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- "I... I'm heading where!?" Slaix asked, stunned.
- The two had retreated towards the back of the store, which Future Slaix used as his bedroom and lair. A large computer was shoved in the corner, with plenty of data currently being analyzed as the monitor showed. Next to it were two cylindrical pods, the tops of which were open to reveal complex circuitry and wiring inside. Beyond that, various gadgets and bits of machinery were laid out across the room, some of which almost formed a pile.
- Slaix's future self sat on his bed, sighing at his past self's lack of understanding.
- "And here I thought I was a fairly good listener. But it seems there's always an exception to the rule," Future Slaix responded, a bit of sarcasm in his voice. "But no matter, it won't change no matter how many times I say it. We're heading to the thread that contains your story in it. The one you were writing, well... To me, it's getting on around 6 years ago? I'm sure you remember the one, yes?"
- "Well, yeah! With Alex and Xavier and everyone else, but how is it here? If I got banned on Crisis, which was extended to here... How could I post it at all?"
- "You didn't. At least, not on Kagero. I'm sure you can put together the pieces from here, correct?"
- "...It's a remnant from Crisis, isn't it? Just like Celera and many of those other deleteds?"
- "Indeed, and it's also one of the few stable areas left," Future Slaix explained, "It's probably due to how much energy is going around inside there. You didn't seem to place many limits on your upper-tier characters, after all. It's not too surprising all that energy allows it to sustain itself."
- Slaix stood there, processing the information. Could his story really be here? He put it out of his mind temporarily; there was something that needed to be asked first.
- "But why are we going there? If it can sustain itself, then..."
- A knowing smile crossed Future Slaix's face. "Even if it can sustain itself, I never said how long it was able to do so. Ever since the forum crash, the imagination, the spark that held that world together... Has vanished. It's almost as if that world's god has vanished, letting the people within to fend for themselves."
- "No... How bad is the situation?" Slaix asked, an obvious expression of worry beginning to form.
- "Oh, so far, it's mostly stable. Alex has taken up where you left off, so they were able to hold on for a long while. But even his energy is finite, and simply cannot replace your spark. As we speak, the amount of energy in that universe is slowly being drained. ...Within a week, it will begin to collapse."
- [i]I don't believe this... First I get told my story exists, here, on this forum, and then that it'll collapse within a week if I don't get there to fix things? Why...[/i]
- "Why didn't you go?" Slaix asked. "You have all the knowledge of that story as well! You could've gone, couldn't you?"
- "Sadly... I cannot. Over the years, working on all of this," he paused, indicating all of his work around the room, "I have lost the drive on that project. The spark that could fuel the thread is gone inside me. Only you can restore it to its former glory now."
- Slaix didn't pause as he reached the only conclusion he could come up with.
- "We need to leave. Now."
- By the time they had left, Corona, Lena, and Xenith had been long gone. The two of them descended into the subway system beneath the forum, Future Slaix looking at the wall in front of them carefully.
- "Let's see... Ah, yes, it's this brick. That's where they're hidden."
- He gestured to what appeared to be a random brick in the wall, but a closer inspection revealed an "S" carved in it. With a single push, the brick receded into the wall... Along with a large section around it. The wall slid to the left, revealing two vehicles nestled in the hidden space.
- "These are..."
- "Motorcycles. I believe you've ridden one before, yes? These will be our transports to the Writing forum."
- "Couldn't we just take the Forum Hopper? It got all of us here pretty reliably. Plus, we even got dinner to boot!"
- "No." Future Slaix answered sombrely. "That train... It does not exist solely in this plane. You apparently were lucky in the time it took to get here. While it is a very fast transport, once you get on the train itself, all sense of time is gone. We could feel years pass by before we even got there, even if the ride itself took mere minutes. Granted, it could also feel as if we were travelling only a few seconds for an hour long trip, but I do not want to take the chance."
- Picking the larger of the two motorcycles, Future Slaix sat down and began to turn it on.
- "Now come along. Follow me and I'll make sure we get there fairly quickly."
- Slaix nodded, committing the facts to his own memory as he sat on the smaller motorcycle. Within moments, the duo was off, whizzing through the subway tunnels as their destination came closer and closer each second.
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