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ATEE: Partners in Crime *Me (That Guy) and Alex64*

Alex64

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"Ehh... I wouldn't say it's impossible. I mean, we've seen a world where almost everyone's the opposite gender, so... yeah." Cal moves to retrieve another box. "Anyways, what're these visions you've been getting?"
 

That Guy

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"Some fox-girl I've never met, who claims to come from a country that doesn't exist, and that she's my father's daughter." At last, he returns to his box, placing the letter to one side and getting back to work. "I hope, for her sake, that she isn't real, because if she is, she's got some serious issues, and I want to be a part of exactly none of them."
 

Alex64

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"Hm... you think she could be from the same world Wes is from?"
 

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"If she is, that makes everything unnecessarily complicated." He reaches in to retrieve an intricately-designed wooden box, with some kind of High Blazian decoration to it, and almost drops it upon trying to lift it. "--Shit, that's heavier than it looks."
 

Alex64

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"Need some help with that one?" Cal asks, moving to assist Rex with the box.
 

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"Hell's bells..." Sure enough, the box is deceptively heavy, but, between them, they are able to lift it, and set it down by the shelves. Rex's curiosity immediately gets the better of him, once it's in place. "What could this even be..?"

Despite their apparent randomness, the contents of the box still find their way to making Rex freeze up for a second. In relative disarray, it held a glass bottle of some kind of bright blue liquid, a laser-pistol that, at a glance, looked empty enough, and two plastic containers, each containing charges for the pistol. Both were labelled with symbols-- one, with
情け, and the other, 憐憫.
"Uhh..." He tears his eyes away for just long enough to look to Cal. "Do I want to know what this means..?"
 

Alex64

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Cal quickly translates, "'Mercy' and 'Pity'. ...The hell is this about?"
 

That Guy

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"...Well." Rex contemplates the spread, then quickly shuts the box again. "As far as I can tell, it doesn't look like any of it's ever been used, so I'm content to pretend that didn't happen."
"Appreciated." Rex flinches. When had his father decided to appear behind him?! "Standard-issue stuff from a part of my life we don't talk about." In what would have been a heartbeat, his tone softens, from stern, to placidly casual. "...So, how's it going over here, then?"
 
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Alex64

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"E-erm...!" Cal is unsettled by this unexplained behaviour. "It's... it's going alright so far."
 

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"We found this," Rex shrugs, as he retrieves the letter from before, and passes it to his father. He receives it with an admirable poker-face.
"...Thanks."
And that is the closest thing to an explanation he gives.

"Anyway, I found a little something that might interest at least one of you: a book that actually chronicles one of my-- well, let's call it one of my 'adventures'-- from when I was close to your age."
He produces the book in question. At first, he appears to be holding it back-to-front, but that is quickly resolved.
"...It came out in Arabic, because reasons, but other than that..?"
His tone rises. He isn't sure, and obviously, whether or not this constitutes flogging a dead horse.
 

Alex64

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"Ooh, sounds interesting," Cal says, eyeing the book eagerly. "How about we take a break to read through it?"
 

That Guy

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"Aren't we a bit old for story-time..?"
"Hey, I would have thought you'd jump at the chance to stop sorting these boxes for a bit. Besides..." He opens the book, revealing what he says to be the truth. "Unless either of you can read Arabic, something tells me you'll need me to hang around. Plus, I was there when this stuff happened."
"Right, of
course you were."
 

Alex64

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Cal shakes his head in wonder.
"Stuff like this makes me wonder how you got to be so... multilingual."
 

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He gives a sly, proud smile.
「天分です。」

His expression fades a little as he confirms that Rex not only doesn't understand, but also does not care to understand. Moving swiftly on, he turns back to the first page, skim-reads a little to confirm his place in the story, and begins to translate...

"Oh, Shahra, do you have a moment?" Despite the levity of his voice, there was no denying this was an irrefutable summon. "...Of course you do; it's not as though you have a choice."
On command, the genie emerged from her ring, assuming a cross-armed pose of readiness to serve her designated Master.
"You don't have to be so formal, you know. You almost make me feel like an oppressor!" Shahra refused to share in his mirth. "...Regardless. I don't suppose my last wish is any more possible than the last time I asked?~"
"No, Master. They are still too far apart, and bound by too many threads of fate. Magic alone cannot interfere with that."

She anticipated the worst, but her Master instead wore a look of barefaced amusement.
"That's quite alright; I believe I've found a reasonable alternative. It may take a little longer overall, but all the pieces are exactly where I need them to be, and with that whimsical fool under my thumb, I even have insurance to see that this all goes according to plan. All I need from you, for now, is this simple wish: bring me a hero from another world. ...In fact, make that two. You know, just in case."
Reluctantly, she nodded.
"Your wish is my command, Master," she parroted, as tradition commanded of her. "I will see to it that they arrive by morning."

"...Now, I should mention," Rex's father interjects, "that the book doesn't go into the greatest detail about how that wish ended up working, so the speed-read version is, I happened to be in the Palace Library at the time, and one of the books-- the story's taking place inside the world of one of these books, you see-- starts glowing, and then it straight-up swallows me out of reality."
"Oh, for crying out loud..."
"Look, I could explain it in beautiful flowing prose, and weave all kinds of subtext and whatever over how that made me feel, or whatever it is that Literature professors lose their minds over these days, but the book's going to overexplain stuff anyway. You'll be glad I kept this part brief. Anyway, next thing I know, the weather's insufferably hot, and I'm outside, on my back, surrounded on all sides by a sea of sand. So, picking up from there..."
He skimmed past a rather meagre paragraph that presumably detailed just that.

...And with that, the summoning was complete. As requested, two heroes, each from another world. Alas, they had arrived further from their erstwhile-unbeknownst destination than intended, but that was nothing Shahra would not be able to fix in time. For now, they would simply have to acclimatise, which afforded her time enough to choreograph the next phase of her Master's wishes.
 

Alex64

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Ellie slowly opened her eyes, shielding them from the intense sunlight. As she rose to a sitting position, she looked about to see that she was now on top of a dune overlooking an Arabian-looking town. This didn't look like Blazia anymore to her...
It was then that she noticed Midnight lying next to her. For a moment, she was relieved to see a familiar face, then realized that, from his clothing, he was not the Midnight she knew.

"Huh, so Ellie's in this, too," Cal remarks. "Didn't think you already knew her."
 

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"Well, she and her friends were around for our wedding, and because of that weird door down by the lake, we sort of...kept in touch, on and off, ever since." He looks away for a moment, adding, in a lower voice, "Needless to say, Middy was thrilled at the prospect, but...Anyway, this was still early days. I was about 20-ish at the time, so it had been a small handful of years, so we weren't super-acquainted or anything."

Midnight took a moment to register who it was, looking him over, then realised he was staring a little more than intended, and certainly not for the reasons comic farcery would ask of him.
"Uh...hey, Your Other Highness." He tried a polite chuckle. "I don't suppose you know what just happened, either..?"
 

Alex64

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"No, I do not... And I do not know where we even are."
 

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He stood, and took a cursory look around. He was presented with a whole lot of nothing in every direction, save for the town.
"See, if I had to guess, I'd say, like, somewhere in north Africa, but, uh...that's a continent, not a book. Unless it's any different on your side of the...uh...reality."
 

Alex64

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"Hm... Perhaps we should make our way into town and ask around for our location?"
 

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"I suppose so." He took a step down the hill of sand. "And there might even be an outside chance that someone can explain how and why we were brought here, too."
 
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