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In the so-called Land of the Free #Jaya #Kira

Steph
 

Who: Jaya
With: Kira, Open
Where: New York City --> Some stranger's garden, Artisan's Quarter, King's City
When: Sunset, Tuesday, March 11th, 872 RoK

"If I'm not back tonight, I'm fine. Might be staying with a friend!" Jaya called out as she stood in the apartment doorway, ready to open the door and head out. "Left a twenty on the counter to help with communal groceries." 
 
She knew Kira was in the apartment, probably working on one of her art projects, and although she didn't view her roommates as a tight-knit family, they were still living together. It paid to be courteous and contribute to things they all used--like toilet paper. Plus she didn't want anyone calling the police to report her missing.
 
As she left the apartment, she didn't think twice about the fact that her cell phone was still charging on the counter near that twenty dollar bill. Her mind was too pre-occupied with Eventyr thoughts. She just hoped that she found a fairy circle close by. She didn't want to miss the big announcement. Who was going to be the new ruler of Eventyr?
 
Down the stairs, to the ground floor, out onto the street, and away. Jaya often started out by checking the small community garden nestled in near some of the apartment buildings on their street, a little patch of green in the concrete jungle. It didn't always pay off.
 
But, just her luck, in between the beds of whatever vegetables the neighborhood had planted, a ring of flowers had bloomed--not super obvious, but Jaya knew what to look for. She strode into the circle and braced herself for the change, concentrating on the mental image of the King's City.
 
When she stepped through on the other side, she found herself in a well-kept flower garden, dressed as usual in Eventyr-style clothes and swathed in her signature cloak of shadows. Artisan's Quarter or maybe Noble Quarter, from the quality of things, she figured. The announcement was taking place in the Merchant's Quarter, so she'd have some walking to do either way.
 
Rather than dwell too long in a garden that could very well belong to some rich toff who would call the guard on her, Jaya lifted the hood up over her head and stepped out of the flower bed toward the low wall, spotting the gate that would let her out onto the street. The gate's lock was simple and familiar, the kind you could just flick open from the inside but couldn't reach from the outside. It would close behind her after she left, and hopefully no one would be any wiser for it.
 
She opened the gate, moved out onto the street, and started to gather her bearings...
 
<Tag!>

Stone
 

Who: Kira
With: Jaya, Open
Where: New York City --> Some stranger's garden, Artisan's Quarter, King's City
When: Sunset, Tuesday, March 11th, 872 RoK

Kira had grabbed a nearby hand-towel that was spotted in various paint stains, using it to clear what she had gotten onto her hands. This piece was nearly finished... though she was going to have to wait for this layer to dry before continuing. Hopefully that last client would still be interested in purchasing another painting after requesting the last one.

When she heard Jaya speak up she was quick to stand and peak her head out of the door to her room. "Okay, enjoy your time out!" 
 
Kira moved out of the room as her roommate left. Only pausing to tossing the rag back where she had kept it on a small table. It wasn't unusual for her to be gone for short periods of time, so she didn't necessarily think much of it. Though when she reached where Jaya had left the money out, she spotted her phone still charging beside it. Kira snatched it from where it rested on the counter before slipping on a pair of shoes and rushing out the door. It would make sense that she'd need this. 
 
Exiting the building out onto the street, it took her a moment to catch the very last of Jaya as she walked off. The streets were still lively, so she didn't bother trying to call her name. Instead, she simply began to try and follow and see if she could manage to catch up. 
 
Soon enough, Kira saw Jaya paused before the community garden bed that managed to remain despite the growing cold. "Jaya!" She finally called out. "You forgot-!..." Her voice died in her throat as she blinked.
 
She... disappeared?

That didn't make much sense. She had been standing right here, but when she had walked forward... "Jaya?" Kira called out again. There wasn't anything for her to hide behind, and if she had ran off she would've seen where she went.
 
She entered the patch of green a little further, obviously moving through the ring of flowers that had taken Jaya a couple of moments earlier.
 
When Kira came out on the other side, the scene change was jarring. Immediately she stopped and took a moment to orient herself. The garden was much more elaborate and well-groomed, and the skyline that was normally chock-full of buildings was now clear. Wide eyed she took a step forward before noticing that her clothing had also changed. The best way she could describe it now was... archaic? A simple dress that was of a similar length to the one she had been wearing, but of a completely different fabric and diluted navy color.
 
After examining herself and tearing her gaze from her surroundings, Kira saw that there was someone standing at the gate to the garden she had found herself in. On a whim she asked "Jaya?" though her tone had drastically shifted to something much more unsure. They didn't exactly look familiar from this angle, but she was hopeful, if only to have someone explain what had just happened. 

Steph
 

Who: Jaya
With: Kira, Open
Where: Artisan's Quarter, King's City
When: Sunset, Tuesday, March 11th, 872 RoK

When Jaya heard her name behind her in that familiar voice, she immediately turned around, eyebrows furrowed, and she let her hood drop. Over time, her cloak had gotten more and more magical, and she knew that nowadays the hood covered her face in unnatural deep shadows. Even without the hood hiding her face, she looked different than she did on Earth--a little shorter, a lot more boyish, and she kept her dark hair short so that it would stay out of her way. Maybe the physical features were different, but her mannerisms were much the same.

The thing was, the woman standing in the garden, just outside the fairy circle that Jaya had used to cross through, looked more or less exactly the same. Eventyr-style clothes, but it was the same Kira, holding a familiar little leather bound book in her hand. When Jaya came through with her cell phone in her pocket, she always ended up with that book on this side.

"Kira?" she asked in return. She was part tempted to push Kira back through the fairy circle to the other side, just to be sure it was really her, but when she looked down at the ground, she saw the circle of flowers wilting away, its magic all spent.

"It's... it's me. I know it doesn't look like me, but it is." She waved for Kira to follow her out of the garden with one hand, holding the gate wide with the other. "Come on, we don't want to get caught standing around in some rich merchant's garden. They'll call for guards, we'll get arrested, it's no fun, trust me."

<Tag!>

Stone
 

Who: Kira

With: Jaya, Open

Where: Artisan's Quarter, King's City

When: Sunset, Tuesday, March 11th, 872 RoK


When the figure turned around and displayed their face, they were familiar but considerably different at the same time. Though when she responded with her name in turn and confirmed that it was indeed her, she relaxed... somewhat. At least this was her, strange appearance or not.


Kira didn’t hesitate when she waved her over, walking the short distance from where she stood in the garden and through the gate to the street outside. She kept her focus on the woman she knew, though saying she wasn’t distracted by the sights around her was quite the understatement.


As her gaze drifted down to the phone-turned-book still clasped in her hand, she spoke up. “You forgot your phone when you left. I was going to bring it to you when you... disappeared...” Kira trailed off. There were tons of questions she wanted to ask right now, though she forced herself to hold her tongue. One thing at a time was likely best.

Steph
 

Who: Jaya
With: Kira, Open
Where: Artisan's Quarter, King's City
When: Sunset, Tuesday, March 11th, 872 RoK

Jaya couldn't tell whether Kira was just incredibly level-headed about suddenly finding herself in a strange new place holding a book in her hand instead of a cell phone, or if maybe it was her reaction to the shock of the change, but either way, she was grateful that Kira followed her out onto the street and mostly kept her voice down.

The cobblestones on the street were even and relatively level, good-quality, well-maintained. It was definitely Artisan's Quarter cobblestone work. Now she just had to figure out where in the Artisan's Quarter she was, and from there, then she could try and find another fairy circle to get Kira back home. Or a reputable tavern to settle in, share drinks, and explain.

Explain how, though?

"Okay, for starters, my cell phone is now that book in your hand. I'm still me. You're still you." Jaya paused, looking at Kira again. "You're really pretty much exactly the same. That's... got to make this a lot less disorienting for you. My first time, well.. look at me here." She paused in her walking, to wave a hand up and down her square boyish form. "That was the weirdest part. I... bet you have a lot of questions?"

<Tag!>

Stone
 

Who: Kira
With: Jaya, Open
Where: Artisan's Quarter, King's City
When: Sunset, Tuesday, March 11th, 872 RoK

Kira was trying her best to remain calm. For the most part she achieved that externally, though the anxiousness and confusion she felt bleed through into her tone and expression. She gripped the book tightly, biting her lip. 

As Jaya mentioned that she looked the same, she couldn’t help but glance down at herself once more. Of course, she didn’t exactly have a mirror to check, but it was comforting to know. Kira nodded in response once she dragged up her eyes that had drifted to the cobblestone streets.

When she asked if she had any questions, Kira’s lips twisted into a sheepish smile. “I-I do...” There were a lot of things she wanted to know. However after sorting out her thoughts, she waited a moment. “Where... are we?” It was undoubtedly a strange thing to ask. Her voice was quiet and unsure which, given the current circumstances, was understandable.

Steph
 

Who: Jaya
With: Kira, Open
Where: Artisan's Quarter, King's City
When: Sunset, Tuesday, March 11th, 872 RoK

As they walked, Jaya wasn't the least bit surprised to pass by a street vendor hawking meat pies for anyone who passed by. She could just imagine food critic Brielle turning her nose up at the smell of them, able to name just what spices were too heavy-handed. Brielle, who was Brandy. And now... Kira.

There were a few people milling around with those pies in hand, eating them like they were perfectly okay pies, though. Jaya shook her head, trying to focus. The pies were a distraction. Her roommate was in Eventyr!

>>>
“Where... are we?” It was undoubtedly a strange thing to ask.
>>>

"This is the Artisan's Quarter of the King's City in the land of Eventyr," Jaya answered. "The most well-kept secret fantasy getaway in all of New York City." She picked up her pace a little bit, turned down a street that would take them more northward, toward the Merchant's Quarter. "You know how sometimes I go spend a couple of days with friends? My friends include a literal noble sheriff and his party of adventurers who go running around slaying monsters and saving damsels. Right now, I'm a little late to a big announcement. They're about to choose a new king--or queen! Since there's not a bunch of chanting and celebrating in the streets, I'm guessing they haven't made it yet..."

Which was strange, considering how late it looked to be getting. Just past sunset, already! She looked over at Kira. "Do I sound crazy? I bet I sound crazy. We could get some drinks. Or I know a good bakery. Or, one of those meat pies back there?"

<Tag!>

Vincent Gonzales
 

Who: Bridgette
With: Kira, Jaya, Open
Where: Artisan's Quarter, King's City
When: Sunset, Tuesday, March 11th, 872 RoK

Despite her best efforts upon their safe return to the Eastern Forest, word had spread among the Small Folk like wildfire of the adventure the Red Witch had taken Asteria on. Bridgette wasn't exactly sure how it spread so fast, given that pixies didn't speak, but it was only a matter of days before she'd found herself being pestered by the a gaggle of pixies to take them on her next adventure.


They'd be all around her when she woke and when she laid her head down to rest. She found herself nearly surrounded by fairy circles constantly, and could hear the gentle flutter of dozens of wings as she went about her business. Finally, she had relented.


She made no promises but transport to the Kings City for one day, and transport back. And, so it was that she found herself stepping through a fairy circle with a napsack (of fairy make, of course) holding four adventurous pixies who peaked out of the opening with eager anticipation. “Out of sight, little ones. You know the rules,” she muttered, eyeing her surroundings.


The fairy circle at her feet had seen its last use, in some rich Merchant's garden in the Artisan District, but with the number of pixies she was travelling with, that was hardly of concern. The sound of crowds killing about the city filled her with that familiar sense of longing she'd had every time she came back here, but she reminded herself that these streets were no longer her home.


Jaya: "Do I sound crazy? I bet I sound crazy. We could get some drinks. Or I know a good bakery. Or, one of those meat pies back there?”


Bridgette heard a familiar voice as she rounded a corner and smiled instinctually, approaching the young hooded woman she'd traveled with so recently.


“No crazier than asking the Witch of the South to clear the lands of cursed storms, surely,” she responded with a grin even as her eyes took in the stranger. “You have many friends, Jaya. Does she know the pirate captain as well?”


Tags!


Stone
 

Who: Kira
With: Jaya, Bridgette, Open
Where: Artisan's Quarter, King's City
When: Sunset, Tuesday, March 11th, 872 RoK

Kira did her best to keep up with what Jaya was saying. It would've been a bit more difficult to believe, but since she was actually experiencing whatever this was herself, it made it a little easier. 

Naturally, she was heavily distracted with the scenery around her. She tried to pay attention though her gaze was constantly shifting from her roommate to everything but. The buildings made of stone and wood. The passersby in antiquated clothing. Even the scent of the meatpies were momentarily distracting considering she hadn't eaten anything all day.

Managing to force herself to focus, she nodded slowly. Kings and Queens, adventurers slaying monsters... It sounded like something out of a book or movie! She opened her mouth to reply but couldn't as another woman approached them and addressed them. Unsure how to respond, or even if she should, she remained silent. It likely a better idea that she let Jaya do the talking for now.

Steph
 

Who: Jaya
With: Kira, Bridgette, Open
Where: Artisan's Quarter, King's City
When: Sunset, Tuesday, March 11th, 872 RoK

Jaya decided to interpret Kira's silence as a sign that she was listening attentively and willing to accept this new reality. Arguments or opposition would have been more vocal, probably. Maybe. Jaya didn't have a whole lot to go off of.

She gave a laugh--part out of the snap of stress in the current circumstances, part relief, part amusement, when Red appeared practically out of thin air and came forth to greet her.

"No, she doesn't know Zaire," Jaya said to Bridgette, walking back toward the meat pie seller. Food would help make everything more real, more solid. Food was a good idea, she decided. She pulled out a coin from her pocket and passed it over to the seller, who didn't even try to engage her in conversation. He was hustling along, trying to get buyers, and just shoved the pie in her hand before hurrying on down the street. Weird.

"Red, this is Kira. She's a friend from out of town. Kira, this is Red, one of the people i've had the pleasure of adventuring with here in Eventyr," Jaya said. She broke off part of the meat pie and took a bite, holding the rest out for Kira. "Promise, it won't bite. The food here tends to be pretty good."

<Tag!>

Vincent Gonzales
 

Who: Bridgette
With: Kira, Jaya
Where: Artisan's Quarter, King's City
When: Sunset, Tuesday March 11th, 872 RoK

"Hi Kira," Red said with a polite nod, eyeing the seemingly confused young woman. "Most of the food is pretty good," she agreed, though she eyed the meat pie dubiously. "I prefer something a little less...meat-y, personally, but don't let that stop you!" 

Someone jostled past Red at that moment and she turned to see the man stumble off, his clothes disheveled, his feet barely leaving the ground as he muttered what she assumed was an apology. "You're excused..." she said with a sigh, turning back to Jaya and her friend. "So what brings you back to the city? More adventures?"

tags!

Steph
 

Who: Jaya
With: Kira, Bridgette, Open
Where: Artisan's Quarter, King's City
When: Sunset, Tuesday, March 11th, 872 RoK

>>>>
"So what brings you back to the city? More adventures?"
>>>>

Jaya was still holding the meatt pie out for Kira to take when something about the weight of the food in her stomach suddenly shifted in that uncomfortable way that often heralded the need for some PeptoBismol. She looked at the pie with a frown and pulled it back away from Kira.

"Maybe Red's right about meat today. I've barely swallowed this and something's not sitting right," she said, shaking her head. She might have attributed the sensation to her nerves. After all, who knew how this was going to change her relationship with her roommate? Kira was being pretty understanding so far, bu Eventyr was a weird place. A dangerous place. Except, Jaya had been nervous enough times in her life to know the slight differences in the way the stomach pangs came across.

"I'm mostly here for the big announcement. The Royal General and Royal Scholar haven't made it yet, have they? Do you know?" she asked. She glanced around for some kind of trash can, somewhere she could dispose of the bad meat pie. And as she did, she saw someone else who'd bought a pie urn and start retching on the side of the street.

She also noticed that, for some reason, the people around her looked... different than they had a moment before. More... something. She licked her lips instinctively.

"Yeah, uhm, maybe don't eat his." She looked back toward Kira. A weird though flashed across her mind. Maybe she could eat Kira, instead?

She took a step toward her roommate and dropped the meat pie on the ground, her vision and attention tunneling in on how very delicious Kira looked....

<Tag!>

Stone
 

Who: Kira
With: Jaya, Bridgette, Open
Where: Artisan's Quarter, King's City
When: Sunset, Tuesday, March 11th, 872 RoK

Kira nodded in acknowledgement to Red's greeting, though wasn't able to verbally respond when the meat pie being offered to her was taken back. Of course, she didn't necessarily mind, instead opting to listen to the two converse instead. 

The discussion of Royals and some type of announcement being made today was interesting, but her attention was being drawn elsewhere. People expelling the contents of their stomach with the pies in hand. She swore she even saw someone get tackled by another. It was the scream that rang out from the individual which startled her the most. 

Jumping slightly, Kira moved a little closer towards Jaya. She didn't know much about this place but how people were acting didn't exactly bode well. 

"I wasn't..." She trailed off as she looked up and met Jaya's gaze. There was an unnatural hunger coupled with very small amounts of recognition.

As she took a step forward, Kira took a half step back, though it didn't set the two that far apart. Her eyes shifted from her roommate, to the meat pie, and then back again as a worried expression overtook her features.

Nervously Kira asked "Jaya? Are... you okay?" Though she already figured that it was a reasonably worthless question. 

Steph
 

Who: Jaya

With: Kira, Bridgette, Open

Where: Artisan's Quarter, King's City

When: Sunset, Tuesday, March 11th, 872 RoK

>>>>

"Jaya? Are... you okay?" Though she already figured that it was a reasonably worthless question. 

>>>>

How something could simultaneously feel so natural, so right, and so soul-wrenchingly wrong at the same time, Jaya didn't know. She didn't know--or really care--why a nasty brawl was starting to break out between several others who'd been eating the same meat pies as her. She didn't really care that there was something of a chorus of screams starting to pick up somewhere in a distance--far enough away that the sound wasn't exactly clear but still odd and piercing on a day that should have been celebratory.

Kira was her roommate. Kira was a living, breathing human being.

Kira was food.

She took another lurching step forward and reached out for Kira, but then suddenly pulled her arms in tight around herself, in horror of what she was thinking. But why would it be horrible? Eating was natural. A part of life. And wasn't someone as absolutely lovely as Kira worthy of becoming food?

Jaya's gut churned at the thoughts that were running through her, or it churned because of the tainted meat pie she'd jus eaten, or some miix of the two.

"I... really, really want to eat you right now," Jaya said, very literally between clenched teeth. She wasn't sure what would happen if she let her jaw unclench, or if she stopped holding onto herself. With all the skills she'd gained over these last years in Eventyr, she doubted that Kira or anyone else could stop her. "I... think you need to run. Now."

<Tag!>

Stone
 

Who: Kira
With: Jaya, Bridgette, Open
Where: Artisan's Quarter, King's City
When: Sunset, Tuesday, March 11th, 872 RoK

When Jaya lurched towards her, she stumbled back. 

”You...” she tried but couldn’t bring herself to finish the phrase, eyes a bit wider now. The attacks she had seen happening around her now made sense... sort of. But even then, it was a ridiculous concept to wrap her mind around.

Much like being told to run when she hadn’t even been in Eventyr for a half an hour.

“But, where? Jaya what happening?” Her tone was taught with confusion and, notably, fear as well.

Kira glanced around. She likely should run, because if someone did want to eat her it was the best option she had. At the same time, she had very little idea of where she was and where she would be going with Jaya being the only person she knew. 

Not all that she what to do, she stepped back again. However, with the growing panic and people rushing to get out of what apparently were similar situations, Kira backed into someone. That someone then decided to shove her in an attempt to get through the chaos a little quicker.

Due to the force of the push, she was sent right into Jaya.