Note: This is a sequel to my stories Arrival of the RX-2000, A Keychain of Girls and The Girl and the Top Hat.
Chapter 1 - Causality
Causality, cause and effect. An event occurs and, through causality, an effect must come of it. This effect is of direct consequence to the event. However, it does not stop at one. Causality is a cascading effect. One event occurs, an effect comes of it and thus another event is caused on account of that effect. All things must have an effect and all effects must have a cause. This is the universe's natural order.
None know causality better than the grandson of the legendary magician Daniel. A legend on both Earth and in the Magical World. He was the man who helped reveal magic to the entire world as well as make the majority of the world into magicians.
However, this cannot go without a following effect. For a short few years, the world was happy and content with their position and newly acquired magical abilities. But soon after, the Earth grew jealous of the Magical World. On Earth, magical energy is much less potent than in the Magical World. However, one of the stipulations of the peace treaty between the two worlds was that none of the Earth's denizens could live in the Magical World. They would be allowed to visit and train, but not live in the Magical World.
This lack of magical energies combined with the inability to live in the Magical World caused the Earth to rise up in revolt. The Earth united and fought back against the Magical Realm. In response, the Magical Realm retreated in on itself and closed the magic gates to Earth, essentially cutting it off. The Earth fought back by tearing a rift between the worlds. A powerful wizard on Earth tore the universe asunder, ripping a massive rift to allow them crossover. Thus the war continued.
This was all a chain through causality, because of one man's inhibition to let his granddaughter end up in a foster home.
Walt was atop the White Tower. The White Tower was the new capital of the Magical World. It had been built after the first war of the Magical World had been ended and the residence of the Magical World were allowed to reside on the ground again. The war had been between the surface dwellers and those that lived on the floating islands. It had been won by the residence of the sky. Soon after, the White Tower was built in honor of his grandfather. Walt had been allowed to stay in the tower on account of his connection to it.
The White Tower was named such for it's nice white marble walls. It was built on the continent on the north pole. Being a warm world, the north and south poles were temperate regions.
Walt was standing in the middle of the roof, chanting a powerful spell. He was a third generation magician of Holy Magic, about nineteen years old and one of the most powerful magicians left in the Magical World. Short and skinny, he was built much like his grandfather Daniel. He had cold black hair that was cut short around his ears and cool green eyes. Walt wore crisp black pants, a nice white shirt and soft green robes. His robes were left open in the front and they ruffled about his shoulders.
Magic surged through his body and the three magical circles on the roof around him burned brightly. They surged upward and formed glowing white portals. Walt fed them with magic and they slowly faded to a cool cyan color.
"Heroes of other worlds. Please come to my aid. My world is in trouble and many souls stand to perish. I beg of you, heed my call and come." Walt called into the portals.
Walt was unsure who or where his magic would reach, but this was his last chance to try and close the rifts. No one in his world could close them and dozens had tried. So the only place Walt could look for help was outside their universe. So he had spent the last day preparing and casting a spell that would throw his voice into other worlds. Walt waited for a moment. It shouldn't take but a few seconds for his summoning to work.
The portals around him started to waver and he could hear echoes of voices coming from different worlds. None of it was really clear, but it echoed around him and he caught snippets of people talking.
"Vwhat is that?" A woman's voice echoed to him.
"I think it was talking to us." Another girl murmured.
"...I think that's what this portal is from." A third girl said uncertainly.
"I'll go get the rifle and sword!" A boy called.
There was the meow of a cat from far off.
Suddenly all of the portals seemed to hum at the same time and four people appeared out of the three portals. On his right, a pale woman with flowing black hair strode towards him. She was wearing black pants, a blood red ruffled shirt. Walt looked to his left and saw another woman. She was wearing a full black leotard with dark toned stockings, a black top hat and a pair of cute black slippers. Ahead of him, two people walked through the portal. One man and one woman, they were both wearing strange white ear pieces. The man had dark olive hair, black pants, a tight black shirt and he had a rifle slung over his shoulder. The woman had sea-green hair that reached her waist, she was wearing similar clothing and had a sword and sheath on her hip.
"Heroes. You've arrived. Thank you for answering my call. Please, tell a little bit about yourselves." Walt said, "My name is Walt and I'm a magician fighting for the safety of my world."
"Magic? I thought this was a technological portal." The green haired man said, "I've never heard of magic before."
"You haven't? Not surprising, in my world I am but a stage bound actor that is considered a trickster and a sneak." The woman in the leotard said.
"What a joke. I could kill you all with a flick of my pinkie." The woman in the red shirt said with a laugh.
"Who the hell are you to say that?" The latter woman said with a click of her black slipper.
"I am Ark, queen of ice and bride to the queen of vampires." The curt woman said sharply.
"Queen of vampires." The woman laughed, "Well then I am Sammy, queen of Vegas!"
"So does everyone here have magic except us?" The green-haired woman said.
"I think so." Walt said, "Which begs the question, what skills do you two have that is worthwhile?"
"We are androids." The woman said, "My name is Susan, I can fly and I'm very fast."
"And I am her lover, Josh. I throw walls and can punch people in the face." The man laughed.
"Androids? Why don't I believe that? Plus, if you were androids, how could you be lovers?" Sammy asked, "Robots from my world are emotionless and programmed by man."
"Should I tear you in half with my bare hands?" Josh asked.
"Good luck with that." Ark snorted.
"I swear to god I will." Josh said.
"Fine, do it! Tear my arm off! Right now!" Ark said, very antagonistically.
Josh looked at Susan and she shrugged, so he walked over to Ark and put one hand on her shoulder. In one swift moment, he tore her arm from her shoulder. Blood spurted all over the floor and Ark raised her eyebrows in surprise.
"Well, nice. Can I have that back?" Ark said, holding out her other arm as her shoulder bled freely.
"Sure." Josh chuckled, giving her arm back.
Ark pressed it to her shoulder and put her hand against the bleeding wound. The flesh stitched itself back together and she raised the arm. A quick movement of her fingers and she was satisified with her self-healing.
"Damn. You're almost as indestructible as me." Josh chuckled, walking back to Susan.
"Alright, so we have a vampiress, an actress and two...androids." Walt said, "So can I get on with my problem?"
"Sure." Sammy shrugged.
"So, my world is currently at war with Earth." Walt said and he regaled them with the war and the troubles in his world.
"A rift in space?" Ark asked, "Now this is getting interesting."
"So you're saying that by giving magic to the mundane of Earth, they became jealous of the Magical Realm and launched a war against you?" Josh said, crossing his arms.
"Exactly." Walt said, "And a year or so ago, the decision was made to finally close the gates to Earth after twenty years of war. About six months later, a rift tore open in the sky above the White Tower."
Walt pointed up at the sky and they all looked up. Josh and Susan gasped at the sight. A tear hundreds of feet across was fluctuating above them. Energy was radiating from it and a city could be seen through the rift. It was a shocking sight that looked like a wound in the universe itself. Because the tower itself was over a hundred feet tall, the rift could be seen much better than from the ground.
"It's gotten bigger over the latter months." Walt said, "They have not figured out how to pass through it yet and I was hoping you all could help me close it!"
"Close a rift like that?" Sammy asked with a raised eyebrow.
"I think I could do that. I've never had a ton of experiences with holes in universes, but why not." Ark said with a shrug, "I've never had a true test of my magical power."
"So then why're we here if you just need more magicians?" Susan asked.
"I don't know. I left the spell to fate and it chose you four. So you must be here for a reason." Walt said, "So, if you two feel confident enough, would you be willing to help me try and close it now?"
"Let's do it." Sammy nodded, pulling a black wand from under her black top hat.
"What's the worst that could happen, I mean, Cysero's not around!" Ark laughed at her joke that nobody else understood.
"Okay. So we've found that the portal reacts to magic. It begins to fluctuate further. I believe if we flood the space around it with magic, it will force the rift closed. However, it has to be done in a very short amount of time or the magic will actually slip through the portal to the other side." Walt informed them.
"So if you've got a world of magicians, why didn't you do it already?" Josh asked him.
"Because it has to be done very fast and we don't have the manpower to deviate any of our magicians from their current tasks. So I was forced to summon help from elsewhere. Now, on three." Walt said, counting off.
On three, each of them cast their magic. Smooth, silvery magic flowed from Sammy's wand and began to wash over the rift. Cold black magic, jagged and sharp, shot from Ark's hands and struck the other side of the rift. Finally, Walt's bright, holy magic flowed forth and combined it's might with the others. The rift began to fluctuate angrily and it started to shrink slowly.
"Good! It's working!" Walt said.
Josh flinched and his sensors started to go wild. Massive amounts of radiation were being emitted from the changing rift. It was all he could do to stand still. Every sensor in his body was screaming for him to run because something bad was coming.
"Susan, do you feel that?" Josh asked her frantically.
"Yes, this isn't going to end well. Walt! Your influence is causing ripples in the fabric of space-time. It's destroying the universe and making the rift worse!"
"Then why is it closing?" Walt asked, watching the rift shrink further.
"I don't know, but I do know that nothing good is going to come of this! All of my electronic sensors are going crazy. That rift has started mass producing enough radiation to light up this tower! The fabric of space is going to fall apart here if you keep this up!" Susan said hurriedly.
"You're beings without any magic, how could you know what is going on anyway?" Walt said, "What's it matter if the fabric or whater you said is destroyed anyway?"
"I don't know, it might just end life as you know it!" Susan said, exhasperated.
"It's just one little hole. I don't think anything is going to happen, don't stop." Walt said, pouring more magic into the rift.
It was little more than a glowing jagged line above them now.
"Well fuck. I didn't think I was going to die like this." Josh sighed, crossing his arms.
"Who knows, maybe if they succeed in destroying this universe, we'll be thrown back into our own where there are a few less idiots." Susan said, putting an arm around him.
Sammy looked nervously at Josh and Susan, mildly aprehensive at their frantic warnings. Ark seemed indifferent.
"Just about there. Only a little more...there! It's closed! Good god! It worked!" Walt cried, "See, nothing bad happened, you two just didn't know what you were talking...talking...a...bout..."
A screeching sound around them grew to deafening intensity and 'their vision seemed to waver. The fabric of the universe shuddered and there was the sound of a great rending. The sky flashed blindingly and everyone but Susan and Josh hit the ground, trying to hid their eyes from the burning light. It dulled and the others stood back up. Josh sighed and pointed above him.
"So what the hell do you call that?" Josh said, looking up.
They all looked up and Walt gave a strangled cry.
Above them, the entire sky had changed. The rip was now thousands, possibly tnes of thousands, of miles across. It was farther up than the last rip. This time, they could see the entirety of earth through it. Walt ran a hand through his hair and his mouth hung open.
"I...I don't...understand...how could this...happen?" Walt said, looking around.
"I say we listen to the high tech androids next time." Sammy said, crossing her arms.
"But how could they know this would happen?" Walt said, "I was sure the magic would close the rift."
"And it did. But when that happened, you stretched the fabric of space around it. Usually it wouldn't be a problem, but your magic was pushing on the fabric as well. It was like trying to stitch closed a tear in a shirt while four big guys pull it in different directions." Susan said, "And so when it's tension was maximized at the moment of closure, the fabric gave way. The fact that we're all still here is nothing short of the hand of god."
"Somehow, I think your problem just got a lot bigger." Ark said with a chuckle.
"How can you laugh?! My world is doomed!" Walt cried in horror.
"Who ever said you were doomed? The fact that we're all stiill here is testament to your universes potential strength and flexibility." Susan said, "If your universe could survive this, I bet we could fix it with the right moves."
"We can?" Walt looked over at her.
"Yes, but I'm going to have to thoroughly investigate this magic you three are using. I need to know its potential as well as the style of energy it is made of. Does anyone know of a science lab we can go to?" Susan asked, looking around.
"Your kidding right? I mean, its obvious that this world is technologically dead because of its dependancy on magic." Josh said.
"Then we're just going to have to go to Earth." Susan said, looking up, "Hopefully we're far enough in time that they at least have geiger counters and some short range sensing equipment."
"To Earth? We're at war with Earth, how do you expect to get there?" Walt asked.
"Fly." Susan said, "Right through the rift."
"But doesn't the rift open into outer space outside their planet? How are you going to survive?" Sammy said, looking up at it.
"Android." Susan said, pointing to herself, "Speaking of which, Josh, I'm going to need you to come with."
"Of course sweetheart." Josh nodded.
"What about us? If you go from here to there, they will try and kill you." Walt said, "The people of Earth were unrelenting in the early days when the portals were still open. They flooded our side and tried to overwhelm us by numbers. While we were clearly the stronger, they threw everything they had at us, including guns and bombs."
"I doubt they will be able to hurt me with anything short of a nuclear warhead." Josh said confidently.
"And I can fly faster than sound." Susan said.
"Do me a favor. Take this with you and put it on the ground when you land." Sammy said, handing them her top hat.
"For what reason?" Susan asked, taking it.
"I can use that hat as a focal point for my magic in order to teleport us there safely." Sammy said.
"Aright." Susan said, handing it to Josh, "We'll be there in two minutes."
"Two minutes?!" Walt said in disbelief.
"Yea, I've got to carry this lug or it could be under a minute. Sorry." Susan shrugged.
"Not exactly what I meant." Walt sighed, running a hand through his hair.
"Oh?" Susan asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Nothing. Just go ahead." Walt said, taking a step back.
"Honey, I'm going to have to fly with just my feet and shoulders because I'd rather lose my hand jets than my shoulders. So I'm going to carry you in my arms." Susan said to Josh.
"Gotcha." Josh nodded.
Susan took a running leap off the white tower. She plummeted over the edge and there was a whoosh of air from below. Susan shot straight up, a blue glow emanating from her hands, feet and shoulders. She performed a loop backwards over top the tower. Josh watched her circle around behind him and shoot straight towards him. Susan shot over the tower faster for any of them to see, with exception to Ark's vampire senses, and she grabbed Josh under the arms. He almost lost the top hat as she shot straight up with another burst of speed. She hit the rift at over five hundred miles an hour, Josh in tow in her arms.
Walt watched them pass through the rift and could see them descending to Earth on the other side.
"I guess they really are androids." Walt said, "By the way...are androids some kind of artificial being?"
"Ha!" Sammy laughed, "They are. Both of them are robotic beings of electricity and metal."
"Huh. Do you think they'll make it?" Walt said.
"Of course they will. I can feel that they're already in the atmosphere." Sammy said, "Wait just a moment."
On the other side of the rift, Susan had dropped Josh. He was plummeting through the atmosphere, aiming at the city far below. The strange thing was that some of the buildings looked familiar to Josh. The tower looked like the famous 109 department store in Shibuya Tokyo. He was hurtling straight towards it and he could see the unmistakable '109' on the top of the building.
At over three hundred miles an hour, he struck the front of the tower and smashed through the upper floors of the department store. He crashed to a halt in the basement. Standing up among the rubble, Josh brushed off the hat and jumped up to the main floor. People were screaming and running and Susan strode through the glass doors in front of him.
"Was that necessary?" Josh asked her.
"Well, you did survive a drop from much higher than that before." Susan said, reaching him.
"Yea, but we could have avoided such an entrance." Josh sighed.
"Oh well, put the hat down." Susan pointed at the floor.
"Yes ma'am." Josh said sarcastically with a smile.
He set the hat down with the top open and he stood back. There was a sudden fluctuation above the hat and Sammy appeared out of then air and dropped to the floor. Behind her, Ark touched down gently and Walt hit the floor with a thump. Sammy bent down and put the hat back on her head.
"Magicians!" A man cried from the doorway, "Magicians!"
"Oh crap." Walt said, holding up his hands to prepare his magic.
Three men ran in the front doors and yelled something in Japanese at them. They wore Kevlar riot gear and dark clothing. Each of them carried a riot shield in their left hand and a large black handgun in their right.
"What?" Josh asked, looking over at Walt.
"Magician hunters. Men and women who use their own magic to protect themself while they try and hunt us down. The Earthen Magicians have discovered ways to completely diffuse magic with their shields and bullets. My wards have no effect and it's difficult to kill them with magic." Walt said hurriedly.
"Well it's a good thing I'm not magic!" Josh laughed, grabbing a nearby counter with a register on it.
He tore the four foot wide counter from the floor and threw it at the men. One rolled out of the way, but the other two were too shocked to move and it crushed them. Josh dashed forward as the man stood on his feet. He raised his shield and pulled the trigger on his gun. The bullet pinged off his forehead, leaving a bloody mark. Josh punched through his shield and crushed his sternum. The man slumped over backward, dead before he hit the floor. Josh pried the shield off his arm and turned back to the others.