Tales from the Multiverse 1 (Mel Brock)

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Tales from the Multiverse 1 (Mel Brock)
Date of Cutscene: 25 September 2016
Location: Sol Territories Alliance
Synopsis: Pilot article in Starways Digest by PsiMarshal Mel Brock.
Cast of Characters: 941

By Marshal Mel Brock
In "Starways Digest" newsfeed

          The way I figure it, most of you probably already know me from news sites and feeds. There's this weird thing, where apparently people like hearing about the stuff I get up to? But on the off chance you just stumbled across this feed from somewhere in the Stratus Empire, allow me to introduce myself. My name's Mel Brock, STA Marshals. I'm currently the 7th Active PsiMarshal, and also designated liason to the Union Armed Forces' Elite Corps.

          And yes, I now have a talking sword living with me.

          Let me confirm some rumors and shut down some others: Yes, she's magic. Yes, she's capable of projecting a woman's body in a flashy outfit. No, she's not inextricably linked to my soul, or sapping my life force, or dooming me to a terrible fate. I've managed that last one quite fine on my own, thanks.

          I should probably roll things back a little. See, according to the Marshal brass, I'm one of the most well-known Marshals, possibly the most well known. So when the STA signed on with the Union, I was apparently at the top of pretty much everyone's list to toss at the Elite Corps. And thanks to *that*, I am now at the top of everyone's "hey, what's the Multiverse really like?" list. Including, as you may have noticed, Starways Digest. Now that I've been out here the better part of a year, they want me to start doing a regular column for them. 'Tales from the Multiverse' was the second choice. I vetoed the first one.

          I'm not calling my column 'Marshal Matters'. I wouldn't inflict that on you.

          I tried to think of about a dozen ways to approach the ever-painful 'in this column, going forward, I shall...' But I just couldn't do it. Couldn't think of a way to make it hurt less. So instead I'll just say, buckle up, keep reading, and I'll try to give you interesting articles to chew through. Because "The Multiverse is strange" is a phrase that gets kicked around a lot, but buddy, I'm here to tell you you have no idea. Just hearing the phrase is like just hearing "Everfrost is a cold planet." Yeah, sure, technically accurate but it doesn't even begin to give you an idea.

          As I write this, I'm winding down from a day where I helped quell a riot before it started. I was helped in this endeavor by my talking sword. I was also helped by a man by the name of Reiji, who is a.) teaching me how to use my sword like an actual sword, and b.) an exorcist whose partner is a fox spirit that's centuries old. Her name is Xiaomu. She likes video games. The gathering that almost became a riot was in a city of gods, where an ancient dragon had been allowed to move in, so its cult showed up to try and march right into the palace and visit both it and the queen. Queen's name is Priscilla, by the way. She's not a bad person. Half dragon, half god.

          And here's the kicker. It almost became a riot because the summoned spirit of an ancient historical figure showed up and demanded they worship her instead. I'm not going to list which historical figure it was. You wouldn't believe me anyway, and she might get upset by me plastering her name everywhere. Or she might enjoy the publicity. One of the two.

          I tell you this story as an illustration of the world my legendary fortune has dumped me in. I have coworkers that are honest-to-god magical girls. Got others that pilot giant robots, and not those clunky bulldogs the Stratus field. I've had to fight an infectious, parasitic horror from the deep, and let me tell you, THAT one made it hard to sleep for weeks. And, yeah, on a routine bust I had a magical sword decide that I was worthy to be her wielder, and she's now living on the Firestarter with me. Her name's Hravn, and she's a sweetheart. Very inquisitive, about me and about the world at large. She's almost as new to this Multiverse thing as I am.

          And that right there, that's the point I want to make. More than anything else, they're all people. The exorcist and the fox? They're just regular coworkers and buddies. They practically bicker like a married couple. They've got their stuff they consider normal, the things they deal with every day; to them, starships and psychics and space cops are the uncommon and fantastical. Dealing with evil spirits is just another day.

          So if you're gonna keep reading from here on out, that's the one thing I want you to take away from this. Everyone I talk about, everyone I deal with, first and foremost they're a person. Anywhere, everywhere in the Multiverse, when you get right down to it, it's all run by people just like me or you; they just got different standards of 'normal' sometimes.