I hadn’t seen Marilyn since she had Lyle had come to question us and it had been almost a week since then. She had said that she would see if there was anything that she could do to help us and had left. Lyle has seemed apologetic and said he was determined to ‘make it up to us’, as such he occasionally showed up at the Pendulum Lounge. Valarie had been too polite to tell him to leave and my protested seemed to be ignored. Martin said that Lyle was still a customer so I wasn’t allowed to hurt him.
Still his antics made me hate him less, maybe not forgive him, but definitely hate him less. His actions against us were unintended and not malicious. I still told him to leave whenever I saw him however.
We had begun to adjust to our new lives here however and the extra pay from working overtime had helped us full the apartment with necessary things and was beginning to get some unnecessary things too. There was a lot more to catch ones interest here in this large city then there had been in the small town in our world. Most of my youth was spent training under Master and learning the proper use of the tools. I still woke up early each morning to train before heading to work.
Valarie preferred the night and the stars so she stayed up longer than me. She sometimes spent the evening on the balcony when I headed off to sleep. She tended to wake up in the morning after I had done all my training. She was groggy and barely coherent at those times, something I didn’t understand about her.
The next day we went to work like normal. Since the apartment is inconveniently placed the trip to work takes around half an hour. Some of the route was by bus and the rest was walking. Even if I had a car I would not have a license to drive it and parking was not easily obtained in Bay Port.
We arrive at work at the usual time and Valarie was yawning like usual. The shifts were long and we continued to work until the night shift replaced us. We changed out of our uniforms and headed out to leave when we were stopped out front by a young girl.
“Wait!” She said nervously. We turned to look at here and Valarie kelt down to speak with her.
“Can we help you?” She asked.
“Are you Yiskah and Valarie?” Asked the girl. She must be around eleven if I had to guess. It was not unusual for people to ask us this question. The Forbidden Domain was still popular so many people compared us to them, unsurprisingly.
Valarie nodded and said, “Yes, that is our names.” We generally didn’t try to hide that but most people assumed we were just pretending. That kind of cosplay was not uncommon in Bay Port.
“Really? For real and truth?” Asked the girl.
I smiled and placed my hand on her head, “What you don’t believe Valarie? She said it was true didn’t she?”
The girl nodded and then said, “Then you need to help him. The Wanderer need your help!”
Me and Valarie looked at each other before I finally asked, “The Wanderer need our help? What do you mean?”
She shuffled her feet a little bit before saying, “If I told you then you wouldn’t believe me. However if you come with me then you can see for yourself and you will surely believe.”
“Don’t worry, we will believe you.” Said Valarie. She was always better with kids then I was.
“Well…” She scrunched her eyebrows for a second before she said, “Alright. His world is full of ash and monsters and he needs you two to save the world because you are the special Maidens.”
“Special Maidens?” I asked. That sounded like the thing that voice had said to us when we were passing on to this world. I still did not exactly know what it meant. Maybe a little special but not enough to be called out on it.
“Yes, we was able to discover your names but that was all. But he needed me to find you and have you help me. Please?” She looked desperate.
Valarie nodded, “Sure we will help you.” I shrugged and nodded in agreement. We might discover something it we went with her. “So the Wanderer wants are help. And you want us to help him? But first you need to tell us your name.”
“It is Esta….. I mean Estera Gaida. Nice to meet you. But you can just call me Esta, everybody else does.”
Valarie nodded, “Alright Esta, can you show us the way.”
Then Valarie took the girls hand and we walked down the street toward where ever Esta was leading us. She took us onto one of the buses toward the edge of town and eventually she lead us to what looked like an up scale housing area. I hadn’t been to this section of Bay Port before so I didn’t know what to expect. The houses were large and were much like the house that Valarie lived in back in our world.
In our world that house had been out of the ordinary but if it was placed among the houses here it would be right at home. Even then there would some homes which made her house pale in comparison. What sort of people live is houses like that?
Esta lead us to a large house, although not one of the largest. It was about the size of Valarie’s old home. “In here.” She said. “Don’t worry. My parents aren’t home.”
That made me and Valarie look at each other before Valarie asked, “Would they be upset if they found us here?”
“Probably” Said Esta almost nonchalantly, “But they probably won’t even be home tonight and if they do it will be very late.”
I looked at the girl with some sympathy. While she had the benefit of having a home to live in, I understood the pain of not having parents around very often. It could be hard for a child and Esta must have learned to be fairly independent as a young age. She had been able to come find us all by herself after all, that might not have been too unusual for her.
We entered into the house and walked through the rooms. It was quite lavish, even more so then Valarie’s home had been. Valarie’s father might have been rich but he mainly been a self made man so he was still in touch with normal people. The owners of this house were obviously not like they and they seemed to flaunt there money with decorations.
Esta lead us up to the second story of the house and into what I presumed to be her room. One section of the room seemed to be stuffed with stuffed animals, probably more then one child could play with. Considering there was only a few scattered elsewhere in the room this was definitely the case. Her parents must continually buy the for her as a form of apology that they were gone, or at least that is what I thought.
She lead us over to her computer which I felt was an oddity in the room. It was older looking then I expected. A big grey box connected to a monitor. Of course I was not the most experienced with computers, Master didn’t have one and considered them useless machines.
Finally I asked the question that had been on my mind since we entered her house, “You said that the Wanderer need our help. Where is this Wanderer?” I had maybe expected him to be in her house somewhere but I didn’t see anybody else.
She pointed at the computer. “He is in there. Or at least that is how I talk with him. He lives in a different world and my computer lets me see him and talk with him. Here, let me start it up.” She moved over to the computer, pulled out her chair, sat down and began starting up the computer.
Valarie turned to me and said, “That sounds like..”
I nodded, “Us, yes it does.”
“What do you think it means?”
“I’m not really certain. The real question is why this world. Both our world and his world are both connected to this one. Is this world special in some way or is it coincidence? And both of the connections are through computers. However it definitely makes me think that our world was more than just a video game that became real, although I’m not certain what.”
“Do you think that his world is a game?”
“Let’s see.” I peered over to watch what Esta was doing. The computer had finished booting up and she was loading a problem. “It does look similar to a game yet without some of the trappings of a game. More like a program that just opens into his world. Somewhat different from our connection but similar.”
“Alright, everything is set. Wanderer, are you there? I brought them here.” Said Esta.
We leaned forward to look into the monitor. We could see a small room which was lit only by a couple of light bulbs. The room was full of books some of which were neatly organized and other were strewn around the room haphazardly. There was one comfy looking chair in the room. A man, probably in his mid twenties, was sitting in the chair. His clothing was mostly black, although it looked more stained when deliberately dyed that way.
He raised his head when Esta spoke like he could hear her. He placed a bookmark in the book he was currently reading and placed it on the table. “Really? They are there? Yiskah and Valarie, the real ones?” Said the man, who must be the Wanderer because Esta addressed him at that.
“Yes” Said Esta, “There are here.” She turned to us and said, “You can speak to him and he will hear you however while we can see him, he can not see us.”
I stepped closer to the computer and said, “Hello, I’m Yiskah, and if there is a real Yiskah then I am that one. Esta said that you wanted our help.”
He nodded, “Yes, I did, or at least I believe I want your help. One of my former friends left me a message that you and Valarie would be the key to saving my world although I’m not exactly sure how. She called you two the Maiden of Order and the Maiden of Chaos. Does that sound familiar?”
I began to nod and then caught myself. He would not be able to hear me. “Yes, we once traveled between two worlds and when that happened some strange voice called us that. Although we don’t really know what that means.” Well, part of it at least. I knew that Valarie was probably the Maiden of Chaos, that name was close enough to what she was called in my world, the Maiden of Destruction. However that left me as the Maiden of Order which was strange and unfamiliar.
“I see. But you have traveled between worlds before? Do you think that you could do that again?” He asked.
“Hmm, I’m not really certain.” I looked over at Valarie, “Valarie, it was your power that let us travel the last time. Do you think you could do it again?”
She bit her lip in though, “Maybe, but should I really use my power to recklessly? Last time it, well, I’m not exactly certain what it did but the world we left probably had bad things happen to it.”
“I don’t want to believe that your power is cursed anymore. What better way to prove it then to control it and use it to help others.” I said.