Time Is On My Side

Stories, continued and interrupted, of beings from wherever the sky calls to the dreamers, the wind whispers to the wanderers, and the road calls to the determined.

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Time Is On My Side

Post by Pharlen » Mon Mar 02, 2020 12:52 pm

Via the nature of reality, the Powers That Be were simply that, and not, as such, all powerful, all knowing, all wise. From the font of their gathered energy arose what became the universe, and overflowed from that which was Everything Else.

As time and energy and entropy would have it, things changed. Slowly, in the blink of an eye. In the span of an atomic particle for unseen and unknown parasecs. Everything in a droplet of water, except for that which was not.

Entropy had always been an annoying bitch, a sleazy wastrel who epitomized sweaty boob money and somehow had a squirrel under there, too. But it was when she had turned, slick and sleek in fishnets and a sequined bodysuit to wave a wand in your face and say ‘syke’ that she really pissed off Pharlen.

Like now.


The reality of RhyDin had always been a curiosity, a weakless thing lacking in atomic particles while they piled up in orderly lines in many mad scientist’s lab. It had always been problematic. It had always merrily turned Reason on its ear and constantly wooed Luck and Science until they hardly knew what day it was.

There was no firmament of gods, there was no codex of scientific reason. RhyDin Simply Was. A planet, a system, a reality, a fold in the wrinkles of time, a slow place with a signpost.

Thus, there she stood, Pharlen VonTombs, nee Jones. One of the few remaining Mariners, homo marinus, second spawned humanoid of the troubled little planet of Earth. She lifted her chin and stood with hands on well curved hips, regarding the slow yet immediate attention of the Powers That Be upon her.

“No. I will Not. RhyDin has as much right to exist as every other one of these realities which managed to claw itself into reality through the shady slops of your so-called perfection,” Pharlen announced, “You should be giving to RhyDin apology and even assistance, not clamoring for a way to bring RhyDin to heel, to dance to your drum. Be ashamed you have even said as much.”

‘Said’ was rather a broad word. The Powers were powers. Energies. Not quite identities. Yet to simplify matters, they clad themselves in eerie wooden masks, carven in ovals on ovals on ovals, like ancient Kenyan works. They rumbled their displeasure in a dozen notes of irritation.

She lifted her left hand to them, as if she, so tiny, could press them back from the strange slab of star-spangled obsidian that she stood upon.

“Stop.” she spoke, commanded, her brows knitting.

“We shall speak, Past, Present, and Future,” Pharlen informed them, “For this place which has become our place.”

As darkness overcame all, Pharlen turned around and walked away. She opened a door in the blackness and shed light into the room, opening out into a sunny park. The door shut behind her.

Exhaling, Pharlen pulled out her cell phone and texted:

Eregor and Evelyn: “Come here, I need you.”
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Re: Time Is On My Side

Post by Pharlen » Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:48 pm

It was easy to find her, she stood in the Battlefield Park Memorial Garden, admiring the roses. Simply gowned in pale gray, she managed to look cool and distant rather than aggravated.

An RPS box truck rumbled its way past the colorful memorial, its ugly green and brown panels a stark contrast to the vibrant colors of the enchanted rose garden that bloomed all the way through winter. It was about three meters and change (a little over an additional seventh of a meter) past Pharlen von Tombs when the driver received a holomail on her dashboard that she had just overshot one of her deliveries. She slammed on the brakes, the truck lurching forward as exactly two hundred and fifty-six grocery deliveries for the affluent homes in the hills overlooking Seaside were flung around the back, dragging skid marks a further 6.0221515 meters.

The truck let out an obnoxious beep for the brief second it roared back a good distance (about nine-and-one-sixth meters) and jerked to a stop, and the delivery woman vaulted her way down the steps to the street, holopad in hand. She spared Pharlen only a passing glance after reading the delivery entry on her way to the back, calling over her shoulder: “You Governor Tits McGee?”

“Now there’s a nickname for the ages.” The new speaker came into view a moment later, walking around a hedge along the garden pathways. He dipped his head to Pharlen, giving her a moment to take in the delivery. Though his expression was calm, even stoic, there was a hint of something in his eyes. Curiosity. After all, it wasn’t every day that one received a text from the Governor, let alone one with such a sense of urgency.

“Eregor,” she nodded to the man, while she was still processing ‘Tits McGee’, but, really, she couldn’t very well deny that. “Yes, yes, I will sign for this.”

Agreeable, she moved to validate the delivery, meanwhile, continuing to speak.

“There is a bit of trouble, yes, and as we do happen to have three time-walkers within this reality, we can discuss the problem and hopefully, end it. We just need Evelyn, and I will explain.”

The RPS driver had long since learned not to ask any questions in this town — if a meeting of three “time-walkers” held any interest for her, she didn’t show it. As soon as Pharlen had made her mark on the holopad, the courier tucked it into her jacket, hopped up onto the fender, and hauled herself into the back to grab the delivery she was 90% sure she hadn’t left with this morning.

Something back there was simultaneously roaring and hooting, a large obsidian ring padded with bubble wrap was giving off a persistent ominous hum, and a clear plastic box plastered with warning labels and containing a cocoon of bioluminescent webbing was whistling cheerfully.

She bypassed all three of these items and hauled out a Oui-Haul wardrobe box that seemed more awkwardly weighted than physically heavy. She set it down in front of Pharlen and Eregor, giving them some time to study the logo (several beret-clad bugbears carrying boxes and furniture on their backs) while she checked her beeping holopad.

“Message from the sender. Don’t worry about the lions. And a healthy tip.” Well, then. The RPS driver’s instincts told her she should have been driving away ten seconds ago; she gave them a tight smile, but by the time she finished saying “You folks have a good one,” she was already in the driver’s seat and changing gear.

Tires spun wildly and the box truck sped away, leaving two time-walkers alone with a box.

“I tend to worry about lions, but I suppose we’ll have to play it by ear,” Pharlen noted, quirking a brow as she inspected the box. She hadn’t seen one of those monster cases since her last binge watch of ‘Mission: Impossible’.

“So. Here is a wardrobe. We aren’t to worry about the lion. Let’s see if there’s a time witch in here,” she noted drolly, rapping thrice on the case before reaching for the handles to open it.

“Spatial witchcraft primarily!” replied a voice from somewhere among the moth-eaten wool coats and accompanying slow flurries, followed by thirteen lions and other great cats roaring their agreement with enough force to blast Pharlen and Eregor’s hair back. “Trans-universal, really,” continued the owner of the hands that pulled a long wool military coat in the old Victorian style off of the rack and disappeared again. There were a number of growls, yowls, and purrs, and the voice replied, “Yes, yes, I’ll pass along all of your well wishes to the rest of the Cotswold Allegoreon!” The coats swayed as if the person behind them was flapping a hand dismissively at more than one lion. “Thank you again for the tea!”

Then Evelyn Augusta Bell emerged from the box, wearing said coat, a fetching red scarf, and an eleven-handed watch. There was snow in her hair and on the scarf, and she was barefoot and bare-handed, though there was no sign that she had taken any chill — in spite of the skin visible through several small moth holes in her coat that suggested she had been naked until pilfering this article. As soon as she was clear of the box, it burst into a swarm of moths that scattered on the wind.

By way of greeting, Evelyn told them both, “I am less of a time-walker and more of a time-wobbler. Wait.” Her nostrils flared. She stared at Pharlen, then leaned closer for a better sniff. “Why do you both smell new?” Eregor, she had known about already.

“You missed some fun,” Eregor replied to Evelyn by way of explanation without detail.

“As it turns out, there are still beings that know how to hurt me,” Pharlen added with a wrinkle of nose, “But so long as there’s some of me, we can get the rest of me recreated. But. That’s the not reason I’ve called you all here.”

A smile and Pharlen held out a small disk of dark smokey quartz. It projected a hologram of the images of the Powers That Be, rotating in a slow majesty, about twelve inches above her palm and about the size of a basketball. That image may look different to each of them. It was a series of crudely elegant wooden masks to Pharlen.

“Between everything that happened recently, with the sleeping ones wakening and shaking up at least three realities, the titans pissed off, and the usual tones of insanity, the Powers That Be are insisting that RhyDin be retrofitted to follow the natural laws of most of the universe.”

“Are you sure this is the best place to be looking at tentacle porn?” Evelyn was not usually judgmental, but a public park was a public park. Which told them how the Powers That Be appeared to her.

“That may be a good thing,” Pharlen mulled to herself, “What we need is to return to their speaking point, and to remind them that RhyDin is for a reason…” Pharlen paused and flickered a smile to both.

“And if that doesn’t go over, it really couldn’t be too difficult for us to pull it out of their sight and minds. Pocket dimensions with open doors happen, after all.”

With that, Pharlen turned to re-open the portal, grasping a modern brass door handle which became almost immediately a door, opening into a dark hallway. The other two may see differently, but it was a passage from where they were to where they would be.

The second door opened to a wide shattering sky, endless, painted with clouds of gas and streaks of electricity, adrift in the universal flow.


(Written with Eregor and Evelyn's Players :3)
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Re: Time Is On My Side

Post by Pharlen » Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:52 am

“So. A Gallifreyan, a Mariner, and a Watchmaker’s Niece walk into a bar…”

A voice sounded, so sardonic that it split atoms and rattled old tube set amplifiers cut through the darkness. It was a curious thing, it leered and loomed, became its own doppelganger over and over again and spun sound into a mote of light which abruptly exploded into…

Something much less majestic than one would imagine.

A warehouse stretched into infinity, but many of the crates were open. Some of the boxes undoubtedly contained the Ark of the Covenant, an Interociter, and healthy meat substitutes, closed for another day and time.

It was the open ones that swiftly caught Pharlen’s eye as she gauged where they had been taken. Within the vast building, there was a beating circulatory system, a heart beating to a mechanical drum, energy moving in faint motes, managing little more than a spattering of dust as they trod over worn boards.

The open boxes, oddly, were penny-show automatons. Drop in a coin, and a motor would spin, sending a cast of characters and tiny world to brief and jerky life. From a primitive wooden piggy knocking over a distracted farmer to an elaborate retelling of the ‘Odyssey’ within a miniature amphitheatre, the devices spanned a full range of talent and technology.

Drop in a coin, get a little show. Pharlen’s eyes narrowed as she scanned the museum of automatia. She placed her hand onto one of the cases, leaning to regard the scene. Her gaze skipped aside.

She had to trust Evelyn and Eregor.

“We’re not playing this,” Pharlen announced sharply, lifting her head, scanning the array of automatons, “If your realities were disturbed --”

“Well, don’t you just sound like the mealy-mouthed duchess of do gooding, love, tolerance, and low calorie ranch dressing?”

The voice again. Blisteringly scathing. A curiously musical male’s voice, the prized Irish tenor of the 1920s and 30s, lacking its low end, crackling through a simple radio and speaker with a falsely hearty energy.

“Of course I do, have you not been paying attention to my work?” she responded, flat as a brick, “If your realities were disturbed, that’s on you. It’s your duty to defend wherever you have been called to defend.”

“Correct. And here I am. Your precious little pocket reality has caused quite the commotion in places where I have far more power than you, and as you are notoriously difficult to put into a bind, well, I will simply have to make do. And so I have.”

He stretched out of shadows as fully dressed as anyone might be with a Cheshire smile and pinstripe suit. Before Pharlen could make a sound to respond, he lifted a hand, perfectly manicured, and flicked his forefinger off of his thumb.

Energy rushed by, a crescendo of madness, and…

Then there were two. Pharlen was no where to be seen.

Adjusting his jaunty bow tie, his grin like sharpening steel, he tipped his hat and split his attention between Evelyn and Eregor.

“Shall we Dance?” he queried, green flickering from his eyes.

(Written with Eregor and Evelyn's wonderful players :D)
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Re: Time Is On My Side

Post by Pharlen » Sat Mar 28, 2020 7:26 pm

“Why not? I’ve been told I’m a fair dancer, even now.” Eregor turned to look at Evelyn beside him, giving her a half-shrug, and then returned his attention to the bow-tied figure. “So you and yours are having difficulty with RhyDin, is that it?”

In spite of her storied reputation across eleven hundred and one separate universes, whispers of a madwoman with an infinite capacity for trouble and an equal capacity for saving someone from it, Evelyn Augusta Bell was frowning at a PSP in her hands, appearing entirely absorbed by it. Bright lights played across her face as the screen flickered, beeped and hummed.

“Indeed.” That sharp grin grew wider. “It’s well past time to do something about it.”

Eregor shook his head slowly, a wry chuckle on his lips. “Pharlen was more right than even she realized. Your realities are on you, just as ours are on us, and the realities of everyone in RhyDin are on each of them. Are you so blinded by your own power that you can’t see this?”

Green eyes narrowed ominously. “Watch yourself. I’ve already dealt with one uppity Time Lord tonight. I’ve no qualms about making it two.”

“Ah, there it is!” With a smirk, Eregor looked to Evelyn once more. “Threats! The first refuge of the idiot.” He gave her a wink as she looked up from the PSP, her expression unreadable; she may have been questioning his sanity, or she may simply have decided to roll with it.

“...what?”

That got a laugh. “I said you’re an idiot. You talk about your power and make a flashy show of sending Pharlen elsewhere, when we both know that she’ll be back when she’s ready. So unless you’re willing to kill us, what can you really do?” Deep brown eyes stared defiantly into the flashing green of the entity before them. “Because that’s what it will take, you know.”

That knife-edged smile returned. “Don’t tempt me.”

“Oh, I don’t mean the two of us here. Three if you count Pharlen. No, I meant everyone.” He waited a moment to let his meaning sink in, then sighed when it clearly did not. “In RhyDin? Honestly, you’d have to eliminate them all, utterly. If you can.” The Time Lord gestured to the various crates and boxes all around them. “RhyDin is like this place, in a way. It’s a collection of wonders. Not one single pocket dimension, but an infinitude of them. Every person there brings their own reality with them, they overlap and shape one another, and sometimes they conflict, sometimes they mesh perfectly. RhyDin is a collaborative reality, and while you may well impress the hell out of a good chunk of its populace, there will always be those who remain, and believe, and share their realities. So, really, what do you hope to accomplish here?”

A long, chilly silence settled, until a distant heterodyne tone began to register in their hearing range. The demon - or whatever he was - ticked and tocked his gaze from Eregor to Evelyn.

“What I do is what I do, you slippery little souls gathering up all the power that gets shat out by the realities and thinking you can do whatever you like with it, rewriting entire courses of history and setting everything up for your own pleasure, and you think I am not going to come for some of that? All of that? You’re absolute beginners in this and all the realities.”

He had managed to catch Pharlen off guard, or so he believed. He didn’t like Eregor mentioning that the Mariner was likely to return whenever she damn well deemed necessary. She had that bad habit.

“But I will be truthful, I, and all of we, have never tasted such a creature as dear, sweet, Evelyn. Let us amend that--”

He seemed to grow, his face becoming a vast plane, white and leering, a split tongue rolling out of a doorway of a mouth to snake towards Evelyn. Maybe she would be delicious.

“You know I can hear you, you can knock that off any time now,” Evelyn snapped without once taking her eyes off of her PSP screen. It stopped the lolling tongue short.

“ ‘M thorry?” the vast white plane managed to crack like lightning more than roll like thunder, even with an open-mouthed lisp.

“Oh!” Evelyn blinked. “I didn’t see you there. Hello! Nice to meet you! No one’s ever mentioned my having an interesting taste— here, try these instead,” and she palmed the gaming console so she could turn out one of her pockets over the extended tongue. A gallon bag of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans (plus a few old mothballs) spilled onto it, and it withdrew as the massive face appeared massively screwed up, wincing and sputtering. “Compliments of the Cotswold Allegoreon!

“Anyway. You were interrupting me, and I was saying something to someone important...” The green-eyed demon sneered, immediately preceding a sharp retort, and Evelyn flapped her hand. “No, no, it definitely wasn’t you.” The being looked offended. Could a Power-That-Be look hurt? Evelyn wasn’t sure. She glanced at Eregor uncertainly. “You...? No...”

The PSP chirruped insistently. Evelyn remembered; so said her expression and the way she exclaimed, “Oh! Right. Yes, there’s no need for that noise, that high string going eeeeeeee, I get the hint but I was working on that answer,” and she tapped the clear shoulder buttons to indicate her gameplay, “before you even started the riddle. The dulcimer can make a number of wonderfully high-pitched sounds that are, I’m sorry to say, kind of irritating,” with an apologetic wince, “and very difficult to focus past and work through.”

“Well, I’m sorry to have inconvenienced you!” The face had become thirteen faces now, all wrought from cold blue stone like sarcophagus lids and echoing terribly, forked snake-tongues lashing about as liquid currents of fire and even more unstable currents of electricity crackled around them.

And Evelyn, once again, appeared surprised to see him, or them, in this case. “Oh, no, you’re fine!” she assured him with a brilliant smile. “You’re the kind of mild irritation I got very used to working in an academic field, men who think they know everything. But the women are talking now!” This drew a puzzled expression from the faces. “You don’t understand! That’s okay. That’s why listening is very important.

“Dulcimers have a wonderful low end, too,” she continued as she flipped her PSP around as she depressed a few buttons at once, revealing what looked to be a musical composition game with bright, flickering notes. “Let’s give him a demonstration, shall we?” All throughout the warehouse, dozens of musical automata with painted faces and little instruments of their own to play raised their mechanical arms.

Thirteen pairs of terrible green eyes widened at once.

Evelyn smiled prettily. Then she released the buttons.



(Written with Eregor and Evelyn's Players :3)
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