Crosslink





An angular spacecraft arrived in Tolikra on the very same day I had.
Perhaps this was fate. More likely, it was a coincidence.

A spacecraft zooming in from above, and then hovering over a clear space in a junkyard.

ADDIE:
This is it! This is Tolikra, the exact city I was looking for!

Addie seems to attract coincidences.
She is, in short, extraordinarily lucky.

Let me just touch down, and then I'll see if I can find him.

View from the front of Addie's ship.
I wonder where in the city he could be?
Should I just wander around until I run into him?

She paused thoughtfully with her finger on the snout of her helmet.

I guess it doesn't matter! The first step is to get this helmet off!


View from the front of Addie's ship, from further away, showing a man at the nose of the ship, and a house across the street.
With a hiss of air, she pulled the helmet off, and took a deep breath as the ship's engines wound down.

Gosh... I wonder what he's like?
He must be great, otherwise I wouldn't have...
I'm so excited that I can barely breathe.

A flash of panic hit Addie suddenly.
How could she have been so careless?

Or... wait, is that the air??
Oh no, is the air toxic???
Oh god, I didn't... I didn't check the atmosphere before I-

Addie holds a round communicator and shouts into it.
Addie pulled out the communicator that had been given to her by the one who sent her on this journey.

Mage, Mage, this is Fox, come in Mage!

As always, the voice on the other end responded instantly.

COMMUNICATOR:
Hey, Addie. Did you arrive safely?

Is the air safe??

Addie, come on now. It's our home planet.

Now just a minute. Our??

Yes, our. I was born there and so were you.
The only difference between this place and the place you grew up is thirty years and a few thousand miles.
It's the same planet you should be used to. So take a deep breath. I assure you, it's safe to do so.

Shush! Why have you never told me you're from Mersia?
Do you have any idea how much more quickly I could have trusted you?

It just never came up. Now, don't you have somebody to go look for?
Don't waste your time out there talking to me.
... Or are you homesick?

Hey. Don't go giving yourself so much credit, Mister Mage.
...
But... There might be something to that. Mersia or not, I've... never been in this town before.
My hometown is on the other side of the country. I've never met anyone here. What if they don't like me?

Everybody ends up liking you.
Why, remember that one planet we visited a couple years ago, Earth.
The people there couldn't get enough of you!

I don't want that kind of attention!!
Ever again!!
They kept saying "touch fluffy tail", what did that even mean?
Nobody would explain it to me! I never want to go through that again.

Regardless, we're getting off-track.
Try not to call me unless it's absolutely necessary. Not that I don't love hearing from you!
But, Addie, you need to learn some self-sufficiency. You might lose the communicator someday.
A million different things could happen, and we can't plan for all of them.
But we can always try our hardest. We can always push ourselves that little bit further.
No matter what happens on your journey, Addie...
Don't worry about the future or get hung up on the past.
Focus on the present, focus on where you are and who you're with, and remember to smile.


But that's... Heh.

Did I say something funny?

You just... that sounded like... Never mind.
Thank you for the advice.
Over and out, Mage.

There are many titles for the one who Addie spoke to.
But of all the names he could be referred to by, "Mage" is perhaps the most apt.
That is all you need to know of him, and all I shall tell you. He is a mage. A powerful one.

Background: Addie standing up in her ship, with the windshield raised. Foreground: A rabbit man sitting on the ground, looking up at Addie.
My adventure begins here.
... This is my first time exploring on my own.
I'm a little nervous!
But I've never seen myself smile like that before.
There has to be something about those people.
I don't know whether to call this destiny, or something else.

As for why she chose to climb onto the roof of her spaceship, I cannot say.
Perhaps it was simply to get a better look at her surroundings.
Perhaps she wanted to be seen.
Perhaps she merely felt like it, and that was all.

Background: Addie standing up in her ship, with the windshield raised. Foreground: A rabbit man sitting on the ground, looking up at Addie.
There is only one certainty.
Addie had arrived.

I'll find you.
I'll find you, Marcel!

Addie and I were not the only two who would begin a journey on this day.
There was a certain surgeon from a distant land, who had called this city home for the past year.
His journey would be of a different sort: leaving his comfort zone for once.



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