Claudia goes on a dateon August 2, 2013 at 3:05 pm
And it is a date out of her time!
This short story is inspired by the Crossover Dating Service Diary Game, at the WebComic Underdogs forum.
Claudia’s curiosity gets her in trouble. Transported to a strange time, she meets Sifo Kubek, the gruff commander of the Aegis, a group tasked with keeping peace in a post-war world, as told on the Demon Archives: Minerva.
How will this pair do together? Find out by reading Claudia’s retelling of the story bellow the fold, then go ahead to find out Sifo’s perspective.
Written by Rulo in collaboration with Daniel Sharp.
Sifo Kubek and all characters in Demon Archives: Minerva are copyright by Daniel Sharp/Demon Archives.
Claudia and the M9 Girls are copyright by Raúl Trejo
This is not really canon, but the story occurs a little bit ahead of the current events in the M9 Girls world.
EDIT: Dan got this great fan art of Sifo, by artist Joseph Garcia. Go check his page! We still need art of the pair!
An M9 Girls/Daemon Archives crossover
“Don’t touch the equipment, Claudia”. My friends always warn me when we are working at the lab. I should have learned by now. But Any had said she felt something strongly odd coming from the advanced research section at the University Science complex, and I just had to take a look.
The device was humming deeply, and the readings on the displays were over the scales. I’m just a bio-geneticist, but I can tell that “tachyon flux exceeded” is not a good sign. I know what radiation can do, after all! To be fair, I did not so much as lay a finger on it… but I still felt something in my stomach and became really dizzy. Next thing I knew I was kneeling in an open, barren, field. The sudden feeling of panic at being at this strange place had to subside, since I found myself standing in the middle of a battle of sorts. I had landed in the crossfire of weapons unknown to me. Two factions, I realized, in fierce combat. Confusion, noises, screams, and… a few meters from me, the little plate-shaped device that was the culprit of me being here. I instinctively reached for it, thinking of levitating it towards me, when these really bad looking men started surrounding me. Large men, with cold glares, twisted smiles and those strange weapons, so I concentrated in pushing them back instead. That surprised them momentarily, but more men were coming in my direction. I stood my ground, hoping I could repel them all. One of them pointed his weapon at me. I extended my hand hoping I could repel the shot, but it never came. Someone shot from behind me. I stood there as some men in armor came from behind me, and engaged my would-be attackers. The armored people soon had the other men on the run… and quickly surrounded me. Large men, a different kind of cold glare. Back to square one, Claudia. I prepared for repelling them, but then I noticed one of them had my precious plate-shaped device. I surrendered. The man who had shot my attacker came forward: an older man, probably in his forties, robust. “This is no place for a girl”, he said. “What is this place? Where am I?” I asked. The man looked tiredly and said “Earth, of course, what’s left of it”.
* * *
I was not a prisoner, but I felt like one, pacing around my assigned quarters. The man came back, with no armor this time. He was still energetic, but there was an air of tiredness in his demeanor. And he didn’t like talking much. He thought I was a scared villager, and I asked what this place was again. He relented and told me he was Sifo Kubek, they were from Minerva, they were trying to make things better after the war. He asked me about my village. I asked about the year. 2089. My heart sank. He asked me about the device. “Here goes nothing”, I thought. And I told him I was not actually from here. Not from this Earth, and surely not from this time. He looked squarely into my eyes, ordered to get me food and medication, and left. Well, that was only to be expected, obviously. Still…Boy, I hate him!
* * *
Note to myself: never be a single girl stranded in a barren future. They might be the only hope of this world, but these guys were pricks! And this particular guard would simply not leave the “crazy chick” alone. Damn, I didn’t want to expose my powers over something like this. Luckily, the Sifo guy appeared at that moment and intervened, although he had to get a little bit physical with his subordinate. I was impressed. For a guy his age, he did easily subdue the younger jerk.
Sifo took me to his quarters. He was different, calm and educated. He apologized for his men’s treatment. But he was still a soldier on a mission to find out about me. “The truth!”, he demanded.
“I told you! I don’t belong here. I must go back to my time!”
“Assuming I believe you, how can you do that?”
“The disk. The one you found when you encounter me. Where is it?”
“That would be at Professor Bellamí’s lab.”
“Can you take me there?” And I gave my most compelling smile. Hey, being a single girl stranded in a barren future must count for something!
* * *
“Oh, boy, this could be bad”, I told Sifo, looking at the screens now connected to the little device.
“Bellami believes it is an artifact of the pre-war era. Useless now, but potentially dangerous.”
“Well, it keeps leaking these tachyon particles, and they really got excited in my presence, so my being here might be part of the problem!”
“Everything seems to get excited in your presence” he commented, smiling for the first time since I meet him. I took offense immediately. “Hey, don’t snap at me”, he added, “you’re so full of energy that I start believing you actually don’t belong in this wasted world.”
That is when he, at least, pretended to believe me. I realized the tachyon device was low on power now, since touching it was causing no reaction at all. Well, some subatomic particles would do the trick. I just needed a subatomic particle generator. Except that Sifo told me that we could not get anything nuclear-related in his post-war world. I sat in silence, potty-mouthed, depressed. I was stuck in this horrible place. Sifo cursed under his breath. He didn’t like the idea he just had.
He told me.
You could not believe how cheerful a girl can get at the prospect of visiting an abandoned nuclear plant.
* * *
We had to sneak out during the night. We left the Minerva settlement and escaped on one of those funny vehicles of theirs. The nuclear plant was a few hours away. Sifo was silent, intense in driving. I was holding my precious stupid time-traveling device like it was a little puppy. Everything was empty and wasted outside under the moonlight. Trying to cheer us up, I started talking. About my friends, about school, about the lovely walks under the city lights, about the beautiful mansion where I now spent most of the time. “What about you?” I asked Sifo, and got some noncommittal answer. Boy, despite being a leader, this guy sure was a loner! Unabashed, I went back talking about what I would do once I was back home. He sighed. “Here we are”, he said, kind of relieved when we saw the towers of the old nuclear plant.
“Girl, do you always talk that much?” he said, while checking the perimeter. I walked briskly, holding my device. “Well, someone must do some talking here”, I replied. We found our way into the abandoned control room. Sifo tinkered with some switches and amazingly some of the panels came to life, along with some ancient yellowed light-bulbs. Sifo stayed silent, letting me go about setting my device. I think he was still evaluating whether I was insane or not. I had started missing my friends: it definitely would have been easier to patch up the gadget between the four of us. I missed them, I missed home, and I started crying softly. “Hey, hey” he started, and approached me, almost caressing my shoulder… and stopped, undecided. I was sobbing real hard now and I simply threw myself into his arms. He hugged me the best he could, as if he were alien to human contact. Me, I was relishing the first contact I had since being trapped in this place.
“So, what happened here, anyway?” I asked, trying to pull my emotions into check. And he told me about the war, about the goal he was trying to achieve with his Minerva comrades, and I could then clearly see the reason he had become so detached. “Bad Karma, I guess” he said, finally. My eyes lighted. “Karma? That’s it! Now it’s clear!” He looked at me with puzzled expression. “We are part of a karmic event, see? I was meant to be here, you were meant to find me.” He raised an eyebrow. “You think so”, he said “and why would that be?”
“So we could help each other. Some good Karma, you know?” and I reached for his hand. He did not flinch now. I closed my eyes and let the moment fill me, body and soul. For I felt the connection with this man out of my time, I felt the universe conspiring across dimensions, setting up a chain of events that could only culminate in this very moment. I was at peace now. And I knew what I had to do. With my mind calm, I could now figure out the device. I would just need to tap into the secondary power dampener of the nuclear plant. I was just about to tell Sifo when we heard noise outside. A small group of the Minerva people was there. Apparently they had decided I was not to be trusted.
“Will this work?” asked Sifo, already in a defensive stance.
“I think so” I admitted.
“Are you going home?” I nodded, looking into his eyes. I like to think he wanted me to stay. But then he was a man of action. “Turn your gadget on, I’ll hold them”. And he left. That was the last I saw of him. I felt a sudden pang of abandonment, but I turned some switches and the reactor came alive. The little disk device was humming loudly now, and I knew it was time. I took the disk firmly in my hands. Nothing happened. “Oh, c’mon!” I looked into the reactor panels and saw the warning: Reactor overload. “Oh, C’MON!!!” The structure collapsed over my head. I projected a force field that held the debris over me. Some lights appeared on the disk device at last, and again I felt the tachyon forces pulling out at my body.
* * *
I was standing at the laboratory in the research center. The disk-device was silent and dark. Only a few minutes had passed, according to the clock on the wall. I was confused. What had just happened? Did all that actually happen? Later I found the disk has been removed from the research center.
To this day, I sometimes think of Sifo Kubek, the stranger in the wasteland. I wonder if his future even exists any more, now that the portal is closed. I really hope that I helped him; that I brought a little bit of light into his conflicted world. We had so little time together. But then, things happen for a reason. Yes, I really think I did help.