friend Twilight can keep her generousness and optimism. Oh, the light lines are vibrating. And some new black ones have formed. Looks like someone is about to mug us. I hope Friend Twilight does not mind Friend Other Harry and myself causing them to bleed.