Closing Time (Prologue/Registration)

Karl Jak

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Instead of a witty one-liner, the perpetual Dante’s Abyss contestant drew his pistol. He couldn’t squeeze off a round before a ball of ice smashed into his hand and knocked the weapon from his grip. A curse word formed on the cancerous man’s lips, but he never got it out. The damn mouse ran up him and was gone, his tiny little form landing on a fucking flying carpet that ushered him up to a platform that now resided five or six stories above Deadpool’s head.

As Deadpool skulked, he heard a suave voice call out to him. “You know this wouldn’t have happened to Boba Fett.”

The mercenary spun and saw a grinning man in a purple suit standing at the entrance to what had once been the training area of the preshow facility. Karl Jak seemed undisturbed by the calamity as he walked over to the mercenary and set an arm around Deadpool’s slumped shoulders. “Don’t worry, Mr. Wilson. It’s never really the end.”

“It feels like it.”

“Just for now,” Karl muttered as they both looked up at the chunk that held the shuttle bay and one of the last remaining domes. “Just for now.”

“Will it hurt, Karl?”

“This isn’t your first time,” Karl replied with a coy smile. “It shouldn’t hurt.” He added as the piece of dome they floated upon shuddered and broke away. The yawning oblivion beneath them started to devour what stood around them. Deadpool didn’t bother to look down. He didn’t need to steal a gaze to know that their time was running short.

“You’re not Karl, are you?”

Karl furrowed his brow. “I mean, we’re all Karl.”

“The Karl. You don’t have the right smell. The one from a few years ago, before the crazy ‘heroes’ of this place forced him to retire to a beach and outsource his operations to himselves.”

“That doesn’t make sense.”

“You know where we are, right?.”

“Touché.”

“So where is my Karl Jak?”

“He had some work to do. Important work. Game-changing. He apologizes that he couldn’t see your game, sport, but I don’t think you’ve seen the last of him.”

Deadpool nodded as the ground shuddered beneath them. “Hold me tight, Karl,” the mercenary whispered as he drew the producer in close to him.

“I’ll never let go,” Karl whispered as the platform gave way and the entwined twosome plunged into the unknown.


***

From somewhere across the preshow facility, The Karl Jak watched the scene unfold on one of the monitors and frowned softly before flicking off the monitor. While he had certainly planned for the event to end in a grandiose fashion, Karl didn’t exactly recall planning for this much pomp and circumstance.

“Something feels… off,” the executive producer mumbled as he stepped away from the now inert watcher’s station and reached for his tablet computer. A sea of notifications awaited him, but he swiped right and thumbed the app that monitored the station health. When the screen flipped to a sea of angry red emergency icons, Karl’s frown deepened into a harrowing scowl as he craned his neck to look out the window. What should have been a normal, blue sky had deepened considerably into a blend of reds and oranges.

“So this is it, I suppose.” The producer whispered as he moved back to the tablet. Apparently, the Karl who had joined Wade Wilson wasn’t just spouting dialog for the purpose of creating tension and drama. No… he had recognized what was coming even before Karl had.

“I forgot just how good my mes can be,” the man in the purpose suit chuckled as he scooped up a nearby leather messenger bag and made for the observation deck’s exit.

***

Mickey soared up over the hanger. He saw Lord Zedd prepping the shuttle for final departure and knew that this was his last chance to secure the shuttle, find Yachiru, and get the heck out of this place. The mouse eyed the park dome, which was still tenuously attached to the shuttle area. The surviving secondaries had fled there, and he only hoped that he would be able to find Kenny’s companion alive and well once he dealt with Zedd.

“I SEE YOU, RODENT!” Suddenly, a bolt of lightning tore through the magic carpet, and Mickey found himself plummeting back down to the platform.

Although the mouse managed to land in a roll, he didn’t have the time to avoid the staff blow that crashed against the side of his head. Sent into yet another gosh-darn tumble, Mickey tried and failed to stop his own momentum. Instead, it was an upturned tile that saved him by virtue of his tiny spine wrapping around it.

Crying out, the mouse glance at his palm and tried to summon the keyblade. Yet, his fingers couldn’t form a fist.

“No…” Mickey whispered as he saw Lord Zedd stalking toward him. “Come on,” he spoke softly to himself as he tried to will his beaten little body into action.

“You’re done,” the masked warrior taunted.

“…not a chance,” Mickey wheezed as he lifted his other hand and aimed the keyblade at Zedd. “Got’cha, fella.”

The resulting burst of ice tore the metal mask off of Zedd’s face, causing the warrior to howl out in rage and agony as he nearly lost his balance.

Despite wearing a smirk on his face, Mickey couldn’t get up. He was out of second chances. The deformed visage of Zedd twisted to face him, and the venom in the man’s voice was real.

“Game over!” Lord Zedd screamed as he drove the bladed butt of the staff down through the mouse’s outstretched palm. Before Mickey could cry out from that new pain, the galactic villain sent a burst of lightning down through the staff and into the tiny prime’s body. Pinned to the ground, the king could do little but writhe and scream in agony until Zedd relented.

“Go die with the other imbeciles,” Lord Zedd growled as he inverted the staff and used the broad end to sweep Mickey through the broken entrance to the park dome.

With the Rodent dispatched, Zedd returned to prep the lifeboat.


***

The ground shook beneath Karl’s feet as his light jog devolved into an erratic sprint while the entire corridor around him sloped hard to his left. Adjusting his gait, the man—his coiffed hair slightly unkempt after narrowly avoiding an explosion just a minute or two ago—had to leap to reach the hallway exit before the steel floors collapsed with one last, defiant screech of failing metal. Grabbing the handle with one hand as his other clenched down onto his tablet, Karl threw his shoulder forward and bashed his way through the metal door.

In the distance, there was another explosion, likely one of the facility’s domes imploding into itself as the cosmic forces continued to rip and tear at the preshow complex. Whatever was happening felt a few steps about even Karl’s pay grade, but despite his efforts to reach out beyond the scope of the Danteverse, neither his technological or telepathically means could pierce the haze of chaos that had subsumed the place long enough to glean anything beyond the fact that many other places had issues of their own. His best efforts to compose himself and will the place back to its natural state had also yielded no results, save stalling him long enough that he was almost entombed in the office complex.

Truth be told, this felt like nothing he had ever experienced over the last half decade or so. His initial thoughts of invaders had given way to a real belief that the realm around him was literally collapsing into itself. Had rent finally come due for Karl and the rest of the denizens of this multiverse?

Somewhere overhead, something else collapsed, and for all of his supernatural powers, Karl failed to drag himself out of his own mind long enough to effectively dodge the falling i-beams.

***

Elsewhere, others still struggled to survive the calamity…

He didn’t know how long he lost consciousness.

All he knew was that he was woken by a gentle shaking of his shoulders. The king opened his eyes and saw a boy with a head of short, unkempt brown hair. The blue eyes that stared down at Mickey Mouse were familiar.

“…Blues?” The boy stood up, and it was then that the mouse saw the familiar red armor and gray body suit wrapped around his companion. “Am… am I dead?”

The unhelmeted android shook his head. “You were knocked out. You okay? Can you see straight?”

Seeing as how there were now three or four preteen machines swirling in front of Mickey’s face, he shook his head. “I… I can think, but my eyes are all googly.”

“Probably a concussion,” Proto Man whispered as he gestured for someone to come over and look at Mickey. It was a young man with crooked black spectacles and messy brown hair who craned his neck to examine the anthropomorphic mouse’s head and neck.

“Looks okay.”

“Can you be sure?” Proto Man asked.

“I told you I’m not a doctor, right? I studied ecology, not humanoid rodent anatomy.”

“What’s going on?” Mickey whispered as he was helped into an upright position. “Were are we, and why the heck are you here? They evacuated the primes.”

“I stayed.” Proto Man replied matter-of-factly. “You think I was going to leave without my best friend? Plus, people tend to stop telling you what to do when you aim a gun at their face. I’m sorry I couldn’t help you, but when the place started to fall apart, I ran into some trouble. I held up the bar dome as it was collapsing… to try and let all the people get to safety in time. I wound up being crushed for a while. I’m still not sure how I’m back on my feet, but I have this he spoke as he pointed to something blurry on his wrist.”

“I can’t really see it.” Mickey spoke softly.

“It’s a recall device of some kind, from what I can figure. I can’t tell where it’s linked to, but I don’t think it’s somewhere in this verse.”

“It could take us to somewhere even more terrible,” Mickey replied as his vision started to come into focus. The mouse looked around and saw that there was about two dozen secondaries grouped into the roofless remnants of the dome. A distant hum caused the mouse to turn, and he saw a ship depart from the remains of the hanger area. It looked as if they had drifted miles from that location… how long had Mickey been out cold?

“It’s worth a bet, isn’t it?” Proto Man whispered as he took his friends bloody, broken hand. “Anything is better than dying here in this place, right? Wherever we wind up, we will still have each other, and that’s the most important thing. More important than all the other noise and nonsense.”

“You sure?” Mickey asked as his friend pulled him into a soft hug.

“Always.” Proto Man replied with a warm smile as he let go and held up his hand. “You ready?” The preteen machine turned to the others. “Everyone come together and lay a hand on someone… Get close, this might be a bumpy ride.”

Mickey looked around as the secondaries formed a tight group around the pair of small primes. In the crowd, the mouse spotted Kenny’s small companion, but he couldn’t meet her wide, unknowing eyes. That conversation would have to wait a little longer.

“To the next adventure,” Proto Man said with a smile.

“To the next adventure,” Mickey replied with a few tears in the corner of his eyes as the group vanished in a burst of white light.


***

“Sir?” A pair of hands grabbed at Karl Jak’s shoulders. The touch was gentle at first, but when no response came, a frantic energy suffused their owner. “Mr. Jak? Are you okay?”

With a feeble groan, the executive producer’s eyelids cracked open, revealing a haze of blurry objects. Before he knew what was going on, Karl was being dragged along the ground. He could vaguely hear what sounded like yet more malformed metal grinding and scraping behind him, but he couldn’t crane his neck. A second set of hands hooked him by the armpits and hoisted him up onto his feet, and despite the fact that his vision was still a barely coherent hell scape of fire, smog, and failing architecture, Karl’s legs didn’t immediately cave under the weight of his shuddering body.

“Are you in there, Mr. Jak?” A second voice inquired as someone snapped their fingers a few inches from Karl’s soot-stained visage.

The man recoiled from the noise and almost lost his balance, but he was able to catch himself and put out a pair of hands to fend off the group who had liberated him from the debris. “I’m okay,” Karl murmured as he rubbed his eyes in an attempt to stave off the last vestiges of unconsciousness. “Just probably post-concussive, that’s all,” he added as he looked around to see that he was now in what seemed to be part of the barracks complex. “How did I get here?”

“We found you maybe three minutes ago, half-buried under a collapse in the connecting corridors, Mr. Jak.”

The speaker was the one who had originally shaken the producer awake. With his eyes and ears now working as best they could, Karl could see that his wakeup call had come from a young man who worked in post-production. “Steve, right? Steve…”

“Steve Stevens,” the young man interjected as he brushed the scorched remnants of his work clothes. “We pulled you out from underneath the debris and dragged you along with us, Sir. We didn’t know if you’d regain consciousness or not, but we figured you were our best bet on where to go from here.”

There was still a dull throb that seemed to stretch to every nook and cranny of his brain, and with no painkillers or malbec in sight, Karl knew he’d have to grin and bear it. “The verse is collapsing.”

While the assembled Syntech workers had already made that assumption ten to fifteen minutes ago, hearing it from the realm’s creator caused several of them to audibly gasp. One even offered up the question that lingered on most of their minds: “You didn’t plan this, Mr. Jak?”

Karl shook his head. “I was just monitoring the competition and chatting with some associates in other verses when everything just started to unravel,” he remarked as he looked up through the shattered ceiling. Normally blue, the skies of the Danteverse were… a tapestry of chaos. While the majority was a conglomeration of reds and oranges, there was clear traces of a yawning blackness that was beginning to spread.

“We need to move quickly,” Karl muttered as he turned to face the collected group of technicians, office personnel, and visiting dignitaries. “Truth be told, I don’t know what’s happening, but fortunately for all of us, I’m always prepared.”

“I have some other survivors on short-range communications, Mr. Jak,” a voice called from near the back of the group of two dozen. “They’re still alive and fleeing the destruction… where should I tell them to meet us?”

Karl pointed a thumb down at the floor beneath them. “Basement.” He stated before waving his hand slowly in front of him. It took a little longer than he would have liked, but the steel panels started to peel away to reveal another hallway illuminated by flickering emergency lights. “There’s an emergency access tunnel that runs underneath this part of the facility. Tell them to follow the arrows to the door at the end. That is where we’ll be waiting for them.”

“What is waiting for us?” Another frantic voice asked.

“Hopefully,” Karl spoke before pausing to choice his words correctly. “A lifeboat… or perhaps an ark, if you want to be dramatic.”

Either that, or it would be their tomb.

***

Lord Zedd sneered as he looked into the vid screen and watched the last vestige of the facility collapsed into the yawning maw of oblivion.

“Goodnight, you idiots,” he wheezed as he rested his head. Finally, a moment to rest and enjoy the silence. No drama. No intense emotional outbursts. No more violence or hand-wringing or sleepless nights. He had just earned himself the best damn vacation that money couldn’t buy. Perfect, enjoyable quiet, with no primes or secondaries to infuriate him.

And just like that, a gratingly saccharine voice chimed in over the speakers inside the cockpit.

“Congratulations to #05 Lord Zedd. You are the winner of Dante’s Abyss IX, and our illustrious Grand Champion.” At the sound of Karl Jak’s voice, a compartment opened beneath Zedd’s seat that contained a championship belt and a small blue gem housed in a gold-plated metal glove.

“The shuttle will take you to the coordinates that you desire. Simply enter them, and you’ll be prompted to record a nice message to our viewers before being piloted to your destination!”

“Screw you,” Zedd growled as he reached out with both of his hands and tore out the speakers. Discarding the handfuls of scrap, he set his head back on the seat and clicked on the autopilot. He would figure out the manual flight systems when he felt like it.

For now, he needed a nap and a long break from all the idiots he had dealt with over the years.


***

Elsewhere, amid the final convulsions of the verse, another much larger vessel slipped loose the tethers of this reality.
 

Karl Jak

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Each and every Syntech facility came equipped with something called an ark. In the years before Karl Jak became the CEO of the company and executive producer of ‘the brand’, the ark had been a reinforced panic room, designed to resist a ki-infused assault from any errant competitor. A man with nothing more than a smile and a good suit, Karl had always enjoyed knowing that such facilities existed in those first few contests, because those events attracted such… characters.

When the company and its flagship production switched venues, Karl had maintained the tradition of the ark facility, which had gone from a simple chamber to a fully-fledged survival and escape vessel by the conclusion of his first batch of competitions. Even though his demigod-esque control of the various islands and the realm they inhabited made it impossible for anyone to do anything untoward him, Karl was someone who always got a kick out of tradition.

Now, over a decade removed from the first event he had hosted and even longer since he had originally been hired by the original incarnation of Syntech, Karl Jak found himself sitting in a dingy, badly light room aboard one such ‘Syntech Ark’.

The exodus, a sordid affair that had left so many of his associates dead and many more scarred in various ways, was just a few hours old. In the end, the reality that Karl Jak had grown so accustomed to over the years had died, not with a bang but with a whimper. There was a large amount of shaking and rumbling that culminated not with a dramatic thunderclap but in utter silence and darkness. If it hadn’t been for someone’s screams penetrating into the nothingness, Karl would have assumed that he had merely faded into black in more ways than one.

That shriek heralded the emergency lights for the ark, which sputtered to life following the handful of precarious moments of complete and total nothingness.

While some of the survivors cheered as the warm, yellow lights flickered to life, there were others who continued to babble incoherently into their knees or the corners of the room. Within half an hour, most of those individuals would be dead, victims of their own shattered sense of reality.

Karl recalled the return of sensation as akin to someone dropping a few sacks of bricks onto his chest as he slept. The wind had been knocked from his lungs, and all at once, he felt as if he had lost a big piece of himself into that dark. Hours later, he imagined that those who had committed suicide had felt the same and been unable to will themselves through it.

He had stumbled from that initial stupor, pushing aside a handful of people with wide eyes and open mouths. Their lips had moved but whatever words they were speaking failed to register as the man in the tattered purple suit shambled out into the corridor. From there, he had shoved passed a few others frantically searching for some semblance of comfort or leadership, and Karl had pushed forward until his legs had finally collapsed beneath him. The survivors had left him here, as they left countless others who were either mentally sundered or physically unfit to move or even regain consciousness.

By the time Karl had shaken that initial sensation of shell shock, crews had already ruled that the ark was dead in the water. Whatever had happened, it had incapacitated almost all of the large vessel’s systems, including navigation and propulsion. Limited to just emergency lighting, the vast ship was mostly dark, with its corridors including only thin strips of fluorescent glow to guide wayward survivors. For this part, Karl had been quick to round up those who survived and assemble most of them in the vessel’s mess hall. With the exception of some small work crews left behind to keep electrical systems running and a second team to tinker with some of the dead systems, the assembled crowd was almost the entirety of those who had survived. While the majority of them were Syntech employees from various departments, there was a spattering of individuals who had been dignitaries, merchants, and even a few avid fans who had been in the right place when the metaphorical nuke had torn reality asunder.

“Hello,” Karl spoke, his voice characteristically strained and difficult to hear even in the quiet and vacuous chamber. Still wearing the remnants of his three-piece suit, Karl stared down at a wound on his palm and watched the blood ooze from the laceration. “This is normally the part where I offer a smile and a few saccharine comments to ease the mood, but I have no such platitudes in me today.”

“Do you know where we are, Karl?” Someone asked from the back of the congregation.

“No, Jenkins,” Karl muttered without looking up from the wound on his palm.

“Are we dead?” A woman inquired from just a few feet from the table that Karl was seated upon.

“I…,” the executive glanced up, noting that the speaker was someone who had won a ticket contest to get a VIP experience during the most recent Dante’s Abyss. “Don’t know?” Karl answered in the form of a question as he squeezed his hand shut and grimaced as the blood pattered down onto the wooden surface between his thighs. “Could be, Miss Halifax, but it could also be that we’re just … in space.”

Someone scoffed as they made their way up through the shellshocked crowd. “Space?” No one at Syntech would speak like that with Karl, and that was only confirmed with the company CEO turned to look at one of the leased mercenaries they had employed during the last ‘event cycle.’ “You and I both know there’s no ‘space’ where we live, Jak.”

“For all we know, Salvador, this isn’t where we live anymore,” Karl Jak sneered.

“Bullshit. This is just one of your tricks… what is this, the ‘platinum experience’? More of your fucked up reality show games?”

Karl Jak smiled as he looked at the grizzled killer. “Prove me wrong then. Summon that gun of yours out of thin air, and if you can do that, you can shoot me dead in front of this crowd.” Just like that, the fire seemed to go out in the mercenary, who eventually melted back into the assembled host, which was now rife with frantic murmurs. “All I can tell you is that this isn’t smoke and mirrors,” Karl started as he slipped off the table, brushed the blood off onto one of his pantlegs, and then tried to smooth out his unkempt hair. “Those of you with… unique traits likely have found yourself disconnected from what you were. I assure you, I haven’t discovered the art of invisible collars. I don’t know what is going on, but I do know that we are in grave danger.

“We are floating in a potentially derelict ship, in an unknown location, and I can guarantee you that the reserves of food, water, and oxygen aboard this vessel are not limitless. Many of you who have never known hunger may soon begin to feel that discomfort in your stomaches. The endless energy you may have felt will likely be gone forever, and your body,” Karl held up his own mangled palm. “Will not start to magically heal. Do not panic, because that will only cause a dire situation to become truly catastrophic.”

“So we just… wait around?”

Karl had to suppress the urge to shrug his shoulders. “The vessel was damaged, so I’m certain, if you check with the correct employee team, you will be able to find some way to use your downtime.”

Out of Character Bits
  • Please review the Pinned document in the #salt-mines for all the logistics of this story/event
  • You have a vast degree of freedom with the type of character you design, you can have them be a Syntech employee (an officer worker, a technician, a corporate suit, whatever your mind thinks of), they could be a mercenary hired to help staff the various facility, they could be a guest or a visiting merchant ("wrong place at the wrong time" trope). You can play an OC or a canon character that falls into any of those categories.
  • The pinned document has, at the end, some requirements you can include in your sign up post (I'll compile these after the first thread wraps into some central spot)
 

Mickey Mouse

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The following contains mild spoilers for the 2017 reboot of DuckTales.

The Titanic was sinking, and there was nothing Della Duck could do about it.

“Uh-uh, no way, buddy!” the ferocious mallard shouted, clamping her hands down on the steering wheel. She furrowed her brow, staring out into the unrelenting storm and giving the wheel a big ol’ honkin’ turn to the right. “Ugh,” she groaned as the ship tipped starboard, “I don’t do boats, Mr. Jak! I fly planes!”

It was a complaint she’d voiced to the purple-suited man’s representative when they’d arrived at her sparsely-furnished apartment in the preshow facility and informed her of the assignment.

“Mr. Jak expected you’d say that,” the freckle-faced human nodded, tapping his clipboard. “He’s of the opinion that there isn’t much difference.” She felt her white face-feathers getting red hot all over again at the memory. How could these idiots be so stupid?!

It made her wanna scream!

The ship swerved just barely past the sharp remnants of a second iceberg. The first had come out of nowhere, almost as if it had been summoned there by some powers Della Duck heretofore had not experienced. She’d been an adventurer for the greater part of her life, traipsing through dangerous locales with her eccentric family. She’d fought all-powerful gods, huge monstrous golden goliaths, and actual dragons, but creating something out of thin air was magic that even she couldn’t wrap her brain around. It infuriated her.

Come on,” she growled, gently trying to get the vessel back on course, “come on, come on, come on.”

CRAAAAAAACK.

Her back straightened, and she glanced over her shoulder towards the sound. Within moments, the floor beneath her angled sharply upward, and she flew -- quickly -- away from the steering wheel and smashed into the back wall. Her head snapped back, smacking against the metallic wall of the bridge chamber; luckily, her goggles cushioned the blow, but she could hear them cracking at the impact as she dropped to the hardwood floor below. Shaking it off, she pushed herself up off the ground and came to terms with the fact that, despite her best efforts, the Titanic had literally just snapped in half.

Oh, I am so getting fired, she rolled her eyes. As they crested the top of their rotation, though, they locked on to something materializing in the distance. She sprinted as fast as her webbed foot could take her out of the bridge and onto one of the exterior balconies, holding on to a railing for dear life. She blinked, almost not believing what she saw as a flash of bright, rainbow energy shapeshifted into a full-size, grayscale steamboat and crashed into the ocean.

That was it -- that was her way out of this mess. She had to get to that steamboat and bargain for passage off of this actual sinking ship.

Della flipped over the railing, planting her feet on the steel frame of the now completely sideways Titanic. She bent at the knees, revving up to sprint. If she could just be fast enough, she might be able to make it before that steamboat got too far out of reach. And she could be fast enough. After all…

Nothing can stop Della Duck,” she repeated her mantra.

But just as she kicked off her sprint, a bolt of lightning zig-zagged from the dark, ominous clouds above and struck her, zapping her completely out of commission.

“Aw, fooey,” she cursed, feathers charred, black from electric burns, smoke wafting off of her. She blinked a few more times as her legs gave out beneath her and she slid off the side of the boat, splashing into the depths of the ocean.

***

It’s gotta go,” someone said, though Della couldn’t figure out who they were or what the heck they were talking about.

Woozy. That was the best word to describe the unique state of mush her brain was in. She felt like she’d been inside one of Gyro’s Blendertrons, a particularly useless invention intended to help folks stock up on shakes and smoothies rather than having to individually blend them. Della had expressed to Gyro’s investor -- her particularly rich uncle -- that perhaps the device might be better suited for a career as a torture device, and quite quickly the whole project had been kaboshed in favor of yet another swing at artificial intelligence.

Truly, her uncle’s investments in science never quite reached the heights of his success in adventuring until the spacecraft that had landed her in this strange universe. She’d never piloted a spaceship before then, but heck, she must’ve done something right. When she crash-landed the Spear into the Dante Verse all those months ago, that much had been clear.

Lost and with no friends to turn to, Karl Jak had quickly revealed himself as the only viable option for survival. She’d admit -- it’d been honest work. Until the episode on the Titanic, she’d only been trusted with routine maintenance of the facility and some super secret vessel that Karl’s associates made her sign a million and one NDAs about, but she hadn’t minded. She knew from her routine adventures with her uncle that when in a tight spot, the best thing to do was bide your time until an avenue to greener pastures made itself available, and she’d been more than content to do that as long as things with the Abyss didn’t get too crazy.

As she faded in and out of consciousness, she suddenly became aware that someone was taking a saw to one of her leg bones.

I think… things may be getting… too… crazy, she thought, and drifted back to sleep.

***

The emergency lights flickered as Della listened to Karl Jak’s speech-turned-Q&A-sesh from the hallway outside the ark’s mess hall. She’d thought about going in, but it didn’t seem right. After all, she’d failed. They all had. They hadn’t exactly been set up for success, either, but that didn’t make the sting of their incapability to stave off imminent doom any less potent.

Things had happened so quickly, once she’d woken up from her anesthesia. She’d barely had time to register her new, freakin’ cool robot leg before it had become clear the entire shebang was going down. And not just the ship, but the whole thing. To be honest, in her comparably short time as a Syntech employee -- isolated as she was, since she’d flatly refused to swap out her pilot’s gear for Syntech purple -- she hadn’t really come to grasp what, exactly, the whole thing was, but even from the confines of her medbay room, she’d been able to discern that anyone who didn’t move wasn’t long for this verse.

So she’d gotten up, got her gear back, and, eventually, found her way to the ark. Being one of the specialized mechanics chosen to keep it in tip top shape had its benefits, and so she’d managed to snag passage above a lot of people who’d probably been more primed for Karl’s good graces. On the condition, of course, that she helped keep it running.

A task, she could not emphasize enough, that had proven to be impossible.

As disgruntled citizens of their dimension -- or former citizens, she supposed, though no one could exactly be sure yet -- totally moaned and groaned within the mess hall about their current predicament, the duck woman let out a big sigh.

She peeked around the door frame. “Could be, Miss Halifax, but it could also be that we’re just… in space.”

Della blinked a bit, then turned her gaze to the musty, dirty, unkempt windows across the hall from her. In the months she’d worked as an engineer here, they’d done a lot to try to make sure the systems were operational, but cleanliness certainly hadn’t been a priority -- after all, there’d been no reason to think this ark would ever be used. That’s what they’d told her when she’d first crash-landed the Spear of Selene in the recreation dome, and after a few weeks to make her own judgments, that’s what she had come to believe. This Karl Jak guy, along with most of the other potent characters he attracted, seemed… all powerful. How in the world had they gotten into a situation where someone who’d managed to craft his own little pocket of the universe could accomplish nothing?

Karl was right, though, if Della had anything to say about it. Based on her experience with the particular type of inky blackness that stretched out forever just outside the windows, she’d wager they were drifting somewhere in space. None of these guys seemed to really have any clue about space, and seemed to think it didn’t exist, but Della had seen it, lived it, just seconds before she’d popped away from the Milky Way and plopped down here. If she’d managed to barrel roll from space to this place in the blink of an eye, it couldn’t be too far, even if it had always seemed out of reach.

Somehow that certainty, though, only made Della more furious. So they were in space… then why couldn’t she do anything about it? Wasn’t she Della Duck, greatest pilot the galaxy had ever seen?

“You’re the best pilot on the planet, lass,” her uncle had told her. “Tickle me tartans, probably the best in the whole universe, too, for my money.”

And he had… a lot of money, so that was heckin’ high praise.

Karl Jak’s voice rang out from the mess hall. “The vessel was damaged, so I’m certain, if you check with the correct employee team, you will be able to find some way to use your downtime.”

Della shut her eyes. He was right. There was no time for lollygagging.

She turned and marched off, back towards the bridge of the vessel. When the ark had disconnected from the main preshow facility, she’d rushed to the engine rooms as fast as one duck leg and one robot leg could take her, eager to put herself to use getting them out of this mess. As systems started to fail and hope started to run dry, the mechanics and engineers had scattered, each needing a moment to just grapple with the direness of their situation.

Now, as she limped at full-speed down the corridor, it struck her like that bolt of lightning just how much of a waste of time that was.

“Nothing can stop Della Duck, right?” she repeated to herself. “Nothing can stop Della Duck.”

She prayed she could make good on that promise.

Character Name: Della Duck (from the 2017 DuckTales reboot)
Picture:
Why Are They Here?: Della crash-landed in this universe a few months back, and, searching for some way to come to terms with her newfound isolation, took up Syntech on their offer of employment. She became an engineer for most of Syntech’s vehicle operations, but her true passion is piloting. She is here because of her skill working with all sorts of mechanical whosits and whatsits, specializing in vehicular engineering, specializing further in things that fly.
Background/Personality: Della Duck is a member of the Duck family, and therefore is extremely passionate about everything she does and believes in. All too often, this can manifest as temper tantrums, but more than anything, it manifests as a stark attention to detail, a reckless love of adventure, and undying spirit. She’s stubborn and reckless and quick to anger, but also extremely dedicated and loves her family and friends more than anything in the world.
 

Mojo Jojo

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Tall and suave was Mortimer Mouse.
Though there were many who'd call him a louse.
He paid them no mind, they were ignorant fools.
The whole lot of them were nothing but tools.

He went to DA to watch Mickey fail.
Now locked in a ship, it was like a jail.
But was Mortimer worried? Not in the least.
For he was still alive, he had not yet ceased.

Hope still burned on, deep in his chest.
Both that he'd live, and to prove he's the best.
For a moment he stood, aside in the dark.
Watching them carefully, to look for his mark.

Many were there, but most of them strange.
Even the host had quirks that ran the range.
Anxious and stressed, it'd be hard to connive.
Playing this wrong would be quite the dive.

But Mort was patient, it was his true power.
Study and manipulation would make this his hour.
And, within moments, he found what he sought.
A cute little duckling, his eye had then caught.

Familiar to him, but he didn't know why.
But wide-eyed and eager, willing to try.
She would be easy to handle, that much was sure.
He knew that as well as he knew his own fur.

As she marched off, ready to work,
Mortimer followed, at a slow, steady lurk.
And, as he did, and he passed through the door,
He had a realization that he was single once more.

Though many said Minnie was not his girl,
That she loved only Mickey, the insufferable churl,
He knew in his heart that she truly loved him.
After all, who could really love a mouse that dim?

No time for grief though, Mort won in the end.
Mickey lost not just DA, but his precious lady friend.
So, with smile on his face, the mouse followed on.
This might be Mickey's dusk, but it would be his dawn.

Name: Mortimer Mouse
Picture:



Why are they here? Mortimer arrived here around the same time Mickey did, but had chosen to remain behind the scenes and watch his old rival, waiting for an opportunity to show him up. While watching Mickey take part in Dante's Abyss, and relishing every moment of it, the "Event" happened, and Mort followed the crowds to the Ark.

Background/Personality Mortimer is a narcissist and a manipulator, and he's always looking for a way to "win" his interactions with others. Despite having lost to Mickey in vying for Minnie's affections, he still holds a very high regard for himself, and (as the most important person in his life), he's more than willing to sacrifice the happiness (and lives, if need be) of others to ensure he remains comfortable and safe. He's unable to believe that anyone could possibly dislike him, but is conscious that they could be angry with him, if caught in a scheme.
 

Arthur Morgan

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Harold the electrician stumbled down the long corridor at a semi-frantic pace, the slick linoleum tiles and dim utility lights passing him by in a fuzzy haze as his boots tramped over the floor. All around him, the emergency lighting of the ark flickered with a sickly glow through the darkness, a steady electrical hum suffusing the air… only to occasionally splutter with a worryingly sharp sizzle, like the hissing of hot oil in a skillet.

Chilled him right down to his bones, that sizzling did. And that was why he was here, marching down this poorly lit hallway, toolbox in hand and a hardhat firmly placed his head. The whole multiverse might’ve collapsed and they might be trekking toward a long, drawn-out death by starvation while drifting through an uncaring void, but by golly, Harold wanted to keep those lights on.

It was about all he could do for this situation, sad as it seemed, and he’d never been a quitter. No, quitting could come much later, when he’d run himself ragged and couldn’t throw himself into his work any longer with that same desperate energy that only seemed to emerge in a crisis. He’d curl up in a shivering, teary ball on the floor then, but right now, Harold had a job to do.

He couldn’t let the... lights... die out. Not yet.

Drawn out of his reverie by something catching his eye, Harold came to an abrupt halt in the hallway, the rubber of his boots giving a belligerent squeak at the motion. Bending into a crouch with his rusty, red-painted toolbox settling onto the floor beside him with a weighty clunk, Harold squinted at the rectangular access panel embedded into the wall, the metal cover pasted over with various warnings about electrical charge and fire hazards. Flexing his gloved fingers, Harold reached for the panel.

The panel was torn open by the time he’d noticed it-- a tall metal gurney, like the kind you might stack bodies on, sitting a little further down the hallway with a relatively unassuming air about it. It was also partially covered by a tarp made of thick canvas, but that wasn’t what grabbed Harold’s attention and held it. No, sir. Instead, it was the faintest rustling that drew his attention, the corner of the tarp giving a little flap as if by some unseen wind… or previously absent air conditioning.

Hm, thought Harold, straightening up with a creak of old and tired knees. That’s out of the ordinary.

With one last slightly harried look at the electric panel, Harold warily inched over toward the gurney, fully cognizant of the unusual circumstances. After all, he was standing in a mostly dark hallway, alone, with nothing but a gurney covered in a ratty old tarp for company. It was the stuff of horror films. He could only hope that this whole situation wasn’t about to become about ten times worse with the addition of killer aliens or flesh-eating coworkers.

Harold bent down beside the gurney with a winded huff, eyeing the little scrap of the tarp he’d seen moving seconds before. Sucking in a steadying breath, he reached out with an only slightly shaking hand, teeth gritted and face turned away just in case anything came leaping out with fierce claws and teeth…

Tarp lifted, the grizzled electrician raised an eyebrow at the strange little critter staring back at him. He almost couldn’t place what it was for a moment, but then it came to him. Small, green furred, and duck-billed, with a gosh dang beaver tail. “A platypus?”

Indeed, it was a platypus. Just kind of… standing there, crouched under the gurney, like it had no idea what it was doing there. Damn thing looked strange, too, its vacant eyeballs pointing in polar opposite directions, but he had to admit it was kinda cute in its own weird way.

A faint glint of shiny orange caught Harold’s eye-- a small, webbed foot-shaped tag on the platypus’s collar. A collar. Somebody kept this thing as a pet?

Shrugging, the man flipped the tag over between his cracked fingers, squinting at the name printed upon it. “Ah. Perry the platypus.”

Without really thinking about it, Harold scooped the platypus up. Couldn’t very well have someone’s pet wandering around the ship, now could he? It was kind of cold despite the fur. Like holding a raw turkey breast in his arms, only the turkey was all… fuzzy. Eugch.

Returning to the access panel, Harold set the platypus on top of his toolbox. Not all that comfortable with the silence, he began to speak, the drawling twang of his accent filling the otherwise silent corridor. “Gotta get to work on this. I don’t know if you’re aware, little guy, but this ship ain’t in the best of shape…”

And so on. Speaking about what he was doing helped a bit with his nerves, the overwhelming terror of his situation seeming almost trivial as he described it in terms simple enough for a damn platypus to understand. The platypus listened silently, a comforting presence in the dark as Harold furiously gestured with his tools and made snide remarks about the current state of affairs inside the ark.

The time passed quickly. He’d just stood up to dust off his knees, the lights overhead seeming to flicker less and the buzzing sound almost totally absent, when a dangerous crrrkk sounded from overhead.

Harold didn’t even have time to look up before he felt... tiny little hands close around his arm, hurling him with alarming force toward the opposite side of the hallway. The man crashed against the wall with a loud “oof!”, bones rattling as his hands clambered for purchase against the smooth metal.

Looking up, he was just in time to witness a ceiling tile smash against the floor where he’d just been standing, exploding in a pile of metal and fiberglass. For a moment, all Harold could do was stand there, one hand clutching at his hardhat like a lifeline, and it was then that he remembered his little friend.

Luckily, it only took him a few seconds to notice Perry sitting beside him, having moved out of the way of any falling debris. Little guy was quicker on the draw than he looked, it seemed. He’d had no idea platypuses were in possession of such keen reflexes.

“Oh, there you are, Perry. That was close,” Harold remarked to the platypus, shaking slightly, but he still had the wherewithal to glance around, eyes flashing with suspicion. “You didn’t happen to see… a little person push me out of the way, didja?”

Of course, the platypus only responded with a simple stare and the weirdest chattering sound Harold had ever heard in his life. Made him feel right stupid, it did.

Then again, he didn’t really know what he expected. Perry was just a platypus, after all. They didn’t do much.

With a shrug of his shoulders, Harold went to retrieve his toolbox. Now, if he hadn’t chosen that moment to turn away, he might not have narrowly missed the sight of Perry the platypus standing up on his hind feet and wiping sweat from his brow with an audible “phew.” As it was, though, Harold did miss it, and when he’d turned back around all was as it had been before, not a single anthropomorphic animal in sight.

Lightly slapping his legs, Harold began to make his way back down the corridor, wary of any more falling ceiling tiles. “C’mon boy, let’s go! We gotta get back to the others.”

And Perry the platypus followed.

Character Name: Perry the Platypus (Agent P)


Why Are They Here? Hired as a mercenary. Being an unassuming pet platypus half the time really helps you fly under the radar, y'know?

Background/Personality: In his original universe, Perry was a platypus trained by the secret organization, the O.W.C.A., to fight evil. Under the alias Agent P, he was an expert in martial arts and espionage, continuously foiling the dastardly plots of the villainous scientist Dr. Doofenshmirtz. Yet, despite all his training and human-like intelligence, Perry enjoyed living the life of a simple and lethargic pet platypus with his host family, and especially treasured his time with his two young charges, Phineas Flynn and Ferb Fletcher. After being transported to a new universe, Perry was understandably distressed and wanted to return to his family. He took up work as a mercenary, leading to his employment under Karl Jak for the purpose of subduing any unruly characters.

Above all else, Perry is serious and focused on his work, which can sometimes come off as cold, though he can have a bit of a mischievous side. He is selfless, heroic, and loyal to a fault. He is an excellent actor, demonstrated by his ability to pretend to be a mindless creature for extended periods of time, even when under duress. He will likely maintain this cover for the sake of convenience... except around trusted individuals.
 

Sandro

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For those of you who don't know me, my name is Michael Liberty. For all I know, no one here has heard the name. Who I am is not important. Who we are is. I don't know what Karl Jak is going to do to cover this up, and with the hell we've gone through on the ship already, I don't know if I'll live to expose the truth. I'm recording this as I go, hoping to get this out to the universe, even if I don't survive to see it.

It started when the Syntech Ark was sucked into this region of space from another world, a pocket dimension we were trapped in by a white grin with a god complex. no one, not even Karl, was ready for this sudden end to what was supposed to be a simple brawl between space wizards and keyblade-wielding mice. For many of us, born in the old world, this was the first time anyone had ever seen space, let alone travelled in it. Those who were more experienced got over the shock of swimming across the ocean between stars pretty quickly - space was always something amazing the first time to people who'd travelled through it, but after a little experience aboard a starship, at least where I came from, the excitement died off pretty quickly.

The horror of getting sucked out into space, or choking as life support gave out, on the other hand? That never really goes away, and it was worth enough for Karl jak to buy every man woman and child on the ship. For all his faults, Karl is an excellent salesman.



For a lot of the people here, the curtain of space must have been quite a shock, a place that simply didn't exist in the place they came from before now, in the world the white thing with the obnoxious name made for them. For Michael Liberty, the idea was oddly comforting. He'd never really realized how much he missed the black curtain of space until he'd been deprived of it, stranded in a strange land that had made the oddities of his old universe seem downright down-to-earth in comparison.

It certainly wasn't enough to distract him from the sheer insanity of the situation, but that was what he had a holoslate for. Liberty had come here to find out the truth, and while this certainly wasn't the truth he was hoping to find, it was still his job to report on it. For all he knew, he was the only member of the press that had actually managed to gain passage on this ark. The last journalist this group might ever see, at this rate. It was his duty to pay attention to detail and keep the record straight on what happened. He definitely wasn't expecting Karl Jak to give the unbiased truth, that's for sure.

Liberty stopped writing for a second, putting his stylus away in a pocket of his jacket usually reserved for cigarettes.

Christ, it seemed like the universe was more than happy to try and explode any time he tried to quit the fekkin things.

The veteran reporter adjusted his glasses and took a quick glance around the room, noticing the sheer number of people trying to find places to work. The last time he saw people this eager to get to work for free, They'd been neurally resocialized, but Liberty supposed that in the face of certain death, everyone would rather work than freeze - and space was the chilliest place to be jettisoned.

Liberty took a quick look-around of the ark, making a few educated guesses on just how this ship was built. There were a lot of mysteries here, and it was Michaels duty to solve them. Besides...

He'd lost sight of her, in those final moments. he needed to see with his own eyes just what had happened. To make sure, one way or another.

Liberty saw what looked like a very heavily armed and trained mechanic wave for other people to fil in with him, and adjusted his glasses, gave an exaggerated shrug, and started moving.

He really needed a smoke.

Character name: Michael Liberty
Appearance:
Background/Personality: A war reporter and veteran of several conflicts, Michael Daniel Liberty came to the syntech ARK looking into Kerrigan's aims and goals. This is a secondary concern for him, but his personality is that of a curious and hardened seeker of truth. He wants to find out the truth behind this incredible mystery, the sudden change into realspace here, and while he's at it, maybe he can find out if he has to worry about a resurgence of the Zerg in this new dimension...

Michael's skills mostly lie in reporting and attentiveness, but he does know his way around basic military tactics and has a splash of knowledge in a lot of different fields, things he's needed to know for reporting. he's got training in how to use the Confederate Marine Corps Powered Suits, and the C-14 impaler, but as he lacks both of these, it's about as useful as a paper hat in a typhoon. He does, however, have a small pistol on his person, the P-220, and a single extra clip of ammunition. It's your average civilian handgun, not particularly powerful or fast, but it's incredibly reliable and capable of getting the job done.
 
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Sigmund Vrell

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As far as life-threatening situations went, it didn’t get much worse than this. The crew was adrift God-knows where, the ship was damaged and panic was spreading through the ship like a wildfire. One wrong move and people could die, or worse..

They could sue!

Ronny stepped out into the corridors of the ship carrying an armful of fresh liability waivers, a small comfort in the chaos that had consumed the ark. His heart was racing as he took a stroll down the hall at a speed approved by OHS, glancing around at the varying levels of distress the passengers were experiencing. One of said passengers was a young guy, no older than 20, curled up in the fetal position. Clearly not someone who did well under pressure.

“Hey there pal.” Ron said, flashing the guy a friendly grin. “Ronald Syntech, Syntech attorney, pleased to meetcha.”

The young man glanced up, raising a confused eyebrow at the lawyer.

“Your last name is Syntech?” He asked, “Is that some kind of joke?”

“No, no, absolutely not.” Ronny replied, waving his waivers as if he were clearing the air of the accusations. “I had it legally changed to show my support for the company. I would have changed it to Jak but I felt that it was a little too personal t-“

“I don’t care!” The young man retorted. Frustrated, he took a deep breath before responding. “What do you want?

“Well, as you can tell, this is obviously a rather dangerous scenario we’ve found ourselves in and it would be rather unfortunate for Syntech to be considered liable for these unfortunate circumsta-“

“WHAT DO YOU WANT?!”

Clearing his throat, the lawyer shuffled his papers and handed one to the man.

“Sign this for me, please.”

“Did you handwrite this yourself?” The guy asked. “What is it?”

“It’s a waiver declaring your forfeiture of any ability to hold Syntech responsible for…” Ron glanced down at the man, who in turn glared at him with an impatient look. Clearing his throat again, the attorney pulled a pen from his pocket and used it to point at a blank space at the bottom of the page. “Ahem, it’s a waiver. Please sign here.”

“We’re all going to fucking did and you want me to sign this bullshit?!” The young man growled, tears forming in the corners of his eyes. In response, Ron gently took the waiver from the man, turned it over and handed it back to him, pointing at another empty space.

“And here.”


Character name: Ronald “Ronny” Syntech
Appearance: An early 30s man of average height, with dark, greased-back hair and a grey suit paired with a Syntech-purple tie.
Why are they here?: Works for Syntech as an attorney, particularly when damage control is needed.
Background/Personality: A part of the Syntech family since he was a fresh law school graduate, Ronny is a devout member of Syntech’s most corporate side. Though occasionally prone to bouts of panic, he is far more concerned with the preservation of Syntech rather than his own life.
 

Godzilla

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Space.

Honest to goodness, black void shot through with swirling patches of pinks and blues and purples and who even cared to know how many stars, actual space.

Now there was something he honestly never thought he’d see again. Not after losing his position as an agent on derse, not after being left a miserable wandering wreck, not after joining a sleazy mob crew, not after going to war with a bunch of time-manipulating leprechauns, not after getting (very, painfully literally) punched into next week, not after blinking in one reality and finding himself in another.

And especially not after the cluster of fuckery that was whatever the actual hell had transpired to cause that reality to apparently come apart at the seams.

This huge, vast blanket of stars...kept apart from him only by a distressingly thin pane of glass set into the hull of a ship. He never thought he’d see it again.

“God damn I hate space,” he grumbled, taking a final drag on the cigarette clenched between his pointed teeth before he plucked it free from his nearly-lipless maw and pressed it to the glass, grinding the last few embers out.

He turned away from the window, milky-white eyes leering out from the shadow of his hat as he slowly let his gaze sweep over the others assembled here to bear witness to their host’s attempted explanation.

He was disheveled. His suit scuffed and marred by dust and its normally perfect fit anything but at the moment. His hat was rumpled and crinkled into a frankly, unacceptable and downright embarrassing mess. He was even sporting an errant splotch of blood on one side of his face. Not his own, of course, but still.

Diamonds Droog was in the exact opposite of a good mood.

He was used to knowing things, dammit! Not this...this ridiculous set of circumstances. No one had any clue about anything, least of all something as basic as ‘how long this blasted wreck was going to actually hold together’.

It was all so inefficient.

Fishing in his suit, he produced the pack of cigarettes any truly decent gentleman of even half his caliber would be obligated to have. Naturally, he had three more identical ones just like it. This one in particular, though, was already half empty. He scowled at it, as if its state of not being perfect and freshly-opened was a deliberate insult, before plucking out one of the sticks of slow but certain death and shoving it back into his pocket. He delicately brought the smoke itself up to his mouth and savagely chomped down on it, holding it between his teeth, and rolling it over to one corner of his mouth.

After a fruitless attempt to settle his hat into its proper place, and a mostly habitual attempt at smoothing and tugging his suit back into proper fit, he let his clawed hands slowly slide into the pockets of his suit jacket. And as they slowly curled into fists tight enough to turn knuckles white, the disgruntled dersite stomped his way out of the derelict hulk’s mess hall, seething and sulking his way along after another bunch who had been rounded up by one of the engineers of the actual crew. There was work to be done, and the rest of this bunch seemed to collectively have about as much hope of being useful as a screen door in a monsoon.

Time to go lend a hand. Or at the very least...get rid of the more problematic elements who would just get in the way. One of the two.


Character name: Diamonds Droog
Image: Presented here

Why are they here: Diamonds Droog was just another guest in attendance during the last event. When everything hit the fan, it was his long history of keeping a level head even in the midst of World Ending Shenanigans that let him calmly make his way to the Ark along with the rest of the survivors, and so here he is.

Background/Personality blurb of some sort: Once upon a time, Droog was known as the Draconian Dignitary and served as the direct right hand of a planet-spanning kingdom. He isn’t anymore. But he still retains that same level of regal coolheadedness and formality, even to this day. Despite a poorly-suppressed and hidden temper, mingled with an alarming ruthlessness and penchant for things like murderous tendencies and kidnapping, Droog maintains a highly efficient and professional individual. He has a capacity for rational and clear thought bordering on unnatural, managing to keep himself straight-laced, put together and mentally in order even when dealing with the chaos of multiple separating and re-merging timelines, frequent jumps through time and alternate realities, and even fuckery of basic fundamentals of physics.

He doesn’t mince words, and has no tolerance at all for tomfoolery or silliness and abhors wasting time. Even his own friends and allies aren’t safe from his temper or lack of patience for their shenanigans. He maintains a pristine and impeccable appearance at all times, almost to the point of being vain; finely tailored and fitted suits, always making sure to dress to the nines for any and every occasion, sporting not just one but several backup hats and spare suits at all times in his personal storage vault, the Brawlsoleum.

A criminal he is, though, and likewise keeps all manner of nefarious and lethal implements on hand. The Brawlsoleum normally doubles as a mere deck of cards, and contains not only his spare clothes and hats, but also an assortment of knives, pistols and firearms befitting any good mobster as well as his personal weapon of choice, the Ultra-Violence Cuestick (which is, in essence, a suitably reinforced pool cue for beating anyone who rouses his temper).

His jet-black skin isn’t just a trick of the light, as he’s not really human: he’s a Carapacian. He is completely covered in a shiny, insect-like carapace, leaving him utterly bald and mostly featureless but also making him much tougher than he looks. His limbs are jointed similarly to an insect, and his extremities end in somewhat sharp points, along with his teeth being a maw full of sharpened, canine-like points. He can even withstand truly inhospitable environments like deserts, the arctic, time-less plans, and even the void of space (for as long as he can hold his breath, at least). Much like a normal human, though, his blood is a bright cherry-red, easily showing even slight injuries that get through his carapace.

While his name might literally translate to “friend”, he is not exactly the textbook definition of the word. Cold and ruthless, though despite his temper and barely-restrained murderous tendencies he is a highly civilized individual willing to compromise on...some things. But he has a code; a very personal, strong code that he will not hesitate to lash out at anyone and everyone if they commit egregious enough acts of tomfoolery, wasting time, or undermining/threatening his reputation and what it means to be in his position.
 

Roy Mustang

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Music had a way of filling space that really was something special. It let you act and feel like there was something happening when there wasn’t even anything that special going on. Crash bounced his head to the sweet, sweet rhythms then shifted the data probe to the next terminal feed. He glanced to his left, over to the nerd at the computer, giving him a casual nod that he'd moved the probe. The poor guy was a nervous wreck, adjusting his glasses multiple times as he clic-clac’d away at the screen like it would make any of this go faster if they got the diagnostics this instant or in a few minutes. Crash shook his head with a slight chuckle, turning back to the array of terminal ports in front of him.

He idly pretended the knobs and access ports of the cabinet in front of him were the outlines of a city, the smooth metal paneling and electronic access points transformed to roads and buildings, a birds-eye view of streets that he could drive through at high speeds. His imaginary vehicle swerved amongst the streets with grace and power, darting back and forth at breakneck speeds, bowing to the demands of tempo and beat. He barely noticed that the technician was talking until the dude was practically shouting in his ear. Crash's synthetic arm buzzed slightly as he pulled out one of his earphones with a roll of his eyes.

“Say what?” He asked with a mild squint.

“Move it to the next terminal!” The technician shouted at him again, a vein throbbing on his temple, “It’s the simplest job, what you’re doing right there! Could at the least have the decency to pay attention enough to not hold up the process on your end!”

The nerd pushed up his glasses again, sidling back over to the display. Crash tilted his head to one side, pocketing the earpiece instead of placing it back into ear.

“I don’t get why you’re making such a big deal out of this, we’re both Syntech employees, and there’s no outsiders here that we’ve got to put the act up for.”

“Are you being serious?” The technician exclaimed incredulously, “Did you even hear what Mr. Jak was saying back there? This isn’t a game or an ‘experience’ we’ve got to get this thing operational STAT, or we’re all dead!”

Crash snorted, shrugging slightly. “And you believe him? Look, I’m not interested in getting sued into reabsorption, but when has Karl Jak ever told us the truth about something like this? This has got to be a faked. It’s too outlandish! You can’t go to space in the ‘Verse! Everyone knows that! This panel isn’t even sparking all dangerous-like! It’s just a bunch of emergency lights!”

He shook his head in a satisfied way. “Nah, this is one of those big deal gameshow moments. A bunch of us secondaries will probably get killed along the way, and Karl will summon us again afterwards, simple and done! I’ve been through that wringer tons of times with R&D, I just hope this death will get to be something exciting.”

“No! He expressly just told us that wasn’t how things were working! This is the real deal. There’s no summoning now, there’s no coming back from this one! Now would you please just pay attention when I ask you to move the terminal probe to the next feed!”

Crash rolled his eyes again but decoupled the probe and attached it to the next point in the array. No summoning? No more coming back if you died? Was something like that even possible? He’d died before, then there was another of him to take his place. The idea that this would be the last one of him was something that he wasn’t really expecting to encounter when he woke up this morning. Despite himself, Crash started humming along to the music playing in his remaining earbud. He was actually getting a little bit excited.

This is going to be sick!

Character name: Wryn “Crash” Basic”

Image:Crash basic.jpg

Why they are here: A member of Syntech’s R&D testing division, he was in the facility when the event happened.

Background/Personality blur of some sort: An adrenaline junkie who makes his living testing all kinds of inventions created by Syntech, Crash is quite willing to put his life on the line. As a former Secondary, he has gotten quite accustomed to the idea that his death is a potential outcome of some of his tests, confident that a subsequently summoned version of himself is still ‘him’ because “who else could it be? Duh!”
While Crash isn’t stupid, he doesn’t seem to understand how fringe his perspective is on things. He will sometimes mock others for being afraid to step up as much as he is.
 

Aku

The Shogun of Sorrow
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Just another day on the job for this Russian heavy built bald-headed "fat bastard!" the blu scout would call him many times to destruct and laugh out loud at his body positivity. Everyone panicked around him, the spectators or Syntech staff that the merc in red was hired to protect at all cost long with other mercenaries in the picture. Now they were in space at of all the places in this vast life, away from the fixed universe that one sole devious smiling god made in his way. Nothing to be worried about for him because dodging bullets, pulling a trigger apart of a massive minigun that cost four hundred thousand dollars to fire for twelve seconds he named "Sasha," medic's medigun healing fatal gut-wrenching wounds, and punching out anyone's blood or breaking spines was the everyday life for him.

Panicking wasn't his top priority, nor thinking about how crazy it is that now they are in the vacuum of space oh no. An upset stomach complaining about food tugged at his mind to think about eating and filling his empty gut. Luckily, a merc was able to fill in his position to watch over staff while working on various things to get this ship running smoothly. Mikhail, or for short Misha, the Russian heavy weapons expert mercenary, made a b-line to the mess hall that served everyone on board. Thinking and craving over any meals that they were doing.

A simple sandwich could fix his problems with perfect moist baloney lettuce, tomato, mayo, swiss cheese, and top off this perfection of a sandwich will be an olive on a toothpick that punctures through the sandwich. Yes, a wonderful choir of tastes he can imagine in his mouth now even before reaching the mess hall. The aroma of food cooking enters his nostrils since the cafeteria is now down the hall where he stands. He walks down the aisle in no hurry to enter the food haven that awaits him. Inside the mess hall were many tables and chairs to sit down for chow time. Vending machines rest against the wall that offers various snacks and drinks for visitors and staff to buy.

Across the giant room was the cafeteria counter that food awaited on the other side that been freshly made. The kitchen staff awaits on the opposite side to hand out food to anyone that requests it. Not too many people were present in the mess hall since it wasn't prime mealtime yet. The best part is that there was no line to wait in to obtain food. The heavy weapons guy walks up to the counter, ready to give his order.

"I request a sandvich order," Misha speaks in his heavy Russian accent, but the givers can still understand his words.

"The usual, I assume?" the male kitchen staff that the merc spoken to replies.

"Da."

Some of the staffers are very aware of what Misha orders from time to time since the RED heavy weapons expert has been hired with Syntech long enough to have a company's career background. Making the sandwich didn't take too long, and they gave the merc two halves of the delicious sandwich on a plate. For drinking, heavy grabbed a bottle of water to stay hydrated for his shift. He sits down at a table not too far in an available corner. His meal appears fantastic and very delicious to view, but the merc wastes no time, taking the first bite into the sandwich finally experiencing the symphony of tastes.

Nom nom nom… nom nom…

Misha swallows his first bite, enjoying the familiar sandwich he eats many times. The tastes never get old with each specific kind of sandwich he requests.

"You are loose cannon sandvich, but you're a damn good cop!"

Character Name: Misha (short for Mikhail) AKA: Heavy Weapons Guy


Why Are They Here?: A mercenary under a contract presented by Syntech to protect staff and spectators from any threats.

Background/Personality: In his past life, Misha was born into a caring family in Russia, with him being the only son out of his sisters that surrounded him. He respects family much and holds them close since many times he has felt loved by them. Later in his life, Misha becomes a RED mercenary for the gravel wars that the Mann brothers were always causing. His combat expertise in handling heavy weapons, such as his minigun he has named "Sasha."

It does not end with only managing a giant minigun. The Heavy Weapons Guy knows various guns if having no choice to use in combat and will fight hand to hand if he must use his fists.

For personality, like a hibernating bear, the Heavy appears to be a gentle giant. Also, like a bear, confusing his deliberate, sleepy demeanor with gentleness will get you ripped limb from limb. Though he speaks simply and moves with an economy of energy that's often confused with napping, the Heavy isn't dumb; he's not your big friend, and he generally wishes that you would just shut up before he has to make you shut up. Anyone he comes across will refer to them as tiny or, if they are enemies, babies. Remember, never touch his GUN!
 

Marcus Wright

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I sighed, and pulled my old Helghast red outfit on. I was a simple agent, a Helghan half breed who signed up for this trainwreck of adventure Karl Jak promised would go alright. The ship Karl Jak had rented by Syntech was more primitive tech and smaller than the usual Helghast cruisers I mostly rode on but in 3150, this was normal. I had to suck it up and hope I didn’t die in this strange universe.

I walked to the windows, occasionally glaring out into the artist painted space. Worry clouded my face, would I ever get to see Lucas again, would I walk out of this risky trip alive?

Karl tried his best to calm the shaken employees and disgruntled others on the ship but his words weren’t really helping at the moment.

My head hurt, thank whatever god we prayed to back home that I still had my Helghast breathing mask for this kind of situation. We weren’t in any type of war but if it helped me survive longer, so be it. I hid it under my uniform just in case.

I crossed my arms and walked over to the panicked employees and tried to calm them down for the time being.

I think I might have scared one with my pasty white skin and my dark purple lips.

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PC Name: Maya "Echo" Visari
NPC's Source: Killzone Shadowfall
NPC's Starting Location: ??? - Dante's Abyss-themed Event
Reasons For Use: Maya "Echo" Visari is a spy from a distant land that is there to protect the others and keep the peace in Syntech's case
 
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