==Transitioning of multi-dimensional entity into present continuum IN PROGRESS
The pain that she felt from the blonde was like nothing that Valkyrie – that Priscilla - had ever encountered before.
It hit on every level imaginable – physical, in so many ways that she couldn't list them all before the pain began to overwhelm her, and the pain-control endowment of the Defender Ring she wore kicked in automatically.
Shattering bones – not just the sensation of the bone breaking, but of the force behind it, the flaring of every pain receptor as the feeling of bone fragments slicing flesh open from inside poured through the Ringbearer-
The fire-and-ice sensation of infinite incisions every millimeter of her flesh – tiny, impossibly sharp slices flashing across her body in one indescribable moment of release.
Heat – the universe was nothing but heat. Not fire, mot magma, not plasma, not the fires of hell or the light of God's own presence – the Word and the Truth of All That Was, it was nothing but the burning, and that heat was her reason for being, in a reality which it always was and will always be...
The impossible sensation of her stomach dropping out of her body, not possible and yet there, a sudden, total and numbing sensation that threatened to make her knees unlock and cause her to collapse, falling back down the carpeted flight of stairs she went up... She watched, her emotions clawing away into nothingness as the sharp keening sounds of Melanie Henry - her mother - and the gulping, breathy sounds of her first real love, Joey Kellogg, filled the house as they rutted on the floor of Priscilla's bedroom like two dogs in heat, with Melanie grasping onto one of the legs of the bed, barely able to get Joey's name to escape her lips as he took her from behind with fanatical intensity...
The infinite peppering of acid fire seemed to dance in a shower across her form, every spot unfathomably worse than the most painful penetration wound, pouring through as they burned microscopic passages through her...
The itching would not stop. Everywhere, coming from and going everywhere, no scratching could stop it, no cooling could relieve it, no medication could banish it, and she wanted to run, and run, and run so far and so fast that the pain could never find her, but it was always there, with every step, every breath, and even if death took her, the itching would follow her into forever...
The Ring shunted power into Valkyrie's defensive field, setting up a modulation that acted to dampen the hideous psi-assault upon its wearer. As her mind began to clear, the heads-up display brought up new info, which made maggot-like protrusions of fear wriggle about the entire length of her spine:
==Possibility of Lovecraft-class corporeal entity manifesting in immediate vicinity
==Perception filters initiated
==Recommend immediate use of banishment endowment
==Recommend activation of barrier-defense protocols
==Recommend immediate evacuation of area if possible
Snapping back a curse at
herself for glancing in the blonde's direction, Valkyrie shook off the sudden,
momentary sensation of absolute blindness - and a mind-tearing darkness that
blinked into being instantly behind it - before her Ring's 'perception filters'
Blue light flashed once from her eyes, and the entire area immediately shaded into the sepia tones that the Ringbearer associated with the silent-era films she had watched as a child.
That's how the filters work, she recalled, from her training at 'Spook Central' – the Ringbearer Citadel on 'D-404', a world where 'ghosts' and similar entities were the primary problem. They allow us to envision this level of beings as something our minds can handle... so we don't go insane by being in their presence – or, so that our minds don't just shut off our bodies, and we simply drop dead on the spot.
Valkyrie and the image of the blonde in the angora sweater and long skirt stood motionless as-
"Oh, God, what is that..."
A vile, gelatinous gash in the blonde's torso chewed itself open from inside as Valkyrie watched, opening from navel to throat as blood, entrails and gelatinous, fleshy chunks of gore sprayed a good twenty feet across the floor and ceiling.
A message flashed across Valkyrie's in-field display:
==Transitioning of Lovecraft-class entity CONFIRMED
==ABANDON YOUR POSITION IMMEDIATELY
Valkyrie took several steps back as the blonde began to grunt with pre-orgasmic, animal-like sounds, her breasts jiggling in a comically vile manner as a gloved set of hands moved the sections of her chest apart – from the inside.
A human arm reached through to place a three-legged wooden stool (of a charming design, the Ringbearer thought) on the floor in front of the eviscerated blonde.
It was only then that the Ringbearer noted that the girl's left eye had blinked; Valkyrie followed her gaze upward, and saw that the girl was looking at a mural painted on the ceiling: the image of a herd of beautiful wild ponies, running free across the plains...
A single tear appeared at the corner of the blonde's eye; a stick figure - no more than three inches tall and wearing a powder-blue suit, with a white fedora with powder-blue band atop the stick that served as his head – crawled out of the blonde's left nostril.
As Valkyrie watched, the stick figure dusted itself off as he walked over to the tear, picked it up and took a long drink from it. He sighed in relief and then started back inside the nostril, the half-empty tear in hand – but not before turning to Valkyrie, and tipping his had in a respectful greeting.
The blonde let a slight whimper of pain escape her, and the flaps of flesh opened fully as a brown bear - about the same height as the blonde, and dressed in the stylish clothes and outrageous feather boa of a 1920's-era 'flapper' - emerged from the blonde's trunk and stepped down upon the stool.
The bear looked around, and stepped down-
Valkyrie felt a tongue moving in a slow, lazy path around the edges of her navel; she looked down to see a stunning, pale-skinned brunette kneeling in front of her, having opened the lower buttons of the plain white blouse she now wore, and looking up with almond shaped eyes of purple, with tiny stars passing through as she continued to move her tongue around the edge.
<"You taste of lithium in the spring,"> the pale-skinned brunette spoke, in perfect Modern Greek.
"Get. Off. Of. Me." Valkyrie's voice came out as a brutal hissing. "I am not into that, regardless of where I am."
"Oh, it's one of you," the brown bear said, looking Valkyrie over, a petulant, yet lilting tone to her Spanish-accented voice as she stepped from the stool. "You've not having FUN! On, on, and you're so boring – this isn't important to you like it is to them, or to them, or to that one that keeps crying – she let us in, there's so much room there and it's important that she doesn't know that there is no secret dance move, the crystals will take the fires or that the colors will only win the wars if they're mixed? Oh, why aren't you dancing on the side of the wall like everyone else? You're just no fun – can I have that wrinkle on your ankle? Bye!"
"I want to go home," the blonde said, as a telescope extended from the ruined chest while a giant mannequin's hand reached down from the ceiling; the hand wrapped around the telescope, and began to slowly stroke the tube.
A thick, hideous smell flooded the room, almost overwhelming Valkyrie until a thought caused a blue flash from her Ring to fill the room, and tiny, pin-sized shreds of paper began to flutter through the room in a never-ending blizzard...
Lifting herself up after dropping to her knees because of the abominable stench, Valkyrie looked at the blonde, and winced at the sight of the white matching slacks the girl wore; they were now horribly soiled with wetness that went all the way to the floor... but the rapidly-expanding pool of liquid moving away from her feet was not urine, but a thick, olive-green pus that bubbled gently and solidified over the floor in a manner that reminded the Ringbearer of the appearance flapjacks have when ready to be flipped.
"What is real, Priscilla?" an especially large bubble asked, bursting as soon as its last word was spoken, and its remains tumbled upwards to be caught upon a plate that a second stick figure, this one dressed in the garb of a waiter. "Go on – try juicy Judy's blue-berry," the figure said. "It's fire- roasted, across all of the universes. You'll see."
"If you hump her, there's just going to be a store nearby," the emperor penguin in the burqa said, as she floated past. "She's not fun. She's got a stinger, but she has no flavor. "
"Poop in their hand! Poop in their hand!' the three mice shrieked from atop Valkyrie's left shoulder, before jumping up once, clapping their front paws together and turning into three golden strands that touched the Ringbearer's nose and vanishing in tiny fireworks.
The clock on the wall rang out – nine chimes, even thought the clock, set to military time, read 1300 hours.
The heads-up display caught the Ringbearer's attention once more; she blinked, and found herself back in the commons area once more – but it was now an hour later, and the area was now empty except for the blonde, her body now whole.
Valkyrie focused her attention back onto the display.
The screen wiped – and then, as if nothing had happened, the display reinitialized:
==Multi-dimensional entity has terminated entry into present continuum
"It's as if it didn't happen," Valkyrie thought, shaking her head.
"It happened," the blonde said, turning to look directly at her. "Please...help me escape this place..."
The Ringbearer looked at the blonde, her own eyes wide with surprise. My God – she's whole again, as if nothing ever happened to her.
"You – can you see me?" she asked the blonde, who gave her a single nod.
"I can see that Ring you're wearing," the blonde said. "They've kept me here for so long, just... playing with me... please... help me leave..."
There was a quality in the blonde's voice that made Valkyrie's Ring-hand rise almost on its own; a bluish beam, one that seemed to come out of nowhere, played over her form for a few seconds as the Ringbearer went through a miniscule sprinkling of the young woman's memories ... always, from those same moments in time, from this room, across the universes - never being able to leave, like a toy in a box; taken out, played with, and placed inside once again – over and over again ...
"I can help you," she told the girl. "With what I have to do – yes. I can help you."
The relief that flowed from the girl was almost a force of its own accord as Valkyrie dropped her Ring-shields and glamour; allowing the blonde to see her.
"You look just like me," the blonde said, as the Ringbearer took a spoon from a half-eaten bowl of strawberry gelatin and brought it – along with a small amount of the gelatin – over to her. "Thank you for whatever you did to make it stop, uh - "
"Priscilla – and don't thank me yet," Valkyrie told her. "After what I just saw, and – don't thank me yet."
"I'm Brittany," the blonde girl replied. "Brittany Taylor."
Valkyrie concentrated on the gelatin. A momentary blue glow infused the gelatin, as if it were coming from within, and as Brittany watched, the gelatin changed in color, from light red to a brilliant golden-yellow.
"Here," she said, offering Brittany the spoon. "Take this."
Brittany took the spoon without hesitation, but looked at Valkyrie before putting it to her lips. 'Will – will this hurt me?" she asked, the childlike fear in her voice making Valkyrie want to reach out and hug her.
"No," Valkyrie told her. "The people I work for call this 'Lethe'. Not many of us – the people I work with – are authorized to make this, or even know about it."
Brittany sniffed at the spoon's contents. "What does it do?"
"It makes you normal," Valkyrie told her. "If something – if you've been – affected – by certain things, Lethe will help make certain that it's purged from you."
The young woman raised the spoon to her lips, but turned to her fellow blonde once more. "Really?" she said, that one word more a plea for help than a question.
"Today is the first day of your new life," Valkyrie promised; she watched as the blonde consumed the spoon's contents – and immediately fell asleep.
Taking the spoon from the blonde's mouth, Valkyrie positioned her so that she was laying on the couch and then, took a step back. "Identify through Agency records."
The information she wanted came up on her display:
==Accessing Agency historical archive...
==Identified: Taylor, Brittany – DECEASED – 21 September 2000
==Location: Pi Rho Omega Sorority, East Peoria, Illinois
==Place of origin: D-1226 (Lawndale, Maryland/United States of America)
==Historical Notation Status: CLASS 2/FIXED POINT OF REFERENCE)
"Of course," the Ringbearer said, fighting the urge to do a facepalm. "I should have known when I saw that hair, those tits and had the most strange experience of my life –yes, this would probably involve Daria Morgendorffer in some roundabout manner."
Valkyrie lifted her head; a blue aura surrounded Brittany for several seconds as she pointed her Ring-hand at the sleeping girl. "Might as well heal her body, while I'm here," she muttered to herself. "God knows what – whatever that was – has done to her, or how it could affect her later."
The Defender Ring she wore flaring with power as she stepped away from Brittany, Valkyrie once again created an ultra-precise holographic overlay of the room. "This is Brevet Ringbearer Priscilla Henry," she said, opening a communications link. "This is a priority request for a Level One temporal realignment."
A voice flowed from the Ring – far faster than she was used to getting a response.
"Ringbearer Henry – authorization granted for single-subject Level One temporal realignment," a voice spoke, through the Ring she wore. "Linking your ring into augmenter relay Beacon Delgon Nine. Our screens show synchronization is in process. Please confirm."
"Confirming link," Valkyrie replied.
A second voice came from the ring. "That's a 'go'. Synching up your Ring-functions – Ringbearer Henry, generate Q-P/T stasis field on the subject in five...four... three... two... now."
The room was suddenly alive with the blinking, wraith-like images of people as they entered, moved about and exited the area; Brittany's form, encased in a purple cocoon of energy, was the only constant in the constant blurring of movement.
The ultra-high speed effect made even more eerie by the continuous flickering of light as day passed into night and back again, weeks and months passing in the time it took Valkyrie to take a breath-
A sudden burst of light sparked away from Brittany's prone form – and both Brittany, and the purple cocoon around her, disappeared. "Reintegration successful," the first voice said. "Subject realignment at temporal position 02:21:09 - 21 September 2000."
"I just got a weird reading," the first voice said. "I'm reading that the subject was supposed to have died at 02:20:31 in this temporal location – there's a strange reading – the screens show that a Class Two ethereal was supposed to have manifested, that's why you must have been called in on that one."
"My scans are clear, Control," she replied. "Healing her must have shifted events in the time-stream. I'm reading the structure - and the entire area around it - clear of hostile ephemeral activity in this continuum."
The first voice held a pleased tone as it spoke. "Glad to be of service, Brevet Ringbearer."
Valkyrie looked around the commons area. "I still have work to do," she said, as she turned towards the stairs. "We still have a ghost to catch in this place."
Even as her hand grasped the banister, Valkyrie hesitated a moment – and then, proceeded up the staircase.