:lillian1: We understand there are people these messages are reaching who want to move to our city. We're working on it. Please be patient.

:lillian1: Test? Testing ... okay, good, this is back on. Sometimes it just turns off for a while and we're not sure why. Don't worry if we get quiet for a few days - intercosm communication is anything but reliable.

:lillian1: I don't have a lot to say just now, but ... you know, we're still here.

:lillian1: After some debate, we settled on calling the thing the Heart of Magic. It reminds me of the Heart of Infinity, which is a thing we keep sealed up in the vaults in case the Empire of Logic comes back with its obnoxious walls. We settled on the name "Heart of Magic" because it can turn emotional energy into physical power. The stronger the feelings are of whoever's holding it, the more power it generates, plus it responds to subconscious wishes.

:lillian2: This is incredibly dangerous.

:lillian2: There were ruins in there... which is weird, because the Corps built this whole city somewhere nothing lived. So someone with similar powers to us must have built them recently, to look like ruins.
:lillian1: We've established contact and are now working with our new ally to unlock the secrets of the thing they brought here to protect. They're here to fight the ghosts too, and what they have is a potent weapon if we can just harness it.

:lillian2: We've been having some ghost problems around town lately - these things like flying heads made out of glitchy rectangles. Mostly they just hover around and stare; they're not actively dangerous, but they're very creepy and off-putting.
:lillian1: The expedition into the Near Wild was to find where they were coming from.

:lillian1: We're still here - don't worry about us.
:neena1: In fact, the city's looking pretty good these days. Someone over in the Near Wild discovered something that —
:lillian4: Careful! We don't know who's listening!
:neena1: Ooh, right, sorry. But we can say this much. We found something interesting, and if we can harness its power we might be able to do a lot more good for the people of this city.
:lillian3: Yeah! We just have no idea how it works yet!
:neena1: But it'll be neat.

:neena1: I was just out at the Near Wild, hanging out by Yggdrasil. It's not literally the one from Norse myth, but it earned the nickname fairly - it's gigantic and Vixen's botanists spend a lot of time studying and treating that tree to make sure it stays alive.

Not me. Plants aren't my thing. But I sure can respect their work.

Also, there's this great veggie burger stand near its roots, and a little used bookstore nearby. Great place to go when you have some free time.

:neena1: Hi again! Neena here. It's been a few days, but I thought I'd get on the horn again. The techs who run this thing keep getting called away on missions, so when something breaks it can be some time before we're back on the air.

It's all experimental, so it breaks a lot.

:lillian1: I hope you're all staying safe. The readings I've been getting on this side have been troubling. I can't do anything from here, either.
:lillian2: We haven't found a way to get out to your own world, and we may never. It's frustrating not to know what's going on.
:lillian1: I can only guess what it is that's happening over there. But all I can offer is encouragement. Stay safe, be careful, don't give up hope, and don't give in to panic. I still have a lot I want to ask you about.

:lillian1: I guess I've got the station today. So ... over on our end, this looks like a booth with a camera in it. We speak into a microphone to send messages, and when you respond to us, we get a blurry picture to go with what you say back. It wasn't great, so Neena and I also hooked up some simple sensors so we can get a better idea of who you are out there, too. They don't always work great, but they're better than nothing.

So, any questions?

:lillian1: Oh, there it goes. So, yeah, I'm Lillian Lynx, Comet division. I keep an eye on the energy currents that flow between worlds and try to figure out how things all interact and hopefully what trouble spots to send people to.
:neena1: She's also my best friend!
:lillian1: Have been for years, sure.
:neena1: And she's a kitty.
:lillian1: ...really? In front of the camera like that?
:neena1: Couldn't help it! You are a kitty.
:lillian1: ...see? We're perfect together.

:simka1: That square arch is the Prancer logo. It's a stylized proscenium - that's the fancy term for "thing above a stage you hang curtains and lights from". It's appropriate for what we do.

:simka1: I'll go next. I'm Simka Choi of the Prancer division. We're the ones who do big landscape renovations and manage natural resources and stuff. You can't see it in this tiny picture, but my body's got six legs instead of two and personally I think that's pretty awesome. There are lots of us like this in Elseways. Fully a quarter of the population has more than four limbs, so we had to learn to accommodate all kinds of body shapes.

:neena1: That green thingie in the corner of the screen is the Vixen logo. I guess on your end it looks like my face is just in there with the text. Weeeeird. I'll leave the technical details to BJ, though. Not my department.

:neena1: Ha! I get to use the thing first!

Neena Henshall here, of the VIXEN division. I'm the one with the cylinders of green goo and the transformation ray gun, and I helped build a lot of the city's infrastructure, including the part of it that got up and became its own person. I love to talk about my work, almost as much as I love to find excuses to zap folks into new shapes, so feel free to ask me anything!


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