Despite being nearly squashed beneath her space ship,
having his t-shirt ruined, and being held at swordpoint,
Baron was surprisingly affable in the face of this ridiculous chain of events.
He had invited Addie in for a cup of tea so she could explain what was happening.

Baron pours a cup of dark green tea in the foreground as Addie poses with her legs crossed, a hand draped over the back of her chair, and her other hand on her raised knee. Her ship is visible outside of the window.
Look at you, Mister level-headed.
A space alien comes down and almost squishes you like a bug,
and you're all "Pardons mistress, wouldst thou desirest a cup of tea?"

Your mouth is as sharp a weapon as your sword... But sheathe it before I kick you out.
I'm not joking, if you don't move your ship, I'll melt it in my foundry.

Yeah, yeah... I'll move it after I get what I've come for.
I'm used to showing up, kicking butt, and taking heads when I land.
It's been a while since the last time I came here, you know. To Mersia.

Right, what was that you'd said?
Tasting your blade ten times before his... "meat" hit the ground?
What, uh... What exactly do you do, Addie?

I could tell ya, but then I'd have to kill ya!

Alright, fine, be coy. Whatever. Can you at least tell me why you landed in my yard?
I think I deserve to know at least that much.

I'm looking for a man named Marcel Tano.

Well, well. You nearly found him.

What do you mean, nearly?

I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.

Oh, you think you can?

I was just following your lead on the casual death threats there.
You're obviously a freak of nature.

Is that any way to speak to a guest?
I'll have you know I am a freak of science.

You set the tone, not me.

Very well... My name is Addie. Addie Naurum.

Baron Potter, pleased to make your acquaintance.

So what was that about "nearly" finding him?

Tell me why you're looking for Marcel, and I'll decide how much to say.

I suppose this is fair. I had read about him, and I wanted to meet him in person.

Oh! You must be a fan of his wrestling.

His what?


Baron sets a steaming hot cup of tea down next to Addie, while she gazes sheepishly out of the window to her left, avoiding eye contact.
... Oh riiiiight!
His wrestling!
He's a wrestler!
Doy!! Silly me!

Right. His wrestling.
Surely a super fan like you who came all the way from space knows his wrestler name.
Anybody from this planet would know what name he wrestled under, after all.

Wrestling name... Marcel's wrestling name...

Addie looked up at Baron as she opened her mouth to speak, gauging his facial expression.
His composure had not yet broken. She concluded that "Ma" was indeed the correct first syllable.
Whether this was luck, or her simply guessing, Baron couldn't yet tell.
Addie, encouraged by his expression, boldly spat out the rest of her guess.

Marshi-wan Tanobi.



They stared at each other for a moment. Baron sat down and took a sip of his tea.
He sighed.

Are you absolutely certain you're not an alien?
Do I need to get my gun?

Wait! Wait! No gun! I'm not here to be violent!
I'm here to do the opposite of violence!
I'll... I'll prove I'm a Sape!

Addie boldly climbed forward onto Baron's table, and unzipped the front of her suit.
She winked. Baron froze, unsure of what he was supposed to do in this situation.
Well, he knew what he had to do,
but he wasn't expecting this to be the situation he was in.

Baron sets a steaming hot cup of tea down next to Addie, while she gazes sheepishly out of the window to her left, avoiding eye contact.
I'll strip naked right now and let you examine my entire body...
Wouldn't you... Like that?
You're straight, right?

I am.

Then... Would you-

And I'm married, so cut the shit.

What! Married?? You were about to let me get naked in front of you!
How dare you! What would your wife think?

I did not ask you to undress.
I didn't even suggest that I wanted you to undress.
That was 100% you.

Addie sat back down, took a sip of tea, and eventually decided she was in the wrong.

I'm sorry for being such a handful.

You're not sorry.

Yeah, I guess I'm not.

The Masked Mountain.

The wha-huh?

It's his stage name. Marcel's. That's the name he's famous as.
He's a legend down here in Mersia, especially in Aden.
There's not a person in this country who hasn't heard of him at some point.
He was a legendary, undefeated heel... that's a villain character in pro wrestling.
The only reason he was never the champion was because he was never allowed to be.
He was that good...
That's why I was willing to believe you showed up from space because you were a fan of his.

Well, here I am! I'm here!

I don't buy that.

But you saw my ship!

I did. I believe you're from space.
In fact, you're a true space cadet, in every sense of the term.

Oh, wow! Thank you!

Okay, exactly.
Anyways. I believe you came from space.
I believe you're not here to harm Marcel.
I even believe you're serious about just wanting to meet him.
But don't expect me to believe your lies.
I know it's not about the wrestling. There's something...
Something you're not telling me. About yourself, about him, about why you're after him.
So either you start telling me the entire truth, or you can cut me down and get lost.
Finish what you started with your sword earlier, and wander the whole world looking for him.

I'm not here to kill anyone today.

What do you mean today??

I'm a bounty hunter. That's the truth. I'm a bounty hunter who's on vacation.

Animation: Addie stands atop a mountain on an alien world, across a blood red lake, with a glowing green city beyond. She holds a sword at her side, and it drips blood towards her feet. The blood forms a river which flows down the mountain past many white cross-shaped gravestones.
When I was 18, I was kidnapped from my home. I spent the last 11 years in space.
The one who kidnapped me taught me how to sword-fight, and trained me to become strong.
I've hunted hundreds of heads, criminals, terrorists, slavers, gangs...
If there was money to be made by ending their life, I would come for them.
Eventually, I earned a vacation. I chose to come here to this time.

I'll elaborate. There are aspects of her career that even Addie never knew about.

Your ears perk up at the mention of her name.
Being here is hard for you. This world is unrelenting and miserable.
Finding this place had taken you weeks of desolate searching.
Before finding this random cave with this dragon in it, you had lost hope.
You regretted coming to this mutilated orb, alone in the heavens.
You regretted running from your captors. They will come here soon.
But right now, you don't care about that. The present is not cruel.
You are a listener who is being told a story. For right now, the present is good.
This familiar, blind dragon seems to know much of what you've come in search of.
Even here, on this otherwise deserted planet, the light of discovery yet shines on.
If she were here, you know she would be smiling.
You try not to think of her, of where she must be. You shake your head.
Unimportant things. None of that matters now. You have a story to hear.

Addie's prowess was partially due to the one who kidnapped her... The "Mage".
He is a master over time. All is within his reach. The distant past and future both.
From the perspective of those like us... Those bound to live moments in sequence...
Addie would appear to show up on a planet, take a head, collect a bounty, and vanish.
But then, she would appear again many lightyears away, and many hundreds of years later.
The Republic of the Milky Way Galaxy, the acting authority over Mersia even now...
They took notice of Addie, and her tendency to disappear for years at a time.
She became a legend among legends.
A monster passed down in stories, who would get the bad children.
Much about Addie is at this point in the story shrouded in mystery.
But her strength is quite real. And unlike the Mage, she held it responsibly.

Does Marcel have a bounty?

If he did, I wouldn't have been honest about being a bounty hunter.
I'm... I'm not used to being able to be honest about why I'm anywhere.
It's always cover story after cover story. Baron... Can I be honest?

That's all I've been asking for.

Addie rests a hand on Baron's shoulder and stares him in the eyes as she speaks. Baron looks up at Addie, intimidated yet attentive.
You're a little close... Don't you think?

You're the first Sape I've seen face-to-face in eleven years!
I'd forgotten what it feels like to be one of something!
That's the entire reason I came here...
This is going to sound insane, but I came from the future.
My kidnapper is a powerful time traveler who hurled me and my ship into the past.
I don't know what time I came from... It's 540 here, right?

It's the middle of Eregis. Springtime. Why?

This is the crazy part, Baron.
I won't be born for another twelve years.

But why are you here? Why are you looking for Marcel?

I was on the space station, the one I lived on for most of the last 11 years.
I found a book called "The Crosslink Saga", written by Arcturus Ansel.
I found this odd, because it has the same name as an ability I and my teacher...
The one who kidnapped me... both possess. So I opened the book, and I flipped through it.
But something stopped me cold... A picture of myself.
I was standing with five others who I had never met before.
We were heroes. Marcel... well, he stood out. More so than the rest of us.

Because he's tall?

His fur was blue.

His fur was WHAT?

How is that the part that's shocking to you?
Yes, his fur was blue in the picture.
But there was something else about the picture.
I was smiling. I was smiling more sincerely than I'd ever seen myself smile.
I don't think I've ever been as happy as I looked in that picture.

But you've smiled plenty since you came here.

Because I'm excited. I think the ones who I'm supposed to meet will become my friends.
I'm excited to meet them. Wouldn't you feel the same?

I would. I've been a close friend of Marcel's for a few years now.
He's a good man, Addie. If you're one of his friends, he'll always have your back.

So... Will you help me?

... Yeah. Marcel's strong. But he's a sensitive guy, too. Promise you'll be nice to him.

I promise.

Then... There's a bus stop down the road. Fare's free, it's all paid for by taxes.
It's before 4 PM on Yenday, so Marcel would be at Moonbrew Cafe with his sister.
If you're quick, you can get there before he leaves.

Okay! Thank you! I'm going to go right now!

Next bus isn't for another fifteen minutes. For goodness' sake, change your clothes first.
Don't you have anything more... normal?

What's wrong with my outfit?
Hey... you see how it shows off my abs?
How are people gonna know I'm ripped if I'm not wearing this?

T-shirts have always been enough for me to get the point across about my build.
Just change so he doesn't think you're a weirdo. Especially if you mention my name.

Animation: Addie walks towards the camera, her head and shoulders bobbing up and down.
The NERVE of this man!
Any man should be GRATEFUL that I'm dressed like this.
... But it's a bit much to just be walking around...
I... guess I'll change.

Every step she took brought her further from the mage...
Before we continue... I do apologize, but I must tell you why the planet is like this.
All of this that I'm telling you about... It all happened right here. This cave...
It's where, thousands of years ago, Tolikra once stood.


You suddenly feel faint.