By the hands of the Gods, you have been plucked from your time and from your world, dropped into the box.
Only the box is a world of its own.
We are a mass crossover based on the concept of Pandora's Box. Characters from nearly any fandom can be played here. Because of the endless character possibilities, we are canon only here at Pandora. Take a peek at our rules and plot information before starting your new life in Pandora.
Y110 - Autumn - Nov. 4th
Fountain of Truth @Luke Skywalker
As soon as Luke landed the machine in these mountains on the world of Pandora below and opened the cockpit, Nanaki leaped out of the ship with the sound of several crackling joints. He hit the rocky ground a bit roughly, and took a moment to really stretch his body; each leg in turn, even his back and neck. There were no words, even in his own extensive vocabulary, to describe the sheer relief of finally being out of that... Flying Space contraption. While he would be eternally grateful for the lift that Luke and Artoo had provided him to get off that small island planet after his unexpected arrival from his own world, he wasn't going ask for another ride anytime soon.
The machine was impressive, certainly far more advanced than the only space ship he had ever been in back in his own world; but it was much, much smaller. That starship's cockpit was so tiny, he'd had to squish himself into what little space there was behind Luke's head; his own head, back, and rear end all pressed up against the glass of the sealed machine. Then of course, he'd had to be extremely careful with his tail, so as not to mistakenly burn his travel companion. He doubted Luke had been any more comfortable with the tight fit than he had been himself. It was a good that that he was young and flexible, or that flight would never have worked out. He didn't even get to enjoy the strange views and sensation of being in space again, it had been far too cramped.
"Luke, you have my gratitude for the ride off that planet..." He grunted as he violently shook his body, beads clinking loudly in his mane. "But I think we can both agree not to travel like that again." One more long cat-stretch later, legs splayed out in front and rear up high; he finally felt more like his usual self. At least the flight hadn't been too long, Luke's machine was extremely fast. It was called an X-wing if he remembered correctly. One of many great things of advanced technology. He returned to the ship, waiting politely on the ground below for Luke and Artoo to get out as well. He was very happy to have the companionship, and would enjoy it while it was still available, especially in this slightly spooky area. The mountain range was eerily quiet, though that may have been simply because Luke's ship scared away any nearby wildlife. But what really caught his eye was a large cave opening nearby. There were all kinds of strange scents coming from deep within.
"So this is where you believe the 'Fountain of Truth' is?" He asked curiously. He didn't fully understand Luke's explanation of this place, but his adventurous side was eager to check it out. All he knew was that it was a place shrouded in mystery. To him though, mystery was simply something that was begging to be explored and exposed. The name itself was able to pique his interest. What was "truth" here? Was it the truth behind why they were brought here from their own worlds? Or was it some other truth? Maybe it wasn't truth at all, for all he knew it could be a place that showed only lies, to force a visitor to find their own truth. Regardless, he was ready to have an adventure. It had been a long time since he'd last had an adventure.
Red leapt out of the cramped cockpit, and for what seemed like the first time all journey, Luke was able to breathe again. His legs ached from being bent almost up to his chest. It was one of those rare occasions where he was grateful that he’d inherited his mother’s height, rather than his father’s, ‘cos a long journey like that would’ve crippled a taller person!
“Next time we travel like that we’re gonna need a med droid,” he added on to the end of Red’s sober sentiments, although he was smiling good-naturedly. Hey, they’d got here in the end!
Luke clambered out of the cockpit, then clinked down the collapsible ladder to join Red on the rocky earth. He wouldn’t dare admit it aloud, but he was glad to breathe in the fresh, cool mountain air. The tiny, enclosed space had stunk more and more of dog throughout the journey. Luke wasn’t judging Red, though, since he noticed that distinctive little odor lingering in his own home after a lunar episode.
"That's what my contact told me," he replied. "They're usually right."
Luke had heard about the "Fountain of Truth" awhile back, though it'd been low on his priorities to visit. He had been more interested in tracking down ancient Saculite artefacts or finding something that would help him age back up than investigating a mysterious fountain in a cave.
"Stay with the X-Wing, Artoo," he instructed him. "Red and I will check out the cave."
Still perched in his astromech socket, the little droid uttered all kinds of unhappy twitters and chirrups, which had Luke smiling inwardly. He had started to get the impression that the droid was jealous of his growing friendship with another non-humanoid. It sure made a change from being the one who felt jealous and insecure, namely of his father's relationship with his nephew!
"Artoo, I need you to watch over the X-Wing," he replied patiently. "Remember what happened last time we left it alone in the Wastes?"
The droid let out a long, electronic sigh of acquiesce. Oh, he remembered all right!
As Luke crunched his way towards the shadowy maw of the cave, he turned his head to give Red a summary of the story: "Scavengers helped themselves to our power converters. We had to walk twelve miles to a distribution station to pick up some new ones. And you know what? I think we wound up buying back the ones that were stolen!"
Y110 - Autumn - Nov. 4th
Fountain of Truth @Luke Skywalker
'Usually right', huh? That wasn't entirely reassuring, but it didn't matter much to the hybrid canine. He'd been through many a cave in his lifetime, most of which were far more dangerous than this one seemed. Then again, he couldn't be entirely sure if this cave was really safe either. He paused at the entrance to the cave, only half-aware of the interaction between Luke and his droid. Many smells were rising from deep within, but nothing really stood out to him a dangerous per say. The Northern Crater back home had been overrun with beasts of all kinds, but natural and experimentally made. No to mention all the magical dangers, and the unstable ground which had collapsed in many places during that final journey to save the world.
He wasn't going to let down his guard though. He was well aware than many thing couldn't be picked up even by his own sensitive nose and ears. And with Pandora being as strange and random as it was, there was no way to predict what was ahead. Once Luke had joined him, he listened to the short story. Power converters...? Pieces for that 'X-wing' he assumed. Many of the things Luke spoke about were still foreign to him, but that didn't mean he wasn't curious. It was fascinating really, to learn about anything outside of his own world. And being in Pandora now, he would have a lot of new things to see and learn. It would all make a fine story for his friends back home, whenever he ended up returning. If he did anyway. Nanaki pushed that thought aside, refusing to ponder on something that would only upset him.
"Hmm..." He mused quietly, not entirely able to hold back a small chuckle of amusement. "A perfect example of human greed... I'm glad you at least got what you needed back." He'd long ago accepted humans for who they were, both the good and the bad. As long as they caused him no harm, he had nothing against them. Luke had been nothing but good to him so far, which resulted in having earned the trust of his new furry friend.
Without further delay, Nanaki stepped into the cave entrance, carefully placing each paw in turn. He kept his head up, constantly checking the air, ears erect and on high alert. It was better if he traveled in front, simply because he was much better suited for traveling through a dark cave, and better suited to sense danger should any arise. His vision was already adjusted to the darkness ahead, while he carried his tail higher to light the way for Luke with the ever-burning flame on the tip. "I wonder how deep this cave goes...?" He said aloud. "Do you know anything about what to expect ahead? Will there be a maze of tunnels? I'd hate for us to get lost in here."
“Yeah, we got ‘em back after they took all our credits,” Luke replied bitterly.
The whole thing had been real annoying, but nobody had died or got hurt. Luke guessed that was the most important thing. He was real tempted to tell Red that humans weren’t the only ones who were greedy. Hutts were as well. Especially Hutts. And Twi’leks, Zabraks, Rodians… Basically anybody could fall to greed.
But Luke kept his lecture to himself as they ventured inside the cave. The dense darkness and icy air made him want to keep quiet lest he lure over a creature lurking in the shadows. He didn’t like Red being in front ‘cos if a creature was in here with them, it’d go after Red first. Luke couldn’t just use him like some kinda furry shield!
It was more logical to have him in front, though, with his superior senses and flaming tail tip. The reddish orange light eagerly devoured any darkness that surrounded it, while their silhouettes stretched across the rough, pitted walls of the cave, long and spindly.
At Red’s concern about “a maze of tunnels”, Luke suggested in a careful whisper: “Maybe you could listen out for water? Or track it by scent? I did that once when I was-”
Whoops! Too much information!
“I mean… I know canids have a real good sense of smell,” he tried to right himself after his verbal stumble. “Anyhow, I’m not too sure what to expect. I heard a lot of rumors about the tunnel having some kinda… Guardian. But none of ‘em agree on what the guardian is. Some say it’s a giant snake. Others think it’s a nexu made out of ice.”
As though on cue, a rat the size of Red bounded out from a rounded bend in the cave, its bald, serpentine tail slapping against the cratered stone and trailing in muddy puddles. It jerked to a stop and bared yellowed teeth at them, which were each as thick as Luke’s forearm! The huge rat let out a hissing shriek that itched at his ears and its breath caused the puddles near its claw tipped feet to ripple wildly.
Luke tensed up, his hand drifting towards the hilt of his lightsaber, although his old energy rifle would’ve been better in this encounter. Back on Tatooine, he’d bullseyed rats way, way, way smaller than this one while flying his T-16.
“Huh,” he said to Red without taking his gaze off those yellow peg teeth. “None of those rumors said the guardian was a rat.”
Y110 - Autumn - Nov. 4th
Fountain of Truth @Luke Skywalker
Luke's strange choice of words, of course, failed to escape the intelligent hybrid's notice. He had paused in their progress, shooting a sideways glance back toward his companion, nose twitching slightly, eye instantly glowing with that strange, greenish glow of reflected light from his own tail tip. He could 'listen for water and track by scent'?
This human was honestly turning out to be more and more strange. Perhaps it had something to do with the wolfy smell that seemed to constantly be radiating from his body. He'd ignored the scent back on the island, brushing it off as simply a sign of wolves residing in the area. But the smell had followed them into the X-wing, and filled the machine during their trip here. There was no doubt that Luke was the source of it. He was temped to ask about it, and almost did so. "How..." He started to say, but then shook his head, accompanied by a light clinking of the beads in his mane, and turned back to face forward. He had never been one to pry, and he respected the young man's privacy. But if Luke had some sort of big secret, he really needed to be a bit more careful of what he was saying, lest others figure it out. Then again, he was no stranger to loose-lipped humans either. "... Excuse me, it's no business of mine. You're not wrong. There is a trace of water on this stale air, but we still have a long way to go."
It was the sudden, overpowering stench of a rodent which stopped the canid in his tracks next. His eye was swiftly flicking about, ears pricking forward to listen to the heavy scurrying sound, which was growing ever louder. It was moving quickly, and Nanaki found himself spacing his front legs instinctively in a defensive stance between he and his companion, and the oncoming threat. Then the animal loomed out of the darkness ahead. He was shocked to see that it was so large, rats never grew this big back home. Luke apparently hadn't been expecting this company either. But he certainly wasn't afraid or intimidated. He'd faced countless creatures far worse than this.
Size aside, it still appeared to be simply a regular rat. And rats were skittish prey animals. Perhaps he could use that to his advantage. The hybrid disliked behaving like an animal in front of others, but there was no choice in this matter. So rather than back up or flee, he confidently stepped forward toward the vile, stinking rodent. His flame tipped tail lashed about behind him, sparks flicking up around him from the powerful, swift movement. He crouched down slightly, hunching his well-muscled shoulders in the threat of a pounce, ears flattening to his skull, and fur bristling along his spine to appear larger and more frightening. A guttural, deep growl began to reverberate in his throat, gaining in volume until he was openly snarling, lips peeled back from his slightly yellowed razor sharp teeth. With his fangs bared, his snarl starting to sound more similar to a lion's roar; he crept forward, carefully placing his clawed paws.
He wasn't sure if his intimidation display would drive away their visitor, or simply agitate it further. No matter though, he was more than prepared for a fight if it came to that. Predatory instincts were burning in his legs, itching to lunge toward the ugly animal. Worst case scenario, should teeth and claws fail, currently unbeknownst to Luke, he would utilize the magic of the Materia embedded in his collar, looking like simple jewel studs in the metal. Using Shin-ra's technology always bothered him, simply due to just how cruel the company was, and how the said Materia was created from the life-blood of the planet. However, it had proven invaluable on many occasions, much to his chagrin. A blast of fire or electricity might cook the rat enough for them to have a snack to-go, assuming that it was edible.
“Red…” Luke called quietly, wincing at the great arched back of the huge nexu wolf.
He really didn’t want Red to get hurt in a fight ‘cos of him.
Luke unclipped his lightsaber hilt from his utility belt, but he didn’t ignite it yet. Equally, he didn’t wanna blunder in and undermine Red’s abilities.
He was glad to have waited when Red lashed about his fire tuft tail as though it was an enraged serpent, the fur bristling down his hunching back. His deep, primal snarl reverberated around the cavern. If Luke hadn’t been standing behind him, he would have thought it was the rocks above their heads beginning to collapse!
The enormous rat let out a startled squeak, turned slimy tail and scampered back down the shadowy passageway.
Luke was so surprised that he stared after the large four limbed figure until it had faded off into the dark. Whoa, that had sure been easy!
“Boy,” he laughed. “Am I lucky I’ve got you on my side!”
He was about to clip his lightsaber back to his belt when a piling presence in the Force caused him to freeze in place. The flesh prickled on the nape of his neck. He felt as though some kinda lifeform that was all coiled muscles and held breath was sneaking up on him. Things that snuck up on others were rarely nice, but the point was only hammered home by the vivid red and yellow colors that seemed to throb through the Force.
Before Luke could glance over his shoulder at the newcomer, his developing extrasensory perceptions registered a hot, blinding explosion. Later, he would realize the thing behind him had lunged at his back, but in the moment, he reacted by instinct.
“Watch out!” he yelled at Red.
Luke dived to the side, hit the hard, rutted ground on his head and shoulders, then rolled to his feet. He whirled to see their attacker, who was drawing a black, hairless head that was as big as the rat’s body back in preparation for another strike. The hideous head with the unhinged jaws and winding forked tongue was attached to a long, limbless body, which unravelled out of view down the passageway. Its vivid red and yellow bands stood out in the dark.
The snake uttered not a hiss, nor did its scales scrape against the stone floor. No wonder Luke hadn’t heard it stealing up behind him!
When it did speak, it was inside their heads in a sepulchral, echoing voice: You have scared away my lunch! I will have to eat you instead!
Hey broskis. Sorry I've been borderline AWOL for the better part of a year. Things have been a little meh and I feel like I'm stretched so damn thin right now. I wanna come back and write with you guys again, but idk when that's gonna be. Hope you're all doing well. <3